Aundi Lesley, a native of Dallas, has been chosen as the next Downtown Development director for the city of Rome. Lesley’s first day on the job is expected to be Aug. 17.
The appointment is slated to be ratified by the full Rome City Commission at its next meeting, on Aug. 10.
“I believe downtown is the heart of a community and plan to encourage community awareness on the importance of downtown as the most vital economic strength in the city,” Lesley said in a Monday press release from the city.
Assistant City Manager Patrick Eidson said that Lesley came highly recommended from the statewide downtown partners the city deals with on a regular basis.
Eidson and the search committee to replace Amanda Carter interviewed six of the 30 applicants for the job, and he said Lesley stood out from the group.
“I think the experience she has in economic development and her ability to communicate were key factors,” Eidson said.
Lesley comes to Rome after a stint as program coordinator for the UGA Small Business Development Center at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.
She previously served as the Main Street program director in Carrollton. While in that post, Lesley assisted with the opening of 20 new businesses, 65 new jobs and $10 million in public-private development in downtown Carrollton.
She has a degree in business management from the University of West Georgia.
“I have always loved visiting Rome and now look forward to being part of this wonderful community,” she said.
Lesley follows a couple of other Carrollton transplants. Rome City Manager Sammy Rich came to Floyd County in 2002 as the assistant county manager after serving as the planning director for Carroll County.
More recently, Artagus Newell moved to Rome in 2017 to head the Rome-Floyd County Planning Department.He had previously served as the zoning administrator for Carroll County.