Boyd Austin, the former mayor of Dallas, will take the helm of the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission on July 1.

He will succeed Executive Director Lloyd Frasier, who is retiring on June 30.

“We had six extremely competent applicants, and any of them would have been good, but he was the top candidate,” said Walker County Commission Chair Shannon Whitfield, who chairs the regional commission.

The Rome-based NWGRC acts as a planning, development, workforce and aging services resource for the 15 counties and 49 cities in the region. It also serves as a grant conduit for state and federal programs.

Austin was a member of the regional commission board during his nearly 25 years as the mayor of Dallas. He stepped down to run for state Senate in 2020. Although he pulled the most votes in the Republican primary, he lost in the runoff to Jason Anavitarte, who later won the District 31 seat.

During his years of public service, Austin was appointed by several governors to various state boards. He chaired the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, and also served on the board of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which works closely with the regional commissions.

Austin is a past president of the Georgia Municipal Association and, since 2004, has represented Paulding County on the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District board.

Whitfield said a personnel committee was appointed to search for a director soon after Frasier announced in January that he planned to retire.

Frasier has spent nearly 50 years at the NWGRC in various roles and has led the organization since 2012. Whitfield said he told the board he’s ready to spend more time with his grandkids on the ballfields.

“My time working with Lloyd has been an honor,” Whitfield said. “He’s highly respected across the state and he’s done a phenomenal job serving his community for the past 48 years. He will be greatly missed.”

A retirement celebration was held for Frasier on Tuesday night at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville. Before it began, the regional commission board held a special called meeting to approve Austin, the personnel committee’s unanimous recommendation.

The NWGRC covers Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties.

It is governed by a 50-member council, consisting of elected officials, private sector members, and five state appointees — three by the governor and one each by the lieutenant governor and Speaker of the House.

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