John Henry has resigned as CEO of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, saying he needed a break after leading economic efforts in the county for nearly 13 years.
“I left for personal and professional reasons, and I think that the IDA will be better off with more energetic leadership,” he said Thursday. “This community has tremendous potential, and it needs someone with a fresh set of eyes to realize it.”
The IDA issued a statement Thursday saying Henry resigned Dec. 1.
“The IDA appreciates John’s many years of service and wishes him well in his future endeavors,” the statement said. “Tre Wilkins, the IDA’s project manager, will serve as interim CEO until John’s replacement is selected.”
Wilkins said the board will get community input into what they want to see in a new CEO and write a job description before advertising the position. He said he thinks it will take 90 to 120 days to hire someone new.
The board’s next regular meeting is Dec. 21.
Henry’s resignation comes soon after the Springfield City Council’s decision to reject waste from DRT America, a new, $43 million plant in the county’s industrial park.
There was a public backlash against the city accepting the waste because its treatment plant discharges into the pristine Ebenezer Creek.
Henry oversaw the IDA when Medient Studios, later known as Moon River, presented grandiose plans for a $90 million movie studio and entertainment facility that never materialized.
He also ran the IDA when it brought Georgia Transformer to the area, as well as PortFresh Logistics.