ADDA serves as a liaison between the downtown business community and Athens Clarke County Government to create and sustain a vital Central Business District. It is part of the Georgia Main Street Program and Main Street America, harnessing the energy of downtown stakeholders to revitalize downtown and foster a sense of place that sets Athens apart from every other community. ADDA’s vision: Downtown Athens will be an economically sustainable, vibrant, and viable central business district, creating an environment that attracts people and investments.

Formed by state legislation in 1977, the Athens Downtown Development Authority coordinates planning and implementation of public facilities as well as assists private investors and individual businesses. The Athens Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors is a seven member volunteer board appointed by the Athens-Clarke County Board of Commissioners that governs the Downtown Development Authority.

To learn more, link to the organizational Charter, Bylaws, and Mission Statement below.

ADDA Charter

ADDA Bylaws

ADDA Mission Statement

ADDA Work Plan

ADDA Board of Directors

Linda Ford

Director of Business Services

Linda works with business and property owners to maintain an economically vibrant Central Business District.  She manages communication with downtown stakeholders, promotions, and ADDA business operations.  Linda has an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Georgia and owned a small business in Athens for more than 20 years.  She has served as director of the State of Georgia Elections Division and was District 7 Athens-Clarke County Commissioner from 1999 – 2002. 

David Lynn

Director of Planning and Outreach

David works with downtown stakeholders to develop community partnerships and manage special projects. David graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. David’s career has included work in both the public and private sector including: city planning; GIS; commercial real estate; and law enforcement. David also served as a Athens-Clarke County Commissioner representing District 5 from 2002— 2010.

Rachel Swartz

Business Coordinator

Rachel Swartz is the Business Coordinator for ADDA whose responsibilities include accounts payable, accounts receivable, and Human Resources. She also manages the Façade Grant Program and other various ADDA projects. Originally from Ohio, Rachel majored in Communications and Environmental Science at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. Rachel has been with ADDA since 2019. Before joining ADDA, Rachel worked with the Clinton County, Ohio, Solid Waste District, and was also a Health Inspector in Oakland County, Michigan.

Elise LeQuire

Marketing Coordinator

Elise manages various projects relating to ADDA and its relationship with the downtown Athens community, general public, and local organizations. Elise also writes press releases, ADDA’s Around Downtown newsletter, and content for ADDA’s social media. In addition, she manages ADDA’s advertising and public relations, Main Street program and DABA’s downtown gift certificate program, as well as coordinating ADDA’s CEP Fund, which supports special events that promote downtown Athens. Prior to joining ADDA, Elise earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature from University of Virginia, and worked in marketing and public relations for CNN and KPMG, in addition to working as a freelance writer and editor.