Alpharetta performed a nationwide search for a new Community Development director, but only went across the Fulton County line into Cherokee to hire Woodstock's department head.
Richard McLeod, Woodstock's Community Development director, starts in that same position for Alpharetta on Nov. 5.
“We received resumes from more than 90 qualified candidates from around the country,” said Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle. “Mr. McLeod stood out among them as being not only technically qualified but as a creative professional that could help Council identify opportunities for shaping Alpharetta’s future.”
McLeod fills a vacant position left with the resignation Diana Wheeler, who left saying she wanted to accomplish other things. Since then a team of Community Development staffers have handled tasks.
Alpharetta also promoted Kathi Cook, a 12-year veteran of the department, as its deputy director. Until McLeod’s arrival in November, Cook will serve as the department’s interim director.
In McLeod's current job, Alpharetta's news release said he helped to reshape Woodstock’s downtown into a thriving destination that has attracted over one hundred million dollars in private investment. He also spearheaded the development of a comprehensive trail and green space plan, called Greenprints, which won two awards from the Georgia Urban Forest Council and the Georgia Planning Association.
According to Alpharetta officials, McLeod’s track record proves that he works hard to pursue a vision set by elected leaders and knows how to collaborate with the private sector in doing so.
In her newly created role as deputy director, Cook will continue to coordinate the activities of the city’s planning commission, but will have more responsibility with respect to day-to-day operations of the department and negotiating with private developers.
“Kathi has been a valuable asset for a number of years, and she has greatly impressed Council with her leadership and professionalism in the absence of a full-time director in Community Development,” said Belle Isle. “We are confident that elevating Kathi’s role in the department will help to raise the bar in terms of customer service and overall operations.”