Misti Whitfield Martin, President 1995-1998, 2004

Misti Martin is a native of Georgia and has been in the Chamber and Economic Development field for over 25 years. She has served as the President of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development since 2004.

In the 1990s, Martin worked for the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce & Development Authority and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. She served as President & CEO of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce in east Atlanta from 1998-2004 before returning to Cherokee. Ms. Martin graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and earned her MBA from Troy University. She is also a graduate of University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (EDI) as well as the Institute for Organization Management at the University of Georgia.

Misti has held numerous positions on state boards for Chamber and Economic Development organizations, serving as Chair of the Georgia Economic Developers Association in 2012.  She earned her Certified Economic Developer status from the International Economic Development Council in 2000 and has also been featured as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40” and as a “Notable Georgian.”  Martin was recognized as one of the “Top 50 Economic Developers in North America” in 2016.
Misti is married with three sons.


Heath Tippens, Vice President 2009

Heath Tippens is a native of Canton, GA and a graduate of the University of Georgia with a BSFCS in Housing.

After graduating, Heath moved back home to Canton, to the area and people that he loves. Tippens’ background includes working as an investor relations specialist at Wells Real Estate Funds. While working at Wells, Heath gained valuable experience in commercial real estate and financial markets. He is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association. Heath is a graduate of The Basic Economic Developers Course at Georgia Tech, as well as a graduate of the Georgia Academy of Economic Development. He is also a graduate of Leadership Cherokee, and was recognized by his peers as the Cristal Stancil Leadership Award honoree. Tippens was recently named as one of the “Top 10 in 10” Young Professionals to Watch within Cherokee County, and one of Georgia Forward’s Young Game Changers. Tippens also recently served as Chair of the Leadership Cherokee Program in 2017.

Heath and his wife Whitney reside in northern Cherokee County with their two sons. The Tippens’ love the relationships they have with the people in this area and all Cherokee has to offer!

Jonathan Chambers, Community Manager of Entrepreneurship 2016

Jonathan Chambers is a native of Georgia for 26 years. Born in central Florida but raised in South Georgia the last 25 years, he has a deep love for business, people and the beautiful landscape of Georgia.
In the workforce for over two decades, he started and ran his own successful award-winning business at 28-years-old and launched a mobile technology startup at 31. During that time, he also served in key leadership roles at a few non-profits doing vision planning, strategy and leading multiple teams towards fresh growth initiatives. More recently, he served as the Director of Marketing and Operations for a high-growth innovation hub and investment firm in midtown Atlanta called TechSquare Labs. While there, he helped crystallize their brand story, developed new strategic partnerships and helped launch the first ever Atlanta Startup Battle: a $100,000 startup pitch competition. He has a passion for entrepreneurs and a vision to collaborate with them towards innovation.
Jonathan attended Georgia Southern University where he worked towards his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Business Entrepreneurship. Jonathan loves investing his time and talent in the local community and is passionate about connecting them to innovative ways of building the economy.

Jonathan has been married to his wife Allison for 12 years, with two daughters.


Kristyne Davis, Operations Manager 2017

Kristyne Davis joins The Cherokee Office of Economic Development with nearly a decade working with small businesses and customer relations. Her previous experience in barter and with the Northwest corridor earned her many achievements. She produced over $1 Million dollars in sales in just her first year and $1.5 Million in the second year. She is a very driven and looks forward to contributing to the growth of Cherokee County.

Kristyne is a graduate of Chattahoochee Technical college with an Associates Degree in Accounting and certification in Computerized Accounting.

Kristyne is a 6 year volunteer with The Chick Fil A Bowl.


Molly Mercer, Film Project Manager 2017

Molly Mercer was raised in Hickory Flat.

Molly attended Berry College in Rome, GA, receiving her BA in Theatre Arts and minor in Speech Communication, and shortly after completed her teaching certification in Theatre Education from Piedmont College.  Though Molly’s early career was in theatre performance, her great love was for theatre education where she was able to engage high school students in practical experiences to prepare them for careers in professional theatre.
After having children, Molly adored being able to mostly be a stay at home mom, and contributing to her community through volunteer work in the Service League of Cherokee County where she served on the Executive Board for 5 years, chaired the annual Riverfest Arts and Crafts Festival and was voted League Member of the Year in 2011.  She has served as room mom in her children’s classrooms, and she has been devoted to service within her church, where she has directed children’s musicals, served as choir director for children and adults, interim worship leader, outreach secretary, and was most recently employed as a preschool music program teacher for eight years.

Though new to the economic development field, Molly feels her life experiences have perfectly prepared her for her

job as Film Project Manager where she is able to collaborate with a creative team, meet with scouts and show them the beautiful people and places of her native Cherokee County, and encourage the development of a workforce trained for employment in the arts.

Molly lives in Woodstock with her husband Matt Mercer, and feels incredibly blessed to raise their two sons and one daughter so close to where she grew up.



Shawna Mercer, Workforce/Communications Manager 2018

In 2009, Shawna left Florida to fulfill her lifelong dream of making the Peach State home. Since then, she has spent the past several years building relationships and serving Georgians in both the public and private sector.

Prior to joining the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, Shawna served in communications roles with the Executive Office of the Governor (Florida), Georgia State Senate Press Office, American Council of Engineering Companies, and the Office of Congressman Barry Loudermilk.

As communications director for Congressman Barry Loudermilk, Shawna developed an interest for promoting economic development and building partnerships with the local community, especially here in Cherokee County.

Shawna is an avid hiker who loves being outdoors and exploring Cherokee County’s beautiful trails. Shawna is married to Kaleb Mercer – an IT genius by day and woodworking phenom by night.

They have a daughter and a German Shorthaired Pointer.