Meet Tim Evans! Tim has been the Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce since 2005. Tim has been married for 24 years and the couple has a 7 year old son.
Tim said that currently, he is very excited about the growth and energy in our area.”… I just think there is  a lot of energy in our downtown areas for redevelopment. Look at what is happening in Gainesville, Lula and Flowery Branch. I think that that’s part of a long -term trend.”
We want to thank Tim for spending time with us recently and telling us more about his life and love of Hall County.
Question: How long have you been at the Chamber, and what is your position?
Answer: “I started at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce in 2005 in the role of Vice President of Economic Development. Our economic development effort is a public-private partnership of the Chamber, Hall County and the Cities of Gainesville, Oakwood, Lula and Flowery Branch.  We work with small business owners, expanding businesses, new businesses, retail development and some  of the urban redevelopment opportunities.”
Q: Is there anything exciting going on right now that you would want people to pay attention to?
A: “We are seeing new residential growth in our downtown areas, and that’s a good thing. There’s a lot great walk ability about these downtowns. We haven’t had people living in downtown Gainesville and Flowery Branch the way that we will in the near future, so it will be exciting to see that.”
Q: What did you do prior to working with the Chamber?
A: “I worked with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. I directed our marketing, business recruitment and international trade programs with communities and businesses all over Georgia. I was particularly focused on international business recruitment for Georgia. I did that for 11 years. I started at Economic Development in an entry level Project Manager position almost right out of college. I had interned with the Georgia Department of Economic Development as a student at Oglethorpe University. That internship really turned me on to  a career field where your job is helping connect communities and people with economic opportunities and helping businesses grow.”
Q: What did you study in college?
A: “You know, when people learn what I do, I get asked that a lot. The most important thing I earned from Oglethorpe University was that I met my wife, Killian. I studied economics and political studies, but it could have been history. It’s more important in economic development that you have a sense of wanting to help people and an ability to listen to their needs and address their interests. I get a charge out of helping people and  businesses meet their needs. We can be effective in what we do as a community by listening and helping businesses.”
Q: What’s one of the first movies you remember seeing in theaters?
A: “’Star Wars.’”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
A: “I would go to a village called Mousehole (sounds like Mowzle), Cornwall near Penzance in Southwest England. I grew up going to Cornwall with my first trip at age 3. Mousehole  is where my mother’s family emigrated from, and I still have family there.  I was born here in Georgia and grew up in Jefferson. My mother was born in Sydney, Australia, and her father’s family was born in Cornwall in England. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve been back to Cornwall. The last time I went, I was the driver for my aging parents. I picked them up, and I was their chauffeur through the narrow hedgerows, roundabouts and left-driving adventures.”
Q: What’s something on your bucket list?
A: “I’ve been to 40 different countries. I would love to travel to some of the places that I haven’t been. I don’t plan on visiting all the countries in the world but would love to visit some places like South Africa, Tanzania or Turkey.”
Q: What are your most favorite or most exotic trips you’ve been on?
A: “The Pacific Rim: Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan.  I’ve been to Northeast Asia quite a bit, to Korea, China, and Japan. I’ve been to Korea a total of 18 times. It’s really one of the few places in the world where I was clearly a foreigner. There are cities like Daegu and Buson with five to seven million people that don’t get as many international visitors as Seoul. It’s kind of an interesting experience to visit one of those cities and  look around and realize I’m one of the very few outsiders here.”
Q: What are three bands or musicians you want to see in concert (dead or alive)?
A: “I would rate this as one: Elton John and Billy Joel in concert together (seen them!). I would enjoy reliving the 80’s version of AC/DC. I’ve always  loved Ray Charles’ music. He was such an artist and treasure to Georgia.”
Q: Who is one of the most interesting people you’ve met in Hall County over the years?
A: “I would say Philip and Mary Hart Wilheit. I had known Philip before coming here to Gainesville from my work  around Georgia. Philip and Mary Hart are among those special people that realize that we are in this together as a community and it’s important we all invest our time and resources. I think it’s really encouraging  to see people who understand that it benefits everyone to be involved and be passionate about your community.”
Q: What is your favorite part of living in Hall County?
A: “It’s the people. I feel a kinship to the Northeast Georgia foothills having grown up in Jefferson, but so does my wife from Goldsboro, NC. It’s just a very kind and welcoming community. You don’t have to have family that has lived here for 10 generations to be from Hall County. You get your native card after a few years. It’s pretty easy to assimilate and become a part of the community.”
Q: What three words mean HOME to you?
A: “Family, friends, and Georgia.”
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: “Well, I do a lot of family and kid stuff. We probably appreciate it more that we’re older parents. We’re often the oldest parents at the PTO and Cub Scout meetings.
“My wife and I both exercise a lot, and I started  running, swimming, and cycling, about 10 years ago. About the time I was working on my Masters degree, I weighed about 260 pounds. When I finished my Masters, I started swimming at Frances Meadows and Brenau. I lost about 90 pounds and I’ve kept it off. Regular exercise has really helped me manage the stresses of the job.”