Tom O'Bryant

GAZA Board member bio


Tom currently serves as Director of Community and Economic Development for White County. He earned a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and attended the Graduate School of Planning at the University of Tennessee.  Tom has spent his professional career providing technical assistance to small business, community programs and within local government.  He served as Director of the Downtown Development Authority for the City of Commerce and as Director of Planning for the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission.  His work at Georgia Mountains RC extensively included comprehensive planning, land use planning and zoning technical assistance, watershed management planning, public policy development, and grant writing.  


In his current position, Tom supervises six divisions in the Community Development Department that include planning, building permitting, code enforcement, geographic information systems, solid waste, and economic development. Tom has helped facilitate and coordinate over $80 million of infrastructure development during his service at White County.  Tom has worked diligently to help his community become the leading county in Georgia’s emerging wine industry.  To improve the building and development process in White County he implemented a Plan Review program. He recently led the effort for the implementation of White County’s first land use ordinance.   He currently serves on the Board of the Georgia Association of Zoning Administrators, and has been re-appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to serve on the Coosa North Georgia Water Planning Council.


In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors for the White County Development Authority, the White County Chamber of Commerce, the Chestatee-Chattahoochee Resource Conservation and Development Council, the Joint Development Authority for Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties, the Community Advisory Board for the North Georgia Network, the Georgia Mountains Regional Workforce Investment Board, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee.


When not working, Tom spends his time with his wife, Emily, and their four children.  His personal interests include running, reading, gardening and fishing.