Two people holding a plaque..

Terri Jondahl, chair of LLIDA, presents Bill Donohue with resolution recognizing his work with the authority.

Big changes are coming to the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and to Lanier Islands. At the April meeting, LLIDA Executive Director Bill Donohue and Lanier Islands’ Vice President of Hospitality Grier Todd announced their retirement.

Donohue has served as LLIDA’s executive director since 2008 when he was appointed by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to lead the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and the North Georgia Mountains Authority.

Todd has worked with Lanier Islands since 2001, except for an 18-month sabbatical about seven years ago.

Both men have worked closely with Lake Lanier Islands Management, the company founded by the Virgil Williams family in 2005 to manage the resort.

“Both Bill and Grier will be greatly missed,” said Terri Jondahl, chair of the LLIDA board. “It has been a pleasure to work with them over the years and they have both played critical roles in helping with Lanier Islands’ past growth and in setting us up to achieve even bigger things in the future. Their insight and experience have been invaluable and they leave behind an incredible legacy in what has been accomplished at the Islands.”

The board presented Donohue with a resolution plaque honoring his years of service.

In other LLIDA business, funding for additional infrastructure and shoreline work has been approved and will begin in the next few months.

The board approved its funding agreement with the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau, providing the LLCVB with a 20 percent portion of the hotel/motel tax collected from accommodations to be used for marketing and advertising. It also approved the contract for the bureau with a 1-year automatic renewal, unless one party requests that it be discontinued.

“The agreement, which was requested by the LLCVB, is in line with contracts the bureau has with other municipalities,” Donohue said. “Stacey (Dickson) and her staff are doing an excellent job of marketing Lake Lanier and the opportunities for visitors here.”

In addition to marketing, the CVB team represents Lake Lanier at trade shows across the Southeast. “At the recent RV show, the team generated a significant number of leads for overnight stays, group and leisure travel,” he said.

The next LLIDA meeting is scheduled for the second Tuesday in June.

Editor’s note: Lakeside News will be featuring both Donohue and Todd in upcoming issues.

Photo: by Pamela A. Keene