Headshot of Charles Burton, new LLIDA Exec Dir.


When Charles Burton began his new job as executive director of the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority in mid-June, it was a natural progression in his career. He began his new job on June 19.

After 17 years as General Manager of Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, with 13 years overlapping with his work as Regional Manager of Amicalola and Unicoi State Park Lodges, he is moving from private sector management into a Georgia state management position.

Burton has also been named executive director of the North Georgia Mountains Authority, which is responsible for overseeing the operation of six state-owned resorts, lodge parks and historic sites owned by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Bill Donohue is immediate past executive director of the North Georgia Mountains Authority, retiring from that position when he retired from LLIDA.

In his new role, Burton combines his extensive private-sector experience with the responsibilities of representing the state in operations and lease management of the entities under these two authorities.

According to the LLIDA website, “Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority’s mission is to provide administrative oversight responsibility and support with respect to its long term lease agreement with Lake Lanier Islands Management Company LLC, a private sector entity.”

At Lanier, this includes interfacing with the Governor’s Office, various state of Georgia offices, the US Army Corps of Engineers and Lanier Islands Management Company, which operates Lanier Islands.

“The LLIDA board is very excited about Charles’ new role as LLIDA Executive Director,” said Terri Jondahl, chair of the LLIDA board of directors. “He has a strong mix of skills in hospitality management and in working with a state authority as he did from the private sector side with the North Georgia Mountains Authority.”

A native of Austin, Texas, Burton spent the early part of his career in hotel operations and management in Texas and Virginia. In 2006, he was brought to Georgia by Coral Hospitality, which manages Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, Amicalola, Lake Blackshear, Little Ocmulgee and Unicoi State Park Lodges.

Burton and his wife Stephanie recently purchased a home in Buford. He enjoys golf, racquetball and landscaping at their home. The couple has two adult children. He also served in the US Marine Corps from 1987 to 1995.

“Although I’ve been in this new position for a little less than two months my work on the client side with various resorts and lodge properties is making this transition a bit smoother and easier,” Burton said. “I see my work as executive director of these two authorities as a resource manager and partner working on behalf of the state and our private-sector companies to protect these invaluable natural resources, create cooperative marketing programs and oversee continued investment in infrastructure and facilities.”

“We are already finding that he is highly motivated and efficient in doing the work of the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and working to ensure a strong relationship with our private-sector partners,” Jondahl said. “We are very optimistic about the future under Charles Burton’s leadership and especially important is the fact that he is a genuinely nice guy who is a pleasure to work with.”