Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Rick Evans, Chairman

Jim Cox
Southeastern Marketing

Christina Purkapile, Treasurer
Booz Allen Hamilton


Kerry Bridges, Secretary
Georgia Power

Jean Garniewicz
Former Planning Commission Chair

Mark Herbert
Herbert Homes


Sanjeev Singhal
CSRA Photography

Stan Shepherd

Mark Wills
South State Bank




Anita Patel, MBA

Anita joined the Development Authority of Columbia County in 2017.   She has an entrepreneurial spirit. Prior to joining our team, Anita was in Knoxville, TN.  Her professional experiences include real estate development and sales, medical supplies sales and marketing, and medical practice management.  Highlights to her experience include supporting her family-owned physical therapy clinic, medical supplies company, and acquisition and renovation projects in the hospitality industry.

Anita’s commitment to community includes being a graduate of the Leadership Columbia County Class of 2022.  Her volunteer spirit leads her to dedicated positions with the  American Heart Association – Heart Ball and Heart Ball Auction Committee, Lydia Project, HTS Youth Group mentor, HCC of Knoxville, Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout Board of Review, Girls Scouts, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Red Cross, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Fantasy of Trees, Lakeside High School PTA, Farragut High School PTSO, FHS Band, West Valley Middle School PTSA, and  A.L. Lotts PTA, where Anita was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award.

Anita has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and a Masters degree in Business Administration.  Her biggest success story and the one that brings her the most joy are her two children and her family.   Anita is a Class of 2021 Lakeside High School mom and currently a proud UCLA mom where both of her children are pursuing their undergraduate studies.

Fun Facts: Anita did her graduate internship in the office of the Honorable Andrew Young with the 1996 Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games during which time she selected by the Coca Cola company as one of Georgia’s 35 most influential people to be on the “Welcome the World to Atlanta” mural next to the Olympic stadium and she authored a biography on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, George Michael.