Economic Development Authority Board
Pictured left to right: Economic Development Director, Keith Barclift, Charles Lancaster, Ray Johnson, Paul Lee, Vice Chairman Mike Signiski, Chairman Rick Partain, Secretary Stephanie Dickert, Jim Cutler, Ex Officio Member Amy Jackson
All Catoosa County Commissioners also serve on the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority Board as Ex Officio Members.
Rick Partain, Chair
Rick Partain has served as the Chairman of the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority since January 2018. Chairman Partain is the North Georgia Market President at FirstBank, a preeminent community bank with north Georgia roots dating back to early 1900’s. Rick has been in the financial services industry for almost 20 years. He began his career in 1998 at SouthTrust Mortgage Corporation as Vice President-Branch Manager, where he worked for two years and led a team of residential mortgage originators. In an effort to focus his efforts in the North Georgia market, he entered the banking arena working in branch operations, mortgages, consumer, and commercial lending for Gateway Bank & Trust, a financial institution formerly headquartered in Ringgold. Rick then transferred his talents to Northwest Georgia Bank serving in many roles including the management of the Special Assets and Collection Division. Following the merger of Northwest Georgia Bank and FirstBank, Rick was named as the North Georgia market executive. Rick also serves on the board for the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority.
He has been active with the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce serving as a board member and Chairman. He has also been active with Leadership Catoosa through Chamber of Commerce and other nonprofit boards within the area. Rick and his wife Terri of 32 years and counting have two sons who also reside in Catoosa County with their respective spouses. They are also proud grandparents.
Mike Signiski, Vice-Chair
Michael Signiski served in the United States Army from 1994 to 1998. He was previously employed as Manufacturing and Design Engineer for GE Appliances in Louisville, KY before moving in 2002 to GE/ Roper in Lafayette where he currently serves in Manufacturing Management.
Mr. Signiski has been involved in United Way Campaign North Georgia Committee and was a member of the Walker County Leadership class of 2012. He currently serves on the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority Board and has been a member of the Catoosa County EDA since 2013. He was elected to serve as Vice-Chair in 2018.
Stephanie Dickert, Secretary/Treasurer
Chattanooga, Tennessee native Stephanie Dickert is an Author, Accountant, and certified Quick Books Advanced Advisor. A reformed banker-turned-accountant, Stephanie is an entrepreneur and owner of “Stewardship for Life,” an accounting firm. She has also developed the “Money 101” program. In her latest book, “We the Consumers: What Happened to 'We the People'?” she explains the reasons why people are in financial debt and offers a simple way to become debt-free. Stephanie shows ways to budget your money, even saving one million dollars, regardless of income level.
Stephanie has appeared on several talk shows about money management and living life in balance, concepts which she practices in earnest. A 2011 graduate of Georgia Academy for Economic Development and 2007 graduate from Leadership Catoosa, Stephanie received her accounting degree in 2001, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Civic and culturally minded, Stephanie ran for County Commissioner in 2010 and was just 109 votes shy of winning in a runoff election. She currently serves as a Board Member for the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority. With her husband John and daughter Faith, she resides in Georgia near their 40-acre working farm, raising produce and cattle.
Jim Cutler and his wife Darlene have been married for 21 years. They have four children and ten grandchildren and currently reside in Ringgold, GA. Jim graduated from Illinois State University and went on to work for Bloomington Broadcasting for 30 years followed by a 10 year stint with Citadel Broadcasting. Jim retired from Broadcasting and worked for Hullco Exteriors for 11 years.
In the past, Jim has served as the President of Ringgold Kiwanis Club and was a Catoosa County Commissoner for 12 years (2009-2020). He is currently the Senior Vice Commander of American Legion Post 40 in Ringgold, a dedicated member of the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Board of Directors for the 6th Cavalry Museum, and serves on the Catoosa County Economic Development Board of Directors.