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Camden County Joint Development Authority Staff

James Coughlin, Executive Director

James grew up along Florida’s Gulf Coast and immediately felt at home when he arrived here in beautiful coastal Georgia. He attended the University of Florida for his undergraduate work and later the University of Georgia, where he also served as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer.

James comes to Camden from Rome, Georgia, where he served as the Director of Professional Recruitment and Retention for Floyd Medical Center. In this role James traveled the Southeast region, recruiting physicians to the northwest Georgia area. James was a 2011 graduate of Leadership Rome and in 2013 he was the Governor’s Appointee to the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.

James lives in Kingsland with his wife, Diane, and daughter, Autumn. He believes that above all else, people are the greatest asset this community has to offer.


Darren Harper, Project Manager

Darren Harper is the Project Manager for the Camden County Joint Development Authority. Prior to joining the Authority, Darren was the Director of the City of Kingsland Economic Development Department as well as Secretary/Director of the Kingsland Development Authority from 2006-2014.

Darren supports the Executive Director of the Authority in all facets of community economic development including business attraction, business retention and expansion efforts, project funding, incentive development strategies and many other duties.  Darren also assist other community partners including downtown development authorities, chamber of commerce, local governments, and non-profits in local community and economic development efforts.

Darren graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation in 1993. He received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council in 2009, Professional Community Economic Developer certification from the Community Development Council in 2017 and Development Finance Certified Professional certification from the Council of Development Finance Agencies in 2020.


Hazel Shaw, Administrative Service Specialist

Hazel Shaw began working as the Administrative Service Specialist for the Authority in 2021.  In this role, Hazel assists in coordinating all facets of board relations and board meetings, provides general record keeping for the Authority, assist in accounting and strategic planning efforts as well as providing general assistance to the Executive Director and staff of the Authority.

Prior to arriving at the Authority Hazel worked in a general law office, criminal law office and government law office.  Throughout her work in these legal fields, she managed client files, coordinated appointments, performed research, assisted with client accounting and financial record keeping, and aided attorneys in presentations to clients and government agencies.

Hazel also brings a wealth of experience as a real estate agent.  She is a licensed real estate agent in the State of Florida and plans to become licensed in Georgia as well.  Through this experience, she gained knowledge in all facets of client relations, listing and sales transactions, performing market analysis, and a variety of marketing efforts for properties and communities to potential homeowners.

Hazel lives in St. Marys with her family.  She loves living and now working in Camden County.  When not working, Hazel enjoys being out in nature,  relaxing and making good memories with her family and friends.