Lisa Denton

Executive Director

Lisa Denton is the Executive Director for the Athens Economic Development Corporation in Athens, Texas.  Having served in this position since January 2015, she oversees all aspects of economic development for the city, including primary employer retention and expansion, recruitment, marketing, property development and sales, budgeting, project finance and incentives and property management.

Ms. Denton is a graduate of the Basic Economic Development Course at Texas A & M. She has earned her Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) Certification through the National Development Council, as well as Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED) certification through the Community Development Institute at Lone Star College in The Woodlands. She has also earned her Business Retention and Expansion Professional Certification (BREP) through Business Retention & Expansion International. Before coming to Athens, Ms. Denton was the Assistant Director for Kilgore Economic Development in Kilgore, Texas for 10+ years. Her career path includes office manager, corporate off-site trainer/auditor and project coordinator positions.

Ms. Denton has been a member of, and held positions with, several organizations, including:

  • Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC), Workforce Committee
  • Team Texas State Marketing Association
  • East Texas Regional Development Company, Board Member 2014-current
  • Northeast Texas Economic Developers Roundtable (NETEDR), President 2010-2011
    • Marketing/Communications Committee Chair 2007-2010
  • I-20 Corridor Marketing Association, President 2015-current
  • Northeast Texas Economic Alliance Marketing Association (NETEA), Secretary
  • International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
  • Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC)
  • Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC)
  • Business Retention & Expansion International (BREI), President 2012-2013, President-Elect
    • 2011-2012, Board Member 2009-2011, Marketing/Communications Committee Chair 2008-2010;
    • State Chair 2007-2010
  • International Association of Workforce Professionals
  • US 175 Corridor Alliance
  • Rotary Club of Athens
  • Athens Chamber of Commerce, Ex-Officio Board Member
    • Retail & Industrial Division Member
  • Leadership Kilgore Graduate
  • Kilgore Boys & Girls Club Founding Council Member 2008-2011
  • Kilgore College Workforce Development Advisory Committee, Chair 2008-2014


Dede Sims

Office Manager

Dede is the Office Manager for Athens Economic Development Corporation.  Ms. Sims is responsible for office and property management, as well as support services for AEDC’s Director and Board.  Dede is a native of Athens and graduated from Stephen F. Austin with a Bachelor of Business Adminstration degree, focusing on business management. Prior to joining AEDC, Ms. Sims worked at Athens Independent School District.  She has two teenage sons and lives in Canton.