After nearly two years in the role, South Fulton’s communications director, Jolene Butts Freeman, has resigned. She was recently named the new director of news and media relations at Clark Atlanta University, her alma mater.
“I truly gained invaluable experience working at the City of South Fulton,” said Butts Freeman, a longtime South Fulton resident who was born and raised in the area. “Our leadership encouraged executive team members to realize that we were pioneers working for a bigger purpose than ourselves, and that purpose was to successfully serve the more than 100,000 residents in our great city.”
“It was my pleasure, and I would like to thank Mayor “William “Bill” Edwards, Mr. Odie Donald II, our city manager, and Ms. Melanie Winfield, our assistant city manager, for their outstanding leadership.”
In her role as the communications director, Butts Freeman was challenged with helping the new city carve out an identity and distinguish itself from the eight other cities that comprise South Fulton County. She launched the city’s new website, developed the city’s slogan and rebranded the city’s newsletter and other outreach channels.
She was the coordinator of many of the new city’s milestone events and celebrations, including the grand opening and reopening of multiple public safety facilities and South Fulton’s first state of the city address. She was also the architect of the strategies designed to inform residents about city services, legislation and programming.
Before her departure, the former WSB-TV reporter launched the “Stop the Spread, Stay Home, Stay Safe” video campaign to urge residents to shelter in place amid the coronavirus outbreak. The video series features notable South Fulton residents including DJ Cutmaster Swiff, Killer Mike, comedian MC Lightfoot and former Atlanta Falcon John Abraham.
Butts Freeman said that she’s proud of what she was able to accomplish as a city department head. She said that she’s also proud of the accomplishments of her colleagues.
Since her arrival, city departments have won awards, the police department has expanded, the fire department has acquired new equipment, and the economic development department has launched two new business resource centers. The parks and recreation department has increased its programming and added a cultural affairs arm. Additionally, the city has expanded its IT infrastructure, paved miles of roads and the Department of Community Relations and Regulatory Affairs is now accepting building permit applications online.
These developments make Butts Freeman, along with her husband and children, excited for the future of South Fulton.
“The city is growing, new businesses and restaurants have increased, our parks are vibrant, and our green space is beautiful,” she said. “It’s a perfect place for new opportunities which is why I developed the city’s slogan, ‘the City of South Fulton, Where You Want to Be!’”
And while she acknowledges that there’s still work to be done, she’s hopeful that the city will continue to move forward in a positive direction.
“The sky is the limit for South Fulton if together, residents, elected officials and city staff can look at the glass as half full verses half empty,” she said. “After all, It’s our city and the place we call home.”
Photo Credit: City of South Fulton