Cherokee County government has created a communications division led by former Reinhardt University marketing and communications director Erika Neldner.
“I have been evaluating the need for a communications division for the county government for quite some time, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the need for this key department,” County Manager Jerry Cooper said in a written statement. “This division will work closely with departments countywide to step up the level of communication with our residents, property owners and business owners in Cherokee County.”
Neldner was named communications director, and Andrea Barker was promoted to assistant communications director.
Neldner has worked in Cherokee County for 15 years. Prior to her work at Reinhardt, Neldner had been a reporter, assistant editor and managing editor of the Cherokee Ledger-News. At Reinhardt, she led production of the annual Reinhardt Magazine and departmental marketing materials, and served as the main media contact for the institution. Neldner’s work has been recognized with awards from the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Press Association and National Newspaper Association. She is president of the Rotary Club of Towne Lake. Neldner is a graduate of Kennesaw State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and media studies. She lives in Woodstock with her husband and two children.
“I’m honored to join the county government in this role and am eager to launch a communications division from the ground up,” Neldner said. “This is a new challenge that I am excited to undertake.”
For the past five years Barker has been executive assistant to the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners and Cooper. Before joining Cherokee County, Barker worked in marketing and sales in the medical device industry. She grew up in Cherokee County, graduating from Woodstock High School and Reinhardt University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community through public service and to engage with our citizens,” Barker said.
The communications division is responsible for communication with media outlets, production of promotional material including annual reports, brochures, flyers and presentations. The department maintains the county’s social media accounts and some sections of the county website.