Polk County Office of Business Development
40 Courthouse Street – PO Box 308 – Columbus, NC 28722


There are a few more openings for volunteers for the Economic & Tourism Development Commission (ETDC) as we organize for Polk County's journey to economic prosperity. The new organizational structure was approved by the County Commissioners on 16 November 2015. A 21-member ETDC will meet quarterly and be supported by three new Standing Committees. Leadership will be provided by a four-member Executive Board. 

Mission Statement:
To nurture the economy of Polk County while preserving a desirable, rural quality of life.

Purpose of the Office of Economic Development:
To advise the Board of County Commissioners and implement policies and actions that support the Mission of the Polk County Economic Development Commission.

Tourism Development:

Melinda Massey, Director, Polk County Travel & Tourism

Business Development:

Lindsey McGaha, Senior Business Specialist

Economic and Tourism Development Commission Executive Board: 

Ambrose Mills, Outreach Ministry, Chair
Ken Busch, ** Scoops 'n More,  Vice-Chair
Aaron Green, Polk Schools Superintendent 
Cindy Viehman, * McGourty's Pub, Tryon Foothills Realty

Economic and Tourism Development Commission Members:

Kate Barkschat, ICC Polk Campus 
Marc Blazar, * Orchard Inn, Saluda 
Don Hofmann, Marketing, ICC Trustee
Fred Baisden, Saluda Mayor
Tracey Daniels, * Media Masters Marketing
Michael Kleiner, ** WNC EduTech 
Steve Modlin, ** Old Mule BBQ Sauce
Bob Binns, Parker-Binns Vineyard
Cristy Houser, * Wilderness Cove Camp/Tubing
Terry Lynch, ** SCORE 
Thad Harrill, ICC Spindale
Amy Norville, St. Luke's Hospital
Dawn Jordan, Ag Economic Development
Cathy Ruth, County Planner
Melinda Massey, Travel & Tourism 
Lindsey McGaha, Senior Business Specialist


* Member of Tourism Sub-Committee
** Member of Entrepreneur Development Sub-Committee