Meet Your Commissioners

Rusty Lane, Chairman

Rusty is a 1990 graduate of Swainsboro High School and a 1992 graduate of Swainsboro Technical College. Rusty obtained his Auctioneers license in 2000 and started a career in the auction industry. In 2005 Rusty began selling real estate at auction. He owns South Auction and Realty in Swainsboro. Rusty is very involved in community and civic activities. Currently he serves as the President of the local Exchange Club. Rusty uses his talents as an auctioneer to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for various non profit entities. Rusty is married to Tanya Lane and they have 3 Children. Morgan his oldest daughter is 15 and attends ECI high school in Twin City. Their twins Eli and Dicey are 4 years old. In his spare time Rusty enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.
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Desse Davis, Vice Chairman

Desse, Mr. Davis, Coach Davis, Deacon Davis- whatever name one uses, he is willing to answer. He was born Desse Ervin Davis in 1938 in Swainsboro to parents Bessie Lucille and Carlos Davis. His father died from an automobile accident when he and his brothers and sisters were very young. Their mother, being a hard working lady managed to see that her children were taken care of and educated. After graduating from high school, Desse worked hard and with his mother’s help, graduated from Fort Valley State College (University) with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and began teaching at Emanuel County Elementary and High School. It is here where he met his wife to be, Nellie Zackery.
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To this union were born three children; Desse, Jr., John Carlos and Natalie Cher. That marriage is now in its 47thyear. Unfortunately, one son, the eldest passed away at age 24. John, the second son is an accountant and lives and works in Atlanta and Natalie is a managing news editor with the Union Recorder in Milledgeville, GA. While teaching for 23 years and coaching football and track, he continued his education and received a master’s degree and an education specialist’s degree from Georgia Southern College (University) and Valdosta State College (University). He was later named principal of Swainsboro High School. During his tenure there, Swainsboro High was named by the Governor, a Georgia Public School of Excellence and a National Blue Ribbon School in 1993. After completing more than 30 years in public education, Desse retired, but not to quit work. He became principal at a youth detention center. This lasted more than five years. He has also received recognition in other areas:
  • 25 years of service as athletic official with the Georgia High School Association
  • Several years on the Swainsboro Appeals Board
  • Image Award given by Black Citizens of Emanuel County
  • Fraternal Managers Certificate as a salesperson with Modern Woodmen of America
  • Certificate of Membership in the National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • Heart of Georgia Workforce Investment Board, member 1997 to present
  • Emanuel County Commissioner since 1995 and is recognized as a Certified Advanced Commissioner and has served as Chairman three times during his tenure
  • Charges from both Gov. Zell Miller and Gov. Sonny Perdue for his responsibilities as a County Commissioner
  • Currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Self Insured Commissioners of Georgia
  • Many more could be listed.  Desse has given much to others but never neglected his
  • responsibilities to God and family.

Matt Blackburn

Matt Blackburn graduated from David Emanuel Academy in 2003 and attended East Georgia College. He worked part time for the United Parcel Service from 2003 to 2012, as well as working for Blanchard Equipment from 2003 to the present. At Blanchard, Blackburn worked his way up from stocking parts to the position he holds today - General Manager. He applies this sense of hard-work, determination, and dedication to help him better serve his community. Blackburn is actively involved in the community, and is a member of several organizations throughout the Emanuel County area, including the Emanuel County Sportsman Club, Swainsboro Rotary, Twin City Lyon’s Club, and the Young Farmers Association of Emanuel County. He and his wife Morgan Blackburn, attend Canoochee Baptist Church where they are both members. The couple has two daughters, Hendley and Grey.  When asked why he serves as a commissioner, Blackburn is quick to answer that he sees it as his way of giving back to his community. “I felt compelled to run for this office as a service to the community. I am a fourth generation Emanuel County resident, and I care deeply about the positive outlook of our county. I feel it is my civic responsibility to help better Emanuel County so that it can be all it can be. I am excited about the opportunity entrusted to me by the citizens of Emanuel County to give back to this place that has given so much to me over the years.”

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Hugh Foskey

Hugh was born and educated in Emanuel County.  He lives in the western part of the County where he has been farming for over 50 years.  Hugh is the owner/operator of Foskey Farm and the President of Foskey Turf Farm & Mule-Pen Trucking.  He is married to Donna and has three grown children; Jill, Richard and Nathan.  He is a member of Corinth United Methodist Church and currently serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee.  Over the years, Hugh has been involved in numerous clubs and committees in the County.  He served five years on the Hospital Authority before becoming a County Commissioner.




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Keith R. Thompson

Keith Thompson was born in Emanuel County and has lived here most of his life.  He graduated from Swainsboro High School in 1973 and also graduated from Athens Technical College with a degree in Commercial Art.  He has been a small business owner in Emanuel County for over 35 years.  Thompson was sworn in as Emanuel County Commissioner on January 1, 1999 and continues to serve the citizens of Emanuel County in that role.  He also serves on the Emanuel County Health Board and has served on the Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce.  He is Chairman of the Swainsboro Emanuel County Recreation Board.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Spivey State Bank.  In 2011 he was voted "Person of the Year"  by the Swainsboro Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce.  Thompson was instrumental in helping form Emanuel Christian Ministries Church where he serves as Deacon.  He also taught Sunday School and serves as Treasurer.  He is married to Lynn Peebles Thompson and has one son, Kal.
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