Jessie Powers is the Athens County Regional Planning Director; responsible for land use planning, development permitting, writing and managing grants, and facilitating the Athens County Community Challenge. Jessie obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Mississippi University for Women, which included a minor in Art History. Prior to her role as Planner, Jessie served as a Peace Corps Volunteer and worked in the community development field at local and state levels. Jessie is a member of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Association of Counties Athens County Creative County team. The Creative Counties team goal is to work with the diverse group of stakeholders participating in the Community Challenge to utilize creative placemaking and planning best practices to empower residents and municipal governments to access resources and improve their communities. I always loved art, but when I saw my first impressionist painting in person my appetite for art grew exponentially.