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City to Begin Interviews for Director of Economic Development & Tourism

by | Sep 21, 2016 | Government

By Susan Larson

A four-person committee will begin narrowing the pool of 57 applicants for the position of Director of Economic Development & Tourism (EDT) for the City of Fredericksburg.

City Manager Tim Baroody said interviews of the top five or six candidates are expected to begin in the next two weeks. He hopes to have someone in place by the end of 2016.

Joining Baroody on the interview committee are City of Fredericksburg Human Resources Director Bob Bell and IT Director Suzanne Tills, and Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw.

At the September 20 City Council work session, Baroody shared with council members his list of attributes for the position. The EDT director “must have demonstrated business acumen (skills required to land the deal), be able to advance historic preservation and economic development simultaneously, be media savvy on day one, have significant marketing experience, have strong management background, and be a respected leader who needs limited daily direction,” the list began. “Virginia/DC Metro are experience a plus, with proven track record in business attraction/development a must.”

The goal of the position is to “increase tax revenues through business recruitment, expansion, retention, tourism visitation and re-development, utilizing best practices while leveraging various programs and resources.”

Following is the list of attributes:

1 – Business Acumen
– Keen ability in vetting business viability/compatibility/potential
– Knowledge of taxation, planning issues (zoning), Comp Plan, EDA policies, etc.
– Technical proficiency
– Demonstrated ability to craft incentives that work for city, and only when needed
– Virginia, DC Metro, City of Fredericksburg industry knowledge

2 – Collaboration/Diplomacy
– Be able to balance multiple stakeholder views
– Ability to influence
– Unwavering ethical standards
– Highly articulate, coherent (in writing and verbally), able to explain the big picture
– Works with city, state, federal, COR, Planning, Economic Development Authority (EDA), Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. (HFFI), Fredericksburg Regional Alliance (FRA), National Park Service (NPS), Main Street, local realtors, developers

3 – Strategic Planning
– Ability to implement performance measures/metrics
– Innovation/energy/drive for results
– Incentive programs (how to apply), economic and tourism zones — do they make sense?
– Ability to meld previous plans with new plan, and execute as appropriate

4 – Marketing
– Develop overall marketing strategy — for business attraction and tourism
– Continue advancement on social media, very technology driven
– Marketing through data driven approach
– Upgrade websites with business attraction and tourism in mind
– Relentless pursuit of earned media

5 – Department Management
– Ensure EDT resources are properly distributed to maximize return
– Staff management/development
– Fiscal management
– Program development in alignment with strategy
– Policy and procedure development

Former EDT Director Karen Hedelt retired at the end of July. The city appointed Assistant Director Bill Freehling as interim director.

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Fredericksburg Accepting Applications for Director of Economic Development & Tourism

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