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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Thomas welcomed as new Director of Economic Development

 
Linwood Thomas was recently welcomed to King George as the county’s new Director of Economic Development. He took over the position on Sept. 30, to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Nicole Thompson, which was effective at the end of July.  

Thomas was introduced to Supervisors by Travis Quesenberry, county administrator, at a board meeting on Oct. 1. And he was in place at last week’s meeting of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) on Oct. 10.

Thomas told Supervisors, “I’m excited to be a part of the team. For the last few weeks, people have come up and congratulated me, and all I could tell them was that I was happy to get started.”

He’d ‘hit the ground running,’ saying prior to starting the job, he had attended the library’s grand re-opening on the previous Saturday.

He added, “I’ve formally met all of you, but I’d like to get a chance to chat with each of you,” adding that he was looking forward to setting up some times with board members.  

Supervisor Chairman Dale Sisson greeted Thomas, saying, “We welcome you onboard, and we welcome your energy.”

Sisson also noted that Thomas has been involved with the county through his previous position with Fredericksburg Regional Alliance (FRA), adding to him, “You know what we have in the works, and now we look forward to you closing those deals.”

Supervisor Cedell Brooks said, “I’m excited about Linwood being here. He seems like he’s a ball of energy, and he’s excited about King George County. And I think that’s the key thing that an economic development director has got to be – excited about what you’re doing.”

Supervisor John LoBuglio related that he’d met Thomas and spoke briefly with him at the library opening, adding, “For a brief discussion, it was a very good one. I look forward to sitting down with you for a longer one.”

Supervisor Joe Grzeika welcomed Thomas, adding, “I’ve had the privilege to work with Linwood on the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance for several years now. He’s going to make a good addition to our team.”

Thomas held a position with the FRA since September 2008. The Fredericksburg Regional Alliance is a public/private economic development marketing partnership that serves Planning District 16, which includes King George, along with Caroline, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fredericksburg.

Thomas had also told Supervisors he had been working on an advertisement to run in the Washington Business Journal, as well as on a marketing calendar for potential targeted industry marketing, so King George can get in front of site consultants, brokers and potential CEOs and CFOs.

At the EDA’s meeting last week, Thomas shared the advertisement with the group, which is currently running for a week, as one ad of a multi-part marketing series for the region by the FRA.

Quesenberry had noted of Thomas that he was active in the Virginia Economic Developer’s Association, saying he also had a close working relationship with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in Richmond. 

Thomas also brings with him knowledge about the relationships with regional and other state agencies, along with familiarity with site consultants, commercial developers, local brokers, and existing businesses.
Thomas, 33, is a Stafford native. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from George Mason University in 2002. He was selected from among 18 applicants, and was one of four interviewed for the position. His salary is set at $87,000. Prior to his position with FRA, Thomas was a senior loan consultant with SunTrust Bank for the previous four years.

He is currently involved in a process requiring course work and passing an exam to receive a designation as a Certified Economic Developer from an industry organization called the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Thomas has been active in the Fredericksburg Rotary Club, as chairman of the Next Generation of Business Leaders, and is a graduate of Leadership Fredericksburg. He has also raised funds for the United Way, and for Ducks Unlimited, a waterfowl and wetlands conservation group.

Thomas was recognized in 2012 through the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce with a Leadership Award as “A Top 10 Professional under 40.”  

Phyllis Cook

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