Lynchburg Office of Economic Development
The Lynchburg Office of Economic Development is the City of Lynchburg’s economic development agency. With decades of combined experience, Economic Development staff leads business retention, attraction and new business development initiatives for the City.
A Letter from our Director
On behalf of the Lynchburg Economic Development Authority (LEDA) and Office of Economic Development, we are proud to share the Fiscal Year 2016 Opportunity Lynchburg Annual Report with you. At the City of Lynchburg, we take a multi-faceted approach to economic development, believing that the best results come from investing in people and place.
This past year has marked a handful of tremendous milestones for our City.
- This year, the Economic Development Authority welcomed Pacific Life to the City of Lynchburg who will invest nearly $4 Million dollars and create 300 jobs in our community.
- Additionally, LEDA was awarded $400,000 from the EPA to assess and plan for the redevelopment of Lynchburg’s brownfield sites, areas in need of environmental remediation to be developed.
- Last fall, the EDA received a $60,000 Community Business Launch grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia to launch CO.STARTERS, a nine-week accelerator program. 21 businesses have graduated to date, and another full class begins next week.
- Economic development staff successfully secured re-designation of one of the City’s enterprise zones, a state program that brings opportunities for property investment and job creation in Lynchburg.
- Finally, the City of Lynchburg was designated Virginia’s first TechHire community. This TechHire designation provides our City with the platform to build a program that prepares our citizens for the workforce in months instead of years. Lynchburg stands alongside cities like San Francisco, Austin and Denver who are implementing progressive workforce development programs to equip local employers with the talent they need for their business to thrive.
This year, the annual report is presented as a video. Please click below and share with your colleagues and customers.
Our team is proud to work beside you, our business community and partners to showcase the Lynchburg business community to the world. Our award winning website, Opportunity Lynchburg dot com, is the best place for more information about all of our initiatives, programs and accomplishments. Follow us by subscribing to our blog, adding your name to the newsletter or sharing with your networks.
Thank you again for your commitment to the City of Opportunity.
Marjette G. Upshur
Director, Lynchburg Office of Economic Development
Lynchburg Economic Development Authority
The Lynchburg Economic Development Authority is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia and serves as the incentive arm of the City of Lynchburg. Lynchburg’s EDA takes an active role in economic development efforts, actively pursuing investment and development opportunities, and elevating the economic development profile of the City.
The Economic Development Authority meets monthly on the 3rd Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the Office of Economic Development. Any changes to this meeting schedule are posted in City Hall and released to the media. Meetings are open to the public.
Mike is a licensed real estate agent in the State of Virginia and Vice President of Brownstone Properties, Inc. where he focuses primarily on Marketing and Business Development. He is also a managing partner in several residential real estate investment corporations. Mike was appointed to the EDA in 2006. In addition to the EDA he has served as a director and volunteer for numerous community and civic organizations. He and his wife Jennipher have two sons, Nathan and Kyle.
Louise has a strong background in education, entrepreneurship and community engagement. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Bluefield State College and a MEd in Early Childhood Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has owned and operated two businesses, and currently serves as Business Manager at Credit Connection, Inc. Louise is active in a variety of community associations and organizations, including work with at-risk youth, Miriam's House, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Lynchburg Chapter of Links and MDM Networking, Inc., sponsor of the Pink Auction, which raises money for Breast Cancer research, education and services. Louise was the 2010 recipient of the Mayor’s Award of Excellence. She has served on the LEDA since 2009.
Mark has been a local banker in Lynchburg since 1986 and currently works as a commercial lender with American National Bank and Trust. Mark is a graduate of Virginia Tech, the VBA School of Bank Management, and ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Georgetown University. Mark is a native of Strasburg, VA. Mark is an active member of the Lynchburg Morning Rotary Club and the Hokie Club. Mark and his wife Nancy have four children.
John is a First Vice President / Investments with Stifel Nicolaus, a national financial services firm. A graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, John has more than 17 years of experience in wealth management. He holds the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) designations. He is a member of the CFA Institute and Richmond Society of Financial Analysts. John currently serves as Board Chair of the Lynchburg Business Development Centre, on the Board of Directors of the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, and as a Board Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Lynchburg-Morning. John and his wife, Shelley, live in Lynchburg with their four children. He was appointed to the EDA in July 2015.
Bill is the co-founder and Executive Vice President of The Global Volunteer Partnership, an electronic portal that matches skilled volunteers with international deployment opportunities, providing partial financial support to the host organization to fund the deployment. Bill graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A degree in Economics. After a forty-five year career in banking and finance, both in New York and Philadelphia, Mr. Lovern has retired and returned to Lynchburg where he was born and raised. Bill serves the Lynchburg soccer community as a Grade 8 FIFA referee.
Gerry is the Managing Partner of the Registered Investment Advisory firm Investment Leadership, LLC. He is past Chair of the Lynchburg Planning Commission of which he served as a Planning Commissioner for over nine years. He is past President of CASA of Central Virginia, Inc. He also served as Finance Council Chair at his church. In addition, he coached basketball at the varsity level.
Organizations he has served for include the Boards of Holy Cross School, The Ellington, The Central Virginia Foundation for Economic Education and Improvement, and The Diocesan Development Commission. He has taught adult education investment classes for almost a decade and has published investment articles and lectured on various topics. His current speaking topics include “Conservative Investing – Principles that Have Withstood the Test of Time”, “Creating Achievers in Your Organization from a Higher Standard of Leadership Excellence, and “Repetitive Positive Qualities of Current and Historical Peak Achievers”.
Georgeann is President and CEO of Electronic Design and Manufacturing, an employee-owned manufacturer of printed circuit board assemblies started in the Lynchburg Business Development Centre in 1990. Prior to joining EDM, Georgeann served as the first director of the Lynchburg Business Development Centre. Georgeann is a graduate of Davidson College and is actively involved in the community, serving on several local boards. She and her husband Parks have two grown children.
Ted, an attorney with Caskie & Frost, serves as counsel to the LEDA. Ted received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School Of Law. Ted is a member of the Virginia State Bar Association, has served as President of the Lynchburg Bar Association, and he has been included in the “Best Lawyers in America” listing every year since 2001. Ted was and is active in numerous community, church and professional associations. He and his wife Sarah have four children and seven grandchildren.