This month, the Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the Lynchburg Office of Economic Development extend heartfelt thanks to outgoing EDA member Massie G. Ware, Jr. Massie has served three consecutive terms from 2002 to 2014, serving as Chairman from 2007-2011. Massie, Senior Vice President of Client Administration of The Trust Company of Virginia, is a lifelong Lynchburg resident who has always been active in civic and charitable organizations. He is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Board of the Corporation for Jefferson’s Popular Forest and Board Member of The Greater Lynchburg Community Trust.
What do you consider the EDA’s greatest accomplishment during your tenure?
I am most excited about the fact that we have raised the awareness of the numerous opportunities to take advantage of the incentives that are available within the business community. I think the EDA and staff have come up with some very creative methods and worked hard to expand the Enterprise Zones and Technology Zone, help to establish the Arts & Culture District grant, set up partnerships with the New River Valley International Trade Zone, and expand Lynchpin Industrial Park and Ivy Creek Park. We have focused on emphasizing not only the economic benefits of having these incentives, but have also been sensitive and aware of the quality of life issues that are critically important tools for attracting businesses to the city and enhancing quality of life for employees already here.
What are you most proud of?
It has been very rewarding to be able to help the community behind the scenes in a nonpartisan matter and really make a difference in thinking toward the future. We are laying the groundwork for a bright future for the city. There is so much that we have going for us. We have challenges but we can offset the challenges to make the city more attractive by thinking strategically and being proactive. It is exciting to know that the quality staff and the support of City Council and City leadership helps us to further the effort.
If you could do one more thing, what would it be?
Improve the airport. There is considerable potential to use the airport and the adjacent industrial park as an economic tool. There are already more than 200 employees working out there. We are never going to have an interstate highway, so improving commercial aviation access will take a concerted effort by the City and counties, working with the business community. We know it will take significant investment, but hopefully the vision will continue.
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. The EDA actively pursues investment and development opportunities, and elevates the economic development profile of the City. Members are appointed by City Council and may serve up to three consecutive four year terms.