The Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority is organized under the Regional Industrial Facilities Act within the Code of Virginia. Elected and appointed representatives from Carroll County, the City of Galax, and Grayson County serve on the BRCEDA Board of Directors.
Staff team members who participate in making Wildwood Commerce Park successful include:
Keith Barker serves as the City Manager for the City of Galax. Mr. Barker is a licensed Architect and lends his skills to Wildwood with infrastructure design and construction to ensure that we deliver on what prospective companies need in a commerce park. The City of Galax also provides wastewater treatment for Wildwood Commerce Park and Mr. Barker’s serves as our point of contact in this area.
Tom Elliott serves as the Executive Director of southwestern Virginia’s aCorridor, the regional economic development marketing organization that includes Carroll, Galax, and Grayson within its area. Mr. Elliott provides coordination among state agencies, including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Tobacco Commission, our localities, and Wildwood Commerce Park. Mr. Elliott also adds value by assisting with requests for information, site visits, and Virginia incentive programs.
Marty Holliday, CWDP is the Executive Director for the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Area Consortium Board (CB) and the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The two boards oversee and coordinate federal and state workforce funds and activities in a 13 jurisdiction area in southwest Virginia, which include Carroll, Galax and Grayson. Mrs. Holliday has been with the Boards since 2001 and is committed to assisting Wildwood’s prospective companies with securing workforce training resources. Ms. Holliday is also our liaison to the Virginia Employment Commission.
Carolyn Howard, PE, LEED® AP is Program Manager/Associate with Draper Aden Associates. Draper Aden is providing overall project management services including engineering (site development), cost estimating, and construction administration. Ms. Howard has over twenty years of engineering and site development experience and currently chairs the Virginia Water Environmental Association’s Stormwater Committee, in addition to serving on the board of directors for Draper Aden.
Gary Larrowe serves as the Carroll County Administrator and has significant experience and training in county administration and community & economic development. Mr. Larrowe is a life-long Carroll County resident, which provides value to prospective companies in gauging community fit for their operations. Mr. Larrowe also coordinates water, wastewater, and natural gas services to Wildwood Commerce Park.
Melinda Leland serves as the Vice President of Workforce training for both Virginia Highlands Community College and Wytheville Community College. Mrs. Leland has been in workforce development with the community college for over 15 years and brings a wealth of training knowledge and resources to the area. She works with local business and industry to design customized training (on-site or on campus), coordinates non-credit training classes, assists economic development officials with recruitment activities, conducts consultation work for business expansion, and meets with employers and employees about expanding their education.
Ken McFadyen serves as the Regional Director of Economic Development for BRCEDA and provides overall coordination for Wildwood Commerce Park. Mr. McFadyen has earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree, has over fifteen years’ experience in local government management and economic development, and currently serves on the executive committee for the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) and on the board of directors for the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Board. He is also a member of the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC). Mr. McFadyen is Wildwood’s primary point of contact and ensures that prospective companies’ needs can be met.
John Smolak serves as Director – Economic and Business Development for Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power, and leverages many years of experience in the economic development area in both the private and public sectors. Mr. Smolak serves as the primary point of contact to coordinate electricity needs at Wildwood Commerce Park. He has held several management and leadership positions with the West Virginia Development Office spanning a twelve year period and three separate governors. He also chaired the Southern Economic Development Council, a 17 state regional development association, from 2000 to 2001.
Jonathan Sweet, ICMA-CM, serves as the County Administrator and Chief Economic Development Officer for Grayson County. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (OU-EDI) and has fifteen years of senior executive experience in local government administration and economic development. Specifically, Mr. Sweet lends his skills and experience with company recruitment and deal structuring to the Wildwood Commerce Park. Mr. Sweet is currently a contributing member to Virginia’s aCorridor, the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA), the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), the Virginia Local Government Mangers Association (VLGMA), the International County Management Association (ICMA), and serves on the Virginia Association of Counties’ (VACo) Economic Development Steering Committee.