The Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority (BRCEDA) is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has selected Katherine Asbury as its new executive director.
Ms. Asbury received a Masters of Public Policy from the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Virginia. Ms. Asbury spent most of her youth in Southwest Virginia having moved as a child with her family from Knoxville to Wytheville where she attended and graduated from the public school system. Prior to joining BRCEDA, Ms. Asbury lived in northern Virginia and was employed as an analyst with a government contractor providing outreach and strategic communications support for FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.
She also has experience working to increase community college participation by students in Southwest Virginia. Ms. Asbury will fill the position previously held by Ken McFadyen, who last year joined Botetourt County as its director of economic development. BRCEDA’s interim director, Dr. Alan Hawthorne, will continue to support the organization in this role until Ms. Asbury joins the organization on February 1, 2017, after which time he will serve in an advisory capacity to Ms. Asbury and the BRCEDA board as needed.
As executive director, Ms. Asbury will be responsible for operational management and strategic support and guidance to BRCEDA’s board. Initial emphasis will be on the marketing of Wildwood Commerce Park, which during the past year received American Electric Power’s Quality Site Certification and recently received the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Business Ready Sites Tier 4 designation, one of only four sites in the Commonwealth to attain this designation.
“I am excited to return to Southwest Virginia to contribute to the vital work being done by the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority. The investments and initiatives put in place by BRCEDA are essential to the economic growth of the area, and I look forward to continuing those efforts,” said Ms. Asbury.
Mr. C. M. Mitchell, BRCEDA Chair, said, “I am pleased that Katherine Asbury has chosen to join our regional economic develop authority. She brings a set of skills and experiences that will enable us to develop our economy to its full potential.”
Dr. Hawthorne, who was active in the field of economic development for 15 years prior to his retirement and served as President of the Virginia Economic Developers Association in 2011, said, “With Katherine’s ideal academic background in economics and public policy from one of the nation’s top universities, I have high expectations for her success at BRCEDA. I look forward to working with her for a transition period to enhance her technical basics in the field of economic development.”