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Economic Development Spotlight: Marjette Upshur

Economic Development Spotlight: Marjette Upshur

Name: Marjette G. Upshur

Title: Director of Economic Development & Tourism
Organization:  City of Lynchburg
How long in the field?  17 years

How did you get into the economic development profession?  I spent the first part of my career in business development in the private sector.  When the opportunity to become an advocate for businesses in my hometown at the local government level was presented, it was a natural fit for me.

What is one thing about your community that makes it unique?  Five colleges within the city limits and being a nuclear technology hub for starters.

If money wasn’t a barrier and you could fill a current resource gap at your community what would you do? Give the City of Lynchburg citizens the training needed for a family wage job with one of our outstanding employers.

As you look to the future, what do you feel will be the most important thing for communities and economic developers to focus on? It is never one thing J Business retention, talent development, maximizing quality of place and site development. 

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to a new leader in this field?  Build strong relationships with ALL of your stakeholders.  Engage, listen and act.  A resilient, vibrant economy is a team sport.  You can never take your eye off the ball. J 


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