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FSEDI Announces Amanda Jarratt as Its New President CEO
FSEDI Announces Amanda Jarratt as Its New President CEO
Current President Will Assume New Leadership Position with Appalachian Power

FSEDI LogoFranklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Amanda Jarratt as its new President and CEO. Jarratt will begin the role effective March 16, 2012.

This position oversees business retention; small business development; business recruitment; tourism; and economic development strategic planning for the Franklin and Southampton region of VA.

Jarratt replaces long-term President and CEO John Smolak who is taking on the role of Director of Business and Economic Development with the Appalachian Power Company in Roanoke, Virginia.

"John has done a tremendous job in building a great economic development organization. Over his tenure, we have been able to grow more than 610 jobs in the Franklin/Southampton region in one of the worst economic recessions of our time. We have been able to produce a nearly quarter billion dollars worth of investment. Amada has worked at the right hand of John on several development projects and we couldn't be more pleased to have her continue to lead the organization", said FSEDI Board of Directors Chair, Warren Beale.

Jarratt comes to FSEDI with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the economic development and community planning. She has worked as the senior leader and adviser to Smolak in her role as Marketing Manager for FSEDI. Jarratt obtained her Undergraduate degree in Government from the College of William & Mary; she obtained her Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has held the positions of Director of Planning and Development for Roanoke Rapids, NC; Deputy Director of Community Development for Franklin, VA; and Planner for New Kent County, VA.

Among her major accomplishments as Marketing Manager for FSEDI, Jarratt has achieved the following:

  • Effectively managed the community's Enterprise Zone Program, which has encouraged six companies to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the community. Some of the companies include:
    • Birdsong Corporation
    • Tandem, Inc.
    • Tractor Supply Company
  • Strengthned the relationship between the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the community's tourism initiative. Her efforts engaged community leaders and business owners in the local tourism steering committee which is leading to the development of a more vibrant Tourism Strategic Plan for the Franklin Southampton area.
  • Revived the region's existing business and industry support team. Jarratt's efforts were instrumental in them being able to remain engaged and viable in the Franklin/Southampton community.

The decision to appoint Jarratt to the role of President & CEO was made by the FSEDI Board of Directors. This organization is joint public-private partnership between the Franklin and Southampton municipalities and the business community. That Board is comprised of local and regional business leaders and includes the following persons:

  • Warren Beale, Chair (Manry Rawls LLC)
  • Harrell Turner, Vice-Chair (CHT Forestry LLC)
  • Harriet Duck, Treasurer (Wells Fargo Advisors)
  • Felicia Blow, Secretary (Cox Communications)
  • Brian Hedgepeth, Member (Bronco Federal Credit Union)




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