The Jefferson County Development Authority announces that Dennis Jarvis II will be its new executive director, effective July 6. Jarvis will lead the organization as it develops a new strategic plan for its future direction and focus on economic development efforts in Jefferson County.
The Jefferson County Commission approved the employment of Jarvis today upon the recommendation of the Jefferson County Development Authority (JCDA) Board of Directors. Working with a national firm, JCDA board members began the search for a new executive director six months ago. After seeking input from community stakeholders regarding the type of candidate to pursue, Jarvis was selected following an extensive screening and interview process.
Jarvis has 20 years of community and economic development experience in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. He started his career as the deputy director of the Logan County Development Authority in West Virginia and is currently the director of the Henderson-Vance Economic Development Commission in North Carolina.
His background with business development, job creation, small business and entrepreneurial assistance programs as well as marketing and grant writing will be instrumental to the JCDA, said Neil McLaughlin, president of the JCDA. “We were impressed with Dennis’s enthusiasm for this area, his motivation and creativity for the role in general, and his stalwart Mountaineer spirit.”
“We look forward to Dennis joining the county,” said Jefferson County Commission President Jane Tabb. “This position is key to increasing and diversifying the tax base for Jefferson County and strengthening the economic well-being of our county, our businesses, and our residents.”
Since being reconstituted a year ago, McLaughlin noted the JCDA Board has been working to move forward, increase transparency, and grow relationships with the community, business leaders, and regional and state officials. In January, the JCDA hired a consultant to facilitate the development of a new strategic plan to guide JCDA leaders in establishing the direction of the organization.
“We’re looking forward to having Dennis on board as we begin this new chapter of the JCDA," McLaughlin said. "His engaging personality, pro-active attitude, and relationship-building skills will be assets as the JCDA incorporates community involvement into the strategic planning process in the next few months.”
Jarvis welcomes the opportunity to come back to West Virginia. "I am honored to return home to West Virginia and the eastern gateway to our great state," he said. "The choice to relocate to Jefferson County was easy. This is a progressive, dynamic community with a strategic location and vibrant workforce."
The JCDA board is focused, Jarvis noted. "I am pleased to be able to work with the JCDA board. They are an energetic, synergistic group," he said. "Developing a new strategic plan for the organization with community input is exciting for the future of Jefferson County."
Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Jarvis received his bachelor’s degree from Bluefield State College and completed his master’s degree at Marshall University. He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at Oklahoma University, the Community Development Institute of West Virginia University, and is a Certified Business Retention Specialist with Business Retention International.
Jarvis and his wife, Lori Daniels Jarvis, are looking forward to returning to West Virginia with their cat, Virginia, and puppy, Buzzie. They enjoy traveling and riding their Indian Chieftain motorcycle. He is also a big fan of college football and likes podcasting.
During the next few months, the JCDA will be planning several events where community officials, business leaders, and local residents will have an opportunity to meet and get to know Jarvis.
The JCDA consists of a 15-member board of directors, including representatives from the county commission and each of the five municipalities within the county as well as industry, business, labor, education, and citizens representatives. The JCDA aims to promote, develop, and advance the economic development of Jefferson County, West Virginia.