Executive Director, Greater Williamsburg Partnership

Career Center ,

The Greater Williamsburg Partnership (GWP) is a non-profit, private-public partnership dedicated to improving the overall economic vitality of the Greater Williamsburg area. It was originally founded July 2016 by the Economic Development Authorities of the City of Williamsburg, York County, and James City County as a 501(c)6 and is funded by local government and private sector contributions.  The mission of the GWP is to promote the GWP region, to foster job creation, to facilitate new investment, to diversify the local economy, and to nurture and improve the quality of life.

The Greater Williamsburg Partnership is seeking a visionary leader for the position of Executive Director.  The Executive Director will be accountable for both the day to day operations and the long-term success of the GWP and The Launchpad, the Greater Williamsburg Incubator.  The Executive Director will serve at the direction of the Board of Directors and will conduct activities necessary to effectively carry out the goals set forth by the Board. This individual will serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization and is responsible for marketing and business attraction in an effort to generate new business investment and job creation in the GWP area as well as encourage and foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in the region. The prospective candidate must be able to lead and partner with local, regional and state organizations and private sector allies in the business of lead generation and prospect development.  The Executive Director will be responsible for recruiting and motivating private and public partners to personally and financially support an aggressive regional Economic Development program, analyzing and interpreting the needs of partners and recommending revisions in the program of work to ensure all partners find value in the program.   The Executive Director will personally call on major investors in the partnership to determine their needs and determine ways to increase their engagement.

The Executive Director will engage with startups and early-stage small businesses and assist them in finding and implementing solutions and strategies to overcome challenges. This position will prepare the annual budgets and manage the daily finances for the GWP and Launchpad with a focus on financial sustainability. 


  • Build and develop a strong public/private regional organization to lead the region’s economic development efforts.
  • Develop marketing plans that result in the generation of business leads for the GWP jurisdictions.
  • Assist with the recruitment of prospects to the jurisdictions, especially those within its targeted sectors.
  • Build strong relationships with entrepreneurs, site selection consultants, real estate brokers, developers, utility companies, educational assets, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and regional partner organizations to market the Greater Williamsburg area.
  • Organize and participate in marketing trips to prospective companies and site consultants.
  • Perform research on prospective business clients and update community/website information.
  • Respond to inquiries, ensuring timeliness, effectiveness, and accuracy of information provided.
  • Ensure impactful methods of communication are maintained for GWP and Launchpad such as:
    • GWP and Launchpad web-based newsletter
    • Website maintenance
    • Social media posts
    • Development of print publications
  • Evaluate and pursue potential funding sources through program revenue, grants, sponsorships, and donor investments for both GWP and Launchpad.
  • Develop and maintains a client database, prepare periodic reports, and maintain records of projects, progress, and the status ensuring continuous response and follow-up.
  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of the business incubator facility, including managing board relations, marketing the facility, recruiting potential tenants, assisting in screening potential clients and making recommendations, and the tenant lease management of the incubator space.
  • Assist Incubator board in developing and implementing policies governing the operation of the incubator facility consistent with the lease and funding contracts, including meeting performance metrics and goals
  • Provide opportunities for business coaching, counseling, and mentorships with tenants and clients of The Launchpad.
  • Supervise administrative support position and any future hires as approved by the Board.  

Skills and Abilities:

  • Possess strategic planning and project management skills along with a solid understanding of factors affecting business location decisions including site development, workforce development, incentives, permits and regulations.
  • Ability to build strong relationships with city, county, state, military, education, industry and business leaders.
  • Capability to work in a fast paced and competitive environment.
  • Proficiency to successfully develop and implement organizational strategic plans and manage financial budgets
  • Possess solid leadership skills and the ability to organize, influence and work cooperatively with business, community and government leaders.
  • Strong media relations and presentation skills
  • Ability to establish and execute clear goals and effectively communicate the vision and mission of the GWP

Desired Experience, Training, and Education:

  • Minimum of 6 to 10 years of experience in a management level position in the field of economic development, business development, and/or workforce development in public sector, higher education, and/ or non-profit environment. Certified Economic Developer preferred.
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college in a related area such as economics, planning, business or public administration; Master’s Degree and/or a graduate of the Economic Development Institute (EDI) preferred.
  • Experience leading a board and working with volunteers.
  • General understanding of legislative affairs
  • Proficient in computer operations for general business purposes including PowerPoint Excel, and similar applications.
  • The respective candidate should reside within the GWP boundary or a neighboring locality within six (6) months of acceptance of the position.

Personality Characteristics

  • Innovative • Self-starter • Entrepreneurially minded • Strong work ethic • Integrity • Creative • Executive Presence • Approachable • Dealmaker and deal closer • Politically savvy • Inspirational • Passionate • Collaborative • Ethical • Friendly • Trustworthy • Success-driven

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and references to ExecutiveDirectorSearch@gwpva.com

by June 15, 2018.  The Greater Williamsburg Partnership, Inc. is an EEO/AA (Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action) Employer.