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Mary Zirkle has accepted an offer of employment to become the Economic Development Coordinator for the Town of Bedford. Zirkle has been serving as Town Manager of Buchanan for the past three years. She also has extensive administrative experience in planning and community development gained through her previous employment with Roanoke and Bedford counties as well as Hill Studio. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington and received a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Tech in 2003.
The position, authorized by Town Council in July, is designed primarily to promote the amenities, attractions, and activities of the community and to administer the formal economic development initiatives and incentives of the Town. The advertisement attracted a pool of over 25 qualified applicants from locations nationwide. The candidates were vetted by a panel which conducted personal interviews with identified finalists, and it was from this process that Zirkle was selected for the position.
“In some respects this is a homecoming for me. Having served Bedford County in the past through the Community Development Department, working side by side with Town staff at times, I look forward to returning to the community by joining the Town of Bedford. While away, I have kept up with the Town and am excited to see it continue to grow into its identity as a great place. I am pleased to be a part of this growth now,” said Zirkle.
She added, “I am eager to begin working with each business on an individual level. My personal goal is to be an outstanding resource to meet their needs in a mutually beneficial partnership with the Town. There are many opportunities and relationships to cultivate with existing businesses and new ones that will come to Bedford. I believe the vision of the Town Council and Economic Development Authority will serve to successfully guide the future economy in Town. I sincerely look forward to being part of the Town team that will work towards achieving this vision.”
Town Manager Bart Warner commented, “We are thrilled to add an individual of Mary’s personal and professional caliber to our team here in Bedford. We think that her experience and ability to match vision with process will provide very tangible benefits for our community.”
Zirkle will formally assume her duties effective January 2, 2018.