No county is an island when it comes to establishing its footprint in the region and state business map.
Lots of partnerships are involved bringing new business into one county versus another or one state versus another.
Culpeper’s new director of economic development, Phil Sheridan, hopes to capitalize on an existing network of such partnerships as he looks to guide Culpeper’s future business footprint.
His last position as a business manager with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in Richmond and before that working in business development with the North Carolina Department of Commerce would seem to have him well suited to make things happen moving forward.
“It’s all about balance,” he said already impressed with what he has observed in Culpeper’s people and infrastructure.
“What we have here is worth preserving,” he said in terms of the county’s historic rural heritage.
But Culpeper is equally poised to attract businesses because of its location, access to major highways, regional airport, and quality of life.
“When you think about future businesses locating here…things to consider are businesses that will have a long life and employ our youth and perhaps slow the number of folks who commute to other places for work.”
Along with preserving while at the same time promoting the county, Sheridan is an advocate for patience as well.
“You want to do things right, put in the planning necessary and look to smart, sustainable growth…that in the long run will have the most positive effect.”
Here just a little over a month, Sheridan see’s a solid base in the town, the county, the Chamber, Culpeper Renaissance and tourism. He views all as a strong team, working collaboratively and having success.
“Our success is their success,” he stated referring to state pride when a business decides to locate in your area…as an example companies like Euro Composites, Rochester, Continental Automotive, SWIFT, Verizon Terremark to name a few that call Culpeper home.
It’s usually through the state or regional groups like the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development that counties will learn of companies looking for a home.
“They’ll look at your infrastructure, availability of utilities, etc. and other site specific details…it’s a process.”
Sheridan smiles when asked if his engineering and business background benefits his ability to make connections and put things together.
He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine, a master’s degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Right now his work is all consuming but Sheridan loves the mountains and enjoys hiking
“It’s all very exciting,” he admitted. “I’m looking for good things.”
Sheridan’s office is located at 803 S. Main Street. You can reach him at email@example.com or by phone at 540-727-3