City Economic Development Board Re-Elects Chairman

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Williamsburg Economic Development Authority member Adam Steely (center) presided over the EDA's organizational meeting Wednesday, filling in for Chairman Tom Gillman, who was absent. (Ian Brickey/WYDaily)
Williamsburg Economic Development Authority member Adam Steely (center) presided over the EDA’s organizational meeting Wednesday, filling in for Chairman Tom Gillman, who was absent. (Ian Brickey/WYDaily)

The Williamsburg Economic Development Authority is beginning its new session with the same leadership.

With EDA member Adam Steely filling in as presiding officer, the board unanimously reappointed Tom Gillman as its chairman Wednesday afternoon. The members also re-appointed Bill Carr as vice chairman and Joe Phillips as secretary.

“Tom is a great leader,” Director of Economic Development Michele DeWitt said. “He’s passionate about the success of the city.”

Gillman was first appointed to the EDA in 2008 and has served as its chairman since January 2014. He succeeded Monty Mason, who resigned to assume a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Gillman is president and chief executive officer of ESG International, a Toano-based technical resources supply firm. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Ohio State University and an MBA from the College of William & Mary in 1993.

Gillman also serves on the board of the Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels, the Muscarelle Museum of Art and the Williamsburg Winery.

Wednesday was also the first meeting for the newest EDA member, Robby Willey. Willey was appointed to the board in June, replacing Ed Richardson, who did not seek reappointment.

Willey is co-owner of the Virginia Beer Company. A craft brewery that plans on opening a Second Street location in the fall of 2015. Willey received a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a bachelor of business administration degree from William & Mary in 2005.

The EDA is appointed by the City Council and considers requests for economic development incentives, and manages grant and incentive programs for businesses.

Programs currently managed by the EDA include grants for installing new signs at buildings, grants for creating new websites for businesses, loans for demolishing properties for redevelopment and sponsoring monthly business roundtable events.

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