James City County has appointed a new director of the Economic Development Authority.
Joseph Stanko was selected during a recent work session of the Board of Supervisors to serve through August 2023, said Christopher Johnson, director of Economic Development for the county, in an email.
“I live in the county, so I want to be a part of it,” Stanko said. “Too many people sit by and want to complain. I would rather be involved. Complaining is one thing, but so something about it.”
Stanko is a James City County resident with a background in business as the president and partner of Diverging Approach, Inc., a certified small business dealing in communications and signal solutions, located in the county. The business started in 2010 and maintains 45 employees who work on various aspects of designing control systems for trains in transportation operations across the country.
Stanko’s background in engineering in the railroad industry started 20 years ago as a union worker. He eventually worked his way into upper management before opening his own business.
“Since I’m a business owner, I think my level of talent and knowledge of the business world could be an asset to James City County for sure,” he said.
The Economic Development Authority is a seven-member volunteer board that serves in staggered four-year terms.
Johnson said when a vacancy occurs, there is no active recruitment process. Residents can apply to serve based on their personal and professional interests and experiences.
Stanko said he applied for the position a few months ago because he felt he had ideas and skills that would be beneficial in this role.
Once there are applications for the position, county staff initiates a request through county administration to fill the position. The request has to be included as an item on the Board of Supervisors calendar for consideration to make an appointment to fill the vacancy.
During that process, the deputy clerk for the Board of Supervisors verifies that the applications on file are valid and send them to the board for review.
The Economic Development Authority is designed to pursue the goals and objectives of the county’s Comprehensive Plan and advise the Board of Supervisors.
Stanko said he is excited to start this new role because he wants to help attract new businesses to the area, learn about any difficulties current businesses face and help attract more “intellectual” jobs to the county.
“You live in the community, so I think it’s good to be a part of it and involved,” he said.