City hires new economic development expert

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An improved website and the redevelopment of the Landmark Mall area are two projects Stuart Litvin, the newly appointed executive director of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, put on his to-do list.

The Internet is a major research tool and is the first place businesses look when researching a new location, Litvin said. He wants to fashion the existing AEDP website so its more appealing. We need to make it a little more informative, to tell our story better in the future, he said. By doing this, he feels it will appeal to small businesses and major corporations that are considering Alexandria as their next destination.

Three arenas of concentration Litvin wants to focus on include technology, professional services and associations. Alexandria already has a concentration of these businesses, which are fueled by the proximity to Washington, D.C., and all the legislative decisions made there, and Litvin says he wants to build on those strengths while developing new strengths.

These are the things I think Alexandria is well suited for, he said.

In the Landmark area where Duke Street intersects with I-395, Litvin sees the existing shopping center and surrounding infrastructure as not being used to the maximum .

potential. We all need to work together to see how we can develop that site, he said. Litvin wants to use his contacts with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Greater Washington Initiative to help promote his programs.

Experienced
Litvin has much experience in the economic development area, including positions hes held as the president of the Hollywood Business Council in Florida, executive director of the Rockbridge Area Economic Development Commission in Lexington, Va., and a position as the director of Governmental Affairs with a trade association in New York City. In some of these past positions, the focus was more of an industrial nature, but Litvin realizes that Alexandria has more commercial and retail businesses, so thats going to be the targets were going to be looking at, he said.

Litvin started August 1, relieving temporary director Stephanie Landrum who had been filling the vacancy since Paula Baily retired in 2005. He was selected after a national search overseen by the AEDP executive committee. The AEDP is a city-funded organization aimed at economic development.

Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille was involved with the selection process. We are pleased to have a person of Mr. Litvins experience and skills come to Alexandria in order to help take our development activities, such as business retention and recruitment, to a new level, Euille said.

Litvin has a bachelors degree in marketing and a masters degree in public relations from Pace University, and taught economic development classes at University of Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. His wife is native of Bedford, Va, and has twin teenage boys that were born in Lexington. The boys will be attending T.C. Williams High School in September.

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