John Wood (JBW) founded the Cabinet in 2005. He worked closely with Loudoun’s Economic Development Department to help outline, form, and constitute the cabinet and early membership, and later, the Cabinet would ask for and receive pro bono assistance and research from the Department. The CEO Cabinet worked with the Department of Economic Development to strengthen the EDC moving it from a real estate developer based organization to one that more fully represented all of Loudoun County, from its rural west, to education, to the airports, wineries, banking and technology community.
Several years later, the BOS voted to disband the EDC and reform the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority. The Cabinet helped with the formation of a strong EDC, that later morphed into what is now known as the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority (entity formed by appointments to the authority by the Board of Supervisors), independent authority from the BOS, allowing continuity of economic development directives irrespective of political appointments to the BOS. The Economic Development Authority (EDAC) meets monthly/quarterly, has the authority to issue bonds for localities and private entities, allowing low cost funding for ventures that promote industry and develop trade in Loudoun County. They have broad powers and act as a liaison between business interests and the local government. Although the Cabinet proposed a different structure than was adopted, the formation of EDAC, allowed for resolution of the micromanaging and multidirectional influence that previously had a negative impact on maintaining a stable and consistent path for economic development.
The Cabinet was also formed, because, at the time, there was a leadership vacuum at the LCCC. The Cabinet assisted in reforming the LCCC when it needed improvement supporting businesses in the area and better fiscal management. Tony Howard was hired as President of the LCCC in 2006. Major improvements after that.
The Cabinet was modeled after the Partnership for New York, which was founded by Mr. Rockefeller when New York City’s Chamber of Commerce had a similar vacuum.
The Cabinet initially had several rules it expected from its members: (1) had to be a CEO, (2) no designees, (3) Vegas Rules, (4) each member had one vote, (5) no a—hole rule, (6) no parochial issues, just issues that helped make Loudoun the best to live, work and play (enlightened self- interest), and a quorum equaled one (in the beginning, we didn’t know if anyone wanted to join).
Past chairs of the CEO Cabinet include, John Wood, Scott Hamberger, Joe Boling, Fran Craig, Bob Sevila, Joe Paciulli, Ed Zigo, Chauvon McFadden, Grace Keenan, Dario Campolattaro and the current Chair is Caleb Schutz.
Unlike the Partnership for New York, which ultimately was folded under NY City Chamber of Commerce, it was decided and captured under a memorandum of understanding that, while the cabinet would exist separately from the Chamber in Loudoun County, they would more closely align.
In 2010-created a Memorandum of Understanding with the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, whereby the dues paid by CEO Cabinet members are deposited to an account that funds the provision of secretarial services for administrative tasks performed for the CEO Cabinet
Over the years, there have been many projects that the Cabinet has involved itself, some of which include the following:
- Researched request from Supervisors to increase their salaries and instead, based on analysis, recommended that the Supervisors add a staff position for each Supervisor (ADOPTED).
- Assisted with Loudoun Cares and the Chamber members to raise over $300,000 for returning veterans. Spearheaded fundraising effort to support Loudoun Cares in properly thanking returning veterans. Cabinet participation led directly to raising over $100,000 for veterans and their families.
- Conducted extensive surveys with members to establish priorities for the County to make it the best place to live, work and play.
- Supported international marketing outreach to Germany as well as a strategic marketing program with the Redskins. Supported, both financially and by participation, Chairman York’s international marketing outreach to Germany. Subsequently assisted County in recruitment process for international marketing firm. Supported creation of strategic marketing program for Loudoun County with the Washington Redskins.
- Assisted with the Creation of the Loudoun County Finance Fair, hosted by Small Business Development Center.
- Many presentations by politicians and government leaders over time.
- Led the Pilot Program for Teachers in Industry. Started what became the Teachers and Industry Pilot Program – Internships and Externships were facilitated for teachers during the summer break with CEO’s in Loudoun County and achieved providing this opportunity for twelve teachers the last year offered. This ultimately became the annual George Washington Teachers in Industry program.
- Assisted LCPS Superintendent and County Administrator during the Financial Crisis of 2009. Participated vigorously in debate surrounding the Local Composite Index, an effort that resulted in $34 million in additional funding for LCPS. Active participation in dialog surrounding Route 28 corridor and advocacy for strategic mixed-use development of the corridor. Contributed to passage of plan providing for such mixed use. Former Governor Tim Kaine had proposed legislation that would freeze the LCI and not readjust it for the FY 2011 Budget losses that Loudoun County experienced. In the FY 11, Loudoun County suffered significant losses in their tax basis, thus jeopardizing critical services. As a result, $34.4 million in funding was redirected back to Loudoun County.
- Participated in search process for replacement County Administrator
- Spearheaded the collaboration of the JASON project and LCPS on the creation of enhanced curriculum for science education in LCPS. Continued to collect funds for the LCPS STEM project – $309K in pledges and gifts.
- Supported Dulles Rail through emails, letters and personal appearances at the Board of Supervisors Meetings. Helped drive the acceptance of the Board of Supervisors by proposing a plan where only the immediate areas around the stations and the land developers would be taxed. This saved the Dulles Rail Vote by one person switching sides.
- Developed white paper on staggered terms for Supervisors (NOT ADOPTED)
- Advocated for business- friendly solutions around County Transportation.
- The Greenway – The CEO Cabinet supported the Board of Supervisors in taking the issue of the Greenway to the VA Supreme Court several years ago. The Court could not intervene, because Senator Mark Herring had introduced legislation that was passed and superseded the statute, allowing the owners of the Greenway – MacQuarrie (Large global Australian based infrastructure company that bought the tollway after several prior owners’ bankruptcies), hired Auto Stratta (Italian company) to manage it. The Greenway is regulated by the SCC (public utilities roll up under the SCC). There are laws that govern rates that prevents public utilities from charging in an excessive manner that prevents the public from using the roads. They are getting off with charging these crazy high fees because they are showing a huge debt that is being offset by these fees. CEO Cabinet adopted a Position Statement on the Greenway in our May,2019 meeting.
- Active participation around Route 28 corridor on mixed use development (ADOPTED)
- Actively participated in convincing Governor to NOT change the Local Composite Index (Formal resolution of appreciation from BOS). This was part of a number of educational related initiatives over the years.