Marketing Brunswick County is the goal

As the new Director of Economic Development Alfreda Jarrett Reynolds looks forward to promoting Brunswick County. Her office is located on the third floor of the Brunswick County Government Building, 228 North Main Street, Lawrenceville. (Sylvia Allen/Brunswick Times-Gazette)

LAWRENCEVILLE – Alfreda Jarrett Reynolds is the new Director of Economic Development and is passionate about Brunswick County and its people. She started the job on July 1, 2020 and is looking forward to working with the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors and County Administrator Charlette T. Woolridge, Ph.D. and the administrative staff.

“I am looking forward to working with the stakeholders in our community, both locally and at the state level in order to bring about the Board of Supervisors’ vision for economic growth for our county,” Reynolds said. “As a ‘Brunswickian’ I am passionate about our county. I was born and raised here and had opportunities to leave but I think that would make me part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

Reynolds wants to be part of the change she wants to see. She served as Marketing Director at Heritage Hall in Blackstone and feels she brings the tools learned at that position to this new challenge.

“Now I get to market my hometown. I was at Heritage Hall for three years marketing the Blackstone facility and was promoted to market the company for the region,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered” and believes that God prepares us for what that next step is.

“He knows the plan he has for us. Being in Blackstone I worked with the Blackstone Chamber of Commerce quite a bit and that gave me a different angle on business opportunity and economic development,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said it is 27 miles to Blackstone, calling on the many trips she took from her home in Lawrenceville.

“I wanted to bring those positive experiences home. Why can’t we benefit from those same advantages to promote economic development?” Reynolds said.

Reynolds is a graduate of Brunswick County Public Schools and Saint Paul’s College.

Reynolds owned and operated a small business called Tiger Express hoping to give the students of Saint Paul’s College and Southside Virginia Community College a place to belong. Unfortunately the business didn’t work out but she feels she learned valuable lessons. She said the economy turned and the college closed and the business also delivered to the prison that also closed.

“I think from being a business owner I can look at economic development from a different perspective. I try to learn from each new experience,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said she was with Brunswick County Public Schools for 21 years and feels those experiences will serve her well in the new position.

“As a teacher you have to meet the student where they are and build a relationship. You meet them where they are and talk ‘to’ the person that ‘at’ the person. I look forward to building those positive relationships when marketing Brunswick County,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds embraces the marketing slogan “Brunswick County – The Location of Choice.” She said she served on the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors and she served on the Jazz Festival Board and worked with the previous Director of Economic Development (Carthan Currin). Reynolds said referred again to the Blackstone Chamber of Commerce as a resource.

“When I heard the position was open it was natural for me to apply. My motto is ‘Flower where you are planted until you are plucked.’ I believe that we must try to be in God’s will. I flowered with Brunswick County Public Schools for 21 years and I flowered with Heritage Hall for three years and I look forward to flowering here,” Reynolds stated.

Reynolds is enjoying meeting new people and attending new meetings. She said part of the county’s vision is building with stakeholders, sitting at the table to see how collaboratively we can bring about economic development. Reynolds supports the county’s decision to purchase land on Route 58 for economic development giving them control of the property when a prospect makes an inquiry.

“You can’t afford to wait because there is another locality waiting in the wings. We want to be able to welcome a new company and it means taking steps toward that goal,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said Brunswick County is a “diamond in the rough.”

“We are no where but close to everywhere. There is tons of traffic coming through us and I want to find ways to make them stop here,” Reynolds said. “I want us to be able to offer some of the amenities to our citizens that we find in other areas.”

Reynolds shared some great memories of growing up in Lawrenceville and getting off the bus to buy a new outfit for homecoming and having a burger and milkshake at Walker Drug. She remembers going shopping with her dad on Saturday morning and getting corn candy and peanuts at the five and dime.

“Those memories are fresh to me and I want to recreate those memories for my own children. I think working collectively and collaboratively we can make it not just the way it was but better,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said that marketing Brunswick County is not her job solely and she wants to build pride in Brunswick County among the citizens.

“They can market who we are and where we are and how vital we are to Southside Virginia.

Reynolds said her family supported her taking this new position. She and her husband Stevie have two children, Stevie Jr. who is 9 and Asa who is 5.

Reach Reynolds at (434) 848-8200 or email her at areynolds@brunswickco.com