Rising Economic Development Star of the Week: Patrick Barker

March 9, 2015

Patrick E.W. Barker. Frederick County Economic Development Authority. Virginia. 40 Under 40 WinnerPatrick Barker, 39, is the Executive Director of the Frederick County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) in Virginia. DCI is pleased to honor him as a winner of our 40 Under 40 awards—the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development profession.

Patrick has been working as an economic development professional for more than 15 years. Thus far, he has facilitated nearly $1 billion in new capital investment and nearly 5,000 new jobs. Under Patrick’s direction, Frederick County has generated the most capital investment and ranks third in jobs created among all Virginia metropolitan areas with a population less than 1 million.

What have you learned so far in your career? I’ve learned to celebrate every announcement no matter what size; surround yourself with a diverse assortment of community leaders; be prepared for most anything; and always challenge the status quo. Further, I’ve learned to seek advice from current industry leaders.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Empowering communities to achieve their economic development goals by partnering with community leaders to secure consistent and effective results; playing an integral role in innovating economic development on a local and regional level; and serving as a dedicated, committed leader, advocate and mentor for economic development within my community and the industry.

What’s your passion for places? My passion is to create a unique and complete living experience for the entire community—one that evolves with time to be fresh and desired by residents and businesses alike.

Patrick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Regional Planning and Geography from Salisbury State University and a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is also a certified economic developer.

Patrick also serves as President of the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA), a 600-member strong professional association for economic developers and associated partners in Virginia. After his election in 2012, Patrick became one of the youngest presidents in VEDA’s 25-year history.

He enjoys living in Winchester with his wife, Melissa, and children, Ryan and Katie. Outside of the office, Patrick enjoys hiking and camping with his family. He also coaches and plays inline hockey.

Fredrick County EDA
The Frederick County Economic Development Authority works as a catalyst to enhance the economy of Frederick County by promoting quality, balanced business development. The EDA provides a wide array of information and free services designed to help businesses locate or expand operations in Frederick County, Virginia. For additional information about the Frederick County EDA, please visit www.YesFrederickVA.com.

Susan Brake

Written by Susan Brake

Susan Brake is Vice President at DCI overseeing the digital media strategy for all the firm's economic development clients. Since joining the company, she has effectively leveraged traditional and social media tactics to reach target audiences for her clients large and small.

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