Governor McDonnell Appoints Mary Rae Carter as Virginia's First Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Economic Development
DANVILLE- During a morning speech at the "Southern Virginia Bioenergy: Research and Commercialization" conference held at The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that Mary Rae Carter will serve as Virginia's first Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Economic Development. McDonnell proposed creating the new position during the 2009 gubernatorial campaign. Carter will be based in Franklin County, and spend significant time traveling rural Virginia. The Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Economic Development will serve as the Secretary of Commerce and Trade's senior liaison to rural parts of the Commonwealth. Working with other groups in the Commonwealth and the Administration, the Deputy Secretary will assist in the development, communication and implementation of policies and strategies with regards to rural economic development and job creation.
Speaking about the appointment, Governor McDonnell noted, "I have known Mary Rae Carter for years, but more importantly, Mary Rae Carter has known the economy of rural Virginia her entire life. Her service on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, as interim Director the Southern Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Henry County Office of Commerce, and time on the Board for the Center for Rural Virginia give her a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing rural Virginia. Mary Rae will be on the ground in the rural parts of the Commonwealth, looking for every possibility for job creation, and ensuring that state resources and polices are properly directed and implemented. The addition of Virginia's first Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Economic Development will help us better do our job of creating good jobs for all Virginians, in every community."
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng commented, "Mary Rae is well-known for her experienced leadership in economic development in Rural Virginia and in Richmond. With her service on the Board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Center for Rural Virginia and Patrick Henry Community College, she understands the challenges and opportunities in creating economic opportunity and revitalization to the rural communities in the Commonwealth. We are all thrilled to have her as part of our team"
Mary Rae Carter noted, "I am honored to have been appointed to this important, and newly created, position. This Administration is dedicated to creating good jobs in every Virginia community. So am I. I've been working in economic development for decades, and I know how vitally important it is that we put in place the policies to help the private sector create jobs and build a more prosperous Virginia. Rural Virginia has been going through a rough time. In Southern Virginia, where I'm from, double-digit unemployment rates have become the rule, rather than the exception. That is unacceptable. We must take every possible step necessary to turn the economy around in counties like Wise, Henry, and Southampton and cities like Danville, Martinsville, and Covington. This job has one simple objective: bring more good-paying jobs to rural Virginia. I look forward to getting started."
In addition to the appointment of Mary Rae Carter, McDonnell also formally announced that Randy Marcus will serve as Chief of Staff in the newly-created Chief Jobs Creation Office. Marcus previously served as Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. The Lieutenant Governor serves in the McDonnell Cabinet as Chief Jobs Creation Officer for the Commonwealth. Jessica Brooks will serve as Executive Assistant to the Chief Jobs Creation Office.
About Mary Rae Carter
Mary Rae Carter is a native of Southern Virginia. Ms. Carter served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and as interim director of the Southern Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Henry County Office of Commerce. Ms. Carter also served on the board for the Center for Rural Virginia, and on the Boards of Directors of Patrick Henry Community College and the Patrick Henry Development Council.
Ms. Carter has also served as Chairman of the Region 10- Opportunity Virginia Board under then Governor George Allen and on the board of the Henry County Public Service Authority. She has also worked with Delegate Don Merricks (R-Chatham) for the past three legislative sessions. She attended Bassett High School in Henry County and Patrick Henry Community College, and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Averett University.
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