Our Team

Our Team of professionals are committed to Prince William County and in helping those that choose to locate here, by providing dedicated professional support. Together, we work hard as a team to make a difference every day by making sure our business community expands and becomes more competitive. Join us and let us work together, every day.
Our Vision

“Prince William County is a community of choice with a strong, diverse economic base, where individuals and families choose to live & work and businesses choose to locate.” –Strategic Vision Statement, 2013-2016 Prince William County Strategic Plan.

In 1989, the Commission on the Future created a 20 year vision for Prince William County, rich with opportunities for growth and desired community assets.  Today, those opportunities have been realized and the County’s Strategic Plan continues this vision by outlining specific goals, outcomes and strategies that guide us.  We take a targeted approach to meet these goals by attracting and expanding businesses in the Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Information Technology, Specialist Logistics & Supply Chain and Advanced Manufacturing sectors, as well as Federal Agencies & Corporate Facilities.  In order to ensure a diverse economy and promote overall business growth, we also work very closely with existing businesses to identify and address barriers to their expansion.

Our Values

While our vision is to work together to make Prince William County a community of choice, we believe it’s our core values that make and define who we are.   We think they’re so important we want to share them with you.

Respect:  We believe everyone has value and we show consideration for all customers and fellow employees.

Integrity:  We have the courage to consistently do what is right, honest and fair every time.  We do what we say we will do; we honor our commitments.

Creativity:  We are innovative in achieving excellence.  We find better ways to do the right thing.

Teamwork:  We support and encourage others as we work together to achieve our vision.  We value everyone’s contribution and strength.

Excellence:  We set high standards for ourselves and exceed expectations for the quality of our services and our interactions with customers.

Responsibility: We seize the opportunity to do the right thing in carrying out our  commitments and obligations.

Our Story

“Prince William County is one of the leading innovation hubs in the region, if not the nation, with cutting-edge life sciences and technology research leading the way.”  – Real Estate Bisnow

Today, Prince William County is a leader for job growth in Virginia and consistently ranked in the top 10 in the United States.  The County provides access to an outstanding talent pool of highly-skilled, culturally-diverse labor; 41% of the workforce has college degrees.  It is one of the few  more affordable business environments in the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area that offers a favorable blend of large land parcels, along with multi-use zoned sites, incentives, reliable power and ample fiber optic availability, coupled with the lowest programmable computer taxes in the region.  Put it all together and the significance is that Prince William County provides high-impact business solutions, delivering on a highly competitive workforce at a significant cost advantage.

In recent years, the County’s forward thinking in investing in innovation and entrepreneurship has fostered broader recognition of its “Pro-Business” culture, with the development of two new facilities for small start-up businesses in life sciences and simulation, modelling and gaming – the Prince William Science Accelerator and the Virginia Serious Game Institute.

Prince William County is also home to some of Northern Virginia’s most prized assets, which attracts both businesses and employees alike.  Perhaps what it is most distinguished by is its large Department of Defense (DOD) and other military presence at the Quantico Marine Corps Base, or its vast sum of national and recreational parks, being home to the Manassas National Battlefield Park, or high-quality retail-tourism, with its widely renowned mega outlet mall – Potomac Mills.  However, its Innovation Park, a collaborative epicenter of university-research and technology is gaining international and national attention, centered by one of the top 200 research universities in the world, one of only four in Virginia, George Mason University – Science & Technology Campus in Prince William County.

Jeff Kaczmarek
Executive Director, Business and Economic Development
Phone: (703) 792-5500
Click to Read Profile

Jeff joined the Department of Economic Development as Executive Director in April 2012 and leads the Department’s team in fulfilling its mission to facilitate a robust, diverse Northern Virginia economy with more jobs and an expanded commercial tax base by attracting new companies, retaining and expanding existing businesses, and growing new enterprises.

He brings over 30 years of experience to Economic Development in having led a variety of agencies and departments in economic development activities. Prior to joining Prince William County, Jeff was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City Economic Development Corporation (KCEDC) in Missouri, where he led a staff of 35. During his 6-year tenure, KCEDC was significantly involved in over 100 business projects that resulted in $1.6 billion in private investment and the creation and retention of over 11,000 jobs. Additionally, KCEDC provided substantial assistance to more than 30 development/redevelopment projects, resulting in more than $2 billion in private investment.

Prior to this, Jeff served as Senior Vice President, Business Services & Community Development for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) where he was responsible for MEDC’s local community assistance, infrastructure financing, small business assistance, and economic development job training and export promotion programs. Before this Jeff had a long career with Oakland County, Michigan, which culminated in his trial position as Director of Community & Economic Development.

Jeff earned a B.S. in urban planning from Michigan State University and did his graduate work at Wayne State University. He serves on a variety of professional boards and organizations, and since coming to Prince William County, has completed the FBI Citizens Academy and Leadership Greater Washington programs.

A resident of the county, Jeff enjoys traveling, reading, photography, music and bicycling. Jeff and his wife have two children and four grandchildren.

Allisha Abraham
Research Manager
Phone: (703) 792-5485
Click to Read Profile

Allisha joined the Department of Economic Development in October 2012.  As the Research Manager she is responsible for compiling economic data, responding to RFI’s, generating market intelligence and sourcing, for qualitative and quantitative data.

Previously, she worked as a Senior Policy Technician with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, assisting in the restructuring of its portfolio of state enterprises and the implementation and monitoring of its direct investment strategy. Allisha also worked for several years as an Economist with the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, specializing in monetary and financial research, and at the Caribbean Centre for Monetary Studies. 

Allisha is an accomplished economic researcher with over 11 years of economic research, public policy, corporate governance and project management. 

Allisha holds a master’s degree in economics of development from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, the Netherlands, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

In her spare time, Allisha enjoys outdoor activities, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Diane M. Dukes
Management and Fiscal Analyst
Phone: (703) 792-5577
Click to Read Profile

Diane has served as the Department’s Management and Fiscal Analyst since 2011 and is responsible for budget reporting, performance purchasing and internal control, among other important duties. 

She has been with the County for 25 years and has worked in various departments including the Department of Information Technology and the Department of Fire and Rescue. Her expertise in working with County systems and procedures is an invaluable asset to the Department. 

Diane earned a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences from Strayer University.

Diane is a proud mother of two adult children and she enjoys crocheting as well as vacationing with family and friends.

Debra A. Eustace
Administrative Support Coordinator II
Phone: (703) 792-5508
Click to Read Profile

Debbie joined the Department in December 1997. She provides administrative support to the Executive Director, manages the dissemination of all information to the Economic Advisors Group (EAG), and coordinates the schedules and logistics for EAG quarterly meetings. Debbie also serves as a liaison with the Board of County Supervisors’ offices, County departments, local jurisdictions, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and various other economic development and membership organizations. 

Throughout her career, Debbie has served in senior-level administrative positions at prominent organizations such as: American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), Virginia Economic Development Partnership and American International Group (AIG).

During her spare time, Debbie puts her strong fashion sense to work for others in her part-time retail career at a high-end women’s boutique.

Tom Flynn
Business Development & Investment Director
Phone: (703) 792-5517
Click to Read Profile

Tom Flynn joined the Department of Economic Development in November 2013. Today he serves as Director, Business Development and Investment with the primary responsibility of attracting new business and capital investment.

He is a Certified Economic Developer with over 20 years of experience in economic development, public management and public policy. Prior to joining the Department, he worked in economic development positions in Loudoun County, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. 

During his career, he has successfully attracted investments and jobs from major corporations, including Siemens, IKEA, Raytheon, Bank of America, Time Warner Cable, FedEx and General Dynamics.

Tom earned his Master of Public Administration from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and his B.A. from Kalamazoo College. He is a past Board Member of the International Economic Development Council and currently serves on the IEDC’s Accredited Economic Development Organization Committee. He is an active member of NAIOP, CoreNet and ULI and has served on several ULI Advisory Panels.

James E. Gahres, CEcD, AICP
Senior Business Development Manager
Phone: (703) 792-5505
Click to Read Profile

Jim joined the Department in October 2003 and has played a substantial role in helping the Department achieve the highest levels of investment attraction in its entire history. His work with data centers alone has brought in over $3 billion in investments for the County in the past several years.

Previously, he served as Director of Economic Development for the cities of Falls Church and Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Town of Leesburg, Virginia, where he also served as Assistant Town Manager. Prior to that, Jim was Executive Director of the Loudoun County, Virginia Partnership and Marketing Manager for the City of Alexandria, Virginia Economic Development Program. He has served on over 50 local task forces, boards and commissions in Northern Virginia and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Jim is past President of the Virginia Downtown Development Association and was Executive Director of the Falls Church Economic Development Authority, Charlottesville Industrial Development Authority and Leesburg Economic Development Commission. He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and an alumnus of Leadership Fairfax, Inc., and Leadership Charlottesville.

Jim has a Master of Planning degree from the University of Virginia, School of Architecture, where he served as a lecturer and taught the University’s first graduate-level course in economic development. He has a B.A. in sociology/anthropology with Departmental Honors, from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Jim is active in a host of extra-curricular activities and has a lifelong passion for community service.

George N. Harben, CEcD, CCR
Director, Existing Business
Phone: (703) 792-5507
Click to Read Profile

In June 2011, George Harben joined the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.  In this position, George works with local businesses on retention and expansion issues.  His major accomplishments include over $22 million and 655 jobs in business retention or expansion, implementation of an industry visitation program, an industry visitation survey instrument, a comprehensive local ROI for economic development projects and property tax payments estimating tool.

Previously, George was the vice president of the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council where he managed new and existing business projects, secured two Delta Regional Authority grants, and implemented an aggressive advertising/marketing program. Before this, George managed the South Carolina Department of Commerce Research Division. In this role he led a team that substantially revised and enhanced the existing labor profile, converted the Industrial Directory to electronic revision, extensively integrated GIS into project RFPs and RFIs, streamlined the project response process, and produced in-depth target marketing analysis and collateral data . In addition, he served on the South Carolina Workforce Investment Board of Directors. 

Prior to this, George served for four and a half years as the Director of Research for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. While in Virginia, George managed 18 professionals and 4 support staff, and organized the research for the Toshiba/IBM joint venture, Motorola, and the Siemens/Motorola joint venture semiconductor projects. George was also the lead in research for the BMW and the Mercedes-Benz automotive assembly projects, during his tenure at South Carolina Department of Commerce. 

George is married with two children and his pastime is spent running, bicycling, and reading. He enjoys listening to classical and jazz music.

Christopher Girdwood
Business Development Manager
Phone: (703) 792-5516
Click to Read Profile

Chris joined the Department in November 2015 as a Business Development Manager. His responsibilities include developing key relationships with public and private partners locally, nationally and internationally to help recruit and expand business in Prince William County. Chris is focusing his work on quality job creation by building the life sciences and advanced technologies sectors in partnership with George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College. 

Specifically, Chris is working to grow the 1,500-acre Prince William County Innovation Technology Park by targeting biotechnology, life science, and supporting industries. This unique "university-centered” model for economic development has resulted in the creation of nearly 2,700 new jobs and a total investment in the county of over $830 million. 

His economic development experience includes working as the Business Outreach & Communication Manager for the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation in California and as a Senior Economic Development Associate with the International Economic Development Council in Washington, D.C. Chris also spent a short period of time with Morgan Stanley as a Wealth Advisor, in addition to supporting the warfighter as a civilian with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Chris received his Bachelors in Economics from Michigan State University and his Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. 

Chris is a startup enthusiast and he has successfully organized a Startup Weekend, pitch competitions and spoken on various topics such as crowdfunding, business model validation and social media. He lives in Gainesville, Virginia with his wife and daughter.

Adam J. Henry
Business Development Manager
Phone: (703) 792-5191
Click to Read Profile

Adam joined the Department in October 2014 as Business Development Manager.  In this role, Adam’s responsibilities include lead generation, site selection, project management, incentive negotiation, permitting assistance, and developing key relationships with public and private partners locally and nationally to help recruit and expand business in Prince William County. Since joining the team, Adam has given focus on targeted industries with emphasis on specialized logistics and supply chain sectors. 

His Economic Development experience includes working at the statewide level for Enterprise Florida, Inc., Florida’s primary economic development organization. While there Adam was instrumental in all steps of economic development process by focusing on due diligence, company and industry research, state policy, state incentive evaluation, site selection, proposal development, and managing state and local partnerships. These activities were critical in the state’s establishment of 20 projects, creating 2,948 jobs and generating $419.1 million in capital investment.  Recognized for his expertise and strong motivation, Adam averaged a promotion annually, cumulating as a Competitiveness Analyst, and was acknowledged with Enterprise Florida’s distinguished Spot Award in 2012.

A Tennessee native, Adam earned bachelors’ degrees in political science and psychology at the University of Florida, and a master’s in political science at Florida State University.  He is a member of the International Economic Development Council, Virginia Economic Developers Association, and NAIOP Northern Virginia Chapter.

As an avid golfer and fervent foodie, Adam can be found on the weekends attempting to lower his handicap at one of the many courses in the County or in one of the many trendy restaurants.

Michelle Pace-Nichols
Administrative Support Assistant III
Phone: (703) 792-5513
Click to Read Profile

Michelle is the Administrative Support Assistant for the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.  In this role, she performs a wide variety of tasks for the Department’s marketing, communications, research and existing business teams.   At the core of the team, Michelle’s responsibilities include: customer relationships database administration; newsletters; annual surveys; and event coordination.   

She is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of combined administrative and management experience.  Over 12 years of her career has been with Prince William County, having previously worked in the Department of Social Services and the Judge Patrick D. Molinari Juvenile Shelter.  Michelle joined the Department in March 2015.

Prior to this, Michelle managed the ACTS (Action in Community through Services) Shelter for victims of domestic violence.  

A long-time resident of Prince William County, Michelle is a true public servant having dedicated most of her career to serving Prince William County residents,  families and the community at-large.

A Pennsylvania native, Michelle is a sports enthusiast and spends her free time shopping or taking long walks with her dog, Nah’la.

Ginny Person
Communications, Marketing & Research Manager
Phone: (703) 792-5518
Click to Read Profile

Ginny joined the Department of Economic Development in October 2013 and leads the Marketing Communications and Research team’s efforts to position the County as a premier business location and investment opportunity. 

She has over 25 years of professional experience in marketing and multi-function communications. Her proven track record in developing and implementing  comprehensive external and internal communications strategies and her broad knowledge of multiple industry segments, including aerospace and defense, advanced manufacturing, innovative technology, engineering, marine, energy, civil nuclear, aftermarket services, not-for-profits and corporate philanthropy enable her to deliver results.

Prior to joining the Department, Ginny worked at Rolls-Royce for approximately 14 years, where she earned increasingly senior positions culminating in the post of Communications Director - Civil Aerospace, Corporate Communications at the North America headquarters in Virginia and helped increase the company’s value from $2 billion to $10 billion.

Away from the office, Ginny enjoys academic enrichment in a variety of subjects and is a dedicated volunteer.

Skylar Swain
Marketing Specialist
Phone: (703) 792-5504
Click to Read Profile

Skylar joined the Department in January 2013 and oversees the development of the Department’s online and print marketing materials. During her brief tenure, she has completely redesigned and updated all existing print collateral and was responsible for the layout and design of the Potomac Communities brochure, which earned a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council. 

Previously, Skylar was the Creative Manager at Infocus Marketing. Each month, she conceptualized, designed and implemented 30 to 50 multidisciplinary (email, direct mail, website banner ads, etc.) marketing campaigns to promote 150+ clients. She was also responsible for a complete redesign and redevelopment of the company’s website, creating an up-to-date Internet presence, improving search engine optimization and adding product features that directly increased sales revenue. 

Skylar graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. 

Away from work, Skylar enjoys international travel with extended family and has presently visited 19 countries.

Antje Williams
Administrative Support Coordinator II
Phone: (703) 792-5501
Click to Read Profile

Antje joined the Department in June 2013 as an Administrative Support Coordinator. Her responsibilities include providing administrative support to multiple senior-level managers on the Business Development team. In this capacity, she coordinates all calendars; arranges meetings, events and travel; and provides project coordination. Antje also assists in the creation of presentations to existing businesses in the County and those interested in making Prince William their new location. Antje is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

Antje collectively, has over 20 years of office administration experience at major publishing and defense contracting companies. 

In her spare time, Antje enjoys travel along with cultural and educational enrichment.