Sussex County Hires New Economic Development Director

86

5Staff Report

Sussex County has tapped an experienced business leader and corporate manager as its newest Economic Development director, a position that works closely with public and private partners to support current employers and attract new job creators in Southern Delaware.

Earlier this month, County Administrator Todd F. Lawson introduced Melody Booker-Wilkins as the County’s new Economic Development director, filling the position vacated earlier this year. Ms. Booker-Wilkins, who was chosen from a field of nine finalists, brings with her more than 25 years’ experience working in the private and public sectors in Delaware, including broadcasting and state government, to forge new relationships, create opportunities and promote business.

Ms. Booker-Wilkins, of Milford, comes from the Delaware Economic Development Office, where she has served the past five years as business development leader for Sussex County, developing strategies and building relationships to help create and retain jobs in the First State.

Prior to working at DEDO, Ms. Booker-Wilkins served as general manager of Delmarva Broadcasting Company, a conglomerate of local radio stations, where she was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including programming, sales, technical and administrative staff. Previous to that, she worked in radio sales as a manager and account executive for DBC and Prettyman Broadcasting Company.

“Melody has the background and knowledge we were looking for, and she knows what it takes to sell a product, promote an idea, and achieve results,” Mr. Lawson said. “She is a high-energy, can-do professional who will work aggressively and enthusiastically to promote Sussex County as a great place to do business.”

The County’s Economic Development Office serves as a resource to employers and those interested in doing business in Sussex County, working closely with business leaders, chambers of commerce, civic organizations, and others to promote opportunity and stimulate economic growth in Sussex. Among other duties, the office is responsible for overseeing the County’s business incentive and loan programs, as well as meeting with prospective employers to help understand and navigate regulatory processes.

“I’m so excited about this chance to continue my public service,” Ms. Booker-Wilkins said. “Working with people, especially in the business community, is my passion, and I look forward to joining the team at Sussex County to promote our community and enhance the economic opportunities for all residents.”

County Council President Michael H. Vincent said Ms. Booker-Wilkins has a proven track-record at the State level, as well as built-in relationships, that will allow her to get off to a fast start at County government.

“Sussex County is extremely fortunate to have such a talented, business-minded individual who will be the point person for economic opportunity and job development,” Mr. Vincent said. “I know the business community will find her to be an invaluable resource and a strong partner in our collective goal of creating jobs here in Sussex County.”
Ms. Booker-Wilkins holds a master’s of public administration degree from the University of Delaware, and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. She will begin her new duties with Sussex County in mid-October.