Although it officially opened its doors in the fall, EIT’s new Leesburg headquarters got its warm welcome to the community today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new state of the art facility near the Oaklawn community was a dream in the making for company founder and Chief Technology Officer Joe May. The 40-year-old company had long been headquartered in Sterling, but May said he had for years hoped to make the move to the county seat. He credited Leesburg town staff with their help in facilitating the move, particularly Economic Development Director Marantha Edwards and Town Manager Kaj Dentler, who were both on hand for the celebration.
Mayor Kelly Burk said she and others on both the Town Council and within town government were “extremely excited” about EIT’s move. She recalled when Edwards told a room full of town employees that the EIT relocation was a done deal there “we were screaming like teenage girls.”
“This is exactly what Leesburg wants,” she said. “We’re very proud when we recruit other businesses to say EIT is here.”
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) praised May and EIT leadership for the culture they have created at their company. May noted that EIT’s 250 employees included married couples, parents and children, and even one family that has three generations of employees represented in the company. Randall also said EIT has been able to survive and thrive in the manufacturing industry—an industry that has been contracting, particularly in the U.S. —”because you’ve done stuff to make yourselves relevant.”
Specially recognized during the ceremony were the employees who had been a part of the company for 30 years or more, including some of its original staff. EIT President and CEO David Faliskie noted that nearly 15 percent of EIT’s workforce has been with the company at least 20 years. The employee base across its three officers includes workers from 24 different states and 23 countries, he noted.
May harkened back to the company’s humble beginnings around his and wife Bobbi’s kitchen table. Noting the start “was pretty austere,” May recalls how he and Bobbi couldn’t even figure out how to open the file cabinet on day one. He thanked all of his long and faithful employees who have helped the company grow and also noted that without their support he never would have been able to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates for 20 years.
“We wanted to be in Leesburg almost since Bobbi and I moved here 35 years ago,” he said. “This realizes a vision of a number of us for years.”