The woman at the top of Leesburg’s Economic Development Department for almost a decade has announced her retirement.
Marantha Edwards will retire in January, marking the end to an almost 18-year career with the Town of Leesburg. Her retirement was announced Wednesday night at the Leesburg Business Appreciation Awards ceremony.
Edwards was hired by the town in September 2000 for the newly created position of tourism coordinator. She held a variety of titles during her tenure with Leesburg as the scope of her duties increased, including tourism and marketing manager, business development manager, and economic development manager. She was promoted to her current position of economic development director in September 2012. In 2006, she achieved the prestigious Certified Main Street Manager designation through the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
As tourism coordinator, Edwards spearheaded the design process for the town’s wayfinding sign system and the branding campaign for Leesburg. She was a key player in the completion and adoption of the Business Development Strategy in 2003, a policy document that continues to guide the town’s economic development efforts. As economic development director, Edwards is credited with helping to establish the Mason Enterprise Center business incubator in downtown Leesburg; retain K2M’s global corporate headquarters; and attract EIT and EPL Archives.
Before joining the Town of Leesburg, Edwards worked for Loudoun County Public Schools as a media assistant at Evergreen Mill Elementary School; was self-employed as a marketing and customer service consultant; and worked in the airline industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from James Madison University. She has been a town resident since 1970, and has two grown children, Ethan and Noel.
“Having the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to my hometown has been a phenomenal experience,” Edwards stated in a press release. “I especially enjoyed connecting people and ideas to create energy and positive change. But above all, the best part of the past 17 years has been the privilege of working with my wonderful colleagues at the Town.”
“Marantha has faithfully served and represented the Town of Leesburg with professionalism and passion since the year 2000,” Town Manager Kaj Dentler stated. “I have often said that ‘Marantha bleeds Leesburg.’ I warmly congratulate her on her retirement.”
According to Dentler, the town will begin the recruitment process for a new economic development director in July.