Herndon The Town of Herndon has hired its first ever economic development manager. Dennis Holste will hold the position as the town prepares to take advantage of development opportunities such as those presented by the Metrorail Silver Line.
“Herndon appealed to me because it has that small town feel of smaller communities while still being within a metropolitan area,” Holste said. “It also has a very diverse workforce and employment opportunities, along with a lot of potential coming from downtown redevelopment and the coming of rail.”
According to a release from the town, Holste will be responsible for “promoting the Town of Herndon as a desirable location in which to grow and start a business, establishing cooperative and mutually beneficial relationships between town businesses and furthering initiatives related to economic development and business vitality.”
Holste said one of the major challenges he expects to face is balancing the needs of current businesses while attracting new ones.
“It’s going to require a lot of work on both sides, we want the current businesses that make up Herndon to be satisfied, but we’re also interested in bringing new ones in,” he said. “I look forward to working with town staff and the town council when it comes to serving the business community.”
Holste’s position was established by the town two years ago, per the recommendation of their Economic Development Task Force, which comprised local business leaders, developers and other stakeholders.
“The establishment of this position enables the town to provide a strong focus on business development and retention,” said Art Anselene, Herndon’s town manager. “In his new role, Dennis will be instrumental in working with Herndon’s business owners and developers to further their planning initiatives in conjunction with the town government.”
As part of his duties, Holste will serve as the town’s liaison to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to working for the town, Holste was the assistant director of the Community Redevelopment Agency for the city of Margate, Fla. While in that position, he recruited Saveology.com to the city, and assisted with expansion of Global Response Corporation to Margate as well.
He also served as a management assistant with the Economic Development Division of Charlotte, N.C., where he helped establish a business retention program, prepared economic and demographic reports for businesses considering relocation to the city and planned community events and economic development forums.
He holds a degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University and a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State.
Holste will officially begin his employment with the town Sept. 3.