Virginia Business magazine names Fairfax County EDA President Gordon its 2010 Business Person of the Year

Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also honors Gordon

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Virginia Business magazine is honoring Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), as its 2010 “Virginia Business Person of the Year.” The award recognizes a leader whose work has transformed a company, an industry or a sector of the commonwealth’s economy. Gordon is the cover story of the magazine’s December issue, which also features a profile of Fairfax County as a business location.

The magazine highlights Gordon’s efforts to expand and diversify the Fairfax County economic base as the county has become one of the world’s leading business and technology centers. “I regard this not as recognition of an individual but rather of all those who work in local governments generally and in the profession of economic development specifically,” Gordon said. “This award validates the great value of collaboration between the public and private sectors in creating the kinds of places in which businesses want to locate and grow.”

Gordon has been with the FCEDA since December 1983. In that time, “Fairfax has morphed from a bedroom community for Washington, D.C., into a prime business destination,” the magazine notes. “In the past three years, Fairfax has landed five major corporate headquarters — CSC, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), Volkswagen Group of America, Hilton Worldwide and Northrop Grumman.”
 
It also points out that 366 foreign-owned companies have a presence in Fairfax County and that the county has a thriving minority business community.

Writer M.J. McAteer chronicled other aspects of the county’s transformation during Gordon’s tenure: “Since 1983, office space has grown from 32 million square feet to more than 111 million, making Fairfax second only to Orange County, Calif., in the size of its suburban office market. Meanwhile, the number of payroll jobs went from 243,000 to nearly 600,000. As a result of the massive business growth during Gordon’s tenure, the county’s real estate tax rate per $100 of assessed value fell from $1.47 to a low point of 89 cents in fiscal years 2006 and 2007.”

Virginia Business spotlights statewide business news and trends. This is the third year it has named a business person of the year. The two previous recipients are Nicholas Chabraja, former CEO of Merrifield-based General Dynamics, and Shawn Boyer, president and CEO of Richmond-based SnagAJob.com.

On December 4, the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will honor Gordon as its 2010 Economic Development Professional of the Year. The chamber is honoring Gordon and other members of the regional business community at its annual Poinsettia Festival Awards Dinner & Dance to be held at Gallaudet University in Washington. In April 2010 the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented Gordon with a 2010 Bridge Builder Award for his work to diversify the Fairfax County business community and economy.