The Walton County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) is a public/private partnership whose mission is to establish Walton County as a great place to grow businesses, attract new investment, and create quality jobs. The organization was founded in August 2008 by Walton County Board of County Commissioners, city governments of DeFuniak Springs, Freeport, Paxton, and the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Walton County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) has announced that William (Bill) Arnett has been chosen as the new executive director. WCEDA Chair Sara Comander said, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the caliber of individual that will lead economic development in Walton County.” Arnett takes his post on June 22 in DeFuniak Springs.
Bill Arnett is an economic development practitioner with more than 12 years experience working in the public and private sectors in Ohio. Bill was hired in November 2006 by the Fairfield County Board of Commissioners to serve as economic development director. Fairfield County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Ohio, with a population of 144,000.
In his position, Bill administered a low-interest loan fund, which has approved more than a dozen loans during the past two-plus years, totaling nearly $700,000. The Fairfield County Economic Development Department also administers for the Ohio Enterprise Zone Program on behalf of the its county commissioners. Ten agreements are currently in place, resulting in the creation or retention of more than 1,700 jobs.
The Fairfield County Economic Development Department also provides leadership and operational support for the Fairfield 33 Development Alliance, a public-private partnership created to encourage investment and job creation along U.S. 33 in Fairfield County. The group’s annual budget is provided by seven public-sector investors and more than 30 private-sector companies. More than 90 percent of the $150,000 annual budget is used to market the corridor. More information is available at www.fairfield33.com.
Prior to accepting his current position, Bill served for nearly two years as the Governor’s Regional Economic Development representative for east central Ohio. In that role, he served as a vital, local link between businesses in 10 counties and the Ohio Department of Development.
Bill is a 1990 graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. Bill is a member of NAIOP, IAMC and the Ohio Economic Development Association.
“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to serve as the Walton County Economic Development Alliance’s first executive director,” said Arnett. “I look forward to working with public and private sector investors as we cooperatively seek to encourage job growth and improve the quality of life for Walton County residents.”