Fairfax County EDA president authors book on viability of “micropolitan” economies

Third book in series by 30-year economic development leader highlights dozens of smaller cities and towns across the U.S.

Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), has written “The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America,” (CRC Press), which examines the challenges and opportunities that communities of between 10,000 and 50,000 face in sustaining and developing their economies.

Gordon, who has been with the FCEDA since 1983, examined more than 130 communities across the United States and interviewed almost 70 mayors to document how their cities and towns have built their economies and reacted to local, national and global economic trends.

The book is the third in a series penned by Gordon and published by CRC Press. In his 2009 book, “The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America,” he outlined strategies that communities can use to build their economies. In his 2011 book “Reinventing Local and Regional Economies,” he documented how large cities and regions employed the strategies to try to regain their economic footing after the economic downturn of 2007-2009.

“Micropolitan cities have demonstrated everything from great economic achievements to significant economic collapse. Some have recovered lost economic stability while others are on the brink of economic disaster. This book examines the reasons for these differences in economic performance,” Gordon said.

“The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America” highlights cities and towns from Bangor, Maine, to Walla Walla, Wash., to provide case studies on their economic past and future, illustrate dramatic shifts in the roles they play in larger economies, and address questions asked by these communities as they face an uncertain future: can they survive and, if so, what economic roles can they play?

In Gordon’s 30 years with the FCEDA, office space in the county grew from 32 million square feet to 114 million square feet, and jobs in the county grew from 243,000 to more than 600,000. He has taught at the Catholic University of America, the University of Maryland, George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has consulted with numerous city and state governments throughout the United States and around the world, as well as the governments of the Republic of Poland, the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, and the Federated States of Micronesia. He has also served as a consultant to various government agencies, the United States Navy, businesses, non-profit organizations, associations, colleges and universities, and the United Nations.

Dr. Gordon is the author of 13 books and numerous articles on strategic planning, economic development, leadership styles, and other management topics. In 2006, Dr. Gordon became the first American to address the All-Parliamentary Exports Group in the British House of Commons. In 2010, Virginia Business magazine named Dr. Gordon its Virginia Business Person of the Year and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented him with its Bridge Builder Award for his work to promote a diverse business community.

In 2012, the Transwestern commercial real estate firm honored Dr. Gordon as its “2012 Public Sector TrendSetter of the Year” for the Washington metropolitan area. In 2013, Virginia Business magazine put him on its first-ever "50 Most Influential Virginians" list.

From the Introduction to “The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America”:

“As the communications and information technologies evolve and become readily available everywhere, what new roles can these communities play in the larger economic picture? Is it possible that small cities and towns can offer enough in the way of assets and amenities to become economic hubs in the future? And if so, will that evolution create such growth that it will override and eliminate the very qualities from which they derived their initial appeal?” (pages xxix-xxx)

For a review copy, contact Lara Zoble at 212-216-7863 or lara.zoble@taylorandfrancis.com.

Time magazine called Fairfax County “one of the great economic success stories of our time.” Business growth and innovation helps Fairfax County fund the nation’s top-rated school system and other public services that contribute to the quality of life of residents. Fairfax County offers businesses a state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, access to global markets through Washington Dulles International Airport, a vibrant investment capital community and a highly skilled, well-educated workforce.

The award-winning Fairfax County Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons Corner, Fairfax County’s largest business district, the FCEDA maintains marketing offices in seven important global business centers: Bangalore, Boston, Munich, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv.

NOTE: FCEDA is a WITSA Global Partner

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