Amanda C. Jarratt, 35
President & CEO of Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc.
Contributions to the business community:
Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation Board of Directors, Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Advisory Board, Virginia Economic Developers Association, International Economic Developers Association, Southern Economic Development Council
How do you define success?
I define success as being able to look back on a project or situation and honestly say that I did my absolute best to bring about positive change.
What person or experience has made the biggest impact on your life?
The experience that has had the biggest impact on my life is my oldest daughter’s diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 5 in 2014. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease causing a person’s pancreas to cease to produce insulin. My family’s entire life was changed from that moment on, and since then we are devoted to raising funds to support JDRF. JDRF works tirelessly to fund life-changing research to one day identify a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Chloe’s diagnosis immediately changed how we prioritize life and make us take inventory on what is truly important.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Working with Southampton County and the City of Franklin and our Board of Directors to bring in over $125 million in new capital investment and over 200 jobs to our community from 2012 to now.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received from a colleague or manager?
The best compliment I have received from a colleague was that my efforts and the efforts of our office had truly elevated the quality of life in the Franklin Southampton community. That is my goal when I come to work every day … to make our community a better place … and receiving that feedback from a colleague was validation of our efforts.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Initially an attorney. Then I traveled to Brazil multiple times as a teenager and young adult. Travel convinced me I should major in International Relations at William & Mary and become an ambassador to travel the world. A freshman seminar in local government at W&M changed my major and the trajectory of my vocational aspirations; however, it was for the best.
Name a book that has inspired you professionally.
The 24-Carrot Manager by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
What is your best time management hack?
I am such a stickler about being on time to meetings. If I’m not 15 minutes early I am late. The best way for me to ensure I am on time is scheduling my travel time into my workday. I have found when I don’t schedule the travel time to and from meetings it becomes difficult to get through all of my meetings and commitments on schedule.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
I would not change anything about our generation as a whole. Each generation makes an impactful mark on society, and while ours is criticized from time to time, I think we will all look back and see what great contributions our generation has made to society in both an innovative and culturally advancing manner.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
I think the willingness to collaborate amongst the localities to really define who and what we want Coastal Virginia to be. In my role, I am fortunate to see the collaboration amongst my staff with various localities, but the same efforts to work together to move the region forward need to be executed at every level of government. We also need a more concerted effort to educate the local population that political boundaries don’t necessarily matter to those outside of our region.
How can Coastal Virginia better retain its younger population?
The answer to this question boils down to jobs and opportunity. If we can facilitate an environment to allow the creation of high quality jobs and ample opportunities for one to grow in their career, it will be easy to retain the younger population.
What’s something that gives you hope for the future?
The amazing individuals I work with throughout the region and their drive to make Coastal Virginia a better place.
From her nomination:
“Amanda is a highly skilled professional and is focused on growing her community. She demonstrates clear leadership and a vision to move our community forward. Her ability to work professionally and confidently with people is her greatest asset.”
—Teresa Beale, executive director of the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber