What better way to start the New Year off than to make some changes for the better! City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney recently established the new Community and Business Development department by merging Community Development and Downtown Development and adding a business aspect to the department. The new department’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for Rocky Mount’s residents by focusing on key areas. These areas include revitalizing targeted neighborhoods, ultimately providing more accessible, safe, healthy and affordable housing; creating a sustainable economy with a focus on local, minority and women-owned businesses; and building collaborative networks to provide the necessary training for workforce development. Heading this new department is Dr. Landis Faulcon. Small-Toney gave a statement in regards to her decision to hire Dr. Landis Faulcon, she stated “With such a vast knowledge and years of experience in this field, I believe she is the right person to lead the city on devising strategies to support long-term home ownership, housing revitalization, economic development opportunities, downtown revitalization neighborhood improvements and training that will ultimately enhance our quality of life and make Rocky Mount a more desirable place to live, work and play.”
Dr. Faulcon comes to Rocky Mount with more than 25 years of leadership experience in local government, Faulcon has been responsible for managing revitalization, community and economic development initiatives. Her work history includes managing special programs and incentives, recruiting businesses and strategic partners, negotiating community and economic development opportunities, assisting prospects and developers and resource development. She has worked with diverse stakeholders including appointed and elected officials, community leaders, neighborhood organizations, businesses and special interest groups on a variety of issues and projects.
During her most recent tenure as director of economic development for the city of Petersburg, Va., her accomplishments included establishing the city’s first state-designated tourism zone, while submitting successful applications for a $600,000 Industrial Revitalization Fund award, a $350,000 Brownfield Redevelopment award and Main Street Affiliate designation. Working closely with regional, state and federal colleagues, she assisted prospects, developers and business owners in securing incentives and other resources to support commercial, tourism and mixed-use development.
In Charles County, Md., Faulcon was responsible for leading the multi-faceted revitalization of a 350-acre commercial site with plans for mixed-use and transit-oriented development.
Faulcon also worked as executive director of a Federal Empowerment Zone serving the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va. Empowerment Zones are defined as economically distressed communities that need assistance. The purpose of this assistance is to create business opportunities and jobs. Strategic partners in the Empowerment Zone included the two cities, their housing authorities, local nonprofit organizations and businesses, and several state and federal agencies involved in community and economic development, workforce development and human services. Dr.Faulcon received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Howard University, as well as a master’s degree in urban studies and a doctorate degree in urban services/management from Old Dominion University.