Members of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) on Friday morning unanimously approved the employment of Michael A. Sexton as the new IDA Executive Director.
Sexton will receive $135,000 annual compensation, according to Board Chairman John Cannon, and he will begin his work on December 1.
“Mr. Sexton brings a wealth of experience to this position with a very successful background in recruitment of industry throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Cannon said.
Sexton has served for the past 17 years as a member of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and currently serves as a senior manager with the primary responsibility of recruiting businesses in the state. For the past twelve years “he has enjoyed record breaking success in his current position,” Cannon said in a press release.
“His proven record of accomplishments includes working with over 500 active projects, the recruitment of over $2 billion in new investment and over 16,000 new jobs for the Commonwealth,” stated Cannon.
“Mr. Sexton has demonstrated ability to aggressively close deals within the Virginia economic development environment. He has developed strong relationships within the VEDP which we consider to be a definite asset to the future recruitment efforts of Halifax County.
“His broad experience working within the economic development structure of Virginia will provide him an advantage that will improve Halifax County’s access to prospects and VEDP resources. His ability to recruit both domestically and internationally along with his strong relationships with other state agencies and industry ally organizations will prove to be a definite asset to our community,” Cannon said.
Sexton received a BS in business administration from the University of Tulsa with a double major in marketing and management and a minor in computer science. He also holds a certificate of completion from the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma.
“He’s an excellent choice,” said William I. Fitzgerald, chairman of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors. “I believe he is the right person to make things happen with his tremendous experience and contacts, and I believe he feels like he can deliver for us.”
Fitzgerald added that he feels the Board of Supervisors will get a lot of criticism for Sexton’s pay range, but he added, “I’ll be pleased to take that heat if he can bring us much needed jobs.” Fitzgerald added that Sexton is taking the job without a contract — an unusual move, he noted. “That I believe, is because he feels he can make things happen here.”
Cannon thanked Jerry Gwaltney, who assisted the IDA Board in securing a candidate for the position. “Jerry, we thank you for doing such a thorough and professional job for us,” Cannon said on Friday. Gwaltney told IDA members that he is very excited about Sexton’s hire and looks forward to it being a big success. He also thanked the IDA Board and others for all their help during the hiring process.