Fairfax City Economic Development Authority

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The primary purpose of the Fairfax City Economic Development Authority (EDA,) in conjunction with the City Council, is to foster and stimulate economic development and redevelopment within the City that provides a strong commercial tax base, sustainable local jobs, and resources for residents.  To carry out this purpose, the EDA will support bond financing for projects within its powers as granted by the Virginia General Assembly and work with the City’s Economic Development Office (EDO) to advance business recruiting, retention, and expansion efforts. Further, the EDA and EDO will facilitate small business improvement and incubation, as well as promote an active dialogue within the business community, all in partnership with area business and educational resources.


The Authority meets at 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at a Fairfax City business.  For information regarding EDA meetings, please contact

EDA Website

Fairfax City Connected Image

The EDA is proud to announce its newly developed website. Please direct your browser to

Commissioners/ Members

The EDA consists of seven commissioners appointed by the Mayor and City Council:

Commissioner Jeff Hermann, Chair

A resident of Fairfax City since 2009, Jeff is the Section Chief for Site Analysis in the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and has worked in the planning field for over 15 years.  His team of planners and engineers evaluate development applications and site plans on their transportation merits and challenges across Fairfax County. 

Commissioner Fred Cornett, Vice-Chair

Fred O. Cornett, Jr. is the Senior Vice President/CFO of HHH Properties Corp., a real estate firm located in Fairfax, VA. He has over twenty years of retail property knowledge related to the performance, profitability, leasing and development of retail shopping centers. One of his responsibilities includes the asset management of Fair City Mall, the largest grocery anchored retail strip center in the City of Fairfax, VA.

Commissioner Cornett received a B.S. degree in Finance from Mississippi State University, an M.B.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Masters Certificate in government contracting from George Washington University School of Business and Public Management. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the Commonwealth of Virginia and has earned prestigious designations from the International Council of Shopping Centers including: Certified Retail Real Estate Professional (CRRP), Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX), Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM), Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS), Certified Development, Design and Construction Professional (CDP), Certified Marketing Director (CMD). He also holds the Professional in Human Resource Management (PHR), Certified Business Manager (CBM), and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) professional certifications.

Commissioner Mary Valenta, Treasurer

Mary Valenta is CEO of On the Green, LLC (OTG), a consulting firm helping businesses with economic, environmental, and social growth through strategic, marketing, and financial planning. Commissioner Valenta founded Global Sustainability Aid as a non-profit organization supporting sustainability in impoverished communities. She sits on a number of corporate boards and was previously Chief Financial Officer of O’Neal Steel, Inc., Treasurer of Glenayre Technologies, and Manager of Financial Advisory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Commissioner Valenta received a Doctorate in Global Business Sustainability from Argosy University in Denver, Co; an MBA from University of North Carolina Charlotte; and a BS in Accounting from Pfeiffer University. She is a Certified Public Accountant, co-author of CFO Leadership Strategies, and author of Business Case of Electric Vehicles for Truck Fleets.

Commissioner Soledad Portilla, Secretary 

A Fairfax City resident since 2005.  Soledad has over 10 years of experience in real estate development and management including new deal sourcing and acquisitions.  She currently serves on the Board of the Northern Virginia Builders Industry Association and on the Board of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Commissioner Deborah Crawford 

Deborah Crawford is the Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Impact for George Mason University located in Fairfax. She has been the President of the International Computer Science Institute from August 2014 until May 2016. She has also been the Senior Vice Provost for Research at the Drexel University from August 2010 until August 2014. Commissioner Crawford took on the role as the Deputy Assistant Director at the National Science Foundation for Computer and Information Science from October 1993 until August 2010. Commissioner Crawford received a B.S. degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow, U.K., and a Ph.D. in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Bradford, U.K. She holds the Director position for the Board of the Oak Ridge Association of Universities. She has received the following rewards: Presidential Rank Award, Distinguished Service (2010), Presidential Rank Award, Meritorious Service (2006), and Howe Prize, Most Promising Graduating Engineer (1985).

Commissioner Kathleen Paley

Kathleen Paley serves as the Special Counsel for the Covington & Burling LLP, where she focuses on legal issues facing the firm’s pharmaceutical clients at the federal and state courts level. This has allowed her to communicate with a diverse array of people (clients, judges, colleagues, etc.).

Previously, she has served one year as the grant Officer at the International Republican Institute where she assisted with various projects related to democracy education. Commissioner Paley received a B.A. degree in Economics and Government from Dartmouth College in 2003 where she received the Pressman Prize (most outstanding thesis in American Politics). She has also received a Juris Doctor degree from the Columbia Law School in 2007 where she received the Harkab Fuske Stone Scholar. She is a member of the Community Appearance Committee since March 2019. She serves as a Financial Mentor on BritePaths since 2019. Commissioner Paly has an interest in community planning and “placemaking” which was spurred in by her father, a former city planner.

Commissioner Tom Ross

A resident of Fairfax City since 2005, Tom is the Principal of Ross Co., LLC. A consultancy that provides marketing, operations, design solutions, and support for retail marketers.  Commissioner Ross received his B.S. in Business Administration from Western New England University. He previously worked with Mobil Oil Corporation and ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Company for over 30 years. Tom held both domestic and global management positions in fuels marketing and convenience retailing. As the Global Marketing Projects Manager, Tom focused on the development and implementation of new retail concepts.

Current Solicitations

There are no outstanding solicitations from the EDA at this time.  For information regarding EDA solicitations, please contact