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 EDAInformation@fairfaxcityeda.org.

EDA Website

Fairfax City Connected Image

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

Commissioners/ Members

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

Commissioner Michael O'Brien, Chair

Michael O’Brien joined the Economic Development Authority in 2015, and is serving his second term.

Michael is the founder and principal of MOB Advocacy, a nationally-scoped state and local government relations firm based in Fairfax, VA. Michael founded MOB Advocacy to assist startups, small businesses and nonprofit organizations address issues with state and local governments.

Michael moved to Fairfax City in 2011. He lives in the Country Club Hills neighborhood with his son Connor and his dog Goofy.

Commissioner John Sabo, Vice-Chair

Commissioner John Sabo is a resident of Fairfax City since 1994 and has been active in local community and charitable organizations for many years. Commissioner Sabo is a business owner and has been in the commercial real estate industry for over 25 years concentrating on brokerage and development with clients ranging from privately-owned local firms to large public companies.

Commissioner Sabo is a graduate of George Mason University with a degree in Marketing from the School of Management. As a developer Commissioner Sabo has focused primarily on residential subdivisions in Fairfax and surrounding jurisdictions. In addition, he is a board member and advisor to numerous local start-up and early-stage companies assessing market strategies and raising equity.

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 Sean Mallon, Secretary

Sean Mallon was appointed Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at George Mason University in April 2016. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading Mason’s strategic vision as an economic and innovation engine for the National Capital region. Mr. Mallon oversees the Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) and the Office of Technology Transfer. He also works collaboratively with academic leadership and faculty to ensure an innovative, scalable approach to facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration for the development and delivery of entrepreneurial thinking and learning across the entire university.

Prior to joining Mason, Mr. Mallon served as Senior Investment Director for the CIT GAP Funds, a seed- and early stage technology venture fund within the Center for Innovative Technology. In this role, he oversaw a portfolio of over 100 companies, and led new investments in Virginia-based technology companies committed to rapid growth and the development of innovative products and services. Mr. Mallon has over 20 years of investment and start-up experience focused on aggressive growth, transformation and optimization. He has founded two companies, and has worked with several others in senior roles ranging from sales and marketing to product management, supply chain and finance. From 1999 to 2003, Sean was a principal at Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds (MAVF), a $200m early-stage venture capital firm focused on the telecommunications and IT industries. Sean holds an AB degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Commissioner W. Craig Havenner

Craig Havenner has been a principal and President of the Christopher Companies since 1995.

Christopher Companies has developed a number of new home communities throughout the Northern Virginia area. In recent years the company has expanded its services to include general contracting, remodeling, light commercial construction and investor services. The company is currently active in the Mid-Atlantic Region from Caroline County, Va to Sussex County , Delaware.

Commissioner Havenner is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Construction Management. A native of Northern Virginia, he and his family have resided in The City of Fairfax since 1980. Over the years he has been actively involved in many community and professional organizations.

Commissioner Jeff Hermann

A resident of Fairfax City since 2009, Jeff is the Section Chief for Site Analysis in the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, and had 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 Soledad Portilla

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.

Current Solicitations

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