Chesapeake Economic Development

The Chesapeake Economic Development department is committed to offering businesses from all industries the necessary tools and knowledge they need to succeed in the dynamic Chesapeake economy. We support local, national, and global business ventures with multiple services that incorporate the area’s vast economic opportunities. Our dedicated staff works to provide your business with resources such as site selection, marketing services, and demographic data, in addition to investment guidance and expertise. Whether you are looking to start, expand, or relocate your company in Chesapeake, the Chesapeake Economic Development department is always prepared to help you do business.

Our Specialization

  • Attraction
  • Retention
  • Small Business
  • Customer Relations
  • Research/Marketing
  • International Business Attraction
  • Community Development
  • Workforce Services
  • Incentive Negotiation

Meet the Team

We are a team of dedicated professionals, ready to do whatever it takes to make your business grow.

Steven C. Wright

Steven C. Wright

Director

With more than 25 years of experience in Economic & Community Development, Steven Wright currently serves as Director of Economic Development for the City of Chesapeake. Steven has a B.S. degree in Urban Studies and Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. This is his second stint in Chesapeake, having served as a Business Development Manager from 1994 to 1999. Before returning to Chesapeake, Steven was the Economic Development Director for Isle of Wight County. Additionally, he has worked in the communities of Richmond, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesterfield County, VA

Ben White

Ben White

Assistant Director

Ben White is the Assistant Director, for Chesapeake Economic Development and has nearly twenty years of experience in new and existing business development, as well as redevelopment, in the City. Prior to his current position with Economic Development, Ben held positions with various City Departments; including the City Treasurer’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, Public Utilities, and the Conference Center. Combined, he has nearly thirty years of public service with the City of Chesapeake.

Tim Howlett

Tim Howlett

Development Services Coordinator

Specializations: Project Management and Development Process Coordination, Community Development, Property Development, Retention and Customer Relations

Preston Wilhelm

Preston Wilhelm

Senior Business Development Manager

Specializations: Attraction, International Business Trade, and Community Development

Lloyd Jackson

Lloyd Jackson

Senior Business Development Manager

Specializations: Retention, Community Development

Constantia Matthews

Constantia Matthews

Management Analyst

Specializations: Customer Relations and Community Development

Sherry Barnette

Sherry Barnette

Business Development Manager

Specializations: Retention, Small Business, Customer Relations, Marketing, and Community Development

Business Development Manager
Kerstin "Lexy" Plarr

Kerstin "Lexy" Plarr

Business Intelligence Specialist

Specializations: Attraction and Research & Marketing

Stephanie Glover

Stephanie Glover

Office Coordinator

Specializations: Customer Relations

Judith Jackson

Judith Jackson

Office Specialist I

Specializations: Customer Relations