Regional agency chooses new chief

Brandon Davis

FRONT ROYAL – Shenandoah County’s director of community development will take the helm of a regional agency headquartered in Front Royal.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission appointed Brandon Davis as the agency’s executive director on Thursday. Davis succeeds Martha Shickle, who left the position to direct a sister agency serving the Richmond area. Davis begins his new job Feb. 8.

The regional commission covers the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, Warren along with the incorporated towns and the city of Winchester. The agency serves as a planning district commission for the region. Member localities

“I’m really looking forward to being able to continue to serve this community and look at it from a regional perspective and serve the entire Northern Shenandoah Valley,” Davis said Friday. “The commission has a staff that is excellent and I know that they’ve done so well over the last few years and hopefully we’ll be able to continue that excellence and take it to new heights.”

“In this age, localities face so many challenges, many of which can’t or shouldn’t be handled on an individual basis,” Davis said. “They can be handled so much more efficiently on a regional basis.”

Davis will receive an annual salary of $87,500.

The county will begin the recruitment process as soon as possible to find a replacement, Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass said Friday. The county will create an interim director for the office if needed, Vass added.

“I think his effective leadership of his department has left people in positions where they are capable of continuing the good work the department has done,” Vass said.

The county hired Davis in 2008 and filled a vacancy in the director of planning and zoning position. Retirements and budget cuts to several departments led to the creation of the Office of Community Development in 2012 that consolidated four standalone departments. The agencies reduced their staff from 17 to 12, mainly through attrition, during the recession. Davis became the office’s director. The office has 11 employees.

Davis’ office and the county have worked with the commission on matters in the past.

“I am aware of many of the programs that they already implement and we’ve partnered with them on projects in the past at the county level,” Davis added. “I’m aware of the quality of that organization.”

Davis said he wanted to remain in the community and raise his family in the area.

“It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up, continue to check all those boxes and still serve in an elevated capacity,” Davis said.

Davis, a native of Virginia, holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from James Madison University, a master’s in business administration from Liberty University and a certified local government manager’s certificate from Virginia Tech.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com