Mayor Stoney Announces Director of Economic Development

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the appointment of Leonard Sledge as the city’s next director of Economic Development.

Sledge brings more than 13 years of experience in economic development to the position. Throughout his career, he has led construction, renovation and retention projects for universities and municipal governments.

He has served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Hampton and for the College of William and Mary. Most recently, Sledge served as the executive director of the Henry County Development Authority, which serves the southeast portion of the Atlanta metro region.

Sledge earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehouse College and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. He holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix. In 2019, he was named one of North America’s top 50 economic developers by Consultant Connect.

“The City of Richmond is growing and we need to make sure we pursue development that not only expands our tax base, but is community-oriented and expands opportunity for all of our residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “Leonard’s background in local government and his record of informed, principled decision-making indicate he’s the right person for the job.”

As the Director of Economic Development, Sledge will oversee the economic growth of the city, including business retention and attraction, real estate development and redevelopment, and small business development and support. He will oversee the administration of the City’s Enterprise and Opportunity Zones, as well as several economic development loan programs. He will report directly to Sharon Ebert, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic and Community Development.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to work with this talented city team, civic-minded stakeholders and the community to help Richmond realize its economic development potential and move the city forward,” said Sledge.