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Thomas H. Clemens, CEcD, Joins Chamber as Vice President of Economic Development

Thomas H. Clemens, CEcD, Joins Chamber as Vice President of Economic Development

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Thomas H. Clemens, CEcD, has accepted the position of “Vice President of Economic Development” and will lead the Chamber’s efforts to attract and retain businesses-and the jobs that come with them-in the five key sectors the Chamber is working to grow: Agricultural Sciences, Software/IT, Advanced Materials, Advanced Logistics and Life Sciences. The Chamber also has placed a major emphasis on Advanced Manufacturing as an industry of focus. Clemens will lead the ongoing efforts of the Council for Economic Outreach’s five-year economic development strategy, “Transforming Greater Gainesville.”


Clemens leaves behind 16 years of service and leadership at the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News metro area), including leading the Alliance’s marketing program for domestic and international companies expanded, resulting in the location of numerous small and medium-sized enterprises as well as significant investments by Keurig Green Mountain and ADP. After 2010, Clemens was instrumental in assisting companies making new capital investments of $227 million while creating 2,753 direct new jobs in Hampton Roads.


“Thomas has been a leading figure in attracting and retaining job creators to Hampton Roads  throughout his 16 years of service to its Economic Development Alliance,” said Brian Scarborough, who served on the Council for Economic Outreach’s search committee. “Coupled with Greater Gainesville’s tremendous asset base, we believe Thomas’ demonstrated ability to generate results will be a game-changer for the region, and will strengthen our efforts to continue to sell Greater Gainesville as a global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity.”


Clemens’ career in Hampton Roads started in 2000, when he began assisting domestic and international companies with their expansion plans to Hampton Roads. Since then, Clemens has demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement, evidenced by his participation and earned credentials in several programs focused on developing and improving economic development expertise, such as the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and certification by the International Economic Development Council.

“Joining a dedicated team of professionals that is energized to transform the Gainesville region is a special opportunity for me as an economic development practitioner,” Clemens said. “The leadership has laid out an ambitious plan for economic prosperity, business growth and community progress and I am very excited to start working to achieve these goals.”


Clemens received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Old Dominion University, with a focus in economics and marketing. He is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) and the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA).  A dual citizen of Germany and the United States, prior experience in Germany includes financial accounting for a leading international hotel brand where he managed inter-company transactions and investment projects in central and eastern Europe.
Clemens’ bio is available here.

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