Vermont native brings her passion for economic development to Haymarket
By Christine Craddock
On November 14, 2016, Kimberly Murray started her new role as the Town of Haymarket’s town manager. When the opportunity arose for her to accept this position, Murray was thrilled to be able to use her education and skill set in economic development, which is not only her profession but her passion.
She is one of only 1,100 professionals worldwide to achieve the certification of a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). Murray is proud to have completed the rigorous process to attain this designation, which in the industry means that she has “the breadth of knowledge to perform at the top level in the profession,” according to the International Economic Development Council. These skills, along with her professionalism, leadership, and past experience were what she feels set her apart in the eyes of the town council for this important role.
Murray, her husband, and their three children live in the mountains near the Shenandoah, which remind her of where she grew up in Vermont. The rural feel and tight-knit community of Haymarket also remind her of her hometown. She said she was lured to Virginia because it was a place where economic development was happening everywhere, and rapidly.
The entire family made the move to Virginia to pursue educational and professional opportunities, with Murray first working in Strasburg where she helped with town planning and was tasked with making the economic development match the burst in population. She then worked with the City of Winchester where she was able to really focus on her passion for economic development.
As Haymarket’s town manager, Murray said she will serve the public by listening to what the community members have to say and will work alongside the “wonderful” members of the town council to achieve the goals of both the town and its residents. Murray feels “It’s ingrained in me to be of service,” and this role allows her to use her knowledge and talents to help the town council serve the people.
One of the goals is to work towards making the Town of Haymarket a walking community. This will enable restaurants and businesses to thrive, showcase the town hall as the seat of government, and create a town center where the community can gather. With the motto that “Haymarket is everyone’s hometown,” Murray wants to hear from the community members so those who live here can be proud of what the town is and what it will become.
Rezoning is another area where she will target her efforts, which will make it easier for entrepreneurs to open businesses here. She strongly feels that one of the roles government plays is to “provide the structure for businesses to thrive.”
Murray believes the recession is over, and the town’s prosperity is the evidence. Many businesses are seeking to expand or to renovate their current buildings, which will serve to enhance the charm of the area. And with the town center being developed, and the plans for a large park with a pavilion, amphitheater, playground, and trails, the community will have a place to gather together and make memories. Murray believes Haymarket will meets its goals, and the town will realize its potential.