Marla C. Akridge became executive director of the Leadville Lake County Economic Development Corporation in July, 2020. A native of Ohio, she has held positions in Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia, serving economic development corporations, chambers of commerce and higher education. She has a real passion for assisting communities with economic and community transformation. She especially loves rural small towns because of the historical culture and engagement among people.
She has worked with major projects like Hyundai, Lance Inc., Archway Cookies, 3 Phoenix, Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, WestRock, Balchem, and Schafer Rolls, as well as assistance with small startups and main street businesses. Some unique projects that she assisted with are Autauga County Incubator, Workforce Mid-Ohio, The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina, The Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone, and The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, “The Gauntlet.”
Marla has a truly collaborative approach. She identifies and engages key stakeholders in the mission of the organization, and partners closely to set goals and implement activities that result in desirable outcomes.
Marla frequently uses the word ecosystem. She is adamant that while each community has unique assets, challenges and goals, it can be more successful if it develops an ecosystem that links representatives of education, government, business, and public and private organizations into one interconnected system. She has experienced first-hand the tremendous impact of working together instead of trying to tackle issues in isolation.
She was selected in 2019 as a Top 50 Economic Developer in the Nation. Marla has served on several national, state, and local boards. She had the privilege of being a Lumina Foundation Fellow and Ford Foundation Fellow.
She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Auburn University, with additional graduate work at the University of Tennessee and Ashland University.
Marla’s motto comes from her grandfather, who stated,” I’m here to serve not supervise.” Helping communities create jobs, make capital investments and grow numbers of people who love their jobs is why she is passionate about her career.
Marla resides in Leadville with her husband, Ron, and their dog, Zig Zag, a Catahoula. She enjoys running, riding (mountain and road bikes), and hiking.
Nancy Bailey joined the Leadville Lake County Economic Development Corporation (LLCEDC) in September 2020 bringing over 25 years of experience in non-profit management, corporate client relations, business development, project management, marketing, public outreach, communications and fundraising to her position at the LLCEDC.
Before joining the LLCEDC, Nancy served as Director of Development for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), managing all aspects of development and fundraising for the largest NGO serving victims of human trafficking in the United States. Prior to CAST, Nancy was passionate about her role over several years at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). First, as part of the Business Assistance and Development Team serving as Layoff Aversion Regional Manager, she worked on the Southeast Area Social Services Funding Authority (SASSFA) Layoff Aversion Contract. Following the successful completion of the SASSFA contract, she transitioned to Layoff Aversion Regional Manager for the City of Los Angeles Layoff Aversion Contract. Shortly after, she was promoted to the role of Regional Manager, Business Assistance & Development, for the LA Metro/Central/South Los Angeles and the Westside regions of Los Angeles County. A few years later, Nancy was promoted to Senior Manager in the Strategic Relations Department responsible for corporate/investor client and member relations, member attraction, retention and fundraising.
Additionally, Nancy also served as Director of Marketing and Member Services for the Building Industry Association of Southern California, the local chapter of the National Association of Homebuilders, a non-profit trade association. Prior to joining the BIA, Nancy worked at a public water agency as their Community Relations Director where she was instrumental in creating their community outreach and marketing strategy. Ms. Bailey also spent over 5 years with The Walt Disney Company as Development Project Manager for The Disney Store, Inc./Worldwide Headquarters, Corporate Retail Division while studying Marketing Communications at College of the Canyons in Valencia, CA.
Nancy relocated to Colorado from Los Angeles in 2019 to be closer to family and absolutely loves life in the mountains where she enjoys water yoga, skiing, hiking and listening to live music.