Meet the Staff
Marla Akridge Executive Director
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. http://www.consultantconnect.org/top50/ 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.
Administrative Assistant Position Open