Susan Stimart, Economic Development Facilitator, Albemarle County
Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital (now called Cedars-Sinai) in Los Angeles. My dad was a med student and my mom worked as a pediatric nurse there. It was a pretty romantic story of meeting at work, falling in love, getting married, and my mom having her baby next door to “Mama” Cass Elliott having her daughter at Cedars Hospital. I was raised all over with my dad serving in the US Army as a physician, but mostly I lived in San Diego, CA and the Woodlands, TX (a planned HUD community) after my dad retired from the military
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
My husband and I lived in Washington DC and wanted to live closer to where we could work: Charlottesville was the perfect answer!
What neighborhood do you live in now?
I live nearby Albemarle High School and the Charlotte Humphris Park. I can walk to restaurants, shops, doctor’s offices, the hair salon, and I have convenient access to great running routes. My dogs love the Park.
Family (spouse, kids, etc.)?
My husband, Matthew Stimart, and I have one grown daughter who lives in Minnesota. Our “furry children” include a chow-golden retriever-SPCA rescue, Leonardo, and a black & white springer spaniel, Molly Hatchet. My husband thought this name would toughen her up. We also live nearby my mom, who retired recently, and our cousin, Heather, who works as a CASA volunteer and with a local investment fund.
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
My almae matres include 1) UT San Antonio, 2) Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, & 3) American University in DC.
What were you doing before you came to work for the county?
I managed a small business development center in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington DC. The neighborhood was revitalizing as the District continued investing in the Anacostia Gateway area.
Your job title is Economic Development Facilitator – what, in your own words, would you say you do?
I help connect local businesses to resources, and I develop new programs to better support our local businesses.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best parts include creating new pathways to help local entrepreneurs navigate new business ventures. The most difficult part is the lack of time in day.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
By helping entrepreneurs navigate regulations, grants programs, and other resources, my work helps business thrive and create new job opportunities and/or maintain the employment base.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the county?
My job is always interesting! Last week, helping organize the Very exciting Cville Start-up Weekend EDU or right now, helping to organize the May 2nd VA Bio Education Summit: a special program to talk about what factors will help this important industry sector continue to thrive.
What is a little-known fact about you?
In December I missed qualifying by a minute for the Boston Marathon.
What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc.?
I enjoy running, learning to sew, floor tiling for friends, visiting our local wineries, cideries, breweries, and artisan studios.