McDonnell appoints rural economic development liaison

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Gov. Bob McDonnell has appointed the state’s first deputy secretary of commerce and trade for rural economic development.

Mary Rae Carter, who served two terms on the board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, will be Commerce Secretary Jim Cheng’s liaison to Virginia’s rural region.

Carter will be based in Franklin County. Her job is to develop strategies to strengthen rural economic development and job creation.

“Mary Rae will be on the ground in the rural parts of the commonwealth, looking for every possibility for job creation, and ensuring that state resources and polices are properly directed and implemented,” McDonnell said in a statement.

Carter, who grew up in Southern Virginia, was interim director of the Southern Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Henry County Office of Commerce. She also served on the boards of the Center for Rural Virginia,  Patrick Henry Community College and the Patrick Henry Development Council.

Under former Gov. George Allen she was chairwoman of the Region 10-Opportunity Virginia Board and served on the board of the Henry County Public Service Authority.

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