Better Business Hero
Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation President/CEO David Iannucci Is No Longer Designing The Car. Now, He’s In The Driver’s Seat.
By Raoul Dennis // Photography and Video By Amir Stoudamire
It’s been nearly six months since Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation President/CEO David Iannucci stepped into his new office in Largo.
But as new as the office may have been to him, the view from the window was just as familiar as the back of his own hand.
Iannucci was born and raised in Prince George’s County and he spent the last eight years with the Baker Administration as Assistant Deputy Chief Administration Officer for Economic Development and before that as assistant deputy chief administrative officer for economic development and public infrastructure. That’s a lot of title that translates into real experience in growing Prince George’s.
In a recent interview with Prince George’s Suite Magazine & Media, Iannucci discussed combining his experience of the county with his vision for the agency.
Iannucci made clear that it’s as much a personal goal as it is a career target to get the county on the regional and statewide economic growth radar.
“This is very important to the community, to my family and to me personally that we help this transformation of Prince George’s County and help the county to achieve everything it should achieve and everything that it’s capable of achieving,” he says.
For nearly ten years, through a blend of presentations, national conferences, media interviews, board reviews and one-on-one discussions, Iannucci has woven his knowledge of economic strategy with his wondrous understanding of the highlights and history of his hometown to make the case to corporate decision makers that Prince George’s is a good investment.
To a great extent, it has worked. Job growth over the last nine years the county has added over 20,000 jobs, he says. The commercial tax base has increased from 29 to 32 percent of county revenues. And although he recognizes that the county still lacks its fair share of government jobs in the region, Iannucci cites, for example, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Agency (CIS), which will bring 3,700 new jobs when it opens, as a step in the right direction.
Now, at the head of the county’s leading economic development agency, Mr. Iannucci can press his ideas into direct action.
One of the first lessons the veteran analyst introduces includes approaching the work through a business lens – a philosophy point that he intends to aim at one of his primary goals to keep businesses in the county.
“Don’t think like a government worker. You have to think like a business,” he says in attracting and retaining jobs-producing companies.
In fact, among his key objectives, the PGCEDC leader says retaining and aiding existing businesses in the county are top priority.
“The most important growth possibility for any jurisdiction – and particularly for Prince George’s County -- is the retention of our existing employers and assisting them in growing and expanding. That is where we’ve had the greatest success in the last eight years,” Iannucci says.
He also cited Transit Oriented Development (TOD) as another priority.
“A big part of our strategy is to create density around our metro stations. Five of them were prioritized in terms of development and all five of them have seen very significant growth. That will bring jobs. That will bring retail [and] residential opportunities. That will be one of the strengths of Prince George’s County going forward,” Iannucci says.
He lists the stations including New Carrollton “which has really taken off” and mentions most recently the ribbon-cutting of upcoming Kaiser Permanente facility which will bring 850 new jobs; Branch Avenue station’s CIS and its 3,700 new jobs; the $400 million redevelopment project at the Suitland station; Largo will get the UMD regional teaching hospital and Prince George’s Plaza’s University Town Center has enjoyed a significant spike in residential growth.
Iannucci says that the next set of priority stations will be announced soon.
The interview spans Iannucci’s take on the approach to sustaining small business, expanding the county’s tax revenue base and how to address some of the pitfalls that have derailed earlier plans for Prince George’s.
But for now, approaching his first six months in office, the man who fondly remembers his own childhood at Oxon Hill Elementary School is enjoying the possibilities of making his hometown a national economic destination.
“I’m very fortunate to have a chance under Ms. Alsobrooks to continue some of the work that we’ve done to help Prince George’s County be what we know it can be. And helping Prince George’s County take its rightful place in the Washington metropolitan and state of Maryland economies. I think that we’ve made incredible progress and I’m very proud of my role working with two county executives.”
The full story and video interview will be released in late May.