A former economic development expert under the Baker administration will remain in Prince George’s County.
David Iannucci, who former County Executive Rushern L. Baker III credited for his help to boost business and residential projects in Prince George’s, will serve as president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp., a quasi-governmental agency that works to expand, retain and relocate businesses to the county.
The EDC announced Friday the board’s selection of Iannucci, who’s worked on various projects for eight years in Baltimore County and several years before that in state government.
“You have a chance to physically see the results of a team effort to successfully help a county business grow [and] help them expand,” Iannucci, who served as a senior economic development adviser for Baker since 2011, said in an interview Monday at his new office in Largo. “There’s a certain physical manifestation that we get to see as kind of the monuments to success in economic development.”
Iannucci will replace Jim Coleman, a college friend of Baker’s who became known as one of the biggest cheerleaders for Baker and the county’s business structure at public events.
Although Iannucci presents a more laid-back style and straightforward acumen, he helped research, organize and lead the county on several major projects.
Iannucci, who received a law degree in 1979 from the University of Maryland in College Park, said he had to put on his “lawyer hat” during negotiations for a state-of-the-art hospital currently under construction in Largo.
Iannucci served as project manager for an Amazon proposal to entice the online retail giant to build an additional headquarters in Prince George’s. He also helped institute and oversee the $50 million economic incentive fund managed by the EDC and FSC First that leveraged about $1 billion and affected slightly more than 12,000 jobs (7,009 created and 5,138 retained).
“I am very excited that David has agreed to take on this critical role and I applaud the [EDC] board for selection a person with his extensive knowledge and experience,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said in a statement. “His proven track record in economic development and the state and local levels will be a tremendous asset to our team and our citizens.”
Though he graduated from a Tokyo high school while his father served in the Air Force, Iannucci credits growing up in Oxon Hill with his appreciation for the county. He immediately returned to Prince George’s after high school and received his bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in economics from the University of Maryland in 1974.
He will assist Alsobrooks’ vision on several initiatives such as eliminating food deserts — areas without a grocery store or a business that sells fresh produce — in underserved communities.
For instance, a Safeway supermarket closed two years ago in Seat Pleasant on Central Avenue, and no major food retailer operates a business on a roughly four-mile stretch on that road between Interstate 495 in Capitol Heights and the District’s border.
Discount grocery chain Lidl opened its first Maryland store in Bowie in September. Iannucci wants to encourage the business to open another location inside the beltway.
Another goal will be to continue to boost the economic incentive fund, which the county didn’t have until Iannucci joined the Baker administration.
“It is my hope the county carries it forward and it becomes institutionalized as a tool that Prince George’s County can use effectively,” he said. “I think from a marketing standpoint, it’s dynamic. Mr. Baker embraced it and I hope Ms. Alsobrooks will embrace it as well.”