Stafford County’s Economic Development Team
John P. Holden
Director of Economic Development and Tourism
John joined the Stafford team in May 2018 after spending 25 years in Maine. There, his experience encompassed community and economic development; tourism development and marketing; and international business development and attraction. He helped institute and managed a number of economic development organizations. He also led the expansion of Maine’s entrepreneurship environment into communities he worked.
John was born in Columbus, Oh. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in regional economics from the University of Maine. He enjoys cooking and golf.
Rick Cobert, CEcD
Economic Development Manager
Rick’s career includes business development with Stafford County, Baltimore County and the Maryland Department of Economic Development where he has participated in the attraction and expansion of numerous firms, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small business start-ups. He also brings to the team his experience as a successful small business entrepreneur. Rick holds the CEcD designation from the International Economic Development Council, a certification that recognizes his mastery of the field. His article 21st Century Jobs was published in the International Economic Development Journal.
Lisa joined the department in 2016 after working for Stafford County Sheriff’s office in community outreach for four years. She brings over 15 years of event planning experience to Stafford County, having worked for various other agencies in fundraising and event planning. Lisa helps create and support multiple signature events in Stafford County while continuing to market all the county’s tourism assets and support regional and state tourism.
Born and reared in Southwest Virginia, Lisa holds an associate degree in business management. She enjoys spending time with her friends, dining out and watching movies.
Courtney has worked in the department since 2016. She assists the tourism manager in event planning and marketing to the county’s tourism target markets. She also supports regional and state tourism initiatives, and writes and edits copy for department announcements, special events and ribbon cuttings.
Born in Berlin, Germany, Courtney moved to the region from Northern Virginia to attend the University of Mary Washington (UMW). She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UMW. Courtney enjoys hiking, exercising and traveling.
Shyrah A. Moran (Sam)
Sr. Administrative Assistant
Shyrah joined the team as its Sr. Administrative Assistant in 2018. She manages the front office and coordinates with other departments at the Stafford County Government Center. She assists citizens in fulfilling the county’s requirements for starting a business, and she provides tourism guides and brochures to residents planning weddings, family reunions, meetings and other events. Her career in administration has spanned 20 years. After high school graduation, she enlisted in the United Stated Army as a 75H/Personnel Service Specialist. Following her military service, Shyrah worked for Raytheon Systems Inc., MM Design Group, HQ NASA Headquarters Washington DC and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She has also served as a teacher assistant in the Virginia Beach Public Schools.
Born in Portsmouth, Va, she lived with her military family in numerous East Coast locations. Shyrah attended high school in Stafford and is happy to return here with her children so that they can experience the same loving community life that she enjoyed growing up.
Economic Development Specialist
Theo joined our office in 2019 after working for the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. He brings to Stafford County experience in research, business development, and community engagement. He assists the Economic Development Manager and the Stafford Economic Development Authority on their ongoing efforts to support business growth and develop projects for the County.
Theo was born in Baltimore, Maryland but has spent most of his life in Virginia. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mary Washington with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Theo enjoys weightlifting, reading, and traveling.