The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) announces the appointments of Wesley (“Wes”) MacQuilliam as the organization’s first Chief Operating Officer and Kayleigh De La Puente as its first Town Center Revitalization Manager, strengthening the organization’s redevelopment and revitalization toolbox.
“AAEDC has supported smart economic development in Anne Arundel County for thirty years, and these moves signal a sustained commitment to ensuring a healthy and vibrant local economy,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “Economic development at the neighborhood level has a tremendous impact on small businesses and the residents they serve. With Plan 2040 as a road map and a talented team, AAEDC is poised to support the County in ensuring that our neighborhoods thrive and offer a sense of place and belonging for all.”
Most recently serving as AAEDC’s Vice President of Business Development and Real Estate, MacQuilliam will apply his twelve-plus years of experience with the organization and his in-depth knowledge of real estate and county development processes to his new role. As AAEDC’s first COO, he will work to streamline organizational operations across all AAEDC departments and oversee the development of and implementation of both new and existing programs.
Bringing a decade of experience in community development and commercial district revitalization to AAEDC, De La Puente will manage revitalization initiatives in the County’s three Town Centers (Glen Burnie, Odenton, and Parole), 11 Commercial Revitalization Districts, and one state-designated Enterprise Zone, Brooklyn Park. These efforts include managing the use of a $250,000 Community Legacy Program grant, which AAEDC received in October 2022 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), marketing AAEDC’s Arundel Community Reinvestment (ACR) Fund, and supporting the County’s efforts to implement neighborhood development initiatives in Regional Plans.
“I am thrilled to have dedicated staff resources focused on neighborhood revitalization efforts and greatly appreciate County Executive Pittman and the entire County Council for their confidence, support, and investment in AAEDC,” said President and CEO Amy Gowan. “Wes and Kayleigh are a dynamic blend of deep-rooted local experience and new, fresh perspective. Working together, and in partnership with the community, they will ensure that our revitalization efforts align with the unique needs and aspirations of each neighborhood.”
“The revitalization of our county’s older commercial districts, and the economic development that follows it, has always been a top priority for AAEDC,” said MacQuilliam. “With that in mind, we’ve been thrilled to receive such substantial support for our revitalization programs from our county and state leaders and, subsequently, such a great deal of interest in our new ACR tandem grant initiative from business owners. There couldn’t be a better time to be adding Kayleigh to our team and I couldn’t be more excited to help lead AAEDC’s efforts, both revitalization-related and otherwise, to continue making Anne Arundel County a great place to be in business.”
MacQuilliam, who holds a B.S. in psychology from Virginia Wesleyan University, worked at a commercial real estate firm prior to joining AAEDC and assumed his new role on August 14, 2023.
De La Puente, who possesses a B.A. in art history from the Catholic University of America and a Master of Public Administration from American University, joined AAEDC on September 5, 2023 following employment at DC Greenworks, the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation and, most recently, the Takoma Langley Crossroads Development Authority.
About the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation
Founded in 1993, the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Annapolis, Maryland. AAEDC’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County, thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base, and improving citizens’ quality of life. It supports the local business community through a host of services, including financing, site selection assistance, permitting and zoning guidance, workforce development grants, community revitalization, market research, and small business counseling and resources. AAEDC plays a vital role in enhancing commercial districts, improving infrastructure, and helping to grow business sectors such as technology, agriculture, and maritime within the county. To learn more, visit www.aaedc.org.