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Board of Supervisors Department

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Board to Consider New Economic Development Director

Santa Rosa,CA | April 23, 2019

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will consider the appointment of a City of Stockton Economic Development Manager to fulfill the role as the new director of the Economic Development Department (EDB).

At its upcoming Board meeting on May 14, 2019 the Board will decide whether to appoint Sheba Person-Whitley as the next EDB Director. Person-Whitley would be replacing the former Economic Development Director, Ben Stone, who led the EDB for more than three decades, retiring April 30, 2019.

“The County conducted an extensive search to find the right candidate for the job,” said Board Chair David Rabbitt. “We must take this opportunity to thank Ben for the tools he’s developed for local businesses. I look forward to seeing Sheba build on those opportunities so we can continue to enrich our local economy.”

Sheba Person-Whitley is the City of Stockton Economic Development Manager and comes to Sonoma County with extensive local, state and international experience in economic development. Person-Whitley’s background also includes international operations and federal grant administration.

Sheba Person-Whitley graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with an MS in Operations & Project Management and from North Carolina State University with a BA in Communications and Public Relations.

“I’m eager to bring my background and expertise to the table, and learn how we can use all the tools in our toolbox to support the vibrant and diverse businesses of Sonoma County,” commented Sheba Person-Whitley.

The Economic Development Department recently adopted the Strategic Sonoma Action Plan, which sets the economic priorities for Sonoma County over the next five years. The plan provides an economic roadmap for helping Sonoma County continue recovery efforts from the devastating 2017 wildfires and identifies six key priorities – Housing, Workforce and Education, Business Diversification, Sustainability, Transportation, and Fire Recovery. 

If the Board of Supervisors votes to approve Person-Whitley for the position, she will begin work immediately. The salary range for the position is $128,295.27 - $155,949.63 annually.


Contact Information

Paul Gullixson, Communications Manager
County Administrator's Office, County of Sonoma