Episode 103

Zen and the Art of Rural Economic Development with Sean Adkins


August 7th, 2023

22 mins 45 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Sean Adkins has over a decade of economic development experience across multiple East Coast states. He currently serves as Town Manager of St. Albans, Vermont, where he uses his econ dev background to help the small town. Adkins shares insights into the differences between robust economic development support in Virginia versus the more isolated, self-reliant approach in Vermont.

One of his most surprising projects was leading development of a childcare facility in rural Virginia, despite not having kids himself. The intensive childcare facility regulations and community resistance he encountered shows the breadth of challenges econ dev professionals take on. Adkins stresses public servants genuinely try to serve local needs, though projects often require compromise.

He also discusses his favorite book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and the life philosophy behind its metaphors.

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