- Appoints Shannon Flanagan-Watson as Business Ombudsman, reporting to County Manager
- Part of 2014 economic sustainability initiative
- Process improvement effort will include quality assurance, customer service
ARLINGTON, Va. – Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan today announced that she has created a Business Ombudsman for Arlington County. Working out of the County Manager's Office and reporting directly to Donnellan, the Business Ombudsman will work in partnership with the Arlington business community to help resolve issues and identify improvements to County administrative processes.
Donnellan has appointed Assistant County Manager Shannon Flanagan-Watson to serve in this new role. Flanagan-Watson will focus on strengthening the partnerships between government, businesses and entrepreneurs. The Business Ombudsman is part of the County's economic sustainability initiative, in support of advancing the County Board Chairman Jay Fisette's 2014 priorities.
“During my listening tour with the business community last year, I learned a lot about how we can improve the way we do business,” Donnellan said. “One important component is appointing a senior-level person in my office to work on my behalf with the business community in coordination with County officials and agencies. Shannon brings the skills, passion and understanding of how important our work is in this area to nurture sustainable partnerships.”
Intensive Focus on Process Improvements and Customer Service
In addition to using feedback received from the business community, Flanagan-Watson will also lead a process improvement effort to ensure quality assurance. This effort will involve numerous customer-facing County departments and will include an intensive focus on improving customer service.
The Business Ombudsman will coordinate with Arlington's BizTeam. The BizTeam, an interdepartmental team established to address concerns raised from the 2011 Small Business Initiative, assists tenants and small businesses in navigating the permitting process – and opening their doors for business. The Business Ombudsman will champion several goals of the BizTeam: improved customer service and increased efficiency and effectiveness of the permitting process. For site plan projects, the Ombudsman could be involved only after County Board approval.
“Our goal is to increase Arlington's economic competitiveness in the region and nationwide,” said Donnellan. “We are taking steps to become the premier place to do business.”