About Us – What is the Area Roundtable

In simplest terms, we work to recruit corporations to Wood County as well as help retain and expand those that already exist in Wood County.

The Area Roundtable is an umbrella operation that brings together the county’s two nonprofit entities for development: The Wood County Development Authority (The Authority) and The Parkersburg-Wood County Development Corporation (The Corporation).

The Authority is a 501c6 established as basically a business league, which was created by state law to promote specific business interests  as do other 501c6’s (e.g. Chambers of Commerce or even the National Football League). More specifically, The Authority acts as in conjunction with federal, state, and local governments to assist with both new and existing development projects through the use of a variety of financial tools and incentives. The Area Roundtable submits a list of recommended members and the Wood County commission appoints 22-31 members from the list. All Authority members also serve as members of The Corporation.

The Corporation is a 501c4 established basically as a civic league, functioning to advocate for specific social welfare, in this case making Parkersburg and Wood County more attractive for businesses and their citizens.  The Corporation provides a forum to assemble various community members to enhance economic planning and development with additional attention given to civic life and the marketing needs of Wood County. The Corporation consists of several community leaders who join the members of The Authority to collaborate on projects with their overseeing board of directors. Civic entities such as the Downtown Task Force serve under The Corporation.

The establishment of The Area Roundtable combines the government expertise and connections of The Authority under the same umbrella with the civic expertise and creativity of The Corporation emphasizing both of their goals and strengths to contribute to The Area Roundtable’s focus to retain, relocate, and revive businesses for Wood County.

In the last few years, The Roundtable has celebrated the creation of more than 1,000 jobs from projects such as the relocation of Hino Motors from Japan to Williamstown, the startup and expansion of WinCore, the building of Highmark Blue Cross/BlueShield Headquarters, and the expansion of Coldwater Creek to name a few; we have also been fruitful in improving civic welfare with the opening of The Skate Park, the construction of Point Park, the founding of the Downtown Task Force, and the establishment of The Farmer’s Market, as well as the revival of local companies such as Mr. Bee’s Potato Chips and Fenton Art Glass.

For more information about how we might assist you in your next development project or how you might apply to join our efforts through membership of The Corporation, contact us or visit our office at 409 ½ Market Street.