The availability of flat land is something that attracted Dunlap to the position.
"An economic development authority has to have a product -- land -- like what we have at the Putnam Business Park. That's one of the issues I think just about everywhere in West Virginia has is the lack of land for projects -- land that's ready to develop that doesn't require a tremendous amount of earthmoving.
"It's a unique asset out here in Putnam County," he said.
Dunlap, 38, earned his master's degree in public administration from West Virginia University and lives in St. Albans. He eventually plans to move back to Putnam, where he lived for a short time after college. His parents reside in Scott Depot.
One of his main priorities during his first months on the job will be to form relationships with existing businesses in Putnam County.
"The backbone of the economy is businesses that are already here. That's my first priority -- making sure I have good relationships with them," he said.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.