Lynchburg City Council appoints new City Manager

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – The Lynchburg City Council announced the appointment of a new City Manager during a council meeting on Tuesday evening.

The city council has announced Wynter Benda is expected to assume the role beginning on Aug. 4.

Benda — who was born in Norfolk and raised in Virginia Beach — currently serves as the Chief Deputy City Manager in Norfolk. He began working for the City of Norfolk over a decade ago.

“This vote is the culmination of an extensive nationwide search. We can confidently say that Fahrenheit Advisor’s Managing Director, Sheila Hill-Christian and team did a thorough job in recruiting and vetting the many candidates. Wynter rose to the top because of this wealth of knowledge, years of public service experience and his zest for service.”

MaryJane Dolen, Lynchburg Mayor

He was appointed to Chief Deputy City Manager in 2017 after serving as Deputy City Manager since 2013, where he led a portfolio of city departments that included the Department of Planning, Intergovernmental Relations, Public Utilities, Public Works, Transit, Real Estate, Resilience and Communications.

Benda says one of the things he’s most looking forward to are working with schools and colleges in Lynchburg.

He told WFXR News, “I think there’s a ready workforce and I want to make sure that there’s opportunity for any of those colleges of higher education, maybe even outside of our city that there are jobs and opportunities for them to stay here, grow their families and become good citizens.”

Benda began his career in the City Manager’s Office as the Assistant to the City Manager, where he worked across multiple city departments.

He also served as the Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Hampton, the In-House Council for the Chesapeake Treasurer’s Office and served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the 7th Judicial Circuit.

During his tenure, Benda was charged with overseeing several major economic development projects including negotiating a 30-year extension through 2060 of an existing water agreement with Virginia Beach that was valued at $250 million, finalizing a $30 million land sale agreement with Hampton Roads Sanitation District for the expansion of the Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) onto Lambert’s Point Golf Course, spearheading a partnership with the Downtown Norfolk Council to establish Selden Market – Norfolk’s first retail incubator space – in the newly-renovated Seldon Market, and managing several catalytic opportunities in Ocean View adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay.

On top of that, Benda also implemented the new Department of Transit, overseeing the city’s multimodal transportation portfolio and was involved in a multi-year initiative to redesign the city’s transportation network.

Benda received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampden-Sydney College, a Masters of Divinity degree and a Masters of Theology degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary and a Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law.

“Lynchburg is a dynamic and vibrant city, and it is an honor to take the helm of this organization. As one of the fastest-growing cities in Virginia, there is a tremendous opportunity to build on that momentum, and I look forward to working with City Council and our residents on this important effort.”

Wynter C. Benda

Benda will take over for Reid Wodicka, who was appointed as interim city manager on Sept. 8, 2020.

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