The Online Newsletter for the Virginia Economic Developers Association
April 2017
President's Message
In Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy wrote, " Spring is the time of plans and projects." I can't recall a spring where I've felt this is more spot-on than this one. VEDA committees are in full-steam-ahead mode as they carry out their plans for 2017. Local and regional economic development offices are busy sketching out budgets and marketing calendars. GO Virginia regional councils are moving forward with applying for planning grants. And VEDP is about to hit warp speed with its new strategic, operating, and marketing plans.
If you know me, you would probably agree that I am an eternal optimist. While spring's flurry of plans and projects can get a little overwhelming at times, I can't help but feel excited about the future. The convergence of big-picture strategies and resources to move them forward gives me great hope for the months and years to come. With new perspectives, energy, collaboration, and optimism sprouting in all corners of the Commonwealth, how could you not feel inspired this spring?
Speaking of great things to come, Curry Roberts (chair) and Michelle Poe (vice-chair) with the Membership Meetings Committee are working hard on a great agenda for the VEDA Summer Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 7 in Fredericksburg. The theme will be Embracing Shared Outcomes with Higher Education, and the agenda will be full of practical examples of regions working with our exemplary institutions of higher learning to improve the local economy. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend another great VEDA event. I look forward to seeing you there!

  -Debbie Melvin, VEDA President

"It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn." -- B. C. Forbes
VEDA member news
The Roanoke Regional Partnership was recently recognized for the Deschutes project. See full article in The Roanoke Times.

Christopher D. Lloyd senior vice president and director of infrastructure and economic development for McGuireWoods Consulting was recently named as a new board member of the Site Selectors Guild.

If you've made a change, received an award or recognition, hired new staff, completed a new project; or generally have good news to share, please send it to the VEDA office at to share your news with your fellow VEDA members.
Center for Urban and Regional Analysis Report on Enterprise Zones
Per Item 105 B of Chapter 665 of the 2015 Acts of Assembly, DHCD worked with the Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis to complete a review of the Enterprise Zone Program. This study was conducted to determine how well the program works to encourage business development in zone areas above any increases that would occur in those areas, absent zone designation. The report also assess those characteristics most commonly associated with zone success. CLICK HERE to read the full report, released in December 2016.

Nominations being accepted for the 2017 VEDA Cardinal Award

The VEDA Cardinal Award is the most prestigious award bestowed by VEDA to deserving members. The award recognizes leadership in the field of economic development, outstanding professional accomplishments, and exceptional service to the organization. Nominations are now open and being accepted until June 30, 2017. Both the nominator and the endorser must be current members of VEDA. CLICK HERE for complete instructions and online forms. The 2017 Cardinal Award will be presented at the VEDA Fall Conference, October 11-13 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

VEDA member tools and resources
As a VEDA member there a various tools and resources to help you professionally. Be sure to check them out.
  • A database of professional economic developers to access for networking, collaboration, sharing, and learning. Be sure to update your own member profile and add your photo!
  • An excel spreadsheet of VEDA members, updated monthly for your use. CLICK HERE to check it out.
  • The Mentor Resource Group is comprised of VEDA members with long-term local, regional and state experience in community development, either directly or a combination of professional expertise in such fields as utilities, engineering and economic development consulting.  The group serves as a resource to new VEDA members or other members who have questions about economic development in general or questions about economic development in Virginia.
NASA's Regional Economic Development Program
NASA's Regional Economic Development (RED) program aims to spark economic growth by creating, contributing to, catalyzing, and supporting economic and innovative ecosystems across the country. The RED program links economic development strategies to NASA resources and establishes partnerships to support economic development in regions. RED acts as a catalyst matching NASA technology, capabilities, and expertise with private sector challenges to develop solutions that will accelerate economic growth. RED acts through strategic regional partnerships with external public and private sector organizations in business sectors of critical importance to the region of interest.

The NASA Langley Research Center RED program collaborates with Virginia's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GENEDGE Alliance) to identify companies that could benefit from NASA's areas of expertise and has implemented a formalized partnership to allow companies access to these resources. Through RED, NASA researchers work directly with businesses toward tangible real-world outcomes that enable competitive positioning for companies, regions, and the Commonwealth.
In addition to NASA's partnership with GENEDGE Alliance, NASA Langley currently works collaboratively with Tech Center Research Park (a subsidiary of VT Corporate Research Center), local and regional incubators, and state and local officials to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem through localized transfer of federal research. Expansion of the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem leads to economic growth materialized by technologies developed from taxpayer investment dollars and attracts new businesses to the Commonwealth.

NASA Langley Research Center's RED program continues to expand to regions throughout Virginia. Through collaborative partnerships, the RED program can help to grow businesses, foster innovation and entrepreneurism, and provide return on investment to Virginia taxpayers.

Example Collaborative Partnerships (non-inclusive)
  • City of Hampton Economic Development
  • City of Newport News Economic Development
  • Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance
  • Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership
  • Old Dominion University
  • Peninsula Technology Incubator
  • Secretary of Technology
  • VA AeroSpace Business Association
  • Virginia Economic Developers Association
  • Virginia Space Grant Consortium
  • Virginia Tech
  • Virginina Economic Development Partnership
For additional information, visit our  WEBSITE If you or someone you know has a company with a technical challenge and could use NASA's help, contact
Christie Funk, Regional Economic Development Lead
NASA Langley Research Center. 
In This Issue
Quick Links
Upcoming Economic Development Events
May 10-11, 2017
CDFA Intro to Tax Increment Finance WebCourse

May 16-17, 2017
Virginia Industrial Development Authorities Institute
Charlottesville, Virginia
Registration Information

June 7, 2017
VEDA Summer Membership Meeting
Fredericksburg, Virginia

October 11-13, 2017
VEDA Fall Conference & 35th Anniversary Celebration
Virginia Beach, Virginia
2017 marks VEDA's 35th year
VEDA will celebrate its 35th anniversary during the Fall Conference in October. The VEDA office is looking for photographs, documents, anecdotes, etc that represent VEDA's history.

If you have items or ideas for celebrating VEDA's 35th year, please email them to 

Appalachian Power
Sponsorships available for VEDA Membership Meetings and Fall Conference
Sponsorships are still available for VEDA's Summer and Winter Membership Meetings as well as the VEDA Fall Conference.

These events depend on the support of sponsors to secure top speakers and provide excellent professional development opportunities.

There are many benefits to becoming a sponsor of a VEDA event. 

CHECK IT OUT online today!
IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards
The International Economic Development Council's (IEDC) Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships; marketing materials; and the year's most influential leaders. From among the 34 categories, you have the chance nominate your successful program, partnership, promotional materials, and even an outstanding leader.
Recipients of IEDC's Excellence in Eco nomic Development Awards gain valuable publicity and exposure for their projects and organizations among their peers in the economic development field, media, and prospects. 

Simply download an   ENTRY PACKET and postmark by May 12, 2017 IEDC will honor recipients at its  2017 ANNUAL CONFERENCE   in Toronto, Ontario September 17-20 (you do not need to be present to win).
Questions? Please contact Greg Hitchin, or one of the other 2015 and 2016 State of Virginia winners: Cities of Lynchburg, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Waynesboro; Counties of Fairfax, Franklin Southampton, Loudoun; and Partnerships in Gateway Region, Richmond, and Shenandoah Valley.