The Online Newsletter for the Virginia Economic Developers Association
August 2017
President's Message
August brought the end to summer vacation for the rest of my family (no, I'm not bitter that everyone else has the summer off!), back to school orientations, paperwork, and shopping (cha-ching), and even a solar eclipse (raise your hand if you made a pinhole projector).

Even more exciting, August brought the gathering of the VEDA executive team, board, committee chairs, past presidents, and Cardinals for the annual leadership retreat. Ken McFadyen led an excellent discussion about carrying VEDA's momentum into 2018, and Jennifer Eddy, our facilitator, helped us envision what success might look like for VEDA in 2018. Chris Lloyd, our public policy chair, arranged for two guest speakers in the policy world to share their perspectives on challenges and opportunities facing Virginia's economic developers. And Stephen Moret, VEDP President and CEO, solicited feedback on VEDP's aspirational goals and the initiatives underway and planned to reach those goals. 

I feel like lately I've been blessed to experience this frequently, but it's always amazing to be in a gathering of knowledgeable, passionate, experienced, and creative professionals who are determined to make a positive difference for Virginia. To top it off, I'm lucky to call this group of incredible professionals my friends.
At last year's VEDA Leadership Retreat, which I led to plan for 2017, I warmed up the group by asking for the song that they felt was their theme song or described how they were feeling at the time. From that list, I created the VEDA Family Playlist. I wish I had room to include all 54 songs, but I'll leave you with a few that will make you smile:
  • Connie Long -- What Was I Thinking (Dierks Bentley)
  • Mike Woods - Stayin' Alive (Bee Gees)
  • Carrie Chenery -- Keep on the Sunny Side (June Carter Cash)
  • John Loftus -- On the Road Again (Willie Nelson)
  • Jason Ness -- Friends in Low Places (Garth Brooks)
  • Amanda Glover -- Rescue Me Virginia (Steel Wheels)
  • Matthew James -- Everything Must Change (Quincy Jones)
  • Susan Deusebio -- What's This World Coming To (Chicago)
  • Craig Herndon --  I like the Way This is Going (Eels)
Keep those theme songs playing, and I hope everyone has a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

  -Debbie Melvin, VEDA President
VEDA member news
VEDA member  Christy Morton will join the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) in October as the Vice President of External Affairs. Christy currently serves as Executive Director of the Virginia Rural Center. Also joining VEDP is VEDA member Scott Parsons who has been appointed as Vice President of Incentives. Scott currently serves as Executive Director of the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority. 

VEDA members Curry Roberts (Fredericksburg Regional Alliance); Greg Hitchin (City of Waynesboro Economic Development); John Kilgore (Scott County Economic Development); Jeff Reed (Virginia Growth Alliance); and Uconda Dunn (Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development) have been appointed by the House  & Senate Joint Rules Committee to serve on the VEDP Business Development & Marketing Committee.

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.
VEDA 2017 Fall Conference coming to Virginia Beach -- speakers include site location consultants, gubernatorial candidates and much more!
Join VEDA members and guests for the 2017 Fall Conference to "live the life" that is Virginia Beach, October 11-13, 2017. The Fall Conference will expand upon VEDA's framework for 2017 , Partnering for Progress value proposition by highlighting the importance of Gaining a Competitive Advantage through Collaboration AND celebrate the 35 th Anniversary of VEDA.  There are still a few hotel rooms left at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. VEDA will also be offering additional lodging options soon.

Check out these links:
Wednesday Optional Events: Golf Tournament, Bike Ride; Hard Hat Tours of the Historic Cavalier Hotel; Professional Development Workshop; New Member Meet and Greet; and Young Professionals Dinner
VEDA Cornerstone Member Spotlight
VEDALink is spotlighting our Cornerstone Members each month. We hope you'll get to know them a little better and consider becoming a VEDA Cornerstone Member too!

Amanda Glover, Augusta County
Amanda is the Director of Economic Development for Augusta County. She spearheads the business attraction, business retention, and overall economic development marketing efforts for Augusta County.

Q: What was your favorite activity in gym class? Why?
A:  My favorite activity in gym class was flag football. I even put together a powder puff team when I was in middle school. Now I prefer watching Virginia Tech football. Go Hokies!

Q:  What is your most treasured memory, big or small? Elaborate.
A: To date, my most treasured memory is the day I married my husband. It was a perfect fall day (my favorite time of year), I was surrounded by my closest family and friends, and it is most treasured because it was the day John and I began our journey as husband and wife. Even though it was a fairly simple wedding, I felt like a princess.

Q: What do you value most about VEDA? Why?
A: I most value the personal and professional relationships fostered by the amazing VEDA network. VEDA has been my "work family" through various jobs, challenging times when I needed insight from my peers, and celebratory times when I appreciated a pat on the back or a kind email. Economic development can be a tough business, and it's comforting to have a support system.
New financing tool for commercial property owners, contractors, and local governments
Commercial property owners, contractors, and local governments have a new financing tool called Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, available for implementation. C-PACE enables property owners and developers to install improvements that lower costs, reduce out of pocket construction costs, and bring needed construction related jobs to our area.
C-PACE finances energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements on the renovation or new construction of commercial, multifamily, and non-profit buildings. There is no upfront cash investment, with 100% of all hard and soft projects costs financed and repaid over terms of 20-25 years. The loan is repaid by a voluntary special assessment placed on the building's property tax or utility bill and collected annually or semi-annually by the local government where the building is situated. Capital's provided by private lenders, including local banks and national investors.
C-PACE loans or assessments have several advantages over traditional loans. C-PACE transactions do not require upfront cash and have a fixed payment structure throughout the term of the "loan". Because the PACE assessment is legally tied to the property, not the borrower, it is considered a "non-recourse" transaction. Therefore, the project is approved based on the value and cash flow of the building, not the borrower's financial wherewithal. Upon sale, the PACE assessment automatically transfers to the new owner. Further, C-PACE projects are developed so that the utility and maintenance cost savings are more than the annual assessment.
In Virginia, C-PACE is on the cusp of taking off. Arlington County is currently developing its C-PACE program, slated to launch later this year, and several other localities are looking into developing programs. Also, the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance (MAPA), launched earlier this year. MAPA is a partnership between stakeholders in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. working to accelerate the implementation of C-PACE programs and projects across the region. MAPA will be a comprehensive PACE resource for local governments, property owners, capital providers, and energy contractors in this region.
PACE will go hand in hand with Virginia's economic development plans, helping to revitalize commercial areas by providing the incentive to get projects off the ground and make them financially viable. It's an investment that will pay dividends for businesses, the economy, the environment, and our communities.
To learn more, register for the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council's 'C-PACE Financing in Virginia' webinar ( on September 27th or contact Jessica Greene (
In This Issue
Quick Links
Sponsorships available for VEDA Fall Conference and Winter Membership Meeting
Sponsorships are still available for VEDA's Fall Conference and Winter Membership Meeting.

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!
In case you missed it...
A strong majority of Virginians - 80 percent - support the use of tax credits or other financial incentives by the state as an economic development strategy, according to a poll released August 22 by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. But for many, the details of such policies make a big difference in their support. Click here for full report.
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

Upcoming Economic Development Events
September 11-14, 2017
BASIC Economic Development Course

September 12-13, 2017
Virginia Tech: Virginia Institute for Economic Development

September 13, 2017
GENEDGE: Cybersecurity Risk Management Webinar

September 14-15, 2017
IEDC: Economic Development Strategic Planning

September 16-17, 2017
IEDC: CEcD Certification Exam

September 17-20, 2017
IEDC: 2017 Annual Conference

September 25-26, 2017
CFRV: Governor's Summit on Rural Prosperity

September 27-29, 2017
IEDC: Economic Development Finance Programs

September 28, 2017
Virginia Workforce Conference

October 5-6, 2017
IEDC: Managing Economic Development Organizations

October 11-13, 2017
VEDA Fall Conference & 35th Anniversary Celebration
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.