The Online Newsletter for the Virginia Economic Developers Association
December 2017
President's Message
The end of the year is a natural time for organizations like ours to take a step back and reflect on the impact they have made in the communities in which they serve. As you can see from the year-end summary included in this newsletter, it has been an exciting, productive, and progressive year for VEDA. We can be proud of the impact that we are having on our communities, and we should be excited about what lies ahead for this wonderful organization.
It's been an honor to serve as your president this year. I'm very grateful to have had the chance to work with such an amazing group of people. Thank you again to all of the committee chairs, co-chairs, and members who pulled together to carry out some incredible programs and initiatives this year. And thank you to Connie Long and my fellow board members who have navigated some tricky waters with grace and wisdom. And a final thank you to my VEDP family for being so supportive of me in this role.
I could not be passing the baton to a more capable, professional, and solid person than Ken McFadyen. Ken is serving on the new Administration's transition team, and is (as always) representing VEDA extremely well. After successful meetings in December with Stephen Moret, Bill Shelton & Elizabeth Rafferty, Secretary Haymore, and Governor-elect Northam, we can be confident that we are turning the page to a very exciting new chapter in VEDA's history book.
I hope you and yours have had a joyous holiday season, and I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

-Debbie Melvin, VEDA President

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.  - Steve Jobs
Don't miss VEDA's first event of 2018: Legislative Reception
 Online Registration Closes on Thursday, January 11th
There's still time to register for the  VEDA Legislative Reception on Monday, January 15, 2018 at Richmond CenterStage, Rhythm Hall. 

Join other VEDA members in honoring the Commonwealth's Legislative and Executive branches. Don't miss the opportunity to network with Virginia's lawmakers

Sponsored By
and see why economic developers are
Agents of Change

VEDA Spring Conference
April 12-13, 2018
Richmond, Virginia

VEDA Summer Membership Meeting
June 5, 2018
Danville, Virginia

VEDA Fall Conference
September 12-14, 2018
Roanoke, Virginia

VEDA Winter Membership Luncheon
and Annual Meeting
December 5, 2018
Charlottesville, Virginia
Economic developers realize the importance of professional development. Education venues, where knowledge, professional experience, and best practices are shared between economic development practitioners, provide invaluable learning opportunities. VEDA offers a variety of scholarships to help our members with their professional development efforts. For 2018 VEDA has more than $7,500 for EDI and BASIC/IEDC scholarships, the Virginia Institute for Economic Development, and the Smiley Waller Memorial Scholarships.
The deadline to submit applications is January 26, 2018.   Applications must be submitted online.   Please find below the list of scholarships available. For a detailed explanation CLICK HERE.  
  • Basic Economic Development Course/IEDC Economic Development Training Courses 
  • Economic Development Institute
  • Virginia Institute for Economic Development
  • Smiley H. Waller Memorial Scholarship
Dates, times, and locations of all economic development courses may be found on the  VEDA website  in the Calendar section.
Guidelines for applying can be found at 
VEDA has had a great 2017! Some highlights and thanks to those who helped to make it happen.
  • Awarded more than $8,500 in professional development scholarships
  • Planned and implemented the Legislative Reception; two Membership Luncheons (Summer and Winter); the Spring Conference; and the Fall Conference--all well-attended with a high level of education, training and information
  • Awarded three Community Economic Development Awards, one Cardinal Award, one President's Award and named a Legislator of the Year
  • Assisted in drafting the Business Ready Sites legislation for 2017, secured Patrons, and supported the legislation's passage
  • Addressed the House Appropriations Subcommittee with suggestion regarding the re-organization of VEDP
  • Set a goal of a 10 percent increase in membership and surpassed that goal with a 12 percent increase in membership
These are just a few of VEDA's activities and accomplishments in 2017. For a complete Annual Report, CLICK HERE .

Thanks to our leadership in these efforts
  • Cardinal Council, Gary McLaren, Henrico County Economic Development Authority, Chair
  • Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA) Committee, David Manley, Joint IDA of Wythe County, Chair and Russell Seymour, Leesburg Economic Development, Vice Chair
  • Professional Development Committee, Voncile "Von" Gilbreath, City of Chesapeake Economic Development, Chair and Christina Winn, Arlington Economic Development, Vice Chair
  • Public Policy Committee, Christopher D. Lloyd, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC, Chair
  • VEDA Day @ the General Assembly, Amanda Jarratt, Franklin Southampton Economic Development Corp., Chair and Carrie Chenery, Shenandoah Valley Partnership, Vice-Chair
  • Legislator of the Year Awards Committee, Patrick E.W. Barker, CEcD, AICP, Frederick County Economic Development Authority, Chair
  • Program Committee, Gregory Hitchin, City of Waynesboro Economic Development, Chair and Chris Engel, City of Charlottesville Economic Development, Vice-Chair
  • Spring Conference Committee,
    Jason Ness, City of Charlottesville Economic Development, Co-Chair and Alan Yost, Greene County Economic Development, Co-Chair
  • Fall Conference Committee, Michelle Chapleau, City of Virginia Beach Economic Development, Co-Chair and Patrick Barker, Frederick County EDA, Co-Chair
  • Membership Meetings Committee, Curry Roberts, Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, Co-Chair and Michelle Poe, VEDP, Co-Chair
  • Golf Tournament Task Force, John Loftus, VEDP, Chair
  • Sponsorship Committee, David Denny, Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting, Chair and John Smolak, Appalachian Power, Vice-Chair
  • Communications Committee, Megan Lucas, Lynchburg Regional Alliance, Chair and George Anas, Rockingham County Economic Development, Vice-Chair
  • Membership Committee, Amanda Glover, Augusta County Economic Development, Chair and Joseph Hines, Timmons Group, Vice Chair
  • Mentor on Call Program, Jay Langston, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Co-Chair and Brian Shull, City of Harrisonburg Economic Development, Co-Chair
  • Young Professionals Committee, Steven Harrison, Virginia Beach Economic Development, Chair and Craig Kotarski, Timmons Group, Vice-Chair
In This Issue
Quick Links
VEDA 2018 Public Policy Platform
Sign up to be a SPONSOR in 2018
Member News
Amherst County, VA, was officially certified as entrepreneur-ready on November 28. They are the first Certified Entrepreneurial Community in Virginia. Their vision is to create a community culture that serves as a magnet and a support system for people starting and growing businesses. CLICK HERE to see how Amherst County, VA became certified.

VEDA member Mallory Butler has joined the Newport News Department of Development as Senior Economic Analyst. 

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.

Appalachian Power

Nominate a community for a Community Economic Development Award
We all know that economic development is not a solo practice.  We team with government, the private sector, and countless others to make our communities competitive. Several years ago, the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) instituted a new awards program that recognized outstanding communities for their efforts in advancing the economic viability of their communities through economic and community development programs. 
The CEDA program recognizes the best practices and exceptional contributions of communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the following efforts:  Business Retention and Expansion;  Business Recruitment;  Community Development; and  Community Involvement
CLICK HERE for Nominating and Selection Criteria for Virginia's 2018 CEDA Program. The winners will be announced and recognized in Richmond at VEDA's Spring Conference on Friday, April 13, 2018.    
So that we may continue to learn from each other, VEDA's Board of Directors and the CEDA Selection Committee urge you to identify an eligible success story in your community and nominate it for consideration TODAY!  
Choose from:
Professional Development
Awards Committees
Conference Committees
DHCD How-to-Apply Workshops
How-to-Apply Workshops for Small Business and Regional Economic Development Programs
DHCD will soon be accepting applications for the Building Collaborative Communities (BCC), Virginia Main Street (VMS) Commercial District Affiliate Grant, Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF), Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE),  and Community Business Launch (CBL) programs for fiscal year 2019. 

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development's (DHCD) grant programs offer flexible resources to do more across your community and region. Register to attend a how-to-apply workshop near you to learn about the programs, the successful projects they have funded in the past, program changes for the coming year and how you can best position your effort.
Building Collaborative Communities -  Building Collaborative Communities (BCC) provides resources and technical assistance to regions to stimulate job creation and economic development while building community capacity and leadership. Requests must be multi-jurisdictional and can fund projects such as regional economic development planning activities, coordinated entrepreneurial development strategies, capacity-building activities to improve regional delivery, and other projects which will foster regional economic growth.

Commercial District Affiliate Grant -  The Virginia Main Street (VMS) program offers grants to communities and local organizations to help them achieve their downtown revitalization goals. These grants can assist with organizational capacity building, market studies, entrepreneur support programs, design projects, and other consultant services that will contribute to the historic downtown neighborhood.

Industrial Revitalization Fund -  The Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) assists communities with the strategic redevelopment of vacant and deteriorated commercial properties. As these structures stand as a substantial deterrent for future economic opportunity in the surrounding area, the IRF can be used to leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of these structures. This will in turn create a catalyst for long-term employment opportunities and ongoing physical and economic revitalization.

Building Entrepreneurial Economies -  The Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) program advances DHCD's small business and job creation strategy of encouraging place- and community-based entrepreneurship in distressed communities and populations throughout Virginia. The goal is to invest in non-profits and localities seeking to put the tools, services, and financing in place to create a robust local environment for business startup or expansion and economic diversity.

Community Business Launch - T he Community Business Launch (CBL) assists communities in taking a systems approach to building an asset-based small business development strategy. The program starts with a community's unique vision for its future and then uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. CBL offers financial and content resources, guidance, and a learning network of communities pursuing similar strategies. By designing your own CBL, you can help your community develop a coordinated, comprehensive, and sustainable environment that identifies, launches, and supports community-based entrepreneurs. (See left column for schedule and registration link)
NORFOLK:  January 9, 2017,  9 am - 12 noon
Slover Library,  Community Room,  235 East Plume Street,  Norfolk, VA 23510

January 10, 2017,  9 am - 12 noon
Main Street Centre,  12th Floor North,  600 East Main Street,  Richmond, VA 23219
HARRISONBURG:  January 16, 2017,  1 pm - 4 pm
JMU's Ice House Building,  Room 117,  127 West Bruce Street,  Harrisonburg, VA 22807

January 17, 2017,  9 am - 12 noon
Heartwood,  1 Heartwood Circle,  Abingdon, VA 24210