The Online Newsletter for the Virginia Economic Developers Association
Febr uary 2020
President's Column
On February 19th York County held its Distinguished Business Affair, our annual celebration of the most significant economic development project of the prior year. As I listened to the owner of the company that we recognized express his gratitude for our efforts, I was reminded once again of why our profession is so rewarding and important. The owner had his family and several of his employees joined him in receiving the award and he spoke from the heart about each of his employee's contributions to the company's success. The employees reciprocated with how their jobs had improved their and their family's lives. It is easy to forget the impact we have on people's lives when we are drowning in a 50 question RFI or contemplating another marketing trip to New Jersey. No matter what role you play in the economic development field, public or private, you make a big difference in people's lives and the quality of life in your community, and that is a pretty good job description!  
As noted in our public policy updates, we have been very successful in helping to defeat several bills that would have negatively impacted our work. Proposed legislation that would have repealed our right-to-work status, imposed "fair share" fees, and required public hearings for EDA appropriated funds, were all defeated before crossover. We will need to stay vigilant regarding the right-to-work issue, as this will certainly be raised again in the future. There are still many bills in play that we need to address, including how an increase in the minimum wage will be structured. Lastly there are several budget issues that are of concern, including proposed deep cuts to GO Virginia funding. Your willingness to stay engaged in this process and contact your legislators is critical if we are to be successful moving forward.  
I am very excited about our Spring Conference and getting to experience all that the Roanoke region has to offer. If you have never stayed at the Hotel Roanoke or spent time in the "Star City" you are in for a treat. The pre-conference activities, ranging from golf to biking to a preview of a unique downtown redevelopment project, sound fantastic.   I want to thank the entire conference committee and co-chairs Jill Loope  (Roanoke County Economic Development) and Heather Fay (Botetourt County Economic Development) for organizing what promises to be a stellar conference.
See you in Roanoke,
Jim Noel
VEDA President
York County Economic Development
VEDA Spring Conference to be in Roanoke
Online registration closes soon for the VEDA 2020 Spring Conference, March 11-13 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. 

The Roanoke region is looking forward to hosting VEDA members and guests for the 2020 Spring Conference. The conference agenda promises to be exciting and filled with interesting topics including dynamic outdoor concepts, CEO insights, and why economic developers need a vision to win in the future.

Economic development organizations are increasingly working to develop performance based, results oriented strategies for their communities. One of the keys to maintaining Virginia's economic vibrancy is its ability to evaluate trends that impact growth throughout Virginia.  As economic development professionals, we must continue to identify and map the trends that impact tomorrow. Southeastern Institute of Research, Inc. founder and CEO John Martin will join us for lunch on Friday to discuss Trends Shaping the Future of Economic Development in Virginia.

Be sure to register by Friday, March 6, 2020 to reserve your spot. Join the 200+ people who are already registered for this great learning opportunity. Final agenda will be sent out next week!

Additional details being added daily! Check out the Spring Conference Web Page to see available information.
VEDA member news
VEDA member  Rebekah Castle  was promoted to Director of Economic Development and Marketing for Augusta County. She has served as the department's marketing coordinator for more than six years.  

Nicole Smith , CEcD has been promoted to Assistant 
Economic Development Director for the City of Manassas. Nicole was previously the Economic Development Coordinator for the City. She joined the City in January 2016.
Corporate Patron Spotlight
VEDA is fortunate to have the generous support of Annual Corporate Patrons who assist us in bringing great programming, scholarships, professional development opportunities and much more to VEDA members. If you have an opportunity, please thank them for their support of economic development in Virginia.

Dewberry Engineers, Inc.
Established in 1956, Dewberry is a family-owned company headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia with more than 50 locations (7 in Virginia) and over 2,000 professionals nationwide. As an active consultant in the economic development market, the Dewberry team regularly engages with industry and the site selection community to stay informed of market trends. Our team continually assists numerous economic development entities in identifying, developing sites, and designing facilities and infrastructure. This experience includes working directly for industries giving our team keen insights to what prospects look for in a site. 

Contact : Shawn R. Harden, PE
Dominion Energy Virginia

Dominion Virginia Power has had an active role in economic development in the Commonwealth of Virginia for many years. Our mission is to help retain and create new jobs and investments for the communities in our service area. We take pride in the creation, development and delivery of high quality economic development services in partnership with local, regional and state economic development professionals. Dominion Virginia Power provides extensive energy-related support to prospective companies in the areas of energy marketing, electric service options, and power quality analysis. We also offer a wide range of other economic development services including site selection assistance, business attraction marketing support, and marketing of available industrial buildings and sites. You can count on Dominion Virginia Power to provide prompt, professional support on a confidential basis for projects considering locations within our service area.

Contact: Richard Imel
New economic development learning opportunity coming to Richmond in April
The Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) have joined forces to present a new learning opportunity for economic developers in Virginia... impactED.
impactED is designed to offer Virginia economic developers a deep-dive discussion on economic development topics impacting the Commonwealth.
To adequately cover various topics throughout the year, we are calling on our partners across Virginia to join us in sharing knowledge and experience with economic developers on issues of importance.
Date/Time:  Wednesday, April 15, 2020/1:00 pm - 4:30 pm (following VEDP Orientation)
Location:  T he James Center, Pipeline Room (2nd Floor), 901 East Cary Street, Richmond
Cost to Attend:  $15-VEDA Members/$30-Non-Members

Included in Cost: Printed Materials and/or electronic copies of presentations; beverages and snacks.
Topic: V irginia's Incentives Portfolio 
Participants will hear from several Virginia agencies who offer economic development incentives, including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS), and the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD).

In This Issue


2020 VEDA Spring Conference
Wednesday, March 11-Friday, March 13, 2020
Hotel Roanoke &
Conference Center
Roanoke, Virginia

impactED Session
Virginia's Incentives Portfolio
Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 1:00-4:30 pm
Richmond, Virginia
Registration will open soon

2020 VEDA Fall Conference
Wednesday, September 16-Friday, September 18, 2020
Norfolk Hilton The Main
Norfolk, Virginia

Membership Meeting Locations Coming Soon for June and December

Mark your calendar and plan on attending these economic development events in 2020!

James Noel
York County Office 
of Economic Development

Vice President
Amanda Glover
Sapience, LLC

Steven Harrison
Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance

David Manley
Joint IDA of Wythe County

Immediate Past President
Stephanie Landrum
Alexandria Economic Development Partnership


Traci Blido
Bedford County Economic Development

Paul Bryan
Froehling & Robertson

Voncile Gilbreath
Greater Williamsburg Partnership

Linda Green
Southern Virginia
Regional Alliance

John Kilgore
Scott County Economic Development

Courtland Robinson
Virginia Economic
Development Partnership

Curry Roberts
Fredericksburg Regional Alliance

Rick Whittington
Whittington Consulting

Russell Held
The Port of Virginia

Barry DuVal
Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Patrick Gottschalk
Williams Mullen

Erik Johnston
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Jody Keenan
Virginia SBDC Network-George Mason University

Connie Long
Virginia Economic Developers Association

Stephen Moret
Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Sharon Morrisey
Virginia Community College System


Cardinal around the Commonwealth
It has been said that cardinals withstand all seasonal changes. They are BOLD. STRONG. PERSISTENT. We think that's true for economic developers across Virginia too.  If you have a VEDA Cardinal, take it with you as you travel across your region and beyond, snap a picture and share on social media with #GoVEDA!

Check out where the VEDA Cardinal has been showing up across the Commonwealth.

Lynchburg, VA with Jamie Glass, Megan Lucas, Deborah Flippo, and Carolyn Howard
Shenandoah Valley Partnership's Lead Generation Meeting

Roanoke Regional Partnership's presentation to the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors

Virginia's Industrial Advancement Alliance with John Smolak and Josh Lewis