The Online Newsletter for the Virginia Economic Developers Association
July 2019
President's Column
While July most likely conjures up summer vacation memories for many of us, the tried and true economic developers amongst us also know that a very important ranking is released annually in the middle of the summer.  Maybe this hasn't been top of mind in recent summers, as Virginia had not claimed the top spot on this very newsworthy list since the summer of 2011.  But that changed - July 2019 will now be filled with memories of Virginia's victorious return to the #1 spot on CNBC's "Best State for Business" rankings! 
CNBC declared that Virginia has "the nation's best workforce, including the fourth-highest concentration of science, technology, education and math (STEM) workers." While we also scored well in Business Friendliness, Infrastructure and Quality of Life, there is no doubt that the #1 rankings in Workforce and Education are investments that will help us continue to attract the best companies in the world to move to and expand in Virginia.  In a profession that relies heavily on our personal, organizational and state reputations, this #1 ranking is a gift to us all- and we have many colleagues to thank at all levels of government and business throughout Virginia!  I hope you all are designing and printing new marketing materials with this great news as you read this.
I am looking forward to celebrating our shared success at our leadership retreat in a few weeks, where my colleague Jim Noel- VEDA's incoming President in 2020- will start the hard work required to execute a successful year of advocacy and education.  The celebrations will then move to Richmond - our host for the VEDA Fall Conference- September 18th-20th. The conference theme is Tools for Telling Your Story - and what a story we have to tell!  If you have not yet made your hotel reservations, please do so soon. You will not want to miss this conference.
Until then, enjoy the remainder of your summer. I look forward to seeing, and celebrating with, each of you soon!

Stephanie Landrum
VEDA President
Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
VEDA Fall Conference to be held in Richmond September 18-20

The VEDA 2019 Fall Conference will be held at the Omni Richmond Hotel September 18-20. The Program Committee is hard at work to put together Tools for Telling Your Story. So mark your calendar, reserve your hotel room and plan to join us in Richmond in September.  Hope to see you there! Registration will be open soon!
Virginia Telecommunication Initiative
The Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant applications are now open. CLICK HERE for program guidelines. Applications will be accepted through the DHCD CAMS system . Changes this year include project deployment speeds of 25/3, new challenge guidance, and DHCD's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption policy. 
If applying to VATI - whether an ISP, locality, consultant, or whoever else - reach out to the DHCD with questions. DHCD is available to help applicants develop the most high-quality applications possible and answer questions along the way. The recorded version of the "how-to-apply" webinar can be found HERE. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to watch the webinar as it discusses the new changes to the VATI guidelines and provides a walk-through of the application process. 
In case you missed it...
JULY 11, 2019

What They're Saying: Leaders Across the Commonwealth Celebrate Virginia's Return to "Top State for Business" in CNBC Ranking

Earlier this month, Governor Northam announced that CNBC named Virginia America's "Top State for Business" in 2019. The Commonwealth previously earned the title in 2007, 2009, and 2011, and with its fourth win, Virginia is now tied with Texas for most years named top state for business by CNBC. Here is what some leaders across the Commonwealth said about Virginia's return to the top spot in CNBC's annual ranking:
The number one goal of the Chamber is to make Virginia the best state for business. The acknowledgment today by CNBC is confirmation of what we believe to be true-that Virginia has returned to be the top state for business as a direct result of pro-business policies that are supported by public policy makers and the business community. -Barry DuVal, President and CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Now the whole world knows what's always been clear to Virginians-that the Commonwealth is the best place on earth to develop skills, build businesses, and nurture families. Our unparalleled talent pool and unwavering commitment to workforce development are the foundation of our first-class business climate, our dynamic economy, and future success. -Nathaniel Marshall, Chairman, Virginia Board of Workforce Development
CNBC's recognition of Virginia as the top state for business is validation of the Commonwealth's outstanding leadership and strong commitment to making Virginia the best and most welcoming state for talent. Coupled with Amazon's HQ2 decision, Virginia is on a roll. -Todd Stottlemyer, CEO, CNSI
Virginia is the center of the universe when it comes to tech and government contracting. Access to talent, executive networking opportunities, infrastructure and support for businesses in the area were all factors that led to our decision to anchor here. We wouldn't think of locating our headquarters anywhere else. -Greg Baroni, Chairman and CEO, Attain and Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)
Congratulations to the Commonwealth! On behalf of the hundreds of professionals who practice economic, industrial, and community development throughout Virginia, we are thrilled to spread the news of CNBC's findings that Virginia's investments in workforce, education and infrastructure once again make it the best state for business! -Stephanie Landrum, President, Virginia Economic Developers Association and President and CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
Read more about Virginia's business ranking  here . Watch Governor Northam discuss how Virginia reclaimed the "Top State for Business" title in this  video .
VEDA member news
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) has named Victor Hoskins as its new president and chief executive officer. Hoskins is currently Director of Economic Development for Arlington County, Virginia, where he helped lead the successful regional effort to bring Amazon's HQ2 to Northern Virginia. He will begin his new role on August 5.

VEDA Board Member Christina Winn  has been named director of economic development for Prince William County, Virginia. Winn previously worked for Arlington County Economic Development and was an integral part of bringing Amazon's HQ2 to Northern Virginia. 

In This Issue


Theme for 2019:
Telling the Virginia Story

2019 Fall Conference
Tools for Telling Your Story
Wednesday, September 18-Friday, September 20, 2019,  Richmond, Virginia

2019 Annual Meeting & Winter Membership Luncheon
Has Your Story Hit its Mark?
Tuesday, December 3-Wednesday, December 4, 2019, Waynesboro, Virginia

Mark your calendar and plan on attending these economic development events in 2019!

Stephanie Landrum
Alexandria Economic Development Partnership

Vice President
James Noel
York County Office
of Economic Development

Amanda Glover
Augusta County Economic Development

Steven Harrison
Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance

Immediate Past President
Kenneth McFadyen
Botetourt County Economic Development


Shannon Blevins
The University of Virginia's College at Wise

Voncile Gilbreath
City of Chesapeake
Economic Development

Linda Green
Southern Virginia
Regional Alliance

Garrett Hart
Chesterfield County Economic Development

Amanda Jarratt
City of Franklin

David Manley
Joint IDA of Wythe County

Courtland Robinson
Virginia Economic
Development Partnership

Curry Roberts
Fredericksburg Regional Alliance

Christina Winn
Prince William County Department of Economic Development

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

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.

Timmons Group
Timmons Group understands Economic Development is about creating jobs and investment.  Our team has been a major player in some of the Commonwealth's largest project announcements helping local, regional, and state agencies succeed for over 25 years. Our design and business professionals are experts in transforming sites, corridors and buildings into highly marketable, revenue-producing assets and specialize in site analysis, certification and acquisition, as well as master planning, design, funding and development of parks ranging in size from 50 acres to 3,500 acres.

Timmons Group has helped numerous clients become "Prospect Ready", focusing on the issues that really matter.  From developing  a strong web presence with Site LoGIStics, to solving your infrastructure and site needs, to helping you close the deal, let our team of seasoned professionals help you prepare for, and land that next prospect.
Joseph C. Hines, PE, MBA

Troutman Sanders Strategies   
Troutman Sanders Strategies is a full-service government relations and issue management firm. We advocate our clients' public policy issues through a broad array of contacts at the federal, state and local levels in order to build better partnerships among governments and business. Our core goal is to solve problem s and produce tangible results for clients. TSS has offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Richmond, VA, Raleigh, NC, Washington DC and Sacramento, CA.
Clark H. Lewis
Succession planning as a BRE tool
There is a vacant storefront up Main Street from our office in downtown Elkin. The retail store was a staple on Main Street for many years. It closed when the owner retired. We're hearing this same scenario played out in communities across our market area whether a Main Street business or locally owned manufacturing company. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, businesses are vulnerable to closure and acquisition. In rural communities, it could take years to replace a closed business. Even if the business doesn't close, it could be sold to out-of-area owners who may not maintain a strong community partnership. Incorporating succession planning into your BRE program could help keep a local business open.