The Online Newsletter for the Virginia Economic Developers Association
June 2018
President's Message
Last week, I had the opportunity to represent VEDA in delivering a presentation to the Virginia Local Government Management Association. Having started my career in local government administration, I especially admire the tasks that our localities' administrators handle and I suggested that they should think of themselves as economic developers, too. Our county administrators and city managers have a significant responsibility to encourage their elected and appointed boards to think proactively (and positively) about economic development. Some of them serve on regional economic development boards. And, it is our job as economic development practitioners, those of us working with public agencies and in the private sector, to work with them to craft the message that our elected decision-makers consider when budgets or performance agreements are up for approval. This role sounds a lot like leadership, which was the theme for VEDA's Summer Membership Meeting in Danville, June 4-5.

Our Program and Membership Meeting Committees did an admirable job in Danville to deliver a truly interesting and heart-felt program, led by co-chairs Linda Green (Southern Virginia Regional Alliance) and Telly Tucker (City of Danville Office of Economic Development). Danville has turned the corner because of deliberate economic development leadership among Danville, Pittsylvania County, and local business partners. The River District is matching the progress experienced in other places that have re-adapted historic architecture for modern purposes. I last visited the district in 2015 and noticed much progress with its revitalization during this visit. The school systems are effectively working with employers to prepare the younger generation of the local workforce. Our keynote speaker, Ted Abernathy, delivered an impactful and at times humorous talk about how the practice of economic development is shifting from the winning of projects exclusively to being the conduit for all development activities in our communities, which is inherently about leadership. 

Enjoy your summer and look to join VEDA in Roanoke for the Fall Conference, September 12-14!

-Ken McFadyen, VEDA President
VEDA's Summer Membership Meeting, Navigating Change through Intentional Leadership,  highlights positive changes in the Virginia's Southern Region
VEDA's annual Summer Membership Meeting hosted 110+ economic developers in Danville, Virginia.  Check out the VEDA website for registration lists and other information.

Some snaps from the Summer Membership Meeting below. LINK HERE for more photos from the April event.

VEDA Cornerstone Member Spotlight
Learn more about VEDA's Cornerstone Members and consider joining their ranks!

Jennifer Eddy, CEO/Chief Strategist
The Eddy Alexander Agency 

Q: Would you rather camp in an RV or stay in a tent? Why?
A:  Three years ago our family did a three-month cross-country road trip in an RV. Two dogs, two adults, and two kids under four. It was far more fun than it sounds. We camped on the beaches in CA, taught our son to ride a bike at the Grand Canyon, and ate amazing food in New Orleans. My daughter even learned to walk somewhere just west of the Mississippi. Admittedly, I protested the plan before we left and ended up not wanting to come back. I would love to do it again now that we have three kids and my oldest is big enough to help set up camp!

Q:  What is your most treasured memory, big or small? Elaborate.
A: It's a tie. I spent six months backpacking through Europe in college. It was five professors and twenty students and we held class in museums, took tests on trains, and slept in the craziest hostels. It opened my eyes in so many wonderful ways and its a period of my life I don't think I'll ever forget. I certainly hope I never do. In a very different way, becoming a mom for the first time was unspeakably meaningful. I'll never forget looking into my son's little eyes and thinking oh man, the greatest adventures are yet to come...he's about to turn eight and boy do they keep coming!

Q:  What's your favorite VEDA memory?
A:  The 2017 Leadership Retreat gave me a chance to really get to know VEDA in a much more intimate way. There is so much passion, vision, and energy in this year's leadership team and I came away from that event last summer so impressed and thankful for all I learned and all the wonderful professionals I was able to meet.

Jennifer Eddy, President & Chief Strategist of Eddy Alexander, is an award winning marketing strategist and frequent national speaker specializing in marketing and growth strategy. She has managed product and service campaigns and brand hierarchies for government entities, non-profits, and a long list of globally-recognized brands including 3M, Accenture, Adobe, Asus, Autodesk, BearingPoint, Deloitte, Genpact, Google, IronKey, Microsoft, Oracle, Quest Software, Red Hat, and many, many more.
Supreme Court issues important decision that may affect state sales and use tax collection reporting and payment obligations
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision on June 19th that may affect your clients' state sales and use tax collection reporting and payment obligations.  CLICK HERE FOR A COPY OF THE DECISION.
The decision upholds a South Dakota law requiring online retailers to collect sales and use taxes, even where the retailer does not have a physical presence in the state.  Physical presence has been the standard for sales tax nexus for 50+ years. 
South Dakota's law requires businesses to collect and remit sales taxes if they deliver more than $100,000 of goods or services into the state or have 200 separate transactions for the delivery of goods or services into the state.  Physical presence is not required.
The Court's decision will cause a major shift in state tax policy.  It provides a blueprint for states to increase their tax collection revenues.  We anticipate that state tax collection will become the "new normal" for online retailers that have more than a nominal amount of sales within the state. 

In This Issue
and see why economic developers are
Agents of Change

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

VEDA Winter Membership Luncheon
and Annual Meeting
December 5, 2018
Charlottesville, Virginia
GO Virginia How-to-Apply Webinar
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will host a how-to-apply webinar for the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Fund (GO Virginia) for the per capita and competitive grants. Attendance is open to the public and free of charge. 

The webinar will provide an introduction to the GO Virginia program design and the funding priorities for each region. The webinar will also provide a step-by-step overview of the application process, project requirements and best practices. Following the how-to-apply presentation, there will be a question and answer session and an opportunity to discuss prospective projects and collaborations with DHCD staff.

For questions regarding registration or the GO Virginia program, contact Jordan Snelling at  or

How-to-Apply Webinar
July 10, 2018
9:00 am - 11:00 am


"Build Virginia" to bolster workforce development system across the Commonwealth
New initiative will serve as a hub to help job seekers get trained and find employment in the skilled trades 
Governor Ralph Northam recently announced the launch of Build Virginia, an initiative that will connect workers throughout the Commonwealth with training and employment opportunities in the skilled trades. This effort will initially focus on helping job seekers and employers in Virginia's shipbuilding industry, but will ultimately include resources relating to other growing industries including construction and advanced manufacturing.
"Build Virginia is about training our citizens for promising careers in in-demand industries, so that every person has the opportunity to build a healthy, productive life no matter or who you are or where you are from," said Governor Northam. "To stay competitive in the 21st-century economy, we must build a highly skilled workforce with the training that employers require. Build Virginia will serve as an essential resource, helping to bridge these gaps so that our workers can get the skills they need to advance their careers and businesses can find employees with the right skills."
In addition to current job postings, the Build Virginia website will bring together information about industry-recognized training programs, registered apprenticeships, and other relevant workforce development resources. Build Virginia will serve as a comprehensive hub for citizens to learn about the skilled trades and connect with employers seeking talent.
"Across the Commonwealth, there are thousands of high-paying, quality jobs available in industries like shipbuilding, construction, and manufacturing," said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. "Build Virginia will help raise awareness about these lucrative opportunities, highlight affordable ways to gain in-demand skills, and meet the current and future hiring needs of Virginia's employers."
"Build Virginia will facilitate the mutually beneficial relationship between our state's dynamic businesses and talented labor force," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. "It is an important tool for a workforce system like ours that is driven by employer demand."
CLICK HERE to learn more, please visit the Build Virginia website at.