The Online Newsletter for the Virginia Economic Developers Association
June 2020
President's Column
Dear VEDA Members,

My nephew is a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF and he recently shared a column written by his commanding officer entitled "Perspective". The article was a response to the events in Minneapolis and what it means to our society. He and his daughter created a cube with different symbols (green triangle, yellow square, red stripes etc.) on each face. He then used that visual aid to discuss diversity and inclusion. The following is quoted directly from the article. "The punch line is we all have different perspectives depending on our backgrounds and experiences. If everyone in the organization has the same perspective, the organization suffers because it can't see anything other than the "red stripes" or the "yellow square" or whatever. We need organizations which have people who can see the green triangle on the other side. That's "diversity"'s not about political correctness: it's about mission effectiveness. "Inclusion" is about the leader behavior to ensure the "green triangle" people know their perspectives are valid and valued, despite the fact that most others in the organization can only see the "yellow square."
Obviously this perspective is through a military lens, but it certainly can be applied to our profession and being leaders in our communities. Just like you I am limited in my perspective as I have been in the majority in practically every organization I have ever been in. Just like my nephew's commanding officer, I don't claim to fully understand what others see, but I am willing to try, and I accept that there is a "green triangle" there which I can't see. I think if we are all open to acknowledging this, and are willing to have professional discourse regarding these issues we will all be better off. I'm not sure what all this means specifically for VEDA, but I am willing to listen.
The Board of Directors recently received notice from Amanda Glover that she has decided to step down as our Vice-President. Her letter of resignation cited changes in her professional and personal life priorities, and unfortunately they don't align with continuing to serve as a VEDA officer. Amanda's resignation letter was a reflection of her and her work, professional, sincere and insightful. We will miss her participation on the Executive Committee, but fortunately she will continue serving as a valued VEDA member.    

Jim Noel
VEDA President
York County Economic Development
VEDA Cardinal Comeback Series

Nominate a Business in your community for VEDA's Cardinal Comeback Series

The ca rdinal is more than just VEDA's mascot and official state bird of the Commonwealth.

It represe nts hope. Health. Rejuvenation.

In the wake of COVID-19 and its impact to businesses across Virginia, VEDA wants to use the power of story to help inject some hope and health into our business community, and hopefully help rejuvenate us all to move out of this crisis.

That's why VEDA is proud to launch the CARDINAL COMEBACK SERIES, a series of stories of businesses we will tell on our website and social media channels to help showcase what inspiring businesses are doing to COME BACK!

But we need your help to do it. We need YOU to nominate the businesses.

CLICK HERE to complete the online nomination form and nominate a business that you've seen doing great things in this pandemic. We'll take it from there!

NOTE: This will be a rolling series throughout 2020, so get your nominations in to get us started!
VEDA Young Professionals launch new awards program (an you don't have to be a YP to qualify!)
The VEDA Rising Star Award will be given to a VEDA member who has made a mark on his or her employer during a relatively short tenure in a new role. 

The idea for this award (debuting in 2020) originated with the VEDA Young Professionals to recognize the  Stars of Economic Development in Virginia .

Nominees for this award should demonstrate an appetite for excellence, an aptitude for learning new skills or mastering new responsibilities and show initiative in the workplace while modeling a positive attitude and professionalism in the field.

Nominations are now open to current VEDA members. The nominator must be a member of the Association and will be asked to participate in presenting the award. Award nominees are not limited to YP Members.  

A nominee must have been in a new role for less than three (3) years from the date of the nomination (a new role is defined as a promotion, changing place of employment or changing departments/ divisions/ teams, etc.). The Rising Star may only be awarded to an individual once.

Both the nominee and endorser must be current members of VEDA.


VEDA COVID-19 resources and programming to assist our members
VEDA Resources & Information Page
VEDA is offering resources and sharing tools to support your efforts during this time. Resources you can use and share with your communities in real time. You can share too!  CLICK HERE for the VEDA COVID-19 News and Resource Page. Click on the Forum link on this page (be sure to login as a member) and post your news, information, resources, and best practices.

VEDA/VEDP impactED Sessions
VEDA, in conjunction with VEDP is hosting regular impactED Sessions every other Monday. The next impactED Session will be Monday, July 6, 2020 from 12:30-2:00 pm. Speakers for July 6th include Stephen Moret (VEDP) and representatives from McKinsey & Company and the Brookings Institute.

Be on the lookout for meeting notices and details. To access previous impactED information and recordings, CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE  to access the VEDA COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Spreadsheet.
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.

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 problems and produce tangible results for clients. TSS has offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Richmond, VA, Raleigh, NC, Washington DC and Sacramento, CA.

Contact:  Clark H. Lewis

Virginia Economic Development Partnership

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) is a state authority created by the Virginia General Assembly to better serve existing and new companies to expand, locate, or increase trade opportunities, by providing confidential site selection, workforce solutions, and international trade services. VEDP leads the Commonwealth's economic development efforts to advance Virginia's story in the global marketplace and maintain our position as a leading state for business.

The team at VEDP understands the complicated demands of the site selection process and offer years of experience to help make the site selection process for new and expanding businesses run smoothly. The Partnership consists of several divisions whose combined expertise confidentially provides the resources needed to make the most informed location decision with the least amount of time and effort.

Contact:  Debbie Melvin
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! If you don't have a VEDA Cardinal and would like one, send your mailing address to

Check out where the VEDA Cardinal has been showing up across the Commonwealth.
CARDINAL AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH UPDATE: Now that most of us are sheltering in place and working from home, share your telecommuting experiences with the VEDA Cardinal. Stay safe in place!
Creative Economic Development Consulting: BRE Amidst COVID-19--Business Impact & How to Reshape Your BRE Program
With nearly 100% of companies reporting being impacted by COVID-19, EDOs are reshaping the BRE program to meet the unprecedented needs . Virtual BRE visits, increased information sharing, financing programs, and revisiting incentive compliance are just a few changes being made to BRE programs. By examining business impact, precautions being taken, and assistance needed, EDOs can gain a better understanding of how to best aid businesses amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19.
In This Issue
The Cardinal Award is the most prestigious award bestowed by VEDA to deserving members. The award recognizes leadership in the field of economic development, outstanding professional accomplishments, and exceptional service to the organization.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Cardinal Award or to nominate a potential Cardinal recipient.



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

VEDA Winter Membership Meeting
Tuesday, December 1-Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center
Staunton, Virginia

Mark your calendar and plan on attending these economic development events in 2020!
VEDA member appointed to Board of Visitors
Carrie Hileman Chenery, Valley Pike Partners (Staunton, VA) has been named by Governor Ralph Northam to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Board of Visitors. 
Virginia Chamber workforce initiative
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce has launched the  Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work initiative to provide recommendations on operating in the current economic climate and how to return stronger than before. 
It is clear that business owners are prepared to open and keep the health and safety of Virginians as their top priority. 

James Noel
York County Office 
of Economic Development

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