Company News For the Record

For the Record - July 2015

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Virginia Beach-based LifeNet Health plans to hire more than 160 workers this year. That will bring its workforce to nearly 900 people, a 54 percent increase since 2010. The organization says its growth is being fueled by increased demand in its bio-implants, which are being made more widely available domestically and internationally. Almost all the new positions will be in the organization’s three Virginia Beach facilities. (

Toano-based Lumber Liquidators announced in May that its president and CEO, Robert M. Lynch, had unexpectedly resigned. Thomas D. Sullivan, the company’s founder, will serve as the acting CEO until a replacement is found. The flooring retailer has come under fire since a March report by CBS’ “60 Minutes” questioned the safety of its Chinese-made laminate floors. (

NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton broke ground on a 40,000-square-foot computational research facility on May 22. The $23 million facility will “allow the kind of advanced research and development that will put the first human on Mars and also provide data to address rising seas,” said Col. Paul Olsen, Norfolk district commander of the Army Corps of Engineers. The facility is scheduled for completion in 2016. (Daily Press)

Hampton Roads-based TowneBank plans to locate its Richmond headquarters in the 19-story Gateway Plaza building being completed in the city’s downtown business district. TowneBank will occupy about 26,000 square feet of space in the first-floor lobby. The bank’s executive offices and a boardroom will be on the seventh floor, which has a 1,400-square-foot terrace overlooking the James River. (

Virginia Beach-based Valkyrie Enterprises LLC plans to add 100 jobs to its 193-person workforce and expand its headquarters by 35,000 square feet. The Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority approved a $100,000 grant for the company. Zero Point Inc., also based in Virginia Beach, plans to move its headquarters and add 89 jobs over the next five years. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The Artisans Center of Virginia announces the development of the Artisan Trail Network program in Rockingham County and Harrisonburg. The Artisans Center of Virginia, together with a management team of local artisan-related, hospitality and cultural businesses will develop a new trail that will highlight attractions in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County region. (News release)

Blue Ridge Cancer Care announced in June the opening of a new cancer center in Lexington, its 10th location in the state. BRCC is a private practice specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The firm offers medical oncology, hematology, genetic risk assessment and clinical research services. The company offers Phase II, III and IV clinical trials through its affiliation with US Oncology Research. (

Gamma Broadcasting LLC plans to sell 96.9 WSIG radio station in Mount Jackson to Saga Communications. The closing date of the sale of WSIG and a second radio station, AC WBOP/Buffalo Gap in Harrisonburg, will take place in late summer for $1.3 million. Saga also recently acquired five Harrisonburg radio stations owned by VerStandig Broadcasting. (The Northern Virginia Daily)

Long & Foster Real Estate opened an office in Staunton at 16 Gosnell Crossing. Max Hirtriter has been named managing broker of this office, which serves the Shenandoah Valley and nearby areas, including Staunton, Waynesboro, Fishersville and the surrounding counties and towns. Chantilly-based Long & Foster is the largest independent residential real estate company in the United States. (News release)

The Natural Bridge Zoo opened its doors May 30, several days after learning that its state permit — suspended since March after reports of animal mistreatment and neglect — has been reinstated. Although animal rights groups continue to be concerned about the zoo, owner Karl Mogensen says all of the problems cited in state and federal inspections have been fixed. (The Roanoke Times)

Allergease closed its office in Danville. The firm moved its headquarters to Danville from Northern Virginia two years ago, promising to invest $7.5 million and to hire 150 workers to distribute the company’s allergy relief lozenges in exchange for a $1.125 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission. The grant must be repaid since Allergease did not meet its requirements. The firm has been in communication with the city to set up a repayment plan. (Danville Register & Bee) 

Georgia-based Lendmark Financial Services LLC held a ribbon cutting and grand opening in May at its branch at 4126 Halifax Road in South Boston. The office provides financial services including personal loans, automobile loans, debt consolidation loans and merchant retail sales financing services. Lendmark has more than 130 branch locations throughout the United States. (The Gazette-Virginian)

Memphis, Tenn.-based Monogram Foods is expanding for the fourth time in Henry County since coming to the area in 2009.The food products company said it will invest $7.2 million to establish a warehousing and logistics operation in the Southern Virginia county. The project is expected to create 101 jobs. Incentives included a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund and $370,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. (

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) a three-year, $250,000 Wood Innovations Grant award. The award was granted for the SVHEC’s R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency project, which will use several undervalued wood species to produce a reusable, recyclable wood barrel for aging wine and other spirits. (News release)

Evan Feinman, most recently Virginia’s deputy secretary of natural resources, appointed executive director of the renamed Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (formerly known as the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission). Legislation, signed this year by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, aims to revamp the organization, which provides formerly tobacco-dependent communities with money to promote economic development. (

Danville is poised to get its first Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market next year, a move that’s expected to create approximately 95 jobs. Phillips Edison & Co. said that Wal-Mart signed a lease to open the 42,000-square-foot Wal-Mart at Nor-Dan Shopping Center. Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets are smaller stores for communities in need of a pharmacy, affordable fresh groceries and select household merchandise. (


Carilion Clinic recently opened a Cosmetic Center along Rosalind Avenue in Roanoke to consolidate its cosmetic surgery services and to expand a line of skin treatments. Three board-certified plastic surgeons will see patients at the new facility. They will perform surgery in an onsite operating room, eliminating the need to schedule procedures in the hospital. (The Roanoke Times)

Work has begun on the first phase of a $20 million renovation of the former Smyth County Community Hospital building that will eventually house the Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences. The renovations will enable a dramatic expansion of the school, which is expected to add occupational therapy to its curriculum in 2016 and physician assistant studies the next year. (Smyth County News & Messenger)

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council annual TechNite Awards were presented to: Michael Collver, Darrell Roberts and Skip Larrington (STEM educators);  Jonathan Hagmaier (Entrepreneur); Rafael Davalos (Innovator); Michael Friedlander (Regional Leadership); ORIGO (Rising Star); Card Isle (People’s Choice); Doug Juanarena (Ruby); and Dr. Mary Miller and Leon Harris (Technology Hall of Fame). (News release) 

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce endorsed the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline project in June. A statement from the chamber said the pipeline could fuel economic growth. The pipeline would transport natural gas from Wetzel County, W.Va., to another transmission pipeline in Pittsylvania County. It could pass through Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke and Franklin counties. (The Roanoke Times)

The Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Laboratory opened in May at the Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital in Roanoke. The laboratory is a collaboration of Radford University, the Jefferson College of Health Sciences at Carilion Clinic and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. The venture will provide a shared space for use by students from the partners’ health care-related disciplines. (News release)

The Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 has received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification. It is the tenth university building to receive LEED certification and the fifth to earn gold. LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. (News release)

Falls Church-based Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) plans to split itself into two publicly traded companies by October. One company will serve commercial and government clients around the world while the other will serve public-sector clients in the U.S. CSC provides information technology services and solutions. The company has approximately 70,000 employees and reported revenue of $12.2 billion for the 12 months ended April 3. (

Frederick, Md.-based Flying Dog Brewery announced in May that it will be stepping away from a farm brewery project it was planning to operate in Lucketts. A hops facility on the same farmland is not affected by the change and will go ahead as planned.
(Loudoun Times-Mirror)

Texas-based GameStop Corp. plans to acquire Fairfax-based Geeknet Inc. in a deal valued at $140 million. Geeknet terminated a previously announced merger deal with Hot Topic and will pay a 3 percent termination fee required by that agreement. Geeknet said GameStop will reimburse it for the cost of the fee. GameStop is a video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer. (

Harris Corp. completed in May its $4.75 billion acquisition of McLean-based Exelis Inc., creating one of the nation’s defense and government-contracting companies that — for the time being at least — will be headquartered in Melbourne, Fla. The deal, which concluded weeks ahead of schedule, means Harris will have about 23,000 employees. (Florida Today)

Lidl, a Germany-based discount supermarket chain, will invest $202 million in Virginia, creating 700 jobs as it expands into the U.S.  Lidl currently operates nearly 10,000 stores in 26 European countries. The deal includes a $77 million U.S. corporate headquarters in Arlington County and a $125 million regional headquarters and distribution center in Spotsylvania County. The company will create 500 jobs in Arlington and 200 in Spotsylvania.  (

Dwight C. Schar, founder and chairman of homebuilding and mortgage giant NVR, and his wife, Martha, are giving Inova $50 million to develop a cancer research institute that will bear their names as part of a 117-acre medical campus in Merrifield. Schar’s company, based in Reston, is one of the largest homebuilders by revenue in the country. (The Washington Post)

Reston-based WashingtonFirst Bankshares Inc. plans to take over 1st Portfolio Holding Corp. in a $7.7 million stock merger. Fairfax-based 1st Portfolio is the holding company for 1st Portfolio Lending Corp. and 1st Portfolio Wealth Advisors. The deal is expected to close early in the third quarter of 2015. WashingtonFirst is the parent company of WashingtonFirst Bank. (

A luxury movie theater is set to make its debut in Virginia next year, employing more than 100 people. Fairfax-based The Peterson Cos. announced that Cinépolis USA, a 39,000-square-foot, luxury movie theater will anchor its $70 million Avonlea Town Center in Loudoun County. Avonlea Town Center, a 30-acre, mixed-use development near the intersection of Route 50 and Loudoun County Parkway, is set to break ground this year. (

Apple Hospitality REIT Inc. made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in May, under the “APLE” ticker symbol. Apple Hospitality owns 173 Hilton and Marriott hotel properties in 32 states, including 14 in Virginia. In addition to the Richmond Marriott, the company owns the recently opened Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott hotels in Shockoe Slip. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Elephant Auto Insurance plans to create 1,173 jobs in the Richmond area as part of a $2 million expansion of its U.S. headquarters in Henrico County. The company now has almost 400 employees in the area. Elephant, a subsidiary of U.K.-based Admiral Group plc, established its headquarters in Henrico in 2009 and recently moved to the Deep Run I office building. (

WestRock Co. will be the name of the company formed in the merger of Richmond-based MeadWestvaco Corp. and Georgia-based Rock-Tenn Co. The companies have received antitrust approval and were awaiting regulatory and shareholder approvals that were expected in June. WestRock’s principal offices will be located in Richmond, while its operating offices will be located in Norcross, Ga. (

The University of Virginia board of visitors voted in May to extend the contract of President Teresa A. Sullivan through July 2018. But the board will have the option to replace her in October 2017 — just 15 months from the date of the extension — or to give her a further extension, allowing her to stay on until October 2019. (The Daily Progress)

VCU Medical Center and Bon Secours Richmond Health System have pulled out of efforts to develop a free-standing, independently operated children’s hospital, leaving on the table a philanthropic offer of more than $150 million from businessman William H. Goodwin Jr. and his wife, Alice. Officials at the health systems said they concluded it would be financially too risky to pursue the project in a time of uncertainty over issues such as Medicaid expansion and federal funds for training new doctors.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia State University has been placed on six-month warning by its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In June, the agency’s board cited five areas of concern with VSU’s compliance with accreditation standards: faculty numbers, academic program coordination, financial-aid audits, student complaints and the federal Title IV financial-aid program. The university must submit a monitoring report to the commission by September.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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