Company News For the Record

For the Record - June 2015

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of BAE Systems’ 109-acre shipyard along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. It was owned by the Roper family until acquired by Southwest Marine Holdings Inc., owned by The Carlyle Group, in 1998 — the first in a series of transactions that culminated with its purchase by giant defense contractor BAE Systems in 2005. Bill Crow, the head of the Virginia Ship Repair Association, said BAE’s complex is one of four major ship-repair facilities in Hampton Roads. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Software platform BizWiz was named the Virginia Beach Small Business of the Year by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. BizWiz was developed by KBH Business Management Systems. It launched in 2007 as a business management and workflow system, providing real-time data on marketing, sales, accounting, appointments and production efforts. Earning the award puts BizWiz in the running for the Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year title, which will be held June 12 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. (Daily Press)

James City County, Williamsburg and York County are withdrawing their memberships with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, saying instead of it they’ll seek to reinvest funds used for the membership locally to promote the Greater Williamsburg area. Jack Tuttle, city manager for Williamsburg, said he didn’t know if there would be a new organization created by the three Williamsburg area localities or if they would operate through existing channels. (The Virginia Gazette)

The state’s aquaculture industry reported an all-time high of 243 million hard clams sold last year, according to the Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report released by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point. Oyster farmers, too, reported their best numbers ever in a culture fishery that’s still relatively new, selling 39.8 million oysters. Together, the two shellfish aquaculture industries made a record $56 million in sales — about $39 million for clams and $17 million for oysters. (Daily Press)

Bijal Patel says he has enjoyed so much success with the Which Wich sandwich store he opened last August in Williamsburg that the franchisee plans to invest a total of $4 million, so he can add nine more locations in the Hampton Roads region. Patel, who grew up in Yorktown and Newport News, plans to locate new stores in Virginia Beach,  Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, York County, and wants to add a second location in Williamsburg. (

Andros Foods North America plans to expand its operations in Shenandoah County, investing $73 million and creating 160 jobs during the next three years. The company, a subsidiary of France-based Andros Foods, will add production and warehouse space and equipment to increase its fruit-processing capacity. Incentives include a $400,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund; $600,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program; and $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund. (
Despite objections from local residents over possible environmental and logistical consequences, the Mount Jackson Town Council unanimously approved the rezoning of 136 acres of land on Turkey Knob Road in April from agricultural to light industrial for a proposed 712-acre site. Robert Whitehurst owns the land and requested the change, as well as the annexation into the town of 576 additional acres that he owns in Shenandoah County for the proposed site. No specific company has been publicly disclosed as a possible tenant for the site. (The Shenandoah Valley-Herald)

Drivers of Tesla electric cars have a new place to recharge in the Shenandoah Valley, with more locations on the way. By the Side of the Road Inn and Cottages in Harrisonburg announced in May that Tesla Motors has installed two charging stations at the bed and breakfast. In addition, the car company said it plans to build Supercharger stations for its Model S car in Strasburg, Charlottesville and three other locations in Virginia in the next year. Supercharger stations can fully recharge a Model S battery in 30 minutes. (Daily News-Record)

Valley Health held a groundbreaking ceremony in May for the Winchester Medical Cancer Center. Construction on the 52,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in 15 months. Of the capital campaign’s $10 million in expected community and private contributions by the end of 2016, the hospital so far has raised $8.2 million. (The Northern Virginia Daily)

The following people/companies received awards from the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce at their 75th annual awards dinner in April: Business of the Year, CBM Mortgage; Citizen of the Year, Doug Stanley; Community Impact Award, Roy Boyles; Education Contributor of the Year, Lord Fairfax Community College; Entrepreneur of the Year, Billie Clifton, Sunflower Cottage and the Backroom Brewery; Non-Profit of the Year, Samuels Public Library; Public Safety Contributor of the Year, Kevin Catlett. (News release)

Lynchburg-based Centra held a groundbreaking in May for the Centra Danville Medical Center, a $14.2 million project. The 48,000-square-foot, two-story building will serve as the consolidated headquarters of all but one of Centra’s Danville’s practices. The project is expected to be completed by August 2016.  (Danville Register & Bee)

Charlotte-based Duke Energy has pleaded guilty in federal court to environmental crimes and has agreed to pay $102 million in fines and restitution for years of illegal pollution leaking from coal-ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants. The investigation into Duke began last February after a pipe collapsed under a coal ash dump at the Eden plant, coating 70 miles of the Dan River in gray sludge.
(The Associated Press)

Expanding its operations in Henry County, eBay plans to add 191 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of more than $4 million while investing $5.8 million in capital improvements. Incentives included a $710,000 grant from the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The company will move into a 400,000-square foot facility on Joseph Martin Highway in Ridgeway, where it already has other operations. (Martinsville Bulletin)

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research has been awarded a $39,798 grant from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to facilitate a project designed to help local grape growers. Two wineries from Martinsville and Henry County have committed to work with the Institute on the project, Hamlet Vineyards and the viticulture program at Patrick Henry Community College. (Work It, SoVa)

Alton-based VIRginia International Raceway has named Nissan as the official track auto partner. The major new sponsorship deal includes a multi-year partnership. As the official auto partner, Nissan will have signage throughout VIR as well as interactive fan experiences at many of its spectator events. Nissan hosted a large exhibit and fan zone during the 2014 Oak Tree Grand Prix TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at VIR, which exceeded expectations and ultimately helped influence the expanded track partnership. (News release)

Danville’s Lawrence Distributing Co. received two honors in March. The Bill Coors Quality Award was given to staff members at the March 11 MillerCoors Distributor Convention. The company earned a perfect 100 score on the 2014 Quality Assurance review. There were only two other distributing companies in attendance at the event. A second award received by the company was the 2014 Gallo Backus Brands Sales Achievement award. The plaque was presented in Kissimmee, Fla. (Work It, SoVa)

Bristol Compressors International Inc. plans to expand its operations in Washington County with a $1 million project that is expected to create 110 jobs. The two-phase expansion will immediately move seasonal workers into full-time roles, and the company will add employees in its machining, material, quality and assembly areas. Based in Washington County, Bristol Compressors designs and manufactures hermetic reciprocating compressors for residential and light commercial air conditioning, heat pump and refrigeration uses. (

Ferrum College donors, administrators and alumni celebrated in May the finale of a more than $28 million fundraising campaign, the largest in the college’s history. The campaign doesn’t officially end until the end of June, but Ferrum doesn’t anticipate seeing more than an additional $200,000 to $400,000 in the coming weeks, spokeswoman Kimberly Blair said. The original fundraising goal was $25 million. (The Roanoke Times) 

Virginia Forge, a steel processing plant in Buchanan, plans to invest $4.6 million to expand its operations and hire 38 new employees. In exchange, the company will get a break on local taxes worth about $66,000 during the next four years as part of a performance agreement approved in April by the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. About 70 people currently work at the facility. (The Roanoke Times)

Virginia Transformer Corp., a manufacturer of custom power electric transformers, said in April that it has invested $2.4 million in new construction and equipment in the Roanoke Valley. Its latest expansion added 5,400 square feet to a manufacturing plant in Roanoke, boosting the company’s total square footage to 135,000 square feet.  Work is underway on an upgrade and expansion of the company’s final testing area, which is scheduled for completion by July. (

Coal producer Xinergy Ltd. and 25 subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing declining demand for coal and increased environmental regulation. The company and its subsidiaries filed Chapter 11 petitions in April in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Roanoke. Knoxville, Tenn.-based Xinergy’s operations include Raven Crest Mining and South Fork Coal Co. in West Virginia and True Energy LLC in Pound, Virginia. The company said it will continue operations while it reorganizes. (The Associated Press)

Bethesda, Md.-based EagleBank agreed to invest nearly $7 million in George Mason University over the next decade in return for the naming rights to the university’s 10,000-seat arena. The 30-year-old Patriot Center in Fairfax, as of July 1, will be renamed EagleBank Arena. The partnership provides potentially as much as $13.7 million over 20 years if the partnership is extended. (Washington Business Journal)

Falls Church-based General Dynamics confirmed plans to lay off nearly 100 employees. The company lost an $85 million contract with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The loss will affect 96 employees working at a client site in D.C. FERC awarded the contract to Fairfax-based SRA International Inc. As is often the case, those employees that will be laid off by General Dynamics around May 31, when the contract expires, likely will be hired by SRA. (Washington Business Journal) 

The new Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center Hotel is officially open. According to its developers, the 18-story project, which opened on April 14, is the first full-service hotel to open at Tysons Corner in more than 20 years. The 300-room hotel is part of a mixed-use expansion underway at Tysons Corner Center by its owner, Macerich, a real estate investment trust. ( 

Arlington-based PAE plans to acquire A-T Solutions, a company based in Vienna. Financial details were not disclosed. PAE said the deal, expected to close by the end of May, will enhance its national security business. A-T Solutions has more than 200 government customers and employs 725 people. PAE provide services in critical facility infrastructure, aviation, logistics, training, range operations and national security solutions. (

Whole Foods Market signed a lease for a new store at The Boro, a new development in Tysons Corner near the Greensboro Metro station. The company said the 70,000-square-foot store will be a flagship location in the D.C. area — both in terms of size and innovative concepts. The Boro will offer a mix of offices, apartments, condominiums, retail stores, restaurants and entertainment. An opening date has not been set. (

McLean-based Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is teaming up with Japan’s largest airline, ANA, to create a partnership designed to bring Hilton’s hospitality to ANA’s airline lounges and in-flight services. The partnership will feature a number of Hilton-infused amenities and offerings into ANA’s service, including enhanced, authentic Hawaiian menu items in lounges and on flights. (Washington Business Journal)

Illinois Health and Science (IHS), a health-care system based in Decatur, Ill., plans to acquire IBA Molecular North America (IBAM NA) in Dulles, the companies said in April. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IBAM NA, which makes and distributes radiopharmaceuticals, will continue to operate as an independent company and remain based in Dulles. IBAM NA is the U.S. operation of IBA Molecular. (

Ohio-based Cintas Corp. is investing $6 million to expand in Bedford with an extra $50,000 from the Bedford County Economic Development Authority. The company is expected to add 15 net jobs over three years, 10,830 square feet of operating space, new equipment and a new parking lot. Cintas designs and manufactures uniforms and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, and other products and services.
(The Roanoke Times)

Richmond-based Dominion Virginia Power plans to close all of the coal ash ponds at its Virginia power stations within three years. The decision comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new regulations for the disposal of coal ash. Coal ash ponds store waste left over from the burning of coal to produce energy. The ponds are controversial because of leakage and spills, including a spill in February 2014 at a storage site in Eden, N.C. operated by Duke Energy that released thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Lumber Liquidators is suspending the sale of its Chinese-made laminate flooring. In March, a news report by CBS’ “60 Minutes” accused the Toano-based company of selling Chinese-made laminate that contained unsafe levels of formaldehyde. Lumber Liquidators said its Chinese mills had flooring labeled as complying with California air pollution rules, but the company is now reviewing the certification process to make sure products labeled as safe actually meet those standards.  (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Richmond-based packaging giant MeadWestvaco is suing the federal government for nearly $47 million in economic stimulus funding. The suit says the U.S. Treasury violated terms of a recession-era program that offered companies that invested in renewable energy facilities a 30 percent reimbursement on construction costs. The company says it is owed money for a clean energy facility it built at its paper mill in Covington. (

Peter Chang has signed a 10-year lease for a project in Scott’s Addition, its first restaurant in Richmond. Known for its Szechuan Chinese cuisine, Chang will open a 3,000-square-foot Richmond restaurant this winter as part of a $1.4 million rehab of the 1928 Hofheimer Building, using historic tax credits. Architect Todd Dykshorn is designing the project, and First Capital Bank is financing it. (

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