Company News For the Record

For the Record - May 2017

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NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Cision, a Chicago-based media communication technology and analytics company, has acquired Reston-based Bulletin Intelligence, which provides customized news briefings to CEOs. Financial details about the acquisition were not disclosed. Cision also is adding Bulletin Healthcare and Bulletin Media-branded services to its product portfolio. Bulletin Healthcare delivers medical specialty news briefings each morning to more than a million health-care professionals. Bulletin Media provides daily news customized for engineers, educators and manufacturers. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Manassas business owner Corliss Udoema was selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration as the 2017 Virginia Small Business Person of the Year. Udoema is the founder, president and CEO of Contract Solutions Inc., a staffing and professional support services company. After retiring from a 32-year career with the federal government in various executive-level contracting and procurement positions, she founded CSI in 2006. In a letter to Udoema announcing the award, SBA administrator Linda McMahon stated, “Your hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to your employees and community have helped you build an outstanding business that has strengthened your state’s economy.”  (Inside NoVa)

Tysons-based IT services firm Computer Sciences Corp. is no more: April 3 marked its first day trading as DXC Technology, the result of its merger with the services business unit of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co. The combined company is expected to generate $24 billion to $24.5 billion in revenue for 2017. Before the merger, CSC had $7.1 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ending on April 1, 2016, while the HP Enterprise services business generated about $18.55 billion in that same period. DXC will be based in Tysons and trade as “DXC” on the New York Stock Exchange. (Washington Business Journal)

Arlington-based Graham Holdings Co. plans to acquire Thomson, Ga.-based Hoover Treated Wood Products Inc. The purchase price was not disclosed. Graham says it has entered into a letter of intent with Hoover, a supplier of lumber and plywood products for fire retardant and preservative applications. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017. Graham companies span several industries, including education, media, home health, hospice care and manufacturing. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Nasdaq notified Reston-based NCI on March 21 that the company was not in compliance with the exchange’s rules because it hadn’t released its annual financial information for 2016 in a timely fashion, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. NCI has until May 22 to submit a plan for getting back into compliance, or else it could see its shares removed from the exchange. NCI said in a statement it expects to file its annual financials by the deadline. The company also is in the midst of an internal investigation of its former controller, Jon Frank, whom it’s accusing of embezzling millions from the company in the last decade. It has filed a lawsuit against Frank in a Fairfax County Circuit Court, and it said that both the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also have launched investigations into the case. (Washington Business Journal)

Sterling-based NeuStar Inc. shareholders approved a $2.9 billion sale to a private equity group led by San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital in a special stockholder meeting in March. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, and the two companies expect the transaction to be final in the third quarter of this year. The publicly traded company will become privately held as it continues to expand its business beyond its legacy services — helping mobile-phone customers transfer their numbers and to route calls — and into information, marketing and cybersecurity services. (Washington Business Journal)

Arlington-based PAE expects to acquire Ashburn-based government services contractor FCi Federal. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and was expected to close within 45 business days when it was announced April 3. PAE supports the execution of “complex and critical missions” by providing global logistics and stability operations, technical services and national security solutions to customers around the world. After the closure of the deal, FCi Federal will continue to operate from its current office in Ashburn as a business unit of PAE. (Loudoun Times-Mirror)

Pupatella, the Ballston pizza joint that regularly tops “best of” lists around Greater Washington, will begin its quest for world pizza domination in Richmond. The purveyor of authentic Neapolitan pies has signed its first franchise development deal with Zeeshan Kaba, a Richmond entrepreneur who will develop up to four locations in the Richmond area. The first is expected to open this summer in the Virginia capital’s Fan District near Virginia Commonwealth University. (Washington Business Journal)


EASTERN VIRGINIA
Allfirst LLC plans to expand its Suffolk headquarters, creating 27 jobs during the next three years. The industrial general contractor and metal fabricator plans to spend $130,000 on the expansion, purchasing new machinery and tools. It will retrain its 62 existing employees in addition to creating new jobs. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Atlantic Core Building Products plans to establish a manufacturing operation in Chesapeake, which is expected to create 50 jobs. The company will spend $3 million on the facility. Atlantic Core makes cold-formed steel framing, finishing and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) accessories for commercial and residential buildings. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Hampton Roads Transit has laid off 16 administrative employees and eliminated 17 other administrative jobs in the wake of its budget shortfalls. Much of the money saved from salaries will go toward 2018’s budget, which starts in July, said HRT spokesman Tom Holden. In late March, HRT reported it was already $1 million over its current $99.5 million operating budget. It is unclear if the layoffs will help the transit group avoid going over budget this year and next fiscal year. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Escalante Golf has acquired Kingsmill Resort for $30.7 million. Texas-based Escalante Golf owns and operates 15 golf-course properties throughout the country. The Kingsmill community encompasses 2,900 acres with private roads and a 24-hour police force. The resort includes 422 rooms, a 17,000-square-foot conference center and three golf courses. (The Virginia Gazette)

Optima Health will become the second tenant for a city-owned property on Military Highway in Norfolk. The Virginia Beach-based health insurance company plans to hire 200 employees at the facility at 880 North Military Highway. The new positions will support a statewide contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia. The first tenant announced for the property was Movement Mortgage. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The biggest ship ever to call on the Port of Virginia — or the entire U.S. East Coast, for that matter — is scheduled to arrive May 8 at Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth. The COSCO Development, about 250 feet shy of the length of the Empire State Building laid on its side, can carry 13,092 TEUs or standard 20-foot containers. (The Virginian-Pilot)

SHENANDOAH VALLEY
Amazon plans to establish an e-commerce warehouse and distribution operation in Frederick County, a project expected to create 1,000 jobs. The Seattle-based online retailer will build a 1 million-square-foot facility in the county’s White Hall Commerce Center. Virginia successfully competed against West Virginia for the project.  (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Augusta County will receive a nearly $300,000 state telecommunications grant. The county was one of five Virginia jurisdictions to receive a total of $945,000 in funds through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative. Augusta County is partnering with Staunton-based Lingo Networks, a provider of fiber and fixed wireless and broadband, on the project. The main targeted area for the funding is Middlebrook.  (The News Virginian)

The Hershey Co. of Hershey, Pa., is planning to increase production of its operation in Stuarts Draft and create 69 additional jobs. The announcement marks the eighth expansion for Hershey at its Augusta County plant, which was established in 1980. It is the company’s second-largest production plant in the U.S.  (VirginiaBusiness.com)

A consultant recommends that Augusta County rezone the county’s Mill Place Commerce Park in Verona to emphasize industrial development and to reduce the park’s commercial footprint. The rezoning recommendations could take a few months to develop, county officials say. The Timmons Group proposal calls for the largest swath of Mill Place to be industrial, with smaller sections set aside for commercial and commercial/industrial transition. (The News Virginian)

Shamrock Farms, one of the largest family-owned dairies in the U.S., plans to expand its Augusta County operations, adding more than 70 jobs. In addition to spending more than $40 million on the expansion, the Phoenix-based company has committed to spending an additional $24 million on Virginia milk; quadrupling its current purchases of agricultural products from the commonwealth. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

The Food and Drug Administration has filed a court order against Valley Milk Products in Strasburg, banning the production of all powdered milk as a result of salmonella being found during inspections last summer. The company has agreed to cooperate with the FDA without confirming or denying its allegations. The plant has not produced milk powder since July and cannot resume until 10 “appropriate corrective actions” are taken to sanitize the facility and ensure that salmonella bacteria don’t reappear in the products or the plant. (The Shenandoah Valley-Herald)

CENTRAL VIRGINIA
Omaha, Neb.-based BH Media Group in April eliminated 289 jobs, including 108 vacant positions, at its newspapers nationwide because of declining revenue. The move reduces the workforce to 4,450 at the company, which publishes the Richmond Times-Dispatch and several other papers in Virginia. The Times-Dispatch laid off 33 full-time employees, and The Roanoke Times and Free-Lance Star each laid off 10. (The Roanoke Times)

Lidl U.S. Operations LLC purchased a former Colonial Downs off-track wagering parlor in Richmond for $3.4 million and plans to put a 19,000-square-foot grocery store on the site. Lidl bought the 3.7-acre property on West Broad Street from Colonial Downs. The Germany-based discount supermarket chain plans to construct a prototype store at the location as part of the rollout of its first U.S. stores. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Chesterfield County leaders approved a proposal in March to construct a new indoor sports complex. The 50,000- square-foot facility will be located at Stonebridge, the former Cloverleaf Mall site. Under the agreement, the board of supervisors agreed to issue bonds to cover around $7.5 million of the financing associated with  the new facility. This new venture is a public-private partnership between Richmond Volleyball Club and Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation. (WTVR.com)

The top executive at Vastly, previously known as Tranlin Inc., is no longer with the company. Vastly, which plans to build a $2 billion paper plant in Chesterfield County, confirmed the departure of Jerry Z. Peng in a brief statement in March. Dong Lan is serving as the company’s acting CEO. Peng is a 2003 graduate of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. The company did not give any reasons for his departure. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia Commonwealth University students may pay about 5.3 percent more in tuition and fees next year to close an estimated $19.1 million funding gap, officials said in early April. The university faces a revenue gap of about $11 million to pay for unavoidable costs and high-priority needs, including a 3 percent salary increase. An additional $8 million budget reduction from the state brings the total gap to $19.1 million. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

SOUTHERN VIRGINIA
Bassett Furniture Industries announced in March that it is investing $1.5 million in new equipment in Henry County and will add 22 employees to its local operations. Bassett Furniture will receive a $95,000 grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and $53,502 in Henry County Enterprise Zone grants over five years. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Blue Ridge Fiberboard plans to invest $2 million to improve efficiency at its Danville plant. The company, which employs 119 people, makes roofing, soundproofing and exterior sheathing products. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has provided a $75,000 grant from its Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund to help with the expansion, Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville) said in a news release. (Work It, SoVa)

Graduates of the Licensed Practical Nursing program at Danville Community College have maintained a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination state board tests since 2012, the only program in Virginia to do so. Practical nurses provide bedside care and medicine while assisting registered nurses with ongoing patient assessments. Since 2009, the college also has had a registered nurse program. (Danville Register & Bee)

Halifax County will seek nearly $1.8 million in grant funding to build a manufacturing shell building near the entrance of the Southern Virginia Technology Park on U.S. 58. The 37,500-square-foot structure is intended to be “broadly attractive to various types of manufacturers,” according to the grant application to the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. “Businesses, once they make their minds to move, want something that is ready for them,” said Ted Bennett, a board member of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority. (SoVaNow.com)

SteelFab, one of the nation’s largest structural steel fabricators, will invest $2.14 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Emporia.  The project will create 18 jobs. The company plans to construct a new building and add machinery and equipment to increase its steel fabrication output. Virginia successfully competed against Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina for the project. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $60,000 from its Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities are available through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.  (News release)

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
The Wytheville branch of the American Association of University Women and Wytheville Community College (WCC) sponsored the STEM Train event at WCC. The event, held March 25, provided middle school girls with a hands-on day exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). WCC staff and faculty, along with instructors and students from Virginia Tech, taught classes focusing on different STEM disciplines. (SWVA­Today.com)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in March $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the Town of Big Stone Gap for the Mountain Empire Community College Power Lineman Program.  The CDBG program provides funding to eligible units of local government for planning and implementing projects that address critical community needs, including housing, infrastructure, and economic development. The non-credit lineman training enables students to earn a number of credentials to prepare them for entry into an apprenticeship program with the power distribution industry. (News release)

Bland County has been awarded $192,141 in grant money for broadband deployment in the Hollybrook community. The Bland County Wireless Authority applied for grant funding through the Department of Housing and Community Development in the winter of 2016, through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative program. This grant application was in partnership with WVVA.net. The project is expected to provide high-speed internet access to more than 300 homes and businesses in Hollybrook and improve the county’s main broadband backhaul infrastructure.  (SWVAToday.com)

Quesenberry’s Construction, a general contractor and construction manager in Big Stone Gap, has received the 2016 Project of the Year Award from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of TN Tri-Cities Branch. The Division II award, for projects of $5 million construction costs and up, was presented at an awards banquet on March 28 in Johnson City, Tenn. The company received the award for the new library at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. The new six-story, 66,000-square-foot  UVa-Wise Library is poised on a steep embankment at the intersection of the academic and residential precincts. Besides abundant shelving for 300,000 volumes, the building includes group learning areas, multi-media space, lounge seating, a café and a tiered outdoor seating area. Quesenberry’s Construction also won the AGC branch’s project of the year award in 2015. (News release)

The second and final phase of the Wytheville Connector from Peppers Ferry Road to Lithia Road is now under construction. The $3.2 million project was recently awarded to W-L Construction & Paving Inc. in Chilhowie. In addition to offering an alternative route to Route 11 through the center of Wytheville, the project will provide an additional entrance to Wytheville Community College.  Motorists should be minimally impacted by construction, as most of the construction is a new location. (SWVAToday.com)

The town of Wytheville has formed a Beautification Task Force to enhance the town’s appearance for residents and tourists. The task force is made of department heads from the town of Wytheville, along with representatives from the Town Council, Downtown Wytheville and the Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce. The effort will combine municipal and volunteer efforts. (SWVAToday.com)

The Wytheville Town Council approved two programs in March it hopes will improve buildings and the aesthetics of the downtown area. The $200,000 Downtown Development Fund, to be established July 1, will provide funds to property owners in the downtown general business district to renovate buildings for business and residential purposes. The maximum grant is $50,000 per building. The Sign Improvement Grant Program will provide an incentive for downtown businesses to invest in new signs and upgrade old signs. The program’s budget is $7,500 for the first year. (SWVAToday.com)


ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY
Earth Fare is one step closer to its opening day. Property owner Harbour Retail Partners was granted permits to begin construction of the grocery store on the Ivy Market site in Roanoke in March. Randy Kelley, principal of the partnership, said the project is making a lot of progress and is on track to open in October. The 24,000-square-foot store will be Earth Fare’s first Virginia location. It will include a variety of organic and natural foods, a hot-foods bar, a juice bar and an indoor/outdoor cafe. A 7,000-square-foot multi-tenant building is also being constructed at the site. The Thalhimer real estate group has begun to market the site to potential tenants. (The Roanoke Times)

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality said in April that it will require the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline project to provide details about individual crossings of streams and wetlands to demonstrate that the crossings will comply with state water quality standards. The DEQ said it would demand the same from the separate but similar Atlantic Coast Pipeline — requiring what is referred to as “individual 401 water quality certification” from the Virginia Water Protection permit program. Each interstate pipeline project is seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Each has garnered support in some circles and stirred fierce opposition in others. (The Roanoke Times)

Railcar assembler FreightCar America said in March that, due to deteriorating business conditions, it intends to lay off 166 workers on April 24 and 198, the “balance” of its Roanoke workforce, on May 28. The layoffs will go on “until production operations come to a halt,” said a letter to Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.  Company management “hopes and anticipates that this workforce reduction will be a temporary measure of limited duration,” according to the letter, which was signed by Paul Winsauer, a company human resources official. However, Winsauer said he could not predict when anyone would return to work. (The Roanoke Times)

Agribusiness and food production giant Land O’Lakes Inc. plans to build an animal feed manufacturing facility in the Roanoke Valley. Plans call for the plant to open in December 2018. Land O’Lakes declined to disclose where the facility would be located, what sort of investment was anticipated or how many people might work there. Company spokeswoman Becky Lentz said the plant will produce Purina-brand horse and cattle feed, as well as other livestock feed. Purina Animal Nutrition, a subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, does not manufacture Purina-brand cat and dog food, which are products of Nestle Purina. (The Roanoke Times)

For the sixth consecutive month the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport posted a year-over-year increase in passengers utilizing the facility. February 2017 data showed a 5.8 percent increase in passengers flying into and out of the airport compared to 2016. Traditionally a slower month, February passenger numbers showed the highest demand since 2013. Mild winter weather and improved operational reliability assisted in the passenger increase. ROA serves more than 600,000 passengers per year with four airlines. (News release)

Roanoke County is on the hunt for potential partners interested in bringing campgrounds, restaurants, ziplines or other amenities to Explore Park. The goal is to turn the park into a more robust recreation hub that can spur tourism and economic development in the region. Interested parties now have until May 17 to submit proposals. Once the deadline elapses, the county will form review committees to vet and score each set of offers. (The Roanoke Times)

The Roanoke Regional Partnership was recognized for its work on the Deschutes Brewery project with a 2017 Excellence in Economic Development Award from the Site Selectors Guild. The award was presented to Executive Director Beth Doughty at the Guild’s annual conference March 15 in Tucson, Ariz. The Site Selectors Guild is the only association of the world’s professional site selection consultants. (News release)

The State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists who have applied to become president of Dublin-based New River Community College (NRCC). They were selected from more than 90 applicants. The finalists include David L. Brand, senior vice president and chief academic officer at Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina; Pat Huber, vice president for instruction and student services at NRCC; Susan Short, associate vice president for engagement at Virginia Tech; and Kristen A. Westover, vice president for academic and student services at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville. They are vying to succeed Jack Lewis, who retired last year. Charlie White is the college’s interim president. (VirginiaBusiness.com)




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