Industries Economic Development

Economic development conference to include major Va. companies

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An economic development conference in Roanoke will feature four Southern governors, executives from major Virginia employers and economic development leaders.

The Southern Growth Policies Board’s annual conference will be held in Virginia from June 12 to June 14, and will focus on attracting advanced manufacturing to the South. Gov. Bob McDonnell is currently chairman of the board and is responsible for its annual conference. The board is a nonpartisan think tank, made up of 13 states in the South, devoted to creating ways to improve economic development in the region.

The conference will include panelists from throughout the region, including many representatives from major Virginia companies. Virginia panelists will include John R. Nelson, chief technology officer of Altria Group; David Lohr, president of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Robert E. Martinez, vice president of business development for Norfolk Southern Corp., and Neal Noyes, executive director of the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.

Featured speakers include Jeffrey M. Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Mike Petters, president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

The conference will also include a panel discussion with four governors: McDonnell, Barbour, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue.

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