For the Record - Eastern Virginia, July 2013

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A federal court jury has found former Bank of the Commonwealth president and CEO Edward Woodard Jr. and three others guilty of conspiring to defraud the bank out of $71 million. The others convicted were Woodward’s son, mortgage specialist T. Brandon Woodward, former vice president Stephen Fields, and developer and bank customer Dwight Etheridge. The bank failed in September 2011 amid more than $150 million in losses. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

In early June, developer Bruce Thompson unveiled to Virginia Beach city officials a framework for what he’d like to do with the newly acquired Cavalier Hotel properties, setting the stage for financial negotiations with the city. Thompson said he intends to put more than $200 million into Oceanfront properties that include the 86-year-old Cavalier on the Hill. He mentioned that his firm would have to raze the old hotel if he couldn’t secure enough support. (Inside Business)

The leadership of the Hampton Roads Partnership, a regional economic strategy group, has proposed merging the organization into a newly formed cadre of business heavyweights seeking to shape the region’s future.  The proposal would wind down the partnership’s operations and transfer its remaining funds to a new entity, the Hampton Roads Business Roundtable. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Frozen seafood company High Liner Foods plans to expand its Newport News operations, creating 57 jobs. The company already employs 400 workers in the city. High Liner Foods, which bought the operations of Icelandic USA in December 2011, plans to spend $6.6 million to expand production in Newport News. Virginia competed against Georgia and South Carolina for the investment. (

The U.S. Coast Guard awarded Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries a $487 million contract to build a sixth National Security Cutter (NSC). The vessel will be built by the company’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division. NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. They were designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class, high-endurance cutters, which entered service during the 1960s. (

Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation. Updates to the 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center will include new tile flooring, paint, energy-efficient lighting, soft seating areas, interior signs and restrooms. Construction will take place after hours and is expected to be completed in November 2014. Renovations will be suspended for the 2013 holiday shopping season and resume Jan. 1. (Inside Business)

A Charlottesville-based online grocery store expanded to Williamsburg. Relay Foods offers customers products from local farms, artisan producers and grocery stores. After ordering products online, customers then pick up their groceries from a central location. In addition to the Williamsburg service, Relay Foods now operates in Richmond and the metro Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. (

The Small Business Administration named TowneBank one of Virginia’s top lenders of SBA loans for fiscal year 2012. The SBA named the Suffolk-based community bank its top community bank lender of SBA 504 loans for the year. The bank approved 19 loans totaling $8.5 million for small businesses. The 504 loans provide businesses long-term, fixed-rate financing for acquisition or renovation of land, buildings and equipment, said Jayne Armstrong, director of the SBA’s Richmond District office. (Inside Business)

San Antonio-based insurer USAA plans to move 500 employees from Norfolk to Chesapeake in December. By 2014, none of USAA’s employees will work in Norfolk, spokesman Matt Walters said. The staff, which provides insurance claims support to nearly 10 million members, will move from 5800 Northampton Blvd. to the Battlefield Technology Center, 520 Independence Parkway. USAA is leasing an 81,000-square-foot space, up from 73,000 square feet it occupies in the Northampton building, which is owned by a division of the company. (The Virginian-Pilot)



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