1455161296 Virginia Business http://www.virginiabusiness.com/ Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business community en vgarabelli@virginiabusiness.com Copyright 2016 2016-02-10T17:27:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/polykon-manufacturing-llc-creating-50-jobs-in-henrico-county Polykon Manufacturing LLC creating 50 jobs in Henrico County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/polykon-manufacturing-llc-creating-50-jobs-in-henrico-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/polykon-manufacturing-llc-creating-50-jobs-in-henrico-county#When:17:27:00Z Polykon Manufacturing LLC announced Wednesday it will invest $60 million to establish a manufacturing operation in Henrico County. The project is expected to create approximatley 50 new jobs. Polykon  will manufacture ingredients for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries in Henrico‘s White Oak Technology Park. The company is a joint venture between Seppic Inc. and Schülke Inc., entities of Air Liquide Healthcare, which has operations in Chesterfield and Prince William counties. Seppic and Schülke collectively employ more than 1,500 people worldwide. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $700,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. Virginia competed against Ohio for the project. According to a news release issued by McAuliffe’s office, the governor met with company officials at the Seppic headquarters in Paris last summer during his European marketing mission. 2016-02-10T17:27:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/1111_E_Main_-_front1.jpg Bank of America Center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bank-of-america-office-tower-sells-in-downtown-richmond Bank of America office tower sells in downtown Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bank-of-america-office-tower-sells-in-downtown-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bank-of-america-office-tower-sells-in-downtown-richmond#When:16:34:00Z A private investment group made up of principals from Washington, D.C., and New York City has purchased the Bank of America Center in downtown Richmond. The sales price and identity of the buyer was not disclosed by Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, the firm that brokered and announced the sale. Nor has the sale been recorded yet on city records. The owner was an institutional investor, represented by Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers. According to Thalhimer, the 513,479-square-foot building in the heart of the city’s financial district was 71 percent leased at the time of the sale. The deal is the latest in a series of turnovers among downtown office space that began in December. Since then, Gateway Plaza, Riverfront Plaza’s twin towers and the Williams Mullen Center have all changed owners. Located at 1111 East Main Street, the Bank of America tower is close to the State Capitol, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the Supreme Court of Virginia. The sale included two parking garages and an attached four-story office pavilion. Current major tenants include the Commonwealth of Virginia, Bank of America, Sands Anderson PC, McCandlish Holton, and DurretteCrump Law Firm. Eric Robison, a senior vice president of Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, represented the seller in the transaction. 2016-02-10T16:34:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carmax-leases-space-in-downtown-richmond-for-new-digital-technology-center CarMax leases space in downtown Richmond for new digital/technology center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carmax-leases-space-in-downtown-richmond-for-new-digital-technology-center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carmax-leases-space-in-downtown-richmond-for-new-digital-technology-center#When:00:38:00Z   Atomotive retailer CarMax Inc.. Is joining other major employers in the Richmond region in having a presence in downtown Richmond. The Fortune 500 company said Wednesday that it has signed a lease with Fulton Hill Properties for 26,000-square-foot of space in the Lady Byrd Hat building, a mixed-use renovated property along the Canal Walk. The space will be used for a new digital and technology innovation center. During the next few months, CarMax said it plans to hire more than 50 associates for technology and digital positions, some of which will work in the new location.  The company’s 250,000-square-foot corporate headquarters is located in a suburban West Creek Office Park in Goochland County.  The space in Shockoe Bottom will give the company a presence in the city for the first time.  It joins other employers like SunTrust Bank and Dominion Resources, who already are located idowntown and who plan to stay there, with SunTrust and Dominion building new skyscapers.  CarMax said in a press release that it is growing and plans to open 13-16 new stores nationwide each year for the next two years, leading to home office growth and new technology positions in support of stores and strategic initiatives. The new office at 140 Virginia St. in Shockoe Bottom. will help address that growth. Built in 1894, the building has been used as the Virginia Paper Company, a hat factory, a concert venue known as Toad’s Place  and other commercial purposes including offices. “This is a really great location for us,” said Jennifer Bartusiak  in CarMax’s public affairs office.  “Downtown Richmond is a popular destination with plenty of restaurants, and it’s right on the Canal Walk. We’re  looking at it as place that will help attract great talent.” The open technology and digital positions include a range of roles such as application architects, UX designers, security analysts and software developers. They will be charged with using innovative technology to enhance the e-commerce capabilities for CarMax ocustomers. “Team members have the opportunity to work in a unique environment similar to a startup, but backed by the support of a large, established company,” Shamim Mohammad, senior vice president and chief information officer for CarMax, said in a statement.  “We are looking for a variety of experience levels to develop best-in-class platforms and advance our website, mobile apps and associate platforms to help CarMax continue to deliver an unparalleled customer experience.” CarMax data shows that consumers often begin vehicle research online and complete the purchase in-store. This trend is continuing to grow, leading to the need for new technology positions. Currently, about  65% of visits to carmax.com come from something other than a laptop or desktop computer, and approximately 90% of CarMax purchasers start on carmax.com or the CarMax mobile app. 2016-02-10T00:38:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/six-attorneys-join-williams-mullen Six attorneys join Williams Mullen http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/six-attorneys-join-williams-mullen http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/six-attorneys-join-williams-mullen#When:20:52:00Z Six attorneys have joined Williams Mullen’s health-care section. All previously worked at the Richmond firm McCandlish Holton. Jamie Baskerville Martin, Jeremy Ball and Dominic Madigan have become partners at Williams Mullen’s Richmond office. Martin will serve as co-chair of the health-care section with Williams Mullen partner Wyatt Beazley. In addition, Maggie Krantz and Ashley Provost have joined as of counsel in the Richmond and Virginia Beach offices, respectively. Jennifer Ligon has joined as an associate in the Richmond office. Williams Mullen said the six lawyers have extensive experience representing the health-care industry on a wide range of matters. . 2016-02-09T20:52:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DC_ClockTowerIncluded_Masthead.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trump-international-hotel-set-to-open-two-years-ahead-of-schedule-in-washin Trump International Hotel set to open two years ahead of schedule in Washington, D.C. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trump-international-hotel-set-to-open-two-years-ahead-of-schedule-in-washin http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trump-international-hotel-set-to-open-two-years-ahead-of-schedule-in-washin#When:20:22:00Z Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. will open in September 2016, two years ahead of schedule. Donald Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, credited a federal agency for its cooperation in speeding along the renovation of the old Post Office Building. “ … We are so proud to have not only brought this incredible building back to life, but also to a position far greater than it ever was at its previous zenith. It was an honor to have dealt with the professionals at the General Services Administration.  It was their total passion and hard work that helped bring this unrivaled project to fruition,” Trump said in a statement. According to Ivanka Trump, the hotel was to have been ready by August of 2018. “…But through our team’s hard work and close collaboration with the GSA, we will now be opening almost two years ahead of schedule, which is unheard of for a project of this size and complexity.” The Trumps also thanked other civic, federal and city officials who supported and contributed to the project including the National Capital Planning Commission, D.C. Historic Preservation Office, Commission of Fine Arts and the National Park Service. The 19th century, one-of-a-kind building is located on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Workers restored the intricate stonework, original wood milling and paneling while installing the latest in technology and other comforts expected by today’s travelers. The hotel has 263 guest rooms and suites.  The rooms have 16-foot ceilings, soaring windows and crystal sconces and chandeliers. The 35 suites include the Trump Townhouse, which has a private entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue.  With 6,300 square feet of interior space, the company said it would be the largest suite in Washington, D.C. and among the largest in the country. Recognizing the need for a ballroom spacious enough to host larger International meetings, the Trump Organization said it designed a complementing addition to the main building.  The 13,200-square-foot Presidential Ballroom also has a private entrance. Altogether, the hotel will offer 38,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a 10,000-square-foot luxury spa and fitness facility and D.C.’s first BLT Prime restaurant. Mickael Damelincourt, managing director of Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., said the property already has events conformed for 2016 and beyond.   2016-02-09T20:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/barber-martin-agency-names-chief-creative-officer1 Barber Martin Agency names chief creative officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/barber-martin-agency-names-chief-creative-officer1 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/barber-martin-agency-names-chief-creative-officer1#When:19:53:00Z Richmond-based advertising agency Barber Martin Agency has named Deb Hagan chief creative officer. Hagan previously was senior vice president, group creative director at another Richmond-based advertising agency, The Martin Agency. There she led the Wal-Mart and TimberlandPRO businesses. “We believe Deb's experience, especially in the retail industry with the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, will catapult our agency to a new level,” Robyn Deyo Zacharias, president and CEO of Barber Martin Agency, said in a statement. Barber Martin’s clients include the Virginia Lottery, nTelos Wireless and Bassett Furniture. 2016-02-09T19:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/greater-richmond-arc-names-chief-financial-officer Greater Richmond ARC names chief financial officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/greater-richmond-arc-names-chief-financial-officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/greater-richmond-arc-names-chief-financial-officer#When:19:24:00Z Julee W. Fletcher has joined The Greater Richmond ARC as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Fletcher was senior vice president and chief operating officer at Citizens Financial Group Inc., in it’s residential lending division. Founded in 1954, ARC provides programs and services to individuals with disabilities and their families. 2016-02-09T19:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-expects-to-offer-online-ordering-in-richmond-by-march Kroger expects to offer online ordering in Richmond by March http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-expects-to-offer-online-ordering-in-richmond-by-march http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-expects-to-offer-online-ordering-in-richmond-by-march#When:03:17:00Z   The Kroger Co.  announced Monday that it will bring ClickList, an online ordering service, to the Richmond market as early as March. The first Kroger store in the market that will offer ClickList is the Kroger Marketplace in Chester, Kroger’s newest Richmond region store located at 10800 Iron Bridge Road.  “Our customers in other markets have celebrated the convenience the ClickList brings to their everyday life, and we are thrilled to soon offer this to the Richmond market,” Anne Jenkins, a spokesperson for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division, said in a statement.  ClickList locations offer more than 40,000 items, including fresh meat and produce, with new items added every week. According to Kroger, the basics of ClickList are simple. The customer visits their designated Kroger store’s website and creates a shopping list, selects a pick-up time and places an order. Once an order is placed, a Kroger store associate shops the store to fulfill the order and stores it in temperature-appropriate zones until the customer arrives. When the customer arrives to the designated pick-up area, a store associate loads the order into the customer’s car. There is a service charge, $4.95, added to a bill’s total, for the service.  Other details of the rollout: •        ClickList hours will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.        •        Orders placed before midnight are available for pick-up the next day at a specific time chosen by the customer. •        Payment is made at time of pick-up, from the customer’s car. •        Coupons electronically linked to a customer’s loyalty card will automatically redeem to reduce the cost of the order. •        Paper coupons will be deducted at time of pick up. •        If an item is not available, store associates will offer a substitution to the customer, which the customer may accept or decline. •        Pharmacy prescriptions are not included in the program. “Kroger has been testing online ordering in select stores since November 2014, and the feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive,” George Anderson, Kroger e-commerce manager, said in a statement.  “Senior citizens, parents with young children and busy professionals all appreciate and take advantage of this new convenience.” Kroger is one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers with 18 stores throughout the Richmond area. The company’s mid-Atlantic Division, with its headquarters in Roanoke, operates 120 stores, 115 pharmacies and 86 fuel centers in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and the eastern portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. 2016-02-09T03:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-virginia-power-and-sunenergy1-to-install-largest-solar-facility-in Dominion Virginia Power and SunEnergy1 to install largest solar facility in Hampton Roads http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-virginia-power-and-sunenergy1-to-install-largest-solar-facility-in http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-virginia-power-and-sunenergy1-to-install-largest-solar-facility-in#When:22:33:00Z Dominion Virginia Power will soon add more solar power to its generation portfolio.  The company said Monday that it is partnering with SunEnergy1 to install 91,803 solar panels at a new solar farm in Chesapeake – enough to power 5,000 homes. SunEnergy1, a North Carolina-based company, will lease the 250-acre site, located off Ballahack Road and U.S. Highway 17. Dominion said in a news release that it would purchase the output of the facility, including energy, capacity and renewable energy credits, under a 20-year power purchase agreement. "Our commitment to solar energy is an important part of the future of our state," Katheryn Curtis, Dominion's senior vice president of Power Generation, said in a statement.  "This partnership with SunEnergy1 is another significant step forward for Dominion as we plan for a low-carbon, balanced and diverse generation mix." Dominion Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, announced last year that it plans to add at least 400 megawatts of solar power in Virginia by 2020. Besides the solar farm in Chesapeake, Dominion has other solar partnerships underway in Hampton Roads. They include: Isle of Wight County, 19 megawatt (MW) Woodland Solar Center (subject to regulatory approval) Chesapeake, Western Branch High School, 1MW system on its rooftop Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, 1killowatt (kW)  ground-mounted system Norfolk, Old Dominion University, 125kW system at a student recreation center SunEnergy1, based in Mooresville, N.C., specializes in the design and installation of utility-scale, ground-mount photovoltaic systems. “We are proud to partner with Dominion to bring new solar solutions to Virginia," said Kenny Habul, SunEnergy1 president and CEO. Virginia native and stock car race driver Denny Hamlin is partnering with SunEnergy1 as an investor in the project through Hamlin's Won One Energy company. "I see this as a great opportunity to invest in the energy future of Virginia," said Hamlin, a 26-time winner on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Chesapeake solar farm will be a ground-mounted tracking PV system.  Commercial operations are expected to begin later this year. 2016-02-08T22:33:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-reports-12.3-million-in-sales-and-lease-transactio S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. reports $12.3 million in sales and lease transactions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-reports-12.3-million-in-sales-and-lease-transactio http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-reports-12.3-million-in-sales-and-lease-transactio#When:16:53:00Z S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. in Norfolk says agents in Richmond and Norfolk recently completed $12.3 million in sales and lease transactions, which included 198,388 square feet of space and 19.1 acres of land. The largest lease deal was for American Freight of Virginia. It leased 35,364 square feet of warehouse space at 4498 Electric Rd. in Roanoke. Nusbaum’s Nathan Shor represented the landlord. In other transactions: The d’Art Center leased 10,992 square feet of office space at 740 Duke St. in Norfolk. Michael Myers represented the landlord. Stage Right Lighting leased 9,100 square feet of office/warehouse space at 513 Viking Drive in Virginia Beach. John M. Profilet represented the landlord. Dollar Tree Stores exercised its option to lease 24,490 square feet of retail space at Warwick Village Shopping Center in Newport News. Tyler Jacobson represented the landlord. Under sales transactions, Hamptons at Noble LP purchased 10.9 acres of land located at Lot 3 on Noble Way in Fredericksburg, from Noble Auto Park LLC for $3.8 million. Bill Overman and John Wessling represented the buyer. KSMA Suffolk Properties LLC purchased Towne Square, a 40,995-square-foot shopping center on 6.7 acres located at 557-571 E. Constance Rd. in Suffolk from ZWay III LLC for $1.2 million.  Mike Zarpas represented the seller, and Bill Overman, John Wessling, Chris Devine and Chris Zarpas represented the buyer. 2016-02-08T16:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/NewmanA_1.5x1.5_RGB2.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/austin-newman-joins-colliers-international-in-richmond-as-a-senior-vice-pre Austin Newman joins Colliers International in Richmond as a senior vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/austin-newman-joins-colliers-international-in-richmond-as-a-senior-vice-pre http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/austin-newman-joins-colliers-international-in-richmond-as-a-senior-vice-pre#When:16:46:00Z    Colliers International said Monday that Austin H. Newman has joined its Richmond office as senior vice president. Newman brings twenty years of experience in the commercial real estate industry with specialization in commercial real estate acquisitions and disposition services. The addition of Newman brings the number of Colliers International employees in Central and Eastern Virginia to 40. The firm provides services in commercial and industrial transactions, consulting and property management.   2016-02-08T16:46:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-resources-will-build-a-new-office-tower-in-downtown-richmond Dominion Resources will build a new office tower in downtown Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-resources-will-build-a-new-office-tower-in-downtown-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-resources-will-build-a-new-office-tower-in-downtown-richmond#When:16:22:00Z Dominion Resources Inc. is growing, and the energy company needs more space. So it has joined other companies in downtown Richmond with plans for a new office tower. Plus, it’s taking a hard look at its existing 21-story office tower, One James River Plaza at 701 East Cary St., to see if it should be refurbished or demolished with a new building erected in its place. According to company spokesman Ryan Frazier, Dominion plans to build a new tower on the site that’s currently home to the Richmond Plaza building, a six-story building at 111 S. Sixth St. It will be demolished this summer, said Frazier, to make way for the new office tower, which should be ready by summer 2019. Dominion selected Richmond-based Hourigan Construction as the general contractor for the project from a pool of 11 competitive bids, Frazier said. Chicago-based Clayco, which built the recently opened 18-story Gateway Plaza office tower – headquarters for the McGuireWoods law firm -- will serve as a joint venture partner. The architect of record will be Kendall/Heaton Associates of Houston while the civil engineer will be the locally based Timmons Group. “We don’t know how big a building yet,” said Frazier. “The investment figure will depend on the size. We’re working on plans now and should have some potential conceptual designs by the summer of this year. ‘’ What is certain is that Dominion is outgrowing its current space. The Fortune 500 company has been adding to its alternative energy portfolio and recently announced a $4 billion deal to acquire Questar Corp., a natural gas company in Salt Lake City, Utah, that’s expected to close by year-end. “We did some studies over the past year and determined a need for a new space and new buildings to house employee growth and our downtown workforce. We are outgrowing what we already have,” said Frazier. Currently, Dominion has 2,400 downtown employees in several buildings: A three building corporate headquarters complex on Tredegar St., the Richmond Plaza building, which has been used primarily for parking; One James River Plaza (right across the street from Richmond Plaza), the 20-story Eighth and Main Building and a couple of buildings on Grayland Ave. Dominion also has a control center building at Innsbrook Corporate Center, which Frazier says it will keep. “We are going to keep our building out there,” he said. “This is solely for our current workforce downtown and potential growth …” he added, referring to the new tower. One James River Plaza St. is a 40-year-old building. “It has significant needs,” said Frazier. “It needs major upgrades for HVAC, lighting, exterior work. That will be something we will need to decide — either renovate it or demolish. Those are really the two options we’re considering.” While the company is still early in the process with its office expansion plans, Dominion joins other major employers in the Richmond area that are transforming the city’s downtown skyline. Last month, SunTrust Banks, Inc. said it would move from its longtime headquarters at the SunTrust Center at 919 Main Street into a new 21-story office and apartment tower that will be built in The Locks development at 10th and Byrd Streets. The project will be known as The Locks at 3Twenty-One, and the developer is Dominion Realty Partners. 2016-02-08T16:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/next-phases-underway-in-fbi-headquarters-relocation Next phases underway in FBI headquarters relocation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/next-phases-underway-in-fbi-headquarters-relocation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/next-phases-underway-in-fbi-headquarters-relocation#When:15:33:00Z  Federal officials have begun the next phases in the relocation of the FBI’s headquarters to Virginia or Maryland. The Obama Administration has approved a $1.4 billion budget request as the next segment of funding for the new headquarters. On Jan. 22, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced its next steps in selecting potential sites for the new facility. Two communities in Prince George’s County, as well as Springfield, Va., are the three finalists for the headquarters. President Barack Obama intends to propose a budget that supplements the $390 million, passed by Congress in December as part of a larger spending bill. The money ultimately will enable the FBI’s relocation from the J. Edgar Hoover Federal Building, the agency’s longtime home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, for a new site in either suburban Maryland or Virginia. The two areas in Prince George’s County under consideration are Greenbelt and Landover.  The goal of the relocation is to provide the FBI with a consolidated facility, bringing its 25 satellite centers throughout the capital region together into a single space of more than 2.1 million square feet. The GSA is looking for a site that can accommodate more than 11,000 FBI employees. The GSA is expected to make a final decision on the FBI’s new location later this year. 2016-02-08T15:33:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Clay_Culbreth.jpg Clay Culbreth http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-promotions1 Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announces promotions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-promotions1 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-promotions1#When:19:11:00Z   Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announces that Clay Culbreth has been promoted to senior vice president. Culbreth joined the firm’s Virginia Beach office in 2009, concentrating exclusively on selling and leasing industrial properties throughout the Hampton Roads Peninsula. He achieved the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, as well as the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors Member (SIOR) designation in 1997. Thalhimer also promoted David Machupa, a retail specialist in the firm’s Virginia Beach office, to first vice president. Machupa has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. His practice focuses on tenant representation services including market analysis, site selection, lease and or contract negotiations and relocation evaluations. His tenant representation services include both individual-unit selection as well as a large-scale market roll outs for clients such as Starbucks, Mattress Firm, AT&T and Top Golf . He has been with Thalhimer since 2004. CCIM Christine Kaempfe has been promoted to vice president. Kaempfe has been a part of Thalhimer’s Virginia Beach office since 2001 specializing in the sales and leasing of office, industrial, land and investment properties. 2016-02-07T19:11:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/preparing-for-a-data-breach-the-construction-industry-is-no-exception Preparing for a data breach: The construction industry is no exception http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/preparing-for-a-data-breach-the-construction-industry-is-no-exception http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/preparing-for-a-data-breach-the-construction-industry-is-no-exception#When:01:06:00Z Data breaches continue to escalate and garner national attention. The most recent news-making incident was the hack of electronic toy maker, VTech. The Risk Insurance Management Society’s Cyber Survey in May 2015 provided important benchmarking information for risk managers continuing to grapple with data security and procurement of cyber insurance. Some of the important takeaways include: that most companies either have standalone cyber insurance at this point, and the rest are seriously considering it now. Companies of all sizes — and across all industries — need to consider cyber insurance as part of their overall program. The situation is getting so bad that businesses, large and small, finally are realizing that the question is not if they will get breached, but when. The construction industry is not immune from data breaches.  For example, national retailer Target was breached when hackers accessed the HVAC company’s network that was tied into Target’s computer system. Target has spent well over $100 million responding, and that HVAC vendor is bankrupt. Those in the construction industry need to remember, the issue is a privacy breach, not just a cyber breach. That means that paper is still a source for an old-fashioned privacy breach. Many industry sectors, including construction, still mistakenly believe that, if they do not deal with the general public as customers or possess a lot of credit card information, they are not at risk. Not true. The Target case is a classic example of how wrong that thinking is today. How data privacy insurance helps prepare for a breach response For most companies, the significant costs associated with responding to a data privacy breach cannot be borne internally. Robust data privacy insurance is required to shift the risk for the company. Going through the process of purchasing such insurance is the first step to good coverage and a strong response plan. The premiums and policy limits are relative to a company’s risk, so that ratio allows a business of any size to consider such coverage. However, insurance underwriters are very cautious and equally thorough in issuing data privacy insurance. Because the new digital order with respect to cyber is not if a company is breached but when, insurers require an extraordinary amount of due diligence in the underwriting process. Those in the construction industry that go through the process will learn a tremendous amount about the current state of their network security and response plan. Information learned in this process can be useful for companies to find the gaps and upgrade their security, protocols and insurance coverage. Policyholders will be required to fill out extensive questionnaires from the insurer and likely allow an onsite visit. All of the information gathered in the process not only informs the insurer as to whether it wants to issue a policy, but can prove invaluable to the company when it comes to developing a strong network defense and response. Benefits of planning ahead for your response A comprehensive data incident response is now “a must,” whether the business owns data privacy insurance or not. As noted, the process of placing insurance coverage can provide valuable insight for creating the strongest response plan possible. There are measurable benefits to being well prepared for a data breach. Obviously, a thorough and tested plan will make for a more effective and efficient response. Mistakes made during the first 72 hours of an incident can increase the costs in responding by two to three times. An efficient response can also prevent a loss of sales, income and stock pricing. Customers who are comfortable with a company’s response are less likely to stop doing business with it in the days following the breach and in the long-run. A proper and effective response protects the company’s brand reputation. The bigger the company, the harder they fall when it comes to a botched response to a breach event. A preplanned response is even more critical for those in construction that are accessing a customer’s computer network or possess sensitive data. Contracts may require the general contractor or subcontractor to handle aspects of the response, work on complying with notification laws and indemnify the client. Plus, it is becoming common for owners to require general contractors and subcontractors to carry cyber insurance. Everyone needs to know what the contract requires. A true cyber policy is an insured’s best protection Businesses can obtain cyber insurance for losses. It is critical to understand the full scope of the coverage you buy. Insurance to protect your property and network can include: 1) computer data restoration; 2) re-securing a company’s information network; 3) theft and fraud coverage; 4) business interruption; 5) forensic investigations; 6) crisis and public relations management; and 7) extortion. Commentators note that first-party losses are usually the higher costs to a business suffering a cyber-attack, so adequate coverage in this area is vital. Organizations also need liability coverage as well. Of course, most coverage in this area will provide for a defense to litigation brought by customers for their direct losses due to a breach. However, insurance may also cover: 1) PCI-DSS liability; 2) credit monitoring for customers; 3) the cost associated with notifying customers of a breach; 4) media and privacy liability; and 5) responses to regulatory investigations. Policyholders can obtain DIC coverage under certain aspects of first- and third-party coverages. The policy forms among the difference carriers vary tremendously, and policyholders must be vigilant to ensure they purchase the right coverage. Insureds must look well beyond the declarations page and coverage grant when considering this type of insurance, although those are obviously important. The devil is in the details. Having gone through the exercise of purchasing data privacy insurance coverage, a company can best develop and response plan and is prepared ahead of time. The process will allow your business to prepare in the following ways: • Develop a strong response team; • Identify response capabilities and external resources; • Establish relationships with law enforcement and regulators; • Create and test your plan prior to an actual event; and • Anticipate communication, remediation and notification pitfalls. Time spent upfront from an in-depth analysis when considering such insurance may prevent the type of coverage fight many policyholders are facing in order to get the coverage they paid for from their insurer.  Regardless, the response plan is a must for all companies unless they just prefer to go out of business. Collin Hite leads the Insurance Recovery Group and the Data Privacy & Security practice at the law firm of Hirschler Fleischer in Richmond. He handles insurance recovery and coverage litigation nationally, and performs insurance policy and program audits for policyholders. Hite may be reached at (804)771-9595 or chite@hf-law.com.   2016-02-06T01:06:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/markon-solutions-names-vice-president Markon Solutions names vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/markon-solutions-names-vice-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/markon-solutions-names-vice-president#When:22:27:00Z Matt Slingwine has been named a vice president at Markon Solutions, a project management consulting firm in Falls Church. In his new post, Slingwine is responsible for overall customer satisfaction, employee and contract health and portfolio growth with a focus on the intelligence community. Slingwine joined the company in 2009 and has led many projects for the firm in financial, facilities, strategy/governance and program management. 2016-02-04T22:27:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/COLONIAL_WILLIAMSBURG.jpeg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-colonial-williamsburg-foundation-running-first-super-bowl-ad The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation running first Super Bowl ad http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-colonial-williamsburg-foundation-running-first-super-bowl-ad http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-colonial-williamsburg-foundation-running-first-super-bowl-ad#When:15:49:00Z The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is running its first-ever Super Bowl ad this Sunday. The commercial, narrated by former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw, is part of Colonial Williamsburg’s campaign to challenge Americans to put today’s news into historical context if they want to understand the issues facing the United States in the 21st century. The ad features emotional images of presidents, innovators, accomplishments and seminal events, as well as a thought-provoking depiction of the World Trade Center rising from the ashes of Ground Zero. Colonial Williamsburg is the nation’s largest living-history museum. Its 300 acres include nearly 600 Revolutionary-era buildings, art museums and hotels. The ad will be broadcast in the New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. markets on CBS during the Super Bowl. It was produced by Texas-based Firehouse ad agency. 2016-02-04T15:49:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-announces-an-afffordable-apartment-project-for-fre S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. announces an affordable apartment project for Fredericksburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-announces-an-afffordable-apartment-project-for-fre http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-announces-an-afffordable-apartment-project-for-fre#When:03:03:00Z   S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. announced a $25 million, 128-unit affordable housing apartment project Wednesday that will be located in Fredericksburg. Hamptons at Noble LP, affiliates of Norfolk-based S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co., bought an 11-acre parcel on Noble Way from Noble Auto Park LLC for the project, which will be known as the Valor Apartment Homes. According to S. L. Nusbaum, there will be one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. The site is located within walking distance to the Central Park shopping corridor and is directly across from a Wegmans grocery store on Fall Hill Avenue. The community will be outfitted in high-end finishes, such as granite countertops in the kitchens and baths, and will have a clubhouse, fitness center, and pool.  The community also has been designed with energy efficient features, to help lower utility expenses for residents.  The clubhouse is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2016, and units will be available in the first quarter of 2017. The community was designed by TS3 Architects and Bowman Consulting.  Hoy Construction Inc. of Norfolk is the general contractor. S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. said it worked with the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), Wells Fargo, and TowneBank to secure financing on the project. Bill Overman and John Wessling of S. L. Nusbaum represented the buyer in the transaction.  S.L. Nusbaum currently manages about 20,000 apartment units and has developed close to 50 communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic. 2016-02-04T03:03:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/manufacturer-to-expand-culpeper-operations Manufacturer to expand Culpeper operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/manufacturer-to-expand-culpeper-operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/manufacturer-to-expand-culpeper-operations#When:20:38:00Z EURO-COMPOSITES plans to invest $10.5 million to expand its U.S. operations in Culpeper County, creating 58 new jobs. EURO-COMPOSITES, which is headquartered in Luxembourg, manufactures honeycomb composite materials that are used in the aviation, space, industrial and defense technology applications. The company will expand its operation by 51,000 square feet and add equipment to increase its production of composite parts for the aerospace industry. Virginia competed against Luxembourg for the project. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, and the company also will receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. The company has partnered with Germanna Community College to provide specialized CNC training for its employees. 2016-02-03T20:38:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Frank_Martino_-_W1.jpg President Frank Martino http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/gracre-announces-new-officers-for-2016 GRACRE announces new officers for 2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/gracre-announces-new-officers-for-2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/gracre-announces-new-officers-for-2016#When:20:22:00Z The Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate (GRACRE), a professional industry group with 500 members, has announced its officers for 2016.  They are:  President, Frank Martino; President Elect, Danny Meyer; Treasurer, Kristie Inge; Secretary, Greg Campbell; and Immediate Past President, Bob Hughes. Martino is the director of LF Jennings’ Richmond division. Meyer is president of Dallan Construction, a full-service design/build and construction management firm. Inge is a senior leasing representative with Highwoods Properties, a publically traded real estate investment trust, with a division in Richmond. Campbell is a principal in Smarter Interiors, an office furniture dealer. Hughes is a director with Florance, Gordon Brown, PC specializing in real estate and business law. 2016-02-03T20:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jobless-rates-remained-largely-unchanged-in-december Jobless rates remained largely unchanged in December http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jobless-rates-remained-largely-unchanged-in-december http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jobless-rates-remained-largely-unchanged-in-december#When:17:43:00Z Unemployment rates in Virginia’s metro areas largely remained unchanged in December when compared to November. The Virginia Employment Commission reported on Wednesday that eight of the commonwealth’s 11 metro areas saw no change in their jobless rates during December. Three areas reported declines, all by only one-tenth of a percentage point. They were the Richmond, Roanoke and Winchester areas. All statistics in the report were not seasonally adjusted. That means they do take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market. Using figure that are not seasonally adjusted, the unemployment rate for Virginia during December was 3.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from November. The national jobless rate using these not seasonally adjusted figures was 4.8 percent, unchanged from November. A breakdown on unemployment rates by metro area shows: Bristol: 4.3 percent in December, unchanged from November. Charlottesville: 3.3 percent, unchanged. Hampton Roads: 4.5 percent, unchanged. Harrisonburg: 3.9 percent, unchanged. Lynchburg: 4.3 percent, unchanged. New River Valley: 3.9 percent, unchanged. Northern Virginia: 3.2 percent, unchanged, Richmond: 4.1 percent, down from 4.2 percent. Roanoke: 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent. Staunton-Waynesboro: 3.9 percent, unchanged. Winchester: 3.5 percent, down from 3.6 percent. 2016-02-03T17:43:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/darden-to-add-d.c.-area-location-to-executive-mba-programs Darden to add D.C. area location to executive MBA programs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/darden-to-add-d.c.-area-location-to-executive-mba-programs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/darden-to-add-d.c.-area-location-to-executive-mba-programs#When:08:00:00Z The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is adding a Washington, D.C.-area location to its executive MBA programs starting in August. The new location will give students in Darden’s MBA for Executives (EMBA) and Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA) the choice to attend classes at the U.Va. campus in Charlottesville or the Washington location. “There’s a huge market in the D.C. area,” says Sankaran Venkataraman, Darden’s senior associate dean for faculty and research. Many executives “because of their workload pressures and family pressures were not inclined to come to Charlottesville but very much wanted to enroll in the [program], so we decided to go the market.” The 21-month program features once-a-month classes on the weekend. Venkataraman said Washington’s train and airport connectivity also could make the program accessible to executives outside the D.C. area. Darden is leasing space in Rosslyn on the Potomac River, featuring panoramic views of the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. The addition of the Washington location is just one of the changes being made to Darden’s executive MBA programs. The graduate business school underwent a review of its programs. Venkataraman said Darden found that its EMBA students wanted more international experiences, while many GEMBA students wanted the opportunity to take electives. “We concluded there’s an opportunity to synergize these two programs and go to a single format executive program,” he said. Now students will take the same coursework but choose their base location as well as whether they want to pursue the EMBA or GEMBA. EMBA students are required to do at least one international residency in Brazil, China, India or Europe. GEMBA students will do one-week global residencies in all four locations and can choose to participate in global consulting projects in places like Cuba, Uganda, France, South Africa, Japan or Mexico. Venkataraman said Darden hopes to grow its program from about 90 to 100 students to 120 to 130 students. “We will have the same faculty and the same method that that’s made Darden famous around the world — our case method using intensive classroom experiences,” Venkataraman said. 2016-02-03T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/24483879440_76966704ce_z.jpg Del. Steve Landes describes HB 858 to create a state International Trade Authority. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/business-leaders-support-bill-to-boost-international-trade Business leaders support bill to boost international trade http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/business-leaders-support-bill-to-boost-international-trade http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/business-leaders-support-bill-to-boost-international-trade#When:01:24:00Z Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave, along with business leaders from across Virginia, promoted a bill Tuesday afternoon that they say will make it easier for businesses in Richmond and elsewhere in the state to export goods internationally. “This could really be a game changer for Virginia; promoting our exports and getting international companies to come into Virginia and do trade with us,” Landes said at a news conference in the General Assembly Building. Landes’ proposal, House Bill 858, would create the Virginia International Trade Authority. It would be formed by reorganizing existing programs within the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, another state agency. Thus, the proposal would not affect the state budget, according to Landes and leaders from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Virginia Maritime Association. As a result, Landes said, the new authority would not cost taxpayers anything, while devoting more resources toward helping state businesses sell their products abroad. According to a news release distributed by an alliance of more than 100 Virginia businesses and trade associations, the proposed International Trade Authority will help Virginia meet its goals of adding “14,000 international trade-supported jobs and increase Virginia exports of products and services by $1.6 billion by 2020.” Van Wood, a professor of marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business, said creating an authority devoted to expanding international trade will “help businesses expand overseas, generate more revenue, and put the Virginia brand name out into the world.” “I want when people to walk into a grocery store in France, and they see French wines, South African wines, Napa Valley wines … I want them to say, ‘We got Virginia wines.’ You got to be out there. That’s what we’re doing,” Wood said in an interview after the news conference. Wood has a great deal of experience working within the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. He is one of several Virginia college professors who have been asked by the governor to help local businesses find an international market for their products. “There’s a small distillery located in Richmond, Virginia, in Scott’s Addition called Reservoir Distillery. It makes excellent rye whiskey and bourbon – $150 a bottle,” Wood said. He said that with globalization, such products might find a demand in emerging markets such as India, China, Brazil and Turkey. “They have a middle class now that these prestige products like American bourbon are going to resonate with,” Wood said. Landes’ bill has been assigned to the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Commerce, Technology and Natural Resources. Photo by Matt Chaney 2016-02-03T01:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-resources-to-acquire-questar-corp.-for-4.4-billion Dominion Resources to acquire Questar Corp. for $4.4 billion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-resources-to-acquire-questar-corp.-for-4.4-billion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-resources-to-acquire-questar-corp.-for-4.4-billion#When:18:19:00Z Dominion Resources Inc. and Questar Corp. announced an agreement Monday for the companies to combine in an all-cash transaction in which Dominion has agreed to pay Questar shareholders $25 per share – about $4.4 billion – and assume Questar's outstanding debt. Dominion, based in Richmond, said acquisition of the Salt Lake City-based natural gas company is expected to close by year-end. Dominion said the deal would give its natural gas operations enhanced geographic diversity.  Dominion's existing operations lie in the mid-Atlantic, whereas Questar's system is the "hub of the Rockies" and a principal source of gas supply to Western states, Dominion said. Questar is a natural gas distribution, pipeline, storage and cost-of-service gas supply company. It serves nearly 1 million homes and businesses in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, with about 97 percent of those customer accounts in Utah. The company employs about 1,700 people and has about $4.2 billion in assets, including about 27,500 miles of gas distribution pipeline, 3,400 miles of gas transmission pipeline and 56 billion cubic feet of working gas storage. Dominion said it intends to finance the transaction in a manner that supports the company's existing credit ratings targets, using equity, mandatory convertibles and debt at Dominion, and equity at Dominion Midstream Partners. Commenting on the deal, Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion, said in a statement, "This addition is well-aligned with Dominion's existing strategic focus on core regulated energy infrastructure operations. Questar boasts best-in-sector customer growth in states with strong pro-business credentials and constructive regulatory environments. These high-performing regulated assets will improve Dominion's balance between electric and gas operations and provide enhanced scale and diversification into Questar's regulatory jurisdictions." Farrell added that Dominion Midstream investors will benefit from the addition of Questar, as the transactions is expected to contribute more than $425 million of EBITDA  (earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization) to Dominion's inventory of top-quality, low-risk MLP(master limited partnership)-eligible assets, supporting Dominion Midstream's targeted annual cash distribution growth rate of 22 percent. "Questar is the ideal mix for Dominion shareholders and Dominion Midstream unit holders alike,” Farrell said. Dominion expects the value of the Questar pipeline system to rise over time as Utah and other Western states seek to comply with the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and meet state-mandated renewable standards, with increasing reliance on low-carbon, gas-fired electric generation. The combined company would serve about 2.5 million electric utility customers and 2.3 million gas utility customers in seven states. It also would operate more than 15,500 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipelines, one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems, and approximately 24,300 megawatts of generation. Separate from this transaction, Dominion has committed about $1 billion for three solar generating facilities located in Beaver, Iron and Millard counties, Utah. These solar facilities are backed by long-term power purchase agreements with local electric utilities. Upon the transaction closing, Questar shareholders will receive $25 in cash for each share of Questar common stock. This represents an approximate 30 percent premium to the volume-weighted average stock price of Questar's last 20 trading days ended Jan. 29, 2016. Pending approvals, Questar will operate as a first-tier, wholly owned subsidiary of Dominion and maintain its significant presence, local management structure and headquarters in Salt Lake City. Dominion also has also agreed to increase community involvement and charitable investment in the communities currently served by Questar. The transaction requires approval of Questar's shareholders and clearance from the Federal Trade Commission. Questar and Dominion also will file for review and approval, if required, from the Utah Public Service Commission and the Wyoming Public Service Commission, and provide information regarding the transaction to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. RBC Capital Markets LLC and Mizuho Bank Ltd.,have provided committed financing and are acting in the role of financial advisers to Dominion. Goldman, Sachs & Co. served as the exclusive financial adviser to Questar. McGuireWoods LLP served as legal counsel to Dominion and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Questar. Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,300 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,500 miles of electric transmission lines. It also operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 933 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. 2016-02-01T18:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/1445_NY_Ave.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-bank-renews-44261-square-foot-lease-at-historic-location-in-washin SunTrust Bank renews 44,261 square-foot lease at historic location in Washington D.C http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-bank-renews-44261-square-foot-lease-at-historic-location-in-washin http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-bank-renews-44261-square-foot-lease-at-historic-location-in-washin#When:16:54:00Z SunTrust Bank has renewed a 44,261-square-foot lease rat its longtime 1445 New York Avenue bank location in Northwest Washington, D.C. Managing Director Matt Sullivan and Senior Vice President Jenna Polivka of Cushman & Wakefield represented SunTrust Bank in the transaction. “After reviewing multiple alternatives in the market, SunTrust was able to achieve the right size at 1445 New York Avenue and has plans to renovate the retail branch with a modern design that includes conference and meeting room features,” Sullivan said in a statement. The 125-year-old, 158,000-square-foot building is situated directly across the street from the U.S. Treasury and White House, with access to the Metro. Amenities include a brand new lobby, fitness center and restrooms. “For over 100 years, SunTrust has been the proud occupant of this historic corner, in a building that stands as a tribute to generations of our teammates, clients and members of the Greater Washington community,” Dan O’Neill, president of SunTrust’s Greater Washington/Maryland Division, said in a statement. 2016-02-01T16:54:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/College_Park_6550_Hampton_Roads_Parkway_0234_old.jpg College Parkway Shopping Center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-gets-leasing-assignment-for-large-suffolk-shopp Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer gets leasing assignment for large Suffolk shopping center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-gets-leasing-assignment-for-large-suffolk-shopp http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-gets-leasing-assignment-for-large-suffolk-shopp#When:16:22:00Z College Parkway Crossing Shopping has selected Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer for the exclusive commercial property management assignment at the 93,728-square-foot retail center in northern Suffolk. Located  at College Drive and 6500-6550 Hampton Roads Parkway, tenants at the center include Food Lion, CrossFit, Subway, Farmers and Nationwide insurance agents and Goodwill. Dean Martin of Cushman & Wakefield’s Virginia Beach office will be the exclusive leasing representative while Mary Yelinek, also with Thalhimer, will serve as the property manager.  In other leasing assignments for Thalhimers in Hampton Roads: The Virginia Beach office has been assigned the leasing and commercial management of Central Center in Norfolk. The 53,338-square-foot office building is located at 7447 Central Business Park Drive. CYS Ventures LLC also has selected the company as the property management firm for Edinburgh Commons, a 13,329-square-foot retail center located at 200 Carmichael Way in Chesapeake. 2016-02-01T16:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/ION.JPG http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carilion-opens-32-million-renovated-building-for-new-clinic-in-roanoke Carilion opens $32 million renovated building for new clinic in Roanoke http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carilion-opens-32-million-renovated-building-for-new-clinic-in-roanoke http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carilion-opens-32-million-renovated-building-for-new-clinic-in-roanoke#When:15:53:00Z Carilion Clinic’s Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences is open, following the $32 million renovation of a former grocery store. Doctors began seeing patients last week. The building on Franklin Road, originally a 55,000-square-foot Ukrop’s grocery store, was completely renovated over the last two years. The facility how has 116,000 square feet with 125 patient exam rooms, nine procedure rooms and capacity for eight diagnostic imaging rooms, seven of which are operational now. Carilion created the Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences to unite two complementary disciplines to benefit education, research and patient care. “It’s been thrilling to see the Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences take shape over the past two years,” Nancy Howell Agee, Carilion Clinic President and CEO, said in a statement. “As our nation’s population ages, the need for orthopaedic and neurologic care is ever increasing. These services complement each other, and co-locating them in a single facility provides opportunities for collaboration among caregivers and convenience for our patients.” The Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences is the first institute Carilion Clinic has launched. The not-for-profit healthcare organization serves nearly 1 million people in Virginia through hospitals, outpatient specialty centers and advanced primary care practices. 2016-02-01T15:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/land-sold-in-roanoke-for-new-texas-roadhouse-restaurant-location Land sold in Roanoke for new Texas Roadhouse restaurant location http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/land-sold-in-roanoke-for-new-texas-roadhouse-restaurant-location http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/land-sold-in-roanoke-for-new-texas-roadhouse-restaurant-location#When:15:50:00Z Texas Roadhouse Holdings LLC has purchased 1.2 acres of land situated along South Peek Boulevard in Roanoke  from McNeil Properties LLC for $1.1 million and plans to develop a new Texas Roadhouse restaurant at the location. John K. Nielsen of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the buyer. 2016-02-01T15:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/001d11a.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/new-year-but-back-to-basics-marketing-strategy-in-2016 New year, but back to basics? Marketing strategy in 2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/new-year-but-back-to-basics-marketing-strategy-in-2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/new-year-but-back-to-basics-marketing-strategy-in-2016#When:20:59:00Z Every year around this time, it seems like we see a multitude of articles that cover marketing and branching challenges in today’s world. For example, in a recent Forbes article, Daniel Newman discusses how marketers need to appeal to the changing needs of an increasingly diverse, fragmented, and impatient population by utilizing big data, mobile and video technology. A quick Google search reveals many articles and blogs with the same message. It may be a new year, but it seems like the same message as last year (and the year before that). Consumers are more diverse in today’s world, and therefore, your marketing strategy needs to meet this complexity. Marketing strategy must be innovative and technical — otherwise it will fail in today’s marketplace. While there are certainly some great ideas in these articles, I question the overall message. The methods we use to market products is certainly different from 20 years ago, but I am not sure that the overall strategy has really changed that much. In many ways, successful marketing in 2016 seems more deeply rooted in simplicity and the basics than ever before. 1. Importance of the human touch — Concep.com called ultra-personalization an emerging trend back in 2013, and the concept has continued to expand since then. Websites spend more time asking for information about consumers, in order to make better product recommendations. Financial services firms are starting to offer chat functions, in order to provide higher quality customer service. The use of video has started to increase as well. While these strategies appear shiny and new, it seems they are simply a movement back to something more fundamental – the importance of human relationships. Marketing has always been about interacting with people in a meaningful way. The use of ultra-personalization is simply a further movement toward human connection. The bells and whistles may be new, but the concept is not. Establishing a connection with someone is key to selling them a better product or service. 2. Credibility of the not credible — Credible businesses are dabbling more and more in social media due to its increased popularity. According to Jeff Bullas, 72 percent of all Internet users are active on social media. As a result, 78 percent of US companies now have dedicated social media teams. This increase would seem to indicate that consumers are deriving more value from social media than ever before. The willingness of companies to play in this space also is taking these previously unreliable sources of information, like Twitter and Facebook, and making them credible. While the popularity of social media seems baffling on the surface, it may point to something that marketers have always known. Specifically, people like to hear the unfiltered opinions of others, even if they have to make judgments as to the merits of these opinions themselves. People don’t want to hear a sales pitch, they want to hear people’s viewpoints and stories about the product or service they are contemplating purchasing. Is this really news? 3. Looks matter — Many marketers have touted the importance of good website content within a company’s overall marketing mix. In a recent survey by NewsCred, 53 percent of marketers ranked content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic. There can be no doubt that solid content helps a website acquire and maintain visitors. However, nearly half of people say website design is their number one criterion for determining a company’s credibility. This would seem to represent a disconnect between marketers and consumers. Consumers want good content, but they want a slick looking website as well. The storefront is still important to the consumer, whether they’re patronizing a brick-and-mortar building or a website. This is not to say that marketing has not changed at all, or that we should not pay attention to new marketing tools. Rather, it is simply meant as a word of caution to businesses that they should not overlook the forest for the trees, or become overwhelmed by hyped discussions about vast consumer taste changes. New marketing tools will come and go, but good marketing strategy may not be vastly different from what it has been previously. Connecting with people, realizing that they value honesty, and providing a good-looking storefront are still keys to success in 2016 and the years ahead. David Peters, CPA, is the strategic relationship manager and financial adviser for Carroll Financial Inc., in Charlotte, N.C. He is a member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA). Contact him at dpeters@carrollfinancial.com. Website: http://www.carrollfinancial.com The information discussed herein is general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Nothing in this white paper constitutes an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any type of securities. Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cetera Advisors Network, LLC, Member SIPC/FINRA.  Advisory services offered through Carroll Financial Associates, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Carroll Financial and Cetera Advisors Network, LLC are not affiliated. 2016-01-29T20:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/avepoint-projects-to-create-155-jobs-in-virginia AvePoint projects to create 155 jobs in Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/avepoint-projects-to-create-155-jobs-in-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/avepoint-projects-to-create-155-jobs-in-virginia#When:18:58:00Z New Jersey-based technology company AvePoint Inc. plans to establish an operation in downtown Richmond, at an office in Riverfront Plaza,  $1.5 million project expected to create 100 jobs. The company also plans to expand its existing operations Arlington County, creating 55 jobs. AvePoint provides big-data management, governance and compliance software solutions for social collaboration platforms. Its products and services centralize access and control of information found in disparate management systems on-sites and in the cloud. Founded in 2001 and based in Jersey City, N.J., AvePoint serves more than 14,000 organizations and 3 million Office 365 users in five continents in all industry sectors. Many of its customers are involved in the energy, financial services, health-care and pharmaceuticals industries. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Richmond, Greater Richmond Partnership and Arlington County officials to secure the project. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities also will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 2016-01-29T18:58:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/arkay-packaging-to-expand-botetourt-county-operations Arkay Packaging to expand Botetourt County operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/arkay-packaging-to-expand-botetourt-county-operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/arkay-packaging-to-expand-botetourt-county-operations#When:18:45:00Z New York-based Arkay Packaging Corp., a major folding carton manufacturer, plans to spend $11 million to upgrade equipment and expand its Botetourt County operations, a projected that is expected to create 50 jobs. Founded in 1922 Arkay provides packaging for cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies. The company has a 140,000-square-foot plant in Botetourt, which it opened in 1996. The company also has a location in  Hauppage, N.Y. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Botetourt County to secure the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 2016-01-29T18:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sinclair-television-group-renews-100000-square-foot-lease-in-rosslyn Sinclair Television Group renews 100,000-square-foot lease in Rosslyn http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sinclair-television-group-renews-100000-square-foot-lease-in-rosslyn http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sinclair-television-group-renews-100000-square-foot-lease-in-rosslyn#When:21:46:00Z Sinclair Television Group Inc. is renewing a 100,000-square-foot lease in Monday Properties Twin Towers in Rosslyn for the company’s regional WJLA and News Channel 8 platforms. According to Monday Properties, Sinclair’s renewal continues an extensive occupancy history at the Towers.  In July 2014, Sinclair acquired WJLA and News Channel 8 from Allbritton Communications which had been a Towers tenant for over 15 years. The towers are located at 1000 and 1100 Wilson Boulevard. Monday Properties President Tim Helmig, whose firm’s regional headquarters resides at 1000 Wilson Boulevard, said in a statement, “WJLA and News Channel 8 have been valued tenants in the Towers for over 15 years and we’re pleased to continue our special partnership with Sinclair. … The Towers proximity to the D.C. region provides Sinclair’s media outlets the ability to cover stories quickly in an unencumbered location that is free from transportation inefficiencies.” Joe Judge, Mike Rodan, Wendy Blue and Robb Johnson of JLL represented Sinclair Television Group in the transaction. Monday Properties was represented in-house by Helmig, John Wharton and Deniz Yener. Monday Properties has invested in the towers and recently reopened a renovated 8,000-square-foot fitness facility in the buildings and is offering free access to tower tenants. That amenity follows infrastructure investment of more than $50 million in improvements that include lobbies, elevators and escalator modernizations, HVAC system and parking garage upgrades in recent years and a planned rooftop deck, The project offers more than one million square feet of LEED gold certified trophy office space. “This recent robust leasing activity in the Towers is a reflection of the investments we’ve made into providing the modern amenities tenants want,” said Helmig. 2016-01-28T21:46:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/NikiBetty-5376.png Niki Park and Betty Sanborn take photos for The People of Portsmouth Facebook page. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ready-for-a-fresh-start Ready for a fresh start http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ready-for-a-fresh-start http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ready-for-a-fresh-start#When:21:00:00Z Armed with cameras, creativity and a love for Portsmouth, Betty Sanborn and Niki Park are on a mission to promote pride in the historic Hampton Roads city they call home. Professional photographers, Sanborn and Park travel throughout Portsmouth taking portraits of residents and placing them on The People of Portsmouth Facebook page along with why they love living in the city and their vision for its future. They’ve photographed more than 200 Portsmouth residents since launching the project last June.  “The only thing to disqualify someone from being on the page is you can’t say something negative,” says Sanborn, owner of EMS Photography. “We want everyone to feel welcome and be willing to work with other people regardless of who they are because we’re all citizens of Portsmouth, and until we all work together, we’re not going to get anywhere.” Sanborn and Park’s attitude is indicative of a fresh start many in Portsmouth are trying to make this year after recent turmoil in city government and the damaging financial effects of new transportation tolls. New City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton is working to shape what she calls The New Portsmouth. “Right off the ground, there are a lot of great things to be done to continue the excitement in the city, improve quality of life and improve education.” she says. “It’s very important that we engage the community and listen to the community.” City officials point to positive signs, including new investment in multifamily real estate projects, potential development of the city’s waterfront and an influx of new downtown residents. Last year was tumultuous. City Council struggled to plug an $11.7 million budget gap and fired City Manager John Rowe and City Attorney George Willson. Another 13 city officials either resigned or were forced out. In May, a citizens group began an effort to recall Mayor Kenny Wright. (In a bizarre incident early this year, Portsmouth Sheriff Bill Watson charged Wright with a felony after he failed to stop his car during a low-speed chase over an expired inspection sticker.) Portsmouth also has taken a major financial hit in the two years since tolls were levied on the Downtown and Midtown tunnels to help pay for the $2.1 billion Elizabeth River Tunnels project, Virginia’s largest road-building project in 20 years.  The deal, approved by the administration of then-Gov. Bob McDonnell has been harshly criticized by the current governor, Terry McAuliffe. The tolls, along with regular nightly and weekend closures of the downtown tunnels, have riled motorists and business owners. Norfolk and Virginia Beach residents have shunned the tunnels, curtailing travel to Portsmouth and dampening sales for local businesses. Some closed their doors, including Crockin’s Furniture which is shuttering its downtown store after 126 years.   “We’ve got some very, very serious issues with our city — the highest taxes in the region, incomes stymied by tolls,” says Fred Schoenfeld, the owner of the Commodore Theatre in Olde Towne, who supports efforts  to recall the mayor. “The city has a lot of charm, but we’re considered the ugly stepsister of Tidewater. Until something changes in city government, it’s going to be hard to reverse that.”   Working with civic groups These are some of challenges that Pettis Patton has faced since starting work as Portsmouth’s first female city manager Sept. 1. Council’s unanimous choice for the job, Pettis Patton previously spent 22 years in city hall, overseeing an array of departments before retiring as deputy city manager in 2008. She then spent seven years as associate director for student access, success and diversity initiatives at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In creating a New Portsmouth, Pettis Patton expects city employees to remember that they are public servants. “That’s the only reason we’re here,” she notes. “Citizens need to know what the work of government is, what these departments are for and how we are here to help them.” It’s a philosophy she imparts not only to rank and file employees but also to department heads, including those appointed late last year to fill seven vacant positions. To enhance city government’s connection with residents, she is requiring department heads to meet with every civic association during 2016. In an effort to hold down taxes, she also encourages city employees to find ways to cut costs without hurting essential services.  “There are some things government can do, and some we cannot do,” she notes, adding that she wants staffers to handle the city’s finances like they would their own. “The same way you feel about your money is the same way I want us to feel about reallocations spending.” Elie Bracy III also has faced challenges since becoming superintendent of Portsmouth Public Schools a year ago. The former superintendent of rural Weldon, N.C., schools took the helm of an urban division in which enrollment has declined during the past 20 years to about 14,000 students. Six of the system’s 19 elementary, middle and high schools currently have partial accreditation. The rest are fully accredited. Bracy has pledged to have all city schools fully accredited. He is optimistic that the division can become an “exemplary school system” where parents want their children to attend.  “When you start looking at schools and talking to people, you find that it’s a good school system,” he says. “You have to really get inside to see what’s going on, but students have pride in their schools.” Surveyed by explorer That optimism dovetails with Sanborn and Park’s efforts.  They know all about the problems facing Portsmouth, but they want residents to focus on the positive. “There’s been a lot of discontent in the city, which really upsets me,” says Sanborn, a Portsmouth native. “But Portsmouth is a great place with so much history and so many families that have such a long lineage here.”  The city’s storied past dates from 1608 when Capt. John Smith surveyed land along a body of water, which he named the Elizabeth River. Today, Portsmouth’s economic development department touts the city’s 90 miles of shoreline, which played a vital role in the nation’s maritime and military history. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard was established in Portsmouth in 1767, while the U.S. Fifth District Coast Guard Command provides maritime protection for the mid-Atlantic U.S. Portsmouth is also home to the U.S. Naval Medical Center, the Navy’s oldest, continuously operating hospital, in use since the 1830s.   Many of the workers at those facilities commute from other cities. Housing in the city has largely consisted of small, single-family homes and low-end apartment complexes, with 60 percent of residences built before 1970. Eight new developments That’s one reason city leaders are enthused about the addition of eight developments totaling 770 multifamily units in the downtown corridor, representing $100 million in private investment. The Quarters at Park View, a 140-unit luxury apartment community that opened last summer, is fully occupied. Its developer, The Whitmore Co., also is constructing two other apartment complexes in Olde Towne. Meanwhile, the Monument Cos., a Richmond firm specializing in rehabbing historic properties, is converting the former Seaboard Building and the Governor Dinwiddie Hotel into high-end apartments, with commercial space on the first floors. Work should be completed by the end of 2016. The Breeden Co., based in Virginia Beach, is making its first foray into Olde Towne with the construction of two downtown apartment projects. The 134-unit Harbor Vista will be ready this summer, while the 187-unit North Pier, next to the city’s Harbor Center Pavilion,  is scheduled for completion in 2017. The company has also purchased Montgomery Square, a 69-unit property with 40,000 square feet of commercial space. “Not many cities right on the water have opportunities like this,” says, Ramon W. Breeden Jr.,  president, CEO and founder of The Breeden Co.  “There is untold amount of opportunity there for not only housing but also commercial. There may be some risk, but we believe in the land and the leadership and the future of the city as well as the potential of the waterfront.” Promoted as a tourist destination, Olde Towne boasts one of the largest collections of historically important homes between Alexandria and Charleston, S.C., as well as historic places of worship, including Monumental United Methodist Church, one of the oldest continuing Methodist congregations in the South, and Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the second oldest building in Portsmouth and the oldest black church.   Targeting port-related businesses Now millennials, as well as retirees, are flocking to downtown Portsmouth, says Mallory Butler, the city’s director of economic development. “Millennials want to be part of a vibrant community, and empty nesters want to be away from the responsibility of a yard.” Butler officially took over the city’s top economic development job in December after working in the department for two decades. She’s seen the city evolve and is bullish about its future. “We’ve come a long way, and there is nothing but opportunities ahead of us,” she says. For starters, the city is working to attract more maritime and port-related industries and retail and restaurants and even craft breweries. Two of Virginia’s three container terminals are in Portsmouth, and the state’s long-term plans call for developing the city’s Craney Island as a container terminal. “Clearly the port business is part of Portsmouth,” Butler notes. “Businesses want to be in or near port terminals or on the waterfront.”   Interchange, a logistics company based in Harrisonburg, is building two 100,000-square-foot warehouses on 13 acres in Portsmouth, while PER Properties of Virginia Beach is developing about 15 acres along the Elizabeth River for storage and shipment of agricultural products. Retail is once again flourishing in Portsmouth, reversing a trend that saw many stores leave the city for suburban shopping centers. Developers have poured $37 million into Midtown’s resurgence, where a Kroger Marketplace, a Wal-Mart store and national eateries are drawing shoppers. “Over the last five to 10 years, we’ve made a concerted effort to bring retail back,” Butler says. Now, the city is looking to get in on the burgeoning craft brewery market. “That’s blooming across the commonwealth,” she notes. “Certainly there’s opportunity for us to get a sip of that keg.” Create Portsmouth Now Yet, Portsmouth is regularly perceived as Hampton Roads’ underdog, says Park, the photographer, a city native who moved back 14 years ago. “I happen to be a fan of underdogs,” she adds. Discovering that others were also rooting for Portsmouth, Park brought together a group of friends and acquaintances to brainstorm ways to improve the city. The conversation led to the formation of Create Portsmouth Now to highlight residents’ creativity, talent and entrepreneurship and instill pride in the community.  The group sponsored a fall festival featuring bands and artists and is planning a spring event as well as an initiative to display local artists’ work in storefront windows and on a public art wall in Olde Towne. “This started out as an effort to connect people who care about Portsmouth,” Park adds. “We just ask that people be willing to work to make the city a better place.”  “If people can come together and tap into that spirit of community and unity, we can reflect that back to the city leadership,” she says.  “It really is the people that make Portsmouth special. They’re genuine and lack pretense. They want to stick with Portsmouth, invest in the community and make improvements over the long haul.” 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/_N2A1298.png U.Va. engineers John Stankovic and John Lach Photo by Jay Paul http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/improving-the-human-condition Improving the human condition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/improving-the-human-condition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/improving-the-human-condition#When:21:00:00Z Editor’s Note:  This is a continuing series profiling Virginia’s colleges and universities. What makes children fat? Is their home environment to blame? University of Virginia engineers are teaming up with behavioral psychologists to better understand how family-eating dynamics lead to childhood obesity. Their data-driven idea is simple: Set up a monitoring system in homes where children and teenagers are overweight to track a family’s eating behavior. The goal is to identify environmental triggers that lead to weight problems. “The basic idea is we have a collection of remote sensors installed in homes that monitor activity and moods,” says John Stankovic, who with John Lach heads the program funded with $1.7 million from the National Science Foundation. “The approach is novel. Everybody else counts calories.” Stankovic’s expertise is in real-time computing, cyber-physical systems and wireless sensor networks. “The opportunity to deploy this system in the real world and have people benefit from this is exciting,” says Lach, who specializes in wireless body sensory networks and cyber-physical system design. “This is an indirect approach to understand family eating dynamics related to obesity. Other direct methods have been less successful.” The two professors are part of a vast research complex at U.Va. seeking ways to improve the human condition. U.Va. School of Medicine researchers discovered last year that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. The discovery could  affect the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis. The discovery was cited as one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of 2015 in year-end lists compiled by Scientific American, Science and the National Institutes of Health. When the discovery was announced in June, Jonathan Kipnis, professor in the U.Va. Department of Neuroscience and director of U.Va.’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG), said it “changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction. We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions.” Sponsored research U.Va. research is growing. The university received $311 million in sponsored research awards during the past school year — an increase of almost 10 percent over the previous year. Faculty at four U.Va. schools led the way: 58 percent of the money was awarded to School of Medicine projects; 16 percent to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; 12 percent to the College of Arts and Sciences; and 8 percent to the Curry School of Education. “Research is important for a number of reasons,” says Phillip A. Parrish, U.Va.’s interim vice president for research. “There are complex societal issues without easy solutions for which research is imperative in order to progress.” Research in the fields of health and life sciences for example  — especially in cancer, diabetes, neurological and cardiovascular diseases  — has led to significantly longer life expectancies and quality of life, he says. Environmental research is focusing more on “resilience to environmental change, water and air quality, and strategies and policies to mitigate impacts upon coastal and urban regions,” Parrish says. Meanwhile, science and engineering research supports national security initiatives, including projects for high-performance aircraft and naval applications, as well as efforts addressing terrorism and cybersecurity threats. “By and large, research is awarded in an intense competition among faculty from universities from across the United States,” Parrish adds. “Sponsored research awards come from a number of sources, but primarily from federal and state governments, from industry and from foundations.” There is an immediate, practical side to research, too. “Public universities, including U.Va., have the responsibility to bring the fruits of their research to the marketplace, thereby enabling growth of jobs for citizens,” says Parrish. New patents and products In the last year, U.Va. has set school records in patents filed with the U.S.  Patent Office by faculty (187), and commercialization through deals with industry (70), as well as starting seven new companies, says Parrish. Examples of the benefits of research include: Faculty research in the medical and engineering schools led to development of an “artificial pancreas” prototype, which soon will enter final testing in two clinical trials. The art­­­i­­­­­­­­­ficial pancreas would help  diabetics monitor very closely and control insulin levels, enabling greater quality of life. Favorable results from trials could lead to approval by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory groups. Engineering school research on extremely low-power circuits has enabled the use of wearable sensors. They wirelessly monitor a person’s health without requiring batteries. Instead, thermoelectric materials transform body heat into electricity to power the sensors and wireless communications to monitoring devices. The low-power circuitry intellectual property has led to formation of a significant spin-out company in Charlottesville called Psikick. It has attracted venture funding and has created high-paying jobs. James Smith, a U.Va. civil and environmental engineer, has played a leading role in developing MadiDrop  —  an inexpensive water disinfecting tablet that could help billions of people worldwide. Robert Salzar, whose expertise is in engineering mechanics, is leading a team of researchers at U.Va.’s Center for Applied Biomechanics. They are looking at ways to change the design of military combat vehicles to better protect soldiers riding in them. Research today is not just the purview of faculty or even graduate students. Undergraduate research is growing. “It is a new interest in entrepreneurship that’s bubbled up in the past five years,” says Parrish. “It’s a broader area than research, but it includes taking new products and new ideas into a company.” “We believe in providing undergraduates opportunities to participate in research, and more and more undergraduate students have a strong interest in research and entrepreneurship,” Parrish says. “It is vital to the economies of Virginia and the nation that more students be involved in the STEM disciplines, which are engines for growth.”  Joint venture with USC Research tackling the problem of childhood obesity fit right into the university’s mission. Stankovic and Lach’s project is a joint venture with Donna Spruijt-Metz and Kayla de la Haye,  behavioral psychologists at the University of Southern California. Their goal also is to identify environmental triggers that lead to unhealthy eating patterns.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says obesity now affects one in six children and adolescents in the U.S. Approximately 17 percent (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents ages 2-19 years are obese, according to the CDC. In 2012, more than one-third of American children and adolescents were considered overweight or obese. In this project, 20 families in California with overweight or obese children or teenagers volunteered to have their movements, moods and voices detected by the U.Va. engineers’ sensing system. The sensors, which are unobtrusive and wireless, were placed on kitchen cabinet doors where food is located, on refrigerator and freezer doors and even on scales. A smart wristwatch detects eating motions. Pressure pads detect when people sit at the dinner table. Microphones in the dining area pick up voices from which moods and stress levels can be ascertained. The project kicked off in September. “This collection of data monitors activity and moods,” says Stankovic. “In the past you would only get behavioral data through surveys, which are notoriously inaccurate. This captures data never before collected at this level of granular detail.” “The data can be turned into information we can use,” says Lach. “We hope it will lead to a more significant and substantial impact on the problem of childhood obesity.” Lach and Stankovic tested their monitoring system in the lab by having students stage scenarios like arguments at the dinner table, for example. The initial four-year study will be focused on data collection, not on modifying behavior. That will come later. “The long-term goal is to provide real-time interventions in a way that improves the family eating dynamic,” Lach says. “It’s a matter of trying to understand each family’s dynamics. The dynamics in each family may be different.” Throughout the study, Stankovic and Lach will rely on the data to steadily adjust their monitoring system and make it as accurate as possible. Another important outcome is that the system could also be put into general use. “It could possibly be adapted for other types of preventative treatment or other home health monitoring,” Stankovic says. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/TRANS_Squires.png CEO James Squires: Canadian Pacific’s offer is “grossly inadequate.” AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Erica Yoon http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/no-deal No deal? http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/no-deal http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/no-deal#When:21:00:00Z Three times was not the charm for a Canadian company that attempted to woo Norfolk Southern Corp. into a merger late last year. But the chase, by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., is still on. According to industry insiders, the endgame could come in May at Norfolk Southern’s annual meeting, or even earlier, with one source speculating that the Norfolk-based transportation company could see a takeover attempt from its shareholder ranks engineered by Canadian Pacific’s largest stakeholder, billionaire investor Bill Ackman and his Pershing Square Capital Management group.  In the meantime, Norfolk Southern is reaching out to investors with a new five-year restructuring plan that includes staff reductions, and a message that the regulatory hurdles to such a merger are high.    In January, weeks after Norfolk Southern’s board rejected a third unsolicited bid on Dec. 23 of $27 billion, the likelihood of a merger between the companies appeared increasingly dim.  Jim McClellan, a 40-plus-year veteran of the railroad industry, assessed the situation this way: “I do not think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that the merger will go through.” McClellan, a former senior vice president with Norfolk Southern and now a vice president of Woodside Consulting in Virginia Beach, added, however, that he could see Ackman trying to sway Norfolk Southern’s shareholders to replace board members and ultimately replace CEO James Squires with Canadian Pacific’s  CEO, E. Hunter Harrison Jr. Another rail and shipping expert, retired consultant Jim Hanscom, says Norfolk Southern’s shareholders may be enticed by the case that the Canadian company could tighten the U. S. railroad’s operations and cost structure. He believes the company could appear vulnerable in the play for a takeover. “It does seem like they’ve been slow at the switch for a long time,” Hanscom says of Norfolk Southern, “and their metrics for how they have run the railroad have not held up for a while.” Canadian Pacific could put forth a financial plan that shows a big payoff to investors, Hanscom says. “If you’re a shareholder, there is an appeal there.” With a contraction in the coal industry squeezing freight carriers, Norfolk Southern has put a keener focus on reducing costs and honing its operations. On Jan. 27,  the company reported that its fourth-quarter profit dropped 29 percent, with net income of $361 million, or $1.20 a share, down from $511 million, or $1.64 a share, a year earlier.  In a conference call with analysts, Jim Squires, Norfolk Southern’s chairman, president and CEO, said the company plans to cut 2,000 jobs by 2020, including 1,200 this year, through attrition and furloughs. The plan is expected to cut costs by $130 million in 2016 and result in annual savings of $650 million by 2020.  McClellan and Hanscom both predict that a new Harrison regime could come with a deep impact on Norfolk Southern through severe cost cutting. McClellan describes Harrison as “very aggressive and very smart, but not a long-term thinker. He would hurt Norfolk Southern and strip the capabilities.” Meanwhile, representatives for both railroad companies aren’t talking. They declined to comment for this story beyond press statements released on Dec. 23. Canadian Pacific did release a white paper in January restating its case for merging with Norfolk Southern. Many letters of opposition have been sent to the U. S. Surface Transportation Board, the federal agency with oversight over railroad mergers. Everyone from railroad shippers to manufacturing associations, the West Virginia Coal Association and elected officials have weighed in. They say the deal poses too much regulatory risk and would reduce competition. In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the state’s congressional delegation, including Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and 10 of Virginia’s 11 members of the House, are against the proposal. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/BAC_ATM_with_Teller_Assist_photo_1.png Many banks are introducing video ATMs, such as this one in Norfolk. Photo courtesy Bank of America http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fewer-branches-more-apps Fewer branches, more apps http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fewer-branches-more-apps http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fewer-branches-more-apps#When:21:00:00Z It’s been more than eight years since Apple debuted the iPhone. Since then, smartphone adoption rates have exploded: Two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone, and the numbers aren’t slowing down. This revolution in technology has not only transformed American society but business as well, and its impact can be seen perhaps most directly with the banking industry, which has reduced its overall number of branches in reaction to consumers seeking faster, on-demand technological solutions to their financial needs outside of regular banking hours. “Banks in Virginia are acutely aware of the way technology is changing the banking model, just like banks all over the country,” says Bruce Whitehurst, president and CEO of the Virginia Bankers Association.  “You see wide adoption of online banking and mobile banking. There are a lot of changes going on in branches in terms of both the way a branch is staffed and the size of the branch because clearly branch traffic continues to decline.” Technology also is changing credit unions. At Virginia Credit Union, Chris Saneda, chief information officer and executive vice president of data and digital innovation, says:“We strongly believe that the mobile device is going to be the gateway to all other services. It might be a phone, it might be a wearable, who knows? We have a mobile-first posture to make sure we have a strong consideration among mobile enthusiasts. All ages are getting online and going mobile because of the convenience. It’s not limited to just millennials.” More than technology, “what’s really changing is the needs and priorities of our customers, and because of that … we’re making our entire organization much more accessible to the customer base,” says Leesburg-based Anthony Tremonte, a financial center sales and Merrill Edge regional executive for Bank of America.  For instance, Bank of America, SunTrust and other financial institutions are beginning to implement live video chats with tellers at ATMs. Video tellers can perform any services that an in-person teller can, except that they offer extended weekday and weekend banking hours compared with branches, Tremonte says. Nevertheless, mobile still is the driving force behind banking technology at present.  About 32 million of Bank of America’s 48 million national customers are using online or mobile banking, with 18 million alone using mobile devices, he says. “We’re doing 222,000 mobile check deposits every day. The total number was 20 million for the third quarter, worth about $17 billion in assets. That’s a big number to capture through a mobile app, and I think that showcases how important our customers think this is,” Tremonte adds. Features such as mobile check scanning, making bill payments and transferring money are commonplace on many apps now. Virginia Credit Union offers loan applications via mobile banking, and Bank of America customers can use their smartphones to schedule a same-day, in-person appointment with a bank representative, similar to making an appointment at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar. In many cases, mobile phones are beginning to supplant debit cards, via digital wallet services such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which allow consumers to pay for purchases by scanning their smartphones. A number of banks and credit unions, including Bank of America and Virginia Credit Union, already offer these services. “We believe that the physical act of swiping a card will likely not exist in 15 years,” Saneda says. And even if the card does still exist then, the magnetic stripe on the back may not, Whitehurst says, noting that it’s gradually being phased out in favor of an embedded microchip that’s more difficult to counterfeit. You may already have a card with the microchip. Major retailers such as Target are using it. Apple Pay utilizes fingerprint authentication as a security protection for financial transactions, and bankers say biometrics such as retina scanning at ATMs are likely on the horizon in the next decade. This year Virginia Credit Union plans to implement voice authentication for customers using its automated phone services. As the Internet of Things grows, there also will be more devices enabled to make payments, from clothing and wearable devices to automobiles. “It’s really about the experience. Payment will be an afterthought,” says Saneda, noting that there are a staggering number of tech entrepreneurs and retailers developing new payment methods and apps. Deciding which technologies and applications make for good strategic partnerships and added convenience for customers is a consideration banks and credit unions will be making more and more. Not everyone is on board with new tech, however. “We’re always being sensitive about folks who are not comfortable with technologies yet,” Saneda says. “You don’t have to do biometrics — there are other vehicles and paths still available,” including in-person tellers, ATMs and phone services. Many branches are integrating technology such as iPads into their day-to-day business practices and even working to educate customers on how to use it. At Cardinal Bank’s University Mall branch in Fairfax, customers can get demos of how to do banking services on devices including the Apple Watch and Samsung smartphones. “We did a total redesign [of the branch] and placed less emphasis on the teller line. It’s not even visible to the client. We really want it to be more about the relationships. … We focus on explaining our products,” says Bernard H. Clineburg, executive chairman of the Tysons Corner-based bank. “The design is more modern, more open, and it’s funny, we find that … it’s becoming a place for a couple of the older ladies to come and enjoy a coffee and make deposits. It’s kind of fun.” Whitehurst notes that “it used to be that you had to go into the branch for your banking. Then we had ATMs, then telephones, then online banking, then we had mobile. The addition of [new] delivery channels doesn’t mean banks have eliminated the prior channels. “You can bank 24/7 now, no question about it, but you still have all these options,” he says. “There have been significant changes, all driven by technology, that have made the ability to do your financial transactions how you want to do it and when you want to do it as good as it’s ever been.” 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Sykes-5151.png “My impression is that there are still more young lawyers in Virginia than jobs,” says Brian Sykes of Vandeventer Black. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/still-a-buyers-market Still a buyers’ market http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/still-a-buyers-market http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/still-a-buyers-market#When:21:00:00Z Brian Sykes has fond memories of his law school days when the leap from third-year student to a law career was an easy one. He graduated from Washington & Lee University School of Law in 1998, “and at that time, if you went to law school, you were pretty much guaranteed a job somewhere,” he says. These days the market is a lot different, says Sykes, a partner and recruiting chair with the Norfolk-based firm Vandeventer Black, which has about 60 lawyers at offices in Virginia, North Carolina and Germany. “My impression is that there are still more young lawyers in Virginia than jobs,” he says. The recession of 2007-09 played a role in creating the current job market by pushing up law school enrollments as students looked for ways to improve their job prospects while waiting out the economic slump. Once that slump ended, though, not all the lost legal jobs came back, creating kind of a market glut that still lingers. The class of 2013 was the largest ever in the U.S., according to the American Bar Association. That helps explain why the employment rate nationwide last year for new lawyers was just under 87 percent, 5 percentage points below the 2007 rate. So, with supply up and overall demand still relatively flat, salaries for new lawyers have stagnated. Overall, the eight law schools in the commonwealth have been feeling the pressure, too. The number of first-year students is down 24 percent this year compared with 2011, while the number of applicants is down more than 30 percent over the same period. Nationwide, total law school enrollment dropped nearly 5 percent from 2014 to 2015, to 113,900. The number of applicants continues to drop as well, to 54,130 this year, compared with 87,900 in 2010. Of course, there are lots of directions a law career can take. But in general much of Virginia is fairly lucrative in terms of salaries. In Southwest Virginia, the average annual salary for a lawyer is $64,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the greater Richmond region, the mean salary is $128,000, while Northern Virginia leads the state with an average salary of $161,000 a year. Those figures encompass a lot of different kinds of practices. Large private firms – those with 700 or more lawyers – in larger markets pay the best to new lawyers, with some paying $160,000 a year, according to research by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) a Washington, D.C.-based group. But even among these highest-paying positions, there have been some cutbacks. In 2009, two-thirds of new hires at the big firms were paid $160,000, but that was the industry’s salary high point for new hires. Last year that share of highest-paid jobs was down to 39 percent of new hires, according to NALP. So, it’s clearly been a buyer’s market. There are a few reasons salaries went down during the toughest years after the recession, says Janet Hutchinson, associate dean for career development at the University of Richmond School of Law. “The employers that were the most impacted were the large law firms that paid the highest starting salaries, [and] at the height of the downturn some of those employers had to rescind offers,” she says. “After that, they started hiring a smaller number of graduates, and they haven’t returned to hiring the same number.” The weaker job market has changed students’ approach, Hutchinson says. “They understand it’s more difficult … it’s clear to them that they need to step up their game if they want to land where they want to land.” The school’s approach to career development has changed, too, after the tough market of five years ago, she says. First-year students are paired with a career adviser who works with them through their three years of study. Third-year students are offered the chance to be paired with a law school alumnus in their chosen practice area. And, the school has beefed up its summer stipend program in the past few years to give students money when they’re doing unpaid work. “We know that the experience students are getting is really valuable to their careers, but that’s not the kind of thing everybody can afford to do,” Hutchinson says. Such efforts, and what Hutchinson says is an improved job market, are making a difference. Of the school’s most recent graduating class, 93 percent had found work by March of this year. “During tough times, it was in the low 80s,” she says. For firms, hiring fewer new grads makes it even more important to get the right person. Sykes with Vandeventer Black says his firm starts screening candidates when they’re still in school, bringing a few in for summer clerkships. It even urges its law school candidates to try out other firms so they can get a sense of where they want to work. “Some huge firms, maybe they don’t care as much if somebody’s going to be with them 10 years down the road,” he says. “We want them to want to be here and to know what the market is like and be very aware of what we’re like, because we want them to stay for the long run.” The law students he recruits seem to be more serious. “When I was in law school, there were a bunch of my classmates who may not have had an investment in law the way students do now,” he says. “The people I talk to now really want to be in law school.” There are signs of improvement in the current hiring market. The employment rate for the 2014 class was low compared with prerecession times, but it did bump up two percentage points over 2013, when just 84.5 percent of graduates found work. The caveat, though, is that the percentage went up because there were fewer graduates overall in 2014. That would suggest that demand is catching up with supply, which would be good news for students. Hutchinson notes that the University of Richmond is bucking the enrollment trend. Its first year class this year is about 175 students. Maybe law schools are bottoming out in terms of dropping enrollments. “We’re typically more in the 140-150 range,” she says. The increase wasn’t planned, but “we’re really glad that a few more said yes. It’s good to be popular.” 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/cirrus_vodka_CV.png Cirrus Vodka’s new distillery has the capacity to produce 100,000 cases per year. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vodka-brand-revived-after-a-two-year-absence Vodka brand revived after a two-year absence http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vodka-brand-revived-after-a-two-year-absence http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vodka-brand-revived-after-a-two-year-absence#When:21:00:00Z After shutting down in 2013, Richmond-based Cirrus Vodka is back. “It’s a much bigger mousetrap, but it’s the same product, which I think is the best vodka in the world,” says Sterling Roberts, who reopened Cirrus along with a friend, Gary McDowell, and Paul McCann, the company’s founder and master distiller. McCann started Cirrus Vodka in 2004. Two years later, the potato-based vodka company won a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and McCann left his career as a policy analyst to focus on Cirrus full time. By 2013, McCann had set up Cirrus’ distillery on Hardy Street, but that property and its equipment was foreclosed that year, so Cirrus stopped production. That’s when Roberts and McDowell, self-proclaimed Cirrus Vodka fans, stepped in. They weren’t able to stop the foreclosure but set up a bigger operation at nearby Ownby Lane, which opened last year. The new distillery has the capacity to produce 100,000 cases per year, and Cirrus hopes to eventually distribute in all 50 states. The product now is sold in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, where it is available at more than 100 ABC stores. The goal, Roberts says, is to ramp up production to 15,000 cases by July. A big part of taking the company to the next level is marketing, including introducing Cirrus in states that may not be as familiar with the product. The Vodka costs $27.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle and $49.99 for the 1.75-liter bottle. “The beauty to our brand is, if they taste it, we got [them],” Roberts says. “It’s that simple.” It also helps that McCann is not running the show by himself. “He was spread way too thin,” says McDowell, adding that McCann was previously producing, bottling and marketing the vodka without any help. How does McCann feel about producing vodka again?  “I never really left it, to be quite honest,” he says. “It has been my life essentially for the past 12 years.” 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CarFax-5596.png Carfax’s expansion will add 25,000 square feet to its headquarters. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carfax-expanding-operations-in-fairfax-loudoun Carfax expanding operations in Fairfax, Loudoun http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carfax-expanding-operations-in-fairfax-loudoun http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carfax-expanding-operations-in-fairfax-loudoun#When:21:00:00Z Carfax is growing in Northern Virginia. The Centreville-based company announced in December a $15.8 million expansion that’s expected to create 120 jobs. Carfax, which produces vehicle history reports, is investing $5 million to expand its Centreville headquarters in Fairfax County and $10.8 million to upgrade its  Loudoun County data center. Carfax spokesman Larry Gamache says the company considered many locations for the expansion but Virginia stood out. Key factors in picking the commonwealth included its well-educated workforce and quality of life, he says. The company has begun hiring for the new jobs. Many of the positions will be technology-related, but they also will include sales and marketing jobs. Since positions vary across the company, he could not provide an average salary but added that “Carfax has a reputation for being an excellent employer, and our compensation package is very competitive.” He noted that Carfax has been named to best workplaces lists by Virginia Business, Washingtonian and the company rating website Glassdoor.com. Headquarters upgrades include adding an indoor park and new technology while creating a new traffic flow to spark more connectivity among departments, Gamache says. The expansion will add 25,000 square feet to Carfax’s Centreville offices, bringing its total space to 100,000 square feet. The data center improvement mostly will be technology-focused, including expanding processing speed and data storage capabilities. Carfax keeps a database of 15 billion vehicle history records and handles more than 2.7 million daily requests for information. The company has five data centers, including two in Centreville and Loudoun. The Loudoun data center is its largest. Gerald L. Gordon, CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, says Carfax is helping diversify the county’s economy. “This is not the typical type of company for which Fairfax County is known,” he says in a blog entry posted after the announcement. “After all, Carfax is not related in any way to federal employment or procurement. But, the company will take advantage of the same skill sets that have made federal contractors and others so successful in Fairfax County for so many years.” Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the project. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program is providing funding and services for Carfax’s employee training. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/VT111611_201518410114-2.png Dupont Teijin Films Food Scientist Renée Dupell and Brian Wiersema, manager of Virginia Tech’s pilot plant. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/techs-pilot-plants-attract-industry-interest Tech’s pilot plants attract industry interest http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/techs-pilot-plants-attract-industry-interest http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/techs-pilot-plants-attract-industry-interest#When:21:00:00Z When Tyson Foods developed a new way to make jerky, it needed to make sure its production method was safe. Therefore, it turned to Virginia Tech’s Food Safety Pilot Plant. “This pilot plant is especially designed to allow us to work with food pathogens like salmonella and listeria in real food-processing conditions,” says Joseph Marcy, a professor and head of the food science and technology department at Virginia Tech. The department has a 2,200-square-foot food safety pilot plant and a 7,100-square-foot food processing pilot plant that allows industries to evaluate the safety of products and test new equipment and production processes. The facilities allow companies to conduct tests without disrupting production at their manufacturing plants. Since their opening in March 2014, the facilities have attracted $2 million in industry investment, Marcy says. Most of that has come from cash donations, but the total also includes some donated equipment.  Tyson Foods, for example, donated smokehouse and commercial ovens when testing was being done on its products. Tessa, an Israeli company, also plans to donate a mini-dairy, which Virginia Tech will use for research and outreach purposes. “There’s nothing like it in the U.S.,” Marcy says about the dairy equipment.  A big draw for companies is the facilities’ versatile space. Often, businesses want to bring their own equipment to conduct research.  The company equipment helps Virginia Tech keep costs in check while not investing in machines that may soon become obsolete. DuPont Teijin Films, a maker of polyester films, allows Virginia Tech to use its packaging equipment for a program that lets companies test new ways to package and prepare foods.  “This is to our advantage,” Marcy says since DuPont Teijin Films maintains the gear and also hires workers for the project. Virginia Tech, however, has made its own notable investment, installing a $250,000 brewhouse in the food processing plant. It could be used by craft breweries to test production of new beers without shutting down their current production process. “You’re seeing a very fast expansion of brewery capabilities in the state, so to have a state-of-the-art place where people can come and interact with scientists at Virginia Tech is … going to be very valuable,” Marcy says. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/UA_Win.png Most of the money that Leigh and James Cockram won in the competition was used to legally protect their business. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/henry-apparel-company-wins-national-competition Henry apparel company wins national competition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/henry-apparel-company-wins-national-competition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/henry-apparel-company-wins-national-competition#When:21:00:00Z Henry County-based RaesWear LLC still may be a startup, but it already has gotten a nod of approval from one of the nation’s top sports apparel companies. RaesWear creates athletic wear with waistbands designed to store keys, phones and other personal items. The company won the $50,000 grand prize at the Future Show Innovation Challenge sponsored last fall by Baltimore-based Under Armour.  RaesWear technology also will be incorporated into future Under Armour products, says Laurin Wolf, a spokesperson for the company. From 2,000 applicants, RaesWear was one of 10 companies picked to participate in the challenge at Under Armour’s headquarters. “The prize money has been fantastic because our business is completely self-funded, so it’s nice to be able to reinvest that money,” says Leigh Cockram, who launched RaesWear in December 2014 with her husband, James.  In addition to running the company, she is director of research and business development at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville. Most of the money from the competition, Leigh Cockram says, has been used to legally protect RaesWear’s business concept. It has been issued one utility patent and has three other patents pending, she says. Cockram came up with the idea for RaesWear more than three years ago when she was head of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, an economic development group. While on a business trip, she wanted a place to store personal items while on a run but she didn’t want to carry a fanny pack or belt. That experience inspired her to design a waistband-pocket for workout pants that differed from  attire on the market. “At first it was just for me,” Leigh says of the idea. “Then I started thinking, ‘If I need this, and it worked so well for me, other people are going to need it.’ ” She made product prototypes and then hired a designer to make the pocket functional and aesthetically appealing. Today, RaesWear sells shorts, capris, tights, pants as well as “skorts” and “skapris,” skirts with built-in shorts or capris. The products, which range from $35-$60, are sold on RaesWear.com. Eventually, RaesWear also plans to license its technology to other companies. RaesWear’s merchandise is made in Martinsville at Mollies Originals, a sewing and embroidery firm. RaesWear sources fabrics through Solid Stone Fabrics in Martinsville and Kendor Textiles in Canada. In addition to winning the Under Armour competition, RaesWear also received a $1,200 website development grant through Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.’s Small Business Division. RaesWear redesigned its website in October, a move Cockram says has really paid off. “We’ve been very pleased with sales volume, and it’s increased month over month,” she says. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/2Reo_Logistics-Stacked.png Reo Logistics was formerly known as Allied Logistics. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/logistics-firm-with-valley-presence-changes-name Logistics firm with Valley presence changes name http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/logistics-firm-with-valley-presence-changes-name http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/logistics-firm-with-valley-presence-changes-name#When:21:00:00Z A logistics company with operations in Waynesboro kicked off 2016 with a new name. Huntington, W.Va.-based Allied Logistics and its operating companies are now known as Reo Logistics. The company also has been divided into two divisions: transportation, led by Reo Hatfield, and warehouse, headed by Michael Carroll. Until Jan. 1, Hatfield was president of Waynesboro-based Reo Distribution, a unit of Allied Logistics. Hatfield co-founded Reo Distribution in 1988, and the company joined Allied Logistics two years later. Hatfield, who is based in Waynesboro, hopes the new name will help people better understand the company’s services. They include logistics, warehousing, distribution, management and transportation. It owns trucks and trailers to help customers haul equipment and also has contracts with trucking companies. In a nutshell, he says, Reo is a “total logistics company.” It is now being branded as one to avoid confusion among customers. The company also has over 4 million square feet of warehouse space in Virginia and West Virginia. About 1 million square feet of that space is located in four buildings in Waynesboro, Hatfield says. Reo Logistics also has a business incubator at its 114-acre Waynesboro facility. The incubator, begun in 1990, now houses 23 companies. “We’ve had some of our customers get so big that at times they’ve moved out of our facility because they’ve established themselves so well,” Hatfield says. One of the incubator’s greatest success stories is Bloomaker, a company in Stuarts Draft that supplies hydroponic flowers.  Bloommaker started out at the incubator, and Reo Logistics still handles its transportation needs. Reo Logistics has 150 full-time employees. It expects to reach $100 million in annual sales by 2017. It also is adding 14 new account manager positions this year to help companies with freight needs as well as solidify and build relationships with trucking companies. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-february-2016 People - February 2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-february-2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-february-2016#When:21:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA Steven L. Brinker, joined the law firm Crenshaw, Ware & Martin PLC in Norfolk as partner. He will chair the firm’s Business Law Practice Group. (News release) Lloyd DeWitt, named chief curator and Irene Leache Curator of European Art of the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk. DeWitt has been curator of European art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto since 2011. He will begin his new role this spring. (News release) Newport News-based PBMares LLP has named three new partners: Jennifer French, a tax manager in the Williamsburg office; Todd Swisher, a senior assurance manager in the firm’s Richmond office; and Dan Chenoweth, a tax manager in the Newport News office. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Wilkes Graham, named chief financial officer, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Virginia Beach.  He succeeds Steven Belote, who will remain with the company as its chief operating officer. Graham was director of research and senior sell-side equity research analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading LLC in Washington, D.C. (VirginiaBusiness.com) J.D. Myers II, named senior vice president and region manager of Cox Virginia, Chesapeake, after serving in the role on an interim basis. Myers succeeds Gary McCollum, who resigned to run for state Senate. (Daily Press) Susan S. Pittman, named chief lending officer, Bank of Lancaster, Kilmarnock. She joined the bank in 2002 and has held several roles since then, including senior vice president and commercial lending officer. (SBFI.org) Robert “J” Stinnette, named legal technology manager at Norfolk-based Vandeventer Black LLP. Stinnette has 20 years of experience in IT consulting. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Todd Starr, senior mortgage banker at Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group in Virginia Beach, installed as the new president of the Tidewater Mortgage Bankers Association board of directors. (Daily Press) SHEANANDOAH VALLEY  Carolyn Bragg , chosen Augusta County Board of Supervisors chairwoman in January. Bragg is the third woman to serve as chair of the board.  (News Leader)   John H. H. Graves , reappointed to the Virginia Cave Board. He is president of Luray Caverns Corp. in Luray.  (News release)  Maya Hawthorn  and Ami Keatts, named to th e Virginia Advisory Board on Midwifery. Hawthorn is a licensed midwife at Brookhaven Birth Center in Harrisonburg, and Keatts is a physician at Augusta Health Care for Women, which has offices in Fishersville and Lexington. (News release) Everence Financial in Harrisonburg has announced Jacqueline Painter is now an investment adviser representative for Everence Trust Co. (The Northern Virginia Daily) Tony Wininger has joined the Bank of Clarke County as a vice president and commercial lender at the Leesburg branch. He was vice president and commercial lender at Reston-based John Marshall Bank. (The Northern Virginia Daily) SOUTHERN VIRGINIA   Jessie Barksdale  , elected chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. Barksdale also was chairman in 2014. He succeeds Brenda Bowman, who was chairwoman for one year. (Danville Register & Bee) Named to the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission:   Gayle F. Barts  , a legislative assistant;  John Sherrard Holland , owner, Holland Lumber Services LLC and Holland Hunting Preserve LLC ;  Cathy Lowe , Abingdon vice mayor and executive director, Virginia Highlands Small Business Inc ubator; and Robert Mills, Jr., owner/oper ator, Briar View Farms. Robert Spiers, owner/operator, Spiers Farm LLC and member of the Virginia Farm Bureau, was renamed to the commission. (News release)  Alan Howard, named acting president, First State Bank, Danville. He replaces Kelvin Perry, who has left the bank to pursue other opportunities. Howard has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at First State since 2009. (Work It, SoVa) U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt, R-5th, confirmed his plans to retire from Congress when his term expires. Hurt, who lives in Chatham, was first elected in 2010. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Barbara Seamster, hired to handle marketing and communications for Kare Pharmacy, Danville.  Seamster will be responsible for communicating with doctors, dentists, veterinarians and other health care providers in the region about the pharmacy’s compounding products. (Work It, SoVa) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA Brian O. Hemphill, named Radford University’s seventh president, effective July 1. Currently the president of West Virginia State University, Hemphill will succeed Penelope W. Kyle, who is retiring after 11 years at Radford’s helm. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Rachel Hopkins, named executive director, Science Museum of Western Virginia. She was vice president of development for Roanoke’s Center in the Square. (News release) The Roanoke Regional Chamber has elected officers for 2016, including Ken Randolph, chair, and Nathan Kerr, chair-elect. (The Roanoke Times) Timothy K. Schools, named president and CEO, Highlands Bankshares Inc. and Highlands Union Bank, Abingdon. He also was named to the board of both organizations. Schools succeeds Samuel L. Neese, who retired in November. (News release) Arevo Group, a North Carolina-based professional service recruiting firm, recently located to Roanoke and has named Donna Tatum executive recruiter, Randy Lowman  director of contract services and Coy Renick director of business development in the Professional Services Division. (The Roanoke Times) Valerie Thomas, associate professor of forest remote sensing, and Yang Shao, assistant professor of geography, were named co-directors of the Center for Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. (The Roanoke Times) Former Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, named chairman, Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation. (The Roanoke Times) NORTHERN VIRGINIA John F. Clark, former director of the United States Marshals Service, appointed president and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Alexandria. (News release) Chris Conklin, named managing director of the Tysons office of VHB, an engineering, science, planning and design firm. Conklin also will continue to be director of transportation systems for VHB’s six offices in North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia. (News release)  Kate W. Hardey, joined McGuire  Woods as a partner in its Tysons Corner office. She was senior counsel at GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services, Bethesda, Md. (News release) Falls Church-based CSC has named President and CEO Mike Lawrie chairman of the company and added two directors: Mukesh Aghi, president of the U.S.-India Business Council, and Herman E. Bulls, an executive at commercial real estate firm JLL. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Joanne Lipman, principal of Surrey Lane Media and former editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Portfolio and Portfolio.com, named chief content officer at McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc. Daniel Bernard, former head of product for Time Inc., is now chief product officer at Gannett. (News release) CENTRAL VIRGINIA Gary L. Armstrong, named Richmond regional president, Park Sterling Bank. Armstrong was executive vice president and commercial banking group leader at Glen Allen-based First Capital Bank, which was bought by Charlotte-based Park Sterling earlier this year. (RichmondBizSense.com) Daniel A. Gecker named to the Virginia Board of Education. He is a partner at Richmond-based Urban Development Associates LLC and a former chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. (News release) Michael Heaton, named president of Markel Ventures, the investment arm of Henrico County-based Markel Corp. Heaton will retain his title as chief operating officer. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Edward A. Mullen, named partner at the law firm Reed Smith in Richmond. He is a member of the firm’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Group. (News release) Stephen C. Piegrass, named partner at the law firm Troutman Sanders in Richmond. His practice focuses on representing clients involved in regulatory enforcement actions and investigations. (News release) Kevin D. Schneider, promoted to chief operating officer of Henrico County-based Genworth Financial Inc. Schneider was executive vice president-global mortgage insurance. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Lee Warfield, named president, Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, Richmond. He succeeds Paul F. Silver, who will continue to be the firm’s chairman. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Alexander Hamilton IV, a broker and executive in Richmond’s real estate community for more than four decades, has retired from the Richmond office of CBRE.  Hamilton was CBRE’s senior vice president of global corporate services. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Jeff Swartz, named director of information technology, Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA), Mid-Atlantic Region. Before joining MMA, Swartz was the office technology manager for MGTI’s Baltimore and Washington, D.C. market. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-february-2016 For the Record - February 2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-february-2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-february-2016#When:21:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA BAE Systems has notified about 530 employees at its Norfolk shipyard that they could be laid off in March. This workforce reduction, scheduled to take place around March 18, follows 400 layoffs at the shipyard late last year. The Norfolk shipyard employs about 1,075 workers. “These further reductions are necessary to align the Norfolk shipyard with lower demand for its services,” the company said in a news release. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Cincinnati-based retailer Macy’s Inc. has announced the closing of six Virginia stores. Three are in the Richmond area and another three are in Hampton Roads. The stores are among 40 stores that the company is closing nationwide as it tries to reduce expenses by $500 million.  The stores in Virginia that are scheduled to close employ nearly 500 workers. They are in Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk and Henrico County. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Mitsubishi Kagaku Imaging Corp. planned to lay off 83 people in Chesapeake, starting in January. In a news release, the California-based company, also known as Future Graphics, said it will close its monochrome toner plant on Volvo Parkway in Chesapeake in March. (The Virginian-Pilot) The Virginia Beach firm Poole Mahoney PC spun off its family-law practice and changed its name to Poole Brooke Plumlee PC on Jan 1. The new family law firm is Mahoney Nashatka Richmond PLLC. It has five lawyers and is located next to Poole Brooke Plumlee. Among those joining Mahoney in the new firm are partners Shantell Nashatka and Andrew Richmond. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Hampton Roads’ first meadery, Silver Hand Meadery, opened its doors in Williamsburg on Nov. 21. It produces a honey-based alcoholic drink, which was popular in the Middle Ages. (Daily Press) Portsmouth-based TowneBank plans to acquire Chesapeake-based Monarch Financial Holdings Inc., the parent company of Monarch Bank, in a deal worth $220.6 million. The acquisition would create a $7.3 billion bank with 20.6 percent of bank deposits in the Hampton Roads market. The merger is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. (VirginiaBusiness.com) SHEANANDOAH VALLEY With a long history in producing pork, hog farmer and Shenandoah County Supervisor Steve Baker recently added a processing facility at Baker Farms in Mount Jackson. In the past, Baker had coordinated with a processor a few miles away to prepare his products for distribution. Baker Farms ships out a variety of pork products that are now butchered, smoked and packaged on site. (The Northern Virginia Daily) Kingspan Insulation LLC is planning a $25 million upgrade to its Frederick County facility. The enhancements are expected to create 15 new jobs. Kingspan makes insulation products and systems for building fabric and building services applications.  Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project. (VirginiaBusiness.com) The Obenshain Law Group, based in Harrisonburg, has expanded its trial practice with the opening of a Richmond office and the addition of Lawrence L. “Chip” Muir Jr.   Muir will focus on commercial, intellectual property and cybersecurity litigation in addition to white-collar criminal cases. (The Northern Virginia Daily) Edinburg-based Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. (Shentel) plans to buy Colane Cable TV in West Virginia for $2.4 million. Founded in 1955 in Omar, W.Va., Colane is a video, Internet and home-phone provider serving the southwestern part of the Mountain State. Shentel’s services include wireless voice and data; cable video, Internet and voice; fiber network and services; and local and long distance telephone. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Funding has been approved by the Waynesboro City Council for a local branch of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. The council voted unanimously to provide an economic incentive of $1 million for the $7.5 million satellite campus. The money is contingent on state and private funding and requires approval from future councils. The Virginia Museum of Natural History’s main site is in Martinsville. (News Leader) SOUTHERN VIRGINIA As grading approaches completion, Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre (CCBC) in Henry County already is drawing significant interest from industries, according to Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development President/CEO Mark Heath. Henry County Deputy Administrator Dale Wagoner says the grading project is scheduled to be completed in the spring. (Martinsville Bulletin) Hardide Coatings has opened a production facility in Henry County — the only one that it currently operates in the United States. Just two people worked there in early January, but the company aims to create up to 29 jobs at the plant in the Bowles Industrial Park during the next three years. Based in England, Hardide makes patented hard-wearing tungsten carbide coatings for customers in the oil and gas and flow control markets. (Martinsville Bulletin) Martinsville-based Hooker Furniture Corp. plans to acquire the business of North Carolina-based Home Meridian International (HMI) for $100 million. The deal, the largest in Hooker’s 91-year history, is expected to more than double the size of the company and make it one of the nation’s top five furniture companies. HMI is the parent company of five business units, including Pulaski Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Hospitality, Prime Resources International and Right 2 Home. HMI is expected to operate as a Hooker division. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Danville Regional Medical Center held a groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 20 for the new Chatham Diagnostic Imaging Center. The imaging center will include digital X-ray, ultrasound and mammography. The facility was also have office space for specialists and LabCare services. The center is expected to begin operating in late summer. (Work It, SoVa) Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) will begin offering a new program this year aimed at training students to become power-line workers. Electric utilities expect many of their current workers to retire in coming years. SVCC’s proposal was one of five successful entries in the first Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions, which was announced last fall. The Power Line Worker Training Program will receive a $200,000 matching incentive grant from the commonwealth. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Daly Seven of Danville was honored with the Marriott Horizon Award. The award “recognizes the best of the best in hotel management companies that partner with Marriott,” according to a news release. Bob Daly, Shelayne Sutton, Charisse Kleinman and Niles Daly of Daly Seven accepted the award Dec. 10 at a Marriott Conference. Daly Seven is a family-owned hotel development and management company headquartered in Danville. (Work It, SoVa) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA  Alpha Natural Resources  in January announced plans to sell 23 mines in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois. Alpha filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy in August amid economic pressures spurred by sharp declines in the sale of both metallurgical and steam coal and stringent government regulations. (Bristol Herald Courier) Chemical distributor  Chemsolv Inc.  agreed to pay $1.5 million in penalties for two episodes of criminal misconduct at its southeast Roanoke facility. Jamison Austin, vice president and general manager, pleaded guilty on the company’s behalf in December to one count each of unlawful transportation of hazardous waste and unlawful storage of hazardous waste. (The Roanoke Times) The Virginia Community College System plans to use a nearly $2 million federal grant to retrain approximately 210 workers affected by Alpha Natural Resources layoffs. The U.S. Department of Labor grant will provide re-employment services to former coal industry workers wanting access to jobs in emerging and growing fields. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Starting this fall, select students can earn their medical degree and MBA at the same time through a program developed by  Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine  and Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. Program administrators expect to enroll students in the fall. They will take core MBA courses plus electives in information technology. (The Roanoke Times)  The VT KnowledgeWorks Innovation Challenge is accepting applications through Feb. 19. The annual Innovation Challenge prize provides $100,000 worth of mentorship and business support services to a winning team of Virginia Tech faculty, staff, students and/or alumni proposing to establish a new venture in Blacksburg, based on Virginia Tech-owned technology. (The Roanoke Times) According to county officials, 2015 was a good year in Sullivan County, Tenn., and in Washington County, Va., including Abingdon. Economic development leaders in all three localities said 2015 was highlighted by new industries and job creation. In Washington County, 500 new jobs will be created as a result of new developments announced in 2015, with $36 million worth of investment. (Bristol Herald Courier) NORTHERN VIRGINIA Omaha, Neb.-based   BH Media Group   acquired  The Free Lance–Star , its website and print operatio n from Sandton Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. The Free Lance-Star and its predecessors have served the Fredericksburg area since 1885. BH Media Group now owns 32 daily newspapers as well as related weekly newspapers in the U.S. (The Free Lance-Star) Arlington-based defense contractor  CACI International Inc.  plans to acquire Reston-based L-3 National Security Solutions Inc. (L-3 NSS) for $550 million. L-3 NSS is the government services division of L-3 Communications. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Cvent Inc.  has sold its consumer-ticketing business, acquired three years ago for more than $5.9 million, to San Francisco-based Vendini Inc. for $3 million. Tysons-based Cvent, an event management software provider, said that selling off that part of its business — at a loss — would enable it to focus its resources on its corporate event management solutions and group business platform for the hospitality industry. (Washington Business Journal)  General Dynamics Corp.  plans to move its corporate headquarters from Falls Church to Reston. The defense contractor will relocate to a planned 190,000-square-foot building at 11011 Sunset Hills Road. The site is owned by an affiliate of Boston Properties Inc., according to land records. (Washington Business Journal) Arlington-based  Graham Holdings Co.  has launched CyberVista, which strives to help corporate board members and executives understand cyber issues that affect their organizations and provide the tools to oversee and manage those cyber risks. CyberVista also plans to introduce a cybersecurity certification preparation program for practitioners and IT professionals, as well as a continuing education program for practitioners already in the field or looking to get into it. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  HITT Contracting Inc.  has acquired Trademark Construction, a 55-employee general contractor based in Houston. HITT, a Falls Church-based general contractor, said the acquisition will strengthen its presence in Texas and expand the firm’s ability to serve clients. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Two major players in Northern Virginia announced a collaboration that aims to advance personalized medicine.  Inova , the largest health system in the region, and George Mason University say they will work together to conduct translational research and share resources.  (VirginiaBusiness.com) CENTRAL VIRGINIA Nexstar to acquire Media General Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. plans to acquire Richmond-based television station owner Media General Inc. in a $4.7 billion deal. The deal, announced Jan. 27, follows the termination of a previous agreement between Media General and Iowa-based Meredith Corp. Meredith will receive the $60 million termination fee and will have an opportunity to negotiate for the purchase of certain broadcast and digital assets now owned by Media General. The combined Nexstar-Media General company will be based in Irving, Texas, and called Nexstar Media Group Inc. Nexstar Media will have annual revenue of more than $2.3 billion.  It will have 171 television stations in 100 markets reaching about 39 percent of U.S. television households. Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Media General for $10.55 per share in cash and 0.1249 of a share of Nexstar Class A common stock for each Media General share. The deal also includes potential additional consideration in the form of a contingent value right. It would entitle Media General shareholders to net cash proceeds from the sale of company’s spectrum in an upcoming Federal Communication Commission auction. The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, values Media General at $17.14 per share The deal is subject to a vote by stockholders of Media General and Nexstar, FCC approval and other regulatory approvals. Nexstar plans to divest some television stations to obtain FCC approval. The deal is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter this year.(VirginiaBusiness.com) The Brink’s Co., a major secure transportation and cash management services company based in Richmond, has reached an agreement with New York-based activist investment fund Starboard Value LP under which three new directors have been added to Brink’s board and two current directors have retired. Brink’s also said that Thomas C. Schievelbein, Brink’s chairman, president and CEO, will retire. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Virginia is moving forward with a plan to speed train travel between Washington and Richmond by 2025. The state’s rail agency and the Federal Railroad Administration are exploring the feasibility of higher-speed rail on the stretch connecting the two cities. Cutting down the travel time between the cities from the current 2 hours and 45 minutes to 90 minutes would make train travel more attractive to travelers in the corridor.  Ridership between the cities was 186,268 in the past fiscal year, according to Amtrak. (The Washington Post) The Lynchburg Regional Chamber merged with the Region 2000 Business and Economic Alliance to become the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. Megan Lucas has been named the new organization’s president and CEO. (WDBJ7.com)  Martin’s Food Markets will close three of its 22 Richmond-area stores next summer, affecting more than 350 employees. The grocery chain said it plans to close stores in Richmond, Hanover County and Petersburg. According to the company, the leases for the stores are set to expire “and a business decision was made not to extend the leases for these stores.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/EVA_JeffersonLab.png About 1,400 scientists from around the world currently conduct research at the Jefferson Lab. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jefferson-lab-is-one-of-two-contenders-for-collider Jefferson Lab is one of two contenders for collider http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jefferson-lab-is-one-of-two-contenders-for-collider http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jefferson-lab-is-one-of-two-contenders-for-collider#When:21:00:00Z Jefferson Lab in Newport News hopes the U.S. Department of Energy will give it the go-ahead to build a $1 billion electron-ion collider. The facility, formally known as the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, is one of two vying for the project. Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York is also a contender. A collider is used by researchers to understand what lies inside a nucleus and what holds it together. “It’s a fundamental knowledge that may have no practical importance for 100 or 200 years,” says Andrew Hutton, associate director of the accelerator division at Jefferson Lab. “It’s pure long-term research.” “At Jefferson, we have an electron machine and would like to add an ion complex. In Brookhaven, they have an ion collider, and would like to add an electron complex,” Hutton says.  “We see this as our future, and they see it as their future.” The Department of Energy is expected to take three years to make its decision, but preparations in Newport News already have begun. The city will provide land for the Jefferson Lab to expand and “to build the electron-ion collier should that [bid] be successful,” says Newport News City Manager Jim Bourey. The collider project construction would cost about $1 billion, he says. The city expects the economic impact for the region will be approximately $4 billion, with the creation of more than 4,000 jobs, most of them in construction or skilled labor positions, over 10 years. The city owns half of the 16 acres that would be provided for the lab for its expansion. The remaining half is owned by the Newport News school district, which now has an operations and transportation service center on the property. It would be relocated. About 1,400 scientists from around the world do research at the lab, helping to boost the local economy. “They live here when they do their research,” says Robert McKeown, the lab’s deputy director for science. Newport News’ technology sector is on an upswing. “One hundred thirty years ago, Newport News was on the map because of the shipyard [now known as Newport News Shipbuilding]. Now people look at it for Jefferson Lab and high technology,” Hutton says, noting an accompanying change from a blue-collar to a more high-tech workforce. “My job is to make sure Virginians are proud that we are here.” 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Crutcher_UniversityOfRichmond.png Photo courtesy University of Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-ear-for-music An ear for music http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-ear-for-music http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-ear-for-music#When:21:00:00Z Ronald Crutcher’s career as a cellist, music professor and college administrator began when a music teacher at his junior high school in Cincinnati tested all of the students on their sense of pitch. The test revealed Crutcher had an excellent sense of pitch, he recalled in a Richmond Times-Dispatch column on the value of a liberal arts education. The teacher then gave him the choice of any instrument to play. “I chose the cello,” Crutcher said in the column. “I could, in retrospect, conjure some artful, far-seeing reason for this choice, but the truth is that at the time, I was 14 years old and self-conscious about my body, and I reasoned that I could hide easily behind a cello.” But he couldn’t hide his talent. Just eight months later, he played two movements of a Bach suite at a state music teachers competition. In the audience was Elizabeth Potteiger, a music professor at Miami University of Ohio. She invited him to attend a music camp at the university. After the camp, she offered to provide Crutcher free lessons on Saturdays if he could find a way to travel each week from Cincinnati to the university in Oxford, Ohio, 35 miles away. For three years, he made the trip to the university, a three-hour roundtrip on two different bus lines. But the effort paid off. At 17, he won the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition.  He attended Miami University of Ohio on a merit scholarship and graduated as a member of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Crutcher went on to study at Yale where he earned a master’s degree and the first doctoral degree in musical arts awarded to a cellist by the university. A music professor for many years, he moved into administration while at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the 1980s. Crutcher returned to Miami University of Ohio as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in 1999 before becoming president of Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., in 2004. He is a former member of his hometown Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and performed with several other orchestras. Since 1980, he has been a member of The Klemperer Trio. Crutcher will perform in a solo recital in the Richmond Symphony’s summer series on July 7. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Crutcher4307.png A high priority is creating a campus on which students from diverse backgrounds can learn from each other and thrive. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-calm-energy A ‘calm energy’ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-calm-energy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-calm-energy#When:21:00:00Z When Ronald Crutcher stepped down as president of Wheaton College in 2014, he had no plans to stop working but also had no intention of leading another school. During his 10 years at the Norton, Mass., college, he had increased enrollment, created new academic programs and raised $137.6 million despite the ravages of the Great Recession. Before Wheaton, he had been provost and executive vice president for academic affairs for five years at Miami University of Ohio, his alma mater. An accomplished cellist who has played with many symphony orchestras, Crutcher thought he was ready for a break from academia, perhaps leading an arts organization instead.  But while being interviewed to be president of a major symphony orchestra, “I found myself talking very passionately about some aspects of the educational program for the symphony, and it occurred to me, literally as I spoke, that I hadn’t been that passionate when talking about raising money for classical music concerts,” he says. I had to really take a step back and think about that,” he adds. “And so, after the interview, I wrote the search consultant and I said, ‘Thanks for the opportunity, but it’s clear to me I don’t have the passion for this job.  I think it’s best for me to stay in my own lane.’ ” Crutcher realized that, although he had been Wheaton’s president during a challenging time for all colleges, the job didn’t seem like work to him. He told his wife, Betty, “If I can find the right school, a school where faculty and staff take their roles as mentors to students seriously, as was the case at Wheaton, I’ll do it again.” He had one additional requirement: “I wanted a school that didn’t need fixing” culturally or financially. The University of Richmond fit the bill. In July, Crutcher became UR’s 10th president, succeeding Ed Ayers who had led the school since 2007. Increasingly diverse campus Crutcher, who turns 69 in February, believes the 186-year-old Richmond university combines the best qualities of Wheaton and Miami. Wheaton is a private liberal arts college with about 1,600 students, while Miami is a public university with an enrollment of about 16,000. UR, a private institution, has about 4,200 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in five schools.  “I like the smaller size, but I also like the complexity we have here” because of the five schools, he says. UR trustees appear to be equally confident they found the right person for the job. Allison Weinstein, a trustee who co-chaired the search committee, says the candidate pool was strong. Even before committee members met Crutcher, however, they considered him to be in the top tier, she says.  On paper, he was a compelling candidate because of his administrative experience and accomplishments in the performing arts. “Meeting him sealed the deal,” Weinstein says.  “He possesses qualities that don’t often go together.  He exuded what I would describe as a calm energy.  He appeared extremely disciplined and somewhat formal but also managed to show that he is warm and fun-loving.” Crutcher is the first African-American president at UR, whose student body has become increasingly diverse in recent years. “We have about 23 percent students of color on the campus, and if you include the international students, it’s close to 30 percent. Ten years ago that number was not quite even 10 percent,” says Crutcher, who notes that in coming years nearly half of the students graduating from U.S. high schools will be first-generation Americans and/or persons of color. A high priority for Crutcher is creating a campus on which students from diverse backgrounds can learn from each other and thrive. He believes, however, that simply recruiting more minorities doesn’t break down barriers. For him, an important part of encouraging diversity is learning how to have a civil discourse among people with differing views. “The challenge is most young people don’t know how to do that, and I think there are a lot of reasons for that,” he says. “They haven’t had any good models.  Certainly the Congress is not a model. Social media also doesn’t help in that regard  …  What we need to do is find a way to teach our students how to have these conversations, and it means patience.  It means focusing on listening skills, understanding.”   Wheaton developed “dialogue action teams,” in which small groups of students from varying backgrounds worked with a facilitator to develop a plan to deal with a certain topic or problem. “The goal is to develop a trust level among the participants so you can have very open and honest conversations,” Crutcher says. Becoming a ‘flexible learner’ The new UR president also is a staunch champion of liberal arts. He is founding co-chair of Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), a national campaign begun by the Association of American Colleges & Universities to promote liberal arts. “I think, unfortunately, many people don’t really understand what a liberal education is,” Crutcher says. “They make it either/or.  Either you get a liberal education or you get skills for jobs … The way we see it at LEAP is that, in order to flourish in the 21st century, in a global, information-based society where things are changing rapidly, you have to be what I call a flexible learner.” He notes that, according to one estimate, students who graduated from college in 2010 will have 13 to 16 different jobs by the time they are 40.  The experience of Crutcher’s daughter, Sara, seems to confirm that prediction. Since graduating from Hampton University nine years ago, she already has had eight jobs in four cities. A liberal-arts education, Crutcher maintains, prepares “today’s graduates to deal with solving problems that we’re not even aware of yet, using tools that haven’t been developed yet and approaches that people haven’t thought of yet.” A collaborative style The veteran college administrator has a collaborative management style, which reflects the influence of his musical background. For the past 36 years, he has performed in the U.S. and Europe as a member of The Klemperer Trio with violinist Erika Klemperer and pianist Gordon Back. (Klemperer and Back are married and live in London.) In an ensemble, musicians have no conductor and must negotiate with one another in deciding how to play a piece, Crutcher says — “how fast you go, how slow you go, how loud as well as other nuances of the interpretation.” “I’m also a good listener, which is important for a leader,” he says.  “I know when to assert myself and when to kind of sit back and let other people take the lead. Being a leader is not all about you making all the decisions yourself.  You have to have a team of people.” Highly important to Crutcher is the ability of faculty members to listen to students. That emphasis stems in part from the influence a music professor had in mentoring him when he was a teenager (see related story "An ear for music".) He is proud to list that focus on students as one of UR’s strengths. “One of the things that you hear consistently from both current students as well as alums is the fact that faculty here really care about their students and take the time to get to know their students,” Crutcher says. “Any student who graduates from the University of Richmond and hasn’t connected with at least one faculty member to the extent that he or she can get a recommendation from that faculty member has missed an opportunity.”  Patricia Rowland, the rector of the UR board trustees, says that, since arriving at the university, Crutcher and his wife also have been mentoring students, continuing a practice they began at Wheaton. The university president also has formed a relationship with every trustee, she says. “I think the board just feels we could not have made a better selection,” Rowland says. “This is working out even better than we thought it would. He has emerged as such a great leader.” The résumé Academic career:  10th president and professor of music, University of Richmond, since 2015; president emeritus, Wheaton College, Norton, Mass., since 2014; president, Wheaton College, 2004-2014; provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Miami University of Ohio, Oxford, Ohio, 1999-2004; director and Florence Thelma Hall Chair of Music, Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin, 1994-1999; vice president of academic affairs and dean of the conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, 1990-1994; assistant/associate professor of music and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1979-1990. Education: Bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa), Miami University of Ohio; master’s degree and doctorate, Yale University Fellowships: Fulbright Fellowship, Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship and Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Honorary degrees: Wheaton College, Colgate University, Muhlenberg College Musical career: A member of The Klemperer Trio and member of  the Richmond Symphony board; former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies; former board member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Berklee College of Music; former president of Chamber Music America. Family: Married to Betty Neal Crutcher, founder and president, Cross Cultural Mentoring Consultants. They have a daughter, Sara, a graduate of Hampton University, who works in advertising in Detroit. Interests: Music, cycling, working out, cooking.   2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Bernie_8013.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/what-we-need-is-a-governing-coalition What we need is a governing coalition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/what-we-need-is-a-governing-coalition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/what-we-need-is-a-governing-coalition#When:21:00:00Z With each passing election, government seems to become a little more dysfunctional.  Instead of the basic blocking and tackling of lawmaking, what we’re mostly getting is politicians blocking the opposition, but not tackling the issues.  Despite a plentitude of campaign-trail promises, meaningful legislation is grinding to a halt. 'Depending on your perspective, you might think this refers either to national politics or to Virginia politics.  It applies to both.  Virginia’s statehouse has become a microcosm of Dee Cee.  What happens in Dee Cee stays in Dee Cee because nothing is ever really accomplished there.  Likewise in Richmond, it’s all blocking and no tackling, with progress grinding to a halt. Still both parties cling to a belief that having a majority will make things different.  Let’s see: Republicans hold the majority in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as both houses of Virginia’s General Assembly.  Still, it’s apparent that having a nominal majority is not enough to enact most legislation.  Maybe that’s because the Republican majority really isn’t in agreement with itself, much less with the Democrats. On the national scene, the ideological gulf between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders seems a lot less wide than the ocean-size chasm between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump. Likewise in Virginia, the difference between state Sen. Dick Black (R-Loudoun) and, say, former state Sen. Walter Stosch (R-Henrico) is a lot greater than just about any two Democrats in the General Assembly.  Stosch, along with state Sen. John Watkins, retired in 2015, making it harder to find moderate Republicans in the Senate.  When it comes to the House of Delegates, it’s arguable that moderate Republicans have long since left the building. Contrast this with statewide elections, where Democrats have been victorious in all statewide or national elections since Republican Bob McDonnell was elected governor in 2009.  Count them:  Barack Obama (second term), Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe, Mark Herring, Ralph Northam and Mark Warner.  Unable to win on the larger playing field, Virginia’s Republicans have been reduced to being a legislative party. What’s at work here?  At the very least, this is an unintended consequence of gerrymandering.  The Republicans win in narrowly crafted districts that discourage local opposition.  Incumbents are more afraid of losing in primaries than in general elections.  These same districts are irrelevant in statewide races. What else? Certainly urban versus rural dynamics come into play.  The urban areas of Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads are packed with Democratic voters and have the population power to determine the outcome of statewide races, while the Republican base resides in less populous, rural areas. Both of these are good explanations, but other changes are less obvious.  It wasn’t that long ago that our nation saw the rise of the tea party.  What is less obvious is that the tea party’s most effective route to power wasn’t through launching a third party, but instead through a calculated, systematic takeover and makeover of the Republican Party.  Out with the centrists and in with the extremists. Take, for example, the defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor, then the House majority leader, by Dave Brat in the 2014 Republican primary.  Brat’s ideology is more libertarian than tea party, but third-party and independent candidates rarely win.  Brat defeated Cantor by challenging the powerful incumbent in his own party. The electoral system proscribed by the U.S. Constitution promotes a two-party system.  Our system of winner-take-all elections grants power only to the winning party; any second-place party must have the support of close to half of the population to have any chance of winning.  This puts any third party at a significant disadvantage.  The U.S. system is unlike proportional representation systems used in Britain and many other countries to ensure representation of minority viewpoints. More than half of the world’s top 25 economies have multiparty systems that necessitate coalitions between two or more parties to create a legislative majority.  The cooperating parties agree to disagree on some things while working to agree on others.  This is lacking in Washington.  It is also lacking in Virginia.  Let’s face it, the all-or-none approach just isn’t working. Early on, the tea party established itself as a marketable brand, but it had to take its political power through the two-party system.  The Republican Party — with its combination of evangelicals, social conservatives, gun rights activists, immigration hawks and fiscal conservatives — was the logical choice.  Not with a bang, but a whimper, came the end of moderate Republicans.  This bifurcation is preventing an effective majority. The business community abhors uncertainty, but it also hates a lack of progress.  We are currently seeing little change or investment.  We have continual increases in health-care costs and entitlements, largely borne by the business community. Regardless of what you favor, campaign promises from both Republicans and Democrats are largely going undelivered.  Citizens aren’t getting what they’ve voted for. Maybe what we need is a governing coalition. 2016-01-28T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/0216_COVER2.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/2016-virginia-business-best-places-to-work-luncheon Best Places to Work Luncheon http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/2016-virginia-business-best-places-to-work-luncheon http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/2016-virginia-business-best-places-to-work-luncheon#When:20:57:00Z Virginia Business unveiled Thursday its 2016 list of the Best Places to Work in Virginia. In addition to being featured in the February issue, winners were invited to The Best Places to Work Awards Luncheon held at The Williamsburg Lodge. Check out the tweets, videos and pictures from the event below.   #bestplacesva Tweets !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); 2016-01-28T20:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Midlothian_Wegmans.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wegmans-announces-opening-dates-for-new-stores-in-richmond-area Wegmans announces opening dates for new stores in Richmond area http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wegmans-announces-opening-dates-for-new-stores-in-richmond-area http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wegmans-announces-opening-dates-for-new-stores-in-richmond-area#When:14:31:00Z   Wegmans Food Markets announced the grand opening dates Thursday for its two locations in greater Richmond. These are the first Wegmans to open in the region and the first during the company’s 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans Midlothian, a 115,000-square-foot store, will open at Stonehenge Village Shopping Center on Sunday, May 22. The company’s Short Pump store, a 120,000-square-foot supermarket, is set to open at West Broad Marketplace on Sunday, Aug. 7. Wegmans said hiring and training is ongoing for both stores. The company is now accepting applications for a variety of part-time customer service and culinary positions across every department. Full-time openings remain for chefs, line cooks, and restaurant service jobs. Applicants can apply online at http://www.wegmans.com/careers or ca,ll 1-877-WEGMANS (934-6267) for more information. “Now is the time to apply. Although our stores won’t open for several months, we bring new employees on board quickly in order to provide best-in-class training,” Wegmans Human Resources Manager Heather Gole said in a statement.  “We’re known for putting employees first, offering competitive pay and benefits, and flexible scheduling. Many of our company leaders today cite Wegmans as their first job and went to college with tuition assistance from our employee scholarship program.” The Wegmans Employee Scholarship Program is a point of pride for the company. Since the program began in 1984, more than 32,000 employees have been awarded scholarships totaling $100 million. Wegmans Midlothian and Wegmans Short Pump will each employ about 550 people, 500 of whom will be new to the company and hired locally. Both locations will also offer The Pub by Wegmans, a full-service family restaurant within the store, known for fresh, seasonal food and local craft beer. 2016-01-28T14:31:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/Virginia-Chamber-of-Commerce-elects-new-chairman Virginia Chamber of Commerce elects new chairman at ‘Chamber Day at the Capitol’ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/Virginia-Chamber-of-Commerce-elects-new-chairman http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/Virginia-Chamber-of-Commerce-elects-new-chairman#When:03:05:00Z The Virginia Chamber of Commerce elected Tom Palmer chairman of its board of directors Wednesday at its annual Chamber Day at the Capitol held at the Omni Richmond Hotel. Palmer is a senior vice president and regional vice president for the Central Virginia regional commercial banking office of Wells Fargo, based in Richmond. He also oversees the Eastern Virginia commercial banking office. Palmer served as first vice chair of the board in 2015. He succeeds 2015 chairman Stacy Mendler, chief operating officer of Alion Science and Technology. The event included speeches from several state officials, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe. He told an optimistic story about the state of Virginia’s economy, while emphasizing the need to improve education, before a crowd of more than 275 business people. He also said that Virginia needs to ensure it has a well-trained workforce to keep up with the demands of a changing economy. McAuliffe emphasized the need to better fund community college job training programs, while citing the relatively low figure of $5 million a year that Virginia currently spends on such programs. By comparison, North Carolina, one of Virginia’s closest economic competitors, spends $92 million a year on such programs. “Over the next decade, two thirds of the 1.5 million jobs we will have to fill, here in Virginia, will require the skills and knowledge demonstrated by industry certifications, occupational licenses and other workforce credentials. Not necessarily a four-year degree. But a two-year degree,” he said. “We have to get in the game on this.” 2016-01-28T03:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/landmark-apartment-trust-completes-sale-to-starwood-capital-group-and-miles Landmark Apartment Trust completes sale to Starwood Capital Group and Milestone Apartments REIT http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/landmark-apartment-trust-completes-sale-to-starwood-capital-group-and-miles http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/landmark-apartment-trust-completes-sale-to-starwood-capital-group-and-miles#When:20:24:00Z Landmark Apartment Trust Inc., a Richmond-based multifamily real estate investment trust with assets located in metropolitan areas throughout the Southern United States, said Wednesday that it has been acquired by Monument Partners L.L.C.  in an all-cash transaction valued at about $1.9 billion, including the assumption of existing debt. As a result of the merger, Monument, an entity owned by affiliates of Starwood Capital Group and Milestone Apartments Real Estate Investment Trust, has directly acquired all of the outstanding common stock of Landmark and indirectly acquired all of the outstanding common units of Landmark’s operating partnership, Landmark Apartment Trust Holdings LP, in each case, for $8.17 per share or unit, without interest. Commenting on the transaction, Jay Olander, CEO of Landmark said, “I would like to thank all of our stakeholders -- our investors, our lenders and especially all of our associates-for making our company a success.” Starwood Capital Group is a private investment firm with a core focus on global real estate. Headquartered in Greenwich, Conn.,  the firm has 10 offices in four countries around the world, and currently has more than 2,000 employees. Starwood Capital Group has raised more than $33 billion of equity capital since its inception in 1991, and currently manages over $45 billion in assets. 2016-01-27T20:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/grisham-e-book-focuses-on-ultrasound-treatment Grisham e-book focuses on ultrasound treatment http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/grisham-e-book-focuses-on-ultrasound-treatment http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/grisham-e-book-focuses-on-ultrasound-treatment#When:20:22:00Z Bestselling author John Grisham has written “The Tumor,” a Kindle e-book showing how an emerging medical technology could be used to treat various disorders. Grisham, who lives in Albemarle County, is a board member of the Charlottesville-based Focused Ultrasound Foundation. The foundation promotes the adoption of focused ultrasound, a noninvasive therapy being developed to treat more than 50 medical conditions. The book follows a fictional 35-year-old patient named Paul, who is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He dies nine months after his diagnosis despite undergoing brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.  Grisham then offers an alternative narrative to the story. Paul again is 35, but he is diagnosed with the same brain tumor in 2025, nearly a decade later. Doctors use focused beams of ultrasound energy to destroy the tumor without cutting into his skull. They also use ultrasound on the surrounding brain to activate nanoparticles that deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy while minimizing side effects. When the tumor returns a couple of times, Paul is retreated with the same approach. In a news release, Grisham said he wrote the book to raise awareness about focused ultrasound and the efforts of the foundation. The e-book is available for free on Amazon. 2016-01-27T20:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-to-collaborate-with-goodwill-on-hiring-for-hospit Interstate Hotels & Resorts to collaborate with Goodwill on hiring for hospitality industry http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-to-collaborate-with-goodwill-on-hiring-for-hospit http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-to-collaborate-with-goodwill-on-hiring-for-hospit#When:18:45:00Z Goodwill said Wednesday that it has joined forces with Interstate Hotels & Resorts to connect qualified candidates with jobs in hospitality. Based in Arlington County, Interstate Hotels & Resorts is a global hotel management company that offers many full- and part-time positions in various areas of hotel operations, ranging from guest services and sales to food and beverage and finance. At any given time, there are more than 1,200 job openings at Interstate-managed hotels available in the U.S. At the same time many people come to Goodwill looking for help in finding employment and building their careers. To help these individuals, Goodwill provides services such as career counseling, computer and job readiness classes and résumé and interview preparation. Through Goodwill's virtual career navigation website, local Goodwill staff plan to use a customized jobs portal, created in conjunction with Hospitality Online, which allows them to search for nearby openings at Interstate-managed hotels. Local Goodwill staff could then review open positions and refer qualified job seekers. This pre-screening process, the company said, would help Interstate efficiently fill job openings with qualified candidates who are ready to work. "Goodwill prepares hundreds of thousands of people for the workforce, helping them earn paychecks — some for the very first time," Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, said in a statement. "Our collaboration with Interstate and the customized jobs portal will mean that more people in our local communities will have the chance to earn jobs in hospitality, helping them care for their families and build their economic self-sufficiency." Last year, Goodwill said it helped more than 318,000 people find jobs and provided support services such as childcare, financial education, mentoring and transportation. "The hospitality industry provides unparalleled career opportunities, and Interstate offers diverse career paths for job-seekers with nearly any level of expertise. We can teach the technical skills, as long as a person is 'hard-wired' for and passionate about service," said Laura E. FitzRandolph, chief human resources officer at Interstate Hotels & Resorts. 2016-01-27T18:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/stihl-inc.-names-new-vice-president-of-finance-and-information-service STIHL Inc. names new vice president of finance and information services http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/stihl-inc.-names-new-vice-president-of-finance-and-information-service http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/stihl-inc.-names-new-vice-president-of-finance-and-information-service#When:17:59:00Z Virginia Beach-based STIHL Inc. has announced that it has named Mark Scavillo vice president of finance and information services. He succeeds Bjoern Fischer, who was promoted to president of STIHL Inc. on Jan. 1. Scavillo has been STIHL Inc.’s director of strategic planning and controlling since October 2012. He started with the company in 2009 as manager of finance projects. Before joining STIHL Inc., he was head of process governance at SAP in Germany. STIHL Inc. manufactures outdoor power equipment and chain saws. It is the U.S. headquarters for STIHL Group. 2016-01-27T17:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/stihl-inc.-names-new-vice-president-of-finance-and-information-services STIHL Inc. names new vice president of finance and information services http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/stihl-inc.-names-new-vice-president-of-finance-and-information-services http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/stihl-inc.-names-new-vice-president-of-finance-and-information-services#When:17:56:00Z Virginia Beach-based STIHL Inc. has announced that it has named Mark Scavillo vice president of finance and information services. He succeeds Bjoern Fischer, who was promoted to president of STIHL Inc. on Jan. 1. Scavillo has been STIHL Inc.’s director of strategic planning and controlling since October 2012. He started with the company in 2009 as manager of finance projects. Before joining STIHL Inc., he was head of process governance at SAP in Germany. STIHL Inc. manufactures outdoor power equipment and chain saws. It is the U.S. headquarters for STIHL Group. 2016-01-27T17:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/evergreen-development-co.-plans-expansion-in-gloucester Evergreen Development Co. plans expansion in Gloucester http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/evergreen-development-co.-plans-expansion-in-gloucester http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/evergreen-development-co.-plans-expansion-in-gloucester#When:16:57:00Z Evergreen Development Co. is planning a 60,000-square-foot expansion of Fox Mill Centre in Gloucester.  According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, which announced the expansion Wednesday, several new tenants will join the next phase of development including TJ Maxx, Petco and Rack Room Shoes. They are scheduled to open stores in April 2017. The regional shopping center is anchored by Walmart and Home Depot and includes 400,000 square feet of retail space. Other tenants include several restaurants, Starbucks, Verizon and Mattress Warehouse. The center is located near downtown Gloucester and serves as a primary shopping destination for the Middle Peninsula, which includes Gloucester County, Middlesex County, Mathews County and King and Queen County. Chris Rouzie and David Tunnicliffe of Thalhimer’s Hampton Roads offices are the leasing representatives for the landlord. The center currently offers spaces ranging in size from 1,400 to 4,900 square feet of space that will be ready in April 2017. 2016-01-27T16:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/printpack-announces-plans-to-add-50-jobs-in-newport-news Printpack announces plans to add 50 jobs in Newport News http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/printpack-announces-plans-to-add-50-jobs-in-newport-news http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/printpack-announces-plans-to-add-50-jobs-in-newport-news#When:21:19:00Z Packaging manufacturer Printpack plans to add 50 new jobs at its Newport News manufacturing facility. The company will invest $25.7 million in the project. The expansion news, announced Tuesday, comes seven months after Atlanta-based Printpack said that it was closing its Fredericksburg facility in the first quarter of this year, a move affecting 155 employees. That plant makes labels and tamper-evident bands. Founded in 1956, Printpack makes  flexible and specialty rigid packaging. It has more than 4,000 employees and operates 25 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico and China. “After considering other locations for our expansion, we decided to expand in Virginia largely because our well-established, capable workforce provides us a solid base of expertise to build upon,” Jim Stevenson, Printpack’s director of operations, said in a statement.  “Additionally, strong relationships with and support from our local governments made expansion in Virginia a solid decision.” Virginia competed for the project against Missouri. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Newport News with the project. The governor also approved a $200,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. The company also is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program. Funding and services to support the firm’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 2016-01-26T21:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/braaten-to-retire-from-ferrum-college Braaten to retire from Ferrum College http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/braaten-to-retire-from-ferrum-college http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/braaten-to-retire-from-ferrum-college#When:20:51:00Z Jennifer Braaten announced Tuesday that she will retire from Ferrum College this summer. Braaten, Ferrum’s first woman president, has led the college for 14 years. She became the college’s 10th president in 2002 after serving as president of Midland Lutheran College in Nebraska. Braaten said she decided to retire because of health issues in her family. “The college has grown in stature and reputation from her strong leadership during her tenure as president, and our prayers of love and support are with her as she now enters a new phase of her life”, Sam Lionberger, chair of Ferrum’s board of trustees, said in a statement. During her term, school enrollment grew from around 950 to more than 1,300 students, two capital campaigns raised about $45 million, and $30 million in new construction and renovation projects were completed. Braaten chaired the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, the Appalachian College Association and the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church. She was also on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC), which serves as the accreditation body for colleges and universities in 11 states. She currently chairs the audit committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and also chairs the New President’s Advisory Committee for the Council of Independent Colleges. 2016-01-26T20:51:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-unemployment-rate-rises-to-4.2-percent Virginia’s unemployment rate rises to 4.2 percent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-unemployment-rate-rises-to-4.2-percent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-unemployment-rate-rises-to-4.2-percent#When:20:45:00Z Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly in December as more people entered the workforce during the month. The December rate was 4.2 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised rate of 4.1 percent for November, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. Ann Macheras, vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Regional Economics division, said Tuesday that, overall, the jobs report was good. The rate uptick, she noted, was caused by nearly 9,000 people entering the workforce, an encouraging sign. December also marked the fourth consecutive month of job growth, she pointed out. Nearly 7,000 jobs were added in December and 15,700 were added in November. The November figure was revised upward by 1,300 after last month’s initial report. Macheras said that “little by little”  Virginia is catching up with the faster pace of U.S. job growth. The number of jobs rose 1.5 percent last year, compared to the U.S. rate of 1.9 percent. The industry sector seeing the largest job growth during December was professional and business services, up 6,800 jobs to a total of 701,800. The biggest job losses occurred in manufacturing, down 1,800 jobs to 234,000, and trade and transportation, down 900 jobs to 655,300. Macheras noted that the December figures for  professional and business services revealed the significant growth the sector has seen recently, especially in Northern Virginia where many federal government contracting employees fall in this category. In the past 12 months, employment in that sector has increased 3.7 percent, a possible sign that effects of federal spending cuts are tapering off, Macheras said. 2016-01-26T20:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paycheck-to-paycheck Paycheck to paycheck http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paycheck-to-paycheck http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paycheck-to-paycheck#When:14:15:00Z   Many Americans have jumped on the wellness movement to improve their physical fitness, but financial fitness is important, too.  That’s the message behind the first-ever Super Bowl ad by SunTrust Banks Inc. that will air during the Feb. 7, Super Bowl football championship game.  The company decided to place the ad to jumpstart a national conversation on financial fitness. It’s important as a means to relieve stress and to give people tools to move from stress to financial confidence, said John Stallings, president and CEO for the Virginia division for SunTrust Bank in Richmond. Recent research gathered in an online survey shows that “40 percent of Americans don’t have $2,000 set aside for an emergency. It’s more than 60 percent of millennials.  There’s a trend that happens when people don’t have financial confidence, they have some degree of financial stress that carries over and keeps people from pursuing a healthier and happier life,” said Stallings. SunTrust wants to build financial confidence in two ways: through website tools at OnUp.com,  and by offering business clients a program, Financial Fitness for Companies, which the bank already has done internally with more than 13,000 of its own employees. From Dec. 29 through Dec. 31, SunTrust retained the Neilson Harrison Poll to conduct an online survey of 2,049 adults, ages 18 and older.  The survey found that: ·         Nearly three quarters of Americans feel stressed about their finances, and 80 percent admit it keeps them awake at night. ·         Forty-six percent of employed Americans said they usually run out of money between paychecks; 64 percent of employed millennials (18-34) said they run out, the highest of any age group. ·         Financially confident people are three times more likely to be satisfied with their life, across all income levels. “The survey results hold true from what I hear and see in Virginia. …  ” said Stallings. "We think financial stress is a national problem .. . and we think it’s time to take action to help people.” The Super Bowl ad called, “Hold Your Breath” is a reminder that worrying about money can cause people to miss life’s important moments. Produced by the New York-Based firm of Strawberry Frog, SunTrust says the ad is based on the belief that anyone can achieve financial confidence. The company did not disclose how much it paid for the ad. It will direct viewers to onUp.com, where people can pledge to take action, take a mental wealth quiz and receive actions, tools and tips tailored to their needs. After offering a financial wellness program to its employees, 13,000 out of the bank’s staff of 24,100 participated in the first year.  According to Sun Trust, “more than 70 percent now say they feel more confident about their finances.” The bank offered a “day of purpose” for employees -- a paid day off where they could focus on personal finances.  According to Stallings, what the bank found was that workers moved to financial confidence after receiving assistance in such areas as budgeting, appropriate debt levels, access to tools for financial planning and establishing an emergency fund. Sun Trust, based in Atlanta and one of Central Virginia’s largest financial service companies, offered a match of $1,000 to employees who completed the program and set $1,000 of their own money aside into an emergency fund. Many of the employees took advantage of the match, said Stallings.  “The program was wildly successful and really took off and that was the proof point that we needed to offer it,” he added. . This bank plans to offer the financial fitness program to business clients at costs, said Stallings, and will not earn a profit from it. “We as SunTrust bankers have the wherewithal to help people make financial decisions. Whether it’s a Fortune 100 CEO, a business owner, or a kid coming out of high school, we are ready to help people navigate the financial world." 2016-01-26T14:15:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DawnSmith.jpg HII Photo. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/huntington-ingalls-industries-names-director-diversity-and-inclusion Huntington Ingalls Industries names director, diversity and inclusion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/huntington-ingalls-industries-names-director-diversity-and-inclusion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/huntington-ingalls-industries-names-director-diversity-and-inclusion#When:21:19:00Z Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries has promoted Dawn Smith to director, diversity and inclusion. In this new position, Smith will provide leadership and serve as a resource and subject matter expert on diversity, inclusion and equality issues and initiatives across the HII enterprise. She will report to Bill Ermatinger, the company’s corporate vice president and chief human resources officer. She will also serve as principal adviser to the senior executive staff, as well as the corporate office Diversity & Inclusion Council. Smith has held numerous positions in human resources since joining the company in 2003,  including  senior human resources representative, manager, human resources, and manager, Equal Employment Opportunity and diversity. She joined the corporate office as manager, EEO and diversity, in November 2014. Before coming to Newport News, she worked in customer service and human resources at ITT Industries. Smith earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the College of William and Mary. 2016-01-25T21:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/communication-can-make-or-break-ma-deals Communication can make or break M&A deals http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/communication-can-make-or-break-ma-deals http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/communication-can-make-or-break-ma-deals#When:21:04:00Z Deal making is back, and 2015 was a big year for mergers and acquisitions. Fueled by low interest rates, more access to debt financing and corporate credit, and a need to consolidate overhead expenses, mergers and acquisitions – especially among privately held companies – skyrocketed. Despite this trend, study after study puts the failure rate of mergers and acquisitions somewhere between 70 percent and 90 percent. According to a McKinsey survey, 25 percent of executives said that the absence of "cultural fit" was a key reason why so many mergers fail. When you examine the reasons behind these failures a little more closely, you start to see a pattern forming. One of the biggest obstacles to M&A transactions is a breakdown in communication between leadership, employees, and stakeholders. Clear, honest, and open communication among various corporate constituencies is a fundamental pillar in the success of a company. This is true for both public and privately-held companies. Your internal team members represent one of your most important constituencies. The Wolff Olins Report 2015 pointed out a fascinating emerging trend among business leaders across the United States. Of the CEO survey respondents, 81 percent highlighted a need to “motivat[e] people through a shared social purpose.” In other words, the workforce across the country is becoming (or wants to be) more invested in the future of a company rather than just a passive participant. What is most amazing about this trend is that it crosses generations from boomers and Generation X to millennials. Additionally, when examining the list of Ethisphere’s “World Most Ethical Companies,” one of the traits that they all have in common is frequent and robust communication among team members.  The communication challenge with any M&A transaction is the amount of due diligence required on the front-end. It is especially difficult if a private equity firm is involved. You don’t want to cause a panic or make people wary about something that may or may not happen. When H.J. Heinz entered into a merger agreement with Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, Heinz Chairman, President and CEO Bill Johnson sent out a personal communication to all employees letting them know about the deal and inviting them to town hall-style meetings to discuss the impact of the acquisition. Even if you are considering a merger or acquisition in the future, let employees know up front that is a possibility. Employees will be receptive to that and understand the intentions of the owner(s). More important, by giving employees your trust you may find that there is an opportunity for an employee or group of employees to make that buyout goal a reality. When employees are left out of the loop, you run the risk of creating rumor mills, which can destroy employee morale and result in a nonproductive work environment. The second most important constituency is your customer/client base. They are the main reason you have the opportunity to embark on a M&A transaction, so including them in the process — when possible — and keeping the channels of communication open is essential. Gallup’s various Customer Engagement surveys illustrate that customer behavior is always driven by emotion. Whether it be a lifelong connection to a brand or a newly formed B2B relationship, it should stand to reason that communicating with your customers about changes that could impact their perception of your product/service is paramount. Conventional wisdom over the past 30 years has dictated that the customer need not be considered until after an M&A transaction was completed. The exception to this practice involves publicly traded companies that are required to disclose such activities, but even then the communication was targeted at shareholders — not customers. However, industry specific research from Deloitte and PWC shows that individuals lose faith in a service rovider/consumer goods company if they are not informed about an M&A transaction. Similar to employees, customers/clients now have a vested interest in the companies from which they make purchases. Surveying a sample size of this key constituency is going to be in your best interest. That way you can anticipate and understand the reactions you might be facing when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. M&A is an important part of our economy. However, business owners and executives need to be smarter about the impact that it will have on your bottom line. One of the key components to this is honest communication with your stakeholders. The upfront work that is involved will pay dividends when a merger or acquisition is finalized. Andrew K. Ryan and Mike C. Gray are Partners with Richmond-based Commonwealth Partnerships, a strategic media relations and communications firm specialized in working with real estate developers, senior-living providers, and professional-service firms. 2016-01-25T21:04:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Thomas_Perry_Mailchimp_PIC.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/t.y.-lin-names-director-of-business-development-mid-atlantic T.Y. Lin names director of business development, mid-Atlantic http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/t.y.-lin-names-director-of-business-development-mid-atlantic http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/t.y.-lin-names-director-of-business-development-mid-atlantic#When:20:20:00Z San Francisco-based engineering firm T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) announced Monday it has named Thomas R. Perry director of business development, mid-Atlantic. He will be based in the company’s Alexandria office. Robert Radley, TYLI senior vice president and east region director, said the firm will become a full-service firm in the mid-Atlantic region, adding lines of business such as transit and rail, aviation and facilities. Perry was the program manager for the engineering and construction of the $1.3 billion, 22-mile D.C. streetcar system at the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation (DDOT), a program that brought the streetcar back to Washington after more than 50 years.  He also served as the interim chief safety officer for the streetcar system. TYLI is an infrastructure engineering firm with more than 2,500 employees in the Americas and Asia. 2016-01-25T20:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northern-virginia-office-market-saw-significant-growth-in-2015 Northern Virginia office market saw significant growth in 2015 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northern-virginia-office-market-saw-significant-growth-in-2015 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northern-virginia-office-market-saw-significant-growth-in-2015#When:16:21:00Z   The Northern Virginia office market experienced significant growth in 2015 for the first time since 2011, with absorption achieving a rate not seen since sequestration drove government contractors to seek major space reductions. Year-end reports by Colliers International also suggest that office activity in Washington, D.C., closed out the year strong despite substantial downsizing in some industry sectors. However, suburban Maryland continues to struggle to attract tenants, regardless of improving market fundamentals. “This is one of those times when activity varies dramatically based on geography and the market stats that follow. Northern Virginia, for instance, tells a particularly exciting story, with major leases being signed in opposition to the trend toward smaller footprints that began with the sequester,” Robert Hartley, director of research for Colliers International in the Washington metro area, said in a statement.  “In DC, we’re watching a game of musical chairs, where one move-out is balanced by another move-in. And in Maryland, where fundamentals have improved significantly, leasing demand nonetheless continues to lag.” The 2015 year-end reports by Colliers International break down market activity as follows: In Northern Virginia, a surge in office demand is attributed to the federal government’s loosening of the cap on spending activity. Government contractors lead the region for the largest leases signed, and six of the D.C. metro’s ten largest leases were in Northern Virginia. Three constituted new or additional space. Agencies and contractors that were once consolidating, such as the Department of Defense and Booz Allen Hamilton, joined other large contractors in renewing leases in the fourth quarter with no contraction. In areas such as Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor, efforts to attract start-up and tech companies are starting to pay off. The overall office using economy also demonstrated growth during the fourth quarter of 2015, which is likely to lead to stronger demand. In Washington, D.C., tenant movement remained strong in 2015 but substantial downsizing in once-powerful business sectors kept net absorption subdued. Reversing a trend toward smaller workplaces, mid-sized tenants were active and willing to take more space, due to aggressive offers by landlords and increased comfort with an improving D.C. economy. But the growth is offset by once-strong industries that now have dramatically reduced footprints, such as the Washington Post and its shedding of 350,000 square feet of space in the fourth quarter. In suburban Maryland, it has been three years since the market has seen positive annual net absorption. Three deals during the fourth quarter were inked for more than 100,000 square feet, but none added positive net absorption. 2016-01-25T16:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/VirginianGuestroom_sm.jpg Photo courtesy of Baskervill http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/work-well-underway-on-25-million-renovation-of-old-hotel-in-downtown-lynchb Work well underway on $25 million renovation of old hotel in downtown Lynchburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/work-well-underway-on-25-million-renovation-of-old-hotel-in-downtown-lynchb http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/work-well-underway-on-25-million-renovation-of-old-hotel-in-downtown-lynchb#When:15:58:00Z   Work is well underway on a $25 million renovation of The Virginian Hotel in downtown Lynchburg.  Demolition is complete in some areas and framing has begun. When the hotel opens in 2017, it will be among an elite group of  about 70 boutique hotels under Curio — a collection by Hilton, and the first in the state under that brand. According to Richmond-based Baskervill, which is doing the interior design on the project, partners Blair Godsey and George Stanley have teamed up to renovate the property, which was most recently used as apartments for low-income housing.  The hotel, at 712 Church St., opened originally in 1913. It closed in late 2014 after the subsidized housing apartment program suffered financial problems. The renovation’s interior design will play on the property’s name and the state’s history, with references to leather, tobacco and brick. There will be a lounge and rooftop bar with steel mirrors reflecting Virginia’s once booming steel industry.  Baskervill said it plans to repurpose antique light fixtures and furniture. Scheduled for opening in early 2017, the hotel will have 115 rooms, a restaurant, coffee shop and conference center.   The city of Lynchburg is offering financial support to the project with the city council’s approval last year of a $5 million loan arrangement to help finance the $25 million cost.  The hotel will be called The Virginian Lynchburg, Curio Collection by Hilton. In other news for Baskervill, an architecture, engineering and interior design firm, the company has opened a new office in Washington, D.C. It will replace an office at Tysons, with 10 employees working from the D.C. office. 2016-01-25T15:58:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/distil-networks-expands-with-more-space-in-arlington Distil Networks expands with more space in Arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/distil-networks-expands-with-more-space-in-arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/distil-networks-expands-with-more-space-in-arlington#When:22:57:00Z   Distil Networks has signed a seven-year lease that will expand its headquarters space in Arlington to 15,314 square feet. According to West, Lane & Schlager Realty Advisors LLC, which brokered the lease, the Web application security company will add nearly 11,000 square feet to its real estate footprint at 4501 N. Fairfax Drive. West, Lane & Schlager Assistant Vice President Andrew Genova and Senior Associate Brian Dickerson represented Distil, a Web application security company that blocks malicious bots, or automated computer programs, from attacking clients’ Web sites. By adding the additional space, Genova said in a statement that the company will have room to expand its workforce. Currently, Distil has 28 employees at its corporate office in Arlington, and 102 company-wide. It has plans to roughly double the headquarters staff and add 80 more people across the firm in 2016. Genova and Dickerson have worked with Distil Networks since its founding in 2011, representing the company in multiple leases. “It’s rewarding to see them go from a three-person start-up to where Distil Networks is today …,”Genova said. West, Lane & Schlager Realty Advisors, based in Washington, D.C., exclusively represents tenants in the Washington metropolitan area. 2016-01-24T22:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/sweet-briar-college-names-vice-president-for-finance-and-treasurer Sweet Briar College names vice president for finance and treasurer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/sweet-briar-college-names-vice-president-for-finance-and-treasurer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/sweet-briar-college-names-vice-president-for-finance-and-treasurer#When:22:17:00Z Timothy E. Klocko has been named vice president for finance and treasurer at Sweet Briar College, effective March 1. Klocko comes to Sweet Briar from Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga., where he has been senior vice president for administration and finance. At Thomas, Klocko oversaw all accounting functions as well as the administrative areas of human resources, bookstore, post office, facilities, information technology, campus security and food service. Klocko holds a CPA certificate from the state of Iowa, a master’s degree in business administration with an accounting emphasis, as well as a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. Klocko replaces Thomas N. Connors, who has served as interim vice president and treasurer since July 2015. 2016-01-22T22:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DebraFlores3x2%40150.jpg Debra Flores http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/sentara-executive-to-lead-hospital-association-group Sentara executive to lead hospital association group http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/sentara-executive-to-lead-hospital-association-group http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/sentara-executive-to-lead-hospital-association-group#When:21:21:00Z Debra Flores has been named chair of the governing council of the American Hospital Association’s Constituency Section for Metropolitan Hospitals. The section provides representation, advocacy and educational opportunities to help the nation's suburban and urban hospitals. Flores is the president of Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton. 2016-01-22T21:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/virginia-bio-elects-five-new-directors-to-its-board Virginia Bio elects five new directors to its board http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/virginia-bio-elects-five-new-directors-to-its-board http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/virginia-bio-elects-five-new-directors-to-its-board#When:20:21:00Z Virginia Bio, a nonprofit association representing the commonwealth’s life sciences industry, has elected five new members to its board of directors        The newly elected members are Elaine Horn-Ranney, Warren Martin, Dr.  John Niederhuber, Chris Penet and Thomas Voss. They will serve a three-year term. “These individuals represent strong leadership and extraordinary talent from across the commonwealth and the life sciences industry,” Jeff Conroy, chairman of the Virginia Bio board, said in a statement.  Horn-Ranney is the co-founder and CEO of Tympanogen Inc., a Norfolk-based medical device company , which sells a gel patch for the nonsurgical repair of eardrum perforations. Martin leads the technology and life sciences practice for the Washington, D.C. office of CPA firm Cherry Bekaert.  Niederhuber  is the former director of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He is presently an executive vice president of the Inova Health System and CEO of the Inova Translational Medicine Institute. Penet currently is vice president at BIO-CAT, an industrial and food enzyme firm in Troy, where he oversees  planning, research and regulatory efforts. Voss is vice president SRI Biosciences, and executive director and deputy site head at SRI International’s Shenandoah Valley Research Facility. 2016-01-22T20:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-recovers-more-than-63-million-in-settlement Virginia recovers more than $63 million in settlement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-recovers-more-than-63-million-in-settlement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-recovers-more-than-63-million-in-settlement#When:20:15:00Z Virginia is recovering $63 million in a settlement with 11 banks to settle allegations they misled the commonwealth and the Virginia Retirement System about the quality of mortgage-backed securities sold to VRS, according to Attorney General Mark Herring. Herring said this represented the largest recovery from a suit not related to health care under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. "This case breaks new ground for Virginia, recovering millions for Virginia taxpayers from banks that we alleged had misrepresented the products they sold to the Commonwealth,” Herring said in a statement. Under the agreement, the banks have admitted no liability, and Virginia has dismissed claims against the defendants in exchange for the following settlements: Countrywide Securities Corp. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (combined): $19.5 million RBS Securities Inc.: $10 million Barclays Capital Inc.: $9 million Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC: $6.9 million Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.: $5.6 million Citigroup Global Markets Inc.: $4.8 million Goldman, Sachs & Co.: $2.9 million HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.: $2.5 million Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC: $1.2 million UBS Securities LLC: $850,000 The case was initially filed in Richmond City Circuit Court by Integra REC LLC on behalf of Virginia. Herring intervened and brought the case on behalf of Virginia and the VRS.The commonwealth sought to recover $383 million in alleged damages, including $250.66 million of realized losses. 2016-01-22T20:15:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cabelas-to-open-new-store-in-northern-virginia-after-all Cabela’s to open new store in Northern Virginia after all http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cabelas-to-open-new-store-in-northern-virginia-after-all http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cabelas-to-open-new-store-in-northern-virginia-after-all#When:20:13:00Z After nixing plans for a Gainesville store in November, Cabela's said Friday that it plans to begin construction on a 79,999-square-foot store in Gainesville this spring. The store for the outdoors retailer will be located on the former Betco Block plant site at the intersection of Linton-Hall Road and Lee Highway. “This week we notified L.F. Jennings, our general contractor for the Gainesville project, to mobilize and start construction. Jennings indicated they plan to be on-site within the next two weeks, and construction should be well underway before the first of April,” Steven Krajewski, director of real estate for Cabela’s, said in a statement.  The company did not go into why it had changed its mind. After reporting lower-than-expected earnings in the fall, the chain removed several projects from its 2016 opening list. The Gainesville store is scheduled to open in spring 2017. It will be first Cabela's location in the Washington D.C., metro area and the third in the state of Virginia. Cabela’s has opened a store in The Falls development in Bristol, Va., and it has one set to open in the Short Pump area of Henrico County this spring.  The Gainesville store will be located adjacent to the Virginia Gateway Center, a 1.3 million-square-foot mixed-use shopping center with retail, restaurant, hotel brands and a 14-screen Regal Theater. Cabela's Inc. offers thousands of products, including hunting, fishing, camping, shooting, hiking, boating and wildlife-watching gear along with clothing and outdoor-themed gifts and furnishings. 2016-01-22T20:13:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hirschler-fleischer-attorney-named-richmond-bar-associations-young-lawyer-o Hirschler Fleischer attorney named Richmond Bar Association’s Young Lawyer of the Year http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hirschler-fleischer-attorney-named-richmond-bar-associations-young-lawyer-o http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hirschler-fleischer-attorney-named-richmond-bar-associations-young-lawyer-o#When:18:48:00Z Hirschler Fleischer announced Friday that one of its partners, Lisa J. Hedrick, has been named 2016 Young Lawyer of the Year by the Richmond Bar Association. “This achievement is reflective of Lisa’s outstanding leadership in the practice of law,” James L. Weinberg, president of Hirschler Fleischer, said in a statement. “Her dedication to achieving business-oriented results further advances the firm’s ability to provide quality counsel, and we are pleased to see her hard work recognized.” Hedrick was named partner at Hirschler Fleischer earlier this month. Her practice areas include mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, private equity and general business law. Hedrick is a member of the American Bar Association’s Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. She earned her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, and her law degree from Washington and Lee School of Law. Hirschler Fleischer has offices in Richmond, Fredericksburg and Tysons. 2016-01-22T18:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/capital-square-1031-acquires-70-unit-apartment-building-in-richmond Capital Square 1031 acquires 70-unit apartment building in Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/capital-square-1031-acquires-70-unit-apartment-building-in-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/capital-square-1031-acquires-70-unit-apartment-building-in-richmond#When:21:02:00Z Capital Square 1031 has acquired Perry Place Apartments, a 70-unit historic loft style apartment community located in Richmond’s expanding Manchester Arts District. The company did not disclose the purchase price. Perry Place is a two-story building at 815 Perry St. The historic building is situated on about 1.2 acres. Units range in size from studio to three-bedroom apartments, with views of the James River and downtown skyline. The property also includes a community clubroom and 70 parking spaces. “Perry Place is located in a growing, historic area with an abundance of neighborhood amenities and convenient access,” Louis Rogers, founder and CEO of Capital Square 1031, said in a statement.  “It is in close proximity to Richmond’s central business district, providing many convenient employment opportunities for residents …” Besides onsite parking, amenities include 24-hour controlled access, an outdoor swimming pool, community roof deck area and fitness center/ The apartments are less than 1.5 miles from the Wells Fargo and Bank of America towers in Richmond’s central business district and are adjacent to the headquarters of SunTrust Mortgage, a Fortune 500 company. Originally constructed in 1912 and recently renovated, Perry Place was 100 percent occupied at the time of the acquisition. Capital Square 1031, based in Richmond, specializes in the creation and management of commercial real estate investment programs for Section 1031 exchange investors and cash (non-1031) investors using the Delaware Statutory Trust structure. The company oversees a national portfolio of 39 real estate assets valued at about $370 million. 2016-01-21T21:02:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/24140199069_7ec7c7b069_z.jpg Joe's Inn, a popular restaurant in Richmond’s Fan neighborhood | Photo by Matt Chaney http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-views-about-bills-to-increase-alcohol-sales Mixed views about bills to increase alcohol sales http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-views-about-bills-to-increase-alcohol-sales http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-views-about-bills-to-increase-alcohol-sales#When:17:48:00Z Richmond restaurant owners have mixed perspectives on legislation that would allow their establishments to sell more alcoholic beverages. Two Republican lawmakers from Virginia Beach – Sen. Bill DeSteph and Del. Scott Taylor – have proposed changing the 20-year-old requirement that restaurants and caterers with liquor licenses limit their alcohol sales to 55 percent of their total revenue. This means that under the current law, a little less than half of all sales in restaurants must come from food. Wine and beer sales are not considered in this ratio. The bills proposed by DeSteph and Taylor would raise the maximum percentage of revenue from liquor sales to 75 percent of total sales per restaurant. Many restaurateurs believe they would benefit from such an increase. “There’s a lot of things out there that people are doing wrong, just so they can stay ahead of that law, so they can maintain their bills as a restaurant or bar or nightclub,” says Johnny Giavos, owner of Richmond mainstays Stella’s and Kuba Kuba as well as the recently opened Continental Westhampton. “Just let people open a bar and charge them more for the liquor license. Just let them be bars ... The state makes more money, nobody has to fudge their numbers or steal money to make their numbers work, and everybody benefits from it,” Giavos says. Terrence O’Neill, owner of Terrence O’Neill in downtown Richmond, agreed. “I don’t understand why that’s a big deal,” he says. “If you go to other states, they seem to manage fine just having bars … I think it’s time to lower [the required percentage of food sales] again. I think that’s the right move.” Other interested parties – like the Downtown Business Group, a confederation of hotels, restaurants, retailers and apartments in Richmond – disagree. They feel that such a rule change would cut into profits at other restaurants by opening up a market for businesses to promote cheap alcohol as their main source of revenue. “They’re trying to fundamentally change the way the entire state of Virginia works from a hospitality standpoint,” says Michael Byrne, director of operations at the Tobacco Company Restaurant and Properties and a leader in the business group. “They’re putting alcohol center stage, because you make more money off of liquor than you do anything else. If all you need to sell is liquor, why would you worry about selling food?” When asked about the creation of a specific license for bars, as Giavos suggested, Byrne says, “The nightclub-only license is a dangerous license. Look at the places that operate as bars, and you’ll find the highest amount of crime, the highest number of visits from the police department … So it definitely is a public safety issue.” Other business owners are still on the fence. “I could go either way. I own a restaurant, not a bar. I have a bar in the restaurant,” says Ron Joseph, owner of Strawberry Street Cafe in Richmond’s Fan neighborhood. He says the legislation “won’t hurt me. It may open up more opportunities for somebody that may want to open up a [music] venue. But I don’t think it will do any more damage than the breweries do to restaurants.” This is not the first time such legislation has been introduced in the General Assembly. Just last year, when DeSteph was a member of the House, he sponsored an almost identical bill. It failed, largely as a result of lobbying by the Downtown Business Group. In an interview at the General Assembly this week, DeSteph says he believes the measure has a better chance of passing during the current legislative session. “Before, there were about eight restaurants opposed to the bill, with three different owners,” he says. “This year, on the other side, we have the Fan Restaurant Group and about 600 different restaurants in support of the bill.” DeSteph is carrying two proposals – SB 488 and SB 489 – to change the food-beverage ratio for Virginia restaurants. The bills have been assigned to the Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services. Taylor’s bill – HB 219 – has been assigned to Subcommittee 3 of the House Committee on General Laws. DeSteph says he expects the committees to take up the legislation in the next week or two. 2016-01-21T17:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/california-company-expected-to-create-100-jobs-in-arlington California company expected to create 100 jobs in Arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/california-company-expected-to-create-100-jobs-in-arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/california-company-expected-to-create-100-jobs-in-arlington#When:16:45:00Z .San Francisco-based Shift Technologies plans to invest $20 million in establishing its first East Coast operation in Arlington County.  The project is expected to create 100 high-tech jobs. Shift is a startup company that wants to change the experience of buying and selling cars. The company has created a marketplace using technology to connect car buyers and sellers. Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the deal is the result of a meeting he had with company officials in California during a West Coast marketing mission in September. The company has raised more than $73.8 million in total funding, with $23.8 million in its Series A round, led by DFJ and Highland Capital, and $50 million in Series B financing, led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Arlington to secure the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 2016-01-21T16:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marathon-development-group-buys-two-downtown-office-buildings-in-norfolk Marathon Development Group buys two downtown office buildings in Norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marathon-development-group-buys-two-downtown-office-buildings-in-norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marathon-development-group-buys-two-downtown-office-buildings-in-norfolk#When:21:59:00Z Marathon Development Group in Norfolk has purchased two office buildings, One and Two Commercial Place, in the city’s downtown Central Business District. The purchase price was not disclosed. The seller was an institutional investor represented by Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, which announced the sale, the deal included an adjacent 785-space parking deck. Commercial Place has long been the hub of the CBD’s cultural, financial and trading districts. At the time of the sale, One Commercial Place, totaling 317,024 square feet and anchored by Maersk and Bank of America, was 33 percent leased. Two Commercial Place, recently vacated by Bank of America, was sold completely vacant. Thalhimer said Marathon plans to renovate One Commercial Place into upscale apartments while marketing Two Commercial Place to office users. The vacancy in Two Commercial Place represents the first time the building has been available in its history, having originally delivered to the market in 1974. “One and Two Commercial Place are ideally located on three of the largest and most central blocks in Norfolk’s central business district,” Eric Robison, senior vice president with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, said in a statement. “Interest in this opportunity was strong and bidding was competitive, indicative of a surging investment climate and investor confidence in downtown Norfolk.” Thalhimer’s Robison and Rob Wright handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. The property is close to nearby amenities including MacArthur Mall and the Waterside District. Rob Wright, senior vice president with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, said the transaction significantly reduces the available inventory in the Norfolk CBD. “Coupled with increased demand from users outside the market, overall occupancy and rental rates will climb back to levels the downtown market has not experienced since the delivery of the Wells Fargo Center in 2010." 2016-01-20T21:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/henrico-industrial-building-sells-for-3.3-million Henrico industrial building sells for $3.3 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/henrico-industrial-building-sells-for-3.3-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/henrico-industrial-building-sells-for-3.3-million#When:21:47:00Z A modern 62,500-square-foot industrial facility in Henrico County Park Central Business Park has sold for $3.3 million. According to Porter Realty Co., which brokered the sale, the buyer was 8820 Park Central Drive LLC. The facility was formerly occupied by Richmond Bumper Inc., which relocated to a much larger industrial facility in Mechanicsville last spring. The new owner plans to consolidate its existing operations into the Park Central facility, relocating from its current offices in Scott’s Addition. Richard W. Porter of Porter Realty Co. in Richmond handled the marketing and sale on behalf of the seller. 2016-01-20T21:47:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/troutman-sanders-names-new-managing-partner-in-virginia-beach Troutman Sanders names new managing partner in Virginia Beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/troutman-sanders-names-new-managing-partner-in-virginia-beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/troutman-sanders-names-new-managing-partner-in-virginia-beach#When:20:26:00Z Troutman Sanders LLP has named  John Ramirez managing partner of its Virginia Beach office. Ramirez succeeds R.J. Nutter, who has been office managing partner since 2010. Nutter, a real estate lawyer,  now focus on his legal practice full time. Ramirez joined Troutman Sanders in 2005. His practice is focused on mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and limited liability company matters, joint ventures, private equity and licensing transactions. Troutman Sanders’ Virginia Beach office opened in 1989 and now has 33 attorneys. Founded in 1897, Troutman Sanders is an international law firm with more than 650 lawyers in 16 offices located throughout North America and Asia. 2016-01-20T20:26:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-virginians-make-it-on-forbes-list-of-richest-persons-in-americas-larg Three Virginians make it on Forbes’ list of richest persons in America’s largest cities http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-virginians-make-it-on-forbes-list-of-richest-persons-in-americas-larg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-virginians-make-it-on-forbes-list-of-richest-persons-in-americas-larg#When:19:43:00Z Three Virginians are featured on Forbes’ list of ‘The Richest Person in each of America’s 50 Largest Cities,’ released for the first-time ever on Tuesday.  The wealthiest Virginian on the list is candy heiress Jacqueline Mars, who owns McLean-based Mars Inc. with her brothers, Forrest Jr. and John. Jacqueline Mars, who resides in The Plains, is worth  $23.2 billion, according to Forbes. Virginia Beach resident Winnie Johnson-Marquart also made the list with a net worth of $3.3 billion. Johnson-Marquart is an heir to the SC Johnson family fortune, a privately-held,  Wisconsin-based consumer goods company with estimated sales of more than  $9 billion. Bruce C. Gottwald also is featured on Forbes’ report, with a net worth of $580 million. The Richmond-resident was chairman of NewMarket for two decades before retiring in 2014. The Richmond-based company primarily serves the petroleum additives industry. The richest person on Forbes’ report is Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates, who has a net worth of $77.2 billion.  Mark  Zuckerberg, the head of Facebook, also was on the list with a net worth of $42.6 billion. 2016-01-20T19:43:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Untitled.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-to-relocate-and-be-anchor-tenant-in-new-downtown-office-building SunTrust to relocate and be anchor tenant in new downtown office building http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-to-relocate-and-be-anchor-tenant-in-new-downtown-office-building http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-to-relocate-and-be-anchor-tenant-in-new-downtown-office-building#When:16:07:00Z SunTrust Banks Inc. will leave its longtime home in downtown Richmond and be the anchor tenant in a 21-story, mixed-use riverfront project, the bank announced Wednesday. The commercial part of the project, where SunTrust will be located and have rooftop signage, will be known as The Locks at 321.  Dominion Realty Partners is the developer behind the $93 million project at the corner of 10th and East Byrd Streets. Company Principal Michael Campbell said an old empty warehouse sits on the site now. Dominion Realty is in the midst of obtaining approval from the city for the site's new plan of development, and it plans to start construction on the tower in late spring, he said. The property already is zoned for mixed use, he added. The 3TwentyOne building will have a parking deck and 137,000 square feet of commercial space, taking up the first nine floors, Campbell said. On the tenth floor will be an outdoor pool and plaza gathering area for residents who will live in 187 apartments located on the 11 floors above that. "Ten stories up with a pool and an outdoor area overlooking the city skyline and the James River. It will be pretty dramatic," said Campbell.  The residential portion of the building will be called The Residences at 3TwentyOne.  “The 3Twenty-One building is the culmination of years of redevelopment along the James River and was made possible by the city of Richmond, Venture Richmond and the property owners along the Haxall Canal that put the necessary infrastructure in place creating development opportunities that showcase the James River," said Campbell. “SunTrust’s commitment to this project represents the peak of downtown Richmond’s evolution as the capital’s new business frontier, and we are proud to be part of the next phase of urban growth that combines state-of-the-art, Class A office and residential development.” Dominion Realty Partners, which has offices in Richmond and Raleigh, said it has been involved in more than $250 million in development along the Richmond waterfront. Those projects include Riverside on the James, Vistas on the James, The Residences at the John Marshall and The Links Apartments.  Atlanta-based SunTrust, one of the largest financial services providers in the Richmond area, plans to relocate its current Richmond division main office of about 200 employees from 919 E. Main to the new building. It would occupy 53,000 square feet of space, which is scheduled to be completed by December 2017. Paul Silver and Brian Berkey of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented SunTrust in the lease negotiations. “Richmond is an important market for us, and moving our Richmond main office to this new location reaffirms our commitment to the downtown area and the entire region,” John Stallings, Virginia division president, said in a statement.  SunTrust also announced the relocation of employees from three suburban office locations to a new SunTrust Center, currently known as WestMark I on West Broad Street in Henrico County. The new SunTrust Center will bring nearly 1,000 operations and service employees together under one roof, occupying 212,000 square feet. The space will include fully integrated technology, a fitness center, café, and conference and collaboration rooms. The project also is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.  Thalhimer's Jeff Cooke represented RER/ New Boston West Broad LLC, owner of WestMark One. “Bringing our teammates together under one roof at the new SunTrust Center will foster collaboration, increase productivity and enhance our ‘one-team’ approach,” said Pam Kilday, executive vice president of operations. The SunTrust branch network, SunTrust Mortgage campus on Semmes Avenue and SunTrust Innsbrook will not affected by these moves. Dominion Realty said JDavis has been engaged to design the building. The general contractor will be Choate Construction. 2016-01-20T16:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/mitigating-the-effects-of-volatility-and-thoughts-about-china Mitigating the effects of volatility and thoughts about China http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/mitigating-the-effects-of-volatility-and-thoughts-about-china http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/mitigating-the-effects-of-volatility-and-thoughts-about-china#When:15:07:00Z It is early 2016, but already this year we have seen increased volatility rear its ugly head in global financial markets.  After an extended period at below-average levels, volatility has escalated in recent months despite a stronger U.S. economy.  Dysfunction in the Chinese markets, the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hike and challenges in emerging markets all are contributing to increased global market instability.  At times like these, investors look to limit the impact of these factors on their portfolio.  What, then, can be done to mitigate volatility’s effects?  To help answer this question, I would like to discuss volatility in general and strategies to limit its impact and then follow up with some thoughts about why it is surprising that China’s markets are affecting volatility here.  First and foremost, it’s important to understand that volatility is not risk.  Volatility is the movement of price in markets, whereas risk is the probability of actually losing money.  The two concepts overlap when volatility forces investors to sell at a discounted price, thus locking in a loss.  One of the main reasons for investors to manage volatility through sound investment plans is to protect them from themselves. Emotional overreactions can lead to bad short-term investment decisions.  In a perfect world, investments that exhibit no volatility, such as bank certificates of deposit or savings accounts, would produce ample returns to cover the negative impact of rising inflation. Unfortunately, that is not reality, so each investor must incorporate some risk into his or her long-term investment plans in order to experience higher returns to outpace inflation over time.  Strategies to dampen volatility can reduce the probability of loss in a portfolio’s value and can, therefore, reduce risk.  Diversification is one fundamental investment tactic that helps.  Investors should avoid putting all of their eggs in one basket and instead build a portfolio with a variety of non-correlated investments — such as emerging market small-cap stocks, large-cap U.S. stocks, different individual bonds and real estate investment trusts.  Additionally, investors should remember to rebalance portfolio holdings as allocation weights change due to market movements.  One often overlooked method of dealing with volatility and managing portfolio risk is to match the time horizon for investments with the correct type of investment vehicle.  A 5-year horizon requires a different investment choice than a 30-year horizon.  Those retiring soon or paying college tuition in the near future, for example, should keep some funds in a money market account or in short-term bonds rather than in the stock market so that their reserve funds are not vulnerable to market volatility.  At such times, some experts suggest having eight years’ worth of expenses in cash or short-term bond reserves.   Another way to curb the impact of volatility is to use market orders to establish investment limits.  Trailing stop losses can be used to define an absolute downside minimum and buy limits can be set to establish when to buy investments.  A knowledgeable financial adviser can help investors incorporate basic options strategies (such as buying protective puts and establishing collars) to reduce the impact of market volatility on investments.  In our current global financial environment  — with chaotic Chinese stock markets manipulated by the government, historic lows in the energy sector, slowly rising U.S. interest rates and under-performing emerging markets — investors can mitigate risk by incorporating the above approaches to lessen the impact of volatility.   But it is important to remember that market volatility is, by definition, temporary and market movements should be considered in their full context. As previously mentioned, many analysts are blaming some of the volatility in our markets on turmoil in the Chinese markets.  The two domestic Chinese stock exchanges, the Shanghai and Shenzhen, are notoriously volatile, so it is a bit confounding that U.S. investors are rattled by movements there.  To allay investor concerns regarding China in particular, it is important to remember that while China has the world’s second-largest economy (with a 2014 nominal GDP equivalent to about $10 trillion), its economy is significantly smaller than that of the U.S. (with a 2014 nominal GDP of approximately $18 trillion).   China’s economy is also good deal smaller than the EU economy in aggregate (with a 2014 aggregated nominal GDP equivalent to about $18.5 trillion).  It would not be surprising, then, if the improvement in the U.S. economy more than offsets continued weakness in China. Remember, a skilled financial adviser can help construct a portfolio with the worst-case situation in mind, giving investors peace of mind and freeing them from worry about the effects of market volatility on their investments. Michael Joyce, founder and president of JoycePayne Partners of Bethlehem, Pa., and Richmond, is responsible for its overall investment strategy, management of investment portfolios and financial counseling services. He can be reached at mjoyce@joycepaynepartners.com. 2016-01-20T15:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vdot-releases-new-scores-recommendations-for-funding-transportation-project VDOT releases new scores, recommendations for funding transportation projects http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vdot-releases-new-scores-recommendations-for-funding-transportation-project http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vdot-releases-new-scores-recommendations-for-funding-transportation-project#When:20:59:00Z The Virginia Department of Transportation released on Tuesday its new scorecard for more than 300 transportation projects vying for $1.7 billion in funding. The transportation agency also released its initial funding recommendations based on the new scorecard. The Commonwealth Transportation Board will make its own revisions and hold public hearings on the proposals before finalizing its decisions in June. The new scoring is part of House Bill 2, which changed how the state prioritizes its transportation funding. Virginia Business reported on the new transportation legislation in its January cover story. “Political wish lists of the past are replaced with a data-driven process that is objective and transparent, making the best use of renewed state funding received in 2013 and the recently approved federal transportation funding,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. “Each project is scored based on its merits and value, making Virginia the first state in the nation to use such an outcome-based prioritization process.” In the first round of funding, 130 localities and regional groups submitted more than 300 projects valued at more than $7 billion for $1.7 billion available in the six-year construction plan. Under the new law, projects are scored on six criteria: congestion reduction, economic development, safety, environmental quality, land use and accessibility. Some of the larger projects included in the funding scenario released Tuesday include $144.9 million for Interstate 64 widening on the Hampton Roads Peninsula and $300 million toward expanding Interstate 66 outside the Beltway in Northern Virginia. A full list of VDOT’s initial funding recommendations can be found here: http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2016/jan/pres/HouseBill2.pdf. The scorecard can be seen here: http://www.virginiahb2.org/projects/default.asp. 2016-01-19T20:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-announces-alliance-with-hospitality-funding Interstate Hotels & Resorts announces alliance with Hospitality Funding http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-announces-alliance-with-hospitality-funding http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-announces-alliance-with-hospitality-funding#When:19:46:00Z Interstate Hotels & Resorts, an Arlington-based global hotel management company, has formed an alliance with Palm Beach, Fla.-based Hospitality Funding to assist Interstate’s clients with capital market needs on hotel projects. According to Interstate, Hospitality Funding works with seasoned lenders on Wall Street, which makes the company a good match for Interstate. Interstate and Hospitality Funding have worked together on various debt and equity sources since 2010 and have successfully executed numerous projects. Interstate said the partnership could assist hotel owners with needs in acquisition financing, renovation financing, construction financing, long-term financing and joint venture equity. “Interstate’s partnership with Hospitality Funding offers true added value to Interstate’s existing arsenal of services to our hotel owners, directly translating to their success,” Leslie Ng, Interstate’s chief investment officer, said in a statement. Interstate said the current momentum in the hospitality sector is driving an influx of capital, and investors and credit markets are focused on the luxury, full-service and select-service hotel markets. The current conditions present an opportune time to consider financing, and Interstate’s partnership with Hospitality Funding will help owners increase their bottom line.  “Having worked with Interstate and its clients for the last five years, Hospitality Funding is excited to formally partner to assist the company’s hotel owners with financing needs,” said Scott Silver, chairman of Hospitality Funding Inc. Hospitality Funding is headquartered in Palm Beach with offices in New York and Chicago, and is led by investment bankers Silver and Steven Fischler. In addition to debt, the firm has the ability to source equity for various types of hotel projects, including new construction projects. Hospitality Funding says its has executed more than $2 billion in both debt and equity funding. Interstate is a wholly owned subsidiary of a 50/50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Thayer Lodging Group and Jin Jiang Hotels, a U.S.-based global hotel management company that operates branded full- and select-service hotels and resorts, convention centers and independent hotels worldwide.  As of November, Interstate and its affiliates managed nearly 430 hotels with over 76,500 rooms in North America, the UK, Europe, Russia and the CIS, and China, including ownership interest in 32 hotels. In addition, Interstate has executed agreements to manage 37 hotels with more than 5,100 rooms under construction or development throughout the world. 2016-01-19T19:46:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-completes-acquisition-of-170.5-million-retail-por Armada Hoffler Properties completes acquisition of $170.5 million retail portfolio http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-completes-acquisition-of-170.5-million-retail-por http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-completes-acquisition-of-170.5-million-retail-por#When:19:39:00Z Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. said Tuesday that it has completed a previously announced acquisition of a portfolio of 11 retail centers located throughout the Mid-Atlantic and South Central United States for about $170.5 million in cash. The portfolio includes about 1.1 million square feet of space and is 94 percent occupied. The core of the portfolio – representing approximately 75 percent of the in-place net operating income – consists of six retail centers positioned along the I-85 corridor between Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Greenville, S.C. These assets have major anchor tenants including Harris Teeter, PetSmart, T.J. Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ross Dress for Less. The remaining five properties in the portfolio are Kroger-anchored retail centers located in Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana and Texas. The company funded the $170.5 million purchase price with the net proceeds from the sales of the Oceaneering International Building in Chesapeake for $30 million, and the sale of the Williams Mullen office building in downtown Richmond, $78 million, in addition to borrowings under the company’s unsecured revolving credit facility. “We are pleased to strategically redeploy the capital we realized from our recently completed dispositions into a portfolio of high-quality assets anchored by a diverse group of credit-quality tenants,” Louis Haddad, Armada’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Through this portfolio acquisition, we expand our geographic footprint in North and South Carolina. The six retail centers located in the Carolinas fit perfectly into our core operating portfolio and long-term strategy. We continue to evaluate the properties located outside the Carolinas for potential sale in order to generate proceeds between $20 million and $40 million.” 2016-01-19T19:39:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/genworth-completes-sale-of-blocks-of-term-life-insurance-policies-to-p Genworth completes sale of blocks of term life insurance policies to Protective Life Insurance Co. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/genworth-completes-sale-of-blocks-of-term-life-insurance-policies-to-p http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/genworth-completes-sale-of-blocks-of-term-life-insurance-policies-to-p#When:19:44:00Z Henrico County-based Genworth Financial Inc. has completed the sale of certain blocks of term life insurance policies to Protective Life Insurance Co. When the deal was announced in September 2015, Protective’s estimated capital investment in Genworth’s blocks of term life insurance was $661 million. “The transaction represents another action toward increasing Genworth's financial flexibility and strength by generating capital from low return blocks,” Genworth said in a statement. Protective is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. The company, a wholly owned U. S. subsidiary of the Japan-based Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.,  provides financial services through the production, distribution and administration of  insurance and investment products. 2016-01-18T19:44:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/genworth-completes-sale-of-blocks-of-term-life-insurance-policies-to-protec Genworth completes sale of blocks of term life insurance policies to Protective Life Insurance Co. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/genworth-completes-sale-of-blocks-of-term-life-insurance-policies-to-protec http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/genworth-completes-sale-of-blocks-of-term-life-insurance-policies-to-protec#When:19:44:00Z Henrico County-based Genworth Financial Inc. has completed the sale of certain blocks of term life insurance policies to Protective Life Insurance Co. When the deal was announced in September 2015, Protective’s estimated capital investment in Genworth’s blocks of term life insurance was $661 million. “The transaction represents another action toward increasing Genworth's financial flexibility and strength by generating capital from low return blocks,” Genworth said in a statement. Protective is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. The company, a wholly owned U. S. subsidiary of the Japan-based Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.,  provides financial services through the production, distribution and administration of  insurance and investment products. 2016-01-18T19:44:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hampton-roads-association-for-commercial-real-estate-elects-officers-for-20 Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate elects officers for 2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hampton-roads-association-for-commercial-real-estate-elects-officers-for-20 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hampton-roads-association-for-commercial-real-estate-elects-officers-for-20#When:15:30:00Z The Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate (HRACRE), a multi-disciplined organization of 600 executives and commercial real estate professionals in the Hampton Roads region, elected the following people to serve as officers for 2016: President: Jeremy R. Starkey, who's president of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Group for Monarch Bank; President-elect: Robert Orlando, general manager, Patrick Henry Mall; and Secretary/Treasurer: Christopher T. Aebel, civil department head, Clark Nexsen. 2016-01-18T15:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Screen_Shot_2016-01-18_at_9.37.50_AM.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/mark-abbott-joins-sigal-construction-as-director-of-project-development Mark Abbott joins Sigal Construction as director of project development http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/mark-abbott-joins-sigal-construction-as-director-of-project-development http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/mark-abbott-joins-sigal-construction-as-director-of-project-development#When:14:41:00Z Sigal Construction Corp. said that Mark Abbott has joined its staff as director of project development. In this role, Mark is responsible for business and relationship development at the Arlington-based general contractor. He has more than 20 years of experience in the construction services industry, where he has spearheaded project management initiatives. Former clients have ranged from local organizations to international companies and Fortune 500 companies. Abbott holds a masters of business administration degree from Marymount University and a bachelor of arts degree from Virginia Tech. 2016-01-18T14:41:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/23756928703_3925f922d7_z.jpg College faculty meeting during Higher Education Advocacy Day. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/legislators-get-lesson-from-higher-education-advocates Legislators get lesson from higher education advocates http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/legislators-get-lesson-from-higher-education-advocates http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/legislators-get-lesson-from-higher-education-advocates#When:15:21:00Z Most weekdays, Carmen Rodriguez, a biology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, addresses an auditorium of about 400 students. On Thursday, her audience was more personal: She was visiting state legislators’ office and educating lawmakers about issues important to higher education. Rodriguez was among the faculty and staff members from colleges and universities across Virginia who joined together Thursday to advocate for such issues as a 2 percent pay raise and more financial aid for undergraduate students. Participants in this year’s Higher Education Advocacy Day focused on five items that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has included in his 2016-2018 biennial budget: • A 2 percent salary increase for higher education faculty and staff, costing $25.7 million. The raise would be effective on July 1, 2017 – the second year of the budget; there is no plan for a pay increase in 2016. • In-state financial assistance for undergraduates, costing about $48 million. • Access and completion initiatives, costing $50 million. McAuliffe’s budget proposals would provide incentives for institutions to educate and graduate more in-state students and underrepresented students. • Tuition Assistance Grants, at a cost of $2 million. This would boost the individual undergraduate grant award for students attending independent colleges to $3,400 (from the current $3,100). • The proposed budget also includes $40 million in one-time incentive packages for research; $8.1 million for an online degree completion initiative; and $24.6 million for noncredit workforce development to be offered through the Virginia Community College System. Matthew Conrad, VCU’s executive director of government and board relations, says McAuliffe has been a friend of higher education. “The governor has been very generous to higher education and education in general. He’s made about a billion dollars in investments in education,” Conrad says. He says VCU’s top priority is a faculty salary increase “to keep us competitive not only among our current institutions in the state but also outside of the state.” “We also are very much concerned with the capital bond package that the governor has included,” Conrad says. This would fund a new building for VCU’s School of Allied Health, “which aligns very closely to the governor’s goal of creating jobs.” Besides VCU, other institutions represented at Higher Education Advocacy Day were Norfolk State University, George Mason, James Madison, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Mary Washington, the University of Richmond, Randolph-Macon College and the College of William and Mary. At the morning meeting, faculty members received sheets about the legislators they were going to target first. Many paired up or formed small groups to focus on certain issues together. Two VCU faculty members, Allen Lee and Carmen Rodriguez, joined Bob Andrews, a retired VCU professor, and traveled the halls of the crowded General Assembly Building. They first approached newly elected Sen. Glen Sturtevant (R-Midlothian). Allen Lee, a professor in VCU’s School of Business, discussed the importance of helping students afford their education. “I’d like to put in a special plea for assistance for students who are undergraduates,” Lee says. “I have some students who are going to school full time and working full time. These are the ones who really need assistance.” In many instances, the professors found a receptive audience. Jediah Jones, the legislative assistant to Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) says the senator supports the Tuition Assistance Grants. Jones promised to relay the faculty members’ information to McEachin. The Higher Education Advocacy Day participants caught Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico County) briefly in the hall on her way to a meeting. They found that she also supports more funding for the TAG program. Claudrena Harold, a history professor at U.Va., says  faculty members also benefit from the day’s activities. It galvanizes their commitment to common concerns, such as academic freedom, shared governance and the issues of rising tuition and financial aid. “With tuition increasing every year, there is concern at times that we are pushing certain folks out of the market,” Harold says. “It’s important to provide an affordable, quality education.”   Photo by CNS 2016-01-15T15:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Berkleynet_at_Innovation_II_-_Image_11.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/berkleynet-to-relocate-headquarters-to-prince-william-countys-innovation-pa BerkleyNet to relocate headquarters to Prince William County’s Innovation Park http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/berkleynet-to-relocate-headquarters-to-prince-william-countys-innovation-pa http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/berkleynet-to-relocate-headquarters-to-prince-william-countys-innovation-pa#When:20:35:00Z BerkleyNet has signed a 15-year lease to occupy a build-to-suit headquarters building at Innovation Park, a university-anchored research and technology park in Prince William County. BerkleyNet, currently located in Woodbridge, is a member company of W. R. Berkley Corp. that specializes in workers compensation insurance delivered through the Internet. According to Colliers International, which brokered the transaction, BerkleyNet selected the location at 9301 Innovation Drive to keep its roots in Prince William County and to provide employees the benefit of a reverse commute. Another benefit is the location’s proximity to George Mason University’s Science and Technology campus and its amenities. Buchanan Partners owns the land where the 70,000-square-foot building will go. Berkley Net will occupy 49,000 square feet. The relocation will enable BerkleyNet to more than double its space, accommodating the company’s future growth. It expects to move its 125 employees to the new site in spring 2017 “We are excited to have selected a site that allows us to keep our roots within Prince William County,” Jim Gilbert, president and CEO of BerkleyNet, said in a statement. “As our business continues to grow, our new headquarters will allow for much improved collaboration and efficiency across our team.” Keith Summers, a vice president with Colliers International at Tysons who represented BerkleyNet, said “BerkleyNet’s decision to locate here will likely drive renewed interest in Prince William’s largest business park.” Colliers’ Senior Managing Director Howard Kaplowitz worked with Summers locally to provide site selection, programming, developer comparison analysis, and lease transaction services. The new office will be within walking distance of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, the Mason Center for Team and Organizational Learning (the EDGE) and the Mason Enterprise Center. BerkleyNet will join other Innovation Park tenants that include the FBI Northern Virginia Resident Agency, American Type Culture Collection, Mediatech, Powerloft Data Center and the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. “The addition of BerkleyNet, which is a technology-based insurance provider, will no doubt enhance the existing ecosystem of science and technology companies already located in Innovation Park,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, executive director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. Kaczmarek noted in a statement that the announcement comes on the heels of other recent developments within the park, including the addition of new restaurants, the conversion of the historic Thomasson Barn into the county’s first destination brewery and beer garden, and the potential location of a commuter rail stop by the Virginia Railway Express. “…All bode well for the future of Innovation Park and its evolution into a virtual town center,” said Kaczmarek. 2016-01-14T20:35:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/01-Front-Exterior-L.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/topgolf-international-throws-a-party-to-celebrate-its-virginia-beach-openin Topgolf International throws a party to celebrate its Virginia Beach opening http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/topgolf-international-throws-a-party-to-celebrate-its-virginia-beach-openin http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/topgolf-international-throws-a-party-to-celebrate-its-virginia-beach-openin#When:20:54:00Z   A little more than three weeks after Topgolf International opened its third Virginia location in Virginia Beach, the company is throwing an official grand opening celebration tomorrow night. The Jan. 14 private VIP event will be held at the 65,000-square-foot golf entertainment venue located at 5444 Greenwich Road. Constructed by ARCO/Murray, the three-level Topgolf in Virginia Beach includes: 102 climate-controlled hitting bays, a full-service restaurant and three bars, more than 250 high-definition flat-screen TVs, a rooftop terrace with fire pits and 3,000 square feet of private event space. Topgolf, based out of Dallas, also has locations in Alexandria and Loudoun County. The Virginia Beach site is the company's 24th worldwide. The party will offer music, entertainment, prize giveaways and celebrity appearances. Topgolf offers seven competitive games and advanced technology to track the accuracy and distance of players' shots. "The Virginia Beach community has already shown amazing enthusiasm for Topgolf with the recent sellout of our New Year's Eve party," Topgolf Director of Operations Michael Matley said in a statement. "We are excited to introduce many more special events and programming for all ages and serve as a new entertainment destination for both residents and tourists alike." Topgolf said it hired about 450 people to staff the Virginia Beach venue. Company officials estimate that the location will serve 450,000 visitors in its first year of operation. The estimated 10-year economic output is $264.5 million, according to a third-party audit. 2016-01-13T20:54:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/swedish-company-to-open-factory-in-henry-county Swedish company to open factory in Henry County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/swedish-company-to-open-factory-in-henry-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/swedish-company-to-open-factory-in-henry-county#When:20:03:00Z Starsprings, a privately-held Swedish manufacturer, will invest $3.7 million in establishing its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Henry County, creating 68 jobs. The company will supply mattress units used in long-distance trucking. Starsprings, based in Herrljunga, Sweden, makes spring units for beds and seats. It currently has operations in Sweden, Brazil and Poland. Founded in 1918, the company began manufacturing springs for the bedding industry in 1937. Starsprings also now develops mattresses and other components used in heavy trucks. “Some current Starsprings customers have operations in the Eastern U.S., and for that reason we see good potential in being present to maintain a high service level and continue to grow in the global marketplace,” NilsEric Stjerna, Starsprings’ CEO, said in a statement. Stjerna said Virginia offers the company a strategic position that will enable it to stay close to its major U.S. customers. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henry County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission also approved $220,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Starsprings will also receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. Virginia competed against North Carolina and Pennsylvania for the project. 2016-01-13T20:03:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/greater-richmond-partnership-names-three-new-directors Greater Richmond Partnership names three new directors http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/greater-richmond-partnership-names-three-new-directors http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/greater-richmond-partnership-names-three-new-directors#When:19:35:00Z The Greater Richmond Partnership has added three new members to its board of directors. Joining the economic development organization’s board are William F. Gifford Jr., CFO of Altria Group; G. William Beale, CEO of Union Bank and Trust and Leslie Haley, a lawyer and member of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. Gifford and Beale were chosen from the organization’s Regional Leadership Circle, which includes executives from 15 private sector investors. 2016-01-13T19:35:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Magnetic_Park_for_Virginia_Business1.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fairfax-county-approves-4.2-million-square-foot-mixed-use-project-at-tysons Fairfax County approves 4.2 million-square-foot, mixed-use project at Tysons http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fairfax-county-approves-4.2-million-square-foot-mixed-use-project-at-tysons http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fairfax-county-approves-4.2-million-square-foot-mixed-use-project-at-tysons#When:19:19:00Z The Meridian Group said Wednesday it will move forward with plans to develop The Boro after Fairfax County approved the 4.2-million-square-foot, mixed-use development in the heart of Tysons. The county’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the project, on an 18.1-acre site that was formerly the campus for SAIC. The campus, with four office buildings and surface parking, is within walking distance of the Greensboro Metro station. Plans for the Boro include offices, apartments, condominiums, retail – including the region’s largest Whole Foods grocery store — restaurants and entertainment. Three of the former SAIC office buildings reportedly will be kept intact while a fourth building will be torn down. “We’re pleased that the Board of Supervisors approved our plans, and we’re excited to be moving ahead,” David Cheek, president and co-founder of The Meridian Group, based in Bethesda, Md., said in a statement.  “We’re looking forward to making The Boro one of the preeminent developments in the Washington area.” The Meridian Group has a joint venture with Kettler to develop The Boro’s residential buildings as well as retail space in those buildings. The first phase, scheduled to break ground this summer, will consist of 1.7 million square feet of mixed-use development. It will include 800 residential units, 223,000 square feet of retail, 400,000 square feet of office space, and a one-acre public park. “The Boro will be a vibrant town center on a huge 18-acre site,” said Gary Block, managing director of The Meridian Group. “We’ve had tremendous interest from a number of tenants interested in being a part of this outstanding development.” The Meridian Group said it already has signed two companies as tenants: •  Whole Foods Market, which will open a 70,000-square-foot store as a flagship location – both in terms of size and innovative concepts. Plans call for a food court, a craft-beer brewing operation and demonstration kitchens with guest chefs and cooking classes. The store, the biggest in the DC region, will open in 2019. •  Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, which will open a new cinema with 15 screens, upscale dining options and reserved seating. Opening in the summer of 2018, the Showplace ICON cinema will offer large screens and deluxe leather recliners. The Boro, located near Route 7, Route 123 and Greensboro Drive, plans to have a combination of high-rise and mid-rise construction. According to its developer, the project will be divided into various blocks, with three residential towers. There will be lots of outdoor open space, with pedestrian-friendly roadways and restaurants with outdoor seating. The Washington, D.C., architectural firm of Shalom Baranes Associates is designing the buildings. When complete, The Boro will consist of more than 1,500 residential units, 1.8 million square feet of office, 316,000 square feet of retail, and 250,000 square feet of hotel space. 2016-01-13T19:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hilton-launches-paid-parental-leave-policy Hilton launches paid parental leave policy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hilton-launches-paid-parental-leave-policy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hilton-launches-paid-parental-leave-policy#When:20:55:00Z McLean-based Hilton Worldwide announced Monday that it has begun a paid parental leave policy for its U.S. employees. Under the plan, all parents, including fathers and adoptive parents, will receive two weeks of fully paid parental leave.                                                                                                                                 Mothers who give birth will receive an additional eight weeks of paid leave, providing them with a total of 10 weeks of paid time off. The policy will cover Hilton’s salaried and hourly employees at its owned and managed properties and in its corporate offices. In 2015, Hilton announced a GED assistance program to help U.S. employees earn their high school equivalency. 2016-01-12T20:55:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-virginia-power-plans-9.5-billion-in-infrastructure-and-upgrades-th Dominion Virginia Power plans $9.5 billion in infrastructure and upgrades through 2020 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-virginia-power-plans-9.5-billion-in-infrastructure-and-upgrades-th http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-virginia-power-plans-9.5-billion-in-infrastructure-and-upgrades-th#When:20:37:00Z Dominion Virginia Power said Tuesday that it plans to invest nearly $2 billion per year through 2020 to add new, clean generation — including solar energy — and to secure and upgrade the electric grid in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Dominion said the planned $9.5-billion spend builds on a record of new capital investment by the company in recent years with spending on electric infrastructure designed to meet growth, enhance reliability and promote cleaner air and water.  The company made $1.8 billion in similar investments in 2015. The investments are in addition to the proposed controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $5 billion natural gas pipeline that, if approved by federal regulators, would serve Dominion Virginia Power and other electric and natural gas utilities. “We know our customers expect high reliability, clean energy and reasonable rates,” Robert M. Blue, president, Dominion Virginia Power, said in a statement.  Blue said that since 2008 the company has invested more than $8 billion in new electricity infrastructure, including environmental control equipment designed to reduce fossil power station air emissions. “Over the same period, our reliability has improved 25 percent,” he said. “Our reliability in 2015 was 99.98 percent – which translates into approximately 2 hours of outage time per customer over the whole year.” To get comparative year-to-year data across the industry, Dominion and other utilities typically do not include outages from major storms in reliability measures. Dominion said its electric rates remain lower than national, regional and state averages. In recent years residential rates have increased by an average of less than 1 percent annually. The company said it achieved minimal increases through efficiency and by holding down operating costs. Of the $9.5 billion planned capital expenditures through 2020, $2.4 billion is slated for the company’s distribution system, $3.6 billion for transmission lines and substations, and $3.5 billion for new generation and environmental improvements. Included in those amounts are $700 million for new solar generation and additional funds for undergrounding vulnerable distribution lines, if approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.  Not included are costs for coal ash removal. According to Dominion Virginia Power, the estimate for closing 11 ponds at four power stations in Virginia is about $325 million.  If the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposes stricter limits, frequent testing and increased monitoring, the costs could be higher. Dominion has said that it is closing the ponds in compliance with standards set by the state and the Environmental Protection Agency. Coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal to produce electricity, contains hazardous chemicals.  The Virginia State Water Board is expected to act Thursday, Jan. 14, on a proposal from Dominion Virginia Power, which owns the Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries next to Quantico Creek, to divert millions of gallons of water from its coal ash ponds into the creek, which feeds into the Potomac River. The board also expected to rule on a similar request for the Bremo Power Station in Fluvanna County, which is located near the James River. In both cases, Dominion proposes to treat the water before releasing it under limits prescribed by the DEQ.  In Chesterfield County, the company also is moving forward with plans to build a lined, dry landfill to store coal ash.  The proposals have drawn opposition from environmental and other groups who are lobbying for more stringent limits before the coal ash could be released into the state’s waterways.  Dominion Virginia Power currently serves 2.5 million customers in Virginia and northeast North Carolina. It said more than 430,000 customers – the size of a large city – have been added in the past decade. 2016-01-12T20:37:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Marketplace_at_Tech_Center_2.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inland-real-estate-trust-buys-majority-of-marketplace-at-tech-center-in-new Inland Real Estate Trust buys majority of Marketplace at Tech Center in Newport News http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inland-real-estate-trust-buys-majority-of-marketplace-at-tech-center-in-new http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inland-real-estate-trust-buys-majority-of-marketplace-at-tech-center-in-new#When:19:47:00Z Inland Real Estate Income Trust Inc. announced the acquisition Tuesday of one of Newport News largest and newest shopping destinations. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company bought 210,000-square-feet of the Marketplace at Tech Center for $72.5 million, calling the grocery-anchored development a “terrific addition” to its retail portfolio. John Lawson, CEO of W. M. Jordan Co., one of the developers behind the center, said the center’s 250,000-square-foot retail component is part of what is planned as a larger, $450 million, mixed-use development that includes apartments, office and a corporate research park.   “Marketplace at Tech Center is a terrific addition to Inland Income Trust’s retail portfolio because of its exceptional variety of high-caliber grocery, restaurant, clothing and retail offerings,” Mitchell Sabshon, president and CEO of Inland Real Estate Investment Corp., said in a statement. “With its diverse tenant mix, strong demographics and ideal location near major employers, including the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Marketplace at Tech Center is a dominant retail property in the market and is well positioned for future growth.” Lawson said in an interview with Virginia Business that he and the project’s other developer, Georgia-based S.J. Collins Enterprises, considered several investors to buy the shopping center and thought Inland was the best match.  “Neither Collins nor Jordan are property managers, so we knew when we got to the end that we would need property managers to go forward,” said Lawson. Inland stood out, he said, because “they’re large, they’re experienced, and they have other developments in the area. We made it very clear that we wanted the level of quality that we’ve begun to be maintained going forward, we felt like they would do that. What was primary in my mind was someone that would continue our vision.”  Newly constructed in 2015, the shopping center is located on the busy Jefferson Avenue corridor at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Oyster Point Road.  About 172,000 residents live within a five-mile radius. A 39,998-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store opened at the location in November. In addition to Whole Foods, other tenants include several first-to-the peninsula retailers including DSW Shoe Warehouse,  BJ’s Brewhouse and P. F. Chang’s China Bistro.  Lawson made clear that W. M. Jordan will remain as a primary developer and owner for the overall project. The final master plan for the Tech Center includes 250,000 square feet of retail, 288 apartments in 4 buildings, more than 100,000 square foot of office and a corporate research park. One 25,000-square-foot office building already is under construction, Jordan said. Phase two will include the apartments,  a clubhouse and fitness center. “The first occupancy will be in late spring and during all of 2016, we’ll have various buildings turned over,” Lawson said. Phase 3 is a planned 1.2 million-square-foot corporate research park adjacent to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Local officials are in hopes that the U.S. Department of Energy will choose the Jefferson lab over a competing lab in New York as the site of an electron ion collider facility, which would bring a second underground facility to the site, but that decision may be one to two years away. Even if Jefferson Lab doesn’t get the nod, Jordan said he plans to proceed with the corporate research park, if the developers can obtain the necessary land. He said he has signed a letter of intent to buy six of the needed 100 acres from the William & Mary Real Estate Foundation.  A school bus facility owned by the Newport News City Schools sits on a portion of the needed tract. W. M. Jordan has asked the city to enter into a formal public-private partnership, Lawson said, for the planned research park, but the city has not acted on the issue. He noted, however, that the city has appropriated money in its capital improvements budget to relocate the school bus facility and is seeking  bids from companies to do the work. W. M. Jordan and other companies have submitted proposals for the job. “It the city doesn’t move the bus facility, we don’t have the land, so the corporate research center can’t be built,” he said. If the land becomes available, its ownership could be worked out as part of a public-private partnership. “You can propose to do it on the city’s land … You can slice it and dice it a lot of different ways,” Lawson said. 2016-01-12T19:47:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/24295983656_e97e733a04_z.jpg Dels. David Toscano of Charlottesville and Charniele Herring of Alexandria. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/democrats-priorities-job-training-school-funding Democrats’ Priorities: job training, school funding http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/democrats-priorities-job-training-school-funding http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/democrats-priorities-job-training-school-funding#When:19:37:00Z Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates vowed Monday to fight for prison and health-care reforms, more education funding and better job training during the General Assembly’s 2016 legislative session, which starts Wednesday.  At a press conference, 18 of the 33 Democratic delegates detailed their caucus’ plan to support Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s workforce initiative, called “the New Virginia Economy.” “We support the governor’s initiative so that we can invest in Virginia,” said Del. Charniele Herring of Alexandria, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus. “Together we can pave the way forward creating programs and job training for jobs that exist today, so that people can get the training that they need, jobs they desperately need, to be filled right here at home.” The House minority leader, Del. David Toscano of Charlottesville, agreed. “Workforce training is significant, but it’s not just workforce training to give people a certificate for a job that exists,” Toscano said. “Otherwise we’re wasting people’s time, and putting people more in debt, and then people are not getting good jobs that pay them a living wage.” The delegates expressed confidence that they would also be able to accomplish their goals despite being outnumbered by Republicans, who make up 67 of the 100 House members. “I think by nature, the general sense of this group is we’re pretty optimistic people, and we believe in the power of rational argument,” Toscano said. “And we do believe that when you look at the financial elements of this, it has to appeal to people who look at things financially.” As part of a “wide variety of public safety and criminal justice reforms,” Toscano said Virginia Democrats also support laws they believe will reduce gun violence. “It’s important at least in our view that we get mandatory universal background checks, that we close the gun-show loophole, that we provide better protection for those who have gotten protective orders against folks who might hurt them,” he said. Toscano said Democrats would support Senate Bill 49, proposed by Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston. It would prohibit anyone who is subject to a protective order from possessing a firearm; currently, such individuals are prohibited only from purchasing or transporting firearms. Photo by Diana DiGangi  2016-01-12T19:37:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bae-systems-notifies-530-shipyard-workers-of-layoffs BAE Systems notifies 530 shipyard workers of layoffs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bae-systems-notifies-530-shipyard-workers-of-layoffs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bae-systems-notifies-530-shipyard-workers-of-layoffs#When:19:29:00Z BAE Systems has notified about 530 employees at its Norfolk shipyard that they could be laid off in March. This workforce reduction, scheduled to take place around March 18, follows 400 layoffs at the shipyard late last year. The Norfolk shipyard employs about 1,075 workers “These further reductions are necessary to align the Norfolk shipyard with lower demand for its services, resulting from fewer Navy ships homeported in the region available for maintenance and modernization, and the Navy’s changes to its scheduling for repair services,” the company said in a news release. BAE provides ship repair, maintenance, modernization, conversion, and overhaul for the Navy and  other government, commercial and private customers. In addition to Virginia, the company operates six shipyards in Alabama, Florida, California and Hawaii. 2016-01-12T19:29:00+00:00