1532143708 Virginia Business http://www.virginiabusiness.com/ Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business community en vgarabelli@virginiabusiness.com Copyright 2018 2018-07-20T19:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia Inc. 500 companies located in Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia#When:09:00:00Z table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #8B0202; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } Rank Company City 3-yr. growth rate Revenue1 Industry 10 FedBiz IT Solutions Leesburg 12,621% $25.8 Government services 49 Interactive Government Holdings Springfield 5,058 7.1 Government services 55 ByteCubed Arlington 4,768 11.6 IT services 56 Excel Group Arlington 4,694 34.4 Real estate 70 Talteam Herndon 4,053 5.0 IT services 77 Ecology Mir Group Manassas 3,856 3.9 Government services 100 Inoventures McLean 3,255 3.9 Government services 128 Mosquito Joe Virginia Beach 2,700 8.1 Consumer products & services 200 LLB Enterprises Stafford 1,900 2.0 Business products & services 205 Health Warrior Richmond 1,887 9.8 Food & beverage 212 Darkblade Systems Stafford 1,848 4.0 Government services 215 Preting Consulting Alexandria 1,827 5.2 Government services 222 Pro-Sphere Tek Alexandria 1,795 45.7 IT services 223 AegisCorp. Chantilly 1,794 4.2 Government services 247 Tenica and Associates Alexandria 1,591 9.1 Government services 254 Hosted Records Springfield 1,557 3.3 Government services 280 American Pillowcase Richmond 1,400 6.5 Retail 295 Potomac River Holdings Alexandria 1,337 16.6 Retail 308 GuidePoint Security Herndon 1,276 111.1 Security 312 Axis Global Enterprises Virginia Beach 1,237 6.1 Construction 324 SSi Virginia Beach 1,194 12.0 Human resources 326 Oasys McLean 1,182 5.0 Government services 348 Davis Defense Group Stafford 1,102 30.9 Government services 369 Trigent Solutions Chantilly 1,046 6.1 IT services 392 Open Systems Technologies Gainesville 976 5.4 IT services 394 Perfecta Federal Springfield 972 5.9 Government services 405 Favor TechConsulting Vienna 949 19.2 IT services 408 Avertra Herndon 944 8.7 IT services 451 Sequoia Holdings Reston 847 5.6 Government services 462 The Hilb Group Richmond 820 36.8 Insurance 477 SeKON Enterprise Herndon 798 23.9 Government services 479 Cynet Systems Ashburn 797 31.4 IT Services 480 Wholesale Screening Solutions Purcellville 795 32.4 Business products & services 486 Metronome Fairfax 779 9.8 Government services 1 In millions in 2015 Source: Inc. magazine   2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/speyside-bourbon-cooperage-to-create-160-jobs-in-smyth-and-washington-count Speyside Bourbon Cooperage to create 160 jobs in Smyth and Washington counties http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/speyside-bourbon-cooperage-to-create-160-jobs-in-smyth-and-washington-count http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/speyside-bourbon-cooperage-to-create-160-jobs-in-smyth-and-washington-count#When:19:24:00Z Speyside Bourbon Cooperage Inc. is investing $35 million to establish operations in Smith and Washington counties. The project is expected to create 160 jobs. The company plans to invest $26 million to open a bourbon barrel cooperage in Smyth County, which will create 125 new jobs. It also will invest $9 million to create a stave mill facility in Washington County, expected to yield 35 jobs. The stave mill will supply the company’s new Smyth County cooperage. Speyside Bourbon Cooperage operates stave mills and bourbon cooperages in the U.S., with facilities in Kentucky, Ohio and Bath County. The firm is part of Tonnellerie François Frères Group, a France-based publicly held company. Gov. Ralph Northam approved a $325,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the cooperage project and a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the stave mill project. As part of securing state funding, the stave mill plans to use 80 percent of the white oak logs used for stave production from Virginia growers. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission also green lighted $510,000 in funds for the projects. The company also is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and for tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. Virginia competed against West Virginia for the deal. 2018-07-20T19:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-remains-unchanged-in-june-at-3.2-percent Virginia unemployment remains unchanged in June at 3.2 percent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-remains-unchanged-in-june-at-3.2-percent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-remains-unchanged-in-june-at-3.2-percent#When:19:21:00Z Virginia’s unemployment rate remained at 3.2 percent in June. The Virginia Employment Commission said Friday June's jobless level represents a decline of half a percentage point from June 2017. The VEC figures are seasonally adjusted, meaning they take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market. Virginia unemployment is at its lowest level since October 2007. The national unemployment rate for June was 4 percent. In June, the labor force expanded by 10,407, the fifth consecutive monthly increase, to 4,348,904, a new record. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 1,300 jobs in June to more than 4 million, the sixth consecutive monthly increase and also new record high. From May 2018 to June 2018, employment increased in five major industry divisions and decreased in six. The largest job gain during June occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, which increased by 2,700 jobs to 410,500. The largest job loss during June occurred in total government, which decreased by 2,200 jobs to 712,300. For total government, the losses in local (down 2,100 jobs) and federal (down 200 jobs) government employment outweighed the slight gain in state government employment (up 100 jobs). 2018-07-20T19:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Lingerfelt_Kansas_City.jpg Photo courtesy Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners LLC. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lingerfelt-acquires-kansas-city-office-tower-in-joint-venture Lingerfelt acquires Kansas City office tower in joint venture http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lingerfelt-acquires-kansas-city-office-tower-in-joint-venture http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lingerfelt-acquires-kansas-city-office-tower-in-joint-venture#When:19:00:00Z Richmond-based Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners LLC has acquired a 28-story office tower in Kansas City,  Mo., in a joint venture with Boston-based CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC. The building is located at 2345 Grand Boulevard, a 538,741-square-foot, Class A facility in downtown Kansas City's Crown Center submarket. Financial details on the transaction were not disclosed. The property includes a subterranean parking garage and an adjacent four-story annex building. Designed by legendary architect Mies van der Rohe, the building was developed by the Shorenstein Co. in 1977. The tower is about 73 percent occupied. Its anchor tenant is the corporate headquarters of the national law firm Lathrop Gage. Lingerfelt expects to make a significant capital investment in the building during the first year of ownership. Plans include a renovation of the lobby and lower-level community common areas, as well as a reconfiguration and renovation of the ground-floor retail portion of the annex building. Commercial Partners, Lingerfelt’s property management affiliate, will handle all aspects of the day-to-day asset and property management. Cushman & Wakefield will handle the leasing and marketing of the building’s available space. Lingerfelt is a real estate investment management firm, which has built, acquired and managed nearly 20 million square feet of commercial real estate valued at approximately $2 billion in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. 2018-07-20T19:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/apple-federal-credit-union-union-bank-trust-recognized-in-forbes-survey Apple Federal Credit Union, Union Bank & Trust recognized in Forbes survey http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/apple-federal-credit-union-union-bank-trust-recognized-in-forbes-survey http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/apple-federal-credit-union-union-bank-trust-recognized-in-forbes-survey#When:17:31:00Z Apple Federal Credit Union and Union Bank & Trust have been named Virginia’s best in-state credit union and bank by Forbes. The business publication partnered with Statista, a market research firm, to produce lists of top financial institutions in each state. Rather than evaluating balance sheets and P&L statements as Forbes does in its annual ranking of the nation's 100 largest banks, Statista surveyed more than 25,000 U.S. customers asking about their banking relationships. The financial institutions were rated on overall recommendations and satisfaction, plus five "subdimensions" (trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice). Nationwide financial institutions such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Navy Federal Credit Union, which have branches in at least 15 U.S. states, were excluded from the rankings. Scores ranged from 40 to 95.4. Up to five banks and credit unions were recognized in each state, depending on the number of responses in those states. Apple Federal led the top-scoring credit unions in Virginia with a total of 90.66. It was followed by Virginia Credit Union, 85.36; DuPont Community Credit Union, 84.93; ABNB, 82.96; and Eastman Credit Union, 82.59. Union Bank & Trust was the top-scoring Virginia bank in the survey with a score of 86.95. Other banks recognized by the Forbes survey were: Carter Bank & Trust, 76.46; and Capital One Financial, 76.03. Overall, 145 credit unions and 124 banks made the survey's final cut, 2.4 percent of all U.S. financial institutions 2018-07-20T17:31:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/core-assurance-partners-purchases-e.-l.-creech Core Assurance Partners purchases E. L. Creech http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/core-assurance-partners-purchases-e.-l.-creech http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/core-assurance-partners-purchases-e.-l.-creech#When:08:30:00Z Core Assurance Partners has purchased E. L. Creech & Co., Inc., a fourth-generation, family-owned property and casualty firm based in Virginia Beach, where it will maintain its offices. The combined organization will continue to serve clients in Hampton Roads, Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region with expertise in insurance and risk management for real estate, hospitality, construction, automotive, and maritime industry sectors. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Scot Creech, or E. L. Creech, will remain part of the company’s leadership team. 2018-07-20T08:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/averett-virginia-western-sign-agreement Averett, Virginia Western sign agreement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/averett-virginia-western-sign-agreement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/averett-virginia-western-sign-agreement#When:21:18:00Z An agreement signed Thursday is designed to make it easier for students who start their education at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke to complete their bachelor’s degree at Averett University in Danville. The articulation agreement allows students who have completed their associate degree  in administration of justice from the community college, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, to transfer to Averett to complete their bachelor’s degree  in sociology/criminal justice degree. Student will enter Averett with a junior status and can expect to graduate after completing a minimum of 60 credits at the university.   The agreement allows for many scholarship and financial aid options. Members of Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society, are automatically awarded a $2,000 Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship once they are admitted to Averett University. 2018-07-19T21:18:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hunton-andrews-kurth-names-director-of-strategic-communications-and-advocac Hunton Andrews Kurth names director of strategic communications and advocacy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hunton-andrews-kurth-names-director-of-strategic-communications-and-advocac http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hunton-andrews-kurth-names-director-of-strategic-communications-and-advocac#When:21:10:00Z Taylor Thornley Keeney  has joined the Global Economic Development, Commerce and Government Relations practice at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP as director of strategic communications and advocacy. A press secretary for former Gov. Bob McDonnell, Keeney most recently operated her own consulting firm, working on issue advocacy campaigns and for clients in the political, nonprofit and technology sectors. Keeney also led regional communications for Teach for America and worked as deputy press secretary and communications director, respectively, for the gubernatorial campaigns of McDonnell and Bill Bolling, as well as communications director for John Adams for Virginia attorney general. 2018-07-19T21:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/southern-environmental-law-center-founder-to-retire Southern Environmental Law Center founder to retire http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/southern-environmental-law-center-founder-to-retire http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/southern-environmental-law-center-founder-to-retire#When:20:59:00Z The founder and executive director of the Charlottesville-based Southern Environmental Law Center, Rick Middleton, will retire at the end of March 2019. He will be succeeded by the organization’s longtime deputy director and director of regional programs, Jeff Gleason. Started in a two-office suite on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall in 1986, SELC now has nine offices in six states employing 80 attorneys and a total staff of 140 employees. Jeff Gleason joined SELC in 1991 to start and lead SELC's Clean Air and Energy Program. "I am so honored by this opportunity, Gleason said in a statement. "There is no stepping into Rick Middleton's shoes. But I've got SELC in my bones, too, and it's an exciting time to lead an organization that is needed more than ever." 2018-07-19T20:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/west-broad-street-property-sells-for-1.2-million West Broad Street property sells for $1.2 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/west-broad-street-property-sells-for-1.2-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/west-broad-street-property-sells-for-1.2-million#When:19:32:00Z A property on West Broad Street in Richmond has sold for $1.2 million, according to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. The commercial real estate firm said that a subsidiary of Thalhimer Realty Partners bought the property, located at 3407 W. Broad St. The .58-acre site will be redeveloped, although Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer said it could not share specific plans for the property.  "Bailey Insurance will be leasing back the space for now," said Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer's Will McGoogan, who handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the buyer. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer also said that Old Dominion Warehouse & Distribution has renewed its lease at 2904 Transport St. in Richmond. Evan Magrill, SIOR handled the lease negotiations for the 132,000-square-foot property. 2018-07-19T19:32:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/redevelopment-plans-progress-for-christiansburg-shopping-center Redevelopment plans progress for Christiansburg shopping center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/redevelopment-plans-progress-for-christiansburg-shopping-center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/redevelopment-plans-progress-for-christiansburg-shopping-center#When:14:19:00Z .A company that is redeveloping the former Marketplace Shopping Center in Christiansburg has announced its partners and released some site plans. Walt Rector, the founding principal of Bromont Investments is spearheading the project with investment partner Chris Carlsen. Also involved are a group of business local community leaders and shopping center developers. “This is a major milestone in the ongoing effort to redevelop this site, which has been in the works since early 2017,”  Rector said in a statement. “Our goal is to turn the biggest empty parking lot in the region into a festive and contemporary open-air environment where the community can walk, see friends, and enjoy what retail centers used to bring to the community." The redevelopment team, called New River Valley Investments, includes Rector; Carlsen; Jeanne Stosser of SAS builders; Gary Duncan of Duncan Dealership; Jennifer West, a Roanoke area real estate investor; Dan Larimer of Block.one; Sheldon Henderson of G&H Contracting Inc.; and Richard Goodwin, who is involved with a number of property management and real estate projects. Rector, who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Carlsen, a resident of Denver, N.C., have extensive experience in redeveloping shopping centers. The Christiansburg property is Rector's 51st retail project. Site plans for the Marketplace Shopping Center, located on the corner of Peppers Ferry Road and North Franklin Street/U.S. Route 460 Business, include two new entrances that were recently approved by the Virginia Department of Transportation, the partners said. In May 2017, the partners began working with VDOT on the improved property access securing approval from the department and the town of Christiansburg within the year. The costs for the public improvements, estimated at $5 million, will be funded by a public-private partnership with the town. Tenants under discussion for the retail center include a natural-foods specialty grocery store, clothing and home-goods stores, and casual and higher-quality sit-down restaurants. The group plans to announce its development schedule in early fall. 2018-07-19T14:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-corp.-receives-license-to-establish-insurance-company-in-germany Markel Corp. receives license to establish insurance company in Germany http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-corp.-receives-license-to-establish-insurance-company-in-germany http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-corp.-receives-license-to-establish-insurance-company-in-germany#When:09:28:00Z Markel Corp. has received a license to establish an insurance company in Germany. The Henrico County-based firm received the license from BaFin, the German federal financial supervisory authority. Following Brexit, the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, Markel Insurance SE (MISE) will be able to meet the insurance needs of clients located or with risk exposures in the European Economic Area (EEA). Richard R. Whitt, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Markel Corporation, said in statement: "We have global growth ambitions for our business and strengthening our position in continental Europe. Establishing our German insurance company will contribute to our success in the region." 2018-07-19T09:28:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-opens-first-hampton-location Kroger opens first Hampton location http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-opens-first-hampton-location http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-opens-first-hampton-location#When:20:29:00Z Kroger opened the doors Wednesday to its first store in Hampton. The 58,000-square-foot facility is the first of eight stores Kroger acquired earlier this year from Farm Fresh to open in Hampton Roads. All stores should be open by the end of 2018, bringing the company’s total store count in the area to 18. Kroger is investing more than $30 million to renovate and transform the stores. The Hampton location currently employs 115 people, including 25 former Farm Fresh employees.  Once the other stores open, Kroger will have hired nearly 400 workers previously employed by Farm Fresh. The new stores are part of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division, which is based in Roanoke. Kroger operates  120 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. 2018-07-18T20:29:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cybersecurity-firm-closes-21-million-financing-round Cybersecurity firm closes $21 million financing round http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cybersecurity-firm-closes-21-million-financing-round http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cybersecurity-firm-closes-21-million-financing-round#When:09:37:00Z Cybersecurity firm Verodin announced Tuesday it has closed a $21 million round of financing from 14 investors. The Mclean-based company evaluates the effectiveness of companies’ cybersecurity controls. The Series B funding was led by TenEleven Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP).  Capital One Growth Ventures and Citi Venture. All existing investors participated in the round. The investment brings Verodin’s total funding to $34 million. The company said it will use the funds to continue development of its Security Instrumentation Platform (SIP), increase hiring across all functional areas and expand its global sales reach. Verodin also announced that Mark Hatfield, founder of TenEleven Ventures, has joined the company’s board of directors. Verodin uses its SIP software to evaluate the effectiveness of customers’ endpoint, email, cloud and network controls. 2018-07-18T09:37:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-city-brewing-selling-in-united-kingdom Port City Brewing selling in United Kingdom http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-city-brewing-selling-in-united-kingdom http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-city-brewing-selling-in-united-kingdom#When:21:00:00Z Port City Brewing Co. in Alexandria has begun selling its beer in the United Kingdom. The brewery announced a distribution partnership with American Craft Beer Co., a United Kingdom-based representative for U.S. craft breweries. Northam attended an event that marked the launch of the company’s products into the market. He is on a trade and marketing mission this week in Europe. Port City was first introduced to American Craft Beer Co. during a tour of Virginia breweries for European beer buyers in September 2016  that was organized by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Port City was founded in 2011 by Karen and Bill Butcher. “Our new partnership with American Craft Beer Company allows us to diversify our sales base and enter a market with a high demand for craft beer from the U.S.,” Bill Butcher, founder of Port City, said in a statement. “We have taken advantage of every opportunity VDACS has offered to expose us to international buyers and markets and are thankful Virginia has such valuable resources to assist small companies like ours with our export efforts. We are excited for this next chapter in our growth.” Operating since 2012, American Craft Beer Co. was founded by Ed Firth and Mark Smith and is based in West Midlands, England. The company represents a small, targeted group of U.S. craft beer brands in the UK market. “We have been pleased to work with VDACS to identify top-quality Virginia craft breweries interested in and capable of exporting to the UK. Ours is a competitive market and we aim to add only the best U.S. craft breweries to our portfolio,” Smith said in a statement. “Port City impressed us with their exceptional beer, state of the art equipment and facilities, and their professionalism and commitment to sustainable growth. We can’t wait to spread the word in the UK about this outstanding brewery.” 2018-07-17T21:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/shentel-increases-internet-speeds-for-existing-business-customers Shentel increases internet speeds for existing business customers http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/shentel-increases-internet-speeds-for-existing-business-customers http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/shentel-increases-internet-speeds-for-existing-business-customers#When:20:16:00Z Edinburg-based Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. said Tuesday that it has boosted the internet speed of its existing business customers without raising prices. Typical business customers now have internet speeds that are three times higher than what they had before June, the company said. The change took place in June for thousands of Shentel business customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. As an example, the company said a business with 25 Mbps speed in May was upgraded to 101 Mbps speed in June for the same price. At the same time, Shentel said it eliminated slower speeds which no longer met business customer needs. Earlier this year, the company also introduced a new top-speed internet tier — 150 Mbps. 2018-07-17T20:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-expands-new-self-scanner-technology-to-richmond Kroger expands new self-scanner technology to Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-expands-new-self-scanner-technology-to-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-expands-new-self-scanner-technology-to-richmond#When:18:38:00Z Kroger shoppers in Richmond now are able to scan their groceries as they shop. The company’s Mid-Atlantic Division launched “Scan, Bag, Go” on Tuesday at the Willow Lawn Kroger in Henrico County. The technology allows customers to use a wireless handheld scanner or the “Scan, Bag, Go” app on their smart devices to scan products as they shop.  Consumers also can bag products as they shop and pay for the groceries on the mobile app. The Willow Lawn Kroger is the first store in the Richmond area to offer “Scan, Bag, Go.” The technology will be added at more stores in the Richmond area in the future. The Roanoke area, where Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division is based, was the first in Virginia to add the technology back in February. In addition to the Richmond store, "Scan, Bag, Go" is available in three stores in Roanoke, two in Blacksburg; one in Radford; as well as a location in Charlottesville.  2018-07-17T18:38:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/excivity-expands-in-fairfax Excivity expands in Fairfax http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/excivity-expands-in-fairfax http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/excivity-expands-in-fairfax#When:09:13:00Z Custom software and hardware technology company Excivity is expanding in Fairfax County. The company leased an additional 7,000 square feet of office space to support its growing technology development business line, as well as additional software developers, quality assurance specialists, and DevOps gurus, according to a release from Gov. Ralph Northam. The company has begun hiring additional employees and eventually will create a total of 45 new jobs over the next 18 months. The company is investing about $392,000 on the project. Excivity builds software and hardware, performs assessments and security reviews of technology, advises clients on securely implementing technology, performs advanced cyber investigations, and provides unique cybersecurity training for travelers into high technical threat environments. “Northern Virginia and our proximity to the DC Metro area are both key factors enabling Excivity’s success,” Matthew Ramsey, President and CEO of Excivity, said in a statement. “We operate in a region heavily focused on creating security-focused technologies for unique missions, and our expertise in technology development and cybersecurity is directly applicable to many entities in the area.”  The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) will support Excivity’s new job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). Under the program, the company is eligible to receive $600 per job for up to a total of $27,000. 2018-07-17T09:13:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/beacon-roofing-supply-acquires-atlas-supply-inc Beacon Roofing Supply acquires Atlas Supply Inc. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/beacon-roofing-supply-acquires-atlas-supply-inc http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/beacon-roofing-supply-acquires-atlas-supply-inc#When:20:42:00Z Herndon-based Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. said Monday it has acquired Atlas Supply Inc., a major distributor of sealants, coatings, adhesives and related waterproofing products. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in Seattle in 1917, Atlas has grown to six locations, with stores in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, and Mountlake Terrace in Washington, as well as Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho. Beacon is the largest publicly traded distributor of roofing and complementary building products in the United States and Canada.  It was founded in 1928. Atlas’ owners, Jan Siers and John Ittes, are retiring. However, the company will continue to be led by Atlas’ Tony Mazza, Todd Bennett, Jessica McIntosh and TJ Cheney. Beacon said the acquisition enables it to serve customers along the entire West Coast and a portion of the Southwest, while strengthening its sealant, coatings and waterproofing business. 2018-07-16T20:42:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dumfries-town-center-sells-for-5.125-million Dumfries Town Center sells for $5.125 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dumfries-town-center-sells-for-5.125-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dumfries-town-center-sells-for-5.125-million#When:15:23:00Z The Town of Dumfries has purchased Dumfries Town Center for $5.125 million. The 42,350-square-foot building is located at 17739 Main St. in downtown Dumfries, a submarket of Prince William County. It is located on 0.96 acres. Jamie Scully and Wilson Greenlaw of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale on behalf of the seller. 2018-07-16T15:23:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hanover-county-paper-mill-to-reopen Hanover County paper mill to reopen http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hanover-county-paper-mill-to-reopen http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hanover-county-paper-mill-to-reopen#When:14:09:00Z A 600,000-square-foot Hanover County facility that produced newsprint is reopening later this year. White Birch Paper said it plans to reopen its Bear Island mill in Hanover in the third quarter of this year, according to a news release by JLL. The mill, which was idled at the end of June 2017, has an annual production capacity of roughly 215,000 MT of standard newsprint. "The dynamics of the current newsprint market have made it clear that the market is in a temporary state of undersupply.  Further anticipated capacity closures will expedite difficult decisions for consumers in an already tough environment," Chris Brant, president and chief operations officer for White Birch Paper, said in a statement. "While the long-term trend for the consumption of newsprint is assuredly on the decline, short to medium term market conditions will accommodate, if not welcome, some relief from recent shortages in supply. White Birch is a long-term player in this market, and we are dedicated to supplying continuity to those consumers with that same long-term outlook." White Birch continues to market the mill.  The sale of the facility is being handled by JLL's Danny Holly, Jimmy Appich and Chris Avellana. 2018-07-16T14:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fp1-strategies-relocating-to-arlington FP1 Strategies relocating to Arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fp1-strategies-relocating-to-arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fp1-strategies-relocating-to-arlington#When:13:18:00Z Political consulting and media firm FP1 Strategies is relocating from Washington, D.C., to Arlington County. FP1 Strategies will lease 29,849 square feet at 3001 Washington Boulevard, occupying the entire sixth, seventh and eighth floors. That equates to about 25 percent of the building. Newmark Knight Frank represented KBS Real Estate Investment Trust, owner of the building. Located one block from the Clarendon Metro Station, the Class-A building offers views of Washington, DC landmarks from the upper floors and rooftop of sister building 3003 Washington Boulevard. In addition to its LEED Gold certification the building holds a Silver WiredScore.  The building is now 99 percent leased. Designed by Noritake Associates and developed by Penzance in 2014, 3001 Washington Boulevard has street-level retail space leased to Orangetheory Fitness. FP1 Strategies is relocating from 1826 Jefferson Place, NW in Washington, DC. NKF Senior Managing Director Steve Hoffeditz led the transaction with Executive Managing Director Ed Clark and Associate Wes Evans on behalf of KBS REIT III, the building’s owner. FP1 was represented by Michael Goldman and Kamis O’Farrell of MGA Co. 2018-07-16T13:18:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northam-in-europe-this-week Northam in Europe this week http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northam-in-europe-this-week http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northam-in-europe-this-week#When:08:58:00Z Gov. Ralph Northam is leading a five-day international trade and marketing mission this week to the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. He is accompanied by First Lady Pamela Northam, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball, and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, in addition to representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Virginia Tourism Corp. He has more than 30 meetings scheduled during the trip. The trip includes the Farnborough International Airshow in London. Northam will host a reception there to promote Virginia’s business and tourism assets and explore new opportunities for Virginia agricultural products. Northam also is scheduled to meet with U.S. Consul General Elizabeth Lee Martinez and Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs Todd Avery in Rome and host a dinner reception with the U.S. Consul General in Milan. Northam and his team will also meet with senior business executives in Italy and Germany. 2018-07-16T08:58:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/martinsville-coatings-plant-wins-key-approval Martinsville coatings plant wins key approval http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/martinsville-coatings-plant-wins-key-approval http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/martinsville-coatings-plant-wins-key-approval#When:20:43:00Z Hardide Coatings’ production facility in Martinsville has been certified to coat U.S. aerospace components, a development that the company expects will give it access to new markets. “We are very proud to have achieved this exacting standard which opens up the North American aerospace market to us,” Philip Kirkham, CEO of the United Kingdom-based advanced surface coating technology company, said in a statement. Hardide develops, manufactures and applies advanced tungsten-carbide coatings for a wide range of engineering components. The company said its material offers dramatic improvements in component life, particularly when applied to those used in extreme environments. The Martinsville plant received approval for coating aerospace, defense and space industry components in the U.S. after meeting a stringent quality management standard, AS9100 Rev D. In his statement, Kirkham said the company recently added a vice president for business development in North America who will concentrate on high-tech markets, including aerospace. “We are already involved with several major military and civil aerospace players with early stage tests and development programs underway,” the CEO said. Hardide opened a 26,000-square-foot production facility in Martinsville in 2016. The facility was the result of the company’s decision to expand its production operations to North America. The company said expansion was driven by increased demand from North American customers, with sales to the U.S, and Canada more than doubling during 2015. 2018-07-13T20:43:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/rockwell-collins-expands-in-loudoun Rockwell Collins expands in Loudoun http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/rockwell-collins-expands-in-loudoun http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/rockwell-collins-expands-in-loudoun#When:08:45:00Z Aerospace and defense company Rockwell Collins has built an addition to its simulation and training facility in Sterling. The company is in the process of adding more than 90 new jobs to the facility. The Iowa-based aerospace and defense company’s $3.5 million expansion added 30,000 square feet to its 180,000-square-foot facility.    Rockwell Collins is a multinational corporation that has more than 30,000 employees around the world. Current locations include China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, the UK, the Middle East, Chile and Brazil. Rockwell Collins site leader Robert Brantley said in a statement: “Loudoun County is an important location for us because there is a large pool of highly qualified talent to fill our workforce needs and our current employees love the quality of life here. Plus, we’re right next to Dulles, one of the top international airports in world, and within driving distance of the nation’s capital.”   Loudoun County successfully competed for this project with other East Coast locations.  The Department of Economic Development proposed an incentive package worth $125,000 that will require approval from the Board of Supervisors’ future business meeting. 2018-07-13T08:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/smyth-cos.-invests-6.5-million-in-expansion Smyth Cos. invests $6.5 million in expansion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/smyth-cos.-invests-6.5-million-in-expansion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/smyth-cos.-invests-6.5-million-in-expansion#When:21:20:00Z Smyth Cos. announced Thursday it has invested $6.5 million in new equipment at its printing operation in the town of Bedford. The company will receive up to $14,000 from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) to retrain 28 employees on the new machinery. The Bedford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) provided a $25,000 grant tied to new and saved jobs, as well as machinery investments. Smyth Cos. was founded by Henry Martin Smyth in 1877 in St. Paul, Minn. It originally helped local businesses with their commercial printing needs but later began producing labels for consumer products. In addition to Virginia, Smyth Cos. has operations in Arizona, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Wisconsin. 2018-07-12T21:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-retail-center-planned-in-chesterfield-county New retail center planned in Chesterfield County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-retail-center-planned-in-chesterfield-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-retail-center-planned-in-chesterfield-county#When:20:05:00Z A new retail shopping center anchored by Verizon Wireless is planned in Chesterfield County, according to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. The company said a 1.1-acre pad site at 12000 Iron Bridge Rd. has been sold for $975,000. Branders Bridge Shopping Center LLC purchased the land from River Forest Leasing LLC for construction of the center. Nicki Jassy and Pete Waldbauer of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller and also will be handling leasing of the new center. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer also announced a number of recent transactions. ICONEX LLC leased 35,252 square feet at 11768 N. Lakeridge Parkway in Hanover County. Evan Magrill and Dean Meyer handled the lease negotiations. Additionally, LabCorp renewed its lease of 31,637 square feet in Villa Park I at 8040 Villa Park Drive in Henrico County.  Mark E. Douglas and Graham Stoneburner handled the lease negotiations. In Hampton Roads, Thrift Store City Inc. renewed its lease of 16,400 square feet in Triangle Shopping Center at 1917 Victory Blvd. in Portsmouth. Tom Dana handled the lease negotiations. East Coast Appliance leased 15,882 square feet at 3750 Progress Rd. in Norfolk. Geoff Poston handled the lease negotiations. 2018-07-12T20:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/leasing-begins-on-new-property-at-libble-mill-midtown Leasing begins on new property at Libble Mill-Midtown http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/leasing-begins-on-new-property-at-libble-mill-midtown http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/leasing-begins-on-new-property-at-libble-mill-midtown#When:20:02:00Z Leasing has begun for an office and retail space planned at Libbie Mill-Midtown. Gumenick Properties awarded CBRE|Richmond leasing responsibilities for Harp’s Landing. The 142,535-square-foot Class A office building will feature office space on five floors, ground-level retail and garage parking. Harp’s Landing, which is expected to be available for occupancy in 2020, will add to Libbie Mill-Midtown’s current master plan, which includes up to 1 million square feet of commercial space. Libbie Mill-Midtown is a mixed-use community being developed by Gumenick Properties located in Henrico County and bound by Staples Mill Road, Libbie Avenue and and Interstate 64. Amenities include a walking/biking trail, a lake and pier, townhome condominiums, apartment residences, restaurants, shops and a public library.    Malcolm Randolph of CBRE|Richmond will be handling the leasing responsibilities on behalf of Gumenick Properties. 2018-07-12T20:02:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/The_Residences_at_City_Center_-_credit_Nick_Waring_email_copy.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/apartment-building-in-manassas-park-sold-for-51.5-million Apartment building in Manassas Park sold for $51.5 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/apartment-building-in-manassas-park-sold-for-51.5-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/apartment-building-in-manassas-park-sold-for-51.5-million#When:17:06:00Z A 291-unit apartment community in Manassas Park was sold for $51.5 million, according to Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LC (HFF). HASTA Capital, a Mexico City-based investor, developer and manager of residential multifamily rental assets in Latin America and the U.S., purchased the property. The Residences at City Center is located at 170 Market St. across from the Manassas Park Virginia Railway Express (VRE) station along Manassas Drive in Prince William County. The property includes 255,608 square feet of residential space and 43,708 square feet of ground-floor retail.  Community amenities include an outdoor pool with lounge area and grill station, fitness center, clubhouse, business center, Wi-Fi café and a mix of surface parking and single-car garages. HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, and procured the buyer. The HFF investment advisory team representing the seller included Walter Coker, Brian Crivella and Dek Potts. 2018-07-12T17:06:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-reports-cargo-record Port reports cargo record for the year http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-reports-cargo-record http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-reports-cargo-record#When:08:56:00Z The Port of Virginia reported on Wednesday its fourth-consecutive year of volume. The port handled 2.8 million 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, in fiscal year 2018. That marks a 2.4 percent increase when compared with the previous fiscal year. During the year, 62 percent of the container traffic was handled by truck, 35 percent by rail and 3 percent by barge. Container volume at the port was down 3.4 percent for the month of June because of an effort to limit the movement of empty containers across its terminals. The port is undergoing major expansion projects at its two largest container terminals. June volumes soared at the port’s inland terminals. The Virginia Inland Port’s volumes in Front Royal were up 21 percent, while the Richmond Marine Terminal saw an increase of 66 percent. Breakbulk tonnage increased 13 percent and total barge traffic was up 17 percent during the month. Fiscal year 2017 (July 1 – June 30) cargo highlights: • TEUs: 2,827,740; up 2.4 percent • Loaded export TEUs – 1,002,662, down 3.1 percent • Loaded import TEUs – 1,303,528, up 6.5 percent • Total containers – 1,603,792, up 2.4 percent • Virginia Inland Port containers – 36,710, up 5.1 percent • Rail containers – 559,307, down 1.7 percent • Truck containers – 995,003, up 4.7 percent • Total barge containers – 49482, up 6.2 percent • Richmond barge containers – 27,626, up 22.8 percent • Vehicle units – 33,050, up 2.5 percent June cargo highlights: • Total TEUs – 223,842, down 3.4 percent • Loaded export TEUs – 80,594, down 1.2 percent • Loaded import TEUs – 105,955, up 2.9 percent • Total containers – 127,266, down 4.1 percent • Virginia Inland Port containers – 3,622, up 20.9 percent • Rail containers – 41,054, down 14.8 percent • Truck containers – 81,891, up 1.2 percent • Total barge containers – 4,321, up 17.4 percent • Richmond barge containers – 2,867, up 66.3 percent • Vehicle units – 2,263, down 2.2 percent 2018-07-12T08:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/norfolk-office-building-sold-for-10.3-million Norfolk office building sold for $10.3 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/norfolk-office-building-sold-for-10.3-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/norfolk-office-building-sold-for-10.3-million#When:21:19:00Z A Norfolk office building has been sold for $10.3 million. CBRE|Hampton Roads arranged the sale of the two-story, 60,126-square-foot Commonwealth of Virginia building at 420 North Center Drive to Boyd State Norfolk LLC. The structure is located in the Interstate Corporate Center, a 17-building office park. Last year, the building underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, including lobby, common area, restroom, and HVAC upgrades, the installation of ADA restrooms and a new roof. Scott Adams and Pat Mugler of CBRE|Hampton Roads brokered the sale on behalf of the seller, ICC Norfolk Properties LLC. 2018-07-11T21:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/FELIX.jpeg Felix photo courtesy of Cassaday & Co. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cassaday-co.-names-new-president Cassaday & Co. names new president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cassaday-co.-names-new-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cassaday-co.-names-new-president#When:20:59:00Z Allison Felix has been promoted to president and principal of Cassaday & Co. Inc., a McLean-based wealth management firm. Stephan Cassaday, firm’s founder and current president, will transition to chairman while remaining CEO. Felix will retain her responsibilities as the firm’s chief operating officer. She joins current principals Christopher Krell, Justin Harris, and Christopher Young as a shareholder of the firm. “Allison’s skilled leadership has been key to our recognition as a preferred workplace for top industry talent as well as our perennial selection as one of the nation’s top wealth management firms,” Stephan Cassaday said in a statement announcing the promotion. Felix joined Cassaday & Co. in 2001 as an executive assistant. She later became director of business management. After earning an MBA in 2011, she became the firm’s first COO. The firm noted that only 16 percent of wealth management partners are women. Six of the Cassaday & Co.’s eight department heads are female. 2018-07-11T20:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/saic-to-create-75-jobs-in-richmond SAIC to create 75 jobs in Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/saic-to-create-75-jobs-in-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/saic-to-create-75-jobs-in-richmond#When:20:17:00Z A Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) contract with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) will create about 75 information technology jobs in Richmond while retaining more than 400 existing positions. VITA oversees IT services, cybersecurity and governance for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The state government is moving from one IT infrastructure provider with a long-term contract, Northrop Grumman, to multiple suppliers with shorter contracts. Through the state procurement process, Reston-based SAIC was selected to serve as VITA’s multisourced services integrator (MSI). The company will coordinate efforts of several suppliers providing IT infrastructure services, including messaging, mainframe, security, end-user, server/storage, and voice/video/network suppliers. VITA will continue to provide governance and oversight of the MSI. As of Wednesday, 170 people have accepted offers to join SAIC and 243 job offers are in process. Gov. Ralph Northam announced the SAIC jobs at the company’s new offices in the James Center in downtown Richmond. In May, Northam announced SAIC would hire 40 people in Dickenson County to provide service desk responses to more than 56,000 state employees. “SAIC is excited to expand into downtown Richmond, which will provide VITA’s state agency customers additional accessibility to the team supporting critical missions,” Nazzic Keene, SAIC’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We look forward to building upon our strong relationship with the state and appreciate Governor Northam’s and Mayor Levar Stoney’s support. Their economic development teams enabled us to quickly establish our operations, ensuring our ability to closely assist VITA with their ongoing mission of providing superior quality technology services to the Commonwealth.” SAIC has more than 15,000 employees nationwide. The company currently has more than 3,000 employees in Virginia focused on major projects in Stafford County, Dahlgren, and Hampton Roads with the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense. Its other high-profile customers include NASA, the State Department, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2018-07-11T20:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-lottery-reports-record-sales-and-profits Virginia Lottery reports record sales and profits http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-lottery-reports-record-sales-and-profits http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-lottery-reports-record-sales-and-profits#When:17:12:00Z The Virginia Lottery reported record revenues and profits in fiscal year 2018. The lottery reported record sales of $2.14 billion and profits of more than $600 million. The previous record was set in fiscal year 2016 with $588 million. Virginia’s constitution requires that all lottery profits be dedicated to K-12 education programs. These numbers are unaudited. The final, audited results will be released in August. “Not only is the Lottery generating record profits, but the General Assembly has raised the Lottery per Pupil Allocation, giving school districts throughout Virginia more flexibility to use lottery funds to meet their local needs,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement.   Lottery players this year received a record $1.3 billion in prizes. A total of 48 tickets won prizes of at least $1 million in Virginia. The lottery partners with about 5,200 retailers across Virginia to sell tickets. Those lottery retailers, many of them small, locally-owned businesses, earned more than $120 million in commissions and incentives in fiscal year 2018. The lottery celebrates its 30th birthday in 2018. The first ticket was sold on Sept. 20, 1988, nearly a year after Virginia voters approved creation of a state lottery. 2018-07-11T17:12:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/rrmm-architects-names-director-of-business-development RRMM Architects names director of business development http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/rrmm-architects-names-director-of-business-development http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/rrmm-architects-names-director-of-business-development#When:21:45:00Z Chris Crouch has joined RRMM Architects as director of business development. He will oversee all external business development opportunities for the firm as well as its internal marketing operations. Founded in 1988, RRMM has offices in Chesapeake, Richmond, Roanoke, Arlington, and Rockville, Md. A Chesapeake resident, Crouch comes to RRMM Architects from S.B. Ballard Construction where he served as the marketing and business development manager. Before working at S.B. Ballard, Crouch was director of football operations at Old Dominion University. 2018-07-10T21:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-climbs-up-cnbcs-top-states-for-business-ranking Virginia climbs up CNBC’s ‘Top States for Business’ ranking http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-climbs-up-cnbcs-top-states-for-business-ranking http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-climbs-up-cnbcs-top-states-for-business-ranking#When:21:27:00Z Virginia has risen to No. 4 in CNBC’s 2018 “Top States for Business” ranking, climbing three spots from last year’s position at No. 7. “The workforce reigns supreme in the Old Dominion, but high wages, rent and living costs are a royal pain,” CNBC said about Virginia’s 2018 ranking. CNBC scores states in 10 categories, including economy, cost of living and education. The commonwealth last placed in the top five of the ranking in 2013. Virginia was most recently No. 1 on the list in 2011.    The state received high marks on this year’s list for its workforce and business friendliness (Ranking 3 and 5, respectively). It received lower marks in the cost of living and cost of doing business categories, ranking No. 33 and 34. Virginia’s overall rank on the list for the past five years is as follows: 2017 (No. 7); 2016 (No. 13); 2015 (No. 12); 2014 (No. 8) and 2013 (No. 5). Texas received the No. 1 rank in this year’s ‘Top States for Business’ list. States in the top five this year were: Washington (No. 2); Utah (No. 3) and Colorado (No. 5). 2018-07-10T21:27:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/digital-traffic-systems-is-purchased-by-pennsylvania-firm Digital Traffic Systems is purchased by Pennsylvania firm http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/digital-traffic-systems-is-purchased-by-pennsylvania-firm http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/digital-traffic-systems-is-purchased-by-pennsylvania-firm#When:20:31:00Z Pennsylvania-based Dbi Services has acquired Ashburn-based Digital Traffic Systems Inc., an intelligent transportation systems company. Digital Traffic Systems will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of DBi Services and continue to be headquartered in Ashburn. “Partnering with DTS made perfect sense,” Mark Robinson, DBi Services president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We both operate and maintain different transportation assets, many times on the same roadway network. Now, we can offer our distinct yet highly complementary services and knowledge under one roof to existing and future customers.” DBi, based in Hazleton, Pa., is an infrastructure operations and maintenance company that has more than 90 locations and about 3,000 employees in the U.S. Canada and the United Kingdom. Digital Traffic Systems provides intelligent transportation systems and traffic data collection to government agencies and engineering firms. 2018-07-10T20:31:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-now-managing-the-westin-alexandria Interstate Hotels & Resorts now managing The Westin Alexandria http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-now-managing-the-westin-alexandria http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-now-managing-the-westin-alexandria#When:20:21:00Z Arlington-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts has assumed management of The Westin Alexandria in partnership with Hong Kong-based owner Junson Capital. The Westin Alexandria has 319 rooms, in addition to 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space. That space includes 14 meeting rooms and an 8,000-square-foot ballroom. Interstate Hotels & Resorts is a global hotel management company, operating hotels, resorts and convention centers. Its portfolio represents 540 properties in 12 countries, including a pipeline of signed hotels under construction or development around the world. Junson Capital is an investment management company with interests in real estate, financial assets, and private equity. 2018-07-10T20:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chantilly-based-corbett-technology-solutions-moves-into-central-virginia Chantilly-based Corbett Technology Solutions moves into Central Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chantilly-based-corbett-technology-solutions-moves-into-central-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chantilly-based-corbett-technology-solutions-moves-into-central-virginia#When:20:19:00Z Chantilly-based Corbett Technology Solutions Inc.  (CTSI) has acquired Mechanicsville-based Communications Specialists Inc. (CSI) in a move into Central Virginia. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. "We are very excited to expand into Richmond, Virginia, with the acquisition of CSI,” CTSI CEO Gino Ruta said in a statement. “We feel fortunate to add a company with the rich history, culture, and capabilities of CSI to our team.  This combination expands our footprint, adds valuable resources for our customers, and offers exciting opportunities for our employees." CTSI, a portfolio company of Tower Arch Capital, provides communications solutions designed to help customers consolidate information and collaborate effectively. Founded in 1986, CSI is an integrator of low-voltage electronic and communication solutions. The company serves a variety of Central Virginia customers, including health-care facilities, schools, jails, courthouses, houses of worship and commercial facilities. Based in Salt Lake City, Tower Arch Capital is a lower-middle market private equity fund. 2018-07-10T20:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Lyon_Village_II_copy.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/avison-young-arranges-financing-for-apartment-renovations Avison Young arranges financing for apartment renovations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/avison-young-arranges-financing-for-apartment-renovations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/avison-young-arranges-financing-for-apartment-renovations#When:20:17:00Z Avison Young has arranged a $15.7 million loan to refinance and help fund renovations for an apartment complex in Arlington County. The Lyon Village Apartments, built in 1939, underwent extensive renovations in 2002. The 109-unit complex is again being upgraded. The complex is located at 3004 Lee Highway, 3.25 miles from downtown Washington, D.C., and across the street from Lyon Village Shopping Center. It is located within a mile of three Metro stops and is also served by an on-site Metrobus stop. An Avison Young team of Mike Yavinsky, Wes Boatwright, Jon Goldstein and Clayton Pristou represented the borrower and executed a long-term 20-year loan. Avison Young is a commercial real estate services firm that is based in Toronto. 2018-07-10T20:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marsh-mclennan-acquires-rockville-insurance-agency Marsh & McLennan acquires Rockville insurance agency http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marsh-mclennan-acquires-rockville-insurance-agency http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marsh-mclennan-acquires-rockville-insurance-agency#When:08:52:00Z Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) LLC has acquired a Rockville, Md.-based insurance agency specializing in construction. MMA is the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1956, Insurance Associates provides commercial property/casualty insurance, surety, and employee health and benefits solutions to clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic. It operates out of four offices in Rockville; Laurel, Md.; Towson, Md.; and Fairfax. The agency’s  59 employees will join MMA and continue to work out of their current locations. 2018-07-10T08:52:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/skanska-usa-purchases-parcel-in-tysons Skanska USA purchases parcel in Tysons http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/skanska-usa-purchases-parcel-in-tysons http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/skanska-usa-purchases-parcel-in-tysons#When:13:11:00Z Skanska USA announced it has acquired a parcel that is part of the 8 million-square-foot Scotts Run, mixed-use development in Tysons. The site is directly across the street from Metro’s McLean Silver Line station and between the headquarters of Capital One and Mitre. The site also is close to the Beltway and the Dulles Toll Road. The land is 94,000 square feet and 20 percent of that is dedicated for roads and public space. The location is flanked by a private street and a landscaped and terraced plaza that will serve as a focal point for gathering and special events. Skanska will announce plans for the development in the future. Residential development in Tysons has boomed over the past five years, transforming the region from a largely suburban to a more urban environment. Key factors in sparking this change are the extension of the Metro with the Silver line into the area as well as Fairfax County's Comprehensive Plan for Tysons, which aims to increase the population to more than 100,000 residents by 2050. 2018-07-09T13:11:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Washington_Dulles_Gateway_2.jpg Photo courtesy JLL. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/washington-dulles-gateway-sells-for-82.5-million Washington Dulles Gateway sells for $82.5 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/washington-dulles-gateway-sells-for-82.5-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/washington-dulles-gateway-sells-for-82.5-million#When:19:52:00Z Sentinel Data Center has bought Washington Dulles Gateway in Loudoun County for $82.5 million. The 280-acre site is one of the largest contiguous land parcels remaining for data center development in Northern Virginia, according to JLL, which represented the seller. "Seventy percent of the world's internet activity runs through Loudoun County," Jay Taustin, ownership representative, said in a statement. "We are extremely pleased to have sold this important land parcel to Sentinel Data Centers, who provide world-class facility infrastructure, engineering acumen, technical personnel and operations protocols to its users, to the digital landscape of our region." The transaction marks Sentinel Data Centers' second venture in Northern Virginia. The data center company previously purchased 65 acres in Loudoun County in 2017. JLL's Mark G. Levy, Matthew Gallagher and Jonathan Walk represented the seller. John W. Farrell of McCandish Lillard acted as the seller's transactional counsel and Michelle Rosati, of Holland and Knight served as the seller’s land use counsel. 2018-07-06T19:52:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-logs-11-million-in-transactions-for-june S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co.  logs $11 million in transactions for June http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-logs-11-million-in-transactions-for-june http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-logs-11-million-in-transactions-for-june#When:18:56:00Z Norfolk-based S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. said it negotiated approximately $11 million in sales in June for the Norfolk and Richmond offices.  Lease volume totaled 87,198 square feet and approximately 488 acres. New leases included Finish Line Die Cutting LLC, which is taking 11,956 square feet of industrial space at 904-A W. Leigh St. in Richmond.  Reid Cardon represented the tenant. S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. manages, develops and provides brokerage services for land and properties throughout the mid-Atlantic. 2018-07-06T18:56:00+00:00 Lindsay Mujacic photo courtesy Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-names-portfolio-manager-in-richmond Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer names portfolio manager in Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-names-portfolio-manager-in-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-names-portfolio-manager-in-richmond#When:18:51:00Z Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has named Lindsay Mujacic portfolio manager in Richmond. Mujacic joins the firm’s commercial property services. She has more than nine years of experience working in the management field and will be handling a mixed portfolio of office, retail and industrial product types. Prior to joining Thalhimer, Lindsay worked for Brookfield Office Properties in Washington, D.C. 2018-07-06T18:51:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DIVARISCRE.jpg Photo courtesy Divaris Real Estate. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/victory-lane-auto-sales-and-accessories-relocating-from-colonial-heights-to Victory Lane Auto Sales and Accessories relocating from Colonial Heights to Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/victory-lane-auto-sales-and-accessories-relocating-from-colonial-heights-to http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/victory-lane-auto-sales-and-accessories-relocating-from-colonial-heights-to#When:18:08:00Z Victory Lane Auto Sales and Accessories is relocating from Colonial Heights to Richmond, according to Divaris Real Estate.  The auto retailer is moving to Oxbridge Square Shopping Center on Hull Street Road.  Divaris’ Cheryle Toy, Sara Goodall and Read Goode represented the landlord in the lease negotiations. Victory Lane Auto joins Starbucks, YouFit, Shoney’s, Subway and Great Clips in Oxbridge Square.  The company has sold pre-owned automobiles, unique and rare collectibles and specialized sports cars for 20 years. The transaction was among 31 deals Divaris logged in June in the Hampton Roads, Richmond, Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C. markets. The deals totaled $9.9 million and 99,157 square feet of sold, leased and renewed commercial property. Divaris Real Estate is based in Virginia Beach with offices in Virginia, North Carolina, California and Washington, D.C. 2018-07-06T18:08:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/conns-homeplus-adding-stores-in-hampton-roads Conn’s HomePlus adding stores in Hampton Roads http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/conns-homeplus-adding-stores-in-hampton-roads http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/conns-homeplus-adding-stores-in-hampton-roads#When:18:04:00Z Conn’s HomePlus is expanding into Hampton Roads. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announced it helped the Texas-based chain in their site selection and lease negotiations. The consumer goods retailer, which has a store in Richmond, will lease 40,500 square feet at Riverpointe Shopping Center in Hampton. It’s also leasing 37,500 square feet at Princess Anne Plaza and North Plaza Trail in Virginia Beach, as well as 44,386 square feet in Alexander’s in Portsmouth. The company also plans to open a second Richmond-area location on Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County. It’s current Richmond store is on Nine Mile Road. The new stores should open by early 2019. Connie Jordan Nielsen of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented Conn’s Home Plus in their site selection 2018-07-06T18:04:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mountain-top-timber-products-llc-announces-expansion-in-scott-county Mountain Top Timber Products LLC announces expansion in Scott County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mountain-top-timber-products-llc-announces-expansion-in-scott-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mountain-top-timber-products-llc-announces-expansion-in-scott-county#When:16:57:00Z Wise County-based Mountain Top Timber Products LLC is investing $3.76 million in an abandoned industrial building in Dungannon. The Scott County project, announced Friday, is expected to create 50 jobs. The company plans to expand its wood-chipping operations while adding a sawmill and dry kiln capacity. “Mountain Top Timber Products is a locally grown company, and we are excited about the opportunity to revive the facility in the Dungannon area,” Neal Stidham, managing member, Mountain Top Timber Products LLC, said in a statement. “These will be good forestry related jobs for this area.” As part of the deal, the company has committed to purchasing more than $14 million of Virginia-grown timber. Mountain Top Timber Products is receiving $260,000 from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Scott County will match with local funds. The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) also approved a $1 million loan to the Scott County Economic Development Authority to help with the project. Additionally, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission provided  $125,000 award from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund and a $125,000 loan. The project may be eligible for funding through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides funding and services to support the company’s employee training. 2018-07-06T16:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/healthy-body-healthy-mind-healthy-wallet Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy wallet http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/healthy-body-healthy-mind-healthy-wallet http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/healthy-body-healthy-mind-healthy-wallet#When:19:26:00Z As chief human resources officer at Huntington Ingalls Industries, my job is to make sure every employee has the opportunity to do his or her best work every day. It might sound simple, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong along the way. That’s why we’ve developed a benefits and wellness strategy focused on three things: a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy wallet. Those three components will either contribute to or are detrimental to someone’s engagement at work, whether it be health stress, emotional stress or financial stress. Healthy body Centers for Disease Control research shows that 50 percent of an individual’s health status and health-care costs are driven by your behaviors. Twenty percent is driven by access to health care, another 20 percent can be traced to the environment you live in, and 10 percent to your DNA. If 50 percent is behavior and 20 percent is access, as an employer, I can influence 70 percent of that. Hence the reason for our company’s push on health risk assessments, annual physicals, exercise, flu shots and tobacco cessation. We’ve also built our own HII Family Health Centers in Virginia and Mississippi. The centers treat our employees and their dependents’ acute medical, vision and pharmaceutical needs, but they also focus on behavioral modification. That’s why we have staffed the centers with wellness coaches, nutritionists and certified diabetes educators to help employees and their dependents with those problems. We’ve gotten some great results early on. Since 2013, we’ve had 5,000 fewer emergency-room visits. That is huge. Our employees’ out-of-pocket costs have only increased about 3.5 percent when the market average has been about 6 to 7 percent. This is a long-game strategy, but we’re proud of the early results we got. Healthy mind It’s not news to anybody that emotional stress is a huge problem. Just as we did with physical health, we were looking at where employees and dependents were getting help for their emotional health, and we saw there was a lack of expertise and a lack of availability for our employees. So, we reached out to our telemedicine partner and asked: What can you do to help us in this situation? Just like now when an employee calls Teladoc and gets a board-certified physician to talk about a particular health issue, they also can reach out to a certified mental-health provider who will provide treatment and support for emotional and mental-health issues. We’re also adding full-time, employee-assistance program counselors in our HII Family Health Centers. With mental health, time is of the essence. Employees really can’t wait weeks at a time to get an appointment if there is a crisis going on. Healthy wallet When you look at financial wellness, most companies — and I was guilty of this myself— look at it as a “retirement-ready” problem. In fact, we found that the bigger challenge is a basic lack of financial literacy. It was really hard to have a conversation with an employee about retirement readiness if they’re struggling week to week on daily finances — how to balance a budget, how to get car loan, credit card debt, etc. We invested in a variety of financial wellness programs. SmartPath offers classes where they educate and act as personal finance coaches for our employees and their families. Our partners at Alight introduced a retirement model where people can actually do modeling and see their financial trajectory — and make changes accordingly. We also have a partnership where employees can reach out and talk to their own financial adviser, and that’s free to them. Again, just like health care, there are multiple ways to tackle this problem. There’s not going to be a silver bullet where one will resolve it, but I think with all of these, hopefully, we’ll be able to move the needle. Our human-capital strategy has evolved over the 30 years I’ve been doing this, and it will continue to evolve. We’ve laid the foundation where we can be very agile, and we can pretty much shift where we need to to make sure that our employees have the best opportunity to do their best work every single day. Even if you don’t work for HII, you can and should become more engaged in your health and well-being. No one owns your health except you, and that goes for physical, emotional and financial health. I encourage you to do your own annual check-up: When did you last see your doctor? How are you doing with nutrition and exercise? Do you have healthy ways to cope with life’s stresses? Are you balancing your budget each month and saving for the future? I know it can be easy to ignore these parts of our lives, but they’re arguably the most important. Bill Ermatinger is executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries, America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. He discusses HII’s benefits and wellness strategy in greater detail on the HII Talking Points podcast: http://www.huntingtoningalls.com/hii-talking-points/ 2018-07-05T19:26:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-of-virginia-deepening-project-receives-u.s.-army-corps-of-engineers-ap Port of Virginia deepening project receives U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-of-virginia-deepening-project-receives-u.s.-army-corps-of-engineers-ap http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-of-virginia-deepening-project-receives-u.s.-army-corps-of-engineers-ap#When:08:52:00Z The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved its final authorization to dredge and widen the channels leading to the Port of Virginia. The Army Corps’ Chief of Engineers’ Report is the final federal review of the project and clears the way for the deepening and widening of the commercial shipping channels serving the Norfolk Harbor. The report allows the project to be included in the federal Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill, which is a larger list of projects eligible for federal matching funds. The projects in WRDA that receive funding are determined during the federal budget process. The largest ships in the Atlantic trade already are calling Virginia, but the added depth will allow for even bigger vessels to visit and for ships to come in and out more fully loaded. The dredging project will deepen the channels to 55 feet and widen them in certain areas to allow for two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels. That will allow the port to reclaim its status as the deepest port on the East Coast. “It has been a three-year collaborative effort, and the result will drive growth at the port and economic development and job creation throughout Virginia for decades to come,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement.  “[The project] also holds benefits for taxpayers in those Heartland markets served by The Port of Virginia – Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois – as they’ll be able to move goods, both exports and imports, more efficiently and economically than ever.” The project will be executed in two phases. The first phase, preliminary engineering and design ($20 million), is expected to take 18 to 24 months. The dredging phase ($330 million) has a 2024 target completion date. Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam and both state legislative chambers agreed in June to invest $350 million to deepen the harbor.  “We will be completing our $700 million expansion project at our two primary container terminals in 2020," Reinhart said. "That work will create the capacity and velocity necessary for handling the next generation of big ships and the increased cargo volumes they will bring. In order to safely and efficiently operate, those ships are going to need deep, wide channels.” Deepening to 55 feet and widening the channel in certain areas will allow big ships to load to their limit and make way for two-ship traffic, said Col. Patrick Kinsman, commander of the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Currently, when ultra-large container vessels call on the port, channel traffic is limited to one way. The Chief’s Report completes an effort that began in 1986, when the port was given authorization in the federal Water Resources Development Act to deepen the Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet. In June 2015, the port and the Army Corps’ Norfolk District office signed the Feasibility Cost-Share Agreement and began collaborating on the effort. Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, chief of engineers, said the speed at which this project moved through the three-year study, review and approval stages is an example of how the Army Corps of Engineers is streamlining its process. The new process allowed the Chief’s Report to be concluded six months ahead of schedule, he said. 2018-07-03T08:52:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/John-B-Wood-014272.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/virginias-path-to-shine-in-cybersecurity-the-commonwealth-cyber-initiative Virginia’s path to shine in cybersecurity: The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CyberX) http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/virginias-path-to-shine-in-cybersecurity-the-commonwealth-cyber-initiative http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/virginias-path-to-shine-in-cybersecurity-the-commonwealth-cyber-initiative#When:18:58:00Z Virginia’s efforts to grow its cybersecurity sector and cyber workforce received a major boost recently. Virginia’s budget includes $25 million to establish the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CyberX). This initiative is the culmination of years of discussion in Richmond and throughout Virginia on how to make our state a true leader in cybersecurity. In a nutshell, CyberX will bring Virginia’s public universities and colleges together with the private sector to create a consortium that will (1) work together to develop innovative strategies, (2) conduct cybersecurity research and development, and (3) help train future cyber leaders.  The inclusion of commercialized cybersecurity research and development (R&D) under a single umbrella organization will be an important building block in the effort to grow the cybersecurity sector in the commonwealth. Such a collaborative approach to R&D was endorsed a few years ago by the Virginia Cybersecurity Commission, which had as one of its objectives to “identify ways in which the public and private sectors can work together to bolster Virginia’s cybersecurity industry so we can expand Virginia’s economic footprint in cyber technology…” A public-private effort to pursue collaborative, commercially viable cybersecurity R&D was also evaluated and endorsed in 2015 by the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) under the leadership of Del. Glenn Davis and then-Chairman Tom Rust.  Even more recently, a February Roanoke Times editorial highlighted a state report on Virginia’s research assets, which identified cybersecurity as one of four areas of “strategic growth opportunities that best align research and industry innovation strengths with growing market opportunities for Virginia.” This report noted that research funding in Virginia has actually been declining, and it concluded that Virginia needs more private industry research, as well as closer connections between its state universities and its business community.  But while there was clearly strong political and intellectual consensus in support of this objective, it was still conceptual. It needed some sort of framework to be established and money had to be found to support it up front. Fortunately, both of these issues were addressed during this year’s budget process, when the CyberX proposal, originally put forward by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Chris Jones, was included in the final budget bill signed on June 7 by the governor. The budget specifies that the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative will “serve as an engine for research, innovation, and commercialization of cybersecurity technologies.” This is also consistent with the goals of the state’s GO Virginia economic development initiative, which seeks to “create more high-paying jobs through incentivized collaboration between business, education, and government.” The many cybersecurity companies that already have a presence in Virginia have rich expertise and development capabilities. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to partner with members of Virginia’s higher education community, with their vast research capabilities, without having to reinvent the wheel every time they want to work together.  Further, while this consortium will be located in Northern Virginia, public colleges and universities statewide will have the opportunity to participate in this effort. As specified in the budget, there will be “a primary Hub, located in Northern Virginia, and a network of Spokes across the Commonwealth with collaborating public institutions of higher education in Virginia and industry partners to build an ecosystem of cyber-related research, education, and engagement that positions the Commonwealth as a world leader of cybersecurity.” Make no mistake — the private sector is going to have to step up to be a full partner in this collaboration.  While the educational leadership of the consortium has been tasked with quickly developing “a blueprint for the development and operation of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative,” it will be important for cybersecurity companies in Virginia to support its activities by contributing ideas, technical support and matching funding where appropriate for the R&D they stand to benefit from.  The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative also will help address the statewide cyber workforce shortage. It has been estimated that there are as many as 36,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in Virginia, and the private sector is finding itself competing not only among themselves but also with the federal government for the limited pool of workers holding the proper credentials. We need to increase the pool of qualified individuals in order to meet the private and public sectors’ needs, and CyberX will give particular focus to enlarging the pool of graduates with advanced and professional cybersecurity degrees. As I said, there are a lot of details still to be figured out and considerable work remains to be done to get this project going. But with the outlines and funding now provided, I am confident that Virginia will one day look back on this year as a real turning point, as the year the commonwealth began to finally realize its true potential to really lead the way and shine in cybersecurity. 2018-07-02T18:58:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/salem-industrial-building-sells-for-1.73-million Salem industrial building sells for $1.73 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/salem-industrial-building-sells-for-1.73-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/salem-industrial-building-sells-for-1.73-million#When:14:36:00Z A 24,800-square-foot industrial building in Salem has been sold for $1.73 million. Roanoke-based Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group said the building at 901 Russell Drive was sold by Community Church. The commercial real estate firm described the buyer as an investment group with an industrial and office user. Matt Huff, Dennis Cronk and Thom Hubard from Poe & Conk represented the seller. Colleagues Richard Wellford and Bryan Musselwhite represented the buyer. 2018-07-02T14:36:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/RyanMillerHighRes_preview.jpg Photo courtesy Newmark Knight Frank. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/newmark-knight-frank-nkf-announces-new-market-leader Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) announces new market leader http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/newmark-knight-frank-nkf-announces-new-market-leader http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/newmark-knight-frank-nkf-announces-new-market-leader#When:14:30:00Z Ryan Miller has been appointed by Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) to serve as executive vice president and market leader of its Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland offices. Miller was previously managing director, global workplace solutions for CBRE. Miller was recognized by Bisnow in 2007 as "top 35 under 35" and in 2014 by Real Estate Forum magazine as a top “50 under 40” professional in commercial real estate. He holds a bachelor of science degree in human resources management from Indiana University and completed an executive education program focused on corporate finance/accounting, corporate strategy M&A and marketing at Harvard Business School. 2018-07-02T14:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/firstnationalapts.jpg The apartments are located at 823 E. Main St. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/first-national-bank-apartments-sell-for-more-than-39-million First National Bank Apartments sell for more than $39 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/first-national-bank-apartments-sell-for-more-than-39-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/first-national-bank-apartments-sell-for-more-than-39-million#When:14:13:00Z One of downtown Richmond’s tallest skyscrapers has been sold for $39.25 million. CBRE|Richmond announced the sale Monday of the 20-story First National Apartments, located at 823 E. Main St. GHA Barnaby Associates LLC bought the property from Rushmark FNB LLC. The building was built in 1913 as a bank and converted to apartments in 2012 by Falls Church-based Rushmark Properties. The property features 154, Class A residential units. Amenities include an attached parking garage, fitness center and pet-friendly units. According to First National’s website, apartments range from $1,200 for a one-bedroom, one bath unit to $2,210 for a two-bedroom, 2-bath unit. Charles Wentworth and Peyton Cox of CBRE|Richmond, and Robert Dean, Jonathan Greenberg, Yalda Ghamarian, and Tom Leachman of the CBRE Washington, DC Multifamily Investment Properties Team, represented the seller. 2018-07-02T14:13:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/elizabeth-arden-renews-salem-lease Elizabeth Arden renews Salem lease http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/elizabeth-arden-renews-salem-lease http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/elizabeth-arden-renews-salem-lease#When:13:41:00Z Elizabeth Arden has renewed a 482,384-square-foot lease of industrial space in Salem. The property is located at 115 Brand Ave. William Poe and Kent Roberts of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, along with Cushman Wakefield corporate, handled lease negotiations on behalf of the tenant. 2018-07-02T13:41:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-report-finds-healthy-growth-in-d.c.-office-markets CBRE report finds healthy growth in D.C.-area office markets http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-report-finds-healthy-growth-in-d.c.-office-markets http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-report-finds-healthy-growth-in-d.c.-office-markets#When:13:35:00Z Office markets in downtown Washington, D.C., and suburban areas showed healthy growth in demand during the second quarter, according to the commercial real estate firm CBRE. The downtown market absorbed 1.2 million square feet of office space, in large part because of tenants moving into six new buildings, according to the report. The Virginia and Maryland suburbs posted a combined occupancy gain of 630,000 square feet of space, the report said “Halfway through 2018, we’re seeing some cautious optimism throughout greater Washington’s office markets, prompted by tenant expansions from a variety of industry sectors, including coworking, tech, and business and financial services.” Wei Xie, research manager of CBRE Washington/Baltimore, said in a statement. “However, we expect vacancy rates to inch up in the next 18 months due to the amount of development in the pipeline.” In downtown Washington, six new buildings totaling 2.4 million square feet allowed move-ins by multiple tenant, resulting in net demand of 1.2 million square feet in the second quarter, the highest quarterly absorption volume since the recession, CBRE said. Among the major drivers was the 770,000-square-foot move-in by Fannie Mae at Midtown Center. With 546,000 square feet of tenant demand, Northern Virginia saw its fourth consecutive quarter of positive absorption, recording 979,000 square feet in occupancy gain during the past 12 months, CBRE said. Most of that occupancy gain was concentrated in submarkets outside the Capital Beltway. As a result, the vacancy rate declined 20 basis points to 20.7 percent. In suburban Maryland, CBRE found that submarkets in the I-270 corridor spurred occupancy gains. The second-quarter total of 84,000 square feet marked the 11th consecutive quarter of occupancy gain and brought the year-to-date total to 265,000 square feet. 2018-07-02T13:35:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commonwealth-land-announces-two-timber-tract-sales Commonwealth Land announces two timber tract sales http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commonwealth-land-announces-two-timber-tract-sales http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commonwealth-land-announces-two-timber-tract-sales#When:13:24:00Z Commonwealth Land LLC announced two large timber land sales. MLC Land Holdings LLC purchased a 610-acre timber tract in Drewryville in Southampton County for $1.48 million. Hank Campbell of Commonwealth Land represented the seller, Blackwater Land & Timber LLC. The property is located on Ivey Tract Road. Weaver Land & Timber LLC purchased a 286-acre timber tract in Amelia Courthouse for $1.15 million. The property is located on Mattoax Lane. Hank Campbell of Commonwealth Land represented the seller, Minos Corp. Commonwealth Land facilitates buying and selling of rural, agricultural, recreational and timber investment land of more than 100 acres. 2018-07-02T13:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/UHC2.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/mindfulness-may-be-the-answer-to-help-lower-employee-stress-and-improve-pro Mindfulness may be the answer to help lower employee stress and improve productivity http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/mindfulness-may-be-the-answer-to-help-lower-employee-stress-and-improve-pro http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/mindfulness-may-be-the-answer-to-help-lower-employee-stress-and-improve-pro#When:19:11:00Z In the workplace, a modest amount of stress can be normal. But sustained levels of stress can be harmful and may lead to numerous health issues, affect professional and family relationships and contribute to poor work performance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “40 percent of workers say that their jobs are very stressful, and more than 26 percent say they are ‘often burned out or stressed’ by their work.” According to United Health Foundation’s most recent America’s Health Rankings, Virginia ranks 8th among all 50 states for the number of poor mental health days – days in which an adult reports that their overall mental health was not good in the past 30 days and therefore may not be able to fully participate in work or other activities. Balancing work, family life, and financial and health concerns may be taxing for many employees; however, according to a recent UnitedHealthcare survey, almost 90 percent of employees said meditation, or mindfulness, has a positive impact on a person's overall health and well-being, including 41 percent who believe such activities can have a “significant impact.” Employers that foster a workplace culture that prioritizes well-being, including mindfulness programs, can help their employees cope with challenging times whether at work or at home that may lower stress, reduce health risks, improve health decisions and focus, and sense of well-being. ABC’s of Mindfulness “Mindfulness” is the practice of being fully present in each moment with an open and curious attitude. To some, mindfulness is a hard topic to grasp, but the goal of mindfulness can be very simple. Just imagine a workplace filled with positive energy, where working relationships and communications are optimized, and challenging situations and distractions give way to focus and self-awareness. These are some of the goals of mindfulness programs. With practice, mindfulness may free employees of habitual patterns of thinking, judging, feeling and acting, and may help them perform better, ignore distractions, and make better decisions throughout the day. For example, the following “mindful breaths” exercise may be helpful, especially when noticing that twinge of tightness, anxiety or stress many of us experience during the day: • Step 1: Bring awareness to your body and the sense of the natural breath in the body. • Step 2: Inhale through the nose, and exhale either through the nostrils or through the mouth as if breathing out through a straw. • Step 3: Repeat the inhale, and then the exhale. Notice the air entering the body, the pause after the in-breath, and the air leaving the body on the outbreath. • Step 4: One more time – slowly inhaling, and then slowly exhaling. Mindfulness can be practiced while sitting in a quiet place, while walking, or even during normal workplace activities, such as attending a meeting or replying to an e-mail. When distractions come into mind, practicing this technique may help people let those distractions go and come back to the present moment. Employees are not the only ones who may benefit from a mindfulness program. Employers also may benefit by experiencing more productivity, with an enhanced sense of culture and connectedness that can drive more creativity and innovation while reducing absenteeism, burnout and turnover. Following a solid body of research by universities and institutions, mindfulness programs are now offered by some health plans, and medical centers, hospitals, schools and businesses. For more information about employee well-being programs, visit UHC.com. 2018-06-29T19:11:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/six-week-class-was-life-changing Six-week class was life changing http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/six-week-class-was-life-changing http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/six-week-class-was-life-changing#When:08:00:00Z In a story about John Tyler Community College in this issue, Karin Kapsidelis writes about the diverse student body that one student encountered at the school. Sharing a campus with students on many career pathways was “a very humbling experience,” she says. “It’s like seeing a working community.   “I was meeting students from all different backgrounds – they’re doing welding, electricity and HVAC,” she adds. “Then you have the engineers and the art people. That’s the really cool thing about community college.” That description resonated with me. I attended a two-year college decades ago in another state, and the experience made a big impression on me. Like the Tyler student, I met a group of people from all walks of life who were pursuing different careers, but they all were serious about acquiring the skills they needed to reach their goals. Although I was taking undergraduate courses, I was not pursuing an undergrad degree. I had graduated from college with a degree in English a few years before, but I had discovered a hole in my education that I wanted to fill. Working for a small daily newspaper, I inherited responsibility for editing a weekly business page. Brief notices about staff promotions and store openings typically filled much of the section, but it also included a story each week about a local business. One story that I remember was a profile of a local man who had founded a convenience store chain that eventually had locations throughout the Southeast. Another story was about a man who manufactured trailers used to haul new cars to auto dealerships all over the country. I was intrigued by these stories about entrepreneurs: How did they get into business, find an unfilled niche and build their companies? I had vowed never to enter a classroom again. But I wanted to learn more about business and economics, subjects I had never touched in college. In fact, I was a full-blown math phobic who, if given a choice, avoided any course involving numbers. Nonetheless, I signed up for an accounting class one summer at a local junior college. The course turned out to be an intensive, six-week boot camp. As I remember it, we met twice a week for three hours each session. The first hour was a test on material covered in the previous class. The remaining two hours were devoted to new material and a review of homework problems. The instructor, an MBA, was also the college tennis coach. He drilled the class on the basics of accounting as if he were training us for competition. At intervals he would stop to ask, “Do you understand? Do you have any questions? Now is the time to speak up.” He wasn’t bluffing. If you didn’t have the material nailed down, there would be hell to pay on the next test. My classmates and I formed study groups to prepare for each test. My group included a truck driver who was thinking of changing careers and a woman who was pursuing a degree after staying home to raise her children. To my surprise, I survived the class and decided to take more. In fact, I wound up taking a string of courses over the next year and a half at the junior college and the satellite campus of a four-year state university. When my family and I moved to Richmond, I entered the part-time MBA program at the University of Richmond. Poking along, taking one night course at a time, I finally graduated nearly five years later. During this time, I worked at Richmond’s daily newspapers, moving from copyeditor to business writer to associate business editor. Fourteen years ago, I moved from the daily newspaper to Virginia Business. So, you could say that an accounting class I took on a whim 36 years ago changed the course of my career. But what I remember most about that first class was my impression of my classmates. They were not kids making plans for their next football game or frat party. These adults were on a mission — to better themselves and provide for their families. They changed my outlook on education. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC_6766_copy.png Julia Bailey encountered students on a variety of career pathways during her time at John Tyler. Photo by Rick DeBerry http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-working-community A ‘working community’ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-working-community http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-working-community#When:08:00:00Z Julia Bailey graduated from John Tyler Community College in May with an associate degree in liberal arts and something more. Bailey, who will transfer to the University of Virginia this fall and plans to go to law school, earned a paralegal career studies certificate that she hopes will help her find part-time work as an undergraduate.  It’s already landed her an internship for the summer. Bailey took most of her classes at JTCC’s Chester campus — which is set to undergo a major expansion of its workforce training facilities — and it was there that she says that she came to understand what the “community” in community college means. Sharing a campus with students on so many career pathways was “a very humbling experience,” she says. “It’s like seeing a working community.   “You have the transfer students but also the skilled-trade jobs.  I was meeting students from all different backgrounds — they’re doing welding, electricity and HVAC,” she adds. “Then you have the engineers and the art people. That’s the really cool thing about community college.” Whether they’re seeking an academic degree or a workforce credential, the students are being prepared for whatever’s next, says Edward “Ted” Raspiller, JTCC president since August 2013. A career ‘pass-through’ “We’re a pass-through,” he says. “They’re going to pass through us, and they’re going to go to work or they’re going to pass through to a four-year school and then to work.” Ensuring that the students’ foundation is on firm footing requires a closer collaboration with potential employers than in the past, he says. Economic development, once entwined with natural resources, now is more closely dependent on workforce development. The $34 million Chester campus expansion reflects that linkage. Ground was broken in May on the project, which is to be complete in fall 2019. It will increase the space for business and industry training as well as for nursing and EMS programs.  The work will overhaul two buildings on the campus, which opened in 1967 as the first community college in the state to be built from the ground up. A 25,503-square-foot addition will double the size of the Nicholas Center, allowing for a workforce development center with conference space and a multiuse laboratory focusing on skilled trades. Bird Hall, one of the college’s original buildings, will be gutted and rebuilt to house the associate degree program in nursing and new labs for the natural sciences. The nursing program, now based at Johnston-Willis Hospital, will be expanded and co-located with paramedic training to facilitate the sharing of advanced simulation equipment.    Mellon Foundation grant    While workforce training and the sciences are the focus of the expansion project, the liberal arts also are getting a boost from a Mellon Foundation grant to map pathways to the arts and humanities. Under the three-year, $1.48 million grant, JTCC, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and Virginia Commonwealth University will work to accelerate baccalaureate degree completion and strengthen faculty collaboration among the institutions. John Tyler and Reynolds already collaborate on training programs through the Community College Workforce Alliance, which served 5,500 students in the 2017 calendar year through customized training programs. The alliance offers shorter-term, intensive job training to move adults more quickly into positions that don’t require a degree, says Elizabeth Creamer, vice president of workforce development and credential attainment. “We get them ready in weeks or months,” she says, but the programs also can be an access point to a longer-term degree or credential. Both colleges offer Bridge to Career programs that combine GED preparation with job skills training and career coaching. In February, JTCC expanded the program to offer classes at Petersburg High School “to serve the high level of need there,” she says. Although such programs generally target young adults seeking entry-level employment, Carolyn Carlison signed up for a 15-week program at the Chester campus to earn her GED and a certified logistics associate certificate for a different reason. “I did not want any of my grandchildren to know I had not graduated from high school,” says Carlison, 58, who left school after the 11th grade and works full-time in retail sales. She sees the program as “a stepping stone to the next level,” and describes working full time while taking classes as difficult but rewarding. “It’s given me a lot of confidence because I know a lot more than I was giving myself credit for,” she says. Concurrent enrollment High-school students also are turning to community colleges to take advantage of a low-cost option that “gives them a leg up” in the workforce, Raspiller says “We’re seeing more and more high-school students that want a credential or at least some dual enrollment credits before they graduate,” he says. When students come to campus to take classes rather than taking college courses at their schools, the arrangement is called concurrent enrollment.  Concurrent enrollment is increasing, particularly among students from rural high schools, Raspiller says. JTCC enrolled 69 students in career studies certificate programs this academic year and expects the number to increase to 99 in the fall. The students can learn skills such as precision machining “so they can go right from here to work,” Raspiller says. While community colleges have seen enrollments decline as the economy rebounds, JTCC has run counter to that trend. Enrollment for the previous academic year was 13,930, about equally divided between the Midlothian and Chester campuses.  Though this year’s headcount is preliminary, enrollment was up 3.6 percent and 5.8 percent for the fall and spring semesters, respectively, according to Holly W. Walker, public relations manager for the college. At the May commencement, more than 1,100 degrees and 1,600 credentials or certificates were awarded — reflecting the national trend toward “stackable credentials,” such as the paralegal certificate that Bailey earned. For Bailey, a home-schooled Hopewell resident, the extra certificate wasn’t in her plans until she wrote a paper about a legal case that reinforced an interest in studying law. Cost savings had been one of her main considerations in starting at a two-year school, so paying for the additional courses she needed for the certificate was something she had to weigh carefully. “I’m one of four siblings, and we’re all pursuing a higher education,” she says. But she decided the certificate would help in finding part-time work while preparing her for law school. Bailey chose JTCC because of its transfer agreements, she says, but now sees it as the right course even if she could have afforded to start at a four-year school. “I came in thinking that I would just blend in with the crowd and be another number,” she says. But the connections Bailey made “opened up all these opportunities. I don’t feel like just another number in the crowd anymore.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Harris-Twitt6858.png Warren Harris (left), the director of economic development for Virginia Beach, and Greg Twitt president of Globalinx. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/international-connections International connections http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/international-connections http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/international-connections#When:08:00:00Z Stumping for a seat on Virginia Beach City Council in 2014, Ben Davenport drew puzzled looks when he talked about making the city a hub for the burgeoning data-center industry. “At town hall meetings, I said the city needed to attract data centers and become a technological ecosystem,” Davenport recalls. “People looked at me like I was crazy.” Nonetheless, Davenport won the election and became chair of Hampton Roads’ first broadband taskforce. The group has been cataloging the region’s tech assets and exploring opportunities. Now a candidate for mayor of Virginia Beach, Davenport is touting the city’s ascension as a digital port. “A lot of times people talk about our region as somewhat of a cul-de sac,” Davenport says. “But with our coastline, we’ve become a viable alternative to New York/New Jersey and South Florida as a cable landing site.” In fact, subsea cables are making their way across the Atlantic and landing on Virginia Beach shores. Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius, a Telefonica subsidiary, teamed up to install MAREA, a 4,000-mile, super-speed internet cable stretching from Bilbao, Spain, to just off Camp Pendleton in the southern end of the resort area. It went into operation last year. Telxius also is constructing a second cable, BRUSA, from Rio de Janeiro to Virginia Beach that is expected to begin operating by fall. Meanwhile, South Atlantic Express International Ltd. is partnering with ACA International to install a third cable connecting Virginia Beach to South Africa. Trumpeting the city’s new status as a digital port, officials are negotiating to land additional cables. “We will be one of the most connected cities in the U.S.,” Davenport predicts. That designation is attractive to companies that transmit large amounts of data, including those in financial services, data-analytics, biomedical and cybersecurity. “Virginia Beach is one of the most aggressive cities in the U.S. in pursuit of data centers,” Davenport says, noting that the city is the only cable landing site between the New York/New Jersey region and Florida. “Virginia Beach is a very pro-business city. We’ve tried to remove as many hurdles as we can.” Diversifying the economy City Council has done its share to clear the way for data centers, creating incentives such as reduced business property tax rates on computer and peripheral equipment, rebates on business license taxes and reimbursements for development and water and sewer connection fees. The city also is working with the U.S. Department of Defense to establish the first U.S. offshore cable protection zone for transatlantic telecommunication cable landing locations. The city’s drive to attract new industries could help diversify a regional economy long dependent on tourism, the military and defense spending. “This is very exciting for Virginia Beach and Virginia,” says Warren Harris, Virginia Beach’s economic development director. “We see us as a significant gateway for the movement and transmission of data in a way that has never been experienced before.” The 325-acre Corporate Landing Business Park, located on the southwest side of Naval Air Station Oceana, has emerged as the prime location for data centers. Fitted with an ultra-high-speed network infrastructure and fiber-access hubs, the park is a Dominion Energy-certified data center site, the only one in Southeastern Virginia. “This corridor of the city is poised to be the host of a number of potential investments regarding data centers and potential data center development,” says Harris. “It’s opened a whole new industry for Virginia Beach and the region. Data centers support almost all businesses.” Telefonica constructed a 24,000-square-foot cable landing station in Corporate Landing to support MAREA and BRUSA, while ACA International, based in Fauquier County’s Vint Hill, is building a cable landing station and data center to house its corporate headquarters. Globalinx Data Centers is also moving into Corporate Landing. The homegrown company expects to complete a 150,000-square-foot data center this fall that will include a large “meet-me room” of interconnections from cable-service providers. Globalinx also will be the first in the city to offer network providers and other businesses direct access to the subsea cables landing in Virginia Beach. “There will be opportunities for local businesses to utilize our facility in a secure, non-redundant environment,” says Greg Twitt, the company’s founder and president. “Instead of having their own server rooms, they will utilize ours. The amount of private providers that can connect into our facility to take advantage of the subsea cables will help create an ecosystem.” Twitt believes that Virginia Beach can secure a prominent spot on the digital map. “We’re extremely well located in the mid-Atlantic,” he notes. “Storm-wise, we’re in a very safe area — much safer than where a lot of subsea cables come in such place as Miami and Jacksonville, Fla.” Other advantages, according to Twitt, include lower land prices, a good, continuous electric supply and a receptive local government. Plus, the city is less than 200 miles from Ashburn’s “Data Center Alley” in Loudoun County and just over 100 miles from Henrico County, where Facebook is investing $1 billion in a data center. “We would like to be the alternative that subsea cables can look at instead of New York, New Jersey and Florida,” Harris adds. “If you do business with Europe, South America or South Africa, it’s beneficial to be in Virginia Beach to connect with those continents.” The ‘tip of the iceberg’ All of this makes for an exciting time in Virginia Beach’s 55-year history as a municipality. In addition to being a landing site for subsea cables, the city is upgrading its broadband infrastructure to support the next generation of telecommunications systems. The city’s 126-linear-mile municipal fiber network offers connectivity throughout Hampton Roads. With the super-speed connections, Harris expects Virginia Beach will see a significant amount of additional capital investments along with advanced-technology jobs. “This is a unique emerging ecosystem,” he says. “This is the tip of the iceberg with regard to multiple economic benefits.” The city also is partnering with the Center for Advancing Innovation on the VABeachBio Innovation Challenge. Focused on enhancing the city’s biomedical ecosystem, the challenge will launch startup companies striving to improve the health of military veterans. City officials say the program could lead to the creation of approximately 2,000 knowledge-based jobs. Many of those jobs would be based in the new VABeachBio Innovation Park. The 155-acre site is near health-care, biomedical and educational facilities, including Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, LifeNet Health, Operation Smile, the Virginia Beach Advanced Technology Center, the Virginia Beach campus of Tidewater Community College and the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, which provides on-site classes through Old Dominion and Norfolk State universities.  Old Dominion will expand its footprint at the higher education center this fall by introducing upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in nursing and the opening of the Center for Telehealth Education and Research. The programs will complement the university’s health-sciences offerings at its Norfolk campus. With the growing biotech presence in the city, the timing is right to boost ODU’s health-science offerings, says Austin Agho, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “On average we receive 300-plus applications a year for the nursing school, but we can only admit 60 to 65 students. With the expansion, we will be able to increase the class size to 80.” ODU also is working with the city to secure a location for a clinic offering primary-care services, speech and physical therapy, and mental health counseling for students and the public. “It will be a site for students to gain hands-on training and for faculty to conduct research,” Agho says. Meanwhile, Regent University plans to open its College of Healthcare Sciences this fall, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, master’s degrees in health-care informatics and health-care administration, and doctoral degrees in nursing practice. Officials believe the expanding education offerings and the city’s technological strides will help Virginia Beach solidify its reputation with high-tech industries. “This is the start of attracting 21st-century industries,” Davenport says. “We are showing that we can be successful. We are extremely agile and aggressive, and people are taking notice.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/ISS_4540_00602.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ai-advancements-raise-questions AI advancements raise questions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ai-advancements-raise-questions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ai-advancements-raise-questions#When:08:00:00Z The Three Laws 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. — From the “Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.” in Isaac Asimov’s “I Robot”  Published in 1950, Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction novel, “I, Robot,” anticipated today’s debate about the future of artificial intelligence, a field involving machines that can learn. “AI” has become a buzzword as more devices are programmed to assist people and handle repetitive tasks. Sales of virtual digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, for example, are expected to reach $15.8 billion by 2021. At the same time, some observers worry about workers being replaced by machines. Self-driving vehicles, for example, eventually are expected to eliminate the need for cab and truck drivers. Virginia’s universities are involved in a number of research projects aimed at unlocking the potential of artificial intelligence. They say it’s already a wild ride, with advances coming at a speed that they could not have imagined a few years ago. Ethical questions are coming quickly, too. Milos Manic, a Virginia Commonwealth University computer scientist, raised questions about the future of mankind’s relationship with artificial intelligence at the 2018 International Conference on e-Society, e-Learning and e-Technologies (ICSLT 2018) in London earlier this year. “How do you teach a computer to feel, love, or dream, or forget?“ Manic asked. “Also, as [we enable] machines to think and learn, how do we ensure morality and ethics in their future decisions? How do we replicate something we do not understand? And ultimately, can AI explain itself and get us to trust it?” Robotic peacekeepers In fact, James Bliss, a psychologist at Old Dominion University, is examining the issue of trust between robots and humans.  He is completing work on a project, funded by a nearly $800,000 grant from the Air Force, which involves participants from a variety of countries. “The U.S. military is interested in the feasibility of employing robotic peacekeepers. However, little is known about how civilian populations will react to such robots,” Bliss says. “The situation may be further complicated if peacekeeping robots are given the power to enforce their will when situations escalate.” His project uses computer-generated simulations to gauge how people would react when confronted by a security robot. Variations include response to commands given by an unarmed robot, one with a nonlethal device (such as a Taser) or one carrying a firearm. Bliss says countries differ in their approach to arming autonomous robots, which already are being used in a variety of security situations. For example, robots used for security in private industry in the U.S. typically  monitor areas passively, Bliss says. But  an airport in China has a security robot armed with a Taser. “It’s really a shifting landscape,” he says. Bliss adds that, while robots had a presence in industry for years, they now are more widely used, and they’re getting smarter. As robots learn beyond their initial programming, he says, important questions will have to be resolved. Like humans, robots may make mistakes. Another Old Dominion researcher, Khan Iftekharuddin, chair of the university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is working with graduate students on a technology using thought commands to instruct robots to help the disabled with daily tasks or enter a danger zone to help a soldier. Iftekharuddin says NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), which has frequently collaborated with ODU researchers, is particularly interested in developing the technology. Sharing the wheel At Virginia Tech, researchers have gained national recognition for their research on autonomous vehicles. Azim Eskandarian, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, says the more than 30,000 motor vehicle deaths recorded each year in the U.S. are largely caused by human error. “If you replace humans [in driving], you’re solving 90 percent of accidents. I believe autonomous driving will have a strong impact on overall safety,” Eskandarian says. He also believes that the widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles will change transportation dramatically, possibly leading to less traffic congestion. But he adds researchers face many technical challenges before autonomous vehicles see widespread use. Even then, he expects humans and machines to share driving responsibilities for a time. Commercial transportation might be one area of shared driving responsibility, he says. Human drivers might give up some of their time behind the wheel to reduce fatigue. Internet’s dark side Bert Huang, who directs the machine-learning laboratory at Virginia Tech, says he has no idea what artificial intelligence in 2050 may look like, given the unprecedented pace of recent change. “I am shocked at what has changed in the world in the last three years,” Huang says. One of the concerns of scientists, Huang says, is that algorithm-driven systems are evolving faster than the scientific community can keep up. Scientists want to incorporate concepts like fairness, accountability and transparency in these systems. “A few years ago, we thought of the internet as a wonderful tool to connect us. We could get to know everyone,” Huang says. Instead, he says, scientists are finding that algorithms in social-media systems have the potential — through politically charged content recommended to users — to divide people into opposing camps.   “People have been radicalized, because [the content] is more engaging,” Huang laments. Robot-assisted surgery At the University of Virginia, increasing the safety of robot-assisted surgery has become a research focus of Homa Alemzadeh, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Last year, 877,000 robot-assisted surgeries were performed across the country. But Alemzadeh and her colleagues also discovered more than 10,000 adverse incidents, with 1,391 cases involving patient injury and 144 resulting in death. Alemzadeh says the role of surgeons and physicians will change significantly as robots become more prominent in medicine and patient treatment. Although robotic surgical systems will handle many procedures, surgeons and other medical professionals still will be in charge of planning and monitoring treatments as well as programming the machines. “This will actually raise several challenges and interesting questions in terms of ethical and legal issues, trust in automation, and safety validation and certification of future systems,” Alemzadeh says. Asimov anticipated those types of questions when “I, Robot” was published more than a half century ago. He left it up to 21st-century researchers to find the answers. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Trump-Chessgame_v1-FINAL.png Illustration by Matt Brown http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/awaiting-the-next-trade-move Awaiting the next trade move http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/awaiting-the-next-trade-move http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/awaiting-the-next-trade-move#When:08:00:00Z Brett Vassey, president of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, says none of his member companies are panicked by the conflicting signals President Trump has sent as he tries to renegotiate a number of long-standing trade agreements with nations around the world. Nonetheless, Vassey says, Virginia manufacturers are taking a number of precautionary measures to insulate their businesses and protect their employees. In recent months, the Trump administration has alternately threatened and withheld double-digit tariffs on top trading partners, including the European Union and China, to gain more favorable terms. The rhetoric has heightened fears of a possible trade war. “We try not set our hair on fire and run around the Capitol in Washington, or here in Richmond, on these issues,” says Vassey. “Manufacturers are resilient. They are used to supply-chain disruptions and market volatility. They fully realize these tariff issues … are linked to pretty significant geopolitical issues. Harmonizing those politics while we are harmonizing the tariffs will just take time. Meanwhile they will have to adapt as these things shake out.” One of Trump’s first actions last year was to scuttle the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional free trade agreement that the Obama administration helped author aimed at isolating China and strengthening smaller Asian economies. A second move was his decision to renegotiate the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. In January, Trump announced tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels. In March he announced plans to levy double-digit import duties on steel and aluminum, and on $50 billion in imports from China. In April, Beijing retaliated with a slow roll-out of equally harsh duties on more than 100 U.S. exports, including tobacco, corn, soybeans, cars, trucks, chemicals, plastic products and aircraft. (The list expanded to 659 types of U.S. products in June.) China’s aggressive response to the Trump administration’s opening salvo on tariffs — along with its importance to Trump to help pressure North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program — helped delay the start of what many analysts fear could become a much more serious trade dispute. In late May, the White House announced a flat 25 percent import duty on “industrially significant” imports from China, adding that new restrictions on immigration from China and direct Chinese foreign investment in the U.S. would be in place as of June 30. In late May, Trump withdrew exemptions on steel and aluminum tariffs that had been granted to three major trading partners,  Canada, Mexico and the European Union. They all vowed to retaliate with tariffs on American products. In June, immediately after the most contentious meeting of G-7 nations in memory, trade relations between Canada and the U.S. turned even more frosty. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said his nation wouldn’t be “pushed around” by the United States on trade or the ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA. The next day, Larry Kudlow, a top White House economic adviser, confirmed that President Trump is in favor of pursuing new, separate bilateral trade agreements with Canada and Mexico. Later this month, import duties against a wide range of U.S. exports to Canada and the EU were expected to begin. Furthermore, the Trump administration had scheduled public hearings for July 19-20 on its proposal to impose punitive duties on foreign-made motor vehicles, a measure strongly opposed by U.S. auto companies and the governments of Canada, Mexico and the EU. “Most people are not sure about where any of this is going to go,” says international business law expert Tom McVey, chair of the international section with the Williams Mullen law firm. “Many people think it’s just part of Trump’s negotiating style, where he starts off bold, shakes something up but then tries to reach an accommodation, reach some sort of a compromise and the problem goes away.” Amid this uncertainty, Virginia factories that rely on imports or exports — or both — are evaluating how they can adapt their operations if Trump’s aggressive efforts to create more U.S. manufacturing jobs backfires and the cost of international commerce rises, Vassey says. Many Virginia factories that use steel and aluminum are trying to extend their current contracts with overseas suppliers for longer periods at current prices. Some are creating lists of possible new suppliers in nations that do not have any, or maybe fewer, trade disputes with the U.S. Others are examining how to reclassify and repackage the products they currently buy or sell overseas so they can sidestep any new tariffs. Quite a few are examining all three possible solutions.  Virginia’s manufacturing companies, says Vassey, “are going to be creative, they’re doing audits for [product] classifications, countries of origin, new suppliers.” McVey, with Williams Mullen, agrees that he’s seen little alarm yet among experienced U.S. exporters and says the smart ones are trying to avoid production disruptions by moving quickly to solidify their international partnerships by petitioning U.S. officials for exclusions and exemptions to any new import duties. $16.5 billion in exports “He’s slowly negotiating exclusions and exemptions,” McVey says of Trump. “U.S. companies can come in and request to be excluded from the tariffs; he’s also negotiating exclusions and waivers for foreign governments. There are so many holes in this. We don’t quite know what the coverage of these tariffs will be … American companies haven’t been panicking yet, but they’re nervous.” The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) reported in February that its final tally of 2017 exports indicated that Virginia sold $16.5 billion in products to customers around the world last year. Canada ($2.9 billion), China ($1.7 billion), Mexico ($1 billion), the United Kingdom ($919 million) and Germany ($818 million) were the state’s top export markets. Virginia’s top exports last year were chemicals ($2.3 billion), computer and electronic products ($2 billion), transportation ($1.9 billion), machinery ($1.4 billion) and paper ($1.1 billion), according to the ITA. Despite so much conflicting information about future U.S. trade relationships in Asia and closer to home, Virginia’s farmers are keeping their cool, says Tony Banks, a marketing specialist for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “Aside from tobacco, Virginia is not among the top U.S. states as an exporter for any particular commodity,” he says. “We export a lot of poultry products, we export pork and lots of soybeans and soybean meal, in addition to tobacco … With NAFTA, definitely poultry and pork; to China soybeans, pork and tobacco. “We’ve made it clear to [Agriculture] Secretary [Sonny] Perdue and other members of the Trump administration that exports are vital to the health of Virginia agriculture,” Banks says, adding that China’s livestock and food industries may be too dependent on imported soybeans to follow through on its tariff threats on many U.S. agricultural products.  NAFTA negotiations However, profit margins at U.S. farms are shrinking to just pennies on the dollar, Banks says. “If China does levy any punitive tariffs on agricultural exports, “it definitely would have an impact on prices here,” he says. “It might turn out to be a draw, and we’re quite hopeful to see both governments settling this without getting into a trade war.” Banks hopes that the ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA will be less contentious, saying, “It’s still a wait and see … with any trade deal there will be pluses and minuses. It can’t be a 100 percent win for either side.” McVey, the Williams Mullen attorney, reports that “there are still more question marks than final answers,” in talks between Canada, Mexico and the United States to update and modernize the free- trade agreement, which generated tremendous controversy in all three nations before being implemented on New Year’s Day, 1994. He says current talks have snagged on “content on automobiles, the dispute mechanism, the procurement chapter and labor laws, all of them core elements of this agreement. “At this point it’s very hard to say which issues they will cave on and which ones they will hold on to. It’s almost impossible to predict at the moment,” he says. Yet, in spite of what he calls needless “drama” surrounding the Trump administration’s strategy to renegotiate the nation’s international trade agreements, McVey urges more small companies to take advantage of a strong U.S. economy here at home and strong economies in many parts of the world.   “My advice would be take advantage of the markets now that they are strong,” he says. “Lots of U.S. companies wait until the U.S. is in a recession to start exporting. But if the economy is down here, the economy is down overseas, and that’s not necessarily the best time to start exporting.” McVey says he is not sure if the recently imposed tariffs will be temporary or permanent. But, he adds, there is a good chance that “they are just temporary during the trade negotiations.  So stay the course for now — the world economy is quite strong and expanding right now.  Despite the short-term volatility there are still significant opportunities in the international business arena.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/RISK_drone_taxi.png Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority is introducing drone taxis. AP photo/ Sipa USA http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/friend-or-foe Friend or foe? http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/friend-or-foe http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/friend-or-foe#When:08:00:00Z Years ago, artificial intelligence was a figment of the imaginations of Hollywood filmmakers. Remember the malevolent computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey”? Now the increasing use of artificial intelligence and other data-driven technologies represent potential risks for businesses. The impact “of AI (where a computer program can think and learn like a human) and other forms of new technology already rank as the seventh-top business risk, ahead of political risk and climate change,” according to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018, which is based on the insights of nearly 2,000 risk experts in 80 countries. A common challenge for AI users is the proper handling of data. “AI runs on data — and a lot of it,” says S. Eric Boyum, national practice leader for Aon Risk Solutions Technology and Communications Industry Practice. Managers have to consider a variety of the risk factors in dealing with data. “When collaborating with outside organizations to develop AI-related applications, it’s critical to understand who owns that data and who is responsible for ensuring its safekeeping,” Boyum says. “Does the manner in which the company uses the data comply with regulations? And, for data that is procured from other sources, does the usage comply with current and future use cases?” New AI technologies are making their way into the American economy. They can be friends or foes to businesses, depending on who controls the technology. “There are emerging risks of all kinds,” says Tim Cook, director for the Risk and Insurance Studies Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. Most of these risks concern “how to handle the damage that is going on because of new technologies not in use before,” says Walter Smith, state insurance president of BB&T Insurance Services Inc. “How are you using new technologies? What are you doing to make sure there are no damages? These are just changing times.” Technology and cyber-risks go hand-in-hand, and problems can pop up in untraditional places. Personal smartphones, for example, often are used for business purposes. Employees also use laptops at offsite locations, such as coffee shops, using public WiFi systems that can expose important information. “Technology can cause real challenges for risk managers,” Cook says. Data from wearables The basic principles of risk management include “avoid the risk, mitigate the risk, transfer the risk and accept the risk is what it is and budget for it,” says Roy Bucher Jr., chairman of Lunsford Insurance in Roanoke. “Risk management is the best way to control insurance cost, and the best risk management is to be aware of things that come across your computer that don’t look right.” Some new technologies can help management reduce risks. For example, wearable technology, ranging from watches to belts, can monitor activities and motion. “If you can imagine it, there is a wearable for it,” says Lars Skari, managing partner at California-based Altumai Group, which helps companies take advantage of developments in data and technology to reduce risks. Wearables can determine how someone is sitting, bending, walking, reaching or twisting on the job. “It can understand body movement, heart rate, surrounding environment or your geographic location through GPS,” Skari says. “These are the types of capabilities different wearables can provide. They can help you guard against back injuries, slips and falls. They can also monitor exertion and fatigue.” By capturing data, companies can take measures to improve safety and prevent injuries. “It’s actionable information available to the worker and the employer so they can be aware of activities that may be unhealthy or risky and do something about it,” Skari says. Drones and self-driving cars Managers also are beginning to evaluate the potential risks posed by the movement of two new types of inanimate objects, drones and self-driving cars. Commercial use of drones is increasing. A variety of U.S. industries — including construction, agriculture, insurance and real estate — employ drones to make inspections. In China and Dubai, drone taxis transport passengers from one place to another. “It is a drone, and it flies you,” Cook says. As use of drones continues to rise, accidents and injuries — and potential lawsuits — are expected to follow. Meanwhile, self-driving car technology, which still is being tested, has come under increased scrutiny since a couple of recent fatal accidents. Self-driving cars pose “an exposure that is a concern,” says Smith. Insurers also are concerned about the behavior of some drivers. “Distracted driving is a big deal for carriers,” Smith says. “Rates are going up across the board whether you have had an issue or not. Cars have gotten safer and smarter, but drivers have gotten dumber while using smartphones and technology. It’s all about human behavior.” Risk management today also involves the potential effects of mergers and acquisitions. In M&A transactions, risk managers have to be proactive, experts say. “I tell folks to ask a lot of questions and understand what the goal is. Sometimes the goal is to take property, sometimes it’s to utilize a name or eliminate competition,” says Lindsey Harris, risk manager for Chesapeake-based discount retail giant Dollar Tree Inc. “Are you minimizing or expanding your risk profile?” In 2015, Dollar Tree bought the Family Dollar chain for $9.1 billion. “We more than doubled by acquiring Family Dollar,” she says. The company’s goal in the acquisition was to extend its reach to more customers and diversify its footprint. Combining the two companies meant taking stock of their existing resources, practices and business relationships. “Those two companies had long histories and cultures,” Harris says. “You need to ask, ‘Why were decisions made to mitigate, avoid or insure’ to help you figure out what’s missing.” Her best asset as a risk manager is her curiosity, she adds. “I ask a lot of questions and get to know a lot of people in the business. It’s what you haven’t asked and who you haven’t talked to that ... keeps me up at night.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/160316-F-CX842-058C.png Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/more-visibility More visibility http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/more-visibility http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/more-visibility#When:08:00:00Z The number of women military veterans in Virginia now is about equal to the population of Roanoke. Nonetheless, the service of many of these women is not noticed — by the public and even by some male veterans. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is trying to change that while establishing a pipeline of highly skilled veterans and their spouses for the commonwealth’s workforce. “First of all, we need to recognize that Virginia has over 100,000 female veterans —14 percent of the over 700,000 veterans we have. We are a significant number. So, first, we have to make everyone aware that we’re here,” says Annie Walker, a former Army drill sergeant who heads the Veterans Education Training & Employment section at the DVS. Nationally, women represent about 8.5 percent of America’s veterans. Among veterans who have served since 9/11, however, women make up 17.4 percent of the total. The percentage is rising because participation of women in the military overall is growing as they take on increasingly responsible — and dangerous — roles in every branch of the military. Elected last November, Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is continuing efforts pursued by his predecessors — Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Terry McAuliffe — to make Virginia the nation’s most veteran-friendly state. The state government hopes that, in putting down roots here, many veterans will join the civilian workforce, helping to fill skills gaps in a number of Virginia industries. Northam, who served as an Army physician for eight years, is well acquainted with the needs of veterans and their families. It was not lost on anyone that, after taking the oath of office in January, he made the DVS his first stop on a tour of state agencies. ‘Yeah, we are veterans’ Evidence of the department’s increasing focus on women veterans is seen in two recent events. The governor’s office proclaimed March 18-24 as the first Women Veterans Week in Virginia. That observance will become a permanent fixture on the calendar on the third week of March each year. Also, Northam’s wife, Pam, and the wives of McAuliffe and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine — Dorothy McAuliffe and Anne Holton — were members of an honorary committee involved in the annual Virginia Women’s Veterans Summit. This year’s event was held June 14 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center hotel. One of the people speaking at the conference was Vivian Greentree, a senior vice president with First Data, a credit-card processing company with 24,000 employees serving about 6 million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in more than 100 countries. Greentree, who lives in Northern Virginia, is a Navy veteran and a Navy spouse — her husband is still on active duty. She has been credited with increasing the portion of military-affiliated hires at the company from 1 percent to more than 10 percent. One of her talking points at the summit: Women veterans should become more visible and “own your seat at the table.” Greentree says women veterans, like their male counterparts, entered the military for patriotic reasons. “I wanted to serve my country,” she says. Charlie Palumbo, director of transition and employment programs at DVS, says Women Veterans Week and the summit represent building blocks in the creation of a support system for women veterans. She believes raising the profile of women veterans also is an important part of the global conversation about the place of women in society, especially in leadership roles. “It just takes a group of women standing up together and saying, ‘Yeah, we are veterans, and we are women,’” she says. Spouses’ employment In sharp contrast to men, women veterans tend not to talk about their military experience, Palumbo says. She speaks from experience. A Navy veteran, she also is the wife of a veteran. “A lot of men are like my husband. You’ll know he’s a veteran within the first 10 minutes of talking with him. But …  he’ll probably tell someone I’m a veteran before I do,” Palumbo says. She and Walker say that, when they left the military, there were few resources to help women veterans transition into civilian life. “The system was set up for males,” Walker says. But she adds that, with the support of the governor’s office and the legislature, Virginia has made great strides in recent years helping women veterans make the transition, either through landing a job or seeking more education. Support for veterans, Walker says, is a bipartisan issue for the state legislature. Besides turning the spotlight on women veterans, the DVS also is looking at the problem of employment and underemployment among military spouses. A 2016 national report found that the problem could be costing the U.S. economy $710 million to $1 billion annually. The report was based on a study commissioned by the nonprofit Blue Star Families, which supports military families. Data from a 2010 analysis by the Rand Corp., a nonprofit think tank, as well as 2015 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, puts the military spouse unemployment rate in a range of 12 to 18 percent. The nation’s overall unemployment rate in May was 3.8 percent. Being a military spouse often means a lot of moving, making it difficult to maintain a career or even find a part-time job, state officials say. “You have a lot of spouses [with college degrees] who can’t find work, and they’re a huge asset and pipeline to Virginia,” Palumbo says. “Companies are starting to be aware of that. But it’s going to take a lot of educational awareness for both the companies and the spouse.” Walker adds that, since the state’s goal is to keep more service members in Virginia when they leave the military, the needs of their families must be addressed. ‘Hire Vets Now’ While Virginia ranks 12th among states in overall population, it ranks seventh in its total population of veterans and fourth in the number of working-age veterans.  The state’s initiatives have included the Military Medics and Corpsmen Program (MMAC), which has created employment and educational opportunities for medically trained veterans. Thanks to General Assembly action, MMAC, originally a two-year pilot program, was scheduled to become permanent on July 1. The program provides qualified former medics and corpsmen with an avenue to achieve licensure and certification so that they can work for health-care providers. So far, the program has attracted about 40 applicants. Besides reaching out to health-care providers, the DVS has been developing partnerships with major corporations and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. A new program with the chamber called “Hire Vets Now” is designed to match employers with transitioning military personnel who have job skills that companies seek. Barry DuVal, the president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber, says more than 65 companies signed up for the program this spring. “This is becoming a model in the commonwealth for hiring veterans,” DuVal says. With the state’s unemployment rate dropping to 3.3 percent in April, DuVal says, “You need everyone possible to fill the jobs that are available.” He notes that in Virginia about 100,000 jobs are waiting for qualified applicants, especially in fields such as cybersecurity, information technology and health care. Goal: 60,000 hires The “Hire Vets Now” effort involves not only chamber members but also companies participating in the state’s Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program.  DVS began V3 in 2012 when veterans’ unemployment soared following the 2007-09 recession. “The idea was that it was more beneficial and more efficient to train employers how to hire veterans than it was to train a thousand veterans to go look for a job,” says Ross Koenig, V3’s director. In V3’s first year, the goal was to recruit and train 50 employers, but twice that number joined the program. Since then, V3 has been on a roll. “We currently have 550 V3-certified organizations and another 650 enrolled organizations that are working toward certification,” Koenig says. The number of veterans hired as a result of the program has reached 33,000 so far. Northam has set a goal of hiring 60,000 veterans before his term ends in 2022. One of the recently certified V3 employers is Geico, the giant insurance company. “The V3 program is going to be an outstanding resource for us,” says Steven Ludwig, the company’s regional military representative in Virginia Beach, who served 28 years in the Navy. “I expect to learn a lot on how we can expand veteran hiring, reduce turnover and apply the knowledge to our nonveteran associates as well.” Ludwig adds that Geico not only employs veterans but spouses of active-duty military personnel. “They end up being really great hires,” he says. Visit the Virginia Values Veterans website for a list of V3-certified companies. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC05027.png “We always understood that markets are cyclical,” says Robbie O’Cain, brewmaster at Starr Hill. Photo by Shandell Taylor http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/homegrown-brews Homegrown brews http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/homegrown-brews http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/homegrown-brews#When:08:00:00Z Among Virginia craft breweries, Starr Hill is practically ancient. Established in 1999 as a small brewpub and music hall in Charlottesville, the craft brewery, now Virginia’s largest and second-oldest, has quite a different history than its younger competitors. The number of breweries in Virginia has soared from 44 to almost 250 after landmark state legislation in 2012 allowed them to sell beer to be consumed on site. By that time, Starr Hill had years earlier moved to a large production facility in Crozet. Brands like Grateful Pale Ale and Northern Lights IPA became staples on grocery shelves in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic. By 2014, fledgling breweries were seeing double-digit sales growth, but Starr Hill’s numbers had slowed to 2 to 3 percent a year. “That gives you a little bit of wariness,” says Robbie O’Cain, Starr Hill’s brewmaster. “But I think Starr Hill is uniquely positioned. We’ve always understood that markets are cyclical, and while everyone’s spending a bunch of money and saying that growth is infinite, we are able to see underlying trends.” Starr Hill continues to evolve. It’s increasing on-site consumption in its remodeled tasting room and revamping its branding. Starr Hill also is focusing on its high-growth markets — right at home in Virginia. “That’s where we have the most distribution and where our brand truly resonates,” says O’Cain. To test new products, Starr Hill opened its Pilot Brewery & Side Stage in a former stable in Roanoke last fall. “The real success story comes when we look at our Roanoke business in general,” says O’Cain. “Not just the retail spot but the grocery business … We’re on fire because we’re now kind of a Roanoke brand.” Other craft breweries today might envy Starr Hill’s slow but steady trajectory as they cope with the industry’s growing pains. At least nine Virginia breweries have closed this year, and a national brewery closed its state-of-the-art Virginia Beach facility. Nonetheless, Virginia brewers believe there’s plenty of room to grow in their home state. Many also are finding that innovation is key to survival in a fast-changing marketplace.   ‘It’s a scary time’ The 2012 Virginia law caused a dramatic shift in the craft-beer industry. In addition to the nearly 250 breweries operating in the commonwealth today, another 35 are in the pipeline. Nationally, craft beer sales soared in the first part of this decade, but the growth is easing. In 2013 and 2014, for example, the volume of craft beer sold in the U.S. grew more than 17 percent each year, according to the Denver-based Brewers Association. By 2017, annual growth had slowed to 5 percent. “We continue to see [the number of] breweries increasing rapidly in recent years. At the same time, we’ve been seeing production growth slow a little bit,” says Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, who adds that current craft-beer growth is not alarming. “The industry is not in its infancy, so double-digit growth rates aren’t realistic.” Brett Vassey, head of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and the Virginia Manufacturers Association, says Virginia’s craft beers are on track with national trends. Despite the recent surge in breweries, Virginia ranks 18th among the 50 states in the number of breweries per capita, according to the Brewers Association. “Folks are always asking whether the bubble has burst, but the reality is that craft beer is still growing,” says Vassey. “Any industry in manufacturing would kill for that kind of continued growth.” Yet competition for space in restaurants and on store shelves has intensified in Virginia. “It’s a scary time. I wouldn’t want to be entering the industry right now,” says Patrick Murtaugh, co-founder and brewmaster at Richmond-based Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, which opened in 2011.  “I think in the last six-and-a-half years we’ve been able to create a name for ourselves and … a reputation of good quality beer, so hopefully that will help us get a little bit of a head start.” The rapid growth of Virginia’s craft brewery industry has been a boon to the state, driving more than $10 billion in economic activity each year. The rapid pace of change, however, means breweries must frequently re-evaluate their business models. Port City Brewing Co. in Alexandria, which also opened in 2011, had sales increases of 30 percent for several years. The company has won several national awards, including designation as “Small Brewery of the Year” at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival in 2015. “When a company is growing that fast, it really has required us to kind of step back every three to fourth months and re-evaluate how we do things: everything from operations to sales, to ordering ingredients and even logistics and beer storage,” says Bill Butcher, the brewery’s owner and president. Hayes Humphreys, chief operating officer at Devils Backbone, Virginia’s largest craft brewery before its 2016 sale to Anheuser-Busch, agrees that breweries must keep track of many moving pieces to succeed. “It’s not enough to make good beer,” he says. Devils Backbone saw traffic dipping at its Nelson County taproom around 2014 amid increased competition. In response, the brewery added a distillery, campsites and on-site lodging to improve foot traffic. “You’ve got to check all the boxes, whereas a couple of years ago, there was more leeway to learn as you go and make some mistakes along the way,” Humphreys says. The Green Flash closing Virginia’s craft brewers had a front row seat to the troubles of a national brand. As part of a wave of West Coast brewers setting up East Coast locations, San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing Co. opened a 58,000-square-foot Virginia Beach brewery and taproom in late 2016. Industry observers were surprised when the Virginia Beach site was shuttered in March after only 16 months of operation. A lender later foreclosed on the company, which was sold to new investors. “Overexpansion can lead to real trouble,” says the Brewers Association’s Watson. “Green Flash was the smallest brewery that was in all 50 states. Breweries need to find a geographic footprint that matches with their brand and [the production] size they can support.” Shortly after Green Flash closed its East Coast site, Bend, Ore.-based Deschutes Brewery announced it may change its timeline for establishing a brewery in Roanoke. Deschutes had expected to open in Roanoke by 2021. Plans originally called for the company to invest $85 million and create 108 jobs.  Company CEO Michael LaLonde told Virginia Business it is committed to coming to Roanoke but may need to adjust its schedule because of a changing business environment. In a demonstration of its commitment to the city, Deschutes has purchased the land for the Roanoke brewery. Another West Coast brewery with a Virginia presence, Stone Brewing, says its national expansion has gone well. California-based Stone set up shop in Richmond in 2016, a move that allowed it to expand distribution across the country. Its 214,000-square-foot building includes a 250-barrel brewhouse and taproom in Richmond’s East End. The company says nationwide sales have been growing for the past five years, and Virginia has been its second most popular market for off-site sales. “We’re pretty proud of how we’ve developed our business there,” says CEO Dominic Engels. Meanwhile, Green Flash’s departure is expected to bring another out-of-state brewer to Virginia. Atlanta-based New Realm Brewing Co. quickly stepped in with plans to reopen the Virginia Beach facility. New Realm, which operates a brewery and restaurant in its hometown, decided to buy the Green Flash site after running out of brewing capacity. The Virginia Beach operation, which will include a brewery and restaurant, will allow the company to expand distribution to Hampton Roads, and other parts of Virginia as the market demands. “We believe that the situations are very different,” New Realm said of Green Flash. “We are a local, Southeastern brewer with a very tight geographic footprint. We only sell our beers in states where we brew and are an active and productive part of the community.” Virginia’s homegrown breweries don’t have national aspirations. Instead, they are targeting Virginia and surrounding states. Hardywood, for example, is focused on the Southeast. The company sells beer in Virginia and in Washington, D.C., and recently expanded to Atlanta and Raleigh, N.C. “Our focus has always been to be a distributing brewery, to be a strong regional player,” says Hardywood’s Murtaugh. “We want to really focus on our home markets.” Last year Hardywood opened a small brewery in Charlottesville where it tests new recipes. Earlier this year, the company began operating a 60,000-square-foot brewery and production facility in Goochland County after running out of capacity in Richmond. Untapped potential Industry experts say that, while Virginia’s brewery scene is becoming more crowded, there is plenty of untapped potential for growth, by innovating, opening new locations and capturing more market share. As evidence of their confidence in Virginia, many are opening taprooms across the state to test new brews and attract customers. Three Notch’d, a Charlottesville-based brewery that opened in 2013, has been a pioneer in this approach. The brewery, which has taprooms in Harrisonburg and Richmond, plans to open a brewpub in downtown Roanoke by this fall, and it is exploring a potential  location in Hampton Roads. “It’s a neat model because it allows members of the public to come in and try your beer and meet your people and understand what Three Notch’d is all about,” says Scott Roth, the brewery’s founder and president. The brewery also has seen major growth in its hometown. In September, the brewery moved its main production facility from a 10,000-barrel operation on Grady Avenue to a restaurant and production facility at the IX Art Park downtown with triple the capacity. The new location, which features a full menu, has boosted beer sales. Three Notch’d distributes beer only in Virginia, and production is soaring. Last year the brewery produced 10,000 barrels. This year it’s on track to produce 17,000 to 18,000 barrels. Innovation also is key to driving growth. Dave McCormack, president of Waukeshaw Development Inc. in Petersburg, wants his three breweries to stand out. He entered the industry in 2016 with Trapezium Brewing Co. in Petersburg, the city’s first craft brewery. Now he is opening a second location for Trapezium in Amherst County later this year. This location, which will be known as Camp Trapezium, will have a “wild-beer program,” using ingredients grown on the 100-acre property.  While Trapezium brands include unique beer styles such as its Lucky 75 Lemon Honey Ginger Ale and Lucky 47 White Ale, McCormack’s Beale’s Brewery in Bedford focuses on more traditional types of beer, such as lager and hefeweizen. The idea is to make the brewery attractive to customers who don’t usually drink craft beer. “We wanted to create a whole new brand around this idea of approachability and fun,” he says. Attracting non-craft beer drinkers, in fact, is an industry initiative, says Vassey of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. About 87 percent of the beer sold in the U.S. is not craft beer. The guild is trying to take some of that market share by hosting events at the Virginia State Fair and NASCAR races. Even owners who have closed Virginia breweries still see growth potential in the commonwealth. Randy Barnette opened Ornery Beer Co., Woodbridge’s first brewery in 2015, but he soon was followed by four competitors. By the time he closed his business, one of the other breweries already had ceased operation. But Barnette believes his Ornery brand is viable, and he’s still brewing the beer at a Lorton-area brewery. He says the Woodbridge site didn’t work because he rented too much space in a retail area.   Barnette now plans to open a small brewpub in Fairfax City while setting up a production facility in a more affordable industrial area in the Bristow area. “Our plan now is to have a main production facility that is pretty much the hub, and we’ll have multiple brewpubs in each location that will each have its own pilot brewery,” he says. Benefits to Virginia Virginia craft breweries are known for more than their beer. They can be major economic catalysts. “They become a destination,” says Bettina Ring, Virginia’s secretary of agriculture and forestry. “In addition to sparking redevelopment in several areas, they have become an important driver of tourism dollars.” The breweries’ growth also has boosted related businesses. Port City, for example, uses bottles made in Toano; its six-packs are printed and produced in Staunton; and all of the wheat used for its popular Optimal Wit beer comes from a farm on the Eastern Shore. “People want to know where their ingredients are coming from,” says Ring. “They want to be able to support and think about their consumer dollar and where they’re spending. So they’re really demanding local beer, and they’re really demanding local food, which is exciting to see.” Many breweries have received state grants from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund. In return, 30 percent of their ingredients must come from Virginia farms, including ginger, hops, malting barley, fruit honey and herbs. Hardywood, which has received  $250,000  from the fund, used more than 30,000 pounds of Virginia agricultural products last year. The industry also has sparked an interest in growing hops, a key beer ingredient. A hops processing facility is located in Loudoun County, and another is planned for Albemarle County. Some breweries use “wet,” unprocessed hops produced by one of 90 growers in the Old Dominion Hops Cooperative. The Albemarle facility will give farmers the opportunity to process hops as dry pellets, creating a longer shelf life. “We’ll have a place to harvest and then turn them from fresh cones into pellets,” says Randy Green, chairman of the cooperative. In sum, the growth outlook for Virginia’s craft breweries is good, but competition will continue to intensify. “It isn’t going to get easier to get into the grocery stores. It’s going to get  harder,” says O’Cain of Starr Hill. “But Virginia beer is doing well. Virginia beer is growing in Virginia, which is important. Craft is moving toward a nearly state-specific kind of distribution footprint, and I think it’s healthy.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Boykin-4970.png Jennifer Boykin joined Newport News Shipbuilding as an engineer in 1987. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/shipshape Shipshape http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/shipshape http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/shipshape#When:08:00:00Z Jennifer Boykin is no stranger to breaking the glass ceiling. As a child, she was the first girl in her hometown, St. Louis, to play Little League Baseball. In July last year, she became the first female president of Newport News Shipbuilding, the sole builder of the Navy’s nuclear aircraft carriers and one of only two providers of Navy nuclear submarines. Boykin, 54, doesn’t point to any specific gender barriers on her way to leading Virginia’s largest industrial employer. Nonetheless, she is focused on making sure “the least empowered person in the room feels comfortable stating their view and opinion” and attracting more women and minorities to careers in math and science.  She joined Newport News Shipbuilding as an engineer more than three decades ago, rising through the ranks in engineering and management positions. She now oversees a workforce that totals more than 22,600 employees, including hundreds of students being trained at the company’s Apprentice School. “It’s a really exciting time,” to be in the shipbuilding business, she says. “Manufacturing across the world is going through this industrial revolution, which digital shipbuilding is a part of. To be able to go through that sort of business change when you’re building something so cool like an aircraft carrier or a submarine, it just doesn’t get any better.” Boykin also is running Newport News Shipbuilding at a time when the Navy is considering expanding its fleet to 355 ships and shortening the time between the construction of new aircraft carriers. Both moves would mean more work for the shipyard. “The two-ship plan brings the two carriers closer together,” so the workers that complete one aircraft carrier are able to start working on the next one in three to four years, as opposed to five. “It’s good for the business, and most importantly, it’s good for the Navy because it allows you to make sure the workforce is learning and becomes more efficient. There’s a cost reduction for the Navy.”  Outside of work, Boykin relaxes by reading or listening to audio books. Lately, she’s been “obsessed” with listening to the musical “Hamilton.” She also loves playing with her adopted dog, Max, a roughly 6-year-old mixed-breed. Boykin and her husband, Blake, have been married for almost 30 years. They met as classmates at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Her daughter, Caroline, and son-in-law, Zachary, also work at Newport News Shipbuilding. A few months shy of her first-year anniversary as president, Boykin sat down with Virginia Business at her office in Newport News to discuss her career, the importance of leveraging people and technology and the identity of Hampton Roads. Answers have been edited for length and clarity. Virginia Business: You started working [at the shipyard] in 1987. How did you wind up here, and what was your first job here? Jennifer Boykin: Actually, I interviewed with the shipyard when I was in college and did not get invited back for a second interview. My first year out of school, I worked in Northern Virginia for David Taylor Naval Research and Development Center [now the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center]. I worked with a man who had patents on propeller designs, and I was his data keeper. … I was dating my husband at the time — he was in the Army at Fort Eustis. One year later, I reapplied to the shipyard because we were dating [long distance]. I was accepted in the nuclear engineering division [as an engineer]. That’s where I started, and I’ve been here ever since.  So, I tell people … “At first if you don’t succeed, don’t give up.” VB: [You’ve said in the past that] two of your priorities at the shipyard are leveraging people and technology. What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in those areas? Boykin: Like so many other businesses, we are at the beginning stages of a digital transformation. What does that mean for shipbuilding? The gist of it is that we’re going to move from having our production teams building ships from drawings that unroll and lay out on the table, to using their [computer] tablets with a three-dimensional picture that I can rotate around on my tablet. [I would] have work instructions on my tablet, training videos and then, eventually, a little pop-up window where I can contact the designer and engineer, even showing them what I’m looking at to get technical help through my tablet. Then [I would be] able to complete my job, say that I’m finished and log in how many hours it took, etc., right there on my tablet. We aren’t at that stage yet, but that is the transition that we have planned and begun. We have work teams now using the tablets … to do project management. Think about building a house, and the general contractor is trying to coordinate the work between the Sheetrock guy and the electrician and the plumber. We do the same thing on ships. VB: What forces shaped you into the leader and person you are today? Boykin:  We’re all shaped early on. I’m the middle child of five kids. I do tell people that when you come from a large family, you have the benefit of becoming better at receiving constructive criticisms because you’re born into it. Both of my parents were very strong advocates of all of us doing well in school. My father was an engineer with McDonnell-Douglas. My mother was a stay-at-home mom when we were young and then went back to school later in life and started her own business. She never stopped educating herself or working hard. I grew up in a naturally integrated community. There’s no question in my mind that shaped me as well. My elementary, [middle and high schools] were predominantly African-American. We all grew up playing Little League together. We were in the jazz band together. All of the activities I did as a young person were integrated because our community was. … Then, certainly, my time at the [United States Merchant Marine Academy] shaped me in a way that those experiences tend to. VB: What did you want to be when you were a little girl? Boykin:  I wanted be an engineer because my dad was. I was very much a tomboy when I was young. I was the middle of five so I had an older brother and a younger brother. I was one of those kids that if my dad was going to do something with those two, I was determined to be in the middle of it. I was the first girl in St. Louis to play Little League Baseball and other sports. But, I actually wanted to be an engineer before I really knew what that was. I knew that, and I heard from all the teachers along the way,  [that because] I was good at math and science, “You should be an engineer.” So, I never really got off that track.  VB: There’s been talk of expanding the Navy to a 355-ship fleet. How likely is that to happen? How are you preparing for this potential ramp-up? Boykin: The likeliness [of that happening is] a better question for the Navy to answer. What I can tell you is what we’re doing. We have invested over a billion dollars in the shipyard, in facilities, over the last five years, and we have a planned investment of over another billion dollars, like a billion and a half, over the next five years. We are investing in the plant so that we can build for Virginia-class [submarines] at two per year… and also get prepared for the Columbia-class submarine. Those investments are really making our shipbuilding production line more capable, and that’s how we’re preparing for the buildup. The other thing that the Navy is talking about, to get to 355, is looking at the maintenance [work they do.] We work with the Navy, and we have two submarines in the yard right now that we’re doing overhauls on. So, we are working with the Navy. We have also invested in the part of the shipyard that does fleet support for submarines. So, what we’re talking to [the Navy about is if] the naval shipyards become full or overcapacity, based on their size and based on how much work they can do, we’re prepared to do more submarine maintenance here in the [Newport News shipyard]. VB: But from a workforce standpoint? Boykin:  From a workforce standpoint we’re hiring over 400 people a month right now. We started hiring at that rate late last year, and we’ll be hiring over 400 a month until this summer. Then the hiring will level off to cover attrition, and so we’ll get somewhere around 25,000 and will sustain at 25,000. VB: You’re a big advocate of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), which doesn’t draw as many women. What are you doing at the shipyard to get more women in the field? Boykin: It’s not only more women, more people in general. If you look at the statistics nationally, STEM fields are very underrepresented by both women and minorities. We have a very active career pathways organization, which basically, through volunteers, [works] in the school systems — elementary, middle and high school level. We started a program in particular for young girls a few years ago called GEMS. It stands for Girls with Engineering Minds in Shipbuilding.  That’s a program targeting middle-school girls. We’ve gone from one school to two, with kind of a plan to grow that. It’s intended to give them the confidence that they need to not drop out of math and science classes in the middle-school ages. The program is [held] twice a month. They kind of do an experiment. We have [female employees in STEM fields] that come. The volunteers are mentors to the girls, so they’ll learn about different math and sciences in their classroom. … The girls [keep journals]. They write themselves a letter at the beginning of the year, and then they journal after each experiment. Then, at the end of the year they write [another] letter, and kind of graduate from GEMS. They submit the letters, and we read the letters, and we recognize a few students who have really grown the most in terms of building their self-confidence. Quite often, [the letter at the beginning of the year] sounds like, “Math is for boys,” or “I’m not good at math, I’m not good at science, and I don’t think I want to do this.” Then you see the growth at the end of the year. “This is for me. I’m sticking to this.” Now, we are growing the program so that [the employees] become mentors to the younger girls as they go through that. That program, working with the city of Newport News and Old Dominion University, has grown into what we’re calling Project Vision. Project Vision is an idea that [emerged] from a lot of the career pathways and GEMS work. We’re building, with the city of Newport News, a new office building at the East End of Newport News, which is in one of the more underrepresented areas. Our employees will be on the second, third and fourth floors. It’s going to be a lot of the people who are doing the digital shipbuilding work — engineers, planners, some IT people. The first floor, though, is going to be a community center that the city of Newport News will own. Old Dominion University is going to operate that, and we’re working together, and we already have a couple of large IT company partners that want to work this with us. The exact [plan for] how we are going to use this space and what it’s going to become hasn’t really been defined, but the idea is that it will be used for both workforce development and STEM outreach. Part of the challenge that schools described to us is for the younger kids to have laboratory time. What we would provide is volunteers and time and even some of the tools and some of the software. Companies will provide some of that as well. The idea is for these students in the East End of Newport News, in their own neighborhood, to be able to come to this community center and really learn some basic software programming, computer programming types of skills to level their playing field. So that, as they grow through life, they don’t find themselves at a disadvantage, which is really again why there is such a disparity in the number of women and minorities in the STEM fields. VB: I wanted to talk about … the glass ceiling, since you’re the first woman to lead the shipyard. What have been the biggest barriers you have faced as a woman, and how did you overcome those barriers? Boykin:  The only real barrier, I would say, was when I started at the shipyard, we still weren’t allowing women into the radiological controls program for some roles in the shipyard. That was a barrier. Fairly early on, the leadership team here — that was in charge at Newport News Shipbuilding — recognized that and did away with that restriction. While there are always biases, I can’t say that I faced any particular barrier here. We have a very active inclusion and diversity program. We have a long way to go, but we are really determined to create a work environment where, as we say, the least empowered person in the room feels comfortable stating their view and opinion. I think the biggest opportunity we have and the challenge we have and the responsibility as leaders, is to make sure we give people opportunities to develop, to be seen, to be recognized and to grow. Those opportunities are given to all employees so that everyone has a fair chance at making sure they have equal opportunity for job promotions and for new jobs as they come along.  VB: This is going to be for our July issue. You will have been in your position for a year. What has the experience been like so far? Has it been what you thought it would be? Boykin:  I’m not sure exactly what I thought it would be. … I’m very excited still with the opportunity we have with a two-ship carrier buy to really change the business to be a digital shipbuilding business. I was excited before I came in, and I continue to be excited about that opportunity. … [I also have been] honored by the opportunity to do things in our factory that really put the basic needs of our shipbuilders in the front as a priority. We are spending time and money solving basic employee needs like trying to alleviate the parking challenges, creating more [meeting and eating spaces throughout the yard and upgrading restroom facilities]. Those investments in our people were some of the things — we started this talking about how my priority was people and technology — these were at the front of the people priority for me. VB: Did you ever have a mentor? Boykin:  Many mentors, including Matt Mulherin, who’s my predecessor [as president of Newport News Shipbuilding], and Mike Petters, who is my current boss [at Huntington Ingalls Industries, the parent company]. I have probably learned more from the people I was fortunate enough to lead. I would move into a new division, or a new part of the business, and there were people that understood that part of the business, and that’s who I learned from. Senior leaders have mentored me in the art of leadership. They — the workforce — have taught me shipbuilding. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-july-2018 People - July 2018 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-july-2018 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-july-2018#When:08:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA Elizabeth Grimes has been named director of marketing at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. Grimes joins Kingsmill Resort from Pebble Beach Resorts in California where she was responsible for web development and email marketing for the past five years.  (News release)  Richard E. Groover, CPA, of Wall Einhorn & Chernitzer in Norfolk, is the new board chair of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.  VSCPA has 13,000 members who work in public accounting, industry, government and education. (Virginia-Business.com) Rick Weddle of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance plans to retire as the agency’s CEO, effective Dec. 31. C. Grigsby Scifres, HREDA’s board chairman, said that Weddle will continue to fulfill his duties and responsibilities through the end of the year to ensure a smooth and effective management transition. (Daily Press) SHENANDOAH VALLEY Shenandoah University in Winchester has named Kyle W. Feldman, J. Randall “Randy” Minchew and Cecil Pruitt Jr., to its board of trustees. Feldman is a physical therapist at Physical Therapy Specialists in Winchester. Minchew is an attorney and managing shareholder for the Loudoun County office of Walsh Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh PC. He also is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Pruitt is founder of the Pruitt Corp. in Chantilly, which owns more than 10 million square feet of commercial real estate in Northern Virginia. (News release) Dean “Mac” Nichols has joined the Lenhart Pettit law firm as a shareholder in the Harrisonburg office. Nichols has more than 32 years of law practice. He concentrates on business transactions, tax law, estate planning and administration and real estate law, including many Section 1031 exchanges.  He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting, in addition to a law degree. (News release) J. Knox Singleton, retired CEO of Inova Health System, has joined the Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business as health-care executive-in-residence. Singleton joined Inova in 1983, taking it from a three-hospital, $500 million organization to a $3.5 billion health-care system with five hospitals and more than 100 ambulatory service locations. Inova is considered a leader in genomics and personalized health, which uses an individual’s genetic makeup to predict and prevent disease. (News release) NORTHERN VIRGINIA Visit Loudoun, Loudoun County’s convention and visitor association, presented longtime Middleburg Mayor Betsy Davis the Judy Patterson award for lifetime achievement in promoting tourism. Davis, who is retiring, has been mayor since 2006 and has served on Town Council since 1998. (Loudoun Times-Mirror)  Stafford County has named John P. Holden as its economic development director after a nationwide search. He had been vice president of business development for Combined Management Inc. Holden succeeds Bruce Register, who left last year to accept a similar position in Citrus County, Fla. Rick Cobert has been serving as the interim director. (Fredricksburg.com)  SOUTHERN VIRGINIA Glenn Millican has been named county planner for Lunenburg County. He is a retired certified public accountant with the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Kenbridge Victoria Dispatch) After 44 years, George W. Lester II is retiring as CEO of The Lester Group. He will remain chair of the Martinsville-based company’s board of directors. James O’Brien succeeds Lester as president and CEO. He joined The Lester Group in 2010, becoming its president in 2014 and president of its sister company, Lester Development Corp., last year. (Martinsville Bulletin) CENTRAL VIRGINIA Becky C. Barefoot has been named first vice president and chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She was senior vice president of administrative services. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) James W. Duling has been named president of the Nuclear Operations Group subsidiary of Lynchburg-based BWX Technologies Inc. He was president of the company’s Nuclear Fuel Services subsidiary in Erwin, Tenn. (News release)  Dean Ferrell has been named president and CEO of The Winebow Group, a national importer and distributor of fine wine and craft spirits based in Henrico County. Ferrell, who previously served as the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, succeeds David Townsend. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Kelly Mirt has been named publisher of The News & Advance in Lynchburg. He was president and publisher of The Wichita Eagle in Kansas. (The News & Advance) Paula P. Pando has been named J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s fourth president. Pando was senior vice president for student and educational services at Hudson Community College in New Jersey. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Danny Robinson has been promoted to the newly created post of chief client officer at The Martin Agency in Richmond. He was group creative director at the agency. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Howard Willard has been promoted to chairman and CEO of Henrico County-based Altria Group. He had been chief operating officer of the company. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Richard Wintsch has been named executive director of the Startup Virginia business incubator in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom, succeeding interim executive director Bryan Bostic. Wintsch had been chief programming officer at Startup Virginia since August. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Lynchburg City Manager Bonnie Svrcek has appointed Reid Wodicka as deputy city manager. Wodicka has served as the Bedford County deputy county manager since August 2016. (News & Advance) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA Mike DeWilde, a Wythe dairy farmer who worked for the United Federation of Dairy Herd Improvement Association, has retired. For more than four decades he has visited dairy farms in a five-county area, drawing milk samples and sending them to the United Federation of Dairy Herd Improvement Association in Radford for testing. (SWVA Today)  ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY Dwayne Pinkney starts work as the new senior vice president for operations and administration at Virginia Tech on Aug. 1. Pinkney will oversee the university’s financial and operational enterprises. He comes to Tech from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration. (News release)  Lynne Doughtie, chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP, is this year’s recipient of Virginia Tech’s University Distinguished Achievement Award. In 2015 Doughtie became the first female top executive at KPMG, one of the world’s leading professional service firms. She began working at KPMG soon after graduating from Virginia Tech in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. (News release)  The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council presented seven awards during its recent 2018 TechNite awards banquet. The recipients were:  STEM-H Educator: Rick Weaver, Montgomery County Public School System; and John Warf, Burton Center for the Arts and Technology; Regional Go-To-Geek: Darrell Little, Noke Codes | Carilion Clinic; Regional Connector: Jeff Smith, Voltage Leadership Consulting; Rising Star: Securitec Screening Solutions; Entrepreneur of the Year: Steve Critchfield, MOVA; Innovator of the Year: Deb Kelly, VTCRI; Regional Leadership: Kevin Bloomfield, Bloomfield Partners; Company of the Year: TORC Robotics; Ruby Award: Victor Iannello, Radiant Physics. (News release)   2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-july-2018 For the Record - July 2018 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-july-2018 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-july-2018#When:08:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA In a race for the deepest East Coast port, the Port of Virginia is about to leap ahead. The budget signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in June includes $350 million to kick-start a major dredging project in the shipping channel. If the project goes forward, shipping channels in the port of Hampton Roads will go from 50 feet to 55 feet in some places, surpassing Los Angeles, the busiest port in the nation. The dredging project, headed up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, also will widen shipping channels in Hampton Roads up to 1,400 feet. The push to dredge is fueled by ultra-large container vessels more frequently criss-crossing the world, and the ability of ports along the East Coast like Virginia, Charleston and Savannah to accommodate them. (The Virginian-Pilot) A low-cost airline will soon offer nonstop flights to Las Vegas from Norfolk International Airport. The flights will be available year-round starting Aug. 12 through Frontier Airlines. The airline company, headquartered in Denver, is an a la carte airline. Travelers will pay extra for baggage and food. Checked baggage is $30 each way while carry-on baggage is $35. The airline also will offer nonstop flights to Denver and Orlando. (The Virginian-Pilot) The Batten family, which has owned The Virginian-Pilot for more than a century, sold the newspaper and its associated businesses to Chicago-based media conglomerate Tronc for $34 million. Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing, is a publicly traded company that owns the Daily Press in Newport News, as well as The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune and The Orlando Sentinel, among other large media outlets nationwide. The acquisition includes Inside Business and Style Weekly. It also involves The Pilot’s properties, such as the downtown Norfolk headquarters, at 150 W. Brambleton Ave., and the printing plant in Virginia Beach. (The Virginian-Pilot) Virginia Beach is tapping a tourism tax fund to buy garbage trucks. But several groups that represent businesses in the resort area aren’t happy that leaders want to take $1.4 million from the Tourism Investment Program to cover the shortfall in services. The groups sent a letter to the City Council and mayor in early June asking for the money to be paid back in five years with no interest. (The Virginian-Pilot) Virginia Beach-based ECPI University has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise. (News release) SHENANDOAH VALLEY Blue Ridge Community College broke ground in May on a two-story biosciences facility that college officials think can spur further economic development in the Shenandoah Valley. Blue Ridge President John Downey said the $21 million project grew out of discussions with the college’s regional partners, including city and county economic developers, industry leaders and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. The 40,000-square-foot building will train students in biomanufacturing and bioprocessing while also serving as the home for the college’s nursing and emergency medical programs. (The News Virginian) Provides US Inc., a manufacturer of heat exchangers, will expand its Augusta County operation with an $867,000 investment to expand its facilities to meet increased demand. The project is expected to create 20 jobs. The company has secured 50,000 square feet of additional production space and will install new equipment. Provides US is based in Latina, Italy. The company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility opened in Augusta several years ago. This expansion will increase its workforce by nearly 50 percent. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Winchester’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) is proposing a public-private partnership that would bring new commercial operations and up to four dozen apartments to the corner of North Kent and East Piccadilly streets in downtown Winchester. “It’s intended to be a mixed-use project with retail and parking on the ground floor, with residential above,” said Rob Seidel, of Providence Capital Partners LLC, a private development firm that would build the structure on land the EDA recently purchased. The EDA has purchased several buildings, which gave it total ownership of the entire northeast corner of North Kent and East Piccadilly streets. (The Winchester Star)  NORTHERN VIRGINIA Global construction firm Bechtel Corp. plans to move its headquarters from San Francisco to Reston by the end of the year, moving the company’s base of operations out of California for the first time in more than a century. The firm’s Reston office has functioned as a de facto “operational headquarters” since 2011, with chairman and chief executive Brendan Bechtel based there alongside about 1,300 employees.  About 150 managers and employees are being asked to relocate to Reston from Houston and San Francisco. (The Washington Post) The private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP is exploring the sale of DynCorp International Inc, a McLean-based defense contractor, a transaction that could fetch more than $1.3 billion. Cerberus has hired two investment banks that are soliciting offers from potential buyers. DynCorp could be valued at around eight times its 2018 earnings after taxes of $168 million. (Reuters) France-based Capgemini says it has agreed to acquire the commercial cybersecurity arm of Reston-based Leidos Holdings Inc., another example of a Greater Washington government contractor divesting a commercial business so it can focus on helping the government protect its most sensitive networks from increasingly sophisticated adversaries. Capgemini says the Leidos cyber team of almost 500 cybersecurity professionals will help it meet growing customer demand in the U.S. for commercial enterprise security. The remaining 1,500 cyber pros at Leidos will focus on core government markets and customers in highly regulated industries, such as commercial health care and energy.  (Washington Business Journal) A Leesburg-based real estate company is seeking to bring another major data-center cluster to Loudoun County at a 95-acre site near the Panda Stonewall Generating Plant. The $2 billion project, known as Loudoun West, is slated for an area already zoned industrial and would extend the surge of more than 70 data centers northwest to Leesburg. To date, most of the data centers are clustered in Ashburn’s Data Center Alley – the largest concentration of data warehouses in the country — about 10 miles west of Loudoun West. Plans call for four to seven data centers on the property. The project is led by Jack O’Donnell, the managing partner of Leesburg-based NV Real Estate 2, which acquired the property in 2016. (Loudoun Times-Mirror) The College Board is expanding operations in Fairfax County. The nonprofit, formed in 1900 to broaden access to higher education, said that it will lease an additional 74,000 square feet at Reston Town Center, a move expected to retain 614 existing jobs and create 120 new ones. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to secure the project with the help of a $750,000 state grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. (VirginiaBusiness.com) SOUTHERN VIRGINIA Boston Lumber and its owner, Leigh Felton, finished up a long chapter in May when the Halifax County business enjoyed its last day of operation. Boston Lumber was started in 1918 by Felton’s great-grandfather with multiple investors. The corporate name was Boston Lumber Builders’ Corp., with sales of lumber and building materials and a construction company as well. (South Boston News & Record) Danville and Pittsylvania County’s first solar farm, a 76-acre facility in Ringgold, is open for business. The facility is Virginia’s largest municipal utility solar project. It is expected to produce enough power to serve 1,200 homes in Danville and Pittsylvania County. That number accounts for approximately 1.5 percent of power needs of Danville Utility. (Danville Register & Bee) Hampden-Sydney College has received a $1.5 million grant from Bartow Morgan Jr., a 1994 graduate, to endow a faculty position and support scholarship aid. Morgan, a college trustee who is chairman and CEO of BrandBank in Lawrenceville, Ga., made the gift in honor of Kenneth N. Townsend, a professor of economics and business. (The Farmville Herald) The Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill has moved a step closer to having a new manufacturing plant as the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority in May formally accepted a $2.6 million Virginia Tobacco Commission grant to grade the site for an ongoing development project. Danville and Pittsylvania County will share in providing the other $2.6 million necessary for the $5.2 million total project, which has been in the works for more than a year. Last June, the authority signed a purchase agreement with the Bethesda, Md.-based Enviva Development Holdings LLC for a 168-acre tract at the industrial park. Enviva bills itself as the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, often used to fuel power plants. The company is expected to invest $120 million in the project and provide 80 jobs, according to Matt Rowe, economic development director for Pittsylvania County. (Danville Register & Bee) The U.S. Supreme Court in May agreed to consider whether Virginia has the right to ban a uranium mine, reviving discussion about a deposit on the state’s southern border that’s said to be the nation’s richest source of the mineral used in nuclear reactors. The massive uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County, located at the midpoint of the state’s border with North Carolina, was discovered decades ago, but in the 1980s the General Assembly prohibited mining out of concerns about radioactivity. Lower courts had ruled against Virginia Uranium Inc., a company wanting to mine the deposit, in a legal challenge of the state’s ban. But the company asked the Supreme Court to review a split decision issued last year by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (The Associated Press) No deadline; no waiting. Anyone wanting to apply for state funding for economic development projects through the GO Virginia Region 3 Council now can do so throughout the year. The decision to switch to an “open solicitation” process was made by the council in May, said Region 3 Technical Consultant Liz Povar. (Martinsville Bulletin) CENTRAL VIRGINIA Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. has announced a new structure the company says will allow it to maximize its tobacco businesses while growing its noncombustible products, like e-cigarettes. The new structure includes: establishment of two divisions – core tobacco and innovative tobacco products; creation of a chief growth officer position to accelerate speed to market for innovative products and technologies; and alignment of product development efforts more directly to the core and innovative tobacco product business. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Chesterfield County-based Avail Vapor LLC, which owns 101 e-vapor stores and manufactures e-liquids for electronic smoking devices, said it has added another company to its list of contract manufacturing customers. Avail said it will manufacture, label and package some e-liquid products for Glas LLC, a Los Angeles-based vaping device and e-liquid company. E-liquids are mixtures of flavorings, glycerin, propylene glycol and nicotine extract that are used in refillable vaping devices. Avail has a production site and analytical lab on Southlake Boulevard in Chesterfield. The company will make products for Glas LLC’s Basix line for national and international distribution. Avail also will sell six select e-liquids from Glas’ Basix line in each of its 101 stores. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Richmond-based Envera Health Inc., a growing company that offers services to health-care providers, has completed a new $2 million investment round. The company, founded in 2015, offers software and services to health-care providers such as hospital networks that help them better communicate with patients and coordinate services. The investors are two Richmond-based venture capital funds — NRV and Harbert Growth Partners  — and Atlanta-based investment firm Noro-Moseley Partners. The three firms have previously invested in Envera, having led a $14 million investment round in 2016 after the company acquired two area businesses: inHEALTH and MedVirginia, which were integrated into the business. Both NRV, founded in 2011, and Harbert Growth Partners, founded in 2002, invest in emerging, high-growth businesses. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners LLC, a Richmond-based real estate management firm, plans to buy the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center for $19 million. Lingerfelt has hired Commonwealth Lodging Management LLC, a Virginia Beach-based hospitality management and consulting firm, to operate and manage the property. The 263,328-square-foot hotel and conference center at 2800 Shore Drive includes 295 suites on a 3.6-acre site along the Chesapeake Bay. Lingerfelt plans a $25 million renovation of the property. It will be rebranded as Delta Hotel by Marriott, a new, full-service brand designed for business and leisure travelers. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Lynchburg Regional Airport will continue using the services of its sole fixed-base operator for another five years after Lynchburg City Council voted 6-1 in May to renew the lease for Aviation Resources Inc. Council member Randy Nelson opposed the extension. In April the Lynchburg Regional Airport commission unanimously recommended a one-year lease renewal to allow other potential FBOs to enter the market. Aviation Resources, which is owned by a Liberty University subsidiary, has provided aeronautical services such as fueling and aircraft maintenance at the airport since September 2015, when City Council authorized a three-year lease with the operator. That lease included a five-year renewal option. (The News & Advance) Owens & Minor Inc. has named an interim chief financial officer, replacing the CFO who had been in that role at the Hanover County-based medical products distributor since 2013. Robert K. Snead, former group vice president of finance for global solutions, assumed the additional role of interim CFO on June 1. Snead succeeds Richard A. “Randy” Meier, executive vice president and chief financial officer, who the company said is leaving Owens & Minor to pursue other opportunities. The company is engaging a national firm to conduct a search for a permanent chief financial officer. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Five years after it was conceived, Riverside Village on Pantops is about to start construction on its third and final phase, delivering the retail portion of the promising mixed-use development clustered near the banks of the Rivanna in Albemarle County. Developer Stony Point Design/Build officially broke ground on the commercial phase of the project Thursday May 17, clearing the path for up to six storefronts with 24 two-bedroom apartments over the shops — four of which will be designated as affordable housing. The ink on the retail leases is not yet final, but Stony Point President Chris Henry said he’s exchanged a couple rounds of draft leases with three potential proprietors: a craft brew and pizza restaurant, a coffee shop and a gym. All three would be locally owned and locally operated, he said.  (The Daily Progress) Sheltering Arms Hospital and VCU Health System have begun construction on a 114-bed rehabilitation facility that will be located on 25 acres in the West Creek Medical Park in Goochland County. The joint venture combines inpatient beds from both organizations to create a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art destination hospital focused on caring for individuals who have survived strokes, spinal cord injuries or brain injuries, as well as those in need of general rehabilitation or various neurological diseases and disorders. (News release) Thalhimer Realty Partners Inc., the investment and development subsidiary of Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer, has started construction on City View Marketplace, the next phase of its City View Landing development in the Manchester area of Richmond. Construction on the $25 million mixed-use development began in early May. The project includes five buildings totaling 13,270 square feet of commercial space and 161 apartment units. The apartment portion of the project is known as the Flats at City View. Also included in the development is a 2-acre pad site for a future grocery store. (VirginiaBusiness.com) In response to an increasingly turbulent and unpredictable individual market, two major Richmond health systems have teamed up with an insurer to offer a plan of their own. Virginia Premier, a VCU Health-owned insurer, has filed plans with Virginia’s Bureau of Insurance to offer four plans next year, networking with Bon Secours and VCU Health providers. The move marks the insurer’s first foray into the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. Virginia Premier CEO Linda Hines said talks began around last September when it became clear that the Richmond area would have only one insurance option on the individual market for this year. Virtually all the insurance companies had left the market, noted Tony Herbert, Bon Secours’ vice president for managed care. “When that occurred, we really did start talking about what some other options are,” Hines said. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) West Creek Financial Inc., a Henrico County-based point-of-sale financing firm, said in May that it has raised $7 million as it plans to increase its sales force by 70 people this year. Venture capital firm Summit Action LLC led the investment, which consists of convertible debt that could be turned into an equity stake in the company. Founded in 2015, West Creek Financial specializes in providing lease-to-own financing services for its clients in the retail industry. The company uses data analytics and machine learning technology to optimize underwriting, enabling retailers to make more sales to near-prime and subprime customers. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA Appalachian Power has announced that it will become owner of the electric distribution system at Breaks Interstate Park. The company said it will replace a number of distribution poles, power transformers and above- and underground cable. The initial investment by the company is expected to be approximately $1 million. (Bristol Herald Courier)  A 55,000-square-foot Hobby Lobby store in The Falls commercial center is expected to open in late August, employing 35 to 50 full- and part-time workers, according to a statement from the company. The store is located just off Cabela Drive near the center’s traffic circle. The Bristol store will mark the chain’s 13th in Virginia and its second in the Tri-Cities. Starting pay is expected to be about $10.45 for part-time associates and $15.70 per hour for full-time workers, according to the Oklahoma-based company. (Bristol Herald Courier) Mohawk Industries will expand its manufacturing operation in Carroll County, thanks to a $95,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission. The project will preserve existing jobs and add several new positions at the carpet and flooring company’s Hillsville plant, according to a news release from the commission. The grant was awarded based on six new jobs, 120 retained jobs and $6.9 million in capital investment, said Jordan Butler, public relations coordinator for the commission. (Galax Gazette)  Twin City firm Par Ventures LLC has finalized its acquisition of the Bristol Mall for $2.6 million. Par Ventures plans to lease space to a startup pharmaceutical company expected to produce and market cannabidiol oil. Par Ventures purchased the 486,000-square-foot mall from previous owners Sunstar Keshav Property LLC and 45.9 acres for slightly more than the assessed value of $2.24 million, deed documents show. In a statement issued in May, Par Ventures officials said its plans include building out the mall in two to three years while creating more than 500 jobs.  About 150 of those jobs are tied to Dharma Pharmaceuticals. Dharma anticipates performing a multimillion-dollar renovation of 80,000 square feet of the mall if it receives one of five available licenses to be issued by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to operate a pharmaceutical processing facility.  (Bristol Herald Courier)  The Virginia Information Technology Agency contract with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) is expected to create 40 jobs in Dickenson County by this fall. Earlier this year, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority approved a loan of up to $2 million to the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority to build out the second floor of a building in the Dickenson County Technology Park in Clintwood for SAIC. (VirginiaBusiness.com) The Virginia Tobacco Commission says it will provide $6 million in new funds for 27 projects designed to spur job growth in Southwest and Southside Virginia. The commission approved $2.8 million for workforce development, $2.2 million for education programs and $1 million for a business park development. (The News and Advance)  ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY Appalachian Power Co. plans to build a 138-kilovolt substation and three miles of distribution line at the Greenfield Industrial Park in Botetourt County. The substation is expected to improve power reliability in the county and decrease the time needed for restorations during power outages, the company says. If the plans are approved by the county’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, construction would start in summer 2019.  (The Roanoke Times)  GE Power announced in early June a tentative plan to end more than 60 years of manufacturing at its Salem plant next year, a union official said. A local mainstay of high-tech manufacturing would be reduced to an engineering center and more than 250 people would lose their jobs, if sluggish business conditions in the power sector cause the company to mothball the plant’s manufacturing equipment. GE would continue to employ more than 200 professionals in its Power, Renewable Energy and Baker Hughes businesses based at the plant, which opened in 1955. (The Roanoke Times)  The Virginia Tech Carilion health sciences campus in Roanoke is expected to have a substantial economic impact on the state’s economy within eight years. According to an economist from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, the impact will grow from $214 million today to $465.2 million annually by 2026. The addition of a second building for the research institute will create 828 jobs and generate $150 million in additional spending.  The economist described the study as “conservative,” since it did not consider the impact that additional undergraduate spending might have on Roanoke. (The Roanoke Times)  The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport continues to see traffic increase this year. April traffic was up 10.6 percent on a year-over-year basis, with 52,957 passengers compared with 47,860 in April 2017. Year-to-date 2018 traffic is up 5.5 percent.  At this pace, the airport says it is on track to have its busiest year since 2011. (News release)  AAA recently awarded The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center and its restaurant, The Regency Room - a Four Diamond rating. The renovated historic property is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, a global portfolio of upscale hotels and resorts known for their individuality. According to Michael Quonce, the hotel’s public relations and advertising manager, this is the first time the property has received the four-diamond designation in 20 years, since requirements from AAA to gain the ranking changed in the 1990s. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/_DSC1938.png Steve Critchfield was surprised at being named Entrepreneur of the Year. Photo by Don Petersen http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mova-plans-to-recycle-components-from-exhaust MOVA plans to recycle components from exhaust http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mova-plans-to-recycle-components-from-exhaust http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mova-plans-to-recycle-components-from-exhaust#When:08:00:00Z  Steve Critchfield didn’t expect to be the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council Entrepreneur of the Year. “I was surprised,” he says. “I really was. I’m not saying that because that’s what you’re supposed to say in Hollywood. “I really did not think much about it because I’ve been doing this since ’86 and probably before that. I didn’t know what the word ‘entrepreneur’ meant until recently, but I enjoy doing this stuff.” What Critchfield has been doing is creating companies and solving problems. In 1986, he founded Tele-Works, a company that enabled electronic payments to local governments across the United States and beyond. Since selling the company in 2014, he has helped other startups get organized and succeed, helped start a Virginia Tech program offering graduate-level training for aspiring local government officials and assisted in establishing scholarships and awards at Tech. Critchfield’s initial vision and motivation of Tele-Works was not so grand. “I didn’t start the company to be an entrepreneur or even sell it,” he says. “I started the company because I needed a job.” Critchfield’s current company, MOVA Technologies, aims a little higher. The goal of the Pulaski-based business is to turn toxic and climate-changing air pollution into commodities with a market of $500 billion or more. MOVA uses technology developed by the late Arthur Squires, a Virginia Tech professor who began his career working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first nuclear bomb. MOVA intends to capture the components of the exhaust from burning fossil fuels. Those components — including mercury, lead, arsenic and carbon — then would be recycled. Many organizations have attempted to capture and store carbon, including American Electric Power’s Mountaineer Plant project that closed in 2012, the same year Squires died. None of those attempts have managed to accomplish the task in a way that is economically feasible, Critchfield says. “Everybody can capture carbon, or at least they think they can,” he says. “But what they’ve been trying to do is sequester it.” MOVA means to market it. The next step toward that end is building and testing a prototype of the pollutant-capturing apparatus. Once that’s done, Critchfield plans to market the technology to chemical companies that can manufacture the sorbents used to capture the components. Four-year-old MOVA is “probably two years away from that point,” he says. The patents for the process are owned by a trust, Critchfield says, and 25 percent of any profits will support Virginia Tech engineering and agriculture programs and art programs across Southwest Virginia. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/K_Crutchfield_Formal%28high-res%29.png Kevin Crutchfield will be CEO of the combined company.Photo courtesy Contura Energy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/coal-firms-created-by-bankruptcy-plan-to-recombine Coal firms created by bankruptcy plan to recombine http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/coal-firms-created-by-bankruptcy-plan-to-recombine http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/coal-firms-created-by-bankruptcy-plan-to-recombine#When:08:00:00Z When Alpha Natural Resources emerged from bankruptcy two years ago, it became two coal mining companies — Alpha and Contura Energy. By the end of the third quarter of this year, the companies plan to get together again. They announced in April an all-stock merger agreement that, subject to the approval of Alpha shareholders, would combine their operations under the Contura name. The combined company, led by Contura’s management team, would be based in Bristol, Tenn. Before its bankruptcy, Alpha had its headquarters in Bristol, Va. Contura shareholders would own 53.5 percent of the combined company while Alpha shareholders would own 46.5 percent. The new company plans to be listed on the NYSE. In a statement released with the merger announcement, Contura CEO Kevin Crutchfield said improving global coal markets, efficiencies created by divestment of unproductive holdings and “resulting potential cost synergies” offer “an exciting opportunity for value creation” that will “unify some of the best coal miners in the world under one organization.” By selling mines in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, Contura removed about $120 million of reclamation liabilities from its books, according to a PowerPoint presentation prepared by the company. The presentation says Alpha’s sale of about 250 permits on inactive properties also relieved it of $167 million in liabilities for reclamation, water treatment and other issues. The new company expects to save $30 million to $50 million through the merger’s “resulting potential cost synergies.” The companies had a combined net income of nearly $291 million last year. The presentation says the merger will create the nation’s largest supplier of metallurgical coal, with more than 12 million tons in sales last year and 1 billion tons of reserves. Metallurgical coal, used in steelmaking, is less susceptible to changes in demand than thermal coal, which is used in power-generation. The new Contura will have 22 underground mines and eight surface mines. Most of those mines are in West Virginia, but seven are in Virginia, and one is in Pennsylvania. Contura also owns 65 percent of the Dominion Terminal Associates coal export facility in Newport News. The merger will “materially improve each entity’s operational, financial and risk profiles,” Contura Chairman Neale Trangucci said in a statement. “Achieving such a turnaround in less than two years is no small task,” Trangucci said. “Our board is proud of and appreciates the diligent work of employees and management of both organizations, and we are very excited about the future of the new combined company.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Reston-5.png CapTech workers discuss a project. The firm works with clients in using digital tools like augmented reality. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/captech-sustains-growth-by-keeping-clients-competitive CapTech sustains growth by keeping clients competitive http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/captech-sustains-growth-by-keeping-clients-competitive http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/captech-sustains-growth-by-keeping-clients-competitive#When:08:00:00Z Richmond-based CapTech, an IT management consulting firm, strives to provide clients with new technological tools that help them stay competitive. “All of our services revolve around our clients competing for customers,” says company CEO Kevin McQueen. “It’s now all about the customer experience in the digital space.” Using new technologies, he says, clients can build brand affinity and customer engagement. These digital tools involve concepts such as blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and natural language processing (NLP), the technology used in virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa. Companies come to CapTech for help in providing “a frictionless customer experience,” McQueen says. Those clients include some of America’s largest companies and government agencies. On the list are 12 Fortune 50 corporations, three of the world’s top five hotel chains, three of the five biggest U.S. banks and 12 state governments. “We predominately work with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies,” McQueen says. Founded in 1997 by Sandy Williamson and Slaughter Fitz-Hugh, CapTech has more than 900 employees working in 10 offices throughout the U.S. The company has been ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies 11 times. Fewer than one half of 1 percent of Inc. honorees make the list more than 10 times. CapTech was ranked No. 4,328 on the 2017 list released last August with a three-year growth rate (2014-16) of 59.9 percent. Last year, the company had revenue of $158 million. CapTech helps clients plot their digital future. “We talk to them about things we are best at and things we believe in investing in,” says Vinnie Schoenfelder, CapTech’s chief technology officer. One of those emerging digital fields is augmented reality, in which digital objects are imposed on real space. One widely known example of the concept is the yellow-stripe first-down marker seen in televised football games. CapTech officials say augmented reality can give clients the opportunity to test possible scenarios before projects begin. For instance, in looking at vacant lots in a neighborhood, clients could use an iPad to put a digital house on a plot of land. With augmented reality, the client then can walk inside the house and look around. In addition to business applications, CapTech also has employed augmented reality to ease the fears of children being treated at hospitals. “That’s scary for them,” Schoenfelder says. “Using augmented reality, we made a game out of finding your way around the hospital that provides entertainment for the child.” The company also is coming up with solutions that connect natural language processing with data science. For example, users could ask a virtual assistant such as Alexa to make recommendations for dinner reservations based on their tastes. “Integrating data and data science enables convenience and insight interactions,” says Schoenfelder. The company currently has 80 people on 10 teams working on augmented reality programs. New technologies are “motivating and developing our employees,” says Schoenfelder. “It’s great for employee morale and perspective.” CapTech wants to provide customers with tools that “win their imagination,” he says. “You have to put the technology in their hands. Let them play with it and feel it.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/SOVA_HotelWeyanoke.png The restoration of Hotel Weyanoke began in December 2016. Photo courtesy Hotel Weyanoke http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/farmvilles-hotel-weyanoke-reopens-with-70-guest-rooms Farmville’s Hotel Weyanoke reopens with 70 guest rooms http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/farmvilles-hotel-weyanoke-reopens-with-70-guest-rooms http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/farmvilles-hotel-weyanoke-reopens-with-70-guest-rooms#When:08:00:00Z The reopening of the historic Hotel Weyanoke in Farmville marks a first for Richmond-based developers Ross Fickenscher and Garrett Shifflett. While they are specialists in historic renovation, they had never before bought and restored a hotel. “It seemed like a good idea, and we ran with it,” Fickenscher says about the building, which they bought in 2013. Originally opened in 1925, the hotel served a variety of guests over the years, including the author and lecturer Helen Keller. The building was converted into a home for the elderly in the late 1980s and later became a residence hall for Longwood University sororities. The original building now includes 27 hotel rooms and four food and beverage venues. “We added a wing to the back of the building with an additional 43 rooms for a total 70 rooms,” Fickenscher says. The food and beverage operations will include the Sassafras Coffee Bar, Catbird Rooftop Terrace, Effingham’s and Campagna Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar. All of these venues and the hotel will be operated by Williamsburg-based Cornerstone Hospitality. Fickenscher and Shifflett worked with Hunter Mabry Design and Hightower Collaborative Design to balance the hotel’s historic exterior features with a contemporary interior. “This is a boutique hotel, a destination,” Fickenscher says. “We want you to walk away with the feeling you have really experienced something.” Construction on the $12 million project began in December 2016. The hotel opened May 7, just in time for graduation weekend for Longwood and nearby Hampden-Sydney College. “Graduation weekend was an important weekend. We wanted to hit those dates,” Shifflett says. “We tried to open sooner, but construction set us back a month.” The Longwood University Real Estate Foundation supported the project, and the Farmville community has embraced it. “This project was overwhelming in the amount of positive energy we felt from everybody,” says Fickenscher. “It’s something special about this property.” When the hotel opened in 1925, Farmville held a parade that drew 2,500 people. “It was a big to-do for Farmville,” Shifflett says. “It was touted as the nicest hotel in 50 miles. That’s the way we felt, and that’s why we wanted to bring it back. This isn’t just a building. It’s a strong tie to the community. People seemed to be as excited and enthusiastic about the reopening as they were in 1925.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/G4A_1212-x.png The Braddock Road Station is one of the Metro stations that will close for renovations next summer. Photo by Stephen Gosling http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alexandria-prepares-to-cope-with-metro-disruption Alexandria prepares to cope with Metro disruption http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alexandria-prepares-to-cope-with-metro-disruption http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alexandria-prepares-to-cope-with-metro-disruption#When:08:00:00Z Alexandria officials are looking at a range of options — from more water taxis to increased co-working spaces — to ease the disruption next summer when city Metro stations will be shut down for platform repairs.  The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced in May that it plans to close all Alexandria-area Metro stations at the beginning of a project that is expected to last several years. The Braddock Road, King Street, Eisenhower Avenue and Van Dorn Street stations are expected to be closed from Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2019. “While this absolutely will have an impact, we have a lot of transit options,” says Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP). “We could have water taxis more frequently. The Virginia Railway Express goes through Alexandria —  is there a way we can add capacity or frequency?” Patricia Washington, the president and CEO of Visit Alexandria, says in a statement that problems caused by the shutdown can be mitigated “by the additional bus service planned and by our many other transportation options connecting us to the region, including water taxi, rideshare, bikeshare and taxi service.” The growth of shared workspaces has been one of the biggest changes to the city’s real estate market in the last three years, Landrum notes, and “one strategy could be during those three months to have people work out of co-working spaces, so they can be productive but not have to struggle” with a disrupted commute. She says that option could be especially useful for the large number of federal employees who live in Alexandria and work in other areas. “The blessing of the announcement is we have more than a year to prepare for it. We can get all ideas out on the table,” Landrum says. “While this is not ideal, the end result is a safer, more reliable Metro system. Metro is going to be rolling this out throughout the system for the next five years. We’re first in line. We’re taking our pain early.” A task force will begin meeting this summer, she says. “We’re having conversations on a citywide basis to make sure we reach as many of the business communities as possible. We’re also having larger public meetings.” And, Landrum says, AEDP plans to look at other cities that have faced extensive transportation interruptions. “What has New York done? What has Boston done? They’ve had to deal with it. We’re looking for best practices.” 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Caine_3.png Christina Cain is director of the Staunton Innovation Hub. Photo by Norm Shafer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/innovation-center-taking-shape-in-downtown-staunton Innovation center taking shape in downtown Staunton http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/innovation-center-taking-shape-in-downtown-staunton http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/innovation-center-taking-shape-in-downtown-staunton#When:08:00:00Z The entrepreneurial atmosphere at Staunton Innovation Hub is intended to help fledgling companies and nonprofits take shape and grow. “That’s an important aspect of this project,” says Hub director Christina Cain. “We want people to come together and have all the resources readily available to help start their business and grow it. It’s about getting the right people, the right culture and the right space under one roof.” Entrepreneurs Peter and Alison Denbigh created Staunton Innovation Hub LLC, which last year purchased the 25,000-square-foot News Leader building and an adjacent 4,300-square-foot structure. The two buildings will create a downtown campus that is being developed in two phases. The first phase of the project, involving the smaller building, opened April 25. “We are a startup so we wanted to start a small version to work any kinks out before we opened the big building,” Cain says. The two buildings eventually will be used as one facility. “We wanted a campus that is inviting for people to visit and useful for people who are living and working downtown,” Cain says. Both buildings will offer co-working spaces as well as offices, conference rooms, event facilities and “gig-speed” internet (download speeds of up to a gigabit-per-second). “All of our co-working and private offices have a month-to-month lease because we want to reduce the barriers to innovation,” Cain says. Construction on phase two will start in late summer. “We have to be finished and be able to move in by June 1, 2019, so Mary Baldwin [University’s MBA program] can move in and start teaching classes in late August,” Cain says. To create an entrepreneurial ecosystem, “we needed to have long-term clients that offer resources to tenants in the hub,” Cain says. “We will have the Staunton Creative Community Fund, which does small business development, move into the larger building as well as Mary Baldwin, Skyler Innovations and The News Leader.” The first tenant in the smaller building, LGBT Tech, is a nonprofit that refurbishes technology for at-risk LGBT teens around the country. “Its founding executive director, Chris Wood, decided the worldwide headquarters needed to be where he and his family live. They could have been anywhere in the country, but they chose to be here,” Cain says. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Tom_Walker.png Tom Walker says DroneUp provides services for drone pilots in more than 60 countries. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/company-trains-drone-operators-to-keep-the-skies-safe Company trains drone operators to keep the skies safe http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/company-trains-drone-operators-to-keep-the-skies-safe http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/company-trains-drone-operators-to-keep-the-skies-safe#When:08:00:00Z Tom Walker believes his company, DroneUp, can help keep order in the skies while permitting unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, to perform community service. The Chesapeake-based business promotes safety in the use of drones through “continuous education” of its operators, he says. Nationwide there are 160,000 certified pilots flying 1 million recreational drones. The company provides commercial pilot management for data collection services for industries such as real estate, agriculture and construction. “Additionally, we provide training and fleet management services,” says Walker, explaining the sources of the company’s revenue. “Any company that needs drone services, whether that’s video pictures or data, they call us, and we deploy the pilots and gather the data and then process it appropriately and return the results to them.” Begun in November 2016, DroneUp works with hobbyists and companies with fleets of drones. “We can provide services around the world for pilots,” Walker says, adding DroneUp is active in more than 60 countries. Membership requires completion of the company’s free DroneUp Safe Operations course and compliance with the International Association of Community Drone Pilots (IACDP) standards of conduct and safety guidelines. Walker purchased his own drone in 2016. He saw that many drone pilots were assisting in recovery efforts after major disasters. For example, drones helped in the search for missing people, taking photos and videos of inaccessible areas. Walker created an app that aggregated emergency alerts so that drone pilots would be notified more quickly of coordinated missions. His original plan in starting the company was to use it as a platform for community service. “It was a really good idea, but we found out quickly we were early to the ballgame,”  Walker says. He launched his app last year four days before Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area. His initial community of 300 drone pilots shot up to 4,000 users overnight. “We had 400 volunteers show up in Houston,” he says. Walker wanted to find a way to allow drones to continue helping communities in emergencies while also assisting the Federal Aviation Administration and other authorities in keeping the airspace safe. In April, DroneUp began the Responsible Community Pilot (RCP) program to promote safety and training. It is partnering with the IACDP to provide pilots with  education, certification and resources. The program’s mobile apps let pilots know where they can fly safely. By early June, more than 20,000 non-commercial drone pilots were RCP members. That number is expected to increase to more than 100,000 during the next six months. Because the company is based in Virginia, Walker would like to see the commonwealth become a “leader in how it trains recreational pilots and provides opportunity for commercial pilots,” he says. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/longtime-homestead-employee-dies Longtime Homestead employee dies http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/longtime-homestead-employee-dies http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/longtime-homestead-employee-dies#When:08:00:00Z Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Pettus of Warm Springs, an Omni Homestead Resort employee for 58 years, died May 16 in Valrico, Fla.  He was 77. Pettus, a fifth-generation employee of the resort, was maître d’ of its Main Dining Room.   In 2003, he was named Maître d’ Hotel of the Year by GolfStyles magazine and was honored last September as Ambassador of the Year by Historic Hotels of America. Pettus’ tenure at the Homestead was discussed in a March 2016 Virginia Business story about the Homestead’s 250th anniversary. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/C1vb0518.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/budget-standoff-ends-with-approval-of-medicaid-expansion Budget standoff ends with approval of Medicaid expansion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/budget-standoff-ends-with-approval-of-medicaid-expansion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/budget-standoff-ends-with-approval-of-medicaid-expansion#When:08:00:00Z In early June, Gov. Ralph Northam signed a pair of budget bills that will lead to Medicaid coverage being extended to more Virginians. Medicaid expansion was included in a two-year state budget passed by the Virginia Senate during a contentious special session. The General Assembly ended its regular session in March without passing a budget. The House of Delegates’ version of the budget included Medicaid expansion while the Senate version did not. In late May, four Republican senators — Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach, Ben Chafin of Russell County, Jill Vogel of Fauquier County and Senate Finance Co-Chairman Emmett Hanger of Augusta County — joined the Senate’s 19 Democrats in adopting the budget bills. Majority Leader Tommy Norment of James City County and other Republicans denounced the move. Some political analysts attributed the General Assembly’s change of heart about Medicaid expansion to last fall’s legislative elections. A Democratic wave resulted in the election of 15 new delegates leaving Republicans with a narrow 51-49 majority in the House. Virginia will become one of 33 states and the District of Columbia that have approved Medicaid expansion. Virginia Business looked at the possible repercussions from the 2017 legislative elections in its January issue and examined health-care access problems in Southern and Southwest Virginia in the May issue. 2018-06-29T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/german-company-investing-more-than-1-million-to-upgrade-equipment-in-virgin German company investing more than $1 million to upgrade equipment in Virginia Beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/german-company-investing-more-than-1-million-to-upgrade-equipment-in-virgin http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/german-company-investing-more-than-1-million-to-upgrade-equipment-in-virgin#When:20:15:00Z IMS Gear, a German-based manufacturer of automotive equipment, announced Thursday plans to invest $1.05 million to upgrade its equipment in Virginia Beach. The company’s 115 employees will be retrained to operate the new CNC cutting machinery with support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides funding and consulting for employee training. IMS is eligible to receive $500 for training per job, or up to $57,500. “IMS chose to stay and expand in Virginia Beach due to our location close to shipping routes, quality of life, and our established, solid workforce here,”  Guenter Weissenseel, president of IMS Gear Virginia, said in a statement. 2018-06-28T20:15:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/reit-purchases-hilton-alexandria-old-town REIT purchases Hilton Alexandria Old Town http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/reit-purchases-hilton-alexandria-old-town http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/reit-purchases-hilton-alexandria-old-town#When:19:42:00Z Ashford Hospitality Trust announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the 252-room Hilton Alexandria Old Town for $111 million. The 252-room hotel includes almost 13,000 square feet of meeting and function space. It opened in 2000 and has undergone $9.6 million in renovations since 2013. Ashford Hospitality Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on investing in upscale, full-service hotels. The acquisition marks the first that the REIT will benefit from a new financing program with Ashford Inc., an asset management company that serves as an adviser to the trust. The REIT has entered into an “Enhanced Return Funding Program” with Ashford Inc. Under the two-year agreement, Ashford Inc. has agreed to fund 10 percent of the purchase price in hotel acquisitions, for up to an aggregate of $50 million. That can be increased to $100 million if both parties agree. The company said in a statement it believes the program will provide a competitive advantage for the REIT in bidding on hotel acquisitions. In the Hilton Alexandria purchase, Ashford Inc. will provide the REIT with about $11.1 million of cash through the purchase of hotel furniture, fixtures and equipment. “This anticipated purchase of the Hilton Alexandria is particularly attractive on its own merits, and we believe the returns for our shareholders should be significantly improved via the Enhanced Return Funding Program with Ashford Inc.,” Douglas A. Kessler, Ashford Trust’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We expect this programmatic funding arrangement should increase stockholder value from the investments we make on future acquisitions, and believe this will provide a clear competitive advantage for us.” 2018-06-28T19:42:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-announces-leases-in-colonial-heights Thalhimer announces leases in Colonial Heights http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-announces-leases-in-colonial-heights http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-announces-leases-in-colonial-heights#When:18:47:00Z Cushman & Wakefield|Thahimer announced on Thursday two lease transactions in Colonial Heights. Max Finkelstein Inc., a family-owned tire distributor, leased 116,449 square feet in Building C of Enterchange @ Walthall, located at 1936-1962 Ruffin Mill Road. In Building A of Enterchange @ Walthall, Keystone Automotive Industries Inc. leased 60,560 square feet. Keystone is a distributor of automotive equipment and accessories. Dawn M. Calabrese and Evan M. Magrill, both of Thalhimer, handled both lease negotiations. 2018-06-28T18:47:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/leclairryancommentary.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/companies-should-revisit-contractors-classification-as-state-steps-up-inves Companies should revisit contractors’ classification as state steps up investigations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/companies-should-revisit-contractors-classification-as-state-steps-up-inves http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/companies-should-revisit-contractors-classification-as-state-steps-up-inves#When:17:07:00Z Under Virginia law, most employers with three or more workers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that provides specific benefits to workers injured during the course of their employment and shields employers from civil suits for those work-related injuries. But an increasing number of businesses in Virginia — 40,000 employers with a total of 214,000 workers by some estimates — and elsewhere are potentially misclassifying employees as independent contractors, thus sidestepping the purchase of workers’ compensation insurance. Some may do it out of ignorance, although many appear to be trying to cut costs. Either way, these employers may be exposing themselves to significant penalties and other dangers. One obvious risk is that injured workers may be able to sue for damages and do so without the cap that’s typically set under a workers’ compensation agreement. They may also be able to collect monetary damages for emotional distress, or pain and suffering. The state of Virginia is cracking down on this practice. In 2014, then-Governor Terry McAuliffe issued Executive Order 24, “Establishing an Inter-Agency Taskforce on Worker Misclassification and Payroll Fraud” to chase down businesses that misclassify employees. Today, pursuant to §65.2-805, an employer will be assessed a penalty of up to $250 per day for each day uninsured, with a maximum penalty of $50,000, plus costs. The employer will also be liable for compensation to any injured employee. An employer who still doesn’t obtain workers’ compensation coverage, even unintentionally, may be prohibited from operating its business and may be subject to criminal prosecution. Moreover, if the employer knowingly and intentionally failed to comply, it could be subject to criminal prosecution for a Class 2 misdemeanor. The business may also be liabile for unpaid benefits, overtime wages, taxes, unemployment insurance and could face intensive audits by the federal Department of Labor. Additionally, business owners may face personal or corporate liability for up to three years of Fair Labor Standards Act and other violations; IRS penalties up to 100 percent; and repayment of back overtime wages plus interest. An injured worker seeking benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act has the burden of proving that he or she was an employee at the time of the accident. Consequently, employers and insurers often argue that an employer-employee relationship did not exist in order to avoid paying for workers’ compensation benefits. Some business owners think that simply designating a worker as an independent contractor, and/or having him or her sign a contract to that effect, will establish an independent contractor relationship. But that’s not enough. Instead, the facts of the working relationship determine the appropriate classification. For workers’ compensation, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission looks to the facts of the working relationship and considers four factors to determine employment status:  “Selection and engagement,” or the right of the business to hire the worker;  The power of dismissal;   The terms of compensation and how payment is made; and  The employer’s power to control the individual’s actions or work. All four factors are considered, but the power to control is usually the most determinative one. Control is not based on whether an employer decides to exercise that power, but rather whether the employer has the legal ability to control the worker. Employers who use independent contractors should maintain proper records to document the classification, including signed independent contractor agreements that include an acknowledgement that the worker is an independent contractor; and keep copies of the 1099s issued to workers.  Employers should also have the independent contractors provide certificates of insurance that provide proof that the worker has his or her own personal insurance for work-related injuries. Contractors should also be paid on a project basis instead of hourly, and contractors should pay for out-of-pocket expenses themselves. The business and its representatives should refrain from providing instructions as to how and when tasks are completed and should not provide tools or equipment, or significant supervision. Terms for renewal and termination should be specified in the independent contractor agreement, including the independent contractor’s right to terminate the relationship. Additionally, the business should not withhold taxes on behalf of the independent contractor. To further cover themselves, companies should consider periodically conducting an internal review to ensure that their independent contractors meet the standards for that classification. Retaining a law firm to guide the company through the process may help, but businesses should also stay current and provide proper training on the laws regarding workers’ compensation and worker misclassification. Neglecting this could be very expensive. Shyrell Reed is a Richmond-based partner in national law firm LeClairRyan where she focuses much of her practice on professional liability defense, workers’ compensation and other employment-related matters. She can be contacted at: shyrell.reed@leclairryan.com. Whit Long is a Richmond-based associate at LeClairRyan, where he focuses much of his practice on  professional liability defense, business litigation and other matters. He can be contacted at whit.long@leclairryan.com. 2018-06-28T17:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jobless-rates-rise-slightly-in-most-virginia-metro-areas1 Jobless rates rise slightly in most Virginia metro areas http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jobless-rates-rise-slightly-in-most-virginia-metro-areas1 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jobless-rates-rise-slightly-in-most-virginia-metro-areas1#When:02:01:00Z Unemployment rose slightly in most Virginia metro areas in May. The Virginia Employment Commission reported on Wednesday that jobless rates increased in eight of 11 Virginia metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) during the month. Rates were unchanged in the three remaining metro areas —Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and Richmond. The VEC numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market. Using that same metric, Virginia’s unemployment rate rose slightly in May, from 2.8 to 2.9 percent. The national unemployment rate during the month was 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent. A metro-area breakdown shows: Bristol: 3.2 percent in May, up from 3.1 percent in April. Charlottesville: 2.5 percent, up from 2.4 percent. Hampton Roads: 3.1 percent, unchanged. Harrisonburg: 2.9 percent, up from 2.7 percent. Lynchburg: 3.3 percent, up from 3.2 percent. New River Valley: 3 percent, up from 2.9 percent. Northern Virginia: 2.4 percent, unchanged. Richmond: 3 percent, unchanged. Roanoke: 2.9 percent, up from 2.8 percent. Staunton-Waynesboro: 2.8 percent, up from 2.7 percent. Winchester: 2.5 percent, up from 2.4 percent. Among localities throughout the commonwealth, Arlington had the lowest jobless rate in May, 2 percent, while Buchanan County had the highest, 5.9 percent. 2018-06-28T02:01:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/NORFOLKSLNUSBAUM.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-lists-norfolk-properties S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. lists Norfolk properties http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-lists-norfolk-properties http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-lists-norfolk-properties#When:20:24:00Z S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. has been tapped as the listing representative for two Norfolk medical office buildings and one build-to-suit opportunity. Chris Devine and Chris Zarpas will provide owner representation services for 171-A and 171-B Kempsville Road, which are $22.50 and $22 per square foot, respectively. 171-A has 5,500 square feet of space available, while 171-B has 8,500 square feet for lease. An adjacent build-to-suit opportunity offers an additional 20,000 square foot facility. The property includes onsite parking and a central location directly on the Tide light rail line with immediate access to Interstates 64 and 264. 2018-06-27T20:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/saic-appoints-two-senior-executives SAIC appoints two senior executives http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/saic-appoints-two-senior-executives http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/saic-appoints-two-senior-executives#When:20:20:00Z SAIC has named two new senior vice presidents. Christopher Donaghey has been named senior vice president of corporate development, and Tom Eldridge has been named senior vice president of strategic development and communications. Donaghey will be responsible for executing the company’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy. Previously, Donaghey was senior vice president of finance for SAIC’s operations and provided strategic leadership and business guidance to the organization. Prior to joining SAIC, Donaghey was vice president of corporate strategy and development for KeyW Corp., a national security solutions company. He also was a senior research analyst for SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets. Donaghey earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Eldridge will be responsible for market intelligence, including technology, funding, and policy trends; strategy support and business development; sales enablement with related tools and processes; internal and external communications, marketing communications, and corporate social responsibility. Currently, Eldridge leads SAIC’s Government Affairs office, where he has overseen several strategic initiatives including establishing the Technology Integration Gateway facility in Cookeville, Tennessee, and overseeing the evolution of the company’s strategy, known as Ingenuity 2025. Eldridge joined SAIC in 2009 following jobs in the federal government, which included serving on the staff of the National Security Council, and as staff director for the U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security at the U.S. Department of State. He also served on the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, was a senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and was counsel for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (“9/11 Commission”). Eldridge also spent more than a decade serving as a federal and county prosecutor. Eldridge earned his bachelor’s degree from Darthmouth College, a law degree from New York University, and an MBA from the University of Maryland. 2018-06-27T20:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Wimbush_Headshot_042018.JPG http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/union-bankshares-names-f.-blair-wimbush-to-board-of-directors Union Bankshares names F. Blair Wimbush to board of directors http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/union-bankshares-names-f.-blair-wimbush-to-board-of-directors http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/union-bankshares-names-f.-blair-wimbush-to-board-of-directors#When:20:10:00Z Union Bankshares Corp. has named F. Blair Wimbush to its board of directors. Wimbush served as Norfolk Southern Corp.’s chief real estate and corporate sustainability officer from 2007 until 2015. He created, developed and led the railroad industry’s first sustainability program while simultaneously managing a business unit responsible for real estate holdings. Wimbush received a B.A. in political science from the University of Rochester and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. In addition, Wimbush attended the Norfolk Southern Management Development program, Duke University Fuqua School of Business and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.  Currently, Wimbush is the chairman of the board at the University of Virginia Law School Foundation, commissioner of the Virginia Port Authority and secretary at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. 2018-06-27T20:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/colonial-williamsburg-foundation-says-restructuring-is-working Colonial Williamsburg Foundation says restructuring is working http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/colonial-williamsburg-foundation-says-restructuring-is-working http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/colonial-williamsburg-foundation-says-restructuring-is-working#When:18:40:00Z The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation said Wednesday that a restructuring plan implemented last year is working. The restructuring, announced a year ago, included eliminating 71 jobs and outsourcing 262 positions. “I said this time last year that we intended to restructure the Foundation one time, and one time only,” Mitchell Reiss, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s president and CEO, said in an address to employees. “I am very happy today to say, again, that there are no plans for layoffs or reductions in force.” Reiss stressed, however, that the organization’s biggest challenge is paying down its debt, which is due soon. The foundation is working to refinance the terms of the debt so that it is less of a burden. The foundation’s debt stood at $317 million in June 2017. Joseph Straw, Colonial Williamsburg’s public relations manager, said the debt is still more than $300 million but did not reveal the specific amount. “The Board’s goal, and ours, is to operate Colonial Williamsburg’s commercial businesses profitably – our hotels, restaurants, golf and the spa – so that revenue from these sources can pay their operating expenses and our debt to the lenders,” Reiss said in his presentation. Colonial Williamsburg also wants to continue increasing its endowment and use it only to support history and educational programming. The goal is to only withdraw 5 percent annually from its endowment. The foundation has made strides—withdrawing 8 percent from its endowment last year, down from more than 12 percent in 2014. Other foundation accomplishments include setting a fundraising record last year while increasing attendance during the past two years and in the first quarter this year. Wedding and conference bookings also have increased. Reiss also said the foundation added a 401(k) benefit option for employees, as well as a 529 tuition savings plan. “Colonial Williamsburg is still a work in progress. For an organization this complex – culturally, financially, and  otherwise – there isn’t an easy fix. But we’re starting to make it work,” Reiss said. The foundation also released its 2017 economic impact report. In 2017, Colonial Williamsburg accounted for nearly half a billion dollars in economic output and approximately 6,900 jobs in Virginia. The organization employed 2,000 people last year, with a total payroll of $75 million, plus $22 million in employee benefits. 2018-06-27T18:40:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/charlottesville-multifamily-community-is-for-sale Charlottesville multifamily community is for sale http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/charlottesville-multifamily-community-is-for-sale http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/charlottesville-multifamily-community-is-for-sale#When:17:33:00Z Transwestern’s Atlanta Investment Services Group has been retained to market and sell two multifamily communities totaling 1,211 units. One of the properties is Granite Park in Charlottesville. It is a garden-style community with 425 units, which are currently 94 percent occupied. The property offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in a variety of floor plans. Transwestern said that average rent per unit at Granite Park is about 30 percent below comparable communities and 40 percent below the complex with the highest rent. The second community being sold is the Gregory North and South in Cary, N.C.  It also is a garden-style apartment community of 786 units with 94 percent occupancy. Transwestern Managing Directors Jon Kleinberg and Mike McGaughy will lead the sale of the assets in collaboration with Executive Vice Presidents Dean Sigmon and Robin Williams and Vice President Justin Shay of the firm’s Mid-Atlantic Multifamily Group. Houston-based Transwestern. a privately held real estate firm, has 35 U.S. offices and assists clients through more than 211 offices in 36 countries as part of a strategic alliance with BNP Paribas Real Estate. 2018-06-27T17:33:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/credit-union-buys-former-bank-building-in-suffolk Credit union buys former bank building in Suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/credit-union-buys-former-bank-building-in-suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/credit-union-buys-former-bank-building-in-suffolk#When:21:15:00Z A credit union has bought a former bank building in Suffolk for $1.78 million. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer reported that ABNB Federal Credit Union acquired the 4,287-square-foot structure at 5901 Harbour View Road from SunTrust Bank. ABNB plans to occupy the building, which sits on 1.38 acres, according to the commercial real estate firm. John P. Duffy Jr. of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale on the seller’s behalf. 2018-06-26T21:15:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/newport-news-shipbuilding-partners-with-the-state-to-fill-jobs-at-shipyard Newport News Shipbuilding partners with the state to fill jobs at shipyard http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/newport-news-shipbuilding-partners-with-the-state-to-fill-jobs-at-shipyard http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/newport-news-shipbuilding-partners-with-the-state-to-fill-jobs-at-shipyard#When:20:40:00Z Newport News Shipbuilding said Tuesday it is partnering with the state to hire almost 7,000 people over five years. That will include the creation of 2,000 jobs. These new hires will support Newport News Shipbuilding’s contract to help build the Columbia- and Virginia-class submarines; the complex overhaul and fueling of the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and the construction of Ford-class aircraft carriers. Newport News Shipbuilding also plans to retrain employees and invest nearly $1 billion in the company’s facilities and technology infrastructure. This new partnership will be led by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. This partnership will be aided by various state agencies, including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Employment Commission and the Virginia Office of Veterans and Defense Affairs. Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole builder of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines. The company, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, has $4 billion in revenues and more than 22,000 employees. 2018-06-26T20:40:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-state-employees-to-receive-paid-leave-for-new-parents Virginia state employees to receive paid leave for new parents http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-state-employees-to-receive-paid-leave-for-new-parents http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-state-employees-to-receive-paid-leave-for-new-parents#When:20:28:00Z State employees who are new parents will be eligible for up to eight weeks of paid leave, according to a new executive order signed by Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday. The executive order authorizes paid parental leave for employees of executive branch state agencies. The new benefit provides up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to enable employees to bond with a newborn, or to care for a child under 18 that has been newly-placed for adoption, foster or custodial care. The paid leave may be used in combination with other leave benefits and will apply to both parents if both are eligible state employees. Northam also signed a second executive order, which will create the Advisory Commission on Quality Child Care to study child care and early learning options for state employees with young children. The commission will study the feasibility of providing evidence-based early care and learning programs for young children of state employees working on or around Capitol Square in Richmond. The commission will also explore the creation of similar programs for state workers in other parts of the commonwealth, evaluate benefits related to supporting the early care and learning of employees’ children, and provide recommendations on policies that will help Virginia attract and retain talented state employees with young children. “The steps we are taking today will support the growth of our children, help parents in managing a work-life balance, contribute to a healthier and more productive workforce, and make the government of this commonwealth an even more attractive place to work,” Northam said in a statement. “Paid parental leave and quality childcare options are critical to the health and wellbeing of children and their parents. Through these actions we are hoping to set an example for other government and private sector employers and send a message to our fellow Virginians and people across the country about what kind of state we are working to build.” 2018-06-26T20:28:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/capital-square-1031-acquires-apartment-building-in-petersburg Capital Square 1031 acquires apartment building in Petersburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/capital-square-1031-acquires-apartment-building-in-petersburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/capital-square-1031-acquires-apartment-building-in-petersburg#When:20:17:00Z Capital Square 1031 has acquired a 223-unit multifamily community in Old Towne Petersburg. Mayton Transfer Lofts, located at 250-316 East Bank St., was built in 1911 and formerly was a warehouse and moving storage facility. In 2008 and 2012 the property was transformed into Class A apartment building that features historic elements from its original construction, including exposed brick, hardwood and concrete floors, high ceilings and original beams. The community, which is located on 4.66 acres, includes 16 studio apartments, 152 one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments, 46 two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments, four two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments and five two-story townhouse units. It was developed by Dave McCormack of Plum Street Partners, which will continue to manage the property. Community amenities include 299 gated, off-street parking spaces, controlled access, stacked washer and dryers in every unit and resident memberships at the adjacent YMCA, which is undergoing a major renovation. The property also is located within walking distance of a local coffee shop, restaurants, bakery and brewery. Capital Square 1031 is a national real estate investment and management company based in Glen Allen. The firm sponsors real estate exchange programs that qualify for tax deferral under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. This acquisition brings the worth of Capital Square 1031’s portfolio to more than $700 million. 2018-06-26T20:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trolley-to-begin-providing-capital-to-early-stage-companies-in-central-virg Trolley to begin providing capital to early-stage companies in Central Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trolley-to-begin-providing-capital-to-early-stage-companies-in-central-virg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trolley-to-begin-providing-capital-to-early-stage-companies-in-central-virg#When:20:16:00Z Trolley Venture Partners has completed its initial fundraising round and will begin providing capital to early-stage companies in Central Virginia. Trolley said Monday it has raised more than $4 million and will make investments in companies through equity, convertible notes and revenue loans.   “We are seeing a number of early-stage companies with high growth potential, as well as local, small businesses that meet our investment criteria and need capital,” Brad Cummings, managing director at Trolley and board member of Startup Virginia, said in a statement. “Our industry-agnostic investment preferences are simple, yet firm – we are seeking companies with a significant presence in Central Virginia, who have closed their friends and family round and are ready to acquire seed stage funding.” Trolley has been evaluating companies for the past four months and says it plans to begin making investments immediately. 2018-06-25T20:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-outsourcing-llc-expanding-in-henrico-county Dominion Outsourcing LLC expanding in Henrico County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-outsourcing-llc-expanding-in-henrico-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-outsourcing-llc-expanding-in-henrico-county#When:19:54:00Z Dominion Outsourcing LLC, a provider of outsourced services for the health-care industry, is investing $370,000 to expand its customer engagement center in Henrico County. The project is expected to create 190 jobs. The Glen Allen-based company’s services include providing workers to perform insurance verification and other customer-service tasks. Dominion Outsourcing is an industry-leading outsource provider specializing in the medical and contact center industry. The company specializes in a host of health care-related business operations, and its range of services and expertise has served the health care and medical supply industry for many years. “We looked at expanding into numerous other cities and based on the economic conditions of Henrico County, I am excited to continue our expansion in the Old Dominion,” Casey Thomas, chief operating officer of Dominion Outsourcing, said in a statement. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) will support Dominion Outsourcing’s new job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides consulting and funding to companies creating for employee training activities. 2018-06-25T19:54:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/2018-06-19_KM_Reston_Store-0121.jpg Custom Ink's Reston store. | Photo courtesy Custom Ink http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/custom-ink-adds-seven-new-retail-locations-in-northern-virginia Custom Ink adds seven new retail locations in Northern Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/custom-ink-adds-seven-new-retail-locations-in-northern-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/custom-ink-adds-seven-new-retail-locations-in-northern-virginia#When:15:38:00Z Online custom apparel company Custom Ink said Monday it has opened seven new locations in Northern Virginia. The Fairfax County-based firm also announced plans to open a new store in Alexandria this summer. The stores will allow customers to get advice and design assistance in creating custom apparel, as well as the ability to see, touch, and compare clothing options. A new standalone store at 11130-I South Lakes Drive in Reston also will offer in-store, same-day digital printing for select products. The upcoming Alexandria store will be a standalone shop. The other six locations — in Gainesville, Leesburg, Manassas, Sterling, Springfield, and Woodbridge — are located in Michaels’ arts and crafts stores. “Both of our companies are known for helping customers turn their creative visions into personalized art and products, and Custom Ink’s new spaces in six of our Virginia stores will offer an easy and innovative way to discover and create custom clothing and accessories,” Steve Carlotti, the company’s executive vice president of marketing, said in a statement. The new locations join Custom Ink’s existing stores in Charlottesville, Fairfax, Fredericksburg and Richmond, as well as other locations in Texas and Nevada. 2018-06-25T15:38:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finish-line-die-cutting-signs-lease-in-scotts-addition Finish Line Die Cutting signs lease in Scott’s Addition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finish-line-die-cutting-signs-lease-in-scotts-addition http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finish-line-die-cutting-signs-lease-in-scotts-addition#When:15:00:00Z Finish Line Die Cutting LLC has signed a lease for a 11,956-square-foot industrial building in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood. Reid Cardon of S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. represented the tenant. The property is located at 904-A W. Leigh St. Finish Line Die Cutting provides die cutting equipment and printing services and supplies. 2018-06-25T15:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/land-sold-in-stafford-county-for-2.6-million Land sold in Stafford County for $2.6 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/land-sold-in-stafford-county-for-2.6-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/land-sold-in-stafford-county-for-2.6-million#When:14:59:00Z SAFStor Jefferson LLC has purchased a 2.89-acre property in Stafford County for $2.625 million. The property, which was purchased from Satish Patel, fronts Interstate 95 and Route 1. It will be used for new development. Virgil Nelson of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. 2018-06-25T14:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/recognition-health-to-open-clinic-in-fairfax Re:Cognition Health to open clinic in Fairfax http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/recognition-health-to-open-clinic-in-fairfax http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/recognition-health-to-open-clinic-in-fairfax#When:09:49:00Z A United Kingdom clinic focused on the diagnosis and care of cognitive disabilities is expanding to the U.S. and will open its first clinic in Fairfax County. Re:Cognition Health’s Fairfax clinic will focus on Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia-related services. Dr. James Bicksel, a neurologist who also sits on the board of directors for the Alzheimer’s Association and is the medical director of the Inova Memory Center, will lead the clinical trial team. “We are excited to expand Re:Cognition Health’s centers into the USA, allowing for the opportunity for more people to gain access to the most advanced treatments available worldwide,” Dr. Emer MacSweeney, CEO and medical director of Re:Cognition Health, said in a statement.  Re:Cognition Health expects to employ 25 people within three years and invest several million dollars at the Fairfax facility. Re:Cognition Health conducts international final phase clinical trials. With more than 140,000 people living with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or dementia in Virginia, Re:Cognition Health’s Fairfax clinic will support patients with memory loss and other symptoms of cognitive impairment with education, treatment and access to advanced treatments. Re:Cognition Health and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) made the announcement last week at the 2018 SelectUSA Summit presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote foreign direct investment in the United States. Re:Cognition Health specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people showing symptoms of cognitive impairment or mental health concerns. Clinical services include traumatic brain injury, neurology, children’s neurological conditions, Alzheimer’s and dementia and mental health. 2018-06-25T09:49:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-wins-two-national-business-writing-awards Virginia Business wins two national business writing awards http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-wins-two-national-business-writing-awards http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-wins-two-national-business-writing-awards#When:09:41:00Z Virginia Business won two national journalism awards Saturday at the annual summer conference of the Alliance of Area Business Publishers (AABP). Freelance writer Bob Burke won a silver award in the explanatory journalism category for “The Play is Under Review,” a story that looks at how Virginia and other states are more closely scrutinizing economic incentives. Judges said of the story: “Virginia’s business recruitment agency was under pressure for losing $1.5 million and was the subject of a scathing state commission review. The reporter for this story used that situation as a launching point to explain not only what was happening with the Virginia agency but also to present context and ideas about possible solutions from other states trying to measure the effectiveness of these incentives.” In addition, freelance writer Richard Foster received a silver award in the Best Local Coverage of a National Business/Economic Story for “Taking Aim at Short-Term Rentals,” a story about Virginia legislation that allows localities to require people offering short-term rentals, like Airbnb, to register. “Lots of law-abiding Virginia citizens are skirting the law to make extra cash by renting their homes via Airbnb or other home rental services,” judges said of the story. “This comprehensive tale looks at all sides of the issue – from homeowners needing to make a profit off their stately homes to worried neighbors and government officials trying to regulate and tax the practice.” The awards were judged by faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Saturday’s award banquet capped AABP’s three-day summer conference, which was held this year in Washington, D.C. AABP is headquartered in Los Angeles and represents 55 independent magazine and newspaper members in the U.S., Canada and Australia. 2018-06-25T09:41:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/jll-names-new-mid-atlantic-market-director JLL names new mid-Atlantic market director http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/jll-names-new-mid-atlantic-market-director http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/jll-names-new-mid-atlantic-market-director#When:14:25:00Z JLL has promoted Christopher Molivadas to mid-Atlantic market director. Molivadas will be responsible for overseeing the entire mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He succeeds Michael Ellis, named the company’s east markets lead at the beginning of the year. Molivadas has worked with JLL for 18 years. He formerly led JLL’s Mid-atlantic Project and Development Services (PDS) business for more than a decade. In 2017, he took over leadership for the mid-Atlantic’s Investor Services business. Molivadas earned a degree in real estate and urban land economics from Southern Methodist University. He lives in Vienna with his wife Melissa and three sons. 2018-06-22T14:25:00+00:00