Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business email@example.comCopyright 20162016-12-01T21:33:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image004.jpeg
Rite Aid in Midlothian sells for $3.4 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/rite-aid-in-midlothian-sells-for-3.4-million#When:21:33:00ZMarcus & Millichap announced the sale Thursday of Midlothian Rite Aid, a 14,845-square foot, net-leased property, for $3.42 million or about $230 per square foot.
Dean Zang, senior vice president investments in Marcus & Millichap’s Washington, D.C. office, along with Dean Foster of the firm’s Richmond office, had the exclusive listing to market the property at 3120 Polo Parkway on behalf of the seller, a Maryland-based development company. Zang also secured the buyer, based in the Philadelphia area.
The sale is of one of 20 transactions that Marcus & Millichap has brokered so far this year in the Richmond area.
According to the firm, the investor plans to maintain the current status of the property. “Though the property had a short-term lease, we were under letter-of-intent (LOI) within a week of launching on the market,” Zang said in a statement. “As with most properties we market in the Richmond region, out-of-market investors were particularly interested ... I would guess 90 percent of the transactions we complete in the market involve a buyer from outside the region; they just pay more than most local investors.”
The Rite Aid drugstore is located in Midlothian, a western suburb of Richmond, off Huguenot Road. The store is across from The Shoppes at Bellgrade, a shopping center anchored by a Kroger supermarket.2016-12-01T21:33:00+00:00
Three economic development authorities form Greater Williamsburg Partnership
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-economic-development-authorities-form-greater-williamsburg-partnershi#When:20:53:00ZEconomic development authorities in Williamsburg, James City County and York County have joined forces to form the Greater Williamsburg Partnership (GWP).
GWP said it plans to combine the assets of the three jurisdictions to recruit and stimulate new enterprises and expand existing businesses.
The partnership will market and promote the amenities, workforce and logistical infrastructure that the area has to offer.
“Greater Williamsburg is ideally situated to be home to companies that rely upon a well-educated and motivated workforce. The access to world-class education and quality transportation and technology — as well as the amazing recreational and cultural opportunities here — makes this region one of the greatest ‘small cities’ in the world. The mission of the GWP is to tell that story, and bring businesses that can thrive here,” Thomas Tingle, GWP’s chairman, said in a statement.
GWP is currently governed by a board of directors including economic development authority members and economic development directors from the city of Williamsburg, James City County and York County. David Denny is the organization’s executive director.2016-12-01T20:53:00+00:00
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center names new president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/sentara-northern-virginia-medical-center-names-new-president#When:20:22:00ZSentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge has named Katherine A. Johnson as its new president.
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is a 183-bed, not-for-profit community hospital in Prince William County. It is part of Sentara Healthcare, a Norfolk-based health-care system.
Johnson joined the medical center in June as vice president and chief operating officer. In August, she assumed the day-to-day oversight of the hospital while it searched for a new president. She will become president on Dec. 5.
Before joining Sentara, Johnson was president of Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center in Thomasville, N.C., for eight years.
During her career, Johnson also was chief nursing officer and vice president for patient care services for Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C,, and vice president of patient care services for Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, N.C.
Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s in adult-health nursing/nursing administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, an MBA from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate in health-care administration from Kennedy-Western University in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Sentara Healthcare has 12 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina. The health system also includes four medical groups, ambulatory campuses, post-acute care services, the Sentara Quality Care Network and the Sentara College of Health Sciences. The company’s Optima Health Plan has members in Virginia, Alabama and Ohio.2016-12-01T20:22:00+00:00
Virginia company wins $95.6 million NASA Langley contract
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-company-wins-95.6-million-nasa-langley-contract#When:20:14:00ZW.M. Jordan Co. in Newport News has won a $95.6-million contract to build a 175,000-square-foot laboratory at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton.
The U.S. General Services Administration awarded the construction contract for the Measurement Systems Laboratory at Langley, which is scheduled for completion in late 2019.
The lab will be the biggest of the new facilities built so far as part of NASA Langley's 20-year revitalization plan. The plan calls for demolition of aging structures and construction of energy-efficient facilities and the rehab of aging buildings.
"This is going to advance and ensure the capabilities the agency must have for mission success, as well as pave the way for Langley's future as we enter our 100th year," Dave Bowles, Langley's director, said in a statement. "It will also boost the regional economy by providing several hundred construction-related jobs for the next few years."
The Measurement Systems Laboratory will be a research and development facility for the new measurement concepts, technologies and systems.
The facility will have about 40 modular research labs for research and development functions such as electronics, lasers, clean rooms, and instrumentation. The new building will allow NASA to consolidate many laboratories that currently are dispersed throughout the center.2016-12-01T20:14:00+00:00
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center names new president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sentara-northern-virginia-medical-center-names-new-president#When:20:10:00ZSentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge has named Katherine A. Johnson as its new president.
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is a 183-bed, not-for-profit community hospital in Prince William County. It is part of Sentara Healthcare, a Norfolk-based health-care system.
Johnson joined the medical center in June as vice president and chief operating officer. In August, she assumed the day-to-day oversight of the hospital while it searched for a new president. She will become president on Dec. 5.
Before joining Sentara, Johnson was president of Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center in Thomasville, N.C., for eight years.
During her career, Johnson also was chief nursing officer and vice president for patient care services for Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C,, and vice president of patient care services for Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, N.C.
Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s in adult-health nursing/nursing administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, an MBA from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate in health-care administration from Kennedy-Western University in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Sentara Healthcare has 12 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina. The health system also includes four medical groups, ambulatory campuses, post-acute care services, the Sentara Quality Care Network and the Sentara College of Health Sciences. The company’s Optima Health Plan has members in Virginia, Alabama and Ohio.2016-12-01T20:10:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/062f2334-40dc-4a2c-9577-7dcb0929c221.jpg
MGM National Harbor’s casino and resort opens on Dec. 8.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mgm-national-harbors-casino-and-resort-opens-on-dec.-8#When:18:29:00ZMGM National Harbor’s new luxury gaming resort in Maryland is in its final countdown, with opening day a week away on Dec. 8.
The opening promises to be one of the biggest events of the year in metro Washington’s hospitality industry. MGM is promising an experience that combines “the energy of Las Vegas with the rich history of our nation’s Capital.”
Early next week there will be a preview media tour of the $1.4 billion hotel and casino project, located just across the Potomac River from Alexandria in Prince Georges County, Md. (Watch for coverage at the Virginia Business website)
A series of events also are planned for opening day. First up at 11 a.m. is a news conference with MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III. After the news conference, attendees will be welcomed inside for tours of the resort’s 24-story, 308-room hotel, and its casino, a 125,000-square-foot space with 3,600 slot machines and 140 gaming tables. There’s also a spa, an entertainment theater with 3,000 seats, several restaurants from celebrity chefs such as Jose Andres, plus high-end retail shops. To cover all the amenities, the resort expects to hire 3,600 workers.
Before MGM opens to the public at 11 p.m. that night, it’s throwing a VIP black-tie gala at 7 p.m.
So many guests are expected that resort officials are recommending that people plan their transportation well ahead of time to avoid delays and congestion.
“We are excited to welcome our first guests to the resort Dec. 8 and want to ensure everyone has a smooth, fun experience,” Bill Boasberg, general manager of MGM National Harbor, said in a statement.
The MGM National Harbor resort is the latest addition to National Harbor, a 1.2 million-square-foot, mixed-use project including shops, offices and hotels located just across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge from Northern Virginia, or about 30 minutes from 1 million Virginians. Virginia tourism and hospitality officials have been speculating for months on what effect the new casino resort will have.
While the new resort may help draw people to the Washington metro region, who would then visit Virginia as well, some people fear Virginia will lose both convention sales business and lottery ticket sales. Eric Terry, president of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, is taking more of a wait-and-see attitude. "With the opening of MGM National Harbor it remains to be seen what the impact will be on the travel industry and the economy in Northern Virginia," he said.2016-12-01T18:29:00+00:00
Jobless rates rise in Virginia metro areas
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jobless-rates-rise-in-virginia-metro-areas#When:21:36:00ZUnemployment crept upward in most of Virginia’s metro areas during October.
Jobless rates rose in 10 of the commonwealth’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas during the month, according to figures released Wednesday by the Virginia Employment Commission.
The one exception was the Hampton Roads area where unemployment remained unchanged at 4.6 percent.
The VEC figures are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor force.
The lowest jobless rate was seen in Northern Virginia, 3.5 percent, while the highest was in the Bristol area, 4.8 percent.
In addition to Northern Virginia, the Charlottesville and Winchester areas also had unemployment rates of under 4 percent.
A breakdown shows:
Bristol: 4.8 percent, up from 4.7 percent.
Charlottesville: 3.6 percent, up from 3.4 percent.
Hampton Roads: 4.6 percent, unchanged.
Harrisonburg: 4.2 percent, up from 4 percent.
Lynchburg: 4.6 percent, up from 4.5 percent.
Northern Virginia: 3.5 percent, up from 3.4 percent.
New River Valley: 4.6 percent, up from 4.5 percent.
Richmond: 4.2 percent, up from 4.1 percent.
Roanoke: 4.1 percent, up from 3.9 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 4.2 percent, up from 3.9 percent.
Winchester: 3.7 percent, up from 3.5 percent.2016-11-30T21:36:00+00:00
Cupron is leaving Richmond’s biotech park for Henrico County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cupron-is-leaving-richmonds-biotech-park-for-henrico-county#When:21:29:00ZAfter six years at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in downtown Richmond, Cupron is moving into a larger space near Richmond International Airport in eastern Henrico County.
The biotechnology company, a startup that developed after finding a way to infuse copper oxide into soft materials such as hospital gowns and linens, said the move would allow for an expansion with more office space and an 11,000-square-foot warehouse.
Cupron recently participated in a 10-month clinical trial at Sentara’s Leigh Hospital in Norfolk with results recently published showing the effectiveness of the copper-infused products in reducing the spread of bacteria in a clinical setting.
“The Research Park has been more than the right partner at the right time in the company's development and growth. The relationships, collaborative space and access to other emerging biotechnology companies have been invaluable, especially as the company transitioned from applied scientific discovery to clinical demonstration,” Cupron’s CEO Chris Andrews said in a statement. “Now, as we transition from clinical to commercial deployment on a broad scale and geographies, Cupron needs to occupy its own commercial space with expanded logistical capabilities.”
Cupron will move from just under 2,000 square feet at the biotech park — an incubator for advanced technology startups offering office space at below-market cost in addition to discounted business services — to a facility with 3,000 square feet of office space and a warehouse.
“We congratulate Cupron as this exciting technology company graduates from the Biotech Park to a 14,000-square-foot commercial facility in the Interport Business Center near RIC airport in eastern Henrico. Cupron’s copper technology presents tremendous opportunities to improve products in a number of sectors, and we look forward to supporting their growth as they create well-paying jobs and expand their markets,” said John Vithoulkas, Henrico County manager and a board member of The Innovation Council of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park.2016-11-30T21:29:00+00:00
Armada Hoffler Properties added to MSCI U.S. REIT Index
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-added-to-msci-u.s.-reit-index#When:17:52:00ZArmada Hoffler Properties Inc. has been added to the MSCI U.S. REIT Index (RMZ) effective at the close of the market on Wednesday.
Before the inclusion of Armada Properties, the index included 149 companies with a combined market capitalization of nearly $800 billion.
“Our inclusion in the RMZ is further validation of our unique business model, which has driven robust growth and total shareholder return since our IPO,” Louis S. Haddad, the company’s CEO said in a statement. “We believe this recognition will expose AHH to a larger institutional investor base and will continue to solidify the company’s identity and brand recognition in the REIT industry.”
Armada Hoffler Properties, based in Virginia Beach, is a real estate company involved in developing, building, owning and managing office, retail and multifamily properties in markets throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast.2016-11-30T17:52:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Rex_Geveden.JPGRex Geveden
BWX Technologies names new CEO
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bwx-technologies-names-new-ceo#When:17:02:00ZLynchburg-based BWX Technologies Inc. (BWXT) announced on Wednesday that Chief Operating Officer Rex D. Geveden will become president and CEO on Jan. 1.
Geveden, 55, also will join the BWXT board of directors.
He will replace Peyton S. “Sandy” Baker, 69, who plans to retire on May 31. After Dec. 31, Baker will become a special adviser until his retirement.
In addition to offering strategic advice, Baker is expected to oversee the integration of the company’s anticipated Canada acquisition and safety and security activities at nuclear facilities.
As CEO, Geveden will lead the more than $1.4 billion business with six major North American sites that include some 3 million square feet of manufacturing and engineering operations.
Geveden joined BWXT as COO in 2015. Previously, he was executive vice president at Teledyne Technologies, leading two of the four of its operating segments.
He spent 17 years at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including service as the agency’s COO.
Geveden holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Murray State University.2016-11-30T17:02:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Bill_Poe_cropped_240pixel.jpgBill Poe
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer names Bill Poe managing broker of Roanoke office
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer said Wednesday that William D. (Bill) Poe has joined its Roanoke office as managing broker and will lead the brokerage professionals in the western Virginia market.
Poe has been in the commercial real estate industry for more than 36 years where he has specialized in commercial, industrial and investment sales, leasing and property management, asset management and site selection throughout the region.
He takes over from John Nielsen who has led the Roanoke and Lynchburg offices for the past seven years. Under Nielsen’s leadership as managing broker, Thalhimer’s western Virginia operations grew from what essentially was a startup into a market leader. Thalhimer said it now leads the region in landlord market share for retail, office and industrial properties. Nielsen will continue to provide leadership as one of the top-producing brokers in western Virginia.
“Bill’s deep local relationships will help us continue to grow,” Nielsen said in a statement.
Poe’s career began in 1980 as a sales and leasing agent specializing in commercial and investment property. He then joined Michael Waldvogel and Dennis Cronk in forming Waldvogel Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group Inc. in 1987, which later became Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group in 2004. In 2014, Poe returned to Hall Associates as executive vice president where he assisted with sales and account management.
Poe’s professional affiliations include membership in the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), and he is a past president of the local IREM Chapter, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, and the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute (CCIM).
Poe currently serves on the Board of Downtown Roanoke Inc., Roanoke's Economic Development Authority and the board of directors of Blue Ridge Independent Living Center. He is a lifelong resident of the Roanoke Valley, and a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.2016-11-30T16:41:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Greensville11.jpgPhoto courtesy of Dominion
Dominion to hold groundbreaking ceremony for $1.3 billion power station
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-to-hold-groundbreaking-ceremony-for-1.3-billion-power-station#When:16:16:00ZDominion will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday for the $1.3 billion Greensville Power station in Southern Virginia.
Richmond-based Dominion began construction on the 1,588-megawatt, natural-gas, combined-cycle plant in June. The project is about 10 percent complete.
When the station becomes operational by next year, it will provide enough power for 400,000 typical homes at peak demand.
“When it is completed in late 2018, it will be the largest gas combined-cycle electric generating facility in North America,”
Paul Koonce, CEO of Dominion’s Generation Group, said in a statement. “But what makes me even prouder is that, because of its strict carbon limits, the Greensville County Power Station will be the cleanest-burning gas-fired plant in the country. And that’s good news for our neighbors and the commonwealth of Virginia,”
Greenville is the second major station Dominion has built in the area. Five miles away is the Brunswick County Power Station, which went online in April. It can produce 1,358 megawatts of electricity or enough to power 340,000 homes.
The 1,143-acre site Greensville Power Station site straddles the Greensville/Brunswick county line with 740 acres in Greensville County. The station will employ about 45 employees once it begins operating. Currently about 700 workers are on site. At the peak of construction, Dominion says it expects to have more than 1,200 workers.
In the first year of operation, the station is expected generate up to $8 million in property taxes for Greensville County.
According to Dominion, the new station also means savings for Dominion Virginia Power customers. Over more than 30 years, the plant’s operations are expected to save customers about $2 billion because Dominion won’t have to purchase 1,588 megawatts of capacity from the wholesale electric markets.
Greensville is expected to be a base-load station, meaning it will run nearly 24/7, taken offline only to perform routine maintenance on operating equipment.2016-11-30T16:16:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Roberts-6153.pngCurry Roberts, president of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance. Photo by Mark Rhodes
Ending the commute
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ending-the-commute1#When:09:00:00ZThe Fredericksburg region has gotten large enough to start comparing itself to some of Virginia’s urban giants. There are more than 350,000 people in this region, which is the fastest-growing area in Virginia.
Despite its growth, though, there’s one threshold the larger regions have crossed that this area has not. Northern Virginia, the Richmond area and Hampton Roads — the anchors of the state’s urban crescent — have enough local jobs that they actually import workers from outside their regions. The Fredericksburg region does the opposite: It exports more than a third of its workforce — nearly 62,000 workers — mostly to jobs in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., according to a new study.
That’s not good news for this region’s tax base or for the thousands of workers who have to travel an hour or more to and from their jobs. But having an excess of workers is a good argument for the region’s efforts to recruit companies. And it’s making progress. “Our job is to figure out how to continue to diversify our regional economic base. And we’ve got the tools to do that,” says Curry Roberts, president of the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance.
That study, released in May by the Center for Business Research at the University of Mary Washington, gives the clearest picture yet of what these 62,000 out-commuters are like. They tend to have higher levels of education and higher incomes than noncommuters. They are more likely to have military experience — 28 percent compared with 12 percent of noncommuters. And perhaps most importantly, more than half work in the six industry clusters that the region is targeting.
Plus, the commuting workforce generally makes a lot more money. In the computer-science field, for example, commuters make an average of $112,600, while a noncommuter in the same field averages just under $81,000.
The higher salary level for out-commuters was consistent across eight major fields of study, says Bradley Hansen, a UMW professor of economics who helped prepare the study. The likely reason the pay is higher is that commuters expect it. Among commuters with degrees in computer science, for example, 79 percent report commutes of at least one hour. That means that over a year they would average about 12.5 work weeks just in commuting.
“From the standpoint of commuters, salaries need to reflect the compensation they expect to receive for their skills and experience and the compensation they expect to receive for the time and money they spend on commuting,” Hansen writes. Translation: If they don’t have to commute so far, they’ll take lower salaries.
Laying the groundwork
Stafford County is the northernmost locality of the region, which makes it most likely to lure companies from the Northern Virginia and Washington-area market. It doesn’t expect to compete for the corporate headquarters of major players in the defense and government contractors that dominate those markets.
“We’re going for the divisional and regional offices,” says Richard Cobert, business development administrator with Stafford’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
The county is laying the groundwork for those kinds of employers. This year it set aside $500,000 to help launch the Stafford Research and Technology Park, which is setting up shop in the Quantico Corporate Center, an office park at the county’s northern boundary near Marine Corps Base Quantico. In October, the center hired its first director and plans to lease some space at the office park. It will be an incubator for entrepreneurs, with a focus on cybersecurity.
Two years ago Northern Virginia-based SummitIG laid dark fiber (fiber infrastructure not currently being used) along the Interstate 95 corridor, which borders the corporate center, and this summer Yyotta LLC set up an exchange point and a data center there. It’s a big step for the region because without that infrastructure in place, companies needing that kind of connectivity would just look elsewhere. “It’s a great opportunity for the next phase of growth,” Cobert says.
The current phase of growth in the region is more about new housing and transportation. A 2.2-mile extension of the Interstate 95 Express Lanes is under construction and should be completed in 2018. It will bring the southernmost point of the lanes deeper into Stafford.
And next summer an even bigger change is coming when construction starts on a new $150 million interchange on I-95 right in the heart of Stafford. Given that I-95 is pretty much the reason this region has grown so quickly, a project like this will have a big effect.
The new interchange will be just south of an existing exit, which is a miserable two-lane traffic choke point leading to the county’s government center buildings on U.S. 1. A new four-lane road from the interchange will lead directly to Stafford Hospital, which opened on U.S. 1 in 2009. On the west side of I-95, the interchange will give new access to hundreds of acres of undeveloped land.
The new interchange — expected to be completed in 2020 — also will make it easier to reach Embrey Mill, a new 831-acre development just west of I-95 that, at build-out, could have up to 1,800 homes.
That kind of housing project, driven by access to I-95, is a continuation of the pattern that helped make Stafford, at more than 142,000 people, the region’s biggest county. Spotsylvania is second at roughly 130,000 people and it has the same kind of interstate-access development.
Last year, for example, Spotsylvania leaders approved a 241-acre residential project called Jackson Village, near the U.S. 1 interchange on I-95. It hasn’t broken ground yet, but the rezoning will allow for 2,270 homes.
Not all the economic expansion is driven by proximity to Northern Virginia, though. The region’s mid-Atlantic location and interstate access has helped bring a couple of big employers recently — projects that have nothing to do with proximity to Northern Virginia. In Spotsylvania the Germany-based retail chain Lidl broke ground a year ago on a $125 million distribution center. That facility is expected to create 200 jobs.
Even farther south, North Carolina-based grocery chain Harris Teeter announced plans in late 2015 to build a new distribution center on 190 acres in Caroline County. The facility will eventually be 1.5 million square feet, and the company says it will employ about 400 people. The project hasn’t broken ground yet, but Harris Teeter already bought the property, says Gary Wilson, Caroline’s economic development director.
It’s worth noting that this Harris Teeter project is about 40 miles south of Stafford’s new technology park. Caroline, with just under 30,000 residents, is less than a quarter the size of its northern neighbors, so there’s much less commercial activity. Plus, says Wilson, “We don’t have federal investment here.” The other big project coming soon to Caroline is a new Walmart superstore, which will likely break ground in 2018 and bring another 500 jobs.
The county also is getting a major road expansion, a $26 million project paid for with state and local funds at its state Route 639 interchange with I-95. “It’s a really good project for us, because it completely opens up this corridor to commercial access,” Wilson says.
Here’s one more location-related example for Caroline: Wilson says the county has a ready-to-go data center site near I-95 with dark fiber and sufficient power and water. The county doesn’t have any other data centers, but Washington-area companies looking for data redundancy should take a look, Wilson says. “We’re where they should be. We have the utilities and the resources.”
Naval center major employer
That seems to be key to attracting the bigger private-sector deals in this region — have a growing population or a few exits off of I-95, or preferably both. The region’s King George County, to the east, has neither of those things, but it has a healthy local economy with a September unemployment rate of 4 percent, which is in line with its neighbors.
The county’s biggest asset is the Naval Surface Warfare Center, on the Potomac River. It has 4,850 civilian employees, according to county figures, with a $499 million annual civilian payroll. It also has 1,807 contractors supporting the facility.
King George is the region’s smallest locality in population, at 25,500, smaller even than the city of Fredericksburg, which has about 28,000 people. The city’s downtown is in the midst of a makeover, with several new upscale townhome and condo projects planned or already completed. Its restaurant sector is thriving, too — the city’s annual meals tax receipts are up $1.1 million this year compared with 2013.
The city’s downtown is unique in the region and is a destination for locals and visitors. But, much of the region’s economy is still driven by the Washington economy. You could reasonably say its gravity reaches to the southernmost station of the Virginia Railway Express, which opened a year ago.
On weekdays the earliest northbound train leaves at 4:57 a.m., and even those passengers have to drive to catch the train because there is no housing near the station, just woods.
That’s been the formula here for a few decades. If you’re willing to commute a long way, you can buy a house for way less. But, Roberts with the regional alliance says that commuter ethic might be retired with the baby boomers. By 2025, he says, about 75 percent of the nation’s workforce will be millennials.
“I’m curious if they’re going to want to do that two-hour commute,” he says. If they don’t, companies will have another reason to move here. “Given the quality of life here, that’s where the employers are going to go.”2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/WEALTH_Harris_and_Krell.pngChristopher Krell (left) and Justin Harris of Cassaday & Co. Photo by Mark Rhodes
Money management for millennials
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/money-management-for-millennials#When:09:00:00ZThe great majority of Generation Y adults are still a decade or two away from opening individual investment accounts, but millennials already are changing the financial services industry, say money managers across Virginia.
Millennials have a growing reputation for being more disciplined savers than their baby boomer parents, and they insist on being offered increasingly sophisticated mobile communication technology tools to monitor and manage their retirement nest eggs.
Millennials are disparaged as largely a generation of lazy, videogame-playing slackers still mooching off their parents with no interest whatsoever in financial markets and retirement planning. Financial advisers across the state, however, paint a different picture altogether — making sure to draw a distinction between wealthier GenYers who have enough financial resources to employ financial advisers and the vast majority who, struggling to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in college debt with low-wage jobs, cannot.
“You hear a lot in the media that millennials don’t own stocks, that they don’t believe in the stock market, they think it’s rigged,” says Justin Harris, a principal with Cassaday & Co. Inc. in McLean. “I, from real world experience, do not find that at all. Millennials who have been educated properly by their parents, they understand the benefits of long-term investing.”
His fellow principal at Cassaday & Co., Christopher Krell, adds that the wealthier segment of Generation Y also understands something many of their parents did not.
“The fundamental thing is you have to save for a long period of time and [my millennial clients] are excellent at that,” says Krell. “They get it in their 20s, whereas a lot of baby boomers did not get that in their 20s. They started to pick that up in their 40s.”
Investment building blocks
Unanimously, financial advisers say they advise their youngest clients to first build a base of savings, in both workplace retirement plans, like 401(k)s and 403(b)s
and in the bank, before using any cash for additional investment plans.
“When people are starting to build up their money, we first advise them to take advantage of the 401(k) plans they are offered at work,” says Michael Joyce, president of JoycePayne Partners in Richmond.
“Second of all, we suggest they set up an emergency fund, or six months of expenses, because their job could go away, they could decide to go back to grad school, any number of things could happen … Once they have this emergency fund set aside and have enough for their short-term goals (like buying a house) then we will recommend they invest more aggressively and more appropriately for their time horizon.”
As they embrace the traditional wealth-building formula in ways many of their parents did not, millennial investors have turned to new technological tools to monitor and manage their wealth.
In years past, Joyce would use paper reports and the Postal Service to communicate with his clients in a “slow and immersive” style aimed at educating them about good and bad investments and long-term strategies. Now, his younger clients prefer what he calls a “fast and interactive” style of communication delivered via a variety of communications platforms.
“I do see a greater impatience” from Generation Y clients, says Joyce. “Not so much results-oriented, but faster information-oriented.”
Greg Popera, a private wealth adviser with Merrill Lynch in Tysons Corner, says Generation Y’s need for speed and low-cost investment tools and its ingrained cultural mistrust of what he calls “Big Finance,” has led to the rapid rise in “robo” investment apps, which millennials can access from their laptops, smartphones and home PCs.
He says financial advisory firms must “provide applications that [millennials] can use on their own: apps that can help them calculate their Social Security benefits for example, the what-if scenarios, like college-planning.”
The idea, says Popera, “is to bring that old, stodgy financial institution down to the ground level with this next generation.”
Cassaday & Co.’s Krell agrees. Millennials “are uber tech-savvy,” he says. “We have to deliver the apps. We have to fight for space on their phone. Because that’s where they get all their information from.
“We have to have all the technology in order to support that. Their grandparents and the baby boomers, quite honestly, are evolving that skill set, but a lot of them still prefer to get everything on paper. The millennials don’t want that, they don’t really believe in that.”
In spite of their love affair with mobile technology, millennials recognize its shortcomings when it comes to something as complex as managing a financial portfolio and as sensitive as protecting the confidentiality of their personal financial information, says Popera of Merrill Lynch.
“The younger generation is becoming more and more aware of hacking and the importance of their personal information,” he says. “Some of these applications increase the odds of something bad happening, whereas the face-to-face personal interaction [with a financial adviser] during a portfolio review — that’s not very hackable.”
Cassaday’s Harris says his pitch to millennial investors who say they’d rather use computers to manage their retirement portfolios is simple.
“The major difference between us and a robo kind of adviser is that we have a much more personalized approach to build and customize a portfolio,” he says.
“I try to explain that if they are OK with something that is very cookie cutter and very passive and have extremely low costs and not having good customer service, then they should use them,” Harris says.
“But if you want something more personalized, something more active, that’s going to be more hands-on in terms of our fine-tuning of the portfolio, have access to an entire suite of financial planning that we provide and as you and your family grow, then we may be a better option. It will be slightly more expensive, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for.”2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/EVMS_Homan.pngDr. Richard V. Homan, president, provost and dean of Eastern Virginia Medical School. Photo by Mark Rhodes
Born to serve
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/born-to-serve#When:09:00:00ZResearch taking place at Eastern Virginia Medical School has global implications, but the school’s primary mission remains educating health-care professionals to serve Hampton Roads.
As one of only a few U.S. medical schools established by a grass-roots effort, EVMS owes its existence to the people of Hampton Roads. In the mid-1960s, community leaders, concerned about the shortage of physicians and the lack of specialized health care in Southeastern Virginia, raised money and lobbied the General Assembly for support in creating a medical school in the region.
EVMS opened in 1973 with 28 students and a mission to address health issues affecting the local population. Today, the school has 1,180 students — 594 in the medical school and 586 in the School of Health Professions. EVMS also hosts approximately 350 health professionals in 39 residency, fellowship and internship programs.
“But for the creation of EVMS, the quality of medical delivery in Hampton Roads wouldn’t be what it is today,” says Dr. Richard V. Homan, the school’s president, provost and dean. “We were created by community members to serve the community at a time when the need for the health-care workforce was extraordinarily acute, and we have a huge impact in training the next generation of health-care professionals.”
About 150 medical students receive medical degrees from EVMS each year, and many remain in Hampton Roads to perform their residencies and pursue their careers. More than 2,300 Hampton Roads physicians were trained at EVMS, while 75 percent of the region’s physician assistants, surgical assistants and clinical psychologists also are graduates of the school. About 3,500 EVMS alumni practice medicine in Virginia.
The school’s economic impact extends throughout the region. Its 2016 fiscal year budget totaled $237.3 million, including $24.3 million in state appropriations. EVMS’ budget for 2017 is $251.5 million, including $25.3 million from the state.
Doesn’t own a hospital
Unlike public medical schools in Virginia, EVMS is not affiliated with an undergraduate institution and it does not own a hospital. Instead, the school has working relationships with health-care facilities across the region, as well as teaching affiliations with about 150 private medical practices and 10 clinical facilities. The EVMS Medical Group, which includes 150 physicians at 29 offices in Hampton Roads, sees more than 1,500 patients each day.
EVMS’ research, while leading to breakthroughs that impact people around the world, is rooted in Southeastern Virginia. More than 100 of the school’s 400 faculty members pursue therapies and treatments for diseases that occur at high rates in Hampton Roads, including diabetes, obesity and cancer. Many have received international acclaim. In October, Dr. L.D. Britt, a 30-year faculty member, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, a panel of physicians that advises federal officials and the nation on health issues. Britt, a Suffolk native who heads EVMS’ surgery department, is the first African-American in the country to fill an endowed chair in surgery.
This fall the school unveiled its CareForward Curriculum, which emphasizes patient safety and cost-conscious care, while continuing EVMS’ focus on community service. Homan describes it as a more contemporary, student-centered instructional approach. “Today’s students learn as groups and use more technology,” he notes. “This provides an opportunity for them to integrate information in ways that are relevant to taking care of patients.”
Students begin serving the community within days of starting class each August. During community impact day, they clean classrooms and pack backpacks with school supplies at a Norfolk elementary school located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the U.S. “Our students are immediately exposed to one of the most vulnerable communities that we’re trying to save,” says Dr. Cynthia Romero, director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health. “It helps them become community oriented and learn to recognize all the social determinants of health beyond health-care delivery, including housing, income and education.”
Established in 2012 with a $3 million gift from Dollar Tree Chairman Macon Brock and his wife, Joan, the Brock Institute takes medical students outside of the classroom and lab and into the community. With EVMS’ Office of Education, the institute has launched a service-learning curriculum, a four-year program in which students select a community service track, such as teaching CPR, working with older adults, learning to communicate with patients who speak primarily Spanish and increasing awareness of stroke symptoms. “All medical students participate in the service learning program,” Romero adds. “EVMS helps align and introduce them to so many more health opportunities that may pique their interests.”
A 1993 EVMS graduate, Romero returned to her alma mater after serving as Virginia state health commissioner, a job she says opened her eyes to the region’s health issues — including infant mortality rates, breast cancer deaths and sexually transmitted diseases — and disparities in health care. “When I saw such significant health-care gaps, I wanted to bring what I had learned at the state level back here to Hampton Roads,” she says.
School health center
To close some of those gaps, EVMS joined forces with Norfolk Public Schools, the city of Norfolk, United for Children and the United Way of South Hampton Roads to operate a student health center at Norfolk’s Booker T. Washington High School. Funded by a grant from Optima Health, the center is the first of its kind in the region. “It helps address health-care needs so students can stay in school,” Romero says. “This type of connection is a signature characteristic and part of the DNA at EVMS to be so heavily involved in the community.”
EVMS’ community involvement extends to the region’s workforce, augmented in large part by the School of Health Professions. In response to workforce needs, the school developed 10 new programs during the past decade. Health-care workers can attain advanced degrees in 20 programs such as art therapy, public health, physician’s assistant and clinical psychology.
Next year, the school plans to offer a doctorate in health sciences and a master’s degree in health-care delivery sciences. “We will continue to grow in health professions to meet the market’s needs,” says C. Donald Combs, vice president and dean of the School of Health Professions. “We look at what capabilities are needed in the workforce and how we can design a program to meet those needs.”
Endocrinologists treat patients at the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center and through Sentara Norfolk General Hospital’s diabetes and endocrinology program, which U.S. News & World Report recently ranked 24th among the nation’s top 50 hospital-based programs. “In large measure, that’s as a result of the Strelitz Diabetes Center,” Homan says. “We’re developing new medicines and theories about the cause of Type I diabetes. Those things lead to improvements in diabetes care not just in Hampton Roads but in the nation and around the world.”
Hampton Roads has one of the state’s highest rates of diabetes, particularly in Portsmouth and western Tidewater, notes Dr. Jerry Nadler, who holds the Harry H. Mansbach endowed chair in internal medicine and is vice dean of research. Nadler’s research has established a link be­­tween diabetes and heart, kidney and nerve damage. “Hampton Roads is a large population center with a lot of diabetes and metabolic disease and related complications,” he says. “EVMS is the only academic center in the region training future endocrinologists.”
Named Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist for 2016, Nadler came to EVMS in 2008 after serving as the chair of endocrinology and metabolism in the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “There’s a tremendous opportunity to develop research here, and there are a lot of opportunities to really make an impact,” he says.
Using health data
Nadler and other EVMS researchers are excited about the impact data mined through the new EVMS Sentara Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute will have on local medical care. Launched last January, the institute builds on Sentara’s patient data repositories to help address health disparities in Hampton Roads. “Sentara and EVMS are working together to pull data from electronic records and understand the best treatments,” Nadler says. “It’s a very exciting opportunity to not only do research on that data but to have the next generation of students use the data to improve health.”
EVMS and Sentara also are developing a biorepository. “It will be a bank of centralized specimens with de-identified personal data to discover new biomarkers for different diseases,” Nadler explains. “We’d like to make this a state resource and link it to other universities in Virginia. Wonderful institutions and health systems are made stronger when we work together.”
In addition to working with Sentara, EVMS has formed relationships with other area hospitals, the military, and colleges and universities. EVMS formed the National Center for Collaboration in Modeling and Simulation with ODU in 2001, and in 2014, launched a joint MD-MBA degree with the College of William and Mary to give future doctors insight into finance and public policy. “It’s important for physicians to understand finances because many will be leaders of health systems in the future,” Homan says.
EVMS teamed up with ODU to offer a master’s of public health and with both ODU and Norfolk State University on a doctoral program in psychology. “Independence has provided opportunities for us to be partners with many institutions,” Homan notes. “We want to be good partners with the academic institutions in the region.”
The school is also a founding member of the IBM Watson Health medical imaging collaborative. Launched in June, the global endeavor will use “Watson,” IBM’s computing system known for beating “Jeopardy!” champions, to search member organizations’ medical imaging, electronic health records, lab, radiology and pathology reports and other data to find connections, identify patterns and predict outcomes.
The Watson collaborative will complement EVMS’ research on the automation of ultrasound examinations. “The ultrasound research we are doing in maternal-fetal medicine is among the most advanced in the world,” notes Dr. Alfred Abuhamad, EVMS’ chair of obstetrics and gynecology and an internationally recognized expert in ultrasound. Three years ago, EVMS became one of the first U.S. medical schools to completely incorporate ultrasound into its curriculum.
Just one more sign that as the school approaches its 50th anniversary, it will continue to grow and innovate, especially when it comes to meeting Hampton Roads’ health-care needs. “We’re looking to continue to identify ways to meet the community’s needs,” Homan says. “It’s a very exciting time here at EVMS.”2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00
Young Lawyers list
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/young-lawyers-list-2016#When:09:00:00ZFaith A. Alejandro
Sands Anderson PC
Nupur S. Bal
Andrew S. Baugher
Robert P. Beaman III
Troutman Sanders LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Norfolk Southern Corp.
Lester Copeland Brock
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman
Medford J. Brown IV
Parrish Snead Franklin Simpson PLC
Dorinda P. Burton
Poole Brooke Plumlee PC
Brett A. Callahan
Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian PC
Adam M. Carroll
Wolcott Rivers Gates Attorneys at Law
Camille Allan Crandall
Kelly & Crandall PLC
Anna P. Ernest
Ernest Law Group
Caroline J. Fox
The Creekmore Law Firm PC
Nicholas J. Gehrig
Redmon Peyton & Braswell LLP
Jeffrey P. Geiger
Sean Michael Golden
Vandeventer Black LLP
Jesse B. Gordon
Pender & Coward PC
Steven P. Gould
D. Rossen S. Greene
Pender & Coward PC
Hull Street Law
Lisa J. Hedrick
Brett C. Herbert
Patice L. Holland
Woods Rogers PLC
Catherine Jackson Huff
Bethany Benes Ingersoll
James R. Jebo
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman
Harold E. Johnson
Laurie L. Kirkland
Blankingship & Keith PC
Anne C. Lahren
Pender & Coward PC
Bonnie P. Lane
Goodman Allen Donnelly
Lee G. Lester
Michael G. Matheson
Daniel D. Mauler
Redmon Peyton & Braswell LLP
John A. Merrick
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman
Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White PC
J. Anderson Mullins
D. Wayne Moore, Attorney at Law
Christy L. Murphy
Kaufman & Canoles
Brenna K. Newman
Apex Systems LLC
Elizabeth Smith Olcott
Jones Blechman Woltz & Kelly PC
Ethan G. Ostroff
Troutman Sanders LLP
Julie S. Palmer
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman
Ryan J. Pedraza
Troutman Sanders LLP
William D. Prince IV
Brandy M. Rapp
Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP
Rhodes B. Ritenour
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
James Barbour Rixey III
Vandeventer Black LLP
Rebecca Bricken Segal
Protorae Law PLLC
Cullen Drescher Speckhart
Wolcott Rivers Gates Attorneys at Law
Nathaniel Lyle Story
John H. Taylor
FloranceGordonBrown, A Professional Corporation
Elizabeth Kalocay Ufkes
Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, P.C.
Autumn R. Visser
Woods Rogers PLC
Ashley H. Waterbury
Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC
Kevin A. White
Kaufman & Canoles
John Britton Williston
Kaufman & Canoles
Norfolk2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Harris-5539.pngDonna Harris has launched several businesses. Photo by Mark Rhodes
‘Precipice of change’
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/precipice-of-change#When:09:00:00ZDonna Harris believes entrepreneurs represent the heart, soul and lifeblood of any economy.
Harris, a veteran entrepreneur, co-founded (with Evan Burfield) 1776, a Washington, D.C.-based global incubator and seed fund, which last year opened a campus in Arlington. In late November, she announced that she is stepping down at the end of January as co-CEO of the incubator but will remain an investor and board member. Burfield will become sole CEO.
Harris, a Falls Church resident, describes herself as a “very passionate entrepreneur that wants every city to be a city where entrepreneurs can succeed … I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world.”
Since its inception in 2013, 1776 has helped support more than 800 startups worldwide, raising more than $330 million in capital and creating more than 2,000 jobs. It is currently working with approximately 600 startups.
“1776 has been a vital partner in our business community since its arrival in Crystal City,” says Victor Hoskins, director of Arlington Economic Development. “Some of Arlington’s most innovative technology companies are part of or got their start with 1776.” The companies include Shift, an online car marketplace, and Notarize, an on-demand electronic notary service.
In addition to Washington and Arlington, 1776 has sites in San Francisco, New York and — most recently — Dubai. It is the first international technology incubator to have a presence in the Middle East-North Africa region.
Harris and Burfield picked 1776 for the incubator’s name because it reflects the dramatic changes that were going on during the year that the Declaration of Independence was adopted. “Today we are on a similar precipice of change globally,” Harris says. “We are bringing together entrepreneurs, corporations and governments who recognize the impact of the digital era.”
Harris traces her entrepreneurial career back to the third grade in Lake Orion, Mich. She and a friend collected worms and sold them for use as bait or to improve soil in gardens.
“That was ironic because we picked them up out of our garden and then went door to door. We sold them all,” Harris says, noting that she also once organized a circus in her garage and sold tickets. “I would create something and commercialize it. It’s so much of what I did.”
Her life has been defined by a series of opportunities. While she was studying finance and accounting at Central Michigan University, she was interviewed for what she thought was a finance job at Electronic Data Systems. Her college counselor, however, put her name on the interview list for systems engineering by mistake.
Harris, nonetheless, landed the job. (She later earned an MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.) “People chuckle when I tell them sometimes life will take you where it’s going to take you. You have a plan, but then something happens in a way you could never have planned for,” she says.
She started her first business, CC Corp., in 1998 in Detroit. The company provided consulting and online training on enterprise software such as Oracle. She sold the company after it hit $1 million in revenue in less than a year.
Her next venture was Kinderstreet, which sold software for the education, sports and recreation markets. By the time it was acquired by Arc Capital Development in 2005, it was working with more than 900 schools in 41 states.
Before the launch of 1776, Harris was managing director of the Startup America Partnership, a White House initiative designed to promote entrepreneurship throughout the nation. “My role was to focus on making it a reality that cities outside of Silicon Valley could become areas where entrepreneurs could thrive,” she says.
Today her scope at 1776 is global. Harris says the incubator’s Washington location gives it visibility. “Our innovators at 1776 are tackling issues the government cares about,” Harris says. “We want to get leaders like President Obama to better understand what’s happening in entrepreneurship globally. They bring a very large spotlight, and there’s no substitute for good publicity.”
Each year the incubator hosts a competition, the Challenge Cup, which connects promising new startups with investors and mentors. Next year’s Challenge Cup Global Finals will be held in June in Washington, where entrepreneurs will compete for more than $1 million in prizes.
Harris’ other role is being a mother to her 6-year-old son, Chase. “I think balance is always a challenge,” she says of juggling motherhood with her career. “I want to be the best for my son and my family, and I want to be the best for the work I do.”
Harris recognizes there are a small percentage of women in her field. “There aren’t that many women … in entrepreneurships and venture capital, but it’s also a challenge across technology … We have to hold ourselves accountable to do better,” she says.
“Donna is a terrific entrepreneur,” says Penny Lee, chair of K Street Capital, an angel investment group in Washington. “She is someone who executes with precision and is creative in her thought approach. She’s constantly pushing the envelope.”
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect Harris' late November announcement that she will step down as co-CEO at the end of January.
2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/LISTING_SHIP_ILLUSTRATION_3.pngGraphic by Adrienne R. Watson
Righting the ship?
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/righting-the-ship#When:09:00:00ZFor more than 20 years, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has served as the state’s primary organization for building the commonwealth’s economy. In the last decade alone, it has overseen $384 million in state incentives to help attract and expand businesses, winning accolades for Virginia as a business friendly state.
Now VEDP is on the brink of a sweeping overhaul. In November, Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) released a scathing report depicting the state-funded,
quasi-independent authority as so dysfunctional that it doesn’t even have a clear marketing plan. Furthermore, the report said an unstructured approach to administering state incentive grants leaves Virginia “vulnerable to fraud and poor use of financial resources.”
According to JLARC, concerns about VEDP’s operations were raised by outside consultants as early as 2012. JLARC’s new report says employees receive little training and are not held accountable for being productive. Interviews with VEDP staff showed that a number of workers “come in late and leave early. Many staff expressed apathy about meeting job expectations,” JLARC staffer Drew Dickinson told the commission during an overview on the report.
“So, we’re highly paying these individuals … and they’re not accountable to anybody, and they don’t even come to work on time?” asked Del. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, a commission member.
The 132-page report outlined these other key findings:
Until January of this year, state incentive awards were made without a formal, written due-diligence process.
Companies that receive grants don’t always meet contractual performance requirements for receiving state money.
When requirements aren’t met, VEDP does not always recoup grant money. As a result, $8.7 million in one fund has not been collected.
VEDP’s board of directors has tightened its vetting for incentives through a recent reorganization, but JLARC Director Hal Greer says many challenges remain. “This organization faces extremely serious management and accountability deficiencies that need to be addressed, and it has not fully met its statutory responsibilities,” he told the commission.
So the question now is: Where does VEDP go from here? JLARC made 35 recommendations, including executive and legislative actions. Ripple effects could spread to other agencies.
“This is a devastating report and the worst that I’ve seen in the 12 years I’ve been on JLARC,” said House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford. “Part of what I see as our problem, and it’s not solely the VEDP, is that we have 80 entities working in the same waters,” he said referring to other state organizations involved in economic development. “If we’re going to try and reform, we need to look at the whole swamp.”
Other legislative members on JLARC said they were so disgusted by the report’s findings that they plan to embrace its recommendation to withhold any new funding for VEDP programs, including $1.5 million in the current state budget, until problems are fixed. “It’s the biggest failure of an agency I’ve ever seen,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights.
The politicians didn’t waste any time tying VEDP’s problems to Virginia’s jobs-oriented governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Economic development has been the hallmark of McAuliffe’s administration. The governor keeps a running tally of how many new jobs (178,700) have been created in Virginia since he took office nearly three years ago.
“JLARC’s report on VEDP shows that the McAuliffe-Northam administration’s governance of VEDP has severely failed the commonwealth,” Cox said in a statement after JLARC released its report.
McAuliffe, who was out of the country on a trade mission when the report became public, said in a statement that he has instructed Todd Haymore, Virginia’s secretary of commerce and trade, and other administration officials to review the report and identify opportunities on how to maximize the impact of Virginia’s economic development efforts.
The scolding report comes at a time when VEDP already is at a crossroads. It just hired a new CEO after undergoing a major restructuring. Lawmakers also have voted to spin off its international trade division while launching a new, collaborative initiative aimed at boosting Virginia’s regional economies.
Del. S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a member of JLARC, says the report can be “a roadmap for how we can do a VEDP 2.0.” Jones welcomes more legislative oversight and told Virginia Business, “We still need to have that piece where we approve their budget and initiatives, and there needs to be checks and balances.”
Dan Clemente, chairman of VEDP’s board of directors, would prefer an organization less reliant on state funding. Why not reinvent VEDP as a private, nonprofit, he asks, with a dedicated source of funding, like other states have done?
VEDP, which administers ten 10 grant programs, gets 98 percent of its money from the state. In fiscal 2017, it’s budgeted to get $27 million. Making it less dependent on state appropriations would make VEDP less political, adds Clemente. “The way we get funding is we have to lobby the governor and make a case.” The governor’s budget reflects his priorities and when there is a revenue shortfall, like this year, agencies have to cut spending to balance the state budget. “How do you run a successful organization when you don’t know what money you have to deal with?” he asks.
Despite JLARC’s criticism, Clemente seems to take the report in stride. A lawyer and commercial real estate developer in Northern Virginia, he was appointed to the VEDP board in 2014 by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell and became chairman in June of this year. “Let me put it this way, I’ve done a lot of workouts in my career. Usually what you do when you take over a company in trouble, you hire somebody … and they come in and do a study and give you analysis and that usually costs me $300,000 to $400,000 to get that work done. This is great. I got it for free.”
Longtime VEDP board member David Hudgins hopes JLARC’s recommendations “will right the ship so we can move forward and know where we’re going … VEDP is too important of an organization not to be optimized. This thing has got to work; it cannot fail, because there is no replacement for it.”
Mark Kilduff, an economic development consultant who served as executive director of VEDP from 1999 to 2006, says the report is a “call to get back to basics. Let’s do marketing in an organized, first-class way. There’s a clear message on the need to coordinate economic development efforts in Virginia. And you have to be prudent with the resources that you’re given. … There’s a tendency to take a study like this and just look at the negatives and assume that everything is bad. I think we do need to remember that there’s an awful lot of good that VEDP does.”
As recently as 2013, Virginia ranked as a top state for business in several national surveys. By this year, however, Virginia had fallen to No. 13 in an annual survey by CNBC. While rankings may not be the best indicators of business climate, they influence perception. Virginia’s slide in rankings, says Hudgins, got attention and provided VEDP critics with ammunition.
Today, much is at stake. How JLARC’s proposed overhaul plays out will determine not only Virginia’s long-term strategy for economic development, but also its ability to compete. Other states already have implemented new operating structures. Fifteen have privatized economic development, setting up nonprofit organizations with dedicated revenue streams. (See page 29.)
Fight on trade?
One bright spot in JLARC’s report was VEDP’s international trade division. JLARC noted that VEDP’s export promotion programs are held “in high regard” by staff in other states and local and regional economic developers. Yet, JLARC’s recommendation to leave international trade within VEDP for now could spark a political fight. Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved legislation to spin off trade as a separate agency by April 1. That plan drew bipartisan support and backing from major business groups.
JLARC member Landes says the spinoff should not be delayed. “My personal belief is that we can’t wait a year or two and put our international assets in jeopardy and in question. We need to move forward with that piece,” says the delegate, the patron of the House bill.
Trade has become increasingly important as Virginia seeks to lessen its dependence on defense spending. Exports represented 30 percent of Virginia’s economic growth during the past five years, generating $2 billion in tax revenue in 2014, according to a recent report by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
The creation of Virginia International Trade Corp. would mean about 28 percent of VEDP’s current personnel and funding would move to the new agency. Despite the business community’s support for a separate agency, Clemente prefers to see trade remain with VEDP. “Why would you set up a whole new silo? A whole new board? It will cost thousands of dollars to make the change. They do a good job. I would be happy to keep it in VEDP.”
Haymore says estimated startup costs in the trade agency’s first year would run about a half million dollars. With the state facing a $1.5 billion shortfall over the next two years, legislators who initially backed the idea might be reluctant to move forward, especially in the 2017 short session, which precedes a gubernatorial election.
Another question is where to put the state’s seven international offices for agricultural exports. Haymore, who previously was secretary of agriculture and forestry, expanded the number of offices to broaden sales for Virginia’s $52 billion agricultural industry.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has until Nov. 1 to recommend whether the offices stay under its umbrella or move to the new trade agency. The state pays $1.3 million a year to promote agricultural products overseas.
Conceptually, it makes sense to have one agency dedicated to promoting Virginia in the global marketplace, says Haymore. Yet the secretary, an ex-officio member of VEDP’s board, wants assurances that there would be a dedicated agricultural component. “It takes a different skill set to market a soybean or a cow than a widget.”
Too many pots?
When Jones and Del. Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg, first considered seeking legislation for a JLARC study 14 months ago, one concern was how state money for economic development and international trade is distributed. “There’s a lot of money here, a lot of money there, three or four pots,” says Jones.
JLARC’s report bears out those concerns, recommending that VEDP better coordinate its services. One recommendation calls for the General Assembly to create a board of economic development that would provide planning and direction for the state’s economic development system.
VEDP was launched in 1995 during Gov. George Allen’s administration. Chris Lloyd, a senior vice president with McGuireWoods Consulting in Richmond, wrote the legislation creating VEDP when he was an assistant secretary of commerce and trade. Virginia’s model was cutting edge in 1995, he recalls. As a state authority, it has more independence and statutory powers than an agency. It is run by a 24-member board of directors (appointed by the governor and General Assembly), with six of those members state officials, who serve as ex-offico members. The board has the power to hire and fire the CEO, who runs day-to-day operations.
VEDP staffers take pride in the fact that it is run more like a business than a government agency. Some resent the push to turn it into what they call “just another state bureaucracy.” They point out that recruiting businesses is not a 9-to-5 job. Sometimes employees work late in the evenings in the heat of closing a deal, and they say it was not unusual in the past for them to leave the office early when that occurs. Over the years, employees have been paid higher average salaries than other state employees, with 50 percent of VEDP’s budget going to employee compensation.
A database of state salaries recently compiled by the Richmond Times-Dispatch shows that senior VEDP managers typically earn more than $100,000 a year. Its previous permanent CEO, Martin Briley, earned nearly $305,000 a year. The annual salary for VEDP's newly hired CEO, Stephen Moret, is $340,000. In the 2016 fiscal year, VEDP assisted in 191 economic development decisions that are expected to create 18,511 jobs and $2.7 billion in capital investment. Yet those numbers are now under scrutiny, with JLARC questioning the accuracy of VEDP’s data collection. “VEDP’s reliance on expected jobs and capital investment instead of actual jobs and capital investment prematurely attributes success to the organization even though some of the new jobs and capital investment never actually materialize,” the report says.
An increased interest in regional collaboration has created a new economic development initiative and yet another pot of money. The General Assembly gave its blessing this year to GO Virginia. Backed by some of the state’s most influential business leaders — including Tom Farrell, the chairman and CEO of Dominion in Richmond and Ben Davenport, chairman of Davenport Energy Inc. in Chatham — GO Virginia is designed to create more high-paying, private-sector jobs.
Leading the charge is John O. “Dubby” Wynne, a retired Landmark Communications executive in Norfolk, who recently was elected chairman of GO Virginia’s 24-member board. Wynne says $4.5 million has been authorized to get the organization up and running in its first year, including the hiring of two staff members. Starting on July 1, $30 million in grants will be available to nine regional councils for projects encouraging collaboration between businesses, workforce development organizations and government.
Wynne says GO Virginia will be run out of Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development, with its director, Bill Shelton, serving as staff liaison. According to VEDP sources, when GO Virginia’s leaders began working on the initiative in 2014, they wanted their operations to fall under VEDP, but its leadership at the time was not interested.
Asked whether there could be confusion between the roles of VEDP and GO Virginia, Wynne says no. “The two organizations are entirely different. VEDP does three things: They recruit, retain and try to get expansion. We don’t do any of those three things. We don’t give a grant to any individual company … We’re at the regional level, with each region identifying its priorities and pursuing them.’’
Jones welcomes the business community’s involvement, but he understands how “it can be a little confusing.” One of the positive aspects of GO Virginia, he adds, is that it encourages localities and regions to collaborate, rather than compete.
A listening tour paved the way for some of the current changes at VEDP. In January Clemente; Dan Gundersen, VEDP’s chief operating officer; and Chris Lumsden, then-chair of the VEDP board, visited with 125 economic development officials throughout the state. Clemente used his plane and picked up the tab for the trip.
What they heard is that some officials, particularly in rural areas, aren’t getting enough attention from VEDP. Stakeholders wanted more business prospect leads directed to them, and they questioned the way VEDP deployed its resources.
After the board received a report on the tour on March 10, Martin Briley, VEDP’s CEO of four years, stepped down voluntarily, Clemente says, because he didn’t agree with the new direction the board wanted to take. (Virginia Business reached out to Briley who declined to comment.) The board then named Gundersen interim president and CEO.
Even before the tour, VEDP was under pressure because of a botched project. A Chinese-led company, Lindenburg Industry LLC, had missed a deadline to return $1.4 million in state incentive money it received in 2014 for an Appomattox County factory that never materialized. The company had pledged to invest $113 million and to hire 349 people. The incident, first exposed by the Roanoke Times, showed a poor job in vetting the company, and VEDP has yet to recoup the money. It’s a glaring example of one of the points made in the JLARC report.
In mid-August — three months before JLARC’s review was released — Gundersen implemented a restructuring that has left some of its 100 employees disillusioned. The reorganization dismantled the agency’s Business Attraction and Business Expansion divisions, consolidating them into a new Business Investment Division. Also created were two new divisions and industry-based teams to put more emphasis on business recruitment efforts in distressed areas.
When the restructuring was announced, two vice presidents with a combined 40 years of experience, Liz Povar and Mike Lehmkuhler, opted to leave. They had led the dismantled divisions. Another senior manager, Brent Sheffler, left this fall. Some current and former employees, who asked not to be identified, described VEDP’s work environment as “toxic.” They say staffers fear losing jobs if they don’t go along with reassignments that in some cases mean demotions in rank and salary. Others are concerned about how the work of the senior managers who have left will get done, with no transition plans in place to retain business relationships that were years in the making. These sources also say that three employees have been fired since October.
Gundersen declined to comment on the employee complaints. He did say via email that VEDP values employee input and is developing an employee opinion survey that would seek input annually.
Clemente says he is not surprised by dissension in the ranks. “Any time you make a change, 50 percent of the people think you’re an idiot, and the other half thinks you’re great. We have to do what we think is the best thing to do.”
A new CEO
In late November, VEDP's board moved forward with the hiring of a new CEO following an eight-month national search. It picked Stephen Morel, who headed up Louisiana's Department of Economic Development from 2008-2015. During that time, Morel is credited with implementing a new workforce initiative, securing more than $62 billion in new private sector capital investment and boosting the state's business climate rankings in national surveys. Clemente says the authority needs “a world-class, rock-star economic development executive who has experience in working out issues like we have before us today.," and he thinks Morel fits the bill.
Morel started his job on Jan. 1. In addition to his $340,000 salary, he is eligibile to earn up to a 15 percent annual incentive bonus that's tied to performance review. Clemente says the timing on the hire is right because Moret will be able to help shepherd through changes expected to comefrom JLARC's audit.
But Jones, the House Appropriations chairman, and other legislator members of JLARC said they didn't think now was the time to be hiring a new CEO. The thinking was that with upcoming legislative tweaks to VEDP’s operations — an effort that could take more than one General Assembly session — the job gig a candidate might accept could be subject to dramatic change. Jones, contacted after the announcement of Moret's hiring, said, "I was unaware of how far along they were in the process. I spoke with Mr. Moret, and certainly I look forward to working with him in his capacity as the new president and CEO of VEDP. Certainly, there's much to do."
In the meantime, JLARC has formed a new subcommittee on economic development that will closely monitor incentives in Virginia. As Landes explains, “We’re slowly taking more of a role in economic development programs because they are so important.”
Economic development models in other states
A private nonprofit leads the state’s business recruitment and retention efforts. Funding comes from the organization’s operation of Ohio’s liquor stores, which in 2015 generated $90 million for economic development activities.
North Carolina: Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
The state created this public/private nonprofit organization in 2014. About 85 percent of the partnership’s $24 million annual budget comes from a contract with the state of North Carolina. The rest of the funding comes from federal dollars and private funds.
South Carolina: Coordinating Council for Economic Development
The council falls under the umbrella of the Department of Commerce. In this centralized approach, the council consists of the heads or board chairs of the 11 state agencies concerned with economic development, including South Carolina’s Ports Authority and the Recreation and Tourism Department. Utility taxes provide a dedicated revenue stream, capped at $20 million a year, for a Set-Aside Fund that helps local governments develop infrastructure necessary for new and expanding business. State appropriations, $11 million in 2015-16, fund a Governor’s Closing Fund to help close deals. The council has the authority to transfer Set Aside funds to the closing fund with a majority vote of its council.
Source: Virginia Business and the state’s websites.2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Hutch_Mauck_07.png“We see auto coverage pushing upward in 2017 as well,” says Hutch Mauck. Photo by Jill Nance Waugh
Exceptions in a buyer’s market
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/exceptions-in-a-buyers-market#When:09:00:00ZThis year has been a buyer’s market for commercial insurance, with competition among insurers helping to keep most rates down. Nonetheless, two types of coverage — auto and cyber — saw rate increases in 2016, a pattern that may continue next year.
“We see auto coverage pushing upward in 2017 as well,” says Hutch Mauck, president of Lynchburg-based Scott Insurance.
An increase in auto insurance rates stems from higher vehicle repair costs and the “continued litigious legal environment we live in,” he says. “Plus, there has been extremely low auto insurance pricing over the last 10 years, and this is sort of a rebound effect.”
Cyber coverage continues to be an emerging product in commercial insurance. This year “has been precedent setting in terms of claims” because of cyberattacks, says Eddie Smith, executive vice president in Roanoke for Rutherfoord, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company. “It’s been the year of cyber extortion where a hacker locks up your computer. In order to gain access, you have to wire funds.”
In a typical ransomware attack, a hacker encrypts a victim’s digital content and holds it hostage until a ransom is paid. These attacks grew by 35 percent last year, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report.
Cyber rates rose in part because insurance companies are paying more in losses. “Most brokers expect a rate trend increase in 2017 because of higher losses,” says David Schaefer, president and CEO of AHT Insurance in Leesburg.
Not me attitude
Even though cyber coverage is readily available — close to 70 carriers are offering cyber insurance — many businesses are not buying it. “Much of that is because people think, ‘It’s not going to happen to me,’ ” says Paul Fleming, senior vice president for Henrico County-based Bankers Insurance.
“It reminds me of 10 to 15 years ago and employment-practices coverage,” he says. “Very few people would purchase that. People thought it wasn’t going to happen to them. But now many more businesses are purchasing that coverage. We don’t know if we will go through that with cyber.”
Small businesses often underestimate their risk level. The National Cyber Security Alliance says 82 percent of small-business owners believe they are not likely targets for attacks. But last year 43 percent of all cyberattacks were aimed at small businesses.
Suffering a cyberattack can be crippling for a small business. Notification requirements for a cyber loss can be very confusing. “Forty-eight states have different laws and regulations about how you have to notify people,” Fleming says, noting the process can be especially problematic for a company doing business in several states. “If you are with the right cyber insurance company, they handle all of that for you.”
Business owners should purchase policies that “fit their businesses and their operations,” says Fleming. They also need to consider the information they collect, how it is stored and how it is protected. “If nothing else, you are safeguarding your employees’ information at a bare minimum.”
Cybersecurity is the “subject of the day, and it continues to be a new frontier,” says Smith. “The folks that are doing this [hacking] are very sophisticated. Some of their target industries are health care, retail and hospitality.”
Another type of coverage that is gaining traction is drone insurance, including liability and property coverage for drone owners and coverage for commercial use.
“The insurance solutions available today are much better than last year at this time. There is a lot of development that has allowed the drone market to mature,” says Schaefer, noting that the biggest concern is liability coverage.
“There are a number of programs available for that exposure. There is more competition and more thoughtfulness, plus the rules are getting easier to understand.”
More companies today also are taking advantage of options such as captive insurance and other alternative-risk financing solutions. Both are structures for self-insurance, which is becoming more popular. “We think they will continue to be more prevalent and gain market share,” says Mauck.
In the past, captive insurance and alternative-risk financing plans were used mostly by large companies, but today many of these programs are available to small and midsize businesses. “That trend will continue,” says Mauck. “Both have the potential to save companies money. We will continue to see more captive and alternative options on the employee benefits side of insurance.”
Another soft market?
Looking ahead, industry professionals believe that the overall insurance market next year will be a continuation of 2016’s soft market. “It will be another good year for purchasers of property and casualty products,” says Smith. “We are expecting the market to continue to be a buyer’s market in 2017. There is ample capacity and good competition among carriers.”
In 2016, companies considered very-good risks saw their rates decrease, while average-risk companies experienced a slight increase in rates — an average of 2.2 percent. “That’s a continuing trend from 2015,” says Fleming.
Competition among insurance carriers continues to be intense. “Insurance companies rely on underwriting and investment returns,” says Schaefer. “Carriers are now under some pressure as it relates to their investment returns. Underwriters that don’t have the business are providing compelling options.”
Carriers compete on “all fronts — underwriting, product design, limits, claims management, loss control, price, customer service, financial strength and overall value proposition — to renew current accounts and secure new business,” says Thomas K. Smith, chief marketing officer for national accounts at Richmond-based specialty insurer Markel Corp.
The lack of major catastrophic events for the past two years in the U.S. has been a factor in this year’s soft market. Hurricane Matthew’s path of destruction along the Southeast coast didn’t occur until the fourth quarter. The hurricane did not affect rates this year, but next year may be a different story.
“In 2017, it will have an impact and possibly cause higher insurance pricing for property insurance on the coast [east of I-95] particularly for flood coverage related to coastal property insurance,” says Mauck.
Agents in Va.
Va. revenues ($000)2
BB&T Insurance Services
Walter P. Smith
Rutherfoord, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company
Thomas R. Brown;
John C. Stanchina;
R. Hutcheson Mauck Jr.
USI Insurance Services
Bankers Insurance LLC
P. Marshall Fleming
Aon Risk Services of Virginia
Larry J. Loving
Tabb, Brockenbrough & Ragland
Chas. Lunsford Sons & Associates
Roy E. Bucher Jr.
Willis Towers Watson (VA)
1 As of Jan. 1, 2016 2 For 2015 WND: Would not disclose Note: List originally appeared in the March 2016 edition. Source: Individual firms.2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Reinhart-4942.pngJohn Reinhart stands in a conference room overlooking Virginia International Gateway. Photo by Mark Rhodes
A steady hand at the helm
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-steady-hand-at-the-helm#When:09:00:00ZIn the summer of 2013, John Reinhart was vacationing in China Lake, Maine when he broached the idea of a career change with his wife, Mary, and their three adult children.
The Port of Virginia was looking for its next executive director, and a number of people had asked if Reinhart was interested in the job.
At first he wasn’t, even encouraging others to apply. But the more he thought about the opportunity, the more it intrigued him.
Reinhart had been CEO of Norfolk-based Maersk Line Ltd. (MLL) since 2000. Under his leadership, MLL, a subsidiary of the Danish shipping company Maersk Line, became the largest U.S.-flag commercial fleet in international trade. Annual revenues had grown fivefold under his watch.
Reinhart told his family: “I can work another few years at Maersk and retire and go away, or I can chuck it in now, retire early and go sign on for this opportunity to rebuild the Port of Virginia.”
Initially, his wife was shocked. .
“Mary was a little bit taken aback,” Reinhart says, “But as we talked through it, I said, ‘You only have a certain amount of time when you can effect change and do something of importance.’ ”
The port at the time was in disarray. It had been bleeding money since the Great Recession, losing $120 million in five years.
It also had undergone two separate rounds of bids within four years to privatize its operations. The uncertainty surrounding the port’s future kept executives from upgrading service, improving finances or investing in capital infrastructure.
“I believed the port was at a critical point,” says Reinhart. “If we didn’t stabilize it and turn it around, it was going to damage the economy of Virginia. It was going to continue to flounder.”
Reinhart pursued the job “because I wanted to help Virginia, and I wanted to turn this wonderful economic engine and true natural resource into something that all Virginians could be proud of.”
In February 2014, Reinhart became the CEO and executive director of the Port of Virginia. Under his leadership, the port has made a stark turnaround, recording profits during the past two fiscal years.
The port’s improved financial picture has provided a foundation for an unprecedented investment in its facilities. With an injection of state money and a new 50-year lease for a privately owned, high-tech terminal, the port is undertaking two massive construction projects that will increase its cargo capacity by 64 percent.
“John, with his talents, got ahead of [leadership] problems at the port,” says Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “And he took the port to much higher heights in terms of getting finances under control and turning the operations around, which led us to this $700 million investment within a couple years of finding the place a mess.”
Because of his leadership in turning the money-losing port into a profitable entity that now is making major investments in its future, Virginia Business has named Reinhart its Virginia Business Person of the Year for 2016.
Reinvigorating the culture
The turnaround hasn’t been easy. “He’s been under pressure since the day he got there,” says John Milliken, chairman of the Virginia Port Authority board of commissioners. “The port was losing significant amounts of money. Its position relative to its peers on the East Coast had slipped, and he had a new and impatient governor who told him how unhappy he was about the current state of the port.”
While Reinhart was hired by the VPA board in the waning months of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s term in 2013, he actually started work at the port one month after Gov. Terry McAuliffe was inaugurated in 2014.
McAuliffe and Layne were dismayed by the port’s financial situation, which turned out to be even bleaker than what they had expected. They quickly applied pressure to the VPA board to reshape port finances. Eventually five of its 13 commissioners were replaced, which included re-appointing Milliken as chairman.
Reinhart didn’t hesitate to act when he took over as the port’s CEO. Even before he started the job, he required members of his senior leadership team to read “Reinvent: A Leader’s Playbook for Serial Success,” a book by pharmaceutical entrepreneur Fred Hassan, which focuses on organizational ABCs: attitude, behavior and culture.
One of his first steps was to complete a rebranding and reorganization of the port, an effort begun before he took the job. The organization focused on branding the port and its operations as the Port of Virginia, whereas it had previously used several different names.
He also worked to re-energize and refocus employees, whose morale had been battered by the Great Recession and the turmoil generated by the bids from outside firms. The port had lost several longtime employees.
Reinhart reorganized the senior leadership team and added some new employees.
“When John came in in February of 2014, he was very methodical with regard to how he wanted to approach the challenge that was the Port of the Virginia at the time, both from an operational perspective and also the perception others had of the port,” says Joe Ruddy, chief innovation officer at the port. “You had to initiate the brand, you had to reinvigorate the culture, to define and let folks know they had to live by certain values.”
Unlike some turnaround specialists, instead of entering the organization and firing employees, Reinhart focused on building up the leadership team. “I think John’s a facilitator,” says Shawn Tibbetts, chief operations officer of the port. “John’s really big on not only developing the physical assets of the port, but the human capital. He has an eye toward how we create sustainability in the people side.”
Layne, the state transportation secretary, says Reinhart has a natural ability to encourage employees to excel. “John has a way of getting people wanting to work for him,” he says. “There are some people who have this ability for people who want to follow their leadership and believe in them, and John has that. I think that’s one of the reasons why you’ve seen the port turn around as quickly as it has.”
Reinhart led his team through a thorough review of the port’s finances. “We started to say, ‘What’s our burn rate? How much money are we losing each day? How much are we losing each hour? What are the true costs of doing the activities that we are doing, and are there things we are doing that we should stop doing? Are there things that we can do more efficiently?’” Reinhart recalls.
The port decreased costs with steps like reducing the percentage of overtime hours and dropping money-losing incentives. Cost cuts, however, did not include layoffs or reductions in salaries.
Financial results improved rapidly. When Reinhart joined the port, there were five months left of fiscal year 2014, and the port was projected to lose $24 million.
Through the team’s efforts to reduce expenses, the loss was only $17.1 million. In FY 2015, the port reported its first profit since 2008, $13.6 million. That was followed by a profit of $4.76 million in the latest fiscal year.
The port also faced operational challenges. Growth in cargo volume had taxed its terminals, which suffered from years of little investment. A bad winter in early 2015 forced the port to close for an unprecedented four days. That created congestion nightmares for truckers who transfer containers to and from the port.
For short-term fixes, the port took several corrective steps: buying chassis that trucks use to transport shipping containers, adding container-handling equipment and spending $7 million to reopen Portsmouth Marine Terminal, which had been closed to container traffic for almost three years. “It allowed us to move some pressure off [Norfolk International Terminals], because they were operating well above optimal utilization,” says Reinhart. “They were at 95 percent. Well, that means you have no resiliency, everything takes more time, and you’re at the broken point. This was a triage effort.”
But the need for greater capacity was evident.
Although a global decline in shipping volume has dampened projected volume at ports around the world — the Port of Virginia’s container volume is up 2 percent this year — international trade is expected to surge over the long term.
In anticipation of that growth, the Port of Virginia is increasing the capacity of its terminals by 1.6 million TEUs over the next three years with expansions of its two largest terminals.
These investments would not have been possible without improving the port’s operations and finances. “We had to get stability here and revitalize the port in order to create confidence in our capabilities in order to serve the business,” says Tibbetts, the port COO. “That had to come before we could start investing heavily in our future.”
The renegotiated lease for VIG was a crucial piece of the puzzle.
Soon after he arrived at the port, Reinhart began an arduous two-year negotiation process with VIG’s new owners. The port was operating the modern Portsmouth terminal, originally owned by APM Terminals, under a 20-year lease that the McAuliffe administration viewed as unsatisfactory.
With 60 acres of land adjacent to its existing terminal, VIG offered the port an ideal opportunity for expansion.
“It took about a year to get a detailed term sheet together that had the major muscle movements, and then you had to translate that into all the final legal documents,” says Reinhart. “So, it was painstaking.”
The process had plenty of obstacles, but in September the state announced that it had a new deal.
The 50-year lease allows the port to operate VIG with the option to purchase the terminal at the end of that time. It also allowed the port to embark on the $320 million project to nearly double capacity of the terminal to 2 million TEUs, which will be financed by the terminal’s owners.
That expansion will take place while the port expands Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), currently its largest terminal. While VIG negotiations were underway, McAuliffe agreed to include a $350 million bond issue in his budget this year to fund the NIT project.
Convincing legislators to support the bond was made easier by an outreach effort begun under Reinhart. The port decided it had to tell its story better to legislators so that they understood the economic impact of the port on businesses in their districts. According to a study by the College of William & Mary, the port generates $60 billion in economic activity each year.
Another ongoing construction project at NIT will add a 26-lane, semi-automated gate complex to improve the movement of trucks in and out of the port. The gates will eventually tie into Interstate 564, removing trucks from local streets.
Meanwhile, the port also is making improvements at Richmond Marine Terminal, formerly known as the Port of Richmond. The Port of Virginia signed a 40-year lease with the city to operate the terminal on the James River.
Previously, the port had a five-year lease. “By having a 40-year lease, taking over full operations and increasing the potential of the barge service, now advanced manufacturing or distribution centers know they can build along that 95 corridor,” says Reinhart.
Laying the groundwork
Throughout his career, Reinhart has been ambitious.
He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and earned a degree in general studies at Ohio University. That is where he met Mary, whom he married before their senior year.
When they graduated in 1975, jobs were scarce. They moved back to Columbus, where Reinhart began working as a night manager at a fast-food restaurant.
The chain quickly recognized his talent. Reinhart became a district manager within six months. After 18 months, he was promoted to training manager, helping to open franchises.
Eventually, Reinhart opened his own 11 franchised restaurants in Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky, which employed 700 people. “It was going well until about 1986-87, and then the fast-food wars really started to heat up,” says Reinhart.
He’d been reading about the effects of globalization, and it piqued his interest.
So he began to wind down and sell his restaurant businesses while discussing job opportunities with executives at the U.S. headquarters of A.P. Moller-Maersk in New Jersey. The company was growing rapidly with the expansion of containerized cargo.
At Maersk, Reinhart’s first role was in the human resources department. After about six months, he transferred to the maintenance department at Port Newark in New Jersey and within a year was leading that terminal. Here he had his first exposure to the intricacies of terminal operations.
Eventually he was promoted to president of Universal Maritime Services, a part of Maersk that ran six terminals in the U.S. Under his leadership, the business went from losing $6 million to making money the next year. “I just fell in love with what I call the structural ballet that happens on a pier, because you’re moving big stuff, you’re trying to do it all safely, and it takes a lot of collaboration, cooperation by all,” says Reinhart.
After several years in Maersk’s sales division, Reinhart was named to an integration team when the company bought Sealand, which was at the time the largest U.S.-flag carrier. After the integration was complete, Reinhart was named president and CEO of Maersk Line Ltd., moving to Norfolk in 2000.
“We grew MLL to be the largest U.S.-flag shipping company in international trade,” says Reinhart. U.S.-flag shipping means the company is subject to the rules and regulations of the U.S., and its ships must be manned by a U.S. crew. MLL typically transports specialized or sensitive cargo.
Under Reinhart, annual revenues grew fivefold, and the company’s operating profits grew tenfold.
In 2009, Somali pirates “seajacked” the Maersk Alabama, an MLL cargo ship, taking its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage. The harrowing incident ended five days later when Navy SEALs killed three pirates in a daring rescue. The Maersk Alabama story was the inspiration for “Captain Phillips,” a 2013 movie starring Tom Hanks.
Reinhart learned about the pirates’ attack in a call from Copenhagen at 2 a.m. Months before the crisis, MLL had established a “situation room” in its Norfolk headquarters complete with video screens and monitors in case of emergencies. By 5 a.m., executives had assembled there. “We were interfacing with the Maersk fleet, with the Navy, the families of the crew and with the media trying to communicate with and work with a very volatile and sensitive situation,” Reinhart recalls.
MLL chartered a plane to fly the ship’s crew home, bringing their families to Norfolk to greet them. The company also provided psychiatrists to help crew members recover from the traumatic experience. Reinhart was in touch with Phillips’ family throughout the ordeal. “So it was a week of danger, a week of sleeplessness, and we just tried to respond,” Reinhart says.
Reinhart hopes his legacy ensures a bright future for the Port of Virginia. “I felt, with my life, you get one more set, one more chance to do good,” he says. “I said, ‘Where else would it be better to invest your life than for the Port of Virginia and the Commonwealth of Virginia?’ I openly ran to this job, and I’m trying to set it up so that the generations behind us are ready to carry it forward.”
Despite its dramatic turnaround in the past three years, the port still faces major obstacles. First up will be managing the expansion projects.
In addition, the shipping industry remains volatile. The global containerized business remains depressed, and bankruptcies and consolidations among ocean carriers continue to cloud the industry’s future.
Carriers likely will continue their switch to larger ships to move goods more efficiently. That trend puts pressure on terminal operators to handle immense volumes of cargo coming come on and off these huge ships.
The port also is conducting a study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about deepening its harbor to 55 feet. That depth would give the port an advantage in handling large container ships and ensure the channel could still handle two-way navigation with the bigger ships. It also could be an important competitive advantage as many East Coast ports have recently deepened their channels.
And then in three years, when the port has the additional cargo capacity, executives must focus on filling it, especially being competitive for discretionary cargo headed to the Midwest.
“It does us no good if we have built all this capacity and no one comes,” says Milliken, chairman of the VPA board. “So the nature of the job now changes for John. You can’t neglect any of the financial or operational pieces at all, but the real emphasis now shifts externally to customers, partners and others who influence the decision on whether a ship line or cargo owner uses Virginia versus another port.”
And with solid numbers, historic investments in its two largest facilities and plans to dredge a deeper channel, he has a good story to tell.2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00
People - December 2016
Five employees from Martinsville-based Patrick Henry Community College received awards during the 2016 Virginia Community College Association conference at the Wintergreen Resort. Associate Professor of Welding Dwight Bowers received the Excellence in Education Award; Welding Instructor Randy Smith and Executive Assistant Letitia Pulliam, were honored with a Faculty and Staff Showcase Award. (Work It, SoVa)
George W. Lester II, chair and CEO of The Lester Group in Martinsville, is the new chair of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). (News release)
Martinsville-based Hooker Furniture Corp. has named Steve Lush to a new position, executive vice president – Hooker Casegoods sales and merchandising. Lush is a 33-year veteran of the furniture retail, manufacturing and interior design industries. Lush most recently served as president of Fort Myers, Fla.-based retailer Robb & Stucky. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Danville-based American National Bank and Trust Co., the bank subsidiary of American National Bankshares Inc., has named John H. Settle Jr. executive vice president and president of trust and investment services. Settle was senior vice president and senior fiduciary adviser at Wells Fargo. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Charlottesville-based Virginia National Bank has named Samuel T. Ashworth market president and commercial lender for the Shenandoah Valley. Ashworth joins the bank with 42 years of industry experience, including 19 years working in Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley. His territory will extend from Lexington to Winchester. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Dr. A. Jerry Benson, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Harrisonburg-based James Madison University, will retire from the university’s senior leadership team June 30. Benson joined the university in 1980. A successor has not been named. (News release)
Jason Burch, manager of system engineering for the Shenandoah Electric Cooperative, will serve as one of two co-op industry representatives in a “major Department of Energy research project” over the next three years, the co-op has announced. Burch will be consulting for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Committee in New Mexico, which will work to develop software to create a resilient electric grid that can withstand extreme weather events. (The Northern Virginia Daily)
Brian Baumgardner has been tapped to lead Lewis Gale Regional Health System, overseeing LewisGale Medical Center in Salem and its community hospitals in Montgomery, Alleghany and Pulaski counties. He was president and CEO of HCA’s West Florida Hospital in Pensacola. (The Roanoke Times)
Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia inducted four people into its Business Hall of Fame in November. The 2016 laureates were Kent Greenawalt , president and CEO of Foot Levelers, and Ronald Willard , the CEO of the Willard Cos. Robert Kul p and Mike Whiteside of Black Dog Salvage also were hono red as entrepreneurs of the year. (The Roanoke Ti mes)
After 22 years on the bench, Roanoke Valley General District Judge Vincent Lilley announced he’s retiring, effective Dec. 31. (The Roanoke Times)
Danville-based American National Bank & Trust Co. announced the hiring of the following as the bank enters the Roanoke market: Kevin Meade , executive vice president and regional president; Edward Martin , executive vice president and senior credit officer; Andy Agee , Gray Goldsmith , Allen Clark , Steven Smith a nd Alan Miller, sen ior vice pr esident and relationship manager. (The Roanoke Times)
B. Randolph Roller has been named senior vice president and trust officer for the trust and wealth management division of Abingdon-based First Bank and Trust Co. Before joining the bank, he was first vice president and trust officer for City National Bank. (News release)
Paula Brown, senior vice president of mortgage for Roanoke-based Freedom First Credit Union, received the 2016 Individual Affiliate of the Year Award from the Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors. (The Roanoke Times)
Newport News-based construction firm W.M. Jordan Co. promoted four senior project managers to the role of vice president and project executive. John Angle and Ronald Lauster were promoted in the Newport News headquarters, while Brooks Ballance and Mark Reilly wer e promoted in the Richmond office. (Daily Press)
Jamie Jackson has been named director of transit development at Hampton Roads Transit. She previously was deputy executive director of the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority. (Inside Business)
Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries named Susan Jacobs vice president of human resources and administration at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. On. Dec. 2, she will assume her new role, succeeding Bill Bell, who is retiring after 34 years. (News release)
Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries will open an office in Canberra, Australia, and has hired Jeff McCray as vice president, business development, HII Australia. Before joining HII, McGray was the vice president for sales for Symetrica Inc. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
John M. Presley has resigned as CEO of Toano-based Lumber Liquidators, and the board of directors has appointed Dennis R. Knowles, the company’s chief operating officer, to succeed him as CEO. Presley also is resigning from the company’s board of directors effective Dec. 15, and Knowles has been elected to the board, effective the same date. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
William “Bill” E. Franczek, a partner at Norfolk-based business law firm Vandeventer Black LLP, was recently selected as a fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators. (Daily Press)
Jim Abrahamson has been named chairman of Arlington-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ board of directors. Abrahamson currently is Interstate’s CEO but plans to step down once the company finds his replacement. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Paul Dillahay is taking over as president and CEO, NCI Inc. in Reston. He is replacing Brian Clark. Dillahay was executive vice president of CACI International Inc.’s health and litigation solutions group. (Washington Business Journal)
John Marshall Bank named Tom Nida senior vice president and regional executive of its Washington, D.C., market. He was executive vice president and managing director for community development and nonprofit banking at United Bank. (News release)
Hirschler Fleischer, a Richmond-based law firm, is expanding its Tysons office with the addition of Justine Fitzgerald as a partner in the firm’s real estate practice. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Bill Freehling has been named Fredericksburg’s director of economic development and tourism. Freehling joined the city’s economic development team as assistant director of economic development in 2014 after a 10-year career with the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. (News release)
Charles Mathis has been named chief financial officer, Science Applications International Corp. in McLean. Mathis, the former CFO of South Carolina-based ScanSource Inc., succeeds John Hartley. (Washington Business Journal)
Joining the board of directors of Portsmouth-based Towne Bank are Neil Amin , chief executive officer of Chester-based Shamin Hotels; Michael Rao, president of Richmond-based Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Heal th System; and Dr. Isaac Wornom III, a Richmond-based plastic surgeon. (RichmondBizSense.com)
Richmond-based Capital Square 1031 LLC has named Andrew Baird , CPA, as the company’s controller. Baird brings more than a decade of accounting experience with real estate and financial services companies. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Unmanned Systems Association of Virginia elected officers and a board of directors at its first meeting. The directors include Sean Cushing of Hazon Solutions, chairman; Guy Sanitate, Science Applications International Corp., secretary; and Joel Campbell, Avineon, treasurer. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Charlottesville-based Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has named Sarah Francisco the new director of the Virginia office. Francisco for the past seven years has been the leader of SELC’s National Forest and Parks program. (News release)
James Hatcher has been named regional CEO for the Virginia region of the American Red Cross. Hatcher was president of Richmond-based Pleasants Hardware for 16 years. (News release)
Pamela M. Sutton-Wallace, chief executive officer of the Charlottesville-based University of Virginia Medical Center, has been named to the board of directors for America’s Essential Hospitals. (News release)2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00
For the Record - December 2016
Commonwealth Assisted Living has completed its acquisition of Danville-based Stratford House. Financial details of the purchase were not disclosed. Charlottesville-based Commonwealth will invest $3.5 million to update the senior-living community and add its memory-care program. The expansion is expected to create 25 jobs. The renovations are expected to take about 18 months. The community will be called Commonwealth Senior Living at Stratford House. Stratford House is Commonwealth’s second senior-living community in Southern Virginia and its 23rd in the state. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Danville , Patrick Henry , Virgin ia Western and New River community colleges will coll aborate on The Davenport Early Childhood Development Institute, aimed at improving early childhood education in Southern and Southwest Virginia. The purpose of the project is to create a talented workforce in Southern and Southwest Virginia by ensuring access to high-quality training and education for individuals working in child-care centers or family child-care homes. The institute also will focus on increasing access to high-quality child-care options for working parents. The program is being funded by a $1 million gift by philanthropists Ben and Betty Davenport of Chatham. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The owner/developer of the former Burlington Industries/Klopman Mills site in Hurt announced its initial plans to develop the site. Construction of the 800-acre business park will begin in the coming year, according to a joint news release from Samet Corp., Hurt Partners LLC, Pittsylvania County and Hurt. The name of the business park will be the Southern Virginia Multimodal Park. (GoDanRiver.com)
The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) will entering a partnership with Siemens, a global technology company, to establish a noncredit Level 3 mechatronics training program. The field of mechatronics combines mechanical, electrical, computer, and software and control engineering to design and manufacture products. Siemens Mechatronic Systems training and certification allows industrial maintenance technicians working in any industry, with any equipment, to reap the benefits of the training and certification. (News release)
Henrico County-based Alpha Omega Investment Advisors , which also operates as Alpha Omega Wealth Management, has acquired Diveley Lind & Associates, an investment advisory firm based in Augusta County. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The Diveley Lind name was changed to Alpha Omega Investment Advisors at the close of the deal. The purchase will not result in any job reductions or disruptions. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce held its Salute to Small Business Awards in Waynesboro in November. Zeus Theaters received the small business award; Michelle Gallaugher of Staunton Olive Oil Co. received the entrepreneur of the year; the United Way of Greater Augusta County received the nonprofit of the year; and Lt. Minday Craun of the Augusta County Fire/Rescue was named the community hero. (News Leader)
A new brewery has opened in Rockbridge County joining the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail . Great Valley Farm Brewery is located in Natural Bridge. Owners Nathan and Irma Bailey moved to the area from Charlotte, N.C., to open the brewery. They plan to grow hops and many other ingredients in Great Valley beer on site. (The Roanoke Times)
The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission announced a new partnership with ViaAir, offering daily nonstop service to Charlotte, N.C., and one-stop service to Orlando/Sanford, Fla. Both routes will be operated utilizing a 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet. This is the first time the Shenandoah Valley has had a partner airline offering daily commercial flights with a jet aircraft. This new service will replace the current air carrier at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, Silver Airways. (News release)
The Shenandoah Valley Partnership received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council in September for its Harvest Box Save the Date project. The partnership created a Save-the-Date marketing promotion to entice a select group of site location consultants to attend a September 2016 familiarization tour, where consultants visited 11 local businesses in six different localities. (News Leader)
Chubb, a global property and casualty insurance company, has filed a state notice confirming that 71 staffers at its Salem office are losing their jobs. The job cuts will take effect Dec. 31, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice. Chubb, formerly ACE Limited, said that the Salem downsizing is part of a realignment prompted by ACE’s purchase of Chubb Corp. in January. ( The Roanoke Times)
Downtown Roanoke Inc. has created a pilot parking program for downtown retailers and restaurants to encourage more people to park downtown. The new program allows merchants to give parking passes to their customers. Passes can be used for up to two hours of free parking at designated parking garages any day before Jan. 31. (The Roanoke Times)
The New River Valley Commerce Park, which has sat mostly unused since its inception two decades ago, received its latest marketing tool in November when it was deemed “business ready” by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. That means the 1,000 acres of rolling hills in Pulaski County have the kind of industrial-grade water supply, electric, sewer and gas that major manufacturers are looking for when they decide where to build a new facility. A handful of sites around the state received the designation as part of the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program. (The Roanoke Times)
Radford University’s Reed and Curie halls will get a state-funded $34 million facelift, the school announced in October. The university is receiving the money as part of a 2016 state bond package. The connected academic buildings primarily house the university’s College of Science and Technology. (The Roanoke Times)
Bristol-based Strongwell Corp. has been named Manufacturer of the Year by the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM). Presented in Abingdon, at SVAM’s annual Manufacturers’ Appreciation and Awards Dinner, Strongwell was recognized for its overall achievements in manufacturing and its role as a corporate citizen and advocate for the manufacturing industry. (News release)
Carilion Clinic has broken ground on a new family practice location in Rocky Mount. The site will replace the current Rocky Mount Family Practice location at 195 Maple Avenue. Dr. James Maxey, Dr. Sarah Stubbs and nurse Tina Muse will see patients in the new location once it is completed. Another physician is also being recruited to join the practice. (News release)
Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony in October for its newest $35 million mixed-use development project in the Town Center of Virginia Beach. The addition is expected to include 39,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space and about 120 luxury apartment homes. Zeiders American Dream Theater will invest about $8 million in a performing arts theater, while the city of Virginia Beach will invest approximately $3 million in public infrastructure. The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2018. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization v oted unanimously in October to recommend widening the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to six lanes from four. The project, known as Alterna tive A, is one of four alternatives proposed to fix congestion at the tunnel and Interstate 64 under the Hampton Roads Water Crossing study. Alternative A was the cheapest — $4 billion — and smallest of the proposals. Under the plan, the expanded HRBT would open in 2024. (The Virginian-Pilot)
Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries plans to acquire Camber Corp., a government services company based in Huntsvi lle, Ala., for $380 million. Camber has annual revenue of about $364 million and 1,700 employees. HII is the parent company of Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia’s largest industrial employer. When the Camber acquisition closes, HII will reorganize its services businesses to establish a new segment, HII Technical Solutions. The acquisition is expected to close in late 2016. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The voters of Virginia Beach have spoken: They overwhelmingly don’t want light rail, voting down a referendum 57-43 percent. More than 166,000 voters weighed in on the nonbinding referendum proposing a $243 million, 3.5-mile rail extension from Norfolk to Town Center. A majority of council members said they will follow the results of the referendum. (The Virginian-Pilot)
High-Occupancy Toll Express Lanes are coming to Hampton Roads in 2017. The Commonwealth Transportation Board voted in October to approve making HOT lanes out of 8.4 miles of reversible HOV lanes from the Interstate 64/264 interchange to I-564 near Norfolk Naval Station. The goal is to open the under-utilized carpool lanes to drivers willing to pay a toll to get out of congestion. (The Virginian-Pilot)
The Navy’s economic impact on Hampton Roads surpassed $10 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2015, increasing by about $770 million over the previous year, according to figures released in October by Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. This is the first time in three years that the Navy’s direct economic impact on the region has passed the $10 billion mark. Since then, the Navy’s economic impact has rebounded, though it remains below the nearly $15 billion in 2011, when the service had 87 ships homeported in the region and 83,095 active-duty personnel. (The Virginian-Pilot)
E. Hunt Burke, chairman and CEO of Burke & Herbert Bank, was honored as the 2016 Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year at the chamber’s Business Awards Celebration held in October. Other winners were: The Campagna Center (Association/Nonprofit Business of the Year); Access National Bank (Rising Star Business of the Year); Alexandria Cupcake (Small Business of the Year); Halt, Buzas & Powell LTD (Medium Business of the Year); Carr Workplaces (Large Business of the Year); Cotton & Co. LLP (Overall Business of the Year); and Town Crier Ben Fiore-Walker (Spirit of the Chamber Award) (Patch.com)
Chantilly- based Engility Holdings Inc. announced in October that it was awarded a five-year $369 million contract with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems — the company’s largest win since its inception in July 2012. Engility will provide engineering, technical assistance, financial and program management services to support NextGen, a program to modernize the nation’s air traffic management system. (Washington Business Journal)
Virginia expects to save $2.5 billion in a public-private partnership contract that the state intends to award to a consortium to build express toll lanes and other improvements along 22.5 miles of Interstate 66 outside the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia in order to relieve the worst traffic congestion in the state. The state has selected Express Mobility Partners — a consortium of Spanish multinational company Ferrovial; a subsidiary, Cintra; global investment and asset management firm Meridiam; and construction firm Allan Myers — to finance, design, maintain and operate the toll expressway under a 50-year concession. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Orbital ATK returned to flight Oct. 17 by christening a refurbished Virginia launchpad with a smooth rocket liftoff two years after an explosion caused $15 million in damage. Flying an updated Antares rocket with new engines, the company sent its unmanned Cygnus spacecraft into orbit at 7:45 p.m., chasing down the International Space Station on a cargo resupply mission for NASA. (The Washington Post)
Boston-based Iron Mountain Inc. has begun construction at its 83-acre data center campus in Manassas. Kessinger/Hunter & Co. is the developer of the first 150,000-square-foot data center on campus. Iron Mountain’s Northern Virginia data center campus will have 60 megawatts of capacity spread across at least four facilities. The first building, expected to open next summer, will offer 10.5 megawatts of critical power. Iron Mountain is a major provider of storage and information management services. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Tysons-based Nehemiah Security, a cybersecurity services company, has acquired Rockville. Md.-based Triumfant, a company that creates software detecting and preventing cyberattacks. Financial details of the acquisition were not released. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Kilmarnock-based Bay Banks of Virginia Inc. and Petersburg-based Virginia BanCorp. Inc. signed a merger agreement that would create a Richmond-based combined bank with $794 million in total assets. Bay Banks is the holding company for Bank of Lancaster and Bay Trust Co., while Virginia BanCorp.’s subsidiary is Virginia Commonwealth Bank. The holding company will continue to be called Bay Banks of Virginia Inc. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
In one of the biggest office deals in downtown Richmond this year, CoStar Group Inc. , a major provider of real estate information and analysis, plans to establish a research operations headquarters expected to create 732 jobs. State and local officials said the $8.17 million project will have an economic impact of $250 million on the Richmond area. CoStar plans to have 200 employees in its Richmond office by the end of the year. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Richmond-based Dominion Resources has acquired the development rights to a 60-megawatt solar facility in Currituck County, N.C., as part of a power purchase agreement with three Boston institutions looking to cut their carbon footprints. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will buy electricity for at least 25 years, along with Boston Medical Center and the Post Office Square Redevelopment Corp., from the 650-acre Summit Farms facility near Moyock. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
The Hilb Group LLC , a Henrico County-based insurance broker, has acquired Indianapolis-based Fundamental Insurance & Retirement Planning (FIRP) Inc. No financial details were released about the deal, which closed Oct 1. With this acquisition, The Hilb Group expands its footprint into the Midwest. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Virginia Commonwealth University and the Richmond Flying Squirrels will be “major contributors” to ward the construction of a roughly $55 million baseball stadium near the Boulevard, according to an announcement made in October. Plans are still in the early stages, according to a news release issued jointly with the city of Richmond, but the university and the team signed a memorandum of understanding at the end of last month outlining how they hope to proceed. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
The Charlottesville-based University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is the third-best “overall MBA program” in the world, according to The Economist. Only the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management were ranked higher in the magazine’s annual list of the top 100 full-time MBA programs in the world. (Daily Progress)2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/GWF_Daytime.pngUnder terms of the China Oceanwide deal, Genworth Financialwould stay in Henrico County. Photo by Shandell Taylor
Genworth agrees to be sold to Chinese firm
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/genworth-agrees-to-be-sold-to-chinese-firm#When:09:00:00ZOne of Virginia’s Fortune 500 companies is set to go private if a recently announced deal goes according to plan.
Henrico County-based Genworth Financial Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Beijing-based China Oceanwide for $2.7 billion, or $5.43 per share, in cash.
The deal — already approved by the companies’ board of directors — must also be endorsed by Genworth’s stockholders and regulators.
Genworth expects the transaction to close by mid-2017. Nonetheless, some observers are skeptical that all the loose ends will be tied up by then.
“When you have a foreign buyer like this who doesn’t already have existing insurance operations in the U.S., it tends to take a little bit longer to get the regulatory approval across the board,” says Kenneth Billingsley, senior vice president and research analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading LLC in Washington, D.C.
One Genworth shareholder already is seeking to stop the deal. According to RichmondBizSense.com, Harold Faverman filed a lawsuit against Genworth in November seeking to block the acquisition or win damages if it is completed. “The proposed transaction was the result of a flawed process and is woefully inadequate in light of Genworth’s true value and its growth prospects,” the lawsuit states.
Tom McInerney, Genworth’s president and CEO, says the deal is in the best interests of Genworth’s stockholders because it creates “greater and more certain stockholder value than our current business plan or other strategic alternatives.”
Under the agreement, Genworth would become a subsidiary of China Oceanwide but continue to be based in Henrico. China Oceanwide has investments in financial services, energy, real estate and media. It was founded and is chaired by Lu Zhiqiang, whose net worth is more than $5 billion, according to Forbes.
Genworth is a major provider of mortgage and long-term care (LTC) insurance. During the past few years, Genworth has struggled because of losses in its LTC business. In the third quarter of 2016, the company reported a net loss of $380 million, compared with a net loss of $284 million in the third quarter of 2015.
As part of the transaction, China Oceanwide has agreed to provide Genworth with $600 million of cash to meet debt maturing in 2018 as well as $525 million in cash for Genworth’s U.S. life insurance businesses. China Oceanwide, however, says it has no plans to contribute money to support Genworth’s LTC business.2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Inova-UVA_signing_.pngUniversity of Virginia and Inova Health System officials announce their alliance. Photo courtesy Inova Health System
Inova partners with U.Va. on research institute
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inova-partners-with-u.va.-on-research-institute#When:09:00:00ZThe University of Virginia and Falls Church-based Inova Health System have formed a partnership that will include a $112 million research institute and a regional medical school campus in Northern Virginia.
Leaders from the two institutions say they expect to finalize a definitive agreement later this year.
“U.Va. is one of the most prestigious research universities in the country, and Inova is one of the largest, most successful health-care systems,” Knox Singleton, Inova’s CEO, said in a statement. “This partnership leverages the complementary strengths of two institutions committed to providing the most advanced treatments and prevention strategies to the communities we serve.”
Gerald L. Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, praised the deal.
“This new relationship is yet another step toward Fairfax County becoming a center for medical innovation and our goal of diversifying the economic base of the county,” he said in a statement.
The institutions will collaborate on research, medical education, and the recruitment of researchers, scientists and investigators to Virginia.
The planned partnership includes:
The development of the Global Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Institute at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax, a 117-acre former Exxon Mobil campus across the street from Inova Fairfax Hospital. Inova bought the property last year for $180 million. The new institute will recruit researchers, scientists and investigators who will collaborate on research focused on genomics, functional biology, bioinformatics, biologically driven engineering, precision medicine, translational research, development of targeted therapeutics and commercialization of new discoveries. The Virginia General Assembly allocated $28 million in funding for the institute; U.Va. is contributing $28 million and Inova is providing $56 million.
A cancer research partnership between the Inova Schar Cancer Institute and U.Va. Cancer Center, including efforts to achieve designation by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A regional campus of the U.Va. School of Medicine at Inova, which would enable U.Va. medical students to complete their clerkship and post-clerkship education in Northern Virginia at Inova facilities.
U.Va. and Inova will explore the creation of a biomedical investment vehicle to advance discovery through to commercialization.
Inova serves more than 2 million people each year. Its facilities include five hospitals with more than 1,700 licensed beds and 16,000 employees.2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/EVA_Trinder.pngKen Trinder is the chief executive officer of EOS Surfaces. Photo courtesy EOS Surfaces
Study shows effect of copper-infused products
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/study-shows-effect-of-copper-infused-products#When:09:00:00ZNorfolk-based EOS Surfaces LLC and Richmond-based Cupron Inc. are the focus of the world’s largest clinical trial on the effectiveness of copper against hospital-acquired infections.
The study, published in the Sept. 28 issue of American Journal of Infection Control and presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America conference on Oct. 27, shows that the copper-infused hard surfaces and linens made by the Virginia companies contributed to an 83 percent reduction in C-difficile and a 78 percent overall reduction in a host of multidrug-resistant organisms.
C-difficile, one of the primary pathogens in hospitals, is difficult to treat successfully. “We knew we had some effect on it, but we had no idea of the effect in a real-world setting,” Ken Trinder, the chief executive officer of EOS, says of the study results. “All of the numbers were incredible.”
Products from Cupron and EOS were used in the 10-month clinical trial at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk. Conducted in 2013-14, the study took place while Sentara Leigh was rebuilding its two towers. It compared acute-care hospital rooms from the original hospital tower with similar rooms in the new tower. The rooms in the new tower were outfitted with the copper-infused linens along with copper-infused, custom-made countertops, bathroom sinks, bedside tables and bedrails.
“We thought any type of reduction would be very meaningful,” Trinder says. “There would still be a lot of lives that were impacted positively.”
Cupron had developed the core copper technology and was imbedding it in linens when the two companies started working together in 2010. “We began the conversation to figure out a way to chemically and practically put that technology into hard plastics, not knowing if it could be done and if it had efficacy,” says Trinder, who founded EOS in 2006.
A year later, EOS started getting bacteria kill rates on its hard-surface prototype. “They were stratospheric,” Trinder says. “It was killing bacteria. I was surprised at the efficacy.”
EOS’ product is the only synthetic hard surface registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a bacterial sanitizer proved to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours of contact. The company had to go through a “severe testing protocol,” submitting 14,000 samples to the EPA for testing to validate its efficacy claims. “After that, we had that notch in our belt,” Trinder says.
EOS’ copper-infused products now are used in about 20 types of facilities, including Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News and the intensive-care unit at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., as well as several Veterans Administration hospitals. The company is currently outfitting the entire Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in preparation for a three- to five-year study.
Trinder believes the clinical data generated by the studies “will accelerate our sales and bring us better credibility in the clinical world.”2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/services-center.pngThe shared-services center in Daleville was formerly a call center for nTelos. Photo courtesy Roanoke Regional Partnership
Daleville shared-services center takes shape
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/daleville-shared-services-center-takes-shape#When:09:00:00ZBotetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe spent part of October overseeing the placement of cubicles in a new shared-services center in Daleville for the Virginia Community College System (VCCS).
VCCS will consolidate many administrative services — ranging from procurement to human resources — previously handled at each of the commonwealth’s 23 community colleges.
VCCS announced in March that it had signed a lease for a Daleville building. The shared-services center opened in July with one employee and now has about 20. It is expected to have 64 employees by next summer and 190 by January 2019.
“These are state jobs with good benefits,” Larrowe says. “There is technology associated with the jobs, so the wages are a little higher. It could end up resulting in a much larger operation.”
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay for 117 cubicle workstations at the center. In fulfilling that obligation, Larrowe learned from Nancy Rodrigues, Virginia’s secretary of administration, that surplus office cubicles and furniture at Fort Monroe were being sold through the state Department of General Services. “The cubicles were unbelievable quality,” Larrowe says.
He originally expected the county to spend about $160,000 on the workstations, but, by buying surplus cubicles from Fort Monroe, he was able to save $60,000 to $70,000. “It was much cheaper than I anticipated,” he says. “The cubicles only cost $50 a piece, but we had to have them moved in, put back together and reconfigured.”
VCCS signed a performance agreement with the county stating that it would have all of its jobs in place in 36 months. If it falls short, it will have to pay the county $500 for each job below 171. “I have every reason to believe they will fulfill the jobs” requirement, Larrowe says.
The building housing the center previously was a call center for nTelos, a wireless telephone company recently acquired by Shentel. “The building is a beautiful, high-end facility that matches up with the community college system,” Larrowe says. “It already had data running into the building. That was an added value for them.”
The building was selected from eight possible sites around the commonwealth considered for the center.
The center’s development comes at a time when Botetourt is on a growth spurt. “We’ve added about 800 new jobs this year in Botetourt,” Larrowe says. “We have good wages, a good school system and we have good places to live. All of these were factors for the community college system.”2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/NaturalBridge.pngNatural Bridge is a National Historic Landmark. Photo courtesy Virginia Tourism Corp.
Natural Bridge is designated a state park
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/natural-bridge-is-designated-a-state-park#When:09:00:00ZNatural Bridge in Rockbridge County has begun a new era.
The 215-foot rock arch, a National Historic Landmark, was designated Virginia’s 37th state park in September, a move that’s been almost three years in the making. The commonwealth, however, doesn’t own the landmark yet.
In 2014, the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF) purchased privately held property that includes the Natural Bridge and its adjacent caverns and hotels using a $9.1 million loan from the Richmond-based Virginia Resources Authority (VRA). The intent of the complicated deal was to protect Natural Bridge until it could become a part of the state park system.
“It was important to us to see the land preserved in perpetuity,” says Tom Clarke, who heads VCLF and Kissito Inc., a Roanoke-based charity that works in the areas of health, aging, nutrition and natural resources.
He expected to donate Natural Bridge to the park system by the end of last year, but VCLF defaulted on the 10-year loan. The loan now has been extended by a decade. Once it is paid off, VCLF will give Natural Bridge to the commonwealth.
The state will use a portion of its revenue from Natural Bridge admissions and gift-shop and food sales to help pay off part of the loan, with VCLF responsible for the rest. The loan balance was $6.9 million as of October, according to Shawn B. Crumlish, VRA’s director of financial services.
Natural Bridge’s caverns have been donated to the American Conservation Legacy Fund Inc., but VCLF plans to keep the hotel. Lionberger Construction of Roanoke sued VCLF after not being paid for $1.1 million in renovations at the hotel. Clarke says that amount will be paid off by the end of the year.
State park designation is intended to make the landmark more accessible while helping to boost visitation and revenue. The commonwealth has slashed admission prices by roughly half, to $8 for adults and $6 for children.
Virginia State Parks Director Craig Seaver says the state agency has begun marketing the park while revamping its gift shop and performing minor maintenance on the site. The state also has started work on a park master plan, which should be finalized in the next year, he says.
The commonwealth estimates park attendance will be 155,808 and revenues will be $2.5 million during fiscal year 2017, which ends June 30.
Those estimates don’t factor in attendance and revenue before September, when the state took over the site.
Visitation is expected to increase 2 percent annually after this fiscal year, but that’s a conservative estimate, Seaver says. He notes that Natural Tunnel in Scott County averages 224,000 in annual attendance. As of August, overall attendance at Virginia state parks was up 12 percent from the previous year.
“I think [Natural Bridge] will be enjoyed by many generations to come versus what could have been,” Seaver says. “We’re excited about it.”2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/ROUND-THE-BEND.pngA Goodyear employee checks truck tires made at its Danville plant. Photo courtesy The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Goodyear contests $1 million in fines in deaths
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/goodyear-contests-1-million-in-fines-in-deaths#When:09:00:00ZThe Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.’s Danville plant is contesting more than $1 million in state penalties after four work-related deaths since August 2015.
“We have never had one company have four fatalities in a 12-month period,” says Jennifer Rose, safety director for the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health program (VOSH). “It’s not something that happens every day.”
The 50-acre Danville plant, which makes aviation and specialty tires, employs about 1,200 workers.
After performing safety and health inspections, VOSH cited the plant for four willful, 115 serious and three other-than-serious violations along with $1.01 million in penalties.
On the same day, VOSH also cited the company for two willful and two serious violations along with $152,600 in penalties in connection with the April 12 death of employee Charles “Greg” Cooper. His body was found in a six-foot pit/sump containing boiling water and oil.
VOSH also issued one serious violation and a $7,000 penalty in response to an April 25, 2016 nonfatal accident.
“We had issued two previous fines for the first two fatalities,” Rose says. Those were for violations connected to the Aug. 31, 2015, death of Jeanie Strader and the March 31, 2016, death of Kevin Waid Edmonds.
Goodyear has contested all of the violations and penalties. Employers have 15 days after a citation is issued to challenge the citations or correct them. “What Goodyear is saying by contesting them is that they don’t agree in being cited,” says Rose.
When violations are contested, employers are not required to make corrections until the case is either settled or tried in court. “We try to work with the company to reach an agreeable settlement and if that can’t be done, the cases get litigated,” Rose says. “If it’s litigated, the citations surrounding it have to be corrected.”
Some of the more serious violations concern safety requirements in the service and repair of dangerous machinery. William Christopher Scheier, the plant’s fourth fatality, was killed Aug. 12 while performing maintenance on a machine. An investigation into his death is continuing.
Ohio-based Goodyear isn’t commenting on the cases but released a statement saying it is following a standard process in responding to citations.
The company added that it is “committed to the health and safety of all its associates. We will work with VOSH and the United Steel Workers to implement any necessary additional corrective actions to our Danville plant, beyond those we have already identified ourselves and are addressing.”2016-11-30T09:00:00+00:00
Booz Allen Hamilton to acquire Maryland-based eGov Holdings Inc. for $250 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/booz-allen-hamilton-to-acquire-maryland-based-egov-holdings-inc.-for-250-mi#When:21:03:00ZMcLean-based Booz Allen Hamilton plans to acquire the Laurel, Md.-based digital services firm eGov Holdings Inc. for $250 million.
The Maryland firm does business as Aquilent and is a provider of solutions for the Federal government.
Booz Allen said the deal will bolster its growing technology capabilities and talent base, particularly its emphasis on building citizen-focused digital services.
Aquilent will be the hub of Booz Allen’s digital business. Upon closing of the transaction, eGov Holdings Inc. will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Booz Allen Hamilton. The transaction is expected to close by Dec. 31 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Aquilent employs about 350 people who provide digital and cloud services for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. General Services Administration and other federal clients.
Aquilent has grown rapidly, with revenues growing at a 28 percent compounded annual growth rate during the past five years. For the remainder of Booz Allen’s fiscal year 2017, the transaction is expected to add approximately $30 million to $35 million of revenue. It is expected to be accretive to Booz Allen earnings and to add to operating margin in fiscal year 2018.2016-11-29T21:03:00+00:00
Vista Equity Partners completes acquisition of Cvent
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vista-equity-partners-completes-acquisition-of-cvent#When:21:00:00ZVista Equity Partners announced Tuesday it had completed its $1.65 billion acquisition of online event management company Cvent.
As part of the acquisition, which was first announced in April, Cvent’s business operations will merge with Lanyon Solutions Inc., which is owned by Vista Equity Partners.
Reggie Agarwal, Cvent’s founder and CEO, will be CEO of the new company, which will retain the name Cvent. The combined company’s headquarters will be in Tysons with a significant presence in Lanyon’s former headquarters in Dallas. David Bonnette, CEO of Lanyon, will work with the management team through the transition.
"We are thrilled to welcome Cvent to our portfolio of high-performing software companies,” Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista, said in a statement. “There is an incredible opportunity to upgrade and expand the technology in the enormous and largely untapped meetings and events industry. With the leadership of Cvent’s highly-successful management team, working with our experienced Lanyon team, we are bullish on our ability to seize the green field opportunity ahead and remain the market leader in this segment.”
Cvent’s common stock stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.2016-11-29T21:00:00+00:00
ADP will open company’s new Norfolk facility on Friday
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/adp-will-open-companys-new-norfolk-facility-on-friday#When:20:25:00ZExecutives from New Jersey-based Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) will gather in Norfolk on Friday, Dec. 2, to open the company’s new 288,000-square-foot service and implementation facility.
Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore and Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander also are expected to attend the 9:45 a.m. opening event at the downtown building at 2 Commercial Place
Initially staffed by more than 300 associates, the number of employees is expected to eventually grow to 1,800, making the Norfolk location one of ADP’s largest facilities in the U.S. Associates there will work with clients on cloud-based payroll, human resources and human capital management solutions.
ADP announced in March that it would invest $32 million to establish a regional customer service center in Norfolk. The Norfolk City Council approved a $5 million performance-based grant for ADP, to be funded with revenue resulting from the project. According to the city, the grant leveraged an additional $5 million in state support for the company from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and an additional $1.8 million from the Virginia Job Investment program.2016-11-29T20:25:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Rappahannock_Oyster_platter1.JPG
Rappahannock Oyster Co. to open a second location in Norfolk’s Waterside District
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/rappahannock-oyster-co.-to-open-a-second-location-in-norfolks-waterside-dis#When:19:47:00ZThe Rappahannock Oyster Co. will be making its debut in Hampton Roads this spring. It has joined a mix of local and national restaurants locating at Norfolk’s renovated Waterside District on the banks of the Elizabeth River.
Rappahannock Oyster, based in Topping, already has a location in Richmond on East Grace Street. The new restaurant will begin operations when Waterside District opens in April 2017.
“We are excited to announce another Virginia-based company to open at Waterside District,” Reed S. Cordish, vice president of The Cordish Cos., the project’s developer, said in a statement.
Rappahannock Oyster Co. at Waterside District will be located in The Market, a 30,000- square-foot, two-level anchor concept situated in the center of the entertainment and dining district. The Market will serve as a home for entertainment, festivals and family attractions. Other tenants will include Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, The Fudgery, Blue Moon TapHouse, Cogan’s Pizza, Carolina Cupcakery, and Starr Hill.
“Much like The Cordish Companies, we pride ourselves in being a family-owned company and a good community partner so Waterside District is the perfect fit for us.” said Ryan Croxton, a co-owner of Rappahannock Oyster Co. along with his cousin Travis. Besides having a location in The Market, the company plans a portable raw bar that can be used at events and festivals that will take place in and around Waterside District.
The Croxtons took over their family’s oyster company in 2001, reviving a lease on oyster beds signed by their great-grandfather in 1899. Few oyster beds remained at the time, and harvest rates in the Chesapeake Bay were at a low point. Today, the cousins have helped restore the oyster population and trade while promoting sustainable farming practices and expanding into the restaurant business.
Located in Norfolk’s central business district and adjacent to the city’s waterfront and festival site, Waterside District is undergoing a $40 million overhaul and rebranding from its previous life as Norfolk’s Waterside Festival Marketplace.
Louisiana official named new CEO of Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Editor’s note: This story has been updated
The board of directors of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) on Monday voted 15-to-1 to hire Stephen Moret, an economic development executive from Louisiana, as its next CEO and president.
Moret was named head of the state’s primary economic development marketing organization during a special board meeting in Richmond with only one board member, David Hudgins, dissenting. Hudgins nonetheless said Moret, who served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development from 2008 until 2015, was eminently qualified.
“Right guy, wrong time,” Hudgins said, referring to a scathing report on VEDP released two weeks ago by the state’s oversight agency.
“With the JLARC [Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission] report and possible changes coming from the General Assembly on restructuring and the upcoming governor’s election, there are just too many moving pieces,” Hudgins told Virginia Business.
The other 15 members, which formed a quorum of VEDP’s 24-member board, joined Board Chairman Dan Clemente and VEDP’s Search Committee Chairman Chris Lumsden in endorsing Moret’s selection to head the embattled agency. After an eight-month national search, Moret was chosen from a finalist field of six finalists.They came from both in and out of state, Lumsden said, following what he described as an "exhaustive" review by a board committee, which worked with a consultant.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe endorsed the board’s decision. “Having met with Stephen, I agree with the board that his executive management experience in both public and private sector economic development roles make him the right choice to lead VEDP at this critical time for the organization,” the governor said in a statement.
Moret, now president and CEO of the Louisiana State University Foundation in Baton Rouge, will take over from interim CEO Dan Gundersen on Jan. 1. His base salary will be $340,000 with benefits and he would be eligible for an annual incentive bonus up to 15% tied to performance. Gundersen, who presided over a controversial restructuring at VEDP, will stay on as chief operating officer. The board made Gundersen the acting head of the 100-person, quasi-independent state authority after the March resignation of former CEO Martin Briley. Ninety-eight percent of the agency's $27 million annual budget comes from the state.
Some legislators, including Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, have said that now is not the time to bring on a new CEO. JLARC’s report described the VEDP as dysfunctional, lacking vision or a clear marketing plan. Another criticism is that an inconsistent and unstructured approach to state incentive grants “leaves the state vulnerable to fraud …”
In an interview on Monday, Clemente said that hiring a new, highly qualified leader will help shepherd through changes resulting from JLARC’s review. Saying that he had consulted with legislative leaders before calling Monday’s meeting, Clemente noted that Moret was hired to head up Louisiana’s economic development efforts in 2009 under conditions similar to those facing VEDP today. “He came in and straightened that out and brought in billions in new capital investment, “ Clemente said.
What really impressed him, Clemente added, is that Moret traveled to Georgia to study its workforce development initiative, developing a similar model in Louisiana called FastStart. “He hired the No. 2 guy in Georgia and brought him to Louisiana to make the program work,” Clemente said. “He’s good at executing ideas.”
Clemente said Moret —who was not present at Monday’s meeting — has read JLARC’s 132-page report. “He looked at it and said, ‘Dan, this is all administrative. I can take care of it. ’” Clemente said Moret wanted to come to Virginia because “ ‘your location draws Fortune 500 companies, and that creates a lot of opportunities for me.’ ”
In a statement released by VEDP, Moret said. “I look forward to addressing the important JLARC findings, partnering with and serving every region of Virginia, and making VEDP the best state economic development agency in the nation. I’m also delighted that our move to Virginia will enable my wife, our four young children, and me to be close to family, as my mother lives in Richmond and my in-laws are planning to live there for much of each year going forward.”
According to VEDP, Moret directed business development efforts in Louisiana that helped secure more than $62 billion in private-sector capital investment commitments. Those projects, in both rural and urban areas, included information technology centers, food and agricultural processing facilities and some of the largest foreign direct-investment manufacturing projects in U.S.
Under Moret's leadership, Site Selection magazine and Pollina Corporate Real Estate recognized Louisiana as one of the top-performing state economic development agencies in the U.S
Moret established LED FastStart, a customized workforce development program that The Economist called “probably the most notable statewide workforce-development initiative [in America].” Business Facilities, a business publication for corporate site selection and economic development, ranked FastStart as the best state workforce training program in the U.S. every year from 2009 through 2015.
In 2012, the Pew Center on the States praised Louisiana as one of 13 states “leading the way” in the evaluation of business incentives, based on LED’s work under Moret’s leadership to assess the effectiveness of statutory incentive programs.
“Working collaboratively with local, regional, and state officials, Stephen and his team were able to attract a wide variety of high-quality economic development projects, many of which would have seemed like remote possibilities only a few years before,” former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement. He said that Moret “built one of the finest workforce development programs in the nation; and, by the end of his tenure, all of Louisiana's business climate rankings were higher than they ever were prior to his appointment. I am very proud of the great job he did for Louisiana as a member of my cabinet, and I'm sure he will do great work for Virginia, as well."
Moret previously served as president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce, a regional economic development organization, and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. At the LSU Foundation, Moret led the development of a multiyear blueprint for transforming academic philanthropy at the university and launching the largest capital campaign in the history of Louisiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from LSU, a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Barry Duval, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Barry, commended the VEDP board’s action. “Stephen Moret has a stellar reputation for getting results in economic development in Louisiana. The business community looks forward to working with him to apply fresh ideas and reform VEDP to more effectively attract new business and foster economic growth in Virginia.” The chamber lobbied the General Assembly during its session this year in support of spinning out VEDP's international trade unit into a separate entity. JLARC recommends leaving that unit in-house for now.
New partner added to Ashburn ‘smart city’ project
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-partner-added-to-ashburn-smart-city-project#When:17:04:00Z22 Capital Partners announced Monday that it has added FedBid Inc. as a technology partner in its 22 CityLink platform, which is developing a “smart city” in Loudoun County.
The venture builder and private equity company, based in Chantilly, is developing the Gramercy District at the future Silver Line Ashburn Metro station.
A key component of 22 CityLink’s smart city approach is to reduce total lifecycle costs and create long-term value for citizens of the project by integrating real estate and technology, according to a release from the company.
Vienna-based FedBid is an online reverse auction marketplace. Its online platform will be integrated with 22 CityLink’s overall procurement and supply chain management services.
“It’s exciting to see a major investment in smart city technology in our region, and we are thrilled FedBid is partnering with 22 CityLink to help them optimize the way goods and services are purchased to build Gramercy District,” Ted Leonsis, founder and partner at Revolution Growth, which is an investor in FedBid, said in a statement. “FedBid revolutionized the way the federal government buys goods and services, and this partnership will help set the standard for the development of future smart cities.”
FedBid joins Microsoft, Avaya, George Washington University, the Center for Innovative Technology and other partners as CityLink continues to develop its smart city technology platform. Once completed, the platform will be called The Future of Living.
The Gramercy District is a planned, 2.5 million-square-foot, $500 million-plus, mixed-use development. It will be the first smart city in the Washington, D.C., region, and one of the first in the country. The 16.8 acres abuts Route 267. The future Silver Line metro station in Ashburn is expected to open in late 2019.2016-11-28T17:04:00+00:00
Cabela’s announces plans to hire 175 employees for new Gainesville store
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cabelas-announces-plans-to-hire-175-employees-for-new-gainesville-store#When:15:57:00ZOutdoors retailer Cabela’s announced it has begun hiring for 175 full-time, part-time and seasonal positions at its new store in Gainesville.
The 79,999-square-foot store is scheduled to open in spring 2017. It is located at 5291 Wellington Branch Drive, adjacent to the Virginia Gateway Center. It will become the first Cabela's location in the Washington D.C., area and the third in Virginia, joining locations in Short Pump and Bristol.
The store will include Cabela’s Conservation Mountain and wildlife-display feature, dozens of museum-quality taxidermy mounts, vintage outdoor photos and memorabilia.
Additionally, the store will include an archery and firearm tech room, indoor archery range and Bargain Cave, along with thousands of outdoor products.
Interested applicants can apply at http://www.cabelas.jobs.2016-11-28T15:57:00+00:00
Access Bank opens Alexandria branch
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/access-bank-opens-alexandria-branch#When:15:49:00ZAccess National Bank has opened its sixth regional banking center in Alexandria.
The center, located at 2050 Ballenger Ave., will be under the leadership of John McManus, senior vice president, relationship manager, and Chhaya Muth, assistant vice president, client services manager.
The office is located close to the U.S. Eastern District Courthouse and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s main campus.
Access is in the process of acquiring Middleburg Financial Corp., a deal which it said it hopes to close in the second quarter of 2017.2016-11-28T15:49:00+00:00
Year-to-date Virginia home sales rise 6.4 percent to $31.97 billion
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/year-to-date-virginia-home-sales-rise-6.4-percent-to-31.97-billion#When:15:43:00ZVirginia’s total home sales through the end of October was $31.97 billion, an increase of 6.4 percent from same period last year.
The Virginia Association of Realtors (VAR) reported that the statewide median sales price for October was $262,500, 5 percent higher than 12 months before. Because of high demand, the October median price was unchanged from September. Typically, median price declines each month from the summer season through the end of the year, VAR said.
“While the market is settling into the winter season, pent up demand remains a strong contributor,” Claire Forcier-Rowe, the 2017 president of VAR, said in a statement. “Still recovering from the peak inventory constraints, buyers are moving quickly on available properties and taking advantage of low interest rates.”
The average number of days on the market declined year-over-year by 16.7 percent, from 78 to 65.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate ticked up slightly in October to 3.47 percent. The continued access to low rates, along with loosening inventory, encouraged buyer activity and contributed to the market’s performance, VAR said.2016-11-28T15:43:00+00:00
General Growth Properties buys Macy’s store at Tysons
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/general-growth-properties-buys-macys-store-at-tysons#When:15:27:00ZGeneral Growth Properties, the Chicago-based owner of the Tysons Galleria mall, has bought the mall’s onsite Macy’s for $38 million. The purchase was one of five Macy’s stores that the company acquired as part of a package for $48 million in the third quarter. The sale was announced in General Growth’s third quarter earnings statement.
According to the Washington Business Journal, General Growth purchased the 2.6-acre site so it can move forward with the redevelopment of the Galleria. The company plans a major repositioning of the mall at a time when Tysons is undergoing many changes, with several new residential and office buildings under construction.
The Macy’s building, according to the WBJ, is 260,000 square feet, or more than 30 percent of the total mall. General Growth has not made clear exactly what its plans are for the site.
The Galleria originally opened in 1988 and has been a luxury shopping destination for the greater Washington D.C. area since that time.2016-11-28T15:27:00+00:00
Dominion expands Amazon solar energy program
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-expands-amazon-solar-energy-program#When:15:19:00ZRichmond-based Dominion Resources plans to expand its solar alliance with Amazon Web Services Inc., adding 180 megawatts of generating capacity in five Virginia counties.
Construction of the facilities will involve long-term power purchase agreements between a Dominion subsidiary, Dominion Energy Inc., and an affiliate of Amazon's cloud computing business, AWS.
he solar facilities are expected to begin operation in late 2017.
The new facilities will expand Dominion's solar fleet in eight states to 1,400 megawatts by 2017, including 434 megawatts in North Carolina and Virginia.
Dominion is acquiring four 20-megawatt projects from Virginia Solar LLC. Dominion will develop these facilities in Buckingham, New Kent, Powhatan and Sussex counties for AWS. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been signed with Strata Solar for the projects.
Dominion is also acquiring a 100-megawatt development from Community Energy Solar and will develop it in Southampton County. Signal Energy will serve as the EPC contractor. Dominion will own and operate all five facilities as part of the Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East portfolio.
In late October, an 80-megawatt solar facility in Accomack County – also included in the Dominion-Amazon alliance – began operation. It is the largest operating solar farm in the mid-Atlantic region and was developed by Community Energy Solar.
The 260 megawatts of solar capacity resulting from the alliance between Dominion and AWS would produce enough electricity to power 65,000 typical homes and businesses.2016-11-28T15:19:00+00:00
S.L. Nusbaum Realty announces transactions
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.l.-nusbaum-realty-announces-transactions#When:15:17:00ZS.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. recently announced completed negotiations totaling $23 million in sales and lease volume, which includes 178,711 square feet and 29.242 acres in its Richmond and Norfolk offices.
Significant transactions include:
· Sorrentino Mariani & Co. Inc. has leased 13,840 square feet of industrial space at 3559-63 Argonne Avenue in Norfolk. Michael Myers handled the transaction.
· The city of Virginia Beach has purchased two acres of land located at Burton Station Lake in Virginia Beach from S&J Truck Terminal for $1.5 million. Chris Zarpas represented the seller.
· Park LG LLC has purchased a 10,264-square-foot office building on 0.8 acre located at 207 Business Park Drive in Virginia Beach from Solutions Properties LLC for $1.1 million. Myers represented the buyer.
· Infotec LLC has renewed its lease on 11,402 square feet of office space at 100 Constitution Drive in Virginia Beach. John M. Profilet represented the landlord.2016-11-28T15:17:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Samuelsen_NV.jpg
Alion Science and Technology names chief operating officer
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alion-science-and-technology-names-chief-operating-officer#When:17:59:00ZMcLean-based Alion Science and Technology announced Wednesday it has named Bruce Samuelsen chief operating officer.
Alion provides solutions to strengthen national security.
Samuelsen is a long-time Alion employee who most recently served as special adviser to CEO Bahman Atefi. He joined Alion in 2005 as part of the acquisition of John J. McMullen Associates, a ship design and engineering company.
He also has led both technical and business development organizations for the company.
“His knowledge of our markets, as well as how our solutions can best support our customers, give us a great competitive advantage,” Atefi said in a statement. “He has helped us break into new markets around the world, and his insight and experience are essential to helping Alion grow substantially over the next few years.”
Samuelsen earned a master’s in business administration from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture from the State University of New York Maritime College.2016-11-23T17:59:00+00:00
Old Dominion National is shifting its executive offices
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/old-dominion-national-is-shifting-its-executive-offices#When:17:55:00ZOld Dominion National Bank has designated Tysons Corner as the new location for its executive offices and has added to its senior management team.
The bank, founded in 2007, has been based in North Garden in Albemarle County.
Old Dominion's new executive vice presidents are Kevin Albrigo, John Hunter, Pamela McCarthy and Jack Infield. Anne Qu joins the bank as a senior vice president.
Albrigo and Hunter will serve as the bank's chief lending officer and chief credit officer, respectively, pending regulatory approval. McCarthy will serve in the newly created position of regional president in the Capitol Region while Infield will lead strategy for the bank.
Old Dominion has total assets of about $70 million.2016-11-23T17:55:00+00:00
Smithfield Foods is buying Clougherty Packing for $145 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/smithfield-foods-is-buying-clougherty-packing-for-145-million#When:17:29:00ZVirginia-based Smithfield Foods is buying Clougherty Packing from Hormel Foods Corp. for $145 million in cash.
Clougherty Packing is the parent company of Farmer John and Saag’s Specialty Meats. The sale also includes PFFJ farm operations in California, Arizona and Wyoming.
Minnesota-based Hormel acquired Clougherty Packing in 2004.
The deal is expected to close in 30 days.
Farmer John harvests about 7,400 hogs per day. In fiscal year 2016, the businesses had about $500 million in sales.
Smithfield Foods is the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. It employs 50,000 people and has an annual revenue of $14 billion.2016-11-23T17:29:00+00:00
Dollar Tree boosts profits, beats analyst estimates
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dollar-tree-boosts-profits-beats-analyst-estimates#When:21:14:00ZChesapeake-based Dollar Tree Inc. reported Tuesday a jump in profit in its third quarter, beating analysts’ estimates.
The discount retailer, which completed an $8.5 billion acquisition of Family Dollar in July 2015, reported a profit of $171.6 million, or 72 cents per diluted share in the third quarter. That is more than double the company’s profit of $81.9 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter last year.
Excluding special items, Dollar Tree earned 81 cents per share, which beat analysts’ estimates of 78 cents per share, according to Yahoo! Finance.
“Our results demonstrated a solid performance in our Dollar Tree segment, continued meaningful progress in our integration of Family Dollar, and our ability to refinance and pre-pay a portion of our outstanding debt in order to reduce future interest costs,” Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser said in a statement.
Last year’s results included expenses related to the acquisition of Family Dollar. The bottom line also benefited from lower merchandise and freight costs.
Sales during the quarter increased 1.1 percent to $5 billion, from $4.95 billion during the same period last year, although last year’s revenues included sales from 325 Family Dollar stores that were divested. Same-store sales increased 1.7 percent.
During the quarter, Dollar Tree opened 153 stores, expanded or relocated 39 stores and closed 10 stores. The company also opened 42 former Family Dollar store locations as Dollar Tree stores.2016-11-22T21:14:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image_mini.jpgJeffrey Keller
U.Va. Health System names its first chief innovation officer
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/u.va.-health-system-names-its-first-chief-innovation-officer#When:21:12:00ZThe University of Virginia Health System has named Jeffrey Keller its first chief innovation officer.
The health system said Keller will help turn scientific discoveries into new and better treatments.
Keller, 41, has worked in biomedical research, business and the development of early stage technologies. He has a doctorate in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University and performed post-doctorate research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s David H. Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research.
Keller has also worked as an investment banker and in operating roles at GE Healthcare and most recently founded a company that develops molecular diagnostics to improve the management of urological cancers.2016-11-22T21:12:00+00:00
Carilion Clinic announces three appointments
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/carilion-clinic-announces-three-appointments#When:21:10:00ZRoanoke-based Carilion Clinic has announced these appointments:
• Paul Hudgins, joined Carilion in November as senior vice president of human resources and chief human resource officer. He was with Dignity Health in Sacramento, Calif.
• Barbara Schleider joined Carilion in October as vice president and associate chief information officer. She was with Kettering Health Network in Dayton, Ohio.
• Dr. Fidel Valea joined Carilion and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in October as chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology. . Valea previously worked for Duke University Medical Center,2016-11-22T21:10:00+00:00
Poll finds Virginians more postive than the overall U.S. population
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/poll-finds-virginians-more-postive-than-the-overall-u.s.-population#When:20:57:00ZA Roanoke College Poll looking at the attitude of Virginia consumers shows they are more positive than Americans overall.
The college’s Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment was 95.1 in its November survey. That number is 3.5 points higher than a preliminary national sentiment index of 91.6 for the same month.
The Virginia number for November also is nearly 10 points higher than the overall average for the state index, 85.3. Nonetheless, the November figure is three points lower than the index recorded in the last state survey in August.
In looking at current conditions, 36.5 percent of respondents say their personal finances are better today than a year ago. A majority of respondents in that group cited increased incomes rather than falling prices or other causes for their improved finances.
Nearly 20 percent of respondents said their household finances are worse now than a year ago.
In assessing consumer expectations, the poll found that nearly 44 percent said they expect the national economy to prosper during the next five years while 23.2 percent believe it will contract.
Forty-six percent of respondents also expect their household finances to improve in the coming year while 12 percent anticipate a decline in their financial condition.
The survey also found that the optimism of Virginia Republicans and Democrats have dramatically changed since the presidential election.
Republicans were less optimistic than Democrats before the election but their optimism rose 22.4 points after Donald Trump’s victory and the GOP retained control of Congress.
The optimism of Virginia Democrats was 20 point higher than the state’s overall population before the election. That euphoria, however, vanished after the election, with optimism plummeting almost 37 points.
The Roanoke College Poll was conducted by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at the college. The survey is based on telephone interviews with 606 adult Virginia residents on Nov. 13-20. The poll’s results are subject to a potential sampling error of plus or minus of about 4 points.2016-11-22T20:57:00+00:00
Hilton names new head of corporate affairs
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hilton-names-new-head-of-corporate-affairs#When:21:05:00ZHilton has named a former senior White House adviser as its senior vice president and global head of corporate affairs.
Katie Berine Fallon was director of legislative affairs for President Obama until earlier this year. Prior to that role, she was Obama’s deputy communications director. She also has held leadership roles in the U.S. Senate as a longtime aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and was staff director for the Democratic Policy and Communications Center.
"As we continue to gain momentum and accelerate our growth around the world, finding additional ways to connect and engage with our most critical stakeholders becomes even more important,” Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said in a statement. “Katie is widely admired by both high-ranking Republicans and Democrats, and her unique perspective on the strategic intersection between communications and policy will help us strengthen the Hilton brand and drive value for the business. Together with the entire corporate affairs team, we are extremely well positioned to further our industry leadership and differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.
Before entering politics, Fallon worked in investment banking and strategic consulting. She earned her bachelor of arts in government and international studies from the University of Notre Dame and completed two master’s degrees in political science at the London School of Economics and Queens University Belfast as a Marshall Scholar.2016-11-21T21:05:00+00:00
Divaris Real Estate Inc. reports on new leases
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-real-estate-inc.-reports-on-new-leases#When:17:05:00ZJollibee has renewed its lease for a 35,500-square-foot outparcel at the Brenneman Farm at 4540 Princess Anne Road in Virginia Beach. Jollibee is an international fast-food chain that serves hamburgers, rice-based meals, side orders and desserts.
Divaris also reports that Alexandria Child Care Services leased 11,866 square feet of space at 1000 Bernard St. in Alexandria. The Kiddie Academy franchisee currently operates one other childcare center in Ashburn. DRE's Brandon Howard handled lease negotiations on behalf of the tenant. 2016-11-21T17:05:00+00:00
New retailers announced for Rutherford Crossing in Winchester
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-retailers-announced-for-rutherford-crossing-in-winchester#When:17:03:00ZA national grocery store anchor, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. and Valley Health Urgent Care will be coming to the Rutherford Crossing Shopping Center in Winchester in 2017, according to the center’s developer.
NVRetail said the tenants are expected to begin construction of their stores as part of a second phase of Rutherford Crossing, located at the intersection of Interstate 81 and Route 11. Phase one began in 2007 and includes tenants such as Lowe’s, Target and PetSmart. When totally built out, the center is expected to have more than over 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
The new Valley Health Urgent Care center will provide a different use at the center: medical care on a walk-in basis for minor injuries and illnesses.
NVRetail, based in Vienna, is an owner, operator and developer of commercial real estate in the mid-Atlantic region. It also is developing the 440,000-square-foot plus West Broad Marketplace in Henrico County.2016-11-21T17:03:00+00:00
Synergy Installation Solutions renews 20,000-square-foot lease in Richmond
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/synergy-installation-solutions-renews-20000-square-foot-lease-in-richmond#When:17:01:00ZSynergy Installation Solutions has renewed its lease of 20,000 square feet at 1125 Commerce Road in Richmond. Isaac DeRegibus of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled lease negotiations.
In other transactions reported by Thalhimer in the Richmond market:
Scott Insurance & Benefit Services Inc. has expanded to 14,563 square feet in the Bayberry Office Building at 1700 Bayberry Court in Henrico County. Brian K. Berkey handled lease negotiations on behalf of the tenant.
TF Courier Inc. renewed a 10,000-square-foot lease in Gaskins Centre at 9878-9898 Mayland Drive in Henrico County. Evan M. Magrill and N. Dean Meyer handled lease negotiations.2016-11-21T17:01:00+00:00
Buildings at Tysons take home several awards at annual NAIOP event
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/buildings-at-tysons-take-home-several-awards-at-annual-naiop-event#When:16:30:00ZA lease for a new headquarters building at Tysons and the expansion of Capital One’s headquarters were some of the standout projects during NAIOP Northern Virginia’s annual awards event.
More than 750 people from the commercial real estate community attended the event last week at the The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.
Some of the 26 awards are listed below:
Real Estate Transaction (Lease)
Opower headquarters submitted by Cushman & Wakefield and located in Arlington County. Team member includes: Carr Properties. Opower, a cloud-based software for the utility industry, is relocating its global headquarters in Arlington to a new building at 2311 Wilson Boulevard. Opower will occupy the top three floors of the building.
Interiors – Tenant space 50,000 square feet and above
Capital One headquarters expansion at Tysons submitted by HITT Contracting Inc. Team members include: Lerner and IA Interior Architects.
Award of Excellence for WeWork/WeLive ( a coworking and living space) - Crystal City submitted by Vornado/Charles E. Smith and located in Crystal City. Team members include: Perkins Eastman, ARExA, and James G. Davis Construction Corp.
Speculative Office Building
Award of Excellence for 1775 Tysons Boulevard submitted by Lerner Enterprises and located in Tysons. Team members include: Kohn Pedersen Fox and Whiting-Turner.
Membership -- Firm of the Year
Award of Excellence to HITT Contracting Inc.
Member of the Year
Award of Excellence to Edward V. Zaptin, vice president of leasing, First Potomac Realty Trust and NAIOP’s vice chair/membership.
NAIOP Northern Virginia is a chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. Its membership includes nearly 950 members serving the local Northern Virginia market.2016-11-21T16:30:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/1069_Centerbrooke-Suffolk.jpg1069 Centerbrooke Lane courtesy Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announces two sales transactions in Hampton Roads
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-two-sales-transactions-in-hampton-roa#When:15:38:00ZMGP Retail Consulting has purchased a four-acre site in Virginia Beach from Mark IV Investments Inc. for $1.5 million. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, which brokered the sale, the land at General Booth Boulevard and Edison Road will be a new location for a retail development. Thalhimer’s Dean Martin, Geoff Poston and Eric Throne handled sale negotiations on behalf of the seller.
In another sales transaction, Integument Rx Suffolk LLC purchased a 9,000–square-foot office building at 1069 Centerbrooke Lane in Centerbrooke Office Park in Suffolk from Harvel One LLC for $1.2 million. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer said the building will be used as a medical practice. Rob Wright handled sale negotiations on behalf of the seller.2016-11-21T15:38:00+00:00
Virginia opens agricultural trade office in Southeast Asia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-opens-agricultural-trade-office-in-southeast-asia#When:19:40:00ZGov. Terry McAuliffe announced the opening of a Virginia Agricultural Trade Office in Singapore.
The office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is charged with promoting Virginia agricultural and forestry products throughout Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Sarath Menon, managing director of the business-consulting firm Orissa International, will head the new office.
"As we work to build the new Virginia economy and open new markets for our agribusinesses and wood products companies, it is essential that we continue to strengthen our presence in growing areas like Southeast Asia,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. The governor made the announcement during a 10-day trade and marketing mission to Japan, Korea, Singapore and Australia.
Virginia companies will have the opportunity to work directly with the Southeast Asia representatives to obtain market research on specific sales opportunities in the region, as well as import regulations and tariffs, and to identify potential buyers and distributors.
VDACS's Office of International Marketing will also work with the Southeast Asia office to identify export opportunities for Virginia producers. Additionally, the representative will support events such as reverse trade missions and bringing agriculture and forestry product buyers to Virginia to meet in person with Virginia exporters.
In 2015 Virginia exported more than $238 million in agriculture and forestry products to Southeast Asia. Virginia's top agriculture and forestry exports to Southeast Asia are soybeans and soybean meal, lumber and logs, animal feed and poultry.
VDACS now has international trade offices in Canada, China, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, in addition to a full-time employee in Hong Kong.2016-11-18T19:40:00+00:00
State’s unemployment rate rose in October
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unemployment-rose-in-october#When:19:32:00ZVirginia’s unemployment rate rose in October to 4.2 percent.
The jobless rate rose two-tenths of a percentage during the month, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. Virginia’s unemployment rate in October last year also was 4.2 percent.
Nationally the unemployment rate for October was 4.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from September.
The numbers are seasonally adjusted, meaning they take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.
Virginia’s October jobless rate tied with Maryland as the 16th lowest in the nation, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Old Dominion also tied for sixth among states east of the Mississippi River.
VEC said Virginia’s labor force expanded for the third consecutive month, by 27,000 workers as the number of people working and seeking work increased. The number of unemployed people rose by 8,066 during the month, or 4.8 percent.
Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by nearly 5,000 jobs during October to 3,948,700, the fifth consecutive month that it has increased.
Private-sector employment rose by 8,200 jobs during the month to 3.24 million. Public payrolls fell by 3,300 jobs to 712,700.
Employment increased in four major industrial areas during October. The biggest gain was in professional and business services, up nearly 7,000 jobs to 731,800.
In the past 12 months, Virginia has gained 67,300 jobs, an increase of 1.7 percent. Northern Virginia accounted for 28,000 jobs while the Richmond area contributed 12,400.2016-11-18T19:32:00+00:00
Virginia moves up in Forbes’ ‘Best States for Business’ ranking
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-moves-up-in-forbes-best-states-for-business-ranking#When:18:30:00ZVirginia has moved up in Forbes’ “Best States for Business” ranking. The commonwealth ranks No. 6 on the 2016 list, up from No. 7 last year. Utah was named the Best State for Business for the third year in a row.
Forbes noted that the commonwealth ranked as the top state for business as recently as 2013, “but higher business costs and a declining economic climate have pushed it lower.”
The list ranks states in six categories: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Virginia received high marks for its “labor supply’’ and “regulatory environment,” (Nos. 2 and 3, respectively).
Besides Utah and Virginia, other states ranked in the top 10 on the list are: North Carolina, No. 2; Nebraska, No. 3; Texas, No. 4; Colorado, No. 5; Georgia, No. 7; North Dakota, No. 8; Washington, No. 9: and South Dakota, No. 10.
Among surrounding states: West Virginia ranked No. 50; Maryland, No. 31; Kentucky, No. 37; and Tennessee, No. 17.2016-11-18T18:30:00+00:00
The benefits of an annual maintenance program on your business
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/the-benefits-of-an-annual-maintenance-program-on-your-business#When:17:38:00ZAs the end of the year approaches, many businesses are engaging in budgetary planning. One area that is often overlooked is building maintenance management. Providing proper, preventative care to your building can reduce the risk of major unforeseen expenses that can completely decimate your budget.
In most situations, the benefits of an ongoing maintenance outweigh the cost. Whether your building is corporate or industrial, it’s important to have a clean space that is welcoming, healthy and safe for employees and visitors. Additionally, a maintenance program ensures your facility will be good-as-new year after year.
It may seem extravagant to put in place a continual preventative care plan for your space, but routine maintenance will only get you so far — before long, health violations, fading carpets and scratched floors will begin to show themselves. Facilities need both routine cleaning and a maintenance program to truly flourish.
Furthermore, beginning a program for the long-term care of your facility allows for increased organization and communication within a business. For example, if the floors are getting stripped and waxed, staff can refer to the program schedule and know to place chairs on their desks in preparation. By keeping the process transparent, a maintenance program can keep all of the staff informed and ensure their workplace meets proper cleanliness and presentation standards.
Budgeting and planning
The first step is to calculate the amount you’re willing to spend on a building maintenance program ahead of time. Even if you have limited funds, deep-cleaning services should be prioritized, as they can prolong the life of your facility and cut down future prohibitive costs that can result from untimely repairs. In order to budget wisely, try to prioritize the services essential to every facility, such as carpet cleaning, floor finishing, and bathroom steam cleaning. In our experience, we’ve found these non-janitorial services should utilize between 20 and 25 percent of your overall janitorial budget.
As is the case with many facilities, unexpected repairs and damages come up and may prompt the need to reschedule, rearrange, or postpone a deep cleaning service. One general rule of thumb is to have a maintenance price associated for the year. The added structure can help with prioritization, allowing the facility manager to consider which services are most critical when developing a schedule.
Breaking the schedule down: carpet cleaning
Every building owner should prioritize a thorough carpet cleaning on the maintenance program checklist. Not only are clean carpets easier and less expensive to maintain, they also trap the facility’s airborne pollutants. This is great for a facility as long as the pollutants do not fester within the carpet. If they do, carpet pollutants can tamper with the indoor air quality of a workplace. In addition, moist soiling in carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants, allergens and bacteria.
Keeping these risks in mind, carpet cleanings should take place at least twice a year. Extraction cleaning methods are the most effective, as they significantly impact indoor air quality for employees and clients and also prolong the life of the carpet and help maintain the carpet warranty. In most cases, warranties require that professional cleanings take place regularly.
Breaking down the schedule: floor finishing
To keep your facility looking sleek and professional, a regular floor strip and wax is a must. Whether you have a VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile), laminated or linoleum flooring, go for higher protection and a spotless shine through floor finishing. Bear in mind that different types of flooring require different finishes.
We recommend this process be done every 12 months, at a minimum. For high-traffic flooring, it is recommended to strip and wax every four to six months. You’ll know it’s time for a finishing if the floor looks yellowed, dull, and is difficult to clean.
Breaking down the schedule: steam cleaning bathrooms
A restroom, especially a public restroom, can be a germ-filled environment for employees and visitors. For this reason, facility managers should consider implementing a bathroom steam cleaning in their maintenance plans. Steam cleaning also should be used routinely on glazed tile areas in order to remove soap scum, hard water deposits and mildew.
While this service is recommended quarterly, it is important to steam clean regularly throughout flu season. Many schools and daycares rely on this method when counteracting contagious illnesses.
Overall, an annual maintenance program is essential in the upkeep of any facility. Whether it’s significantly improving the health and well-being of your staff or providing a clean and welcoming environment for visitors, there are countless reasons why it is a worthwhile investment.
There are dozens of flexible options to consider in the planning and budgeting phase, so when you’re making your budget for 2017, be sure to include preventative building maintenance to save you big money down the road.
Chris Sweeney is the president of City Wide of Richmond, a management company for the building maintenance industry.2016-11-18T17:38:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Jackson_Reese_Head_Shot_DSC_0072_%282%29.jpgReese Jackson
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare names new CEO
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesapeake-regional-healthcare-names-new-ceo#When:22:32:00ZChesapeake Regional Healthcare (CRH) has named Reese Jackson its president and CEO.
Jackson has more than two decades of health-care leadership. More recently, Jackson was the president and CEO of Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Pa. The hospital has more than 300 beds and is a certified Level II trauma center.
Jackson has ties to Virginia. He received a master’s degree in health administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Richmond. Jackson, his wife Mary Ann, and their two daughters will be relocating to Chesapeake.
Jackson’s first day at CRH will be Dec. 1. He replaces Dr. Alton Stocks, who has been interim president and CEO since March.
CRH includes Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, an independent, nonprofit hospital with 310 licensed beds.2016-11-17T22:32:00+00:00
Lidl purchases third store site in Fredericksburg area
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lidl-purchases-third-store-site-in-fredericksburg-area#When:22:00:00ZLidl, a discount grocer based in Germany that is expanding in Virginia, has purchased a 6.3-acre site in Stafford County for $2.6 million. According to Coldwell Banker Commercial Elite, which brokered the sale, Lidl plans to build a grocery store on the parcel on Warrenton Road/Route U.S. 17 near the Stafford Lakes Super Walmart store.
This is the third store site purchased by Lidl in the Fredericksburg region and the second in which Coldwell Banker Commercial Elite was involved. Brian Cunningham represented the seller in the transaction while Jonathan Gardner introduced assisted in brokering and negotiating the sale.
The first site, which Lidl purchased in October last year, is located on Plank Road in Spotsylvania County. The grocer already has completed construction of that store, which is scheduled to open in 2017.
Lidl purchased the other site, also located in Spotsylvania County, in August 2015. That site is in Southpoint II across Southpoint Parkway from Lowe’s and Walmart stores.
Lidl also is also well underway with construction on a 1 million-square-foot distribution facility in Spotsylvania County. The warehouse in Spotsylvania County is estimated to cost about $125 million and at completion is expected to provide 200 jobs.
Since entering the U.S. market, Lidl has completed negotiations for about 20 store sites in Virginia. It has focused largely on sites in Northern Virginia, the Fredericksburg area, Richmond area and Hampton Roads.2016-11-17T22:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/davis2.pngSusan Davis
S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. names Susan P. Davis its controller
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-co.-names-susan-p.-davis-its-controller#When:21:49:00ZS. L. Nusbaum Realty Co said Thursday that Susan P. Davis, a certified public accountant, has joined the firm’s Norfolk office as controller.
Davis, a military transplant to the Hampton Roads area, has lived in the region for more than 20 years. Before joining S.L. Nusbaum, she worked in public accounting with a concentration on real estate.
Davis is a board member at the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Society of CPAs. She also is a commissioner on the Suffolk Clean Community Commission and serves on the boards of Catholic Charities of South Hampton Roads and the Suffolk division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.2016-11-17T21:49:00+00:00
VEDP, Korea Electric Power Corp. announce partnership
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vedp-korea-electric-power-corp.-announce-partnership#When:20:14:00ZThe Virginia Economic Development Partnership has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) to promote energy projects, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday.
McAuliffe, who is currently leading a marketing mission to Asia and Australia, and Hwan-il Choi, president of KEPCO, signed the agreement in Seoul.
The agreement allows KEPCO, the largest electric utility company in South Korea, and Virginia to collaborate and promote information sharing, develop strategies, facilitate understanding, identify challenges and stakeholders. The agreement also will encourage organizations to participate in cooperative activities to support the energy sector.
“Virginia’s diverse energy industry covers traditional domains, such as power generation and mining, emerging Smart Grid technology and renewable fuels,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “Working with an international company like KEPCO to share and promote best energy practices will help us develop a strong partnership and will open the door to future investments in Virginia.”2016-11-17T20:14:00+00:00
Montgomery supervisor leads Virginia Association of Counties
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/montgomery-supervisor-leads-virginia-association-of-counties#When:17:59:00ZMontgomery County Supervisor Mary W. Biggs has been elected president of the Virginia Association of Counties.
Biggs succeeds Surry County Supervisor Judy S. Lyttle. Biggs becomes the association’s first president from Montgomery.
Biggs was first elected to the Montgomery Board of Supervisors in 1996. She served as chair in 2000, 2001 and 2002. She was vice chair five times.
Biggs retired after 42 years as a teacher, including 37 years at Harding Elementary School. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Virginia Tech.2016-11-17T17:59:00+00:00
Financial adviser joins C&F Wealth Management
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/financial-adviser-joins-cf-wealth-management#When:17:55:00ZFinancial adviser William “Bill” C. Morrison, and his team have joined C&F Wealth Management’s Williamsburg office.
Morrison was managing partner for the wealth management division of Middle Peninsula Insurance & Financial Services in Williamsburg.
He now is senior vice president at C&F Wealth Management.
C&F Wealth Management is a subsidiary of West Point-based C&F Bank.2016-11-17T17:55:00+00:00
Aldi plans to put a store on a former church site in Virginia Beach
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/aldi-plans-to-put-a-store-on-a-former-church-site-in-virginia-beach#When:01:28:00ZCushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer said Wednesday that Aldi Inc. has purchased a 3.3-acre parcel from Three Five Ministries Inc. in Virginia Beach.
The Germany-based discount supermarket chain plans to develop the site into a grocery store. The price was not disclosed.
The former site for the Hilltop Community Church is located at 929 First Colonial.
Gardner King of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller.2016-11-17T01:28:00+00:00
Fredericksburg firm involved in three-company merger
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fredericksburg-firm-involved-in-three-company-merger#When:01:21:00ZFredericksburg-based EOIR Technologies has merged with two other firms to form Polaris Alpha, a technology company with 1,100 employees and annual projected revenue of more than $250 million.
The merger was announced by Arlington Capital Partners, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based private equity firm. EOIR Technologies, is an Arlington Capital portfolio firm.
The other two firm involved in the merger are Intelligent Software Solutions of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Proteus Technologies, based in Annapolis Junction, Md.
Arlington Capital describes Polaris Alpha as a provider of “mission-critical technology, software and solutions” to defense and intelligence community customers.
“Polaris will fill the void between niche players and prime contractors to deliver agile, sophisticated solutions to a growing number of government customers disillusioned with the traditional options available to them,” Michael Lustbader, a managing partner at Arlington Capital, said in a statement. “Polaris is a byproduct of the infusion of innovation into the national security sector and is contractually well-positioned to capitalize on this market opportunity.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In addition to Fredericksburg, Colorado Springs and Annapolis Junction, the newly formed company has offices in Alexandria and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.2016-11-17T01:21:00+00:00
Hiring for Waterside Marketplace begins
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hiring-for-waterside-marketplace-begins#When:21:00:00ZHiring has begun for the estimated 1,000 new jobs that will be created by the $40 million overhaul of the Waterside District in Norfolk. The project is scheduled to open in spring 2017.
The Cordish Cos., the developer of the renovation, held a job fair this week to kick off its hiring process.
Retailers in the development include Blue Moon TapHouse, Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, The Fudgery, Cogan’s Pizza, Carolina Cupcakery and Starr Hill.
For more information: visit http://www.watersidedistrict.com.2016-11-16T21:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Brockett_NV.jpeg
MainStreet Bank names president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mainstreet-bank-names-president#When:20:49:00ZFairfax-based MainStreet Bank announced Wednesday it has named Charles “Chris” Brockett president of the bank and its holding company, MainStreet Bancshares Inc. He also will hold a seat on the board of directors of both entities.
Brockett most recently was the executive vice president, director of operations at Bethesda, Md.-based EagleBank. In that role, Brockett was responsible for EagleBank’s retail banking and residential lending operations, deposit and loan operations, information technology, marketing, and facilities.
Prior to that, he worked at Virginia Heritage Bank, which was acquired by Eagle Bancorp in 2014. Brockett was one of the founding seed investors of Virginia Heritage Bank where his roles included chief financial officer and chief operating officer. At the time of its acquisition by Eagle Bancorp, Virginia Heritage Bank had grown to approximately $950 million in assets with five branches.
Brockett, a certified public accountant, began his banking career in 1980 with First Commercial Bank in Arlington.
MainStreet Bank has five branches in Herndon, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, McLean and Clarendon.
Financing is complete for Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/financing-is-complete-for-chesapeake-bay-bridge-tunnel#When:09:46:00ZGov. Terry McAuliffe says that financing is complete for the expansion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel that connects Virginia Beach with the Eastern Shore.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and Commission will finance the $756 million project mostly through federal and state bonds.
The Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Design-Build project will build an additional two-lane tunnel under the Thimble Shoal Channel, west of the existing Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT).
Construction was awarded in July by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission to Chesapeake Tunnel Joint Venture, which includes Dragados USA and Schiavone Construction LLC. Construction is expected to begin next October.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission has financed the project through the following:
· $338.5 million federal bond - Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA)
· $50 million state bond - The Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank offers low-interest loans and grants to localities, transportation authorities and private-sector partners for transportation projects and provides an alternative source of financing for transportation needs in the commonwealth.
· $321.5 million revenue bond Issue
· Remaining funds for the project come from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District’s General Fund.
“The Commonwealth’s infrastructure bank issues low-interest loans to help fund high priority projects that will improve transportation and benefit the economy,” Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said in a statement. “The Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel is a regional transportation priority, included in the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization’s long-range planning and improvement program. The new tunnel will carry more traffic safely and efficiently, further improving transportation for the entire region.”2016-11-16T09:46:00+00:00
Former Advance Auto Parts controller takes on same role at CarMax
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/former-advance-auto-parts-controller-takes-on-same-role-at-carmax#When:21:12:00ZThe former controller at Roanoke-based Advance Auto Parts is now serving in the same role at Henrico County-based CarMax Inc., according to a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions report.
Jill A. Livesay stepped into the role of vice president, controller and principal accounting officer at CarMax on Nov. 14. She succeeds Natalie L. Wyatt who will serve as CarMax’s vice president of finance until her expected retirement in 2017.
From 1995 until 2016, Livesay had work for Advance Auto Parts, most recently serving as the company’s senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer. From 2005 to 2013 she was Advance Auto Parts’ senior vice president, controller. Prior to 1995, Livesay worked for KPMG LLP.
Livesay, a certified public accountant, will receive an annual base salary of $375,000. She also is eligible for an annual incentive bonus, receive a sign on bonus of $50,000 and has options to purchase company common stock.2016-11-15T21:12:00+00:00
Government contractor to establish customer support center in Hampton
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/government-contractor-to-establish-customer-support-center-in-hampton#When:21:03:00ZGovernment contractor MAXIMUS is planning to open a customer support center Hampton.
The company plans to spend $1.87 million to establish the call center, which is expected to create 189 new jobs.
Virginia competed against Pennsylvania and Texas for the project, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
“MAXIMUS has a rich heritage in Virginia. We were founded in the commonwealth more than 40 years ago, and today it is home to our global corporate headquarters. When we searched for a location for our new customer support center, the Hampton and Hampton Roads region was a natural fit due to its robust pool of qualified candidates,” MAXIMUS CEO Richard A. Montoni said in a statement.
MAXIMUS, based in Reston, provides business process management and technology solutions for governments. The company has 16,000 employees around the world and partners with government agencies in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
MAXIMUS is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.2016-11-15T21:03:00+00:00
Nehemiah Security acquires New Hampshire research and development company
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nehemiah-security-acquires-new-hampshire-research-and-development-company#When:20:02:00ZTysons Corner-based Nehemiah Security, a supplier of cybersecurity software and services, has acquired Siege Technologies, an advanced research and development company based in New Hampshire.
Nehemiah officials say the acquisition will bolster the company's ability to protect its clients’ most valuable digital assets. The deal represents Nehemiah’s fourth cybersecurity acquisition since 2015.
Financial details of the acquisition were not announced.
“As we continue to expand our cybersecurity solution offering, Siege will play an invaluable role in research and development,” Paul Farrell, the CEO of Nehemiah, said in a statement. “Our plan is to invest in Siege’s growth and have them continue to operate just like they have over the past eight years.”
Nehemiah cited as an example of Siege’s innovative technology a threat quantification engine, which is engineered to replicate a network configuration at a high level of detail within minutes and mathematically predict the effects of offensive and defensive cyber operations.
The company said the threat quantification engine, available commercially in December, gives companies insights on how their networks would stand up to a wide range of attacks.2016-11-15T20:02:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/_Y8A5396.jpgStefanie Brown
Tips for taming the Twitter tyrant
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/tips-for-taming-the-twitter-tyrant#When:15:46:00ZIt’s 3:31 a.m. and you just can’t sleep. There’s a weird light — wait — your phone screen is lit up — but why? You give it a glance and see hundreds of Twitter notifications. Further investigation reveals someone in your company has been tweeting up a storm, and it’s bad. Really bad. You roll over, hoping it’s a dream. But it’s not.
The drama surrounding the late-night twitter escapades during the presidential campaign reminds me just how quickly a firestorm can build on social media.
In our current “gotcha” social media landscape, one insensitive remark, unpopular opinion or even an ill-timed post can spur the wrath of those opposed and generate hateful comments. Someone unknown can become notorious overnight.
So how do you prepare for the worst? Do you avoid social media altogether?
In 2016, many prominent corporate heads are still not social media aficionados. But in just a few years, we will be facing a wave of young executives who have always been able to communicate instantly via social channels.
The good news? The next influx of businesspeople will be fluent in social media and its specific nuances. The bad? We are all human and flawed. Some business leaders will be geniuses in their fields; some will be known for public speaking; some will be mild mannered; and some will be outspoken and possibly hot tempered.
The one thing they will all have in common? They have likely never known what it’s like to be required to take the time to sit down and write a letter, on actual paper, when it’s time to respond to a critical comment or outspoken detractor. They’ve not been forced to contemplate the ramifications of their response for more than a few minutes — because they haven’t had to. At executive level positions, most should have the needed wisdom, maturity and foresight to communicate appropriately on social media — but some may not.
Businesses need to shore up their social media skills now, and here are four tips to tame the Twitter tyrant and tackle other social media snafus.
Put policies in place
If you don’t already have a detailed social media policy in place, your company should create one. This outlines who is authorized to speak on behalf of the firm, how your company should be referenced, who can respond to complaints, and what is considered acceptable communications and what it not. Having a clearly defined set of guidelines helps navigate any discussions if things go awry.
Develop a crisis communication plan
Imagine a couple of worse-case scenarios and develop a written plan of action to counter the fallout. Think about who becomes the spokesperson if the company or one of its executives becomes embattled in a social media crisis; how will you respond — or if you even should? Consider all the options that could befall your very worst day and be prepared.
Start at the top
CEOs and other executives should be trained on how to interact, respond and communicate on social media as well. Having a voice that is representative of an entire company is a big responsibility that requires composure, finesse and wisdom. An executive prone to the occasional venomous office email may very well behave similarly on social media. Consult a communications professional for training and coaching if need be.
Stay on message
If there is one lesson from the recent national election, it is to have a list of talking points and adhere to them. While not as formal as scripted posts, a list of pertinent points helps steer the conversations and clarify the company’s stance on relevant topics.
Social media is simply another tool in an executive communicator’s toolbox that we must continue to learn to navigate as we did with the introduction of other mediums. Social media’s accessibility adds an additional layer of vulnerability to any company, so being prepared provides the biggest advantage. Plan for the worst, yet hope for the best, and you’ll at least sleep a little better at night.
Stefanie Brown is strategic communications account executive in the Roanoke office of ndp. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgT15:46:00+00:00
JLARC issues scathing report on economic development agency
“In my 22 years, I’ve never seen an agency with this level of dysfunction,” Hal Greer, director of Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), said Monday in teeing up a scathing report on Virginia’s primary economic development agency.
The 132-page report on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) detailed an agency hobbled by a lack of vision or even a clear marketing plan. It cited unclear performance measures and questionable job data — data often repeated by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in public statements about business growth in Virginia. And JLARC warned that VEDP’s “unstructured and inconsistent approach to state incentive grants leaves the state vulnerable to fraud …”
Overall, the report depicts VEDP as lacking in "fundamental components of organizational management needed to operate efficiently and effectively and to coordinate well with external entities. Key elements missing from VEDP’s operations include a deliberate strategy to meet its statutory responsibilities, adequate operational guidance for staff to carry out their job responsibilities, effective accountability mechanisms, useful performance measures, reliable data upon which to evaluate performance, and effective coordination with external partners."
One bright spot was VEDP’s international trade division. JLARC said it was doing a good job and is a model for other states. “VEDP’s export promotion programs are viewed positively by customers and external stakeholders.” The unit was supposed to be spun off as a separate agency by April, but JLARC’s report may put a brake on those plans.
Del. Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, a longtime JLARC member, said he was very disturbed by the culture at the agency revealed in remarks from VEDP staff members, which came from interviews by JLARC. “ ‘Our manager does not care how we spend our time, our marketing efforts are horrible, a number of the staff shows up late.’ To me, it’s the biggest failure of an agency I have ever seen,” Cox said.
Some General Assembly members of JLARC’s board said they were so taken aback that they would embrace one of the report’s 35 recommendations to withhold additional funding to VEDP until the agency can fix some of its problems.
Much of the angst by legislators is related to JLARC’s portrayal of how VEDP administers 10 incentive grant programs. According to the report, VEDP has awarded $384 million in state incentive grants during the past decade to many companies. In the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund (COF), the largest and riskiest incentive program where money is paid up front, VEDP awarded $116.7 million. Yet the report notes that prior to January of this year, the awards were made without a formal, written, due-diligence process, even though VEDP’s research staff raised concerns about this lack of diligence as early as 2011.
The agency’s approach to administering grants “has exposed the state to avoidable risk of fraud and financial loss, and has increased the potential that state grant funding is not efficiently allocated,” the report said.
Furthermore, many of the projects that get incentives don’t meet contractual performance requirements related to employment. For instance, the state statute on grants requires that they be for projects creating at least 50 full-time jobs (in areas that are not economically distressed), with salaries at no less than the prevailing average wage. However, JLARC said VEDP couldn’t always distinguish between full- and part-time jobs reported by companies.
Once an award is given, JLARC says VEDP staff does not enforce COF contract provisions that require companies to report annually on performance. Until 2016, staff waited “three to five years to check project performance, increasing the state’s exposure to financial loss in cases of non-performance,” the report said.
Along those same lines, VEDP did not enforce clawback provisions on 23 projects that received COF grants between 2006 and 2015 but did not meet performance requirements. This meant that $8.7 million was not sought by VEDP. Of those 23 projects, JLARC said 13 met job requirements but did not pay their employees the expected average wages.
Such lack of enforcement leaves the program “wide open for criminal activity,” said Del. Robert D. Orrock, R-Caroline, chairman of JLARC.
Del. Chris Jones, a JLARC member, noted that the report showed that VEDP had hired external consultants to review its management practices in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and all four identified problems. Three of these four reviews were not made available to all VEDP board members or to the public.
“What was the board doing during this time frame in the last four or five years, when they got these consultant reports?” asked Jones. “Where was the board’s responsibility? Was anyone doing their job?”
The JLARC report said the board, consisting of 24 members, has played a minimal role in holding the agency’s 100-member staff accountable, although recent changes in the board have begun to improve this engagement. Jones said in a later interview that the board is too large and unweildy, and that a more reasonable size might be about nine members.
Founded in 1995, VEDP was created as a state authority, rather than a state agency, and therefore enjoys more autonomy and pays higher salaries than other state agencies. Its board is supposed to serve in a supervisory capacity and has with the power to hire and fire the agency’s CEO. Yet in the past the board seems to have played more of an advisory role, JLARC said.
Currently, VEDP is headed by an interim CEO, Dan Gundersen. In mid- August, he implemented a controversial reorganization that addresses some of the ills outlined in the report. However, Greer made clear in his remarks that the reorganization has not addressed all of the challenges. “The board has taken steps to improve its effectiveness, and that is a good start …” he said. Overall, though, he said he found VEDP leaderships’ response to JLARC’s report “disappointing. We strongly disagree with the claims made by VEDP that the agency has already made great progress in implementing many of the report’s recommendations.''
VEDP released a statement Monday in response to JLARC’s report. “VEDP and its board of directors accept the conclusions of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission and view the report as validation of many of the organizational changes and management improvements that VEDP and its board have implemented since March 2016. VEDP and its board are committed to using JLARC’s recommendations as a blueprint for VEDP’s continued path forward.”
The statement went on to say that the board “recognized major shortcomings and the need for marked change and improvement and took significant action in March 2016 to replace the president and CEO. VEDP’s recent reorganization addresses many of the issues identified in the JLARC report, including new structure, new management and new operational procedures.”
VEDP is budgeted to receive $27.4 million in fiscal year 2017, and that doesn’t include money for the 10 incentive programs. Ninety-eight percent of its funding comes from the state.
“This report is damning on its face,” said Jones, who also serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “We spend a boatload of money on VEDP every year, and we’re told what a wonderful job we’re doing on the jobs front. To read this made me sick to my stomach.”
During a press conference following the report’s presentation at the General Assembly building in Richmond, Del. Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg, who along with Jones had requested the JLARC study, said, “It was a lot worse than we had anticipated.”
She said there had been warning signs that things were amiss at VEDP earlier this year. In January, the Roanoke Times reported that the agency had awarded a $1.4 million grant in 2014 to a Chinese-led company for a manufacturing center in Appomattox County that never materialized. Lindenburg Industry LLC failed to meet its pledge to invest $113 million and to hire 349 people, and the state has yet to collect on the grant.
The Roanoke Times investigation reported that VEDP’s vetting process on Lindenburg had relied somewhat on a company website that contained false information and listed a North Carolina address where the company had never had a location.
In its 35 recommendations, JLARC recommends these legislative actions:
• Require the VEDP board of directors to develop and regularly update a strategic plan for VEDP.
• Direct the VEDP board of directors to ensure that the agency executes its statutory responsibilities efficiently and effectively.
•Make any additional VEDP appropriations contingent on implementation of report recommendations.
• Establish a statewide entity, a board of economic development, to improve systematic coordination across state’s economic development programs.
Byron, Jones and Del. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, the patron on the bill to spin off VEDP’s trade division, said they all wanted time to digest the report before moving forward. Jones said it was not the time for VEDP to hire a new CEO, which the agency was hoping to do by yearend.
“We will have to look at the whole system,” Landes said, and major change might be difficult to implement during the assembly's upcoming short session in January 2017. As for delaying action on the new trade unit and leaving it for now within VEDP, “We’ll have to have a discussion and talk with the business community,” he said. “Why does JLARC want to keep what appears to be the only thing that’s working with a broken agency?”2016-11-14T22:55:00+00:00
Liberty to build business school building
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/liberty-to-build-70000-square-foot-business-school-building#When:19:35:00ZAmid its ongoing $500 million construction and campus renovation campaign, Liberty University will be building a new dedicated home for its School of Business, to open on its Lynchburg campus by fall 2018.
The cost of the building, which will be around 78,000 square feet, has not been finalized.
Liberty also has announced a new partnership between the school and Charlotte, N.C.-based Hendrick Automotive Group, the nation’s largest privately held car dealership group, to establish an auto dealership management curriculum.
“Our president [Jerry Falwell Jr.] is making a huge investment back into the campus, which we know impacts the region, impacts our students and builds more value for everyone. … It’s something that’s been a long time coming and … we know our students will certainly take pride in that,” says Liberty School of Business Dean Scott Hicks. “We have some outstanding programs, some of them are second to none, and the facility we’re looking at will certainly be that way too.”
The new Liberty School of Business building is being designed by Richmond firm Glavé & Holmes Architecture, known for projects such as Christopher Newport University’s Jeffersonian Christopher Newport Hall and Pope Chapel, as well as the Fredericksburg Courthouse and buildings at the University of Virginia, the University of Richmond and Washington & Lee University. It will be built by Lynchburg-based English Construction, which also built Liberty University’s Center for Medical and Health Science.
The new Liberty business school will stand where Religion Hall is currently located on its Lynchburg campus.
The largest university in Virginia and the fifth-largest in the nation, Liberty serves 15,000 residential students and 90,000 online students. The School of Business, which has been housed in Green Hall, the university’s main academic building, accounts for about 24,000 of those students, including 2,150 residential students.
Its new building will house an auditorium, the school’s Center for Entrepreneurship, a trading room, the university’s information technology program and “gathering spaces not only for our students but for the business community in the region,” Hicks says. “We want this to be a destination spot for them to come in and take advantage of using the facility and work with our students. That creates opportunities for our students.”
In addition to helping forge new partnerships with state and local business, the new building will also reflect the school’s perspective on technology. Liberty’s School of Business is preparing students for the business world of the 2020s and 2030s, Hicks says, and is focusing on digital marketing technologies such as virtual-reality, augmented-reality and mixed-reality experiences. Data analytics and health-care informatics will also be increasingly important areas of study.
This spring, the school will launch a pilot class for its automotive dealership curriculum, created in partnership with Hendrick Automotive Group. The full program will launch in fall 2017.
“We’re excited about the opportunity of entering into a partnership where we can have the ability of reaching more quality people [to hire],” says Daniel Dehass, executive general manager of Hendrick Automotive Group. “We want to do a better job educating young people that this is a viable business and a good career option. … We’re not just looking for salespeople; we’re looking for people who have the ability to step in and grow and not just grow but grow quickly — our industry has a very high ceiling.”
There are only two other colleges in the nation with similar programs, Hick says, despite the fact that the United States has the second-largest auto industry in the world. The nation has about 118,000 dealerships, employing workers in positions ranging from administration and sales to finance, information technology and mechanics.
The new curriculum will address topics such as how dealerships can successfully adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace that will include driverless cars and on-demand transportation services such as Uber.
Discussing the changes coming to the bustling school, Hicks remarks, “We’re constantly moving. It’s nonstop.”
This story has been updated with more details on the business school building's size and location.2016-11-14T19:35:00+00:00
Third-quarter rates show no change in Hampton Roads
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/third-quarter-rates-show-no-change-in-hampton-roads#When:16:25:00ZOverall industrial and office vacancy rates in Hampton Roads showed no change in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2015.
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer reported that the industrial vacancy rate was 6.5 percent the office rate was 11.3 percent, the same figures seen in the third quarter of 2015.
Net absorption of industrial space was 29,000 square feet in the third quarter, down from 579,000 square feet 12 months before.
Net absorption for office space also was 29,000 square feet in the third quarter, down from 262,000 square feet in the third quarter of 2015.
The report noted that while regional unemployment recently stood at a relatively low rate, 4.4 percent, Hampton Roads has not fully recovered from the Great Recession in which it lost 30,000 jobs.
Looking at the industrial market, the report said Hampton Roads is expected to finish strong in the fourth quarter. A number of significant transactions rolled out in the third quarter are expected to be consummated during the final three months of the year.2016-11-14T16:25:00+00:00
Capital Square 1031 LLC names Charles Nance managing director
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/capital-square-1031-llc-names-charles-nance-managing-director#When:15:49:00ZRichmond-based Capital Square 1031 LLC has named Charles Nance managing director.
Nance is an estate and tax planning attorney with more than three decades of experience. Before focusing on estate planning, Nance was in-house counsel for a securities broker-dealer, a work-out consultant, and developer of LIHTC housing.
He previously served as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and as assistant to various Virginia elected officials.
Nance earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a law degree from George Mason University.
Capital Square specializes in the creation and management of commercial real estate investment programs for Section 1031 exchange investors and other investors using the Delaware Statutory Trust structure.
The company oversees a growing national portfolio of 54 real estate assets valued at approximately $548 million in September.2016-11-14T15:49:00+00:00
Roanoke sees a sluggish quarter
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roanoke-sees-a-sluggish-quarter#When:15:47:00ZThe overall industrial vacancy rate in the Roanoke area remained unchanged at 8.3 percent in the third quarter, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer.
Meanwhile overall office vacancy rose 1.3 percentage points to 9.7 percent in the third quarter, the report said.
Industrial net absorption was a negative 71,000 square feet during the quarter compared with a positive 53,000 square feet in the same quarter last year.
In the office market, however, net absorption was 51,000 square feet, up from 19,000 in the same quarter last year.
The report attributes the increased office vacancy rate to the Norfolk Southern in downtown Roanoke and the Allstate building in the city’s Southwest area, both of which were recently vacated.
However, the report notes that the Norfolk Southern building is now under contract with local investors who plan to reposition it as a multi-tenant, Class A office building.2016-11-14T15:47:00+00:00
Fredericksburg-area vacancy rates decline
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fredericksburg-area-vacancy-rates-decline#When:15:41:00ZCushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer reports that the overall industrial vacancy rate in the Fredericksburg area declined 4.5 percentage points to 8.1 percent in the third quarter.
The commercial real estate firm said the area’s overall office vacancy rate meanwhile declined one-tenth of a percentage point to 13.8 percent during the third quarter.
The report notes that the region’s unemployment rate in August was 4.2 percent and 1,353 jobs were added in the area since August 2015.
Industrial net absorption stood at 170,000 square feet in the third quarter compared with 53,000 square feet in the same quarter last year.
Office net absorption was 29,000 square feet in this year’s third quarter, down from 33,000 square feet in the same quarter last year.
“The majority of the Class A industrial space has been absorbed and as the market continues to tighten, previously stagnant Class B and C vacant units are beginning to see a rise in activity,” the report said. “Smaller flex units are experiencing increased activity as well, which is allowing landlords to sign stronger tenants for longer term leases.”
The report noted that while third quarter office absorption was down compared with the same quarter last year, year-to-date absorption was up 122 percent, to 77,250 square feet.2016-11-14T15:41:00+00:00
Sanwood Hospitality buys Fairfield Inn & Suites in Strasburg
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sanwood-hospitality-buys-fairfield-inn-suites-in-strasburg#When:02:13:00ZA Chester based hospitality company, Sanwood Hospitality LLC, has purchased the 84-room Fairfield Inn & Suites in Strasburg for a reported $6.2 million. Hunter Hotel Advisors in Atlanta represented the seller, Palmer Gosnell Hospitality LLC, in the sale of the property located at 33760 Old Valley Pike, near Interstate 81.
According to Hunter Hotel Advisors, the new owner plans to spend $500,000 to upgrade the hotel, which was built in 2008.
Program begun to train veterans in cybersecurity skills
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/program-begun-to-train-veterans-in-cybersecurity-skills#When:22:11:00ZThe commonwealth has begun an initiative designed to provide veterans with access to cybersecurity training and skill development.
Speaking at the Virginia’s Veterans Day ceremony, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the launch of Cyber Vets Virginia.
Cyber Vets Virginia is a cyber training collaboration involving the state, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ Onward to Opportunity program and private- sector leaders, including CISCO, Amazon Web Services and ISC2.
The initiative provides a free cyber training pilot program for veterans living in Virginia and interested in working in the industry.
Cyber Vets Virginia also provides veterans with a consolidated resource for information related to cybersecurity opportunities in the commonwealth, including cyber education at Virginia community colleges and four-year institutions, information on financial support, and tools to help veteran build a career track in the cyber workforce.
In addition, Cyber Vets Virginia will serve as the pilot platform for the Commonwealth’s inaugural cyber jobs portal, CyberJobs.virginia.gov. The portal aims to create a pathway for former military service members to navigate employment opportunities in Virginia’s cyber sector.2016-11-11T22:11:00+00:00
Trade mission planned for Pacific Rim
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trade-mission-planned-for-pacific-rim#When:22:01:00ZGov. Terry McAuliffe is leading a 10-day trade and marketing mission to the Pacific Rim on Nov. 13-22.
The Virginia delegation will visit Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia
Accompanying the governor will be first lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden plus representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Virginia Tourism Corp.
The delegation will participate in nearly 60 meetings during the mission.
In addition to one-on-one business meetings, McAuliffe will host four receptions.
This trip is the governor’s 21st trade and marketing mission, and his first to Singapore and Australia.2016-11-11T22:01:00+00:00
Sentara RMH Medical Center names new president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sentara-rmh-medical-center-names-new-president#When:21:20:00ZDouglas J. Moyer has been tapped to lead Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, effective Jan. 3. Moyer has been CEO for CHS Virginia Hospital Network and for CHS/Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg since 2000.
Moyer succeeds Jim Krauss, who retired in June after 15 years of working for Sentara RMH Medical Center.
Moyer began his health-care career as an athletic trainer in a sports medicine physical therapy program.
From 1998-1999 he was director of physical therapy/program development for Johns Hopkins Health System, where he completed his administrative residency and fellowship.
He received his bachelor’s degree in community health from Ohio University, and his master’s degree in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.2016-11-11T21:20:00+00:00
Waynesboro-based Lumos to acquire Clarity Communications
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/waynesboro-based-lumos-to-acquire-clarity-communications#When:22:07:00ZWaynesboro-based Lumos Networks Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire Clarity Communications Group, which operates a 730-mile fiber network in four Southeastern states.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The majority of Clarity’s operations and fiber mileage is in North Carolina. The company is based in Raleigh, N.C.
Timothy G. Biltz, CEO of Lumos Networks said he expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Blitz said the acquisition gives Lumos an instant foothold in many high-growth North Carolina markets.
Lumos Networks is a fiber-based service provider in 24 markets in Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky.2016-11-10T22:07:00+00:00
St. Louis couple makes $20 million pledge to Hollins University
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/st.-louis-couple-makes-20-million-pledge-to-hollins-university#When:22:03:00ZA St. Louis couple has pledged $20 million to Hollins University in Roanoke.
The gift from Elizabeth Hall McDonnell, and her husband, James S. McDonnell III presents the largest single gift commitment in the school’s 175-year history.
The pledge is intended for the university’s unrestricted endowment.
Elizabeth McDonnell is a member of Hollins’ class of 1962 and has served on the university’s board of trustees since 2008.
She and her husband committed $6.5 million last year to fund renovations to the university’s Dana Science Building and Hollins Theatre and to support visiting faculty in the theatre and playwriting programs.
The McDonnells also gave $3 million in 2009 to transform and update the theater space.2016-11-10T22:03:00+00:00
Microsoft announces fifth expansion in Mecklenburg County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/microsoft-announces-fifth-expansion-in-mecklenburg-county#When:22:49:00ZMicrosoft Corp. has announced its fifth expansion in Mecklenburg County.
The company will invest $251.6 million to expand its data center site in the county. The project will create 44 new jobs.
According to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Microsoft has invested nearly $2 billion in its Mecklenburg facility since 2010 and created over 250 jobs.
McAuliffe approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Mecklenburg County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission also approved $970,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds.2016-11-09T22:49:00+00:00
Virginia Business Political Roundtable
Boar’s Head names new general manager
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/boars-head-names-new-general-manager#When:22:05:00ZBoar’s Head, a 175-room resort in Charlottesville, has named Russ Cronberg general manager.
He previously was general manager of the 6,000-acre Callaway Gardens Resort in Pine Mountain, Ga.
During his tenure at Callaway, the resort saw increased profits, consistently positive guest survey results, and higher guest return rates. He also led several key renovation projects.
Before Callaway, he worked at several Southern luxury resorts, including Hilton Key Largo Resort in Key Largo, Fla; Exclusive Resorts on Kiawah Island, S.C.; and Wild Dunes Resort & Spa in Isle of Palms, S.C.
A native of Michigan, Cronberg earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids.
Synopsys Inc. to acquire Dulles-based Cigital
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/synopsys-inc.-to-acquire-dulles-based-cigital#When:22:01:00ZCalifornia-based Synopsys Inc. plans to acquire Dulles-based Cigital and Boston-based Codiscope, a company spun off by Cigital last year.
The terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
Synopsys is the world's 15th largest software company. It is a major player in electronic design automation and semiconductor IP and is also developing its role in software quality and security solutions.
Cigital is a large, global application security firm specializing in professional and managed services for identifying, remediating and preventing vulnerabilities in software applications.
Codiscope has transformed the tools and intellectual property created by Cigital into a suite of accessible and streamlined tools for a broad population of developers.
Synopsys, based in Mountain View, Calif., said the security of software code throughout the software supply chain is a critical concern for companies across a broad range of industries, from financial services and medical devices to industrial controls and automotive.
The company said the acquisition of Cigital and Codiscope will add complementary products, services and a highly skilled workforce to Synopsys' portfolio.
The transaction, which will be funded with a combination of U.S. cash and debt, is subject to Hart Scott Rodino regulatory review and other customary closing conditions.
Synopsys expects the deal to close by December.2016-11-08T22:01:00+00:00
Berkadia secures $22 million in financing for apartment complex in Chester
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/berkadia-secures-22-million-in-financing-for-apartment-complex-in-chester#When:17:36:00ZBerkadia has arranged $22 million in financing for the development and construction of Colony Village II Apartments, a 166-unit project in Chester.
The company said in a press release that Senior Managing Director David Blake of the company’s Richmond office secured the loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on behalf of the Virginia-based borrower, Colony Village Phase II LLC. The deal was completed Oct. 20.
The interest-only, two-year construction loan includes a 3.36 percent fixed interest rate, an 83.5 percent loan-to-cost ratio and a 40-year amortization schedule for the permanent mortgage.
“We were proud to help the developer secure its construction financing for phase two of Colony Village, continuing the revitalization effort along the Jefferson Davis Highway Corridor,” Blake said in a statement. “The success of Colony Village Apartments [also 166 units] has been instrumental in improving the commercial retail and housing stock along portions of this historic Virginia route between Petersburg and Richmond.”
The Colony Village II property will be located at 10250 Colony Village Way, just north of Interstate-288 and Jefferson Davis Highway, about 13 miles from downtown Richmond.
Berkadia is a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corp.2016-11-08T17:36:00+00:00
Dominion Packaging announces $25 million expansion in Henrico County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-packaging-announces-25-million-expansion-in-henrico-county#When:17:09:00ZDominion Packaging said Tuesday it is investing $25.1 million and adding 60 jobs in Henrico County to support a new contract with Anheuser-Busch.
Henrico County-based Dominion Packaging provides packaging solutions for a variety of clients, including Altria, Philip Morris, McDonald’s, Hardee’s and Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits. The company, founded in 2004, currently employs more than 280 people in Virginia.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henrico County with the project. The governor also approved a $200,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program.
Dominion Packaging is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities.
Virginia competed against Pennsylvania for the project.2016-11-08T17:09:00+00:00
Ten-year-old community bank passes $1 billion in assets
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ten-year-old-community-bank-passes-1-billion-in-assets#When:21:41:00ZThe 10-year-old John Marshall Bank has passed $1 billion in total assets.
On Sept. 30, assets totaled $1.02 billion, an increase of $132.9 million, or 15 percent from total assets of $884.5 million at Sept. 30, 2015.
On Monday, the bank reported net income of $2.6 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, an increase of $368,000 or 16.4 percent when compared to net income of $2.2 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2015.
Net income per diluted share was 25 cents during the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with 21 cents per diluted share during the same period in 2015.
Gross loans increased $88.7 million, or 11.6 percent, to $855 million at Sept. 30, compared to $766.3 million at Sept. 30, 2015. Year-over-year net loan growth was $87.7 million, or 11.6 percent.
Total deposits were $793.9 million at Sept. 30, representing an increase of $103 million, or 14.9 percent, compared with $690.9 million at Sept. 30 2015.2016-11-07T21:41:00+00:00
Beer and cheese pairing
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/beer-and-cheese-pairing#When:16:30:00ZBeer and cheese
Green Flash, a craft brewery based out of San Diego, Calif., will celebrate the official opening of its new 58,000-square-foot East Coast facility and tasting room in Virginia Beach on Nov. 13.
Green Flash Co-founders Mike and Lisa Hinkley will join with Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms Jr. and Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris to attend the opening ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. at 1209 Craft Lane.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority provided a $275,000 economic development incentive program grant to Green Flash in 2013 based on the number of jobs created i the city. The $20 million facility includes a brewery, tasting room with 30 Green Flash beers on tap, a beer garden, food trucks, retail store, and private-event room and garden at the corner of General Booth Boulevard and Corporate Landing.
Festivities, which begin at noon, include beer samples in the tasting room, live music, and food from local vendors. The opening also will offer a look at some of the brewery's event programming in Virginia Beach.That includes a 4 p.m. program on cheese and beer pairing with Green Flash’s director of beer education.2016-11-07T16:30:00+00:00
Hirschler Fleischer expands Tysons office with new partner
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hirschler-fleischer-expands-tysons-office-with-new-partner#When:15:29:00ZHirschler Fleischer, a Richmond-based law firm, is expanding its Tysons office with the addition of Justine Fitzgerald as a partner in the firm’s real estate practice.
Fitzgerald counsels clients involved in the acquisition and disposition, development, financing and leasing of commercial properties throughout the Washington metropolitan area and around the country.
“Her knowledge and experience in the market strengthens our ability to service existing and potential clients in diverse real estate matters,” Chuck Rothenberg, chair of Hirschler Fleischer’s Real Estate Practice, said in a statement.
Fitzgerald is active in the community and has served on many boards, including the Spanish Education Development Center in Washington, D.C., tand he board of Mason Housing Inc., a nonprofit that manages Masonvale, a transitional housing facility for faculty, staff or full-time graduate students at George Mason University.
Fitzgerald earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Hirschler Fleischer’s Real Estate Practice counsels private and public companies, institutional investors and government entities on topics ranging from ownership, leasing and management to land use, zoning and development.2016-11-07T15:29:00+00:00
Columbia Gas of Virginia is building training facility
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/columbia-gas-of-virginia-is-building-training-facility#When:15:16:00ZColumbia Gas of Virginia is building a $9 million, 22,000-square-foot training center next to its Chesterfield County headquarters.
The center will be used by Virginia Columbia Gas employees as they enter the company workforce or train to maintain their operator qualification certifications.
“This new training facility will employ technology and innovative training methods to support our focus on being an industry leader in safety and operational excellence,” Columbia Gas of Virginia President Brent Archer said in a statement. “By strengthening our training capacity, we can further elevate a culture of learning that strengthens and facilitates the growth and development of our employees which leads to better service for our customers.”
The facility, expected to open in late 2017, will include a classroom, simulation equipment, a mock neighborhood for natural gas leak investigation, outdoor backhoe training and controlled fire safety training.
The Virginia training center is one of four new facilities being constructed by NiSource, its parent company, in its seven-state region. The first facility opened outside of Pittsburgh in July.2016-11-07T15:16:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Jim_Abrahamson2.jpegJim Abrahamson photo courtesy Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Interstate Hotels & Resorts CEO named chairman of the board
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/interstate-hotels-resorts-ceo-named-chairman-of-the-board#When:18:51:00ZArlington-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts, which was acquired by private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. LLC, earlier this year, has announced that it has begun to search for a new CEO.
Current CEO, Jim Abrahamson, has been named chairman of the company’s board of directors and will serve as CEO and chairman until a new CEO is named. The firm anticipates filling the position in early 2017.
“Under Jim’s leadership, drive and strategic vision, Interstate has successfully expanded its portfolio and is established as the largest, most diverse platform in the industry,” Ahmed I. Wahla, partner of Kohlberg and Co., said in a statement. “We now look forward to appointing an industry-leading CEO to further propel the company to become the undisputed, market-leading provider of independent hotel management services to current and future owners.“
Abrahamson, who served as Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ CEO for five-and-a-half years, said in a statement that he was honored to be appointed chairman of the board.
“I look forward to my new role supporting the company’s journey ahead and to our board appointing a new CEO to lead Interstate to even greater success,” he said.
Interstate Hotels & Resorts operates hotels, resorts and convention centers. The company and its affiliates manage 430 hotels around the world. It also has agreements to manage 54 hotels currently under development or construction.2016-11-04T18:51:00+00:00
Nominees sought for Fantastic 50 program
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nominees-sought-for-fantastic-50-program#When:18:44:00ZNominations are being accepted for the 2017 Fantastic 50 program, which recognizes Virginia’s fastest-growing companies.
The deadline for nominations is Jan. 8. To be eligible, a company must be a privately held, Virginia-based business with annual sales of $200,000 to $200 million.
The nominees must show positive revenue growth and positive net income in their most-recent fiscal year.
Companies are judged on four-year sales revenue history for fiscal years 2012-2015. The public accounting and advisory firm Dixon Hughes Goodman verifies all award entries.
More information about the Fantastic 50 program and the nomination form is available at https://www.vachamber.com/events/fan-50-nomination-form/.
The Fantastic 50 award program is sponsored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Cox Communications, Inc., Virginia Business, Dixon Hughes Goodman, SunTrust Bank, Capital One, The Washington Nationals and the Westfields Marriott.
Anyone with questions about the application form, can email Melissa Watson at email@example.com or call (804) 474-1309.
A list of last year’s Fantastic 50 awards winners is available at https://www.vachamber.com/event/2016-fantastic-50-awards-program/2016-11-04T18:44:00+00:00
Danville bank names head of trust and investment services
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/danville-bank-names-head-of-trust-and-investment-services#When:19:27:00ZDanville-based American National Bank and Trust Co., the bank subsidiary of American National Bankshares Inc., has named John H. Settle Jr. executive vice president and president of trust and investment services.
As of Sept. 30, American National Trust and Investment Services managed $780 million of trust, investment and brokerage assets.
Settle was senior vice president and senior fiduciary advisor at Wells Fargo. Previously, he served as managing director in the private wealth management area of SunTrust. He currently serves on the investment committee of the Cameron Foundation.2016-11-03T19:27:00+00:00
MEDARVA Healthcare names new CFO
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/medarva-healthcare-names-new-cfo#When:18:50:00ZRichmond-based MEDARVA Healthcare has hired John Headley as its chief financial officer.
Headley previously worked for Chesapeake Health Services handling financial responsibilities, including supply chain and capital management.
As part of MEDARVA’s executive team, he will provide insight on strategic financial planning and analysis, business development
and the future direction of the company.
Headley is a graduate of the College of William & Mary with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
MEDARVA is the nonprofit parent company of MEDARVA Stony Point Surgery Center. Its other entities include a foundation, a 83-doctor physician network and a three-story medical office building in the West Creek Medical Park.2016-11-03T18:50:00+00:00
Bay Banks and Virginia BanCorp to merge
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bay-banks-and-virginia-bancorp-to-merge#When:18:45:00ZKilmarnock-based Bay Banks of Virginia Inc. and Petersburg-based Virginia BanCorp. Inc. have signed a merger agreement, creating a combined Richmond-based combined bank with $794 million in total assets.
Bay Banks is the holding company for Bank of Lancaster and Bay Trust Co., while Virginia BanCorp.’s subsidiary is Virginia Commonwealth Bank.
Under the agreement, Bay Banks will acquire Virginia BanCorp,, with its shareholders receiving 1.178 shares of Bay Banks common stock for each share of Virginia BanCorp common stock.
Bay Banks shareholders will own 51 percent of the combined company, and Virginia BanCorp shareholders will own 49 percent.
The merger will create a company with $633 million in total deposits and $623 million in loans based on reported amounts on of Sept. 30.
The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
"We are excited about our merger with Virginia BanCorp,” Randal R. Greene, Bay Banks president and CEO, said in a statement. “The combined company is expected to become the fifth-largest community bank headquartered in Richmond with deposits in the Richmond MSA totaling approximately $298 million.”
The holding company will continue to be called Bay Banks of Virginia Inc. The board of directors of the combined company will include five members from each of the current boards of directors of the two banks.
C. Frank Scott III, the president and CEO of Virginia BanCorp., will be chairman of the board of directors of the holding company. Greene will be vice chairman of the board and president and CEO of the combined company.
The subsidiary banks, Bank of Lancaster and Virginia Commonwealth Bank, will combine and the resulting bank will be called Virginia Commonwealth Bank after the closing.
Bank of Lancaster Chairman Richard A. Farmar, III will serve as chairman of the board of directors of the combined bank, Greene will serve as vice chairman of the board of directors and as its CEO. Scott will be its president.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017, subject to approval of both companies' shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
FIG Partners, LLC is acting as financial adviser to Bay Banks and Williams Mullen is acting as its legal adviser in the transaction. Performance Trust Capital Partners LLC is acting as financial adviser to Virginia BanCorp and LeClairRyan is acting as its legal adviser.
Founded in 1930, Bank of Lancaster has eight branches located in the Northern Neck and Middlesex County and offices in Richmond.
Founded in 1936 as First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Petersburg, Virginia Commonwealth Bank became a state-chartered community bank headquartered in Petersburg in 2008. It has eight banking offices located in the Tri-Cities, Chesterfield County, Henrico County, and Suffolk.2016-11-03T18:45:00+00:00
Metro area jobless rates mixed in September
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/metro-area-jobless-rates-mixed-in-september#When:16:03:00ZUnemployment rates in Virginia’s metropolitan areas were mixed in September.
Four of the 11 metro areas saw their jobless rates decline during the month, according to figures from the Virginia Employment Commission.
In another four metro areas, unemployment rates were unchanged from August. In three regions, rates rose slightly.
The VEC numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not account for seasonal fluctuations in the workforce.
Using seasonally unadjusted numbers, national unemployment for September was 4.8 percent while Virginia’s rate was 4 percent.
The New River Valley region (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford) had the biggest drop in unemployment, falling 1.5 percentage points to 4.5 percent in September.
The Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Lynchburg areas all saw their jobless rates decline two-tenths of a percentage point during the month.
In the Bristol, Hampton Roads, Richmond and Roanoke areas, unemployment rates were unchanged in September.
The Northern Virginia, Staunton-Waynesboro and Winchester regions all saw rate rise by one-tenth of a percentage point.
Here’s a breakdown on the regional jobless rates:
Bristol: 4.7 percent in September, unchanged from August.
Charlottesville: 3.4 percent, down from 3.6 percent.
Hampton Roads: 4.6 percent, unchanged.
Harrisonburg: 4 percent, down from 4.2 percent.
Lynchburg: 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent.
New River Valley: 4.5 percent, down from 6 percent.
Northern Virginia: 3.4 percent, up from 3.3 percent.
Richmond: 4.1 percent, unchanged.
Roanoke: 4 percent, unchanged.
Winchester: 3.6 percent, up from 3.5 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 3.9 percent, up from 3.8 percent.2016-11-03T16:03:00+00:00