1498710338 Virginia Business http://www.virginiabusiness.com/ Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business community en vgarabelli@virginiabusiness.com Copyright 2017 2017-06-28T20:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia Inc. 500 companies located in Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia#When:09:00:00Z table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #8B0202; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } Rank Company City 3-yr. growth rate Revenue1 Industry 10 FedBiz IT Solutions Leesburg 12,621% $25.8 Government services 49 Interactive Government Holdings Springfield 5,058 7.1 Government services 55 ByteCubed Arlington 4,768 11.6 IT services 56 Excel Group Arlington 4,694 34.4 Real estate 70 Talteam Herndon 4,053 5.0 IT services 77 Ecology Mir Group Manassas 3,856 3.9 Government services 100 Inoventures McLean 3,255 3.9 Government services 128 Mosquito Joe Virginia Beach 2,700 8.1 Consumer products & services 200 LLB Enterprises Stafford 1,900 2.0 Business products & services 205 Health Warrior Richmond 1,887 9.8 Food & beverage 212 Darkblade Systems Stafford 1,848 4.0 Government services 215 Preting Consulting Alexandria 1,827 5.2 Government services 222 Pro-Sphere Tek Alexandria 1,795 45.7 IT services 223 AegisCorp. Chantilly 1,794 4.2 Government services 247 Tenica and Associates Alexandria 1,591 9.1 Government services 254 Hosted Records Springfield 1,557 3.3 Government services 280 American Pillowcase Richmond 1,400 6.5 Retail 295 Potomac River Holdings Alexandria 1,337 16.6 Retail 308 GuidePoint Security Herndon 1,276 111.1 Security 312 Axis Global Enterprises Virginia Beach 1,237 6.1 Construction 324 SSi Virginia Beach 1,194 12.0 Human resources 326 Oasys McLean 1,182 5.0 Government services 348 Davis Defense Group Stafford 1,102 30.9 Government services 369 Trigent Solutions Chantilly 1,046 6.1 IT services 392 Open Systems Technologies Gainesville 976 5.4 IT services 394 Perfecta Federal Springfield 972 5.9 Government services 405 Favor TechConsulting Vienna 949 19.2 IT services 408 Avertra Herndon 944 8.7 IT services 451 Sequoia Holdings Reston 847 5.6 Government services 462 The Hilb Group Richmond 820 36.8 Insurance 477 SeKON Enterprise Herndon 798 23.9 Government services 479 Cynet Systems Ashburn 797 31.4 IT Services 480 Wholesale Screening Solutions Purcellville 795 32.4 Business products & services 486 Metronome Fairfax 779 9.8 Government services 1 In millions in 2015 Source: Inc. magazine   2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-notchd-brewing-expanding-in-charlottesville Three Notch’d Brewing expanding in Charlottesville http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-notchd-brewing-expanding-in-charlottesville http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-notchd-brewing-expanding-in-charlottesville#When:20:24:00Z Charlottesville-based Three Notch’d Brewing Co. said Wednesday it is investing $2.9 million to expand its Charlottesville brewery. The project is expected to create eight jobs. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the project, which Charlottesville will match with local funds. The brewery, which opened in 2013, will purchase 69 percent of its agricultural ingredients from Virginia farmers. Besides Charlottesville, Three Notch’d also has breweries in Richmond and Harrisonburg. 2017-06-28T20:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/regions-second-new-grand-mart-coming-to-richmonds-west-end Region’s second New Grand Mart coming to Richmond’s West End http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/regions-second-new-grand-mart-coming-to-richmonds-west-end http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/regions-second-new-grand-mart-coming-to-richmonds-west-end#When:19:17:00Z New Grand Mart has signed a lease to open its second Richmond location in West Broad Commons, according to Broad Street Realty. The international grocery store, which offers ethnic specialty items, will lease a 39,386-square-foot building at 9031 W. Broad St. It will replace a Food Lion that is closing. New Grand Mart currently operates three stores in the Washington, D.C., area and one in Chesterfield County. 2017-06-28T19:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/c1-exterior_SMALL.png Photo courtesy CBRE | Richmond. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-richmond-to-lease-medical-office-buildings-at-greengate-development-in CBRE | Richmond to lease medical office buildings at GreenGate development in Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-richmond-to-lease-medical-office-buildings-at-greengate-development-in http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-richmond-to-lease-medical-office-buildings-at-greengate-development-in#When:15:42:00Z CBRE | Richmond has been awarded listing assignments for two medical office buildings to be built at the GreenGate, mixed used development in Short Pump. “We are thrilled to partner with Markel l Eagle to market and lease the medical office properties at Green Gate,” Malcolm Randolph, senior vice president of CBRE l Richmond, said in a statement. Construction on the three-story medical office buildings will begin this summer. The first building is scheduled to open July 2018. Each building  (named MOB I and II) will measure approximately 45,000 square feet with 15,000 square feet per floor. Tuckahoe Orthopaedics will occupy the first floor of MOB I. GreenGate is a 75-acre pedestrian-centric district being developed by Glen Allen-based Markel | Eagle Partners. The development will include 230 single family and townhome residences and retailers. Mellow Mushroom, Starbucks, Cyclebar and Carytown Bicycle have already opened at the development. Other retailers scheduled to open at GreenGate include The Daily, Lidl Supermarket and Mango Salon. 2017-06-28T15:42:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-sale-of-industrial-property-in-virgin Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announces sale of industrial property in Virginia Beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-sale-of-industrial-property-in-virgin http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-sale-of-industrial-property-in-virgin#When:15:25:00Z Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has announced the sale of an industrial property in Virginia Beach for $1.8 million. Price Pond LLC purchased the 49,000-square-foot industrial property from Madeline F. Bailey Rev. Trust for future residential development. The property is on 3.2 acres. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Eric Throne represented the buyer. Robert M. Thornton, also with Thalhimer, represented the seller. 2017-06-28T15:25:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/heywood-fralin-appointed-chair-of-state-council-of-higher-education-for-vir Heywood Fralin appointed chair of State Council of Higher Education for Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/heywood-fralin-appointed-chair-of-state-council-of-higher-education-for-vir http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/heywood-fralin-appointed-chair-of-state-council-of-higher-education-for-vir#When:13:17:00Z The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia said Tuesday it has selected W. Heywood Fralin as its chair, effective July 1. He succeeds outgoing chair G. Gilmer Minor III, who is not eligible for reappointment after serving two terms. Fralin is the chairman of Medical Facilities of America Inc. and co-chairman of Retirement Unlimited Inc., which are both based in Roanoke. He was first appointed to the council in 2013 and had served as vice chair for the prior term. The council also chose Gene Lockhart as vice chair and Henry Light as secretary. Lockhart is a special adviser at General Atlantic, a growth equity firm. Light’s experience includes working for Norfolk Southern Corp., and its predecessor, for 32 years, and serving as counsel with Crenshaw, Ware & Martin PLC in Norfolk. Among his first duties as chair, Fralin filled two council leadership roles, naming Marge Connelly chair of the council’s resources committee and Katharine Webb chair of the academic affairs committee.  Connelly has held senior roles in Virginia with Capital One, Wachovia Securities and Barclays in London. Webb served many years as senior vice president of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. 2017-06-28T13:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unanet-to-expand-loudoun-county-operation Unanet to expand Loudoun County operation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unanet-to-expand-loudoun-county-operation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unanet-to-expand-loudoun-county-operation#When:09:09:00Z Unanet, a provider of cloud and enterprise resource planning software, is expanding its operation in Loudoun County, creating 60 new jobs. Virginia competed against Alabama, California, Florida, Maryland, and Tennessee for the project, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday. Unanet’s ERP software allows its clients to provide resource management, budgeting & forecasting, project management, timesheets, expense reports, project accounting, billing, workforce collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), and financials in one integrated system. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Unanet with the training of up to 38 new jobs through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).   2017-06-28T09:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-dominion-university-offering-real-estate-major Old Dominion University offering real estate major http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-dominion-university-offering-real-estate-major http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-dominion-university-offering-real-estate-major#When:18:16:00Z Starting this fall, Old Dominion University will offer a new undergraduate major in real estate. According to the school, the major will be offered through the finance department in the university’s Strome College of Business. Three faculty members will teach the courses, which will include real estate principles and upper-level courses in appraisal, real estate management and real estate finance. Students pursuing the degree also will gain practical experience through the Urban Land Institute's UrbanPlan Project. The project curriculum will teach students about the fundamental forces affecting development in the United States with hand-on projects and visits from professionals in the fields of real estate and development. Students will later present their development proposals to mock city councils made up of local real estate and development professionals. ODU said it is currently the only higher education institution in Virginia conducting this project in the classroom.     2017-06-27T18:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gtt-communications-to-buy-global-capacity GTT Communications to buy Global Capacity http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gtt-communications-to-buy-global-capacity http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gtt-communications-to-buy-global-capacity#When:08:49:00Z Cloud networking provider GTT Communications announced Monday it has reached an agreement to acquire Global Capacity. The purchase price includes $100 million in cash and 1.85 million shares of GTT common stock. McLean-based GTT Communications said the acquisition will grow its client base with additional health-care, application service provider, and retail and carrier markets. GTT expects that Global Capacity’s annualized revenue will be approximately $200 million. Waltham, Mass.-based Global Capacity is a provider of network connectivity solutions that simplify the process of connecting enterprises. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017 and is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. GTT will fund the cash portion of the acquisition with funds from a debt offering completed in May. 2017-06-27T08:49:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kettler-expands-its-footprint-to-florida Kettler expands its footprint to Florida http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kettler-expands-its-footprint-to-florida http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kettler-expands-its-footprint-to-florida#When:15:53:00Z Kettler,  a McLean-based real estate estate development and property management company, has made its first acquisition in Florida. The company has purchased 18.4 acres from The Celebration Co, in Celebration, Fla.,  for a mixed-use development.  It did not disclose the purchase price.  “This development transaction represents a significant milestone for our company. Expanding our geographical footprint and entering the Florida market has been a strategic focus of our organization,”  Robert C. Kettler, chairman and CEO of Kettler said in a statement.  “We could not be more excited to have our first acquisition in the state be in iconic Celebration.” Celebration is a master-planned community originally developed by The Walt Disney Co. Kettler, which has built many large-scale planned communities and mixed-use developments in the Washington, D.C., metro area, plans a garden-style apartment community with parcels for hotel and age-restricted housing. It said it would oversee the apartment development and master plan, and is evaluating partnership options with qualified hotel and age-restricted housing developers to partner on the remaining parcels.  The residential portion of the development will include 368 apartments with an variety of floorplans.  Kettler plans an extensive amenity package.  The site’s location is minutes away from Town Center, providing residents with dining and entertainment options and providing access to many of Osceola County’s large employers such as Lockheed Martin, Tupperware Brands Corp.  Walt Disney World Resort and five hospital centers. “The Orlando area is a stable and promising submarket where we see tremendous growth opportunities for multifamily development. We look forward to working with the Celebration community to bring this project to fruition,” added Kettler. The project’s architect is Torti Gallas and Partners, a global architectural firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Florida, California and Istanbul. Atkins North America is the development’s civil engineer. In line with the company’s growth strategy, Kettler said it continues to evaluate acquisition and development opportunities in the Orlando submarket, the Tampa/St. Petersburg area as well as South Florida.    2017-06-26T15:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dollar-general-store-in-staunton-sells-for-1.5-million Dollar General store in Staunton sells for $1.5 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dollar-general-store-in-staunton-sells-for-1.5-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dollar-general-store-in-staunton-sells-for-1.5-million#When:15:17:00Z A 9,100-square-foot Dollar General store in Staunton has sold for $1.5 million, or about $165 per square foot. The Single Tenant Net Lease Group of KLNB, a Baltimore, Md.-based commercial real estate brokerage, arranged the sale. KLNB said in a press release it took the property to market for the seller and procured the buyer with a triple-net leased offering. In a triple net lease, the agreement designates the tenant as being responsible for costs such as taxes, insurance and maintenance. Peter Snell, KLNB’s Single Tenant Lease Group director, said in a statement that the sale is part of a growing trend. “This is a great example of what is driving today’s single tenant, net-leased market: a seller capitalizing on historical or near historical low CAP rates, and a buyer seeking a management-free asset and hedging against future uncertainty. By locking in a low-interest rate and securing a cash flow guaranteed by strong corporate investment grade credit, the buyer will find great value in this property.” The store is located within a residential community along West Beverley Street — one of Staunton’s main thoroughfares that runs through the city’s downtown. KLNB formed Snell’s group in 2014 to provide advisory services for investment entities interested in single tenant, net lease retail assets. According to the firm, the group has handled more than 300 deals totaling more than $1 billion.   2017-06-26T15:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/PAULASMALLPIC.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finmarc-management-acquires-two-new-properties-in-northern-virginia Finmarc Management acquires two new properties in Northern Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finmarc-management-acquires-two-new-properties-in-northern-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finmarc-management-acquires-two-new-properties-in-northern-virginia#When:21:37:00Z   Finmarc Management Inc., a Bethesda, Md.- based commercial real estate firm, has purchased two properties in Northern Virginia: a neighborhood shopping center in Manassas for $20 million and an industrial building in Woodbridge for $2.7 million. The 117,000-square-foot shopping center is located on Festival Lane and is anchored by Global Food. According to Finmarc, the center is 97 percent leased. Bill Kent of CBRE represented the seller,  Katz Properties.  “We are extremely familiar with the Manassas submarket based on our warehouse and industrial holdings and believe in the long-term fundamentals of suburban retail product in Northern Virginia,” Sean Sullivan, vice president of Finmarc Management, said in a statement. In the Woodbridge, transaction, Finmarc purchased a 37,000-square-foot industrial building at 14999 Farm Creek Drive from a private seller. The asset is in the same business community – Featherstone Industrial Park – in which Finmarc acquired a 15 building, 750,000- square-foot industrial and warehouse portfolio earlier this year. Tony Russo of CBRE represented the seller in this transaction.  According to Finmarc, the building is 77 percent leased.  Featherstone Industrial Park is located about 12 miles from Fort Belvoir, 15 miles from the Marine Corps Base in Quantico and is adjacent to multiple exits along Interstate 95. With this acquisition, Finmarc says it owns and manages 92 office, flex, industrial and retail properties as well as several residential projects in the mid-Atlantic area, totaling 6.7 million square feet of space. 2017-06-25T21:37:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/newport-news-shopping-center-sells-for-5.6-million Newport News shopping center sells for $5.6 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/newport-news-shopping-center-sells-for-5.6-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/newport-news-shopping-center-sells-for-5.6-million#When:21:32:00Z   The Newport Marketplace Shopping Center in Newport News has sold for $5.6 million, or about $45 per square foot. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, which represented the seller,  the 125,441-square-foot center located on Chatham Drive was 69% leased at the time of the sale on May 14. The buyer was NW Marketplace LLC. Major tenants include grocery anchor Farm Fresh, and Michaels. Catharine Spangler of Thalhimer’s Richmond office handled the transaction assisted by Joe Kennedy in Thalhimer’s Virginia Beach office. The sale was facilitated through the RealINSIGHT Marketplace auction platform which launched during the first quarter.  In another  transaction in Hampton Roads, Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented Hilltop Copeland Strip LLC in the sale of Hilltop Square Shopping Center. The 91,563-square-foot center is located on First Colonial Road in Virginia Beach. Buyer Pratt Street Capital acquired the asset on June 15. According to Thalhimer, the property was 92% leased and includes tenants such as Mattress Firm, Advance Auto, U.S. Post Office, UFC Gym, Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Sharon Ryals-Taylor of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. 2017-06-25T21:32:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Niemeierphoto.jpg Bernie Niemeier accepts the awards at AABP's summer conference in Dallas. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-wins-four-national-journalism-awards Virginia Business wins four national journalism awards http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-wins-four-national-journalism-awards http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-wins-four-national-journalism-awards#When:03:08:00Z Virginia Business has won four awards in a national business journalism competition. The awards were presented in the medium-sized publication category by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers (AABP) at its summer conference Saturday in Dallas. The magazine received one gold and three silver awards. Publisher Bernie Niemeier won a gold award for Best Editorial for his commentary on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s ruling on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s executive order that restored voting rights to 206,000 convicted felons. Judges said: "What could have been a dry lecture on constitutional law in the matter of voting rights for felons — a recent Supreme Court case in Virginia — is instead a lively and provocative look at history. The decision turned on the issue of standing, and the writer astutely demonstrates how broadly and significantly that relates to business." Managing Editor Paula Squires and Senior Editor Jessica Sabbath together received a silver award for Best Scoop for their online story on a reorganization of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership that occurred while the state authority was looking for a CEO. Judges said the entry "represents classic reporting. Squires and Sabbath heard rumors (sourcing) that a shakeup was underway at the state’s Economic Development Partnership and found documents that backed-up the hearsay. They then interviewed sources with first-hand knowledge and broke the story about the serious problems in the state’s largest business recruitment agency." Sabbath also received a silver award in the Best Local Coverage of a National Business/Economic Story category for her coverage of the growth of the drone industry in Virginia. Judges said the story "is a fascinating analysis of the future of the drone industry and how Virginia has put itself in position to be a national leader in realizing its potential. Well-rounded sourcing and crisp writing make it a pleasure to read." In addition, freelance writer Richard Foster received a silver award in the Best Feature category for his story on millennial homeownership. Judges commented: "Dreams sometimes get dashed on the rocks of reality – they crave privacy but can’t afford a home, so end up living with parents. In narrative that doesn’t pander, Foster takes you inside the mind of millennials who are rethinking or deferring homeownership in the face of low salaries and student loan debt." The University of Missouri School of Journalism judged the competition, which attracted 483 entries from 43 publications in the U.S., Canada and Australia. AABP represents 55 regional and local business publications in the United States, Canada and Australia. 2017-06-25T03:08:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-home-sales-prices-increased-in-may Virginia home sales, prices increased in May http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-home-sales-prices-increased-in-may http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-home-sales-prices-increased-in-may#When:20:16:00Z The Virginia residential real estate market is still hot. The number of home sales was up 5.1 percent in May over May 2016, according to the May 2017 Home Sales Report from the Virginia Realtors. The market continues to show limited supply, forcing prices higher and reducing the time homes for sale stayed on the market. The statewide median sales price in May was $285,000, 2.9 percent higher than last May ($277,000). Also during the month, the average number of days on the market dropped to its lowest point in more than four year: 48 months. The average number of days on the market in May was 52. A year earlier, homes spent an average of 62 days on the market. The May 2017 volume (the sum of all transactions) was $4.36 billion, soaring 10.1 percent over last May’s volume of $3.961 billion, boosted by increased sales and prices. Year-to-date sales (January through May) rose 6.3 percent to 45,952 transactions, according to the report. The year-to-date sales volume of residential real estate increased 10.7 percent to $15.252 billion 2017-06-23T20:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/sei-1673jpg.jpeg Potential new products are pitched during the 2015 Open Call. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/half-a-dozen-virginia-companies-selected-for-walmarts-open-call Half a dozen Virginia companies selected for Walmart’s Open Call http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/half-a-dozen-virginia-companies-selected-for-walmarts-open-call http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/half-a-dozen-virginia-companies-selected-for-walmarts-open-call#When:20:05:00Z Six Virginia companies are heading to Bentonville, Ark., for the chance to earn a place on the shelf of the world’s largest retailer. The companies are among more than 500 U.S. businesses pitching products at Walmart’s Open Call on June 28. “While finding products our customers want is a year-round focus for our buying teams, Walmart’s annual Open Call is a special opportunity to connect our buyers with companies that are manufacturing products in the U.S. and to identify new and unique product solutions,” Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president for U.S. sourcing and manufacturing, said in a statement. Richmond-based Mary’s Kitchen is one of the Virginia companies pitching at the event. “When she was a child, people would line up to get her mother Dorothy’s sweet potato pies; and now Mary is bringing the same recipe to Open Call,” Walmart said in a statement. “This is a chance for her to share her family’s tradition with Walmart shoppers.” A Walmart spokesperson said the company could not release the names of the other Virginia companies pitching their products at Open Call. The event is now in its fourth year. Attendees this year represent 47 states and Puerto Rico. States with some of the largest representation include California, Florida and Illinois. Photo courtesy Walmart. 2017-06-23T20:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/airport-sees-increase-in-month-to-month-passenger-traffic Airport sees increase in month-to-month passenger traffic http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/airport-sees-increase-in-month-to-month-passenger-traffic http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/airport-sees-increase-in-month-to-month-passenger-traffic#When:19:58:00Z The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport saw passenger volume rise 12.4 percent in May when compared to April. The gain marked the eighth time in the past nine months that passenger traffic has increased. May’s volume, however, was up only 0.33 percent in comparison to the same month last year. The airport said frequent thunderstorms prevented a larger traffic gain this year. April’s passenger volume in fact was down 1 percent from the year before because of storms affecting flights to and from Atlanta. “We are pleased to see this positive trend continue into 2017,” Timothy T. Bradshaw, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission, said in a statement. “The demand of passengers utilizing the airport is a critical factor when speaking with airlines regarding increasing air service to our market.” The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport moves more than 600,000 passengers annually on four airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air). The airport has nonstop service to six destinations (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Washington Dulles) as well as weekly flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. 2017-06-23T19:58:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/environmental-groups-say-dominions-justification-for-pipeline-has-eroded Environmental groups say Dominion’s justification for pipeline has “eroded.” http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/environmental-groups-say-dominions-justification-for-pipeline-has-eroded http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/environmental-groups-say-dominions-justification-for-pipeline-has-eroded#When:21:39:00Z   A coalition of environmental groups wants a federal agency to hold an evidentiary hearing on the public need for the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). If granted, such a hearing could delay a decision on the pipeline, which already is a year behind the schedule originally anticipated for possible construction. In a motion filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory (FERC) on Wednesday, the coalition claims that justification for the $5.5 billion interstate natural gas pipeline -- which would stretch from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina -- has eroded in the three years since it was proposed. The filing by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) on behalf of eight environmental groups states that, “The primary stated purpose of this pipeline is to fuel gas-fired power plants in Virginia and North Carolina. But the energy landscape that prompted Dominion Energy and Duke Energy to propose this project in 2014 has shifted dramatically, and the purported justification for the project is eroding, if it ever existed before.” The coalition claims that demand for gas-fired generation is not growing in the region or across the country due to increased energy efficiency and the availability of solar and wind alternatives.    The coalition includes the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national group, and several local organizations: the Shenandoah Valley Network, Highlanders for Responsible Development, Virginia Wilderness Committee, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Cowpasture River Preservation Association, Friends of Buckingham and Winyah Rivers Foundation. According to the motion, factors that challenge the public need for the pipeline include new evidence showing a level or declining demand for electric generation through 2030, the sufficiency of existing pipeline structure to meet that demand and the falling costs of renewable energy that “will render gas-fired generation uneconomic in coming years.” The 36-page motion goes on to say that the agreements Dominion Energy and Duke Energy have with their own affiliates that would use the pipeline are not a reliable measure of market demand. “In other words these companies are gambling with ratepayer money in order to build their $5 to $6 billion project on which pipeline developers will receive a lucrative 14 -15 percent rate of return.” Greg Buppert, the senior attorney with the SELC in Charlottesville who filed the motion, said in a statement, “If you look behind the claims that this pipeline is needed, what you’ll find is that Dominion and Duke subsidiaries are contracting with each other to manufacture a need for natural gas in Virginia and North Carolina.” Richmond-based Dominion Energy, the pipeline’s lead partner, disputes such claims.  “There is no question about the urgent public need for this infrastructure. It’s been clearly demonstrated in the public record and will be thoroughly evaluated by the FERC in the final Environmental Impact Statement released next month,” Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for Dominion Energy, said in a statement. “Public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina urgently need new infrastructure to generate cleaner electricity, heat homes and power new industries. The region's population is growing, the economy is diversifying, and electric utilities are transitioning from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas. This requires new infrastructure because the region's existing pipelines are fully tapped.” Ruby pointed out that Virginia Natural Gas in Hampton Roads had to shut off service to more than 100 major industrial customers in recent winters “to keep their customers’ homes warm. There isn’t enough pipeline infrastructure east of Richmond to support any major new economic development. Eastern North Carolina faces similar challenges, where entire communities don't have access to natural gas because the state's only transmission pipeline is located hundreds of miles to the west. Electric utilities are heavily reliant on a single transmission pipeline to serve the entire region, and that's caused serious reliability issues and higher costs for consumers. All of these challenges can be solved with new infrastructure. That's why we're proposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.” If FERC approves a motion for an evidentiary hearing, it could slow down a decision on the pipeline that was expected by October. A hearing before one of FERC’s administration law judges would entail discovery, testimony from witnesses and cross examination. The judge would make an initial decision, which would be forwarded to FERC, which has the final say on awarding or not awarding a permit of necessity. According to Tamara Young-Allen, a spokeswoman and longtime employee for the agency, FERC’s job is to weigh in on three areas:  public need, environmental affects and rates for initiating service if the pipeline is approved. Currently, there’s a shadow of uncertainty as to when any action on the ACP would come, because FERC doesn’t have a required quorum of three commissioners.  Two nominees are still awaiting confirmation by the full Senate, and FERC has no control over when that vote might take place, Young-Allen said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty,” and “a bottleneck” of pipeline projects awaiting action, she said. What is certain, in terms of a timeframe, is that FERC plans to issue its final environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on July 21. That must be done before a decision on a evidentiary hearing could be made, Young-Allen said.  The ACP has drawn strong support from the business and manufacturing community and many public officials, including Gov. Terry McAufliffe. The pipeline also faces stiff opposition from environmental groups and some property owners on whose land the pipeline would be built. FERC also expects to release an EIS on the smaller, 303-mile, $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline on Friday, June 23. That natural gas pipeline would run from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia and also has drawn both supporters and opponents. 2017-06-22T21:39:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/winchester-metals-adding-17-jobs-in-frederick-county Winchester Metals adding 17 jobs in Frederick County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/winchester-metals-adding-17-jobs-in-frederick-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/winchester-metals-adding-17-jobs-in-frederick-county#When:20:59:00Z Winchester Metals said Thursday it is investing $870,000 to expand its manufacturing operation in Frederick County. The project will create 17 jobs.   “This investment is the single largest in our company's 42-year history, and simultaneously opens opportunities in new sectors for our business, and for qualified workers to join our team and grow with us,” Josh Phelps, Winchester Metals’ president said in a statement. The company will add equipment to its facility, which will expand capacity and allow it to add a third shift. Founded in 1975, Winchester Metals is a family-owned steel distribution, processing and fabrication facility servicing Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Winchester Metals' employee training through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). Winchester Metals also received a VJIP grant earlier this year when it retrained 29 employees. 2017-06-22T20:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/H2OBX_Waterpark.JPG http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-waterpark-opens-in-the-outer-banks New waterpark opens in the Outer Banks http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-waterpark-opens-in-the-outer-banks http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-waterpark-opens-in-the-outer-banks#When:20:05:00Z Just in time for summer vacations, a new waterpark opened in the Outer Banks Thursday. The H2OBX waterpark is situated on 20 acres on U.S. 158 in Powells Point, three miles from the Wright Memorial Bridge, the northern gateway to the Outer Banks. From the bridge, developers said that tourists would be able to see a broad view of the $46 million waterpark, which includes slide towers and pools. Many of the park’s attractions pay tribute to coastal Carolina’s history of pirates, boat building and the story of the Wright brothers’ first flight. H2OBX offers slides with varying degrees of lengths, drops, turns and intensity. According to developers, there’s also a pool with ocean-simulated  current, tide and waves and an immersive, multilevel, pirate-themed, play structure, offering waterslides and interactive water effects. The park is equipped with 50 private cabanas, shaded eating areas and food and beverage outlets. “We take great pride in having the opportunity to deliver the most progressive and exciting attraction to open on the Outer Banks in decades,” Brian Czarnecki, vice president of sales and marketing for Camelback Mountain Resort, one of the park’s developers, said in a statement. The price for a general admission ticket is $49.99 for people 42 inches and taller and $44.99 for people under 42 inches. Children under two are free, and the park is offering discounted rates to Dare and Currituck County residents and active and retired military. 2017-06-22T20:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/roanoke-bar-association-names-new-president Roanoke Bar Association names new president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/roanoke-bar-association-names-new-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/roanoke-bar-association-names-new-president#When:19:35:00Z Kevin Walker Holt has become president of the Roanoke Bar Association. He had been president-elect. Holt is a partner at the Roanoke-based firm Gentry Locke. His practice focuses on commercial, employment, ERISA and intellectual property litigation. He earned his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Virginia. 2017-06-22T19:35:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/chrysler-museum-of-art-names-director-of-development1 Chrysler Museum of Art names director of development http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/chrysler-museum-of-art-names-director-of-development1 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/chrysler-museum-of-art-names-director-of-development1#When:19:33:00Z The Chrysler Museum of Art has named Kate Hofheimer Wilson as its director of development. At the museum, she will oversee gift cultivation, project fundraising, grant writing, board engagement, special events and donor relations. Wilson previously worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as the director of principal and major giving in Virginia. She planned, managed and completed the $21 million comprehensive campaign to build the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach. She also has held development positions with WHRO Public Media and the Virginia Opera Association in Norfolk. Wilson is a 1995 graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in art history. 2017-06-22T19:33:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/first-national-ceo-named-chairman-elect-of-bankers-group First National CEO named chairman-elect of bankers group http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/first-national-ceo-named-chairman-elect-of-bankers-group http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/first-national-ceo-named-chairman-elect-of-bankers-group#When:17:25:00Z Scott C. Harvard, CEO and president of First National Corp. and CEO of First Bank in Strasburg, has been named chairman-elect of the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA). As chairman-elect he is slated to become the association’s chairman in June 2018. Prior to joining First National, Harvard owned and operated Harvard Resources from 2009 to 2011. He served as the president and CEO of Shore Bank from 1985 to 2008. He served as an executive vice president of Delmarva Operations at Hampton Roads Bankshares Inc. from June 2008 to June 2009. 2017-06-22T17:25:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vencore-files-ipo Vencore files IPO http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vencore-files-ipo http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vencore-files-ipo#When:13:45:00Z Chantilly-based Vencore Holding Corp., an IT government contractor, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to Reuters, the IPO is worth up to $250 million. Vencore has 3,750 employees and is owned by Veritas Capital Management LLC. 2017-06-22T13:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/u.va.-darden-school-offers-future-year-admissions-programs U.Va. Darden school offers future-year admissions programs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/u.va.-darden-school-offers-future-year-admissions-programs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/u.va.-darden-school-offers-future-year-admissions-programs#When:08:44:00Z The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is now offering a future-year admissions program for undergraduate students. Undergraduate and fifth-year master’s degree students can apply and be admitted to the Darden School but will complete between two and four years of professional work before enrolling. “As we have started this program, we have met amazing undergraduates from all over U.V and the world, including young entrepreneurs, student leaders and student-athletes,” Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions Sara Neher said in a statement. The Darden School is currently accepting applications for future-year admissions from students graduating from an undergraduate institution with a bachelor’s degree or fifth-year master’s degree between September 2016 and August 2017. The Darden School seeks students with a wide variety of academic backgrounds and professional interests, and applicants will be assessed through undergraduate transcripts, college extracurricular activities, internship experience, essays, letters of recommendation and standardized test scores. There is no application fee for future-year admissions. The school is currently accepting applications through Aug. 1. 2017-06-22T08:44:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/monday-properties-acquires-five-building-office-portfolio-in-alexandria Monday Properties acquires five building office portfolio in Alexandria http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/monday-properties-acquires-five-building-office-portfolio-in-alexandria http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/monday-properties-acquires-five-building-office-portfolio-in-alexandria#When:16:55:00Z Monday Properties, a Rosslyn-based real estate investment firm, announced on Wednesday the acquisition of Beauregard Office Park, a five-building office park in Alexandria. The purchase price was not disclosed. Besides its equity investment, Monday Properties said it would provide the joint venture with management, construction and leasing services. Over the next year, the firm plans extensive enhancements to the 300,000-square-foot portfolio, including upgrades to the on-site amenities, common areas and landscaping. “Monday Properties sees tremendous opportunity in Beauregard Office Park and is excited to upgrade the property to amplify the tenant experience,” Anthony Westreich, the company’s founding managing partner, said in a statement. “The acquisition will further strengthen Monday’s strategic thesis in finding unparalleled investments for our investors.” The acquisition includes 1500, 1600, 1800 1900 and 2000 North Beauregard Street. Just north of I-395, the property is close to shopping centers, hotels, and restaurants.  Existing tenants at the park include Inova Health System, Virginia Hospital Center, city of Alexandria and DXC Technologies (formerly HP Enterprises). The acquisition follows recent news that Monday Properties completed an $888 million refinancing of its Rosslyn real estate portfolio, including nine buildings.  Monday focuses on creating and enhancing commercial and residential properties that provide users with amenity-rich environments in major gateway markets throughout the U.S. 2017-06-21T16:55:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carter-bank-trust-names-three-executives Carter Bank & Trust names three executives http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carter-bank-trust-names-three-executives http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carter-bank-trust-names-three-executives#When:16:18:00Z Martinsville-based Carter Bank & Trust has hired three executives to serve as chief financial officer, chief strategy officer and chief information officer. Wendy S. Bell will become the bank’s CFO on July 24. She has served as the senior vice president and senior finance officer of First Commonwealth Financial Corp. in Indiana, Pa., since 2010. Bradford N. Langs joined the bank as chief strategy officer on June 19. He was chief risk officer, chief credit officer and treasurer of CoastalStates Bank in Hilton Head, S.C. Matthew M. Speare will become chief information officer on July 3. Speare comes to the bank from Regions Bank in Birmingham, Ala., where he has served as executive vice president and chief information officer since 2013. 2017-06-21T16:18:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nestle-usa-enters-online-prepared-meals-market Nestlé USA enters online prepared meals market http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nestle-usa-enters-online-prepared-meals-market http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nestle-usa-enters-online-prepared-meals-market#When:22:26:00Z Arlington-based Nestlé USA has acquired a minority interest in Freshly, which currently supplies consumers in 28 states with weekly shipments of meals. With the move, Nestlé is entering the $10 billion online U.S. prepared meals market. Nestlé is the lead investor in the $77 million round of new funding announced by Freshly on Tuesday. As part of its agreement with Freshly, Nestlé USA's Food Division President Jeff Hamilton joins Freshly's board of directors. The investment by Nestlé will help to fund Freshly's construction of a new East Coast kitchen and distribution center next year, as it prepares to expand to nationwide service. Based in New York with operations in Phoenix, Freshly was founded in 2015 and employs 400 people. It plans to hire additional employees over the next 12 months. With a 60,000-square-foot facility in Phoenix, Freshly currently can ship to approximately 40 percent of consumers. With the completion of a new facility in Savage, Md., Nestlé estimates that Freshly will be able to serve about 93 percent of the U.S. population with prepared meals that can be heated in two-three minutes. 2017-06-20T22:26:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/3410Norfolk-DoriFoods002_copy.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spy-rock-real-estate-buys-property-in-scotts-addition-for-7.7-million Spy Rock Real Estate buys property in Scott’s Addition for $7.7 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spy-rock-real-estate-buys-property-in-scotts-addition-for-7.7-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spy-rock-real-estate-buys-property-in-scotts-addition-for-7.7-million#When:20:34:00Z Spy Rock Real Estate Group has purchased the 86,607-square-foot, Dori Foods Building in Scotts Addition for $7.7 million, or about $89 per square foot. The class A industrial property at 3410 Norfolk St. has a long-term lease with Dori Foods Inc., a food distribution company in the Mid-Atlantic. “This is an excellent opportunity for us to acquire a property 100% leased to a very strong and recession-resistant tenant in Dori Foods, and to make another long-term investment in Scott’s Addition,” Taylor Williams, principal, Spy Rock Real Estate Group, said in a statement. “This asset is expected to generate strong, stable cash flows and also provides diversification of product types within our portfolio.” Originally constructed in 2004, the building drew many offers according to Eric Robison, senior vice president of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, which represented the seller. “The strength of Dori Foods, coupled with the significant momentum in Scott’s Addition made this a highly sought after investment.” 2017-06-20T20:34:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/commonwealth-commercial-partners-promotes-alex-crouch Commonwealth Commercial Partners promotes Alex Crouch http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/commonwealth-commercial-partners-promotes-alex-crouch http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/commonwealth-commercial-partners-promotes-alex-crouch#When:20:16:00Z Richmond-based Commonwealth Commercial Partners LLC said Tuesday it has promoted Alex C. Crouch to managing director of the North and South Carolina offices. He has relocated to Charlotte, where he will be responsible for oversight of the company's current property portfolio in the two states as well as for the long-term planning and growth in the markets in the Carolinas. Crouch joined Commonwealth Commercial in 2007, most recently servinFCOg in a senior role in the Richmond office. Commonwealth Commercial is a real estate firm with offices in Richmond and Hampton Roads; Nashville, Tenn.; Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla.; Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham, N.C., Greenville, S.C., and Reading, Pa. 2017-06-20T20:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/aeroprobe-corp.-plans-to-expand-its-montgomery-county-operations Aeroprobe Corp. plans to expand its Montgomery County operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/aeroprobe-corp.-plans-to-expand-its-montgomery-county-operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/aeroprobe-corp.-plans-to-expand-its-montgomery-county-operations#When:19:46:00Z Aeroprobe Corp. plans to expand its operations in Montgomery County, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday. The announcement was made in Paris during the governor’s European trade mission. The company plans to spend $300,000 on the expansion, which is expected to create 10 jobs. Aeroprobe makes air-data measurements systems used in the aerospace, automotive, turbomachinery, wind-turbine and wind-tunnel testing industries. The company’s main line of products includes multihole probes and air-data systems that measure flow velocity for aerodynamic research and engineering. Aeroprobe’s second company division focuses on equipment sale and focused R&D for its proprietary additive manufacturing process. Aeroprobe, which has worked with Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s international trade division since 2008, graduated from the authority’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program in July 2014. Company officials currently are attending the Paris Air Show. “We are excited to launch our additive manufacturing division and demonstrate our unique solid-state additive manufacturing capabilities for all types of metals at an unprecedented build size,” Nanci Hardwick, Aeroprobe’sCEO, said in a statement. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Aeroprobe’s new job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). Under the program, Aeroprobe is eligible to receive $775 per job, up to a total of $7,750. 2017-06-20T19:46:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-catalyst-announces-grants-for-collaborative-research-projects Virginia Catalyst announces grants for collaborative research projects http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-catalyst-announces-grants-for-collaborative-research-projects http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-catalyst-announces-grants-for-collaborative-research-projects#When:08:54:00Z The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corp., known as Virginia Catalyst, announced Monday it has awarded almost $3 million to six collaborative bioscience commercialization projects in a new round of funding. Virginia Catalyst is a not-for-profit corporation funded by the Virginia General Assembly’s general fund and seven of Virginia’s research universities. It supports projects that include university and private-sector partners. The organization has now awarded 24 grants totaling $10 million, combined with $20 million in matching funds. “Virginia’s research universities are providing leadership on a national and global level in the life sciences by combining their intellectual and scientific prowess through collaborations to achieve critical mass,” Mike Grisham, CEO of Virginia Catalyst, said in a statement. “This competitive critical mass is attracting significant outside capital and industry participation to commercialize Virginia’s innovations, while creating high-paying jobs for Virginia.” The six projects in this round of funding include: INSPIRE brain cancer treatment:  VoltMed Inc. of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia received $800,000 with $1.7 million in matching funds provided by the National Institutes of Health. The company was spun out of U.Va. and is “developing a tumor treatment platform that selectively destroys brain cancer cells, including malignant glioma,” said Chris Arena, Vice President of VoltMed. Funding from the Virginia Catalyst will support compliance for regulatory manufacturing and testing of the treatment. BT-11: Oral therapeutic for inflammatory bowel disease: BioTherapeutics Inc. of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University will receive $800,000 with an equal match from the company. BioTherapeutics is working to develop safer, more effective drugs for people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. “Our lead compound, BT-11, is an oral first-in-class therapeutic for moderate to severe Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis,” says Josep Bassaganya-Riera, president and CEO of BioTherapeutics. “We anticipate filing an investigational new drug (IND) for BT-11 and entering Phase 1 and 2 clinical testing in 2018.” Anti-inflammatory drug with to treat myocardial injury and prevent heart failure: Serpin Pharma of Manassas and George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University will receive $400,000 with an equal match provided by the company. Accelerating  commercialization of the Diamond Mouse Model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH, a fatty liver disease): Sanyal Biotechnology of Richmond and Eastern Virginia Medical School and George Mason University will receive $100,000 with a match by Sanyal Biotechnology. The company allows clients to test medicines on mice who have developed NASH. “Sanyal Bio is committed to developing cures for liver diseases like fatty liver and NASH that result from the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity,” said Rebecca Caffrey, founder and CEO, Sanyal Biotechnology. “This funding will help in the development of a tissue bank and provide some R&D into mechanisms driving the development of these diseases in our model.  This funding allows us to answer some key questions for our pharmaceutical company clients, so that we can grow our business faster.” Translational research and pulsed, electric-field technologies for immune-oncology applications: Pulse Biosciences Inc. of Burlingame Calif. and Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School will receive $300,000 with a match from the company. Bioengineering for the therapeutic delivery of massively expanded islet-derived human beta-cells (for treatment of diabetes): Proagenix Inc. of Rockville, Md., and Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia will receive $425,000 with $1.04 million in matching funds from the National Institutes of Health and Propagenix. “This Virginia Catalyst research award will propel deployment of a unique combination of capabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia and Propagenix to discover new approaches to improve islet transplantation for Type 1 diabetes,” said Brian Pollok, CEO of Propagenix. “The merger of bioengineering and material sciences expertise at these universities, with our proprietary cell expansion technology, has the promise of significantly changing the current equation of human islet cell therapy for patients suffering from this disease.” 2017-06-20T08:54:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Legal-Elite.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/2017-legal-elite-balloting-begins 2017 Legal Elite balloting begins http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/2017-legal-elite-balloting-begins http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/2017-legal-elite-balloting-begins#When:17:59:00Z Balloting for Virginia Business magazine's 2017 Legal Elite project has begun. For the 18th year, Virginia Business, in partnership with the Virginia Bar Association, is holding its annual Legal Elite nominations project. The Virginia Business Legal Elite recognizes the top Virginia lawyers in 18 specialties as voted by their peers. Ballots are open to lawyers licensed to practice in Virginia. They can be accessed here. The deadline is July 26. If your information in our database is out of date, please contact Jessica Sabbath at jsabbath@va-business.com with your changes. 2017-06-19T17:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/barcroft-plaza-in-falls-church-is-getting-a-3.2-million-renovation Barcroft Plaza in Falls Church is getting a $3.2 million renovation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/barcroft-plaza-in-falls-church-is-getting-a-3.2-million-renovation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/barcroft-plaza-in-falls-church-is-getting-a-3.2-million-renovation#When:15:57:00Z Federal Realty is investing $3.2 million to renovate Barcroft Plaza shopping center in Falls Church. The center’s owner also has hired KLNB, based in Baltimore, to assist with leasing. Federal Realty, whose corporate headquarters is in Rockville, Md., acquired the 100,000-square-foot Barcroft Plaza in 2007. Anchored by a Harris Teeter grocery store, the center will undergo a significant exterior renovation. Work will begin in July and is expected to be completed by November.  Barcroft Plaza will remain open during construction. “Fairfax County is one of the dominant counties serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. With an average household income of $147,644, it is an affluent, educated neighborhood that we believe tenants will find desirable. We’re looking forward to bringing Barcroft Plaza into its next phase,” KLNB principal John Meyer said in a statement. 2017-06-19T15:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-selected-to-represent-richmond-centers-totaling Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer selected to represent Richmond centers totaling 223,000 square feet http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-selected-to-represent-richmond-centers-totaling http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-selected-to-represent-richmond-centers-totaling#When:15:50:00Z Berman Kappler Properties LLC has selected Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer to provide exclusive leasing representation of two Richmond-area shopping centers. Colonial Square Shopping Center is a 175,000-square-foot retail center located at 3107 Blvd. in Colonial Heights. It's anchored by Publix Supermarkets (opening October 2017) and Peebles department store.  Centralia Crossing Shopping Center is a 48,000-square-footcenter located at 9801 Chester Road in Chester.  A Food Lion is the anchor tenant. According to Thalhimer, Berman Kappler plans to develop the adjacent land and expand the center to 100,000 square feet, creating opportunities for junior anchor and end-cap,  drive-through tenants. Allyson P. Wiggins and Pamela H. Strieffler of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer will be the exclusive leasing representatives. Additionally, Thalhimer manages the retail properties for Berman Kappler, which is based in Vienna.   2017-06-19T15:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/berkadia-secures-23.5-million-in-financing-for-christiansburg-apartments Berkadia secures $23.5 million in financing for Christiansburg apartments http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/berkadia-secures-23.5-million-in-financing-for-christiansburg-apartments http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/berkadia-secures-23.5-million-in-financing-for-christiansburg-apartments#When:15:05:00Z Berkadia has secured $23.5 million in financing for The Adams at Peppers Ferry, a 168-unit multifamily property that will be built in Christiansburg. David Blake, senior managing director of Berkadia’s Richmond office, arranged the financing through the company’s partnership with HUD on behalf of Denstock Peppers Ferry LLC. Berkadia said that the 40-year loan offers a 4 percent, fixed interest rate and an 83.3 loan-to-value ratio. “The borrower jumped at the chance to be involved in the development of this new property amid a thriving market,” Blake said in a statement. The Adams at Peppers Ferry’s is located on the perimeter of the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. The property also is near the region's largest concentration of retail and LewisGale Hospital Montgomery.   2017-06-19T15:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ballast-point-brewing-co.-opens-tasting-room-and-kitchen-in-botetourt-count Ballast Point Brewing Co. opens tasting room and kitchen in Botetourt County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ballast-point-brewing-co.-opens-tasting-room-and-kitchen-in-botetourt-count http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ballast-point-brewing-co.-opens-tasting-room-and-kitchen-in-botetourt-count#When:14:22:00Z Ballast Point Brewing Co. has opened a tasting room and kitchen in a run-up to the completion of a $48 million East Coast brewing operation in Botetourt County. The 18,000-square-foot tasting room and kitchen, located at Botetourt Center at Greenfield in Daleville, can accommodate about 200 for lunch and dinner. There’s also a 100-person banquet room and a 14-tap growler filling station.

 The interior includes a bar area, retail store, merchandise shop and outdoor fire pit patio overlooking Greenfield Lake. “This is an attractive asset for people who live here and a major draw for tourists,” Jack Leffel, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors,said in a statement. 

 Ballast Point, based in San Diego, plans to complete its production facility later this year.  It will include 100- and 300-barrel systems that will enable the company to produce more than 50 styles of beer. The company said 47 people work in the tasting room and kitchen, and it plans to employ about 145 in manufacturing and associated functions once the full production facility opens. 

   2017-06-19T14:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roslyn-farm-corp.-buys-200-acre-site-in-prince-george-county-for-2.2-millio Roslyn Farm Corp. buys 200-acre site in Prince George County for $2.2 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roslyn-farm-corp.-buys-200-acre-site-in-prince-george-county-for-2.2-millio http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roslyn-farm-corp.-buys-200-acre-site-in-prince-george-county-for-2.2-millio#When:14:20:00Z Roslyn Farm Corp. has purchased 203 acres at Rives Road in Prince George County from Richard E. Holland Jr. Properties LLC for $2.2 million. Nicholas Walker of Rosyln Farm said via email that the company is looking at the property for future commercial and industrial development. The site is bordered on the east by Interstate 295 and on the west by I-95, with access at Exit 47.  Robert E. Porter Jr. of Richmond-based Porter Realty Co. Inc. handled the marketing and sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. 2017-06-19T14:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kettler-opens-community-in-virginia-beach Kettler opens community in Virginia Beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kettler-opens-community-in-virginia-beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kettler-opens-community-in-virginia-beach#When:18:57:00Z McLean-based Kettler Inc., a major Washington, D.C., area real estate development company, has opened Sparrows Point, a 300-unit townhome and apartment community in Virginia Beach. The newly renovated community offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes featuring espresso cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, plank flooring, washers and dryers in select units. Sparrows Point has completed exterior community upgrades to include new siding on the buildings, a new outdoor resident lounge equipped with welcoming furniture, grills and a kid-friendly splash pad. Rental price ranges for the community are approximately $900 to $1,225 per month. Kettler has developed more than 21,000 multifamily units, 5 million square feet of commercial space, more than 46,000 homes in 25 master-planned communities and many mixed-use communities. Kettler Management manages more than 31,000 apartments for Kettler and third-party clients in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Texas. 2017-06-16T18:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/BrandySalmon.jpeg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-tech-appoints-head-of-business-engagement-center Virginia Tech appoints head of business engagement center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-tech-appoints-head-of-business-engagement-center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-tech-appoints-head-of-business-engagement-center#When:17:22:00Z Brandy Salmon, a former director and program lead at RTI International, has joined Virginia Tech as executive director of the university’s new business engagement center. Her appointment was effective June 13, following a nationwide search. As executive director of the center, Salmon will build a team of business development directors who will serve as primary points of contact for companies interested in partnership opportunities with Virginia Tech. At RTI, Salmon guided teams through more than 100 projects between researchers and industry with Fortune 500 firms. Plans to create Virginia Tech’s business engagement center were announced in January. It is a major part of the university’s strategic push to expand and integrate corporate partnerships. “I’ve been interested in what’s going on at Virginia Tech for some time, and am excited by its commitment to building a best-in-class model for industry engagement,” Salmon said in a statement. “There’s an emphasis at Tech on thinking comprehensively about how to engage industry with a university community. There is tremendous opportunity to bring value to both sides.” RTI is a nonprofit research institute jointly founded by Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University to help apply and commercialize research. Before joining RTI, Salmon served as associate director for the Office of Licensing and Ventures at Duke. She also previously worked in marketing at Merck & Company and in business development at a startup, Divergence LLC, which was later acquired by Monsanto. Salmon has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Cornell University, and an MBA from Duke. The business engagement center has been created to make it easier for companies to partner with Virginia Tech in a variety of areas, including research and philanthropy. Salmon will be responsible for developing the center and hiring business development directors, who together with industry partners will find new ways to create value. Some of the team members will be based in Blacksburg and others will be in the National Capital Region, where Virginia Tech has multiple research and graduate education facilities. 2017-06-16T17:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-presents-awards-to-five-cfos Virginia Business presents awards to five CFOs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-presents-awards-to-five-cfos http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-presents-awards-to-five-cfos#When:01:00:00Z Virginia Business presented awards in five categories to the commonwealth’s top chief financial officers. The winners at the 12th annual Virginia CFO Awards were: • Small nonprofit organization or government agency: Sylvia Haines of the Norfolk-based Hampton Roads Chamber. • Large nonprofit organization or government agency: Sean Barden of Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg. • Small private companies: Valerie Wilkinson of The ESG Companies in Virginia Beach. • Large private companies: James Crowder of HHHunt Corp., which has offices in Richmond and Blacksburg. • Publicly traded companies: Wayne Rehberger of Engility in Chantilly. The awards competition attracted 50 nominations from throughout Virginia. The awards banquet was held at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. Profiles of the winners will appear in the magazine’s August issue. 2017-06-16T01:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-now-home-to-206-licensed-breweries Virginia now home to 206 licensed breweries http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-now-home-to-206-licensed-breweries http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-now-home-to-206-licensed-breweries#When:17:32:00Z Virginia is now home to 206 licensed breweries, moving ahead of North Carolina. Virginia’s Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) says the commonwealth has 206 active brewery licenses, growing 468 percent since 2012, Gov. McAuliffe said Thursday. Comparatively, North Carolina ABC has 186 active brewery licenses. The growth in Virginia was spurred by a 2012 law allowing retail sales of beer on premise. A newly released economic impact study shows that Virginia’s booming beer industry contributes more than $9.34 billion annually to Virginia’s economy. The Beer Institute report showed that the Virginia beer industry employed over 28,000. In addition, excise and sales taxes on beer consumption contributed another $280 million to Virginia’s tax rolls last year. “The beer industry is a significant economic driver that spans several sectors including manufacturing, agriculture and tourism,” McAuliffe said in a statement. 2017-06-15T17:32:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cvent-plans-to-hire-200-employees-worldwide Cvent plans to hire 200 employees worldwide http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cvent-plans-to-hire-200-employees-worldwide http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cvent-plans-to-hire-200-employees-worldwide#When:21:37:00Z Tysons-based Cvent announced Wednesday plans to hire 200 employees by the end of the year. More than half of those new hires will be in the U.S., according to the event management company, which currently has 2,600 total employees. “This year, we are looking to hire more than 200 people around the world to meet our increased growth, and we’ve opened new offices in [Asia-Pacific region] in order to meet the demand in that region,” CVent Founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal said in a statement. The new offices are in Singapore and Melbourne, Australia. Cvent has 12 total offices across four continents. Cvent, Inc. is a major cloud-based enterprise management company. The company’s products help clients manage hundreds of thousands of meetings and events. Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners bought Cvent last year for $1.65 billion. 2017-06-14T21:37:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gtt-communications-creates-three-new-divisions GTT Communications creates three new divisions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gtt-communications-creates-three-new-divisions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gtt-communications-creates-three-new-divisions#When:19:34:00Z McLean-based GTT Communications Inc., a global cloud networking provider, has created three new divisions with the aim of accelerating sales. The divisions are Enterprise, Carrier and EMEA. Each division is responsible for sales, quoting, ordering, service delivery and collections. GTT has appointed three division presidents. Eric Warren leads the Enterprise division, including all enterprise clients in the Americas and U.S. government clients. Jeff Beer leads the Carrier division, including all carrier accounts in the Americas, as well as GTT’s largest web-centric clients. Martin Ford leads the EMEA division, including enterprise clients in EMEA and carrier clients. Warren recently joined GTT, previously holding senior executive roles at Windstream and TW Telecom. Beer has held a variety of executive roles at GTT during the last eight years since joining the company through the acquisition of Tinet. Ford joined GTT’s leadership team through the acquisition of Hibernia Networks following an extended tenure with Level 3. 2017-06-14T19:34:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jack-kent-cooke-foundation-makes-135000-grant-to-jmu-program Jack Kent Cooke Foundation makes $135,000 grant to JMU program http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jack-kent-cooke-foundation-makes-135000-grant-to-jmu-program http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jack-kent-cooke-foundation-makes-135000-grant-to-jmu-program#When:18:29:00Z The Lansdowne-based Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $135,000 over two years to the Valley Scholars Program at James Madison University. The JMU grant is among $855,000 the foundation is awarding  under its Cooke Foundation Rural Talent Initiative. The grants support academic enrichment programs serving low-income rural students in elementary and secondary schools in North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Maine and Mississippi in addition to Virginia. The grants are designed to help expand opportunities for rigorous summer and academic year learning and enrichment for students in rural regions where access to educational opportunities is limited.  The Valley Scholars program provides students from rural middle and high schools in the Shenandoah Valley with intensive guidance for high school course selection and support for academic growth. The program will use its grant from the foundation to expand the number of students it serves from 148 next school year to 192 in 2018-19 while offering more services. Students completing the program are offered a JMU scholarships covering tuition and fees. The program enables students to participate in career exploration, service projects, financial literacy sessions, summer enrichment courses at JMU and a mentorship program. Other foundation grants were made to:  • The Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. • The Mississippi Public School Consortium for Educational Access in Forrest, Miss. • YES Appalachia in Watauga County, N.C. • The Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Maine. • The Purdue University Gifted Education Resource Institute in West Lafayette, Ind. 2017-06-14T18:29:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Attorney_James_R._Harvey1.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vandeventer-black-partner-named-president-of-the-norfolk-and-portsmouth-bar Vandeventer Black partner named president of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vandeventer-black-partner-named-president-of-the-norfolk-and-portsmouth-bar http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vandeventer-black-partner-named-president-of-the-norfolk-and-portsmouth-bar#When:19:56:00Z Vandeventer Black partner James R. Harvey has been named president of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association. He has been on the association’s board since 2011 and served as the head of its charitable foundation. Harvey serves as the chair of the Norfolk Board of Zoning Appeals, and is a past chair of the Virginia Bar Association's Construction and Public Contracts Section.  He also is the chairman of the board of directors for the Tidewater Aquatic Club, which promotes competitive youth swimming. Harvey’s professional career includes experience in construction, surety, government contracts, land use, defective products, professional liability and business disputes. He served on active duty as a U.S. Army officer and in the Virginia National Guard. 2017-06-13T19:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/AllstateRoanokeV-11_pr.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vacorp-acquires-former-allstate-building-in-roanoke-for-4-million VACORP acquires former Allstate Building in Roanoke for $4 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vacorp-acquires-former-allstate-building-in-roanoke-for-4-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vacorp-acquires-former-allstate-building-in-roanoke-for-4-million#When:21:36:00Z VACORP has purchased the former Allstate Building in Roanoke for $4 million and plans to occupy the entire 165,808-square-foot office building. The Roanoke-based company that provides risk management programs to localities, school divisions and other clients acquired the property on June 12, according to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, which represented the seller. The building, formerly occupied by Allstate Insurance Co., is located in a campus-like setting on more than 20 acres. Amenities on the three-story property include a cafeteria, gym, and abundant parking. Eric Robison, senior vice president of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, along with Barry Ward and Price Gutshall of Thalhimer’s Roanoke Office Services Group, completed the sale. Ward said in a statement that the property “represented a great opportunity for a growing Roanoke business to provide their employees a wonderful work environment in a beautiful setting with access to multiple amenities.” 2017-06-12T21:36:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sky-high-research Sky-high research http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sky-high-research http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sky-high-research#When:21:02:00Z “Cessna NCaravan 101 Charlie Golf requesting departure.” “Are you ready to taxi? ” inquires the air traffic controller at Richmond International Airport. Within minutes, CoStar Group’s Cessna Grand Caravan is on its way to runway two. “Cleared for takeoff.” With that, pilots Mark Beauchamp and Ben Hursa, along with aerial research photographer Amber Surrency, take to the skies for another day of intelligence gathering.   Costar Group Inc., a commercial real estate research firm based in Washington, D.C., that's putting a research operations headquarters in Richmond, has added a new weapon to its high-tech arsenal of information collection. The company bought a plane and mounted a Red Epic Dragon camera on its underside to capture cinema-quality photos and video of buildings. The result is quicker updates to its massive database of properties.  CoStar’s proprietary database is the key to its competitive niche, because brokers and other customers pay subscription fees to access the company’s information. According to the company, about 25 million people visit CoStar’s family of websites in an average month to lease, buy or analyze a wide range of office, industrial, retail or farm properties. The data include everything from photo and video to a building’s address, owner and square footage. Virginia Business took advantage of opportunity to go up with the aerial research fleet Monday as it shot video of downtown Richmond, the Short Pump corridor and the area around the Richmond Raceway in eastern Henrico County. The Cessna flies at an altitude of 2,500 feet and a speed of about 138 miles per hour.  At this elevation and speed, it’s easy to see the landscape from a window aboard the seven-seat, turbo-prop plane. In fact, buildings look tidy from the sky, as if they have been laid out inneat squares.  As the plane swoops over downtown, the white water rapids of the James River are easily visibly as are the heating and air conditioning systems on the tops of the business district’s skyscrapers. During the trip, Surrency’s job is to upload the high-resolution video to a computer and send the images to the firm’s researchers, who in turn update the photos and video in CoStar’s database.  “We fly over large swaths of land, and we cover an entire market in a day or two,” says Surrency.  “What we collect today, we can send to the researchers today. It takes about two weeks to get it into the database.”  Typically, she sends four photos, showing various angles, of each building that is photographed. The plane canvasses for construction sites, new buildings and other elements of commercial real estate activity that are more readily apparent from the sky than the ground. Asked why CoStar doesn’t use drones, Surrency responds that drones would only work for small projects. CoStar is looking into them for that purpose, she adds. Yet for large areas, “a drone just doesn’t have the capacity. It can only fly up to about 400 feet.” Plus, there are battery and other issues, she says.   CoStar acquired the Cessna in May 2015. Since then, the plane has been out on data missions nearly every day, six to eight hours per day, racking up 290,000 miles. While originally intended to provide an extra dimension to research in CoStar’s top 35 markets, the company decided to expand the program to cover all 146 markets where it operates in the U.S. and Canada. According to Surrency, CoStar spends about $1 million a year for the plane and its crews of two full-time aerial research operators, two full-time pilots and several part-time pilots who rotate shifts.  Surrency, who lives in Melbourne Fla., and and is a former intelligence analyst for the U. S. Marine Corps, works for 10 days and then has 10days off.  While flying is expensive, “Think about how much data we collect.” CoStar has uploaded 28,000 images since the program began in 2015, trying to update market photos every 10 months. “Can you imagine driving a vehicle to do a market as large as Dallas?” While Richmond takes a day to research by plane, Dallas takes about 40 hours of flight time, or five days. The aerial team is part of CoStar’s larger fleet of 1,600 researchers. In 2015, the company says that team made 12 million research calls, drove more than 2 million miles and took nearly 1 million photos of properties.  The aerial team canvassed 75 markets. Surrency says she likes her job, because she gets to see much off the U.S. from the air. She particularly enjoyed checking out markets near the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, buzzing down New York City’s Hudson River and seeing the estate of movie star John Travolta’s in Ocala, Fla. from the air. “It was interesting,” says Surrency. “He had a private runway with a couple of jets sitting on it.” Photos by Paula C. Squires Video by Veronica Garabelli  2017-06-12T21:02:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/these-may-be-the-keys-to-a-worry-free-retirement These may be the keys to a worry-free retirement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/these-may-be-the-keys-to-a-worry-free-retirement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/these-may-be-the-keys-to-a-worry-free-retirement#When:20:14:00Z For most Americans, financial insecurity, a lifetime of compulsory work and dependence on government safety nets later in life is a very real possibility. This is the case because young people typically do not proactively plan for their lives 30 years in the future. Proper habits and small incremental behavioral changes, especially when initiated at an early age, can more fully assure accumulation of sufficient wealth for a comfortable, worry-free retirement. Financial success requires sacrifice, discipline and adherence to three basic investment principles. Sacrifice means different things to different people, but it does not mean forfeiting all fun things and living like a cockroach. Reasonable sacrifices include giving up one or two discretionary spending items and putting away the money saved in a retirement plan. 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and their ilk, are the best overall way for young people to save for retirement. They are convenient, painless and have outstanding tax advantages. If you are not participating in your company retirement plan, roll up this paper, swat yourself on the head, then call your HR department and get signed up. Although not guaranteed, relatively small amounts saved regularly in investments that have a higher return potential can result in massive long-term accumulations. However, starting early is imperative. Assuming an 8 percent return, if retirees each save $100 per month beginning at age 25, they could accumulate $351,000 by age 65. If they wait until age 30, they would accumulate $231,000. This is a significant difference and should be motivation to start early. Discipline means that you make the sacrifice required to free up the money necessary to have a savings plan, implement it and stick with it. You must resolve to spend time thinking about your savings plan and make a commitment to stick with it —for decades — rather than blithely sailing along thinking that money will magically appear in your accounts.  It won't — it’s up to you. Discipline also means that you are conscientious about setting savings goals, that you pay yourself first by putting money away every paycheck and that you have a budget and know what you can spend and save each month. Spending as much time planning your future as you do planning one vacation is discipline. Once you are committed to making small, incremental behavioral changes in a disciplined, organized and thoughtful manner, the next step is to unfalteringly adhere to three basic investment principles.  The first principle is to remain diversified. This means your portfolio should have money in each of these four asset classes: stocks, bonds, hard assets and cash. There is no other place that you can put your wealth. Adjust your risk level to fit your tolerance by varying your allocation between the risky (stocks and hard assets) and more stable (bonds and cash) asset classes.  Although it may make you uncomfortable, taking some risk may be essential. Historically, the tradeoff for fluctuations in portfolio value due to the presence of risk has usually, but not always, been higher returns.  The next principle is rebalancing. This is an important yet often overlooked part of the investment process. Simply stated, rebalancing prunes your portfolio back to your target allocation at regular intervals. This should happen at least annually. Rebalancing forces you to sell high and buy low, the basic axiom of successful investors. For example, generally when your stock allocation is above its target, it has outperformed the other asset classes. A rebalance would take money from stocks and add it to an underperforming asset class. Without rebalancing, portfolio allocations become distorted over time and may no longer reflect the investor’s risk tolerance and return objectives. The final principle is to avoid the temptation to time the markets. Although opinions vary, our research as well as that of others does not support the contention that one can time entries and exits to improve investment results. More money is lost trying to avoid declines than in the declines themselves.  Small sacrifices and discipline at an early age, along with remaining fully invested and diversified with regular rebalancing, may be the key to a more worry-free retirement. Stephan Cassaday is a 40 year veteran of the investment industry and founder & CEO of Cassaday & Company Inc., an independent wealth management firm in McLean. It is rated by Barron’s as No. 1 in Virginia and one of the top 100 advisors in the nation. 2017-06-12T20:14:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/dollar-tree-announces-promotion Dollar Tree announces promotion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/dollar-tree-announces-promotion http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/dollar-tree-announces-promotion#When:19:44:00Z Dollar Tree Inc. announced it has promoted Michael A. Witynski to president and chief operating officer of its Dollar Tree store segment. Witynski will be responsible for merchandising and marketing and store operations for more than 6,200 Dollar Tree  stores in the United States. A Dollar Tree veteran, Mr. Witynski has served as chief operating officer since July 2015, and he previously served as senior vice president of stores since joining Dollar Tree in 2010. Prior to joining Dollar Tree, he held executive leadership positions at Shaw’s Supermarkets and Supervalu Inc. Mr. Witynski will continue to report to Gary Philbin, Enterprise President. 2017-06-12T19:44:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Brewery.JPG http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bedfords-first-brewery-will-open-on-june-24 Bedford’s first brewery will open on June 24 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bedfords-first-brewery-will-open-on-june-24 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bedfords-first-brewery-will-open-on-june-24#When:14:56:00Z Beale’s, the first brewery in the town of Bedford, plans to open on June 24. The 12,000-square-foot facility at 510 Grove St. includes a 30-barrel production brewery, taproom and kitchen. Beale’s also will have a barbecue restaurant with an indoor capacity of 86 people and an outdoor area with seating for 60. The $2 million project is expected to create 30 jobs. It has been in the works since October 2015 when Waukeshaw Development approached Bedford County and town officials about the idea of bringing a brewery to Bedford. Based in Petersburg, Waukeshaw focuses on historic tax credit developments and was the force behind Petersburg’s Trapezium Brewing Co. The Beale’s project involved a combination of state and federal historic tax credits, along with a $600,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Community and Housing Development’s Industrial Revitalization Fund. “We’ve enjoyed a great partnership with the state and the town of Bedford on this project,” Dave McCormack, president of Waukeshaw Development, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to seeing those efforts come to life when Beale’s opens later this month.” Beale’s name comes from a local legend of treasure that some believe was buried in Bedford by Thomas Jefferson Beale back in the 1820s. The brewery’s flagship beer will be Beale’s Gold, a lager. In addition to lager-style beers, other options will include IPAs and fruit beers. Beale’s plans to distribute its beer locally starting this summer and eventually expand distribution statewide. Bedford native James Frazer will serve as the facility’s brewmaster. Jared Srsic, the local restauranteur behind Town Kitchen & Provisions and Millstone Tea Room, will lead the taproom’s barbecue program. 2017-06-12T14:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Untitled.png Virginia Regional Commerce Building B courtesy city of Suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/speculative-industrial-building-opens-in-suffolk Speculative industrial building opens in Suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/speculative-industrial-building-opens-in-suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/speculative-industrial-building-opens-in-suffolk#When:14:50:00Z A speculative 284,580-square-foot industrial building has just been completed in Suffolk. While it doesn’t have tenants yet, it was the site for the fourth annual LogistXGames last week, an annual competition for employees in the logistics industry, that was part of the building’s grand opening. Panattoni Development Co. developed the building, and CBRE Hampton Roads will handle leasing. It’s located in Virginia Regional Commerce Park, which sits at the intersection of Route 58 and U.S. 460, a location near the marine terminals at the Port of Virginia. According to the city of Suffolk, the building is zoned for office, warehouse and distribution uses, along with light manufacturing. It offers 32-foot ceiling heights, 55 dock doors, trailer storage, column spacing and an ESFR sprinkler system. 2017-06-12T14:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ellucian-opens-new-headquarters-in-reston Ellucian opens new headquarters in Reston http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ellucian-opens-new-headquarters-in-reston http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ellucian-opens-new-headquarters-in-reston#When:19:48:00Z Ellucian, a higher-education software and services provider, has opened its new headquarters in Reston. The company is occupying about 98,000 square feet on three floors at 2003 Edmund Halley Drive. Ellucian said the headquarters is designed to encourage collaboration among employees while also accommodating meetings and personal working spaces. The space includes a game room, casual lounge spaces, a quiet room, a walk-up IT service desk and a dining area. The office also is equipped with an innovation lab – a space that allows demonstration, experimentation and deployment of the new hardware and software. Ellucian’s customers include more than 2,500 institutions in 50 countries with more than 18 million students. The company provides student information systems, finance and human resources, recruiting, retention, analytics and advancement software. Ellucian also supports higher-education institutions with a range of services, such as application software implementation, training, education, and management consulting. The company was formed in 2012 in the merger of Datatel and Sungard Higher Education. 2017-06-09T19:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/saic-names-coo SAIC names COO http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/saic-names-coo http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/saic-names-coo#When:14:08:00Z Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) has appointed Nazzic S. Keene chief operating officer. The move expands Keene’s roles to include both COO and president of the Global Markets & Missions Sector. The change is effective immediately. As sector president, Keene’s responsibilities have included customer relationship management, growing the company’s strategic business pipeline, driving growth, and overseeing program execution across the company. As COO, her expanded portfolio will include the Services & Solutions Sector and the functional responsibilities of communications, contracts & pricing, information technology, and procurement. Keene joined SAIC in August 2012 as senior vice president for corporate strategy and planning. She played a key role in the spinoff of SAIC from its former parent company in September 2013. Before joining SAIC, she was the senior vice president and general manager for U.S. Enterprise Markets at CGI Group Inc. and led the company’s U.S. expansion. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona. 2017-06-09T14:08:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/saic-relocating-headquarters-to-reston SAIC relocating headquarters to Reston http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/saic-relocating-headquarters-to-reston http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/saic-relocating-headquarters-to-reston#When:14:07:00Z SAIC is moving its headquarters from McLean to Reston. The information technology company will occupy the building previously occupied by Scitor Corp., which SAIC acquired in 2015. The building is located at 12010 Sunset Hills Road and the move will take place July 1. The move is part of an effort to increase efficiencies and consolidate SAIC’s office leases in the Washington area. SAIC has been leasing its current space in McLean since July 2013, when the Meridian Group purchased it from SAIC’s former parent company. SAIC’s lease in McLean expires in 2020. SAIC’s lease for the Reston facility expires in 2022. SAIC will continue to occupy several floors in its McLean location at 1710 SAIC Dr., which effective July 1, will officially become 1785 Greensboro Station Place. The address is changing at the request of the property owner, the Meridian Group. 2017-06-09T14:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-fortune-500-list-grows Virginia’s Fortune 500 list grows http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-fortune-500-list-grows http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-fortune-500-list-grows#When:21:52:00Z The commonwealth’s list of Fortune 500 companies continue to grow. Virginia has 23 businesses on the annual ranking of the nation’s largest corporations, up from 21 in 2016. Two companies not on the 2016 list made the cut this year: Reston-based Leidos Holdings and Arlington-based CalAtlantic Group. The majority of the Virginia-based companies on this year’s Fortune 500 moved up in ranking from last year. The list, compiled by Fortune magazine, ranks the publicly traded companies in the U.S. based on gross revenue. The companies on this year’s list are:            Freddie Mac, McLean, No. 39, up from No. 43, revenue of  $65.7 billion, up 3.4 percent General Dynamics, Falls Church, No. 90, down from No. 88, revenue of  $31.4 billion, down 0.4 percent Capital One Financial, McLean, No. 100, up from No. 112, revenue of $27.5 billion, up 9.6 percent Northrop Grumman, Falls Church, No. 114, up from No. 118, revenue of  $24.5 billion, up 4.2 percent Dollar Tree, Chesapeake, No. 136, up from No. 180, revenue of  $20.7 billion, up 33.7 percent Altria Group, Richmond, No. 148, up from No. 149, revenue of  $19.3 billion, up 2.6 percent Performance Food Group, Richmond, No. 171, up from No. 185, revenue of  $16.1 billion, up 5.5 percent CarMax, Richmond, No. 174, up from No. 191, revenue of  $15.8 billion, up 6.4 percent WestRock, Richmond, No. 190, up from No. 251, revenue of  $14.7 billion, up 29.2 percent AES, Arlington, No. 194, down from No. 190, revenue of  $14.3 billion, down 4.5 percent Dominion Energy, Richmond, No. 238, up from No. 243, revenue of  $11.7 billion, up .5 percent Hilton Worldwide Holdings, McLean, No. 241, up from No. 254, revenue of  $11.7 billion, up 3.5 percent Norfolk Southern, Norfolk, No. 284, down from No. 270, revenue of  $9.9 billion, down 5.9 percent Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, No. 288, up from No. 291, revenue of $9.7 billion, down 0.5 percent Advance Auto Parts, Roanoke, No. 292, up from No. 293, revenue of  $9.6 billion, down 1.7 percent Genworth Financial, Richmond,  No. 329, down from No. 306, revenue of  $8.4 billion, down 9.5 percent Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), Falls Church, No. 379, down from No. 233, revenue of  $7.1 billion, down 41.7 percent Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News,  No. 380, down from No. 378, revenue of  $7 billion, up 0.7 percent Leidos Holdings, Reston, No. 381, revenue of $7 billion CalAtlantic Group, Arlington, No. 415, revenue of $6.5 billion NVR, Reston, No. 446, up from No. 498, revenue of  $5.8 billion, up 12.9 percent Markel, Glen Allen, No. 460, up from No. 476, revenue of  $5.6 billion, up 4.5 percent Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, No. 481, up from No. 487, revenue of  $5.4 billion, up 2.5 percent 2017-06-08T21:52:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/949-Myers-Rendering.jpg Rendering of 949 Myers St. office building courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-office-development-proposed-for-boulevard-area-of-richmond New office development proposed for Boulevard area of Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-office-development-proposed-for-boulevard-area-of-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-office-development-proposed-for-boulevard-area-of-richmond#When:21:10:00Z Richmond’s popular Scotts Addition area near The Boulevard, which has become a hot spot for millennials flocking to its apartments and restaurants, may soon get a new Class A office building. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announced the 63,800-square-foot project Thursday. The developers are The Rebkee Co., based in Midlothian, and partners Dan Gecker and Steve Leibovic with Serabi Development in Richmond, the same group that developed the Cookie Factory Lofts, a 180-unit apartment project on The Boulevard. That project converted the old Interbake cookie factory into a modern, multifamily dwelling that overlooks the Washington Redskins summer practice field. If plans are approved by the city and developers can prelease a substantial portion of the building, the developer would raze the Interbake Foods warehouse at 949 Myers St., where the new three-story office project would be built. It would be adjacent to the recently announced River City Roll bowling alley and within walking distance rto estaurants such as En Su Boca and Fat Dragon and the BowTie Cinema. According to Thalhimer, the developer plans a rooftop terrace and balconies for office tenants that would offer views of the Redskins training facility. There would also be a patio with landscaping and bike racks. “There is a palpable energy in this neighborhood that people want to be a part of… “ Jason Guillot, a broker with Thalhimer who has been retained as the exclusive leasing representative, said in a statement. “The Boulevard and Scott’s Addition has become organically what every large-scale, mixed-use development has tried to achieve and is quickly becoming the new gateway to the city of Richmond. “ Architectural details would include floor-to-ceiling factory windows, high-end interior finishes and build-outs that promote collaborative, creative workspace. “We are excited to bring the prospect of new Class A office space to Scott’s Addition, which has seen an explosive growth of apartments, restaurants, breweries and commercial space,” Steve Leibovic said in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with forward-thinking office users who want to join a thriving urban residential and commercial hub, attracting everyone from millennials to empty nesters.” 2017-06-08T21:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/2001_Exterior.jpg 2001 East Apartments courtesy Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-realty-partners-buys-apartment-complex-near-church-hill-for-9.67 Thalhimer Realty Partners buys apartment complex near Church Hill for $9.67 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-realty-partners-buys-apartment-complex-near-church-hill-for-9.67 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-realty-partners-buys-apartment-complex-near-church-hill-for-9.67#When:21:03:00Z Thalhimer Realty Partners Inc. (TRP), the investment and development subsidiary of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, said Thursday that it has acquired a 75-unit apartment property near Church Hill in Richmond for $9.67 million. The seller was 2001 East Broad LP. The company said it has closed on the purchase of the 2001 East Apartments at 2001 E. Broad St., at the entrance to the Church Hill Historic District and close to the VCU Health System’s School of Medicine. The property also includes two commercial suites.  The apartments offer a mix of studio, one- and two- bedroom units ranging in size from 550 square feet to 900 square feet.  Monthly rental rates begin at $875 and go up to $1,600. Thalhimer’s Residential Property Services will manage the property on behalf of TRP. Catrina Scanlan will serve be the portfolio manager responsible for the oversight of the property’s operations. 2017-06-08T21:03:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-energy-to-expand-solar-education-program Dominion Energy to expand solar education program http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-energy-to-expand-solar-education-program http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-energy-to-expand-solar-education-program#When:18:11:00Z Dominion Energy announced Thursday that five K-12 schools and a children’s museum have been selected to participate in its Solar for Students program. Formerly called Solar for Schools, the program will install a solar array outside the participating schools, giving students a hands-on experience to learn about solar energy. The program was launched in 2015 with four schools.  The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation will invest $150,000 to fund the installations at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Deer Park Elementary School in Newport News, Hampton High School, Kenmore Middle School in Arlington County and the MathScience Innovation Center in Henrico. Each panel is a 1.2-kilowatt photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electric power, enough to power 18 computers on a sunny day. In addition to the panel, each school will receive an LED display that is mounted somewhere inside the school. Students and teachers will be able to see how much electricity has been generated as well as challenge other schools using a web portal connected to the device. With clean energy and STEM education programs growing in popularity, the project aims to create effective networks of students, educators and businesses to promote an energy conscious society. The NEED Project (National Energy Education Development) will continue to administer the program, providing technical support, coordinating the installation of solar panels and training teachers. The NEED project will perform the actual installations during the 2017-2018 school year, while Sigora Solar, the largest and fastest growing solar design company in Virginia, is responsible for manufacturing the solar panels. “On one hand you’ve got this visible reminder with the solar panel, but now you’re actually seeing tangible results and how it all fits into a broader picture,” senior communications specialist of Dominion Energy, Rayhan Daudani, said in an interview. Dominion is currently growing its solar portfolio. The company says it has spent nearly $1 billion in solar projects since 2015 and currently has more than a dozen projects underway. The company wants to bring 5,200 megawatts online by 2042, or enough to power 1.3 million homes. “STEM education is essential, it challenges our students and inspires our students and provides them with the foundational knowledge they need to pursue additional education and training as they continue down their academic path. I appreciate you all continuing to encourage our students to take part in STEM education and know that you have an administration that believes in you and believes in what you do,” Virginia Secretary of Education Dietra Trent said Thursday during a press conference at the Children’s Museum of Richmond’s downtown location. 2017-06-08T18:11:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-tech-tests-nasa-traffic-management-system-for-unmanned-aircraft Virginia Tech tests NASA traffic management system for unmanned aircraft http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-tech-tests-nasa-traffic-management-system-for-unmanned-aircraft http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-tech-tests-nasa-traffic-management-system-for-unmanned-aircraft#When:08:43:00Z This week Virginia Tech tested a traffic management system designed to help multiple unmanned aircraft navigate the air space safely. The research was part of a national campaign to study the system, which was developed by NASA. A traffic management system could be key in helping grow the commercialization of unmanned vehicles. The system evaluates flight plans, monitors aircraft in flight and alerts users to changes or potentially hazardous situations. “Being able to handle that kind of volume safely and efficiently will determine whether a lot of the UAS applications in development will be commercially viable over the long term,” Mark Blanks, the director of the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, which operates the university’s Federal Aviation Administration-designated UAS test site, said in a statement. The test flights in Blacksburg were designed to mimic what operators might encounter if widespread commercial UAS flights beyond line of sight become commonplace. Multiple aircraft carried out a variety of simulated missions simultaneously, using different software interfaces to communicate with NASA’s central cloud-based platform and respond to changes in the airspace. The testing builds on research conducted last year. This year added more logistical and operational challenges to more closely mimic a real-world scenario. This year also saw increased participation from commercial partners. Virginia Tech worked with ANRA Technologies, Aviation Systems Engineering Co. Inc., Fortem Technologies, Intel Corp., and Project Wing. 2017-06-08T08:43:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-corp.-to-create-new-insurance-division Markel Corp. to create new insurance division http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-corp.-to-create-new-insurance-division http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-corp.-to-create-new-insurance-division#When:01:23:00Z Henrico County-based Markel Corp. will create a new insurance division, which will combine its wholesale (excess and surplus lines) and global insurance (complex, risk-managed accounts) divisions. Bryan Sanders, president of Markel Wholesale, will lead the new division, which will be named Markel Assurance. Britt Glisson, president of Markel Global Insurance, will assist in the transition and will retire next year. Markel Assurance will have underwriting teams in the U.S, Bermuda, Dublin and London. The gross written premium of the combined division is about $1.8 billion. Products will originate from three product lines: casualty, professional liability and property/marine. Markel's other operating insurance divisions are Markel Specialty, Markel International and Markel Global Reinsurance. Markel Assurance will operate 10 offices in six regions in the U.S. Other locations for the new division include Bermuda, Dublin and London. The new division is expected to be up and running by Jan.1. 2017-06-08T01:23:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/montgomery-county-enters-into-contract-to-buy-land-for-expansion-of-corpora Montgomery County enters into contract to buy land for expansion of corporate park http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/montgomery-county-enters-into-contract-to-buy-land-for-expansion-of-corpora http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/montgomery-county-enters-into-contract-to-buy-land-for-expansion-of-corpora#When:20:48:00Z Montgomery County wants to expand its Falling Branch Corporate Park. It announced Wednesday that its Economic Development Authority has entered into a contract with Cox Family Farms LLC to purchase 124 acres adjacent to the county’s corporate park at a cost of $2.5 million, or about $20,161 per acre. The EDA has about 180 days to perform due diligence on the property. This includes a rezoning request as well as geotechnical and environmental studies. Rezoning applications with both Montgomery County and the town of Christiansburg were filed for the property on May 30, three days after the county entered into the purchase agreement. Before the expiration of the 180-day period, the EDA will decide whether to purchase the property and evaluate the expansion of utilities and a road. “The Board of Supervisors is committed to keeping Montgomery County a growing and competitive area that continues to attract new businesses,” Chris Tuck, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement. “Acquiring this property is an important step in expanding our existing corporate park and a decision that will pay dividends in the future by providing the ground work to attract larger commercial businesses to the county.” Currently, Falling Branch Corporate Park includes 175 acres, with 146 acres occupied by businesses that include Aeroprobe Corporate, Backcountry, Dish Network, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Inorganic Ventures, Polymer Solutions Inc. and PreStar Packaging. That leaves 29 acres divided into three separate lots available. Currently, the county does not have any sites over 16 acres, which makes it difficult to attract prospective business in need of larger areas. “Having a 100-plus acre site that’s ready for development will allow the vounty to compete for much larger projects. This will allow us to better market the county to attract a wider range of businesses to the New River Valley,” said Charlie Jewell, executive director, New River Valley Economic Development Alliance. 2017-06-07T20:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/radford-university-and-virginia-tech-awarded-1-million-grants-to-boost-stem Radford University and Virginia Tech awarded $1 million grants to boost STEM education http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/radford-university-and-virginia-tech-awarded-1-million-grants-to-boost-stem http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/radford-university-and-virginia-tech-awarded-1-million-grants-to-boost-stem#When:19:50:00Z The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the largest private, nonprofit supporter of U.S. science education, announced Wednesday that two Virginia schools are receiving $1 million each as part of the HHMI’s new Inclusive Excellence initiative. Radford University and Virginia Tech are among 24 higher-education institutions across the country that were selected for a first round of grant funding in a program that seeks to boost inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.   "We are honored to be the recipients of this very prestigious grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute," Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, said in a statement. The initiative aims to increase the capacity of colleges and universities to engage all students in science practices. HHMI particularly wants to focus on undergraduates who come to college from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented ethnic minorities, first-generation college students and working adults with families. “We’re thinking differently about how HHMI can help move science education forward,” the institute’s president, Erin O’Shea, said in a statement.  “The challenges this program addresses are important for all of us who care deeply about developing a more inclusive and diverse scientific community.” The initiative shifts responsibility onto the schools — improving the structure of the curriculum and the way it’s delivered, for example, adjusting school policies and procedures, training faculty and improving the educational climate and culture. “Too many times we approach diversity with a deficit mindset in which interventions are aimed at ‘fixing the students,’ ” David Asai, senior director for science education at HHMI, said in a statement. Instead, the initiative focuses on making the culture of an institution more inclusive. “We want to change the way schools do business.” The 2017 Inclusive Excellence awards considered proposals from 511 schools. HHMI is awarding $1 million each to the 24 schools, which all proposed plans for engaging more students in science at their campuses. The awards are part of the first round of the initiative.  A second round of the competition is currently underway and results will be announced next spring.  At Radford. the grant will support a newly created program known as REALISE, which was designed to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment. A large component of the project is the expansion of the university's Maker opportunities focus, especially in entry-level biology, chemistry, physics and other science courses. Maker is a national movement, commonly practiced at higher education institutions, that encourages creative engagement between faculty and students to solve real-world problems. At Radford, students and faculty have worked on a number of STEM-related projects, including 3D printing, electronics and multimedia, e-textiles and fabrics and programming and microcontrollers. By targeting introductory-level courses, Radford wants to introduce students early on to STEM fields and direct them toward similar career options. At Virginia Tech, HHMI said the faculty plan to improve abilities to be inclusive and departments will modify curricula so that students can fully participate in experiential learning opportunities. 2017-06-07T19:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/GoodC_1.5x1.5_RGB.jpg Photo courtesy Colliers International http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/chris-good-joins-colliers-retail-services-group-as-vice-president Chris Good joins Colliers’ Retail Services Group as vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/chris-good-joins-colliers-retail-services-group-as-vice-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/chris-good-joins-colliers-retail-services-group-as-vice-president#When:15:18:00Z Colliers International | Richmond & Norfolk has announced that Chris Good has joined its Retail Services Group in Norfolk as vice president. He will work in the Norfolk office. For more than 12 years, Good focused has on retailer/restaurant tenant representation and landlord/developer representation. According to Colliers, he has been recognized annually as a top producer by the Hampton Roads Commercial Alliance. Good has represented a range of landlords, developers and tenants including Kotarides Cos., Sansome Pacific Properties, Verdad Real Estate, Foremark, Craftworks Brands, Main Event, Tuesday Morning, Burger King, SuperCuts, Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, and Jenny Craig. 2017-06-07T15:18:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Milliken.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/massive-ships-highlight-new-era-at-the-port-of-virginia Massive ships highlight new era at the Port of Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/massive-ships-highlight-new-era-at-the-port-of-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/massive-ships-highlight-new-era-at-the-port-of-virginia#When:20:52:00Z A new era of international trade is underway on the U.S. East Coast, and the Port of Virginia is well-positioned to cement its position as the mid-Atlantic’s true global gateway. In early May, the port welcomed the COSCO Development, the largest containership to ever come to the East Coast. A few weeks later an even larger vessel, the OOCL France, eclipsed the COSCO Development’s record. And so the big ship era at the Port of Virginia is underway. These two ships are the first of a new generation of ultra-large container vessels to come to the East Coast. These mammoth ships are fitting symbols of the important role that international commerce and trade play in the Virginia and the national economy. These containers carry the tangible products of our economy. Our nation’s ports are the heart of a complex transportation system, as cargo flows in and out of our ports by ship, rail, truck and barge to points across the country and around the world. According to the American Association of Port Authorities, seaport cargo activity supports the employment of more than 23 million people in the United States. Seaport-related jobs provide for $1.2 billion in personal income and local consumption. For every $1 billion exports shipped through U.S. seaports, 15,000 jobs are created. The OOCL France can carry 13,200 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit, industry-speak as a way of measuring the number of containers). A typical container seen on a railcar or the highway is 40 feet long, or two TEUs. The widening of the Panama Canal and consolidation in the worldwide shipping industry have led to ships of increasing size. Seven years ago, the average ship calling on The Port of Virginia, or on any of East Coast port, was approximately 4,000 TEUs, The COSCO Development and the OOCL France are the first of many similar size ships making weekly stops in Virginia. This frequency of service and the cost savings that come with larger ships make it more advantageous for businesses with products to market to choose Virginia as a place to locate that business, thereby bringing new jobs to the commonwealth. A 2014 study done by The College of William and Mary estimated that one out of every nine jobs in Virginia is related to activity at Virginia’s ports, equating to $17.5 billion in wages. Nearly half (47 percent) of the port’s business in 2016 was the export of Virginia-made-or-grown products, equating to jobs for Virginians and goods for the world. The study further showed that annual exports of 4.5 million tons of Virginia-made products had an estimated value of $10.9 billion. A couple of examples make the point. STIHL Inc., a producer of handheld outdoor power equipment has its largest manufacturing operation in Virginia Beach to take advantage of the port. That facility manufactures for the U.S. market but a larger share of its revenues come from exports through Virginia’s port to worldwide markets. Newell-Rubbermaid, has a manufacturing/distribution facility located near the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal. It uses the direct rail connection to the port’s waterside terminals to import raw material and parts to manufacture and assemble products that are both exported and sold domestically. In addition, agricultural products from every part of the commonwealth move through the port to worldwide markets – making Virginia the second-largest ag-exporter on the East Coast. Virginians benefit from the port because of the ease with which they have access to imported items made around the world and sold in local stores. Some of our clothes, our furniture and our children’s toys are made elsewhere, at least in part, and shipped in volume by sea through the Port of Virginia to a distribution center, often also located in Virginia, and then to a nearby store. This sophisticated, high-volume logistics chain helps keep costs down and provides a variety of affordable products that would not otherwise be available. The Port of Virginia is an independent public body whose governing board is appointed by the governor. Though a state agency, it seeks to operate like a business, not to make a profit, but to focus its energies and invest its resources in economic development and the creation of jobs. With larger and larger ships dominating international trade, the ports board has approved a plan of growth to increase its annual TEU capacity from its current 2.5 million to roughly 4 million by 2020 through investing more than $670 million to expand its two largest terminals. This expansion assures shippers that their products, whether destined for worldwide markets or down the street, can be handled efficiently and at a reasonable cost over the long term. Too often trade is seen as a one-way deal with boxes coming from faraway lands. The reality is far different. For a Virginia manufacturer or farmer, the port is the gateway to growing international markets. And this new era brings additional opportunity to share American-made goods around the world, creating jobs, generating revenue and encouraging further investment on our soil. 2017-06-06T20:52:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-craft-beer-cup-winners-announced Virginia Craft Beer Cup winners announced http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-craft-beer-cup-winners-announced http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-craft-beer-cup-winners-announced#When:20:37:00Z More than 240 brewers gathered this week to celebrate the best in Virginia craft beers. The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild held its sixth Virginia Craft Beer Cup Awards Ceremony Monday at WestRock in Richmond. According to the guild, the competition is the largest of its kind in the United States.  This year 356 beers in 24 categories were entered into the competition. The judging took place May 13th at Fair Winds Brewing Co. in Lorton. The best in show winners were: Norfolk’s Smartmouth Brewing Co. for its Safety Dance (first place); Chantilly’s Old Ox Brewery’s Black Ox (second place) and Hampton’s St. George Brewing Co.’s Summer Ale (third place). To see the full list of winners, click here. 2017-06-06T20:37:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wal-mart-stores-east-renews-lease-in-spotsylvania-county Wal-Mart Stores East renews lease in Spotsylvania County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wal-mart-stores-east-renews-lease-in-spotsylvania-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wal-mart-stores-east-renews-lease-in-spotsylvania-county#When:19:51:00Z   Wal-Mart Stores East LP has renewed its lease of 46,530 square feet of industrial space in McK Business Park at 3010 Mine Road in Spotsylvania County.  Virgil Nelson and Wilson H. Greenlaw Jr. of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the lease negotiations. In other recent transactions for Thalhimer in the Fredericksburg area, Sirius XM renewed a 20,662-square-foot lease of industrial space in Fredericksburg Center C Building at 11812 Main St., in Spotsylvania County. Nelson handled the lease negotiations.  In that same development, Zenith Aviation leased 18,000 square feet of industrial space. Nelson also handled those lease negotiations. 2017-06-06T19:51:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/deloitte-names-federal-technology-leader Deloitte names federal technology leader http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/deloitte-names-federal-technology-leader http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/deloitte-names-federal-technology-leader#When:19:50:00Z Deloitte announced that Nishita Henry, a principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP, has been named federal technology leader. Henry will lead more than 3,000 practitioners, working with federal agencies to transform and modernize technology systems with an emphasis on applications, cloud, analytics and system operations. Henry was Deloitte’s federal innovation leader and prior to that was technology strategy and architecture leader. Throughout her career, Henry has led Deloitte’s work at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, transforming business and technology from the production floor to the back office. Henry’s experience also includes leading the work at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create new ways for industry to interact with FDA and improve drug quality efforts. Her most recent work has been leading the modernization of a travel distribution platform in the cloud for a public transportation company. Henry holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. 2017-06-06T19:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ferguson-adding-434-jobs-in-newport-news Ferguson adding 434 jobs in Newport News http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ferguson-adding-434-jobs-in-newport-news http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ferguson-adding-434-jobs-in-newport-news#When:17:03:00Z Plumbing wholesaler Ferguson has announced a major expansion at its Newport News headquarters. The company is investing $82.8 million to add a campus at City Center at Oyster Point, a move expected to create 434 jobs and retain more than 1,000 positions.         The new campus will house Ferguson’s information technology (IT) workforce and other corporate functions. Ferguson is the largest wholesale distributor of residential and commercial plumbing supplies and pipe, valves, and fittings in the U.S. The company also is a major distributor of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, fire protection systems, waterworks, and industrial products and services.  Founded in 1953, Ferguson has grown from a local distributor to a $13.8 billion company with more than 1,400 locations and over 23,000 employees nationwide. It employs nearly 3,000 people in Virginia, according to Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Newport News to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $2 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Newport News with the project. The company also is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program. Funding to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 2017-06-05T17:03:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amtrak-getting-ready-for-new-roanoke-rail-service Amtrak getting ready for new Roanoke rail service http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amtrak-getting-ready-for-new-roanoke-rail-service http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amtrak-getting-ready-for-new-roanoke-rail-service#When:15:55:00Z Amtrak trains will begin running today on a new territory between Lynchburg and Roanoke, but they won’t carry any passengers. Amtrak said Monday that these nonscheduled trains will serve as training for locomotive engineers and train conductors to learn the tracks and territory between the two cities. The trains are expected to operate two times per day, five days a week. Amtrak is operating the trains in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), and Norfolk Southern. According to Amtrak, this step is essential to completing the project to bring intercity passenger rail service to Roanoke in the fall. At that time, Amtrak Northeast Regional service will extend from Lynchburg to Roanoke and will operate one round-trip seven days a week. It will mark the first time that passenger rail service back has been available in Roanoke in four decades. The Northeast Regional service will provide a same-seat trip to and from Roanoke and to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and other cities along the Northeast Corridor. Northeast Regional service to Roanoke represents the fourth expansion of intercity passenger rail in the commonwealth since 2009, following new or additional service to Lynchburg, Richmond and Norfolk. The effort to expand rail options in Virginia is the result of the state’s investment of more than $100 million in Norfolk Southern’s rail infrastructure, which made the intercity passenger service extension possible. 2017-06-05T15:55:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/industrial-warehouse-in-goochland-county-sells-for-3-million Industrial warehouse in Goochland County sells for $3 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/industrial-warehouse-in-goochland-county-sells-for-3-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/industrial-warehouse-in-goochland-county-sells-for-3-million#When:14:32:00Z Rocstone Warehouse 17 LLC has purchased a 45,000-square-foot office/warehouse facility in Goochland County from Lanier Lane Realty LLC for $ 3.05 million. Porter Realty’s Kevin Cox represented the buyer in the acquisition and also will be marketing the property for lease. The facility at 2200 Lanier Lane in Rockville offers sprinkler and power systems, dock and drive-in access and a fenced storage yard. According to Porter Realty, it was most recently occupied by Specialty Beverage VA, which relocated to a larger facility in eastern Henrico County. 2017-06-05T14:32:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cibt-global-purchased-by-private-equity-firm CIBT Global purchased by private equity firm http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cibt-global-purchased-by-private-equity-firm http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cibt-global-purchased-by-private-equity-firm#When:20:15:00Z CIBT Global Inc. has been acquired by Kohlberg & Co. LLC, a private equity firm in New York. Kohlberg bought the McLean-based company from ABRY Partners. Based in McLean, CIBT employs nearly 1,300 employees in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands. The company provides travel visa and immigration services to corporations, travel management companies and individuals. “CIBT is the clear market leader in travel visa and immigration services, providing a full suite of mission-critical services to blue-chip clients across the world,” Ahmed I. Wahla, a Kohlberg partner, said in a statement. “We are very pleased to be partnering with CIBT’s management team and its dedicated, worldwide employee base, and we look forward to supporting the company’s future growth initiatives.” Credit Suisse and William Blair served as financial advisers and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to CIBT. Ropes & Gray served as legal counsel to Kohlberg. Antares Capital, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, and Owl Rock led the debt financing for the transaction. 2017-06-02T20:15:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/tegna-inc.-completes-spinoff-of-cars.com Tegna Inc. completes spinoff of Cars.com http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/tegna-inc.-completes-spinoff-of-cars.com http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/tegna-inc.-completes-spinoff-of-cars.com#When:21:10:00Z McLean-based media company Tegna Inc. has completed its spinoff of Cars.com, creating two publicly traded companies. With the completion of the spin-off, Dave Lougee was named Tegna’s president and CEO while joining the company’s board of directors. He succeeds Gracia Martore, who has retired. Cars.com began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, trading under the symbol CARS. Cars.com will be headquartered in Chicago. Joining Lougee’s executive leadership team are: Victoria Harker, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Lynn Beall, executive vice president and COO of media operations; Anne Bentley, vice president and chief communications officer; Ed Busby, senior vice president of strategy; Todd Mayman, executive vice president and chief legal and administrative officer; and Jeff Newman, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Marjorie Magner will continue as chairman of Tegna’s board of directors. Jennifer Dulski, Howard D. Elias, Lidia Fonseca, Scott K. McCune, Henry W. McGee, Susan Ness, Bruce P. Nolop and Neal Shapiro also will continue to serve as directors. Before becoming president and CEO, Lougee was president of Tegna Media, overseeing 46 broadcast stations in 38 markets. Under Lougee’s leadership, the  broadcast portfolio doubled after the acquisitions of Belo Corp. and six London Broadcasting stations. Lougee was named president of Gannett Broadcasting in July 2007 and previously was executive vice president, media operations, for Belo. At Belo, he also served as senior vice president; president and general manager of TV and cable operations in Seattle/Tacoma; and news director at KING in Seattle/Tacoma. The spinoff was completed through a pro-rata distribution of Cars.com’s outstanding common shares to Tegna stockholders of record at the close of business on May 18. Stockholders retained their Tegna  shares and received one share of Cars.com for every three shares of Tegna stock they owned on the record date. 2017-06-01T21:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image007.jpeg Photo courtesy PC&A http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-new-look-for-the-office A new look for the office http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-new-look-for-the-office http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-new-look-for-the-office#When:20:20:00Z Norfolk has taken its place among much larger markets with a West Elm Workspace. Locally owned PC&A Business Environments has opened a showroom at 7420 Central Business Park Drive as part of a partnership with West Elm, based out of Brooklyn, N.Y.  The space offers four collections of office furniture and more than 75 product lines, 140 textile options, lighting and flooring. The collections have a residential vibe and include modern, mid-century, industrial and contemporary pieces designed to appeal to millennial workers.  Norfolk joins larger cities such as Seattle, Tampa, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami with West Elm Workspace in its office furniture market. “This is a highly creative and thriving small business market, and it seeks innovative products for a new kind of workspace,” Susan Pilato, PC&A president, said in a statement. PC&A’s client list includes TowneBank, Fahrenheit, Good Run Research, Sentara, and Commonwealth Assisted Living. West Elm partnered with Inscape (an office solutions company) and local design firms to launch West Elm Workspace in strategic markets. Its mission is to create unique, affordable designs for the modern office. 2017-06-01T20:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growers-exchange-will-build-greenhouse-in-henrico-county Growers Exchange will build greenhouse in Henrico County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growers-exchange-will-build-greenhouse-in-henrico-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growers-exchange-will-build-greenhouse-in-henrico-county#When:20:13:00Z A Richmond-area online seller of herbs is building a greenhouse in eastern Henrico County. The Growers Exchange, which currently has operations on a 600-acre farm in Charles City County, has purchased land and soon will start construction on four acres at Tech Park Place in Varina, according to Commonwealth Commercial Real Estate, which helped broker the deal. The Henrico-based real estate firm said access to transportation, workforce and Internet providers all played a role in the company’s decision on a location. The Growers Exchange, started in 1985, is owned by Briscoe and Kenan White. It grows and sells more than 175 varieties of spices and herbs, which it sells online across the U.S. Commonwealth Commercial said the new facility will modernize operations as the business adds new varieties and speeds up shipping. The firm’s Sam Worley and Ryan Fanelli represented the seller in marketing the property. Jim McVey and Middleton Smith represented the buyer in site selection. 2017-06-01T20:13:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hii-delivers-aircraft-carrier-to-navy HII delivers aircraft carrier to Navy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hii-delivers-aircraft-carrier-to-navy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hii-delivers-aircraft-carrier-to-navy#When:19:54:00Z The Navy has accepted delivery of the future USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier in Newport News. Delivery followed the ship's successful completion of acceptance trials on May 26. Ford is the lead ship of its class and the first new-design aircraft carrier delivered to the Navy since USS Nimitz in 1975. Ford is also the first aircraft carrier to join the fleet since USS George H. W. Bush in 2009. More than 5,000 shipbuilders in Newport News and thousands of suppliers across the United States contributed to the construction of the ship. The Fordclass features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft deployment rates, and growth margin for future technologies. Each Ford-class ship will operate with a smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier, according to HII. Ford will be commissioned into the fleet this summer, formally placing the ship into active service. After that, there will be a "shakedown" period where the ship will conduct several at-sea events to provide longer underway periods for the ship's crew to operate and train on its systems. In addition, planned deferred work will be performed, and any deficiencies identified during trials will be addressed during in-port periods. Ford is expected to be operational in 2020. 2017-06-01T19:54:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/skanska-begins-construction-on-student-center-at-longwood-university Skanska begins construction on student center at Longwood University http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/skanska-begins-construction-on-student-center-at-longwood-university http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/skanska-begins-construction-on-student-center-at-longwood-university#When:15:32:00Z Construction is underway on a new $28.6 million student center at Longwood University in Farmville. The 84,000-square-foot, Upchurch University Center will be a modern facility that reflects the character of the nearby historic buildings on the campus, according to Skanska USA, the builder for the project. The center will house many student organizations and activities. The façade, which will be in keeping with Greek and Roman architecture, will open to Brock Commons, the primary campus artery. It also will include a large multipurpose room and a double-story portico on the south side of the structure, which opens onto Wheeler Mall, a green space used for spring commencement. Skanska said it has completed demolition of the Cunningham Residence Halls and finished relocating and working on below-grade utilities. All foundations and steel erection have been topped out to make way for the balance of construction. The center is scheduled to open in fall 2018. The Upchurch University Center project will seek LEED silver certification. Skanska is collaborating on the building with Perkins + Will, Franck & Lohsen Architects, Draper Aden & Associates, Integral Group, Stewart Engineering and HG Design Studio. 2017-06-01T15:32:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image014.png Photo courtesy of Marcus & Millichap http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/richmond-apartment-community-sells-for-6.2-million Richmond apartment community sells for $6.2 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/richmond-apartment-community-sells-for-6.2-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/richmond-apartment-community-sells-for-6.2-million#When:15:28:00Z Two multifamily properties in Richmond, The Park at Forest Hill and Chateau De Ville, totaling 119 units, have sold for $6.2 million, or about $52,521 per unit. “The Richmond multifamily market is a slow rising tide,” Altay Uzun, an associate in Marcus & Millichap’s Hampton Road’s office, said in a statement.  “Apartment cap rates are steadily compressing; rents are increasing, and we are seeing new development and growth in the market.” Uzun and Christopher Chadwick had the exclusive listing to market the property. They buyer is a local investor. Originally built in 1983, Chateau de Ville is a garden-style apartment complex with 38 one-bedroom, two-bedroom and loft units. The Park at Forest Hill, constructed between 1972 and 1980, has 81 units. It was named after the 104-acre park across the street from the property. Bryn Merrey, senior vice president/division manager of Marcus & Millichap’s mid-Atlantic and Southeastern offices, served as the broker of record on the transaction. 2017-06-01T15:28:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/huntington-ingalls-industries-names-director-of-federal-policy Huntington Ingalls Industries names director of federal policy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/huntington-ingalls-industries-names-director-of-federal-policy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/huntington-ingalls-industries-names-director-of-federal-policy#When:20:49:00Z Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said Wednesday it has named Ashley Godwin director of federal policy. HII is the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company. Prior to joining HII, Godwin served as the senior defense and government affairs adviser for the Shipbuilders Council of America. As director of federal policy at HII, Godwin will support legislative and federal policy priorities that will support future shipbuilding programs and initiatives relating to HII’s Technical Solutions division. From 2007 to 2011, she served as corporate director of government and customer relations for Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman. She also has served as deputy chief financial officer of the Department of the Navy and deputy associate director of presidential personnel in the White House. In her new role, Godwin will work in HII’s Washington, D.C., office. She will report to Jay Donnelly, vice president of program integration and assessment. Godwin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate in political science from the University of Dallas. 2017-05-31T20:49:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-rises-in-national-site-selection-ranking Virginia rises in national site selection ranking http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-rises-in-national-site-selection-ranking http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-rises-in-national-site-selection-ranking#When:20:11:00Z Virginia has been ranked No. 6 among the Top 10 States in Site Selection magazine’s 2017 Prosperity Cup, tying with Ohio. The showing represents a seven spot jump from No. 13 in 2016. In comments on the ranking Wednesday, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said,  “It is gratifying to see Virginia climbing higher on the Prosperity Cup ladder for economic development competitiveness. The new Virginia economy initiatives launched in 2014 to strengthen and diversify our economy and lessen our reliance on federal funds are working …” The No. 1 state was neighboring North Carolina. It tied with Texas for the top spot in in 2016 and placed first in 2015. While passage of a controversial “bathroom bill” in 2016 sparked a negative backlash, with canceled business relocations and expansions, factors in place that had caused North Carolina to rank well are still intact, according to Site Selection magazine. Plus, the state’s legislature repealed HB2 in late March, the bill that required people at government-run facilities to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate. One feature, though, was kept intact, giving the legislature control of the regulation of bathroom access, which prevents local governments from enacting their own ordinances.  Despite the furor over the bill, Site Selection said in a story about its rankings that North Carolina “still has one of the most educated workforces in the U.S.; a temperate climate; two international airports, including a major hub for American Airlines at Charlotte, which is also a top financial center; three coastal ports; a desirable mid-Atlantic location; top research universities and community colleges and a 3 percent corporate income tax rate — the lowest such rate east of the Mississippi other than Ohio, which imposes a gross receipts tax in lieu of corporate income tax.” The Prosperity Cup determines states’ competitiveness based on several factors: new and expanded facilities, job creation, capital investment, and tax climate. In addition, it considers each state’s rank in the corporate real estate executive survey portion of the 2016 Site Selection Top U.S. Business Climates ranking, its performance in the Beacon Hill Institute’s State Competitiveness Report and the number of national career readiness certificates per 1,000 residents aged 18-64. Site Selection debuted its Top Competitive States ranking in 2002. In 2016, the ranking became known as the Prosperity Cup. Virginia also did well overall in the South Atlantic regional ranking, coming in No. 3 behind North Carolina and Georgia. 2017-05-31T20:11:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/june-2017-out-about June 2017 Out & About http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/june-2017-out-about http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/june-2017-out-about#When:08:00:00Z This month's Out & About features photos from the Virginia Maritime Association International Trade Symposium in Norfolk, Virginia’s Fantastic 50 in Chantilly and a Meet the editors luncheon also in Norfolk. The Virginia Maritime Association held its 97th annual Maritime Banquet Reception and 14th annual International Trade Symposium May 10-12 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. The event is one of the largest gatherings in the country for maritime executives. Manuel E. Benitez, the deputy administrator of the Panama Canal, gave the keynote address. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce unveiled the names of the Fantastic 50, the state’s fastest-growing privately owned small companies, at a banquet in late April. Virginia Business Editor Robert Powell, Senior Editor Jessica Sabbath and Hampton Roads writer Elizabeth Cooper led a discussion on local issues with two dozen business and community leaders in early May at the Town Point Club in Norfolk.  The discussion was part of a series of events being held in advance of the magazine’s community profiles. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Generous_Virginians_open.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/giving-from-the-heart Giving from the heart http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/giving-from-the-heart http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/giving-from-the-heart#When:08:00:00Z   The philanthropy of Macon and Joan Brock reflects their passions — the visual arts, education and the environment. They have donated millions of dollars to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chrysler Museum of Art, Eastern Virginia Medical School and their alma maters. The Virginia Beach couple, however, don’t simply write checks to nonprofit organizations. They become involved.  “When we do philanthropy, we want to know what’s going on with it,” Joan Brock says. “We want to know it’s financially well managed overall. That’s a trend we follow.” Their giving and their involvement in their causes resulted in the couple being named the nation’s Outstanding Philanthropists in 2015 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. That kind of immersion in philanthropy is reflected in the stories and in the following pages of this edition of the Generous Virginians Project. Virginia Business has been tracking donations made by individuals, corporations and foundations since 2010. This year, in addition to the Brocks’ story, we look at connections between donors and recipients in two other examples. One is Sherry Sharp, the widow of CarMax co-founder Rick Sharp, and the other involves a large company, Smithfield Foods. Sherry Sharp, a Richmond-area resident, has become a champion for Alzheimer’s research funding since her husband was stricken by an early-onset strain of the disease. He died at 67 in 2014. Sherry launched the Rick Sharp Alzheimer’s Foundation, which last year raised half a million dollars for the Massachusetts-based Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. CAF has distributed $50 million since 2005 to more than 100 researchers, with $450,000 going to the University of Virginia. Smithfield Foods is a big corporation, with annual revenue of $14 billion. Since 2013, it has been owned by a Chinese company, Shuang-hui International Holdings Ltd. Nonetheless, Smithfield has not lost its hometown roots. The company has been based in the Town of Smithfield in Isle of Wight County since 1936. The company has given $3 million to Smithfield High School.  The money will be used to establish a new Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) fieldhouse, a multiuse pavilion and a new “makerspace,” which will teach students manufacturing and engineering skills. “We are looking to show the Isle of Wight and Smithfield communities that we are here to stay, and that they are an important part of Smithfield Foods,” says Dennis Treacy, president of the Smithfield Foundation. In addition to these stories, the Generous Virginians Project includes a series of charts listing donations made or announced in 2016. The information was gathered in surveys of hundreds of businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations throughout Virginia. The ‘epitome’ of philanthropy Brocks’ support seen as gold standard for charitable causes by Joan Tupponce   Focused on research Sherry Sharp’s philanthropy is devoted to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s by Veronica Garabelli   Helping build a future workforce Smithfield Foods gives $3 million to its hometown high school by Greg Kremer   Methodology In compiling lists of major donations, Virginia Business contacted more than 600 companies, foundations and nonprofit organizations. In addition, the magazine reviewed public information, such as news releases and financial reports. Virginia Business asked businesses and grant-making foundations to provide their top 15 donations of at least $25,000 during 2016.  The magazine likewise asked nonprofit organizations to identify the top 15 donations they had received last year. The charts below represent more extensive lists than those which appeared in our print issue. Grants by community foundations Donations by individuals and family foundations Donations by independent foundations, groups Donations by companies and corporate foundations Total corporate donations 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Lee-Cville-3959.png Plans to sell this statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Leehave been blocked by an injunction. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-entrepreneurial-ecosystem An ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-entrepreneurial-ecosystem http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-entrepreneurial-ecosystem#When:08:00:00Z Charlottesville has made news in recent months for its positions on hot-button issues. City Council has tried to boot a Confederate statue out of a downtown park, and the mayor has declared Charlottesville a “Capital of the Resistance” to President Trump’s immigration policies. Less well known, however, is the city’s growing reputation as a hub for entrepreneurs and high-tech companies. That storyline doesn’t capture as many headlines. Critics of the city’s equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee consider it a symbol of racism. Charlottesville City Council voted 3 to 2 on April 17 to request bids to buy the statue, which now sits in the center of Lee Park just north of the downtown pedestrian mall. Asking for bids gives the council “some control over where it goes,” says Miriam Dickler, the city’s spokeswoman. “Their preference is that it go to a historical or academic site.”  In early May, however, a Charlottesville Circuit Court judge issued an injunction prohibiting the sale for at least six months after a lawsuit was filed by removal opponents. The plaintiffs argue that state law protects war memorials. The injunction does not block the city's plan to conduct an online contest to rename Lee Park and nearby Jackson Park, where the statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson stands. Debate over the Lee statue has sparked demonstrations for and against its removal. In mid-May, white nationalist Richard Spencer led a torch-lit protest rally at Lee Park that was widely condemned for evoking images of the Ku Klux Klan.  A candlelight counter demonstration was held the next day. A ‘welcoming’ city Charlottesville also has weighed in on national issues. At a January news conference, Mayor Mike Signer said he had talked with the city's commonwealth’s attorney about the legal challenges on immigration it might confront in the months and years to come.  "All cities work with their prosecutors and their police to find the approach on immigration that best fits their local needs," he said. "I plan on asking Charlottesville’s City Manager to advise City Council on all our legal options to protect immigrants and refugees — particularly if the administration’s approach becomes even more draconian." The council later voted to become a “welcoming” city in which “all members of the community are considered neighbors and deserve protection," according to Dickler. To that end, the council decided to give $10,000 to the private Legal Aid Justice Center to work with immigrants in the city. Speaking at Charlottesville’s Tom Tom Founders Festival in April before about 250 leaders of small and midsize cities across the country, Signer spelled out his vision of Charlottesville as a welcoming city. He said cities are facing “waves of disruptive changes,” that include new technology, autonomous cars, gay marriage, medical advances and an influx of refugees. “A lot of changes scare a lot of people, and we see people reacting to the change in different ways,” including fear and rejection, Signer said. “They can react with optimism or pessimism to these changes. The city we’re creating is casting its lot with optimism, openness and creativity.” Low vacancy and jobless rates The city’s controversies have  not hurt its economy.  Retail vacancy rates hover between 2 and 3 percent. On the downtown mall, it sits at 2 percent. The reason? “The downtown mall is a unique, authentic, vibrant space that attracts people,” says Chris Engel, the city’s director of economic development. “The city took a fairly significant risk when it built the mall 40 years ago and it worked.” Charlottesville’s unemployment rate in March was 2.9  percent. “On the surface, that’s good news, but companies are finding it a challenge to find skilled employees,” he says. One of the city’s newer businesses, Three Notch’d Brewing Co., is growing. It is moving from its Preston Avenue location to the former Frank Ix building, a former textile factory, off the downtown mall. The company plans to expand the brewery and add a restaurant and beer garden.  Apex Clean Energy, another business new to the city, has expanded to about 200 employees.  It has joined a group of eight renewable energy companies to form the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance.  The group plans to “establish Charlottesville as the renewable energy hub of the Southeast,” according to a news release. Charlottesville’s economy is humming, in part due to entrepreneurs setting up in the city. Darden Business School Professor Mike Lenox is part of a research team looking at how cities attract entrepreneurs. At the Tom Tom Festival, he said, “We all sense this emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Charlottesville … The questions are: What can we do to drive the ecosystem forward and what are the consequences? Which is the future — Austin, Aspen or Arlington? I fear if we don’t build up a robust economic ecosystem we could become purely an enclave of the rich. We could hurt the fundamental fabric of the city.” Biotech, angel investor groups One indicator of Charlottesville’s allure for entrepreneurs is its high concentration of  biotech companies. They have formed CvilleBioHub, an association of more than 50 bioscience companies and organizations that employ hundreds of people engaged in developing ways to improve human health. Also helping entrepreneurs is the Charlottesville Angel Network. Supported by the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council, the angel investor group includes high-net-worth individuals and successful entrepreneurs who meet monthly to evaluate early-stage companies.  Last year they invested over $1 million in 10 startups. Neighboring Albemarle County also is attracting tech companies. Perrone Robotics supplies parts to carmakers in the self-driving vehicle sector. Frontline Test Equipment, recently acquired by Teledyne LeCroy, provides Bluetooth equipment for cars.  Mikro Systems, an established Albemarle company, produces imaging products that will be flown on the Solar Orbiter, a joint NASA/European Space Agency mission to obtain close views of the sun. Mikro’s medical products are used in CT scanners to provide better diagnostic imaging at lower cost and lower radiation dosage. Meanwhile, the region’s biggest employer, the University of Virginia, continues to build.  U.Va. Medical Center is expanding its emergency room department, adding operating rooms and building a six-story inpatient tower to provide more inpatient beds. The new construction will add about 520,000 square feet to the hospital. The projects should be completed by 2020. U.Va. just completed its two-year, $58 million reconstruction of the school’s Rotunda, its signature building, adding classrooms and space for students to study. Surrounding counties Smaller counties around Char­lottesville are benefiting from tourism, solar power and advanced communications systems. The Shenandoah National Park welcomed a new superintendent, Jennifer Flynn, this year. She told the Greene County Board of Supervisors that a record 1.45 million visitors trekked to the park last year in celebration of the park’s centennial. She said $87.9 million was spent in the park and the surrounding 50-mile area in 2016. In Louisa County, Dominion Energy installed 83,000 solar panels on 250 acres on the east side of the town of Louisa to help feed the power grid. The solar farm came on line in December. Fluvanna County has almost completed building an advanced E911 emergency radio system that will dramatically improve coverage throughout the county. With the improvements, coverage should stand at 95 percent by early July. In Nelson County, the huge Wintergreen Resort, which sprawls across 11,000 acres, tried to auction off its last portion of undeveloped property. Three hundred eighty-two acres of land was up for sale on an internet auction scheduled for late April, according to Tranzon, a nationwide auction company. The property, however, did not sell. Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct an inaccurate quote from Mayor Mike Signer's January news conference.   2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Hampden-Sydney-3279.png Students walk to class at Hampden-Sydney, one of only three men’s four-year colleges in the nation. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/doubling-down Doubling down http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/doubling-down http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/doubling-down#When:08:00:00Z When Larry Stimpert’s grandfather ran the family’s Illinois farm, it was an embodiment of diversity. It had sheep, cows, hay, oats, corn, soybeans and orchards. “It was a very sustainable kind of thing,” Stimpert says. “Today, my cousins farm the farm, and it’s just corn and soybeans. Nothing else.” For decades, American agriculture has held up farms like the one run by Stimpert’s cousins as the model, mass producing raw materials for foodstuffs to efficiently feed a growing population. That’s still a profitable way to farm, and it’s still the dominant approach to agriculture in the United States. But a growing number of people, including Stimpert, see a great deal of value in the more traditional approach. Stimpert, inaugurated as the 25th president of Hampden-Sydney College in April, also sees a lot of value in its traditional approach to education. In fact, he says, “The world needs Hampden-Sydney more now than at any time in our 240-plus years of existence.” The college’s first president, Samuel Stanhope Smith, defined the mission about the time classes began in November 1775: “To form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning.” The college’s current task, Stimpert says, “is to double down on our mission.” One of only three men’s colleges The mission is limited to men. Hampden-Sydney, in fact, is one of just three all-male, four-year colleges left in the United States. The other two are Morehouse College in Atlanta and Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. It’s a system that works very effectively for some male students. “I was a far better student in college than I was in high school,” says Greg Danahy, a 2008 Hampden-Sydney graduate and president of the college’s Roanoke alumni chapter.  Hampden-Sydney’s single-sex education wasn’t the only reason he improved as a student, but Danahy says it helped. During the week, Danahy played soccer — he was recruited to play for the college — and studied. He didn’t worry about what women in his classes thought of his comments or his questions because there weren’t any women students. But he wasn’t living a monastic life. “If you go to Hampden-Sydney on a fall weekend, and you know nothing about it, if you just showed up, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell it was an all-male school,” Danahy says. “But Monday through Friday, that distraction wasn’t there.” Hampden-Sydney’s size helps students focus, too. The school has just over 1,000 students on its 1,340-acre campus. That means small classes and lots of contact with professors. “My biggest class while I was there was 31 students,” Danahy says. “It was an intro to psych class. My smallest was my second-semester rhetoric [class]. There were four of us. That wasn’t an elective. That wasn’t a specialty course. Every single student at Hampden-Sydney has to take rhetoric.” Danahy’s adviser regularly invited students to dinner. Once, when Danahy was struggling to prepare for a psychology exam, he called his professor. It was about 10 p.m. the night before the test. The professor came to campus to make sure his student understood the material. Hampden-Sydney professors, Danahy says, “are so invested in you, if you’re trying, they’re not going to let you fail.” That kind of attention doesn’t come solely from professors.   “If you’re not around, if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing, your peers are going to realize it. Your professor’s going to realize it. The dean’s going to realize it — who knows you by your first name,” Danahy says. “He’s going to walk up behind you in the commons and put his hand on your shoulder and ask you why you haven’t been doing such and such.” ‘A brotherhood’ That “such and such” may involve more than academics. “Ever since we were founded in 1775,” Stimpert says, “this has been a place where we’ve always emphasized a lot of character development in addition to the academic training.” Hampden-Sydney’s honor code says students “will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.” The conduct code demands they “behave as a gentleman at all times and in all places.” The system requires Hampden-Sydney students to police themselves and their peers. “Our students live with those codes,” Stimpert says. “They enforce them themselves. We have a strong emphasis on self-government here.” The new college president believes the old system works. “Almost every alum I’ve talked with tells me how this place has transformed him in powerful ways,” Stimpert says. That experience builds a powerful bond. “We talk about the college as a brotherhood,” Stimpert says. “I would say what really strikes me about that brotherhood is it’s certainly something that extends far beyond the four years our students are here on campus.” The Princeton Review, for example, says Hampden-Sydney has the ninth-best alumni network in the country. “That puts us ahead of every Ivy League college except for Dartmouth,” Stimpert says, “and I tell people we’re going to beat them soon.” Dartmouth is second on the list. Wabash is No. 1. Rhetoric is mandatory One aspect of the academic program that may seem old-fashioned is fairly new, by Hampden-Sydney standards. The rhetoric program will celebrate its 40th year in 2018. Every Hampden-Sydney student must take two semesters of rhetoric and pass a rhetoric proficiency exam, a three-hour essay-writing exercise. No one graduates without passing that exam. “It really helps shape the kind of student you can expect to be walking across the stage at Hampden-Sydney,” Danahy says. The experience also helps after stepping off the stage. “I think it separated me from my peers with my ability to communicate,” he says. “People notice if you’re a well-spoken and well-written person.” Stimpert agrees. “I do think that’s a marquee program for us, and it’s so important, young men being able to express themselves well,” he says. “All the time I have alumni telling me, ‘You know, the rhetoric program at Hampden-Sydney College, it’s the best thing I ever did.’ I have alumni tell me, ‘I’ve become the editor of my department or unit or office. Nobody hands anything in to the boss until the Hampden-Sydney guy has read it.’” Such an education is not without its burdens. “I had one alum come up and say, ‘Hampden-Sydney ruined me,’” says Stimpert, “and I said, ‘How’s that?’ And he said, ‘I can’t stand bad writing now, and it’s everywhere.’” Even with the program’s vaunted reputation, it doesn’t try to turn all Hampden-Sydney grads into poets and playwrights. According to Gordon Neal, a 2009 Hampden-Sydney graduate and the college’s director of communications and marketing, the most popular employment fields among recent graduates are banking, finance and management. Those recent graduates are earning $45,000 to $50,000 annually. A challenging business model Hampden-Sydney’s honor code and its emphasis on rhetoric connect it to its past, but the school also is looking toward its future. The oldest section of the college’s Winston Hall was constructed in 1880 to serve as the library of Hampden-Sydney’s theological seminary. (The school, now known as Union Presbyterian Seminary, moved to Richmond in 1898.) The newer parts of the building were added in 1936 and 1962. A $4.7 million renovation completed this spring has turned the building into Brinkley Hall, home of the new Joe Viar and Bonnie Christ Center for the Arts. Brinkley Hall is scheduled to open in August. The $11 million Brown Student Center — the college’s first student center — will house the Flemming Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, part of the college’s push for experiential learning. New and refurbished buildings are nice, but their price tags illustrate a challenge facing virtually every American college. “I’m a business professor by training,” Stimpert says. “I think the business model around higher education is very challenging.” The enterprise is, as Stimpert points out, “very labor intensive.” That is particularly true at a small liberal-arts college with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1. “The big change over the last 20, 30 years is that colleges have also become very capital intensive, too,” Stimpert says. Technology, labs, athletic facilities — are all expensive, he says, and that means a modern college needs a diverse stream of revenue. Tuition and fees must be supplemented through endowments and fundraising campaigns, so a modern college president must be adept at rainmaking as well as scholarship. All that seems to come together for Stimpert, who says Hampden-Sydney will distinguish itself in the marketplace by providing a better college experience for young men than they can find anywhere else. “You go into these jobs because you want to make a difference,” Stimpert says. “I think there is nothing more valuable than educating young people, preparing young people to go on to have lives of consequence.” 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC_8673.png Randy Raggio at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business. Photo by Rick DeBerry http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/change-is-in-the-air Change is in the air http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/change-is-in-the-air http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/change-is-in-the-air#When:08:00:00Z What is changing in executive education? A spot check of programs across the state offers a number of different answers: courses tailored to company needs, increasing use of executive education as an employee retention tool and the growing influence of societal shifts on corporate cultures. At the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, customization is king. “There has been a big shift from open enrollment to more custom engagement,” says Randy Raggio, associate dean and executive director of executive education at the business school. He estimates that during the past several years about 80 percent of the executive education programs at Robins fell into the custom category. Raggio points to recent clients who had specific, urgent needs. In one instance, a century-old industrial organization wanted a program providing employees with the latest thinking in a variety of disciplines. “We worked with six projects of strategic importance to the company,” Raggio says. “The whole program culminates in a presentation to the executive team.” The projects ranged from strategic thinking to marketing to finance. In every instance, Raggio says, classes are crafted around specific projects and outcomes. For another client, a growing health-care company, the executive education team worked more like a consulting firm, drawing in expertise from various corners of the university in addition to the business school. “We did nearly everything from infrastructure development to helping them find a new software provider,” Raggio says. At times, depending on the needs of the clients, the business school’s executive education teams will draw on expertise from UR’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies, its School of Law and faculty members in areas ranging from software development to marketing. “We leverage everybody,” Raggio says. Joanne Even, business development director of executive education at the Robins School, adds that there is also a growing recognition that, besides technical skills, modern leaders must have soft skills to communicate with employees. “It’s the social intelligence that helps,” Even says, referring to the ability to negotiate complex social relationships and environments. “People are working much more collaboratively,” Raggio adds. Keeping millennials onboard At the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary, Associate Dean Ken White says companies increasingly are using executive education as a retention tool. “Keeping major talent has become an issue for organizations,” White says. Emerging leaders and executives expect companies to invest in them, White says. Retaining millennials — who have displaced baby boomers as America’s largest generation — has become a special priority. “Most millennials are not going to a job to stay for 20 years,” White says, adding companies need to show how much they want them to stay on. While that approach may seem old school, White says improved listening skills set executives apart in a world that is becoming increasingly distracted by a barrage of cellphone calls, texts and emails. “Because of the continuous rise of technology … there’s a greater emphasis on communications,” White says. “The impactful communicator rises to the top.” Changing people James Shaeffer, founding dean of the College of Continuing Education and Professional Development at Old Dominion University, says the role of executive training has taken a new direction during his time in the field. The “feel-good” kind of training is not what companies and organizations are looking for, Shaeffer says. “We have to show how we are changing people,” he says, noting that simply checking a box to show that someone took a program is no longer sufficient. Many of the students Shaeffer and his ODU colleagues see are from the civilian side of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk. The courses most in demand at Fleet Forces Command deal with cybersecurity, procurement, finance and leadership, and not everyone on the class rolls typically has had the same level of training. “You’re going to have a group of students coming to the classroom with varying degrees of expertise. You have to be flexible,” Shaeffer says. As in much of executive education, the learning is collaborative, interactive and collegial, Shaeffer says, with everyone contributing to the conversation.  “Those who have great knowledge teach those who don’t,” Shaeffer says. New corporate culture Michaela Bearden, director at the Center for Corporate Education at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, says market trends are driving many aspects of executive education. The field also is being influenced by cultural shifts in society as multiple generations and different ethnicities interact in the workplace. “More companies want to change their own culture,” Bearden says, and one of the most important steps in that process can be executive education. She says every company is looking for something a little different, and the most successful faculties are those that can adapt their research to companies’ needs, creating an environment for practical learning. “Even with rapid advances in technology, people management and leadership continue to be among the most important skills,” Bearden says. But in a marketplace that is always in flux, she adds that executives also need a high degree of emotional intelligence, flexibility and a creative streak to stay relevant. As a generational shift occurs in the workplace, and technology drives an all-day workday, Bearden says, there is increasing attention on topics that help people “meld their personal lives into their working lives. They’re looking for more work-life balance.” One of the advantages of being affiliated with a major research university such as VCU, Bearden says, is that teaching and training is never stagnant. Faculty members are immersed in research that provides executives with an ever-changing knowledge base. But she suggests that the bar is rising for executive education faculty. “Instructors,” Bearden says, “need to be strong storytellers … be capable of facilitating discussions and have real world credibility. They also have to be adaptable and excellent listeners.” Different learning styles Programs adapt to the rapidly shifting requirements of businessAt George Mason University in Northern Virginia, executive education leaders are looking at different kinds of learning styles that corporations and the federal government — some of the university’s biggest executive education clients — are demanding to meet their evolving needs. Brad Dawson, executive director of Mason’s Learning Solutions, says that clients are focusing more on the composite of their employees’ learning experiences, rather than just a particular degree. As a result, badging has become more prominent — giving employees credit for experiences and events that add to their professional portfolio and for skills learned in the process. Participation in webinars, conferences and MOOCs (massive open online courses) — courses of study made available over the internet without charge to a very large number of people — are all ways that employees can earn badges, Dawson says. Dawson says another shift has been that executive education is now more often a melding of disciplines rather than a single rigid program. “We pull pieces of programs from across the university based on the requirements of that customer. We like the fact that industries and companies are interested in education in a different way,” Dawson says. Roy Hinton, associate dean of executive education at Mason, says he recently participated in a multidisciplinary effort for a group of 30 participants that involved business faculty, as well as faculty from performing arts, technology and engineering. “This is not your mama’s executive education anymore,” Dawson says with a laugh. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/_MG_1158DataCenter.png Kevin Snead site director for QTS’ Richmond data center, and Brian Johnston, chief technology officer. Photo by Jay Paul http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/data-center-dazzle Data-center dazzle http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/data-center-dazzle http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/data-center-dazzle#When:08:00:00Z Loudoun County is an industry giant when it comes to data centers, and Buddy Rizer has a book to prove it. On a coffee table in his office at Loudoun’s economic development department is a book titled “Goliath” that commemorates a record in data-center construction. It’s the story of how Loudoun worked with CyrusOne, one of the country’s largest data center operators, to complete a 220,000-square-foot data center in Sterling in 180 days. Six months is the shortest construction time ever for a center that size.  “From drawings on the desk to open-the-doors ready, it’s really a powerful story,” says Rizer, the county’s executive director of economic development whom many consider the dean of data centers in Virginia. Getting centers online is a story that’s been playing out in Loudoun for the past decade. That’s when Rizer joined the county’s economic development staff and decided to expand upon the fiber-rich internet infrastructure already there.  Put in place in the 1990s when major telecom companies such as America Online and WorldCom invested in miles of fiber, the digital infrastructure gave Loudoun an edge in moving forward with what is now the superhighway to the internet on the East Coast.    With bountiful land and affordable, reliable electricity, Rizer says Loudoun’s data-center industry took off. “We went all in,” says Rizer, who obtained industry certifications and traveled the country speaking at data-center conferences. He credits Dominion Energy for being a strong marketing partner, with utility officials sometimes co-presenting with Rizer.  “Their participation, their partnership has been a critical function in the pace of the growth of Loudoun County,” he says. Today, Loudoun is the No. 1 data center market in the country. It says that 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic passes through Ashburn daily. Some of the country’s largest operators — Digital Realty Trust, Equinix, Amazon Web Services, DuPont Fabros — have massive facilities in “Data Center Alley.”  The site is broadly defined as a 6-mile radius around the intersection of Waxpool Road and Loudoun County Parkway, home to the largest concentration of data centers in the world. Currently, Loudoun has 10 million square feet of data center space, with another 4.5 million in the pipeline. In addition, 43 new sites are available for use by data centers. “It’s the Manhattan of the internet,” says Allen Tucker, a managing director in the Tysons Corner office for commercial real estate firm JLL who specializes in data centers.  “If you’re in the financial services world, you need to be at 200 Wall St.  But if you’re in data centers, the hub is at Loudoun County Parkway and Waxpool.” Loudoun’s 75 data centers house equipment for more than 3,000 technology companies and generate about  $160 million a year in local tax revenue. They have served as a major economic driver, Rizer says, in an affluent county whose largest budgetary debate this year was  “do we add an 8 or 9 percent increase to the school budget?” Nearby Prince William County also has jumped on the bandwagon. The county has more than 3 million square feet of data center space and recently approved a new zoning district designating 10,000 acres to support new development. While Northern Virginia is undisputedly the hub, the spokes of this burgeoning industry are spreading to other areas of Virginia. Data centers have opened everywhere from Wise County in the far Southwest to Mecklenburg County in Southern Virginia, providing jobs and tax revenue in areas hard hit by the loss of traditional industries, such as coal mining and textiles. Meanwhile, Virginia Beach soon will have the first transoceanic cable station in the mid-Atlantic. Microsoft, Facebook and Telefonica, a Spanish telecom company, have joined forces to build a 4,000-mile undersea cable that will connect Virginia to a data hub in Bilbao, Spain. With a bandwidth about 16 million times the size of a home internet connection, the cable will provide Europe with a super-fast connection. It will carve a more efficient path not only to Europe, but to Africa, the Middle East and Asia — markets internet companies look to for new customers. “This has the potential to be a game changer for Hampton Roads,” says Rob McClintock, a vice president of research with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. “This gives them a platform to kick-start other industries that need that big-data infrastructure.” Not many jobs Data centers, which house computer servers for thousands of companies, are viewed as pillars of the global digital economy. Yet critics point out that, aside from their construction, they don’t create many permanent jobs.  The jobs they do provide, however, pay well: $105,942 a year on average in 2014, according to a recent study done for the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).  Since jobs aren’t the draw, why are so many communities trying to attract data centers? “They help pay the bills,” says McClintock.  Data centers are capital-intensive projects, he notes, with sophisticated computer equipment that needs updating nearly every three years. That translates into millions of dollars in local tax revenues.  To get a sense of the capital investment, consider Microsoft’s project in Mecklenburg County. With five expansions since the center’s construction in 2010, Microsoft has invested nearly $2 billion and created 250 jobs at what is its East Coast hub for online services.   In Wise County, DP Facilities Inc. recently opened a $65 million data center with top-level security. It is expected to create 40 jobs during the next three years in the areas of technology, facility management and security. “Locally, we envision the entire Southwest Virginia region as the state’s next secure technology corridor,” says Marc Silverstein, a spokesman for New York-based DP Facilities. “Here’s what it offers: affordable power, connectivity, an ideal climate, a location away from population centers and flood zones, with room for growth.” With the movement to cloud computing and the increased use of mobile applications and social networks, global internet traffic continues to explode. According to a Cisco report, that traffic soon will support up to 10 billion new devices and connections, increasing from 16.3 billion in 2015 to 26.3 billion by 2020. Brian Johnston, chief technology officer for QTS, a publicly traded data-center real estate investment trust that operates 25 data centers, says,  “There’s plenty of growth ahead,” and Virginia is well positioned to share in that growth. “It’s one of the best data-center markets in the world,” he says, with reasonable land and power costs, access to fiber and tax incentives. Dominion Energy charges 5.2 cents per kilowatt hour for large data centers, with slightly higher prices for small centers, according to Stan Blackwell, a director of customer service and strategic partnerships for Dominion in Richmond. “We’re very competitive. We have some of the lowest data-center rates in the nation.” Data centers represent Dominion’s fastest growing customer segment, he adds, with about 7 percent of the company’s retail portfolio consisting of data centers. QTS, based in Overland Park, Kan., bought a former computer chip plant — built by Motorola and Siemens — in Henrico’s White Oak Technology Park and converted it into a data center. QTS purchased the sprawling, 210-acre complex in 2010 for $12 million after the building’s subsequent owner, Qimonda, filed for bankruptcy.  Since then, Johnston says, the company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to transform the complex into a mega data center. It currently has 500,000 square feet of data storage space in three buildings, and QTS hopes to expand to 1.5 million square feet.  Touring a center A visit to QTS in Henrico and a Sabey  data center in Ashburn offers a firsthand look into the high-security world of data centers. While these places store information designed to promote human interaction, they are designed to keep intruders out. On the outside, the centers look formidable. They are surrounded by black crash fencing, electronic razor fences and guard stations. Inside, closed-circuit cameras guard the premises, and visitors are escorted down windowless halls to rooms accessible only by fingerprint or iris recognition.  The rooms, with high ceilings and raised floors, house hundreds of thousands of servers. They sit on racks in steel cages and emit soft colors as they blink and hum while storing the internet communications of people and businesses from around the world. Grills in the floor at QTS allow cool air to flow in from large air conditioning units so the computer equipment, which runs 24/7, doesn’t overheat. Sabey relies on a Kyoto wheel, a thermal wheel system for distributing air, to cool its servers. In the event of a power interruption, data centers have diesel generators and battery backup to assure uninterrupted service.  “This is their business, their lifeblood operating right here,” Johnston says, pointing to cages where customers lease space. QTS’ customers include health-care, financial service and high-tech companies. Storage isn’t cheap, because data centers are expensive to build. Robert Rockwood, president of Sabey Data Centers, based in New York, said the buildings cost $1,000 to $2,000 per square foot, compared with about $250 per square foot for an office building. Sabey’s 140,000-square-foot center in Ashburn offers 10 megawatts of power and employs about 35 people. Incentives To attract data centers, some localities offer incentives. Henrico County recently dropped its business property tax rate on computers and related equipment for data centers from $3.50 to 40 cents per $100 of assessed value, an 88.6 percent rate cut. “No one else has done what we’ve done,” says Gary McLaren, executive director of Henrico’s economic development authority.  “The only folks that are even close are Prince William County, and they’re at $1.25.” Henrico’s tax break comes on top of a state exemption from the retail sales and use tax.  Passed in 2009, the exemption applies to computer equipment bought or leased for use in a data center — an incentive the General Assembly recently extended until 2035. To be eligible, a facility must be located in Virginia, generate a capital investment of at least $150 million and create 50 jobs at wages 50 percent above the prevailing local wage (a requirement reduced to 25 percent in high-unemployment areas). hile some naysayers dismiss centers as big ugly boxes that suck up power and provide few jobs, supporters view them as stable business partners. “Our tenants are long term. There’s not a lot of turnover,” says Kevin Snead, site director at QTS’ Richmond data center. Or as Rizer points out: “We have all become content creators. All those tweets and instagrams. That demand will continue to grow.” 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/business-related-legislation Business-related legislation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/business-related-legislation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/business-related-legislation#When:08:00:00Z Even though this year’s session was short, the Virginia General Assembly passed several notable business-related bills. Below is some legislation of interest. Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) reform (HB2471/SB1574): The legislation was created in response to a 2016 Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report that deemed VEDP was poorly run and had inadequate oversight of its incentives program. The law creates an internal auditor to monitor VEDP’s operations, stipulates that the board update a strategic plan every two years and creates a division responsible for monitoring incentives. The legislation reduces the number of VEDP board members from 24 to 17, requires that all nine regions of GO Virginia be represented on the board and stipulates the GO Virginia board chairman and the executive director of the Port of Virginia serve on the board. The Virginia International Trade division, which in 2016 was slated to be created as a separate state entity, will remain under VEDP. Funds to remain with Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA): McAuliffe vetoed a budget item that would have diverted $500,000 from the VCEDA to the Lenowisco and Cumberland Plateau planning district commissions to support international investment in Southwest Virginia. In a statement addressing the veto, McAuliffe said several communities had asked him to veto the measure. He said those initiatives could be handled by GO Virginia. Port of Virginia board of commissioners (HB2367/SB1415): The legislation says the governor may remove members of the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners before the expiration of their term only for cause. Previously, members of the board served “at the pleasure of the governor.” In 2011, then-Gov. Bob McDonnell replaced 10 of 11 members of the board. McAuliffe removed five members soon after he became governor in 2014. Airbnb/short-term rentals (SB1578): Gives localities the option to require residents offering short-term rentals of their properties (less than 30 days) to register. The bill allows localities to impose penalties of up to $500 per violation. Alcohol at outside commercial centers (HB1987/SB1391): Creates a new nonretail alcohol license for commercial lifestyle centers. Allows commercial centers with at least 100,000 square feet of space and covering at least 25 acres to apply for a license that would allow patrons to carry open alcoholic drinks in the common areas. Solar power (HB2303/SB1394): The General Assembly passed several bills encouraging the development of solar energy. HB 2303 establishes a way for agricultural facilities to sell solar-generated electricity to a utility. Other legislation created solar pilot programs, increased the size of renewable projects eligible for a permit by rule process and authorized localities to create “green development zones” that provide tax and zoning incentives to energy-efficient buildings or manufacturers of products beneficial to the environment.  Education (HB2341): Requires that the Board of Education include at least two members representing business and industry in the private sector. “We’re hoping that businesspeople can be at the table and help shape the development of what will be high school redesign, and be a partner in establishing skillsets needed for the 21st century,” says Keith Martin, vice president for public policy and general counsel for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Regulatory legislation HB1943/SB1431: Requires the Department of Planning and Budget to consider input from the business community or other affected entities when the agency conducts an economic impact analysis. HB1731: Requires the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules to review state agencies’ exemptions under the Administrative Process Act.  According to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, about 45 to 50 percent of state agencies are exempt from the law, which requires agencies to hold public hearings and provide notice before implementation of regulations. The process would determine whether the exemptions are still necessary. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/GENASSEMB_Dubby_Go_Virginia_08.png Dubby Wynne, chairman of the GO Virginia board. Photo by Andre Teauge/Bristol Herald Courier http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/on-the-go On the go http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/on-the-go http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/on-the-go#When:08:00:00Z A new economic initiative took up only a few lines in this year’s budget bill, but its impact is galvanizing hundreds of business leaders around Virginia. Momentum behind the Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity in Each Region  — GO Virginia — is accelerating rapidly. The initiative encourages regional cooperation on economic development projects ranging from joint site development to workforce programs aimed at closing the skills gap. GO Virginia was created by legislative framework in the 2016 General Assembly session and survived the budget ax in a year when the state government was facing a $1.25 billion shortfall.   The program will receive $28 million in the current two-year budget. That is down from $36 million the program was slated to receive last year. Gov. Terry McAuliffe originally had proposed cutting $15 million from last year’s funding plan, but the General Assembly restored half of that, $7.5 million. “We’re creating more higher paying jobs and incentivizing collaboration, primarily from out-of-state revenue, to diversify the economy in every region of the commonwealth,” says John “Dubby” Wynne, chairman of the 24-member GO Virginia board, which will oversee grants distributed by the program. Work on the program is escalating quickly. This spring, more than 300 people attended the GO Virginia Orientation Conference in Richmond. Nine regional councils, which were certified by the GO Virginia board in April, are preparing funding requests to develop regional economic diversification plans that will govern how the program’s money is spent. These councils, 15 to 27 members each, read like a who’s who of business leaders around the state, including K-VA-T Food Stores CEO Steve Smith, Carilion Clinic President and CEO Nancy Agee, lawyers Tom Frantz of Williams Mullen and Richard Cullen of McGuireWoods, Northern Virginia Community College President Scott Ralls and Bill Goodwin, chairman emeritus of CCA Industries Inc. The regional priority plans will be submitted to the GO Virginia board starting in late summer for approval. “We’re going to use those priorities outlined in those plans — which are deep-thinking and data-driven — as the milestones against which every grant submission should be judged,” says Wynne. After that, localities can begin to apply for grants.  “I think GO Virginia legislation could be the most transformational legislation to help economic competitiveness in 20 years,” says Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The chamber plans to incorporate the regional plans into its Blueprint Virginia 2025, a business plan for the commonwealth that the group is updating. “The fact that cities and counties don’t grow along political boundaries is being recognized,” says DuVal. “Cities and counties grow along economic boundaries.” So what programs are likely to be funded? “Creativity is the only limitation here,” says Wynne. Under the program, localities can work together to apply for grants on projects aligned with plans developed by the regional councils. The projects likely will fall into efforts such as workforce development, business incubators and accelerators, joint site development and scale-up programs for small and midsize businesses. The legislation specifies that early efforts should be placed on addressing skills gaps in the workforce. Grant requests must come from at least two localities and provide non-state funding that is at least equal to what the grants are seeking from the state. Waivers can be granted for applicants from economically distressed areas that would require projects to match only 50 percent. GO Virginia grants will be administered from two pots of money. About $11 million will be divided among the nine regions based on population. Projects will compete against one another for another statewide pot of $11 million. All grants will need to be approved by both the regional council and the GO Virginia board. They will be scored against a regional council’s diversification plan and evaluated on economic impact, non-state financial contributions, number of localities involved, compatibility with existing programs and project savings anticipated. Grants may assist existing programs if they expand to additional localities, or they broaden their scope. Another legislative action from 2016 will encourage localities to work together to secure major investments in the commonwealth. The Virginia Collaborative Economic Development Act encourages localities to collaborate in attracting major investment from companies. The law allows localities, who can show they worked jointly on attracting a project to the region, to receive up to 45 percent of personal income taxes generated from the new jobs for six years. That legislation applies to projects creating at least 200 jobs paying above the median wage for a region and a capital investment of at least $25 million.  A provision in the law allows requirements to be lowered to 25 new jobs and $1 million of capital investment in cases of fiscal distress or “extraordinary economic opportunity” for the localities.  “That’s the first time the cities and localities have had an interest in creating jobs together,” says Wynne. “That’s why they’ve always fought over the years on who gets the property taxes.” The GO Virginia board will determine whether the localities can receive the grants. Another related bill from 2016 created the Virginia Research Investment Committee, which will oversee grants made to help commercialize research at universities. Four members of GO Virginia’s board will serve on the committee. GO Virginia is unique. When developing the legislation, GO Virginia supporters studied smaller regional initiatives  in Georgia, Indiana, Michigan and Colorado. “These states had pieces of programs that were instructive to our thinking,” says Christopher Lloyd of McGuireWoods Consulting. “We cobbled together some good ideas from each of those and put a Virginia stamp on it.” Already, other states are interested in Virginia’s regional approach. “This is a bottom-up approach based on regional priorities,” says Wynne. “The beauty of this is that, for the first time, the state is asking each region to identify its priorities and then saying, ‘Ok, you are in charge of getting this done. We’ll help you, but you’re in charge.’” 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Biltz-3092.png “We build the infrastructure,” Tim Biltz says. “We’re the new roads” for data traffic. Photos by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ongoing-transformation Ongoing transformation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ongoing-transformation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ongoing-transformation#When:08:00:00Z Tim Biltz, the president and CEO of Lumos Networks, has been leading a $425 million transformation of the Waynesboro-based company since he took the reins five years ago. His goal has been to turn the former landline telephone division of NTELOS Holdings Corp. into a major developer of advanced fiber networks in the mid-Atlantic. “We build the infrastructure,” Biltz says. “We’re the new roads” for data traffic. Lumos provides local telephone service to 22,500 homes in its rural local exchange carrier (RLEC) territory, a business it plans to keep.  But Biltz made it clear in his first message to the Lumos staff that telephone services would not be the company’s primary business. “We wanted to bring the energy of a startup” to the company, he says. “We wanted to build the technologies of the future.” Lumos had total revenue of $206.9 million in 2016, up more than 1 percent from the prior year. The company ended the year with a net loss of $500,000, or 2 cents per diluted share. Total adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $95.1 million, up more than 3 percent. The company was spun off as a separate, publicly traded company in 2011 by NTELOS Holdings, the parent company of the Ntelos Wireless phone system.  Nearly six years later, the Ntelos brand has disappeared. The company was sold last year for $640 million to Edinburg-based Shenandoah Telecommunications. Lumos is being sold, too, but it expects its name recognition to grow.  EQT Infrastructure, a unit of the Swedish private equity firm EQT, plans to buy the company for  $950 million in cash, $18 a share. Lumos shareholders approved the deal in late May. The acquisition is expected to be completed during this year’s third quarter. Biltz says the EQT deal will allow it to continue to pursue a growth strategy that is already underway. Lumos has a 10,907-route-mile fiber-optic network serving 26 markets in seven states. That network includes an 822-mile expansion in the Richmond area and Hampton Roads. It was completed during the past three years as the result of separate projects serving two customers, HCA Virginia and a major wireless phone company that Lumos declines to identify. The expansion offers Lumos the opportunity to serve other potential customers near the network that want faster internet and better ways to handle their data. The company also provides private networks to customers that have multiple locations. Lumos also has made two recent acquisitions. One was the purchase of Raleigh, N.C.-based Clarity Communications, a fiber network company with experience serving military installations. Lumos estimates that 409 military bases are within its network footprint. The second deal involved DC74 Data Centers in Charlotte, N.C. The two deals added seven data centers to Lumos’ existing group of seven. The company now connects to a total of 43 data centers. Lumos’ expansion into Hampton Roads has presented it with a huge new opportunity.  Its network there lies within a half mile of the Virginia Beach landing site for undersea cables. (Two cables, MAREA from Spain and BRUSA originating in Brazil, are expected to become active over the next 12 months.) Lumos will offer an alternative route to cable users wanting to connect with data centers in Ashburn, known as the Data Center Capital of the World. Rather than follow heavily used fiber routes along Interstate 95, Lumos’ path will follow I-64 and Route 29 to Ashburn. The route also provides access to data centers in other cities along its path, including Richmond. Before becoming president and CEO of Lumos, Biltz was chief operating officer of SpectraSite Inc., a publicly traded wireless and broadcast signal tower company. He also is a former director and chairman of the board of IPCS Inc. and served on the NTELOS Holdings board from 2006 to May 2014. Biltz lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and two sons. A history buff, his goal is to take his family  to all of the U.S. National Parks during their summer vacations. The Lumos CEO acknowledges that the company’s transition has been tough at times  and praises the commitment and perseverance of his 600 employees. “There are many people that work for Lumos today that have told me they thought they were being cast away” when the company was spun off in 2011,  Biltz says. But today, “they’re so happy they landed in this lifeboat.  They’re very excited to have gone through this.” Virginia Business interviewed Biltz at his Waynesboro office in mid-April. The following is an edited transcript. Virginia Business: [Who are your primary customers?] Biltz: We have two main customer segments [in the company’s data business, wireless carriers and enterprises]. With our wireless carriers … we bring the backhaul [the fiber connection to the core wireless system] to the towers.  So, as opposed to fighting the wireless replacement [of landline phones], we embraced it.  We do think it’s the best and most friendly way to bring broadband services to many parts of the country.  We enable the wireless carriers in that technology, and once we built those networks for the wireless carriers, we began offering enterprise services: high-end private networks and high-end Ethernet services … to what we like to call the “large locals” like banking, local government, midsize [companies] and universities. VB:  Let’s talk now about the acquisition by EQT.  Why did Lumos decide to sell? Biltz:  There wasn’t a lot of interest in the company in 2012 or ’13 because 90 percent of our business was in [long-term] decline. Revenues were dropping, and cash flows were dropping … Fiber has become very strategic to many companies because they’re mission critical.  Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix are big consumers of these products for content, delivery and connectivity, and the wireless operators also are investing heavily. There’s been a lot of consolidation in this industry.  We expected [inquiries from potential buyers] to come and they did.  We had conversations, I think, with [more than 10] companies …  EQT is a very well-known private equity firm that is based in Stockholm, and a few years ago it decided to make a major move into the U.S.  EQT created a $4 billion infrastructure fund, and we’re going to be the first investment in that fund. ... They want to use us as a platform to make continued investments in the infrastructure space, and they were willing to pay our shareholders the most money to do that. VB:  How will that change Lumos? Biltz:  At a strategic level, all the capital that we have invested we were able to raise through debt.  I’ve raised no equity since I’ve been here … Between cash that we generated from the business and new debt facilities, we were able to invest $425 million [in the company’s transformation].  For us to grow to the next level, the company was going to have to use equity [to keep the company within appropriate leverage ratios, its mixture of equity and debt].  I think the opportunity that it presents us is to begin to scale our acquisition strategy.  We’ve done a couple [of acquisitions].  We did those with cash, but they were relatively small.  I would suspect that we will continue our investment strategy by redeploying our cash flows into good projects that we grow organically, but I think we will be more apt to participate in out-of-market acquisitions to scale the business. VB:  Would those be within your existing area or would you be looking to grow outside of your territory now? Biltz:  I would say ... the value of the network is in its contiguous nature so that we can offer customers a broader reach.  We think about scale being density, not geographic reach.  If we could find a business, and we’ve looked at some, where if we could find a geography where the fiber was dense enough and we could replicate our “go-to-market” strategy, we would entertain it, but they’re few and far between … The data-center investment strategy doesn’t need to be tied to the fiber strategy. We just acquired a [data center] business down in Charlotte.  We really like that business.  We acquired a fiber network in North Carolina as our move to broaden our reach. If we found a data center in a market that wasn’t exactly [in our footprint],  but was in close proximity, it doesn’t have to be on the network for us to make that investment. VB:  Tell us about your moves into Richmond and Hampton Roads. Biltz:  Flashback to 2012 and ’13 … We asked four questions.  What’s selling?  What’s not?  What are we making money on?  What are we losing money on? ... It became apparent that, for us to grow the business, we had to do two things.  One, we had to work through a technology evolution, going from an old technology … in our enterprise business to one of Ethernet and dark fiber and fiber. Second, for us to grow … we were also going to have to improve market share. While we have nice market share in what we call our core markets, or the original markets the company was in, we felt that we needed a greater market opportunity.  We had a customer, HCA, [which wanted an Ethernet network connecting key facilities and offices to its Richmond data center. Lumos created] what I call a boutique network in Richmond that was able to service HCA.  I call it a boutique because there wasn’t a lot more we could do with that network.  It was pretty much a private network for them. But had we not gone into Richmond in that manner, we would have never had the opportunity to bid on a project with a wireless carrier that ultimately brought us a substantial multiyear contract to build out a network in Richmond and Norfolk.  So taking care of HCA led us to the opportunity to bid on a bigger project … We went from being a boutique provider in Richmond and nonexistent in Norfolk to being what we call the lead competitive fiber provider ... What that did is, with about a 10 percent increase in our total miles, it [increased] our market opportunity [by 65 percent], and  that gave us the path to growth.  VB:   That brings me to talking about the cables in Virginia Beach; you didn’t know about that [before expanding into Hampton Roads]?  Biltz:   I was lucky, just lucky.  I’ve been lucky my whole career, but that was the luckiest one …  [The planned undersea cable connections] changed the profile of the company.  We are connected to many data centers in the Ashburn area.  We were fortunate in that the state of Virginia is to be the largest internet access point in the world … I think you are going to see substantial data-center development in the Norfolk area.  You’re going to see substantial traffic.  We have some express routes that we hope to provide to those carriers that want to get from Virginia Beach into Ashburn and to other access points throughout the country.  It’s very exciting for the region.  VB:   So tell me about your strategy. I have heard something about an alternative route to Ashburn, correct?  Biltz:   If you think about those big pipes going international, whether they’re coming from Brazil or Spain, they have to go somewhere once they get here. Some of those destinations are going to be data centers that are located in Virginia Beach, but there’s very few that will not want to get to Ashburn, and everybody that has traffic wants redundancy.  A company typically will have two diverse paths because fiber cuts happen; accidents happen.  We have a very solid, diverse option that will be able to go from Virginia Beach to Ashburn without going up the 95 corridor where there’s a lot of traffic.  VB:   Let’s talk a little bit about Clarity Communications.  So I understand that is in part a strategy to approach potential military clients?  Biltz :  Yes,  it is.  I’ve known the company for a long time. It has very talented executives, a small team … and they built a really terrific business servicing the military and government businesses throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. They had gotten to a point, like a lot of small companies, that they needed capital to upgrade their network and to reinvest significantly.  The opportunity to bring them into the Lumos family was one that they were excited about, because they could continue to invest in their network and bring their skill set to our military bases.  There are [more than] 400 military facilities in and around our 10,000 miles.  We immediately put them to work, and they’ve made traction. I think we’ve sold at least two, maybe three of the accounts since we’ve started. It’s a skill set that we just didn’t have, and they know that space very well. VB:  And now you’ve also bought some data centers [from DC74]? Biltz:  Yes. Again, another entrepreneur [DC74 CEO Tareq Amin] that we’ve known for a long time … We want to bring the energy of a startup [to Lumos], bring in some really talented, skilled executives or entrepreneurs that know how to take care of customers, know how to move fast, know how to be responsive … Tareq and DC74 are perfect examples of that.  He’s got a very nice business.  He’s about less than 50 percent at capacity, and we plan to grow that business.  It won’t be the last acquisition at the end of the day, that’s for sure. VB:  That’s what I was going to ask.  Do you plan to add more? Biltz:  We like the data center business.  What we won’t do is go to Ashburn and build a big data center.  We’re not going to try to compete nationwide.  We like the large [local customers]. We think that there’s a market for large locals, and we see it in our own current data facilities.  I like to say that I look at them as equipment rooms — they’ve changed the name to data centers — providing reliable and price-competitive space and power in the right locations.  We like Charlotte.  Charlotte is a market that’s growing rapidly, and [DC74 has] the nice share of that market. We’ll integrate that into our current customers, as well.  I don’t know what the right number will be as far as the percent of our revenues, but we think … it could grow to 10, 15 percent of our revenues ... Over time, data centers will get closer to the customers.  VB:  And that path we were talking about from Virginia Beach up to Ashburn, do you already have that? Biltz:  There’s one area that we will be building to add capacity, but 90 percent of it is in place today.  VB:  Anything that we didn’t touch that you would like to mention? Biltz:  I would just say one thing: Why do people do business with us?  It is because of our people. I really want to emphasize that was part of why, I think, EQT ended up acquiring us.  We’re very transparent.  We’re very customer focused.  We’re very responsive … I’m a history buff, a [Winston] Churchill fan, so  when I try to put it in perspective where we were in our transformation, I would describe 2013 as the Battle of Britain.  We may not have won the war then, but we knew we were going to after that because we were battle hard.  We asked this team to take pay freezes.  We asked this team to give up their bonuses in order to invest in the network. [Some people expected many employees to leave, but] the lowest turnover we ever had was the year we asked our people to make a sacrifice. They saw what we were doing with the network …  bringing first-class services in … To every new employee, I tell them, “You don’t know how good a team you are joining.”  That is something that is part of the DNA of Lumos. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-june-2017 People - June 2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-june-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-june-2017#When:08:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has added several trustees:    Carly Fiorina   , former Hewlett-Packard CEO;   Conrad M. Hal   l,  former president and CEO of Norfolk-based  Dominion Enterprises;  Joseph W. M ontgomery , managing director of The Optimal Service Group of Wells Fargo Advis ors; and Gerald L. Shaheen, retired  group president of Caterpillar Inc. Janet M. Brashear has been named a director of the Colonial Williamsburg Co. (VirginiaBusiness.com)   Bil l Brundage has been named chief financial officer of Newport News-based Ferguson. He succeeds Dave Keltner. Brundage joined Ferguson in 2003, holding several positions. Most recently he was senior vice president of finance. (News release) Matt Mulherin, who helped guide Newport News Shipbuilding through a corporate spinoff and completion of a next-generation aircraft carrier, will retire as company president Aug. 1. Taking the helm will be Jennifer Boykin, the vice president of engineering and design at the shipyard. She also will serve as executive vice president at its parent company, Huntington Ingalls Industries.  (Daily Press) The Virginia Chamber of Commerce named the following executives to its board of directors: Timothy Bentley, Norfolk Southern; Gilbert T. Bland, The GilJoy Group; Bill Downey, Riverside Health System;  Jim Kibler , Virginia Natural Gas; and William Tavenner, Ferguson Enterprises.  (News release) SHENANDOAH VALLEY Ernie Carnevale, CEO of the Blue Ridge Hospice of Winchester, will retire this year. He has served as CEO since 1999. Carnevale oversaw the creation of the Inpatient Care Center in Winchester, the organization’s main office, and established satellite offices in Berryville, Front Royal and Woodstock.  During his time, Blue Ridge Hospice has grown from serving 40 patients to 250 patients a day. (Northern Virginia Daily) Misty Cook has been selected as the new finance director for Augusta County. Cook holds a bachelor's degree in management and organizational development from Eastern Mennonite University and is studying for a master's in business administration from Liberty University. She was honorably discharged from the Virginia Army National Guard. Cook comes to Augusta after serving as practice manager for Rockingham Dermatology for the past six years. (The News Virginian) Harold Felton has been named director of Mary Baldwin University’s Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant (PA) program, effective July 1. Felton has been in PA education for more than 10 years. Most recently he was the associate director at Touro College in Manhattan. (News Leader) Wyatt Pearson is Strasburg’s new town manager. Pearson, who was the town’s planning and zoning administrator, joined the Strasburg staff in fall 2014. He replaces Ryan Spitzer, who left to become town manager in Pineville, N.C. (Northern Virginia Daily) Frank M. Tamberrino, president and CEO of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, has been named to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce board of directors. (Press release) SOUTHERN VIRGINIA Dawn H. DeHart has joined Martinsville-based Carter Bank & Trust as senior vice president and director of community development lending. She is based at the bank’s Langhorne Road office in Lynchburg. The Buena Vista native has 30 years of experience in banking and finance. (News release) Joe Gravely, a nursing instructor at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) since 1988, has retired. In 1975, Gravely became the first African-American male nurse at Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County. When he started his career at PHCC, Gravely was the first male nursing instructor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Martinsville Bulletin) Kelvin G. Perry has joined the Danville Office of Economic Development as project manager. Perry assumed his responsibilities with the city on April 3. Before then, he was employed for 16 years by First State Bank as chief operating officer and then as president and CEO. (Danville Register & Bee) Loretta Reams has been hired as clerk/treasurer of the Town of Dillwyn. She has worked as a legal assistant with the America Law Group in Blackstone. (The Farmville Herald) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA Candi Blair began her role in April as executive director of Bristol’s Family Promise, which provides temporary housing and job placement assistance for homeless families. She replaces Angie Sproles, who left earlier this year to take a position with a local food bank. Blair worked for Abuse Alternatives for more than 20 years, advancing from a part-time secretary to the interim executive director position. For the last two years, she worked at Frontier Health’s corporate offices in Gray, Tenn. (Bristol Herald Courier)  Laken Brooks, a senior at Emory & Henry College in Washington County, is the college’s first Fulbright Student Award winner ever. Through the Fulbright program, Brooks will participate in the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program in Poland this fall where she will work with various departments at Polish universities teaching English as a second language. The Fulbright Program awards 8,000 grants annually, including 1,900 grants to U.S. students. (News release)  Ben Rosado is Tazewell’s new recreation director. Rosado, a native of Sterling, attended Bluefield College and majored in sports medicine. He replaces Travis Barbe, who moved from the area. (SWVAToday.com)  NORTHERN VIRGINIA San Mateo-Calif.-based Marketo has appointed  Reggie Aggarwal,  founder and CEO of Tysons-based Cvent, to its board of directors. Cvent and Marketo are owned by Vista Equity Partners. (Meetings-Conventions.com)  Herndon-based online education company K12 Inc. has named  Ai da M. Alvarez to its board of directors. Alvarez was administrator of the  U.S. Small Business Administration under President Bill Clinton. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  The following leaders of Northern Virginia-based companies have been named mid-Atlantic finalists for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award:     Rami Essaid,    co-founder and CEO, Distil Networks;   R  ohyt Belani, co-founder and CEO, PhishMe;    Ashish Kachru   , co-founder and CEO, Altruista Health;   Mike Baird  , CEO and partner,  Avizia; S ukumar Iyer, fou   nde r, president and CEO, Brillient Corp.; Carroll Ross, founder and CEO, Collaborative Solutions; Dev Ganesan, CEO, Fishbowl; Amit Puri, president and CEO, Ingenicomm; Kevin Kelly, CEO, LGS Innovations; Amy Wright, president and CEO, Macro Solutions; Joe Fluet, CEO and chairman, MAG Aerospace; Rick Torres, president and CEO, National Student Clearinghouse; George Zoulias, president, Perfecta Federal;   Julian Setian  , president and CEO, SOS International (SOSi);  Adam Vincent , CEO, ThreatConnect and Chris Spanos, CEO and co-founder, Urgent.ly. Regional award winners wil l be considered for the Entrepreneur of the Year national program, which will be announced in November. (VirginiaBusiness.com)   Adam Fried, CEO of Fredericksburg-based Atlantic Builders Ltd.; John G. Milliken, senior fellow in residence at the Schar School of Policy and Government at Fairfax-based George Mason University and Dan Pleasant, chief operating officer of Fairfax-based Dewberry, have been appointed to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce board of directors for 2017. (News release)  Christine Kallivokas, chief operating officer of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, and John “Jack” Roberts, a former Loudoun County attorney, have joined the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation board of trustees. The foundation oversees Morven Park, a 1,000-acre historic estate and horse park in Leesburg. (News release)  Reston-based cybersecurity firm Neovera Inc. has appointed Al Morisato chief operating officer. Morisato was chief operations and technology officer with the Washington, D.C.-based Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Art Richer has been named president and CEO of DLT Solutions, Herndon. Richer was president and CEO at McLean-based immixGroup, leading its sale to Arrow Electronics in 2015. (News release)  Patrick Steel, an investment banker for 16 years at FBR Capital Markets & Co., is the new CEO of Arlington-based media company Politico. Owner Robert Allbritton, who had been filling the CEO role since the departure of Jim VandeHei in early 2016, resumed his position as publisher and executive chairman in May. (Politico.com)  Nisha Thakker has been appointed senior director of strategic partnerships, a newly created position, at the Fairfax-based Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. Thakker was the organization’s associate general counsel. (News release)  CENTRAL VIRGINIA Diane Long Cafritz has been promoted to the newly created position of chief human resources officer and senior vice president at Richmond-based CarMax Inc. Cafritz joined CarMax in 2003 and was promoted to vice president in 2014. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Corey Clayborne will become executive vice president/CEO of the Richmond-based American Institute of Architects (AIA) Virginia on June 1. Clayborne will work in conjunction with departing AIA Virginia Executive Vice President/CEO Helene Combs Dreiling whose last day is June 30. Clayborne currently is a project manager and senior architect with Wiley|Wilson. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Matthew S. Gibson has been named executive director of the Charlottesville-based Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH). He will succeed Robert C. Vaughan III, who will retire in June after leading VFH for 43 years. Gibson has worked for the organization for 11 years, as its director of digital initiatives and the creator and editor of its Encyclopedia Virginia. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Hunton & Williams LLP named George C. Howell III to succeed F. William Brownell as chair of the law firm’s executive committee for the fiscal year. Brownell will serve as vice chair. Howell, who works out of the firm’s New York and Richmond offices, headed the firm’s tax and employee benefits practice. (VirginiaBusiness.com) ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce presented the following awards:    Joyce Beliveau   , owner of Beliveau Estate Winery, Accomplished Business Woman of the Year;   Kelly Kendrick,   vice president of commercial lending with First Bank & Trust, Emerging Business Woman o f the Year;   Kiyah Duffey  , owner of  Kizingo, Spirit Award;  Anne Giles , founder of Handshake M edia, Spirit Award; and  M argie Vitali, vice president of the bo ard for the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Pro gram, Community Builder Award. (The Roanoke Times)  The American Chiropractic Association re-elected Christiansburg resident N. Ray Tuck as chairman and governor of its board of governors during its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Tuck is president of Tuck Chiropractic Clinic, a group practice with 11 locations in Southwest Virginia. (News release)  Robert Wills has joined Branch Group Inc. of Roanoke as CFO. He was executive vice president and CFO of the America’s region for Germany-based M&W Group. Branch Group also promoted Melanie F. Wheeler to senior vice president and board member. She has been with The Branch Group since 1994, holding several positions, including director of accounting, vice president of administration and treasurer. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-june-2017 For the Record - June 2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-june-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-june-2017#When:08:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA Mere months after ADP employees began moving into their new customer service center, developer Frank “Buddy” Gadams has sold the downtown property for $57 million. The price is thought to be the highest for an office building in Norfolk since the Great Recession. The building, nearly 288,700 square feet, was sold to RMR Group, a real estate investment trust based near Boston. The trust has more than 1,400 properties nationwide, including 48 in Virginia. (The Virginian-Pilot) Global Technical Systems will expand operations of its Virginia Beach headquarters to allow production of composite electro-mechanical batteries. The production facility at 777 Seahawk Circle will increase by 8,000 square feet from its present 13,344 square feet. The company will invest $4.1 million in construction, furniture, fixtures, equipment, machinery and tools. Global Technical Systems also will create an additional 21 jobs at an average annual salary of $64,000. (VirginiaBusiness.com) A Spanish biotech company, One Way Liver S.L. (OWL Metabolomics), plans to open its U.S. headquarters in the VABeachBio Accelerator in Virginia Beach as part of a strategic partnership with Sanyal Biotechnology. In turn, Sanyal Biotechnology will open its European headquarters under the auspices of OWL at its location in Bilbao, Spain.  The companies will share resources in their respective locations as they combine efforts serving their pharmaceutical clients. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Virginia Beach-based Optima Health is recruiting for 350 new staff positions throughout the commonwealth, including 170 in the Hampton Roads area. The new jobs are the result of a contract Optima recently signed with the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Optima Health Community Care will serve a portion of Virginia’s Medicaid recipients, including the elderly and disabled.   (VirginiaBusiness.com) Portsmouth-based TowneBank plans to acquire Raleigh, N.C.- based Paragon Commercial Corp., the parent company of Paragon Commercial Bank, in a stock deal valued at $323.7 million. The combined bank is expected to have $9.7 billion in assets and total deposits of $7.5 billion. The Paragon acquisition would give TowneBank a presence in the Charlotte and Raleigh metro areas. The bank currently operates in Hampton Roads, the Richmond area and northeastern North Carolina. (VirginiaBusiness.com) SHENANDOAH VALLEY A new National Park Service report says visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway spent more than $979 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 15,649 jobs in the region. The cumulative impact on the local economies was more than $1.34 billion. From Waynesboro to Waynesville, N.C., the Blue Ridge Parkway passes through 29 counties and villages, towns and cities in two states. The park's route is 469 miles. (The News Virginian) Cadence Inc. announced that readers of Medical Design & Outsourcing magazine selected the company as a recipient of the 2016 Leadership in MedTech Award for Contract Manufacturing.  The industry recognition program acknowledges leadership across multiple disciplines. (News release) Waynesboro’s small business development initiative, Grow Waynesboro, has been awarded $51,000 for startup businesses in a grant competition. Twenty-eight entrepreneurs participated in the contest. This marks the grant contest’s second year. This year’s competition was geared toward the downtown development and revitalization. The winners include: The Honey Exchange, receiving $18,000, Blue Oregano, $16,000, Chubina Boo Boutique, $9,000, and Memories by Valerie, $8,000. (News Leader) Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. (Shentel) is expanding its relationship with Sprint by adding 500,000 customers in the Cumberland, Md., and Parkersburg and Huntington, W.Va., areas. Shentel has agreed to invest approximately $32 million during the next three years to upgrade and expand the existing wireless network coverage in those regions. Once the expansion is completed, Shentel plans to open Sprint-branded stores in the new area. (Northern Virginia Daily) Passenger service to Orlando, Fla., from Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport is proving to be popular. As a result, service will expand to four days a week by July. Currently, daily flights at Shenandoah Valley Regional to and from Orlando are available Wednesdays and Sundays. Airport Executive Director Greg Campbell said the flights offered by ViaAir will expand to Fridays in June and Mondays in July. (The News Virginian)   SOUTHERN VIRGINIA The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors voted to join in a regional marketing plan recommended by the Virginia Growth Alliance, agreeing to pay $20,000 per year for three years to Retail Strategies. Jeff Reed, executive director of Virginia Growth Alliance, said, if hired, Retail Strategies will evaluate Brunswick County and make recommendations on what companies will be best suited for the area. (Brunswick Times-Gazette) CML Logistics is set to bring up to 15 new jobs to Prince Edward County. The plastic scrap recovery company plans to establish an operation in the county. CML Logistics buys and sells plastic scrap for reuse. It will be located in the former Carbone building on Industrial Park Road. (The Farmville Herald)  In April, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy, grabbed shovels and turned dirt for the groundbreaking of a water spray/splash park at Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville, on the shores of Buggs Island Lake. Occoneechee’s spray park will be the second such attraction inside a Virginia state park. When completed, it will have more than 25 water features. The opening is set for spring 2018. (SoVaNow.com)   A proposed $23.6 million budget for the coming year in South Hill calls for adding a 30-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes and increasing in-town water and sewer rates by 45 cents for each 1,000 gallons used. The town must have a new budget in place by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.  All other town taxes remain unchanged under the proposed budget. While new to South Hill, local cigarette sales taxes are currently levied by two counties, 30 cities and 59 towns in Virginia. Tax rates charged by towns generally range from 28 cents to 47 cents per pack. (Mecklenburg Sun) VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill is one of 460 hospitals nationwide — and 21 in Virginia — to receive the 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award from Healthgrades. It measures how well hospitals prevent injuries, infections and other serious conditions. Healthgrades analyzes inpatient data for Medicare patients collected for 14 patient safety indicators over a period of three years, 2013-15, in the latest ranking. (Mecklenburg Sun) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA  Bristol  will soon embark on a study intended to someday lure Amtrak passenger service to the Twin City. Bristol will work with the Community Transportation Association of America, a Washington D.C.-based organization, to secure a firm to conduct the $450,000 economic benefit study about extending service from Roanoke to Bristol. Amtrak is expected to begin providing rail service from Lynchburg to Roanoke later this year. “We’re just about ready to prepare the RFP [request for proposals] for that study, and hopefully it will begin this summer,” CTAA spokesman Rich Sampson said in April. (Bristol Herald Courier)  The citizens group  Friends of Abingdon  is asking the Virginia Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision allowing plans for a Food City grocery store, retail center and youth sports complex near Interstate 81’s Exit 17 to proceed. Friends of Abingdon opposes the development. A petition filed by the group’s attorney in April challenges a Washington County Circuit Court ruling that allowed a rezoning order to stand. Town leaders rezoned a 73-acre tract to accommodate the project. (Bristol Herald Courier)   Hobby Lobby  has pulled plans to open a store in Bristol. Bob Miller, spokesman for the national arts and crafts retailer, said in an emailed statement that Hobby Lobby’s “real estate department has realigned their plan” to open a location in the area. The company previously announced plans to open a 55,000-square-foot store with an opening date of summer 2018. The company did not reveal the site for the store. Miller said the company still wants to open in the area and that officials are “continuing to work hard to get a store, but do not at this time, have anything definite.” (Bristol Herald Courier)   Savage , a Salt Lake City-based supply-chain solutions company, has purc hased Gobco LLC and Po wer Fuels LLC. Abingdon-based Gobco specializes in the removal of waste coal piles from abandoned mines an d restoration of land, streams and forests. The waste coal, known as gob, is separated from rock and transported by truck to the Power Fuels terminal in St. Paul. There the gob is blended with coal and used to generate electricity at Dominion Virginia Power’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Universal Companies, a supplier of spa products, will invest $1.5 million to expand its distribution operation in Washington County, officials announced in April. Virginia competed against Tennessee for the project, which will create 30 jobs. Founded in 1982, Universal has more than 30,000 customers around the world. Universal also offers advanced education in the spa and wellness industries. (Bristol Herald Courier)  The Wythe-Bland Foundation recently made changes to its mission and vision statements that will allow the organization to allot grants to more nonprofit organizations. According to Travis Jackson, the foundation’s executive director, there are 200 nonprofit organizations in Wythe County and 48 in Bland County. Since 2005, the Wythe-Bland Foundation has provided more than 336 grants totaling more than $26 million. (SWVAToday.com)  NORTHERN VIRGINIA  Alorica  announced plans to expand its workforce in Spotsylvania County by more than 200 employees. Operation site director Jason Campbell said a client recently expanded its contract with Alorica, driving the need for more customer service representatives locally. After the initial hiring push, the call center may add more employees, he said. To manage the growth in staff, Alorica has expanded its office in the Lee’s Hill area by 40,000 square feet. The company still has offices on the second floor of the building at 10300 Spotsylvania Ave. and has renovated the entire third floor to provide call-center facilities, employee services and training rooms. (The Free Lance-Star)   Bloomberg BNA , a subsidiary of financial information company Bloomberg LP, will expand in Arlington County. The $5.5 million project will retain about 1,000 jobs and create up to 125 additional positions over three years. Bloomberg BNA, one of the top 10 largest private employers in Arlington, will consolidate operations now in Maryland at its Virginia facility. Bloomberg BNA provides legal, tax and compliance professionals with information, guidance and workflow solutions. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Arlington-based government IT consultant  Buchanan & Edwards Inc.  has acquired Fairfax-based Reports and Requirements Co. LLC (R2C) for undisclosed terms, the first acquisition in the company’s history. Buchanan’s CEO Dennis Kelly said it planned to open an office in Chantilly, housing 25 to 30 employees, including some from R2C. The company didn’t disclose the exact address of the new spot. R2C is a federal consulting firm focused on national security markets. (Washington Business Journal)  Arlington-based  Graham Holdings Co.  has sold its Kaplan University business to Purdue University for just $1. The deal will place the for-profit education system in a new nonprofit structure managed by Indiana-based Purdue. The nonprofit will pay Graham to operate Kaplan University under a 30-year contract, but the nonprofit has the option to buy out that contract after six years. Graham also will receive a share of the revenue generated from the new operation, but it’s too early to estimate how much that will be because it will be based on future revenue minus expenses. (Washington Business Journal)  Falls Church-based  I nova Health System is seeking permissi on to add at least 48 beds to its Women’s and Children’s Hospital building, which sits on the system’s flagship Inova Fairfax Hospital campus. The proposal calls for two new, 24-bed medical-surgical units to be built. If Inova wins approval for the expansion, construction is expected to begin July 1, 2018, with a target opening of July 2019. (Washington Business Journal)  Lansdowne Resort has been sold to Hong Kong-based Dejia LLC for $133 million. The 296-room resort previously was owned by Bethesda, Md.-based LaSalle Hotel Properties. Sarah Crisafulli, Lansdowne’s area director of marketing and communications, said Destination Hotels is still managing and operating the resort. Troon Golf will continue overseeing the resort’s golf club. (Loudoun Times-Mirror) Reston-based NCI Inc. CEO Paul Dillahay told analysts on an earnings call in April that the company is looking to recover millions of dollars allegedly embezzled from the firm. With the government IT firm having completed its internal investigation into Jon Frank, the company’s former controller, Dillahay said that NCI concluded that Frank allegedly embezzled $19.4 million in company funds from 2010 to 2017, which is the basis of a civil lawsuit NCI filed against Frank in February. There also is a criminal probe being conducted by federal investigators, Dillahay confirmed during the call. (Washington Business Journal)  United Bankshares Inc. has completed its acquisition of Tysons Corner-based Cardinal Financial Corp. The deal, valued at $912 million when announced last year, is United’s 10th recent acquisition in the Washington, D.C., area.  Cardinal had $4.3 billion in assets, boosting United’s total assets to more than $19 billion. United has headquarters in Charleston, W.Va., and Washington, D.C. With the addition of Cardinal’s 22 banking locations, United now has 145 full-service offices in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and the District of Columbia. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  CENTRAL VIRGINIA A BWX Technologies fuel facility in Campbell County received a clean bill of health from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in its biannual Licensee Performance Review. The review covered the period from Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2016, and studied areas such as safety operations, radiological controls and facility support. Over the course of the two-year inspection period, almost 3,000 hours of inspections were completed on operational safety, radioactive waste and transportation, emergency preparedness, nuclear critical safety and other areas. (The News & Advance)  Dominion Energy Virginia executives rolled out a long-term energy plan in early May that would dramatically expand its use of solar power, shrinking the carbon footprint for customers and paving the way for extensive upgrades to the state’s energy grid.  With the installed cost of large-scale solar projects dropping by 50 percent during the past four years, solar is now more cost competitive with traditional forms of power generation. Dominion wants to capitalize on that trend by adding at least 3,200 megawatts of solar capacity by 2032 and at least 5,200 megawatts, cumulatively, of new solar generation by 2042. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Legislators are beginning to express doubts about Virginia’s investment in a $2 billion recycled paper plant that has promised to bring 2,000 jobs to Chesterfield County, as policymakers expand their oversight of the state’s use of financial incentives to attract economic development. The news that Tranlin Inc. is delaying plans to build the plant on land a state grant helped finance has raised concerns among legislators about the $29.5 million package of incentives Virginia approved for the project. Legislators and economic development officials remain hopeful that the company will carry through with its plan to build the plant. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Straight Path Communications Inc. accepted a $3.1 billion bid from Verizon Communications Inc. in early May, ending a bidding war with AT&T for the Glen Allen-based company. Straight Path holds a portfolio of millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum, airwaves considered highly important in the development of fifth-generation (5G) wireless services. Verizon’s offer is worth $184 a share, more than $147 above the price that Straight Path’s stock was trading before it accepted $1.6 billion merger offer from AT&T on April 9. As part of its deal with Straight Path, Verizon will pay a termination fee of $38 million to AT&T. (VirginiaBusiness.com) ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY Bad real estate-related loans have weakened Bank of Fincastle, which lost more than $10 million during 2016 and 2015, and it is rated one of the worst-performing banks in the state. But the bank CEO said he and members of the board are implementing a plan to turn things around. If the recent loss trends were to continue, regulators could be forced to close the bank before the end of the year, said George Morgan, who teaches finance at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. The bank has several ways to avoid that, including finding someone to invest millions in new stock or lining up a buyer, Morgan said. (The Roanoke Times)  Botetourt County has officially designated Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, regional tourism bureau, as its tourism marketing organization. The move comes after the Board of Supervisors increased the county’s lodging tax and designated that the revenue collected from hotels and motels go to Visit VBR. With the increased contribution — which amounts to $140,000 in the current budget year — Visit VBR will play a more visible role in Botetourt, establishing an office in the county economic development department. (The Roanoke Times)  Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery plans to create a tasting room in downtown Roanoke. Last year, Deschutes, the nation’s fifth-largest craft brewer, announced it would build an East Coast brewery in Roanoke. The $85 million project is expected to create 108 jobs and produce 150,000 barrels of beer a year. The brewery is expected to open in 2021. In the meantime, Deschutes has leased 4,670 square feet at Market Station for a tasting room scheduled to open in August. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Phoenix Packaging Operations LLC, a container manufacturer for the global food and beverage industry, plans to expand its manufacturing operation in Pulaski County, creating 145 jobs. The company, a subsidiary of Colombia-based Grupo Phoenix, opened a manufacturing facility in Pulaski in 2010. This expansion, the company’s third at the facility, involves an expected investment of $48.7 million. Incentives for the project include a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and $1 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/RNRV_AllstateBuilding.png Metis Holdings plans to occupy the former Allstate building. Photo by Don Petersen http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/metis-holdings-buys-the-former-allstate-building Metis Holdings buys the former Allstate building http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/metis-holdings-buys-the-former-allstate-building http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/metis-holdings-buys-the-former-allstate-building#When:08:00:00Z About 900 workers for Allstate, the country’s second-largest property and casualty insurer, used to fill a 165,000-square-foot office building in Roanoke County. Then Allstate reduced its Roanoke Valley workforce with several rounds of layoffs. In 2015, the company’s remaining Roanoke Valley workers — it’s not entirely clear how many there were by then — moved out of that building. Some of them set up in a new, smaller building in Roanoke County.  Some went to work in a former Norfolk Southern office in Roanoke. Since then, the big office building has been empty. But not for much longer. Metis Holdings, a Roanoke-based insurance and insurance-service provider that has grown from 25 to more than 125 employees in the past 10 years, bought the 47-year-old building for $4 million in April. Since 2015, Metis has been based in the 26,666-square-foot building in Roanoke.  The company plans to occupy up to 75,000 square feet of the former Allstate building. “We are fortunate to have the support of the Roanoke Valley region and are very pleased to expand and remain in the Roanoke area,” Metis President Chris Carey said in a statement. Carey also says it may be a year before Metis announces the tenants who will occupy roughly 90,000 square feet of the building that Metis won’t be using. According to a Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer listing for the old Allstate building, it “includes a full-service cafeteria, gym, large open office space, training rooms and classrooms, and much more.” Jill Loope, Roanoke County’s economic development director, calls Metis’ plan “an ideal scenario” and its purchase the “successful completion of a lengthy and complex real estate transaction.” She sees Metis’ plans as a chance to create jobs and increase the county’s tax base. “Creating an environment for businesses to grow and prosper is a priority of Roanoke County’s economic development program, and we are especially pleased that a well-known company has purchased the building,” Loope says. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CVA_MatthewShapiro.png Matthew Shapiro, born with cerebral palsy, started 6 Wheels Consulting LLC in 2014. Photo by Shandell Taylor http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/consultant-helps-firms-accommodate-workers-with-disabilities Consultant helps firms accommodate workers with disabilities http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/consultant-helps-firms-accommodate-workers-with-disabilities http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/consultant-helps-firms-accommodate-workers-with-disabilities#When:08:00:00Z How does your company cater to workers with disabilities? The goal of Glen Allen-based 6 Wheels Consulting LLC is to help businesses accommodate disabled workers and customers. “People with disabilities are some of the most loyal, creative, resilient and hard-working people that you’ll ever meet because that’s how they have to be on a daily basis,” says Matthew Shapiro, 26, who started 6 Wheels Consulting in 2014. Shapiro was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that impacts body movement and muscle coordination.   The condition ranges from mild, where daily activities are not limited, to severe, as in Shapiro’s case, where a wheelchair is needed to move around (hence the name 6 Wheels Consulting). Shapiro is one of millions of people living in the U.S. with a disability.  According to data from the 2010 U.S. Census, this included 30.6 million people who had trouble walking or climbing stairs, or use mobility devices, such as wheelchairs. Many business owners aren’t tapping into this segment of the population as employees or customers, he says. “If we set up a world that was not completely barrier free, but had less barriers that somebody had to worry with, you could be getting people coming into your stores and spending money,” he says. “What business owner or what community doesn’t want somebody spending money in their community?” Shapiro has provided consulting services to a number of organizations, including Henrico County and Goodwill. Shapiro helped Henrico for example, when it wanted to make libraries more accessible to the disabled, the elderly and families with young children. His assessments went beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, recommending the furniture be rearranged so that people with disabilities can move more easily through the buildings. “Something can be ADA-compliant, but it doesn’t work to my needs,” Shapiro says. He adds that accommodating people with disabilities doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, a portable wheel chair ramp can be bought for $160. The rise of America’s elderly population in coming years also will lead to more people needing mobility devices, he says. “If we are working on this stuff now and on the front end, whether it’s for businesses or society in general, we’re setting up a world that’s going to be better off for everyone down the road,” he says. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/NOVA_protest2.png Several hundred people staged a protest against parking fees at Reston Town Center. Photo courtesy Dave Lepkowski http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paid-parking-pushes-restons-hot-button Paid parking pushes Reston’s hot button http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paid-parking-pushes-restons-hot-button http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paid-parking-pushes-restons-hot-button#When:08:00:00Z Reston Town Center landlord Boston Properties found out just how much of a hot button paid parking can be for retailers and customers. In January Boston Properties, which bought out Beacon Capital Partners in 2015 to make it the center’s sole landlord, instituted a $2 an hour fee for street parking and for all six garages. Parking had been free since the town center opened in 1990. Several hundred people marched in protest, not on Town Center property but on streets nearby. Complaints focused not just on the cost of parking but on the imposition of what protesters called an overly complicated mobile pay  phone app. Retailers responded by forming the Reston Merchants Association and issuing an open letter stating that “Most of the retailers have indicated that paid parking has been a disaster for business and projected sales are down dramatically.” And Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge, part of the Great American Restaurants group, filed suit in Fairfax County Circuit Court alleging breach of contract. The suit sought an end to paid parking as well as damages. The Reston Merchants Association has been con­sidering joining Jackson’s lawsuit or filing its own suit, says association head Aaron Gordon, whose restaurant group owns the Red Velvet Cupcakery. “The landlord seems to be standing pretty firm. We’ve asked them to provide customers with three to four hours of free parking. That would give people time to have dinner, ice cream, a cupcake,” Gordon says, while addressing concerns about commuter parkers taking up spaces. In response, he says, “we’ve had zero help from these guys.” In a statement issued at the end of April Boston Properties noted that paid parking has only been in effect for a few months and that it “has worked with retailers and office tenants to provide customer support, parking validations and other assistance as the Reston Town Center complex adjusts to paid parking.” Garage usage by non-office tenants have steadily increased, week over week, according to the company, and more than 143,000 users have downloaded the app. But Gordon says shops continue to lose revenue. “For people like me who are restaurant or shop owners looking to go into a certain area, I’d say be very cautious. If you are on the fence about going into a property that’s going to become paid parking – don’t do it,” Gordon says. For landlords: “Whatever system you implement make it as user friendly as possible. It’s a simple thing. Ease people into the idea.” 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/SW_BRISTOLHOTEL2.png The Bristol Hotel is scheduled to open next year. Photo courtesy City of Bristol http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hotel-expected-to-contribute-to-downtown-bristols-revival Hotel expected to contribute to downtown Bristol’s revival http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hotel-expected-to-contribute-to-downtown-bristols-revival http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hotel-expected-to-contribute-to-downtown-bristols-revival#When:08:00:00Z Bristol’s Executive Plaza building was 2 years old when producer Ralph Peer conducted the 1927 recording sessions often called the “Big Bang” of country music. The former office building now is being renovated to become the Bristol Hotel, a boutique hotel adjacent to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The museum commemorates the legacy of Peer’s initial recordings of legendary performers such as Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. For most of its existence, the Executive Plaza housed offices for doctors, lawyers and other professionals. “Over the past few years it’s become a little bit blighted,” Bristol, Va., Mayor Bill Hartley says. “One of the things I appreciate is they’re taking an older structure and doing an adaptive reuse.” In addition to investments by McCall Capital, a South Carolina equity firm, the Bristol Hotel is being transformed with the help of city economic development incentives, support from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and state and federal historic preservation tax credits. “It’s really trying to bring that structure back to its former glory,” Hartley says. Or perhaps well beyond the building’s former glory. The hotel plans to offer a farm-to-table restaurant, spa services and up to 3,000 square feet of meeting space to complement 56 guest rooms, seven junior suites, one executive suite and a 1,200-square-foot penthouse. The hotel’s roof-top bar will offer a view of the city and nearby mountains. “You can look one way and you can see the historic train station that was renovated and look out the other way and see the historic Bristol sign that says it is ‘a good place to live,’” Hartley says. If the mayor gets his way, the train station one block from the hotel once again will serve rail passengers.  With Amtrak trains to arrive in Roanoke this fall, city officials are working to extend passenger service through Bristol all the way to Chattanooga, Tenn. Hartley says the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, music festivals and events such as the NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway have brought the city’s downtown back to life. The mayor says the city is simply “trying to build on what makes Bristol unique.” The Bristol Hotel, which is scheduled to open early next year, apparently won’t be the sole boutique hotel in town. Hartley says The Sessions Hotel already is planned for another part of downtown. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/BASSETT.png Bassett Furniture has been in Henry County for more than 100 years. Photo by Steven Mantilla http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bassett-furniture-investing-1.5-million-in-henry-sites Bassett Furniture investing $1.5 million in Henry sites http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bassett-furniture-investing-1.5-million-in-henry-sites http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bassett-furniture-investing-1.5-million-in-henry-sites#When:08:00:00Z Bassett Furniture is expanding in Henry County. It plans to invest $1.5 million in new equipment and add 22 employees during the next few years in three locations in Henry County. That was good news for Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. “We do anything we can do to support and keep a business like Bassett, which has both manufacturing and a corporate headquarters here,” he says. “Keeping a business is always very competitive.” Bassett received a $95,000 grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, along with $53,502 in Henry County Enterprise Zone grants over five years. The company has been in Henry County for more than 100 years. “We are thankful for its continued investment and growth in Martinsville-Henry County,” Heath says. The Bassett expansion is a result of growth in the furniture industry. The company now has 91 stores across the U.S. The newest one opened in King of Prussia, Pa., in April. During the expansion project, the company will install a new finishing system at its Martinsville Table Plant, upgrade its corporate offices in Bassett and expand its finishing operation for the Bench*Made lines it produces in Bassett. The company let Heath know about its expansion plans in late 2016. When most local companies expand, they consider other locations outside the area as well, Heath says. “We have lost other corporate headquarters to North Carolina before. We wanted to be proactive and do everything we could to make sure they knew how much they are appreciated,” he says. Bassett’s story is quite remarkable, he adds. Some of the things Robert H. Spilman Jr., Bassett chairman and CEO, said in past statements resonated with local officials. “He called Bassett a 100-year-old start-up,” Heath says. “It was a company that had to remake itself as a new company while still being operational. They have gone upscale in what they produce. People wanted higher quality, and Bassett figured out a way to make that work for them.”    2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/VALLEY-Amazon_in_Chesterfield.png Amazon has distribution centers of the same size in Dinwiddie and Chesterfield counties. Photo by Shandell Taylor http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-to-open-1-million-square-foot-facility-this-fall Amazon to open 1-million-square-foot facility this fall http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-to-open-1-million-square-foot-facility-this-fall http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-to-open-1-million-square-foot-facility-this-fall#When:08:00:00Z Amazon is building another massive facility in Virginia. Construction is underway on the online retailer’s 1-million-square-foot distribution center and warehouse in Frederick County, which is expected to open in the fall, says Patrick Barker, executive director of the Frederick County Economic Development Authority. Amazon has distribution centers of the same size in Dinwiddie and Chesterfield counties. “Our ability to expand in Virginia is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce in the state,” Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, said in a statement when the deal was announced in late March. Amazon is investing more than $100 million in the new facility, which will be located at the White Hall Commerce Center, an industrial park of roughly 100 acres owned by George Sempeles. When the facility becomes operational, it is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs. Barker says the Amazon deal represents the largest capital expenditure on record in the county.  The jobs being created by Amazon is surpassed only by Navy Federal Credit Union, which plans to create 1,400 jobs in expanding its Frederick operation center. Barker says “time to market,” the ability to create a facility quickly, was important to Amazon. “They needed a property that would allow their developer to get the building constructed in a very compressed time schedule,” he says. In looking for a site, the company already was interested in Northern Shenandoah Valley before Frederick officials became involved, Barker says. Amazon was interested in the region because of its proximity to the Washington, D.C.-area market. Amazon will not receive local incentives for the project, but the company is eligible for state assistance. That includes a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit plus funding and services through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program to support employee training.  The Amazon and Navy Federal deals should help Frederick in its efforts to attract other businesses, Barker says. “When you have companies of the corporate stature like Amazon [and] Navy Federal Credit Union make significant location decisions, that obviously is going to have a lot of credibility when you’r e out there marketing the community,” he says. In addition to Virginia, Amazon considered sites in West Virginia for the project. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/EVA_STTissueGovernor3.png Photo courtesy ST Tissue LLC http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/expansion-is-underway-at-st-tissue-plant-near-franklin Expansion is underway at ST Tissue plant near Franklin http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/expansion-is-underway-at-st-tissue-plant-near-franklin http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/expansion-is-underway-at-st-tissue-plant-near-franklin#When:08:00:00Z Sahil Tak is overseeing a $35 million expansion at the ST Tissue LLC plant in Isle of Wight County near Franklin. When the company announced expansion plans in September, it said the project would create 50 additional jobs. The plant already has hired some workers for new positions and now has a workforce of nearly 100 employees. “We will probably be up to 50 [new hires] by the beginning of next year,” Tak says, noting that the new jobs have an average salary of $53,000. Tak owns the Franklin plant with his father, Sharad Tak, a Washington, D.C.-area entrepreneur who owns companies in several industries, including power generation, engineering and information technology. Using recycled materials, the Franklin plant makes tissue, paper towels, napkins and hand towels for the foodservice, hotel, lodging and janitor-sanitation industries. As part of the expansion, the plant is adding a converting line, which will enable it to cut large paper rolls into finished products. Previously, the plant sent its paper to another company for converting. During the second part of the expansion, scheduled to take place early next year, the plant will add a second tissue machine, which is expected to increase production capacity by 50 percent. The ST Tissue plant is located in part of the former International Paper mill, which the Taks bought in 2012, two years after the mill closed. The Taks founded ST Paper & Tissue in 2007 in Oconto Falls, Wis., after buying a mill that had emerged from involuntary bankruptcy. “We wanted to take something that was underperforming and turn it around,” Tak says of the Wisconsin mill. “Once we turned that around, we were looking to expand. We felt there was an opportunity to grow.” The Taks looked at several mills nationwide that were underperforming or closed. The Franklin mill stood out because it was in good condition, and its location could serve customers on the East Coast. “The workforce knew how to make paper, and the mill’s environmental permits were in place,” Tak says. In choosing the International Paper site, ST Tissue received a $167,500 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and a matching grant funded by Isle of Wight and Franklin. ST Tissue invested $60 million in renovating the Franklin plant and started production at the plant in 2013. “As a business you have to expand,” says Tak. “We constantly have a need to grow and progress.” 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/051017_8536.png Photo by Tim Cox http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/part-ii-its-an-even-longer-road-back Part II – It’s an even longer road back http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/part-ii-its-an-even-longer-road-back http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/part-ii-its-an-even-longer-road-back#When:08:00:00Z I spent time last month in deep Southwestern Virginia.  About a year ago as you may recall, I wrote about the long road to Wise.  This year was no different, a roundtrip of 744 miles.  Many Virginians never realize just how far they can travel without leaving our state. In the Southwest, there is always talk of what’s happened to coal and mining jobs, both there and elsewhere.  But looking at current events, our politicians have become the new miners — not for coal, but for votes.  After all, who wouldn’t trade a vote for a job? Promises of work in coal country were plentiful during the election season.  But they since have been followed by announcements from Dominion Energy and Appalachian Electric Power that, regardless of whether the Clean Power Plan is scuttled, both companies will be lessening their dependence on coal.  It’s what their shareholders want, cleaner sources of fuel.  Utility companies must make decisions that will last for decades to come, and coal remains in the rearview mirror. Natural gas has become more plentiful and is also a lot cheaper than coal.  Even the Chinese, notorious carbon emission abusers, announced they’d like to begin importing more liquid natural gas to lessen their country’s dependence on coal. It looks like politicians are becoming the only winners.  A new generation of locals has heard more promises of coal coming back than they’ve seen of the coal itself.  It’s gone; the jobs are gone; and they aren’t coming back, at least not those jobs. There’s a hard truth in rural areas; it’s just as hard as the region is beautiful.  Many people don’t want to live here; it’s isolated, it can even be lonely, as lonely as it is friendly.  More people are in the cities, and there will always be more people in the cities.  By 2050, urban residents are expected to represent two-thirds of the population. For decades, rural areas have always come up short in the struggle for workforce. The quality of life may be great in terms of scenery and the outdoors, but other amenities are in short supply. The labor force participation rate in Southwest Virginia is about 50 percent. That means half of the population has aged out, gone on disability or simply given up looking. Painkillers are plentiful, but they are just that — killers.  Opioids are treated as a social welfare problem, but they are shipped and prescribed in mass quantities because that’s one of the dysfunctional ways that health care fails in America today. Reading the local news in the Coalfield Progress, I found an article about the national budget.  Despite election year promises of help for the coalfields, the president’s initial budget proposed deep cuts to agencies and programs that have long supported the people and local governments in Southwest Virginia.  Home weatherization and energy assistance, community development block grants, rural water and waste management programs were all on the chopping block. Elimination of entire agencies, such as the Economic Development Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the closing of Job Corps centers were also in the president’s proposed budget.  These agencies have been providing assistance to rural areas for decades. Only a last-minute compromise and a continuing spending resolution kept these proposed federal cuts from taking place until the end of September.  Afterward, who knows? The reason I traveled to Wise was to attend the SWVA Economic Summit.  Listening to local delegates, there was some pride in having partially staved off big state budget cuts to local education based on declines in the student population.  Education is, after all, where economic development begins. There was also some legitimate hope for GO Virginia and the recent reorganization at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.  However, aside from these recent reshufflings of deck chairs, what else does Virginia have to show for its commitment to rural areas? Think back.  In 2007 Volkswagen Group of America chose Northern Virginia for its headquarters location.  Ten months later the company chose Chattanooga, Tenn., for a new assembly plant.  The plant created thousands of jobs that ostensibly could have gone to rural Virginia. Despite the too-easy answer that Virginia is now ready for such an opportunity, how much has really changed over the last decade?  Do we have the infrastructure that Chattanooga had ready and waiting?  Do we have the competitive incentives needed to win? Volkswagen officials chose Chattanooga from three sites; the others were in Alabama and Michigan.  Apparently, Virginia didn’t make that list. How much has really changed? While anything is possible, only one thing is certain, it’s a long way back from Wise. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/C1vb0317.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/followups-june-2017 Followups - June 2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/followups-june-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/followups-june-2017#When:08:00:00Z Virginia companies make Forbes’ top 500 companies list Eighteen Virginia companies made Forbes’ list of America’s Top Public Companies, which was released in early May. The ranking of 500 corporations is based on a composite score for equally weighted measures of revenue, profits, assets and market value as of March 31 closing prices. The Fortune 500, an annual list of the nation’s biggest publicly traded companies based on revenue, had 21 Virginia companies in its latest ranking. The top-ranked Virginia company on the Forbes list was Capital One Financial at No. 48. Others listed in the top 100 included Altria Group, No. 52 and General Dynamics, No. 86. Others on the list include: Dominion Energy, 102; Northrop Grumman, 106; Norfolk Southern, 139; Freddie Mac, 180; Dollar Tree, 188. Also, Hilton Worldwide, 229; CarMax, 239; Markel, 276; AvalonBay, 290; WestRock, 302; Advance Auto Parts, 337; Huntington Ingalls Industries, 379; AES, 383; Leidos, 446; and Genworth Financial, 478. On the overall list, the top companies were Berkshire Hathaway, first; Apple, second; JPMorgan Chase, third; Wells Fargo, fourth; and AT&T and Bank of America, tied for fifth. To compile the ranking, Forbes created four lists of the 500 biggest companies based on each of the metrics. Each company received a separate score for each metric. Forbes then added the scores for all four metrics (equally weighted) and compiled a composite score for each company based on their rankings for sales, profits, assets and market value. Virginia Business compiles its own annual list of the top 50 companies in the commonwealth in its March issue. 2017-05-31T08:00:00+00:00