Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business firstname.lastname@example.orgCopyright 20162016-10-25T20:23:00+00:00
Dominion continues work on three solar-energy projects
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-continues-work-on-three-solar-energy-projects#When:20:23:00ZRichmond-based Dominion Virginia Power said Tuesday that three solar-energy projects currently under construction will be operational by the end of the year.
The projects in Isle of Wight, Louisa and Powhatan counties are expected to produce 56 megawatts (MW) of electricity at peak output, enough to power about 14,000 homes.
The projects are:
• Isle of Wight (Woodland Solar) – 80,000 solar panels will produce 19 MW at peak output, enough to power 4,750 homes.
• Louisa (Whitehouse Solar) – 83,000 solar panels, 20 MW, 5,000 homes.
• Powhatan (Scott Solar) – 77,000 solar panels, 17 MW, 4,250 homes.
Dominion said the projects are on schedule and on budget. The company said the facilities created more than 800 construction jobs and are expected to have a cumulative economic impact of $74 million.
Other planned solar projects, pending regulatory approval, are: the Remington Solar Facility in Fauquier County — a 20 MW facility that will contain about 260,000 photovoltaic panels and is in partnership with the state and Microsoft; and the Oceana Solar Facility in Virginia Beach — a 17.6 MW facility that will contain about 179,000 panels and is in partnership with the state and the Navy.2016-10-25T20:23:00+00:00
Richmond research center to employ 732 people
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/research-center-to-employ-732-people#When:21:25:00ZIn one of the biggest office deals in downtown Richmond this year, CoStar Group Inc., a major provider of real estate information and analysis, plans to establish a research operations headquarters that is expected to create 732 jobs.
State and local officials said the $8.17 million project will have an economic impact of $250 million on the Richmond area.
CoStar will lease 125,000 square feet in the top three floors of the Foundry Park building on the north bank of the James River at 501 S. Fifth Street. The research facility will share the building with the headquarters of WestRock, a Fortune 500 paper company formed after the merger of MeadWestvaco and RockTenn in July 2015. Before the merger, the building was MeadWestvaco’s headquarters.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the project Monday in a ceremony at the state Capitol, presenting Andrew Florance, the founder and CEO of CoStar, a state flag that flown above the 228-year-old Capitol.
McAuliffe approved a $4 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the project. CoStar also is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Suport for the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Founded 30 years ago, CoStar has been recognized as one of the country’s fastest growing companies. Its corporate headquarters is Washington, D.C. Currently, CoStar employs about 3,300 employees worldwide. In an average month, CoStar says about 25 million people visit its websites to buy, lease or find information about office, industrial and retail properties.
Florance said Richmond was picked for the research center after a yearlong search that initially involved 20 cities across the country. The other two finalists in the selection process were Kansas City, Mo., and Charlotte, N.C.
CoStar expects to ramp up quickly in Richmond. It expects to hire 20 people this week and open its Richmond office next month. It is expected to have 200 employees by the end of the year. Most of the employees will be local hires. Fifty to 75 veteran employees will be transferred from locations such as San Diego, Glasgow and London.
Florance said that, at full employment, the Richmond site will have about as many employees as CoStar’s Washington headquarters.
Asked why Richmond was picked, Florance quipped, ”because it has the best restaurants in the U.S.”
He quickly added that the presence of universities in the area was a key element. He said the company needs a highly educated, skilled workforce and it also plans to work with schools as research partners.
“Higher education in Richmond is fantastic,” Florance said, citing not only the Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond but also the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and James Madison University.
Florance said other factors in the company’s choice were cost of living and quality of life, including Richmond’s growing arts scene.
The CEO stressed these factors are important because the company wants to retain its employees in part because of the importance of their relationships with CoStar customers.
Positions at the Richmond research facility will include market analysts and software developers.
Florance said that while CoStar would have a big impact on the Richmond area, it also is a global economic engine helping support billions of dollars of transactions.
The news was welcomed by local real estate brokers who are familiar with CoStar’s brand.
Brokers Amy Broderick and Brian Berkey of Cushman & Wakefield |Thalhimer in Richmond represented CoStar in the lease, locally. Ken Campbell, Kit Tyler, and Matt Hamilton of Colliers/Richmond represented WestRock.
Broderick said, “The story from our perspective is that it shows that downtown Richmond is becoming a big draw for the millennial workforce. That’s the target for CoStar. They’re looking for young, well educated workers, and they see the value that downtown Richmond brings to that search.”
In addition to local institutions of higher learning, Broderick said CoStar asked for data on the number of apartments downtown. “They looked at those numbers and that the apartments are drawing the younger population who can then walk to the building.”
Andrew Cook, director or research for CBRE/ Richmond, said the deal would help boost what has been a soft downtown office market. “It’s very exciting. It’s going to do a lot for downtown,’” he said.
Recently, downtown’s Central Business District has been glutted with space. The relocation last year of the McGuireWoods law firm to Gateway Plaza left a big hole in the James Center. Riverfront Plaza also saw a number of downsizings in 2015.
“This year when WestRock announced they were putting up two floors for sublease, that continued to overwhelm the downtown market with too much space, which was driving down rents,” said Cook. “The CoStar lease does take some space off the market.”
The 310,000-square-foot WestRock building is considered Class A “plus, plus,” said Cook, because it’s relatively new — built in 2009 — compared to other office towers and has prime views of the James River.
Asked if Richmond’s major real estate brokerages should be concerned about losing research talent, Cook said, “It’s a bit early, but I assume that would be on the minds of local market directors.”2016-10-24T21:25:00+00:00
SunTrust Bank says it will stay in current location in downtown Richmond
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-bank-says-it-will-stay-in-current-location-in-downtown-richmond#When:20:41:00Z SunTrust Banks Inc. announced Monday that its Virginia Division headquarters will remain at its current location at 919 E. Main in downtown Richmond. This represents a reversal from a previous announcement earlier this year when the bank said it would leave its longtime home and be the anchor tenant in a 21-story, mixed-use riverfront development called The Locks 321.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement to remain in downtown in updated offices at our current headquarters building,” John Stallings, Virginia Division president for SunTrust, said in a statement. “Our prominent signs atop the building and our branch will remain in their current locations. Extensive renovations of our existing space are planned to update and modernize our facilities to accommodate the needs of our businesses and teammates.”
According to Stallings, SunTrust’s current lease at 919 E. Main was set to expire at the end of 2017. While the company will not be a part of the Locks development, staying in its current space reduced the company’s risk of not having available space prior to the lease’s expiration. The Locks, a project proposed by Dominion Realty Partners, is planned at the corner of 10th and East Byrd Streets at an old warehouse site. SunTrust had said earlier that it would occupy 53,000 square feet of space in the commercial part of the Locks building.
919 E. Main Street is owned and managed by Parmenter. SunTrust will lease 75,000 square feet at the building through mid-2028. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to have SunTrust Bank maintain such a significant presence at SunTrust Center,” stated John Davidson, regional managing principal for Parmenter. “We still have an attractive block of approximately 120,000 square feet of office space to attract a potential new tenant and look forward to the opportunity of adding another meaningful tenant to SunTrust Center’s prestigious rent roll.”
SunTrust’s previously announced consolidation of three suburban offices into one facility, currently known as WestMark I on W. Broad Street in Richmond’s west end, is not affected by this move. The SunTrust branch network, SunTrust Mortgage campus on Semmes Ave. and SunTrust Innsbrook are also not affected.2016-10-24T20:41:00+00:00
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer awarded commercial management and leasing of two retail centers
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-awarded-commercial-management-and-leasing-of-tw#When:15:45:00ZCushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has been selected by KCE Properties to provide exclusive leasing and property management services for two retail centers in Williamsburg. Marketplace at Kingsmill, a 25,358- square-foot retail center located at 240 McLaws Circle at the gateway to Kingsmill is anchored by Starbucks. Old Town Square is a 26,618-square-foot center located at Longhill Road and Olde Towne Road in Williamsburg. Tenants include Tuscany Restaurant.
Drew Haynie and Wick Smith of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer are the leasing representatives; portfolio managers are Juli Corbett (Marketplace at Kingsmill) and Joann Gaskins (Old Town Square), also with Thalhimer.
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer manages more than 20 million square feet of commercial real estate properties in Virginia and South Carolina, as well as over 6,100 multifamily units.2016-10-24T15:45:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/WFC_Norfolk.jpg
UBS Financial Services is moving to the Wells Fargo Center
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ubs-financial-services-is-moving-to-the-wells-fargo-center#When:15:35:00ZS. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. said Monday that UBS Financial Services Inc. has leased about 13,000 square feet in the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Norfolk.
Stephanie Sanker, vice president, S.L. Nusbaum, represented the landlord, and John Duffy of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented the tenant in the transaction.
UBS joins a roster of other office tenants that include a Wells Fargo Bank regional headquarters and branch, Willcox & Savage P.C., Dixon, Hughes, Goodman, KPMG, and Bunting Capital Management.
Currently located in the Bank of America Building in downtown Norfolk, UBS plans to move to its new location on the 20th floor during the fourth quarter. The Wells Fargo Center at 440 Monticello Ave. is a 255,000-square-foot LEED gold certified, Class A office tower with ground-floor retail, luxury apartments and on-site parking.
“This upgrade will create an even better environment and more convenient location for our clients and our entire UBS team,” Karl Ruppert, managing director, UBS Financial Services Inc., said in a statement.
UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide as well as private clients in Switzerland.2016-10-24T15:35:00+00:00
Franklin Johnston Group promotes two executives to top posts
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/franklin-johnston-group-promotes-two-executives-to-top-posts#When:15:10:00ZThe Franklin Johnston Group, a Virginia Beach-based multifamily development and property management firm, has announced the promotion of two company executives.
Vice President of Property Operations Bill Harrington has been named senior vice president of property operations.
Director of Compliance Marie Peace has been promoted to vice president of compliance.
Harrington has been in the multifamily industry since 1999. As a founding member, his role at The Franklin Johnston Group began as a regional portfolio manager. As senior vice president of property operations, Harrington is responsible for the operation of the group’s entire portfolio, which has grown to nearly 12,000 units of luxury, senior and affordable apartment homes in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.
Peace began her multifamily career in 1995 as a community manager in Central Virginia. By 1996, she completed a new community lease-up before the project opened and was quickly promoted to director of compliance, a position she created for the company to implement new tax credit and policy procedures.
She spent the next 13 years working with A.J. Johnson Consulting Services, developing expertise in asset management review, state and local housing program restrictions, Section 42 and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
Her new role returns Peace to her roots, working as compliance director and overseeing tax credit compliance for some of the same properties she started with over 15 years ago.2016-10-24T15:10:00+00:00
Paxton Van Lines leases 143,440 square feet in Alexandria
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paxton-van-lines-leases-143440-square-feet-in-alexandria#When:14:49:00ZIn what it characterized as one of the largest industrial lease transactions in the Washington, D.C. metro area this year, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) said Monday that it has completed a 143,440-square-foot lease at Plaza 500 in Alexandria on behalf of Paxton Van Lines Inc.
NGKF Executive Managing Director Larry FitzGerald represented Paxton in its original 107,313-square-foot lease transaction three years ago in Plaza 500. That lease was renewed and expanded by 36,127 square feet.
Earlier this year FitzGerald represented Paxton, based in Springfield, in the sale of 32 acres of land in Manassas for $3.6 million. The site is slated to become the home of a large data center.
NGKF said in a news release that both transactions reflect the moving and transportation company’s initiative to align its real estate portfolio with its growing business.
“First Potomac is pleased to have Paxton Van Lines extend and expand their lease at Plaza 500, now becoming the largest tenant at the property,” Edward V. Zaptin, a vice president of First Potomac Realty Trust, the property’s owner, said in a statement.
Plaza 500 is a two-story, 500,800-square-foot industrial site located at 6295 Edsall Road. It has access to I-95, I-395, I-495, Metrorail and Metrobus services and is close to restaurants and other amenities.2016-10-24T14:49:00+00:00
LDiscovery to acquire Kroll Ontrack for $410 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ldiscovery-to-acquire-kroll-ontarck-for-410-million#When:09:03:00ZLDiscovery, a McLean-based legal and technology services provider, has reached an agreement to acquire Kroll Ontrack in a cash transaction worth $410 million.
LDiscovery is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group and Revolution Growth. Kroll Ontrack, which is part of Corporate Risk Holdings LLC, is a technology services provider focused on helping clients manage, analyze and present data.
Serving 12,000 clients worldwide, including some of the world’s largest financial institutions, Fortune 1000 companies and Am Law 100 firms, the combined organization will have offices in 19 countries with approximately 1,300 employees worldwide.
“With this combination, LDiscovery customers will have access to Kroll Ontrack’s global footprint, proprietary review platform and the world’s best data recovery services, while Kroll Ontrack customers will leverage LDiscovery’s proprietary suite of eDiscovery technology…,” Chris Weiler, Chief Executive Officer of LDiscovery, said in a statement. Weiler will become CEO of the combined organization.
Mark Williams, currently CEO of Kroll Ontrack, will become president and chief operating officer of the company.
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close before the end of the year.2016-10-24T09:03:00+00:00
Newmarket South Shopping Center in Newport News sells for $11 million
Newmarket South Shopping Center in Newport News, a 354,804-square-foot center, has sold for $11 million. The buyer of the center, located at the intersection of Mercury Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue, is America’s Realty LLC.
According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, which represented the seller in the transaction, the property was 77% occupied at the time of the acquisition on Oct. 14.
While anchored by Food Lion and The Dump, the center’s 30 tenants also include SunTrust, Popeyes, USPS, Rent-A-Center, H&R Block and Rainbow Shoppes.
Eric Robison, Mike Early and Joe Kennedy of Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group in Richmond along with Sharon Ryals-Taylor in Thalhimer’s Virginia Beach office, completed the sale. Ryals-Taylor was the exclusive leasing representative for the property.
Eastern Union Funding's Marc Tropp, Barry Dollman and Shai Romirowsky arranged acquisition financing for the borrower.2016-10-24T02:36:00+00:00
New vice president named at Newport News Shipbuilding
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/new-vice-president-named-at-newport-news-shipbuilding#When:19:13:00ZHuntington Ingalls Industries has named Susan Jacobs vice president of human resources and administration at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.
On. Dec. 2, she will assume her new role, succeeding Bill Bell, who is retiring after 34 years.
Jacobs served as director of human resources and administration for more than nine years at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Newport News’ sister shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
In her new position, she will be responsible for Newport News’ human resources administration, employment, labor relations and recruitment. She will also have responsibility for the shipyard’s security and environmental health and safety organizations.2016-10-21T19:13:00+00:00
Virginia’s jobless rate rises to 4 percent
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-jobless-rate-rises-to-4-percent1#When:19:12:00ZVirginia’s unemployment rate rose slightly in September to 4 percent, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
The commonwealth’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point from August. Nonetheless, the September rate still was two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the same month last year.
The national unemployment rate for September was 5 percent.
The number of people seeking work in Virginia and the number of people actually working rose during September. The number of unemployed people rose by 6,218, or 3.8 percent, during the month.
The commonwealth’s total nonfarm employment increased by 13,400 jobs to 3,945,300. The number of private jobs rose by 14,500 to 3.2 million while the number of public-sector positions declined by 1,100 jobs to 716,000.
During September, employment increased in seven major industry divisions and decreased in four others. The biggest increase was in the leisure and hospitality industry, up 5,800 jobs to 393,200.
In the past 12 months (September 2015 to September 2016), Virginia has added 81,100 jobs, an increase of 2.1 percent.
Northern Virginia accounted for 32,100 of those jobs while the Richmond area recorded a gain of 19,500 positions.2016-10-21T19:12:00+00:00
Nehemiah Security acquires Rockville-based Triumfant
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nehemiah-security-acquires-rockville-based-triumfant#When:21:32:00ZTysons-based Nehemiah Security, a cybersecurity services company, has acquired Rockville, Md.-based Triumfant, a company that creates software detecting and preventing cyber attacks.
Financial details of the acquisition were not released.
Nehemiah Security plans to integrate Triumfant’s AtomicEye product into Nehemiah Security’s core offerings.
Nehemiah Security describes AtomicEye as the first cyber software able to automatically detect and remediate stealthy attacks.
“We are focused on changing the game for security operators,” Paul Farrell, CEO at Nehemiah Security, said in a statement.
“By automating anomaly detection and empowering near real-time threat response, we are able to put the power back in the hands of the security operations team. The addition of AtomicEye lets us take our patented approach one step further by allowing our clients to eliminate reliance upon solutions that require signatures, files, indicators of compromise, and a team of analysts to investigate and respond to all threats.”2016-10-20T21:32:00+00:00
Iron Mountain begins construction on data center
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/iron-mountain-begins-construction-on-data-center#When:21:23:00ZBoston-based Iron Mountain Inc. has begun construction at its 83-acre data center campus in Manassas.
Kessinger/Hunter & Co. is the developer of the first 150,00-square-foot data center on campus.
“We’re seeing an increase in the customer need for highly secure data centers with flexible design for their precise requirements,” Mark Kidd, senior vice president and general manager of Iron Mountain Data Centers, said in statement. “We continue to manage capacity utilization to stay ahead of this need as the portfolio grows and have benefited from pre-leasing activity in existing markets.”
Iron Mountain’s Northern Virginia data center campus will have 60 megawatts of capacity spread across at least four facilities.
The first building, expected to open next summer, will offer 10.5 megawatts of critical power. It is designed to meet requirements of cloud services providers, federal government agencies, systems integrators, financial services firms and health-care companies.
Iron Mountain is a major provider of storage and information management services. Used by more than 220,000 organizations around the world, the company has a real estate network of more than 85 million square feet involving more than 1,400 facilities in 45 countries.2016-10-20T21:23:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DANCESTUDIOPIC.jpgVeronica Nugent's company was the winner of the UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award.
Dance studio wins $10,000 prize for wellness program
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dance-studio-wins-10000-prize-for-wellness-program#When:20:56:00ZSimply Ballroom Dance Studio is the winner of a $10,000 prize in the first UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award.
The Chesterfield County-based dance studio, owned by Veronica Nugent, was one of five finalists competing for the award, which recognizes programs promoting community health and wellness in the Richmond area.
In collaboration with the Parkinson's Dance Project, Simply Ballroom plans to use the money to offer free classes each week to 40 people with Parkinson's Disease. The money also will fund plans to build a ramp for ease of entry into studio’s facilities and support marketing of the community program.
The five finalists presented their project ideas on Wednesday to a panel of health-care and business officials at BizWorks, a business incubator.
In addition, to Simply Ballroom, the other finalists were:
Emerge Sustainable Solutions
Outside in Ministries
Virginia is for Education
The judges for the competition included:
· Beth Bortz, president and CEO of the Virginia Center for Healthcare Innovation.
· Doug Gray, executive director of the Virginia Association of Health Plans.
· Marianne Randazzo, vice president of sales and account management for UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic.
· Yedda Stancil, entrepreneur-in-residence at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Project ideas spanned from fitness, mental health, nutrition, and more.
Local business incubators, BizWorks and RVA Works supported the development and promotion of the event.2016-10-20T20:56:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/PAULASCREPIC2.jpgRendering courtesy RenderSphereLLC
Old bus and trolley depot near Carytown will be converted into a mixed-use project
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-bus-and-trolley-depot-near-carytown-will-converted-into-a-mixed-use-pro#When:20:12:00ZA $44 million, mixed-use redevelopment project is coming to a site adjacent to Richmond’s popular Carytown shopping district.
Dubbed Cary Street Station, the project at the corner of Cary and Robinson Streets plans to transform a vacant historic bus and trolley depot into a hub for restaurants, retailers and office users as well as urban living, according to The Shopping Center Group. It is a retail real estate advisory firm with offices in 16 states across the country.
The developer behind the project is DKJ Richmond LLC, a partnership between associates of The Monument Cos. and The Edison Company, both based in Richmond.
JLL and The Shopping Center Group will serve as the project’s exclusive leasing representatives.
Plans for the commercial portion of Cary Street Station include two new commercial buildings totaling 16,000 square feet of ground-floor space with a 1,000-square-foot patio. The commercial space is adjacent to the original bus barn and depot buildings, which are being converted into 285 luxury rental homes.
Construction on Cary Street Station is underway with residents expected to move in later this year followed by the completion of the commercial space by next summer.
“Cary Street Station is a natural extension of the Carytown and Fan shopping and living experience,” David Andrews, a partner in The Shopping Center Group, said in a statement. “It will be the ideal link between these popular neighborhoods where residents meander the streets, shop locally and embrace the vibrant food scene."
Andrews added that the developers are pursuing various chef-driven concepts with Richmond’s most notable restaurant groups for the only dining space planned for the project – across the corner from the Acacia restaurant.
The Shopping Center Group’s 20 offices manage more than 11 million square feet of retail property.
2016-10-20T20:12:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/HiRes_V1a_StreetView_02.jpgRendering courtesy Business Wire
Carr Properties breaks ground on new office building in Arlington
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carr-properties-breaks-ground-on-new-office-building-in-arlington#When:19:20:00ZCarr Properties and project team members MTFA Architecture and Clark Construction have broken ground on a 175,000-square-foot, eight-story, office building in the Clarendon-Court House neighborhood in Arlington. OPower’s new corporate headquarters will anchor the project at 2311 Wilson Boulevard.
Designed by MTFA Architecture, the building will add a modern presence across from the Courthouse Metro with a glass tower and a two-story glass entry lobby. “For many years, this underdeveloped site incubated numerous businesses like MTFA Architecture and will now fulfill a higher purpose,” Michael Foster, an investor and managing principal of MTFA Architecture, said in a statement.
Amenities will include a fully wired conference facility, childcare facility with outdoor play area, executive health club, 5,900-square-foot rooftop terrace with panoramic views and bocce court, a bike center and on-site retail options.
Located a block away from the Metro’s Orange and Silver Lines, 2311 Wilson Boulevard offers access to Route 50, I-66, and Route 29/Lee Highway. It’s close to a mix of restaurants, retail, hotels, entertainment and civic amenities. Construction is scheduled for completion at the end of 2017.
Carr Properties is a privately held real estate investment trust that currently owns a portfolio of 16 commercial office properties totaling about 4 million square feet in the Washington, D.C., area.2016-10-20T19:20:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Arch_Village_Main_Image.jpg
Shopping center in Midlothian sells for $4.8 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/shopping-center-in-midlothian-sells-for-4.8-million#When:19:17:00ZThe Arch Village Shopping in Chesterfield County has sold for $4.8 million.
S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co., which announced the sale, said the center at 9131-9219 Midlothian Turnpike totals about 55,000 square feet on just over five acres. The property included two separate parcels offered by sellers KBAS LLC and Harding Property 1. The center includes a 30,000-plus square-foot, big-box store, formerly occupied by American Freight, with the remaining space used by small shops.
The properties were sold to Arch Village Management Realty and Midlothian Management Realty. According to Nusbaum, the new ownership intends to merge the properties into one parcel for the purpose of adding an outparcel to the site.
Nusbaum’s Nathan Shor and Reid Cardon represented the buyer and seller on the big box component and the buyer on the small shop space. Joe Harding of Harding & Associates represented the seller of the small shop space.2016-10-20T19:17:00+00:00
Commonwealth completes acquisition of Danville-based senior-living community
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commonwealth-completes-acquisition-of-danville-based-senior-living-communit#When:21:24:00ZCommonwealth Assisted Living has completed its acquisition of Danville-based Stratford House.
Financial details of the purchase were not disclosed.
Charlottesville-based Commonwealth will invest $3.5 million to update the senior-living community and add its memory-care program. The expansion is expected to create 25 new jobs.
The renovations are expected to take about 18 months. The community will be called Commonwealth Senior Living at Stratford House.
Stratford House is Commonwealth’s second senior-living community in Southern Virginia and its 23rd in the state.2016-10-19T21:24:00+00:00
Clinton leads Trump by 9 points in Virginia poll
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/clinton-leads-trump-by-9-points-in-virginia-poll#When:21:23:00ZA Virginia poll released on Wednesday finds Democrat Hillary Clinton with a substantial lead in the presidential contest.
The poll sponsored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce also shows a majority of respondents believe Virginia’s economy is moving in the right direction but the national economy is not.
The Tarrance Group, based in Alexandria, conducted the survey Oct. 12-15 on the chamber’s behalf. The poll is based on telephone interviews with 500 likely voters in the commonwealth. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.
Respondents gave Clinton a 9 percentage point advantage over Republican Donald Trump, leading 47 percent to 38 percent. Three percent support libertarian Gary Johnson. Nine percent are undecided.
Fifty-three percent of the voters polled say Virginia’s economy is going in the right direction but only 39 percent believe the nation’s economy is on the right track.
Northern Virginia voters were the most optimistic about the state economy, with 63 percent saying it was headed in the right direction. That number dropped to 44 percent in the Roanoke area and 40 percent in Southwest Virginia.
Sixty-nine percent of respondents support Virginia’s Right to Work law, and 55 percent would vote to make the law a constitutional amendment.
Another 55 percent support construction of the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline.
Forty-six percent of the voters support having the Redskins move their football stadium to
Virginia, but only 23 percent support offering the team tax incentives to make the move.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents support expanding trade, but only 37 percent support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.2016-10-19T21:23:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC_6014_press_release.jpg4800 Cox Road
Innsbrook office building sells for $8.3 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/innsbrook-office-building-sells-for-8.3-million#When:20:34:00ZCushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group announced Wednesday the sale of a 62,941-square-foot, Class A office building at Innsbrook Corporate Center for $8.3 million.
According to Thalhimer, which represented the seller, BH Properties, the building at 4800 Cox Road was 98% leased at the time. The buyer was Real Estate Value Advisors.
Innsbrook in Henrico County is the Richmond region’s largest suburban office park. Major tenants in the building include The Winebow Group, Covington Travel Services and Free Agents Marketing.
Formerly the headquarters for Owens & Minor when built in 1989, the building underwent major renovations and upgrades when purchased in 2006 by the seller. The property offers lakefront views, locker rooms and showers, and has direct access to a 1.5-mile jogging and bike trail that surrounds the lake.
Thalhimer has been the exclusive leasing representative for the property.
Eric Robison completed the sale for Thalhimer with support from Mark E. Douglas, and Mac Wilson of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s office leasing team.2016-10-19T20:34:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/HarveyJohnson.jpg
Cyber insurance for small businesses
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/cyber-insurance-for-small-businesses#When:20:00:00ZWhen most people think of cybersecurity and data breaches, large government agencies, financial institutions and retail entities typically come to mind. Since we tend to only hear of breaches with big-name entities, small businesses tune it out, thinking these are problems only larger organizations experience.
The reality is quite the opposite. Tens of thousands of breaches occur each year and based on available statistics, more than 75 percent of breaches occur at businesses with less than 200 employees. More alarming is that over 60 percent of those businesses shut their doors for good within six months of discovering a breach.
One of the main reasons companies go out of business is lack of proper insurance. Either the company doesn’t have enough coverage or, more often, they don’t have the right coverage. When it comes to insurance, many people don’t realize there are a lot of different aspects to consider. Educating yourself on the types of coverage you might find in your policy and what they mean may make the difference on whether your company survives, or becomes another statistic.
First thing to note is there are generally three components on the types of coverage that should be focused on with cyber insurance:
• First-party expenses and losses (the breached party)
• Third-party (customer liability — wrongful disclosure of protected health information, personal identifying information, confidential information)
• Regulatory proceedings (assessments, fines, penalties)
Some of the more common types of first-party coverage available include:
Theft and fraud: Addresses destruction or loss of data as the result of a criminal or fraudulent cyber event, including theft and transfer of funds.
Extortion threats: This coverage usually addresses ransomware and similar costs. . Ransomware attacks are very common right now, and companies are highly susceptible to social engineering attacks. Whether ransomware is covered in this or in the replacement/restoration clause, your cyber insurance is not complete unless it covers ransomware and other extortion related threats.
Forensic investigation: Covers the forensic services necessary to determine whether a cyber-attack has occurred and to assess the cause and impact of the attack.
Business interruption: This type of insurance compensates the company in the event the network is down for any significant time. Down time may range from a few days to a few weeks depending on the nature of the breach and how prepared your company is so you probably want to have some coverage here.
Computer data replacement and restoration: Covers the costs of restoring your data in the event of a breach, which can be costly especially if you don’t have good backup and recovery procedures.
Common third-party coverages include:
Data breach liability: Covers the costs from civil lawsuits, judgments or settlements resulting from a data breach.
Privacy liability: Provides coverage for liability to employees or customers who have suffered a breach of privacy.
Regulatory response: This type of coverage addresses the services necessary in responding to governmental inquiries relating to a cyber-attack, including coverage for fines, penalties, investigations or other regulatory actions.
Notification costs: Covers costs to notify customers, employees or other parties affected by a cyber-attack, including notice required by regulation.
Credit monitoring: In the event of a breach, you will want to cover the costs of credit monitoring, fraud monitoring and other related services to those affected by a cyber event.
Crisis management: Covers public relations expenses incurred to educate affected parties regarding a cyber event.
Cyber insurance is relatively inexpensive right now, but as you see, there is a lot to consider when tailoring your policy. In addition to your insurance broker, consider working with legal counsel and a cybersecurity expert when considering your cyber related coverages.
It’s equally important to understand your insurance provisions and disclaimers. As more and more incidents are reported, carriers are continuously looking for reasons to limit claim amounts. Some policies have windows for notifying the insurance carrier of a breach (i.e. 45 days from discovery) to ensure the claim is fully covered.
Harvey Johnson, CPA, CGMA is an assurance partner with PBMares LLP, where he oversees the firm’s cybersecurity service offerings, as well as its financial services team. Harvey is a member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) and the VSCPA Tidewater Chapter. For more information, please contact the author at email@example.com or visit www.pbmares.com.2016-10-19T20:00:00+00:00
Endurance IT Services announces plans to add 62 jobs in Virginia Beach
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/endurance-it-services-announces-plans-to-add-62-jobs-in-virginia-beach#When:21:12:00ZA Virginia Beach-based information technology services-company announced plans Tuesday to build new headquarters and more than double its staff.
Endurance IT Services says it has purchased a 15,000-square-foot facility on Greenwich Road in Virginia Beach for the new headquarters. Currently, the company has 52 full-time employees and an office in Virginia Beach, on Princess Anne Road, and another location in Newport News. The expansion will include an additional 62 jobs, which will have average annual salaries in the range of $85,000 to $95,000.
New positions will include systems analyst, server engineer, network engineer, infrastructure engineer, project managers, fractional IT director, business development, business analyst and help desk engineer.
The company has received a $105,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant from the Virginia Beach Development Authority for the project, based on the number of jobs created. Endurance also plans to invest more than $1.3 million in real estate, fixtures and business equipment.
Endurance, founded in 2008, provides infrastructure services, IT staffing and consulting, project management and managed services for private-sector customers. The company has received several accolades, including spots on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies and Virginia Business’ Best Places to Work list.2016-10-18T21:12:00+00:00
The Hilb Group acquires Indianapolis insurance agency
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-hilb-group-acquires-indianapolis-insurance-agency#When:20:21:00ZThe Hilb Group LLC, an Henrico County-based insurance broker, has acquired Indianapolis-based Fundamental Insurance & Retirement Planning (FIRP) Inc.
No financial details were released about the deal, which closed Oct 1.
With this acquisition, The Hilb Group expands its footprint into the Midwest. Before the deal, the company had 48 offices from Vermont to Florida.
FIRP provides a wide range of insurance products from property and casualty to life and health for businesses and individuals.
All of FIRP's employees, including its president, Michael Weisemann, are joining The Hilb Group. They will continue to operate their four offices, located throughout Indiana under their existing name.2016-10-18T20:21:00+00:00
U.Va.’s board of visitors will hold a special meeting on Nov. 11 to discuss strategic fund
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/u.va.s-board-of-visitors-will-hold-a-special-meeting-on-nov.-11-to-discuss#When:20:01:00ZThe University of Virginia board of visitors has called a special meeting on Nov. 11 to talk about its $2.3 billion Strategic Investment Fund, and a big part of the focus will be on the affordability of a college education.
William H. Goodwin Jr., the board’s rector, assured the House Appropriations Committee during an appearance Monday that the board is taking legislators’ concerns and criticism to heart about recent tuition increases and the impact they are having on the middle class, which typically does not get as much help with student financial aid. His remarks came during a regular meeting of the committee.
While U. Va. has gotten high marks for helping students from families with incomes of $80,000 and less, “My own opinion, when I look at the data, is we don’t do as well as I’d like with the $80,000 to the $160,000 group. We need to think about what we could do to support that,” Goodwin said.
U.Va’s board approved a 3 percent tuition increase in February for the 2016-17 year that was later revised downward to 1.5 percent after the state kicked in more funding than expected. The 1.5 percent raise followed a raise of $1,000 for each of two years for in-state students that had been approved in 2015. Raising tuition at a time when the school’s pooling of resources were being put into a Strategic Investment Fund prompted a former rector, Helen Dragas, to criticize the board, saying the funds should have been used to help keep tuition rates low.
“Many of you have talked to me about a rollback of tuition,” Goodwin told the board. “… Not that it can’t be done, but it’s complicated,” he said.
Without a rollback, over the next three to four years, Goodwin said U.Va. would have close to a zero tuition increase, or close to 1 to 2 percent.
With the most recent raise in tuition, incoming in-state students will pay about $13,000 this year in tuition, which represents about 40 percent of the annual costs for an education, noted Goodwin. After throwing in other fees, housing, books, etc., the cost is closer to $30,000 per year for in-state students and higher for out-of-state students who pay about $45,000 in tuition and fees.
Delegate Kirk Cox, (R-Colonial Heights) the House Majority Leader and a member of the House Appropriations committee, told Goodwin, “I hope you all will look at an actual rollback of $1,000 each year. That sends a substantial message on tuition affordability for middle-class kids.” Kirk said he was concerned that families earning between $80,000 to $150,000 a year “seem to be the ones that are extremely stressed.”
Goodwin also told the Appropriations Committee that the board has met with the university’s admissions office “and we’re going to try and change 100 more slots to in-state that are currently going out-of-state … 100 may not sound like a lot, but that’s a fair amount for us from a revenue standpoint,” he said.
However, he urged legislators not to mandate by law that public higher education institutions in Virginia limit the number of out-of-state students. Some people have been talking about a 75 percent threshold for instate students, he added, with U. Va.’s current threshold at about 67 percent.
“I know some of you want to pass a bill … Please. I ask you not to do that. It’s a real source of income for us … We’d much rather try to work on the number of in-state students, by having more students in total or by switching some of them from out-of-state to in-state. “
In another bid to keep college affordable, U.Va. and other schools in Virginia are accepting more transfer students from community colleges. According to Pat Hogan, U.Va.’s chief operating officer who also spoke before the Appropriations Committee, the university offered admission to 651 transfer students last year, with 560 of them coming from community colleges.
Hogan said that U.Va. plans to produce an annual report for the public much like an audited financial statement that would give a details on how monies from the investment fund had been spent, including earnings on the fund and all disbursements.
In closing out discussion on Goodwin’s report, Del. Chris Jones, (R-Suffolk), the committee’s chairman, told Goodwin, “The middle class has been squeezed and it’s getting squeezed harder. That $80,000 to 150,000 a year has to be a target. The cost of higher education has gotten to be a larger percentage [of income] in many cases than for people buying a home … As the dialog continues, I hope you will look at the questions raised today as you move forward and with your special meeting next month.”
Virginia’s legislative members raised questions earlier about the use of U.Va’s strategic fund during a special hearing in August of the Senate Finance Education and House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee.
In September, U.Va's board approved funding for the first round of projects from the fund, which Goodwin says was created as an opportunity to improve academic quality, help minimize tuition costs and student debts, conduct research and offer world-class medical care. The first round of about $26 million in funding included 13 research projects and academic programs, with the projects vetted by committees made up of faculty members and administrators.
Regarding how the fund might to used to help defray tuition increases, Goodwin said, “I’m not going to tell you that we have the answer now, but we’ve identified it as something we want to think about and wrestle with."2016-10-18T20:01:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/BEST_Photograph.jpgDOLI Commissioner Ray Davenport and AGC Chairman Mike Cagle (left) sign the agreement.
New volunteer safety program begun for state’s construction industry
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-volunteer-safety-program-begun-for-states-construction-industry#When:17:58:00ZIn what is the first such program in the country, the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) has partnered with Virginia’s Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program to create a volunteer safety initiative.
The BEST Program, which stands for Building Excellence in Safety, Health and Training, is designed to encourage and recognize AGCVA members who implement safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers.
“We firmly believe that it will make construction job sites safer, resulting in fewer injuries, better employee morale and reduced costs,” said Steve Vermillion, a spokesman for the group, which has 610 members.
C. Ray Davenport, the state’s commissioner of labor and industry, and Mike Cagle, chairman of the board for the AGCVA, signed the strategic partnership agreement on Oct. 13. “We applaud the AGCVA for undertaking this first of its kind partnership with the VOSH Program to recognize AGCVA members who implement safety and health management systems that protect construction workers and set a standard of achievement for the construction industry in Virginia,” Davenport said in a statement.
So far this year, Davenport’s department has recorded 36 workplace-related deaths in Virginia, with 11 of those, or 30.5 percent, in the construction industry.
“Safe jobsites are the most crucial component of construction work. Virginia BEST is designed to reduce employee injuries, improve employee morale and position AGCVA members to be more competitive by becoming the best-in-class construction companies. This historic program will be the model as every state will want to follow Virginia’s lead in the Virginia BEST program,” Cagle said in a statement.
Core elements of the program include:
1) Management leadership and employee involvement
2) Worksite analysis
3) Hazard prevention and control
4) Safety and health training
There are three levels of participation in Virginia BEST.
Level 1 is a basic achievement level for applicants who develop and implement a safety and health management system that meets current VOSH regulatory requirements.
Level 2 is an intermediate achievement level for applicants having an established safety and health management system that exceeds current VOSH regulatory requirements.
Level 3 represents that highest achievement level in the program, with applicants having an exceptional safety and health management system that serves as a model for other construction employers.
Companies that achieve Level 3 will receive an exemption from planned construction inspections from the VOSH program, which allows the agency to focus its limited compliance resources on high injury and illness rate employers, the ACGVA said.
In a news release, the trade group notes several benefits of reducing private sector employer costs associated with injuries, illnesses and fatal accidents. Namely, it enhances a company’s economic viability and competitiveness, increasing available capital for reinvestment, expansion and new hiring.
Unmanned Systems Association of Virginia names board members and elects officers
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unmanned-systems-association-of-virginia-names-board-members-and-elects-off#When:08:43:00ZThe Unmanned Systems Association of Virginia (USAV), a new trade association representing the unmanned systems industry in Virginia, elected officers and its board of directors at its first meeting on Monday.
The organization includes 10 founding company members, whose representatives were named to the board of directors. The board then elected officers, whose terms will last through Aug. 30, 2017.
The directors include:
· Sean Cushing, Hazon Solutions (chairman)
· Guy Sanitate, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) (secretary)
· Joel Campbell, Avineon (treasurer)
· Nicole Barranco, Volkswagen Group of America
· Bob Burkholder, Clark Nexsen
· Robert E. Dehnert, Jr., Raytheon
· Steven A. Eisenrauch, Dominion Virginia Power
· Robert Grant, Lyft
· John Lamb, Newport News Shipbuilding
· Charles Mondello, Property Drone Consortium
The association’s key objectives include promoting Virginia’s UAS test site at Virginia Tech, unmanned systems research and other resources; supporting legislation that promotes the development of technology; promoting grants to expand existing or attract new unmanned systems businesses; to support STEM education and workforce programs; and to promote collaboration among entrepreneurial, existing technology and academic research entities.2016-10-18T08:43:00+00:00
Early childhood education project announced
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/early-childhood-education-project-announced#When:21:48:00ZFour Virginia community colleges will collaborate on a project aimed at improving early childhood education in Southern and Southwest Virginia.
The program, the Davenport Early Childhood Development Institute, is being funded by a $1 million gift by philanthropists Ben and Betty Davenport of Chatham.
The institute, announced during a weekend gala celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Virginia Community College System, will partner with Danville, Patrick Henry, Virginia Western and New River community colleges.
The purpose of the project is to create a talented workforce in Southern and Southwest Virginia by ensuring access to high-quality training and education for individuals working in child-care centers or family child-care homes. The institute also will focus on increasing access to high-quality child-care options for working parents.
Programming will include training, a network of professional development opportunities, coaching, and a fellows program, which will provide select students with financial incentives, service opportunities and leadership experiences.
“We believe every child should have the opportunity to have a successful, productive life,” the Davenports said in a statement. “We like to compare childhood development to planting a crop. You would never sow the seeds without first preparing the ground and nurturing the planting until time to harvest. Similarly, children need proper care and educational instruction from the beginning of life. The Virginia Community College System is at the forefront of providing the training to make this happen.”
Davenports are longtime philanthropists with a special interest in education. Betty Davenport has served on the board of Smart Beginnings Danville/Pittsylvania. Ben Davenport is director emeritus and a former board chairman of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. He is chairman of Davenport Energy and First Piedmont Corp. in Chatham.2016-10-17T21:48:00+00:00
Franklin Johnston Group picks up 11 multifamily properties
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/franklin-johnston-group-picks-up-11-multifamily-properties#When:20:35:00ZAIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp.’s Affordable Housing Division has selected The Franklin Johnston Group to manage 11 multifamily properties in Virginia and North Carolina.
The new management assets include senior and affordable communities.
“We are proud to grow our friendship with AIG in Virginia and North Carolina. We now manage four communities for AIG and we’re excited to expand our partnership,” Taylor Franklin, Franklin Johnston Group’s president, said in a statement.
The new properties add 1,174 units into Franklin’s management portfolio total.
The Virginia Beach-based company began operation in 2013 with a portfolio of 24 properties and 3,551 residential units. Including the addition of the new AIG properties, the portfolio now totals nearly 12,000 units and more than 70 properties on the East Coast from Virginia to Georgia.
“We’ve been able to triple the size of our management portfolio in just three years,” Franklin said.
The newly managed AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp properties include:
1. English Oaks – 119 units (Fredericksburg)
2. King’s Crest – 100 units (Fredericksburg)
3. Park Place – 148 units (Manassas)
4. The Gardens – 150 units (Stafford)
5. Greenbrier Senior – 92 units (Chesapeake)
6. Dunlop Farms Senior – 88 units (Richmond)
7. Charlotte Spring – 65 units (Charlotte, N.C.)
8. Honey Creek – 78 units (Charlotte, N.C.)
9. University Square – 90 units (Charlotte, N.C.)
10. Carolina Spring – 124 units (Raleigh, N.C.)
11. Crossings Heritage – 120 units (Raleigh, N.C.)2016-10-17T20:35:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Mixed-Use_Development_at_Town_Center_2016.jpg
Armada Hoffler announces groundbreaking of $35 million project in Virginia Beach
Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. will hold ground-breaking ceremonies on its newest $35 million mixed-use development project in the Town Center of Virginia Beach on Oct. 24.
The newest addition is expected to include 39,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space and about 120 luxury apartment homes. Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2018, Armada Hoffler said the project already has attracted interest from two national retailers who have committed to more than 18,000 square feet of space at the base of the future residential tower. These tenants will be announced during the groundbreaking ceremony later this month.
In addition to the retail and residential components, Zeiders American Dream Theater will invest about $8 million in a 17,000- square-foot performing arts theater, while the city of Virginia Beach will invest approximately $3 million in public infrastructure including an open-air public plaza on the second level and a pedestrian bridge connecting to the adjacent parking garage.
The groundbreaking will be held on Monday, Oct. 24 at 11:00 a.m. in the Fountain Plaza at the corner of Central Park Avenue and Commerce Street in the Town Center of Virginia Beach. Executive officers of Armada Hoffler Properties and Zeiders American Dream Theater will attend as well as city officials, including Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. and representatives of the Virginia Beach Development Authority and the Department of Economic Development.2016-10-17T00:03:00+00:00
Devon USA breaks ground on a 320,853-square-foot industrial building in Ashland
Devon USA has broken ground on the development of a 320,853- square-foot, high-bay distribution building (Building D) located at 11600 North Lakeridge Parkway within the Enterchange at Northlake Industrial Park in Ashland.
Devon USA is a Richmond-based real estate developer, owner and investor with a diverse portfolio of assets in the Southeast and Midwest United States. It has constructed and/or renovated over 5.3 million square feet of commercial space since 1980, and currently owns distribution warehouses, multifamily communities, industrial development land and agricultural land.
Construction is expected to be complete at its new building by summer of 2017. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, the leasing agent for the project, the building will offer a 32-foot clear height ceiling, ESFR wet sprinkler system and cross dock loading.
In addition, the building will have energy efficient features such as white roof, skylights, LED lighting both interior and exterior, and an insulated roof.
Space is available for lease ranging from 34,000 to 320,853 square feet. This property offers interstate visibility and immediate access to I-95.
Enterchange at Northlake, located at Lewistown Road and I-95, is a Class A, high-bay industrial complex originally developed by Devon USA from 2005 to 2007. The park has consistently been 100% leased, and is home to tenants such as Owens & Minor, Xpedx, Kane 3PL, and Creative Office Environments.
With the completion of Building D, the park will be fully built out, containing more than 1 one million square feet of space.
Thalhimer’s Evan M. Magrill and N. Dean Meyer will handle the leasing.2016-10-17T00:00:00+00:00
Air Force brigadier general to join The Branch Group
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/air-force-brigadier-general-to-join-the-branch-group#When:21:02:00ZGreg Otey will join The Branch Group as special projects executive.
He served in the U.S. Air Force for 28 years and attained the rank of brigadier general.
Otey will play key roles in leading various future initiatives within The Branch Group, which is based in Roanoke, and its subsidiary companies.
Roanoke native, Otey is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
The Branch Group, a construction company, had revenues of $392 million last year. It has a workforce of more than 900 employees.
Its subsidiaries include Branch & Associates Inc., Branch Highways Inc., G. J. Hopkins Inc. and E. V. Williams Inc.2016-10-14T21:02:00+00:00
PSS acquires Synaptic Solutions Inc.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/pss-acquires-synaptic-solutions-inc#When:20:44:00ZTysons Corner-based Preferred Systems Solutions (PSS) has acquired Reston-based Synaptic Solutions, an advanced technology services provider for the intelligence community.
Financial details of the acquisition were not released.
The deal is PSS’ sixth in the past 30 months. PSS says it has significantly expanded its professional services core capabilities.
“In late 2015 and early 2016, we further expanded PSS’ presence in the Intelligence Community, by completing the acquisitions of GSM Consulting and Tetra Concepts. Our purchase of Synaptic Solutions is a continuation of our active acquisition campaign to provide a broader range of advanced technology capabilities within the Intelligence Community,” Scott Goss, the CEO of PSS, said in a statement.
Synaptic Solutions owners and founders, Josh Cury and Derrick Henley, will be joining the National Security Group at PSS led by Dean McKendrick.
PSS currently provides systems and software engineering, data analytics and high performance computing, cyber security and cloud mission support, and acquisition and program management services to government and industry clients.2016-10-14T20:44:00+00:00
Commonwealth’s general fund revenue fell 2.4 percent in September
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commonwealths-general-fund-revenue-fell-2.4-percent-in-september#When:21:27:00ZVirginia’s general fund revenue in September was down 2.4 percent from last year, the governor’s office said Thursday.
The drop was attributed to the timing of payroll withholding taxes. Payroll withholding declined 5.8 percent in September, after a 17.7 percent increase in August..
On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total revenue collections rose 3.6 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of a 1.7 percent increase.
September, a significant month for revenue collections, completes the first quarter of fiscal year 2017.
The main drivers of the revenue increase were the individual income tax and recordation taxes.
Estimated payments from individuals, corporations, and insurance companies are due in September, in addition to monthly collections from withholding, sales taxes and other sources.2016-10-13T21:27:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/HEMPHILLWEB.jpgBrian O. Hemphill at the inauguration ceremony | Courtesy Radford University
Brian O. Hemphill is inaugurated as Radford University’s seventh president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/brian-o.-hemphill-is-inaugurated-as-radford-universitys-seventh-president#When:20:24:00ZThe strains of bagpipes played by a student band wearing colorful skirts of tartan plaid set the stage Thursday for a Highland-style inauguration of Radford University’s seventh president.
Dr. Brian O. Hemphill, whose tenure officially began on July 1, was formally installed during ceremonies at the school that drew a crowd of nearly 2,000. It included representatives from colleges around the state and the country, state Secretary of Education Dietra Trent and some of Hemphill’s former mentors and colleagues from West Virginia State University, where he served as president before coming to Radford.
Hemphill, decked out in red and black academic regalia, pledged the beginning of a new era for the 106-year-old school, known for its teaching programs, saying that Radford would move forward with a student-focused approach that embraces innovation to address a changing environment for higher education.
“When we began this journey together on July 1, 2016, we made a commitment — a commitment to excellence, accountability, transparency, and student-centeredness,” he said.
Under his leadership, Hemphill promised to focus on six areas:
• Brand identity
• Academic excellence and research
• Student success
• Strategic enrollment growth
• Economic development and community partnerships
• Philanthropic giving and alumni engagement
He charged Radford to “do more in the years ahead to ensure that we have the skilled workforce needed to foster creativity and innovation and drive our economy to higher levels of promise and prosperity.”
Access and opportunity to college should be key, he added, “regardless of race, creed, color, or economic background … No one should be denied an education based on affordability.’’
Against a backdrop of shrinking state budgets, intense competition for college students and massive student debt, “some universities and colleges are closing their doors,” noted Hemphill. “But I am confident Radford University will thrive.”
To keep Radford competitive, Hemphill said the faculty must be active participants in the governance of the university. He also wants the school to be data-driven, “with clear metrics for success and accountability.”
While retaining its traditional strength in teaching (Radford began as an effort to train more teachers for Virginia’s expanding public school system), Hemphill said it must be willing to look for new opportunities in research and niche markets, including accelerated degrees.
“Today, universities are not only learning centers, but also economic engines for the commonwealth and our nation.’’
Challenges in higher education also represented a theme sounded by the event’s keynote speaker, E. Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University, who has worked with Hemphill through the years.
“This is an age of doubt,” said Gee. “People have doubts about the economy, the future, the political process … People are questioning the value of a degree in building a successful life.”
With tuition prices outpacing inflation, more students are assuming debt, with about $1.5 trillion dollars owed currently. And at the same time, the pay for some jobs has fallen. “It adds up to a crisis,” Gee said.
Yet a university’s role is not to make people comfortable, he added, “but to make people think. Our nation still looks to higher education for solutions, to sustain democracy through an informed citizenry, to right the wrongs of bigots. That is a university; that is Radford. Dr. Hemphill knows that colleges are here to help people live the American Dream and to help our world advance beyond its wildest dreams. He will live that every day and shout it from these Blue Ridge mountain tops. ‘’
While classes were not canceled for the inauguration, many students attended the event. One sophomore political science major, Destiny Parker from Virginia Beach, said she wanted to come because Hemphill is so accessible to students. “You can see him eating in the dining hall, and he will get his picture taken with you,” she said. As for his speech, Parker, who is taking out student loans to attend college, said she liked the part about “how no one should be denied an education because of affordability.”2016-10-13T20:24:00+00:00
Meat processing facility coming to Grayson County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/meat-processing-facility-coming-to-grayson-county#When:08:56:00ZRiver Ridge Land and Cattle Co. LLC announced Wednesday they will build a new meat processing facility in Grayson County.
The $2.1 million investment is expected to create 11 jobs over the next three years. In addition, River Ridge has agreed to purchase almost $4 million in Virginia-grown beef and pork to use at the facility.
“River Ridge’s new investment in Grayson County is a game-changer for our Virginia beef and pork producers, addressing the scarcity in the market for local meats and processing facilities,” Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry Basil I. Gooden said in a statement. “This operation will provide a major new custom processing option for producers in the region and create an asset for the industry for decades to come.”
River Ridge Land and Cattle Company is a Grayson County beef producer that markets its 100 percent grass-fed beef through Grayson Natural Foods. The company’s new USDA-inspected meat processing facility will provide meat processing infrastructure to area beef and pork producers.
The facility will cut and package fresh meat for wholesale and retail customers, as well as offer a variety of value-added processing and packaging services, including meat snack sticks, jerky, cooked products, and specialty meat packaging and preparation for institutional and wholesale customers.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $45,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds.2016-10-13T08:56:00+00:00
GO Virginia board holds inaugural meeting
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/go-virginia-board-holds-inaugural-meeting#When:19:27:00ZGO Virginia, an initiative to create more high-paying jobs in Virginia through business-led regional collaboration, held its inaugural meeting Wednesday and elected its leaders. John O. "Dubby" Wynne of Virginia Beach was chosen as chairman and Benjamin J. Davenport Jr. of Danville as vice chairman.
The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board was created through bipartisan legislation passed during the 2016 General Assembly session with the GO Virginia coalition’s support.
“Today’s official launch marks the beginning of what will be a long-term effort to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy. GO Virginia will provide incentives for greater regional collaboration among the business community, higher education institutions, state and local governments, and others to tackle the state’s economic challenges,” Wynne said in a statement.
GO Virginia said it seeks to leverage state, local, and private funds to encourage regional collaboration on economic and workforce development with the goal of creating more high-paying jobs.
The coalition also supports state investment in university-based research leading to commercially viable new products.
The board took the first steps today toward establishing a process for regional councils to apply for state matching funds. It also received an update on the new Virginia Research Investment Committee (VRIC), which will approve newly funded research grants to universities. Four members of the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board also serve on VRIC.
The board will meet again on Dec. 5.2016-10-12T19:27:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/MJD_8851.jpg
CRES and Ellis-Gibson Development group merge in Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach-based real estate companies Commercial Real Estate Services (CRES) and Ellis-Gibson Development Group (EGDG) announced their merger Wednesday and the creation of Venture Realty Group LLC.
The recently formed Venture Realty Group includes principals from both companies. It will continue to develop, lease and manage an extensive portfolio of commercial and mixed-use properties. Notable projects include Red Mill Commons and the Marketplace at Hilltop in Virginia Beach, Edinburgh Commons in Chesapeake and Midtown Marketplace in Portsmouth.
New projects include the Venture Apartments at Tech Center in Newport News and Obici Place in Suffolk.
The companies said that the merger solidifies a long-standing relationship between CRES and EGDG. The partnership began with a single build-to-suit transaction for Advance Auto Parts and grew into a 6 million-square-foot portfolio of commercial projects with a total assets value of more than $600 million dollars throughout Hampton Roads.
“Our companies have worked together for over 30 years,” Mike Culpepper, managing partner, said in a statement. “The merger reflects our collaborative approach to projects, and opens the door for our younger partners to continue the commitment to develop stable and successful assets for our client base, landlords and joint venture partners.”
Venture Realty Group will continue to provide a range of real estate services from development, leasing, property management, asset management and consulting services.
It also will continue to provide third-party leasing, management and consulting services. Venture currently leases more than 3 million square feet of retail projects in Hampton Roads. In addition, it represents a number of national tenants on their site selection process throughout the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets.2016-10-12T19:18:00+00:00
American National Bank and Trust Co. buys office building in Roanoke for $2.2 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/american-national-bank-and-trust-co.-buys-office-building-in-roanoke-for-2#When:18:57:00ZAmerican National Bank and Trust Co. has purchased the 10,966-square-foot former headquarters for PMI in Roanoke for $2.2 million. According to Hall Associates Inc. in Roanoke, which brokered the transaction, the building at 3000 Ogden Road sits on 3.3 acres and is about a quarter of a mile from Electric Rd and Tanglewood Mall.
Frank Martin and Jim Deyerle represented the seller.
Magnolia Green breaks ground on golf clubhouse and aquatic center in Chesterfield County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/magnolia-green-breaks-ground-on-golf-clubhouse-and-aquatic-center-in-cheste#When:21:31:00ZMagnolia Green, a large residential community in Chesterfield County, broke ground Tuesday on a new golf clubhouse and aquatic center. According to the developer, the project is expected to contribute more than $10.5 million to the county’s economy and create more than 300 temporary and permanent jobs.
Tuesday’s ceremony to commemorate the start of construction involved members of the project’s design teams, contractors, developer representatives and county officials. The projects are expected to be completed in summer 2017.
“Magnolia Green continues its phenomenal growth with the unveiling of our newest community amenities,” Tom Page, vice president of iStar, said in a statement. The New York-based real estate investment trust is Magnolia Green’s owner and developer.
The two-story, $5 million golf clubhouse will have 15,000 square feet of space with craftsman-style architecture. Amenities include a bar and outdoor dining area with views of the Magnolia Green Golf Course, which is open to both members and the public. The multi-functional facility will be capable of hosting up to 180 guests for private functions, such as corporate parties and weddings.
Construction of the clubhouse and surrounding infrastructure will create about 135 jobs, including provisional construction, building and design positions. Once completed, it will support about 33 permanent positions ranging from golf professionals to restaurant staff.
Simultaneously, Magnolia Green has broken ground on a new $5.6 million aquatic center. The 10-acre center will offer several pools ranging from an eight-lane, junior-Olympic-sized competition pool to activity pool for the older children with a water tower slide, volleyball net, and basketball hoops.
Construction of the aquatic center is anticipated to create more than 130 provisional construction jobs. Once completed, it will generate 26 seasonal employment opportunities, including pool managers and lifeguards.
Located in Moseley, Magnolia Green offers a wide selection of townhomes, single-family and custom-built residences priced from just under $200,000 to more than $1 million.2016-10-11T21:31:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Untitled.png
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer selected as exclusive leasing representative for Westchester Commons
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-selected-as-exclusive-leasing-representative-fo#When:21:11:00ZCushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer said Tuesday that it has been selected by Greenberg Gibbons as the exclusive leasing representative for Westchester Commons Shopping Center, a 650,000-square-foot regional mixed-use center located at Route 288 and Midlothian Turnpike in western Chesterfield County.
Anchored by Target, Regal Cinemas, OfficeMax, Gold’s Gym, Petco, JoAnn Fabric and Bam!, the center on 273 acres offers additional multiple anchor positions and outparcel sites. It's adjacent to Bon Secour’s St. Francis Watkins Centre and is about 88 percent occupied, according to Thalhimer.
Thalhmer's David Crawford, Kevin South, and Alex Wotring are the leasing agents for the center. 2016-10-11T21:11:00+00:00
Clinton holds 9 point lead over Trump in Virginia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/clinton-holds-9-point-lead-over-trump-in-virginia#When:21:02:00ZDemocrat Hillary Clinton holds a 9 percentage point lead over Republican Donald Trump among likely voters in Virginia, according to The Roanoke College Poll.
Clinton was favored by 45 percent of respondents, compared with 36 percent for Trump. Libertarian Gary Johnson trails with 7 percent of likely voters, while Independent Evan McMullin and Green Party candidate Jill Stein each have 1 percent. Ten percent of likely voters remain undecided.
In a two-way matchup, Clinton's lead swells to 13 points (51-38 percent). Clinton led by 7 percentage points in the September Roanoke College Poll (44-37 percent).
The poll was conducted after the first presidential debate and before the second debate and the release of the videotape of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women.
“Hillary Clinton's lead appears steady," Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research, said in a statement. "Donald Trump is still unable to consolidate support among Republicans, and it is difficult to see how recent events help him in that regard. Even if he brings those reluctant Republicans 'back home,' he still needs to expand his support among independents and moderates. Those are both tall tasks."
Clinton leads among ideological moderates (50-26 percent) and is now tied with Trump among Independents (35-35 percent). Clinton claims the support of 91 percent of Democrats, while Trump has fallen below 8-in-10 Republicans (76 percent). Eleven percent of Republicans are undecided compared to only 4 percent of Democrats. Most (64 percent) of those who are undecided claim they are not leaning toward any candidate.
Both candidates still are viewed unfavorably by voters. Clinton's ratings (39 percent favorable; 48 percent unfavorable) and those of Trump (29 percent favorable; 57 percent unfavorable) are statistically unchanged from a month ago.
Vice-presidential candidate and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is viewed favorably by a plurality (48 percent ) of respondents. The Republican VP candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has a favorable rating of 34 percent, but one-third (32 percent) still don't know enough about him to have an opinion.
The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 814 likely voters in Virginia between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.2016-10-11T21:02:00+00:00
Colorado-based DigitalGlobe to acquire The Radiant Group for $140 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/colorado-based-digitalglobe-acquires-the-radiant-group-for-140-million#When:20:57:00ZColorado-based DigitalGlobe Inc. plans to acquire The Radiant Group Inc., a privately held Reston-based geospatial information company, from Aston Capital for $140 million in cash.
DigitalGlobe said the combined business will support critical national security missions with an expanded portfolio of capabilities that extend across the geospatial intelligence value chain.
Radiant expects to have 2016 revenue of about $100 million. Its revenue growth rate has been above 10 percent.
“The acquisition of The Radiant Group represents an important step in deriving new insights for customers from DigitalGlobe’s imagery and other geospatial information sources,” DigitalGlobe CEO Jeffrey R. Tarr said in a statement. “Combining Radiant with DigitalGlobe greatly enhances both organizations’ capabilities, expands our customer base across the U.S. Intelligence Community and increases our access to contract vehicles.
Radiant has contracts with the National Reconnaissance Office, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and Special Operations Command,
DigitalGlobe, which is based in Westminster, Colo., expects to finance the deal with cash on hand and funds from an existing revolving line of credit. The transaction is expected to closed by the end of this year.
Aston Capital is a Stamford, Conn.-based private-equity fund focused on middle markets investing in the aerospace, defense and national security sectors.2016-10-11T20:57:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Screen_Shot_2016-10-11_at_3.13.38_PM.pngRendering courtesy city of Virginia Beach
Lidl will anchor new retail project in Virginia Beach
In one of its first locations in Virginia Beach, German discount grocer Lidl will serve as the anchor tenant in a new retail center under development by Beach Development Group.According to the city of Virginia Beach,
Lidl will occupy 35,000 square feet at The Strand. The 10.6-acre, mixed-use retail center will be located at the intersection of Holland Road and Warwick Drive near Lynnhaven Parkway.
The project also has lined up Hardee’s and Christian Brothers Automotive as tenants.
Founded in 1940 in Germany, Lidl has expanded throughout Europe, America and beyond. Currently it has 10,000 stores in 27 countries, and plans to have as many as 150 stores in in the U.S., with the first to open by 2018.
The company has announced locations in Norfolk, Portsmouth and Richmond with a regional distribution center in Fredericksburg. The U.S. headquarters is located in Arlington. Some industry publications have said the company will create a total of 700 jobs in Virginia.
“Virginia Beach continues to appeal to global companies, and we welcome Lidl to our community," Virginia Beach Economic Development Director, Warren D. Harris, said in a statement.
Beach Development Group, headed by Kathy Owens, is a small, woman-owned, certified business (SWaM) formed in 2006 to develop commercial properties in strategic areas. Owens announced the project last week, and said at that time that a grocery anchor tenant had closed on a 4.4-acre parcel, but she could not disclose the identity.2016-10-11T19:15:00+00:00
Insight partnership acquires two apartment communities near Fort Belvoir for $57.9 million
Insight Property Group and RSE Capital, an affiliate of Fundrise, said Tuesday that they have acquired two apartment communities near the Fort Belvoir army base.
The partnership bought Sacramento Square Apartments in Alexandria for $37.8 million and Lancaster Mill Apartments in Woodbridge for $20.1 million.
The acquisitions are part of a recently launched strategic partnership between Insight and RSE, with the firms planning to invest $200 million in Washington, D.C.-area real estate annually.
The venture purchased its first community, Canterbury Square in Alexandria, in August for $9.7 million.
The two newest communities include 354 garden-style apartment units originally developed in the mid 1980s. Insight said in a press release that it plans to invest more than $7 million to upgrade units and common areas.
Fairfax-based Gates Hudson has been engaged to manage Sacramento and Lancaster.
The communities are located along the Route 1 Corridor with access to major commuter routes and employers.
With the anticipated growth of Fort Belvoir and what the firms described as a limited supply of Class B apartments in this submarket, the Insight partnership says Sacramento and Lancaster are positioned to satisfy the growing demand for middle-market housing.
The properties include one-bedroom and two-bedroom units averaging 896 square feet.
Insight also is at work on several projects in D. C. It recently started construction on Buchanan Park, which includes 41 condominium units, which are being redeveloped in two historic school buildings on Capitol Hill and 41 townhomes being constructed along the site’s perimeter.
Insight’s Apollo project on H Street NE is scheduled to deliver its iirst residential units by Nov. 1. The Apollo is a $198 million project consisting of 431 luxury apartments, a Whole Foods grocery store, office space and other retail.2016-10-11T17:41:00+00:00
Sandy Lerner opens new locally sourced food store in Marshall
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sandy-lerner-opens-new-locally-sourced-food-store-in-marshall#When:15:52:00ZSandy Lerner, who founded Ayrshire Farm and Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville and the Home Farm Store in Middleburg, is expanding her retail footprint with a new business model.
The businesswoman launched a food retail concept on Oct. 1 in Marshall called Gentle Harvest. The store, located at 8372 W. Main Street off of I-66, stocks produce and other products sourced from local farms, including Lerner's Ayrshire Farm, the first certifeid organice/cdrtified humane farm in Virginia. The products range from certified organic and humane meats to grab-and-go meals, coffee, flowers and local wines and beer. The idea is to locally sourced food along with hard goods in a market setting.
The store also has dine-in space and a drive-thru that customers can use to pick up quick meals or groceries — all accessible via the store’s app.
Gentle Harvest is located in a former bank building. It will serve not only as the flagship location for the company but also as its headquarters. Lerner plans to roll out more Gentle Harvest stores next year.
“Gentle Harvest is a win-win for the local farms, residents and travelers along the highways,” Sully Callahan, who oversees management of Gentle Harvest, said in a statement. “In essence it’s a concept where the farm stand meets the freeway.”
A second store underway in Winchester at 120 Front Royal Pike is scheduled to open in late October, and there are plans for more. “We’re planning an aggressive rollout in 2017,” said Callahan.2016-10-10T15:52:00+00:00
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer reports on third quarter activity
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-reports-on-third-quarter-activity#When:15:24:00ZCushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announced Monday that the Richmond-based firm’s eight Virginia and South Carolina offices, through the third quarter, had completed 1,186 lease transactions totaling more than 17.1 million square feet with a value of nearly $589 million.
In addition, Thalhimer reported 225 sale transactions totaling more than $397 million in sales volume. The sales included industrial, office and retail buildings, as well as land transactions.
Overall, year-to-date volume for all transactions exceeds 21 million square feet with a value exceeding $986 million. At the same time last year, the company reported a transaction volume of $$1.1 billion.
Kettler opens new high-rise apartment project in Arlington
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kettler-opens-new-high-rise-apartment-project-in-arlington#When:15:01:00ZKettler, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate development and property management company, Monday announced the opening of m.flats Crystal City, an 11-story, 198-unit, high-rise apartment building located in Arlington.
The project revived a site once occupied by the former Crystal City Post Office, and provides a new community located a block from the Crystal City Metro.
The building “will provide a spark that will help Crystal City become the vibrant community we all envision,” Robert C. Kettler, Kettler’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “It not only expands the number of residences, but takes Crystal City a step closer to becoming a thriving transit-oriented, walkable neighborhood.”
The project was the first residential building proposed to the Arlington County Board after the adoption of the Crystal City Sector Plan in 2010. The plan is a roadmap for the redevelopment of Crystal City through 2050.
“Demand for luxury city living is especially strong in the Arlington submarket,” Pamela Tyrrell, vice president of multifamily for Kettler, said in statement. “Many young professionals want a home that features an array of amenities, is in close proximity to mass transit as well as dining and entertainment options.”
The project offers primarily one- and two-bedroom units. Building amenities include a club room equipped with WiFi and lounge areas, a fitness center, bike storage and a courtyard with fire and water features. Rooftop amenities include multiple entertainment spaces with outdoor seating and dining areas, outdoor kitchens with grills, and a sundeck with cabanas overlooking the rooftop swimming pool and views of the city.
The high-rise is Kettler’s sixth multi-family building in the Crystal City/Pentagon City market. Kettler opened The Acadia, a 411-unit high-rise luxury apartment building in Metropolitan Park spring of 2015.
Construction on m.flats Crystal City began at the end of October 2014. KTGY Architecture + Planning was the architect and project designer for m.flats. John Moriarty & Associates served as the general contractor. 2016-10-10T15:01:00+00:00
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer reports lease transactions in Fredericksburg area
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-reports-lease-transactions-in-fredericksburg-ar#When:14:58:00ZBJ’s Brewhouse has leased a 1.64-acre retail pad site at Central Park Marketplace at 1861 Carl D. Silver Parkway in Fredericksburg. Thalhimer's Connie Jordan Nielsen and Alicia Farrell handled the lease negotiations.
Rural King leased 89,360 sqare feet of retail space in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center at 477 South St. in Front Royal. George C. Stuckey and Allyson P. Wiggins handled the lease negotiations.
The Free Lance Star leased 18,700 square feet of office space in Central Park Corporate Center at 1340 Central Park Blvd. in Fredericksburg. Jamie A. Scully and Sharon E. Schmidt handled the lease negotiations on behalf of the landlord.2016-10-10T14:58:00+00:00
New $7.7 million retail development coming to Virginia Beach
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-7.7-million-retail-development-coming-to-virginia-beach#When:14:48:00ZBeach Development Group, a Virginia Beach-based general contractor and development company, is developing a new retail project in the city’s Princess Anne area, and some of the tenants are new to the region.
According to Kathy Owens, the company’s president, the $7.7 million project will include 27,600 square feet in three buildings and a three quarter-acre parcel available for ground lease.
One of the tenants will be a grocer that already has closed on an adjacent parcel at the intersection of Holland Road and Warwick Drive. Owens said she could not disclose the name of the grocer at this time.
She said Hardees fast food restaurant and Christian Brothers Automotive (CBA) also have purchased outparcels and will be tenants. CBA, based in Houston, has more than 150 franchise locations across the country. “The rapid growth throughout the region represents a unique opportunity for us … ” Mark Carr, president and CEO of Christian Brothers said in a statement.
Owens said site clearing for the project should begin soon.2016-10-10T14:48:00+00:00
Five tips for selecting the right health benefits
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/five-tips-for-selecting-the-right-health-benefits#When:13:00:00ZFall signals the start of many annual traditions — a new school year, football season and holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. Fall is also the season for another important annual tradition in Virginia and across the country: open enrollment, when many people have an opportunity to select or change their health benefits for the following year.
With approximately 155 million Americans — including more than 4.4 million Virginians under age 65 —obtaining health benefits through their employers, it’s an important time to ensure you make choices that support your needs.
Selecting the right health benefits can feel challenging. However, reviewing the available options and choosing carefully can help you find solutions that can work for you and help you make more informed choices that may improve your health and even save money.
To make open enrollment season easier, consider these five tips:
1. Take time to review your options: Don’t wait until the last minute to make your benefit elections or rush through the process. Instead, start early and get your questions answered. Your employer and health plan representatives are available to help with the process. Remember there’s more to each plan than co-payments, deductibles and premiums. Take a few minutes to check if your doctor is in the plan’s care provider network and that your prescriptions are covered.
2. Look for incentive-based wellness programs: Some health plans, including UnitedHealthcare, offer wellness programs that enable people to earn financial incentives — such as lower premium costs or deductible credits — for completing health assessments, signing up for a health coaching program, lowering cholesterol, going to a gym or even using a fitness tracker to monitor daily walking patterns. These incentives can help save you money, in some cases up to $1,500 a year, and encourage you and your family to practice healthier behaviors.
3. Take advantage of health care apps and online tools: Many health plans have created apps and online resources to help people locate a health-care professional or check if their doctors are in-network, compare treatment costs, review claims and find more information about their health plans. For instance, the Health4Me app (available for Apple and Android devices) makes it possible for all consumers to comparison shop based on quality and cost for more than 875 common medical services across nearly 600 health events.
4. Open a health savings account: More employers are offering health plans that include a health savings account (HSA) option. An HSA is like a personal bank account specifically for health-related expenses – you own all the money in it, including contributions from your employer. HSAs offer a triple tax advantage: money is deposited pre-tax from your paycheck and accrues interest tax-free, and withdrawals are not taxed as long as funds are used for qualified health-related expenses.
5. Don’t overlook other important benefits available to you: Specialty benefits, such as dental, vision, accident or critical illness insurance plans, are often lower-cost options that can protect you and your family from head to toe. Research shows a connection between oral health and overall health, so adding a dental plan may help prevent larger medical problems. A vision plan may offer eye exams that can identify chronic conditions like diabetes, and offer reduced pricing on frames and lenses. Critical illness plans can provide important financial benefits for unexpected health situations.
Many employers conduct open enrollment during a two- to three-week period between September and December, so now is the time to learn about your health benefit options. A little extra time spent today can pay off next year in having a plan that works for you.
For help navigating open enrollment, visit UnitedHealthcare’s new online resource Health Care ABCs (http://www.uhc.com/healthcareabcs), which provides easy-to understand information about health benefits and health care topics so people can make the right choices for themselves and their families.
Chris Mullins is CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s Mid-Atlantic Region.2016-10-07T13:00:00+00:00
Marcus & Millichap opens Richmond office
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marcus-millichap-opens-richmond-office#When:20:33:00ZMarcus & Millichap, a California-based commercial real estate investment services firm, is opening an office in Richmond.
David Bradley will oversee the office as its sales manager. Bradley also oversees the firm’s Hampton Roads office.
Marcus & Millichap has offices throughout the United States and Canada.
“The new Richmond office will support our growing client base in Southern Virginia and service the ever-increasing number of investors interested in deploying capital in the region,” Bradley said in a statement.
Currently, the firm’s two Southern Virginia offices have a total of 13 investment professionals.
The Richmond office is located at 4870 Sadler Road, Suite 300, in Glen Allen.
Marcus & Millichap, based in Calabasas, Calif., has more than 1,600 investment sales and financing professionals.
Founded in 1971, the firm last year closed more than 8,700 transactions with a value of approximately $37.8 billion.2016-10-06T20:33:00+00:00
Draper Aden Associates merges with Christiansburg-based firm
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/draper-aden-associates-merges-with-christiansburg-based-firm#When:19:18:00ZRichmond-based Draper Aden Associates one of the largest engineering firms in the mid-Atlantic, has merged with Christiansburg-based Advanced Technical Services International.
Financials details of the merger were not announced. The combined company will operate under the name Draper Aden Associates (DAA),.
DAA said the deal, which was effective on Oct.1, enhances its technological capabilities, such as 3-D laser scanning and interactive building information modeling with new services such as bedrock mapping and seismic surveying.
“This is an exciting move for DAA, as it embraces our goal to continually enhance the services we provide with yet another valuable technology,” Jeffrey N. Lighthiser, the CEO and president of the firm, said in a statement. “The ability to create 2D bedrock surface maps, detect subsurface voids/structures, and solve hydrologic problems are just some of the areas where we have seen growing demand, and our Geophysical Team’s expertise will open new windows to the world below for our clients.”
Founded in 1998 by Warren Dean, Advanced Technical Services provided a broad spectrum of geologic services to industry, government, and legal professionals throughout the mid-Atlantic.
“Draper Aden Associates is a great fit for us because their corporate culture matches with our values and they share the same vision for the importance of geophysical services,” Dean said in a statement.
Advanced Technical Services employees will join DAA’s Geotechnical/Construction Quality Assurance Division. Dean will serve as Geophysical Services team leader.
Advanced Technical Services team will be located in DAA’s Blacksburg office.
DAA has offices in Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Manassas, Newport News and Richmond plus locations in North Carolina.2016-10-05T19:18:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Nuckols_Place_Rendering.jpgNuckols Place rendering courtesy the Peterson Companies
Nuckols Place announces retail and restaurant leases
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nuckols-place-announces-retail-and-restaurant-leases#When:19:18:00ZThe Peterson Companies announced Wednesday the first wave of retail and restaurant leases at Nuckols Place, a 90,000-square-foot, grocery-anchored shopping center under construction in Henrico County.
Joining Publix Super Markets in what will be its first 50,000-square-foot store in the region will be several restaurants, including Chipotle, 2,400 square feet; Sedona Taphouse, 5,480 square feet; Starbucks, 1,950 square feet; and Zaxby’s, 4,100 square feet. New retail tenants are PetValu, 3,100-square feet and Lee Spa Nails, 1,620 square feet.
Nuckols Place is located at the intersection of Twin Hickory and Nuckols roads. Currently under construction and slated to open in 2017, the center is close to the Twin Hickory and Wyndham neighborhoods as well as the Innsbrook Corporate Center and The Concourse at Wyndham Office District.
“Nuckols Place is the first Peterson Companies retail development in the Richmond market, and the response from the retail community has been very enthusiastic,” Marc Menick, vice president of leasing for Peterson Companies, said in a statement. Based in Fairfax County, the Peterson Companies is one of the largest privately owned real estate development companies in the Washington, D.C.-based metro area, where they have been the force behind many major projects.
Connie Jordan Nielsen and Alicia Farrell with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer are the leasing agents for the project.2016-10-05T19:18:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/OKRAY_ADVANCE.jpg
Advance Auto Parts names new CFO
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/advance-auto-parts-names-new-cfo#When:19:07:00ZRoanoke-based Advance Auto Parts has named Thomas “Tom” Okray executive vice president and CFO, effective Oct. 31. He will succeed Mike Norona, who will remain with the company in an advisory role until the end of the year.
The move is part of Advance Auto Parts’ previously announced transition plan. Okray joins Advance Auto Parts from Amazon, which he joined last year as vice president, finance, North American operations. In January, he became vice president, finance, global customer fulfillment. He was the finance lead responsible for optimizing key elements of Amazon's Global Fulfillment Network, including transportation and supply chain, capacity and labor planning and cost and productivity of fulfillment centers.
“Tom is very familiar with a supply chain that must respond rapidly to online demand,” Tom Greco, Advance Auto Parts’ president and CEO, said in a statement. “This will be increasingly critical to accelerating our growth at Advance going forward.”
Before joining Amazon, Okray held various leadership positions at General Motors, where he was most recently CFO, global product development, purchasing and supply chain.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Advance Auto Parts, a major automotive aftermarket parts provider, operates 5,066 stores and 126 Worldpac branches while serving about 1,300 independently owned Carquest branded stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. The company has 74,000 employees.2016-10-05T19:07:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/414047.jpgLoudoun Gateway 5
34,000 square feet leased in Loudoun Gateway 5
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/34000-square-feet-leased-in-loudoun-gateway-5#When:19:14:00ZAfter owning Loudoun Gateway 5 in the Loudoun Gateway Corporate Center for eight months, Crown Properties Inc. reports that occupancy has increased from 64 percent to more than 90 percent, thanks in part to two recent leases.
Crown Properties, represented by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), has leased 24,000 square feet to Unanet, a software provider for professional services organizations. Wallace & Co., a real estate advertising agency in the Washington area, and its sister company, Ecendant Interactive, also signed to take nearly 10,000 square feet of space by early 2017.
The commercial office space off Route 28 in Sterling is located near Washington Dulles International Airport and is adjacent to many hotels. Building amenities include a café, fitness center and conference facility.
"As Unanet grows, we are committed to maintaining our company culture and providing our employees a wonderful place to work. The new, custom-designed office space will generate excitement for employees, as well as customers and partners who visit,” Rebecca Douglas, Unanet vice president of finance and administration, said in a statement.
Dee MacDonald Miller and Chuck LaRock of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) represented Unanet in the transaction.
Crown Properties, a privately held real estate firm based in New York City has interests in more than 6 million square feet of property and is new to the real estate market in Northern Virginia.2016-10-04T19:14:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Boulders_I_exterior.jpgPhoto courtesy Ray Burroughs Photography
Dominion Realty Partners buys three Boulders office buildings
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-realty-partners-buys-three-boulders-office-buildings#When:15:50:00ZRichmond-based Dominion Realty Partners (DRP) continues to expand its office portfolio in the Richmond region. The firm has purchased three office buildings in the Boulders Office Park in Chesterfield County for an undisclosed price.
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group represented the seller in the transaction, with Eric Robison completing the sale.
The 288,416-square-foot portfolio includes: Boulders I, 78,995 square feet; Boulders II, 76,981 square feet; and Boulders III, 132,440 square feet. The buildings are located near Powhite and Chippenham Parkways as well as Midlothian Turnpike.
According to Thalhimer, the class A office portfolio was 76 percent leased at the time of sale with 34 tenants. Tenants include the Timmons Co., an engineering consulting firm, and Tredegar Corp.
DRP said in a press release that it plans capital improvements for the buildings, including upgrades to lobbies, corridors and restrooms as well as parking lot resurfacing and landscaping improvements.
Chris Carlino, who works in acquisitions and development for DRP, said in a statement, “These buildings are a great fit for us. The fact that they are 76 percent leased means that there is an opportunity to unlock additional value, both through leasing and capital improvements.”2016-10-03T15:50:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/NTLNHARBOROUTSIDE.jpg
MGM National Harbor resort casino will open Dec. 8.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mgm-national-harbor-resort-casino-will-on-open-dec.-8#When:15:31:00ZThe $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor, the first luxury gaming resort in the Washington, D.C., region, will open Thursday, Dec. 8.
The resort is on the Potomac River in Prince Georges County, Md.
"After years of planning, designing and developing, we are thrilled that the moment is almost upon us to share this very special resort with the community
and visitors from around the world," Lorenzo Creighton, president of MGM National Harbor, said in a statement.
The resort said it is accepting room reservations for stays beginning Dec. 10. Nightly room rates start at $399 and suite rates begin at $599.
The hotel will offer 308 rooms and suites ranging in size from 400 to 3,210 square feet.
MGM National Harbor has partnered with Live Nation for entertainment programming at The Theatre at the resort, a 3,000-seat venue. The resort also will offer a 27,000-square-foot spa and salon, 18,000 square feet of retail and the casino with table games and more than 3,300 slot machines.
A focal point for guests at the hotel will be a two-story conservatory with floral combinations and design elements changed throughout the year.
2016-10-03T15:31:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Waterford_Concept_061716_jpeg.jpgWaterford Park rendering
JLL selected as listing agent for Waterford Park
Despite delays in zoning, the developers of a $35 million proposed water sports park in western Chesterfield County are moving forward on other fronts.
Waterford Park LLC announced Monday that it has hired JLL as the exclusive listing agent for its 105-acre, mixed-use development. Waterford Park, proposed for a site off Genito Road, has been designed to offer office, retail, residential and restaurant space.
The centerpiece of Waterford Park will be a large, man-made lake. It would offer cable skiing, kayaking and other water activities with a separate area for whitewater rafting, a zip line, ropes course, climbing wall and an amphitheater to host concerts. The development also would include a boardwalk with restaurants and shops, as well as a residential component with apartments and townhomes.
According to JLL, the current plan calls for 500,000 square feet of commercial space and as many as 790 multifamily residential units. Supporters say it will serve as a new tourism attraction for the Richmond area.
“As we’ve spent time discussing the project with interested parties, we’ve been met with an overwhelmingly positive response. People recognize that this is an entirely new concept and see real potential here,” Tom Dunn, vice president, JLL, said in a statement.
Waterford Park is modeled after the U.S. National Whitewater Center that opened 10 years ago in Charlotte, N.C. That 700-acre park is an outdoor recreation and training facility for whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking. Although on a smaller scale, the Chesterfield development seeks to emulate the whitewater center’s impact as a local tourist attraction while incorporating a retail and residential component that will make it more of a community rather than just a destination.
The owners behind the concept are Derek Cha, founder of the Sweet Frog frozen yogurt chain, and his partner, developer Brett Burkhart. To ease potential traffic impacts, JLL said the developers have incorporated upgrades to intersections and road systems nearby.
However, the project, originally scheduled to open next year, now is looking at a 2018 opening because of repeated delays in the local zoning process. The Chesterfield County Planning Commission has deferred a public hearing on the project several times. A hearing is now expected to be held in December.
“Chesterfield County is alive with lots of possibilities right now. A development like this one will bring jobs, investment and tourism interest that can lift the whole area,” Cha said in a statment. “We’re so enthusiastic about the possibilities that we’ve recently acquired an additional 30 acres to enlarge the footprint of this project to include all of the amenities we’ve envisioned.”
JLL will serve as the exclusive brokerage team for the office and retail components of the project. The JLL team is comprised of Charlie Polk, Tom Dunn, Jimmy Appich and Greg Ferrante.2016-10-03T15:12:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Will_Bradley_2012.jpg
CBRE|Richmond promotes William Bradley to first vice president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/brerichmond-promotes-william-bradley-to-first-vice-president#When:14:08:00ZWilliam Bradley of CBRE/Richmond has been promoted to first vice president, a year after being named as a vice president.
“Will has shown himself to be a trusted leader and provides his clients unmatched service, knowledge and professionalism,” Joe Machetti,
managing director of CBRE|Richmond, said in a statement.
Bradley has worked for the firm for more than nine years. He previously served as head of CBRE|Richmond’s Research Department.
According to CBRE, his focus on investment sales has yielded more than $250 million in investment sales transactions in the past two years.
Bradley is a graduate of the University of Richmond. He also is a board member for Tricycle Gardens, a nonprofit that focuses on food skills education and healthy food access in the Richmond area.2016-10-03T14:08:00+00:00
FCi Federal moves to new headquarters
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fci-federal-moves-to-new-headquarters#When:22:05:00ZAshburn-based FCi Federal (FCi) has moved its headquarters, tripling its office space, to accommodate the company’s rapid growth and expansion plans.
The new office located at 20135 Lakeview Center Plaza in Ashburn was unveiled Friday in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“FCi’s expanded headquarters space will enable us to increase our capabilities and infrastructure in support of our robust growth in immigration pre-adjudication support services and our strategic expansion plans into new markets,” FCi Federal CEO and President Scott F. Miller said in a statement. “We have a talented HQ team and look forward to expanding our employee base here and at our customer sites across the U.S.”
Earlier this month, FCi Federal was awarded a $25.5 million, five-year prime contract by the Department of State to support mail and diplomatic pouch services. FCi will provide supports services for processing all incoming and outgoing mail at two government sites in Virginia.
In August, FCi Federal was named to the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation.
Operating in more than 40 states and territories, FCi Federal is one of the fastest growing government services firms in the industry providing a wide range of managed professional, administrative and technical services to federal agencies.2016-09-30T22:05:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/UVA-WISE_Campus-NW_View_TIM8870.pngPhoto by Tim Cox
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mountain-grown#When:10:00:00ZFar Southwest Virginia’s faltering economy troubled Donna Henry, chancellor of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, when she took the school’s helm in January 2013.
“When I came, it was sort of the beginning of this downward spiral,” Henry recalls. Coal was caught in what seemed to be a “perfect storm” of competition from cheap natural gas and tighter environmental regulations on the industry and its customers. Coal’s collapse, marked by mining company bankruptcies and thousands of layoffs, came a lot faster than anyone expected, she says.
Henry could see the impact at her college, where roughly half of the student body of about 2,000 comes from rural counties west of Roanoke. The families of some U.Va.-Wise students were leaving the region. Enrollment in local public schools was declining. College students were needier, and some had families who were unable to support them. This summer, the unemployment rate in Virginia’s most coal-dependent counties was running more than double the state average.
The struggling economy prompted Henry to make U.Va.-Wise’s 9-year-old economic development program a part of the chancellor’s office last fall. Having an economic development office — uncommon for small liberal arts colleges — is one of many ways U.Va.-Wise serves the Cumberland Mountain region of Central Appalachia to which it owes its existence.
Request made in 1954
In 1954, three Wise men made a pilgrimage to Charlottesville to ask University of Virginia President Colgate W. Darden Jr. to support the creation of a university branch in their county. The closest state-supported college at the time was in Radford, a three-hour drive to the east.
The men — two lawyers and an engineering firm owner — secured Darden’s support and headed for Richmond to plead with lawmakers for the money needed to start the school. A college was about to be born.
That fall, with $5,000 in initial state funding and $6,000 in local donations, the college opened its doors to 109 area students, two-thirds of whom were Korean War veterans. The school initially was called Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia.
After 1999, in a marketing move, it became the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. The site picked for the school was the county’s old Poor Farm, which offered a large sandstone building suitable for the first classrooms.
Since those humble beginnings, Southwest Virginia has continued to support the college. The college’s endowment stands today at roughly $85 million, which equals or exceeds that of many larger Virginia schools. Sixty percent of the endowment’s income goes toward scholarships. That allows students who receive financial aid, 80 percent of the student body, to graduate with some of the lowest student debt in the nation. In 2014, more than half of U.Va.-Wise graduates left with no student debt, and the average debt for the remainder was $12,496.
The college has grown at an accelerating pace. Begun as a two-year institution, it awarded its first bachelor’s degrees in 1970 when enrollment was roughly 400, still almost all from the region. Full-time enrollment exceeded the 1,000 mark in 1991 and stood at 2,065 in the 2015-16 academic year. The eventual enrollment target is 2,600, Henry says. Students, many among the first in their families to attend college, now come from all around the state. All but five Virginia counties are represented, and fully a fourth of the student body calls Northern Virginia or Hampton Roads home.
With the growing enrollment has come a campus building boom. Since 1997, 37 projects have added or renovated roughly 585,000 square feet of space at a cost of nearly $217 million in public and private money. Notable among those were: an $8.3 million health and wellness center; a 3,000-seat, $30 million convocation center; three new residence halls totaling more than $20 million; more than $23 million in science center construction and renovation; a new $9.6 million dining hall; and a new $37.2 million library that opens this fall.
The construction work — much of it done by local contractors — has provided jobs and economic activity. That represents just one of many ways the school contributes to the local economy aside from the payroll and student and school spending. For example, the David J. Prior Convocation Center, which opened in late 2011, has stimulated spending in the area by attracting visitors to various events. In the most recent fiscal year, the center hosted 1,001 events, drawing nearly 80,000 people.
A better picture of the school’s overall contribution to the area economy should be available in December when an economic-impact study of the university’s Charlottesville and Wise campuses will be published.
“U.Va.-Wise to us is an economic engine,” says Carl Snodgrass, economic development director for Wise County. “The local impact on the economy has been pretty phenomenal.”
He speaks from experience. Snodgrass, who is the only employee in his office, welcomes help from the college through its resources and broad contacts.
The college also provides Snodgrass with an important recruiting advantage when he goes after new industry. “We tout that pretty highly,” he says. Companies today, Snodgrass notes, are looking for employees who can read, understand what they’ve read and share what they’ve learned with other employees.
Helping new businesses
The college is training a workforce now that can perform in tomorrow’s jobs, Henry says. U.Va.-Wise, she says, is still at heart a liberal arts college that teaches students to think critically, communicate well, work in teams and be lifelong learners — the kind of soft skills that Snodgrass says companies are looking for.
The college also has a business launch plan that can connect fledgling businesses with faculty, students and other resources in the region, such as civic groups, suppliers, vendors and potential customers, says Shannon Blevins, associate chancellor for economic development and community engagement. Along those lines, the college is planning a cyber-technology business accelerator for a recently donated building in St. Paul. The college is working with Mach37, a Herndon-based cybersecurity accelerator, on the project and is talking with startups about using the St. Paul facility.
If she cannot find the expertise a fledgling company needs in-house, Blevins just puts out a call to her colleagues in Virginia’s University-Based Economic Developers group. “We go to each other for resources, and we do that a lot,” she said. The close relationship with the mother institution in Charlottesville can be particularly helpful. There, Blevins found an expert in fluid dynamics for a new technology business in Wise.
U.Va.-Wise’s economic development office has pursued a variety of other strategies in concert with regional organizations. One of them is the Virginia Coalfields Economic Development Authority (VCEDA), which has been marketing the region since 1988.
“I think [the college] is playing a very vital role in strengthening the regional effort,” says Susan Copeland, VCEDA’s marketing director. The No. 1 priority for business prospects is the quality of the workforce; so access to education is important, she said.
U.Va.-Wise doesn’t seek to duplicate existing development work in the region but to support all entities that are working for the region’s benefit, helping them find resources, expand and do their work better, Blevins says.
For example, by last fall more than 55 individual public and private entities were working on economic development in the region. “That just spoke to the sense of urgency people feel … that we’re in a challenging economic situation with the decline of coal,” Blevins says.
There was a need, Henry says, for a nonbiased party to bring public and private development organizations together to work on a strategic plan for the entire region. The college hosted a forum in May whose goal was to do just that. People not just from
Southwest Virginia but from across the commonwealth and other states that have an interest in the region — 356 in all — attended the meeting. “This is going to be an ongoing conversation,” Blevins says.
U.Va.-Wise is also working with the Virginia Department of Tourism and the Department of Housing and Community Development to build an entrepreneurial culture in Southwest Virginia. Before a regional strategy was agreed upon in 2012, the effort to promote entrepreneurship was fragmented.
The college was an important factor in recent successful recruitment efforts at the county’s Lonesome Pine Technology Park, including a customer-support center for TurboTax and Quickbooks and a data center providing business continuity and disaster recovery, Snodgrass says. Among other factors, including geologic stability and technological infrastructure, DP Facilities of Long Island, N.Y., cited “a technically competent labor force because of the nearby University of Virginia at Wise” when explaining its choice of the park as the location for a new 65,000-square-foot data center. U.Va.-Wise has a computer science program and offers the only undergraduate software engineering major among Virginia’s public colleges.
The college was the “dominant” reason Micronic Technologies, a startup from Northern Virginia, moved to Wise County in 2014, says company founder and CEO Karen Sorber. The support the college offered the company and its sponsorship of a $2 million grant from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission put U.Va.-Wise “square in partnership with us,” she says.
Micronic has developed a patented water treatment system that removes impurities and contaminants from any water source. “In my case, we had the technology down but needed a lot of ancillary services the college could provide for us,” Sorber says.
The company got help from the college’s professors and interns. They, in turn, have benefited from the relationship by getting real-world experience in how businesses work, she says.
Sorber has traveled around the state this year as a member of 2016 class of Lead Virginia, a leadership training program. Through the program, she has learned about Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s interest in linking colleges with early-stage companies.
“Chancellor Henry is way ahead of the game in terms of her leadership in economic development compared with other universities in the state,” Sorber says. “She gets it.”2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Scanlon-2931.pngJim Scanlon’s grocery store is part of a revitalization effort in the city’s Southeast Community. Photo by Mark Rhodes
Revitalization and innovation
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/revitalization-and-innovation#When:10:00:00ZShoppers in Newport News’ Southeast Community are finding an abundance of fresh fruits, crisp vegetables and choice meats at Jim’s Local Market.
But just as important, the grocery store is providing jobs plus nutritional and financial guidance to residents of the economically depressed neighborhood, helping to boost their community pride. Bayport Credit Union has a branch in the store, giving many residents their first access to banking services, and it will offer financial literacy classes in the store’s community room. Bon Secours Virginia Health System meanwhile is teaming up with the store to promote good nutrition. Eighty to 85 percent of the store’s employees live in the Southeast Community.
Florence Kingston, Newport News’ economic development director, says those added touches are important to the city’s efforts to revitalize a neighborhood where the unemployment rate hovers around 20 percent and half of the residents live below the poverty line. “It’s using resources to build the social capital of the residents in the community,” Kingston says.
Opened in May, Jim’s Local Market ends a period of nearly two years during which the Southeast Community had no full-service grocery, designating the neighborhood as a “food desert,” an area where affordable, nutritious food is difficult to obtain. Former grocery store executive Jim Scanlon came up with the idea for the market as a way to provide healthy, affordable groceries to areas with limited food access.
Scanlon spent four decades in the industry, including a stint running an inner-city store in Albany, N.Y., before retiring as regional vice president for Martin’s Food Markets in Richmond. “Newport News was one of the few municipalities that came to the plate early on in recognizing the issue with food access,” he says. “They came to me to put a solution together to provide fresher, high-quality products that people can purchase locally.” Scanlon next plans to open stores in food deserts in Richmond and Hampton.
Newport News’ Economic Development Authority owns the building, leasing it to Scanlon, who’s gradually building a clientele. “It’s been a little slow out of the gate, but it’s growing every day. It’s just a matter of getting people’s habits changed,” he says.
New life in community
Jim’s Local Market anchors the shopping center in the mixed-use Brooks Crossing development, a revitalization endeavor encompassing the Southeast Community. The city is investing up to $18.3 million in the development, which is a partnership between Aaron Brooks, a former NFL quarterback who is a Newport News native, and Virginia Beach-based developer Armada Hoffler.
In all, the city has put about $50 million into the Southeast Community and the area surrounding it, including improvements to landscaping, streets and infrastructure. “It’s been a labor-intensive effort to get community buy-in,” Kingston says. “We’re investing in educational resources, neighborhood services, business activity and housing.”
The $500,000 Choice Neighborhood Grant the city recently received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to help improve schools and safety and convert public housing into mixed-income homes in the community. Still, Kingston cautions the process is not a quick fix. “It’s taken a while for the community to decline, so it will take a while to bring it back.”
Investing in the community will benefit the entire city, says Debra Ramey, a Newport News-based partner with The Shopping Center Group, a national, privately owned real estate advisory firm. “It’s exciting to see the efforts being made. There is nothing but positives for the city by strengthening the weaker areas.”
Newport News bills itself as the center of business, retail, technology and transportation for the Peninsula, a strip of land with 600,000 residents, bounded by the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads and the York and James rivers.
“There’s more innovation going on in Newport News than people are aware of,” Kingston says. She points to the reinvigorated City Center at Oyster Point, the new Tech Center mixed-used development, expansion at Newport News Shipbuilding and the long-awaited widening of Interstate 64. All are touted as a much-needed economic jolt for the city and its 183,000 residents.
Pointe Hope, a local investment group led by former Newport News Mayor Joseph C. Ritchie and Hampton attorney Robert E. Long, this summer closed a $64 million deal to purchase nine buildings in City Center. Under out-of-town investors, the mixed-use development never lived up to city leaders’ vision as the center of Newport News. “This group has a better handle on the pulse of what’s going on in the community and will take City Center to where it needs to be,” Ramey says.
Long wants to see City Center host festivals, concerts and other events, making use of the development’s centerpiece fountain. “City Center is the downtown of the Peninsula,” he adds. “It’s surrounded by the biggest law firms, accounting firms and defense contractors on the entire Peninsula, but we want to make it more successful.”
City Center’s success could hinge on filling the dozen or so vacant storefronts with local businesses. “I like to see local restaurants and local merchants,” Long says. “All my life, I’ve done business with my neighbors. I’ve found that the Peninsula is best served by people from the Peninsula.”
At the nearby Tech Center, national retailers, such as Mellow Mushroom and Whole Foods Market, are staking their claim on the Peninsula. The retail phase is complete, the first phase of upscale apartments are set to open this fall, and construction is expected to start on the signature research park early next year. Set on 50 acres adjacent to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, the center will give high-tech companies a place to perform advanced research.
That’s crucial for the city’s economic diversification efforts, says Kingston. “Newport News always envisioned a research park that could take some of the technology coming out of the research at the Jefferson Lab and capitalize on that. Tech Center will allow us to grow small businesses, entrepreneurial businesses and diverse businesses.”
The Jefferson Lab is one of only two facilities in the running for a $1 billion electron-ion collider, a U.S. Department of Energy research facility that the city expects would have a $4 billion economic impact on the region. A collider is used by researchers to understand what lies inside a nucleus and what holds it together. A decision on the site is expected within the next three years.
Aiding these development plans is a 21-mile, $144 million project widening I-64 from four to six lanes. Construction on the first of the project’s three phases — a 5.6 mile segment in Newport News — is expected to be finished by late 2017. “It’s long overdue,” Kingston notes. “This is important not just for Newport News but for the whole Hampton Roads region.”
Newport News’ advanced machinery corridor is also growing with the expansions of Canon Virginia Inc., Continental Corp. and Liebherr Mining Equipment. Virginia’s largest industrial employer, Newport News Shipbuilding, plans to add 1,000 jobs, along with new facilities and equipment to enhance construction on aircraft carriers and Virginia-class submarines. Newport News City Council agreed to provide up to $46 million to help the shipbuilder fund the $750 million investment in new facilities and equipment. The General Assembly approved similar funding during the last legislative session. “That’s really a very strategic investment by the shipyard that will carry it for generations to come,” Kingston says.
New jobs and expanded facilities are also on tap for Newport News Industrial Corp., which like Newport News Shipbuilding is a subsidiary of city-based Huntington Ingalls Industries. The 50-year-old company is adding 52,000 square feet of production space at its Oakland Industrial Park site to supply steel modules for nuclear power plants manufacturer Westinghouse. Newport News Industrial now employs about 400 workers but will hire about 125 additional welders, inspectors and quality assurance personnel starting in early next year.
“We will be part of the global supply network for Westinghouse, which is building dozens of nuclear power plants around the world,” explains the company’s president, Pete Diakun. “As the power plants that Westinghouse is selling worldwide are procured by different countries and sales grow, so does our growth.”
Newport News Industrial could expand its reach into partnerships with other nuclear power plant providers. “We’re excited about these opportunities,” Diakun adds. “It’s a mechanism by which we can diversify into the commercial nuclear space. For us, it’s a way to show the industry that we have a lot to offer.”
Another major Newport News employer, Ferguson Enterprises Inc., continues to grow. In fiscal year 2016, it bought 13 companies in markets that showed high potential or where the company had limited presence. Ferguson, which has annual revenue of $13 billion, employs 22,000 people, including 2,500 in Virginia.
Career pathways program
New businesses and corporate expansions require highly skilled workers, a need Newport News Public Schools strives to meet through the district’s Career Pathways program, which introduces students as young as kindergartners to a variety of careers. Students learn about job fields throughout elementary and middle school. The program culminates in high school with job shadowing or hands-on training in areas such as architecture and construction, arts, education, government, health science, aviation, business, and audio-visual technology and communication. Career fields are selected based on student interest and regional job needs.
“You’ve got options in Newport News schools,” says Chief Academic Officer Brian Nichols. “Whatever your interest is, we’ve got something for you.”
Since launching Career Pathways, Newport News’ graduation rate has jumped from 72.9 percent in 2008 to 89.5 percent last year. Many students graduate with either college credits or industry certifications. “That’s nothing short of amazing,” Nichols adds. “The kids are being engaged.”
Local companies, including Newport News Shipbuilding, Langley Federal Credit Union and Riverside Regional Medical Center, have partnered with the school system, providing students with internships and networking opportunities. “Our community has really stepped up to be partners,” Nichols says. “It shows our kids that we have jobs right here in our community. They don’t have to go anywhere else.”
Popular career pathways include health sciences and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas. The aviation academy at Denbigh High School attracts students seeking to follow in the flight paths of astronauts who trained at the nearby Langley Air Force Base, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. “Students are building real planes that will fly someday,” Nichols notes. “They will be able to go to a job interview and say that as a junior or senior they built a plane.”
Just one more reason that the Shopping Center Group’s Ramey emphasizes the growing momentum in Newport News. “I get excited,” she says. “So much can happen. This is the place to be.”2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/POLIOTICS_KaineClinton.pngAP Photo/Andrew Harnik
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/political-dominoes#When:10:00:00ZWith a month to go before Election Day on Nov. 8, political analysts say the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine Democratic ticket is expected to win in Virginia, even though tightening polls mean anything is possible. Kaine’s hometown creds — he’s Virginia’s junior senator and a former governor and Richmond mayor — are expected to give Clinton a boost in a swing state that went for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 after 40 years of supporting Republicans.
While this election season has been one of the most contentious, bizarre and unpredictable in recent political history, analysts already are looking at the political impact a Clinton/Kaine victory would have on Virginia.
If the Democrats beat Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, along with three third-party candidates, Kaine’s Senate seat would become open.
The vacancy paves the way for a number of possibilities affecting everyone from Gov. Terry McAuliffe to two of Virginia’s three Democratic congressmen.
A Kaine vice presidency also gives Virginia national exposure. “Any added attention should improve our economic prospects,” says Stephen J. Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a friend in the White House. “Virginia’s military bases will be very well protected if the country has a No. 2 from Virginia,” observes Farnsworth.
What’s next for McAuliffe?
Meanwhile, back to the political dominoes. If Kaine is elected, the governor has a couple of options in filling the vacant Senate seat: He could appoint himself or another Democrat. Political analysts consider it unlikely that McAuliffe would resign as governor to become a senator. “The risk of a backlash is great. When a governor appoints himself to a job, a lot of voters think there’s something kind of fishy about that,” says Farnsworth.
Besides, political pundits can’t see McAuliffe’s outsized personality boxed into a Senate seat. “He’s an executive type. He’s not the type of person who could go to Washington and deal with 99 other senators, “ says Quentin Kidd, vice provost and director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News.
Under a Clinton presidency, there would be many other opportunities for McAuliffe, a staunch Clinton supporter and the chairman of her 2008 presidential campaign. With his laser focus on job creation as Virginia’s governor, analysts can see him as the country’s commerce secretary or as U.S. trade representative. Yet Kidd envisions McAuliffe as an ambassador. “He’s proud of his Irish heritage. Being named as the Irish ambassador, I see him more in that role than as a cabinet secretary.”
As a cabinet secretary, adds Kidd, “your ability to make wide-ranging decisions is limited. Being an ambassador, you have a wide-open portfolio, even if the scope of your engagement is limited to that state and region.”
A politically astute move would be for McAuliffe to appoint a high-profile Democrat to Kaine’s Senate seat who could beat back a Republican challenger. The appointment would last until the next general election, which in Virginia would be the November 2017 gubernatorial election.
Then a special election would be held, and the winner would hold the Senate seat for the reminder of Kaine’s term, which runs through 2018. To keep the seat for another six-year term, the incumbent would need to run again in the 2018 general election.
In other words, McAuliffe’s appointee would have to run twice in two years — no small task.
Bobby Scott or Don Beyer?
That means the Democrats need someone with statewide name recognition and the ability to raise funds. The most compelling choices, say analysts, are U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott from Virginia’s 3rd District in Hampton Roads and Don Beyer from the 8th District in Northern Virginia.
Scott and Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of the 6th District have the longest tenure of any Virginian currently in the House or Senate. (Both were elected in 1992.) If appointed to Kaine’s seat, Scott would become the first African-American from Virginia to serve in the Senate.
Beyer, an automobile dealership owner who is serving his first term, was Virginia’s lieutenant governor from 1990 to 1998. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1997, losing to Republican Jim Gilmore.
While Scott and Beyer are both strong candidates for the Senate seat, some analysts predict the nod will go to Scott. “The governor loves the idea of being a history maker,” says Kidd. “He’s demonstrated a clear interest in increasing the voice of minorities, African-Americans in particular, with his stands on voter restoration rights and lawsuits over redistricting.”
Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, agrees that history and political convenience will drive Scott’s appointment. If Scott is the appointee and runs to complete Kaine’s term, says Skelley, his presence on the Democratic ticket would help generate a bigger turnout of African-American voters in the 2017 off-year gubernatorial election. That should help Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the presumed Democratic nominee for governor.
On the Republican side, Skelley speculates that Scott may get competition from Reps. Dave Brat from the 7th District in Central Virginia or Barbara Comstock from the 10th District in Northern Virginia. “The special election presents an opportunity for sitting members of Congress that are Republicans in the state, because there’s no resign-to-run law in Virginia, and they can run from the safety of their seat. They don’t have to choose between running for re-election and running for the Senate seat in the special election,” Skelley says.
If Scott is appointed to the Senate seat, the move would create an opening in the 3rd District, a “minority majority” district. Kidd says he can think of several African-American candidates from that area who might be interested in running for Scott’s seat, including state Sen. Mamie Locke and Delegates Lamont Bagby and Marcia “Cia” Price.
Virginia’s third VP
On a historical note, if Clinton and Kaine are elected, Kaine would be the third Virginian to assume the vice presidency.
Thomas Jefferson served as the country’s second vice president under President John Adams from 1797 to 1801, before becoming president in 1801 and serving two terms.
John Tyler, who was born in Charles City County, became vice president in 1841. A month after taking that office, he became the first vice president to become president due to the death of his predecessor. President William Henry Harrison, also a Charles City native, caught a cold during his 90-minute inauguration speech and died from pneumonia.
Virginia, long known as the birthplace for presidents, has been in a dry spell. If Clinton and Kaine win, would this set the state up for its 9th president?
“The moment you’re vice president, that greatly raises the odds that you are at least considering a future run for president,” says Skelley. “A lot would depend on what happens with Clinton and her presidency.”
Still, the VP role would give Kaine a chance to consolidate his position in the party, gain allies behind the scenes and position himself for a future run. But first the Democrats have to win.
Kidd expects the race to tighten as it nears the finish line. He predicts a three to five point win for the Democrats over Trump and Pence. “It really depends on how much the third-party candidates pull,” he says.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Noonan-3089.pngChristine Noonan at The Motley Fool, which allows employees to take 16 weeks of paid parental leave.Photo by Mark Rhodes
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/business-imperative#When:10:00:00ZSwaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and the United States are literally and figuratively worlds apart, yet the four countries share a startling distinction. According to a Human Rights Watch report, out of all the world’s nations, they alone offer working women no legal right to paid maternity leave.
Contrast that lack of support with Croatia, population 4.2 million, which has the world’s most generous benefit for working mothers — 406 fully paid days off. Or with Iceland, population 332,000, where each parent gets five months off at 80 percent pay and a further two months off for whichever parent chooses to take it, for a total of a year.
In the U.S., the only federal law concerning parental leave is the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. It requires that companies with more than 50 employees give new parents — including same-sex couples — and workers with personal or family medical issues, up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This act allows for so many exemptions, however, that it covers just 59 percent of U.S. workers.
What’s more, the Department of Labor says 64 percent of the people who are eligible for the unpaid leave but don’t take it are women, likely because they can’t afford to. This situation is unlikely to be changed by law anytime soon, either. A proposal introduced in Congress last year to give federal employees six weeks of paid parental leave went nowhere.
States are free to enact their own laws regarding paid parental leave, of course, but few have done so. In Virginia, no such law exists, and the Washington, D.C.-based National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) could find no bill concerning this subject currently under consideration in Richmond.
The upshot of this lack of interest on the part of state and federal government is that that just 12 percent of working Americans have access to paid parental or family leave, according to the Department of Labor Statistics. Nevertheless, the movement toward making paid leave an employee benefit is picking up in Virginia and elsewhere, with the impetus for change coming from the marketplace.
“Paid leave has moved from being a social issue to being a business imperative,” says Pam Jeffords, a partner based in Denver at Mercer, a global consulting firm with a specialty in employee benefits. In particular, Jeffords says, she is witnessing “a new emphasis on maternity’s role in female success.”
Hurting the workforce?
According to the NPWF, the more than 2 million working women in Virginia represent 47 percent of the state’s overall workforce. Yet a 2014 New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Foundation poll showed that, on average, more than 40 percent of working women nationally will quit their jobs at some point, mostly because of family obligations, such as caring for a newborn or an ailing parent. That hurts not just their careers, but their employers’ businesses.
In a written statement to a Senate subcommittee hearing on children and families, Vicki Shabo, NPWF’s vice president, cited a survey of 31 companies, along with academic case studies, which found that the median cost for employee turnover equaled, on average, 21 percent of a worker’s annual wages because of issues including separation expenses, higher unemployment insurance, temporary staffing and training. On the other hand, a 2011 study by California’s Center for Economic and Policy Research found that 91 percent of businesses it surveyed reported that paid parental leave either boosted profits or had no effect on the bottom line.
“Parental leave is getting studied a lot,” says Bill Howard, a principal in health and benefits at Mercer’s Richmond office. “Employers want to understand the cost, and everyone wants a benchmark.”
That benchmark now is being set by two sectors of the economy in particular — technology and financial services.
Tech firms in the lead
“Tech companies have been first out of the gate,” says Jeffords, and the obvious reason for that is the rise of the millennials.
This demographic group, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, now makes up 35 percent of the nation’s workforce, and its presence in the tech industry is disproportionally much larger. By 2025, millennials are expected to constitute 75 percent of the overall labor force.
Paid parental leave is an especially important employee benefit to these young workers because many are starting families or planning to do so soon. Millennials also expect employers to allow them flexibility in how they balance their work and personal lives.
“As more millennials move up through the chain, companies need a much more results-oriented environment,” says Julie Simmons, managing director of Human Capital Strategic Consulting in Fairfax.
Uber tech companies such as Google and Netflix are setting a high bar on leave policies. Google, for instance, gives birth mothers 18 weeks of paid leave and other caregivers 12 weeks. Netflix guarantees new parents unlimited time off for a year.
Leave policies among Virginia’s tech sector are more modest. The Northern Virginia Technology Council, for example, instituted a two-week, fully paid leave policy a few years ago, which its 21 employees can access for parental leave or to take care of family issues. “Morale-wise, it’s been very popular,” says Christine Kallivokas, the council’s chief operating officer.
Policies at other Virginia tech companies seem to be a rather closely guarded secret, but senior benefits consultant Derek Winn of the Business Benefits Group of Fairfax says that his firm works with many tech firms in Northern Virginia and that about 90 percent now have paid parental leave.
No joke at The Motley Fool
The financial services industry is another sector in the vanguard of change. Employees at Bank of America, for example, are eligible for up to 16 weeks of paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave and are given flexible schedules for the 12 months after a child arrives. The company also reimburses up to $8,000 in adoption expenses.
In Virginia, the parental leave policy at the Alexandria-based investment services company The Motley Fool is hard to top. The Fool, as it calls itself, allows its 330 employees to take 16 weeks of paid parental leave and as much as 12 weeks of paid family medical leave, says Christine Noonan, the head of human resources.
“We have fun and work at the same time,” Noonan says. “We don’t micromanage. We treat people like adults.” The Fool recently won a Game Changer Award from the Virginia Center for Health Innovation for its employee benefits program.
Farther south, in Henrico County, another white-collar business, Elephant Insurance, recently adopted a new parental leave policy for its 600 employees. It now pays new mothers 40 percent of their salary for the first six weeks of leave (eight weeks if they have a cesarean birth), says Louisa Scadden, head of the company’s people services. Short-term disability insurance covers the other 60 percent for those employees who elect to carry the insurance.
For employees who have been with Elephant for more than a year, paid leave is extended to 12 weeks, with the company picking up the whole tab after disability insurance runs out. The primary-care parents additionally receive an extra week of leave during their first year back to tend to family matters and are paid a bonus of two weeks’ salary after six months. Their spouses or partners receive two weeks off at full pay, as well.
“We don’t anticipate a huge change to the bottom line,” Scadden says of the new policy. “If anything, we expect we’ll save money.”
That belief is becoming more common in the private sector, but any law requiring paid parental leave is unlikely anytime soon.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Hinnant-2720.pngPhoto by Mark Rhodes
The ‘go-to’ for meeting planning
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-go-to-for-meeting-planning#When:10:00:00ZAs corporate meeting planner for Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest shipbuilding company in the U.S., David Hinnant is focused on the details that will make an event a success, such as guests’ dietary restrictions if food is being served.
“All those little things really go a long way when you’re planning a meeting,” says Hinnant, who began his career more than half a century ago with Newport News Shipbuilding and today works for its parent company, Huntington Ingalls Industries. During his tenure, Hinnant has planned hundreds of events, ranging from corporate board meetings to ship christenings, and welcomed notable guests on behalf of the company, including presidents of the United States and members of Congress.
In recognition of his expertise, Hinnant has been named the first ever Virginia Business Meeting Planner of the Year, a partnership between Virginia Business and the Virginia Society of Association Executives, which serves the commonwealth’s association management industry. Hinnant will be honored at VSAE’s 2016 Educational Symposium & Expo Oct. 6 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond.
“There are many things for me to worry about in my current role,” HII President and CEO Mike Petters said when nominating Hinnant for the award. “Given Dave’s capability, our ability to host guests and create the right level of hospitality and professionalism for an excellent meeting environment is not one of them.”
Scott Stabler, HII’s vice president of internal audit, notes that part of what makes Hinnant an effective meeting planner is his insight when planning events. “One such occasion was the Christening of the Aircraft Carrier USS RONALD REAGAN (CNV 76) on March 4th 2001,” he says. “Mrs. (Nancy) Reagan came to Newport News (to christen the ship.) The former president (was unable to attend as he was) dealing with the progressive effects of his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Dave had a jeweler create a special charm (and bracelet) for Mrs. Reagan, which both commemorated the former First Lady’s participation in the Christening and celebrated the calendar date of March 4th – the Reagan’s wedding anniversary. Mrs. Reagan was quite moved by this gesture.”
The Meeting Planner of the Year award comes at a monumental time for Hinnant, who is retiring Oct. 31. He started working at Newport News Shipbuilding in 1962 after graduating high school. He held several roles before becoming a meeting planner for the company, including pipefitter, marketing representative and a variety of jobs in the production control department.
“In production control my responsibilities were planning and scheduling and sequencing the building of the ships,” he says. “I think that really helped me with the event planning responsibilities — to look ahead and think ahead as to what was going to be needed.”
But Hinnant is quick to credit the entire team tasked with ensuring HII’s events run smoothly, which ranges from two other meeting planning professionals to the company’s security team.
“We try to do a lot of forward thinking and forward planning,” he says in order to have everything covered in case something goes wrong.
That includes being on a first-name basis with senior leaders where events are being held. “He is not reticent to use these connections when necessary,” Stabler says. “He also has an uncanny knack to sense when something is not right and to quietly remedy the situation before anyone is aware that something was awry.”
Hinnant never expected to become a meeting planner.
“I am truly blessed to have been a part of such a great company,” he says. “When I look at where I started and the transformations that have taken place with the company and in my life, in what to me seems such a short time, it’s amazing and nothing short of divine intervention.”2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CyberClass-3085.pngNorthern Virginia Community College student Jason Hayward attends a cybersecurity class. Photo by Mark Rhodes
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fighting-back#When:10:00:00ZIf you were keeping up with the news in recent months, you probably heard that hackers working for Russian intelligence were suspected of infiltrating state election databases in Arizona and Illinois as well as breaching computer networks at the Democratic National Committee and The New York Times.
But you may have missed the story about the small dermatology practice in Reston that also was hacked.
It didn’t make national news in June when an unknown hacker from outside the United States attacked Professional Dermatology Care PC, compromising 13,000 patient records. It was a ransomware attack, a software raid in which a hacker shuts down or limits access to a computer network or website in an attempt to extort money from the owner. Unavailable for comment, the dermatology practice posted a statement on its website about the breach, stating that it had increased its cybersecurity measures, would be sending written notice to all affected patients and that it had reported the attack to authorities, including the FBI.
The practice said it believed “the criminals’ motive was to extract money from the company in order to de-encrypt data, rather than for the misuse of patient data.”
Though state-sponsored cyberattacks garner headlines, attacks on businesses of all sizes are an everyday occurrence, driving the increased need for more cybersecurity professionals — and endangering the existence of small businesses.
“Companies are under daily attack from cybercriminals,” says Collin Hite, an attorney with Richmond-based law firm Hirschler Fleischer who specializes in cybersecurity and data privacy. “This is happening to small medical practices all the way up to the Fortune 500 companies. And my view is … other than the Fortune 1000 larger companies, many companies are woefully underprepared.”
Virginia’s government and companies are positioning the state as a leader in the sector, preparing to take advantage of the economic opportunities created by the challenges of securing the ever-evolving host of technological systems and gadgets upon which 21st-century life depends. To meet the demand, Virginia is trying to grow its pipeline of cybersecurity professionals, an industry that so far has been unpopular with millennials.
“Every kind of organization is realizing the difficulty that cybersecurity risks pose to their organization and mission, and we’re helping to mitigate those risks,” says Charles Onstott, a senior vice president with McLean-based defense contractor SAIC who is responsible for the technology company’s cyber, cloud and data science services. “The cyber threat landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 years — the persistence of attacks, the frequency of them and the alarming rate at which vulnerabilities are discovered and exploited.”
A lot of companies think they’re too small to be a target, but there’s no such thing. “Credit-card data makes somebody a high-value target,” Hite says.
By some estimates, the cost of remediating a stolen data record can be around $270 per file. This includes providing credit monitoring and identity theft protection for customers whose data was stolen. For smaller companies, costs associated with data breaches could be the tipping point in shutting down operations. That’s why Hite recommends that companies not only plan ahead for breaches but that they take out cyber insurance policies.
Health-care records in particular are a prime target, he notes, “because you can truly steal somebody’s entire identity with medical records because you have so much information: their address, their family members, dates of birth.” (About 39 percent of all data breaches were directed against health-care industry targets last year, according to a study by Symantec, a California-based cybersecurity firm.)
And while cyberattacks against large corporations might be coordinated by organized crime outfits in Eastern Europe and Russia, ransomware attacks like the one launched against the Reston dermatology practice are more likely to be the work of lone actors seeking a quick score, Hite says.
Ransomware attacks have “become so prevalent,” he says. “It’s allowing anyone to become a cybercriminal. So you don’t have to be all that sophisticated or have monetary backing to do ransomware. You can pretty much get [the hacking tools] off the internet and become a cybercriminal overnight. The bar to entry into the criminal element is lowering every day.”
Adds Hite: “2016 is going to be the year of ransomware. Because a lot of this stuff is on a smaller scale, you never hear about it. Nobody wants to admit it, so they just pay the ransom and try to go on. You don’t have the time or the resources to fix the system. You just pay the $10,000.”
Opportunity for Virginia
Virginia is likely one of the best places to produce a pipeline of workers to fight these threats.
There are more than 650 cyber-related companies in Virginia, according to state Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. And due to its proximity to the federal government, the Northern Virginia area in particular is dense with cybersecurity firms and professionals.
Fairfax County is home to 10 of the world’s 500 “hottest and most innovative” cybersecurity firms, according to the Cybersecurity 500 list by Cybersecurity Ventures, a leading industry research and market analysis firm. (The top Fairfax-based firms include IKANOW, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman and L-3.)
“Most people in the industry recognize that the national capital region has more cybersecurity talent than any other place on Earth, and that’s a great place to seek innovation,” says Rick Gordon, managing partner of the Mach37 cybersecurity business accelerator in Herndon, an initiative of the Center for Innovative Technology.
Since 2013, Mach37 has helped launch 35 cybersecurity companies that collectively employ more than 100 workers. Companies participating in the accelerator, which helps them with education, seed money and venture capital contacts, agree to establish a significant presence in Virginia within two years of graduating from the 14-week program. Mach37 also announced last summer a new partnership with the University of Virginia’s College at Wise that will work to strengthen the cyber industry in Southwest Virginia.
Despite the number of cybersecurity firms in the state — or perhaps because of it — Virginia has an immediate need for about 17,000 more cybersecurity professionals, with each job paying an average of $88,000 per year, according to a Virginia government-sponsored study by Burning Glass Technologies.
“This is a complex issue, and it’s not going to go away. We need to harness all of the workforce and all of the capabilities we can to make sure we can defend against those who would do us ill through cyber, and that need is only going to grow,” says Jackson, the secretary of technology.
In addition to business development, Virginia companies and the state government are focused on education and early outreach efforts to build the commonwealth’s cybersecurity workforce.
“Education and the workforce is a big deal,” Jackson says. “When it comes to feeding the workforce pipeline, cybersecurity firms by and large are based on talent, and they are pretty much as good as the talent they are able to find. And so the states that have the best people and have the most talented workers are going to be the ones that garner the most amount of [cybersecurity] companies over the long term.”
The state government’s efforts aren’t purely selfless — it needs cybersecurity professionals, too. “We have 300,000 attacks on our network every day,” Jackson says. The attacks range from email phishing to more serious hacking attempts.
The state government can’t compete with private industry on salaries and perks, Jackson says, so Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration has established a $1 million scholarships-for-service program to augment its workforce. The program offers up to two years of paid college tuition for students pursuing cyber-related degrees in exchange for working in cybersecurity for the state government for the same number of years after graduation.
Virginia Tech has a similar program offering scholarships for three years of federal government service in cybersecurity. The federal government is launching its own initiative to hire 3,500 more cybersecurity professionals by 2017. In September, President Obama named retired Air Force Brigadier Gen. Gregory Touhill the nation’s first cybersecurity chief.
But there also are plenty of efforts to help private cybersecurity companies ensure they have a workforce they need.
In June McAuliffe announced that the state government was establishing a registered cybersecurity apprenticeship program to help students in community colleges and technical centers get on-the-job experience while earning degrees and certificates in cybersecurity fields. McAuliffe has made cybersecurity the central focus of his tenure as chair of the National Governors Association, encouraging states to share information and strengthen the nation’s collective cybersecurity profile.
In August, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced Virginia Tech would receive a $19.4 million National Science Foundation grant that largely will be used for cyber workforce development.
Virginia has been particularly focused on “middle-skills” workers — those who need more education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree to enter the workforce. The state’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program funds two-thirds of the cost of workforce credentials programs for students who successfully complete vocational certification programs and earn industry-recognized credentials and certifications in high-demand professions, including information technology and cybersecurity.
Margaret Leary, cybersecurity program head for Northern Virginia Community College and director of curriculum for the National CyberWatch Center, is a self-described “huge supporter” of the workforce credentials initiative. “The problem is the workforce needs people who can hit the ground running. They don’t want to spend 18 months to train someone on the hard skills needed to defend a network.”
However, in Northern Virginia, she says, the majority of the cybersecurity employers tend to be federal contractors, and federal government contracts require most cybersecurity contractors’ employees to hold bachelor’s degrees. To this end, Northern Virginia Community College is working with schools such as George Washington University to help students get four-year cyber-related degrees. They also have a pathway program to help military personnel receive earned credits for their previous military experience in cyber fields.
One key problem is persuading younger professionals to enter the field.
At her community college, Leary says, most students pursuing cybersecurity degrees tend to be between ages 30 and 60 and are entering the field as a second career. Millennials, she says, aren’t really aware of cybersecurity career options.
“A lot of these students, if you ask them what might a cybersecurity specialist do, they don’t know,” she says. “There needs to be more career prep done at the high school level, even at the middle school level, so that people understand the range of opportunities within cybersecurity … Millennials are very attracted by worthwhile causes. If it could be represented as a worthwhile cause to them — protecting assets, protecting national security — then there would be more interest.”
William Eggers, managing director of Deloitte Services, agrees that there’s a problem in getting more teens and twentysomethings interested in cybersecurity careers. Millennials are expected to save the day when it comes to the cybersecurity talent shortage, he says, but surveys done in recent years show that they aren’t as interested in or even aware of cybersecurity as a career. Many say their guidance counselors never mentioned it as an option.
The McAuliffe administration is trying to change that.
Although Virginia public schools have no cybersecurity curriculum, this year the state Department of Education sponsored a one-time pilot program of 32 cybersecurity summer camps for high school students across Virginia.
In addition, McAuliffe signed a bill into law this summer requiring that computer science be integrated into the state Standards of Learning for K-12 Virginia public schools, likely beginning no sooner than fall 2017. (AP computer science classes, however, have been available to Virginia high school students for decades.) And while computer science classes aren’t a requirement for graduation in any of the 50 states, they provide a foundation necessary for cybersecurity jobs.
The private sector also is taking measures to grow its workforce.
Deloitte sponsors a national Cyber Threat Competition to increase awareness of cybersecurity careers among college students. (Virginia Tech placed second in the contest last year.) What’s different about Deloitte’s contest is that it’s open to any student, not just the technically minded. It’s more of a business competition and involves risk management, presenting reports to clients and creating communications statements about breaches for employees and the media. That’s because there’s a need for more than just tech people in cybersecurity.
Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman sponsors a national after-school CyberPatriot competition, giving high school and middle school students the chance to compete in timed contests to eliminate vulnerabilities in virtual computer networks. Last year, more than 3,400 teams competed, each with about four to six students on a team. Fairfax County Public Schools have done particularly well in the competition — once sweeping the top three spots.
“It’s not only measuring their expertise in finding the vulnerabilities, but also it’s against the clock, so they have to work well as a team, so they’re building their collaboration and communications skills,” says Diane G. Miller, Operations Cybersecurity Group program director.
Surprisingly, perhaps, cybersecurity companies in Virginia say they don’t have a problem finding talented techies. “We get unsolicited contacts from recruiters almost daily, and they’re not just from Virginia. From a talent acquisition standpoint, that’s one of the last things we worry about,” says Rob Hegedus, CEO of Suffolk-based cybersecurity firm Sera-Brynn, which was ranked the No. 1 firm in Virginia and 10th in the world on the Cybersecurity Ventures list of the top 500 hottest cybersecurity companies to watch in 2016.
What they do have more trouble finding, Jackson says, are support personnel with technical knowledge, as well as tech workers who have business and communications skills.
“It is very important to have the research and the technical people because they’re the ones who have to do what has to get done, but there also has to be a level of people involved who can translate the technical into what the C-suite or the board of directors or the general public can understand,” such as marketing and communications professionals, she adds. “That’s imperative. It’s very difficult to walk into a C-suite to get money for R&D if the C-suite can’t understand what you’re pitching.”
Excelling in the field
It takes more than a degree, however, to make a successful cybersecurity professional.
Among longtime cybersecurity professionals, it’s less important to them what kind of a degree you hold than what you’ve accomplished and what sort of mindset you possess. (And one might take note here that Microsoft founder Bill Gates was a self-taught computer programmer who didn’t earn a college degree.)
“The industry is snapping up anybody that’s got the word ‘cybersecurity’ in a degree and that’s good … but just because they have that in their degree name doesn’t mean it necessarily translates into real-world skills,” says Darren Manners, who heads up the offense security operations division of Richmond-based SyCom Technologies. His unit conducts penetration testing, emulating what hackers would do to locate and eliminate system vulnerabilities. “A degree is nice, but what have you done? Have you made your own applications? Have you built different systems?”
The cybersecurity sector also has been largely dominated by white males and hasn’t done as good a job at reaching out to women and minorities, say Manners and others, resulting in a huge loss of potential talent.
Furthermore, cybersecurity pros “don’t suffer newbies very well. You’re paid for what you know. Knowledge is everything in our industry … People can be overly critical, and there’s a reason for that. Mistakes cost a lot of money. Sometimes they can cost lives. It’s one of those industries where you can really make an impact, but you can also really mess up, and I don’t think some people take to that.”
Some companies, like Northrop Grumman and SyCom, recruit students as paid interns while they’re still in high school in hopes of bringing them on as full-time employees after college. “It’s almost like we end up doing what the basketball recruiters do,” says Manners. “We’re in it for the long haul, so we understand the particular skills set that we’re after. It’s very hard to find.”
And while cybersecurity salaries in Virginia are very competitive and can range from around $70,000 to $180,000, the best cybersecurity pros aren’t in it for the money, says Northern Virginia-based cybersecurity consultant William Lumpkin, known in the cybersecurity world by his hacker handle, InfoJanitor. “A successful person in computer security is not actually pursuing the money. He’s pursuing a puzzle or some nuance he’s never seen before, and he wants to be the person to solve that … You can’t make a geek happy with money.”
When Lumpkin was a kid, he wrote an electronic Rolodex program for his mom’s insurance agent in exchange for a Commodore 128 computer. He brags about the time he defeated a client’s motion sensor security system with a paper airplane.
Problem solvers and curious minds are the types of personalities that thrive in cybersecurity, say Lumpkin and others. Take for example, Mach37 grad Tiffany Rad. Her company, Anatrope, located in the AOL Verizon incubator in Sterling, specializes in cybersecurity for vehicular systems. She holds a law degree, previously worked in cybersecurity for Cisco and Kaspersky and teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Maine. Like Lumpkin, she has presented at the DEF CON hacking conference.
Raised by her CIA agent father (who himself was a consultant for the Robert Redford film “Sneakers” about security consultants battling hackers) to learn how to pick locks and administer polygraphs, Rad possesses what may be some of the coolest cred in cybersecurity at the moment. An episode of the Golden Globe-winning cyber-thriller TV series “Mr. Robot” was based on an experiment she led in 2011 that proved that jail doors could be hacked and opened remotely. Her white paper on the topic is visible in the episode.
“We were able to make it look like all the jail doors were closed when in fact they had been open,” says Rad, noting that she also discovered that at least one prison back then had multiple vulnerabilities via internet-connected devices. “It was our worst nightmare that ‘Mr. Robot’ put [on TV] in a dramatic fashion. At the time we were worried about someone trying to coerce us into using our exploit.”
The McAuliffe administration hosted a Cyber-Physical Systems Summit in September, focused on securing autonomous systems and infrastructure, particularly in light of the growing number of connected devices being brought online with the Internet of Things.
“That’s why a lot of us have insomnia,” Lumpkin says, speaking about working in cybersecurity. “Because if you knew how vulnerable things are all the time, it would make you a little nervous too.”2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Reveley-2843.pngPhoto by Mark Rhodes
Hosting a national debate
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hosting-a-national-debate#When:10:00:00ZOn Oct. 4, Virginia will host its first U.S. vice-presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville. To have a Virginia senator as one of the candidates is a bonus no one counted on in summer 2015. That was when Longwood’s president, W. Taylor Reveley IV, realized the university might have a chance at hosting the nationally televised debate.
The match-up of Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia vs. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is expected to boost the number of people traveling to Farmville.
While officials can’t predict, in terms of actual numbers, Kaine’s influence on the turnout, Farmville’s acting chief of police, Andy Ellington, says, “I think it makes a difference. Tim’s a well-known guy … I think a lot of people want to be here in person to see him in the debate.”
Officials, from Farmville Mayor David Whitus to Sheri McGuire, executive director of the Small Business Development Center, say rooms within a 50-mile radius have been almost completely sold out since the debate venue was announced in September 2015. A lot of the visitors will be campaign operatives and media. Col. Robert Beach, chief of Longwood’s police force, and other officials expect as many as 2,000 members of the media from across the U.S. and the world.
The international exposure should be a positive, says Stephen Farnsworth, a political analyst and professor at the University of Mary Washington.
“The more attention drawn to Virginia in 2016, the more it will be good for Virginia business, and Virginia has never fallen short as a tourism destination.”
The Oct. 4 debate will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, as well as all cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. It will air from 9 pm. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Elaine Quijano, anchor, CBSN, CBS News, will moderate.
Virginia is a state of many firsts. Reveley, the nation’s first third-generation college president, notes that it was the site of the first modern presidential debate in the sense that we now know it — in 1976 at Phi Beta Kappa Hall at the College of William and Mary. Reveley’s father, W. Taylor Reveley III, is currently president of W&M, and his grandfather was president of Hampden-Sydney College.
Reveley has been known to remind undergraduate students of the historical context of the ’76 presidential debate at W&M between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. “Then,” he said, “in ’92 the town hall format of debates was inaugurated at the University of Richmond when Bill Clinton and Ross Perot and George Bush the elder debated.”
He’s sure Longwood’s historical context was an asset in its selection as a venue this year. Referring to “the range of operatic work necessary … to make one of these kinds of events really work well,” he said the commission “really cares about the basic story of the place they’re going to, and I think Longwood’s story and Farmville’s story they found particularly compelling ...
“[T]his is one of the 100 oldest institutions of higher learning in the country; and, in a really poetic way, the last days and hours of the Civil War played out at the north end of Longwood’s campus, and the modern Civil Rights movement began in great measure at the southern end of our campus at what’s now the Moton Museum but was Moton High School in 1951.”
The debate’s legacy will likely be a blending of the president’s vision for the school’s role in a democracy and an increased number of donors to the university — up 24 percent for 2015 over 2014. Virginia Business spoke with Reveley by telephone in August.
Virginia Business: Longwood’s hosting of the single vice-presidential debate on October 4 is a coup for the university. How did the idea for hosting the debate come about?
Reveley: The idea really lodged in my mind in fall 2014 when class discussion turned to whether that might be something we could do at Longwood ... Because of my familiarity with the [presidential] debate process from my time [as managing director at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center], I actually got to thinking about it … I decided Longwood should be in the mix because it fit into our goals of recognizing citizenship in a democracy … and [of potentially giving] Longwood momentum deep into the future. When we got back from the holidays in January 2015, we got in touch with the Commission on Presidential Debates and began to wind our way through the process.
VB: How did the process come down to Longwood’s being the final choice for the vice-presidential debate by the commission?
Reveley: From the initial number of about a hundred institutions that expressed interest for hosting any of the four presidential debates, the process winnowed down to about 15 or 16 that got into the substantive back and forth with the commission. That played out in depth through the summer of ’15 [to the point that] by late summer I had a sense that we might really be in the hunt. As it got to late September, I was sitting at my desk thinking about Longwood’s master plan for our facilities, which we had been working on independent of the debate for a long, long time, when the call came in from Mike McCurry, co-chair of the Presidential Debate Commission. Mike has a great sense of humor, and when I picked up the phone he said without any preface, “Are you busy on October 4th next year?”
VB: How does the commission decide on venues? What are the requirements, including the financial commitment for the production?
Reveley: The commission has been honing how these things work for 30 years now. At a threshold level, it’s the size of the venue, parking for satellite trucks, security considerations, whether there are enough and the right kind of accommodations for the candidates, whether the camera angles work, whether the IT infrastructure is robust enough. Beyond this threshold, the commission looks at the spirit of an institution — student energy and enthusiasm and the history of the place … The themes here [Civil War and Civil Rights] feel especially relevant today ... At a funding level, each institution pays $2 million toward the production cost. Inclusive of that, we expect Longwood to spend a total of $5.5 million — for campus preparation, infrastructure improvements, academic and public programming … and the $150,000 to $200,000 in advertising we’ve spent up to this point — all of which comes from a fund set aside for special projects such as this.
VB: Do the parties’ choices for presidential and vice-presidential candidates have a bearing on security issues?
Reveley: Yes … Practically speaking, it’s always a little bit easier in an election year in which there’s not an incumbent … because security around a sitting president or a sitting vice president is obviously at another scale than for candidates. So although it is a little bit easier from a security standpoint this year, we’re taking every precaution. From the bigger standpoint, what is always neat about the vice-presidential election is that the … vice-presidential candidates, while known to political insiders, have a freshness to the broad, general public that is really alluring …
VB: Have the thoughts of protestors, potential violence and 24-hour security kept you grounded in reality — compared to your visionary ideal of teaching about democracy through the debate?
Reveley: Yeah, I always think about the students who are in college today — who were born in the mid-to-late-’90s and who have never known anything except the tribulations of terror and war … Their first real memory at a national scale is 9/11, and they’ve seen recession and news like we’ve seen across the country and across the world this summer. In some ways [this event] is a celebration of democracy, but it’s grounded in the reality of the troubled world that we’ve got right now … and democracy only works to the extent that it can navigate its way through the troubles we face. We … the Secret Service, state police, Farmville police, our own highly decorated police force here at Longwood are intensely mindful of the public-safety aspects …
VB: What preparations began to be set in place once Longwood was selected? What did you do first when McCurry asked you if you were busy on October 4th?
Reveley: We’ve always wanted to make two big things happen. We really want this intergalactic TV event that 50 or 60 million people or more will tune into on October 4th … So in that regard the first thing was getting to a lot of the technical details I mentioned earlier, [such as] the IT infrastructure.
VB: What was the second thing you wanted to achieve?
Reveley: The second big thing was to ensure that it bears on what we are otherwise doing … that it fits into our strategic goals. A great example of that is what we are doing with our curriculum this fall around the debate because we are in the midst of reforming our general-education curriculum altogether to make citizenship the north star for it. So to have the chance in essence to pilot this fall a number of courses that are examples of the way we might handle our curriculum in the future has been great for us.
VB: What has been the impact thus far on the university as a result of being the debate site?
Reveley: We had a really nice jump in applications already from the spring of ’15 to the spring of ’16. The jump [was an increase] of about 11 percent, and now that we have that we’ve got the groundwork in place to make an even bigger jump in that regard next year.
VB: You have ... around 5,000 students. I’ve read that by 2025 you plan for it to be 6,000. Is that correct?
Reveley: Yeah, that’s an important number for us because that’s as big as we would like to get. So much of the magic at Longwood is the scale of the place and the interaction between our faculty and our students. If we can grow slightly — and organically — that’s our real hope.
VB: You’ve mentioned the commission is looking for student energy and enthusiasm to bring this all about. What specific roles will students have at the debate?
Reveley: It ranges broadly. At this point we’ve got more than a thousand people — students, alumni, faculty, staff, residents of the town — who have registered to volunteer … to help with the media, to help with the candidates, help with really just any aspect of the work … One of the neatest volunteer opportunities is that we’ll need a few students to be the actual stand-ins for the candidates … making sure the camera angles are really just so as the stage is getting into its final shape … which is a pretty neat experience for somebody.
VB: Does the debate figure into your overall strategy for engaging alumni and others philanthropically for the university’s growth and improvements?
Reveley: It absolutely does … We’re the third-oldest public university in Virginia after William and Mary and U.Va. … It really has had a catalytic effect among the alumni … Beyond increasing the number of donors, we’ve grown the annual, smaller contributions to a record year this past year, too. It was up about 14 percent.
VB: When you took office in 2013, the university was completing a $41 million fundraising campaign, the largest in its history. In terms of dollar amounts, what is your fundraising goal at this point?
Reveley: We’ve certainly tried to keep the juggernaut rolling … and we’ve raised about $15 million since that $41 million campaign closed, but we don’t have immediate plans to begin a new campaign ... But we have been putting this real emphasis on increasing the number of total donors each year, and likewise have been putting some real emphasis on increasing the number of contributions we have right into the academic heart of the institution.
VB: What is Longwood doing to try to hold down increases in tuition?
Reveley: We’ve held increases to well below 3 percent for each of my three years here … but from the philanthropic standpoint, the real key into the far future is to get scholarship funding so that college — Longwood — is always affordable.
VB: What are your goals for matching the investment in a college education with today’s job market?
Reveley: I think college always, and certainly today, is a strong mix of a public good and a private good … a public good in that college is essential for a free society… and a private good in [preparing] individual graduates for their future careers … I think in some ways public perception has gotten out of sync with purest economic reality. The New York Times had a good story [June 3, 2016] in which it [with Google] asked the question, “If unemployment for those with a high-school education is 7 percent today, what is unemployment for those with a bachelor’s degree?” In asking that question, the Times found that their readers were wildly off in the guesses they made, that they would guess … double that, triple that, for those with college degrees … The reality is that for those ages 25-34, with a bachelor’s degree, the unemployment rate today is just 2 percent, which is really striking when you stop and think about it …
VB: What are Longwood’s retention and graduation rates as of 2016?
Reveley: Retention is 81 percent from freshman fall to sophomore fall. The six-year graduation rate is about 68 percent; the four-year rate, 53 percent... [As] a society and [as individual] institutions, we have to give all of our creativity to figuring out how to make the path from freshman year to graduation a stronger one.
VB: What about the argument that online courses can accomplish much of what a bricks-and-mortar college does at a more economical cost?
Reveley: The quip that goes through my mind is to think about Thanksgiving dinner. You could come up with a densely packed energy bar with as many calories and as many nutrients in it as a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but is that the same thing? I would certainly say it’s not, that much of the power of residential liberal arts education lies in the way that it works, the way that it plays out, and the process, the four years of maturing into adulthood — the time with roommates, the time with professors, the 2 a.m. bull sessions. Those all are what contribute to the habits of democracy; and if we were to somehow bypass those and focus narrowly on skills training … we might for a time have a measure of economic growth … but we would lose the ability of people to learn to be citizens of a republic.
VB: Is Longwood reinventing its mission?
Reveley: I think it’s more being true to the deep essence of the place. I’m lucky to have this long perspective on the institution through my family. My great-grandmother was a Longwood alum, class of 1940, and my great-grandfather was the chair of the biology department here … so I know in a deep way that Longwood has been true to its liberal arts roots through the centuries … People frequently think it’s a teachers college that evolved into a university. In reality it was a liberal arts institution in the most classic sense for 50 years before it was a teachers college. When it was founded in 1839, it was a very progressive thing to be educating women, let alone educating women in Latin, Greek, music and mathematics … the four original courses at Longwood. We really are here to prepare a rising generation, first and foremost, to be citizens and then to be ready for their careers.
VB: What role do you have at the debate as the event unfolds on the evening of Oct. 4th?
Revele y: I’ll welcome everyone, which will be very nice. I’m very much looking forward to working closely with the commission and its leaders and staff on preparations … Then I’ll basically enjoy watching the opera unfold.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CEOPAY_MoneyPie.pngPhoto illustration by Matt Brown
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ceo-payday#When:10:00:00ZAfter years of nibbling around the edges, Virginia’s largest public companies are biting off bigger chunks of the pay-for-performance pie. The at-risk approach to CEO pay took on greater significance in 2015, when the stock market posted its weakest closing since the 2008 recession. Many companies here missed corporate earnings and other performance targets. The result: many CEOs saw their average total compensation remain flat or inch upward an average of less than 1 percent.
Board directors have tightly coupled more of an executive’s remuneration to narrowly defined goals. On average, nearly two-thirds of an exec’s pay package is linked to incentive-based equities, while milestone lump-sum cash payouts have nearly become a thing of the past.
Those are among the findings of an annual study of CEO pay at Virginia’s largest publicly traded firms. Equilar Inc., an executive compensation solutions firm in Redwood City, Calif., conducted the research on behalf of Virginia Business. It looked at pay practices at 46 Virginia companies.
Equilar examined corporate proxy statements to analyze the total compensation of CEOs who had served for at least two consecutive fiscal years. Total direct compensation includes a CEO’s salary, cash bonus, stock and option awards, long-term cash and other financial incentives. If a CEO was not in place in 2014, the individual’s compensation was not factored in the 2015 group averages.
Virginia CEOs received total compensation averaging $6.73 million in 2015, down 0.8 percent from $7.21 million in 2014. The average equity award was $4.1 million, or roughly 60 percent of the total. Other elements of average pay: salaries climbed nearly 7.2 percent to $979,136 while cash bonuses of $1.36 million remained essentially flat. The combined average of CEO salary and bonus was $2.3 million.
Virginia pay committees still are tinkering to find an appropriate balance between pay and performance, says Dan Marcec, an Equilar director of content and marketing communications. But weighting a CEO’s compensation against corporate achievements is harder than it sounds.
“We have seen a big shift away from awards that vest based on years of service and a move toward greater use of performance-based shares. And these performance awards are becoming more complex. Boards are basing them on different elements of the business (in an effort) to more accurately capture the holistic nature of their CEO’s responsibilities,” Marcec says.
By and large, pay strategies in Virginia reflect general trends that industry experts have witnessed across U.S. public companies. In a separate Equilar study in May, known as the Global CEO Pay Trends 2016 report, use of performance awards at S&P 500 companies increased from 62.5 percent in 2011 to more than 80 percent in 2015. During the same five-year period, use of time-vesting option awards decreased from 69 percent to 54 percent.
Global consulting firm Mercer reported similar findings in August. Total compensation for S&P CEOs ticked downward from $10.6 million in 2014 to $10.3 million in 2015 — the first such drop in five years. The $300,000 pay difference year to year exactly parallels the fall in median revenue among companies, which Mercer said declined from $9.7 billion to $9.4 billion.
“It was a small downtick, but it was a downtick nonetheless. It has to do with lower short-term incentives and lower bonuses (being awarded) in 2015, since there was lower profitability across many sectors,” says Gregg Passin, a senior partner in New York City with Mercer’s North America executive rewards practice.
How does a Virginia CEO’s pay stack up nationally? It’s a question bound to yield an imprecise comparison, but in terms of average pay, Virginia CEOs earned less than their S&P peers. That’s according to another Equilar study in May conducted with The New York Times. The analysis of the 200 largest S&P firms found those CEOs reaped a cool $19.3 million in 2015. And that actually represents a 16 percent year-over-year decline in total comp.
The uncertainty of the U.S. stock market is expected to keep raises flat for U.S. employees, who can expect an average pay hike of 3 percent in 2016, according to a salary budget survey by WorldatWork, a Washington, D.C., trade group for human resource professionals. That’s better than nothing, but annual worker raises have been stuck at 3 percent since 2014.
On a larger scale, public companies across the U.S. face a new challenge heading into 2017: transparently disclosing the ratio of a CEO’s pay to that of rank-and-file workers. The new rule was put in place last year by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is scheduled to take effect next year. A lagging provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, it will require corporations in required SEC filings to compare their CEO’s compensation to the median pay of all other employees. A separate SEC rule has been tabled that would require public companies to disclose how they define pay for performance.
Reflecting the continuing emphasis on rewarding performance, 39 of the 46 Virginia companies granted equity awards to their CEOs. Only three CEOs received milestone cash related to long-range incentive plans. And while it hasn’t curbed executive pay packages, Equilar’s Marcec says nonbinding advisory votes by shareholders — the so-called “say on pay” rules created by Dodd-Frank — are gradually having impact on pay strategies.
“It’s a mandatory shareholder vote every year that gives a company the temperature of how their investors feel about executive pay. Say on pay has opened a lot of dialogue, some of it constructive and some of it challenging. But it’s definitely changed the way committees try to align the CEO’s pay to what investors expect,” Marcec says.
New companies on this year’s list include American Woodmark, Beacon Roofing Supply, CEB Inc., Graham Holdings Co., K12 Inc., Neustar Inc., PRA Group, and Tegna Inc. Tegna is a broadcast and digital media company resulting from last year’s division of publishing company Gannett Co. Inc. Tegna is led by former Gannett CEO Gracia C. Martore.
Notably dropping off the list in 2015 are two firms undergoing bankruptcy reorganization: Nextel Communications’ Latin American wireless carrier NII Holdings, based in Reston, and coal-mining giant Alpha Natural Resources in Bristol, which is trying to shovel out from a mountain of debt amid weak coal demand. NII and Alpha each appeared on our 2014 list.
Equilar said 27 Virginia CEOs got an annual salary bump. Government-controlled mortgage lender Freddie Mac gave Donald H. Layton a reported $1.48 million salary, a staggering one-year increase of 147 percent. The pay raise subsequently was revoked by Congress, and it remains unclear how much of the pay increase Layton actually received last year.
Meanwhile, salaries for eight CEOs remained flat. Other CEOs are newcomers to the list. And nine CEOs either have retired or announced plans to retire: Media General’s Vincent Sadusky, whose company is being acquired, Brinks’ boss Thomas C. Schievelbein, Thomas J. Folliard at CarMax, CEB’s Tom Monahan, Engility Holdings’ Anthony Smeraglino, K12’s Nathaniel A. Davis; Alan I. Kirshner at Markel Corp., Darren R. Jackson at Advance Auto Parts and Gracia Martore at Tegna. Another CEO, Richard D. Fairbank at Capital One Corp., continues his preference to be compensated solely in stock.
After finishing in the top five a year ago, Computer Sciences Corp. boss J. Michael Lawrie shot to the No. 1 slot this year with a pay packet estimated at $23.8 million. That’s up 54 percent. In 2015, CSC shareholders got a total return of 31 percent.
Although his $1.25 million annual salary is unchanged from last year, Lawrie, 63, moved up the list based on the strength of performance-based equity awards valued at $20 million, including nearly $16.4 million in stock awards and $3.58 in options. In addition, Lawrie earned a $2.25 million bonus related to the company’s spinoff of CSRA Inc., which combines CSC’s federal IT contracting business and its acquisition of SRA International. The company said in its proxy that the merger “marked a strategic next step in our transformation journey” since Falls Church-based CSC hired Lawrie as a turnaround specialist in 2012.
Finishing second to Lawrie was General Dynamics Corp. Chairman and CEO Phebe N. Novakovic, the highest-paid of the three women on the list with compensation of $20.4 million. (Tegna’s Martore and Neustar’s Lisa A. Hook are the others). It marked the third consecutive top-three finish for Novakovic, who took the helm in 2013 after spending 12 years as a General Dynamics senior manager.
The Falls Church-based defense contractor posted consolidated revenue of $31.5 billion in 2015, a 2 percent increase compared to 2014. Sales to the U.S. government accounted for roughly 55 percent. Novakovic’s total pay was valued at $20.4 million, up 8 percent, including $13.7 million in equity payments. Her base salary inched up 2 percent to $1.584 million, while her $4.85 million bonus was up 14 percent.
Claiming third place is Capital One co-founder and longtime Chairman Richard Fairbank. Directors at the credit-card services giant in 2015 granted Fairbank, 65, performance shares with a grant-date value of $8.75 million, payable only if shares of Capital One common stock attain a certain level through 2017. Fairbank forfeits the shares if performance targets are missed during the time period.
Fairbank has aggressively sought to diversify Capital One beyond credit card services, including a push into niche commercial lending for various other businesses. The strategy has been fueled by a spate of acquisitions, most recently the addition of General Electric Corp.’s health-care lending business.
As has been his custom, Fairbank forgoes a base salary in exchange mostly for equity awards. His 2015 cumulative pay package exceeded $18 million, including a $2.68-million deferred cash bonus and $15.2 million in incentive-laden equities.
Northrop Grumman Corp. CEO Wesley G. Bush ranked fourth with a pay deal whose overall value jumped 6 percent to $15.8 million. The lion’s share came from shares of stock worth an estimated $10 million. The 54-year-old Bush got a 4 percent salary raise to $1.59 million and a cash bonus of $3.3 million.
Bush stunned the industry after taking the helm in 2010, uprooting its headquarters from Los Angeles to Northern Virginia to be nearer to government customers. Under Bush’s leadership, Northrop Grumman said it generated total shareholder return of 30.5 percent in 2015, beating the S&P for the seventh consecutive year.
Altria Group CEO Martin Barrington, 62, rounds out the top five with $10.7 million, including $5.6 million of equity, a bonus payment of $3.5 million and 7 percent salary hike to $1.3 million. In its proxy, the cigarette maker said Barrington provided “extraordinary strategic leadership” as it grappled with competitive and regulatory challenges to the tobacco industry, helping Altria and its companies “deliver $5.5 billion of adjusted net earnings” and total shareholder return of 23 percent.
Other CEOs with eight-figure compensation packages include Christopher Nassetta at Hilton Worldwide ($10.2 million), Verisign’s D. James Bidzos ($10.15 million) and outgoing CarMax boss Thomas Folliard ($10 million).
One of the biggest one-year declines belongs to Thomas F. Farrell II at Dominion Resources Inc., whose $9.66 million package is slightly less than half, or 44 percent, than the $17.3 million package in 2014. Farrell’s performance-based cash bonus of $366,432 represents a 90 percent cut from the $3.52 million bonus in 2014, as the energy giant missed earnings guidance and lagged on multiyear total shareholder return.
During his presidential bid, democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont roused young voters by carping about the pay disparity between CEOs and rank-and-file workers. The issue is sure to get even more play with a contentious election looming in November. But Passin at Mercer said compensation committees already are trying to balance equitable CEO pay with greater transparency on performance metrics.
“The most important thing for an organization to have is a CEO that is incentivized to grow the company and lead the strategic objectives. What do we need to pay to motivate our CEO to get the performance we need as a company? That’s the question being asked in boardrooms.”
2016 Virginia CEO Pay Report
Top ten paid CEOs in 2015
People - October 2016
The Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries has promoted Jennifer Dunn to vice president, communications. She was director, communications. (News release)
Virginia Beach-based Marathon Consulting LLC recently added five consultants. Dan Herbert , Charlie Church , and Jonathan Hudson joined as infor mation technology consultants. Tim Christian and Wal ter Cohn joined as senior business technology consultants. (News release)
Jason McKenzie and Nicole Wood-Sabo have been promoted to members of McPhillips, Roberts and Deans, PLC, Norfolk. McKenzie has more than 12 years of public accounting experience. Wood-Sabo has over 17 years of public accounting experience. (News release)
Charles W. “Wick” Moorman, the retired chairman, CEO and president of Norfolk Southern Corp., has been named president and CEO of Amtrak. (The Virginian-Pilot)
Virginia Beach-based Davis Ad Agency has promoted Sarah Nicosia to vice president and general manager of its Virginia Beach office. Nicosia joined the agency in 2001 as an account executive. She later was named director of account services. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Angela Clem was named Woodstock’s town manager on Aug. 17. She has served as the town’s interim town manager since her predecessor, Reid Wodicka, left to become Bedford County’s assistant county administrator Aug. 1. (The Shenandoah Valley-Herald)
Erik D. Curren, CEO of Curren Media Group, was named to the board of trustees of the Virginia Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. Paul P. Vames, president of V-K Management Co. Inc., was renamed to the board. (News release)
Carol A. Fleming, interim assistant vice provost, outreach & engagement at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, and Carrie H. Chenery, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, received a $330,201 grant from the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to provide economic development support services for regional members, prospects, existing businesses and the partnership. (News release)
Petrina A. Carter has been named to the board of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville. She is senior manager at the Virginia Employment Commission in Danville. (News release)
Ken McBride has joined The Lester Group in Martinsville as director of manufacturing for the fortress division. McBride has 20 years’ experience in management of manufacturing operations. (News release)
L. Michael “Mike” Rowe Jr. has joined CCB Bankshares Inc. as senior vice president-residential market executive for Clarksville and South Boston. Rowe has more than 30 years of community banking experience, with a focus on residential lending for the past 20 years. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
William Dixon has been hired as vice president of business banking, Freedom First Credit Union, Roanoke. He has nearly 30 years of banking experience. (News release)
Brittany Madonna has joined the YMCA of Roanoke Valley as marketing and communications director, and Annie Nichols has been promoted to child care director for Y After School and Y Summer Camp. (The Roanoke Times)
Alison Matthiessen has been named director of communications for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke. Matthiessen was communications coordinator for the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost at Virginia Tech. (News release)
Radford University has appointed Katherine “Kitty” McCarthy as the university’s vice president for enrollment management. McCarthy served as the vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at West Virginia State University in Institute, W.Va. (News release)
Debra Meade, retired president and publisher of The Roanoke Times, has been elected to the board of trustees of Hollins University. (The Roanoke Times)
Dr. Kenneth Walker, a Carilion Clinic physician based in Pearisburg, has been named to the state Board of Medicine. (The Roanoke Times)
Drs. Syed Salman Ali, David C. Giammittorio and Kevin P. O’Connor were reappointed to the state Board of Medicine. Ali is hematologist-oncologist with Fauquier Health in Warrenton; Giammittorio is CEO of The Physician and Midwife Collaborative Practice, which has offices in Northern Virginia. O’Connor is a urologist at The Urology Group, part of Loudoun Medical Group. (News release)
CEB Inc.’s chief executive, Tom Monahan, is stepping down at the Rosslyn-based publicly traded company after more than a decade at the helm. Monahan, who joined CEB’s leadership team in 1996 and was named its chief executive in 2005, will stay through June 2017 or until his successor is named. (Washington Business Journal)
Reston-based information technology solutions provider Network Alliance Inc. has been named Byron K. Patrick, managing director, CPA practice. Patrick is co-founder and former CEO of Simplified Innovations Inc., a Maryland-based technology outsourcing company. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Germanna Community College President David A. Sam announced he will retire June 30, 2017 after a decade of guiding the college. (Inside NOVA)
Tysons-based CSC has named Lizabeth H. Zlatkus to the company’s board of directors. Zlatkus worked for 28 years at The Hartford Financial Services Group, serving as chief financial officer and chief risk officer, as well as co-president of The Hartford Life Insurance Cos. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
John C. Asbury will succeed G. William “Billy” Beale as chief executive officer and president of Richmond-based Union Bankshares Corp. and as president and CEO of its Union Bank & Trust subsidiary. Asbury, the former president and CEO of First National Bank of Santa Fe in New Mexico, will become president of the parent company and president and CEO of its bank subsidiary effective Oct. 1 and take on the CEO role of the holding company on Jan. 2. Beale will serve as executive vice chairman of the board and the bank until March 31. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Protection 1 has promoted Will Jackson to general manager for its Richmond district. Jackson was operations manager for the office. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
William D. Nash became president and CEO of Goochland County-based CarMax Inc. Sept. 1. He succeeds Thomas J. Folliard, who remains chairman of the board. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Henrico County-based Markel Corp. has named its co-CEOs, Thomas S. Gayner and Richard R. Whitt III, to its board of directors. The board also appointed F. Michael Crowley, Markel’s president, as vice chairman. The appointments expand the company’s board to 16 members. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00
For the Record - October 2016
German grocer Aldi has purchased property and filed plans to open a store in Gloucester County. The discount chain bought a 1.8-acre site for $1.9 million from Evergreen Development LLC, according to land records. The property is adjacent to the Fox Mill Centre — the county’s largest commercial development — owned by developer Robert Kubicki of Evergreen Development. (Daily Press)
Green Flash Brewing Co., based in San Diego, will open its East Coast craft brewing facility in Virginia Beach on Nov. 13. The $20 million facility will include a 58,000-square-foot tasting room with 30 beers on tap, a beer garden, food trucks, a retail store, private-event room and garden. Upon completion, the company said the production facility will provide freight efficiencies for Green Flash’s beer distribution throughout the East Coast. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Lipton employees in Suffolk voted in August to form a union in response to what they called unjust working conditions and treatment. The employees demanded an end to the involuntary overtime practices, along with better health care, sick leave and other workplace policies. The workers will negotiate their first union contract with Unilever, Lipton’s parent company. The contract proposal will then be presented to the entire workforce for a vote. The agreement will be effective once ratified by the majority of the employees. (The Suffolk News-Herald)
Virginia Beach-based Sanyal Biotechnology was selected as a top university startup by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, a Washington, D.C.-based organization consisting of startup officers from research universities. Sanyal, begun at Virginia Commonwealth University, is one of 18 startups from across the country selected to give a presentation before Congress at the council’s DemoDay on Sept. 20, which allowed Sanyal the opportunity to present to investors, says Sanyal CEO Rebecca Caffrey.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) announced that the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development has once again been recognized as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) — one of 50 in the world. Originally accredited in January 2005, the organization has been reaccredited three times since. The AEDO program is a peer review process that measures economic development organizations against commonly held standards in the profession. (News release)
Virginia’s first community solar project will provide energy for more than 200 homes and businesses in the western part of the state. The solar project at the BARC Electric facility in Rockbridge County allows homes and businesses in different communities to get solar power-generated electricity from one place instead of putting panels on their own rooftops. Officials say the project will provide 25 percent of the energy needs for homes and businesses across BARC’s electric system in Rockbridge, Bath, Highland, Augusta and Alleghany counties. (News Leader)
The bicycle tourism industry in the central Shenandoah Valley had a total economic impact of $13.6 million and supported 184 jobs in 2015, according to a study conducted by the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission and other regional partners. Visitor spending by cyclists had a direct economic impact of approximately $8.6 million that supported 144 jobs. The top sectors impacted by bicycle tourism are restaurants, hotels, motels and retail establishments. Seventy-one percent of visitors stayed overnight during their bicycling trip. (News Leader)
Mary Baldwin College officially changed its name Aug. 31 to Mary Baldwin University. The name change isn’t the only new development at the university. A new master’s degree in business program will be offered in fall 2017, and in spring 2017 the next batch of programs will be added to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, created in 2014 on the school’s new campus in Fishersville. President Pamela Fox also unveiled some “fast track” programs for fall 2017 that will allow high-achieving students to complete degrees in a shorter time frame. (News Leader)
MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co., announced in August it will invest $60 million to expand its Shenandoah brewery in Rockingham County. The project is expected to create 27 jobs. The company makes Coors Light, Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Coors Banquet, Redd’s and Henry’s Hard Soda. MillerCoors also brews Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Blue Moon Belgian White Ale. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The Virginia Military Institute Foundation has raised more than $300 million, exceeding its goal by 33 percent. The goal of the fundraising effort, “An Uncommon Purpose: A Glorious Past, A Brilliant Future: The Campaign for VMI,” was $225 million. More than 14,000 donors have participated in the campaign, which included 53 gifts of $1 million or more and two gifts of more than $20 million each. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
The first phase in the creation of the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre in Henry County is expected to be completed in late October, according to officials. Allyson Rothrock, president of the Harvest Foundation, said the project represents hope and opportunity. “We’ve never had anything close to this,” she said of the 720-acre business center that is designed to attract large-scale industrial projects. (Work It, SoVa)
Local nonprofits that have to handle an unexpected financial crisis may have help through new Agency Emergency Fund grants from the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region. These grants could provide assistance outside the foundation’s normal grant cycle in the case of emergency situations that would have an impact on the nonprofit’s ability to provide services for its clients, Debra Dodson, executive director of the foundation, said. (Danville Register & Bee)
Danville Regional Airport’s Taxiway A will be resurfaced for the first time in 20 years, thanks to a federal grant through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program. The $2.4 million grant will pay for milling and resurfacing of the taxiway and replace the lighting system along the taxiway. The FAA recommended the improvements after the taxiway was rated as being in “fair to poor” condition, according to a description of the project in the city’s capital improvements budget. (Danville Register & Bee)
Davenport Energy Inc. announced in August that it had acquired the customers of Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp. in Martinsville. Lester-Penn provided fuel oil and other products to homes, businesses and industry in the Martinsville-Henry County community. (Work It, SoVa)
Food Lion planned to close its Martinsville store in late September. The grocery store chain said it decided not to renew the lease for the building it occupies near the intersection of Commonwealth Boulevard and Virginia Avenue. Most — if not all — of the store’s approximately 35 employees would be offered jobs at other area Food Lions, company spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said. She declined to say why the lease was not renewed, citing company policy. (Martinsville Bulletin)
Southern Co., based in Atlanta, said that its subsidiary Southern Power is in the preliminary phase of developing land for a natural-gas generating facility in Pittsylvania County. The company signed a purchase and sale agreement option in June with the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA) for 300 acres of land in Berry Hill Industrial Park. Southern Power owns and operates nine combined-cycle and combustion-turbine natural gas-fueled power plants that generate more than 8,000 megawatts across four states. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Appalachian Mountain Spirits is expanding its whiskey distillery in Smyth County, a $1.95 million project that is expected to create 13 jobs during the next three years. The company also has committed to buying 3 million pounds of Virginia-grown corn, barley and rye as part of an agreement with the commonwealth. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has approved a $50,000 grant from the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to assist with the project, which Smyth County is matching with local funds. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Nearly four months after announcing Roanoke as the location for its East Coast brewery, Deschutes executives are still holding to their opening date of 2021. But residents might gain a downtown tasting room well before that, founder Gary Fish said during a news conference in August. Opening a tasting room will depend on finding the right location, however. And any Deschutes location opened downtown would serve beer brewed at the company’s brewery in Bend, Ore., Fish said. (The Roanoke Times)
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is expected to become a college within Virginia Tech. The university’s board of visitors voted in August to begin a likely two-year process to make the Roanoke medical school its ninth college. The medical school was founded in 2008 as a partnership between Tech and Carilion Clinic, with an independent governing board. (The Roanoke Times)
Virginia Tech will spend $75 million to develop part of its innovation-focused curriculum, complete with new buildings, additional faculty and initiatives such as a caged drone facility near the school’s Duck Pond. The money will go toward providing researchers, faculty and students with tools to develop autonomous vehicles, smart construction techniques, urban planning, drone research and other infrastructure technologies. (The Roanoke Times)
A 333-mile route with 60 attractions that celebrate Southwest Virginia’s cultural and musical heritage brings in about $9.2 million annually and supports 131 jobs in the region, according to a Virginia Tech study. The Crooked Road, founded in 2004, attracts visitors from outside the commonwealth to music events at venues in the region through its marketing and programming. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Reston-based Access National Bank is expanding into Arlington. The bank’s first branch in the county is expected to open by the end of the year in the Courthouse neighborhood at 2300 Wilson Blvd. The building is a former Bank of Georgetown branch. The Arlington branch will become the bank’s seventh regional office. Bank officials said it already caters to a sizeable Arlington clientele. Access National Bank was founded in 1999. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
AES Energy Storage, a subsidiary of Arlington-based AES Corp., has entered into two contracts with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) for two energy storage arrays totaling 37.5 megawatts. Financial details on the contracts were not disclosed. The contracts involves AES’ Advancion energy storage solution, a battery-based energy storage platform, installed at sites in San Diego County, Calif. AES has been deploying advanced battery-based energy storage onto electric grids since 2008. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Denver-based data center company CoreSite Realty Corp. plans to greatly expand its presence in Reston, building more than 660,000 square feet of new data center capacity. The company said it may invest $400 million to $500 million in a multi-phase build-out of the Sunrise Technology Park. The company is paying more than $60 million for STP, which is located less than a mile from CoreSite’s existing Reston buildings. CoreSite expects to substantially complete work on the project in the second quarter of 2018. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Reston-based Leidos Holdings Inc. said in August it has taken on $2.5 billion in debt to finance its purchase of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Information Systems and Global Solutions business. The two companies merged in August in a deal that created a $10 billion government services company — the largest in the industry. (Washington Business Journal)
McLean-based Tegna Inc. plans to spin off Cars.com, its online automotive marketplace, as a separate publicly traded company. Gracia C. Martore, Tegna’s president and CEO, plans to retire when the spinoff is completed next year. She will be succeeded by Dave Lougee, the president of Tegna Media, which oversees the 46 television stations the company owns or services. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Herndon-based NRTC plans to acquire Pulse Broadband LLC. Financial details of the transaction were not released. NRTC, the National Rural Telecommunications Council, serves 1,500 electric and telephone members in 48 states. Pulse is based in Chesterfield, Mo. It offers a wide range of fiber services, including financial feasibility modeling, design and engineering, and construction management. The transaction was expected to close in a few weeks when announced in August. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Apple Hospitality REIT, a Richmond-based real estate investment trust that owns hotels across the U.S., has completed its merger with sister company Apple REIT Ten. The merger creates a portfolio of 236 hotels mostly under the Marriott and Hilton brands. Apple Hospitality’s stock will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Lynchburg-based BWX Technologies Inc. has announced that its subsidiary BWXT Canada Ltd. (BWXT Canada) has entered an agreement to acquire GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (GEH-C). The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. GEH-C is a major supplier of fuel, fuel-handling systems, delivery systems and replacement components for CANDU reactors, Canadian-developed, pressurized heavy water reactors used for generating electric power. The deal is expected to be completed, subject to required Canadian regulatory reviews and other closing conditions, during the fourth quarter of 2016. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
A new Richmond-area project aims to boost sales through exports. The goal of the Metro Richmond Exports Initiative is to increase international trade activity by small and medium businesses in the area by 40 percent by 2020. The program will track its progress by monitoring the number of companies exporting for the first time and the number of existing exporters entering new foreign markets. (VirginiaBusiness.com)
Tranlin Inc.’s $2 billion paper manufacturing plant in Chesterfield County is set to be fully operational by 2020, but internal delays have kept the company from drawing the millions in grants the state has awarded. “There are some inner milestones that we still believe we are going to achieve, but it may be at a later date,” said John Stacey, Tranlin Inc.’s senior vice president of marketing and product development. But the facility still is on track to open within the scheduled time frame, Stacey said. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
UPS said in August it plans to lay off 160 workers from its Richmond-based UPS Freight unit within the next 12 months. In the statement, the company said it is “streamlining support positions” in order “to address needed cost reductions and operating improvements.” Glenn Zaccara, the company’s director of corporate media relations, said in an email that the location also currently has 45 job openings and that employees affected by the layoffs “are being offered an opportunity to apply for those roles.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/HilbGrouplogo.pngThe Midwest is the next target territory for The Hilb Group.
The Hilb Group grows to 48 offices in 18 states
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-hilb-group-grows-to-48-offices-in-18-states#When:10:00:00ZThe Hilb Group’s growth is rooted in its acquisition strategy.
During the past six years the Richmond-based middle-market insurance broker has acquired more than 20 agencies and expanded its presence in 18 states.
The company, now at $100 million in revenue, has 48 offices that stretch from Vermont to Florida. Its next target: the Midwest. “We are very active right now in deals, and there is a westward push. We have a signed letter of intent in the Midwest and one deal in Texas,” says Robert Hilb, the company’s CEO and founder, adding that he also wants to develop the company’s business in Virginia.
He focuses on quality and loyalty in making acquisitions. “We want good folks that will stay with the firm after the acquisition for as long as possible; that’s a big piece of our strategy,” he says.
Hilb also looks for companies that want to partner with his firm and “take 15 to 20 percent of their deal in our stock,” he says.
Privately held, The Hilb Group is backed by ABRY Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm. “They help us balance the scales of equity in buying the right businesses the right way,” Hilb says. “A big year for us is doing 14 to 16 deals. This year we have done nine to 10 deals and will probably close another three or four.”
Through its acquisitions the company has zeroed in on a variety of specialty practices, such as marine and construction insurance. This year, for example, it bought a business in New Jersey that specializes in medical malpractice insurance.
“We use technology that allows us to expand on that specialty. If one of our agencies in Virginia has an opportunity to write a policy for a group of doctors, they can access our folks in New Jersey, and they will help them write the business,” Hilb says.
The company is very committed to the areas it serves, he says. “We believe in being good stewards of the communities where we are,” Hilb says.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Butcher-2998.pngCEO Bill Butcher says Port City Brewing is on track for another year of 40 percent sales growth. Photo by Mark Rhodes
State grant helped keep brewery in Alexandria
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/state-grant-helped-keep-brewery-in-alexandria#When:10:00:00ZFounder and CEO Bill Butcher credits Port City Brewing Co.’s expansion in Alexandria to “a lot of things coming together at the same time.” The lack of industrial-use properties in the area initially forced the company to look throughout the region for a suitable warehouse.
Things started to fall in place, however, when Butcher learned about the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) grants from Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. Around the same time, he found a warehouse in Alexandria that would accommodate his needs.
Funding from an AFID grant “isn’t used that often in the D.C. area because there aren’t many businesses here that support agriculture and forestry,” says Landrum. She was aware that Port City gets 75 percent of its agricultural ingredients from Virginia producers. For example, its best-selling Belgium-style wheat beer, Optimal Wit, is made from Virginia-grown wheat.
The brewery received a $250,000 AFID grant, which the city will match with local funds. “We talked to Bill about in-kind investments that would help the business, and we are going to be installing a Capital Bikeshare station in front of the brewery,” Landrum says. (Capital Bikeshare provides 3,500 bicycles for rent at 400 stations in the Washington area. The first 30 minutes of each trip are free.)
Port City is spending $2.68 million on its expansion, which is expected to create 26 new jobs. The project will include a new cold storage facility and shipping hub to handle two functions now being done at the brewery’s location where the beer is bottled and kegged. The warehouse will be down the street from that building.
“By moving the cold storage offsite, it opens up more space for upgrades to the bottling line to make it faster and more efficient. We are also bringing in additional fermentation tanks for more brewing capacity,” Butcher says, adding that a second tasting room that can accommodate private parties and events will be added as well.
Port City has averaged 40 percent sales growth each year since it opened in 2011. “This year is on track to be another year of 40 percent sales growth as well,” says Butcher.
In 2015, Port City was named Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival.
“There were 1,500 breweries that competed, and we won more medals than any brewing company in the country,” Butcher says.
Localities increas­ingly throughout the country are eager to attract breweries, wineries and distilleries, says Landrum. “It was important to keep Port City in Alexandria because it’s a place for corporate activities, for recreation, and it’s an attraction for visitors.”2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/martin130619glebe1033.pngToday, 151 of The Glebe’s 153 apartments are occupied. Photos courtesy The Glebe
Retirement community sees a financial rebound
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/retirement-community-sees-a-financial-rebound#When:10:00:00ZThe Glebe, a Botetourt County retirement community, has faced many obstacles in the past 11 years.
It was scheduled to open in 2003, but a 100-year flood caused 18 months of construction delays. Potential residents that couldn’t wait moved elsewhere.
“We were about 60 percent occupancy when we opened in 2005,” says Peter Robinson, vice president of marketing and public relations for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly known as Virginia Baptist Homes. The Glebe is one of four LifeSpire continuing-care communities in Virginia.
The next hurdle was a court case. Botetourt sued Virginia Baptist Homes to collect property taxes on The Glebe. “They questioned if The Glebe was truly a nonprofit,” says Robinson. “That was a huge setback. We were painted as not paying our fair share of taxes. That turned a lot of people off from considering The Glebe.”
In 2008, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of The Glebe, but the case was costly. Adding to the community’s financial stress, the housing market plummeted that year, preventing many potential residents from selling their homes.
In 2010 The Glebe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move affected The Glebe’s ability to collect certain fees. Under its business model, the community charges residents entrance fees along with monthly service fees. During the bankruptcy process, residents still were allowed to move in and pay monthly fees. “We just couldn’t take entrance fees,” Robinson says.
During the next two years, 48 households moved into the community. When The Glebe emerged from bankruptcy in 2012, the stay on entrance fees was lifted.
“We were expecting that 25 percent of that group of 48 might leave when they had to pay the entrance fee,” Robinson says. “But that didn’t happen.”
He attributes their loyalty to the community’s quality of life. “We make sure we are meeting our residents’ expectations. Their satisfaction is one of the biggest things for us,” Robinson says.
The community is about 94 percent occupied with 151 of 153 apartments sold and/or occupied. “The finances of The Glebe are very strong now,” Robinson says.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Averett-3529.png“There is a huge demand for pilots right now,” says Travis Williams, chief flight instructor for Averett’s aeronautics program.
Averett program puts students on a flight path
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/averett-program-puts-students-on-a-flight-path#When:10:00:00ZTwo regional airlines have Averett University’s aeronautics graduates on their radar screens.
Piedmont and PSA airlines, subsidiaries of American Airlines Group, have started a cadet program with the Danville-based university. The partnership offers qualified students career paths leading them to become American Airlines pilots.
“There is a huge demand for pilots right now,” says Travis Williams, chief flight instructor for Averett’s aeronautics program. “Pilots have a mandatory retirement age of 65, and people are retiring. As a result, regional pilots are moving up. Regional airlines can’t fill the need they have.”
Normally aeronautics majors graduating from flight programs have 300 flight hours. To fly for Piedmont or PSA, however, candidates need a minimum of 1,000 flight hours.
“They have got to come up with 700 hours,” Williams says. “This is the reason for the partnership. Piedmont and PSA hire students while they are in school and working for Averett as flight instructors, building those hours. The minute they hit 1,000 they are employed by Piedmont or PSA and go right into training for them.”
After gaining experience as regional airline pilots, Averett graduates can transition to American Airlines.
Approximately 65 students are in Averett’s 2016-17 program with the regional airlines. That number includes about 27 incoming students. “I think the word is finally starting to get out that there is a great demand for pilots, and that is why we are seeing an increase of students into the program,” Williams says. “There is a good future in aviation.”
Averett was one of the first schools to sign an agreement with Piedmont and one of the first 14 schools to sign with PSA.
Two other Virginia schools, Liberty University and Hampton University, offer bachelor’s degree programs in aviation/aeronautics. Liberty also has a partnership with Piedmont.
“To start at Averett as freshmen and flow all the way through to eventually becoming American Airlines pilots is a unique opportunity for our qualifying students,” says Williams.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Toray_Plastics_America-PEF_Division_Headquarters_Front_Royal_VA.pngPhoto courtesy Kreiss Communications
Toray Plastics expanding to meet growing demand
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/toray-plastics-expanding-to-meet-growing-demand#When:10:00:00ZToray Plastics (America) Inc. never considered relocating its Front Royal-area manufacturing facility when it decided to expand its operations this year.
“There was no motivator to look anywhere else,” says Brendan Arbuckle, the plant manager. “The cost of construction and the cost of doing business are lower here than other places. Also, the labor force here has a good skill set.”
The company, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toray Industries Inc., is spending $45 million to expand its facility. The plant makes foam products, such as molding and padding for door panels, for the automotive industry. “We also have industrial applications such as flooring and some air ducts,” Arbuckle says.
The expansion was necessary because of the “growth of our main market, the automotive market,” says Hidetaka Hoketsu, general manager of Toray Plastics (America) Inc.’s PEF Division in Virginia. “The forecast we have will surpass our capacity.”
The increased demand made it difficult for the company to develop new products. “We are so busy it doesn’t leave time for new markets. This is an opportunity to have a lot more development time,” says Arbuckle.
The 175,000- square-foot plant, built in 1997, sits on about 90 acres of the company’s 190-acre site in Warren County. It will grow to about 225,000 square feet once the expansion is complete, hopefully early next March. “We expect to be producing product by January 2018,” Arbuckle says.
The company is adding a third process line that will be faster and larger than the two lines currently in operation. “It will increase our capacity by 160 percent from the current capacity,” Hoketsu says.
Toray also plans to increase its workforce from 118 to around 145 employees by the end of the expansion. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support employee training.
Wages at the facility are in line with wages paid at Toray Plastics (America) headquarters in Rhode Island where the cost of living is higher. “We are able to give people a good wage compared to other businesses in this area,” Arbuckle says. “It’s good for us when you pay people well and you treat them well and they reciprocate.”2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Kaszubowski-3116.pngMarty Kaszubowski says he wants the program to help companies grow to “where they need to be.” Photo by Mark Rhodes
ODU, Norfolk program aims to aid entrepreneurs
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/odu-norfolk-program-aims-to-aid-entrepreneurs#When:10:00:00ZThe City of Norfolk and Old Dominion University have formed a partnership to help local entrepreneurs.
Earlier this year they began the Innovation Center – Norfolk. The downtown facility — located at 501B Boush St. — offers businesses work space and assistance.
ODU hopes the center will be one of many in Hampton Roads that will help entrepreneurs, with each location tailored to a locality’s needs, says Marty Kaszubowski, executive director of the university’s Center for Enterprise Innovation (CEI).
“If I’ve learned anything in my 30 years in Hampton Roads, [it] is you have to be relevant to each individual city or else you’re in trouble,” he says.
The Innovation Center is one of several resources that CEI offers new and existing businesses. Other programs include the Hampton Roads Veterans Business Outreach Center, the Women’s Business Center, the Technology Applications Center and GOV2COM, which helps government contractors diversify into commercial markets. Companies at the Innovation Center will have access to CEI’s programs.
Overall, the Innovation Center hopes to work with high growth potential companies that can boost the local economy, Kaszubowski says. The companies can range from startups in the early stages of development to more established businesses trying to tackle new markets.
The Innovation Center has been a useful resource for Rocket Science LLC, a mobile applications developer begun by ODU students. The company, which now is renting office space at the center, began operations about two years ago. Rocket Science initially operated out of the ODU’s Strome Entrepreneurial Center, which offers students free co-working space. The company founders had to find a new location once they graduated from the university.
Franck Tchouambou, Rocket Science’s co-founder and chief operating officer, says the Strome Entrepreneurial Center and the Innovation Center have helped the company generate business leads.
Christopher Shelton, the Innovation Center’s managing director, and Nancy Grden, executive director of the Strome Entrepreneurial Center, have been great mentors, he says. Shelton, who co-founded Cure Coffeehouse & Brasserie in Norfolk, is helping Rocket Science learn the ropes of the restaurant business so it can market an application it’s developing for restaurateurs.
So far, things are going well for Rocket Science, which has three full-time employees and five contractors. From June through August, the company generated $100,000 in revenue. “We’ve been expanding very quickly,” Tchouambou says.
That type of growth is exactly what the Innovation Center is trying to promote. “What I really focus on is … creating a place, and more importantly, a program that helps companies go from where they are to where they need to be,” Kaszubowski says.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/FOLLOWUP_BattleatBristol.pngAP Photo/Mark Humphrey
Followup: Football game at track breaks a world record
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/followup-football-game-at-track-breaks-a-world-record#When:10:00:00ZThe long-awaited Battle at Bristol took place Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The converted racetrack attracted 156,990 fans to a game between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the game — won by Tennessee, 45-24 — broke an attendance record previously set by a 2013 contest between the University of Michigan and Notre Dame in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The magazine looked at Bristol’s preparations for the game in an April community profile.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/IMG_0193.pngPhoto courtesy Port of Virginia
Followup: Port of Virginia reports its second consecutive profitable year
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-of-virginia-reports-its-second-consecutive-profitable-year#When:10:00:00ZThe Port of Virginia has reported its second consecutive profitable year.
The port had operating income of $4.76 million during fiscal year 2016, which ended in June, according to preliminary, unaudited results. Final results are expected to be reported in coming months.
The 2016 financial performance represents a decline of 65 percent from $13.6 million recorded in fiscal year 2015. Nonetheless, two profitable years represent a financial turnaround. The port had reported losses of $120 million over the five years before 2015. Three years ago, in fact, the commonwealth weighed offers to sell the port’s operations.
Over the fiscal year, cargo volume at the port (measured in 20-foot equivalent units or TEUs) rose 2.5 percent to a record 2.57 million.
Rail containers at the port increased 9.7 percent during the fiscal year to 511,096.
In its September issue, Virginia Business looked at the port’s prospects following the recent opening of the expanded Panama Canal.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Bernie_8009.pngBernie Niemeier photo by Mark Rhodes
Opposing stances on legal standing
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/opposing-stances-on-legal-standing#When:10:00:00ZAs reading goes, it isn’t exactly an Ernest Hemingway novel. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of Virginia’s majority opinion and its dissents in the recent case of Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment versus Gov. Terry McAuliffe is quite a page-turner. Running 63 pages with detailed footnotes, it’s a well-documented historical drama of sorts — at least for political wonks.
For those who may not follow such news closely, this is the case challenging McAuliffe’s executive order restoring the voting rights of about 206,000 Virginians who had been convicted of felonies but had completed their terms of incarceration, probation and parole.
While the particulars vary widely, Virginia is among only six states that do not automatically restore voting rights to at least some felons, the others being Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Mississippi.
After McAuliffe’s order, Howell and Norment petitioned the court to overturn the action as being in violation of the Virginia Constitution. They also asked the court to prohibit the governor from issuing future executive orders restoring political rights to felons as a group rather than on an individual basis.
The court’s widely reported ruling was a split decision, 4-3, in favor of the legislators.
In general, access to the court system requires that the petitioners demonstrate they have standing in a case. For business interests, this is where things get interesting. Standing essentially means a person has a legal interest in the case because he or she has been harmed by someone else’s actions.
Among Virginia’s many virtues as a business-friendly state is the fact that its courts typically take a pretty strict view of standing. They do not allow frivolous lawsuits by plaintiffs who simply disagree with a law or the actions of another party. This helps Virginia businesses avoid unnecessary legal costs.
Howell and Norment petitioned the court saying that, as qualified Virginia voters, their votes would be diluted by the addition of 206,000 people to the rolls of those legally qualified to cast ballots. Norment further contended that his plans to seek re-election to the Virginia Senate in 2019 would be harmed by an “invalidly constituted electorate.”
The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, is a sweeping tale of history, particularly the origins of constitutional law. Despite writing that, “Virginia law, not federal law governs every aspect of our decision,” the chief justice cites numerous legal precedents reaching back as far as Britain’s Glorious Revolution in 1688 and its Bill of Rights in 1689. Most of the oldest precedents focus upon historic distrust of executive power.
The chief justice also notes that none of Virginia’s previous 71 governors attempted to restore political or other rights to an “entire class of unnamed felons.” Instead, they addressed the issue on an individual basis.
On a textual basis, the Virginia Constitution is pretty clear. Article II, Section 1 states, “No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.”
Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution states that the governor shall have the power to grant pardons and remove political disabilities, going on to say, “He shall communicate to the General Assembly, at each regular session, particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.” The latter part is notably silent on reporting on the removal of “political disabilities.”
The dissenting opinions in the case were only slightly less lengthy than the majority opinion.
The first dissent, by Justice William C. Mims, largely focuses on the issue of standing. Mims disagrees that Howell and Norment have shown a “particularized injury” that was separate and distinct from the public at large.
Mims further writes that, “Among other reasons we require litigants to demonstrate a ‘particularized injury’ to a recognized personal or property right [is] to prevent this Court from becoming embroiled in political disputes.” Thus, Mims’ opinion not only avoids the political issue, it protects the erosion of the concept of legal standing that is important to business.
The second dissent, written by Justice Cleo E. Powell and joined by Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn, also disagrees with the majority opinion on standing, as well as the constitutionality of the executive order. It includes this very telling historical anecdote not mentioned in the majority opinion:
“A more complete consideration of that history indicated that, despite Virginia’s historical distrust of executive power, its citizens purposefully granted the Governor textually unrestricted constitutional authority to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction, perhaps in consideration of the potential disenfranchisement and exclusion from government of former Confederates.”
It is with some degree of irony that Virginia is perhaps once again finding itself on the wrong side of history.2016-09-30T10:00:00+00:00
Strangeways to open Fredericksburg brewery
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/strangeways-to-open-fredericksburg-brewery#When:21:27:00ZHenrico County-based Strangeways Brewing announced Thursday plans to open a new brewery in Fredericksburg. The company will invest more than $2.5 million in the project over the next three years, which is expected to create 27 new jobs.
“As a Virginia born native raised in Fredericksburg, early on it was in our plans to expand into my hometown,” Strangeways’ owner, Neil Burton, said in a statement. “We are extremely excited and honored to join the area’s craft breweries, who have really produced a great scene.”
Strangeways, which opened in Henrico in 2013, said the Fredericksburg brewery will include a tasting room, arcade and beer garden. The new facility also will allow Strangeways to increase production capacity, enabling it to meet existing demand and enter new markets. Strangeways currently distributes its beers throughout Central Virginia.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the project, which Fredericksburg will match with local funds.
Strangeways’ Henrico location welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year. It has been listed by Bon Appétit Magazine as one of “10 New U.S. Breweries to Watch, from D.C. to California”, and noted in Southern Living magazine as one of the “South’s Best Breweries.”
Virginia competed against North Carolina for the project.2016-09-29T21:27:00+00:00
Trex occupies new facilities in Frederick County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trex-occupies-new-facilities-in-frederick-county#When:21:06:00ZWinchester-based Trex Co. Inc., a major producer of decking and railing, has expanded into two new warehouses in Frederick County.
The Shockey Cos., a 120-year-old, Winchester-based general contracting and construction management firm, developed and built the facilities to house the company’s distribution and warehouse functions.
The first building completed has an initial capacity of 350,000 square feet. The building was site-planned, zoned, constructed, and open for business on an accelerated schedule.
The building includes Trex University, a 10,000-square-foot education center where distributors and contractors can learn about Trex products.
Trex leased an additional 230,000 square feet in the building for pre-packaged railing products that are ready for distribution.
Last month, Shockey completed construction of a second building (407,000 square feet) that is dedicated to the receiving and handling of polyethylene plastics to be recycled.
Trex handles more than 400 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap each year.2016-09-29T21:06:00+00:00
Jacobs Engineering wins contract for Vastly manufacturing plant in Chesterfield
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jacobs-engineering-wins-contract-for-vastly-manufacturing-plant-in-chesterf#When:20:56:00ZAfter months of delays, there appeared to be movement Thursday on a massive advanced manufacturing project for Chesterfield County.
Jacobs Engineering Group, based in Pasadena, Calif., announced that it was awarded a contract from Vastly (formerly Tranlin Inc.) to lead permit acquisition and provide design services for its new $2 billion paper manufacturing plant on an 850-acre site.
The plant represents Vastly’s first investment in North America and will be the single largest Chinese greenfield economic development project in the U.S.
Under terms of the agreement, Jacobs said it is responsible for supporting permit acquisition and developing the overall site design, which includes pulping facilities, tissue making and fertilizer production using Vastly’s proprietary technology. When complete, the plant will convert wheat straw into paper products and utilize residual nutrient streams to produce organic fertilizer.
In making the announcement, Jacobs President Industrial Bob Pragada stated, "This is an exciting opportunity for our global consumer products business. We have a long history of assisting our clients in growth and expansion in global manufacturing. We look forward to forging a strong, ongoing partnership.”
Tranlin Inc., the U. S. subsidiary of China-based Shandong Tranlin Paper Co, originally announced the project in June 2014 to the delight of economic development officials who characterized it as the largest investment ever by a Chinese company in Virginia’s history and one that would result in as many as 2,000 jobs by 2020. Another bonus was that Tranlin would make environmentally friendly paper products from corn stalks and wheat straw, creating new “cash crops” for Virginia farmers.
Earlier this month, Tranlin Inc. announced that it was changing its name to Vastly. Tranlin broke ground last October on the site on Willis Road, but construction is yet to start. Nor has the company acquired a 650-acre tract that it needs for the project. It has to meet certain performance targets in terms of jobs and investment before it can collect on millions in county and state incentive grants.
The project was supposed to be complete by late 2019, but county officials recently have been saying that 2020 is the year the plant will begin full operations.
The James Center office complex in downtown Richmond is for sale
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-james-center-office-complex-in-downtown-richmond-is-for-sale#When:20:52:00ZOne of downtown Richmond’s best-known office buildings is on the market after escaping foreclosure earlier this year.
The 1 million square-foot, Class A, three-tower James Center office complex on East Cary Street has been listed for sale.
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler (HFF), based in Washington, D.C. has been retained as the exclusive sales representative.
HFF confirmed to Virginia Business that the James Center is on the market. While there is no list price on a promotional flyer HFF prepared for the sale, local brokers speculate that it could sell for $100 million, or perhaps less since a new owner would have to invest in building and tenant renovations and carry the interest on a loan while the property continues to lease up.
Currently, the center is about 66 percent leased. “It will take some big money to carry this building, not just to buy it,” says Mark Douglas, a senior vice president and broker with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. “I don’t believe it will be a local buyer, because of the size of the risk. But you could get a local buyer with a joint venture partner.”
The good news, adds, Douglas, is that “interest rates are fabulous right now.”
In the HFF flyer, the firm says the complex “represents a rare, generational opportunity to acquire three of Richmond’s most iconic assets. Investors will immediately benefit from James Center’s attractive credit tenant roster, coupled with an irreplaceable CBD (central business district) location at a highly attractive cost basis. Moreover, current occupancy of the property is significantly below historical occupancy, leaving investors with considerable upside potential.”
Occupancy took a big hit when the McGuireWoods law firm moved out of nearly 300,000 square foot into a space in Richmond’s newest skyscraper, Gateway Plaza, located just down the street.
Currently James Center 1, 2, and 3 are occupied by tenants such as the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Tourism Corp., Wells Fargo Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank and two insurance companies, Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. and Minnesota Life Insurance.
The expected sales price of $100 million is below the latest appraisal value and the total CMBS debt, according to TreppWire, a news wire service of Trepp, a real estate research firm based in New York.
Trepp says the property is currently valued at $132.4 million — down from $192.5 million in 2005 — while the existing James Center loan totals $150 million.
In its most recent report on the James Center in 2015, Trepp puts the complex’s total annual operating expenses at $10.4 million, or about $10.70 per square foot, and it’s NOI (net operating income) at $9.74 million, or $10 per square foot.
A foreclosure auction on the property scheduled on March 8 was canceled. Shortly after that, The James Center deed was transferred to LNR Partners, a Miami Beach-based special mortgage servicer. This occurred after the previous owner, an entity of New York based JEMB Realty, defaulted on two loans totaling $150 million.
With what it describes as “modest capital improvement,” HFF says that a new owner could drive up rental rates, allowing for a “strong return on a capital investment.”
The flyer estimated the building’s replacement cost at $350 to $375 per square foot, or about $350 million.
Chris Wallace, the director for office brokerage with Colliers in Richmond, the leasing agent for the building, says the sale of the James Center is generating interest. “If you have anyone looking downtown, the James Center is going to get a look. It’s a premiere asset in terms of location and assets,” he says.
Currently, some money has been aside for improvements, he adds, including large-screen tenant directory boards, upgraded seating in the atrium area of James 2 and 3 and a new canopy for the Ninth Street entrance of James 1. “A lot of folks are wanting to get some information about it, ” he says.
Richmond’s central business district has seen plenty of activity in the past five months. HFF notes five significant office transactions, defined as deals worth $40 million or more, resulting in a weighted average price per square foot of $222.2016-09-29T20:52:00+00:00
State program promoting employment of veterans nears target
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/state-program-promoting-employment-of-veterans-nears-target#When:00:32:00ZA state program that helps Virginia businesses hire veterans is expected to meet an employment target a year ahead of schedule.
The 669 companies in the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program have hired more than 18,000 veterans since 2014. That hiring total is expected to reach 20,000 by January, one year ahead of schedule.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the employment numbers on Wednesday at a workforce conference in Richmond sponsored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
McAuliffe said that in August 2014 he challenged the program’s manager, Andy Schwartz, to get 10,000 veterans hired by V3-certified companies in four years. The program met that goal 900 days ahead of schedule.
The governor then doubled the goal to 20,000 hires by the end of his term in January 2018. The program is on a pace to pass that target one year early.
“Virginia has the fastest-growing population of veterans in the nation, and we have an obligation to give back to those who served our country,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “The V3 program has been central to our efforts – encouraging companies to prioritize and maintain goals to hire and retain veterans.”
During the conference, the governor presented 22 awards to employers in three categories: the V3 Governor’s Award recognized employers for the total number of veterans hired in Virginia, the V3 Perseverando Award recognized companies for helping to make Virginia a veteran-friendly state and the Commonwealth Award, which recognized employers for outstanding strategic contributions to the V3 program.
The V3 Governor’s Award winners are:
Enterprise Employer category (1,001 employees)
• CACI International, Inc.
Large Employer category (301-1,000 employees)
• CDI Marine Co.
Medium Employer (51-300 employees)
• PD Systems
Small Company (1-50 employees)
State Agency (Large)
• Virginia Department of Corrections
State Agency (Small)
• Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
The winners of the V3 Perseverando Award are:
• Dominion Enterprises Inc.
• Stratford University
• ITA International
• Prism, Inc.
• Virginia Department of Corrections
The winners of the Commonwealth Award are:
• Virginia Department of Human Resource Management
• Northern Virginia Technology Council
• Virginia Chamber of Commerce
• Virginia Association of Workforce Directors
• Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
• Virginia National Guard
• Virginia Veteran and Family Support
• Virginia State Approving Agency
• Virginia SHRM State Council
• Virginia Employment Commission
• Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Little change seen in metro area jobless numbers
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/little-change-seen-in-metro-area-jobless-numbers#When:00:26:00ZUnemployment in Virginia’s metro areas showed little change in August, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
Six of the commonwealth’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas saw an increase in their jobless rates during the month. Rates were unchanged in three other areas and declined in two regions.
The VEC numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.
In most regions, the change in rates was slight, one-tenth to two-tenths of a percentage point. The exception was the New River Valley (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford) where the jobless rate climbed 1.4 percentage points, from 4.6 to 6 percent. No other region had an unemployment rate above 4.7 percent.
Four metro areas— Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Winchester and Staunton-Waynesboro — posted numbers under 4 percent.
The comparable unemployment rates for the Virginia and the U.S. were 4.1 percent and 5 percent, figures that also are not seasonally adjusted.
A breakdown of metro jobless rates shows:
Bristol: 4.7 percent in August, down from 4.8 percent in July.
Charlottesville: 3.6 percent, unchanged.
Hampton Roads: 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent.
Harrisonburg: 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent.
Lynchburg: 4.7 percent, unchanged.
New River Valley: 6 percent, up from 4.6 percent.
Northern Virginia: 3.3 percent, up from 3.2 percent.
Richmond: 4.2 percent, up from 4.1 percent.
Roanoke: 4 percent, up from 3.9 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 3.8 percent, up from 3.7 percent.
Winchester: 3.5 percent, unchanged.2016-09-29T00:26:00+00:00
CBRE|Richmond’s GSA portfolio reaches 10 million square feet
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbrerichmonds-gsa-portfolio-reaches-10-million-square-feet#When:20:09:00ZCBRE|Richmond reports that its General Services Administration (GSA) property management portfolio has surpassed 10 million square feet. Two million of that space is located in Virginia.
“This is a significant milestone to reach with this particular portfolio,” Todd Willett, regional managing director of asset services, said in a statement. “We made substantial strides in growing this portfolio in the short length of time that we have been managing it.”
CBRE|Richmond has been managing GSA federal agency properties since 2009. Its largest GSA client, which the company would not disclose, has space in 94 properties totaling more than 5 million square feet. This client was added to the portfolio in April 2015.
At that time, there were just 53 properties totaling nearly 2.5 million square feet. This client expects to close on an additional 1 million square feet by year-end, bringing the entire GSA portfolio to nearly 12 million square feet.
Altogether, the entire GSA portfolio managed by CBRE|Richmond is made up of six major clients in 173 cities in 32 states. There are about 36 employees dedicated to the portfolio encompassing property management, project management, lease administration, accounting, and building services.2016-09-28T20:09:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/2515-stone-ridge-rd-concord-va-01-08-03-46-4646.jpg
No auction for Stone Ridge estate in Appomattox County
Tonite's auction of Stone Ridge Estate, a 2,500-acre historic estate in Appomattox County, has been canceled.
Originally scheduled for Sept. 8, the auction was postponed until Wednesday night, Sept. 28, when the 22,336-square-foot Georgian Manor home was set to be sold via a mobile app.
According to Concierge Auctions, based in New York, the property was scheduled to hit the virtual auction block with 10 registered bidders vying to purchase it.
In cooperation with partner agent Wilbur "France" Burger of Re/Max 1st Olympic Realty in Lynchburg, Concierge said marketing and exposure efforts had generated considerable interest including:
• 50,673 total property page views across ConciergeAuctions.com
• 139,300 people reached through multiple digital advertising campaigns
• 3,429 views of the property video
• 34 private showings
“Despite this qualified interest, the seller elected to withdraw the property from auction. Stone Ridge Estate will remain on the market and is still available for offers,” the company said in a press release.
The home, built in 1789 with stone quarried from the property, was previously listed for $10 million. It has been architecturally restored and expanded. Stone Ridge has a 20-stall barn, 20 miles of riding trails, views of the James River and a 6,000-bottle wine cellar among other amenities.2016-09-28T18:10:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/JeffersonPlaza_email1.jpg
HFF arranges financing for Arlington office building
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hff-arranges-financing-for-arlington-office-building#When:17:25:00ZHolliday Fenoglio Fowler (HFF) said Wednesday that it has arranged refinancing for Jefferson Plaza, a 270,286-square-foot office building located at 1401 S. Clark Street in the Crystal City submarket of Arlington.
HFF worked on behalf of an affiliate of Lowe Enterprises Investors to place the floating-rate loan with Square Mile Capital. Loan proceeds will be used to retire existing financing that HFF secured in 2013, and provide funding for lease-up.
With common areas renovated in 2013 and 2016, Jefferson Plaza is an institutional-quality office building offering tenants an amenity package that includes a fitness center, conference center and on-site café. Jefferson Plaza has direct access to the D.C. metrorail system and is close to Ronald Reagan National Airport and the Pentagon.
Managing Director Cary Abod and Associate Director Robert Carey led the HFF debt placement team representing the borrower. "As the Crystal City submarket continues to recover from BRAC and sequestration, Jefferson Plaza is positioned to benefit from increased leasing velocity,” said Abod.
Virginia’s overall tax climate ranks 33 among the states
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-overall-tax-climate-ranks-33-among-the-states#When:15:51:00ZVirginia has the 33rd most competitive tax code in the nation, according to the 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C.
The report measures how well-structured each state’s tax code is by analyzing more than 100 tax variables in five different tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance.
The breakdown of Virginia’s rankings this year (with 1st the best and 50th the worst):
• Overall tax climate: #33
• Corporate tax structure: #6
• Individual income tax structure: #40
• Sales tax structure: #11
• Property tax structure: #28
• Unemployment insurance tax structure: #39
This year’s most competitive states include No. 1, Wyoming; 2, South Dakota; 3, Alaska; 4, Florida; 5, Nevada; 6, Montana; 7, New Hampshire; 8, Indiana: 9, Utah; and 10, Oregon.
According to the report, states are penalized for overly complex, burdensome and economically harmful tax codes and rewarded for transparent and neutral tax codes that do not distort business decisions. A state’s ranking can rise or fall significantly not only because of its own actions, but also because of reforms made in other states.
“Our goal with the State Business Tax Climate Index is to start a conversation between taxpayers and policymakers about how their states fare against the rest of the country,” Foundation Policy Analyst Jared Walczak said in a statement. “While there are many ways to show how much a state collects in taxes, the Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems, and to provide a roadmap for improvement.”
The index can also be used as a tool for identifying state tax trends. For instance, the report shows that a number of states are now opting to simplify their tax systems by consolidating individual income tax brackets, or even moving to a flat tax. Hawaii eliminated its top three individual income tax brackets in 2016 and reduced its top marginal rate from 11 to 8.25 percent, improving its overall rank from 30th to 27th. North Carolina moved to a flat individual income tax in 2014 and continues to phase in rate reductions, building on the success of its historic 2013 reforms and shoring up its place at 11th overall.
Another trend is the tendency for states to shift away from taxes on capital. Pennsylvania, for example, has now completely phased out its capital stock tax, boosting its property tax component ranking six places, from 38th to 32nd, and improving its overall state ranking from 28th to 24th.
“Substantive state tax reform has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years,” said Tax Foundation Director of State Projects Scott Drenkard. “The stagnation of our federal tax code means that policymakers are turning to state codes to boost their national and global competitiveness. The state codes are ripe for reform and it’s encouraging to see so many states taking action.”
Here’s a link to the full report: 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index2016-09-28T15:51:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/PAULABUILDINGPIC.jpg
Matan Cos. purchases 10-acre industrial site in Dulles
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/matan-cos.-purchases-10-acre-industrial-site-in-dulles#When:15:50:00ZThe Matan Cos. has purchased a 10-acre industrial site on Maries Road in Dulles for the development of a new Class A industrial complex called Dulles North Industrial Park. The Frederick, Md.-based real estate investment firm did not disclose the purchase price.
According to JLL, which brokered the sale, Matan plans to start construction on a 154,125-square-foot building that is scheduled to be complete by late 2017.
Located along the northern edge of the Dulles Corridor, Dulles North Industrial Park will have proximity to key residential and mixed-use developments such as Dulles Town Center, Commonwealth Center, One Loudoun and Ashburn. The building will offer 30-foot ceiling heights, ESFR sprinklers and a neutral palate façade with stone accents.
“Matan is an experienced and highly respected developer with a very impressive track record of industrial development,” John Dettleff, senior vice resident at JLL, said in a statement.
Dettleff added that another possible use of the property would be as a data center site. “The property sits on top of seven unique fiber lines, and it is adjacent to four data centers, including Cyrus One and Digital Realty Trust.”
Dettleff and Dan Costs of JLL represented Matan Cos. in the purchase of the site, and they are leasing Dulles North Industrial Park on behalf of the company.
Matan’s portfolio consists of more than 6 million square feet of office/industrial assets, 3 million square feet in the development pipeline, several active residential developments and a separate portfolio of multifamily units.2016-09-28T15:50:00+00:00
JLL reports Hampton Roads transactions totaling more than 412,000 square feet.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jll-reports-hampton-roads-transactions-totaling-more-than-412000-square-fee#When:15:41:00ZJLL has completed several transactions in the Hampton Roads market totaling 412,611 square feet. The transactions include:
Health Net Federal Services leased 54,836 square feet at 514 Butler Farm Road in Hampton. JLL's Wesley Edwards and Deborah Stearns represented the tenant.. Gregg Christoffersen of JLL represented the building owner. Health Net also leased 21,100 square feet of industrial space at 241 Enterprise Drive in Newport News. Edwards represented the tenant.
Sunrise Global Marketing leased 218,680 square feet at 2600 International Parkway in Virginia Beach. Stearns and Christoffersen represented the building owner. Architectural Graphics Inc. leased 50,000 square feet at 2600 International Parkway in Virginia Beach. Stearns and Christoffersen represented the building owner.
OVM Financial Inc. renewed and expanded its lease of 25,495 square feet at 816 Greenbrier Circle in Chesapeake. Christine Young and Edwards represented the building owner.
Government IT leaders give cybersecurity high priority
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/government-it-leaders-give-cybersecurity-high-priority#When:01:02:00ZGovernment information technology executives increasingly are focused on cybersecurity preparedness but they are having trouble recruiting IT talent, according to surveys released by Alexandria-based Grant Thornton Public Sector.
Two Grant Thornton annual surveys — one focused on state chief information officers (CIOs) and the other on federal CIOs —reveal similar concerns, including:
• Cybersecurity preparedness is a high priority at the state and federal level. In federal government, cyberattacks and threats are increasing, Cybersecurity spending also is rising, but it is not keeping pace with the threats. Cyberattacks also are increasing at the state level. Seventy-one of CIOs surveyed have developed cybersecurity disruption response plans, up from 52 percent last year.
• Workforce recruitment, development and retention continues to be a struggle, as government agencies compete with the private sector for talent. State and federal CIOs want to attract younger, tech-savvy workers but say they need to address less-attractive compensation packages, bureaucratic rules and other onerous requirements of the hiring process.
• CIOs consider data governance and management to be a strategic focus. At the federal level, 86 percent of agencies surveyed have appointed a chief data officer (CDO). However, only one-third of states have created a CDO position, with another 20 percent considering it.
"Cybersecurity is clearly top-of-mind for state CIOs, and, as a result, they are becoming increasingly attentive to protecting essential state IT services,” Graeme Finley, managing director in Grant Thornton’s State and Local Public Sector practice, said in a statement. “In fact, nearly 20 percent more state CIOs have a cyber response plan in place this year compared with last."
Grant Thornton published its 26th annual federal CIO survey in partnership with the Professional Services Council. The survey includes responses from 23 federal agencies and is based on interviews with 41 IT officials.
Grant Thornton’s seventh annual state CIO survey was published jointly with the National Association of Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and CompTIA. The survey includes perspectives from the CIOs of nearly every state and U.S. territory.2016-09-28T01:02:00+00:00
New buyer plans to finish assisted living project in Williamsburg
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-buyer-plans-to-finish-assisted-living-project-in-williamsburg#When:21:08:00ZWM Dougherty & Co. LLC has purchased Berkeley Oaks, an assisting living community in Williamsburg that fell into bankruptcy after it was substantially completed. The company says it plans to finish the project and open it by Feb. 1.
The company, based in Jacksonville, Fla., said it was the high bidder at a court-appointed sale of the project at 1807 Jamestown Road, which it purchased for about $7.5 million.
New Dawn Assisted Living, based in Phoenix, and various affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief in November 2015.The project was planned with 48 private suites to serve people with memory-related impairments.
WM Dougherty & Co. said that nearly $2 million would be invested to complete and open all three phases of the community. The opening is expected to bring 50 new jobs to the Williamsburg area.
“The opportunity exists to fill a serious need for certain members of our community. At the same time, I believe that we have found an excellent investment opportunity in Williamsburg,” William Daugherty, founder and CEO of the company, said in a statement.
The firm announced an alliance with Princeton, N.J-based Solvere Senior Living in opening and operating the community, with Berkeley Oaks representing Solvere’s first foray into Virginia.
“Berkeley Oaks is a great opportunity to help meet the expanding demand for memory care in the Williamsburg area. We’ve partnered with WMD-related entities on several other communities in Maryland, Indiana, and West Virginia and believe that our expansion into Virginia is a natural fit …” Kristin Kutac-Ward, Solvere’s President and CEO, said in a statement.
Berkeley Oaks plans to provide a family environment in three one-story, detached community houses. Each house will have 16 private studio apartments with individual baths.2016-09-27T21:08:00+00:00
Roanoke-based Budget Signs LLC sold to a franchise of Fastsigns
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roanoke-based-budget-signs-llc-sold-to-a-franchise-of-fastsigns#When:19:49:00ZRoanoke-based Budget Signs LLC has been sold to a Salem-based franchise of Fastsigns.
The deal was announced by Richmond-based Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., which served as the sale advisor to Budget Signs. Financial details were not disclosed.
Carrollton, Texas-based Fastsigns is a franchisor in the U.S. and abroad that provides sign and visual graphic solutions.
Budget Signs is a sign and crane company that fabricates, installs and services signs in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
Matrix said the transaction was led by Mike Morrison, David Shoulders, William O’Flaherty and Pratik Thakral.
Matrix is an investment bank offices in Baltimore and Chicago in addition to Richmond. The company provides merger and acquisition and financial advisory services for privately-held, private equity-owned and publicly traded companies.
ST Tissue LLC plans to add 50 jobs in Isle of Wight County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/st-tissue-llc-plans-to-add-50-jobs-in-isle-of-wight-county#When:16:57:00ZST Tissue LLC – which makes tissue, towel and napkin products – announced Tuesday it will invest $35 million to expand its operation in Isle of Wight County. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs.
The company will add a new tissue machine and hard wound towel line that will increase existing capacity by more than 45,000 tons annually. ST Tissue sells commercial tissue to businesses in the food service and lodging sectors, among others.
“In 2013, ST Tissue resurrected a former paper mill and converted it into a leading paper products manufacturing facility that continues to grow and thrive in Isle of Wight County,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. “We are proud that this important corporate partner put citizens back to work and has made the decision to further invest in its operation and workforce.”
McAuliffe approved a $167,500 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the project. The company also is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Virginia successfully competed against Wisconsin for the project.2016-09-27T16:57:00+00:00
MainStreet Bank names executive vice president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/mainstreet-bank-names-executive-vice-president#When:19:20:00ZFairfax-based MainStreet Bank has promoted Abdul Hersiburane to executive vice president and director of business development.
Hersiburane joined MainStreet Bank in 2007 as a relationship manager. Before joining the bank, he spent nine years at Wachovia where he was a senior financial specialist/small business banker.
MainStreet operates five branches in Herndon, Fairfax, Fairfax City, McLean and Clarendon.
Politicians are coming with new cybersecurity requirements — are you ready?
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/politicians-are-coming-with-new-cybersecurity-requirements-are-you-ready#When:18:09:00ZFor the past two years I have predicted that if American businesses did not step up their game on protecting data security, then government would step in and force the issue. Consider how the Affordable Care Act came into being. Health care has been on the government’s agenda since the Clinton administration. The health-care industry spent more than a decade passing the ball to K Street lobbyists, hoping to keep the government at bay. Ultimately — whether right or wrong — the government took action.
Cyber data breaches have been on the radar for well over a decade, and there is no letup on hacking events. Every day new breaches are reported by companies of all sizes — from major financial institutions to local medical practices. Other than breach notification laws, to date, government has issued guidance to businesses. That soft touch appears to be ending. It is no surprise that now New York has stepped to the forefront and proposed actual regulations that will apply to financial institutions. While industry analysts already are panning the proposed regulations, like most government initiatives, there is likely little to stop implementation in some form.
Some of the regulations appear to make perfect sense. State-regulated banks and insurers must perform a self-evaluation of their cyber vulnerabilities on an annual basis. In response, these entities must develop updated cybersecurity plans, which include an immediate response plan for breaches. These institutions also must designate an employee to act as the chief security officer. Moreover, banks and insurers will have to notify the state of possible cyber breaches within 72 hours. In reality, many of these requirements are not totally out of bounds, and most experts advocate for this level of planning as part of a company’s cyber risk management efforts. The concern for the proposed regulations is that they appear to go much further, for example, requiring all email communications with customers to be encrypted.
If financial institutions had taken action and implemented realistic and state-of-the-art cybersecurity plans, it is unlikely the government would be proposing these regulations. When politicians perceive that business is not acting to protect constituents, they act to fill the void. If the current proposals are enacted in New York, it is likely that other states will be forced to implement similar regulations.
If anyone thinks financial institutions will be the first and last industry to be targeted for such regulations, think again. This is an easy topic for politicians as the constant news of breaches is on voters’ minds. In all likelihood, most voters have been impacted by a breach or identity theft in some form. Cyber regulations are the kind of laws that do not cost the government much, but look good to voters.
Where do we go from here? Businesses and their trade groups must wake up and take data security seriously. Providing limited discussion and guidance on the issue at annual conferences is not going to cut it any longer. Continue down that road, and you can be assured government will step in with regulations for your industry as well. Trade associations must take action now — demanding that their members take action and ensuring that their proactive efforts remain visible to lawmakers.
If the financial industry is first up, who is next? Almost surely one of the three Hs will be targeted for governmental oversight. Who are the three Hs? Health care, hospitality and higher education. For the last year, it has become apparent that these three industries are behind the eight ball when it comes to data security and cyber insurance. The three Hs have a lot in common that makes them high-value targets for cyber criminals: 1) all have access to substantial personal information for the customers; 2) all employ numerous people with a fairly high degree of turnover; 3) all allow employees a high degree of access throughout their information networks; and 4) all rely heavily on technology to achieve operational efficiency.
Politicians looking to implement new regulations that purportedly affect the most votes could not find three better industries to target. Of these, health care is likely first up for additional mandates. The personal identifying information owned by medical and health-care providers is the “gold standard” for cyber thieves. Plus, recent high-profile incidents are gaining national attention concerning the vulnerabilities of the industry. Earlier this year, Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles was hit by ransomware. The hospital paid a $17,000 bitcoin ransom to get its network unlocked. More recently, MedStar Health System was hit by ransomware that created a nightmare for the provider. And the list goes on. When providers have to cancel surgeries and cannot access patient files, it garners peoples’ attention — including politicians.
Hospitality and higher education are not far behind. A number of high-profile breaches have hit the hospitality industry. The media have not paid as much attention as they did to retailers like Target or Home Depot, but it is only a matter of time. Higher ed’s problem is the manner in which colleges and universities are structured. It takes a lot of time and effort to get buy-in that they are exposed. But again, one high-profile event and possible legislation will be coming.
The health care, hospitality and higher education industries would be very wise to get ahead of the curve. Acting now to implement cybersecurity measures is not only prudent from an internal risk management standpoint, but it has the potential to move these industries off the legislative radar As 2016 winds down, these industries should make their New Year’s resolution to tackle cybersecurity in a serious and systemic manner. If not, be assured that legislators will likely step in to make them take action.
Collin Hite is the practice leader of the Insurance Recovery Group and the Data Privacy & Security Group in Hirschler Fleischer's Richmond office. He can be reached at 804-771-9595 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strategic partnerships = magic math
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/strategic-partnerships-magic-math#When:19:43:00ZWe all know the old adages: “team work makes the dream work” and “many hands make light work.” However, sometimes in business we get so caught up in our own numbers and our desire to grow that we forget the value that can be reaped when we partner with others.
Sometimes it pays to find strategic partnerships. These partnerships can add real value to your business and can be both formal and informal. The key is building and sustaining relationships that enable the collaboration to be greater than the sum of the parts. When we think about value, consider the benefits of an effective strategic partnership focused on key areas of building your business: marketing and finance.
Strategic marketing partners
Effective marketing is one of the most important keys to a successful business development strategy. Without a proper marketing strategy, customers will never be aware of a business or its location, products, or services. The problem with marketing is that it can actually hurt a business if done incorrectly.
Developing strategic marketing partners can help you grow your business at a very low cost. For example, if the partner is in a complementary business, you could refer clients between one another. Both partners would increase revenues with no additional advertising costs. Take it to the next level by co-marketing to one another’s client base!
Strategic financial partners
Strategic partners can fill a number of financial roles: accountants, bankers, investors or financial advisers. Their purpose is to help monitor the flow of your company’s money and come up with new solutions that increase the amount of money available to you.
Creating these relationships with strategic financial partners can take some real trust, but remember, you want to maximize your ROI. You will benefit greatly from having an extra set of eyes, perhaps more objective than your own, keeping tabs on your financial status. Finding ways to protect and grow wealth is their business. Allowing them to make suggestions and give guidance to you can open new paths to prosperity.
Summing it up
The strategic partnerships you cultivate will keep your business growing and keep you aware of new opportunities. Working together broadens the horizons and potentially builds more wealth for everyone involved.
Effective strategic partnerships take less time, energy, and money to create a greater presence in the market — for both you and your partner. This magic math happens when the team created generates more value than the individual players could on their own.
About the Author:
Dan Doran, CVA is the Founder and Principal of Quantive Business Valuations, a certified valuation practice serving privately held businesses nationwide. He consults on hundreds of valuations each year, ranging from cases of divorce litigation or SBA 7(a) lending requirements to buy-sell agreements or purchase and sale proceedings. Learn more at quantivevaluations.com.2016-09-23T19:43:00+00:00
Mach37 announces five new companies
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mach37-announces-five-new-companies#When:18:33:00ZThe Herndon-based Mach37 Cyber Accelerator has selected five cybersecurity startups to participate in its three-month, mentorship-driven program.
With the latest group, Mach37 will have helped launch 40 cyber companies in three years.
"The cybersecurity industry is growing at an extraordinary rate as we work tirelessly to keep up with looming threats across the globe. The need for new innovative cyber products to combat these threats has never been greater,” Rick Gordon, the managing partner of Mach37, said in a statement. “We have developed an ecosystem to accelerate these innovations into the mainstream while also helping reduce startup risks for both entrepreneurs and investors.”
The companies selected for the Fall 2016 Cohort are:
• Adlumin - (adlumin.com) — founders Robert S. Johnston and Timothy Evans.
• Intelligence Framework Inc (infrascan.net) — Andrea Bodei.
• NS8 Inc - (ns8.com) — Adam Rogas and Paul Korol.
• Steel Mountain Systems Corp. - (steelmountain.io) — Will Butler and Thomas Maarseveen.
• ThreatSwitch - (threatswitch.com) — John Dillard.
Mach37brings together domain experts, successful cybersecurity entrepreneurs and investors familiar to the security market to work with innovators and their startups.
Applicants selected to participate in the program receive a $50,000 investment to develop and launch their ideas as emerging, investable companies. The program concludes on Dec. 6 with a Demo Day where companies will have the opportunity to pitch and demo their technology to an audience of external mentors, investors and stakeholders.2016-09-23T18:33:00+00:00
Top 10 highest paid public CEOs in Virginia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/top-10-paid-ceos#When:18:11:00ZEach October, Virginia Business publishes its annual survey of executive compensation for Virginia CEOs at public companies with revenue of $1 billion or more. Below are the top 10 highest paid CEOs, based on total compensation received in 2015. Next Friday we will reveal the full list, which also appears in the October issue of Virginia Business.