Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business email@example.comCopyright 20162016-08-24T14:27:00+00:00
Union Bankshares CEO to step down in January
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/union-bankshares-ceo-to-step-down-in-january#When:14:27:00ZG. William (“Billy”) Beale will step down early next year as CEO of Richmond-based Union Bankshares Corp., the parent company of Virginia’s largest community bank.
His successor on Jan. 2 will be John C. Asbury, the former president and CEO of privately-held First National Bank of Santa Fe in New Mexico. Asbury, 51, will join Union this October, becoming president and CEO of its banki, Union Bank & Trust .
In January, Asbury will become president and CEO of Union Bankshares in addition to heading the bank.
Beale, 66, will stay with Union, serving as executive vice chairman of the board and the bank until March 31. He will remain on the board after that, standing for re-election at the 2017 annual meeting.
Raymond D. Smoot, Jr., the chairman of the Union Bankshares, said the moves are the result of a comprehensive succession plan that included a nationwide search for a new CEO.
“It became clear that John’s demonstrated capabilities stemming from 29 years of leadership experience at some of the most well-known and highly-regarded banking institutions ideally suited him to lead our strategy of growing the Union franchise beyond the $10 billion asset threshold,” Smoot said in a statement. “We are confident that this leadership succession plan solidly positions Union to generate consistent top-tier financial performance and attractive long-term shareholder returns.”
Smoot noted that, under Beale’s leadership during the past 25 years, the company has grown from $180 million to $8.1 billion in total assets while giving shareholders a total cumulative return of more than 850 percent since Union went public in 1993.
Asbury, a Radford native, will become only the sixth president in the bank’s 114-year history. His last bank, First National Bank of Santa Fe, recently entered a merger agreement with Kansas-based Sunflower Financial that will create a regional community bank with $4 billion in assets.
Before that position, Asbury was senior executive vice president and head of the business services group at Regions Financial Corp. and Pacific Northwest region executive for business banking at Bank of America.
Asbury began his banking career at Wachovia Bank & Trust in Winston-Salem, N.C., after graduating from Virginia Tech. He also holds an MBA from the College of William & Mary.2016-08-24T14:27:00+00:00
Southern Company subsidiary to develop site in Pittsylvania County
Southern Company, based in Atlanta, said Tuesday that subsidiary Southern Power is in the preliminary phase of developing land for a natural gas generating facility in Pittsylvania County in southern Virginia.
As part of Southern Power's strategic plan to secure potential generation sites, 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.
"This is an early step in a lengthy process as we evaluate opportunities that align with our low-risk business model," Southern Power CEO Buzz Miller, said in a statement. "Southern Power is committed to acquiring and constructing generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts, and we believe southern Virginia could be a good fit for our strategic expansion."
Berry Hill Industrial Park is more than 3,500 acres of publicly owned land, making it the largest in the state and the fifth largest on the East Coast. While still in development, the park is divided into 13 parcels ranging from 98 to 1,296 acres.
"Berry Hill Industrial Park was specifically developed for these types of large projects," said RIFA and Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jessie Barksdale. "This project has the potential to represent the largest single private investment ever in Pittsylvania County."
Additionally, the project could generate jobs and economic resources for Virginia and surrounding areas.
"We are excited about the potential to partner with a company that has such a reputation as Southern Power," said RIFA Vice Chairman Sherman Saunders.
Southern Power continues to grow its portfolio of more than 10,800 megawatts (MW) through the acquisition and development of clean energy solutions. It owns and operates nine combined-cycle and combustion-turbine natural gas-fueled power plants that generate more than 8,000 MW across four states.2016-08-24T00:38:00+00:00
Roanoke College Poll shows Clinton with 16-point lead in Virginia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roanoke-college-poll-shows-clinton-with-16-point-lead-in-virginia#When:21:34:00ZDemocratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has opened a 16-point lead over Republican Donald Trump among likely voters in Virginia, according to The Roanoke College Poll.
Clinton is favored by 48 percent of poll respondents compared with 32 percent for Trump. Libertarian Gary Johnson received the support of 8 percent of likely voters, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein trailed the field with 3 percent, while 9 percent remain undecided.
In a two-way matchup, Clinton's lead grows to 19 points (55 to 36 percent). The two candidates were tied in the May Roanoke College Poll.
Clinton's favorable ratings, though not good, have improved from May (39 percent favorable; 45 percent unfavorable compared to 35 percent and 50 percent in May), while Trump's numbers are very poor and marginally worse than in May (23 percent favorable; 63 percent unfavorable down from 23 percent and 56 percent).
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, is viewed favorably by a majority of respondents (52 percent). That is a significant increase from 32 percent in January,2016-08-23T21:34:00+00:00
Online money-transfer service expands to Virginia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/online-money-transfer-service-expands-to-virginia#When:20:50:00ZWorldRemit, an online money-transfer company, has expanded its service to Virginia.
The London-based company says that, with its app, customers can use their mobile phones to transfer money to people in more than 125 countries.
The company notes that more than 1 million of Virginia’s 8.3 million residents were born in other countries.
The U.S. is the world’s biggest sender of remittances with more than $56 billion sent overseas each year, according to the World Bank.
WorldRemit now is available in 45 states.2016-08-23T20:50:00+00:00
TB&R names managing director of its Richmond office
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/tbr-names-managing-director-of-its-richmond-office#When:20:43:00ZTB&R, an AssuredPartners company, has promoted Brian McCullough to managing director of the Richmond office.
In his new role, McCullough will be in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations and continued growth initiatives of the office as well as maintaining his book of business.
McCullough has been in the insurance industry for 12 years, most recently as a vice president specializing in construction, transportation, real estate, dealerships and nonprofits.
He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on risk management and insurance.
Founded in 1991, AssuredPartners NL is based in Louisville, Ky., with more than 35 offices in 13 states.2016-08-23T20:43:00+00:00
Death on the job
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/death-on-the-job#When:20:15:00ZThe number of workplace fatalities in Virginia is way up this year – 32 deaths as of Aug. 23 — compared to 31 for all of last year, according to Virginia’s Department of Labor (DOL). However, only one company, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in Danville, has experienced multiple deaths, four in all, over the course of the past year, said Jennifer Rose, safety director for Virginia’s Occupational Safety and Health Compliance program (VOSH).
“We’re addressing it with them. It’s an ongoing discussion … The union is involved. They are just as concerned with these fatalities as we are,” Rose said.
In what a union official says is “very unusual,” the four deaths have occurred in separate accidents, an assessment verified by Goodyear.
“All four accidents were quite different,” said Mike Wright, director of health, safety and environment with the United Steelworkers Union in Pittsburgh, the union representing workers at the Danville plant.
The union has assigned an investigator to the plant, and Wright said Goodyear is cooperating with inspections and investigations underway by the state and the union. In addition to the four deaths, an employee suffered second-degree burns in a plant accident in April.
“We’ve had situations where four people have died in a year, but it’s often been in a single accident,” said Wright. However, “it’s not unprecedented. We’ve had other situations where four people have died in the same plant in one year, but it’s very unusual.’’
According to Wright, the union sees about 30 fatalities a year among its 700,000 members who work in about 3,000 workplaces. “So to have four of those 30 in one workplace is pretty unusual.”
In a statement from Akron-based Goodyear to Virginia Business, the tire company said, “The safety of Goodyear associates is our highest priority. We are deeply concerned about any safety incident that occurs in our facilities and are saddened by the recent events at Danville. The four occurrences there are out of the ordinary relative to our historical safety record. Prior to these events, Goodyear’s North America manufacturing facilities had not experienced an industrial fatality since 2008. Each incident at Danville involved different physical conditions and circumstances within different areas of the facility on different types of machinery. As a result, we are currently studying this most recent event thoroughly to learn what went wrong, and to continue to improve our safety program at Danville."
The company went on to say it has “initiated numerous improvements to our short- and long-term plans to make Danville a better, safer place to work, ranging from implementation of new safeguards throughout the plant to process improvements. OSHA has inspected the machine involved in the Aug. 12, fatality and released it for production. We will continue to focus on improving safety, fixing issues as they arise and increasing safety awareness among all associates.”
Data at the website of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), a division of the U. S. Department of Labor, give a brief description of the cause behind reported workplace fatalities, which employers are required by law to report. According to the data for the deaths that have occurred at Goodyear since last August:
Jeanie Strader, 56, died on Aug, 31, 2015, after being caught in the plant’s steam rollers.
Kevin Edmonds, 54, died on March 31, 2016, after being crushed between a wall and a pallet.
Greg Cooper, 52, died on April 12, after falling into a vat of boiling water and oil.
The outcome of inspections are pending in several of these cases and until cases are closed, the agency points out that entries concerning specific OSHA inspections are subject to continuing correction and updating, particularly with regard to citation items.
In the most recent death of 47-year-old electrician, William “Billy” Scheier on Aug. 12, there is no OSHA data posted. However, according to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke, the cause of his death — termed an industrial accident by the state — was blunt injuries to the chest and mechanical asphyxiation. Dr. Amy Tharp, the examiner in the case, said those terms refer to a crushing type of injury and a weight to the chest that physically prevents a person from breathing.
Rose said VOSH opened another inspection of the Goodyear plant after Scheier’s death. In response to the first fatality, Strader’s death last August, VOSH did an inspection and issued three citations, recommending fines of nearly $17,000 for violations it deemed serious, according to DOL records.
Goodyear has contested those citations, which included violating a safety standard over the guarding of floor and wall openings and holes, for which VOSH recommended a penalty of $2,974. The two other citations related to Strader’s death involved the control of hazardous energy (lockout-tagout) for which it recommended two penalties of $7,000 each. This safety standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which an unexpected startup could harm employees.
After the third fatality in April, Goodyear closed its Danville plant for several days to cooperate with VOSH’s investigation.
Currently, Vosh has several inspections open related to the deaths, and it also has opened inspections not related to fatalities, Rose said. VOSH has six months from the time it opens an investigation to issue a report with any citations.
In Virginia’s recent public service announcement on the surge in workplace deaths, C. Ray Davenport , commissioner for Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry, said that in July alone, eight Virginia workers lost their lives. “If this horrific trend in workplace deaths continues, Virginia will experience an 80 percent increase in fatal accidents investigated by the VOSH program in 2016,” he said. Virginia recorded 31 workplace fatalities in both 2015 and 2014.
In 2014, OSHA reported a total of 4,821 deaths across the country. Davenport urged employers to review injury prevention programs and safety and health procedures with employees.
Asked if she had any theories about the uptick in deaths, Rose said, “When the economy improves, there’re more employees in the workplace. There could be deficiencies in training and that would increase their risk as well.’’
When Davenport’s announcement was issued on Aug. 4, Virginia’s count stood at 29 deaths. Since then, the fourth fatality at Goodyear occurred, and Rose said companies in Lynchburg and Blackstone saw one death each, bringing the total count to 32. In Lynchburg, 56-year-old Jesse Horsley died when he was trapped by a fallen piece of scrap metal at Griffin Pipe Products Co., according to news reports.
Last year, more than half of all workplace fatalities in Virginia occurred in general industry (manufacturing, logging, etc.) So far in 2016, of the 29 deaths reported initially by the state, nine of them occurred in the construction industry, an industry that saw the most number of fatal accidents in 2014, but a drop in deaths in 2015.
Falls, being struck by an object and electrocution are the most frequently cited safety hazards by OSHA.
While OSHA’s job, and the job of the state VOSH office, is to enforce regulatory safety laws, Wright says the union’s mission is more big-picture. The job of the union, Wright said, “is to go deeper. We’re looking for underlying causes, for what it was that may have lead to violations, in how work is organized, in how management is organized, in whether there are enough people to do different jobs, the way the company does hazard recognition. All of those things. That kind of investigation takes longer."
Another key thing the union looks for is “is there something unique about that plant or do these factors exist in other Goodyear plants and in other tire industry plants and in other industrial plants in general? Do we see any pattern? We have lots of information and data that we are analyzing at this point. We don’t want to comment on specifics until everything is tied down.”
Goodyear is Danville’s largest employer with more than 2,000 workers.2016-08-23T20:15:00+00:00
Distillery to expand in Smyth County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/distillery-to-expand-in-smyth-county#When:22:59:00ZAppalachian Mountain Spirits is expanding its whisky distillery in Smyth County, a $1.95 million project that is expected to create 13 new 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.
The AFID Fund is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).2016-08-22T22:59:00+00:00
Washington-area millennials put high priority on pay
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/washington-area-millennials-put-high-priority-on-pay#When:20:20:00ZA survey by Arlington Eagle Hill Consulting finds that millennials in the Washington, D.C., metro area rank financial security as the top factor in maintaining a positive work/life balance.
When given the choice between more money or more free time, millennials in the metro were far more likely to choose money (86 percent) over working fewer hours per week (14 percent), the survey found.
"These findings mark an important shift in the priorities and preferences of this younger generation," Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill's president and chief executive officer, said in statement. "It's no longer all about job perks like free snacks, massages and napping rooms as this generation begins to age."
Millennials, defined in the survey as ages 18 to 34, represent about one-third of the U.S. workforce (33 percent) and a slightly larger percentage of the D.C. area workforce (35 percent). Eagle Hill notes that, as older workers retire, millennails are expected to constitute 75 percent of the workforce nationally by 2025.
“Clearly, pocketbook issues now are the driving factor in millennials employment decisions. While our research demonstrates a shift for millennials, it really shouldn't be surprising,” Jezior said. “Millennials often have steep financial challenges given national trends toward unprecedented student debt, stagnant wages and cuts to retirement and healthcare benefits," Jezior explained.
The Eagle Hill survey was conducted by SSI in May. The survey and included 1,990 full-time professionals in multiple industries across the U.S. and 250 in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The employee satisfaction survey polled respondents on work/life balance, career success, and overall satisfaction with their current job and employer.2016-08-22T20:20:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image005.jpg
S. L. Nusbaum expands into Maryland
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/s.-l.-nusbaum-expands-into-maryland#When:19:23:00ZS. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. announced the ground-breaking Monday of The Fred, a 240-unit apartment community located in Frederick, Md., in the Waverly View Planned Neighborhood Development. Thomas Johnson III and Richard Counselman led Nusbaum's development team on the venture.
This is the first multifamily development in Maryland for the Norfolk-based firm. Located less than an hour from Washington, D.C,. and Baltimore, Md., Frederick is the second largest city in the state with 65,000 residents.
Nusbaum said it partnered with the Maryland Community Development Administration, AGM Financial Services Inc.,Wells Fargo Bank and Boston Financial Investment Management to secure financing on the project. The total investment is about $50 million.
The property is currently under construction with Morgan-Keller Construction Co. as the general contractor. The development is expected to be completed by early to mid-2018, with apartment units ready for occupancy prior to that time.
S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. currently manages about 20,000 apartment units and says it has developed close to 50 communities throughout the mid-Atlantic.2016-08-22T19:23:00+00:00
Botetourt County breaks ground on shell building
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/botetourt-county-tobreak-ground-on-shell-building#When:15:58:00ZBotetourt County is getting a 100,000-square-foot shell building that local officials say will make the region more competitive in attracting new business.
Government and economic development officials gathered Tuesday to break ground on the new building on a 22-acre site at the county's Botetourt Center at Greenfield. County officials say the structure will help address a regional problem of not having enough available buildings for companies seeking advanced manufacturing space. "Three quarters of our inquiries are for existing buildings, and we don't have a deep inventory of modern facilites for high-tech advanced manufacturing. That is the case along the entire I-81 corridor," Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, said in a statement.
The building, the only one planned in the region, will have room to at least double in size.
A shell building helps companies increase their speed in bringing products to market because they don’t have to spend time constructing a building. Plus, the building is expected to give the region an advantage in attracting more highly skilled and high-paying jobs like the ones being created adjacent to the facility at Eldor Corp. and Ballast Point Beer and Spirits.
Eldor, based in Italy, announced plans in March to invest $75 million during the next five years in what will be its first North American production plant. The 250,000-square-foot plant will employ 350 workers making ignition and electric systems for hybrid and electric cars.
The county got more good news in May from San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits. It plans to invest about $48 million to turn an existing building in the industrial park into its East Coast manufacturing and retail operation. The project is expected to create about 175 jobs.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on International Drive at the Botetourt Center in Daleville. It is a joint project of the Greater Roanoke Valley Development Foundation, the Roanoke Valley Development Corp. and Botetourt County. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $3 million.
Hometown Bank is providing financing while local companies Balzer & Associates and Avis Construction will lead the design and construction. Construction begins immediately and is expected to take about 10 months.
“We are now missing opportunities because we don’t have the product,” Doughty said. “This building will be very attractive to a manufacturer looking to take advantage of the Virginia Western Mechatronics Program, low costs of doing business, market access, and a very livable region.
Charlottesville building on Preston Avenue sells for $2.7 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/charlottesville-building-on-preston-avenue-sells-for-2.7-million#When:15:15:00ZBMC Holdings LLC has purchased a 16,550-square-foot building in Charlottesville for $2.79 million. According to CBRE/Charlottesville, which brokered the transaction, the building at 943-945 Preston Ave. is close to the University of Virginia and the city's Downtown Mall.
Carolyn Shears and Cass Kawecki of CBRE Charlottesville represented the seller, Blank LLC. "The sale and investment in this property represents another step forward for this burgeoning Preston Avenue retail corridor in Charlottesville," Shears said in a statement.2016-08-22T15:15:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/SequoiaPlaza_Email.jpgPhoto courtesy HFF
HFF secures $97 million refinancing for Sequoia Plaza in Arlington
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hff-secures-97-million-refinancing-for-sequoia-plaza-in-arlington#When:14:57:00ZHolliday Fenoglio Fowler LP (HFF) has secured a $97 million refinancing for Sequoia Plaza. The three building, Class A, 369,215- square-foot office complex is located in Arlington.
Working on behalf of Foulger Pratt, HFF, based in Washington, D.C., placed the three-year, floating-rate loan with Aareal Capital Corp. Loan proceeds were used to retire existing financing and fund leasing costs.
Sequoia Plaza is located at 2100, 2110 and 2120 Washington Boulevard across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Situated on a 5.8-acre site at the confluence of Washington Boulevard and Route 50, the complex is about two miles from the Pentagon and five miles from Ronald Reagan National Airport in Northern Virginia.
According to HFF, the property is 83 percent leased and is anchored by Arlington County, which leases more than 76 percent of the space.
The HFF debt placement team representing the borrower was led by Managing Director Cary Abod and Associate Director Robert Carey.2016-08-22T14:57:00+00:00
22 Capital Partners announces team for Gramercy District
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/22-capital-partners-announces-team-for-gramercy-district#When:14:50:00Z22 Capital Partners, a Chantilly-based private equity firm, announced the project team Monday for a $500 million-plus development, Gramercy District, a smart-city project underway just outside of Washington, D.C.
22 Capital Partners said the team will implement the vision of a marriage between technology and real estate development in creating the 2.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development in Loudoun County. The Tishman Construction unit of AECOM, a global infrastructure firm based in Los Angeles, will partner with Trinity Group Construction based in Herndon. DVA Architects of Gaithersburg, Md., will design the Gramercy District campus.
This city will include a combination of outdoor plazas and public spaces where consumers can interact with businesses. Greystar will provide preconstruction consulting and property management services. These four firms join existing project team members: Bowman Consulting Group, McGuireWoods and Benton Potter & Murdoc.
“We’ve put together a team known for their expertise in the design and construction of commercial, residential and retail developments, who are forward thinking, ready to embrace how technology can improve our city’s overall experience,” Tom McConnell, executive vice president of Gramercy District, said in a statement.
The announcement follows another public release from 22 Capital Partners about the formation of 22 CityLink, a technology company that will provide the smart city platform for the project's development.
Other partners include Microsoft, the Center for Innovative Technology and the George Washington University.2016-08-22T14:50:00+00:00
Va. Beach company partners with Commonwealth Commercial Partners
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/va.-beach-company-partners-with-commonwealth-commercial-partners#When:14:25:00ZCommonwealth Commercial Partners LLC, a commercial real estate firm based in Richmond, has reached an agreement with CCP Commercial Real Estate to assume asset and property management responsibilities for CCP’s growing real estate portfolio.
The portfolio of the Virginia Beach-based company consists of about 2.5 million square feet of Class A office and industrial projects in the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.
“We have developed a strong relationship with CCP, and we are delighted to grow with them in both new and existing markets,” Ken Strickler, president of Commonwealth Commercial, said in a statement. “Their growth trajectory has been impressive, and we are excited to go to work in executing the business plan for the expanding portfolio.”
The CCP portfolio contains 31 buildings located in several markets including Reading, Pa., (near Philadelphia); Virginia Beach, Nashville, Tenn., and Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.
As a result of the agreement, Commonwealth Commercial said it has opened new offices in Raleigh, Charlotte and Reading. The company's managed portfolio now exceeds 13 million square feet across nine offices in the Eastern U.S.2016-08-22T14:25:00+00:00
Marine terminal for sale in Chesapeake
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marine-terminal-for-sale-in-chesapeake#When:13:59:00ZThe Deepwater Marine Terminal at 700 Rosemont Ave. in Chesapeake has been listed for sale for $7.9 million. Norfolk-based Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate said Thursday that it is marketing the 56-acre property nationally to maritime users.
The site offers more than 1,500 feet of shoreline located on a 45-foot channel of the Southern branch of the Elizabeth River. Besides the acreage, it has 55,000 square feet of shop/warehouse and offices.
Harvey Lindsay was given the listing by Harbour Group Management, which is acting as the receiver for the ownership entity.
The listing agents for Harvey Lindsay are Glenn Gibson, Don Goldberg and Bobby Beasley III.2016-08-22T13:59:00+00:00
MillerCoors announces $60 million expansion in Rockingham County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/millercoors-announces-60-million-expansion-in-rockingham-county#When:19:28:00ZMillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co., announced Friday it will invest $60 million to expand its Shenandoah brewery in Rockingham County. The project is expected to create 27 new 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 program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies.
MillerCoors also will be eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment.
Funding and services to support employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.2016-08-19T19:28:00+00:00
AES subsidiary sells energy storage arrays to San Diego Gas and Electric
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/aes-subsidiary-sells-energy-storage-arrays-to-san-diego-gas-and-electric#When:18:35:00ZAES 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 said that, when they become operational by the end of January 2017, the storage arrays will help SDG&E to improve regional reliability and integrate greater amounts of renewable energy.
“We are excited that SDG&E has selected AES’ Advancion energy storage solution to help meet peak demand and ensure the reliability of the electric grid in Southern California,” Andrés Gluski, AES president and CEO, said in a statement. “AES recently made Advancion available to utilities, developers and commercial customers interested in owning our innovative and scalable solution, and SDG&E’s selection of Advancion highlights the significant growth potential we see for our energy storage business.”
The SDG&E arrays will be able to provide 37.5 megawatts of power for four hours and serve as a 75-megawatt flexible resource to the grid.
The arrays will be installed at two SDG&E substation facilities: 30 megawatts in Escondido and 7.5 megawatts in El Cajon.
Once completed, the Escondido array will be the largest battery-based energy storage project in operation in the United States.
AES has been deploying advanced battery-based energy storage onto electric grids since 2008, including recent installations in the United States, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands.2016-08-19T18:35:00+00:00
CCB Bankshares hires senior vice president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/ccb-bankshares-hires-senior-vice-president#When:15:51:00ZL. Michael "Mike" Rowe Jr. has joined CCB Bankshares Inc. as senior vice president-residential market executive for Clarksville and South Boston.
CCB Bankshares is the parent company of Citizens Community Bank. It operates six branches, three in south central Virginia and three in northern North Carolina, as well as a loan production office in North Raleigh, N.C.
Rowe has more than 30 years of community banking experience, with a focus on residential lending for the past 20 years.
A native of Halifax County, Rowe is a 1985 graduate of Longwood University. He lives in Clarksville.2016-08-19T15:51:00+00:00
BWX Technologies subsidiary to acquire Canadian company
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bwx-technologies-subsidiary-to-acquire-canadian-company#When:15:48:00ZLynchburg-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.
GEH-C employs about 350 employees and operates three sites in Ontario, including Peterborough, Toronto and Arnprior
The deal is expected to be completed, subject to required Canadian regulatory reviews and other closing conditions, during the fourth quarter of 2016.
BWXT said the acquisition would double its footprint in Canada and signal a long-term strategic commitment to the CANDU nuclear power segment.
Following the completion of the deal, GEH-C would maintain its headquarters in Peterborough and its activities would be operated as part of BWXT Canada’s overall commercial nuclear business.
John MacQuarrie, BWXT Canada’s president, will lead the combined organization and Mark Ward, GEH-C’s current president, is expected to remain a member of the leadership team.2016-08-19T15:48:00+00:00
Harrisonburg site sells for $5.2 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/harrisonburg-site-sells-for-5.2-million#When:21:02:00ZCottonwood Commercial, based in Harrisonburg, said Thursday that it had brokered a land sale for a developer who plans to build a new student apartment project in the city.
Landmark Properties, a real estate company based in Athens, Ga., bought 36.5 acres near the intersection of Reservoir Street and Stone Spring Road for $5.2 million. The seller was Bosa II, a company based in Rockingham.
According to Cottonwood Commercial, Landmark plans to use the location for a 178-unit “luxury” student housing community that would be called The Retreat at Harrisonburg.
It plans to offer many amenities, including pools, game rooms, fitness facilities, study rooms, computer labs and security services2016-08-18T21:02:00+00:00
Burke & Herbert Bank names new director
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/burke-herbert-bank-names-new-director#When:21:00:00ZAlexandria-based Burke & Herbert Bank has named attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein to its board of directors.
Wainstein is a partner in the Washington, D.C., law office of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, and is chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group.
Before joining the law firm, Wainstein was for many years as a federal prosecutor and then held a variety of leadership roles in the Justice Department. He served as the first assistant attorney general for National Security, as the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., and as general counsel and chief of staff of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Wainstein also was the homeland security adviser for President George W. Bush.
Burke & Herbert Bank, established in 1852, is the oldest bank in Virginia.2016-08-18T21:00:00+00:00
Vistronix acquired by subsidiary of Alaskan company
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/vistronix-acquired-by-subsidiary-of-alaskan-company#When:20:52:00ZA subsidiary of a Alaska-based Arctic Slope Regional Corp. (ASRC) has acquired Reston-based Vistronix Intelligence & Technology Solutions.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Vistronix, which has more than 700 employees, has provided a broad range of enterprise solutions to federal agencies for more than 25 years. The company will become a subsidiary of Beltsville, Md.-based ASRC Federal, which provides engineering, information technology, logistics and professional/program management services to government customers.
“This acquisition demonstrates ASRC’s continued commitment to diversifying and growing our government services portfolio,” Rex A. Rock Sr., president and CEO of ASRC, said in a statement.
ASRC is owned by and represents the business interests of the Arctic Slope Iñupiat. Since opening enrollment in 1989 to Alaska Natives born after 1971, the corporation’s shareholder base has nearly tripled, growing from 3,700 enrollees to around 12,000 today.
The comopany has corporate headquarters in Barrow, Alaska, with administrative and subsidiary offices located in Anchorage and throughout the United States.
ASRC is the largest Alaskan-owned company, employing approximately 10,000 people worldwide. The company has five major business segments: petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, construction, government services and resource development.2016-08-18T20:52:00+00:00
More than 325 Virginia companies make Inc. 5000 list
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/more-than-325-virginia-companies-make-inc.-5000-list#When:20:10:00ZMore than 325 Virginia companies were named to the Inc. 5000, an annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing, privately owned companies.
More than 250 of the 328 Virginia companies on the list are based in Northern Virginia.
That region also is home to the all of the Virginia companies ranking among the top 100 companies.
The top-ranked Virginia firms are:
No. 10, FebBiz IT Solutions, Leesburg. The government services company had a three-year revenue growth rate of 12,621 percent, ending last year with revenue of $25.9 million. Its CEO Nina Tiaga, a Mexico-born Air Force veteran, co-founded the company with her husband, Don, in 2011.
No. 49, Interactive Government Holdings, Springfield. Also a government services company, Interactive was founded in 2006 and ended 2015 with revenue of $7.2 million. Its three-year growth rate was 5,058 percent.
No. 55, ByteCubed, Arlington. ByteCubed, an IT services company, had a three-year growth rate of 4,748 percent. Founded in 2011, its 2015 revenue was $11.6 million.
No. 56, Excel Group, Arlington. The real estate investment and asset management company was founded in 2011. Its 2015 revenue was $34.4 million and its three-year growth rate was 4,694 percent.
No. 70, Talteam, Herndon. The IT services company had a three-year growth rate of 4,053 percent. Founded in 2011, its revenue last year was $5.1 million.
No. 77, Ecology Mir Group, Manassas. The government services firm had revenue of $4 million last year. Its three-year revenue growth rate was 3,856 percent. The company was started in 2012.
No. 100, Inoventures, McLean. Also a government services company, Inoventures started in 2008 and had a three-year revenue growth rate of 3,255 percent. Its 2015 revenue was $3.9 million.
In addition to companies in Northern Virginia, 29 Virginia companies on the Inc. list are based in the Richmond area, while 25 reside in Hampton Roads. Another seven companies are based in the Charlottesville area.
Three companies are in Roanoke and the New River Valley and the Winchester area each had two. One company, Marathon TS, is based in Kilmarnock on the Northern Neck while another, Sigora Solar, has its headquarters in Waynesboro.2016-08-18T20:10:00+00:00
United Bankshares to acquire Cardinal Bank for $912 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/united-bankshares-to-acquire-cardinal-bank-for-912-million#When:16:04:00ZUnited Bankshares Inc. announced Thursday it will acquire Tysons Corner-based Cardinal Financial Corp., becoming the largest community bank in the Washington, D.C., area.
The all-stock deal is worth $912 million.
United, which has headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Charleston, W.Va., said the acquisition will be its 10th in the Washington area and 31st for the current administration.
“Cardinal is one of the most successful community banks in the country and has a significant presence in one of the best markets in the U.S.A.,” Richard Adams, chairman and CEO of United Bankshares, said in a statement. “This merger aligns perfectly with our longstanding commitment to growth in the D.C. metro area.”
The company will become the 32nd largest bank in the country and will have $20 billion in assets, according to a statement on the deal. Cardinal Bank has 30 branches in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. United has 129 offices in D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
United will acquire all of Cardinal’s outstanding shares, exchanging for 0.71 United shares for each Cardinal share.
Both boards of directors have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in mid-2017. The acquisition is pending regulatory and shareholder approval.
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as financial adviser, and Bowles Rice LLP provided legal counsel to United.
Sandler O’Neill & Partners L.P. served as financial adviser, and LeClairRyan served as legal counsel to Cardinal.2016-08-18T16:04:00+00:00
20-megawatt solar utility project announced for Northampton County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/20-megawatt-solar-utility-project-announced-for-northampton-county#When:21:30:00ZIn what was the second solar announcement in a week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday that Hecate Energy LLC has received a permit for a new utility-scale solar facility to be built in Cape Charles in Northampton County. Once complete, the 20-megawatt project will provide enough energy to power more than 3,000 households throughout the region.
“This project builds on important investments we are making in the solar industry across Virginia,” McAuliffe said in an announcement. “Investing in clean, renewable power sources will continue to cut carbon emissions and increase energy security throughout the commonwealth.’’
Hecate Energy, based in Chicago, says on its website that it delivers power projects from inception through construction and continuing operations. The company specializes in solar and wind power, natural gas plants and energy storage.
Construction of the 185-acre facility will incorporate an innovative tracking system that maximizes energy output with the efficient use of available sunlight.
On Aug. 11, the governor’s office announced that the state had approved approved a permit for a new solar facility to be built by Firestone Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Virginia Solar.
The 19.8-megawatt project will be the first utility-scale solar generator of its kind in Buckingham County.
Construction of the 200-acre facility is expected to begin early next year and to be completed by the end of 2017. Costs are estimated at between $30 and $35 million. December 2014, the governor announced that the state would procure up to 8 percent of its electricity consumption from renewable resources within three years. The goal represents approximately 110 megawatts of installed renewable capacity.
The facility will interconnect with the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and A&N Electric Cooperative system. According to the governor’s office, the “permit by rule,” issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, contains provisions to ensure the environment is protected at the Cape Charles site.
“As a Virginia native with family ties to the Eastern Shore region, the 20-megawatt Cherrydale solar development has been an exciting and gratifying project with which to be involved,” said Preston Schultz of Hecate Energy LLC. “In my opinion, the Commonwealth of Virginia Permit by Rule process strikes the right balance between protecting critical local environmental, cultural and historical resources while at the same time providing opportunities for the new clean energy economy to take root and flourish in the Old Dominion.”
On Aug. 11, the governor’s office announced that the state had approved approved a permit for a new solar facility to be built by Firestone Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Virginia Solar. the 19.8-megawatt project will be the first utility-scale solar generator of its kind in Buckingham County.
Construction of the 200-acre facility is expected to begin early next year and to be completed by the end of 2017. Costs are estimated at between $30 and $35 million. In December 2014, the governor announced that the state would procure up to 8 percent of its electricity consumption from renewable resources within three years. The goal represents approximately 110 megawatts of installed renewable capacity.
Port of Virginia volumes down 3.6 percent in July
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-of-virginia-volumes-down-3.6-percent-in-july#When:20:39:00ZThe Port of Virginia said Wednesday that its cargo volumes were down 3.6 percent in July.
The port handled 8,000 fewer TEUs in July, which port officials attributed to a realignment of some vessel services, which resulted in nine fewer vessel calls in July.
“Fewer vessels in July and the stress put on export volumes by the strong dollar are among the primary drivers behind our July performance,” Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart said in a statement. “Still, we are in positive territory on a calendar-year basis, our financial picture is positive, peak season is coming, and we just had two port-users announce regional projects that will add to our cargo volumes; there is a lot to be optimistic about.”
On a to-date calendar year basis, the port handled a 1.1 percent increase in cargo volumes through July when compared with the same period last year. Notably, rail volume has grown 10 percent on a calendar year basis. The number of containers being handled at the Virginia Inland Port has grown 13.8 percent to 22,937.
In addition, the number of containers handled at the Richmond Marine Terminal rose 26 percent.
Earlier this year the port signed a 40-year lease of the Port of Richmond, increasing the size of the barge hauling containers between Norfolk and Richmond on the James River and adding new equipment to the river terminal.
Orange County manufacturer plans $6.7 million plant expansion
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/orange-county-manufacturer-plans-6.7-million-plant-expansion#When:18:30:00ZLohmann Corp. has begun construction of a $6.7 million plant expansion in Orange County, creating 56 additional jobs.
The company, which makes specialty adhesive tapes, is increasing capacity to meet growing demand from automotive manufacturing suppliers.
The 25,000-square-foot addition will be built at the company’s manufacturing facility in the Thomas E. Lee Industrial Park.
“Our tier 1 and 2 automotive suppliers in the Americas were telling us that they wanted direct access to our adhesive technologies used in their European operations,” Steven DeJong, Lohmann’s president, said in a statement. “This expansion enables on-site converting and fabrication, making Lohmann a one-stop supplier of adhesives for virtually every automotive surface.”
Orange County successfully competed against Kentucky and West Virginia for the plant expansion. Incentives included $85,000 in funds from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund.
DeJong said the company’s adhesive tape solutions are “used in virtually every interior, exterior, electronic, mechanical and decorative component.”2016-08-17T18:30:00+00:00
Industrial property in Richmond sells for $1.1 million
Manchester Acquisitions LLC has purchased an 89,090-square-foot industrial property situated on Commerce Road in Richmond for $1.1 million as an investment.
The seller of the 3.2-acre property was RT of Virginia LLC.
Isaac DeRegibus of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller, and Jeff Cooke, also with Thalhimer, represented the purchaser. The property is leased now and once the tenant moves out, the new owner plans improvements, Cooke said.
Elephant Auto Insurance expands into Indiana and Tennessee
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/elephant-auto-insurance-expands-into-indiana-and-tennessee#When:13:24:00ZRichmond-based Elephant Auto Insurance announced Wednesday it is has expanded into Indiana and Tennessee.
Elephant already offers insurance in four states: Virginia, Maryland, Texas and Illinois.
"We’re excited about our tremendous growth and the overall success of the company," Elephant’s CEO, Kevin Chidwick, said in a statement. “As Elephant continues to provide insurance to more states across the U.S., we are looking to add more employees to our talented and enthusiastic staff here in Richmond as well.”
Elephant says it has a variety of positions available including pricing analysts, developers and many claims opportunities. The company is looking for college graduates or experienced professionals to fill these roles. People interested in applying may visit http://www.elephant.com/careers for more information.
Elephant is a subsidiary of Admiral Group plc, one of the largest auto insurers in the United Kingdom, which serves more than 4 million customers worldwide.2016-08-17T13:24:00+00:00
Green Flash Brewing Co. to open Nov. 13 in Virginia Beach
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/green-flash-brewing-co.-to-open-nov.-13-in-virginia-beach#When:21:22:00ZGreen Flash Brewing Co., based in San Diego, said Tuesday today that it will open its East Coast craft brewing facility in Virginia Beach on Nov. 13.
The $20 million facility, located at the corner of General Booth Boulevard and Corporate Landing Parkway, 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 the company said the production facility will provide freight efficiencies for Green Flash’s beer distribution throughout the East Coast.
An official grand opening will be held on Sunday, Nov. 13. The brewery said it will celebrate with a weekend of events, including the third annual Treasure Chest Fest, part of its national initiative to raise money for breast cancer charities.
It will host that ticketed event on Saturday, Nov. 12, which will be the first opportunity for visitors to explore the new brewery, followed by the grand opening celebration that will be open to the public on Nov. 13.
“The new brewery will allow us to offer East Coast consumers fresh Green Flash beers at West Coast pricing starting Jan. 1, 2017,” Mike Hinkley, co-founder and CEO of Green Flash, said in a statement.
The interior of the brewery’s production floor has been designed to duplicate the operations of the San Diego brewery, with brew house and fermentation cellar equipment manufactured by Paul Mueller Co. of Springfield, Mo.
The ultimate production capacity will be 100,000 annual barrels.
Green Flash said it is in the process of hiring staff for both the brewery and tasting room, and expects to employ 40 local residents when fully staffed. Green Flash is working with developer, The Miller Group, on the project.2016-08-16T21:22:00+00:00
McAuliffe leading trade mission to Colombia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mcauliffe-leading-trade-mission-to-colombia#When:19:59:00ZGov. Terry McAuliffe is leading a trade and marketing mission to Bogotá, Colombia.
He is being accompanied by Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, representatives from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and a number of Virginia agribusinesses and distributors.
The value of Virginia agriculture and forestry exports to Colombia was $54.5 million last year, a new high. The exports included pork, grains and soybean meal, among other products. Colombia was Virginia’s 15th largest customer for agriculture and forestry exports last year
Juan Carlos Pinzón, an Colombian ambassador to the U.S., earlier this year invited McAuliffe to visit his country to develop a trade relationship and capitalize on the benefits of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 2012.
The trip marks the governor’s 20th trade and marketing mission and his first to Colombia. His delegation will attend more than 40 meetings over the course of the two-day mission.2016-08-16T19:59:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Gordon_Dixon.jpgGordon Dixon
Associated General Contractors appoints new CEO
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/associated-general-contractors-appoints-new-ceo#When:19:56:00ZThe Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) has selected Gordon N. Dixon as its new chief executive officer. Dixon began his new position on Aug. 1.
He succeeds Steven Vermillion, who continues to serve in an advisory capacity before retiring at the end of the year.
Dixon most recently served as vice president of a large association management company, Organization Management Group, that specialized in leading trade associations focused on event management, procurement, real estate and finance.
He also was director of the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation from 2010 to 2014. In this role, he oversaw the administrative processes of 17 state regulatory boards.
“He brings a strong background on regulatory and public policy matters that positions business for future needs and has over 20 years’ experience helping trade groups achieve their mission,” Board Chairman Mike Cagle of MB Contractors in Roanoke said in a statement.
The Associated General Contractors of Virginia, based in Henrico County, is the largest organization serving the commercial construction industry in the state. Since 1924, it has provided regulatory, workforce development, training, safety and networking services to more than 600 member firms.2016-08-16T19:56:00+00:00
Bottled water company to invest $95 million to open facility in Chesterfield
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bottled-water-company-to-invest-95-million-to-open-facility-in-chesterfield#When:19:26:00ZNiagara Bottling is investing $95 million to open a manufacturing and bottling operation in Chesterfield County.
The Ontario, Calif., bottled water company will open a 450,000-square-foot facility in the Meadowville Technology Park that is expected to create 76 new jobs. The property is located next to Amazon’s fulfillment center.
A $50 million second phase of the project is expected to increase the workforce by another 50 employees.
Niagara Bottling is the largest private label bottled water supplier in the U.S.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund for the project.
Niagara also will be eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities also will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“Niagara Bottling LLC is committed to providing a high-quality product with unmatched quality service to its customers,” Brian Hess, executive vice president of operation for Niagara, said in a statement. “The Chesterfield, Va., location allows the company to fulfill that commitment by providing an optimal location that is close to both its existing and growing customer market.”
The investment has been an economic development project several years in the making, according to the Greater Richmond Partnership. Discussions started between Barry Matherly, GRP’s president and CEO, and Derieth Sutton, Niagara’s director of economic development and government Relations, as far back as 2012. Virginia competed with several states, according to the GRP, and the company eventually considered 12 sites in the Richmond region.2016-08-16T19:26:00+00:00
Point One USA LLC expanding in Virginia Beach
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/point-one-usa-llc-expanding-in-virginia-beach#When:16:29:00ZPoint One USA LLC, a company that trains military and law enforcement professionals, announced Tuesday it is expanding in Virginia Beach. The move will create six jobs and retain 22 positions.
The service-disabled veteran-owned small business currently has two other facilities in Virginia Beach, including its corporate headquarters, and one in San Diego. It will expand its Virginia Beach operations to the new location at 3121 Holland Road once it is complete in September.
According to a news release issued by the city, the jobs will have average annual salaries of more than $80,000.
The Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority approved an Economic Development Investment Program grant of $30,000 based on Point One USA LLC’s capital investment of $1.05 million in real estate and business property and job creation.2016-08-16T16:29:00+00:00
Aldi to establish division headquarters and distribution center in Dinwiddie
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/aldi-to-establish-division-headquarters-and-distribution-center-in-dinwiddi#When:16:27:00ZGerman grocery retailer Aldi plans to establish a division headquarters and 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Dinwiddie County.
Virginia competed against North Carolina for the $57 million project, which is expected to create 145 jobs.
Aldi operates more than 1,500 US stores in 34 states. It plans to have 2,000 stores by the end of 2018.
The company currently has 32 stores in Virginia and expects to have 60 within the next five years.
“The access to qualified and capable employees and transportation options first attracted us to this location, but it was the integrity and positive attitude of the Dinwiddie County leaders that truly won us over,” Jason Hart, Aldi’s CEO, said in a statement.
Economic development incentives for the project include a $450,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and $680,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.
Aldi also is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Aldi is the second Germany-based grocer to announce plans for a major distribution center in Virginia in little more than a year. Lidl is building a regional headquarters and distribution center in Spotsylvania County and has set up its U.S, headquarters in Arlington. Together the Lidl facilities are expected to create 700 jobs.
Crooked Road music trail generates $9 million in annual economic impact
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/crooked-road-music-trail-generates-9-million-in-annual-economic-impact#When:16:19:00ZA 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.
According to the study, 42 percent of event attendees along the music trail are tourists, and 20 percent of them come directly because of The Crooked Road’s marketing. Some hail from as far away as Canada, France, Australia, and Britain.
“It’s really kind of just putting you out there. It’s like another social media, another part of that,” Jason McGuire, owner of the Hillbilly Opry, said in a statement. His business joined The Crooked Road in 2013.
The data come from a study by the Office of Economic Development, part of Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech.
Once visitors are in town, the study says they’re likely to take advantage of shopping, visiting museums, and hiking – extending the benefits of The Crooked Road beyond the music stages.
Visitors spent $192 to $272 per person per trip. A multiday visitor spent from $134 to $591 per trip, depending on the choice of lodging.
“Organizations like The Crooked Road exist to really create opportunities for communities in this region,” said Jack Hinshelwood, director of The Crooked Road. “It’s all about using these assets that we have right here in front of us, which are really our strengths.”
Six of nine major Crooked Road venues estimated a 5 to 15 percent increase in revenue and number of visitors as a result of The Crooked Road’s marketing efforts.
Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development has posted the study online.2016-08-16T16:19:00+00:00
CoreSite Realty Corp. to develop Reston data center site
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/coresite-realty-corp.-to-develop-reston-data-center-site#When:14:51:00ZDenver-based data center company CoreSite Realty Corp. plans to greatly expand its presence in Reston, building more than 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 (STP), a 21.75-acre, light-industrial/flex office park in Reston.
The company is paying more than $60 million for STP, which is located less than a mile from CoreSite's existing Reston buildings.
The STP site now has four buildings totaling 315,000 square feet. CoreSite estimates that it could build more than 660,000 square feet of new data center capacity.
Coresite expects to invest $90 million in the first phase of its plan. That phase will include redeveloping an existing 48,000-square-foot industrial building to data center use, building a 92,000-square-foot data center shell, and constructing another 92,000-square-foot structure to house centralized infrastructure supporting the full buildout of the campus.
CoreSite expects to begin construction during the third quarter of 2017, and substantially complete work in the second quarter of 2018.
CoreSite expects to continuing investing in the campus in additional phases to meet customer demand.
The company’s current Reston campus includes two facilities totaling over 390,000 square feet of data center capacity.
Construction of all 660,000 square feet of new capacity envisioned by CoreSite at the STP expansion would increase CoreSite's capacity at its Reston campus to more than 1 million square feet.2016-08-16T14:51:00+00:00
Top executives of Israeli-based energy company coming to Wise County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/top-executives-of-israeli-based-energy-company-coming-to-wise-county#When:21:30:00ZWise County officials and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board are gearing up for an important meeting with the top executives of an Israel firm interested in building a 500-megawatt solar facility in the U.S.
Ralph Robbins, executive director of the Virginia Israel Advisory board, says the CEO and CFO of Energix Renewable Energies Ltd., a public company based in Tel Aviv, are coming to Wise County for a series of meetings with local and state officials that begin Tuesday evening and go into Thursday.
Robbins, who heads the small agency that works with the state in creating business opportunities out of Israel, said about 60 people are expected to attend a main briefing with the executives on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Inn at Wise Courthouse.
During a recent trip to Israel, Robbins said he spoke with representatives of Energix and that Gov. Terry McAuliffe also paid the company a visit during a trade mission to Israel and the United Kingdom in July.
“It’s quite exciting,” Robbins said. “We are cautiously optimistic. This would be their first venture in the U.S. … We’re hoping we can all work together to try to find a new power source that’s economically good for everyone and that will satisfy the governor’s goal of racking up more solar power for the commonwealth. “
According to Jack Kennedy, clerk of circuit court for Wise County and the city of Norton and the local contact working with Robbins’ group, the daylong agenda gives local and state agencies an opportunity to meet and greet the executives.
According to that agenda, the day will begin with a welcome from Maurice Jones, the state’s secretary of commerce and trade. After that, Asa Levinger, Energix’s CEO, and Elad Cohen, the CFO, will give a presentation on their company.
Founded in 2009, Energix describes itself as a leading Israeli renewable energy company, involved in both solar and wind energy. It has projects under construction in Israel and Poland. The firm's parent company is AlonyHetz, an Israeli international real estate company with assets in Europe and the U.S., including several projects in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
After their presentation, the company is scheduled to hear from the Virginia Association of Counties, the Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy, Mountain Empire Community College, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.
The morning session will be followed by a luncheon that will include comments from Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee.
In the afternoon, the executives will meet privately with officials from several utility companies, including Dominion and APCO, said Kennedy.
According to Robbins, a 500-megawatt solar facility, or a combined solar-wind facility, could represent an investment of $500 million to $600 million dollars and create 2,000 jobs during the facility’s construction. “I think we are really fortunate to have such a company look at us.”
During the visit, Kennedy says Energix officials will tour some possible sites, including land near the Mineral Gap Data Center, which is under construction, and the Lonesome Pine Business and Technology Park.
Kennedy, a member of the board of directors of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and a proponent of making Wise County a hub for drone aviation, says the area needs jobs, with its traditional staple of coal mining in decline.
A new large, commercial scale renewable energy facility “would give us a chance to begin to find a 21st-century role in energy beyond where we are today and as we transition from the role that has been played historically from fossil fuels.”2016-08-15T21:30:00+00:00
Partnership formed to promote ‘smart-city’ technologies
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/partnership-formed-to-promote-smart-city-technologies#When:21:28:00ZThe Herndon-based Center for Innovative Technology has begun a partnership with George Washington University and a private equity company, 22 Capital Partners, to promote creation of “smart-city” technologies in Virginia.
Under the smart-city concept, sensors and analytical tools are used to make building systems and city infrastructure more efficient and responsive to the needs of businesses and residents.
The three partners plan to create an environment for smart-city entrepreneurs in a corridor stretching from Washington, D.C., to Washington Dulles International Airport.
“Entrepreneurs and technologists in our region are pushing the boundaries each and every day through their tireless research and pursuit of technological innovation,” Ed Albrigo, the president and CEO of CIT, said in a statement. “This partnership will help create an environment that will embrace a wide range of companies; from Fortune 500 companies, tech giants to budding startups. The atmosphere and assets that will be available will help foster breakthroughs in technology that will provide the framework for the smart cities of the future.”
A smart-city prototype is being developed by Minh Le, the managing partner of 22 Capital Partners, at the Gramercy District in Loudoun County. Gramercy District is a 2.5 million-square-foot, $500 million development abutting the Dulles Greenway. It is near the Dulles airport and the Ashburn Metro station on the Silver Line that is scheduled to open in 2019.
Gramercy District is the first “smart city” in the region and one of the first in the country, according to Chantilly-based 22 Capital Partners. The goal of the project, it says, is to merge technology with real estate to offer unique experiences and enhance quality of life.
“Gramercy District will create an environment that continuously adapts to meet the needs of business partners and guests who are working, living, shopping and playing in the smart city,” the firm said in a statement. “The vision of the group creating Gramercy District is a model for the new standard of living and working.”2016-08-15T21:28:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/IvyGarden_11.JPG
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer to manage Ivy Gardens Apartments in Charlottesville
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-to-manage-ivy-gardens-apartments-in-charlottesv#When:15:43:00ZCushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has been awarded the management of Ivy Gardens Apartments in Charlottesville,
The property consists of 440 units in 38 buildings, and has one- and two-bedroom apartments.
Ivy Gardens Apartments is located next to the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, the Miller Center and the university’s law school.
According to Thalhimer, several resident-focused initiatives are planned. They include community room upgrades and unit improvements including a kitchen and bath modernization program.
Catrina Scanlan of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has been assigned as regional manager and will oversee the property’s operations.2016-08-15T15:43:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/2515-stone-ridge-rd-concord-va-01-08-03-46-4646.jpgStone Ridge, Photo courtesy Concierge Auctions
Old meets new
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-meets-new#When:15:29:00ZAnother historic Virginia home is up for auction, and this one can be purchased over a mobile phone.
Stone Ridge, a 22,336-square-foot Georgian manor in Appomattox County built in 1789, is scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder at an auction conducted via a mobile app at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8.
New York-based Concierge Auctions will run the auction in cooperation with France Burger of RE/MAX 1st Olympic, the property’s listing broker, who’s from Lynchburg.
Personal tours can be scheduled before the auction.
Concierge, in business since 2008, focuses on the sale of luxury high-end properties in the range of $2 million to $40 million. According to Krystal Aeby, the company’s vice president of marketing, the sale of Stone Ridge will be the company’s ninth in Virginia and its third of an historic home.
“Historic homes in particular are great for our platform because it was created for the buying and selling of luxury properties that are oftentimes unique and hard to value,” Aeby said.
The two historic homes already sold via live auction were the Merritt-Hutchinson Estate in Lynch Station in 2011 and Ramsey Farm in Greenwood in 2012. Merritt-Hutchinson, an 800-acre state, sold for $2.3 million and at one time had been listed for as much as $11 million.
Ramsey Farm, a 78-acre property located in pricey Albemarle County, went for $3.6 million and had been listed for as high as $7.5 million. The sales prices include the 10 percent buyer’s premium that buyers must pay, above the final sales price, to Concierge Auctions.
According to Concierge’s website, sellers are typically not in a distressed situation. While the firm doesn’t disclose specifics about clients, Aeby says, “In general, sellers and agents partner with us as an accelerated solution to obtain market value on a set timeline. We give sellers control — they're able to name all of the sale terms, which includes the closing date, as well as the property being sold as-is, with no contingencies — in return for letting the buyers name the price.”
Typically the time frame is about 90 days.
What’s different this time out is the mobile app. No live auctioneer will be challenging buyers to up their bids. Instead, Concierge will use its Instant Gavel mobile app to run the sale. Last year, the company sold 62 homes, 10 percent of them on the app, which it began using last year.
This year, 80 percent of its sales have been conducted so far via the app, which Aeby says people can download for free through the Apple ITunes store.
“We not only know this is the future of buying and selling high-end real estate, but our clients value being able to bid on our global opportunities from wherever they are in the world at the tap of a finger,” says Aeby. “… Anyone can download and watch our auction live, and bidders can see every bid as it comes in.”
While there is no set opening bid amount for Stone Ridge, clients who wish to bid, must register.
They also must wire a $100,000 bidder deposit into an escrow account. The money is refunded if they are not the winning bidder, or is applied towards the transaction if their bid wins.
Bidders also must sign a terms and conditions document and provide a letter of reference.
Stone Ridge is located on 2,500 acres. According to promotional materials from Concierge, the home was previously listed for $10 million. It was built in 1789 from stone quarried from the property and was later
restored by Georgian Colonial architect H. Truehart Poston.
The sprawling estate includes six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a massage room, bar/lounge area, exercise room, game room, billiards room, theater, rooftop terrace and a 6,000-bottle wine cellar.
Described by Concierge as “a sports enthusiast’s dream”, the property offers plenty of opportunities for recreation. There’s an indoor pool, softball field, driving range and a Stone Ridge Sports Complex with a tennis court, outdoor pool, shooting range and bowling alley.
Also on the property are horse pastures, riding trails, a 20-stall barn, and 2.5 miles of frontage on the James River.2016-08-15T15:29:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/2215_Langhorne_Rd-32.jpg
Lynchburg office building sells for $6.1 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lynchburg-office-building-sells-for-6.1-million#When:13:44:00ZHorizon Opportunities Inc. has purchased a 60,907-square-foot office building in Lynchburg for $6.1 million. The company has been a major tenant in the building, which is located on 2.5 acres at 2215 Langhorne Road.
According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, which brokered the transaction, Horizon purchased the property for long-term occupancy and future expansion. The company is the fundraising arm for Horizon Behavioral Health.
Thalhimer’s Norman Moon handled sale negotiations on behalf of the seller, 22-15 Langhorne Road LLC, and George Lupton represented the buyer.2016-08-15T13:44:00+00:00
Acuity relocates its corporate headquarters
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/acuity-relocates-its-corporate-headquarters#When:23:59:00ZAcuity Inc., a federal management and technology consulting firm, has relocated its corporate headquarters to accommodate the company’s growth.
The new location is 11710 Plaza America Drive, Suite 700 in Reston. The company says the new employee work space better accommodates its growing team and enables it to consolidate a variety of smaller workspaces distributed across the D.C. metro region.
“This is the third move in our corporate history, and it marks an exciting milestone as we enter our 15th year of business,” Rui Garcia, Acuity’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The new facility enables us to better accommodate our growing client base, support our expanding technology teams and partner network, and collaborate more efficiently as we work together to build on our long-standing reputation for providing real, measurable client results and sustainable project success.”
In recent years, the company has expanded its support across the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Acuity holds several single and multiple award contracts across the federal market.2016-08-14T23:59:00+00:00
CNBC creates list of top places to start a business
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cnbc-names-list-of-top-places-to-start-a-business#When:20:31:00ZCNBC named Richmond and Washington, D.C. on its list of best places to start a business.
The first-ever CNBC Metro 20: America's Best Places to Start a Business identified Richmond as No. 11 on its top 20 list as well as Washington, D.C., as No. 3. CNBC considered metrics from Northern Virginia, District of Columbia and the West Virginia and Maryland suburbs of Washington.
“Richmond offers entrepreneurs the best of both worlds: an educated workforce, low costs, both government agencies and private-sector companies as potential customers, as well as a thriving outdoor lifestyle, great restaurants and cost-of-living advantages,” CNBC’s report said.
CNBC cited Richmond’s Mid-Atlantic location, low unemployment rate, cost of living and quality of life.
“Small-business owners will find fit-minded employees in Richmond,” the report states. “There's a new 50-mile Capital City bike trail, class IV rapids on the James River and signature running events. Richmond has 100 local parks and 6,500 acres of parkland.”
For the Washington, D.C. region, the CNBC report noted its educated workforce, diversity and access to capital, pointing out that venture capitalists “pumped more than $700 million into new DC-area tech companies last year.”
The CNBC list considered 20 metrics, including tax and regulatory climate, workforce, access to capital and cost of living. The list considered a variety of data available from sources like the U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Energy Information Administration and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
The data also was weighted using results of a survey of YPO, a chief executive officer organization with more than 24,000 members. Members cited qualify of life, taxes and regulation among the most important factors for choosing a place to start a business.
Here is CNBC’s full list.
1. Austin, Texas
2. Provo, Utah
3. Washington, D.C.
5. Charlotte, N.C.
7. Ogden, Utah
9. Des Moines, Iowa
10. San Antonio
12. McAllen, Texas
13. Colorado Springs, Colo.
14. Raleigh, N.C.
15. Sarasota, Fla.
16. El Paso, Texas
18. Salt Lake City
19. Las Vegas
Fairfax County high school named best in the nation
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fairfax-county-high-school-named-best-in-the-nation#When:20:28:00ZNewsweek has ranked a Virginia school, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, No. 1 in the nation.
The school, located in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, was one of four making the Newsweek’s annual list of top 500 high schools.
The other three were :
• West Springfield High School in Springfield, No. 394.
• Western Albemarle High School in Crozet, No. 413.
• Grassfield High School in Chesapeake, No. 453.
Gerald L. Gordon, president and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, says the quality of a community’s public schools is one of the top considerations of any business prospect that wants to start, expand or locate in an area.
“High-quality schools are a recruitment tool for employers. They want to know education is valued there, they want their employees’ children to be well-educated, and they know a high-quality education means a better educated workforce of the future,” he said in a statement.
Having “TJ” ranked as the top high school in the country “is a great talking point for the Economic Development Authority and a top selling point for companies here,” said Gordon, who is a former chairman of the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools.
To compile the list, Newsweek created a high school achievement index based on performance indicators (i.e., proficiency rates on state standardized assessments) using data reported by states to EDFacts at the U.S. Department of Education.
Then schools that met threshold criteria were surveyed to obtain in-depth data on the college readiness indicators such as:
• Number of counselor FTE
• College acceptance and enrollment
• SAT and ACT participation and performance
• AP, IB, and AICE participation and performance
• Dual enrollments
Newsweek worked with Westat, a research firm based in Rockville, Md., to produce the list.2016-08-11T20:28:00+00:00
Two-acre site in Charlottesville sells for $1.6 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-acre-site-in-charlottesville-sells-for-1.6-million#When:20:12:00ZWestminster-Canterbury of The Blue Ridge, a continuing care retirement community, has purchased a two-acre site at the corner of Route 250 and Pantops Mountain Road in Charlottesville for $1.6 million.
The seller was a local landowner, Peter Jefferson Overlook LLC.
John Pritzlaff of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. He said the land is near the entrance leading up to Westminster Canterbury’s facility.2016-08-11T20:12:00+00:00
CSC names new board director
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/csc-names-new-board-director#When:19:57:00ZCSC has named Lizabeth H. Zlatkus to the company’s board of directors.
Zlatkus previously worked for 28 years at The Hartford Financial Services Group, , including as chief financial officer and chief risk officer, as well as co-president of The Hartford Life Insurance Cos.
She currently serves on the board of directors at Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc. and Legal & General Group PLC. Zlatkus also serves as development chair of the Connecticut Science Center Trustee Board.
Previously, she served as chair of the Pennsylvania State University Business School board and as regulatory chair for the North American Chief Risk Officers Council.2016-08-11T19:57:00+00:00
State approves permit for $35 million solar project in Buckingham County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/state-approves-permit-for-35-million-solar-project-in-buckingham-county#When:19:06:00ZGov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that the state has approved a permit for a new solar facility to be built by Firestone Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Virginia Solar.
The 19.8-megawatt project will be the first utility-scale solar generator of its kind in Buckingham County.
“This project is a significant step towards meeting Virginia’s renewable energy goals and is a harbinger of good things to come,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
Construction of the 200-acre facility is expected to begin early next year and to be completed by the end of 2017. Costs are estimated at between $30 and $35 million.
According to the governor's office the “permit by rule,” issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) includes provisions designed to protect the environment at the Buckingham site.
“DEQ is looking forward to issuing more of these renewable energy permits in the future. Our priority will be to take the steps necessary to protect Virginia’s environment while helping the Commonwealth become a leader in renewable energy production,” said DEQ Director David Paylor.
Matthew Meares of Virginia Solar said he hoped the Buckingham project would be the first of many such projects by Virginia Solar in the state.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a national trade organization based out of Washington, D.C., Virginia installed 10 megawatts of solar electric capacity in 2015, ranking it 30th nationally among the states. The organization said installed solar capacity in Virginia has grown by 72 percent since last year.
SEIA data shows that the 22 MW of solar energy currently installed in Virginia ranks the state 32nd in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 2,200 homes.
During the next five years, Virginia is expected to install 1,091 megawatts of solar electric capacity, ranking the state 17th over that time span.2016-08-11T19:06:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/263908LOGO.jpg
At Home opens 92,000-square-foot store in Dale City
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/at-home-opens-92000-square-foot-store-in-dale-city#When:15:27:00ZAt Home has opened a new store in Dale City. The more than 92,000-square-foot store, which opened on Aug. 11, marks the fifth store in Virginia for the big-box specialty retailer of home décor products.
The Dale City location at 2851 Dale Blvd. will host a grand opening ceremony Friday, Aug. 19, at 8:30 a.m. with the Prince William Chamber of Commerce. According to the company, the store’s opening created 25 jobs.
At Home carries a selection of more than 50,000 items — including seasonal and holiday décor, patio furniture, home furnishings, wall art and decorative accents, rugs and housewares.
Based out of Plano, Texas, At Home operates 116 stores across 29 states.2016-08-11T15:27:00+00:00
Kroger expands ClickList to Hampton Roads
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kroger-expands-clicklist-to-hampton-roads#When:21:01:00ZThe Kroger Co. said Wednesday that it is expanding its ClickList online ordering service to shoppers in Hampton Roads.
Three ClickList locations will be added to existing stores in 2016, starting on Thursday, Aug. 11, with the Holland Road Marketplace in Virginia Beach.
The additional stores in the Hampton Roads market that will launch ClickList in 2016 include the Suffolk Kroger Marketplace and the newly opened Kroger Marketplace in Chesapeake. Kroger has 10 stores altogether in the Hampton Roads market.
“Our customers in nearby markets have celebrated the convenience the ClickList brings to their everyday life – and we’ve been eager to bring this to our shoppers in Hampton Roads,” Anne Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division in Roanoke, said in a statement.
Each ClickList location offers more than 40,000 items, including fresh meat and produce, with new items added every week.
To use ClickList, a customer visits their designated Kroger store’s website and creates a shopping list, selects a pick-up time and then places an order.
Once an order is placed, a Kroger store associate shops the store to fulfill the order and stores it in temperature-appropriate zones until the customer arrives. When the customer comes to a designated pick-up area, a store associate loads the order into the customer’s car. Payment is made at time of pick-up, from the customer’s car.
The service charge for ClickList is $4.95 charge, which is added to the customer's total bill. However, Kroger says it’s waiving the charge the first three times a customer uses ClickList.
“Kroger has been testing online ordering in select stores since November 2014, and the feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive,” George Anderson, Kroger E-Commerce manager, said in a statement. “We’ve seen everyone from senior citizens to parents with young children and busy professionals all benefit from and appreciate the ease of online grocery shopping. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this in Hampton Roads now.”2016-08-10T21:01:00+00:00
Service Center Metals expanding in Prince George
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/service-center-metals-expanding-in-prince-george#When:20:42:00ZService Center Metals, which makes aluminum extrusions, is expanding operations in Prince George County. The expansion is expected to create 35 jobs.
Work was recently completed on the company’s 190,462-square-foot facility expansion at SouthPoint Business Park.
The project was designed and built by The Hollingsworth Cos., a Clinton, Tenn.-based industrial real estate firm.
“This is a strategic move that will expand key operations and enable further growth," Scott Kelley, Service Center Metals’ CEO said in a statement.
Tom Wortham, Hollingsworth’s senior vice president of architecture and business development, said the project is the fourth that the firm has handled for Service Center Metals in Prince George.
Service Center Metals began operations in 2003.2016-08-10T20:42:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Forsythe.jpg
Are you tired of discussing millennials in the workforce?
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/are-you-tired-of-discussing-millennials-in-the-workforce#When:20:10:00ZFor at least a recent handful of years, the business community has been obsessed with generational differences specifically targeting millennials as our future leaders and how we must build common ground to collaborate.
Initially, I too was intrigued with all the hype — in part because I saw myself as a 20-something, fresh out of school, working with all these ancient people.
The reality is, I’m now 40-something and labeled as a Generation X-er, having missed the Baby Boom and too fast for the Gen-Y’s. All that said, in my opinion, these are just labels, and labels often create a one size fits all box that doesn’t apply to everyone within that classification.
The general view of millennials is that these kids are all about instant gratification. Many of them still live at home with their parents. They’re burdened with large amounts of student debt. Their preference for communication is 160 characters or less while utilizing mysterious acronyms and weird icons called emojis. Their way of networking and building relationships is through social media for the whole world to see. Politically, they are very progressive and love them some Bernie Sanders.
While some of these views may be true at times, what I’ve learned from working alongside a group of millennials is that they want a lot of the same things the generations before them desire: opportunity, feedback, praise, success and the list goes on. The key difference is that they grew up in an era of instant access to information. In fact, their minds have learned to filter through tremendous volumes of information (what some of my senior partners might call “distractions”) and focus on what’s needed and useful in order to produce results.
I think much of the attention on this generation stems from fearing what you do not understand. These young adults like to have fun, be challenged, and be acknowledged for their efforts.
I struggle to identify a generation before them that didn’t enjoy these same things. Rather, I think these folks are more comfortable speaking their minds, and changing their environment if it doesn’t align with their values.
They’ve reinforced the importance of having a clearly articulated mission (purpose for existence), vision (time-bound destination) and values (tenants by which we hold ourselves accountable). And yes, they do this while listening to music, watching a YouTube video, googling and completing their work assignments.
I’ve been inspired by the millennials I’ve had the pleasure to work with and enjoy the pressure they’ve put on an aging mind. Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” video showcases that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
For me, no better generation models this than the millennials. They’ve reinforced to me that understanding the reason behind actions is often more important than simply completing the action itself. That doesn’t mean they disregard results. It means, they generally do not buy into producing specific results until they fully understand the need for said results, and are in full agreement.
As parents, isn’t this what we want from our own children? “Don’t just do something because someone tells you to do it. Think before you act! Speak up if you don’t understand.” Rather than focus on how the millennials differ from those of us from earlier eras, how about we think about why they do things the way they do them, and ask them to explain when we don’t understand? I’m fairly confident that they would welcome the discussion. Who knows, you might just learn something. #millennialmind #40-somethingbody
George Forsythe, CPA, is Managing Partner at WellsColeman in Richmond and a member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.2016-08-10T20:10:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/SPAH_020v2.jpg
Sentara Princess Anne Hospital seeks to add 14 inpatient beds
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sentara-princess-anne-hospital-seeks-to-add-14-inpatient-beds#When:17:41:00ZSentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach is asking for state permission to add 14 medical/surgical inpatient beds.
The expansion requires the hospital to apply to the Virginia Department of Health for a Certificate of Public Need.
The $35 million project would involve a two-story vertical expansion on top of an existing patient tower.
Part of the resulting space will be reserved for future use. The hospital says economies of scale can be achieved in adding two floors now.
Prince Anne is a 70/30 partnership involving Sentara and Bon Secours Virginia Health System, respectively.
In keeping with that ratio, nine of the additional licensed beds will come from other Sentara hospitals while five will come from Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk.
Hospital officials say that from January through May of this year, Princess Anne had a medical/surgical occupancy rate of more than 88 percent. By comparison, the state’s recommended occupancy rate is 80 percent.
Adding observation patients and outpatients temporarily occupying inpatient beds, the rate climbs to more than 95 percent. That high rate could create access problems when patients are admitted, the hospital said.
Sentara Princess Anne Hospital opened in August 2011 with 160 licensed beds. The transferred beds will bring the hospital’s licensed bed total to 174.2016-08-10T17:41:00+00:00
Applied Predictive Technologies plans to add 368 jobs in Arlington County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/applied-predictive-technologies-plans-to-add-368-jobs-in-arlington-county#When:15:53:00ZApplied Predictive Technologies (APT) announced Wednesday it’s expanding its headquarters in Arlington County. The move is expected to create 368 new jobs.
APT, a MasterCard company, is a cloud-based analytics software firm. Its Test & Learn software allows companies to identify which programs work, where they work best, and how they can be improved going forward. APT also offers products that provide transaction analysis, space planning, promotion design, category management, and location selection. Its clients include Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Victoria’s Secret.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $1.75 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will also be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Virginia competed against North Carolina and Washington, D.C., for the project.2016-08-10T15:53:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DePaul_Medical_Plaza.jpg
Capital One closes loan for acquisition of Norfolk medical building
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/capital-one-closes-loan-for-acquisition-of-norfolk-medical-building#When:15:49:00ZCapital One said Wednesday that it provided a term loan for the acquisition of DePaul Medical Plaza, a 104,000-square-foot, Class A office building on the campus of Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk.
A joint venture including Brackett Flagship Properties, based in Charlotte, N.C., and USAA Real Estate Co., based in San Antonio, purchased the property for an undisclosed price. According to Capital One, the loan commitment includes a component for tenant improvements and leasing commissions.
“We structured this deal to be flexible as the property continues to lease space,” Erik Tellefson, managing director of Capital One Healthcare, said in a statement.
Several new leases are reportedly in the works now and are expected to be completed before the end of the year. The four-story building was built in 2014. The facility houses hospital outpatient services, including the Bon Secours Cancer Institute at DePaul, surgical specialists, internal medicine, cardiology, and other physician specialties.
DePaul Medical Plaza is one of four medical office buildings on the campus.
Capital One Healthcare provides financial services to the industry with more than $11 billion in total outstanding balances.2016-08-10T15:49:00+00:00
Gannett completes acquisition of ReachLocal
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gannett-completes-acquisition-of-reachlocal#When:09:10:00ZGannett Co. Inc. announced Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of digital marketing firm ReachLocal for $156 million.
The McLean-based company, which owns USA Today and newspapers in more than 120 markets, said the acquisition will increase Gannett’s digital revenues by 50 percent and approach $1 billion in 2017.
"We expect that in its first full year of operations following the acquisition, ReachLocal will be approximately neutral to our earnings per share, and slightly accretive in the second full year,” Robert Dickey, Gannett president and CEO, said in a statement.
Gannett bought the company for $4.60 per share.
Raptor Merger Sub Inc., a Gannett subsidiary, will merge with ReachLocal.
Gannett has made several acquisitions since the company divided its print and television businesses in 2015.
Earlier this year, Gannett purchased Journal Media Group’s 15 daily newspapers. Last year, the company purchased Romanes Media Group, a newspaper chain with publications in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the remaining interest in a Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership, which it previously only partly owned.
The New York Post reported last week that Gannett was preparing a formal takeover bid of Tribune Publishing Co., now known as Tronc, which rejected a $864 million bid in May.2016-08-10T09:10:00+00:00
PlanetRisk has acquired Analytic Strategies
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/planetrisk-has-acquired-analytic-strategies#When:21:17:00ZPlanetRisk has acquired Tysons Corner-based Analytic Strategies, a company that provides analytical services to the federal government.
PlanetRisk, a data analytics company that is also headquartered in Tysons, said the deal significantly expands its suite of analytic capabilities. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Founded in 2006, Analytic Strategies is an operations research and systems analysis consulting company supporting federal government customers.
The company’s customers include the office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Health Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Randy Wimmer, who founded Analytic Strategies and served as its CEO, will become a director on PlanetRisk’s board and a strategic adviser to Paul McQuillan, the company’s president and CEO.2016-08-09T21:17:00+00:00
Gladstone Capital completes $10 million investment in Vienna-based company
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gladstone-capital-completes-10-million-investment-in-vienna-based-company#When:21:13:00ZGladstone Capital Corp. has completed a $10 million second-lien debt investment in Merlin International Inc.
Vienna-based Merlin provides IT services and solutions to federal government agencies, with a focus on the federal health care.
McLean-based Gladstone Capital is a publicly traded business development company that invests in debt and equity securities, consisting primarily of secured first and second lien term loans to small and medium sized businesses in the United States.2016-08-09T21:13:00+00:00
Big data will be employed in Loudoun County development
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/big-data-will-be-employed-in-loudoun-county-development#When:19:39:00Z22 Capital Partners, a venture builder private equity company based in Chantilly, has formed a technology platform that it says will help power the development of Gramercy District, a $500 million, transit-oriented project in Loudoun County.
22 Capital Partners has formed 22 CityLink, which plans to build a foundation for the development of smart cities by linking together all aspects of real estate development with an intelligent framework.
“We believe that modern technology is going to be a major force in urbanization projects and can improve the overall quality of life for the citizen. By using a holistic approach where we control all aspects of the development, we can improve the way people live, the way people learn, and the way people socialize,” Minh Le, a former managing director with Accenture and the current managing partner of 22 Capital Partners, said in a statement.
22 CityLink is calling its platform Smart City In-a-Box. It will operate through partnerships with technology companies, innovative startups, academia and local, state, and federal government agencies to help develop new governance models, while employing artificial intelligence and big-data analytics across all applications.
22 Capital Partners is the lead investor and master developer of Gramercy District, a 2.5-million-square-foot development located at what will be the Silver Line Ashburn Metro Station, scheduled to open in late 2019.
The Gramercy District property abuts the Dulles Greenway (Route 267) – the major highway connecting central Loudoun County to Fairfax County, Arlington, and Washington, D.C. The development is the first so-called “smart” city in the region. It would provide 590 apartment units, 735,000 square feet of mixed-use office and retail space, and 147,000 square feet be for parks, civic and open space.2016-08-09T19:39:00+00:00
Free machining skills certification program aims to help transitioning military members
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/free-machining-skills-certification-program-aims-to-help-transitioning-mili#When:19:26:00ZThe Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) and Southside Virginia Community College are offering a free course to train veterans or transitioning military members as computer numeric controlled machinists.
“This is a huge opportunity worthy of consideration,” Bruce Sobczak, director of workforce development at CCAM, a Prince George County-based research consortium between industry and university researchers, said in a statement. “A lot of job openings exist in this area, and the need for qualified workers is enormous.”
The 18-week program, which launched last year, requires no prior experience or special qualifications. The course will include seven weeks of online training and 11 weeks of lab training at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia. Each class is typically limited to 10 individuals, Sobczak says.
“They are required to get a minimum of five industry recognized certifications before the end of the program, ” he says.
CCAM will help graduates of the course with job placement through its connections with corporations such as Rolls-Royce, Newport News Shipbuilding, Kosmo Machine, BGB Technologies and Enclos Inc.
To apply candidates must contact Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program at 804-734-6615. That office will assist with a federal funding approval application under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. Interested applicants also should contact Debra Smiley, SVCC’s director of workforce development and continuing education at 434-949-1060.2016-08-09T19:26:00+00:00
Advancing Virginia’s nuclear industry
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/advancing-virginias-nuclear-industry#When:21:11:00ZThe Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium (VNEC) and the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) announced a plan Monday to work together in a joint effort to bring more nuclear research dollars into Virginia and create more nuclear workforce opportunities.
The two organizations said in a signed memorandum of understanding that they would conduct initiatives related to research projects, education and training programs, new nuclear technologies, and job opportunities bringing nuclear-related businesses into Virginia.
“This agreement will help us ensure government, academic institutions, and private commercial entities make the most of Virginia’s capabilities for contributing to the next generation of nuclear technology and education, opening doors for additional research funding, creating opportunities for new jobs, and launching new businesses in the commonwealth,” Sama Bilbao y León, director of nuclear engineering programs at VCU and chairman of VNEC, said in a statement.
Discussing the details of the memorandum, VNEC Executive Director Marshall Cohen said, “This [agreement] builds upon actions by the Virginia legislature earlier this year to provide additional support for the CAER and upon the historical support of the CAER by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.’’
The agreement spells out specific processes for joint programs and identifies some specific areas on which the two organizations will work together. These will include promotion of Virginia’s research facilities and capabilities, efforts to train and attract job seekers in nuclear fields, and increasing educational opportunities.
Bob Bailey, executive director of CAER stated, “Combining the powerful VNEC brand with the CAER research capabilities enables CAER to expand its research base not only statewide in Virginia, but with important agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Electric Power Research Institute and others.”
The VNEC, created last year, seeks to facilitate, encourage and advance the nuclear industry in Virginia through collaboration among industry participants, colleges and universities and not-for-profits in areas of need and interest to its members.
The Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) is a nonprofit organization that creates working relationships between high-tech industries, major R&D centers and university researchers, and facilitates professional development opportunities for scientists and engineers in the region. Its 30,000 square-foot research and education facility, located in the New London Business and Technology Center in Bedford County, will serve as the region’s source for industry innovation.2016-08-08T21:11:00+00:00
Network Alliance Inc. names new managing director
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/network-alliance-inc.-names-new-managing-director#When:20:45:00ZReston-based information technology solutions provider Network Alliance Inc. has named Byron K. Patrick, managing director, CPA practice.
He will oversee Network Alliance’s strategic growth within the accounting/CPA market.
Patrick is co-founder and former CEO of Simplified Innovations Inc., a Maryland-based technology outsourcing company.
Network Alliance said in a press release that it chose Patrick because of his experience in the public accounting and IT spaces. He is a multi-year recipient of the CPA Practice Advisor’s Under-40 Award; a member of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) and founding member of MACPA’s New/Young Professional Network (NYPN).2016-08-08T20:45:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Front_of_Building.jpg
CBRE|Hampton Roads to lease 65,000-square-foot building
CBRE|Hampton Roads been selected as the exclusive leasing agent for a 65,000-square-foot, Class A office building adjacent to Norfolk International Airport.
Owned by Townsend Capital LLC, the property at 6160 Commander Parkway has a fitness center, dining area and two conference rooms. It is also close to Norfolk Premium Outlets, a project currently under construction that’s scheduled to open next year.
According to CRBE, the office building was constructed in 2006 for Blackhawk Products Group, a contracting company providing equipment to the military. Blackhawk was later purchased by ATK, which relocated the company to another market, leaving the building vacant.
Donald Crigger, B. Gray Randolph, and Chris Kieran of CBRE/Hampton Roads will represent the landlord in marketing and leasing for the building.2016-08-08T15:24:00+00:00
Virginia to get nearly $7 million in funds for affordable housing
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-to-get-nearly-7-million-in-funds-for-affordable-housing#When:14:39:00ZU.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both Democrats from Virginia,) have announced that 18 initiatives led by Virginia financial institutions and nonprofits will receive $6.6 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to support affordable housing development in Virginia.
“Affordable housing is one of the bedrocks of economic security and financial stability for American families,” Warner said in a statement. “These funds will provide valuable resources for existing housing networks in Virginia, which are already on the ground working to provide individuals with a place to live that is within their reach. This support will help revitalize local neighborhoods, create jobs, and encourage economic development within the Commonwealth.”
FHL-Bank Atlanta is one of the 11 regional banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. They provide commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, community development financial institutions, and insurance companies within seven southeastern states, including Virginia, with a reliable source of funding for affordable home mortgages and community lending. Altogether, the bank awarded $21.9 million to assist in the funding of 55 affordable housing projects in 16 states as part of its 2016 Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The projects represent $646.2 million in total housing development.
Some of the largest grant awards for Virginia and a description of the projects are listed below:
New Clay House II: Richmond
Member: Union Bank & Trust.
Sponsored by: Virginia Supportive Housing.
Grant: $500,00 for 80 rental units. Total development cost: $14.8 million.
AHP funds will go toward the renovation and expansion of an affordable housing development for formerly homeless individuals in Richmond. After the project is complete, at least 55 units will be reserved for formerly homeless individuals, and the remaining units will be reserved for individuals earning at or below 50 percent of the area median income.
Cypress Landing: Chesapeake
Member: TowneBank. Sponsored by Second Act Communities.
Grant: $500,000 for 50 rental units. Total development cost: $10,448,624.
AHP funds will go toward the construction of an apartment development containing 44 one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units. The development will serve very low-income disabled and/or homeless veterans. Thirty-eight units will serve veterans who have incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income, and the remaining 12 units will serve veterans who have incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median income.
King’s Arms: Hampton
Member: The Old Point National Bank of Phoebus. Sponsored by Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
Grant: $500,000 for 48 rental units. Total development cost: $9.4 million.
AHP funds will be used for the construction of a 48-unit affordable senior independent housing development consisting of garden style apartments. The development will include housing for elderly veterans.
Dale Homes Phase I: Portsmouth
Member: TowneBank. Sponsored by Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
Grant: $500,000 for 146 rental units. Total development cost: $22 million.
AHP funds will be used in connection with the acquisition and rehabilitation of an existing 146-unit public housing development known as Dale Homes Phase I and will be targeted to very low-income families. The project involves the conversion of public housing units under the Rental Assistance Demonstration program.
Sun Valley Landings: Dublin and Radford
Member: Union Bank & Trust. Sponsored by Community Housing Partners Corporation.
Grant: $246,333 for 42 rental units. Total development cost: $5.3 million.
AHP funds will be used for the acquisition and rehabilitation of a scattered site development of two properties. Sun Valley Landings will serve low-income households earning at or below 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.2016-08-08T14:39:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image1.pngMiller Lofts, Photo courtesy Fountainhead Properties Inc.
Dodson Property Management acquires Fountainhead Development subsidiary
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dodson-property-management-acquires-fountainhead-development-subsidiary#When:14:37:00ZDodson Property Management, a Richmond-based residential and commercial property management firm, has acquired CoreRVA Properties Inc., the property management subsidiary of Fountainhead Development, another Richmond firm. The deal means Dodson will now manage more than 3,300 single and multi-family units in Central Virginia.
Terms of the transaction, which closed on Aug. 1, were not disclosed.
As part of the agreement, CoreRVA employees will take on new roles with Dodson. Three employees will join Dodson’s staff of 40 at the company headquarters at 409 E. Main St., while the remaining 20 will continue as onsite managers at Fountainhead properties.
Fountainhead, owned by Tom Papa and Rick Gregory, has developed more than 730 apartments in several in downtown Richmond and Manchester, including The Locks, Miller Lofts and Plant Zero. While property management of these units is part of the acquisition, Fountainhead will continue to own them. The company has several development projects underway that also will be managed by Dodson once they are completed.
Duke Dodson, president of Dodson Property Management, praised the development vision of Papa and Gregory in a statement. “… They have brought some amazing properties into our downtown area. Their top priority was to ensure continuity in leadership and no disruption to the team, and we have worked hard to do so. Our team is excited to join forces and play a role in managing these properties and many more to come.”
“The transition of CoreRVA to Dodson allows Fountainhead to maintain a keen focus on the development capabilities that enable us to transform buildings into sustainable communities —it’s what we do best,” Fountainhead COO John Gregory said in a statement. “Fountainhead is thrilled to have found a solution that allows our talented property management staff to stay onboard at our apartment communities.”
Tara Carter, who was director of multifamily operations at CoreRVA and Dodson, will be president of Dodson’s multifamily operation, overseeing the team of property managers for the company’s apartment portfolio.2016-08-08T14:37:00+00:00
Federal funding announced for three Virginia airports
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/federal-funding-announced-for-three-virginia-airports#When:21:25:00ZThree airports in Virginia will receive nearly $2 million in funds from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, according to a news release issued Friday by democratic U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
Airports in Petersburg/Dinwiddie, Front Royal/Warren and Culpeper will receive funds to rehabilitate pavement conditions and improve the safety of their facilities.
Projects and amounts are listed below:
· Dinwiddie County Airport and Industrial Authority - $1 million. This grant will fund milling and overlay to rehabilitate 9,300 square yards of the existing apron pavement and 650 feet of the existing Taxiway D pavement that have reached the end of their useful lives. This is the second phase of a two-phase project.
· Front Royal-Warren County Airport - $618,054. This project will fund the removal of tree obstructions in the Runway 10/28 transitional surfaces. This is final phase of a six-phase project.
· Culpeper Regional Airport - $124,784. This project will fund the design for the rehabilitation of 5,000 feet of the existing T-hangar, taxi-lane pavement that has reached the end of its useful life.
Earlier this week, Warner and Kaine also announced more than $12 million in federal funding to airports in Richmond, Norfolk and Emporia/Greensville.2016-08-05T21:25:00+00:00
Fitness franchise to double the number of sites in Northern Virginia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fitness-franchise-to-double-the-number-of-sites-in-northern-virginia#When:20:44:00ZOrangetheory Fitness, a fast-growing fitness franchise, plans to double its presence in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., by next spring.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company currently operates 10 studios in the Washington region. It plans to open one new studio in the District and 11 in Northern Virginia. The 12 studios are expected to employ 220 people.
The company, which opened its first studio in Fort Lauderdale in March 2010, expects to have a total of 700 sites by the end of the year.
The Northern Virginia sites opening by early fall include Pentagon City and Clarendon in Arlington and Fairfax and McLean in Fairfax County. In upcoming months, studios are slated to open in Kingstowne, Reston, Lake Ridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg, Leesburg and Annandale. The new site in Washington will be in the Capitol Riverfront area.
The first Orangetheory studio in the region opened in Fairfax in 2013.
The company was ranked No. 415 in Inc. magazine's annual list of 5,000 fastest growing private companies. Inc. reported last year that the company had a three-year revenue growth rate of 1,147 percent and posted 2014 revenue of $10.4 million.2016-08-05T20:44:00+00:00
CyrusOne buys shell building in Sterling
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cyrusone-buys-shell-building-in-sterling#When:20:29:00ZCyrusOne has acquired a shell building in Sterling for an undisclosed price that it plans to develop into a fully redundant data center facility.
The 129,064-square-foot building is located close to other CyrusOne data center buildings in the Sterling area.
The Carrollton, Texas-based company said in a press release that the acquisition satisfies the rapid time-to-market requirements for customers’ large-scale IT deployments.
“Within just over a month, we were able to quickly identify a solution and purchase a new shell building within a highly constrained market … We expect to construct and commission a portion of the building as a data center for customer deployment before the end of the year,” Kevin Timmons, chief technology officer for Cyrus One, said in a statement.
The building at 511 Shaw Road will offer connectivity options with high bandwidth and high-availability circuits. CyrusOne said the facility would be well suited for Fortune 1000 companies that require robust data center infrastructure. The transaction closed on July 15.
CyrusOne operates more than 30 data center facilities across the U.S. Europe, and Asia.2016-08-04T20:29:00+00:00
Virginia Values Veterans (V3) certified companies
AA Consulting Services PLLC
Accelerated Development and Support Corp.
Admiral Security Services
Advanced Integrated Technologies LLC
Advanced Technology Institute
Agility Defense & Government Services
Allied Associates International
Altria Group Inc.
American Military University
American Security Group
Apex Systems Inc.
Aviation Institute of Maintenace/Centura Colleges
AXA Advisors LLC
Axiologic Solutions LLC
Axis Global Enterprise
B3 Group Inc.
BAF Security Solutions LLC
Ball Metal Beverage Packaging Division, Americas
Ball Metal, Food and Packaging Division, Verona
Bedford County Sheriff's Office
BLS Group Inc.
Blue Chip Landscapes
Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority
Bon Secours Virginia
Booz Allen Hamilton
BOSH Global Services
Busch Manufacturing LLC
By Light Professional IT Services Inc.
C.A. Jones Inc.
Salt Lake City
CACI International Inc.
Cape Henry Associates
Capital One Financial Corp.
CarMax Business Services LLC
Carolina Furniture of Williamsburg
CDI Marine Co.
CGI Federal Inc.
Chandler Concrete of Virginia
Chesapeake Police Department
Chesterfield County Police Department
Chesterfield County Public Schools
Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office
Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters
Citadel Logic LLC
City of Chesapeake
City of Norfolk
City of Virginia Beach
Civilian Logistics Career Management Office
Cogility Software Corp.
Cole Engineering Services Inc.
College of William and Mary
Colonial Life/Team Shell
Command Post Technologies
CommonWealth Planning/Guardian Life
Core Services Group
Cox Communications Virginia
CPS Professional Services
Culpeper County Sheriff's Office
Data Systems & Technology Inc.
Defense Venture Holdings LLC
Digital Sandbox Inc.
Dominion Due Diligence Group
Dominion Packaging Inc.
Dominion Resources Services, Inc.
Eagle Crest Training Institute Ltd.
Eagle Fire Inc.
Easter Seals Greater Washington-Baltimore Region
Eastern Virginia Medical School
ECHO 360 Inc.
Electronic Systems Inc.
Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, LLC
Enterprise Holdings, Virginia Group
Enterprise Management Systems
Entry Guard Systems
Federal Street Consulting LLC
First Command Financial Planning
Fluet, Huber + Hoang, PLLC
G2 Global Solutions LLC
Gateway Healthcare Professionals
GBX Consultants Inc.
Grayson County Sheriff's Office
Hampton Roads Regional Jail
Hampton Sheriff's Office
Harris Power & Equipment
Henrico County Sheriff's Office
Homeland Security Solutions Inc.
iN2STEM Solutions Inc.
InCadence Strategic Solutions
Insignia Technology Services
Intertrans Carrier Co.
ITA International LLC
James Madison University
Joint Logistics Managers Inc.
Joseph Young & Associates Inc.
Kearney & Co.
Kimmey Training Consulting
Lean Insight LLC
Liberty Source PBC
Linxx Global Solutions Inc.
LMI Government Consulting
Local Energy Alliance Program
Logistics Management Resources Inc.
Loudoun County Sheriff's Office
Management and Training Consultants Inc.
Management Support Technology Inc.
Mary Washington Healthcare
Mecklenburg Electric Cooperatives
MicroAire Surgical Instruments
Mid Atlantic Engineering Technical Services
Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy
Modine Manufacturing Co.
Motor Vehicle Dealer Board
National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association
Navigon Financial Group Inc.
Networking Technologies + Support, Inc.
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers
Newport News Police Department
Newport News Shipbuilding
Norfolk Sheriff's Office
Northwestern Mutual-Virginia Beach
Office of the Attorney General
Old Dominion University
Owens & Minor
Paramount Builders Inc.
Paul Davis Restoration of Northern Virginia
Peduzzi Associates Ltd.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union
Permanent Solutions LLC
Portsmouth Police Department
Potomac Healthcare Solutions LLC
Precision Tune Auto Care
Premier Technical Services Corp.
Premier Transfer and Storage Inc.
Professional Solutions Delivered LLC
ProHill Services LLC
R.J. Enterprises of Virginia Inc.
Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy
Roanoke Cement Co. LLC
RONIN Information Technology Services LLC
Science Applications International Corp.
Science Museum of Virginia
Securitas Security Services USA Inc.
Shine Systems and Technologies
Shipyard Staffing LLC
Shoulder 2 Shoulder Inc.
Silver Bear Technologies Inc.
Small Business Administration
Small Business Consortium LLC
Southern States Cooperative
Spectrum Comm Inc.
Stafford County Sheriff's Office
State Farm Insurance
Steel Fab Tanks
Systems Technology Forum
TAD PGS Inc.
Technology Management Associates
The Carlyle Group
The Clean-up Crew
The GBS Group
Tidewater Technical Institute
Top Guard Security
Total Packaging Services
Town of Culpeper
Trademasters Service Corp
Training Modernization Group
Transurban (USA) Inc.
Tri-Dim Filter Corp.
Two Marines Moving
University of Virginia
URS Federal Services Inc.
Veteran Reporters Inc.
Veterans Management Services Inc.
Virginia Beach Fire Department
Virginia Beach Police Department
Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office
Virginia Capitol Police
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department
Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Virginia Department of Corrections
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Virginia Department of Social Services
Virginia Department of Taxation
Virginia Department of Transportation
Virginia Eagle Distributing
Virginia Electronic Systems Inc.
Virginia Employment Commission
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Visionary Consulting Partners
Vox Optima LLC
Washington Square Associates
Willbros T&D Services
Winning the Training Game
World Financial Group
Wytheville Community College
Wegmans opens second Richmond store on Aug. 7
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wegmans-prepares-for-opening-of-second-richmond-store#When:18:15:00ZWith only three days until the opening of its second and largest store in the Richmond market, Wegmans in Short Pump was abuzz with activity on Thursday. Hundreds of employees attended a spirited rally, met Wegmans’ founders who flew in from the company’s headquarters in Rochester, N. Y., and put last-minutes touches on the 120,000-square-foot store.
The upscale store, decorated with white and gold balloons celebrating the company’s 100th anniversary,opens Sunday at 7 a.m. It’s located in the West Broad Marketplace shopping center on West Broad Street,
near North Gayton Road in western Henrico County.
Valerie Fox, consumer affairs media relations coordinator for Wegmans, says the company expects a big turnout, similar to the 24,000 people who packedthe Midlothian store on its opening day in May. “We had 2,200 people standing in line when we opened,” she said.
The Chesterfield County store has done well, says Fox, and Wegmans has made changes in product selection at Short Pump based on buying patterns there. “What surprised us was the popularity of Northern products,” said Fox. “The number of transplanted people who missed some of their favorite things.” For instance, Zweigle’s hotdogs, made in Rochester, sold out within hours of the Midlothian store opening. Genesee beer and cream ale also have been popular.
Virginia-based products, along with craft beer, are other big sellers, so Wegmans has added more of them in Short Pump. For instance, the Midlothian store opened with 700 types of beer; Short Pump has 1,000 varieties, including many craft names. The store also stocks many Virginia wines among an expansive wine selection.
Oenophiles are sure to enjoy the store’s climate-controlled fine wine shop. It stocks everything from a $199.99 bottle of of the well-known French Louis Roederer Cristal champagne to its most expensive vintage: a $799.99 2010 red Australian Penfolds Grange. Wines for as little as $6.00 can be found its its regular wine department.
Fox says Wegmans offers what she describes as “consistent low prices” on many products people use the most. Family packs of things like chicken breasts and vegetables are in the mix.
All told, the Short Pump store stocks 65,000 items. There’s a Mediterranean bar with 90 items, such as olives, stuffed grape leaves and roasted red peppers. The store’s bakery features a cookie bar with 36 handmade varieties. Wegmans prides itself on specialty food stations, and there’s much to pick from: a cheese shop, with offerings from the company’s own cheese cave in Rochester, a pizza and sub shop and
sushi, salad and soup bars. Food can be taken out or consumed on the premises with 300 seats available in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Prepared foods also are plentiful. “We try to make it easy for our customers to get food on the table,” says Fox. There’s a large selection ranging from a ready-to-create display where people can pick an entrée and two sides for a meal or a chef’s case of ready-to-go offerings such as chicken marsala and beef pizola.
The store also stocks more than 3,000 choices of organic foods and there’s broad line of gluten-free and vegan products.
The Short Pump Wegmans employs 550 people. It’s 5,000 square feet bigger than the Midlothian store. With the two stores, Wegmans now employs more than 1,000 people in the Richmond area, Fox says, in full- and part-time jobs.
What will make Wegmans stand out in an increasingly competitive Richmond grocery market that will soon get its first Publix – another upscale grocer -- are its employees and their focus on customer service, said Short Pump Store Manager Todd Strassner.
Wegmans invests many hours in training, he noted. One challenge in Richmond has been the inability to train locally, outside of the Midlothian store, which has been open less than three months. Wegmans sent full-time employees to Northern Virginia to train at stores there and put them up at hotels during the week. “You really can’t experience Wegmans unless you are in the store. You need to touch it, see it, smell it,” says Strassner, referring to the chain’s open-air market feel.
Indeed, the sensory experience of seeing so much food in one place is part of Wegmans’ appeal.
Wegmans is a private, family-owned company known for promoting from within. Strassner has worked for the company 35 years, getting his start as a part-time employee on the cleaning crew. He and his son, Todd Jr., have the distinction of being the only father/son store managers in the company.
For 19 consecutive years Fortune magazine has named the 90-store grocery chain as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Wegmans ranked No. 4 on this year’s list.
The culmination of all the employee training will be on display Sunday when the public gets its first peek at the Short Pump store. During a media tour, Fox pointed out that Wegmans will steam seafood, such as lobsters, for customers no extra charge. Employees also will chop and dice vegetables for receipes, with these vegetables priced slightly higher than a self-serve pack.
“We have a lot to show off to our customers,” says Strassner.
The Short Pump store is Wegmans ninth in Virginia. Besides Virginia, Wegmans has stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts. Much of its recent new store growth has occurred in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Wegmans plans to open another store in Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 6 and is considering Chantilly and Tysons Corner for future sites.2016-08-04T18:15:00+00:00
Toray Plastics investing $45 million in Warren County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/toray-plastics-investing-45-million-in-warren-county#When:18:07:00ZToray Plastics (America) Inc., a subsidiary of a Japanese company, said Thursday it is investing $45 million to expand its Front Royal facility in Warren County. The project is expected to create 30 jobs.
Toray Plastics (America) makes films for flexible and rigid packaging, lidding, graphic, industrial, optical, and electronic applications and foams for the automotive and flooring industries. The manufacturer plans to add an extrusion capability and a new production line to its Front Royal facility.
Funding and services to support employee training will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Toray Plastics (America) Inc. is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Toray Industries Inc., a major producer of fibers, textiles, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and high-performance films with annual sales of more than $19 billion.2016-08-04T18:07:00+00:00
Virginia’s artisan industry has a big impact
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginias-artisan-industry-has-a-big-impact#When:17:25:00ZThe local economic impact of Virginia’s artisan industry was $572.2 million in 2014, according to a benchmark study.
Nearly 700,000 travelers visited Virginia's artisan attractions and businesses during the year, spending more than $250 million and supporting almost 12,000 full-time jobs throughout the commonwealth, the report says. The average visitor spent $260 per person, per trip.
Virginia artisans and associated businesses buy 47 percent of their supplies in commonwealth.
"This benchmark study validates what we have known for some time; that artisan entrepreneurship exists in abundance across the commonwealth and as a hard-working, talent-based industry made up of creative and agricultural businesses, is of growing significance on Virginia's economic landscape," Sherri Smith, executive director of the Artisans Center of Virginia, said in a statement.
The study found that one of seven Virginia visitors plan their trips around artisan trails. Artisan trail locations accounted for 59 percent of sales in 2014, and created a direct economic impact of $415,600 sales per day.
The economic impact study by Richmond-based Chmura Economics & Analytics involved the Artisans Center of Virginia, 'Round Mountain: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Network and Virginia Tourism Corp.
"Virginia is a true destination for artisan culture and trails," Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corp., said in a statement. "Travelers are coming from all over the country to experience our vineyards, farms, lodging, cultural points of interests, and local artisans. Our artisan trails provide many opportunities for visitors to connect with artisan businesses. This helps make Virginia a premier travel destination with a diverse array of tourism product."2016-08-04T17:25:00+00:00
Three Virginia airports receiving nearly $12 million in federal funds
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-virginia-airports-receiving-nearly-12-million-in-federal-funds#When:21:13:00ZThree Virginia airports are getting a total of nearly $12 million in federal funds, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the offices of U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
The Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Federal Aviation Administration’s grants aim to rehabilitate existing taxiways, improve the safety of pavement conditions and renovate facilities.
Projects and amounts are listed below:
· Richmond International – $4 million: This project will fund the design and construction for rehabilitation of Taxiways E and L pavements. The grant will provide for the first of two construction phases for Taxiway L.
· Norfolk International –$6.2 million: This project will fund a pavement management program study to establish current airfield pavement conditions and develop a cost-effective program to maintain the airfield pavement in a safe and serviceable condition. The grant will also fund the renovation of the public lobby space and lighting to meet current standards and meet passenger needs. It also will fund the acquisition of three replacement brooms and one replacement blower to keep the airport serviceable during snow periods and aid in the efficiency and safety of operations. This is phase two of a four-phase project.
· Emporia-Greensville Regional—$1.4 million: This project will fund the construction phase of a 2,000 foot taxiway extension to provide a parallel taxiway for Runway 16/34 and allow the airport to meet operational needs.
Last week, Warner also announced more than $1 million in federal funding to improve passenger screening and security at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News and at Louisa County’s Freeman Field.2016-08-03T21:13:00+00:00
Regional jobless rates rise across Virginia
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/regional-jobless-rates-rise-across-virginia#When:19:48:00ZUnemployment rose in Virginia’s metro areas in June, according to numbers released by the Virginia Employment Commission.
The VEC reported on Wednesday that jobless rates in all 11 of the commonwealth’s metropolitan statistical areas increased during the month, from two-tenths of a percentage point to 1.2 points.
The VEC figures are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.
Northern Virginia, as usual, had the lowest unemployment rate, 3.2 percent. The Bristol area had the highest rate, 5.4 percent.
Despite the overall increase in jobless rates, five metro areas have unemployment rates of under 4 percent.
Arlington had the lowest jobless rate of Virginia cities and counties in June, 2.4 percent. Buchanan County had the highest rate, 10.3 percent.
The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for Virginia in June was 4 percent. The U.S. rate was 5.1 percent.
The seasonally adjusted June numbers were 3.7 percent for Virginia and 4.9 percent for the U.S.
A breakdown of the Virginia metro area numbers shows:
Bristol: 5.4 percent in June , up from 4.2 percent in May.
Charlottesville: 3.6 percent, up from 3.1 percent.
Hampton Roads: 4.5 percent, up from 4.1 percent.
Harrisonburg: 4.4 percent, up from 3.8 percent.
Lynchburg: 4.7 percent, up from 4 percent.
New River Valley (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford): 4.7 percent, up from 4 percent.
Northern Virginia: 3.2 percent, up from 3 percent.
Richmond: 4 percent, up from 3.7 percent.
Roanoke: 3.9 percent, up from 3.5 percent.
Staunton-Waynesboro: 3.7 percent, up from 3.4 percent.
Winchester: 3.5 percent, up from 3.2 percent.
Insight Property and RSE Capital buy Alexandria apartments for $9.7 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/insight-property-and-rse-capital-buy-alexandria-apartments-for-9.7-million#When:19:42:00ZInsight Property Group and RSE Capital, an affiliate of Fundrise, announced a $9.7 million apartment acquisition Wednesday that looks to be the first of many investments for this new strategic partnership.
Canterbury Square Apartments, at 9186 Richmond Highway in Alexandria, is located across Route 1 from Fort Belvoir’s main gate. With the anticipated growth of Fort Belvoir and what the companies describe as a limited supply of class B apartments in this submarket, the investors say Canterbury Square is positioned to satisfy a growing demand for middle-market housing.
The acquisition launches a new strategic partnership between Insight andRSE Capital, both Washington, D.C.-area firms. The firms said they plan to invest $200 million a year in D.C.-area real estate.
According to the companies, two additional multifamily assets, totaling 354 units, are currently under contract and are scheduled to close in September.
Insight plans to invest several million dollars in the three properties to upgrade units and common areas. Fairfax-based Gates Hudson will continue to manage the Canterbury Square property and will be brought in to manage the other two pending acquisitions.
“The Canterbury transaction is the first of what we expect to be many acquisitions with RSE. Our partnership with RSE, along with the management and construction capabilities of Gates Hudson, allows Insight to execute an important business objective that will serve to complement our robust development pipeline,” Insight President Michael Blum said in a statement.2016-08-03T19:42:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Theater_Entrance_3.jpeg
JLL to lease and manage transition of Chesapeake Square Mall
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jll-to-lease-and-manage-transition-of-chesapeake-square-mall#When:18:41:00ZJLL said Wednesday that it has been chosen to lease and manage Chesapeake Square, a 717,000-square-foot regional mall in Chesapeake that went into foreclosure and was taken over by a special servicer in April.
The mall, located at 4200 Portsmouth Blvd., had been losing tenants. Anchor tenant Sears left in 2015, and Macys said earlier this year that it would be closing as well.
JLL said it has plans to stabilize and to continue to lease the property as normal. Current tenant operations are not expected to be affected by the foreclosure.
According to Trepp LLC, a real estate analytics firm based in New York, the mall has an outstanding loan of $61.7 million, and the loan is currently real estate owned, or back in the hands of the lender. The loan special servicer is CW Capital Asset Management.
“We look forward to working with the special servicer to further strengthen Chesapeake Square, which includes two unmatched opportunities to become an anchor tenant,” said JLL Senior Vice President and Regional Manager Rick Vita. “The mall has a captive customer base in the fast-growing, Western Branch area and greatly benefits from the corporate presence of multiple Fortune 500 companies, major military institutions and shipyards.”
Vita, JLL Vice President Tom Dunn and Associate Christine Young will lead the assignment.
The mall, anchored by Target, J.C. Penney, Burlington Coat Factory and Cinemark, has a 90 national and specialty retailers, including Finish Line, Foot Locker, Gymboree, Men's Warehouse, New York & Company, Stride Rite, Victoria's Secret and Zales Jewelers.
JLL is the largest third-party retail property manager in the U.S. with more than 1,000 centers, totaling 125 million square feet, under management.2016-08-03T18:41:00+00:00
Dollar Tree to expand headquarters, adding 600 jobs
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dollar-tree-to-expand-headquarters-adding-600-jobs#When:16:22:00ZDollar Tree Inc. announced Wednesday it is spending $110 million to expand its headquarters in Chesapeake and add 600 new jobs over the next six years.
“Dollar Tree has seen tremendous growth over the past 30 years,” Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser said in a statement. “We have grown from a small company to a leading retailer with more than 14,000 retail stores across North America. To facilitate our continued growth, we are investing in the expansion of our corporate facilities. Chesapeake will be our center of growth for services shared across the entire corporation.”
Virginia competed with North Carolina for the project, which in addition to the 600 new jobs retained 825 jobs in Chesapeake.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $4 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and a $5.3 million from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant (VEDIG), which includes performance-based incentives Virginia offers to large companies who offer a significant number of jobs with high-paying wages.
The company also will receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. Dollar Tree will also be eligible to receive funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.2016-08-03T16:22:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Riverfront_Plaza_11.jpgRiverfront Plaza
Opening of ICMA-RC office in Richmond expected to bring more than 200 jobs
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/opening-of-icma-rc-office-in-richmond-expected-to-bring-more-than-200-jobs#When:21:21:00ZInternational City Management Association - Retirement Corp. (ICMA-RC), a Washington D.C.-based financial services firm, is expanding to Richmond.
According to the Greater Richmond Partnership and the city of Richmond, the company plans to hire about 100 employees initially and bring more than 100 employees from its D.C headquarters when it moves to Riverfront Plaza in the city’s Central Business District.
While searching for a second location, ICMA-RC narrowed the list of prospective cities to seven, including Dallas and Atlanta. Bob Schultze, president and CEO of ICMA-RC said in a statement, “After reviewing the results of our extensive search, it became clear that the city of Richmond met our needs of a low-cost, high-quality business environment, as well as a location close enough for our home office to continue a productive work flow. The synergy between our Washington, D.C., headquarters and Richmond made the most sense for our operational needs.”
Barry Matherly, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, said, “With plans to add anywhere from 200-250 net new employees … and make more than $10 million in capital investment, ICMA-RC’s entry to the market is another excellent return on the economic development investment of the region.”
Founded in 1972 through the assistance of a Ford Foundation grant, ICMA-RC’s mission is to help public sector employees build retirement security. Today, the nonprofit serves more than a million participant accounts and about 9,000 plans across the country.
The 25,000-square-foot ICMA-RC lease in the West Tower is among several recent transactions for the downtown office building. CBRE-Richmond reports that it has seen more than 85,000 square feet in new transactions for the 20-story office tower with two towers at 901-951 East Byrd Street. Other new tenants are Vinson & Elkins LLP, a Houston-based law firm that’s opening its first office in Richmond, along with the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, Vandeventer Black LLP and AvePoint, Inc.
Trib Sutton, Matt Anderson, and David Wilkins of CBRE-Richmond represented the landlord, Hertz Investment Group, in the transactions.2016-08-02T21:21:00+00:00
Electric cooperative association names new CEO
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/electric-cooperative-association-names-new-ceo#When:20:35:00ZRichard G. Johnstone Jr. has been named president and CEO of the Glen Allen-based Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).
Johnstone succeeds Jackson E. “Jack” Reasor, who remains president and CEO of cooperative power supplier Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. Until Johnstone’s appointment, Reasor also served as president and CEO of VMDAEC.
“The board and I felt that the time was right for the association to have a full-time president and CEO, because of the large and expanding array of industry issues facing the association as the cooperative services supplier,” Reasor said.
Johnstone, 60, has worked at VMDAEC for more than 31 years. Since 1999 he has served as executive vice president.
He joined VMDAEC in 1985 as manager of its communications and public relations department and editor of Rural Living magazine. Before coming to VMDAEC, he worked seven years at the Virginia State Bar, principally as editor of the bar’s monthly magazine.
Founded in 1944, VMDAEC is the trade association for 15 customer-owned, not-for-profit electric distribution cooperatives that serve Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.2016-08-02T20:35:00+00:00
Canadian company acquires Virginia Beach-based Swimways Corp.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/canadian-company-acquires-virginia-beach-based-swimways-corp#When:20:33:00ZToronto-based Spin Master Corp., a children's entertainment company, has acquired Virginia Beach-based Swimways Corp. and formed an outdoor business segment.
Swimways makes a wide variety of toys, games and sporting goods for the pool, beach and backyard. Its gross sales last year were about $90 million.
“This will allow Swimways and its brands to grow and expand by harnessing Spin Master's global infrastructure," Swimways President David Arias said in a statement. “We share a spirit of innovation, expertise in maximizing licensing partnerships and a commitment to quality that will provide a strong foundation for growth moving forward."
Arias’ family has owned the company for more than two decades.
Under the acquisition agreement, Spin Master will pay $85 million in cash on closing, less an escrow for possible adjustments, plus up to $8.5 million payable over four years based on Swimways' sales growth. The transaction was financed through Spin Master's existing credit facility. Swimways will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary within the Spin Master group.
Swimways has 149 employees. It has an office in Guangzhou, China, a manufacturing and distribution facility in Tarboro, N.C.
Spin Master said the acquisition will establish it as a key player in the outdoor and sports toys category, which currently is one of the largest and fastest growing categories in the U.S. toy industry.
Swimways' leadership team will direct Spin Master's outdoor segment from its current headquarters in Virginia Beach.2016-08-02T20:33:00+00:00
Understanding your personal insurance program can protect asset value
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/understanding-your-personal-insurance-program-can-protect-asset-value#When:20:10:00ZMany companies have risk management departments. The job of the chief risk officer is to gage potential issues for the company, manage risks and insure against them. Risk officers work closely with their brokers to put into place the requisite insurance program. Smaller businesses go through a similar process but usually assign risk management duties as collateral job functions.
But what about high net-worth individuals? Many of these individuals and families have formalized estate planning structures — focused primarily on lowering taxes and protecting assets from creditors — but few acknowledge insurance as a critical aspect of estate planning and wealth preservation. How many individuals really read their automobile or homeowners policies? Not surprisingly, a large percentage of these individuals are underinsured with respect to asset protection and the risks posed by their lifestyle. Substantial wealth and valuable assets present unique exposures that necessitate a careful review of personal risk management and insurance programs.
Insurance brokers provide a valuable service to their clients. They know the available coverage in the marketplace and the best carriers to consider. If an insured has a claim, the broker can file it with the carrier and assist in trying to secure coverage if there are problems. If individuals, families and family offices want to ensure they have the best coverage, however, there is an additional step to consider: an insurance audit. An insurance audit can unearth inadequacies or overlaps in coverage that can result in significant savings for high net-worth and ultra-high net-worth individuals.
An audit serves as a second opinion on the personal insurance coverage. An experienced insurance coverage attorney can examine the policies in an insurance program to identify possible gaps in coverage. This is particularly important for those holding valuable assets such as luxury homes, yachts, aircraft, jewelry and artwork. Coverage for the assets — and recommendations for enhancements — are evaluated based on the policyholder’s risk tolerance. Gaps can then be considered with the broker to ensure they are adequately addressed.
An effective insurance audit will be tailored to the specific assets involved, the current scope of insurance policies, the insured’s appetite for risk and coverage enhancements available in the marketplace. Consider these examples for a marine policy: An individual purchases a marine policy on his yacht. Buried in the policy are exclusions that reduce the scope of coverage. For example, it does no good for a marine policy on a yacht to sneak in an exclusion related to charters if the owner does in fact charter it out. Or for the same policy to have carefully worded exclusions as to when coverage is excluded based on territorial limits or who is onboard. An audit of the policy will pick up these potential gaps in coverage and the owner can proceed to address them to expand coverage and reduce risk.
The scope of an insurance audit will vary: it may include a single policy, multiple policies or an entire insurance portfolio. For individuals and families looking to preserve net worth and asset value, understanding the plethora of available insurance and its unique coverage is a “must” for special assets categories. A broker can provide benchmarking to select appropriate limits, general policy language and the best insurers; through an audit, an insurance coverage attorney can dive into the actual language of the policy to find gaps and ambiguities. The combination ultimately creates much better coverage for the insureds and a stronger insurance portfolio to provide maximum protection across a broad spectrum of risks and assets.
It is unfortunate when a policyholder learns of gaps in insurance coverage after the loss. The costs associated with gaps are almost always more significant after a loss when the policyholder must cover the expense or litigate the coverage question. Audits can help to ensure a policyholder is not left on the hook in such scenarios. A team approach involving the insured, broker and coverage attorney creates the best coverage possible in such scenarios. High net-worth policyholders should adopt a range of insurance solutions to eliminate risk exposures, including a thorough analysis of their insurance program. Of course, such an audit also can be completed for anyone that has insurance coverage concerns and makes a lot of sense for high income earners with respect to policies such as life insurance and private long-term disability policies. A coverage audit helps to ensure the coordination of policies and the placement of appropriate insurance.
Collin Hite is the practice leader of the Insurance Recovery team in Hirschler Fleischer's Richmond office. He can be reached at 804-771-9595 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucy Corr Village in Chesterfield County plans expansion
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lucy-corr-village-in-chesterfield-county-plans-expansion#When:19:55:00ZLucy Corr Village, a continuing care retirement community in Chesterfield County, is looking towards the future as it explores plans to build additional independent living cottages and to create a home health-care division.
According to Lucy Corr, the expansions will be possible in part through $21.2 million in financing secured from SunTrust Bank.
With an estimated 20 percent of the population reaching 65 years or older by 2030, the need for varying types of long-term care is expected to rise.“The needs and expectations of seniors are constantly evolving, and it’s important that Lucy Corr is equipped to deliver on those expectations,” Derrick Kendall, CEO at Lucy Corr Village, said in a statement. “The financing from SunTrust Bank combined with their aging services industry expertise will help us as we embark upon this next chapter of growth and consider expansion to better serve our residents and the senior population overall.”
Lucy Corr Village is currently the only continuing care retirement community south of the James River that offers multiple levels of care, ranging from independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing and short-term rehab and adult day services. It started as a nursing home more than 40 years ago.
“These expansions would address two very timely trends that we are seeing in the industry: seniors’ desire to live independently for as long as they can and the growing demand for home health care,” said Evelyn Lee, senior vice president of SunTrust’s Aging Services practice.
SunTrust structured three separate loans to refinance Lucy Corr’s existing bond debt, resulting in interest cost savings that can be used for the future projects.
Located in the courthouse area of Chesterfield, Lucy Corr Village is a not-for-profit community that has offered assisted living and long-term care since 1970. The addition of Springdale cottages in 2008 and apartments in 2009 added independent living to the site.2016-08-02T19:55:00+00:00
H.I.G. Capital acquires Arlington-based Symplicity Corp.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/h.i.g.-capital-acquires-arlington-based-symplicity-corp#When:19:50:00ZAn affiliate of Miami-based H.I.G. Capital has acquired Arlington-based software developer Symplicity Corp.
Founded in 1997, Symplicity sells software to more than 1,200 colleges and graduate school programs.
In addition, more than 400,000 employers utilize the company’s on-campus recruiting software to recruit students and alumni for entry-level jobs.
H.I.G. Capital is a private equity investment firm with more than $20 billion of capital under management.
“H.I.G. is committed to investing in our business and helping us build on our world-class suite of student lifecycle solutions,” Bill Gerety, Symplicity’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
Raymond James & Associates served as the exclusive financial advisor to the company.2016-08-02T19:50:00+00:00
State will partner with Dominion and the Navy to build solar project
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/state-will-partner-with-dominion-and-the-navy-to-build-solar-project#When:19:48:00ZThe first solar project to power state operations with carbon-free, renewable energy will be built at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.
In announcing the project Tuesday during an event at Oceana celebrating the Navy’s work on solar energy development, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the commonwealth will purchase all of the energy generated from an 18-megawatt solar facility that will be built by Dominion Virginia Power.
“I want to thank the Department of the Navy and Dominion for joining us in this partnership to diversify Virginia’s energy mix and enhance the security of our energy infrastructure,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
Dominion will build, own and operate the solar facility located within the fence line of Naval Air Station Oceana. In addition to purchasing the power, the commonwealth will retain and retire renewable energy certificates that will be used to satisfy a portion of the state renewable procurement goal. The solar facility is expected to begin service in late 2017.
“This project satisfies over 16 percent of the governor’s procurement goal and sends a signal to the clean energy market that Virginia is a welcoming place for renewable energy developers, both large and small,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus also commented on the significance of the project. “Today, the state of Virginia, the Hampton Roads community, Dominion Virginia Power and our Navy and Marine Corps are joining together to add to our success, to protect the future of NS Norfolk and NAS Oceana and to enhance national security for the American people.”
In December 2014, the governor announced that the state would procure up to 8 percent of its electricity consumption from renewable resources within three years. The goal represents approximately 110 megawatts of installed renewable capacity.
In addition to Tuesday’s announcement, the Department of Navy has another agreement with Dominion Virginia Power to increase its use of renewable energy. Last year, Dominion and the Navy signed a 10-year contract for the Navy to buy 25 megawatts from a solar facility in North Carolina that will provide nearly 6 percent of the energy needed at Naval Station Norfolk.2016-08-02T19:48:00+00:00
Baby boomers choosing Medicare Advantage
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/baby-boomers-choosing-medicare-advantage#When:19:37:00ZEach day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. The Baby Boomers are reaching Medicare eligibility at a rapid rate, and more and more are choosing Medicare Advantage to help them manage their health.
Medicare Advantage is an alternative to Original Medicare, which includes the Medicare plans managed by the federal government. Medicare Advantage is offered through private insurers, and in the last five years, enrollment has surged by nearly 50 percent across the country to approximately 18 million. Not even the “age wave” of Baby Boomers accounts for this explosive growth, as the Medicare-eligible population has increased only 18 percent over the same period.
The surge in Richmond is even more dramatic, with Medicare Advantage enrollment growing by 71 percent since 2011.
This health-care shift may be fueled by three characteristics of Medicare Advantage plans: predictable costs, additional benefits and care coordination.
Original Medicare generally covers about 80 percent of beneficiaries’ health care costs, leaving them responsible for covering the remaining 20 percent out of pocket with no annual limit. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, have a preset cap on how much a member must pay out of his or her pocket, making it easier to budget for health-care expenses.
Original Medicare covers the basics like hospital stays and doctor visits, but not some of the staples people have come to expect from their health-care plans, like routine vision and hearing exams. Many Medicare Advantage plans cover these benefits, and most plans include prescription drug coverage. Some plans cover hearing aids and preventive dental care, and offer services like house call visits, access to 24-7 nurse phone lines and fitness memberships.
The health-care landscape is complex and can be difficult to navigate. Medicare Advantage supports a collaborative, team-based approach by connecting doctors and other health-care providers with the latest data and information. This coordination can help doctors deliver the right care at the right time and simplify the patient experience. And, to emphasize quality rather than quantity, many Medicare Advantage plans are shifting towards paying doctors based on patient outcomes rather than simply the number of procedures performed.
These are a few of the reasons we may be seeing this Medicare Advantage growth trend playing out in Richmond and across the country.
2011 and 2016 enrollment data sourced from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Medicare Advantage State/County Penetration reports.
Tax planning tool available for structuring the private equity deal
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/tax-planning-tool-available-for-structuring-the-private-equity-deal#When:15:04:00ZFor decades, private equity firms have been handcuffed by the Internal Revenue Service through double taxation and complex legal maneuvering if they wanted to undertake certain acquisitions and achieve a stepped-up tax basis in the assets. Historically, Section 338(h)(10) of the IRS code only allowed purchasers to be a specific legal entity — namely a corporation. However, a 2013 regulatory provision now generally accepted by the IRS and the Treasury Department provides an efficient way for private equity firms to purchase certain companies, including S Corporations, in a more tax efficient manner. Code. Sec. 336(e) creates a more favorable return to investors by decreasing tax liabilities, making purchases less cumbersome, and gives the purchaser the ability to obtain a stepped-up basis in the seller’s assets.
Pass-through benefits. One of the biggest challenges faced by private equity firms to date has been their inability to easily structure a pass-through entity as an acquirer and obtain the preferred stepped-up tax basis in the target’s assets. Given that corporations, and not tried-and-true partnerships/pass-through entities, were the only types of entities that could make a stock purchase and treat as an asset purchase, the purchasing entity that wanted pass-through taxation would be subject to a much higher rate of taxation, without additional legal structure maneuvering. Section 336(e) allows corporate stock purchasers to be partnerships, LLCs or any other form of legal entity thus passing the taxation liability onto the partners/investors of a fund or entity, and escaping corporate “double taxation”. This game-changing development automatically provides a better return for investors by completely eliminating corporate level taxes.
Less complicated acquisition timeframe. Given that certain pass-through entities are now allowed to make acquisitions in corporations and achieve stepped-up tax basis, the legal maneuvering of creating pre-acquisition holding companies or other corporate entities are no longer needed. Not only will this change decrease legal fees which will result in cost savings, it also speeds up the acquisition timeline. Of course, this is not guaranteed but the legal requirements are far less complicated translating into lower costs at some level. Unlike Section 338(h)(10), the 336(e) election is agreed to by the buyer and seller and then is made on the seller’s tax return. It is important to note here that this does put the private equity firm acquirer at somewhat of a disadvantage as they have to rely on the seller to make this elect this on their timely filed tax return. Generally, the acquirer would want reps and indemnifications from the seller to affirm the election is properly made.
Stepped-up basis in stock acquisition. Arguably, one of the most significant benefits that private equity firms and investors will see from Section 336(e) is the opportunity to obtain a stepped-up basis in a corporate acquisition. It can be extraordinarily complicated to outright purchase tangible or intangible assets of a seller. Third-party consent or other legal impediments can be very time consuming and/or require a lot of capital. These hurdles are overcome with Section 336(e) because the legal structure is that the purchaser is acquiring the stock of the entity. However, for federal income tax purposes, the transaction is treated as an asset purchase, thus providing the additional tax benefits. Of course, the buyer also takes on the liabilities of the seller that they would not historically have been subject to in an asset acquisition. The taxation benefits from this type of arrangement are generally significant s and often create a much more attractive deal for investors.
Section 336(e) is a tremendous opportunity in the private equity world. GPs and LPs alike will now have a variety of tax tools at their disposal which make investment opportunities more attractive and easily obtainable. and the tax benefits can make the financial returns much more profitable.
Gary G. Wallace, CPA is a partner at Richmond-based Keiter. He has more than 25 years of accounting experience in the private and public sectors.2016-08-01T15:04:00+00:00
Commonwealth Assisted Living is acquiring Stratford House in Danville
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commonwealth-assisted-living-is-acquiring-stratford-house-in-danville#When:13:28:00ZCharlottesville-based Commonwealth Assisted Living is acquiring Stratford House, a senior living community in Danville.
Financial details of the transaction were not released. The deal is expected to close within the next 60 days.
Commonwealth plans to invest $3.5 million Stratford House, expanding its services and creating 25 new jobs.
Stratford House, which opened in 1990, has been owned and operated by the not-for-profit board since 2008.
It will become the 23rd senior living community operated in Virginia by Commonwealth, which has a facility in nearby South Boston.
Commonwealth expects to bring many of its programs to Stratford House, including its Travel the World activity programs, Farm to Table and Today from the Bay dining programs, in addition to clinical support services on site.
During the next 18 months, Commonwealth plans to update the property and add its memory care program, Sweet Memories, to Stratford House.2016-08-01T13:28:00+00:00
Walmart Neighborhood Market store in Chesterfield County sold
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/walmart-neighborhood-market-store-in-chesterfield-county-sold#When:13:20:00ZA Walmart Neighborhood Market store in Chesterfield County has been sold for more than $12 million.
Capital Pacific, a San Francisco-based retail investment brokerage firm, said it represented the seller of the 41,117-square-foot building at 7,000 Iron Bridge Road, Denver-based Confluent Development.
The buyer was a private investor from Florida who was not identified.
Confluent Development was one of the first build-to-suit developers chosen to develop a group of Walmart Neighborhood Markets in 2014.
The market was the 11th Walmart Neighborhood Market store that Zeb Ripple and Zandy Smith of Capital Pacific have sold for Confluent Development.
Capital Pacific has sold a total of 13 Walmart stores stores to date, with a combined transaction value of $145 million.
The brokerage firm sells single and multi-tenant properties throughout Northern California, and across the US. It has completed over $8.89 billion in retail transactions for institutional and private clients.2016-08-01T13:20:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DNP_4261.pngPhoto by Don Petersen
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/multifamily-leader#When:15:33:00ZShe’s not demonstrating layups or running plays, but in some ways Janet Riddlebarger has realized her high school dream of becoming a basketball coach.
As senior vice president for apartment living for real estate developer HHHunt, Riddlebarger is constantly jumping through hoops — at least figuratively. She oversees operations for 15 apartment communities throughout Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. She also helps develop new multifamily communities, including three currently under construction and two scheduled to break ground in 2017.
One of the things she likes most about her job is coaching younger colleagues. “When you work with people, you have opportunities to develop them as leaders, and coaching is part of that,” she says. “Devoting time to values-based leadership is part of coaching, but instead of athletics, it’s everyday life.”
Riddlebarger joined Blacksburg-based HHHunt in 1983, eight years after graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in political science. She had spent five years as executive director of the Virginia Safety Association in Richmond before deciding to switch gears. Returning to Blacksburg, Riddlebarger enrolled in business courses at
New River Community College and Virginia Tech. “I knew I wanted to do something different and needed to understand finance, accounting and economics,” she recalls.
Riddlebarger was living at Foxridge Apartment Homes in Blacksburg — HHHunt’s largest apartment community — when she learned Foxridge was looking for a leasing agent, so she applied. “I needed to support myself, and it had a little bit of everything — sales, marketing and management.”
From leasing apartments, Riddlebarger worked her way up to regional manager, director of operations, vice president and senior vice president, a position she has held for the past 16 years. “What we try to do every day in housing is truly remarkable, and I get to be a leader in that — making a difference in someone’s life by providing a home.”
Founded by Harry H. Hunt III in 1966, the company initially provided housing for Virginia Tech faculty and students. As its apartment living division grew, HHHunt expanded into single-family homes, town homes and senior living communities. “We can house you from the time you are in college until you are in your golden years,” says Riddlebarger.
Riddlebarger relates to apartment residents, having lived in a multifamily community until she was in her 40s. Then she bought a house in Christiansburg with a fenced-in yard for her Labrador retriever.
Apartment dwellers generally range from college students to retirees, with most between 24 and 40 years old. “More people are renting apartments in the U.S. than ever, and the demographics point to more renters in our country over the next few years,” notes Riddlebarger. “The millennial generation is the biggest renter group, and that group is growing and continuing to look for apartments.”
To stay on target with consumer trends, HHHunt regularly surveys residents to determine amenity trends, such as resort-style swimming pools, fitness centers and nature trails. The company also encourages employees to become involved in their communities.
As the number of apartment communities increases, so does the demand for property managers. Virginia Tech offers a degree program in property management and a minor in residential property management, one of only a few offered in the U.S. Riddlebarger chairs the program’s advisory board. “There’s a diverse mixture of men and women in this field, and there are great opportunities,” she says. “Students graduating in our program are virtually guaranteed a job.”
Years in the industry: 33
Where did you grow up? Brookneal, Va.
Family: Mom (94 years young), three brothers and their families, 7-year-old yellow Lab named Otter.
Hobbies: Riddlebarger describes herself as an avid sports fan. She also collects Pez dispensers and “anything Notre Dame.”
Favorite app or mobile site: ESPN
Favorite reads: Anything by David Baldacci, John Grisham or Janet Evanovich
On the bucket list: Meet Pope Francis, Tom Brokaw and Coach K. See the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Visit Normandy, Ireland and Germany. Travel the U.S. and be a season ticket holder for Notre Dame football.2016-07-31T15:33:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/IMG_0193.pngA $350 million bond issue will be used to expand capacity at the Port of Virginia’s Norfolk Terminals.
Treaty rhetoric obscures trade’s benefits
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/treaty-rhetoric-obscures-trades-benefits#When:10:00:00ZHow did international trade become the political boogeyman of 2016?
Donald Trump blames multinational trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), for the economic woes of the American middle class.
Hillary Clinton also opposes TPP although she was for the treaty three years ago when she was President Obama’s secretary of state. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the NAFTA treaty in 1993.
Meanwhile, British voters have decided to leave the European Union, the 28-nation economic alliance that accounts for 50 percent of Britain’s gross domestic product.
The loud political rhetoric about these treaties unfortunately has clouded public perception about the benefits of international trade.
In Virginia, exports represent about 8 percent of Virginia’s GDP, and a major effort is underway to push that percentage higher.
As Senior Editor Jessica Sabbath reported in our July issue, recent actions by the Virginia General Assembly are designed to ramp up trade as a driver of the commonwealth’s economy.
One major element of that move is the approval of a $350 million bond issue that will be used to expand the capacity of the Port of Virginia’s Norfolk International Terminals.
The port’s influence on the Virginia economy has accelerated in recent decades to the point that it affects business decisions from Hampton Roads to the Shenandoah Valley. That influence could grow even more with the recently completed expansion of the Panama Canal and the increasing use of huge vessels in international shipping.
Virginia has an urgent need to diversify its economy, which still remains heavily dependent on government spending. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has repeatedly said that the commonwealth has a brief window of opportunity to alter the focus of its economy before a series of deep federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, are reimposed.
Nearly 12 percent of the commonwealth’s economy is dependent on defense spending. The General Assembly has included $1.5 million each year of the biennial state budget to continue a Virginia Economic Development Partnership program designed to aid state defense contractors. The Going Global Defense Initiative, which initially was supported with federal funds, assists contractors in marketing their products and services overseas.
Legislative appropriations also will bolster two other trade programs: Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL) and Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET). VITAL encourages Virginia trade associations to promote state export programs to their members. VALET is a two-year program training companies on ways to increase international sales.
One highly visible VALET graduate, the Richmond-based C.F. Sauer Co., announced in early July that it will begin selling its iconic Duke’s mayonnaise in Colombia after taking part in a recent state-sponsored trade mission there.
The biggest trade-related change approved by the legislature is the creation of a separate agency, the Virginia International Trade Corp. (VITC).
Supporters of the move, including the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Manufacturers Association, believe that a trade agency separate from VEDP will give more exposure to the state’s trade programs while making a statement about the commonwealth’s commitment to international commerce.
Appointment of VITC’s CEO is expected to take place by December, and the agency will begin operation in April. A 17-member board will govern the agency.
The progress of Virginia’s efforts, however, could be affected by the trade policies of the next president.
In a June speech in Pennsylvania, Trump called current U.S. trade policy a “politician-made disaster” that has betrayed the working class. He wants to renegotiate NAFTA and withdraw from TPP. Earlier in his campaign, Trump also threatened to impose hefty tariffs on imports from China and Mexico.
Noting the outcome of the “Brexit” referendum, Trump said the British people have voted to regain control of their economy and “now it’s time for the American people to take back their future.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce immediately criticized Trump’s speech, saying trade with Mexico and Canada supports 14 U.S. million jobs, 5 million of which are the result of increases in trade because of NAFTA.
Trump’s opposition to NAFTA and TPP represents a break from Republican orthodoxy on trade. In fact, his stance echoes the sentiments of Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent.
Sanders’ pressure during the campaign pulled Clinton to the left on many issues, including TPP. Asked to explain her flip-flop on the treaty last December, she said had “absorbed new information.” Clinton explained she had high hopes for the treaty while it was being negotiated three years ago, but the final document “didn’t meet my standards.”
While exploiting the voters’ anger about their economic struggles, the trade policies of both candidates have increased doubts about their leadership abilities. Trump’s critics fear he could provoke a trade war that would pitch the U.S. into recession. Clinton’s change of heart on TPP meanwhile feeds a widespread perception that she can’t be trusted.
Maybe the best hope for trade is that neither of them will keep their promises.2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/NOVA-0173.pngNorthern Virginia Community College has six campuses, three academic centers and online studies. Photo by Mark Rhodes
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/aiming-high#When:10:00:00ZNorthern Virginia Community College stands apart among the commonwealth’s public institutions of higher learning by virtue of its size and diversity and the scope of its ambitions.
With 78,000 students enrolled, it is the largest of Virginia’s public two- and four-year schools and the second-largest community college in the United States. It has six campuses, three academic centers and online studies offering certificates and degrees.
Its huge student body represents every age bracket and ethnicity and more than 200 countries worldwide, and it has a mission statement that is as expansive as its demographics. The college aims for no less than being a go-to supplier of a workforce that will power the economy of its NoVa home, while simultaneously being a place that welcomes all those who “are pursuing the American dream.”
President Scott Ralls took over leadership of the sprawling community college last year, drawn from his stewardship of the North Carolina Community College System by the opportunity to work in NoVa’s tech-driven environment.
“Information technology, biotechnology, cybersecurity, health care — we are training tomorrow’s workforce today,” he says.
Preparing people for work
Projections for the makeup of tomorrow’s workforce have been changing rapidly and drastically in recent years. Northern Virginia used to be a company — read, government — town, and the feds hired mainly based on a job applicant’s academic credentials. Tech jobs were important, but not transcendent. These days, IT is the region’s biggest growth area, with NoVa ranked as the second-largest STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) employment base in the country, Ralls says.
The private sector, though, unlike the government, is profit-driven and pragmatic. It wants employees who can hit the ground running, and NVCC is determined that its students will be fast out of the starting gate.
Steven B. Partridge’s job is to make sure that the college is up to speed on this objective. He is NVCC’s vice president of workforce development
“Getting people ready to go to work is a huge part of what we do,” he says. He spends much of his time talking with employers and advisory groups, including the Northern Virginia Technology Council, to gather input on how best to get “rid of the disconnect between education and jobs.”
Cybersecurity is a good example of how the college has been reshaping its curricula to fit the changing job picture. Northern Virginia has evolved into the premier cybersecurity center of the nation during the past decade, yet good jobs in this burgeoning sector have been going begging for want of qualified applicants.
Until recently, NVCC hadn’t been much of a factor in closing the gap between supply and demand. Although it began offering a career studies certificate in network security as early as 2001, it had just 49 enrolled in its cybersecurity courses at the end of the fall 2014 semester. As of April this year, however, it had 750, with more expansion anticipated.
Cybersecurity professor Margaret Leary, who also is director of curriculum for the National Cyberwatch Center (a consortium of higher-learning institutions devoted to cybersecurity), says that NVCC works with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency on course content and standards. The feds’ seal of approval on future employees is vitally important to government contractors who continue to make up a big, if somewhat diminished, chunk of NoVa’s economy. In addition, the government has designated NVCC’s cybersecurity program as a center for academic excellence, which helps ensure that the credits students earn at the two-year college are fully transferrable.
Leary’s cybersecurity students, like the school’s student body population in general, have goals as varied as their backgrounds. Some plan to go straight to work after earning their associate degrees. Others plan to continue in four-year institutions. Still others already have four-year degrees, yet either are in search of hands-on training or want to switch careers.
Amy N. Thomas, 48, is an example of one of these typically atypical NVCC students. She had been doing grant writing for nonprofits when she took a career test. Thomas was startled to find that she scored higher on computers than on writing. That led her to take a class at NVCC where she “fell in love with the whole field.”
Five semesters later, Thomas had an associate degree in applied science and cybersecurity, and in May, she and her partner, Immanuel Silva, showed off their cyber chops by winning second place in the inaugural Black T-Shirt Cyber Forensics Challenge. The contest, sponsored by colleges and private industry, attracted 900 teams nationwide and tested such skills as file system and operating system identification, recovery of operating systems and event reconstruction. Thomas now works for the Alexandria Public Schools system and says she is getting lots of interest from recruiters.
Focus on diversity
Career placement is NVCC’s stated No. 1 mission, but it gives equal importance to “increas[ing] the number and diversity of students being served” and to being “a leader in developing educational and economic opportunities for all Northern Virginians.”
That is a tall order, considering that Northern Virginia is quite the melting pot. As of fall 2014, 39.5 percent of the community college’s students were white, 20.7 percent were Hispanic, 17.9 percent were black, and 15.3 percent were Asian. Another 3.6 percent were of two or more races. As Ralls notes, the school has a minority majority.
The survey further showed that only 42.1 percent of students fell into the traditional college age category of 18- to 21-year-olds, while 30.6 percent were between 22 and 29, and 23 percent were 30 or older.
To help this array of individuals achieve success, NVCC strives to foster an environment of inclusion and support through two special enterprises: Pathway to the Baccalaureate and Adult Career Pathways. Kerin A. Hilker-Balkissoon, the executive director of both initiatives, says that together they now serve 14,000 students.
Under the auspices of the baccalaureate program, NVCC works with George Mason University, K-12 schools, nonprofits, social services groups and employers to “create pipelines for students to come and successfully compete.” GMU smooths the way for participants by waiving their application fees and offering them various uses of its staff and facilities.
Admission to the baccalaureate program is based on desire, not GPA. “We look at drive and determination,” Hilker-Balkissoon says. Applicants must write a statement about intent, and, if accepted, fulfill supplemental responsibilities such as mandatory community service and attendance at various workshops. In return, they get one-on-one coaching on everything from applying for scholarships and financial aid to dealing with the “transfer shock” that they may experience when moving to a four-year school.
Monica P. Gomez has been a baccalaureate counselor for 10 years. She is usually responsible for four or five high schools and carries a caseload of 300 to 350, mostly Latinos, Asians and Middle Eastern students, she says.
Gomez maintains a formidable schedule, attending senior events and parents’ nights, doing one-on-one counseling and holding group sessions.
The result is that about 70 or 75 percent of her charges make it through the program. Statistics of how many achieve the ultimate prize of a four-year degree, however, are hard to come by because community college students are notoriously hard to track, given that many are part time and do not necessarily take classes every semester. Nonetheless, Gomez is able to proudly point to the achievements of one of her students, David, who went through NVCC, won one of only 85 Jack Kent Cook undergraduate transfer scholarships offered nationally, graduated from Cornell, and now is in graduate school at Brown University.
The Adult Career Pathways’ focus is on helping students “upskill to better-paying jobs,” Hilker-Balkissoon says. It targets veterans — more than 5,000 are enrolled at NVCC — single parents, immigrants and the unemployed or underemployed. It also reaches out to faith and interfaith organizations, nonprofits and community groups, not only to foster college awareness but also to help support people who may never have thought higher education was an option for them.
“There are so many nonacademic issues going on in their lives that can derail them,” Hilker-Balkissoon says about those in Adult Pathways. “Many are one flat tire away from dropping out of college.”
More emergency funding to help these students, she says, is her next priority.
Money, unfortunately, may be a tad tighter than it has been in the past. Nationwide, enrollment in higher education has gone down from a peak about five years ago, and funding is driven by the numbers.
NVCC has fared better than most community colleges, falling from its peak full-time equivalent student enrollment of 34,697 in the 2010-11 academic year to 34,586 in 2014-15, a drop of less than 1 percent.
“We reached a plateau five years ago,” Ralls says, “And in the last two years we’ve had some drops, but at a quarter of the rate of most other schools.
The reason behind the decline, he says, is a “good news/bad news” scenario.
The bad news is that as work opportunities have expanded, students, particularly older, working ones, feel the need to take fewer courses.
The good news is that the companies that are hiring need more highly skilled technology workers than ever. That fact alone would seem to promise that Northern Virginia Community College should enjoy its own version of cybersecurity in years to come.2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00
Auction bidders bring the bacon
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/auction-bidders-bring-the-bacon#When:10:00:00ZBuying a historic home isn’t for everyone. Yet when a stunning example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture comes up for sale at an auction, it draws interest. Throw in the name of P. D. Gwaltney Jr., and it’s no wonder bidders lined up on a rainy day in June to have a shot at owning the Smithfield home.
Gwaltney, who built the 5,782-square-foot house as a wedding gift for his bride in 1901, developed Gwaltney Foods into a successful pork-producing company that was purchased by Smithfield Foods in 1981.
The home, for sale on and off for more than a decade, had been listed at a price as high as $2.5 million and as low as $699,000. It sold at auction for $435,000. Added to that was a 10 percent buyer’s premium, bumping the total cost to $478,500, says Linda Terry, the broker for the sale. Terry works out of the Richmond office of Tranzon, a real estate company active in the historic home sales market. “We sell lots of old houses in Richmond, but what made this unique was that it was preserved and authentic to just about perfection.”
From the framed wedding invitation of the Gwaltney wedding to a tall turret, gabled roof, stained glass, and ornate brass fittings, the property had all the touches of a period home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Whoever owns it has to be committed to preserving it as a national landmark,” says Terry. “That takes some additional effort. “Historic Gwaltney home in Smithfield sells for $478,500
The buyers are a married couple in their 40s. They were drawn to the home because of its soaring ceilings — the husband is six feet, nine inches tall — and its “amazing wow factor.”
While the couple — who wished to remain anonymous since the sale has not yet closed — is a bit concerned about the maintenance, they are looking forward to living in Smithfield and updating the kitchen. Overall, they think they got a good deal — a home with a history, currently assessed at $884,000.
See photo gallery below. Photos courtesy Tranzon Premier Properties.2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC_8383.pngNick Weishaar, 28, used an FHA loan that required a 3.5 percent down payment to buy an older home in Richmond for $230,000.
Millennials and homeownership
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/millennials-and-homeownership#When:10:00:00ZOne day Shonté Holcomb would like to run her own day care center. But for now the 28-year-old preschool teacher would settle for being able to afford to move out of her parents’ house in Hanover County.
“There’s no way on the salary I make that I could move out and live on my own,” says Holcomb, who makes about $20,000 a year without benefits as a full-time lead teacher at Tuckaway Childhood Development and Early Education Center in Henrico County’s Varina area. She’s currently looking for a second, part-time job so she could eventually afford to rent her own house or apartment.
“I’ve tried roommates in the past, and it just didn’t work out,” says Holcomb, a high school graduate who has taken some college courses but struggles to afford those, too. She’s thought about looking for a higher-paying full-time job, but she enjoys her work and co-workers at Tuckaway. “I would rather have a full-time job that I really love to do … [along with] a part-time job that I could not like but is giving me money,” she says.
Holcomb is hardly unique. Despite an improved job market over the last five years, millennials between ages 18 and 34 are more likely to be living with their parents. In 2014, this was the living arrangement for nearly a third of them, according to a report released in May by the Pew Research Center.
Another report from Zillow released in June, showed that 21 percent of millennials across the U.S., ages 23 to 34, were living at home with parents.
Zillow, a real estate and rental research firm, found that more millennials live alone in Richmond — 15 percent of the 23 to 34-year-old group — than any other U. S. metro. Zillow attributed the distinction to the region’s strong labor market and median income of $49,500 for millennials living alone.
No matter how one slices the data, though, more young people are living at home. Experts point to varying trends, from people waiting longer to get married to economic woes ranging from a higher cost of living to static wage growth and greater student debt burdens.
At the same time, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that homeownership in America dipped to 63.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, close to the 48-year low of 63.4 percent reached in 2015’s second quarter.
More barriers to home ownership
Paired with increased barriers to homeownership such as tighter lending restrictions following the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, the trend begs the question: Is the American Dream of homeownership still a possibility for millennials? Are they even interested?
Despite the stereotype of young adult millennials as aloof, urban-dwelling, bicycle-riding hipsters who rent loft apartments and are obsessed with craft beer, millennials are actually a lot more like their older counterparts when it comes to wanting to own their own homes.
“National studies are showing that millennials do want to own their homes, but of course, as everybody says anecdotally, they’re waiting longer to do it,” says Mel Jones, a research associate at the Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research.
In fact, the older millennials get, the more likely they are to own a home, Jones says, noting that more than half of the oldest millennials own a home and 88 percent of that cohort own single-family detached homes. “Millennials have a strong preference for privacy,” she says, noting that census data and research show that millennials prefer detached homes and home ownership — if they can afford it.
Take Julia Lange, for example. At 29, she says, “I really want to be a homeowner, but I’m not at a point in my life where it makes sense.” A customer service representative for a pest control company, she and her boyfriend rent a small, detached two-story home in downtown Fredericksburg that they share every other weekend with her boyfriend’s son from a previous relationship. Their combined income is around $80,000 a year.
Lange, who holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Mary Washington University, feels like her professional, personal and financial lives need to be more stable before she’s ready to make the jump into home ownership. “I feel like all the factors would have to be in place for me to make that decision, but at the same time one of my best friends is a Realtor, and she has emphasized that I’m really just throwing my money away [on rent] and I’d be better off putting that toward a mortgage. … I’m not super young anymore. I need to really find a career and start to get that moving along. I would much rather be putting money toward a mortgage than a rental.”
Mary Dykstra, owner of Roanoke-based MKB Realtors and a past president of the Virginia Association of Realtors, blames the delay on “the life cycle. Unless they’re never planning on having a family, by the time you’re 31 or 32 you’re going to be thinking about kids,” she says, and that also means thinking about home ownership.
Dykstra teaches a real estate class at Virginia Tech and says her students typically tell her they want to own a home with amenities like a big backyard, good school systems and a two-car garage. “It almost made me laugh out loud, because their dream house is what they grew up in,” she says.
As far as barriers go, Dykstra and others say that increased college debt loads and greater lending restrictions are concerns. Still, there are plenty of options for first-time homebuyers such as FHA loans that require lower down payments, or none at all, such as VA loans for veterans or some USDA loans.
Millennial home shoppers also are more likely to spend more and seek perfectionism, rather than buying a starter home that needs a little TLC, Dykstra says. Since it’s more difficult for new homeowners to obtain home equity lines, they’re more likely to spend more on a home that’s polished and move-in-ready than one that requires renovations.
Tired of waiting for repairs
Software engineer Nick Weishaar, 28, purchased a three-bedroom, two-bathroom detached home in Richmond’s Museum District for $230,000 four years ago. Though the home was built in 1924, it came with central air and a detached garage for his motorcycle, features that were important to him. He doesn’t mind making improvements, such as replacing an old claw-foot bathtub. Mainly he was tired of arguing with his landlords about trying to get repairs made. “I wanted my own place so I could do what I wanted with it.”
Weishaar purchased his home with an FHA loan with 3.5 percent down. His down payment and closing costs came out to a little over $10,000. He was able to save up most of that amount while working in France for his business for several months when he was receiving a per diem for all his living expenses.
“I’m very good with my money. I don’t really spend it on a lot of random stuff,” he says. “I’ve never bought a new car or anything. I’ve [always] bought a used car.”
Another distinction among millennials is their willingness to move to a different state or city if they think it has better cultural or job opportunities.
As Richmond Association of Realtors CEO Laura Lafayette says, “Millennials are far more likely than my generation to be focused on ‘Where do you want to live, what are the amenities that we want in a community, what kind of quality of life do we want? … And then I’ll worry about a job and whether I’m going to own or rent.’”
“They’re chasing jobs and making lifestyle choices in a way that wasn’t done before,” agrees Dykstra, “and they don’t want to be tied to a house that will keep them from moving for job opportunities.” Some also may be hesitant about owning due to what they witnessed during the 2008 crash, she allows, noting that most millennials probably know someone who suffered through a foreclosure or a short sale or saw their home values go underwater.
Flexibility is definitely important to Bryan and Nicole Tucker. Bryan, a 30-year-old contractor, and Nicole, a 28-year-old teacher at Henrico County’s Varina High School, have been living with Bryan’s grandmother and saving money for the last six months while waiting to close on their first house. Priced at less than $100,000, the one-story, two-bedroom, one-bath house in Sandston is in good condition but needs work, like central air and upgrades to the kitchen and bathroom. Their plan is to make the renovations and either flip the house or rent it out within the next two years.
In the meantime, they’ve also purchased a tiny house for $8,000 and are spending about $4,000 in renovations to it. It’s sitting on Bryan’s grandmother’s property, and they’re thinking they might buy a piece of property somewhere for the tiny house that could eventually become a site to build a permanent home or just a vacation spot.
As it is, they’ll be paying about the price of a low car payment for the house in Sandston.
Most of their friends who own are maxing out their home loans, but the Tuckers don’t want to have to compromise their quality of life or worry about how they might make ends meet if they have an unexpected pregnancy. After all, they’re not even sure where they want to end up.
Nicole’s uncle lives in Daytona Beach, Fla., and they’ve thought about moving there because they like it so much. “And we’ve looked at other places, too, like Warsaw [on the Northern Neck],” Bryan says. “We love going to this church out there. If we found a place in the town of Tappahannock for the right price right now, I’d probably buy that, too.”
“We don’t know how long we’re going to live somewhere necessarily,” Nicole says, “so we didn’t want to spend a ton of money to be stuck in one spot and get there and be like, ‘Man, we really don’t like this [commute] or, man, we really don’t like this neighborhood.’ It’s nicer to buy something more in our financial range so we don’t have to worry about the permanence so much.”2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Hovermale-0678.png“Some people look at numbers, and they get scared. I look at numbers, and I see a story,” Hovermale says.
Tough calls helped nonprofit to recover from the recession
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/tough-calls-helped-nonprofit-to-recover-from-the-recession#When:10:00:00Z2016 Virginia CFO Award winner
SMALL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Julie Hovermale, CPA
Better Housing Coalition, Richmond
Julie Hovermale is passionate about the mission of Better Housing Coalition. The nonprofit provides housing options and support services throughout the Richmond region to about 3,000 modest-income families and senior citizens.
“I live in the city, and I believe everybody should have a safe place to call home,” she says.
The Illinois native, who is a Certified Public Accountant, brings to the organization experience working for for-profit and nonprofit ventures.
“She is setting a high bar of accountability and transparency for an industry that sometimes hasn’t had that much rigor all the time,” says Greta Harris, the organization’s president and CEO. “She brings that rigor. She believes if we are stronger financially, we are in a better position to have an impact on the community. The balance between financial strength and our ability to advance our mission is one of the greatest gifts she brings to Better Housing Coalition.”
Hovermale was faced with a big challenge when she joined the organization in 2012. It was struggling to recover from the 2007-09 recession and resulting downturn in the real estate industry.
Wheat McDowell, portfolio manager at Richmond Capital Management, is finance committee chairman on the organization’s board of directors. He says the Better Housing Coalition needed someone like Hovermale “to come in and save the day. At that time we had a lot of projects underway and some debt that was burdensome to the organization. We had outgrown what we were doing from a control standpoint.”
Hovermale spent a lot of time getting “her arms around a very complicated organization,” which has many companies and subsidiaries, he adds. Her findings led a two-year series of changes that included wholesale organizational restructuring and new accountability for all business lines.
The organization now has a new focus that balances corporate sustainability with community impact. The corporate turnaround has resulted in a new nonprofit structure that generates 85 percent of its $15 million annual budget.
“From my standpoint, she did what a good CFO does,” McDowell says. “She allowed us to understand our own or­­­­­gan­­­­ization, and from that we were able to make a lot of good decisions as a board.”
One of Hovermale’s biggest strengths is her analytical nature. “Some people look at numbers, and they get scared. I look at numbers, and I see a story,” she says.
She had to make tough decisions that aren’t always popular with others. “I can leave my emotions on the outside and think more from a business standpoint,” she says. “I do have strong beliefs, and I don’t have a problem voicing my beliefs.”
Hovermale is “not scared to ask tough questions or to make recommendations to the board,” says finance committee member Neil Amin, CEO of Shamin Hotels. “She is also very down-to-earth, friendly and supportive of her colleagues. She is trustworthy and helpful to the whole organization.”
Admittedly introverted, Hovermale feels she has grown considerably since coming to the Better Housing Coalition.
“I have learned a lot about myself,” she says. “It feels good to do something for your community and for others. It makes me feel good going to work every day knowing I am helping people. Not everybody has an affordable place to call home. My goal is to continue to help my community and help through any way I can.”2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Reed-0155.pngReed describes himself as “high energy and goal-oriented. I see a project, and I do what it takes to get it done.”
Nonprofit’s assets, revenue soared under his leadership
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/nonprofits-assets-revenue-soared-under-his-leadership#When:10:00:00Z2016 Virginia CFO Award winner
LARGE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Jeffrey K. Reed
Community Housing Partners, Christiansburg
Janaka Casper, president and CEO of Community Housing Partners, says Jeff Reed’s leadership has been very important to the nonprofit organization’s growth.
“He is very analytical, but he is also very good at the big picture. To me that is a rare skill set,” he said. “He has the unique ability to blend mission and financial stability. He balances them in a very complex regulatory environment.”
The organization’s mission is to create homes and communities that are healthy, sustainable and affordable. It has three main business segments: real estate development, housing services and energy solutions.
Reed, a Christiansburg native, joined Community Housing Partners 16 years ago. In addition to his financial duties, he is in charge of asset management and real estate development.
During Reed’s time with the organization, its assets grew from $80 million in 2000 to $388 million in 2015 while revenue rose from $29 million to $93 million. During the same period, the nonprofit’s rental portfolio has increased from 1,812 units (33 properties) in 2000 to 6,087 units (107 properties).
In 2013, Reed played a key role in the acquisition of a $38 million nonprofit, Florida Low Income Housing Associates, which had 500 multifamily units. The deal resulted in a return on investment of more than 20 percent.
“Their business model wasn’t working through the recession,” Reed says of the Florida organization. “They were struggling and interested in partnering with us. We stepped in and took control of that company. We brought expertise on the property ownership side that they didn’t have.”
Nathan Hockersmith, vice president and commercial lender at Union Bank & Trust in Christiansburg, believes Reed brings unusual attributes to the nonprofit sector. “He is very ‘business/profit’ oriented, which has enabled them to expand their business regionally through organic growth and acquisitions as well as be a preferred development partner,” he says.
Hockersmith had limited experience with affordable housing programs before he began working with Community Housing Partners. “Jeff took the time to educate me on the intricacies of their model, which varied from my more conventional lending background,” he says.
Reed says obtaining financing for multifamily affordable housing is a bigger challenge than with conventional multifamily housing. Affordable housing requires juggling loans, grants and tax credits, he says.
On the asset management side, he works with a variety of affordable housing communities using project financing from sources such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Reed describes himself as “high energy and goal-oriented. I see a project, and I do what it takes to get it done.”
Casper, the nonprofit’s CEO, says Reed is a leader who inspires people but at the same time is modest and very comfortable working in the background.
“Jeff has not until very recently been a very public leader in our organization,” Casper says. “More recently he has become a coach and a teacher in the community development field. Now he’s in great demand in his peer group. He is always asked to be presenter.”
Reed thinks of himself as an “average person that works hard.”
“Our growth comes by serving more people,” he says. “That is what excites me.”2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Chaze-0210.png“René has created a world-class finance and accounting function for us,” says Ric Edelman, CEO.
CFO has been a leader in many key transactions
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cfo-has-been-a-leader-in-many-key-transactions#When:10:00:00Z2016 Virginia CFO Award winner
LARGE PRIVATE COMPANIES
René Chaze, CPA
Edelman Financial Services, Fairfax
René Chaze, a CPA, believes he does his best work when he is building a team to solve problems. “I try to listen, guide and coach,” he says. “I try to be a good leader and bring humor when needed. I want to make sure the team feels rewarded and appreciated.”
He joined Fairfax-based Edelman Financial Services in 2011 in part because of the investment advisory firm’s mission. “I like this type of business because it helps people achieve their financial goals,” he says.
Chaze’s relationship with the Edelman organization actually began many years before his hiring. His wife, Kristine, has been a financial planner at the firm for 22 years. “That is a tremendous side benefit for us,” says company CEO Ric Edelman. “René has had decades of experience and familiarity with our firm because of his wife’s important role in our firm.”
Edelman Financial Services, founded in the late 1980s, has 42 offices throughout the country. It has nearly 500 employees, including more than 280 in Virginia.
Edelman sees Chaze as a fixer. “He is equally talented at recognizing deep, intrinsic problems and identifying and implementing solutions in an efficient, effective and timely way,” he says. “René has created a world-class finance and accounting function for us.”
A native of Louisiana, Chaze had a long career in public accounting before joining Edelman. “His 20-plus years of experience at Ernst & Young, where he worked with some of the largest companies in the world, enabled him to bring organizational structure and highly talented people to help us manage our rapid growth,” Edelman says.
Chaze revamped the investment firm’s financial reporting and analytics systems and built strong relationships with lenders and its private-equity sponsor. Last year, he helped the company achieve record revenues and profits. Its three-year compound annual revenue growth rate from 2012 through 2015 was 33 percent.
Last September, Chaze was instrumental in spinning off nine businesses that no longer fit the company’s strategic plans. In December, he co-led a deal that resulted in a new private equity firm, Hellman & Friedman, acquiring majority control of the company in December. At the same time, he arranged a $230 million syndicated debt offering to finance the transaction. “To do all that in one year was very overwhelming,” Chaze says.
Chaze has reframed “the role of CFO as one who is much more than a bean-counter but is instead a strategic member of a company’s management team, able to anticipate relevant issues from a high level while also seeing the operational details that will need to be addressed,” Edelman says.
No two days are the same for Chaze because of his varied responsibilities. He wears two hats in the organization. As CFO, he is responsible for accounting, finance, budgeting, forecasting, investor relations, treasury, cash management, and risk and financial analysis. “I also have a chief operating officer role where I manage a lot of other functions as well,” he says. “I am constantly looking for ways we can improve what we do to be better, smarter and faster.”2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Griffin-0110.png“You would be surprised how much of the Army finance skill set you can bring to the business world,” Griffin says.
‘Finance guy’ helps lawyers understand the bottom line
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finance-guy-helps-lawyers-understand-the-bottom-line#When:10:00:00Z2016 Virginia CFO Award winner
SMALL PRIVATE COMPANIES
Mike D. Griffin
Tucker Griffin Barnes PC, Charlottesville
Everyone at the Charlottesville-based law firm Tucker Griffin Barnes PC knows Mike Griffin’s favorite saying: “It’s each attorney’s job to fight for justice; it’s my job to keep everyone focused on generating profits.”
“I’m the finance guy, and that’s my number one priority,” Griffin says. “I have to keep lawyers focused on the fact that it’s a business as well. Most attorneys don’t come out of law school knowing how to run a business. They come out knowing how to be an attorney. I spend a lot of my time helping the attorneys understand the business side of their law practice.”
The law firm’s president, William D. Tucker III, sees the inability to manage profit as the biggest problem facing law firms today.
“Law firms have been consumed with the billable hour,” he says. “Due to Mike’s insight on law-firm business models, profitability ratios, his ability to create consensus among firm partners and his unique experience, our firm is now structured around layers of profit-and-loss statements.”
Since joining the firm in 2003, Griffin has created P&L statements for the overall firm and each branch (in addition to Charlottesville, it has offices in Harrisonburg and Palmyra), department and attorney. The result has been a significant increase in profitability at all levels.
“Mike has brought it to a point where lawyers understand the business of a law practice,” Tucker says, noting that Griffin’s wife, Yvonne, is one of the firm’s senior partners.
Griffin enjoys working with business models. “I put together a series of management reports that we call dashboards to assess where the company stands so the partners can make decisions very quickly about finance,” he says.
One of the Georgia native’s strengths is his even-keel demeanor, Tucker says. “He handles problems without a lot of stress,” says the law firm president. “Mike’s definition of chaos is the area that lies between the task required and the level of experience available. He is constantly training and updating office protocols with attorneys and staff. He is focused on reducing complexity and that has reduced chaos.”
The firm has benefited from Griffin’s 20-plus years as an Army finance officer. “You would be surprised how much of the Army finance skill set you can bring to the business world,” he says. “In the military you learn how to manage chaos because you could find yourself in a fluid situation. You have to make a lot of decisions under pressure. There is a lot of room for misunderstanding ... We had to learn to manage chaos there for the unit and move in the right direction.”
Since joining the law firm 13 years ago, Griffin has instituted a rolling strategic planning process. Every month the firm’s partners meet and talk about strategy. “He is really good at creating a strategic plan for the firm,” Tucker says. “He is planning for the future.”
Bryan Thomas, senior vice president and market president for BB&T in the Charlottesville area, appreciates Griffin’s ability to foresee the firm’s needs.
“He has always been quick to ask when he needs help,” he says. “He will say, “We have this situation. How can we address it?’ Then we come up with a solution.”
Griffin also helped develop a policy allowing mothers employed by the firm to bring their babies to work after their maternity leave ends. “We are not the typical high-pressure law firm. We are more relaxed,” says Tucker.
The babies-in-the-workplace policy was highlighted on NBC’s “Today Show.” “It made our law firm a better place to work,” Tucker says. “It was a great addition.”2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Keltner-0308.png“I want Ferguson to be viewed as an employer of choice for finance talent,” Keltner says. Photo by Mark Rhodes
CFO’s strategic vision guided company growth
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cfos-strategic-vision-guided-company-growth#When:10:00:00Z2016 Virginia CFO Award winner
PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES
Ferguson Enterprises Inc., Newport News
Dave Keltner soon will become interim CFO of Wolseley plc, the Britain-based parent company of Newport News-based Ferguson Enterprises Inc.
The current Wolseley CFO, John Martin, has been promoted to CEO of the company, which is traded on the London stock exchange and had revenue of about $21 billion last year. It distributes plumbing and heating products and building materials in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
“My goal is to grow both personally and professionally in this role and try to add value to Wolseley during my time overseeing the finances for the group,” says Keltner, who has been CFO at Ferguson since 2006.
The interim CFO appointment is a good indicator of the job that Keltner has performed at Ferguson, which has 22,000 employees nationwide, including more than 3,000 in Virginia.
During his tenure, Keltner has overseen 75 acquisitions and integrations, including 35 during the last six years, adding $1.1 billion to annual sales. Under his leadership the company has consistently outperformed the market and continues to achieve new levels of sales and profitability.
“Dave has a strategic vision and a solid understanding of the industry and types of businesses in which Ferguson operates,” says CEO Frank Roach. “His 23 years of experience in the construction industry provides a solid foundation that has helped to guide Ferguson’s growth.”
Keltner has a balanced approach toward company development, the CEO says. “He has the unique ability to guide the organization to meet its current objective and goals while making sure we do not lose sight of the opportunities for the future,” Roach says.
Christos Xystros, managing partner of KPMG’s Norfolk office, says Keltner has a keen understanding of business. “Dave’s conversations are not just about the numbers but what drives the numbers,” he says.
Keltner is very proud of the way Ferguson’s leadership has “transformed the role of finance from a transactional and reporting function to a business partnering team that is instrumental in helping the business achieve its goals.”
As a leader, Keltner supports both the personal and professional development of his team. “I want Ferguson to be viewed as an employer of choice for finance talent,” he says. “We’ve come a long way in the past few years to attract and retain that talent.”
Doug Granger, partner at Hunton & Williams in the Corporate, Finance and M&A Group, has worked with Keltner and has great respect for his skills and judgment. “He understands the legal, business and people issues,” he says. “He is calm, level-headed, smart and capable of making hard decisions.”
He also appreciates Keltner’s listening skills. “Not all business clients want to hear from an attorney, let alone listen,” he says. “Dave seeks advice, takes it in, weighs the risks and issues and makes a decision. He welcomes the advice and asks great questions.”
Keltner also believes it’s important to give back to the community. He serves on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula and was instrumental in bringing the club’s new $1.5 million multisport complex to life.
“I recognize that I am very fortunate to be where I am today, and that is a result of a lot of people helping me along the way,” he says. “It is now my turn and my responsibility as a leader to give back to the community and help others.”2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC_8236.pngVCU student Sara Falzone earned her associate degree before transfering. Photo by Rick DeBerry
‘Time is the enemy’
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/time-is-the-enemy#When:10:00:00ZAfter working several years as an orthodontic assistant, Sara Falzone was ready to advance her education and change her career.
In 2012, then living in Hampton Roads, she started classes at Thomas Nelson Community College to study business. She’d previously taken some courses at Rappahannock Community College and earned a dental assistant certification from a technical center in Virginia Beach.
Falzone then decided she wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
“As I grew as a person I realized that I was not only capable of more, but I deserved more,” says Falzone, now 27. “That was what sparked me wanting to go back to school was realizing this potential that I had.”
Equipped with a bundle of community college credits, she was eager to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University.
The timing seemed right. She and her husband were moving to Richmond so that he could attend VCU. She had discovered an interest in marketing, and the university offered a wide array of classes in that field.
Nonetheless, an hour on the phone with an adviser at VCU’s Transfer Center changed her plans.
The adviser encouraged Falzone to complete her associate degree at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College before transferring. That move would save her money and provide for a smoother transition, the woman advised.
So Falzone started classes at a third community college, taking a year to complete her degree requirements. “It was really helpful because I could transfer in as a junior,” says Falzone. “There are a lot of classes you can lump together with your associate degree so you don’t have to take some of the earlier requirements.”
Using scholarships and grants and her own contributions, Falzone left community college with just $5,000 in student loans and expects to have an additional $25,000 of debt after graduating from VCU.
Virginia’s higher education leaders want to reach more community college students like Falzone, encouraging those wanting to transfer to four-year universities to earn associate degrees first. Right now, only about one-third of these transfer students do that.
Studies show students who transfer with associate degrees can save money and are more likely to graduate on time.
“Time is an enemy when students pursue postsecondary credentials, and the longer it takes them to reach the finish line, the less likely they are to do so,” says Jeff Kraus, assistant vice chancellor for public relations for the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). “So, for the sake of their pocketbooks and their student loan debt and for the sake of our institutions, we want everyone moving as efficiently as possible to the finish line.”
A new study from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) supports the community college system’s concerns. Some Virginia students are taking an unnecessarily long and expensive path to earn four-year degrees.
Virginia, however, has been trying to smooth the transition between two-year and four-year schools, establishing a more affordable way to earn a bachelor’s degree.
In 2006, Virginia passed the Higher Education Restructuring Act, which gave Virginia’s public colleges and universities more autonomy but also required them to create better pathways for students transferring from Virginia’s two-year schools.
The result was the creation of Guaranteed Admissions Agreements (GAAs) between universities and community colleges.
The VCCS now has 27 GAAs between Virginia’s two-year and four-year institutions. The agreements outline specific course requirements and GPAs students must achieve to receive guaranteed transfers.
GAAs were heralded as a way to save almost one-third the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree. In the ideal “2+2” scenario, a student would spend two years at a community college and then two years at a four-year school.
The potential savings are substantial.
The 2+2 scenario could save students an average of $14,000 in tuition depending on which institution they transfer to, according to the SCHEV study. That could increase to savings of more than $18,000 using the Two-Year College Transfer Grant program, which provides additional aid for transfer students demonstrating financial need.
Few students, however, are using the 2+2 pathway — and many are taking significantly longer than two years to graduate once they have transferred, according to SCHEV. “We know most students don’t do it on a two-plus-two scenario, and we know that they lose a tremendous economics savings by not doing that, and yet they still do it,” says Joe DeFilippo, SCHEV’s director of academic affairs and planning.
The SCHEV study found that 18 percent of students who transferred with an associate degree during the 2009-2010 school year were taking an additional four years to complete their bachelor’s degree.
For students graduating community college without a degree but transferring with 16 to 30 credits, that number rose to 23 percent, with another 8 percent taking five years to graduate.
SCHEV is considering researching the issue further, potentially with additional studies. “My biggest interest would be to try to identify the factors that we could get a larger number of students to take advantage of the savings that are available to them, because those savings are very, very substantial,” says DeFilippo.
Virginia’s community colleges have noted the same trends outlined in the SCHEV report.
Each year about 22,000 students transfer for the first time from Virginia’s community colleges to Virginia’s public and private four-year schools and out-of-state institutions. About one-third of those transfer students have completed an associate’s degree.
So VCCS, which oversees Virginia’s 23 community colleges, is working with its schools to encourage students to complete their associate degrees before transferring and use the GAAs if possible.
“We have data showing they’re more successful once they get to the university,” Kraus says of students who use GAAs and complete their associate degrees before transferring. “We know that more of their credits transfer properly … and we know that in building a foundation of success at the community college they are stronger students and succeed better once they arrive at the university.
“There are some that chose to move earlier, and there’s a price they are paying for that. And it’s an unnecessary price.”
So with a goal to triple the number of credentials and degrees awarded by Virginia’s community colleges by 2021, the community college system is tying some state funding for community colleges to student success.
Twenty percent of a community college’s funding from the state is now determined by outcome measures. Among other measures, these include degree completion, associate degrees awarded before students transfer and the completion of a bachelor’s degree requirements by former VCCS students.
“We have a lot of students who transfer prior to completion of any sort of certificate or degree,” says Catherine Finnegan, assistant vice chancellor for institutional effectiveness with the VCCS. “What we find is those students probably have an idea that they want a bachelor’s degree, but they might not be clear on what that goal is, and we also find they don’t succeed in completing a bachelor’s degree in a level that we think is acceptable.”
For the past year, the community colleges have been creating plans to improve degree and credentialing completion. The goals include better career exploration for students at the beginning or their academic careers, better advising and better technology to do both.
This year the budget passed by the General Assembly provided additional funding for the new standards and for upgrading technology to help students explore their career plans earlier. “We want them to understand what the job opportunities are, what the costs of the lifestyle they want are and what sort of degree or credential it would take,” says Finnegan. “Knowing where you want to end up helps in that planning, and it also helps your advisers to provide you with better information.”
Virginia’s transfer magnets
For their part, some of Virginia’s four-year colleges have made it a major part of their mission to attract transfer students. Together, George Mason University, Old Dominion University and VCU attract two-thirds of all students transferring from two- to four-year public institutions.
“There is a strong relationship between the Virginia Community College System and Mason,” says David Burge, vice president for enrollment management at GMU. “We want transfer students here, and I don’t believe that message is universal [among all Virginia colleges].”
George Mason University accepts the most transfer students of any of Virginia’s public institutions — more than 3,000 a year — making up about 27 percent of those transferring from a two-year to a four-year public school, according to SCHEV research.
Schools like Mason, VCU and ODU have recruitment and advising services for transfer students to help students before and after the transition. The universities are encouraging their students to complete school as efficiently as possible, while recognizing that transfer students often lead very different lives than students starting their four-year degree right out of high school. “They often have part-time jobs, or they have a family, and they need to live at home or in the apartment they have,” says Seth Sykes, an associate vice provost for the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management at VCU.
In Northern Virginia, George Mason, Northern Virginia Community College and eight K-12 public school systems work together in a program called Pathway to Baccalaureate. The nationally recognized program helps students from challenging backgrounds transition from high school to community college and then on to complete a degree at Mason.
In addition to recruiting transfer students, ODU holds socials such as Transfer Tuesdays to connect transfer students, prospective students and professors. “These aren’t your typical students,” says Sandy Waters, ODU’s executive director for advising and transfer programs. “Our average transfer student is 28. They are typically commuter students who are working or raising a family.”
The university, which takes about 20 percent of the state’s transfer students each year, has established a number of ways to help transfer students, including offering online classes and a letter of intent that allows students to lock in ODU’s current requirements to ensure their credits transfer.
All three schools are launching campaigns to encourage all students — including transfer students — to take 15 credits a year to help them graduate on time.
“I would say the biggest benefit to getting out in four years is financial,” says Sybil Halloran, also an associate vice provost of VCU’s Division of Strategic Enrollment Management. “The longer you’re in school, you’re not only paying for that school, but you’re not in a full-time job. You could be taking out additional loans. The longer you’re in school, the more money you’re spending.”
For her own path, Falzone is taking VCU’s advice — again — to heart.
Even though she still works 30 hours a week as a digital marketing assistant at a car dealership in Henrico County, she’s on track to graduate next May, two years after she transferred to VCU.
To manage competing activities, she’s using night classes and summer and winter sessions to earn required credits. In addition to the time spent at work and school, she’s also joined organizations, including VCU’s Business Student Ambassadors and the VCU chapter of the American Marketing Association, where she serves as vice president.
Falzone admits that the transition to VCU wasn’t easy — the large lecture classes and testing style took some adjustment. She also faces a bit of a generation gap with younger students.
But without the ability to spend part of her education at community college, a bachelor’s degree would have been out of her reach. “I wouldn’t have been able to afford four years at a university,” she says. “Now I’m at a university that is more expensive, and starting in community college has made it possible for me. It wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC_8567.pngA crowd gathers at Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers in Roanoke. Photo by Don Petersen
A new vibe
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-new-vibe#When:10:00:00ZWhen Norfolk Southern Corp. announced plans early last year to shutter its administrative offices in downtown Roanoke, the move marked a symbolic moment for the area’s economy.
The arrival of the railroad in the early 1880s launched Roanoke as a modern city, and it shouldered the regional economy well into the 20th century. By 2015, however, Carilion Clinic had long surpassed Norfolk Southern as Roanoke’s biggest employer. The departure of the administrative jobs dealt a blow to the Roanoke Valley, but it was one that was long expected and could be absorbed by an increasingly diverse regional economy.
A year and a half after Norfolk Southern’s announcement, the valley’s economic metrics look more robust than at any point since before the Great Recession. In May, the Roanoke area’s unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent. In 2010, by comparison, the average jobless rate for the year was 7.6 percent.
Credit that improvement to many factors, including a shift in economic development strategy and a messaging campaign that’s transformed the community’s perception of itself.
In 2010, the Roanoke Regional Partnership launched its Roanoke Outside campaign to emphasize the valley’s outdoor amenities and quality of life, with the goal of making the region seem hip to young professionals looking for places to hike, bike and spend time outdoors.
Incorporated with more traditional business attraction tools — such as reliable infrastructure, graded economic development sites close to transportation corridors and competitive incentives — the marketing shift resulted in a series of wins, especially in the still-growing craft beer sector.
After near misses, two wins
After near misses with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in 2012 and Stone Brewing in 2014, the Roanoke area has attracted two major breweries this year. Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery and San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits announced they would build East Coast production facilities with restaurants in the area.
In addition to promising new jobs, the brewery announcements also have built confidence in the growing number of Roanokers who see the Star City as a hip outdoors mecca. Over the last decade, craft brewers have become closely entwined with the culture of outdoor recreation. The connection extends from craft beer tents becoming a regular feature at the finish line of bicycle and foot races, to breweries using outdoor imagery as a focus in marketing, to the location of production facilities and pubs in communities pegged as “outdoor cities.” Roanoke’s success in attracting Deschutes and Ballast Point not only solidifies its growing national reputation as an outdoor town, but also reinforces the community’s perception of itself as such.
“The transformation of messaging of this region, from an old railroad town to a livable outdoor-oriented community, has had an impact,” says Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “People feel more of a sense of pride and understanding of the community narrative. They’re ambassadors for the community narrative. Also, this outdoor narrative is being monetized by attracting businesses like [outfitter and gear consignment shop] Roanoke Mountain Adventures, and it’s attracting companies like Deschutes. If we hadn’t documented this outdoor branding, we wouldn’t have been a good match for Deschutes.”
In fact, finding the right cultural fit was a top priority for Deschutes, says Michael LaLonde, the company’s president and COO. The brewery, which plans to build an $85 million facility and hire 108 workers, assigned a group of the co-owners — its employees share ownership in the company — to look at various East Coast cities.
“We wanted them to think about how to translate our culture to an East Coast facility,” LaLonde says. “We invited them out to take a tour of each city and give us an opinion of where to locate.”
During the multiyear process, news leaked that Roanoke had made Deschutes’ short list, along with Charlottesville and Asheville, N.C. That led Michael Galliher, a local government employee and beer enthusiast, to start a social media movement. Residents and companies around the region filled social media with positive images of Roanoke, branded with Galliher’s hashtag, #Deschutes2Rke.
Two months later, Ballast Point announced it would invest $47.8 million and create 178 jobs in Botetourt County.
“We didn’t target Virginia specifically in the beginning,” says Hilary Cocalis, Ballast Point’s vice president of marketing. “Really the reason we picked the location that we did came down to a number of factors. The folks in Virginia at the state and county levels were great to work with. The site itself checked all the boxes we were looking for in terms of infrastructure. We checked off other items on our list: quality of life, quality of water, things with the actual site and building, freight location, all of that. It was a perfect storm.”
Part of the region’s success in winning Deschutes and Ballast Point stems from its close call with Sierra Nevada four years ago. After that, the Roanoke Regional Partnership began targeting breweries and showcasing the valley’s water quality and wastewater capacity.
Deschutes will build at the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology, an industrial park along U.S. 460 on the city’s east side. Ballast Point will locate north of Roanoke in Botetourt County, in a 240,000-square-foot building on an 81-acre site in Greenfield, a business park and government center north of Daleville.
Greenfield also attracted Eldor Corp., an Italian auto parts manufacturer that is building on a 53-acre site in the park. The company expects to invest $75 million and create 350 jobs during the next five years.
A key element of Roanoke’s pitch to the breweries and Eldor were the region’s colleges and universities. Virginia Western Community College’s mechatronics program stands as one example of business partnering with higher education to produce skilled, employable graduates ready to go to work.
Mechatronics incorporates mechanical systems, electrical systems and information technology into one career path. VWCC’s program includes a high-school component through the Regional Academy; a two-year certificate or associate degree through VWCC; transferability to four-year degrees at Old Dominion University and Purdue University Calumet; and Siemens mechatronics systems certification, which is highly sought by employers, especially in manufacturing.
The one-two shot of Ballast Point and Eldor gave first-year Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe a memorable start on the job. If there’s a dark lining to be found in the silver cloud, it’s that Ballast Point and Eldor occupied the two largest parcels at Greenfield. The next largest vacant site is only 13.5 acres.
Botetourt, however, already is moving to develop new sites to attract business. It’s marketing a building on U.S. 220 previously occupied by Lumos Networks.
Nearby, the interchange at Exit 150 on Interstate 81 is undergoing a dramatic makeover to improve the traffic flow at a major stop for tractor-trailer trucks. Larrowe sees the potential for development of destination retail, which he says generally is lacking on I-81 between Abingdon and Winchester.
“If done correctly, we will end up being able to get folks off of the interstate, as well as being an entry point not only for Botetourt but for folks on U.S. 460 and people in Roanoke,” Larrowe says. “There are endless possibilities. A lot of commercial is what I’d anticipate: destination retail, services, entertainment, anything and everything that would actually try to make that a special location.”
Botetourt’s success in attracting prospects to large, vacant parcels in an industrial park points to the importance of site availability in economic development. Other business parks in the region have filled over the years, some to capacity.
On the other side of Roanoke, Franklin County has invested nearly $11.2 million to acquire and prepare roughly 554 acres for a business park between Boones Mill and Rocky Mount. The county estimates it will attract $320 in private investment and create 2,200 jobs during the park’s lifetime.
Additionally, Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke counties and the cities of Roanoke, Salem and Vinton are working together through the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority to identify and develop more potential sites for industrial and commercial development. The authority also allows members to form individual agreements to share costs and revenue at sites.
That gives landlocked cities, for instance, the ability to assist and benefit from developable open space outside their boundaries. Meanwhile, localities also are making individual investments to upgrade their schools, libraries and other quality-of-life amenities.
Roanoke also has taken strides to shake up land use in neighborhoods near downtown. It has used historic tax credits as incentives for developers to reinvent vacant warehouses and office buildings. The city also is seeing results from nearly 20 years of investment and planning in its South Jefferson corridor. There it used land swaps and the power of eminent domain to acquire properties that now are being redeveloped. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute are driving spinoff growth, including The Bridges, a 23-acre, $150 million mixed-use development on the Roanoke River.
The city has extended its “downtown” designation down Jefferson Street to the Roanoke River, suggesting a direction for growth south from the city’s thriving market district, which has been given an infusion of new energy by the construction of a new Hampton Inn on top of a parking garage and the construction of a new amphitheater in a redeveloped Elmwood Park. The new motel is slated to open this summer, and the amphitheater has attracted acts such as Sheryl Crow, Old Crow Medicine Show, Blondie and Huey Lewis and the News.
NRV seen as a hot spot
The New River Valley has weathered economic challenges to score some wins of its own. After two announced expansions in two years, Volvo Trucks announced layoffs of more than 700 employees in 2015. That number eventually dwindled to 500, but then a second round was announced in late spring.
Despite that, employment in the New River Valley remains strong. The jobless rate was 4.1 percent in May, down from a yearly average of 8.3 percent in 2010.
There have been smaller companies and smaller expansions around the region helping carry the load,” says Charlie Jewell, executive director for the NRV Economic Development Alliance.
Examples so far this year include the attraction of Polymer Solutions Incorporated, a plastics and rubber test lab, creating 19 jobs; and the expansions of avionics parts manufacturer VPT Inc., creating 16 jobs; tech troubleshooter Ozmo App, creating 55 jobs; and tech firm Java Productions, creating 20 jobs.
In June, Area Development magazine ranked the NRV Metropolitan Statistical Area as 30th out of 394 among the hottest places for new and expanding businesses. Of midsized metros with populations between 160,000 and 600,000, it ranked 12th.2016-07-29T10:00:00+00:00