1503115465 Virginia Business http://www.virginiabusiness.com/ Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business community en rpowell@va-business.com Copyright 2017 2017-08-18T19:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia Inc. 500 companies located in Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inc.-500-companies-located-in-virginia#When:09:00:00Z table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #8B0202; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } Rank Company City 3-yr. growth rate Revenue1 Industry 10 FedBiz IT Solutions Leesburg 12,621% $25.8 Government services 49 Interactive Government Holdings Springfield 5,058 7.1 Government services 55 ByteCubed Arlington 4,768 11.6 IT services 56 Excel Group Arlington 4,694 34.4 Real estate 70 Talteam Herndon 4,053 5.0 IT services 77 Ecology Mir Group Manassas 3,856 3.9 Government services 100 Inoventures McLean 3,255 3.9 Government services 128 Mosquito Joe Virginia Beach 2,700 8.1 Consumer products & services 200 LLB Enterprises Stafford 1,900 2.0 Business products & services 205 Health Warrior Richmond 1,887 9.8 Food & beverage 212 Darkblade Systems Stafford 1,848 4.0 Government services 215 Preting Consulting Alexandria 1,827 5.2 Government services 222 Pro-Sphere Tek Alexandria 1,795 45.7 IT services 223 AegisCorp. Chantilly 1,794 4.2 Government services 247 Tenica and Associates Alexandria 1,591 9.1 Government services 254 Hosted Records Springfield 1,557 3.3 Government services 280 American Pillowcase Richmond 1,400 6.5 Retail 295 Potomac River Holdings Alexandria 1,337 16.6 Retail 308 GuidePoint Security Herndon 1,276 111.1 Security 312 Axis Global Enterprises Virginia Beach 1,237 6.1 Construction 324 SSi Virginia Beach 1,194 12.0 Human resources 326 Oasys McLean 1,182 5.0 Government services 348 Davis Defense Group Stafford 1,102 30.9 Government services 369 Trigent Solutions Chantilly 1,046 6.1 IT services 392 Open Systems Technologies Gainesville 976 5.4 IT services 394 Perfecta Federal Springfield 972 5.9 Government services 405 Favor TechConsulting Vienna 949 19.2 IT services 408 Avertra Herndon 944 8.7 IT services 451 Sequoia Holdings Reston 847 5.6 Government services 462 The Hilb Group Richmond 820 36.8 Insurance 477 SeKON Enterprise Herndon 798 23.9 Government services 479 Cynet Systems Ashburn 797 31.4 IT Services 480 Wholesale Screening Solutions Purcellville 795 32.4 Business products & services 486 Metronome Fairfax 779 9.8 Government services 1 In millions in 2015 Source: Inc. magazine   2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-rises-slightly2 Virginia unemployment rises slightly http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-rises-slightly2 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-rises-slightly2#When:20:01:00Z Virginia’s unemployment rate rose slightly in July to 3.8 percent. The Virginia Employment Commission said Friday that while the jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point the commonwealth’s labor force expanded for the 16th consecutive month, rising 6,087 workers to 4.32 million a record high. July’s jobless rate was three-tenths of a percentage point below the level seen 12 months before in July 2016. Virginia’s unemployment rate also was below the national rate for July, 4.3 percent. The numbers in VEC’s report are seasonally  adjusted, meaning they take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor force. While the labor force set a new record in July, so did the commonwealth’s nonfarm employment, increasing by 8,300 jobs to 3.98 million. Nonfarm employment has increased by 60,300 jobs in the past 12 months. Seasonally adjusted employment rose in five major industry sectors during July while falling in three areas and remaining unchanged in three more. The biggest jobs gain occurred in professional and business services, which rose 4,700 jobs to a total of 740,300. The largest decrease came in the finance sector, down 1,800 jobs to 203,800. Employment remained unchanged in trade and transportation , 664,700 jobs; miscellaneous services, 200,600; and mining, 7,700. 2017-08-18T20:01:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-ranks-fifth-in-the-u.s.-in-number-of-inc.companies Virginia ranks fifth in the U.S. in number of Inc. companies http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-ranks-fifth-in-the-u.s.-in-number-of-inc.companies http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-ranks-fifth-in-the-u.s.-in-number-of-inc.companies#When:19:59:00Z Two hundred ninety Virginia companies made the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. The Old Dominion ranked fifth among the states in terms of the number of companies on the annual list compiled by Inc. magazine. Washington, D.C., ranked behind only New York among the top metro areas with Inc. companies. The highest-ranking Virginia company was DGC International, a Vienna-based government services provider. It recorded a three-year revenue growth rate of 10,999.16 percent. Its  2016 revenue was $32.9 million. All but one Virginia company in the list’s top 100 companies were government services providers. The exception was No. 46 ByteCubed, which is an Arlington-based IT services firm with a growth rate of 6,468.64 percent and revenue of $31.7 million last year. The other Virginia companies in the top 100 are: • 29. TechAnax, Woodbridge, 9,118.93 percent, $15.1 million. • 36. Interactive Government Holdings, Springfield, 7,024.19 percent, $15.3 million. • 38. Enhanced Veterans Solutions, Fairfax, 6,866.12 percent, $8.7 million. • 50. FedBiz IT solutions, Leesburg, 6,142.08 percent, $32.6 million. • 64. Associated Veterans, Arlington, 5,333.57 percent, $7.8 million. California led the list of states with the most high-growth companies with 670. It was followed by Texas, 425; Florida, 368; New York, 307; Virginia, 290; Illinois, 239; Georgia, 233; Pennsylvania, 185; and Ohio, 171. Among the metro areas, New York led with 355 companies, followed by Washington, D.C., 324; Los Angeles, 296; Chicago, 226; and Atlanta, 223. 2017-08-18T19:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Connie-Nyholm.jpg Nyholm photo courtesy IALR. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/connie-nyholm-named-to-institute-for-advanced-learning-and-research-board Connie Nyholm named to Institute for Advanced Learning and Research board http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/connie-nyholm-named-to-institute-for-advanced-learning-and-research-board http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/connie-nyholm-named-to-institute-for-advanced-learning-and-research-board#When:19:26:00Z The owner and CEO of VIRginia International Raceway in Alton has been appointed to the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) Board of Trustees. The Virginia House of Delegates selected Connie Nyholm to serve for a three-year term. IALR’s board Chairman Donald Merricks said Nyholm is a welcome addition to the board. The Danville-based organization seeks to advance applied research, advanced learning, and economic development in Southern Virginia. "Under her leadership, VIR has grown to be a premiere destination in Southern Virginia and her experience and voice will be a welcome addition as the Institute works to transform our community for the future,” Merricks said in a statement. Nyholm also serves on the board of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Roadracing Industry Council. 2017-08-18T19:26:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/pittsylvania-resident-named-virginia-farmer-of-the-year Pittsylvania resident named Virginia Farmer of the Year http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/pittsylvania-resident-named-virginia-farmer-of-the-year http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/pittsylvania-resident-named-virginia-farmer-of-the-year#When:18:11:00Z Virginia Cooperative Extension has named Robert Mills Jr. of Briar View Farm in Pittsylvania County as the 2017 Virginia Farmer of the Year. Mills is one of 10 finalists for the overall Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo award that will be announced in October at the Sunbelt Expo farm show in Moultrie, Ga. Mills’ Briar View includes 2,244 acres. He grows four types of tobacco, oversees an Angus-cross beef herd, raises pullet breeder chickens, and produces vegetables and winter wheat. Mills is a member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, the university’s governing authority. The Danville native began farming as a teen by purchasing used farm equipment with assistance from his mother, who helped him secure a line of credit. Mills earned his associate degree from Virginia Tech in agricultural technology and bought his first farm in 1998. 2017-08-18T18:11:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kosmo-machine-expands Kosmo Machine expands http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kosmo-machine-expands http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/kosmo-machine-expands#When:20:07:00Z Kosmo Machine of Henrico County this year expanded its capabilities, and is in the middle of an aggressive campaign to find new machinists. The precision machine company has begun an effort this year to hire 36 additional employees. About nine employees have been added so far, bringing the company’s current workforce to almost 60 people. The company hopes to have the additional 25 employees hired by the end of the year. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) is supporting the company’s expansion, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday. VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change. For the expansion, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership approved VJIF funding of $800 per job for up to a total of $28,800. Earlier this year, the company bought $1 million of new equipment to add new service lines, including dry ice-blasting services. The new service allows the company to travel to customers’ shops and clean old equipment in a cleaner and more eco-friendly method. “That’s a steady growth area for us,” Pat Smook, vice president of sales and marketing at Kosmo said. But finding new work isn’t an issue for the company. Recruiting machinists is its biggest challenge. “Finding work is easy,” said Smook. “Finding machines is easy. Our challenge is in finding people.” The company trains machinists from the ground up, emphasizing in its recruitment efforts opportunities to participate in training around the country. Today, young workers don’t often understand how exciting the career can be. “This is a fun, exciting place to work,” Smook said. “The investment in training is very important for our company. It’s our job to keep them here and keep them engaged.” 2017-08-17T20:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-good-health-care-idea-could-win-10000-prize A good health-care idea could win $10,000 prize http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-good-health-care-idea-could-win-10000-prize http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-good-health-care-idea-could-win-10000-prize#When:15:56:00Z UnitedHealthcare will award $10,000 to a small business with a big idea for improving  community health and wellness in the  Richmond area. BizWorks Enterprise Center and UnBoundRVA will partner with the health insurer to identify the winning project. Richmond-area businesses with two to 100 employees are eligible to submit project ideas through an online application through Sept. 17. All projects must involve partnerships with local nonprofit organizations. Judges, including local health care experts and business leaders, will evaluate the project submissions and select the top five based on criteria such as community impact, creativity and feasibility. The top five applicants and representatives from their benefiting nonprofits will be invited to a live pitch and networking event where the UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award winner will be selected. Last year, Simply Ballroom, a Southside dance studio, took home the $10,000 prize. It teaches therapeutic dance to Parkinson’s disease patients. Simply Ballroom used the money to expand its programming and hosted a spring recital for the Richmond Parkinson’s Dance Project. To get more information and apply for the UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award, visit: http://www.uhc.com/communitycare. 2017-08-17T15:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/loudoun-sees-3.3-billion-in-economic-development-investment Loudoun sees $3.3 billion in economic development investment http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/loudoun-sees-3.3-billion-in-economic-development-investment http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/loudoun-sees-3.3-billion-in-economic-development-investment#When:15:53:00Z More than 100 businesses moved to or expanded in Loudoun County during its last fiscal year, investing $3.3 billion. The Loudoun County Department of Economic Development said that amount from FY 2017, which ended June 30, resulted in a three-year total of more than $7.2 billion in new investment. “$7.2 billion in new commercial investment is a testament to Loudoun’s appeal as a business location,” Buddy Rizer, executive director of  the economic development department, said in a statement. “It’s more than any other county in Virginia, and more than any other county of our size in the U.S.” FY 2017 was the department’s third record-breaking year in a row for investment, following $1.6 billion in FY15 and $2.3 billion in FY16. The economic development projects in Loudoun in FY17 ranged from cybersecurity, aviation and aerospace to data centers, craft beverage producers, and IT organizations of many kinds. 2017-08-17T15:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/EMSTERSTILESMALL.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/emser-tile-opens-400000-square-foot-distribution-center-in-suffolk Emser Tile opens 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/emser-tile-opens-400000-square-foot-distribution-center-in-suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/emser-tile-opens-400000-square-foot-distribution-center-in-suffolk#When:19:10:00Z Emser Tile, a designer, marketer and producer of tile and natural stone, has opened a 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Suffolk. The building, which has the capacity to expand to 850,000 square feet, is Emser’s third distribution center in North America. The other centers are located in California and Texas. The facility at the CenterPoint Intermodal Center will serve the growing East Coast and Midwest markets. Emser, based in Los Angeles, operates showrooms and distribution centers throughout the East Coast and Midwest, the majority of which opened in the past five years. “Our growth in the East Coast and Midwest markets gave us an opportunity to build a state-of-the art distribution center to meet our customers’ needs through even better service,” Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing for Emser Tile, said in a statement. To celebrate the opening, Emser hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday attended by state and local government officials including Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, Del.  S. Chris Jones, state Sen. John Cosgrove and Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson. John F. Reinhart, CEO and director of the Virginia Port Authority, spoke at the opening. “The Port of Virginia is looking forward to handling cargo for the Emser Tile distribution operation in Suffolk and helping the company establish its presence on the East Coast,” said Reinhart. “We welcome the opportunity to develop a partnership with this company by serving as its global gateway for trade.” Emser Tile said it plans to hire and train distribution center employees through partnerships with local colleges and the community. It chose to locate at CenterPoint Intermodal Center because the 900-acre logistics center offers direct access to the Port of Virginia. Other tenants at the center include ACE Hardware, FRÍANT and Peet’s Coffee facilities. Emser operates 72 showrooms nationwide with new branches opening regularly. The company is the largest privately held designer and marketer of tile and natural stone products in the U.S. Its products are used in new home construction, remodeling applications and commercial projects, including multifamily housing, hospitality, shopping centers, office buildings and educational facilities. 2017-08-16T19:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/broad-bay-cotton-co.-expands-in-virginia-beach Broad Bay Cotton Co. expands in Virginia Beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/broad-bay-cotton-co.-expands-in-virginia-beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/broad-bay-cotton-co.-expands-in-virginia-beach#When:19:07:00Z Broad Bay Cotton Co., a producer of textile products for many colleges, is expanding and relocating in Virginia Beach. The company, currently located on Thurston Avenue, is relocating operations to 8,000 square feet of space at 2601 Reliance Drive. According to the city, there are 10 jobs associated with the expansion, within a 48-month timeframe, that would pay an average annual salary of $30,000. Broad Bay Cotton plans to make a capital investment of $127,000 for furniture, fixtures and equipment. The Virginia Beach Development Authority has awarded an APZ-1 Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $10,000 based on the company’s capital investment. The new location is within the city’s YesOceana business area. “We know this company looked at several locations for the expansion, and we’re pleased to keep this manufacturer and corporate headquarters in Virginia Beach,” Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris, said in a statement.  “The company’s continued investment in Virginia Beach helps build our strong small business community in the Oceana business corridor.” Broad Bay Cotton has been in business in Virginia Beach since 1989. The company produces a variety of products such as backpacks, aprons and scrubs in addition to custom wood-based products such as plaques, cutting boards and skateboards. It is licensed to produce and sell products to 60 colleges and universities nationwide and is established with the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Until 2008, it did a more than 95 percent wholesale business to 4,000 stores around the country, but it has since pivoted toward direct consumer sales through Amazon, Walmart.com and Ebay.   “Adding more colleges and designs will always be a significant path of growth for Broad Bay,” said company owner Jim Marx. “Most growth will likely come from online sources in the future, and Broad Bay is solidly in place to take advantage of this trend.’’ 2017-08-16T19:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-to-lease-and-manage-crossroads-corporate-business-center Thalhimer to lease and manage Crossroads Corporate Business Center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-to-lease-and-manage-crossroads-corporate-business-center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/thalhimer-to-lease-and-manage-crossroads-corporate-business-center#When:17:49:00Z Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has been awarded the commercial property management and leasing services for Crossroads Corporate Business Center, a 320,421-square-foot office building in Roanoke. The property is located at 5008 Airport Road. Chrissy Price of Thalhimer’s Roanoke office has been assigned as the portfolio manager. Barry Ward and Price Gutshall, also with Thalhimer, are the exclusive leasing representatives. Thalhimer manages nearly 25 million square feet of commercial real estate properties in Virginia and South Carolina, along with more than 7,000 multifamily  units. 2017-08-16T17:49:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Dawn_Bradley1.jpg Dawn Bradley http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/virginia-realtors-choose-dawn-bradley-for-statewide-award Virginia Realtors choose Dawn Bradley for statewide award http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/virginia-realtors-choose-dawn-bradley-for-statewide-award http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/virginia-realtors-choose-dawn-bradley-for-statewide-award#When:17:36:00Z The Virginia Realtors association has chosen Dawn Bradley, managing broker of Long & Foster Real Estate’s Grove office in Richmond, as manager of the year. In announcing the news, Long & Foster noted that the Grove office, with 75 agents, is the company's largest real estate office in Central Virginia. Bradley began her real estate career in 2002. A few years later, she assumed an assistant manager role at Long & Foster’s Midlothian office where she contributed to the office’s sales growth and recruitment efforts. In 2011, Long & Foster chose Bradley to lead the Grove office. She has served on a number of boards and committees, including as president of the board for the Richmond Association of Realtors. In 2014, Bradley was the inaugural recipient of the Foster Cup Award, an honor Long & Foster presents to those who achieve excellence in real estate. Virginia Realtors, formerly known as the Virginia Association of Realtors, is the largest professional trade association in Virginia, representing almost 33,000 Realtors. It will officially present the award, along with others, during an awards ceremony in October.   2017-08-16T17:36:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/earhart2.jpeg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/norfolk-southern-promotes-executive-to-cfo Norfolk Southern promotes executive to CFO http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/norfolk-southern-promotes-executive-to-cfo http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/norfolk-southern-promotes-executive-to-cfo#When:08:54:00Z Norfolk Southern Corp. has appointed longtime Norfolk Southern employee Cynthia C. Earhart executive vice president and CFO. Earhart, the company’s current chief information officer, will retain her information technology responsibilities. Norfolk Southern’s former CFO, Marta R. Stewart, had announced she would retire Aug. 1. Earhart joined Norfolk Southern’s accounting department in 1985, holding many positions in the department, including assistant vice president, before moving to information technology. She was named vice president of information technology in 2001. In 2007 she became vice president of human resources and in 2013 was appointed executive vice president of administration. In 2015, she was appointed executive vice president, administration and chief information officer. Earhart followed began her career at Ernst & Young’s predecessor, Ernst and Whinney. She earned her bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Missouri and has completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School. 2017-08-16T08:54:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Octo_HQ.png Photo courtesy BusinessWire http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/octo-consulting-group-opens-new-headquarters-in-reston Octo Consulting Group opens new headquarters in Reston http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/octo-consulting-group-opens-new-headquarters-in-reston http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/octo-consulting-group-opens-new-headquarters-in-reston#When:20:53:00Z Octo Consulting Group, a digital services provider for the federal government, has opened a new corporate headquarters in Reston. The new 25,000-square-foot, $2 million facility represents a substantial expansion in footprint from the company’s former offices in Tysons Corner. “Perhaps most exciting is that the new office will house our ‘OLabs’ innovation laboratory,” Mehul Sanghani, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “The lab and showcase space will offer greater collaboration opportunities for our employees, partners, and customers and be critical to the continued development of the next generation of modernization solutions for the Federal government.” Octo said it has hired more than 130 employees during the past 18 months as government agencies have modernized their aging IT infrastructure. It now has 350 employees. The new facility includes open community areas, flexible meeting rooms, private and semi-private workspaces. Octo’s new corporate address is 10780 Parkridge Boulevard, fourth floor, in Reston. The company has additional offices in Alexandria, Fulton, Md., and Atlanta. 2017-08-15T20:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/g2-ops-inc.-moves-headquarters-within-virginia-beach G2 Ops Inc. moves headquarters within Virginia Beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/g2-ops-inc.-moves-headquarters-within-virginia-beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/g2-ops-inc.-moves-headquarters-within-virginia-beach#When:20:46:00Z G2 Ops Inc. announced Tuesday it has moved to larger headquarters within Virginia Beach and will add 10 jobs. The company, founded in 2013, provides systems engineering, cybersecurity, architectural analysis and consulting services. It plans to make an investment of $446,000 for the relocation and expansion. G2 has moved from 205 Business Park Drive to 2829 Guardian Lane. The move  nearly doubles its space from 3,905 square feet to 7,711 square feet. Currently, the company has 15 employees in Virginia Beach. It also has offices in San Diego and Arlington. The Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority has approved a $25,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant for the project, based on the number of jobs created. 2017-08-15T20:46:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/HQ_sign_and_flags-building_in_distance-crop2_copy.jpg LifeNet Health headquarters in Virginia Beach courtesy of the company. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lifenet-health-to-expand-global-headquarters-in-virginia-beach LifeNet Health to expand global headquarters in Virginia Beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lifenet-health-to-expand-global-headquarters-in-virginia-beach http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lifenet-health-to-expand-global-headquarters-in-virginia-beach#When:20:38:00Z LifeNet Health, a major organ procurement organization and tissue processor, plans to invest $12.25 million to expand its global headquarters in Virginia Beach. According to the city, LifeNet will expand in three additional locations at its current campus in the VABeachBio corridor while adding 321 jobs – moves that would make it one of the top employers in Virginia Beach. LifeNet Health now has four locations in the corridor off Princess Anne Road. The expansion will add an 18,000-square-foot research and development facility, 20,000 square feet of office space and a 100,000-square-foot warehouse across three campuses bringing LifeNet Health’s total investment in Virginia Beach to more than $70 million. According to the city, demand for the company’s products and technologies is driving the need for additional research and production space. Virginia Beach said in a press release that Virginia competed against Florida, North Carolina and Washington for the project. LifeNet Health celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. It specializes in transplant solutions, from organ procurement to bio-implants and cellular therapies. Monday's announcement about the expansion was made by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms at LifeNet Heath’s headquarters. “ … LifeNet Health has led the way in health care and bio sciences for more than three decades,” Sessoms said in a statement.  “Adding another 321 jobs provides a major boost, not just to the company, but to our local economy and our continuing efforts to establish Virginia Beach as a national center for bio sciences.” McAuliffe described LifeNet “as an important driver of the Commonwealth’s growing biotechnology field … [It] has helped anchor the foundation for the robust Princess Anne Commons biomedical cluster in Virginia Beach.” In addition to LifeNet, the VABeachBio corridor is home to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, Operation Smile, Tidewater Community College, the VABeachBio Accelerator, the Virginia Beach Advanced Technology Center, the governor’s STEM & Technology Academy and the ODU/Norfolk State Virginia Beach Higher Education Center. “We continue to pioneer state-of-the-art technologies that are in the forefront of regenerative medicine, touching hundreds of thousands of lives around the world,” LifeNet Health President CEO Rony Thomas said in a statement.  “We are proud to have the support of the commonwealth and the city in this strategic expansion, which will establish Virginia Beach as a bioscience leader.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city to secure the project for Virginia. McAuliffe approved a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. The Virginia Beach Development Authority is scheduled to approve a matching $700,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant based on the capital investment and jobs created. Additionally, a $288,900 Virginia Jobs Investment Program grant was awarded based on job creation bringing the total economic development incentive package to $1.6 million. LifeNet Health opened its headquarters in Virginia Beach in 1982. To help meet the growing demand for tissue, it established a presence in the Pacific Northwest in 2012. It also opened a European headquarters in Austria in 2017 to offer education and training around the use of allograft surgical solutions. 2017-08-14T20:38:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/IMG_0805.jpg Interior of BlueGrace Logistics in Hanover County courtesy of the company. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bluegrace-logistics-to-expand-office-in-hanover-county BlueGrace Logistics to expand in Hanover County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bluegrace-logistics-to-expand-office-in-hanover-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bluegrace-logistics-to-expand-office-in-hanover-county#When:18:53:00Z Richmond’s profile as a logistics center continues to rise with the announcement that a company serving the freight and shipping industry plans to expand its office space in Hanover County and double the size of its staff.  BlueGrace Logistics, which employs 20 local workers, plans to ramp up to 40 employees at its location at Brandy Hill Plaza in Mechanicsville, said Tim Salavejus, a regional vice president who works from the office. The company has signed a lease at 7443 Lee Davis Road for 7,400 square feet of space, with an option to expand to 15,000. The reason for the expansion is because BlueGrace's corporate headquarters, based in Riverview, Fla., decided to make Richmond a regional office. "Virginia is central to the mid-Atlantic, and Virginia is a business friendly location," Salavejus told Virginia Business.   BlueGrace moved into the Mechanicsville office several weeks ago. Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is a full-service, third-party logistics provider. It uses web-based technology to help businesses manage freight costs.  “BlueGrace Logistics adds to the strong supply chain community already here in the Richmond Region,” Barry Matherly, president and CEO of Greater Richmond Partnership, said in a statement.  “RVA’s location is one of our natural strengths, and logistics is second-nature to us as evidenced by the 959 supply chain companies that employ more than 29,000 employees in the Richmond region.” Salavejus says the company is looking for people in sales, sales manager and customer support positions. BlueGrace’s expansion is the second announcement this month for the area’s logistics industry. California-based Panattoni announced earlier  that it plans to build nearly 1 million square feet of speculative warehouses in two phases on 62 acres of land it acquired along Commerce Road across from the Richmond Marine Terminal. 2017-08-14T18:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ashbys-brake-truck-repair-renews-lease-for-more-than-90000-square-feet-in-r Ashby’s Brake & Truck Repair renews lease for more than 90,000 square feet in Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ashbys-brake-truck-repair-renews-lease-for-more-than-90000-square-feet-in-r http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ashbys-brake-truck-repair-renews-lease-for-more-than-90000-square-feet-in-r#When:15:31:00Z   The Richmond office of Colliers International reports that Ashby’s Brake & Truck Repair has renewed a lease for 90,827 square feet of industrial space at 2320 Deepwater Terminal Rd in Richmond.  David Williams and Chip Louthan handled the transaction on behalf of the landlord. In another transaction for Colliers, All Dog Adventures renewed an 11,630-square-foot lease at 4111 W Clay St.  in Richmond. Scott White and Stuart Cary handled the transaction on behalf of the landlord. 2017-08-14T15:31:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hupps-mill-plaza-shopping-center-in-south-boston-sells-for-3.9-million Hupps Mill Plaza Shopping Center in South Boston sells for $3.9 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hupps-mill-plaza-shopping-center-in-south-boston-sells-for-3.9-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hupps-mill-plaza-shopping-center-in-south-boston-sells-for-3.9-million#When:15:27:00Z The Hupps Mill Plaza Shopping Center in South Boston has sold for $3.9 million, or about $22.50 per square foot. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, which represented the seller in the transaction, the 173,351-square-foot, center at 2219 Wilborn Ave. was 77 percent leased. The center is anchored by Belk, Goody’s and regional grocer Shoppers Value Foods.  The buyer was Hupps Mill Plaza Associates LLC, which acquired the property on July 26 in an online auction. The 17-acre center was assessed at $7.1 million. Catharine Spangler of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Richmond, office, assisted by Joe Kennedy in Thalhimer’s Virginia Beach office, handled sale negotiations. Bethesda, Md.-based Eastern Union Funding arranged a $3.3 million acquisition loan for the center.  2017-08-14T15:27:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-in-hampton-roads-and-richmond-to-lease-shops-at-arborteum CBRE in Hampton Roads and Richmond to lease Shops at Arborteum http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-in-hampton-roads-and-richmond-to-lease-shops-at-arborteum http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbre-in-hampton-roads-and-richmond-to-lease-shops-at-arborteum#When:14:33:00Z Mishorim Gold Richmond LP has selected CBRE|Hampton Roads and CBRE|Richmond to lease the Shops at the Arborteum on Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond. The 102,388-square-foot center is anchored by Gold’s Gym. Other tenants include Starbucks, FedEx Kinkos, Window World, SushiKing, Miracle Ear and North End Juice Co. Ned Brooks and Tyler Brooks of CBRE|Hampton Roads and Robby Brownfield of CBRE|Richmond will serve as the primary leasing agents on the project. In other assignments for CBRE | Hampton Roads:   The office will serve as the exclusive leasing agent for a 55,000-square-foot office/warehouse in the Lynnhaven submarket of Virginia Beach. Pat Mugler and Ricky Anderson are the leasing agents.   The property management division will manage The Health Center at Virginia Beach, an 84,478-square-foot medical office building in Virginia Beach. Tenants include a mixture of Bon Secours Health System, Sentara Health System and other local and regional health-care groups. 2017-08-14T14:33:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/giant-food-renews-lease-of-more-than-40000-square-feet-in-fredericksburg Giant Food renews lease of more than 40,000 square feet in Fredericksburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/giant-food-renews-lease-of-more-than-40000-square-feet-in-fredericksburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/giant-food-renews-lease-of-more-than-40000-square-feet-in-fredericksburg#When:14:20:00Z Giant Food has renewed its lease of 43,888 square feet of retail space in Eagle Village in Fredericksburg.  The site is located at 1245 Jefferson Davis Highway.  James Ashby IV and Virgil Nelson of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the lease negotiations. In other transactions for Thalhimer, Paragon Gymnastics Inc. leased 30,800 square feet of retail space in Chancellor Center at 4177 Plank Rd. in Spotsylvania County. Virgil Nelson and Adam Nelson handled the lease negotiations. Precision Doors & Hardware Inc. renewed its lease of 20,992 square feet of industrial space at 10941 Pierson Drive in Spotsylvania County. Thomas Raines handled the lease negotiations on behalf of the tenant and Virgil Nelson represented the landlord. 2017-08-14T14:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/louisa-m.-strayhorn-joins-virginia-port-authority-board Louisa M. Strayhorn joins Virginia Port Authority board http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/louisa-m.-strayhorn-joins-virginia-port-authority-board http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/louisa-m.-strayhorn-joins-virginia-port-authority-board#When:21:26:00Z A new member has been appointed to the 11-member Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Friday. Louisa M. Strayhorn is CEO of Virginia Beach-based LSA Consulting USA LLC. She specializes in business development and strategic communications. Strayhorn is no stranger to public service. She was the first African-American woman on the Virginia Beach school board and city council. Strayhorn also served as director of the Virginia Department of Business Assistance under then-Gov. Timothy Kaine. The following commissioners also were appointed to the VPA board: Alan A. Diamonstein, senior partner at Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein LC in Newport News and a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates; Val S. McWhorter, attorney and founding member at Tysons-based Smith, Pachter, McWhorter, and John G. Milliken, a former Virginia secretary of transportation. 2017-08-11T21:26:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/brazilian-company-to-open-north-american-headquarters-in-henrico-county Brazilian company to open North American headquarters in Henrico County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/brazilian-company-to-open-north-american-headquarters-in-henrico-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/brazilian-company-to-open-north-american-headquarters-in-henrico-county#When:20:39:00Z CTA Plus, a Brazilian technology company focused on transport systems, plans to open its North American headquarters in Henrico County. The Greater Richmond Partnership said the company will introduce a new American brand called Link2pump. CTA plans to hire five employees within a year and invest up to $350,000. The company signed a lease at 4908 Dominion Blvd. in Glen Allen’s Innsbrook Office Park. CTA Plus was first contacted by the partnership during a marketing mission to Brazil in April 2016. The company said it had considered locations such as Florida and California but picked the Richmond region because of its strategic location to marketing its product to Canada, Europe and Latin America. CTA operates in the automotive sector with a focus on transport systems. Link2Pump is a device for automated online fuel consumption control for company fleets. The web-based device can be accessed from any computer or smartphone and automates pumps located in yards and internal fueling garages. The device provides real-time monitoring of fueling date and time, fueling volume, fueling agent, distance traveled/hours worked, average consumption and storage in the tank. The Greater Richmond Partnership is a regional economic development organization serving Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico. 2017-08-11T20:39:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/StephaniePeters.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/driving-innovation-in-a-time-of-rapid-change Driving innovation in a time of rapid change http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/driving-innovation-in-a-time-of-rapid-change http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/driving-innovation-in-a-time-of-rapid-change#When:19:24:00Z As this column is published, the organization I lead, the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA), is debuting its new strategic vision for the future, VSCPA2025. While our framework is specific to the CPA profession, it was developed to address the rapidly changing business climate that all leaders, in all industries, are facing. We came away from the process with four overarching strategic priorities: • Drive innovation and vision • Create a culture of learning • Influence students to become CPAs • Advocate for our members’ interests Today, I am focused on the first strategy, which should be front of mind for any forward-thinking business leader. Technological advances are going to dramatically affect us all. In the accounting industry, that means increased automation, with artificial intelligence performing many tasks once completed by entry-level employees. Most industries have been adapting to technological disruption for years, dating back to the first appearance of a robot on an assembly line. And this disruption is only going to get more and more profound. Futurist Ray Kurzweil wrote in 2001 that based on the contemporary rate of technological progress, humanity would experience 20,000 years of technological change in the 21st century. The 16 years since have done little to prove him wrong — he wrote the essay that contains that point, “The Law of Accelerating Returns,” before the introduction of the smartphone, before the Watson computer was developed, before scientists sequenced the first human genome. The advances Kurzweil predicted have had the effect of shrinking the business world. Today, all but the smallest organizations operate in a global economy. Not only are businesses selling to customers around the world — they’re recruiting from that same base as well. Businesses must adapt to get the most productivity from culturally diverse customers and employees. The global marketplace increases competition and growth opportunities alike. The effect of these changes is plain. The bar has been raised. For many, including CPAs, that means routine, transactional work will no longer suffice. The businesses that thrive moving forward will be the ones that can take the man-hours that used to be spent on obsolete tasks and use them to provide highly valued and essential services to customers. Technology and change drive our society and business environment, and the VSCPA is trying to get in front of that change. We want to help CPAs position themselves as innovators and business leaders. We recognize that the disruption created by technological advances and globalization creates opportunities just as it threatens some of the services CPAs have provided in the past. Our success in that effort can be instructive to other industries forced to reinvent themselves to remain relevant, and CPAs can be a resource in helping other professionals chart a course into the future. Think back to Ray Kurzweil, born in 1948, four years before the integrated circuit turned computing on its ear by making the microprocessor possible. During his lifetime — during his professional career, even — he has seen computers sweep the world’s offices and homes, with two-thirds of Americans carrying small computers with them every day. The accounting industry is working to embrace the future Kurzweil envisioned by re-examining the services it offers as new technologies render other services obsolete. The leaders whose companies thrive in the business environment of the future will be the ones who make the same calculation and lead their companies into the spaces where they can find their own value to provide. Stephanie R. Peters, CAE, is president & chief executive officer of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.   2017-08-11T19:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marathon-consulting-opens-a-richmond-area-office Marathon Consulting opens a Richmond office http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marathon-consulting-opens-a-richmond-area-office http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/marathon-consulting-opens-a-richmond-area-office#When:20:57:00Z Marathon Consulting, a Virginia Beach-based information technology consulting firm, has opened a Richmond area branch office.  Five staffers are working out of a temporary office at Two Paragon Place, and the company plans to have eight employees by the end of the year. As the team grows, Marathon said it would seek a permanent office space in 2018. Marathon employs 80 people and provides services to more than 275 clients. The company offers a range of software development and related information technology services including mobile application development, data warehousing and website design and development. 2017-08-10T20:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Tech-Center-Research-Park_SMALL.png Rendering of Building One at Tech Center Research Park courtesy of W. M. Jordan Development Co. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/construction-to-begin-on-first-building-in-newport-news-research-center Construction to begin on first building in Newport News’ research center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/construction-to-begin-on-first-building-in-newport-news-research-center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/construction-to-begin-on-first-building-in-newport-news-research-center#When:19:08:00Z W. M. Jordan Development Co. said Thursday that it would begin construction on its first building in the Tech Center Research Park in Newport News on Aug. 24. The company plans a groundbreaking ceremony that day on the $18 million, 80,000-square-foot Building One. It will be the first of several other buildings in the 50-acre research park located at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Hogan Drive. W. M. Jordan, Virginia Tech and the city of Newport News are the developers behind the project, which is adjacent to Marketplace at Tech Center and Venture Apartments. S. J. Collins is the joint-venture developer with W. M. Jordan Development Company on Marketplace at Tech Center while Venture Realty Group is the joint-venture developer on Venture Apartments. The purpose of the tech center is to provide the platform and synergy to attract tenants who desire a connected, collaborative and smart business community. Infrastructure is designed to provide supportive services to help businesses succeed. For instance, tenants in Building One will have access to VT Knowledge Works, a business acceleration program; videoconferencing, conference rooms, high internet speeds, networking events and co-working space. The location of the tech center in the city’s enterprise zone also includes economic and business incentives. “We anticipate the first businesses will move into Building One in August 2018,” John Lawson, CEO of W. M. Jordan Co., said in a statement. “The proximity to the prestigious Jefferson National Lab is invaluable, and it is the only area in the city of Newport News that is zoned for research.” Jeff Johnson, the park’s director, said he looked forward to becoming a destination for Virginia Tech “as it extends beyond the boundaries of Blacksburg in support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem we are catalyzing here in Hampton Roads.” W. M. Jordan purchased the vacant property at the corner of Oyster Point Road and Jefferson Avenue in 2010 from the College of William and Mary Foundation. When complete, the center will cover 100 acres. The scope of the $450 million development includes Tech Center Research Park,  with nearly 1 million square feet of office and laboratory space on 50 acres; 288 residential units at Venture Apartments; and Marketplace at Tech Center, anchored by Whole Foods, with more than 250,000 square feet of retail space. One economic impact study by Magnum Economics projects that the Tech Center will create more than 5,500 jobs in Newport News, half of them in the highest paying employment sector – professional, scientific and technical services. The study also predicts the state and local tax impact at build-out to be in excess of $28 million annually. CBRE|Hampton Roads along with Virginia Tech is leasing Building One. “Tech Center Research Park is one of a kind in the region and perhaps the commonwealth,” Perry Frazer, managing director and senior vice president of CBRE|Hampton Roads, said in a statement. “We are happy to be a part of this unique office development and are excited to see the identity of the project begin to take shape.” 2017-08-10T19:08:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/it-contractor-to-create-400-jobs-in-fairfax IT contractor to create 400 jobs in Fairfax http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/it-contractor-to-create-400-jobs-in-fairfax http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/it-contractor-to-create-400-jobs-in-fairfax#When:18:33:00Z Government IT contractor Mission Services Inc. is expanding its Fairfax County operations, creating 400 new jobs. Mission Services will spend $820,000 on the expansion, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Virginia successfully competed against Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, and Texas for the project. “The proximity to our customers, as well as the talent we need to make this company succeed, are some of the many reasons we decided to expand in Virginia,”  Mission Services President Venkatesh Joshi said in a statement. “In addition to its proximity to federal agency headquarters, Northern Virginia’s critical IT infrastructure provides a foundation for MSI’s dynamic workforce. This region is a critical network access point in supporting today’s global internet traffic. It hosts prominent commercial internet exchange points and has been one of the most active data center markets in the country.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Mission Services’ new job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to support employee training activities.  Under the program, the company is eligible to receive $600 per job for a total of up to $240,000. Founded in  2010 and based in Tysons Corner, Mission Services Inc. provides IT support services to federal agencies and commercial clients with specialties in intelligence analysis services, cybersecurity, enterprise architecture, systems engineering and support services. 2017-08-10T18:33:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-reports-the-following-recent-lease-transactions Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer reports several lease transactions in Hampton Roads http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-reports-the-following-recent-lease-transactions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-reports-the-following-recent-lease-transactions#When:17:30:00Z US Homecare LLC has renewed and expanded its lease in Virginia Beach for a total of 79,500 square feet. The company is leasing space in the Oceana South Industrial Park at 1345 Taylor Farm Rd. Tony Weiss, Geoff Poston  and Patrick Mumey handled the lease negotiations. California Cartage Co. has leased 40,000 sqare feet in Nansemond Storage at 115 Dill Rd in Suffolk.  William Throne handled the lease negotiations. Pacific Best renewed its lease of 33,600 square feet at 713 Fenway Ave. in Chesapeake.  Weiss and Mumey handled the lease negotiations. Richards Building Supply leased 25,000 square feet at 907 Live Oak Drive in Chesapeake. Christine Kaempfe and Mumey handled the lease negotiations. William M. Bird & Co. leased 16,500 square feet at 5770 Thurston Ave. in Virginia Beach. Poston handled the lease negotiations on behalf of the landlord. 2017-08-10T17:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Boro-Tower-NEW_SMALL.png Rendering of Boro Tower courtesy The Meridian Group http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/meridian-group-joins-forces-with-rockefeller-group-on-boro-tower Meridian Group joins forces with Rockefeller Group on Boro Tower http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/meridian-group-joins-forces-with-rockefeller-group-on-boro-tower http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/meridian-group-joins-forces-with-rockefeller-group-on-boro-tower#When:16:27:00Z The Meridian Group has joined forces with the Rockefeller Group in a joint venture to co-develop Boro Tower, the 20-story, 437,000-square-foot trophy office building underway at Tysons. “We are thrilled to have such a major company as Rockefeller Group, with its incredible capabilities and brand, invest alongside us and co-develop Boro Tower,” David Cheek, president of Bethesda, Md.-based Meridian, said in a statement. Located within walking distance of the new Greensboro Metro station, the $250 million tower is part of a larger $825 million mixed-use development that will offer a mix of offices, apartments, condominiums, retail stores, restaurants and entertainment. The 4.2 million-square-foot development is part of the new urban, walkable focus of Tysons as it continues a shift from a suburban shopping and work center to a 24/7 urban core center for Fairfax County. “We feel privileged to be partnering with The Meridian Group to co-develop Boro Tower, our firm’s first development in the greater D.C. market,” Daniel Moore, executive vice president and head of urban development for Rockefeller Group, said in a statement.  “The Boro is a transformational project that will create long-term economic and civic value.” Gary Block, chief investment officer of The Meridian Group, said in an interview that his company has had personal and business relationships with some of the senior executives at the New York-based Rockefeller Group, known for developing Rockefeller Center.  “So we have been in discussions with them about finding a project to do together, and this one was the perfect one.  It’s an iconic office building in a very exciting development.” Boro Tower already is more than 20 percent preleased to two tenants. Tegna, which has a portfolio of media and digital businesses, is moving its headquarters from McLean to the top three floors where it will take about 46,000 square feet.   Hogan Lovells, a global law firm based in Northern Virginia with more than 45 offices, will lease 44,500 square feet to occupy the tower’s 17th floor and half of its 16th floor. From its site on a place known as “The Hill” – the highest ground elevation in Fairfax County – Boro Tower will offer panoramic views from the Blue Ridge Mountains to downtown Washington. Excavation work is underway on what will be a LEED gold-designed tower. The building will have a glass curtain wall, accented by a modern, white-glazed terra cotta. It will offer nine- to ten- ceilings and be topped by an expansive rooftop terrace. According to Block, the tower’s shell should be ready for build out by tenants by June or July of next year. The Gensler-designed office project is part of The Boro’s 1.7 million-square-foot Phase One. Now under construction, the first phase will have about 260,000 square feet of retail, 700 residential units, and 500,000 square feet of office space. According to The Meridian Group, it’s one of the largest private development project under construction in the Washington region. In addition to the office tenants, The Boro has attracted Whole Foods Market, which is planning a 69,000-square-foot flagship location; and ShowPlace ICON Theatre, which will open a cinema with 15 screens and dining options. Located near Route 7, Route 123 and Greensboro Drive, The Boro will offer a combination high-rise and mid-rise construction on a 15-acre site. At total build out, the entire project plans more than 1,500 residential units, 1.8 million square feet of office space and a new hotel. It will also offer 316,000 square feet of retail space with nearly 20 restaurants as well as fitness, home furnishings, fashion, and service retail locations. 2017-08-10T16:27:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fredericksburg-approves-agreements-with-three-companies Fredericksburg approves agreements with three companies http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fredericksburg-approves-agreements-with-three-companies http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fredericksburg-approves-agreements-with-three-companies#When:00:21:00Z Fredericksburg City Council has approved agreements with three companies that are expected to bring nearly 200 professional jobs to the city. The performance agreements involve QRC Technologies, IST Research and ILM Corp., which plan investments in the city totaling about $9 million. Combined, the companies will occupy space of about 43,000 square feet. The council said the companies all represent the type of businesses and jobs targeted for the city and region. The five-year performance agreements with the three companies  will allow them to receive a 100 percent waiver on their business license taxes for the first three years and a 50 percent waiver for the next two years. The agreements do not include any upfront money from the city. “One of our very top priorities is to make business attraction and expansion the focus of economic development and bring family-sustaining careers to the city,” Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw said in a statement. “The nearly 200 well-paid jobs created by QRC, ILM and IST will attract and retain talent to our region and give local residents an employment option that doesn’t involve early mornings or late nights spent commuting to and from Northern Virginia.” QRC plans to relocate to the 29,000-square-foot building at 1191 Central Park Boulevard. The company, located nearby at 1211 Central Park Boulevard, wanted to consolidate operations at an expanded headquarters facility. IST Research plans to relocate from 3006 Lafayette Boulevard to a former residential property at 401 Hanover St. in downtown Fredericksburg that is roughly 6,000 square feet. IST will occupy the entire building. ILM’s owner is constructing a 15,000-square-foot building in the Cowan Crossing development. The company plans to relocate early next year to about 8,000 square feet in the building from its current home at 600 Lafayette Boulevard. The remaining space in the new building, as well as the Lafayette Boulevard office, is available for other businesses. In the coming months, the city council plans to consider a revamped incentive policy to  help bring additional high-quality jobs to the city. The city is also looking at ways to reduce business license taxes citywide in the coming years. 2017-08-10T00:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Untitled.png LSC Communications building courtesy Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/large-manufacturing-facility-is-on-the-market-for-8.4-million Large manufacturing facility is on the market for $8.4 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/large-manufacturing-facility-is-on-the-market-for-8.4-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/large-manufacturing-facility-is-on-the-market-for-8.4-million#When:21:11:00Z Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group in Roanoke is representing LSC Communications in the sale of its Roanoke County office/manufacturing facility in the Valley Tech Industrial Park. The manufacturing building at 6450 Technology Drive was constructed in 1997 by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. as a book printing facility. The building has 12,000 plus square feet of offices along with several break areas and a cafeteria. The manufacturing area has 280,899 square feet. According  to Poe & Cronk, the building is situated on 134 acres and provides pad-ready facility expansion to more than 500,000 square feet. LSC Communications, a book printing operating, has vacated the premises and the building is empty. The asking price is $8.4 million or about $30 per square foot. Poe and Cronk’s Thom Hubard and Matt Huff plan to market the property worldwide. 2017-08-09T21:11:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Untitled1.png Cloverleaf Office Park courtesy Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cloverleaf-office-park-sells-for-3.4-million-in-chesterfield-county Cloverleaf Office Park sells for $3.4 million in Chesterfield County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cloverleaf-office-park-sells-for-3.4-million-in-chesterfield-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cloverleaf-office-park-sells-for-3.4-million-in-chesterfield-county#When:21:09:00Z Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announced the sale Wednesday of Cloverleaf Office Park in Chesterfield County for $3.4 million. According to Thalhimer, Premier RE Fund IV LLC purchased the property from Hamilton Cloverleaf LLC as an investment. The park includes six, single-story, multi-tenant office buildings with a total of 67,853 square feet of office space. It’s located on Turner Road. Thalhimer’s Jason Guillot and Amy Broderick handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. 2017-08-09T21:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-values-veterans-program-exceeds-hiring-goal Virginia Values Veterans program exceeds hiring goal http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-values-veterans-program-exceeds-hiring-goal http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-values-veterans-program-exceeds-hiring-goal#When:20:30:00Z More than 26,000 military veterans have been hired in the commonwealth through the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program. That number exceeds Gov. Terry McAuliffe's goal of hiring 25,000 veterans by the end of his four-year term in January 2018. The governor originally set a goal of hiring 20,000 veterans by that date. The benchmark passed last year. The V3 program works with companies throughout Virginia to recruit, hire, and retain military veterans in the workforce.  Nearly 600 companies now participate in the program. V3 is a program of the Department of Veterans Services. 2017-08-09T20:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/regent-university-to-start-college-of-health-sciences Regent University to start college of health sciences http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/regent-university-to-start-college-of-health-sciences http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/regent-university-to-start-college-of-health-sciences#When:20:16:00Z Virginia Beach-based Regent University plans to start a college of health-care sciences in fall 2018. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Regent’s founder, CEO, and chancellor, announced the move after a unanimous vote on the program by the university’s board of trustees. “Career growth in health-related fields is expanding explosively and demand for quality health-care graduates is three times that of other fields,” Robertson said. “Regent’s record 10,000 student enrollment growth is due in part to our strategic investment in new healthcare programs. By adding a stand alone College of Healthcare Sciences, we will build upon this exponential growth trajectory by offering some of the most in-demand programs in the nation over the coming years.” Regent pointed to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures showing a shortage of health-care professionals. Employment in health-care occupations is projected to increase 19 percent through 2024, adding about 2.3 million new jobs. More than a million nursing jobs nationally and more than 32,000 in Virginia are expected by 2030. When it opens, the college will include a new school of nursing that will offer clinical and online degree programs. Regent’s current health-care degree programs will be moved under the college along with new programs. 2017-08-09T20:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/c1Arena_DraftLogos_0809-02-SMALL.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/verizon-center-becomes-capital-one-arena Verizon Center becomes Capital One Arena http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/verizon-center-becomes-capital-one-arena http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/verizon-center-becomes-capital-one-arena#When:19:47:00Z As of today, the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., is the Capital One Arena. Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE), the venue’s owner, announced Wednesday that McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp.  will become the new naming rights partner for the facility, which hosts more than 220 concerts, shows and events a year attended by 3 million visitors. The arena also is home to the Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, Washington Valor, Washington Wizards and Georgetown men’s basketball team. MSE, which also owns the basketball and hockey teams, said the name change takes effect immediately.  New signage and a branding shift will come in the fall. While Monument did not disclose the terms of the deals in a press release, the Washington Business Journal reported that the deal is worth about $100 million over 10 years. “The partnership of these two prominent local companies underscores their deep commitment to the continued economic growth and development of Washington, D.C., where they are both headquartered, and where Monumental employs 4,000 full and part-time employees and vendors,” MSE said in a statement. “Capital One is one of the most influential local businesses in our region over the last two decades, so we couldn’t be more pleased to partner with another homegrown company to create more incredible memories for sports fans, music fans, families and friends all across our region,” Ted Leonsis, founder, majority owner and CEO of MSE, said in a statement. The company also announced $40 million in upgrades. Capital One Arena is one of a few privately-owned arenas in the country. Throughout its ownership, MSE said it has made more than $100 million in investments.  “The announcement today of this new investment is a further down payment on that commitment,” the company said.  This summer MSE also plans to move to a new point of sale system. It would be a first step toward faster lines and additional payment options for fans, the company said. For instance, Capital One cardholders would get automated discounts on food, beverage and merchandise. In 2016, Billboard Magazine ranked the arena eighth in the nation and 13th worldwide among top-grossing venues with a capacity of more than 15,000.  According to reports from the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, the arena has been responsible for redevelopment estimated at $9.2 billion within a seven-block radius and has created more than 58,407 jobs since it broke ground in October 1995. In the coming months, Capital One Arena will host some of the biggest tours in the world including Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Guns n’ Roses, Andrea Boccelli and Jay-Z. It also will host the A-10 men’s basketball tournament in March 2018 and the East regionals of the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 2017-08-09T19:47:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-sets-another-record-in-july Port sets another record in July http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-sets-another-record-in-july http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-sets-another-record-in-july#When:19:18:00Z The Port of Virginia had another record-setting month in July. The port said it moved 234,230 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in July, the most cargo its ever handled during that month. The volume is up 7.5 percent over July 2016. On a calendar-year basis, total TEU volumes are up 8.1 percent, containers are up 8.5 percent. The cargo moving by trucks is up 9 percent, while the cargo moved via rail is up 5.6 percent.  Barge traffic is up 30 percent. July cargo snapshot: -Loaded exports: 75,703, down 2 percent -Loaded import TEUs: 109,215, up 9 percent -Containers: 134,104, up 8 percent -Virginia Inland Port containers: 2,754, up 3 percent -Truck containers: 85,442, up 13 percent -Rail containers: 44,598, down 0.2 percent -Total barge containers: 4,064, up 7 percent -Richmond barge containers: 1,772, up 5 percent 2017-08-09T19:18:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/investment-group-completes-acquisition-of-neustar Investment group completes acquisition of Neustar http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/investment-group-completes-acquisition-of-neustar http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/investment-group-completes-acquisition-of-neustar#When:01:16:00Z An investment group led by San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital has completed its $2.9 billion acquisition of Sterling-based Neustar Inc. An affiliate of Singapore-based GIC also invested in Neustar and is now a minority owner of the company. President and CEO Lisa Hook will continue to lead Neustar, which provides information services to marketers. A news release announcing the completion of the deal said the transaction does not change the company’s business or strategy. The deal was announced in December. Neustar shareholders received $33.50 in cash per share. Golden Gate is a private equity investment firm with over $15 billion of capital under management. GIC is a global investment firm with more than $100 billion in assets under management. 2017-08-09T01:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/first-state-bank-relaunches-as-movement-bank First State Bank relaunches as Movement Bank http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/first-state-bank-relaunches-as-movement-bank http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/first-state-bank-relaunches-as-movement-bank#When:20:00:00Z Danville-based First State Bank has a new majority owner and a new name. It was relaunched Tuesday as Movement Bank. Casey Crawford, a former NFL tight end and the co-founder of Fort Mill, S.C.-based Movement Mortgage, became the majority shareholder of First State Bank in June and was named chairman of its board of directors. In addition to changing its name, the bank says it has adopted a new strategy to expand into additional markets and develop improved products and services. The bank was founded in 1919 by African-Americans whom mainstream banks refused to serve. Today, it has $39.5 million in assets and is led by President and CEO Tom Smith. Movement offers online and mobile banking, credit and debit cards and other services, including personal and business loans. Crawford played for the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the early 2000s. In 2008, he founded  Movement Mortgage, one of the 10 largest purchase mortgage lenders in the nation. 2017-08-08T20:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hff-arranges-17.5-million-acquisition-financing-for-facility-in-fredericksb HFF arranges $17.5 million acquisition financing for facility in Fredericksburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hff-arranges-17.5-million-acquisition-financing-for-facility-in-fredericksb http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hff-arranges-17.5-million-acquisition-financing-for-facility-in-fredericksb#When:19:30:00Z Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. (HFF) has arranged $17.5 million in acquisition financing for a three-building distribution facility that is fully leased to CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) in Fredericksburg. HFF, on behalf of the borrower, ARCTRUST, placed the 10-year, fixed-rate loan with Kansas City Life Insurance Co.  The 487,897-square-foot CVS distribution facility is one of the company’s 17 U.S. distribution centers. It distributes products to 377 CVS stores in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Completed in 1985 and expanded in 1995, the complex consists of a main building housing a warehouse and offices, an aerosol storage facility and a truck repair facility. It’s located on 39.4 acres at 500 Lansdowne Road. Greg Nalbandian, a senior managing director for HFF, led the debt placement team representing the seller. 2017-08-08T19:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/draftco-to-expand-in-augusta Draftco to expand in Augusta http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/draftco-to-expand-in-augusta http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/draftco-to-expand-in-augusta#When:19:26:00Z Machine and fabrication company Draftco Inc. is planning to expand its manufacturing operation in Augusta County. The company plans to spend $450,000 to improve its quality inspection room and buy new machines and welding and testing equipment. The investment is expected to create 16 jobs, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Draftco was founded in 1965 and is based in Stuarts Draft. The company is a precision-job shop that provides welding and fabrication work, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine work, sheet-metal fabrication, and machine and equipment building. “Draftco’s increase in capacity and capability is in support of the forecasted rise in national defense spending and local customer needs,” Kevin Reed, quality manager of Draftco, said in a statement. “The work ethics of the folks in the valley, coupled with the skills and training many of our employees received through Valley Career and Technical Center and Blue Ridge Community College have contributed to Draftco’s success, as a competitive and capable machining and manufacturing ‘build to print’ company.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Draftco’s new job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. Draftco is eligible to receive $750 per job for a total of up to $12,000. Augusta County will match the VJIP funding awarded to the company to support the expansion project. 2017-08-08T19:26:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/crescent-hotels-promotes-michael-metcalf-to-chief-operating-officer Crescent Hotels promotes Michael Metcalf to chief operating officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/crescent-hotels-promotes-michael-metcalf-to-chief-operating-officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/crescent-hotels-promotes-michael-metcalf-to-chief-operating-officer#When:21:09:00Z   Crescent Hotels & Resorts, a Fairfax-based hotel management company, has promoted Michael Metcalf to chief operating officer. Metcalf has more than 25 years of hotel investment, underwriting, asset management and operations experience. Metcalf began his career at Crescent more than 10 years ago and has held various positions within the company including vice president of business development, senior vice president of operations and executive vice president. In his new role, he will be more engaged with Crescent’s capital partner relations, hotel investment strategy, asset management oversight and securing management contracts. Crescent operates more than 100 hotels, resorts and conference centers in the U.S and Canada under the brand families of Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG. Crescent also operates a collection of independent hotels and resorts. 2017-08-07T21:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/RGB---4_edit-2_SMALL.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesapeake-square-mall-goes-on-the-market Chesapeake Square Mall goes on the market http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesapeake-square-mall-goes-on-the-market http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesapeake-square-mall-goes-on-the-market#When:16:05:00Z   Chesapeake Square Mall, an 28-year-old enclosed mall with several anchors, is for sale. The Loan and Asset Sales Group of Mission Capital Advisors is marketing the property as a repositioning play. It was turned over to a special servicing company in 2015 and sold back to the lender following a foreclosure sale in April 2016. At the time of the sale, the balance on the loan was nearly $62 million, according to a report from Trepp. “The asset, which retains a base of strong tenants, presents a unique opportunity to make use of a well-located property in an affluent metropolitan area that is experiencing rapid growth,” Michael Britvan, a managing director with Mission Capital, said in a statement. The offering includes nearly the entirety of the property, 613,809 square feet of the mall’s 760,420 square feet. Four of six anchor spaces are included, with tenants including Burlington Coat Factory and J.C. Penney. The other two anchor spaces, previously held by Macy's and Sears, are vacant. Two additional anchor spaces are independently owned and occupied by Target and Cinemark XD, (a movie theater), and are not part of the mall that’s for sale. The entire mall contains about 100 stores, restaurants and kiosks, and a 10-unit food court. Some of the tenants include Foot Locker, Bath & Body Works, Kay Jewelers, Lids and Mrs. Fields. Overall, the offered space is 58 percent occupied Most recently renovated in 1999, the mall is a single-level property that opened in October 1989. It’s located at 4200 Portsmouth Blvd., off I-664 at the intersection of Portsmouth Boulevard and Taylor Road. The mall’s location and the region’s demographics are drawing interest from investors, Britvan told Virginia Business. Chesapeake, with a population of 238,000, is part of a metropolitan area of more than of 1.7 million people, which is home to several major military institutions and bases.“ … The immediate submarket surrounding the mall includes affluent suburbs along Portsmouth Boulevard,” added Britvan. “With its in-place cash flow and potential for redevelopment we expect to see a lot of interest in this asset.” Britvan said there is no list price per say for the mall. With retail closures and bankruptcies at an all-time high in 2017, there are plenty of opportunities for investors. “You get it at an attractive basis, that allows you to do some creative things and to maximize value going forward,” he said. “One of the things that kept sticking out, as we did our diligence, is how strong of a market this is. It has numerous strong employers, the military, above U.S. average income  …There’s nearby retail, nearby single-family development, so that bodes well compared to some of the dead and dying malls we see in more rural markets,” Britvan said. “It’s about as good as a demographic as one could ask for. The offer date for the mall is Aug. 15. “Right now our target, the folks who are looking at us, are a wide class of investors — from local owners and operators to national players that are targeting stressed and underperforming mall assets across the country. There are some institutional players as well,” Britvan said. 2017-08-07T16:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-industrial-buildings-sell-in-hampton-roads Two industrial buildings sell in Hampton Roads http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-industrial-buildings-sell-in-hampton-roads http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-industrial-buildings-sell-in-hampton-roads#When:14:14:00Z A 167,000-square-foot industrial building on 15.29 acres in Norfolk has sold for $5 million. The buyer, 6969 Tidewater LLC, bought the building at 6969 Tidewater Drive. Stephanie Sanker with S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co.  represented the buyer. In another transaction for Nusbaum, The Edmonds Co. sold a 26,682-square-foot industrial building at 1493 London Bridge Road in Virginia Beach for $1.8 million. Sanker and Ashley Bussey represented the seller. R and J Motel Management has purchased 8.3 acres located at 220 Rainbow Lane in Chesapeake from WP-Chesapeake Health Investors LLC for $1.4 million. Nusbaum’s Bill Overman, John Wessling and Chris Devine represented the buyer. In a new lease transaction, Big Lots leased 42,500 square feet of retail space at JANAF Shopping Yard in Norfolk. Michael Gurley represented the landlord. 2017-08-07T14:14:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Old_Dominion_National_Bank_Raj_Mahajan.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/old-dominion-national-bank-announces-new-executive-vice-president Old Dominion National Bank announces new executive vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/old-dominion-national-bank-announces-new-executive-vice-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/old-dominion-national-bank-announces-new-executive-vice-president#When:20:53:00Z Tysons-based Old Dominion National Bank said Friday it has named Raj Mahajan executive vice president of mortgage lending. Mahajan joins Old Dominion from Bethesda, Md.-based EagleBank where he served as vice president and senior mortgage banker. He began his career in 1999 and has held senior positions at American Home Bank, Axcidion Mortgage Corp. and American Partners Bank. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Panjab University in India. He also completed a master’s in information systems at Panjab. Old Dominion has approximately $125 million in assets.  The bank offers commercial and consumer financial services in the Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville areas. 2017-08-04T20:53:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-virginia-schools-make-list-of-colleges-with-highest-earning-graduates Two Virginia schools make list of colleges with highest-earning graduates http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-virginia-schools-make-list-of-colleges-with-highest-earning-graduates http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-virginia-schools-make-list-of-colleges-with-highest-earning-graduates#When:17:25:00Z Two Virginia schools, Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia, have made a list of 25 public colleges and universities with the highest mid-career salaries. VMI ranked 11th on the list compiled by Forbes magazine while U.Va. was 24th. Graduates of Lexington-based VMI recorded mid-career earnings of $108,000. At U.Va., in Charlottesville, that number was $97,100. Forbes noted that VMI, founded in 1839, is the oldest state-supported military college in the country. The magazine also pointed to the fact that U.Va.’s graduating class this year included two Rhodes Scholars, two Marshall Scholars and five Fulbright Scholars. Leading the list was SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, N.Y., whose graduates had mid-career earnings of $144,000. One of six state maritime academies in the U.S., SUNY Maritime College offers 11 undergraduate majors, including five engineering programs. Other schools in the top 10 included: United States Naval Academy; United States Merchant Marine Academy; United States Military Academy; United States Air Force Academy; Colorado School of Mines; Georgia Institute of Technology; University of California, Berkeley; United States Coast Guard Academy and University of California, San Diego. 2017-08-04T17:25:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Rendering-1SMALL.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/california-company-plans-million-square-foot-distribution-center-in-richmon California company plans million-square-foot distribution center in Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/california-company-plans-million-square-foot-distribution-center-in-richmon http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/california-company-plans-million-square-foot-distribution-center-in-richmon#When:18:38:00Z Panattoni Development Co. Inc., based in Newport Beach, Calif., has acquired 62 acres for the development of a 1 million-square-foot distribution center across from Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT). The site is located along Commerce Rd., south of the Bells Road/ I-95 interchange. In announcing the project both the city and CBRE | Richmond, who will handle the leasing, noted the site’s central location off I-95 and Richmond’s growing role as a logistics center. “We focused on this great infill site exclusively for our first Richmond spec investment project in many years,” Whitfield Hamilton, a partner at Panattoni, said in a statement.  “Its central location along the I-95 corridor, access to the Port of Virginia, and access to labor were significant factors that played a role in our decision to invest in this Richmond property.” Panattoni will call the project Virginia I-95 distribution. The company plans to proceed in two phases. Each phase will include a 461,700-square-foot, cross-dock warehouse with a height of 36 feet, LED lighting, and multiple trailer drops. Phase I is in permitting and has an anticipated completion date of late summer 2018. Given the growing scarcity of available regional distribution centers ranging from 200,000 to 1.5 million square feet, Panattoni’s project is expected to fill a gap in Central Virginia’s industrial market for large warehouse users such as e-commerce groups, core industrial/distribution users and third-party logistics providers. “The Richmond industrial market has averaged about 2.2 million square feet of annual absorption for the last five years,” said Matt Anderson, senior vice president with CBRE|Richmond. “Given the lack of supply and the healthy demand, we are very excited and optimistic about this project,” added Anderson, the project’s leasing broker. In welcoming Panattoni to the city, Richmond Mayor Stoney said, “Richmond is happening; we’re on the move, and we are growing as an epicenter of trade and commerce.” Richmond Marine Terminal is located along the west bank of the James River. The city of Richmond owns the facility, which is leased by the Virginia Port Authority. John Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Port of Virginia, said Panattoni’s confidence in Virginia’s business environment “will create more supply chain capacity in Central Virginia,” among numerous other benefits. 2017-08-03T18:38:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-new-restaurants-announced-for-chesterfield-towne-center Two new restaurants announced for Chesterfield Towne Center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-new-restaurants-announced-for-chesterfield-towne-center http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-new-restaurants-announced-for-chesterfield-towne-center#When:18:21:00Z HOUSEpitality Family, a locally based restaurant group, plans to open two restaurants in Chesterfield Towne Center next year. One restaurant will be a new concept known as Shrimp Shack and the other will be the third planned location for a Mexican restaurant, Casa del Barco, in the Richmond area. “Given Chesterfield Towne Center’s support of local business owners, the mall was very interested in opening one of our restaurants at its location and approached us about it. We were so intrigued that we decided to go all in on the location and open two restaurants” Paige Healy, director of concept development for HOUSEpitality Family restaurant group, said in a statement. HOUSEpitality is the force behind The Boathouse, which has four locations in greater Richmond: at Swift Creek Reservoir in Chesterfield County, on the James River in Rockett’s Landing, a mixed-use development in Henrico County.; The Boathouse at Short Pump Town Center in Henrico, and the Boat House at City Point in Hopewell. It also owns the Casa Del Barco restaurants in downtown Richmond, with another planned for Short Pump Town Center,  as well as the outdoor dining concept,  Dinner in the Field. The group’s newest concept, Shrimp Shack, is inspired by the Shrimp Shack seasonal outdoor bar at The Boathouse at Sunday Park in Chesterfield's Brandermill development. The architectural design for Shrimp Shack will use recycled shipping containers to form the exterior structure of the restaurant. The interior will include 6,200 square feet with additional square footage in two patio areas. Shrimp Shack’s menu will offer dishes with tropical ingredients and influences from the sea, including local and ethically sourced seafood options. According to the restaurant group, the new Casa del Barco will be similar to other locations, with a Mexican cuisine menu. Casa del Barco’s interior at Chesterfield Town Center will be 4,600 square feet with additional space in two patio areas. The company plans rooftop bars for both restaurants, with a bridge connecting the two, allowing guests to move between the two locations. Both locations will be open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. “We are thrilled to add the new Shrimp Shack concept and the popular Casa del Barco brand to Chesterfield Towne Center,” said Bryon Wall, the shopping center's general manager. Brett McNamee of Divaris Real Estate represented the landlord in the leases. 2017-08-03T18:21:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spotluck-launching-in-richmond-friday Spotluck launching in Richmond Friday http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spotluck-launching-in-richmond-friday http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spotluck-launching-in-richmond-friday#When:19:44:00Z Popular discount dining app Spotluck is launching in the River City Friday. The Bethesda, Md.-based company is partnering with nearly 30 Richmond restaurants to offer on-demand discounts based on factors like day, time and weather. The discounts range from 10 to 35 percent. “Dining out should cost less on a rainy Monday night than on a busy Friday night,” says a news release issued by Spotluck, which offers dynamic pricing similar to Priceline and Hotels.com.  Participating restaurants include Havana ‘59, C’est Le Vin, Big Herm’s Kitchen, and Greek on Cary. The developer only works with local restaurants and says it plans to add more Richmond dining venues in the coming weeks. Spotluck initially launched two years ago in the Washington, D.C.-area. With the Richmond debut, the company says nearly 150 restaurants in Virginia are now part of the network. 2017-08-02T19:44:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/h-m-among-new-tenants-at-stony-point-fashion-park H & M among new tenants at Stony Point Fashion Park http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/h-m-among-new-tenants-at-stony-point-fashion-park http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/h-m-among-new-tenants-at-stony-point-fashion-park#When:19:25:00Z The Swedish apparel retailer H&M will open at Richmond’s Stony Point Fashion Park this fall. The 20,000-square-foot store will be across from the existing Anthropologie store in the open-air shopping center. H&M is one of several stores being added to the shopping center’s lineup as it enters its second phase of redevelopment. “We are delighted with the progress of our redevelopment and happy to bring H&M and other unique, new retailers, restaurants and family play experiences to our guests,” Stony Point General Manager Vince Mistretta, said in a statement. Two other new tenants, custom jeweler Diamond Concepts and T-Mobile, are now open. In early August, HPDS Sports  is scheduled to open.  Coming this fall are Biggs Ltd., featuring collectibles; Hacked, a hair and beauty salon; and Sitting Pretty, a dog grooming specialty store. Stony Point recently completed the first phase of a $50 million redevelopment. It included Triangle Park, a children’s play area and dog park, modernization of the center’s outdoor common areas and new retail and restaurants. The Richmond Planning Commission recently approved redevelopment plans for the second phase, which is scheduled for completion in spring 2018.  Plans include enhanced common areas for shoppers, new shops and restaurants and improved accessibility for pedestrians and vehicles. Stony Point Fashion Park has more than 50 stores and restaurants and a six-screen CinéBistro theater. The center, owned by Starwood Retail Partners, is located at 9200 Stony Point Parkway in Richmond. Starwood’s parent company, Starwood Capital Group, has a portfolio of 30 centers in 16 states. 2017-08-02T19:25:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bwx-technologies-subsidiary-awarded-five-year-contract BWX Technologies subsidiary awarded five-year contract http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bwx-technologies-subsidiary-awarded-five-year-contract http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bwx-technologies-subsidiary-awarded-five-year-contract#When:19:00:00Z Lynchburg-based BWX Technologies Inc. announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary, BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT NEC), has been awarded a five-year contract worth $34 million in Canadian dollars to supply seven primary heat transport motors to the electric company Bruce Power. The motors are part of Bruce Power’s program that will extend the life of six of its nuclear reactors in Ontario. The primary heat transport motors are required to drive the main circulating pumps used to push heavy water through the reactor core into the steam generators. The scope of the contract includes the project management, engineering and manufacturing of seven 11,000 horsepower motors. Work on the contract will begin immediately, with the first motor scheduled to be delivered to Bruce Power in mid-2018. Bruce Power supplies 30 percent of Ontario’s electricity. Extending the operational life of the Bruce Power units to 2064 is expected to create and sustain 22,000 direct and indirect jobs every year, creating $4 billion in annual economic benefit. 2017-08-02T19:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/transportation-company-opens-new-headquarters-in-chesapeake Transportation company opens new headquarters in Chesapeake http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/transportation-company-opens-new-headquarters-in-chesapeake http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/transportation-company-opens-new-headquarters-in-chesapeake#When:18:35:00Z INIT Innovations in Transportation Inc. will celebrate the completion of its new North American headquarters in Chesapeake on Thursday, Aug. 3. The 11 a.m. ceremony at the $12.5 million, 67,000-square-foot facility at 424 Network Station will include tours. The building, on eight acres at the Oakbrooke Business and Technology Center, was completed in June. The goal was to allow INIT to establish deeper roots in the North American market and to integrate formerly separate operations under one roof. The new facility consolidates INIT's warehouses, operations, and two manufacturing firms -- Total Quality Assembly LLC and Superior Quality Manufacturing. Altogether, the building has 20,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 20,000 square feet of office space and a 27,000 square-foot-warehouse. It houses about 90 employees, including 20 manufacturing workers. "We are very excited to finally have our entire operations under one roof. This modern facility allows us to better serve our North American customers,” Roland Staib, INIT’s president and CEO, said in a statement. With its headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany, INIT first established its North American headquarters in Chesapeake in 1999 with a staff of five. The company is a major supplier of integrated electronic fare collection systems for public transit. 2017-08-02T18:35:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/us-foods-will-nearly-double-its-space-in-prince-william-county US Foods will nearly double its space in Prince William County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/us-foods-will-nearly-double-its-space-in-prince-william-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/us-foods-will-nearly-double-its-space-in-prince-william-county#When:18:30:00Z US Foods, one of the country’s largest foodservice distributors, is expanding in Prince William County.  With the help of local and state incentives, it will renovate and add on to an existing distribution center at 11994 Livingston Road in Manassas. The company plans a 220,000-square-foot expansion, which would bump the distribution center’s total space to 466,000 square feet. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.  US Foods did not disclose an investment figure for the expansion. The company, which already employs 500 people at the facility, plans to hire another 100 workers during the next three to five years. According to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Virginia was selected for the expansion after a review of more than five undisclosed states. "This important project was very competitive, and we are proud that major companies continue to recognize the advantage of Virginia's strategic mid-Atlantic location and extensive transportation infrastructure,” McAuliffe said in a statement. Prince William County is within a day’s drive to five of the 10 largest MSAs on the East Coast  (New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Boston). Currently US Foods employs 900 employees in Virginia across operations in Manassas and Salem. “The commonwealth’s booming distribution industry has a direct economic output of more than $11 billion, and we’re confident Virginia will continue to be a prime location for US Foods,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. Jim Sturgell, area president for Metro D.C., US Foods, said in a statement that the expansion would allow the company to “strengthen our presence and leadership in this market and continue to provide exceptional service to our growing Virginia customer base.” According to the company, it works with about 250,000 chefs, restaurants, and foodservice operators, providing food offerings and a suite of e-commerce, technology, and business solutions. Based in Rosemont, Ill., US Foods generates about $23 billion in annual revenue. Altogether, it has 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations. Prince William County’s Board of Supervisors approved an agreement between US Foods and the county Industrial Development Authority that assigns a $350,000 grant towards the construction of a new facility and purchase of new equipment from the County’s Economic Development Opportunity Fund. McAuliffe also approved a $350,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 2017-08-02T18:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image002.png Photo courtesy Divaris Real Estate Inc. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-state-office-building-portfolio-sells-for-13.2-million State leased office portfolio sells for $13.2 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-state-office-building-portfolio-sells-for-13.2-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/two-state-office-building-portfolio-sells-for-13.2-million#When:21:44:00Z Divaris Real Estate Inc. (DRE) said Tuesday that its Investment Sales Group brokered the sale of a state-leased office portfolio for $13.2 million to Boyd Watterson Asset Management.  The seller, Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. in Virginia Beach, had developed the two buildings as build-to-suit projects for the commonwealth of Virginia. DRE’s Jason Oliver and Alex Divaris  represented Armada Hoffler. The portfolio consists of the Southeastern Virginia Training Center, a 36,227-square-foot building located in Chesapeake, and the Probation and Parole Office building, a 11,139-square-foot building in Virginia Beach. According to DRE, Boyd Watterson Asset Management serves as the asset manager for a number of institutional investors and manages in excess of $1.5 billion in gross real estate assets. Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. is a real estate company with experience developing, building, acquiring and managing institutional-grade office, retail and multifamily properties in markets throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.   2017-08-01T21:44:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/GHRV-PROPERTY-EXTERIOR-0327.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-graduate-hotel-is-open-in-richmond New Graduate Hotel is open in Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-graduate-hotel-is-open-in-richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-graduate-hotel-is-open-in-richmond#When:19:20:00Z The new Graduate Hotel in Richmond is open.  The 205-room property is located on Franklin Street, a block from Virginia Commonwealth University and within walking distance to the State Capitol. The hotel includes two restaurants, a lobby café and Byrd House, a 16th-floor rooftop bar and pool that will open to the public later this summer. Graduate Hotels, boutique hotels typically located in university towns, often pick up on themes local to the area. “We are thrilled about joining the Richmond community and revel in the rich history and culture that guided our team throughout this project,” Tim Franzen, president of Graduate Hotels, said in a statement. The hotel’s lobby pays homage to native hero Arthur Ashe and the tennis fashion he inspired. The room’s navy walls are adorned with punk music references and framed photos of an American Fox Hound, the official dog of Virginia. AJ Capital Partners, based in Chicago, launched the Graduate Hotels brand in 2014. There are currently nine of these hotels, including two in Virginia, in Richmond and Charlottesville, near the University of Virginia.  Other hotels are under construction in Minneapolis, Minn.; Bloomington, Ind.; Seattle; and Roosevelt Island, N.Y. They are supposed to open in 2019. 2017-08-01T19:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-leases-a-328053-square-foot-industrial-building-in-hanover-county Amazon leases a 328,053-square-foot industrial building in Hanover County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-leases-a-328053-square-foot-industrial-building-in-hanover-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-leases-a-328053-square-foot-industrial-building-in-hanover-county#When:16:40:00Z Just in time for the holiday rush, Amazon plans to open a new sorting operation in Hanover County on Sept. 1. In what is the retailing giant’s third location in the Richmond region, Amazon will be the sole tenant in a 328,053-square-foot industrial distribution building that Devon USA just completed at Enterchange at Northlake, according to Edward Mitchell, managing director of Richmond-based Devon. The building, the final one Devon USA is building in the Northlake industrial park located at 11600 N. Lakeridge Parkway, was designed as a speculative building.  Site work began late last year. Yet before marketing or advertising began for the building, Mitchell said real estate brokers from Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer were able to set up an introduction between Amazon and Devon. “We first met with Amazon in January, and we were able to tailor the building to its specific use,” said Mitchell. Construction began in earnest in February, and the building was up in about six months. “They had a tight delivery requirement,” said Mitchell. The project also includes an adjacent site for 331 parking spaces. Amazon has signed a long-term lease for the space, said Mitchell, who would not comment on the construction cost. Both Mitchell and Linwood Thomas, director of economic development for Hanover County, said it was their understanding that Amazon wanted the operation up and running by Sept. 1, so it would be in place for the holiday rush of packages the company typically handles. The center is expected to create about 300 jobs. According to the two men, the operation will be known as a “sortation center.”  Amazon already has two massive fulfillment centers in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie Counties. Product from these centers will be sent to the new operation in Ashland for sorting before it is sent along to the U. S. Postal Service for last-mile delivery, Mitchell said.He credited the county for being a cooperative partner in the process to get the building up quickly. “They’ve done everything possible to make sure there were no delays.” While Devon still has to go through building inspections in August, Amazon is scheduled to take occupancy by Sept. 1. “If you drive by the building today, you would see Amazon well along in installing their equipment,” said Mitchell. Amazon did not seek local and state incentives for the project, and Thomas says that may be the reason why word did not leak out earlier about the retailer’s plans. However, once the company began advertising for jobs in the local media, Thomas says the county began receiving inquiries about the building.  Richmond BizSense first reported on the new Amazon operation earlier today. Amazon did not respond to requests for a comment about this expansion or plans for future expansions in the Richmond market. While the county knew a big company was interested in the building, it did not know Amazon was the tenant until about three months ago, Thomas said.  He added that the county is thankful that Devon “had the vision and the foresight to take the project on.”  That the fast-track process worked so well shows that the county is willing to work with developers to expedite projects, said Thomas.  “I haven’t seen one come out of the ground that quickly.” In another expansion of its footprint in the Richmond metropolitan area, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported that Amazon is listed as a tenant on building permits for an existing warehouse building in Henrico County near the Richmond Raceway Complex. 2017-07-31T16:40:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Merrifield-Fairfax_Medical_Campus_NEW.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/merrifield-fairfax-medical-office-building-is-for-sale Merrifield-Fairfax medical office building is for sale http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/merrifield-fairfax-medical-office-building-is-for-sale http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/merrifield-fairfax-medical-office-building-is-for-sale#When:15:07:00Z Avison Young announced Monday that it has been retained as the exclusive advisor in the sale of the Merrifield-Fairfax medical office building in Fairfax. The 119,788-square-foot asset is located near the campus of Inova Fairfax Hospital, the flagship hospital of Inova Health System. Built in 2009, the campus at 3023 Hamaker Court is 84.5 percent leased. The largest tenants – leasing two-thirds of the building’s space – are Children’s National Health System and Pediatric Specialists of Virginia, a venture between Children’s and Inova. The offering also includes an adjacent site, where a 120,000-square-foot, second phase development has been designed and approved. “This asset offers significant upside – not only from leasing the vacant space but also from future development at the adjacent site,” Jim Kornick, a principal with Washington, D.C.-based Avison, said in a statement. Where there is no list price for the property, Kornick said he expects the property to sell somewhere in the $60 million plus price range. The Avison Young team coordinating the sale includes principals Kornick and Chip Ryan, who are based in Washington, along with other Avison team members in Chicago who are members of the company’s National Capital Markets group, which specializes in health care investments. The property is located just off of Arlington Boulevard (U.S. 50) near its interchange with the Capital Beltway (I-495).  The site is also within walking distance to the new mixed-use, upscale Mosaic District and 1.7 miles from the Dunn Loring Metro station. 2017-07-31T15:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/MaryWashingtonUn-5434.png University of Mary Washington's tree-shaded campus. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/keeping-pace-with-change Keeping pace with change http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/keeping-pace-with-change http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/keeping-pace-with-change#When:08:00:00Z It is not easy being a new college student, says Troy Paino, the president of University of Mary Washington. “We’re living in this age of acceleration,” he says. Technology is creating new careers and erasing others. “Change is so rapid … It is overwhelming in some respects, and it is overwhelming to the 18-year-olds who are arriving on our campus.” In many ways, the same is true for new college presidents like Paino, who arrived just a year ago, becoming UMW’s 10th president in July 2016. He is charged with steering the school through the uncertain environment of higher education. That task includes producing graduates who can adapt to change while keeping the school afloat financially amid dropping state support for public universities. Those challenges aren’t unique to UMW; all of Virginia’s public colleges have faced budget cuts. And then there’s the task any school faces: convincing students and their parents that a degree is worth the money. The school has a good foundation. Mary Washington is well-regarded academically, with a tree-shaded campus in Fredericksburg on the same high ground that played a role in the Civil War. The university routinely gets high rankings from various publications. The 2017 edition of the “Fiske Guide to Colleges” named it a “best buy,” one of just two Virginia schools to get that designation. The school has about 4,100 undergraduates, with a student-faculty ratio of 14 to 1. In addition to the Fredericksburg campus, UMW has two smaller locations — one in Stafford County, which provides midcareer development programs for professionals, and a second site in King George County near the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren. The Dahlgren center focuses mostly on science and engineering studies, and UMW shares the space with educators from other Virginia schools. Digital liberal arts Paino came to Mary Washington from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., a school of 6,200 students where he had served as president for six years. UMW is continuing its push toward a “digital liberal arts” education. “It is an integration of technology into traditional liberal learning,” says Jeffrey McClurken, who in May was appointed by Paino as a special adviser. A 1994 Mary Washington graduate who later studied at Johns Hopkins University, McClurken has been teaching at his alma mater since 1999. “It’s not about learning a particular platform or platforms, it’s about trying to figure out, when you’re faced with a problem in the digital age, how to solve it,” he says. In 2013 UMW began a program called Domain of One’s Own (DoOO), the name being a riff on Virginia Woolf’s 1929 essay “A Room of One’s Own.” DoOO provides a domain name with hosted web space to everyone in the UMW community — students, faculty and staff. So far, about 2,000 domains have been created. The service is free to students during the time they’re enrolled. When used as intended, domains can serve as students’ digital presence no matter their career paths. “When students graduate, they can take that domain name with them. It’s their work,” McClurken says. The DoOO project is a creation of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, which works out of the Hurley Convergence Center, an “academic commons” building that opened in 2014. It is named for Richard V. Hurley, UMW’s previous president who retired last year after 16 years at the school serving in several senior administrative positions. He was UMW’s president for six years. The convergence center is at the heart of an effort to mesh traditional liberal arts and the fast-changing digital environment. Squeezed into the hillier west end of the campus, the building has 77,000 square feet of space devoted to technology. It has, for example, an advanced media productions studio, a multimedia editing lab and the Digital Knowledge Center, where students can get peer tutoring for class projects or personal pursuits. “Part of what we’re trying to do is develop what I think of as a curriculum and a digital fluency,” McClurken says. That curricula will be integrated into the first-year seminars that new students attend. Faculty members also are being trained to integrate digital skills in their courses. The Hurley center has five “instructional technologists” who work with faculty, McClurken says. Two years ago the university created a new major, communication and digital studies. “It’s absolutely the fastest-growing” major at UMW, with 100 to 120 students pursuing that course of study. The major includes a lot of areas of study, but in general it concerns “developing a mindset on how we analyze and present information in the digital age,” McClurken says. New administrators With a new president, the university also has a number of new faces. In July, Nina Mikhalevsky became its new provost, the chief academic officer. She holds a tenured position as a philosophy professor at UMW. Starting this fall, Kimberly Young will be the new director of Continuing and Professional Studies. She headed executive education and executive MBA programs at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Young’s work at UMW’s campus in Stafford County is part of Paino’s effort to expand the university’s footprint in the region’s business community. At the Dahlgren campus, the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program offers online and video-interactive teleconference courses in 12 disciplines. The campus also offers undergraduate classes. These satellite campus programs serve a different need than the main campus, Paino says. They offer post-graduate programs to people in the middle of their working lives. The programs also are essential to UMW’s value in the regional economy. The presence of major military installations in the area means there are thousands of military personnel and defense-contractor employees looking to advance their careers. ‘Entrepreneurial enterprises’ With its three campuses, the university already has a sizeable footprint in the region, and Paino says that will grow in the coming years. The University of Mary Washington Foundation has assets under management of nearly $200 million, mostly in “entrepreneurial enterprises,” says Jeff Rountree, the foundation’s CEO. The foundation’s investments are intended to produce “substantial revenue” for the university’s operations, Rountree says. “We’re talking about millions of dollars in annual revenue, once we get some of our major debt packages paid down over the next 15 to 20 years.” The foundation owns and operates 11 real estate companies. In 2007, for example, it bought a shopping center next to the campus, along with a pair of adjacent properties, and created Eagle Village, a 23-acre, mixed-used project that includes a Hyatt Place hotel, office space and apartments. In 2002 the foundation bought a six-acre property directly across the street from the main campus. Its 125 garden-style apartments currently house 350 students. Paino says the school is working on plans to tear down those apartments and build residential space for students along with some mixed-use development. The property is on William Street in downtown Fredericksburg, which is a main corridor for the city. Paino says a real estate project like that can be good for the city and the school, in terms of revenue. “We have over the past 15 years gotten less and less state support” and that trend will continue, he says. That financial pressure is turning schools like UMW into real estate developers, he says. “I think the schools that can do this and do it successfully are the ones that are going to thrive in the 21st century.” University of Mary Washington facts at a glance Students Students from about 34 states and many foreign countries.  About 26 percent self-identified minorities. About 56 percent live on campus in one of 17 residence halls or campus apartments. 327 enrolled in professional studies and graduate programs. Graduation rate The most recent graduation rate for UMW students is 70 percent. Cost (2017-18 academic year) Undergraduate tuition and fees for Virginia residents total $12,128; for nonresidents, $27,374.  Room and board for all undergraduates costs approximately $11,000.  Each year, the university administers more than $57 million in financial assistance, including educational loans totaling $23 million, for students at the Fredericksburg and Stafford campuses. The cost of graduate school for in-state residents is $555 per credit hour. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-expensive-piece-of-history An expensive piece of history http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-expensive-piece-of-history http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-expensive-piece-of-history#When:08:00:00Z Merrywood, a childhood home of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, is drawing global interest. Business entrepreneur Steve Case put the McLean estate on the market in June. He and his wife, Jean, are empty nesters and no longer need such a large home, according to Mark Lowham of TTR Southby’s International Realty. The nine-bedroom,  23,000-square-foot estate is located on the banks of the Potomac River, minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. The main house (see photo gallery below) has a cupola that offers views of Washington.  Other amenities include original, elaborate plaster moldings and an outdoor pool and terrace.  Case purchased the property, built around 1919, in 2005 for a reported $24.5 million. Merrywood was the primary home of Jackie in the 1940s.  If sold near the asking price of $49.5 million, it would set a record for the area. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Daniel_T_Schmitt_approved_Photo_for_print_use.png Photo courtesy HHHunt Corp. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/people-first People first http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/people-first http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/people-first#When:08:00:00Z If there’s anything Daniel T. Schmitt could change about himself, it would be this: “To be shorter when I got on airplanes,” jokes Schmitt, who stands 6 feet, 7 inches tall. Schmitt put that height to good use as a basketball player at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland where he learned the value of teamwork. “That team principle was profound for me,” says Schmitt, president and COO of HHHunt Corp., one of Virginia’s largest real estate development and management companies. HHHunt has operations in four states (Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina) and 1,874 employees. Schmitt’s approach is “almost like a coach,” according to Buck Hunt, the company’s vice chairman and CEO. “He pumps up the team.” A native of Minnesota, Schmitt joined the company at age 29 as a project manager, after working in commercial land development with a focus on self-storage. By 1990, he was spearheading the development of Wyndham, a large master-planned community in Henrico County that included 3,200 homes and a 135-acre commercial park. “It’s something I am very proud of today,” he says. The company’s other master-planned communities include Wellesley, Twin Hickory, Charter Colony and Rutland, all in the metro Richmond area. Schmitt became president in June 2013 in what was the first succession plan in HHHunt’s history. The family-owned company was founded by Harry H. Hunt III in Blacksburg 51 years ago after he saw a need for more student and faculty housing. While Schmitt has risen through the ranks, he says he “never felt ready for that next role. It seems like I have always been pushed into a role that seemed to be beyond my ability, but I am pretty competitive.” A self-acknowledged overachiever, Schmitt learned that he could outwork people if he put forth the effort. “You don’t have to be the smartest, but if you treat people right and work hard, that is the magic,” he says. “For me that has been the foundation of my success.” For Schmitt, treating people right means a “people-first philosophy. My role is to make sure we have the right people in the right place and that they have the right environment to succeed.” He says the employee-focused culture that Schmitt and other company leaders crafted over four years ago is helping to fuel HHHunt’s rapid growth. The company pays 100 percent of employees’ health care, provides tuition reimbursement and offers a wellness program. Earlier this year Professional Builder magazine recognized the firm as the seventh-fastest growing private home building company in the country, based on sales from 2014 to 2016. The company ranked as the 79th largest builder in the nation, with the closing of more than 600 units and annual gross revenue of $197 million from its homebuilding division in 2016. Currently, the company — with split headquarters in Blacksburg, Richmond and Raleigh, N.C. — has four new apartment projects underway, four new senior living communities completed or underway and three new master-planned communities in the works. Under new-home construction, there are seven communities in Raleigh, five in Williamsburg and 20 in Richmond. All together, that’s about $500 million of new construction in the pipeline. Residential housing is bouncing back, says Schmitt.  “Four to five years ago we were building 275 to 300 homes a year. This year 750 homes are scheduled,” with the majority of them in the Richmond area. Each year HHHunt reinvests 90 percent of its profits in the company. “That’s been in place since day one, and that is rock solid for us,” says Schmitt. “We’re not only reinvesting in new projects but also in our people. We are putting more money back into the company to make us better.”   Family: Four adult children, ages 22 to 27. Hobbies: Road and mountain biking. Favorite author: David McCullough. His summer read: “The Wright Brothers.” Bucket list: To go to Italy. “I am going this fall.” Biggest fear from a business perspective: Becoming uninspired. How do you want to be remembered? “As somebody who made a difference.” A personal quirk: “I like to play practical jokes on people. Funniest moment: “Last April Fools’ I put duct tape on the bottom of everyone’s mouse  … Everybody was in the halls saying their computer didn’t work. I didn’t tell them all day that I did it. I was laughing all day. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/RE_Hargett_and_Slusher.png Developers Robert Hargett (left), The Rebkee Co. and Mark Slusher, Thalhimer Realty Partners Inc. Photo by Rick DeBerry http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-retail-evolution A retail evolution http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-retail-evolution http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-retail-evolution#When:08:00:00Z When developer Rob Hargett was a teenager in Henrico County in the 1970s and early 1980s, Regency Square mall was the place to shop and socialize. If Hargett’s plans succeed, it will become a major Richmond area attraction again, just not in the same way. America’s retail industry is in the midst of a major restructuring. By the end of the year, industry experts expect a record number of store closings — anywhere from 7,000 to 8,000 — as brick-and-mortar stores struggle to compete against a rising tide of online shopping. Yet don’t write the obituary for retail yet. Behind the closings and bankruptcies is a story of evolution as store and mall owners look to innovation and technology to transform retail into experiential gathering places that will draw people and sales.  Take the case of 42-year-old Regency Square. Like many malls around the country, it’s been steadily declining over the past 15 years. Hargett’s company, The Rebkee Co. in Midlothian, and Richmond-based Thalhimer Realty Partners Inc., bought a majority interest in the aging indoor mall for $13.1 million in 2015. Since then, Regency has lost key anchors Macy’s and Sears. Still, Hargett sees a brighter future. The new owners are investing $30 million in a redevelopment plan designed to transform the mall into a 21st-century community draw. Regal Cinemas plans to open a new theater complex in one of Regency Square’s former Macy’s spaces by spring 2019. “That’s a great restaurant supporter,” observes Hargett. He expects the theatre to draw thousands of visitors a year, which should put extra eyes on the center’s retail offerings.  Hargett hopes to attract other experiential retailers, such as an indoor go-kart track or a children’s gymnastics center, into spaces vacated by anchors. The addition of off-parcel restaurants such Starbucks, as well as developing office and possible multifamily residential components, are other ways developers hope to increase daily mall traffic. Besides creating experiences, keeping costs and rents down is key, says Hargett. That way tenants can afford to be competitive with online retailers, and online retailers who want to expand into physical spaces can do so with low overhead. “The retail landscape is changing, and we know it’s going to be more and more challenging,” says Hargett.“We have to cultivate the winners and, in the meantime, we have to have other reasons for folks to come here.” Brett McNamee, a commercial real estate broker who has specialized in retail development for years, also believes brick-and-mortar retail has a future. “You’re not going to get any death knells from me. I love my industry. We’re not declining; we’re changing,” says McNamee, a senior vice president with Divaris Real Estate in Richmond. Retailers who will weather the storm best, McNamee predicts, are those who can provide a multichannel approach — marrying e-commerce with bricks and mortar and embracing technology to create a more convenient shopping experience for consumers. “Those are the guys who are going to be here with us and doing better and better for the long run,” she says. Closings In the meantime, though, many big-name players in retail are struggling to stay afloat while others are drowning or are already dead. Annual retail store closures are estimated to reach a 20-year high in 2017, with as many as 7,000 stores closing, according to a report released in May by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Anchor department stores such as Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney are collectively shuttering hundreds of stores. More than 60,000 retail jobs were eliminated in just the first quarter. American Apparel filed for bankruptcy and laid off thousands of workers while women’s apparel retailer Bebe closed all of its 168 stores, shifting its remaining business entirely online. Signet Jewelers is closing 170 stores, mainly in malls, while office supply retailer Staples is shutting down 70 stores. At Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting this spring Warren Buffett said that “the department store is online now,” stating his belief that the retail industry will be completely changed within a decade. Meanwhile, retail analysts at Credit Suisse have said that as many as 25 percent of U.S. shopping malls will close by 2022, due to competition from e-commerce. Credit Suisse also estimates that online apparel sales will more than double by 2030, climbing to 35 percent of all e-commerce transactions. Nevertheless, Nancy Thomas, CEO of the Virginia Retail Federation, points out that e-commerce sales still account for less than 10 percent of all retail sales in the nation. “That’s the perception that people need to wipe away from their minds,” Thomas says. “[E-commerce] is gaining ground, but it’s still not what people want to do. They want to come into a brick-and-mortar store. But the brick-and-mortar stores and of course our malls just need to look different.” The latest U.S. Department of Commerce data puts e-commerce sales at about 8.5 percent of all retail sales, a number that’s been climbing steadily for the last 10 years. “A lot of those we’re seeing [closing] were struggling retailers to begin with,” says Connie Jordan Nielsen, senior vice president with Richmond-based commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer. “They weren’t strong enough to survive and then on top of that some retailers just haven’t adjusted well to [technology changes].” Perhaps the biggest testament to the survival of bricks and mortar is the fact that Amazon is aggressively moving into the space. In addition to opening a handful of stores across the nation this year, Amazon announced in June its largest-ever acquisition — the $13.7 billion cash purchase of Whole Foods grocery stores. Shares in Kroger and other large grocery retailers (a necessity retail sector considered largely immune to e-commerce disruption), took significant share-price hits on the news. Envisioning the future So what does the future of physical retail look like? “Saving customers money but also saving customers time … is becoming increasingly important,” says Bob Davis, vice president and regional general manager in Virginia for Wal-Mart Stores. One of the new innovations the national retailer will be unveiling in stores this year is an 18-foot-tall, self-service pickup tower for online orders. That way customers “can literally be in and out of the store in moments,” says Davis. Wal-Mart also is testing a new delivery option, paying store employees at some stores a little extra to drop off online orders to customers on their way home from work. “The most expensive part of any online transaction is what’s known as the last mile, and everybody’s trying to solve for that,” Davis says. “With over 4,200 physical locations nationwide, it gives us a pretty good competitive advantage if we can scale that.” Other retailers are experimenting with new models, too. Best Buy is launching an initiative to allow customers to rent expensive gadgets before they commit to purchase. The biggest buzzword in retail right now, however, is “experiential.” That’s evident at Virginia’s newest mall, Norfolk Premium Outlets in Norfolk. Opened in late June by Indiana-based Simon Property Group, the mall offers more than discounted clothes from name-brand stores. Located alongside a lake, its amenities include a gazebo and pier, lakeside dining and a one-mile walking path along the lake. The $75 million, 332,000-square-foot mall, located off Interstate 64 at Northampton Boulevard, was designed as a retail destination, where people and tourists could shop, eat at one of its many restaurants, or relax with a stroll around the lake.    “Retailing works when people gather. The mall has been [a place] where retailing is the draw that brings people in, but that’s no longer the case. You’ve got to find other draws,” says Jeff Tanner, dean of Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business. “The ability to [showcase] a variety of goods, that’s not going to be sufficient; people can get that from the Internet.” From the smallest retailers to the biggest mall developers, everyone is focusing on the experience of combining shopping, dining and social media. In 2016, McNamee notes, consumer spending at restaurants outpaced spending at grocery stores for the first time. Grocers are also seeing increased demand for prepared foods. Customers, particularly millennials, are seeking convenience and experiences. “They’re taking pictures of their food plates. They’re spending more money on travel and restaurants than they’ve spent in forever,” says McNamee. That’s the sort of customer Hargett is hoping to attract to Regency. Its redevelopment includes an exterior makeover and the demolition of a parking deck as well as roadway improvements to improve visibility to the mall. Rebkee already has added an office component.  He also hopes to acquire the Sears parcel for a possible multifamily residential development that could merge with the surrounding neighborhood and generate more daily traffic, while also revitalizing neighboring businesses. “A lot of people are [already] gathering here,” ranging from food hall patrons to mall walkers, notes Hargett. As experiential retail helps grow the mall’s community, he hopes Regency will experience a comeback. Rebkee’s plan for Regency is for it to “become more of the fabric of the way we live, like [malls] used to be.”   2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Gededen-4433.png Rex Geveden became chief operating officer at BWX Technologies in 2015 and CEO in January. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/liftoff-in-lynchburg Liftoff in Lynchburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/liftoff-in-lynchburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/liftoff-in-lynchburg#When:08:00:00Z Rex Geveden was 8 years old when U.S. astronauts landed on the moon in July 1969. “We all watched that on television … my parents woke me up at night for it,” he recalls. “It had a profound influence on me, and it caused me to be interested in science.” The moon landing inspired the Mayfield, Ky., native to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics and go on to  work for NASA, eventually becoming one of its highest-ranking officials. A private industry executive for the past decade, Geveden in January became president and CEO of Lynchburg-based BWX Technologies Inc. (BWXT), which has annual revenue of $1.5 billion. BWXT supplies nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government and also provides it with technical and management services in the operation of complex facilities and environmental remediation activities. The company also provides precision-manufactured components, services and fuel to the commercial nuclear power industry. During his 17-year NASA career, Geveden was promoted to associate administrator, essentially the agency’s chief operating officer. In that position, he managed a $16 billion portfolio that included all of the agency’s technical operations. Geveden was responsible for all mission areas and also oversaw NASA’s 10 field centers, including Langley Research Center in Hampton. “It was a great job,” Geveden says. “I loved it.” By 2007, however, Geveden was ready for a new challenge. “I began to think I wanted to try my hand at industry, so I kept my mind open to that possibility and put myself out there.” Geveden spent the next eight years with California-based Teledyne Technologies, a conglomerate involved in digital imaging, instrumentation, engineered systems, and aerospace and defense electronics.  He was promoted to executive vice president of the parent company, leading two of its four operating segments, and president of Teledyne DALSA, the company’s largest subsidiary.  In 2015, Geveden joined BWXT as chief operating officer. At the beginning of this year, Geveden succeeded Peyton S. “Sandy” Baker as president and CEO. In promoting Geveden, BWXT Executive Chairman John A. Fees praised his performance as COO. “During his time as COO, Rex has demonstrated the strategic vision and execution delivery required to take BWXT to the next level of growth and shareholder value.” At BWXT, Geveden has the opportunity to guide a new, publicly traded company that nonetheless has an extensive legacy. Its former parent company, the Babcock & Wilcox Co., was established in 1867. B&W began operations at the Lynchburg Research Center, the first privately financed U.S. nuclear facility, in 1956. In 2015, BWXT and Babcock & Wilcox separated into two publicly traded companies, with BWXT keeping nuclear and government operations and Charlotte, N.C.-based Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises keeping the fossil-fuel power generation business.  In first-quarter earnings announced in early May, BWXT had revenue of $428.2 million, up 17 percent from $364.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. Earnings per share for the first quarter were 55 cents, compared with 47 cents during the same period the year before. BWXT has 6,100 employees globally, including about 2,500 in the Lynchburg area. Its operations are divided into three reportable segments (groups that are managed separately,  with each having unique technology, services and customer classes): Nuclear Operations Group, Nuclear Power Group and Nuclear Services Group. The Nuclear Operations Group accounts for 70 to 80 percent of the company’s revenue. BWXT is the sole manufacturer of the nuclear-reactor cores of every new submarine and aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. That business is expected to benefit from plans by the Trump administration to increase the number of Navy ships (now fewer than 300) to 355. The Nuclear Power Group includes BWXT Canada Ltd., which serves   nuclear power plants in Canada. In December, it completed the acquisition of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc., now called BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc., a major supplier of fuel, fuel handling systems, tooling delivery systems and replacement components for CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) pressurized heavy-water reactors. The Nuclear Services Group includes BWXT Technical Services, which manages federal sites, including weapons complexes and nuclear facilities. A joint venture involving BWXT and two other companies, Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership LLC, has been awarded a $1.5 billion, 10-year deactivation and remediation contract by the Department of Energy for its Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky. The group also includes BWXT Energy, which provides nuclear components and services to the U.S. commercial nuclear energy industry.  “We’re seeing lift in all three segments of our business,” Geveden says. BWXT, however, is winding down one long-term project. For many years, Generation mPower, a partnership originally involving Babcock & Wilcox and Bechtel Corp., has been developing a small, modular nuclear reactor called mPower. In March 2016, the partners (now BWXT and Bechtel) entered an agreement to restructure the mPower program. During the next 12 months, Bechtel sought additional outside investment to complete development of the reactor’s design to earn Nuclear Regulatory Commission certification. In March this year, Bechtel said it was unable to secure sufficient funding to continue the program. It  invoked the settlement provisions of the 2016 restructuring agreement to end the program. As a result, BWXT paid Bechtel a $30 million settlement, an amount that both companies had agreed upon in the restructuring agreement. Away from the office, Geveden’s interests include music (especially jazz), hiking and reading.  He is a big fan of University of Kentucky basketball. Geveden and his wife, Gail, have been married for 35 years.  Their primary residence is in Forest, just outside Lynchburg, and they have a second home in Birmingham, Ala. The couple has two adult children, a daughter and a son.  The daughter, her husband and their two children live in Birmingham. The son lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Geveden is optimistic about the prospects for his company. “We have some exciting projects going ...  and we expect to be able to create some organic growth for the business from that activity, he says. “We do have some opportunities and tailwinds in our natural markets, but we’re expecting to create our own future with our research projects and technology breakthroughs as well.” Virginia Business interviewed Geveden at his Lynchburg office in late May. The following is an edited transcript. Virginia Business: [How has the GE Hitachi acquisition in Canada impacted the company?] Geveden: One of the reasons we did the acquisition is because we really like what we see in that market … There are some very favorable conditions there. In that market, we have a good brand and a good reputation … But with GE Hitachi, we doubled our footprint, financially and operationally, in Canada … BWXT had been building steam generators and things that are around the perimeter of the reactor. GE makes … things right in the core. So getting GE gave us knowledge and credibility about the core of the reactor.  And that’s important because in that Canadian market, 10 of the 19 CANDU reactors are going through refurbishment. They’re almost being completely rebuilt when you refurbish a CANDU reactor. And so what had been a billion-dollar market that we can address up there becomes annually a $2 billion market we can address. …   VB: Do you foresee a renewed interest in nuclear energy in the U.S.? Geveden: I think so. I think there’s some time for that to occur. There’s a belief that nuclear power in the U.S. has a political problem, and I think that’s misapprehension. In reality, our problem is the nuclear power industry‘s problem in the U.S. is an economic one. It’s fracking and the price of natural gas. It’s just hard to close the business case on starting large nuclear plants. Now, I would say from the standpoint of energy diversity and energy security as a hedge against future fossil fuel prices, there’s a place for nuclear plant construction even now, but we have to get around the economics of it. We have to be able to build plants more economically to be able to compete in the future. I’m pretty optimistic about modular reactors and some of the advanced reactor technologies that we see. They are starting to attract capital in the way commercial space started to attract capital … So there’s some interesting things going on in nuclear technology … and I think they’re pretty promising for the U.S. VB:  What is the status of the mPower program? Geveden: The mPower program is in a wind-down phase. It’s almost dormant by this point. We didn’t find a customer for that product, and we were spending a lot on it, so we’ve wound it down. We own the intellectual property for it. We own lots of interesting design ideas, patented ideas, and we’ll hold on to that. Hopefully that market opportunity re-emerges in the future. But we’ve made an investment, and we have the products of that investment. VB: Are you able to find talent that you need for the work you have? Geveden: We do. Let’s take Lynchburg as an example … We’re in a college town that happens to be bracketed geographically between two very large public institutions [Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia] that produce very high-quality students … We’ve never had a serious shortage of technical talent. We recruit nationally for some executive-level positions. Fundamentally, we’re an industrial company, and a lot of what we do is manufacturing. We have needs for machinists, welders, technicians and areas like that. The feeders for those are the community colleges, with which we are affiliated … These jobs are really attractive because we pay well, for one thing. But maybe more so, there’s visibility into our backlog that’s really decades [long]. We can see the Navy shipbuilding playing out to 2065 in the case of the aircraft carriers. And if you look at the [nuclear] plant life extension work that’s going on in Canada, that’s a 20- to 25-year project, give or take. If you look at what we do at the Department of Energy sites, you can see environmental remediation projects into the 2050s, and you can see weapons complex work that’s going on indefinitely … So we don’t have too much trouble recruiting, and we certainly don’t have any trouble keeping our employees. VB: What attracted you to this company? Geveden: What attracted me to the opportunity were probably two or three things. One is the fact that the company was going through a spin, and I was being offered the opportunity to participate in a material way, first as the chief operating officer and eventually as the CEO, in the formulation of the strategy of the company … We’re a fundamentally new public company … That’s a pretty exciting opportunity for me. I also liked it because it was a very pure, strategic entity. It’s very clearly a nuclear company, and I really liked the portfolio, and it looked like it had a lot of financial capability …  I’d say the third thing that attracted me was I’m always happiest when I’m learning at a high rate. I had been at Teledyne for eight years and had a good run — it was a very good company. But I had learned the business. This was an opportunity to parachute into a new company with new people and new markets and new technology that’s relatively new to me. That’s pretty intriguing for me. VB: What was your most memorable event from [your career at NASA]? Geveden: When we did the space shuttle return to flight after the Columbia accident, that was just an incredible moment for all of us … I was deeply involved in the return to flight efforts. And it was literally an emotional moment for me when we finally launched Gravity Probe B, which is a program I led for nine years. It was a very complex and very sophisticated spacecraft that was an incredible challenge to build and deliver. [The spacecraft, which involved 350 scientists and engineers, tested two fundamental aspects of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.] You put your blood, sweat and tears into something like that for eight or nine years. It either works at launch or it doesn’t work … Happily, it worked. VB: Do you see the future of space exploration being a commercial endeavor? Geveden: This is the way we were thinking about it when we put together the commercial cargo program [at NASA]: If you ask yourself, “What is the reason for the existence of a government entity like NASA?” I think you’d have to say that NASA should exist in the United States of America because there are certain things our nation ought to do when there’s no business case. There’s no business case for flying a spacecraft by Pluto and taking images … But there’re a lot of reasons a nation should do it, in my opinion. One is, of course, advancing knowledge. [A second reason] is that, in order to do things like that, you create technologies that are economic multipliers for the people of the United States of America. The third reason you do it is: You want geopolitical power. If you’re the nation that’s flying by Pluto, if you’re the nation that’s putting people on the moon, if you’re the nation that’s launching shuttles delivering earth science, that’s collecting gamma rays, there accrues to that nation a certain geopolitical power that’s hard to get otherwise. So that’s the beginning of the discussion. … Now, if parts of that endeavor become routine, like putting cargo into lower earth orbit, for example, and can be commercialized to some degree, I think you should do that … I would like to be able to commercialize certain aspects of NASA. But I don’t believe that you could privatize all of space exploration or all of space science. There just isn’t a business case for that. There is an inherently government role that should remain — in this person’s opinion. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/20170630-Wayne_Rehberger-06.png Photo by Stephen Gosling http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/he-guided-the-process-of-integrating-two-firms He guided the process of integrating two firms http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/he-guided-the-process-of-integrating-two-firms http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/he-guided-the-process-of-integrating-two-firms#When:08:00:00Z PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES Wayne Rehberger Engility Holdings Inc., Chantilly In 2015, Wayne Rehberger completed one of the most challenging tasks of his career. He integrated two companies of roughly equal size, helping to create a combined corporation with annual revenue of $2.1 billion and more than 9,100 employees worldwide. Rehberger had been the CFO of TASC Inc., which was acquired by Engility Holdings Inc. in a stock deal worth $1.3 billion.  With the acquisition, he became the CFO of Engility, now one of the 50 largest publicly traded companies in Virginia. The two companies, both based in Chantilly, provided technical services to the federal government. TASC focused on the intelligence community, while Engility largely served the Defense Department and civil federal agencies. “The main reason for the merger was TASC’s large intelligence business, which helped balance Engility’s strategic portfolio,” says Rehberger. Bringing the two companies together included meshing their “cultural, system and process differences,” Rehberger says. “You have to meld them into a new business paradigm going forward.” Under his guidance, the integration was completed on time and on budget. “That’s rare,” says Engility’s CEO Lynn Dugle. “Wayne was a driving force in setting high standards and helping people when they needed it. I give him full credit on the way that integration came through. That was the foundation of a brand-new company.” David Topper of General Atlantic LLC, a global private-equity firm, says Rehberger’s appointment as CFO of the combined company was a key part of the acquisition.  General Atlantic and the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. owned a controlling interest in privately held TASC and now are major Engility shareholders. “I wasn’t going to do it if he wasn’t there, and I knew we were in safe hands,”  Topper says. “He has the whole package, and that is a rare thing to find.” Rehberger is a strategic thinker who is honest in his interactions, Topper adds. “He will always tell everybody, including his boss, exactly what he thinks, so I know we are hearing exactly … what’s going on with the company. The sheer level of confidence the board has in him is very high.” Originally from Peekskill, N.Y., Rehberger started working toward his MBA when he was a captain in the U.S. Army. “I think what the military does is give you a jumpstart on understanding organizational complexity and how to deal with that and how to mentor and coach individuals,” he says. “When you are thrust in a role as a young officer, you learn your responsibility around that.” After the military, he worked at a variety of companies, including the accounting and professional services firm KPMG and telecommunications firm MCI. He was CFO and chief operating officer of the telecommunications company XO Communications before joining TASC. Under Rehberger’s leadership, Engility has strengthened its balance sheet by refinancing its debt, extending maturities and increasing the size of its credit facility. The company has reduced its annualized interest expense by $23 million. The additional cash flow generated by the refinancing contributed to the retirement of more than $90 million in debt this year. Dugle sees Rehberger’s background in finance and operations as a good balance. “I have worked with financial leadership at multiple companies, and Wayne is the best I have worked with,” she says. “He has great business acumen, and he has a unique ability with people. He can hold people to hard standards and ask tough questions. He builds respect in both good times and challenging times.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Wilkinson-5302.png Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/writing-skills-helped-cfo-make-the-case-for-arena Writing skills helped CFO make the case for arena http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/writing-skills-helped-cfo-make-the-case-for-arena http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/writing-skills-helped-cfo-make-the-case-for-arena#When:08:00:00Z SMALL PRIVATE COMPANIES Valerie Wilkinson, CPA The ESG Companies, Virginia Beach When Valerie Wilkinson’s boss asked her to help on a project four years ago, the chief financial officer of The ESG Cos. did not know the magnitude of the task she was taking on. ESG, a Virginia Beach-based development company, was proposing to build a $300 million, 18,000-seat arena in its hometown. The developer of the privately owned arena is United States Management (USM), an affiliate of ESG. “If they had told me day one everything that this would entail and everything we had to do, I would have been very daunted,” says Wilkinson, a CPA, who led all the financial aspects of the arena project. Instead, she approached the task as a series of challenges. “Every day you come in and tackle what’s in front of you.” The arena is expected to host major concerts and sporting events. JPMorgan Chase is the lead lender on a $150 million loan for the project. The city of Virginia Beach will provide the land and $77 million in infrastructure upgrades. The city also is contributing a portion of its hotel tax and revenues generated by the facility to help retire the arena debt. Construction will take two years. Jay Wilks, who has worked with ESG on the project, says it is the most complicated deal he has seen. “Valerie was instrumental in getting us this far along, and we are almost at the point where we can start construction,” says Wilks, an attorney with  Wilks, Alper, Harwood and McIntyre PC in Virginia Beach.  “We wouldn’t be at this point if it wasn’t for Valerie.” Wilkinson displayed patience, poise and perseverance throughout the project, he adds. “She didn’t get frustrated. She kept her eye on the desired end result.” A Maryland native who earned an accounting degree with highest honors from Pennsylvania State University, Wilkinson began working for ESG in 1987. The author of a number of works of fiction, she took a leave in 2011 to get a master’s degree in creative writing at Old Dominion University. Wilkinson returned to ESG in 2013. “From a skill set perspective, Valerie’s writing skills are something you don’t see in a CPA,” says Andrea Kilmer, the chief executive officer of ESG, who also is a CPA. “She can take something that is very complicated and reduce it down to something that is simple. She has such attention to detail, but she doesn’t get so lost in the detail that she loses sight of the bigger picture.” Wilkinson worked with industry experts and economists on the financial projections for the project. She also authored the public-private partnership bid proposal and led the effort in obtaining a loan commitment from a major U.S. bank. Wilkinson believes that the arena will be game-changing for the area. “I knew it would bring excitement about the venue and innovation in the way it was structured financially,” she says. Because private financing for such a project is so unusual, Wilkinson didn’t have a template to follow. “Usually a municipality or a team owns the arena, but ours is private ownership with certain public incentives,” she says. Joel Rubin admires Wilkinson’s diligence. “She has been an integral part of why we are able to accomplish this groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind project,” says Rubin, who is president and CEO of Rubin Communications Group in Virginia Beach. Wilkinson is not the first employee from ESG to win a Virginia CFO Award. In 2009, Kilmer won the award in the same category. Richmond-based Dominion Energy is the only other company with two winners since the awards began in 2006. Wilkinson is pleased to follow in the footsteps of her CEO. “I’m very proud of this company for creating the type of opportunity that has allowed both of us to get this recognition,” Wilkinson says. “That says a lot about our company and our owner, Eddie Garcia.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO_Crowder.png Photo by Shandell Taylor http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/real-estate-cfo-seen-as-a-straight-shooter Real estate CFO seen as a ‘straight shooter’ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/real-estate-cfo-seen-as-a-straight-shooter http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/real-estate-cfo-seen-as-a-straight-shooter#When:08:00:00Z LARGE PRIVATE COMPANIES James Crowder HHHunt Corp., Richmond James Crowder loves putting real estate deals together and finding ways to finance them. “It’s fun to see projects come alive,” says Crowder, CFO at HHHunt Corp., one of Virginia’s largest real estate development companies. “My favorite part of the job is structuring the deal and negotiating with the banks to get the best financing. I like the creativity part of it.” Before the Great Recession hit, Crowder was able to arrange for a $90 million syndicated loan involving five banks. “That provided a line that we were using a significant portion of to finance projects,” Crowder says. “We were able to invest in projects and properties prior to and during the recession.” HHHunt’s diversified real estate operations in four states also have helped in hard times. In addition to residential communities, the company owns apartments and assisted-living facilities. Those projects continued to generate income for the company during the recession. “That was great to have,” Crowder says. “It enabled us to continue to build houses on the for-sale side of the business and continue to develop other income properties.” J. Melvin Watkins, group manager with M&T Bank in Richmond, sees Crowder as “a straight shooter” when he’s working on a deal. “Jim is very candid and very matter of fact. He’s methodical and analytical,” he says. “He takes the time to explain why he’s making a decision. It’s refreshing to deal with him in that way.” In fact, Crowder on many occasions has taken bankers on personal tours of HHHunt communities to illustrate the company’s vision. A Petersburg native, Crowder taught math in Richmond public schools before switching to a career in finance. He was a banker at Central National Bank in Richmond before he joined The Bogese Companies, a Richmond-based, family-run land development company. He was working in finance and accounting for homebuilder Tomac Corp. in Midlothian before moving to HHHunt in 1998 as vice president of finance and accounting. He became chief financial officer in 2013. During his tenure as CFO, the company’s profitability has increased 57 percent. “When he came to the company he came from a homebuilder that had much more experience than we did,” says Buck Hunt, HHHunt’s vice chairman and CEO. “We had done master-planned development to large scale and homebuilding to a degree. He brought a broader base of knowledge on homebuilding.” Keeping up with industry and banking changes can be challenging, especially in light of the company’s rapid growth, Crowder says. “Counties have become more sophisticated in their development requirements, and the federal government has issued new banking regulations.” Crowder always keeps an eye on potential risks. “If something with a deal like a market change or competition goes bad, you have to find new strategies to make it work,” he says. In addition to managing the company’s finances, Crowder has a variety of other responsibilities ranging from insurance to technology. “I have also always handled the legal matters to make sure we are covered legally and our loan agreements are properly structured,” he says. One of the people who has observed Crowder in his various roles is Nathan Kerr, vice president at Scott Insurance, a Lynchburg-based brokerage. “He is an amazing leader with an uncanny ability to encourage, challenge and unify everyone with whom he works,” Kerr says. As part of the executive team, Crowder helps the company craft its strategy.  “A lot of times we will get into discussions around a new initiative or policy outside of the realm of finance,” Hunt says. Crowder’s commitment to the company stands out, the CEO adds. “He is dedicated to HHHunt and also to me and my family as well. I feel like I can trust him with every detail. There is nothing we can’t share and that is vitally important.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Haines-5048.png Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cfo-holds-herself-to-high-standards CFO holds herself to high standards http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cfo-holds-herself-to-high-standards http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cfo-holds-herself-to-high-standards#When:08:00:00Z SMALL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS Sylvia Haines Hampton Roads Chamber, Norfolk Often when he’s leaving work for the day, Bryan Stephens finds Sylvia Haines, his chief financial officer and chief operating officer, still hard at work. “She demands more of herself than we would demand of her,” says Stephens, CEO of the Norfolk-based Hampton Roads Chamber. “She adheres to the highest of standards. I have seen her stay late into the night and redo things to the standard of excellence she expects.” That standard is reflected in the perfect audits the organization frequently receives. “I remember a couple of years ago they identified a minor deficiency of under $100, which was easily fixed, and she was upset about it. She told me she was better than that,” says Stephens. “She has dogged determination to do everything to a high level of excellence.” Born in Portsmouth, Haines started with the Hampton Roads Chamber in 1987 as an accountant. “What I enjoy the most in chamber work is that you get to juggle a lot of different things. It’s not just accounting. I get to oversee communications and marketing. I enjoy that part of my job. It’s never boring,” she says. In addition to accounting, her work at the organization has involved relationship building and public speaking, duties that have helped her overcome her shyness. “I used to be painfully shy,” she says. “Being an introvert, doing presentations over these years has helped me grow. You have to put yourself out there, and it’s helped me step out of my box. Forming relationships with others in the community has helped me grow as well.” Haines has accumulated many responsibilities during her time with the chamber. Her job includes working for the chamber’s affiliate organizations such as the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads Sports Commission and Hampton Roads Chamber Foundation. The chamber also handles administrative duties for the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and Chamber Solutions, a partnership of chambers across Virginia. “I do wear a lot of different hats, but I love what I do,” says Haines. “I would rather have too much on my plate than have too little, any day.” Haines understands how to spot “red flags and bring them to my attention,” says Stephens. “She will identify something that is problematic before it becomes problematic. We are able to implement some sort of solution to prevent it from being problematic. She keeps me well informed.” Haines also supports the chamber’s mission of being the voice of the local business community. “I think she personally cares not only about the organization but also the people that make up the organization,” says attorney and consultant Shepelle Watkins-White of Shepelle Watkins-White Consulting & Law in Chesapeake. “She had an employee that was terminally ill and she put in long hours to cover for the employee, and I think that is very telling about her compassion.” Haines is a selfless leader and “mentor to everybody that works for and with the Chamber,” says Stephens. “We have a lot of young professionals that work for us, and they all look to her as a role model.” A mother, Haines serves as treasurer of Champions for Children: Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads. “I have a passion for children being taken care of the way we should take care of them,” she says. She doesn’t know where the future will take her, but one day she would like to run a chamber of commerce. “I don’t know where that is in the future, so we will see,” she says. “I’m happy where I am right now. My boss is doing some great things with our chamber, and I want to be part of that.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/CFO-Barden-5402.png Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/reorganization-process-improved-profitability Reorganization process improved profitability http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/reorganization-process-improved-profitability http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/reorganization-process-improved-profitability#When:08:00:00Z LARGE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS Sean Barden Mary Washington Healthcare Fredericksburg Sean Barden’s biggest accomplishment at Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg is his 2014 effort to “right-size” the organization so its resources were consistent with the number of patients it serves. His work resulted in a $27 million operating profit improvement and a 14 percent reduction in personnel based on patient occupancy in one year. Most of the staffing reductions were accomplished through attrition. “There had been a lot of changes in rapid succession that the organization had to absorb, such as the recession, the Affordable Care Act and growing competition,” he says. “The hospital had a couple of years of operating losses as those shocks came in. We had to look at that and make sure we had the right number of people.” Mary Washington’s results have continued to improve. In 2016, the health system had its best financial year ever. Barden’s efforts also have led to the refinancing of Mary Washington’s long-term debt at greatly reduced interest rates. The health system’s recent financial performance and balance sheet strength resulted in Fitch Ratings upgrading its rating from BBB+ to A-. Dr. Michael McDermott, president and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare, praises Barden’s financial acumen and leadership abilities. “We can look to him to help us with strategic decisions and know that he will put us on the right course,” McDermott says. Barden, a native of Vienna, Va., came to Mary Washington in 2007 after a career in health-care finance that included serving as CFO at Lake Forest Hospital outside of Chicago. “I enjoyed the organization, but my wife is a Virginia girl and hated Chicago,” he says. “I like to tell people she found this job for me. It was a really good opportunity.” Since he joined Mary Washington, Barden’s work has helped the organization execute its strategies. He converted the health system’s defined-benefit retirement plan to a defined-contribution plan in which employees invest in the program. The change resulted in $6 million in annual savings. Barden is always able to financially “connect the dots and see how it all folds together and have it operate as efficiently as possible,” says Therese Wareham, managing director and CEO of Kaufman Hall, a management consulting and financial advisory firm in Chicago. “He has the ability to work with and lead people in a way that allows them to execute and enhance the vision he has for the organization.” Barden is a decisive leader and once he has made an informed decision “he does not second-guess himself,” says Clarence A. Robinson, director of fiscal affairs for the city of Fredericksburg and a member of the Mary Washington Healthcare board of trustees. “He will work to execute his plan with full confidence and commitment.” A member of the health system’s senior leadership, Barden enjoys being able to work with his team and help set a course for the organization. Barden works hard and “expects you to work hard, but in a fair way,” says health-care consultant Joe Becht of Becht Advisory Group LLC in Mechanicsville. “He takes responsibility. He’s not going to throw any of his people under the bus.” Barden has a quiet leadership style as well as the ability to “remove his ego from his decision-making process, to take the lead and act with authority and to remain calm and focused in the face of adversity,” Robinson says. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Frank_and_Randy-5.png Virginia Commonwealth Bank CEO Randal Greene (left) and President Frank Scott III. Courtesy Virginia Commonwealth Bank http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/will-mergers-ruin-virginias-community-banks Will mergers ruin Virginia’s community banks? http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/will-mergers-ruin-virginias-community-banks http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/will-mergers-ruin-virginias-community-banks#When:08:00:00Z For a variety of reasons, an increasing number of Virginia community banks have decided to combine. The urge to merge has resulted in fewer banks competing in the commonwealth, but bank executives and industry experts say the trend doesn’t threaten the industry (or its customers) and could continue as the economy improves. “The decline in numbers of community banks in Virginia has been precipitous,” says Steven C. Yeakel, president and CEO of the Virginia Association of Community Banks (VACB). “We’ve had 28 mergers or announcements in the last four-and-a half years. That’s substantial.” In April, the $450 million Kilmarnock-based Bank of Lancaster closed its merger with Petersburg-based Virginia Bancorp Inc., creating a new Virginia Commonwealth Bank (VCB), a 19-branch, $800 million financial institution based in Henrico County. In a joint interview, VCB’s CEO, Randal R. Greene, and president, C. Frank Scott III, say their merger was designed to create a bank large enough to better target the rising number of thriving small businesses in the Richmond metro area. In May, Richmond-based Union Bankshares Corp. agreed to buy crosstown rival Xenith Bankshares Inc. in a stock deal worth $701 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the beginning of next year. The combined bank would have $12 billion in assets and more than 150 branches and loan offices from Maryland across Virginia to eastern North Carolina. (Last summer, the Virginia Beach-based Bank of Hampton Roads bought Xenith to create a larger, Richmond-based bank under the Xenith name.)  John C. Asbury, Union’s president and chief executive officer, says that, in addition to not only giving his bank an immediate and important retail presence in the Tidewater region, the Xenith deal also would create a larger, more powerful Richmond-based commercial sales team and potentially lucrative new expertise in government contract financing in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.   Other Virginia community banks recently involved in the mergers and acquisitions, either as buyers or sellers, include Portsmouth-based TowneBank, Richmond-based Franklin Federal, Chesapeake-based Monarch Bank, Tysons-based Cardinal Financial Corp., Richmond-based First Capital Bank, Reston-based Access Bank and Middleburg Bank. Fewer but stronger? In looking at the slew of Virginia mergers, Yeakel says the “impact on the banking community is: some good, some not so good … What is it saying about communities if there are fewer banks, less competition, fewer banks in rural areas? We certainly see that as a negative. But in terms of the health of the banks, the large number of mergers has come about for a variety of reasons. Equals are merging to gain some economies of scale, to keep their branches open and things like that, so it’s not necessarily a negative for the community or for the banks, either.” The 2008-2009 financial crisis and recession resulted in weakened banks being rescued from collapse through mergers with stronger financial institutions. By contrast, today’s M&A surge is partly the result of a strengthening national and regional economy, says Bruce Whitehurst, president and CEO of the Virginia Bankers Association. “In the last year or two, the environment has become a lot more favorable for banks to consider merging because bank performance has been better, bank stocks are trading at higher levels, the currency of the buyer has gotten stronger, the attractiveness of the potential seller has gotten greater,” he says. In explaining their need to rapidly increase in size, some banks have cited the heavy costs of federal regulation under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and consumers’ ongoing demands for increasingly sophisticated banking technology platforms. But something more basic may be even more important in spurring M&A activity, Whitehurst says. “It comes down to the decision by these two institutions that the sum of the parts is greater than their individual parts, and both will have a greater opportunity to perform,” he says. “At the end of the day they are in the business of performing for the sake of their shareholders.” Redefining the model The $350 million Bank of Botetourt, which serves customers along the Interstate 81 corridor between Lexington and Roanoke, has seen a tenfold increase in assets without a single merger or acquisition. G. Lyn Hayth III, the bank’s president and CEO, says mergers aren’t right for every bank. “If you open a bank in a high-growth market, like Northern Virginia or Tidewater, you have to have a large branch network,” he says. “You serve the community where there’s money to be made. We are all for-profit ... You need to go to markets where you make money.” Still unsettled is the question of whether multimillion- and multibillion- dollar acquisitions and expansions across state lines change the definition of community banking. “I do think [the definition of community banking] is evolving, but not necessarily because of M&A,” says Yeakel of the VACB.  “Community banking is a business model, not necessarily an asset size. It’s a way of doing business … We see community banking as localized decision making, fairly easy access to top management, nimbleness in decision making, flexibility, a real deep-rooted knowledge of local areas, expertise in small business and limited investments … Is that still the case? I think so. I really do.” Union, according to Asbury, is still evaluating what it plans to do with its offices in Maryland, but it plans to use the Xenith offices in North Carolina to substantially increase its commercial lending business in the region around Raleigh. Asbury thinks it is possible to grow and serve larger commercial clients while retaining the community banking skill set that made Union successful. The merger will create a bank with “the greater capabilities in reach and resources of a regional bank while maintaining our community banking DNA, which is how people feel when they bank with us and how we respond to them. That’s our strategy. We never want to give that up,” he says. Crossing the (state) line On a much smaller scale, Jay Stafford, president of the $570 million Benchmark Community Bank in Lunenburg County, faces similar questions. Stafford says some of his shareholders have asked him whether the company’s growing investments in nearby North Carolina are coming at the expense of the companies and small towns that the bank serves in Southern Virginia. In recent years, Benchmark gained many new customers across its six-county service area after cost-cutting larger banks closed their branches. Low loan demand locally spurred the bank to open loan offices in Wake Forest and Henderson, N.C., where economic activity is greater. “What I tell folks in our shareholder meeting is this: This is our home base … We’re going to take care of you, no problem,” he says. “The thing is: We make all the loans we can up here in Virginia, and we still have excess money … We’ve just taken excess money here and put it to work someplace else.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/0710171502d.png Army veteran Nate Humphrey (right) meets Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Photo by Jessica Sabbath http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-helping-hand A helping hand http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-helping-hand http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-helping-hand#When:08:00:00Z Last year, Lynchburg resident Kouri Tweedy was juggling retail and fast-food jobs with no clear idea of what she wanted to do in the future. “I was ready for a career,” she says. On a visit to a local Virginia Employment Commission office, Tweedy learned about a state-funded grant program that helps people who are seeking credentials in high-demand industries. A counselor told her that with a grant and other financial aid, she could earn three health-care credentials at Central Virginia Community College for just $71 in out-of-pocket costs. “I was in disbelief,” says Tweedy. Now she is a clinical medical assistant for Community Access Network in Lynchburg and has plans to earn an associate degree in nursing. Started just a year ago, the state’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant program already is paying dividends. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, Virginia community colleges almost tripled the number of credentials, licenses and certifications awarded in high-demand fields covered by the grant. During that time, Virginians earned 4,268 credentials in those fields. A year earlier, only 1,528 Virginians had earned those credentials. “Our problem in Virginia is not jobs,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said at a July event at John Tyler Community College highlighting the program’s success. “Our problem in Virginia is we have too many high-paying jobs that are going unfilled.” More than half of students earning credentials last year took advantage of the grant program. It was developed to fill jobs that require more than a high school education but less than a college degree. Virginia is the first state in the country to offer a “pay for performance” workforce credential grant. The commonwealth awards the money only when the training program is completed and the student earns an industry-recognized credential. “So far, the completion rate for these credentials is north of 90 percent,” says Craig Herndon, vice chancellor for workforce development of the Virginia Community College System. The grants pay for two-thirds of the cost of 146 credentials in high-demand industries, such as information technology, health care and logistics. Eligible programs vary by location, depending on the needs of employers, says Herndon. The grants were created by 2015 General Assembly legislation.  In the most recent fiscal year, the commonwealth appropriated $5 million for the program. That increases to $7.5 million in the current fiscal year. The average cost of these programs range from $2,000 to $3,000 for in-state residents, with some programs costing as much as $4,500.  “This is a tremendous help to our students,” says Keith Harkins, vice president of workforce development and continuing education at Southside Virginia Community College. “There’s no doubt that many students would have a difficult time paying for this if it were not for this workforce credential grant.” A grant helped Nate Humphrey find the on-the-job camaraderie he had missed after 13 years in the U.S. Army. Humphrey, a retired disabled veteran who served seven combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, completed the power-line training program at Southside Virginia Community College. His costs were covered by the grant program and other financial aid. Humphrey now is an apprentice line technician at Southside Electric Cooperative. The job can be challenging, requiring long hours in difficult conditions. “I was used to the brotherhood and the camaraderie I had in the Army,” says Humphrey. “We depend on the person to the left and right of you, and I was missing that.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/_DNP0748.png Mim Young loves Roanoke, but her children have moved to bigger cities. Photo by Don Petersen http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/recruiting-talent Recruiting talent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/recruiting-talent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/recruiting-talent#When:08:00:00Z In the 1990s, every community in the United States wanted to attract people like Mim Young and her husband, J.D. Working in marketing, graphics and software design, they were solidly in the “creative class,” a group tagged by experts as cultural saviors and economic engines of the modern American city. The couple traveled across four states, measuring communities against 10 criteria. They ended up in Roanoke. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” Young says. Young’s praise for the Roanoke area is familiar. It’s a great place to raise a family. There’s little traffic to fight, lots of mountains to admire and lots of nature to enjoy. “If you love a livable place that’s manageable, and you want high quality of life, this is your place,” Young says. “It’s a lovely place. If you lose your wallet in Roanoke, you’re probably going to get it back, and it’s probably going to have your money in it.” Young saw something else in the Star City. “I saw it was cool before it saw it was cool,” she says. The first time her family came to town, the Art Museum of Western Virginia (now the Taubman Museum of Art) was featuring the work of renowned Georgia folk artist Howard Finster. “Any place that is hip enough to have Howard Finster in its art gallery is hip enough for me,” she says. Her grown children, however, now live in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.  “A lot of things that make it so livable and lovable in Roanoke are things that do not appeal to them,” Young says. They aren’t the only ones. There are at least 20 colleges and universities within 60 miles of Roanoke, including a medical school in the city’s downtown. The area has more than a dozen craft breweries, an expanding innovation corridor, Virginia Tech and its Corporate Research Center and a well-publicized reputation as an outdoor adventure playground. Yet it still has a problem attracting and keeping young professionals. Director of talent attraction The Roanoke Regional Partnership plans to do something about that problem. It expects to hire a director of talent attraction to promote the area to millennials the way that Pete Eshelman, the partnership’s director of outdoor branding, has promoted the region as a mecca for runners, hikers, campers and cyclists. The purpose of the new position, which the partnership plans to fill in early August, will be to capture young professionals in the area before they get away and to lure back those who’ve already left. Such a position is unusual among smaller metro markets, according to Beth Doughty, the partnership’s executive director, but it’s common in larger areas. “It’s part of modern economic development,” she says. The partnership also is working on more traditional means of economic development, such as leading an effort to identify and assemble large sites for potential employers. Developing and maintaining a healthy economy, however, involves much more than attracting big companies. According to the Virginia Employment Commission, Roanoke alone has nearly 1,700 businesses with four or fewer employees. “Employment is all kinds of different profiles,” Doughty says. “It’s jobs, jobs, jobs, as everybody says, but it’s not limited to a big box where people work.” In addition to building upon the region’s relatively new identity as a hip, outdoorsy place, the director of talent attraction can take heart from recent research from the Urban Land Institute showing two Virginia metro areas are already millennial magnets. Hampton Roads’ millennial population grew by more than 16 percent between 2010 and 2015. In the Richmond area, the population grew by nearly 15 percent. Only one other metro in the country topped 10 percent, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area of California, which saw an 11.7 percent increase. It’s true the New York-Newark-Jersey City metroplex attracted more millennials than the top four percentage leaders combined, but the metroplex is a very big place. Those new New Yorkers increased the area’s millennial count by less than 3 percent. On the other hand, the Pew Research Center says that, although millennials are less likely to have a spouse or house to tie them to a place, they’re also less likely to move than previous generations did at the same age. eXperience YP A volunteer group, supported by the partnership and the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been working on the attraction and retention challenge since 2013. Thomas Becher, senior vice president at the public relations firm ndp, was instrumental in establishing eXperience YP. The original idea was to focus on graduates of nearby colleges. The group, however, quickly learned that it could make a bigger difference by concentrating on young professionals already in the labor market. The volunteers needed to show millennials, in Becher’s words, “There’s a lot of great potential, and there’s more here than you might think.” The group has held three annual conferences focusing on professional development, and it’s put together a series of quarterly meetings, called eXpand, aimed at keeping the project’s momentum going. Attendance at the conferences has ranged from 100 to 200 people, according to Becher. While the program is built around young professionals, it’s also meant to help develop understanding between baby boomer bosses and millennial employees. Becher is among the mentors offering advice to millennials. It’s natural, particularly in an occupation such as public relations, he says, for young professionals to want to be in Chicago, New York or D.C. “Then you realize you’re going to have four roommates in a shoebox apartment,” Becher says. “You’re going to be stuck in traffic or commuting every day. It’s only later in life that you realize that things like quality of life and short commutes and raising a family do come into play. So part of bridging the gap between mentors and young professionals is offering them life experience, what they can expect.” Millennials can expect more than a better quality of life in Roanoke, Becher says, “The nice thing about Roanoke is you can make a difference in a hurry.” Some millennials are learning that lesson firsthand as part of eXperience YP. Taylor Ricotta, public relations manager at Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, is a co-chair of the project. She’s one of about a dozen people who keep the organization going. Those volunteers, Ricotta says, are passionate. “The people kind of steering the ship are doing it because they love it,” she says. Ricotta echoes Becher’s observation about making a difference. “The thing I love about this area is there is so much opportunity here, and it’s so easy, if you go about it in the right way … for young professionals to kind of exert themselves anywhere and excel,” she says. The area looked very different to Ricotta when her family moved to Botetourt County in 2001. “They plopped us in the middle of a field,” she says. “I couldn’t wait to leave. I couldn’t wait to get out of here.” As a student at Radford University, she dreamed of marketing a NASCAR team. An internship required by Radford, however, sent her in a different direction. Ricotta interned with Sam Steidle, the creator of what would become the CoLab, a co-working space. There Ricotta encountered some of the area’s most engaging entrepreneurs and their infectious energy. She fell in love with the Roanoke region and wanted to find a way to promote it. Grace Boardwine grew up in Blue Ridge, just outside of Roanoke, and says she saw something similar in her Virginia Tech classmates. “They come down here,” she says. “They fall in love with the mountains. They fall in love with the area.” The problem, she says, has been a lack of affordable housing and a lack of jobs — at least, a lack of the kind of jobs that attract young people. “That’s changing now,” Boardwine says. She credits what she calls the area’s “outdoor revamping” and the businesses that has attracted. Boardwine grew up wanting to stay in the area but assumed there would be no way for her to do that. But the day after she graduated with a degree in environmental resource management and forestry, she got a job as a naturalist with the Mountain Lake Conservancy.  While working there, she’s also pursuing an online master’s degree in parks and resource management. She will start a new job soon, helping to market the Deschutes brewery that’s coming to Roanoke. While that job is not directly related to her education, Boardwine says Deschutes shares her values. Saying it takes good water to make good beer, she talks about the company’s environmental consciousness. “It would be awesome to end up with a sustainability-related job” with Deschutes, she says, but the marketing job means Boardwine and her fiancé won’t have to leave. “Both our families are in Botetourt County,” she says, “and we absolutely adore this area.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/AP_106826393269.png Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline hold a demonstration in front of the governor’s mansion in Richmond. AP Photo http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/pipeline-battle Pipeline battle http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/pipeline-battle http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/pipeline-battle#When:08:00:00Z For nearly three years, a battle has raged in Virginia over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. A massive and complex project, the 600-mile pipeline would tap into the rich shale fields of the Marcellus and Utica Basins and transport fracked natural gas to utilities in Virginia and North Carolina. The proposed interstate pipeline, stretching from West Virginia through parts of Virginia and to eastern North Carolina, has drawn broad business support and vociferous opposition.  Anti-pipeline demonstrators have staged protests from rural Nelson County to the halls of Virginia’s Capitol. They have stormed the General Assembly, the annual meetings of Dominion Energy and more recently the victory party of Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam after his win in June’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Interested parties, for and against the project, have flooded the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with 150,000 pages of comments and documents — 250 pages for every mile of pipeline.  With FERC expected to vote on the project in October, the battle is heading into the home stretch. Hardly a day passes without opponents raising new allegations of harm. Meanwhile, pipeline developers and state government promise the highest levels of environmental review over what has become a high-stakes, fight-to-the-finish drama that both sides are determined to win. Without an inch of pipeline being laid, the impassioned debate over the ACP already has produced a tangled intersection of concerns: environmental protection, personal property rights, and the role and influence of Dominion Energy, the state’s largest utility and the project’s lead partner.  Supporters, including Richmond-based Dominion, say the ACP would secure an abundant, affordable source of energy that would create jobs and spur economic development. They claim there’s an urgent public need for the project, especially in natural gas-constrained areas such as Hampton Roads. “This is not a build-it-and-they-will-come type of project,” says Diane Leopold, president and CEO of Dominion’s Gas Infrastructure Group. “This is people asking for it because of a need and us putting forward a proposal that best met that need.”   Dominion has thrown its full force behind the $5 billion pipeline. That should come as no surprise given that the  ACP provides the foundation for the company’s long-term strategic growth plan.  “We really aren’t making contingency plans for not having the ACP. We believe the ACP will get built,” says Paul Koonce, the CEO of Dominion Generation Group. The company is counting on the underground pipeline to better serve customers, lower energy costs and provide a reliable backup to a growing portfolio of renewable sources. Dominion has built its solar portfolio to more than 400 megawatts and continues to make solar acquisitions, while moving ahead with a 12-megawatt offshore wind project off the coast of Virginia Beach. “If we are to deploy 5,000 megawatts of solar [by 2042]  … you can’t do one without the other,” says Koonce. “If we’re going to maintain the dispatchable generation that we have to have to go with the intermittency of solar and other renewables, then we believe that we have to have the ACP.” Opponents say such arguments ignore the fact that Dominion is part of PJM, a regional grid operator based in Pennsylvania.  “There is a ton of base load power in PJM,” says Will Cleveland, a staff attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) in Charlottesville. “We don’t need to generate every megawatt of electricity that’s consumed in Virginia. If you want to protect your customers from price volatility, you participate in the PJM power market.” Renewable energy advocates question the wisdom of Dominion’s expansion into natural gas at a time when costs for renewables, such as solar and wind energy, are dropping and technologies are breaking new ground in areas such as energy storage.  While natural gas produces half the carbon emissions of coal, it’s still a fossil fuel, they say. “We’re not saying don’t build any natural gas,” says J. R. Tolbert, a Richmond-based vice president of state policy for Advanced Energy Economy, a national nonpartisan, business group that focuses on clean energy.  “We’re saying that there are other solutions out there that, if we build thousands of megawatts of natural gas, we’re going to be leaving on the sideline. And those solutions are the options that Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies are clamoring for, the same people that we’re trying to get to come and do business in Virginia.”  Environmental impact Opponents also worry about environmental risk. They say the 42-inch-diameter pipeline would disrupt some of the most pristine areas of Virginia as it passes through 16 miles of national forests, hundreds of rivers and streams and steep mountain terrain.  Also along the route are 1,400 Virginia landowners who could see property taken through eminent domain if FERC approves the project. FERC was scheduled to release a final environmental impact statement on the ACP on July 21, after this story had gone to press. A draft statement released in December determined that the pipeline “would result in temporary and permanent impacts on the environment and would also result in some adverse effects.” FERC added that such impacts could be reduced to “less-than-significant levels” through mitigating measures taken by pipeline developers and federal regulators. After the final environmental statement is released, FERC is expected to vote on a permit about 90 days later — if it has a three-person quorum. Since February, the five-member commission has had only two commissioners. President Donald Trump has nominated two candidates for the commission, but they still were awaiting Senate confirmation in mid-July. Dominion donations Dominion, a Fortune 500 corporation with annual revenue of $11.4 billion, is a company with deep pockets and political clout. As one of the country’s largest producers and transporters of energy, it has a portfolio of about 26,200 megawatts of generation, 15,000 miles of natural-gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and more than 6 million utility and retail energy customers. In its Virginia service area, it functions as a utility monopoly, serving 2.5 million customers in this state and eastern North Carolina. Dominion is regulated by the General Assembly and the State Corporation Commission, and it’s well known that the energy giant is Virginia’s top corporate political donor.  According to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), the company gave $442,000 to Democrats and $445,000 to Republicans in Virginia in 2016 and 2017 (through June 1). Dominion officials point out that environmental groups also give hefty donations to politicians. That comparison, says state Sen. J. Chapman Petersen, D-Fairfax County, isn’t exactly apples to apples. “These groups are volunteers, advocates. They don’t get any special protection from state laws.” Dominion, though, is given “quasi-governmental powers,” notes Petersen. “To give a public-service corporation that amount of power and then allow them to give donations to the people who regulate them, to me, is too much.” During this year’s General Assembly, Petersen proposed a bill that would have prohibited members of the General Assembly or holders of statewide office from accepting campaign money from public-service corporations like Dominion. The bill failed, but he plans to reintroduce it in 2018. “Right now people aren’t happy,” he says. “They’re not happy about the pipeline, the coal ash [the disposal of waste from coal-fired power plants] …”  and other issues that have dogged Dominion over the past couple years, including legislation passed in 2015 exempting Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power from rate reviews by the State Corporation Commission for seven years. Petersen tried to repeal the rate freeze this year, but his bill didn’t make it out of committee.  He contends that the rationale for the legislation no longer exists since it was predicated on the onerous costs of implementing the Clean Power Plan advocated by then-President Barack Obama. At that time, energy companies, including Dominion, feared the stricter regulations would lead to higher energy costs for customers as companies would be forced to close coal plants.  Since then, the CPP has been stayed by the Supreme Court, and President Donald Trump has issued an executive order repealing the policy. Petersen calls the continued suspension of the rate review, “a gross display of political power and zero benefit for the customer [because it bans customers in Virginia from receiving refunds when electric companies earn excessive profits]. That’s why I did what I did,” he says, during this year’s legislative session. Dominion has said the rate freeze would help the company stabilize prices for electricity. The pipeline controversy also has found its way into the gubernatorial race. Northam faces political pressure from anti pipeline groups and Republicans because he has not publicly opposed the pipeline. In a recent radio interview, Northam indicated that if FERC approves the project and mitigating measures could prevent environmental harm, then he would not move to stop it should he be elected governor, a statement Republicans said proves he is for the pipeline. Northam’s campaign disagreed and  responded that “Dr. Northam has always said he wants DEQ’s (Department of Environmental Quality) evaluation to be rigorous, based in science, transparent, and to make sure that Virginia takes care of people’s property rights. He believes the facts should dictate the outcome, and his position has not changed.” Former U. S. Rep. Tom Perriello, Northam’s primary opponent, had made his opposition to the pipeline and refusal to take donations from Dominion key campaign points. Northam had accepted political donations from Dominion and its executives totaling about $29,500 from January through June, and he also owns stock in the company. During the same time, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie had received about $13,000 from Dominion. He favors the ACP and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a $3 billion, 300-mile proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross parts of Southwest Virginia. The MVP has sparked strong opposition as well, but it doesn’t involve a Virginia-based corporate heavyweight.  Dominion and its charitable foundation distribute about $20 million a year in grants within its 18-state footprint, including $8.6 million to Virginia nonprofits in 2016.  The company also sponsors numerous events and is building a new corporate headquarters in downtown Richmond. It’s headed by CEO Thomas F. Farrell II, one of Virginia’s most powerful  business executives. Farrell serves on several of the state’s high-profile boards. He is a member on the board of trustees of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is chairman of the Richmond Performing Arts Center and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Farrell is a former rector of the University of Virginia board of visitors and the former chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education. He also was among state business leaders who pushed for the creation of GO Virginia, a new regional economic development initiative, where he serves as a board member.  The political pushback against Dominion comes at a time of growing political populism. During the June primary, 61 Democratic challengers for House of Delegates seats said they would not take donations from the company. “What we have emerging is a branch of the Democratic Party, a progressive wing, that is skeptical of the business-friendly orientation that has dominated Virginia politics for a century and a half,” says Quentin Kidd, a political analyst and the director of the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. While Virginia has seen populist politicians before, today’s climate “is a Bernie Sanders, business-skeptical populism,” adds Kidd, “and that’s the difference.”  The shale revolution Politics aside, “All infrastructure is controversial,” says Cathy Landry, a spokeswoman for Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, a trade association that represents the operators of interstate natural gas pipelines. In the last decade the country has seen a boom in natural-gas development, thanks to the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. Advances in hydraulic fracturing, a horizontal drilling process challenged by some environmentalists, provide access to these rich gas reserves.  And with the shale close to high-demand markets in the Northeast, “this certainly has been a game changer,” says Landry. With shale deposits expected to last 100 years, advocates hail a new era of energy security for America.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last year that natural gas provided 34 percent of the total electricity generation in the country, surpassing coal to become the leading generation source. The case for the ACP With a 48 percent interest, Dominion is the lead partner in the ACP along with Duke Energy, 47 percent; and Southern Co. Gas, 5 percent. The partners extol the economic development gains they say would come from the pipeline: a total of 17,240 jobs during construction, $2.7 billion in overall economic impact and an average of $4.2 million annually in tax revenues to local governments along the three-state route. The pipeline would cross three states and deliver up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day to natural-gas customers in Virginia and North Carolina. Matt Yonka, president of the Virginia State Building and Construction Trades, an organization that represents union construction trades throughout the state, says about 8,800 of those jobs would be in Virginia. The construction would require welders, electricians, pipefitters and industrial equipment operators. “They will bring in their supervision,” he says of the pipeline developers, “and then they will hire local Virginians who work through us.”  Once the pipeline begins operation, one survey claims, it would support about 1,300 permanent jobs in Virginia, including positions that could materialize from increased manufacturing, a number opponents dispute.  While Dominion would operate it, subsidiaries of the partners and others would use the ACP, with 92 percent of the capacity subscribed, says Leopold. “We knew there was going to be some opposition,” she says. “Our focus is on getting it done to meet the urgent public need, to protect public safety and to do it environmentally responsibly.”  Leopold says the origins for the ACP came in 2014 when Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas requested proposals for a pipeline because of natural gas constraints in the state. In eastern North Carolina and eastern Virginia, “there are constraints today in being able to heat the homes, let alone building new homes or businesses in the area,” says Leopold. “So that’s the first piece of public need.”  A second driver was stricter federal regulations on power plant emissions of mercury and other toxic metals. Although shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, the new rules prompted energy companies to update or close coal-fired plants.  The Clean Power Plan under Obama’s administration also called for reduced carbon emissions. While that plan appears to be dead, Dominion officials anticipate future national and state energy policy to include limitations on greenhouse gas emissions. In Virginia, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has directed the state to come up with regulations reducing carbon emissions from power plants by December.   The upshot of the movement to lower carbon emissions: the building of more natural gas-fired plants. In the past four years, Dominion Energy has closed several coal-fired units and brought more than 3,000 megawatts of gas production on line. It already has opened three natural gas-fired plants in Virginia and will add another 1,500 megawatts of natural gas when the Greensville Power Plant is completed in December 2018. For Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas in Norfolk (a subsidiary of Southern Co. Gas), the pipeline can’t come fast enough. His utility serves 300,000 homes and businesses in Hampton Roads, and he says it doesn’t have excess capacity. During a polar vortex winter storm in 2014, Kibler says, the company shut off the region’s 100 largest industrial customers. “We had to shut them off for days so we could keep the heat on for schools, hospitals, nursing homes and residents.” While that was an extreme storm, Kibler says the region needs an investment in new infrastructure. “When the state brings us a prospect to locate here, we have not been able to compete with other regions where the pipeline system is less constrained. Whatever capacity we’ve been able to offer is on an interruptible basis. This customer signs up for service knowing that if we experience extreme weather, we have the right to interrupt their power.”  Another area of concern is the ability to convert large industrial customers to natural gas. The Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls recently converted its steam-generation power plant from fuel oil to natural gas. Tom Cosgrove, the shipyard’s community relations manager, says the savings have been tremendous. In 2016, the first year the shipyard fully transitioned to natural gas, costs for fuel, labor and maintenance came to $4 million, an 80 percent drop from the $20 million spent in 2013, the last year the shipyard relied solely on oil. “As more companies are looking to make that change, the infrastructure needs to be there to support it,” says Cosgrove. The case against the ACP Personal property rights, public need and Virginia’s plans to protect water quality have emerged as key points of opposition. Hazel Palmer’s family has owned land in Augusta County off the Blue Ridge Parkway for seven generations. “My great grandfather bought it in 1880. So we’ve had it for 137 years,” she says.  Palmer, an 84-year-old widow now living in Lynchburg, has fond memories of visiting her grandparents and parents, who lived on 125 acres across from the parkway in Lyndhurst. Today, Palmer’s daughter lives on the land in a log home at the top of a hill overlooking a scenic mountain ridge. According to Palmer, the ACP’s route runs about 1,000 feet from the rear of her daughter’s home, close to the ridge.  “It just makes me ill that they’re going to come through with a pipeline,” she says. Palmer and other private landowners filed suit against the ACP after their property was surveyed for the pipeline without their permission, which is legal under a controversial law in Virginia that was recently upheld by the state’s Supreme Court. After she initially refused permission, Palmer said Dominion sued her, and she countersued. Palmer’s case contended that natural gas companies should not be allowed to survey private property without the landowner’s consent.  A circuit court judge ruled against Palmer in Staunton, and she appealed the ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court. In July, the court upheld the constitutionality of Virginia’s survey law, which requires companies to notify landowners about plans and dates for surveying their lands. According to Palmer, pipeline crews would clear about a 125-foot-wide construction corridor across 110 acres of her land, with a 50-foot easement taken for the pipeline’s permanent right of way. With a gas pipeline on her property, she’s afraid she won’t be able to sell the land in the future.  “If there’s a leak, I worry about what that would do.” Public need “There is no doubt that we can keep the lights on in Virginia without the pipeline,” says the SELC’s Cleveland. On behalf of a coalition of eight environmental groups, SELC filed a motion in June with FERC seeking an evidentiary hearing on the public need for the pipeline. Such hearings include testimony and cross-examination, which could delay FERC’s decision. With increased energy efficiency and the availability of solar and wind alternatives, the coalition claims that justification for the project has eroded in the three years since it was proposed in September 2014. The motion also challenges agreements that Dominion and Duke Energy have with subsidiaries. In essence the companies are contracting with themselves, says Greg Buppert, the SELC senior attorney who filed the motion. “That’s not an arm’s length transaction that actually reflects what’s going on in the market.” “In other words,” the motion says, “these companies are gambling with ratepayer money in order to build their $5 to $6 billion project on which pipeline developers will receive a lucrative 14-15 percent rate of return.” Leopold says that the ACP has negotiated a rate of return with FERC on the project, but she’s not revealing what the rate is. She did say that a blanket statement saying all pipelines are guaranteed a certain rate, such as 14 percent, is incorrect. “Until the construction is done, we won’t even know what it is. So it’s not fixed that way.” In its most recent long-term strategic plan filed with the SCC, Dominion says that it expects wholesale and retail customer energy sales to grow at annual rates of 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent respectively, over the 25-year planning period.  Based on an earlier study it commissioned, SELC says demand forecasts will be level or declining through 2030 and that existing pipelines can supply enough fuel. PJM’s peak demand forecast for Dominion for 2017 is 1,251 megawatts less than in 2016. Dominion says that revisions to PJM’s load forecasting model and the lack of market specifics such as Virginia’s new data center growth, account for the lower number. Water quality One of the most intense skirmishes focuses on water quality. In late June, the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced that it was expanding its review of both the ACP and the MVP pipelines in areas not covered by a blanket permit used by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps’ purview assesses work on utility projects that cross streams and wetlands. So in addition to what is known as the Corps’ Nationwide Permit 12, Virginia will require additional conditions for erosion and sediment control. DEQ’s action came after Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition and other groups opposed to the ACP filed suit against the agency. The coalition challenged DEQ’s decision to allow the Corps’ blanket permit to be the authority for protecting the state’s water quality in areas near stream and wetlands crossings. “Areas in and around these streams are some of the most damaging, risky places to be digging, boring and blasting, which they will be doing,” says David Sligh, a spokesman for the coalition and a former DEQ senior engineer. He is not appeased by the schedule of public hearings in August to give citizens a chance to comment on DEQ’s proposed water quality certification of each pipeline project under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. DEQ’s announcement  “essentially portends that the state is somehow doing more than they are required to do. That’s simply not true,” says Sligh. “They are still proposing to do far less than is necessary for our water quality, and they’re choosing to continue to rely on the Corps of Engineers blanket permit, which is completely inadequate.” Pressure from environmental groups on water quality is not surprising. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation recently refused to grant a water permit for the 125-mile Constitution  Pipeline, effectively halting the project. The $925 million pipeline had received approval from FERC and permits from the state of Pennsylvania. The pipeline’s developer is fighting the state’s action in an appeals court. Governor’s assurances Gov. McAuliffe, who supports the ACP, is comfortable with DEQ’s plan. He tells Virginia Business that DEQ will require ACP and MVP pipeline developers to submit detailed erosion and sediment control plans  “for every foot of land disturbance, and these plans must protect water quality during and after construction. The plans will be posted for public review, and DEQ will hire inspectors to oversee the construction process to ensure compliance.” A final decision on certification will be made at a public meeting of the State Water Control Board. Despite the intense debate and threats of more litigation should the pipeline be approved, the governor is not backing away from his support. “Many businesses need access to natural gas to support manufacturing processes. Hampton Roads is a natural gas-constrained region that has seen some economic development activities stunted because of this constraint. If we are going to grow our economy, we need to continue to build and expand our energy infrastructure.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DJI_0626.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wholesome-harvest-investing-22.1-million-in-bakery Wholesome Harvest investing $22.1 million in bakery http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wholesome-harvest-investing-22.1-million-in-bakery http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wholesome-harvest-investing-22.1-million-in-bakery#When:08:00:00Z Wholesome Harvest Baking plans to invest $22.1 million in new equipment and a new artisan bread production line at its Roanoke plant. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) will retrain more than 300 bakery employees so they can operate the new machinery. Wholesome Harvest may not sound familiar, but some of its products may. Ever hear of Boboli pizza crust? Arnold Sandwich Thins? Thomas’ English Muffins? Sara Lee? Wholesome Harvest Baking makes all those, among other products. The company’s history goes back more than a century to the Canada Bread Co.’s 1911 founding. The company expanded into the United States in 1996. In 2014, it became a subsidiary of Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, which claims to be the largest baking company in the world, doing business in 22 countries across three continents. The company’s website describes Wholesome Harvest as a major provider “of quality frozen and [partially baked] products to retail operators and in-store bakeries” offering packaged baked goods and producing private-label products for a number of grocery stores. It employs 1,400 people in seven bakeries across North America. “For nearly 20 years, Wholesome Harvest Baking has provided gainful employment to hundreds of residents of the Roanoke Valley and also been a strong supporter of infrastructure development within the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology, including the installation of sidewalks and initiation of bus service to the park,” says Roanoke Mayor Sherman P. Lea Sr. “I am delighted to see Wholesome Harvest’s further commitment to the community by announcing this expansion. It’s a good thing for our city — not just for our city, but for the whole valley and I’m all about that.” Wholesome Harvest Baking President Dan Curtin said at the time of the expansion announcement, “We value our people who work in the Roanoke community and believe that a successful company is built on the talents of our many associates. We are proud to partner with the VJIP to provide our associates with quality training and are committed to fostering the personal and professional growth of our associates to provide our customers with exceptional products.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/EHC_SHS_campus_01.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/emory-henrys-students-bring-new-life-to-old-hospital Emory & Henry’s students bring new life to old hospital http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/emory-henrys-students-bring-new-life-to-old-hospital http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/emory-henrys-students-bring-new-life-to-old-hospital#When:08:00:00Z Eventually, the students in Emory & Henry College’s School of Health Sciences will improve their patients’ health. Right now, they’re improving Marion’s economy. “What we have done in our office is be the biggest cheerleader we can be for Emory because we see that the potential isn’t just filling up the old hospital,” says Marion Economic Development Director Ken Heath. “The potential is all the ancillary benefits we’re starting to see already – turning Marion from a pretty nice little, sleepy, cool town into a college town and all the benefits that brings.” When Smyth County Community Hospital moved to new facilities in 2012, some folks worried the old hospital (built in 1965) would become an eyesore at the edge of town. Henderson Graham, a retired dentist, was determined that wouldn’t happen. He went to several schools promoting the idea of using the old building to teach new health professionals. Eventually, Emory & Henry, with its campus just 20 miles outside Marion, bought in. “Henderson Graham is the one I fully credit with this whole shebang,” Heath says. “He was like a bulldog. He grabbed hold of that thing and wouldn’t let go until it thundered.” Graham died before the college’s Marion campus opened. “He got to carry the ball almost to the goal line,” Heath says. The economic development director helped push it across. The graduate programs of Emory & Henry’s School of Health Sciences are housed in the former hospital building. The doctor of physical therapy program’s inaugural cohort of 28 students had a white-coat ceremony in June, marking the beginning of their final year in the program. That year is devoted to clinical study. A month earlier, the 30 members of the college’s first class of physician assistants donned white coats, beginning a 27-month curriculum. While they’re learning and supporting the local economy, students also are getting experience and helping locals through the Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry, the Obesity Research Center and the Falls Prevention Center. Those programs, plus the master’s program in occupational therapy, have brought 120 students to the Marion campus. The college expects to increase that number to 180 this fall. Heath says the college expects to bring in hundreds more. “They’ve got some big dreams,” he says, “and I’m dreaming right along with them.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/SOVA_Martinsville_Exterior_025.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/monogram-plant-plays-role-in-parent-companys-award Monogram plant plays role in parent company’s award http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/monogram-plant-plays-role-in-parent-companys-award http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/monogram-plant-plays-role-in-parent-companys-award#When:08:00:00Z Monogram Snacks in Martinsville has grown rapidly since its parent company, Monogram Foods, opened the plant in 2009. “We’ve gone from 115 to approximately 600 employees at the plant,” says Karl Schledwitz, chairman and chief executive officer of Memphis-based Monogram Foods, which employs nearly 3,000 people in eight manufacturing facilities in seven states.  The Martinsville plant makes meat snacks and meat sticks, including a full array of jerky products. “We produce over 100 different products in Martinsville,” Schledwitz says. Those products include Monogram brands such as Wild Bill’s and Hannah’s as well as private-label snacks. Monogram Snacks also “co-manufactures” products for other brands. The growth at Monogram Snacks hasn’t gone unnoticed by the meat processing industry. Monogram Foods recently was named the industry’s 2017 Processor of the Year. The recognition honors the company’s growth as well as its industry leadership in investment and innovation. The Martinsville plant offers evidence of that investment. In June, Monogram Snacks began operating a $11 million wastewater facility, which will allow the plant to continue its growth. The project includes an anaerobic digester that performs a series of biological processes with the capability of producing enough methane gas to generate 400 kilowatts of power for the Appalachian Power grid. “The wastewater facility is about 400 percent larger than our previous facility,” Schledwitz says. In planning the project, the company qualified for investment energy credits as well as new-market tax credits. “We are one of the first companies in the country to do both together,” Schledwitz says. “The project wasn’t a big job creator because it only takes a few people to run the facility, but it does enable us to add jobs going forward to expand our capacity. We have plans to grow even more in Martinsville.” Schledwitz says he enjoys doing business in Virginia. “There hasn’t been a state that has been better to deal with,” he says. The CEO also praises the Martinsville-area workforce. “They are better skilled than anywhere else we have gone,” he says. “A lot of people that were trained in the textile and furniture industries became available because of the decline of those industries in the area.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Pete02.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inova-accelerator-seeks-personalized-medicine-startups Inova accelerator seeks personalized-medicine startups http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inova-accelerator-seeks-personalized-medicine-startups http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/inova-accelerator-seeks-personalized-medicine-startups#When:08:00:00Z The Inova Personalized Health Accelerator (IPHA) is preparing to accept applications from early-stage startups focused on predicting, preventing and treating disease. Falls Church-based Inova Health System announced plans for the accelerator last December when it also launched Inova Strategic Investments, a venture-capital program. Both projects are housed at the new Inova Center for Personalized Health, a 117-acre campus in Fairfax County. IPHA was set to open in July, with more announcements expected in August. Plans call for the accelerator to host four companies in the first six months of operation, then 16 in each subsequent 12-months period. “We are looking for companies that will produce technologies and services that will bring diagnostic, therapeutics and wellness programs to an individual level that generally does not exist in health services today,” says Pete Jobse. Jobse and Hooks Johnston are the managing directors of the accelerator and the investment program. Jobse was CEO of the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon. Johnston was general partner of Valhalla Partners, a venture capital fund he co-founded. IPHA expects to work with companies involved in handling analytics and making medical devices, Jobse says. He also is seeking firms that will “build interfaces between what we traditionally call patients, and now understand as clients or consumers.” In addition, the accelerator wants to find startups that will provide technology for next-generation wellness — “technology that can be incorporated with personal wearables; devices for use in your home that measure heart rate, temperature, glucoses; things that will enable patients/customers to be more in control of their health,” Jobse says. Companies chosen for the program will receive a $75,000 investment from Inova and its partners, and Inova will take a 10 percent equity position in each firm, the website Genome Web reports. Successful participants will be considered for additional funds from Inova Strategic Investments. IPHA is developing relationships with a number of schools, including the University of Virginia, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Shenandoah University and George Washington University, Jobse says. It’s also working closely with the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the trade association Virginia Bio. “We’re using the extended network that we have as investors, and we’re planning a series of events to attract thought leaders and develop an extended community that will expand our overall network,” he says. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/HiResFinalWorkroom.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/stage-curtain-company-is-playing-to-national-audience Stage curtain company is playing to national audience http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/stage-curtain-company-is-playing-to-national-audience http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/stage-curtain-company-is-playing-to-national-audience#When:08:00:00Z A Richmond-based stage curtain maker has landed a project from one of the most famous venues in the country — the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. LuXout Stage Curtains  is set to start in December on a more than $100,000 contract to produce 23 curtains, which will be up to 30 feet tall. They will be used in a $119.5 million expansion at the Kennedy Center, which is adding studios, classrooms, meeting rooms, a lecture hall and an event space. The project, which is under construction, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. “When you get a very large building made out of a lot of concrete and steel, you get a lot of reverberation,” says Ned Dunford, the LuXout salesman who landed the contract.  “These curtains are mostly designed to knock down the reverb.” This is the second time LuXout has worked on a Kennedy Center project. In 2010, the company cleaned and repaired the 65-foot-­tall curtains in the center’s grand foyer. LuXout is part of The Specialty Group Ltd., a multimillion-dollar Richmond-based company owned by Tony and Deborah Lovette. Specialty Group also includes Specialty Drapery, which provides window covers. Specialty Group purchased LuXout in 2009, a move that served as a lifeline to the curtain company when many of its projects came to a halt during the Great Recession.  LuXout mostly repairs and replaces curtains for auditoriums in public, K-12 schools. Since the recession, Specialty Group’s sales have increased an average of 22 percent a year. From 2016 to 2017, sales jumped more than 30 percent. Tony Lovette attributes that growth to more business from public schools and new construction projects, such as the Kennedy Center expansion. The company also is expanding. It has 31 employees and is looking to add six more. Specialty Group also recently created a division, LuXout Shades, which makes window shades for interior designers. LuXout Stage Curtains also recently opened an office in Dallas in addition to its locations in Richmond and Orlando, Fla. “The opportunity in [the Dallas] marketplace dwarfs everything we’ve ever done,” says Tony Lovette. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Virginias-Shenandoah-Valley-Map.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/partnership-formed-to-promote-valley-tourism Partnership formed to promote Valley tourism http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/partnership-formed-to-promote-valley-tourism http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/partnership-formed-to-promote-valley-tourism#When:08:00:00Z Visitors to the Shenandoah Valley often are not aware of what the region has to offer. The Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership is hoping to change that with its new marketing campaign slogan, “Today’s Shenandoah Valley.” The marketing effort started as a collaboration involving marketing officials employed by localities throughout the region. “Our jobs are to promote our destinations to increase visitation, which ultimately supports our local economies,” says Jenna French, director of tourism and marketing for Shenandoah County. “We saw great potential in working together to promote the Shenandoah Valley as a regional destination.” According to Virginia Tourism Corp., visitors to the Shenandoah Valley in 2015 generated $1.3 billion in direct spending, a 1.5 percent increase over the previous year. “They also supported $97.2 million in state and local taxes,” says French. “Our goal is to drive those numbers up with increased visitation.” Launched in May, the tourism partnership now involves 13 communities, stretching from Winchester to Lexington. “Visitors don’t see jurisdictional boundaries, and promoting the region as a whole enables us to encourage people to plan longer trips to the area instead of seeing our individual localities as a weekend destination,” French says. Working together also enables the localities to pool their resources and take on projects that would otherwise be too expensive for individual budgets. “A great example of this is a PBS travel series we hosted last year called ‘Family Travels with Colleen Kelly,’ which will air this summer throughout the country and even internationally,” French says. “As individual localities, we wouldn’t have had the resources to host them on our own.”  In working with the partnership to evaluate the area’s strengths and visitor perceptions of the region, Mikula|Harris, a branding and advertising agency, came up with three areas of focus: outdoor recreation and scenic beauty, family travels and growing an interest in the area’s farm-to-table movement. “Our main goal now is to increase awareness of the Shenandoah Valley as a premiere travel destination,” French says. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-august-2017 People - August 2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-august-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/people-august-2017#When:08:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA John Dunn has been promoted to chief financial officer at ADS. Dunn started working for the Virginia Beach defense contractor in 2010 as the corporate controller before he became vice president of finance in 2013. (Inside Business) James City County Supervisor Michael Hipple has been named chairman of the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission. Hipple will take over for Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms Jr., who reached the end of his two-year term. Hipple was vice chairman. (The Virginia Gazette) Paul Julius, a former Morgan Stanley executive, has been named CFO and executive director at Norfolk-based law firm Vandeventer Black LLP. Julius was director of finance at Proskauer Rose LLP in the New York City area. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Dollar Tree Inc. has promoted Michael A. Witynski to president and chief operating officer of its Dollar Tree store segment. Witynski has served as chief operating officer since July 2015 and previously was senior vice president of stores. He joined Dollar Tree in 2010. (VirginiaBusiness.com) SHENANDOAH VALLEY Scott C. Harvard, CEO and president of First National Corp. and CEO of First Bank in Strasburg, has been named chairman-elect of the Virginia Bankers Association. As chairman-elect he is slated to become the association’s chairman in June 2018. (VirginiaBusiness.com) The town of Luray will see a new manager at its helm in the coming fiscal year. Town Manager Charlie Hoke has given his notice of retirement. Hoke, 61, was appointed as interim town manager in April 2013, before securing the full-time position in a 4-to-1 council vote four months later. (Page News and Courier) Earle A. MacKenzie, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Shentel, has announced his retirement, pending the naming of a replacement. He joined the Shenandoah County telecommunications company 14 years ago, when the company was a small player in a rapidly changing industry. During his tenure, Shentel’s annual revenues have increased five-fold, from $105.9 million to $535.3 million last year. (The Northern Virginia Daily) Lord Fairfax Community College President Cheryl Thompson-Stacy will retire effective Feb. 1, 2018, after nine years in the post. Lord Fairfax has campuses in Middletown and Warrenton, a center in Luray and a site in Vint Hill. Thompson-Stacy became LFCC president in January 2009. Full-time enrollment jumped 13 percent the year following her hiring and grew significantly in the years that followed, the college reported. (Fauquier Times) CENTRAL VIRGINIA  Richmond-based Commonwealth Commercial Partners LLC has promoted Alex C. Crouch to managing director of the North and South Carolina offices. Crouch joined Commonwealth Commercial in 2007, serving most recently in a senior role in the Richmond office. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Laura W. Fornash, Virginia’s secretary of education from 2011 to 2013, has joined McGuireWoods Consulting in Richmond as a senior vice president and co-leader of its National Education practice. More recently, she was executive assistant to the president for state governmental relations at the University of Virginia. (News release) Barry N. Moore, former vice president for university outreach and strategic partnerships at Liberty University, has been named president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia. He replaces Thomas Gallagher, who in April announced his retirement after leading the nonprofit business group for 35 years. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Beth Weisbrod, the executive director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation for the past 10 years, plans to step down Sept. 30. She will serve as a member of the foundation’s board of directors. (News release) NORTHERN VIRGINIA Fairfax-based FVCbank has promoted  Patricia A. Ferrick  to president. Ferrick has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer since the bank’s inception in 2007. David W. Pijor continues to serve as CEO and chairman. (News release)   Andrew C. Grimm  has been named CEO of Fairfax-based Apple Federal Credit Union. He was the organization’s chief operating officer. Grimm succeeds Larry Kelly, who retired in June. (Credit Union Times)  Reston-based government IT company Leidos Holdings Inc. has appointed  Frank Kendall  to its board of directors. Kendall stepped down in January as chief weapons buyer for the Pentagon under then-President Barack Obama. He is the 13th Leidos director. (Washington Business Journal)   Stuart S. Malaw er, appointed to  the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Committee on International Trade. Malawer is the distinguished service professor of law and international trade at Fairfax-based George Mason University. (News release)  David Maxwell has been promoted to senior vice president at Fairfax-based Dewberry. With this promotion, Maxwell is responsible for leading the civil engineering operations of the firm’s Southern Virginia and North Carolina offices. (News release) McLean-based GTT Communications Inc., a global cloud networking provider, has created three new divisions with the aim of accelerating sales. The divisions are Enterprise, Carrier and EMEA. Eric Warren leads the Enterprise division, including all enterprise clients in the Americas and U.S. government clients. Jeff Beer leads the Carrier division, including all carrier accounts in the Americas, as well as GTT’s largest web-centric clients. Martin Ford leads the EMEA division, including enterprise clients in EMEA and carrier clients. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Christina M. Winn has been named to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Committee on Business Development and Marketing. She is director of Arlington Economic Development’s Business Investment Group. (News release)  Michael Zajkowski has joined Stantec Architecture as a senior project designer in the firm’s Arlington office. Zajkowski’s career spans 30 years. His clients have included the National Cancer Institute, Washington Dulles International Airport and the Soka Gakkai International-USA Buddhist organization. (News release)  SOUTHERN VIRGINIA Martinsville-based Carter Bank & Trust has hired three senior executives.  Wendy S. Bell  became the bank’s CFO in late July. She was senior vice pres ident and senior finance officer of First Commonwealth Financial Corp. in Indiana, Pa. Bradford N. Langs joined the bank as chief strategy officer in June. He was chief risk officer, chief cr edit officer and treasurer of CoastalStates Bank in Hilton Head, S.C. Matthew M. Speare became chief information officer in July. Speare was executive vice president and chief information officer at Regions Bank in Birmingham, Ala. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Denise Crosson has joined Central Virginia Community Health Center as psychiatric family nurse practitioner. The position was created as the result of a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. (The Farmville Herald) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA The following staffers were honored for 20 or more years of service at University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise County:     Kimberly Belcher     (20 years);    Mary Calhoun   ,   Ken Hale  ,  Tammy Jessee ,  Laura Pr  itchard  and Ronald Shortt (25 year s) and Brenda Crabtree (35 years).  (News release)  Meghan Carty has accepted the position of corporate manager, purchasing and pricing, at Bristol-based Strongwell Corp. She has worked for the company since 1999, most recently as pricing manager. (News release)  Jeffrey McClellan has been named industrial division manager at Quesenberry’s Construction in Big Stone Gap. McClellan previously served as project manager of the capital maintenance program for the Columbia Pipeline Group in Charleston, W.Va. (News release) Lydia Sinemus has accepted the position of manager of Virginia operations human resources and environmental, health and safety at Strongwell. Sinemus has a wide range of experience, having worked in the private sector and for the state of Virginia. (News release)   ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY    Connie Carmack   ,   Randolph Garrett,    Frank Martin    and  Thomas McKeon  have been named to the Roanoke Higher Education Center Foundation Board. In addition, Jeffrey Mohr has joined the center as director of facility services. Mohr holds a bachelor’s degree in facilities management from Almeda University and an associate degree in computer-aided drafting in architecture and engineering from Catonsville Community College. (News release)   W. Heywood Fralin  has been appointed chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Fralin is the chairman of Medical Facilities of America Inc. and co-chairman of Retirement Unlimited Inc., which are both based in Roanoke. He was first appointed to the council in 2013 and had served as vice chair for the prior term. (VirginiaBusiness.com)   Kevin Walker Holt  is the new president of the Roanoke Bar Association. Holt is a partner at the Roanoke-based firm Gentry Locke. His practice focuses on commercial, employment, ERISA and intellectual property litigation. Holt earned his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Virginia. (VirginiaBusiness.com)   Jason E. Pauley  and Matthew E. Zimmerman have joined th e staff of Waldvogel Commercial Properties Inc. in Roanoke. Both men are commercial sales and leasing agents. (News release)  Sheri Winesett has been named the new executive director of the Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce. Winesett has worked for Stone Mountain Advisors in Roanoke, providing clients with strategic planning and negotiation services. Before that, she served on the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce executive committee and as president of the Haymarket-Gainesville Business Association. (The Roanoke Times) 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-august-2017 For the Record - August 2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-august-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/for-the-record-august-2017#When:08:00:00Z EASTERN VIRGINIA The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is undergoing a financial transformation to secure its future. Mitchell Reiss, president of the foundation, said it would outsource some of its operations and lay off 71 employees. The plan includes outsourcing its golf operations, retail stores, most of its maintenance and facilities operations, and commercial real estate management. The new vendors include Kemper Sports for golf operations, Aramark for products and retail management, Brightview for landscaping and WFF for facilities management. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Isle of Wight County is reducing some of its financial incentives for Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters by 20 percent after the company spent $36 million less than it pledged to on capital investments during a four-year time frame. In 2012, the company and the county entered into an agreement that guaranteed incentive grants for Keurig ranging from discounts on machinery and tools taxes and real estate taxes to $500 grants for each full-time position created. The company said it would spend $180 million on new capital and create 800 full-time jobs by Dec. 31, 2016. The company has created 550 jobs and spent $144 million in capital investments. (Daily Press) In May, Gov. Terry McAuliffe celebrated the opening of Virginia’s newest asset in drone technology research — a runway for unmanned aircraft — and then experienced the future of aviation firsthand by flying in a plane that can be piloted from the ground. McAuliffe visited NASA Wallops Flight Facility for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the runway, a $5.8 million state-funded project officially known as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MARS UAS) Airfield. “This new facility at Wallops provides government and commercial users with a runway under restricted airspace on a secure federal facility — discreetness that is of high interest for research and development,” Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said. (News release) The Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park in Isle of Wight County is under consideration for the location of a 1-million-square-foot facility that could bring up to 1,000 jobs to the area, according to Economic Development Director Tom Elder. The county is competing against Suffolk, which has four sites under consideration for the same project. Additionally, seven other possible clients have either visited the 82-acre site in the park or have obtained information from the developer. (Daily Press) SHENANDOAH VALLEY The Strasburg Town Council has voted to allow an asphalt company, Strasburg-based Kickin’ Asphalt, to build a plant in the town’s business industrial park. The vote on the plant was tight, with four council members expressing a wide variety of concerns about the plant, and four members saying that the plant would financially help the town. Mayor Rich Orndorff broke the tie and sided in favor of allowing the plant to be built. (The Northern Virginia Daily) A Page County business that imports artisanal wines from France and Italy and sells them to high-end American restaurants has the go-ahead to move into Elkton. Elkton’s Town Council voted to accept a recommendation from Planning Commission members that Palladion Signature Import be allowed to operate a wine importation, warehousing and distribution center at 102 N. Fifth St. (The Valley Banner) A medical device manufacturer is investing $9.5 million to expand in Frederick County, a move that will create 57 jobs. Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific is expanding its clinical diagnostics operations. According to a statement by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, more than 300 people work at the company’s Frederick facility. The firm employs more than 55,000 around the world and has revenues of $18 billion. McAuliffe approved a $110,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. (VirginiaBusiness.com) Winchester Metals is investing $870,000 to expand its manufacturing operation in Frederick County. The project will create 17 jobs. The company will add equipment to its facility, which will expand capacity and allow it to add a third shift. Founded in 1975, Winchester Metals is a family-owned steel distribution, processing and fabrication facility serving Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Winchester Metals’ employee training through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). Winchester Metals also received a VJIP grant earlier this year when it retrained 29 employees. (VirginiaBusiness.com) CENTRAL VIRGINIA  The Amherst Milling Co. is slated to come under the management of a Petersburg-based developer, Dave McCormack, who intends to convert the historic structure into a hydro-powered brewery. The mill, owned by only two families since its construction around 1900, has been for sale for several years, according to current co-owner Richard Wydner, and is one of the last standing and able-to-function water-powered mills in the state.  (The News & Advance) The impending divorce between Virginia’s information technology agency and Northrop Grumman is getting more expensive, but the question is: Who will pay the bill? The Virginia Information Technologies Agency filed a $300 million countersuit against the McLean-based technology giant in June, alleging that the company has cost taxpayers millions of dollars by blocking the orderly transfer of information services to new providers and failing to adequately upgrade the state’s IT network. The suit, filed in Richmond Circuit Court, represents a forceful answer to the civil suit Northrop Grumman filed against the state in the same court at the end of the previous month. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) This year, the University of Virginia could reach a milestone: it’s on pace to receive more money from private donations than from the state. That’s highly unusual for a large state university. The university administration, under President Teresa A. Sullivan, sees it as a positive sign that its fundraising efforts — spurred on, in part, by declining state funding on a per-student basis — are working. At a board of visitors meeting in June, Melody Bianchetto, the university’s vice president for finance, reminded board members that the university is lucky enough to have a steady stream of philanthropic income — more than $150 million in operating money projected over the next year. (The Daily Progress) The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System has bought the Museum of the Confederacy building in Richmond from the American Civil War Museum (ACWM) for $6.25 million. ACWM was created in 2013 when the Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Center merged. In 2015, the merged entity announced plans for a $37 million building project at Historic Tredegar on the downtown riverfront, originally set for completion by this year. Terms of the sale call for the VCU Health System to lease the building back to the museum for two years while new space for the consolidated museum is constructed. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Packaging maker WestRock Co. announced plans in June to buy assets for making corrugated containers. The company has agreed to buy substantially all of the assets of New York-based Island Container Corp. and an affiliate named Combined Container Industries LLC, which are independent producers of corrugated boxes, sheets and point-of-purchase displays. WestRock, which has its headquarters in downtown Richmond and an administrative office in Norcross, Ga., also is  buying a corrugator — a machine that makes corrugated boxes from paperboard — along with converting operations in Wheatley Heights, N.Y., and other assets including finishing equipment and warehouse space in Saddle Brook, N.J. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) NORTHERN VIRGINIA McLean-based government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. said in a statement on its website that the Justice Department informed it in June that it was “conducting a civil and criminal investigation relating to certain elements of the company’s cost accounting and indirect cost charging practices” with the U.S. government. ”To date, our internal and external audit processes have not identified any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses, or identified any significant erroneous cost charging,” Booz Allen said. “The company is cooperating with the government in these matters and expects to bring them to an appropriate resolution.” (The Washington Post)  Chantilly-based Engility Holdings Inc. eliminated its chief operating officer position in June. The move forced out John Hynes, who had served as COO since February 2015 when the company closed its acquisition of Chantilly-based TASC Inc. The move was made “after a strategic review of our organizational structure,” according to a spokesman for the government IT services company. Engility is not looking to hire another COO at this time, he said. (Washington Business Journal)  Cloud networking provider GTT Communications has reached an agreement to acquire Global Capacity. The purchase price includes $100 million in cash and 1.85 million shares of GTT common stock. McLean-based GTT Communications said the acquisition will help develop its client base with additional health-care, application service provider, and retail and carrier markets. GTT expects Global Capacity’s annualized revenue will be approximately $200 million. Waltham, Mass.-based Global Capacity is a provider of network connectivity solutions aimed at simplifying the process of connecting enterprises. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017 and is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Kettler, a McLean-based real estate development and property management company, has made its first acquisition in Florida. The company has purchased 18.4 acres from The Celebration Co. in Celebration, Fla., for a mixed-use development. It did not disclose the purchase price. Kettler plans a garden-style apartment community with parcels for hotel and age-restricted housing. It said it would oversee the apartment development and master plan and is evaluating partnership options with qualified hotel and age-restricted housing developers to partner on the remaining parcels. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  Arlington-based Nestlé USA has acquired a minority interest in Freshly, which currently supplies consumers in 28 states with weekly shipments of meals. With the move, Nestlé is entering the $10 billion online U.S. prepared meals market. Nestlé is the lead investor in the $77 million round of new funding announced by Freshly in June. The investment by Nestlé will help to fund Freshly’s construction of a new East Coast kitchen and distribution center next year, as it prepares to expand to nationwide service. Based in New York with operations in Phoenix, Freshly was founded in 2015 and employs 400 people. (VirginiaBusiness.com)  The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) has signed an agreement with Northern Virginia Community College to become the first “NVTC Academic Partner.” The partnership is designed to better align training and workforce-development needs in Northern Virginia, allowing businesses to remain economically competitive and better prepare students to enter the 21st-century workforce. (Inside NOVA)  A $1 billion construction project at Reagan National Airport that promises to ease traveler congestion was scheduled to begin in July. Project Journey, as the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority calls it, is a multiyear effort to create a new commuter concourse and two new security checkpoints. The $245 million checkpoint project is up first. The secure checkpoints are expected to be operational in 2020. A new $360 million concourse, west of Terminal C, is expected to open in summer 2021. (Washington Business Journal)  Unanet, a provider of cloud and enterprise resource planning software, is expanding its operation in Loudoun County, creating 60 jobs. Virginia competed against Alabama, California, Florida, Maryland and Tennessee for the project. Unanet’s ERP software is designed to allow clients to provide resource management, budgeting and forecasting, project management, timesheets, expense reports, project accounting, billing, workforce collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), and financials in one integrated system. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Unanet with the training for up to 38 jobs through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). (VirginiaBusiness.com) SOUTHERN VIRGINIA Canada-based  Brookfield Renewable Partners LP  has emerged as the third company interested in constructing a solar farm on land outside of Chase City. Angela Fentiman, Brookfield’s project outreach and communications manager, said the company purchased the project from SolUnesco, a Virginia-based company that had started the development process. If approved by local officials, the 60-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy facility would be located on approximately 700 acres. It would abut a similar facility, the 330-acre Bluestone Project, a 70-megawatt solar farm proposed by Carolina Solar Energy. (SoVaNow.com) The majority ownership of  First State Bank , the last black-owned bank in Virginia, has changed hands. Casey Crawford, CEO of Movement Mortgage in Charlotte, N.C., is now the majority shareholder of the bank, according to Adam O’Daniel, a spokesperson for Crawford. O’Daniel stressed the purchase was not made by Movement Mortgage but by Crawford. (Danville Register & Bee)  Students may soon be able to earn a degree from  J ames Madison University while staying in Martinsville. The New College In stitute and JMU signed a memorandum of understanding so that starting this fall, JMU officials will work with NCI on a “2+2” program. That means students could complete the first two years at a community college like Patrick Henry Community College and then finish the third and fourth years in a JMU program at NCI. (Martinsville Bulletin) The Noblis Center for Applied High Performance Computing — a supercomputer company — has signed a second five-year lease to continue doing business in Danville. The company plans to install the next generation of big-data processors to work alongside the Cray MXT 2 that was activated at its Danville site in 2012. (Danville Register & Bee) A total of 2,000 temporary jobs will become available at the Radial fulfillment center in Martinsville in coming months. The company plans to add the positions as preparation begins for the Christmas season. Kelly Scally, the Pennsylvania-based company’s director of strategic staffing, said 1,600 seasonal workers were hired last year, 1,000 of whom became full-time employees after the holidays. (Martinsville Bulletin) SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA Work continues at a brisk pace on many aspects of The Bristol Hotel – but one space on the fifth floor appears ready for guests to check in. The seven-story downtown hotel is under construction and, in advance of next spring’s expected opening, project developers finished out a temporary room to get a sense of how the finished product might appear. One wall features an expansive black and white train photograph while a white comforter is accented by colorful, monogrammed pillows. There is a desk, large screen TV, chairs, lighting, bureau for clothing and a bathroom. (Bristol Herald Courier)  Following the passage of bills in the Virginia General Assembly this year, Richmond-based Dominion Energy is searching for sites in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia where it can build a pumped hydroelectric storage facility. Dominion already has a pumped hydroelectric storage facility in Bath County, which it has operated since 1985. The bills authorize electric utilities, such as Dominion or Appalachian Power, to apply to the Virginia State Corporation Commission for permission to construct pumped hydroelectric storage facilities in Virginia’s coalfield region. At least part of the energy stored in such facilities must be generated by renewable resources, the bills state. The legislation encourages companies to establish sites in an abandoned coal mine cavity. (Bristol Herald Courier)  The University of Virginia at Wise announced that students in Tennessee and Kentucky who live within 50 miles of the college will be able to attend paying in-state tuition rates. Previously, students from those areas were given a tuition discount, according to college officials, who said the new incentive will increase enrollment and makes sense geographically. (Bristol Herald Courier)  U.Va.-Wise will receive $3.5 million from the University of Virginia to increase enrollment in targeted programs at the college and to create a robust culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the region. The Wise Innovation Ecosystem received the funding from the University of Virginia’s Strategic Investment Fund. The majority of the funds will support a Center for Innovation, including the hiring of a professor of entrepreneurship, a professor of cyber-MIS, a center manager and operation costs, including startup scholarships, student internships, an entrepreneurship boot camp, a cybersecurity symposium, an entrepreneurial certificate program and the student innovation center. (News release) ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY   Appalachian Power Co.   plans to acquire two wind power projects, one in Ohio and the other in West Virginia, to expand the renewable energy sources in the electric utility’s portfolio. If regulators approve the purchases, the wind farms will be the first directly owned and operated by Appalachian, which has relied on coal for the bulk of its power generation. The 175-megawatt Hardin Wind Facility is located in Hardin County, Ohio, and the 50-megawatt Beech Ridge II Wind Facility is located in Greenbrier County, W.Va. Invenergy LLC is the developer behind both projects.  (The Roanoke Times)  Roanoke’s two biggest law firms are trying to raise money to help   Blue Ridge Legal Services  . The organization provides legal aid to residents of Roanoke and Salem and the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke, but it currently has just one attorney. Blue Ridge Legal Services recently saw reductions in funding from numerous contributors including the ci ty of Roanoke and United Way of Roanoke Valley. In July Monica Monday, managing partner at  Genry Locke,  and Daniel Summerlin, president of Woods Rogers, wrote a letter to the Roanoke and Salem/R  oanoke County bar associations, as well as 100 local law firms. They announced that their firms were making a $15,000 donation and hoped to raise up to $29,000 to help fund another Blue Ridge attorney. (The Roanoke Times)   Black Dog Salvage has opened a new space to sell its architectural merchandise. The Roanoke-based business, known from the popular TV show “Salvage Dawgs,” has expanded its retail operation by opening a new warehouse at 629 Ashlawn St. S.W. in Norwich, about a mile from the store’s main retail location on 13th Street in southwest Roanoke and right along the Roanoke River Greenway. (The Roanoke Times)  The Roanoke Valley now has one less locally owned bookstore. Givens Books in Salem closed July 1 after more than 34 years in operation. Co-owner Scott Cavendish said business had been wavering. Most of its business came from textbook sales, and when national retailer Textbook Brokers opened at Towers Shopping Center two years ago, it hurt Givens’ sales, he said. (The Roanoke Times) The sole Kmart left in Roanoke is now slated to close. Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Kmart, posted on its website that the company is closing an additional 35 Kmart stores and eight Sears stores by this fall, including the Kmart location at 3533 Franklin Road Southwest. The announcement comes after multiple rounds of closures at the struggling retailer, affecting hundreds of stores. The Franklin Road Kmart will close by early October, according to the company’s online post. (The Roanoke Times)  Supermarket retailer Kroger, whose mid-Atlantic office is located in Roanoke, has filed a lawsuit against Lidl, a Germany-based grocer, regarding Kroger’s “Private Selection” store brand. In the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, Kroger says that Lidl’s “Preferred Selection” store brand is similar in look and design to Kroger’s label. It is seeking an injunction ordering Lidl to immediately stop the use of its Preferred Selection logo and to pay attorney and court fees. Lidl has its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)  The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport saw a 12.3 percent increase in passenger traffic from April to May. Year-to-date growth, from May 2016 to May 2017, was 0.33 percent, with frequent thunderstorms in April preventing a better showing on the year-to-date figures, officials said. The airport moves more than 600,000 passengers a year over four airlines. (News release)  Total Action for Progress has a buyer for the historic Dumas Center for Artistic & Cultural Development in Roanoke, according to a July news release from the nonprofit. TAP has owned the building since around 1990. The nonprofit renovated and opened the center with the intent of it becoming a major cultural center, but the project struggled from the start. The buyer or terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TAP said it believes the new owners will “keep the rich history of the Dumas alive so that the community will enjoy its presence for years to come.” (The Roanoke Times)  The natural resources program at Virginia Tech has been ranked No. 1 in the country for three years in a row by USA Today College.  USA Today College started ranking natural resources and conservation programs in 2015. There are only about 50 colleges across the United States with comprehensive natural resources programs. “Due to exceptional education, affordable price, and high earnings boost, a degree from Virginia Tech is a great choice for any student interested in this field,” the report said. (News release) 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Ferguson_current_headquarters_and_showroom.png http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ferguson-to-expand-headquarters-in-newport-news Ferguson to expand headquarters in Newport News http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ferguson-to-expand-headquarters-in-newport-news http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ferguson-to-expand-headquarters-in-newport-news#When:08:00:00Z Ferguson Enterprises Inc. is expanding its footprint in Newport News. The $82.8 million project will include construction of a seven-story headquarters building at City Center at Oyster Point, a mixed-use development approximately 4 miles from the company’s current Newport News headquarters. The expansion is expected to create 434 jobs and retain 891 positions. Ferguson Enterprises is the largest plumbing wholesaler in the U.S. It also is a major distributor of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, fire protection systems, waterworks and industrial products and services. The company is part of Zug, Switzerland-based Wolseley plc, which was scheduled to change its name to Ferguson on July 31. In explaining the expansion, Ferguson Enterprises said it had reached capacity at its Hampton Roads operations.  The company, which has been based in Virginia for more than 60 years, also said it opted to stay in Newport News because of its strong workforce. In addition to Virginia, Ferguson Enterprises considered expanding in California, Oregon, Nevada and South Dakota.   Hiring for new job openings has begun and will continue until 2021. Construction on the 260,000-square-foot headquarters building will begin next year and is expected to be completed in two to three years. City Center offers an urban feel and easy access to amenities like restaurants and shops, which will help Ferguson attract talent, says Florence Kingston, director of Newport News’ development department. “One of our other selling points in terms of value of this location was the convenience to the corporate headquarters locations,” and quick interstate access, she says.  The company is eligible for $4.1 million in state incentives and $11.5 million in local incentives, including grants, tax credits and infrastructure contributions. Newport News also plans to spend $25.5 million to build a 1,500-space public parking garage that will connect to Ferguson’s new offices and $700,000 to extend a private road from the garage to the building.    The 52-acre City Center development includes restaurants, apartments and a Marriott hotel, which has a conference center owned by the Newport News Economic Development Authority. Access to the Marriott will allow Ferguson to easily bring in people for training, meetings, sales conferences and other events, says Carol Meredith, Newport News’ assistant director of development. “They wanted to be somewhere that would be a statement,” Meredith says. The company also sought a site that offered the convenience of “being able to get out of your office to grab a coffee, or work out or do plenty of other things and never have to get into one’s car again until the end of the day.” 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Bernie_8083.png Bernie Niemeier, photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/how-solid-is-the-south How solid is the South? http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/how-solid-is-the-south http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/how-solid-is-the-south#When:08:00:00Z Political lore holds that after signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, President Lyndon Johnson turned to an aide saying he feared that Democrats had lost the South for a generation.  This oft-quoted but never validated story seems to ring true, despite the reality that the often-crude and always politically crafty Texan would likely have reserved such dewy-eyed sentimentalism only for his native Lone Star State. In truth, it would be many decades before the Democrats actually lost the South.  At the time, the Republican Party was weak in the region, and Southern Democrats were far more conservative than most Republicans. Southern Democrats, among them Virginia’s Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr., filibustered against bringing the Civil Rights Act to the Senate floor for a vote.  The filibuster was broken by Republicans and Northern Democrats. Republican support for civil rights reform in fact ran high in both the House and Senate.  Eighty percent of House Republicans and 82 percent of Senate Republicans backed the Civil Rights Act, outpacing Democratic support in both chambers. Just weeks after the law’s passage in 1964, a contentious and splintered Republican Party selected conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona as its nominee for president over liberal New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. Goldwater lost the election in an unprecedented landslide. He carried only six states, his home state plus Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.  Despite Goldwater’s loss, this marked the beginning of the slow transformation of a once reliably Democratic “Solid South” into a new political landscape. The South resolidified in subsequent presidential elections.  In 1968, George Wallace, the segregationist Democratic governor of Alabama, ran as an independent, winning Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas in an election won by former Vice President Richard Nixon, a Republican.  In 1972, Nixon formulated a “Southern Strategy,” quietly positioning his party as more conservative, sweeping the South and winning the popular vote in 49 of the 50 states. Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota, the Democratic nominee, carried only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. At the state level, ongoing party defections over many years further shifted the South to the Republican Party. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina switched from Democrat to Republican in 1964.  North Carolina’s Jesse Helms switched in 1970 and later became a U.S. senator.  Also in 1970, Virginian Harry F. Byrd Jr., after serving out his retiring father’s Senate term, switched from being a Democrat to run for election as an independent. Mills Godwin, elected governor of Virginia as a Democrat in 1965, switched parties and was elected again as a Republican in 1973. In 1970, Tom Bliley was elected mayor of Richmond as a Democrat; 10 years later he won the first of his many congressional races as a Republican. Is Virginia a part of the “Solid South?” Arguably not. Johnson won the commonwealth in 1964.  In 1968, Virginia tipped for Nixon, who won just over 43 percent of the vote. One-third of Virginia’s voters went for Democratic Vice President Hubert Humphrey, with the remaining quarter supporting Wallace. In 1972, along with the rest of the nation, Virginia overwhelmingly voted for Nixon. In 1976, Virginia’s electoral votes went to Republican President Gerald Ford; while every other Southern state voted for that year’s winner, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. From 1980 to 2004 along with most of the South, Republican candidates won every presidential election in Virginia. However, Virginia broke with almost all Southern states in 2008 and 2012, voting for Barack Obama.  In 2016, Virginia was the only Southern state not carried by Donald Trump. Looking back, the idea that the South was swiftly delivered to the Republican Party by Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act is actually a misreading of history.  After decades of change the “Solid South” is still far from being as politically uniform as some might be inclined to believe.  And more than most Southern states, Virginia remains in play. 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/removal-of-statue-renaming-of-parks-could-hurt-citys-business-climate Removal of statue, renaming of parks could hurt city’s business climate http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/removal-of-statue-renaming-of-parks-could-hurt-citys-business-climate http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/removal-of-statue-renaming-of-parks-could-hurt-citys-business-climate#When:08:00:00Z To the Editor, I read your article [June’s Charlottesville community profile: “An ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’”] with interest. I am a U.Va. alumnus (‘74, history major), have two daughters who are alumnae and eight other family and in-law alumni/ae, several of whom live in Charlottesville. I am always glad to see the city thrive and continue to attract bright entrepreneurs. That is not what I am writing you about. The Charlottesville City Council is making a huge mistake with its 3-2 vote to remove the Robert E. Lee statue, as well as its unanimous decision to rename Lee and Jackson parks. I understand the sale and removal of the statue has been delayed by an injunction, but the philosophical damage from the vote is irreparable.  As a U.Va. history major and committed historical nonfiction reader for my entire life, I feel at least somewhat qualified to address this issue.   My great-grandfather fought for the 2nd Maryland CSA under General Lee. He was a southern Maryland Democrat and slaveholder. By today’s revisionist “historians,” like those on the Charlottesville City Council, I should not honor his service but rather should expunge him from my family heritage. I won’t and should not. After the Civil War, my great-grandfather employed his former slaves, all of whom stayed and worked on our Charles County, Md., farm. My father, who was born in 1905, knew my great-grandfather (who lived until 1934) and several of his former slaves well.   Was the institution of slavery a horrific moral stain on our country? Of course, as it was on virtually every major country in the world, all of which unfortunately engaged in slavery in centuries past. However, in the context of the times, Gen. Robert E. Lee was unequivocally a man of honor who chose state over country, understandable 156 years ago in 1861. If we spit on his legacy, what about the African tribal leaders who sold fellow African tribes into slavery? What about Democratic President Wilson, a U.Va. Law alumnus, who was an avowed racist by today’s criteria, an open supporter of Jim Crow and eugenics? What about Democratic President Roosevelt, who presided over a racially segregated military in World War II and illegally imprisoned hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent during the war? By the Charlottesville City Council’s standards, should we not purge Wilson and Roosevelt’s names from all monuments, roads, schools and buildings? Where does the madness end? To come full circle, if you don’t think transforming Charlottesville into an Eastern Berkeley won’t hurt future business investment, think again. Most businessmen and businesswomen are moderate to conservative. Keep it up, and the influx of private capital will go elsewhere. If that happens, then I ask the Charlottesville City Council members, who will fund your pet Far Left initiatives, given the resultant decline in tax revenues? Thomas M. Neale Baltimore 2017-07-28T08:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/this-booze-will-cruise This booze will cruise http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/this-booze-will-cruise http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/this-booze-will-cruise#When:18:44:00Z Total Wine & More appears to be taking a page out of the grocery retailer book by launching an alcohol delivery service in Arlington. Need wine or beer for a party? Total Wine promises to get it there in less than two hours. One of the largest independent retailers of wine, beer and spirits, Total Wine said Thursday that it is partnering with Minibar Delivery in what is its first offering of delivery services in Virginia. Minibar Delivery, based in New York, currently operates in 35 major markets around the country. To get a delivery, customers of legal age in Arlington can log on to Minibar Delivery's app or website (http://www.minibardelivery.com) and choose from Total Wine & More's selection of beer and wine. "We're excited to partner with Minibar Delivery to offer the convenience of two-hour delivery to our customers in Arlington," John Jordan, senior vice president of new business development at Total Wine & More, said in a statement.  "Our priority is providing the best experience and service for our customers, and Minibar Delivery is fully aligned with these core values. We are facilitating the delivery with our own staff, when customers are ordering by using Minibar Delivery's app or website to access our wide variety of beer and wine." Customers will be required to confirm they are 21 or older prior to checkout. In order for alcohol to be delivered, a recipient 21 or older also must also be present to sign for the delivery and to show proof of age with a valid photo ID. Minibar Delivery said it also provides tasting notes, pairing recommendations, cocktail recipes and gift delivery. Total Wine & More, based in Bethesda, Md., has more than 160 stores across 20 states. 2017-07-27T18:44:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/_AOD7755.jpg Photo courtesy CBRE|Richmond http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-use-property-near-in-richmond-sells-for-4.6-million Mixed-use property in Richmond sells for $4.6 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-use-property-near-in-richmond-sells-for-4.6-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-use-property-near-in-richmond-sells-for-4.6-million#When:18:22:00Z   A mixed-use property with 17 apartments near Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond has sold to Thalhimer Realty Partners (TRP) for $4.68 million. The seller was Richmond I LLC, according to CBRE|Richmond, which represented the seller. The 24,223-square-foot property at 1508-1510 Broad St. in the Fan district is known as 1510 Lofts Apartments.  The 17 apartments include a mix of studio, one-and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 620 square feet to 875 square feet. Monthly rental rates start at $925 and go up to $1,300. Thalhimer’s Residential Property Services will manage the property on behalf of TRP. The building also includes nearly 11,000 square feet of retail space occupied by Dollar Tree. It's next to Virginia Commonwealth University and is less than a mile from downtown Richmond. It is one of 20 buildings constructed between 1900 and the late 1930s that contributed to the nationally registered West Broad Street Commercial Historic District.  Charles Wentworth and Peyton Cox of CBRE|Richmond, Jay O’Donnell of CBRE|Charlottesville, and Ryan Sciullo of the CBRE Group, Inc. office in Washington, D.C., handled the sales transaction. 2017-07-27T18:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-county-racking-up-more-data-center-space Prince William County racking up more data center space http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-county-racking-up-more-data-center-space http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-county-racking-up-more-data-center-space#When:16:51:00Z In a region known for its data centers, Prince William County has surpassed 3.5 million square feet of data center space. According to the county’s Department of Economic Development, the data center industry has yielded 31 projects to date that have injected $6.2 billion in capital investment and 912 jobs into the county. To keep growing that industry, Prince William has identified more than 10,000 acres to support data center commercial interests. “This is a high-performing growth industry that supports high-paying STEM-related jobs and a talent pipeline for other fast growing enterprises,” Jeffrey Kaczmarek, executive director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development, said in a statement.  “The ever increasing demand for data at the speed of light now transcends every aspect of everyday life – from appointment-setting to video-watching – and it is this demand that continues to drive industry momentum.” It’s estimated that the local data center industry yields about $4.30 in tax revenue to Prince William, for every $1 in county services the industry requires, according to the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Data Center Report. Prince William is close to Ashburn in Loudoun County, which is known as Data Center Alley because of its concentration of more than 10 million square feet of data centers that are either in operation or under development. As of December, Northern Virginia was the leading North America data center market with more than 30% of the market share and a record of 113.0 megawatts absorption of the total 357.85 megawatts in the top U.S. markets, according to JLL’s 2017 Data Center Outlook.  That’s nearly double the total for the nearest competing market, Northern California, which had 59.1 megawatts. In its latest report on data centers, JLL notes that Northern Virginia has all six major data center REITs (real estate investments trusts) and the top five cloud providers developing in the market. Currently, JLL says the area has a total of 12.6 million square feet of data center space, with 190 megawatts of new power under construction. It credits Northern Virginia’s diverse offerings, access to global markets and fierce competition for creating user favorable conditions. Cloud providers, social media, enterprise and tech users are the main demand drivers behind data center growth in Northern Virginia. The area's fiber-rich internet infrastructure and its affordable cost of electricity -- an average of 5.2 cents per killowatt hour for data centers, are also competitivie advantages.   2017-07-27T16:51:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jennchem-to-add-jobs-in-russell-county JennChem to add jobs in Russell County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jennchem-to-add-jobs-in-russell-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jennchem-to-add-jobs-in-russell-county#When:08:41:00Z JennChem, a manufacturer of chemical roof support and sealing products, will invest $5 million to establish a manufacturing operation for heavy duty conveyor systems in Russell County. The conveyor systems structures will be primarily be used for the mining industry, in addition to the automotive, aviation, construction, electronics, and transportation industries. Virginia competed against Pennsylvania and West Virginia for the project. The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) approved a loan of up to $1.5 million to the Industrial Development Authority of Russell County for the purchase and renovation of the building for this project. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $215,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the company. 2017-07-27T08:41:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/b16bdcfe-d61c-49c7-8bb6-b752787c69ab.jpg Frank C. Martin III http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hall-associates-inc.-announces-promotions Hall Associates Inc. announces promotions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hall-associates-inc.-announces-promotions http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hall-associates-inc.-announces-promotions#When:21:17:00Z Hall Associates Inc. a Roanoke-based commercial real estate firm, has announced several promotions. Frank C. Martin III has been promoted to senior associate broker. He will be responsible for marketing, associate recruitment and leading the sales team. He also joins Hall’s executive management team. Martin has worked at the firm since 2014 and was its sales leader for 2015 and 2016. Tommy Hendrix, vice president for Hall’s Facility Management Division, has been promoted to senior vice president of property management services. He will be responsible for Hall's residential and commercial management divisions, and also will serve on the executive team. Hendrix has been with Hall since 2003 and has overseen the company's growth in commercial management over the past five years.   Christina Greene has been promoted to vice president of association management and vice president of commercial property management. She will lead the company's Property Owner Association Management and Commercial Property Management Division. Angela Mahala has been promoted to vice president of finance. Hall Associates was founded in 1975. It manages or leases more than 5 million square feet of commercial property in Southwest Virginia and has 18 agents in the field.           2017-07-26T21:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Hampton_Inn_Exterior_Photo.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/florida-based-company-buys-virginia-beach-hotel Florida-based company buys Virginia Beach Hotel http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/florida-based-company-buys-virginia-beach-hotel http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/florida-based-company-buys-virginia-beach-hotel#When:19:09:00Z   A 120-room Hampton Inn, located at the Virginia Beach/Norfolk border, has a new owner. Florida-based Liberty Fund Acquisitions paid a reported $9.2 million for the property located at 5793 Greenwich Road.  The seller was New Jersey-based Bleinheim Hotels, according to CBRE Hotels, which represented the seller. Built in 1991 and last renovated in 2014, the hotel ranks 28th of 112 hotels in Virginia Beach, according to Trip Advisor, an online travel site.  Amenities include a fitness center, business center, complimentary WiFi and an outdoor swimming pool. The property is close to interstates 64 and 264. “This hotel enjoys a strong central location and with the significant improvements that the new owner will be making to the hotel it should continue, as well as improve, its strong performance in the market,” CBRE Hotels Executive Vice President Doug Henkel said in a statement. 2017-07-26T19:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Untitled.png Andy Grimm courtesy Apple Federal Credit Union http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/andy-grimm-is-new-ceo-for-apple-federal-credit-union Andy Grimm is new CEO for Apple Federal Credit Union http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/andy-grimm-is-new-ceo-for-apple-federal-credit-union http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/andy-grimm-is-new-ceo-for-apple-federal-credit-union#When:16:25:00Z Andrew (Andy) C. Grimm is the new CEO at one of Virginia’s largest credit unions.  Grimm began heading Apple Credit Union in Fairfax on July 1, following the retirement of Larry Kelly. Before his promotion that followed a nationwide search, Grimm served as Apple’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He has worked for the credit union since 1995, when he began as its first strategic planning manager. In 1999, Grimm assumed the position of vice president of finance, earning a certified public accountant (CPA) designation in 2003. He was named chief operating officer in 2004.  According to the company, Grimm has overseen the execution of major strategic initiatives, including nearly a dozen new branches, technological enhancements, greater emphasis on the education community, an employer of choice initiative and several mergers and acquisitions. He serves on the board of directors for The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools. Since taking the helm of Apple Federal Credit Union in 1995, Kelly guided the growth of the firm  from 41,000 members and $230 million in assets to more than 190,000 members and nearly $2.4 billion in assets. Apple currently ranks as a top ten credit union in Virginia in terms of size and is in the top 100 of all credit unions in the U.S. 2017-07-26T16:25:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-to-acquire-state-national-for-919-million Markel to acquire State National for $919 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-to-acquire-state-national-for-919-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/markel-to-acquire-state-national-for-919-million#When:16:05:00Z The Markel Corp., a Henrico County-based insurance company, said Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Texas-based State National Cos. for $919 million in an all-cash deal. Markel will acquire all of the outstanding shares of State National common stock for $21 per share. State National, based in Bedford, Texas, provides property, casualty and collateral protection insurance. The company had $1.3 billion in gross written premiums in 2016 and more than 60 programs. Markel is a Fortune 500 company that markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. “Strategically, State National will help us to leverage our Insurtech and digital distribution initiatives, diversify our underwriting and fee based portfolios and revenue streams, and add to Markel’s third-party capital capabilities,” Richard R. Whitt, Markel’s co-CEO said in a statement. State National would operate as a separate business unit, following completion of the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The company’s management team, led by current chairman and CEO Terry Ledbetter, will remain in place and continue to be based in Bedford. “This transaction is all about growth, not cost-cutting, and we believe that State National employees will benefit from being part of a larger, stronger, growth-oriented company with a more diversified platform,” Ledbetter said in a statement. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of a majority of State National shareholders and state insurance regulators. 2017-07-26T16:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alexandria-based-imge-separates-from-its-parent-company Alexandria-based IMGE separates from its parent company http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alexandria-based-imge-separates-from-its-parent-company http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alexandria-based-imge-separates-from-its-parent-company#When:21:17:00Z Alexandria-based IMGE, a digital-media strategy and consulting agency, has separated from its parent company, Media Group of America Holdings. IMGE now is a stand-alone agency owned by its CEO, Phil Musser, and a small investor group. MGA Holdings, a media holding company co-founded by Musser and Alex Skatell in 2013, previously owned IMGE and the news website Independent Journal Review. In addition, IMGE announced Bryan Sanders is joining the firm as director of research and strategy. Sanders will lead a new team within the agency, IMGE Insights, that will offer polling and messaging for political and corporate clients. IMGE said IMGE Insights will employ a different approach to polling, casting a wider net through online, mobile, and landline interviews in an effort to produce more accurate results and effective messaging. “IMGE is now in a prime position to pursue more opportunities in the advocacy arena, and we can do so with a full service team that can compete with the biggest agencies but at better cost, impact and speed,” Musser said in a statement. 2017-07-25T21:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/former-harris-corp.-government-it-services-business-names-cfo Former Harris Corp. government IT services business names CFO http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/former-harris-corp.-government-it-services-business-names-cfo http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/former-harris-corp.-government-it-services-business-names-cfo#When:19:49:00Z Herndon-based MHVC Acquisition Corp., formerly Harris Corp.’s government IT services business, said Tuesday it has named a new chief financial officer. The company has tapped John C. Pitsenberger for the role, who most recently served as the executive vice president and CFO at Herndon-based Sotera Defense Solutions, a national security technology company that was acquired by Hanover, Md.-based KeyW Holding Corp. earlier this year. He joins MHVC as the company is preparing to launch its new brand.  Pitsenberger’s work experience includes serving as vice president and corporate controller of Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE) and Apptis. He also worked at Deltek, taking the company through an initial public offering. Pitsenberger began his career in public accounting at Beers & Cutler PLLC (now Baker Tilly). He is a CPA with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park. 2017-07-25T19:49:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Townside_Festival_Shopping_Center.jpeg Townside Festival Shopping Center in Roanoke http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northmarq-capital-arranges-financing-for-two-virginia-projects NorthMarq Capital arranges financing for Virginia projects http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northmarq-capital-arranges-financing-for-two-virginia-projects http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/northmarq-capital-arranges-financing-for-two-virginia-projects#When:19:33:00Z NorthMarq Capital’s Richmond regional office has arranged permanent financing for several projects in Virginia.  Mike Lowry, senior vice president of the Richmond office, arranged construction financing of $30 million for Reynolds South Tower, a 10-story, 213-unit multifamily property located in the Manchester area of downtown Richmond. The transaction was structured with a variable interest rate construction term, converting to a fixed rate permanent loan upon completion. NorthMarq arranged financing for the borrower through Union Bank & Trust’s Richmond headquarters. In another transaction, Keith Wells, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Richmond office, arranged permanent financing of $10.9 million for the General Services Administration building in Norfolk, a 53,917-square-foot property. The transaction was structured with a fixed rate, five-year term on a 25-year amortization. In another transaction, Wells arranged refinancing of $3.7 million for Townside Festival Shopping Center, a 52,000-square-foot neighborhood retail property in Roanoke. The transaction was structured with a 10-year term on a 25-year amortization schedule. NorthMarq said it arranged financing for the borrower through its relationship with a correspondent life company.   2017-07-25T19:33:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-attracts-nine-projects-in-first-half-of-2017 Prince William attracts nine projects in first half of 2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-attracts-nine-projects-in-first-half-of-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-attracts-nine-projects-in-first-half-of-2017#When:00:40:00Z During the first half of this year, Prince William County snagged nine economic development projects that are expected to produce $746 million in capital investment and create 636 jobs. The nine projects represent a broad spectrum of industries including manufacturing, data centers, commercial real estate, outdoor retail and utility support services.  The grouip includes outdoor specialty retailer Cabela’s, which opened its first store in the Washington metro area in March, creating nearly 200 jobs. Earlier in the year, Dulles Glass and Mirror, Inc., announced plans to locate its corporate headquarters along with its research and development, manufacturing and warehousing operations in Prince William, a move bringing 136 jobs to the county. In the last five calendar years (2012-2016), projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone announced plans to invest nearly $4 billion and create about 2,600 jobs. 2017-07-25T00:40:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/second-quarter-shows-strong-growth-for-residential-real-estate Second quarter shows strong growth for residential real estate http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/second-quarter-shows-strong-growth-for-residential-real-estate http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/second-quarter-shows-strong-growth-for-residential-real-estate#When:21:10:00Z   Virginia’s residential real estate market continued to gain strength in the second quarter. The number of sales, value of transactions, median price, and average length of time on the market illustrated year-over-year gains, according to a home sales report released Monday by the Virginia Realtors Association (VAR). Statewide, the market saw 37,201 closed residential transactions, a 5.3 percent increase over the 35,317 units sold in the second quarter of 2016. The value of those transactions was boosted by a rising median price, and totaled $13 billion, an increase of 9.2 percent from 2016’s second quarter volume of $11.9 billion. “Virginia’s residential market has continued to gain strength as buyer motivation remains very high and the relatively low financing rates offer great opportunity for market entry,” VAR President Claire Forcier-Rowe said in a statement. “The steep drop in the average length of time that properties are on the market is the clearest indicator of buyer urgency.” The rise in the second quarter 2017 sales pace was spread across the strong performance of each month in the quarter. Historical trends indicate that Virginia home sales peak in June and begin to taper through the remaining summer months into the fourth quarter. According to VAR, each month of the year so far has outperformed its 2016 benchmark. The aggregate median sales price for the second quarter was $288,000, an increase of 3.2 percent, compared to the same time last year. This year’s second quarter home sales increased in all price bands except the lowest ($0 to $200,000), where low levels of inventory affect the number of sales possible. Sales increased especially in ranges above $400,000. The average number of days on the market dropped to an average of 54 days for second quarter, 14.3 percent lower than last year’s second quarter average of 63 days. The VAR said the average cost of borrowing remains low, encouraging market entry for buyers in all price brackets. Both 30-year and 15-year averages for fixed mortgage interest rates fell in the second quarter, to 3.99 percent and 3.24 percent, respectively. 2017-07-24T21:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Untitled.png Bickford of Suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bickford-senior-living-completes-third-project-in-virginia Bickford Senior Living completes third project in Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bickford-senior-living-completes-third-project-in-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/bickford-senior-living-completes-third-project-in-virginia#When:19:54:00Z Bickford Senior Living, a Kansas-based provider of assisted living and memory care, has opened its third project in Virginia. Bickford of Suffolk, a $13.3 million, 38,600-square-foot building, will begin accepting residents in August. The facility at 6860 Harbour View Blvd. held a grand opening ceremony and public tours last week. Bickford of Suffolk consists of a 60 apartments. Forty-four are for assisted living, and the remaining 16 are dedicated for memory care. Amenities include a private dining room, a smaller bistro, family areas, laundry services, transportation to physician appointments and outings, a beauty salon and a resident call–security system. Pets are allowed. Bickford’s other properties in Virginia are located in Chesterfield and Spotsylvania counties. The company manages and operates 55 independent-living, assisted-living and memory-care facilities in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. Its headquarters is in Olathe, Kan. 2017-07-24T19:54:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trustify-to-add-184-jobs-in-arlington Trustify to add 184 jobs in Arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trustify-to-add-184-jobs-in-arlington http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trustify-to-add-184-jobs-in-arlington#When:18:17:00Z Trustify, an IT company that connects clients to private investigators, plans to create 184 jobs in a $1.04 million expansion of its operations in Arlington County. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Trustify’s job creation through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. “Arlington provides employers and employees many benefits and advantages that are not available in other areas and communities,” Trustify Founder and President Jennifer Mellon said in a statement. “We believe the DC Metro area, in general, is a beacon of inclusive innovation with some of the best percentages of women and diversity in tech compared to the rest of the country. We have transportation, office, and community options and benefits that made this area the clear choice for Trustify.” Trustify, founded in 2015, puts clients from across the U.S. in touch with a nationwide network of vetted private investigators. Its services for businesses include trust and safety checks; business intelligence; fraud and loss protection; and financial investigations. 2017-07-24T18:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/0006-Rob_Garland_Photographers.jpg The Paramount courtesy Rob Garland Photographers http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paramount-theater-in-charlottesville-wins-national-award Paramount Theater in Charlottesville wins national award http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paramount-theater-in-charlottesville-wins-national-award http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/paramount-theater-in-charlottesville-wins-national-award#When:16:06:00Z The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville has been named the 2017 “Outstanding Historic Theatre” by the League of Historic American Theatres. "We could not be more honored to receive this very distinguished award …” Chris Eure, the Paramount’s executive director, said in a statement. “None of this would be possible without the foresight of those who saved and restored our beautiful theater.” The award recognizes a theater that demonstrates excellence through its community impact, programs and services and the restoration or rehabilitation of its historic structure. Former winners of the award include the Fabulous Fox in Atlanta; New York City Center; Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, N.J.;  and Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Eure accepted the award at the League's 41st annual conference held in Los Angeles earlier this month. The Paramount originally opened on Thanksgiving Eve in 1931 and became a landmark in Charlottesville. After more than 40 years in operation, the theatre closed in 1974. In 1992, the nonprofit Paramount Theater Inc. purchased the building, according to the theatre’s website, and work began on rehabilitating the building. The Washington, D.C., firm Martinez & Johnson Architecture, in partnership with Charlottesville firm Bushman Dreyfus Architects, was hired to assist with the project. The $16.2 million dollar project included not only the theater’s restoration but also the creation of new facilities enabling The Paramount to move into a new role as a regional performing-arts center. These modifications included backstage areas, an orchestra pit and a three-story annex building with computerized box office, a ballroom and meeting spaces. The Paramount reopened to the public on Dec 15, 2004. Today, the theater hosts many performers, screens movies and offers educational programming. 2017-07-24T16:06:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-real-estate-gains-five-new-properties-for-leasing-and-management Divaris Real Estate gains five new properties for leasing and management http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-real-estate-gains-five-new-properties-for-leasing-and-management http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-real-estate-gains-five-new-properties-for-leasing-and-management#When:14:48:00Z Divaris Real Estate Inc. (DRE) has announced a significant addition to its leasing and management portfolio in Virginia. The Virginia Beach-based company has picked up 1.29 million square feet of space from five retail properties located in Northern Virginia, the greater Richmond area and Roanoke. “This is a significant addition to our portfolio, increasing our total leased and managed properties from over 30 to nearly 32 million square feet of leased and/or managed assets,” Gerald Divaris, the company’s chairman,  said in a statement.  “Divaris Real Estate is experiencing a period of rapid growth and expansion that is very positive and exciting.” The largest of the properties is the 370,000-square-foot Village at Towne Center in Fredericksburg.  The development’s anchor tenants include Arhaus, Sephora, White House | Black Market and Chicos. The other properties recently assigned to Divaris include: The Edge in Midlothian, 350,000 square feet, a 100-acre, mixed-use development; Parkridge Center, 312,277 square feet; Manassas; GreenGate, 110,000 square feet, a 70-acre, mixed-use project in the Short Pump area of Henrico County; and Crossroads Shopping Center, a 152,000-square-foot center in Roanoke that includes an Aldi and is part of a redevelopment opportunity at a former Kmart site. DRE has offices in Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Charlotte, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; and Beverly Hills, Calif.   Divaris Real Estate and Divaris Property Management Corp. are divisions of The Divaris Group, an international real estate brokerage and property management company that oversees office, retail and industrial space from New Jersey to Florida. 2017-07-24T14:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Windsor_exterior_edited_press_rel.jpg Windsor IV courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/industrial-property-in-richmonds-windsor-business-park-sells-for-7.4-millio Industrial property in Richmond’s Windsor Business Park sells for $7.4 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/industrial-property-in-richmonds-windsor-business-park-sells-for-7.4-millio http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/industrial-property-in-richmonds-windsor-business-park-sells-for-7.4-millio#When:14:45:00Z Windsor VI, a single-tenant, net-leased industrial property located in Richmond’s Windsor Business Park has sold for $7.4 million. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Capital Markets Group, which represented the seller, the 51,800-square-foot property at 8575 Magellan Parkway sold for about $143 per square foot. Built in 2004, the property is fully occupied by Williamson Drug, a CVS Health Corp. subsidiary. It’s one of six buildings in the 62-acre park. The tenant has a long-term lease and has been in the building since 2005. According to Thalhimer, the purchaser is Rich Uncles of Los Angeles. He acquired the asset on July 20 from an affiliate of Fernau LeBlanc Investment Partners of Bethesda, Md. Eric Robison, senior vice president of the Capital Markets Group in Thalhimer’s Richmond office, completed the sale. 2017-07-24T14:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unemployment-falls-to-3.7-percent Unemployment falls to 3.7 percent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unemployment-falls-to-3.7-percent http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unemployment-falls-to-3.7-percent#When:18:30:00Z Virginia’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.7 percent in June. The Virginia Employment Commission reported on Friday that June’s rate represented the first decline after a three-month period during which the unemployment remained unchanged at 3.8 percent. The June 2017 rate also was down three-tenths of a percentage point from the June 2016 figure, 4 percent. Unemployment now is at the lowest level in the commonwealth since April 2008. The jobless rate numbers are based on seasonally adjusted data, meaning they take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market. During June, Virginia’s labor force expanded for the 15th consecutive month to 4.31 million, a new record. Nonfarm employment increased to 9,400 jobs during the month to 3.96 million, also a record. The national unemployment rate for June was 4.4 percent, seven-tenths of a percentage point higher than Virginia’s figure. Employment in six Virginia industry sectors rose in June while falling in four segments and remaining unchanged in one, information. The biggest increase occurred in the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 7,400 jobs to reach a total of 407,500. The largest job declines occurred in two sectors — manufacturing and professional and business services — which lost 2,400 positions each. The new totals are 231,000 jobs in manufacturing and 733,100 in professional and business services. 2017-07-21T18:30:00+00:00