1490765046 Virginia Business http://www.virginiabusiness.com/ Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business community en rpowell@va-business.com Copyright 2017 2017-03-28T21:19:00+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/amazon-project-expected-to-create-1000-jobs-in-frederick-county Amazon project expected to create 1,000 jobs in Frederick County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-project-expected-to-create-1000-jobs-in-frederick-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/amazon-project-expected-to-create-1000-jobs-in-frederick-county#When:21:19:00Z Amazon plans to establish an e-commerce warehouse and distribution operation in Frederick County, a project expected to create 1,000 jobs. The Seattle-based online retailer will build a one million-square-foot facility in the county’s White Hall Commerce Center. Virginia successfully competed against West Virginia for the project. “We are proud that Amazon will grow its presence in Virginia with this major investment and new operation that will bring more than 1,000 job opportunities to Frederick County and the northern Shenandoah Valley,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. Amazon already has warehouse and distribution facilities in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie counties. “Our ability to expand in Virginia is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce in the state,” Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North America Operations, said in a statement. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Frederick County to secure the project. Amazon will be eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit, and funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The Amazon project is the second promising the creation of at least 1,000 jobs announced in Frederick County this year. In January, Vienna-based Navy Federal Credit Union said that it would spend $100 million to expand its Frederick operations center, creating 1,400 jobs. Navy Federal opened the operations center in 2006 and has expanded it twice since then. 2017-03-28T21:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Kevin_Murphy.JPG Kevin Murphy courtesy of Ferguson http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-name-and-a-new-ceo New name and a new CEO http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-name-and-a-new-ceo http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-name-and-a-new-ceo#When:20:12:00Z It was a big news day Tuesday for Newport News-based Ferguson, with its United Kingdom parent company announcing a name change, a new CEO and rising sales. Wolseley plc, the world’s largest distributor of plumbing and heating products to contractors, said it is changing its name to Ferguson plc, subject to shareholder approval. The company said Ferguson is the most significant brand in the Wolseley Group of companies and accounts for 84 percent of the Wolseley’s profits. “We are proud to have the Wolseley Group adopt the Ferguson name. We have built a very strong brand over the last 64 years and are known for our performance reputation,” Ferguson CEO Frank Roach, said in a statement.  “The Ferguson name best represents the group today, and will help create greater shareholder interest in the U.S.” Effective Aug. 1, new Ferguson plc will report its financial results in U.S. dollars. The company said it would remain listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company also announced that Roach would retire on July 31. Current Ferguson Chief Operating Officer Kevin Murphy will assume the role of CEO effective Aug. 1. Roach became CEO of Wolseley’s North American Division in 2006. In 2009, he assumed additional responsibilities as chief executive officer of Ferguson. Murphy joined Ferguson in 1999 through the acquisition of his family’s business, Midwest Pipe and Supply. He has served in a variety of leadership roles and was appointed as Ferguson’s chief operating officer in 2007. In other news, Ferguson reported fiscal 2017 half-year sales growth of 9.9 percent. The company said it increased its revenue 5.4 percent on a like-for-like basis, which measures growth of Ferguson’s existing stores or branches open for at least one year. Acquisitions contributed 2.5 percent of additional revenue growth, with remaining growth from new locations and two additional sales days this year. Ferguson increased its market share in all of its major businesses. The company completed six acquisitions during the first-half of fiscal year 2017. 2017-03-28T20:12:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cision-acquires-reston-based-bulletin-intelligence Cision acquires Reston-based Bulletin Intelligence http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cision-acquires-reston-based-bulletin-intelligence http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cision-acquires-reston-based-bulletin-intelligence#When:19:23:00Z Cision, a Chicago-based media communication technology and analytics company, has acquired Reston-based Bulletin Intelligence, which provides customized news briefings to CEOs. Financial details about the acquisition were not disclosed. Bulletin Intelligence has written the daily White House News Summaryfor the Executive Office of the President since 2001. The company provides a comprehensive view of news and other competitive intelligence to high-level corporate and government leaders. Bulletin's predictive media analytics captures and measures the sentiment from news and social media channels, helping executives understand the opinions of customers, investors and regulators across the world. Cision also is adding Bulletin Healthcare and Bulletin Media-branded services to its product portfolio. Bulletin Healthcare digitally delivers medical specialty news briefings each morning to more than a million health-care professionals, including 800,000 physicians. Bulletin Media delivers daily news customized to the professional interests of over 500,000 engineers, educators and manufacturers. Day-to-day operations at Bulletin Intelligence and Cision will not be affected. Bulletin Intelligence's customer service, platform and network of analysts will continue to operate as normal. Portico Capital Securities LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to Bulletin Intelligence in the transaction 2017-03-28T19:23:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-saw-65-percent-growth-in-solar-industry-related-jobs-in-2016 Virginia saw 65 percent growth in solar industry-related jobs in 2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-saw-65-percent-growth-in-solar-industry-related-jobs-in-2016 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-saw-65-percent-growth-in-solar-industry-related-jobs-in-2016#When:18:24:00Z Virginia is one of the fastest-growing solar job markets in the country, according to a survey by the Solar Foundation, a non-profit research organization. The National Solar Jobs Census 2016 shows that Virginia is second in the Southeast and tied with Utah for ninth in the U.S. for year-over-year solar job growth. Overall, Virginia ranks 20th in the country in the total number of solar jobs, with 3,236 jobs – a 65 percent increase from 2015. Employment in the solar industry across the U.S. has grown more than 25 percent since 2015, and more than 178 percent since 2010. The Solar Foundation also released city and county solar industry-related job figures in its State Solar Jobs Census 2016. Fairfax County is the top locality in Virginia for solar jobs with more than 460 jobs in 2016, a 47 percent increase from 2015. The Virginia Beach–Norfolk–Newport News and Richmond metropolitan statistical areas also saw significant increases in solar jobs in 2016, with 75 percent and 79 percent growth respectively. In announcing the 2016 census results Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said, “Today’s announcement is a testament to the great work we’re doing to build the new Virginia economy, one that is less reliant on federal spending and focuses on growth in innovative sectors like the solar industry. It is clear that Virginia is moving in the right direction, but there is still work to do. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said that companies are “increasingly demanding more renewable energy options when deciding where to make investments.  Given this growing component of economic development, it is essential that consumers and businesses have access to affordable, reliable and diverse energy resources.”  Virginia’s growth can be seen in numerous areas of the solar supply chain including nearly 1,750 installation jobs, representing a 46 percent increase over 2015; more than 575 project development jobs, a 108 percent increase; and more than 300 manufacturing jobs, an 88 percent increase. Women represent nearly 38 percent of Virginia’s solar workforce, and Latino or Hispanic workers represent 22 percent of Virginia’s solar workforce. Since 2014, more than 174 megawatts of solar have been installed in Virginia, including an 80-megawatt facility built by Amazon and a 20-megawatt public-private partnership with the Commonwealth, Dominion and Microsoft.  According to the governor, revenue in the clean energy sector generally has grown four fold in the last three years under to $2 billion. 2017-03-28T18:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/davenport-co.-names-vice-president Davenport & Co. names vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/davenport-co.-names-vice-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/davenport-co.-names-vice-president#When:19:09:00Z Shane M. Cason has joined Davenport & Co.  as a vice president–Investments. Before joining Davenport, Cason served clients for 15 years as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. He holds Series 7 and 66 registrations and is licensed to sell life, health and annuity insurance. Cason has earned the Certified Financial Planner  certification and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation. Cason hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Roanoke College. Based in Richmond, Davenport has 22 locations in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Maryland. The firm, which is employee owned, has more than 400 employees, including 175 investment executives. 2017-03-27T19:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/engility-holdings-names-senior-vice-president Engility Holdings names senior vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/engility-holdings-names-senior-vice-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/engility-holdings-names-senior-vice-president#When:19:07:00Z Chantilly-based Engility Holdings Inc. has named Scott Whatmough senior vice president of the company’s defense group business. Whatmough joins Engility after 30 years at Raytheon, where he most recently led a $900-million military electronics systems business. Before that, he worked at RCA Government Systems and Sequoia Systems. Whatmough holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Rhode Island. Engility is a major provider of integrated solutions and services to U.S. government customers in the defense, federal civilian, intelligence and space communities. 2017-03-27T19:07:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/community-bankers-trust-names-new-director Community Bankers Trust names new director http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/community-bankers-trust-names-new-director http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/community-bankers-trust-names-new-director#When:19:04:00Z Community Bankers Trust Corp., the parent company of Essex Bank, has appointed William E. Hardy to its board of directors.  He also will serve as a director of the bank. Hardy is a Certified Public aAccountant with 34 years of accounting and auditing experience in the central Virginia market.  He is a founding partner and the president of Harris, Hardy & Johnstone PC in Richmond. He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, and he received his certificate in accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Essex Bank has 23 full-service offices, 17 of which are in Virginia and six of which are in Maryland.  The Bank also operates one loan production office in Virginia. 2017-03-27T19:04:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/1010CarolineSt.jpg 1010 Caroline St. courtesy Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-use-project-in-downtown-fredericksburg-gets-design-approval Mixed-use project in downtown Fredericksburg gets design approval http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-use-project-in-downtown-fredericksburg-gets-design-approval http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mixed-use-project-in-downtown-fredericksburg-gets-design-approval#When:15:40:00Z A 26,000-square-foot, mixed-use project in downtown Fredericksburg has gotten the green light from the city’s Architectural Review Board (ARB). At a meeting this month, the board approved a Certificate of Appropriateness for exterior design plans for 1010 Caroline St. Firms helping the project include Commonwealth Architects, Lifecycle Construction Services and Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. The structure at 1010 Caroline Street was built in 1930 as two buildings for the Spotless Co., a department store. In 1955, the buildings were combined and renovated to become the Leggett’s Department Store. Since the 1970s only a small portion of the building has been utilized by a retail business. The building’s new design pays homage to its mid-century modern design and feel while providing improved usage and function for new business tenants. The development, scheduled to be complete in November, will include Class A office, restaurant and retail space Jamie Scully of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Fredericksburg office will serve as the building’s exclusive leasing agent. “We are excited to bring this wonderful building into a new era of life and use, while increasing foot traffic for all businesses on Caroline Street ” Sean J. Haynes, president and owner of the Fredericksburg-based Rappahannock Development Group, said in a statement. 2017-03-27T15:40:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gateway-centre-parkway-land-in-chesterfield-sells-for-1.1-million Gateway Centre Parkway land in Chesterfield sells for $1.1 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gateway-centre-parkway-land-in-chesterfield-sells-for-1.1-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gateway-centre-parkway-land-in-chesterfield-sells-for-1.1-million#When:14:56:00Z  Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has announced the sale of about 4.83 acres of land situated along 134 in Chesterfield County. According to Thalhimer, Rockford Pinnacle LLC purchased the land from Brandywine Realty Trust for $1.1 million as an investment for future development. David M. Smith and David Butchello of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. 2017-03-27T14:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/TheMain-2026a1.jpg Dancers entertain guests during the soft opening of The Main in Norfolk. Photo by Mark Rhodes. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/soft-opening-of-the-main-showcases-175-million-property-and-the-arts Soft opening of The Main showcases $175 million property and the arts http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/soft-opening-of-the-main-showcases-175-million-property-and-the-arts http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/soft-opening-of-the-main-showcases-175-million-property-and-the-arts#When:16:04:00Z The main event in the city of Norfolk on Friday night was The Main, the city’s newest downtown hotel and conference center. Dancers danced, champagne flowed and the governor of Virginia anointed The Main as a transformative property that will help reposition not only this port city, but also the state, as a prime tourism and conference destination. “When you think that this was an old bus terminal not too many years, ago, a decrepit, vacant bus terminal, and you walk in here now today and you see all these beautiful rooms and go upstairs, I just saw the new craft brewery, this will transform Norfolk, Va. This will transform Hampton Roads. This will transform the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said during a reception at the $175 million property.  This weekend’s “soft” opening, coming 10 days before The Main officially opens for business on April 3, is a private fundraising event with an ambitious goal of raising $1 million for Norfolk’s vibrant arts community. Norfolk is home to the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Stage Co., and the Virginia Symphony, among other arts groups.  Arriving guests were greeted by dancers whose movements and costumes evoked mermaids as they gracefully batted balloon-like balls back and forth in The Main’s light-filled atrium.  As people stood in line to get keys to their rooms, hotel staff delivered flutes of champagne. According to event organizers, about 500 people had registered for the arts-focused weekend, with some  packages selling for as much as $1,600.  By early evening, when McAuliffe showed up for the reception, members from the business, local government and arts communities turned out to toast the 22-story glass tower and Hilton-branded luxury hotel that sits at the corner of Main and Granby streets. Asa Shield, a financial consultant for CCP, a commercial real estate firm in Virginia Beach and a member of the Virginia Symphony board, said The Main “will upgrade downtown Norfolk. This is something we need to attract conventions and tourisms. As for the business community, it will be good because it’s a convenient location for meetings and for guests to stay.” The imprint of the region’s business community was apparent at the gala. TowneBank served as the main sponsor, and other companies, such as Norfolk Southern Corp. and the law firm of Kaufman & Canoles sponsored specific events. Kaufman & Canoles sponsored a Friday night dinner theater presentation of excerpts from "The Wiz" by Virginia Stage Co. and Norfolk State University. Besides the dinner theater, guests spent the evening dining at one of the property’s  venues - dancing at a Big Band bash or quaffing a few brews at The Grain, a fifth-floor beer garden that serves 100 craft beers. In a public acknowledgment of the project’s developer, McAuliffe called Bruce Thompson, the CEO of Gold Key | PHR and one of the state’s largest hospitality operators, “the genius behind where we are standing here today.” Just hours before the reception, Thompson, in jeans, was directing staff on where to move a tree sculpture.  He donned a suit for the evening’s festivities. After more than four and a half years of planning, to see the project open and filled with people "gives me goose bumps,” said Thompson. Thompson, in partnership with the city of Norfolk, built the project with help from the state’s tourism development financing program.  Virginia is one of seven states with some form of tourism development gap financing. It assists developers and localities that partner and apply for the financing, which doesn’t kick in until after a facility opens. A developer can apply for as much as 20 percent of a project’s total cost on facilities of more than $100 million. With The Main, Thompson and the city applied for 9 percent of the financing on the $77.5 million expected cost of building the 300-room hotel portion of the project, said Wirt Confroy, director of business development for the Virginia Tourism Corp.  The Main is expected to create 250 fulltime jobs, Wirt said. “The great thing about this program and why the state likes it so much, this is not money taken from another pot and given to the locality,” explained Confroy. “All the money the state contributes is from the new taxes from the new revenue that the project creates … It’s a performance-based tax rebate, really. “  The city of Norfolk also kicked in funding to help with parking and the construction of The Exchange, the hotel's 50,000-square-foot conference center. Norfolk Mayor Ken Alexander said The Main gives Norfolk the state’s largest ballroom – about the size of a football field – which will enable the city to be more competitive in drawing events.  With about 6,000 people now living downtown, it also provides a new gathering place. Other city officials noted that 2017 is turning out to a banner year for new development in Norfolk with the May opening of the new Waterside District, a short distance from The Main on the city's Elizabeth River waterfront, and the June opening of Norfolk Premium Outlets. Rob Uhrin, a principal with Cooper Carry, said the hotel was designed to actively engage the community with plenty of public spaces, including outside patios off the beer garden and a small outdoor park off the building’s main first-floor seafood restaurant, Saltine. “The days of having an experience for only the hotel guest, those days are long gone,” he said. “It’s all about locals coming in and interacting with the people who are visiting.”  Uhrin, who works out of the Atlanta-based design firm’s Washington, D.C. office, said The Main could just as easily be in New York City as Norfolk. For a 500,000 square-property to have three high-end food and beverage outlets is unusual, he said, and was part of Thompson’s vision for the facility to be a local gathering place. One of the biggest challenges, Uhrin added, was positioning the property on what was a relatively small sliver of land. The response was "stacking ballroom upon ballroom and stacking the parking. One of the biggest challenges in a stacked situation is moving everyone up and down." A part of the solution to that piece is the facility's dramatic escalator, which moves people from the first to the third floors, allowing visitors to look out onto city streets and offering views from the street into the hotel. "You can see the activity . That is exposed to the street. So it's engaging the whole civic environment. That's why I think it works," said Uhrin.  As with any opening night, there were a few glitches.  Some visitors attended the governor’s reception in the attire they arrived in, because luggage didn’t get sent to their rooms on time. An electrical outlet in the main lobby didn’t work.  All in all though, The Main’s Managing Director Kurt Krause said he was pleased with how the first night’s events had gone.  By that point, he had been up for 17 hours, and was looking for a good night’s sleep. The event continues through Sunday with special art exhibits and a performance tonight by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Broadway singer Kelli O’Hara. 2017-03-25T16:04:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/JW_headshot_3_%28002%29.jpg Witter photo courtesy of Hilton. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hilton-names-chief-customer-office Hilton names chief customer officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hilton-names-chief-customer-office http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hilton-names-chief-customer-office#When:20:12:00Z McLean-based Hilton announced Friday it has named Jonathan Witter chief customer officer, a newly created role. He will report to Hilton President and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta. Witter most recently served as president of retail and direct banking at Capital One Financial Corp., also based in McLean. In his new role, he will oversee the company’s global brands, marketing, loyalty and partnerships, IT and strategy teams. “He will be integral to ensuring that at every stage of our customers’ journey, from the time they start planning a trip to when they arrive back home, we exceed their expectations at every turn,” Nassetta said in a statement. Before Capital One, Witter served as president and chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley Private Bank and executive vice president, head of general bank distribution at Wachovia Corp. Earlier in his career, he worked in consulting at McKinsey & Co. and Deloitte & Touche. Witter received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree in economics from Vanderbilt University.   2017-03-24T20:12:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-falls-during-february Virginia unemployment falls during February http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-falls-during-february http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-falls-during-february#When:17:18:00Z Virginia’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent in February, the lowest level it has reached in more than eight years. The Virginia Employment Commission reported on Friday that the state’s jobless rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point in February while the labor force expanded for the 11th consecutive month to 4.28 million. The VEC said February’s jobless rate is the lowest recorded in Virginia since June 2008. The VEC report is based on seasonally adjusted numbers, meaning they take into account seasonal changes in the labor force. The Virginia labor force rose by 7,333 people in February while the number of unemployed declined by 6,074. The commonwealth’s total nonfarm employment increased by 11,400 jobs during the month to 3.96 million, the third straight monthly increase. Employment rose in eight major industry divisions and fell in three. The biggest increase occurred in private education and health services, which rose by 5,400 jobs to 539,600 positions. That employment segment had lost jobs during the previous three months. The largest job loss during February occurred in construction, down 3,200 jobs to 186,100. Northern Virginia posted the biggest jobs gain in Virginia’s largest metro areas, up 6,500.   2017-03-24T17:18:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/HANOVER_PPL.jpg Photo courtesy Hanover Research http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hanover-research-names-chief-growth-officer Hanover Research names chief growth officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hanover-research-names-chief-growth-officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hanover-research-names-chief-growth-officer#When:21:13:00Z Arlington-based Hanover Research said Thursday it has named Vineeta Mooganur chief growth officer. In her new role, Mooganur will manage the market-facing teams of Hanover’s enterprise practice. Prior to joining Hanover, Mooganur was the vice president of sales and partnerships at WiserTogether, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare technology firm. Mooganur also served as managing director of sales, service, and product support at CEB and as a management consultant at Bain & Co., working with clients in health care, retail, and technology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Kettering University and master’s degrees in business administration and manufacturing management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Hanover Research is a research and analytics firm serving more than 1,000 clients. 2017-03-23T21:13:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/manufacturer-establishes-chesapeake-operations Manufacturer establishes Chesapeake operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/manufacturer-establishes-chesapeake-operations http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/manufacturer-establishes-chesapeake-operations#When:08:50:00Z Atlantic Core Building Products plans to establish a manufacturing operation in Chesapeake, which is expected to create 50 jobs. Atlantic Core Building Products, which makes steel commercial construction materials, will spend $3 million on the facility. The company manufactures cold-formed steel framing, finishing and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) accessories for commercial and residential buildings. The comoany’s products are used for installation in walls, ceilings, floors and roofs throughout the Eastern U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. Virginia competed against North Carolina and South Carolina for the project, which will create 50 new jobs. “We are excited to call Chesapeake our home,” Atlantic Core Building Products President Ryan Smith said in a statement. “After considering several ports on the eastern seaboard, we found that Virginia has an excellent workforce, world-class port facilities, strong incentives and an easily accessible, strategic location. From our plant, we can service 40 percent of the U.S. construction market and our export customers in Latin America.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Atlantic Core Building Products’ 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. The company will also receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, and is eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. 2017-03-23T08:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image_locat_hi.jpg Kingsmill Resort courtesy of CBRE/Hampton Roads http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/escalante-golf-acquires-kingsmill-resort-in-williamsburg Escalante Golf acquires Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/escalante-golf-acquires-kingsmill-resort-in-williamsburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/escalante-golf-acquires-kingsmill-resort-in-williamsburg#When:21:24:00Z Escalante Golf, a Fort Worth, Texas-based owner and operator of golf properties, is the new owner of Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. The company announced Thursday that it had acquired the golf resort from Xanterra Parks & Resorts. The Virginia Gazette reported the purchase price as $30.7 million. Colorado-based Xanterra purchased the property in 2010 for a reported $24 million from beer brewer Anheuser-Bush Co., who developed the property on the banks of the James River more than 45 years ago. The AAA four-diamond property adds an East Coast destination to Escalante’s growing portfolio of golf clubs in markets that have hosted amateur and professional golf tournaments.   “Kingsmill Resort is one of the most iconic resorts on the East Coast,” David McDonald, president of Escalante Golf Inc. said in in a statement. “It has hosted some of the best-known names in golf, including the PGA Tour’s Michelob Championship from 1981 to 2002 and now the LPGA’s Kingsmill Championship. It is a vibrant community with more than 2,400 home sites and has hosted presidents and dignitaries since it opened almost a half century ago. It is truly a special place with a revered history,” According to Doug Henkel, an executive vice president with CBRE Hampton Roads who helped broker the sale, Escalante plans to continue to build upon the resort’s reputation, including a plan to develop and sell a 290-tract of undeveloped land. That land has different zonings within the Kingsmill master plan, noted Henkel, and is fully entitled to support additional residential units, be they multifamily, condo or single-family homes. “They also have the right to build hotel rooms, time share, so there’s a lot of flexibility in that development,” Henkel said. He and CBRE’s Jeff Woolson represented Xanterra in the sale.  Henkel said Xanterra invested about $39 million in improvements to Kingsmill, including a lazy-river pool area, some riverfront cottages, a new restaurant at the marina and an updated fitness center. When Xanterra bought the resort 2010, “they felt like they wanted to expand their holdings. They were primarily managing state and federal parks so with this property they wanted to make a splurge into something larger and East Coast-based,” said Henkel. However, after owning and managing the property for a few years, there were a number of moving parts, including a realty company and the undeveloped land. “Xanteera opted to return back to what they do best,” said Henkel. Kingsmill Resort is located on 2,900 acres along the James River. It has three championship golf courses: the River Course designed by Pete Dye, the Plantation Course designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, and the member-only Woods Course designed by Curtis Strange and Tom Clark. The resort features one-, two- and three-bedroom condominium accommodations that are owned by third parties, according to Henkel. Amenities include 15 tennis courts, four on-site restaurants, a three-pool and lazy river complex, the fitness center and a newly redesigned spa. Kingsmill also has 16,000 square-foot conference center and a full-service marina. 2017-03-22T21:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sentara-opens-outpatient-campus-in-chesapeake Sentara opens outpatient campus in Chesapeake http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sentara-opens-outpatient-campus-in-chesapeake http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sentara-opens-outpatient-campus-in-chesapeake#When:13:48:00Z Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare has opened its $19 million Sentara Edinburgh outpatient campus in Chesapeake. The 60,000-square-foot, two-story building houses Sentara Medical Group’s first practice combining family medicine and pediatrics. Sentara Cardiology Specialists will open an office at the facility this summer. Edinburgh is a development in southern Chesapeake. Sentara Edinburgh was designed by Innovate Architecture of Portsmouth. The facility was built by Vannoy Construction of Charlotte, N.C., and Compo Construction of Norfolk. Sentara Edinburgh is the latest addition to Sentara facilities and services in Chesapeake. Sentara Life Care recently opened a skilled nursing facility in the city called the Sentara Rehabilitation & Care Residence. The Sentara Rehabilitation Network has facilities in the Chesapeake Family YMCA. The Sentara HealthPlex outpatient campus is in the city’s Greenbrier area. Other facilities in Chesapeake include the Sentara College of Health Sciences, the company’s materials management distribution center and offices for Sentara Home Care & Hospice services. 2017-03-22T13:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/allfirst-to-expand-in-suffolk Allfirst to expand in Suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/allfirst-to-expand-in-suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/allfirst-to-expand-in-suffolk#When:09:08:00Z Allfirst LLC plans to expand its Suffolk headquarters, creating 27 new jobs over the next three years. The industrial general contractor and metal fabricator plans to spend $130,000 on the expansion, purchasing new machinery and tools. It will retrain its 62 existing employees in addition to creating new jobs, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday. Allfirst provides design and build services to national corporate clients, including manufacturers, paper mills, chemical plants, converters, food processors, oil terminals and power generators. The company has been located in Suffolk since its founding in 2000 and serves companies in Hampton Roads, Richmond, Roanoke, Maryland, and Northeastern North Carolina. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Allfirst’s retraining and 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. 2017-03-22T09:08:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/metro-area-jobless-rates-rise-in-january Metro-area jobless rates rise in January http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/metro-area-jobless-rates-rise-in-january http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/metro-area-jobless-rates-rise-in-january#When:19:59:00Z Unemployment rose in most of Virginia’s metro areas in January. The Virginia Employment Commission reported Tuesday that 10 of the state’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas saw their jobless rates rise from three-tenths of a percentage point to 1.6 percent. The VEC figures are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market. The sole MSA showing a decrease in unemployment during January was the Staunton-Waynesboro region. Its jobless rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent. The biggest percentage increase in unemployment occurred in the New River Valley region (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford), which saw its rate climb from 4.1 percent in December to 5.7 percent in January. That January rate also was highest among the 11 metro areas. On the other hand, three regions — Hampton Roads, Harrisonburg and Northern Virginia — all had increases of three-tenths of a percentage point. Northern Virginia also had the lowest unemployment rate of all metro areas, 3.4 percent. Looking at individual localities around the state, Arlington County recorded  Virginia’s lowest unemployment rate in January, 2.7 percent, while Buchanan County had the highest, 9.8 percent. During January, the national unemployment rate was 5.1 percent and the Virginia rate was 4.2 percent, based on data that is not seasonally adjusted. Here is a a breakdown of metro unemployment numbers: Bristol area: 4.9 percent in January, up from 4.4 percent in December. Charlottesville: 3.7 percent, up from 3.2 percent. Hampton Roads: 4.6 percent, up from 4.3 percent. Harrisonburg: 3.9 percent, up from 3.6 percent. Lynchburg: 4.8 percent, up from 4.3 percent. New River Valley: 5.7 percent, up from 4.1 percent. Northern Virginia: 3.4 percent, up from 3.1 percent. Richmond: 4.3 percent, up from 3.9 percent. Roanoke: 4.1 percent, up from 3.7 percent. Staunton: 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent. Winchester: 3.7 percent, up from 3.3 percent. 2017-03-21T19:59:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/getting-on-the-radar Getting on the radar http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/getting-on-the-radar http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/getting-on-the-radar#When:19:56:00Z As a corporate location, Richmond is on the rise. It’s got historic architecture, a hip and growing restaurant scene, universities and a climate that’s business friendly to millennials and young entrepreneurs. “As I scan the region, there’s not much that’s missing,” a national site consultant said Tuesday.  A highly ranked system of higher education and strong state and regional economic development agencies are another plus.  “You have it from the data standpoint, but not from a field standpoint. You’ve off the radar,” Tom Stringer told a gathering of the Greater Richmond Area Commercial Real Estate Association (GRACRE).  Stringer, managing director, site selection and business incentives, for BDO USA in New York City, shared his perceptions of the region and the state through the eyes of a consultant who works on deals around the country. About 160 people turned out to hear his remarks during a meeting at the Country Club of Virginia. To get Richmond on the national radar of site consultants, Stringer said the region needs to land a big deal. “Being quiet is good to some extent — and you’ve been good and bubbling to the surface — but you’ve got to make that big splash. You’ve got to win something big and unique and that will be the sea change.”  The region also needs an airport with more direct flights — an asset that helps attract corporate headquarters. In flying to Richmond, Stringer said he had difficulty finding a flight at a good time and reasonable price on a Monday morning. He was in Richmond, in part, he said, to discuss a project with the Greater Richmond Partnership that he believes could be a good fit. Stringer declined to discuss details. Leaking confidential information when a project is in the negotiation stage is the No. 1 deal killer, he told the audience.  In fact, leaks can knock a city off a site selection list. During his 20-year career, “almost always the leak comes from the brokerage or the development community,” instead of local and state economic development agencies, he said.  “It’s hard for people in this room, because sharing information is what we do for a living,” said Stringer, who also is a broker.  Yet once information leaks out, “that’s the minute you kill it. Many companies won’t come back, and site selectors tell their colleagues in the business what happened.”   The flip side of the equation is that brokers can be invaluable to the site selection process. “They are exceptional in helping us get a job done,” Stringer said. “The man or gal on the ground knows the ins and outs on the granular level … If site selectors and brokers work hand-in-hand, you can leverage down the rental rate and increase the incentives,” he said, referring to items that help close deals.  Questions from the audience led to more tips.  Stringer said Richmond frequently comes up on the same lists as Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; and Columbus, Ohio. Yet, he referred to Austin as a cautionary tale. For years, it enjoyed the buzz of being a young, hip, university town, and it drew corporate relocations. Yet when Austin needed to invest in infrastructure, such as building new roads or expanding its airport, the city balked, Stringer said, out of fear of damaging its charm. Richmond has done a good job in rehabbing its old buildings, said Stringer, “but don’t stop with the redevelopment. Don’t say, ‘we’ve reached our peak.  … We’re not going to change or accommodate. ‘ That’s where Austin has gone off the rails. People don’t go to Austin anymore.  It takes three years for a building permit, and there’s no incentives. You have to live 20 miles from the city or put the facility near San Antonio. ‘It’s a privilege to be in Austin.’ That’s the mindset you have to avoid.” A strong selling point for Virginia among corporate recruiters is the VEDP, which Stringer said is regarded as one of the “three or four best” in the country.  “I know it’s had a few problems recently,” he said, “You just need to tweak it in a few spots.”  Stringer was referring to the fact that VEDP is in the midst of an overhaul by the General Assembly. It passed a bill during the 2017 session reducing the size of the VEDP’s board and implementing tighter controls over incentives. Those moves were the result of a hypercritical report from the state’s watchdog agency over VEDP’s operational inefficiencies, particularly a $1.4 million incentive payment to a Chinese company that did not follow through on plans to build a factory.  Stringer added that he knows Stephen Moret, Louisiana’s former secretary of economic development, who was hired in November as the new CEO of VEDP.  “Steve did a bang-up job in terms of transforming a state that had a lot of issues,” Stringer said.  Another strong selling point is what Stringer referred to as Virginia’s “top-tier” higher education system. “You have tens of thousands of engineers in this state. Don’t let them leave.”   It’s at the elementary and middle level where some schools struggle. “ If you could improve those schools, that would make a huge difference.”  One question from the audience had to do with the mega region approach.  Over the past few years, some business groups have pushed for Richmond and Hampton Roads to merge their marketing and branding efforts, selling the combined region as a business location.  Stringer said he wasn’t a fan of the concept.  “I think it’s a little silly,” he said. “You’re globbing too much together, and you lose that feel for what a particular region is, and what it can really do … You have a lot of good assets here. I would push those and stay away from linking up with anyone else.” In the final analysis, site selectors “like to do business with people we trust.” Stringer advised that Richmond spend more time and money meeting people who are decision makers in corporate site selection. “It’s not locations that I have in my back pocket, “ he said, “It’s people I’ve worked with over the years that I know can deliver the goods, that can get the concrete poured, that can get the permits. We might be the last industry where personal relationships make a difference. We haven’t been Uber-ed yet…” 2017-03-21T19:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-county-grants-100000-cloud-based-education-program Prince William County grants $100,000 to online education company http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-county-grants-100000-cloud-based-education-program http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/prince-william-county-grants-100000-cloud-based-education-program#When:08:45:00Z The Prince William County Board of Supervisors announced Monday it has authorized a $100,000 performance-based grant with online education startup company Scriyb LLC. Scriyb is based at the Virginia Serious Game Institute at the Mason Science and Technology Campus in Prince William County. Scriyb provides a cloud-based, live-streaming teaching platform geared toward specialized STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning. The Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a $100,000 grant from the Prince William County Economic Development Opportunity Fund. The grant requires Sriyb to receive matching funds from the Center for Innovative Technology GAP funds, maintain five full-time staff positions, and relocate to commercial space in the county with 13 full-time hires and $25,000 in equipment by the end of the year. Scriyb’s platform is designed to help teachers of specialized STEM instruction for K-12 students. The technology allows students to be divided into smaller groups and provide virtual analysis and tracking to provide a targeted social learning environment. 2017-03-21T08:45:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/International_Place_NEW.jpg International Place courtesy of The Meridian Group http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/knowland-to-move-headquarters-to-rosslyn Knowland to move headquarters to Rosslyn http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/knowland-to-move-headquarters-to-rosslyn http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/knowland-to-move-headquarters-to-rosslyn#When:14:55:00Z The Meridian Group announced Monday that Knowland is moving its headquarters to International Place, a 12-story office building in Rosslyn. Knowland, which provides meeting and group data for the hospitality industry, is moving from Washington, D.C.’s East End to the building at 1735 Lynn St. The company will lease 11,687 square feet. “A move to Rosslyn made sense for us,” Tim Hart, the CEO of Knowland, said in a statement. “We have been growing rapidly, beyond the capacity of our offices in downtown D.C. This new location provides the space we need as we continue to expand the business. And it gives our employees a great work environment that is close to the city, convenient to the Metro, and surrounded by the many restaurants and establishments that Rosslyn offers.” Cushman and Wakefield brokers John Benziger and Jennifer Brody represented Knowland while Meridian was represented by Nick Gregorios, Dave Millard and Peter Berk of Avison Young. Wil Machen, vice president at Meridian, said the lease continues the trend of diversifying the tenant base in Rosslyn beyond the federal government and its contractors. “Private- sector companies have been driving the leasing activity in Rosslyn in recent years with companies and firms such as CEB, Sinclair Broadcasting, Politico, Grant Thornton and Graham Holdings making long-term commitments,” said Machen. Knowland’s decision to relocate to International Place comes on the heels of two other major announcements involving Rosslyn, which is located in Arlington.  Nestle USA is moving its headquarters from Glendale, Calif., to 1812 N. Moore St., and the Grocery Manufacturers Association is relocating from D.C.’s Central Business District to Potomac Tower. Meridian, based in Bethesda, Md., purchased International Place in June. Located across the street from the Rosslyn Metro station, the recently renovated building offers a new 4,376-square-foot fitness center and a new conference center and tenant lounge. The 293,539-square-foot building also is across the street from The JBG Cos. Central Place, a new development that will include a large public plaza and tens of thousands of square feet of ground-level retail. 2017-03-20T14:55:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roanoke-distribution-facility-sells-for-1.8-million Roanoke distribution facility sells for $1.8 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roanoke-distribution-facility-sells-for-1.8-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roanoke-distribution-facility-sells-for-1.8-million#When:14:36:00Z .Com Properties V LLC has purchased the Carroll Tire property in Roanoke from L&M Properties LLC from for $1.8 million. The 51,100-square-foot distribution facility on 1.9 acres is located at 2428 Patterson Ave.   Boyd Johnson of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. According to Thalhimer, the buyer purchased the property as an investment. 2017-03-20T14:36:00+00:00 Dr. Jared Pelo photo courtesy The Launch Place. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-launch-place-announces-2500000-investment-in-iscribes The Launch Place announces $250,0000 investment in iScribes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-launch-place-announces-2500000-investment-in-iscribes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-launch-place-announces-2500000-investment-in-iscribes#When:20:05:00Z Danville-based The Launch Place announced Friday it has invested $250,000 in iScribes, a mobile application that makes it easier for doctors to record encounters with patients. The application takes notes for health-care providers while they’re interacting with patients. Doctors then review and approve the notes. The Durham, N.C.-based company says physicians spend 40 percent of their time documenting patient encounters, which can reduce time for patient care. “Virtual medical scribes enable providers to conduct patient encounters naturally and efficiently with exceptionally high-quality documentation,” Dr. Jared Pelo, co-founder and CEO of iScribes, said in a statement. The Launch Place led the syndication of this deal. Triangle Angel Partners II LLC (TAP II), an angel investment fund based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park co-invested in the deal, bringing the total investment to $410,000. The Launch Place aims to assist with entrepreneurship and business development in Danville, Pittsylvania County and Caswell County, N.C. It offers businesses funding, consulting, and residential and office subsidies.   Dr. Jared Pelo photo courtesy The Launch Place. 2017-03-17T20:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/roanoke-blacksburg-technology-council-names-new-ceo Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council names new CEO http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/roanoke-blacksburg-technology-council-names-new-ceo http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/roanoke-blacksburg-technology-council-names-new-ceo#When:20:04:00Z The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) and Roanoke Blacksburg Innovation Network have chosen Robert McAden as their next president and CEO, effective March 20. McAden has been a member of the council since its inception and has served on the board’s executive team for more than three years, becoming board chair in 2015. He previously led the Blacksburg operations of cloud-computing company Rackspace. McAden has lived in  Roanoke for 20 years. He has been active in the region’s startup community, co-chairing Startup Weekend Roanoke, judging  many startup competitions and serving on advisory boards for NuSpark and RAMP,  a technology business accelerator in the region. “With the opening of RAMP this summer, the creation of an innovation district in Roanoke, and the growth of our technology sector, we are in the midst of a critical time for our technology and innovation ecosystem. I am eager to work with others across our region to ensure the future vitality of our valleys." McAden said in a statement. The technology council conducted a nationwide search after Jonathan Whitt resigned in October. “Robert is no stranger to the region or to our RBTC board,” said Susan Short of the executive committee of the RBTC Board of Directors. “He knows our community, he understands the innovation ecosystem of the two valleys, and he clearly comprehends the aspirations of our region.  He has been a key player in identifying and aligning the region's technology assets as well as connecting the technology community to regional resources.  In his former role with Rackspace as well as his extensive contributions to the RBTC board, this familiar face will work closely with leaders throughout the region to advance the mission of an emerging innovation ecosystem.” 2017-03-17T20:04:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominon-expanding-solar-for-schools-program Dominon expanding ‘Solar for Schools’ program http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominon-expanding-solar-for-schools-program http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominon-expanding-solar-for-schools-program#When:19:30:00Z As Dominion continues to expand its solar power infrastructure in Virginia,  the company said it is increasing the number of sites for its Solar for Schools program. Sponsored by the Dominion Foundation, the program  allows K-12 students the opportunity to generate electricity from a solar array installed on school grounds. The foundation is seeking applications until April 28 from K-12 public schools or museums with STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) programming in areas served by Dominion Virginia Power. It will select six organizations to receive a 1.2 kilowatt photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electric power. During the 2015-16 school year, four schools participated in the pilot program. Each solar array will generate enough electricity to power 18 desktop computers. Dominion is collaborating with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project for the program. NEED will provide technical support, install the panels, prepare educational materials and train teachers.  Recipients will be announced in September. For more information or to apply, visit www.dom.com/solarschools. The expansion of Solar for Schools occurs as Dominion's solar investment in Virginia approaches $1 billion. The company has a dozen solar projects under construction, enough to power 100,000 homes.  2017-03-16T19:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/C_Macdonell_headshot.jpg Macdonell photo courtesy Campbell Consulting http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/deschutes-brewery-hires-east-coast-field-marketing-manager Deschutes Brewery hires East Coast field marketing manager http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/deschutes-brewery-hires-east-coast-field-marketing-manager http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/deschutes-brewery-hires-east-coast-field-marketing-manager#When:19:23:00Z Deschutes Brewery has hired Caroline Macdonell as its field marketing manager for the East Coast. She will be located in Roanoke, where the Oregon-based company is building an East Coast brewery. Macdonell is responsible for acting as a liaison with the local community, local officials and the greater Deschutes Brewery team. She will manage marketing plans, programs, sponsorships and events in the region, while driving sales and company goal integration. Angela Korish, experiential marketing manager for the brewery said in a statement: “Caroline is bringing Deschutes to life for all of our new fans in Virginia and the region. As one of our first people ‘on the ground’ in our new home of Roanoke, she will help us with our community involvement goals and set us up for continued growth in our East Coast markets.” Macdonnel most recently served as promotions supervisor for Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, Ohio after holding several positions with the company over the last several years. Macdonell received Master’s level training from Cleveland State University in mental health counseling, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Spanish and Latin American Studies from The Ohio State University.   2017-03-16T19:23:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/volleyball0001night.jpg Rendering of new indoor facility courtesy Chesterfield County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesterfield-economic-development-authority-will-build-7-million-sports-fac Chesterfield Economic Development Authority wants to build $7 million indoor sports facility http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesterfield-economic-development-authority-will-build-7-million-sports-fac http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesterfield-economic-development-authority-will-build-7-million-sports-fac#When:19:12:00Z Chesterfield County is continuing to invest in sports tourism. The county announced Thursday that its Economic Development Authority wants to build a $7 million indoor sports facility at Stonebridge that will be leased primarily by the Richmond Volleyball Club. The proposal needs approval from the Chesterfield County Board of Supevisors.  The county would finance the building through the EDA, said Garrett Hart, the county's director of economic development, and the authority would lease it. Besides about 50,000 square feet that would be reserved for Richmond Volleyball Club, the county’s Parks and Recreation Department would  lease 5,000 square feet of the building. The new facility would be located at 200 Karl Linn Drive and, if approved, is expected to be operational by January 2018. The project at the Stonebridge development just off Midlothian Turnpike represents growth opportunities for both the volleyball club and Chesterfield County, which already is home to many athletic tournaments. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with Chesterfield County Economic Development and Parks and Recreation. We hope to introduce more individuals to the sport of volleyball … This additional facility will allow us the opportunity to grow our programs tremendously,” Darcy Carroll, executive director of the non profit volleyball organization, said in a statement. The public-private partnership between the EDA and the Richmond Volleyball Club is the latest for the Stonebridge development. It began as a public/private project between the EDA and Crosland, Southeast to transform the former Cloverleaf Mall site into a multimillion-dollar, mixed-use center.  Today, it’s home to Kroger Marketplace, one of the company’s largest stores in the mid-Atlantic region; the Elements at Stonebridge, a Boyd Homes’ luxury apartment community, and the Shops at Stonebridge. For the past 35 years, RVC has offered year-round programs for adults and juniors.  It has grown from one four-court facility into two facilities with 20 courts serving more than 3,000 members. Richmond Volleyball Club has nearly 400 visitors daily who participate in adult leagues and junior development programs.  The club supports 140 USA Volleyball and recreational junior teams annually.  It also hosts about 51 teams on any given weekend with 57 percent of those teams travelling from more than 60 miles away. This new facility will allow RVC to increase its one-day tournaments, which occur almost every weekend from January to May, by about 32 teams each day. RVC also hosts more than 10,000 junior players, coaches, and spectators twice a year in two major tournaments, the combined Boys’ East Coast Championships/Girls’ South Atlantic Championships, and the Monument City Classic. These tournaments are held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and at the club’s current Henrico County location.  According to Chesterfield’s EDA, these two tournaments generate about $9 million dollars in economic impact. “Sports tourism has been a huge economic driver for the Richmond region in recent years, totaling more than half of our events bookings. Facilities are the number one factor in attracting lucrative tournaments to the area,” said Jack Berry, president & CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. “The new space at Stonebridge is an exciting addition to the Richmond Region’s sports tourism offerings.” Leslie Haley, vice chairwoman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors and the representative from the Midlothian District, said she was ‘thrilled” by the county’s partnership with the volleyball club.  “The economic impact on the eastern Midlothian area from people visiting this facility for daily events and weekend tournaments will be tremendous!” The project builds upon a recent expansion of facilities in the region. Chesterfield recently agreed to acquire the River City Sportsplex, a five-field, 115-acre facility in the county, for $5.5 million. The extra space created by the project for the Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department would bring an opportunity for more programming for older adults. Such programs would include classes, workshops, fitness programs and special events.  In addition to the senior programming, the location could be used for community programs, pre-school activities and youth programming. Besides the indoor sports facility, more retail space looks to be on the way for Stonebridge. Its new owner, S2 Capital Partners LLC, wants to add 15,600 square feet of retail development. 2017-03-16T19:12:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-to-build-100-million-student-apartment-project-in Armada Hoffler Properties to build $100 million student apartment project in downtown Charleston http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-to-build-100-million-student-apartment-project-in http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-to-build-100-million-student-apartment-project-in#When:14:55:00Z Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. said Thursday that the Virginia Beach-based REIT will team with Spandrel Development Partners to develop and build $100 million of new student apartments in downtown Charleston, S.C. Armada will serve as both majority partner and general contractor in the new joint venture. According to the real estate investment trust, the Charleston peninsula is home to more than 20,000 students. Current enrollment at the College of Charleston approaches about 12,000 students. With two assets offering a variety of amenities and price points, Armada Hoffler expects to deliver more than 600 new beds within one mile of the College of Charleston in time for the fall 2019 semester. With the two projects, Armada Hoffler said it would be the largest private developer of student apartments in Charleston. The company expects to break ground later this year. “With its high barrier-to-entry and net market deficit of more than 5,000 beds, new student housing product in downtown Charleston fits perfectly into our development and investment strategy,” Louis S. Haddad, Armada Hoffler Properties president and CEO, said in a statement. “We look forward to meeting the needs of the underserved student population on the peninsula, and are excited to once again team with a partner who has the local expertise to quickly entitle prime sites in one of our target markets.” Spandrel Development Partners is a multidisciplined equity real estate development firm with offices in New York City and Charleston. It focuses on the multifamily, student, hospitality, industrial and retail market segments. 2017-03-16T14:55:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/waterside-district-in-norfolk-to-celebrate-grand-opening-on-may-11-14 Waterside District in Norfolk to celebrate grand opening on May 11-14 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/waterside-district-in-norfolk-to-celebrate-grand-opening-on-may-11-14 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/waterside-district-in-norfolk-to-celebrate-grand-opening-on-may-11-14#When:20:39:00Z  Waterside District, Norfolk’s new downtown waterfront venue, will celebrate a grand opening celebration on May 11-14. The four day event is open to the public, and will include live musical performances. Recording artists Weezer and New Politics will play May 11 and country music singer Chase Rice will perform on May 13. The concerts are free.  The grand celebration follows the opening of the venue to the public on May 4.  Waterside District is located along the Elizabeth River on the old site of the Waterside Festival Marketplace.  The city hired the Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. to do a $40 million, 125,000-square-foot redo, which includes the Market, a 30,000-square-foot area for dining and restaurants. Tenants at the Market include Starr Hill brewery, Rappahannock Oyster Co. and Cogan’s Pizza.  Waterside District also will  feature national restaurants such as Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, Blue Moon Taphouse, PBR Norfolk and The Fudgery. “It has been so gratifying to see this project come together, and we are thrilled with all that the new Waterside District will bring to downtown Norfolk,” Glenn Sutch, president of Waterside District, said in a statement. 2017-03-15T20:39:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Rhodes_Ritenour_-_Headshot_%281%29.JPG Ritenour photo courtesy Bon Secours. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/bon-secours-richmond-health-system-names-new-vice-president Bon Secours Richmond Health System names new vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/bon-secours-richmond-health-system-names-new-vice-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/bon-secours-richmond-health-system-names-new-vice-president#When:20:22:00Z Bon Secours Richmond Health System announced Wednesday it has named Rhodes B. Ritenour vice president of external and regulatory affairs in the mission services division. Prior to joining Bon Secours, Ritenour served as deputy attorney general of Virginia for civil litigation, overseeing 100 lawyers and non-lawyers. Before that, he was a partner at LeClairRyan in Richmond where he focused on intellectual property litigation and regulatory matters. Ritenour also has served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser in the Western District of Virginia and worked in the policy office of U.S. Sen. Mark Warner when he was governor of Virginia. Ritenour earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. He is co-chair of the Virginia Bar Association Judiciary Committee. He also is co-founder of TheDiabetesSupportGroup.org, a national diabetes support group focused on the proactive management of diabetes. 2017-03-15T20:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Optima_Rendering.png Rendering of Optima Health office in Norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/optima-health-to-open-first-office-in-norfolk Optima Health to open first office in Norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/optima-health-to-open-first-office-in-norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/optima-health-to-open-first-office-in-norfolk#When:20:20:00Z Optima Health has leased 45,000 square feet of office space at Military Circle in Norfolk.  According to S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co., which brokered the deal, the site – slated to open in June – will be the fifth office location for Optima in Virginia and its first in Norfolk. The office will employ about 200 people. Other office locations include Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Richmond and Roanoke. Optima Health provides health plan coverage to about 450,000 members offering a suite of commercial products, including employee-owned and employer-sponsored plans, as well as individual and family health plans, employee assistance plans and plans serving Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. John M. Profilet, a senior vice president with Norfolk-based Nusbaum, provided tenant representation services to Optima during their search for office space in the Hampton Roads market. 2017-03-15T20:20:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hershey-to-expand-stuarts-draft-operation Hershey to expand Stuarts Draft operation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hershey-to-expand-stuarts-draft-operation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hershey-to-expand-stuarts-draft-operation#When:20:09:00Z The Hershey Co. is planning to increase production of its operation in Stuarts Draft and create 69 new jobs, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Today’s announcement marks the eighth expansion for Hershey at its Augusta County plant, which was established in 1980. It is the company’s second-largest production plant in the U.S. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to recruit and train new employees and train 140 existing employees on how to use the new equipment. Augusta County will match funding from VJIP to support the expansion. In addition, the VJIP program has supported four other expansions by Hershey, including, most recently, the August 2016 addition of a new product line at the facility in Stuarts Draft. 2017-03-15T20:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image004.jpeg Town Point Center in downtown Norfolk courtesy of Divaris Real Estate Inc. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-property-management-corp.-to-manage-town-point-center-in-norfolk Divaris Property Management Corp. to manage Town Point Center in Norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-property-management-corp.-to-manage-town-point-center-in-norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-property-management-corp.-to-manage-town-point-center-in-norfolk#When:20:05:00Z CIG Town Point Center LLC has hired Divaris Property Management Corp. (DPMC) to manage Town Point Center in downtown Norfolk. The 131,259-square-foot, 12-story, Class A office building at 150 Boush Street is located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District. The building sits across from the USS Wisconsin battleship and Half Moone cruise ship terminal and offers extensive water views from its penthouse conference center and penthouse lounge.  Tazewell Rinehart, a senior property manager with DPMC, will handle the day-to-day property management. According to Divaris, Town Point Center is currently 95 percent leased. Tenants include: BDO USA LLP, The Up Center, Witt Mares PLC, MCI Communications, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Goodman Allen Donnelly and RCMA Americas Inc. In another transaction for Divaris Real Estate Inc.,  Morgan Property Group (MPG) has hired the Virginia Beach-based company to lease Brandy Creek Commons in Mechanicsville. Zach Means and Larry Agnew of DRE’s Richmond office will be in charge of leasing available retail space in the 68,148-square-foot neighborhood shopping center.  A 50,000-square-foot Publix grocery store will serve as the anchor tenant for the new development. An additional 13,000-square-feet of retail will be available for lease as well as an outparcel fronting Mechanicsville Turnpike. The new development is slated to break ground late in summer 2017, with an opening planned by fall 2018.  Means represented Brandy Creek Drive Realty LLC, a business entity of MPG, in the purchase of the 18-acre parcel for $3.5 million.  The cost to develop Brandy Creek Commons is estimated at $15 million. 2017-03-15T20:05:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/deep-water-terminal-in-chesapeake-sells-for-7-million Deep-water terminal in Chesapeake sells for $7 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/deep-water-terminal-in-chesapeake-sells-for-7-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/deep-water-terminal-in-chesapeake-sells-for-7-million#When:19:50:00Z OEP Rosemont LLC has purchased a 57-acre, 54,600-square-foot, deep-water terminal in Chesapeake for $7 million. The terminal is located at 700 Rosemont Ave. The seller was HG Receiver LLC. Glenn Gibson, Robert Beasley III and Don Goldberg of Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate represented the receiver, and Bryan Gilpin of Sam Segar & Associates represented the buyer. 2017-03-15T19:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Former_Virginia_Commision_for_the_Blind_Building.jpg Former Virginia Commission for the Blind building http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carytown-building-sells-for-1.6-million Carytown building sells for $1.6 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carytown-building-sells-for-1.6-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carytown-building-sells-for-1.6-million#When:19:09:00Z The former Virginia Commission for the Blind building in Carytown has sold for $1.6 million, and the new owner plans to convert it into 32 luxury apartments. Commonwealth Commercial Partners sold the building at 3003 Parkwood Ave. in Richmond to Richmond-based Crescent Preservation and Development.  “The property is in a fabulous location offering future residents easy access to all of the amenities in Carytown,” Sam Worley of Commonwealth Commercial Partners, said in a statement. He represented the seller along with Chris Jenkins and Ryan Fanelli. According to Commonwealth Commercial, the buyer plans to convert the property to apartments using historic tax credits. Crescent Preservation & Development Co. is a real estate investment management firm specializing in the acquisition and adaptive reuse and/or substantial rehabilitation of affordable housing and historic structures using federal, state and local incentives. The 16,288-square foot, U-shaped building was originally constructed in 1941. It sits on the edge of Carytown at the corners of Parkwood and Sheppard Streets. Built during the Colonial Revival style era, it features Flemish-bond brick exterior walls and corner quoins. Virginia's governor at the time, James Price, appointed Lucian Louis Watts and the Virginia Commission for the Blind to oversee construction of the building, which served as the executive offices of the commission until 1980, when the organization moved to Azalea Avenue. The property was most recently a senior/retirement home known as Parkwood Manor. Walter Parks Architects of Richmond has been retained for the renovation design and Cite Design of Richmond has been hired for landscaping improvements. Monument Construction will serve as the general contractor. 2017-03-15T19:09:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lidl-buys-former-wagering-parlor-in-richmond-for-3.4-million Lidl buys former wagering parlor in Richmond for $3.4 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lidl-buys-former-wagering-parlor-in-richmond-for-3.4-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lidl-buys-former-wagering-parlor-in-richmond-for-3.4-million#When:19:02:00Z Lidl U.S. Operations LLC purchased a former wagering parlor on West Broad Street in Richmond for $3.4 million and plans to put a 19,000-square-foot grocery store on the site. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, which brokered the sale, Lidl bought the 3.7-acre property at 4700 W. Broad from Colonial Downs L.P. A former Colonial Downs off-track wagering center, the building will be torn down, and Lidl plans to construct a new prototype store at the location. Richard L. Thalhimer of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. Lidl, a German-based discount supermarket chain, has purchased several locations around the state as part of a rollout of its first stores in the U.S. Its target opening date for many of the stores is no later than 2018. The company also is developing a U.S. headquarters in Arlington County and  $125 million regional headquarters and distribution center in Spotsylvania County. 2017-03-15T19:02:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-magazine-journalism-internship Virginia Business Magazine Journalism Internship http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-magazine-journalism-internship http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-business-magazine-journalism-internship#When:21:13:00Z Virginia Business is the only publication dedicated to covering economic activity in every sector and every region of the state. Since its creation in 1986, the magazine attracted loyal readers and established a reputation as a “must read” for anybody who wants to stay abreast of economic events in the commonwealth. The publication has received 17 national journalism awards since 2010. General job duties of journalism intern: • Write articles for the web, print magazine and supplemental publications • Copy edit content • Publish content on social media and VirginiaBusiness.com • Produce charts for publication Qualifications: • Junior or senior majoring in journalism • Strong writing skills • Interest in business issues • Proficient in Microsoft Excel • Knowledge of AP Style • Ability to meet deadlines • Ability to work independently and in a group Additional information: This is an unpaid internship that is offered for academic credit. Must be available to work at least 10 hours per week. Interested applicants should email resume, two references and two writing samples to: Veronica Garabelli Special Projects Editor Virginia Business vgarabelli@va-business.com 804-225-6942 Now taking applications for summer and fall internships! Deadline to apply for summer internship: March 31, 2017.  Virginia Business is located in the Shockoe Slip Historic District in downtown Richmond, 1207 E. Main St., #100. 2017-03-14T21:13:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alarm.com-acquires-reston-based-objectvideo-inc Alarm.com acquires Reston-based ObjectVideo Inc. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alarm.com-acquires-reston-based-objectvideo-inc http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alarm.com-acquires-reston-based-objectvideo-inc#When:21:12:00Z Tysons-based Alarm.com has acquired Reston-based ObjectVideo Inc. The deal includes the company's products, technology portfolio and personnel. Financial details were not disclosed. Alarm.com's customers use its technology to monitor and control their property from anywhere. Its services include security, video monitoring, intelligent automation and energy management. ObjectVideo is a pioneer in the fields of video analytics and computer vision. Now called ObjectVideo Labs, the business is expected to accelerate Alarm.com's research and development of video services and video analytics applications. "As video applications grow rapidly in both the residential and commercial spaces, this acquisition will reinforce our ability to continue to lead in the development of proactive, next-generation connected home and business solutions,” Jeff Bedell, Alarm.com's chief strategy and innovation officer, said in a statement. “Unlike standalone devices and point products, the Alarm.com platform can extract meaning from a broad ecosystem of connected devices to deliver enhanced security and a highly-valued user experience." ObjectVideo Labs will continue to provide advanced research and engineering services for federal government customers. Founded in 1998 by scientists and program managers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ObjectVideo was a privately held, venture-backed firm in the rapidly growing field of computer vision. 2017-03-14T21:12:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-ranked-as-best-state-for-higher-education Virginia ranked as best state for higher education http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-ranked-as-best-state-for-higher-education http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-ranked-as-best-state-for-higher-education#When:20:50:00Z While Virginia has slipped in rankings as the best state for business, it has been named the top state for higher education. The personal finance website SmartAsset has named Virginia the No. 1 state for higher education in its third annual ranking. The Old Dominion had been second in previous lists in 2016 and 2017. “Each time we look at the best states for higher education, Virginia appears in the top 10,” SmartAsset says in explaining its selection. “Virginia’s public colleges and universities effectively educate their students,” the website adds. “Virginia has one of the highest average graduation rates in our study at 70 percent. And, the average 20-year return on investment for graduates is $442,660, which is the fourth-highest ROI in our study. Additionally, the student-faculty ratio in Virginia rates seventh lowest in the nation.” Virginia used to rank consistently as the best state for business in rankings by Forbes.com and CNBC. The commonwealth, however, has dropped to sixth on the Forbes list and 13th on CNBC’s. California ranked second on the SmartAsset higher education list after being first last year. Other states in the top 10 include: third: Delaware, fourth: Iowa, fifth (tie): New Jersey and North Carolina, seventh: Wyoming, eighth: Vermont, ninth: Michigan and tenth (tie): Indiana and New York. The SmartAsset study looked at four-year colleges in each state using a number of metrics, including undergraduate graduation rate, average net price, 20-year return on investment and student/faculty ratio. According to SmartAsset’s research, Virginia’s student/faculty ratio is 15.75 to 1, its average net price is $16,886 and its in-state attendance rate is 60 percent. SmartAssett says the in-state attendance rate reflects the number of first-time, in-state students in each state in 2014 as a percentage of the total number of students who graduated from high school in 2014. 2017-03-14T20:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-dips-to-4-percent-in-january Virginia unemployment dips to 4 percent in January http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-dips-to-4-percent-in-january http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-unemployment-dips-to-4-percent-in-january#When:20:39:00Z After being stuck at 4.1 percent for six months, Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 4 percent in January. The Virginia Employment Commission reported that, in declining one-tenth of a percentage point, the January 2017 jobless rate matched the same number recorded 12 months before. The national unemployment rate for January was 4.8 percent. The unemployment numbers are seasonally adjusted, meaning that they take into account seasonal fluctuations in the labor market. During January, the Virginia labor force grew for the 10th consecutive month to 4.27 million, a record high. The commonwealth’s nonfarm employment rose to 3.95 million in January, also a record. The job growth occurred in private-sector employment, which rose by 15,800 jobs to 3.24 million. Public-sector employment, on the other hand, declined by 1,600 jobs to 713,500. During January, employment increased in six major industry divisions, while it declined in four and remained unchanged in construction at 189,300 jobs. The biggest increase occurred in professional and business services, which rose by 9,700 jobs to 728,300. The biggest loss took place in private education and health services, which fell 2,200 jobs to 535,900. 2017-03-13T20:39:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/course-correcting-your-way-to-a-more-financially-secure-retirement Course correcting your way to a more financially secure retirement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/course-correcting-your-way-to-a-more-financially-secure-retirement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/course-correcting-your-way-to-a-more-financially-secure-retirement#When:20:32:00Z Due to longer life expectancy, today’s retirees are more “time affluent” than previous generations and have new freedoms to live where they want, connect with family and friends, engage in leisure of their choosing and invest in their health. However, funding a retirement lifestyle is becoming more challenging as the old “three-legged stool” for funding retirement — Social Security, employer pensions, personal savings — is becoming wobbly. In a new study, Merrill Lynch in partnership with Age Wave, found that achieving a financially comfortable retirement will require retirees to take more personal responsibility and overcome new challenges —starting with appreciating the cost of retirement. According to this new study, retirement will be the biggest purchase of one’s lifetime, costing 2.5 times the cost of an average home, yet 81 percent say they do not know how much money they will need to fund their plans. To better understand their finances and tackle misunderstandings, pre-retirees need to start having discussions and break down taboos around sensitive, but important financial topics. The research also found that people are open to making money saving trade-offs, adjustments, and course corrections in order to live a more satisfying and financially secure retirement. Some of these actions include a willingness to cut back on basic expenses (90 percent of retirees indicated willingness), make healthier choices to reduce future medical expenses (91 percent), seek part time work to acquire supplemental income (75 percent), cut back on financial support to children (70 percent), downsize their home (75 percent) and volunteer time in lieu of gifting money to charitable organizations (75 percent). Here in the mid-Atlantic region, we find:  Retirees report the lowest percentage of retirement funding from employer-related sources (pension, qualified plans, etc.).  Respondents were the most likely to collect Social Security payments as early as possible.  Retirees are among the most likely to turn a retirement hobby into a source of income, or supplement income with the gig economy Overall, course corrections vary based on individual priorities and values — so it’s important for retirees to consider the vast array of options available to them. The good news is that retirees and pre-retirees are extremely resilient, adaptable, and hopeful. Many are open to making meaningful adjustments across all life priorities for a more financially comfortable retirement. These topics may be intimidating, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone in this endeavor to achieve financial wellness in retirement. Speaking with a financial advisor can help you make sense of not only retirement, but all of your financial life priorities. Whether it’s buying your first home, paying for college, planning a wedding or any other life-changing financial decision — having a financial advisor to help you build a comprehensive financial plan based on your life’s goals, is essential to achieving the post-retirement lifestyle that you may have always dreamed of. For more information on the Merrill Lynch study, contact William J. Moran, Jr., Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®), senior vice president and wealth management advisor with Merrill Lynch at 202-659-7340 or william_moranjr@ml.com. To download the “Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions” study and interactive graphics, visit http://www.ml.com/retirementstudy This .report is based on a nationally representative survey of 4,854 respondents age 25 or more and is the capstone study of a series of in-depth studies focusing on seven life priorities, including an initial benchmark study. To explore additional content and resources related to these seven life priorities, visit http://www.ml.com/retire Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions. 2017-03-13T20:32:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hospital-group-raises-concerns-about-health-care-proposal Hospital group raises concerns about health-care proposal http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hospital-group-raises-concerns-about-health-care-proposal http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hospital-group-raises-concerns-about-health-care-proposal#When:19:22:00Z Virginia hospitals are raising red flags about the current plan in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) said Monday it has a number of concerns about the American Health Act (AHCA) currently being considered by Congress. In November’s election, Republicans campaigned on the promise of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known commonly as Obamacare. The AHCA is backed by the Republican congressional leadership and President Donald Trump. The legislation, however, has been criticized by conservative Republicans and many national groups representing doctors and hospitals. VHHA said that in its current form, AHCA “severely shortchanges Virginia and the 18 other states that opted against growing their Medicaid programs” under Obamacare. “The 31 expansion states this year are slated to receive $72 billion in federal funding, and that enhanced funding is expected to endure,” VHHA said. “Meanwhile, non-expansion states would share a $2 billion annual funding pool over five years under AHCA. That formula would provide Virginia roughly $87 million per year, based on an analysis of 2015 American Community Survey data. That amount falls far short of the billions Virginia would have received as an expansion state.’ The hospital group also objects to the plan to use refundable tax credits adjusted for age in helping people pay for health insurance. “That configuration, initial analysis suggests, could result in the tax credits disproportionately benefitting younger, healthier, and wealthier people in contrast to ACA tax credits,” VHHA said. “For instance, one estimate suggests the value of the tax credit for a 60-year-old Virginian earning $20,000 would decrease by more than 50 percent. This approach could make it more difficult for low-income and elderly Virginians to purchase health insurance in the individual marketplace.” 2017-03-13T19:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-credit-union-buys-land-fredericksburg-for-a-future-branch Virginia Credit Union buys land in Fredericksburg for a future branch http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-credit-union-buys-land-fredericksburg-for-a-future-branch http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-credit-union-buys-land-fredericksburg-for-a-future-branch#When:15:58:00Z   A 1.8-acre site on Spotsylvania Parkway in Fredericksburg has sold for $1.4 million.  According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, Virginia Credit Union Inc. purchased the land from Cosner East  LLC for $1.4 million for the location of a future branch. Thalhimer's Berkley Mitchell and Mike Degen handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the buyer. 2017-03-13T15:58:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ara-to-put-three-large-land-tracts-on-the-market-in-northern-virginia ARA to put three large land tracts on the market in Northern Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ara-to-put-three-large-land-tracts-on-the-market-in-northern-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ara-to-put-three-large-land-tracts-on-the-market-in-northern-virginia#When:15:55:00Z The McLean-based office of ARA, a NewMark company, says it is putting three large undeveloped land parcels on the market. Their locations alone bring multiple opportunities for development, said Mark Anstine, executive managing director, land services, for ARA. One parcel, the 67-acre Hunter Mill assemblage, represents the last undeveloped large tract on the Dulles Toll Road. It’s located on the north side of the road at its intersection with Hunter Mill Road. The site consists of a 46- and 22-acre tract that is being offered separately for sale but could also be purchased together. Also hitting the market is the 168-acre Reston National Golf Course and The Hub, a parcel zoned for mixed use at the far end of the Dulles Toll Road.  Anstine describes this parcel as the largest undeveloped property with approved zoning served by a Metro station in the entire mid-Atlantic. According to Anstine, the Hunter Mill tracts and The Hub  “have been aggressively chased by the development community for the last 10 to 15 years, and we are now bringing both of them to the market for the first time.” The Hunter Mill assemblage was a privately owned family property for years. At one time, the family ran a school and a golf range at the site. Anstine says his company is representing the current owners, a group of three private lenders who foreclosed on the property. He describes the site as “the hole in the donut. It lies directly between Reston Town Center and Tysons, and everything else is developed on both sides of the toll road.”  General Dynamics is moving its headquarters to a new 190,000-square-foot building that will be constructed to the west of the tract, which is expected to prompt the realignment of nearby Sunset Hills Road. The Wiehle Avenue Metro Station, 1.3 miles away on the Silver line expansion to Washington Dulles International airport, is another plus for the property, which is currently zoned for residential. Anstine expects broad interest for the assemblage, although the tract would need to be rezoned for some developments. “We expect interest from residential homebuilders, some mixed-use, multifamily … The properties are highly visible. The eastern portion sets up perfect for a large-scale church or school. There are very few opportunities for a group like that to have a high-profile property. The Mormon Church bought some property across the street,” he said. The Reston National Golf Course,will be sold “as is, or for future development by the purchaser,” said Anstine.   The Hub, also on the Dulles Toll road, is closer to the airport. At this site, more than 80 acres have been approved for 3.5 million square feet of office space, 1,254 residential units, a 350-room hotel and 400,000 square feet of retail and entertainment. The land, said Anstine, owned by a Chicago-based venture group, Origami Capital Partners, is worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” 2017-03-13T15:55:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/former-valleydale-foods-facility-sold-in-salem-for-1-million Former Valleydale Foods Facility sells in Salem for $1 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/former-valleydale-foods-facility-sold-in-salem-for-1-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/former-valleydale-foods-facility-sold-in-salem-for-1-million#When:15:51:00Z Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has announced the sale of the former Valleydale Foods facility located at 710 8th Street in Salem. Indiana Street LLC purchased the 110,000-square-foot industrial property on 11.9 acres from .Com Properties IV LLC for $1 million for future development. Boyd Johnson of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. 2017-03-13T15:51:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/Discount-grocer-adding-to-inventory-in-RIchmond-market Aldi will open a new store in Chester on Thursday http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/Discount-grocer-adding-to-inventory-in-RIchmond-market http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/Discount-grocer-adding-to-inventory-in-RIchmond-market#When:14:48:00Z Aldi, which is expanding its presence in the Virginia and the U.S., will open a new 11,000 -square-foot store in Chester, on Thursday, March 16. The store, the 10th in the Richmond metro area, is located on Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield County.  It will employ 15 to 20 people. To celebrate the opening, Aldi will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:25 a.m., and customers are invited to tour the store and sample products. A discount grocer based in Germany, Aldi says it offers grocery staples at prices up to 50 percent less than competitors. Besides staples, Aldi offers organic produce, a gluten-free product line and baby products. Aldi operates 1,600 U.S. stores in 35 states that it says serves more than 40 million customers. It plans to have 2,000 stores by the end of 2018. The company now has 38 stores in Virginia and expects to have 60 within the next five years. Aldi also is building a $57 million division headquarters and 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Dinwiddie County. 2017-03-13T14:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-to-lease-and-manage-270000-square-foot-hampton Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer to lease and manage 270,000-square-foot Hampton Roads portfolio http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-to-lease-and-manage-270000-square-foot-hampton http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-to-lease-and-manage-270000-square-foot-hampton#When:14:24:00Z The Simpson Organization has selected Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer to provide exclusive leasing and property management services for two Hampton Roads office towers totaling more than 270,000 square feet. The first property is Executive Tower, an eight-story, 136,430-square- foot office building located at 2101 Executive Drive in Hampton. The property is located off Mercury Boulevard, with visibility from I-64. The second property is Maritime Square, a 10-story, 136,921-square- foot office building in downtown Newport News at 2600 Washington Ave. Teresa Nettles, senior vice president, office properties in Thalhimer’s Newport News office, is the leasing representative for both buildings. W. Alan Mudd is the portfolio manager. 2017-03-13T14:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/7-eleven-portfolio-in-hampton-roads-brings-23.6-million 7-Eleven portfolio in Hampton Roads brings $23.6 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/7-eleven-portfolio-in-hampton-roads-brings-23.6-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/7-eleven-portfolio-in-hampton-roads-brings-23.6-million#When:14:19:00Z Marcus & Millichap has announced the sale of a nine-property portfolio leased to 7-Eleven Inc. The stores, located in Hampton Roads, brought a total sales price of $23.6 million. “These locations have stood the test of time and are well-positioned for continued success,” Derrick Dougherty, first vice president investments in Marcus & Millichap’s Philadelphia office, said in a statement. “The stores and gas stations contained in this portfolio have operated successfully for decades in strong and well-established markets.” Dougherty, Mark Taylor, and David Becattini represented the seller, a private local owner, and procured the buyer, a real estate investment trust. Three of the stores are located in Hampton, two are in Williamsburg, and one each is situated in Poquoson, Newport News, Gloucester and Surry. Most of the stores have corner locations and for many years have been destination locations for local residents. 2017-03-13T14:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/five-virginia-companies-named-to-fortunes-100-best-companies-to-work-for-li Five Virginia companies named to Fortune’s ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/five-virginia-companies-named-to-fortunes-100-best-companies-to-work-for-li http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/five-virginia-companies-named-to-fortunes-100-best-companies-to-work-for-li#When:23:03:00Z Five Virginia companies are featured in Fortune’s 2017 list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Of the five companies, four are located in Northern Virginia (Capital One, Hilton, Mars and Navy Federal Credit Union).  Glen Allen-based CarMax also made the list. The top performer in Virginia is McLean-based Capital One, which placed 88th last year but rocketed to 17th on this year’s list.  Fortune notes that Capital One has added an in-house accelerator and perks include telecommuting options, college tuition reimbursement and an employee stock purchase plan. McLean-based Hilton moved up 30 places to claim 26th place this year.  Fortune notes that Hilton has recently started paying for employees GEDs. Navy Federal Credit Union, based in Vienna, fell three points this year moving from 44th to 47th.  Incentives include discounted gym memberships and compressed workweeks. Food and candy maker Mars jumped from 99th place to 50th. The McLean-based company’s benefits include health insurance for part-timers and college tuition reimbursement. Carmax moved from 85th to 77th. The used-car retailer offers unlimited sick days and domestic partner benefits, among others.  The best place to work in the country continues to be Google. “For the sixth year running, Google has landed the top spot on our list of the country’s Best Companies to Work For,” Fortune said, where perks include free gourmet food, laundry services and haircuts. Each year, Fortune partners with Great Places to Work to make the list, surveying over 230,000 employees in corporate America. 2017-03-10T23:03:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-traffic-remains-steady-in-february Port traffic remains steady in February http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-traffic-remains-steady-in-february http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-traffic-remains-steady-in-february#When:20:57:00Z Container traffic at the Port of Virginia remained steady with February 2016. The port said it moved 220,376 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in February, which was 351 TEUs lower than February 2016. Last year was a leap year, with February having 29 days. For the 2017 fiscal year, however, growth at the port is up 6.9 percent. “February 2016 was 29 days long versus 28, so our cargo flows remain consistent with a good balance in our export-import trade,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement. “We are preparing for a period of significant activity as the new alliance vessel calls begin in April and the construction work begins to progress.” The port said engineering and survey work on its capacity expansion plan at the Virginia International Gateway terminal has begun and work at the expansion at Norfolk International terminals will begin this summer. February cargo snapshot • Loaded exports – 85,827 up 4.6 percent • Loaded Imports – 96,921 down 3.0 percent • Containers – 124,607 up 0.1 percent • Rail containers – 45,044 down 1.8 percent • Barge containers – 3,913 up 36.2 percent • Truck containers – 75,650 down 0.1 percent • Richmond Marine Terminal containers – 1,748 up 56 percent 2017-03-10T20:57:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/RidgefieldSMALL.jpg Photo courtesy HHHunt Communities. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hhhunt-to-build-66-townhome-community HHHunt to build 66-townhome community http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hhhunt-to-build-66-townhome-community http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hhhunt-to-build-66-townhome-community#When:20:30:00Z Glen Allen-based HHHunt Communities plans to build a 66-townhome community in western Henrico County. The project, Ridgefield Green, will be located on a 7.6-acre parcel near the corner of Ridgefield Parkway and John Rolfe Parkway. HHHunt Communities’ total investment in the project is estimated to be about $5.2 million “Ridgefield Green’s location in the heart of Western Henrico, proximity to amenities, and a great school district make this a one-of-a-kind opportunity,” Jonathan Ridout, director of development at HHHunt Communities, said in a statement. “Homebuyers will be minutes away from the area’s best recreational, shopping, and dining venues including Short Pump Town Center, Deep Run Park, Tuckahoe Little League, and more.” Construction will begin this month. The first home sites are expected to be completed by late August or early September of this year. Each townhome will be three stories tall and include a front-entry one-car garage. Prices in Ridgefield Green will start from the low $300,000’s. HHHunt Communities’ other communities in the Richmond are include Rutland in Mechanicsville, Charter Colony in Midlothian and Wellesley, Wyndham and Twin Hickory in Henrico. 2017-03-10T20:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/optima-health-to-hire-200-jobs-at-norfolk-site Optima Health to hire 200 in Norfolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/optima-health-to-hire-200-jobs-at-norfolk-site http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/optima-health-to-hire-200-jobs-at-norfolk-site#When:22:16:00Z Optima Health will become the second tenant for a city-owned property on Military Highway in Norfolk. The Virginia Beach-based health insurance company plans to hire 200 employees at the facility at 880 North Military Highway. The new positions will support a statewide contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia. The first tenant announced for the property was Movement Mortgage. Three years ago, the city bought nearly 16 acres, including a former JCPenney department store and surrounding parking spaces,  along the Military Highway Corridor. The city spent $18 million renovating the site, creating 135,000 square feet of new office space. The city said that two tenants, Movement Mortgage and Optima Health, will house more than 1,000 employees at the property. 2017-03-09T22:16:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spanish-company-to-built-its-first-u.s-manufacturing-facility-in-suffolk Spanish company to built its first U.S manufacturing facility in Suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spanish-company-to-built-its-first-u.s-manufacturing-facility-in-suffolk http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/spanish-company-to-built-its-first-u.s-manufacturing-facility-in-suffolk#When:19:35:00Z Spain-based Atarfil plans to spend $5.1 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing and distribution facility in Suffolk. The project is expected to create 15 jobs. Atarfil develops, manufactures and markets thermoplastic geomembranes, which are used in environmental protection, integrated water management, public works and building. The company has operations in Mexico, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. “Atarfil has considered numerous locations around the country, and we are confident that Suffolk and Virginia will be the best springboard to bring our technology and capabilities to the American market,” Atarfil Managing Director Emilio Carreras Torres said in a statement.. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $60,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City with the project. The company will also be eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. Virginia competed against Maryland for the investment. 2017-03-09T19:35:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/renovation-of-hotel-weyanoke-in-farmville-to-receive-grant-incentive Renovation of Hotel Weyanoke in Farmville to receive grant incentive http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/renovation-of-hotel-weyanoke-in-farmville-to-receive-grant-incentive http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/renovation-of-hotel-weyanoke-in-farmville-to-receive-grant-incentive#When:09:47:00Z The renovation and expansion of the Hotel Weyanoke in Farmville will receive a state incentive grant to help finance the project. The $12.2 million investment in the hotel is expected to create 76 new jobs, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The hotel, across from Longwood Univerity’s campus, is scheduled to open in spring 2018. It previously had two restaurants and housed Longwood students on its second, third and fourth floors. The project will receive a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corp.’s Tourism Development Financing Program (TDFP), a gap-financing program for large-scale tourism projects. The program allows projects to temporarily retain a portion of state and local tax revenue generated from the project, with a matching contribution from the developer, to provide gap financing for up to 30 percent of a project’s total cost. The Hotel Weyanoke, Farmville and Virginia will share matching contributions toward the project, based on 1 percent of the hotel’s quarterly revenue. Each entity will contribute an estimated $916,700 over a 10-year period. The developers of the Hotel Weyanoke are rehabilitating and converting the existing 27,000-square-foot building at 202 High Street into a high-end hotel and building a 30,000-square-foot addition on the property. When completed, the hotel will have 70 guest rooms and four food and beverage venues: Campagna, an Italian trattoria and tasting room; Sassafras, a bakery and market; Humble Pie, a pizza grill and market; and The Bridge, a rooftop restaurant. “The Hotel Weyanoke will fill a … void of lodging, dining, entertainment and meeting space, and is itself, a historic attraction,” Ross Fickenscher, co-owner of the Hotel Weyanoke said in a statement. “Located in downtown Farmville, the Weyanoke will host guests who can easily walk to nearby Main Street shops, Green Front Furniture, the Moton Museum, Longwood University, the Sarah Terry Trail, High Bridge Trail State Park, The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts and more.” 2017-03-09T09:47:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/warehouse-at-rocketts-landing-sells-for-1.8-million Warehouse at Rocketts Landing sells for $1.8 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/warehouse-at-rocketts-landing-sells-for-1.8-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/warehouse-at-rocketts-landing-sells-for-1.8-million#When:20:24:00Z A 30,000-square-foot warehouse in Henrico County has sold for $1.85 million. The 1.3-acre property at 5100 Old Osborne Turnpike is surrounded on three sides by the Rocketts Landing mixed-use development. Commonwealth Commercial Partners LLC, which represented the owners in the sale, said Rocketts Landing acquired the property so it can expand the community. Initial plans for the newly rezoned property include a parking lot and 12 townhomes. Rocketts Landing recently began construction of an apartment building adjacent to the property. Sam Worley and Ryan Fanelli of Commonwealth Commercial presented the property for sale.  Most recently, the building housed Virginia Rigging and Crating’s commercial and industrial moving and storage business. 2017-03-08T20:24:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vandeventer-black-announces-new-executive-board-elections Vandeventer Black announces new executive board elections http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vandeventer-black-announces-new-executive-board-elections http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/vandeventer-black-announces-new-executive-board-elections#When:10:15:00Z Vandeventer Black LLP has elected a new executive board member and re-elected a current board member. Deborah M. Casey, a partner at the Norfolk-based law firm, was elected to the board. Casey practices community association law. She represents community associations on a range of legal issues, including drafting, interpreting, amending and enforcing covenants, as general and corporate counsel, as well as in dispute resolution, construction, financing, assessment collection and insurance concerns.  James R. Harvey, also a partner with the firm, was re-elected as a board member for the third consecutive year. He continues to serve chair of the firm’s Practice Management Committee. Harvey has experience handling a broad range of disputes, including construction, surety, government contracts, land use, defective products, professional liability, and business. These executive board members join previously elected members: Michael L. Sterling, managing partner, as well as Mark S. Brennan and Edward J. Powers who are partners with the firm. 2017-03-08T10:15:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/84-lumber-to-create-100-jobs-in-frederick-county 84 Lumber to create 100 jobs in Frederick County http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/84-lumber-to-create-100-jobs-in-frederick-county http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/84-lumber-to-create-100-jobs-in-frederick-county#When:00:48:00Z Pennsylvania-based 84 Lumber Co. plans spend $3.9 million establishing an manufacturing operation in Frederick County, a project expected to create 100 jobs. The Frederick site will be part of the company’s manufacturing division, 84 Components. Virginia competed against Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia for the project. Founded in 1956 in Eighty Four, Pa., 84 Lumber is a leading privately held major supplier of building materials, manufactured components, and services for single- and multi-family residences and commercial buildings. The company operates more than 250 stores, component manufacturing plants, custom-door shops, custom millwork shops, and engineered wood product centers in 30 states. 84 Lumber also offers professional residential and commercial contractors turn-key installed services for a variety of products including framing, insulation, siding, windows, roofing, decking and drywall. A certified women’s business enterprise, owned by Maggie Hardy Magerko, 84 Lumber was named as one of Forbes’ Best Midsize Employers in America 2016 and Forbes’ Largest Private Companies in America 2016. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support the 84 Lumber project 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. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. 2017-03-08T00:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dpr-construction-begins-work-on-renovation-of-gloucester-medical-facility DPR Construction begins work on renovation of Gloucester medical facility http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dpr-construction-begins-work-on-renovation-of-gloucester-medical-facility http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dpr-construction-begins-work-on-renovation-of-gloucester-medical-facility#When:21:19:00Z Construction is underway on the expansion and renovation of Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester. DPR Construction (DPR), a national general contractor and construction manager, announced that the project should be complete by the third quarter of 2018. “We are embarking on the largest renovation in the history of Walter Reed Hospital,” Dr. Richard Crowder, chairman of the Riverside Walter Reed Board of Directors, said in a statement.  “Patients will be rewarded with a state-of-the-art facility with which we can better care for the citizens of the Middle Peninsula.” The project includes a new two-story, 54,000-square-foot surgical center with four new operating rooms, two procedure rooms, a pharmacy, pre- and post-operative care, 36 new patient rooms and a new hospital entrance and lobby. The existing emergency department will expand from 6,000 to 16,000 square feet, creating room for seven more beds, a new waiting and lobby area and relocation of existing departments, registration and administration suites. The facility renovation was designed by CallisonRTKL and engineered by Leach Wallace Associates. 2017-03-07T21:19:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/succession-capital-portfolio-company-jes-companies-acquires-south-carolina Succession Capital Portfolio Company, JES Companies acquires South Carolina company http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/succession-capital-portfolio-company-jes-companies-acquires-south-carolina http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/succession-capital-portfolio-company-jes-companies-acquires-south-carolina#When:10:01:00Z Private-equity firm Succession Capital Partners (SCP) announced Monday that its portfolio company, JES Companies, has purchased Mount Valley Foundation Services of Columbia, S.C. JES is one of the largest providers of foundation repair, crawl space moisture management and basement waterproofing in the mid-Atlantic. The company has seven offices serving customers in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Indiana. Jesse Waltz, president of JES, co-founded JES Foundation Repair with his wife Stella in 1993. Waltz expanded the business throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana during the last 23 years. It is headquartered in Virginia Beach In 2016, JES partnered with Succession Capital Partners and brought on Matt Malone, Succession’s managing partner as CEO. Allan Gantt opened Mount Valley Foundation in 1986 in Columbia. During the past 30 years, Mount Valley has expanded its service area throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Mount Valley’s South Carolina location will be added to JES’ five branch offices in Virginia; Manassas, Richmond, Appomattox, Roanoke and Virginia Beach; as well as one branch office in Indianapolis. JES Companies’ acquisition of Mount Valley extends JES’ service area throughout the coastal Southeast and Midwest. JES will infuse Mount Valley with new capital and access to professional engineers on staff, fleet and technological upgrades. Waltz and Malone will oversee and support the acquisition to assure a seamless union of the two companies. Mount Valley will continue marketing under its same name and will be launching a new corporate identity program that will include a new logo, website, marketing materials, trucks, and sales support collateral over the next several months. 2017-03-07T10:01:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/tracking-health-care-trends-for-2017 Tracking health-care trends for 2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/tracking-health-care-trends-for-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/tracking-health-care-trends-for-2017#When:20:48:00Z The U.S. health care system will continue to evolve during 2017, with new technologies and programs helping make care more efficient and accessible for more Americans. Here are five health care trends for Virginia's consumers and business leaders to monitor during the coming year. Fitness trackers The wearable-technology market is booming. The industry’s value is expected to reach $31.2 billion by the end of 2020, according to a recent research report. This is good news for consumers, as wearable devices enable people to track their daily steps, monitor their heart rates and analyze sleep patterns. Some employers and health plans in Virginia, such as UnitedHealthcare Motion, are including fitness trackers as part of wellness programs, enabling some employees to earn up to $1,500 per year in incentives by meeting specific daily walking goals. A study published in Science & Medicine shows people tend to overestimate how much exercise they get each week by more than 50 minutes, and they underestimate sedentary time by more than two hours, underscoring the importance of a wellness program like UnitedHealthcare Motion. Workplace wellness Besides fitness trackers, some employers offer other wellness incentives, which can include gift cards, lower health insurance premiums, cash bonuses and discounts on gym memberships. An estimated 70 percent of employers already offer wellness programs and 8 percent more plan to do so during the next year, according to a 2016 study from the Society for Human Resource Management. The value of corporate wellness incentives has increased to $693 per employee, up from $430 five years ago, according to a recent study from the National Business Group on Health. However, the study found that fewer than half of eligible employees earned the full incentive, with workers leaving millions of dollars of unclaimed rewards. Comparison shopping The internet has transformed how people purchase goods and services, and it is doing the same for health care. Some new online and mobile services enable people to comparison shop for health care based on quality and cost. With a growing number of Americans now enrolled in consumer-directed health plans, more people are using online and mobile health-care transparency resources. More people (32 percent) are using websites and mobile apps to comparison shop for health care, up from 14 percent in 2012, according to the recent UnitedHealthcare Consumer Sentiment Survey.  Get care anywhere New mobile apps now enable people to meet with primary-care physicians and specialists to obtain medical care, with the goal of providing convenience and more affordable care. The cost of a video-based virtual visit is usually less than $50 and may provide significant savings when compared to costs for similar minor medical needs treated at a doctor’s office (approximately $80), urgent-care facility (approximately $160) or an emergency room (approximately $650), according to UnitedHealthcare claims data. Recent advances in audio and video technology are enabling people to obtain a diagnosis and necessary prescriptions for minor medical needs, including allergies, sinus and bladder infections, bronchitis and other conditions. Value-based care Employers and health plans increasingly are using value-based care arrangements. This trend is a shift away from the common fee-for-service structure in which a care provider is paid separately for each treatment, appointment or test during a treatment plan, generating multiple claims within a single, broader episode of care. Under value-based care arrangements, the health-care providers that employees use are paid for achieving certain quality outcomes and demonstrating that they’re improving people’s health, rather than getting paid solely for the number of services they provide to patients. In other words, they’re paid for value over volume. For instance, a new UnitedHealthcare program with health care facilities nationwide is using a type of value-based care arrangements (bundled payments) for knee, hip and spine procedures. Participating employers have recorded an average savings of $10,000 or more per operation when compared with median costs in the same metropolitan area. Meanwhile, employees having the surgery may save $1,000 in lower out-of-pocket costs when accessing an in-network facility that accepts bundled payments. Whether you're an employee or employer in Virginia, awareness of these trends in health care can help you save time, save money and ultimately take full advantage of the many benefits that are available. Chris Mullins is CEO of UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic. 2017-03-06T20:48:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commercial-real-estate-firms Commercial Real Estate Firms http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commercial-real-estate-firms http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/commercial-real-estate-firms#When:17:10:00Z 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; }   Company Main Va. location Website Top Va. executive No. agents in Virginia Value of transactions1 Managed square feet2 Leasable square feet2 1 Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer3 Glen Allen thalhimer.com Lee Warfield 134 $2,858,048,283 39,481,226 73,139,464 2 CBRE4 Norfolk cbre.com J. Scott Adams; Bradley C. Flickinger 113 4,815,861,988 34,107,011 56,879,611 3 JLL Tysons us.jll.com Robb Johnson; Mike Ellis; Charlie Polk; Deborah Stearns; Robert VeShancey; Kelly McBride 74 2,153,849,188 14,376,971 27,696,741 4 Divaris Real Estate Virginia Beach divaris.com Gerald S. Divaris 46 WND 8,697,113 21,427,656 5 S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. Norfolk slnusbaum.com Miles B. Leon 51 230,264,722 18,528,811 19,951,498 6 Colliers International | Richmond & Norfolk5 Richmond colliers.com/richmond David M. Williams; Daphne Berkowitz 44 WND 5,300,000 15,690,810 7 Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate Norfolk harveylindsay.com William E. King 34 WND 7,152,693 11,762,326 8 Porter Realty Company Inc./CORFAC International Richmond porterinc.com Robert E. Porter Jr. 6 WND 996,774 11,450,000 9 Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group Roanoke poecronk.com Dennis R. Cronk 18 WND 3,780,770 8,727,116 10 Commonwealth Commercial Partners LLC Glen Allen commonwealth-commercial.com Mark W. Claud; Kenneth Strickler 19 WND 13,000,000 7,200,000 11 Liberty Property Trust Richmond libertyproperty.com Craig Cope; Mike Jones; John Gattuso; Albert J. Kraft III; Massie Flippin 2 WND 4,519,206 4,519,206 12 The Shopping Center Group Newport News theshoppingcentergroup.com Debra Ramey 10 77,000,000 678,230 4,238,742 13 Atlantic Realty Co.s Vienna arcrealty.com David Ross; Stan Barg; Adam Schulman 2 68,647,455 3,146,025 3,146,025 14 Venture Realty Group Virginia Beach venturerealtygroup.com John L. Gibson III; Donna Whitaker 10 WND 2,869,850 2,146,895 15 Wheeler Real Estate Co. Virginia Beach wheelerrec.com Jon Wheeler 4 25,590,364 1,872,468 1,872,468 16 Pembroke Commercial Reatly LLC Virginia Beach pembrokerealty.com Ramsay Smith 5 19,135,104 2,536,058 1,714,091 17 Riddle Associates Inc. Chesapeake riddleassociates.com Robert L. Riddle; Bill Brackman; Lindsey Riddle Elliott 8 10,000,000 2,500,000 1,500,000 18 The Runnymede Corp. Virginia Beach runnymedecorp.com Don Frederick; Gresh Wall; Mike Fine 2 WND 1,276,235 1,276,235 19 Harbor Group International Norfolk harborgroupint.com Jordan E. Slone 1 WND 1,578,227 1,182,971 20 Olympia Development Corp. Virginia Beach olympiadevelopment.com Allison Cutchins Watson; Cecil Vaughan Cuthcins Jr. 2 WND 1,797,954 799,716 21 Robert Brown & Associates LLC Newport News rbainc.biz Robert R. Brown Sr. 4 35,853,578 724,069 724,069 1  Includes values of lease and sales transactions in Virginia for 2016. 2  For Virginia operations only 3  Includes all Virginia properties under the Cushman & Wakefield brand. Numbers from the Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer office in Richmond include 49 million square feet of leasable space, 22.5 million square feet of managed space, 95 agents in Virginia and $1.3 billion in sales and lease transactions. 4  Includes both CBRE owned and affiliate offices. Affiliate offices include 32.9 million square feet of leasable space, 19.8 million square feet of managed space and 74 agents. 5  Includes both Colliers owned and affiliate offices. Affiliate offices include 9.5 million square feet of leasable space, 1.8 million square feet of managed space and 26 agents. WND: Would not disclose Source: Individual companies 2017-03-06T17:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/general-contractors General Contractors http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/general-contractors http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/general-contractors#When:17:10:00Z 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 Main Va. location Phone Website Top Va. executive Va. employees Total revenues1 2016 billings in Va.1 1 HITT Contracting Inc. Falls Church (703) 846-9000 hitt.com Brett Hitt; Jim Millar 669 $1,300,000,000 $582,000,000 2 The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. Chantilly (703) 317-0300 whiting-turner.com K.C. Haile 225 6,500,000,000 499,500,000 3 W.M. Jordan Co. Newport News (757) 596-6341 wmjordan.com John R. Lawson II 249 400,181,918 348,910,462 4 Gilbane Building Co. Richmond (804) 782-6500 gilbaneco.com John Taylor; Drew Mucci 146 4,860,000,000 341,615,612 5 The Branch Group Inc.2 Roanoke (540) 982-1678 branch-associates.com/firm-profile J. William Karbach; Craig Floyd; Patrick Bartorillo; Ernie Caldwell 771 394,432,478 315,205,335 The full list is available for puchase online. 1 For 2016 2 Includes revenues for Branch subsidiaries E.V. Williams Inc., Branch and Associates, Branch Highways and GJ Hopkins. Source: Individual firms Note: Includes general contractors with a major presence in Virginia. 2017-03-06T17:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/one-of-northern-virginias-largest-industrial-parks-has-a-new-owner One of Northern Virginia’s largest industrial parks has a new owner http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/one-of-northern-virginias-largest-industrial-parks-has-a-new-owner http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/one-of-northern-virginias-largest-industrial-parks-has-a-new-owner#When:16:58:00Z Finmarc Management, based in Bethesda, Md., has acquired a 15-building portfolio for $58 million, one of the largest industrial parcels in Northern Virginia. According to JLL, which brokered the transaction, the deal includes the Featherstone Industrial Park in Woodbridge and another property in Fredericksburg.  The seller was Steuart Investment Co., based in Chevy Chase, Md. Marc Rampulla, one of the JLL brokers involved, said the portfolio includes 750,000 square of industrial space, which is 91 percent leased.  Tenants include the General Services Administration and some moving and storage companies.  The other JLL brokers were Mark Levy and Jay Wellschlanger. The acquisition appealed to Finmarc, said Rampulla, because “It’s a large scale transaction. It’s hard to amass 750,000 square feet in the mid-Atlantic, and the property has access to I-95.'' As development continues closer to the D.C. beltway, this is pushing demand for industrial space further down 95 South, he added.  The portfolio drew several competitive bids. 2017-03-06T16:58:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/TheRecRoom_%2813_of_65%29.jpg The Rec Room courtesy of Good Run Research & Recreation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/consumer-research-facility-to-show-off-new-space Consumer research facility to show off new space http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/consumer-research-facility-to-show-off-new-space http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/consumer-research-facility-to-show-off-new-space#When:15:56:00Z I Richmond-based research firm Good Run Research & Recreation has opened what it describes as a “first-of-its-kind” research and event space, known as The Rec Room, and it wants to show it off. The qualitative and quantitative research solutions firm, whose clients include such brand names as Kellogg’s, Dick’s, Whole Foods and Wrigley, will hold an open house on Tuesday of the 6,000-square-foot space at 4116 West Broad St. This is the first office for Good Run in its 7-year history, with the company typically going on site with clients in their facilities. The open house, which will include tours and a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. with ChamberRVA, will be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. According to the company, the expanded space combines the technological capabilities of the most advanced focus group facilities. Yet it also offers a casual environment with a living room and a bar, designed to help participants feel at home during research sessions. In addition to market research sessions, the facility can accommodate corporate and private events. It offers AV equipment and private meeting rooms. 2017-03-06T15:56:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/richmond-based-avail-vapor-opens-100th-store Richmond-based Avail Vapor opens 100th store http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/richmond-based-avail-vapor-opens-100th-store http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/richmond-based-avail-vapor-opens-100th-store#When:15:32:00Z Three years after its founding, Richmond-based Avail Vapor, the largest U.S. manufacturer of e-liquid products, has opened its 100th retail store. The 1,500-square-foot store, which opened in late February, is located at 2728 Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria. It is Avail’s 30th store in its home state. At the store, more than 70 e-liquid flavors are available for sampling and purchase by customers who are at least 18-years-old and are members of Avail’s loyalty program. Avail also sells a variety of vaping devices and accessories. The company makes its product line in Richmond, and it is sourced with only North American suppliers. “We are excited to celebrate the opening of our 100th store because it is a testament to the hard work and dedication that we have to our customers and to the e-liquid industry,” James Xu, the company’s founder, said in a statement. The new location has hired four employees. 2017-03-06T15:32:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-real-estate-will-lease-the-village-at-towne-centre-in-fredericksbur Divaris Real Estate will lease the Village at Towne Centre in Fredericksburg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-real-estate-will-lease-the-village-at-towne-centre-in-fredericksbur http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/divaris-real-estate-will-lease-the-village-at-towne-centre-in-fredericksbur#When:23:30:00Z   Cafaro has hired Divaris Real Estate Inc.,  based in Virginia Beach, to lease The Village at Towne Centre located at 1 Towne Centre Blvd. in Fredericksburg. The retail center is an outdoor streetscape anchored by Paragon Village 12 and Splitsville Entertainment Complex.  Tenants in the 370,000-square-foot retail property include Finks, Firebirds, Chico’s, Sephora, Soma, Saxon Shoes, and JJill. Sara Goodall, Ali Newton and Pat Dudley of DRE’s Richmond office will be in charge of leasing  available space at  the property. 2017-03-05T23:30:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/long-serving-leader-of-dulles-regional-chamber-of-commerce-to-retire Long-serving leader of Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce to retire http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/long-serving-leader-of-dulles-regional-chamber-of-commerce-to-retire http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/long-serving-leader-of-dulles-regional-chamber-of-commerce-to-retire#When:22:12:00Z Eileen Curtis, the president and CEO of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce since 1994, will retire in mid-July after her successor is chosen. The organization said her 23-year term is one of the longest among currently serving chamber of commerce presidents in the U.S. “Eileen has meant so much more to this chamber than being its president. She has served the chamber and our community for 23 years with professionalism, grace and a deep desire to see the Dulles area grow into the vibrant community we have now. We are all better people for knowing her as both a colleague and a friend," James Lawson, the chamber’s board chairman, said in a statement. Curtis is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute of Organization Management and of Leadership Fairfax. She has been recognized as Woman of the Year by the Herndon Business & Professional Women and as Chamber Executive of the Year by the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Before joining the Dulles Chamber of Commerce, Curtis was director of music and cultural affairs for WGMS Radio, where she was awarded the Silver Medal for the Arts by the government of Austria. She helped produce the event on the Washington Mall that welcomed home the Iran hostages. She was awarded numerous national awards, including the Peabody Award for Broadcast Journalism. She has a master’s degree from the Catholic University of America and recently received a lifetime achievement award from Caldwell University. 2017-03-03T22:12:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-national-bankshares-corp.-names-chief-financial-officer Virginia National Bankshares Corp. names chief financial officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-national-bankshares-corp.-names-chief-financial-officer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-national-bankshares-corp.-names-chief-financial-officer#When:22:10:00Z Charlottesville-based Virginia National Bankshares Corp. has named Tara Y. Harrison as chief financial officer and executive vice president of the company and its subsidiary, Virginia National Bank. Harrison joined the company in October  as an accounting/finance internal consultant. She has 25 years of experience, including eight years with a major public accounting firm and the remainder in corporate leadership positions in accounting, finance and internal audit. She was director of internal audit for StellarOne Corp., a $3 billion bank holding company, and its subsidiary banks for 10  years. Other previous positions have included CFO for Guaranty Financial Corp. and Guaranty Bank and the director of finance and controller for Comdial Corp. A graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce of the University of Virginia, Harrison is a certified public accountant, certified fraud examiner and certified internal auditor. She is also certified in financial forensics and risk management assurance. 2017-03-03T22:10:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/quad-c-management-inc.-sells-curvature-llc Quad-C Management Inc. sells Curvature LLC http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/quad-c-management-inc.-sells-curvature-llc http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/quad-c-management-inc.-sells-curvature-llc#When:21:23:00Z Quad-C Management Inc., a Charlottesville-based private equity firm, has completed the sale of Curvature LLC. Curvature, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., merged with Charlotte, N.C.-based SMS Systems Maintenance Services to form SMS | Curvature. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. SMS is a portfolio company of the Switzerland-based Partners Group. Founded in 1986, Curvature is an IT services company, which also provides new and pre-owned network hardware and IT infrastructure services. Quad-C invested in Curvature in 2012 in partnership with the company’s management team. Since then, Curvature has grown by adding services, opening offices in Japan and India, and completing  a strategic acquisition. 2017-03-03T21:23:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trump-pledges-to-expand-the-navy Trump pledges to expand the Navy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trump-pledges-to-expand-the-navy http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/trump-pledges-to-expand-the-navy#When:23:47:00Z In a speech aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford Thursday at Newport News Shipbuilding, President Donald Trump promised a massive rebuilding of the U.S. military, including a major expansion of the Navy fleet. That pledge could be good news for the shipyard, Virginia’s largest industrial employer, which built the Ford. Trump has proposed a 10 percent increase in defense spending. “This great rebuilding effort will create many jobs in Virginia, and all across America, and it will also spur new technology and new innovation,” Trump said. Trump said his plan includes “having the 12-carrier Navy we need.” He also is asking Congress to eliminate the sequester, deep federal budget cuts in defense spending. The Navy is currently required to have 11 aircraft carriers. The Ford will replace the inactive USS Enterprise. The new 100,000-ton, 4.5 acre aircraft carrier is considered to be the most expensive Navy aircraft carrier to have been built with a price tag of $12.9 billion. It will carry 4,500 personnel and 70 aircraft. If Trump’s plans come to fruition, it could have a major impact on Virginia, a major recipient of defense spending contracts. Virginia defense contractors include Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries, the parent company of Newport News Shipbuilding, which is the sole builder of aircraft carriers and one of only two producers of submarines for the U.S. Navy. “We look forward to working with the new administration, the Navy and our supplier base of 5,000 companies in 50 states across the nation to continue building the most effective and affordable warships,” Huntington Ingalls Industries said in a statement. “We are focused on reducing costs in all of our shipbuilding programs,” the company said. “We see the most progress in reducing costs in those programs that are mature and where we are have stable requirements, can leverage the economic advantages of block buys, and are in serial production. We are investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to continue to reduce costs across all of our programs.”  Trump praised the history of the Newport News Shipbuilding, noting that the 75th anniversary of the crucial World War II naval battle of Midway will occur this June.  The “backbone of the American fleet at Midway was three beautiful aircraft carriers, the Yorktown, the Enterprise and the Hornet,” he said. “All three were built with American hands right here at the Newport News Shipyard." Thousands of people who gathered to hear the speech, including employees of Huntington Ingalls, were enthusiastic about Trump’s message. “I think what we do here at Newport News Shipbuilding is special,” said Joseph Dvorak, who works as a production manager of new carrier construction. ”I’m excited about the possibilities to grow the business and to grow our military.” Photo by John Whalen/HII 2017-03-02T23:47:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/steelfab-to-expand-emporia-operation SteelFab to expand Emporia operation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/steelfab-to-expand-emporia-operation http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/steelfab-to-expand-emporia-operation#When:20:50:00Z SteelFab plans to spend $2.14 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Emporia, creating 18 jobs, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday. The company plans to construct a new building and add machinery and equipment to increase its steel fabrication output. Virginia competed against Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina for the project. “We have grown our footprint regionally and our Virginia location is central to many important markets, and is convenient to the steel support industry in Central Virginia,” Rob Burlington, president of SteelFab said in a statement. SteelFab has more than 900 employees in seven manufacturing locations and five other offices in the U.S. The firm offers project management, steel erection, connection design and steel detailing. McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Emporia with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $60,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 2017-03-02T20:50:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Janet_Conrad_Moore1.jpg Janet Conrad Moore photo courtesy S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/janet-conrad-moore-joins-s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-as-a-vice-president Janet Conrad Moore joins S. L. Nusbaum Realty as a vice president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/janet-conrad-moore-joins-s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-as-a-vice-president http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/janet-conrad-moore-joins-s.-l.-nusbaum-realty-as-a-vice-president#When:20:34:00Z Janet Conrad Moore has joined S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. as vice president, retail brokerage and development. Moore has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, focusing on retail landlord and tenant representation. Before joining Norfolk-based S.L. Nusbaum, she worked as a senior retail advisor with The Shopping Center Group, specializing in landlord representation of community, regional and neighborhood shopping centers, both independently and with partners. In her new role, Moore will focus on landlord and tenant representation, including the leasing, sales and development of retail properties in the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in education counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. 2017-03-02T20:34:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Lingerfelt_CommonWealth_Realty_Marriott_Short_Pump.jpg Marriott Short Pump http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lingerfelt-commonwealth-partners-sells-marriott-short-pump-for-38.5-million Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners sells Marriott Short Pump for $38.5 million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lingerfelt-commonwealth-partners-sells-marriott-short-pump-for-38.5-million http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lingerfelt-commonwealth-partners-sells-marriott-short-pump-for-38.5-million#When:19:35:00Z Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners LLC has sold the 243-room Richmond Marriott Short Pump for $38.5 million to a partnership of regional investors. The Henrico Couunty-based commercial real estate investment firm announced the sale late Wednesday. Lingerfelt bought the property in 2014. Since then, the company has completed more than $11 million in renovations and repositioned the hotel for sale. Commonwealth Lodging Management, the Lingerfelt’s hotel management affiliate, will continue to operate the Marriott under the new ownership. Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners has additional offices in Hampton Roads, Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla, Nashville, Tenn.; and Reading, Pa. Together with its predecessors in the private and public REIT sectors, the company said its partners have built, acquired and managed nearly 20 million square feet of commercial real estate valued at about $2 billion in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. 2017-03-02T19:35:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/ir-banners-1.jpg http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hhgregg-will-close-88-stores-including-15-stores-in-virginia Hhgregg will close 88 stores, including its 15 stores in Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hhgregg-will-close-88-stores-including-15-stores-in-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hhgregg-will-close-88-stores-including-15-stores-in-virginia#When:18:17:00Z National appliance, electronics and furniture retailer hhgregg announced Thursday that it is closing 88 stores nationwide, including 15 stores in Virginia. The closures include all of hhgregg’s stores in Virginia, according to a company spokewoman. "We have decided to strategically exist several markets, and, unfortunately, that includes Virginia,"  Chantal Kowalski, the company's communications manager said in an email. The closings include several stores in Northern Virginia, two in the Richmond area, three in Hampton Roads and one each in Colonial Heights, Winchester and Roanoke. Hhgregg also plans to close three distribution facilities in its efforts to reallocate resources and to improve liquidity and return to profitability. The Indianapolis, Inc.-based company said the decisions will help refocus efforts on its core markets and enhance customers' experience both in-store and online. "We are strategically exiting markets and stores that are not financially profitable for us," Robert J. Riesbeck, hhgregg's president and CEO, said in a statement.  "This is a proactive decision to streamline our store footprint in the markets where we have been, and will continue to be, important to our customers, vendor partners and communities. We feel strongly that the markets we will remain in are the right ones for our customers and our business model. Our team is dedicated to moving forward and being a profitable 132 store, multiregional chain where we will continue to be a dominant force in appliances, electronics and home furnishings." After scrutinizing its real estate portfolio, Riesbeck added, “We have identified a number of underperforming stores, as well as store locations,  that are no longer strong shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape." Current inventory in the affected stores will be sold over the coming weeks, with final closings expected to be complete by mid-April. The closings will result in the elimination of about 1,500 positions. As a result of the store actions, hhgregg will close its distribution and delivery centers located in Brandywine, Md., Miami, Fla., and Philadelphia, Pa.  The company said the facilities would continue to support customer orders of all product sold in the closing locations until the product has been delivered. "I want to thank each and every manager and associate in our stores and distribution centers, and their families, for their continued efforts, contributions and support," said Riesbeck. "I understand this is not an easy process to go through; our history has shown that our team members will meet this challenge head-on and continue to support our customers and each other through the closing process." 2017-03-02T18:17:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/TheMain-1605a_%282%29.jpg Photo of Bruce Thompson by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-main-event The main event http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-main-event http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-main-event#When:03:01:00Z   With less than a month to go before the soft opening of The Main hotel and conference center, developer Bruce Thompson is seeing his vision for a destination property in downtown Norfolk take shape.  During a tour Wednesday for a small group of hospitality and tourism professionals, Thompson personally led the group around the $175 million property that he says already has booked business from national and international groups. From the 12,000-square-foot beer garden to a ballroom as big as a football field , the Main defines the meaning of “new,” Thompson says, in terms of a 21st century  gathering place. “This is my favorite room,” he declared of the fifth-floor beer garden that's outfitted with a huge bar, fireplace, and artificial olive trees. There are rolling garage doors on both sides of the space that lead to outdoor terraces. The beer garden, which will offer live music, will be a spot where people can come at the end of a convention day “to just breathe,” Thompson said. Although it hasn’t opened yet, the Main, with its Hilton branded hotel and 42,000-square-foot, high-tech, Exchange conference center, already has booked 180 group events. According to Thompson, the business represents 100,000 group room nights over the next two years. Eighty percent of the groups and conferences are coming to the Hampton Roads region for the first time, and Thompson says the exposure will help put the area on the map as a convention destination.  What has surprised him the most, he adds, is that national and international conferences would book the property sight unseen. “I thought people would have to see it first,” he said. “I didn’t think there was that much pent up demand." There’s a lot to see in the 22-story, 500,000-square-foot property.  Outside, the main entrance is modeled after the Time Warner building in New York, with floors of glass creating a modern streetscape in this old port city. Inside, scores of workers are cleaning and working on final finishes as the property heads into the home stretch of a March 24-26 private arts fundraising gala that will serve as The Main’s soft opening.  There’s not much furniture yet, and construction debris is scattered on the floor. “It’s still a little barren,” Thompson says. Still to be hung is a collection of art, with much of it purchased from international art offerings at Art Basel, based in Miami Beach.  Yet, the high-end vibe of the building is present. There are striking art elements, such as a glass ball sculpture hung near the Granby Street entrance and light fixtures both contemporary and historic.  Near the Varia, an Italian restaurant, hangs a crystal chandelier from the old Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Another  Thompson project, the Cavalier is undergoing a major renovation. The Varia dining area includes a large millwork library with hidden doors in the bookshelves that leads into a room with a black tile ceiling for special events and dinner parties. While his company, Gold Key | PHR, is busy on both projects,Thompson appears undaunted. He gets construction dust on his suit during the tour and gingerly leads the group on a still escalator on a knee still healing after a replacement surgery 10 weeks ago. Thompson is an enthusiastic guide. He points out areas such as a wine studio, which will offer a by-the-glass selection of 34 wines. Overall, the building's color scheme is contemporary with lots of black, gold, cream and gray.  “The building has 62 different finishes,” notes Thompson. The Main’s grand opening will be held the weekend of March 31 - April 2 and entertainment includes Cirque du Soleil and The Tams band.March 31st - April 2nd. The property officially opens for regular business on April 3rd. Room rates for a group, on average, run about $150 per night, said Thompson, while the rate for regular transient business averages about $200 a night.  A plush, top-floor presidential suite of rooms with views of Norfolk’s waterfront on the Elizabeth River might go for as much as $2,000.   The property hired 100 people last week, and expects to have 500 employees, including full and part-time, by the time of the public opening After four years of planning and preparation for the big opening, Thompson says he feels “shocked” when he walks through The Main.  “I’ve never done a 1,800-person dinner before,” he says,  referring to the number of people the main ballroom can seat. “My advice on those nights would be ‘Go some place else to eat for the first two to three months,'” he joked.    Both The Main and the Cavalier Hotel restoration are public/private projects, with Norfolk and Virginia Beach kicking in public funds to get the projects done. The public funding has been controversial, Thompson told the tour group, with some citizens questioning if a hotel and conference center development represented the best use of public funds. Yet the projects would not be getting done, he said, without the public support.  2017-03-02T03:01:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/list-of-hardest-working-cities-features-several-places-in-virginia List of hardest working cities features several places in Virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/list-of-hardest-working-cities-features-several-places-in-virginia http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/list-of-hardest-working-cities-features-several-places-in-virginia#When:21:15:00Z Three Virginia cities have been ranked ‘hardest working’ in the nation. Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake have made WalletHub’s ‘2017 Hardest-Working Cities in America’ list. WalletHub, a website dedicated to personal finance information, compared America’s 116 most populated cities to find the places in the U.S. where the hardest workers live.  According to WalletHub, Virginia Beach is the fourth hardest working city in the country; Norfolk takes the No. 22 spot and Chesapeake weighs in at number 26. Anchorage, Ala. is No. 1 on the list.  Analysts ranked the cities using six metrics: average number of hours worked in a workweek; labor-force participation rate; average commute time; number of workers with multiple jobs; annual volunteer hours per resident and average leisure time spent per day. Data was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Labor Statistics and Corporation for National and Community Service.   2017-03-01T21:15:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-cyber-range-to-grow-under-new-agreement Virginia Cyber Range to grow under new agreement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-cyber-range-to-grow-under-new-agreement http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-cyber-range-to-grow-under-new-agreement#When:21:08:00Z Virginia’s new cybersecurity training platform is set to grow statewide thanks to a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The Virginia Cyber Range is a hands-on laboratory for cybersecurity students in the commonwealth. Currently in its beta-testing phase, the range already is serving about 250 cybersecurity students enrolled in three courses at Virginia Tech and James Madison University. The cyber range provides students access to hands-on lab exercises through their web browsers. The partnership with AWS will help the cyber range expand for use by students at universities and colleges across Virginia, as well as to high school students by fall 2017. “The benefit of that is that the school doesn’t have to host [the technology] themselves,” says David Raymond, director of the Virginia Cyber Range. “Normally to do this sort of thing you would purchase a bunch of servers, you’d install a bunch of software, you’d have system administrators that you pay to keep this environment up and running. With the Virginia Cyber Range, we can provide this resource across the commonwealth.” That will especially be helpful to cybersecurity classes being offered to high school students, where the expense required to create these types of hands-on training is prohibitive. The range is planning to expand to high school students through teacher trainings and cybersecurity camps offered this summer. Courses and labs are created by faculty and are available to other educators using the site, says Raymond. It also gives students easy web access to training, whereas they previously might need high-powered laptops or computers in a lab. The Virginia Cyber Range is supported with $2 million in Virginia’s current two-year budget and is designed to grow Virginia’s cybersecurity workforce. 2017-03-01T21:08:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/munters-to-create-100-jobs-in-2.5-million-buena-vista-project Munters to create 100 jobs in $2.5 million Buena Vista project http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/munters-to-create-100-jobs-in-2.5-million-buena-vista-project http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/munters-to-create-100-jobs-in-2.5-million-buena-vista-project#When:22:22:00Z Munters Corp. plans to invest $2.5 million to expand and upgrade equipment at its manufacturing operation in Buena Vista. The project, announced Tuesday, is expected to create 100 jobs. On the same day, Filibuster Distillery announced it will invest $795,000 to expand its whiskey production operation in Shenandoah County, creating eight jobs during the next three years.  Munters is a manufacturer of energy recovery systems, dehumidification systems and custom air handling equipment. Its largest customers are the data center, food and pharmaceutical companies. Founded in 1955, Munters has manufacturing and sales operations in 30 countries, employing nearly 2,700 workers. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support the project 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. In the Shenandoah County project, Filibuster Distillery will source all of its corn and rye from Virginia farmers, committing to purchase over 1.57 million pounds of grain. The commonwealth is partnering with the county and the distillery on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $30,000 grant from the AFID Fund, which is being matched by local funds, to assist with the project. 2017-02-28T22:22:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Bernie-0843.png Bernie Niemeier photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/welcome-to-the-big-book-facts-matter Welcome to The Big Book – facts matter! http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/welcome-to-the-big-book-facts-matter http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/welcome-to-the-big-book-facts-matter#When:09:00:00Z Suddenly it seems facts have become important; that’s a good thing. This fifth annual issue of The Big Book is a compendium of facts about the commonwealth — who’s who, who’s influential and who’s, well — BIG — when it comes to business, economic development and the economy of Virginia. At a time when increasing attention is being paid to the facts of economic development, this month’s main story package covers ongoing changes at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP).  It includes an interview with new CEO Stephen Moret, conducted by our Managing Editor Paula Squires, just days after he took the helm at VEDP. A large cast of characters — the business community, the governor’s office, the General Assembly, even the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) — have played a role in the VEDP story.  Virginia Business has been covering this in print and online since last fall. In addition to the big-picture statewide story, The Big Book features expanded regional economic development coverage, including each area’s major deals of the past year.  If you haven’t already noticed, we’ve increased our regional pages to cover a total of seven regions after concluding that the Roanoke/Blacksburg area deserves a section of its own. It previously was covered as a part of the Southwest Virginia region. Facts are really at the core of what this month’s issue is all about.  Included are nearly 50 lists ranking everything from Virginia’s largest companies by industry sector, to its top 10 craft brewers and its biggest defense contracts. Also included is our ever-popular list of Most Influential Virginians. These lists are an invaluable resource for anyone new to the commonwealth, as well as a great source of insight for anyone involved in sales, marketing or business development. In addition to the Most Influential Virginians, you’ll find Power Couples and people On the Move.  These lists have some new faces, especially On the Move — keep watching! Stay tuned for more success. Relatively new to The Big Book is a list of companies celebrating significant anniversaries (20 years or more since their founding).  We started compiling this list last year when Virginia Business celebrated its 30th anniversary. We’ve profiled three organizations that are hitting significant milestones. Hampton’s NASA Langley Research Center is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Langley is the place where America’s manned spaceflight program began and is currently the subject of the movie “Hidden Figures.” In Edinburg, Shenandoah Telecommunications started 115 years ago as a local telephone operator. Now it has become the nation’s sixth-largest provider of wireless services. And the Richmond-based firm Sands Anderson is celebrating its 175th year of practicing law in Virginia. Another new list this year is Major Construction Projects.  Construction is back on the upswing.  Yes, indeed — facts are good things! Another story takes readers to Regent University, this month’s higher education profile.  Based in Virginia Beach, Regent has shown strong growth and is piling up impressive national accolades for its undergraduate, graduate and more recently its online degree programs. Founded nearly 40 years ago as CBN University, Regent offers a traditional curriculum, plus programs in education, business, law and most recently, cybersecurity. The university is ranked 15th nationally for the education of military veterans. While it’s hard to say that there has ever been a time when facts didn’t matter, perhaps now we are gaining a new appreciation for their importance.  At Virginia Business our core values are leadership, integrity, balance, respect and success.  When it comes to facts, we stand behind what we report.  Our hope is that you will find value in this issue of The Big Book.  There is nothing we enjoy more than being a part of your success. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/DSC_0281.png Staves being made at the Speyside Bourbon Cooperage facility in Millboro will be used to create barrels. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-long-time-coming A long time coming http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-long-time-coming http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-long-time-coming#When:09:00:00Z With a little help from local, regional and state partners, Bath County last year secured its first new economic development project since 2003. Speyside Bourbon Cooperage will build a stave mill in an industrial park in Millboro, bringing 30 new jobs. Using white oak logs, the mill will produce staves and headers for bourbon barrels. The pieces will be sent to Speyside’s cooperage in Jackson, Ohio, where the barrels will be assembled. The vast majority of the barrels will be sold to distilleries in Kentucky, where 95 percent of U.S. bourbon is produced. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that while bourbon sales were soaring, distillers were facing a shortage of barrels. “We could not be more pleased to welcome Speyside to the industrial park in Millboro,” said Mason Cauthorn, chairman of the Bath County Economic Development Authority. “It is a great company, and this stave mill will be perfect for our area. We have the natural resources and the labor force to support this company, and we are delighted Speyside has selected us to be part of their worldwide family.” The commonwealth is providing a $250,000 Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grant, which the county is matching with local funds. Darren Whitmer, Speyside’s general manager, said the search for a stave mill location began in 2015. “Our goal all along was to locate the plant in the Shenandoah Valley region due to the availability of white oak and the fact that the timber industry is strong there,” he said. Whitmer said the company eyed rural communities throughout the Shenandoah Valley, but ultimately the 57-acre parcel in the Millboro industrial park had the right combination of available land, public utilities and access to raw materials. The company will hire and train workers for the new mill, which should be operational by fall. Cauthorn noted that creating 30 new jobs in Bath is no small feat. Bath is a remote county with a population of about 8,400 along the West Virginia line, which is perhaps best known as the home of the 251-year-old Omni Homestead Resort. The county’s annual median household income is about $33,500, slightly more than half the state’s median income of $65,000. “These jobs are going to be good-paying jobs. Some of the higher positions like timber buyers will be very-good-paying jobs,” Cauthorn said. “And you can take that payroll and multiply it by seven to see what the overall economic impact will be. Truckers are going to be bringing wood in here — they’ll be buying things like fuel and food. This is a big boost to the local economy.” The deal has received high praise from Robin Sullenberger, a veteran economic development official. “Landing an established company like Speyside is a tremendous coup for Bath County given the challenging nature of business recruiting for rural areas,” said Sullenberger, the retired head of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. “Projects like this can take a very long time to evolve, and success is ultimately dependent on the patience, tenacity and professionalism of those on the front lines.” Sullenberger credits Carrie Chenery, the current executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, for keeping the project on the table for months as details were negotiated by county and state leaders. “Economic development is a business built on relationships,” he said, “and Bath is truly fortunate to have local and regional representatives who are so widely respected by state officials and business contacts.” As part of its $5 million investment, Speyside has agreed to source 80 percent of its local timber needs from Virginia landowners. “Speyside Bourbon Cooperage’s new investment in Bath County and Virginia represents increased opportunities for the county and regional forestland owners,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “In addition, Speyside will be filling a gap in the supply chain in the craft beverage industry: through Speyside’s barrels, Virginia-grown products will be a part of making craft beverages all over the world.” State Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, said the local economy relies heavily on agriculture and forestry, and “this project will be a boon to landowners and citizens alike.” Speyside is an offspring of Speyside Cooperage Ltd., which was founded in Scotland in 1947. The company is a part of a larger cooperage organization based in France, the Tonnellerie Francois Freres Group. Shenandoah Valley’s recent deals 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; } Company Location #Jobs Navy Federal Credit Union* Frederick County 1,400 Centro Global Solutions Frederick County 300 Innovative Refrigeration Systems Augusta County 100 Mopar Parts Distribution Center Frederick County 70 American Woodmark Frederick County 55 AccuTec Blades Inc. Augusta County 53 Graphic Packaging International Staunton 45 Jenzabar Harrisonburg 30 Speyside Bourbon Cooperage Inc. Bath County 30 Tactical Walls Page County 28 Source: Frederick County Economic Development Authority, Shenandoah Valley Partnership *Announced in 2017; all other announcements in 2016 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Dunston-0991.png Cary Dunston heads American Woodmark, which is building a new headquarters in Frederick County. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-year-of-big-wins A year of big wins http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-year-of-big-wins http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/a-year-of-big-wins#When:09:00:00Z The Shenandoah Valley saw solid business growth in 2016, anchored by Winchester-Frederick County. The Winchester area also began this year with a major economic development coup. In January, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in his State of the Commonwealth address that Navy Federal Credit Union plans to spend $100 million in expanding its Frederick County operations center, creating 1,400 jobs. Navy Federal opened its Frederick County campus in 2006 and has expanded twice since then. The credit union already is one of the region’s largest employers, with more than 1,000 employees. Just one month before the Navy Federal announcement, cabinetmaker American Woodmark said that it will build a new corporate headquarters in Frederick County. The new space will consolidate employees from four Winchester-area buildings. The central office, to open in 2018, will be self-funded for approximately $30 million. The move will retain 377 local jobs, while creating 55 new positions. “By bringing our employees together at one location, we will further strengthen our interpersonal connections, drive efficiency in our day-to-day interactions and greatly enhance our ability to move our culture towards our vision,” Cary Dunston, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement. American Woodmark makes kitchen cabinets and vanities for the remodeling and new home construction markets. The company is coming off a strong fiscal year 2016 in which sales jumped 15 percent to $947 million and net income was $58.7 million, up from $35.5 million in the previous year. Its products are sold directly to home centers, including Lowe’s and Home Depot, as well as major builders. Employees now produce as many as 25,000 cabinets a day at American Woodmark’s nine factories across the country. Frederick County also secured the valley’s biggest deal of 2016 in terms of new jobs by reeling in Centro Global Solutions, an international provider of customer service contact solutions. The company’s new call center on West Brooke Road is expected to bring 300 new jobs. Centro handles calls and web support on behalf of its customers, primarily in the U.S. health-care and telecom companies. Centro operates facilities in five cities in four countries. With its new facility in Frederick County, Centro is looking to reduce expenses and customer-care cycle times. “Our international expansion was sparked by strong quality of service for our current clients that led to increased business with them and new clients,” CEO Sean Farag said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing Winchester become one of our largest sites.” The top of Virginia continued to see growth in warehousing and distribution as well. Home Depot opened its third distribution center in Frederick County in the fall. The company now occupies 250,000 square feet in the Stonewall Industrial Park. Home Depot will use the space as an overflow facility, complementing its other distribution center at 480 Park Center Drive. The home improvement retailer also operates an international distribution center in southern Frederick County. The $12.2 million Mopar Parts Distribution Center opened in Frederick County in late 2016, creating more than 70 jobs. Mopar is the service parts and customer-care brand for London-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The new facility handles the distribution of parts to more than 200 dealerships, primarily in the mid-Atlantic region. The facility is projected to ship approximately 9.2 million items annually. Meanwhile, decking and railing manufacturer Trex Co. Inc. expanded into two new warehouses in Frederick County last year. The first building measures 350,000 square feet and is the home of Trex University. Winchester-based Trex will use the 10,000-square-foot education center to teach distributors and contractors about the company’s  history and its wood-alternative decking products. Trex leased an additional 230,000 square feet in the same building for prepackaged railing products that are ready for distribution across the country. A second building, measuring 407,000 square feet, is entirely dedicated to receiving and handling of polyethylene plastics to be recycled. Trex recycles more than 400 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap each year. In a statement, James Cline, president and CEO of Trex, said the new buildings, located next to Route 37 in the new 65-acre Blackburn Commerce Center, will allow the company “to meet the needs of our customers and pursue our growth objectives.” Construction is set to begin this year on Phase II of Rutherford Crossing, a Frederick County retail center off Interstate 81 near the West Virginia line. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., Valley Health Urgent Care and a national grocery store chain are set to join the mix, according to developer NVRetail.  The first phase of Rutherford Crossing included Party City, McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Texas Roadhouse, Lowe’s, Target and PetSmart. The central and southern valley also had reason to celebrate in 2016. According to the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, a regional economic development organization, companies announced 344 new jobs and more than $282 million in private investment in the region last year. MillerCoors is expanding its brewery in Rockingham County, south of Elkton, to increase capacity. The $60 million investment is expected to create 27 jobs. The project marks the second major upgrade of the facility in the past decade. A $300 million build-out in 2007 made the plant one of the most modern large-scale breweries in North America. Jon Stern, MillerCoors’ director of media relations, said the latest expansion will allow the company to deliver beer to Northeast markets. The plant, which has more than 500 employees, produces Coors Light, Blue Moon Belgian White, Keystone and Keystone Light. In March, New Jersey-based Merck, a global pharmaceutical company, announced a $168 million expansion of its manufacturing facility near Elkton. Merck will upgrade plant infrastructure, adding manufacturing facilities and equipment. Merck began operations in Elkton in 1941. Meanwhile, The Hershey Co. invested $17 million last year in a new production line at its Stuarts Draft plant. The company has been producing chocolate and confectionery products in Augusta County since 1982. Last year was also a good year for rural Bath County, which announced its first economic development project since 2003. Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, a Scottish company, has chosen Bath for its new stave mill, which will process hardwood used in the production of bourbon barrels. The company is investing $5 million to create a production facility in an industrial park in the town of Millboro, creating 30 jobs. In another boon for economic development, two of the valley’s regional airports announced major upgrades in 2016. Winchester Regional Airport is expanding as a result of $1.5 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport plans to construct 11 hangars on undeveloped land north of the runway and east of the Public Safety Building on Coverstone Drive to accommodate future airport development and growth. Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave has partnered with ViaAir to offer daily nonstop service to Charlotte, N.C., and one-stop service to Orlando/Sanford, Fla. Both routes will utilize a 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet. It marks the first time the Shenandoah Valley has had a partner airline offering daily commercial flights with a jet aircraft. Greg Campbell, the airport’s executive director, said the new service should be an attractive option for both business and leisure travelers. The Charlotte hub is ranked fifth in the nation with approximately 710 daily departures, and Orlando is a popular spot for vacations and conferences. “We are very pleased with this change in hub and the dramatic increase in connecting opportunities it will give our community,” Campbell said. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/eldor-logo.png Eldor Corp. is investing $75 million initially and perhaps as much as $106 million by 2024. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/this-is-a-big-leap ‘This is a big leap’ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/this-is-a-big-leap http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/this-is-a-big-leap#When:09:00:00Z While a couple of breweries promising to bring 286 jobs to the Roanoke Valley got all the attention last year, one company announced plans that would bring 350 jobs to the region during the next five years — and another 300 jobs by 2024. Just days before the Deschutes announcement that created so much excitement, Eldor Corp., an Italian manufacturer of automotive components, revealed plans to build its first North American plant in Botetourt County. Eldor, which makes ignition systems, engine control units and electronics systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, plans to invest $75 million initially and perhaps as much as $106 million by 2024. It is the largest economic development announcement — both in terms of jobs created and investment made — in Botetourt’s history. “This is not just someone coming in,” says Jack Leffel, chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors. “This is a big leap … Eldor will raise things to a higher level, I think.” The Roanoke Regional Partnership says Eldor’s plans for Botetourt will create an annual economic impact of more than $246.5 million by 2021. The partnership expects the project to lead to more than 500 additional jobs.  With the completion of the project’s second phase, the partnership projects those numbers to increase to a $457.8 million economic impact annually and a total of 1,600 direct, indirect and induced jobs. Those benefits will not, of course, be limited to Botetourt. Beth Doughty, the partnership’s executive director, says governments and economic development professionals in the region understand that and embrace it. “I think the Roanoke region has a very progressive regional attitude about things,” Doughty says, “and a real understanding that what’s good for one is good for all.” At the Eldor announcement, Pasquale Forte, the company’s president and CEO, expressed his appreciation for the welcome his company received. “Virginia is particularly business-oriented, with its pro-business laws, Port of Virginia access, logistics and infrastructure,” Forte said. “We found a community of genuine and collaborative people, focused on supporting investment in a practical way and with great commitment. The community has welcomed us with a professional attitude, but also with respect and friendship.” His reasons for choosing Botetourt extended beyond its jurisdictional boundaries. “We found top-class universities and a great community college with programs dedicated to the mechatronics sector that will grow excellent young engineers with the skills necessary to run Eldor’s advanced automated lines,” Forte said. “Finally, the Roanoke region is beautiful with natural beauty and quality of life. I am confident that people who come to our plant from around the world will be amazed by this beauty.” Roanoke/New River Valley’s recent deals 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; } Company Location #Jobs Eldor Corp. Botetourt County 350 Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Botetourt County 178 Deschutes Brewery Roanoke 108 PlyGem Windows Franklin County 76 Integrity Windows Roanoke County 60 Ozmo App Montgomery County 55 Arkay Packaging Botetourt County 50 Fleetwood Homes Franklin County 41 Canatal Steel USA Botetourt County 38 Java Productions Montgomery County 20 Source:  Virginia Economic Development Partnership, 2016. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Deschutes_rend.png Deschutes’ brewery in Roanoke is expected to employ 108 people and produce 150,000 barrels of beer per year. http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-year-of-beer The year of beer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-year-of-beer http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-year-of-beer#When:09:00:00Z It started with a failure. When California-based craft brewer Sierra Nevada was looking for a place to build its first East Coast brewery, Roanoke was in the running. It remained in the hunt almost until the end — one of the last three cities on the company’s potential site list. The brewer chose Asheville, N.C., instead. Roanoke, which had been working hard to raise its cool quotient, lost out to the other big town on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the one people often think of when they think of progressive, artsy hipsters in the Appalachians. The announcement came in January 2012. That’s when the Roanoke Regional Partnership, which led the drive to woo Sierra Nevada, really went to work. “When we started working that [Sierra Nevada] project, we didn’t know much about, not only beer, but we didn’t have an appreciation at the beginning of that project of our assets for that sector,” says Beth Doughty, the partnership’s executive director. “But we certainly did have an appreciation for what our assets were at the end of the project. We realized, ‘Hey, we need to go after this because we can be successful on this.’ So that’s what we did.” West Coast recruitment The partnership focused on craft brewers in the West, telling them about the water, the infrastructure and the culture waiting for them near that big neon star that shines over the Roanoke Valley. The Western Virginia Water Authority could provide an abundance of good water. The local craft beer culture was blossoming, with brewers and brewpubs popping up — and producing good beer — from Smith Mountain Lake to Narrows. The Roanoke and New River valleys also were developing and extending hiking and biking trail systems to go along with the long-established Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Crooked Road and other venues were supporting a vibrant music scene. The New, James and Roanoke rivers offered canoeing and kayaking. Oh, and local and state governments were willing to offer incentives to close the deal. What more could a West Coast craft brewery want? Months passed. Four months after Sierra Nevada chose Asheville, Colorado-based Oskar Blues decided to brew beer in Brevard, N.C. A year after Sierra Nevada picked Asheville, Colorado-based New Belgium picked that city, too. Two months later, Green Flash announced it was opening its East Coast brewery in Virginia Beach. When Stone Brewing Co. was looking for an East Coast home, Roanoke was on the list but not among the finalists. Stone chose Richmond. Deschutes announcement Nearly three years had passed since the Sierra Nevada announcement and, as far as anyone outside the economic development community could tell, the region was not a bit closer to landing a West Coast brewer. In fact, representatives of Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery were just weeks away from their first visit to the area. The company had been talking with the partnership for more than two years. Gary Fish, the brewery’s CEO, founded Deschutes in Bend, Ore., in 1988. Since then, the company had become the fifth-largest craft brewer in the country, distributing beer in 28 states and the District of Columbia. It needed a place to brew beer on the East Coast — Brew 4, to join the company’s three Oregon breweries. There would be more visits, more discussions, meetings with the governor (in Oregon and the Executive Mansion) and a grass-roots social media campaign aimed at bringing Deschutes to Roanoke. On New Year’s Eve 2015, Deschutes representatives signed a letter of intent. On March 22, Deschutes — along with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a host of state and local officials — announced the company was coming to Roanoke. Deschutes President Michael LaLonde said at the announcement, “We have absolutely been blown away with how the community rallied around bringing us here and has given us such a warm welcome.” That warm welcome included more than $11 million in incentives, with the possibility of more to come. In return, Deschutes plans to invest $85 million in a brewery that will eventually employ 108 people and produce 150,000 barrels of beer per year. Construction is still two years away, and the first beer won’t come out of the brewery until two years after that. The Roanoke Regional Partnership expects the project to have a $209 million annual economic impact and create more than 300 additional jobs in the region. Deschutes is already having some impact on the local economy. Its beer became available through a regional distributor last August, the same month a Deschutes street pub raised $81,000 for nine regional charities. Ballast Point in Botetourt Two months after the Deschutes announcement, San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, the 11th-largest craft brewer in the U.S., announced its plans to turn a warehouse in Botetourt County into the company’s first East Coast brewery. While Deschutes describes itself as a “family- and employee-owned brewery,” Ballast Point is owned by Constellation, the third-largest beer company in the country. Among its operations, Constellation brews (in Mexico) and distributes (in the United States) Corona, Pacifico and Modelo beers. Constellation also distributes wine and distills and distributes spirits, including Black Velvet Canadian whiskey and Svedka vodka. Ballast Point founder Jack White left the company last July, two months after the Botetourt announcement. Ballast Point’s courtship was a good bit shorter than Deschutes’. Just over a year passed between the first partnership contact and the announcement that the company plans to invest $47.8 million in its Botetourt facility, creating 178 jobs — 133 in the brewery and 45 in hospitality and retail. The average annual pay for the brewery jobs will be a little more than $41,000, according to the partnership. It estimates that Ballast Point will have an annual economic impact of more than $376 million on the region and lead to the creation of more than 540 additional jobs. Botetourt Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Leffel credits the supervisors’ decision to join the Western Virginia Water Authority in 2015 (and the leadership of fellow board member John Williamson in that decision) for landing the Ballast Point project. Without that water, Leffel says, the project would have been impossible. He sees advantages far beyond the direct benefits of jobs and investment. “We see this particular project as key to our goals of attracting younger folks to live, work and play in Botetourt,” Leffel said at the announcement. On the radar Doughty sees additional benefits, too. “These are high-profile deals,” she says, “So the Roanoke region has been elevated on their radar because of deals like this.” People and companies involved in site-selection process know about the region’s beer deals, she says, and that may open doors to more deals. But there’s more. “Deschutes has 44,000 visitors a year that go to Bend, Ore., so we can expect a comparable impact because of the location here in Roanoke,” Doughty says. “Ballast Point is another one that becomes a destination. And then, when you combine the two, it becomes a couple of days’ destination. And then you add the already growing craft-beer community with the smaller brewers and startups, and you’ve added to the package that you can sell from a tourism perspective.” Craft brewing is a collegial industry, and Doughty thinks that will bring yet another benefit. “Having the large brewers here is helpful to the small brewers because they bring their expertise and the great willingness to collaborate,” Doughty says. “That kind of raises the tide for everyone.” 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/020717_5001Lori_Deel.png “I like to say we live in the wood basket of the Southeast,” says Lori Deel. Photo by Tim Cox http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-growth Old growth http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-growth http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/old-growth#When:09:00:00Z Smyth County isn’t in Virginia’s coalfields, but it has felt the effects of the mining industry’s decline.  In the last days of 2016, Pittsburgh-based Kennametal Inc. closed its coal-mining cutting tools plant in Chilhowie,  eliminating 89 jobs.  Not long after that, local workers learned that operations at the Titan Wheel plant in Saltville would be moved to the company’s Quincy, Ill., plant, eliminating another 50 jobs. The plant makes wheels for equipment used in strip mining. “One of the employees that is losing his job [at the Saltville plant] has been there 42 years,” says Lori Deel, Smyth County’s director of community and economic development. “It’s a big loss for us.” When the coal industry began to decline, “I knew our area wouldn’t feel it until later on,” Deel says. Later on is now. The county has other manufacturing employers, including General Dynamics and TRW. But in addition to the coal-mining-related jobs, it has lost many jobs in more traditional industries, particularly textiles and woodworking, which used to dominate the local economy.  In 2015, for example, Sure-Wood Forest Products closed its Chilhowie plant, and nearly 90 people lost their jobs. But not all the news about traditional manufacturing is bad. Idaho-based Woodgrain Millwork Inc. is adding 17 jobs to its 140-person workforce in Marion, and a new owner, Georgia-based EverMark LNL, has reopened the former Sure-Wood plant. “[Woodgrain is] a great company to have here,” says Deel. But getting the company to expand in Smyth took some persuading.  The company was considering shifting some operations from Marion to its plant in Lenoir, N.C. “When they started talking about maybe expanding their facility in North Carolina and cutting here, we kind of buckled down and convinced them to do it here,” Deel says. The company received a $100,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Agriculture, matched by local funds, and $75,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund. In return, Woodgrain committed to invest $1.86 million in the plant and to spend more than $4.6 million on Virginia lumber during the next three years. “So this project was not only important to support the expansion Woodgrain Millwork needed to do, but it also had the ripple effect and was positive for many of the lumber companies throughout the region and across Virginia,” Deel says. Woodgrain has plants in the U.S. from Oregon to Georgia, and one facility in Chile. Woodgrain’s Marion plant, which makes floor and window components, began operations in 1996 with 35 employees. Meanwhile, EverMark , the new owner of the former Sure-Wood plant in Chilhowie, reopened it with about 25 employees. The plant, now called Innovative Millwork Technologies, produces millwork for the housing industry. “EverMark was quick to come in and kind of pick up where Sure-Wood left off and fortunately, they were able to keep a lot of the employees from Sure-Wood. Their processes are very similar,” Deel says. “It worked out great.” Deel is convinced her part of Southwest Virginia will be a perfect fit for wood products companies for a long time.  “I think one thing that is important is we still have a lot of the workforce that is trained in that kind of traditional manufacturing setting,” Deel says. “I like to say we live in the wood basket of the Southeast.” Southwest Virginia’s recent deals 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; } Company Location #Jobs Frontier Secure Wise County 500 AT&T Wireless Russell County 90 Native Cloud Virginia Scott County 72 TRW Smyth County 60 Branch Botanicals Wythe County 40 NPB Digital Bank Russell County 35 Consolidated Glass and Mirror Galax 30 Innovative Millwork Technologies Smyth County 20 Woodgrain Millwork Smyth County 17 Somic America Wythe County 15 Source:  Virginia Economic Development Partnership, 2016. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/020717_5122Carl_Snodgrass.png The arrival of Frontier Secure’s call center has been important to Wise County, says Carl Snodgrass. Photo by Tim Cox http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wired-for-jobs Wired for jobs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wired-for-jobs http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wired-for-jobs#When:09:00:00Z The list of Southwest Virginia’s recent economic announcements compiled by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership is a picture of diversified development. Automotive steering components, natural flavorings, meat processing, woodworking — the region is developing and expanding a variety of industries. One project, however, stands out on the VEDP list, a call center being developed by Frontier Secure is expected to create 500 jobs in Wise County. “Well, that’s projected over three years,” says Carl Snodgrass, the county’s economic development director. “They are approaching 300 now.” According to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office, Virginia competed with Georgia, Kansas and South Carolina to get the call center, which may answer your questions if you have trouble e-filing your taxes this year. The call center handles “Quickbook and TurboTax and things of that nature,” Snodgrass says. McAuliffe called the project “a testament to the strong workforce, business climate and strategic investment potential in this region,” and the rest of the state. According to the VEDP tally, Frontier invested no money upfront. Snodgrass says that’s right, except for bringing in some equipment. “We got some grant monies to help with the project,” he says, that require Frontier meet performance promises, such as creating all those jobs. But most of the work and money that went into preparing Frontier’s new facility came from local and state government. The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority approved a $5.6 million loan to the Wise County Industrial Development Authority for the deal. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $2 million in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. Virginia Jobs Investment Program helps with training, and other state funds are potentially available for the project. The county’s Industrial Development Authority took care of transforming a shell building in the county’s industrial park. “It was a shell building with nothing but a gravel floor,” Snodgrass says. “We got their building specifications, worked with a local architect to design and a local contractor to build, and they actually turned the thing around — finished out 55,000 square feet for them — in about 90 days. We were under a pretty tight schedule on that project.” Frontier moved in last August. The IDA still owns the building and leases it to Frontier. “It’s important to the county,” Snodgrass says. “Of course, you know, we’ve lost a tremendous number of jobs from coal mining and mining support jobs, too.” In December, the county’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent — at a time when the state figure was 4.1 percent. “These jobs, obviously, don’t pay the pay scale that the coal miners earned,” Snodgrass says. Still, these jobs pay pretty well — about $35,000 a year with benefits, Snodgrass says. That’s about $300 more than the national median annual salary at a call center in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Two counties to the north, in Buchanan County, a call center faced a different situation. Administrator Craig Horn says the Sykes call center was able to retain 100 jobs that could have been lost. “They saved jobs by servicing a different company,” Horn says, “but we didn’t gain any.” Sykes had been handling customer service for Bank of America and MetLife, Horn says, but lost those contracts. Sykes expected to close the call center, then changed course when it got another contract. “We were going to lose all the jobs that were up there, which was between 200 and 300,” Horn says. “So they’re trying to get back to the 300. I don’t know where they are now, but I think they’re back over the 200.” In December, the unemployment rate in Buchanan County was 8.9 percent — 4.8 points higher than Virginia’s rate. Horn says that, because of the county’s population, it is unlikely to land another call center. “We’re a small county, as far as population [fewer than 15,000 people between 18 and 65, according to the Census Bureau] so one call center, if it’s very big, does us because turnover on those is pretty high,” Horn says. “You need a big population.” The county is trying to recruit data centers “because we have some advantages for that,” Horn says. The county’s industrial park has redundant phone, power and broadband to accommodate a data center’s needs.  We haven’t had a lot of luck with that, yet, but we think we may be able to get one of those sooner or later.” Wise County already has one. The DP Facilities data center opened last fall. It’s next door to the new Frontier call center, but it’s a very different business, assuring customers that data stored there will be safe. In fact, the company’s website guarantees “sensitive and valuable data will be protected and preserved at all times.” The company promotes the site as remote but not inaccessible, calling Wise County “The Safest Place on Earth.” DP Facilities says the county will “insulate the facility from natural disasters, blackouts and attacks on large population centers.” Nonetheless, it is located near a private airport. The center’s 30 jobs include armed security personnel, who are on duty around the clock. The pre-cast concrete building is protected by anti-ram fencing and other barriers, a perimeter blast berm and extensive video and counter-surveillance systems.  The company boasts of State Department-certified barriers and Defense Department-approved anti-terrorism standards. Access is controlled by biometric and key card systems. “I can’t even get in it,” Snodgrass says. “You have to have a real good reason to be over there.” 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/VBMarchTimHall1.png Henry County's Tim Hall says the job skills Novatech was seeking were “a good fit for our folks.” Photo by Steven Mantilla http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/canadian-courtship Canadian courtship http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/canadian-courtship http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/canadian-courtship#When:09:00:00Z The saying “it takes a village” describes the effort made by the Martinsville-Henry County area to recruit Novatech Group on a tight time schedule. “They were looking for a place where they could get the support of the community and also get up and running quickly,” Mark Heath, the president and CEO of Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., says about the Canadian manufacturer. Based in Quebec, Novatech was founded in 1982. The company makes custom door glass, steel doors, patio doors, doorframes, retractable screens and insulated doors. Before coming to Virginia, it had 12 locations in Canada and one in France (Novatech Europe), employing more than 700 workers. In 2015, the accounting firm Deloitte named Novatech Group as one of “Canada’s Best Managed Companies.” Last August, Heath learned from a local company, West Windows, that Novatech was looking for a U.S. location. “West has been in Martinsville for a long time. They were Novatech’s first U.S. customer,” says Heath. The economic development official immediately called Jean Champagne, president of Novatech Patio Doors, a division of Novatech Group. “We had a really good conversation,” Heath says. The Canadian company had begun looking for a U.S. site in July. Once it had made its choice, Novatech Group wanted to move fast in setting up production. “We have about 30 customers in the U.S. and have been selling there for many years,” says Harold Savard, president and CEO of Novatech Group. “We know the market.” The company examined sites in six states. “They were working with the consulting group Le Groupe CAI Global in Montreal, and they got in touch with us,” Heath says. “They came down for two or three visits.” The selection process eventually was narrowed down to three localities — Roanoke, Martinsville-Henry County and Blacksburg, S.C. Then it came down to Martinsville-Henry County and Blacksburg. It helped that Novatech knew West Windows, “That was one of the plants we toured with them,” Heath says. “West was gracious in helping us talk about the local labor force.” Labor was one of Novatech’s chief concerns. “It came down to ‘Can we get the skilled labor force we need?’  We gave them all the information, but they did an independent verification and saw for themselves that they could get the labor they needed,” Heath says. The job skills needed by the company were “a good fit for our folks,” says Henry County Administrator Tim Hall. In December, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Novatech’s plans to come to Virginia. Novatech made that choice because “we got a lot of support from the people of Martinsville-Henry County,” Savard says. “The state was also very important. I have never seen that type of support in my life. They want to help us have success.” The company invested $3 million to establish its manufacturing operation. It has leased a 100,000-square-foot facility to produce and distribute patio doors. As part of the deal, Novatech received a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund as well as $130,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. It is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program. The company additionally will receive funding and services from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program to support employee-training activities.  “They also got enterprise-zone benefits at the local level,” Heath says. “They will get approximately $104,000 over five years on taxes for machinery, tools and real property. In all, they got about a $650,000 package.” Novatech plans to create 50 jobs at the plant during the next three years. “Our goal is to grow,” Savard says. “If we double that number of employees, we will be very happy. We are a very dynamic company. Every year we make a lot of progress growing the business. We started with one plant in Canada, and now we have 12. If we do the same in the U.S., it will be a very big success.” The company wanted to begin production by the second week of January, just a few weeks after McAuliffe’s announcement. Local contractor Jim Frith, who owns the building the company is leasing, worked to accommodate that schedule, Heath says.  After its plans became public, the company quickly began moving equipment from Quebec to Virginia. “It all had to be dismantled and put back together,” Heath says. “They were working day and night to get things running. They had good support from local contractors that were helping with plumbing and electrical needs. That made it easier.” Savard says he is thrilled with the Virginia location. “We are very proud to be in the U.S.,” he says. “It’s a dream for us.” Novatech’s arrival plants a new flag in the Martinsville-Henry County area. Three British firms have a presence in the area in addition to one company each from Germany, Israel, Sweden and now Canada. “People don’t think of Martinsville-Henry County as an international area,” Hall says. “But with our synergy, we hope to build on that and become a good destination for many international companies.” Southern Virginia’s recent deals 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; } Company Location #Jobs Telvista Danville 150 Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation Nottoway County 149 Starsprings Henry County 68 Nationwide Custom Homes Martinsville 59 Novatech Group Henry County 50 Textron Inc. Nottoway County 50 Microsoft Corp. Mecklenburg County 44 Dominion Virginia Power Greensville County 44 Overfinch Danville area 41 Kyocera SGS Precision Tool Danville area 35 Source: Virginia Economic Development Partnership, 2016. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/overfinch.png Range Rover maker Overfinch, is creating a Danvillefacility. Photo courtesy Overfinch http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-jobs-on-the-way New jobs on the way http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-jobs-on-the-way http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-jobs-on-the-way#When:09:00:00Z Southern Virginia has been hit hard in recent decades with the decline of U.S. textile, tobacco and furniture industries. Economic development projects announced last year, however, promise to create many new jobs. Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., for example, announced eight projects during 2016, which are expected to create 281 jobs and bring $31.2 million of taxable investment. New companies to the area include Starsprings, a springs manufacturer based in Sweden. The company invested $3.7 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Henry County. The project created 68 jobs. North Carolina-based Performance Livestock and Feed Company Inc. is investing $42 million to establish a new feed production operation in Henry. The project, now under construction, is expected to create 32 jobs. The company will buy nearly $11 million in Virginia-grown grains and other feed ingredients. Novatech Group, a Canadian manufacturer of door glass, steel doors, patio doors, retractable screens and insulated glass, invested $3 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Henry County. The company has leased a 100,000-square-foot facility to produce and distribute a variety of patio doors. It is expected to create 50 jobs. “Seven of the eight announcements we had were direct leads to us,” says Mark Heath, CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. “We appreciate companies that do their homework. They are looking for a community where they can have an ongoing relationship with the community and the economic development organization.” He believes 2017 will be a good year, as well. “We are marketing a new 800-acre industrial park called Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre,” Heath says. “We haven’t been able to compete in that market up to this point. Companies interested in that type of site are larger capital investment projects. We are excited about being able to compete for some of those deals.” Danville and Pittsylvania County also had some big wins in 2016. “We have had a busy year,” says Linwood Wright, public affairs and governmental consultant with the Danville Office of Economic Development. Two major announcements include Japanese-owned Kyocera SGS Precision Tool Inc. and England-based Overfinch, which manufactures Range Rover vehicles. Kyocera SGS Precision Tool, a subsidiary of Kyocera Corp., is investing $9.5 million to establish a North American technology and strategic manufacturing hub in the Cyber Park owned by the Danville-Pittsylvania County Regional Industrial Facility Authority. The project will create 35 jobs. “This announcement is another positive example of how the city, the county and their respective leadership can work closely together to recruit and attract high-quality companies such as Kyo­­­­­­cera,” says Matt Rowe, director of economic development for Pittsylvania County. Overfinch expects to invest at least $8 million to establish a manufacturing operation in Cyber Park. The investment includes an assembly and conversion workshop, vehicle servicing, diagnostics and a parts warehouse. Virginia competed against California for the project, which will create 41 jobs. Local officials say they won both projects because of the reputation of the area’s workforce. “I think strategically it is our biggest incentive,” says Wright. “We have emphasized specific training in the areas of precision machining and are beginning a similar effort in computer sciences. We have invested more than $30 million in the region in precision machining to create a workforce pipeline that will supply a certified workforce.” “We are putting the word out that, if you are looking for qualified workers, come to Danville,” adds Telly Tucker, the city’s director of economic development. In addition to new companies coming to town, some existing firms are expanding.  JTI Leaf Services, for example, is investing $7 million to expand its tobacco processing facility in Danville. A new 110,000-square-foot storage facility opened late last year. Pittsylvania County ended the year with $750 million of announced economic development investment as well as the creation of 270 jobs. In addition to Kyocera and Overfinch it also saw the $7 million expansion of Gregory Lumber Inc., creating three jobs. The sawmill company invested in construction and equipment such as an automated lumber sorting system. It also agreed to purchase almost $8 million in Virginia timber during the next three years. In addition, Southern Power, a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Southern Co., plans to develop 300 acres of land in Berry Hill Industrial Park for a natural gas generating facility. “According to what the company submitted for air permits, it will generate 820 megawatts of electricity. The estimated capital investment for the project is around $600 million,” Rowe says. “During construction it will have about 800 to 1,000 people on site. The company is looking at around 25 permanent jobs with an average salary exceeding $60,000.” Pittsylvania expects to make more announcements the first quarter of this year as well. “We are getting a lot of attention from companies overseas because of our workforce training,” Rowe says. “We are seeing a lot of prospects that find it cheaper to build here and use our workforce.” Other areas of Southern Virginia saw an uptick in activity last year, especially from companies wanting to set up new operations quickly. “It was fairly busy for us,” says Jeff Reed, executive director of Keysville-based Virginia’s Growth Alliance, which represents 10 counties (Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward) and the city of Emporia. “We’re seeing a demand for product. Most people that are looking are in a ready-to-go mode. They are looking for existing buildings or pads.” One of the region’s largest economic projects was Dominion Virginia Power’s $1.1 billion Brunswick County Power Station, which began generating electricity last April. The 1,358-megawatt combined-cycle facility has 47 full-time employees and is not far from Dominion’s 1,588-megawatt, $1.3 billion Greensville County Power Station, which is under construction. The plant has 700 workers on site and should have close to 50 employees when complete. Another boost to the area: Microsoft Corp. will invest $251.6 million to expand its data center site in Mecklenburg County, creating 44 jobs. This is the fifth time the company has expanded the facility. The company has invested close to $2 billion in the facility and created more than 250 jobs since 2010. Additionally, Firestone Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Virginia Solar, announced plans to build a new $35 million 200-acre solar facility that will be the first utility-scale solar generator of its kind in Buckingham County. The project is scheduled for completion this year. This year also looks promising for the alliance. “We have some good things in the pipeline,” Reed says. “We hope to see announcements of some smaller types of projects in the first quarter. We are also seeing a lot of interest from Europe in foreign-directed investment.” One of the alliance’s economic development challenges is lack of identity, Reed says, noting the organization is now five years old. “People don’t know who we are because we are so new. We are trying to have more strategic meetings with people who are end users to help us spread the word about the region.” 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/nova_nestle_bldg.png Monday Properties stuck to its plan to wait for an anchor tenant for its 35-story building. Photo courtesy Nestlé USA http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/global-brand Global brand http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/global-brand http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/global-brand#When:09:00:00Z Lightning has struck for the second time in Arlington County. Only 18 months after landing the U.S. headquarters for German discount grocer Lidl, Arlington announced in early February that Nestlé USA Inc. will move its headquarters from California to Rosslyn. The U.S. subsidiary of the Switzerland-based food and nutrition giant will be the anchor tenant in what has been an empty building, investing $39.8 million and creating 748 jobs. “Adding a global brand like Nestlé USA to Virginia’s corporate roster is a huge win for our commonwealth,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said. The company will relocate from Glendale, Calif., to a 35-story building at 1812 N. Moore St. in the heart of Rosslyn. Nestlé initially will lease 40 percent of the building, 206,000 square feet, with the option to expand to more than 250,000 square feet. Monday Properties finished the 537,000-square-foot building in late 2013. It has been working since then to fill the space, holding out for a major tenant rather than breaking up the space into blocks for smaller tenants. The deal recalls Lidl’s 2015 decision to locate its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, a $77 million project creating 500 jobs. That project also includes a $125 million regional headquarters and distribution center in Spotsylvania County employing 200 people. Christina Winn, director of business investment at Arlington Economic Development, says going after foreign companies is just one part of the county’s overall push to attract businesses from outside the region. Its annual international outreach budget is quite “lean,” she explains — about $30,000 — for now. Arlington is targeting select markets, such as Germany, Italy and China, and partnering with other jurisdictions in the region when it does business recruitment abroad. Other aspects of the county’s strategy focus on encouraging international investment in local projects and working with existing employers to create export opportunities.   Nestlé USA operates in more than 120 locations in 47 states and employs more than 51,000 people. In 2015, Nestlé’s U.S. sales topped $26 billion, making it the company’s largest market. The Rosslyn lease culminated the company’s extensive and wide-ranging relocation search. “Nestlé USA carefully considered a number of locations, and Arlington hits all the marks,” Paul Grimwood, the company’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The area offers appealing benefits for our current employees, as well as a great talent pool for the future. This location allows us to be closer to our business operations, our customers and other important stakeholders.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Arlington County to secure the project. To assist the county, McAuliffe approved a $6 million grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund. The governor also approved $4 million in funds from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant, which provides performance-based incentives to projects promising the creation of a large number of high-paying jobs. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. By securing one of the world’s most widely recognized corporate brands, Monday Properties validated its strategy of holding firm to its goal while carrying the building for more than three years. While it might have been tempting to pivot to smaller leases when times were tough, “it would have ruined our competitive advantage,” Tim Helmig, Monday’s president and COO, said. “Good things come to those who wait. The wait was painful, but it worked out for us in the end.” According to Helmig, Nestlé officials saw the building in September and looked at other options in the greater Washington region. For a major real estate deal, things came together fairly quickly, he said. Soaring 390 feet, Monday’s LEED platinum-certified building is the tallest in metro Washington. “It’s an iconic building,” Winn says, and now it has “an epic tenant.” M.J. McAteer contributed to this story. Northern Virginia’s recent deals 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; } Company Location #Jobs JK Moving Services Loudoun County 751 Nestlé USA1 Arlington County 748 Excella Consulting Arlington County 538 Notarize Arlington County 454 Applied Predictive Technologies Arlington County 368 CACI International Fairfax City 344 Precision Pipeline Solutions Prince William Co. 263 FDM Group Inc. Fairfax County 250 M.C. Dean Fairfax County 250 Source: Virginia  Economic Development Partnership        1 Deal occurred in 2017. All others in 2016 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Rizer-9054.png Buddy Rizer says 2016 was Loudoun County’s “biggest year yet,” with $2.3 billion in new investment. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growth-gains-momentum Growth gains momentum http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growth-gains-momentum http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growth-gains-momentum#When:09:00:00Z Northern Virginia is in an upbeat frame of mind. An economic growth trend that began a few years ago gained momentum in 2016, and all signs point toward an even more prosperous 2017. “Growth was generally good across the region, even as the nature of it may be changing,” says Terry L. Clower, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis.  By changing, Clower means that economic expansion in NoVa now is spread out more fully across the region, embracing not just the close-to-Washington suburbs of the city of Alexandria and the counties of Arlington and Fairfax, but the outer-ring jurisdictions of Prince William and Loudoun counties, too. The region got a big boost with the February announcement that Nestlé’s U.S. subsidiary will move its headquarters to Arlington, a project that represents a nearly $40 million investment and will create 748 jobs (see story on page 24). Loudoun County Loudoun took home best-in-show honors for the state in 2016. “It was incredible,” says Buddy Rizer, the county’s executive director for economic development. “Our biggest year yet.” Loudoun led the commonwealth with $2.3 billion in new investment, a repeat of its No. 1 performance in 2015. It was first in the nation in household income for the third year in a row, and, at 6.2 percent, third in job growth. Its data centers, which occupy 5.2 million square feet and generate $100 million in annual revenue for Loudoun, were go-go-go in 2016, as well. Up to 70 percent of all internet traffic already flows through Loudoun daily, and data center behemoths Digital Realty Trust, Equinix and DuPont Fabros Technology all were adding space last year. Nonetheless, the county is trying to diversify its commercial tax base, Rizer says. Examples of that diversification include JK Services, which is constructing a $55 million headquarters in Sterling; EPL Archives, a life-sciences company, which was at work on $21 million in offices and labs in Leesburg; and, Unanet, a tech company, which moved to a larger space in Ashburn and promised to add 100 jobs. Prince William County Next door, in Prince William County, last year also was “a good one,” says Jeff Kaczmarek, executive director of its department of economic development. In 2016, the county logged 22 projects representing 501 new jobs. Capital investment totaled $1.3 billion. Like Loudoun, data centers play a major part in the Prince William economy. The county has more than 3 million square feet of data center space and, in March, it announced that Iron Mountain Information Management LLC would develop a $350 million facility in Manassas, creating 25 jobs. Information technology along with life sciences are major growth drivers in his jurisdiction, Kaczmarek says, noting that a modern life sciences accelerator in Manassas has filled all nine of its labs. Fairfax County In Northern Virginia’s closer-in jurisdictions, the economy is on an upswing, but “a lot of legacy” is putting a strain on local coffers, Clower says.  Fairfax County is the prime example, where business is good, even as supervisors wrestle with a proposed budget that would give county schools $61 million less than they are seeking. That gap can be attributed to the fact that the school system has 186,000 children and grows by an average of 17 students a day. Meanwhile, unemployment was at 3 percent in December, and Gerald L. Gordon, president and CEO of the county’s economic development authority, can point to a number of pluses for the Fairfax economy, including $60 million in private contributions to Inova’s new research campus in Merrifield. The county also has clinched a number of deals, Gordon says. For instance, one of the county’s largest employers, the government and commercial IT contractor CACI International, announced an addition of 344 jobs in Fairfax City; M.C. Dean, an electrical contractor, announced that it is moving into new space at Tysons and creating 250 jobs; and Favor TechConsulting and Cvent both are expanding at Tysons, adding 235 and 121 jobs, respectively. Gordon says the county plans a push to attract more businesses specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing and translational medicine. And, with the arrival of an administration that may be friendly to homeland security and defense spending, he says, Fairfax, despite its legacy issues, “is bullish about coming contracting opportunities.” Arlington In addition to the Nestlé deal, Arlington has had several recent project announcements that are expected to create new jobs. Applied Predictive Technologies added offices in Ballston and promised 368 new jobs, and television station WJLA TV renewed its lease on 100,000 square feet in Rosslyn.  The accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton was consolidating its operations in McLean and Alexandria into 76,000 square feet in Rosslyn. That promises to bring 1,000 workers to Arlington and 348 more jobs within five years. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority further announced it was decamping from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to 75,000 square feet of space in Crystal City, bringing with it 260 jobs. Christina Winn, director of business investment at Arlington Economic Development, says the county’s efforts will stay centered on retaining key federal tenants along with nonprofits, professional services, and aerospace and defense companies. The county believes that cybersecurity, health care and education IT, big data and green industries will be important elements in further development. “We’ve had good success,” Winn says. “We’ve demonstrated that we are open to do business.” Alexandria Activity in Alexandria was somewhat subdued in 2016. In Old Town, however, work continues on the Robinson Landing South multiuse project, and the Hotel Indigo is nearing the end of construction and should open in the second quarter of this year.  Metro is figuring large in Alexandria’s  assessment of things to come. After a decade of wrangling, the Potomac Yard Metro station finally got a green light for construction last year. The $268-million rail stop is projected to go into service in 2020. The other milestone for the city was a first-ever incentive program to encourage homegrown businesses to stay put. The first two grants, $350,000 to the Motley Fool investment firm and $250,000 to Port City Brewing, were matched by the state. Like the rest of the region’s locales, Alexandria is keeping tabs on the dramatic alterations underway in that large government based on the other side of the Potomac. “Any time there is a change in the administration, we see an influx of activity as new players move in,” says Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the city’s Economic Development Partnership. She echoes the expectations of all her suburban counterparts when she says, “Northern Virginia should do well.” 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/ADP-0854.png ADP has renovated a 288,000-square-foot building in downtown Norfolk for its new facility. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-1800-job-project An 1,800-job project http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-1800-job-project http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/an-1800-job-project#When:09:00:00Z New Jersey-based human resources firm ADP had specific requirements in mind in seeking a location for a new customer service center. “This is something that is taken very seriously by the company,” Nick Maniaci, ADP’s division vice president, says of the search process it started over a year ago. “We want to make sure the locations we select meet the very special criteria we have, such as a presence of veterans, a favorable business climate and diversity of employees.” Employees at these ADP facilities help recruit customers and provide support to existing customers. “That is why it’s important that we had the right kinds of employees to work with our clients,” Maniaci says. The company did its due diligence, checking demographics, the presence of education institutions and area amenities at each potential site.  “Once we processed this information we came up with a short list of locations that we felt were the strongest based on our criteria,” Maniaci says.  ADP scouted four or five locations, primarily on the East Coast. “We whittled that down to three places,” Maniaci says. “Hands down, Norfolk was the place to build our center.” The company actually considered Chesapeake and Norfolk. “We had a building that fit ADP’s need,” says Chuck Rigney, director of Norfolk’s development department. “It was a strong signal that Norfolk was doing good work making downtown an attractive place to be.” ADP is investing $32.25 million in establishing its new facility in a 288,000-square-foot building at 2 Commercial Place in downtown Norfolk. The project will create 1,800 jobs. “This is the largest single job announcement in the region since the early 1990s and the largest job announcement in Norfolk by a private company in recent history,” Rigney says. The company received a $5 million state grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, an amount that was matched by the city. ADP also is eligible for a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit from the state along with funding and services through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program for employee training.   “This was a real team effort,” says Rigney of the cooperation the city received from businesses and local and state officials in landing the deal. “It’s a good example of how good projects and close cooperation can result in good things.” The company liked Norfolk because of its talent pool, its local colleges and its large veteran population. Hampton Roads has one of the largest concentrations of military personnel in the U.S. “Those are all the things that went into us saying, ‘this is the right place,’”  Maniaci says, noting that 33 veterans and 10 military spouses already have been hired in Norfolk. ADP also was impressed with the investment taking place downtown, with projects such as The Main hotel and the revived Waterside District on the Elizabeth River scheduled to open soon. ADP expects these amenities to help it attract employees, the majority of whom likely will be right out of college or have been in the workforce for only one or two years. “This area appeals to millennials,” Maniaci says. “We want to create an environment where our associates can grow and build on their careers. We want them to stay with us as long as possible.” Once the site was picked, ADP needed to move quickly in setting up its new center. Its home is a building owned by Buddy Gadams, the head of Norfolk-based Marathon Development Group. “From our first talk to having the lease signed was about four and a half months,” Gadams says. “It was a rocket deal.” ADP wanted to create a workspace that millennials would enjoy. The building was gutted and renovated by Richmond-based Hourigan Construction. ADP moved into its new quarters on Dec. 1 after renting temporary space in a nearby building. The new ADP center includes a tech café and a gym, and it soon will have an onsite medical facility. “It’s a beautiful building,” Maniaci says, adding that employees like the space. “When you walk through, you often see foosball games going on near the cafeteria.” The building also features gathering spaces where employees can brainstorm, as well as several training rooms using a variety of media. “Millennials learn differently than other generations,” Maniaci says. “They are more geared to digital learning and different media. We want happy, trained employees so we can provide clients with the best support possible.” ADP is recruiting aggressively to fill Norfolk positions. In mid-January it had 450 employees at the new facility, but the number increases each week. “Anyone can go to norfolkjobs.adp.com to apply for a job,” Maniaci says. “That site is focused squarely on Norfolk.” Maniaci was impressed with the cooperation the company received in moving to Norfolk. “It was very quick,” he says. “There wasn’t a lot of bureaucracy or holdups. We were able to partner with officials very well.” Eastern Virginia’s recent deals 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; } Company Location #Jobs ADP Norfolk 1,800 Dollar Tree Inc. Chesapeake 600 Geico Corp. Virginia Beach 390 Sutherland Global Services Chesapeake 200 Movement Mortgage Norfolk 200 Maximus Hampton 189 Norfolk Southern Corp. Norfolk 166 Peet's Coffee Suffolk 135 Newport News Industrial Corp. Newport News 125 Emser Tile Suffolk 98 Source: Virginia Economic Development Partnership, 2016. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Outlet-0868.png The first phase of Simon’s Norfolk Premium Outlets is expected to open this summer. Photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/not-a-one-trick-year ‘Not a one-trick year’ http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/not-a-one-trick-year http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/not-a-one-trick-year#When:09:00:00Z The Hampton Roads area scored big in 2016 with localities landing business prospects ranging from a human resources management giant to a growing national coffee company. “It was our best year since 2000, largely because of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) coming into Norfolk and ramping up, adding 1,800 jobs,” says Rick Weddle, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. Weddle’s group, which works with 10 jurisdictions in the region, handled 38 active projects in 2016. Three projects it helped bring in — ADP in Norfolk, Sanjo FineBlanking in Virginia Beach and Peet’s Coffee in Suffolk — totaled 2,020 jobs with capital investments of more than $107 million. “Our capital investments are up considerably from last year,” Weddle says. “The pipeline for projects is more robust. We are working on two additional projects that would account for an additional 660 jobs and $7.7 million in capital investment that will be announced in the first quarter of this year.” Chuck Rigney, director of development for Norfolk, sums up 2016 as “an amazing year” with numerous major project announcements totaling more than $800 million in new investment and close to 6,000 jobs. “It was not a one-trick year. It was a multifaceted success story,” he says. “Obviously it was several years of work culminating in a fantastic year.” The city’s biggest win was ADP, a global provider of cloud-based human capital management solutions. ADP is investing more than $32.5 million and bringing more than 1,800 new jobs to downtown Norfolk. It will occupy 286,000 square feet of Class A office space in a formerly empty office tower. Once fully staffed, the facility will be one of ADP’s largest centers in the United States. The first 220 employees are already in the building, which should be fully occupied by May (see related story on Page 20). “This is the biggest economic development deal the Hampton Roads region has seen in over 20 years,” Rigney says. Other notable projects last year include the long-awaited Simon’s Norfolk Premium Outlets. The first phase of the $75 million retail center, which will eventually have about 90 stores, is expected to open this summer. IKEA is constructing a 332,000-square-foot building near the outlet center on the other side of Interstate 64 and Northampton Boulevard. The store hopes to open in 2018. “That represents 500 construction jobs and 250 permanent positions,” Rigney says. “Everybody is excited about IKEA. It’s a big win for the region.” The $40 million Waterside District being developed in downtown Norfolk by Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. is completely leased and on schedule to open in late April. The Main Hotel and Conference Center, a $150 million public/private partnership that includes a 300-room luxury Hilton hotel, opens in April. In Suffolk, one of the city’s biggest announcements involves West Coast-based flooring and tile importer Emser Tile, which will open a $16.25 million, 400,000-square-foot facility early this year. It will employ 98 people. “They needed a facility on the East Coast and did a port search,” says Kevin Hughes, the city’s director of economic development. “Their search got down to Virginia and the Port of Baltimore.” The city’s strong cluster of food and beverage companies was a plus for Peet’s Coffee, another huge win. The California-based company is investing $58 million to establish a manufacturing site in the city. The 175,000-square-foot roastery will produce a variety of coffee and create 135 jobs. Meanwhile, Virginia Beach added more than 1,500 jobs and more than $100 million in new capital investment last year. Facebook and Microsoft (MAREA Cable) and Telefonica (BRUSA Cable) tapped the city as the mid-Atlantic landing site for the next generation of ultra-high-speed subsea telecommunications cables. The deal includes the construction of a 24,000-square-foot cable-landing center in Corporate Landing Business Park, a capital investment of more than $11 million. “This project significantly advances Virginia Beach’s potential for future projects of this kind,” says Warren Harris, the city’s economic development director. “Additionally, we anticipate even more interest because the stronger telecom infrastructure will have great appeal to businesses that require big data.” Virginia Beach-based Globalinx Data Center LLC sees the value in the cable project. It is buying 10 acres of land in Corporate Landing Business Park from the Virginia Beach Development Authority for $2 million. The company plans to develop a 138,000-square-foot international data center. The city also has broken ground on the fourth phase of Town Center of Virginia Beach, a $42 million mixed-use project, and was selected by Barcelona-based Sanjo FineBlanking as its North American headquarters and manufacturing center. The $17.5 million investment is expected to create 75 jobs. Construction will start this month. Newport News is getting a boost from the Newport News Shipbuilding North Yard and Foundry-Defense Production Zone project. Newport News Shipbuilding will build a new foundry for production of component parts, engineering and design for Virginia-class and Ohio-class submarines. A $750 million investment, the project is expected to create 1,000 jobs. The city made a number of announcements, including a $25.7 million investment from Printpack, a flexible packaging converter. It has plans for a 150,000-square-foot expansion of its manufacturing operation in Newport News. The project will create 50 jobs. Florence Kingston, director of development of the Newport News Economic Development Authority, is particularly proud of the $7.2 million Brooks Crossing project where a grocery, Jim’s Local Market, opened in a former “food desert” in the city’s Southeast community. Brooks Crossing is also home to the Newport News Shipbuilding Collaboration Project. Virginia Beach-based real estate company Armada Hoffler, in conjunction with former NFL quarterback Aaron Brooks, will build a 95,000-square-foot building with 80,000 of the square feet leased by the shipyard for design and engineering applications.  Marketplace at Tech Center continues to grow as new retailers and restaurants open in the 250,000-square-foot retail center. It is part of Tech Center, the 100-acre mixed-use development in Newport News being developed by W.M. Jordan Co. The center also includes the 50-acre Tech Center Research Park where a research building will be constructed, building a nearly 200,000-square-foot speculative facility that will include 20 drop trailer locations, 28 docks and food-grade specifications. The $11 million investment is under construction. In 2016, Hampton announced projects involving more than $83 million in capital investment and 498 new jobs.  The city’s largest deal: The $60 million acquisition, redevelopment and repositioning of the Riverdale Shopping Center, which will be renamed Riverpointe. Southeastern Development Associates will redevelop the 50-acre center, which will include a 123,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace. Maximus, a contractor of program management and administrative services for government agencies, is investing $1.87 million to establish a customer support center in the city, a project expected to create 189 jobs. Hampton also had several other redevelopment projects announced last year. The city’s historic National Guard Armory is being repurposed as a craft brewery, restaurant, distillery and live entertainment venue called the Vanguard. In Chesapeake, the big news was the August announcement that Dollar Tree Inc. will spend $110 million to expand its headquarters, adding 600 new jobs over the next six years.  The discount retailer now has 14,000 stores following its $9.1 billion acquisition of Family Dollar. Virginia competed with North Carolina for the project, which also retains 825 jobs in Chesapeake. Another major expansion involves 200 new jobs at Sutherland Global Services, which is investing $2.2 million in its Chesapeake facility. Before the May announcement, the company had 320 employees providing insurance business process outsourcing services. Last year Portsmouth saw five multifamily investment projects come to fruition, including Harbor Vista, Sterling King One and Two, Tower 507 and the Seaboard Coastline Building with Legend Brewing leasing space on the ground floor of the Seaboard property and opening this year.  In addition, Shenandoah Valley-based InterChange Group Inc., a provider of warehousing and third-party logistics, is building a nearly 200,000-square-foot speculative facility. The $11 million building is under construction. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/WestRock.png The WestRock building in Richmond checked all the boxes for CoStar’s research center. Photo by Shandell Taylor http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/quick-work Quick work http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/quick-work http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/quick-work#When:09:00:00Z Operating in the dark is a skill that those working in economic development have to acquire and perfect. Patience helps a lot, too. Both came into play when Washington, D.C.-based CoStar Group Inc., a major provider of commercial real estate information with about 3,300 employees worldwide, came calling on the Richmond area as a possible site for a research center. In keeping with standard practice for many economic prospects, CoStar kept its identity hidden in the early stages. Brian Berkey, senior vice president at the Richmond office of Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer, a commercial brokerage firm, worked with Amy Broderick, an associate at the firm, in representing CoStar locally. They informed the Greater Richmond Partnership that a major company was looking at possibly establishing a presence in the area and hiring hundreds of employees. “When we got the contact, we were told that it was between us, Atlanta, Charlotte and Kansas City. When we found out who the competitors were, we began our own research analysis of how we stacked  up,” says Barry Matherly, CEO and president of the Greater Richmond Partnership, a regional economic development group. It was June 2016 when Matherly alerted the partnership’s member localities that a major prospect was looking at the area. CoStar quickly narrowed its choices between Richmond and Henrico County, Matherly says. Meanwhile, Berkey and Broderick, who had worked with CoStar earlier in finding a site for a local sales office, were searching for a building that would be a good match for the company’s culture and exacting standards. Berkey says CoStar wanted modern, Class A office space that required minimal improvements because it was on a tight schedule. They found a property in Richmond that checked all the boxes, the WestRock building overlooking the James River. The 310,000- square-foot building is the former headquarters of the packaging company MeadWestvaco, which merged with Georgia-based Rock-Tenn in 2015 to form WestRock. The deal had created vacant space in the nine-story structure, which was built in 2009. CoStar signaled it would occupy the top four floors of the building, hiring about 730 employees. “CoStar was looking for a workplace environment to satisfy the millennial generation,” Berkey says. “The building’s walkability/bikeability, proximity to amenities and attention to sustainability were all attractive features.” Ken Campbell, Kit Tyler and Matt Hamilton of Colliers|Richmond represented WestRock in negotiations for the office space. As the site selection moved forward, incentives were put forward to secure the company, which is investing $8.7 million in the project. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $4 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, an amount that the city had to match. Meanwhile, Lee Downey, director of the city’s economic development office, and Jane Ferrara, the chief operating officer, were racing to find ways to sweeten the offer in ways that CoStar would be hard pressed to pass up. Richmond decided that three-quarters of its local match would come in the form of workforce development. “We knew they were hiring over 700 people very quickly, and those resources became increasingly important,” Ferrara says. As part of the effort, the city provided the means to identify and screen prospective applicants, train them and then test those selected to see whether they would make a good fit for CoStar. Ferrara says candidates who were not a good match still had training and experience that would aid them in other jobs. Then, there was the matter of transportation options. “CoStar told us loud and clear that public transit was important,” Ferrara says. The city’s upcoming high-speed bus line along its main thoroughfare, Broad Street, was part of what CoStar was looking for. But the initial route of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), from Rocketts Landing in the city’s East End to The Shops at Willow Lawn in the West End, would run blocks away from CoStar’s offices. To address that issue, Downey and Ferrara say they will work with the transit agency, GRTC, to provide a connector service for CoStar, which is located on South Fifth Street, and possibly for other sites, such as Dominion Resources’ announced 20-story office tower on South Sixth Street. To further accommodate CoStar, the city is installing one of its new bike-share stations near the company’s research center. Users will be able to pick up a bike at one station and drop it off at another. Prices vary from an annual pass of $96 to a per-ride price of $1.75. “CoStar loved all of this,” Ferrara says of the transportation initiatives. The company’s decision to locate its research center in Richmond was announced in October, about five months after the Greater Richmond Partnership first got word about the project. “It was super quick,” says Matherly, the partnership’s CEO. On average, he says, it takes about 13 months to bring a company to the announcement stage after first contact. Sometimes the process can stretch out for years.   Central Virginia’s recent deals 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; } Company Location #Jobs CoStar Group Inc. Richmond 730 Pacific Life Lynchburg 300 Direct Mail Solutions Henrico County 243 ICMA-RC Richmond 200 Standard Insurance Co. Altavista 200 Apex Clean Energy Charlottesville 184 Aldi U.S. Dinwiddie County 145 L. Knife & Son Inc. Henrico County 110 Thought Logic Richmond 100 Hudson Industries Henrico County 87 Source: Virginia Economic Development Partnership, 2016. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/_N2A7374.png Barry Matherly says the '07-09 recession caused the partnership to seek more international prospects. By Jay Paul http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/attracting-attention Attracting attention http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/attracting-attention http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/attracting-attention#When:09:00:00Z No one likes to be called names, but sometimes it’s okay. Much of the name-calling last year about Richmond was appreciated. CNBC identified Richmond (population 221,000) as one of the 20 top cities in America to start a business. Zillow described Richmond as a millennial-leaning city, with more of its people in the 23-to-34-year-old age group living alone than any other U.S. metro area, because of the city’s vibrant labor market. Cushman & Wakefield, a global real-estate services firm, called Carytown, a boutique-filled shopping district in the city, one of the top 15 trendiest retail markets in the country for connecting to millennials and incubating retail trends. Men’s Journal, in a travel story, said Richmond is the “modern cultural capital of the South.” Richmond’s expanding restaurant scene also drew raves. Recently, OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation service, named  L’Opossum one of the “100 Best Restaurants For Foodies in America,” based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews. “All the accolades that come out during the year build on the last, whether it’s the food scene or being one of the most tattooed cities in America” says Jane Ferrara, chief operating officer in Richmond’s economic development office. “It paints a compelling story of who we are as a city.” The accolades also catch the eye of business prospects. “Companies want to see vibrancy, cities that are growing and active, with ... a sense of excitement,” Ferrara says. That sense of vibrancy throughout Central Virginia has helped it land projects in a variety of industries in the past year. In addition to a young, well-educated population, the region is capitalizing on its logistical advantages as a relatively low-cost hub in the middle of the East Coast. Richmond area One of Richmond’s most significant business announcements came in October. Washington, D.C.-based CoStar, listed by Fortune magazine as one of the country’s 100 fastest-growing companies, said it plans to hire 730 employees in establishing an operations and global research center near the James River. CoStar, which has about 3,300 employees worldwide, performs research and analysis for the commercial real estate industry. The research center project is expected to contribute about $250 million in leases, payroll taxes and capital spending to Richmond’s economy during the next several years. A few months before CoStar’s announcement, another company, ICMA-RC, announced it was opening an office with 100 employees in downtown Richmond. The firm, which manages public-sector retirement plans, hopes to hire another 100 workers in coming years. The city was not alone in generating jobs in the region. The surrounding counties of Chesterfield (population, 337,000), Henrico (306,000) and Hanover (103,000) shared in the growth. “For us, it was a great year. All told we generated $300 million in direct investment in the region, and 1,400 jobs,” says Barry Matherly, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP), an economic development marketing organization. Matherly says Richmond was not battered as badly as Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads by the federal defense spending cuts. But it was hurt by the 2007-09 recession, and about eight years ago, the calculus changed in terms of economic prospects. With U.S. companies retrenching, GRP began a more aggressive search for international prospects. That search has been fruitful. “Sixty-seven percent of the current prospects looking at the Richmond region are international,” Matherly says. One international company coming to the region this year was Polykon. The French company started work in October on a $60 million plant in Henrico. It will manufacture the ingredients used in cosmetics produced by companies such as Estée Lauder and L’Oreal. Another French company, Fareva, recently expanded in Henrico, adding about 80 jobs for a new product line, aerosol elements for spray-on sunscreen and dry shampoo. The company’s move was part of a previously announced $40 million investment in its facility.  The plant already produces well-known brands such as Robitussin cough medicine and ChapStick lip balm. The region’s largest single investment announcement last year came from a California-based bottled-beverage company. Niagara Bottling said in August that it would invest $95 million in a manufacturing and bottling operation in Chesterfield County’s Meadowville Technology Park, creating 76 jobs. Garrett Hart, Chesterfield’s economic development director, says the county seeks to increase its tax base as much as possible. Companies that use a significant amount of automation help accomplish that. “So projects like Niagara and Amazon, who invest hundreds of millions of dollars in automation, give us a greater tax base per square foot. This is why we target them,” Hart says. Amazon has fulfillment centers in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie counties employing more than 3,800 workers. Amazon’s presence points to the region’s growing reputation as a prime logistics hub. In 2015, The Boyd Co., a Princeton, N.J.-based firm that provides location advice to U.S. and foreign corporations, named Chesterfield the top location on the East Coast for operating a new distribution warehouse. The study pointed to the county’s strategic position at the crossroads of major interstates in the middle of the East Coast. In addition to making a name for itself in logistics, Chesterfield has sought to make its mark in sports tourism. Last year, the county acquired the 115-acre River City Sportsplex, which bills itself as having the largest collection of synthetic fields in the U.S. Hart says the regional economic impact of sports tourism was $76.8 million in fiscal year 2016, principally from hotel bookings. The economic impact in the county alone was $37.7 million, a nearly 13 percent increase from the previous year. Tri-Cities and Charlottesville areas Virginia’s Gateway Region, a regional organization serving the Tri-Cities — Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg — plus five surrounding counties, also is gaining a reputation for its logistics expertise. The group’s CEO, Renee Chapline, points to plans by German discount grocer Aldi to invest $57 million in Dinwiddie establishing a division headquarters and a 500,000-square-foot distribution center. In the U.S., Aldi has 1,500 stores in 34 states. Chapline also is helping lead an export initiative begun by the Greater Richmond Partnership. The program is focused on increasing Central Virginia exports to foreign countries as a way to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. The Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, an economic development group serving Charlottesville and surrounding counties, is proud of a big gain in Culpeper where Euro-Composites announced a $10.5 million expansion, with the creation of 58 additional jobs. The Charlottesville-Albemarle County retail hub also continues to perform well, with retail sales poised for a third-straight record year, according to the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. Lynchburg area In the Lynchburg area, Megan Lucas, CEO of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, points to the 619 new jobs and $48 million in capital investment recorded last year as signs of a growing local economy. The region expects to gain 300 jobs with the arrival of Pacific Life in Lynchburg and more than 200 with Standard Insurance setting up in Altavista. Health care and higher education are top drivers in the region. In the health-care sector, for example, Centra, a nonprofit regional health system, has grown through mergers to become the employer of more than 6,400 people. But it’s in higher education that Lynchburg really stands out. The area has four, four-year institutions of higher learning: Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College and Liberty University. Liberty, with more than 35,000 full-time and 38,000 part-time students, has been on a juggernaut with a compounded annual growth rate of 13.9 percent from the 2007-08 to 2015-16 academic years. With 8,800 on the payroll, Liberty now is Lynchburg’s largest employer, accounting for one out of every five jobs in the region, according to various studies. With so many colleges, Lucas says, the area has an educated workforce that can be utilized by nearly any industry. “I believe we’re the center of excellence for higher education in this region, and Liberty University is the economic engine for the higher education sector,” Lucas says. “It affects everything we do.” 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Morel-0670.png Stephen Moret photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/data-driven Data driven http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/data-driven http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/data-driven#When:09:00:00Z Editor's note: This story has been updated. If anything defines Stephen Moret, the new leader of Virginia’s Economic Development Partnership, it might be a penchant for analysis. Ask how Virginia and Louisiana compare when it comes to business climate rankings and Moret whips out his smartphone to show a chart with seven years of data from five national surveys. His research shows Virginia’s slide in the rankings while Louisiana kept edging up.  In fact, Louisiana, which typically lagged in the 40s in rankings, moved up an average of 26 spots while Moret served as a secretary of economic development under former Gov. Bobby Jindal from 2008 through 2015.    Moret also knows why states do better on certain surveys. If quality of life is weighted heavily, Louisiana — long plagued by pockets of poverty — will not do as well; whereas Virginia, with its stellar system of higher education, shines. The tables are turned, though, when state tax structures are in the mix. “Virginia has a less growth-oriented tax structure than many other states. In fact, it’s roughly the second- or third-highest tax state in the country for new capital-intensive manufacturing,” says Moret.  This data-driven approach is key to his management style. “Stephen believes in doing his research, following the data, zeroing in on strength and weaknesses and putting together a detailed plan,” says Stephen Waguespack, who served with Moret under Jindal. Waguespack, now president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, was Jindal’s chief of staff.  “Once he zeros in on a problem, he has a tenacious work ethic to get the job done.”  Tenacity will certainly be needed in Moret’s new post. He left his job as president and CEO of the Louisiana State University Foundation in late December, moving his wife and four children to Virginia to take over an agency in the middle of a political firestorm.  Once viewed as the premier economic development authority in the country, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership is on the brink of a major legislative overhaul following a black-eye report from the commonwealth’s watchdog agency.  The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) portrayed the 100-employee economic development authority as dysfunctional and inefficient.  Following an investigation, JLARC in November weighed in with 35 recommendations on how to fix VEDP. During this year’s General Assembly session, legislators and the governor added their two cents with competing plans on reforming VEDP. What emerged is is a smaller board of directors  —  it shrank from 24 to 17 members  — more legislative oversight and tighter control over state incentive dollars. “Given where we’re going with reforms, it’s clear to [Moret] that there were going to be some changes to the organization,” says Del. S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a patron of one of the reform bills.  Jones says 44-year-old Moret is making a good impression. “The feedback I’m getting is good. They like his energy. He’s meeting with stakeholders across the commonwealth.” Currently, VEDP’s board of directors hires and fires the CEO, and serves in a supervisory role over the organization. JLARC did not recommend a change in the board’s semi-autonomous governance structure.  It is pushing for more controls, including an internal auditor and an incentives division, measures Moret supports. He hopes, though, that the General Assembly won’t tamper with VEDP’s structure, one of the reasons he applied for the job in the first place.  Unlike the situation in many states, VEDP doesn’t have a turnover in staff every time a new governor is elected.  “One of the biggest strategic advantages that I didn’t have in Louisiana is that, because of this structure, we can recruit and retain talent,” he says. When people aren’t worried about losing their jobs because of shifts in political winds, they can focus on their careers, bringing continuity and excellence to VEDP. Jones concurs and has pushed back against a reform measure by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to make the state’s secretary of commerce and trade the permanent chair of VEDP’s board. “It’s not a good idea,” says Jones.  “Administrations come and go every four years.” Moret read JLARC’s report before taking the job and wasn’t put off. Those are “administrative, operational issues,” he says, that will take his first year to implement. His goals for VEDP are more aspirational. “We’ve got to be great at getting our message across to the decision makers in corporate America …’’ he says. Yet Moret will have to do that with fewer resources than he had in Louisiana. While that state’s workforce, 2 million workers, is about half the size of Virginia’s, Moret says it had an advertising budget of $6 million, about six times what Virginia spends. He also had a staff of 150 employees in Louisiana, 50 percent larger than VEDP’s, although Louisiana’s operation did not include an international trade unit.  In travels around state, Moret has been spelling out his goals and his game plan. “Economic development is a team sport,” he says. He plans to involve as many partners as possible including the newly formed GO Virginia, a regional economic development group; the Port of Virginia; the state’s tobacco region revitalization commission; and local economic officials. A top priority is Virginia’s return as a top job-producing state. To get there, Moret says Virginia needs to cultivate closer relationships with top site selection consultants, develop more ready-to-go sites and focus on benchmarks. “One of the exercises we’re going to be going through is, for each function of VEDP, who are our top peers in the U.S.?” He also envisions a more customized workforce training program for rural Virginia to ensure that it can share in job growth with the rest of the state.  The turnkey program that Moret implemented in Louisiana, known as LED FastStart, has been recognized as one of the best in the nation. Waguespack, who has known Moret since their college years at LSU, says he thrives on challenge. “The thought of going to a state like Virginia that has such a wealth of resources and assets, he couldn’t wait to be a part of that team and to figure out how to take it to the next level.”  Another draw for Moret was family. His mother, Phyllis Moret, who moved to Richmond eight years ago, is an assistant dean at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy.  His wife’s family plans to live in Virginia for a part of the year, Moret says, and he also has a brother in Maryland. Virginia Business interviewed Moret at his office at the James Center in downtown Richmond in late January. Here’s an edited transcript of the interview: Virginia Business: In taking over as CEO at a time when VEDP is poised for a major overhaul, what do you see as the first order of the day? Moret: As I look at the commonwealth of Virginia and the future of the economy here and VEDP, there are a few opportunities that come to the top of my mind as potential goals. The first one is helping position the commonwealth to again be one of the fastest-growing states in the South and in the U.S. That would be at least 20,000 to 25,000 additional jobs per year, over and above the baseline growth expectation. Second, ensuring that every region participates in that growth in a meaningful way.  I looked at the Census data for all the counties and independent cities in Virginia when I was interviewing for the position, and I noticed an interesting phenomenon. Northern Virginia was about one-third of our population and roughly two-thirds of the growth, but almost half of the counties and independent cities in Virginia actually shrank in absolute terms over the last five years. I don’t think that we can get every region growing with the same rapid clip, but, certainly, we don’t want to be in a position where we have some regions shrinking where others are growing. Third, doing our part to enable Virginia to once again to be viewed as one of the very best states for business in the country. And to do that all in a very collaborative way.  This is a very small organization. So we have to do our work leveraging the other organizations involved in economic development, from the local and regional organizations to the [Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission] and GO Virginia, to higher-education institutions, the Port of Virginia, our airports. We have to partner with them. And then, finally, to establish VEDP as the premier state economic development organization in the country. VB: Do you find it confusing that there are so many different entities? There’s about 80 organizations in Virginia that in some way are involved with economic development. Moret: There’s a few more, certainly, in Virginia but not a lot more … I do think that Virginia, in general, is a little more disjointed. There’s a little more of a split of entities that are involved.  As an example, my first incentive package that I saw involved three different state agencies … I was very surprised to see in a simple incentive package three different organizations involved in almost precisely the same incentives that in Louisiana were all managed by a single organization. VB: What about JLARC’s recommendations?  Moret: That is a very important issue and will be one of my top priorities for this first year. Another key focus in the first 90 days is kicking off a strategic planning process. The only reason that we’re not kicking it off already is that there is a lot of discussion in the General Assembly about possibly restructuring the board. We want to make sure that if the board is restructured that we’re kicking off that process with their full engagement and support. So we’re going to do a lot of preparatory work, and we’ll probably wait until the end of the General Assembly session to make sure we align with where the board wants to go. VB: Do you agree with what is both a legislative and JLARC recommendation to create an incentives division within VEDP? Moret: I think it makes a lot of sense. VB: And you had something similar in Louisiana? Moret: One key difference that gave my agency in Louisiana a little bit of an advantage over VEDP in this respect is that we managed most of the economic development incentives in the state. Virginia, in general, has fewer incentives than many other states.  It’s actually a relatively light incentive state particularly compared to some of the competitors in the South.  So there’s both fewer incentive programs, and then, in addition,VEDP is only managing a subset of those programs. We have folks who are doing lead generation and marketing. You have folks who are creating responses, very technical responses, to RFPs [request for proposals] from companies and site consultants … So incentives are a piece of the work of the agency, but it’s a relatively small part. The recommendation of a dedicated group doing that makes all the sense in the world. If something is really important to the organization, it needs to be somebody’s job. It’s not just avoiding … the Lindenburg thing [a failed project in Appomattox County in which the state has been trying to recover $1.4 million in incentives]. That would be an example of the front-end part of the process. There will be a number of projects that either don’t happen because of market reasons or the fact that there is an underperformance situation in and of itself. That is an unavoidable outcome. What should be avoidable almost 100 percent of the time is a situation where a company underperforms and does not reimburse the commonwealth commensurate with whatever the underperformance was.  Now if they’re at 90 percent [of performance goals] they shouldn’t have to pay back the whole thing, but there should be a pretty consistent correlation, and I think it’s important that we report performance of those companies publicly. VB: While we’re on the topic, where does the Lindenburg Industry situation stand? Has Virginia been paid back the $1.4 million in upfront incentive money given to this company,  which did not come through with a major factory? Moret: I know that there have been a number of efforts to try to collect, but I’m not in a position today to really give you a robust answer on that. VB: How much bigger was the incentive pot in Louisiana compared with Virginia? Moret: Keep in mind it’s not just discretionary incentives. In fact, the primary difference between Virginia and many other states is the lack of statutory incentives. For example, one of the most common incentives utilized in many Southern states is a payroll incentive where the companies are encouraged — often they’re called quality jobs programs — to create jobs that would pay some level of compensation and offer full health-care benefits.  The company might get 3 to 6 percent of the payroll back on an annual basis for five to 10 years. I think it’s important to keep incentives in context. Virginia has led off mostly on having a great business climate, and I think that’s the right strategy. At the end of the day, what will ultimately impact our success more than anything is having a great environment in which businesses can do business, from the talent pipeline to public education and to infrastructure. Having said that, there are going to be scenarios, particularly when you think about rural Virginia, where there are other states that offer a relatively comparable business climate but have been more aggressive from an incentive perspective.  I think that’s why you have seen some of those really marquee manufacturing projects over the last decade that have often gone to other Southern states like Alabama, Georgia or South Carolina. In Louisiana, in the Quality of Jobs program alone, I’m pretty sure it would have been $40 million to $60 million a year or something in that range. The nice thing about that program is it’s paid after performance happens, so there’s no risk at all.  If a company says they’re going to create 1,000 jobs, and they only create 500, they just get half of what was committed because it’s paid annually after their payroll is certified. Now there are situations where I think it’s valuable to have upfront dollars, particularly for large and well-capitalized companies competing with other states.  But if you were to say, “What would I miss the most from an incentive perspective?” It would be having something like that, and that was not unique to Louisiana.  Again, a number of states have both discretionary and statutory incentives. Having said that, we were in a very different competitive position. Louisiana has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. I don’t think that Virginia would need to match a state like Louisiana in incentives, but I do think as we think about the place that incentives play in the big picture of economic development in Virginia, the place that I’m most concerned about is rural Virginia.  It would be helpful in those situations to be able to draw on that kind of thing. VB: You mentioned the rankings earlier between Virginia and Louisiana. How do you plan to get Virginia back to the top?  Moret: Certainly, that’s going to be something that is going to consume me in this job. It’s not like [rankings] drive everything, but they do have an impact on the perception of states … We found that if you peel back the layers you can see that there are policy changes that you can make to improve the position.  There are marketing things that can be done to make sure people are aware of the advantages of the state.  One of the things that we did in Louisiana, that I certainly envision doing here, is a really aggressive effort to cultivate the top site selection consultants in the country.  There are a very small number of people that drive roughly half of the major site location deals in the U.S.  It’s less than 200 people. It was not as critical nine years ago, when everybody’s got Virginia as No. 1, than it is today. You can say the same thing about marketing and advertising, where nine years ago maybe, it’s not as big of a deal to have a really tiny advertising budget. Today, it’s a much bigger deal … Louisiana has roughly six times the advertising budget in economic development. Our workforce development team was about seven times the size of what VEDP has.  We will do the very best we can with what we have. But I want to point out in cases where there’s a real competitive issue that impacts our success, I think that is incumbent upon me is to not only say, “How do we spend these resources that we have?” but to also point out — whether it’s tax policy or infrastructure or marketing — where other states are better positioned than Virginia and where we might want to consider changes to improve our competitive position. VB: If you had a magic wand, what would be your ideal agency to do this job? Moret:  First of all, we want to be the premier state economic development agency in the country.  My sense is that in the early days of VEDP it probably was.  I can tell you that when I took over LED about 10 years ago, this was a place that we really admired. My guess is what happened over time was that Virginia had so much success, it was ranked so well, you had so much uplift from the federal-related jobs — direct and indirect — that maybe there was a little bit of complacency … But to get back to your point, to be one of the best, that means having an organization that is professional, fast, creative and innovative. You know, the site selection game is mostly about site elimination. One of the great things about Virginia is we’ve got something for everybody because of the diversity from Southwest Virginia to Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads. I mean, literally, almost any kind of conceivable economic development project could work in the commonwealth of Virginia.  We want to make sure that that consultant is thinking, “All right, I’m only going to deal with five or 10 states, and I’m always going to put Virginia on  the list, because they show so well, they work so well with us, they always come up with something.”  In general, Virginia is doing a nice job of that. While the issues that JLARC identified are real, they were not focused so much on benchmarking VEDP against its peers.  I mean they talked to some of the peers, but I’ll give you a couple of examples.  Just two years ago there’s a group called Development Counsellors International,  which is sort of a marketing group for states. One of the things they do every two years is survey site consultants, and they ask them a bunch of questions. One of which is, “Which states have the best state economic development agencies?” Well, two years ago, VEDP was either No. 4 or 5 or tied for number 4 or 5 in the country.  [A ranking by] Pollina Corporate Real Estate had it a couple of years ago in the top three in the country.  There’s a lot of good work that’s happening here … There’s some big problems, and we’re going to address those, but I also think we should recognize that we also have a lot to build on. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/VaBiz_Referee-Illustration_v2.png Illustration by Matt Brown http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-play-is-under-review The play is under review http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-play-is-under-review http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-play-is-under-review#When:09:00:00Z It’s been a tough time lately for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. First came a bad review last fall by the state’s watchdog agency, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC). “VEDP is not an efficient or effectively managed organization” says the first sentence in the JLARC summary. That public spanking was followed by a legislative turf battle between Gov. Terry McAuliffe and General Assembly Republicans, with each arguing their side should have more power over the commonwealth’s top economic development organization. In the midst of all this, VEDP employees were getting used to a new boss — Stephen Moret, an economic development executive from Louisiana, who became CEO on Jan. 1 (see interview). It may be, however, that the most important change the VEDP needed is already in effect. Legislation approved in last year’s General Assembly session created a JLARC unit to evaluate — in a more diligent way than had been done so far — whether VEDP incentives and strategies actually work. Experts in the field of state-level economic incentives say that type of change is a big deal. “Virginia actually took a really important step last year by creating a new unit within JLARC to regularly study the results” of its incentive program, says Melissa Maynard, who studies economic development tax incentives for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ state fiscal health and economic growth project. “Every state uses incentives, but lawmakers have often lacked good information about how incentives are working,” she says. 22 states and D.C. The Virginia legislation requires regular review and evaluation of all major incentives, including grants and tax preferences. That includes measuring the economic benefits to Virginia of the total spending on economic development initiatives at least every other year. While it would seem obvious that states want to know how their incentives are working, many apparently don’t have a strategy for finding out. According to Philadelphia-based Pew, 22 states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar incentive evaluation programs in the past five years. Last year alone, six states — including Virginia — created review projects. Research and advice from Pew are two of the reasons more states are taking this step. People such as  Maynard work with state lawmakers, agencies like VEDP and economic development officials to develop programs that fit a particular state’s needs. A Pew study shows how common it is for states to mismanage the money spent on economic development efforts. Every state has some kind of incentive program in place, and most have several. Nonetheless, many states don’t have a dependable way to measure incentives’ effectiveness. Inaccurate estimates In other cases, states that implemented high-quality evaluations are finding out how wrong their previous estimates have been. In Minnesota, for example, state officials estimated that each job created in its Job Opportunity Building Zones cost about $5,000, according to Pew research. But Minnesota’s legislative auditor found each job actually cost the state five or six times more. In the past, the absence of more rigorous evaluations of incentives allowed state leaders to claim that all was well, Pew reports say. Just before the recent recession hit, for example, Pennsylvania’s economic development program said the state’s Keystone Opportunity Zone program had created nearly 64,000 jobs during an eight-year span. A year later, it lowered that estimate to fewer than 35,000 jobs, and the next year a legislative review declared that neither figure was reliable. What makes states lose track of the effectiveness of incentives? “One of the challenges is a lot of the spending is through the tax code,” Maynard says. Those incentives don’t go through the budget process, so they often don’t get the scrutiny that budget spending does. JLARC ‘well-equipped’ Maynard says Virginia’s new effort means that every year a number of incentive programs will be evaluated, and she called JLARC “well-equipped” to do the work. “They really have a strong track record already” of studying the effectiveness of incentive programs. Of course, such evaluations don’t always find failure. Sometimes states discover an incentive program is working but learn ways to make it even better. Maynard says that, a few years ago, Minnesota’s angel-investor tax credit was set to expire, and lawmakers were trying to decide whether to extend it. An evaluation found the incentive was cost effective. As a result, legislators not only extended it; they expanded funding from $12 million to $15 million. Rigorous evaluations turn up details that matter. Ohio took a close look at some of its incentive programs that required matching funds from local governments for companies to be eligible for grants. But an evaluation showed that the local match requirement also forced companies to accept subsidies they didn’t want in order to qualify for the incentive program they did want. And, the money spent by businesses on lawyers and accountants to process those unwanted incentive programs was more than the benefit. So Ohio dropped the local match requirement. “The high-quality evaluation that we like to think of is way beyond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ verdicts,” Maynard says. “So, even when an incentive is working well, evaluations can point out ways that they can be even more effective.” 35 recommendations Pew researchers also say another advantage of setting up a regular schedule of evaluations is that the process lets businesses know when an incentive they might want to use is going to be reviewed. Businesses generally don’t like surprises. Among the 35 recommendations in its VEDP review, JLARC does have something to say about incentives. The report recommends, for example, a more consistent approach in evaluating projects that might be considered for incentives. JLARC also calls for regular audits of the job creation and wage claims of companies receiving incentive grants. That kind of effort would require some data from the Virginia Employment Commission and the state’s Department of Taxation. The watchdog agency also calls on VEDP to create a separate division that would be responsible for administering incentives. It wants at least three people in this division to “have the qualifications and training necessary to perform the work assigned to them,” according to the JLARC recommendations. (Legislation passed by the General Assembly in Februrary will create a VEDP division to oversee financial incentives. It also will reduce the partnership's board from 24 to 17 members.)  Compared with other states, Virginia is seen as a “light” incentive state, awarding $384 million in state grants over the past decade. Yet prior to January 2016, JLARC reported that the awards were made without a formal, written due-diligence process, a situation that exposed the state to possible fraud and financial loss.  Political distractions JLARC’s report wasn’t just about VEDP’s mission and how to accomplish it, but also about how it works, or doesn’t work. Dan Clemente, a Northern Virginia developer who is VEDP's board chairman, is fine with those recommendations. But he thinks that the report has become too much of a political weapon. Republican politicians, for example, have used it to attack the gubernatorial candidacy of Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who wants to succeed McAuliffe. Northam is an ex-officio member of the VEDP board. Clemente was named to the board by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell in 2014 and became its chairman last year. “I think VEDP has done fabulously well, considering the circumstances,” he says. He rejects criticisms that focus on specific failures of VEDP efforts with some companies. “If you’re running a bank and you don’t have bad loans, then you’re not working hard enough,” he says. He thinks the current amount of involvement VEDP has with any governor’s cabinet is a distraction. In addition to Northam, four current cabinet members and community college Chancellor Glenn DuBois are ex-officio board members. In his proposed legislation, McAuliffe wanted to make the secretary of commerce and trade the permanent chairman of the VEDP.  “You’ve got the entire cabinet sitting on your board, and every time the governor goes overseas, you’ve got to stop to help the governor,” Clemente says. Plus, Clemente says, the partisan split that regularly occurs in Richmond doesn’t help VEDP. “You should not be in a position where one year you’ve got a champion, and the next year you don’t,” he says. “Who is your boss? The General Assembly says they’re the boss, and the governor says he’s the boss. The taxpayers are the real boss, and they don’t get a say at all.” Clemente says the state should give VEDP a dedicated source of funding, and then focus on the outcomes. “They could give us benchmarks. If we did not produce, then they could adjust the funding,” he says. “So it’s not like a blank check. That’s the way I’m going to present it in any further discussions. Give us the funding and give us the benchmarks instead of trying to run the place.” VEDP gets 98 percent of its dollars from the state. This year that funding will be $27 million, not including money for incentive programs. (During this year’s session, the General Assembly was considering a move to put an additional $1.5 million in the current two-year budget — earmarked in part for marketing initiatives — into a reserve with contingencies that the money be released only if VEDP began implementing changes recommended in the JLARC report.) “The way the VEDP works now is under the thumb of the governor,” Clemente says. “The VEDP staff has to draw up a proposed budget; they have to sell that idea to the governor; and … then he has to sell it to the legislature. I don’t know how you run a company when you have no idea what your revenue stream will be.” Some states have a different approach.  In South Carolina, the Coordinating Council for Economic Development receives a dedicated stream of revenue, capped at $20 million a year, from utility taxes. And in Ohio, the operation of the state’s liquor stores provides funding for the state’s economic development efforts. In 2015 that revenue source tallied $90 million. Clemente says the common desire of governors to claim credit for big job growth means that too much attention goes to urban areas like Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Those regions are going to get jobs anyway, he says.The places that really need the help of VEDP are the rural regions. “I think we have a moral responsibility at VEDP to figure out how to create jobs in those areas,” Clemente says. “If all we are is a booking service for the governor, so he can say he created 20,000 jobs, that’s not helping the state.” Focus on site development In that argument Clemente has an ally in Moret, VEDP’s new CEO. Getting a consistent funding stream is “the Holy Grail” for economic development efforts, Moret said in a late January interview. And the state’s rural regions “need a much more robust, customized workforce training program. I think doing something not unlike what Louisiana and Georgia and Alabama have done would make a world of difference for rural Virginia.” Virginia also needs a better supply of ready-to-go sites. “We need to place a bigger focus on site development,” Moret says. “I don’t want to seem like I’m harping on rural Virginia over and over, but I just really want to see us be successful across the commonwealth. And that’s a place where some other states have put a lot of investment, in developing sites and getting sites prepared.” Moret and Clemente’s view suggests at least a different measure of what defines success. “Some folks think this is all about incentives,” Moret says. “Incentives have a place, but it’s just one piece of what a great state economic development organization does.” The ideal organization would be “professional, fast, creative and innovative.” And, says Clemente, it will deliver results to those places that need help the most. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/top-10-craft-breweries-by-barrels-of-beer-produced-annually Top 10 craft breweries by barrels of beer produced annually http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/top-10-craft-breweries-by-barrels-of-beer-produced-annually http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/top-10-craft-breweries-by-barrels-of-beer-produced-annually#When:09:00:00Z Devils Backbone Brewing Co.1 Lexington 60,931 Starr Hill Brewery LLC Crozet 28,000 Port City Brewing Co.2 Alexandria 14,000 Blue Mountain Brewery Arrington and Afton 13,243 Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Richmond 12,840 O’Connor Brewing Co.2 Norfolk 9,000 Legend Brewing Co. Richmond 7,951 Champion Brewing Co. Charlottesville 6,500 Beltway Brewing Co. Sterling 5,743 Lost Rhino Brewing Co. Ashburn 5,735 1 Devils Backbone will not be included in future Brewers Association craft brewers data set due to the company’s 2016 sale to Anheuser-Busch. 2 Estimate Note: Not all breweries reported or publicly disclosed numbers. Source: Brewers Association, 2015 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Riano-1083.png Gerson Moreno-Riaño photo by Mark Rhodes http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growing-through-technology Growing through technology http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growing-through-technology http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/growing-through-technology#When:09:00:00Z More than 8,900 students attend Regent University, including nearly 6,500 who can go to class without setting foot on the school’s 70-acre Virginia Beach campus. They are among Regent’s growing cadre of students enrolled in more than 60 online degree programs. “We’re sensitive to the fact that the higher-education market has changed,” says Gerson Moreno-Riaño, Regent’s executive vice president for academic affairs and dean of its College of Arts and Sciences. “There is a large market of students who can’t relocate or do not want to relocate to go to school but are looking for an excellent education delivered to them. Technology has transformed the way we live and breathe and do business.” It’s also helped make Regent a leader in online education and has enhanced the school’s overall reputation. U.S. News & World Report recently gave Regent’s online academic programs high marks. The university’s online bachelor’s and graduate education programs were top-ranked in Virginia. The bachelor’s program also was ranked among the top 11 in the Southeast and the top 36 in the U.S. Meanwhile, Regent’s online non-MBA graduate business program was second in Virginia while its MBA program was fourth.   Began as CBN University Those are remarkable accomplishments for a school not yet 40 years old. Founded by Christian broadcaster M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Regent was known as CBN University in 1978 when seven faculty members and 70 graduate students pursuing degrees in communications met in rented space. Today, students from all 50 states and 75 countries are enrolled in more than 95 graduate and undergraduate programs. There are more than 700 faculty members, in addition to 550 other employees. Regent’s 21,000 alumni include Emmy Award-winning actor Tony Hale, Tony-nominated Broadway producer Bruce Long, former U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-2nd) and former Gov. Bob McDonnell (who now teaches at the university). Those numbers continue to grow, thanks to Regent’s online presence, new academic programs and eight-week courses that allow students to enroll at times other than the traditional fall, spring and summer semesters. The addition of programs in cybersecurity, accounting, marketing and health care has led to 25 percent year-over-year enrollment increases for the past two years. This year, Regent plans to launch graduate programs in cybersecurity, nursing and nursing administration, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs in health-care management and informatics.  A college of health sciences is on tap for the future. “We’re going to provide more intellectual capital with the development of our health-sciences and cybersecurity programs,” Moreno-Riaño says. “It’s going to be phenomenal — a win-win for our university and Hampton Roads.”  Regent has been offering bachelor’s programs only since 2005, but Moreno-Riaño says the school’s mission always included undergraduate education. “It was always a matter of timing,” he says, noting that undergraduate retention rates have risen from less than 40 percent to about 80 percent. “That’s amazing. It’s one of the most incredible success stories in American higher education.” As the undergraduate population grows, the university is adding an athletic program, starting with track and field and cross-country teams competing in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association. Construction on an athletic center is expected to begin in the next few years.  All of which sets the stage for more growth, a prospect Regent is ready to tackle, Moreno-Riaño says. “We believe that we can continue to grow at a pace that places us as a very large university over the next five to 10 years while maintaining solid quality.” First feature film Graduate education, however, remains Regent’s top draw. Communications, the initial degree program, has evolved into the School of Communications and the Arts. The only Christian university in the world to offer a master’s degree in acting, Regent provides theater students opportunities to hone their craft in six school productions annually, as well as the Tidewater Stage, a professional summer theater. Film students create 30 to 100 short movies a year, with faculty selecting the top 10 to showcase in Regent’s 700-seat theater. Last year, the school partnered with Home Theater Films to release its first full-length commercial feature movie, “In-Lawfully Yours,” which was filmed throughout Hampton Roads.  “We contributed to the economy of Hampton Roads and brought attention to the whole area with this feature film,” says Mitchell Land, the communications and arts dean. He adds that, while students have been honored in the Student Emmy and Student Academy Awards for short films, they relish the opportunity to assist in the production of a feature-length project.  “Having their names attached to a feature film is just ratcheting up their career opportunities.” Teacher ties Although Regent’s mission is global, many alumni opt to remain in Hampton Roads. About 800 Hampton Roads Teachers of the Year have ties to the School of Education, and administrators in all area school divisions have taken courses at Regent. “That’s a big thing as far as impact,” says Don Finn, dean of the School of Education. About 1,200 graduate students are enrolled in degree and nondegree programs in the School of Education, which recently began offering a master’s program in STEM education.  “We look at trends in the market and various areas of emphasis from the Virginia Department of Education,” Finn says. Regent also partners with school divisions to offer specific programs, including courses focusing on teaching gifted and talented learners and English as a second language. Most of Regent’s online programs are offered through the School of Education. That’s largely driven by students seeking to align their educational goals with their professional and personal lives, Finn notes. “Within the past seven years, we’ve made an aggressive transition to online programs, which are more in demand by learners. We’ve been pioneers among our peers in that route of going almost exclusively online.”  Global business perspective About 500 graduates of Regent’s School of Business and Leadership work in Hampton Roads. “We’re still considered a very young school, but our alumni are maturing in their various professions, and Regent is becoming increasingly known because of the quality education our students receive,” says Doris Gomez, the school’s dean. A native of Austria, Gomez credits the school’s recent 35 percent year-over-year growth to its diverse faculty who hail from all over the world. Their perspective, she says, gives students insight into the business practices of various cultures, essential knowledge for working in an increasingly global economy. “It’s important our students learn to conduct business, lead and grow an organization across cultural differences.  Even if they don’t leave the U.S., globalization is at our doorstep,” she says. With 1,200 students and growing, the school is considering adding programs, including a master’s in business analytics, which could begin this year. “Technology is ever increasing. There is so much data out there, but few organizations truly know how to make good use of data,” Gomez says. “This would be an incredible program that we must offer.” Moot court victories Having just celebrated its 30th anniversary, Regent’s law school still may be considered a fledgling, but it holds its own among more venerable institutions. For three years, the Princeton Review has ranked Regent law faculty in the top 10 of all U.S. law schools. Last year, the school’s Moot Court team came in second internationally at the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition Program in Oxford, England. The Moot Court program also placed fifth nationally in the University of Houston Law Center’s annual rankings.  Such accolades indicate Regent is training lawyers to exhibit the highest degree of ethics and professionalism, says Michael Hernandez, the school’s dean. “The world doesn’t need more lawyers, per se, but it needs more lawyers who are different and committed to the highest standards of the profession. We don’t want to just produce more lawyers but produce lawyers who will practice with integrity.”  The school also is investigating placing more courses online. “We want to make wise use of all the technology available but maintain and enhance the quality of the program,” Hernandez says. “Our goal is not to just mass produce education but to reach as many people as possible with quality programs.” 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ceo-pay-big-book-2017 Virginia CEO pay report http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ceo-pay-big-book-2017 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ceo-pay-big-book-2017#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; } Company Executive name 2015 base salary 2015 bonus 2015 salary and bonus % change since 2014 2015 total compensation % change since 2014 Computer Sciences Corp. J. Michael Lawrie $1,250,000 $2,250,000 $3,500,000 12% $23,823,731 54% General Dynamics Phebe N. Novakovic 1,583,750 4,850,000 6,433,750 11 20,424,104 8 Capital One Financial Richard D. Fairbank - 2,677,500 2,677,500 -39 18,011,817 -8 Northrop Grumman Wesley G. Bush 1,588,846 3,304,800 4,893,646 0 15,795,622 6 Altria Group Martin J. Barrington 1,333,333 3,500,000 4,833,333 15 10,689,633 10 Hilton Worldwide Christopher J. Nassetta 1,246,154 2,222,013 3,468,167 -6 10,217,451 3 Verisign D. James Bidzos 752,885 877,500 1,630,385 0 10,150,707 33 CarMax Thomas J. Folliard* 1,257,747 1,276,557 2,534,304 -43 10,022,080 -11 Dominion Resources Thomas F. Farrell II 1,458,614 366,432 1,825,046 -63 9,660,429 -44 Dollar Tree Bob Sasser 1,585,577 1,780,320 3,365,897 2 9,529,710 22 Willis Towers Watson Dominic Casserley* 1,000,000 2,284,880 3,284,880 24 9,013,163 -1 Tegna Gracia C. Martore* 1,000,000 2,750,000 3,750,000 0 8,863,126 13 Owens & Minor P. Cody Phipps** 443,117 1,342,125 1,785,242 N/A 8,803,438 N/A Engility Holdings Anthony Smeraglinolo* 796,154 1,060,000 1,856,154 1 8,616,906 151 WestRock Steven C. Voorhees 1,012,603 1,599,098 2,611,701 28 8,564,995 32 AES Andres R. Gluski 1,165,000 1,450,425 2,615,425 4 8,092,239 -4 AvalonBay Timothy J. Naughton 950,000 1,871,738 2,821,738 18 7,303,700 -2 Norfolk Southern James A. Squires** 837,500 - 837,500 N/A 6,952,969 N/A Huntington Ingalls Industries C. Michael Petters 986,538 2,102,736 3,089,274 11 6,919,683 4 Leidos Holdings Roger A. Krone 876,923 1,468,720 2,345,643 N/A 6,536,131 N/A Neustar Lisa A. Hook 778,902 1,419,469 2,198,371 27 6,471,607 53 Science Applications International Anthony J. Moraco 985,577 1,288,800 2,274,377 11 6,385,227 11 MAXIMUS Richard A. Montoni 725,000 2,000,000 2,725,000 -9 6,231,625 2 Media General Vincent L. Sadusky*** 900,000 400,000 1,300,000 N/A 5,967,778 N/A Brink's Thomas C. Schievelbein* 800,000 1,600,000 2,400,000 42 5,610,166 31 K12 Nathaniel A. Davis* 700,000 1,407,280 2,107,280 N/A 5,325,446 N/A Gannett Robert J. Dickey 823,058 1,850,000 2,673,058 88 5,141,136 82 Graham Holdings Co. Timothy J. O'Shaughnessy** 750,000 906,000 1,656,000 N/A 4,607,507 N/A PRA Group Steven D. Fredrickson 903,846 1,250,000 2,153,846 -24 4,264,325 -24 CEB Thomas L. Monahan III* 920,000 825,000 1,745,000 -5 3,658,931 6 Universal George C. Freeman III 841,700 939,300 1,781,000 7 3,529,437 11 Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. Horacio D. Rozanski 1,437,500 869,943 2,307,443 N/A 3,529,311 N/A Genworth Financial Thomas J. McInerney 1,035,141 1,200,000 2,235,141 124 3,185,513 18 NVR Paul C. Saville 1,528,125 1,528,125 3,056,250 32 3,070,250 -84 ManTech International George J. Pedersen 1,782,308 1,000,000 2,782,308 2 3,041,888 4 ICF International Sudhakar Kesavan 867,739 - 867,739 -41 2,972,170 2 Markel Alan I. Kirshner* 900,000 - 900,000 0 2,364,400 -25 Beacon Roofing Supply Paul M. Isabella 640,385 483,750 1,124,135 64 2,319,730 18 American Woodmark S. Cary Dunston** 532,836 825,000 1,357,836 N/A 2,205,506 N/A Orbital ATK David W. Thompson** 669,049 1,485,669 2,154,718 N/A 2,198,782 N/A Federal Home Loan Mortgage Donald H. Layton 1,479,231 472,748 1,951,979 225 2,008,937 204 NewMarket Thomas E. Gottwald 973,450 625,000 1,598,450 -7 1,909,705 3 Performance Food Group George L. Holm 1,000,000 682,500 1,682,500 21 1,714,300 21 Lumber Liquidators Holdings John M. Presley† 72,115 - 72,115 N/A 1,505,115 N/A CACI International Kenneth Asbury 835,417 418,361 1,253,778 10 1,328,935 11 Advance Auto Parts Darren R. Jackson* 1,034,138 - 1,034,138 11 1,174,600 -73   AVERAGE $979,136 $1,358,952 $2,338,088   $6,732,912 15%   CHANGE 7.2% -0.7%     0.8%   *  Former CEO or planning to retire **  New CEO who has not been in position for at least two years.  In the case of Thompson, he was the longtime CEO of Orbital Science Corp. which merged with ATK IN 2015. The percent change on 2015 salaries reflects the difference in compensation for CEOs in their jobs for at least two years.  *** Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group acquired Media General earlier this year. † Presley was CEO for less than a year, resigning in November 2016. Dennis R. Knowles is the new CEO. Research by Equilar Inc. based on a company’s most recent proxy as of July 2016. Source: Equilar Inc. http://www.equilar.com   Equilar is an executive compensation solutions firm in Redwood City, Calif. and offers a suite of executive compensation benchmarking and governance tools. 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00 http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-stats Port stats http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-stats http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-stats#When:09:00:00Z Top 10 commodities by value 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; }   Exports1 Imports1 1 Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery $4,473.79 Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery $10,047.93 2 Plastics 2,120.35 Electrical machinery 3,279.70 3 Pharmaceutical products 1,591.99 Vehicles, not railway 2,908.27 4 Vehicles, not railway 1,407.92 Furniture and bedding 2,235.29 5 Organic chemicals 1,361.54 Apparel, knitted or crocheted 1,713.12 6 Electrical machinery 1,080.18 Pharmaceutical products 1,599.55 7 Misc. chemical products 1,067.14 Plastics 1,597.26 8 Tobacco 1,050.20 Apparel, not knitted or crocheted 1,261.38 9 Optic photo, etc., medical or surgical instruments 1,042.53 Toys, games, sports equipment 1,180.14 10 Misc. grain, seed, fruit 871.77 Beverages, spirits and vinegar 1,151.10 1 In millions of U.S. dollars for 2015 at the Port of Virginia Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia Maritime Association, Virginia Port Authority Top 10 commodities by short tons 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; }   Exports1 Imports1 1 Mineral fuel, oil, etc. 26,503.41 Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery 1,035.62 2 Wood 2,477.57 Salt, sulfur, earth, stone 713.14 3 Misc. grain, seed,fruit 2,156.35 Furniture and bedding 680.19 4 Woodpulp, etc. 1,696.11 Beverages, spirit and vinegar 545.08 5 Food waste; animal feed 1,541.09 Vehicles, not railway 493.54 6 Cereals 913.41 Plastics 485.79 7 Plastics 650.61 Stone, plaster, cement 419.19 8 Paper and paperboard 590.79 Mineral fuel, oil, etc. 395.20 9 Fertilizers 425.18 Electrical machinery 374.64 10 Iron and steel 395.99 Iron and steel 362.39 1 In thousands of short tons for 2015 at the Port of Virginia. A short ton equals 2,000 pounds. Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia Maritime Association, Virginia Port Authority Top 10 trading partners by value 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; }   Exports1 Imports1 1 China $2,863.84 China $10,841.22 2 Belgium 1,946.62 Germany 4,269.31 3 Germany 1,911.45 India 2,598.61 4 United Kingdom 1,711.14 Italy 2,463.02 5 Brazil 1,643.89 Japan 1,800.65 6 Netherlands 1,463.44 Brazil 1,787.81 7 Saudi Arabia 1,044.51 United Kingdom 1,524.20 8 Japan 1,026.94 Vietnam 1,422.29 9 India 992.41 Indonesia 1,404.91 10 South Korea 718.66 Malaysia 1,328.34 1 In millions of U.S. dollars for 2015 at the Port of Virginia Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia Maritime Association, Virginia Port Authority Top 10 trading partners by short tons 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; }   Exports1 Imports1 1 Brazil 4,772.10 China 2,301.86 2 Netherlands 3,804.23 Germany 761.56 3 United Kingdom 3,410.52 Brazil 723.05 4 Italy 3,400.88 India 658.92 5 China 3,064.80 Italy 563.53 6 Japan 2,036.38 Canada 429.48 7 Turkey 1,924.95 Turkey 411.22 8 Ukraine 1,701.84 Spain 338.82 9 India 1,588.62 France 325.08 10 South Korea 1,362.55 Vietnam 310.89 1 In thousands of short tons for 2015 at the Port of Virginia. A short ton equals 2,000 pounds. Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia Maritime Association, Virginia Port Authority Top 10 U.S. East Coast container ports 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; }   Port TEUs1 Market share 1 New York/New Jersey 6,371,720 32% 2 Savannah, Ga. 3,737,403 19 3 Port of Virginia 2,549,270 13 4 Charleston, S.C. 1,973,204 10 5 Port Everglades, Fla. 1,056,524 5 6 Miami 1,007,782 5 7 Jacksonville, Fla. 926,188 5 8 Baltimore 840,314 4 9 Philadelphia 427,630 2 10 Wilmington, N.C. 291,873 2 1  20-foot equivalent unit Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia Maritime Association, Virginia Port Authority, American Association of Port Authorities Total cargo by trade lane 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; }   Exports1 Imports1 Africa 1,089.68 193.01 Northeast Asia 6,820.16 2,744.88 Southeast Asia 1,993.27 926.89 Caribbean 389.88 66.84 Central America 146.74 117.52 Northern Europe 14,365.34 2,583.54 India and others 1,895.83 759.78 Mediterranean 7,583.14 1,505.09 Middle East 635.35 127.42 North America 819.68 448.78 Oceania 64.49 44.12 South America 5,657.39 1,302.35 1 In thousands of short tons in 2015 for cargo at the Port of Virginia. Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia Maritime Association, Virginia Port Authority 2017-02-28T09:00:00+00:00