Economic Development: DOUGLAS L. SMITH
PRESIDENT AND CEO, HAMPTON ROADS ALLIANCE, NORFOLK
A former Norfolk city manager who also has worked as a deputy city manager in Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, Smith now heads up the Hampton Roads Alliance, a public-private economic development organization representing 13 localities across Eastern Virginia. (James City County, Williamsburg and York County were the latest to join, in December 2021.)
Smith has led the alliance since September 2019 and has doubled its number of new project leads, with more to come as the organization focuses on site readiness and renewable energy manufacturing this year, he says.
A University of Virginia graduate, Smith received the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Regional Visionary award and serves on the boards of Reinvent Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads Workforce Council and the chamber.
PERSON I ADMIRE: Real estate titan Harvey Lindsay is a successful Norfolk businessman, community leader, generous philanthropist, a man of faith and integrity — and an all-around good guy.
SOMETHING I’D NEVER DO AGAIN: Running for and holding an elected office (Portsmouth City Council) was one of the most rewarding and challenging things I have done. I am thrilled I did it, but I will not run for elected office again.