Economic Development: NANCY L. GRDEN
PRESIDENT AND CEO, REINVENT HAMPTON ROADS, NORFOLK
In June, Grden became the leader of this regional economic development organization, stepping into the shoes of Jim Spore, who retired after six years. Grden’s name is familiar to Hampton Roads residents, as she was previously executive director of the Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative for Growth & Innovation, as well as associate vice president of Old Dominion University’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She also was co-chair of the Economic Development Task Force at ODU, a community-university initiative to identify talent and innovation pathways for the region.
Started in 2016, Reinvent Hampton Roads serves as GO Virginia Region 5’s support arm and has awarded dozens of grants and invested $55 million in economic development projects since late 2017.
An alumna of Bucknell University, the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business and the University of North Carolina, Grden serves on the board of 757 Accelerate and is a former chair of 757 Angels, both nonprofits supporting startups.
BEST ADVICE FOR OTHERS: Never burn a bridge.
SOMETHING I’D NEVER DO AGAIN: Go spelunking