For Jo Janka, the decision to become an Alliance member comes down to one word: influence.
As the President of Liebherr Mining Newport News Co., Janka appreciates how the Alliance speaks for the entire region and commands respect on a state, national and global level. Janka also likes how he can maintain close ties to the Southside, as Liebherr is a Peninsula-based business.
"As an Alliance investor, I stay attuned to what's happening on the Southside and can build relationships on both sides of the water," he said. "Smaller chambers of commerce and business associations are helpful, but the Alliance has the leverage to accomplish big goals."
Janka has been with Liebherr's Newport News location since 2005. The company specializes in mining equipment, cranes, machine tools and automation systems. He remembers in 2007 how the Alliance helped him network with workforce development organizations to ramp up staffing at Liebherr manufacturing facilities. The Alliance facilitated its regional relationships to make it happen.
"I think it's vital to rely on the Alliance to connect Liebherr with the entire Hampton Roads business community," he said. "The Alliance helped our company at a critical time and proved its value."
In addition, Janka serves on the Alliance's Executive Committee and meets with potential investors to encourage them to join.
"The Alliance represents our region as a whole and gives us a voice across the world," he said. "I'm thankful to be an investor in such an important organization."