Alliance Celebrates Record Year at Annual Meeting
The Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance held its 19th Annual Meeting on January 26, 2017, at the Renaissance of Portsmouth.
During this event, the Alliance hosted three of the nation’s top site consultants for a panel discussion of economic trends and outlooks in the industries of Advanced Manufacturing, Food & Beverage Processing, and Headquarters, Shared Services & Back Office Operations. “Regionalism allows us to "box above our weight"” says Didi Caldwell, a Senior Principal Consultant with Global Location Strategies. She was accompanied by Scott Kupperman, consultant and President of Kupperman Location Solutions, and Kim Moore, a consultant and Managing Director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who says her first visit to Virginia has been great and the Port of Virginia's presentation was one of the best she's ever seen! The panel was moderated by the Alliance’s newest hire, Eric Miller, Executive Vice President of Business Development.
The showcase project for the year was ADP in Norfolk, the largest project in our region in years. This project will create 1,800 jobs, invest $32.25 million and occupy 286,800 square feet. A video was shown featuring testimonials of millennials who were hired last year. Employees Kenya Johnson, Karen Cedillos, Ibrahim Diaite, Justin Dilligard, and Lakitta Hicks also spoke in the program, sharing how their job opportunity with ADP greatly impacted their lives and how much they enjoy living in Hampton Roads.
The event was attended by 170 community leaders and stakeholders, including Congressman Bobby Scott, Regional Directors Charlotte Hurd and Diane Kaufman from the Senate Offices of Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine. Local officials were Mayor Donnie Tuck of Hampton, Mayor Frank Rabil and Councilman Linwood Johnson of Franklin, City Councilwoman Jana Andrews of Poquoson, and Vice Mayor Paige Cherry and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Psimas of Portsmouth.
The Alliance’s 2017 Chairman, Jim Bourey, City Manager of Newport News and President & CEO Rick Weddle presented their reports and left the attendees with a teaser for the Alliance’s upcoming 20th Anniversary event, which will occur this summer. “Since 1997, the Alliance has been involved with 135 projects, and 94 of those projects are still in operation. These projects currently account for almost 12,000 jobs across the region. As you can see, these projects are fairly-well distributed across the region because our workforce is truly a regional workforce. 30% of these companies have grown employment by 10% or more over their original announced level, showing that Hampton Roads really is a good place to do business,” said President Rick Weddle. “We’ll be reporting more on this 20-year history as our Anniversary year gets underway, but I did want to give you a sneak-preview to underscore that our impacts have been broad-based and long-lasting. There’ll be more to come!”