Meet the Team: Chad Matheson
The Alliance is pleased to introduce our Director of Business Intelligence, Chad Matheson. After graduating from Old Dominion University in 2015 with a degree in economics, Chad began with the Alliance in Summer 2015 as a Research Intern. He was hired as a research analyst and later promoted to Director of Business Intelligence. Chad and his wife, Meghan, reside in Chesapeake and consider themselves "naturalized citizens" of Hampton Roads.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Chad served as a Research Intern with the City of Suffolk Department of Economic Development and as a Constituent Relations Intern at the Chesapeake District Office of Congressman J. Randy Forbes. Read his full bio here.
How has the region of Hampton Roads helped shape your career?
I always like to say that I am a naturalized citizen of Hampton Roads. Like many folks within our region, I wasn’t born here, but I was raised here, and I’ve grown to appreciate every nook and corner. To speak to my professional career, the most notable variable of how Hampton Roads has shaped where I am today is 100% the people that have inspired & encouraged me along the way.
What do you envision for Hampton Roads in the coming years?
Hampton Roads is at a point of inflection. By its very definition, an inflection point is the moment on a curve at which the sign or curvature changes. The thing that is so exciting about an inflection point is the raw opportunity that exists to excite a different perspective upon which we ultimately derive future conclusions and outcomes.
In the coming years, truth be told, I see a different region. I see a region that works to understand and elevate all of the tangible and intangible opportunities in economic development. I see a region whose net migration will be positive. I see a region that will finally, after a decade, return to its peak level of employment. I see a unified region that promotes and encourages growth as a cost competitive metropolitan area and works to provide opportunities for product differentiation within our existing, entrepreneurial, and new-to-market firms.
Why do you think people in Virginia and beyond should take notice of what's happening in Hampton Roads?
Fundamentally, I believe Hampton Roads is on the forefront of a significant growth opportunity. Domestic and International firms are hungry for a location that can provide the regional assets which can stimulate continuous growth within their company year-over-year.
Around Hampton Roads, there are some very exciting initiatives & infrastructure investments underway that will help position the region for success. As we move forward through Q1 2017, we will develop economic feasibility & business case scenarios for the identified growth sectors. By capturing current regional investment activity, analyzing growth opportunities by industry sector, highlighting regional labor availabilities, and putting forth ready and available square footage, we can construct a robust business case around why firms & consultants should take notice of what’s happening in Hampton Roads.
Why were you excited to be a part of the Alliance Team?
I love my job. There are many reasons why I get so excited to come to work every morning. Not only is my position challenging but it is also fulfilling. Every day I come to work optimistic, optimistic that we are going to figure out or look at something in a new light. While at times you can get bogged down in the data, the ultimate satisfaction is seeing your hard work pay off. When a new project announces and you smile because you know that at the end of the day, in some way, you’ve played an integral role in helping promote prosperity within and around the community.
What are some of your favorite restaurants, hobbies or activities for when you’re not at work?
We have so many good restaurants around the region I’d be hard pressed to find a meal I didn’t enjoy. My wife and I live in Chesapeake so, we frequent those establishments most often. One in particular just opened on Cedar Road about a year ago, La Parrilla. A burrito chipotle and a cold Dos Equis always seem to do the trick.
As far as activities and hobbies, I keep myself pretty submerged in the outdoors. Surfing in the summer is hard to beat, but winter is also prime in its own regard (especially when a bowl of she crab soup from Margie and Ray’s comes afterwards). I like to striper fish out of my kayak in Back Bay or go to the deep water and launch off the coast at Sandbridge. Working in the yard is always to be enjoyed. Anything outdoors in the sun and I’m a pretty happy camper.
What are the most impressive characteristics of the region?
Hampton Roads has a multitude of impressive characteristics. These characteristics are fundamentally derived from our collective communities. We sit in the heart of the mid-Atlantic. We are home to the Port of Virginia. The military presence intertwines itself in the fabric of our region. We are home to two federal research facilities. We graduate over 25,000 students on an annual basis. We have over 260,000 residents ages 25-34, over 400,000 20-34, and over 520,000 ages 20-39!
These are just a few of the impressive assets and characteristics found in Hampton Roads. Much more within and around the region can serve to strengthen and enhance our economic foundations. These foundations are ultimately how we can build, diversify, and enhance the structural integrity of our economy. As representatives of the region, it is our job to share and uplift the assets and attributes that are unique to Hampton Roads. By doing so, and providing robust industry and occupational intelligence, Hampton Roads has the opportunity to place itself as a hub for product differentiation and innovation around the world.