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The Alliance at Work


On April 9 & 10th, the Alliance hosted Antje Abshoff, Managing Director of the State of Virginia’s office in Europe for a visit to Hampton Roads. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize Antje with the assets of the region to assist in her interactions with European companies considering locations in Virginia. The tour included key sites and industrial parks throughout Hampton Roads as well as interviews with local manufacturing companies headquartered in Europe. Antje spoke with representatives from INIT Technologies in Chesapeake, IMS Gear and Hermes Abrasives in Virginia Beach and Muhlbauer in Newport News to learn about their history in Virginia and their experiences operating in Hampton Roads.  A meeting was also held with a representative of Tidewater Community College’s Apprenticeship Institute to talk about apprenticeship programs offered by some of our local international manufacturers as an avenue to attract and train labor.

In May, 38 members of the Newmark Knight Frank Global Corporate Services team visited Hampton Roads for internal team-building work sessions and to become better acquainted with the assets of the region. Their visit included a presentation from the Port of Virginia staff at Virginia International Gateway and a joint presentation from Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and the Alliance as well as a reception and dinner at the Cavalier Hotel hosted by the Port of Virginia, VEDP, the Alliance and Virginia Beach Economic Development.

John Loftus from VEDP also visited Hampton Roads July 31-August 1 for a tour of sites and buildings. Loftus maintains the Commonwealth’s database of available properties and visits each community annually in order to remain current on available real estate offerings. On this trip, Loftus visited sites and buildings in the cities of Franklin, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth and the counties of Southampton and Isle of Wight. Another visit has been scheduled in August so that Loftus may visit properties on the Peninsula.

In addition to these visits, the Alliance hosted 13 prospect visits to the region so far this year.  The industries represented by these visiting companies are Food & Beverage Processing, Maritime & Logistics, Advanced Manufacturing and Corporate & Professional Services.



Eric Miller, Executive Vice President of Business Development, joined the European American Investment Council (EAIC) on a Foreign Direct Investment trip to Switzerland, Italy and southern Germany. The mission included company visits and multiple meetings, networking and a one-day workshop with potential leads. Industry sectors included food and beverage processing, transportation technologies and distribution. A meeting with the Investment Specialist for SelectUSA was also held at the US Embassy in Switzerland.

Miller also attended the 2018 Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) Spring Conference held in Savannah, Georgia, with approximately 500 attendees. This annual gathering of the corporate real estate executives from Fortune 1000 and other companies from across the globe convenes to discuss issues and share experiences common to them. The conference is also attended by site location consultants, economic development professionals and other service providers seeking to build or fortify relationships with the corporate real estate representatives. VEDP coordinated a reception and a dinner for consultants and corporate representatives hosted by Governor Ralph Northam. 

Amy Parkhurst, Senior Vice-President of Business Development, was joined by Terri McCann from the City of Hampton, Tom Elder from Isle of Wight County and Amanda Jarratt from Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. on a trip to Greenville, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia to meet with site selection consultants. The team held meetings with seven consultants representing five different firms to promote the assets of Hampton Roads. The mission concluded with a reception at Canoe Restaurant co-hosted with the Port of Virginia that welcomed 25 guests. Attendees included site selectors, real estate brokers, developers and representatives of the shipping industry.

Laura Hayes, Vice President of Business Development, attended the NextGen Talks in Asheville, North Carolina, which focused on future industry changing perspectives in site selection and economic development. Some of the nation’s leading site selection consultants provided advice to economic development practitioners on best practices to attract business to their regions.



Eric Miller and Laura Hayes attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington DC. Sponsored by the US Department of Commerce, this summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the USA. The Summit features senior government officials, C-Suite Executives and other thought leaders in the industry. Most importantly, the Summit provides a platform to match foreign companies seeking to establish US operations with communities eager to provide a home.

Miller was joined by Sam Workman of Newport News and Casey Gilchrist of Chesapeake on a marketing mission to meet with information technology and software development companies located in Vancouver, BC and Bellevue, Washington. The team held nine corporate meetings with companies that expressed interest in a mid-Atlantic location. The timeline for such investments is 18-36 months.

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