By Virginia's Gateway Region
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va – Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization (VGR) welcomed over 100 business and community leaders to commemorate another year of success and achievement working together to create jobs and support local business at their 56th Annual Meeting last week.
VGR Board of Directors Chairman Victor Branch (Bank of America), VGR Board Advisory Member Dr. Makola Abdullah (Virginia State Univeristy) and VGR Board Member Frederick Harry, Jr. (AdvanSix) welcomed guests to the event, shedding light on the importance of VGR’s work in the region and their insightful five-year strategic plan to create 3,000 jobs by 2020.
During a regional update, VGR President & CEO Renee Chapline announced the creation of 478 new jobs as a result of 11 company announcements in 2016. These announcements included $233 million in capital investment to be injected into the region.
“I truly believe in the potential of our region and look forward to many more great opportunities to work with our local businesses and companies evaluating the region’s potential,” said Chapline. “Thank you to our legislators, local elected officials and community and corporate leaders for all that you do for the region and commonwealth, and especially thank you for your partnership with Virginia’s Gateway Region.”
Virginia Port Authority CEO & Executive Director John Reinhart delivered an insightful keynote address regarding exporting and Virginia’s position in the global marketplace.
“I like your name, Virginia’s Gateway Region, and I applaud your strong plan,” said Reinhart. “The Port of Virginia is a global gateway, you are Virginia’s Gateway Region, and together we are making Virginia more globally competitive.”
Virginia’s Gateway Region reported an active 2016, full of new programming and opportunities for individuals and their families in the region. Beginning in 2016, an independent consultant with Convergent Nonprofit Solutions conducted a feasibility study of the organization using data from over 100 private stakeholder interviews. Corporate partners came together over a two-month period to refine their findings from the surveys, evaluate best practices for regional EDO’s, and establish priorities for the organization over the next five years. After seven months of challenging work on behalf of regional leadership, members of the strategic refinement and leadership teams launched Global 3.0 in September 2016.
Also in 2016, VGR and other local economic development entities unveiled the Metro Richmond Exports Initiative, a pilot-program for business growth through exports.
At the culmination of the event, Chapline called attention to the organization’s new logo. “I am thrilled to announce that our 2016 Annual Report and all event collateral feature a new and refreshed VGR logo, which hosts a directional compass indicating this region is determined to chart the course forward to intentionally create opportunities for all that live here,” said Chapline.
WTVR CBS 6’s Bill Fitzgerald served as the master of ceremonies at the event. Signature event sponsors were Prince George Electric Cooperative and ChemTreat.