By Michael Campbell, The Dinwiddie Monitor
DINWIDDIE – A respected member of the community was recognized by the region’s leading economic development organization for his tireless efforts to support Dinwiddie and help to support the group in its efforts to spark business growth in the localities they serve.
During last month’s regular meeting of the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors, members of Virginia’s Gateway Region board of directors presented a resolution in recognition of Milton Hargrave, Jr., praising him and giving him a heartfelt thank you for his many years of service to the board, which came to an end in December of last year.
Hargrave had served with Virginia’s Gateway Region dating back to 1968, when the chairman of the board of supervisors at that time suggested that Hargrave, being a newly elected member of the board at that time, would do well to represent Dinwiddie as part of the Appomattox Basin Industrial Development Corporation, the group’s name at that time.
“During that time, Mr. Hargrave played a decisive role in strengthening Virginia’s Gateway Region as a global competitor for business location and expansion opportunity in the region as a representative of Dinwiddie County,” remarked VGR Board Chairman Victor Branch.
As he received his recognition, Hargrave took members of the board of supervisors and residents on a trip down memory lane, discussing the evolution of VGR into the group that it is now.
“The work of the organization was administered in Petersburg,” Hargrave shared. “One person would take the phone calls and relayed those messages to county or city board members. From there, interested people wanting to start a business would trickle down to possible land locations and ways they could get help.”
“It’s been great to live through that part-time administrator thing with only one phone number, without pagers or anything, to where we now are represented by an absolutely wonderful staff of folks,” he continued.
Adding to the surprise for Hargrave following his recognition by the VGR’s board of directors, Dinwiddie County Administrator Kevin Massengill had a presentation of his on behalf of the county, also thanking the longtime resident for his unwavering efforts to support the growth and future of the county.
“You and I have had phone calls over the years talking about what you have seen in this region and many of the accomplishments here in Dinwiddie, we know, you had the interest of Dinwiddie and the region at your heart,” Massengill said of Hargrave.
For Dinwiddie Board Chairman Harrison Moody, the impacts of Hargrave’s contributions to both the region and the county were not lost on him as he reflected on the first time he met Hargrave back in the late 1980’s.
“When I got appointed to the board back in 1987, I believe we served ten months on the board and I want to thank you because, in those ten months, you have me so much wisdom during that time,” Moody remarked.
For Supervisor Daniel Lee, having someone with the experience of Hargrave who is well-respected in the community has been nothing but a strength for Dinwiddie in terms of the county’s representation in the business community.
“When Milton Hargrave goes somewhere and tells people he is from Dinwiddie, he is respected as much as any person,” Lee said. “If you ask people from within this region, the work that he has done over his lifetime is highly respected and I am happy to say that I am from Dinwiddie and a friend of his.”
The impact of Hargrave’s longtime contributions was not lost on VGR’s president and CEO Renee Chapline who said she’s thankful for his unyielding support over the years.
“I’ve worked closely with Milton Hargrave on our Board of Directors since I began working at Virginia’s Gateway Region EDO,” she shared. “I’m so incredibly grateful for his many years of service that have enabled VGR to become the high-performing organization that exists today. It’s leaders like Mr. Hargrave that make the work we do for the region possible.”