PETERSBURG, VA – On Thursday, March 14, 2013, Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization (VGR) hosted its Annual Meeting at the Country Club of Petersburg to present the 2012 Year in Review and celebrate the organization’s 52nd Anniversary. The event brought together 200 business leaders and elected officials from the state and across the region to reflect on a year of successes. C. Renee Chapline, Executive Director, presented the organization’s Annual Report at the meeting and highlighted the efforts that sparked more than $356MM in capital investment and over 400 new jobs in 2012.
Deputy Executive Director of SelectUSA, Aaron S. Brickman, was the evening’s keynote speaker. Mr. Brickman is a global recruitment expert for the United States of America, specializing in foreign direct investment. He gave an overview of the newly-formed organization and stressed the importance of attracting foreign companies to the U.S. “At SelectUSA, we see job creation coming more & more from international businesses. Gone are the days of outsourcing labor to a low-cost country; with transportation costs sky-rocketing, companies have to move closer to their customers. The Gateway Region is in an optimal position to attract these companies,” said Brickman.
J. Peter Clements, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Southside Virginia and President of VGR expressed his appreciation for the contributions the partners of the organization have made over the years. “I cannot stress enough how important our partners are to the very foundation of VGR. The communities and their leadership, local businesses, higher education institutions and more provide so many resources to us and the companies that are looking to locate to the region. We would not be where we are today without them,” Clements said.
The event was sponsored by Prince George Electric Cooperative and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. Lynn F. Jacob, Williams Mullen and VGR Board Member, presented Mr. Cleveland “Cleve” A. Wright with the 2012 Ambassador of the Year award for his loyal dedication to the region and economic development. Emceed by Bill Fitzgerald, Anchor at WTVR CBS 6, the program also included an unveiling of VGR’s new website and branding approach.