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Lehmkuhler and Povar declined to


comment for this story, but Povar con- firmed her last day was Aug. 26. Povar, 63, had worked for the VEDP for 21 years. Lehmkuhler had worked there for 19 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. Hudgins, the VEDP board member,


said he was not shown a copy of the full restructuring plan until the day it was sent out. “As a business guy, it violates every management principle I was taught in school. Why would they proceed with a reorganization with an acting CEO is beyond me. I asked the same questions of the leadership …. earlier this year.” Hudgins said he had gotten calls


from other board members asking, ‘Why is this being done?’ ” Hudgins, director of member and


external relations for the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative in Henrico County, said he also was surprised by the depar- tures of Povar and Lehmkuhler. “That’s [40 years] of experience that left the building. Everyone has a different man- agement style, but at the end of the day you need a transition so that knowledge remains in the organization.” Gundersen said he could not com-


ment on personnel issues other than to say “one of the key challenges and expectations was that we dismantled the separate Business Attraction and Business Expansion divisions.” Asked if any staffers were demoted, he said, “Some staff were reassigned so that we took advantage of their skill sets in the new organization. I believe, in most cases, it was a lateral move. In one case, a promotion.” Gundersen and recently elected


VEDP Board Chairman Dan Clemente described the reorganization as well planned, forward thinking and responsive to concerns voiced earlier this year during a listening tour with more than 100 local economic development officials and others around the state. “There was a view that VEDP


needed to be more proactive and aggres- sive in its approach to economic develop- ment, and that the very structure needed to change to keep up with the times,” said Gundersen, who has been the agency’s chief operating officer since 2014. VEDP had stuck to “its tried and


true approach,” he added. “Other states are cleaning our clock in terms of being


Source: Virginia Economic Development Partnership www.VirginiaBusiness.com VIRGINIA BUSINESS 63 Research


Structural changes


The new organizational structure of the Virginia Economic Develop- ment Partnership consolidates Business Attraction and Business Expansion into Business Investment while creating two new divi- sions, Competitive Initiatives and Workforce Development. The Trade division is scheduled to be spun off as a new agency.


Previous organization


New organization


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