FOR THE RECORD Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc., the maker of Marlboro ciga- rettes, was in talks about a stake in Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc., the Globe and Mail reported in early October citing multiple sources. Details of the investment were still being finalized though Altria has expressed interest in buying a minor- ity stake in Aphria with the intention of eventually holding a majority, the report said. Sales of recreational marijuana became legal in Canada on Oct. 17. Altria and Aphria were not available for comment. (Reuters)

A landmark property, with about 150 years of history in the Lowesville community, is targeted to become a bed-and-breakfast and venue for weddings and special events. The Amherst County Planning Commis- sion unanimously voted in September to recommend approval of a special exception request allowing the build- ing formerly known as the Hite Store to be used for overnight stays and gatherings. The home, built around 1869, is located on seven acres with a portion fronting the Piney River. (Amherst New Era-Progress)

Recommendations from county staff to designate two areas near Forest as Urban Development Areas (UDAs) were denied by the Bedford County Board of Supervisors in September after residents raised concerns about development in Forest. The board voted 6-0 to prevent two areas at

either end of Thomas Jefferson Road near Forest and New London from being designated as UDAs in Bedford County’s Comprehensive Plan. (The News & Advance)

The Bon Secours Richmond Health System will raze one of two Colonial Revival buildings at Richmond’s former Westhampton School to accommodate a $53 million mixed- use development on the property in the city’s West End, according to preliminary plans unveiled in Septem- ber. The proposed plans — including a previously announced medical office building, two new mixed-use buildings and a parking deck — are projected to generate $524,000 in new real estate taxes for the city, but come at the expense of the majority of the structural footprint of the school, built in 1930. The remaining, eastern- most portion of the school, which was built in 1917 and played an important role in the desegregation of public schools in Virginia, will serve as office space. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

CFA Institute, one of Charlottesville’s largest employers, eliminated 31 positions in September — the majority of which were local cuts. The financial industry credentialing organization, which employs more than 600 people in seven offices around the world, said the cuts came after “a strategic review” to accommodate its business growth and “strategic priorities.” The impact of the cuts is offset by 39 newly created positions, according to


a company spokeswoman. (The Daily Progress)

Facebook expects to break ground early next year on the second phase of its eastern Henrico County data center development, which will total more than 2 million square feet when completed in late 2020, the company said in September. As the first phase of the project in White Oak Technol- ogy Park nears completion, the social media giant said it will invest an additional $750 million to expand the data center complex it launched last year with a $1 billion investment. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism pre- sented its Year in Review in late Sep- tember. The department engaged residents, business executives, community leaders and elected officials to create a five-year compre- hensive plan, which was released earlier in the month. The population of Lynchburg in 2017 was 80,380, a 6.4 percent increase since 2010. Of individuals ages 25 to 64 in the city, 34.5 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with the 31.8 percent national average. (The News & Advance)

Markel Ventures, the investment arm of Henrico County-based specialty insurer Markel Corp., is buying a majority ownership stake in the Brahmin leather handbags and accessories business. Markel and Massachusetts-based Brahmin


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announced the deal late in September. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Brahmin, a family-owned business, sells its products at its own stores — it has six retail stores and four outlet locations — as well as through online sales and at department and specialty stores, including Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Macy’s. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Goochland County-based Performance Food Group Co. has agreed to pay $599,989 in back wages to settle findings that the company discriminated against women and African-Americans in hiring for some warehouse jobs. A review by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found hiring discrimination violations at four Performance Food Group facilities in Florence, S.C.; Hickory, N.C.; Batesville, Miss.; and Lebanon, Tenn. Publicly traded PFG is one of the nation’s largest food service companies, supplying food and food products to independent and chain restaurants such as Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse, hospitals, retailers, schools, movie theaters, hotels and others. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership may have reached a dead end in its long-running quest to recover $1.4 million lost on a failed Appomattox business deal. In September, the Virginia Supreme Court declined to revisit a failed lawsuit seeking damages for the lost taxpayer money. The partnership also has asked the Virginia attorney general to attempt to recover a state grant given to Lindenburg Industry, but that office hasn’t yet acted. Lindenburg agreed to create a factory in Appomattox to manufacture catalytic converters and create 349 jobs in return for state incentives. (The Roanoke Times)


Matthew L. Austin has been named a managing director at Keiter Advisors, the merger and acquisition specialist group at Glen Allen-based CPA firm Keiter. Before joining Keiter Advisors, he was the leader of the Analytics and Financial Planning & Analysis team at NewMarket Corp. (News release)

Liberty University has named Mark Horstemeyer dean of its School of Engineering. Horstemeyer comes to Liberty from Mississippi State University, where he taught computational manufacturing and design as a Giles Distinguished Professor. He also served as chair for computational solid mechanics in the university’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. (News release)

Thomas A. Lisk has joined Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies as a managing director of its Public Strate- gies Group in Richmond. Lisk previously worked for Eckert Seamans, where he represented a wide range of businesses in regulatory matters. (News release)

Stone Brewing Co. has hired Sean Monahan as its Richmond-based chief operations officer and Mark Fabrizio as director of East Coast brewing operations. Monahan previously worked for the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. Fabrizio managed operations and quality control for North American Breweries based in Rochester, N.Y. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Katherine O’Donnell has been named executive vice president at Richmond Region Tourism, overseeing the sales and services and community relations departments. She was vice president over community relations. Also, Jennifer Hendren’s title was changed from vice president of marketing to chief marketing officer. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Courtney Paulk has become the first female presi- dent of the board of directors at the law firm Hirschler Fleischer. Paulk, who leads the firm’s litigation section, succeeds James L. Weinberg. The firm also elected Andrew Lohmann as executive vice president, suc- ceeding Michael H. Terry. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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