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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


TAYLOR ADAMS DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA BEACH DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, VIRGINIA BEACH


Adams’ ability to sell Virginia Beach to both outside and current businesses is evident


in the number of expansion announcements he has overseen in the past year.


Those announcements include a $15.8 mil-


lion investment from Acoustical Sheetmetal Co. to expand its Virginia Beach complex and create 200 jobs; Premium-PPE’s investment of $5.3 mil- lion to expand its operations and create 180 jobs; and a $4 million investment from industrial contractor SJS Executives to expand and add a


fourth location, which will create 49 jobs. Adams joined the city in 2015 as a pur- chasing agent and was promoted to finance operations administrator before stepping into his current role in 2018 aſter his predecessor, Warren Harris, resigned and later pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement charges. Prior to coming to Virginia Beach, the Mississippi native held positions in both the private and public sectors in his home state. He earned an MBA from Hult International Business School and a bachelor’s degree in mar- keting from Mississippi State University.


CORRIE BOBE DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, DANVILLE


A Danville native and Virginia Tech alum, Bobe has been involved in economic development in the city since 2009 and last year became Danville's economic development director. With the Caesars Virginia casino on Danville’s horizon,


Bobe is overseeing a period of change and development in her hometown. She has championed the marketing of indus- trial park property, such as the Southern Virginia Megasite, as well as the redevelopment of River District properties. In May, aſter years of waiting, city officials announced a $62.5 million mixed-use renovation of the White Mill, the symbol of Danville’s history as a textile hub — as well as its collapse in the 1990s.


During Bobe’s tenure, the city has also seen interest grow in Danville due to an extensive workforce training program launched in cooperation with the state’s community college system and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.


Bobe is part of a regional cooperative effort in which the city partners with Pittsylvania County in drawing develop- ers to co-owned industrial parks, and she also collaborates with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance.


WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT MY WORK: Working in economic development has provided me with a unique opportunity to play an active role in reshaping the future of this region.


JARED CHALK DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORFOLK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, NORFOLK


Since joining the city of Norfolk in 2005, Chalk has worn many hats: interim director of economic development, special assistant to the city manager, and secretary-treasurer of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority among them. Today, as the leader of Norfolk’s economic development efforts, Chalk has focused attention on retaining and bringing in jobs that benefit community stakeholders, including minority-owned small businesses. He also is overseeing the redevelopment of Military Circle Mall, which could include an arena, and has three developer groups (including one partnering with Pharrell Williams) vying for the project. Chalk also was pivotal in bringing the country’s eighth-largest fiber internet company, MetroNet, to Norfolk, setting up competition for Cox Communications and making Norfolk a “gigabit city” in the process. A Bridgewater College graduate, Chalk also has a certificate in real estate finance and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


WHAT A COMPETITOR WOULD SAY ABOUT ME: I don’t like to lose at anything and will turn anything into a competition.


40 VIRGINIA 500


R. BRIAN BALL SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND TRADE, COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, RICHMOND


A University of Virginia “double ’Hoo” with degrees in economics and law, Ball has been championing the robust growth of Virginia’s economy since his appointment in 2018. His talents are reflected in recent major economic wins during the pandemic, including Microsoſt Corp.’s $64 million investment to establish a new soſtware development and R&D regional hub in Fairfax County, creating 1,500 jobs, and manufacturer Crown Holdings Inc.’s investment of $145 million to establish a manufacturing operation in Henry County, creating 126 jobs.


Ball has also been a driving force in helping


Norfolk retain the North American headquar- ters of CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics. The project is expected to keep 600 jobs in Norfolk and create 400 jobs in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. Before joining the public sector, Ball was a corporate attorney at Williams Mullen. He cur- rently serves as vice chair for both the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority. He also co-chairs the Governor’s Coordinating Council on Homelessness and serves on several other boards.


WHAT I HAVE LEARNED: I’m more patient than I used to be, although some would disagree with that assessment.


BARRY DuVAL PRESIDENT AND CEO, VIRGINIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, RICHMOND


As the state’s secretary of commerce and trade from 1998 to 2002, DuVal has been pivotal in Virginia’s business community. During his tenure in Gov. Jim Gilmore’s administration, the state attracted a record-setting 1,500 economic development projects that resulted in 156,850 new jobs and $13.7 billion in private investment. Since 2010, DuVal has led the state’s largest business advocacy group, which he has grown from fewer than 1,000 members to more than 26,000 members today. Last year, he and the chamber released a special report focusing on returning to business post-pandemic, “Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work.” This year, the Virginia Chamber’s main job is developing the next statewide strategic plan, known as Blueprint Virginia 2030, focusing on workforce development, education, infrastructure, energy, health care and other areas. DuVal will present the plan to the governor-elect at the organization’s December economic summit.


In addition to his work in the public sector (including as mayor of


Newport News), DuVal served as president and CEO of DuVal Associates Inc., a diversified real estate firm, and later as president and CEO of Kaufman & Canoles Consulting LLC.


Taylor Adams photo by Mark Rhodes


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