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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


STEPHANIE LANDRUM PRESIDENT AND CEO, ALEXANDRIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP, ALEXANDRIA


Despite the many challenges brought by the pandemic, Landrum is proud of how Alexandria continued making major economic development deals over the past year. In November 2020, Hilco Redevelopment


Partners purchased a shuttered, 20-acre power plant site on the Potomac River, with plans for a mixed-use development. And a month later, Inova Health System announced plans for a $1 billion Alexandria Hospital campus to be built on the site of the former Landmark Mall. Alexandria also has seen an acceleration of development around Potomac Yard, including the $1 billion Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.


Amid the pandemic, Landrum spearheaded efforts to support the city’s local business commu- nity through the Alexandria Back to Business grant program, which provided nearly $6 million in federal and local funding to more than 600 small businesses. Landrum was promoted to president and CEO of AEDP aſter holding various leadership roles in the organization since 2005. In 2019, she was named the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leader of the Year. A University of Virginia graduate, she also holds an MBA from U.Va.’s Darden School of Business and serves on boards including the Virginia Economic Developers Association and The Art League.


STEPHEN MORET PRESIDENT AND CEO, VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP, RICHMOND


In 2018, Moret played a key role in landing Amazon.com Inc.’s $2.5 billion HQ2 East Coast headquarters, described as the largest single eco- nomic development deal in U.S. history. Named by Virginia Business magazine as its 2019 Virginia Business Person of the Year, Moret is a tireless promoter of Virginia as a great location for business, and is one of the key players in Virginia's ranking as CNBC’s Top State for Business since 2019. Moret and his VEDP staff have been working with the Virginia


Chamber of Commerce to update Blueprint Virginia 2030, a comprehensive long-range plan for Virginia businesses that’s expected to be presented in 2022. And Business Facilities ranked Virginia No. 3 in the nation for work- force development last year, praising VEDP’s workforce training programs. One of Moret’s key initiatives is the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a cooperative initiative with Virginia’s community colleges to provide free, fast workforce training and recruiting services for companies locating or expanding in Virginia. The Louisiana native started a similar program, FastStart, with great success when he was that state’s secretary of economic development. A Louisiana State University alum, Moret holds an MBA from Harvard


Business School and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.


EDWARD OWENS CHAIRMAN, VIRGINIA TOBACCO REGION REVITALIZATION COMMISSION, SOUTH BOSTON


South Boston’s mayor, Owens was elected chair- man of the powerful Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission in January. He has served on the commission for the past 16 years and is its second longest-serving member aſter state Del. Terry Kilgore, whom Owens succeeded as chairman.


The commission, which provides funding for economic development and workforce education initiatives in formerly tobacco-dependent communities, covers an area including 40 localities in Southern and Southwest Virginia. Owens seeks to make a big impact on the economically challenged regions and has described broadband expansion and scholarships for workforce development as the commission’s most crucial investments. A college basketball star, the 6-foot-6 Owens was inducted in 1992 into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Hampden-Sydney College, from which he graduated in 1980 with a psychology degree. He has served on the South Boston Town Council since 1998 and was appointed by Gov. Ralph Northam in June 2021 to serve on Virginia State University’s board of visitors. The owner of Edward Owens Insurance Agency, he was named the Halifax Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Business Person of the Year, and he also has served on the Halifax Educational Foundation.


WILLIAM H. ‘WILL’ PAYNE II DIRECTOR, INVESTSWVA, BRISTOL


Payne has been pivotal in attracting busi- ness prospects to Southwest Virginia. In the last year, his public-private regional economic development marketing group, InvestSWVA, helped land a 160-job expansion in Scott County for New York-based eHealth Technologies and a 113-job, $7.9 million expansion in Washington County for SPIG Industry. InvestSWVA also announced a partnership with Appalachian Power and Dominion Energy to advance manu- facturing and development opportu- nities for energy storage technology in Southwest Virginia. And Payne’s group spearheaded Project Oasis, an initiative to promote data center development in the region.


42 VIRGINIA 500 A Richmond native and ’80s music


fan, Payne keeps an Excel spreadsheet logging the more than 160 concerts he’s attended over the past 20 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from William & Mary and is working toward an executive MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He is vice rector of William & Mary’s board of visitors and chairs its administration, buildings and grounds committee. He also is a graduate of U.Va.’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.


NEW LIFE EXPERIENCE: Leading an effort to grow Southwest Virginia’s first malting-quality barley crop used in beer production, and expanding specialty grain market opportunities.


Stephen Moret photo by Mark Rhodes; William H. Payne II photo by Earl Neikirk


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