Newsletter Headers .png

Monthly News from Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads Alliance - - No Tagline.png

Note from the President

Doug Smith, Alliance President & CEO

The Alliance held a highly successful annual meeting last week, as several hundred of our allies in economic development assembled at Hampton University to hear from renowned author and scholar Bruce Katz, network, and celebrate the successes of 2023. Bruce Katz noted that metro areas in the strongest position to succeed in the post-COVID economy have at least one of four key characteristics: military metros, new technology hubs, climate first movers, and trading powerhouses. Hampton Roads is all four, and there may be no other metro area in the country that fits these characteristics better than ours. 

The Alliance also proudly unveiled our Annual Report, which you can view in its entirety at or as an abridged PDF here. As you will see within the report, 2023 represented the best year in 25 years for the organization as we announced 13 new projects that will create 2,860 direct new jobs and $625 million in capital investment. Combined with the momentum the Alliance saw in 2023 and encouraging signs from scholars like Katz, now is the moment for the ascendance of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Join us this year and let’s break more records together.

Your ally in economic development,

Virginia Governors Panel

In January, Alliance investors attended a Virginia Governors Panel with three remarkable former Virginia governors: George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Ralph Northam. They each spoke about their time as governor, discussing the impact of their initiatives on job creation and economic development. Thank you again to Amazon, our presenting sponsor, and to Old Dominion University for hosting our event.

Watch the Highlight Video
KTN-02-06-24-3030-768x512 image

Eastern VA Year-in-Review: Striking a Balance

Economic development directors often try to balance diversifying their community’s industries while playing to regional strengths. Sean Washington, Norfolk’s economic development director, believes his city found that balance in 2023. Norfolk has found growth around alternative energy, with Lambert’s Point being developed into a launching point for an offshore wind energy hub at Fairwinds Landing.

Read More
HRER image

Hampton Roads Executive Roundtable Welcomes New Leaders to Drive Regional Prosperity

In a significant development for the Hampton Roads innovation and entrepreneurship community, the newly established Hampton Roads Executive Roundtable has announced the election of four distinguished board members. This milestone event at the January meeting marks a pivotal moment in our region’s journey toward a more interconnected and robust economic landscape.

Read More

Australian Business Eyes Move to Hampton Roads as Part of Alliance that Could Fuel Nuclear Submarine Production

An agreement between the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia that could fuel the production of more nuclear submarines at Newport News Shipbuilding is driving international business to Hampton Roads. Australian-based defense company Quality Maritime Surveyors is working to open a branch on the Peninsula to support the Australia-U.K.-U.S agreement known as AUKUS.

Read More

Editorial: Legislature Should Approve Bill Bolstering Virginia’s Resilience Efforts

The House of Delegates passed legislation that promises to streamline the commonwealth’s work to protect communities from flooding and the worsening effects of climate change. By creating an Office of Commonwealth Resilience headed by a chief resilience officer, Virginia can better coordinate adaptation efforts and ensure the most effective use of available funds.

Read More
VA250-2 image

VA250 Honorary Leadership Council Announced

The Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission Honorary Leadership Council was announced at St. John’s Church in Richmond. The church was the site of Patrick Henry’s famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech. The Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission was established by the General Assembly in 2020 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

Read More
AmazonSite-10461a-VaBus-March2024-Enhanced-NR-768x613 image

Eastern VA Big Deal: Prime Location

Doug Smith isn’t surprised has extended its reach in Hampton Roads. The Hampton Roads Alliance president and CEO says Amazon’s expansion in the commonwealth has been a constant since the global e-commerce behemoth announced in 2018 that it would locate its East Coast corporate headquarters, Amazon HQ2, in Arlington County.

Read More
DSC06728-768x768 image

The 2024 Virginia Black Business Leaders Awards

This February, during Black History Month, Virginia Business is pleased to honor 17 distinguished leaders from across the commonwealth in our second annual Virginia Black Business Leaders Awards. This year’s cohort of honorees represent industries ranging from advertising, architecture, defense contracting, finance and health care to higher education and nonprofits. 

Read More
TVI-L-LEADERSHIP-ARMADA-HOFFLER-01-e1708014863374 image

Virginia Beach-based Armada Hoffler Announces Top Leadership Changes

Armada Hoffler, developer of Town Center of Virginia Beach, announced upcoming transitions in its top leadership for its next generation of growth.

“It’s not easy to walk away from something after 45 years,” founder Dan Hoffler said. “It’s time for new leadership and time to know when to walk out and let this next generation take this company to the next level.”

Read More
TVP-L-ARMADA-HOFFLER-0707-VA0130854260 image

Virginia Beach is a Top City for the ‘New Normal’ Corporate Office, Report Says

That’s according to a 2024 report by The Boyd Co. Based on a hypothetical 150-worker office, annual operating costs for corporate administrative offices in Virginia Beach total $15 million — ranking among the lowest in the national survey. The study factors in “new normal” remote working trends, the growing popularity of suburban office markets, state income tax structures and operating costs including labor, real estate, construction, utilities, taxes and travel.

Read More
County-Administrator-Mark-Bellamy-500x750 image

York County Names Mark Bellamy County Administrator

The York County Board of Supervisors officially removed the interim tag and appointed Mark Bellamy County Administrator to manage and oversee the day-to-day operations of the county at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20. “Mark has worked for York County for over 20 years — first as a division manager, then a department director, and most recently, as Deputy County Administrator,” said Board Chairman Stephen Roane.

Read More


TVP-L-NW-NORFOLK-AIRPORT-0208-1-03 image

Norfolk Airport Planning Nearly $700 Million in Construction Projects after Record-Breaking 2023

Norfolk International Airport is expanding with roughly $700 million in planned construction projects, including an on-site hotel and a new rental car facility, according to its leader. “This whole airport is going to transform,” Norfolk Airport Authority President and CEO Mark Perryman said.

Read More
TVI-L-WPA-0219-01 image

Norfolk Architecture Firm WPA Designs Out of a ‘Labor of Love’ for Hampton Roads Neighborhoods

Work Program Architects, an architectural firm in downtown Norfolk, has been busy redefining and shaping the landscape and culture of the area one project, one building and one neighborhood at a time. The growing firm’s work stretches from mom and pop businesses to landmark nonprofit, museum and academic facilities like Elizabeth River Project’s Ryan Resilience Lab, the Chrysler Museum’s Perry Glass Studio, Norfolk State University’s new science building and preservation of the Maury High School building.

Read More
1606141808034-e1706883430217 image

Aviation Institute of Maintenance School Group Names Dr. Joel A. English as President

Virginia Beach-based Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College and Tidewater Tech announced the appointment of Dr. Joel A. English as president, only the second to serve in this capacity over the institution’s 55-year history. English has served as the institutions’ executive vice president since 2020, and he has functioned as vice president of operations, regional director, and campus executive director since 2003.

Read More

Big Four Accounting Firm Moves Office from Norfolk to Virginia Beach Town Center

KPMG, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, began leasing office space at Armada Hoffler Tower in Town Center of Virginia Beach in December. KPMG occupies 13,044 square feet in the 23-story building where Town Center developer Armada Hoffler maintains its headquarters. The modern and flexible office hosts more than 160 professionals as a work and collaboration space in the heart of the energetic business district, said Jason Kies, managing partner of KPMG’s Virginia Beach office.

Read More
Atlantic-Union-Bank image

Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation Announces Receipt of Regulatory Approvals to Complete Merger with American National Bankshares Inc.

Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation announced that it has received regulatory approval from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to complete the previously announced merger of American National Bankshares Inc. with and into Atlantic Union Bankshares in an all-stock transaction. The Federal Reserve approval follows approvals from the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the shareholders of American National.

Read More
Sized_-_Port_with_Ship image

Continued Growth at Virginia’s Port is Attracting Business and Fueling Hampton Roads' Economy

When millions of Americans ramped up their online shopping as lockdowns dragged on, ports around the nation were overwhelmed with container ships. The Port of Virginia found itself in the right place at the right time, able to absorb a ton of that cargo due to expansions it had finished right before Covid-19 hit. A slate of additional expansion efforts means it will ramp up even further.

Read More
CVOW_Turbine-2-Install-15-768x768 image

Dominion to Sell 50% Interest in Virginia Beach Offshore Wind Farm for $3B

Dominion Energy announced it has reached an agreement with investment firm Stonepeak to sell a 50% noncontrolling stake in the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial project off the Virginia Beach coast for nearly $3 billion. If the sale is approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the North Carolina Utilities Commission, as well as federal regulatory agencies, Richmond-based Dominion will retain full operational control of construction and operations of the $9.8 billion CVOW project, which has received final federal approvals and is expected to start construction in May.

Read More

Editorial: Funding for ODU-EVMS Merger is a Hampton Roads Necessity

The House and Senate approved budget plans this week and will begin the process of hashing out the details between the two. One item included in both promises to deliver transformational change for health care in Hampton Roads, benefitting generations to come. Both chambers included $37 million to complete the ongoing merger of Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School. The long-anticipated union — boosted by the involvement of Norfolk State University and Sentara Health — intends to train the next wave of medical professionals and focus on illness and disparities endemic to Hampton Roads, the sort of focus that can make a lasting difference in the lives of area residents.

Read More
Press_Release_Photo_-_RCP_Anniversary image

Hampton Roads Workforce Council Accepting Nominations for Their 2024 'Top 20 Under 20' Awards

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council is accepting nominations for its 'Top 20 Under 20' Awards. The period for nominating deserving candidates from ages 13 to 19 ends on March 6 and the actual event will take place on May 2 from 6 - 7 p.m. The award is to recognize young people in the Hampton Roads community who are making strides in leadership, entrepreneurship, and community service. Last year was the organization's inaugural year for Top 20 Under 20.

Read More


HRPDC Economic Monthly

Each month, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) provides economic insights and informative articles to connect you with what changes are occurring in the local economy.

Read More


Cliff Copley

Director of Business Development

Cliff Copley joined the Hampton Roads Alliance in 2022 as Business Development Director. In this role, Cliff helps recruit new businesses and assist existing companies with expansion needs, contributing to the Alliance’s goal of attracting jobs and capital investment to the region. Some of his responsibilities include responding to inquiries by prospects, site selection consultants, real estate brokers and the VEDP business development managers in addition to coordinating site tours for prospects while acting as host and facilitator during the visit.

DSC_6930-2-d9c65232 image

Cliff, a native of Hampton Roads, has lived and worked in Hampton Roads for most of his life. Prior to joining the Alliance, Cliff worked as a Business Manager for Regional Talent Solutions and Business Outreach for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership assigned to the Eastern Virginia region. In the role, Cliff lead expansion projects bringing over $250 million of capital investment and 1,000 jobs to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Cliff is known and well-respected in Hampton Roads and has developed invaluable relationships and partnerships within the business and economic development community of the area. His previous public sector experiences include serving as Business Development Specialist at Tidewater Community College Center for Workforce Solutions as well as Senior Zoning Officer at James City County's Planning Division. In the private sector, Cliff served as Assistant Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Personal Banker at Bank of America, and Career Advisor at the ECPI University in Virginia Beach.

Cliff is a graduate of James Madison University where he earned his Bachelor's in Public Administration, with a minor in political science. He is a member of the Virginia Economic Developers Association and currently resides in Virginia Beach with two children.

Read More

View as Webpage

Click here to sign up to receive the Hampton Roads Alliance newsletter.

Click here to submit a story to the Hampton Roads Alliance newsletter.

Facebook  LinkedIn  YouTube