SVP Investors & Partners,
What an incredible year it has been for the Shenandoah Valley region. When I began as Executive Director last December, I was excited to build on this region’s reputation as a leader in providing a successful forum for cooperation and partnership among the localities, private-sector businesses, and educational institutions. Your collaborative spirit has delivered. Thanks to your ongoing efforts to ensure a healthy economic future for the Shenandoah Valley, the region benefited from the announcement of $1.13 billion in new capital investments and 474 new jobs in 2019. I look forward to partnering in 2020 to continue to advance economic opportunities for the Shenandoah Valley.
Earlier this month, we traveled with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to Chicago for Site Selectors Speed Consult and Connect. This event consisted of timed one-on-one conversations with over one dozen consultants involved in various aspects of business development. Meeting with these consultants and sharing our business development story keeps our region top of mind to better inform and prepare them as they represent a multitude of current and future clients looking for new business locations. We will continue to work directly with these consultants to enhance their awareness of the Shenandoah Valley’s business proposition.
We recently began working with FDI365 to develop a targeted contact list focused on our key industries. Based on a platform developed by combining the newest technologies and online analytics, we’ll receive 365 targeted contacts over a 12-month period. We’re customizing our responses to each contact to cultivate a relationship, share our economic development assets, and encourage them to include the Shenandoah Valley region in their business expansion search.
We have continued to refine our website to build on the Shenandoah Valley brand and increase our digital presence. We have plans to develop, implement and manage a digital marketing campaign that promotes the Shenandoah Valley region and influences our various key audiences including site location consultants, corporate decision makers, and current and prospective SVP investors. Through these efforts we’ll drive traffic to our website and optimistically acquire leads. We’re also partnering with our 12 localities to incorporate videos as part of our communication platform and can’t wait to share an update on these efforts!
Team SVP is fortunate to be your one-stop economic development resource in the Shenandoah Valley to improve the region’s prosperity and quality of life. We hope to see you at our events in the new year, which we will be finalizing and publishing in early 2020. These will include networking opportunities, economic development forums and our Annual Meeting. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any SVP staff member at any time.
Best wishes for a restful, safe and healthy holiday season.
Jay A. Langston, Ph.D., has over 30 years of extensive experience in economic and business development, strengthening community engagement, and developingentrepreneurial initiatives. Jay joined SVP in December 2018 where he is leading efforts to expand and relocate business to the Shenandoah Valley region. Most recently serving as the Managing Director of Business Retention and Expansion at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), Jay also served as Senior Business Manager/Senior Advisor in Competitive Initiatives and Senior Research Manager. Prior to working at VEDP, Jay was the Executive Director of Virginia’s Gateway Region, a regional economic development organization, and Senior Business Development Representative for Chesterfield County Department of Economic Development. Jay received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology and Masters in Public Administration and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also received accreditation from the Virginia Executive Institute and National Center for Economic Gardening and received the 2010 Virginia Economic Developers Association’s Cardinal Award, the highest award for economic development leadership, career accomplishment and service.