December 18, 2020
SVP Investors & Partners,
What an unforgettable year it has been. While I never could have scripted the pandemic scenario, the Shenandoah Valley once again proved its resilience. Our localities are exceptional and spearheaded many funding efforts to help small business. The private sector continues to support economic growth, conveying the indefatigable determination and resourcefulness of our industries. Thanks to our collaborative efforts, the Shenandoah Valley benefited from the announcement of more than $200 million in investment and over 500 hundred new jobs this year.
In 2020 we:
- Promoted the Shenandoah Valley economic development assets at the Consultant Connect Summit, Great American Outdoor Show, and a Consultant Call Trip to Florida;
- Launched “The Shenandoah Valley’s Top 12” to promote our growth opportunities and provide consultants the advantage to site select from home;
- Leveraged prominent features throughout VEDP’s First Quarter Virginia Economic Review to promote our powerful food and beverage industry;
- Hosted interactive virtual events for site selectors to meet many of our premier companies including a Virtual Transportation & Logistics Roundtable, Virtual Familiarization Tour and Virtual Lunch and Learn;
- Implemented the Business Scale-Up Program to provide qualifying second-stage companies with custom resources to identify and resolve distinct growth challenges;
- Hosted a casual and fun virtual networking and educational event for investors;
- Provided an update on our lead generation and marketing efforts during our Virtual Annual Meeting streamed live from Pale Fire Brewing;
- Coordinated an In-Person Familiarization Tour where site selectors experienced our business development assets and unique quality of life; and
- Provided the platform for partners to discuss community and economic development programs in Highland County during our Virtual Fall Economic Development Forum and in Rockbridge County during our Virtual Winter Economic Development Forum.
The excellent SVP staff and I will leverage best practices learned over the past 12 months to develop our plan of work for 2021. Initial programs include interactive outreach and virtual events and the launch of our quality of life website and podcast.
This month marks my two-year anniversary with the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. I remain passionate and committed to improving the Shenandoah Valley’s prosperity and quality of life. I acknowledge that this has been a challenging year, but I encourage you with this message: empathize with those who are less fortunate than you; have understanding and tolerance for those who are unlike you; cherish those you love and hold them dear; and take good care of yourself.
Best wishes for a restful, safe and healthy holiday season.
Jay A. Langston, Ph.D.
Email | (540) 568-3259