The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) is the state economic development authority for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Created in 1995, VEDP collaborates with local, regional, and state partners to encourage the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy. VEDP works to accomplish these objectives through a variety of activities, including marketing and lead generation; business retention, expansion, and attraction; trade development; business intelligence; competitive benchmarking; site development; performance-based incentives; and talent solutions. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

By statute, VEDP creates economic opportunity for the Commonwealth through eight core categories of responsibility:

  • Ensure that effective marketing programs are delivered
  • Engage in business development activities
  • Engage in product development activities
  • Encourage coordination of economic development organizations
  • Encourage exports of Virginia’s products and services
  • Assist in formulating Virginia’s economic development strategies
  • Administer economic development incentive programs
  • Fulfill administrative and reporting responsibilities

With dedicated and knowledgeable professionals committed to Virginia’s economic success, VEDP helps businesses find the resources they need to make relocation and expansion successful endeavors.

Board of Directors

VEDP is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors. The Board selects the President and Chief Executive Officer and ensures that VEDP complies with all Board and statutory directives. The Board works with VEDP’s staff to develop, implement, and update strategic and marketing plans for the Commonwealth and an operational plan for VEDP.

The Honorable Caren Merrick - Vice Chair
Secretary of Commerce and Trade
Commonwealth of Virginia, Ex Officio Member

Nancy Howell Agee
President and CEO, Carilion Clinic and GO Virginia Chair
Ex Officio Member

Carrie Hileman Chenery
Valley Pike Partners

C. Daniel Clemente
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Clemente Development Company Inc.

Mimi Rainero Coles
Marketing & Business Development Vice President
Permatile Concrete Products Company

The Honorable Stephen E. Cummings
Secretary of Finance
Commonwealth of Virginia, Ex Officio Member

Stephen A. Edwards
CEO and Executive Director, The Port of Virginia
Ex Officio Member

Richard “Rick” O. Harrell, III
President (retired)
R.O. Harrell, Inc.

William H. Hayter
Retired President & CEO
The First Bank & Trust Company

April Kees
Director, Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee
Ex Officio Member

Pace Lochte
Assistant Vice President for Economic Development
University of Virginia

Anne Oman
Director, House Appropriations Committee
Ex Officio Member

Marianne Radcliff
Kemper Consulting, Inc.

Xavier R. Richardson
Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Community Benefit, Mary Washington Healthcare
President, Mary Washington Hospital & Stafford Hospital Foundations

William D. Sessoms, Jr.
Executive Vice President

Steven David Stone
Equity Principal
Offit Kurman

Advisory Committees

Advisory Committee on International Trade

The primary purposes of the International Trade Committee are to advise the Board on all matters relating to international trade and trade promotion; and, make such recommendations to the Board as the Committee may deem desirable. 

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Bob Feeser
Riverwind Advisors, LLC

Tag Greason
Chief Hyperscale Officer
QTS Data Centers

Mike Ligon - Chair
Retired Vice President of Corporate Affairs
Universal Corporation

Stuart Malawer
Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade
George Mason University

John Milliken
Virginia Port Authority

The Honorable Matthew Lohr
Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
Commonwealth of Virginia

David White
Executive Vice President
Virginia Maritime Association

James Xu

Advisory Committee on Business Development and Marketing

The primary purpose of the Advisory Committee on Business Development and Marketing Committee is to advise the Board on all matters relating to business development and marketing and make recommendations upon request of the Board.

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Beth Doughty - Chair

Greg Hitchin
Director, Economic Development and Tourism
City of Waynesboro

John Kilgore
Executive Director
Scott County Economic Development

Emily Kertz Lampkin
The Lampkin Group

Amy Parkhurst
Senior Vice President of Business Development
Hampton Roads Alliance

Paige Read
Director of Tourism and Economic Development
Town of Culpeper

Curry Roberts
Fredericksburg Regional Alliance

Matthew Rowe
Director of Economic Development
Pittsylvania County

Leonard Sledge
Director, Department of Economic Development
City of Richmond


Jason El Koubi

Jason El Koubi

President and CEO

Jason El Koubi is President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Before joining VEDP in July 2017 as Executive Vice President, El Koubi was previously President and CEO of One Acadiana, a regional economic development organization based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Under his leadership, the organization developed and successfully launched one of the most successful capital campaigns of its kind in the nation to deliver a new economic development program for the nine-parish region. Previously, El Koubi served as Assistant Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development, where he led initiatives that helped secure projects creating more than 63,000 new jobs along with more than $28 billion in new capital investment, while dramatically improving Louisiana’s position in virtually every state business climate ranking.

B.S., Biological Engineering – Louisiana State University
M.S., Public Policy – London School of Economics

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Stephanie Agee

Stephanie Agee

Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, International Trade

Stephanie Agee serves as Vice President of International Trade, providing leadership and oversight of programs designed to support Virginia companies in growing their international sales.

Before joining VEDP in January 2020, Agee led marketing and development activities at the Virginia Department of Agriculture, developing and implementing innovative domestic and international marketing programs designed to enhance the profitability of Virginia agribusinesses. She was also responsible for implementing economic development strategies aimed at expanding Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industries.

Previously Agee served in multiple positions in VEDP’s International Trade Division, including manager of the award-wining Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program, International Trade Manager for the Central Virginia region, and Global Research Manager. In all of these positions Agee worked with Virginia companies to develop and implement international sales strategies, identify and access target export markets, and provide counsel on specific international business issues. Agee also worked for the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she analyzed international trade and security assistance programs.

B.A., International Studies, Political Science - Virginia Tech
MPP, Public/Private Sector Partnerships - University of Maryland, College Park

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Vince Barnett

Vince Barnett

Senior Vice President, Business Investment

Vince Barnett serves as Vice President of Business Investment, where he directs VEDP’s lead generation, business retention and expansion, and Governor-led trade mission strategies to targeted industry executives and site-selection consultants. 

Barnett previously served as VEDP’s Vice President of Communications and Promotions, where he led the marketing program. Before joining VEDP in 2001, Barnett served as Marketing Manager for HHHunt Corporation in Glen Allen, Virginia, where he was responsible for marketing efforts at Hunting Hawk Golf Club. Barnett served more than seven years in the United States Air Force and the Virginia Air National Guard, with assignments at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

B.S., Mass Communications and Advertising – Virginia Commonwealth University

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David Devan

David Devan

Vice President, Economic Competitiveness

David Devan serves as VEDP’s Vice President of Economic Competitiveness, responsible for developing and implementing medium-to-long-term strategies to improve the foundations for state, regional, and local economic growth.

Prior to VEDP, Devan worked as an investment banker, advising corporations and private equity firms on mergers and acquisitions. Prior to investment banking, he served for seven years as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps, including tours to Afghanistan and the Republic of Korea.

B.S., Oceanography – United States Naval Academy
MBA – University of Virginia Darden School of Business

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Michael Dreiling

Michael Dreiling

Vice President, Real Estate Solutions

Michael Dreiling serves as Vice President of Real Estate Solutions and leads a team focused on analyzing, developing, and implementing real estate solutions for economic development projects across Virginia.

Before joining VEDP in January 2022, Dreiling served as an account leader, senior program manager, and project manager at an engineering and construction company where he focused his career on building major CapEx projects. As an account leader, he supported two global accounts establishing and launching numerous global service contracts. As a senior program manager, he was directly responsible for the delivery of four global industrial client programs with a total of 170 projects which were delivered with seven regional teams. As a project manager, he directly managed projects in over 15 countries valued at over $400M in construction costs.

B.S. Civil Engineering – Virginia Tech
B.S. Environmental Engineering – Virginia Tech
P.E. Professional Engineer – Virginia

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Bob Grenell

Bob Grenell


As the Controller, Bob Grenell's primary responsibilities include accounting operations, financial reporting, annual audit coordination, and internal controls.

Before joining VEDP in March 2008, Bob was a Finance Investment Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) managing investment balances for several PwC offices, as well as providing staff training and other special projects related to the merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand.  Prior to that, Bob was a Finance Manager with Coopers & Lybrand (C&L), serving numerous clients in various industries and managing the internal finance functions for five C&L offices.

B.S., Accounting – King’s College

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Mike Grundmann

Mike Grundmann

Senior Vice President, Talent Solutions

Mike Grundmann serves as Senior Vice President of VEDP’s Talent Solutions where he is responsible for the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, and Strategic Talent Initiatives.

Before joining VEDP in April 2019, Grundmann served as the Director of Manufacturing for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Prior to GDEcD, Mike worked in executive education for Georgia Tech, and served in a variety of positions spanning a 20-year career at Georgia Quick Start, including Director of Marketing and Director of Operations. In the operations role, Mike led a team of project managers and instructional designers responsible for analyzing processes, assessing skill requirements, and designing highly customized training programs for major manufacturing and distribution operations.

B.S., Business Administration/Marketing and Advertising – Indiana University
M.S., Information Systems Management – Keller Graduate School of Management

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Stephen Hartka

Stephen Hartka

Vice President, Research

Stephen Hartka leads VEDP’s Research team, providing companies and economic development stakeholders with customized, insightful analysis and data visualizations that convey Virginia’s full value proposition as the best state for business.

Before joining VEDP’s Research Division in 2018, Hartka spent five years with EY working in the firm’s Government & Public Sector practice. During his tenure with EY, he played a leading role delivering engagements and developing business with European Union Institutions, the French Treasury, and the African Development Bank among other clients. Hartka also previously worked as a consultant and writer for a digital communications agency and as an editorial consultant with an economic intelligence and advocacy firm.

B.A., Foreign Affairs, French Literature – University of Virginia
MPA, European Studies, Research Methods – Sciences Po Paris

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Sandi McNinch

Sandra Jones McNinch

General Counsel

As General Counsel, Sandra Jones McNinch oversees all of VEDP’s legal functions.

Before joining VEDP, McNinch was a public finance lawyer at a large law firm representing localities, issuers, borrowers, investment bankers, credit providers, and trustees in financings for public and private facilities and infrastructure. She also represented localities and developers in negotiating and implementing public-private partnerships and economic development incentive packages.

B.A., Criminal Justice – Michigan State University
J.D. – The College of William and Mary

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Lori Melancon

Lori Melancon

Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Lori Melancon serves as VEDP’s Vice President of Marketing & Communications, responsible for marketing the Commonwealth for business, including the VEDP and Virginia brands, websites, event and trade show marketing, and external communications.

Before joining VEDP in April 2017, Melancon led economic development marketing efforts at Louisiana Economic Development and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. During her tenure at LED, she modernized the Louisiana brand for business, managed all components of the organization’s marketing and communications program, and created innovative tools for regional and local partners. Lori has also worked for two advertising agencies, managing relationships with economic development and private-sector clients. 

BGS., English, History, and Political Science – Louisiana State University
M.S., Occupational Technology – The University of Houston

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Christy Morton

Christy T. Morton

Senior Vice President, Policy and Strategic Partnerships

Christy Morton serves as VEDP’s Vice President of External Affairs, responsible for managing VEDP’s relationships with the General Assembly, the Administration, and Virginia’s congressional delegation. She also leads VEDP’s external relationships with local and regional economic development organizations, trade associations, and other key stakeholders and partners to increase VEDP’s collaboration across the Commonwealth.

Morton previously served for four years as Executive Director of the Virginia Rural Center, where she brought together local and state government officials to develop solutions for challenges facing rural communities. She worked closely with legislators, the Administration, telecommunications firms, CIT, and other groups to improve broadband access in rural areas, as well as led initiatives to highlight innovative opportunities for economic development in rural Virginia.

Morton once served as Deputy Director of External Affairs and Policy Development for Governor Bob McDonnell, building coalitions and managing stakeholder relations for the Governor’s initiatives and legislative agenda as well as for all cabinet offices. Before joining the Administration, she worked in communications and public relations for Virginia Natural Gas in Norfolk, Virginia, and in government affairs and public relations with Davis Consultants in Richmond.

B.A., Political Science – Christopher Newport University

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Tim Stuller

Tim Stuller

Vice President, Talent Solutions

Tim Stuller serves as VEDP’s Vice President of Talent Solutions, helping new and expanding businesses access talent and training and overseeing the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, a key workforce incentive supporting economic development.

Stuller joined VEDP in 2011 and previously served as a Business Development Manager focused on new and expanding businesses, with emphasis on the biosciences sector. He represents VEDP on several statewide boards and task teams for business and workforce.

Before VEDP, Stuller worked for IBM Corporation in marketing and business development leadership in regional and national markets with commercial and public-sector clients.

B.S., Business and Economics – Randolph-Macon College

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Melissa Cox

Melissa Cox

Human Resources Director

Melissa Cox serves as VEDP’s Human Resources Director, responsible for talent acquisition and retention, performance management, total rewards, and human capital risk management.

Before joining VEDP in May 1998, Cox served as a long-term substitute teacher with Henrico County Public Schools. Cox also spent five years with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as an Office Services Specialist in the Office of Product and Industry Standards.

B.S., Psychology – Virginia Commonwealth University
M.T., Elementary Education – Virginia Commonwealth University

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For two decades, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership has served as Virginia’s economic development authority. Like the Commonwealth it serves, VEDP has long been regarded as among the best in the country because of its stable leadership and nimble, creative, mission-focused operations. It is a nonpartisan, quasi-independent state authority governed by a board of directors that spans gubernatorial administrations. VEDP is a certified Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program employer with ongoing plans to recruit, hire, and retain veterans.

For a complete list of employment opportunities at Virginia Tourism Corporation, please visit https://www.vatc.org/about/employment/