Overview

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
Principal
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

John Hewa
President and CEO
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

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
President
Kemper Consulting, Inc.

Nick Rush
Agent
Krupin Partners LLC

William D. Sessoms, Jr.
Executive Vice President
TowneBank

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
President
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
Chairman
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
CEO
AVAIL Vapor

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
President
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
President
Fredericksburg Regional Alliance

Matthew Rowe
Director of Economic Development
Pittsylvania County

Leonard Sledge
Director, Department of Economic Development
City of Richmond

Management

Jason El Koubi

Jason El Koubi

President and CEO

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

Experience
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.

Education
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 Senior Vice President of International Trade and Chief Administrative Officer at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Experience
In these roles she provides leadership and oversight of programs designed to support Virginia companies in growing their international sales and oversees the agency’s human resource, information technology, and fiscal and support services. Before starting this role in July 2022, Agee served as Vice President of International Trade since January 2020. Prior to this, she led marketing and development activities at the Virginia Department of Agriculture, developing and implementing innovative domestic and international marketing programs and economic development strategies designed to enhance the profitability of Virginia agribusinesses.

Previously Agee served in multiple positions in VEDP’s International Trade Division, where she 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.

Education
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. 

Experience
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.

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

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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.

Experience
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.

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

Experience
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.

Education
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.

Experience
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.

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

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Katherine-Goodwin

Katherine Goodwin

Vice President, Business Investment

Katherine Goodwin serves as Vice President of Business Investment, providing leadership for VEDP's primary business development efforts.

Experience

Goodwin previously served as manager of VEDP's Project Research group, leading efforts to create customized responses for client requests before being tapped as AVP of VEDP's Business Investment division in 2016. Prior to joining VEDP in 1998, she was an economic development manager at the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Education

B.S., Business Administration, double major Marketing and Management – University of South Carolina

M.S., Information Science – University of South Carolina

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Bob Grenell

Bob Grenell

Controller

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

Experience
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.

Education
B.S., Accounting – King’s College

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Mike Grundmann

Mike Grundmann

Senior Vice President, Virginia Talent Accelerator Program

Mike Grundmann leads a team of talent acquisition and instructional design professionals who develop and deliver highly customized recruitment and training solutions as an incentive for eligible companies to create new jobs in Virginia.

Experience

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.

Education
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.

Experience
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.

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

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Heather McKay

Heather McKay

Executive Director, Virginia Office of Education Economics

Heather A. McKay serves as the inaugural Executive Director of the Virginia Office of Education Economics (VOEE). 

Experience

She leads VOEE’s efforts to use research and data to inform program, policy, and partnerships in education and workforce across the Commonwealth. Prior to coming to VOEE, Heather was the founding director of the Education and Employment Research Center at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her research areas include workforce development programs, education and workforce policy, student success, student decision making, and non-degree credentials.

Education

B.A., Bryn Mawr College
M.A., history and global affairs - Rutgers University

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Lori Melançon

Lori Melançon

Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Lori Melançon 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.

Experience
Before joining VEDP in April 2017, Melançon 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. 

Education
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.

Experience
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.

Education
B.A., Political Science – Christopher Newport University

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Tim Stuller

Tim Stuller

Vice President, Regional Talent Solutions and Business Outreach

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.

Experience
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.

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

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Lisa Wallmeyer

Lisa Wallmeyer

General Counsel

Lisa Wallmeyer serves as General Counsel at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Experience

Prior to joining VEDP in July, 2022, Wallmeyer served for over 20 years as an attorney at the Virginia Division of Legislative Services.  In that role, she staffed the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees and the House Appropriations Committee, where she worked extensively on legislation related to economic development in the Commonwealth, as well as issues related to finance, taxation, and appropriations. Over the course of her legislative career, she also staffed commissions and committees related to technology, public safety, transportation, agriculture, and the Freedom of Information Act.

Education/Credentials

B.A., Print Journalism – Washington & Lee University

M.A., Mass Communications – University of Florida

J.D. – University of Florida

Member of the Virginia State Bar

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Careers

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/