Overview

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support development and expansion of the Commonwealth’s economy. To accomplish these objectives, the Partnership focuses on business recruitment, expansion, and international trade. 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 Brian Ball – Vice Chair
Secretary of Commerce and Trade
Commonwealth of Virginia, Ex Officio Member

Carrie Hileman Chenery
Executive Director
Shenandoah Valley Partnership

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

Heather Engel
Chief Strategy Officer and Partner
Sera-Brynn

Greg B. Fairchild
Isidore Horween Research Associate Professor of Business Administration & Academic Director, Public Policy and Entrepreneurship
University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

William "Bill" Hayter
President & CEO
The First Bank & Trust Company

April Kees
Co-Director
Virginia Senate Finance Committee, Ex Officio Member

The Honorable Aubrey L. Layne, Jr.
Secretary of Finance
Commonwealth of Virginia, Ex Officio Member

Chris A. Lumsden
President and Administrator (retired), Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital
Owner, CALCO Properties, LLC

Ned W. Massee
Croatan Advisors

Vincent J. Mastracco – Chair
Partner
Kaufman & Canoles PC

Dan M. Pleasant
Chief Operating Officer
Dewberry

Jason Powell
Co-Director
Virginia Senate Finance Committee, Ex Officio Member

John F. Reinhart
CEO and Executive Director
The Port of Virginia

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

Carlos Tapias
U.S. Director of Operations
Grupo Phoenix

Robert P. Vaughn
Director
House Appropriations Committee Staff, Ex Officio Member

John O. “Dubby” Wynne
Chairman
Growth & Opportunity Board, Ex Officio Member

Management

Stephen Moret

Stephen Moret

President & CEO

Stephen Moret is President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Experience
Before leading VEDP, Moret served as President and CEO of the LSU Foundation, where he crafted a blueprint for its future of development, preparing the institution to launch the largest capital campaign in state history. Concurrently, he served as Executive Director of the LSU Property Foundation to launch a $180 million mixed-use real estate development, revitalizing the western edge of the LSU campus.

From 2008 through early 2015, Moret served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, which he transformed into one of America’s top state economic development agencies. At LED, he directed business development efforts and cultivated higher education partnerships that helped secure a diverse array of projects in urban and rural communities, including software/IT centers (e.g., CGI, CSC, GE Capital, and IBM), food/agricultural processing facilities, and a few of the largest foreign direct-investment manufacturing projects in U.S. history. Altogether, Moret and his team helped secure private-sector capital investments in excess of $62 billion. He also established LED FastStart, which The Economist called “probably the most notable statewide workforce-development initiative [in America].”

Moret previously served as President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce; management consultant with McKinsey & Company; public policy fellow with the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (a good-government think tank); consultant to Harvard Business School; Assistant to the Chancellor of LSU; and environmental consultant to industry at Trinity Consultants.

Education
B.S., Mechanical Engineering – LSU
MBA – Harvard Business School
Ed.D., Higher Education Management – University of Pennsylvania

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Vince Barnett

Vince Barnett

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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Sean Brazier

Sean Brazier

Vice President, Economic Competitiveness

Sean Brazier serves as VEDP’s Vice President of Economic Competitiveness, responsible for development and implementation of strategies and initiatives to improve Virginia’s business environment, supporting productivity and prosperity growth for its citizens.

Experience
Before joining VEDP in September 2017, Brazier helped start Purpose Built Schools Atlanta, an organization that partners with Atlanta Public Schools to manage schools on behalf of the district. Brazier also spent five years at McKinsey & Company where, among other roles, he served as an Engagement Manager for clients across public and private sectors, including one year as the U.S Program Manager for scaling operations for Generation U.S., a workforce development program preparing 18-29-year-olds for successful careers. 

Education
B.A., Economics – Morehouse College
MSc., International Political Economy – London School of Economics
MBA – Harvard Business School

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Melissa Cox

Melissa Cox

Senior Human Resources Manager

Melissa Cox serves as VEDP’s Sr. Human Resources Manager, 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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Jason El Koubi

Jason El Koubi

Executive Vice President

Jason El Koubi serves as VEDP’s Executive Vice President, leading the organization’s strategy and operations in collaboration with the President and CEO and directly overseeing activities related to economic competitiveness, international trade, incentives, research, IT, fiscal operations, and human resources.

Experience
Before joining VEDP in July 2017, 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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Paul Grossman

Paul H. Grossman, Jr.

Vice President, International Trade

Paul Grossman serves as VEDP’s Vice President of International Trade, responsible for increasing trade of Virginia products and services to markets worldwide.

Experience
Grossman has 30+ years of international economic development experience in Virginia, Arizona, and South Carolina at the state and local levels, and has lived and traveled extensively overseas. He has designed and implemented award-winning international trade development programs, business recruitment programs, and industrial parks. Under his guidance, more than 1,500 Virginia companies have traveled internationally to conduct business, and the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program and Global Defense Program were created, initiatives that were first-ever in the nation and received national and international acclaim. He also managed VEDP’s international business recruitment program, resulting in $3.8 billion in capital investment and creation of 15,425 jobs.

Education
B.A., Philosophy, Political Science, and French – Carson-Newman University
M.A., Global Affairs & Management – Thunderbird School of Global Management

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Sandi McNinch

Sandra Jones McNinch

General Counsel

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

Experience
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.

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

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John Mehfoud

John Mehfoud

Chief Information Officer

As CIO, John Mehfoud directs VEDP’s strategic planning and information security technology.

Experience
Mehfoud was previously a software engineer for a consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia. He specialized in accounting systems, network architecture, and large-scale database design. His assignments included major companies and organizations at the federal and state level.

Education
BBA., Computer Information Systems – James Madison University

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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.

Experience
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. 

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

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Nathalie Molliet-Ribet

Nathalie Molliet-Ribet

Vice President, Research

Nathalie Molliet-Ribet 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

Nathalie was most recently Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Education, promoting Governor McAuliffe’s priorities in higher education and workforce training. Previously, she served as the Senior Associate Director of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), the General Assembly's public policy research agency. During her 13-year career at JLARC, Nathalie oversaw and conducted more than 20 studies that prompted sweeping legislative reform in areas including economic development, incentives, workforce development, health care, and human services. Before entering state service, Nathalie held a variety of leadership positions in finance with General Electric.

Education
B.S. Finance, Virginia Tech
B.A. International Studies, Virginia Tech
MPP, Georgetown University

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Christy Morton

Christy T. Morton

Vice President, External Affairs

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
Graduate Certificate, Foundations of Political Analysis – Virginia Tech
Graduate Certificate, Environmental Politics and Policy – Virginia Tech
Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership – University of Virginia

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Jack Nelson

Jack Nelson, CPA

Controller and Treasurer

As the Controller and Treasurer, Jack Nelson’s primary responsibilities include asset protection, internal control, procurement, budget, and accounting and support services operations.

Experience
Before joining VEDP in 1991, Nelson worked in the Virginia State Comptroller’s Office reviewing state agency responses to Auditor of Public Accounts audits and managed statewide indirect cost recovery, accounts receivable, federal cash management, and leases. Before working in the public sector, Mr. Nelson served as Controller of a nonprofit private sector firm and as staff accountant with a CPA firm.

Education
B.S., Accounting – Virginia Commonwealth University
Certified Public Accountant

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Johan Salén

Johan Salén

Vice President, Incentives

Johan Salén serves as VEDP’s Vice President of Incentives, responsible reviewing, vetting, tracking, and coordinating all incentives administered by VEDP, as well as incentives strategy and structuring for major projects.

Experience
Before joining VEDP in August 2018, Salén served as the Executive Director of New York City Industrial Development Agency, providing discretionary incentives for corporate attraction and retention projects on behalf of the City. Prior to NYCIDA, Johan spent six years working at Louisiana Economic Development, first as Director of Structuring and Valuation and then as Director of Business Development, where he led the attraction of a variety of major project wins, including CGI, CSC/CSRA, IBM, and GE Capital, among others.

Education
B.S., Economics – Jönköping International Business School
B.S., Business Administration – Jönköping International Business School
MBA – Jönköping International Business School

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Tim Stuller

Tim Stuller

Vice President, Workforce Solutions

Tim Stuller serves as VEDP’s Vice President of Workforce 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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Employment

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. 

Technology & Analytics Specialist

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) is seeking a Technology and Analytics Specialist to provide daily administration and support of all software applications as it relates to the Division of Incentives, including Salesforce database, VEDP transparency portal, and the to-be-developed information intake portal.  The key responsibilities include, but are not limited to, database maintenance ensuring accuracy and the timely input of data, and developing reports that support decision making for VEDP management and VEDP’s Board of Directors.

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Business Manager

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is seeking an experienced economic development professional to successfully promote Virginia to targeted industry executives and site selection consultants as the preferred location for new and expanding business facilities. The Business Manager will support the development and implementation of VEDP’s business investment strategy, and provide project management on economic development opportunities considering Virginia.

Click here for full description and to apply