Hear from thought leaders from inside and outside Virginia as we dive into content related to economic development, education, workforce, and other topics of interest to the business community.
Jonathan Zur is president and CEO of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), a nonprofit organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to promote inclusion. VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Zur about VCIC’s mission, its activities, and the importance of pairing diversity with inclusion.
Tom Walker is the founder and CEO of DroneUp, a provider of drone delivery and flight services that has operated out of Virginia Beach since its founding in 2016. VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Walker about DroneUp’s delivery partnership with Walmart, its history and growth in Virginia, and the company’s work to grow the drone industry in Virginia through a unique educational partnership.
Dr. René Rodgers is head curator at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, where she leads the museum’s collections, permanent and special exhibits, and other educational programming. VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Rodgers about Virginia’s role in the popularization of what’s now known as country music, the complexities of promoting tourist attractions across state lines, and how the museum has benefited from the presence of The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.
Philip D’Anieri is the author of “The Appalachian Trail: A Biography,” published in 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. VEDP President Jason El Koubi spoke with D’Anieri about the history of the Appalachian Trail inside and outside of Virginia, why he chose to cover the trail’s history through a human lens, and the inseparability of his field, urban planning, from the natural environment.
Dr. Anne Kress is president of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), the largest public educational institution in Virginia and the second-largest community college in the United States. VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Kress about the importance of community colleges in workforce development, the effectiveness of industry partnerships in delivering talent to employers.
Earl Buford is president of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting adult learners as they navigate between education and employment. VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Buford about CAEL’s mission and work, best practices for getting workers the training they need for the jobs they want, and the family history that motivates him.
John Newby is CEO of Virginia Bio, the nonprofit statewide trade association that serves and promotes the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth. VEDP Interim President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Newby about recent life sciences success stories in the Commonwealth and Virginia Bio’s efforts to grow the industry, including the recently announced industry hub, Virginia Bio-Connect.
Chandra Briggman is president and CEO of Activation Capital and VA Bio+Tech Park in Richmond. VEDP Interim President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Briggman about her organization’s mission and activities, the emerging pharmaceutical cluster in Richmond and Petersburg, and the nuances of supporting life sciences investment during a global pandemic.
Byron Reese is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and futurist. VEDP Interim President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Reese about the progression of technology and what it means for the future of the workforce.
Maj. Gen. Ted Mercer is the new CEO and executive director of Virginia Space, the owner and operator of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), collocated at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. VEDP Interim President and CEO Jason El Koubi spoke with Mercer about his priorities at Virginia Space, the facility’s capabilities and clients, and the importance of commercial launches at Wallops.
Luiz DaSilva is executive director of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) and Bradley Professor in Cybersecurity at Virginia Tech. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with DaSilva about the collaborative research taking place at CCI’s member institutions and how that collaboration is positioning Virginia to set the course for the future of the internet.
Steve Morgan is the founder of Cybersecurity Ventures, a leading cybersecurity research company that provides data and insights on global cybercrime to C-suite executives, and editor-in-chief of Cybercrime Magazine. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Morgan about skyrocketing cybercrime damages, the cybersecurity skills gap, and Virginia’s place at the top of the cybersecurity industry.
John Keppler is chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Enviva, the world’s largest producer of woody biomass and one of Virginia’s largest exporters out of its private terminal in the city of Chesapeake. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Keppler about the company’s unique export profile, its commitment to sustainable forestry practices, and the quest to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Stephen Edwards is the new CEO and executive director of The Port of Virginia. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Edwards about the port’s ambitious ongoing modernization efforts, Virginia’s geographic export advantages, and the challenges of guiding essential logistics operations during a global pandemic.
Matt Calkins is founder and CEO of Appian, an enterprise cloud software company headquartered in Fairfax County. Appian is a leader in low-code automation, enabling organizations to develop powerful and business applications quickly. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Calkins about building and running a software company headquartered in Northern Virginia.
VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with leading site consultants Greg Burkart (Duff & Phelps), Jeannette Goldsmith (Strategic Development Group), and Chris Schastok (CBRE) about the factors that affect corporate headquarters location decisions, how companies will operate differently coming out of the pandemic, and the advantages Virginia has in attracting corporate headquarters investment.
Kevin Scott is chief technology officer and executive vice president, technology and research, at Microsoft, and the author of “Reprogramming the American Dream: From Rural America to Silicon Valley — Making AI Serve Us All.” VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Scott about his journey from rural Virginia to one of the biggest tech companies in the world and how artificial intelligence is poised to transform the U.S. economy.
Rita McClenny is president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), the agency tasked with expanding domestic and international inbound travel and motion picture production in Virginia. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with McClenny about Virginia’s top tourist destinations, marketing tourism during a global pandemic, and what it’s like overseeing one of the most enduring brands in tourism marketing, “Virginia is for Lovers.”
Dale Nash is CEO and executive director of Virginia Space, owner and operator of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Nash about the mission and history of Virginia Space and the opportunities for commercial space flight at Wallops.
Peter Beck is CEO, CTO, and founder of Rocket Lab, a private space company with commercial launch sites in New Zealand and at Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. VEDP Executive Vice President Jason El Koubi spoke with Beck about Rocket Lab’s evolution, its decision to locate in Virginia, and the future of commercial space flight.
Dr. Katherine A. Rowe is the 28th president of William & Mary. She also founded and serves as CEO at Luminary Digital Media and has published three books. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Rowe about integrating digital literacy with a classic liberal arts education, running a university during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.
VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with leading site consultants Brian Corde (Atlas Insight), Scott Kupperman (Kupperman Location Solutions), and Brandon Talbert (Austin Consulting) about the factors that make states and localities successful in attracting projects in an industry where even the most successful companies depend on low margins and economies of scale.
James Rosenbaum is a professor of human development, social policy, and sociology at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Rosenbaum about how the traditional college model fails some students and what can be done to make it work better.
Joel Kotkin is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. The New York Times has described him as “America’s Uber-Geographer” for his work on global economic, political, and social trends. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Kotkin about the forces affecting U.S. cities, suburbs, and rural areas.
Steven Brint is distinguished professor of sociology and public policy at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of “Two Cheers for Higher Education.” VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret caught up with Brint on a recent trip to the West Coast to discuss his work in, and analysis of, higher education in the 21st century.
Tad Deriso is president and CEO at Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, a South Boston-based nonprofit organization that has built an advanced open-access fiber optic network in Southern Virginia. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Deriso in Danville about his work creating world-class fiber infrastructure in a rural region.
Susie Adams is chief technology officer (federal government business) at Microsoft, where she oversees and implements the technical strategy for the technology giant’s Department of Defense, civilian, and intelligence community businesses. VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret spoke with Adams about data centers, Big Data, and the future of cloud and edge computing.
Tom Barkin is the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. VEDP’s President and CEO, Stephen Moret, recently spoke with Barkin about some of the issues and opportunities he has seen in the Fed’s Fifth District in his first 18 months on the job.
Beth Macy is a three-time New York Times best-selling author. She is the author of “Factory Man”, “Truevine”, and “Dopesick.” VEDP President and CEO Stephen Moret recently visited with Macy in Roanoke to discuss her work and unique perspective on issues facing rural America.
John F. Reinhart is the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). VEDP’s President and CEO, Stephen Moret, recently spoke with Reinhart about a transformative period in the history of the Port and what the future looks like at The Port of Virginia in the maritime industry.
Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and chairman of the board of the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute. VEDP’s President and CEO, Stephen Moret, recently spoke with Timmons about the issues that are important to manufacturers in the U.S.
Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings speaks on the future of economic development, how it is changing and how it should change, as well as the Amazon HQ2 project that recently was announced in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Timothy D. Sands, the 16th president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, discusses exciting new developments at Virginia Tech, the university’s role in bringing Amazon’s HQ2 project to Virginia, the plan for a new innovation campus in Alexandria, and how Virginia Tech partners with business and industry.
Greg LeRoy, the founder and executive director of Good Jobs First, discusses the inspiration for the creation of Good Jobs First, thoughts about the Amazon HQ2 project, and the future of economic development incentives in the U.S.