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2018 VEDA Spring Conference
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2018 VEDA Spring Conference

4/11/2018 to 4/13/2018
When: April 11-13, 2018
Where: The Westin Richmond
6631 W. Broad Street
Henrico, Virginia  23230
United States

Online registration is closed.
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2018 Spring Conference
Spring is just around the corner and we are excited to be hosting what is shaping up to be a great Spring Conference! Trees and flowers will be in full bloom, birds will be singing, and the smell of fresh cut grass will fill the air. 

Our Spring Conference theme of Redefining OUR Evolving Profession, paired with VEDA’s year-long theme, Agents of Change, will prove to be a winning combination.  Topics include How Technology is Being Harnessed by Economic Developers to Drive Local Business Growth; The EDA/IDA as an Effective Economic Development Tool; Perspectives on Economic Development; Practitioner Leadership, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and much more!

Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Esther Lee will kick off the conference on Thursday, April 12th at lunch and Amy Liu with the Brookings Institute will wrap up the conference on Friday, April 13th.

We have a wonderful program and activities planned.  We look forward to seeing you in April!

Christine Bell, Virginia Economic Development Partnership and
Conaway Haskins, Virginia Tech
VEDA Spring Conference Co-Chairs


Kim Harrison, Virginia Tech Richmond Center - The Forest or The Trees: Which do you see?

Dave Parsell, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Localintel - The World is Changing. So is Economic Development: How technology is being harnessed by economic developers to drive local business growth

The EDA/IDA as an Effective Economic Development Tool (Panel)

VEDA Member Engagement Opportunities Breakfast

Michael Woods, Senior Manager, Troutman Sander Strategies, VEDA Public Policy Liaison - 2018 General Assembly Update

Stephen Moret, President & CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership - VEDP Update

David Poole, Executive Director, Virginia Public Access Project - Deals and Disclosures: Accommodating the Public’s Right to Know While Preserving Client Confidentiality

Katharine “Kara” Hart, Assistant General Counsel, Virginia Economic Development Partnership - Deals and Disclosures: Accommodating the Public’s Right to Know While Preserving Client Confidentiality 

Amy Liu, Vice President and Director - Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution - Keynote Address

CEDA Slide Show

Spring Conference Photos via Flickr

Attendee List
Speaker Bios

Golf Tournament
Biking on the Virginia Capital Trail
Richmond Brewery Tour

VEDA Spring Conference Professional Development Workshop
New Member Reception
Membership Engagement Opportunities
Hotel Accomodations

The VEDA Spring Conference continues an expanded format to bring you more learning and networking opportunities. Pre-conference activities (Golf and Cycling) will be offered on Wednesday, April 11th. VEDA’s Professional Development Workshop will be held on Thursday, April 12th from 10-12 at The Westin Richmond. The conference will kick-off with a luncheon and keynote speaker, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Esther Lee and will conclude on Friday, April 13th, following lunch and keynote speaker, Amy Liu, The Brookings Institution.

VEDA Members
- $275, VEDA Cornerstone Members - $247.50, Non-Members - $350

Online Conference Registration closes Friday, April 6, 2018 at 5:00 pm. No cancellations or refunds after Friday, April 6, 2018. Cancellations made prior to Friday, April 6, 2018 will be assessed a $25 processing fee.

Pre-Conference Activities
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spring Conference Golf Tournament
The Club at Viniterra, 8647 Angels Share Drive, New Kent, Virginia 23124, 804-932-3888
Golf details and registration form.

Spring Conference Biking on the Virginia Capital Trail

Join VEDA members as we ride 15 or 24 miles on the Virginia Capital Trail—it’s a safe car-free ride. We will determine distance based on who attends but plan to ride for approximately 2 hours. The Capital Trail is a shaded and paved trail, so it is perfect for all levels/bike types.

The Virginia Capital Trail is a bicycle and pedestrian trail between Williamsburg, Jamestown and Richmond in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is 55 miles (89 km) in length (one way) and largely parallels a highway, Virginia Route 5, a Virginia Scenic Byway.

Representatives from the Richmond Bike Association will be joining us on our ride! Your VEDA point of contact is Von Gilbreath, or 757-382-3707.


Date/Time: Wednesday, April 11, 2018; Biking Begins at 1:30 pm and ends at 3:30 pm
Kickstand Bicycle Rental
There is no cost to participate in this event, but registration is required by April 6th. Participants may supply their own bicycle or rent one at the designated area. Bottled water and light snacks will be available.

Logistics/Additional Information:
1:00-1:30 pm: Meet at Kickstand Bicycle Rental, 3011 Water Street, Richmond, Virginia.
1:30-3:30 pm: Biking on the Virginia Capital Trail

4:00 pm: Conch Republic for Food & Beverage (Dutch-Treat)

Kickstand FacebookPage:
Call: 804-971-7585
Trail Map:

Richmond Brewery Tour
: Wednesday, April 11, 2018.  Bus picks up the group at The Westin Richmon at 5:30 pm and returns 8:30-9:00 pm.
: The cost to attend is $60 for VEDA members and $85 for non-Members. Price includes the opportunity to take part in tastings at each of the three breweries visited and transportation.

Logistics/Additional Information:

  • Tour begins at The Westin Richmond
  • There is a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 14 people for this tour. If fewer than 4 people register, this event will be cancelled.
  • A sample tour itinerary would be as follows:
    • Tour starts at The Westin Richmond
    • Visit three breweries (TBA) and receive a flight of tastings at each brewery
    • Travel back to The Westin Richmond
  • The tour also includes the following:
    • Brief course on beer tasting before your departure
    • A guided tour at one of the three breweries visited
    • Highlights of Richmond’s local sights and expanding beer scene
    • Complimentary snacks and refreshments during the ride
    • Complimentary Richmond Brewery Tours souvenir

Pre-Conference Activities
Thursday, April 12, 2018

VEDA Spring Conference Professional Development Workshop
: Thursday, April 12, 2018: Registration Opens: 9:30 am; Workshop Time: 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Location: The Westin Richmond, Chesapeake Ballroom C
Cost: VEDA Members - $25.00; Non-Members - $50.00. Cost of registration includes refreshments and course materials.

The Forest or the Trees: Which do you see?
Everyone has a preference as to how they take in information. Some people like facts and details first, while others like the big picture first. Not surprisingly, this preference is most important when we are communicating with each other. In this engaging workshop, participants will figure out how to distinguish between the two preferences and better understand their own way of taking in information. Case studies and interactive exercises will highlight why some communication challenges occur and how both views are important.
: Kim Harrison, Assistant Director, Virginia Tech Richmond Center

VEDA New Member Reception VEDA’s New Member Reception is open to new members to the organization since spring of 2017 and VEDA’s leadership. It provides the opportunity for new members to meet VEDA’s leadership and one another. While there is no extra cost, participants should be sure to register on the website along with their conference registration.
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 5:30-6:00 pm
Location: The Westin Richmond, Blue Ridge Ballroom B
Cost: There is no cost to attend this reception but invited guests must register for the meeting through the registration website.

Bowling The networking and fun will continue at the AMF Sunset Lanes close to the Westin. We’ll have lanes reserved for anyone who wants to participate, as well as food and drink! Stick around after the reception and catch the VEDA shuttle to the bowling alley.
Date/Time: Thursday, April 12, 2018, 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: AMF Sunset Lanes, 6540 W Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia
Cost: There is no additional cost to attend this event, but guests must register for the event through the registration website.

Friday, April 13, 2018

VEDA Membership Engagement Opportunities If you’re new to VEDA, we want to extend our warmest welcome, learn more about you, and provide you with a thorough knowledge of the resources that are now yours as a VEDA member. Or if you’ve been a member for a while and just want to learn more and get involved, we hope to see you too! Join us for breakfast at 7:15 on Friday to learn about our history, goals, governance, and opportunities for you to engage in the organization.
Date/Time: Friday, April 13, 2018, 7:15-8:00 am
Location: The Westin Richmond, Room TBA
Cost: There is no cost to attend this briefing, but guests must register for the meeting through the registration website.

VEDA 2018 Spring Conference Hotel Accommodations
The Westin Richmond
6631 West Broad Street, Henrico, Virginia 23230
Phone: 804-282-8444, Reservations: 866-716-8108

Online Reservations:

To reserve your room at the VEDA Conference Rate of $115 make your reservation by Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

The Westin Richmond sets the precedent for superb accommodations, attentive service and rejuvenating surroundings.

The Westin Richmond hotel boasts the coveted AAA Four-Diamond rating as well as Westin's "Hotel of the Year" and "Best in Class" award for the highest level of guest satisfaction in the brand! The Westin Richmond is a full-service property offering all the personal touches you need to renew and rejuvenate when away from home.


Spring Conference Sponsors

(Sponsor Profiles)

Virginia Sponsors


Commonwealth Sponsors


Dominion Sponsors

ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
H+M Company
Hanover County Economic Development
Henrico County Economic Development Authority
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
MEB General Contractors
Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development
York County Office of Economic Development

Dogwood Sponsors

Clancy & Theys Construction Company
S.B. Ballard Construction Company


1340 N. Great Neck Road, #1272-128
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454

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