Turnaround year for Richmond
By Mike Randle
As Greg Wingfield, CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership told me, "Richmond's the first stop." We were discussing the same thing we always do after a recession, and I've known Greg through three of them. He was explaining to me that Richmond is the first stop in the South for growing or relocating companies from the Northeast.
Wingfield is partially right, anyway. If you look at a map, actually, the first stop in the South from the Northeast is Northern Virginia, or NOVA. But you have to drive two hours south of NOVA to reach the rest of Virginia, or ROVA, to find a good biscuit or BBQ. That's Richmond.
The capital city of Virginia is a vibrant region with incredible architecture, walkable neighborhoods and a dynamic hub of national and international business. Eleven Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in the Richmond region, including Genworth Financial, MeadWestvaco, Altria and Markel. Other corporate nameplates with large footprints in the greater Richmond area include Capital One, DuPont, Rolls-Royce and Hewlett-Packard.
We caught up with Greg Wingfield recently to get an update on what's happening in the Richmond region. "This year was the turnaround year for us," Wingfield said. "The pipeline and deal flows are increasing, triggers are being pulled and deals are happening. We saw few decisions during the recession, but starting in December of last year with Amazon, the dam finally broke. Companies are adding capacity and adding people. We will end the year on June 30 with 10 new companies and 82 expansions of existing companies."