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Economic development strong in the Valley

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augusta-chamber-headerThe Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted its Economic Development Business At Breakfast at the Holiday Inn Staunton Conference Center on Wednesday.

A packed house of more than 160 chamber members and special guests listened to an open dialogue panel discussion on economic growth in the Valley. The panel included Dennis Burnett, Director of Economic Development-Augusta County, Amanda Glover, Assistant Director of Economic Development-City of Staunton, Greg Hitchin, Director of Economic Development-City of Waynesboro, Robin Sullenberger, President and CEO-Shenandoah Valley Partnership, and Roger Porter, International Trade Manager-Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

One of the highlights of the morning was the presentation of the Economic Development BLUEPRINT Excellence Awards. Linda Hershey, President and CEO of the Chamber, recognized three Economic Development advocates who have established and consistently executed the best practices of bringing measurable success in targeted economic development to the locations they represent.

“This is a way to say thank you for having an impact on creating more jobs, attracting and retaining business and fueling investment in this region’s economy,” Hershey said.

The trophies were created from assembly line parts produced by Neuman Aluminum Impact of Waynesboro.  The winners were Robin Sullenberger, Shenandoah Valley Partnership, recognizing his 13 years of helping to grow the Valley’s economy and set the stage for the future, Mark Frazier, NIBCO of Virginia Inc., for the success of the Chamber’s Industrial Roundtable, and Dennis Burnett, Augusta County, for being the driving force behind Augusta County’s great economic development success stories over the past  couple of years

Keynote speaker was Barry DuVal, President and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, who spoke on Blueprint Virginia.

“This will be a statewide initiative to develop a road map that will improve Virginia’s competitive position in the global economy and ensure a prosperous and sustainable future. Our goal is to build a statewide consensus among private and public sector leaders regarding investment priorities,” said DuVal, who has been developing an independent governance structure of business and professional leaders, economic developers and educators representing the diverse regions and industry sectors across Virginia.

This group will present its “economic drivers” to elected officials, including the governor-elect, later this year.

For more information go to http://www.vachamber.com/blueprint/ 

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