by Su Clauson-Wicker
Charlie Jewell, executive director of the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance since August 2015, calls himself a boomerang son of Virginia’s New River Valley.
“I was born and raised in Christiansburg. I got my degree at Radford University, and then I left for Atlanta for a job in the private sector,” says Jewell. “It was great place for a young professional, but after three years I was ready to return to the New River Valley.”
Jewell has a strong personal appreciation for the New River Valley attributes that he markets to companies across the nation – a relatively low cost of living, low crime rate, small-town friendliness, stimulating college-town environment, and plenty of outdoor recreation. He jokes about the local rush hour being a “rush minute.”
Jewell was a little ahead of the rest of the country in his appreciation of the region. In June, the New River Valley was rated one of the 30 top leading locations in America for new and expanding businesses to locate, according to Area Development magazine.
When Jewell returned to the New River Valley in 2005, he enrolled at Virginia Tech, earning a master’s in public administration and a graduate certificate in economic development. He took a job in his hometown, first in the Montgomery County Registrar’s Office, then in the Economic Development Department, focusing on marketing, business attraction, entrepreneurial development, and commercial real estate.
During his tenure there, Jewell actively supported 14 business expansion and recruitment projects totaling 758 new jobs and $59.6 million in investment. When he was selected for director of the NRV Alliance from a field of other well-qualified national candidates, no one was surprised.
Jewell has hit the ground running. He and his staff market the region at 13 trade shows a year, aiming at a diverse array of companies, from advanced manufacturing to technology-based companies to food and beverage processing operations. In his first year with the Alliance, Jewell helped guide the organization through its first formal strategic planning process in over a decade. As a result, the NRV Alliance is developing a targeted industry strategy, working with Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development to analyze and whittle down its target industries from 13 to three to five, so that marketing and initiatives supporting regional competitiveness can be focused effectively.
The NRV Alliance is also rebranding. The new brand will clearly promote their partner-based mission of attracting and retaining world-class jobs, investment, and talent, Jewell says. The NRV Alliance will begin working with a design firm on the brand overhaul, including logo and website, early in 2017.
When Jewell is not promoting the New River Valley, he is enjoying it. He likes mountain biking and hiking. He and his wife have a 4-year-old daughter, who is also starting to enjoy hiking.
Local Government officials, residents, and local business leaders gathered on Friday, Nov. 18, in Patrick County, VA, to celebrate the opening of Phase II of the Mayo River Rail Trail with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and hot dog lunch. Lunch was provided by Anderson & Associates, but it was grilled by Stuart Town Manager, Terry Tilley, who graciously acted as the event’s chef.
The speakers attributed the realization of the trail from an idea to a tangible project to former Patrick County Assistant Administrator and Tourism Director, Jeannie Frisco, whose vision and hard work initially gave life to the endeavor. Frisco passed away after a battle with cancer, but the attendees of the ribbon cutting ceremony certainly brought her spirit with them to the celebration. A memorial bench was placed along Phase II of the trail in honor of Frisco. The inscription reads “In Memory of Jeannie Bowers Frisco. Where there is hope, there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles can happen.”
Phase II of the trail was funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation, along with citizen and business donations.
The Mayo River Rail Trail follows along portions of the rail bed of the Danville & Western Railroad (also known as the “Dick and Willie”), that ran through Patrick County from 1884-1992. The multi-use trail will be completed in multiple phases, and the ceremony marked the completion of the second phase. The ceremony was held at the portion of the trail where Phase I meets Phase II. Phase III of the trail is currently in the planning stages and will continue to wind along the Mayo River, and end behind Rotary Field on Woodland Drive.
For more information on this project, contact Dennis Amos, PE at email@example.com.
Senior Engineer and former President of Anderson & Associates, R.A. “Chip” Worley, Jr. will be presenting at the VRA (Virginia Resources Authority) Governor’s Infrastructure Financing Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, on December 14-16, 2016. Chip has been with A&A for 44 years and has worked on numerous water and wastewater projects and other infrastructure improvements for Virginia counties, cities, and towns, from initial planning to the completion of construction.
The title of Chip’s presentation will be “Estimating the Cost of the Project”. The project cost estimate is often used for budgeting the proposed related costs and construction work as part of a CIP, or the cost estimate serves as the basis for funding applications to secure the money to design and build the project. In this session, the fundamentals of cost estimating will be discussed. The purpose and limitations of cost estimates will be explained with regard to the various types and stages of projects. Standard formats will be presented to emphasize what information should be included in the cost estimate and where those items are best noted within the cost estimate outline. Resources as to where to get cost information will be presented, as well as factors that influence costs which are sometimes not taken into consideration. Finally, several steps to take will be noted to keep the cost estimate relevant throughout the life of the project as conditions evolve and change. Contact Chip if you have questions at Worley@andassoc.com or by phone at 800.763.5596.
A native to the New River Valley, A&A’s Keith Boyd was born in Radford, grew up in Fairlawn, attended Virginia Tech, and has lived in Pulaski County all of his life.
Keith obtained his Mechanical Engineering degree from Virginia Tech, and later worked there on staff from 2000 to 2009. “When I left Tech,” says Keith, “Ken Anderson called me and asked if I was interested in talking about a project manager’s position here. Being a mechanical engineer, at first it seemed odd to think about working for a civil engineering firm, and I never had thought about working as a consultant. But, the more Ken explained it, and the more I thought about it, I came to realize it could be a good fit.”
Now, as the Vice President of Land Development, Keith enjoys the variety of work that A&A performs. One of the highlights of his A&A career was being selected for the Upper Quad project at Virginia Tech. Keith says it has been great to be a part of this high profile project.
Part of Keith’s job is meeting with clients, which he notes is something he very much enjoys. He invited Red Sun Farms to accompany him to the ACEC awards ceremony in Richmond, VA last year, where they joined him in accepting the ACEC Merit Award on behalf of their project in Dublin, VA. Keith is proud that Red Sun Farms was the first major project for the NRV Commerce Park.
He has balanced his career over the years with raising his family. His son, Robert, was married this past August. While at the wedding, Keith and his wife, Joby, heard many compliments about their son from various wedding guests which confirmed to them: “We must’ve done something right in raising him.” They are thrilled to have a new daughter-in-law, Stephanie.
Other passions include all things “Hokie”, as he is a Hokie Rep, and has season tickets to both football and men’s basketball games. He enjoys cycling, skiing, and is also very involved with the church he grew up in, Fairlawn Grace Brethren Church, where he attends, and also serves on the board.
LEIDOS – Providing professional services for MRP Statewide Inspection.
Floyd County, VA – Providing professional engineering services for a preliminary engineering report for Floyd Commerce Center.
Greensville County, VA – Providing professional WebGIS website services.
Halifax County Service Authority – Providing engineering services for an interconnection to service the Virginia International Raceway.
Town of Pulaski, VA – Providing engineering services for water system improvements.
Town of Lebanon, VA – Providing engineering services for a PER component of the Lebanon Business District Revitalization Plan.