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Hundreds Gather Virtually for the Virginia Economic Summit and Forum on World Trade

The premier economic conference in Virginia expands to include International Trade experts and 2020 Legislative Awards Presentation

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – Moments ago, the 2020 Virginia Economic Summit and Forum on World Trade concluded, featuring leading economic and trade experts to discuss this year’s theme, “Building Economic Resiliency in Virginia.” The 2020 Virginia Economic Summit and Forum on World Trade was co-hosted by the Virginia Chamber Foundation and Virginia Economic Development Partnership, with participation of more than 700 business and economic development leaders from across the Commonwealth.

As part of the signature conference, Barry DuVal formally announced the process to develop the Commonwealth’s next comprehensive strategic plan, Blueprint Virginia 2030.

Blueprint Virginia 2030, will continue to build on the policy recommendations outlined in Blueprint Virginia 2025 and serve as an action plan for strengthening Virginia’s economic competitiveness.

Nazzic S. Keene, CEO of SAIC, and Edward Baine, President of Dominion Energy Virginia were announced as the Co-Chairs for Blueprint Virginia 2030.

A recording of the full announcement can be found here. 

“While the challenges of the global pandemic continue to impact our businesses, families, and communities, we must stay resilient and return stronger than before,” said Virginia Chamber President & CEO Barry DuVal. “By supporting initiatives that promote economic growth and international trade we will not only bring more well-paying jobs to Virginia, but also build on our strong foundation as the best state for business in an increasingly competitive national landscape.”

“While we have faced some significant public health challenges and economic setbacks this year due to COVID-19, we are going to have a big opportunity in 2021 to recover from the public health crisis as well as position Virginia for a healthy economic recovery,” said Virginia Economic Development Partnership President & CEO Stephen Moret. “Working together, in collaboration with the Administration, the General Assembly, the business community, and economic development professionals across the Commonwealth, we can continue to position Virginia to be America’s best state for business, workers, and families.”

The 2020 Virginia Economic Summit and Forum on World Trade featured Rufus H. Yerxa, President of the National Foreign Trade Council, as this year’s keynote speaker. John Reinhart, CEO & Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority, was honored with the Blueprint Virginia Free Enterprise Award for Economic Development.

The conference also highlighted two panel discussions: “Why Virginia – A Perspective from Virginia CEOs,” and “International Trade: Why, Where and How in a COVID-19 World.” 

The Virginia Chamber announced Delegate Kathy Byron and Senator Monty Mason as the 2020 Legislators of the Year and announced Delegate Rodney Willett and Senator Jen Kiggans as the 2020 Freshman Legislators of the Year. The Virginia Chamber also recognized the Blueprint Virginia 2025 Business Advocate Award recipients.

Watch the 2020 Legislative Award’s Program here. 

View the separate press release here. 




“Positioning Virginia for a Healthy Economic Recovery”

Stephen Moret, President & CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership


Paige Clay, Senior Partner, Mercer and Chair, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Tom Palmer, Senior Vice President, Market Executive – Virginia/West Virginia, Wells Fargo Commercial Banking


Rufus H. Yerxa, President, National Foreign Trade Council


John Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Port Authority


"Why Virginia – A Perspective from Virginia CEOs"

Moderated by: Woody Fowler, President & CEO, Williams Mullen


Billy Gifford, CEO, Altria Group Inc.

Warren Thompson, President & Chairman of the Board, Thompson Hospitality Corporation

Kathy Warden, Chairman, CEO and President, Northrop Grumman Corporation

"International Trade: Why, Where and How in a COVID-19 World” – World Trade Industry Leaders

Moderated by: Stephanie Agee, Vice President of International Trade, Virginia Economic Development Partnership


Tricia Downie, Manager, Marketing and Communications, TMEIC

Darren Honaker, Commercial Director, Industrial Systems, TMEIC

David Klain, Senior Principal and Vice President, International, Dynamis

Suzanne Saraya, International Sales Manager, ExploreLearning

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