Attracting Remote Workers: Virginia Main Street to Lead Panel Discussion at VEDA Fall Conference

Next month, the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) will hold its Fall Conference in Lynchburg, VA on September 21-23, 2022. VEDA will bring together local, regional, and state leaders, elected officials, and others in vital fields that work to support the economic health of the Commonwealth to network, exchange ideas, identify new ways to cooperate and discuss how best to improve quality of life for all Virginians. Virginia Main Street (VMS) will lead a panel discussion during the conference, focused on helping communities attract remote workers.

Attracting remote workers is a new strategy for many communities, with the potential for big impacts on local economies without having to make a big investment in infrastructure. In May 2022, VMS partnered alongside Main Street America (MSA) to pilot a study on how communities can identify their existing assets and the needed infrastructure to meet the needs of this market and become a place of choice for remote workers. During the 2022 Fall Conference, this session will explore the key commonalities and unique market positions of the communities in the study that will inspire economic developers across the state.

Panelists will include the following:

Courtney Mailey | VMS Program Manager, Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development

Courtney Mailey is the VMS Program Manager for DHCD. She has worked in various places and facets of economic development with stints ranging from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to the Flax Trust in Northern Ireland to the Federal Reserve System and a few things in between! She is also a member of the Virginia Wine Board and the chair of the Virginia Winery Distribution Company.

Matt Wagner, Ph.D. | Chief Program Officer, Main Street America

Matt Wagner, Ph.D. serves as Chief Program Officer for MSA. He is responsible for driving the organization’s field service initiatives including the development and delivery of technical services for MSA and Urban Main programs, directing the Center’s research agenda, as well as the recently launched New Business Development work to focus on national partnerships, brand leveraging and new business growth areas.

Grace Blanchard | Regional Planner, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission

Grace Blanchard is a new planner at the CSPDC, and a recent graduate of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. She has interned at the Highland Center and was a 2019 Governor’s Fellow for the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. Grace grew up in Highland County and has a deep appreciation and understanding of the region.

Kristina Ramsey | Director of Economic Development, City of Buena Vista

In July 2022, Kristina Ramsey was promoted to be the City of Buena Vista’s new Economic Development Director. Previously, she served as the City’s Economic Development and Marketing Coordinator for nearly three years. During that time, she progressively took on new responsibilities, led many projects and cultivated relationships both within the community and across the state.

Click here to learn more about this session and others, as well as register for the 2022 Fall Conference.

We are excited to see everyone next month in Downtown Lynchburg, an Advancing VMS community!

Photo Credit (VEDA logo): VEDA

Photo Credit (Downtown Lynchburg): WSLS