Partners in Progress focuses on regionalism

Published 9:54 am Friday, March 24, 2017

by Amanda C. Jarratt

The Fourth Annual Partners in Progress event, hosted by Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc., drew a large crowd. With almost 100 attendees from the Franklin-Southampton community and Greater Hampton Roads area, the event marked another successful year of collaboration and partnership throughout the region.

Southampton County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Ronnie West welcomed attendees and highlighted the County’s commitment to working with and partnering with the City of Franklin for the benefit of both communities.

Mayor Frank Rabil, provided an overview of the great accomplishments the City of Franklin achieved during 2016 including the regional effort with Isle of Wight County to announce the expansion of ST Tissue and the new development of Pinnacle in Pretlow Industrial Park.

Rick Weddle, president of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, provided the event’s keynote address. Weddle provided an inside look into how Franklin and Southampton are leading the way in terms of regionalism across Hampton Roads.

Due to HREDA’s focus on marketing the greater Hampton Roads region, he explained the importance of shovel ready sites and access to a strong workforce. Weddle noted these areas are where Franklin and Southampton should continue to focus future efforts. At the conclusion of the event, Warren E. Beale, previous chairman of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc.’s Board of Directors, was recognized for his service to the organization and the community.

This event would not have been possible without the sponsorship of Dominion Virginia Power, Bronco Federal Credit Union, Timmons Group, McGuire Woods Consulting, McGuire Woods, Davenport and Company, and Will Holt of Kaufman and Canoles.

AMANDA C. JARRATT is president and CEO of Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc.