GOVAJune 24, 2019

GO Virginia Region 3 Council members recently spoke to 60 Lead Virginia participants on strategies for economic success at The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville. GO Virginia Region 3 chair Charley Majors gave a bird’s eye view of GO Virginia, the Region 3 Council and the region’s innovation strategies.

Council member James McClain, co-chair of the innovation committee, said, “Innovation is energizing. It creates the opportunities necessary for businesses to thrive. A challenge is that innovation itself can be a challenge to sustain over time.”

McClain’s remarks were followed by a panel called “Shaping the Way Forward Via Technology, Talent and Agriculture.”

Region 3 council member Tim Clark shared information on the current state of agriculture in Southern Virginia and how strategic partnerships are magnifying individual efforts.

He was joined by Dr. Julie Brown of the GOTEC program, the recipient of the largest GO Virginia investment to date from the GO Virginia Competitive Funding pool that provided funding of up to $4.9 million.

Jeremy Satterfield, of Microsoft and SOVA Innovation Hub (another Region 3 project), added technology expertise to the conversation.

GO Virginia Region 3 Program Manager and 2009 Lead Virginia Program Graduate Liz Povar moderated the afternoon’s discussion.

Region 3 is overcoming the innovation challenge by supporting initiatives like the SOVA Innovation Hub, a venture spearheaded by Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities (MBC) Corporation in partnership with Microsoft Corp. The hub will be located in South Boston and will increase access to technology while encouraging collaboration and economic opportunities.

Another way Region 3 is combating the forces of economic stagnation is by crowdsourcing. In April the regional council announced a request for letters of interest from organizations in the Region 3 footprint open to creating a “regional entrepreneurial investment strategy.”

The council hopes to choose a lead for this project in the next few months.

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About GO Virginia Region 3

GO Virginia is a statewide business-led economic development initiative with funding to invest in collaborative projects that lead to high-paying jobs in each region. The mission of GO Virginia is to encourage collaboration among business, education, and government in each region.

The goal is to enhance private sector growth and opportunity, to increase economic competitiveness and to align workforce development programs with the needs of employers in the regions. GO Virginia Region 3 is one of nine regions in Virginia and includes the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Prince Edward and the Cities of Danville and Martinsville.

For more information, visit govirginia3.organd sign up for the Region 3 monthly newsletter or connect with GO Virginia Region 3 on Facebook or LinkedIn.

About Lead Virginia

Lead Virginia is a statewide leadership program that gives a select group of professionals the rare opportunity to surround themselves with the commonwealth’s most experienced and talented leaders — building a resource of social capital.

For more information, visit

From The Gazette Virginian