By Tim Ryan

In a significant stride towards fostering regional economic development, the GO VA Region 5 Council proudly announced the election of three distinguished new members: Steve Cook, Chief Innovation Officer of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council; Mark Perryman, President & CEO of the Norfolk Airport Authority; and Monique Adams, Former Executive Director of 757 Angels. Effective July 1, 2024, these appointments mark a pivotal moment in the council’s ongoing efforts to stimulate growth and innovation across Hampton Roads and Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Thomas Frantz, Chair of the GO VA Region 5 Council, expressed enthusiasm about the new additions. “We look forward to working with Mr. Cook, Mr. Perryman, and Ms. Adams. Each of these regional leaders brings energy, perspective, and advocacy for GO VA initiatives, both in Region 5 and in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he stated.

GO (Growth & Opportunity) Virginia is a regionally driven economic development initiative designed to encourage collaboration among local governments, higher education institutions, private industry, and workforce organizations. By incentivizing projects that promote the growth of traded industry clusters, GO VA aims to drive economic prosperity and job creation.

The GO VA Region 5 Council encompasses 16 cities and counties in Hampton Roads and Virginia’s Eastern Shore, plays a critical role in identifying economic opportunities, addressing challenges, and prioritizing regional collaboration. The council’s 28 diverse business and community leaders work tirelessly to outline and implement an economic growth and diversification plan. They are responsible for soliciting, reviewing, and recommending regional projects that align with these priorities for state funding.

The Hampton Roads Executive Roundtable, established in 2023 by merging the Hampton Roads Business Roundtable and Reinvent Hampton Roads, serves as the support organization for the GO VA Region 5 Council. Known simply as “The Roundtable,” this body is dedicated to aligning and coordinating economic development strategy, advocacy, and regional initiatives. They aim to enhance the region’s economic growth trajectory, increase competitiveness, create more high-paying jobs, and integrate innovation and entrepreneurship into the economic base.

With the inclusion of Cook, Perryman, and Adams, the GO VA Region 5 Council is poised to advance its mission with renewed vigor, particularly in the area of job creation. These leaders bring a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to economic development, ensuring that the region continues to thrive and attract new opportunities, leading to more jobs and a stronger economy.

As Hampton Roads and Virginia’s Eastern Shore look to the future, the contributions of these new council members, in collaboration with The Roundtable, will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping a prosperous and innovative economic landscape. The collaboration and strategic leadership fostered by the GO VA Region 5 Council and The Roundtable, with the active participation of the community, signal a bright and dynamic future for the region, driven by a shared vision of growth, opportunity, and success.

A copy of the official press release can be downloaded here.