The City of Lynchburg, Virginia, is one of the best small cities in the country. Driven by innovative businesses and forward-thinking organizations, Lynchburg is a community that values history, natural beauty and healthy, inclusive neighborhoods. Every resident has the opportunity to thrive in the City of Lynchburg.
To be the best small city in America, the City of Lynchburg requires a deliberate strategy for competing for new investment and talent. In 2018, the Office of Economic Development & Tourism launched the Blueprint for Opportunity, a five-year strategic action plan built upon five key priorities: growing local businesses, engaging anchor institutions, filling workforce pipelines, enhancing quality of place, and communicating Lynchburg’s story to the world.
In March 2020, the world changed. Like other cities across the country, Lynchburg businesses, and the organizations that serve them, have had to make hard and fast decisions on how to function in this new normal. We now ask have ourselves how we will respond to this unique challenge. What must we do differently? How will citizens interact with local government? How will the City continue to serve Lynchburg businesses, big and small? How will our efforts position our city to welcome back visitors, conferences and sporting events?
The City’s recovery is based on the resiliency of its citizens and businesses. Beginning in May 2020, the Office of Economic Development will work with the Blueprint Reset Task Force to update the City’s economic development strategy for recovery and resiliency. Presentations, documents and information will be shared periodically with opportunity for engagement and feedback.
Blueprint Reset Presentation (MP4)
Blueprint Reset Slides (PDF)
Blueprint Reset Presentation Questions (Fillable Form)
Responses requested by 5 PM June 3, 2020
For more information:
Assistant Director, Economic Development & Tourism
City of Lynchburg
Blueprint Steering Committee Members
- Anthony Andrews – Facilitator, Co.Starters
- John Capps – President, Central Virginia Community College
- Rosana Chaidez – President & CEO, NB Handy
- Katie Conner – Destination Development Specialist, Virginia Tourism Corporation
- Ben Copeland, Lynchburg City Schools
- Kenny Craig – Government Relations, Liberty University
- Michael Elliott – Chief Innovation Officer, Centra Health
- Jeff Fedorko – Owner, Riverside Runners
- Jamie Glass – Director of Economic Development, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance
- Kenneth Hancock – Controller, US Pipe
- Rex Geveden – President & CEO, BWXT
- Todd Irby – CFO & COO, Innovative Wireless
- Allison Jablonski – Provost, University of Lynchburg
- Pat Price, Churches for Urban Ministry
- Mort Sajadian – President & CEO, Amazement Square
- Dustin Slightham – Owner, 434 Marketing
- Jeff Thompson, C.B. Fleet, A Prestige Brands Company
- Steve Willis – Special Assistant to the President, Randolph College
All members of the Blueprint Steering Committee Members and:
- Ray Dinstel – Vice President of Lynchburg Operations, Pacific Life
- Tina Ragland – Vice President Human Resources, Pacific Life
- Crystal Edwards – Superintendent, Lynchburg City Schools
- Elise Sponterelli – Executive Director, Vector Space
- Tim Saunders – Business Engagement & Outreach Coordinator, Virginia Career Works
- Stephanie Keener – Director, Small Business Development Center
- Gary Mignogna – President & CEO, Framatome
- Byron Steward – Executive Director, Business Development Centre
- Ben Bowman – Executive Director, Central Virginia Workforce Development Board
- Sarah Quarantatto – Executive Director, Miriam’s House
- Ashley Kershner – Executive Director, Downtown Lynchburg Association
- Geoffrey Kershner – Executive Director, Academy Center of the Arts
- Stephan Parry – Managing Partner, Parry Restaurant Group
- Dennis Marcenik – General Manager, The Virginian
- Danny Givens, Givens Books
- Ricky Kowalewski – Manager, Lynchburg Community Market
- Joe Martin – President & CEO, CloudFit
- Carroll Moon – CTO, CloudFit
- Rob Marquis – General Manager, International Paper
- Blair Godsey – Partner, Altus Group
- Simon Lott – President & CEO, American Hofmann
- Paul Denham – President, Southern Air
- Joe Hurley – SHEA Manager, Flowserve
- Jay Parker – Executive Director, YMCA
- Hailey Bennett – Recruitment, Genworth
- Keith Mann – COO/CFO, Scott Insurance
- Brian Booth – General Manager, Greater Lynchuburg Transit Company
- Bill Bodine – President & CEO, Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation
- Denise Woernle – Vice President of Communications, Framatome
- George Bonderant – COO, Hanwha Azdel
- Bif Johnson – President & CEO, Hurt & Profitt
- Andy Tisoskey – Site Director, Concentrix
- Chuck Warren – President & General Manager, Wegmann USA
- Sherry Sheppard – Human Resources Manager, Aerofin
- Greg Morris – President, AMG
- Robert Dawson – Owner, Berkshire Hathaway
- Renee Wood – Owner, Gladiola Girls
- Hawk Rochow – Owner, NovaTech
- Jawansa Hall – Owner, Blackwater Branding
- Michelline Hall – Owner, Blackwater Branding
- Rick Read – Broker, Coldwell Banker Commercial Read & Co.
- Ted Delaney – Chief Public History Officer, Lynchburg Museum System
- Bob Chapman – President & CEO, Bank of the James
- Kathy Shaw – Owner, Beeswax Candle Company
- Kim Soerensen – Executive Director, Riverviews Artspace
- Dave Henderson – Owner, The Water Dog
- Bob Dendy – President & CEO, Humankind
- Ryan McEntire – Managing Partner, Brown Edwards
- Jodi Gillette – Executive Director, Lynchburg City Schools Education Foundation
- Treney Tweedy – Mayor, City of Lynchburg
- Reid Wodicka – Deputy City Manager, City of Lynchburg
- Andrew LaGala – Director, Lynchburg Regional Airport
- Mark Strosnider – Chair, Economic Development Authority/Frontier Community Bank
- John Stone – Economic Development Authority/Stifel Nicolaus
- Georgeann Snead – Economic Development Authority/EDM
- Andrew Mueller – Economic Development Authority/Centra Health
- Gerry Swienton – Economic Development Authority/Investment Leadership LLC
- Louise Mitchell – Economic Development Authority/Credit Connection
- Bill Lovern – Economic Development Authority
The Steering Committee outlined seven guiding principles in the original Blueprint to inform the priorities and objectives of Lynchburg’s economic development strategy. While the founding principles are still relevant, a reset will also need to consider the following:
Diversification is key.
Exports and local economy both matter, so do both small and large firms.
Growing tourism assets is essential.
It’s key to the City’s budget, as well as future firm expansion and talent attraction (including remote workers).
Health care and public health are economic development.
Ensuring safety nets for essential service-based workers is a must-have.
The workers keeping our essential services running are key infrastructure.
Skill investment needs to accelerate.
A broader skill program that is fundamentally inclusive.
Anchors have to step-up.
We’ve started down the path but must continue.
Assess and leverage the impact of remote workers.