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PRESS RELEASE: Business Leaders from Across Virginia Gather in Richmond
for 2022 Virginia Economic Summit & Forum on International Trade

“Ensuring Virginia Competes to win in the National & Global Economy”

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – This afternoon, the 2022 Virginia Economic Summit & Forum on International Trade, hosted by the Virginia Chamber Foundation and Virginia Economic Development Partnership concluded with participation of close to 600 attendees.  

In its 13th year, this signature conference brought together business and policy leaders to discuss key components and reforms that are necessary to compete in business climate, talent development, and international trade to position Virginia to win in a global economy.

“At last year’s program, we presented Governor Youngkin with Blueprint 2030, and today, he announced his proposal of an additional $350 million investment for total of $500 million to secure Virginia’s position as having the best sites in the nation,” said Barry DuVal, Virginia Chamber President & CEO. “The commonwealth is very fortunate to have both an administration and business community dedicated to strengthening the business climate in Virginia.”

“We are fully committed to keeping Virginia at the forefront of our competitor states through a comprehensive approach to economic development and meaningful partnerships with the business community. We must train a workforce that businesses will hire, double down on business ready sites, roll back burdensome regulations, manufacture affordable and reliable energy, and build attainable, accessible housing that Virginians can afford…to satisfy the need for more workforce housing. This is how we compete to win and are the guiding principles you will see unveiled in my budget amendments and economic development plan.” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce also presented Mike Petters with the Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his lifetime commitment to excellence in education, workforce development, and improving the business climate of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mike served as Huntington Ingalls Industries President & CEO until March of 2022, and currently serves as Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at HII, where he supports the company’s leadership transition.

Additional Highlights from Conference Included:

(Listed in order of appearance)

Welcome and Opening Remarks:

Barry DuVal, President & CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Jason El Koubi, President & CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Fred Thompson, Chief Administrative Officer, Thompson Hospitality

and Chair, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Morning Keynote Address:

Tom Barkin, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Introduced by: Greg Neel, Area Executive, Central Virginia, First Citizens Bank

Panel Discussion: “A Perspective from Virginia Business Leaders”

Moderated by:

Woody Fowler, President & CEO, Williams Mullen


The Honorable Stephen Cummings, Virginia Secretary of Finance

Robert “Bob” Blue, Chair, President & CEO, Dominion Energy 

Andy Green, Executive Vice President, and President, Mission Technologies, Huntington Ingalls Industries

Holly Sullivan, Vice President of World Wide Economic Development, Amazon

Lakshmi Williams, General Counsel, North America, Transurban


Special Remarks: “The Future of U.S. Trade Policy in an Increasingly Fractured World”

Jake Colvin, President, National Foreign Trade Council

Panel Discussion: “Navigating International Supply Chain Challenges – Living with Unpredictable”

Moderated by:

Stephanie Agee, Senior Vice President, International Trade & Chief Administrative Officer, Virginia Economic Development Partnership


The Honorable Matthew Lohr, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry

Stephen Edwards, CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Port Authority

Scott Hamberger, President &CEO, Fortessa Tableware Solutions

Kyle Strang, Logistics Manager, Somic America Incorporated

Keller Watts, Executive Vice President, Business Management & Supply Planning, Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation Honoring:

Mike Petters, Executive Vice Chairman of the Board, Huntington Ingalls Industries


Panel Discussion: “Ensuring Virginia Competes to Win”

Introduced by: Tom Palmer, Senior Vice President, Market Executive, Virginia/West Virginia, Wells Fargo Bank, NA

Moderated by:

Eric Moeller, Chief Transformation Officer, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin


The Honorable Jillian Balow, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Honorable Caren Merrick, VirginiaSecretary of Commerce and Trade

The Honorable Bryan Slater, Virginia Secretary of Labor

Luncheon Keynote Address:

The Honorable Glenn Youngkin, Governor of Virginia


About the Virginia Chamber Foundation:

 The Virginia Chamber Foundation tracks Virginia’s economic competitiveness, conducts research and analysis, and hosts programs connected to the priorities of Blueprint Virginia. In December 2021, the Chamber released its new statewide strategic economic development plan, Blueprint Virginia 2030, which engaged over 7,000 business, economic development, workforce, education, housing, and other community leaders to lay out a plan to ensure Virginia remains at the top of national business climate rankings. Learn more at


About the Virginia Chamber of Commerce:

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce is the largest business advocacy organization in the Commonwealth, with more than 28,000 members. The Chamber is a non-partisan, business advocacy organization that works in the legislative, regulatory, and political arenas to act as the catalyst for positive change in all areas of economic development and competitiveness for Virginia. Learn more at