Looking Ahead with the New Executive Director

They say that what you see depends on where you sit. Yet with less than a month in the executive director seat, I already can see important ways the Partnership will help influence the kind of opportunities we all envision.

  • The Partnership has an excellent opportunity to collaborate with organizations serving the innovation ecosystem to find additional ways to support the growth of life sciences and other technology businesses. The Partnership has identified opportunities to leverage talent resources as well as intelligence gained through working with existing businesses to support growth in entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation. And, as innovation efforts continue to develop, there will be an opportunity to attract investment to support the growth of this region’s burgeoning technology sector.
  • There is continued interest in the region from advanced manufacturers that could bring significant investment and jobs.
  • Recent work on COVID recovery has highlighted opportunities to assist existing businesses throughout the region in addressing the specific challenges that will unlock future growth.
  • Thanks to the efforts of the Roanoke Outside Foundation and the innovative Project Outside, the outdoor economy will continue to thrive, increasing the opportunity to attract highly skilled talent and businesses that depend on those skills.
  • And of course, the Partnership will continue to use its marketing talent to promote the region as an advantageous location for a range of high-value sectors.

The Roanoke Region has an incredible opportunity to grow based on its high level of economic diversity and the incredible asset mix with which it has been blessed – higher education, innovation, livability, and the outdoors. The opportunity before this organization is to leverage those assets in partnership with one another. That is both my vision and my direction as we calibrate our strategy, aiming to find new ways to engage partners throughout the region.

As we begin to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel, we have reason to believe that our region, state, and nation will emerge from this pandemic with strength and resolve. And of course, the talented staff of the Roanoke Regional Partnership is committed to applying resources to support this region’s recovery from the pandemic.

Thank you to the executive committee for its faith in me and my vision.  I am grateful to the staff members who so diligently apply their talents to the mission. And certainly, we all appreciate your partnership and support for and interest in this region’s success. 

Know that my door is open, and your feedback is welcome. I look forward to working collaboratively to grow this wonderful region we call home.

John Hull
Executive Director
January 2021