Roanoke Regional Partnership Executive Director Named to North American Top 50 Economic Developers List

John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, has been named to the 2023 list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. The list is produced annually by Consultant Connect, a national consulting firm focused on connecting economic developers with site consultants. The honored recipients selected for this list were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development and site location consulting industries for excellent practices, innovation, and success in building the communities they serve.

Hull has worked at the Partnership for 13 years, serving in the executive director role for the past two. Previously serving as the director of business investment and director of market intelligence. The Roanoke Regional Partnership attracted more than $1 billion in investment and more than 6,000 jobs with Hull’s assistance in leading market intelligence and business investment functions.

In 2022, he led the Partnership’s five-year strategic campaign, exceeding its fundraising goal of $3.6 million by nearly $500,000 in just three months. Since the pandemic and under Hull’s executive leadership, the Partnership has assisted in facilitating expansions and attracting several new employers including Munters, Green Thumb Industries, and STS Group, among others which have resulted in 950 new jobs and $260 million in investment.

“In a short time as the executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, John has quickly established himself as a leader in the economic development field in our region and nationally,” said Brett Marston, president of the Roanoke Regional Partnership Board of Directors. “It is an honor for John, and in turn, the overall Partnership team, to be recognized in this way. John and his staff have continued to establish the Roanoke Region as a great place for business, for outdoors, and for overall livability.  We are excited to see where we go from here.”

“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “Our success in the Roanoke Region is only possible through the efforts of our talented Partnership staff working in conjunction with our local governments and our many public and private partners throughout the region. I have had tremendous fortune to work with this excellent team. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the great field of economic development and to work in a field that is so incredibly impactful.”

Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants, strives to lift up the economic development industry by recognizing remarkable economic developers. Each Top 50 Economic Developer will be featured starting June 1 on LinkedIn and Twitter, where each award recipient will have the opportunity to share industry knowledge, leadership insights, and career wisdom with fellow industry professionals.

According to their release, representatives of the organization said, “The Consultant Connect team looks forward to releasing the Top 50 list every year because we believe that the work of economic developers is not only transformative to communities, but it is deeper than that. Each year jobs are created that impact individuals and their families. We are truly honored to provide a platform for North America’s top economic developers to be recognized for the passionate commitment they have made to the communities they serve.”

2023 Top 50 Press Release Consultant Connect.

John Hull Names to Top 50 EDs – DOWNLOADABLE RELEASE


Investor Spotlight: AccessU

Investor spotlightAt AccessU, we focus on education — in every form it takes. From marketing four-year universities to partnering with small liberal arts institutions, community colleges, and K-12 schools. We amplify the unique opportunities of vocational education as well as workforce and economic development. And we fight to overcome educational and cultural barriers that threaten the health and safety of the communities we serve. Want to join us? Let’s do something big.

How is the Roanoke Region important to your business?

Roanoke has been our home base since our inception in 1996 as Access Advertising & Public Relations. While we serve clients across the Mid-Atlantic and have grown to launch a subsidiary that serves clients all over the U.S., the business and industries in the Roanoke Valley region remain important to us. Not only because they support our business, but also because we care deeply about the health and vitality of this region, the place we call home.

Why has your company invested in the Roanoke Regional Partnership?

In our 26 years in the Roanoke region, we have seen firsthand the long-term impact the Roanoke Regional Partnership has had here. From fostering and nurturing a blossoming identity as a regional outdoor adventure mecca, to the ongoing diversification of local industry and evolving economic base, the Roanoke region is full of opportunity.

Company information:

  • Corporate Leadership: Tony Pearman, President and CEO; Rachel Spencer, Vice President
  • 540-204-4022
  • Follow Gentry Locke on social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

Click here for our full list of investors by industry.

Interested in becoming an investor? Click here to learn more.

Roanoke County Awarded $820,000 for Improvements to Wood Haven Technology Park

Sign that reads "Wood Haven Technology Park" with a blue sky and mountains in the backgroundCongressman Morgan Griffith secured $820,000 in new funding for a project to increase the Wood Haven Technology Park’s competitiveness for industry.  The funding, requested by Roanoke County, will fund a project to extend additional water utility capacity to the Wood Haven Technology Park. These funds will go toward improving the site’s water infrastructure to make it more attractive for future development.

Roanoke County requested these funds to address the need for greater water capacity at the site. Wood Haven Technology Park, located near the I-81 and I-581 interchange, has been seeing greater interest from site selectors, and it is clear that many projects are requiring large water and sewer utility capacities. Many of the requirements for significant utility usage correspond with significant capital investment and high-wage employment creation.  The proposed project seeks to increase water supply to the 110-acre site, making it significantly more attractive to water-intensive business operations that may be interested in establishing a facility in the park.

“On behalf of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors I want to thank Congressman Griffith and his staff for securing this additional funding to make one of the premier economic development sites in our region even better,” Richard L. Caywood, Roanoke County Administrator, said in a statement.

Wood Haven Technology Park is ideally situated in relation to transportation infrastructure, making it an attractive site, and the regional capacity of water availability has long been a regional advantage.   Currently, water is provided to the site by the Western Virginia Water Authority (Water Authority) with water sourced from Spring Hollow. This new work will bore under I-81 to install a second line that offers a redundant supply of water, dramatically increasing the water capacity available to Wood Haven Technology Park. This increase will enhance available utility capacity, strengthen speed to market, and contribute to a future economic win for the entire Roanoke Region, leading to a significant capital investment and creation of additional high-wage employment opportunity for regional residents.

“This is excellent news for the economic landscape,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Region Partnership. “It’s not uncommon for the Partnership to work with companies seeking expansions that require significant water utilities. This project will make the region more competitive for business investment, and thus, better employment opportunity.”

Newly developed industrial site located next to interstate with cars and trucks driving by
Wood Haven Technology Park, Roanoke County

“The Water Authority provides quality utility services to meet our customers’ needs and enhance our regional community.  This water line extension supports our long-range plan to increase water distribution resiliency and fire protection for residents and makes this area of the county even more attractive for future investment in our community,” Michael T. McEvoy, executive director at the Western Virginia Water Authority added.

The $820,000 award, coupled with $670,000 provided by the Water Authority, brings the total project cost to $1,490,000. The Water Authority will administer the work for the proposed project which they hope to have completed by the end of 2023.