Best. Year. Ever.

annual report 2016Since 1983, the Roanoke Regional Partnership has brought together the Greater Roanoke business community and eight governments in a regional economic development program that combines resources and strengths to attract talent, enhance assets, invite strategic investments, and stimulate development. We help the region compete and thrive by leveraging its assets — livability, the outdoors, business climate, and higher education. And we focus on results that shape our region’s economic future.
The Roanoke Region celebrated a lot of wins in 2016, many of which are highlighted in our Annual Report. Download it and share. If you need a printed copy, email us.
Highlights from the report include:

  • $217.5 million location investment (1,412 jobs)
  • $16.5 million expansion investment (258 jobs)
  • It was another year of growth in the outdoor sector with signature events and new infrastructure spearheaded by the Roanoke Outside Foundation, a 501c (3) focused on outdoor engagement and building the outdoor economy.
  • Paddling the Roanoke River downtown is now easier with the opening of a new kayak and canoe launch site made possible by an $80,000 crowdfunding campaign by the Roanoke Outside Foundation. Community and corporate leaders cut the ribbon in October at a site that is a joint effort between the Roanoke Outside Foundation, The Bridges development, Carilion Clinic and the City of Roanoke.
  • The Partnership’s market intelligence department is a regional resource for information for governments, businesses, and citizens. This department impacts the success of all aspects of our work.
  • If we learned anything in 2016, it was that real estate is critical to our region’s success. Studies by the Partnership in 2012 and 2013 determined the region is short on the right sites and buildings that attract jobs, investment, and businesses. In 2016, we did something about it.


Get to Know the Partnership Staff: Lisa Link

lisa link

Lisa Link ensures that everything comes off without a hitch. She handles the details . . . coordinating investor meetings, prospect visits, accounting, and keeping the office running smoothly. Lisa joined the Partnership in 2010, after 13 years at the Roanoke Regional Chamber as vice president of membership and member services.

Get to know Lisa in her own words.

What’s the best part of your job?

Working with a team that loves our area and works to grow the area.

What’s the most played song in your playlist?

I actually listen to music all day long. It’s the soothing background noise that helps me move through the day (even if I’m not always listening). This was a tough one, but Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud always seems to catch my attention.

What super power would you like to have?

It would be great to have the ability to be in two places at the same time.

What are you reading right now?

Night by Elie Weisel. Wiesel won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 and this book is his memoir that details his guilt and feelings with surviving the Holocaust. It’s heavy, but important reading.

Where’s your favorite place to play in the Roanoke Region?

The Blue Ridge Parkway remains one of my favorite spots years after coming to the region. Growing up in California, nature isn’t as colorful as it is here. From the greens of trees to the actual blue in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I continue to be in awe of nature’s beauty.

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn.

Get to Know the Partnership Staff: Julia Boas

Julia Boas

Julia Boas manages events for Roanoke Outside, the Roanoke Regional Partnership’s outdoor brand development branch. She has worked in the outdoor industry for almost a decade with experience guiding adventure excursions, planning outdoor related events, promoting, management, and customer service and is the driving planner behind events such as the Blue Ridge Marathon, Radical Reels Film Festival (coming up on Sept. 11), and the Roanoke GO Outside Festival (Oct. 14-16).

Get to know Julia in her own words.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love collaborating with all the different organizations and businesses in our region. There are so many amazing people that live and work here and they genuinely want to see the place they live continue to get better and more fun! From my experience, it’s rare to find a community where so many are eager to give back and make an effort to leave something better than they found it. Brainstorming with them about unique events, creative ways to promote the region, and the future is so exciting. An added bonus is getting to see the effort we make turn into real change.

What’s the most played song in your playlist?

This is a tricky one. I mostly listen to NPR and Podcasts. But when I’m at home listening to the record player some of my favorites are Lauryn Hill, Beastie Boys, and Mumford & Sons. I like variety!

What super power would you like to have?

I’ve always flip flopped on this one. One I made up is being able to close your eyes and think of a place and then open them and you’re there. The other I’ve always thought would be cool is to be a shape shifter like Mystique from X-Men.

What are you reading right now?

I just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It was about a boy dealing with the untimely death of his mother and then it sort of worked its way into being about black market art, drugs, and the Russian mafia. It’s a complex book (and 800 pages) but really good if you’re okay with dark topics. I generally love any historical fiction.

Where’s your favorite place to play in the Roanoke Region?

As one of the outdoor gurus at the Partnership I can’t pick just one place. My top 3 favorite places/things are: 

  • Stand-up paddleboarding on the Roanoke River or at Carvins Cove
  • Hiking Tinker Cliffs (it’s like McAfee Knob but less crowded and a little more challenging)
  • Riding my bike from my house at the base of Mill Mountain and up onto the Blue Ridge Parkway

Connect with Julia on LinkedIn.