Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 9:30 am – 11:00 am -  Economic Climate and Forecast of Virginia

9:30 am – Welcome/Introductions

10:00 am – Presentation

11:00 am – Closing Remarks


Chris Chmura, Ph.D., Chmura Economic & Analytics


This presentation will provide an overview and forecast of the national economy, including the latest information on the coronavirus impact.  The pandemic’s impact on the state of Virginia and its three largest metropolitan statistical areas (Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Richmond) will also be presented.

Dr. Chmura is the founder of Richmond-based Chmura Economics & Analytics for which she serves as CEO and Chief Economist. Under her leadership, Chmura developed JobsEQ®--a powerful software tool that enables workforce and economic development, education, and job seekers to assess the skills, occupations, and industries that will be in demand or surplus in the future. Her current academic experience includes service as an Adjunct Professor of Labor Economics at the University of Richmond. Chris has served on the Governor’s Economic Advisory Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the last seven governors.

Prior to founding Chmura Economics & Analytics, Chris was the Chief Economist at Crestar Financial Corporation and an Associate Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She received her Ph.D. in Business with a major in Finance and a minor in Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Master’s in Economics and Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Clemson University.

Thursday, March 18, 2021, 9:30 am – 11:00 am -  2021 Virginia Legislative Review 

9:30 am – Welcome/Introductions

10:00 am – Legislative Review

11:00 am – Closing Remarks


Governor Ralph Northam

A native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Governor Northam was educated at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he graduated with distinction.

After graduation, Governor Northam was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He served eight years of active duty and rose to the rank of major.

He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School and then traveled to San Antonio for a pediatric residency, where he met his wife Pamela, a pediatric occupational therapist at the same hospital.  Governor Northam did his residencies at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and served as chief neurological resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. As an Army doctor, he served in Germany, treating soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm.

When Governor Northam and Pamela returned home, they chose to build their life in Hampton Roads. He began practicing pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. He established Children’s Specialty Group, his current medical practice, to provide expert pediatric care for patients. Governor Northam also served as assistant professor of neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he taught medicine and ethics.

Governor Northam volunteered as medical director for the Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth, where he spent 18 years caring for terminally ill children.

Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service.  He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.  

Governor Northam is the first native of the Eastern Shore to serve as Governor since Governor Henry A. Wise took office 1856. He is also the first VMI Keydet to serve as Governor since Governor Westmoreland Davis took office in 1918.

Delegate Mark D. Sickles – Virginia House of Delegates

Mark began his public service as a volunteer in the local political and civic life of Lee District. He worked on several campaigns, including those of former Delegate Gladys Keating and the late State Senator Joe Gartlan. He was a volunteer legislative assistant for Delegate Keating for three legislative sessions, during which she served as the first woman chair of what is now the Commerce and Labor Committee. From 1995 to 1998, he served as Chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

In civic life, he was appointed by Supervisor Joe Alexander to the Fairfax County Library Board, staying for 11 years with one term as Chairman. He also served as President of United Community Ministries – a social-service non-profit providing employment services, aid to the homeless, and high-quality daycare to low-income children – during a six-year term on its board.

Mark has worked in government relations for 27 years, developing expertise in Congressional affairs and knowledge of the workings of the federal agencies.  He has two Masters Degrees from Georgia Tech and a B.S. from Clemson University.

Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. – Senate of Virginia 

24th District Virginia State Senator Emmett Hanger has a strong voting record of limited government and fiscal conservatism. He values the protection of individual rights, coupled with a keen sense of individual responsibility. More importantly, Emmett believes common-sense solutions in government should win-out over party politics.

As a life-long Republican and resident of Augusta County, Emmett first served as Commissioner of the Revenue and then in the House of Delegates. Now as Senator, Emmett has earned a multitude of leadership positions, including being named Senate Finance Co-Chair, a budget conferee, and Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance subcommittee.

He is very involved in all aspects of the legislature but has become an ardent supporter of all matters dealing with education, mental health, and the environment. He holds several positions on national organizations such as the Southern Legislative Conference and the National Conference of State Legislators.

Emmett is the former Commander of the Harrisonburg National Guard and obtained the rank of Captain in the US Army as an Infantry Officer. He and his wife Sharon have five grown children and enjoy lots of family time focusing on their 15 grandchildren.

The 24th District stretches from parts of Culpeper County, all of Madison County, parts of Rockingham County, and all of Augusta and Greene Counties, including the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.

Friday, March 19, 2021, 9:30 am – 11:00 am - Positioning Virginia for a Healthy Economic Recovery

9:30 am – Welcome/Introductions

10:00 am – Presentation

11:00 am – Closing Remarks

Jason El Koubi, Executive Vice President, Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP)

This presentation will cover the state of economic development in Virginia, the economic impacts of COVID-19, and the opportunity and strategy to position Virginia for a healthy economic future for businesses, workers, and families.

Jason El Koubi joined the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) as Executive Vice President in July 2017.  In this role, he serves as the no. 2 executive for Virginia’s state economic development authority, leading the organization’s strategy and operations in collaboration with the President and CEO and directly overseeing activities related to economic competitiveness, international trade, incentives, research, and operations. Jason earned a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Louisiana State University, where he was elected speaker of student senate and awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for leadership. As a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, he earned an M.S. in Public Policy from the London School of Economics. He lives with his wife Allison and two sons in Richmond, Virginia.