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Former directors of the Halifax County IDA honored / March 18, 2013
Directors of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) honored two past members Friday by presenting them with framed resolutions of appreciation, photographs and shirts with the IDA logo emblazoned on them.

“We want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of this board,” Chairman John Cannon said to both Lisa Kipps-Brown and Marcus Hargrave, who served on the IDA during a time of transformation for Halifax County’s economic development efforts.

First addressing Kipps-Brown, Cannon noted she had been on the board from August 7, 2007 through January 31, 2012 and served as its Secretary-Treasurer for four and a half years. She was also a member of the Finance, Personnel and Riverstone Energy Center committees and was instrumental in the establishment of the Riverstone Energy Center and the hiring of its executive director.

Hargrave, Cannon noted, served for more than seven years, from October 20, 2005 to January 31, 2013. During that time he held numerous positions on the IDA, including assistant secretary-treasurer for many years, vice chairman for three years and again as secretary-treasurer during his last year on the board.

Cannon listed the accomplishments that took place during both former directors’ tenures. During Kipps-Brown’s tenure, which is overlapped by Hargrave’s two terms, the IDA witnessed a groundbreaking/ribbon cutting at Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites; expansions of Aquatic (formerly Lasco Bathware) and MBC in Riverstone, expansions of Halifax Regional Hospital, ABB and Presto Products; and realized the 5-star accreditation of the Halifax County/South Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Also, Halifax County saw grand openings at Gloster Furniture and TMI Auto Tech, Inc at VIR, and the IDA purchased the former Daystrom Furniture building site and property for the Green View Advanced Manufacturing Center and began initial rehabilitation for reuse of the property.

Other achievements during Kipps-Brown’s four and a half year tenure included the development of pad ready sites at Riverstone, obtaining an option for the Burlington Industries site in Halifax, and the approval of grants for the environmental cleaning and rehab of the Burlington property, Cannon noted.

Also, the sale of the Georgia Pacific site to NOVI Energy took place during this time span. NOVI later transferred the site to the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) for development of the biomass wood-fired power plant to be operated by South Boston Energy, LLC.

Also during this time, AWFI and the C-CARE industrial coatings center were established at Riverstone, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance was formed. Also, the Faneuil call center opened in Riverstone.

Both Hargrave and Kipps-Brown served on the IDA during the hiring of the two most recent executive directors, only the fourth and fifth to lead the local group. They and fellow board members also oversaw the hiring of the first IDA project manager.

During Hargrave’s seven-plus years on the board, the IDA enjoyed several other successes in addition to those listed above. Dollar General Corporation expanded, and Pacific Headwear first opened. At VIR, the IDA aided the development of the VIPER research center, Chassis Dynamometer Lab, Drive Train Lab, and the National Tire Research Center.

The county also achieved its Virginia Enterprise Zone designation during Hargrave’s tenure, and the IDA inaugurated Industry Week activities with “Excellence in Action Plant Tours.”

The resolution of appreciation for Kipps-Brown further credited her for the design of the IDA’s website and newsletter, as well as the development of its logo. It also credited Kipps-Brown, owner of website development and marketing firm Glerin Resources, with offering a series of social media workshops for local business.

Following the presentations, board members elected Garland Ricketts to serve as the IDA’s new secretary-treasurer and also to head the Finance Committee. Directors also approved minor revisions to the agency’s by-laws as recommended by Ted Bennett, chairman of the Operations & Personnel Committee.

In other business, members heard a report from the Properties & Prospects Committee which divided the leadership of the panel into three categories. Chairman Chris Lumbers will concentrate on new business prospects and current clients, Garland Ricketts will focus on IDA properties, and Mattie Cowan will concentrate on marketing efforts.

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This story makes me sick. What a waste of the taxpayer money. I hope that the IDA can be defunded. It has been a big waste of money. I have spoken to several BOS members who agree with me. Please take away the IDA's money!

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