May 03, 2018

Suzanne West Clark
(804) 545-5806
Three Virginia Companies Receive Trade & Industry Development CiCi Awards
-American Merchant and Navy Federal Credit Union recognized for Community Impact; Facebook recognized-

RICHMOND - Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) today announced that three Virginia companies have been named recipients of Trade & Industry Development’s 13th annual CiCi (Corporate Investment & Community Impact) Awards. The leading magazine dedicated to corporate site selectors in vertical industry segments recognized American Merchant (City of Bristol) and Navy Federal Credit Union (Frederick County) in the Community Impact category. Facebook (Henrico County) was recognized in the Corporate Investment category. Thirty companies were selected, out of several hundred projects submitted, based on their announced plans for economic development in 2017.

Criteria considered for CiCi Awards in the Community Impact division includes the number of jobs created and/or retained, unemployment figures in the area, average income level of the region, and area plant closings or decline in industry segments and the creation of new industry segments with employment opportunities, among others. Projects considered for the Corporate Investment category were those with the largest numbers in capital investment and jobs created/retained.

“These projects all represent important wins for the Commonwealth, and we are thrilled to see three strong companies recognized out of hundreds submitted for the prestigious Trade & Industry Development CiCi Awards,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “We are working diligently to attract and retain quality businesses that create jobs of the 21st century, and recognition from this respected publication validates our ongoing efforts. Economic development is a team sport, and we thank the City of Bristol, Frederick County, and Henrico County for their partnership in securing these major projects that will have positive, long-lasting impacts in their communities and the Commonwealth.”

In January 2017, former Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union, would invest $100 million to expand its Winchester operations center in Frederick County.

In October 2017, Facebook announced more than $1 billion of new investment in the Commonwealth. The social media giant is directly investing $750 million to establish a 970,000-square-foot data center in Henrico County. In addition, due to a new renewable energy tariff designed by Dominion Energy Virginia and Facebook, hundreds of millions of additional dollars will be invested in the construction of multiple solar facilities in the Commonwealth to service Facebook’s Henrico Data Center with 100 percent renewable energy. The project will bring thousands of construction jobs to the region and more than 100 full-time operational jobs.

American Merchant, Inc., a subsidiary of Merchant House International Ltd, a Hong Kong-based designer and manufacturer of home textiles, seasonal décor products, and leather shoes, announced plans in December 2017 to invest $19.9 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in the City of Bristol, creating 405 new jobs.

“Virginia’s three 2018 CiCi Awards recipients promise to make a phenomenal difference in terms of the infusion of capital investment in the locations within the state they have selected for their business establishments. In addition to their tremendous capital investments, these CiCi Awards recipients have the very real potential to dynamically impact and transform the very fabric of local communities where their sites will be developed,” said Scott Swoger, publisher of Trade & Industry Development and president of its parent company Due North Media.

“The City of Bristol is extremely honored and excited to have the American Merchant project selected as a recipient of this special award,” stated Mayor Kevin Mumpower. “The investment of this company in a vacant manufacturing facility and the well-paying jobs to be created will have a tremendously positive impact on the Bristol community. We thank VEDP for nominating American Merchant for the Community Impact award.”

“We join Trade & Industry Development in recognizing and celebrating Navy Federal’s expansion in Frederick County,” said Frederick County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Charles S. DeHaven, Jr. “Navy Federal has grown its local operations rapidly over the last decade, a testament to the County’s workforce and supportive business climate. We look forward to a long partnership with Navy Federal as they continue their success in Frederick County.”

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas stated, “We are honored that Facebook’s Henrico Data Center has been selected as one of Trade & Industry Development’s Corporate Investment award winners, especially since it only recognizes two of the five buildings Facebook plans to build in White Oak Technology Park. It’s gratifying to see the partnership between Facebook, Henrico County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia recognized in this way.”

To read more about the 13th annual CiCi Awards, visit: and click on the Magazine tab.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion, and international trade.


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