SPEAKER

Rick Weddle, FM, HLM

President and CEO
Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance
Norfolk, VA

Rick L. Weddle joined the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance as President & CEO in April 2016. In his role, he leads the operations of a regional marketing organization with a 9-person staff that represents 11 municipalities and over 75 private sector investors in the Hampton Roads region. Prior to joining HREDA, Rick spent five years as President and CEO of the Orlando Economic Development Commission. Over the course of his tenure, Rick created more than 17,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $800 million, more than $1 billion in capital investment and 5.3 million square feet of space absorbed.

Before leading Orlando’s ED Commission, Rick spent seven years as President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, owner and developer of The Research Triangle Park. Under his leadership, the Research Triangle Park has generated successful development projects with projected capital investment of over $800 million and the projected creation of over 6,300 new, high-quality jobs. During his tenure, the Foundation assisted in recruiting 18 new firms and facilitating four expansions to the Park, compared to the historical average of one to two locates per year.

Before North Carolina, Rick led the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) from 1997-2004. During his tenure at the GPEC as President and CEO, he assisted 170 companies with expansions and/or relocations to Greater Phoenix, creating over 26,000 jobs with a total payroll of $1 billion. The average salary for jobs created under Rick's leadership increased from $33,597 to $41,945 from 1997 -2004. The companies in the Greater Phoenix region generated $1.8 billion in capital investment, approximately $224 million in annual state, county and community revenues, and resulted in the absorption of 13 million square feet of industrial and office space.

Prior to arriving in Phoenix, Rick spent four years in Toledo, Ohio, where he served as President and CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP). Under his leadership, RGP assisted 119 companies with expansions and/or relocations, creating 4,016 jobs and generating $1.5 billion in capital investment. From 1991-93, Rick was President and CEO of the San Joaquin Partnership & Business Council in Stockton, California. In two years, the partnership brought 1,200 jobs and $100 million in capital investment to the area. From 1987-91, he was in North Carolina where he was President and CEO of Winston-Salem Business Inc. This organization brought 1,200 new jobs and $58 million in capital investment to the region.