COLONIAL HEIGHTS — Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization (VGR) announced on Saturday that they have appointed Keith Boswell as their new president and CEO.
Boswell comes to the Gateway Region from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, where he worked for 21 years in various positions. He has spent most of his life in the Richmond area, graduating from Midlothian High School before attending college at Virginia Commonwealth University and attaining his master’s degree in business administration at the University of Richmond.
“This position couldn’t be more personal,” he said. “When I look out at this community, it’s the one I know and love and I’m delighted to have a part in seeing the next phase of development.”
Founded in 1960, Virginia’s Gateway Region is the state’s oldest regional economic development organization. The organization aims to attract industry to the Tri-Cities, and includes eight communities and more than 120 corporate partners.
“After an intensive screening and interview process, I am thrilled that our search committee unanimously selected Keith to lead VGR,” said Victor Branch, VGR board chairman and Richmond market president of Bank of America. “With his level of economic development expertise at the helm and a dedicated staff to support him, I am confident that we will continue to see tremendous results from Virginia’s Gateway Region.”
Boswell said he plans on continuing to make the Tri-Cities an attractive place for investors to bring their business.
“Companies are looking for a talent pipeline and properties where they can put their businesses,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re paying attention to those data points, and when we do I think people will have a compelling reason to choose Gateway.”
Having spent 21 years with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Boswell also plans on continuing to build the relationships Gateway has established with the business community. “There’s certainly lots of things I think have been done incredibly well here, but one of the things that could be paid more attention to is building relationships with stakeholders,” he said.
Boswell also hopes to channel the contacts he’s made with the state government in his new position. “I have lots of relationships that I’ve developed over the years with the state government, as well as consultants,” he said. “I think that is going to be something I can bring to the Gateway.”
Boswell will take over from former president and CEO Renee Chapline, who resigned in February after being on the job for 13 years.
The official start day for Boswell will be May 1.
“VGR has a proud history, an unbelievable track record, and is deeply committed to the growth and vivacity of the region,” said Boswell. “I look forward to leading an organization that exists to make a positive impact on the communities we serve and the citizens who call the Gateway Region home.”