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Look Ahead 2013

A look ahead for 2013

Local business leaders peer through the clouds of uncertainty to give our annual economic forecast.


  • Aubrey Layne

    Updated: January 11, 2013 - 3:19 pm

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Aubrey Layne

    Incoming CEO

    Achieveable Dream Academies,

    Hampton Roads Representative Commonwealth Transportation Board

    A reduction in federal, state and local government spending will be the most significant happening in 2013 that will influence education, business and the economy in Hampton Roads.

  • Barbara Wallace

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:02 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Barbara Wallace

    President and CEO

    Virginia Business Coalition on Health

    The Virginia Business Coalition on Health will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013 as an employer-sponsored health coalition. For 30 years we have focused on promoting a healthy workforce; achieving lower costs; supporting transparency and quality in the health care system; and establishing partnerships with providers of health care to facilitate value-based purchasing.

  • Brad Schwartz

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 10:58 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Brad Schwartz


    Monarch Bank

    Everyone's focus has been what's happening in Washington. Spending cuts focused on defense and the increases in taxes for a large number of Americans, along with talks of ending certain tax deductions and increasing taxes on those making more than $250,000 [now $450,000 in the compromise], continue to create uncertainty for businesses.

  • Charlie Polk

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:01 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Charlie Polk

    Managing Director, Virginia Beach and Richmond offices of Jones Lang LaSalle

    There are a number of issues we will be monitoring in 2013 but in particular there are three we draw to your attention:

  • Dana Dickens III

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:04 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Dana Dickens III

    Past President and CEO

    Hampton Roads Partnership

    Editor's note Dana Dickens retired Dec 31 as president and CEO of the partnership, a public-private organization pursuing regional competitiveness.

  • David L. Bernd

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    David L. Bernd

    CEO, Sentara Healthcare

    Everyone in health care will be watching the rollout of the Affordable Care Act requirements for health plans and the establishment of a federally run health insurance exchange in Virginia.

    Sentara and other providers are also closely watching how Virginia responds to calls for broadening Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid provides people without insurance an opportunity to live healthier lives and that helps lower overall costs.

  • Deborah Stearns

    Updated: January 11, 2013 - 3:20 pm

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Deborah Stearns

    Senior Vice President, Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate

    The regional economy is built on three key industries: the military, the port and tourism.

    The military: The big issues are sequestration and defense spending. Spending will be reduced and one or more carrier groups will be departing. Efforts to become a center for the development of drone aircrafts and efforts to attract new commands are important initiatives.

  • Florence Kingston

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 10:44 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Florence Kingston

    Director of Development, Newport News

    I'm optimistic about the business outlook for Hampton Roads, and especially the Peninsula, in 2013. Of course, there are some significant risks - Europe imploding for one.

    Federal spending cuts, by and large, won't have an immediate impact on our economy and shipbuilding should remain stable for several years, as contracts are already in place.

  • Greg Grootendorst

    Updated: January 11, 2013 - 3:19 pm

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Greg Grootendorst

    Chief Economist

    Hampton Roads Planning District Commission


    The year ahead continues to be clouded by a great deal of uncertainty. Even though Congress averted the full effect of the "fiscal cliff," the threat of sequestration continues to loom, as does a potential longshoreman strike at the port.

  • John Broderick

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:05 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    John Broderick


    Old Dominion University

    In the upcoming year, I think higher education will have to continue to formulate new solutions and ideas to balance access and affordability with economic realities. From President Obama to government at the state and local levels, there is an important conversation happening about tuition costs and student debt.

  • Jon Wheeler

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:04 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Jon Wheeler

    President and CEO

    Wheeler Interests

    Access to debt that was absent in 2008, 2009 and 2010 could significantly influence businesses and the economy in Hampton Roads in 2013. Banks started easing up their lending requirements in 2011 and that became even more favorable in 2012.

    In 2011, franchisers and franchisees started stepping up their expansion plans based upon available debt along with their regained confidence in the economy.

  • Louis Haddad

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:10 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Louis Haddad

    President & CEO, Armada Hoffler Holding Co.

    Any discussion of our local economic prospects for the upcoming year must begin with the macroeconomic factors that will have a profound effect on Hampton Roads.

  • Raymond Mattes II

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 10:48 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Raymond Mattes III

    President/CEO, Retail Alliance

    Regardless of what happens in Washington, we need to continue to diversify and try to recruit new industry in order to fill the imminent defense spending gap.

    The refitting of the Panama Canal is near completion. Consequently, this means a new generation of mega container ships. Our port is the only East Coast port that has a natural 50-foot channel.

  • Stewart "Skip" Sacks

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:00 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Stewart "Skip" Sacks


    Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate


    The year 2013 will bring significant events that will impact our regional economy. Everyone expects substantial reductions in military spending; however, reduced spending may actually impede efforts to move vessels and commands elsewhere. Any shifting of military assets to the West Coast in response to China's emergence as a regional power would certainly hurt our economy in the long term.

  • Tom Dunn

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Tom Dunn

    Brokerage & Development, S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co.

    The Hampton Roads economy should see very modest growth in 2013. This is, in large part, because of the "fiscal cliff"

    and, most importantly for this region, the implications of defense budget cuts. Large-scale defense cuts would dramatically hurt the Hampton Roads economy as individuals and businesses reduce spending substantially.

  • Tony Atwater

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 10:48 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Tony Atwater


    Norfolk State University

    [In 2013], I will be analyzing the aftermath of the fiscal cliff deadlock between the White House and Congress.

    Significant financial factors relating to the funding of social programs and the sequestration issue pose important variables for university budgeting in the short term and the long term.

  • Van Rose

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:06 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Van Rose

    President, New Homes Division

    Rose & Womble Realty Co.

    Last fall, James Koch, Old Dominion University professor and well-known economist, said there are three things that determine the economic engine of Hampton Roads. They are defense spending, the port and tourism.

  • Zack Miller

    Updated: January 7, 2013 - 11:03 am

    Posted: January 4, 2013

    Zack Miller

    Managing Director

    Hatch Norfolk

    Our region has always had entrepreneurs, but never a collection of entrepreneurs working together for the betterment of the business community. I'll call it entrepreneurial density, a collection of entrepreneurs surrounded by entrepreneurs, who are focused, driven and collaborative.

    With the recent push for entrepreneur-led mentor programs, we will continue to see early-stage, high-growth companies start, grow and be acquired.