The Stafford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) held their 28th Annual Business Appreciation Reception on May 15th, 2019 to honor Stafford County business owners and executives. Held at 6 Bears & a Goat Brewing Company, one of four local breweries in Stafford County, that recently expanded their outdoor seating capacity. The event was sponsored by Transurban I-95 Express and Germanna Community College.

The Stafford EDA hosts the Business Appreciation Reception to celebrate the County’s diverse business community. This year’s theme was What’s Next? Stafford.

John Holden, Director of Economic Development and Tourism shared his passion for creativity and innovation as the driving force in entrepreneurship—and thus asked the question, “What’s next?” Holden also asked the question for the entire community. In his comments, Holden said, “We said for some time we want to attract data centers to this region, so working with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, we as a region have set a new tax policy for data centers. I tell you what. I am not kidding you. The phone has not stopped ringing. Data centers are coming to the Fredericksburg region because of that.”

EDA Treasurer, Howard Owen welcomed the crowd and remarked: “We are doing well because of you. Without our local businesses, without our local leaders, county leaders, state leaders, and regional leaders, we are not succeeding. Our success is because of you.”

Holden asked three Stafford entrepreneurs to share their stories, experiences, and impact on the community.

Camile Sue, Owner of The Icing Baking Company explained that “Going off to culinary school taught me a lot and it taught me about localizing what we do, because it matters… Being able to purchase the business that I worked at in high school was amazing.”

Vernon Green, Founder and CEO of GCubed Enterprises, Inc. noted that GCubed is always “chasing opportunities, continuing to invest in our people, grow the company, expanding our footprint within our existing customers as well as bringing in new customers. I’m excited about where we are in Stafford because of the location and the availability of talented personnel.” “I’m excited about the growth opportunities and potential that we have here in Stafford County.”

Bob Hannan, Site Manager for Intuit, Inc. told the 200 registrants “why and how we [Intuit, Inc.] want to continue to invest in Stafford County and in our Fredericksburg site.” “That’s what’s next for me; I’m continuing to talk about our site here and the people in this work, to get the company to invest more in the site.”

The EDA awarded its 2019 Stafford Cornerstone Business Award to LifeCare Medical Transports. This annual award is presented to the Stafford County business that exemplifies long-term economic impact and corporate citizen commitment to their business, workforce, and the Stafford County community.

LifeCare Medical Transports was founded by Kevin Dillard and Dan Wildman, in Stafford, Virginia in 1994, and is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in Stafford’s Business Community. LifeCare has grown from a local service to one of Virginia’s largest providers of healthcare transportation services with over 500 employees and 135 ambulances in its fleet.

The 2019 Stafford County EDA Business of the Year was awarded to SimVentions.

This award is presented to a Stafford County business nominated on criteria that includes resilience, products, services and innovation, growth within their industry, commitment to their employees, and community involvement.

SimVentions opened in 2000. The three co-founders worked nights, weekends, vacations, and holidays to get their business running. Today they employ an over 33% veteran workforce, and received recognition from the Governor of VA as a ‘Gold Star’ member of Virginia’s V3 (Virginia Values Veterans) Program. Headquartered in Stafford County, SimVentions currently employs over 270 people, across three offices in Virginia.