Onward NRV Launches Fundraising Campaign and 5-Year Plan at Annual Dinner

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Onward New River Valley publicly launched its fundraising campaign, Onward 2023: Join the Movement, to a record-breaking crowd during the organization’s annual dinner on Thursday, September 20. Onward is seeking funding for a five-year strategic plan to bring jobs, investment, and talent to Virginia’s New River Valley.

The event’s program featured keynote speakers Delegates Chris Hurst and Nick Rush and remarks from the Onward 2023 Fundraising Campaign Co-Chairs John Dooley, PhD and Ed Lawhorn.

Onward Executive Director Charlie Jewell provided an overview of the five-year strategic plan. The plan is a modern approach to economic development that focuses on four main goals:

  • INDUSTRY | Support and grow targeted industries to stimulate job opportunities and investment.
  • TALENT | Attract and retain talent to strengthen targeted industries and grow communities.
  • PLACEMAKING | Cultivate regional assets and Virginia’s new River Valley brand to foster economic vitality.
  • REGIONALISM | Be a high-performing regional economic development organization that unifies the NRV.

Over five years, executing these strategies is projected to stimulate $180 million in new capital investment and 3,488 new jobs in the NRV (33% new companies, 67% at existing companies).

“These are exciting times for business recruitment and expansion in the New River Valley,” said John Dooley, PhD, Fundraising Campaign Co-Chair.  “Onward NRV is a critical contributor to our regional economic development. I have confidence your investments in their leadership efforts will have a sustained impact on the future vitality of the region.”

Onward NRV’s immediate goal is to raise $1.5 million in cash and five-year pledges from companies and organizations in order to fully fund the five-year program.

“There’s never been a better time to be an Onward NRV investor,” said Ed Lawhorn, Fundraising Campaign Co-Chair. “The five-year strategy will play a critical role in shaping the future of the NRV by ensuring we have the businesses, talent, and assets necessary to compete in a global, knowledge-based economy.”