Alliance names Smith new president

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, July 11, 2019

With unanimous support from its Board of Directors, Douglas L. Smith, Norfolk’s city manager, recently was named the president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance beginning September 2019.

Alliance Chair, Brian Skinner, shared the news following a vote at the Board’s June 27 meeting. “There is simply no one more qualified for the job than Doug, who has an impeccable record of accomplishment and integrity in our community, in both the public and private sectors,” Skinner said. “He knows and loves economic development. He knows how to bring together people and organizations to work towards a common goal. And he loves our region.”

Smith, a native of Portsmouth, has lived and worked in Hampton Roads for the majority of his life. He was appointed city manager in the city of Norfolk in June 2017 after serving in the position for seven months as interim. His previous public sector experiences include serving as deputy city manager in the city of Virginia Beach and as deputy city manager, chief plans and policy officer, and economic development director in the city of Portsmouth. Additionally, Smith was elected to the Portsmouth City Council in 2006, where he served four years and gained regional experience as commissioner for the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.

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In the private sector, Smith served as president and chief executive officer of Kaufman & Canoles Consulting, where he counseled national and local developers, municipalities, higher education institutions and corporations. Smith began his career in 1985 as a banker at First Union Bank (now part of Wells Fargo) where he worked for 12 years and managed 31 offices across Hampton Roads.

Smith is a graduate of Norfolk Academy and earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Virginia. He currently serves as vice chair on the Alliance’s Board of Directors and previously served as chair of the Urban Land Institute of Hampton Roads and chair of Future of Hampton Roads. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Norfolk with their two children.

The Alliance’s interim president and chief executive officer, Steve Herbert, said the following about his successor: “I have known and worked with Doug for the past 20 years and consider him a friend. He has a history of success in the Hampton Roads region, and I have full confidence that he will continue to build and reposition the Alliance as a leading regional economic development organization.”

The Alliance also recently announced Amy Jordan as the new vice president of business development and customer relationship management. Jordan, a Hampton Roads native, previously served as director of Economic Development for James City County. Jordan led the Office of Economic Development working in all areas of development for the county including industrial, mixed-use, office, hospitality and retail, along with the county’s tourism efforts. She also served on the board of the Greater Williamsburg Partnership and Launchpad Business Incubator.

As Vice President of Business Development & Customer Relationship Management, Jordan will lead the organization’s business retention and expansion program and will oversee and enhance internal outreach programs. Jordan will work closely with the Alliance’s 11 member localities to develop messaging and tactics that encourage businesses to expand in Hampton Roads.

Prior to joining James City County, Jordan served as the city of Hampton’s redevelopment manager, administering the coordination of public and private investment in the city. She coordinated more than $1 billion in public and private investment in Hampton and managed several strategic projects, including the redevelopment of Coliseum Mall into Peninsula Town Center, the expansion of the Sentara CarePlex campus area and the completion of the Power Plant of Hampton Roads development, along with numerous commercial, residential, recreation and infrastructure projects. Jordan also worked in the planning departments of Suffolk and Newport News.

In 2006, Jordan was recognized by the Daily Press as one of 10 leading young business women under the age of 30 on the Virginia Peninsula. In 2013, she was an Inside Business Top 40 under 40, as a result of her accomplishments in economic development in the Hampton Roads region. Jordan earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Christopher Newport University followed by a Master of Public Administration from Regent University.

“I am honored to join the Alliance team dedicated to strengthening the economic vitality of Hampton Roads,” Jordan said. “I look forward to developing greater relationships with our existing assets and industries and coordinating with our local partners to identify new ways to help businesses be successful and grow in our region.”

For more information, contact Brian Skinner, Alliance board chair, at