About Us

Successful economic development organizations, like all successful businesses, must think like their customers as well as respond to the critical needs and requirements of those same customers. The Greater Williamsburg Partnership is a dynamic regional economic development organization that markets the communities of Williamsburg, James City County and York County as a preferred business location. 

Our Organization

​The mission of the Greater Williamsburg Partnership (GWP) is to market the Greater Williamsburg region as a preferred business location; facilitate new business investment and high-wage job creation; enhance industry diversification efforts and overall increase economic prosperity for citizens in the communities of Williamsburg, James City County and York County.

Formed June 2016 as 501c (6). Restructured under the Greater Williamsburg Chamber-Business Council effective July 1, 2019.

GWP Committee

Meetings

GWP Committee Meetings are held quarterly.

  • April 29, 2020
  • August 26, 2020
  • October 28, 2020

The Greater Williamsburg Partnership has a 14-member advisory committee. The Committee works with the GWP Director to advance economic diversification and market the Greater Williamsburg region as a preferred business location. This collaborative group “thinks” like a business but “acts” to bring assets related to sites, buildings, workforce, demographics, livability and much more to those companies seeking to locate a new facility.

Steve Meade
Steve Meade – Chairman
Attorney
Patton, Wornom, Hatten & Diamondstein

Leigh Houghland
Leigh Houghland
Vice President
Chesapeake Bank

Arch Marston
Arch Marston

President
AES

Rick Moberg
Rick Moberg

President
James River Architects

Photo not available
Vince Campana

James City County EDA Chair
Campana Waltz

Susan English
Susan English

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Workforce Development
Thomas Nelson Community College

Photo not available
Adam Steely

Owner
Blue Talon Bistro

Jim Noel
James Noel

Economic Development Director
York County

Michelle DeWitt
Michele Mixner-DeWitt

Economic Development Director
City of Williamsburg

Photo not available
Christopher Johnson

Economic Development Director
James City County

Julies Summs
Julie Summs

Director of Economic Development and Business Innovation
William and Mary

Ex-Officio Members

Neil Morgan
Neil Morgan

County Administrator
York County

Photo not available
Scott Stevens

County Administrator
James City County

Photo not available
Andrew Trivette

City Manager
City of Williamsburg

Management

Von Gilbreath

Voncile Gilbreath
Executive Director

Voncile “Von” Gilbreath is Executive Director of the Greater Williamsburg Partnership promoting regional economic development opportunities in Williamsburg (City), James City County and York County.

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Experience

Prior to joining the Greater Williamsburg Partnership, Von served as a Senior Business Development Manager with the City of Chesapeake, Department of Economic Development over a decade. While there, she worked to attract and retain companies; increase foreign direct investment; build collaborative workforce programs; identify product development opportunities; spearhead entrepreneurial growth; and implement customized marketing campaigns.

During her career, Von has worked in economic development and tourism in five Virginia communities: Greater Williamsburg area, Chesapeake, Hampton, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth. Throughout her career, Von has directly assisted thousands of companies resulting in new business investment, entrepreneurial growth, saved jobs and new jobs for the Hampton Roads region and Commonwealth of Virginia. Von has a history of building public-private partnerships; new programs models; implementing marketing initiatives and pursuing intra/entrepreneur ventures in revenue generating and performance driven environments.

Von is on the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) Board of Directors. She is also a Lead Hampton Roads graduate (Class of 2013).

Education

B.S., Business Administration – University of Alabama in Huntsville

Terry Banez

Terry Banez
Chief Executive Officer

Terry Banez started working at the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance in 2018 and brings over 25 years of business leadership experience to the organization.

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Experience

Prior to GWCTA, Banez worked as Director Trade Strategy & Operations for Newell Brands (Yankee Candle Company Division) leading over $300 million in business. Terry served as the Director of Sales and Operations for the Yankee Candle Company and was the opening General Manager for their Flagship store on Richmond Road in Williamsburg.

Terry has a strong background of regional community involvement including serving on the Board for the United Way of Greater Williamsburg, the Board and Executive Committee for the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, Avalon Women’s Shelter, Wounded Warriors Project, Habitat for Humanity and many other community organizations. Terry is a native of Williamsburg and a graduate of Lafayette High School. Her family has lived in the area for over 100 years and this fuels her passion for the area to prosper.

Education

B.S., Business Management – New York State University

Location

  • Adjacent to I-64 and U.S. Route 60, Greater Williamsburg easily connects with Richmond and Norfolk.
  • Richmond is located 50 miles to the northwest and Washington, D.C. is approximately 150 miles to the north.
  • Nearby I-95 and I-85 connect the region to major metro markets.
  • Freight rail service is provided by CSX Transportation, offering a wide range of reliable and efficient shipping options.
  • Passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak, with trains departing from Williamsburg.
  • The Port of Virginia, offering the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast, is located 37 miles southeast.
  • The Greater Williamsburg region has commercial air service provided by Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (30 minutes away); Norfolk International Airport and Richmond International Airport easily accessed via I-64 (one hour away); and Dulles International Airport and Reagan International Airport (3 hours away).

City and County Profiles

GREATER WILLIAMSBURG REGIONAL PROFILES

Greater Williamsburg, consisting of the City of Williamsburg and the counties of James City and York, exudes unique character in an historic, attractive, and business-friendly environment. With a temperate climate, low crime rate, top-rated public-school system, access to reliable health care, and moderate cost of living – all within a semi-rural environment – the Greater Williamsburg region offers its residents exceptional quality of life at an affordable cost. With its host of attractions and amenities, outdoor recreation, restaurants, nightlife, and abundant housing, Greater Williamsburg is an ideal place to work and live.

WILLIAMSBURG, VA

Historically, Williamsburg was the capital of the Virginia Colony from 1699 to 1780 and played a significant role in the American Revolution. Its heart is Colonial Williamsburg, a historic district and living-history museum where actors in period costume depict daily Colonial life in the streets, stores and workshops. Also home to William and Mary, the nation’s second oldest college, Williamsburg today is home to over 15,000 residents. The “smallest city with the biggest international address” explains Williamsburg’s unique, world class character, all housed in an attractive, friendly and walkable downtown area. Most recently, Southern Living magazine named Williamsburg the 2020 Best Small Town in the South. For more information on Williamsburg Economic Development, visit https://www.yeswilliamsburg.com/home.

JAMES CITY COUNTY, VA

James City County is where the first permanent English settlement was established in 1607 at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony. The County was formally created in 1634. Today, James City County is the perfect blend of friendly, small-town feel and big-city culture and resources. James City County is home to a number of tourism assets such as Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park, Kingsmill Resort, and the Williamsburg Winery. Today, the County has a rural and suburban feel and boasts major employers such as Ball Metal, InBev/Anheuser Busch, Owens and Minor, Walmart Distribution Center and more. For more information on James City County Economic Development, visit https://www.yesjamescitycountyva.com.

YORK COUNTY, VA

York County is home to Yorktown, Virginia where a defining battle occurred during the fight for the nation’s freedom in the American Revolutionary War on October 19, 1781. On that day, the siege and subsequent surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington and the French Fleet forever changed history. This British defeat at Yorktown effectively ended the war a year later. Today, York County is part of the region’s important story on colonial-era settlements and the northern entrance of the scenic Colonial Parkway operated by the U.S. National Park Service which links the three communities. With rural and suburban settings, York County is a desirable place to live with a top performing school system. York County also has military installations such as Naval Weapons Station/Cheatham Annex and the US Coast Guard Training Center which has attracted defense contractor companies to the area. Rounding out its major employers are Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center and numerous small to mid-size manufacturers. For more information on York County Economic Development, visit https://www.yesyorkcounty.com.