Grace Festa

Business Development Manager

+1 804 343 6973
[email protected]

As the Business Development Manager, Grace’s contributions are two-fold. She coordinates the Business First Greater Richmond program, a collaboration between the GRP’s four local government partners to retain existing businesses and help them grow in the region. Grace also works with the Business Attraction team, helping both domestic and international businesses choose the Richmond Region as their new home.

Grace started as an intern for the Partnership in 2009 while completing the Master in Urban and Regional Planning degree program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was hired as a full-time employee in 2011 and has had a variety of rolls since, including research, communications, and marketing. The multifaceted nature of the job is what keeps things interesting for Grace. “I enjoy performing a variety of tasks. Everyday I’m learning and contributing something different.” Grace says that the impact GRP has on the community is what influenced her decision to work for the organization.

Grace earned a bachelor’s degree in both German and Spanish while studying at the University of Connecticut. After finishing her undergraduate education, she worked in real estate appraisal for several years before deciding to return to school. “It was the right time to leave the real estate industry, and I wanted to get my master’s degree in a career field that would allow me to benefit the community.”

A native of Connecticut, Grace moved to the region in 2005 and it took no time at all before she considered herself a true Richmonder. She enjoys the educational opportunities, the easy lifestyle and the never-ending entertainment options the region has to offer. “With all of the festivals and events in Richmond, there is always something to do, and it’s surprisingly affordable to live here. My friends up north are jealous!”

Grace loves to soak up the culture and check out all of the interesting restaurants and local businesses in Richmond. She enjoys travelling as well, having been to 20 different countries. Grace has lived in Spain and Germany, but now she resides in Henrico with her husband, Joe, son, John, and her Havana Silk Dog, Ruby.