Business First names Flagg 2016 Volunteer of the Year

RICHMOND, VA – Business First Greater Richmond, the region’s business retention and expansion program, named Michael Flagg the 2016 Volunteer of the Year at an appreciation event last Tuesday evening. Flagg, who serves as the co-chair of the Henrico Business First team, interviewed 19 businesses this year doubling the individual goal set for volunteers. Business First

“As a member of the committee, my role in meeting with Henrico businesses on behalf of the Henrico Economic Development Authority enables the EDA to better understand what is taking place in the businesses in Henrico and to help identify opportunities for the EDA to assist businesses with any challenges they may be facing as well as in their efforts to grow,” Flagg said.

Business First Greater Richmond is a collaborative effort between the Greater Richmond Partnership and the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico. These local partners provide resources, services and support for companies that call Greater Richmond home. Local professional development staff and trained volunteers from the business community interview CEOs and other top company officials to fully understand the company and the factors critical to its long-term success.

“For years, Michael has led the charge to improving our region’s business climate and we can’t be happier to recognize his accomplishment,” said Grace Festa, Business First Greater Richmond’s program coordinator.

When he’s not dedicating hours to improving his community, Flagg is a Senior Unified Communications Specialist for Epitome Networks. Flagg has been co-chair for 5 years and volunteer for 9.

Companies touched by the program receive a high level of customer service and access to a wide variety of resources, dictated by the company’s unique needs. This customer-focused approach delivers value by quickly connecting companies to the resources they need and removing barriers to business growth.

“Michael also understands the value of quality over quantity. If a company needs connections to workforce, new lease options or wants a visit from our staff – Michael has been diligent in responding to the businesses needs and connecting business executives with the right resources,” said Lindsay Hurt, Business Services Manager for Henrico County Economic Development. “His attitude and consistency helps to keep the committee on track year after year.”

The information gathered by volunteers and staff is confidential, however the Business First Greater Richmond team will share part of its findings in an annual report, due in August.

About the Partnership

The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. was launched in 1994 as a pioneering regional public-private initiative to serve as the regional economic development group for the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico. Over the course of 21 years, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has assisted more than 465 companies that have invested $10.8 billion in capital investment in the Richmond Region. For more information, please visit

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