The Greater Richmond Partnership (“GRP”), the lead regional economic development organization serving the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico in Virginia, announces that Jennifer Wakefield has been promoted to President and CEO of the organization effective immediately. Wakefield has served as Interim President and CEO since December.
“Jennifer has demonstrated on two separate occasions that she’s more than capable of leading the Greater Richmond Partnership in its business recruitment efforts,” said Leslie Haley, Chair of the GRP Board of Directors and member of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. “Jennifer has established a new strategic framework for GRP which includes working closer with our partners than ever before. The Board looks forward to future success under her leadership.”
Wakefield was recruited to Greater Richmond to work for GRP in September 2017 as the Senior Vice President of Marketing. She served as Interim President and CEO from January to August 2019 and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in September 2019.
“I am looking forward to collaboratively working with our partners to position Richmond as the top mid-sized region in the U.S. for companies to invest,” said Jennifer Wakefield, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership. “There are so many things to love about this region we call home, and we will share that passion with businesses looking to relocate, especially from higher-cost areas, to bring more quality jobs to RVA.”
Prior to her time at GRP, Wakefield served as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Orlando Economic Development Commission (now the Orlando Economic Partnership) for 11 years. She has more than 20 years of marketing and leadership experience in the economic development, transportation, utility and financial services industries. She is also a former adjunct communications professor at the University of Central Florida.
Wakefield has a master’s degree in communications from the University of Central Florida and a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from the University of West Florida. She holds her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), signifying a high level of professional experience, competence and ethical standards.
In 2020, Wakefield was named among the Top 50 economic developers in the country by Consultant Connect. She previously was recognized by Development Counsellors International and the International Economic Development Council among 40 under 40 professionals in Economic Development and among the 40 under 40 professionals in Orlando by the Orlando Business Journal.
Wakefield is involved in the community and in the economic development industry. She is a 2018 graduate of Lead Virginia, serves on ChamberRVA’s RVA Now Community Action Team, Richmond Region Tourism Place Branding Committee, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Industry Roundtable, International Economic Development Council Economic Development Research Practitioners and serves as the chair of the Marketing Advisory Committee for the International Economic Development Council.
About the GRP
The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. (GRP) is the lead regional economic development organization for the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico in Virginia. GRP attracts new companies to the region by providing in-depth market data, marketing the region globally and generating quality economic opportunities. For more information, visit www.grpva.com.