DHR International completes CEO search for Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance

Mar 2, 2016

DHR International is pleased to announce the successful placement of Rick Weddle as President & CEO for the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance in Norfolk, Virginia.  HREDA is the premier public-private partnership driving economic growth and investment in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. 

Most recently, Weddle served as the President & CEO of the Orlando Economic Development Commission in Orlando, Florida.  He was previously the President & CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina; and, the President & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council in Phoenix.  Weddle has successfully led business model transformation and redesign initiatives along with successful regional branding.  During the course of his career, he has been involved in creating more than 80,000 new jobs and $9.1 billion in capital investment.

“Rick had a great track record in Orlando,” commented John Padgett, Chairman of HREDA.  Weddle assisted in the creation of more than 17,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $800 million, more than $1 billion in capital investment and more than 5.3 million square-feet of office and industrial space absorbed.  “This position is one of the most critical in our region.  We needed someone who understands the national and global economy, is both personable and aggressive, and also a quick study.  Rick Weddle is that person. He’s a ‘game changer’ for our region,” said Padgett.

“I was absolutely bowled over by the amount of leadership support I saw,” Weddle commented. “There are four ingredients for success: leadership, substance, staff and funding.  Of these, leadership is most important. I was overwhelmed by the public and private sector leadership, combined with the asset base in the region.”

DHR International’s search engagement team was led by Dave Smith, Partner, Economic Development.  The engagement team consisted of Tina Winner, Partner; Martita Mestey, Partner; and Michele Counter, Principal. 

“Rick is one of the most successful and recognized economic development leaders in the United States.  He sees a great opportunity for the Hampton Roads region to achieve even greater success in terms of job recruiting/attraction, retention, along with an expanded entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Smith. “Combining Rick’s experience and  demonstrated record of performance with the exceptional corporate, community, and civic leadership resident in Hampton Roads, the region will undoubtedly become one of the most sought after business addresses in the US.”


Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) - The official regional economic organization representing the coastal or Tidewater area of Virginia.  Because of its unique geography, including one of the world’s largest natural deep-water harbors, Hampton Roads is a premier location for both domestic and international business.  A totally integrated transportation network of interstate highways, air, rail, and sea services provide excellent access between the region and the markets of the world. Hampton Roads is strategically situated 200 miles south of Washington, D.C. and 100 miles south of Richmond, the state capital of Virginia.  As the U.S. economy continues to turn to globalization, Hampton Roads is rapidly becoming a favored location for international companies. 

About DHR International:

For more than 25 years DHR International has been a leading, privately held provider of executive search solutions with more than 60 wholly-owned offices spanning the globe.  DHR’s renowned consultants specialize in all industries and functions in order to provide unparalleled senior-level executive search, management assessment and succession planning services tailored to the unique qualities and specifications of our select client base.  For more information on DHR International, visit https://www.dhrinternational.com



Lauren Finch

(312) 782-1581