A Letter to The Virginia Innovation and Entrepreneurship Communities Ed Albrigo - September 11, 2020
I have the privilege of serving the citizens of the great Commonwealth of Virginia every day, working with an excellent team, interacting with a great Board of Directors and working with the passionate innovation and entrepreneurship communities of Virginia. We have accomplished so much in nearly 5 years of working together.
When I began my tenure at the CEO and completed a review of the company, I reported to the Board that I had four very important goals.
Increase CIT’s outreach throughout Virginia and especially to underserved populations including women, minorities, and veterans.
Launch innovative new programs in technology and industry areas critical to Virginia.
Right our financial position from a crippling operating deficit to financial stability.
Repair the management reputation of CIT with the Commonwealth government
In addition, the pandemic response required us to rapidly reconfigure the company for indefinite, virtual operations. I am pleased to report that I believe we met these goals and adjusted to a new normal in operations.
Here are several highlights:
Put $4M into Virginia companies, at a critical time during this pandemic, through our CRCF, GAP, Smart Communities, and Unmanned Systems programs allowing companies to maintain employees and customers.
Increased participation in CIT programs through expanded outreach and connection across Virginia via hundreds of community events.
Launched strategic industry development efforts that allow Virginia to claim the #1 spot among states for unmanned systems and smart communities.
Restored our reputation with elected leaders and government staff through enhanced corporate governance and openness of our Board meetings.
Rebuilt our financial base resulting in an operating fund reserve that provides stability and options to our Board and management on instituting new programs.
Played an integral role in defining VIPA and set up a smooth transition from IEIA to VIPA through our comprehensive Board transition document and legal work.
I am most proud of the launch of the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) to provide business creation and economic growth opportunities for founders in underserved communities. Since 2018, VFF has invested in over 20 companies. GAP proceeds fund VFF, representing a reinvestment in our communities. I commend the CIT Board, CIT staff and the Northam Administration for their dedication to opportunity for all Virginians. It has been my honor to serve Virginia and CIT. Taking great pride in our accomplishments, having fulfilled my goals and commitment to the Commonwealth citizens, and with the new VIPA positioned for future success, I want to let you all know that I will be leaving CIT on October 15, 2020.
CIT and the start up of the new VIPA are in great hands. I am thrilled that the CIT Board appointed Bob Stolle as the new CIT President effective September 10, 2020. Bob knows the VIPA legislation, VIPA budget and the key stakeholders for VIPA and CIT very well. He is highly respected by our communities. He has been a close working colleague and friend of mine for 5 years. There is no better choice for the new CIT President.
Please join me in welcoming Bob into his new role. I ask that you provide him the same support you provided me these past 5 years. I will be supporting Bob in a transition until October 15 and he knows I’m just a phone call away after that.
I wish the Northam Administration, Commonwealth elected officials, and their staff, the IEIA/CIT Board, the new VIPA Board, and the team of CIT great success in advancing economic growth for all Virginians through innovation and entrepreneurship.