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2018 In the Rear View Mirror; 2019 Straight Ahead

As 2018 fades away, it’s a good time to take a few moments before 2019’s “new car smell” wears off. At The Berkley Group, each year has been a big year for us, and 2018 was no exception. Here are some quick highlights!

  • We added new employees (we are up to 23 full- and part-time positions now);

  • We grew our resilience and sustainability program adding the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and World Bank as clients developing sustainable training programs to take to Colombia and beyond;

  • Our Executive Transition Assistance (ETA) program has taken off leading to our first executive search in Charlotte County, followed by Greene and Greensville Counties, along with the Town of Abingdon. Our managers are serving (or have served) as interim managers/administrators in towns, a city and a county;

  • Staying ahead of the curve (or just trying to match the demand) for utility scale solar farms has been a niche area that we have been guiding localities through.

  • We continue to roll out our exclusive Auxiliary Town Hall (ATH) program where we augment locality staff either on- or off-site. We continue staffing the Planning Department for the City of Lexington, Virginia where we manage all current planning needs and just completed an update to the zoning ordinance and have a Comprehensive Plan update underway. We are onsite at the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) and administer the region’s rural transportation program and are now assisting in a new sector – emergency management planning.

Our ever-growing map of clients depicts our traditional projects (red pins); ATH contracts (green pins); and ETA projects and localities our executive managers have worked (blue pins).

So, what’s in store for 2019? We have a busy start as we think about what’s coming down the pike from Richmond with the short General Assembly session and chart a path anticipating what is changing in local government!

  • Virginia’s mortarium on cities ability to annex is looking to heat up with pending legislation this session. Standby for more information there. We will be plugging into the local government days sponsored by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) in late January;

  • We are looking for ways to assist in answering Governor Northam’s call for broadband access statewide within a decade, specifically with the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission which is the agency charged with making this happen;

  • Assisting our rural localities and partners in economizing blue and green infrastructure so that we can meet regulatory requirements as well as ensure a better world for future generations;

  • Stay tuned on our efforts to assist communities that are fiscally stressed to avoid a Petersburg-like scenario.

We constantly strive to anticipate our clients’ needs; to be flexible and adapt to changing needs; and build partnerships to make localities stronger and more efficient. We are proud corporate partners with Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and are re-engaging our sponsorship of the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) this year. We also have built great relationships with higher education institutions such as Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia (UVA) and George Mason University (GMU).

Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recognize the amazing team that we have that truly makes this happen on a daily basis. The dedication to serve, and commitment to go above and beyond is exemplified by every Berkley Group team member. It makes working here all the more rewarding knowing the legacy we leave and the impact we have on communities.

Here’s to 2019! What doors can we open for you?

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