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Sept. 19, 2018 — Charles E. “Chuck” Rigney Sr., former director and assistant director of Economic Development in Norfolk, has been named Hampton’s director of Economic Development, replacing Leonard Sledge.
Michelle Ferebee, chairwoman of Hampton's Economic Development Authority and a member of the panel that interviewed Rigney, cited his expertise, knowledge and experience, noting that "with the talent we already have, he can be instrumental in taking us to the next level."
Rigney, 62, expects to start work on Monday, Oct. 8. He said he looks forward to “getting out in the community and meeting corporate and residential leaders.” His goal is to hear their concerns and hopes for future development, and to give them a chance to get to know him. He said serving in Hampton is “a tremendous opportunity to join a great team.”
Rigney's family moved to Hampton Roads in 1969, and he went to school in Norfolk. After graduating from Old Dominion University, Rigney spent about 15 years in commercial real estate. He joined the Virginia Peninsula Economic Development Council in 1995 and has served as assistant director and interim director of development in Norfolk and as director of development in Portsmouth.
While in Norfolk he most recently helped recruit new businesses, including ADP, Tegra, Movement Mortgage, and the 332,000-square-foot IKEA store being built near Interstate 64. While in Portsmouth, he oversaw the development of a new “western approach” to economic development that focused on replacing businesses and customers that were lost because of new tolls on area tunnels and roads. Rigney also worked on planning large scale redevelopment on the downtown riverfront.
Asked why he chose to work in Hampton, Rigney said, “The opportunity to be a part of the continuing success of Hampton was really intriguing to me.”
City Manager Mary Bunting noted the similarities between Norfolk's and Hampton's economic development goals. She also emphasized that Rigney has a stellar reputation in the development community and is well known throughout the region and state. "Chuck will be able to immediately hit the ground running and expand upon the momentum Hampton has begun under prior leadership."
Go online to learn about the city's Economic Development Department.