Outgoing commerce and trade secretary to lead law firm's new economic development practice Todd Haymore, outgoing Virginia secretary of commerce and trade, to lead new practice group at Hunton & Williams

Richmond Times-Dispatch |

Todd P. Haymore, Virginia's outgoing secretary of commerce and trade, will continue working in economic development as he moves back into the private sector after more than 10 years in state government.

The law firm Hunton & Williams LP has hired Haymore to lead a new practice group that will work with clients seeking business expansion and global trade opportunities.

Haymore, 48, who is not a lawyer but has a master's degree in business, will start work as managing director of the firm's new Global Economic Development, Commerce and Government Relations Group. The practice group will be based in the firm's Richmond office.

"Hunton & Williams is a law firm I have long admired from my time in the private sector and public sector, and they have offered me an opportunity that was just too good to pass up," Haymore said Thursday morning.

"This is a natural extension of what I have been doing in the public sector for the last 10 years, helping to drive more economic development and commerce opportunities right here in Virginia," he said.

Haymore has served in state government since 2007 for three governors, earning a reputation as a bipartisan advocate for economic development in Virginia.

He has served as Virginia's secretary of commerce and trade since 2016 under Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

He previously served for six years as secretary of agriculture and forestry under McAuliffe, a Democrat, and his Republican predecessor, Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Haymore was commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services from 2007 to 2010 under Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine.

Gov.-elect Ralph Northam this week chose Esther C. Lee, 43, vice chair of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, to serve as his secretary of commerce and trade. Haymore did not want to seek another appointment.

"The pipeline of (economic development) projects that are waiting for Governor-elect Northam and Secretary-designee Lee is very impressive," Haymore said. "I am really looking forward to turning that portfolio of projects over to them, and watching them get as many as possible to come to Virginia."

Before entering state government, Haymore was an executive in the tobacco leaf industry. He worked for Universal Corp., the Richmond-based global tobacco leaf merchant, from 1999 to 2007 and for Danville-based tobacco leaf company Dimon Inc. from 1998 to 1999.

From 1991 to 1997, he was a legislative assistant and communications director for then-U.S. Rep. L.F. Payne.

A native of Danville, Haymore received his undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and a master's in business administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

"Given Todd's leading role in facilitating economic development projects and international trade opportunities from positions in the private and public sectors, he has a deep understanding of the interface of business and government," Hunton & Williams Managing Partner Wally Martinez said in a statement from the firm. "He has worked with hundreds of global companies and knows the challenges they face with local, state and federal government, and also on the international stage.

"His leadership of our new Global Economic Development, Commerce and Government Relations Group will help our clients navigate the numerous challenges they face as they execute their economic development and expansion strategies."


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