City of Virginia Beach Takes Top Award in Local Government Innovation

Monday, May 08, 2017

​A robust tracking system and improved bid competitiveness for minority-owned businesses are driving effective change in the City of Virginia Beach and providing a model for localities across the nation.

The City of Virginia Beach is this year's recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation Award for its work to provide technical assistance program to minority-owned businesses in city procurement. The City was honored at the Transforming Local Government Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 21, 2017.

"As home to a third of all startup activity in the region, Virginia Beach's small business community is a key component of the city's economic future," said Taylor Adams, the city's purchasing agent. "Supporting their success through initiatives like our Contractors Institute and other dynamic outreach efforts is a strategy that works."

City expenditures to minority-owned businesses during fiscal year 2016 reached an all-time high of $17.4 million dollars, a 23 percent increase, and awards to minority-owned businesses were $12.5 million.

Local governments are recognized each year at TLG from a diverse pool of the most innovative communities in the country. Communities receive awards from the Alliance for Innovation for demonstrating Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation.

The Innovation Awards have evolved from their inception in 2004, to address a growing need to recognize and celebrate creativity, innovation and those who are pushing the bounds of creative excellence. These awards are presented each year at the Transforming Local Government Conference hosted by the Alliance for Innovation.

"The 2017 Alliance for Innovation Award winners are shining examples of how local government leaders are advancing emerging practices in their communities," said Karen Thoreson, president of the Alliance for Innovation. "They are making innovation work for their citizens and making their organizations more effective as they put their best ideas into practice."

The Alliance for Innovation is dedicated to connecting thought leaders. It administers this distinguished award competition with the goal of raising the awareness of cities, counties and individuals who have made a quantum leap of creativity to make a positive impact on their community or jurisdiction.

The Alliance for Innovation stands apart by offering leading-edge conferences such as TLG to challenge conventional thinking and inspire change. Award entries are judged alongside those of their peers, representing a wide variety of communities and perspectives. Award entries for the 2018 Transforming Local Government Conference will be accepted starting in November of 2017.

About the City of Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia and the 39th largest city in the United States, with more than 450,000 residents. The City encompasses 307 square miles: 248 miles of land and 59 miles of water. With its 38-plus miles of beaches and almost 80 miles of scenic waterways, Virginia Beach is a vibrant East Coast city that nurtures a healthy mix of industry, attractions and people.

About the Alliance
The Alliance for Innovation is inspiring innovation to advance communities with the help of our partners Arizona State University (ASU) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Guided by research and real-world experience, the Alliance impacts organizations and communities, changing the way local government performs. We are accessible and valuable to all levels of an organization.

To find out more about the Alliance for Innovation and how to join, visit or contact the Alliance at or 888.496.0944.


PHOTO (left to right): Taylor Adams, purchasing agent for the City of Virginia Beach; Peggy Merriss, city manager of Decatur, Ga., who presented the award; and Bob Trahan, organization development coordinator for the City of Virginia Beach.

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