The Secretary of Commerce and Trade is dedicated to developing and growing an economy that works for all Virginians. Our 12 agencies are dedicated in assisting Virginians in a variety of ways, enabling them to actively contribute to our economy. We strive to utilize the great assets of Virginia to help sustain its status as the best place to live, work, and conduct business.
Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade
Patrick Henry Building 1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade
Brian Ball was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Trade in April of 2018. He previously served in the Northam Administration as Special Advisor for Economic Development and Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
Prior to joining the Northam Administration, Brian was an attorney at Williams Mullen where he concentrated his practice in mergers and acquisitions, securities laws and corporate governance matters. Brian served as a trusted advisor to senior management, boards of directors and audit and special board committees handling such matters as internal investigations and activist shareholders. He also regularly represented clients before state and federal administrative agencies and the Virginia General Assembly. Brian served on the firm’s board of directors and as its General Counsel.
Brian graduated with high distinction from the University of Virginia where he was an Echols Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia. He is admitted to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia and California. He served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 1981 to 1982.
Brian and his wife Jennifer, formerly of Waynesboro, reside in Richmond. They have two children.
Cassidy Rasnick, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade
Cassidy Rasnick serves as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Rural Economic Development. Prior to her appointment, Rasnick managed the state’s economic development efforts for two of the Commonwealth’s largest industries – agriculture and forestry – while serving as manager of the office of business development at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and previously, as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for Governor McAuliffe. Before joining the McAuliffe administration, she worked for the Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. Rasnick also spent more than five years working for United State Senator Mark Warner.
A native of Botetourt County, Rasnick is a graduate of James Madison University and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.
Department of Housing and Community Development
Committed to creating safe and affordable housing by regulating building and fire codes while investing more than $100 million each year into affordable housing and community development projects throughout the Commonwealth.
Virginia Housing Development Authority
Promotes access to home loans, homeowner and homebuyer education to ensure quality, affordable housing for all in Virginia.
Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity
Promotes economic growth by engaging Virginia businesses and provides business certifications to ensure fairness in the procurement process for all Virginia’s small, women-owned and minority owned businesses.
Department of Labor and Industry
Promotes healthy workplaces, best employment practices, job training opportunities through registered apprenticeships, the protection of children from hazardous employment, and the safe operation of boiler and pressure vessels.
Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Enhancing the development and conservation of energy and mineral resources in a safe and environmentally sound manner to support a more productive economy.
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Administers and enforces laws and regulations necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
Works to promote economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities in the Commonwealth by administering grant programs and indemnification payments.
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Recruits and encourages the expansion of businesses, industries and entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth; creates employment with higher income opportunities; significantly increases capital investment, the expansion of the tax base, and international trade.
Virginia Employment Commission
Provide the Commonwealth’s workforce with services that promote maximum employment, unemployment benefits and labor market information to enhance the economic stability of Virginia.
Virginia Tourism Corporation
Serves to promote and develop tourism and motion picture industries to stimulate Virginia’s economy while enhancing the quality of life for all those in the Commonwealth.
Continuing to develop Virginia’s economy so all Virginians have the opportunity to succeed is vitally important. Our office wants every region of Virginia to achieve robust economic growth, including rural Virginia and other economically distressed areas. This prosperity will allow all companies to know that the Commonwealth of Virginia is the best place for them to grow, develop and prosper.
A top priority of this administration it to foster small businesses by expanding access to capital for start-ups and impact investing. The diligent work of our office and our resourceful agencies will continue to make sure that all Virginians have ample opportunities and that Virginia has an economy that works for everyone.
Expanding access to broadband is critical in making a Virginia which works for everyone. In the 21st Century economy, communities which lack basic access to broadband are at a major economic and educational disadvantage. This undertaking will be spearheaded by our Chief Broadband Advisor. Our office will coordinate efforts to allow all regions of the Commonwealth to get connected.
Through the usage of state and federal resources along with private investment: our office is confident we can expand broadband to many communities that are in desperate need of it.
For resources to support a locality, planning district commission, internet service provider, or citizen interested in expanding broadband in their community, please go to: https://www.commonwealthconnect.virginia.gov
Virginia should lead in the expansion of renewable energy, the development of offshore wind, and the promotion of energy efficiency. Through partnerships with stakeholders, we will work to increase investment in clean energy throughout the Commonwealth. Our office will work to promote solar, offshore wind, and onshore wind projects to make renewable energy a major economic driver for our state.
With an increased focus on energy efficiency, we will work with utilities, local government, and the private sector to increase access to energy efficiency programs for all citizens despite their income.
We are currently creating our 2018 Energy Plan, a strategic vision for the Commonwealth’s energy policy for the next 10 years. Click here to learn more about that process.