Nicole Ryf joined the Hampton Roads Alliance in March 2020 as the organization's first Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, Nicole assists President & CEO Doug Smith with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives around business recruitment and expansion — including a core initiative of positioning Hampton Roads as the east coast hub for the supply chain that will support the developing Offshore Wind Industry. Nicole has more than a decade of community and economic development experience at the city, county, and state level.
Previously, Nicole worked as Director of Business and Community Development within the Texas Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism. Over the course of more than five years with the Governor's Office, Nicole’s responsibilities progressively increased until she ultimately managed all of the core functions of economic development. Those responsibilities included overseeing business recruitment and expansion efforts, incentive and finance programs, trade and export initiatives, community relations, general business assistance, and small business activities. During her time with the Governor's Office, Nicole contributed to the location decisions of companies that ultimately announced more than 55,600 jobs and committed to at least $47 billion in capital investment in Texas.
Prior to moving to Texas, Nicole served as Community Development Director for the City of Evansville, WI. She also worked as a Community Development Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Extension, which involved building capacity within local government, non-profit, economic development, and business organizations. Nicole holds undergraduate degrees in History and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin and a Master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.