November 30, 2023

AI Ready RVA: Charting the Future of Richmond with AI

Featured image for “AI Ready RVA: Charting the Future of Richmond with AI”
AI-generated Image of a futuristic Richmond, Virginia. Image generated with DALL·E 3 by Will Melton.

Welcome to AI Ready RVA, Richmond’s newest beacon in the technological landscape, where the future of work meets the power of community. Our vision is to transform Richmond into a thriving hub for artificial intelligence (AI) education and application, ensuring our city and its workforce are at the forefront of the AI revolution.

Who We Are: A Tapestry of Tech Enthusiasts and Visionaries

At AI Ready RVA, we are a mosaic of minds – a blend of tech enthusiasts, educators, industry leaders, and curious learners, all united by a shared passion for artificial intelligence. Our community is diverse, drawing members from various sectors including technology, academia, business, and more. This fusion of perspectives is what makes AI Ready RVA not just an organization, but a vibrant ecosystem of ideas and innovation.

Our Network: Uniting Diverse Sectors Under One AI Vision

Our strength is our diversity. AI Ready RVA is an alliance of:

  • Tech Pioneers: Visionaries from leading tech companies who bring cutting-edge AI knowledge and insights.
  • Academic Minds: Educators and students dedicated to embedding AI in educational curricula and nurturing the next wave of AI talent.
  • Business Leaders: Forward-thinking entrepreneurs and executives leveraging AI to revolutionize industry practices.
  • Policy Shapers: Government officials and NGO representatives who aim to integrate AI into public policy for the betterment of our community.
  • AI Aficionados: Enthusiasts from various backgrounds, united in their curiosity and eagerness to explore the vast possibilities of AI.

Current Stakeholders:

Andy PoarchThe Alliance Group
Beth Vann-TurnbullHousing Families First
David KitchenUniversity of Richmond
Harold FitrerCommunities in Schools
Jeff MacDonaldMekanism
Jen KostyniukDominion Energy
Jason LeeGreater Richmond Partnership
Moses FosterWest Cary Group
Nick SerfassRVATech
Rasheeda N. CreightonJWC Foundation
Rebecca IvinsHourigan Construction
Richard FosterVirginia Business Magazine
Taikein CooperRPS Education Foundation
Van WoodVCU School of Business
Victor RogersSustainable Growth Creative LLC
Will MeltonXponent21
Ken AmpyAstyra
Dasha RunyanChamberRVA
William WillisCapital One
Phyl DemetriouRichmond Debate Institute
Nicole JonesArt 180; Richmond City Council
Liz B. BakerNimbology
Ida PiercePierce Creative & Consulting, LLC
Paul LewarneAlliance Group Ltd.
Liz FillmanVirginia Tech Richmond Center
Rafe WilkinsonRising Tides
Alex WhitewayModern Ancients
Yogi PatilFee Agent
Aaron WareBuddy
Jessica ClarkNIVIDA
Thomas McDonaldCall Federal Credit Union
Aravindh ManicksInstacart
Jason McGinthyCapital One
Amin HemaniDaugherty Business Solutions
Jon HarrisAI Business Concepts
Chris MowryFee Agent
Marcos IrigarayEndeavor Management
David DerVectari
My Lan TranVirginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
Bryan IlgBABL AI
Jane HolmesDahlia TalentEQ
Jonathan BowmanWTVR-TV CBS6
Tina TimmermanCarMax

Our Mission: Elevating Richmond to an AI Powerhouse

Our mission is singular yet impactful: to establish Richmond as a leading AI-ready city. Here’s how we’re doing it:

  • AI Education for All: We’re demystifying AI with accessible resources, workshops, and events, making AI understandable and approachable for everyone.
  • Skill Empowerment: We’re equipping our community with vital AI skills and knowledge, preparing them for the changing dynamics of the job market.
  • Collaborative Networking: By fostering a collaborative environment, we’re creating a melting pot for ideas and innovation in AI.
  • Championing Ethical AI: We advocate for the ethical development and use of AI, ensuring that it serves the greater good of our society.
  • Stimulating Economic Growth: We aim to transform Richmond into a magnet for AI talent and innovation, thereby driving economic development and attracting cutting-edge businesses.

Join the AI Revolution with Us

AI Ready RVA isn’t just a group; it’s a harbinger of change, a catalyst for innovation. By arming Richmond’s workforce with AI knowledge and skills, we’re not just preparing for the future – we’re actively shaping it.

Are you ready to be a part of this transformative journey? Join us at AI Ready RVA. Together, we will explore the limitless potential of AI, fostering a future that’s innovative, inclusive, and industrious. Stay tuned for our upcoming events and initiatives. Let’s embark on this exhilarating journey into the world of AI – together, for a smarter, stronger Richmond.

To contribute resources to this cause or to inquire about partnerships, please email Will Melton at