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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsRTPark CEO Announces Departure, Leaves Legacy of Growth and Innovation

RTPark CEO Announces Departure, Leaves Legacy of Growth and Innovation

RTPark CEO Peter H. Chapman (Submitted photo)
RTPark CEO Peter H. Chapman (Submitted photo)

After steering the Research and Technology Park through a period of significant growth and strategic advancements, Peter H. Chapman has announced he will be transitioning from his role as CEO, according to a press release.

Following a tenure marked by the RTPark’s financial success and a deep commitment to the community and local talent of the Virgin Islands, Chapman’s next steps involve dedicating more time to Urban Policy Innovations, the economic development and real estate advisory firm he founded several years ago, the release stated.

Under Chapman’s direction, the RTPark embarked on a period of significant growth and innovation, gaining recognition across national and international platforms, it said. This era of advancement led to the RTPark securing the 2020 Economic Development Organization of the Year award from the International Economic Development Council, marking its prominence as a leading economic development institution in the Americas, stated the release.

“During Chapman’s tenure, the RTPark not only witnessed a 275 percent increase in its business portfolio but also saw its revenue grow by more than 300 percent. This financial upswing led to the complete elimination of over $4 million in debt, a burden that the RTPark carried into Chapman’s term in 2018. Perhaps most notably, under his stewardship, the RTPark has been able to significantly increase its support for the University of the Virgin Islands. It contributed $3 million in 2023 alone — marking a more than 300 percent increase since 2018. This has totaled approximately $14 million in support for UVI since the RTPark’s inception, with the lion’s share being contributed during Chapman’s era,” according to the release.

Chapman attributes these achievements to the RTPark’s adoption of an aggressive and holistic economic development model that emphasizes the tech sector’s growth while maximizing revenue through a diverse approach. “Creating a vibrant tech ecosystem and maximizing our revenue potential required a comprehensive strategy that spanned attracting new businesses, supporting startups, workforce development, capital access, and infrastructure development,” Chapman said.

Chapman also explicitly acknowledged the vital role of RTPark-affiliated companies in driving the organization’s overall growth and ability to invest large sums of money into UVI. The RTPark has recruited more than 50 enterprises to the territory thus far under Chapman’s leadership. “Our companies comprise the backbone of the RTPark, and we are duty-bound to invest in their success. When our portfolio companies and founders do well, it creates a positive multiplier effect for all of us,” Chapman said.

A foundation of Chapman’s success has been his unwavering commitment to the local community, particularly in hiring talent. The RTPark’s dynamic team, largely comprising Virgin Islanders and their spouses, represents a wide range of expertise from technology to finance and urban planning. “Our team’s diversity and talent have been crucial to our achievements. We’ve built a strong, multidisciplinary group of professionals who have not only contributed to the RTPark’s success but have also played a significant role in the broader economic development of the Virgin Islands,” he said.

RTPark team at the 2022 Business Attraction Summit (Submitted photo)
The RTPark team at the 2022 Business Attraction Summit (Submitted photo)

According to the release, as Chapman prepares for his next chapter, he remains focused on completing his tenure at the RTPark. This will ensure a seamless transition and the sustained success of the RTPark’s initiatives. Chapman hinted at the possibility of continuing to work on a couple of special economic development initiatives in the Virgin Islands after stepping down as RTPark CEO. However, he declined to share any details at this time. “I’ll have much more to say about those projects in the future but I can’t steal my own thunder right now … or that of my partners, of course.”

However, he said, “I look forward to pursuing a robust scope of economic and community development work through UPI later this year, but in the meantime I remain laser-focused on continuing to advance the RTPark’s critical economic diversification agenda for the people of the Virgin Islands. We can’t take our collective foot off the gas if we want to continue to drive a change agenda.”

Reflecting on his departure, Chapman expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead such a dynamic organization and his excitement for the future. “It has been an honor to lead the RTPark and I’m grateful to the RTPark board of directors — and to the visionary founders of this unique organization for affording me this opportunity. The accomplishments we’ve achieved together are a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication of our team, our partners, and the community. I am proud of the work we have done and look forward to seeing the RTPark continue to thrive.”

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