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2016 List of Virginia’s Most Influential Virginians Includes VIR Owner/CEO Connie Nyholm

Nyholm continues to develop the 1,370-acre Virginia International Raceway (VIR), which she helped reopen in 2000. The property bills itself as a “motorsport resort,” offering five road courses, onsite lodging, a spa and a restaurant.

Adjacent to VIR is the VIRginia Motorsport Technology Park, home to Virginia Tech’s Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation. VIR welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year, and spectator ticket sales were up 48 percent in 2015 from the previous year. “The most challenging part about my job is gaining VIR the recognition it deserves as a driving economic force, especially in the Southern Virginia region,” she says. In 1986, Nyholm was preparing to become a self-employed real estate agent, leaving a career as a senior credit analyst at HBO in New York.

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