M.B. Owens grew up in the Hampton Roads area. In his early years through high school, he lived in Norfolk. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned two master’s degrees, one from the University of Pennsylvania and the other from Lipscomb University. After being an intern in the department of economics for the regional planning commission of southeastern Virginia, his first job out of graduate school was as a senior planner for the City of Hampton (part of the twenty-five-mile radius focused on in the story). He moved on to be in charge of facility planning and marketing for the port authority of Virginia with facilities in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News. He eventually became an executive director of a port authority. One of his most impactful projects was as coordinator, from its beginning to completion, of the Automated Commercial Environment Manifest for the United States, developed in coordination with U.S. Customs. The system presently handles trillions of dollars of everything that is shipped in and out of the county. He was also in charge of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s international trading company. He has been CEO of private companies, a journalist, and a national syndicated columnist for a multimedia corporation with a worldwide distribution network. His articles have been published in thousands of renowned newspapers, magazines, and websites.
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