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The Man Behind a Budding Creative City The efforts of one small-business owner are drawing young creatives to Norfolk, Va.

By Jim Morrison

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Drew Ungvarsky's community-building efforts stemmed from the things he wanted to enjoy as a resident of Norfolk, Va.: an energetic arts scene, alternative transportation, a lively downtown. Over time, he realized that his attempts to improve his lifestyle could have an impact on his professional life as well, by helping his company compete on the hiring front.

The owner and creative director of Grow--a digital advertising and production company with clients such as HBO, Google, Nike, Oakley and Starbucks--Ungvarsky often looked to hire talent from across the U.S. and abroad. But he knew Norfolk couldn't compete with cities with vibrant tech and recreational scenes.

He set out to change that, starting with his own office. He created the type of environment you'd expect to find in Austin or Silicon Valley, with bikes, a ping-pong table and a rooftop garden. The next step was to make Norfolk, itself, a more inviting place to work and live. "The happiness of my employees is directly related to the happiness in their community, particularly in a small city like this," Ungvarsky claims. "When I started to look at relocating talent here, everyone was saying, 'Your work is the same level of work I could do in city XYZ across the world. Why would I choose this place?'"

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