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From nurse to CEO

Carilion’s Nancy Agee sees herself as a servant leader


Agee is Carilion Clinic’s president and CEO

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February 2014 6 F E AT U R E S COVER STORY


A Steel Magnolia?

Nancy Agee leads region’s largest health-care system with a soft style and a steady hand.

by Sandra Brown Kelly


Meet Ned Carilion’s robot mascot rolls into pediatric action. by Sam Dean

BANKING & FINANCE More than a passbook



Banks today offer a one-stop financial shop. by Joan Tupponce

EDUCATION Private schools


Educational choices in the valleys range from faith-based to Montessori. by Anna Westerman



Eating local Food sourcing industry grows to include many players.


by Cara Ellen Modisett

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by Donna Alvis Banks









Henderson to chair Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce


Member news & recognitions

Then and now Outdoor recreation and Virginia Tech’s presence draw business and people to Montgomery County.

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AreYouWithValley Yet?


Complaint spurs new effort to show region’s diversity by Tim Thornton


n editor once told me — and the rest of his newspaper’s staff — that we had too many white guys in ties in the newspaper. If anyone noted the irony that he and the majority of that newsroom’s leadership were white guys in ties, I don’t remember it. Someone did point out that many of the powerful people in the community were white guys in ties, so it made sense that they would pop up in the news pretty regularly. True, but they shouldn’t be the only people showing up. They aren’t the only people doing important things. They aren’t the only people who are important to the community. I know all that, so I was particularly unhappy about a recent email scolding me for the lack of diversity in Roanoke Business. I wasn’t unhappy to get the email. I was unhappy that the writer was right. “If Roanoke truly is becoming a melting pot, I couldn’t tell it from your last issue,” the writer declared. “In our communities there are … minority entrepreneurs doing great things. There are minorities on boards of different organizations, running for or holding political office and serving their communities in different capacities … A lack of diversity [in Roanoke Business] may give those who wish to relocate here a sense that Roanoke remains a small Southern town without much opportunity for those of color. I know that’s not true, but you should show it!” It’s true that a lot of the people in powerful positions are white men. It’s true that many business leaders are white men. But not all of them. You may have noticed the woman on this month’s cover. That’s Nancy Agee, president and CEO of the largest nonprofit corporation — and the largest employer — in Roanoke. I’m sorry to say it’s the first time a woman has been on the cover of this magazine. White men outnumber women among our interview subjects by more than 2 to 1. We’ve featured one person of color among our monthly Interview feature, although African Americans and other minorities were more frequently subjects in another interview feature, Roanoke Next — that focused on younger business people — that was discontinued in August. A gathering of those folks certainly wouldn’t look much like our region. I doubt such a gathering would be representative of all the entrepreneurs and innovators in our region. Roanoke Business doesn’t exist to display the diversity of the region’s business community, but it does aim to cover this region’s business community. It looks like we’ve been missing some parts of that community. I’m going to work on doing better. And the person who wrote that email has already helped me. He not only complained, he suggested some topics and people that would help fill that gap in our coverage. You probably won’t see all of those suggestions in this magazine, but you certainly will see some of them. That’s my other point. If you see something wrong in Roanoke Business — or if you don’t see something you think should be there — let me know. I won’t promise to agree. I won’t promise to do just exactly what you want. But I will promise to take your position seriously. I promise to consider what you say. And I promise to try to make each issue of Roanoke Business better than the one that came before it.





President & Publisher Roanoke Business Editor Contributing Editor Contributing Writers

Art Director Contributing Photographers

Production Manager Circulation Manager Accounting Manager Advertising Sales

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Bernard A. Niemeier Tim Thornton Paula C. Squires Donna Alvis Banks Sam Dean Sandra Brown Kelly Cara Ellen Modisett Joan Tupponce Anna Westerman Adrienne R. Watson Sam Dean Alisa Moody Don Petersen Kevin L. Dick Karen Chenault Sunny Ogburn Lynn Williams Hunter Bendall

CONTACT: EDITORIAL: (540) 520-2399 ADVERTISING: (540) 597-2499 210 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA 24011-1702 We welcome your feedback. Email Letters to the Editor to Tim Thornton at

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on the cover Nancy Agee in front of Carilion Clinic Roanoke Photo by Sam Dean


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COVER STORY Carilion President and CEO Nancy Agee talks with Susan Lee, Carilion’s chief of hospitalist medicine.

A Steel Magnolia? by Sandra Brown Kelly



Photo courtesy Carilion Clinic


hen the time came to fill Ed Murphy’s position as leader of Carilion Clinic, Nancy Agee was the obvious choice.

Nancy Agee leads region’s largest healthcare system with a soft style and a steady hand

George Cartledge Jr., a furniture executive and chairman of the clinic board, says, “No one else was considered. She was chief operating officer with years of experience. We thought she would be perfect. She is not only well qualified from a clinical standpoint, she has a wonderful way with people. She is fair and firm at the same time.” Agee views Murphy as a mentor but is quick to note that her management style is different. She described herself as a “servant leader” even before she knew it was a recognized management style. “I am more comfortable supporting other people. It’s clear I don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but a leader has to be strategic and have vision.” When she inherited Murphy’s office in the corporate section of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in 2011, the first thing she did was redecorate it. For her walls, she selected a soft, but deep red paint, and she added art by Roanoke artists Eric Fitzpatrick and Marcia McDade, who was a high school classmate. A small sculpture by the late Dorothy Gillespie, whom Agee met while serving on the Radford University board of visitors, sits on a table. Agee also commissioned a wall panel by Roanoke artist Chris Gryder representing the region as she interprets it: strong, yet welcoming. The artwork includes pearl and rose designs in a scene of mountain lines done in earth colors. The Roanoke region has always been Agee’s home. “I decided to be a nurse when I was 5. I got two things that Christmas that represent my lifelong passions, a dog and

a doll wearing a nurse’s cap. I’ve never been without a dog since.” Nor has she been without a role in health care. What is now Carilion Clinic has been her employer since she became a registered nurse in 1973. As president and CEO of the nonprofit Carilion Clinic — the region’s largest private employer — Agee oversees a multispecialty physician group, eight hospitals and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences. The clinic serves patients in 18 counties and six cities in western Virginia and southern West Virginia. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Carilion employed 600 physicians at 195 practice sites. Its total workforce numbered more than 11,000. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is a Level 1 trauma center, and the clinic is a partner with Virginia Tech in the Carilion-Virginia Tech Medical School. Total net revenue in 2012, the most recent numbers available, was $1.4 billion. Agee’s annual compensation, based on the clinic’s latest tax records, is $1.48 million. Leading a health-care system “wasn’t part of the plan,” says Agee, who confesses that when interviewers ask about her career path, “I almost have to make up a story.” A nurse becomes a CEO In 1973, Agee became a staff nurse at Roanoke Memorial Hospital after graduating from the hospital’s nursing school. Several years into that role, she began taking classes at Virginia Western Community College and got involved in continuing education at the hospital. She developed an interest in oncology and in getting hospital nursROANOKE BUSINESS


cover story Agee confers with Paul Frantz, the hospital’s medical director for cardiac services.

es involved in managing patients’ pain. Agee submitted a grant proposal to the National Cancer Institute for a pain management program that would involve what was then four Roanoke Valley hospitals. It was funded, and she was asked to run the program. “I remember saying, ‘I don’t do kids,’” Agee says, “but my first patient was a 4-year-old.” That first grant was followed by a second and then a third. Agee earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Virginia and became the hospital’s vice president for education. She continued her studies, earning a master’s in nursing from Emory University in Atlanta. “I’m a restless person,” she says. “About the time I’m ready for a change, there’s an opportunity.” That philosophy appears to have worked in finding her life partner, too. She and her husband, federal Judge Steven Agee, graduated from Cave Spring 8


High School in 1970 but weren’t even friends then. They met again in January 1981 when Steven, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, was part of a legislative group visiting Roanoke. Nancy was a member of the host committee. The couple married in 1983. Their son, Zack, who worked as a congressional aide for three years, is now a second-year law student. Steven Agee was appointed as a judge on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008 and has offices in Roanoke and Richmond. “We each have our own schedules, and if there is something one of us wants to do, we have to sit down and talk about it, or email,” Steven Agee notes. Both remain committed to the Roanoke Valley, however, and now make their home in Salem. Nancy Agee confirms she has been “heavily recruited” by other hospital systems but is happy to stay put and pursue her goals for Carilion. The paramount goal,

she notes, is keeping the Carilion system “in the black. We’ve managed to do that last year and this year [2013], but it’s not easy, and there are headwinds coming.” The main challenges in health care, she says, are funding, workforce development and management of chronic illnesses. Agee wants her legacy to be that she focused on quality and patient safety, equally weighted with high value and lower cost care. “I want to help our region become healthier. It’s our mission; it’s my passion.” Part of making change happen is altering the way health care is delivered. American health care is set up to provide the best acute care in the world, “but we are living longer and are more sedentary and have a nation of chronic illnesses that we really aren’t set up to handle,” Agee says. “We have a constellation of services and that’s fine, but people want access when they need it.” Photo by Sam Dean

cover story Adapting and improving The demand for access floods emergency rooms with patients who may not have an emergency. This has prompted some changes at Carilion. The hospitals now have case managers in emergency rooms to identify people without a primary-care physician and to try to direct them to a source. Also, Carilion’s primary-care practices are organized so that case managers review patient records to see who hasn’t come in for care. Those patients are encouraged to see their doctor. “We’re seeing some good changes,” Agee says. In addition to the case manager structure, she cited other examples of Carilion’s outreach: conducting Community Health Needs Assessments in all of its regions and implementing Carilion’s electronic medical record system, called EPIC, and its patient portal, MyChart. EPIC and MyChart make it possible for the hospital staff to reach out to patients who aren’t getting important screenings such as an annual mammogram or who are at risk for complications of uncontrolled chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, Agee says. “Health is an encompassing word,” she says. Agee sees part of her role as creating a succession plan to find replacements for the clinic’s aging workforce in nursing and administration. Carilion’s recruitment is always national, she says. “I think all of our clinicians have amazingly hard jobs. It’s a very human experience when a clinician works with a patient, and in some instances it is now harder because of technology and medications.” Agee stresses that Carilion’s goals are not changing but “continue to mature as we evolve and as the environment changes. For instance, who could have predicted in 2007 that Obamacare would be the law of the land? Our initial goals centered on creation and development of a physician-led clinical enterprise supported by education Photo courtesy Carilion Clinic

and research. We spent a lot of time and resources planning, building, recruiting providers and developing the medical school and research institute with Virginia Tech. “We’ve achieved a high degree of physician leadership for which I am particularly proud. We’ve

search institute is moving forward with amazing accomplishments. The next phase is to strengthen our trio of goals … improved access, improved care and lower costs as we stay committed to our mission of improving the health of our community.”

“My passion is simple,” Agee says. “Put the patients first.” Here she visits Carilion Roanoke Memorial’s transfer center.

completed the infrastructure, improved access to primary and specialized care and developed a patient-centered approach to care. The medical school is about to graduate its first class, and the re-

To do this, she says, requires a greater focus on outreach and wellness, on improving access to care and managing chronic health conditions, as well as preventing hospitalizations and reliance on the ROANOKE BUSINESS


“I want to help our region become healthier,” says Agee, who participated in the 2013 Heart Walk to benefit the American Heart Associaton.

hospital’s emergency room. “Notably, we understand there is much work ahead, and we can’t do it alone; rather, we are heartened by wonderful and growing relationships with the many excellent physicians, clinicians and services in our region.” Agee notes that the Roanoke Valley has the specialty practices to meet local needs, but primary care remains a crucial area. “If the Affordable Care Act increases the number of individuals with insurance, they will likely begin to seek 10


primary-care services such as wellness checkups and health screenings. We hope they will begin to establish a relationship with primary-care providers so they are more likely to treat injuries and illnesses early before they require an emergency room visit. We are currently working to expand access to our primary-care practices by recruiting more physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and using technology, such as email and ‘e-visits’ to grow our capacity.”

The good news is that Carilion has many advantages in recruiting doctors. “We value collaboration,” says Agree. “We have excellent facilities with opportunities for teaching and research. The Roanoke, New River and Shenandoah Valley regions are blessed with sophisticated health care in an area with lower cost of living, terrific natural resources and many arts amenities and culture. In addition, we have our medical school, the Jefferson College of Health Sciences, and a partnership with Radford UniverPhoto courtesy Carilion Clinic

cover story cal education and a disproportionate share of uninsured. We need Medicaid expansion to offset these cuts in reimbursement.” Agee also anticipates that there will be opportunities for the Roanoke area’s two major health-care systems — Carilion and HCA (LewisGale) — to work together as they take a broader view of health care in the region. “We are actually part of a comprehensive statewide system made up of for-profit, not-forprofit and government institutions. We need to think about how we can all better coordinate care in a way that is best for patients. The writing is on the wall: increasing health-care costs are not sustainable. Health care is no longer about getting as many people as possible into your hospital; it is about providing quality and value and helping people live well outside of hospitals. “Health care has a long history of robust competition and turf battles,” Agee says. “Eventually, we have to look at things differently. My passion is simple … Put the patients first.”

sity, all of which add to our growing professional environment of excellence.” While hopeful that Obamacare will encourage better health for citizens, Agee says some potential consequences of the program “may not be advantageous for us. Particularly worrisome is the clunky rollout of the exchanges and the current concern about Medicaid expansion in Virginia. There are a number of financial ‘hits’ to hospitals, especially hospitals that have graduate medi-

Keeping a hectic pace A typical day for Agee stretches from early morning to late evening. On the day of her first interview for this article, she rose at 5:30 a.m. and was at her desk by 7:30. She checked her mail and prepared for an 8 a.m. meeting of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. After that she worked on a report, held a couple more meetings and then met during lunch with the Carilion Board of Governors. Agee left that gathering in midafternoon to catch a flight to Chicago where she would go directly from the airport to a dinner meeting of the Joint Commission Board of Commissioners of which she is a member. She met with that group, which accredits health-care organizations, that night and the following day and then caught a flight back to Roanoke. “One of

the important roles as a leader of a large business in Virginia is to have responsibility for regional and national presence for the area,” Agee says. The next week she had commitments each evening. “I love to work,” she confesses. She also knows the need to care for her body. When Agee had back surgery in 2013 and was one of those impatient patients who wanted to go home earlier than she was supposed to, she fought the urge and stayed put. Agee also has taken advantage of the hospital’s 14 flights of stairs. They are part of a stair wellness program for employees. Signs on each landing indicate a climber’s progress. Once a year at least, she and her husband — usually with their son — go on vacation. “It’s hard to sync time off,” Steven says. “We are both so involved with what we do, we look for other things to share. She cooks, and I clean up.” Wherever she is, Agee is not far from a book, either print or electronic. She enjoys novels and mysteries but also reads the Harvard Business Journal and has a wealth of print resources on health care and management styles on her office shelves. John Williamson, chairman of RGC Resources and Roanoke Gas Co. where Agee has served on the board since 2005, says she has been “surprisingly thoughtful and efficient on an engineering-based board. She is very nice but doesn’t put up with any foolishness and is not bashful about saying if something isn’t working.” That assessment fits Agee’s image of herself. “I have this notion I’d like to write a book about Steel Magnolia leadership, which has a sense of integrity, strength and principle, but with joy and beauty,” she says. “I have softness, but I also have a rock solid list of values I won’t deviate from. I am me.” ROANOKE BUSINESS


cover story

Meet Ned

Carilion’s robot mascot rolls into pediatric action by Sam Dean


t’s no secret kids hate going to the doctor. Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital (CCCH) hopes to take a little sting out of a trip to the exam room by providing an experienced friend to guide younger patients through a visit or stay. Soon Ned, CCCH’s free-wheeling robot mascot, will be roaming hospital halls ready with games to play and information to dispense. If mom or dad can’t make the appointment or procedure, no problem: Ned can connect a patient with a secure video-chat. “Families are getting a lot more sophisticated with the use of technology,” says Alice Ackerman, chair of Carilion’s pediatrics department. “We really wanted a mascot that would hit home for all ages of kids, as well as their parents, so when we looked at the qualities that embodied our children’s hospital; it really needed to say that we’re high-tech but we’re also high-touch.” On paper, Ned has existed as the mascot for the children’s hospital since 2012, but Ackerman felt that it was time for the robot to move from brochures and banners to something kids could see and touch. Doctors Andrew Muelenaer and Al Wicks with the Pediatric Medical Device Institute enlisted Virginia Tech engineering students Sam Abbott-McCune, Philip Jones and Matt Kvalo to bring Ned to life. Three robot generations later, the team had a working 4-foot, 11-inch, 70-pound remote control robot capable of connecting to the Internet, streaming video and playing games.



Though engineers are still working out the kinks — they had to perform minor surgery on Ned the day he was introduced to staff and patients — Ackerman hopes

that soon several versions will be connecting with patients in a way that might make it a little easier for doctors to get kids the help they need in a less intimidating way.

Ned met some of Carilion’s younger patients for the first time before Christmas.

Photo by Sam Dean


The Gatorade plant in Wytheville, Va., was designed with energy efficient lighting and equipment, which saves the company thousands of dollars on electricity every year.


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Downtown Roanoke is the region’s premier center for business. It has the highest concentration of financial, legal, insurance, real estate, medical, business and creative services in this region. Its central location connects it to adjacent neighborhoods and major markets. Parking is convenient and walking to your destination is enjoyable—making doing business easy. And downtown Roanoke also offers social and cultural advantages. Friends and neighbors, restaurants and retail, entertainment and events, it’s all downtown.

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BANKING & FINANCE Bankers want “a holistic relationship” with their clients, according to Stellar One’s Karen Turner.

More than a passbook Banks today offer a one-stop financial shop by Joan Tupponce


imes are changing for the banking industry. The services your great-grandfather relied on remain intact, but they are only one piece of the banking puzzle now. “It used to be when you thought about a bank you were thinking about loans and deposit accounts,” says Karen Turner, market executive for Charlottesville-based Stellar One. “Banks today are all about providing financial services.” In the last 20 years banks have broadened their services, offering

Photo by Sam Dean

everything from treasury management and financial planning to insurance and investments. “For our business customers, we want to be the one-stop financial shop for all of their needs,” says Kristy Marshall, assistant vice president for Mid-Atlantic corporate communications for Wells Fargo. “We offer our business banking customers products like business payroll, business credit cards and the strongest treasury services technology in the industry.” Companies can expedite processing and accelerate cash flow,

for example, by tapping into services such as treasury management, which includes lockbox services and payments and receipts management. They also can turn to their bank for wealth management and financial planning, which includes services such as business succession planning, business valuation and management of closely held assets. “We have an individual who runs HomeTown Investments that is a full-service broker and can help with stock trades or do a complete financial plan,” says ROANOKE BUSINESS


banking & finance

Susan Still, president and CEO of HomeTown Bank, says corporate accounts are often assigned a relationship manager, who acts “like the quarterback” of the account’s team.

Susan Still, president and CEO of HomeTown Bank in Roanoke. Often banks will have a relationship manager assigned to a corporate account. “They are like the quarterback of the team,” says Turner, noting that customers work with only one person as opposed to multiple departments. “That person can bring other people to the table.” Part of the relationship package offered by banks relies on understanding the customer’s business and factors that drive the company’s success. “Banks don’t 16


want to just be sellers of services,” Turner says. “We want to match our products and services with the customer’s needs. It’s all about how can a bank help a company grow and thrive.” Thanks to technology, banking today is faster, easier and more convenient for businesses. Banks are offering a variety of high-tech services such as online and mobile banking. “That is one of the fastest adopted services,” Still says, referring to mobile banking. “We now offer a wider range of services to a wider base of customers.”

One of the bank’s newer services is remote deposit capture, which allows you to scan in a picture of a check and deposit it to your account without ever going to the bank. “We are seeing more businesses going to technology, particularly small businesses,” Still says. The technology being used today benefits community banks like Hometown. “It levels the playing field,” Still says. “People are not aware that newer community banks have these updated services.” When it comes to technology, Wells Fargo was the first financial services company, according to Marshall, to introduce text receipts at the ATM as well as ATM e-receipts. “Text receipts for ATM transactions mark the latest way for Wells Fargo online banking customers to get a snapshot of their account information via text messages,” Marshall says. “Wells Fargo launched text banking in October 2007 to provide customers the access and convenience of using text messages to manage their accounts.” Thanks to a competitive marketplace, banks are looking for innovative ways to meet customer needs. Wells Fargo, for example, pays attention to how customers use the bank’s services and products “both online as well as across other channels,” says Marshall. “This information drives our product development … By listening to our customers, we have met the demand for more sustainable banking options that offer increased efficiency and less operational waste.” Even though more customers are taking advantage of online banking, many still want the faceto-face interaction with their banker. “If you are a banker, you want to have a holistic relationship with your clients,” says Turner of Stellar One. “That’s part of the DNA of a bank now.” Photo by Sam Dean

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Private schools

Educational choices in the valleys range from faith-based to Montessori by Anna WestermanÂ


laid skirts, khaki pants and collared shirts may make wardrobe selection easy. Yet a myriad of private schools in the Roanoke and New River valleys makes choosing the right education a bit trickier.



Photo by Don Petersen

education Roanoke Catholic School was founded in 1889, just five years after Roanoke became a city.

During the past 25 years, the region’s private school landscape has changed. Once dominated by a century-old parochial school and perhaps one or two other schools outside the public systems, the valleys now have a combination of more

than 20 Montessori programs, prep schools, co-ops and faith-based private schools enrolling students from pre-K through grade 12. Parents often cite a desire for what they aren’t seeing in public schools — classrooms with fewer

than 15 students, one-on-one time with teachers and fewer distractions — as reasons for enrolling their children in private alternatives. They’re willing to pay, in some cases, up to $15,000 annually to get it. “I think there’s an investment, not just financially,” says Eric Gutierrez, director of recruitment and advancement at Roanoke Valley Christian Schools. “I think there’s sometimes a deeper investment, an ‘I need to help.’ The school probably could not run without the volunteers. But I think it allows them to take ownership of the school.” While all are vying for students, private institutions are not alike. Parents need to be conscientious about educating themselves about schools’ educational philosophies and their academic rigor. Not all follow the state’s Standards of Learning, nor do all have accreditation. The Virginia Association of Independent Schools works to vet schools if they have three successive grade levels and an independent board of directors, among other factors. Schools also can choose to apply for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which also accredits public institutions. Most of the more established and religious-based schools are accredited through either SACS or the Association of Christian Schools International or both. State accreditation requires an annual self-evaluation and membership dues. Montessori programs have their own accreditation agencies, but not all schools are accredited. The process can take months and might not be possible for newer programs. One school benefiting from the boom in interest for private education is Roanoke County’s North Cross. Founded in 1944, the school merged with two others in 1961. It now has 482 students and class sizes that average 14 students in its pre-K through 12 programs, according to school data. But North ROANOKE BUSINESS


education Cross’ traditional style of education isn’t the only approach available in the valleys. Montessori programs, including New Vista Montessori and Tall Oaks Montessori in Blacksburg, follow the teachings of Maria Montessori and target younger children, sometimes up to eighth grade. The central idea is that children learn more by working hands-on than through direct instruction. The schools may have mixed-age classes and uninterrupted blocks of learning. Some use the standards developed through the American Montessori Society. Director Susan Saunders started The Rising Sun Community School, a Montessori school in Floyd, last year. She gathers students into two groups — 2½- to 6-year-olds and ages 6 to 12. Enrollment has taken off, she says. The latter group has eight students. “Younger children learn eagerly and thoroughly through the

Eric Gutierrez says Roanoke Valley Christian Schools’ parents take ownership by volunteering.

observation of and working with the older children,” she says in promotion material. “Because we also know that the older children cement their knowledge when assisting younger friends, and develop

self-esteem and care when they are able to be of assistance to them. It’s nice for the younger children to see ‘Oh, this is the big work I will be able to do soon,’ and it is fascinating to older children to be able to say, ‘I did this work years ago, and look what I am doing now!’” While Montessori schools aim to adapt to students’ learning styles, Roanoke Valley Christian Schools on Williamson Road specifically cites the type of student it wants —someone willing to learn about the Bible and Jesus Christ and channel academic subjects through a Biblical lens. Like all schools, it boasts a nondiscrimination policy but is quick to point out it’s about academics and faith, not “the mere fact that it is a private school.” Aside from Bible-based courses or daily mass, faith teaching is incorporated into other classes. Take math, says Eric Gutierrez. Financial lessons can foster a discussion about honesty and moral character.


Blending learning with faith and faith with daily life

1/2 HOR


Enrolling Now! ◆ Achieving academic excellence ◆ Developing engaged citizens

◆ Instilling faith and traditions ◆ Providing opportunities for success

621 North Jefferson Street, Roanoke, Virginia 24016 Phone: 540.982.3532 ext. 2128 Sharon Harrilla - Enrollment Director Email: 20


Photo by Don Petersen


Roanoke Valley Christian Schools focus on academics through a Biblical lens.

Schools teaching faith-based principles have blossomed, particularly over the past decade. Blacksburg’s DaySpring Christian Academy began in 1980. Three years later, it opened a church-run elementary school. By 1998, it was operating as an independent school, and a decade later, students from more than 55 churches were enrolled, necessitating a second campus. In 2002, congregants at Parkway House of Prayer created Parkway Christian Academy in Roanoke. It grew from 37 students in its first year to 330 during the last academic year, according to school figures. In 2005, two smaller church-based schools combined to form Pathway Christian Academy, a pre-K-12 school. The preK through eighth grade St. John Neumann Academy in Blacksburg is based on Roman Catholic tradition, but the Diocese of Richmond

Photo by Don Petersen

does not run it. Many faith-based schools rent space from the churches with which they are affiliated, but some, like Pathway, rent buildings of their own to accommodate growth. Officials at Pathway, located in a Christiansburg shopping plaza, had planned to purchase land and erect a larger school, but the faltering economy forced them to abandon the plan. With the economic struggle comes the need to keep up with the competition, both public and private. “If we’re being honest, everyone’s our competition,” says Patrick Patterson, principal at Roanoke Catholic School. The preK through 12th-grade parochial school, run by the Diocese of Richmond, has 450 students. “There are some very strong independent schools here in Roanoke. If we’re going to be fair to our constituents, we’ve got to be

constantly increasing the exposure [of class offerings],” Patterson says. That means boosting higher education and business partnerships, offering Advanced Placement courses, sports and, in some cases, finding ways to incorporate the arts through community involvement. Many of the smaller private schools are looking toward providing students with college-level coursework through collaborations with schools such as Virginia Western Community College. Others work to add video lectures that students watch before class to help foster discussions. One student at Roanoke Catholic also takes courses at Roanoke’s Community High School. Those school-to-school collaborations will likely become more commonplace, Patterson says, as schools try to find ways to be creative to keep up with the offerings available in public schools.



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The region also hosts two cooperative programs that make parent involvement their foundation. Parent-teacher cooperative schools typically are run by a parent council as opposed to a director or principal. They are relatively rare but often pop up among groups of homeschool parents looking to combine resources.  Blacksburg New School and the Blue Mountain School in Floyd both have existed for more than 30 years. Founded as an elementary school  in 1971, Blacksburg New School added middleschool grades in 1998. The school expanded an already new facility in 2007 to accommodate growth, according to principal and kindergarten teacher T.J. Stone. This

year the school has 103 students enrolled. Further expansion for more middle-school growth is being discussed, she says. Blue Mountain School changed from its parent-run council model in 2008 and now has a director. Many of the school’s values center on nature and emotional balance, according to its website. No matter how invested parents are in their children’s education, the financial cost still is substantial. Accordingly, schools try to find ways to keep tuition under control and help families that need financial assistance for their children to attend. New state legislation, the Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credit Program, allows businesses to receive tax credits for donations to foundations that pay for low-income students’ tuition. Roanoke Catholic has six students on such a scholarship, and Pathway also is participating. “What these kids bring to our school culturally, academically, spiritually,â€? Patterson says. “They’re grateful to be there. They work hard in the classroom ‌ Allowing for such an expansion of that type of student can only benefit the greater community.â€?


Eating local

Food sourcing industry grows to include many players by Cara Ellen Modisett


nce a week during the summer and fall, Carilion Roanoke Memorial employees don’t have to go far to purchase fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese, meat and pasta. They simply walk across the footbridge that links the hospital with a parking garage to a pickup spot provided by the hospital. If they’ve planned ahead, there’s no need for cash; the cost will be deducted from their paychecks.

Photo by Sam Dean




Welcome to the new world of local food sourcing. When people want fresh food, there are options beyond local farmers markets with everyone from corporations to growers and co-ops collaborating to put locally grown food on more people’s plates. In the Roanoke and New River valleys, sources for local food are expanding to include CSAs — 24


Community Supported Agriculture — coffee roasters, brewers and winemakers, co-ops and downtown groceries. Producers are advertising and selling on the Internet, through social media and websites that include recipes, blogs and stories about farmers. It’s a constant message of sustainability, environmental responsibility, healthy eating and social consciousness — a

desire to make a difference in the local and global communities. Tenley Weaver, a Pennsylvanian who settled in Floyd County 25 years ago with her husband, Dennis Dove, can testify to the growth in the local food sourcing industry. Until recently, Weaver says, the words “business model” weren’t even in the couple’s vocabulary; yet they seem to have developed one Photos by Sam Dean


John Bryant is marketing coordinator for the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, which set up at the edge of the Roanoke market in 2013.

to meet demand. The pair started Full Circle Farm in 1993, growing organic vegetables and selling them at farmers markets. Within a few years, they started collaborating with two other vegetable farms to supply local buyers with local produce. Then they began collaborating with a fruit CSA, Seven Springs Farm. It grew into Good Food-Good People

(GFGP), a CSA that links more than 50 producers in a 150-mile radius with buyers interested in local foods, including honey, herbs, fruit, mushrooms, pastas, pastureraised meat, eggs, cheese and baked items and handcrafts. GFGP’s business model includes wholesale and retail. They sell through farm share subscriptions, at farmers markets and to restaurants, caterers and retail stores in Roanoke and Blacksburg. GFGP also runs farmers markets in Roanoke, Blacksburg and Floyd year-round. The company’s first corporate partnership, Carilion, began about two years ago. That’s when the health system started to let employees have the cost of their CSA shares deducted from their paychecks, spreading the cost over the season., GFGP’s second corporate partner, gives employees at its Christiansburg distribution center a discount on the cost of their shares. “Both these partnerships have moved local foods into places we could not have reached on our own,” says farm share coordinator Christy Pugh. Thriving local foods sources benefit consumers — organic products are tastier and healthier, Weaver points out — but they also benefit growers. GFGP works with growers, meeting with them before the planting seasons to plan products and supply, providing education, loans and other resources and assuring a consistent, predictable income stream. Established in 1975, the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op numbers around 3,000 members. Its flagship store is located in Grandin Village; last year the co-op opened a second location in downtown Roanoke, just off the historic farmers market, next to the Sumdat Farm Market and Wine Shop, which opened in 1991. John Bryant, marketing coordinator, says the co-op has been deliberate about not com-

peting with its next-door neighbor, which carries honeys, sauces, wines, beer, cheeses, sweets and gifts. “The way they sell is beautiful,” says Bryant. “We’re just trying to be a straight-up grocery store … so far it’s been a really good relationship.” The downtown location has seen a steady stream of customers since it opened (about 100 transactions a day). One of the few changes has been to increase the “grab and go” section — quick lunches are popular. The co-op stocks produce from local growers, buying from Good Food-Good People, and also from its own farm, Heritage Point,

Mary Beth Layman, special programs coordinator for Vinton, says customers seek traditional fresh produce at her town’s farmers market.




Roanoke’s farmers market has been bringing local food downtown since 1882.

25 acres that formerly served Roanoke’s mounted police program. The co-op purchased most of the farm in 2012. It leases 7.5 acres, with the option to purchase the land in the next five years. The farm includes hoop houses that can provide produce through the winter months. “We have 350 chickens out there laying dozens of eggs a day,” says Bryant. “We started with 100 last October,” with the co-op purchasing more chickens later. “We’re not going to have any meat products out there at all,” so the chickens will stay on at Heritage Point after retirement. “[We’ll] let them live out their lives, helping fertilize after they’re past egg producing.” As it is, egg deliveries happen two to three times a week, 20 to 30 dozen each time. “They’re gone within the day,” Bryant says. Next year, the farm plans potatoes, squash, cucumbers, greens, heritage tomatoes and honey from three beehives. The Historic Roanoke City Market is the oldest continuously operating open-air market in Virginia. It began in 1882, when 26


licenses were issued to 25 area “hucksters” (vendors). Roanoke’s farmers market has been a place to buy produce — and lots of other products — for more than 130 years, but it’s certainly not the only market around. Blacksburg, Catawba — even Shawsville — have places for local farmers to peddle their goods. Farmers markets’ business has “grown exponentially,” says Laura Reilly, manager of the Salem Farmers Market for the past four seasons. “During the growing season, our market is packed with customers, often lined up at the vendors’ tables, waiting their turn. I would say 10 years ago, this was definitely not the case. “As far as the clientele changing, I believe our customers are getting younger. The number of young families that shop at the market is impressive.” Reilly says she has a waiting list for vendors. Produce tends to be the biggest seller; vendors are also trying new things, including unusual eggplants, radishes and carrots. One of the vendors this year was inspired by another vendor’s employees to

sell Hispanic foods, including hot peppers and Mexican zucchini. The same holds true for the Vinton Farmers’ Market. According to Mary Beth Layman, special programs coordinator for Vinton: “Our customers prefer to purchase locally grown vegetables and fruits. Most of our customers are shopping for traditional fresh produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, salad greens, green beans, cabbage, squash, beets, apples, peaches.” The Salem and Vinton farmers markets accept SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — cards, making it possible for lower-income families to shop local, organic foods. Besides growing products, more and more local resources for beverages and other nonproduce items are cropping up in the region. For instance, Haden PolsenoHensley, a native of Floyd, started Red Rooster Coffee Roaster in 2010 partly to supply the Floyd coffee shop, Blackwater Loft, which his wife, Rose McCutchan, started with her sister Katie 10 years ago. Red Rooster will have roasted about 26,000 pounds of Photo by Sam Dean

food coffee in 2013, selling retail and wholesale and supplying such businesses as the Kickstarter headquarters in New York. “It’s nepotism at its finest,” Polseno-Hensley admits with a laugh. “The CEO of Kickstarter is one of my best friends in the world.” “It was audacious for a small rural town in Southwest Virginia,” Polseno-Hensley admits, but he found immediate support from the community It’s about the bigger picture, too. Coffee, he says, “is an industry that affects people’s livelihoods around the world.” It’s about social and environmental consciousness. “We’re not just making widgets.” Red Rooster supports small farmers internationally and artists locally, commissioning bag designs and having them printed with ecofriendly ink. Currently they roast four standard blends and six to eight single-origin coffees – beans come from Rwanda, Haiti, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Timor and Sumatra. That’s the echo effect, say proponents: “local” food is about the bigger picture, the issues where local and global meet, in different ways. “Our background agenda is really about the land,” says Tenley Weaver. “It will not be allowed to lay idle, because people can’t afford it.” When farms aren’t sustainable, they are paved over. “We are supporting a very significant environmental act.” “Local is the new premium now,” says John Bryant. “What we’ve found … [is] people prefer to know who’s growing the food — or know it’s not coming across the country.” “Local food is dedicated to treating the farmers fairly,” says Weaver. “It is a matter of perception that we think our food is not worth spending money on … When you vote with your dollars at the farmers market, the farmers are encouraged, and they do more.”

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COMMUNITY PROFILE | Montgomery County Virginia Tech has a major economic and cultural influence on Montgomery County.



Then and now Outdoor recreation and Virginia Tech’s presence draw businesses and people to Montgomery County by Donna Alvis Banks

Photos courtesy Virginia Tech



community profile

“Boasting a population of 16,693, the Old Dominion’s Montgomery County is growing by leaps and bounds. Taxation provides the county’s coffers $10,000 annually, and an acre of land is now assessed at $7.88. The county has 14 hotels, 24 corn and flour mills, six coach and wagon builders and a bank. The Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in Blacksburg is one of the finest institutions of learning in the state. With an abundance of mineral springs and the New River watering it, Montgomery County is a prime spot for those seeking rest and recreation ... .” That description of Montgomery County, based on the facts in Chataigne’s Virginia Gazetteer in 1888, hits some of the high points that still define this part of the state. The county’s beauty and the dominance of what is now known as Virginia Tech have shaped the county in many ways. The last century, however, has seen dramatic change and growth. The U.S. Census put Montgomery County’s population at 94,392

in 2010, a 13 percent increase from the previous decade, and estimated the 2012 population at 95,194 — higher than the 92,901 estimate for Roanoke County. Economically, the county also has seen steady development, as evidenced last August when the popular website ranked Montgomery’s metropolitan area No. 29 on its list of best places for job growth, one spot below California’s Silicon Valley.

The lone bank of 1888 now has plenty of company. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership reports that as of the second quarter of 2012, 14 banks operating in the county had assets totaling $3 trillion. Craig Meadows, the county’s administrator, describes the economy and business climate as “very strong. I only see it getting stronger.” A Mount Airy, N.C., native, Meadows served as the city man-

Montgomery County’s $20 million, 108,274-square-foot courthouse opened in 2012.



Photos by Alisa Moody

community profile ager for Bedford and later Monroe, N.C., before taking on Montgomery County’s managerial responsibilities in 2009. The earlier jobs, he believes, helped prepare him for his current one. “Monroe was experiencing a lot of explosive growth, too, because of its proximity to Charlotte,” he says. The challenge he sees in Montgomery County is “to keep the county’s warm, inviting character” while managing growth — no easy task. “We’ve had to increase our real estate taxes several times over the past few years,” he explains. “That’s part of growth.” With a new $20 million county courthouse and four new schools totaling $164 million, the county’s board of supervisors increased the real estate tax rate from 75 cents per $100 of assessed value to 87 cents in 2012. The 12-cent jump was the largest single-year increase in county history. Last year, the board voted for an additional 2-cent increase earmarked for future capital needs. The county’s 2014 budget is $167.9 million, a $4.5 million increase over last year. Still, Montgomery County’s tax rate is lower than Roanoke County’s where real estate taxes are $1.09 per $100 of assessed value. “That’s a good thing,” says Supervisor Gary Creed, who represents the rural eastern area of Montgomery County, which includes Shawsville, Elliston, Lafayette and Ironto. Montgomery County has two of the largest incorporated towns in the state: Blacksburg (with an estimated 2012 population of 42,627, home to Virginia Tech and the university’s Corporate Research Center) and Christiansburg (estimated population 21,458 in 2012, the county’s governmental seat and retail center). In addition to its eastern area that borders Roanoke County, Montgomery County’s rural and agricultural communities include Riner in the south central section, McCoy and Prices Fork west of Blacksburg and Pilot south of Christiansburg. The county’s gePhotos by Alisa Moody

Supervisor Gary Creed says the county needs to attract manufacturing jobs.

ography covers 393 square miles. Because of its growth, much of the rural character of Montgomery County is disappearing. When Supervisor Annette Perkins moved to Blacksburg from eastern Virginia in 1962, she says she came “to a quiet little place with 5,000 students.” Now, she says, “This county

is really suburban. The roads have connected us. People who live in Christiansburg work in Blacksburg. We are growing together. All you have to do is look at the traffic about 5:30.” Meadows says some of the most dramatic change is in Riner, where he lives. Residential growth has transformed an area of former cow pastures into a thriving suburb with a golf course. He believes the main driver pushing the county’s development is Virginia Tech, where oncampus student enrollment now stands at 29,071. “Virginia Tech is a game-changer for the county,” he notes. “The type of business that we draw here, the type of people that are drawn here, provide a very diverse employment base.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership calls Montgomery County “an emerging hightech community.” Besides being the largest employer in the county at



community profile

Montgomery County at a glance Median age: 26 Median family income: $68,413 Gender distribution: male 51.8%, female 48.2% Unemployment rate (October 2013): 5.6% Labor force participation: 59.7% Private wage and salary workers: 66% Government workers: 29.9% Self-employed: 4.1% Percentage of adults (25 and over) with high school diplomas: 89.2% Percentage of adult population with at least bachelor’s degree: 40.7% Percentage of population with advanced degrees: 20.5% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership

more than 10,000, Virginia Tech draws national attention. The Corporate Research Center adjacent to the university campus has more

than 150 companies. Once here, some of those companies expand to other areas of the county. Aeroprobe Corp., a manufacturer of






air data measurement equipment, started at the CRC in 1993 and now is moving its headquarters to Christiansburgâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Falling Branch Corporate Park. The countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location on the Interstate 81 corridor and its proximity to Interstates 77 and 64 make it attractive to business, as well. Major manufacturers here include BAE Systems, Corning, Federal Mogul, Moog Components Group, Luna Innovations, Rowe Industries, United Pet Group and Wolverine Advanced Materials. Major nonmanufacturing companies are Dish Network, LewisGale Montgomery Hospital and Backcountry. com, an online retailer that opened a 7-acre East Coast distribution center in Christiansburg in 2012. Creed says one of the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest challenges is to continue attracting manufacturing jobs, while Perkins points to a need for county leaders to find commonality. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a lot of things we can cooperate on and still maintain identities,â&#x20AC;? he says, explaining that connections with Roanoke are also important. The New River Valley cannot afford to isolate itself, she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our connections work well for education, for jobs, for technology, for tourism.â&#x20AC;? Growth has drawn more visitors to Montgomery County, resulting in the creation of a new tourism office. With 12 major shopping areas, a new $89 million Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, 20 public schools, a competition-size pool at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, expansion of the Huckleberry Trail (a rails-to-trails project), and proximity to the Jefferson National Forest and the New River, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plenty to do and see. That tourists are finding their way to the county doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t surprise Creed. Now in his fourth elected term on the Board of Supervisors, he is 67 and a lifelong resident of Montgomery County. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been to a lot of places and always look forward to getting home.â&#x20AC;?

Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce | SPONSORED CONTENT

Roanoke Regional Chamber recognizes Chamber Champions EVENT SPONSORSHIP

CHAMBER CHAMPIONS BB&T Brown Edwards Blue Ridge Copier Cox Business Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore LifeWorks REHAB (Medical Facilities of America)

MB Contractors Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC Trane Woods Rogers Attorneys at Law Pepsi Bottling Group

Note: Chamber Champions are members who support the Roanoke Regional Chamber through year-round sponsorships in exchange for year-round recognition.

124th Annual meeting of the membership Valley Bank LewisGale Regional Health System First Citizens Bank Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore Appalachian Power Salem Printing Company xpedx

NEW MEMBERS The following businesses joined the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce from Nov. 13 to Dec.12, 2013: Cracker Barrel Restaurant #281 Dominoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizza Golden Corral

The Grow Inc. Longreach International LLC Padget Business Services

Pure Barre Stryker Distributorship West Creek Manor Apartments

Henderson to chair Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, western Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest business organization, has elected officers and directors for 2014. Barry L. Henderson, who became president and general manager of Center in the Square Jan. 1, has been elected chair. Other officers are: Dan Motley, Norfolk Southern, past chair; F.B. Webster Day, Spilman Thomas & Battle, chair-elect; Todd Morgan, MB Contractors, vice chair, economic development; Ken Randolph, Rockydale Quarries, vice chair, membership; Vickie Bibee, BRM LLC, vice chair, public policy; Jonathan Hagmaier, Interactive Achievement, vice chair at large; Melinda Chitwood, Brown, Edwards & Co., treasurer; Karen Turner, StellarOne Bank, vice chair at large; and Joyce Waugh, Roanoke Regional Chamber, president and secretary. New members of the 2014 Board of Directors are: Nathaniel L. Bishop, Jefferson College of Health Sciences; G.B. Cartledge, III, Grand Home Furnishings; K.C. Huang, The Center for College and

Barry L. Henderson

Career Services; Eddie Hunter, First Citizens Bank; Kevin Lockhart, SunTrust Banks; Mike McAllister, Cox; Kevin R. Quinn, Advance Auto Parts; Brooke Rosen, Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore; and Lori Thompson, LeClairRyan. Continuing to serve on the board are: Phillip V. Anderson, Frith, Anderson & Peake; Tye Campbell, SFCS; Beth Doughty, Roanoke Regional Partnership; Kay Dunkley, Virginia Tech; Deborah Flippo, Draper Aden Associ-

ates, LRV Representative; Greg Freeman, Roanoke Stamp & Seal; Nancy Oliver Gray, Hollins University; Ellis Gutshall, Valley Bank; Scott Hodge, AECOM; Landon Howard, Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau; Dr. Cynda Johnson, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; Joe Jones, Appalachian Power; Penelope Kyle, Radford University; Jeffrey Marks, WDBJ7; Michael Maxey, Roanoke College; Thomas L. McKeon, Roanoke Higher Education Center; Joe Miller, E.J. Miller Construction; Garry Norris, Express Employment Professionals; John Prillaman, Woods Rogers, Backbone Club Representative; Todd Putney, Medical Facilities of America; Angela Reynolds, LewisGale Medical Center; Robert Sandel, Virginia Western Community College; Eric Stelter, Wells Fargo; Steven S. Strauss, Strauss Construction Corp., Wayne G. Strickland, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission; Leonard Wheeler, Wheeler Broadcasting; and Tina Workman, Downtown Roanoke Inc. ROANOKE BUSINESS


SPONSORED CONTENT | Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce

Member news & recognitions Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, batteries, accessories and maintenance items, has announced that Michael Creedon will join Autopart International as president. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia achieved its goal of serving 500 children on Nov. 22 when it made its 500th match. The organization began the year with 344 matches. Through the work of staff and community engagement, it made the 500th match of 2013 before Thanksgiving. Douglas Brinkley, a Clark Nexsen principal, was recently recognized as a member of the 2013 class of LEED Fellows at the Brinkley Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia. He is among 51 of the world’s most distinguished green building professionals selected last year through a rigorous peer nomination and portfolio review process. The LEED Fellow Program is the green building industry’s most prestigious professional designation.


Fink’s Jewelers has named Gretchen Weinnig its new store manager at the flagship store in Roanoke on 419 at Colonial Avenue.

Adam Lynch of Prudential Waterfront Properties has completed the Virginia Realtors Leadership Academy. The leadership academy’s annual service project helped Virginia Tech and the Virginia Association of Realtors establish the groundwork and format for a joint internship program to be used with the new real estate degree program at Virginia Tech.
















Thirteen attorneys at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore have been named to the Super Lawyers Business Edition US. The attorneys are: J. Rudy Austin, civil litigation defense; Thomas J. Bondurant, Jr., criminal defense/white collar; G. Franklin Flippin, business/ corporate; Gregory J. Haley, business litigation; Guy M. Harbert III, plaintiff defense/general; Paul G. Klockenbrink, employment and labor; K. Brett Marston, construction litigation; Monica T. Monday, appellate; G. Michael Pace, Jr., real estate; W. David Paxton, employment and labor; William R. Rakes, business litigation; J. Scott Sexton, business litigation; and Bruce C. Stockburger, business/corporate.

The American Bankers Association has selected Susan Still, president and CEO of HomeTown Bank, to serve on ABA’s Community Bankers Council. Still, who attended the meeting of the Community Bankers Council in Washington, D.C., met with several members of Congress to share the industry’s views on current banking policies. The ABS Community Bankers Council is made up of about 85 bankers nationwide from institutions with generally less than $1 billion in assets. NewRiver Bank, a branch of HomeTown Bank, recently opened its new banking center in Christiansburg. The building is at 2950 Market St. in Christiansburg. Intricate Metal Forming Co., a leading supplier of connectors and contacts for the automotive and electronics industry and an expert in design and manufacturing, recently changed its name to Intricate. Founded in 1988, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 with a new name and logo. Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS), an affiliate of Carilion Clinic, has introduced the redesigned college website at The site provides a more dynamic platform for showcasing all the college has to offer and an improved, user-friendly navigation to help make locating information more intuitive. The redesign was a multiyear project that began in 2012 with the formation of a committee composed of faculty, staff and students from across the college community. JCHS partnered with Zivtech, an open source design, development and training company based in Philadelphia, to begin building the new site. Carilion Clinic’s Strategic Development Department also consulted on the construction of the new site.

Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce | SPONSORED CONTENT Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke has been recognized by Competitor magazine and Running Insight trade magazine as one of the 50 Best Running Stores in America for 2013. The stores that rank among the 50 best are those that offer exemplary customer service, training programs and group runs. Elizabeth “Beth” Armstrong has been named director of the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Armstrong Aid at Virginia Tech. She most recently served as senior associate director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at Northern Arizona University. Neathawk Dubuque & Packett (ND&P) won nine Summit Awards, including eight gold honors – the most of any entrant – from the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for excellence in public relations. The firm won three gold awards for its work to rebrand and revitalize Mountain Lake Lodge in categories that included social media, public relations campaign and the Lin Chaff Award for Creativity. In addition, ND&P won two gold awards for CMR Institute in the public relations campaign and special events categories. Other awards included a gold medal in special events for the groundbreaking ceremony for The Bridges, a gold in media relations for the firm’s work to promote the global Vegetarian Congress in conjunction with client Loma Linda University Health, and a silver award in internal communications for its own employee wellness initiative, Nudge. Throughout October 2013, Global Spectrum, which manages the Roanoke Civic Center, and Ovations Food Services, which sells its concessions, raised funds in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At concession stands during events at the Roanoke Civic Center, pink lemonade was sold

with proceeds going to the Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Ovations and Global Spectrum raised $500 for the cause. Construction of the new Vinton Branch Library began in early December2013 at 300 S. Pollard St. in Vinton. The new Vinton Branch Library will replace the current library on Washington Avenue, which is the oldest library in the Roanoke County Public Library system. The new library will be a 20,000-squarefoot building and is scheduled to be completed by December 2015. In 2002, the Roanoke County Public Schools began a pilot program with Dell to provide Dell Latitude laptops to ninth-grade students at one high school. That program has grown into a districtwide initiative to provide laptop computers to every high school student in the system. The district was recently named by the Center for Digital Education and National School Boards Association as one of the “top digital school districts” in the country for 2013. In recognition of the honor, the school system and Dell recently hosted a national leaders in education seminar for the “Innovation in Teaching and Learning Think Tank” to discuss best practices and new ways to empower students with access to digital tools and resources. Roanoke County Public Schools was among nine school divisions receiving top awards in the 2013 Virginia School Boards Association’s Green Schools Challenge, a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local school division and the broader community. The Roanoke County school system placed second in the student population 10,001 and up category. The U.S. Green Building Council re-

cently awarded a Gold LEED Certification to Masons Cove Elementary School. LEED is the most recognized certification program for green buildings in the United States. Masons Cove is the only public school in the western half of Virginia to earn the certification. The Roanoke County Public School System’s facility features several green initiatives, including a solar-powered hot water tank, geothermal heating and cooling systems, daylight design to maximize natural lighting, a water filtration system and innovative pavement that allows for reduced storm water runoff. Virginia Tech’s on-campus hotel and conference center recently won two top awards, one for its conference facilities and the other for its excellence in providing a venue for weddings. The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, which hosts more than 25 weddings each year, earned honors from Virginia Living magazine as one of the top vendors in the commonwealth for brides- and grooms-to-be. A second award came from ConventionSouth, a national multimedia magazine geared toward event planners. Participating in an online ballot, 6,500 voters chose the inn from among 150 competing properties, as well as convention and visitor bureaus, for a readers’ choice award. Though some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have been college dropouts, Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business professor Marc Junkunc argues that a college education and entrepreneurship courses, in particular, have a valuable role in creating better ideas and better entrepreneurs. The Virginia Tech professor points out that although there are a few success stories — such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — many exceptional entrepreneurs in recent decades, including Google’s founders, also have earned graduate degrees.



SPONSORED CONTENT | Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce


Jennifer M. Bondy has been appointed an assistant professor in the School of Education at Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Jaime Camelio, associate professor and assistant department head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering at Camelio Virginia Tech, was recently named Commonwealth Professor of Advanced Manufacturing by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. The award recognizes research excellence, and recipients hold the position for a five-year term. Theo A. Dillaha, professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. Dillaha Dillaha has been a part of the Virginia Tech community since 1983.


Bernice Hausman, professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, was recently named Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities by the Virginia Tech board

of visitors. John Jelesko, an associate professor of plant pathology, physiology and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been named a Fellow Jelesko of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Jelesko was given the association’s highest honor for his distinguished contributions to the field of plant specialized metabolism.

Tech, has been named the Ralph H. Bogle Jr. Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering by the Virginia Tech board of visitors.


Nneka Logan has been appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Ali Hasan Nayfeh, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, is the 2014 recipient of the Benjamin Nayfeh Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering. Eric Paterson, professor and head of the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was Paterson recently named Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion by the Virginia Tech board of visitors. Gov. Bob McDonnell recently announced the appointment of Karen Eley Sanders, associate vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs and director of student success, to Sanders the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Awards Committee. The scholarship program gives awards to eligible Virginians to attend approved education programs in Virginia. Recipients must be people who were unable to attend public school in the commonwealth between 1954 and 1964 when some schools closed to avoid desegregation. The Virginia General Assembly created the program in 2004, 50 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education court decision.

Mahendra Singh, the Preston Wade Professor of EngineerMaria del Carmen Cana Jimenez has been ing Science and Mechanics at appointed an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech, has received a Department of Foreign Languages and LitDistinguished Alumnus Award eratures at Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Singh from the Indian Institute of Arts and Human Sciences. Technology at Roorkee, India. Singh is a Brian M. Kleiner, director of the Myers- two-time graduate of the Roorkee Institute, Lawson School of Construction and pro- receiving his bachelor’s and master’s defessor of industrial and systems engineer- grees in civil and in structural engineering ing in the College of Engineering at Virginia from the first engineering college of India. 36


Emily Van Houweling has been named associate director for Women and Gender in International Development in Virginia Tech’s Office of Van Houweling International Research, Education and Development. In the newly created position, Van Houweling will assist the program director, Maria Elisa Christie, in ensuring that the office’s $100 million portfolio of international projects addresses gender issues and benefits the most disadvantaged groups, which are disproportionately women. Ron Willard, president of the Willard Cos., was inducted into the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame in November during a ceremony at Roanoke Country Willard Club. Willard, who is the organization’s 40th inductee, owns three golf courses at Smith Mountain Lake. U.S. News magazine has named Woods Rogers PLC to its annual list of the nation’s best law firms. Woods Rogers was recognized nationally for its energy law practice, according to a survey of attorneys and clients from around the U.S. The firm also was cited for excellence in 30 practice areas in Roanoke and Richmond. Sixteen Woods Rogers PLC attorneys have been recognized by statewide peers as Legal Elite in Virginia Business magazine. The following Woods Rogers attorneys were included in the list: Nicholas Albu, young lawyer (under 40); Thomas Bagby, labor/ employment; D. Stan Barnhill, construction; Francis Casola, civil litigation; Sandra Chinn-Gilstrap, domestic/family; Nicholas Conte, business law; Frank K. Friedman, appellate law; John Grove, family/domestic relations; R. Neal Keesee, intellectual property; Alton L. Knighton, Jr., legal services/ pro bono; Mark Loftis, alternate dispute resolution; Heman A. Marshall III, health law; Richard Maxwell, bankruptcy/creditors’ rights; Thomas Palmer, real estate/land use; Alexander Saunders, taxes/estates/trusts/ elder law; and Daniel Summerlin III, legislative/regulatory/administrative.


Heath Oldham will be joining WSLS-10 as marketing director. Oldham most recently served as the director of promotions at WTVR in Richmond.

GET R E T S FA Virginia Western Community College prepares students for strong careers in industries that are thriving in the Roanoke region and beyond. With hands-on training in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and healthcare (STEM+H) ďŹ elds, students acquire the skills and knowledge that will take them anywhere. Students can quickly upgrade their current skills for advancement or explore entirely new careers. So whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in working in radiation sciences for a healthcare organization, in advanced manufacturing for a new business to the area, or in civil engineering, Virginia Western will

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Weekly trips to the pond to fish. Started feeling weak and shortness of breath. Living with severe heart valve disease. Open-heart surgery needed, but not an option. Fortunately, less invasive procedure available. New heart valve, new lease on life. Now back at the pond with the grandkids. So grateful Carilion is here. Bill Mashburn, 85, Blacksburg, Va.





When it comes to matters of the heart, we’re here to care for you and your condition. As the region’s leading heart care team, with the trained experts to perform sophisticated heart valve procedures such as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), we’re helping extend the lives of patients who need an alternative to open-heart surgery. To watch Bill’s story, visit • 800-422-8482

Roanoke Business- Feb. 2014  

Interview with Nancy Agee, president & CEO, Carilion Clinic