SERVING THE ROANOKE/BLACKSBURG/ NEW RIVER VALLEY REGION
City Manager David Ridpath
Less red tape, a can-do spirit and local investment spurs the New River cityâ€™s economy Supplement to
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CONTENTS SERVING THE ROANOKE/BLACKSBURG/ NEW RIVER VALLEY REGION
F E AT U R E S COVER STORY
A renaissance for Radford? The river city’s recipe: More public and private investment; less red tape.
by Mason Adams
HEALTH People and animals: not always a good mix Virginia Tech professor raises red flag about antibiotic resistance in wildlife.
by Joan Tupponce
TECHNOLOGY Acres of data Appalachian Power says Roanoke County is ready to host a data center.
by Kathie Dickenson
EDUCATION The rule of law A Roanoke College center emphasizes a foundation of American society.
by Sam Dean
INTERVIEW: CUNNINGHAME WEST
Back where he started
Getting CrossFit A mixture of old-school workouts and an old-school diet. by Jenny Kincaid Boone
Feed by seed by Beth Jones
by Mindy Buchanan-King
A student looks to agricultural education to reduce poverty.
The new chef at Mountain Lake Lodge started out as the property’s dishwasher.
32 33 36
FACTS & FIGURES NEWS FROM THE CHAMBER NEWS FROM THE PARTNERSHIP
Coming soon to Kroger Center
BONSACK We are excited about opening our newest branch location in the Bonsack neighborhood. Our Grand Opening will be in the early fall of 2013. We want to get to know you. If you value mutually beneficial long term banking relationships and like doing business with people you know... if you like knowing your money stays and works right here in the Valley... we would like the opportunity to meet and talk with you. Are you with Valley Yet?
Meet Kristina Dodd, our Bonsack Branch Manager My passion is helping people reach their financial hopes and dreams. I am proud to be part of the Valley Bank team and looking foward to having a positive and lasting impact as the Branch Manager of the new Bonsack Branch.
FROM THE EDITOR
Wit is not the same as depth
Good one liners sometimes offer less than meets the ear. by Tim Thornton
ast year, Jim Cheng, the commonwealth’s secretary of commerce, reminded folks at the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Summit that Virginia was founded as a for-profit joint stock company. It was his way of asserting that the road to prosperity can be paved only by entrepreneurship and freewheeling private enterprise. But the Virginia Company was a failure. Not only did the company never turn a profit, it reneged on promises to capital investors and to people who earned shares in the company through sweat equity. Virginia Company representatives in the New World starved in droves, turning to cannibalism to survive. Others died of disease or during attacks by and against Indians. For nearly two decades, the company piled up debts. When the private sector wouldn’t put more money into the enterprise, the English government declared the company’s land and operations a royal colony. Virginia was rescued – though its investors weren’t – by the 17th-century equivalent of a government bailout. On May 30, it was Raman Kumar, Virginia Tech’s R.V. and A.F. Oliver Professor of Investment Management, who spoke the near-truth that drew applause at the chamber’s annual summit, declaring of Social Security: “As an investment plan, it is a Ponzi scheme.” A Ponzi scheme is a phony investment that promises too-goodto-be-true returns. It uses the contributions from later investors to pay dividends to early joiners, who tell their friends what a great deal they’ve found. Those friends add their money to the pot, and the cycle continues until the deception is discovered or the Ponzi schemer runs off with a bunch of cash. Social Security may resemble that model, but only if Americans stop paying their taxes. The latest official projection says if nothing changes, the Social Security trust fund will run out of money in 2033. That doesn’t mean Social Security payments stop. The system could pay three-quarters of promised retirement benefits for more than a half century after that. Because current projections say benefits must be cut in the future, some people want to cut benefits now – which makes about as much sense as saying, “I’m going to die some day. I might as well end it all now.” A few adjustments would extend Social Security’s future significantly. Increasing the retirement age would do that, too. That’s a popular idea among people who have the kinds of jobs that require them to shower before work, rather than after. Revising the program’s cost-of-living adjustment calculations would cut benefits and therefore stretch the system’s ability to pay years farther into the future. Requiring all American workers to pay Social Security taxes on all of their income would do more to resolve the problem. Some people might consider that a tax increase, but the vast majority of American workers who make $113,700 or less – and therefore are already paying the tax on all their income – might consider it simple fairness. One legislative proposal to phase that plan in would, according to government estimates, extend full retirement benefits to 2061. From then until 2086, Social Security could pay 91 percent of its promised benefits. At some point, of course, the world will end, and people who’ve paid into Social Security but who are not yet retired may feel like they’ve been swindled by a Ponzi scheme. However, they’ll likely have bigger problems to worry about or grander rewards to savor than a government-managed retirement plan.
SERVING THE ROANOKE/BLACKSBURG/ NEW RIVER VALLEY REGION Vol. 2
President & Publisher Roanoke Business Editor Contributing Writers
Art Director Contributing Designer Contributing Photographers
Production Manager Circulation Manager Accounting Manager Advertising Sales
Bernard A. Niemeier Tim Thornton Mason Adams Joan Tupponce Kathie Dickenson Sam Dean Jenny Kincaid Boone Mindy Buchanan-King Beth Jones Adrienne R. Watson Elizabeth Coffey Mark Rhodes Sam Dean Brendan Bush David Hungate 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
VIRGINIA BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS LLC A portfolio company of Virginia Capital Partners LLC Frederick L. Russell Jr., chairman
on the cover Brian Ridpath Radford city manager Photo by Mark Rhodes
Congratulations to Bill Rakes. 50 years and still leading. Join us in saluting Bill Rakes for this landmark and his continued commitment to the practice of law with our ﬁrm. Bill has created an impressive legacy, and he is not stopping any time soon. As the ﬁrst managing partner of our ﬁrm, a role he held for more than 20 years, Bill was instrumental in inspiring the high standards we continue to employ every day. As chairman of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education, he had a profound effect on law students and how lawyers are prepared to enter the practice of law. While president of the Virginia State Bar, Bill’s leadership and example helped solidify the importance of ethics and excellence. Last year the Virginia State Bar recognized his contributions by creating a new award in his honor, the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award, of which he was the inaugural recipient. Locally, the Roanoke Bar Association awarded him the Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to professional awards and being sought out for complex business matters in boardrooms and courtrooms across Virginia, Bill has made his mark as a skilled businessman. He is co-founder of HomeTown Bank and of Roanoke River Associates, which is repurposing a dilapidated industrial complex into a vibrant, mixed-use community.
Congratulations, Bill, on your 50th anniversary with Gentry Locke. We are excited to see what the future holds, and we thank you for inspiring us through your continued commitment to excellence.
Roanoke, Virginia, ofﬁce: 10 Franklin Road, S.E. | SunTrust Plaza 540.983.9300 | Toll-free: 866.983.0866 | gentrylocke.com
TECHLAB co-founder Tracy Wilkins praises Radford officials for offering “no bureaucratic crap.” 6
Photo by Mark Rhodes
The river city’s recipe: More public and private investment; less red tape. by Mason Adams
en years ago, things looked bleak for Radford, a small city on the banks of the New River.
The New River Foundry, a cornerstone employer and the city’s biggest utility customer, laid off its final workers and shut down. Radford’s population was shrinking, and the downtown steadily marched toward blight as storefronts sat vacant and buildings grew more dilapidated. City Council members even discussed giving up independent status and becoming another Montgomery County town. Today, Radford’s population is growing. The industrial park is full, the foundry is working under a new owner, and the city and entrepreneurs have invested millions of dollars downtown. Many once-empty storefronts are seeing new life with new businesses — particularly restaurants catering to residents, Radford University students and even a few tourists. Yet perhaps nothing signifies Radford’s economic progress better than the last vacant space in its industrial park becoming a manufacturing facility for TECHLAB Inc., a biotech firm with roots at Virginia Tech. TECHLAB purchased a 54,000-square-foot shell building known as the Branwick Center that sat vacant for eight years. The com-
pany retains its research-and-development programs in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center but moved its manufacturing facilities to Radford, which went into full production eight months ago. Having a high-tech business in the city symbolizes the turn from the past to the future. For years, many people have seen Radford’s potential: the city sits at a key location, along Interstate 81 and Norfolk Southern’s rail line. It’s home to Radford University, which has almost 10,000 students. Although Radford is close to Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, it maintains its own identity and has a lower cost of living. But those things were just as true when the city was shrinking and losing jobs as they are now when the city is booming. (Radford’s population has grown more than 13 percent since 2005, to more than 16,700, including students.) What’s changed? Radford government officials credit City Manager David Ridpath, City Council members who were elected in 2010 and a general “cando attitude” — a phrase that came up repeatedly in interviews — toward economic development.
Ridpath says an ambitious capital improvement campaign by the city and by Radford University has brought workers and contractors into town. Additionally, he says, Radford University has grown by a few hundred students as part of a push for expansion. Radford Economic Development Director Basil Edwards says the city has supported those efforts by streamlining permitting processes that in the past were a sticking point between the city and university, such as closing streets and rights-of-way. Once a developer submits a site plan, city staff tries to turn it around in about 10 days. “Rather than being hung up for months, we’re trying to get folks through here in a couple of weeks, if we can,” Ridpath says of the city’s planning and inspection departments. With TECHLAB, the city used a combination of location, bargain-bin prices and flexibility. TECHLAB grew out of Virginia Tech research that began in the 1970s and ’80s on hospital pathogens. Scientists developed a test to diagnose a particular bacterium, and in 1989 they incorporated the company. By 2010, its manufacturing needs had outROANOKE BUSINESS
City Manager David Ridpath, standing on the edge of Radford University’s campus, says city and university capital projects have boosted economic development in Radford.
stripped its space at the Corporate Research Center. TECHLAB co-founder Tracy Wilkins says the Radford Industrial Center location right off I-81 was a plus, along with the vacant shell building. “The price was negotiable, and we were also able to get another 1.7 acres to grow, should we need it,” Wilkins says. Additionally, the city’s ownership of its water and electrical systems gave it the flexibility to meet TECHLAB’s needs, including a dry room with controlled humidity that required special walls and dehumidifiers. Wilkins says the city staff offered, “no bureaucratic crap. They came out and took care of things. When a burble came up, they’d come out and work with us to get the permits right, the electricity upgraded, whatever.” While TECHLAB was bringing new industry to Radford, Virginia Castings was reviving an old one. Lured by a $600,000 state grant through the Governor’s Opportunity 8
Fund, the company moved into the vacant foundry building in 2010 and started hiring. Last year the foundry was bought out by Grede Holdings, which continued to hire more workers as it ramped up production of castmetal components for automobiles and commercial machinery. The facility now employs more than 400 workers, making it Radford’s third-largest employer behind the university and Kollmorgen, which provides parts for equipment manufacturers. Owning water and electric utilities has been key to Radford’s recent growth. The city needs the utility revenue to offset low tax revenue. City officials say untaxable property owned by Radford University, the city and nonprofit organizations cuts potential real estate tax revenue by nearly 40 percent. So, the city capitalizes on extra capacity by selling water to neighboring Pulaski County. Additionally, ownership of water and electric lines allows Radford to plan for development. “We’ve tried to
think ahead on areas without service or where service is limited,” Ridpath says. “Very rarely do we have a situation where someone wants to build, and we have to require them to build water or sewer lines.” Even with that level of control, Radford’s recent success has depended on a private sector willing to invest. Joe Fortier, who claims to have renovated more Radford real estate over the last 10 years than any other developer, is perhaps the most prominent example. Fortier was raised in Vermont and traveled the country. When it came time to raise children, however, he and his wife moved to the New River Valley because of a family link. When he started his first Radford renovation project in 2001, “things were pretty rough,” he says. “There wasn’t much down there — empty storefronts and not much energy to get things done.” Where many saw blight, Fortier saw opportunity. “It had all these Photo by Mark Rhodes
Best Colleges and Universities in the Southeast The Princeton Review (2008-2012)
Top Public Master’s Universities in the South U.S. News and World Report (2010-2012)
Best 294 Business Schools The Princeton Review (2012)
Top 10 Interior Design Programs in the Nation DesignIntelligence (2011)
Top Online Education Programs (Doctor of Nursing Practice) U.S. News and World Report (2012)
Top 13 U.S. teacher prep program with “multiple strong programs” National Council on Teacher Quality (2013)
Best Value Colleges The Princeton Review (2013)
Top Green Colleges in the Nation The Princeton Review (2010-2013)
Students are choosing Radford University for the strength of its academic programs, dedicated faculty, success of its sustainability efforts and commitment to excellence.
Since 2005 RU has secured approval and funding for nearly $300 million in capital projects.
cover story beautiful old buildings, and no one was doing anything with them,” Fortier says. “Sometimes people live all their life by an opportunity that they miss.” Fortier located his construction office in a former Goodyear Tire plant on Radford’s west end. He’s since opened a second business there, which manufactures energy-efficient building materials. Fortier was attracted to Radford by the relatively low cost of buildings, due largely to their condition and the perception that nothing could be done with them. He started with a pair of buildings on Norwood Street, using historic tax credits to restore the structures, and converted the upstairs into apartments for lease. Fortier eventually redeveloped four buildings on downtown’s east end, including the structures that house the popular River City Grill and Sharkey’s Wing & Rib Joint. Edwards, the city economic development director, says the efforts of Fortier and others, plus some strategic
city capital investments such as the renovation of a former box factory for a new police station, created a domino effect that has downtown looking better than it has in decades. “When the street starts to look better, some of the property owners take pride in wanting to join in that,” he says. “They take a look at their own property and maybe realize it’s a little tired looking. Success breeds success.” Jeff Price, co-owner of Price Williams Realty, also has had success with downtown redevelopment, most recently with the building that’s home to the historic Radford Theatre. Price owns the building, not the theater, and after it closed earlier this year, he refurbished the space for a group of businessmen who reopened it in June with a showing of “Man of Steel.” Price also built Tyler Place and Clement Towers, a two-building, mixed-use development adjacent to Radford University with a projected build-out value of $9 million to $10 million. Price spent nearly seven years
acquiring the land before demolishing the buildings and starting from scratch. Several businesses already have opened in the complex, including 7-Eleven, Subway and Benny Nicola’s pizza. A Jimmy John’s sandwich shop is on the way, and there’s still room for more. Additionally, Price will lease two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments to students. “There’s a tremendous opportunity here on campus for retail,” Price says. “I think we’ve put a new collegiate village together.” Other restaurants have opened throughout downtown Radford. Vice Mayor Richard Harshberger says the city wants to create a downtown “destination restaurant area.” The restaurant business is challenging, especially since food prices have escalated the past few years. Radford has seen its share of restaurants close just a few months after opening. The successful restaurants have diversified their offerings while building a loyal base of local patrons and students. A key example is the
Radford Economic Development Director Basil Edwards believes that improvements beget improvements.
Photo by Mark Rhodes
River City Grill, owned by Chris and Heather Bell and designated an affiliate venue on the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail. Although not formally on the Crooked Road, the River City Grill is acknowledged in its promotional material. River City Grill opened in 2010 with the intent of filling a niche serving breakfast. Since then it’s expanded to include family dining and catering. With long hours — 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week — it’s become a cornerstone for Radford’s growing restaurant scene. “That’s golden because anyone from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Pulaski, anywhere, knows they can come here and try a restaurant, but there’s always a plan B,” says Harshberger. “The River City Grill will always be open.” Chris Bell sees other unfilled niches in Radford. During the next few years, the restaurant may expand in its current location while trying another concept elsewhere in town. Down the street is Sharkey’s Wing & Rib Joint. It opened in 2007 as a sister operation to the Sharkey’s that opened in Blacksburg in 1992. Majority owner Stephanie Rogol says the two locations do similar business but serve different crowds, with Blacksburg attracting more college students and Radford drawing more local professionals and families. Rogol said Radford has seen growth in some business sectors but hasn’t built enough momentum to reach that crucial point where success sticks. “It’s not easy to get to that tipping point,” Rogol says. “The only way to get there is more foresight, more effort, more participation.” A couple of doors down from Sharkey’s is another business that has operated in both Blacksburg and Radford. Chris and Kelly McMurray ran their cookie bakery in Blacksburg from 2007 to 2009 before going out of business. They relaunched Crumb & Get It Cookie
Co. last year in Radford and became celebrities when they declined to host a campaign stop by Vice President Joe Biden (who instead visited the River City Grill).
The successful restaurants have diversified their offerings while building a loyal base of local patrons and students. McMurray says Radford offers several advantages. First, the overhead is lower than Blacksburg, so the McMurrays have lower costs. They diversified their product by adding ice cream, which helps in the summer months. They also flipped their customer demographics: In Blacksburg, they mostly sold to college students. In Radford, they still sell to college students but also attract local families, professionals and businesspeople. The McMurrays also provide catering, deliveries and corporate orders, so they’re not dependent on walk-in traffic. Brick-and-mortar retailers in Radford still sell things, too, though they’ve become an increasingly rare and perhaps endangered species. Meg and Garrett Weddle opened adjoining stores selling men’s and women’s clothing in 1986. Meg Weddle says there were more retail businesses on Main Street then. Now, she says, most businesses are service-
oriented: Restaurants, tattoo parlors, lawyer’s offices. That’s changed how she runs her business. “Because we don’t have the support of other retail establishments, we have to survive as a destination business,” Weddle says. “It is tough to go from being one of many to being a place where people come specifically for you.” The size of the challenge became evident in late June, when Main Street Radford, a 23-year-old non-profit advocacy group, dissolved amid reduced funding and concerns over its effectiveness. Wanda Pierce, the group’s former president, said she thought Main Street Radford was putting too much energy into fundraising events and not enough into helping businesses. Like restaurants, retailers have had to deal with mass-market movements that change how they engage customers. Robert Roy opened Game Quest Inc. in 1995 selling comics and games. Over the years he’s refined his business strategy, shifting more to games because the rising price of comics and Internet retailers have sliced the number of buyers. Roy also owns the building and rents out an apartment upstairs, which has helped pad his bottom line. Next door, Barry Roberts of Barry’s Music also has seen his sales hit by the Internet. “When I first started, it was fighting mail-order catalogs,” Roberts says. “I thought that was bad, but now I long for those days.” While some Radford businesses have seen their bottom lines grow, others continue to struggle because of large-scale challenges beyond Radford’s boundaries. “That’s the story of Main Street in America, not just Main Street in Radford,” says Fortier. Weddle calls downtown a barometer. “When folks bring their students in to consider the university, they look at the downtown to determine whether they want their kids to come here.” ROANOKE BUSINESS
Radford’s Sharkey’s Wing & Rib Joint depends less on college students than its sister restaurant in Blacksburg.
Radford University is looking to grow and attract more students. It’s in the midst of a capital improvement campaign designed to invest $212 million in new buildings and renovations by 2014. That includes a $44 million structure for the College of Business and Economics which opened last fall, and two upcoming projects, a $32 million fitness and wellness center and a $49 million Center for the Sciences. As the city looks to the future, it faces broader challenges. They include a lack of diversified housing stock and geographic restraints imposed by the New River, both of which have constrained population growth. But those same factors may present a path forward, too. Some see potential for a commercial and retail district along the riverfront. Brown and other city officials say they want to see more single-family and patio homes. Others want to cater to professionals looking for a “live/ work” lifestyle. “Right now a lot of people who work in Radford don’t live in Radford. 12
They commute,” Fortier says. “But Radford is starting to attract people who want to live here: ‘I want to be where I can walk to work, walk to the park and walk to get food downtown.’” The city also is developing recreational opportunities in a bid to attract families. It extended Bissett Park, located on the New River, by grading a former driving range to build new athletic fields. The project folds neatly into another one of the city’s economic development projects: Recreational tourism, or hosting youth sports tournaments that attract athletes and families from Virginia, the Carolinas and beyond. City Councilman Keith Marshall says an unnamed Salem city official described the concept best a few months back during a meeting. “They build fields for their kids to play on Monday through Friday, and they pay for them on the weekends,” Marshall says. “What he meant by that was you try to build the best possible facilities for your student athletes and your
system, but by hosting these tournaments on the weekend, they’re such high revenue producers that it gives you an opportunity to justify those fields and pay for them, and also to bring additional income into the city that you wouldn’t other-wise have.” Those visiting families eat out, stay in motels and spend time and money exploring the city. Marshall says Radford already is an epicenter for baseball and softball; he wants to expand into soccer, tennis and other sports too. With the city’s industrial park now full, Radford is working with Virginia Castings to conduct an environmental study on 80 acres the company retained during the foundry sale. Of that, about 50 acres is buildable, Edwards says, and the city hopes it will be ready to advertise to potential tenants by the fall. “A lot of times when a small town like this has a boom, they’re done,” Fortier says. “But I think that Radford still has a fair amount of upside to it.” Photo by Mark Rhodes
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Kathleen Alexander and postdoctoral assistants Sarah Jobbins and Claire Sanderson, are learning about the pervasiveness of antibiotic resistant microorganisms by studying mongoose troupes in Botswana.
People and animals: not always a good mix Virginia Tech professor raises red flag about antibiotic resistance in wildlife by Joan Tupponce
eople donâ€™t think twice about popping an antibiotic when they are sick, but overuse of those infection-fighting drugs could lead to antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals. In fact, a Virginia Tech professor has discovered that wildlife, like humans, are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.
Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech
Alexander with residents of Kasane, Botswana, while conducting household surveys of the region.
Dr. Kathleen Alexander conducts much of her research in Africa, but her findings are just as important to the Roanoke area as they are to Botswana. “I am trying to understand how humans and wildlife and the environment interact,” says Alexander, associate professor of wildlife in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. She and her team have discovered that humans are passing microorganisms that might be antibioticresistant to wildlife, even in protected areas such as national parks. “What was most startling was the discovery that multidrug antibiotic resistance was higher in the national park; we always have the perception that protected areas are protected,” she says. “But this seems not to be the case anymore.” Ecotourism, on the upswing for several years, is designed to help people value wildlife and conserve the environment. This type of tourism, though, is actually bringing a Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech
“suite of threats” to waterways and natural landscapes. “It’s not just Africa,” Alexander says. “It’s anywhere that animals and people mix that we are seeing consequences.” Alexander’s study found that humans and mongooses in Africa appear to be readily exchanging fecal microorganisms, increasing the potential for disease transmission and the spread of antibiotic resistance. Mongooses scavenge for garbage and human waste just like raccoons or skunks, and the consequences of their actions can be detrimental to the environment and the water supply. “Our presence and the waste we bring with us can threaten these environments,” Alexander says. In their African study, researchers compiled data from the local hospital to assess antibiotic resistance among patients and identify resistance patterns in the region. Antibiotics are widely available in many places in Africa, and there are few controls on the dispensing
of such drugs. What they discovered is that 57 percent of banded mongooses had E. coli that was antibiotic resistant. “We looked at how Escherichia coli, a common bacteria found in the mammalian gut, might be moving between humans and mongooses and how antibiotic resistance accumulates and moves across the landscape,” Alexander says. The study showed that at “least one or more mongoose fecal samples demonstrated resistance to each antibiotic tested in this study. They were most commonly resistant to antibiotics such as ampicillin and doxycycline. The thought that animals and people are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics is “terrifying,” Alexander adds. “What are you going to do if your entire arsenal becomes obsolete against bacteria? We need to be proactive and careful about managing human waste. We have to manage our impacts to ROANOKE BUSINESS
Kathleen Alexander (left) and Risa Pesapane, then a master’s student studying wildlife science, at work in Botswana.
the environment. We also need to encourage new antibiotic discoveries and develop incentives that make these efforts worthwhile for commercial enterprises.” Antibiotics have already filtered into America’s waterways. In 1999 and 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey sampled water from 139 streams across 30 states during the first nationwide reconnaissance for such compounds. Antibiotics were detected in 48 percent of those streams. “The selection of sampling sites was biased towards streams susceptible to contamination and was not representative of all streams in the U.S.,” says Dana Kolpin, research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. “The study confirmed that antibiotic contamination in streams is derived from both human and veterinary use of antibiotics.” A similar nationwide reconnaissance study of groundwater in 2000 detected antibiotics in 30 percent of the groundwater samples. In 2007, 16
a study of seven stream sites in the Potomac basin found antibiotics detected in over 70 percent of the water samples collected. “For this study, samples were collected in and around the nesting areas for smallmouth bass in order to assess potential early life-stage exposure to such chemicals,” Kolpin says. “It’s fair to say that nearly ev-
and sewage treatment plants,” says Chuck Epes, assistant director of media relations at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “It has been widely reported that fish and other aquatic life are showing signs of transgender sex mutations that may be linked to exposure to such pharmaceuticals.” The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is
In 2007, a study of seven stream sites in the Potomac basin found antibiotics detected in over 70 percent of the water samples collected. ery river in the country is showing minute traces of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that humans ingest. They wind up in human waste and go through septic systems
aware this is a “growing issue,” but it doesn’t have any specific details about what kinds of contaminants are in the water. “We expect that as things evolve in the future we should Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech
have more information on it,” says DEQ spokesperson Bill Hayden. Antibiotic resistance in humans is an ongoing concern and now it’s problematic for wildlife as well. It has even been found in polar bears in the Arctic. “It’s a hidden threat we didn’t see coming,” Alexander says. “With few new antibiotics on the horizon, wide-scale antibiotic resistance in wildlife across the environment presents a critical threat to human and animal health. As humans and animals exchange microorganisms, the threat of emerging disease also increases.” The health of animals and people are undeniably interconnected in today’s world. “All uses of antimicrobial drugs, by humans and livestock producers, contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance, an important public health concern,” says Shelly L. Burgess, team leader for food, veterinary and cosmetic products in the office of media affairs at the Food and Drug Administration. “These important drugs must be used judiciously to slow the development of resistance in both animal and human medicine.” “Antimicrobial drugs” include all drugs that work against a variety of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites,” Burgess adds. “Antimicrobial resistance is when bacteria or other microbes become resistant to the effects of a drug after being exposed to them. This means that the drug and similar drugs will no longer work against those bacteria. If resistant bacteria enter the food supply, drugs normally used to treat people infected with those bacteria may not work.” Alexander’s finding in Botswana has broad applicability across systems. “The animals may change, but the type of interactions between humans, the environment and wildlife can be very similar as can the consequences,” Alexander says. Photo courtesy of Bonnie Fairbanks
Alexander calls her findings frightening. “What are you going to do if your entire arsenal becomes obsolete against bacteria?”
Her hope is that people around the globe will think twice when an antibiotic is prescribed too easily. “People don’t understand what the antibiotic is doing,” she says. “The fact that it can accumulate across landscapes and across animals
and different environmental types [makes it] an important emerging health threat. We need to refine our thinking and be as conservative as possible in the use of our antibiotic arsenal.”
Weâ€™re laced up and ready to do our part. Stop by your local Advance Auto Parts store August 22 â€“ October 5 to help fund a cure for type 1 diabetes. Buy a paper sneaker $1 or get a PAIR for $2.
TECHNOLOGY Much of the Center for Research and Technology still resembles the cow pasture it used to be.
Acres of data Appalachian Power says Roanoke County is ready to host a data center. by Kathie Dickenson
bout five years ago, when Microsoft Corp. was looking for a place to build a new data center, Roanoke County’s Center for Research and Technology (CRT) was a finalist. Jill Loope, interim director of the county’s economic development office, recalls that Microsoft ended up building the facility in Mecklenburg County.
Today, Loope and her allies in the Roanoke Regional Partnership have a new tool for keeping the next prospect: Appalachian Power’s designation of the CRT as a qualified data center site. The designation
Photos courtesy of Roanoke County.
means the site has the infrastructure and other features a company might require for its data needs. So, Roanoke should be taken more seriously as a destination for these centers and their high-paying jobs.
A data center is filled with computers that are processing, using and saving information critical to the day-to-day operations of large organizations such as hospitals, banks, insurance companies and
The Center for Research and Technology has more than 200 acres ready to host a data center.
cloud-computing businesses. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon or Apple or hospital systems like Carilion are likely to build and operate their own single-user data centers. Third-party companies, like Verizon Terremark in Culpeper County, host data center services for other businesses. Sometimes individual companies run their own data centers in a facility managed by a third party. Most data centers employ 25 to 100 people with salaries of $70,000 to $100,000. All data centers require redundant power and redundant broadband. Safety and security, including a low risk for natural disasters, also are critical, according to John Smolak, director of economic and business development for AEP-Appalachian Power. Sources of water and air for cooling the many servers that constantly run in a center are among other crucial factors, adds Smolak. Site certification also is significant because companies looking to build a data center want a site with essential infrastructure already in place. Since data centers involve large investments, companies “don’t want 20
to roll the dice on a site and then find it will not serve their needs after all,” says Mike Lehmkuhler, vice president of business attraction for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. “They want to know up front that these sites have been preidentified as being ready for their investment.” The CRT plays an important role in Roanoke County’s overall economic development plan. The county purchased the former cattle
to accommodate spin off companies resulting from research at Virginia Tech, especially related to transportation and the Smart Road. After several years of preparation, the site became viable in 2001. That was when Novozymes Biologicals announced it would move its corporate headquarters, administrative offices and research and development there. Loope says this allowed the county to build a road into the CRT and create access to additional
According to AEP research, 40 to 50 percent of existing companies with data center needs will be expanding data center operations in the next three to five years. farm, adjacent to Interstate 81 halfway between downtown Roanoke and Virginia Tech, for $3 million in 1997. The idea, says Loope, was
parcels. The 17-acre Novazymes facility opened in 2003. Tecton Products, a designer and manufacturer of custom fiberglass products, such Photos courtesy of Roanoke County
as window and door frames, opened production facilities on a 20-acre site in 2006. Appalachian Power has certified one other data center site in Virginia – Wythe County’s Progress Park – as part of a larger economic development initiative by its parent company, American Electric Power. AEP has certified seven other sites across its 11-state footprint. The Tennessee Valley Authority and Dominion Virginia Power have certified six Virginia sites, including a nine-acre underground location in a former Alleghany County limestone mine. Smolak says Appalachian Power worked with its partners in local, regional and state economic development offices to identify potential data center sites. After creating a short list, the power company hired location economics and site selection firm Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co. BLS conducted more detailed studies in partnership with energy advisory group Sugarloaf Associates. Criteria for site selection included the requisites of optimum electric and fiber optic infrastructure and low risk of natural disasters and other
hazards, as well as state tax policies and availability of incentives. The Roanoke County and Wytheville sites were named by BLS and Sugarloaf as the top two sites in the study and represent the first phase
of the site qualification program. “We’re marketing these sites, and if we’re lucky enough to land a data center on one of them, we’ll go back to consider the others,” says Todd Burns, Appalachian Power’s corpo-
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Novozymes was the first tenant in Roanoke County’s Center for Research and Technology.
rate communications manager. “The intent is for there to be more sites in Virginia.” Appalachian invested about $20,000 in each site study. AEP wants to assist localities with economic growth, while increasing its customer base. Smolak adds that the data center industry is growing. According to AEP research, 40 to 50 percent of existing companies with data center needs will be expanding data center operations in the next three to five years. Lehmkuhler says VEDP has been targeting data center prospects for more than 12 years, not because they are big job creators but because they create investment and a high positive impact on localities through property taxes. In Culpeper County, for example, Verizon Terremark announced five years ago it would build a data 22
center to host cloud computing. Carl Sachs, director of Culpeper County’s Department of Economic Development, says the facility employs about 100 people with an average salary of $70,000. More importantly, he says, “Terremark and its customers have invested $500 million in buildings and all the things that go with them – computers, servers and equipment, cooling systems and an intensive demand for backup power. They provide a pretty stout tax base, and they don’t consume a lot of local services, so it’s a net gain for the community.” Sachs describes the data center as clean and quiet. “They’re very good neighbors.” Loope would like to have a story like that to tell. The CRT offers 211 acres across five data-center-ready lots. Smolak is working closely with Loope to sell them.
Having AEP at the table when marketing property is nothing new to Loope, who says, “AEP is invaluable to my efforts . . . number one by answering difficult technical questions related to specific types of power services that companies need. They also provide economic development riders and incentive programs that help in the negotiating process and help companies understand that the power company is a partner in attracting them to the community.” To Loope, the CRT’s data center qualification, besides making the site more attractive to potential buyers, is a validation that Roanoke County has invested in appropriate infrastructure and in the right site. “It is a demonstration of our preparedness, a demonstration of our readiness, a demonstration that we’ve done our homework.” Photo by David Hungate
THE RULE OF LAW A Roanoke College center emphasizes a foundation of American society. by Sam Dean
Timothy Isaacs, director of education at the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, teaches teachers how to explain the rule of law. PhotoPhoto creditby Brendan Bush
education emember William Golding’s novel “The Lord of The Flies”? You probably read it in high school. A bunch of boys, castaway on an island, engage in wild fire dancing and descend into tribalism and murderous anarchy, all because the youths are no longer constrained by the rule of law. It’s that premise – societies absent boundaries descend into tyranny and savagery – that keeps G. Michael Pace Jr. awake at night. The importance of a society preserved by law, he feels, begins slipping from societal conscience in early youth, so engaging children early on is key. Pace, of counsel at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, likes to quote Abraham Lincoln: “Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults.” In 2008, as president of the Virginia Bar Association, Pace decided he needed to do something to support the country’s rule of law. So he reached out to Roanoke, Roanoke County and Salem school districts where he found support, especially from Timothy Isaacs, then head of curriculum development for Roanoke City Schools. On Feb. 19, 2009, with snow falling, they gathered 65 area judges and lawyers, and an equal number of teachers, for a pilot program and spent a day teaching 2,100 Roanoke Valley students the fundamental building blocks of any free society – building blocks comprised of laws based on four simple principles: • Governments and their offiLaw Project, backed by the Virgincials are bound by the law. ia Bar Association and the Nation• Citizens are actively engaged in al Council for the Social Studies. creating the laws that govern By that fall, the curriculum was in them. 12 of Virginia’s 136 public school • Laws fairly and equally apply to districts. In 2012, Pace and Isaacs all. formed The Center for Teaching • Citizens agree to obey the laws. the Rule of Law in association with Based on these ideas, the pilot Roanoke College, and the Rule soon developed into the Rule of
Center for Teaching the Rule of Law Vice President Timothy Isaacs, left and President G. Michael Pace Jr.
“We don’t have it perfect in the United States, but because ours is a system based on the rule of law, we have the opportunity to get it right…”
of Law Project, which exists now under the center’s direction. The project is used by 72 of Virginia’s schools districts as well as in school systems in Maryland, Wisconsin and Florida. The center is a place where the resources of Roanoke College (where both Pace and Isaacs are adjunct professors, and Pace also is Photo by Sam Dean
the general counsel) can further a vision of creating an engaged and enlightened citizenry. Pace sees it as a place to better explain to educators the critical role the study of the rule of law should play in an age when social studies have become less important. Today, science, technology, engineering and math have moved to the forefront of academics. “We figured out that this wasn’t necessarily a teach-the-students program, but it was a teach-theteachers program. “The center is a place for scholarship on the rule of law by way of research and writing,” he continues. “It brings people from around the world to discuss rule of law issues, provides a place to bring teachers to train them as part of a summer institute and uses the scholars and resources of the college to expand on the international dialogue that is occurring right now on the rule of law.” The center is a registered 501(c) (3) with an unapologetically American slant to the study of law. But its ambitions stretch far beyond US borders: Pace and Isaacs have presented on the center’s behalf at the past three World Justice Summits in The Hague. Admittedly, the American approach to law and human rights isn’t flawless, but the center contends it’s still the best in the world. “We don’t have it perfect in the United States,” Pace says, “but because ours is a system based on the rule of law, we have the opportunity to get it right…which makes us different than any country in the whole world. But we also need to acknowledge that in our history there have been dark periods where lots of different types of people who are Americans have not been treated fairly under the law.” Both Isaacs and Pace have countless stories from experiences with the disenfranchised. After the men presented to an international group that included Photo by Brendan Bush
“We don’t have it perfect in the United States,” Mike Pace says, “but ... we have the opportunity to get it right.”
Afghan women, four Afghans defected because of the promise of the freedom found in the laws of a society governed by engaged citizens. The pair and the center are
driven by John Adams’ pronouncement that “There never was a democracy yet that didn’t commit suicide.” “Our goal,” says Pace, “is to prove him wrong.”
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INTERVIEW: CUNNINGHAME WEST, chef, Mountain Lake Lodge
Back where he started The new chef at Mountain Lake Lodge started out as the property’s dishwasher Cunninghame West says being back at Mountain Lake “seems uniquely cool.”
by Mindy Buchanan-King
n 1986, 16-year-old Cunninghame West was washing dishes at Mountain Lake Hotel. The Pembroke native and son of local artist Pat West and retired Virginia Tech English professor Herb West wasn’t exactly thinking of a culinary career as a long-term option. Nevertheless, following graduation from Giles High School, he made his way out west. In San Francisco, Seattle and Las Vegas, West worked as a sous chef in awardwinning restaurants such as Stars Restaurant in Seattle and Valentino at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. In 2005, he became the opening chef-owner of The Bank Restaurant in Pearisburg. Four years later, he landed in Houston as the opening chef once again, this time for the Valentino Restaurant and Vin Bar at the Hotel Derek where he helped the establishment earn AAA Four Diamond awards. Meanwhile, the hotel that had once employed him was in the midst of a major
renovation. Mountain Lake Hotel closed its doors while the historic property underwent a redo of its dining accommodations, among other changes. The general manager needed an executive chef for the new restaurant, called Harvest, at the same time West and his family were hoping to relocate. In a matter of weeks, West found himself calling Newport home. Though he never considered working as a chef during his teen years, he now stands poised to lead the reopened Mountain Lake Lodge in becoming a premier dining destination. Roanoke Business: Obviously, an interesting fact from your background is that you began as a dishwasher at Mountain Lake Hotel at the age of 16. In the literal sense, you’ve come full circle. What does that journey mean to you? Cunninghame West: Sometimes it feels
sort of strange to be back here at the lake. The entire thing happened very fast. My youngest son was having some allergy problems in the Houston area, so as a family we were starting to look around the country at other possibilities. Late one Friday night before my wife went to bed, she did one last check on H-Careers.com, and there was the job listing for Mountain Lake. We wrote a cover letter and sent it with my résumé on Saturday. The GM [general manager] contacted me on Sunday. I flew out the next week, interviewed and signed the contract the next day. The following day, I flew back to Houston, gave my notice, put the house up for sale and started to pack. It was the beginning of a whirlwind month. We sold the house in a week (thank goodness) and moved up here three weeks later. To find myself back up here in 2013 as the executive chef seems uniquely cool. RB: Did you have any formal culinary training? West: I didn’t go to school for the culinary arts. I’ve worked with some great chefs for years at a time. After the skills are learned to execute on the line, I try to take something much simpler from the chefs. For instance, “Never waste flavor!” or, “How does it eat?” These may sound simple enough but it’s amazing how many cooks waste flavor all the time. All cooks should think about that one for a while. RB: Most successful chefs began their careers climbing the kitchen “ladder.” Did you foresee yourself moving from dishwasher to chef one day? West: Not really. I was more into the sciences when I was younger. Being a chemistry/ electronics major in school, I didn’t see myself as a chef. But as destiny has its way, every place I moved (Maui, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Seattle and Las Vegas) I would end up getting a job with a great chef. These experiences allowed me to keep learning and soaking it all in. I picked the kitchen with no regrets. Funny story: As I was packing, I found some of my old chemistry/electronics schoolwork. It was my handwriting, but I had no idea what was on the paper. Circuit board designs and chemical formulas, yikes! Photo courtesy of Mountain Lake Lodge
RB: You were the opening chef for two restaurants (The Bank in Pearisburg, of which you were also owner, and Valentino Restaurant and Vin Bar at the Hotel Derek in Houston). With the recent renovations completed at Mountain Lake, did you see this as another opportunity to become an opening chef of sorts? West: When I opened The Bank in Pearisburg, as the business owner it was a big eyeopening experience to be involved in every aspect. And the big one: when a check was written, it was coming out of my account. That is the single biggest thing that changed how I look at running the kitchen. I spend a lot more time looking at the dishwashing station and the garbage trying to figure out what is being wasted so I can work on correcting things as fast as possible. The job at the Hotel Derek was also very important in my evolution as a chef as it was the first time that I ran a hotel. It had 314 rooms, five banquet rooms, an employee café and two restaurants. Keeping all this running at the same time was a great experience that allowed me to add to my experiences. Not just “standalone” restaurants but how to run a hotel. Right now, we are working our way towards what we have envisioned Mountain Lake to become. RB: Do you foresee the restaurant becoming a destination for tourists and food lovers in and of itself (that is, independent of the lodge)? West: That would be one of the most important goals that I have. I really want to establish ourselves as a place to come up the mountain for some great dining. As with all things, it will take time. RB: What have been the greatest lessons learned during your culinary career that you bring to the new Mountain Lake restaurant? West: One of the most important things that I learned working with Piero Selvaggio [founder of the Valentino Restaurant Group and an immigrant from Sicily who also began his career in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher] was to be adaptive and never sit on your laurels and previous accomplishments. The public changes quickly, and to succeed it’s important to change with [the public] and give them something new. RB: What are the biggest changes that have been made to the Mountain Lake restaurant?
West: The biggest thing so far: we changed to more of an à la car te style in Harvest coupled with a farm-to-table concept. RB: What are your overall goals for the restaurant? West: I would love to create an atmosphere that will attract guests from outside the hotel to come up and enjoy the new Mountain Lake experience. That being said, I want to provide yet another element that supports Mountain Lake’s new focus on connecting people with nature and this beautiful mountain. Working with my team, we hope to provide great food that is reasonably priced and will enhance the guests’ visits while staying true to our mission. We also want to use our food offerings as a centerpiece of special events, new activities and to attract the ever-growing culinary traveler. RB: What are the biggest challenges you face in achieving those goals? West: Changing in the mind of the consumer what Mountain Lake is all about will be among our biggest challenges. Mountain Lake means so much to so many people, and we have to be sensitive to that and respect the heritage and traditions of the past while moving ahead with a renewed sense of purpose. The hotel was famous for its buffets. We are working towards delivering food that is prepared to order, that is of the highest quality and with the best flavors possible. That’s not always possible with buffet service. This, coupled with seasonality and the ability to maintain a stable employee base, will certainly be challenging, but as we build new business, I’m confident that we will establish Mountain Lake as a true destination that is available year-round. RB: What are the differences/similarities between running a restaurant in this area compared with operating restaurants in more populated areas such as San Francisco Bay and Seattle? West: The similarity is that the quest to create the best possible experience for the guest never changes. The biggest difference is the labor pool is a lot smaller in the rural areas. Creating a new dining experience at an iconic property in a relatively remote location makes one look at crafting menus that will satisfy the onsite hotel guests as well as pull in visitors from the community and surrounding region. Keeping it fresh and exciting to add to the experience is the same wherever you are.
RB: Do you foresee the seasonality of Mountain Lake Lodge (e.g., more tourists during the spring/summer months) affecting the operations of the restaurant? Will you be open during the winter months? West: Our goal is to stay open throughout the year moving forward. We will need to work with the community to not only attract visitors when the hotel had traditionally been shut down but also educate the region that, despite some snow here and there, Mountain Lake is as phenomenal in the winter as it is during the summer. We will naturally shrink our staff during the winter months as many of our lodging facilities are only open during the summer months, but the entire team is focused on attracting those guests who love the winter: nature groups, corporate groups, skiers. RB: Does food seasonality and availability drive your menu, or do you create the menu and subsequently look for local products? West: As a chef that tries to put the best product in front of the paying customer, I’m always looking for the best quality ingredients, and menus change with the change in the seasons. Part of Harvest’s positioning is to source products locally [such as produce from Stonecrop Farms in Newpor t and wines from regional vineyards such as Chateau Morrisette], prepare them simply and present them in a way that is attractive yet approachable. I am committed to fresh and have partnered with several regional farmers to assure I am always serving the best that the local region produces. RB: How does your background influence the food you are creating now? For instance, do you find yourself bringing your time spent in Hawaii or California into the meals now being created for Harvest? West: There is no doubt I pull ideas from all the past experiences that I have. It is fun to overlap different styles and philosophies of the different chefs that I’ve had in my career. I tend to change elements of the menus every day trying to find the right balance. ROANOKE BUSINESS
Getting CrossFit A mixture of old-school workouts and an old-school diet by Jenny Kincaid Boone
Renee Almarez works out at Brickhouse Crossfi t in Roanoke.
he no-frills workout warehouse smells of rubber and sweat. On the walls are racks and pull-up bars. Kettlebells line the floor. People who take classes here can expect to lift barbells, do handstand pushups, leap on top of wooden boxes and pull weighted sleds across the ground.
Renee and Casey Almarez are hooked. After about four months at Brickhouse CrossFit, the couple cancelled their memberships at a local athletic club. They are CrossFit converts. They learned about the highintensity form of functional strength training from friends who tried it 28
in other cities. The Almarezes, who live in Roanoke County, took their first CrossFit class in January at Brickhouse CrossFit in downtown Roanoke. â€œNone of our clothes fit anymore,â€? says Casey Almarez, 28, after an afternoon workout that included a series of weighted bar lifts, box
jumps and jump roping. He has lost 15 pounds since January. The Almarezes are two of an expanding circle of athletes in the Roanoke and New River valleys who are flocking to CrossFit studios. They are referred to as boxes and operate like fitness schools. Since 2008, at least five boxes have opened in Photo by Sam Dean
Roanoke, Salem, Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Radford. They are part of more than 6,000 CrossFit affiliates worldwide, with the majority in the United States, according to the Washington, D.C.based organization’s website. Affiliate owners are certified in CrossFit and pay $3,000 annually to use the organization’s name. CrossFit teaches groups of athletes intense strength and conditioning drills that blend the fundamentals of gymnastics, weightlifting and sprinting with what are considered old-school fitness tools. This includes kettlebells, barbells, pull-up bars, gymnast rings and jump ropes. Police and the military often incorporate CrossFit methods in training. Still, CrossFit coaches claim that what they teach can be adjusted to anyone’s strengths and abilities. For example, at Brickhouse, athletes who may not be able to lift a barbell use a PVC pipe. The atmosphere fosters a close bond among CrossFitters, who push and encourage one another. This community defines CrossFit’s culture. But it’s not for everyone, says Amanda Forrester, who owns Brickhouse with her husband, Jay. “We are going to be dirty,” she says. “We attract athletes who want to go all out.” A recent workout of the day, known as a WOD, included 75 wall balls – throwing a weighted ball at the wall – 75 double unders – jump roping with two rope swings per jump – and 75 ab-mat sit-ups – a full sit-up using a mat to support the back. That’s not all. The WOD also called for 75 Russian kettlebell swings – lifting a kettlebell (a weight with a handle) from slightly above the knees to the chest, an 800-meter run and 75 more double unders. CrossFit also prepares athletes for competitions throughout the year, including the annual Reebok CrossFit Games and SuperFit Games. Some coaches incorporate nutrition instruction for members and encourage athletes to eat a paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet, because
it mimics the basics of what they ate. It includes fruits, vegetables, seafood and grass-produced meats. CrossFit Radford is one of the region’s newest boxes. Foster Ridpath, who played baseball for Radford University, opened the business in May on Main Street in Radford, after trying CrossFit on his own. “The next thing I knew, I was addicted,” he says. So far, Ridpath’s membership is growing by at least two members daily, including a flock of Radford City police officers. He would not
Police and the military often incorporate CrossFit methods in training. disclose his total membership. The Roanoke area’s interest in CrossFit’s regime, developed by California gymnastics coach Greg Glassman, has been so strong that Brickhouse has relocated twice in its three-year existence to accommodate the growth. The Forresters coached their first CrossFit classes in an 800-squarefoot space on Market Street in downtown Roanoke. A short time later, they relocated slightly west to a 4,200-square-foot building on Salem Avenue. The business kept growing. “We were busting at the seams,” says Amanda Forrester, a Roanoke native and a former personal trainer. Last December, Brickhouse moved to a space of about 12,000 square feet inside the former Merita Bakery building at Salem Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Roanoke. The Forresters rent the space, but they invested about $15,000 in new equipment, says Amanda Forrester. As of late May, Brickhouse had
300 members for about 40 CrossFit group classes a week that run from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays. It offers additional specialty classes, such as CrossFit for kids and training for endurance athletes. Brickhouse employs 14 coaches and seven additional staffers, including a nutrition coach. Amy Crawford, who owns CrossFit Blacksburg with her husband, Neil, started the business in her home’s garage in 2008. Now, she has a studio on Country Club Drive in Blacksburg, about 190 members and 51 classes a week. Crawford, a former high school athletic trainer and strength coach, says her membership numbers and revenue climbed 50 percent from 2011 to 2012. In general, monthly membership prices at regional CrossFit boxes start between $75 and $120 and go up depending on how many classes people attend. Meanwhile, a CrossFit box in Salem plans to cap membership at 200. “We want to stay a community,” says owner Tim Falke. After 13 years in the Navy, Falke moved to Roanoke and opened Roanoke Valley CrossFit on Apperson Drive in 2011. Tucked behind Lee Hi Lanes Bowling Center, the business resembles a military compound, with an 1,800-square-foot building, an outdoor patio and a field for running and other drills. Brad Booth of Roanoke, who has belonged to health clubs in the past, joined Roanoke Valley CrossFit in November. He is one of its 150 members. “After doing this, I can’t see myself going back to a real gym,” says Booth, 29, who now can do 10 pullups. Before CrossFit, he struggled to do one. Booth likes the camaraderie and structure of CrossFit, compared with a health club, where people exercise on their own. “It’s easy to get motivated here,” he says. Despite its benefits, there is not a significant increase in aerobic and anaerobic fitness for participants in CrossFit workouts, compared with ROANOKE BUSINESS
A Roanoke Valley CrossFit workout.
those in traditional resistance-training programs, according to research by faculty at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The research was presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in May.
Also, the competitive nature of CrossFit may lead first-timers to do too much too quickly, resulting in injury, says Amanda Forrester. Dr. Brent Johnson, a Roanoke orthopedic doctor at Carilion Clinic, says he has treated CrossFit athletes for shoulder-related overuse inju-
ries, including rotator cuff strains and a dislocated shoulder. But these kinds of injuries could happen with any kind of weightlifting, not only CrossFit, Johnson says. Still, the key in CrossFit is gradual progress. “We live by the crawl, walk, run mentality,” Falke says.
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Photo by Sam Dean
Austin Larrowe , founder, Feed by Seed
Feed by seed A student looks to agricultural education to reduce poverty
Austin Larrowe by Beth Jones
irginia Tech student Austin Larrowe spent this past school year as a Presidential Fellow. He was one of 72 college students selected nationally by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress to travel to Washington, D.C., for policy workshops and to write a research paper. It would be no small feat for any student to balance collegiate studies with the work required by that type of program. Larrowe, a 22-year-old native of Woodlawn, managed to do it while juggling a double major in applied economic management and agricultural sciences and his work as founder of Feed by Seed, a nonprofit that provides agriculture education as a means of reducing poverty in the region of Somotillo, Nicaragua. Larrowe took a few minutes to talk about his adventures after he wrapped up the spring semester but before leaving on a jet plane for his latest gig as a participant in the Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation through Virginia Tech. Roanoke Business: You just turned in your research paper for the Presidential Fellows Program which focused on using international agriculture education as a tool for national security. How are the two
Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech
things related? Austin Larrowe: You can’t turn on the TV without hearing about conflict in Israel or North Africa or whatever. If you look at that, you’ll see many of those conflicts are directly or indirectly related to food availability. There’ve been a lot of studies I pulled that suggest – and it’s kind of logical – that if people’s basic needs aren’t being met, then civil conflict in those areas will increase. There’s some pretty compelling evidence that suggests a lot of people going into terrorist organizations, especially in the less developed parts of the Arab world, are doing so because it’s a relatively lucrative option, and they don’t see very many options. So using agricultural development, providing jobs and providing infrastructure, gives another option. RB: You first visited Nicaragua in 2008, the summer following your junior year at Carroll County High School. You we nt w it h B e c a u s e We Care Ministries, a Christian nonprofit that offers ministry and humanitarian aid to people of the impoverished Central American country. How did that evolve into Feed by Seed? Larrowe: They’d been working in that region for several years at the time and helped a lot of people. As I started talking to the founder and director of the program [Dr. Donald Gillette, who has steered
Christians of all denominations from 30 different states and 11 countries to complete humanitarian work in Nicaragua], I learned they were looking for some more longterm investments to make their program more sustainable as far as not having to go back and provide food aid every week or month … They were looking for other options. We started talking, and that’s where Feed by Seed came from. RB: You founded Feed by Seed in January of 2011 when you were a freshman at Tech. Today, the group has access to an 18-acre farm in the area. How do you use that to teach people about agriculture? Larrowe: With the adults we’re looking mostly at people who are currently producing a little bit. We’re bringing them in and other community leaders who express interest. What we’re pushing on them is for them to go back and teach in their own communities. RB: What do you teach them to grow on the farm? Larrowe: We’ve got fr uits, vegetables, small grains, dair y goats, laying hens. We just got meat rabbits and we’re looking at putting in a tilapia pond. We’re trying to diversify so that when we bring people to the farm to learn, they see there’s all kind of different options rather than feeling like they have to do just vegetables.
RB: Part of the program also involves getting children interested in growing, doesn’t it? Larrowe: When we go down [to Nicaragua] we’ll take teams and work in the classroom with the students. We’re looking at actual production and application, trying to motivate the students about why it’s important to learn math and why it’s important to learn science if you want to do agriculture. We try to show this because a lot of the kids are saying, “I’m learning how to do this math but for my career possibilities in this area, which are not a lot, why does it matter?” We’re trying to use the application-based learning to teach about agricultural production and promote an entrepreneurial spirit. RB: What do you see yourself doing in three years? Larrowe: The direction I want to go in is international agriculture development. My thought at the moment is that I’d spend a few years, maybe 10, on the ground doing agricultural development work in developing regions, whether that’s with Feed By Seed – if I’m blessed enough to have that turn into a full-time job – or whether it’s with another nonprofit or some governmental agency. Eventually, doing international food policy consulting and/or a professorship would be fantastic. We’ll see.
or a lot o of people, numberrs ar are ha are ard – difficult to un unde ders de rsta rs tand ta nd and d mo orree dif ifficult to ex xpl p ai ain n. Tha h t’ t’s especial ally ly true abou ou ut numb ber ers relate la ted te d to th he eco cono omy. After Be en Be Berrnanke rn said d in n Jun une th hat at the Federall Re erv Rese rve mi migh g t en end d econ eccon onom omic om ic sti tim mulu us pr prog ogra rams, be becausee th the econom ec omy’ ys l oking bettter lo er, th thee Do Do Jo Dow J ne ness Indu dust strial al Ave vera rage age tan ank ked. Durrin ke ng o on ne recent five-day stretch, the DJIA fell 354 54 poiint ntss. The nex ext da dayy it cra rawl w ed wl up 41 po poiints ints.. Th Then en it fe fell 140 points. Then it wen entt up 101 0 pointts, the hen n 150 points. Then the Then here re are une nemp mplo loym ymen entt st stat atis isti tics cs.. Th Thee me meas asur uree do does esn’ n’tt co coun untt p op pe ople le who are working two partt ti time m jobs be b caus u e th they ey can an’t find a f ll fu ll-t -tiim -t ime jo ime ob orr peo eopl p e wh pl who’ o ve sto topp pped pp ed looki king ng forr a job ob. Wh When en tho hose peop pe op ople ple dec ecid idee the id th he ec econ onom on omyy ha om has im has mpr prov oved e enough h that they might find nd employment nt, th they ey com omee ba back ck k int nto to the th he job job ma mark rk ket et,, ex expa pand pa and ndin ing in g th the po pool ol of potentiiall wo work rker ers. s. Tha hat’ t s wh why it was goo o d ne news ws the h une nemp mplo loym loym men entt ra r te t rose in May. Wasn’ n’’t it it??
Unemployment rates March 2013
New River Valley
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Ro Roanoke oanok anoke Regional Re egi gio onal nal C Chamber ha amb mbe err of of C Commerce ommerce o mmerce | SPONSORED SPONSORED CONTENT CONTENT
Roanoke Regional Chamber recognizes Chamber Champions CHAMBER CHAMPIONS BB&T Brown Edwards Blue Ridge Copier
Cox Business Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore LifeWorks REHAB (Medical Facilities of America)
MB Contractors rev.net 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.
NEW MEMBERS JOIN CHAMBER The following new members joined the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce between May 10 and June 7. On behalf of the Roanoke Regional Chamber, thank you! A Byron Smith Oil Co. Aaron’s Sales & Lease Accounting Techniques ADP Advanced Maintenance Services Inc. AFS Financial Group LLC The Air Compliance Group Alcova Mortgage – Jason Helmintoller Alluring Landscapes LLC Amerigroup / Inova Ameriprise Financial Ampersand Design Group Analytical Testing Andes Importers Inc. Andrew W. Henritze DDS PC Anglin Realty API Funds & Portfolios Applied Industrial Technologies Aqua Turf Asphalt Solutions Inc. Atlantic Constructors Austin’s Appliance Center B & D Lock Co. Inc. B2C Enterprises Balzer & Associates Inc. Bar Pat Inc. (Garden City Grocery) Bass Transmission Inc. Bay Diesel & Generator Bill Kern MKB Realtors Bill Meador Insurance Billy’s Ritz Birchwood Development Birdy’s Loft BKT Uniforms Blanco Inc. Blown Away Mobile Spray Tanning Blue Apron Restaurant & Red Rooster Bar Blue Eagle Enterprises LLC Blue Mountain Sales Blue Ridge Diesel Injection Blue Ridge Institute Blue Ridge Performing Arts Series Blue Ridge Truck & Auto Inc. Bluefield College Bower Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.
Brad Thomas, Realtor Brandon Automotive Inc. Brickhouse Crossfit British Auto Restoration LLC Cardinal Rubber & Seal Inc. Carlin Aquarium Systems Cultimate Aquisions Inc. Carnegie Business Group Chad Gilmore Charlotte Moore Cinematography LLC City of Salem City Works Community Broadcasting LLC Clark Electrical Service Claytor/Wirt Associates Closet Storage Organizers Commonwealth Roofing Specialists Commonwealth Tool Specialty Inc. Community Housing Partners Contractors & Industrial Supply Inc. Coots, Cross, Lavinder & Quinn Family Dentistry Dave’s Moodwalks & Moore DePaul Community Resources Desco Steel Devine Building Services Digital Benefit Advisors Dr. Allara Dr. John C. Carter Dr. Kyle Fitzgerald DDS DuraSeal Inc. Duvall Media E.S. Consulting Solutions, LLC Elderderm LLC Ellis-Summers Group Etcetera, Etcetera Farm Credit Firehouse Subs Frankl Creative Group Inc. Garland Properties GHR Management Gilbert & Bird PC H. Patrick Russell, II DMD Habana Café Harris-McBurney Company, Inc. Hawkins Graves Inc. Henmark Hill Studio P.C.
Holdrens Country Store Homestead Creamery Hometown Mortgage HPSRX Enterprises Inc. Hunting Hills Family Dentistry Hunting Hills Golf Shop I Can Shine Roanoke IDK Inc. Insight Imaging – Roanoke IVolunteerOnline KBS Industrial Services Kehres Chiropractic Clinic Kevin Hurley Photography Inc. King Tire Service Kings Hauling & Excavating, Inc. L&M Ladera Business Solutions Law Office of Kevin E. Wilson PLLC Les Cheveax Salon Liberty Mutual Insurance Lichtenstein Rowan, Realtors Linda Watkins School of Dance Lionberger Construction Co. L-M-C Safety Barricade Corp Lutins and Pilgreen Maaco Magee, Goldstein, Lasky & Sayers Magnotti’s Small Engine Service Mail-it Plus.... Martinez Construction Mattress Depot McPeak Supply, LLC Member Apex Monroe Trucking Moss & Rocovich Motor Mile Speedway and Dragway MRC Global – McJunkin Redman Corp. Muneris Murray Appraisal Group Inc. Murray Realty Inc. Mutual of Omaha, Don Lilly Division Office Nalco Company National Financial Services Inc. Natural Nail Care Clinic Navigon Financial Group
Nerium, International – Kara Brownlow Norwinski Insurance Agency Inc. Old Virginia Brick Co. Inc. Omni Electrical Constructors Omnisource SE Packaging Works Pain Management Center of Roanoke Pavement Stencil Co. LLC Performance Title & Settlement Inc. Pest Defense LLC Phoenix Services Pillar-to-Post Pillis Brothers Pinkerton Chevrolet Planet Fitness Plato’s Closet Porter’s Automotive, Inc. Premier Life Strategies Procon Inc. Prudential Annuities R & D Williams Inc. R&B Trucking Company Rainbow Intersectional of Roanoke Ramada Conference Center Randy Bowman Insurance Agency Inc. Reef Aquaria Design Renaissance Contract Lighting & Furnishings Richardson-Wayland Electrical Corp. Richmond Machinery & Equipment Co. Inc. Rish Equipment Company Roanoke Neurological Roanoke Valley Speech & Hearing Safety and Compliance Service Inc. Salem Painting and Services Inc. Salon Associates Sandra’s Marking Co. Inc Saunders Dental Lab Schindler Elevator Company Schroeder Optical Co. Scott’s Cars Inc. SDS Enterprises LLC Security Transport & Delivery Service Inc. Selective Insurance Shenandoah Legal Group PC Shimchock’s Label Service
Silverback Advanced Motor Monitoring LLC Simmco LLC Simplicity Communication Skyline Door & Hardware Inc. Slap Daddys Solutions Matrix Inc. Southern Girl Publishing LLC St. Pierre Salon Star City Construction State Farm Insurance – Lesley K. Owens Stinnette, Craighead & Golston PC Straight Street Summit Studio Surefoot LLC The Advancement Foundation The Brenton Group The Daniel Law Firm The Grapevine The Law Offices of Roy V. Creasy The Lax Loft The Real Estate Book of Roanoke The Squires The Vintage Emporium Thomas Bros. Inc. Timothy T. Janowicz DDS PC Toadly Kids Transamerica Tucks Plumbing & Heating Inc. VA Auto Inc. Valley Occupational Medicine Varney Thompson Home Inspection Video Production Services Virginia Medical Transport Vision IV Construction Walker Commercial Services Inc. Wally Nelson – SIA Group WDM Ventures Inc. West Salem Collision Center Westfield Insurance Company White Glove Group Whitlow Auto Crushers LLC Wildflour Inc. Wilson Law Firm PLC Wirtgen America Your Chamber Connection Youth Sports Inc.
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Member news & recognitions
A Access Advertising & Public Rellations has expanded its firm with tthe addition of Brandi Surber as an a account executive for the account services team. Before joining the firm, s Surber was marketing manager for S LewisGale Regional Health System. L Advance Auto Parts has announced A the t appointment of John Hanighen to vice president, commercial marketing. in Hanighen will be responsible for all a of the marketing elements necessary to support the growth of the e company’s commercial business.
Alexander’s Restaurant has been named to Open Table Diners’ Choice 2013 list of “Top 100 Restaurants for Service in the United States.” This prestigious award, based on reviews submitted by actual diners, signifies that Alexander’s is among the nation’s best in restaurant service. The list is derived from more than five million customer reviews at more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Alexander’s was the only restaurant in western Virginia and one of only four restaurants in the state to be named to the Top 100 list. American National College and A National College have named Ann N C. C Bostic vice president of finance. She S will serve as the university’s chief financial officer for its 31 campus lof cations. Her past experience includes c Bostic positions at Oak Hall Industries, New Millennium Building Systems, Craig County Public Schools and Valley Bank. Roger Dalton, vice president for R government affairs at National College, g has h been re-elected as an institutional member to the Association of Prim vate v Sector Colleges and Universities Board of Directors for an additional B Dalton three-year term. Dalton began his career with the college in 1995. Carilion Clinic Orthopaedics is the leading provider in western Virginia of orthopedic services, including the anterior approach hip replacement procedure. Since 2009 doctors at Carilion Clinic have performed more than 1,700 hip replacement operations using the anterior approach. Instead of cutting through muscle in the rear of the hip to reach the joint, the new procedure allows the surgeon to go between the muscles in front of the hip to replace the damaged joint. Because no muscles are cut, patients typically recover faster and may have fewer complications. The Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment (F.R.E.E.) was recently presented with the 21st annual Monroe E. Trout Premier Cares Award and $100,000 for providing mobility-related rehab equipment to the underinsured. The award was presented by the Premier Healthcare Alliance. Each 34
year the Cares Award program honors six organizations doing exceptional, innovative work to help a medically underserved population in their communities, according to Susan DeVore, Premier’s president and CEO.
parking. DRI has recently launched a “Park Noke,” a parking app for iPhones and iPads. DRI’s website also has an interactive parking map which shows parking options for any location in the downtown area.
HomeTown Bank has introduced H HomeTown Investments. The new H subsidiary will offer customers the s same service they are used to from s HomeTown Bank for financial planH ning n and brokerage and insurance vanBlaricom services. Justin vanBlaricom will head up the investment service based at the Colonial Avenue branch.
G. Michael Pace Jr., former managG ing partner of the Virginia law firm of in Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, became G tthe general counsel with Roanoke College on July 1. Pace will continue C to practice law at Gentry Lock as an “of Pace counsel” to the firm, concentrating on commercial real estate matters. He also will continue as an adjunct professor at the college, and as president and CEO of the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, which has offices on the college’s Salem campus.
Neathawk Dubuque & Packett (ND&P) won five awards at the recent Virginia Public Relations Awards. The statewide competition is sponsored by the Richmond chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. ND&P won two capital awards of excellence for outstanding public relations programs in the direct mail and marketing consumer products categories. Both were for client AnMed Health to promote its cardiac program. The firm also won three commonwealth awards of merit for outstanding public relations tactics. In the internal communications category, ND&P was recognized for an internal Facebook campaign for client Heritage Hall. In the reputation/ brand management category, the firm was lauded for the brand relaunch of CMR Institute. And in the community relations category, ND&P received an award for its Save a Ton energy-reduction campaign.
Richfield Retirement Community has announced three new positions to lead its state-of-the-art Wellness Center. Rob Goralewicz, Ph.D., a personal trainer and adjunct professor of psychology, was named program manager. Joining him at the center are physical therapist Jon Royall, Ph.D., senior director of rehab and wellness services, and Pat Martin, wellness and transition coordinator. The city of Roanoke continues to evaluate parking in stages across the city. The goal is to create more parking spaces, lengthen timed parking and make signs more consistent. Recently the city has concentrated on Kirk Avenue near the Farmers’ Market, where changes to signs and the removal of unused bollards created five new parking spaces. On-street signs also were changed to allow one-hour parking Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and two-hour parking on Saturdays. These changes are another step toward the city’s goal to create more downtown parking that is accessible and available to everyone. Downtown Roanoke Inc. (DRI) is partnering with the city to help residents identify available
The Science Museum of Western Virginia has hired six people to complete its staff team at the recently re-opened Center in the Square location. The following personnel were hired: Guy Byrd, assistant animal care specialist; Megan Downing, museum store manager; Kristie Thompson, visitor services manager; Sarah Van Zele, membership coordinator; Matt Wirt, marketing manager; and Jinnee Young, administrative assistant to the executive director. TThe law firm Spilman Thomas & B Battle has announced that King F. TTower, a member in the firm’s Roannoke office, was recognized in the 22013 Chambers USA annual directory oof leading firms and attorneys. Tower Tower w was recognized as a leading lawyer for his work in labor and employment law.
SunTrust Bank, Western Virginia, S hhas named Dexter C. Glass Jr., as bbusiness relationship manager within itits Commercial Division. In his role aas the business banking relationship m manager, he will offer financial soluttions to business clients in the Roannoke Valley and surrounding areas. TThe bank also named John Stinnett as a business banking relationship mana within its Commercial Division ager fo business clients in Roanoke, Marfor t tinsville and Danville.
Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce | SPONSORED CONTENT Gary S. Brown, the Bradley Distinguished Professor of Electromagnetics in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. He has been with Virginia Tech since 1985. C Charles Clancy, director of the TTed and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and associate N pprofessor of electrical and computer eengineering in the College of Enginneering at Virginia Tech, was recently Brown nnamed the first L-3 Communications Cyber Faculty Fellow of Electrical and C Computer Engineering by the Virginia C TTech Board of Visitors. The L-3 Faculty FFellowship in Cyber Security was creaated in 2011 by L-3 Communications, National Security Solutions, to provide N Clancy faculty support for the university’s college of engineering. Virginia Tech has honored Ben J. V Davenport Jr. of Chatham and David D EE. Lowe of Blacksburg with its Alumni Distinguished Service Awards for 2013. D TThe awards recognize individuals for their contributions to the university and th Davenport aare presented at spring commencement. Davenport is chairman of First Piedmont D Corp., a regional waste-management C ccompany, as well as Davenport Eneergy, a supplier of petroleum products throughout southern Virginia. He is a th 11964 Virginia Tech graduate. Lowe, a Lowe 11963 graduate, served five years in the U.S. Air Force after graduation. His career spanned 35 years in the telecommunications industry with BellAtlantic (now Verizon).
LLuke F. Lester, who currently holds aan endowed professorship of electrical aand computer engineering at the Univversity of New Mexico, has been named tthe head of the Bradley Department oof Electrical and Computer Engineeriing in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.
D Dr. X.J. Meng, professor of mole lecular virology at the Virginia-Maryla land Regional College of Veterinary M Medicine at Virginia Tech, has been nnamed a University Distinguished Profe fessor by the Virginia Tech Board of Meng VVisitors. Meng is the first from the veterinary college to hold the prestigious title. Mary Miller, founder and president of M Interactive Design and Development of In BBlacksburg, is the Virginia Tech College oof Engineering Distinguished Alumna for 2013. She earned her master’s defo ggree in 1985 in computer science, part Miller of the College of Engineering. She has served as a member of both the College of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science Advisory Boards. She is a member of the
Virginia Tech Committee of 100 and one of 119 elected members to the Academy of Engineering Excellence. Timothy Pratt, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. He has been a member of the Virginia Tech community since 1981. S Sanjay Raman, professor of electriccal and computer engineering in the C College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, hhas been named the university’s asssociate vice president for the National C Capital Region. In this position, Raman Raman will plan and execute regionwide initiatives to enhance the university’s research, education and outreach missions. John Randolph, professor of urban affairs and planning in the School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. He has been at Virginia Tech since 1979. William W. Walton has been named W the director of business operations and th ffiscal affairs for the Graduate School at V Virginia Tech. Before joining Virginia TTech, he was a budget and finance offficer for the College of Pharmacy and Walton an accounting manager for the Office of the Vice President for Research, both at the University of Kentucky. TTracy D. Wilkins, an emeritus membber of Virginia Tech’s faculty, former uuniversity leader and co-founder of tthe TechLab company, is the 2013 rrecipient of Virginia Tech’s University D Distinguished Achievement Award. The Wilkins annual award recognizes nationally distinguished achievements in any field of enduring significance to society. Wilkins has made significant contributions to society as a scientist, educator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. The VT KnowledgeWorks Fifth Annual Entrepreneurship Challenge was held in April and provided an opportunity for student teams from Virginia Tech and entrepreneurs to present before a panel of local business leaders. There were two winning concepts in the Tech Transfer Challenge, including Keraesthetics and NanoSpin. The winning teams will receive $100,000 worth of mentorship and business support services over a two-year period, including assistance in developing the overall business strategy as well as the presentations and plan documents needed for investor discussions and product launch. The winning concept in the Student Business Concept Competition was PureAir: Emergency Asthma and COPD Inhalers. Stephen Epstein won $10,000 in scholarships plus summer workspace at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. The winning student team also will advance to the VT Knowledge Works Global Student Business Concept Challenge and compete for the $25,000 grand prize on Aug. 22.
Woods Rogers PLC has announced W the t addition of Nathan Evans to its Charlottesville office, bringing signifiC cant c intellectual property experience to the firm. Evans is a Virginia native and a University of Virginia graduate.
Lee L Osborne of Woods Rogers PLC P was recently selected as the Virginia state chair of the American V College of Trust and Estate Council, a C nonprofit association of lawyers that n Osborne recognizes individual attorneys for r distinguished contributions to the practice of estate planning, probate and trust law. Elizabeth Guilbert Perrow, an atE torney with Woods Rogers, has been to nnamed one of Virginia’s most influential w women. Every year Virginia Lawyers Media recognizes the outstanding efM Perrow forts of women in all fields, including fo law, business, health care, education and the arts. Perrow joins a class of 43 other influential women from across the commonwealth honored for making notable contributions to their chosen professions, the communities and society at large. She is president of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys.
WSLS-10 has announced that John W Carlin will return as the lead male C nnews anchor for the station. He will join Karen McNew on the anchor jo ddesk for the 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. weekday nnewscasts. He will co-anchor the 11 pp.m. newscast with Lindsay Ward during certain months of the year. Carlin in rrejoined the station on July 8. Carlin worked as lead male anchor at WSLSw 110 from 1987 to 2008.
WVTF Public Radio / RADIO IQ’s Sandy Hausman received a national award for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hausman, the station’s Charlottesville bureau chief, was given the award at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington. WVTF’s entry was one of 1,700 received by the society from newspapers, broadcasters, networks and websites. Hausman’s report “Naming the Fralin,” explored the questionable way in which a member of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors secured naming rights to the university’s art museum. In addition, the station was recently honored with two first-place awards in the Radio Television Digital News Association’s 2013 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards program. The winning entries, both produced by Hausman, were “Crisis on Campus: The Fall and Rise of Teresa Sullivan,” in the continuing coverage category, and “Hazardous Hospitals, a weeklong series on hospital acquired infection in the news series category. ROANOKE BUSINESS
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News from the Roanoke Regional Partnership Blue Ridge Marathon generates money for Roanoke ranked in manufacturing-job growth Roanoke region Manufacturing has been leading the way for the Roanoke Billed as America’s toughest road marathon, the fourth annual Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon and Half Marathon generated $476,000 in economic impact, according to a new local study. Nearly 1,700 runners -- 1,684 to be exact -- spent money as well as energy, making this year’s race the best one ever. To date, the event has added more than $1.5 million to the local economy. A post-race survey determined that the April 20 races generated $295,678 in direct new sales activity, plus an additional $180,691 in indirect and induced spending for about $476,370 – up 26.3 percent from the 2012 total. Activity surrounding the event will support 5.7 jobs in the regional economy for the period of a year. “The races and the visitors they attract reinforce awareness of the Roanoke region’s outdoor amenities and reaffirm that our growing reputation as an outdoor destination leads to economic development,” says Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership. The Partnership and Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission prepared a participant survey to measure the event’s economic impact. Respondents were asked to report the amount spent on fuel, meals, lodging, miscellaneous retail purchases and admissions while in the study area. Results of the survey also indicate a 100 percent satisfaction rating from participants. Runners came to Roanoke from 38 states, Canada, Germany, England and Ethiopia. Approximately 67 percent of runners were from the state of Virginia and 77 percent were from the southeastern United States.
Cost of living in Roanoke region is lowest in Virginia
36 3 6
region’s emergence from the recession. Proof is in the latest ranking by NewGeography.com in its 2013 Best Cities feature. Roanoke was ranked among the top 10 for growth in manufacturing jobs among midsize communities. Roanoke’s manufacturing industry grew by 6.8 percent between April 2010 and April 2013. It was buoyed by strength in domestic auto production, which has benefited several local automotive parts manufacturers. The return of growth to the national homebuilding industry also has benefited durable goods manufacturers in the region focused on providing construction-related products. Roanoke ranked 10th out of 91 similar-size communities; the highest ranking for a Virginia midsize community and ahead of Asheville, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Columbia, S.C.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Winston-Salem, N.C. Roanoke ranked in the top 15 percent of all small, medium and large metros in the United States for manufacturing job growth.
Smith Mountain Lake brewery opens Sunken City Brewing will showcase five beers, including a Dam Lager, a low hopped American style lager with hints of caramel (4.7 percent ABV); and a new beer, Red Clay IPA; an aggressive pale ale made with seven different varieties of malt (7 percent ABV). [ABV is alcohol by volume]. Sunken City Brewing is a 25-barrel, four-vessel brew house, featuring a tasting room and pub, retail store and beer garden. Weekly hours are Wednesday 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday noon to 9 p.m., Friday noon to 11 p.m., Saturday noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Roanoke is in the top 20 percent of metros nationally when it comes to a low cost of living, according to latest data from the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. The latest data from the first quarter of 2013 shows that Roanoke has the lowest cost of living of any metro in Virginia.
Cans of Dam Lager and Red Clay will be available later this summer in six-packs and cases. A third production beer also will be launched this summer. Several distributors, PA Short Distributing in Roanoke, Eagle Distributing in Lynchburg and Danville Distributing in Danville, plan to make Dam Lager and Red Clay available by the keg.
Costs in Roanoke average 9.5 percent lower than the national average. Roanoke’s cost advantages are strongest in groceries and housing, though health care and gasoline also are considerably lower than the national average. Roanoke’s cost of living is lower than many competing metros in the South including Asheville, N.C., and Greenville S.C.
Sunken City Brewing Co., Franklin County’s first microbrewery, is a $2.3 million, 8,800-square-foot project that’s expected to create 20 to 25 jobs within five years. Sunken City, named after the villages that were flooded when the lake was dammed, is located along Route 122 at Westlake Towne Center near Smith Mountain Lake.
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