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PORTRAIT OF THE ROANOKE REGION Heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge


The Blue Ridge Mountains are blessed

winter mornings and lush fall foliage. It means

by a string of great towns and cities,

old historic neighborhoods with leafy, sighing

but none are as impressive as Roanoke

trees or gleaming new architecture. It means

and the surrounding communities that

having to choose between a stunning array of

make up the region. It’s not just the

visual and performing arts venues where you

accessibility of the area with quality

are seated beside some very friendly folks

roads and a sophisticated airport, or its

. . . unless you happen to be seated next to

top-flight educational system that spans

even friendlier folks.

from secondary schools to world-class colleges and universities. Its healthcare

All of this is to say, living in the Heart of the

system is second to none, the cost of

Blue Ridge is more than saying this is where

living is low, and its web of police and

you live or work. It’s a way of life. It’s saying,

emergency services are impressive.

“This is home,” and meaning it in every sense of the word. Why would you ever want to

All of those accolades should be reason

leave when you have all of this?

enough to want to rank the Roanoke Region as a great place to call home.

Welcome to the pages of Portrait of the Roanoke Region—Heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. It’s just a

But the region is more than that, and

small sampling of what it’s like to be here in

one only has to spend a few days here

this place, to be of this place. But hopefully it’ll

before recognizing it. Because filling

whet your appetite for more.

in all the shadows and spaces that make up our day-to-day lives is an overabundance of just pure joy—the fabulous restaurants of every cuisine and price range, the outdoor cafes that line the streets, the virtually immediate access to outdoor activities, whether you prefer walking, biking, rafting, or just lying on the grass. Waking up in the Roanoke Region means warm summer days and crisp

Printed in China


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Heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge


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Š Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage retrieval system, without permission in writing from: Bookhouse Group, Inc. 2166 Conyers Street SE Covington, Georgia 30014 Rob Levin Editor Barry Levin Publisher Pennie Anderson Chamber Liaison Bob Sadoski Associate Publisher RenÊe Peyton Project Manager Regina Roths Writer Rick Korab Design Sam Dean, Tom England, Matt Ross Mike Stevens, Natalee Waters, New Photography Bob Land Copyeditor

Book Development by Bookhouse Group, Inc. Covington, Georgia www.bookhouse.net Printed in China


Photo by Sam Dean


CONTENTS Foreword by Joyce Waugh ix Here in the Roanoke Valley! x

Major Sponsors of Portrait of the Roanoke Region xii Roanoke Region’s Sponsors 138 Editorial Team 142


Photo by Matt Ross


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aubman Museum of Art is a popular meeting

place for events of all sizes and includes spaces like a three-story atrium, an auditorium, and a black-box theater.

Photo by Thomas S. England


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elcome to Heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge: Portrait of the Roanoke Region. As a diverse, thriving and dynamic community, the Roanoke Region is recognized for its natural beauty, recreational and cultural opportunities, outstanding healthcare, and educational

excellence.

Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Mountains, the Roanoke Region has hundreds of miles of hiking trails as well as the uniquely scenic Blue Ridge Parkway for residents, tourists and those just passing through to experience some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful masterpieces. Recreational events include the nation’s most challenging road marathon, the Virginia Commonwealth Games, NCAA football and basketball championship playoffs, a number of challenging private and public golf courses, and the Salem Red Sox, a minor league franchise team of the Boston Red Sox. The Roanoke River flows through the region and into Smith Mountain Lake, a destination featuring over 500 miles of shoreline. Roanoke has access to boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing as well as miles of greenways for biking or hiking beside these serene waterways. Over the last several years, the Roanoke Region has gained national attention and accolades. The National Civic League named Roanoke an All-America City six times. Roanoke County is also a past recipient of the prestigious award. The city was selected as one of “America’s Most Livable Communities” by Partners for Livable Communities. The Roanoke Region is also recognized by Blue Ridge Land Conservancy and Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition for its environmental stewardship. A thriving arts and cultural community includes the Taubman Museum of Art, Elmwood Park Amphitheater, Center in the Square, Mill Mountain Theatre, Virginia Transportation Museum, Salem Museum, Vinton War Memorial, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke, the Jefferson Center, and Roanoke Ballet. The community offers a host of additional entertainment featuring live performances, exhibits, activities and programs, and music of every genre in area brew pubs, restaurants, and venues. With three major health care facilities located in the Roanoke Valley—Carilion Clinic, LewisGale Regional Health Care System and the VA Medical Center—health care is second-to-none in Western Virginia These health care leaders rank are among the region’s the largest employers. In addition, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine graduated its first class of physicians in May 2014 and will be instrumental in meeting future health care needs through innovative learning. Visitors often find that the region’s high quality of living, community centered neighborhoods, affordable housing market, exceptional entertainment, and public safety record combine to make the area the perfect place to call home. The Roanoke Region enjoys an exceptional balance of urban night life amenities and down home country living Since 1890, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce has worked to build community by creating a strong and vibrant business environment in which all businesses can thrive. And today, the Roanoke Region continues to be a perfect place to start or grow a business.

—Joyce Waugh President and CEO Photo by Jim Markey Photography


Here in the Roanoke V “Roanoke is a great place to live and these are very exciting times. The community and its diverse neighborhoods are moving in a very positive direction, ever embracing an active lifestyle and creating livability in this place we call home.” —Steven C. Buschor, CPRP, city parks and recreations director

“I like living in Roanoke because of the vibrant downtown. So many people live downtown now that the area is always active. Downtown Roanoke serves as the cultural, entertainment, government, financial, and commercial center for the entire metropolitan region. I also love being able to attend NCAA athletic events at Virginia Tech.” —Wayne Bowers, city director of economic development.

“We used to say the Roanoke Valley was a well-kept secret. Well, the secret is out. We are a growing and diversifying mix of people of all ages and backgrounds. Roanoke is a center for arts, culture, education, medicine . . . all the things we need to be selfsufficient and to enjoy the beauty and serenity of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.” —Jeffrey A. Marks, television station president and general manager

“Roanoke was the eleventh city we relocated to with the longest tenure being three years. We thought we would be here a couple of years like the other locations . . . it’s been over twenty! If that doesn’t tell you something about this community, I’m not sure what would. Great quality of life, great people, and great sense of community and pride.” —Gary D. Walton, hotel general manager

“One thing that separates the greater Roanoke Valley from other places is its ability to offer an array of entertainment and cultural

opportunities, but still maintain a small town “The Roanoke Region is a fantastic place to live and work. It’s family oriented and welcoming, with outstanding schools, wonderful downtowns, numerous cultural opportunities, and a great business community. From my perspective, it’s about as good a place as you could find anywhere to live and work and raise a family.” — Thomas R. Bagby, attorney

feel. We all love our hometown sports in this region, but more than that, we love our kids, and there’s no better place to raise a family than right here.” —Mike Stevens, communications director and former television sportscaster


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“I think Roanoke checks all the buckets you could want in a community. It has a vibrant business landscape as well as tremendous cultural and educational opportunities all in a beautiful mountainous setting. I feel fortunate to be in a position to help foster the growth of this distinctive community.” —Susan Still, bank president and CEO

“Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the warmth and friendliness of its people, Roanoke has so much to offer. Whether it’s a scenic drive on the parkway, hiking the Appalachian Trail, boating on Smith Mountain Lake, browsing the shops, museums and art galleries, or picking up locally grown produce at the numerous area farmers markets, the options are endless. This is Roanoke, the Star City of the South. A place I’m proud to call home.”

“Watching the beautiful mountains pass beneath as you land at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is always a thrill. When the Mill Mountain Star pops into view on your drive into Roanoke you know you are home.” —Robin Reed, chief meteorologist

—Ellen Martin, account executive “The Roanoke Valley is a place where people come together to get amazing things accomplished. Whether it’s a neighborhood coming together to revitalize its local commercial area, citizens working with government and business leaders to enhance educational programs, or counties and cities working cooperatively to address big problems and take advantage of big opportunities, the Roanoke Valley is working to create its own future.” —Wayne G. Strickland, executive director

“Having been a resident and part of the business community in the Roanoke Valley for nearly thirty years, I hear over and over again from families how much they appreciate the quality of life in the region. Whether it is the pace of life, the quality of life, or something special that draws them here, people just seem to find peace and comfort in the region.” —Tye Campbell, PE, CEO

“Roanoke is an affordable, clean and safe community that blends urban amenities with rural living. From unlimited outdoor recreation opportunities and panoramic mountain views to superior education systems, Roanoke delivers!” —Jill B. Loope, county economic development director


Portrait of the Roanoke Region Would not have been possible without the support of the following sponsors

Advance Auto Parts • Holiday Inn Tanglewood • HomeTown Bank • Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center • Roanoke Cement Company • SFCS • Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center • Virginia Western Community College • WDBJ • Woods Rogers PLC • WSLS Channel 10


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hatever the need for emergency services, the dedicated

professionals of the City of Roanoke’s Fire-EMS department are ready to answer the call. The department includes trained firefighters and emergency medical technicians who provide fire suppression and prevention, life support, tactical heavy rescue, and other emergency services. Area residents are also protected by Roanoke County’s Fire & Rescue Department, a career and volunteer organization that provides fire and EMS services; the Salem Fire-EMS Department, which includes teams specializing in technical rescue and hazardous materials; and the Botetourt County Fire & EMS team, providing fire, rescue, and EMS services. Pictured here is the historic Fire Station #1, built in 1906 at 13 East Church Avenue, Southeast, and still stands as an icon to the area’s firefighting history, is available for rent or lease through the City of Roanoke.

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ust up the road from downtown Roanoke is Historic Grandin

Village, a quaint neighborhood with a renovated movie theatre, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, and an eclectic blend of restaurants and shops featuring everything from books, barbers, and banking to artisans, furniture, and vintage clothing. New To Me sells furniture and antiques, jewelry, and collectibles.

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Carilion Clinic

Changing the Way You Receive Care

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ased in Roanoke, Carilion Clinic provides health care for the nearly one million residents of western Virginia through its comprehensive network of hospitals, primary, specialty and urgent care sites. Guided by a

commitment to meet the unique health needs of the communities it serves, Carilion is working to transform the whole patient experience through greater coordination of care, improved processes and a systemwide electronic health record. Carilion traces its roots to 1899, when a group of citizens established the 30-bed Roanoke Hospital to address the health care needs of a rapidly growing region. Over time, the hospital added more services and formed alliances with other hospitals in the region. A late-1980s merger of two major Roanoke Valley hospitals led to the formation of Carilion Health System. In a pivotal move in 2006, the organization became Carilion Clinic, a physician-led, multi-specialty medical group that provides a seamless approach to patient care. As an early adopter of an enterprise-wide electronic health record system, Carilion Clinic has earned recognition as one of the nation’s “most wired” health care organizations. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine represents a transformative partnership with one of the nation’s leading research universities, offering an innovative curriculum built around research and patient-centered care.

Carilion Clinic’s novel approach to primary care focuses on prevention and keeping patients healthy, not just treating them when they’re sick. And with secure online access to their own health information through MyChart, patients are able to play a more active role in their care. When care is needed, Carilion is ready with leading-edge medical technologies and programs, including CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery, the da Vinci® Surgical System, a Level I trauma center, and comprehensive cardiothoracic, vascular, and orthopedic surgery programs. The organization’s cancer care instills hope in patients, and its Carilion Clinic

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CARILION CLINIC

Children’s Hospital, which includes a 60-bed neonatal intensive care unit, provides specialized care for infants through adolescents. All Carilion hospitals are Joint Commission accredited. The flagship, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, is ranked among the top ten hospitals in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report and has repeatedly been named the consumer’s choice for health care in the region. Additionally, Carilion’s Roanoke campus is Magnet-certified, nursing’s highest honor. Through the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, a transformative partnership with one of the nation’s leading research universities, Carilion is preparing doctors of the future using an innovative, patient-centered curriculum, while the VTC Research Institute expands Carilion’s research capacity and the ability to use new knowledge to improve care. As a not-for-profit organization, Carilion provides

Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital provides specialized care for infants through adolescents and includes a pediatric emergency room.

care without regard for the ability to pay and reinvests its resources in research, community outreach, and health education, initiatives that champion better health for people throughout the region.

A Life-Guard air ambulance flies over Carilion Clinic’s Riverside campus in Roanoke. Riverside is Carilion’s newest outpatient site where physician specialists work collaboratively to improve care.

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lacksburg, Virginia, has historically been a place that values its

heritage, and members of the community have undertaken the restoration and reuse of many of the town’s historic structures. A portion of Blacksburg’s downtown is designated an Arts and Cultural District, with shops, galleries, entertainment venues, and locally owned places to eat.

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Cox Communications

Innovator, Community Partner

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ox Communications proudly provides the Roanoke region state-ofthe-art entertainment and communications services. From its 1976 start

as a cable television provider delivering advanced video, Internet, telephone, and home security services over its nationwide IP network to 1.5 million subscribers statewide. To provide these services, Cox has made significant investments in the Roanoke region network, including $70 million from 2006 to 2013. Cox Business also provides Virginia customers robust data, phone, and video as well as data management and disaster recovery services. With several diverse paths in and out of the Valley connecting into the Cox nationwide backbone, Cox offers residential Internet speeds up to 150 Mbps and commercial Internet speeds up to 10 Gbps, the Photo by Thomas S. England

same speeds and services available to all customers throughout the Cox Virginia service area. Besides pioneering technology, industry-leading customer care, and outstanding workplaces, Cox is recognized for its heritage of community support. Annually, Cox provides $1 million in cash and in-kind support to Roanoke Valley organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, Center in the Square, and the United Way. Cox Charities, the Cox philanthropic arm, awards approximately $150,000 in grants to qualifying Virginia organizations for youth education programs. Cox strives to make the communities where employees and customers live a better place. “At Cox, we will always be committed to taking care of our employees, our customers and our

Cox Communications Solutions Store workshops help customers get the most out of their video, Internet, telephone, and home security services. Cox is an industry leader in customer service.

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community,” says Vonya Alleyne, Roanoke market vice president. “Our future is bright in Roanoke and we look forward to serving this area for many years to come.”


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ore than 200 bachelor’s and master’s degrees were conferred

during the 2014 graduation ceremonies at Hollins University. A Roanoke women’s college with coed graduate programs, Hollins’ liberal arts education includes nationally acclaimed writing programs that have produced four Pulitzer Prize winners. Founded as a seminary in 1842, Hollins’ offers academics, internships, international study, athletics, and many other opportunities.

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anked in the top 10 of golf courses in Virginia, Ballyhack was

designed to take advantage of existing topography and to immerse golfers, visitors, and residents in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the par four opening tee shot that crosses a deep ravine, to the par five ninth hole that commonly plays into the wind, to double greens on the back nine, Ballyhack is a golf destination that offers something for golfers of every skill level. When play is through, the clubhouse welcomes golfers to take refreshment in the comfortable lounge or relax and enjoy fare that is rated five stars. A private club that welcomes guests of members, Ballyhack accommodations include four-plex cottages that share a common living area and feature private master suites and baths.


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City of Roanoke

A Vibrant Place to Be

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o live in or visit Roanoke is to be a part of something truly special. Once a booming rail town, like many cities with similar histories, Roanoke’s downtown area underwent a period of decline.

But today, downtown Roanoke is an exciting, vibrant place thanks to the efforts of public and private sectors interests who wanted to see their city thrive. The area is once again an active neighborhood filled with shops, entertainment venues, and spaces in which to live and work. Facilitated by supportive building code and zoning regulations, and financial incentives to rehabilitate older buildings, individuals and developers alike are renovating vacant warehouses into studio apartments, condominiums, and upscale lofts, while fine older buildings have been renovated for mixed-use occupancy, with street-level commercial space topped by residential units on upper floors. The Roanoke Enterprise Zones, two of the commonwealth’s most active zones, are encouraging growth in all parts of Roanoke, and the city’s strategic location on Interstate 81 and the Norfolk Southern rail lines make it ideally suited for distribution and manufacturing companies serving the east coast. One of the most iconic reclaimed structures in the downtown area is the Roanoke City Market Building, formerly a brisk wholesale trade center now housing specialty retail and food vendors along with a popular top-floor community gathering space. The building anchors the commonwealth’s oldest continuously operating open-air market, the Historic Roanoke City Farmers’ Market. Widely touted as the crown jewel of downtown, the market is a bustling, popular, year-round shopping destination. In a region brimming with outdoor natural resources— mountains, streams, rivers, and trails—the city made a concerted effort to ensure the health of Once the center of a brisk wholesale trade, today the Roanoke City Market Building houses specialty retail and food vendors, along with a popular top-floor community gathering space.

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this aspect of its core with the renovation of Elmwood Park. As


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Roanoke’s premier festival park, Elmwood hosts dozens of celebrations, outdoor concerts, and film showings each year. Roanoke also boasts five greenways, open-space recreational and environmental preservation corridors that provide miles of hiking and multi-use trails. These amenities link Roanoke’s natural beauty to its charming neighborhoods and vibrant downtown. For its size—around 300,000 in the Metropolitan Statistical Area—Roanoke has outstanding cultural resources. The city is home to numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues, including the Taubman Museum of Art and Center in the Square. A vibrant core, rich history, economic opportunities, abundant outdoor activities, and exceptional cultural resources—these are the components that make Roanoke a place people want to call home.

Operation of the Historic Farmers Market dates back to 1882. Permanent vendor stalls line the square, offering a wide variety of plants and flowers, arts and crafts, foods and other specialty items—all locally grown or produced.

The newly renovated Elmwood Park is a Park for All Seasons,” accommodating a variety of uses. Improvements include a new amphitheater stage and interactive water fountains to entertain and create an atmosphere of fun for all park users.

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n 1993, area residents joined together to begin formalizing a plan

to develop greenways for use by bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the Roanoke Valley. Two years later, the group persuaded four local governments—the City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, the City of Salem, and the Town of Vinton—to appoint representatives to the project, and on Earth Day in 1997, the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission was formed to oversee the project. To date, more than twenty-five miles of paved trails and additional natural-surface trails have been built. Keeping the greenway clean and well-tended is one activity of the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club. With some 250 members, the club’s activities include annual rides, racing events, social gatherings, and other activities.


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Advance Auto Parts

Service is Our Best Part

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he region’s only Fortune 500 company, Advance Auto Parts was founded in 1932 during the Great Depression by Arthur Taubman,

whose business acumen and “can-do” attitude gave the company a firm foundation on which to grow. And grow it did. By focusing on the values of “Inspire, Serve and Grow,” and building a brand promise that “Service is Our Best Part,” Advance Auto Parts went from its beginnings as a thriving variety store in 1932 to being the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America in 2014, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets. The company’s growth has been fueled by a number of automotive parts company acquisitions, including the 1998 purchase of Western Auto Supply Company/Parts America, which doubled the company’s size. That same year, the Taubman family sold a majority interest in Advance to the investment firm Freeman Spogli & Co. In 2001, with the acquisition of Discount Auto Parts, Advance Auto Parts became a publicly traded entity on the New York Stock Exchange. The largest acquisition occurred in 2014 with the purchase of General Parts International, Inc., which turned Advance Auto Parts into an enterprise with annual sales in excess of $9.3 billion and more than 74,000 team members. The acquisition included the Carquest and Worldpac brands, which expanded Advance Auto’s commercial market scope. Today, Advance Auto Parts offers do-ityourself and commercial customers nationwide a full selection of aftermarket retail parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items. The company operates nearly 5,300 company-owned stores and 105 Worldpac branches, and services Begun in 1932 with just three stores in Virginia, Advance has grown to be the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America.

1,400 independently owned Carquest stores in the U.S. and Canada, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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A dvanced A uto P arts

With more than 74,000 Team Members, Advance strives to help every DIY customer get the best parts for their project.

Advance offers valuable free services and access to more than 500,000 parts at thousands of stores in North America

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Although its size has certainly changed, the company’s culture has remained one of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and dedication. The values instilled by the company’s founder center on inspiring and building self-confidence and success in every member of the Advance Auto Parts team, serving customers better than

Throughout its history, Advance has maintained a commitment to its founding values of “Inspire, Serve and Grow.”

anyone in the industry in a way that helps each customer succeed, and growing the business and its profitability through integrity. In fact, the company’s culture earned it a 2011 title as one of the Best Places to Work in Virginia by Virginia Business Magazine and the Best Companies Group. Advance also strives to be a good, responsible corporate citizen. In the towns and cities in which it operates, the company is more than a business—it is a valued neighbor ready to lend a hand wherever it’s needed most. The company’s commitment can be seen in store windows filled with Juvenile Advance serves the commercial automotive market with experienced team members, quality parts from top brands, and fast delivery.

Diabetes Research Foundation paper sneakers, disaster relief efforts provided by the Red Cross, after-school educational programs held by the United Way, and in homes provided to service men and women through Building Homes for Heroes. Advance Auto Parts has a strong and continuing desire to build thriving communities by helping others live healthy, successful lives. It’s all about the underlying belief that “Service is Our Best Part.”

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evoted fans make the best of the situation during a snow-covered NCAA D-III National

Football Championship game at Salem Stadium. The game, which is known as the Stagg Bowl, has been played at the stadium annually since 1993. Heavy snowfall in the Roanoke Valley is rare; the area experiences an average twenty-one inches of snow each year and December temperatures average around forty-eight degrees.

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hether it’s a one-of-a-kind doorknob, a hundred-year-old doorframe, or a dining table

from a U.S. Coast Guard ship, chances are you’ll find it at Black Dog Salvage. Homeowners, interior designers, general contractors, and pretty much anyone in need of an architectural element or fixture turn to Black Dog for unique antiques and special collectibles found nowhere else. Located on 13th Street NW, Black Dog was founded by Mike Whiteside (seated) and Robert Kulp, and named after the resident canine, Molly. Kulp and Whiteside are also hosts of the popular DIY Network television show, “Salvage Dawgs,” which follows the pair as they bid on structures scheduled for demolition.


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City of Salem

Small Town Values, Big City Ambition

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isitors often ask, “How is it that a city of 25,000 people has so much to offer?” Well, to find the answer to that question you only need to spend a short time in downtown Salem, at its historic Farmers Market or at

one of the city’s many sporting events. What you’ll find at all of these places is an amazing amount of community spirit known as “Salem Pride.” Salem’s people truly make the difference, and that cooperative nature is the reason so much gets done so efficiently in both the business and government sectors. In fact, Salem has a true commitment to excellence that exists from Main Street to the mountains. Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, Salem offers its residents and visitors just the right mix of modern facilities and natural beauty. Founded in 1802, Salem achieved city status in 1968 and to this day owns and operates its own electric, water, and sewer departments. Salem also possesses some of the most versatile entertainment and sports facilities in Virginia. Located on sixty-five acres of land, the James E. Taliaferro Complex is home to the Salem Civic Center, Salem Football Stadium, and Salem Memorial Ballpark. The city also has a four-diamond softball facility that was voted the nation’s best by the American Softball Association. All of these venues have helped elevate Salem’s national profile to new heights. The city has played host to more than seventy NCAA national championships since 1993, crowning champions in six different sports. That commitment has earned Salem the title of “Virginia’s Championship City.” Many of the fans and players who have participated in those championship events have later returned to vacation in Salem and experience Virginia’s largest free gate fair, the Roanoke Valley Horse Show, the Boston Red Sox Class A baseball team, the Roanoke River Greenway, the city’s ever-expanding Salem was founded in 1802 and incorporated as a city in 1968. Located on the western end of the Roanoke Valley and right along the Blue Ridge Mountains, Salem’s citizens and visitors are able to enjoy an abundance of natural beauty throughout the year.

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network of scenic trails, its community dog park, or the Salem Museum.


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Salem has a rich history that is preserved and showcased at the museum. The educational and cultural resource center also maintains an important collection of local artifacts and routinely sponsors a rotating gallery of original and relevant artwork. Speaking of being relevant, Salem’s school division has garnered more than its share of positive feedback on both the state and national levels. Great teachers produce high-achieving students and Salem is fortunate to have an abundance of both. The city’s progressive education system is a big reason why Salem was named one of the top ten cities in Virginia for young families to live. Those families enjoy a wide range of affordable housing and abundant amenities in a variety of well-kept neighborhoods. So whether you’re making your home here, taking in one of these events, exploring a historical venue, or simply enjoying a meal on Main Street, Salem residents trust that you’ll find their city to be the perfect mix of small town values and big city ambition.

Each September, Main Street in downtown Salem turns into a sea of shoppers for Olde Salem Days. One of the largest arts and crafts festivals on the east coast attracts more than 400 vendors and nearly 60,000 patrons for its annual one day event. The Salem Rotary Club organizes the event and every penny the club makes is donated back to local and international charities.

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resh menu items made from original recipes—that’s the fare at Wildflour Restaurant &

Bakery. Owned and operated by Doug and Evie Robison, the restaurant is a local favorite and features everything from soups and salads to dinner entrees and desserts. A selection of drink specials and other beverages to complement the meal are also available. Wildflour is located in a neighborhood setting of Roanoke’s Old Southwest Historic District. In addition to a charming neighborhood restaurant, the Robison’s bakery turns out some magnificent cakes—including wedding cakes—and other creations.


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HomeTown Bank

Big-City Products, Personalized Service

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omeTown Bank is a community bank that delivers big-city products with local flavor. “Not only do we offer many of the same core

products and services as bigger banks, we also are able to provide the personalized service customers desire,” says HomeTown Bank President and CEO Susan Still. The bank was established in 2005 by a group of area business leaders who wanted a solid community bank that was guided by decision-makers who understood the needs of local businesses and individuals. While its earliest products were largely loans and commercial products, consumer demand soon led to the expansion of products for everyone. By providing innovative financial products and services to the Roanoke Valley and beyond, HomeTown Bank quickly grew to $400 million in assets, placing it in the top quarter of banks nationwide, based on asset size. Today, from that single downtown Roanoke location, HomeTown Bank has grown to branches and ATMs serving three markets: the Roanoke Valley, Smith Mountain Lake, and the New River Valley. In addition to its physical properties— which offer the unique hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays— HomeTown Bank formed a relay team to compete in America’s Toughest Road Marathon, the Blue Ridge Marathon.

HomeTown Bank’s online and mobile services make it easy for customers to bank day or night from anywhere.

For individuals, HomeTown Bank has a range of checking accounts available. “Our checking products provide options for everyone, regardless of their balance,” says Still, adding that new customers receive a free gift for opening an account or referring a friend. There are products such as credit cards and loans, including home loans for first-time buyers to homeowners looking to refinance, along with savings options for seniors to teens to the youngest money managers. The bank’s investment division also has insurance choices and products designed to help people achieve their financial goals. For businesses, 24


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One of HomeTown Bank’s HTB Kids’ Club members uses a brightly colored Kids’ Club stool to complete his transaction into his Kids’ Club savings account.

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For businesses, the bank tailors solutions for startups and established companies. Whether it’s

In short, HomeTown Bank is a local business

a checking or savings account, commercial loan,

with its neighbors’ needs in mind. “We’re not just

treasury services, or remote deposit capture,

a community bank that is staying put,” says Still.

HomeTown Bank is there to help businesses

“We are a progressive bank that is increasing its

grow and prosper.

relevance throughout western Virginia.”

While its products rival national institutions, at HomeTown Bank’s core is a value system that people drive the bank’s success. “Our customers say they don’t feel like a number,” says Still. “At our branches, they’re greeted by friendly people who call them by name and are eager to take care of their banking needs.” It’s a culture in which every relationship—both internal and external—is respected and appreciated. “We want to ensure our employees know how important they are to the bank’s success,” says Still. “If they enjoy coming to work, they will provide a positive, helpful attitude when serving customers—this is the formula that makes up our brand. We value everyone who walks through our door.” Because it places people first, community involvement is naturally another chapter of the bank’s story. The bank supports many area organizations through corporate sponsorships and donations, and its professionals use their expertise to provide financial education throughout the community. “Giving back is part of our responsibility as a corporate citizen and the culture at the bank is one where many employees voluntarily take the lead to support various organizations in the community,” explains Still. Bank employees regularly champion giving through bake sales, food drives, and creative fundraisers such as selling money roses for various charities. Outside its branches, the bank’s presence is found at walks, bowl-a-thons, golf tournaments, and dinners that support causes

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from cancer research to the arts and education.


H ome T own B ank Financial education is something employees of HomeTown Bank assist with, both in and outside of the bank offices.

the bank tailors solutions for startups and established companies. Whether it’s a checking or savings account, commercial loan, treasury services, or remote deposit capture, HomeTown Bank is there to help businesses grow and prosper. While its products rival national institutions, at HomeTown Bank’s core is a value system that people drive the bank’s success. “Our customers say they don’t feel like a number,” says Still. “At our branches, they’re greeted by friendly, professional people who call them by name and are eager to take care of their banking needs.” It’s a culture in which every relationship—both internal and external—is respected and appreciated. “We want to ensure our employees know how important they are to the bank’s success,” says Still. “If they enjoy coming to work, they will provide a positive, helpful attitude when serving customers—this

“Our customers say they don’t feel like a number. At our branches, they’re greeted by friendly people who call them by name and are eager to take care of their banking needs.”

is the formula that makes up our brand. We value everyone who walks through our door.” Because it places people first, community involvement is naturally another chapter of the bank’s story. The bank supports many area organizations through corporate sponsorships and donations, and its professionals use their expertise to provide financial education throughout the community. “Giving back is part of our responsibility as a corporate citizen and the culture at the bank is one where many employees voluntarily take the lead to support various organizations in the community,” explains Still. Bank employees regularly champion giving through bake sales, food drives, and creative fundraisers such as selling money roses for various charities. Outside its branches, the bank’s presence is found at walks, bowla-thons, golf tournaments, and dinners that support causes from cancer research to the arts and education. In short, HomeTown Bank is a local business with its neighbors’ needs in mind. “We’re not just a community bank that is staying put,” says Still. “We are a progressive bank that is increasing its relevance throughout western Virginia.” HomeTown Bank’s beloved mascot, Homer the pig, is a very visible reminder about the importance of saving money. Seen standing outside the main office, he creates many fans wherever he goes. The main office of HomeTown Bank is centrally located in downtown Roanoke at the corner of S. Jefferson Street and Campbell Avenue.

Susan Still, president and CEO of HomeTown Bank

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hether it’s locally grown produce, home-baked goods, or a

handcrafted gift, chances are you’ll find something special at the Historic Roanoke City Market. In addition to permanent stalls inside the market, there are spaces outdoors in the market square where vendors sell seasonal wares. Recognized as a favorite public place by national organizations and local publications, the year-round marketplace has been in continuous operation for more than a century.


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Roanoke County

Where People Want to Work and Live

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ndless outdoor adventure, a thriving business environment, low cost of living—these are some of the components that make Roanoke County one of the nation’s best places to be.

Businesses and people from around the world are discovering Roanoke County—the 2010 U.S. Census found a greater than 8 percent increase in population. Why? For starters, the county aggressively pursues economic initiatives and a diverse mix of commercial, retail, and industrial employers, and then it reinvests its successes into quality-of-life amenities. Add a cost of doing business 13 percent below the national average and cost of living rate 6 percent below the national average and you have a place worthy of CNNMoney’s “10 Best Places for Jobs” and “Best Place to Live” recognitions. Set amid the splendor of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail, Roanoke County is an outdoor destination with an outstanding collection of natural amenities and public recreation areas. In the west side of the County, Green Hill Park serves as a beautiful event venue and athletics facility. In the east, Roanoke County’s new Explore Park features 1,000 plus acres of hiking and biking trails, river access and a visitor center. Between the two parks, work is nearing completion on the Roanoke River Greenway, which when finished will be one of the largest municipal walking paths of its kind on the east coast. The county’s multitude of recreation facilities include Camp Roanoke, which serves as a regional summer camp, as well as the base of operations for off-site trips such as rock climbing, canoeing, and outdoor adventure. Investment in the county’s library system has Roanoke County is your destination for exploration with fantastic outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities.

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made it a sought-after community resource. Six libraries located throughout Roanoke County boast


R oanoke C ounty The high ropes course at Camp Roanoke provides enrichment for summer camp participants, and team building experiences for corporate visitors year round.

usage statistics that far exceed the national average. Roanoke County libraries are relevant and meaningful community hubs, providing inspirational spaces for children, teens, and seniors, along with technologies that fulfill the needs of an educated and engaged workforce. Roanoke County also touts an exceptional public school system, with an on-time graduation rate of more than 93 percent (above the state average), and more than 90 percent of graduates pursuing some form of education beyond graduation. SAT and ACT scores exceed the national average. And the system includes a 2013 Blue Ribbon School, which is a mark of excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. The county is consistently named one of the top digital counties in the state and the nation, and has received Best of the Web, Digital Counties, and Governor’s Technology Award for its community engagement platforms and other digital initiatives. With a diverse blend of businesses and superior quality of life amenities, Roanoke County is about building a place where people want to live and work.

Located directly on Interstate 81, Roanoke County’s Center for Research and Technology provides strategic location advantages for manufacturing and research and development operations.

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ocated in Blue Ridge, Virginia, Layman Family Farms lets “city

folk” enjoy a taste of country life. From a ten-acre corn maze, the farm has grown to include a forty-acre pumpkin patch, hay rides, a jumping pillow, rides on a “cow train,” and a whole day of family fun. There are farm animals to visit, cannons for launching pumpkins or ears of corn, and a tunnel slide for kids of all ages. The farm also hosts periodic special events and is a favorite place for school or group field trips, birthday parties, and corporate outings. There’s even a country store where Layman family grown and homemade goods are sold.

Photo by Sam Dean


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Jefferson College of Health Sciences Preparing Health-Care Professionals for Real-World Medicine

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efferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS) is a private health sciences college that prepares health-care professionals to make a difference in their chosen field.

JCHS was established in 1914 by a pioneering physician seeking adequately trained nurses. The school expanded through growth and acquisition until 1982, when it became the first hospital-based college in Virginia. In 1986, the school obtained Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation and began granting associate degrees, and since 2005, it has offered graduate programs. Today, JCHS offers twenty-nine degree and certificate programs, some answering the needs of its parent, Carilion Clinic. While nursing comprises the majority of its enrollment of 1,100, JCHS also offers health-care administration, family nurse practitioner, respiratory therapy, emergency services, and other degrees. Its highly competitive occupational therapy and physician assistant programs are the state’s longest running. JCHS graduates are in high demand: More than 95 percent obtain employment at Carilion Clinic or other health entities in their field within six months of graduation. Clinical opportunities in big-city medicine to rural health care, and through an Interprofessional Education program, prepare graduates well for the working world. A range of financial aid packages and nearcampus housing at the Patrick Henry Building in downtown Roanoke round out the JCHS experience, making it a college where health Nursing, physician assistant, and respiratory therapy students from Jefferson College of Health Sciences join students from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine during the school’s annual Interprofessional Education Simulation Day.

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professionals can pursue their dreams.


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s a community at the base of the Appalachians, people in Roanoke love to get outdoors

and explore nature. The River Rock lets everyone from the experienced rock climber to the wannabe enjoy the sport in the safety of an indoor gym. The River Rock has more than 8,500 square feet of space for roped climbing or bouldering, the latter of which involves climbing with a minimal amount of gear. The River Rock offers climbing instruction for kids to adults, from a bouldering clinic to basic belay (partner climbing with ropes) to climbing as a form of working out.

Photo by Thomas S. England

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he Blue Ridge Mountain range offers spectacular views when

soaring overhead in a glider. Located near New Castle, Virginia, the Blue Ridge Soaring Society offers visitors rides aboard orientation flights to give them a taste of the high-flying fun. The club has a fleet of six gliders, comprising about one-fourth of the gliders in the area. In September, the club hosts the annual Region 4 South Soaring Contest, which in 1990 included seventeen out of twenty-five pilot-contestants completing a thousand-km task that crossed ridges in four states. The society operates out of New Castle International Gliderport on Rt. 311. (Inset) Soaring Society pilot James P. Stewart surveys the beautiful mountain scenery from his cockpit.

Photos by Natalee Waters


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The Holiday Inn Tanglewood

Hospitality with a View

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et in a quiet south Roanoke neighborhood, the Holiday Inn Tanglewood offers the city’s most spectacular year-round views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Southern charm greets guests of the Holiday Inn Tanglewood. Associates here know the true meaning of hospitality and make it their mission to ensure every guest has a memorable stay. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, guests of the Holiday Inn Tanglewood will find accommodations to suit any need. The newly renovated property features 196 clean and spacious sleeping rooms with two queen beds or a king and fold-out sleeper. Rooms feature all of the standard amenities—flat-screen television with cable, coffee maker, hairdryers, and more—and every room comes equipped with a microwave and micro refrigerator, especially nice features for those longer stays. Suites are also available—perfect for a romantic getaway—and club-level rooms are ideal for the busy executive. Working travelers will also appreciate the on-site business center, equipped with printer and other essentials, and in-room business amenities include workspaces with desk, spare electrical outlets, speaker phones, and more. These days, everyone appreciates the free wireless property-wide. When it comes to dining, the Elephant Walk Restaurant & Lounge is the place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Serving up renowned crab cakes, the restaurant also offers a pleasing menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts, while the lounge is a relaxing place to unwind with a special drink. The food quality is one reason meeting planners love the Holiday Inn Tanglewood; the catering menu ranges from continental breakfast fare to working lunch sandwiches to an elegant dinner buffet. The Holiday Inn Tanglewood is one the area’s largest convention centers—the only one in southern Roanoke—and features over nine thousand Uniquely situated in a quiet Roanoke neighborhood, the Holiday Inn Tanglewood offers some of Roanoke’s most spectacular views of the neighboring Blue Ridge Mountains. A city icon, the hotel is located near all the amenities that make any visit to Roanoke memorable.

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square feet of flexible space for everything from small meetings to banquets with five hundred guests.


T he H oliday I nn T anglewood The Holiday Inn Tanglewood has the amenities business travelers need and want, including plenty of space for formal or informal meetings.

For fun and relaxation, amenities include the nearby Tanglewood Mall for shopping, entertainment, and dining, and the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, a special treat for nature lovers. Fitness buffs also appreciate the hotel’s on-site fitness center, outdoor pool, and affiliation with an adjacent athletic club. As a long-standing community member, the Holiday Inn Tanglewood knows the importance of helping others in need. Hotel rooms are regularly found on charitable raffle lists and a number of area groups benefit from complimentary rooms for traveling visitors. It’s extras like these—that sense of obligation to its neighbors— that has contributed to the Holiday Inn Tanglewood’s long-standing reputation as a Roanoke icon.

Photos by Thomas S. England

The Elephant Walk Restaurant & Lounge offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare and is a great place to unwind at the end of the day

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costume contest, trick-or-treating, scavenger hunt, and rides

aboard the Zoo Choo Train are part of the family-friendly fun Zoo Boo. The Halloween fun is held at Mill Mountain Zoo, home of more than 175 animals. Endangered species are among the zoo’s residents and include a red panda, a snow leopard, and black hornbills. Started in 1952, the Mill Mountain Zoo is open daily and encourages learning about the animals through spring and summer camps and outreach education programs.


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Roanoke Cement Company Committed to a More Sustainable World

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ocated on 2,800 acres, and surrounded by the Jefferson National Forest and the Appalachian Mountains, Roanoke Cement Company (RCC) is among the top private employers in Botetourt County, Virginia, and the

only active cement plant in the commonwealth of Virginia. RCC’s core products—portland and masonry cements—are manufactured in Troutville, Virginia, and incorporated into construction projects throughout Virginia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia. The Roanoke plant has undergone six major modernizations since it began production in 1951. Today it is one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly plants in the world—an EPA Energy Star® partner and recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ Blue Ridge Chapter Architectural Medal. RCC is committed to a more sustainable world, one in which concrete structures—like bridges, dams, and highways—have a long functional life while producing a small environmental footprint. Examples of RCC’s pivotal role in societal change include the Grassy Creek Bridge, a twin-bridge structure in Buchanan County that is part of the first phase of the impressive U.S. Highway 460 Connector project. The bridge links federal highways in Virginia and Kentucky along Corridor Q, a part of the Appalachian Development Highway System that is opening a long-underserved area to economic development. Closer to home, RCC supplied the cement for a pervious concrete parking lot in Salem that reduces storm-water runoff while giving residents access to the network of riverside hiking and biking trails known as the Roanoke Valley Greenways. Every year, for the past eight years, volunteers— consisting of RCC employees and other helpers— participate in the Annual Catawba Creek Clean Up, to maintain the area surrounding the Catawba Creek, a tributary that leads into the James River and is located on the RCC campus.

RCC’s environmental achievements have received numerous accolades. Among these is the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for Land Conservation, given to RCC for its dedication and continued open access of the Andy Layne Memorial Trail

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R oanoke C ement C ompany

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s tallest bridges—the Route 460 Connector Phase I— located in Buchanan County constructed with cement provided Roanoke Cement Company. The project completion date is slated for fall 2014.

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(part of the Appalachian Trail) and for continued stewardship of Catawba Creek through annual cleanup activities and preservation. For turning its legacy limestone quarry into an employee recreational area, RCC received the Virginia Statewide Mineral Mining Reclamation Award, and its numerous recognitions from the Portland Cement Association include the Overall Environmental Excellence Award (the association’s most prestigious honor), Cement Industry Energy and Environment Awards, and awards for land stewardship and outreach. RCC is a socially responsible neighbor. The company’s “Trout in the Classroom” program has released more than

The RCC Trout Pond Restoration Project started in 2008 and was developed to create a sustainable ecosystem rich in biodiversity. The site was previously a limestone quarry that was filled by groundwater inflows and rainfall and developed into a lake ideal for hosting trout, an environmentally sensitive species.

5,500 trout into approved area streams, and its “Plant A Star” team teaches energy audits in area schools. Its campus includes an apple orchard and adjacent honeybee hives, along with wildlife habitat enhancements that attract native birds and have earned certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council. RCC employees and their families also volunteer their time and talent to help neighbors in need, from renovating a home for Habitat for Humanity and Total Action Against Poverty, to participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, to serving on the boards of chambers of commerce and charities. Through these activities, RCC’s people demonstrate their dedication as part of an organization that is truly making a difference. There are many thriving bee hives located in the apple orchard on the campus of Roanoke Cement’s Troutville Plant. RCC was recognized by the cement industry in 2014 for overall environmental excellence.

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ome 2,100 works ranging from paintings by American masters to sculptures by regional

artists comprise the collections of the Taubman Museum of Art. The 81,000-square-foot structure—architecturally astonishing on its own—houses pieces ranging in size from 10-feet-tall to one-and-a-half inches square. Named after philanthropist Nicholas Taubman, the building was designed by the late architect Randall Stout, who envisioned the steel-and-glass structure to be a “gateway” for the city as its economy evolves from industrial to technology sectors.

Photo by Thomas S. England

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ince it was formed in 1986, Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke

Valley has organized resources to construct more than 160 homes in and around Roanoke. Relying on volunteer labor and donor funds from a variety of sources, Habitat constructs new homes, rehabilitates existing houses, and provides limited repairs on properties for qualified families and individuals. Part of its building funds come from its Habitat ReStore, a retail store the organization opened in 2002 that sells new and used construction supplies.


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The Hotel Roanoke

The Pride of Roanoke

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he Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center—a DoubleTree by Hilton, in partnership with the City of Roanoke and Virginia Tech—is a grand symbol of community cooperation and pride, attracting guests from

around the globe. Built in 1882, the hotel was the pride of the Norfolk and Western Railroad until 1989, when it was gifted to the Virginia Tech Real Estate Foundation. Virginia Tech renovated the Hotel and the City of Roanoke built the 63,000 square foot conference center. Today it is a hotel and conference center. It is approved by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), reflecting the quality standards convention guests can expect throughout the facility. The hotel’s superior quality extends to its 331 guest rooms, which feature plush bedding and other comforts. Select accommodations include PURE allergy-friendly guest rooms and a variety of suites, including the luxurious Governor’s Suite with its full living and dining rooms, pantry kitchen, two bedrooms, and rooftop terrace. Business travelers often prefer the executive level, with its upgraded accommodations, private lounge, and business center, while leisure guests find value in the Rail Lovers and other local packages. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, Hilton HHonors members can earn rewards points for stays at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. Hungry guests need look no further than The Regency Room, a celebrated venue that has been serving up delicious southern cuisine and heirloom recipes like peanut soup and spoonbread since 1938. Lighter, evening fare can be found in The Regency Room, and The Pine Room Pub, which features entertainment on Built in 1882, the fully-restored Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, a DoubleTree by Hilton is proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Place and features more than 63,000 square feet of conference space.

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Friday and Saturday nights.


T he H otel R oanoke & C onference C enter - A D ouble T ree

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H ilton

Award-winning cuisine and personalized service reflecting more than 125 years of experience awaits guests at a truly unique facility for weddings and receptions in the Roanoke Valley.

The hotel is an easy walk from many of the area’s major companies, the famed Historic Roanoke City Market, and a variety of retail shops, restaurants, and nightlife via the Market Square Pedestrian Walkway. Onsite recreation amenities include in-room spa services, fitness center, and seasonal outdoor pool, and nearby attractions include the Blue Ridge Parkway, Taubman Museum of Art and many other cultural and athletic events. Proof of the hotel’s hospitality is evident in its nine Hilton Pride Awards, and three Connie Awards, the highest honor bestowed by Hilton Worldwide, Inc. In thanks to the community that made it successful, The Hotel Roanoke hosts events and gives to organizations like United Way of the Roanoke Valley, DoubleTree by Hilton’s Teaching Kids to Care, Ronald McDonald House, and The Rescue Mission of Roanoke. More than a social centerpiece, The Hotel Roanoke is a beloved neighbor that embodies community pride. Coveted for its Peanut soup and Spoonbread, The Regency Room at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center has remained at the heart of the Roanoke social and cultural experience since 1938.

Photos by Thomas S. England

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rom early automobiles and locomotives to vessels that rocket into space, if it’s one of

these modes of transportation, chances are you’ll find out more about it at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Located in Roanoke, the museum’s collections encompass some 2,500 objects, including more than 50 pieces of railroad rolling stock. Started as a museum focused largely on Roanoke’s rail heritage, the museum’s rail collection includes two powerful displays of engineering—the Norfolk & Western Class J-611 and Class A-1218 steam locomotives. On-the-road vehicles in the museum’s collections range from horse-drawn carriages and collector cars to a farm tractor and fire trucks. And air exhibits explore travel in space from the early years to present day.


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Virginia Western Community College

Making Higher Education Possible

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irginia Western Community College is making it possible for students to achieve their higher education goals. “At Virginia Western we strive to make higher education possible regardless of income level, and we

endeavor to help students find their own course with guaranteed admission to four-year colleges and universities throughout Virginia, and degree and certificate programs to help them join the workforce,” says Virginia Western President Robert H. Sandel. Enrolling more than 12,000 students, Virginia Western is the largest single-campus college of the twenty-three institutions in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). In fact, Virginia Western draws more than half of students attending college in its service area—encompassing the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, and Franklin—and of these students, 85 percent remain in the area following graduation. So how did Virginia Western grow from an initial enrollment in 1966 of 1,352 students to the numbers it enjoys today? In part, it’s commitment from leaders like Sandel, who in 2013 was named Roanoke City Citizen of the Year. “As someone who is not a Roanoke native, the ways in which people have been so continuously welcoming to my family and supportive of Virginia Western has truly made it home for me,” Sandel of the announcement. “I hope my impact upon the Roanoke Valley is to help make higher education more accessible and affordable to generations to come.” Affordability and convenience are important to Virginia Western students: Tuition here is less than half the average of other four-year universities in Fralin Center Dedication (from Left): Dr. Charles W. Steger, President of Virginia Tech; Hon. William H. Fralin Jr.; Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western; W. Heywood Fralin; Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell; Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges; Dr. Teresa A. Sullivan, President of University of Virginia; Forest Jones, Virginia Western Local Advisory Board Chair; Edwin C. Hall, Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board President; and Dr. Angela G. Falconetti, Virginia Western Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

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the commonwealth, and nearly half of students take advantage of a distance learning opportunity. The college boasts more than twenty-five guaranteed articulation agreements with four-year institutions, and students who transfer after their junior year have


V irginia W estern C ommunity C ollege

In Spring 2014, Virginia Western was the fastest-growing college in the Virginia Community College System, and more than 23 percent of all eighteen- to twenty-fouryear-olds in the Roanoke Valley attend the college. Virginia Western’s graduates of today become the Roanoke region’s leaders of tomorrow.

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Fralin Center overlooking the south campus. (Inset) Webber Hall.

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some of the highest grade-point averages in the VCCS system. Helping students obtain the financial resources to achieve their educational goals is the role of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, Inc., which annually awards nearly $600,000 in assistance funds, scholarships, and the region-wide Community College Access Program (CCAP). A public/private partnership, CCAP makes college available tuition-free to graduates of public high schools across the service region. Virginia Western also offers dual enrollment at no cost to area high school students, allowing them to receive transferrable college credits while earning their high school diplomas. In addition to preparing students for university, Virginia Western Virginia Western Community College president Robert H. Sandel.

also works with area businesses to keep skills of the current workforce up to date. Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions is a regional leader in workforce training, providing solutions for more than 7,200

area companies in 2011 alone. As an organization attuned to future careers, the college is emphasizing education in science, technology, engineering, math, and health care (STEM+H). As part of the commitment, in 2012, the Fralin Charitable Trust agreed to a $5 million, five-year funding of STEM+H scholarships, and in 2013, the college opened its nearly $30 million state-of-the-art

Affordability and convenience are important to Virginia Western students: Tuition here is less than half the average of other four-year universities in the commonwealth.

Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions. “Prior to my brother’s death, he set up the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust and advised me of his desires,” explains Heywood Fralin, co-trustee. “He wanted to improve the quality of life for all of the citizens of the Roanoke Valley and he wanted the Trust to make contributions that would make a significant difference in those lives.” To enhance the on-campus experience, Virginia Western constructed a new Student Life Center, which houses the Hall Associates Career Center, a fully equipped workout facility, gathering areas for student clubs and other events, and new food options. This facility enriches an already memorable college education that has produced one of the commonwealth’s most active alumni programs, fostering ongoing engagement with graduates as they share their Virginia Western experience with the world. Radiation oncology is one of Virginia Western’s health care programs that is filling the region’s workforce needs.

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iane Elliot surveys some of the bison at Hollow Hill Farm in Black Paint, Virginia. Elliot is owner of the highly

praised Local Roots—a Farm-to-Table Restaurant in Roanoke, which serves Hollow Hill’s bison. Located northwest of Roanoke, Paint Bank is a trip back in time. The town is home to Hollow Hill Farm, where some two hundred bison are raised on acreage owned by the Mulheren family. The free-range bison are raised on a diet of organically grown grass, hay, and corn, some of which is grown on the farm. The farm supplies bison meat to the town’s Paint Bank General Store and Swinging Bridge Restaurant, two other entities owned by the Mulheren family. Above, Executive Chef Matthew Lintz prepares unique dishes with the freshest ingredients at Local Roots—A Farm-toTable Restaurant. The restaurant operates on a philosophy known as S.O.L.E., which stands for sustainable, organic, local, ethical. These principles guide the restaurant’s decision makers in their choice of everything from fruits and vegetable to meats and wines. Since everything is locally produced, the restaurant’s menu is ever-changing and based on whatever is in season. In addition to being open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant is open for Sunday brunch and dinner, the latter of which includes shared side dishes.


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LewisGale Medical Center

Committed to the Care and Improvement of Human Life

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roviding quality care and improving the human condition—these are the missions that guide LewisGale Medical Center. In fact, better patient outcomes in the areas of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care earned LewisGale Medical Center recognition from The Joint

Commission as one of the nation’s top-performing hospitals in 2013. “We are honored to be among the top hospitals in the nation for clinical excellence and credit our extraordinary physicians and staff for their skill and dedication to provide the very best care to our patients,” says Jon Bartlett, president of LewisGale Regional Health System. “Our patients expect and deserve to receive high quality, compassionate care. That is why our hospitals are committed to following evidence-based clinical processes that are linked to the best health outcomes possible.” Among LewisGale’s key specialties offered in the Roanoke area is cancer care at LewisGale Regional Cancer Center Salem. From genetic testing and low-dose CT lung screenings to molecular breast imaging and breast reconstruction, this facility offers diagnostics and treatments using innovations such as chemotherapy and radiation therapies, a combination PET/CT imaging tool, a Varian linear accelerator, and advanced magnetic resonance imaging with technology like the Signa HDx 3T system. At LewisGale’s accredited chest pain and stroke centers, patients in need of heart and vascular care receive treatments ranging from minimally invasive cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, and stents to complex beating-heart bypass surgery. Nuclear cardiology services include ammonia heart scans that detect blockages and the extent of heart disease in obese patients. And vascular advances include protective hypothermia, which helps reduce injury when treating cardiac arrest. For adolescents and adults with emotional and behavioral health needs, LewisGale offers inpatient and outpatient services including crisis stabilization, electroconvulsive therapy, LewisGale Medical Center is the tertiary facility for LewisGale Regional Health System, a network that includes four hospitals and nearly 700 providers.

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and partial hospitalization. Outpatient services are also available for those


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with substance abuse problems who are able to work while improving their health. Orthopedic and spine conditions are also LewisGale specialties. In fact, Healthgrades ranked LewisGale among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery™ and Spine Surgery™ in 2014. Comprehensive services include microsurgery for the hand, arthroscopic reconstruction and repair of torn tissue and cartilage, and total or partial joint replacement of hips, knees, elbows, wrists, and shoulders. From a 26-bed hospital established more than a century ago, LewisGale has grown into a 506-bed medical center that is the tertiary facility for the LewisGale Regional Health System. Through the system, patients have access to four hospitals, six outpatient centers, two regional cancer centers, and

PET/CT is a technological breakthrough for the diagnosis and management of cancer, cardiac problems and some neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s.

almost 700 affiliated physicians practicing nearly every discipline. LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia, the commonwealth’s largest and most comprehensive health provider. Together, these resources ensure Virginians receive the care they need to have quality lives.

From minimally invasive spine operations to robotic surgery, LewisGale offers some of the most advanced technology and procedures in the Roanoke Valley.

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he soil and climate of the Blue Ridge Mountains make the area

ideal for growing grapes for producing award-winning wines. That’s what you’ll find at Valhalla Vineyards, a twenty-one-acre vineyard overlooking Roanoke from two thousand feet up. The vineyard is known for both red and white wines, including cabernet sauvignon, Syrah, merlot, and chardonnay. Tours of the facility are available by reservation and include tastings and a visit to the winery’s cave. The winery also hosts annual events and has a popular venue—the Cellar Door—available for corporate meetings, family gatherings, and romantic weddings.


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Lotz Funeral Home and Cremation Service Tailored Services for the Deceased

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ince 1937, Lotz Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Roanoke, has built a reputation for caring. Today, under the ownership of Carriage

Services, Lotz Funeral Home continues to be the area’s provider of choice, serving families and friends dealing with the loss of a loved one. “We’re helping people at the worst possible time in their lives, and we’re doing it with great caring and compassion,” says Managing Partner David Williams. While part of a larger network of providers, Lotz remains flexible in its ability to tailor services to meet any specific need. Whether it’s a wake in a family garage for

Photos by Thomas S. England

a lifelong tinkerer or a mass with graveside burial, Lotz’s experienced professionals can manage every detail, from pre-planning

Lotz’s professional staff takes pride in caring for the nation’s veterans as a way of honoring them and expressing gratitude for their service.

services to counseling for the aggrieved. Lotz offers cremation and burial services, including environmentally friendly options. Bilingual staff are available for Spanish-speaking families, and veterans receive special treatment here. Extras such as tribute videos, memorial websites, and permanent memorialization help families and friends remember and reflect. And Lotz even offers cremation for pets. As a long-time community member, Lotz knows the importance of giving back. Staff members participate in a variety of civic and professional groups, and the company provides services for the financially disadvantaged. Even in death, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. Lotz ensures final wishes are honored while Pets are part of the family, too. The caring staff of Lotz Funeral Home extends the same respect to the loss of a beloved pet.

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tending to the needs of families and friends.


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uilt in 1925 as a three hundred-room hotel at the southern end of Roanoke’s downtown area,

The Patrick Henry has been renovated into a mixed-use structure with one- and two-bedroom apartments and commercial/retail space. Renovation of the structure is part of the commitment of Roanoke interests to preserve and restore the city’s historical downtown structures and lifestyle. The Patrick Henry’s location allows residents to enjoy the culture, entertainment, dining, and shopping amenities of the rejuvenated downtown area. Part of the structure’s amenities include the Patrick Henry Ballroom, a favorite local venue for receptions, business meetings, concerts, and other events. Meeting spaces outside the ballroom include the Promenade and the building’s main foyer. 63


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ocated on the eastern edge of Roanoke Region, Vinton is a small town with a big spirit.

Incorporated in 1884 with 584 residents, Vinton now boasts a population of more than 8,000 residing within its three square miles. Every year, the town hosts a number of annual events including arts and crafts shows, downtown business trick-or-treating, a fall festival, and the Vinton Dogwood Festival, a week long celebration of family fun.

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or fifteen consecutive years, Salem, Virginia, has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the

Arbor Day Foundation. The community joins more than thirty-four hundred cities across the United States who have earned the recognition by meeting four criteria for management of urban forestry, including establishing a tree council, having a tree ordinance, spending $2 per capita on trees or tree-related issues, and hosting an annual Arbor Day celebration.

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Magic City Ford Lincoln

Serving the Region for Generations

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ince 1938, generations of families from Roanoke and surrounding areas have come to rely on Magic City Ford Lincoln for new or pre-owned automobiles.

Started in downtown, the “Magic City” moniker stems from the city’s nickname garnered as it grew from village to city seemingly overnight. Having outgrown its digs, in 1964 the dealership moved to a nine-acre parcel on Williamson Road, where four decades later it embarked on a $4 million expansion after purchasing the neighboring hotel. A Lincoln franchise was added in 2008, and a major renovation in 2013 included waiting lounge updates, adding Wi-Fi and status monitors to its other comforts. Today, the dealership’s fourteen acres house more than five hundred new and pre-owned vehicles. From economy cars to gas-saving green models to luxury SUVs, Magic City offers the full lineup of Ford and Lincoln automobiles. The dealership’s commercial division also offers fleet pricing for public and private organizations. President Cameron Johnson, the fourth generation of family to lead the dealership, attributes the company’s achievements to calculated growth and a heritage of treating both customers and employees fairly. “We believe if you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers,” he says, adding that many of the dealership’s employees have been with the company twenty years or more, which creates a sense of stability. “When you walk onto the lot, you’re likely to see the same person you dealt with in the past. That creates a lot of repeat business, which has helped us survive through the downturns over time. That Photos by Thomas S. England

Three generations of Johnson’s accepting Magic City’s 75th Anniversary award: (L-R) Cameron Johnson, Bill Johnson, chairman, and Harry Johnson Jr., retired dealer.

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consistency with our customers and our employees—as well as our modest growth—has kept the doors open all these years.”


M agic C ity F ord L incoln

Salesperson displays a new Ford Edge to a customer

Part of the reason for the spirit of teamwork at Magic City Ford Lincoln is a profit-sharing program started by the founder in 1959 that contributes to employees’ sense of ownership in the company. The dealership also fosters excellence by ensuring every member of the team is Ford master certified, meaning from sales to service, these professionals know every detail of the dealership’s Ford products. Shoppers can also learn about products on the dealership’s website, where inventory is updated nightly. From the start, Magic City Ford Lincoln has returned its success to the community, supporting a wide variety of causes. “If you’re planning on being part of the community, and you want to be here for a long time, you should be involved,” explains Johnson. “We enjoy giving back The Sales Department is open six days a week from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm.

and generating goodwill.” Supplied

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he Cave Spring National Little League gives boys and girls in the Roanoke Valley a chance

to have fun and learn teamwork while getting a little outdoor exercise. Leagues range from four-to-five-year-old instructional t-ball, t-ball, and junior leagues to major little, minor A and B, and senior leagues. The league also has a spring clinic at the start of the season to give players a chance to show their stuff. The spring season play includes a full roster of games, and the post-season All-Star Tournament gives players a chance to represent their league in competitive games sanctioned by Little League.


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SFCS Architects

Building Legacy

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he region’s landscape is dotted with structures designed by SFCS. More than buildings bearing a mark of quality, these are structures created to allow people to live, work, learn, and play in stimulating

environments. Founded in 1920, SFCS began building its reputation with the design and construction of homes, churches, and schools. By 1950, the firm had designed its first retirement community and a multitude of hospitals, forging a name for creating structures that exhibit a true understanding of how people live and work. Familiar Roanoke Valley landmarks designed by SFCS in its first few decades include the Roanoke YWCA, the First Presbyterian Church, the Grandin Theatre, and the original tower of Carilion’s Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Today, SFCS is a nationally recognized architectural, engineering, and interior design firm whose senior living, educational, civic, and medical communities are as beautiful as they are functional. While every SFCS structure marries aesthetics with livability and technology, each design also maintains careful attention to both environmental impact and the bottom line. SFCS is nationally known for its retirement community and adult housing designs, a title the firm has earned by holding itself to the industry’s highest standards. SFCS standards are driven by more than the desire to compete on a national scale. The people of this firm believe success is derived from walking in the footsteps of others. Whether it is client consultations on feasibility to operation costs, educating workers to minimize construction disruptions, or living in a nursing home to learn the challenges facing seniors, SFCS goes the extra mile to consider every detail. Examples of these details can be seen in the area at The Glebe, Brandon Oaks Retirement Community, and WestminsterCanterbury of Lynchburg. SFCS also impacts the educational, civic, and health care design landscape in Virginia. The firm Back row (left to right): Allen Hale AIA LEED AP, Sr. VP; Drew Kepley AIA LEED AP, Sr. VP; Vernon Feather AIA, Sr. VP; Melissa Pritchard AIA NCARB LEED AP BD+C, Sr. VP. Front row (left to right): Tye Campbell PE, CEO; Scott Rasner AIA NCARB, Sr. VP; Tim Mueller AIA, LEED AP, President; Timm Jamieson, FAIA FRSA, Sr. VP

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designs facilities to incorporate state-of-the-art technological advances within the architectural heritage of the surrounding community or campus.


SFCS A rchitects

Armed Forces Retirement Home, Gulfport, Mississippi

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Significant projects include the City of Roanoke Main Branch Library, the Western Department of Forensic Science Laboratory and Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Virginia Western Community College Campus Life Center, Virginia Tech’s Alumni Center/Inn/Conference Center, Radford University’s Student Union, Virginia Military Institute’s Scott Shipp Hall, and Roanoke County’s Hidden Valley High School. Such careful sensitivity springs, in part, from the fact that SFCS shares the service-oriented mission

The people of this firm believe success is derived from walking in the footsteps of others.

of its clients. However, it also comes from a family-oriented work environment where internal loyalty extends to clients in the form of jobs well done. As a result, the firm is gaining an

ever-greater national presence, giving it the opportunity to work on projects across the country while maintaining roots in Roanoke. “It’s all about creating a good work environment, but also continuing to help Roanoke be a great place to live,” says CEO Tye Campbell, of the company and employees’ philanthropic endeavors. From helping others in the community to building great spaces in which people can thrive, SFCS’s heritage is about making a difference.

Western department of forensic science laboratory and office of chief medical examiner in Roanoke, Virginia.

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nown for her representations of crows and of the human form, Roanoke native Betty

Branch has been sculpting the better portion of her life. Trained in the United States, Greece, and Italy, Branch’s works have been exhibited at home and abroad and include pieces ranging from twelve inches square to some fifteen feet tall. One of Branch’s most well-known public works in Roanoke is likely the “Fallen Firefighter Memorial,” a larger-than-life bronze that graces the entrance to the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Branch can often be found working in her studio and gallery on Norfolk Avenue SW in Roanoke. Featured here, “A Friend for Life,” a boy curled up with a book inside a circle that represents the infinite world of reading, is located at the South County Library in Roanoke County. 73


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n warm summer evenings, area residents grab their lawn chairs and blankets and gather

under the stars for a little entertainment. “Movies at Longwood� includes a feature-length show played on a giant outdoor screen in Longwood Park. Admission is free, and concessions are available for purchase. Located in Salem, Virginia, Longwood Park is located on Main Street and is one of eight parks in the city.

Photo by Thomas S. England


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The Orvis Company, Inc.

Doing Well By Doing Good

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ounded by Charles F. Orvis in Manchester, Vermont, in 1856, Orvis is America’s oldest mail order outfitter and longest continually operating fly-fishing business. Owned by the Perkins family since 1965, today

Orvis is an international, multichannel retailer with more than $340 million in sales and approximately 1,700 employees. Besides being the fly fishing world leader, Orvis is the purveyor of the distinctive country lifestyle, offering men’s and women’s sportswear, fine gifts and home furnishings, luggage and travel accessories, dog beds and pet items, plus fine shotguns, gear, and technical apparel for wing shooting and sporting clays. As Orvis CEO Perk Perkins says, “If we are to benefit from the use of our natural resources, we must be willing to act to preserve them.” Therefore, Orvis donates 5 percent of pre-tax profits every year to protecting nature, supporting communities, and advancing canine health and wellbeing. Orvis and its customers—through matching grants—have raised and donated more than $14 million to protect nature. Orvis’ Operations & Service Center (OSC), located in the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology, is home to the company’s call center, fulfillment operations, finance, and other departments. The OSC’s Social Concerns Committee focuses on tangibly benefitting conservation and sustainability in the Roanoke Valley in cooperation with the Roanoke Valley Clean & Green Coalition, the Clean Valley Council, Trout Unlimited, and other organizations. Projects include the restoration of Glade Creek, tree planting on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the biannual cleaning Our Customer Care Representatives develop relationships with our customers to provide them the very best in service and sales.

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of an adopted section of the


T he O rvis C ompany , I nc . Roanoke’s annual GO OUTSIDE Festival highlights the abundance of outdoor activities available in the Roanoke Region. Orvis provides a casting pond and instruction, fly tying and an array of sporting tradition options for participants.

Roanoke River. The Earth Day cleanup of the industrial park, in conjunction with an eco-friendly festival, is a particularly popular activity. Social concerns and community needs are other major considerations. Orvis partners with the Rescue Mission of Roanoke, donating its unsellable goods for thrift store sales and repurposing, and the company sponsors the Thanksgiving morning Drumstick Dash 5K Race. OSC volunteers also serve meals at the Rescue Mission quarterly, and Orvis associates participate in the annual Kids’ Fishing Day, and in Casting for Recovery retreats . Other recipients of Orvis’ generosity include the Wounded Warrior Project, Angels of Assisi, and the GO Outside Festival. Some of the company’s sponsorships come from associate involvement in the community—a result of attracting like-minded employees—and include the Salvation Army’s back-to-school and Angel Tree projects, which improve life for valley children. Orvis succeeds because of an ingrained belief in doing well by doing good. The company and its associates are pleased and proud to walk that walk.

Custom monogramming of dog beds is just one of the services provided in our Fulfillment Center. We offer our customers custom pants hemming, personalized monogramming of clothing items, leather embossing of gift and luggage items as well as laser engraving of luggage tags and rods.

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ith two thirty-four-foot slides (a bowl and a flume), a six-foot starter slide, a current river, a

children’s sprayground, a zero-depth entry leisure pool, and more, everyone will enjoy the fun at Splash Valley Water Park. The park is located next door to the Roanoke County Green Ridge Recreation Center and is open Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Photos by Thomas S. England


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WDBJ7

Your Hometown News Leader

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ince its first broadcast in 1955, WDBJ7 has brought television viewers in and around Roanoke award-winning news, weather, and entertainment.

Known as “Your Hometown News Leader” throughout its twenty-six-county broadcast area, WDBJ7 is a CBS affiliate and a dominant force in the local market, averaging more viewers and users throughout the day than any other media company in the market through its various streams. “We’re a company that believes in being involved and our local management team is entrusted with operating the television station and its digital products in the best interest of the community,” president and general manager Jeffrey Marks positions the station. Today WDBJ7 is joined by its digital sister channel, MY19, and its purely digital products, which include mobile apps, popular Facebook pages, and a Web site averaging more than 600,000 unique visitors and five million page views monthly. WDBJ7 has been owned since 1969 by Schurz Communications, a fifth generation, Indiana-based media company that owns television and radio stations, newspapers, cable companies, and printing facilities. Over time, WDBJ7 personalities have helped define the face of Roanoke, including Irv Sharp, the thirty-year news and entertainment host, and sportscaster Roy Stanley Miller, whose namesake foundation annually awards high school scholarships. Popular weatherman, Robin Reed, who has been watching the skies for Virginians for more than three decades, says WDBJ7 is distinctly different. “As a family-run operation, WDBJ7 is special in our television market,” he says. “The pressures of deadlines and economic success are still present. But here, they empower us to do the best job possible, which is a contributing factor to our continued strong performance in this region.” In WDBJ7’s family-like culture, everyone’s contributions and innovative ideas are valued. The station also offers numerous training opportunities to promote staff undertaking multiple responsibilities. Longtime anchor Jean Jadhon adds that news WDBJ7’s was the first television station in Roanoke to build an all-digital facility.

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coverage at WDBJ7 is about presenting accurate, unbiased reports. “We realize we are all members of


WDBJ

WDBJ7 Sports Director Travis Wells on the sidelines of a hometown high school football game with videographer Mike Episcopo.

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The most popular weather staff in SW Virginia confers over a forecast in the WDBJ7 Weather Center. From L to R: Meteorologist Lindsey Anderson, Chief Meteorologist Robin Reed and Meteorologist Brent Watts.

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WDBJ The inside control surfaces of WDBJ7’s satellite truck, able to make live reports from anywhere in WDBJ7’s large broadcast area of service. Reporter David Kaplan waits to go live with his report.

this community and we strive to cover topics in a fair and responsible way every day,” she says. “I really do feel a connection to the viewers at home and appreciate that they allow us into their living rooms every day.” Ellen Martin is an account executive for the television she grew up watching. She says that providing solutions for area businesses has been a “honeymoon” during her more than twenty-five-year tenure. “Nothing is more satisfying than having a client say, ‘I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for my business,’ or, ‘Your strategic plan kept my lights on,’” she says. “I love a great success story, no matter how big or small.” As such an integral part of the region, WDBJ7 and its people are often on hand at area events. From walks for causes to fundraisers in the park to giving out coats or angel tree gifts, WDBJ7’s presence is found wherever there is a need. “We do suppose that, by being very public, we develop fans and that translates into

In WDBJ7’s family-like culture, everyone’s contributions and innovative ideas are valued.

visitors to our digital products and to our television station,” says Marks, the station chief. “But we also believe that it’s just the right thing to do for businesses to give back to their communities to make life better.” WDBJ7 and its people are among the top contributors to the United Way of Roanoke Valley, and the company matches these dollars with monetary donations to participating employees’ charities of choice. The company has also sponsored its own events, such as a two-day weather festival, and it has televised the Blue Ridge Marathon, one of the nation’s most grueling runs. And, as a way of fostering future interest in media jobs, WDBJ7 also provides internships for area college students, which are paid opportunities during the summer months. From broadcasting information to hands-on support, WDBJ7’s activities demonstrate its caring for the hometowns it serves.

WDBJ7 Mornin’ anchors Kimberly McBroom and Seth Kovar seated at a video editing station reviewing a news story before broadcast.

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he Roanoke Police Academy is a state-of-the-art facility that is fully equipped to train more

than three hundred students for law enforcement. In addition to modern classrooms, a library, an aquatics center, and a gymnasium, students train for real-life scenarios using several simulators. Shown here are a student training on the academy’s Milo driving simulator; an instructor working with a student using the Milo shooting simulator in the Roanoke Police Academy, and a student stepping into the pool in preparation for lifesaving training at the academy’s indoor aquatic training center.


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Roanoke College

Teaching Students to Out-do Themselves

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oanoke College, nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, is an institution with a full, rich history and a future brimming with innovation and vision.

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as an up-and-coming liberal arts college, Roanoke College is gaining national stature for its cutting-edge liberal arts curriculum, experiential learning programs, and expert faculty. Students are challenged by an educational experience that includes a combination of powerful core curriculum and real-world learning designed to bridge the gap between college and career. Roanoke College’s curriculum has drawn the attention of presidents and deans from colleges across the country. The curriculum turns typical introductory courses on their head, replacing them with topic-based courses that use the study of the topic to teach the theoretical context. For example, students who may be interested in the environment can choose to take “Humans and the Physical Environment” instead of Biology 101. Experiential learning programs place students in real-world situations, prompting them to draw connections and use classroom knowledge to solve problems. This integration of learning and classic liberal arts education is the core of Roanoke’s standards: The college pushes students to out-think, out-perform and out-do. Out-performing means that undergrads conducting realworld research have access to equipment and mentorship typically available only at the graduate level. Roanoke students have been the recipients of prestigious study/research awards through the Fulbright Program, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, With a backdrop of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and six buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Roanoke College has been ranked as one of the most beautiful colleges in the U.S.

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administered by the Institute of International Education.


R oanoke C ollege

95 percent of Roanoke’s tenure-track faculty have earned the highest degrees in their fields.

Inspired learning begins on a campus that is aesthetically and environmentally engaging. Roanoke College—with its sprawling brick-paved walkways, historic trees, and stunning architecture—has been recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses. In this setting, students participate in activities ranging from performing arts to community service. Prominent among them: incoming freshmen learn the importance of service to community by participating in the on-campus construction of a Habitat for Humanity house for a Roanoke Valley family. Athletics are also an important part of life at Roanoke. From basketball and baseball to cross country and lacrosse, the Roanoke College Maroons have a full schedule of both men’s and women’s teams. The College won national championships in basketball and men’s lacrosse in the NCAA college division, and since joining the NCAA Division III ranks in 1980, Roanoke has won 101 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championships and two NCAA track national championships. Roanoke College offers students experiences that give them a competitive edge—whether learning a new language, discovering through research, excelling on the playing field, or performing service in the community. There is a momentum at Roanoke College, an innovative combination of classical learning and modern applications that inspires students to make a bigger impact than they ever imagined. Newly renovated Lucas Hall, home to the Modern Languages Department, includes a number of eco-friendly features such as a green-roof garden patio, energy-efficient lighting and water-conserving toilets.

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arehouse Row on Norfolk Avenue SW in downtown Roanoke encompasses a collection

of restored three-story structures designed to foster growth of the commercial sector in the area. The buildings blend historic architectural elements—bricks walls, exposed ceiling beams, original wood floors—with modern amenities. The red building is Row by the Rail, a 3,300-square-foot luxury townhouse that retains some of the original features of the structure and includes a thirdstory loft.

Photo by Thomas S. England


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Norfolk Southern

One line, infinite possibilities

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orfolk Southern Corporation has a rich history in the Roanoke Valley. The railroad helped give Roanoke its start in 1881 when the Shenandoah Valley Railroad chose the former Big Lick as the place

to intersect its rail line with the Norfolk and Western. That junction spurred the area’s economy and provided Roanoke’s first economic boom. Through mergers involving the Virginian Railway in 1959, Wabash and Nickel Plate in 1964, N&W and Southern in 1982, and Conrail in 1999, The Thoroughbred of Transportation has become a critical part of the national transportation system in a worldwide economy. With innovation and customer focus, Norfolk Southern serves shippers and receivers of raw materials, intermediate goods, and finished products over 20,000 miles of road in 22 states. NS serves every major container port in the eastern U.S., operates an extensive intermodal transportation network, and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products. Roanoke is headquarters for NS’ marketing operations, major locomotive and car repair shops, and its Virginia Division that manages daily train operations through a three-state territory. As Norfolk Southern looks into the future, it will continue to set safety standards, offer unmatched service, and generate growth. Its continued success will stem from the commitment of its employees to “be the safest, most customer-focused and successful transportation company in the world.”

A Norfolk Southern double-stack intermodal train moves through a mountain valley near Arcadia, Virginia.

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Photo by Mike Stevens

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ach July the Salem Fair provides loads of summer fun for the more than

three hundred thousand patrons who annually visit its fourteen-acre midway. The fair has been around for more than a quarter century providing affordable family fun for folks of all ages. During that time, the fair has grown and evolved into America’s Largest Free Gate Fair and one of the top one-hundred fairs in America.

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ocated on Norfolk Avenue, the David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk is a quarter-mile-long

walking path that parallels train tracks and features interactive displays and memorabilia about the city’s rail history and the significance of the industry in Roanoke’s development. The path runs from Market Street to Warehouse Row.


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Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce

A Powerful Business Ally

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n a region known for innovation, businesses have a powerful ally in the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. Established in 1890, the Chamber’s 1,100 member companies­—ranging in size from one

employee to more than 11,000—rely on the Chamber to promote, stimulate and improve business. By providing leadership, advocacy, and action, the Chamber is helping the Roanoke Region reach its potential as a desirable community to live, work, and visit. Membership in the Chamber provides businesses with more clout, quality referrals, professional development, and a wealth of valuable connections. As an advocate for business, the Chamber acts on behalf of its members’ legislative interests to create an environment for success. The Chamber stays abreast of changing local policies and works to influence legislation at the state and national levels for the region. Every year, Chamber networking events and meetings give members opportunities to connect with peers and potential clients. Among its more than one hundred annual programs, meetings, and events are the annual Roanoke Chamber Cup Golf Tournament, legislative events, and the annual meeting of the membership. The Chamber also handles nearly 178,000 member referrals and thousands of information requests every year. Through its ten-month Leadership Roanoke Valley (LRV) program, the Chamber builds leaders of tomorrow. In monthly sessions, participants learn to make a difference in educational, environmental, and economic development issues, and in a two-day retreat they explore leadership styles and participate in a community service project. The Chamber promotes business through publications, e-newsletters, and a monthly magazine as well as advertising and other opportunities to help members spread the word Photo by Thomas S. England

about their businesses themselves. Because small businesses form the backbone

The Chamber’s Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center helps give small business start-ups and established companies a competitive edge through counseling and consulting.

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of the region’s economy, the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center gives


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start-ups and established companies a competitive edge through counseling and consulting for business planning and development, capital access, technical assistance, and other concerns, creating jobs and investment throughout the community. The Chamber celebrates member successes through its Small Business of the Year awards, recognizing outstanding small businesses, small business advocates, veterans, and not-for-profits for achievements ranging from financial growth to overcoming challenges. Chamber membership affords tremendous value and opportunities abound to connect with area businesses. The Ambassador program is just one example of how Chamber representatives can reach out to potential and existing members. These volunteers are proud to send a positive message: That Chamber members are working to make a difference in the Roanoke Region.

Year-round Chamber events and meetings give business leaders the opportunity to network with peers and potential clients. In addition to more than one hundred annual gatherings, the Chamber also handles thousands of member referrals and information requests each year.

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nighttime view of downtown Roanoke from the corner of Market Street SE and Norfolk Avenue

SE. The City Market Building (center) operates until 7 p.m., but is also a favorite gathering place for private after-hours events. Nearby are a variety of other eateries and nightclubs that offer evening dining and entertainment options. Overhead, the Roanoke Star shines down on the city.

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Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center

Convenient, Comfortable, Affordable Luxury

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onvenience, comfort, affordable luxury. These words describe every stay at the Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center. Situated close to Roanoke’s major highways, minutes from the airport, near downtown, and just a short drive from Salem, Virginia, it’s easy to get anywhere from here.

Once here, plan on getting comfortable in any of the Sheraton Roanoke’s 320 oversized and beautifully appointed guest rooms, which include king and double-queen accommodations with plush Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Beds and other comforts. Upgraded Sheraton Club Lounge rooms have extra perks, while the lounge offers a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains along with complimentary breakfast and evening hors d’oeurves. As a conference center, the Sheraton Roanoke has more than seventeen thousand square feet of flexible meeting space for corporate meetings to trade shows, weddings to reunions. From the Turin Grand Ballroom, seating up to seven hundred guests, to the acoustically sound Conference Theater with its comfortable seating, to the Director’s Suite, with its private boardroom and relaxing reception area, the Sheraton Roanoke can accommodate groups with a variety of needs. Customizable catering is available for any gathering, with a fresh menu that ranges from continental breakfast fare to power lunches to multi-course evening meals. The Sheraton’s on-site dining includes the popular Shula’s 347 Grill, named in honor of the winningest coach in National Football League history. Lunch and dinner menus in this sports-themed venue feature gourmet salads to premium Black Angus beef along with the area’s best appetizers, including buffalo wings with bleu cheese sauce, barbecued shrimp, and blackened tenderloin tips. Shula’s 347 also has two private party rooms—the Coaches Corner and the Winning Edge—ideal for sampling some of the grill’s craft beers and full selection of wines. Breakfast can be found daily in the PI Kitchen, and for guests on the run, Comfortable accommodations, spacious workspaces, and other business-friendly amenities make the Sheraton ideal for business travelers.

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there’s the Gourmet Market, which serves Starbucks coffee.


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Shula’s 347 Grill is named in honor of the winningest coach in NFL history. The venue is popular with the locals and has menu favorites like the area’s best appetizers, premium steaks, and a full selection of craft beers and wines. Photos by Thomas S. England

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Business travelers also appreciate the 24-hour fitness center, the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, and the Link@Sheraton experience, which includes complimentary wireless, printing services, computer workstations, and more. Leisure guests, meanwhile, enjoy the hotel’s pet-friendly policy and its proximity to the Valley View Mall and other local attractions including several sports complexes. The Sheraton Roanoke offers everyone free parking and complimentary shuttle to and from Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport and other locations. From front desk to housekeeping to banquet and restaurant personnel, every member of the Sheraton Roanoke staff delivers exceptional hospitality. Many have more than a decade of tenure, giving them insight into the needs and wants of guests. Because they also care about their neighbors, these professionals give their time and talent in service to area boards and for deserving causes. Their giving is part of the Sheraton’s generosity, which contributes to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Hospitality Association, the Rescue Mission of Roanoke, the Drumstick Dash, the Scholarship Shootout, the Artisans Center, and other groups in a show of community spirit. From the moment guests arrive at the Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center they experience comfortable, affordable luxury. The hotel is conveniently located minutes from downtown, the airport, major highways, and neighboring Salem, Virginia

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oanoke’s Mountain View neighborhood features homes dating back to the early twentieth

century, representing some of the city’s finest architecture from the era. Streets in Mountain View are lined with mature canopies of trees and sidewalks that welcome walkers. Located in the southwest part of the city, Mountain View is a place where folks enjoy the outdoors, one of the reasons the community was voted one of the best neighborhoods of The South in 2011 by “This Old House,” the popular home improvement brand. An amenity in the neighborhood is the Mountain View Center, the forty-two-room mansion of Roanoke businessman, Junious Fishburn, which was donated to the city in 1955 and is being used as a gathering place for clubs, classes, weddings, and special occasions.

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eld over Memorial Day weekend, Roanoke Festival in the Park is two days and nights

of family fun. In addition to three stages of headline acts from nationally known groups and an eclectic blend of local performing artists, the festival features kids’ activities, a selection of food trucks, and a full palette of arts and crafts demonstrations and items for sale. Held in Elmwood Park, the festival has been a Roanoke tradition for more than forty years. A highlight of the 2014 festival was the fun and functional Clean Valley Council Recycled Regatta and Watershed Awareness Day, featuring boat races by teams whose watercrafts were made of recycled materials.


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Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission

Facilitating Positive Changes

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hen local governments in SW Virginia need to make change happen, they turn to the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission. The Regional Commission facilitates cooperation on initiatives that enhance the region’s economy and quality of life. The Commission is a resource for partnership building and

information exchange, providing services ranging from conducting studies to strategic planning to working as a liaison between decision-makers. Chartered in 1969, the Regional Commission is composed of eleven local governments: the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke; the cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem; and the towns of Clifton Forge, Rocky Mount, and Vinton. The Commission brings our local governments together in an effort to maximize the impact of limited resources through collaborative programs and initiatives that improve the overall quality of life in our region. In fact, for every dollar these governments invest, the Commission generates an additional $6.40 of outside funds to assist with planning-related projects. The Commission’s work affects citizens throughout the region. One such project is the Roanoke Valley Greenway system. When the idea for a new greenway project arose in the 1990s, the Regional Commission helped to foster a regional plan that would bring together our local governments in supporting and developing what is now over 27 miles of expanding greenways throughout our region. As an instrumental player in facilitating change, the Commission has achieved a number of successes. For example, when the state required each local government to create a 50 year water supply plan, the Regional Commission proposed that multiple governments work together to study The Roanoke River Greenway is the backbone for our regional greenway network, which serves as an amazing recreational amenity and a vital part of our regional transportation system.

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the demand for the region’s water. The Commission also


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The Regional Commission’s work supports 11 local governments, over 332,000 residents, and covers 2,325 square miles in the Roanoke Valley and Alleghany Highlands of Virginia.

helped form a regional broadband authority involving several governments, which is intended to increase access to affordable high-speed broadband in the region. A good portion of the Commission’s work is related to transportation. As such, it oversees RIDE Solutions, a regional commuter program that matches riders with carpools, safe bike routes, public transit, and various other programs for commuters throughout central and southwestern Virginia. In addition, the Commission provides administrative and technical staffing support to the Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is the federally designated transportation planning agency serving the urbanized area metropolitan Roanoke. As a Virginia State Data Center Affiliate, the Commission also provides open access to an incredible amount of data, statistics, and information for our local governments, businesses, and citizens. Whether its air quality, stormwater management, or urban planning, each year the Regional Commission, on average, is involved in more than 30 multi-jurisdictional projects that are attempting to create long-term solutions for our region’s most important challenges. With an experienced and highly trained staff of twelve professionals, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission knows how to make a big impact with limited resources and its successes demonstrate its unwavering commitment to the area’s economic vitality and overall quality of life.

At 12,700 acres, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is the second largest municipal park in the nation. In addition to storing over 6 billion gallons of fresh water for Roanoke residents, it provides over 40 miles of hiking and biking trails to go along with various other recreational opportunities.

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tory Time lets young children have fun while learning. Organized by the Salem Public

Library, this popular activity takes place year-round and features toddler programs with stories, songs, and finger plays, and theme-based pre-school programs with crafts. Located downtown on Main Street, the Salem Public Library has an extensive collection of books and other materials for loan, and it has a full calendar of events for children and adults.


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Woods Rogers PLC

Providing Client Solutions Since 1893

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oods Rogers PLC has deep roots in Roanoke and Virginia, using its legal expertise to help clients build their lives and businesses since 1893. From offices in four cities—Roanoke, Danville, Charlottesville and Richmond—Woods

Rogers’ attorneys provide legal expertise throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. Woods Rogers is well-known for its litigation and business and corporate law experience, representing some of the largest and oldest companies in the area, as well as startups and Fortune 500 entities. The firm’s attorneys are licensed in eleven states. In addition, Woods Rogers has strategic relationships with many other law firms nationwide. This allows the firm to assist clients wherever they live and work throughout the United States. “We’re often regarded as the ‘go-to’ firm for corporate and litigation issues,” says Woods Rogers’ President, Thomas Bagby. “Through our long-standing relationships with our clients, we first get to know the individual and then gain valuable insight into the organization.” The client relationship might begin by providing an entrepreneur with help on intellectual property or other concerns that arise with a startup business. The next phase could be assisting the business owner with real estate, human resources, or other matters as the company grows. With that growth may come the need for help with litigation. Finally, the successful business owner may turn to Woods Rogers for estate planning or other issues. The working environment is very collaborative and that means every client relationship is valued and every need is met with a range of expertise. “We’re a team that works together very well,” says Bagby. “For example, while I do labor and employment work, I might have tax or health care issues that arise. But whatever I need, someone from another practice area will jump in and bring their knowledge Woods Rogers’ President, Thomas Bagby, reviews a brief with attorneys Hope Cothran and Josh Treece of the Labor & Employment practice.

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to the table.”


W oods R ogers PLC

Woods Rogers is a full service firm and handles nearly all areas of the law—work that includes issues around compliance, a corporation or business, labor or employment, the environment, medical malpractice defense, real estate, general or commercial litigation, or criminal defense matters.

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Woods Rogers’ attorneys possess extensive experience in representing clients in all phases of the law.

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The firm’s attorneys also use their talents to make a positive impact on the legal profession. Six attorneys are past presidents of the Virginia Bar Association and several are past presidents of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. Many are named to the annual Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers lists, and many have garnered the highest rating afforded by Martindale Hubbell. Woods Rogers also has a tradition of participating in activities that make a positive impact in the community. “We have a long history of giving back,” says Bagby. “Everyone who joins Woods Rogers is involved in community activities, from board service, to working with nonprofit organizations, to assisting various charities. We’ve gained a lot from living in Roanoke and the other cities in which our offices are located, and I feel the need to give back to where we live and work. As soon as an attorney walks through our doors, they’re looking for opportunities to get involved or volunteer with a local charity or nonprofit.” “Roanoke is just a fantastic place to practice law

The working environment is very collaborative and that means every client relationship is valued and every need is met with a range of expertise.

and to live,” adds Bagby. “It has a thriving business community and is a friendly, family-oriented community with great schools and a vibrant downtown. From my perspective, it’s about as good a place as you can find to live and work and it continues to be a great combination for everybody here.”

Woods Rogers’ Roanoke office is located on Jefferson Street in the historic downtown area, in proximity to museums and culture as well as hotels, restaurants and shopping.

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he Roanoke City Market was constructed in 1922 as a building for farmers to market

their wares to area wholesalers. Nearly a century later, the City Market Building is a popular dining destination housing a variety of independently owned eateries. Its unique central dining space and various cuisine options make it a popular place for the lunchtime crowd as well as nighttime diners. In 2011, the building completed a year-long renovation that expanded seating, brightened the interior, and added floor mosaics to the structure. Atop the building is Charter Hall, originally the Roanoke Opera House and now a popular gathering space for special events.

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Wheeler Broadcasting

What Virginians Want to Hear

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t 5:30 a.m., 94.9 Star Country’s Brett Sharp smiles big and turns on his microphone as he and Morning partner, Boomer, start the day at the #1-rated radio station. They can’t take their leading position for granted; their competitor is close … literally on the other side of the wall—“Dick & Dave” kick off the day at Q99—the #2-rated station in the market. As a matter of fact, four of the top five radio stations doing battle for listenership in the Roanoke-Lynchburg radio market work side by side. Just up the hall are K92’s Danny, Zack & Monica, Vibe Radio, and News Station WFIR. It’s not often that competitors work just inches apart and get along so well, but they are all part of one family. Mel Wheeler Inc., known locally as Wheeler

Photo by Thomas S. England

Personality abounds with K92’s Zack, Monica & Danny (front), WFIR’s Joey Self, Star Country’s Brett & Boomer, Vibe’s Kianna and Q99’s Dick & Dave.

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Broadcasting, is a family business owned by Leonard Wheeler and his two brothers.


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Leonard has lived in Roanoke over 20 years and serves as general manager over the company’s varied stations and formats: 94.9 Star Country, WSLQ “Q99” (Adult Contemporary, 99.1 FM), WXLK “K92” (Top 40, 92.3 FM), WVBE “Vibe” (Urban Adult Contemporary, 100.1FM/610 AM/97.7 FM), WFIR (News Talk, 960AM/107.3FM), and WLNI (105.9FM) a News Talk station in Lynchburg. Wheeler’s stations offer listeners live, local programming and fun promotions, making them particularly popular through vibrant morning shows with entertaining personalities who have deep roots in Roanoke.

Each October, Star Country’s Pajama Jam raises thousands for the American Cancer Society; nationally-known country artists perform to a sell-out crowd of 900 pajama-clad ladies.

Wheeler stations are highly committed to news and serving the community. WFIR and WLNI do live local Morning News programs each weekday. All the Wheeler stations help listeners connect with people in need by giving attention to urgent causes, resulting in the collection of truckloads of supplies for Oklahoma tornado victims, and raising over half a million dollars for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The stations also raise funds for specific annual causes such as Q99’s Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon and Pack the Bus school supply drive, Star Country’s Cure Kids Cancer Radiothon and Toy Mountain, and K92’s Cheers for Charities and Holiday Hunger Raffle. To help guide its many philanthropic endeavors, Wheeler employs a full-time staff member as director of community development. Working at Wheeler Broadcasting is like being part of a caring family, an attitude instilled by owner Leonard Wheeler, who says the company’s greatest asset is its people. Considering the longevity of staff members, and the growth and popularity of its stations, it’s apparent that Wheeler Broadcasting is committed to serving its staff, listeners, and community.

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uilt in 1991 as the Dominion Tower, the twenty-one-story structure at the corner of Salem

Avenue SE and South Jefferson Streets was Roanoke’s first skyscraper. Originally the home of Dominion Bankshares Corporation, and now known as the Wells Fargo Tower for its current major tenant, the building remains the tallest in western Virginia. The building is constructed of Texas limestone, South Carolina granite, and Spanish marble, and its roof consists of a fifty-foot copper pyramid topped by a forty-eight-foot spire. Located on Henry Street, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge (right) pays tribute to the renowned civil rights leader. The bronze sculpture of King—created by artists Jeffery and Anna Koh-Varilla—graces the north entrance to a walking bridge that crosses a set railroad tracks.


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Rader Funeral Home A Tradition of Caring

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or more than a century, Rader Funeral Home has served families in and around Botetourt County. The funeral home began in a carpenter’s shed in 1898, where the founder built caskets and also tended to the

deceased. His dedication and caring for his neighbors led to the growth of the business, which ultimately relocated in 1996 to Daleville, Virginia. Today, under Carriage Services ownership, Rader Funeral Home continues to build on past traditions while tailoring its services to modern needs. Whether it’s an in-home service, a specially customized casket, or a butterfly release, Rader can make a loved one’s last ceremony memorable. With compassion and caring, Rader’s staff serves family and friends during the most emotional and difficult part of life. From pre-planning of a loved one’s funeral to grief counseling after the service, these professionals have the experience to seamlessly manage every detail. Rader’s customizable services range from graveside burial to cremation with ceremony. Veterans are treated with special honors by Rader. And there are even cremation services for beloved pets. As remembrances and resources for healing, Rader also offers tribute videos, memorial websites, and permanent memorialization that give families and friends a place to visit and reflect. With a professional staff and a full complement of service offerings, Rader can ensure the final wishes of a loved one are honored while giving family and friends a Serving a rural area of Virginia, Rader Funeral Home’s professional staff understands the importance of compassion in helping family members and friends during one of the most difficult and vulnerable times in life.

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sense of closure.


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n Blackburg a street musician plays outside Bollo’s Café & Bakery, which features

homemade breads and pastries along with teas and coffees. The Lyric Theatre is a restored 1930s movie house that operates as a not-for-profit movie theater, performing-arts venue, and community center. The Cellar Restaurant and 6-PAK Store is a downtown eatery featuring sidewalk dining, live music, and a craft beer store.


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Virginia Tech

Preparing Scholars to Be Leaders

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ith an engaging approach to education, Virginia Tech prepares scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. The commonwealth’s most comprehensive university, Virginia Tech offers 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than thirty thousand students. The

university fulfills its land-grant mission by transforming knowledge into practice through technological leadership, and by fueling economic growth and regional job creation.

The names of Virginia Tech alumni who died serving our country are inscribed on the pylons at the War Memorial.

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A researcher at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech attracts students from around the world. The university’s eight colleges and graduate school embody quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach in Blacksburg and at campuses in the National Capital Region, Hampton Roads, Richmond, Roanoke, and southwest Virginia. Virginia Tech is consistently ranked a top national public university and recognized for preparing graduates for career success. Its distinguished faculty provides outstanding hands-on, minds-on training, leading students to imagine and make happen the next great thing—from blind-driver cars to energy-conscious homes. The university is committed to the arts, an initiative evidenced by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, including Moss Arts Center, a 150,000-square-foot facility in downtown Blacksburg. Virginia Tech is also uniquely home to a public university military corps, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, graduating leaders of character who are imbued with the concept of service. The university’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), represents a giving spirit that is a way of life at Virginia Tech and is the essence of being a Hokie. A student study group meets among the classically beautiful neo-Gothic architecture on campus.

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here are sixteen elementary, five middle, and six high schools in the Roanoke County

Public Schools system. In addition to instruction in core curriculum, high schoolers are eligible for study at Burton Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT). This unique center offers students a chance to take part in in-depth, hands-on learning in a range of unique studies, many of which offer certifications or internships or earn college credits. Through the Computer Information Technology program, students learn about to build and network computer systems, skills they need to obtain Computer Technology Industry Association technician certification. The center also offers programs that teach game design and design for print or the Web. Students in the Building Trades program learn about electrical wiring, plumbing, and carpentry and cabinetry. The Automotive Technology program helps prepare students for ASE certification testing; teaches leadership, professional development, and safety; and offers a chance to participate in a summer internship. There is also a Motorsports Technology program in which students build a race car from scratch. The center’s Culinary Arts program (bottom right) lets students work with an experienced chef and includes courses in everything from food safety and selection to preparation and presentation. In addition to established programs, the BCAT offers a Performing Arts Specialty Center that provides instruction in music theater and dance. Communication Specialty Center is a four-year program in which students learn goal-oriented components of the business including television and radio production, print, and graphic and Web design.

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WSLS Channel 10

Building on a Heritage of Broadcasting Excellence

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SLS 10 is the NBC weather, news and sports source for Roanoke, the New River Valley, Lynchburg, and south-side Virginia. WSLS Channel 10 first flickered to life late in 1952, when television was still in its early years and broadcasting in black and white. The NBC-affiliated station grew to

become the Roanoke Valley’s first to broadcast in color some fifteen years later. Over time, the station would claim several “firsts,” including the first live remote, color news report, use of videotape, and high-definition broadcast. Longtime viewers still remember locally produced favorites such as “Ebb and Andy,” an offbeat comedy featuring Andy Peterson, Gordon Reid, Lee Garrett and the antics of the Tide family as well as “Uncle Looney,” host of the afternoon cartoon programming whose sidekicks included “Cactus Joe” Grant and “Itty Bitty Pete” Peters. The WSLS television station began as AM and FM radio stations started by Shenandoah Life Insurance Co., which formed the basis for the station’s call letters: Shenandoah Life Station. The station broadcasts from its downtown location on 3rd Street. Today, its programming includes a lineup of NBC prime and sports, syndicated shows, and local broadcasts, including the “Daytime Blue Ridge” noon talk show, afternoon soaps, and stellar local newscasts led by John Carlin and Karen McNew. The WSLS Weather Center keeps area viewers informed in newscasts, online, and the WSLS weather app. The morning newscast with Dawn Jeffries and Aaron Martin helps viewers start their day informed with current news, weather, and traffic reports. In today’s fast-moving digital age, WSLS stays current with innovative technology and makes sure that it reaches viewers the way they want to be reached. Updated news, sports, and weather is Having the ability to go live from any situation is essential for news organizations. With satellite, microwave and data capabilities, WSLS 10 has a wide range of technology that allows near limitless opportunities to broadcast live

always available. As a long-time member of the Roanoke community, WSLS often

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WSLS C hannel 10

Members of WSLS 10’s news staff are recipients of the industry’s highest honors. All over Southwest Virginia, viewers will experience a dedicated team of journalists, interviewing the area’s top newsmakers.

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employs its resources to facilitate information about community events and focuses on “Making a Difference” segments with Lindsey Ward. WSLS also hosts an online calendar and showcases upcoming community events by local nonprofits, and the station’s on-air personalities draw attention to local charities by participating in annual fundraisers; it is never a surprise to see one of the station’s main anchors participating in a charity’s marathon or in other types of competitions WSLS also shows its community support of local causes by participating in a wide range of activities in the area as a way of joining in and being involved with its neighbors and viewers. The station also sponsors internships for college students pursuing broadcasting careers, giving interns first-hand experience of the news-gathering process with responsibilities that range from researching stories to shadowing reporters. Whether they are reporting information, teaching a new generation, or helping neighbors in need, the employees of WSLS 10 are building on a heritage of excellence in broadcasting that will continue to be a vital part of the Roanoke Valley.

Since signing on in 1952, WSLS was Roanoke’s first TV station.

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or a real taste treat, stop in at the Roanoke Weiner Stand. Located in City Market, this

old-style hot dog counter has been serving up classic dogs since 1916. Check out the hot dog art lining the walls of this establishment as you watch the dogs sizzle on the flat top grill before being added to a steaming bun and topped with your choice of mustard, onions, and chili. Add a side of crispy fries and you’ve got a century-old Roanoke favorite.

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he Friendship Fountain on Church Avenue at Market Street—along with its adjacent display

of flags—pays tribute to Roanoke’s sister cities: Wonju, Korea; Kisumu, Kenya; Pskov, Russia; Florianópolis, Brazil; Opole, Poland; Lijang, China; and Saint-Lô, France. The pool at the base of the fountain is lined with star bricks, which were commonly found on the streets of Roanoke in the city’s early days.


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Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC

Advisers in Complex Legal Matters

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ounded in 1864 in West Virginia, Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC has a long history of advising and representing clients, helping them to prevent problems and navigate complex legal issues. To better serve its

clientele, the firm expanded into Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia. Today, Spilman is a full-service, regional law firm with seven offices and more than 140 attorneys. The firm’s client base includes business leaders, government entities, and employers large and small with local, national, and international operations. With the launch of the Roanoke office, Spilman expanded its practice to include areas of law such as wealth management, estate planning and administration, business succession, and tax matters. Attorneys in this office also represent and advise businesses on employment and labor law matters and creditors’ rights and bankruptcy issues. In litigation, Spilman’s Roanoke attorneys handle matters ranging from commercial disputes to wrongful death cases. The firm also offers legal knowledge regarding commercial loans, and in public finance the firm serves as bond counsel to towns, counties, and authorities financing public facilities. The firm’s attorneys enjoy practicing law with their colleagues and for their clients. A practical, “can do” attitude is part of the firm’s culture, as is a desire to “get it right” when representing clients. Spilman’s attorneys strive to be accessible and responsive to clients, and in their main areas of practice, they bring in-depth and diverse experience to the table. In fact, Spilman has been named a Go-To Law Firm® by various Fortune 500™ clients, and several of its attorneys are regularly recognized by Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers®, and Chambers USA. Spilman recognizes that, given their education, training, and practice in matters of critical importance to people, Spilman attorneys and staff are accessible and responsive to clients, and bring to the table in-depth and diverse experience in their respective areas of legal practice.

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attorneys should be involved in their communities in a number of ways. The


S pilman T homas & B attle , PLLC Leaders of public and private organizations large and small rely on the legal knowledge of Spilman Thomas & Battle.

firm supports and encourages its attorneys to engage with civic, religious, charitable, and governmental organizations. In Roanoke, the firm’s attorneys have served on the governing boards of many such organizations, including Roanoke College, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Roanoke City School Board, the Mental Health Association, the Rescue Mission, and Mill Mountain Theatre, to name a few. Practicing law in Roanoke, and other cities in the Appalachian region, is a plus for Spilman Thomas & Battle—this low-cost area with a host of family amenities and outdoor recreation attracts talented attorneys who want to use their knowledge and experience for the benefit of clients, while maintaining an appropriate work/life balance.

Professionals in the Roanoke office serve clients in a wide array of legal matters.

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ans enter the Lewis-Gale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark. The park is home to the Salem

Red Sox, a Class A Carolina League team that won the league’s championship in 2013. Professional baseball made its debut in Salem, Virginia, in 1939. Over the years the city’s team has changed its major league affiliation—and consequently its name—multiple times. The organization has spawned a number of notable names including Mitch Williams of the Philadelphia Phillies, Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers, and Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, who helped his team, the St. Louis Cardinals, to the 1967 World Series. The current stadium was built in 1995, and renamed under the Lewis-Gale banner in the mid-2000s.


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Valley Bank

My Valley My Bank

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alley Bank opened in 1995 with a simple concept: that a bank organized, managed, and owned by local residents could best serve the people of the Roanoke Valley.

The concept has served the bank and the community well. Today, Valley Bank has more than $825 million in assets and has invested well over $1.25 billion in loans into the area’s economy. Its growth is attributed to a friendly, experienced staff led by seasoned bankers, local and flexible decision-making, operational excellence, and competitive products and services. Valley Bank serves small businesses and individuals with an unmatched level of service: A real person answers calls and directs each to the appropriate banker, and the bank’s personnel work to build strong and enduring relationships. Local businesses attest to the bank’s ability to understand various industries, tailor services to specific needs, and partner with companies as they overcome economic challenges, expand products and services, and grow their holdings. As a “Best Places to Work in Virginia,” Valley Bank attracts and retains bankers who thrive on challenges and possess an unparalleled desire to deliver superior value. These professionals also believe value should extend beyond the working day, and they use their talents to lead area schools, chambers, foundations, civic societies, and other organizations that improve life in the community. Valley Bank strives every day to be the bank of choice for the Roanoke Valley, delivering on its promise to be “My Valley Ellis Gutshall, President and Chief Executive Officer.

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Photo by Thomas S. England

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row of buildings along Campbell Avenue in downtown Roanoke. The area is part of

revitalization efforts that are bringing new life to the city’s older downtown structures. Many of the buildings in the downtown area have been converted into mixed-use properties with retail or commercial space on the ground floor and residential apartments on the upper floors.

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ROANOKE REGION’S SPONSORS Advance Auto Parts pp: 15–16 5008 Airport Road Roanoke, Virginia 24012 540.561.8452 www.advanceautoparts.com

Cox Communications p: 6 5400 Fallowater Lane Roanoke, Virginia 24018 540.777.3200 www.cox.com/roanoke

Advance Auto Parts is the region’s only Fortune 500 company. Advance operates over 5,300 company-operated stores, 105 Worldpac branches, and services approximately 1,400 independently owned Carquest branded stores in the U.S. and Canada, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The company offers do-it-yourself and commercial customers nationwide a full selection of aftermarket retail parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items.

Cox Communications has been Roanoke’s premier cable and telecommunications provider since the mid-1970s. It is a leader in innovation committed to delivering state-of-the-art products and to being a partner in the community.

Miscellaneous: Auto Parts Retailer Carilion Clinic pp: 3–4 1906 Belleview Avenue Roanoke, Virginia 24014 800.422.8482 www.carilionclinic.org Based in Roanoke, Carilion Clinic provides health care for the nearly one million residents of central and western Virginia. Through a comprehensive network of hospitals, specialty, primary and urgent care sites, Carilion is changing the way health care is delivered. Medical: Non-for-profit Health System City of Roanoke pp: 10–11 Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building 215 Church Avenue Roanoke, Virginia 24011 540.853.2000 www.roanokeva.gov A vibrant core, rich history, economic opportunities, abundant outdoor activities, and exceptional cultural resources—these are the components that make Roanoke a place people want to call home. Government: City City of Salem pp: 20–21 City Hall 114 N. Broad Street Salem, Virginia 24153 540.375.3007 www.salemva.gov Whether you’re making your home here, taking in one of these events, exploring a historical venue, or simply enjoying a meal on Main Street, Salem residents trust that you’ll find their city to be the perfect mix of small town values and big city ambition. Government: City

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Communications: Cable and Communications Provider Holiday Inn Tanglewood pp: 38–39 4468 Starkey Road Southwest Roanoke, Virginia 24018 540.774.4400 www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/ en/roanoke/roatw/hoteldetail The Holiday Inn Tanglewood is the only convention center in south Roanoke. It offers spacious accommodations for the leisure or business traveler, the Elephant Walk Restaurant & Lounge, and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hospitality: Hotel HomeTown Bank pp: 24–27 Headquarters and Main Office 202 South Jefferson Street Roanoke, Virginia 24011 540.345.6000 www.hometownbankva.com HomeTown Bank is a progressive community bank with a culture of placing people first. It offers commercial and retail products rivaling much larger institutions. It has a tradition of giving back and is actively involved in community activities in the markets it serves. Financial: Community Bank The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center— A DoubleTree by Hilton pp: 48–49 110 Shenandoah Avenue Roanoke, Virginia 24016 540-985-5900 www.hotelroanoke.com The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center—A DoubleTree by Hilton, is a partnership with the City of Roanoke and Virginia Tech that is a grand symbol of community cooperation and pride. It has 331 guest rooms, which feature plush bedding and other comforts, and its celebrated dining venues include The Regency Room and The Pine Room Pub. Hospitality: Hotel


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Jefferson College of Health Sciences p: 34 Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital 101 Elm Avenue Southeast Roanoke, Virginia 24013 888.985.8483 or 540.985.8483 www.jchs.edu Jefferson College of Health Sciences, located on the Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital campus, is a private college that offers nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant, health-care administration, family nurse practitioner, respiratory therapy, surgical technology, and other degrees and certificates. Education: College of Health Sciences LewisGale Medical Center pp: 58–59 1900 Electric Road Salem, Virginia 24153 540-776-4000 www.lewisgale.com LewisGale Medical Center is the 506-bed tertiary facility for the LewisGale Regional Health System. Through the system, patients have access to four hospitals, six outpatient centers, two cancer centers, and almost 700 affiliated physicians practicing nearly discipline. LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia. Medical: Hospital Lotz Funeral Home and Cremation Service p: 62 1001 Franklin Road Southwest Roanoke, Virginia 24016 540.982.1001 www.lotzfuneralhomeroanoke.com Since 1937, Lotz Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Roanoke, has built a reputation for caring. Even in death, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. Lotz ensures final wishes are honored while tending to the needs of families and friends. Individual and Family Services: Funeral Home Magic City Ford Lincoln pp: 66–67 809 Williamson Road Roanoke, Virginia 24016 800-525-1890 www.magiccityford.com

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Norfolk Southern p: 90 3 Commerce Place Norfolk, Virginia 23510 757.629.2706 www.nscorp.com Norfolk Southern Corp. is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern U.S., and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. NS operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive and industrial products. Transportation: Rail The Orvis Company, Inc. pp: 76–77 Service Center 1711 Blue Hills Drive, NE Roanoke, Virginia 24012 540-345-6789 Roanoke Retail Store 19 Campbell Avenue SE Roanoke, Virginia 24011 540-345-3635 www.orvis.com/roanoke Founded in Vermont in 1856, Orvis is now a family-owned business and America’s oldest mail order outfitter and longest continually operating fly-fishing business. Roanoke is home to Orvis’ call center and fulfillment operations. The company and its employees are actively involved in doing good in the community. Miscellaneous: Retail Outfitter Rader Funeral Home p: 118 630 Roanoke Road Daleville, Virginia 24083 540.992.1212 www.rader-funeralhome.com For more than a century, Rader Funeral Home has served families in and around Botetourt County. Rader builds on past traditions while tailoring its services to modern needs, making a loved one’s last ceremony memorable. Individual and Family Services: Funeral Home

Magic City Ford Lincoln is the area’s top dealer of new Ford and Lincoln models, plus all makes of pre-owned vehicles and commercial sales. The dealership’s customer service has netted the Ford’s President’s Award, which is given to a handful of dealerships that exceed expectations in every department. Miscellaneous: Automobile Dealerships

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Roanoke Cement pp: 42-44 188 Summerfield Court, Ste 201 Roanoke, Virginia 24019 540.966.1541 www.titanamerica.com

Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission pp: 104–105 313 Luck Avenue, SW Roanoke, Virginia 24016 540.343.4417 www.rvarc.org

Roanoke Cement Company (RCC) is a top private employer in Botetourt County, Virginia, and the only active cement plant in the Commonwealth of Virginia. RCC’s core products—portland and masonry cements—are made in Troutville, Virginia, and delivered to construction projects throughout the region. The company is committed to a more sustainable world, one in which concrete structures— like bridges, dams, and highways—have a long functional life while producing a small environmental footprint.

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is made up of eleven local governments. It facilitates cooperation on activities and initiatives that improve development of the physical, social, and economic elements of the region.

Miscellaneous: Cement Manufacturer Roanoke College pp: 86–87 221 College Lane Salem, Virginia 24153 540.375.2500 www.roanoke.edu Significant student achievement. Dedicated, expert faculty. Nationally acclaimed programs. Experiential learning. A traditional, yet modern campus. These are the components of the Roanoke College experience that pushes students to out-perform their expectations. Education: College Roanoke County pp: 30–31 PO Box 29800 Roanoke, Virginia 24018 540.772.2006 www.roanokecountyva.gov With its diverse blend of businesses and superior quality of life amenities, Roanoke County is a place where people want to work and live. Government: County Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce pp: 94–95 210 South Jefferson Street Roanoke, Virginia 24011 540.983.0700 www.RoanokeChamber.org The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce helps ensure the overall vitality of the Roanoke Region by providing its members powerful advocacy, networking, professional development, information, and business assistance programs. Miscellaneous: Chamber of Commerce

Government: Regional Planning Organization SFCS Architects pp: 70–71 305 South Jefferson Street Roanoke, Virginia 24011-2003 540.344.6664 www.sfcs.com SFCS is a full-service architectural, engineering, planning, and interior design firm that specializes in retirement, higher education, and civic/public buildings. Based in Roanoke, the firm creates aesthetically pleasing, sustainable structures with the end user in mind. The firm’s projects can be found across the United States. Miscellaneous: Architecture Firm Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center pp: 98–100 2801 Hershberger Road Roanoke, Virginia 24017 540.563.9300 www.sheratonroanoke.com The Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center is ideally situated for business or leisure travelers. It offers plush king and queen accommodations, dining in the namesake Shula 374 grill or PI Kitchen, and convention facilities for groups large and small. Hospitality: Hotel Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC pp: 132–133 310 First Street, Suite 1100 Roanoke, Virginia 24011 540.512.1800 www.spilmanlaw.com Spilman Thomas & Battle has been a legal adviser for clients since 1864. It is a full-service, regional law firm with more than 140 attorneys and seven offices in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia. The firm’s client base includes business leaders, government entities, and employers large and small with local, national, and international operations. Miscellaneous: Law Firm

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Valley Bank p: 136 36 Church Avenue, SW Roanoke, Virginia 24011 540.769.8577 www.myvalleybank.com

Wheeler Broadcasting pp: 114–115 3934 Electric Road Roanoke, Virginia 24018 540.774.9200 www.wheelerbroadcasting.com

Valley Bank is a community bank headquartered in downtown Roanoke with eight branches strategically located throughout the Roanoke Valley and a residential mortgage loan office in southwest Roanoke County in the highly visible Route 419 corridor. Valley Bank attracts and retains employees who possess an unparalleled desire to achieve, who thrive in a banking environment that provides new challenges and opportunities, and who deliver superior value to its customers, community, and shareholders.

Wheeler Broadcasting’s radio stations include: WSLQ-Q99, Adult Contemporary; WXLK-K92, Contemporary Hit Radio; WSLC-Star Country; WVBE-ViBE, Urban Adult Contemporary; WFIR News/Talk; and WLNI News/Talk.

Financial: Community Bank Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) pp: 122–123 Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0002 540-231-6000 www.vt.edu Virginia Tech, consistently ranked among the top national public universities, attracts students from around the world for study in eight colleges and graduate school in Blacksburg and at other campus centers in the National Capital Region, Hampton Roads, Richmond, Roanoke, and Southwest Virginia. Education: University Virginia Western Community College pp: 52–55 3094 Colonial Avenue Roanoke, Virginia 24015 540.857.8922 www.virginiawestern.edu/ Virginia Western Community College enrolls more than 12,000 students and is the largest single-campus site in the Virginia Community College System. Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions is a regional leader in workforce training, and the college’s education in science, technology, engineering, math, and health care (STEM+H) are preparing students for tomorrow’s careers.

Communications: Radio Stations Woods Rogers PLC pp: 108–111 10 South Jefferson Street Suite 1400 Roanoke, Virginia 24011 540.983.7600 www.woodsrogers.com Woods Rogers PLC has been providing legal expertise for clients in Virginia and elsewhere since 1893. The firm has offices in Roanoke, Danville, Charlottesville, and Richmond, and its practice areas encompass nearly every area of law. Woods Rogers prides itself on being a go-to firm for business law and litigation, among other areas of its practice. Miscellaneous: Law Firm WSLS Channel 10 pp: 126–128 401 3rd Street SW Roanoke, Virginia 24014 540.981.9110 www.wsls.com WSLS Channel 10 first flickered to life late in 1952 and has since grown into the NBC weather, news and sports source for Roanoke, the New River Valley, Lynchburg, and south-side Virginia. Communications: Television Station

Education: Community College WDBJ7 pp: 80–83 2807 Hershberger Road Roanoke, Virginia 24017 540-777-3200 www.wdbj7.com WDBJ7, owned by Schurz Communications, broadcasts Channel 7 and cable channel MY19. Its digital products include sports and entertainment mobile apps, a popular Facebook page, and a website with up-to-date news and information. As “Your Hometown News Leader,” WDBJ7 participates in a variety of causes that support communities throughout the region. Communications: Television Station 141


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EDITORIAL TEAM Regina Roths, Writer, Andover, Kansas. Roths has written extensively about business since launching her journalism career in the early 1990s. Her prose can be found in corporate coffee-table books nationwide as well as on regionally produced Web sites, and in print and online magazines, newspapers, and publications. Her love of industry, history, and research gives her a keen insight into writing and communicating a message. Thomas S. England, Photographer, Decatur, Georgia. England grew up internationally, graduated from Northwestern University, and began photography as a newspaper photographer in the Chicago area. He began freelancing for People magazine in 1974. Since then he has taken assignments from national magazines and corporations, specializing in photographing people on location. He lives in Decatur, Georgia, with his wife, Nancy, a home renovator, and their dog Chessey. More of his photographs may be viewed online at www.englandphoto.com. Sam Dean, Photographer, Roanoke, Virginia. Dean is a freelance commercial and lifestyle photographer based in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Following a fifteen-year career as a staff photojournalist primarily for the Roanoke Times, Sam decided to bring his eye for life and adventure to commercial and editorial work in the mid-Atlantic and beyond. He lives in Vinton, Virginia, with his wife Niki, their son Colter, a white German shepherd and three cats. Mike Stevens, Photographer, Salem, Virginia. Stevens is the communications director for the City of Salem’s governmental departments and school division. Prior to joining the city in 2008, he spent twenty-three years as the Sports Director of Southwest Virginia’s CBS television affiliate, WDBJ7. In 2014, he was named Volunteer of the Year by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He and his wife, Sharon, have two grown children and reside in Roanoke County. Natalee Waters, Photographer, Roanoke, Virginia. Waters is a Florida native, is a graduate of the University of Florida. She worked for twenty years as a photojournalist and photo editor at papers including The Augusta Chronicle and The Roanoke Times, and is now a freelance photographer in Roanoke.

B

eautiful sunsets are a regular benefit of life at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The

range near Roanoke includes the Blue Ridge Parkway, affectionately known as America’s Favorite Drive and the connector between the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. With an elevation of 5,700 feet and 382 scenic overlooks, breathtaking views are a natural component of the parkway. There are also 369 miles of trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with a portion of the Appalachian Trail, a popular walking path with residents and visitors alike.


Portrait of the Roanoke Region  

In 2014 Riverbend Books, and imprint of Bookhouse Group, Inc. published a city book for Roanoke, Virginia to help with their economic develo...

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