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Connect

insights that matter

Spring 2019 • Volume 1, Issue 1


2019 Board of Directors Executive Committee Charity Holman—WVVA-TV, Chair of the Board of Directors (pictured) Kim Bowman-Smith—Industrial Plating and Machine, Vice Chair of the Membership Division Ronn Robinson—AEP, Vice Chair of the Governmental Affairs Division Tammy Radford—MCNB Banks, Vice Chair of the Business and Professional Development Division Kim Howerton—Summit Community Bank, Vice Chair of the Community Engagement Division Michael Johnson—Cole Harley-Davidson, Vice Chair of the Educational Division Jason Reed—First Media Services, Past Chair Rebekah Ritter—Bluefield Regional Medical Center, Past Chair Kristie Hancock-Clifton—BrownEdwards Certified Public Accountants, Treasurer Term Ending 2019 Randy Brown, Princeton Rescue Squad; Mike Evans, Bill Cole Auto Mall; Natalie Fanning, Health Insurance Solutions; Justin Spracher, Summit Community Bank; Danny Clemons, First Media Services; Brad Greene, Cole Chevy; John Eller, Star 95 Term Ending 2020 Chris Worley, Princeton Health and Fitness Center; Kevin Cole, First Community Bank; Lori McKinney, RiffRaff Arts Collective; Henry Jones, Henry Jones CPA; Dan Fitzpatrick, Concord University; Eva McGuire, Craft Memorial Library Term Ending 2021 Barbara Belcher, RealLiving Solutions Real Estate; Brandon Disney, Brandon Disney State Farm; Crystal Mabe, Princeton Community Hospital; Michael Patton, Investment Planning Advisors; Nancy Broyles, WVNS-TV; Pam Asbury, New Peoples Bank

Mission Statement The Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias is an alliance of businesses and individuals committed to serving our region by encouraging business and commerce, developing leaders, and enhancing our quality of life. 1


Spring 2019 • Volume 1, Issue 1

Contents Feature Story: Explorer Explosion

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The travel industry is growing in the Two Virginias and it impacts the region.

Also inside Bluefield Coal Show Keynote speaker announced Tee Time for Chamber Members

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Profiles in Leadership: The 2018-2019 Class

Hundreds of golf balls to drop...

Meet the future leaders in the program already making a difference today

40 Years of Better Living A business and community showcase

“Remember When...”

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Remembering the decades and how some things, like customer service, never goes out of style at the 19th Annual Four Seasons Women’s Conference

Membership Matters A note to say thanks... At a Glance

Rounding Out the Rolodex

Highlighting achievements of our members

Meet John O’Neal and Pam Warden, our county economic development directors

Connecting the Dots Insights from the President/CEO

insights that matter We hope that as you read this inaugural C O N N E C T magazine it will reinforce that membership in our Chamber is an investment with value. This issue, and future issues, will meet the promise of the tagline that the magazine provides “insights that matter.” The articles within will provide meaningful information to expand your knowledge about the events and conversations taking place within our Chamber and region. We desire to educate our professional network and improve their capacity to work in our communities. Enjoy these articles, and as always, thank you for being a member of the Chamber. Sincerely, Kim Bowman-Smith Vice Chair of the Membership Division

Charity Holman Chair of the Board of Directors 2


Explorer Explosion The travel industry impacts the Two Virginias It happens each week nearly year-round now. Ride along Route 460 or Route 52, and you’ll be beside streams of trailers with side-by-sides, ATVs, and other outdoor riding equipment being brought in by trucks with license plates from Georgia, the Carolinas, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, and other Southern and Mid-Atlantic states. As your family dines in any local restaurant, the table next to you could be a youth group spending time at Winterplace or a couple staying the weekend in the guesthouse in Burkes Garden to ride bicycles. We know they have an impact. But how much are these visitors making a difference in the local economy? Recently, the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) took a step forward to collect higher levels of data related to visitors staying in the area. Lodging taxes serve as a simple, baseline measuring tool for most local governments of how the travel industry is doing in their area. For Mercer County and its municipalities, that number is projected to be over $900,000 in hotel occupancy taxes for the 2019 year. In Tazewell County, transient occupancy taxes are expected to be $195,000, up from the $170,000 budgeted just a few years ago. However, more detailed information can be gathered by reviewing lodging information on industry standard reports, like the STR (pronounced star) report or by estimating average spending by consumers. The CVB board commissioned a Lodging Study by long-time travel industry leader Judy Randall with Randall Travel to review lodging within the county by interviewing property owners, a countywide STR report, and providing estimates on visitor spending. Randall estimated with the CVB Board that the average visitor passing through Mercer County on Interstate 77 spends the following: $74 per night for a local hotel room (revenue per available room) $70 for dinner $20 for snacks in the room $40 for fuel That’s $204/night multiplied by the 207,974 rooms sold in Mercer County in 2018 for a total of $42,426,696. Randall went on to share that three is the common multiplier to adjust the number for day trippers and others bringing a total estimated impact of $127,280,088 to the local economy. “Something to be aware of from this study is that ATV resort properties and private lodging establishments do not have to report to the STR report and therefore, are not included as part of the study,” said Jamie Null, Executive Director of the Mercer County CVB. “The actual numbers of impact is estimated much higher!” Story continued on page 13

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Special thanks to Chamber member Trailhead Resort for its support of our Adult Leadership Mercer/Tazewell program and for a day of riding the Spearhead Trails system! Check them out at: http://trailheadatvresort.com/

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Upcoming Chamber Events April 25-27

Better Living Show—40th Anniversary

May 10

The Chamber Classic Golf Tournament

May 28-June 2

Cole Chevy Mountain Festival

May 30

Tazewell County Reading Bee

July 8

Baseball Night with the Princeton Rays

July 16

Baseball Night with the Bluefield Blue Jays

July 19

Shrimpfeast

July 27-August 24

Corporate Cup

September 11-13

Bluefield Coal Show

September 28

Princeton AutumnFest

Fall

Mercer County Reading Bee

December 4

Holiday Reception

December 6

Legislative Point of View Breakfast

January 10

Annual Chamber Celebration

Jimmy A. Brock, CEO, CONSOL Energy, will open the Bluefield Coal Show after delivering the Keynote Address at the Media and Exhibitors Appreciation Breakfast. The event recognizes members of the media, who carry out the show promotion, in addition, to welcoming many of the over 200 exhibitors that participate. “We are delighted that Jimmy Brock has accepted our invitation to speak to us and to open the show.” said General Chairman Robert W. “Bob” Ramsey. “CONSOL Energy is a major operator in the American coal industry and Jimmy Brock is a highly-respected leader with a career spanning five decades and an extensive knowledge of the industry. We are most fortunate to have him join us sharing his view on the coal industry.” Brock serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of CONSOL Energy, and has served as a member of CONSOL Energy’s Board since November 2017. He currently is a member of the Board’s Health, Safety and Environmental Committee. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer – Coal of CNX Resources Corporation (CNX) from December 2010 until November, 2017, when CONSOL Energy separated from CNX. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors of the general partner of CONSOL Coal Resources LP, a position he has held since 2015. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President - Northern Appalachia – West Virginia Operations of CNX from 2007 to 2010, and as Vice President - Operations of CNX from 2006 to 2007. Mr. Brock began his career with CNX in 1979 at the Matthews Mine and, since then, has served at various locations in many positions including Section Foreman, Mine Longwall Coordinator, General Mine Foreman and Superintendent.

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Golf

Tee Time for Chamber Members

The annual Chamber Classic Golf Tournament will be held on May 10, 2019 at a new location this year—Pipestem Resort! Teams can register and pay online at: www.coctwovirginias.com. Sponsorships Available! Does your business need an opportunity to showcase? Two “Oasis” sponsorships are available for businesses to host a stop on the course with beverages and snacks where they can market their company and its products to members as they play through. Hole sponsorships are also still available!

WWW.RAMEYCARS.COM

Golf Ball Drop Want a chance to win big money and you don’t even have to be present to win? Buy a golf ball (or several) today for the inaugural Golf Ball Drop at the Tournament. Each chance purchased will be numbered on a golf ball and dropped from above with the winning ball found in the bottom of the cup on the putting green. Buy your chances today at the Chamber offices or at any of our participating partners. Find a complete list of partners, on the Chamber website today! Buy your chance today: 1 golf ball for $3 3 golf balls for $5 7 golf balls for $10

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Profiles in Leadership: The 2018-2019 Class Meet the future leaders already making a difference... The Leadership Mercer/Tazewell program takes professionals from the community on a five-month journey deeper into the community. Topics covered during the program include: team building, simulated society, media, local business and industry, healthcare, mining, government, and tourism. Sessions expose participants to area challenges and opportunities, create an awareness of community needs, and teach the fundamentals of leadership. Graduates walk away from the program with not only a greater understanding of the local community and economy, they are pushed to find an area of service once the program is finished either in the Chamber or in an area non-profit. Further, they build their rolodex with contacts. These contacts come from introductions made during the program to keynote speakers, business leaders, and other program participants. Ensuring the professional community in the region is a tight-knit, “on a first name basis� group is a goal of the Chamber. Meet the Class of 2018-2019: Paula Billips - First Community Bank Paula is a life-long resident of the region. She is currently a Senior Financial Assistant at the Bluefield, Virginia branch of First Community Bank. Taylor Bohon - Brewster, Morhous, Cameron, Caruth, Moore, Kersey & Stafford, PLLC Taylor is an associate attorney with his firm and member of the Tazewell County and Mercer County Bar Associations. He is a graduate of Liberty University School of Law and Hamden-Sydney College and has recently moved to Bluefield, West Virginia. Kristen Conner - New Peoples Bank Kristen is a Relationship Banker working out of the Princeton, West Virginia branch of New Peoples Bank. She signed onto the program looking to become involved in the community after attending many events for the bank. Christina Cowley - United Way of Southern West Virginia Christina recently came to the area as an AmeriCorps Vista worker and stayed on to become the Community Impact Coordinator for United Way. She also participates in Active Southern WV, serves as a board member for Volunteer WV, and volunteers at the New River Humane Society as a dog walker. Sarah Elswick, National Coal Heritage Area Sarah works as a Tourism Program Specialist and an Architectural Historian for the State of West Virginia. She is a member of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, The University of Alabama National Alumni Association, and volunteers for the Chamber at the Better Living Show each year.

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Tara Etter, First Community Bank A Treasury Services Representative for First Community Bank, Tara works hard closing loans for clients each day at the Stafford Commons branch. She also takes time to serve as a youth leader at Lilly Grove Baptist Church. Carrie Jarrell, Concord University Carrie works in the Office of Advancement where she wears many hats assisting in areas of special events, working with students, donor relations, data entry, and supervising student employees. She is a part of the Concord University Alumni Association, mentor for Delta Zeta Sorority, and serves at iHeart Church. Matthew “Matt” Hamilton, Bluefield College Matt is the Director of Traditional Admissions where he oversees a team of eight counselors and staff. He is a member of the National Association of Baptist Enrollment Professionals (NABEP) and the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions (NACCAP). He also volunteers as a Goalkeeping coach for the men’s soccer team at the college. Rebekah Hatch, Bluefield State College Rebekah serves as a career connections professional for students on campus and coordinates the annual career fair co-hosted by Senator Joe Manchin. She also serves as the BSC CARES (Creating Awareness Regarding Suicide Program) addressing suicidal ideation on campus. Michael “Mike” Henry, Southwest Virginia Community College A familiar face to many in the region, Mike is now a professor and Director of Student Support Services. In addition to his many hours spent with students, he also volunteers as a West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Conference referee and is a trustee and deacon in his church. Cassie Meade, Princeton Health Care Center A lifelong resident of the area, Cassie works as the Marketing and Admissions Director at Princeton Health Care Center. She is currently working on her master’s degree and is an active member of the Princeton Rotary Club. Applying her skills to the betterment of the area is important to her. James “Jim” Osborne, Summit Community Bank Jim serves as the Community Bank Manager of the Summit Community Bank Springhaven Branch in Princeton, West Virginia. He serves at Fairview Christian Church and seeks to increase his contacts and networks while in the program. Micheal “Mike” Ramsey, First Community Bank Mike works as a Vice President with First Community Bank at the Federal Street location in Bluefield, West Virginia. He manages relationships and provides business development through small business lending. He is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Bluefield, West Virginia. Nathan Taylor, Cole Truck Parts, Inc. Nathan was born and raised in the region and recently came back to make a difference in his community. He is the Accounting Manager for Cole Truck Parts, Inc. He desires to become involved in order to see the area’s economic position improve. Kelli Sparks, National Bank of Blacksburg Kelli is a lifelong resident of Tazewell County and plans to stay in the area where she can make an impact. She is the Office Manager for the Leatherwood Branch of National Bank of Blacksburg. Courtney Williams, New Opportunity School for Women Courtney is the past director for the New Opportunity School for Women at Bluefield College. She desires to be an effective leader in the community and create awareness of community needs.

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Remember When... some things, like customer service, never goes out of style There were go-go boots, hippie girls, Farrah Fawcett hair, jean jackets, Cyndi Lauper look-a-likes, and poodle skirts running around the Quality Hotel & Conference Center at this year’s 19th Annual Four Seasons Women’s Conference. Was it a comic con of some sorts? No. It was a chance to look back over the decades for over 175 women as they took a day out for professional and personal development. “We want the day to not only be informational, but it has to be fun,” said co-chair Sherri Cox. “The committee (pictured right) always has a good time putting the event together. It was interesting to think back to how the workplace has changed, but at the same time many things have not.” Donna Cutting, Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., served as the featured speaker for the day. Her keynote address on “Remember When Customer Service was Fun?” had attendees to think back to the days when it was exciting to be on the front lines with customers and not a dread. She pushed them to always be courteous and show respect to customers; a value that has never really left the workplace. Attendees stories of good experiences and bad experiences were also an opportunity to laugh together while giving the gentle reminder that everyone has experienced both, and we all wish to be treated well. She expanded further on the topic in the afternoon as she covered the key ideas from her book 501 Ways to Roll Out The Red Carpet for Your Customers in her afternoon workshop “Rolling Out the Red Carpet in the 21st Century.” Treating customers like STARS was the acronym to take away: S - Sincerely welcome customers, T - take note and adjust to their needs, A - Act with urgency because it shows the customer you value them and their time, R - respond and recover, and S - surprise and delight them because it will keep them coming back to you to solve their problem or meet their need. Other speakers for the day included Dr. Fred Barker with Bluefield Regional Medical Center (BRMC) discussing the progression of breast cancer treatment through the decades and the importance of screening. Dr. Jessica Svingen, also with BRMC, led a workshop on “Dealing with Stress in Today’s World.” Finally, Hammer and Stain of Princeton helped attendees create a memento to remember the day and its lessons. Promotion of small businesses and local independent consultants is something the Chamber seeks to offer during every event and expo. During the breaks, conference attendees had the opportunity to buy from over 22 vendors. “It’s definitely something to put on your calendar for next year,” said one attendee.

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Membership Matters Thank you to these new and renewing members*

Premier Members

Leading Members Investment Planning Associates

Pocahontas Land Corporation

Signature Members Bankers Insurance LLC

Princeton Community Hospital

Brewster, Morhous, Cameron, Caruth, Moore, Kersey, & Stafford, PLLC

Ramey Automotive Group BB&T/Scott & Stringfellow Investment Corp.

Value Members Clean Sweep Contracting, Inc.

Mountaineer Bowling Lanes, Inc.

Community Radiology of Virginia

New River Community and Technical College Suddenlink Media

City National Bank

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Princeton

City of Princeton

First Sentinel Bank

Bill Cole Auto Mall Casablanca Boutique Chick-Fil-A Oakvale Road Chuck Mathena Center

Michael J. Romeo Nationwide Insurance

Systems Maintenance Service The American Beer Co. WVNS Television

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Primary Members AAA Bluefield Acme Wood Preserving American Red Cross Anytime Fitness Bailey-Kirk Funeral Home Beauty Concepts Bluefield College Bluefield Office Products Blue Ridge Internal Medicine Blue Spoon Café

Davis-Stuart Inc.

Professional Imaging, Inc.

Dominion Energy Services, Inc.

Proforma Four Seasons Solutions

Dr. David Najar, DDS

Pruett Engineering

Family Eye Health Care Clinic

RealLiving Solutions Real Estate

First Bank and Trust Company

Recycle WV

Fisher & Hodges

Region 1 Workforce Development Board

Frye Roofing, Inc. Gearheart Enterprises, LLC Glenwood Park Retirement Village Heartland Payment Systems

Rotary Club of Bluefield, WV S & K Welding Sales Executives Club, Inc.

Hickman’s Pharmacy

SHRM— Appalachian Chapter of the Virginias

Hollins Exhibits Inc.

Starry Eyes Media

John Shott Law Firm

Sure Group

Charles Stacy, Law Practice

Little Buddy Radio

The Barn of Unity Farm

Children’s Home Society of WV

Maryann Lijoi

The Hatter’s Bookshop

Citizens Building Supply

Mercer County Opportunity Industries

The RailYard

Brooke Jewelers Cameron Clement (ReMax Refined Realty Agency)

Classic Coal Sales, Inc. Cole Truck Parts, Inc. Comfort Inn, Bluefield, Virginia Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc.

Mercer Nursing and Rehabilitation Piano Lessons by Kim Princeton Health & Fitness Center Princeton Law Building

Town of Athens U.S. Cellular Veterinary Associates West Virginia Pipeline, Inc.

Princeton Rays Baseball Club

WISE/WV Community Services for Women

Princeton Rescue Squad

Yummi Japan

Gene F. Bailey

Don Kersey, Jr.

Don A. Rice

John Beckett

William H. Looney, Jr.

Dewey Russell

Charles and Rebecca Carter

John Mahood

Lou Stoker

M.C. “Skip” Crane

George McGonagle

Mike Swatts

Jerry Crews

Marc Meachum

Roger Topping

Ben Donevant

Dr. and Mrs. Albert Paine

Shirley Vest

Jim Justice

Cathy Corte Payne

Joe Vinciguerra

Craft Memorial Library

Legacy Members

*as of March 31, 2019 12


Explorer Explosion continued from page 4 Tazewell County also continues to see the travel industry expanding and is specifically aiming to grow local dollars spent in the community this summer with “50 Reasons to Love Tazewell County,” a segment of the 50th year of the Virginia is for Lovers campaign. Starting June 3 and ending July 22 there will be 50 consecutive days of events and 50 businesses offering special deals as part of the campaign in Tazewell County. A listing will be available at www.visittazewellcounty.org. “We believe that our travel industry related businesses are an integral part of our Chamber membership,” said Vice President for Membership Services Debbie Maynard. “As we continue to rethink our membership engagement strategies, we will work with all businesses on a membership that meets their needs whether that is employee development, business expansion opportunities, lobbying state legislatures, or helping to tell their story.”

Rounding Out the Rolodex Key people to have in your contacts... John O’Neal

Pam Warden

304.431.8521

276.385.1270

john.oneal@mercercountywv.org

pwarden@tazewellcounty.org

www.mercereda.com

www.yestazewellcounty.org

John serves as Executive Director of the Mercer County EDA. He most recently served on the Senior Staff for West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. He was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, serving as House Majority Whip. He holds an undergraduate degree from Alderson-Broaddus College with graduate degrees from the University of Virginia and Liberty University. He also owns real estate investment and management consulting businesses.

Pam serves as the Economic Development Manager for Tazewell County. She has worked with Tazewell County for many years in the County Administrator’s Office. Her office works closely with several key partners in the area including: the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, Cumberland Plateau Planning District, several industrial development authorities in the county and region, local area colleges, and state agencies.

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Welcome, from the Appalachian Chapter of the Virginias - Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). We can assist your company as you tackle both the everyday and strategic challenges in the business world. Our group serves not only as a professional membership organization for those focusing on human resource management in business; it serves as an education resource for professionals in the region. Each month our meetings highlight an available service or topic on relevant issues, and provide networking opportunities. We invite you, as an employer, and your human resource staff to join this great organization. We guarantee this network of support will provide invaluable benefits to your business. You can find more on our meetings and information about us at https://acotv.shrm.org or visit us on Facebook.

Appalachian Chapter of the Virginias • Post Office Box 1804 • Bluefield, WV 24701

Better Living for 40 Years It’s a ruby anniversary! “It’s not only an opportunity to see things in person before you buy them, it is a really nice way to see folks from the community you haven’t seen in awhile.” The show began as a home show highlighting the best features and products for homeowners in 1979. Various highlights have taken place, like the construction of a tiny house by Bailey Lumber Company. Over the years the show grew into its current title “Better Living Show” and showcased ways to lead a better life in the area with numerous products and services from local, regional, and national vendors. “We want to ensure that we pay tribute to that history this year as we celebrate this milestone,” said Chair of the Show Eva McGuire. “We will do this in not only the color scheme and logo of the show, but down to the details like our thank you gifts to the exhibitors.” Chamber members and the professional community also have an added benefit to see the show ahead of the general public at a Business After Hours the day before the show.

Brushfork Armory April 24 Business After Hours 5:30—7:30 p.m. April 25 10:00 a.m.—7:00 p.m. April 26 9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. Spaces are still available, both inside and outside! Please call the Chamber offices for more information.

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At a Glance Updates from the membership Send in updates on your company and employees for C O N N E C T by emailing: info@coctwovirginias.com Bluefield Daily Telegraph Editor Samantha Perry named “Columnist of the Year” in the national Best of CNHI 2018 editorial contest, her fourth time winning the award. Lawrence Brothers, Inc. plans to expand up to 28 new jobs due to a Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) low-interest loan program. After the closing of the Kroger store in Bluewell, local grocer Grant’s Supermarkets stepped in and will reopen the store. This will make the locally-owned company’s sixteenth store. Princeton Community Hospital is the first hospital in West Virginia to obtain Hip and Knee Replacement Certification from DNV GL, an internationally accredited registrar and classification system. The Orthopedic Center’s comprehensive joint replacement program is credited by the hospital for its work on this certification. Welcome to the region:

Sapphire Anniversary Congratulations to Vice President of Membership Services Debbie Maynard on celebrating her 45th year of employment with the Chamber in March! Welcome these newest members of our professional community: Robin Capehart, Interim President of Bluefield State College. A search for the next President is underway by the Board of Governors. Dr. Bonny Copenhaver, the new President of New River Community and Technical College. Timothy Bess, CEO of Bluefield Regional Medical Center. He previously served as CEO of hospitals in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Lamar Advertising welcomes General Manager Mark Cannon to the Bluefield-Beckley district. Dish Network has promoted Brett Kellner as the new Site Director at their Bluewell station. Charity Holman of WVVA-TV was promoted to Station Manager. WVVA-TV is a part of Quincy Media. She also serves as the 2019 Chair of the Board of Directors

In Remembrance Intuit, a financial software company with products such as Quickbooks, TurboTax, Mint, and Proconnect announced its intent to locate a Prosperity Center in downtown Bluefield, West Virginia. The facility is expected to bring between 200 and 500 jobs to the local economy. The hub will also feature a space for entrepreneurs and has connected with the local colleges. Chief Executive Officer Brad Smith hails from the Cabell-Wayne County of West Virginia.

We honor the service to the Chamber and community of those that have recently passed: Scott Shott Nelson Walker Marshall Miller Ron Witt Joe Hartzog Ted Boggess

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Connecting the Dots Insights from President/CEO Joshua Cline

The Adult Leadership Mercer/Tazewell program has come to a close for this year’s class. Without a doubt, our Government Session provided the greatest surprise of the term. Former Congressman, now Justice Evan Jenkins, has been a steadfast friend of our region and this Chamber, and he agreed to serve as our keynote speaker for the session while we toured the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. However, much to our shock and surprise as the presentation began, he brought with him Justices Hutchinson, Armstead, Workman, and Chief Justice Walker.

“It is essential the Chamber play a major role in developing the next generation of leaders of our region. The Chamber is unlike any other organization in our area because we work and partner with every facet of our community.”

The justices graciously gave 20 minutes of their time answering questions from our group and no question was passed over or off-limits. For those unfamiliar with the justices and court of past or present, it should be stated that an audience with the entire body outside of court proceedings almost never happens! It speaks to their desire to improve the image and relationship the high court has with the citizens of West Virginia. It also speaks to the reputation of our Chamber as one that is well-respected, appreciated by many across the Two Virginias, and that others have a desire to assist our Chamber in fulfilling our mission statement.

Taylor Bohon, a new associate attorney with the Brewster, Morhous, Cameron law firm, took full advantage of this private audience with these leading voices in the legal field of West Virginia and asked what advice they had for a young attorney just starting out. The resounding theme of the justices’ answers is applicable to all professionals and fields of work, especially in today’s politically charged climate. Their advice: do not look for every little win to get ahead because your reputation may be damaged, always adhere to the Code of Ethics set forth by your profession, and be kind and respect your colleagues. As a graduate of Adult Leadership Mercer/Tazewell myself, I can tell you this is one of the best programs the Chamber offers to our region. When I took on my current role, expanding this program was something I wanted to work towards with the Chamber Board. It is our hope that we will begin a college version of this program in the next year. With six higher education partners in our membership, and a widely recognized need to retain college students graduating from these institutions, the addition of a college program is a perfect fit! We plan to focus on enrolling students who have a desire to stay in the area once they graduate and help them integrate into the professional community quickly while finding an appreciation for all the Two Virginias region has to offer. It is essential the Chamber play a major role in developing the next generation of leaders of our region. The Chamber is unlike any other organization in our area. We work and partner with every facet of our community. Through our program, we can guide professionals and students in realizing how education, healthcare, media, non-profits, industry, the travel industry, government, and other sections of our community fit together and are connected. Through our program they can network with other professionals in the community, be better equipped to engage and volunteer, offer solutions, and solve problems in a collaborative way. This will better C O N N E C T our professional community and in the end, build a stronger region. Sincerely,

Joshua D. Cline

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Bluefield Office/Mailing Address: 619 Bland Street Bluefield, WV 24701 • 304.327.7184 Princeton Office: 1502 North Walker Street Princeton, WV 24740 • 304.487.1502 info@coctwovirginias.com

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Profile for Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias

Connect - Spring 2019 - Volume 1: Issue 1  

Connect is the magazine of the Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias providing insights into the business community, the Chamber, and reg...

Connect - Spring 2019 - Volume 1: Issue 1  

Connect is the magazine of the Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias providing insights into the business community, the Chamber, and reg...

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