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November 28, 2020

Meet 10 Valley business leaders who have gone above and beyond — all before the age of 40 Pages 3-11

1024 Pleasant Valley Road, Harrisonburg • 540-434-4459


Saturday, November 28, 2020


Harrisonburg, Va.

Inside This Issue Focus Section: 10 Under 40 The Shenandoah Valley Business Journal is a monthly publication of the Daily News-Record, 231 S. Liberty St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

Editorial Staff Publisher: Craig Bartoldson Managing Editor: Jim Sacco Contributing Writers: Ian Munro, Pete DeLea Megan Williams, Kathleen Shaw Contributing Photographers: Daniel Lin

■ Brad Cohen...................................................Page 3 ■ Jason Burch...................................................Page 3 ■ Sheena Armentrout.......................................Page 3 ■ Jonathan Mason............................................Page 6 ■ Hillary Dorzweiler...........................................Page 7 ■ Ashley Summers.............................................Page 7 ■ Morgan Messer..............................................Page 8 ■ Brooke Hannah............................................Page 10 ■ Nick Perrine..................................................Page 10 ■ Zach Lokey....................................................Page 11


Contact us By mail: Shenandoah Valley Business Journal P.O. Box 193 Harrisonburg, VA 22803 By email: By fax: 540-433-9112

■ Financial Focus with Kathy Armentrout..........Page 2 ■ Transactions with Dick Halterman.................Page 12 ■ Investments with Matthew Frakes................Page 12 ■ Leadership with Robert McFarland...............Page 14

By phone: 540-574-6281 (news) 540-574-6223 (ads)

Other Business News ■ Strong Fall May Be Due To Weak Spring.........Page 13 ■ Theater Site Slated For Redevelopment..........Page 14 ■ Opportunities Available To Hospitality Workers..Page 15

Ideas For Thanking Your Family It’s almost Thanksgiving. And although 2020 may have been a difficult year for you, as it has been for many people, you can probably still find things for which you can be thankful — such as your family. How can you show your appreciation for your loved ones? Here are a few suggestions: Invest in your children’s future. If you have young children — or even grandchildren — one of the greatest gifts you can give them is the gift of education. You may want to consider contributing to a higher education funding vehicle. Be generous. Do you have older children, just starting out in life? If so, they could well use a financial gift to

Financial Focus Kathy Armentrout help pay off student loans, buy a car or even make a down payment on a home. You can give up to $15,000 per year, per recipient, without incurring gift taxes. Of course, you don’t have to give cash — you might want to consider presenting your children with shares of stock in companies they like. Review your insurance coverage. If you weren’t

around, it would leave some gaping holes — financial and otherwise — in the lives of your family members. That’s why it’s essential you maintain adequate life insurance. Your employer might offer a group plan, but it may not be sufficient to meet your needs. There’s no magic formula for determining the right amount of coverage, so you’ll have to consider a

variety of factors: your age, spouse’s income, number of children and so on. Also, you may want to consider disability insurance — if you were unable to work for a while, it could cause a real problem for your family’s finances. Preserve your financial independence. When your children are young, you take care of them. But you certainly don’t want them to

have to do the same for you — so it’s essential you maintain your financial independence throughout your life. You can do this in at least a couple of ways. First, consider investing regularly in your 401(k), IRA and other retirement accounts. The greater your resources during your retirement years, the less you may ever need to count on your family. And second, you may want to protect yourself from the devastating costs of long-term care, such as an extended nursing home stay. A financial professional can suggest a strategy to help you cope with these expenses. Create an estate plan. To leave a legacy to your family, you don’t have to be wealthy — but you do need a compre-

hensive estate plan. You’ll have to think through a lot of questions, such as: Have I named beneficiaries for all my assets? How much do I want to leave to each person? Do I need to go beyond a simple will to establish an arrangement such as a living trust? For help in answering all these issues, you’ll want to work with an attorney. By making these moves, you can show your loved ones, in a tangible way, how much you value them — and that can help you keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive all year long. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Kathy Armentrout, an Edward Jones financial adviser at 560 Neff Ave., Suite 100, Harrisonburg; 540-574-1013.

Harrisonburg, Va.


Saturday, November 28, 2020


26-Year-Old Cohen A Rising Realtor Star By JIM SACCO

Daily News-Record

With more than 450 skydives under his belt, 26-year-old Brad Cohen says he’s jumped out of more planes than he’s landed in. “Bucket-list thing,” he said. “I jump out of airplanes. That’s my second job.” His first job is the only career he’s ever had — a Realtor. Cohen, who grew up in Reston and graduated from James Madison University, started in the real estate business while he was enrolled at JMU.

“I kind of tripped and fell into the industry,” said Cohen, who earned his degree in communications. “It was something I was really passionate about and was able to find a way to make it work.” He is now affiliated with Harman Realty. He also soon became passionate about his adopted home of Harrisonburg. “It’s everything to me,” Cohen said. “I chose this community because I started spending my summers here [while in college] and realized how

much there is outside of JMU and how special the community really is.” It’s not all talk, either. Cohen is on the board of directors for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance as secretary, is involved with the On the Road Collaborative along with plenty of others to keep him busy. “Staying involved is my way of giving back and helping the community,” he said. Contact Jim Sacco at 574-6291 or | Follow Jim on Twitter at @Jim__Sacco


SVEC’s Burch Has Environment On The Mind By JIM SACCO

Daily News-Record


As vice president of engineering at Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, Jason Burch, 37, has plenty of responsibilities. The Virginia Tech grad is responsible for electric system planning, technical and line engineering, and joint-use partnerships with outside communications companies such as Comcast and Shentel. Outside of the office, Burch sits on the board of the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition — an organization he’s proud to support for its focus on building a “better,

healthier and more connected community,” according to his 10 Under 40 nomination form. And, in the past, he served on Rockingham County’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. “Jason represents everything the cooperative could want in an employee,” read Burch’s nomination form. “But especially someone with major responsibilities. There are tens of thousands of people who benefit from his leadership — not just the company itself.” And his work both inside and outside the office has garnered recognition from Solarize Harrisonburg due to his personal interest in an environmentally friendly

Shenandoah Valley. Leading up to his promotion earlier this year, Burch was instrumental in accommodating additional solar capacity in SVEC’s service territory and rolling out Beat the Peak — an energy conservation program now with thousands of participants. “He has become a trusted voice — and face — for the cooperative through his promotional efforts, where his calm demeanor stands out,” Buch’s nomination form read. Contact Jim Sacco at 574-6291 or | Follow Jim on Twitter at @Jim__Sacco

Armentrout Passionate About Work In Business Community By PETE DELEA Daily News-Record

Sheena Armentrout helps businesses in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County grow every day. Behind the scenes, as the director of membership development and investments for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, the 37-year-old constantly makes connections between members, provides them resources and helps them plan events. But her biggest joy is making the chamber’s members happy.

“I always try my best to make a difference in the lives of others [with a] welcoming smile, a hug — even though hugs are frowned upon now — an uplifting quote, silly joke or even a text or email just to say, ‘hi,’” Armentrout said. For her efforts, Armentrout was named one of the area’s 10 Under 40. “I’m absolutely flattered that I was chosen as one of the 10 Under 40,” Armentrout said. “I’m very passionate about my job and I love the Harrisonburg-Rockingham community, and to be recognized

for simply doing that is such an honor.” A 2000 Page County High School graduate, Armentrout earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from American National University in 2010. She’s worked for the chamber since 2014, after leaving Daniels Promotional Products, where she worked as an account executive for seven years. Kelly Burkholder nominated Armentrout. “Not only is Sheena the face of the Chamber of Commerce and an

advocate for businesses, but she is also a devoted wife and mother and dedicated to the community she serves,” Burkholder wrote in her nomination letter. “Sheena is filled with integrity and leads a purpose-driven life both professionally and personally.” Armentrout lives in McGaheysville with her husband, Jared, 38, 3-year-old daughter, Averly, and dog, Bodie. Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6267 or Follow Pete on Twitter @pdelea_DNR




Saturday, November 28, 2020

Harrisonburg, Va.

CHAMBER COMMITTEES If you’re interested in building relationships with local businesses and community leaders who share similar interests and passions, join a Chamber Committee. Visit the Chamber’s Online Events Calendar or call the Chamber Offices for more information on upcoming committee meetings for Chamber Members.

Aging in Place Roundtable educates the community about local services supporting vitality and choice in the second half of life and provides a forum for discussion and collaboration about the issues surrounding aging in place. AMP’T is a collaborative, energetic group dedicated to personal and professional development for all next-generation leaders connected to Harrisonburg & Rockingham County.

Shenandoah Women’s Alliance is a network of dynamic, diverse women empowering one another through inspiration, education and service. Business Councils - including Broadway-Timberville, East Rockingham, Greater Ashby, and Diversity - provide businesses opportunities to connect through informational and educational meetings in order to promote the economic vitality and quality of life throughout the community.

Hospitality Committee exists to improve the economic competitiveness of the hospitality industry through dialogue and relationship building. Public Policy identifies, evaluates and monitors social, political and environmental trends, issues and concerns affecting the business community.

CHAMBER MEMBER2MEMBER DISCOUNT PROGRAM Save money and help support the local economy by choosing Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce members for your business and personal needs. If you’re a member and haven’t taken advantage of this member benefit, contact 540-434-3862 to sign up today!

Spotlight On New Members

2020 Calendar of Events MONTHLY EVENTS: Business Smarts Educational & Professional Development Classes, Networking Events and the following committees: Ambassadors, Public Policy, Regional Business Alliances, AMP’T, Aging in Place Roundtable, Diversity Business Council, Member Success Orientations (open to new, current and prospective members).

QUARTERLY EVENTS: Business at Breakfast, Leadership Smarts, Shenandoah Woman’s Alliance

All Star Home Inspection Service, LLC Chiropractic Solutions Comprehensive Advanced Practice Nursing are DHF Coaching & Consulting, LLC Modern Woodman of America TripForth The Coin and Gift Shop, LLC C3, LLC Hub Labels McCain Whole Health Care McCarty Fit Rocktown Yarn Sleep Inn & Suites

Visit our website for an easy-to-use, online database of all Chamber Members or pick up your free copy of the Membership Directory at the Chamber Office.”

Harrisonburg, Va.



Chamber of Commerce Frank’s Final Column After eleven years and many newsletters, articles, columns, presentations and speeches, this will be my last Advocate column as President of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has led, assisted, supported, worked with, or worked at the Chamber during my tenure. Obviously, listing everyone would be impossible, but you know who you are. From not only what I believe but from what others have told me, the reputation of our Chamber is something to be proud of locally, regionally and statewide. Locally, we have to prove our worth every day to keep the support, dues and sponsorships coming in. But it really goes beyond that. It is also our responsibility to do everything we can to help make our community a desirable place for business and do what we can to help our members succeed. Positive feedback over the years is part of what keeps me going. Our image and reputation outside of this community is not to be taken lightly or taken for granted either, and I am particularly proud of where we are today. Our Chamber is held in high regard and I feel we have more connectivity and influence across Virginia and at the Capitol in Richmond than we did ten years ago. Something like that does not happen by chance. I am sure many of you reading this piece have heard this from me before, but it is important to repeat it again. The ability of people and groups to work together for the good of the community and to have the type of relationships and trust many of us do is indeed a blessing. This is a community where City and County work together, where the public and private sectors work together, where education works with business, and where organizations and associations with varying mission freely work together on

common issues opportunities. It just seems second nature to a lot of us. As a recent example, this year, we were one of the early communities out of the gate with a Business Resiliency Taskforce followed by a grant program. Skipping the details, there wasn’t a strategic plan, no real meetings with agendas and votes, and no one looking to take any credit. It was pretty much a few emails and phone calls, a collective desire to do something positive and a lot of faith and trust in each other. That is something you can’t force on individuals or a community. But this is not a farewell message, because there is still work to do. While this has been a different year for all of us, the Board and our committees and councils have kept our eyes on the road. Most recently, we shifted the focus of Connections2020 to a discussion of the readjustment at work we have all gone through since March and what takeaways employers and employees can use in the future. We also added a brief brainstorming session on the future of the Chamber. You can see these insightful comments in this issue of The Advocate. Planning for Chamber programs and events goes on all year, so we are already looking well into 2021. But, the crystal ball for 2021 is still a little cloudy across the globe, and we are not immune to that. So, I ask that you rally around the Chamber right now and next year as we see what the future brings and what new directions will bring the best opportunities to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. I will conclude with an excerpt from my note to the Board in late September: Someone once told me ……“whether you leave on your own or are buried six feet in the ground, always leave the community a better place than when you found it”. Hopefully I have lived up to that.


Frank Tamberrino President and CEO

Saturday, November 28, 2020

STAFF Frank Tamberrino President & CEO Sheena Armentrout Director of Membership & Investment Sara Wittig Director of Marketing & Communications Carlie Floyd Administrative Assistant Trent Turner Finance & Administration Manager

CONTACT US Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce 800 Country Club Road Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (540) 434-3862




Saturday, November 28, 2020


Harrisonburg, Va.

Mason A Rising Star At PBMares By JIM SACCO

Daily News-Record

As a tax manager at PBMares, Jonathan Mason is considered by the firm to be one of its rising stars. The former baseball player at Bridgewater College with a master’s degree from James Madison University said it’s not just that affirmation that keeps him going, but what the firm allows him to do on the outside, in the community, that puts a smile on his face. “Since working at PBMares, I have had the opportunity to become part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham,” said Mason, 29. And while his “little” might not be that small anymore, Mason said the two still have an opportunity to connect, even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We go to the park, hang out

outside,” he said. “Now we’re kind of grabbing a bite to eat when we can, talking about school work and the things he’s dealing with. Just catching up on life.” Joining the BBBS board in 2017, Mason is currently treasurer for the organization, allowing him to see firsthand the “impact we have on the community through the services we provide,” he said. A native of Loudoun County who now lives in Dayton, Mason’s main role at PBMares is to provide exceptional client services in the fields of tax compliance and tax advisory. “I perform these functions by meeting with clients to discuss their goals, needs and projections to provide the most advantageous solutions,” he said. And his past as a collegiate baseball player under legendary Bridgewater College coach Curt Kendall helped prepare him for

the team aspect of work life. Admitting that Division III sports programs aren’t as rigid as their Division I brothers and sisters, the team-first development on the baseball diamond helped. “I enjoyed my four years playing there,” Mason said. And in the seven years he’s been with PBMares, his most recent initiative is involvement in the firm’s recruiting process, much like current Bridgewater College baseball coach Vic Spotts, who recruited Mason to play for the Eagles. “To continue to be a top regional firm, we have to continue to attract and retain a talented workforce,” Mason said. “I enjoy every opportunity I have to tell people why PBMares is a great firm to work at.” Contact Jim Sacco at 574-6291 or | Follow Jim on Twitter at @Jim__Sacco


Harrisonburg, Va.


Saturday, November 28, 2020


Dorzweiler Uses Talent With Numbers To Keep Giving Back By JIM SACCO

Daily News-Record

Hillary Dorzweiler wasn’t quite sure how getting an accounting degree from James Madison University was going to help her help people. Then she talked to her parents — Michael White and Susan Crosby — and she realized it wasn’t about what the diploma said, but how she used it. “In my mind I wasn’t really sure if it was going to help people,” said Dorzweiler, audit director at PBMares. But her parents said working with numbers was what she excelled at and that she’d use the talent for good. How right her parents were. Dorzweiler, 34, found the right balance to serve some of PBMares’ largest clients, finding time to train new employees and continue that give-back mentality instilled in her by her parents. She is involved with initiatives within the firm to develop and implement practices and tools to better position PBMares in the ever-evolving world of accounting. She is a current member and chair-elect of the women’s initiative, co-chair of the technical and emerging issues group and part of the robotic process automation team.

Outside of the office walls, she has served as treasurer for the Central Valley Habitat for Humanity since 2015, is a United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County board member and is active in the Harrisonburg Women’s Service League. Dorzweiler, according to her 10 Under 40 nomination form, provides leadership with her actions and abilities to lead multiple teams at once. With the Harrisonburg Women’s Service League, Dorzweiler — born and raised in Harrisonburg — helps the organization empower women and children through fundraising, grants and scholarships. “When we know of someone who is particularly struggling,” said Dorzweiler, a mother of two, “we try to help.” She learned that from Mom and Dad, who are involved with the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church’s soup kitchen to provide meals to those in need, something Dorzweiler said she’s been part of since the fifth grade. “My parents always taught us to help the community,” she said. Contact Jim Sacco at 574-6291 or jsacco@dnronline. com | Follow Jim on Twitter at @Jim__Sacco


Roots Run Deep For Ashley Summers At PBMares By IAN MUNRO

Daily News-Record


Growing up on a dairy and beef farm in Augusta County taught Ashley Summers many things. Now 33 and leading senior manager for PBMares in Harrisonburg, Summers uses what she knows to help bring an extra level of assurance to the farming clients. “When I’m first starting with an agricultural client, the first thing I want them to know is that I understand not just their business, but the lifestyle of having a farm, whether poultry, dairy or beef,” Summers said. She said her experience of growing up on the farm creates a valuable understanding between herself and agriculture clients as they see her as someone who gets the picture. “Knowing that I understand not only their business side of things, but their livelihood and that keeps them going everyday — their love of the farm,” Summers said. As many who grow up in the agricultural community do, she was a member of 4H and FFA. Summers graduated from Fort Defiance High School and then went on to study at Virginia Tech,

where she graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting and agriculture and applied economics. She lived in northern Virginia between 2009 and 2012 and worked for a large, regional firm. But knew she wanted to return to the Shenandoah Valley. And after applying at PBMares, she said she couldn’t imagine herself working at another firm. “I have had the opportunity to be deeply involved with some agricultural clients, which is something I love to do. That is not an opportunity I would have had at the regional firm in northern Virginia,” she said. “I’m able to really get back to my roots, have a personal connection with my clients and see the impact of the advice and planning were doing with that particular client.” Summers also dedicates her time outside of work to various groups, such as First Step, which helps survivors of domestic abuse, and the Harrisonburg Women’s Service League. “I really find purpose and meaning in working with those organizations that help those who might otherwise not have a voice,” Summers said. Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro



Saturday, November 28, 2020

Harrisonburg, Va.

From Grazing Fields To Guiding Departments, Messer Is Ready By KATHLEEN SHAW Daily News-Record

Morgan Messer grew up on a sixth-generation cow-calf farm in Weyers Cave, Maple Springs Farm, and maintained a steadfast adoration for agricultural life into her adulthood, where she planned to spend her days following in her family’s footsteps, tending to her own cattle operation. In September, she founded a beef and sheep farm in Staunton with her husband, but her field of work has stretched far beyond the rolling pastures and the footsteps she’s following are older than her mom and pop’s. Last year, Messer, 31, joined the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, where she serves as the director of external affairs and communication. Messer said she never saw herself doing anything outside a career in agriculture, but after meeting her current boss she discovered her great-grandfather was among the first meter men hired at the co-op and her great-uncle had an extensive career at the business as well. “I love the Shenandoah Valley, I love agriculture, but I equally love my home, too,

and an electric co-op is the heart and soul of that,” Messer said. In high school, Messer was on the forensics team and competed in the storytelling competition. From 2009-10, she served as the state FFA president before joining the staff of the Virginia FFA Association and American Farm Bureau Federation. As a 2014 Virginia Tech graduate and Class of 2020 of the school’s Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program, Messer always planned to put her past toward a better future for farmers, and she hasn’t faltered. Prior to joining the electric co-op, Messer worked for the Virginia Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program, and she continues coaching her local 4-H stockman’s team in her downtime. Messer said the lifestyle of farming work goes hand in hand with the co-op. “The electricity is something folks forget about, much like folks forget about food. Well, suddenly if it’s not there, it’s like, ‘What’s going on?’” Messer said. “It’s an essential service, so sometimes you have to work that essential services lifestyle. … You have to be ready to jump in and stick in until

the work gets done.” Within her company, Messer single-handedly runs the external affairs department, where she maintains relationships with local, state and federal elected representatives. She has increased SVEC’s interactions with legislators and advocates to them on behalf of the cooperative. What is her trick for success? Her ability to connect. “I feel like I’m really relatable to people, and I’m able to connect people to other people. My person skills and finding ways people can relate to each other, relate to the cooperative, relate to the bigger picture are skills I think bode well for me in this job,” Messer said. While Messer admits she feels constantly inundated with information and adjusting to an office position has come with growing pains, she is excited for the future and loves what she does. “You have to be open-minded every day for a learning opportunity,” she said. Contact Kathleen Shaw at 574-6274 or Follow Kathleen on Twitter @shawkareport


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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Harrisonburg, Va.

Hannah Found Her Niche In Law Career By MEGAN WILLIAMS Daily News-Record

Brooke Hannah, 28, grew up traveling all over the country. Her father was in industrial construction. But now her family’s home base is in West Virginia, just about two and a half hours over the mountain from Harrisonburg. When deciding where she wanted to settle after graduating from William and Mary Law School, the Harrisonburg area seemed like the perfect place in between her graduate school town and where her parents live. “I knew I wanted to stay in Virginia, but I enjoy being able to go home when I want,” Hannah said. Hannah is an attorney at Litten

and Sipe LLP, practicing real estate, corporate and estate planning law. She has been a lawyer for four years and practicing at Litten and Siple in Harrisonburg since 2017. Hannah has always been interested in the field of law, but when entering college at Concord University, she was torn between law and accounting. After having a “fantastic” pre-law professor, she knew that field was the fit for her. She wasn’t sure what type of law she wanted to practice, but found the field of transaction law even more her speed than she could have imagined. Unlike the courtroom dramas you see in movies and on TV, Hannah spends her days in her office, meeting with clients to prepare them for “the worst days yet to

come.” While it might sound sad, Hannah enjoys getting to know her clients and hear their stories and knowing that something bad hasn’t happened yet. When not working behind her law office desk, Hannah is raising twin daughters who are 5. Normally they would be in kindergarten this year but because their birthday is Oct. 6, which misses the cutoff to start kindergarten by six days, they are still in preschool. Given the current landscape of education due to COVID-19, Hannah called this a “blessing in disguise.” Hannah lives in Grottoes. Contact Megan Williams at 574-6272 or Follow Megan on Twitter @DNR_Learn


Accounting Is More Than Math For Nick Perrine By IAN MUNRO

Daily News-Record



Nick Perrine, 39, of Elkton, has been with PBMares for nearly two decades and is the tax service line lead for the Harrisonburg office. “It becomes more than a numbers game when you move up the ranks and that’s what I find appealing,” Perrine said of his experience in the accounting sector. Perrine was promoted to a partner in 2015. He said relationships are key and that many of his clients he thinks of as friends. “A community like Harrisonburg, that’s the big thing,” Perrine said. “You can’t expect to succeed in this

community of tight-knit people if you don’t treat everybody fairly and be respectful to them.” Originally from King George, Perrine and his family did spend some time living and working in Fredericksburg, but they “longed” to move to the Valley and they did. Perrine also leads the firm’s internship program, which takes about 20 students a year. “It’s one of the more rewarding types of jobs I get to do,” he said. Perrine is a graduate of James Madison University’s class of 2003, where he left with a bachelor’s in business administration in accounting. “Being able to work with them and teach [the college students], I remem-


ber when I was a student and doing what they were doing,” he said. He also is a regular presenter at various professional events and has been recognized twice by state business magazine Virginia Business and the Virginia Society of of Certified Public Accountants as a “Super CPA.” Perrine is also part of various local groups, such as Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and the Harrisonburg-Massanutten Rotary Club. Perrine is the vice chair of the food bank. “Everybody should have enough to eat regardless of background or anything else in life,” Perrine said. Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro


Harrisonburg, Va.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Conversation, Connections Key For Lokey By IAN MUNRO

Daily News-Record

strengths he brings to Nielsen. Lokey said there are no limits to the potential of even the most mundane interactions. “You never know where a simple conversation could go,” Lokey said. “It could help you make a new best friend, find your significant, make connections” for business. Lokey said he knows just how important it may be for someone to feel heard or seen, whether they are a client, a coworker or even just someone on the street, because you never know what’s going on in their own life. “A simple hello could make somebody’s day and what does it take to say hello?” Lokey said.

Zach Lokey’s passion for the art of buildings led him to want to become an architect. Now, he has mastered a different art — conversation. “You would never guess it now, but back when I was in high school and growing up, I was very introverted and a shy, bashful kind of guy,” Lokey said. The 27-year old Valley native said he talks to “anybody and everybody.” “I can’t imagine ever being that way again,” Lokey said of his previously reserved personality. “Because I love the connections you can make, the relationships you can build in business and personal life.” Lokey said he originally wanted to go to the Univer- Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 sity of Virginia to become an or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro architect. But after two and a half years at Blue Ridge Community College, he opted for Bridgewater College, where he graduated two years later with a bachelor’s in business administration. Prior, Lokey graduated from Spotswood High School in 2011. It was in college Lokey went from being a reserved introvert to an extrovert always looking for the next connection and conversation, he said. On Jan. 1, 2016, he began a paid internship at Nielsen Builders trying out numerous roles from accounting, human resources, project development and, where he would ultimately work — business development. “Being an extrovert is very, very important in this career and really, I have seen, super important in personal life,” Lokey said. The world of construction has been one of personal and professional growth for Lokey, who is a fast learner. His energy and ability to engage purposefully with others are key


40 Lokey


BRAD!” - your Harman Realty family




Saturday, November 28, 2020

Harrisonburg, Va.

Is Your Business Valuable? You may wonder what brings value to your small business, especially if you are giving consideration to a sale. In general, most folks are aware of the value of real estate, personal property, traded securities, and the like, but when it comes to their business, most have no idea. When we are asked to value a business for a pending sale, there are 10 questions we ask ourselves about the subject business. Hopefully, these will help you see where you stack up. 1. Historical Profitability. The number one consideration is profit and even more so, historic and consistent profit. 2. Income Risk. In other words, a well-established business that has been in existence for a long time usually gives the subject business more value. 3. Cash or financed. If the sale is a cash, walk away deal, the value will be diminished. On the other hand, if the owner can stay involved at some level and potentially assist in the financing, this brings more value/sales price to the transaction. 4. Business Type. If the business is more heavily capitalized with equipment (in other words, equipment and personal property), it will usually be more valuable. In other words, a business primarily service-driven will have less value.

Transactions Dick Halterman 5. Business Growth. Continuous growth year over year is a strong indicator of value. Swings up and down are not desirable. Along those lines, it is always best to exit while you are on top. Once a potential buyer sees things go backwards, it not only can potentially bring the value down, but it will also string and out and lengthen the time it takes to sell. 6. Location. All commercial real estate agents will say it’s all about location of a business. Location, location, location. The same holds true in bringing additional value to the business when sold. 7. Marketability and desirability. At any given time, some businesses are more attractive than others. For example, in a bad economy, folks desire businesses that will survive a down economy. Or, perhaps a business requir-

ing a license to operate is yet another example. This may limit the buyers because of the special skills required to own, thereby limiting marketability and desire. 8. Competition. If there are similar businesses to yours on every corner, clearly this will adversely affect the value of your business. The old economics equation clearly applies here. The supply goes up, the demand/price goes down; should the supply go down, the demand/ price goes up. 9. Industry Trend. If the industry trends are moving in a positive direction, then so goes the value. As an example, the restoration business has been much stronger in recent years simply because extremes in weather have greatly affected the industry as a whole. 10. Size Of Business. Another variable im-

pacting business value would be size premium. A business garnering $2 million in sales compared to one only able to hit $500,000 in sales is more valuable all other things being somewhat equal. Overhead for either of those two businesses is likely similar; as such, the larger the sales, the more profitable and, the more profitable, the more value assigned. Those provide the Top 10 list, but I cannot go without saying a bit more. There are two other items worth mentioning here. When present, they can devastate the value of the business. 1. Customer Concentration. Having one or two customers dominating your sales can cause a devastating blow to the value of your company. This is not healthy beyond its effect on your business value because they can also wield way too much power in controlling you and your decisionmaking processes. You must focus on changing the metrics and eliminate one or two customers being a major percentage of your revenue. 2. Owner Involvement. If you build a business where you can be absentee and it just works, you have a valuable and sellable business. Just remember, if it’s all about you, then you don’t have a lot sell unless you go with it. Dick Halterman lives in Fort Defiance and is a certified public accountant who assists in the buying and selling of businesses.

Charitable Giving Considerations For 2020 Given the extraordinary events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, many of us already have looked for ways to contribute. What you may not know is that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act contains provisions to make it easier to take tax deductions on charitable donations in 2020. We have summarized the changes in the CARES Act and outlined the possible charitable giving options that you may want to consider.

Charitable Contribution Changes In The CARES Act

For 2020, there’s no income limit on the deduction of cash gifts to eligible charities, excluding donor-advised funds or other supporting organizations. (The deduction for cash gifts to donor-advised funds is still limited to 60% of adjusted gross income.): If you’re in a position to make generous gifts, you could potentially offset all of your taxable income for 2020. Likewise, cash gifts could be used to offset

Investments Matthew R. Frakes Roth IRA conversion income or capital gains realized upon the sale of a concentrated position or real estate. The CARES Act waived required minimum distributions (RMDs) in 2020 — but qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) are still allowed for anyone age 70 ½ or older from a Traditional and Inherited Traditional IRA.

specific circumstances. You may want to consider one or more of the following: QCDs — distributions are tax-free and not included in adjusted gross income. Future RMDs may be smaller since distributions lower the year-end balance, which could result in future tax benefits if tax rates increase in later years Cash gifts to eligible charities — may be Determining The Best Way To Give Given the expanded options available, it’s deductible up to $300 in addition to the stanimportant to determine the most suitable dard deduction. This is a benefit to those who option for making charitable gifts for your do not itemized deductions. You may offset

up to 100% of adjusted gross income if you itemize your deductions, providing a current tax benefit. Stock gifts — provide a current tax benefit if you itemize your deductions and allow you to avoid taxation on the stock’s appreciation. Deductions for stock gifts are limited to 30% of adjusted gross income when contributing to public charities. Please contact your financial adviser to further discuss your charitable options. As always, coordination with a tax adviser is essential to help provide the best outcome. This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Matthew Frakes, financial adviser in Harrisonburg at (540) 801-3211. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/ NOT BANK- GUARANTEED/ MAY LOSE VALUE Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Harrisonburg, Va.


Saturday, November 28, 2020


Strong Fall For Housing Market May Be Due To Weak Spring By IAN MUNRO

Daily News-Record

Home sales in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County reached atypical heights during the normally slower months of September and October, according to state and local real estate statistics. Various real estate experts said the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the usually busy spring season, but interest in homebuying remained and seems to have found its way to the fall data. “The way we’ve come roaring back, I feel like the spring and fall market have flip-flopped,” said Jeremy Litwiller, president of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors. Statewide data show a similar story, according to Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist of the Virginia Realtors. “A big part of what we’re seeing in September and October is a rebound,” she said. Much of the strength of the home sale numbers is in Rockingham County, according to the data, though prices increased more in the city. “We have seen 7% more homes sales this year versus last year, so the market is still very robust,” said Scott Rogers, a Realtor with Funkhouser Real Estate Group and creator of Harrisonburg has seen a decrease in home sales of over 5.5% over the last 12 months, dropping from 412 home sales in the same period to 389 this year, according to October data from Over 100 more homes sold in Rockingham County

DN-R File

Home sales have been unusually robust in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County this fall, likely because the busy spring season was muted by the COVID-19 pandemic. over the last 12 months than the same period of time in 2019, when 903 homes were sold — an 11.6% increase. The increase is even larger when information from the rest of third quarter is taken into account. In the third quarter of 2020, 20% more homes were sold in the county than in the third quarter of 2019 — up from 264 to 317, according to data from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Third Quarter Home Sales Report. The city’s increase over the third quarter was also slightly higher, at 6%, up from 123 homes sold in the third quarter of 2019 to 130 in the third quarter of 2020. “We don’t have the inventory in the city, so by default, if it’s not there, people are going to expand their search,” Litwiller said. He said the HRAR and other stakeholders are working with the city to find solutions to increase the stock of affordable housing in the city. Low housing stock coupled with low interest rates results in higher prices, according to Sturtevant. Interest rates for a 30year, fixed-rate mortgage

are around 2.9%, according to data from MortgageNewsDaily. Though home prices have risen, it may not affect every mortgage payment, according to data from For example, the median sales price in Harrisonburg and Rockingham in November so far is $240,000 — an 11% increase from November 2019. Yet, a monthly payment with a 20% down payment has only risen $3 from $1,007 to $1,010, according to data from However, rising prices still present difficulties to homebuyers who may struggle to collect the money for increasing down payments or impact their credit for larger loans, according to Sturtevant. Local median sales prices in the third quarter have increased 11% to $245,000 compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Third Quarter Home Sales Report. In the third quarter of 2016, the median sales price of a home in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

was $195,000. The median sales price for a city home increased by nearly $40,000, about 20%, since 2019. Last year, the median sales price for a Harrisonburg home was $200,000 in the third quarter, while this year the median sales price was $239,950 during the third quarter. Rockingham saw a smaller increase in median sales price of 4% during the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Last year, the median sales price for a Rockingham County home was $241,500 during the third quarter, while this year, the median sales prices was $250,000 during the third quarter. October saw the number of homes sold in Rockingham County increase by nearly 47% from 79 in 2019 to 116 in 2020, according to data from “When we look at rural, suburban and urban counties, we can see that both sales and prices are up much faster in rural counties than they are in suburban or urban counties,” Sturtevant said. For example, Southwest Virginia has seen median prices rise 42.8% compared to October 2019 — the largest increase in the state. The Shenandoah Valley saw the second highest increase in median home sales prices over the same period — up 30.1%. The Northern Neck and Eastern Shore of Virginia saw prices rise 27.1%. “I think what we’re seeing is some evidence of homebuyers choosing smaller regions and moving out of urban areas,” Sturtevant said. Regions such as the Richmond metro area, Northern

Virginia and Norfolk saw prices rise between 15.1% to 15.5% over the same period. She said high prices in the urban areas, coupled with the rise of working from home, is likely contributing to this pattern. “I’ve been hesitant to kind of get on this bandwagon ‘COVID is moving people to small communities,’ but it seems to be showing up in the data as we move into the fall,” Sturtevant said. Litwiller said workers from urban areas have looked for homes in the area in the past, but it seems to be happening with a greater prevalence during the pandemic. Some issues may arise from higher-paid workers from urban environments moving into rural areas

with larger budgets for homes, according to Sturtevant. “The upper pressure on prices I think is going to be even more significant in some rural areas,” she said. “It may have the effect of pricing some local folks out.” And given the relative small size of the Harrisonburg and Rockingham housing market, even low numbers of these types of buyers could bring some disruption, according to Rogers. “It wouldn’t take very many people doing that to have an impact on our market,” he said. Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro

Litten & Sipe, LLP Congratulates Brooke Hannah on her 10 Under 40 Achievement

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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Harrisonburg, Va.

How To Impact Others Through Gratitude I’ve heard it said that we should not have a Thanksgiving Day in America, but instead a Grumbling Day. The other 364 days of the year should be devoted to giving thanks. Gratitude is a powerful force. It changes you and it changes those around you. But gratitude must be given properly if it is to be received as intended. As I mention in my first bestseller, “Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew,” creating culture requires intentionality and consistency. Similarly, practicing gratitude requires forethought and following through. Here are three guidelines for practicing gratitude.

I don’t give these guidelines for you to overthink gratitude. Express what you naturally feel. If you really mean it, then you should be willing to say it — because if you truly believe it, then they will want to hear it.

1. Be Genuine

2. Refrain From Sarcasm

Gratitude should be for building up people, not for using them. Before you thank someone, check your motives. Why do you want to thank this person? Do you mean what you are thinking? Or are you trying to manipulate them? Practice gratitude to build a relationship with the people around you. Show them by your words that you appreciate them. They may not get genuinely thanked by anyone else in their lives, so you can have a powerful influence in their lives if you express gratitude to them.

Leadership Robert McFarland

Sarcasm is a guaranteed way to destroy any goodwill you can generate by practicing gratitude. People tend to use sarcasm because they feel uncomfortable saying thank you; however, sarcasm will negate the gratitude you are trying to express because it will be misunderstood. At one time I used sarcasm as a backwards “love language.” But I had to be willing to give up using sarcasm. Because the people around me weren’t hearing what they needed to hear. People rarely hear genuine thanks, so

they don’t know how to handle it. If you are sarcastic about your gratitude, then they will think that you really didn’t mean it. The people around you need to know that you are sincere when you thank them. Most likely the people around you are not used to heartfelt and genuine thanks. If you thank them without sarcasm or irony, you will stand out in their minds. If you look them in the eye when you thank them, it will have a profound impact on them. In fact, it may have more of an impact than you may realize.

3. Repeat Yourself — Again And Again

If you have not been in the habit of thanking the people around you on a regular basis, then they will not believe you when you say it the first time, or the second, or the third. They will have to hear it again and again and again before they believe that

you mean it. Be sure to thank people in private and in public. If they hear you say it just to them, they may not think that you mean it. They will realize you mean it if you will say it in public settings in front of others. When you start genuinely thanking people, it might be difficult to look them in the eyes and say it without sarcasm. Don’t give up. Though it may feel awkward at first, it will get easier with time. After you have done it for a while, it will become a way of life, and it will yield results far beyond your expectations. Here’s the key takeaway. Everyone wants to hear someone else thank them. I realize you might think it will sound forced or cheesy if you thank someone else, but you probably just feel awkward saying it. If someone else has genuinely thanked you, then you know how good that feels. Since you want to hear it said to you, learn how to overcome that awkwardness about expressing gratitude to the people around you. Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers, “Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew” and “Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew.” Robert is also president of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies make their ideals actionable.

Harrisonburg Regal Movie Theater Site Slated For Redevelopment By IAN MUNRO

Daily News-Record

The owner of the Harrisonburg Regal property announced plans to redevelop the site for “a major multifamily component” as well as restaurants and retail. The owner of the Harrisonburg Regal movie theater property, Armada Hoffler Properties, announced it terminated the lease with the cinema chain. “Following the tenant’s default, the company terminated its two leases with Regal Cinemas for the freestanding locations in Virginia Beach and Harrisonburg, the only cinema leases in Armada Hoffler Properties’ portfolio,” the release from Armada Hoffler Properties stated. The Harrisonburg Regal property is 9.5 acres and valued at $9,358,900

— over $3.7 million for the land alone, according to Harrisonburg city documents. The cinema was built in 1999, also according to city documents. “We would have been pleased to see these two leases through to their contractual expirations,” said Louis Haddad, president and CEO of Armada Hoffler Properties, in the release. “However, following Regal’s default and recent decision to indefinitely suspend all operations, we regained full control over two prime pieces of real estate, thereby accelerating our long-term goal of redevelopment.” Chelsea Forrest, director of marketing, said she could not share specific plans about the redevelopment as the process is still in its early stages. “We will intend to work very closely with the city to discover and develop

what will work best, but multifamily [development] is one our strategic trajectories as a company,” Forrest said. On Oct. 8, Regal announced on its website the chain would again close locations until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Locations had reopened for a short period of time after initially being shuttered at the beginning of the pandemic. The city could not comment since staff could not provide any other information about the redevelopment nor have staff had conversations about the project, according to an email from Michael Parks, the city spokesman. Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro

Daniel Lin / DN-R

The owner of the Harrisonburg Regal movie theater property, Armada Hoffler Properties, announced it has terminated the lease with the cinema chain.

Harrisonburg, Va.


Saturday, November 28, 2020


Opportunities Available To Unemployed Hospitality Workers By IAN MUNRO

Daily News-Record

Three-quarters of local unemployed workers come from the hospitality sector, yet manufacturing employers across the Valley are looking for workers, according to economic development staff and previous interviews with employers. “Just today, you have Tenneco, LSC Communications, Kerry Foods and [Packaging Corporation of America] — all of those are looking for workers right now,” said Brian Shull, director of economic development for Harrisonburg. The unemployment rate of the Harrisonburg metro area was 4.5% in September, according to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate has been falling since it spiked to a record local rate of 10.2% in April. The local unemployment rate neared reaching 20-year lows before the pandemic while nationally it reached 50-year lows multiple times in the winter of 2019-2020. “This is a unique opportunity because many in the hospitality sector right now are unemployed and looking for different opportunities,” said John Downey, president of Blue Ridge Community College. And it didn’t just occur during the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturing employers have been struggling to find workers for years now, according to Jay Langston, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. “We as a collective society have steered students to college unnecessarily,” Langston said. “And yet the modern manufacturing environment has numerous opportunities.” Between 2016 and 2019, workers in jobs that do not require college degrees saw their pay rise 10% — faster than jobs that do require degrees, where worker pay had risen 7.5%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The share of American jobs in hospitality is expected to continue to grow from 10.2% in 2019 to 10.5% by 2029, while manufacturing is expected to continue to shrink from 8.3% of jobs in 2019 to 7.3% of jobs

Daniel Lin / DN-R

Food.Bar.Food announced on social media in September that the restaurant is not planning to reopen its doors after closing down the dining room on March 15. by 2029, according to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Sept. 1. More specifically, employment in food preparation and serving is projected to grow 7% between 2019 and 2029, adding about roughly 1 million jobs. This growth is faster than the average for all employment growth, according to data from Sept. 1 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, these jobs are in the lowest paid occupational group and workers of these positions had a median wage of $24,220 in May 2019, also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts have said that the inability for employers to find workers results in increased wages and benefits for workers, but the labor shortage also presents difficulties to a business’ ability to grow and operate due to increased costs. For example, trucking companies have announced wage increases for drivers due to a shortage of drivers,

according to numerous reports in Transport Topics, a trucking trade publication. The industry will have to hire more than 1 million new drivers over the next decade, or 110,000 per year, to make up for the drivers leaving the sector along with growth in the industry, according to a 2019 report from the American Trucking Association. In response to worker shortages in sectors like trucking, the state government rolled out a program called FastForward. FastForward is a short-term work-training program for high-demand fields run through Virginia community colleges. On Oct. 30, Gov. Ralph Northam announced a new program to help pay for workers impacted by the pandemic to get retrained for jobs in high-demand fields, like manufacturing. The program is called Re-Employing Virginians, or REV, and the vouchers make tuition nearly

free, according to BRCC’s website. Funding for the program is from $27 million in CARES Act money, according to Northam’s Oct. 30 announcement. Workers eligible for the new program, which BRCC offers, must be a state resident and have received unemployment benefits since Aug. 1, or have lost a previous full-time job and now working a part-time job with an hourly wage under $15. The deadline to enroll in the program is Dec. 14, according to BRCC’s website. Downey and Langston said, though manufacturing careers can offer stable, good pay and reliable hours, there is still trouble in generating interest in the jobs. “We have trouble connecting people to those opportunities,” Downey said. Downey and Langston said part of the trouble stems from a misperception of the manufacturing sector. “We have an opportunity to educate the public at large about the

modern manufacturing environment,” Langston said. Few people get glances behind “the curtain” of a plant to see how it really ticks, said both Langston and Downey. “So we somehow have to bring the jobs to them,” Downey said. Downey, Langston and Shull said the environment inside plants is more bright and spacious and the type of jobs available within are more technical than even the recent past. “Today’s manufacturing is a lot different than 20 or 30 years ago,” Shull said. Another key part of generating more interest in manufacturing begins before someone starts looking for a job, according to Casey Armstrong, director of economic development for Rockingham County. “I think the biggest hurdle really is still educating young people on how good those jobs can prove to be,” Armstrong said of manufacturing positions. “Maybe [manufacturing jobs are] not the most glamorous or attractive on paper, but they are some of the better paying jobs in the area, frankly,” he said. More than nine out of 10 blue-collar workers are proud of the work they do and 86% are satisfied with their jobs, according to a 2018 report conducted by The Harris Poll of 1,049 U.S. adults employed in construction, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, auto maintenance, agriculture, forestry, fishing hunting or utilities. Downey said showing people these jobs are attainable by those who want them is also part of the equation. “I think there’s a lot of people out there who envision themselves in a different career than the one they’ve always had,” Downey said. “And the more we can show them that they’re capable of hands-on training and then getting a career that is very stable [with high pay] in the Valley, the more they’ll see themselves in those opportunities.” Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro


Saturday, November 28, 2020


Harrisonburg, Va.

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