FACES of Culpeper, 2023 Edition

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I’M HOME!Honey,

Kelly Thornton grew up in a family that respected and supported honey bees, with her parents tending to several hives on the small farm over the years.

While she had gotten away from it in life’s twists and turns, when her mom passed last year and the decision had to be made about what to do with the couple of remaining hives on the farm, Kelly and husband Philip decided to keep the family “tradition” going and continue the care for the apiary.

The enthusiasm about carrying on the small apiary transformed into the idea of introducing new hives at their own home in Culpeper as well.

They’ve since soaked up as much knowledge, community resources and support as possible, and have grown from the initial two hives to six at the farm and have introduced fix hives on their home property. They’re excited about continuing to expand their apiaries and love that it is something that their 10-year-old son also participates in, as he had learned about hive care from his grandmother on the farm and has his own bee suit. “While we know there will be ups and downs in the journey of beekeeping, the idea of promoting and supporting such an

important thing in our community and our world is definitely a ‘feel good’ experience,” Kelly said. “Not to mention the thought of the honey that we’ll be able to harvest next year after these hives are a bit more established.”

“It’s been so interesting discovering just how many people in our community are beekeepers, and I’m so appreciative of the mentoring and support I’ve been able to gain from local beekeepers who are much more experienced, and eager to share about and promote beekeeping.”

“Learning about the honey bees has been fascinating,” Philip said. “Their importance in our world for pollination, and how they work together within the hive, with each having different jobs, is just amazing.”

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RE/MAX Crossroads Kelly & Philip Thornton

Housing honey bees goes hand in hand with what the Thorntons do on a day to day basis, as they are both REALTORS.

“Connecting people and property….that’s what we do,” Kelly said.

Kelly and Philip are both licensed Brokers and own/manage RE/MAX Crossroads, Paragon Property Management, LLC and Crossroads Real Estate Referral Company, LLC in Culpeper. Their combined 38 years of experience comes into play in each and every real estate sale and purchase they help their clients with.

“Experience is so crucial in real estate,” Philip said. “Buying a home is one of the biggest events in a person’s life – you have to make sure it’s handled properly.”

“I think sometimes people tend to think a Realtor’s role is unneeded and/or an easy job, and that’s just not the case. We go the extra mile for clients, always making sure their needs are met and that we’re looking out for their best interests.”

Kelly and Philip both strongly believe in being involved and supporting their real estate association and their community. Kelly is the incoming 2023 President of Greater Piedmont Realtors and sits on the S.A.F.E. Board as well as the Early Childhood and Head Start Parent Community Council.

Philip served as the 2018 GPR President, and has coached their son’s soccer team for multiple years. He continues to serve in various capacities with GPR. Both Kelly and Philip are recognized top producers in the industry and have been inducted into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame. They’re also both major investors in RPAC which promotes and protects the rights of property owners. They have both played a role in ensuring that Culpeper continues to have affordable home buying options, with Philip’s advocacy for this during his presidency, and Kelly’s recent national recognition of it during a National Association of Realtors pitch battle in Chicago. Kelly won first place sharing this advocacy story, earning grant money for the association to put back into the local community!

“We love our community and always look for ways to support it – whether that be local youth groups, community events, small businesses, fundraisers, etc.,” Philip said.

“Having grown up here and watched Culpeper blossom into what it is now, I’m proud to be a part of it, work here and live here,” Kelly added.

If you’d like to reach out to Philip and Kelly and learn more about them, check out their website at www.yourlocalREpros.com.

REAL ESTATE 3
810 S. Main St., Culpeper, VA • Philip 540-222-9155 | Kelly 540-718-5763 • www.yourlocalREpros.com

A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Welcome to the fourth edition of FACES of Culpeper!

Once again, the focus remains on many local faces that make up the successful business community throughout Culpeper County. This year’s cover features Realtors Kelly and Phillip Thornton and their honey bees. Learn more about how they not only found houses for thousands of bees on their property but continue to find Culpeper residents’ dream homes every day on pages 2-3.

Three years in a row, FACES of Culpeper has won First Place in the Virginia Press Association’s annual competition for newspapers throughout the Commonwealth.

The new FACES of Culpeper magazine is also available digitally at culpepertimes.com.

Thank you to all of the faces inside for being a part of this special 2023 edition. We hope you enjoy seeing their faces and reading their stories.

INDEX

RE/MAX Crossroads

Mane Street Hair Salon

First County Mortgage

Pinto Thai Culpeper

Freedom Street Partners

Thompson Auto Repair

Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop

Home & Tack Organizing, LLC

Miss Minerva’s Tea Room

Tropi-Canna

Outgoing Portraits

Applied Science Fitness Studio

Endless Creations

Culpeper Chamber of Commerce

Narmada Winery

Economic Development of Culpeper

Shelly Tutt Mindset Strategist

HTDNET, LLC

Eppard Orthodontics

REC

Eye Care of Virginia

FACES of Culpeper is a free annual publication of the Culpeper Times. Copyright © 2023 by the Culpeper Times. All Rights Reserved. Information in this magazine is as correct as possible at press time but is subject to change. Reproduction of any photographs, illustrations or written material without prior consent from the publisher is prohibited. Culpeper Times, 206 S. Main St., Suite 301, Culpeper, VA 22701 • 540.812.2282 • faces@culpepertimes.com

TOM SPARGUR JAY FORD MARIA BASILEO TIM HICKLING AUDRA DICKEY LORI PAYNE FRAN CECERE Publisher Graphic Designer Editor Photographer Account Executive Project Writer Project Writer Maria
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2023 4

Mane Street Hair Salon Corrie Gyory

Corrie Gyory has seen hair styling come “out of shadows” into its own inspired genius. Her salon, Mane Street Hair, portrays the elegance of a high-class venue with brick accents and painted murals; industrial, yet chic, while it provides clients with beautiful cuts, colors and styles that reflect latest trends.

Gyory works hard to educate herself and her staff on what’s new in the industry. She has traveled the world as an educational representative for Bhave, J Beverly Hills, and Aqua Hair Extensions, on the cutting edge of technique and technology, meeting “very talented and amazing people” in Rome, London, Tokyo and Russia.

Yet her roots are in Culpeper, and she’s appreciative of the start and support she’s found in her adopted home.

Gyory was born and raised in Southern California, where her cousin taught her how to braid, and her “Old Hollywood” style grandmother, as she fondly remembers her, allowed her to play with her makeup and jewelry when she visited.

Gyory’s love for hair and makeup landed her behind the scenes in high school theater productions, but when her family moved to the Culpeper area at age 16, productions were not as grandiose here, and she looked for other outlets. A stunning opportunity came her way, for which she is thankful: The county launched a new program where high school students could earn a diploma and a cosmetology license at the same time — free of charge. She was one of five students selected out of 20 applicants. From here she dove right in, graduating, then working as a stylist.

In 2013, Gyory became manager of what was to become Mane Street Hair Salon. In 2016, the business became her own. And while that means

handling bills, emails, promotions and online accounts, sometimes working 46 hours a week, she still takes time to work with clients.

“I love being behind the chair,” she said.

Gyory has expanded the salon to offer everything from bridal hair and makeup, to extensions, waxing, spray tans and color to simple cuts.

And as Culpeper did for her, she returned the favor, giving high school students the opportunity to study cosmetology hands-on in a state-approved apprenticeship program at her salon.

“People give 10% to their church,” she explained. “Culpeper is my church. If I can help someone else get into this career, I’m thrilled to do so.”

Her apprentices learn on the floor while studying, paired with a permanent mentor to walk them through all aspects of the industry. By the time they earn their license, they have already developed a clientele, unlike in traditional cosmetology school.

Gyory also partners with the Culpeper Technical Education Center to educate students about not only how to do hair but how to run the business side of things.

Mane Street Hair Salon was voted Small Business of the Year in 2021 and, since 2016, has been the Best of the Best Salon/Stylist in Culpeper, with mentions in Richmond Bride and Virginia Living magazines.

Gyory is proud to participate in the DressCode Project, a global alliance of salons/shops committed to providing positive, gender-affirming services for LGBTQ2S+ clients. Its motto — “Hair Has No Gender.”

This reflects Gyory’s mission to not only keep hair styling innovative and up-to-date but inclusive and family-friendly as well.

“I want EVERYONE to leave feeling beautiful,” she said.

Waters PL #101, Culpeper, VA • 540.812.4454 • manestreethairsalon@yahoo.com
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HAIR SALON

Tucked away on Main Street in what looks like a home are three ladies – and a team of support people – who will not only help you find a home, finance it, and close on it, but, through the entire process, will make you feel “at home.”

Katie Blocker, Rachel Scott and Sarah Brown work for affiliate companies under New Millennium Residential Services, offering expertise in the interwoven roles they play in the business.

Blocker is the Culpeper Branch Leader with CENTURY 21 New Millennium, the real estate arm of the trio. Scott is a Loan Officer with First County Mortgage and Brown is a settlement agent with Bay County Settlements.

“Having these companies together under one roof takes our clients from start to finish, in one seamless process,” said Blocker.

“We’re a one-stop shop,” added Scott.

CENTURY 21 New Millennium, First County Mortgage, and Bay County Settlements – with over 20 offices in Virginia, Maryland and DC and over 20 years of experience - bring vast resources to the table. Yet the teamwork of the Culpeper branch allows Blocker, Scott and Brown to personalize the process for clients facing one of the most daunting financial decisions of their lives.

Scott, who started with the company in 2011 and began primarily as a transaction coordinator, takes clients under her wing first, discovering what their needs are, determining what types of loans best suit their budget, even offering help if they need to raise their credit score before applying.

“My favorite part of working here is educating clients, demystifying the process so that they feel confident making decisions,” said Scott.

Blocker began as a real estate agent with CENTURY 21 New Millennium in 2016 and took over as Culpeper Branch Leader in March 2020. She pairs clients with one of the office’s many top-notch real estate agents who, armed with pre-approval and budget parameters, utilize New Millennium’s powerful online tools and system to begin their search. Together, they narrow down likes and dislikes, tour properties, write purchase offers and negotiate contracts.

“I love seeing the joy on folks’ faces when they find that perfect home, especially when they’re first-time homebuyers,” Blocker said.

Brown — who has been in the industry since birth when her parents carried her around job sites in a sling — takes the ratified contract, initiates title searches for liens and judgments and follows the transaction through to closing. Once cleared, Scott processes the loan and Brown brings the clients in for closing.

The three ladies work hand in hand and side by side.

“How great is it that if you have a question, you can walk down the hall and get it answered immediately!” said Blocker.

“At closing, if the client doesn’t understand something about the loan, we can ask Rachel to come into the room to clarify it for us,” said Brown.

NM Management and its subsidiaries have won multiple awards for customer service both office-wide and for individual real estate agents. The Washington Post has consistently voted them one of the best places to work among mid to large companies for the past five years running.

Yet the focus of these three ladies is still on a personal level with the clients they serve, utilizing the company’s strengths to tailor a trouble-free experience for them in their quest to feel at home.

First County Mortgage Sarah Brown, Katie Blocker & Rachel Scott
601 S Main St, Culpeper, VA • 571.606.8269 • www.firstcountymortgage.com
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REAL ESTATE

THAI RESTAURANT

Pinto Thai Culpeper Thipphawan Jaipayungton

Celebrating its 19th year in Culpeper, moving from Main Street to Davis Street now over five years ago, Pinto Thai is still going strong.

Pinto Thai brings the magic to Culpeper when you enter the restaurant and feel life you are in Thailand, but experiencing it in Culpeper.

The award winning, family owned and operated restaurant serves both traditional Thai favorites like Pad Thai, Pad See Ew and Drunken Noodle, as well as some fusion options, making Thai food more accessible to new customers. They also make an amazing Thai Iced Tea and Iced Coffee, as well as mixed drinks.

Visitors have the opportunity to make friends and learn some Thai phrases. Regulars have learned to greet “Swasdi (sa-was–dee)” and order in the Thai language, and in turn they have shared local traditions. That’s why Paul Satayaphanitkul’s family loves being here in Culpeper: it’s peaceful and calm; people are nice, curious and supportive. This bond has created a place of cultural exchange, since everyone has more time to learn about each other.

The Satayaphanitkuls have been in the restaurant business for a long time. Satayaphanitkul’s mother was a chef in Washington, D.C., for 30

years. With her expertise and his big sister’s vision and love of small towns, they found a perfect place to open their own restaurant when they started in 2004 on Main Street here in Culpeper.

Moving their location to Davis Street was a great shift, and that’s when the Satayaphanitkuls renamed the restaurant Pinto Thai Culpeper. They’ve since expanded with two locations in Winchester and one in Staunton.

Culpeper is still their home away from home. Everyone in the family works at the restaurant, cooking with traditions and secret recipes handed down through the generations. Residents and tourists alike have embraced the family and their amazing food by recommending Pinto Thai and by voting them the Best of the Best in 2022.

Pinto Thai has won several Best of awards and takes pride in taking care of customers each day they come in for a wonderful meal. Whether you are dining inside or ordering take-out or delivery, Pinto Thai is the unpretentious place that offers classic fare and some Japanese options along with outdoor patio seating.

Pinto Thai also has a bar inside and serves delicious drinks for any occasion. They are open every day at 11 a.m. and hope to see you soon.

179 E. Davis St, Culpeper, VA • 540.825.0777 • www.pintothaiculpeper.com

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FINANCIAL PLANNER

Freedom Street Partners Ginny

Financial planning turned out to be an ideal career path for Ginny Koontz-DeLauder. Her role as a financial advisor with Freedom Street Partners enables her to combine her aptitude for numbers and problem solving with her love of helping people, including local farmers and agribusiness professionals, manage their wealth and plan for the future.

Agribusiness is important to Koontz-DeLauder because both sets of her grandparents were raised on farms from the Shenandoah Valley to Norlina, N.C., and all the way to Indiana. Growing up, she developed a love of growing her own food and being close to nature. Supporting rural communities, local farmers, and agribusiness became a natural focus for her.

She has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and applied economics and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner. The designation is the standard for excellence in the financial-planning profession.

Koontz-DeLauder considers it a privilege to lead clients from where they are now to where they want to be in the future. She views herself as an educator and accountability partner, instilling in clients the confidence to plan for a secure financial future. She also keeps them focused on their goals and vision so they are less likely to make emotional decisions about their money during economic downturns. “When you help clients understand what they want their money to accomplish for them, it gives them the clarity and confidence to make informed decisions and to feel good about those decisions,” she said.

Koontz-DeLauder began her career in financial services as a junior financial advisor and an associate for The Henderson Group in Staunton. In 2013, she came to Culpeper to work for Piedmont Wealth Management as a financial planner/partner. In 2020, she accepted the position of Client Relationship Manager with Freedom Street Partners, a financial services practice that is backed by the investment advisory service of Raymond James Financial Services.

Freedom Street uses a proprietary Life Wealth Optimization process to help people increase lifelong financial independence and freedom while reducing stress and enhancing their quality of life. The steps are straightforward. Koontz-DeLauder and

Koontz-DeLauder

her team help clients envision their future, and then they develop a tailored financial plan, guide clients in implementing the plan, and partner with them in managing the plan as they enjoy the best life possible.

A common hurdle that causes many people to put off financial planning, she said, is that the focus on numbers and the complexity of financial products can seem intimidating. “Before we can lead clients to financial freedom, we first have to help them decode complex and confusing financial topics. The entire process makes a lot more sense when we work on optimizing your life first and your wealth second.”

Koontz-DeLauder appreciates Freedom Street’s vast resources and innovative approach to financial planning. She and her team rely on vision planning, DiSC personality assessments, advanced planning software, and other tools to identify appropriate and effective approaches to tax-efficient investing and charitable giving for clients.

She enjoys the positive team atmosphere at Freedom Street and the company’s focus on serving the community, which she says aligns well with her own personal values. “The group is constantly giving back to the localities we serve through events and volunteering,” she said.

Koontz-DeLauder is an active member and a former Chairman of the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce and the Culpeper Business Women. In addition, she has served on the board of Services to Abused Families, Inc. (SAFE) and is a member of Reformation Lutheran Church.

She and her husband, Michael DeLauder, a plumber for Breeden Mechanical, own a farmette on the outskirts of Culpeper. They hope to convey their love and support of agribusiness to their 18-month-old son and to their second child, who will arrive in the spring of 2023.

Her impact continues to grow every day as she continues her family’s agribusiness tradition, guides clients to financial freedom, and supports the Culpeper business community.

“I am thrilled that my life has come full circle,” she said. “I am right where I want to be.”

S. West Street, Culpeper, VA • 540.825.4611 • www.freedomstreetpartners.com
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Disclosure: Any opinions are those of Ginny Koontz-DeLauder and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investments advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Freedom Street Partners is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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Thompson Auto Repair Donald Thompson

For someone whose life has revolved around cars from an early age, a fivestar reviewed auto repair company is something Donny Thompson doesn’t take lightly.

He is grateful for those who supported him in his journey from apprentice to backyard mechanic to owner/operator of Thompson’s Auto Repair, which is growing by over 400 customers per year.

Being around his grandfather, who owned several local service stations years ago, was the spark that began Thompson’s love of cars. At age 17, Thompson began as an apprentice at Culpeper’s Chrysler dealership. He learned and honed his craft working on vehicles for the company for over 20 years. In 2017, he started doing on-the-side work for friends in his garage at home and by August 2018, had enough work to leave the dealership and hire someone else full time.

By March 2020, his business grew too large for his backyard. That’s when Tony Troilo of Rosson & Troilo took him under his wing and helped him relocate Thompson’s Auto Repair to its current location in Brandy Station. Today, Thompson services over 1100 customers.

“If it wasn’t for Tony, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Thompson said. “He’s been a great mentor and friend.”

It was a big leap to go from home garage to full-service commercial operation, especially keeping up with the business side of things, but at the new location, work kept coming. Thompson was able to hire six employees and expand his services to include tires, alignments and Virginia state inspections.

Thompson’s Auto Repair is one of only a few auto repair shops in the state to offer digital inspections. With a digital inspection, customers receive a

detailed inspection report via text or email and can see photos of any areas that may have failed at home while their vehicle is still at the shop. The report includes tests that have been run, a diagnosis and recommendations for repair. Thompson also provides another helpful service, courtesy pre-purchase inspections for used vehicles. Customers or not, folks may bring vehicles to him for a reassuring check-over before they buy. Thompson feels people deserve to know if they’re getting a real deal or if there’s room to negotiate. These unique offerings represent Thompson’s commitment to developing relationships with customers built on honesty and transparency and consistent high-quality work.

“I never try to sell you something you don’t need,” Thompson said. “We treat you like a part of the family. I want you to feel comfortable bringing your vehicle here.”

Quality has always been number one for Thompson, and he stands by the shop’s workmanship so steadfastly that all maintenance and repairs Thompson’s Auto Repair performs on vehicles comes with its own one-year warranty for parts and labor. Thompson’s technicians are all ASE certified, and the shop itself is certified as a NAPA Auto Care Center, which carries its own nationwide warranty.

Word of mouth keeps business growing. Those who come, leave rave reviews. The shop received the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022 from the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce. Not bad for an honest young man who always wanted to work on cars.

“That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” said Thompson.

15051 Jats Dr, Brandy Station, VA • 540.317.0078 • Thompsonautorepair.com
REPAIR
AUTO
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Wild

Birds

Unlimited Nature Shop Susan Haynes

Susan and Bob Haynes have known each other all their lives, and in August 2022, opened a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise together in Culpeper.

The store is not just a place to buy bird seed. It is a resource for customers to get in touch with nature. Walking through the Wild Birds store is like walking through nature with Susan and her family as excellent guides to the world of birds.

Susan Haynes, who worked as a special education teacher in Orange County, has a vision to educate her customers about wildlife. Having homeschooled four of her now-grown children, they now work at the store. One of their sons even works as a wildlife educator and utilizes non-releasable birds of prey in educational programs around Virginia. He has shown some of his birds in her store and at various events like CulpeperFest. He educates about owls, hawks, falcons and vultures. Given her educational background, Susan Haynes loves to teach about birds and conservation. She wants to help the next generation to love birds as much as she does. She strives to impress upon them conservation awareness early in their lives.

“We have lost 2.9 billion birds for various reasons,” Susan Haynes said. Susan teaches how songbirds can be saved if everyone does their part. Some conservation actions include making windows safer to prevent window strikes, keeping cats indoors, reducing the size of lawns, growing native plants and trees, ceasing use of pesticides and herbicides,

reducing the use of plastics and observing and sharing bird activities to help scientists know where birds are migrating and nesting each year. “If we all work together, we can make huge strides to preserving our birds and wildlife.”

In the store, there are special blends of food to attract a wide variety of birds. They have many large or small bird feeders, bird houses and suet - animal fat easily digested and metabolized by birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees. “Some of our feed,” Susan Haynes explained, “while good for birds, discourages squirrels who like to steal the bird seed.”

The seed in the store is also regionalized, not nationalized. Seed blends are specialty food for birds in this area. It is full of things birds like to eat. Customers can also shop online for products that are available in the store. And for those who need a bit more guidance with what their bird friends might enjoy, store staff are able to answer questions with excellent advice.

Wild Birds Unlimited has a mission to bring people and nature together with education and products designed by experts. The Haynes’s vision is to work with the community to teach about conservation and go to schools to teach about what is best for our environment. Wild Birds Unlimited will soon be well known as not just a bird feeding store, but they will become Culpeper’s local resource for questions and answers to backyard birding and wildlife conservation.

15311
Dr, Culpeper, VA • 540.829.9453
www.culpeper.wbu.com
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Monanus
NATURE SHOP

Home & Tack Organizing, LLC Lindsey Bennington

Imagine all the stuff in your basement, garage, or tack room neat and tidy and arranged where you can easily find it. Lindsey Bennington’s dream job is to make your dream come true. Her company, Home & Tack Organizing, specializes in turning messes into peaceful places — and she loves doing it.

The idea for Home & Tack Organizing came from her mother-in-law and the basement she kept putting off sorting for years. She would brush off Lindsey’s offers to help with “you really don’t want to do THAT!” Only when she installed a pool and became frustrated with trying to store pool supplies and toys did she relent and ask Lindsey to sort “just the pool items” in the basement.

The results were so astounding, she allowed Lindsey to organize the rest of the basement. And Lindsey found that she “really, really liked” organizing it for her.

Two months later, in August 2021, Lindsey launched Home & Tack Organizing, LLC. And thus, she added to her resume of military spouse, mother of two boys and avid horse rider the title of independent business owner. Since its inception, her company has been transforming stressful areas into functional spaces in Culpeper, Luray, Front Royal, Nokesville –and everywhere in between.

Lindsey begins any project with a consultation to assess a client’s troublesome area, either via Zoom or in person. She asks questions to determine their needs, measures the layout of the space, takes pictures, and generates ideas and provides an estimate. When the client agrees, Lindsey rolls up her sleeves and works side by side with them, separating articles into piles of things to keep, to donate, to trash, and “other” — which means an item in the space belongs to another area of the house.

“I like to work with my clients,” Lindsey said. “It may take longer, but as we go through everything, I teach them how to organize, and how to maintain the space after it is finished.”

Lindsey finds the hardest part for people is accepting that they need help — and getting over the embarrassment of having a stranger see their disorganized mess. But Lindsey approaches all her jobs with an objective perspective because as she says, “They’re not my things.”

Despite her objective approach to her jobs, she has found herself a counselor of sorts as she listens to stories behind sentimental items and why clients may have a difficult time parting with them. Lindsey can help them gain a more realistic view of those articles so that together they can determine what’s worth keeping and what isn’t.

“I’m not judgmental,” she explained. “I don’t force people to get rid of things if they don’t want to.”

It’s a matter of finding a system that will work for the client to find a “home” for the items that will best fit the available space.

Appreciation expressed by clients keeps Lindsey motivated to do what she does. After one organizational job in particular, her client revealed with grateful relief that for the first time in decades she didn’t have to apologize to visitors for the appearance of her home.

Lindsey said it was the most thoughtful compliment she’d ever received. Not just a job well done but a dream realized.

If you have questions or would like assistance organizing your home, barn, storage unit, moving into a new home, down-sizing or decluttering give Home & Tack Organizing a call.

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540.881.0908 • www.homeandtackorganizing.com

Miss Minerva’s Tea Room Ashleigh Price

Ashleigh Price has always loved downtown staple Miss Minerva’s Tea Room and Gifts.

“I’ve loved this business since I was a young girl when my grandmother took me here for a tea party.”

Now as its third owner, she gets to enjoy the business’s magic every day. When she was old enough, she worked there as a waitress. The decorations in the room start as soon as you walk in the door. The first table is dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth of England. There is a crown on the table, tea cups and several samples of the Queen’s favorite teas. Customers are invited to sign one of the condolence cards which will be sent to the Royal Family.

Sitting at this table is the original Miss Minerva mannequin, which sat outside. After many years of greeting the public outside, she was entitled to an indoor job although he has maintained her lovely smile. The tea room is lit by beautiful glass chandeliers. The room can accommodate thirty people. The space has been used for bridal or baby showers, and adult’s or children’s birthday parties.

Price loves hosting young children so that she can introduce them to flavored teas such as chocolate mint tea. She also teaches them about tea room manners. She enjoys seeing them become comfortable in a restaurant setting. Price and her staff are concerned about food allergies and they work to protect their customers.

Price has three employees and her husband, Casey Stanley, also helps out on Saturdays and is an integral part of the business whenever needed. Customers can choose from the 50 teas they offer.

Guests are also welcome to use any of the hats that decorate the walls. Each time a hat is used, it is sanitized before it is used again. Guests can also choose from a menu of food items for lunch or tea time.

In the gift shop there are teas for writers, and book lovers. They sell miniature sets, children’s tea sets, and tea pots with delicate floral patterns. If a customer is looking for a specific pattern, Price will try to find it.

She works with “Skirted Soldier,” a company which makes military themed tea blends. A portion of the proceeds go to female veteran organizations. Millian Candles Enterprises also use Miss Minerva’s tea blends in their candles.

The mission is two-fold. One goal is to help children become comfortable in a restaurant setting. The other part is to make people aware of the benefits of tea.

Her vision is to become an integral part of downtown Culpeper and to see Culpeper’s other businesses thrive.

Price has partnered with staff from Le Monkey House, Vinosity and Ravens Nest for the very popular Harry Potter scavenger hunt day. She hopes to continue to participate in yearly themed events to continue to bring Culpeper residents and alike downtown and into the world of tea.

167 E. Davis St, Culpeper, VA • 540-829-9700 • missminervas@verizon.net TEA
& GIFTS 12
ROOM

Step into Sheila and Trevor Cooper’s place of business and you’ve entered, not a place of work, but a place of passion: a cozy community where the couple is dedicated to meeting their customers’ needs.

“When you’re doing something you love, when you’re helping people, it’s not work, it’s passion,” Sheila Cooper said. “It’s a passion we share with each of our customers.”

That passion is helping customers grow cannabis. Not only by selling special soils, fertilizers and grow lights, but by offering advice and education on plant types, growth, diseases, etc.

“Growing cannabis is a craft, just like brewing beer or making wine,” Trevor Cooper said. “There’s a lot of science that goes into it.”

The Cooper’s business, Tropi-Canna, LLC, was founded in 2021, after use of both medical and recreational cannabis for adults was legalized in Virginia and households were allowed to grow up to four plants for personal use.

The Coopers credit a Virginia Cannabis Growers Symposium held at Belmont Farm Distillery in August 2021 for giving them the inspiration to launch the new business. Approximately 1,000 people attended the first-ever marijuanathemed grow festival and education event. Lignumhemp farmer Mike Sauer, who organized the symposium, was instrumental in helping the Coopers get Tropi-Canna started. At his encouragement, the two, Sheila a manager at ACE Hardware and Trevor a heavy equipment operator, combined their paychecks to buy a pallet of Ocean Forest and Coast of Maine soils, which they sold at the symposium to fund their budding business’s first inventory. They first sold their wares at ACE Hardware. As customers and the business grew, they expanded into their current location on South East Street.

At this location the store sells a variety of products – Fox Farm, Coast of Maine, and Ocean Forest soils, some organic, some with earthworm castings, good for growing not just cannabis but other garden plants. They sell supplies for hydroponic gardening as well—coco, clay pebbles, and rockwool. Then there are liquid fertilizers, insect sprays, CO2 boosters, grow tents, ventilation systems for those tents, and terp teas to boost flavors and smells.

Just like with any other plant, growing cannabis can be “finicky”, according to Sheila. “You have to know what conditions are favorable to avoid stressing the plant,” she said.

There are many strains of cannabis, each with their own unique combinations of taste, look, levels of THC and CBD, and effect or application.

The Coopers hear testimonies of how using cannabis has helped their customers — how it eased the pain of terminal lung cancer for one and diminished the epileptic seizures of another. The couple themselves can attest to the plant’s benefits. It relieves health issues of their own like anxiety, restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia — without the need for harmful opioids and prescription drugs with dangerous side effects.

issues of their own like anxiety, restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia –without the need for harmful opioids and prescription drugs with dangerous side effects.

The ability to grow cannabis at home makes that relief more accessible and affordable, and customers appreciate the local, friendly help the Coopers provide in that venture.

The store also extends its support to local artisans by selling hand crafts such as tie-dye t-shirts and homemade jewelry and has participated in neighborhood school supply and food drives.

“Tropi-Canna is a community, not a business,” Sheila said. “People come here not just for our products but because we’re down to earth and personal.”

125 S East St, Culpeper, VA • 540.717.7277

Tropi-Canna Shelia & Trevor Cooper
• tropi-cannallc.com CANNABIS
13

PHOTOGRAPHY

Outgoing Portraits Susan Bittner

Her smile is infectious.

“I grow on you...like mold,” joked photographer Susan Bittner.

Her personality is welcoming, fun and bubbly – “the good kind of crazy,” she described. A crazy that encourages other people to smile, have fun and relax when having their photos taken.

Empowering people to love who they are is Susan’s life’s mission.

“I see beauty in others where they can’t – it’s my superpower,” she said. “Being me, being transparent, gives people the freedom to open up, to be themselves, so I can capture that on film.”

Taking photos was nothing new for her. In high school, Susan captured pictures and created photo albums for her own enjoyment. When she and a high school friend perused those photos one day on a trip down memory lane, the friend noticed Susan had even written on the backs of the pictures to document the occasions, prompting the friend to remark, “you were meant for this even then!”

In 2004, Susan was gifted a 35mm Canon film camera and began taking photos of her then 4-year-old daughter, learning about the different lenses and their effects, experimenting with different angles and creative settings. Coworkers and friends noticed the portraits framed on her desk and were amazed she had taken them, and, of course, asked her to take their photos. Everything snowballed from there. She photographed people, weddings, and then high school activities and sports as her daughter grew.

Her “real job” at the time was working for Food Lion’s corporate office in North Carolina as an analyst. She soon discovered that her photography hobby made nearly as much income. And it was fun!

The COVID-19 pandemic gave Susan the final push she needed to pursue photography full time. In 2020, Food Lion corporate offices went all-virtual and continued so for almost two years.

Originally from Virginia and traveling there often to visit family and friends, Susan came to the realization that she could now work-from-home anywhere. In December 2021, she put her North Carolina house on the market to move back home. However, just as the house sold, Food Lion announced it was going back to in-person work beginning February 2022. She faced a dilemma of what to do next.

“They always say if you’re doing something you love, it’s not work,” she said. “But I wondered, ‘If I make this my career, will I still love it?’”

The answer has been a resounding yes.

“Once it was a necessity, it opened my mind, freed my creative juices,” she said. “Once I decided to do this full time, you couldn’t stop me.”

In August 2022, Outgoing Portraits was born in Virginia. Susan has been full speed ahead, working freelance for local publications, photographing brides and weddings, taking senior class portraits, involving herself in local school sports photography and attracting new clients through enthusiastic word of mouth.

In construction is a full-service photography, boudoir and outdoor studio at her home in Lignum. She plans to partner with area businesses for hair and makeup, costumes, lighting, props, wine — even massage — to give clients an immersive, fun, and comfortable photoshoot experience. She envisions groups, businesses, bridal parties, families, enjoying time together there.

“I love making people smile, making them feel comfortable,” she said. It shows through her work. Susan’s personality behind the camera brings out the creativity she captures in front of it.

704.796.7282 • outgoingportraits.mypixieset.com
14

FITNESS STUDIO

Applied Science Fitness Studio Mike Duby

With 19 different workout machines in the studio in conjunction with Duby’s guidance, clients find solutions to improve muscle tone and strength in targeted parts of the body. Potential clients can make an appointment by calling his office and scheduling the day and time. There are no binding contracts involved in Mike’s services.

During the first appointment in his studio, perspective clients will be interviewed for any health and safety concerns and to determine a realistic game plan for their exercise sessions. The client may want to increase muscle strength, lose weight or perhaps both. They may also even have pain issues which they feel may improve with Duby’s expertise. They can share any other treatments they have used and how long they had the problem. After all the information is gathered, Duby works with the client to write an individual plan for them.

Mike’s goal is for them to see results as soon as possible.

All of the exercise machines are weight based and are adjustable according to the clients’ abilities and needs. Most clients begin to see improvements within a week. The amount of time needed to correct a specific problem varies from person to person.

The average male will lose 40 pounds net weight in six weeks. For females, the average net weight loss is 20 pounds in a six week period.

The success of the progress the client makes is dependent on the amount of time and energy they put into their program.

What’s Duby’s motto? “Applied Science Fitness Studio...where we specialize in RESULTS, not empty promises.”

Most of Duby’s clientele are adults and they are usually referred to Duby by other clients. Anyone under 18-years-old must be accompanied by a parent.

Duby’s office hours are 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. Closing hours differ depending on the flexibility and schedule of clients.

When he’s not changing lives one pound at a time, Duby keeps busy with other hobbies.

Duby and his wife Karen have two booths in the Minuteman Mini Mall, concentrating on antiques and vintage articles from the 1940s to the 1950s.

Mike is also a published author. His book, “The Unexpected New Best Friend: If there is a broken one on the shelf, I will be the one to end up with it.” is a memoir of a man’s life and lessons learned told through funny anecdotes and slightly fictionalized stories. The book was published in June 2022. It is available through Amazon in hardback, paperback, large print and Kindle. 217

VA •
• mike@appliedsciencefitnessstudio.com
E. Culpeper St, Culpeper,
540.812.5532
15

Endless Creations Chris & Steve Cone

Steve Cone grew up on a cattle farm and planned to go into the family business, but when the family sold it, he realized he needed another plan.

His grandmother suggested he learn about plants and greenhouses, which led to Cone joining the FFA, studying horticulture and later, meeting his wife, Christina. Since college, the pair have always worked together in local greenhouses and later started their own landscape design and installation company.

Endless Creations has existed for 36 years. It first started as a hobby selling high-end fresh holiday centerpieces, traveling to larger towns to sell fresh florals at craft shows with two kids in the back of the car underneath all of the plants. Cone and partner Chris Cone opened their first retail floral shop on Sunset Lane in 2014. Just a little over a year later, Endless Creations purchased Randy’s Flower and moved the location on West Evans Street when Randy Jones retired. Five years passed, when they realized they outgrew that location and moved to their current location at 261 Southgate Shopping Center beside the Culpeper County Library.

Did you know they have a full service floral and gift shop right here in Downtown Culpeper? Endless Creations provides floral services for weddings, funerals, birthdays and banquets but it’s also a beautiful shop with décor, candles, and chocolates from local artisans. All the plants and flowers used are from local distributors and farms keeping money in the state.

Stop in and say hi, bring in 5 boxes or 5 cans of food and receive a $5 bouquet of flowers. Don’t want the flowers? Donate them to a local nursing home resident. All food collected stays here in Culpeper. The Cones appreciate their deep roots in the area. They can name several generations of families they have serviced over the years.

“We’ll create floral birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals for the same family. Then it repeats with kids and grandkids,” Steve Cone said. This local florist supports the community and the community supports them. Their commitment is Endless and they will do whatever it takes to make your vision a reality.

261 Southgate Shopping Center, Culpeper,
• ecflowersandgifts.com FLORIST 16
VA • 540.825.4440

Culpeper Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

The Culpeper Chamber of Commerce is active and visible in our community, and the 108-year-old organization couldn’t do it without the help of its many volunteers.

At the forefront of that effort is the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Twenty individuals work diligently to promote the vision of the Chamber and its goal to be the voice of the business community. They work to promote, build and support the most effective climate for economic development in our community.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of community members representing small business, large industry, nonprofit and local government agencies.

Deb Manzari is the incoming board chair. She moved to Culpeper five years ago, found the residents very welcoming, and became a member of the Chamber of Commerce. She is a Realtor with REMAX and finds it easy to recommend Culpeper to others. She meets other members through volunteering for events.

Her mission is “to find ways to move Culpeper forward.” She believes in giving back to the Community and is excited about the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council initiated by the Board.

“The Board always works for the common good of the community,” she said.

The Chamber’s signature events such as CulpeperFest, Women’s LIFT, Appreciation and Valor Awards, and the Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet are planned and executed by a committee of volunteers and board members.

Ron Warner is a Loan Officer with Farm Credit in Culpeper. He joined the Culpeper Chamber 10 years ago and is on the Finance Committee. He was an integral part of the CulpeperFest team.

He volunteers for the Young Professionals Lunches, Culpeper Fest and BIE. He feels that the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce Board members work together as a family.

“All the members are here to support one another,” Warner said, with the mission of helping the Culpeper Community thrive in a positive direction. Part of that mission involves the Chamber’s annual scholarships to educational foundations in the community and the work of the Chamber’s many committees and councils to provide a platform for sharing ideas, making connections, and advocating for organizations.

Stephen King, a personal insurance agent, Comparison Insurance, was introduced to the Chamber of Commerce in 2018 when he attended his first Young Professional Meeting. He was Chair of the Young Professionals for two years and has remained interested in all the events they present. Last year he was elected as the Chair of the Chamber Board.

His mission is “to find ways for different businesses to come together to support each other. This will benefit Culpeper and the surrounding areas.”

This year the Young Professionals raised more than $3,500 to donate to SAFE through their charity car wash and the annual Crabfeast.

The Chamber is visible through ribbon cutting events throughout the year, their multiple social media posts and their outreach in the community. Volunteers and board members help make that all possible.

629 Sperryville Pike, Culpeper • 540.825.8628
culpeperchamber.com COMMUNITY
17

Narmada Winery Sudha & Pandit Patil

In 1999, Sudha Patil and her husband Pandit bought a fifty-one acre hayfield. They added a pond to the land. They planted twenty acres of grapes for red wine only. They built the tasting room and a pavilion by the pond. Narmada Winery was officially established in 2009 in Rappahannock County. Pandit was the business manager and Sudha has always been the winemaker.

Events such as weddings, anniversaries, showers, picnics, and corporate meetings can be held in the tasting room, on the covered patio, the basement room, the barrel room, or outside in designated areas. They also have a one-bedroom AirBnB area on their property.

Narmada serves Indian food. Children are welcome in the tasting room under the supervision of their parents. Soft drinks are available for young visitors. Sudha states that she is pleased to see children enjoy the Indian food, especially the butter chicken.

Two of the full-time employees are Jeremy Levey, the winery manager, and Alex Dias, the tasting room manager. There are also two full-time employees in the vineyard. On busy weekends they have six part-time staff members.

For many years, artists have been allowed to display and sell their paintings which are hung on the walls in the tasting room. Narmada

Winery also features live music and has had a theater play performed in the tasting room.

Narmada also offers opportunities for local arts and craft teachers to hold classes. These are well attended. They have featured glass painting, calligraphy, knitting, and crocheting classes. They have also had a class for people to “Be a Winemaker for a Day,” in the barrel room. Information about classes is available on their website. Sudha says, “Our guests are here to enjoy themselves, and we enjoy helping them.”

The mission for the winery is to provide the best Virginia wines to the local area and throughout the United States. They want Virginia to “shine” and be recognized internationally. Most recently Narmada’s Cabernet Franc Reserve 2019 received 97 points at the International Women’s Wine Competition.

Every industry can be affected by the weather. This year spring started early, and then cold weather stopped the growth in the vines. Then the weather heated up and the vines took off again.

Narmada has nineteen different wines. If the growing season permits, they can also offer some specialty wines that are sweeter and usually in big demand. Sudha is proud to be able to offer “estate wines,” meaning they are grown and made 100% in their vineyard.

43
18
Narmada Lane, Amissville, VA
540.937.8215 • narmadawinery.com WINERY

DOING BUSINESS IN CULPEPER

Economic Development of Culpeper Winona Pritts

Winona Pritts enthusiasm for joining Culpeper County’s Department of Economic Development in 2020 is abundantly clear.

A native of Virginia, Pritts was drawn to Culpeper’s great sense of community. As a graduate of the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, Pritts was interested in utilizing her management and marketing background to make a big impact in a community where she could see how her work benefited individuals, students and businesses.

Giving back to the community is a top priority for Pritts, who eagerly became involved in Culpeper’s Career Partners through volunteering at Eastern View and Culpeper High Schools. With myriad volunteering experience, Pritts was selected for a unique mentorship role as part of the new Culpeper Technical Education Center program in 2021 and returned to mentor two students during the 2022 school year. Providing job shadowing opportunities, networking, and a chance to work through career goals, mentees from CTEC’s newest program earn credit while graduating prepared for the workplace.

At the Department of Economic Development, Pritts assists businesses with initial business plans, workforce issues and marketing among other things. Working with Director Bryan Rothamel, the duo has brought new programming to Culpeper businesses through the Small Business Development Center.

The office hosts various workshops and seminars, free for Culpeper businesses. Pritts works directly with Culpeper small businesses, including farms, through the administration of the Be A Culpeper Local programCulpeper’s shop local campaign, and through the Culpeper Farm Tour. Since taking over the Farm Tour, Pritts has grown the event, brought

new recognition to participating farms, and found fun ways for visitors to interact with the tour.

Through the Be A Culpeper Local program, Pritts helps educate residents on the importance of shopping locally and the benefits it has for the community. To assist residents in shopping locally, she created a comprehensive directory of Culpeper businesses available on the program’s website. To bring further recognition to businesses and provide a fun experience for shoppers, Pritts created Be A Culpeper Local Week, an event that debuted in 2022, during back to school shopping and tax free weekend. Throughout the week Pritts highlighted Culpeper businesses, their owners, and more, on the department’s Facebook page.

As part of Pritts’ marketing efforts, she promotes Culpeper businesses, farms, workforce and department goals through various social media platforms. She continues to introduce new ways consumers can interact with Culpeper businesses and show community support.

“My goal is to educate the public on what makes Culpeper so special, while continuing to support the individual people and businesses that call it home,” Pritts said.

Becoming involved in the community is fundamental in life for Pritts, who has passed the importance on to her children. Her two sons, students at A.G. Richardson, are both SCA class representatives and involved in several school clubs, in addition to youth sports and volunteering.

Fostering great working relationships with community partners is essential to Pritts, who serves on Culpeper Renaissance Inc.’s Economic Vitality Group and received CRI’s Partner of the Year Award in 2022.

S. Main St. Culpeper,
• 540.727.3410 • culpeperva.org
803
VA
19

LIFE COACH

Growing up in Culpeper, Shelly Tutt had loving parents and one brother. Her parents were active in the community, so Shelly learned the value of community at an early age. Her parents were also entrepreneurs and instilled those values and work ethic in her. So, after college, she started her entrepreneurial journey, when her father passed, and she moved back home to run his business. She was very close to her father, and he taught her the power of determination.

Shelly spent most of her career owning and operating an Allstate Insurance agency, for almost 19 years, until she became ill and almost died. After recuperating, she opened “Praise the Lord Bookstore,” which was a longtime passion of hers to be able to just focus on the things of GOD. In 2007, He called her into ministry. She ministered and spoke as the Lord guided her. Then He called her to minister to the incarcerated. She preached the word, coached inmates, taught classes and occasionally filled in for the chaplain in his absence for ten years. She helped them navigate through their deeper struggles to break free from situations that were keeping them stuck. Some have become pastors and entrepreneurs, but all have had a substantial level of breakthrough.

Tutt experienced a frightening and hurtful encounter early in life and with the help of her GOD, she persevered. As He guided her through her healing process, she uses her experience to help guide others to their healing and life goals. She begins and ends her coaching meetings with prayer and allows the Holy Spirit to minister through her.

When her mother became ill and required full time care, she closed her business to care for her mother. After her mother passed, she had another life-threatening illness with cancer. However, her faith in GOD kept her steadfast. She still ministered when she could.

Her mission is to help people to recover from debilitating life situations, as well as help individuals progress to the next stage of their journey toward fulfillment.

Wanting to broaden her service, in 2014, while caring for her mother, she received a coaching certification from John Maxwell in Leadership and Personal Development and has since formed “Empowered Builders, LLC.

She is also the inspiration editor and a writer of a Lifestyle magazine called “InfluencHer,” as well as co-author of a book called “Anointed But Sick: Our Journey To Healing.”

After having been off the scene for a while, she is now launching an online coaching business. The online world is definitely different, but Zoom has become her best friend. She says, “Even though learning the technology has been a challenge, it’s a better fit for me now.”

If you’d like to inquire about her individual or group coaching programs or speaking engagements, she can be contacted at empoweredbuilders.com. You’re also invited to join the Facebook group: Fresh Start: Letting Go of Overwhelm and Taking Charge of The Path Ahead.

Her goal is for others to heal debilitating wounds that have kept them stuck. Her goal is for all to find peace of mind and to walk in their GOD given power and break free from limiting mindsets so they can push past obstacles. She helps them to release what is not serving them and go from a place of dysfunction, disillusionment, and emotional pain to a state of healing and wholesomeness. Of course, situations vary depending on individual needs and personal commitment.

Tutt advises to watch for announcements about her podcasts in the future.

540.522.3109 • info@shellytutt.com
Shelly Tutt Mindset Strategist Shelly Tutt
20

HTDNET, LLC Matt Demaree

Matthew Demaree learned about computers from his father and older brother before taking over the reins and becoming mostly self-taught.

At the age of 14 in 1994, he started his business, “Hypertext Design Network.”

Initially, he focused on web page design before enlisting in the United States Army in 1999 to serve with the US Army Ranger Regiment in Savannah, Georgia, as well as with the Calvary in Texas.

After being honorably discharged in 2003, he jumped back into his business and added many more services to his business. He was subsequently recalled to serve in Iraq from 2005 to 2007, but was still able to serve his customers during down time via the internet. Demaree continues to serve his community by being a volunteer with the New Baltimore Volunteer Fire Company and assisting other non-profits.

Now known as HTDNET, a full service technology company and VoIP telephone service provider, its mission is “Focus on your business, we have your technology.”

Demaree wants small businesses to have the same advantages as large businesses have in regards to technology and services.

“I do not want my customers to have long down times because I know how that impacts their business,” Demaree said.

Demaree and his team serve the role as “Help Desk” technicians and are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week, but that is not all his company does.

HTDNET also is a telephone company for VolP phone solutions, complete with mobile apps, music on hold, call routing, and auto attendants among

some of the features. His services also include PC/Mac repair; Printing Marketing, Wired and Wireless Networking, Web Design/Hosting, and even Cellular Internet Access. His company is also able to assist with graphics design. HTDNET has become a single source of technology solutions for the customers they serve. This allows their customers to focus on what’s important while HTDNET has full responsibility toward all the tech that drives their business. No more having a list of companies and contacts to call for various business needs.

Demarree stressed that it is very important for companies have safe access to their computer information at all times. He assists them with onsite and if needed off site backing up of their information so that they do not experience interruptions in the flow of their business.

Most of his business is from personal references from his customers. It is very important to Demaree that he keeps up with all the changes that happen so quickly in the internet and hardware arena. He believes that when his customers are successful his company will also be successful. His vision is to think out of the box when solving problems.

HTDNET is located in Catlett, but Demaree works with companies in Culpeper, Fauquier and Prince William, as well as clients nationwide. His company monitors how satisfied businesses are with his service by listening to their feedback, reading reviews, personal interactions with his customers and staff and following the referrals he receives.

Demaree stated eventually he would like to have a store front office in the Vint Hill community.

• mdemaree@htd.net TECHNOLOGY 21
4712 Dumfries Rd. Catlett, VA • 540.905.8111

ORTHODONTIST

Eppard Orthodontics Holly Eppard DDS, MS

For orthodontist Dr. Holly Eppard, making clients feel welcome and comfortable while visiting her office reigns paramount.

“It is important that we provide quality treatment in a family friendly atmosphere,” Eppard said.

The waiting room has child appropriate video games that patients can play. Eppard has a reward program for patients who follow good oral hygiene and wear their Eppard Ortho tee shirts. They earn pogs, which are tokens to buy prizes on display in the waiting room. The wall of fame room is covered with signatures of people who finished their treatment.

Most of the patients are children and teenagers, but many adults also may require adjustment of their teeth. Eppard treats people of all ages, ranging from ages 7 to 83. Teeth can shift throughout a lifetime. Retainers keep them in place. Once treatment is complete, retainers must be worn for life.

Eppard Orthodontics is a fully digital office. They utilize the iTero intraoral scanner to safely scan the patient’s mouth and create a digital mold instead of goopy impressions that make patients uncomfortable.

She has an in-office 3D printer used to make customized clear aligners and retainers. Eppard provides customized treatment options, including clear aligners, such as Invisalign, clear and metal braces.

Dr. Eppard graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with her masters of science in Orthodontics, Certificate in Orthodontics and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. She began practicing orthodontics with Dr. Robert Miller. In 2014, she purchased his Culpeper practice and established Eppard Orthodontics. The practice serves patients from Culpeper and surrounding

areas, such as Rappahannock, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania and Greene Counties. She and her amazing team of eleven employees focus on providing customer service and patient care.

Orthodontists are specialists in straightening teeth and correcting alignment. This may require orthopedic devices for growing patients or jaw surgery for adult patients.

Treatment time to correct orthodontic problems varies with each patient. It could be from months to years depending on the complexity of the problem. Eppard is dedicated to continuing education to learn new techniques and provide efficient procedures and ideal treatment outcomes for all patients.

Eppard Orthodontics is committed to providing affordable treatments and flexible financing options to patients. People may have insurance with a dental plan, but coverage for orthodontics is often limited to a lifetime maximum. Eppard offers no interest payment plans.

The staff help patients to find payment options within their budgets.

Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:15 a.m.-5 p.m. An on-call assistant helps troubleshoot after hours orthodontic concerns.

Dr. Eppard and her husband Scott live in Culpeper. Scott is a mortgage loan officer and branch manager at Ross Mortgage of Culpeper. They have identical twin girls, Charli and Mila, and a son Colton. Eppard grew up in Greene County and has supportive family and friends. She enjoys the Culpeper area and makes it a goal to give back to the community, supporting youth sports teams, high school projects and other local charities.

1100 Sunset Lane, Suite 1110 • 540.825.6064 • eppardortho.com
22

Rappahannock

Electric Cooperative Jeff Henry

One of Jeff Henry’s favorite things to do is to meet people and hear their stories, so it was a perfect fit to become Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s new Director of Member Services and Community Relations.

The position puts Henry in daily contact with people, and his smiling, bubbly demeanor naturally puts them at ease.

As the title suggests, Henry’s role for REC is two-fold: member services and community relations.

The Member Services role enables him to help REC members when they come to the office to pay their bill or to ask a question. He can personally resolve payment issues and connect them with field reps to diagnose problems they may be having with their electricity or send someone out to help connect solar panels or backup generators to their meters.

The Community Relations part takes Henry all over the REC service area, which covers parts of Culpeper, Madison, Orange, Fauquier, Greene, Rappahannock and Albemarle counties, attending events and activities. REC is present at county parades, 4th of July celebrations, National Nights Out and Trunk or Treat events.

“Where else can you stuff candy into REC branded bags and give it away?” he laughed.

Attending over 50 events throughout the course of the year brings him in contact with people from all walks of life. He portrays the helpful, smiling face of REC to the public, offering support and hearing customer feedback. “Usually, what people have to say is positive,” Henry said. “It’s gratifying to hear, but it’s just as gratifying to me when we hear about a problem and then get it solved for them.”

Traveling around the service area also enables Henry to enjoy the mountains and scenery he loves so much. Born and raised in Spotsylvania, he’d always been drawn to the Culpeper area. He began working for REC in Fredericksburg as Supervisor of Billing and Metering, which, though he loved the job, automation made it very impersonal. When the opportunity arose to become Director of Member Services and Community Relations in the Culpeper office six months ago, he embraced the chance not only to interact with people but to move closer to the mountains where he finds joy. Connecting REC with youth is another joy Henry finds in attending community events. At Eastern View High School’s 2022 BIE Day, a teacher mentioned two students in class who were interested in becoming linemen. REC arranged for someone to come speak to the class and speak to those students individually.

REC awards scholarships and supports worthwhile nonprofit community organizations. One organization that REC supports is especially near and dear to Henry’s heart. TACO (Therapeutic Adventure Camp of Orange) serves special needs youths with activities such as horseback riding, music, and recreation. Henry’s 16-year-old son is autistic and benefits greatly from these outings. Henry feels a personal connection to the good REC is doing in the local area for local people.

“I’m proud to work for a company that helps our community in this way,” Henry said.

That pride and enthusiasm shows in Henry’s personable manner. Performing the duties of Director of Member Services and Community Relations for him is not a job but a joy that “never grows old.”

13252
Church Rd., Culpeper, VA • 540.825.8373 • www.myrec.coop
Cedar Run
ELECTRIC COMPANY 23

Eye Care of Virginia Dr. Miles Press

In his 51 years of experience, optometrist Dr. Miles Press has probably seen, diagnosed or treated every kind of eye disorder there is.

“Every week, every day I see patients with unique problems,” Press said. “The key is, I work with my patients to solve those problems, sometimes finding issues other doctors haven’t found.”

Press, of Eye Care of Virginia, has a keen fascination with eye health that was sparked as a youngster in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His family’s optometrist, Dr. Robert Morrison, noticed that Press was interested in what he was doing during an annual eye exam.

“He took me downstairs and showed me around his contact lens manufacturing company,” Press said. “He told me, ‘When you’re 16, I’ll put you to work for me.’”

And so, at age 16, he worked part-time for him after school.

Press became immersed in the design and manufacture of soft contact lenses, brand new in the late 1960s and a boon to eye health. At that time, Morrison traveled to England on behest of the prince and princess and was gifted a Rolls Royce by them for saving their daughter’s eyesight with revolutionary contact lenses.

“When he brought back the prescription, I was the one who cut the curves on those lenses,” Press recalled.

Following pre-optometry courses at the local community college, Press, armed with a letter of referral by Morrison, enrolled in the New England College of Optometry in Boston, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1971.

Press then joined the Air Force as an optometrist and captain. He worked in the flight surgeon’s offices at Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field and was held responsible for all the flight officers who flew the gunships and

jets over to Vietnam. He also saw over 10,000 dependents of active duty personnel at both bases.

After the military, he worked with opticians throughout Virginia, staying up to date on the newest advancements in eye care. He developed his own FDA-approved tinted soft contact lens in 1980 for which he sold the rights to Ciba Vision in 1986.

In 2013, he partnered with Walmart to open offices in King George and Culpeper, where he continues to apply up-to-date procedures and technology to help his patients.

Press offers a new product called MiSight©, a contact lens for children that slows the progression of nearsightedness by 59%. He said sadly more time spent on screens, virtual learning, and less time outdoors has fueled an increase in myopia among children aged 8-12 over the past five years.

“It’s so rewarding to see the improvements in vision MiSight© can make,” Press said.

His concern for people’s eyesight expanded overseas from 2009 to 2011 when Press joined three medical mission trips to Peru. The only optometrist in a group of over 20 doctors, he was able to see 3,000 patients during a week’s stay and help many there by providing eye exams and corrective lenses.

Closer to home, Press saved a child’s vision by identifying an issue no one else discovered and referring him to a specialist for treatment. He diagnosed cancer in a patient during her eye exam, which she hadn’t known she had. He has brought diabetic patients’ vision back to 20/20.

Fifty-one years of success in treating eye health concerns such as these has earned Press a reputation among patients that awarded him Culpeper’s Best of the Best seven years straight and continues to spur him on in his mission for excellence in eye care.

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eyecareofva@aol.com
CARE 24
James Madison Hwy, Culpeper, VA
540.825.3937 •
EYE