Issuu on Google+
















Angst Meets Irony



Showstopper & hat fashonista


rocks the runway.




Commercial Properties Residential Options Mixed-Use Projects Research & Education Facilities


Dining Out OPTIONS!






stay grow


G r e a t e r R i c h m o n d , Vi r g i n i a , U S A

Launch your career RichmondJobNet is an online career resource center for individuals interested in starting or advancing their career in the Greater Richmond region.The site is organized to simplify the job search process using a comprehensive listing of area job boards, tools and tips for job seekers including resume, cover letter and interview preparation.

Locate your business The Greater Richmond Partnership provides free site location assistance to domestic and international companies planning new or expanded facilities. The Partnership is a single point of contact to the network of private sector and state and local government professionals that supports a company’s facility location decision.

Grow your business Existing businesses account for nearly 80 percent of new economic activity in the area. The Business First program is an instrumental part of our efforts to grow the regional economy and demonstrates our longstanding commitment to existing business outreach and support.


I Wiki, Therefore I Am Next time you have a question about the region think twice before you click on Wikipedia̶thereʼs a smarter bookworm on the rise.

page 4

Hot Tweets Richmond Tweeple: Bradley Robb Felisha Jones Jason Yu Lindsay Schoonover

page 5

Richmond’s New Mayor(s) Move over Dwight Jones, Robert Sterling is a mayor in RVA too ̶in fact, at last count he was the top brass in at least five different locales.


Secret Codes & Cupcakes Carytown Cupcakes is offering free, wonderfully‑sweet goodies to Facebook users.

page 6

COMMUNITY NEXUS Moving the City Forward

Byron Marshallʼs confirmation as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Richmond came with serious expectations.

page 7

LOFT LIFE Domestic Bliss Domiciles A sneak peek at the upcoming 2010 Downtown Loft Tour.

page 8

‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Tweets’ “You donʼt tweet enough,” a reader said in a message to me on Facebook. Weirdly enough, my knee‑jerk reaction was to apologize̶as if Iʼd overlooked some task in my job de‑ scription. I was under the impres‑ sion that I was one of your run‑of‑the‑mill tweeters, promoting the magazine and articles we fea‑ ture on̶with the occasional foray in life observa‑ tions, cleverly condensed into 140 characters. (Well, at least I think they are clever.) Okay, Iʼm no power‑tweeter fol‑ lowing legions of twitterers. (Who can actually keep up with thousands of tweets?) Nor do I have masses fol‑ lowing my every tossed‑off bon mot. With nearly 100 followers, I felt my ef‑ fort to maintain a healthy online pres‑ ence was succeeding. “Do I not tweet enough?” I won‑ dered. Should I be doing more? Am I missing opportunities because Iʼm not ʻfriendingʼ enough folks on Face‑ book? Iʼm sure there is already a term for this techno‑social media angst. But it doesnʼt end there. Recently, we instituted Skype in the office. The free video conferenc‑ ing application is great. Because in lieu of going down two flights of stairs in the hopes an editor is avail‑ able to provide a quick answer about a document, through Skype I can see if the editor is free and even show my document on the screen. And Iʼll admit itʼs just plain fun to be able to converse face‑to‑face. “Hey, this will be a great way to chat up my niece who goes to col‑ lege in the midwest,” I thought. Wrong! A couple of clicks into Skype, Iʼm magically transported in a dorm room in Indiana. Actually, Iʼm trapped in the viewfinder of my nieceʼs laptop camera. She is quite tech‑savvy and bubbly̶sitting on the floor with her computer bal‑ anced on her knees. Sheʼs animately talking and jostling the screen this way and that. And poor old Uncle Ted is getting a wee bit nauseous from motion sickness. But then she suddenly sug‑ gests that I should meet her new boyfriend and pulls him into the range of the webcam. Silence. He blinks. I blink. AWKWARD. So, fear not if youʼre finding this brave new world of innovation to be a mixed bag̶youʼre not alone. BY TED RANDLER | PUBLISHER

Show your appreciation by sending flowers from Strange’s. It’s the perfect gift for new business or a job well done. It’s a smart business decision because, when you order online, you save with no wire services fees (up to a $13.95 value) for flowers sent anywhere in the US and Canada. A smile is just a click away online at

Northeast 321-2200

3313 Mechanicsville Pk., near Laburnum Avenue.

West End 360-2800

12111 W. Broad St. between Rt. 288 & Short Pump Town Ctr.

Bon Air 321-0460

8010 Midlothian at Buford Rd.

Midlothian 321-0455

11704 Midlothian Pk., one block west of Huguenot

Hull Street Road 321-0470 6710 Hull Street at Chippenham

I Wiki, Therefore I Am

WORK CONTENTS BIZ SAVVY Regional Business News page 10

Social Media: Hip for Your Biz or Just Hype? Local marketing gurus weigh in on this and other promotional trends.

page 12

Greater Richmond Companies to Watch 2010 Special Section after page 12

MOMENTUM Legal Brief: Employee Discrimination Claims


Open for Business: Amazing Tales of Entrepreneurship Featuring Jeff Samford page 17

Marketing Maven: The Heart of Marketing Goals


Leadership: ‘Talk to Me’ page 18

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010


ext time you have a ques‑ tion about the region think twice before you click on Wikipedia̶thereʼs a smarter bookworm on the rise. is the 804ʼs home for hyper‑local resources, a city wiki that leverages the wisdom of crowds. For those looking for the Rich‑ mond lowdown, or wanting to share their own citywide tidbits, has emerged as a community driven guide to the River City. Launched in June 2008, the website is the handiwork of An‑ drew Miller, a University of Rich‑ mond grad who works as a search engine marketing consultant. Miller is quick to point out that this is not his site, but rather a joint ef‑ fort by all of Richmond. “I came up with the idea after

The latest innovations in Commercial Properties, Residential Options, Mixed‑Use Projects and Research & Education Facilities.


updates and can evolve at its own pace,” says Miller. To add local insight, any user can quickly and easily become one of the many editors of the site by post‑ ing content to sections like Things to Do, Bars and Restaurants, Non‑ profits, and Blogs/Twitter Users. “Editors can be notified when new changes are made and quickly take action if necessary. Spam is very rarely an issue, so most of my editing time is spent sprucing up existing articles, seeing the utility RVA Wikipedia‑ist, adding photos or maps, and cre‑ and success of Ar‑ Andrew Miller seeks ating lists and other useful col‑ in “unbiased & impar‑ lections of data.” Ann Arbor, MI. I've tial” local data. Currently the most popu‑ gotten to know the people behind lar pages being edited by Rich‑ that site and witnessed firsthand monders include Tacky Light Tours, how an open, publicly‑editable Belle Isle, Hashbrown Networking community site can encourage and Social Media Club. Also among submissions on a wide variety of the heavily edited pages is an active topics from an even wider variety listing of local blogs and Twitter of contributors,” explains Miller. users throughout the area. In the “Unlike news sites or blogs, a wiki is Twitter overview, Richmonders can supposed to be unbiased and im‑ add their own Twitter handles and partial so it helps fill the void be‑ browse through an alphabetical tween the local media and national listing of popular Twitter users sites like Wikipedia.” along with their bios and links to As a citywide wiki, also known blogs flying under the radar. as a civic wiki, To join the all volunteer‑driven houses user‑generated articles that RichmondWiki Project, follow are typically more detailed and @RichmondWiki on Twitter or go to uniquely Richmond than articles and begin found on Wikipedia. “A wiki is nice collecting and sharing information because it doesn't require constant about RVA.

Executive Publisher Ted Randler

Publisher | Senior Editor David Smitherman



Special Section after page 18

Brand Building: Tweet by Tweet

T0 ADVERTISE CALL 804-355-1035

Micro‑blogging as an indispensable marketing tool.

Greater Richmond Grid is published in the months of

page 19


Business Stories: The Who Behind The How

General comments, story suggestions and letters to the editor for publication consideration should be directed to Ted Randler at

Greater Richmond Grid &


of any text, photograph or il‑ lustration without written

PO Box 9288 Richmond VA 23227

page 22


All rights reserved. Repro‑ duction in whole or in part

© 2009 by Palari Publishing LLP

The faces of local business assistance.


for a complete listing of the magazine’s distribution locations throughout the Greater Richmond Region. Also online, connect with Grid’s writers and photographers.

Downtown Richmond Dining

page 20


Go to

+ Venture Out: A Guide to

INNOVATORS Love Elaine; Phone Message Pro; JHI; Pets at Play; Keith-Fabry Reprographics

Social Media Key


permission from the pub‑ lisher is prohibited.

Ted Randler

The articles you find in the magazine are also available online. The online icons from the Social Media Key are linked to the individualʼs various community memberships. The icons in the articles are there to inform read‑ ers that they may learn more about̶and possi‑ bly contact̶the writers and subjects of articles found in the Greater Richmond Grid. Many of the articles in print have additional ma‑ terial and/or associated web features that can be found on Wherever pos‑ sible, additional articles have been noted, but readers are encouraged to check the site for ex‑ panded articles and daily updates.

David Smitherman

Social Media Club Richmond VA

Nearly put Faulkner and Hemingway next to each other on the bookshelf. Thought better of it, wedged in Auden to keep the peace. 2:39 PM Nov 29th from TweetDeck

Family in line heating up left‑ overs, baby running around, grandma smiling, Sanford and Son marathon, jokes, laughter and #LOVE! 9:20 AM Nov 27th from UberTwitter

Where do all of our past tweets go? Somewhere in twitter‑verse? 9:34 AM Nov 24t from web

Just discovered I have a noisy neighbor above me. Too bad I donʼt have low ceilings, else I'd take the broomstick to it! #disturbingthepeace 2:37 PM Nov 22nd from TweetDeck

Yes Iʼm addicted to House Hunters, I'd be the male version of Susanne Wang, I could watch this and #HGTV all freaking day long. #obsessed 7:04 PM Dec 3rd from TweetDeck

Watching The Proposal since my Godchildren are finally ASLEEP. Mmm, Ryan Reynolds. Why canʼt more guys look like him! :‑) 5:59 PM Nov 12th from UberTwitter

Glass of Chardonnay and dark chocolate M&M's. Life is good. 6:00 PM Nov 23rd from web

See extended Tweet Talk on




PLAY CONTENTS FOOD Downtown’s New Dining Destinations

Following: 848+ | Followers: 1,302+ | Listed: 88+ BRADLEY ROBB Web: Bio: “I'm just a hack writer who drinks too much and falls in love with girls...and whoʼs twitter goes to 11.”

Bistro Bouchon; Doraʼs Brazilian Grill; and Mama Jʼs

page 24

“To boil it down into one word̶scalability. I joined Twitter way back in early 2007 when I was working at Kelloggʼs corporate headquarters, pushing papers and organizing their filing system. The work was low stress and didnʼt require a lot of imagination, which basically bored me to death. To kill time, I would send humorous, sometimes scathing, text messages to friends. At the end of the day, Iʼd take the most choice selections and trans‑ fer them to a blog (now defunct). Sending those messages directly to Twit‑ ter saved a lot of time.”

@thatjonesgirl Following: 833+ | Followers: 807+ | Listed: 25+ FELISHA JONES Web: Bio: “Social Media Socialite; Entrepreneur; Publicist; Motivator; Creator”

GLITZ & GLAM A Phenomenon of Faith & Fashion From a popular Richmond Folk Festival hat show to an upcoming musical at CenterStageʼs Gottwald Playhouse, thereʼs been a lot of talk in town lately about ʻCrowns.ʼ

page 26

What’s Kyra Wearing? Yes, itʼs really, really cold outside. That is absolutely no reason to layer yourself to the point of looking like you are hiding a bear underneath your coat.


Style Watch

“Iʼm a single entrepreneurista, and the Twitter‑verse keeps me company. No, seriously, my goal is to travel around the world one day, so Twitter will have to do until I make that dream come true. I love e‑meeting new peo‑ ple from all over the world. Iʼm also a sponge for quirky and creative stuff. I peel links like an onion (oh, good blog title/topic). As a publicist and event planner, twit‑ ter is an excellent hangout spot for networking, information, and resources! ”

Richmonder Chris Coxʼs blog Easy & Elegant Life is devoted to ʻthe search for everyday elegance and a study of the art of living well.ʼ

page 27

SONGFEST Music Matters: The RVA Vibe 5 local bands worth tracking on your radar.


@Jason_Yu Following: 796+ | Followers: 692+ | Listed: 42+ JASON YU Web: Bio: “See me running across the Manchester Bridge weekdays during Happy Hour. “

RVA Indie Archive

“I started tweeting (@Jason_Yu) about random an‑ tics, crashing VCU parties, entertainment, and work‑ ing out. I also tweet for my company Social Media Solutions (@RICSocialMedia), anything newsworthy and happening in RVA and the Social Media world. And yes, I'm the guy behind (@TFMF). Iʼm a runner and I want to help motivate health nuts and run‑ ners by offering advice, sharing interesting news, and getting them to join our website. ”

@rvafashionista Following: 1,375+ | Followers: 1,662+ | Listed: 61+ LINDSAY SCHOONOVER Web: Bio: “Retail and cosmetics goddess extraordinaire, fashion/beauty/life blogger, style maven, PR diva, social media/networking junkie, gamer grrl, Crackberry addict. “ “I tweet because itʼs fun and a great way to connect with people. I've established great friendships and connections because of Twitter. I use Twitter to share what's on my mind̶whether itʼs my lipstick of choice, plans for an event's outfit, or if I am having a spectac‑ ular day at work. According to my stats, I tweet about 18 times a day, but itʼs much less nowadays especially if Iʼm at work. I sometimes feel I should blog/write more instead of tweet‑ ing, but Twitter requires a little less effort and the feedback is instantaeous.”

Classic Richmond Punk is immortalized on Facebook.

page 29

EXHIBITIONS Jennifer Holloway Bopst @ Schindler Satellite Gallery page 30

An Authentic Sense of Place The roles of tradition, spirituality and heritage are explored in Virginian crafts.

page 31

PERFORMANCE Living The Dream At age 41, Richmond actor Bruce Whited reclaims the passion for his art.


Richmond’s Comedy Boom page 33

FUN & GAMES Downtown Touchdown! Professional football comes to Richmond.


page 34




Online Community

3:20 PM Dec 7th from deskbar

Hot Tweets


Rich Sanchez just said “experts on the Tiger Woods situation.” What qualifies one as an expert there?



Richmond’s New Mayor(s) M

ove over Dwight Jones, thereʼs a new mayor in town. Robert Sterling is a mayor in RVA too̶in fact, at last count he was the top brass in at least five different locales. Winning a mayoral race these days involves little more than a cell phone and getting “crunked.” Ster‑ ling (also known as @Mr_Sterling) knows this and he has a growing kingdom to show for it: Mil‑

Foursquare is showing off its stay‑ ing power as friends are today in‑ creasingly checking‑in and posting “shouts” based on their location at any given moment. “I find myself using Four‑ square because itʼs a great spring‑ board for future conversations with current friends and an easy way to meet new people,” says Susie McQuiddy (@smcq), the mayor of Delux, Verbena, Bacchus, Weezieʼs, and a hand‑ ful of other digs. “You can talk about restau‑ rants you've been to, share a laugh about Sterling | McQuiddy interesting places in Richmond, or make fun of each other for being the mayor of questionable ven‑ ues,” adds McQuiddy. lieʼs, Crossroads Coffee & Ice While it may Cream (VCU), Rev It Up, Waf‑ sound simple enough, fle House, and more. Foursquare has proven But wait, heʼs not the only incredibly addicting as evidenced by game in town. Sterling is but one a swelling base of users who are of many honorary figureheads rep‑ turning to the app to discover new resenting local merchants, fine ways to explore Richmond, find eateries, watering holes, and friends, post insider tips, and earn karaoke dives. Thatʼs right, Rich‑ the coveted mayor status. Makers monders know that thereʼs more of the app refer to their creation as to politics than shaking hands an “urban mix tape,” and they en‑ and kissing babies. And when it courage users to not only chan‑ comes to social media, thereʼs nel their inner vagabond in certainly more than just Twitter search of hidden gems, but to and Facebook. On Foursquare also leave very specific recom‑ (, for exam‑ mendations for those who follow ple, thereʼs a chance to become in their footsteps. “mayor” of your favorite Richmond Savvy business owners see establishment and earn badges Foursquare as more than just fun such as “crunked,” “gym rat,” and and games. Free java, ice cream, and “player please” based on the num‑ hotel stays are now being dished up ber of times a user visits certain to loyal regulars competing to be‑ local establishments. come “the mayor” on Foursquare. “It Foursquare, a location‑based encourages people to help local social network and game all rolled business,” explains Sterling. “Early into one, has seen a cadre of Rich‑ this year my favorite coffee shop, monders “checking in” at favorite Common Groundz, went out of destinations around town using the business. I used social media to help iPhone app or by SMS text to 50500. boost it, but I think my efforts would “Itʼs a good way to share my favorite have been more effective if we'd local businesses and destinations had Foursquare, or Dodgeball, in with other people,” explains Ster‑ Richmond at that time.” ling. “The scoring system is fun and Here locally, businesses like so are the badges.” Frame Nation, Ipanema Café, and Initially launched in March Garnettʼs Café have jumped in the 2009, Foursquare was hailed by game and are now offering special many as the breakout app of South treatment to their regulars. At Gar‑ by Southwest (SXSW), one of the nettʼs the mayor gets a free cup of worldʼs largest music, film, and in‑ go‑juice, at Frame Nation any teractive media festivals. Founded Foursquare user gets a free mono‑ by one of the whiz kids behind gram cut mat upon their first “check Dodgeball, a cult favorite until in,” and over at Ipanema the mayor Google left it by the wayside, snags an order of sweet potato





fries. With many Foursquare users also auto‑posting their where‑ abouts on Twitter, itʼs clear to see how this social network is emerging into a powerful virtual billboard. “I definitely think that Foursquare increases loyalty to local establishments, but it also challenges people to check in at places they don't normally visit. For me, there is a balance in re‑

taining your ʻmayorshipʼ and only earning 1 point versus adding a new venue to the Foursquare database and racking up 5 bonus points. The question becomes: Do I go to Elwood's Coffee be‑ cause I don't want to get ousted as mayor again? Or do I go to Capital Coffee & Desserts be‑ cause I'm falling behind on the leader board?”

Secret Codes & Cupcakes L etʼs face it, thereʼs noth‑ ing better than a cupcake. Un‑ less itʼs a free cup‑ cake. Perhaps itʼs the kid‑like appeal of a hands‑on treat, your fingers sticky with butter cream frosting. Or maybe itʼs simply the fact that the bite‑ sized morsel is just the perfect amount (meaning you never Schick & North have to share). Whatever your motives, Cary‑ town Cupcakes is offering free, won‑ derfully sweet goodies to Facebook users. Thatʼs right, all you have to do is have a Facebook account and become a fan of Richmondʼs newest sweet spot. Once youʼve added your name to the growing list of cupcake fanatics, Carytown Cupcakes provides a host of freebies to loyal followers. Opening their doors this fall, Dawn Schick and Diane North have quickly turned their business into a buzz‑worthy destina‑ tion for 1950ʼs‑style goodies inspired by the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York City. While their made‑ from‑scratch recipes may be the stuff of grandmas, the market‑ ing plan of this tiny boutique bakery takes a different spin. “Regarding social media as a component of our marketing plan, I think it naturally evolved,” admits Schick. “I knew that I should be doing something with Facebook, but wasn't sure exactly what, and I'd never used Twitter. I started sim‑ ply by following Juliaʼs footsteps Robert Sterling

from River City Cellars and posting updates on our construction or pictures of cupcakes that we were testing on friends. Then I used it to announce our grand opening and was completely over‑ whelmed by the re‑ sponse. People were at the shop waiting for me to arrive with the free mini samples. We sold three times the amount of cupcakes we intended to in the first three days we were open.” Today Schick peppers Facebook with secret codes for free cupcakes. For example, a recent Page posting by Schick announced, “Baby its cold outside, and you need some eggnog. Tomorrowʼs password is ʻeggnog.ʼ The first 12 to say it at the shop will get a free eggnog cupcake.” Schick also provides an opportunity for fans to submit their concepts for creative cup‑ cakes that jockey for placement as a weekly special. “Social media has been a pleasant sur‑ prise for us,” says Schick. “When I'm in the shop, which isn't that often since Iʼm the baker, I always ask peo‑ ple how they heard about us. Most of the time, the answer is Facebook, Twitter, or an online search. Social media pro‑ vides small business owners with limited operating budgets a way to market for free or very little cost. We're able to market special offers, packages, discounts or events within seconds, for zero out‑of‑ pocket expense.”

Susie McQuiddy

Carytown Cupcakes


FUN: What do you do for recreation around town? I am still exploring the various attractions such as restaurants (too much I am afraid), museums, the many beautiful neighbor‑ hoods, entertainment venues, the park system, the State Library on Broad and the college campuses.

WOW: Whatʼs your biggest ʻWOWʼ factor about Downtown? The river and the Shockoe areas̶ for what they are and what they are going to be.

revious to his current position in City Hall, Marshall served as presi‑ dent and chief executive officer of the Austin Revitalization Au‑ thority in Texas, and as the first assistant city manager for the City of Austin. Between his two terms in Texas, he was chief operating officer for the City of Atlanta, Georgia, where he helped prepare for the 1996 Olympics. And while he finds similarities between those two southern cities and Virginiaʼs Capital, he is quick to recognize Richmondʼs unique character. “One of the great advantages Richmond has compared to cities like Atlanta and Austin is it does not suffer from grid‑locked traffic. It also has a great deal of untapped potential like the James River and underutilized or obsolete structures,” he says. “Both Atlanta and Austin focused on developing their urban centers over the last 15 years or so. Both reused old warehouses and have made their cores more dense and walkable by creating housing and entertain‑ ment downtown (midtown in the case of Atlanta) and adopting a transit‑ oriented development model. Both utilize tourism and conventions as an economic engine.” Marshall notes Richmond has those same tools at its disposal and can learn from the successes and mistakes of other cities regarding issues such as how to develop a resilient economy through creation of diverse busi‑ ness sectors; mitigate traffic congestion; and develop ways to manage both the positive and negative aspects of gentrification. “I am also struck by the energy in this town, and the mix of industries and business sectors,” he says. “From MeadWestvaco and the biotech industry; to Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University with their eclectic mix of business, engineering, divinity and arts students; to MCV Hos‑ pitals and Bon Secours and the medical education and services they bring.” Marshall is excited about the growing arts and cultural scene Down‑ town by way of First Fridays and the revival of Richmond CenterStage as well as the more mature scene in the Museum District. He is enthusiastic about the residential and business development in Downtown̶at Man‑ chester and from Church Hill to Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip; Broad Street around VCU and the Fan to Carytown. Regarding all of it he says, “There is an almost palpable electricity and vitality.” “The pairing of new and exciting innovation mixed with Richmondʼs long and exciting history that goes back to the Native Americans, the found‑ ing of this nation, the Revolutionary War, slavery, the Civil War, Emancipation and the other significant periods in Americaʼs history such as the Civil Rights Movement is a hard combination to match.” He characterizes Richmond as “a city of great natural beauty̶a very proud but friendly city, with huge potential for further economic develop‑ ment and tourism.“ Energized as well by the regionʼs overall attitude for new ideas, Marshall says, “I am even more impressed by the people of Richmond and what the city has to offer. The majority of the local political leaders that Iʼve had the opportunity to work with, starting with Mayor Jones, seem to ʻget it.ʼ By and large, they seem primarily focused on the long‑term good of the city rather than narrow political agendas.” And he adds, “The same is true of the busi‑ ness, civic and appointed governmental leaders that I have met.” Working more regionally on issues such as transportation and transit, economic development, education, waste water treatment, disaster pre‑ paredness and protecting the environment is part of Marshallʼs strategy. His mandate from the Mayor is financial management as well as eco‑ nomic and neighborhood development. Tasks that would seem daunting con‑ sidering todayʼs economy. But Marshall is confident that headway can be made. “We are quickly assembling a team of experienced and talented pro‑ fessionals who know how to set objectives for achieving the goals set by the Mayor and Council,” he explains. Over the past two months he has

worked with the entire executive management team in setting prior‑ ities and focus areas for moving the city forward. “In the upcoming budget, we will be proposing funding levels tied to those priorities and identify specific measurable achievements to be obtained from the funding,” Marshall says. “The process we are designing allows not just the City Council, but citizens a greater role in the budget development.” Marshall is big on creating re‑ sources from within the local talent pool. “We are also beginning to re‑ duce our reliance on outside ex‑ perts. We are building bench strength at the operating unit level and have begun designing training programs for existing staff.” Further changes in the way budgets are developed, the timeli‑ ness of financial reports and the refinement of the financial man‑ agement system are being insti‑ tuted for the long‑term goal of achieving a AAA bond rating. “One of the first steps we took was to propose a reorganiza‑ tion that combined economic de‑ velopment with the management of neighborhoods and their com‑ mercial corridors. By doing so, we are better positioned to preserve and create strong, healthy neigh‑ borhoods as well as developing our economic assets in Downtown and other parts of the city,” Mar‑ shall explains. He is a realist regarding the times. “The bottom line is we will have constricted resources for the foreseeable future and we are com‑ peting with other regions.” Yet, Marshall sees new op‑ portunity for business recruitment and job development; expanded public transit options; and collab‑ oration on education, libraries and perhaps entertainment venues through a more regional ap‑ proach. “I would like to see us focus on those common interests as well as what is good for the fu‑ ture of the region while address‑ ing those core values important to our jurisdictions.”





Community Nexus



Moving the City Forward


Penthouse at The Fall Line

Downtown Loft Tour W ith luxurious two‑story river‑ front penthouses to contem‑ porary open‑floor plan lofts with all the amenities and convenience of urban living, this yearʼs Downtown Loft Tour̶to be held on March 27th̶ offers an array of options and design innovation. The tour features over 12 lofts in 9 buildings across 5 downtown neighbor‑ hoods̶Manchester, Jackson Ward, Shockoe Bottom, Shockoe Slip, and Rocketts Landing. This tour is unique be‑ caues youʼll meet the owners/residents and get to hear their stories. At Rocketts Landing youʼll see a mix of one bedroom loft‑styles to the ultra‑ chic penthouses that provide stunning views of the Richmond skyline at the Fall Line and Sky Line condos. Both are within walking distance to The Boat‑ house restaurant, which is a great place

to have lunch on the tour. Across the river, The Manchester Pie Factory has Soho‑styled lofts, the latest in Jenn‑Air appliances and a private plaza featuring an Ed Trask mural. Along the Canal Walk, contempo‑ rary elegance defines one condo on the tour at Riverfront on the James where two units were combined to create an expanse of sleek furnishings in a mono‑ chromatic color scheme. Two other de‑ velopments along the Canal also featured on the tour are River Lofts at Tobacco Row and Vistas on the James.

Read more on these and other condominiums in the

DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT UPDATE beginning after page18.

For more information and to purchase tickets click on





[This photo and below] The Manchester Pie Factory

LIVE Downtown Loft Tour

Two bedroom condo at The Fall Line.

Riverside on the James

Penthouse at The Sky Line condominiums Jackson Ward


Tobacco Row





Hill PHOENIX to Expand Chesterfield Operations Hill PHOENIX has announced that it will expand in Chesterfield County with the leasing of 317,319 square feet at 1301 Battery Brooke Parkway. The company designs and manufac‑ tures a comprehensive line of refrig‑

$140 Million Deal: Royal Ahold Buys Ukrop’s Ukrop's Super Markets Inc.̶a Richmond fixture since the first store was opened in 1937 by Joseph and Jacquelin Ukrop on Hull Street̶will be purchased by Dutch grocer Royal Ahold in a deal worth $140 million. Ahold already maintains two Virginia grocery chains Giant and Martinʼs. Ukropʼs 25 locations, its inventory, equip‑ ment and lease agreements are to be acquired by Ahold and current Ukropʼs employees will become part of Ahold's Giant‑Carlisle division.

erated display merchandisers for commercial applications. Space con‑ straints at the companyʼs original building on Ruffin Mill Road necessi‑ tated the search for additional space. The company will have two loca‑

Bow-Tie Cinema’s Movieland Earns Praise for Commonwealth Architects

tions in the county. Total investment including tenant up‑fit and new machinery and tools is anticipated to be more than $9.3 million. In addition to the capi‑ tal investment the company expects to add new jobs as the project de‑ velops. “This production facility will be a good addition to our current production facility already located in Chesterfield County,” said Tom Marcy, Vice President and General Manager for the Hill PHOENIX Case Division. “We will now have the ability to better support our customers without some of the constraints of our current facility. This is a win‑win for our customers, employees, and the industry,” he added.

Maruchan Virginia Inc. Finishes Manufacturing Line Maruchan Virginia Inc., manu‑ facturer of ramen soups and noo‑ dles, announced completion of its newest manufacturing line. Vice President and General Manager Nobuhide Kaneshige said that the new line would add 50 new

NEW LINE WILL ADD 50 NEW JOBS. jobs. Total investment for the project is $18M. The company has a total of nine manufacturing lines at its Chesterfield facility. “Chesterfield County contin‑ ues to offer a number of ameni‑



ties and opportunities for the continued success of our busi‑ ness,” Kaneshige said. The com‑ pany is located at 8101 Whitepine Road in the Chester‑ field County Airport Industrial Park and was founded in 1989. Maruchan, is owned by the Japanese company, Toyo Suisan Kaisha Ltd. Since locating in Chesterfield County the company has completed numerous expan‑ sions totaling more than 500,000 square feet. “Chesterfield County appre‑ ciates the substantial capital in‑ vestment made by Maruchan Virginia Inc. and the employment opportunities that have been cre‑ ated here,” said Arthur “Art” S. Warren, Chairman, Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. “I have been fortunate to have been able to enjoy watching Maruchan Virginia Inc. grow and invest in our community over the years,” he added.



Commonwealth Architects was recently honored with an Award of Merit given by the Virginia Down‑ town Development Association (VDDA) for the rehabilitation of Bow‑Tie Cinemaʼs Movieland at Boulevard Square. The 17‑theater complex

was recognized as an exem‑ plary project in the category of Building Development and Im‑ provements. The award was presented to Commonwealth Architects at VDDAʼs Annual Conference and Awards Dinner on October 29th.

Union Bankshares Corporation, a Virginia multi‑bank holding com‑ pany (“Union”), announced that it has received shareholder ap‑ provals for its acquisition of First Market Bank, FSB (“First Market”) and for changing its corporate name to Union First Market Bank‑ shares Corporation; the votes were tallied Oct. 26 at a special shareholdersʼ meeting. Union will move its corporate headquarters to Richmond.

Union Bankshares Corporation + First Market Bank Union First Market Bank

Union and First Market also unveiled the new logo and the new combined bank name they plan to use following the merger of two of its member banks; they have been working toward a suc‑ cessful integration and selecting the new name for the combina‑ tion of Union Bank and Trust

Company and First Market since Union's March 30, 2009 merger an‑ nouncement. The new bank name, which will be Union First Market Bank, re‑ flects the heritage of both institu‑ tions, which are known for exceptional customer service and community involvement. Once the merger is complete, Union's mem‑ ber banks will have more than $4.0 billion in assets creating the largest community bank in Virginia.

Mark Smith: Retail Merchants Association Retailer of the Year

Partnership Reports $1.9 Billion in New Capital Investment The five‑year economic development activities of the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. resulted in 6,904 new jobs and nearly $2 billion in new capital investment in the Richmond region. On October 27th the Part‑ nership reviewed its 2004‑2009 budget cycle results as well as its 2008‑2009 Annual Report at its 15th Annual Investors Meeting held at Bass Pro Shops in Hanover County. The Partnership presented re‑

sults on each of its four core pro‑ grams. Gregory H. Wingfield, CEO and President of the Greater Rich‑ mond Partnership (in photo), re‑ ported the 2008‑2009 fiscal year end results stating: “Even in a down economy, we still have good news to report. We welcomed 14 new com‑ panies to Greater Richmond last year. These businesses will add more than 1,225 new jobs and will make capital investments of over $101 million.”


Regional Incubators Evolve Virginia BioTechnology Research Park to Partner With UK Healthcare Incubator

BioCity CEO Dr Glenn Crocker signs the agreement with Gene Winter.

BioCity Nottingham, one of the UKʼs fastest growing bioscience and healthcare business incuba‑ tors, has officially announced a collaborative partnership with three leading US science parks which effectively establishes a gateway into the lucrative Ameri‑ can pharmaceutical markets. The agreements with the Vir‑ ginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond, Virginia; the Commercialization Centre for In‑ novative Technologies (CCIT) in New Jersey and the MU Life Sci‑ ence Business Incubator at Mon‑ santo Place, Columbia, Missouri, provide further valuable support from BioCity to Nottinghamʼs growing life science sector. All three agreements were solidified when the final document was signed in Nottingham on No‑ vember 19th. Gene Winter, Sen‑ ior Vice‑President for the Greater Richmond Partnership, Virginia, was joined by BioCity CEO Dr Glenn Crocker for the signing at the ʻProfit in Americaʼ morning briefing. The agreements will enable the science parks to give recipro‑ cal support in a number of practi‑

cal ways. These include the offer of free workspace for up to a week for visiting companies, promoting the partnerships at international trade shows and within each otherʼs facilities, extending spon‑ sor benefits to partner parksʼ ten‑ ants and providing access to information on the “how toʼs” of entering and launching a product in the EU or US. New Green Technology Incubator in Hanover The Dominion Resources Green‑ Tech Incubator, a center to assist new businesses focused on energy efficiency and other clean and green technologies, is scheduled to open early next year in Ashland, Va., with financial support from Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the na‑ tion's largest producers of energy. Modeled after other success‑ ful technology incubators, the Do‑ minion Resources GreenTech Incubator will provide assistance with research, financial services, business planning and other is‑ sues as well as office space for start‑up companies. As the com‑ panies grow, they are expected to move to nearby locations, boost‑ ing the local economy. In addition to Dominion, founding members of the new in‑ cubator include Hanover County, Va., the Town of Ashland and the Virginia Biosciences Development Center (VBDC) of Richmond, Va., which will manage the GreenTech incubator. “Dominion is excited to have a role in encouraging the growth of the clean and green technol‑ ogy movement in Virginia,” said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice pres‑ ident‑Alternative Energy Solu‑ tions for Dominion.


r i d . C O M 11

Biz Savvy

The Retail Merchants Associa‑ tion (RMA) presented Mark Smith, owner of 4 area loca‑ tions of Midas Richmond wih the 2009 Retailer of the Year Award on December 4th at the Westin Richmond. Mark Smith has been in business for eleven years, and elected President of the Interna‑ tional Midas Dealers Association last year. He has been recog‑ nized by a variety of media and organizations for his commit‑ ment to the community and ef‑ forts on behalf of FeedMore (Central Virginia Foodbank, Meals on Wheels and the Com‑ munity Kitchen) and Virginia Blood Services, among other groups and local needs. He serves on the Board of Directors for FeedMore, Virginia Blood Service and the Central Virginia Better Business Bureau.

ogy. Future plans for the project provide for the production of five tables to be given to hospitals in Bangladesh and Honduras for field testing in spring 2010.


Smith at the awards with RMA Cheerleaders & Mrs. Claus.

Michael Guld, The Guld Re‑ source Group, commented, “Mark has shown that you do not have to choose between missionary and mercenary and that doing good can also be good for business.” Fay Lohr, CEO of FeedMore, the umbrella or‑ ganization of the Central Virginia Foodbank and Meals on Wheels, and long‑time friend of Mark Smith, said, “I, as well as our entire organization, couldnʼt be more thrilled for this deserving recogni‑ tion. Mark is truly a quiet cham‑ pion, and someone who I have always referred to as the biggest angel I know. We are so happy to hear this wonderful news. ” And according to Mark, “What I am about is getting each of my people, along with every resource I have access to, as ac‑ tively involved in the support and promotion of issues I care about in our community as time, circumstance and funding per‑ mit. This funding comes from the profit the Midas stores gen‑ erate. That is the very profit I make which allows me to be in the business that I am.”

da Vinci Center Project Scores In the category of “Greatest Po‑ tential for Patient Benefit” at the Center for Integration of Medi‑ cine and Innovative Technology Congress poster contest held in Boston, Virginia Commonwealth Universityʼs da Vinci Centerʼs pro‑ totype of a $500 operating table for developing countries won the top honor among 60 entrants that included participants from Harvard University and the Mas‑ sachusetts Institute of Technol‑





Social Media: Hip for Your Biz or Just Hype? J ohn Siddall knows advertis‑ ing. At the helm of Siddall, Inc. for more than 25 years, this local legend has seen various communication tools come and go. While snake oil salesmen, social media buffs, and emerging media “experts” tout the next big thing, Siddall simply asks̶does it inspire action? Greater Richmond Grid asked Siddall, along with a handful of other top communication gurus in Richmond, for their take on social media as a marketing vehicle and whatʼs in store for 2010. “According to research more than 70% of consumers world‑ wide trust business less this year than last. Thatʼs quite humbling,” says Siddall. “Customers pause before listening, much less buy‑ ing in todayʼs world. Fixing that goes well beyond getting the message right or finding the right tone and the right channel. It re‑ quires compassion.” From his office high atop One Capitol Square, with its impressive view of the Virginia State Capitol, Siddall and his band of creative change‑makers offer a vision that involves both new media and fun‑





“Use social media to drive traffic, transactions and loyalty. ”

“Use of social tools can have a great impact on outreach and engagement.”

“A great way to engage, re‑engage or double check.”

damental marketing. “Messages have to match what your audi‑ ences are encountering in news media, word of mouth and social media, or todayʼs savvy, streetwise consumer merely turns off their in‑ ternal receiver.” Siddall says that his clients, from local to large international brands, increasingly understand that their customers have to see products as relevant to their hectic and busy lives. “They have to be‑ lieve that they are being addressed in a manner that is entertaining, en‑ gaging and respectful. Social media, because of its conversa‑

tional qualities, is a great way to en‑ gage, re‑engage or double check.” Siddall says that The State Fair of Virginia, for example, successfully uses social platforms as a way for visitors to find schedules, locate events, and avoid traffic problems

operate Hodges Partnership, one of the areaʼs top public relations firms that have quickly become known for their effective use of emerging media. “At Hodges we donʼt view social media as a one‑trick pony,” explains Newman. Instead of just

“Itʼs not about sending out a viral video and praying it will take off and a bazillion people will see it. Social media is all about using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others to create communities and have ongoing conversations.” instantaneously through Facebook and Twitter. Copeland Casati, the trendset‑ ting owner of Copeland Casati Media (C3), has led national brands and racked up awards for over ten years from her homebase in RVA. While social media is part of her ar‑ senal, Casatiʼs firm looks at the in‑ teraction clients have both online and off. “I break the medium down simply; new media incorporates timeless interaction and etiquette, and is not a shiny, newly invented method, but how business and community friendships have formed for thousands of years, yet with a larger reach through new tools,” says Casati. “A great product or service coupled with a strong, sensibly built website for SEO (search engine optimization) and use of social tools can have a great impact on outreach and engage‑ ment with customers.” Jon Newman and Josh Dare

John Siddall

emphasizing social media plat‑ forms like a kid with a new toy, Hodges Partnership starts by find‑ ing each clientʼs unique story and then spells out targeted outcomes. Over the past year, Newman and his team have led clients like AMF Bowling Centers, Virginiaʼs Com‑ munity Colleges, and National Har‑ bor in using social media as one part of an extensive media mix. “Itʼs not about sending out a viral video and praying it will take off and a bazillion people will see it. Social media is all about using plat‑ forms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others to create com‑ munities and have ongoing conver‑ sations,” Newman says. “The next step for many of our clients is to turn those conversations into trans‑ actions both emotional and finan‑ cial. Thatʼs the phase weʼre exploring now, how to use social media to drive traffic, transactions and loyalty. All very exciting.”

Copeland Casati

Jon Newman

C h a i r m a n ’ s L e t t e r

At the time this is being written, national unemployment is over 10%, nearly a year after the federal government announced a $787 billion stimulus plan. They are now floating new $100 billion jobs-creating proposals and just held a “jobs summit.” Virginia elected a new governor in a landslide who ran on a “jobs” platform. Will it be government that creates the jobs we need or the entrepreneurs? Business researcher David Birch discovered that from 1990-1994 small businesses growing 20% a year for 4-5 years created 5 million jobs while large businesses lost 3.8 million jobs. In 2009 the Richmond area lost Circuit City, LandAmerica and saw massive downsizing at Capital One, Genworth, Media General and other large companies. To our knowledge, not one of the 43 prior Greater Richmond’s Companies to Watch selections went out of business. We hope that the business, venture capital, angel investor and entrepreneurial communities will join the Venture Forum in supporting the 2010 GRCTW class as well as other fast growing, innovative companies in our area, for it is these types of companies that will be supplying the jobs we need, not the bailed-out, big companies of the past.

Best regards, The Venture Forum Carl Johnson Chairman, GRCTW Carl Johnson Chairman, GRCTW Venture Forum

Rich Reinecke, President Career Quest

Greater Richmond’s Companies to Watch | | 804 267 3370 ● GRCTW Chairman: Carl Johnson, NBI Advisors, Inc. ● GRCTW Brochure: Ted Randler, Palari Publishng, LLP

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● Media Presentations: Chip Cheatham, The Idea Center ● Awards: Venture Marketing ● Event Coordinator: Kim Thornton, Preferred Management, Inc.

G r e at er R ichmond’s Co m p a n i e s t o Wa t c h 201 0

CarePoint-Diamedix CarePoint is a rapidly growing direct-to-consumer medical equipment and health care products provider.

Dominion Benefits Dominion Benefits is a rapidly growing employee benefits consulting firm enabled in part by their internally-developed BENEFIT SELECT decision support tools.

Health Diagnostics Lab HealthDiagn sticLaboratoryInc. beyond disease diagnosis

HDL is an accredited clinical laboratory providing disease management and personalized treatment tools for physicians and patients.

LightTape Electro-LuminX designs, manufactures, and distributes a flat, energyR


efficient, credit-card thin “Light Tape” for accents and provides backlighting applications.

w w w . ve n t u r e c l u b .c o m

G r e at er R i chmond’s Co m p a n i e s t o Wa t c h 2010

PARAWEAVE® C&G (“Clean and Green”) Flooring has developed a new proprietary line of flooring products marketed as PARAWEAVE®. PARAWEAVE®’s highly durable composite structure has a high recycled content; is 100% recyclable; cleans like solid surfaces, but is soft, quiet, and textured like carpet.

PartnerJD PartnerJD is a rapidly growing placement firm for legal professionals.

TouchStorm The PowerPact Holdings Group includes PowerPact, Howdini and TouchStorm, an online video media company that helps online sites to increase sales through use of video and content.

Venebio Venebio provides custom research solutions for complex life science problems with a global network of scientists from a wide range of biomedical fields.

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Legal Brief


Jeff Samford

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Robin Smith

Robin Smith is the owner of The Entrepreneur's Source. www.e‑


Chris Gatewood is a Richmond lawyer with the firm of Hirschler Fleischer, P.C.

I met Jeff Samford at a “lunch and learn” seminar I co‑hosted. The company he was working for had been acquired and the operations were relocating out of the Rich‑ mond area. The new company was much more bureaucratic; that, in combination with the possibility of relocating, had motivated him to take a severance package and start looking at his options. Jeff had been in consulting and financial services businesses for his entire career. He had jobs that he loved because they were challenging, and he felt like he was making a substantial contribution. But they either required too much travel or the future prospects werenʼt so intriguing. He had other jobs where he was closer to home, but they had‑ nʼt provided the challenge or the cus‑ tomer interaction that he was drawn to. When he and I met, he talked about wanting to find a means to be close to home, travel less, get in‑ volved in the community and be in charge of the decisions. While he didnʼt have a lot of direct experi‑ ence in the sales profession, he en‑ joys building relationships and networking. He also believes very strongly in providing excellent customer service. On the personal side of his


Chris Gatewood

This article is commentary of general interest and is not legal advice partic‑ ular to your situation, or on which you should rely.



life, it was very important that he have a flexible schedule and have time for his family. After exploring an array of op‑ tions, we found Business Partner, a one‑stop marketing business, to be a fit for both his skills and his goals. Business Partner provides a single source for marketing solu‑ tions, everything from graphic de‑ sign, four‑color process printing, signs and banners to promotional items/gifts and trade show displays. The business model allows Jeff the flexibility he was looking for and gives him plenty of direct in‑ teraction with his customers. Hereʼs what Jeff has to say about business ownership: “ Wow! Itʼs been an amazing time where Iʼve learned a lot about myself and my abilities to leverage existing re‑ lationships and develop new ones to far exceed client numbers.” While Jeff has found that “wearing the various hats of CEO, COO, CFO, Sales and Marketing, etc. has been really challenging,” he has been able to draw upon his vast experiences to understand how to spend more time on the business as opposed to spending more time in the business. “I have a team in place that is focused on effective and efficient marketing strategies and tactics that work for all types of organiza‑ tions. We also provide marketing coaching for small and mid‑sized businesses with a focus on rapid impact strategies that increase awareness and prospects. I love working with both marketing di‑ rectors and business owners to enhance their marketing efforts and results.”


retaliation, and also discrimina‑ tion charges based on race, gen‑ der, age, religion, pregnancy, disability, or national origin. (In Virginia, the Virginia Human Rights Council, a state agency, handles many types of claims under an agreement with the EEOC.) The EEOC numbers for 2009 are not available yet, but from 2007 through the end of 2008, claims filed with the agency increased by 28%. Employers responding to an employment discrimination complaint should follow certain basic steps: 1. Donʼt Panic: Remember that the complaint is one personʼs version of what happened, it is not the federal government filing a lawsuit. The beginning of an in‑ vestigation also does not mean that the agency has decided that the complaint has any merit. It only means, essentially, that someone has made a complaint, and the agency has opened a file. 2. Do a File Dive: Most cases are determined by comparing the

complaining employeeʼs version of the facts with the companyʼs account of what happened and why. So at the outset, it is impor‑ tant to gather all paperwork that has anything to do with the em‑ ployeeʼs performance, promotions or denials of promotion, or the de‑ cision to terminate the employee, as the case may be. Employee policies, training documentation, performance reviews, departmen‑ tal restructuring plans, and email messages can all be helpful docu‑ mentation in any given case. 3. Lawyer Up: When respond‑ ing to an employment discrimina‑ tion complaint, it is important to be complete and detailed. At the same time, agency staff are juggling more files than ever, and it will be helpful to get to the heart of the matter quickly, without a lot of ex‑ traneous information. Particularly if a company does not have internal professionals experienced in re‑ sponding to EEOC or Virginia HRC inquiries, early involvement of legal counsel will be very useful in get‑ ting a complete response commu‑ nicated clearly and promptly. 4. Pace Yourself: The filing of an EEOC complaint may be the first step in a long process. (See Point #1.) That process can in‑ volve mediation through the EEOC or Va. HRC, agency investi‑ gators interviewing other em‑ ployees, or litigation at the conclusion of the agency's inves‑ tigation and determination. Any complaint is likely to be around for a while, whether or not there is any merit to it. 5. Check for Insurance Cov‑ erage: Many commercial insur‑ ance policies cover employment discrimination claims. Where this coverage exists, early notice to the insurer is important to pre‑ serving that coverage. Employment discrimination claims are more common than ever. Whether a business is re‑ sponding to one for the first time or has seen it all before, following these five steps should help to keep the response on track.



Most cases are determined by comparing the complaining employeeʼs version of the facts with the companyʼs account of what happened and why.



2009 has been a year full of staffing cutbacks at businesses of every size. With that has come an uptick not only in unemployment, but also in employment discrimi‑ nation claims. For many business owners, it has been their first ex‑ perience with such claims, includ‑ ing claims filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Carol Miaskoff, assis‑ tant legal counsel to the EEOC, gave her perspective to the Na‑ tional Law Journal. “Age and race discrimination claims are going up the most,” Miaskoff said. “Weʼre swamped.” The EEOC handles employee claims of sexual harassment and

Open for Business



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Yep, itʼs the start of a new year. Un‑ doubtedly, the theme is something about resolving to take more action. For marketing, itʼs about GROWTH. (Far different from those resolutions about waistlines!) Borrowed from smart marketer Mark Schaeffer, GROWTH is at the heart of your marketing goals: Grow your reputation, customers, audi‑ ence, referral sources, key influ‑ encers...grow! So where should you begin? Here are some ideas: Identify your best customers. Who pays the best? Who refers most often? Who do you like to work with the most? Identify your most profitable services and find out why. This can be a real eye‑opening experience. What you are most known for, where you put your dollars towards the most may not actually be your true profit center. Identify the important trends impacting your customersʼ industry and yours. Industry associations are great resources that provide white papers, expert articles and survey findings. Consider how these trends impact your business and marketing


strategies. Do not fear an adjust‑ ment! Change can be good. Take the opportunity to become an ex‑ pert in the changing trends. You can contribute and elevate your reputa‑ tion and brand. Identify where your target au‑ dience is communicating, gathering and sharing. Go where they are. Whatʼs the point of continuing to send a message or attend an event if who you want to reach isnʼt there? Let go of the fear and desire to control the message. Itʼs critical to understand that an effective mar‑ keting communication strategy is less about pushing out content. Itʼs more about listening and engaging. Remember your business goals and core mission. When put‑ ting a strategy together or consider‑ ing an opportunity, ask yourself, “How does this help us accomplish our goal? Our mssion?” After going through the dis‑ covery steps, you should have a bet‑ ter idea of how to grow your audience and your bottom line. Jennifer Yeager is the Marketing Communications Manager for the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.

Leadership ʻTALK TO MEʼ


Communication is vitally important to businesses. It is the first prong of my preferred definition of leader‑ ship, “communicating a shared vi‑ sion, and inspiring others to achieve it.” Although there are many ways to define communication, I define it as transmitting necessary information between those persons who make decisions and those persons who take the actions to implement those decisions. Notice that I said “be‑ tween” those persons, and not just downward from the decision‑mak‑ ers. Communication is a two‑way street. It must flow both up and down the chain of command. If those executing decisions do not or cannot transmit feedback up to those who made the decision, then there cannot be an effective assess‑ ment of whether the decision was a good one or is being implemented effectively. The next issue is how to de‑ fine “necessary information.” Ask yourself two questions. The first question is “why is this piece of in‑

formation important?” What cur‑ rent operations or decisions does the information affect? Are there any outstanding questions that this piece of information may answer? The second question is “who else needs to know?” If you have an‑ swered the question of why the in‑ formation is important, then the next step is to determine to whom it is im‑ portant. Has someone in the organ‑ ization identified that piece of information as critical? Will this infor‑ mation materially change or affect a current or pending decision? Finally, sometimes you will find yourself the bearer of bad news about something you did in error or something you failed to do. Bad news does not get better with age. Disclose bad news to your chain of command as soon as possible after confirmation. Better that the chain of command hear it from you first than from an outside source. Mark D. Matthews is the owner of The Matthews Law Group, PLLC, a civil litigation practice.

Jennifer Yeager

Mark Mathews


Marketing Maven



Commercial Properties Residential Options Mixed-Use Projects Research & Education Facilities



ICON KEY Home: Residential Development

Briefcase: Office Facility For Sale or Lease

Pencil: Education or Research Facility

Entertainment: Music/Performance Venue

Shopping Cart: Retail Space/Restaurant

Project uses Green Design elements

Parking has been developed

Riverfront |Canal Walk ..........................................6 Shockoe Bottom ..................................................10 Shockoe Slip..........................................................13 Financial District ..................................................14 Rocketts Landing ................................................19 Historic Jackson Ward..........................................20 Manchester ..........................................................21 City Center............................................................26 Virginia Commonwealth University ..................30


Downtown News MeadWestvaco’s World HQ Opens Downtown; Scott & Stringfellow at Riverfront Plaza ................2 Future Trekking Into The Past Virginia Capital Trail ................................................8 Downtown Dining Venture Out: 2010 Downtown Restaurant Guide....................15 Real Estate Opportunities ....................................24 Virginia BioTechnology Research Park ..............31

Wifi is available

On The Horizon ......................................................33


www. ve nt ur eri chmo n d . co m

The Team: Jack Berry Mavis Wynn Jim Watkins Sharon Bassard Lucy Meade Stephen Lecky Lisa Sims Renee Gaines Erika Gay Part-time: David Jennings, Scott Stevens

City of Richmond Department of Economic Development (804) 646-5633

(804) 788-6466 Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



Housing Collaboration & Creativity WHILE THE NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR MEADWESTVACO (MWV) ALONG DOWNTOWN’S RIVERFRONT IS ARCHITECTURALLY CUTTING-EDGE WITH AN ASYMMETRIC ROOFLINE, A MULTI-TIERED FACADE AND A GLASS TOWER OF INTERLOCKING BLOCKS, ULTIMATELY ITS UNIQUE DESIGN WAS ENGINEERED TO STIMULATE THOUGHT AND ENCOURAGE COMMUNICATION AMONG EMPLOYEES. “The riverfront location provides an oppor‑ tunity for MWV to be a much more visible and active participant and leader in the com‑ munity, including events and festivities,” MWVʼs Senior Vice President Linda Schreiner says. “MWV is committed to the local community and to helping the Greater Richmond area prosper. The building was designed to reflect our dedication to the city, business community and environment as well as our commitment to sustainability, di‑


versity and employees.” Creating a structure to house MWVʼs corporate support and integrate key corpo‑ rate and administrative functions required that the design facilitate corporate culture. The new headquarters is specifi‑ cally designed to be an open, collabo‑ rative and energized environment for the employees. “While weʼve paid close attention to the environment in the construction tech‑

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

niques and materials used, “ Schreiner ex‑ plains, “Weʼve also created an atmosphere conducive to sharing and building on oth‑ ersʼ ideas. The building has an open office design that stimulates thought, encour‑ ages communication and forges strong working relationships,” The 300,000+ square‑foot building has many unique features. It has been built to conform to world‑recognized green building requirements by a diverse array of con‑



The Riverview Cafe

The facilityʼs location presents spectacular views of the river.

struction suppliers. + Will of Richmond. Throughout the facility there are hud‑ “We worked diligently to assemble tal‑ dle rooms, team rooms and internet cafes on ented, diverse suppliers to plan and execute every floor. the construction of “We also have our flagship facility,” ʻIdea Alleyʼ on each Schreiner says. floor̶a wall of white‑ Beginning in board where MWV mid‑December 2009, employees can come and over the course together to think, in‑ of six weeks, MWV novate and bounce moved into the new ideas off each other,” headquarters that she notes. was designed to bal‑ Along with the ance and complement nine floors of open, in‑ both the river‑ and novative space is a city‑side. complete package of The concept of environment‑ and the angled rooftop, user‑friendly ameni‑ which features solar ties including: Wi‑Fi, panels, acknowledges coffee stations, momʼs the front and back of and health rooms, ter‑ the building in an race dining, fitness equally aesthetic way. rooms and staffed aer‑ Schreiner points obics center, locker out that completion THE ANGLED ROOFTOP, WHICH rooms, cafeteria and a of the building also FEATURES SOLAR PANELS, customer and visitor heralds a new era for ACKNOWLEDGES experience center in the company. the lobby. “This is the THE FRONT AND MWV worked world headquarters BACK OF THE BUILDING IN AN closely with Whiting‑ for MWV and it EQUALLY AESTHETIC WAY. Turner Contracting brings together all of Company of Richmond our businesses. As as General Contractor and Civil Engineer, we have evolved into ʻone MWVʼ we are and Commonwealth Architects of Richmond thrilled that we have a working environment for the interior of the building. Other part‑ that supports our focus on collaboration, ners included MSTSD of Atlanta and Perkins creativity and leadership,” she says.


The new headquarters is specifically designed to be an open and energized environment.

The Ironworks Fitness Center

Customer Experience Center

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010


DOWNTOWN NEWS 105 Years Richmond High-Speed Rail After Scott & Stringfellow

Relocates Headquarters As part of its consolidation, BB&T is com‑ bining its Richmond‑based regional head‑ quarters office, their brokerage operation Scott & Stringfellow, and BB&T Capital Mar‑ kets from nearby Richmond locations into 140,380 square feet of office space in the West Tower of Riverfront Plaza. Rufus Yates, president and chief execu‑ tive officer of Scott & Stringfellow, noted that Riverfront would give employees a landmark building in which to work and strengthen the firmʼs image with clients and prospects who visit the Richmond office.

In October, Virginia submitted its federal ap‑ plication worth $1.78 billion to upgrade the Washington to Richmond corridor to Emerg‑ ing High‑Speed Rail, the lowest of the Fed‑ eral Railroad Administrationʼs (FRA) three high‑speed rail categories, which is classified as a shared use (freight, passenger, and com‑ muter rail) corridor with trains reaching 90 to 110 mph. These upgrades will result in an in‑ crease of the reliability to 90 percent, speeds up to 90 mph, and a reduction of the travel time to 90 minutes. Additionally, it will re‑ sult in over 50,000 jobs created or sus‑ tained, and about $7 billion in economic development in the Washington‑Richmond corridor. Furthermore, it will take two mil‑ lion cars off I‑95 and reduce our fuel con‑ sumption by 12 million gallons annually. These improvements will also allow for an increase in service from our daily 7 roundtrip trains (4 Northeast Regionals and 3 long distance) to 12 with the potential to add up to 18 more as high‑speed rail advances. The first of the 5 new Northeast Re‑ gional (Richmond to DC, NYC, Boston) trains will launch in June of 2010. It is suggested that Virginia will receive between $500 to 600 million to begin up‑ grading the Washington/Richmond corridor,


and this money should be awarded in the first part of 2010 with work beginning in the Spring/Summer of 2010. One of the major projects in this appli‑ cation is the creation of a true ACCA Yard passenger rail bypass that will speed up the travel time between Main Street Station and Staples Mill Station and quadruple the speed at which passenger trains can travel through the rail yard. In addition to the ACCA Yard improve‑ ments, the Commonwealth has requested funding to fix the issues south of Main Street Station to allow Amtrakʼs long distance serv‑ ices (Silver, Carolinian, and Palmetto) to serve Richmondʼs downtown station, which will more than double its current daily service. There are also on‑going discussions be‑ tween the major stakeholders including GRTC, Amtrak, FRA, VDOT, and the City of Richmond regarding the use of the train shed at Main Street Station and the best way to link high‑speed and intercity rail and pub‑ lic transportation in Richmond. For more information contact Virgini‑ ans for High Speed Rail at 804‑864‑5193,, or visit the website at BY DANIEL L. PLAUGHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VIRGINIANS FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

Scott & Stringfellow had been at its lo‑ cation on East Main Street for 105 years. The firm was founded in 1893 by Frederic W. Scott, and Charles S. Stringfellow. “This shows our continued commit‑ ment to Downtown Richmond,” says S. Bu‑ ford Scott, Frederic W. Scottʼs grandson and current chairman of Scott & Stringfellow. “While other firms might move from our community, Scott & Stringfellow is staying and trying to grow and make our commu‑ nity stronger,” Scott says. BB&T Corp. bought the brokerage in 1999. The consolidated companies will oc‑ cupy all of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th floors, as well as a portion of the Plaza Level which will contain a branch bank as well as a training and meeting facility. The May move will bring together 500 BB&T employees.



More than $860 million of residential and commercial development was completed or underway in 2009; $630 million of that was actually completed in 2009. Highlights include: MeadWestvaco (MWV) moving into their new world headquarters on the Riverfront, the grand opening of Richmond CenterStage, the transformation of the Miller & Rhoads Department Store Build‑ ing into the Hilton Garden Inn and Miller and Rhoads Condos, the comple‑ tion of the first phase of the Downtown portion of the Virginia Capital Trails, and lofts galore. Not bad, in one of the toughest economies since the de‑ pression. RICHMONDʼS DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT UPDATE 2010 fea‑ tures 25 developers and more than 50 develop‑ ment projects as well as a Downtown Dining Guide featuring more than 165 restaurants. Enjoy the read, but we encourage you to venture Downtown and see the transformation for yourself.


Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



MeadWestvaco Corporate Headquarters CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS New construction of 310,950 sf of office space; 1,050 parking spaces. MWV pursued sustainability-driven construction and operational efficiencies throughout the interior and exterior design, including the use of energy and water, and employee work environments. Completed in 2009. 501 S. Fifth Street NewMarket Corporation

Afton Chemical Corporation R&D Facility Expansion RESEARCH|TECHNOLOGY New construction of 30,600 sf to the existing 250,000 sf research center. The new addition provides office, laboratory, and mechanical test spaces. Completed in 2009. 500 Spring Street NewMarket Corporation [6]

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010


RIVERFRONT|CANAL WALK BB&T Signs Lease at Riverfront Plaza

Federal Reserve Bank’s Parking Deck COMMERCIAL|OFFICE New construction on a two-acre site; parking garage with nearly 1,000 spaces. Completed in 2009. Byrd Street between 5th and 7th

COMMERCIAL|OFFICE BB&T will relocate and consolidate their Richmond-based regional headquarters office, their brokerage operation Scott & Stringfellow, and BB&T Capital Markets from nearby Richmond locations. Upon lease commencement in 2010, the firm’s more than 500 employees will occupy the property. 901 and 951 East Byrd Street

The Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center at the Virginia War Memorial

Foundry Park COMMERCIAL|OFFICE Mixed-use development site for office, hotel, residential, and retail. NewMarket Corporation owns the property. Construction of phase 1 began in 2007 and includes the MeadWestvaco (MWV) corporate headquarters and the Federal Reserve Bank’s new parking deck, which fronts on Byrd Street between 5th and 7th Streets. Foundry Park is a 9-acre site with 3.5 remaining acres for mixeduse development. Tredegar to Byrd Streets between 5th and 7th Foundry Park POWERED BY VENTURE RICHMOND

RESEARCH|EDUCATION New construction of 17,300 sf of education/attraction facilities; construction is underway (completion in 2010); $8,100,000 total investment; the Education Center will expand educational opportunities and outreach for school children and visitors, provide adequate visitor services and alleviate the increasing demand on the facilities. 621 S. Belvidere Street Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010





Development continues toward the pro‑ jected 2014 completion of the 54‑mile Cap‑ ital Trail between Virginiaʼs three historic capitals of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Richmond. Progress has included the open‑ ing of its Charles City Courthouse phase, the construction on the first of three Rich‑

mond riverfront phases, and full funding has been reached. The Charles City County section is the third completed of nine phases that will compose the scenic, multi‑ use path along Route 5. Beth Weisbrod, Executive Director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation (VCTF)

Graphics for the markers are currently in production. The displays will present the historical significance of various locations along the trail.


Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

describes the trail as a “fairly flat, easy, en‑ joyable ride with no huge climbs” that will appeal to bicyclists, runners, pedestrians, and rollerbladers alike. “What is cool about this as a regional amenity is that this is the first trail of this length in this area,” Weisbrod says. With a wealth of historically significant sites along its path, the Virginia Capital Trail will be ideal for family vacations, Weisbrod explains. “Weʼre on line with tourism trends toward more active vaca‑ tions. Thereʼs a large and growing number of tourists who want to combine exercise with Virginia history.” Weisbrod, who has been working with historians and archaeologists at sites along the trail to interpret their history for infor‑ mational markers and exhibits, says the trail will provide travelers with a more intimate experience of Route 5ʼs history, which can be missed when traveled by car. Connecting to the Transamerica Bike Route, which traverses the country from Oregon to Virginia, the Virginia Capital Trail has potential to draw tourism from all over the world to locations such as Richmond, Weisbrod points out.

A Different Kind of City Commute The trail will also cater to what Champe Burnley, VCTF board member and president of the Richmond Area Bicycling Association describes as a “steady trend” toward in‑ creased bicycling around the nation, which is reflected in his organizationʼs numbers. “Our membership is at an all‑time high,” Burnley says. Richmond commuters, as well, may take advantage of the trailʼs promise of motor‑ free access to many business and leisure destinations around the city, according to VCTF Vice‑Chairman Jay Paul. The trail, he says, will act as a link for users traveling between Downtown and residential areas in the East End and will provide residents of areas along its path with an alternative to paying for fuel and Downtown parking. Paul adds that he envisions future ad‑ ditions to the trail that will feed into more locations, saying, “Eventually, we hope the trail will connect to the Canal Walk and Brownʼs Island.” Funding for the project comes from fed‑ eral dollars allocated to the Virginia Depart‑ ment of Transportation for purposes other than roads, and from private donations.



A computer rendering shows the site location of the trail history exhibit.

Downtown’s Walk Through Time The Downtown length of the trail is progress‑ ing according to schedule. A half–mile section running via Dock St. between the riverwall and Great Shiplock Park, the first phase of the three part construction was recently com‑ pleted in December 2009. Plans for a second and third phase of the riverfront trail at Rock‑ etts Landing are also in the works. Currently in production are the his‑ toric markers and information displays commissioned by the Richmond Historic

Riverfront Foundation. “The VCTF is working on an historical interpretation as well, and is in the process of gathering content for an electronic kiosk system (underwritten by Dominion) we hope to install in Downtown Rich‑ mond,” Weisbrod explains. Based on the Virginia State Parks systemʼs kiosks, the volumes of historical information in the sys‑ tem will be driven by an easy, interactive touch‑screen menu. Implementation of the trail exhibits are scheduled for spring. “Weʼll have the first

kiosk going in at the Jamestown trailhead in March,” Weisbrod says. The Richmond Historic Riverfront Foun‑ dation has been working with the museum exhibit design firm Applebaum Associates based in New York. Applebaumʼs lead designer for the project, Josh Dudley, is creating all‑ weather plaques and metal sculptures that will present the history of the various loca‑ tions found along the trail, like the antebellum tobacco warehousesʼ eventual transition into lofts along Tobacco Row; or the site of the no‑ torious Libby Prison of the 1860s.

[Left] The cast‑metal model of the Libby Prision that will be placed on the trail exhibit along with the history marker as shown in this computer rendering [right].


Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



Dill Factory FOR LEASE RESIDENTIAL New & historic rehab construction; 43,265 sf of residential space; 55 units are for lease; 2 studios; 24 one-bedroom units; 26 two-bedroom units; 3 three-bedroom units; 496-1,565 sf of living space per unit; 55 parking spaces. Amenities include access to the American Tobacco Buildings' roof top pool pictured above. Completed in 2009. 2020 E. Franklin Street George Emerson and Phil Roper

Cedar Broad Apartments FOR LEASE|RESIDENTIAL New construction of 204 apartments; 149 one-bedrooms; 49 two-bedrooms; 12 three-bedrooms. Construction is underway; completeion in 2010. $20 Million total invesment. 18th & Marshall Streets Plus Management

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



Ernst & Young Stays Downtown Ernst & Young (EY) recently announced that they would be moving into the Edgeworth Building, which is one of the River Lofts @ Tobacco Row warehouses developed by Forest City Enterprises. With both the Edgeworth Building and EY tracing their respective histories in Richmond back to the 1920s, EY is excited to maintain its commitment to the downtown area. EY plans to move into approximately 18,000 sf in May 2010.

Shockoe Valley Heights MIXED USE|FOR LEASE RESIDENTIAL Rehab and new construction. Estimated completion of the 4-phase project is 2011 with a total of 224 residential units, 8,000 sf commercial space; 245 parking spaces. Phase 1- historic rehab: 41 residential units for lease; completed 2009. Phase 2- Old Stone Row: new construction of 96 residential units for lease; planning stage with an estimated project start date in 2010. Phase 3- Engine Company #2 located at 21st and East Main Street. Adaptive reuse of a 1899 firehouse for mix-use and new construction. The firehouse portion will house a 2,931 sf restaurant space and 3 three-bedroom apartments. New construction of a 5 story building with 2,007 sf street level commercial space and 25 apartments. Construction is underway (completion in 2010). Phase 4- Trolley Commons: 80 apartments; 3,000 sf commercial; planning stage. Construction is underway (completion in 2011). Block bound by 20th, 21st, East Main Street & East Franklin Streets Sensi Development and Monument Construction LLC POWERED BY VENTURE RICHMOND

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

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Atrium Lofts at Cold Storage FOR LEASE|RESIDENTIAL Rehab construction; 37 units are for lease. Completed in 2009. $6.5 million total invesment. 1700 E. Marshall St

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



Smokehouse Lofts FOR LEASE RESIDENTIAL Historic rehab of a former foundry has been renovated into 28 apartments; units are for lease. Completed in 2009. 110 S. 15th Street

1312 E. Cary Street COMMERCIAL|OFFICE Rehab construction; historic tax credit renovation with solar panels on the roof. French Consulting expanded their offices above Fountain Bookstore. Completed in 2009. $1 million total investment. 1312 East Cary Street


Commercial Block COMMERCIAL|OFFICE Rehab construction. Historic tax credit renovation. Fully leased with Urban Farmhouse opening soon. Completed 2009. $4 million total invesment. 1211-1217 East Cary Street

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

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Williams Mullen COMMERCIAL|OFFICE New construction of a 16-story, pre-cast concrete and glass structure with 200,000 sf of Class A office, a 5,500 sf retail center, and 114 additional parking spaces. Located at the corner of 10th and Canal Streets and adjoins the existing 1,100-space Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA) parking garage. Williams Mullen is the anchor tenant. Completion in 2010. $65 million investment. 200 South 10th Street Armada Hoffler Development Company

3 New Tenants at the James Center COMMERCIAL|OFFICE Two new tenants relocated to the James Center in 2009. Xenith Bank, a new bank, moved into approximately 16,000 sf in One James Center. Cigna relocated from the Boulders to One James Center and occupies approximately 16,000 sf. In March 2010, Wells Fargo Advisors will relocate to Two James Center and occupy approximately 28,000 sf. The occupancy rate at James Center is 97%. 1051 East Cary Street JEMB Realty Corporation

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



T‑Millerʼs Sports Bar & Grill

Gibsonʼs Grill

2010 Restaurant Guide JACKSON WARD

Croakerʼs Spot Restaurant


Capital Ale House


Alexʼs Thai Cuisine


The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing



Savor Cafe

Legend Brewing Company

VENTURE OUT Explore more than 165 Downtown restaurants̶ many are just a walk away. produced by





Southern Railway Deli

Popkin Tavern


Rocketts Landing

The Fall Line [right & above] and Sky Line buildings offer a range of homes, from one bedroom loftstyle condominiums to luxurious penthouses with views of the Richmond skyline.

MIXED-USE|FOR SALE RESIDENTIAL New & rehab construction on 45 acres; 1.5 miles from downtown; private marina (opened in 2009), riverfront pool (opened in 2008), fitness center (now open) and clubhouse. Total of 4,000,000 sf planned, consisting of 3,000,000 sf residential; 700,000 sf office; 200,000 sf retail; 100,000 sf art, culture & attraction venues; 5,000 parking spaces. First four condominium buildings, including 250 units, are completed and occupied. Richmond’s first and only riverfront restaurant, The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing, opened in August of 2009. $750,000,000 total investment planned. Rocketts Landing 211 Rocketts Way

Boathouse at Rocketts Landing


Sky Line Condominiums

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

[ 19 ]

HISTORIC JACKSON WARD Ram Cat Alley Apartments FOR LEASE RESIDENTIAL Historic rehab of 42,805 sf of residential space; 38 onebedroom units; 21 two-bedroom units; 591 sf per onebedroom; 831 sf per two-bedroom. Additional amenities: fitness center, wireless internet and DIRECTV will be available. Construction is underway (completion in 2010); $7,300,000 total investment. 111 West Marshall Street Hunt Investments, LLC

Booker T. Washington Plaza FOR LEASE RESIDENTIAL Historic rehab of 20 one-bedroom units; 8 two-bedroom units. Construction is underway (completion in 2010); $3,000,000 total investment. 21 E. Leigh Street Washington Plaza GP, LLC

The 212 MIXED-USE|FOR SALE RESIDENTIAL FOR SALE COMMERCIAL Historic rehab of 19,000 sf; 5,000 sf of office space; 14,000 sf of residential space; 3 one-bedroom units; 9 two-bedroom units; 750-1,500 sf of living space per unit. Conversion of the Southern Aid Historical Society building into 12 condominiums ranging from $154,000$249,000. Commercial condos; 350 sf to 1500 sf; vanilla shells; ranging from $49,000 to $155.000. Completed in 2009; $3,200,000 total investment. 212 East Clay Street Walker Row Partnership, Inc. [ 20 ]

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



Perry Place Apartments FOR LEASE|RESIDENTIAL Historic rehab of 72,000 sf; 70 residential units; 33 one-bedroom units; 33 two-bedroom units; 4 three-bedroom units; 495 sf to 1,399 sf of living space per unit. Completed in 2009; 70 off-street parking spaces. Amenities include: secure entrances; large outdoor pool and poolhouse with underground tunnel access to building; large workout facility with cardio machines and free weights; large tenant lounge and pool tables. Large common roof top deck and some units have private rooftop decks. Up to 2 pets allowed with pet fee. No size restriction, only breed restriction. $8,500,000 total investment. 815 Perry Street Watson Bros., LLC

Tobacco Factory MIXED-USE | FOR LEASE Historic rehab of 300,000 sf; 29,000 sf of office space; 350 parking spaces; 225 apartments. Green components of the project include: recycled flooring, recycled historic shell. Additional amenities: outdoor pool. Completed in 2009. $55,000,000 total investment. Commerce Road and Stockton Street French Consulting Company


Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

[ 21 ]


New Manchester Flats MIX USE|FOR LEASE Historic rehab of the former Southern Stove Works factory into apartments, office, adult day care center and artist studios. Phase 1 included 19,000 sf to Riverside Hospitals for the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly ) program. 175 residential units; initial phase of apartments completed in 2009 and completion of the final phase in 2010. $35 million investment. Gordon Avenue and East Seventh Street

1216 Perry Street FOR SALE |RESIDENTIAL For Sale Residential Historic renovation of a single family house: 4 bedrooms; 2.5 baths; hardwood floors; fenced rear yard; 2-story rear porch; fully updated mechanical and electrical systems; brand new kitchen and off-street parking. Completed in 2009. 1216 Perry Street BAM Development LLC

Pet-Friendly Downtown Many of the Downtown apartment buildings allow dogs, large and small, and pets in general, but Manchester has raised the bar for dog owners. Sam McDonald and Chris Dillon, developers of the Paper Company, added a dog park behind the building and leased commercial space on Hull Street to a doggie day care. Check out the SPCAʼs list of pet‑friendly communities.

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010


MANCHESTER 1000 Porter Street Apartments RESIDENTIAL| FOR LEASE New construction of an 11 unit apartment building: 7 onebedrooms; 2 two-bedrooms; and 2 three-bedrooms. Private roof decks for select units. Energy efficient design and working toward an EarthCraft Certification. Construction is underway (completion 2010). 1000 Porter Street Apartments Miller & Associates LLC

Old Manchester Plaza MIXED-USE | FOR LEASE Historic rehab construction of 59,000 sf; 53,000 sf of residential space; 6,000 sf of commercial. 50 residential units; 46 are affordable and 4 at market rate. 2 commercial spaces, one of which is Croaker Spot’s new second location. The building is fully leased. Completed in 2009; $5,000,000 total investment. Hull Street between 10th and 11th Streets The Hanson Company LLC

Manchester Courthouse GOVERNMENT Renovation and expansion of the Manchester Courthouse, $10.1 million investment. 920 Hull Street City of Richmond

Manchester Pie Factory MIXED-USE | FOR LEASE Rehab of 22,000 sf; 10,000 sf of commercial space; 7,000 sf of residential space; 1,150 - 3,700 sf of living space per unit; 3 New York style Soho lofts; one is a 3,700 sf penthouse with all the luxuries. Secure/controlled access. Secluded courtyard area. Wifi is available on the premises; completed in 2009; $2,400,000 total investment. 612 Hull Street Pareto, LLC


Manchester Post Office MIXED-USE | FOR LEASE Historic rehab construction. Federal style post office converted to 2 apartments; 3,200 sf of office space; community room space. Completed in 2009. 1019 Hull Street Charles Macfarlane Sam McDonald Chris Dillon Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

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REAL ESTATE OPPORTUNITIES Creatively Leveraging City-Owned Real Estate One of the City of Richmondʼs economic development strategies is to work with the private sector on the redevelopment of City‑owned real estate assets. There are several strategic properties that the City believes could contribute and, in some cases, trigger catalytic revitaliza‑ tion in areas throughout the City. For more information on the following sites, please contact Dino S. Bazianos, Esq., (804) 646‑3061,

Leigh Street Armory Building Size: 7,500 sf

1201 W. Laburnum Avenue Building Size: 5,500 sf

Boulevard Property Parcel size: 60 acres

Madison Arms Parcel Size: 22 acres

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

Libbie & Patterson Property Building Size: 38,417 sf Parcel Size: 6.5 acres

Whitcomb Court Elementary School Building Size: 43,000 sf



Former Armstrong High School Site Building Size: 150,000 sf Parcel Size: 25 acres

REAL School Building Size: 6,500 sf

Main Street Station/Shockoe Bottom Building Size: 180,000 sf Parcel Size: 11+/‑ acres The City has issued a “Request for Proposal” for a Shockoe Bottom Revi‑ talization Plan, which includes the redevelopment of the Main Street Station property. The City expects to select a consultant in January 2010. The consultant will guide a six month process that will include signifi‑ cant community input and result in an implementation plan for the area that the City can take to the market.


Moore Street School Building Size: 21,600 sf

Sixth Street Marketplace Building Size: 60,000 sf Parcel Size: 2.5 acres The City is currently working with the Richmond Redevelop‑ ment and Housing Authority to unwind the existing ownership structure in order to free the property up for redevelopment.

Thirteen Acres School

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

[ 25 ]


Miller and Rhoads Residences FOR SALE |RESIDENTIAL Historic rehab includes 126,574 sf of residential space; 73 one-bedroom; 30 one-bedroom + den (convertible to second bedroom); 30 two-bedroom units; 610-1,481 sf of living space per unit. Amenities include: indoor pool and Jacuzzi with a spacious patio; fitness center; clubroom; indoor parking and the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown. Prices range from $130,000 to the $500,000s. Completed 2009. 230 N. Sixth Street HRI Properties

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010


CITY CENTER University of Richmond Opens Downtown RESEARCH|EDUCATION Historic rehab of 5,000 sf; 500 sf of art & culture/attraction venues; 4,500 sf of education facilities. The new interior was designed to retain architectural and historic elements from the former savings & loan lobby, including the vault and the 1956 lobby mural masterpiece by Hans Gassman. Completed 2009. 626 E. Broad Street, Suite 100 The Wilton Companies

Downtown Richmond Hilton Garden Inn HOTEL | RESTAURANT| RETAIL Historic rehab including 250 hotel rooms; 21,000 sf of restaurant/retail space; 200 parking spaces. Amenities: pool and spa in enclosed atrium, 24/7 Pavilion Pantry for sundries and snacks, GSS beds featuring customizable sleep system, PrinterOn system to allow printing from room, fitness center, complimentary business center, valet parking; wifi is available on the premises. Completed 2009. 501 E. Broad Street HRI Properties

Virginia Department of General Services Main Street Centre Parking Garage

GOVERNMENT New construction of 1,000 parking spaces on 12 levels. Facades have been designed to break down the overall scale by creating a vertical rhythm of alternating materials in order to relate to the surrounding buildings. Use of energy efficient LED lighting for all parking areas. Completion in December 2010. $18 million investment. E. Franklin Street, between 6th and 7th Streets Commonwealth of Virginia [20 POWERED BY VENTURE RICHMOND

626 E. Broad Street

COMMERCIAL|OFFICE Historic rehab of 45,000 sf of office space. The renovation was pre-certified as a green building by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) at its gold level. Commercial space available for lease. Completed 2009. 626 E. Broad Street The Wilton Company

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

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Richmond Marriott Renovation HOTEL Apple REIT purchased the Richmond Marriott in January 2008 for $53.3 million. The 18-story, 410-room hotel underwent a $14 million renovation. Completed 2009; $63,000,000 total investment. 500 E. Broad Street Apple REIT Seven

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010



Richmond CenterStage PERFORMING ARTS New & historic rehab of 179,000 sf. Richmond CenterStage opened in September 2009, and includes the renovated and restored Carpenter Theatre. Adjacent to the Carpenter Theatre is Dorothy Pauley Square, which houses the Showcase Gallery, Gottwald Playhouse, Rythm Hall, and the Genworth BrightLights Education Center. $75,000,000 total investment. 600 E. Grace Street Richmond Performing Arts Center


Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

[ 29 ]

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY VCU MEDICAL CENTER Massey Cancer Center Lab Improvements RESEARCH|EDUCATION Construction of 10,500 sf of research facilities. Designed to LEED silver standards. Renovation of the second floor of the original Massey Cancer Center research building to enhance support to the researchers in the Goodwin Research Lab. Planning is underway (completion in 2010); $12,900,000 total investment. 401 College Street Virginia Commonwealth University

MCV Campus Recreation Center Addition RESEARCH|EDUCATION New construction of 31,000 sf of education facilities. Designed to LEED silver standards. Addition to the Recreation and Aquatic Center includes new dining services, additional recreation space and student services meeting space. Completed in 2009; $17,100,000 total investment. 9th and Turpin Street Virginia Commonwealth University

School of Pharmacy Renovations

W. Baxter Perkinson Jr. Building School of Dentistry Addition on MCV Campus

New School of Medicine RESEARCH|EDUCATION New construction of 200,000 sf of education facilities. Designed to LEED silver. Design is led by the international firm of I.M. Pei Architects. A new School of Medicine to be located on the site currently occupied by A.D. Williams Clinic. Space will include classrooms, simulation training, research and administrative support functions. Planning underway; (estimated completion in 2013); $158,600,000 total investment. 1201 East Marshall Street Virginia Commonwealth University

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RESEARCH|EDUCATION Renovation of 10,000 sf of education facilities in the Robert Blackwell Smith School of Pharmacy building including the public entry area, several classrooms and labs. Designed to LEED principles. Design is underway (completion in 2011); $5,000,000 total investment. 410 North 12th Street Virginia Commonwealth University

RESEARCH|EDUCATION New construction of 53,000 sf of education facilities—housing research, clinic and teaching space. Designed to LEED silver standard. Completion in 2009; $21.6 million total investment. 1101 Leigh Street Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Molecular Medicine Research Building

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

RESEARCH|EDUCATION New construction of 8-story building; 125,000 sf research building with a 75-seat state-ofthe-art auditorium with teleconference facilities, multipurpose seminar space, state-of-the-art research labs, supporting up to 48 principal investigators. The building, located on the former site of the Nursing Education Building, is connected floor-to-floor with the Kontos Building. Designed to LEED certified standard. Completed in 2009; $71,500,000 total investment. 1220 East Broad Street Virginia Commonwealth University POWERED BY VENTURE RICHMOND


General Classroom Building

School of Engineering, Monroe Park Campus RESEARCH|EDUCATION New construction of 25,000 sf of state-of-the-art collaborative research environment that provides a facility to connect multiple programs. The focus of the research lab is nano-engineering in biomedical science, bioinfomatics, metabolic engineering, stem cell engineering, and computational drug discovery. Designed to LEED silver standards. Completed in 2009. $13,500,000 total investment. 601 West Main Street Virginia Commonwealth University

Cary St. Recreation Center


RESEARCH|EDUCATION New construction of 100,000 sf of education facilities. Designed to LEED silver standard. Building will house Department of English and the School of Social Work. Two floors will be dedciated to general classrooms, planning underway; $44,000,000 total investment. 1000 Floyd Avenue. Virginia Commonwealth University

RESEARCH|EDUCATION New & historic rehab construction of 125,000 sf of education facilities. Designed to LEED silver standard. 100,0000 sf of new recreation space, including 4 basketball courts, swimming pool, locker rooms, offices, climbing wall, & racquet- ball courts. Completed in December 2009; $45,700,000 total investment. Additionally, the existing Cary Street gym has been renovated for use as a fitness and free weights area. 911 West Cary Street VIrginia Commonwealth University


MIXED-USE | LEASED UP Historic rehab of 9,000 sf; 1,000 sf of office space; 5 parking spaces; 8,000 sf of residential space; 5 twobedroom units; 3 three-bedroom units; 900 to 1,500 sf of living space per unit. Additional amenities: stained glass, grand three-story main staircase with banister and original skylight, original trim and flooring detail, huge windows. Completion in 2009. 919 W. Grace Street Property Results, LLC Mark Scordo, Sam McDonald Developers


FOR LEASE | RESIDENTIAL Historic rehab of 16 studios. Green components of the project include: recycled construction material, utilized only LEED certified landfill in Virginia; energy-efficient lighting and fixtures. Wifi is available on the premises. Construction is underway (completion in 2009); $2,000,000 total investment. 316 E. Grace Street French Consulting Company

Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

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Ultimately, the Park will contain more than 1.5 million square feet of space and will be an em‑ ployment center for over 3,000 life science pro‑ fessionals. Home to a unique mix of more than 62 bioscience organizations̶including a num‑ ber of international bioscience companies from France, Germany, Scandinavia and Israel̶the Park also has two bioscience business centers designed to support life science companies at various stages of their development. The Virginia Biosciences Development Center works with start‑up and early‑stage com‑ panies and has worked with over 63 biotechnol‑ ogy start‑ups since its inception. The Virginia Biosciences Commercialization Center (VBCC) can assist companies with market entry of their products and services̶including formal rela‑ tionships with two of the nationʼs largest med‑ ical distribution organizations headquartered in Richmond, nationally ranked hospital systems and clinical experts who are key opinion leaders in their respective fields.

Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (HDL, Inc.) is an accredited clinical laboratory focused on disease state management with supporting clinical labo‑ ratory testing targeting patients with cardiovas‑ cular disease (CVD), heart failure, stroke, diabetes mellitus (DM), metabolic syndrome (MS), and

[Top]: HDL Inc.ʼs new space. [Bottom]: Con‑ struction is underway for VCU Cellular Ther‑ apeutics Laboratoryʼs facility.

nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or fatty liver disease (NASH). HDL, Inc. offers a unique menu of clinical laboratory test results, selected based on their ability to discern the information required to un‑ derstand each patientʼs disease state. To positively impact the alarming increases in chronic disease, HDL, Inc. implements a wholis‑ tic approach with the physicians and their pa‑ tients to understand the disease, provide answers, education and support to identify and reverse health risks. In 2008, HDL, Inc. was outfitted with a small space in Biotech Center at The Park. After suc‑ cessful fundraising and being named a ʻCom‑ pany to Watchʼ by the Venture Forum, President and CEO, Tonya Mallory, saw the need for ex‑ pansion for her growing company. Construction

is currently being completed by McKinney & Co. on 8,276 square feet in Biotech 8 to outfit the space for HDL, Inc. They plan to move into their new space in early January 2010.

VCU Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory The VCU Health System will be occupying ap‑ proximately 5,200 square feet on the first floor of BioTech 8 for the Cellular Therapeutics Labora‑ tory which will support the Bone Marrow Trans‑ plant Program at the VCU Massey Cancer Center. The Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory will help meet the growing demand of bone mar‑ row transplantation and research in the areas of preservation and storage of blood stem cells as well as expanding the capabilities to generate new cancer “vaccines” and cells which have been modified to better attack certain types of cancers. The lab will provide facilities and space for research into powerful new therapies to treat various forms of autoimmune diseases and conditions like sickle cell anemia, which previously have been difficult to treat using conventional therapies. Marking its 20th anniversary, VCUʼs Massey Cancer Center Bone Marrow Transplant program is nationally‑recognized as one of the top 70 such centers and programs in the country. The new Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory will be ready for occupancy in the 1st quarter of 2010.

Enjoy 40 minute narrated tours of the James River and Kanawha Canal along Richmond’s Historic Canal Walk. These covered, 35-passenger boats depart on the hour from the Turning Basin between 14th and Dock Streets from April through November. It’s the best way to explore the canal system that George Washington helped found in 1789 to enhance Virginia’s trade with the west!

POWERED BY VENTURE RICHMOND 32 ] information Richmond’s Downtown Development 2010 For[ more or to reserve a private charter, callUpdate 804.788.6466 or 804.649.2800. Visit


Reynolds North & South Plants NORTH PLANT CB Richard Ellis has been retained as the exclusive representative in the sale of the Reynolds Packaging Groupʼs North Plant located in downtown Richmond. The property is approximately 6.009 acres with frontage on the Haxall Canal and views to the James River. The property is the last sizable redevelopment site in the core of the Central Business District of Richmond and has been called a “Developers Dream” by the Richmond Times‑Dispatch when the plant closure was announced. On the property are five primary structures, one structure is the Spooling Plant which is made up of six individual buildings. On the adjacent parcel are two structures with potential historic value. The remaining two structures are ware‑ house buildings that are bisected by the Haxall Canal and Virginia Street. By using Federal, State and City of Richmond tax credits some of these buildings can make for an excellent adaptive rehabilitation project.


SOUTH PLANT Reynolds Packaging Group has partnered with CB Richard Ellis for the disposition of their Manchester facility known as the South Plant. The South Plant is a 17± acre site along the James River directly across the river from the Richmond Virginia central business district. The South Plant includes approximately 506,000 square feet of existing structures on 17± acres of prime development land. Within walking distance of the Downtown Financial and Entertainment districts, this property has been sought‑after for years by visionary developers as an unusual, close‑in, large‑ acreage, redevelopment site. The parcels that constitute the South Plant property are bounded by Norfolk Southern Railroad and the James River to the west and north, 6th and 7th Streets to the south, and Hull Street to the east.


Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010

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Richmond’s Downtown Development Update 2010


Brand Building: Tweet by Tweet

GREG WINGFIELD ON FACEBOOK On the train this a.m. to Aarhus, Sweden. We are doing another series of Invest in America seminars this week, before meeting Amb. Beyer in Bern Friday. Week end in London , then on to Manchester Sunday for another series of meetings/seminars until Wed. New investments for the region is the goal. View from Aarhaus SAS hotel room. Note rain, clouds and little sun at noon.

Donald S. Beyer Jr. was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein on August 5, 2009. Beyer was Virginiaʼs Lieutenant Governor in 1989.

your individual personae with your business‑branding efforts? Many companies have found simply journaling daily project activity not only “hu‑ manizes” brands but can create an effective, subtle media cam‑ paign for new developments. On a recent European mar‑ keting trip, GRPʼs CEO Greg Wingfield and Senior Vice‑Pres‑ ident Gene Winter used social media updates to share their ef‑ forts to market the region with entries that ranged from trave‑ logue notes to tour updates.

GENE WINTER ON TWITTER: @GRPVA Watch @nbc12 and @ryanobles at 4:00 today chat with our own Gene Winter live from the UK. Working hard to attract new business to #RVA! We met a UK company today in Manchester. They realized they made a mistake by incorporating in NY. Now they are planning to visit Richmond

Back on the train to Copenhagen after the Invest Seminar. Nice Clean Tech‑oriented crowd today that asked a lot about the Stimulus package. Tomorrow flying to Bern to meet the new Ambassador from the US. Any guesses who it may be? Hint, former Lt. Gov of VA. Observation on Airport Security: Going through the Zurich airport, I went through four security checks, if you count the two passport control/ticket check points. It took over one hour from leaving the train to arriving at the club. It didnʼt help that there was a religious sect with fifty members being escorted through... But, the next time you complain about security at a US airport, remember it could be worse! Sun is kinda out in London today. Survived yesterday's storms as I traveled around Mayfair , Oxford st., Covent Garden museums. Heading up to Manchester to meet Gene, Toney and our reps from Springboard Marketing for another couple of days of hard hitting, in the trenches, face to face mar‑ keting of Greater Richmond.

Lord Mervyn Davies, is the UK Minister for Trade Investment & Business.

to simply promoting your prod‑ ucts. This is where many com‑ panies misunderstand the matrix of social media. Facebook and Twitter traffic in personality and commonality. Outside of corporate fan pages, users ex‑ pect to exchange information with individuals with whom for some reason they feel a bond̶ similar interests, regional asso‑ ciation, institution of education, religious affiliation, professional connection̶and therefore want to maintain communications. So how do you balance

Most interesting evening last night at Parliament, with a great tour, drinks on the terrace, typical English din‑ ner in one of the house halls and rousing speech from Minister for Trade, Investment & Business. On to the Defense trade show at Emerites stadium this am. Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.

Good one to one meetings at Int Global Opportunities event in Suffolk, UK. 250 in attendance #grpva

ish‑American e Director, Dan uge, Executiv gboard ha yr rin D r Sp na or Ei ct ] [left to right Projects Dire ls, el W r irector of he D at ss m; He d; Marc Wei Business Foru Greg Wingfiel ew O dr CE P An d GR ; an D ; Marketing LT nover County ting LTD. opment for Ha el ke ar ev D M ic rd oa om Econ , Springb aging Director Harfoot, Man

Grpva roadshow set to perform in Toronto at 12. Earlier Presentations in UK Denmark Sweden and Vegas getting great results R I C H M O N D




Greater Richmond Partnership Inc.

ʻOngoingʼ is the key term for the micro‑media postings of personal updates. Smart sales‑ men value any opportunity to “touch back” with current or possible clients. Personal up‑ dates can be used in relationship building to stay on clientsʼ radar as well as a means to promote your brand. But the mediaʼs effective‑ ness comes with the sole caveat of “share donʼt sell.” A balance must be struck between building your online personae and devel‑ oping relationships as opposed



s is often the way with technological innova‑ tion, how best to capi‑ talize on new media for your specific needs isnʼt templated and may require a trial period of trying different approaches. But, as in the case of marketing enti‑ ties like the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., (GRP), once blended in as part of the daily strategy, the economical and widely accesible aspects of in‑ stant updates on Facebook and Twitter can offer a wealth of on‑ going marketing opportunities.


personality Dennis Nelson, who realized that telephone messages “can be a goldmine in making con‑ nections with customers and prospective customers.” Nel‑ son is an award‑winning radio broadcaster and seasoned writer. He began his career in radio in the ʼ70s at WNOR‑FM99 in Norfolk. Later in the early ʼ80s, he

Phone Message Pro


hone Message Pro, is a new Richmond‑based com‑ pany that helps busi‑ nesses and organizations sell, inform and entertain cus‑ tomers with a professional, custom voice message. The company is the brainchild of award‑winning national radio

Love Elaine


or those looking to rev up their inner Betty Crocker with flair, Rich‑ mond entrepreneur Christine Barber has an answer: Love Elaine. Hatched last August, Barber has carved out a niche in unique, handmade totes, stylish home accessories, and vintage inspired aprons. Barber, an entrepreneurista who turns heads when sporting her retro chic aprons, admits that the first question she often fields is about the name of her impressive undertaking. “Elaine is the middle name of all the women in my family: myself, my mother, both grandmothers and my sister,” she explains. As for the second part of the brand, “Love is not just a senti‑ ment, but also the maiden name of my grandmother. So, when starting the business, I wanted a name that was per‑ sonal and meaningful.” While the name of her busi‑ ness may be inspired by the family tree, Barberʼs creations are far from a typical grandmaʼs aprons. Driven by what she calls a “love affair with fabric,” Barber is known for creating 3D usable items out of flat yards of fabric, bold patterns, and bright colors. Barberʼs vintage aprons, creative totes, and home accessories are 100% custom and have quickly become a hot ticket item in Greater Richmond.



Barber, a marketing whiz by day for a local firm, turns her creative talents towards Love Elaine come nightfall. Since launching last year she has juggled a growing number of orders while finding time to create new design concepts for her fans. “I had always thought about starting my own busi‑ ness sometime in the future, maybe event planning, but I never imagined that I would be making hand‑ made items with a sewing ma‑ chine,” says Bar‑ ber. “I followed the suggestions of my family and friends, and Love Elaine was born.” For the holidays, Barber un‑ veiled more than just designer kitchen duds and fashionable bags. Christmas tree skirts, packing a similar punch as her other creative offerings, sported names like Michael Miller Funky Christmas, Moda Figgy Pud‑ ding, and City Girl Holiday. And, since no tree skirt is com‑ plete without the proper side‑ kick, she peddled matching stockings to boot. Burning up the sewing machine on a daily basis, Barber is also cranking out designer wine bags perfect for all seasons. “The business gives me a creative outlet that combines my love of fabric and my per‑ sonal desire to find unique, one‑ of‑a‑kind items,” says Barber. “I really enjoy all of the facets of being responsible for the success of the business̶from buying fabric and supplies to respond‑ ing to order inquiries to think‑ ing up new ideas for products.” Visit‑ to order a custom item or be‑ come a fan of this fabric‑o‑ holic on Facebook.



worked for WDOQ‑FM in Florida. Moving to Richmond in the early 1990s, he was the Air Personality and Creative Services Director at K‑95 (WKHK‑FM), owned by indus‑ try giant Cox Radio. Phone Message Pro is target‑ ing the business, professional and small office/home office markets. “Our company enables a small business to create the illusion of a large corporation and allow a large


estled between the stately digs decorating Monu‑ ment Avenue is a little shop with big ideas. Some of the biggest in town. In fact, for well over a decade John Homs, Inc, known as JHI, has been the master‑ mind behind many of the areaʼs top brands, advertising campaigns, and design. “Weʼre in the idea business. And after many years itʼs still excit‑ ing to develop new ideas and to dis‑ cover new ways to bring those ideas to clients and their target audi‑ ences,” explains John Homs, who

company to sound more pol‑ ished̶without breaking the bank,” Nelson says. Research shows that over 70 percent of all business calls go to voice mail. “Through a well‑ crafted, professionally delivered message, you have the ability to powerfully build your brand and your relationship with each and every caller,” states Nelson. “Itʼs subtle, yet effective.” also partnered with small local busi‑ nesses, like Ecologic, and non‑profits such as Better Housing Coalition and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. “We like working with lots of differ‑ ent types of clients, solving lots of different kinds of branding and com‑ munications problems. It keeps us fresh,” says Homs. Attracting a solid base of reoc‑ curring business, Homs and Watson rely on a unique blend of profes‑ sional experiences. Before launching his first succes sful design firm in New York City, Homs worked as a freelance news and travel photogra‑

JHI cofounded JHI with Jo Watson. “Itʼs always a thrill to realize youʼve hit upon a great idea, and then to turn that idea into a great solution. It never gets old,” adds Watson. In JHI this creative duo has carved out an impressive list of clien‑ tele, a diverse portfolio sporting the likes of Altria, The National Folk Fes‑ tival, and First Market Bank, just to name a few. While many of its clients are large companies, JHI has

pher based in Paris. He has also logged in time as an art director with CBS Television Network. Moving to Virginia in 1987, Homs created his second creative services firm that quickly boasted a wide range of corporate clients in the mid‑Atlantic region. In 1996, Homs partnered with Watson, to of‑ ficially launch JHI. With an equally impressive track record, Watson has garnered her own accolades as an


resentation has always been a key to moving a crowd. Keith‑Fabry Repro‑ graphics (7 E. Cary Street) have been the masters of printing for the past fifty years because of three simple promises. They will always have the latest technology for their clients; a friendly service will keep clients happy; and most impor‑ tantly, being reliable will keep their clients coming back. Keith‑Fabry was started in 1957 by Bill Fabry as a diazo blue‑ print shop. Through Fabryʼs hard‑ work and dedication, his company became a large‑print industry leader just two years later. It wasnʼt until the 1970s that Jimmy Keith met Fabry. Keith at the time was a Xerox salesman, helping Fabryʼs company with their large‑ format copier needs. Keith and Fabryʼs friendship grew over the next ten years. By1981, when Fabry was considering retirement, he looked to Keith to take over his business. But it wasnʼt until nine years passed that Fabry finally got


Keiths: Jr. & Sr.

his wish to retire. In that time, he helped Keith master the skills to run a top company. Likewise, Keith Sr. trained his son to take over the business and to follow in his footsteps. “Iʼve been involved in the day‑ to‑day activities for the past 12 years,” Jimmy Keith Jr. explains. “My father took retirement in 2009, passing the company me.” So what has changed over the past 20 years since Fabry passed on the reigns to Keith Sr.? The answer is in the digital world. With state‑of‑the‑art Océ equipment for prints, and̶always on the technological forefront of the reprographics industry̶Keith‑ Fabry now includes digital signage. Clients in need of public space adver‑ tising have the option of custom‑built digital displays with touch screen in‑ teractivity. True to their promise of friendly, reliable service, Keith‑Fabry keeps this technology simple. All clients need is an electric outlet, Keith‑Fabry handles the rest. BY NATHAN WOOD



f her businessʼ remarkable success in a challenging economic climate, PETS at PLAY owner Maria Lyn McGinnis says, “People love their pets like they love their children. Theyʼre going to make sure theyʼre taken care of,” adding that pet care is, “a necessity, not a luxury.” “I was the kid on the block people called to take care of their McGinnis pets when they & clients. went away,” says McGinnis whose career was lau‑ nched when a friend asked her to walk her dog every day and offered to pay her for the service. “It snowballed from there,” she remarks. McGinnis and her ten employ‑ ees at PETS at PLAY have been pro‑ viding pet care services that go far beyond mere dog walking since the shop at 320 N. 25 St. first opened its doors to Richmondʼs pet popula‑ tion five years ago. Now with a second location in Manchester, PETS at PLAY offers dog boarding and daycare in addi‑

tion to grooming. For cats, and dogs that donʼt play as well with others̶PETS at PLAY makes house visits. PETS at PLAYʼs commitment to providing quality pet care in the downtown area made it an ideal candidate for a partnership with the pet‑friendly Paper Company apartment complex on Hull Street, which opened in Janu‑ ary of 2009. According to McGinnis, de‑ veloper Sam McDonald ap‑ proached her with a proposal to house a second PETS at PLAY location in the one‑ story building adjacent to the com‑ plex. McDonald explains that he and his partner Chris Dillon con‑ ceived the idea of including an on‑ site pet care facility when they “were trying to think of pet‑friendly services for owners” occupying the new complex, which also waives pet fees and deposits and imposes no size limits for canine residents. BY ANIKA IMAJO


Keith-Fabry Reprographics

brand gurus, Homs points out, “Every creative services company is different from any other: we are all distinctive in how we solve problems and in our creative product.” What makes JHI differ‑ ent, however, is the firmʼs sophis‑ ticated design aesthetic, which has been recognized nationally and internationally, and its ability to come up with creative solutions that have legs. “We always try to think long term,” Homs adds, “even on projects that appear to be short term.”


advertising account supervisor, public relations manager for an in‑ ternational fashion design firm, and in‑house copywriter for a regional department store chain. “Traditional agencies can be too bureaucratic and too costly and tend to have standardized systems and procedures that get applied in every situation,” says Watson. “We wanted to offer highly strategic creative solutions, in a wide variety of media, using a flexible approach designed to meet each clientʼs spe‑ cific needs, both from a process and a cost standpoint.” In a town brimming with



hile everything certainly isnʼt rosy with the econ‑ omy just yet, being on the frontline and connecting with local businesses as part of the Busi‑ nessFirst team, I get a sense that the region is rallying to some degree. Meeting with key players in the local economy factors heavily in assessing the economic climate. It means a lot of leg work, putting faces to company brands and building relationships. Through our interviews with entrepreneurs, small business own‑ ers and corporate leaders, we gather the stories and insights of each business which in turn pro‑ vides a wealth of resources for us to draw upon. We also seek out the needs of ongoing business. As des‑ ignated in the LinkedIn post, job development has been a hot topic in our interviews, as well as the other side of that issue̶managing and encouraging business growth. BusinessFirst Greater Rich‑ mond operates on the basic principle of smart transactions: de‑ termine what your clientʼs business needs are and then provide a serv‑ ice that they require. To that end, the first step of the process is straightforward. You share your story with our trained volunteer or development professional. Step two, after determining your business needs through an in‑ depth interview, the team will pro‑ vide resources for you to connect and resolve business hurdles. Once your company is in the system, Busi‑ nessFirst uses your ongoing input about doing business in the region (both positive and negative aspects) to help build supportive policy with leaders in the community. That said, just who are these development professionals? Their stories are enmeshed in decades of building business. Some have a background in the private sector as well as in state or local government, and all have years of experience in economic expansion. Rare is the business dilemma that they havenʼt encountered through their shared experience of finessing the details in assisting companies.



Karen Epps

Shelia Shepperson

Leonard Cake

Karen Aylward

Karen Epps has been the Busi‑ ness Assistance Coordinator for Hanover County since September 1999. Prior to this position, she served as the executive assistant to the Di‑ rector of Economic Development for four years. From 1987 to 1995, Epps was the communications assistant for Doswell Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric. Epps holds a BA in Communi‑ cation Studies and a Certified Mas‑ ter Consultant in Business Retention and Expansion. She is a member of the Virginia Economic Developersʼ Association, Business Retention Expansion International, and the Virginia International Busi‑ ness Council. She currently serves as the state chair for BREI, President of Hanover Career Student Re‑ source, Hanover Association of Business and Chamber of Com‑ merce Board of Directors, Hanover County Public Schools Superinten‑ dentʼs Business Advisory Council, and as a member of the advisory board for The Georgetown School.



Epps resides with her husband Floyd in Hanover County, where she was born and raised. She has two grown children and three granddaughters. Leonard Cake has worked for the County of Henrico for 37 years, 14 years in the Planning Office and 23 years as the Administrative Di‑ rector of the Economic Develop‑ ment Authority. He is a native Richmonder who, except for a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy, has lived in the Richmond area. His formal education includes a two‑year degree program in Draft‑ ing and Design Technology, a Bach‑ elor of Science Degree in Business Management, a Masterʼs Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and a Masterʼs Degree in Public Adminis‑ tration, all from Virginia Common‑ wealth University. He has also completed a three‑year program at the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and has earned the designation of a Cer‑ tified Economic Developer.

Sheila Shepperson is also a native Richmonder. Sheʼs been em‑ ployed with the City of Richmond since 1993, currently in the Depart‑ ment of Economic Development. Shepperson has worked with the BusinessFirst Richmond pro‑ gram since 2000. As part of her focus, she assists the Neighbor‑ hood Development Division in the implementation of the financial in‑ centive programs targeted for new and existing businesses. She is a graduate of Kee Busi‑ ness College, holds a certification as a Business Retention and Expansion Project Coordinator through Busi‑ ness Retention and Expansion In‑ ternational, and a certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. Karen Aylward has been De‑ velopment Manager of Existing, Small and Minority Business for Chesterfield County since 2006. With over thirty years of experi‑ ence̶that includes supervisory roles in banking, consumer finance, commercial lending and economic development̶Aylward promotes the growth and expansion of busi‑ nesses through assisting new enti‑ ties with site identification, zoning, permitting and financing, incentives. Aylward also developed and coordi‑ nates a comprehensive existing mi‑ nority business outreach program. Previous to her current posi‑ tion, she has fourteen years of state and local government pro‑ gram development and adminis‑ tration that include marketing and project finance for the Virginia De‑ partment of Business Assistance. Calling Midlothian home, Aylward is married and the mother of four adult children. All keep current with the local business climate through their con‑ tinued interviewing. And, as citizens of the region, the team is engaged in their respective community de‑ velopments. What about you? Do you have a business issue that we could assist in resolving? Contact us. Weʼd love to hear your business story. For more information click on:

Sara Dunnigan is the senior vice president of Existing Business Services/Talent Development for the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc..

TAKING IT UP A NOTCH Finding great companies to do business with is now as easy as a click of the mouse. Businesses that have proven their ability to provide Top Notch customer service, while operating with the highest levels of business ethics, are now receiving the Top Notch Certification. Here’s just a few local Top Notch Certified Companies. Full profiles can be found at

What is a Top Notch Certified Company? An organization that has met comprehensive customer service quality standards. Top Notch Certified companies are not your typical business, they have proven their commitment to perform “best in class” customer service for their customers. What does the Certification consist of? Each Top Notch Certified business has been through an in-depth screening process which includes an extensive internal business process review with the owner as well as credentials verification, and customer interviews. What types of businesses can be Certified? Over 60 different service categories are covered. Building and Painting Contractors, Caterers, Photographers, Automotive Services, Landscapers, Financial Services, Attorneys, Business to Business services are just a sample of the industries covered. Where can a person or company looking for a Top Notch Certified business find a list? All businesses are listed at The web site provides a very easy-touse search tool with profile and contact information for each company.


The decor is contemporary with its art and light fixtures, yet maintains an old‑world feel created by exposed brick, dark furnishings and crisp, white tablecloths.

DOWNTOWN’s New Dining Destinations


OFFERING DIVERSE MENUS AND AMBIENCE RANGING FROM A CHIC FRENCH BISTRO, A WARM BRAZILIAN CANTINA AND EVEN THE COMFORT OF GRANDMAʼS COOKING, THREE RECENTLY‑OPENED VENUES HAVE EX‑ PANDED YOUR OPTIONS FOR EPICUREAN ADVENTURE IN RICHMOND. Bistro Bouchon (1209 East Cary St.) is sleek, modern and warmly lit, providing a comfort‑ able atmosphere for diners to try the famil‑ iar̶French‑style red wine marinated beef stew with macaroni and cheese̶as well as items more unusual to the American palate, such as escargots, foie gras and escarole. The menu offers a diverse selection of French cui‑ sine, including a good selection of seafood, seasonal salads, vegetarian plates and im‑ pressively envisioned appetizers. Parisian chef Francis Devilliers brings years of experience as a Washington, D.C. restauranteur to the new Bouchon; his wife, Wendy Kalif, adeptly manages the front of the house. The two are new to Richmond and plan to stay. “We love Richmond,” says Wendy. And the city already seems to love Bou‑ chonʼs “authentic bistro fare.” With its unique focus on the culinary style of Southern France, the restaurant has been a success, though it has only been open since October 1st. The




food itself is artful and delicious, and a robust list of French wines, all prominently dis‑ played in a rack that takes up an entire wall of the restaurant, provides ample material for pairings. The one exception is a wine sourced from White Fences Vineyard in Irvington, Vir‑ ginia, indicating the restaurantʼs affinity for local ingredients. The menu features Virginia oysters, cheeses and bread, and pates are made in‑house. In addition to the usual set of appetizers, meat and vegetable entrees and desserts, donʼt miss the tarts (choose between cured anchovy, caramelized onion and black olive or speck, crème fraich and onion) and the char‑ cuterie and cheese plates. Tuesday nights at Bouchon offer a prix fixe ʻdate nightʼ menu for $50 per couple; a regular prix fixe menu is also available daily between 5 and 6 PM for $20 per person. Bistro Bouchon is open for lunch and din‑ ner every day except Sunday.

Natalie Mesnard farms, cooks and writes in Richmond. She is passionate about every aspect of food, from planting seeds to plating fine cuisine. C O M


The restaurant was decorated to remind diners of a visit to grandmaʼs house. Warm hues and friendly music invite patrons to sit down and stay for a whie.

Patrons signal for meat by flipping a special card on the table̶ green means ʻkeep it coming,ʼ while red means ʻIʼm done.ʼ


Richmondʼs newest churrascaria (Brazilian steak house) restaurant, Doraʼs Brazilian Grill (1331 East Cary St.) is a great introduction to the rodizio experience. Whatʼs rodizio? At Doraʼs, it begins with an array of side dishes. Salad, fresh baked bread, black beans, rice, baked po‑ tatoes and sautéed plantains come to the table first. Next, waiters called ʻGauchosʼ appear, bearing cuts of grilled meat skewered on swords. They slice pieces of meat from the swords and serve them to diners, who can continue to eat as long as they are hungry. Patrons signal for meat by flipping a special card on the table̶green means ʻkeep it coming,ʼ while red means ʻIʼm done.ʼ Ten different kinds of meat rotate through the dining room, including beef tenderloin, rib steak, roasted lamb, bacon‑wrapped chicken and homemade pork sausage. “Come hungry,” says Evan Schultz, the bar manager at Doraʼs. Itʼs a hearty meal that comes at a reasonable price: $26.50 for all‑you‑can‑eat. Dessert is included̶a choice of abacaxi (fresh grilled pineap‑ ple) or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A vegetarian plate is also served, as well as single‑dish items including a whole Cornish hen and a wood‑grilled salmon fillet. For the not‑so‑hungry an impressive drink menu is also available, featuring the Caipirinha, a ʻworld fa‑ mousʼ Brazilian cocktail, and Guarana Antarctica, a Brazilian soft drink. Specialty cocktails abound as well. The food at Doraʼs draws on the extensive chur‑ rascaria experience of the restaurantʼs namesake, Dor‑ inha Laubach, who has worked with similar restaurants in Montreal. Laubach shares the business with her hus‑ band, Rolf, and another couple. They hope to create a laid‑back atmosphere and provide an appealing intro‑ duction to this unusual culinary style. The restaurant has been open since November 24th.

Mama Jʼs, (415 North 1st St.) the new restaurant in his‑ toric Jackson Ward, is warm and friendly, a distinctly per‑ sonable location serving food “just like Grandma used to make it.” Seafood salad, fried catfish, seasonal greens and endless homemade cakes are specialties on a menu based on the family recipes of Mama J, who has been running a catering business in Richmond for seven years. Mama J and her son, Lester Johnson, were looking for a commercial kitchen for the catering business when they found their current location on North 1st Street. “I came across this space and fell in love with it the moment I saw it,” says Johnson. The restaurant is decorated to remind diners of a visit to grandmaʼs house, and comes complete with an electric fireplace and a decorative ʻparlor.ʼ Warm hues and friendly music invite patrons to sit down and stay for a while. Many of Mama Jʼs recipes are her motherʼs. She learned to cook as part of a family of 14 siblings, so it makes sense that she keeps things simple. The coun‑ try‑fried steak and pork chops are recommended, as well as the ʻfamousʼ seafood salad. Side dishes such as candied yams, macaroni and cheese and collard greens are reasonably priced at $2 a piece, and entrees come with a small cornbread muffin. Sweet potato pie, co‑ conut cake, almond cake, double chocolate cake, apple cobbler and pound cake are examples of the luscious dessert options, all of which lurk temptingly atop the shiny wooden bar. The restaurant has been open since October 27th, and dinner has been well attended. There is also a rush on Sunday afternoons, when diners get out of church and start looking for a satisfying late lunch. Patrons have been pleased̶one even told Mama J, “I feel like Iʼm at home.”


r i d . C O M 25


Sandra Johnson


[Left] Amaya Gaines‑Lester and her great grandmother Margaret Gaines

[Left to right] LaFran Walker, Cheryl Chandler, Eva Perkins (Perkins, was the senior model at the age of 92).



[Left to right] Cora Thornton‑Moore, Portia Covington and Mia Wynn (Wynn was the youngest model‑12yrs old).

rowns is the name of the upcoming musical and is also used in the title of the “Crowns of Richmond: African‑American Church Hat Fashion show.” But in a more general sense, itʼs a word thatʼs be‑ come associated with the tradition of African‑American women wearing Sunday hats. This is partially because of the popular book on which the mu‑ sical is based, Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. The wearing of head coverings by both men and women originates in the Bible and has been practiced for centuries in various cultures. The Catholic Church once required them of women and some more traditional Catholic women wear them today. The Amish, some Pentecostals and a few other Christian denominations in this country still continue the practice, as do women of other religions and cultures. Many African‑American women believe wearing hats in church shows reverence. However, for some, the practice extends well beyond church and is more complex. Hats are used to exude their personality, to complete an outfit, make a fashion statement or as family heirlooms to be passed down to the next generation just like the tradition. The musical Crowns focuses on this traditionʼs importance. It runs this spring from May 4‑29th at the Gottwald and June 4‑27th at the Barksdale Theaterʼs Willow Lawn location. It is a co‑production of Barksdale and the African American Repertory Theatre. At First African Baptist Church in Richmondʼs Northside, around half the women present on any given Sunday are wearing hats. Cora Thornton‑ Moore is one of them. Her hat‑wearing is not limited to Sundays though. In fact, she rarely leaves home without a hat, whether sheʼs going shopping or to a basketball game. Along with other hat fashionistas, who include LaFran Walker, Cheryl Chandler, Eva Perkins, Sandra Johnson and Amaya Gaines‑Lester, Thornton‑ Moore walked the runway at the Richmond Folk Festival. She modeled two hats̶one a black‑and‑white trimmed with velvet and rhinestones bought for her personal fall collection and also a high‑crowned fuscia hat with felt feathers and rhinestones chosen because of its meaning to her. She first wore it when her son was ordained as a deacon at a New York church.



Read more on Crowns @

Thornton‑Moore owns around 500 hats, but she admits sheʼs reached the point where there are too many to count. “I donʼt believe my outfit is complete without a hat. I try to have a hat for every outfit that I have,” she says. She doesnʼt have 500 outfits, but she may have more than one hat for each outfit. And the hat has to be just right. Sheʼs sometimes purchased an outfit and then not worn it for a full two years while sheʼs searched for the perfect hat to complement it. She shops as far away as New York, where she knows the good hat showrooms. She used to run a boutique selling apparel and hats after retiring as a school teacher there. She has so many hats because sheʼs been collecting them most of her life. When she was a small child growing up in Richmond, she and her sisters became very interested in them through their mother. “My mother was a lover of hats like me,” and was quite well‑known for her fancy hats, often wearing Sara Sue hats from Miller & Rhoads,” says Thornton‑Moore. Today, she only has one straw hat belonging to her mother. Thatʼs because her mother had a fancier taste in hats than she does, and also because of their difference in stature. Itʼs crucial to pick a hat based on your size and personality, she says. Portia Covington agrees. One rule she follows, mentioned in the Crowns book, is to make sure her hatʼs brim is not wider than her shoulders. Thatʼs a fashion faux pas in the world of hats. When asked whether a hat can be too elaborate, she explains her thought process when she sees one thatʼs seemingly over‑the‑top. “I think about that person and that hat, and I think to myself, ʻThey can get by with it, but I wouldnʼt dare go out the door with it.ʼ” Covington modeled at the Richmond Folk Festivalʼs Center‑ Stage Virginia Folklife area, as did her granddaughter Mia Wynn, 12. Mia wore a tam (a slouchy pliable hat) once belonging to her great‑ grandmother, Covingtonʼs mother. Her daughter Mavis Wynn of Venture Richmond planned the show that was originally con‑ cieved by state folklorist Jon Lohman, director of the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Wynn recruited volunteer models from her church, First African, as well as the Fourth Baptist Church, Church Hill. Richmond Folk Festivalʼs CenterStage Virginia Folklife craft exhibit is profiled on page 31.


Style Watch

Kyra Oliver is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and a runner who is passionate about her environment, from what she is wearing, to where she is wearing it.

Kyra Oliver

Chris Cox





Glitz & Glam

such as the fox trimmed silk hat in navy with pink polka dots. A nice bold print scarf would ac‑ cent this beautifully as well. Go ahead and have fun. Then this fabu‑ lous wool camel pon‑ cho caught my eye. This looks so good with a skirt and a smart pair of suede boots or a dis‑ tressed pair of jeans with cowboy boots. The versatility is beyond belief making it a must‑have. Both pieces are flattering, fun and warm not to mention sexy. If you dress frumpy, you look frumpy̶if you dress sexy, you look sexy. So let me Sexy should always win. Fashion week is creeping up al‑ ready where we will see what is hot for next fall. I have a few shows lined up for February. I will let you know whatʼs in for 2010. Dress well.

doesn't have to be extremely ex‑ pensive̶which is something else I try to emphasize.” And just who are the devo‑ tees that embrace the elegant life? “I have a very diverse read‑ ership. I really thought that I'd be writing to those who are just out of college and looking for some tips about how to get along in life. Judging from the comments, emails and letters Iʼve received, my readership skews to the adult married person, late 20s and up. Most of the traffic comes from this country, but I have readers on all the other continents, too.” Coxʼs blog has gained na‑ tional press. “I was fortunate enough to be featured in an issue of House Beautiful and the magazineʼs website linked to ̶ʻThe Love Listʼ included my blog in the ʻBlogger's House Tour,ʼ so a lot of my readers are design lovers, too.” Future projects from the suave trend‑spotter include pub‑ lishing. “Iʼm writing the Easy and Elegant Life book which I hope to offer for sale early in 2010. Iʼve also got a pitch letter waiting to go to a publisher about a coffee table book Iʼd like to do.” Online, Cox authors an‑ other blog on clothing for his tai‑ lor at and Easy and Elegant Life continues to evolve. “I learn something new every day. The interesting thing about the blog format is that it is highly interactive; so my readers help di‑ rect the content to some extent. Iʼd like to feature more video and do some interviews with a few ex‑ perts in the fields in which I have interests,” Cox says. “Iʼve posted a look book of the clothing photos from the blog to Facebook and tweet on occasion. I imagine that those commitments will continue to grow and evolve with the Easy and Elegant Life brand.”



es, itʼs re‑ ally, really cold out‑ side. That is ab‑ solutely no reason to layer yourself to the point of looking like you are hiding a bear underneath your coat. Truly, win‑ ter fashions offer very sexy alter‑ natives, but you have to dress smart. You can stay warm and look hot all at the same time. I decided to visit J. McLaughlin (407 Libbie Avenue) to see what they would have for this winter season. I was excited to find this faded pink quilted silk jacket that zips down the front and has knit sleeves. It is so in‑ credibly comfortable and surpris‑ ingly warm. What is great about it, is that it is light enough for fall and spring, yet provides warmth in the winter, espe‑ cially if paired with an adorable hat

William Powell, Myrna Loy; Rôti de Porc aux Pommes de Terre et aux Oignons; martinis with frozen olives; Barbour jackets; Polo collar sweaters and suede driving shoes; clothing that fits; and thank‑you notes, these are all the topics of an Easy & Elegant Life (, Richmonder Chris Coxʼs blog de‑ voted to ʻthe search for everyday elegance and a study of the art of living well.ʼ A graduate of The College of William and Mary, Cox was an Eng‑ lish major who quickly “unlearned everything” when he wrote as a di‑ rect mail fundraiser in DC and later as a copywriter at The Idea Center where he became a partner. In be‑ tween those two jobs, Cox did stints as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray on W. Broad Street; worked at Ogilvy, Adams and Rinehart; and as a co‑manager of the Britches of Georgetown cloth‑ ing stores in DC. Easy and Elegant Life was launched April of 2007, though the original impetus for the site was a suggestion from a friend that Cox author a book about en‑ tertaining. “I envisioned a work that was more ʻlifestyleʼ oriented, combining my interests in enter‑ taining, etiquette, a return to classical elegance in menswear, and cooking,” Cox says. But about that time Cox read about the fashion blog “The Sartorialist” in The New York Times and was participating in online style forums, so he switched mediums. Coxʼs current foray into freelance writing and fulltime blogging also came about from a life crisis. “I was diagnosed with tes‑ ticular cancer for the second time,” he explains. Cox and his wife had a one‑and‑a‑half year old daughter and a six‑week‑old son at that time. “There is a his‑ tory of the men in my family dying from cancer of one sort or another,” Cox says. His wife sug‑ gested that he “ʻretireʼ and do what I wanted to do,” in an effort to reduce the possibilities of can‑ cer‑inducing stress from a career in advertising. “Now, I write for myself, do free‑lance copywriting and the occasional voice talent for my old agency.” Cox says. “We live on a teacher's salary. Easy and elegant

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City of Richmond National Council for the Traditional Arts Childrenʼs Museum of Richmond Virginia Foundation for the Humanities STAGE SPONSORS/MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS

Altria CenterStage The Community Foundation Dominion First Market Bank Genworth Financial MeadWestvaco NewMarket Corporation Richmond Times‑Dispatch SunTrust Ukropʼs CONTRIBUTING PARTNERS

Comcast Cox Radio DoubleTree Hotel Loveland Distributing NBC‑12 Virginia Folklife Program Wachovia FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL

Produced by

City Ice CW Richmond Glory Foods Graphics Gallery GRTC Hohner House of Hayes JAM inc. JHI National Endowment for the Arts National Park Service Plan 9 Music RMC Events SIR Research Target Marketing TFC Recycling The American Civil War Center VHDA WCVE‑Public Radio Winn Transportation

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On Facebook Richmond has a diverse and vibrant music scene filling ven‑ ues like the National, The Camel, Bogarts, and clubs through‑ out Virginia, the East Coast and the rest of the United States. Metal band Lamb of God and punk/hardcore revolutionaries HE IBE BY ELLIOT CRANE Strike Anywhere have even found International success. Both bands have new full‑length releases out. The worst thing about the music scene in Richmond is that its not possible to be in two places at once to see all the great music coming out of the hearts of local mu‑ sicians. Here are five bands worth tracking on your radar.



RVA Indie Archive



BEAST WELLINGTON Performing often at venues such as The Camel and Bogarts restau‑ rant, Beast Wellington boasts nine members with a sonic presence that is formidable and sultry. The trumpet, trombone and sax playing of Mark Ingraham, Mary Lawrence Hicks, Maureen Wisniewski and Suzi Fischer dances and sizzles. Derrick Englertʼs bass and Devonne Harrisʼ drum‑work provide a funk‑driven backbone for Chris Ryanʼs lead guitar. Margaux Lesourd exudes soul and personality with her smooth singing voice.

THE NO B.S. BRASS BAND The No B.S. Brass Band knows how to have a good time and will bring out the inner band geek in just about anyone. No B.S. Brass combines the spirit of New Orleans with original compositions and a select array of hits from the ʼ70s and ʼ80s in an eclectic, virtuosic and rowdy package. The group has played all manner of events and venues including The Camel and even leading a small parade through the streets of the Fan to celebrate the unveiling of the Visual Art Center of Richmondʼs Para‑ dise Park Revival project. No B.S. has recently recorded Alive in Rich‑ mond (CD

THE DJ WILLIAMS PROJECT With funk groove and soul DJ Williams Project play jammy funk that flows like a river. Williams says, “Music helps keep me sane, cleanses my soul, and has allowed me to travel all over the place.” Together with Gordon Jones on sax, Dusty Simmons on skins, Brian Mahne playing keys, Todd Herringtonʼs bass, and Mark Ingraham on trumpet, the group livens the most timid of crowds. The DJ Williams Project provides tasty grooves Tuesday nights at Café Diem and Wednesday nights at Martini Kitchen. DJ Williams recordings are available through

The Millionaires posted by Eric Futterman





Songfest John Vassar and The Speckled Bird compose delicate folk on guitar, up‑ right bass, banjo and accordion. The group has released an album en‑ titled The Fire Next Time available on Triple Stamp records. As a songwriter, Vassar seamlessly shifts between pastoral impressionism and urban romanticism, weaving lyrics into both poignant narratives and visionary tableaux. Vassar's band, The Speckled Bird, uses delicate melody and vocal harmony to create rich and compelling sounds of acoustic and electric clarity.

Image posted by Thurston Howes

Administrated by Amy Lester Defendini and Tripp Wyatt, a testimony to Rich‑ mondʼs vibrant indie music heritage can be found on Facebookʼs “RVA Punk Scene̶ʼ70s through ʼ90s.” The photos range from amateur fan shots of local bands to stunning, artistic, intimate captures of punk icons such as Henry Rollins and Black Flag, GWAR, the Ramones, Green Day and local favs like Beex and The Rage. Many of the photos were taken at Bennyʼs, the narrow dive and haven for fledging talent during Punkʼs heyday. One interesting aspect of Face‑ bookʼs fan pages is the impromptu com‑ mentary that is posted by the users who respond to the photos. Just browsing the gallery is a type of visual history that almost feels like a documentary where many of the fansʼ and performersʼ sto‑ ries unfold into midlife. Similarily, “I Remember the REAL Shafer Court” created and administered by Elizabeth Heidelberg captures Vir‑ ginia Commonwealth Universityʼs Shaf‑ fer Court open‑air concerts from the ʼ80s. Shaferʼs venue offered a stage for local bands like Single Bullet Theory, the Good Guys, House of Freaks and even presented the wonderfully twisted antics of a GWAR Halloween party.

PLAY Brandon Roundtree, Jason Marshall, Alex Howard, and Ryan Tinsley are Conditions an energetic punk‑influenced rock band. The group has two EPʼs, a live recording and a 2009 album, You Are Forgotten (Pure Volume Recordings). The albums were recorded with the help of renowned Bal‑ timore producer Paul Levitt who has worked with artists such as All Time Low and Senses Fail. The band plans to compete in the Ernie Ball Battle of The Bands in L.A. for a chance at $15,000 and a full endorsement deal. The competition will be headlined by the band Story of A Year who are on Epitaph records, one of the foremost punk labels.


[Clockwise from top left]: “See Saw What You Did”; “We saw”;

“The Answer”; “Under the Guise” [detail]; “Black Bopst”; “Monster Face”; all work:s are oil on canvas.

Jennifer Holloway Bopst @ Schindler Satellite Gallery (8 West Broad Street) December 4th-18th 2009 Creating tension through her sub‑ jects and her artifice to illuminate the absurd, zany, poignant and oddly intimate junctures of the Facebook‑bourgeoisie provides Jennifer Holloway Bopstʻs paintings with an otherworldliness of carica‑



ture, floral prints and the artistʼs predilection for near‑neon hues. While the above could be a recipe for a mash of cloying senti‑ mentality framed in cartoonish form, for the most part, Bopst smartly edits the imagery and main‑ tains the necessary emotional dis‑ tance from her subjects to avoid mere mawkish depiction and in‑ stead raises the portraits to an au‑ thentic aesthetic experience. Antecedents for Bopstʼs ap‑ proach̶both in subject and in technique̶can be found in two very different artists. Pierre Bon‑ nardʼs presentation of 19th‑century do‑ mestic bliss in com‑ positions of vibrant red, orange and yellow held in check by their complementary colors takes the scenes of ordinary



moments in life (dining, bathing, resting) into extraordinary realms of saturated hues and design. Bopst , likewise, uses everyday images of children, family, pets and the occasional odd object (the typi‑ cal personal flotsam you will find posted in Facebook or Flicker al‑ bums) and, by careful editing or color engineering, creates sophisti‑ cated, stylized, at times wry, presen‑ tations of the middle‑class milieu. Yet, where Bonnard opts for a more romanticized and generalized figure on ground, Bopst delineates her subjects with precise, con‑ toured line̶every detail is weighted equally̶often forgoing three‑dimensional illusion for high‑ resolution illustration. And̶all puns aside̶this is the fine line Bopst must maintain between the attempts at rendering verisimilitude for portraiture as oppose to cashing in on the easier (but less resonating) take of caricature or cartoon. The artist is most successful when the narrative created from the imagery counter‑balances the glib presentation of distorted per‑ spective and intense hues. In the

diptych comprised of “We Saw” and its sister painting “See Saw What You Did” an enigmatic moment be‑ tween a parent and child on play‑ ground is portrayed, with both subjects obviously related, but iso‑ lated on individual canvases. Though given the same palette and style as the other works, these two paintings seem to risk a somewhat pensive familial moment and read a little less arch than Bopstʼs other pieces̶making them all the more intimate and compelling. Bopstʼs work also has an affin‑ ity with Gustav Klimtʼs intense em‑ ployment of pattern and flattening of form to unify the composition. A portraitist, Klimtʼs excessive orna‑ mentation of his subjects in impos‑ sible geometrics of orange and gold merges the figure and ground sometimes to the point where a subject is nearly obscured by the technique. The painting takes prece‑ dence over who is being portrayed. Likewise, Bopst flattens the compositions and compresses the subjects into the spiral and spin of flo‑ ral prints in backgrounds or patterns on clothes. The technique speaks to the tradition of Asian woodblock prints where forms are similarily locked by passages of clashing de‑ signs within pronounced borders. The compressed design rein‑ forces the more object‑making as‑ pects of the paintings and allows the artist to play with color where typi‑ cally rendered shadow, space or de‑ tail would be. Bopst works intuitively with her color selection̶skin tones are represented in everything from paste‑white flesh to raw magenta or even a fauvist ice‑blue as in the case of “The Answer.” Applied in careful washes of pigment and exacting strokes̶which isnʼt to say Bopst doesnʼt allow herself to luxuriate in painterly moments and scumbled services̶generally the hues, like the details, all have equal tones that add to the flattened, illustrational end result. Ultimately, the artist creates a highly‑refined format of isolation, evenly‑lit design and psychological triggers that are intuitively forged. Itʼs the same space employed by Richard Linder, Alice Neal or Lucien Freud̶that Bopst brands with her own unique sense of irony and tech‑ nical aplomb. Though, much like a Flannery OʼConnor short story, Bopstʼs reper‑ toire of humor, compressed mo‑ ments, mordant distortion and clever design works best when it subtlety renders the artistʼs underly‑ ing compassion for her subjects. BY TED RANDLER



Also see the related article on Richmond Folk Festivalʼs CenterStage Virginia Folklife ʻCrownsʼ fashion show on page 26. R I C H M O N D





money they earned in the fields was crucial to support their families, and both discovered art as way of expressing their spirituality. Mama Girl says, “If the spirit donʼt give it to me, I canʼt do it.” Lime has been used in build‑ ing construction for over 6000 years, but this continuity was inter‑ rupted with the invention and broad manufacture of Portland Ce‑ ment over a century ago. Working from his home business not far from the site of his grandfatherʼs farm in Amherst, Virginia, Jimmy Price is a master of traditional build‑ ing craft skills once prized and now nearly forgotten. Jimmyʼs family‑ run business, Virginia Limeworks, showcases walls built by hand with brick produced on‑site from Vir‑ ginia clay, using lime‑based mortar made from oyster shells harvested in Maryland and Virginia, burned in kilns on the property and painted with lime washes or mineral‑based paints. Jimmy and his crew are lead‑ ing the project to reconstruct his‑ toric St. Maryʼs City Chapel in Maryland, reproducing the bricks and lime mortar used in the original building, and even the scaffolding made of hand‑hewn wood and rope knotting used to build the 1667 structure. Alfombra de arracin (rice car‑ pets) are created in Guatemalan cities and villages during Holy Week. Using dyed sawdust, rice, dried beans and other vegetable materials, teams of artists create a carpet depicting scenes from the passion and other religious images as part of Good Friday activities. Each carpet is a unique creation, carefully developed by the artistic team during the days leading up to holy week. The images and tech‑ niques employed are drawn from a repertoire of traditional religious iconography and long‑held com‑ munity practices. Ubaldo Sanchez, the principal artist of the group, is 23 years old, lives in Arlington, Vir‑ ginia and learned the tradition from his older brother and community members before immigrating to the United States at age 14.


even disparate forms of crafts from around Virginia and North Carolina were brought together under the exhibi‑ tion Sacred Sounds–Sacred Spaces that promoted “the dizzying num‑ ber of spiritual expressions thriving in new immigrant communities.” The Sacred Spaces area was curated by Virginia State Folklorist Jon Lohman, director of the Virginia Dennis Stephens Folklife Program at the Virginia Mama Girl Judith and Steve Henry Foundation for the Humanities. The exhibit delivered a range from the expected̶instrument building, alter design, architecture, religious calligraphy̶to the less mainstream arts of paper sculpture, rice carpets and Sukkah construction. Abbas Joudee The origins of the pipe organ can be traced back to the Hydraulis in Ancient Greece in the third cen‑ tury BC, in which the wind supply was created with water pressure. Some of the finest pipe organs have been made in the United States, par‑ ticularly in the 19th Century. Dennis Stephens keeps this tradition alive and brings 33 years experience as a Amoroso & Ernesto Altar Alfombra de arracin Jimmy Price exhibit space church organist and 20 years expe‑ rience as a pipe and reed organ The Jewish Festival of Sukkot between life and the afterlife thins builder and restorationist in Calleo, begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day after and communications across the di‑ Virginia. He created the Rappahan‑ Yom Kippur. It is quite a drastic tran‑ vide are possible. These altars fea‑ nock Pipe Organ Company, one of sition, from one of the most solemn ture personal mementos, carved the most sought after pipe and reed holidays in the Jewish calendar to sugar skulls, ceremonial foods, organ shops in the country. one of the most joyous. The word flowers and candles all ritually Derived from the Aramaic "Sukkot" means "booths," and refers placed. This ritual dates to the an‑ Nabataean alphabets, Arabic writing to the temporary dwellings that are cient Aztecs; despite efforts by the has existed prior to Islam. However, lived in during this holiday in mem‑ Church, it remains an important the stunning calligraphy rendered in ory of the period of wandering. In part of life in many Mexican and Arabic has developed along with the the late 1980s Rabbi Steve Sager of Mexican‑American families. The al‑ rise of Islam, from the early 7th Cen‑ Beth El Synagogue in Durham North ters are also used to honor and cel‑ tury onward. As the message of the Carolina asked Steve Henry to de‑ ebrate saints and religious icons, Qurʼan spread, calligraphy's main sign a simple do‑it‑yourself sukkah such as the Virgin of Guadalupe. function has evolved into artistically kit for members of the community Pastor Mary Onley, known as recording and preserving the new who wished to have a sukkah but “Mama Girl,” is a self‑taught artist revelation, where calligraphers be‑ knew nothing about building things. who was born, reared, and still lives came committed to beautify, bal‑ The kit he came up with proved ex‑ in her hometown of Painter, Vir‑ ance, and perfect their product in a tremely popular with the locals, and ginia. Her lyrical sculptures, similar way worthy of Godʼs own words. soon requests were also coming in to paper maché‚ but without wire Abbas Joudee is a true master of this from far off places. or other frame, consist exclusively craft, carrying on a long family tradi‑ Arlingtonʼs David Amoroso of newspaper. Onleyʼs life bears tion of Baghdad calligraphers. and Ernesto Gomez create tempo‑ similarities to the acclaimed black Joudee became a refugee of the rary ritual space̶altars used by painter of the Harlem Renaissance, Gulf War, and has since relocated families and communities to re‑ Jacob Lawrence (1917‑2000). Both to Stafford, Virginia, where he con‑ member loved ones on All Saints Lawrence and Onley came from tinues to welcome students from Day, November 1st. The Dia de los families who labored on farms. Nei‑ throughout the Middle East. Muertos is the day when the veil ther could go to school because the


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Bruce Whited

Years later, I found myself divorced and miserable. I left my passion for love and lost both. I found myself living a life that was not for me. Searching for the “normal life” I sucked at every‑ thing I attempted. I tried to force myself into any other career. I have worked almost every job you can think of. I can easily give Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) a run for his money. I have been home‑ less, and have worked at every‑ thing from picking roots out of rock piles in a quarry to working for a major university recruiting students. Putting your life back to‑ gether is never easy. It takes a certain something to look at your circumstances, and really know you are on the wrong path. I have always believed that when you are on the wrong path your life will become harder until you finally get the hint and “right the ship.” Well, my path became so hard I could stand it no longer. When I lost the woman of my dreams again, I finally listened to the voice that had been in my mind all those years. I decided the only way to handle the raw emotion I felt was to vent. There was only one place I have ever been able to vent my emotions, and that is on the stage. With more than a little trep‑ idation, I decided to quietly look into taking an acting class. After all, I had not been on a stage in sixteen years. What if I sucked?

Richmond Comedy Coalition








ow, I know what you are thinking, “This is the story about a guy going through another midlife crisis.” Sixteen years ago, I walked away from my first love. I had been an actor since my freshman year in high school. I confess I made the decision to take drama in high school because I was painfully shy and yes, I wanted to meet girls. All of the actors I saw on the screen (big or small) always knew just what to say, and how to say it, so they could get the girl. I wanted that power. I wanted the charm. What I found in acting class was the power, the charm, and the creativity to literally be anything I wanted. I could be a good person, or a real jerk, and I found I could make people laugh, cry, think, be angry, and perhaps I could in‑ spire them to step outside their world for a moment and believe in another reality. In college while I was plan‑ ning my trip to Los Angeles, I met a lady who took my breath away, and I felt forced to make the decision whether to leave and pursue that dream all actors dream of, or I could chose a fam‑ ily, and the quiet life. I made my choice, and was soon blessed with a family, and a life that never sat with me. Like an Olympic athlete who suddenly decides not to compete, I tried to purge my passion and settle into a “normal life.”


A late cancellation by a stand‑up comic could have been trouble for a recent com‑ edy showcase produced by the Richmond Comedy Coalition. But levity prevailed, as the nightʼs MC/group co‑founder David Pijor opened by inviting the audience to text message their feelings directly to the ab‑ sent performer. The prank was “a great success,” and it established a healthy amount of laughter and audience involvement as the scheduled perform‑ ances began. The surprise closing in March 2009 of the ComedySportz Theatre sent the Rich‑ mond improvisational comedy commu‑ nity scrambling to find new homes for many talented performers, resulting in no fewer than five new improv comedy pro‑ ductions across the area. The Richmond Comedy Coalition ̶ the young, yet seasoned, group of Pijor, Katie Holcomb, Matt Newman, Jenni Goldsby, Zach Arnold, Emily Smith, Stacey Voorhees‑Brown, and Aaron Grant̶is unique in this mini‑boom be‑ cause its programming expands well beyond its membershipʼs own improvi‑ sations. It embraces the entire Rich‑ mond comedy community in whatever forms it takes. A monthly Richmond Comedy Coali‑ tion production, staged at Art6 Gallery downtown (6 E. Broad Street), might con‑ sist of two distinct improv groups creat‑ ing scenes that launch off from audience suggestions trading off stage time with a stand‑up act or a sketch troupe for almost two hours of fast‑paced performance for just $5. “Our plan is to eventually start offer‑ ing training in both improv and sketch writing to people who are eager and in‑ terested in performing comedy, and from that we would be able to harvest new acts and talent and give them an outlet to per‑ form,” Holcomb says. BY ROBERT SOBECKE


Living The Dream

What if I sucked all along and just had a group of friends who were just too nice to tell me? Once I signed up for an acting class, my “other life” took of with speed and fury like I never expected. Cruising Craigslist I found a few student films. I figured if I sucked or if this was a passing fancy, who would know? At the first audition the direc‑ tor said “I donʼt have to see anyone else, I want you for this part.” I was thrilled. I got a part in another stu‑ dent film, and began to wonder if perhaps I could pull this off. I au‑ ditioned for a play. I waited nerv‑ ously as time slipped by. I figured I had not been picked until to my amazement I checked my email, and have been invited to read again for the part. Now at 41, I realized a lot of people would figure I was having some kind of midlife crisis. There are few actors who have ever made it after having started at my age. I never decided to quit my job and run away to New York or LA. I still work my job, I still miss the love of my life and I adore my kids. I just decided to find out what would happen if I opened up that part of myself I had turned off so long ago. What I found out was won‑ derful and scary and exciting. In just barely a month I have been in two small independent films, one of which is headed to a few film festivals. I have been called back to read for a play, and I have been contacted by a director in New York for another small independ‑ ent film early next year. I can put food on my table and do the one thing on this planet I love so much I would do for free, and that is act. I once read something from Anthony Robbins. He said, “ If you make a decision and donʼt take ac‑ tion, you havenʼt really decided.” “Uncle Tony” is right. For years I told myself I would find a way to get back into acting as a hobby, and if I could find a way I would make it my living. But I never took any steps toward that dream. Now that I have, the universe has opened up an entirely new set of doors I had not considered for many years. I have not made it by any means, but I am living a life now that I only dreamed about. I would challenge you to listen to that voice nagging at you in your mind. Dare to dream! It makes no difference where you end up on the path, just take it.

The Team Behind the Team: [right standing] Trainer Shane Sykes

Michael D. Fraizer

[left to right ] Mike Siani & John Morris


Downtown Touchdown! PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL COMES TO RICHMOND. ON JANUARY 23RD THE FOURTH ANNUAL AIFA‑ALL STAR GAME WILL MARK THE BEGINNING OF THE 2010 SEASON OF THE AIFA AS WELL AS THE WELCOMED ADDITION OF THE RICHMOND RAIDERS TO THE LEAGUE. BY ELLIOT CRANE December 5th brought the first dark, wintery afternoon of the sea‑ son. Rain mixed with snow blew across the bubble dome of the Sports Center of Richmond where the second round of cuts was un‑ derway for the Richmond Raiders. But inside, the brightly‑lit in‑ door soccer field was heating up as the temporary training ground for athletes who are vying for a spot on the American Indoor Football Association team. In lieu of uni‑ forms, the players wore their own workout clothes and were identi‑ fied only by their paper tags bear‑ ing the Raiders logo. Witnesses to the event were the scattering of parents, wives, girlfriends and kids who watched from the bleachers as the men took to one knee for their briefing from the coach. Thereʼs tension in the air̶a mix of anticipation and ap‑ prehension. After all, many of the players wonʼt make the cut to the final team. For those that do achieve the transition from amateur to pro, today could be life‑changing. “Alright, itʼs time to get seri‑ ous! Time to focus,” Shane Sykes the trainer called as he managed the line‑up for the opening sprints and practice maneuvers. “I grew up in a rough part of Baltimore and said if I ever get out of this I want to give back.” This is the passion and commitment to the community that drives John Morris, owner of the American In‑ door Football League. Morris, also a Raiders co‑owner,



will work as executive director of the league as well as lead team opera‑ tions with Richmond Raiderʼs Gen‑ eral Manager Jack Bowman. “I am excited about the AIFA partnership and the additional sup‑ port it will bring to the team,” Mor‑ ris said concerning the new season. “We are off to a great start in Rich‑ mond and this move will only ac‑ celerate our momentum.” The game will be televised on Comcast as well. The league will focus on regional expansion and long‑term growth so teams can be‑ come deeply rooted in their re‑ spective regions. Richmond Raiders home games will be played at the Richmond Coliseum. Regarding the scheduling, Bow‑ man explained, “The beautiful part about it is that we have all teams on the East Coast within close proximity. Our average bus ride is two to three hours. Up and back in the same day.” In addition to Bowman and Morris, the Chairman and CEO of Genworth Financial, Michael D. Fraizer and his wife Elizabeth caught the Raider fever̶joining



the ownership group as local part‑ ners through a personal investment in the team. “The combination of Morrisʼ experience and our local presence creates a very powerful combina‑ tion,” Fraizer said as he watched the training from the sidelines. Fraizer serves on various char‑ itable and community boards and advisory groups including the Andre Agassi Charitable Founda‑ tion, the Virginia Foundation for In‑ dependent Colleges, the P‑20 Bridging Richmond educational ini‑ tiative, and the Richmond Perform‑ ing Arts CenterStage. The Fraizers are active in the Richmond community and see this venture as an opportunity to con‑ tribute to the vibrancy of Down‑ town Richmond, help bring economical family entertainment to the metro area, and add to the com‑ munityʼs volunteer efforts through the involvement of the players. This “giving back” philosophy is the common theme and mission the team is being built on. Frazier explained, “[Morris] is all about

community. The teams are coming to community to be part of it and the players have to give back to the community and be role models.” The Raiders, under the coach‑ ing of Mike Siani, will take to the field and face the all‑star team at the outset of the season. Siani has a proven history on and off the gridiron. A Super Bowl ring bearer, he played nine seasons of NFL football for the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Colts. Off the field, Siani coached at Princeton Uni‑ versity, scouted for the New Orleans Saints and, during his indoor coach‑ ing career, he took his teams to the playoffs in three of his five years. “Iʼve had a passion for football since I was 10 years old. I played all different sports, but football has al‑ ways been my passion,” Siani said. “Itʼs such a competitive sport. Where else can you take out your aggressions? Itʼs fun too.” With the young fans that foot‑ ball teams draw, did Siani have any words of wisdom for college and pro football hopefuls? “The most important thing is school work,” he said. “No matter what sport they want to play, they are not going be allowed to play unless they maintain a certain grade average.” For Siani itʼs not just about work ethic. “They have to love the sport. If they come to practice every day and they hate it or they are only doing it because their parents want ʻem to do it, theyʼre probably not going to ad‑ vance to higher levels. Enjoy what you do, love what you do.”

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City of Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones

Greater Richmond Grid