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Working locally, selling globally Many contributors to the region’s economy are from far outside Southwest Virginia



The team at Valley Bank is now part of the BNC Bank family. The culture and core values of Valley Bank and BNC Bank mirror each other and makes for a natural fit. You will see many familiar faces, along with additional products and services. We work with individuals, businesses and professional clients.

Kevin Meade

Wanda Holland

Gray Goldsmith

Sherry Dillon

Steve Smith

Tracey Palame

Andy Agee

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VP, Branch Manager

SVP, Commercial Relationship Manager

VP, Branch Manager

SVP, Commercial Relationship Manager

VP, Branch Manager

SVP, Commercial Relationship Manager

Cyndi Beach Stultz Bob Scarborough VP, Mortgage Consultant

SVP, Wealth Services Team Leader

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October 2015



Working locally, selling globally


Many contributors to the region’s economy are from far outside Southwest Virginia.

by Mason Adams

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION Building off-site


Design center at Virginia Tech helps lead the way in growing demand for modular construction.


by Joan Tupponce



Helping workers gain skills that the modern economy requires. by Cara Ellen Modisett




New clean-air regulations affect even niche sales for wood stoves. by Mason Adams

D 26







INTERVIEW: Waynette Anderson







More than a Thursday-through-Saturday town

Big things for Botetourt

Event producer creates new entertainment venue for Star City and makes Wednesday an event night.

Economic development through wind, water and a better interstate interchange.

by Beth JoJack

by Beth JoJack

HIGHER EDUCATION Preparing medical professionals Jefferson College of Health Sciences trains students to work in teams so they will be prepared for the real world. by Shawna Morrison







Chamber Champions Event sponsorships New members Member news & recognitions


There is an enormous amount of risk in construction. Marsh & McLennan Agency [MMA] and its regional partner agencies have joined forces to support companies and construction contractors with a dedicated, global network of surety specialists who know the industry. MMA’s Surety Bonding Services can replace bank letters of credit or insurance guarantees with more cost-effective surety bonds, freeing up credit capacity for other business needs so you can break ground sooner. To learn more about how MMA and its regional partner agencies can help you find Surety Bonding, visit

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Over here or there?



by Tim Thornton

like Levi’s. I started wearing them in high school and never stopped. They’re icons of American culture and style. Born out of a wife’s desire for a pair of workpants her husband could wear that wouldn’t fall apart, Levi’s have been worn by farmers, cowboys, outlaws, movie stars, rock stars, hippies, hard hats – nearly every American archetype and stereotype has pulled on a pair of Levi’s. The printing inside one pair tells me these jeans were created by Levi Strauss & Co. in 1873 and they’ve “become an American tradition, symbolizing the West.” That pair was made in Mexico. I have another pair made in Egypt. I like Subarus. A few years ago, I bought a used Subaru and almost immediately strapped a canoe on top of it and headed off on a trip along the New River from Boone, N.C., to Gauley Bridge, W.Va. The Subaru zipped along interstates, careened up and down mountain roads and eased down to the river’s edge. It hauled camping gear, river gear and recording gear and occasionally provided a dry place to sleep. It got good gas mileage, too. On subsequent trips, the Subaru’s cargo included two kayaks and a bass fiddle. I felt like all my previous car-owning years had been wasted. Here was a car. Subaru, of course, is a division of Fuji Heavy Industries, a Japanese company. Mine was built in Indiana. Recently, after many years of faithful service, our dryer died. Its replacement bears a flag-themed sticker proclaiming it was “designed, engineered and assembled” in the U.S. I may be too cynical, but I assume that means at least some of the parts were manufactured somewhere else and then shipped to the United States for assembly. It’s getting hard to tell the players without a scorecard. Budweiser, perhaps the most famous of American beers, has been swallowed by Belgian brewer InBev. The company that makes Dodges and Chryslers is part of a Netherlands-based company headquartered in London with engineering and manufacturing centers in Italy and Michigan. It’s popular in some quarters, for all sorts of good reasons, to focus on local – local food, local businesses, local good works. I’m all for that. But as our cover story this month shows, sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between local and international. Red Sun, for instance, supplies tomatoes in a way that seems to fit with the local food movement’s goal of reducing the miles traveled by the average American dinner, but Red Sun’s headquarters is far from the company’s high-tech Pulaski County greenhouse. The tomatoes are from here, but the company that grows them isn’t. Can foreign investment make both our economy and our diet healthier?

Vol. 4


President & Publisher Roanoke Business Editor Contributing Editor Contributing Writers

Art Director Contributing Photographers

Production Manager Circulation Manager Accounting Manager Vice President of Advertising Account Representative

Kevin L. Dick Karen Chenault Ashley Henry Hunter Bendall Lynn Williams

CONTACT: EDITORIAL: (540) 520-2399 ADVERTISING: (540) 597-2499 210 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA 24011-1702 We welcome your feedback. Email Letters to the Editor to Tim Thornton at VIRGINIA BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS LLC A portfolio company of Virginia Capital Partners LLC Frederick L. Russell Jr.,, chairman

on the cover Employees install curtain rails and part of a sun visor in the cab line at the Volvo Trucks plant Dublin Photo by Natalee Waters



No. 10

Bernard A. Niemeier Tim Thornton Paula C. Squires Mason Adams Beth JoJack Cara Ellen Modisett Shawna Morrison Joan Tupponce Adrienne R. Watson Christina O’Connor Don Petersen Natalee Waters

Out About &

This month’s Out & About features photos from NRV Cares, the VT Knowledgeworks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge (photos 2-4) and a photo from Haley Toyota’s grand opening. Share photos of special events at your company with Roanoke Business. E-mail photos and identifications to editorTim Thornton at


1 1. NRV Cares Executive Director Laura Guilliams (center) accepts a $500 contribution from Network NRV, represented by Sarah Beth Jones, Kathie Dickenson, Terri Welch and Alice de Sturler. 2. Team Visionear of Thailand’s King Mongjut’s Univeristy of Technology Thonburi won the Grand Prize and the Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award. KMUTT’s Tiranee Achalakul stands with team members Natthaphat Laoharawee, Nuntipat Narkthong, Budsapanee Pongsiriyaporn, and Plastic One’s Sandy Ferrell.


3. Team Animus of Colombia’s Universidad del Norte won the Information Technology Award. Team members Alfonso Andrés Quijano Jesurum and Jose Miguel Gómez Castro are joined by Joe Meredith, president of the VT Corporate Research Center. 4. Team EntoLog of Switzerland’s ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences won the People’s Choice Award. Dr. Benjamin Graziano of ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences joins team members Philippe Geiger, Stefan Klettenhammer, Meinrad Koch and Joe Meredith, president of the VT Corporate Research Center. 5. Haley Toyota’s grand opening brought out Brad Heagy of Central Atlantic Toyota, Roanoke City Council members Anita Price and Bill Bestpitch, Haley Automotive Group President Doug Pridgen, Roanoke Mayor David Bowers, Roy Armiger of Central Atlantic Toyota, and Haley General Manager Chuck Baker.




5 VT Knowledgeworks photos courtesy VT Knowledgeworks NRV Cares photo courtesy Whitescarver Photography

Calendar of eventsOctober

Items on the calendar are just a sample of Roanoke/New River Valley business events this month. To submit an event for consideration, email Tim Thornton at tthornton@ at least one month before the event.

October 6 October 1

Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council Casino Night

Candidates Forum – Senate Districts 19 and 21

The Inn at Virginia Tech


The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council presents its first Casino Night: Networking, games, prizes, heavy hors d’oeuvres and two drink tickets, followed by a cash bar.

Time: 4 – 7 PM Cost: $15/person Call 540.983.0717 x103, or online at


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Č?/RFDOUHJLRQDOFUHGLWWHQDQWVEXWPXVW be in strong market areas 3OHDVHVHQGLQIRUPDWLRQRQSRWHQWLDOVLWHVWR Matthew Nusbaum 757.640.2215 S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. is a market leader in multi-family and commercial development, property management, commercial sales and leasing and property fnancial services For more information, visit our website or call: 757.627.8611 1700 Wells Fargo Center | 440 Monticello Avenue | Norfolk, VA 23510 | 757.627.8611 9211 Forest Hill Avenue | Suite 110 | Richmond, VA 23235 | 804.320.7600

October 15

Roanoke County iMarketing Workshop South Roanoke County Library 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


Learn new advertising and marketing techniques to capture new leads and close sales. Advanced registration required at: Contact: Melinda Cox at the Roanoke County Development Department at 540 772-2185.

October 22

Financing for Small Business South Roanoke County Library



Our Custom Published Reprints can extend the effectiveness of your ad or article that appears in Roanoke Business magazine, and they make excellent marketing pieces. Articles can be reowed without surrounding ads. If space allows, we can place your company contact information and logo. The cost will depend on the size of the reprint.

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A panel of experts will discuss such topics as what to do before approaching a lender and the documentation needed for a loan. Workshop is free, but advance registration required. Contact: Melinda Cox at the Roanoke County Development Department at 540 772-2185.

Would you like to know more about reprints? Please contact: Kevin Dick - (804) 225-0433 ROANOKE BUSINESS



Many contributors to the region’s economy are from far outside Southwest Virginia by Mason Adams 8


quick scan of economic development announcements in the Roanoke and New River valleys over the last few years reveals what may come as a startling discovery: A lot of local companies aren’t local at all. They’re global. When residents think about globalization, they may think about the manufacturing jobs — especially in the textile and furniture sectors — that moved overseas in the 1980s and ’90s. Yet the region is riding a manufacturing resurgence today, and internationally owned companies are playing a huge role. “There’s actually been more activity in foreign direct investment than in domestic investment lately,” says Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. Between 2010 and 2015 in the Roanoke and New River Valleys, foreign-owned companies announced plans to invest $413 million in new facilities, creating 931 jobs. Foreign companies with existing facilities planned another $218 million for expansions, creating another 815 jobs, according to a database maintained by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). Consider some of the recent openings and expansions in Pulaski County alone: • Phoenix Packaging Operations, a Latin American maker of plastic packaging, opened in 2011 and has since expanded, creating 440 jobs. • Red Sun Farms, a Mexican grower of greenhouse tomatoes, built a growing facility and distribution center in 2014, creating a projected 205 jobs. • Polish candle maker Korona S.A. opened last year and expects to create 170 jobs. • Longtime regional employer


Photo by Natalee Waters

Volvo Trucks North America, a Swedish company, announced a 200-job expansion in 2014. • James Hardie Building Products Inc., an Irish manufacturer of fiber-cement siding for the construction industry, expanded last year, creating 69 jobs. Pulaski County hardly has a monopoly on international companies. Whether it’s McAirlaid’s Vliesstoffe GmbH & Co., a German absorbent paper manufacturer with North Amer-ican headquarters near Rocky Mount, or Ardagh Group, a Luxembourgbased maker of food packaging with a major plant in Roanoke County, foreign-based companies operate throughout western Virginia. In the last three years, 342 international companies have looked at Virginia with eyes toward investment, including 144 in the past fiscal year, says Mike Lehmkuhler, vice president of business attraction for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Why all the interest in new regional facilities? First, there’s growing confidence in the U. S. economy. “We were the first to come out of the recession,” says Lehmkuhler. “You’ve got a lot of companies that were sitting on cash, both domestic and international companies waiting to see what was going to happen.” Second, many growing companies want to tap into the East Coast’s customer base. Western Virginia, centrally located to the Mid-Atlantic and markets in the Northeast and Southeast, offers an ideal point from which to ship. “If you have enough critical mass in terms of a customer base in the U.S., it makes sense to be here,” Doughty says. ROANOKE BUSINESS


cover story

Brian Blankenship prunes a row of Red Sun Farm’s 12 acres of hydroponic tomatoes.

Red Sun Farms ships greenhouse-grown tomatoes as far south as Atlanta and as far north as New York City, focusing mostly on Kroger, Doughty Food Lion and Harris Teeter grocery stores in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Occasionally it will even send tomatoes across the border into Canada. Sometimes the announcement of a multimillion-dollar deal stems not so much from a long-term trend or physical characteristic, but a pending contract that needs to be met. That’s what led Ardagh Group to spend $93.5 million renovating the 525,000-square-foot former Hanover Direct building for a can factory in Roanoke County. The deal — which spurred another foreign-owned company, Canline Systems, to open its own Roanoke County facility to provide equipment to Ardagh — was landed in part because Ardagh signed a deal to make cans for ConAgra Foods in Newport, Tennessee. 10


The ConAgra contract did two things: It narrowed Ardagh’s need down to existing buildings of a specific size, which ruled out all but four or five buildings in its search area; and it accelerated the process substantially. Lehmkuhler says the deal happened largely because of the pending contract: “They were here because their customer wanted them to be here.” Agnieszka Fafara, president and CEO of Korona Candles Inc., says that company built in Pulaski County for two reasons: It met geographical and climatic criteria for manufacturing and shipping its product, and because of the county’s proximity to higher education. “Our production is pretty advanced, so we need skilled workers and engineers to be employed here,” she said. Lehmkuhler says Ikea and Walmart, which both carry Korona’s products, wanted the company to build in the U.S., too. Ikea runs a manufacturing plant in Danville, and so wanted Korona close by. Walmart, meanwhile, wants suppliers to make their products domestically.

“Walmart has a big ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ initiative,” Lehmkuhler says. “The governor spoke in Bentonville [Arkansas] in July. I was on a panel as well. The Lehmkuhler idea was to encourage vendors, especially foreign vendors, to locate in the U.S.A., to be closer to Walmart and to get more business in the process. Korona was a prominent example cited by Walmart.” Korona now has 132 employees, with 20 or 30 more people to be hired in the first quarter of 2016, and about 180 expected to be employed by the end of 2016, Fafara says. “Being international brings a lot of benefits for the global customers we serve — we are where they have their stores,” Fafara adds. “It builds awareness on the market and its requirements. It brings new perspective how to approach things, find solutions.” Lehmkuhler cites an additional, more subtle reason that foreign companies may invest in the U.S.: the relative stability of the dollar. “If they have U.S. dollar revenues, they want their manufacturing costs to be in U.S. dollars so they don’t have foreign exchange exposure,” Lehmkuhler says. “If they have currency losses because the dollar moves against them, the way to neutralize that possibility is to manufacture in the country where you sell, so your costs and the revenues are the same currency.” Then there are the intangibles. In the mid-2000s, economic development officials courted McAirlaid’s Vliesstoffe to build in Franklin County partly by putting its Finnish executive on a boat on Smith Mountain Lake and letting him sample locally made moonshine. Sure, it wasn’t conventional, but the gambit paid off when a bald eagle flew over. Not too much later, the company announced it would build its North American headquarters in an industrial park just south of Rocky Mount. Building and running a facility in a foreign country presents a bevy of Photos by Natalee Waters

challenges, though, both for the company and for its host and workforce. Occasional confusion may arise over language differences, but it’s less of a problem than cultural approaches to doing business. “It’s not so much ‘cultural’ in the sense that you would normally associate it. It’s that the business environment they’re used to operating in is totally different than the U.S.,” Lehmkuhler says. “People have no idea about the health-care system for example. They have no idea about their incorporation alternatives.” Part of Lehmkuhler’s job is to help provide that cultural framing and help prospects understand tax codes, health care, permitting and zoning that may boggle even localgrown businesses. He’s occasionally provided lists of accounting and legal firms to companies considering building in Virginia. Jay Abbott, who grew up in Covington and now works as director of operations at Red Sun Farms, has perspective as someone who’s worked with U.S.-owned Abbott companies in foreign countries and with foreign-owned companies here. He previously worked with a plastics company that had plants in Mexico, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. “We were operating very much as an American company,” Abbott says. “We operated our plants in Mexico and Slovakia virtually the same culturally as we’d operate in the U.S. We knew if we operated according to U.S. rules — EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] kinds of things — we’d be more than covered in those countries because the U.S. is much more strict, much more litigious. Here at Red Sun Farms, as the director of operations, I’m helping our management understand operating a facility in the U.S.” Communication can be challenging, he adds, both for the language difference and time zones, although email helps. What Abbott sees more are differences in leadership styles.

“We’ve had guys that come up and help us from Mexico,” Abbott says. “It’s a little more old school, if you will. Certainly there are some cultural differences, as far as in the U.S. there are things you can and can’t ask on interviews, that you can and can’t say to employees, where there are different rules in Mexico.” He’s also seen misunderstandings when it came to how locals perceived the Mexican company, especially early on. “The biggest misconception was that we were building this building but were going to bring in 200 Mexicans to run it, that it wasn’t going to be the boon to the local economy and workforce we claimed it was going to be,” Abbott says. That misconception has fallen with time as Red Sun Farms has hired and become an active part of the local business community. The company now employs between 90 and 95 workers, including 28 H-2A temporary agricultural workers from Mexico who will return home in December before coming back to Pulaski County again in early March. Not far away in Dublin, Volvo Trucks seems to have found the right balance when it comes to mixing international management with a lo-

cal workforce. As a whole, the Volvo Group employs about 110,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. Volvo Trucks acquired the Pulaski plant, its only North American factory, in 1981 when it purchased some of the White Motor Corp., which had originally opened the plant six years prior. “Dublin was seen as advantageous due to a reputation for a strong local work ethic and because of its access to the key I-81 corridor,” says Franky Marchand, vice president and general manager of the New River Valley plant. “White had operated other smaller manufacturing facilities, but soon after Volvo ‘s acquisition of White’s assets, New River Valley became the company’s only assembly plant. Today, New River Valley is the largest Volvo Trucks plant in the world.” The Pulaski County plant serves as a major regional employer, with 2,850 employees. Most come from the greater New River Valley, especially Montgomery County, Pulaski County and Wythe County, though people travel from as far as North Carolina and West Virginia for employment there, too.

Korona Candles came to Pulaski County to be near its customers.



cover story The management team is peppered with international experience, including several expatriates from France and Belgium, yet it is firmly rooted in the local community. It works closely with the United Auto Workers Local 2069 to staff the 1.6-millionsquare-foot New River Valley plant. Even new employees are given leadership opportunities. Volvo trains and assigns team facilitators to track performance indicators, share them with teams and act as utility players, able to plug into different jobs in a given sector. That’s created a familial atmosphere, with lots of backslapping and multiple generations of families working there. The team also has created an environment for innovative collaborations between workers and management. Last year, team members collaborated to find a way to build a 1.1-mile loop track that allows customers to test Volvo’s trucks in a real-world environment without the need for a commercial driver’s license. The track — built entirely in-house by regular Volvo em-

ployees — gives the company a competitive leg up and paved the way for the hiring of 200 more workers. As federal negotiators hash out details of a large-scale trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the United States and several Pacific nations, many are concerned that it could play out like a more negative version of 1994’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which people continue to blame for an exodus of manufacturing jobs. The reality is that trade agreements bring a mixed bag of costs and benefits. In the case of the TPP, the Business Roundtable predicts that the agreement will open new markets for Virginia, since five of the countries involved — Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam — are not current free trade agreement partners. “In general, trade agreements can help our business because they open new markets that were previously closed by reducing tariff and

other barriers that made it more costly to sell into that market,” says Susan Alt, senior vice president-public affairs for Volvo Group North America. Lehmkuhler, who works to attract business through the VEDP, also sees reasons for optimism. “My personal opinion is it’s good for Virginia companies from an export standpoint and good from a standpoint of investment into Virginia by foreign companies,” Lehmkuhler says. “One of the reasons companies don’t like to invest is because if they’re going to re-export, they don’t want to pay duties. Audi and several other car companies went to Mexico because Mexico has free trade agreements with several markets. Audi will export to the U.S., Asia, South America and Europe. Assembly plants in Mexico are building what they call a global platform. Free-trade agreements will not only help with more foreign investment in Virginia, but federal free trade agreements would also benefit Virginia companies here that are exporting product.”


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Building off-site

Design center at Virginia Tech helps lead the way in growing demand for modular construction

Joe Wheeler, co-director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Design Research, says modular construction offers speed and controlled conditions — two things that can be advantages for builders. by Joan Tupponce


f Joe Wheeler had to sum up the benefits of modular building, chances are he would use the tagline, “ Greener. Faster. Smarter.’” As co-director of the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech, Wheeler is constantly working with modular designs. “Modular construction makes the entire construction process faster. You can be doing site work simultaneously to building,” he says. “It’s popular in projects that are fast build such as dormitories for a university. It’s also utilized for projects with lots of repetition such as hotels where you are repeating the same unit over and over again.” Another advantage? Builders don’t have to worry about the weather since much of the construction is done off-site. Wheeler predicts a major trans-

Photo courtesy Virginia Tech

formation in the building industry as more large developers and contractors embrace modular construction. “It will be the way of the future,” he says. While there’s not a lot of modular construction underway yet in the Roanoke region, the Virginia Tech Center for Design Research works with many aspects of off-site construction through the production and testing of full-scale prototypes such as LumenHAUS. That project won the 2010 International U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Europe Competition in Spain. “The off-site factory environment provides optimal conditions for installing smart-home technologies, and the prefabrication model allows the complex work to be preinstalled in controlled conditions rather than

on a construction site exposed to weather conditions,” Wheeler says. These days the center is doing research to propose concepts and housing for a master plan for a netzero energy city called FutureHAUS. The modular construction project is located in Urban Garden Tower, a south Chicago lakeside development. “It’s a huge area,” Wheeler says. “It will have everything from big box retail and medical to single-family and high-density housing.” When people hear the word modular, there tends to be a negative connotation. That’s because they associate it with trailers, mobile homes, even old diners that dot the urban landscape. “Modular received a negative stigma from cheap construction in trailers,” Wheeler says. “You have to overcome that hurdle when you ROANOKE BUSINESS


design & construction




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say you are building with modular construction.” While modular may be a new buzzword, this type of construction is centuries old. The British built huts and shipped them to Australia during the gold rush in the 1850s. The Walt Disney World Contemporary Resort was constructed in the 1970s using a modular design. “Prior to that, a 21-story, 500-room hotel was built using modular in about seven months in San Antonio for the 1968 World’s Fair,” says Liz Burnett, communications manager for the Modular Building Institute (MBI). “The Hilton Palacio del Rio still stands in San Antonio and is still the highest modular building ever constructed in the U.S.” Not all modular construction is permanent. Modular construction was recently used in Virginia for the rapid construction of a temporary Louisa County High School after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake destroyed two of the county’s schools in 2011, leaving 1,500 students without a learning environment. “MBI member M Space constructed 134,756 square feet of modular space using 154 pre-leased modules from Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, Maryland and Georgia to form a complete campus,” says Burnett. “All of these modules were inspected and recertified to Virginia code requirements, ensuring a safe environment for learning.” The temporary campus included 99 classrooms, a library, cosmetology lab, art room, cafeteria, exercise/weight room with lockers, administrative offices, nurse’s office and handicap accessible restrooms. “The new, permanent Louisa County High School opened this year, and M Space has disassembled and will be repurposing the modules used for the temporary campus,” Burnett says. One of the primary advantages of modular building is a shortened construction time – about half the time of conventional construction. With modular, a building can be constructed off-site with the same building

codes and standards as conventional construction. “It makes it economical to pre-make them, ship them out and stack them up,” says Wheeler. “It’s also a way to deliver quality and high-performance finishes to the process because it’s a controlled environment.” There are three types of modular construction – entire buildings, components or pods such as kitchens and baths, and panelized wall systems for interior or exterior walls. “Modular covers a big area,” says Wheeler. “Everything comes in and drops in. The walls are prewired and pre-plumbed. Frames are assembled on-site. It’s a much faster building process.” People can find modular building in education, health care, hospitality and retail, commercial housing/ multifamily, office space and institutional projects. “Currently, modular construction makes up about 2.9 percent of commercial construction in the U.S., but it’s growing all the time as developers realize the benefits and advantages,” says Burnett.

MBI projects a growth to about 5 percent of new construction starts in the next five years. “That’s still a small part of the market, but the construction industry as a whole tends to be very slow to adopt what they perceive as new methods,” Burnett adds. Builders need to plan for modular from the start. “It’s not something you can do after the fact. You can’t design and then go back and say we are going to do this,” Wheeler says. Today modular construction is driven by technology, everything from building information modeling (BIM) to 3D drawing. “All of that makes it easier to see how a piece built in North Carolina, for example, can integrate with a piece built in New York,” says John Morrison, vice president of custom sales and development for Mark Line Industries in Indiana. This type of construction is used across the world, he adds. “It is common in Australia and Scandinavia where 80 percent of the multifam-

ily construction is built with modular units. Americans are a little behind the times in terms of what other countries are doing.” The interest in modular building in the U.S. is higher in urban areas such as New York and San Francisco, where there are high labor rates and a large demand for housing. Mark Line is doing a modular construction project in a smaller city – South Bend, Ind. – “but that makes sense based on the city’s demand for housing,” Morrison says. Modular construction also is attractive because it’s a greener building method. The factory-controlled process generates less waste and minimizes on-site traffic from workers, equipment and suppliers. “It allows for tighter construction,” Burnett says. “Also, some modular buildings can be disassembled and relocated or refurbished for new use, reducing the demand for raw materials and minimizing the amount of energy expended to create a building to meet the new need.”

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design & construction

Building and design resources A to Z COMPANY NAME



Roanoke firm providing in-home renovations and additions for senior and disabled citizens Design and construction projects in the Roanoke and New River valleys



Alfred O. Cheavlier Jr.

Architectural firm in Christiansburg


Althaus Design Studio

Roanoke architectural and design services


Appalachian Architect

Bent Mountain studio of Eldon Karr, in practice since 1978 and known for urban design projects


Roanoke general contractor


Blacksburg architecture and engineering firm specializing in university, commercial and residential projects Maryland firm with an office in Union Hall doing design projects in the Smith Mountain Lake area Roanoke architecture firm offering new construction and renovation services



Christiansburg company specializing in remodels


Roanoke building company


Planners, engineers, architects and surveyors with offices throughout Virginia, including Roanoke and Christiansburg

540-772-9850 (Roanoke) 540-381-4290 (Christiansburg)

Roanoke-based energy and design consultants.


Roanoke design/build focusing on commercial construction.


Blacksburg-based custom design and remodeling


New company serving the Roanoke, Salem and Blacksburg areas


Roanoke home construction and additions


Roanoke design/build construction company providing LEED and sustainable construction Roanoke and New River Valley design/build offering a variety of commercial and residential projects



Salem-based construction company


Christiansburg new home construction and commercial renovations Small Roanoke firm offering design/build and remodeling services, active in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Southwest Virginia Chapter



Narrows residential and commercial contractor


Blacksburg architect


Roanoke-based home builders









Roanoke residential builder


Roanoke architectural services


ADA Specialties Inc. Alam Design Group and Family Builders LLC

Alouf Custom Builders Inc. Architects Alliance Inc. Architects at Work Architectural Design Service Atmosphere Builders Avis Construction Co. Inc. Balzer and Associates Inc. Better Building Works Blake Construction of Virginia Inc. Blue Ridge Home Improvement Inc. Boone Graham Thomas Home Builders and Developers Bowtie Construction Branch & Associates Inc. Building Specialists Inc. Britstin LLC Built Right Construction Inc. Burtis Contracting Inc. Cast Construction Inc. Charles Comer Charles R. Simpson Inc. CHP Design Studio Clark Nexsen Architectural & Engineering Construction Marketing LLC Conway Design-Build Cooper Contractors Inc. Cornerstone Builders Inc. Cornerstone Studio Ltd. Crawford Construction Craighead & Associates Architects



Christiansburg-based regional architecture firm promoting socially and environmentally responsible building processes and affordable housing Founded in 1920, one of Virginia’s oldest and largest architecture firms with an office in Roanoke Hardy-based company providing light commercial and residential contracting services and marketing/administrative help for licensed and insured smaller contractors Wirtz-based architectural company specializing in custom lake homes Hardy company specializing in Smith Mountain Lake construction projects Roanoke design/build firm specializing in custom residential renovations and additions Christiansburg architectural firm specializing in commercial, residential and church restoration




Custom Construction Co. Inc.




Roanoke builder of custom homes and commercial businesses.


Roanoke custom home builder and remodeler


David James Homes

Custom home builder with an office in Roanoke


Degen Architects PC

Roanoke-based architectural services


Blacksburg architectural firm


Floyd-based design/build company focusing on green, sustainable architecture


Troutville custom home building and improvements


Roanoke-based firm doing residential, commercial, industrial and commemorative architecture


Roanoke-based design/build, renovations and restorations


Christiansburg construction, remodeling and home improvement company


Roanoke commercial and residential contractor


Blacksburg single-family home builder


Locally owned Christiansburg company serving the New River Valley with remodeling and home repairs


Glade Hill custom home builders and commercial contractor




Friendly Structures LLC

Roanoke commercial construction, remodeling and maintenance company Residential and commercial properties and historic rehabilitation projects in the Roanoke and New River valleys Blacksburg residential and commercial contractor versed in green and alternative building systems.


G&H Contracting Inc.

Salem affordable housing, commercial and industrial contractor


Roanoke company doing residential and commercial projects


Moneta-based log and stick home construction company


Floyd-based general contracting services


Blacksburg-based general contractors specializing in custom residential and commercial buildings aimed at energy efficiency.


Elliston-based general construction company since 1974


Roanoke general contracting firm specializing in residential construction and remodeling


Blacksburg architecture, planning and building services


General contracting and design/build services based in the Radford-Christiansburg area


Roanoke-based architecture, community planning and historic preservation certified small business


Blacksburg home builders, Certified Green Professional


David Frank Homes LLC

Dej Design Design Works Construction Inc. Deweese Construction Co. Dickson Architects & Associates Dollman Construction Inc. DWA Construction Inc. E.J. Miller Construction Co. Inc. Earl Smith Contracting Eastern Construction Inc. Equity Builders of SML Inc. F&S Building Innovations Inc. Fralin & Waldron Inc.

Gilliam Katz Architecture & Design Glenn Mustain Construction Graham, Nolen & Underwood Contractors Inc. Green Valley Builders Inc. Hall’s Construction Corp. Hamlin Builders Hanbury, Evans, Wright & Valttas Highlander Construction & Development Hill Studio Hill-Thomas Builders Ltd.

Hughes Associates Architects & Engineers

Roanoke architectural, engineering and consulting firm specializing in commercial and industrial projects 540-342-4002 540-400-8650





Jeff Tester Construction Inc.

Roanoke’s small certified woman-owned business (WBE) specializing in consulting, home décor and renovations Roanoke commercial/residential architecture and interior design firm serving Virginia and surrounding states Blacksburg private contractor specializing in home re-design and repair Building contractor specializing in energy-efficient, stick-built homes Boones Mill company doing new home construction and custom renovations Moneta firm providing custom homes in the Smith Mountain Lake area and Roanoke, Bedford and Botetourt counties


Jerome R. Smith Architect Inc.

Architecture company in the New River Valley’s Riner community


Roanoke architects and engineers


Custom home builders at Smith Mountain Lake and the Roanoke and New River valleys


Christiansburg commercial and residential contractor


Hummer Construction Resources Interactive Design Group Friedman Construction J and D Builders of the NRV J.W. Barton Construction

Jones & Jones Associates Architects Kebo Construction Kesler Contracting & Property Management



design & construction COMPANY NAME




Larry Hartman & Son Inc.

Roanoke general contractor offering residential and commercial services


Legacy Builders NRV Inc.

Blacksburg custom home builder


Roanoke general contracting services, including new construction and remodeling and additions


Leonard’s Construction Co.

Lionberger Construction

Roanoke general contractor with a full range of turn-key services 540-989-5301 Lozeau Construction Inc. Martin & Co. Architects MB Contractors M.H. Eades Inc. McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie Inc. Moser’s Construction Inc.

Rocky Mount contractor offering new construction, additions and remodeling Radford company providing architecture and design services for custom residential, commercial and universities Roanoke design/build firm founded in 1912 concentrates on preconstruction involvement, construction management at risk, sustainable LEED construction



Hardy-based custom home builders and remodelers


National architecture and planning firm with an office in Roanoke, specializing in design of sustainable architecture for public safety and forensic sciences


Christiansburg residential contractor



Mountain Roofing Roanoke region commercial roofing contractor specializing in all types of commercial roofing and repairs 540-342-9901 Olio workshop OWPR Architects and Engineers

Blacksburg company with three women who specialize in design/ build projects and interior and graphic design Blacksburg design/build and engineering firm


Roanoke general contractor for homes and multi-family housing


Blacksburg firm with a focus on sustainability and international development


Roanoke construction and handyman services


Roanoke company specializing in residential and commercial renovations and custom design/build. Certified green professional



Blacksburg-based custom home builders


Roanoke firm designs high performance buildings using Passivhaus technology Christiansburg general contractors specializing in new home construction



Roanoke general contractors and construction managers


Radford residential and commercial contractor


Blacksburg home building company


Troutville design/build and new construction and repair services


R.L. Lucas Construction Inc.

Roanoke-based contractor doing residential, commercial and historic projects


R.L. Price Construction Inc.

Salem general contractor offering residential, commercial and industrial services


Roanoke commercial construction services and historic renovations


Architectural, engineering, planning and design firm


Commercial and residential contractors in Dublin


SAS Builders Inc.

Blacksburg-based residential and commercial construction and renovation


Schumacher Homes

Greensboro-based custom home builder that builds in Roanoke



Full-service architectural, engineering, planning and design firm with office in Roanoke, specializing in senior living, higher education and public facilities


Blacksburg-based design/build company specializing in new homes, additions and remodeling with a focus on energy efficiency and environmental friendliness


Parsell & Zeigler General Contractors Inc. Peter Ozolins Architect Pitman Construction Inc. Prescott Construction

Rocky Mount commercial general contractor. Metal roofing and Price Buildings Inc. siding  Progress Street Builders Quantum Architects RA Home Builders RAC Construction Co. RBI Builders Reid Custom Home Builders Inc. RJS Building Services Inc.

Rock Construction Inc. RRMM Architects Sams Brothers Inc.

Shelter Alternatives







Slate Creek Builders

Blacksburg-based design and construction services for residential and commercial


Snyder & Associates

Blacksburg-based general contractor specializing in commercial and light industrial projects





Roanoke residential and commercial construction company


Floyd custom home builder


Solid Rock Enterprises Inc. Southern VA Construction Spectrum Design Star City Construction Sticks & Stones Construction Structures Design/Build Summit Studio T Allen & Associates LLC TAS Design Inc. Tayloe & Co. Builders Taylor Hollow Construction LLC TBS Construction LLC

Salem-based firm specializing in lifespan building and remodeling of homes for all ages and abilities, Certified Aging-inPlace Specialists Glade Hill residential and commercial contractor who does structural repairs Roanoke architecture and engineering firm specializing in schools, museums, municipal buildings and more

Roanoke-based contractors offering everything from new commercial projects to custom homes to energy-efficient Passivhaus structures Roanoke architects and designers specializing in historic and sustainable projects Roanoke contractors offering residential additions and remodeling, repairs, home inspection corrections Roanoke regional architectural and design for residential, retail, healthcare, military and other projects Blacksburg contractor providing custom home building and house addition engineering Radford-based home builders serving Southwest Virginia with structural insulated panel buildings Moneta-based general contractors specializing in remodeling, design, custom homes, historic renovations and home improvement projects. Energy Star Partner





540-953-2839 540-639-0195


Telling Construction Co.

Floyd County residential contractor


Ten Church Avenue LLC

Roanoke architectural firm


High performance building performance consultants and architecture firm based in Roanoke


Architecture services in Pulaski


Blacksburg full-service architectural firm


Architects, engineers, surveyors and planners with offices throughout Southwest Virginia, including Radford Large Roanoke-based industrial and commercial general contractors/engineers providing institutional services, historic restoration and other contracting services Bent Mountain design/build contractor offering aging-in-place services to zoned surge protection




Third-generation home building company based in Salem


Architectural services based in Hardy


Terrazia PC Thomas Douthat Jr. Thomas Koontz Architect PC Thompson & Litton Thor Inc. Total Home Care Remodeling Townside Construction Co. Trish England

Turner Long Construction Large contractors serving Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland with offices in Roanoke and Sterling 540-343-6749 Tyler’s Trade Inc.

General contractor based in Roanoke


Unlimited Construction Inc.

Radford custom residential and commercial construction


Unique Custom Homes

Copper Hill contractor offering custom homes and green building services


General contractors specializing in insurance claim handling, restoration and repair in the Roanoke and New River valleys


Major Virginia full-service construction firm opened a new Roanoke office this year and is ranked on the Engineering News Record list of Top 400 Contractors


White Builders Inc.

Blacksburg-based residential and commercial contractor.


Willard Companies

Wirtz-based umbrella for Willard Construction of the Roanoke Valley Inc., specializing in building and development at Smith Mountain Lake


Roanoke general contractors doing residential, commercial and medical projects for over 25 years


Roanoke contractor offers custom homes, renovations, additions


Virginia Building Services of Roanoke Inc. W.M. Jordan Construction

Worth Inc. Zia Construction & Remodeling





Helping workers gain skills that the modern economy requires

Kathleen Duncan is director of the Roanoke Technical Education Center, where students can explore a variety of careers.

by Cara Ellen Modisett


or employers and potential employees, the ground is shifting. More jobs require more education, while education costs continue to rise faster than wages. Then there’s the cost of not having the right education. These days the emphasis is on STEM. Employers say they need workers with skills in science, technology, engineering and math. And with an aging population and other challenges in medicine, STEM is sometimes STEM-H, with the H standing for health care. Throw arts into the mix, and the acronym be-



comes STEAM. The emphasis on training to fit employers’ needs is a response to the apparent mismatch of skills that many blame for both unemployment and empty jobs. According to a recent study by the Harvard Business School, the professional services company Accenture and the marketing analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, 9.6 million people were unemployed in the United States a year ago. At the same time, 4.8 million jobs were unfilled. The study found employers were hiring part-time rather than

full-time workers, investing in technology instead of workforce and outsourcing work to vendors. The study also found skill deficits. Workers with soft skills – communication and critical thinking – were harder to come by. Higher-skilled workers were becoming “de-skilled” as technology outstripped their training, and they fell into competition for lower-skilled positions. There was a dearth of “middle-skill” workers, those who decades ago were a mainstay in the American economy. In the Roanoke area that often means welders, truck drivers and people Photos by Don Petersen

capable of working on a high-tech assembly line. More and more educational institutions in the Roanoke region are stepping in to help fill the “middle skill” gap. Their goals? Help workers find jobs and employers find workers, assist in the growth of new businesses and retain existing businesses. The career and technical education program within the Roanoke City Schools is one example of the changing face of education, employment and economic development and the relationships between them. As technology evolves and industries move in and out of the region, schools, businesses and economic development agencies are developing curricula and training programs responding to corporate and workforce demands. Kathy Duncan, director of the school’s career and technical education program, began her career as a health and medical sciences teacher in 1999. “This is a really large health-care region,” she says, and that makes the “H” in STEM-H important. Programs at Patrick Henry and William Fleming high schools, she says, are seeing “burgeoning growth … A lot of times our classes are full to being over full.” But not all those classes are focused on health care. The schools offer classes that lead to industry certifications in specialties from welding to Microsoft Office to business and marketing programs. Some of the newer certifications include masonry, plumbing and general construction. In 2013-2014, Roanoke students completed 963 industry certifications; in 20142015, that number jumped to 1,485. The school system requires students earning a standard diploma to complete one state-recognized industry certification. More than 4,700 students in grades 6 through 12 are taking career and vocational classes. Curriculum is changing in response to both employers’ and stu-

Kay Dunkley heads the VirginiaTech Roanoke Center, which offers customized training for area employers.

dents’ interests, and industry certifications function as stepping stones to jobs, deeper training and higher education. As Duncan puts it: “We’re not your daddy’s shop class anymore.” With soft-skilled workers and innovation at a premium, another evolution is STEAM – adding art to the mix. Roanoke’s summer Career Camp 555 allows fifth-graders to explore five careers over five summer days, including law enforcement, medicine, robotics, electronic music, television and film. “On the last day,” Duncan says, “we’ve partnered with the Taubman Museum of Art.” The increasing importance of STEM in the economy has, ironically, made hiring teachers in those areas a challenge, says Sandra Burks, human resources director for Roanoke City Schools. Many graduates can earn more in the private sector than they can teaching. The school system offers signing bonuses for the harder-to-recruit positions of special education, math and science. Plus, this will be the third year of a pilot program awarding bonuses

to math teachers based on student success. Virginia Tech is among the fouryear institutions paying more attention to workforce training and professional development needs. Karen Dunkley is director of the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center, located in the Higher Education Center downtown, offering credit and noncredit education. The center takes great care “not to ever duplicate what they are doing at the community college level,” says Dunkley, in particular entry-level training. “We keep a close eye on what programs they are offering. “We do a lot of customized training,” she adds, working with entities including New Horizons Healthcare, the Wells Fargo Operations Center, the city of Roanoke and Elizabeth Arden to develop and train their employees. There was a time, she says, when human resources managers and CEOs “were putting training on the back burner … When organizations are faced with cutting budgets; oftentimes, the money to support professional development opportunities is reduced.” However, she says, the companies and organizations that approach the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center are committed to helping their employees learn and grow. “Lifelong learning is embedded into the mission of [those] organizations.” Among the noncredit programs the center offers are certification prep for the Project Management Institute exam, Lean Six Sigma management training (a set of tools for process improvement used by many industrial companies) and OSHA safety training. Virginia Tech also runs the Catawba Sustainability Center. It partners with nonprofits, local and state agencies, academic institutions, foundations, community groups and an advisory committee to work on land management, environmental stewardship and agriculture as they connect to economic development. ROANOKE BUSINESS


employment/workforce Among the center’s for-credit programs are the professional master of business administration; counselor education courses for clinical and public school settings; a master’s degree and a doctorate in education leadership; a graduate certificate in local government management and endorsements for reading and mathematics specialists in schools. New Horizons Healthcare worked with Virginia Tech to train its employ-

ees in Lean Six Sigma management training. “The course format allowed a reasonable time commitment that didn’t take our staff away from work for an extended period,� says CEO Eileen Lepro. “We invited several of our colleagues throughout the region, which enriched our discussions and made it a more meaningful experience.� Roanoke also contracted the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center for






leadership and Six Sigma management training. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The center tailors the training programs to our specific needs through knowledge of our organization and the Roanoke community,â&#x20AC;? says Chris Morrill, Roanokeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s city manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They then tap into Virginia Tech and area resources to attract top-notch instructors.â&#x20AC;? Middle skills are a point of emphasis for the Western Virginia Workforce Investment Board, says Jake Gilmer, its acting director. The board covers five counties from the Allegheny Gilmer Highlands to Franklin County. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our role,â&#x20AC;? Gilmer says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is to coordinate and improve workforce for that region â&#x20AC;Ś Trucking and logistics and delivery of goods is a key industry in the Roanoke Valley,â&#x20AC;? he notes, and an area of growth, as is health care, manufacturing and information technology. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of the jobs that could be filled with folks that have very little training, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gone away. The jobs that used to be done manually are done by machines.â&#x20AC;? The board contracts with the national nonprofit ResCare to provide resources for hiring, training and retention of workers in three areas: youth (including high school dropouts), unemployed adults, and dislocated workers who have been recently laid off. With ResCare, the Western Virginia Workforce Investment Board wants to increase outreach to employers, provide resources to train existing employees and encourage promotion from within. It also works with community colleges to develop customized training for individual companies, â&#x20AC;&#x153;to nurture new technology, new businesses in the region,â&#x20AC;? explains Gilmer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How can we partner so those new businesses grow?â&#x20AC;? The growth is meant not just for companies, but for people, too. Gilmer talks of preparing people for jobs that pay what some might call a living wage. Gilmer calls those jobs â&#x20AC;&#x153;family-sustaining.â&#x20AC;?


Wood rules

New clean-air regulations affect even niche sales for wood stoves These new G-series HeatMaster furnaces meet the EPA’s new requirements. Some other furnaces on the Outdoor Furnace Distributing lot don’t meet the new regs, so they must be sold by Dec. 31, or not at all.

by Mason Adams


arly in August, the EPA announced the Clean Power Plan, a sweeping rule that would create state-by-state targets to cut emissions in 2030 to about a third of what they were in 2005. The plan drew quick criticism from industry, politicians and elected officials who argue that the EPA under President Barack Obama has unfairly targeted fossil fuels. Earlier in the year however, the EPA released another rule setting pollution limits that drew far less attention. That’s because it affected wood-burning heaters, which repre-

Photo by Christina O’Connor

sent a small, if growing, share of the country’s heating sources. About 2.5 million households (2.1 percent) use wood as the main fuel to heat the home, up from 1.9 million households (1.7 percent) in 2005, according to the Energy Information Administration. That number grew especially fast in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region, however. As use of fuel oil and kerosene declined, the number of homes using wood increased by more than 50 percent from 2005 to 2012 in all nine states within those U.S. Census divisions.

The new EPA rule calls for a two-thirds reduction in sooty emissions from wood-burning heaters. It covers a variety of heater types and for some, such as the classic indoor woodstove, the new rule constitutes a fairly minor tweak. The rule more dramatically affects hydronic heaters. They use an outdoor stove to burn wood and heat water that circulates through a heat exchanger at the hot water heater, providing warm temperatures indoors. Before the new EPA regulation, hydronic heater emissions had not been regulated at the ROANOKE BUSINESS


business trends New EPA regulations led Lauren Yoder to leave the hydronic furnace business and concentrate on raising cattle.

federal level. Lauren Yoder of Floyd County had been selling furnaces for nearly seven years, running a business that was separate but complimentary to one run by his brother and father. Although they sold some indoor furnaces, they had trouble compet-

ing with the big-box stores and so focused their attention on hydronic heaters. “The outdoor furnaces were something that’s a niche market,” Yoder says. “We were selling a lot to farmers for some of the old big farmhouses that are hard to heat.” Both family businesses sold

Delivering Roanoke (540) 767 3000 Lynchburg (434) 237 3384


Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented DLC Management Corp. in the sale of Southwest Plaza, a 84,184 square foot, Food Lion-anchored retail center on Electric Road in Roanoke. The 95% leased center sold for $8.3M. Thalhimer has also been awarded leasing and management of Southwest Plaza.


HeatMaster SS outdoor furnaces. In addition, Outdoor Furnace Distributing, Yoder’s father’s business, also served as a wholesale distributer for other dealers in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. Most customers bought wood furnaces to get a grip on their electric bill. They paid the up-front cost of the furnace and then cut or bought their own wood, providing an alternative to propane, oil or electric heat. Another group of customers sought self-sufficiency and independence. When the EPA rule came down, Yoder, who represents the Locust Grove District on the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, sat down with his father and brother to figure out how it would affect their businesses. “We didn’t feel like the sales were going to be there,” Yoder says. “The prices will go up considerably, at least by 30 to 40 percent. I think the market will shrink some. We decided it didn’t look like it would be enough for as many of us doing it as it had been.” Yoder, 35, decided to leave the business and go into cattle farming full time. “Initially, I was pretty bitter about it,” Yoder says. “I’ve had time to reflect on it. I’m definitely not against increasing pollution controls. I definitely want to leave a clean environment for people who come behind me, so I understand the reasons behind it. It could have been done in a better way.” Yoder finds some agreement on that last point from John Crouch, director of public affairs for the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA), the North American trade association for wood, pellet, electric and gas hearth products and the related and accessory components. HPBA believes the EPA didn’t follow the data when setting secondphase, or “step two” emissions limits for wood stoves, hydronic heaters and warm air furnaces. Crouch says the organization has asked a federal judge to review the process. However, since the agency had not adjusted the rule in 20 years, Photo by Christina O’Connor

generally speaking the review was “long overdue,” he said. When it came to hydronic heaters like those sold by Yoder, manufacturers actually wanted guidance. That’s because states, mostly in the Northeast and West, had started making their own regulations. The result was a patchwork of different standards from one state to the next — a manufacturer’s nightmare. “That will kill a manufacturer in any category,” Crouch says. “From a manufacturer’s perspective, you want a federal regulation that can be met instead of individual state regulations. Even people who don’t want regulation admit that one is better than 10 or 15.” For dealers in states that previously didn’t regulate hydronic heaters, however, the new regulations felt onerous. Since manufacturers must adhere to the new rule, and dealers can’t sell old models after 2015, (although existing models are grandfathered in), there’s already talk about the possibility of a black market. After all, Virginia has passed a law prohibiting state enforcement of the regulation. Without marks to distinguish when a heater was installed, who can tell the difference between a model installed before or after the new rule? Crouch says that when wood stoves first faced regulation in 1988, there was some black market activity, but not a lot. With a higher price tag on hydronic heaters, though, there exists plenty of potential for it. For instance, the cheapest stove that Yoder sold was $4,900. The model that meets the EPA regulation goes for $7,900. “There’s always a concern about a level playing field,” Crouch says. “Once you argue about it, once it’s done, you want it to be enforced fairly so the manufacturers who have spent the money and done a good job don’t get undercut by local welders. The more expensive these products, particularly hydronic heaters, get, the more we hope EPA follows through. Hy-

dronic heaters especially started as a category by local welders putting stuff together. If it reverts back to that, we will be very upset.” Outdoor Furnace Distributing has rolled with the punches. The very first question on the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page of its website deals with the EPA regulation. “The G series units are EPA Phase 2 qualified, emit very little smoke and burn half the wood of

a traditional outdoor furnace,” reads the last paragraph of the answer. “HeatMaster SS is here to stay and will be developing new innovative furnaces in their in-house test lab as time goes on.” For his part, Lauren Yoder says he’s moving on and trying to grow his cattle business. He actually bought an outdoor hydronic heater last year for himself, but he hasn’t installed it yet. He’ll likely do that before cold temperatures arrive this winter.

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INTERVIEW: Waynette Anderson, founder and president, Sponsor Hounds INTERV

More than a Thursdaythrough-Saturday town Event p producer creates new entertainment venue for Star Ci City and makes Wednesday an event night by Beth JoJack

aynet Anderson wants to help aynette Roanokers have more fun. Roan In 2006, Anderson launched Sponsor Hounds, a Roanoke event Spon management and marketing commana pany. Her co company produced events that quickly turned turne into Star City favorites, including the W Woofstock Dog Festival, the Roanoke Wing Fest and the Blue Ridge Bike Fest, which And Anderson bills as Virginia’s largest motorcycle rally rally. This year, Anderson staged her company’s first concert at Dr Pepper Park at the con Bridges. It’s a new outdoor venue located within the mixed-use development off South Jefferson Street that Sponsor Hounds created and manages. Here, Here music lovers are tucked in between the tr tranquil waters of the Roanoke River on one side s and a renovated streetcar trolley barn, ci circa 1912, on the other. Anderson expects to host between 18 and 35 events each yea year. After producing several events at the prod


new site, Anderson, 47, feels confident about her business’s direction. “When people are leaving, we stand at the gate and we ask them questions,” she says. “They’re like, ‘When you come here, it’s like you’re on vacation.” Sponsor Hounds has three full-time employees, including Anderson and Elliot Broyles, a former Roanoke radio personality, as well as one part-time worker and as many as 30 temporary staff members for events. She declined to provide the company’s annual revenue for this story, but joked that it’s “not enough.” An MBA wasn’t Anderson’s ticket to entrepreneurship. In fact, Anderson, who grew up in Hampton, skipped college altogether and went straight into business. By the age of 19, she was managing a fine jewelry store. “I remember having to wear business suits and pull my hair back in a bun to try to look older …” she says. “Now, I hate to wear suits, and I hate that corporate look. I think it’s because I was forced to do that for so many years.”

Roanoke B Business: You’ve said that when you first launched Spo Sponsor Hounds in 2006, part of the business helping other event planners to sell sponsorinvolved help ships. Was th that successful? Anderson: It made it very convenient for sponsors to talk to debecause they could have one meeting with our team cision-makers b and talk about 15 to 20 events, as opposed to having 15 or 20 meetings with severa several event organizers.That worked out very well initially. established more and more of our own events, that Then as we es business model was eliminated. We still do some event leg of our busi consulting for p people who have events and need a bit of direction. RB: Why did you decide to create your own venue? Anderson: We have been working on this for the past five years. Photo by Don Petersen Peterse

Anderson left Virginia to work in fine jewelry in Georgia and New Jersey, but eventually, wound up back in the commonwealth managing Henebry’s Jewelers in Valley View Mall. When that store closed, Anderson decided to try a career outside of retail. She worked in ad sales for Wheeler Broadcasting, which owns several Roanoke/Lynchburg radio stations and found she had a knack for the work. “I never really looked at it as sales as much as, ‘I’m trying to find solutions for businesses to solve their problems,’ ” she explains. “Everything came along quite naturally after that.” As part of the job, Anderson sometimes planned events for the stations. “I found I really enjoyed the planning aspect and the event atmosphere and the opportunities for advertising that went along with event marketing,” she says. Gradually, Anderson decided to go out on her own with Sponsor Hounds. “It’s been a long journey, but well worth it.”

We realized that the availability of the venues here locally, which are all great, [did not meet Sponsor Hounds needs]. They just have such a busy schedule that it was difficult for us to add events unless you were on an annual calendar. For instance at Elmwood Park, The Roanoke Wing Fest or Woofstock Dog Festival was on the annual calendar, so we knew our Saturday was secure each year, but we didn’t have an opportunity to add anything because they stay booked up, which is great for them. Same thing with the Salem Civic Center and the Berglund Center. They just have so much going on, which is great for our valley. We recognized, soon after we opened really, that if we had our own venue we could produce more events, and we could really help to serve some underserved musical genres and event themes that weren’t currently happening in the market. ROANOKE BUSINESS


interview RB: Like what? Anderson: There’s not a lot of indie rock representation, jazz representation. We’ve got some new festival concepts and ideas that aren’t currently being produced in the market that I can’t tell you about before we make that announcement. We can really bring in up-and-coming artists, people who are trying to gain exposure, people who maybe have one hit on the radio who are trying to get more established. With a lot of festivals, it’s a one-time kind of thing, so you’ve got to be sure that you’ve got the most popular act, the most popular band, regionally, locally or even a national act, to make sure you’re going to have thousands of people there. With our venue we don’t have to have thousands of people there for every event. And we have an opportunity to take advantage of artist routing. You know, we can bring somebody through on a Tuesday night. RB: You mentioned you were able to book country singer Logan Mize on a Friday in June because he had a gig scheduled in Richmond the Thursday before? Anderson: Yes. We’ve got a lot of different routing partners we’re working with to take advantage of those opportunities. In addition to that, we’re renting the space for corporate events. We really see that as a great addition to complement our business model because it is such a unique event space, and we can do virtually anything. We can do a sitdown dinner. We can cater that. You can just do a private concert. [Asked about fees, Anderson says they vary depending on a client’s needs, and that she works within a company’s budget.] Roanoke has been historically a Thursday-through-Saturday kind of town. We have so many business travelers coming through Roanoke and they want things to do, so it’s great to expand those options. RB: You said Hump Day Hops, a monthly event that pairs live music with a seasonal beer prepared by a local craft brewery, has drawn large crowds despite being held on a Wednesday. Anderson: Especially because it’s on a Wednesday. That’s when you really want a celebration in the middle of the week. There hasn’t been anything to do on a Wednesday, so we’re not competing with anybody else, either. People love it, and they love craft beer. And we’re really emphasizing that at our facility. We have our own beer called Bridges Brew. It’s made special for us by Devils Backbone Brewery. It’s a rotating seasonal ale, so 28


that it changes. We also have our own barbecue called Bridges Barbecue and Bridges Bold Sauce for the barbecue.The other thing that’s unique is Homestead Creamery makes an ice cream just for us. Just for us they make a special rocky road ice cream called River Rocky Road, and it’s made with pecans instead of walnuts, and it’s delicious. RB: How did you pick The Bridges as the site for Dr Pepper Park? Anderson: We looked at several properties. We’ve been close on many. But really, the Bridges was what we were looking for. RB: How come? Anderson: We knew we wanted to be downtown. We knew we wanted to stay in Roanoke and not be far on the outskirts of town. Being part of the Bridges development was an answer to our prayers. With our venue, another thing that’s really different is that we are run by the same people all of the time. Our amphitheater is a very consistent experience. You know where to buy your tickets every time. It’s online. We’ve made a substantial investment in our wireless Internet system and our scanners, so you can buy your tickets on your mobile device, and we can scan your mobile device. We can scan your printat-home ticket. Of course you can still buy tickets at the gate. It just makes it a lot more user friendly. We really tried to improve the overall guest experience to make it very consistent. When they come to Dr Pepper Park, they know where the portables are located. They know where the beverages are and where the concessions are. Whereas when you go to Elmwood Park, for instance, it could be run by one nonprofit one week, then the next week it’s a different nonprofit that’s set up, and it can be different entrances. That can be frustrating as somebody attending an event. We have one entrance. Everybody knows where to go. RB: There have been murmurs that Dr Pepper Park might take business away from the Elmwood Park amphitheater. What did you think about that? Anderson: I do think there are so many people in this market. People want a variety of things to go to. There are a lot of people we’ve talked to who had never been to one of my events or who had never been to an event at Elmwood Park. There was never anything that spoke to their musical interest or to their passion. I think this opens it up to serve a lot of members in our community who don’t have musical representation that they like here. It’s very important for our

continued growth as a city to appeal to a younger demographic and the young professionals who like different music because that’s what keeps them living here, working here and paying taxes. RB: Did you have an interest in event planning early on? Anderson: When I was a little girl … I used to plan events in my backyard for the whole neighborhood, which is so funny now. I used to plan Olympics and carnivals.The kids loved it. I didn’t grow up very rich. We were quite poor. I would find ways to put together these games, just make things out of cardboard and utilize the toys I had or my friends’ toys. I tried to charge admission, but people didn’t want to pay admission, so I let them in for free. I remember one time I organized the Olympics. One of the games was that you had to box somebody. Everybody had to bring a prize to the boxing match. This one kid – his parents had a lot more money than my parents – he brought this glow-in-thedark yo-yo. I thought, “Oh my gosh. That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen.” He was the biggest kid on the block, and he was a boy, and I was tiny, tiny. And I was like, “I’ll box him because I want that yo-yo.” I went into the ring, and I reared back and punched him, and I broke his nose. He went home crying. RB: Did you get the yo-yo? Anderson: That was the first thing I did. I punched him and then I took the yo-yo. I was ready to go. RB: What’s the deal with your name? Anderson: The deal with my name is I was the last of three girls. I was the surprise baby. My sisters were six and seven years older than me. My dad insisted on having his name attached to one of the children, so I won the lottery. His name was Wayne, and I’m Waynette. My real first name is Ann. At the hospital my mom said, “No kid of mine is going to be named Waynette.” She wanted to name me Agnes Augner. That was my grandmother’s name. My dad said, “Absolutely not.” So she said, “Well, I’m going to name her Ann.” So he said, “Let’s name her Ann Waynette.” So they put that on the birth certificate and after all that was filed he said, “I’m never calling her Ann. Her name is Waynette.” The first day of school I had to stand up and explain to my teacher that Ann was not really my name. Waynette is my name. Then people would wonder why would you want to be called Waynette instead of a nice easy name like Ann. I guess it helps to not make me shy. I’m grateful for that.

HIGHER EDUCATION: Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Preparing medical professionals Jefferson College of Health Sciences trains students to work in teams so they will be prepared for the real world

Sara Terwilliger, Sydney Young and Jennifer Ogunsuyi work on a cadaver dissection in the Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab, a joint creation of Jefferson College, Radford University and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

by Shawna Morrison


n the 10 years from 2004 to 2014, Jefferson College of Health Sciences in downtown Roanoke underwent a major transformation. At the start of that period, most students came from within a 50mile radius, says Mark Lambert, the school’s senior consultant for communications and college relations. The school’s offerings consisted of associate degrees, earned by 72 percent of its students, and bachelor’s degrees, earned by 28 percent. It

Photo by Natalee Waters

offered no graduate degrees. Last year, students traveled from across the country to attend the private health-care college. Members of the student body came from 30 states and 80 locations across Virginia. The degrees offered had this breakdown: 14 percent associate, 64 percent bachelor’s and 22 percent graduate degrees. “It’s a major shift,” Lambert says. School leaders realized there was a lot of competition locally for

students seeking associate degrees. ‘We said, you know, instead of competing like that, why don’t we work with these other institutions?’ So, the management team developed articulation agreements that allow students who earned their associate degrees at other colleges to enroll at Jefferson College to work toward a bachelor’s degree. The change boosted enrollment. Attaining a bachelor’s degree better prepares graduates for jobs, helps ROANOKE BUSINESS


higher education them earn a better starting salary and increases their chances of moving up within an organization, says Lambert. “We have really made a lot of strides in expanding what we offer people and how we offer it, and because of that our reputation is really growing,” he says. The college has moved. Housed since 1982 in the Reid Center building off Jefferson Street, Jefferson College moved into Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital in 2010, and the Reid Center was demolished. Carilion owns the school, something Lambert says sets it apart from other colleges and is a huge advantage for students. “That allows our

Mark Lambert, senior consultant for communications and college relations at Jefferson College of Health Sciences

tons and tons of opportunities for our students to go there and learn.” The hospital is the only level one trauma unit in the area and the only one in the valleys with a medical

With roots that go back to 1911, Jefferson College of Health Sciences has changed and grown dramatically.

students to really have a lot of great opportunities when it comes to clinical placements,” Lambert says. “Kind of a crucial part of students’ learning in health care is being able to actually practice with patients, so they get that experience before they go out the door and start their careers. With our affiliation with Carilion, there are lots of opportunities for our folks to learn with the best in the area in terms of whatever profession that they’re going into. And we’re located a mile up the street from Roanoke Memorial Hospital, which is the flagship hospital in the area. There are 30


school and research center attached to it. U.S. News & World Report named Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital the fourth best hospital in Virginia last year, the highest ranking Virginia hospital west of Richmond. Over the years, Lambert says, Carilion has helped Jefferson College determine what programs it should offer, based on the healthcare positions most in demand. In turn, Jefferson College helps create well-trained employees for Carilion. But Jefferson College isn’t just a feeder school for Carilion. “We do

have a huge number of students who go to work for Carilion, but we have students from all across the United States,” says Lambert. As an example, he points to the school’s physician assistant program. Last year, about 800 people from all 50 states applied for the program, which accepts only 43 students a year. “That and many of our other programs are really starting to get a national reputation,” he says. “The good thing about the hospital for our region is that it produces health-care professionals that would otherwise be in short supply,” says Roanoke attorney Frank Flippin, who served on the school’s board for 17 years, including as its chair. “Other areas in the country from time to time have a real difficulty finding particularly nurses who are qualified.” With Jefferson College, the Roanoke Valley is producing its own supply. “Most of them stay in the region, and they benefit everybody here,” Flippin says. Amy Keith, a registered respiratory therapist who lives in Roanoke, says she chose Jefferson College because of its “excellent reputation, small classes and affiliation with Carilion Clinic.” She was a Jefferson College student from 2008 to 2010 and now is employed by the Salem VA Medical Center. “I absolutely love my job and had an amazing experience at Jefferson,” she says. Keith says class sizes were small, and professors motivated her to be successful. “The opportunities for hands-on learning and my clinical experience is what I enjoyed most about JCHS,” Keith says. “In the respiratory therapy program, the clinical experience includes time in the OR, pediatric/neonatal transport team and sleep lab. The diverse experience really allows you to find out where your strengths are and where you would want to work,” she says. The school began using the name Jefferson College of Health Sciences in 2003, but got its start in Photos by Natalee Waters

Health Care the early 1900s. The Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing was founded in 1914 to help avoid a shortage of trained nurses at the 40-bed Jefferson Hospital, founded seven years earlier. Its first class of six students completed 33 months of training. The nursing school would eventually join with the Lewis-Gale School of Nursing, founded in 1911, to create the Community Hospital of the Roanoke Valley School of Nursing, later called the Community Hospital of the Roanoke Valley College of Health Sciences. “The change in the name was to try to make it better represent what it was” and to recognize its roots as Jefferson Hospital, Flippin says. Lambert says the interprofessional education program that Jefferson College started a few years ago is helping students when they enter the work force. At most colleges, he says, students tend to learn alongside only those students who are working toward the same degree. But then, he says, “you get turned out into the workplace, you have to work with a bunch of different people: respiratory therapists, physicians, what have you. And then you have to learn the ropes, trial by fire, as you’re going through it.” To give students an advantage, Jefferson College teams up students from different programs to familiarize them with different jobs, helping them learn what to expect in the workplace. “It makes much more effective teams,” benefiting the students and their patients, Lambert says. To further train health-care students, Jefferson College hosts an annual scenario – usually a simulated major disaster such as a bombing or a plane crash – for Jefferson students, medical students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, students from some other colleges and organizations and various people from Carilion. “The students have to deal with people who act as patients. They have to hear their symptoms and diagnose them, and they have to do it as a team rather than individually,”

Jefferson College of Health Sciences •

As the Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley College of Health Sciences, it was the first hospital-based college in Virginia.

Offers 24 programs from certificate level to master’s degree.

Student body consists of 876 undergraduate students and 255 graduate students.

Has grown from about 200 students in 1988 to more than 1,100 in 2015.

Name changed from Community Hospital of the Roanoke Valley College of Health Sciences to Jefferson College of Health Sciences in 2003 in honor of its founding as the Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing.

Began housing resident students at the Patrick Henry building in 2011.

Jefferson College, Radford University and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine entered into a public/private partnership this year to create the Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Lab (VIAL), housed on the eighth floor of Jefferson College.

Sources: Mark Lambert,

Lambert says. “It’s a big deal and it’s become huge,” he says, drawing more than 200 people last year. “We really get our students im-


mersed in the real world clinical atmosphere,” Lambert says, “so that when they go out for their careers, they are fully, fully prepared.”


Merchant services include the processing of credit and debit cards, gift cards, card not present, mobile payments and eCommerce. To learn more about merchant services and credit card processing, contact Marty Francis, Vice President at 540-591-5018 or




Big things for Botetourt Economic development through wind, water and a better Interstate interchange by Beth JoJack


ould wind energy be a new industry for Botetourt County? With one company seeing the county’s ridges as potential energy sources, Botetourt’s Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a wind-energy ordinance in June. It provides a set of ground rules for companies considering the construction of windmills along the county’s scenic ridgelines. Executives at Charlottesvillebased Apex Clean Energy have made no secret of their plans to place up to 25 wind turbines in a remote section of northern Botetourt, about 30 miles north of Roanoke. The company has a website devoted to the project dubbed Rocky Forge Wind. Even without Apex Clean Energy on the horizon, county officials would have set about writing regulations on wind energy, according to County Administrator Kathleen Guzi. “KnowGuzi ing there was a company that was looking at potential sites in the county [sped up] the timeline, but we were going to do it anyhow,” she says. Botetourt, Guzi maintains, took great pains to gather public feedback on the ordinance: circulating a survey and hosting a public forum and public hearings. “We wanted to make sure we were educating folks along the way and providing an opportu-



Botetourt County Commons Pump Station is part of the infrastructure that will connect the county to the Western Virginia Water Authority.

nity for people to ask questions and have good discussion,” she says. “I think that really helped because people then had a say so in it.” Even so, not everyone is happy. Attorney Tammy Belinsky filed a lawsuit in Circuit Court in July on behalf of eight Botetourt residents and I&E Dudley LLC, a family-owned company formed to maintain a 300acre homestead, challenging the or-

dinance. “The ordinance seems to promote industrial wind turbine development rather than promote the general health, safety and public welfare,” says Belinsky, whose office is located in the Floyd County community of Copper Hill. The lawsuit says the ordinance does not do enough to protect neighboring properties or the public from the threats presented by wind turPhotos by Don Petersen

bines. Among the concerns listed: the threat of turbines catching fire, the audible and low-frequency noises generated by the turbines and the shadows created by the turbines’ blades spinning in sunlight. “Low frequency noise is a vibrational noise that penetrates structures, causes disorientation and sleep disturbances which lead to secondary detrimental health impacts,” the lawsuit reads. Furthermore the flickering shadows, the document argues, can cause “motion-type illness and nervous system disorders.” Botetourt County Attorney Mi-

chael Lockaby dismissed the lawsuit’s merit out of hand. “Everyone worked very hard on the ordinance,” he says. “It’s a good ordinance.” Until Apex Clean Energy or some other operation files a permit to build a wind farm, Lockaby maintains, no one’s rights can be violated by the ordinance. “This lawsuit is getting ahead of itself,” he says. Lockaby filed court papers in Au-

gust, on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, stating the lawsuit should be dismissed. Before that move, Belinsky had responded to Lockaby’s argument that the lawsuit is based on speculation with a statement released to Roanoke Business. In it, she says, “The wind turbine ordinance is so permissive that it invites unprecedented industrial development to the spectacularly wild ridge tops of Botetourt County in a manner that interferes with neighbors’ property rights.” Asked by Roanoke Business if her goal is to keep Apex from building wind turbines in Botetourt County altogether, Belinsky responds, “I don’t think anybody is ready to talk about preventing an industrial windturbine development until we have a set of regulations that properly accounts for everybody’s property rights, including the people who live next door.” Whatever happens, the suit doesn’t appear to have scared Apex Clean Energy from moving forward. “The Botetourt County ordinance sets out a strict set of guidelines for wind energy projects, and we intend to continue developing Rocky Forge Wind according to its requirements,” Kevin Chandler, a spokesman for the company, wrote in an email. In late August, the company installed two 197-foot temporary towers on the property it’s leasing on North Mountain to gather wind data. “This new information will add to the existing data we have for the area,” Chandler says. “Based on that existing data and predictive modeling, we believe the area has a strong potential wind resource.” Still, there’s much to be done. Depending on the research produced and pending approval by the county’s Board of Supervisors for a special use permit for the project that would follow a public hearing, Apex could begin construction as early as 2017. Chandler says Apex prefers to lease land for wind facilities rather than buy it. A leasing agreement allows landowners to continue using the land not occupied by the turbines.

Copper Hill attorney Tammy Belinsky represents Botetourt County residents opposed to the county’s wind turbine ordinance.

Since wind energy developers are not allowed to use the power of eminent domain to acquire land, Chandler says they need the voluntary support of landowners to site their projects. A potential wind farm isn’t the only economic development news out of Botetourt this year. Dynax America Corp. broke ground in February on a 144,000-square-foot expansion that will double the company’s facility in Botetourt’s EastPark Commerce Center. As part of the $32.6 million project, Dynax America, which makes transmission parts, will create 75 jobs paying an average wage of $40,683, according to a news release circulated by the county. At another location, Center at Greenfield, Botetourt officials hope they made the county’s site more attractive for prospective industries this June when they joined the Western Virginia Water Authority. Roughly 3,000 Botetourt water and sewer customers now will receive water from Carvins Cove Reservoir through the regional water provider. “If we were going to have a high water user in Greenfield, we would be challenged to meet their needs with our water source that we had last year,” Guzi says. “This will allow us to expand our marketing efforts to inROANOKE BUSINESS


community profile

Advanced welding lab senior, Tyler Huffman, trains on a computer welding simulator at Botetourt Technical Education Center.

clude high-end water users.” Another way county officials hope to woo prospective companies is by constructing a structure at Greenfield that’s ready to go. The county is in negotiations to partner in the construction of a shell building with the Greater Roanoke Valley Development Foundation. It’s a nonprofit connected with the Roanoke Valley Development Corp., which was launched in the 1950s to help further industrial and commercial development, according to Joyce Waugh, president of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. “A lot of companies want to see a

building because they want everything done fast; they want it done yesterday,” Guzi explains. By 2017, company executives who move into Greenfield will have a smoother commute off Interstate 81’s Exit 150 in Troutville when a $46.7 million project to reconfigure that area should be complete. The work will open up additional acreage for development. To prepare for that, Botetourt County hired New Hampshire-based consultants RKG Associates Inc. to conduct an economic feasibility and land use study of the area at a cost to taxpayers of $79,550. Guzi expects that work to be complet-

Botetourt County 1770 Area 548 square miles Population 33,100 (2014 estimate)

Year founded

Percent of adult population with high school diploma or higher


Percent of adult population with bachelor’s degree or higher


4.8 percent (June) Median household income $65,935 On-time high school graduation rate 93.7 Annual budget $90.1 million (2015-2016) Unemployment rate

Sources:; Kathleen Guzi, county administrator, U.S. Census Bureau; Virginia Department of Education; Virginia Employment Commission



ed this fall. “The Roanoke Valley has a lot to offer, but if there are gaps there,” Guzi says, “what can we do here to fill those gaps so we have increased retail dollars coming into the county?” While county officials attempt to bring new employers into Botetourt, administrators at the school system work to ensure the area can offer an ample supply of skilled workers. When school started in August, students at Botetourt Technical Education Center (BTEC) were the first to use an advanced welding lab that resulted from a partnership involving nonprofit organizations, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and area businesses. Welding is a popular subject at BTEC (the median pay for welders was $36,300 in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Out- Bradshaw look Handbook). In the past, students had to be turned away, says Principal Jim Bradshaw. The new advanced welding lab will double to about 100 the number of welding students the school can accommodate, adds Bradshaw. Members of the Botetourt Education Foundation, the nonprofit organization that organized efforts to build the new lab, hope to eventually see demand for night and weekend classes for adult students, according to President Bob Patterson. Botetourt County’s welding lab made headlines in the spring when U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones toured the facility and talked about preparing the workforce of tomorrow. “It’s a great investment in our community,” says Brian Price, maintenance and facilities manager at Altec Industries in Daleville, who worked on the team that raised funds for the lab. “It’s going to represent the absolute cream of the crop of welding labs in the state, if not the country. We’re going to be able to provide kids with training that’s exactly what they’re going to need for the industry.” Photo by Don Petersen

Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce | SPONSORED CONTENT EVENT SPONSORSHIP

2015 CHAMBER CHAMPIONS BNC Bank Brown Edwards Cox Business Gentry Locke LifeWorks REHAB (Medical Facilities of America) MB Contractors

Pepsi Bottling Group The Roanoke Times Rockydale Quarries Corp. Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC Trane Woods Rogers Attorneys at Law

Note: Chamber Champions are members who support the Roanoke Regional Chamber through year-round sponsorships in exchange for yearround recognition.

Thursday Overtime – Aug. 6 Roanoke Country Club Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC 25th Annual Roanoke Chamber Cup – Aug. 6 Interactive Achievement I Heart Media Ardagh Metal Packaging USA Inc. Bank of Floyd Delta Dental of Virginia


Rockydale Quarries Corp.

The following members joined the Roanoke Regional Chamber from July 3 and Aug. 7, 2015:

Trane Woods Rogers PLC

Boone Homes Inc. of Roanoke Market Square Advisors Business Before Hours – July 16

Mill Mountain Theatre Premier Parking of Tennessee LLC

Sunscape Apartments

Safeside Tactical

Doctors Express Roanoke


Member news & recognitions American HealthCare announces the promotion of Brad Dalton to vice president of strategic initiatives. Dalton, who Dalton has served as the company’s vice president of business development since 2012, has been with the company since 2008. Cyndee Perdue Moore has been named regional vice president of operations for American National University in Moore Indiana and Virginia and National College in Tennessee. She had served as the regional vice president of operations for National College in Tennessee and as director of the Danville campus.

American National University has appointed Eric Rector as the new director of library services. Rector He was previously employed by the Commonwealth Medical College. The Telly Awards have named B2C Enterprises as a bronze winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards for their video titled “Power Credit Union: Life is Calling.” The video was produced for Power Credit Union in Colorado as a reveal of the financial institution’s new branding campaign. With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, B2C was one of only a few regional agencies to be honored this year.





Brown Edwards, one of the leading regional certified public accounting firms, has named four new partners. They are: Billy R. Robinson in the Harrisonburg office; Harold L. Holstein in the Charleston, W.Va., office; Christopher A. Banta, a member of the firm’s governmental financial services team in the Roanoke office; and John C. Hash II, a member of the education and not-for-profit services team in the Roanoke office.

Melissa C. Stanley has joined Brown Edwards as a partner in the Roanoke office. She is a licensed CPA in Virginia and is a Stanley member of the American Institute of Certified Public



Jason R. Kiser has been named president of Chas. Lunsford Sons & Associates, an independent insurance agency established in 1870,



SPONSORED CONTENT | Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce with offices in Virginia and North Carolina. Firefli has expanded the agency with the addition of Caleb Pierce to the digital team as a front-end developer. Pierce will Pierce help implement solutions for clients using current and emerging technologies such as email, websites and social media. He is a Roanoke College graduate.




Goodlatte Ziogas Glenn Feldmann Darby & Goodlatte has announced that five attorneys are listed in this year’s rankings of Best Lawyers in America. Included on the list are: Paul G. Beers, commercial litigation, labor and employment litigation, and employment law for individuals; Harwell M. Darby Jr., corporate law and public finance law; Mark E. Feldmann, commercial transactions/UCC law; Maryellen F. Goodlatte, real estate law and real estate litigation; and Robert A. Ziogas, commercial litigation. Beers was also named the Best Lawyers 2016 Labor and Employment Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Roanoke.

The Grandin Agency has opened the doors of its new downtown Roanoke office at 422 Campbell Ave. Jason Roggens owns the real estate agency. HomeTown Bank has expanded its banking services to offer private banking to current and prospective customers. Rob Mangus Mangus has been named vice president, private banker, with HomeTown Private Wealth. HomeTown Private Wealth is located at 4227 Colonial Ave. in Roanoke County. 36

Jefferson College of Health Sciences has been awarded $1,034,749 for a three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions as part of its Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention Program. The nurse education program prepares veterans for the transition from the military to a civilian professional nursing practice role. Jefferson College has developed “Leaders in Healthcare: A Veteran’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program,” which will assist veterans with enrollment, progression and graduation as they earn their baccalaureate nursing degrees. Kris Vece has joined Protos Security, a leader in security guard management, as director of client relations. She will be responsible for overseeing the company’s sales initiatives as well as overall client relationships. The City of Roanoke has announced plans for single-stream recycling. Beginning in October, every household in the city will be able to throw all recyclable items together in the same cart without having to sort paper products from bottles and cans. Residents will receive a recycling cart equipped with wheels, a handle and a lid. Roanoke County Administrator Thomas Gates has appointed Stephen G. Simon as the new fire and rescue chief. Simon preSimon viously served as deputy chief of administration for the Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration jointly announced that the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is one of this year’s eight Transportation Planning Excellence Award recipients. The Roanoke Regional ARC’s “Bus Stop Accessibility Study” was recognized as a national example of addressing the link between pedestrian and transit and developing new ways to determine, evaluate and compare bus stop activity. It used survey data to identify the most active bus stops and those with the greatest number of mobility-impaired riders.





Thor Inc. General Contractors of Roanoke announces the promotion of Brian Bower, a 14-year veteran with the company, to vice president of procurement. Thor has also hired Dustin Olin as project manager and Alisha Norman as assistant project manager. Virginia Business Systems, a Xerox Authorized Dealer, was presented the Deal of the Year Award in Xerox’s 2014 Channel Partner of the Year Awards, an annual recognition that honors outstanding efforts of leading resellers that help their customers capture new opportunities, solve business problems and achieve business success. The floor at Cassell Coliseum has been renamed the Virginia Tech Carilion Court in recognition of a generous sponsorship of Virginia Tech athletics that will be used to fund scholarships and strategic initiatives, as well as to support public-health awareness. Carilion was awarded naming privileges to the court for 10 years in recognition of a sponsorship that will provide $50,000 a year over that time. With the naming, Carilion will support student-athletes who are pursuing health careers, promote health awareness and the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital and honor the importance of the Virginia Tech Carilion partnership. Virginia Tech’s WVTF/RADIO IQ has won national awards recognizing excellence in journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association and The Associated Press. The station received two Sigma Delta Chi awards from the Society of Professional Journalists: The Public Service in Radio Journalism Award for the feature report “Dangerous Cargo Rides the Rails” by Sandy Hausman and the Breaking News Award for “The Disappearance of Hannah Graham” by Hausman, Hawes Spencer and Connie Stevens. The station also won three first place awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association’s

2015 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards program. The winning entries and categories were for “Cigar Box Blues” by Hausman and Kelsea Pieters; and “Dangerous Cargo Rides the Rails,” a five-part series by Hausman. Mehdi Ahmadian, a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the Society of EngiAhmadian Automotive neers’ International Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award at the organization’s 2015 World Congress. Robert J. Bodnar, University Distinguished Professor and C.C. Garvin Professor of Geochemistry at Virginia Tech, Bodnar was named Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of India. Bodnar was recognized for his contributions in the field of fluid inclusion studies in earth and planetary sciences. David Clubb has been named director of Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech. Clubb most recently served Clubb as assistant vice president for international education at Norwich University. Van Crowder has been named executive director of the Office of International Research, Education, and Development at Crowder Virginia Tech. The office, with its research portfolio of $114 million, oversees a significant portion of the university’s international research. Crowder most recently served as senior director at the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington, D.C. Ron Fricker, most recently a professor in the Operations Research Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in CaliforFricker nia, has joined Virginia Tech as a professor and head of the Department of Statistics in the College of Science. Susan Snyder and Harry Gregori Jr., have joined the team of Virginia Tech Fellows in Roanoke provid-

Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce | SPONSORED CONTENT ing training through Virginia Tech’s Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement. The center is headquartered at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. John McGee, a professor and geospatial specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, received the 2015 Distinguished Geospatial Education Partner Award from the National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence. Robert Parker, the L.S. Randolph Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, is the recipient of the 2015 Parker American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ N.O. Myklestad Award for “innovative contributions to vibration engineering and research” throughout his career. Randy Penson has been named assistant director for global safety and risk management in Virginia Tech’s Global Penson Education Office. Penson will play a key role in coordinating procedures and communications relating to international

travel. Richard R. Perdue, professor of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Perdue Tech, was recently honored with the Travel and Tourism Research Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the association’s gala dinner. Dr. Carling Sitterley has joined the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech as an assistant direcSitterley tor of admissions and student services. A recent alumna of the veterinary college, Sitterley founded the college’s chapter of Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity, a student-run organization that provides education and outreach around diversity issues in the veterinary community. Sudipta Sarangi, program director for economics at the National Science Foundation, has joined the faculty at Virginia Sarangi Tech as a professor and head of the Department of





Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently named three appointees to Virginia Tech’s board of visitors and appointed a longtime Virginia Tech administrator to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. McAuliffe reappointed Deborah Martin Petrine to the board of visitors, where she will be joined by new appointees Charles “C.T.” Hill and Mehmood Kazmi. The governor appointed Minnis Ridenour to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Economics in the College of Science. Prior to working for the National Science Foundation, Sarangi was a professor of economics at Louisiana State University. Heather Wagoner has joined the staff at Virginia Tech as director of student engagement and campus life. Wagoner Wagoner had previously served as the associate director of student involvement at the University of Kentucky. Chris Wise, director of recreational sports at Virginia Tech, has been named assistant vice president for student affairs after a competitive national search process. He over

sees the operations of Schiffert Health Center, Cook Counseling Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, Wise Health Education and Student Well-Being, and Recreational Sports. Virginia Title Center has announced that Gail Duffy has been named as a settlement processor and closer in the Roanoke Duffy office. She has 20 years’ experience in real estate title underwriting and settlement services, having most recently served as Virginia Title Center’s title operations manager and underwriter.

Roanoke Farmers’ Market

Photo by Judy Watkins, Virginia Tourism Corp.



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Roanoke Business: Oct. 2015  
Roanoke Business: Oct. 2015  

COVER STORY: Working locally, selling globally.