Month: August 2016

In The News Aug/Sept 2016

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Big announcement for Lynchburg, downtown business district Pacific Life Insurance Company says it will invest nearly $4 million to open a business center in downtown Lynchburg, following the acquisition of the term life new business platform from Genworth Financial, located at 700 Main St. “Pacific Life’s decision demonstrates that Lynchburg is not only a great place to live, work and play but also an excellent place to do business,” said then-current Mayor Mike Gillette. In February, Genworth laid off 200 Lynchburg employees. As a part of this transaction, Pacific life says it has hired current and former...

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Modern Business Meetings in Lynchburg

Moving Toward Technology and Team Building You walk in, grab a boxed lunch, take a seat next to someone you recognize from your department, perhaps making a little small talk as you settle in. The speaker fires up a PowerPoint, and you try to be attentive as you sit through yet another presentation on quarterly earnings or cash flow projections. This is the business meeting of the past. Times have changed, and corporate get-togethers have evolved to meet the changing ecosystem of professional organizations. At the forefront of this change is the increased use of technology. While this does...

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Businesses Over 100 Years

A Century of Success: Businesses Over 100 Years Old photographs have a singular ability to evoke nostalgia, to cause one to think “those were the good old days.” For four local businesses, however, the good old days have persisted for over 100 years, and the good days keep on coming. To these businesses, old photographs and the rich histories that accompany them don’t convey an idyllic, disconnected past; rather, they show promising beginnings that are directly linked to continuing success a century later. Although each business profiled here has a unique story, each one has stood the test of...

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Main Street Café and Coffee

Aug/Sept 2016 Let’s Do Lunch: Main Street Café and Coffee What to Expect Wholesome, local food in a welcoming atmosphere. What to Try If you can relate to Joey from Friends and his extreme love for sandwiches, Main Street Café and Coffee is the place to fuel up on your lunch hour. “We’ve had people from Canada to Denver to Detroit say our Reuben is the best Reuben they’ve ever had,” said General Manager Jonathan Mitchell. As our photographer got a few shots of the also popular Club sandwich (right), I had a hard time being patient. But it...

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Relevant Law Challenging the Industry with a 21st-Century Approach

Mark Bold likes to use a phrase, “there’s a dog in the fight,” meaning that people tend to take a grievance more seriously when they know that the opposition has some teeth. He has a history of fighting for the defenseless (and winning, to boot) and is not afraid of barking at the gatekeepers. As the founder and managing attorney at the newly-established (March 2016) Relevant Law, Bold is now challenging the status quo, hoping to bring a fresh approach to an age-old industry. Relevant Law is a full service law firm, serving businesses, families and individuals alike in...

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Moving Business Forward From Road to Rail

A Look at Central Virginia’s Top Transportation Projects Three transportation projects in the works are expected to make getting in, around and out of Central Virginia much easier. They include the second phase of an ongoing improvement project on Odd Fellows Road, a free downtown bus, and an Amtrak stop in the Town of Bedford. The Odd Fellows Road project and what’s being called the “Central Business District Circulator” were recently approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) using SMART SCALE, a data-driven process that aims to make the best use of the state’s transportation funds. SMART SCALE, originally...

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The Pros of Pro Bono: How the Virginia Legal Aid Society Helps Clients and the Community

In most people’s lives there will come a time when the services of a lawyer are needed. Whether it’s a divorce, a dispute with a landlord, the drafting of a will, or some other legal matter, many in our community could benefit from a lawyer’s counsel and assistance. Throughout Central Virginia, there are many exceptional lawyers who are able and willing to handle a wide array of legal matters, from the very complicated to the relatively routine. However, access to legal services is often limited to those who can afford it. While the fees charged by lawyers vary—often depending...

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Taking the Long View

Since this issue of Lynchburg Business features businesses in existence over 100 years, it’s fitting to take a step back from the day-to-day headlines on CNBC or Bloomberg and examine the long-term trends, and long-term questions, regarding financial markets, investing and our own personal finances. First, though, let’s look at the short term. Where will the markets be tomorrow, next year and three years from now? We have no idea. The best of the best, Warren Buffett, admits as much. If your financial advisor claims to know otherwise, it may be time to shop around. Where will the markets...

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Leader of the Month: Bonnie Svrcek Aug/Sept 2016

Occupation: City Manager Hometown: Wheaton, Maryland How is it going so far in your new role as Lynchburg’s city manager? Well, since these answers are due on my first official day as City Manager, I have to say things are going very well! I have extraordinary confidence that the city’s phenomenal team of employees and I will continue to deliver services to our citizens, our businesses and our visitors in the most efficient, effective and equitable manner possible, and we will be creative and innovative as well. How does it feel to make history as the city’s first female...

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Best Places to Work 2016

Spelling out what makes a great work environment is somewhat of an inexact science. Who better then to determine that than the employees who experience it day in and day out? For the first annual “Best Places to Work” campaign, we asked employees to nominate their companies for consideration. Those featured here in alphabetical order were shared with us by employees and selected for the quality of their work environments, general company culture, training and development opportunities, tangible and intangible benefits, and employee satisfaction, among other things. We hope you appreciate seeing the great things happening in our region...

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Mailbox or Inbox?

A Quick Solution to a Modern Marketing Problem Definition: Outbound Marketing (n) is the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. Ink-on-paper marketing products are decreasing. That’s likely no surprise to you. Outbound marketing pieces such as direct mail, rack cards, flyers, booklets and print ads are rapidly being replaced by digital alternatives. If there is a light at the end of the outbound marketing tunnel, it can be assumed it’s the headlight of a digital marketing train barreling toward your business. Take a step back from the...

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Decoding Demographics: Are You Taking Advantage of Data?

Mazda or Maserati. Target or Tiffany. Wal-Mart or Whole Foods. How does a prospective business owner decide what idea will work when selecting a market and what concept will crash and burn? Demographic research is not limited to Fortune 500 companies looking to place their next flagship store. Correctly assessing the market, income, spending habits and population characteristics can make or break a new business. Enlisting a commercial real estate agent with a firm grip on the market or markets in which they operate is essential when starting or placing a business. There are a variety of tools at...

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Leading Lady: Allison Stronza Aug/Sept 2016

Occupation: Executive Director, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Central Virginia Hometown: Bedford, Va. How did you react when CASA won the nonprofit and Small Business of the Year award given out by the Lynchburg Regional Alliance this year? I was very excited to accept the award in the nonprofit category. When they called our name yet again for the overall category, I was surprised and overjoyed. Not only did we get the stage for a few minutes, we also received a $6,000 advertising package that will allow us to spotlight our mission in the community to recruit new...

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Editor’s Letter Aug/Sept 2016

Think about the place you work right now. Maybe it’s a small business, a large company—maybe it’s yours and you own it. Now, think about your same establishment and the product or service you sell…and what it could look like in 100 years. Kind of mind boggling isn’t it? Hopefully, by the year 2116, the commute will be much better because cars will be flying, you will be able to teleport to your next sales call and robots will be handling any workplace printer problems. But in all seriousness, it’s not a lucky setup that enables a business to stay afloat for more than a century. So much changes, and not always in a good “flying car” kind of way—sometimes the economy tanks, bad management takes control or technology causes society’s expectations or demands to do a U-turn. Owners have to adapt with these challenges and find a way to stay relevant and thriving through the decades. In this issue, we set out to hear the success stories of four, long-time local businesses—two founded in 1890, another in 1891 and the fourth in 1897. (To put those dates into perspective to flying cars, the first gasoline-powered car wasn’t sold in the U.S. until 1896.) Starting on page 30, take a step back in time with John Stewart Walker Realty, N.B. Handy, L. Oppleman and Schewels. Read about their histories...

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Women in the Workplace

Historically, women in the workplace have been met with the proverbial glass ceiling, walls and other such barriers. Additionally, the female employee population has also experienced challenges earning equal pay for completing relatively similar tasks. While previously passed legislation has eliminated much of this discrimination, there continues to be lingering effects of past beliefs and practices. Research indicates there continue to be challenges with regard to leadership opportunities, promotions as well as compensation and benefits. However, this is not the case in all organizations. Many companies today are clearly on board with providing fair and equal treatment regardless of...

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Movers & Shakers Aug/Sept 2016

Olivia Beavon—New director of special events and communications for the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. Beavon is a graduate of Liberty University with a degree in public relations/advertising. She previously worked for Stewart Langley Properties as the marketing and administrative coordinator. Caroline Biggs—New director of public policy and special programming at the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. Previously, Biggs was a legislative aide to State Senator Steve Newman. She graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in government/public policy. Ahgnes Bolusa-Sabugo, M.D.—Named 2016 “Provider of the Year” by the Virginia Community Healthcare Association. Dr. Sabugo is a physician at Johnson Health Center in Amherst, where she has been an innovator in care coordination, patient centeredness and the patient-centered medical home model. Matt Brady—One of the founders of the newly-formed New Dominion Solar, he serves as the company’s director of business development. Brady was trained through the country’s most prestigious solar training school, Solar Energy International, and is one of the few individuals in the Lynchburg region holding a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals. Derrick Brown—New principal for Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School for Innovation. Brown served as assistant principal at Amherst County Middle School since 2012 and is known for starting the I.R.O.N men program at Amherst County High School while a teacher there in 2009. Jenny Entsminger—Agent for the new real estate franchise: NextHome...

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How an entrepreneur brought Joe Beans to The Burg

When driving around Lynchburg, it’s hard to miss the colorful drive-through coffee stands. Each displays a happy logo of a little coffee bean driving a car. But once you stop at Joe Beans, it’s the aroma of freshly-brewed organic coffee that really gets your attention and makes your taste buds dance. And not only does the staff strive to give their customers great products but they also want the whole family to have a delightful experience as well. “We give kids animal crackers when they come through,” said Linda Brown, owner. “Dogs—we give them doggie bones. Cats—we’ll give them...

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Community Impact Appreciation 2016

In a society that always appears to be racing to a financial finish line or obsessed with the bottom line, it’s refreshing to take a break and look at the softer side of the business world. From rallying around a single mom to logging hundreds of volunteer hours at local charities, there are countless businesses in Central Virginia that take community service very seriously. In this year’s Community Impact Appreciation, we are highlighting eight businesses that are at the front of the pack in their efforts to give their time, their money and their hearts to those in need....

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Plugged In Aug/Sept 2016

August 2 Lunch and Learn Series: “When Social Sharing Becomes Oversharing” Presented by the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce Bedford Welcome Center 816 Burks Hill Rd., Bedford 12 – 1:30 p.m. Bring a bag lunch. $10 for members; $15 general admission. Senatorial Roundtable with Tim Kaine Hilton Garden Inn 4025 Wards Rd., Lynchburg 10-11:30 a.m. August 6 Charity Lot Party for Centra PACE Lynchburg Harley Davidson 20452 Timberlake Rd., Lynchburg 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Entertainment by The Blue Band, demo/test rides, food, raffles and more. $10 admission. August 9 Business After Hours Hosted by First National Bank 3321 Old Forest Rd., Lynchburg Networking, hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Free admission for Alliance members; $10 general admission includes two drink tickets. Networking Before Nine with the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce Select Bank, Bedford 8-9 a.m. August 10 Business at Breakfast Presented by The Summit 7:30 – 9 a.m. Discussion about the Department of Labor’s new overtime ruling. $17 for Alliance members; $27 general admission. RSVP by August 5 by calling (434) 845-5966 or email info@lynchburgregion.org. Wyndhurst Wednesdays at The Summit 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Food trucks and more. Outdoor seating available. August 13 “Keep the Spirit of ‘45 Alive” Concert National D-Day Memorial 7-9 p.m. Enjoy a special ceremony and concert with the Let’s Dance band to honor the Greatest Generation. Regular fees apply. August 18 YPCV Networking...

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Peaks & Valleys or Mountains vs. Molehills

How the Local Market “Behaves” May Be Different than you Expect Lots of folks move to Lynchburg from outside the area, many even from outside the state. They arrive in our fair city with their experiences and expectations in tow—both of which are often misaligned with how Lynchburg real estate “works.” I hesitate to use that word, because it sounds very “inside the box”—as if we aren’t open to change or new ideas. I don’t mean it in that sense. I mean it in the sense that every market has its own behaviors… its own unique blend of how...

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Prevent Computer Overuse Injuries with Healthy Habits

If you work a desk job, at some point you’ve probably heard that sitting at your computer for long hours poses some kind of danger to your health. But what are the real risks, and is there any inherent danger in working at a computer? Dr. Hugh Hagan, III, Section Chief for Orthopaedic Hand Surgery at Carilion Clinic’s Institute or Orthopaedics and Neurosciences, helps separate fact from fiction regarding this modern-day wives tale. “There is nothing inherently evil about a computer. Computers don’t cause carpal tunnel or arthritis,” says Dr. Hagan. “However, there are general recommendations for any job...

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Around Town Aug/Sept 2016

Lynchburg Innovation Week Making Economic Development Approachable In its very first year, turnout was strong at Lynchburg Innovation Week, presented by the Economic Development Authority (EDA). Organizers report about 525 people came out to events at Riverviews Artspace June 2-4. “It was a different approach to traditional economic development events. We wanted to make it more acceptable and open…bring in a younger audience that we don’t normally reach,” said Anna Bentson, assistant director of the EDA. The week kicked off with a pitch competition. The five finalists from Opportunity Lynchburg’s CO.STARTERS program competed for an opportunity to receive a...

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