Photography By Ashlee Glen
This year’s 20 Under 40 represent a level of work ethic, grit, generosity, and dedication that is truly inspiring. We received countless nominations this year from peers, colleagues, and leaders, all recognizing our community’s youngest workforce. A panel of judges—made up of representatives from Lynchburg Business, the Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism, and the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance—narrowed down the pool to 20 men and women representing a diverse list of industries and occupations.
Read on to learn more about each of these talented individuals; we believe they are only getting started.
Southern Landscape Group, Inc.
BIO: Callan is a wife, mother of two young children, and the General Manager of Southern Landscape Group. She cares about all that are around her and feels successful when those around her succeed. She has worked her way from Accounting/HR to General Manager by creating and promoting a positive and growing company culture.
So far in my career, I am most proud of…three things: helping create an amazing culture within our company, establishing programs within the local high schools to promote our industry, and lastly, successfully operating our business while our owner was out with a severe illness.
My next big goal is…assisting in the growth goals of our organization. We have significant growth plans within the next 8 years that we will achieve, which I am thrilled to be a part of.
The best piece of advice I ever received is…My grandparents and parents instilled in me a tremendous work ethic. As a mom and successful businesswoman, I am constantly on the go. The best piece of advice I have ever received is from my grandfather. I was having a busy morning and he told me to walk over to the window with him, pointing at the bird sitting on the shrubs and the green leaves on the trees. He said, sometimes, you just need to slow down and enjoy the beauty around you. It seems so simple, but is sometimes taken for granted.
Something not many people know about me is…that my favorite place to spend time is Buggs Island with my family. We love being on our boat, golfing, and just being outside.
Campbell County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant, Field Division
BIO: Jenna is the Field Sergeant of the Alpha shift at the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office. Originally from North Carolina, Jenna received a B.A. in Public Relations: Strategic Intelligence from Liberty University. Prior to becoming Sergeant for Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, Jenna was a Patrol Deputy. Before joining the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, she was the School Resource Officer at Concord Elementary.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… becoming a Child Forensic Interviewer. I’m also proud of the victims I’ve worked with who have been brave enough to share their stories.
My next big goal is… to become an investigator and one day work on child-related crimes.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… to live a life that allows you to sleep soundly at night with no regrets, which means doing what’s ethical, moral, and right, and making sound, courageous decisions, no matter how difficult that may be at the time. If you find that you aren’t able to sleep at night, then you know it’s time to make things right in the morning.
Something not many people know about me is that… I love DIY house projects, especially when they involve demolition. I recently stripped my bathroom down to the studs and am working on updating it.
Beheatherlyn “Bee” Kirby
A Little Party Events
BIO: Beheatherlyn “Bee” Kirby is a full-time wedding planner and coordinator for A Little Party Events, and owner of Floralanthropy, a local non-profit that helps couples donate their wedding flowers after their event. Born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, Bee has a passion for spreading joy and kindness, giving back, and enriching our community through love and flowers.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… Floralanthropy! And my Wedding Day Emergency Kit!
My next big goal is… to start a wedding planner mentor program.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… even though the rest of the world may disagree, never stop seeing the world as the most beautiful place.
Something not many people know about me is that… while working at The Greenbrier Resort I sipped an Arnold Palmer with the late Arnold Palmer, made a BLT with NBA legend Jerry West, and sang a song with Lionel Richie. I also make greeting cards.
Director of Family & Children’s Services
BIO: Ashley is a social worker and nonprofit leader who has worked at HumanKind for over 10 years and is currently the Director of Family & Children’s Services. At HumanKind, Ashley and her team connect with people, create community, and enhance well-being for all. Most recently, this has included bringing Early Head Start to the region for the first time. Outside of work, Ashley and her husband, George, enjoy traveling with their two daughters.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… developing and supporting the exceptional colleagues, staff, and students I get to work with every day. Their passion for and commitment to providing the highest quality human services strengthens families and our community.
My next big goal is… to advance social justice at the local, state, and federal levels through advocacy, policy, and systems change.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… from social work researcher and author Brené Brown, “Daring leaders who live into their values are never silent about hard things.”
Something not many people know about me is that… my favorite coworker is my 100 pound Newfiedoodle who has been by my side through the last two years of remote work! He regularly makes appearances on virtual meetings and brings me joy even on the most challenging days.
BIO: Stephen is the Marketing Manager for Cenvar Roofing. He handles all aspects of marketing for each of Cenvar Roofing’s branches across Central Virginia. Stephen has his certification as a Certified Professional Marketer® from the American Marketing Association and the Digital Marketing Institute. One of his favorite aspects of marketing is SEO and getting Cenvar Roofing to the top of Google.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… getting one of our blogs featured as a Google snippet. Featured snippets are when Google’s systems determine certain content will help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description of the page and when they click on the link to read the page itself. It was a huge win for our SEO efforts.
My next big goal is… Marketing can always spend more money. One of my big goals is to get our customer acquisition costs down to a particular number. This will mean that my marketing efforts are efficient and productive.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “All big things come from small beginnings” – Atomic Habits by James Clear
Something not many people know about me is that… I love to volunteer and play guitar for my church. It forces me to practice guitar and to pick up a skill I wouldn’t otherwise make time for. Plus it brings my mind back to what matters most—a life lived to make Jesus known.
John Salasin, Ph.D.
BIO: John is the Principal Researcher of fuel and materials in the Advanced Technologies division of BWX Technologies, Inc. He currently leads rapid research and development projects for both internal and external customers. John leads multi-disciplinary teams to develop new manufacturing processes that enable next generation solutions. From conceptual dreams to demonstrated results, John has proven himself as one of Lynchburg’s best and brightest up-and-coming young professionals.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… demonstrating cutting-edge technologies on the hardest of systems that enable industry-changing solutions. Being able to take something from paper to a physical object in your hand is extremely fulfilling.
My next big goal is… pulling up a chair on the moon to watch the Earth rise.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… failure is not an option. Failing is easy, but succeeding is harder.
Something not many people know about me is that… I completed my M.S. and Ph.D.; bought a home; married my best friend, Elizabeth; bought a Tesla; and had two kids, Emory and James, all in a 4-year period. It was quite a wild ride. A little more humbly, I am a sucker for musicals and can be heard singing along to Hamilton on my daily commutes. With the windows down, of course.
Belvac Production Machinery
Environmental, Health and Safety Manager
BIO: Ashley is the current Environmental, Health and Safety Manager for Belvac Production Machinery. She is the first person to hold this title in the organization and is responsible for ensuring the safety and health of all almost 400 employees at four US locations and four international locations. In addition to her work at Belvac, she is also a member of the Young Professionals of Central Virginia.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… holding and excelling in a newly created position in a field dominated mostly by men. I want to be an example for other young women considering a career in manufacturing, specifically in Environmental Health and Safety.
My next big goal is… finishing my Certified Safety Manager (CSM) certification and moving on to becoming a Certified Safety Professional (CSP).
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “We can do hard things” from Glennon Doyle in her book Untamed.
Something not many people know about me is that… I am an active hiker and camper. My dream would be to travel cross-country with an emphasis on visiting all national parks with nothing but a camper van and my dogs.
Brook Hill Farm
Therapeutic Riding Instructor
BIO: Veronika is a Therapeutic Riding Instructor at Brook Hill Farm. She has a Bachelor’s in Exercise Physiology. With her understanding of the body, she focuses on flexibility, strength, and endurance exercises to improve a student’s riding ability. Additionally, she is on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee for PATH Intl., striving to expand access to equine-assisted services for all people.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… before graduating college,
I founded an organization called Woman to Woman. I felt the need for a space for women on campus to have a safe environment where they are heard and encouraged. It is currently active to this day!
My next big goal is… My next big goal is to go back to school and get my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “If I wasn’t capable, the opportunity would have never come my way. I belong!” I believe that everything and everyone has a purpose whether we recognize it or not.
Something not many people know about me is that… I have an interest in cars.
Foster Fuels Inc.
Vice President, Marketing
BIO: Chelsea was instrumental in establishing Foster Fuels’ internal marketing department, which has helped spur significant growth for the 100-year-old fuel provider. Her influence landed her a feature in LP GAS magazine’s Women in Propane. Her community impact includes serving on Impact Living Services’ Advocacy Team, the Well Lynchburg’s Leadership Team, and as an active member of Waymaker.Church. She is a recent graduate of LRBA’s Leadership Lynchburg program and served on the Leadership Lynchburg Curriculum Committee.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… the department I’ve had the opportunity to develop. I get to lead such a talented team and enjoy looking back at all we’ve been able to accomplish.
My next big goal is… to grow my mentoring network by deepening current relationships and creating new ones. We are emerging from a very isolated time and it’s more evident than ever that we need positive relationships with other people. I’ve had that in my life, and I want to be that for others.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6 NLT stays on repeat in my head and has been my best weapon against anxiety. It’s cathartic to release worry and proclaim your desires, but end your thoughts in a thankful mindset, appreciating what you have and what has been done.
Something not many people know about me is that… my husband, Tyler, and I met as stunt partners on the Liberty University cheerleading team. We’ve been married for ten years, and though I no longer stunt with him, our daughter has been stunting with Tyler since she was six months old.
University of Lynchburg
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Co-Chair of Africana Studies and Director for Pierce Street Gateway
BIO: Ghislaine is an associate professor of Communication Studies where she also co-chairs Africana Studies and serves as the Director of the Pierce Street Gateway. She is also president of the Central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), serves on the board for the Link Project, and is on the exhibition committee for the Legacy Museum.
On campus she is also the advisor for the University of Lynchburg newspaper, The Critograph, and the African-Caribbean Union.
She is a proud graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Florida A&M University, University of Canterbury, and Monash University.
So far in my career… I am most proud of completing my Ph.D. and the impact I have been able to have on my students and my community.
My next big goal is to… complete my project management professional certification.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… from my mum. She always says do it to the best of your ability and I always take that with me.
Something not many people know about me is… that I have an obsession with musicals, some of my favorites include The Sound of Music, The King and I, My Fair Lady, Evita, and Hamilton.
Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts, Business Matters Networking Group
CEO of Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts, Co-Owner of Business Matters Networking Group
BIO: Kiley is an advancing leader with history in teaching, account management, and executive leadership. She is passionate about creating work environments that spark joy and creativity. Kiley co-owns Business Matters Networking Group with Moriah McAllister, where the group meets to develop relationships and education among business leaders. Kiley strives to use her strengths to impact her business, team, and community.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… stepping out of my comfort zone to gain experiences I would have never dreamed of.
My next big goal is… to finish my Master’s in Business Administration with the College of William & Mary online business school.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “it can’t hurt to ask.” The worst they could say is no, and you are in the same place. The best they could say is yes, and you have a new opportunity.
Something not many people know about me is that… I have worn the space suit from the Red Bull Stratos space jump while dancing with Chuck Norris.
Matthew C. Freedman
City of Lynchburg, Virginia
BIO: Originally from Southwest Virginia, Matt moved to the Lynchburg area in 2020 and was appointed as the City Attorney for the City of Lynchburg in July of 2021. Prior to being appointed as City Attorney, Matt worked for the City of Lynchburg as Deputy City Attorney; for the Town of Bluefield, Virginia, as Town Attorney; and as the Regional Drug Prosecutor for Halifax County, Virginia.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… being appointed to serve as Lynchburg’s City Attorney and being given the opportunity to serve the City and its citizens.
My next big goal is… to become more involved in the Lynchburg community and to grow as a person and in my profession.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… always be willing to learn something new and prioritize what’s truly important in life.
Something not many people know about me is that… I am an avid outdoorsman and enjoy hiking, fishing, and kayaking.
City of Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism
Economic Development Manager
BIO: Alisha is the Economic Development Manager for the City of Lynchburg. With a background in education and workforce development, she brings a unique blend of social work, non-profit, and government experience to her position. She is passionate about equity for all citizens, enjoys a challenge, and loves bringing people together to invest in creative solutions. Alisha also enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and traveling with her husband and two sons.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… helping local organizations think outside the box when it comes to workforce solutions. Whether it is developing a new training program, connecting them to underutilized resources in the community, or helping to influence company culture to be more people-centric, these are the things that keep me coming to work every day.
My next big goal is… to reinvest in our community, specifically in areas that have been historically marginalized.
I hope to bring workforce training and education to citizens in a way that is accessible to the community and collaborative among organizations.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “With people, you can connect or you can compare, but you can’t do both.” – Author Shauna Niequist. I try to remember this in every situation—from a board room to a breakroom. Remembering to see people as people, first, changes everything.
Something not many people know about me is that… I’m a former sign language interpreter and former dance team coach. While I don’t use either skill very often anymore, both still bring me a lot of joy.
Atlantic Union Bank
Vice President, Solutions Banking Relationship Manager
BIO: Jennifer is the Solutions Banking Manager at Atlantic Union Bank for the Blue Ridge Market and New River Valley-Roanoke Market. Jennifer leads a financial wellness program that gives companies an opportunity to provide exclusive banking benefits to employees to boost their financial confidence with the tools they need to feel empowered in making the best financial decisions every day. Jennifer drives the financial wellness initiative in partnership with local employers and community leaders by teaching, encouraging, and supporting financial wellness.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… being a successful business woman leading a financial wellness program.
My next big goal is… to lead from the C-Suite in my career. I want to show my girls that with hard work and determination, anything is possible!
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “I rent my title, but I own my character.” – Thasunda Brown Duckett, President and CEO of TIAA
Something not many people know about me is that… I am a successful, full-time traveling career mom with an amazing, supportive husband and four courageous daughters. I am a full time church pianist, a basketball coach, a full time scholarship honor student, board of directors secretary of HumanKind, a member of VCIC Lynchburg Chapter, a member of Tau Sigma National Honor Society, a member of Omega Nu Lambda National Honor Society, a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and a member of the Lynchburg Regions Economic Development Strategic Plan Steering Committee.
Campbell County Public Library System
BIO: Emily Correa is the Deputy Director for the Campbell County Public Library System. She was a member of the 45th Class of Leadership Lynchburg. Emily currently serves on the editorial board of Virginia Libraries journal. Previously, she was involved in leadership with the Virginia Library Association, Mid-Atlantic Library Alliance, The Power of WE Lynchburg, and the County of Campbell.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… how I’ve hustled to get where I am. No one’s a bigger advocate for you than you are. If you don’t believe in yourself and put in the work to achieve your goals, you’ll stay exactly where you are.
My next big goal is… to go back to school to earn my Ph.D. Someday I’d love to be a faculty member of an accredited library school so I can help train future generations of librarians. I enjoy giving advice and teaching others what I’ve learned—as well as continuing my own professional development.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “You never know what kind of day someone is having.” My mom raised me to be empathetic and considerate. Public service can be difficult at times, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to be able to help someone when they need it most. (Bonus advice: Get a library card!)
Something not many people know about me is that… I enjoy collecting unusual experiences and stories. For example, in 2021 I won the Mama Crockett’s Down-a-Dozie Challenge!
Barracks Financial Group
BIO: Kenan grew up in West Virginia, and attended Liberty University from 2001-2005 on a tennis scholarship. He worked for Yorktown Funds, a local mutual fund company for 14 years, where he learned and honed his trade. In 2019, he joined Barracks Financial Group as a partner. Kenan and his wife, Bethany, have three children, Ivory, Hudson,
So far in my career, I am most proud of… taking the risk, along with my partners, of starting a financial advisory firm from the ground up and successfully building a sustainable model to help our clients comprehensively.
My next big goal is… to help Mustaches 4 Kids Lynchburg reach $1,000,000 raised in a year. That would help more than 45+ local children-focused charities in the Greater Lynchburg Area.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… from a speaker two years ago, who was a retired navy seal. He looked around the room and said, “I see a lot of potential in this room. Do you know what the translation for ‘potential’ is? People who haven’t done anything.” I continue to take that to heart to stay the course I am on, remain humble, and serve my clients daily.
Something not many people know about me is that… I won the Virginia Commonwealth gold medal in ping pong and gave tennis lessons to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice while working as a tennis professional at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
James R. Bower, Jr.
R. Coffee Ltd.
BIO: James is the Vice President of R. Coffee Ltd., a long-standing men’s clothier in Lynchburg. He is also an owner of other businesses in the area and an investor in others. James grew up in Richlands, Virginia, and moved to Lynchburg to attend Liberty University. He graduated with an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… the fact that I am able to help make people more confident. Whether that be in how we dress them or how we cultivate a relationship, feeling confident in who you are and how you look changes everything.
My next big goal is… to continue to open businesses in Lynchburg that add value to our community, while continuing to support all small business owners in the area.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… when speaking with or taking advice from others, discern whether you are receiving twenty years of experience or one year repeated nineteen times.
Something not many people know about me is that… I am a lover of the arts, but especially anything related to the culinary arts. I went to a French Culinary School when I was younger, and I have always loved to cook. I believe that the simplest acts of love can come from cooking.
Andrew J. Anderson, D.O.
(Formerly Boonsboro Direct Primary Care)
Founder and Lead Physician
BIO: Andrew J. Anderson is a family physician and a family man. He grew up in Buena Vista, hiking, rock-climbing, and kayaking his way through the Blue Ridge. He has invested the last two decades of his life equipping himself to better serve his fellow man. In the spirit of adventure and service, he founded KAYA HEALTH to provide unparalleled care to patients in the community.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… maintaining our foundational principles of kindness and caring while creating an oasis for both patients and employees in the current healthcare landscape.
My next big goal is… to bring additional specialist care to our area in a model that allows patients to be heard and physicians to be accessible to both their patients and their families.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” – William Osler, M.D., co-founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital
Something not many people know about me is that… I took two years during college to live with and serve the people of the Philippines, learned three languages, and have had the opportunity to return as a doctor offering disaster relief and running medical clinics.
BIO: John Seinar is the owner of Bikes Unlimited located on Jefferson Street in downtown Lynchburg. Beside him is his wife, Monika, and two boys, Copeland (6) and Oliver (2). Seinar moved from Oxford, MI, to Lynchburg in 2009 and fell in love with the area. His role of ownership was preceded by a long list of jobs that awarded him multiple perspectives on how to run a business.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… putting together a successful team that embodies hard work, passion, and the love of cycling.
My next big goal is… all I can say is we have big plans for the future, but our goal is to make Lynchburg a more fun place to live while continuing to provide a better place to work.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… treat everyone with respect and kindness, you never know how a simple, kind action can change the trajectory of someone’s day or even life.
Something not many people know about me is that… I played the Vans Warped Tour in a rock band in 2011. We visited over 30 states and drove 15,000+ miles.
The Virginian Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Director of Sales & Marketing
BIO: Shelley is the Director of Sales & Marketing at the historic Virginian Hotel in downtown Lynchburg.
So far in my career, I am most proud of… While I should probably note an award, I would honestly have to say that I am most proud of the fact that I have positioned myself to be living in beautiful Central Virginia, with my loving little family, doing a job that I am passionate about and that challenges me and provides me with the ability to share my knowledge with a receptive and driven team.
My next big goal is… to bring more positive, national recognition to not only the Virginian Hotel but to the greater city of Lynchburg as a whole.
The best piece of advice I have ever received is… “You’re only as good as your last performance.” Just one of the many quick and direct pieces of advice by father has shared with me throughout the years.
Something not many people know about me is that… I am half Kiwi (my father is from New Zealand), I am a transplant from Loudoun County, and I am a lover and huge advocate of Virginia wine.