“Now is the best time to be a tourist in your own backyard.” – Lisa Meriwether, Tourism Sales Manager for the City of Lynchburg. From dining to lodging, we are taking a closer look at what it will take to rebuild the local tourism industry starting on page 29.

“I always try to lead by example. One of those being, the airport director does push snow. I will have them digging and I have a shovel too.” – Andrew La Gala, Airport Director at Lynchburg Regional Airport. Get to know La Gala in our Leader Profile section on pages 12 and 13.

“I appreciate that when I come to work I don’t have to put a fake face on. Everyone is encouraging.” – Kelsey Sowers, employee at The Virginian Hotel who nominated her business for our annual “Best Places to Work” awards. Starting on page 19, see who made the 2020 list and learn what these businesses are doing to empower employees.

“So far in my career, I am most proud of a ton of small moments. Those moments range from working with students throughout their high school careers and helping them reach their goals to bumping into students years after working with them and seeing that they are in college and are thriving in life.” – Philmika Reid, Community Connections Coordinator at Central Virginia Community College. Reid is one of 20 young professionals selected for our annual Millennials on the Move feature. Learn more about each of this year’s honorees starting on page 35.

“History shows us that the highest performing companies remain high performing because they force themselves to dedicate the time to reimagine themselves in a future world…” – Scot McCarthy, Lynchburg Business columnist. McCarthy talks about how businesses can effectively strategize during “slower” times on page 24.

News Briefs
Framatome has acquired BWX Technologies, Inc.’s U.S. commercial nuclear services business. Framatome is assuming ownership of equipment, tooling and contracts related to the business, while transferring to BWXT ownership of a portion of its Mt. Athos Road facility. 

A team led by a subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc. has been awarded the Tank Closure Contract at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site. The total estimated value of the contract is up to approximately $13 billion over a 10-year period.

Central Virginia Community College has revamped its Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Program, offering it in partnership with Centra and Johnson Health Center. The mission is to build a pipeline of skilled candidates to fill CCMA positions at these organizations. CVCC anticipates launching classes in early fall.

More than 100,000 students are enrolled in Liberty University’s online programs, the college says. Liberty currently offers 450 of its academic programs online. Liberty’s distance learning program began in 1985 as the Liberty University School of Lifelong Learning—students received VHS tapes by mail.

The City of Lynchburg was featured in the March/April 2020 issue of Where to Retire, the only magazine in the U.S. geared toward helping people with retirement relocation decisions. Editor Annette Fuller said Lynchburg possesses qualities important to today’s retirees, including a thriving downtown, festivals and outdoor opportunities.

Local interior designer and blogger Katrina Morris has opened a retail shop inside James T. Davis Paint and Design Center on Candlers Mountain Road. Katrina & Co. debuted in March and due to strong sales was able to expand by May.

The West Virginia–based S.J. Neathawk Lumber Company, Inc. has opened a new facility off U.S. 460 in Montvale, bringing 30 new jobs to the region. The facility includes a showroom and warehouse for home building and renovation projects including lumber, windows, moulding and millwork.

Simplimatic Automation, based in Forest, is playing a role in the fight against COVID-19 by manufacturing components used in ventilators. In April as the demand for ventilators increased, one of the company’s long-term customers received the large order from a leading health technology company.

Chosen out of more than 40 dealers across the U.S. and Canada, Sonny Merryman received the “Dealer of the Year” award from Thomas Built Buses. This is the sixth time the Campbell County–based company has been recognized with this honor, more than any other dealer in the Thomas network.

Lynchburg City Stadium is now Bank of the James Stadium. Earlier this year, Bank of the James and the Lynchburg Hillcats entered into a multi-year naming rights partnership. BOTJ President Bob Chapman said a partnership with the Hillcats on this level was a “perfect fit” since both organizations are very active in the community.

Etiquette 101
Your top business professionalism questions, answered. In each issue of Lynchburg Business, Scott Robert and Jimmy Roux from the University of Lynchburg’s Career and Professionalism Center will answer your top etiquette questions surrounding business meals, events, trips—you name it.

It seems that businesses are getting more casual in the dress code for work. When I am going to an interview, does that mean I can dress like they do or should I still wear a suit? – Submitted by reader Scott Harvath

While some businesses have lowered/changed their dress codes, I would always try to step up your level of attire for the interview. Do not show up in casual attire unless the individual arranging the interview specifically says to wear casual attire. Follow the rules: Make sure your clothes are clean, pressed, free of wrinkles, with no stains—and your clothes should not smell like they have been in a high school gym locker room. Your clothes should showcase your potential (think promotion). These guidelines go for video or online interviews as well. Many employers conducting online interviews will ask the candidate to stand up and show what they are wearing. They are making sure that you did not only dress from the waist up and had pajama pants on for the interview. Lastly, flip flops are a flop in the workplace.

In today’s fashion, glitter has become commonplace. That being said, a lot of makeup products, sprays, mists, etc. have glitter within the product. Is it appropriate to wear such products to an interview? – Submitted by reader Kara Martinez

I know you want to sparkle during your interview, but I would suggest letting your words and manners convey your message. We do not want you going to an interview looking like a Disco ball. Blind the interviewers with your answers, not your glitter. I have seen situations where after an interview the applicant left that sparkle behind for us to clean up. If you feel you must wear a small amount of fashion glitter to brighten your face, please keep it to a minimum.

Virtual meetings have become even more popular following the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes I feel like our online meetings are chaotic, with everyone talking at once. What should I do to be polite but still make my voice heard? – Submitted by Lynchburg Business staff

The current business model of video meetings is a new endeavor for a lot of companies. It’s important to recognize they are not the same as face-to-face interactions and they can be more difficult to participate in. This type of meeting can be well run if the host establishes some ground rules and takes charge. But likewise, attendees must follow suit.

IF YOU ARE AN ATTENDEE: Make sure you “arrive” one or two minutes prior to the meeting start time and that your screen name is accurate. You should look professional (or at least not like you just rolled out of bed). Utilize the chat feature when you have a question or would like to say something. Some video platforms have a way of virtual “gesturing” or “raising your hand.” When the host is ready, they will be able to either look at the chat panels to see if you are “gesturing” and then call on you by name. When it’s your time to speak, have your say but do not take up too much time—be concise. Mute your audio after speaking. If the host wants more from you or has a question, they will ask for it.

IF YOU ARE A HOST: At the beginning of each meeting, take a few moments to make sure everyone can be seen, their screen name is accurate, their audio is muted, etc. Address or troubleshoot any issues. Everyone should be visible on the screen. (I have been on several video meetings where the attendees intentionally do not have live video pictures. The host called on them and there was no response—they had left the room. That did not sit well with the host.) It’s important to make sure everyone’s audio is muted except for the host or presenter so no one will talk over anyone else. This will also decrease audio feedback.

Whether you are a host or attendee, your goal is to act professionally and respectfully during these video meetings. If there is more to say and not enough time during the meeting, reach out to the host. These meetings are a direct result of the host establishing parameters and setting the tone.