Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blue Ridge Autism Center Opens

The Blue Ridge Autism & Achievement Center has opened its new facility off of Peters Creek Road in North Roanoke. April is Autism Awareness Month and Executive DirectorAngie Leonard, along with Craig Balzer and George Young, Co-Chairmen of the center, said the venture is a labor of love.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Declining State Support Leads to Another Tech Tuition Increase

The Virginia General Assembly's declining financial support of higher education in the Commonwealth has led to yet another tuition increase at Virginia Tech, where students will face a nearly 10 percent hike next year. This will be slightly offset by the Obama Administration's tax credits.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors Executive Committee has set total tuition and mandatory fees for a undergraduate students at $9,589, an increase of $854, partially offset by a $130 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant.

President Charles W. Steger says, “State support for higher education has slipped significantly in recent times. Virginia Tech receives $37 million less today for instruction than 10 years ago. During that time, undergraduate enrollment of Virginia students increased by more than 2,000, resulting in significantly less support per student from the commonwealth. Indeed, once adjusted for inflation, state support per Virginia student is about half today than at the beginning of the decade.

“Accordingly, students carry a larger percentage of the overall cost of education than in prior years. This cost shift to students and families is unfortunate but unavoidable. After decades of cuts, simple belt-tightening is not an option. In order to continue to provide the quality expected from Virginia Tech, tuition must rise.”

Non-Virginia undergrad students not living on campus will pay $23,217, a $1,339 increase. Total average annual costs for a Virginia undergraduate student living on campus will rise from $14,559 to $15,879. Out-of-state undergrad students will see this figure rise from $27,702 to $29,507. (There are several rates for room and board; individual costs will vary. The university uses an average to calculate suggested room and board for this demonstration.)

Graduate tuition and fees for Virginia residents will increase from $10,228 to 10,933 and move from $17,928 to 19,957 for out-of-state students. Tuition and fees for Maryland and Virginia residents attending the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will be $19,675, up from $18,415. Non-resident veterinary students will pay $42,704 annually.

Invision Opens New Salem Office

Invision, an eyeware and eye examination practice, has opened its new office in a brand new building on 4th Street in Salem. The ribbon-cutting was yesterday with members of the staff and Salem City officias in attendance.

Invision is owned and operated by Drs. Scott and Becky Mann and Dr. John Gudeman.

Friday, April 23, 2010

FRONT All Over the VPW Conference

(Doubleclick on photos for enlargements)

View from my table of keynote speaker Sharyn McCrumb. At the table (from lower right, clockwise), Keith Ferrell, Catherine Fox, Cara Modisett, Joe Tennis, Julie Campbell, Stephanie Hardison and Mollie Bryan.^

FRONT contributors (from left) columnist Anne Clelland and writers Bonnie Cranmer and Jill Elswick.^

Niche Writing panel was moderated by Sally Harris (standing) and (from left) Joe Tennis, Tristen Perry, Anne Clelland and Molly Bryan.^

Editor-Writer Faceoff featured (from left): Julie Campbell of Washington & Lee University, Dan Smith, Keith Ferrell and Deborah Huso.^

Anne Clelland does a little work during a talk.^

The Virginia Press Women state conference at the Taubman Museum of Art had "Valley Business FRONT" written all over it today.

Whether directly or indirectly, your favorite regional magazine's writers and editor were much in evidence and even FRONT-sponsored Roanoke Regional Writers Conference participants were in the lead ranks or presenters.

Among the presenters were editor Dan Smith and contributing writer Keith Ferrell talking about the editor-freelance writer relationship; columnist Anne Clelland discussing niche writing; and freelance contributors Jill Elswick and Bonnie Cranmer talking about Twitter. These discussions constituted three quarters of the breakout sessions.

Additionally, Mollie Cox Bryan of Charlottesville, who writes cookbooks and is a columnist, took part in the niche writing presentation. She will be among the presenters at next year's FRONT-sponsored Roanoke Regional Writers Conference at Hollins. Others on the bill for that event include conference organizer and panel moderator Cara Modisett of Blue Ridge Country magazine, Clelland, Cranmer and Ferrell.

FRONT editor Smith points out that even the keynote speaker for the statewide event, novelist Sharyn McCrumb, has a direct link: she is a distant cousin of his and was the keynote speaker at the Writers Conference two years ago.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homeowners Benefit from Rebuilding Together

The Roanoke Chapter of Rebuilding Together will be helping 34 local homeowners rebuild damaged homes they cannot handle themselves on Rebuilding Day--Saturday, April 24.

Local volunteer groups, church members, contractors and others will do the work with materials either donated by local businesses or purchased with grant money from various sources. More than 500 volunteers provided the labor for last year’s event.

“We are active year round,” says local chapter President Ed Murray. “But one day every April, on Rebuilding Day, we pull out all the stops and do many, many houses in one day. It’s so inspiring to see so many volunteers helping people who have no other way to maintain their homes.”

Murray said the repairs include everything from leaky roofs, to falling down porches, to interior problems. “Once we were helping a woman with a leaky roof and discovered she had no way to cook because her stove had been broken for years--but she was too ashamed to tell anyone,” he says.

Adding that by the end of the day the woman had a new stove and a smile--free of charge. Although the repairs will happen at homes across a wide geographic area in western Virginia, there will be a special focus on 11 homes in Roanoke’s Hurt Park neighborhood.

Rebuilding Together has been helping the area for several years, including construction of new homes, renovation of vacant properties and repair and rehabilitation of others.

Rebuilding Together receives money from various groups in order to complete the work, which is always done by volunteers. Recent grants include: $100,000 from Foundation for Roanoke Valley, $10,000 from Wachovia Bank, $10,000 from SunTrust and $15,000 from Carilion Foundation. Since its inception in 1998, Rebuilding Together has renovated, built or restored Over 300 homes in the Roanoke area.

“We allow people to accept help with dignity,” says Murray. “Often times the people who receive our help are on fixed incomes, and they are fine until something bad happens to their homes. Then they are unable to keep up. That’s where we come in.”

Work on April 24 will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until complete. For more information on Rebuilding Together, including a photo gallery of before and after photographs, go here. For information on activities on April 24 please dall Ed Murray at (540) 798-0901 or John Carlin at (540) 815-0669.

Tech Transportation Institute Topic of Pulitzer Piece

Tech's Smart Road is part of the Transportation Institute.^

Last week, the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for national reporting was awarded to Matt Richtel and members of The New York Times staff for their July 18, 2009, front page story that highlighted research study results from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

The article , which Pulitzer judges noted as “incisive work, in print and online, on the hazardous use of cell phones, computers, and other devices while operating cars and trucks, stimulating widespread efforts to curb distracted driving,” was based on several large-scale, naturalistic driving using cameras and instrumentation in participants' personal vehicles conducted at the Virginia Tech research center.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has completed several large-scale naturalistic studies over the past several years to provide a clear picture of driver distraction, cell phone use, and general driving behavior under real-world driving conditions.

The results of the most recent research study released in July 2009 garnered wide-spread national and international attention. Within a few weeks of the 2009 release of the university’s research study results, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a distracted driving summit to bring national attention to the growing problem of cell phone use and texting while driving.

Many others have since initiated “no-texting” campaigns to increase awareness of this deadly secondary driving task.

Oakey's To Hold Seminar on Death, Mourning

Oakey’s Funeral Service & Crematory in Roanoke will sponsor the seminar Death, Grief & Mourning: Essential Caregiving Principles and Practices with Alan D. Wolfelt, Thursday, May 20, 29 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Vinton War Memorial.

Wolfelt is a past recipient of the Association for Death Education and Counseling’s Death Educator Award. Wolfelt is director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Colorado. He is known for his educational contributions in the areas of both childhood and adult grief. Says Sammy Oakey, III, president and chairman of the board of Oakey’s, “The workshop content targets members of the caregiving community and individuals wanting to enhance their knowledge and skills related to supporting people experiencing grief and loss.”

Seating is limited and registration for the program is being held through April 28, 2010 at 540.981.2100. Cost of the program is $44 which includes lunch and handout materials.

Senior Expo Draws Big Crowds in Salem

This was the scene from overhead of the crowd.^

Seniors crowd in tight to register at Crowning Touch.^

John Hamm of Friendship Manor talks to Alta Conner (right).^

Oakeys' John Wilson and Randy Gleason (dark suits) hand out information.^

David Crews and Steve Jamison (left) instruct visitors about In-Home Screening.^

Salem Civic Center's Maryann Jones hands out free detergent samples.^

Lotz Funeral Home's Wayne Lovelace looks at the long line waiting to get information.^

Ken King (left) of the King Law Group discusses his firm's services.^

Kitty Richardson (left) and Ruth Mollette pose with an antique hearse.^

A fashion show was a popular attraction.^

PreCare Home Care was all the way at the back of the Civic Center, sitting by itself, but it still drew good crowds.^

The Salem Civic Center was elbow-to-elbow old people this morning for the Senior Expo, which also drew a full house of vendors whose products and services are aimed at this demographic.

Cycle Systems Buys Virginia Can Company

Jonna McGraw (with paper) reads the particulars on the property as the sale begins.^

Auction caller Russell Seneff gets a response to up the bid.^

Bruce (left) and Neal Brenner find out from auctioneer Jonna McGraw of Woltz & Associates that they're the new owners of the Virginia Can Company.^

Story, Photos By DAN SMITH

Cycle Systems, the largest private recycler in the region, is the new owner of the historic Virginia Can Company (later Heironimous Warehouse) buildings on Albemarle Ave. in Roanoke, paying more than $100,000 less than its assessed value of $377,000.

Brothers Bruce and Neal Brenner will pay $273,000 ($260,000 for the property, plus a five percent add-on) for the 50,000-square-foot building(s) and property located under an Interstate 581 bridge and in the flood plain. Design agency owner Katie Wallace, who owned the property, paying nearly $310,000 six years ago, had wanted to create an arts center there, but the economy killed her plans.

Bidding was slow and not enthusiastic, taking only about 10 minutes before Woltz & Associates auctioneer Jonna McGraw declared a winner.

Neal Brenner says Cycle Systems will move its warehouse operation from Walnut Avenue to the Can Company. Architect Mark MacConnell estimates it will require about $250,000 to shore up the buildings sufficiently to create warehouse spaces, but that "it will be a good use for the space."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

At the Chamber Business Expo

Robert Turcotte of Entre Computer Center shows Cox Businesses' Russell Decker a 1972 digital computer. It still works, but is more a curiosity than what we know as a computer.

Leslie Coty (right) introduces members of the social media panel: (from left) Lynda McNutt Foster, Diane Geller, John Lusher and Janeson Keeley.^

John Nettles and Norma Davenport of LBM Office Solutions pause for a photo.^

Jamie Clark of Premier, a moving company, talks to Richard Key and Pat Cousins at her booth.^

Stephanie Anderson watches as Larry Norman spins the prize dial at the Commonwealth Home Health Care booth.^

FRONT columnist Janeson Keeley (left) and feature writer Susan Ayers made the rounds.^

FRONT ad executives JoLynn Siefert (left) and Jane Dalier present a good, uh, front at our booth.

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce's Business Expo was a bit smaller than usual today, but no less busy. Here are some scenes from the expo at the Roanoke Civic Center.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tech Team Looking for Better X-Ray

Researchers from Virginia Tech and GE Global Research Center are developing unusual cardiac computed tomography (CT) architectures and methods, including a newly patented approach to a long-standing challenge in local CT image reconstruction.

With funding from the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the research team will also evaluate the performance of various cardiac CT system designs to determine the most promising designs and demonstrate their clinical feasibility and utility.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally and a large burden on the healthcare system. Better detection of hardening or clogging of arteries and other blood vessels before symptoms occur is needed. Better image quality at lower radiation dose is the immediate need being addressed by the research project. The project is led by Ge Wang, director of the Biomedical Imaging Division of the Virginia Tech–Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, and Bruno De Man, a CT authority at GE Global Research Center.

Faster, dynamic imaging to capture the beating heart and algorithms or computations that can present the most exact images from X-ray projections are also among project goals. "Cardiac CT technology needs major improvements to capture a fast beating heart with better clarity at lower risk," says Wang.

In traditional X-ray CT imaging, data is recorded behind the patient. Everything is superimposed along the X-ray path through the patient. In other words, an X-ray projection of the heart includes the bone and muscle along the way to the detectors. With current CT, the X-rays probe the patient along multiple wide beams focused on the patient including a region of interest, such as the heart, from various orientations. That is, the source of the X-rays rotate around the individual as he or she lies inside a large aperture, then a computer program reconstructs images from the exposures.

This CT process increases radiation exposure but generates a lot of different views to be analyzed by physicians for diagnosis. In many cases, like cardiac CT, the area of interest is just a relatively small region within the larger body. "It was realized long before that one could reduce the radiation dose by sending X-rays just through the region of interest from different directions, and then reconstruct that region from resultant local data," says Wang.

Depending upon the algorithm used, the resulting images can, to different degrees, portray sharp borders or edges from tissue or bone within the region of interest but cannot show X-ray linear attenuation coefficients accurately. "This has been known for decades as the 'interior problem'," says Wang. A method known as lambda tomography addresses the interior problem by producing changes in the density of the image.

"However, physicians need quantitative images, and hence lambda tomography has not been clinically used," said Wang. His group at Virginia Tech, in collaboration with Professor Yangbo Ye at the University of Iowa, developed the now patented "interior tomography" method for interior reconstruction of a region of interest image to replace lambda tomography.

"We assume a known sub-region within the region of interest – such as an air gap, a blood area, or an implant in the heart. With a known sub-region, we can solve the interior problem in a theoretically exact and mathematically stable fashion – we can produce an accurate image!" says Wang.

Interior tomography is a theoretical breakthrough, and Wang and colleagues as well as peer groups have been developing it and publishing results. The patent application was filed in 2007.

National Bank 'Phishing' Victim

The National Bank of Blacksburg appears to be the target of what is commonly called a "phishing expedition," in the world of bank fraud.

Officials at National Bank, which has 25 offices throughout Southwest Virginia, say they have been the target of several phishing attacks: fraudulent e-mails and text messages using the bank’s name, logo and website are being sent to area residents.

The messages are asking for confidential customer information and James G. Rakes, National Bank’s chairman, president & CEO, says, “National Bank does not solicit or provide customer information by e-mail, phone or text message, except in direct response to a bona fide customer request. We encourage any of our customers who may have responded to these fake messages to contact the bank immediately.”

Rakes says, “The bank’s own computer system has not been compromised. Cyber criminals obtain personal e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers from a variety of legal and illegal sources and are skilled in creating sites that appear to be authentic in an attempt to try to trick people into providing confidential information. We are working diligently with our technology security consultants to respond to these phishing attacks. However, the best defense against them is customer education.”

Hammock Pointe Ground broken

The Willard Companies broke ground today at its newest residential development, Hammock Pointe, which will feature 17 waterfront cottages in The Farm residential community on Rt. 616 Scruggs Road in Moneta.

According to Ron Willard II, VP of The Willard Companies, “Hammock Pointe homes will be constructed in accordance to the Earth Craft House green building program. These new waterfront homes will be some of the most energy efficient homes in our region. Our goal is to create a healthy living environment for our customers and deliver cost savings through energy efficiency.”

Hammock Pointe will be the second all residential community at Smith Mountain Lake built in accordance to the The Earth Craft House program built by The Willard Companies. The EarthCraft House is a green building program that serves as a blueprint for healthy comfortable homes that addresses energy efficiency, durability, indoor air quality, resource efficiency, waste management, and water conservation.

Starting at $584,000, Hammock Pointe, a maintenance-free community, will offer three different open living architectural plans to choose from. The cottages range from 1,950 – 3,034 square feet.

Amenities within the community will include a picnic pavilion, pool, community dock, and community boat storage area. Homeowners at Hammock Pointe will each have a covered boat slip. In addition, ownership offers the opportunity to join The Waterfront Country Club.

The Farm community overall features a total of 63 properties including 33 lots, and 13 estate lots ranging from1.7 to 5.4 acres in size. The lots and estate lots are water access via a community boat ramp and are also available for purchase.

becher agency Elevates Two

tba (the becher agency) in Roanoke has named Carolyn Kiser (far right) and Chris McAdams ( right) principals of the public relations and advertising agency.

In addition to their day-to-day roles, Kiser and McAdams will serve as the company’s board, providing leadership and guidance for future growth. Kiser continues in her role as advertising account supervisor and McAdams as the agency’s creative director.

“Elevating Carolyn and Chris into this critical role provides additional leadership to help oversee our operation and strategic direction,” says Thomas Becher, president of tba. “They are consummate professionals who are widely respected in our industry, and I’m thrilled to be working side-by-side with them to elevate our stature.”

Day Set Aside for FRONT Editor and TV Veteran

Valley Business FRONT Editor Dan Smith (inside right, above) and former WDBJ7 General Manager Bob Lee (inside left) were issued a proclamation today at Roanoke City Council's afternoon meeting naming April 1, 2010 Bob Lee and Dan Smith Day in Roanoke.

The two were honored by the city for their recent induction into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in Richmond. They are only the fifth and sixth Roanokers in the 24-year-old Hall of Fame, which has 118 members.

They were joined in the presentation, made by Mayor David Bowers (right) by their wives Bonnie Lee (left) and Christina Koomen Smith.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stevens, Hausman Win 6 Murrow Awards

News Director Connie Stevens (right) and Charlottesville-based reporter Sandy Hausman (below) have won six first-place Edward R. Murrow Awards for WVTF Public Radio/RADIO IQ from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The winning entries and categories are: feature reporting, “Hurricane Camille Remembered”; reporting hard news, “Migrant Housing: No Families"; news documentary , “Remote Area Medical Clinic"; news series, “Virginia Behind Bars”; use of sound, “Star City Roller Girls"; writing, “The Poet Is In."

Boyd Johnson Joins Hall Associates

Boyd Johnson (right) has been named director of the newly-formed Asset Managed Group (AMG) of Hall Associates Inc. of Roanoke. The AMG has been formed to meet the needs of the commercial real estate community of Western Virginia "to provide innovative solutions encompassing creative problem solving and intermediate term strategic planning," according to a Hall Associates press release.

The Asset Managed Group will address commercial real estate under economic stress, foreclosure or estates to be served "in a manner that reflects current business conditions and the impending changes in the tax codes."

Johnson will be joined in this expansion by Tommy Hendrix, as director of property management; Stuart Meredith, associate broker in charge; and Roger Elkin, head of administration and accounting.

The AMG will provide the following specific services and other services such as the client’s desire: property review, cleanup and repair; evaluation of how to maximize the value of the property for sale; owner's goal price versus time frame; property maintenance; property management; listing and marketing costs; lease administration and accounting ; regional real estate market and finance market evaluation; co-ordination and review of property specific professional services.

Johnson has degrees in economics and accounting with an MBA in MIS and Finance. A former CPA, he has owned several businesses, has over 10 years' experience in banking and special assets and is a licensed Realtor.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

GridPoint Expanding, Adding Employees

GridPoint Inc., a Roanoke energy company, is expanding its Roanoke office and seeking technology professionals with skills in software and hardware engineering, data analysis, system operations and project management.

The company recently welcomed 13 new employees to Roanoke and expects to fill more positions this year. GridPoint, which in late 2009 acquired Roanoke-based ADMMicro, provides smart energy solutions for business, government, residential and utility customers.

Operations in Roanoke remain focused on providing commercial enterprises with energy management and advanced sub-metering systems that provide detailed visibility and control over energy use, optimizing consumption and cost-effectively managing energy expenses.

Customers include public sector and Fortune 500 businesses, including leading national retail, pharmacy and restaurant chains.

“When GridPoint acquired ADMMicro, we expected to grow this office and have since increased our employee base by 30 percents," says John Clark, executive VP of GridPoint. "The Roanoke Valley has a great talent pool for technology companies, and we look forward to expanding our team further with professionals who are passionate about creating an efficient, clean energy system.”

GridPoint also provides leading utilities, including Xcel Energy, Duke Energy and Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, with smart grid software solutions that integrate, aggregate and manage distributed sources of load, storage and generation.

GridPoint enables consumers to manage their energy consumption through a wide range of efficiency products and services including renewable generation systems. The company was named to the 2009 Global Cleantech 100 and selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer in 2008.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poe & Cronk Adds Asset Group

Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group in Roanoke has formed the Special Asset Services Group and named Senior Vice President Thom Hubard (right) as its leader.

Hubard has 25 years’ experience managing troubled assets for financial institutions and government agencies while implementing optimal exit strategies. He will be joined by Bryan Musselwhite.

“Our decision to launch a concentrated effort is in response to market conditions and the demand for the services our firm offers” says to Dennis Cronk, president/CEO.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Roanoke Workshop Set on Commercial Real Estate

If you're wondering what kind of help is available to reduce costs and enhance the value of your commercial property or business located in the city, wonder no longer.

The City of Roanoke will hold the free workshop, "Financing Commercial Real Estate Improvements" on Thursday, April 22, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, Room 408.

There are a number of local incentive programs and grants that can assist commercial property owners. Workshop topics will include:
  • Enterprise zone/rehabilitation/citywide tax abatement;
  • Façade improvement grants;
  • Building permit rebates;
  • Water/fire/sewer hookup rebates;
  • Brownfield grants and loans;
  • Real property investment grants;
  • Virginia and federal rehabilitation tax credits;
  • Security grants;
  • Job creation grants;
  • And entrepreneurship grants.
These programs are available through the city's offices for Real Estate Valuation, Planning, and Economic Development. In addition, local architecture and planning firm Hill Studio will sponsor the workshop and present information on state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

Time will be available at the end of the workshop to meet with city representatives and ask questions. \To register, call Lindsay Hurt in the Economic Development Department at 540-853-5405, or Erica Taylor in the Planning, Building and Development Department at 540-853-1522. Space is limited.

Melnik Replaced at Novozymes in Roanoke Roanoke County

Ted Melnik: Out at Novozymes Biologicals.^

Patrick G. Patterson, a former general manager at a Novozymes site in Switzerland, has been appointed president of Novozymes Biologicals in Roanoke County. He takes over immediately from Ted Melnik, who has presided over the division since before its merger with the Swiss company several years ago

Melnik has been heavily involved in the region, especially with the Roanoke Valley Greenway, in which Novozymes has played a significant role, and with the NewVa Corridor Technology Council. He has served as president of that organizations.

Novozymes is a Danish biotechnology company.

Melnik has decided to “seek new opportunities outside Novozymes,” according to a press release. Executive Vice President Thomas Videbæk says: “Ted Melnik has done a great job growing Biologicals to its current stage. The organizational changes today are part of gearing the organization for future growth and adapting to the requests from the market.”

Patterson “has shown strong leadership skills and demonstrated capabilities in driving and strengthening an organization,” the press release says. Patterson has significant experience with business to business relationships and marketing.

Historic Can Company Going on Auction Block

The Virginia Can Company as it looks ...^

... and as it could look.^

The historic Virginia Can Company, more commonly known as the Heironimus Warehouse Building, will be sold at auction April 21 at noon putting a hault to ad agency owner Katie Wallace’s grand plan to convert the building into retail and residential space.

Wallace’s plan has been the focus of a study by Virginia Tech students and has been a work in progress for some years. Financing it has been a challenge, especially in this economy. At the Tech symposium a few months ago, she said she had no idea when or if the plan would be completed—but the drawings remain optimistic and attractive.

The building was constructed in 1912 as a factory for the Virginia Can Company and was used as a warehouse for S. H. Heironimus Co. most recently. The two-story building has 50,948 squqare feet and are joined by walkways. There is a courtyard between the buildings.

The buildings feature large double-hung windows, skylights, tongue and groove flooring, exposed brick walls and a clear ceiling height of 14 feet throughout much of the buildings. There is considerable potential for adaptive re-use, which is what Wallace saw.

Exterior detail includes dentil molding, tongue and grove soffits, keystones above windows and doors, slate hip roof and brick. There is also a 2,256 square foot one-story cinder block addition. The property is zoned D, Downtown and the assessed value for the property is $377,700.

On February 22, 2006, the property was entered into the National Register of Historic Places. It is also in the City of Roanoke Enterprise Zone.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Free Exporting Seminar Scheduled May 5 in Roanoke

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, cooperating with economic development groups from Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Franklin County, and the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, will sponsor “‘Introduction to Exporting,” a free event at the Roanoke Higher Education Center May 5.

The event runs 9 a.m.-noon in Room 209. Call 434-582-5185 or e-mail to make reservations, which are required. Space in the seminar is limited.

Virginia Trade Manager Ralph Torning (right) explains the thought behind the seminar, “As the regional international trade manager, my job is one of advisor to area businesses that have an interest in pursuing business opportunities outside U.S. borders, and to those companies that are already exporting but wish to expand to new foreign markets.

"While most politicians understand very well that it is good for Virginia and America when our businesses pursue foreign sales and profit opportunities (resulting increases in tax revenue and employment come to mind), it is often not easy to convince small and medium-sized businesses that exporting can make a big difference in their bottom-line.

"I could fill pages with excuses made by companies for not looking at foreign markets. However, as all of them have experienced over the past two years, relying on the U.S. market alone is no longer guaranteed money in the bank. In fact, those of my clients that serve multiple overseas markets in addition to the domestic market have weathered the storm very nicely and are now already seeing substantial business improvements as a result of rapidly increasing sales to their foreign markets, while their domestic sales are still lagging.

"The willingness to help with promoting this 3-hour event by the participating groups cannot be overstated. I am extremely pleased with the level of support and cooperation I received from each of this local business support groups."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Labor, Employment Symposia Scheduled

Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore will present full-day Labor & Employment Law Symposiums in Roanoke and Lynchburg on the following dates:
  • Thursday, April 22, 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. – Hilton Garden Inn, Lynchburg
  • Thursday, April 29, 2010, 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. – Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
The 2010 Symposium will provide up-to-date, practical advice on maintaining a sustainable and compliant workplace, while helping area businesses make sense of evolving laws from Washington. Topics will include latest updates on changes in ADA and FMLA regulations, immigration and government contracting, healthcare policy updates, legal ramifications of social media, and an overview of key developments and trends which will likely impact employment law.

The sessions have been approved by HR Certification Institute for 5.25 credit hours. Registration fees are $195 per person ($175 each for three or more attendees from the same company) and include continental breakfast, lunch, and a comprehensive workbook.

The Labor & Employment Law Symposiums will be conducted by members of Gentry Locke’s Employment Law Team including partners Paul Klockenbrink, Todd Leeson, David Paxton, and Diane Geller, with Brooke Rosen, Leigh Rhoads Strelka, and Lindsey Waters.

Online registration is available here. For more information, email here.