November 2020
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
Averett University has announced that it has renamed its North Campus to the Averett University E. Stuart James Grant North Campus. The Mount Cross Road campus is home to Averett Athletics.

The E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust, established in 1992 and administered by American National Bank and Trust Co., has provided the University with a combined $18.5 million over the past 27 years. The late E. Stuart James Grant, the former owner and publisher of the Danville Register & Bee, willed her estate to eight organizations across the region upon her death in 1990.

The Grant Trust has funded many capital and programmatic projects at Averett, including:

  • Frank R. Campbell Stadium construction
  • E. Stuart James Grant Center
  • North Campus Capital Fund
  • Main Hall renovations
  • Bachelor of Science in nursing program start-up funding
  • Student Center construction
  • Faculty technology training and faculty recruitment

The renaming project has been underway for some time, and was awaiting the completing of city road construction on Mount Cross. The University’s new digital sign now bears the namesake of Grant.
Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services [DPCS] unveiled its new branding with the launch of both a new logo and a new website. DPCS provides Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Prevention Services in our community. In all aspects of community life, these services and supports are focused on unlocking the potential for self-determination, empowerment, recovery, resiliency, health, and the highest possible level of participation for residents of the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County.

The concept behind the rebranding of our logo is Our People [keyhole], Our Services [sun], and Our Community [box].

Our new website provides a modern, clean look into DPCS and all of the services and programs offered to the individuals in our community. DPCS has grown to be a large employer in Southside Virginia with a team of nearly 300 professionals. Full time employees receive a comprehensive benefit package that includes retirement, health insurance, paid time off and paid holidays, short-term and long-term disability, and life insurance. Please visit us at
October 20: Maximizing Revenues
Some successful small businesses utilize a 3-pronged approach to marketing: 1) Winning new customers; 2) Prompting existing customers to purchase more frequently; and 3) Enticing existing customers to spend more money during each transaction. In this chat, Join SBDC consultant Vince Magnini as he shares some non-obvious tactics for making this 3-pronged approach the guiding framework in your small business’ marketing efforts.
November 3: Business and Economic Research Tools @ Longwood
Ever wondered what we really do for our clients and community? Come enjoy some coffee and chat with us as we discuss an array of databases and resources that address daunting questions for business owners like:
  • How much should I be budgeting for payroll?
  • What does the future of my business look like?
  • How do I effectively price my products/service?
  • Should I partner with others to make my business a reality?
  • How do I market to my customers?
Or questions for economic development professionals as they assess:
  • Supply Chain opportunities for business recruitment and development
  • Workforce commuting patterns
  • Wage rates and labor pool availability for specific industries
November 10: Open Q&A...You have the floor!  
Whether or not you have seen or accessed some of the resources available through your Small Business Development Center, we would like to hear from you! We want to hear about the most pressing issues for your businesses as well as feedback on training programs, structure and consulting services.  SBDC staff will be available to answer questions and make connections for you and your business. Please be sure to submit questions and suggestions for topics via the zoom registration link. 
November 17: Using Videos in Your Marketing Channels
Using videos to promote your business online is fun, easy, and communicates your authenticity as the face behind your business! Join Ilsa Loeser as she shows you why this works so well and provides tips and tricks to help remove fear and make the process simple and FUN.
December 1: Creating a healthy workplace culture in stressful times
Employees are stressed right now. They are also the key to your businesses' success during this difficult time. Join Haley Woznyj, Longwood University Assistant Professor of Management, as she shares best practices from her research with small businesses.  Learn how to best support employees through these challenging times. We will discuss concrete practices, the latest research, and workshop some sample scenarios. As always, questions are welcome.  
December 8: How to Create a Customer Surprise Culture in a Small Business
Join Vince Magnini as he offers some practical ways to create a culture in a small business in which a continuous stream of customer surprise ideas can be generated and implemented. Customers often enter service transactions with predetermined ‘mental scripts’ regarding how they predict the transactions will unfold and are not paying close attention. In order to gain their full attention, firms must find ways to surprise consumers; that is, firms must spawn script deviations for them. Research indicates that these script deviations can cement consumer loyalty. 
This year, Decorating the Trees for a Cause will go virtual!

We invite your business or organization to submit a photo of a decorated tree to represent a cause or charity of choice.* All photos will be featured in a virtual showcase on IALR’s Facebook wall, where the community will be invited to “like” [and thereby vote] for their favorite[s] from November 30-December 18.

This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to enjoy extra social media activity as they share the photo album, inviting votes. Also, businesses help bring awareness to their charity of choice and open the door for their nonprofit to potentially win a $2,000 donation check, awarded to the tree with the most likes/votes.**

*Must be a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
**IALR Facebook likes only

Complete the registration form at the link below with the following information and attach ONE photo per business/organization by Wednesday, November 18.
  • Business Name
  • Supporting Cause/Charity
  • Contact Person
  • Contact Number
  • Contact Email Address
  • Tree Photo [minimum 1,200 pixels wide jpeg; once voting begins, photos cannot be resubmitted]

For questions or more information, contact or 434.766.6743.
With a recent relocation to a new facility, Center for Pediatric Therapies of Danville, VA and Building Blocks of Southern VA are pleased to announce their newest expansion, Building Blocks Center for Children with Autism of Central VA located in Forest, VA.  As the area’s leading pediatric rehabilitation provider, Center for Pediatric Therapies serves children and families in the cities and surrounding counties of Lynchburg, Danville, Martinsville, South Boston, and Roanoke, VA.  CPT specializes in providing occupational, physical, speech therapy, and ABA [Applied Behavioral Analysis] services for the pediatric population.
Established in 2001, Co-founders Kristen Barker, OTR/L, and Tommy Mathena, identified a need for provision of pediatric therapy services in the Danville, VA region, as children and families often traveled over an hour for services otherwise not locally available.

Center for Pediatric Therapies is a full-service rehabilitation clinic serving children from birth through age 21 in Southside Virginia. CPT offers a multidisciplinary approach to treat a variety of neurological, orthopedic, and developmental conditions. Services are delivered in the most appropriate environment for the child, whether that is in the home, daycare, school, or outpatient clinic setting.
In 2004, Center for Pediatric Therapies broadened its scope of services and established Building Blocks Center for Children with Autism, in Danville, VA, a fully licensed and accredited private special education day school. Building Blocks provides specialized instruction and behavioral support for children and families affected by autism.
Center for Pediatric Therapies of Lynchburg relocated to 305 Gristmill Drive, in Forest VA in May 2019. The new facility with an additional space of 12,000 + square feet afforded the opportunity for expansion.  With ongoing requests for services similar to those provided in Danville, VA, Building Blocks Center for Central Virginia is now fully licensed by the VA Dept. of Education and is operational. 

Building Blocks Centers for Children with Autism of Southern and Central VA are dedicated to providing appropriate education, support, and information to children from 2 to 14 years of age with a diagnosis of Autism, as well as their families and caregivers affected by the challenges of this diagnosis. Building Blocks is also committed to providing resources and training to families and professionals throughout Danville, Lynchburg, and the surrounding areas.

The mission of Building Blocks is to provide a superior learning environment in a private day setting specifically for students with autism. By individualizing learning opportunities using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, and utilizing research based best practices in instruction, students will demonstrate significant gains in the areas of communication, socialization, behavior, functional skills, and academics. Our ultimate goal is for students to apply skills learned in the private day setting and thus successfully return to the public-school system or an alternative less restrictive placement.

For additional information regarding the services offered at Center for Pediatric Therapies and Building Blocks of Central VA, please visit our website: or contact one of the following:
Megen Brummett, MSOT
Clinical Manager
Center for Pediatric Therapies
305 Gristmill Drive
Forest, Virginia 24551
Phone: 434.385.1074
David M. Smith, MS
Director of Education
Building Blocks of Central Virginia
305 Gristmill Drive
Forest, Virginia 24551
Phone: 434.385.1074
Media Contact:
Kristen Barker, OTR/L
Executive Director
Center for Pediatric Therapies
175 Deer Run Road
Danville, VA 24540
Phone: 434.797.5531
For the first time in Averett University’s history, alumni and Averett friends across the world celebrated the annual homecoming traditions virtually with “Averett University 2020 Homecoming @ Home.”

As part of its annual festivities, the University honored six alumni with Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards and inducted seven alumni into the Athletics Hall of Fame. The full video of the recognition ceremony, which aired on Averett’s social media channels on Saturday, October 17, can be found here.

The Mary Jo Davis Outstanding Alumni Award recipient for 2020 was the entire graduating Class of 2020. Accepting the award on behalf of the 2020 class was former senior class president and new alumnus Devin Merritt ’20 and class secretary Breanna Murphy ’20. The class was honored for its resilience during an unprecedented time. Even during a global pandemic, and formerly through Tropical Storm Michael two years ago, the students of the Class of 2020 found myriad ways to be successful despite seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Presented the Frank Campbell Service Award was Laura Dell ’87. Dell is credited among her peers for keeping alumni together and in communication with one another. “Laura is part of a group of 11 of us who graduated from Averett in the 1980s and who have been making a point of getting together since we graduated,” wrote former classmate Andrea Hartnett ’87. Another classmate, Sue “Dex” Shorter ’85 said, “Laura has been a driving force in nurturing those bonds of friendship that were initially established at Averett...lasting relationships that Dr. [Frank] Campbell would have agreed are an integral part of the Averett experience.”

The 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients were Catherine Alexander ’98 and Virginia House of Delegates 60th District Representative James Edmunds ’96.
Alexander is the executive director of child nutrition for Newport News Public Schools. It’s her goal to feed as many people as possible. After COVID-19 struck, she was able to seize federal funds to effectively eliminate meal charges for Newport News students. Prior to receiving those funds, six schools were still charging students for lunch. Also during the early days of the pandemic, Alexander coordinated an effort to make sure no children went hungry.

Representative Edmunds, in addition to his role in the Virginia General Assembly, is a farmer and businessman in Southside Virginia. “He recently introduced legislation to allow us the opportunity to vote on amending our sales tax to help offset some of the cost of capital improvements to our public education buildings. This was no small feat considering the Dillon Rule and the anti-tax mentality at the time in Richmond,” wrote J. Brandon Scearce.

Kirk Bidgood is the Fugate-Davis Women's Leadership Award recipient. The Fugate-Davis award was created to honor Averett’s tradition of encouraging and developing women leaders dating back to 160 years ago. Bidgood, a trustee on Averett’s Board of Trustees, is being recognized for her leadership efforts throughout the Danville region. She has been on the boards of or leading several local non-profits over the years. Serving her native Danville, her efforts have been tireless and selfless.

The Recent Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient is Christopher Walton ’16, ’18.
Former classmate and friend of Walton, Jada Little, described Walton’s tenacity and work ethic as completely unmatched. “Chris, along with being an incredibly hard worker, always aims to better his environment and those around him. In the time that I have known him, Chris has consistently looked for opportunities to get involved with as many things as possible and executes all things extremely well. His interest in serving others in his communities and fields of work is inspiring,” Little said.

Seven Averett graduates were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame, including Chad Anderson ’02, Nicole Barringer ’15, ’17, Brandon Grogan ’13, ’14, Lisa Morris ’99, Todd ParsonsJohn Thrower ’12 and Ashley Washington ’12.
Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History presents:
David A. Douglas Exhibition
November 22, 2020 • 536 Craghead Street Gallery

Gallery will be open on Thursday / Friday / Saturday • noon – 8pm  |  Sunday • noon – 5pm

David Douglas has worked with photo, drawing and conceptual digital assemblage for over thirty-five years. He received his B.A in painting from Virginia Intermont College in1981 and his MFA in painting from James Madison University in 1984. His most recent work brings him to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. These large-scale works explore the unique beauty and haunting landscape of this region. David Douglas’ work has been exhibited in major galleries in the U.S. and overseas. In August of 2013 his large-scale work was exhibited in his first museum solo exhibition “These Places that I Know” at the Academy Art Museum in Easton Maryland. David Douglas resides in Alexandria Virginia where he teaches painting, drawing and photography at EHS, John McCain’s Alma mater. David Douglas’ work can be seen in several Museum Collections – VMFA, Academy Art Museum, Chrysler Museum of Art, and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
Beginning in November 2020, the 536 Craghead Street Gallery will present two DMFAH fine arts exhibitions in Danville’s River District, to complement the Museums regular programing at its Main Street facility. Rick Barker Properties has recently restored the Venable Building’s [c. 1899] commercial storefront at 536 Craghead Street. Before this space is made available for lease, it is being offered as a gallery space featuring a solo exhibition by David A. Douglas in November 2020. The DMFAH’s Craghead Street Storefront Gallery will present two fine art exhibitions in collaboration with the museum to promote the visual arts in Danville, Virginia. This collaboration is consistent with the artistic rhythm of The 500 Block, a development project focusing on the restoration of eight antique commercial buildings.

Reverend Venable, the building’s first tenant and eventual owner, was a black minister who operated a restaurant on the ground floor and resided on the second floor. The upcoming art exhibitions will bring activity to the building, not seen in decades. The museum’s November opening will offer large-scale photographs by David A. Douglas. This exhibition will be curated for the unique 536 Craghead Gallery space. This show will be followed by a Spring show featuring Tim Duffy photographs. Duffy’s black and white portraits of regional blues musicians are currently displayed at The Garage - Artisian Smoked Meats, also in The 500 Block.

  • DRF [residency program for panel] / Morotock [advertising and education] / DMFAH
  • Sam and Fay Kushner and anonymous donor foundation
  • Parks and Rec [Virginia Commission for the Arts]
  • Rick and Kristen Barker
Biweekly COVID-19 Update from SOVAH Health
Sovah Health has established a biweekly update to share information with the public related to COVID-19 including the status of hospital operations and the safety measures being taken to protect our patients, staff and community. A video update is provided by a Hospitalist physician with information about the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized, current visitation policy, operations update as well as key information about COVID-19. This update can be viewed on our COVID-19 Preparedness Information webpage and on our social media accounts. READ MORE.
Sovah Health Welcomes Cierrea Roach, MD
Sovah Health announced that Cierrea Roach, MD has joined its medical staff and will be providing General Pediatric care at Sovah Pediatrics – Danville. READ MORE.

Sovah Health - Danville, IALR Launch Region’s First Sonography Training Program
Sovah Health – Danville and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) are launching a new Sonography Training Program, the first of its kind in Southern Virginia, to fill a regional workforce shortage for registered sonographers. The accelerated 12-month certificate program will help develop and retain regional talent and meet local health care employers’ recruitment needs. READ MORE.

Sovah Health - Danville Publishes Annual Community Benefit Report
Sovah Health - Danville today published its annual community benefit report for the 2019 calendar year. The annual report showcases the broad scope of the hospital’s contributions to the Dan River Region and illustrates the many ways the organization invests in the region’s physical and economic health.
“Our mission of Making Communities Healthier is deeply rooted in all that we do,” says Alan Larson, Market President, Sovah Health and CEO Sovah Health – Danville. “We are proud to contribute to the health and vitality of our community by providing quality care close to home and creating places where people choose to come for healthcare, physicians want to practice and employees want to work.” READ MORE.

ABIM Announces New Specialty Board and Exam Committee Members
Congratulations to our very own Kimberly Bird, MD (Internal Medicine Residency Program Director, Medical Director of the Critical Care Unit and the Sleep Lab at Sovah Health -Danville for being appointed to the American Board of Internal Medicine [ABIM] new governance structure. READ MORE
Dr. Cheryl Carrico was recently appointed to the position of Program Manager for the GO Virginia – Retooling Virginia Manufacturers for Strategic Industries Program. This is a two-year program, supported by GO Virginia Region One and was funded in part by GO Virginia with matching funds provided by GENEDGE, to develop manufacturing capacity to re-shore production for critical industries.

Cheryl brings a wealth of knowledge and over 30 years of experience from similar assignments addressing supply chain challenges for strategic industries including aerospace and composites. Cheryl has also served in academic roles, including as an adjunct professor at Tennessee Tech, and as a research scientist with Virginia Tech.

Cheryl will manage this program to implement a mid-to-long term approach in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. First year [Phase 1] will address the needs for medical supplies and PPE with the expectation that additional critical supply chain opportunities will be identified at the industrial sector, state, or federal level. The processes and tools developed in the first year can easily be redirected to additional critical strategic supply chains as they are identified. Second year [Phase 2] will engage with other emergent critical industry supply chain retooling and continue PPE capacity additions. For program details or how to apply under Phase 1, please visit
Virginia Community Capital [VCC] is partnering with Black BRAND to present a small business virtual workshop series. Register for the series to learn how to navigate the current climate with curated content by leading experts in law, accounting, finance, branding, banking, and more. 
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce |
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
8653 US Hwy 29 | PO Box 99 | Blairs, VA 24527