December 2020
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
When: Tuesday, December 8 | 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Where: Online via Zoom

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.
Danville Community College [DCC] has welcomed a new fiscal officer, Jamie Harrill.

Harrill joins DCC from Functional Movement Systems in Chatham where she worked as the Corporate Comptroller.

A native of Martinsville, Virginia, Jamie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Roanoke College and a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Tech. She began her career in higher education at Roanoke College, where she worked in Resource Development and Alumni Relations. She has since worked across an array of industries including small business, healthcare, and nonprofits.

"I am so excited to join the DCC community and I look forward to working with colleagues across campus as we serve the students and the community together," said Harrill.

In addition to accounting and finance, Harrill specializes in analyzing and refining business operations to improve the overall business model.

Danville Community College is a two-year institution of higher education under the state-wide Virginia Community College System. DCC's service area includes the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, and Halifax County. For more information about the college’s nearly 100 programs of study, visit
GENEDGE Alliance [GENEDGE], the Manufacturing Extension Partnership [MEP] Center in Virginia, will lead a new regional program to ensure small and medium-sized manufacturers [SMMs] have access to consistent, trustworthy cybersecurity expertise and resources. With support from the MEP Centers in Maryland [MD MEP] and Connecticut [CONNSTEP], the program will support the MEP National Network’s effort to develop nationwide cybersecurity best practices for manufacturers who need to stay both protected against increasing threats and compliant with new federal regulations. Together, GENEDGE, MD MEP, and CONNSTEP will provide cybersecurity services to Department of Defense [DoD] supply chain manufacturers in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the U.S., establishing a model that can be replicated nationwide. Work will be done cooperatively with MEP centers in each state. The project is funded with $1,000,000 through the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] MEP.

About the Program
“GENEDGE and our MEP partners are fully committed to ensure the success of this new program,” said Bill Donohue, GENEDGE President and Executive Director. “With this opportunity, we will develop a regionally deployed model, replicated across our country assuring that the MEP National Network will continue to grow as the leader in cybersecurity implementation services for America’s manufacturers.”

The program will identify MEP Centers as Go-To Collaborative Centers with advanced cybersecurity capabilities and capacity to assist other centers in the region. The network will establish a presence in key states with large populations of SMMs participating in the DoD supply chain. The cybersecurity offerings will prepare SMMs to meet evolving DoD cybersecurity requirements, particularly preparation for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification [CMMC]. CMMC is a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the Defense Industrial Base [DIB], which includes over 300,000 companies in the supply chain.

“Every U.S. manufacturer needs to be concerned with cybersecurity if they expect to remain competitive in the marketplace, especially when it comes to maintaining and securing new business with the federal government. This is especially important for defense contractors as they navigate the new requirements of CMMC,” said Michael Kelleher, Executive Director, MD MEP. “Since 2018, we have worked closely with manufacturers throughout Maryland to help assess their cybersecurity capabilities, identify gaps, and provided resources, technical assistance and funds to upgrade their practices. As a new Go-To Center for our region, we look forward to sharing our expertise with manufacturers in our neighboring states and partnering with GENEDGE to establish a new national standard for cybersecurity services provided by MEP centers.”

About the Management and Delivery
GENEDGE and MD MEP will be the foundational Go-To-Centers to direct and manage the collaborative, while CONNSTEP will function as a supporting satellite center. Each will be responsible for serving designated groups of other MEP centers within the Eastern Region.

The Eastern Region has been divided into four sub-regions [I, II, III and IV]: Sub-regions 1 and 2 – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, New Jersey; Sub-region 3 – Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware; Sub-region 4 - Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Puerto Rico.
By William Henderson IV, MD Sovah Pulmonology – Danville & Wendy Gilraine, NP Sovah Pulmonology - Martinsville

Did you know November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month?

Today, lung cancer is responsible for 12.7 percent of all diagnosed new cancers each year and 22.4 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. – the largest percentage of cancer deaths. By the end of 2020, more than 228,000 people will have been diagnosed with lung cancer and more than 130,000 people will die from it.

The good news is that the numbers of lung cancer deaths have decreased greatly over the last two decades. Twenty years ago, 60 people per 100,000 died of lung cancer. Today, that number is cut nearly in half because of several important factors, including less people smoking, better lung cancer treatments and earlier detection of lung cancer with screenings. In fact, while the overall five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 20.2 percent, the chance of surviving five years goes up to 59 percent if the lung cancer is caught early.
Smoking has been shown to increase your risk for lung cancer, and fortunately, there is now a potentially life-saving lung cancer screening test for smokers and former smokers called a low dose CT scan. Similar to breast cancer screening, lung cancer screening has been proven to detect lung cancer earlier and save lives. If you are a smoker or a former smoker, talk to your provider about lung cancer screening and – if it’s right for you - consider getting screened. Sovah Health has appointments available. 

We understand COVID-19 has placed uncertainty around routine hospital visits and you may have concerns about visiting a hospital right now. We have implemented a number of safety precautions – in addition to our usual safety standards – to help ensure a safe environment for all of our patients and staff. Keeping our community healthy, while providing potentially life-saving screenings, is at the heart of what we do. If you’re eligible and would like to schedule a lung cancer screening, call 844-GO-SOVAH to get yours on the calendar.

Statistics from National Cancer Institute. Learn more at
From winning prestigious awards as a region to officially forming a regional economic development alliance to seeing several impactful job announcements, Pittsylvania County has had a successful year in terms of economic development. These successes, in large part, are the result of continued efforts to coordinate economic development strategy and tasks with the entire region. 

"When we combine all of our assets together, we're a really strong force and we can compete with anybody," Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe said in a recent economic development summit sponsored by the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce.

"It truly has been a regional effort," Danville Economic Development Director Corrie Bobe said in the same summit. 

In September the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and Danville City Council approved the terms of a formal, regional economic development alliance between the two localities and several area institutions. After years of frequently working jointly on economic development efforts through entities like the Regional Industrial Facility Authority [RIFA] and Staunton River RIFA, this formal partnership between Danville and Pittsylvania County will provide more consistent guidance and bring in more community partners. The alliance is being overseen by a leadership council comprised of Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman, Danville City Manager Ken Larking, Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Alexis Ehrhardt, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research Executive Director Mark Gignac, Danville Regional Foundation President & CEO Clark Casteel, along with an industry leader from each locality. 

"Regional collaboration and coordination between is what allows the entire region, including Pittsylvania County, to excel," said Bob Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. 

The alliance was adopted based on the recommendation of a regional economic development strategic plan, which provides guidance and direction for how the entire region can participate in economic development effectively and collectively. 

The year has seen many national recognitions as well. Earlier this year Pittsylvania County, the City of Danville, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance - which includes both localities and several surrounding counties - collectively won the 2020 Community Economic Development Award from the Southern Economic Development Council, which covers states from Florida to Texas to Virginia to Kansas. In April, Site Selection Magazine, which is a trade resource, ranked Danville and Pittsylvania County as the No. 6 Micropolitan Area in the entire United States, based on factors like business capital investments, creation of new jobs, and development of new floor space. 

As a result of all that regional and county-level success before and through 2020, Rowe was also named to Virginia Business 2020 Power List, which recognizes 500 Virginia leaders from sectors such as government, education, and economic development. 

Despite the negative economic impacts of COVID-19, several large job announcements have occurred this year. Staunton River Plastics announced in May that it would invest $34 million and create 200 jobs at a new facility at the Southern Virginia Multimodal Park in Hurt, while Ison Furniture announced just last month that it would locate in Axton, creating 150 jobs. Dogwood Global will locate on the same site as Ison and create 45 jobs. 

Due to positive, regional relationships and coordination, the outlook remains positive for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. Utilizing a Tobacco Commission grant, the Staunton River RIFA is working to develop a 50-acre pad at the Hurt Industrial Park to attract interested businesses. Other promising projects are in the pipeline and would have positive impacts on the entire region. Of course, the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill, a 3,5000 acre site with quality infrastructure options from Danville, Pittsylvania County, and the City of Eden, also remains available and has drawn interest from many companies. 

"Because of the significant investments each of the surrounding localities has made, the Megasite has the potential to attract transformative employers and shift the makeup of our region," said Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman. 
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce |
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
8653 US Hwy 29 | PO Box 99 | Blairs, VA 24527