July 2020
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
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This year, 37 teachers were recognized as winners from their schools in Danville, Pittsylvania County and Caswell County, N.C., and of those teachers, 15 are Averett graduates. Three were selected from that pool each to receive a $2,500 stipend, generously sponsored by the   J.T. Minnie Maude Charitable Trust   – Megan Johansen from Danville Public Schools, Sherrie Jones from Danville Public Schools and Elizabeth Piercy from Pittsylvania County Schools.
Sherrie Jones
Woodberry Hills
Elementary School
Megan Johansen
Park Avenue
Elementary School
Elizabeth Piercy
Stony Mill
Elementary School
Traditionally, the awards and honors are announced during an annual awards dinner each May hosted by the   Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce  in conjunction with its other regional award recognitions. However, due to COVID-19, the event for 2020 has been postponed to October, and will be hosted virtually.

The winners were:

From Danville Public Schools:
E.A. Gibson Elementary School: Christle Fallen
Forest Hills Elementary School: Stephanie Haynsworth
G.L.H. Johnson Elementary School: Kristin Mills
Galileo High School: Michelle Larking
George Washington High School: Scott Brann
Grove Park Preschool: Lisa Charmello
Northside Preschool: Dana Smith
O.T. Bonner Middle School: Sara Lewis
Park Avenue Elementary School: Megan Johansen
Schoolfield Elementary School: Kristin Gleber
Westwood Middle School: LaKisha Brandon
W.W. Moore Detention Home: Christopher Gee
Woodberry Hills Elementary School: Sherrie Jones
From Pittsylvania County Schools:
Chatham Elementary School, Tina Cole
Chatham High School, Melanie Wade
Chatham Middle School, Kelsey Robertson
Dan River High School, Raleigh James, Jr.
Dan River Middle School, Amanda Riley
Gretna Elementary School, Natalie Angell
Gretna High School, Kristin Keesee
Gretna Middle School, Kryshelle Cothran
John L. Hurt Jr. Elementary School, Lindsey Wyatt
Kentuck Elementary School, Martin Smith
Pittsylvania Career & Technical Center, Joshua McKinney
Regional Alternative School, Dixie Poindexter
Southside Elementary School, Sonya Soyars
Stony Mill Elementary School, Elizabeth Percy
Tunstall High School, Sandi Rossman
Tunstall Middle School, Crystal Nemec
Twin Springs Elementary School, Frank Wilkerson
Union Hall Elementary School, Nancy Shumate
Victory Academy, Karen Butler
From Caswell County Schools:
Oakwood Elementary School, Mary Beth Griffin
South Elementary School, Jessica Chester
Stoney Creek Elementary School, Logan Webb
N.L. Dillard Middle School, Angela Ouzts
North Elementary School, Katie Louhoff
Averett University  has announced its phased, on-campus reopening plan for the upcoming fall 2020 semester called “One Averett, Together Again.”

Like colleges across the nation, Averett shifted to remote instruction and moved most employees to teleworking in mid-March due to health and safety recommendations aimed at decreasing the potential spread of COVID-19. The university underwent extensive scenario planning for all facets of academic, campus life and operations to prepare for bringing students, employees and visitors back to campus as soon as public health guidance and government mandates allow. 

“We remain completely committed to delivering an exceptional, on-campus experience while doing our part to keep everyone safe,” said Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “Averett thrives on close, personal connections and access to supportive relationships between our students, faculty, staff and the larger community. We are one Averett, one family, and we are ready to be together again.”

Averett’s academic calendar will largely stay the same, with classes beginning and ending on time. However, in order to reduce the times people travel in and out of the region, students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break, and final coursework and exams will be completed remotely. The university will also hold classes on Labor Day and forego its fall break to make up for instructional time. Fall sports will resume under the guidance of the NCAA and the USA South Athletic Conference.

Current health and safety measures, like health self-assessments, the use of face coverings, social distancing and increased disinfecting will continue for anyone on campus. Averett continues to work closely with local health officials and higher education leaders across the Commonwealth to ensure compliance with all current health and safety guidelines and best practices.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, employees and campus guests are paramount,” Franks said. “We have prepared for things like social distancing markers, signage, spatial reconfigurations and increased cleaning and disinfecting in our facilities, and have plans in place should any student become sick and need to be separated and learn remotely.”

Staff and faculty members still working remotely will begin incrementally returning to their campus offices, with a small number returning next week and continuing throughout July and early August. Students moving into on-campus housing will arrive on a staggered schedule to avoid large crowds on move-in dates. Averett will provide all students and employees with a reusable face covering to wear when in spaces around others, as well as cleaning and disinfecting items for their on-campus spaces.
Coursework will include in-person instruction as well as virtual elements as needed for social distancing. Additionally, all classes will be prepared to move to remote coursework in cases of students or faculty needing to stay home because they are sick. Classrooms and community spaces on campus could have decreased maximum occupancies and more largely spaced seating configurations to aid in social distancing. The same will be true for the dining hall, which will also suspend self-serve buffets and extend meal hours to avoid large crowds.

For more information on Averett’s “One Averett, Together Again: Fall 2020 Reopening Plan,” as well as a video detailing the university’s plans, visit  averett.edu/alert .
Longwood Small Business Development Center [SBDC] has added three specialized consultants to help small business owners meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small businesses are going to need particular guidance and support in three core areas: operations, marketing and financial management,” Longwood SBDC Executive Director Sheri McGuire explains.
Recently joining the Longwood SBDC are  Teresa Davis , certified public accountant with Hill & Davis, CPA;  Dr. Vince Magnini , principal of The Institute for Service Research; and  Katherine Beale , retail manager most recently with Trend. These specialized consultants will provide additional support to businesses facing the current economic crisis.
The following SBDC class resources, including training videos and worksheets, are available to help businesses enhance their marketing strategies during COVID-19.
The Habitat ReStore is located at 2805 Riverside Drive, Danville, VA 24540,
and their phone number is 434.793.3630. 
Averett University  today announced that Averett graduate and internationally accomplished entrepreneur and innovator John Vigouroux ’82 will join the university in August as chief entrepreneurship and innovation officer, and will lead a new initiative – the Averett Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Set to launch early in the fall semester, the Center will serve as an academic/learning lab and entrepreneurial gateway for students, connecting them with the region’s economic environment while accelerating and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in southern Virginia. Vigouroux and Averett faculty members will work to create new multidisciplinary learning methods with an intense entrepreneurship focus in classrooms and featuring hands-on work with businesses, organizations and other regional partners.

Vigouroux has significant and varied connections to Averett, as an undergraduate business administration graduate, as a soccer alumnus and member of Averett’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and most recently as a former member of Averett’s Board of Trustees. 

“Averett inspired me to become who I am today,” said Vigouroux. “I look forward to helping Averett continue its tradition of student-focused success to include the new Averett Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I am excited to pay it forward and help Averett students write their own success stories.”

The Center will serve as an on-campus hub for reviewing the latest data examining which skills and knowledge employers most desire, and then shaping their own Averett experiences around those data. It will help Averett realize its goal of 100% of students completing a minimum of two workplace/marketplace experiences prior to graduation, like internships and fieldwork.

Vigouroux also will work to augment the reach and impact of the already highly successful Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness [CCECC] at Averett by working with the CCECC staff to create new career development pipelines and potential experiential learning projects like service-learning and issue-based learning courses. Faculty inspired interdisciplinary project-based learning, idea creation, and collaborative problem-solving are just a few of the experiential learning opportunities this new Center will provide. In addition, Averett will develop a speaker series that will pull from Vigouroux’s extensive connections to feature corporate innovators, entrepreneurs, Averett alumni and both public- and private-sector organizations.   

“This new focus and expertise on innovation and entrepreneurship at Danville’s hometown university will certainly benefit the city and the region, as well,” said Ken Larking, city manager of the City of Danville, Va. “We look forward to developing more strategic partnerships that will provide new revenue and resource opportunities for both Averett students and for industry in the region.”

Vigouroux emphasizes that students, faculty, staff and regional partners will be participating as founders of this new Center. Because innovation and opportunities exist in every endeavor, the work of the new Center will benefit those in all disciplines, with Vigouroux serving as “chief silo jumper.”
Bellevue University scheduling phone appointments with students during this time who would like more information about transferring to Bellevue University. In addition, Bellevue University is offering five bachelor’s degrees through an online Connected Learning format at a discounted price of $250/credit hour [plus fees]. 

Programs taught in our Connected Learning Cohort format will allow you to work face-to-face, in real-time with peers from Bellevue’s Main Campus and beyond by connecting from your computer, one night a week, right into the classroom. Expect a highly dynamic and interactive experience!

The Business Cohort is 10 classes, taken 1 class at a time, each class is 6 weeks long, and you only need an Associate’s Degree to get started! Let’s start with some Q & A, then, I can explain your opportunities while I walk you through every step of our process. If you complete the Admissions Application prior to August 1, 2020, you will be eligible to receive a $125 book grant.

Are you interested in additional information on this? Please reach out to Jaade Williams to schedule a meeting at 434.797.8502 or one of the links below.
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce | www.dpchamber.org
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
8653 US Hwy 29 | PO Box 99 | Blairs, VA 24527