Business Partners Newsletter
November 2018: Volume 18, No. 11
The E-newsletter of the Roanoke County Economic Development Department is designed to showcase the investments and achievements of our existing business partners. For additional information about doing business in Roanoke County, visit our  website .
New Institute at Hollins Emphasizes Entrepreneurial Learning Across Disciplines

Hollins University is collaborating with Roanoke Valley innovators and an international venture development company to launch new opportunities devoted to entrepreneurship.

Professor of Practice Karen Messer-Bourgoin
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Learning (IEL) at Hollins University will foster creative and innovative thinking and provide students with the resources needed to develop an entrepreneurial outlook across all disciplines, including the social sciences, business, humanities, fine arts, and STEM.

According to Hollins President Pareena Lawrence, IEL reflects the vision articulated in Hollins' strategic plan, which will guide the university from 2019 - 2024. "We seek to create a vibrant and inclusive global community that prepares and challenges our students to learn holistically across traditional boundaries with innovative curricular and co-curricular opportunities," she states. "IEL will support this vision with an emphasis on b ringing ideas and theory to action."

Professor of Practice Karen Messer-Bourgoin, a member of Hollins' class of 1984, will serve as the institute's inaugural director. Messer-Bourgoin returned to Hollins in 2017 to impart her extensive business experience from Wall Street to Main Street to the classroom.

About Us
General Inquires
P: 540-772-2069
F: 540-772-2030
Economic Development 
5204 Bernard Drive, SW 
Room 421 
PO Box 29800 
Roanoke, VA 24018
Jill Loope
Administrative Assistant
Mission Statement
To attract and facilitate the growth of innovative businesses, jobs and population that increase taxable investment and ensure sustainable world class community resources. 

Roanoke County Businesses Win Big at Small Business Awards

Lionberger Construction Company President Sam Lionberger accepted awards for Legacy company and People's Choice.
At the 32nd Annual Small Business Awards, the Roanoke County business community was well represented as shown  by the nominations listed below.  These companies were recognized for their excellence at the 31th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards dinner on November 1, 2018 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. 

Congratulations to all of the Roanoke County businesses nominated for the Roanoke Regional Chamber Small Business Awards. Lionberger Construction won the People's Choice Award.  Roanoke County organizations won in the categories of Business-to-Consumer Services, Legacy, and Wholesale/Retail.

Business-to-Business Services Instrument Calibration & Technical Services
OpX Solutions
Business-to-Consumer Services Big Lick Boomerang
Country Air Vacation Kennels
Food & Beverage Twin Creeks Brewing Company
Legacy J&J Fashions
Lionberger Construction
Not-for-Profit Large Blue Ridge Autism & Achievement Center
Catawba Hospital
Not-for-Profit Medium
Good Samaritan Hospice
Not-for-Profit Micro AUSA Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Chapter
Back on the Path
Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia
Vinton War Memorial
Sweets & Treats Champloo Desserts
Technology M3: GRAFIX
The Answer Network
Wholesale/Retail Magnets USA

*Bold/Italic represents category winner
Brambleton Area Business Association Christmas Parade 

The Brambleton Area Business Association Annual Christmas Parade is fast approaching.
Parade applications for participation and sponsorships may be found at 
Parade Details:
9:00 am
Saturday, December 1

Mark your calendars and get ready to join in by participating in the parade, sponsoring the parade, or just come and enjoy all the fun.  

Events and Workshops: Business Tools for Growth

  Register at

or email Carla Jackson a t

Pitch and Polish
November 14

Linux Users Group
November 18

The Business of Brewing
January 28- February 1, 2019

Implementing LEAN

February 26 -28 2019
Other Happenings


2018 Catawba Valley Holiday Market 
November 17, 2018
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Catawba Community Center
Catawba Holiday Market

Check out the new website for updates on what is happening at the Market!

Beacon Partners opens new consulting office

Beacon Partners celebrated their grand opening on October 5, 2018 with a ribbon cutting with the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce. Beacon Partners is a consulting firm that provides strategic, marketing, financial and leadership guidance for small businesses, churches and other organizations seeking to im prove outcomes.  

Beacon Partners 
4370 Starkey Road, Suite 4E
Roanoke, Virginia  24018
(540) 491-0123

DePaul Community Resources opens new day support center

DePaul Community Resources held a ribbon cutting for their new day support center on October 5, 2018. The center is part of DePaul's OPTIONS Day Support Services and is located in the back of the DePaul offices on Hollins Road. The new space is more suitable for clients with a variety of developmental disabilities and provides a new option for those who may not be well served in other facilities.

DePaul Community Resources
5650 Hollins Road
Roanoke, Virginia 24019

Medeco celebrates 50 years of business in Roanoke County

Medeco celebrated their 50th anniversary with an event held at their facility featuring activities for employees and their families as well as tours of the manufacturing facility. Chair of Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Mart ha Hooker presented Medeco General Manager Joe Kingma with a Roanoke County tapestry at the event.

Several of the employees at Medeco Security Locks in Roanoke County who have been there longer than 40 years can talk about how the plant has changed.

Production lines are more computer controlled. Workers no longer smoke on the floor. Three-piece suits at conferences are long gone. The increase in electronic locks has led the company to hire software engineers and focus on cybersecurity. But overall, the job and goals of the company remain the same - produce pick-resistant locks.

Dr. Pareena Lawrence receives 2018 John S. Day Service Award

Congratulations to Dr. Pareena Lawrence, president of Hollins University, who received the 2018 John S. Day Distinguished Alumni Academic Service Award from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management.


Roanoke County offers up to $32,000 in matching park grants

Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism is making a second round of matching grant funding available through the Capital Improvement Incentive Fund (CIIF).  Up to $32,000 in matching funds may be awarded to park improvement projects that further the mission of the department. Approved grants may receive up to 50% of the cost of a project up to $5,000. Examples of past CIIF funded projects include trail construction, provision of lighting or fencing for sports fields, landscape improvements, playground expansion, and restroom construction. The deadline to apply is November 30th.

Landscaping projects with advertising available on Williamson Road

Is your business or organization interested in advertising at a high-visibility location in Roanoke County? The Comprehensive Roadside Management Program (CRMP) is a private-public partnership that helps beautify County roadways and advertise local businesses and organizations.

The County is currently seeking new sponsors for two existing CRMP projects along Williamson Road at Peter's Creek Road and at Plantation Road. The sponsoring organization must spend a minimum of $7,500 on landscaping costs and maintenance over five years.

Do you have an upcoming event that would appeal to visitors or are you planning an event?

Submit your events on the most comprehensive online visitor calendar. has received 1,124,415 unique visitors in 2018, a 13.7% increase over 2017! This online resource is your best planning tool when scheduling a meeting, special event or activities for out of town guests.

New Support for Unmanned Systems community in Virginia

Governor Northam and the VA General Assembly recognize the important role that the unmanned systems industry will have in the growth of Virginia's economy.

To support  innovation in unmanned systems (UMS), the Commonwealth established the Virginia Center for Unmanned Systems at CIT.  The principal charge to this Center is ..."to support the advancement of unmanned systems companies and development of the unmanned systems industry in the Commonwealth."
The Commonwealth recruited a familiar and well-respected advocate for UMS as the Center's Director, Tracy Tynan and we are excited about serving this dynamic community of public and private sector innovators and entrepreneurs.

Tracy Tynan
Virginia Center for Unmanned Systems


Regional Commission Receives National Association of Development Organizations 2018 Innovation Award

Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) based in Roanoke, Virginia has received a 2018 Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Regional Study on Transportation Project Prioritization for Economic Development and Growth.

The RVARC staffs the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization whose Policy Board approved the Regional Study on Transportation Project Prioritization for Economic Development and Growth in April 2018. The effort was the first time private and public stakeholders worked together to study how transportation and economic development goals are aligned, understand regional transportation needs as they relate to economic growth, review an economic profile of regional economic trends and conditions, and identify priority transportation needs and projects related to economic development.

"The Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Awards program recognizes the important and wide-ranging work of regional development organizations in communities across the country" said 2017-2018 NADO Doug Elliott, executive director of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, located in Cedar Rapids. "These awards demonstrate the value of regional development organizations and highlight their critical role in promoting economic development for the nation's rural and small metropolitan communities." 

Virginia International Trade Events

Trade Missions

Be part of one of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Trade Missions and enjoy private, one-on-one meetings with prospective customers and partners. These well-planned visits are business me etings set up on your behalf, with your input, to save you time and maximize your results.   

If you are interested in participating in a VEDP Trade Mission, please contact Roger Porter as there may be resources available to offset some of the associated costs. (Contact information above)

Arab Health Trade Show (UAE)
January 28 - 31, 2019
Registration Deadline: November 30, 2018

Trade Mission to the United Arab Emirates
Mobile World Congress (Spain)
February 10 - 14, 2019 February 25-28, 2019
Registration Deadline:  December 12, 2018
Registration Deadline:   December 28,  2018
One-on-One Counseling Now Available!  
Are you looking for new avenues to grow your business?
Learn how you can provide your services and products to the State of Virginia
The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), in partnership with Roanoke County Economic Development Department, will be conducting free one-on-one counseling sessions on how to access business development resources, State financing programs (VSBFA), including technical assistance for conducting business with State agencies through SWaM Certification and eVA (Virginia's Online Procurement Portal).
These 1-hour sessions are by appointment only.
No fee, but appointment is REQUIRED   to schedule an appointment

Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV
Roanoke County Business Partners - November 2018

  Welcome to Roanoke County Business Partners. On this mo nth's show,  we learn about the 50 year history of Medeco Security Locks. Next, we celebrate the progress that has been made on the improvements on Plantiona Road by attending a ribbon cutting. Then, we talk with Kevin Meade of American National Bank and Trust to learn how their recent acquisition of HomeTown Bank will leverage the strengths of each community bank.