Business Partners Newsletter
May 2017: Volume 17, No. 5
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 .
May is Business Appreciation Month in Virginia and Roanoke County Economic Development wants to thank all of the Roanoke Region's businesses both large and small for playing a major role in helping to make our community a great place to live, work, and play.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have such an outstanding community of well-established businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.

Thank you for making the Roanoke Region such a great place to prosper! 

Does your business have innovative HR policies?

Let Us Know!

Roanoke County is looking to connect with businesses in the County that have unique hiring and benefits packages and are adapting to a new generation in the workforce. Please contact Jessica Fintel with your innovative HR policies or if you have questions.  
 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
To design and implement innovative economic development programs and services that leverage community assets, create wealth and prosperity, and embrace the region's  





2017 RBTC TechNite Awards

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council honored a talented group of companies and individuals at its annual TechNite awards banquet on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.
Chairman McNamara presented the 2017 TechNite Regional Leadership Award.

The Economic Development Department was honored to sponsor the Regional
Leadership Award portion of TechNite. Chairman Joe McNamara presented the Regional Leadership Award. We congratulate the County's nominees in this category: Annette Patterson, Founder & President of The Advancement Foundation, and Jeff Terry, Chief Information Officer for Roanoke County Public Schools.
Congratulations are in order for Keltech and Sycom Technologies for being nominated for the Innovator Award.

A big congratulations goes out to Roanoke County STEM Educator nominees: Travis Anderson, Andy Clapper, and Susheela Shanta.

TechNite Nominations were accepted for six awards: STEM-H Educator, Entrepreneur, Innovator, Regional Leadership, and Rising Star. Nominations for these awards require an explanation of why the individual or company should receive the award. A confidential committee of RBTC members chooses award winners in each category as well as being charged with naming the nominees for the People's Choice Award, as well as the nominees and winner of the Ruby Award, which recognizes a brilliant and valuable asset to the Roanoke-Blacksburg region.

We congratulate all of the winners and nominees, especially the Roanoke County nominees listed below.

Roanoke County 2017 RBTC TechNite Awards Nominees

Innovator Keltech, Inc.
Sycom Technologies
Regional Leadership Annette Patterson
Jeff Terry
STEM-H Educator Travis Anderson
Andy Clapper
Susheela Shanta

Don't Miss the Opportunity to Partner with Roanoke County at Explore Park

Click here for proposal information
Judging for The Gauntlet business plan competition has begun!

Want to know who the winner is? 
Wingman Outfitters pitches to the judges
With well over 70 participants in  The Gauntlet and upwards of $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes available, all participants are sure to be winners, but on May 11th we will  see who the ultimate winners are.  From hi-tech tracking systems to wineries and breweries, to new takes on age-old games, May 11th will give us all a chance to learn what these innovative and creative entrepreneurs have been working on for the past three months.

Awards Ceremony
Thursday, May 11 at 6:00 PM
Vinton War Memorial 
The Gauntlet award ceremony is free and open to the public.  
                                                 Facebook Event Page
                                        The Advancement Foundation

Get Recognized

Your business could be featured in the 2018 Beyond Virginia calendar

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership International Trade division produces the Beyond Virginia calendar each year to highlight Virginia companies and their exporting success story. If you would like to be considered for the 2018 calendar,  click here.

Authority holds second informational session

Residents in the Wood Haven Road area of Roanoke County had another opportunity to ask questions and provide input to the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority (WVRIFA) which is seeking to develop approximately 100 acres in North Roanoke County. The meeting was the second of three opportunities offered by the WVRIFA before it submits a concept plan for the site to Roanoke County and proceeds through the county's normal approval process. "

Concept ideas indicated only about 70 percent of the 100 acres used for development with the rest used for 100 to 250 foot buffers and landscaping. Concepts were presented for pedestrian paths, architectural styles, and entrance treatments with attendees asked to indicate preferences. The purpose, according to the WVRIFA, was to determine residents' choices so their feedback can be considered in concept plans that will also focus on desired uses and infrastructure improvements. "This isn't an industrial park," said Doughty. "It is one-quarter the size of a typical industrial park which allows us to control impacts and make aesthetic and safety enhancements such as trails."

The next meeting will be May 25 at 6:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Roanoke-Valley View on Ordway Drive. Information on the project is available at

Cyber Security Students Tour AEP Operations Center

New Program - "Tech Tour" - Matching Students with Local Businesses

A new outreach program developed by Roanoke County Economic Development and Roanoke County Public Schools gives high school students an opportunity to learn about careers by giving them a behind-the-scenes look inside some of the area's most recognized businesses and industries. 
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Tech Tour program officially kicked-off on Friday, April 28th when a group of more than 40 students and teachers from the Roanoke County Burton Center for Arts and Technology toured Appalachian Power's Main Office on Franklin Road in downtown Roanoke. The tour followed two smaller BETA or test tours held last month at SyCom and Graham White.

On Friday, students in John Warf's Cyber Security and Mike French's Computer Information Technology (CIT) classes got a rare tour of Appalachian Power's distribution and transmission dispatch centers and learned how technology is used to monitor the power grid and restore electric service.

In an interview with WSLS, Cody Knott, a cyber security student at Buron Center for Arts and Technology said, "I was really thinking about what I could do with my life and what direction I want to go but this really gave me an idea of what I could actually do, where I could go in Roanoke if I didn't want to go somewhere else for school." 

What makes this program unique is that careful consideration is given to pair the students with businesses based on their CTE studies and career interests. When possible, the CTE teachers and businesses also collaborate on follow-up projects and assignments.

"We are pleased that businesses like Appalachian Power are providing opportunities to introduce our students to real-world technology careers," said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Killough. "Together with the Roanoke County Office of Economic Development, we want to encourage students to consider technology careers located right here in the Roanoke Valley," Dr. Killough added.

The Tech Tour aligns with the Roanoke County Community Strategic Plan to connect educational resources with business and community needs.

 Students learn about Cyber   
          Security Threats 
  Student view the Computer Network
 The grid connecting
 11 states

Events: Business Tools for Success

Virginia Employment Commission Hiring Event
May 3
Woodmen of the World Lodge
2306 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24017
RAMP Leadership Bootcamp
May 5
RAMP Building
709 S. Jefferson Street
Roanoke, VA 24016
Website Basics
May 9
Roanoke Small Business 
Development Center
Learn More Learn More Learn More

Facebook Basics
June 6
Roanoke Small Business 
Development Center

Lean Startup
June 6, 6 wk course
RAMP Building
709 S. Jefferson Street
Roanoke, VA 24016

Learn More Learn More

Other Happenings


Catawba Valley Farmers' Market Season Opening
May 11
Thursdays 3:30 - 6:30 PM, May - Oct 
Catawba Center
4965 Catawba Creek Road
Catawba, VA 24070
Intermediate Beekeeping
May 13
Catawba Sustainability Center
5075 Catawba Creek Road
Catawba, Virginia 24070

Learn More Learn More
Vinton Food & Wine Festival
May 20
Explore Park
56 Roanoke River Pkwy
Roanoke, VA 24014  

Kegs and Barrels 
Wine & Craft Beer Festival
August 5
Green Hill Park
2501 Parkside Drive
Salem, VA 24153

Celebrate: Anniversaries

Is your business celebrating a major anniversary (ending in a 5 or 0) this year? 
We want to recognize you so please  let us know!

Saint Francis Service Dogs - 20th Anniversary

Saint Francis Service Dogs celebrates its 20th anniversary. For the past two decades, Saint Francis has assisted people with disabilities by pairing them with highly trained service dogs. 

Saint Francis service dogs make it possible for people to continue to live independently, for students to leave home to pursue college and graduate school, for people to join or return to the workforce, and for parents or caregivers to relax knowing they can share their responsibilities. Saint Francis service dogs alleviate pain, raise self-esteem, ease anxiety, and inject fresh joy in peoples' lives. Presently, Saint Francis supports over 60 service dog teams throughout Virginia and portions of North Carolina and West Virginia. In addition, Saint Francis places an additional 10 to 15 dogs each year.


Custom Tool & Machine - 25th Anniversary

Custom Tool & Machine, Inc. is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year! Custom Tool & Machine is a family owned and operated business started in 1992 by Wayne Myers out of his home. Brian Myers is now the second generation to run the company his father founded. 

Custom Tool & Machine is a production and tool shop with state-of-the-art technology and old fashion work ethics. Custom Tool & Machine is your source for precision tooling and production machining, with the capability to machine a variety of materials like aluminum and plastics, as well as more difficult to machine materials including stainless steel, titanium, Inconel, and molybdenum with extreme precision.


Celebrate: Ribbon Cuttings and Grand Openings

Oakey's South invests $2.2M

Oakey's South Chapel celebrated the opening of their Cremation Tribute Center with a ribbon cutting and open house event on April 28, 2017. This latest project was a $2.2M capital investment for this business that has been in the Roanoke region for over 150 years. Chairman Joe McNamara presented Sammy Oakey with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of Roanoke County and the Board of Supervisors.

Oakey's South
4257 Brambleton Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24018

Creative Therapy Care utilizes Facade Grant

Creative Therapy Care held a ribbon cutting and open house on April 7, 2017 to celebrate their newly renovated space. Mona Sams, Executive Director, was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of Roanoke County and the Board of Supervisors. Creative Therapy Care supports children and adults with special needs through the use of occupational, physical and speech therapies incorporating animals.

Creative Therapy Care
8249 Williamson Road
Roanoke, VA 24019

Celebrate: Good News 

For the third year, Roanoke County lowers Machinery & Tools Tax

Good news for manufacturers! Roanoke County lowered its machinery and tools tax rate to $2.85 per $100 of assessed value. This is the third year the board has approved a 5-cent step down in the tax rate applied to manufacturing and other commercial equipment for a total decrease of $0.15 per $100 since the 2015 tax year. While small, supporting supervisors said, the tax cut can spur ripple effects in the local economy and demonstrates the board's desire to lower taxes where feasible.

Explore Park Adventure Plan Receives 2017 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

During the 28th Annual Environment Virginia Symposium, Roanoke County was honored with a 2017 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for the Explore Park Adventure Plan. The County received an honorable mention certificate in the category of Virginia Outdoors Plan Implementation for its recently completed vision for the facility.


Roanoke-based company purchases former Allstate building

Metis Holdings, a leading provider of insurance, risk management, claims administration, cost containment, and other insurance-related services has purchased the former Allstate building on Electric Road in Roanoke County. Metis counts among its biggest clients VACORP, the statewide, Roanoke-based mutual insurance entity for Virginia counties and schools. 

Virginia's Blue Ridge 2016 Progress Report Available

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge (VBR), the region's official destination marketing organization, just released 2016 programming results attracting more visitors and generating a greater economic impact. Visit VBR is grateful for the incredible support received from the tourism industry and governmental partners. To view the entire 2016 Progress Report,  click here.

Roanoke and Virginia's Blue Ridge Featured in Delta Sky Magazine
The April 2017 issue of Delta SKY Magazine profiles tourism, entertainment, culture, recreation, higher education and the overall economic vitality of Virginia's Blue Ridge in a special feature. This 24 page profile can be found at every seat on board Delta Air Lines' 15,000 daily flights worldwide and can be viewed at and
An estimated 5 million readers will have the opportunity to see this profile and learn how Roanoke has transformed from a "Train City" to a "Brain City," not to mention how the region's institutes of higher learning are fueling innovation and research in a variety of industries, and what makes Virginia's Blue Ridge one of the best mountain vacation destinations in the country.

Virginia 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 meetings set up on your behalf, with your input, to save you time and maximize your results.

Australia South Korea
October 2-6 2017
October 16-20, 2017
Registration Deadline:  August 4, 2017
Registration Deadline: August 18, 2017
Top Opportunities:  Defense & Security, Major Infrastructure & Construction, Transportation, Healthcare & Medical Technology, Biotechnology, Mining & Minerals, Energy & Environmental Technologies, Professional Services, Agribusiness, Food & Beverage Manufacturing
Top Opportunities:  Defense Equipment, Medical Devices, Processed Food, Education, ICT, Display, Mobile Handset, Electrics & Electronics, Automotive, Semiconductor, Health Care, Bio-Pharma, Petrochemicals, General Machinery, Construction, Shipbuilding
Learn More
Southern Africa
October 23-27, 2017
Registration Deadline: August 25, 2017
Top Opportunities:  Aviation, Automotive Components, Electricity Power Generation Systems, Franchising, Information Technology, Mining Equipment, Medical Equipment and Healthcare Services, Renewable Energy, Pollution Control Equipment, Telecommunications, Transportation, Infrastructure and Civil Construction
Learn More

Roanoke County Business Partners On RVTV

May is Business Appreciation Month in Roanoke County and the Commonwealth of Virginia and on the Roanoke County Business Partners May show we are taking this opportunity to thank the businesses that make our community prosper. We visit one of the many small businesses in the county, Minuteman Press, and learn how Owner Bill Kyle serves other small businesses and engages with the community. We visit a legacy business, The Mennel Milling Company, which has been manufac turing in the region for 100 years.  And finally, we visit Creative Therapy Care, a nonprofit in the healthcare industry, to see their new facility and how they are using a variety of therapies to help individuals with disabilities.

Consult the RVTV website for the viewing schedule or click the link above to watch the show on Youtube!