November 2022
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
The RDA Dream Launch Bootcamp is for anyone seeking to learn how to open, run or expand their business. 

This is a free program. The "Entrepreneur Bootcamp," an intensive workshop that will meet for 6 weeks beginning in January (with an additional week for food and beverage businesses) to teach participants a full slate of skills and information that business owners need. Participants that complete all 6 bootcamp classes may then elect to participate in the RDA IGNITE Business Pitch (For businesses planning to open brick and mortar locations in the River District) to compete for cash and other incentives. In addition to the RDA IGNITE Business Pitch, participants can elect to pitch in the Danville/Pittsylvania County Rev-Up Pitch Competition (for businesses wishing to open locations in Danville outside of the River District, or in Pittsylvania County) through the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. 

For more information attend a virtual Dream Launch Bootcamp Info Session on December 6 at 6 p.m. Register for the info session at:

Thank you to the 2023 supporters of the Dream Launch Program:

  • The City of Danville
  • The Dan River Region Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (DREE)

Thank you to our 2023 partners:

  • Movement Bank
  • Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
  • Longwood Small Business Development Center
Danville Community College (DCC) in partnership with the Danville Area Training Center (DATC), will be offering Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training, beginning this month.

The first cohort, which began on October 4, will attend classes twice per week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, at 6:00 p.m. at the DATC.

In addition to evening class times, students may also be eligible for reduced tuition cost through the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) FastForward program. The total tuition cost for the 6-month, 160 hour training is $1,800, however many students who reside in Virginia will receive a heavily reduced tuition rate.

Individuals who want to know more or who are interested in enrolling in EMT training should call the DATC Director Brian Alderson at 434-792-1871. Once accepted into the course, students will work with DCC staff to register and apply for financial aid.

For more information about DCC or the FastForward program, visit
Danville Community College (DCC) hosted the ‘CyberKnights Showdown’, its first regional cybersecurity competition, on October 7 on the DCC Campus.

High school students from around the area gathered in the new, state-of-the-art DCC Cyber Center located in the Temple Building on the DCC campus to compete in an online, capture-the-flag environment. Competition categories include: Open Source Intelligence Gathering (OSINT), Forensic, Web Exploitation, Steganography, Cryptography, Network Traffic Analysis, Reverse Engineering, and Encryption.

After the conclusion of the competition, awards were issued to the winners in a ceremony held in Oliver Hall, which included 1st, 2nd, 3rd place medals, and an HP Laptop for each winner, donated by the Danville Community College Educational Foundation.


1st Place - Epic Misfit Debris - Andrew Lindblom and Joshua Martin

2nd Place - Random Eclipse - Jacob Richardson and Benjamin Barnett

3rd Place - Crash-test Gunners - Joshua Cole and Connor Brumfield

Participants enjoyed a boxed lunch, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the new Cyber Center. Dr. Jerry Wallace, president of Danville Community College welcomed attendees to the ceremony and introduced guest speaker Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia Aliscia Andrews.

Professor of Information Systems Technology and Director of the Cyber Center Steven Carrigan offered closing remarks to attendees.

For more information about the Cybersecurity Program at Danville Community College, visit
Averett University’s Department of Education was recently bestowed a national honor for being an outstanding educator preparation provider – one of only four colleges in Virginia and of only 32 nationwide to be awarded. The University received the distinguished 2022 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement, presented by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

According to CAEP, recipients of the Murray award produce nearly 7,500 graduates who will make an impact on early education learning up to the twelfth grade. These institutions are selected from the educator preparation providers (EPPs) that were granted accreditation by CAEP at the initial level from the previous year, which provided a full complement of evidence with demonstrated data trends, and which received no stipulations or areas for improvement.

Providers selected for recognition advance equity and excellence in educator preparation through purposeful use of self-study procedures and evidence-based reporting that assure quality and support continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 learning. These EPPs use inquiry and assessments to establish quality assurance systems to drive improvement.

The award is named for the founding president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and TEAC. Murray was the founding President of TEAC, served as chairman of the board for TEAC and was also an initial member of the CAEP Board of Directors.

Earlier in 2022, CAEP announced Averett’s education department received full accreditation. The CAEP standards are the only set of educator preparation standards supported by both national teachers unions.

Averett offers a traditional baccalaureate education program with preparation for initial licensure in Virginia with eight possible certifications, as well as five online programs in graduate-level programs through Averett Online offered as a Graduate Certificate or a Master of Education option. Averett’s teacher education program consistently places nearly 100 percent of its graduates in teaching positions.
Five accomplished Averett University alumni were honored at this year’s Averett Homecoming.

The Averett Alumni Association and Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks presented the University’s annual awards program at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, at Averett’s Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the recipients were presented during halftime at the football game at Averett’s Frank R. Campbell Stadium.

This year, the Alumni Association honored recipients of the Mary Jo Davis Lifetime Service Award, the Recent Alumni Award, the Fugate-Davis Women’s Leadership Award and two Distinguished Alumni Awards.

For 2022, the Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Joel Butts ’83 and Ken Copeland ’89.

The Recent Distinguished Alumni Award, given to an alumnus who has graduated from the University in the last 10 years for their professional or humanitarian efforts, is Lydie Kodio ’22.

Sallie Vick ’70 is the Fugate-Davis Women’s Leadership Award recipient.

Averett Athletics also inducted eight former student athletes into the hall of fame. The 2022 class featured eight former student-athletes — men’s basketball standout Damien Brown ’09, women’s volleyball standout Kasey Carpenter Ogden ’08, softball standout Taylor Dix Paschal ’16, football’s Mario Huffman ’09, women’s volleyball’s Marie Keatts Boor ’10, football’s Terrance Owens II ’16/’18M, baseball’s Eric Sibrizzi ’10/14M and softball’s Mary Beth Smith ’16. Read more by clicking here.

View pictures from the event here, and learn more about Averett’s 2022 Homecoming by clicking here.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed nationwide every October to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer and provide education on the most common symptoms and risk factors for the disease. By staying informed and taking proactive measures for early detection of breast cancer, we can help to minimize the effect this disease has on women in our communities.

Why is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so important?

The average woman’s risk of breast cancer is around 13 percent in the U.S. – meaning about one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. In fact, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women besides skin cancers. Breast cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women, surpassed only by lung cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 264,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the U.S., and roughly 42,000 women die as a result.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) is pleased to announce Todd M. Yeatts as Executive Vice President, Manufacturing Advancement, effective Oct. 3, 2022. Yeatts most recently served as Senior Manager for Government Operations for The Boeing Company in Arlington and brings decades of experience in government and public affairs, strategic communications and economic development. He will lead IALR’s growing Manufacturing Advancement division and will report directly to IALR President Telly D. Tucker.

In addition to overseeing the manufacturing advancement training programs of IALR, Yeatts will also oversee the operation and strategic direction of the new Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA), which is expected to open this year. The CMA will offer resources, space and technology for manufacturers to innovate and integrate emerging technology into their processes; assist expanding and new companies; and develop an industry 4.0 training capability.

While at Boeing, Yeatts conducted program advocacy and awareness campaigns, managed congressional site visits, provided legislative testimony and served as the primary contact for elected and appointed government officials. Prior to that role, Yeatts served Boeing as the Regional Communication Manager for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in St. Louis, Missouri, following a 19-month assignment in Iraq as Director of Strategic Communications for a team based in Baghdad. He is a retired 25-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

In addition to his military service, he has worked in state government as the Director of Communications for the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. Yeatts also has served as Military Aide-de-Camp for Virginia Governors Warner, Kaine and McDonnell and has received appointments from Governors McAuliffe, Northam and Youngkin to the Governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council.

Yeatts’ local government experience includes serving as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Danville, Va., where he initially served as the Director of Legislative and Public Affairs. Prior to that, he was the Legislative Liaison to the Virginia General Assembly for the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Yeatts serves on a variety of boards and commissions, including the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation – Unmanned Systems Advisory Board, the Virginia Aviation Business Association, the GO Virginia Region 7 Economic Development Commission, the Arlington County Economic Development Commission, the Arlington Military and Veteran Affairs Committee and the Averett University Board of Trustees. He is the current Chair of Go Virginia Region 7 and was the 2016 Chair of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.
There has been a date change for the upcoming event Ann & Bill Payne ACA Angel University at The Big Launch Challenge. The previously scheduled date of October 13 has been moved to November 17. If you have any questions regarding this change or can no longer attend, please feel free to contact

Learn from our experts, meet ACA members, angel investors & entrepreneurs during the AU at The Big Launch Challenge. This will be a full day of action-packed investor and entrepreneur focused agenda. The Big Launch Challenge is a competition targeting the best startups in the country and the combination of the two events offers a unique, immersive experience.

There are two courses valuable to both angel investors and entrepreneurs—Valuations and Term Sheet Basics. This is a unique experience where these two courses are being taught with angels and entrepreneurs learning together.

Thursday, November 17, 2022, 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Conference Center @ NC Biotech • Research Triangle Park, NC
The RDA Facade Improvement Grant Program is now open to properties in the N. Main Business District (From Riverside Dr. up to Thomas Street). 

The Façade Improvement Grant Program is designed to assist property and business owners in rehabilitating façades for commercial buildings and businesses in the River District. Positive visual impact stimulates private investment, and complements other community development efforts. We want to provide you with the resources to improve the exterior appearance of your business.

A maximum of $5,000 is available to be awarded in matching grant funding per address. Grants are required to have a 1:1 match (50% up to $5,000).
Help us welcome Lindsey Cohn to the SHCS family! Lindsey is our new PK-8 Technology Teacher and has been teaching for 13 years.

Lindsey was a daycare director and kindergarten and first grade teacher before making the transition to technology. Lindsey's goal in teaching technology is that each
 student understands technology and how it is becoming the world we live in; she wants to teach our students how to be responsible digital citizens and how they can use technology to equip themselves with the best tools for their future.

Lindsey is looking forward to working in the close-knit, family like environment here at SHCS and came to us after parent and teacher feedback and recommendations.
 She's also excited about working with all the PK-8 students and collaborating with teachers on how to enhance student learning through technology.

In her free time, you can find Lindsey playing the guitar or listening to music, spending time with her two girls, or out in nature to a park or taking a hike.

Founded in 1953, Sacred Heart School is the oldest non-public school in the City of Danville. Serving pre-kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. We offer small
class sizes and our students go on to reach the highest achievement rates in high school. In a very diverse population, we welcome families from all faiths and backgrounds and offer numerous financial aid opportunities. Visit our website at or contact the school office 434-793-2656 for additional information.
Foster Fuels' Mission Critical division dispatches close to 100 emergency fuel trucks ahead of Hurricane Ian's impact on Florida. The team is making its way to secure locations north of the projected impact area and will respond after Ian makes landfall. Demand is expected to increase after the scale of the hurricane's impact is better understood.

Foster's team has been operating around the clock, sending trucks throughout the weekend, with the bulk of their fleet leaving Tuesday, September 27. The trucks carry loads of diesel, gasoline, propane, water, DEF, and other necessary provisions. Its mission is to fuel FEMA's relief efforts and other critical infrastructures like hospitals, data centers, and utility companies. The impact area forecasted will be heavily affected by storm surges, and it is anticipated that power outages and flooding will be substantial.

Foster's Mission Critical team has responded to catastrophic events for almost two decades. Notable, wide-scale activations include Superstorm Sandy, the Haiti Earthquake, and, most recently, Hurricane Ida in 2021. In 2019, Foster Mission Critical responded to relief efforts in Florida after Hurricane Dorian hit. Its path of destruction stretched across multiple states, including North Carolina and Georgia, causing almost four billion dollars in
Over the past 11 years the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research has held an annual community holiday event. Last year's Decorating the Wreaths event was so successful that we are going to decorate wreaths again this year. Please see all the details by downloading the form at
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce |
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
150 Slayton Avenue | Danville, VA 24540