January 2023
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce will host our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

You do not want to miss this opportunity, as we will hear from keynote speaker Sonya Ravindranath Waddell, Vice President & Economist, Regional and Community Analysis of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has devoted time in the last few years to better understand similarities and differences across the rural and smaller town areas within the region it covers (VA, WV, MD, DC, NC, and SC). Rural and small town areas face many challenges attracting employers and workers, but they also have unique assets to leverage. This presentation will talk about those challenges and opportunities.

We will also highlight our Board of Directors and Officers, recognize outgoing Chair and Board Members, review our 2022 Annual Report, as well as present our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan. A hot breakfast buffet will be served. Registration is required for this event.

The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce partnered with CI Destinations presents Croatia the Pearl of the Adriatic. Join us for this amazing international trip, departing October 2023! This will be the adventure of a lifetime and you don't want to miss it! Contact Christy Harper, Director of Member Engagement at 434.836.6990 or chamber@dpchamber.org for more information or to reserve your seat.
Schools await details on Youngkin’s plan to boost dual enrollment

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has repeatedly said that he wants all Virginia high school students to graduate with college-level associate degrees that will prepare them for the workforce.
So far, though, he hasn’t said how that will be possible or how much it will cost the commonwealth to basically pay for two years’ worth of college credits for every student in Virginia. Right now, less than 3% of Virginia’s public high school seniors are on track to graduate with a 2-year degree before they leave high school.
Those specifics should be known Dec. 15, when the governor unveils his budget priorities.
“On Dec. 15, in front of the Joint Money committees, I will announce my proposal to move Virginia in the right direction,” Youngkin told an audience on Dec. 2 during his remarks at the Virginia Economic Summit and Forum on International Trade in Richmond.
Later, during that same speech, he reiterated his idea to expand opportunities for students to take what are called dual-enrollment courses — classes that fulfill high school graduation requirements and provide college credits, usually offered through a partnership with a local community college. A student who takes enough dual-enrollment classes can earn a two-year associate degree, which could give them a head start on obtaining a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or joining the working world.
“Our upcoming budget will prioritize expanding these career pathways for students,” Youngkin told the Richmond gathering, “by launching multiple dual-enrollment acceleration programs in partnership with our community colleges and local schools so that we can get on this path for … more students to earn an industry-recognized credential … to make sure that every student in Virginia graduates with an industry-recognized credential.”
Youngkin first mentioned his idea for universal associate degrees and credentials for high school graduates in October during an appearance in Bristol in October as part of the Cardinal News Speaker Series. 
Youngkin said at the time that associate degrees or other types of work-related credentials would make students “immediately … prepared to go right into life.”
“I believe that we have both the capabilities to expand that extensively,” the governor said. “And there’s no reason why it couldn’t be incorporated into our graduation requirements.”
Doing so will probably be an expensive lift, based on current dual enrollment and community college costs and the overall lack of high school students currently enrolled in college-level classes.
Averett’s Winter Commencement Honors Nearly 130 Graduates, Features Globally Renowned Diversity and Inclusion Speaker

Connectedness was the central theme throughout the messages for graduates at Averett University’s 2022 Winter Commencement Ceremony today.
Ninety graduates participated in today’s commencement ceremonies, including those whose degrees were conferred today, as well as those who completed their degrees in August but walked in today’s exercises. Together, the August and December graduates totaled 129.
The graduating class of 2022, aged 20 to 59, includes 17 veterans and two international students from the Bahamas. Approximately 30% are first-generation college graduates in their families. The University conferred degrees at both the baccalaureate and master’s levels, with nearly a third of graduates from the traditional program and two-thirds graduating from Averett Online.
Connections to classmates, college professors, university staff members, other Averett alumni, and the basic human connection were all highlighted as means to fulfillment and success.
Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks introduced today’s commencement speaker, global speaker and President and CEO Lenora Billings-Harris. She specializes in helping organizations create and implement strategies to make diversity, equity and inclusion into competitive advantages by disrupting bias in the workplace. With more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors, she is known for having developed a unique style of presenting sensitive topics in thought-provoking, non-judgmental, positive and upbeat ways.
DCC Expands Mental Health Services to Improve Student Health and Well-being
Danville Community College has partnered with TimelyMD, the leading virtual health and well-being solution in higher education, to offer students free and equitable access to mental health and basic needs support.
TimelyCare serves as a 24/7 virtual extension of campus counseling center resources, with a goal of improving student well-being, engagement, and retention.
Through TimelyCare on their phone or other device, DCC students can now select from a wide-ranging menu of virtual care options from licensed counselors – at no cost and without the hassle of traditional insurance – including: 
●       On-demand mental health and emotional support (TalkNow)
●       Appointment-based mental health counseling
●       Basic Needs assistance
TimelyCare also provides a library of digital self-care content and a peer support community to help students be well and thrive, whenever and wherever they may be. Additionally, faculty and staff have access to support that empowers them to guide students to TimelyCare resources to help students achieve a sense of well-being, live healthier lifestyles and improve their mental health. 
Steve Heatherly Named Market President of Sovah Health and CEO of Danville campus.

Sovah Health announced today
that Steve Heatherly has been named the new chief executive officer (CEO) at Sovah Health –
Danville starting January 16, 2023. Steve will also assume the role of Market President for Sovah
Health, in which he will have operational oversight of facilities and associated services within the
Sovah Health system, including Martinsville.
Steve replaces Alan Larson, who announced his plans to retire from the system earlier this year after
leading the market since 2015.

An experienced healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience, Heatherly joins Sovah
Health from Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville, NC. During his tenure there, he served as chief operating officer (COO), where he recruited providers and physicians across a spectrum of service lines while initiating investments in imaging and other technologies to expand services, allowing for growth and improved access to care for years to come.
Prior to his time at Pardee, Heatherly served as chief executive officer of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital, two Duke LifePoint hospitals in western North Carolina. During his ten years as CEO, Heatherly recruited dozens of new providers, expanded service lines and oversaw key projects including the construction of a new emergency department, a new birthing center, and the expansion of a regional cancer center. In addition, he built partnerships with key stakeholders throughout the region as Harris Regional and Swain Community hospitals grew their geographic footprints and improved access to care. Before being named CEO in 2012, Steve served in numerous capacities within the hospitals’ system including chief executive officer of the MedWest
Physician Network, and executive vice president, among other leadership roles.
Dream It. Build It. Ride It.

Explore the history and mechanics behind one of America's most iconic motorcycle brands in Hands-On Harley-Davidson™, an exhibition opening January 13, 2023, at the Danville Science Center. Geared towards guests ages 3–12, this one-of-a-kind experience introduces children to the world of real-life motorcycle engineering through hands-on activities that teach the basic principles behind physics, engineering, and design.
Step inside a kid-sized true-to-life Harley-Davidson dealership and customize a Road-King®-inspired motorcycle, dress up like a biker, and take a simulated ride on a first-person video experience that features realistic sounds and special effects. You'll find the perfect photo opportunity at every turn. Discover different interactive stations throughout the exhibition highlighting the importance of bike maintenance, engine systems, and protective gear as you learn how to build your dream ride. Additionally, plenty of fun ramps, tracks, and loops mimic your favorite downhill road, skate park, or roller coaster that will engage families in the process of experimenting, making for an unforgettable, fun learning experience. This exhibition will surely be a hit with any budding motorcycle enthusiast or future scientist.
Hands-On Harley-Davidson™ was created by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Hands-On Harley-Davidson and Harley-Davidson® are trademarks of H-D and are used with permission. © 2013 H-D. All rights reserved.
Gateway Health based in Danville, VA is a healthcare management company. Due to their continued growth, their company is currently recruiting for various positions.

Please send resume and salary requirements to: Personnel Gateway Health, 1500 Fulton Heights, Danville, VA 24541 or email to GWAYSolutions@gatewayhealth.com
Caesars Virginia Supplier Outreach Event

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Session 1 | 9:30 am – Noon*
Session 2 | 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm*
*Or earlier depending on number of people in attendance

Institute for Advanced Learning & Research Facility
150 Slayton Avenue
Danville, VA 24540

Please join us to learn how to do business with Caesars Entertainment and upcoming supplier opportunities at Caesars Virginia.
These sessions will focus on operational needs outside of construction.
Caesars Virginia to roll out Dealer Trainee Academy.

Caesars Virginia will be offering a free 12-week program for candidates to learn how to become table games professionals. They will be running multiple training times to provide flexibility for those who maybe currently working or in school.

No experience required, just come with a great personality and they will teach you the rest. At the end of the training program, successful students will be eligible for both Part-Time and Full-Time opportunities as a Table Games Dealers and Supervisor.

Apply at the link below and a member from the HR team will connect with you to schedule a time to come in and learn more information about the program.
CO.STARTERS Generator is an entrepreneurship training program for middle school, high school, and college students in Southern Virginia.

CO.STARTERS Generator is a modular self-paced program that helps middle school, high school, and college students explore their passions through generating, testing, and launching ideas for businesses and social ventures. With the ability to participate individually or with a classroom or community group, CO.STARTERS Generator is a great way to inspire youth with the vision, enthusiasm, and tenacity needed to move from idea to action. 
SOVA Rise Collaborative presents: Winter 2023 CO.STARTERS Business Bootcamp

8 Weeks of Live, Online Training Sessions: Tuesdays, 6 pm-9 pm ET

During this 8-week program, you’ll get to know yourself, your customer, and the next steps to move your business forward. The weekly sessions will provide you with dedicated time to work on your business. You’ll gain a support system of peers and mentors. You’ll get access to a curated mix of subject matter experts, inspiring guest speakers, and regional resources that will help you achieve your business dreams. 
This program will meet online for 8 consecutive weeks, on Tuesdays from 6pm-9pm on Zoom.
  • Application Deadline: December 13, 2022
  • Program Start Date: January 10, 2023
  • Program End Date:  February 28th, 2023
  • Pitch Competition: March 28, 2023

Participant Requirements
1) Participants should have the strong desire to start or grow a business in Southern Virginia.
2) Participants will need access to high speed internet and a personal device (ex. computer or tablet) with the ability to share two-way audio and video. The ability to share video and view the speaker’s shared screen is critical to getting the most out of this program. If you do not have reliable, quality internet access, please do not let this stop you! Contact your local library or email us at hello@sovarise.com 
For Your New Business
Lin Hite, Longwood SBDC
Regional Director
Some of the most popular reasons to start a business include-having a unique business idea, designing a career that has the flexibility to grow with you, working toward financial independence, and investing in yourself.
Prepare to start a successful business:

·     Evaluate your entrepreneurial abilities 
·     Marketing strategies 
·     Financial resources
·     Legal form of organization
·     Tips to prepare & present your business plan
·     Cybersecurity Tips
Not every small business is positioned for success, so you may be in for a real challenge when you decide to take the plunge, ditch your day job, and become a business owner. The stage is often set in the beginning, so make sure you start with a strong foundation.

January 19, 2023
VIR: Looking for Local Talent
Danville Pittsylvania County Habitat for Humanity is seeking volunteers to assist in completing construction on their Habitat Village North project. If you or your organization is interested in assisting with this project, please contact Kim Baldridge at 434.793.3630 or via email at kim@danvillehabitat.org
The River District Association (RDA) is excited to be hosting another session of “Start-Up Slam.” Modeled after a poetry slam, it is a fun community-oriented event where people share a meal, share creative business ideas, make new friends, and network with both creative people and people who support creative people!

Start-Up Slam will be on February 23rd, 6 pm to 8 pm at The River District Event Center (136 S. Ridge Street).

Anyone in the community is invited to attend (reservation required, limit 100 people). For just $10 per person (cash only at the door), you can join other members of the community to have a simple meal - and share some of those great ideas that you keep thinking up. Anyone age 5 and up can share their good business idea. Children under 5 can attend at no cost but will not get to vote for their favorite idea. 

Up to 15 participants at the event are welcome to share their ideas with the crowd (3-minute limit), and attendees will be able to vote on their favorite at the end of the evening. The top vote-getter takes home all the cash collected at the door - no strings attached! No business plans and no requirements, just you and your next great idea! 

Those who wish to share their idea have the following guidelines:

  • Ideas must be new business ideas (not yet established).
  • Those who wish to share their idea will put their name in at the door.
  • Up to 15 names will be drawn randomly to present (if more than 15 people put their name in, not all may be able to present).
  • Each presenter has 3 minutes to share one idea.

We encourage those planning to present to spread the word, bring friends and family, and be open to new connections! 

To reserve a seat, call the RDA office at 434-791-0210 or email alyssa@riverdistrictassociation.com
River District Association team grows, adds new staff to work towards North Main Street revitalization efforts

River District Association (RDA) is excited to announce that Lashawn Farmer has been added to their downtown revitalization team.
Lashawn Farmer joins RDA as the Program & Services Director - Design and Expansion in January 2023. Farmer formerly served as Chief Operating Officer for The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Danville Area. There, she oversaw the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of a broad range of programs for youth in the Club and community and will now bring these skills to RDA. Mrs. Farmer, in this new position, will enable RDA to broaden its design initatives in the River District and implement the Main Street Four Point Approach and community engagement in the North Main business district.
Among many projects, Farmer will be integral in driving new programs and services in the North Main Street corridor that are being developed from a DHCD Community Resurgence grant award of $150,000 dedicated to the North Main Street Business District Revitalization work. RDA, in partnership with the Danville Regional Foundation and the City of Danville Office of Economic Development, will provide services to the corridor including business assistance, marketing, façade improvement programs, and place making rooted in economic inclusion that prioritizes the neighborhood’s resident’s ideas and values in economic development decisions. The North Main Street initiative will not be incorporated into the current footprint of the River District, but instead will be recognized as an independent neighborhood business district with a distinct identity that reflects the history of the corridor and will be driven by community input and engagement.
The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region will begin accepting scholarship applications January 1, 2023.

Local high school and college students are encouraged to apply online through The Foundation’s website at www.cfdrr.org. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2023. Students are urged to begin the application process early because official transcripts and references are required for a complete application and this process takes time.
Graduating high school seniors or college students who attend, or attended, a high school in the City of Danville, Pittsylvania or Halifax Counties, Virginia or Caswell County, North Carolina may apply. The online application system will assist applicants with eligibility criteria.
Last year, The Foundation awarded 133 scholarships, totaling more than $295,000, to 113 area students.
For more information about scholarships awarded, please visit The Community Foundation office at 541 Loyal Street, Danville, VA, 24541, call (434) 793-0884, or visit their website at www.cfdrr.org.
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce | www.dpchamber.org
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
150 Slayton Avenue | Danville, VA 24540