March 2021
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
Your Chamber of Commerce is now located at the Institute for Advanced Leaning and Research [IALR]:

150 Slayton Avenue
Danville, VA 24540

Please update all records for mailing purposes.
The launch of the River District Downtown App, Distrx, includes a scavenger hunt “apptivity” for the community this weekend!

“You Otter be in the River District" scavenger hunt will be live on March 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. There are 11 shy otters hiding around the River District. Solve clues and explore downtown to figure out where the otters are hiding!
To participate, download the Distrx app, choose The River District as your district, and then click on the “contest” section to start the hunt! This is a great COVID-19-friendly family activity that can be done outside.
Everyone who participates in the scavenger hunt can stop by the River District Association office at 208 N. Union Street to get popcorn and a gift bag. All participants will also be entered to win fun Danville themed prizes:
Grand prize: One gift basket of Danville themed items and gift certificates
Second Prize: Three gift bags with a HOME T-shirt, baseball cap, cup, mask,
and a copy of the Dan River Twins Book
Third Prize: Six prizes of a copy of the Dan River Twins book

For those who would rather take a narrated walking tour downtown, the Distrx app will have two walking tours live on March 6. 
Visitors and residents can learn about Danville’s Civil Rights history by taking the Civil Rights/Union Bottom tour. This tour, narrated by local historian Karice Luck-Brimmer of Our History Matters, celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and contributions to the Civil Rights Movement of Danville's historical African American business district.
Additionally, the River District Revitalization tour, put together by the City of Danville’s Office of Economic Development, and narrated by Diana Schwartz, Executive Director of River District Association, celebrates the work and progress behind the now lively and re-imagined River District. 
Distrx is a mobile app that is part of a nationwide network of Main Street districts and will provide both visitors and residents of the Danville area with a directory of downtown businesses, parking information, walking tours, a calendar of downtown events, and updated COVID protocols. 

The Distrix app is available to download on Apple and Android devices on the Apple Store, and Google Play App Store. There is no cost to download the app.
Averett University has announced that Melissa Wohlstein has been named vice president for philanthropy after an extensive nationwide search. Her appointment was effective as of February 16, 2021.

Wohlstein joins Averett after a career spanning almost 20 years in both the public and private college/university settings, working in all aspects of higher education fundraising.

During her tenure in philanthropy — with responsibilities including annual fund drives, alumni development, major gifts and planned giving — Wohlstein has secured more than $25 million in major gifts.

Her experience includes serving as the associate vice president of development at Hollins University; senior director of constituent relations for the College of Veterinarian Medicine at the University of Georgia; vice president for institutional advancement at Radford University; associate vice president for development and campaigns at Georgia Southern University; and senior director of development and alumni affairs for the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida.

Wohlstein earned a Master of Public Administration degree from The University of Central Florida as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater and English from The University of Alabama.

She has presented at numerous national fundraising conferences and held leadership roles in several professional and community organizations, including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Fundraiser Professionals and Rotary International.
Job seekers are strongly encouraged to post a resume or summary of experience.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research is pleased to announce and accept applications for the 2021 Summer Internship Program.

The program will place up to 11 interns in meaningful, on-the-job training experiences at IALR in various areas ranging from coding/precision agriculture to talent development. All health and safety guidelines will be followed to ensure a safe work environment. While the internship experiences are intended to take place at IALR, mentors are developing hybrid (blend of on-site and telework) options. 

To be considered for the eight-week, paid project, candidates must be one of the following:

  • high school graduate with plans to attend college in the fall of 2021
  • undergraduate or graduate level college student
  • recent college graduate who completed a college degree within the last 12 months.

The internship will begin in June and must be completed by August 13.
Available internship opportunities include:

  1. SMART Table 2.0 Controller Development with Dr. Scott Lowman (up to two positions)
  2. Controlled Environment Agriculture with Dr. Scott Lowman (up to two positions)
  3. Research and Data Analysis for the Southern Virginia Region with Linda Green
  4. Marketing and Communications with Allison Moore
  5. Informal STEM Learning Programs with Dr. Julie Brown (up to two positions)
  6. Manufacturing Workforce Pipeline Research and Marketing for the Southern Virginia Region with Troy Simpson
  7. Human Resource Management with Elaine Ratcliffe
  8. Information Technology with Tim Kruggel
Interns will receive a stipend of $2,925 paid semi-monthly. The anticipated weekly time commitment is 28 hours, and the IALR mentor will set the work schedule during the intern orientation.
Applications are due by 4 p.m. (EST), Monday, March 22, 2021. The internship application, other information and detailed project descriptions are available at

For more information, please contact Brown at or 434.766.6711, or Elaine Ratcliffe, IALR’s Human Resources Manager, at or 434.766.6747.
There is no fee for these sessions. However, an appointment is required.

To request an appointment with Randy Brown, Business Services Manager for Central / South Virginia, submit an email to

The subject line should read “1 On 1”; the text should identify your 1st, 2nd and 3rd preferred time slots. You must also identify the city / county where your business is located.

If you do NOT identify the location of your firm, your request for a session WILL NOT be processed.

If the appointment time is available, you will be sent a meeting invitation. If your requested appointment time is not available, you will be placed on the Advance Notice List for April.
Learn what offerings will be provided from the SOVA Innovation Hub and take a virtual tour.

In 2020, Mid-Atlantic Broadband created the SOVA Innovation Hub non-profit in partnership with Microsoft TechSpark. The Innovation Hub brings together business and education partners to offer innovative programs that inspire people to pursue digital careers and entrepreneurship.

Digital skill programs include: LinkedIn Learning, Gener8tor Upskilling, Career Boost, and skills for teachers and families.

Join the Southern Piedmont Technology Council on March 11 to learn about the exciting opportunities that the Innovation Hub will provide for our region, and take a virtual tour of their 15,000 state-of-the-art facility in South Boston which includes a coworking space, training centers and Microsoft Experience Center. 

Date: March 11, 2021
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location: Online via Zoom
Building the Foundation for Your New Business: 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.

Speaker(s): Brandon Hennessey, Longwood SBDC Business Analyst
Co-Sponsor(s): Longwood SBDC, George Mason University, Virginia Small Business
Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration

Register Online
Fee: No Cost
The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (“DOLI”) enacted an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) setting forth workplace safety standards relating to the COVID-19 last July of 2020. Virginia has now enacted a Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19 (the “Permanent Standard”). The 58-page Permanent Standard, set forth in Section 16VAC25-220 of the Virginia Administrative Code, is effective as of January 27, 2021. The Permanent Standard applies to all employers in the Commonwealth and supersedes the ETS.

Employers must update their policies and practices to comply with the Permanent Standard and inform employees of any changes. As you know, employers were required to provide training to employees consistent with the requirements of the ETS. While employers are not required to retrain employees, employers must ensure that all employees have been trained and are aware of any new changes. Employees are required to keep certification records of the training received by employees. The training requirements take effect March 26, 2021 - the deadline.

In preparation for the March 26 deadline, GENEDGE Alliance has > a resource page with useful education and training materials collected from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) as well as their own recorded webinars and newly launched free self-assessment - all in helping Virginia companies become compliant.

Please contact GENEDGE if you have questions, or if they can assist you with your compliance obligations under the Permanent Standard:

John Hagwood, Regional Growth Manager, GENEDGE, (276) 666-8890 x228
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce |
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
150 Slayton Avenue | Danville, VA 24540