The Valley Today Podcasts
Brought to you by radio partner 95.3 The River.
January: We recorded today's conversation with a live studio audience at Handley Regional Library. Today was Media/Non-Profit Day for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber's Community Leadership Program.
This nine-month program runs on the third Friday of each month from September through May. The program begins with an orientation on the third Friday in August, followed by monthly sessions studying specific topics.
Topics may include:
- Community Culture
- Government/Economic Development
- Health Care
- Public Safety
- Simulated Society
- Community Problem Solving
The sessions are led by a combination of community leaders, professional facilitators, and specialists in the respective fields. This program is designed to provide insight into the challenges and opportunities that exist in the City of Winchester, Clarke County, and Frederick County, Virginia.
We chatted today with two CLP alum - Andy Gail, Executive Director for Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area and Julie Ferrell from Timber Ridge School - about their experiences in the class and the impact it has had on them in their business and personal lives.
For more information about the Community Leadership Program - class of 2023 applications will be accepted from May 16, 2022 through July 29 2022 - visit the chamber's website: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/community-leadership-program/
Brought to you by radio partner 95.3 The River.
January: Our conversation for The Valley Business Today included Cynthia Schneider, CEO of Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, and her Chairman of the Board, Scott Harvard (CEO of First Bank.)We talked about the board's role in moving the chamber forward & the diverse backgrounds and institutional knowledge it provides to Cynthia. Scott explained his role as the Executive Committee Chair and talked about how important it is to our entire community to have a strong chamber of commerce. Cynthia filled us in on the new website and reminded us that nominations are still being accepted (through January 31) for the Greater Good Awards. She also gave us a bit of information about a new marketing vehicle they'll be launching soon in partnership with NewsTalk 1400.
February: Our conversation for the Valley Business Today with Kory Campbell, Director of Marketing & Communications for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber centered around local tourism - hyper-local, actually. Joining us for the conversation was Felicia Pallett, Director of Sales for George Washington Wyndham Grand Hotel. Kory told us about his honeymoon trip where he & his wife stayed at GWWG and spent some time wandering around as if they were tourists. We talked about how the tweak in perspective gave Kory a new appreciation for businesses, buildings, and even tourists. Felicia filled us in on all the great things about GWWG from their spa to their restaurant. She told us about the renovations and the people who stay with them both locals and visitors to the area.In the second segment, we talked about events: weddings, receptions, and corporate events. Felicia told us about the various spaces that are available and the amenities that come with them. We wrapped up the show getting details from Kory for the chamber's Greater Good Awards that are happening on March 24, 2022, at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club.
March: Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Top of Virginia Regional Chamber featured Kory Campbell, Director of Marketing & Communications for the organization. Kory gave us all the details for the chamber's latest outreach effort: WinLife TV. He explained how the partnership happened and talked about all the businesses, community events, and news items that will be featured on the channel. It can be viewed throughout the area on Comcast channel(s) 190 and 1097. The channel is also available via live stream on the chamber's website: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/We also talked about several upcoming events hosted by the chamber:The Post Legislative Lunch will be held on April 7, 2021 between 12pm - 2pm at The George Washington Wyndam Grand Hotel. Click here for details and/or to register.Business After Hours hosted by Rock Harbor Golf Course will happen on April 13, 2022 between 5:30pm - 7pm. Click here for details.Lunch & Learn: Cyber Security, Cyber Governance & Cyber Insurance will happen on April 19, 2022 between 11:30am - 1:30pm at Winchester Country Club. Click here to get more details and/or register.Business at the Bloom will take place on April 27, 2022 at James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Event Center and starts at 11am. Click here for more details and/or purchase tickets.
Mark your calendars for the May Business After Hours hosted by Shaffer's BBQ in Middletown.
April: We recorded today's conversation for The Valley Business Today on location at Shaffer's BBQ & Market in Middletown. Shaffer's owner, Matt was recently named the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber's Small Business of the Year at their Greater Good Awards which took place on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club.Vanessa McAllister, Director of Programs & Events for the chamber was my co-host today. Joining us for the conversation was Frederick County Sheriff, Lenny Millholland who was recently named Citizen of the Year, and Barry Lee who received the Lifetime Community Impact Award. We talked about the event and what being winning meant to each of them. The conversation was full of stories and laughter.The purpose of the “Greater Good Awards” is to celebrate outstanding individuals and businesses for the contributions they make to the quality of life and economic stability of our region through genuine community commitment, dedication to excellence, and ethical and creative business practices. Award winners are chosen by an impartial committee of past Chamber board chairs. Awards include Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Non-profit of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Emerging Leader Award, James R. Wilkins Sr. Legacy Award, and Lifetime Community Impact Award.Other award winners from the event were:
Katrina Smith - RE/MAX Synergy | Entrepreneur of the Year
Valley Proteins, Inc. | Large Business of the Year
David Kent | Emerging Leader
Winchester Rescue Mission | Non-Profit of the Year
Vanessa also told us about the newly named Legacy Awards
May: We were on the screen for our "Valley Business Today" conversation with Kory Campbell, Director of Marketing & Communications with the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber. Joining us was Pastor Brandan Thomas from Winchester Rescue Mission to give us details about his organization and its current expansion to Valley Avenue in Winchester.
Brandan told us about the services that Winchester Rescue Mission offers to members in need in our community.
Resident Shelter Programs meet the most basic and immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness. Each night, men, women, and families find a warm bed and safety from the streets at the Winchester Rescue Mission. The center for men can currently sleep up to 32 while the center for women can currently sleep 15.
Case Management provides a case worker to work one-on-one with each person to develop a personalized plan to address needs including healthcare, mental health, literacy, and employment with the goal of helping them change unhealthy patterns of behavior, heal, and become a contributing member of our community.
Food Distribution and Community Meals are provided through a partnership with the local food bank, as well as grocers, stores, and other businesses that donate baked goods, meats, fresh produce, and other food items. The food distribution is open to anyone in the community currently needing food for themselves and their families.
Community dinner is served 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 5 pm. The dinner is not only open to those finding shelter at Winchester Rescue Mission, but is open to individuals and families of the Winchester community. Click here to view the calendar.
Hygiene Services such as restrooms, hot showers, and personal hygiene supplies as well as laundry facilities are available to all guests. The Winchester Rescue Mission’s shower and laundry facilities are also open to the community. Men can use these services Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. Women seeking to use these services should contact Winchester Rescue Mission to schedule a time for use.
Brandan also explained what the expansion to Valley Avenue will mean to the number of people they will be able to serve in our community - nearly double. They will also be able to expand their services to women and families, classroom space, and a year-round emergency shelter. Get more details about the new building located at 2655 Valley Avenue by clicking here.
Kory told us about the "big move" the chamber is making to Winchester Regional Airport on June 16 and are looking forward to serving members from the new location. He also gave us details for a few upcoming chamber events such as the Community Leadership Program graduation, Corporate Challenge, and Business After Hours.
June: Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Top of Virginia Regional Chamber featured Kory Campbell, Director of Marketing & Communications, and Vanessa McAllister, Director of Programs and Events to talk about the chamber's recent move to Winchester Regional Airport and the Community Leadership Program.
The Community Leadership Program - now entering its 26th year - is a nine-month program that runs from September through May. The program begins with an orientation, followed by monthly sessions studying specific topics including:
- Community Culture
- Government/Economic Development
- Health Care
- Public Safety
- Simulated Society
- Community Problem Solving
The sessions are led by a combination of community leaders, professional facilitators, and specialists in their respective fields. This program is designed to provide insight into the challenges and opportunities that exist in the City of Winchester, Clarke County, and Frederick County, Virginia. Applications are being accepted through June 30 and can be found here: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/community-leadership-program/
Joining us for the conversation was Ben Savory, owner of Summit Events and a recent graduate of the Community Leadership Program who gave us his perspective on the importance of programs like this. He told us about the things that he learned about the community and explained what he plans to do with his newly obtained knowledge and insight.
Before we wrapped up our chat today, Kory filled us in on details for the chamber's move from Old Town Winchester to their new offices located in a hangar at Winchester Regional Airport. This move is temporary - 2 years - while a new business terminal is being constructed which will become the chamber's new permanent home. He also told us about a few upcoming chamber events including Business After Hours on June 29, 2022, at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club from 5:30 pm - 7 pm; Business After Hours on July 13, 2022, at Market Street United Methodist Church from 5:30 pm - 7 pm; and a Lunch & Learn about leasing standards on July 26, 2022, from 12 pm - 1 pm via Zoom.
July: Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Cynthia Schneider, CEO at Top of Virginia Regional Chamber featured Samantha Barber, Founder & President of Reaching Out Now.
Sam gave us all the details for their upcoming YES Conference (Youth Empowered for Success) happening on Monday, August 1, 2022, from 8:30 am - 4 pm. Reaching Out Now is partnering with Shenandoah University to provide students (10-12th grade) with a series of presentations and interactive panels around wellness, networking, and leadership skills.
Joining Janet Michael to talk about the event was Scott Harvard, CEO of First Bank (the title sponsor) & Executive Chair of the chamber board and Vanessa McAllister, Director of Programs & Events for the chamber.
We talked about the importance of awards like this, the move back to a venue for this year's event, and why sponsorships for this particular event are a little different for businesses.
The event will happen on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at
Fox Meadow Barn from 5pm - 9pm. You can find nomination forms and purchase your tickets on the chamber's website: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/the-valor-awards/
The Valor Awards, recognize public safety professionals, volunteers, and citizens who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in protecting our community. Public safety agencies nominate recipients they believe performed courageous and selfless acts, and a committee consisting of local leaders will be selecting the award winners.
An officer who had shots fired at him by a bank robber, firefighters who ran into a burning home in an attempt to save lives, and a citizen who saved the life of a priest by administering CPR. These are three examples of heroic actions that were honored at previous Valor Awards ceremonies.
The award categories are as follows:
CITIZENS AWARD - Recognition of citizen(s) for their extraordinary acts of courage in emergency situations or actions which directly result in the saving of human life.
UNIT CITATION - Recognition of acts by a unit/division/company demonstrating unusual judgment, ingenuity, and/or personal risk and bravery during an emergency situation, when such action is beyond that normally expected in the performance of duty.
MERITORIOUS ACTION AWARD - Recognition of individuals for exemplary action, placing themselves in a situation of personal risk.
LIFESAVING AWARD - Recognition of actions in emergency circumstances that directly result in the saving of human life.
CERTIFICATE OF VALOR - Recognition of actions demonstrating unusual judgment, zeal, or ingenuity, not normally involved in the performance of duties.
BRONZE AWARD OF VALOR - Recognition of acts involving personal risk and demonstrating unusual judgment, zeal, and/or ingenuity during an emergency situation, when such action is beyond that normally expected in the performance of duty.
SILVER AWARD OF VALOR - Recognition of acts involving significant personal risk and bravery beyond that which is expected during the normal performance of duty.
GOLD AWARD OF VALOR - Recognition of acts involving supreme sacrifice or extreme personal risk and heroism which is clearly above and beyond the call of duty.
- January: Cynthia Schneider, CEO, chatted about the state of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber going into 2021 with John Fox, Chair of the Board for the Chamber. The pair discussed the transition of board members and the integral role the board has played in managing & maintaining the services & programs offered by the chamber. John explained his goals moving into 2021 and Cynthia told us what to expect at their annual membership meeting happening on Wednesday, January 27.
- February: Danita Roble, Director of Programs & Events for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, gave details for the Greater Good Awards happening on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at The Alamo Drafthouse.Joining the conversation were last year’s winners:Celeste Borel from L’Auberge Provencale Bed & Breakfast (Small Business of the Year)
Susan Brooks from Navy Federal Credit Union (Large Business of the Year)
Cary Dunston (Citizen of the Year)
Dr. Dave Miles, Dr. Dave Leadership Corp. (Entrepreneur of the Year)
Charles Harbaugh, IV (Emerging Leader)
- March: Kory Campbell from the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber gave an update from the 2021 Greater Good Award ceremony. Kory’s guests were Adrian Taylor & Jeremy Shen from YHB, recent winners of the Large Business of the Year award; and Greg Vossler, recent winner of the Emerging Leader award. Kory gave us a recap of the evening’s (in-person) events and told us who won each of the awards. Greg, Adrian & Jeremy told us how excited and honored they were to win the award(s) and sang the praises of the chamber for the success of the event.
- April: Top of Virginia Regional Chamber CEO Cynthia Schneider and her board Chairman, John Fox discuss a few chamber programs and learn more about the chamber’s mission to be the voice of business. We talked about the chamber’s Public Policy Committee and their new initiative to increase Government procurement from local vendors whenever possible. Read the press release here: https://theriver953.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Chamber-Announces-Procurement-Initiative-for-Local-Government.pdf The purpose of the Public Policy Committee is to educate Chamber members about key public policy issues and to represent their interests before local, state and federal governments and agencies. We also talked about their Workforce Development Committee and several of the goals they’ve set for the coming year. The mission of the Chamber Workforce Development Committee is to educate and make available to members the opportunities for them to grow and develop their workforce by accessing the community resources. The Chamber will collaborate with the education community, workforce development agencies, EDA’s, and other resources. This is in addition to the Chamber’s program offerings such as Community Learning Program and the Young Professionals Group.
- May: Students from the Community Leadership Program, Class of 2021 joined Danita Roble, Director of Event Management for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber to share their experience in the program.
- June: Cynthia Schneider, CEO of Top of Virginia Regional Chamber talks about our purpose, mission, and vision as it relates to member programs and services.Purpose: to connect businesses and community resources for mutual success.Mission: Provide Programs and services to meet the business and professional needs of our members.Vision: To be the voice of business for the City of Winchester, Clarke, and Frederick Counties.She shared some examples of programs, services, and events that reinforce those initiatives and gave us details for each.Networking – both through Mixers and Lead Share Groups (Vision, Mission, and Purpose)
Community Leadership Program (Mission) – Applications are being accepted through June 30
Public Policy | Marijuana Forum (Vision) happening virtually on Monday, June 28. This is part of a 3-part series that includes: How might it affect your business; What do I need to know about the July 1, 2021 changes to legislation; How can I influence future legislation locally and at the state level
Coming this fall (Labor Day weekend) the chamber is partnering with Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival to plan a community event to include the Valor Awards (Thursday), Concern Hotlines Fish Fry (Friday), and SABF BBQ and Brews on Saturday. (Purpose)
- July: From the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber with Danita Roble, Director of Event Management and her guests: Rusty Holland, Director at Concern Hotline & Brad Veach, Director at Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. The group gave the details for their upcoming event collaboration: Core of the Community that happens Labor Day weekend. The event weekend will kick off with the chamber’s Valor Awards on Thursday, September 2, 2021. On Friday, September 3, 2021 Concern Hotline will host their 22nd Annual Fish Fry Friday from 4pm – 9pm. The weekend wraps up with BBQ and Brews hosted by the Shenandoah Apple Blossom on Saturday, September 4, 2021 from 1pm – 9pm. All three events will be held at the Frederick County Fairgrounds.We talked about how the opportunity presented itself for the three agencies to partner and the benefits they’ve already seen from this collaboration.Click here for more information about the Valor Awards.Click here for details about Concern Hotline’s Fish Fry Friday.Click here for details about the BBQ & Brews event hosted by Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.
- August: The Valley Business Today with John Fox, Executive Committee Chair for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, and his guest, Dr. Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent of Winchester Public Schools. We talked about the partnerships between the chamber, their committee members, and the school systems in our area that happen to support workforce development in our community. Jason told us about the Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center that opens this week to students at Handley High School. We discussed the importance of CTE education and the different things the Workforce Development Committee of the chamber tackle to further the conversation.
- September: Kory Campbell, Director of Marketing & Communications for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber joined me for a conversation about the 2021 Valor Awards that took place on September 2, 2021. He told us about the awards and shared some audio from Sgt. Sean O’Connor's speech. He also gave us the details for upcoming chamber events and programs: Young Professionals, Business After Hours, and the Marijuana Forum. Details for all of those events as well as a list of Valor Award winners can be found on their website: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/
- October: Our conversation for The Valley Business Today with Cynthia Schneider, CEO of Top of Virginia Regional Chamber included Stacey Barrett Haines from Barrett Machine to talk about how their business & manufacturing as an industry has changed over the last 30 years. Stacey told us about several open positions they have for machinists & fabricators and explained what a typical day might look like. She proudly spoke of the family and team atmosphere among her staff, many of which have been with the company for several years. To learn more about the open jobs and training opportunities, visit their website: https://barrettmachine.com/ and follow them on Facebook. For more information about other manufacturing companies in our community, visit the chamber's website: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/ and search their membership database.
- November: We chatted with Kory Campbell, Director of Marketing & Communications for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber about the reboot of their MarketSpace. Check it out here: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/marketspace/ We also talked about the importance of supporting small business in our communities and why that's a priority for the chamber.
- December: Our conversation for The Valley Business Today featured Top of Virginia Regional Chamber and several of their staff. Joining us: Danita Roble - Director of Membership; Hanna Stewart - Membership Specialist; Kory Campbell - Director of Marketing & Communications; and Vanessa McAllister - Director of Programs & Events. We talked about the upcoming Greater Good Awards - nominations are currently open - as well as the chamber returning to in-person events. We also discussed the value of chamber membership. For more information, visit their website: https://www.regionalchamber.biz/
Brought to your by radio partner 95.3 The River.
January: Cynthia Schneider, CEO shared all the changes coming to the chamber in 2020 that include staff duties, new programs, updates to various events, and more.
February: Ashley Miller, Director of Marketing & Communications & Danita Roble, Event Management, had a candid conversation about all the marketing options available to chamber members – most included with their membership – and how to best take advantage of them.
March: Cynthia Schneider, CEO and Ashley Miller, Director of Marketing & Communications had a conversation about the chamber’s efforts to support local businesses during the COVID19 pandemic and how the TOV is #Open4Biz.
April: Cynthia Schnieder, CEO, shared the chamber’s newest offering: Telemed and discussed the upcoming virtual job fair.
May: Cynthia Schneider, CEO and her guest, Celeste Borel, owner of L’Auberge Provencale located in White Post, VA discussed the aspect of resiliency. During the conversation, Cynthia talked about the importance of being resilient in order for a business to be successful, especially in our current economic climate. As the chamber’s 2019 Small Business of the Year recipient, Cynthia thought Celeste would be a great guest to talk about how her business had already made changes to their business model, then made a new pivot to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis.
June: Jody Wall, Director of Program Development discussed the Community Leadership Program and was joined by Charles Daniels, current TVRC board member & 2019-2020 CLP participant, where they discussed the longevity of the program now entering it’s 24th year, the information participants learn about their community and the long-lasting impact it has on their leadership & community commitment.
July: Cynthia Schneider, CEO, Charles Daniels, Board Member and Public Policy chair, and Danita Roble, Director of events chatted about Hob Nob in the Valley 2020.
September: Danita Roble, Director, Event Management was joined by guests Kelly Rice, Deputy Chief, Winchester Police Dept. and Hadden Culp, Fire Chief, City of Winchester to discuss the 8th annual Valor Awards, presented by City National Bank.
October: Cynthia Schneider and new City of Winchester Manager, Dan Hoffman sat down together for a chat about his plans for the City of Winchester.
November: Billy Whirley, Director, Membership Development talked about membership benefits and how the chamber has had to pivot it’s offerings to accommodate members during the pandemic
- December: Cynthia Schneider, President of Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, looks back at 2020 and discusses how both the chamber & local businesses weathered the pandemic. Cynthia gave thanks to her staff, board, and members for their perseverance and dedication to keeping the doors open. Also discussed was the Shop Local Initiative as well as Open & Safe NSV – get the details here: https://openandsafensv.biz/
Brought to your by radio partner 95.3 The River.
- January - Belladean Mashingaidze & Rachel Fish from White House Foods discussed the importance of research when adding new products & services; knowing your customers and what they want/expect from your company; and why keeping your employees engaged in your mission leads to a successful company.
- February - Jody Wall, Director, Events recapped with the 2018 Greater Good Award winners: John Habuda, Shenandoah Valley I.T.- Entrepreneur of the Year, Freda Roberson, Fremont Street Nursery- Small Business of the Year, Andy Gail, Emerging Leader and Allison Combs, The Village at Orchard Ridge- Large Business of the Year. (Not present, Dixon Whitworth, Citizen of the Year and Joanne Lloyd, Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, Volunteer of the Year).
- March - Jaime Karalis, President of Lightbulb Marketing, and Danita Roble, Director of Membership had a great conversation about marketing that offered suggestions and advice for business owners to get the most effective reach from their marketing efforts.
- April - Jim Bowie, Roxtar, Inc., and adjunct professor at Shenandoah University, teaching Lean Six Sigma joined Danita Roble, Membership Development, discussed and addressed issues both small and large businesses face both internally and externally.
- May - Jody Wall, Director, Events talked about the 2019 Corporate Challenge with Michelle Brune from BB&T (the event’s corporate sponsor) and Jeremy Shen from Yount Hyde & Barbour, reigning champion of last year’s event.
- July- This month Janet Michael and Danita Clark-Roble sat down with David A. Miles, Dr. Dave Leadership Corp. Their conversation included the importance of leadership; leadership development; and, building a leadership culture in an organization. Dr. Dave also shared some information on an upcoming leadership development event in partnership with Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity and the Top of Virginia Regional ChamberLive2Lead: Winchester.
- August- Jody Wall, director of program development and guest, Jim Guisewhite, Chairman of the planning committee for Hob Nob in the Valley discussed the details for the event happening on Friday, September 13, 2019 from 5pm – 8pm at Handley High School. The event is fundraiser for the chamber; is non-partisan; but, provides the opportunity for attendees to meet, mingle and converse with current public servants as well as those currently running for office. State & local officials will be in attendance.
- September- This month Janet Michael and Jody Wall sat down with presenting sponsor Katrina Meade City National Bank and Lenny Millholland to talk about the The 2019 Valor Awards on Friday, Nov. 1. The event recognizes various public safety departments, as well as every day citizens who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of others.
- October- Jody Wall, Director of Program Development for TVRC, Missy McDonald, Work-Based Learning Coordinator at Frederick County Public Schools & Bonnie Zampino, Center Manager with Virginia Career Works joined Janet in the studio where they talked about the workforce development committee’s work, it’s importance in developing a local, skilled workforce and how these two committee members’ organizations collaborate with community members, local employers and those seeking employment.