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2022 The Valley Today Podcasts

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: 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.

For more information about other chamber events, membership inquiries, or sponsorship opportunities, visit their website:  and follow them on Facebook.

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

Before we wrapped our conversation, Vanessa gave us a few details for some upcoming events: Corporate ChallengeValor Awards & Valley Business Women's Night Out.

For more information about the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber or to watch the replay of the Greater Good Awards, visit their website:  and follow them on Facebook.

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.

You can donate, volunteer, and get more information about Winchester Rescue Mission on their website:  and by following them on Facebook.

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.

Get more details about the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber on their website:  and by following them on Facebook.

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:

  • Leadership/Teamwork
  • Non-Profits
  • Community Culture
  • Agriculture
  • Media
  • Government/Economic Development
  • Education
  • 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:

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.

For more information about chamber membership, programs and events, visit their website: and follow them on Facebook.


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.

This year’s tentative sessions are around: social media, communication, wellness, post-secondary opportunities, community, and a tour of the college grounds. Continental breakfast will be provided and lunch will be served at the University’s Allen Dining Hall, all is included in the registration costs.
Cynthia explained how collaborations like these are part of the chamber's mission to provide leadership training and opportunities to all in our community.
You can learn more about the Reaching Out Now organization on their website:

August: The conversation for The Valley Business Today with Top of Virginia Regional Chamber gave us all the details for their upcoming Valor Awards.

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:

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.

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