Onward Hosts 2023 Annual Investor Appreciation and Awards Dinner

Onward NRV hosted their 2023 Annual Investor Appreciation and Awards Dinner at the Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on September 14, 2023. The annual event was attended by 163 thought leaders from across the region and featured a networking reception, a buffet dinner, an awards ceremony, and a keynote address from Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) President and CEO, Jason El Koubi.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership President and CEO, Jason El Koub speaks at the 2023 Onward NRV Annual Dinner

Onward NRV Executive Director Katie Boswell (left) and VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi (right)

Chair of Onward NRV’s Board of Directors Mark Woolwine welcomed guests, board members, Chairman-level investors, President-level investors, and the event sponsors. Woolwine also thanked all the businesses and organizations who invest in the mission of Onward NRV.

After dinner, Woolwine presented service awards to former board members who have contributed to the economic success of Virginia’s New River Valley through their service on the Onward NRV Board of Directors. This year’s honorees included: Richard Mitchell, Brian Lubin, John Cox, Justin Yalung, Tay Taylor, Brandon Quesenberry, and Trip Kellam.

Onward NRV’s Executive Director Katie Boswell followed by presenting the 2023 Regional Impact Awards to businesses who brought new jobs and investment to the New River Valley (NRV) during the past year. SWVA Biochar of Floyd County, Hollingsworth & Vose of Floyd County, and Grucci of Pulaski County were each recognized for their contributions to the economic growth and development of the NRV.

Boswell then provided investors with an update on Onward NRV’s FY 2022-23 Annual Report, the NRV Experience internship program, and the progress of the Onward 2028 fundraising campaign. She also shared the four goals of the Onward 2028 five-year strategy, which include talent, business, marketing, and regionalism.

Mike Stewart, Executive Director of Roanoke – Blacksburg Regional Airport, had an opportunity to speak to the attendees about the airport and why it is a key asset to Virginia’s New River Valley.

Stewart was followed by keynote speaker VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi. El Koubi spoke on VEDP’s transformational goals for the Commonwealth of Virginia and updated attendees on the state of the economy in the New River Valley and Virginia as a whole.

Woolwine ended the evening with closing remarks and thanked all the investors for their continued support in helping to make the NRV a premier place to live, work, and do business.

Onward NRV would like to say a special thank you to the Annual Dinner sponsor, Roanoke – Blacksburg Regional Airport, and the networking reception sponsors, Member One and The Orange Bandana, for their support of the event. Onward also like to thank Aspire Marketing for taking photos of the event.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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  1. […] River Valley presented the 2023 Regional Impact Awards to three companies at the organization’s Annual Dinner on September 14, 2023. The Regional Impact Awards are presented annually and celebrate companies […]

  2. […] New River Valley released their FY 2022-23 Annual Report at the 2023 Annual Investor Dinner on September 16th. The Annual Report updates Onward NRV’s investors on the organization’s […]

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