After a warm welcome from Dennis Reece, Onward NRV Chair, Onward NRV recognized Julian Kirk and Ed Lawhorn for their years of service to the organization. Julian served on the Board of Directors for over 8 years and Ed was on the board for over 13 years, serving 3 of those years as Chair. The Regional Impact Awards were also given out to five companies, specifically in manufacturing, information technology, and unmanned systems, who are investing and creating jobs in the region.
Onward NRV Executive Director, Charlie Jewell, provided an overview of the 2018-2019 Annual Report, updating attendees on everything Onward NRV had accomplished in the past year including industry hub summits, the GO Virginia Talent Study, launching the regional video, and the Onward 2023 Campaign. He also shared a few of the primary projects specifically related to talent, currently planned for the upcoming year.
The evening ended with the keynote speaker, Amy Holloway, President and CEO of Avalanche Consulting, Inc. She spoke on the “Power of Partnerships” in regional economic development and the evolution of Onward New River Valley; Amy and her organization helped develop the Onward NRV brand and strategic plan. Amy shared the variety of ways partnerships can take place and encouraged everyone to work on creating intentional and strategic partnerships moving forward.
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.