Onward New River Valley hosted its 2021 Annual Dinner at the Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. The event drew key stakeholders from across the region and featured a networking reception, a buffet dinner, an awards ceremony, and a program. There were 123 individuals in attendance.
Chair of the Onward NRV Board of Directors Scott Blankenship welcomed guests and thanked elected officials, board members, Chairman level investors, President level investors, and the event sponsors. He then thanked the 100+ businesses and organizations who invest in the mission of Onward NRV.
After dinner, Blankenship presented Service Awards to former board members. These awards recognize and celebrate individuals who have contributed to the economic growth and development of Virginia’s New River Valley through service on the Onward NRV Board of Directors. This year’s honorees included Jon Beegle, Stephen Chandler, Tommy Loflin, Lori Saltus, and Jon Wyatt.
Director of Marketing Katie Boswell then presented the 2021 Regional Impact Awards to Moog, Oransi, Patton Logistics, and Xaloy. These companies were honored for their commitment to bringing new jobs and investment to Virginia’s New River Valley.
Boswell also provided the investors with an update on Onward NRV’s work over the past year. She shared initiatives that the organization had completed in the past year, including:
- Virtual Tours for NRV Sites & Buildings,
- Digital Marketing Talent Campaigns,
- the 2021 cohort of the NRV Experience,
- Blacksburg Transit bus wrapped in NRV branded messaging,
- and a Cost-of-Living calculator featured on TheNRV.org.
Peter Mann, Founder and CEO of Annual Dinner sponsor Oransi, had an opportunity to speak to the attendees about his company and why they selected Virginia’s New River Valley for their manufacturing facility. He then introduced the keynote speakers.
During the keynote speech, attendees heard from Kevin Byrd, Executive Director of the NRV Regional Commission, and Raymond Smoot, Chair of the GO Virginia Region 2 Council. The speakers shared about the progress of the NRV Passenger Rail Initiative and the economic impact that passenger rail will have on Virginia’s New River Valley.
Blankenship ended the evening with closing remarks and announced the appointment of Katie Boswell as Onward NRV’s next Executive Director.
Onward NRV would like to say a special thank you to the Annual Dinner sponsor, Oransi, and the Networking Reception sponsors, Member One Federal Credit Union and The Orange Bandana for their support 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.