Onward NRV Hosts 2022 Annual Dinner

Onward New River Valley hosted its 2022 Annual Dinner at the Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on September 8, 2022. 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 156 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 Alan Fabian, Ginny Taylor, and Joseph Guthrie.

Executive Director Katie Boswell then presented the 2022 Regional Impact Award to Phoenix Hardwoods who was honored for their commitment to bringing new jobs and investment to Virginia’s New River Valley.

Boswell also provided 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:

  • Prospect activity
  • Regional data profiles
  • Talent initiatives including the Blacksburg Transit bus wrapped in NRV branded messaging
  • Marketing data
  • The 2027 Onward NRV Strategic Plan timeline

Mr. Nathan Harper and Ms. Lenore Weiss, of Annual Dinner sponsor Spectrum Design, had an opportunity to speak to the attendees about their company and why they love doing business in Virginia’s New River Valley. They then introduced the keynote speaker, Crystal Morphis of Creative Economic Development Consultants Inc.

During the keynote speech, attendees heard from Crystal Morphis about the strategic planning process.  She also shared about the goals of the preliminary strategic plan and touted the substantial economic impact that Onward NRV has had in the region over the past five years.

Mr. Blankenship ended the evening with closing remarks and thanked all of 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, Spectrum Design, and the networking reception sponsors, Brown Edwards and First Community Bank 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.

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