Here’s a round-up of briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Virginia Tech forms search committee for new business school dean

Virginia Tech has finalized the committee tasked with overseeing a national search for the next dean of the Pamplin College of Business

The new dean will replace Robert Sumichrast, the Richard E. Sorensen Chair and dean of the Pamplin College of Business since 2013, who announced his retirement in August. Sumichrast will officially retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

Laura Belmonte, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will chair the search committee and guide the application/nomination, candidate review and interview, campus engagement, and finalist selection processes. Search committee members are as follows:

  • Viswanath (Venki) Venkatesh – professor, Business Information Technology
  • Nancy McGehee – professor, Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Jonathan Everett – assistant professor of practice, Real Estate
  • Broderick Turner – assistant professor, Marketing
  • Beth Osborne – director of finance
  • Misty Blankenship – administrative academic manager, Marketing
  • France Belanger – University Distinguished Professor, Accounting and Information Systems
  • Richard (Rick) Hunt – associate professor and director of doctoral studies, Management
  • Quinton Nottingham – associate professor, Business Information Technology
  • Sarah Stein – associate professor, Accounting and Information Systems
  • Yessenia Telez – assistant professor, Finance
  • Raman Kumar – professor, Finance
  • Anna-Katherine (A.K.) Ward – associate professor, Management; faculty senator and college Faculty Association president
  • Michelle Harding – assistant professor, Accounting and Information Systems
  • Linda Christie – director, Center for Business Analytics
  • Bridget Ryan Berman – chair, Pamplin Advisory Council Cabinet
  • Dana Hansson – director, MBA programs
  • Phil Xiang – professor and head, Feiertag Hospitality and Tourism Management Department

The search committee will be supported by a staff that includes Amy Hogan, assistant provost for Leadership Initiatives, and Leslie Sullivan, coordinator for Faculty Affairs.

Virginia Tech is also in the process of securing a firm that will assist with this search process and will solicit and receive nominations for the position. The position description, application/nomination process, and search updates will be available on the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost website.

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Carilion hosts electronics recycling event in Roanoke on Saturday

Do you have old computers, printers, tablets, phones, power cables or other unused electronics you need to get rid of? Drop them off at a drive-through recycling event where they can be properly disposed.

Carilion Clinic is partnering with River Acceptance, a local electronics recycler, to recycle electronics safely and securely. All funds generated through the revenue of recycled materials will go  towards the Carilion Clinic Foundation’s campaign for a new cancer center.   

See the link below for full information, including a list of what can and cannot be accepted. 

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 8, 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Carilion Clinic Riverside Campus Parking Lot, 3 Riverside Circle, Roanoke (enter from Reserve Avenue)


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Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority approves grant for Buchanan County business

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has approved a $6,500 seed capital grant for Competitive Performance, a Buchanan County business that provides mobile welding to handyman and carpentry-related services.

Both commercial and residential clients can benefit from the services offered by Competitive Performance, which projects one full-time job and up to five contract labor employees at various times, dependent on need,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher.

Future plans for the business include to add welding assistants and other general laborers, who he said will also be required to hold all necessary certifications before being assigned to specific jobs.

Davis said he will travel within a 100-mile radius of his Raven location, which will see him offer services in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina depending on client need. Additionally, he can take some projects in for work in a garage he has dedicated for services on his property. He has already outfitted a mobile rig which is ready to go.

Davis worked with the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College in the development of his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority.

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell and Wise counties and the city of Norton.

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Ken Belton. Courtesy of Virginia Western Community College.

Virginia Western Educational Foundation announces new member of board of directors

Kenneth Belton has joined the board of directors of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation. 

Belton is owner of Your Church Partner LLC and is a Roanoke College alumnus now serving on the college’s board of trustees. 

The volunteer board of directors guides the Educational Foundation’s mission of supporting student scholarships, faculty development and endowment initiatives at Virginia Western. Board members have been the driving force behind Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a public-private partnership that provides up to three years of tuition to eligible students.