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

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Marketing company in Bedford to expand, add 30 jobs

The Bedford County Office of Economic Development, in partnership with the Economic Development Authority, has announced that Source4, an integrated business and marketing solutions provider, will invest more than $4.5 million and add 30 new jobs in Bedford County over the next five years.

The company, located on Vista Centre Drive in Forest, is headquartered in North Carolina and has had operations in Forest since 2018 when it purchased Marketing Support Solutions Inc. The company is expanding its operation by adding a 43,000-square-foot warehouse, bringing the total space to 161,000 square feet.

Source4 plans to hire more assembly, fulfillment and distribution workers, as well as warehouse personnel once the buildout is complete. Current job openings include order fulfillment director, engraving machine operator and inventory control coordinator. Qualified candidates are encouraged to contact Billie Schlueter.

Source4 is a national company, headquartered in Cornelius, North Carolina, and has been in business for over 40 years.

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Noah Anderson with the Smiddy costume behind him. Photo courtesy of UVa Wise.

UVa Wise names student speaker for graduation

Noah Anderson of Hillsville will be the student speaker for graduation at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Last year, UVa Wise recognized him as a 2021 Unsung Student Leader for his service as vice president of Phi Mu Alpha, Thompson Hall resident assistant, UVa Wise Honor Court class representative and member of the student activities board.

This year, Anderson was elected SGA senator-at-large and inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta communications honor society.

He’s also the president of the UVa Wise Psi Chi psychology honor society, pioneering a free rental textbook service so students who couldn’t afford texts could access them. So far, 40 books have been donated.

Deep into the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson recognized the need to raise campus spirit and spearheaded the 2021 Give Thanks campaign where more than 60 faculty and students received gratitude messages.

Students, faculty and staff can thank Anderson, a groundskeeper for the environmental services department, for early morning snow shoveling to keep sidewalks clear. This week, even as he is preparing to give his speech, Anderson is also mowing the grass for commencement. He’s also performed as the school mascot, Smiddy.

Anderson is a psychology major with a communications minor. A recipient of the Thompson Family and Colgate Darden scholarships and regular member of the Dean’s List, Anderson has accepted a post-graduation research position with psychology professor Kristina Feeser. He will pursue mental health service work in the area and a doctorate in clinical psychology.

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VCEDA approves grant for Pocahontas restaurant

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has approved a $10,000 seed capital grant for the Ole No. 3 Restaurant & Bar in Pocahontas.

“VCEDA was pleased to assist Ole No. 3 Restaurant & Bar with a seed capital matching grant,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel in a statement. “It has already paid off as the restaurant recently reported to us that it has already exceeded its employment projections and currently has 13 employees, seven of whom are full-time and six of whom are part-time. Original plans had called for nine within three years to include four full-time and five part-time jobs. Since the seed capital program is all about creating jobs in the region, this was great news to hear.”

The restaurant, which is named Ole No. 3 as a tip of the hat to the prolific No. 3 coal seam found in the region, is located next door to the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum. The exhibition mine draws approximately 5,000 guests annually from May to October. The Spearhead Trails’ OP trail also draws visitation year round and the restaurant’s location is within a mile and a half of three ATV resorts and the nearby Hatfield McCoy trail system in West Virginia.

The business is owned by Tom Wimmer. He worked with the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College in developing his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Tazewell 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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Smith Mountain Lake marina raises $100,000 for Make-A-Wish foundation

Bridgewater Marina at Smith Mountin Lake has topped the $100,000 mark in donations to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia and will celebrate with a community event on June 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

“What started as a modest fundraiser five years ago has become a true success story thanks to the Smith Mountain Lake community,” said Ryan Waters, Bridgewater Marina partner, in a statement. “And the absolute best part is the number of children in Virginia with critical illnesses who have been touched by their amazing support. We wanted to express our thanks by planning something fun for families.”

The event will take place outside Bridgewater Marina and will include free popcorn, soda and water, as well as door prizes and a photo booth courtesy of Unique Memories & Gifts.

“This is the first time we’ve done this so we’re still working out the details, but everyone we’ve approached so far has been super enthusiastic about it,” said Waters, noting that updates will be posted at facebook.com/bwmarina.

Representatives of Richmond-based Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia will be on hand to mark the occasion.

The marina started “Feed the Fish for Make-A-Wish” in 2017. The program’s objective was to turn a decades-long Smith Mountain Lake tradition – kids feeding popcorn to the massive carp that gather around the docks at Bridgewater Plaza – into a way to contribute to a charity that serves children. 

Bullen said the average wish costs $10,000 so Bridgewater Marina’s donation equates to approximately 10 wishes for children in Virginia facing critical illnesses. Examples include meeting celebrities, working a dream job and visiting a desired destination such as Chicago or New York.