Some of MOVA's technology. Courtesy of MOVA.

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

* * *

MOVA names new CEO, expands

John Schott. Courtesy of MOVA.

MOVA, a Pulaski-based climate tech company specializing in air filtration and emissions control technologies, has named John Schott as Chief Executive Officer. Schott, who previously served as MOVA’s Chief Operating Officer, succeeds the company’s founder Steve Critchfield, who will continue to serve as MOVA’s President and Chairman of the Board.

Schott previously served as CEO for Blacksburg-based Tele-Works, an electronic invoicing and payments company founded by Critchfield.

The company’s leadership transition coincides with MOVA receiving a $174,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture. These funds are supporting the company’s testing of its patented air filtration system to improve indoor air quality and reduce emissions from agricultural operations. The company is performing the study in partnership with Virginia Tech’s Biological Systems Engineering Department within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

This is MOVA’s fourth project with Virginia Tech.

“Meeting the productivity, economical, and environmental demands of global food production today requires innovative and sustainable solutions that reduce emissions and mitigate climate change without adding cost,” said Alan Grant, Dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in a statement. “MOVA’s air capture technology has demonstrated successful results through each stage of development and is positioned to meet these growing challenges. I couldn’t be more pleased with our strong, cohesive partnership, and it makes me even more excited to be working with a local, Pulaski-based company.”

MOVA said in a statement that it expects to complete this development phase in 2023, at which point the company anticipates being 6 to 12 months from commercialization. The company is also hiring, having added two full-time engineers in the past month.

* * *

Dickenson County lawn-care company receives VCEDA grant

CRC Affordable Quality Lawn Care LLC of Clintwood has received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority.

The company opened in March and expects to have three full-time employees within five years, Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA’s executive director/general counsel, said in a news release. The business offers lawn care, mulching services, hedge and shrub trimming, weed-eating, fall and spring cleanup and brush clearing.

The award is from VCEDA’s Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund. Business owner Craig Carpenter said he used the grant toward the purchase of equipment.

* * *

Virginia Tech gets transportation-related grant

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $614,871 to Virginia Tech to increase knowledge of safe driving practices among drivers, including newly licensed teens and older adults, according to a release from Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.

This funding will allow Virginia Tech to conduct in-class demonstrations in 80 high school driver education programs between the fall of 2022 and the spring of 2024. It will also enable Virginia Tech to conduct monthly outreach for the Tips for Sharing the Road with Commercial Motor Vehicles website and conduct two seminars for American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) volunteer driver education instructors. Additionally, it will allow Virginia Tech to work with AARP communications and roadway safety teams to develop a series of articles covering the key strategies for sharing the road with trucks.