Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce announces award nominees

2018 winners: Martin’s Pharmacy (Ashley Williams, Tina Cox, Kristen Ownens, Eddie Hale, Will Hale), Al’s on First (Al Shelor), Pulaski Theatre (Bob McKinney), Pat Huber

From Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is pleased and excited to announce the nominees for this year’s, 2019 Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet. This year has been a pivotal one in many facets of the county: Experiencing growth in economic development: taking major strides in tourism: new and exciting educational opportunities: and the growth of arts and culture. The Chamber’s nomination committee has recognized these accomplishments and the individuals, organizations, and businesses that have gone above and beyond, contributing to the overall success of Pulaski County..

The Chamber is preparing to celebrate its Annual Meeting and Banquet on November 21st, at the state-of-the-art Volvo Customer Experience Center.  There will be a reception from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., followed by dinner, then a program and the presentation of awards. Master of Ceremonies will be Marcus Thompson, Volvo’s Inspiration/Communications Manager.  The theme of this celebration will be:

Sights Set On 2020 .”

The Chamber proudly presents the following well deserving nominees and asks you as a Chamber member to recognize these nominees by casting your vote at www.pulaskichamber.info on the blog page.

                The Community Impact Award will recognize a non-profit/organization that has made a significant social impact for the betterment of the community. There are four worthy nominees

for this award:

Adaire Theatre, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been in the Pulaski community for ten years.  Their goal is to enhance artistic culture through local theatrical offerings that provide inclusive, engaging, and affordable programming. They strengthen community ties by offering a quality theatre experience to both actors and patrons. They have produced hit productions such as “Legally Blonde,” “Sinatra: Fly Me to the Moon,” and coming this fall, “Little Shop of Horrors.” Adair Theatre has held camps and music theatre classes as well as offering private lessons to nurture the budding actor and actresses in Pulaski County.  You have seen them perform skits at community events as well as full productions at the Elks Lodge.

Community Health Center for the New River Valley opened in April, 2017 and is located in Dublin. The Center serves to continue its mission providing affordable and high quality healthcare in a more convenient location for residents of Pulaski County and the City of Radford. This Center offers Family Practice, GYN, Mental Health and dental services to patients of all ages including those who have no insurance as well as those who have commercial insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. More recently; CHCNRV expanded their services and also provides full-service dental care. Community Health Center for the NRV promotes and educates on healthy life styles and has a heavy community outreach.

New River Trail State Park “Rails to Trails” project, the New River Trail State Park winds through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe, and Pulaski counties in southwestern Virginia and parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, and boating enthusiast are welcome! There are many different access points along the trail. The southern end begins in Galax runs into the Town of Pulaski in the New River Valley. On the Pulaski stretch of trail you can find shopping, unique dining, entertainment, and more. In 2019 New River Trail opened the Hoover Mountain Color Trail. The trail consists of approximately, four miles of trails that include loops of both easy and moderate trails.  The New River Trail is a great asset connecting outdoor enthusiasts to our beautiful County through this 57 mile trail and seeing over 100,000 visitors a year.

New River Valley Agency on Aging exists to support and enhance the lives of older adults, their families, and caregivers through advocacy, information, and services. There is not enough that can be said of the contributions that this organization has provided for seniors since 2011.  They offer care coordination services, congregate meals, home delivery of meals, homemaker services, legal services, medical transportation, respite care, insurance counseling, and above all, advocacy for elder abuse prevention. New River Valley Agency on Aging is always looking for new and better ways to assist seniors they go above and beyond with programs like Fido’s Pantry, a program for companion pets residing with homebound seniors.

Here are the four nominees for this year’s Small Business of the Year Award, each of which makes outstanding contributions to our community and economy:

Draper Blooms Tea Garden and Sipping Apothecary in their first year of operation, Draper Blooms Tea Room has become well known for the peaceful gathering place that has the charm of an enchanted garden and the coziness of home.  At Draper Blooms you will find traditional teas, handcrafted herbal infusions, locally baked pastries, petit sandwiches, and tempting snacks. Draper Blooms has found its niche providing bridal showers, baby showers, high teas children’s events, and more or is open for the walk ins looking for a relaxing day out, a tasting party as well occasional workshops and book readings.

Iron Heart Winery is run by a father-son team. Built from the ground up, a farm with a history in America’s Industrial Revolution circa 1882 is being transformed into a modern day escape. The duo works to create a unique and sustainable business while providing a quality product and experience for the consumer. Their brilliant marketing strategies and creative out of the box sales have made their brand an identifiable and sought after product.  In 2019 Iron Heart Winery made the decision to move from a part-time business to  time full time, business investing 100% of their time into the winery. They have created a strong following not only on their very active and engaging Facebook page but at events around the community with their one of a kind beer-truck-wine-bar. They are huge proponents of Pulaski County tourism and can be seen participating in tourism events and meetings.

Luttrell Staffing’s customized, strategic workforce solutions have become the lifeline to many Pulaski County businesses, helping businesses in our area fill their crucial employment needs in a competitive job market.  Luttrell goes the extra mile it takes to reach out to prospective employees.  You will find them at job fairs and events using all available resources including major social media to fill jobs. They have a tremendous outreach into the Pulaski County Community, working closely and collaboratively with other agencies to generate and fill employer needs.  Luttrell Staffing takes pride in their services, and it shows through recognition in their employee of the month program and the support they give to the community like  generously hosting and supporting programs like Inspiring Pulaski County Women.

Lombard Securities, Sabrina Cox is an independent Financial Advisor and Investment Broker who designs custom financial portfolios based on her client’s individual specific goals and objectives.  The philosophies of Lombard and the Pulaski Chamber are similar in that both believe in developing long term relationships with those they serve. Lombard Securities is built on that philosophy and that is why Sabrina Cox opened Lombard Securities in Pulaski County in 2017. Understanding and believing in the needs of her clients first and foremost whether they are in retirement, changing jobs, or actively employed.  Lombard Securities – Sabrina Cox has helped her clients define their financial goals and ensure that the recommended plan/investment is a suitable path to achieve those goals. Lombard continues to invest in the Pulaski County community through informational seminars and through a total commitment to the individual clients.

There are four deserving nominees for this year’s Business Excellence Award:

Blue Ridge Fudge Lady is well-known and loved in Pulaski County and afar.  The Blue Ridge Fudge Lady brings smiles through fudge and energy like no other.  Aside from a wide variety of fudge flavors, The Blue Ridge Fudge Lady invests her time and energy into promoting Pulaski County and her love for Pulaski. This high energy woman can be seen in the community with drive-by fudge or delivering a sweet surprise to hundreds of deserving veterans on Veteran’s Day.  Always ready and willing to assist her fellow businesses with promotions and advertising, and share the spot light if it means putting Pulaski County out there, the Blue Ridge Fudge Lady is one of Pulaski’s biggest cheerleaders and has drawn and continues to draw national attention to Pulaski as a result of her business.

Truliant Federal Credit Union has more than 230,000 members across the Carolinas and Virginia. Truliant Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution driven to provide an engaging, collaborative, and consultative experience for our members, with the goal of ultimately improving their financial lives. Truliant provides financial education to its members, with products and services based on the individual’s need.  By investing in our New River Valley and Wythe County communities  through sponsorships, the arts, diversity and inclusion programs, financial literacy outreach, scholarships, contributions, and grant programs, we believe ultimately we help our communities grow. The Member Financial Center located in Fairlawn has been in business for 40 years serving Pulaski County and surrounding counties with different financial options.  In 2018, Truliant participated in 150 events in local communities and donated more than $300,000 to local organizations and raised more than $100,000 for organizations that provide humanitarian services company wide.  Truliant also serves our local market and more than 1,000 businesses through Truliant At Work – a B2B workplace benefits program that offers lunch and learns, seminars, and more to provide workplace financial education and to promote the benefits of credit union membership.

Camrett Logistics since 1995, has provided 3PL services and warehousing & distribution services from the I-81 corridor of southwest Virginia. Highly-trained personnel and smart technology offer value-added services, optimizing supply chain management and cost. Camrett has been instrumental in economic development in Pulaski County and the New River Valley supporting economic efforts to bring more industry and business into the area.  They remain highly engaged specifically in Pulaski County working directly with the Chamber, EDA, and schools on workforce development while providing leadership to the Community Youth Center in Fairlawn. Camrette has locations in Atkins, Rural Retreat, Wytheville, Dublin, and Radford, Virginia.

Hodge Insurance is an independent insurance agency that has been serving Pulaski County for more than 35 years.  They have an outstanding reputation for customer service, carefully considering which insurance benefits suit their customer’s needs and placing them with a policy tailored to their needs.  From basic auto or homeowners policies, to an event policy for your summer wedding, Hodge Insurance can place the coverage you need.  Hodge Insurance’s home town commitment and dedication to the people in the community are unsurpassed by their support for not only the Chamber and the programs that the Chamber provides, but the community at large, always investing in the community through sponsorships and other outlying supports to benefit the schools and other businesses, and local non-profits such as Pulaski YMCA. They are one of Pulaski County’s biggest community supporters.

There are three most worthy nominees for Business Executive of the Year:

Guy Smith is the director of Pulaski County DSS. Smith joined the agency in May, 1998 as a Child Protective Services Social Worker.  He has since served as Foster Care Supervisor, Adult Services Supervisor, CPS Supervisor, Assistant Director and Interim Director. Guy knows the Pulaski County community and its needs better than anyone through the course of his career. His deep understanding of the community has led to his leadership and involvement with numerous committees, organizations and initiatives while being employed with the agency including Family Assessment and Planning Team, Best Practices Court Team, Safe Haven Board, and Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT). Most recently, Guy serves on the Calfee Training School project and is part of the T.G. Howard Community School revitalization.  He is well known in the community and his soft spoken demeanor is said to be an asset in the demanding and stressful situations that can occur at the agency.  Smith attended Pulaski County Public Schools and later Virginia Tech where he received Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

M.J. O’Brien, Jr., President & CEO of Salem Stone Corporation and related companies. He has a prestigious background as graduate of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and a graduate of the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island.  Jay, has an extensive background in the mining and road building industry bringing that knowledge to Salem Stone, as Executive Vice President in 1993.  He assumed the role of President & CEO upon the death of the founder in 2000.  Since acquiring the helm of Salem Stone Corporation, the business has grown to be one of the largest privately owned mining companies in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Headquartered in Pulaski County, VA.  they operate 15 active quarries employing over 200 individuals in Virginia and North Carolina and continue to expand and work closely with major manufacturers.

Sean Pressman, CEO of LewisGale Hospital – Pulaski, has more than twenty years of healthcare management experience and has served as CEO of the local hospital since June 2017.   During his time as CEO, LewisGale-Pulaski has undergone a significant transformation. Some of the accolades are the following:  The hospital has opened its new 16-bed inpatient behavioral health program to help address the mental health issues of this community and hit capacity within 5 days of opening; Employee engagement is in the top 5% of over 170 acute care hospitals in HCA for the second year in a row; Health Grades has recognized LewisGale-Pulaski among the Top 5% of all hospitals nationally for Patient Safety for the second year; The hospital was named a Top Rural Hospital for Quality by NOSORH, again for the second year; Patient Satisfaction Scores have risen to among the Top 10% of all hospitals nationally for Emergency Department, Inpatient, and Surgery and ; More than $11 Million in capital investment has been secured for new programs and technologies.

Sean is active in several healthcare organizations including the Virginia Health and Hospital Association, Virginia Rural Health Association, Virginia Health Care Association, Virginia PACE Alliance, and the Near Southwest Preparedness Alliance.  He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Pulaski County, Pulaski Encouraging Progress, Onward NRV, and he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Wittenberg University and his Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan.  Having a passion for race cars, Sean at one time worked for an IndyCar team.  In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his four (soon to be five) children, hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and golfing.

Each and every one of these nominees deserves to be recognized and congratulated for the sacrifices and the contributions they have made. Please take a few minutes to go on line to www.pulaskichamber.info to the Blog page and give them support.

Thank you to our 2019 “Sights Set On 2020” sponsors that make this event and recognition possible:

*Reception Sponsor – Truliant Federal Credit Union

*Awards Sponsor – National Bank

*Video Sponsor – Atlantic Union Bank and Trust

*Music Sponsor – Member One Federal Credit Union

*Gold Sponsors –  Americare Plus,  Appalachian Power, Thee Draper Village, First Bank & Trust, Highland Ridge Rehab, LewisGale Hospital – Pulaski, Dignity Memorial,  Quality Inn,  Webb Donald, and Town of Pulaski.

If you are interested in attending this event, you may contact the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce after October 1st at (540) 674-1991 or peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info. There are only a few remaining tickets.