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Monday, November 17, 2014


11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.            Lunch & Featured Conversation with Special Guests


Welcome:  The Honorable Frank M. Ruff, Jr., Senate of Virginia


Moderator:  Joe Jones, Director of External Affairs, Appalachian Power Company

  • The Honorable Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Senate of Virginia

  • The Honorable Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry

  • The Honorable Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade

  • The Honorable R. Steven Landes, Virginia House of Delegates


1:00 p.m. – 1:10 pm.               Break


1:10 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.              Panel Discussion    


Creating and Sustaining Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Rural Virginia

Moderator:  Shannon Blevins, Director of Economic Development, UVA-Wise

  • Larry Simpson, President / CEO, The Alvarez Group

  • Chris Cook, Executive Director, VAFAIRS  

  • Jim Flowers, Executive Director, VT KnowledgeWorks


2:20 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.              Break


2:30 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.              Panel Discussion


Investing in Rural Virginia’s Infrastructure 

Moderator:  Basil Gooden, USDA Virginia State Director, USDA Rural Programs           

  • Tim Hassler, Principal, Advantage Capital Partners

  • Andrew Jacob, Executive Vice President, CoBank

  • Al Puchala, Chief Executive Officer, Capitol Peak Asset Management

  • Tad Deriso, President, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Corporation


3:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.              Break


3:50 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.              Panel Discussion                                                                                    


Community and Regional Economic Development Programming

Moderator:  Conaway Haskins, Executive Director, Virginia Community Economic Network

  • Ken McFadyen, Regional Director, Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority

  • Ken Heath, Director of Community and Economic Development, Town of Marion

  • Julie Marcowitz, Executive Director, Staunton Downtown Development Association


5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.              Break


5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.              Networking Reception


6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.              Dinner with special guest The Honorable Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia


                                                   Introduction:  The Honorable Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Senate of Virginia


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.               Breakfast with The Honorable Karen Jackson, Secretary of Technology


8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.               Break


8:45 p.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Panel Discussion   


Creating a 21st Century Workforce 

Moderator:  Elizabeth Creamer, Advisor for Workforce Development, Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade

  • Gary Larrowe, County Administrator, Carroll County

  • Angeline Godwin, President, Patrick Henry Community College

  • Sharon Johnson, CEO, Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board


10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.           Break


10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.           Panel Discussion


Entrepreneurs in Action: Rural Businesses Thriving 

Moderator: Eva Doss, President and CEO, The Launch Place

  • Diane Flynt, Owner, Foggy Ridge Cider 

  • Joep Paternostre, President, Bloomaker, Inc.

  • Travis Croxton, Owner, Rappahannock River Oysters, LLC

  • Sarah Baldwin, President, New Ravenna Mosaics


11:30 a.m.                               Concluding Remarks, Bryan David, Vice Chair, Council for Rural Virginia


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