By Debbie Adams
The Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce installed officers and the Board of Directors for 2024 on January 25 at a ceremony at the Vinton War Memorial. They were sworn in by Vinton Mayor Brad Grose.
The officers and board are not just business owners and leaders in the area—they are a vital part of the life of the Town of Vinton and vigorously promote the community. They are familiar faces among the volunteers who staff the special events in the town from the Mingle Concert series to the Christmas Parade and more.
Chamber officers for 2024 are:
- President: Jason Boothe
- 1st Vice President: Allison Finney
- 2nd Vice President: Page Stovall Lovern
- Past President: Justin Davison
Chamber President Jason Boothe is a Realtor at Mountain View Real Estate in Vinton, now in his fifth year in the real estate business. He is very active in the Vinton community where he has served as a board member and coach for the Vinton Booster Club, and Vice President and President of the William Byrd Baseball Booster Club from 2017-2020. Along with his board positions, Boothe has also coached in the Vinton community for over 15 years. His “love for the kids and parents” has made him lifelong friendships. He is an active member at Lynn Haven Baptist Church.
Boothe has been married to his wife Nicole for 26 years. She has worked at William Byrd High School in the guidance department for 17 years. They have two children. His daughter Taylor and son-in-law Collin reside in Kansas where Collin serves in the Army. His son Bryce lives in Vinton and is part owner in a home renovations company.
“I am the very proud Pappi to my 2-year-old granddaughter, Rylan, who lives with Mommy and Daddy in Kansas,” Boothe says.
“I can’t express how excited I am to be able to work with such an amazing group of people who truly care about the town,” said Boothe. “I am happy with where the Chamber is today and the leadership we have in place. I look forward to serving the members of this great Chamber, and we will do everything we possibly can to make Vinton the place to bring your business.”
Allison Finney will continue serving as First Vice President of the Chamber. She is a graduate of William Byrd High School and Virginia Tech where she majored in Housing, Interior Design and Resource Management with an option in Residential Management. She manages several residential properties (apartments and single-family homes) in Roanoke, Salem, and Vinton. Finney also manages American Efficiency Inns, an extended stay motel located in downtown Vinton, as well as two other commercial properties.
She has been involved with many organizations over the years. She is a founding member of the Square Society, serving on their board for many years and eventually becoming president. While serving as president, she also served on the Center in the Square Board of Directors. She has been on the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 12 years and on the Executive Board for going on 10 years.
Page Stovall Lovern will continue to serve as the Second Vice President of the Chamber. She is a 2007 graduate of William Byrd High School and a 2012 graduate of Radford University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Science. Lovern is the Business Office Manager at Pheasant Ridge Nursing and Rehab Center in Roanoke.
She continues to have a passion for the geriatric population and has worked in the long-term care setting for almost 11 years. She enjoys engaging with the Roanoke Valley through multiple networks allowing her to show what Vinton truly has to offer. She is grateful to be a part of the evolving things happening in Vinton.
Outside of the long-term care setting, Lovern enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, family, and friends. She enjoys traveling, concerts, and being a bonus mom to Brian’s daughter Kayla.
Justin Davison serves as Past President for the Chamber. He was first elected as President in 2017 and has volunteered with the Chamber since 2014. Davison was born in New Jersey but has called Vinton home since 2008. He is the Market Manager at the MemberOne Federal Credit Union in Vinton. He was selected for the Roanoker Magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2022 for career achievements and community involvement. He recently became a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor. He serves on the board at the Roanoke Valley Speech & Hearing Center and enjoys helping the Chamber, Junior Achievement, Center in the Square, and Big Lick Entertainment with the great things they do in the community. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends. He has a servant’s heart and is always looking for ways to make an impact on the community and help those in need.
Members of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2024 include Donald Childress, Libby Criss, Anthony Conner, Tim Greenway, Chris McCarty, Kat Pascal, Joy Rierson, Paula Robins, Chrissy Sensabaugh, Dr. Richard Turner, Cory Welch, Christopher Wheeler, and Julie Wheeler.
Donald Childress is a life-long resident of the Town of Vinton. He attended William Byrd High School where he played basketball and baseball, graduating in 1994. He graduated from Emory and Henry College with a BS degree in Business Management.
After college, Childress began his career in the insurance industry. He has spent over 20 years helping his clients make decisions with Medicare benefit plans, Final Expense plans and Annuity Planning. He decided to start his own business in 2009, Coastal Insurance Planning of Va. His growing office is in the Town of Vinton behind the Farmers’ Market.
He is the proud father of one adult son, Damon, and grandson, Wraith. He also has one granddaughter, Aleaya.
Anthony Conner is a financial services professional with The Conner Group, a locally owned financial practice. Anthony works with a wide variety of clients including business owners and pre-retirees. Prior to his start in the financial services industry, Anthony earned his B.S. Degree from Carson-Newman University in 1982.
Anthony is proud to be a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable (MDRT) for the last 18 years. He also is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). When he is not working, Anthony enjoys serving the community on the Chamber, traveling, playing golf, and spending time with his family. He has three children and three grandchildren.
Libby Patterson Criss is a young and upcoming professional with a zest for life and a drive to make a difference. She has recently taken on the role the Director of New Business at The Conner Group, a prominent business in Vinton. Being raised in this charming town, Libby’s strong sense of community fuels her desire to give back and make a lasting impact.
Tim Greenway is the owner and broker of Mountain View Real Estate, LLC in Vinton. He is a lifelong resident of the town and a William Byrd High School graduate, Class of 1982. He continues to be a huge supporter of his alma mater and can be seen at many of the sporting events cheering on the Terriers.
Greenway graduated from Radford University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. The degree led him to work as the controller for Cycle Systems, a local recycling firm, for over 16 years.
Then another dream and another path in life presented itself in building houses, which he has engaged in for the past 30 years. He received his real estate license in 2002, his broker’s license in 2017 and then opened Mountain View Real Estate LLC.
Greenway has been married for 40 years to Paula Greenway; they have three children – Maia, Brad and Chelsea. He is a fixture in Vinton as he attends Vinton Baptist Church where he has served as a deacon, and on the finance, property, and HR committees at various times. He proudly represents Vinton on the Roanoke County School Board.
In his brief downtimes, Greenway enjoys most sports, hunting, golf and, of course, “spending time with those grandkids.” He is a supporter of many charities, but his favorite involvement is when he can help children.
Chris McCarty graduated from Radford University in 1989 with a BS in Business Management. He was the Manager of Grand Rental Station from 1990 until 2023 and Grand Storage of Vinton from 1998 until the present. He is married to Vinton Town Council member Sabrina McCarty.
Chris enjoys being involved in various other community organizations in Vinton, including the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club and Vinton First Aid Crew. He enjoys spending time at Smith Mountain Lake with family and friends and attending sporting events. The McCartys have two children and two grandchildren.
Kat Pascal is a dynamic entrepreneur and leader. As co-founder of Spotless America and key figure in Farmburguesa restaurants, she’s known for her innovation and drive. Founder of Latinas Network, Pascal is committed to empowering professionals. She has passion for volunteering, community and a focus on family. She serves The Virginia Travel, Restaurant and Lodge Association, The Grandin Theatre Foundation and the Vinton Chamber of Commerce.
Joy Rierson joined Neely’s Accounting Services, Vinton, in September 2021 as the Office Manager and Staff Accountant. She received a Bachelor of Science in Management with a minor in Accounting from Saint Mary’s College of California. She is a QuickBooks® Pro Advisor and brings over 20 years of accounting experience in business accounting, payroll, taxes, and audit prep. Originally from California, Rierson loves spending time on the lake with family enjoying water sports and making memories.
Paula Robins started at Bank of Botetourt in August 2001. She has been in banking a total of 40 years. She is now AVP/ Branch Manager at Bank of Botetourt’s Vinton location. She is married to Reggie Robins and has two children and four grandchildren.
“I love working in Vinton,” Robins says. “I get to walk daily in downtown Vinton at lunch.”
Chrissy Sensabaugh grew up in Vinton and graduated from William Byrd High School in 2002 (where she played softball). She has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, working with some of Roanoke’s most well-known establishments. In 2023 she teamed up with restaurateurs Todd Lancaster and Jonathan Pate to help open Pollard 107 South where she oversees marketing and operations for all three of their local restaurants with one more opening soon. She is passionate about the restaurants, the people they employ, and making Vinton a great place to eat, drink and spend time with friends and family. Chrissy is getting married in April of this year to fiancé Josh Walton.
Dr. Richard Turner has served as the Roanoke Area Site Coordinator for James Madison University’s Educational Leadership Program at the Roanoke Higher Education Center since 2016. He supervises student teachers and teaches graduate classes for JMU. He is currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Fritz Sports and Event Enterprises, which specializes in NASCAR sponsorship opportunities. He works for NASCAR and worked previously for BK Racing from 2013-2017.
Turner graduated from Northside High School in 1978, completed his undergraduate work at Virginia Tech in 1982, then earned his Master’s Degree at Virginia Tech in 1987, and his Doctorate from Nova/Southeastern University in 1994. He served as Assistant Principal at William Byrd High School (92-99) and as Principal from 1999 until 2016. He also served Roanoke County Schools as a Marketing Specialist and developed the current Apprenticeship Program in 2016-17.
Cory Welch is the owner of Pok-E-Joe’s BBQ restaurant, which opened in March 2023 at Vinyard Station in downtown Vinton. He grew up in Vinton and graduated from William Byrd High School in 1992. His wife Sarah and daughter Kaitlin work in the restaurant with him. His son, Mason, is studying business and marketing at Radford University and plans to return to the business when he completes his degree. Welch is a familiar sight at almost every event in Vinton, supporting the Chamber and the community.
Christopher Wheeler has been working full-time for Wells Fargo Bank for 25 years. He grew up in Bedford County but has lived in Vinton for the past 23 years.
“I became friends with the owners of Twin Creeks Brewing Company when they were still brewing in Barry Robertson’s garage,” Wheeler says. “Once they decided to start a business, I was there from the beginning helping with construction, painting and, of course, taste testing. Once the brewery was up and running, I was there so often they offered me a job to make a little extra money on the side.”
He has now worked part-time at the brewery for seven years.
“For the past three years I’ve been running the social media and booking the music for the brewery,” said Wheeler. “My goal was to showcase what the brewery has to offer and to partner with other local businesses to cross promote and grow the Vinton community as a whole. I hope being part of the Chamber gives me those connections and opportunities.”
He is a single dad with two boys who have grown up around the brewery and who love to play bingo, trivia, and listen to the music there.
“My sons are both musicians, and each has his own band. They get to hang out and talk to the musicians we have in, which encourages them to pursue their dreams. We enjoy the outdoors, fishing, kayaking, and going to concerts. They are at the center of everything I do and I hope being on the Chamber board helps us be more connected with our community.”
Julie Wheeler works at the Vinton HomeTrust Bank and has eight years of banking experience. She grew up in Fredericksburg, but has been a Vinton resident since 2008. She is an Army veteran who served six years and has been stationed all over the country, including Hawaii. She is passionate about volunteering, blood donation and supporting local businesses. She is also the Vice President of the Showtimers community theatre in Roanoke. She enjoys spending time with her 19- and 17-year-old children, as well as traveling and going to see live music, theatre and sporting events.
Town of Vinton representatives to the Chamber Board include Mayor Brad Grose and Town Manager Pete Peters.
Brad Grose is the Owner/President of Dominion Electronics, Inc., and has been a communications contractor for 47 years. He is an active member at Parkway Wesleyan Church, serving on the Church Board and as a Greeter. Mayor Grose is a United States Army veteran. He attended Marshall University and Virginia Western Community College.
He is a past member of the Vinton Planning Commission (for nine years) and a State Certified Planning Commissioner. He has served on the Roanoke Valley Greenways Commission, and on the Roanoke Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization. He has been a member of Vinton Town Council from 2000-2004, before being elected Mayor. He was re-elected for his fifth consecutive term in 2020.
Grose has served on the Executive Board of the Roanoke Valley Allegheny Regional Commission, now as Past President after serving as president for seven years. He served two terms as President of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce and on their Board of Directors for several terms.
He is a member of the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club, the Vinton First Aid Crew, and the American Legion Post 8. He has also served as a board member on the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership and as a Vinton Vision committee member for the Vinton-Roanoke County Veterans Monument.
He is the recipient of the Virginia Municipal League “Certified Local Government Official Gold Award,” and received a Commendation from the Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly for Public Service.
Grose is a Charter graduate of the Vinton Citizen Police Academy and Advanced Citizen Police Academy. He traditionally serves as Santa in the annual Vinton Christmas Parade. He can often be seen at Classic Car shows, one of his hobbies.
He and his wife Debby have been married for 45 years. He has two children, Melissa Barnard (husband, Randy) and Amanda Fullen (husband, Marcus); two grandchildren, Jacob Barnard and Justin Barnard, two great-grandchildren, Lynnleigh and Zoey, and several pets.
Pete Peters has served as Vinton Town Manager since January 2021. He served as Assistant Town Manager and Economic Development Director for the Town of Vinton for almost five years prior to that. He spent 10 years as Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism for Botetourt County, two years as Athletic Director at Roanoke Catholic School, and seven years with the City of Roanoke Department of Parks and Recreation as Athletic Programmer.
Peters graduated from William Byrd High School in 1993. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Administration from Ferrum College, and earned his Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech.
He and his wife Cameron have been married for 23 years and have two children, Cadence (a student at Appalachian State) and Falan (a student at Virginia Tech). His hobbies include mountain biking, kayaking, tent camping, and home remodeling.
The Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce has two employees, Executive Director Angie Chewning and Executive Assistant/Financial Coordinator Kathryn Sowers.
Angie Chewning became Executive Director of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce in the fall of 2010. Her passion for the community leads her to take an active role in promoting business, industry, and tourism in the area. She believes that growth starts with people who are willing to share their ideas and ask questions.
Chewning has three children, Cydney, Drake, and Abbie, a stepdaughter, Elena, and one grandchild, Kellen.
She serves on the Roanoke Regional Partnership Board, Vinton Moose 1121 Lodge Board of Directors Lodge (Treasurer) and is newly appointed to the Ronald McDonald House Board of Directors. She is very active in activities at the Vinton Moose lodge and helps coordinate events which include food drives at Thanksgiving and Christmas, blood drives, and many other community events. She served as chair of the Vinton Relay for Life from 2012-2016. She has served as a member of the Town of Vinton Revitalization Committee, the Preventive Council Committee, and the Urban Development Advisory Committee.
She loves promoting all things Vinton and is always encouraging folks to “Shop Local.” She loves volunteering for events and organizations that help people and make the community a better place to live, work, shop and play.
Chewning enjoys being part of the Chamber of Commerce and getting to know fellow business owners and supporting their efforts as they support hers. She feels that it is important to give back.
Kathryn Sowers works part-time for the Vinton Chamber of Commerce as Executive Assistant and Financial Coordinator. She is a native of Vinton. She has one son, Todd, and three grandchildren, Christiaan, Austin, and Hannah.
Volunteering is an important part of her life. Sowers is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Vinton-Roanoke County “High Ground” Veterans Monument on the grounds of the Vinton War Memorial. She is the Treasurer of the Arnold R. Burton Scholarship Fund who award two scholarships each year to William Byrd High School students. She serves on the Board of Directors for General Federation of Women’s Club International, serving as the Chairman working with the 20 international clubs of GFWC, Southeastern Region, state of Virginia, Blue Ridge District, and GFWC Woman’s Club of Vinton.
Sowers is the Vinton-appointed representative on the Roanoke County/Salem Social Services Board. She is also very involved in her church, Vinton Baptist, and the Roanoke Valley Baptist Association, the Roanoke Valley Baptist Association WMU, and the Baptist General Association of Virginia.