The Town of Vinton and the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual “State of the Town of Vinton” address and membership mreakfast meeting on November 16 at the Vinton War Memorial.
Chamber President Justin Davison welcomed dignitaries and guests from across the region who came to hear Mayor Brad Grose sum up the past year in Vinton– a year of continuing growth and prosperity.
Davison announced that the Chamber now has 243 members and sponsored 13 well-attended community events in 2017, drawing visitors from across the valley. Davison also recognized the many economic development successes across the region that impact the town, saying, “A win for the Roanoke Valley is a win for Vinton.”
Mayor Grose highlighted numerous notable projects completed (the downtown revitalization grant project, the Roland E. Cook Lofts, the Vinton Library, renovations at the Vinton Fire Station, downtown business façade improvements, expansion of the greenway, and the Third Street Canoe Launch), with many, many more under development.
Those in the works include renovations to the former William Byrd High School by Waukeshaw Developers which will result in 85 market-rate apartments, re-development of the former library into a Macado’s restaurant, proposed renovations of Gish’s Mill at one of the gateways to Vinton, and potential redevelopment of the Vinton Motors site.
Improvements to Walnut Avenue, more phases of greenway construction and a proposed crosswalk connecting Dillon Woods with W.E. Cundiff are on the radar and primarily or totally funded by grants pursued vigorously by members of town staff.
Grose thanked the members of Town Council, all of whom were in attendance–Vice Mayor Matt Hare, and Council members Keith Liles, Sabrina McCarty, and Janet Scheid– for their dedication to the town, their honesty, and their hard work for citizens and taxpayers.
Grose credited the staff, the Chamber, area businesses, and members of the community with the growing list of successes and re-invigoration of the town.
“We are truly blessed to have a staff that cares about Vinton,” said Grose. “They are dedicated to providing the best services possible.
“We are blessed with citizens who want to be involved in the progress of the town,” he continued. “These citizens continue to serve year after year with little recognition and no pay.”
He thanked those who serve the community through independent organizations such as the churches, the Scouts, the Lions Clubs, and others. He recognized citizens who serve on the First Aid Crew, the Fire Department, and on the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Grose applauded The Advancement Foundation (TAF) and its Gauntlet competition for their efforts toward the development of small businesses in Vinton and the surrounding area with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of individuals.
He thanked Roanoke County for their partnerships with the town, which have been an integral part of many of the accomplishments in recent years.
The mayor said that Vinton is “well-positioned for continued success due to long-range planning,” saying that the recent significant changes in Vinton began several years ago when there was a change in “how we viewed ourselves and what we could be as a town. We decided to pursue our vision.”
He recognized nominees and winners of the recent Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Small Business awards, including Annette Patterson and TAF and Wood’s Service Centers.
“The Legacy Business Award was won this year by Wood’s Service Centers for 60 years of continuous operation,” said Grose. “They have a great reputation for well-trained mechanics who provide professional, reliable service. However, the real secret to their success is the integrity of the Wood family. Everyone knows they are going to receive honest, courteous service when they go to Wood’s Service Center. Tommy Wood attended the presentation of these awards. A few days later he passed away. This community lost not only a successful businessman, we also lost a great citizen and an awesome man. Tommy made great contributions to this town in many ways; and it was always behind the scenes. He will truly be missed.”
Grose emphasized that realistically there are challenges that lie ahead for the town and the valley.
“We need the entire region to grow,” said Grose. “It is vital that we all work together to confront regional issues. With faith in God, confidence in each other, and regional cooperation, we can make great things happen.”
The breakfast meeting concluded with the installation of Chamber officers and board members for 2018. Justin Davison (Member One Federal Credit Union) will continue for another year as president; Allison Finney (American Efficiency Inns) will serve as first vice president; attorney Bruce Mayer will serve as second vice president; and Todd Creasy (Neely’s Accounting) serves as past president.
The Chamber Board of Directors includes Michelle Barklow, Andy Bishop (Twin Creeks Brewing Co.), Vinton Town Councilman Keith Liles (Allstate Insurance), Sherri Fullen (BB&T), Paige Stovall (Berkshire Health and Rehab), Julie Mayer (Leisure Media 360), Chris Duncan (Vinton Computer), Dr. Sonia Bolen (Parkway Veterinary Hospital), former WBHS Principal Dr. Richard Turner, John Conner (The Conner Group), Kathleen Carr (The Advancement Foundation), Beth Abbott (Elwood Staffing), Tammy Shepherd (Shepherd Realty Group), Mayor Brad Grose, and Mary Beth Layman (Town of Vinton Special Programs Director).
Angie Chewning continues as executive director of the VACC with Kathryn Sowers as Chamber executive assistant. They facilitated the annual breakfast event.
The Rev. James Smith of Campbell Memorial Presbyterian delivered the invocation, celebrating the town and its many blessings. Special music was provided by Grant Frederick, the minister of music at Bonsack Baptist. Catering for the breakfast was by Lib and Amy’s.