Business News: Oct. 7-20, 2010 Issue

Greg Riggs opened Stone’s Field of Dreams farm at 8481 Hungary Road earlier this year, hoping to create an atmosphere in which future farmers can learn the trade. The farm produces and offers vegetables for sale to consumers and commercial businesses. It is offering hayrides daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except on Sundays, when they will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Haunted hayrides for children will begin Oct. 16. For details, call 332-7000.

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The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., a regional economic development organization, received six awards for excellence in economic development and communications from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC). The IEDC honors were presented at an awards ceremony Sept. 28 during the IEDC Annual Conference in Columbus, Oh. The SEDC Communications Awards were presented at the SEDC Annual Conference held Aug. 14-17 New Orleans.

The GRP also recently named Charles “Chuck” Peterson as vice president. Prior to joining GRP, Peterson spent 17 years at the West Virginia Development Office, where he advanced his career from research analyst to manager, research and strategic planning unit.

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The Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau recently earned the 2010 Excellence in Internet Award by the Southeast Tourism Society. The award, which was presented at the Shining Example Awards banquet, recognizes extraordinary performance in digital communication.

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Thalhimer recently announced the following leases in Henrico County: Sausage Craft, LLC leased 4,400 square feet of space at 2004 Dabney Road (R. Scott Douglas and Franklin Bell of Thalhimer handled lease negotiations); VSF Sweepstakes Centers leased 2,200 square feet of space at 4501 West Broad Street (Michael A. Shaia of Thalhimer handled lease negotiations); Jeffrey C. Robinson CPA leased 1,296 square feet of space at the Banks Brothers Building at 4461 Cox Road (Evan M. Magrill, Dean Meyer and Brian K. Berkey of Thalhimer handled lease negotiations). Thalhimer also announced the sale of approximately 2.033 acres of land at 7800 Shrader Road, from A.F. Associates, LLP, to IHH Properties, LLC. Millard F. Jones of Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations.

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Richmond-based based company H&A Architects & Engineers ranked sixth of 200 on The Zweig Letter Hot Firm List, a construction industry consulting and publication firm. This annual list features the architecture, engineering, and environmental firms that have outperformed the economy and competitors to become leaders in their field.

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Volunteer leader Deb Downing recently was selected as the “Beacon of Hope” recipient by Safe Harbor, a Henrico organization whose goal is to stop domestic violence. The award recognizes excellence in advocacy against intimate partner violence.  Downing will be honored this week at a reception at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. Downing has a long-standing history of activism against intimate partner violence in Virginia.  In 1975, she oversaw operations for Shelter for Help and Emergency, a program to help victims of domestic violence in the Charlottesville area.  Four years later, she was selected as the agency’s executive director, a position she held for 10 years. After 14 years of service at the local level, Downing transitioned to state-level policy and advocacy work. Downing has helped to implement public policy, and funding and training programs to enhance Virginia’s capacity to serve survivors of intimate partner violence and their children.

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Lisa Wilson Gidcumb recently opened her new company, S E M E Education Consulting LLC. S E M E is a “child first” business that works collaboratively with parents and schools for the children’s success. S E M E, “Special Education Made Easy,” is a comprehensive consulting company providing personalized and meaningful education solutions to parents and schools throughout Virginia. For details, visit http://www.semeedconsulting.com


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Founder and president of Richmond marketing and public relations firm OFD Consulting Meghan Ely recently was chosen as the keynote speaker for the Business of Wedding Ireland Conference, which will take place Nov. 2-3 in Killarney, Ireland. At the conference, Ely will cover topics such as “The State of the Wedding Industry,” “Expectations of Brides and Grooms,” “Marketing to Brides in this Economy,” “Social Media and Networking” and “Pre-bridal Show Strategies,” in a two day seminar.

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The National Association of Scholars recently recognized the University of Richmond’s John Marshall International Center for the Study of Statesmanship as an “excellent program” for its approach to understanding and practicing responsible leadership. The center is advised by an international board of distinguished scholars, including honorary chair and former prime minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher.

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America’s Best Cleaners recently selected Richmond’s Puritan Cleaners as one of America’s best dry cleaning establishments. The recognition also certifies the dry cleaning business under the Fashion Care Label of Europe, a worldwide network of certified dry cleaners.
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FirstComp Insurance Company, Markel Corp. named top insurance carriers


Two Glen Allen-based insurance carriers have been named among the top such companies in the nation.

Markel Corp. and FirstComp Insurance Company (now owned by Markel) are among 38 carriers recognized on the Insurance Business America list of the top insurance carriers in the country. > Read more.

Walmart honors Citizen’s ‘Top Teachers’ during grand opening


The much-anticipated new Walmart Supercenter in Eastern Henrico opened to busy crowds last week, and company officials welcomed a special group of shoppers, too. > Read more.

‘It’s such a blessing’


On Independence Day, a Brazilian-born Henrico resident took the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance on the steps of the Virginia Historical Society and felt peace finally settle around her.

Jeanette Hamlett’s journey to U.S. citizenship is a story of faith and love, which she told with her husband, John Hamlett, by her side. > Read more.

Preschoolers give pillows to families in need


A group of preschoolers from Chesterbrook Academy Preschool donated 56 pillows to local families in need at the Housing Families First shelter. The shelter is always in need of pillows and linens as, since families take the donated ones with them to their new homes.

Housing Families First provides shelter and support for homeless families and assist them in finding a permanent housing solution. The shelter serves people year-round, said Terri Iguina, operations and volunteer manager at Housing Families First. > Read more.

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard sales July 27 to benefit Children’s Hospital of Richmond


Dairy Queen’s 13th Annual Miracle Treat Day – Thursday, July 27 – will raise fund to benefit sick and injured children being treated at Children's Miracle Network hospitals throughout the United States. Locally, $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat sold at participating locations will be donated to the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Last year, the event raised more than $14,400 for the hospital. > Read more.

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The Henricus Historical Park’s Discovery Day Program Series concludes with “Children of the Colony: Lean about the lives of the youngest English colonists.” The program, designed for children ages 3-10, is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities will include a story, short tour and activities in the historic site, and a make-and-take craft. Stay as little or as long as you like. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $10 per child and $7 per adult. Registration is required by calling 318-8797. Full text

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