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Business in brief


Five University of Richmond student teams have advanced to the April 16 finals in the Entrepreneurship Club’s Business Pitch Competition for budding entrepreneurs. The final round will be held in the Robins School of Business, Room 138, at 5 p.m. It is open to the public. Experts and entrepreneurs from outside the university will judge the finals. First prize is $3,500 and the opportunity to present the winning idea to a group of local angel investors. The annual competition encourages Richmond students to think entrepreneurially. Each pitch is measured for concept, clarity, comprehensiveness, realistic implementation and potential value. For more information about the competition, call Jeff Pollack, assistant professor of management at the Robins School of Business, at 287-1821.

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Napier Realtors ERA® recently was named a platinum level firm by the Cartus Broker Network in the Richmond, Va. market. Platinum is the highest of the Excellence Award recognition levels presented to qualifying principal brokers. Only 17 percent of the network’s principal brokers received Excellence Award recognition for 2012. Platinum level recognition is based on performance results related to a wide variety of goals including customer service, cost management, and accuracy on the Broker Market Analysis.

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ICF Ironworks will host the first coding competition for java developers in greater Richmond on April 25 and the public is invited to register. Besides bragging rights, prizes will be awarded to the top four contestants and door prizes will be awarded at the end of each round to the audience. The Ultimate Coding Championship is a fast-paced, head-to-head Java 7 coding competition highlighting the strong tech community in central Virginia that includes both providers of technology services and internal resources working to keep the tech businesses competitive. To register to compete or attend, visit http://tinyurl.com/7c6fr3k.

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Throughout April, all 30 Cici’s Pizza locations across Virginia will raise money for Special Olympics Virginia’s state programs. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase and personalize “Buy a Smile, Be a Fan” Special Olympics paper logos for $1. The logos will be displayed in the stores, with all proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Virginia. On May 2, CiCi’s guests will be challenged to cover an entire law enforcement vehicle with Law Enforcement Torch Run paper logos during a day-long Dough Raisers fundraiser. The grand total of money raised from the sale of the paper logos at CiCi’s will be announced at the annual Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg Ceremony held in Richmond on June 8. For Henrico locations, visit http://www.cicispizza.com.

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The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have awarded University of Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) a $250,000 grant to further community-based learning and increase overall campus engagement in the community. The CCE uses community-based learning courses to tie classwork into real-world experience, allowing students to cultivate an awareness of the Richmond community through their studies. In addition, the CCE assists in interdisciplinary engagement and supporting community-based research. The grant will be used to further those and other efforts, including increasing the number of teaching fellowships available for community-based learning courses and implementing preliminary and advanced fellowship tracks to promote engagement among faculty regardless of their familiarity with the community.

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The Board of Directors for United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg recently selected Lynn H. Pharr, a veteran of the United Way system, as the organization’s new chief executive officer. She currently serves as executive vice president and chief development officer for United Way of Metro Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas. Upon her arrival in Richmond, Pharr will work with United Way Interim CEO Claiborne S. Mason to transition into her new role. Mason has served as interim CEO since October 1 when Sherrie Brach, United Way’s CEO from 2000 to 2011, joined United Way Worldwide as executive vice president, investor relations.

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Henrico residents Diana Crosswhite and Rhonda Smith recently became independent consultants with Tastefully Simple, Inc., a national direct-sales company featuring more than 60 easy-to-prepare foods. For more information, visit http://www.tastefullysimple.com .

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The University of Richmond recently promoted Joslyn Bedell to associate director for employer relationship management in its Office of Alumni and Career Services. Bedell will oversee the university’s relationships with employers, administer on-campus recruiting policies and increase effectiveness of recruiting programs. In her previous position as assistant director, Bedell worked as a career advisor for students and alumni, was a university liaison to nonprofit and education employers and represented the university at conferences. She earned a B.A. in Latin from the University of Georgia and a M.Ed. from the University of Vermont. She also holds certifications in career development facilitation and MBTI evaluation.

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RoomStore recently announced the addition of Bob Hudgins as merchandise manager for the regional corporate office in Henrico. He will be responsible for all case goods purchases. Prior to joining RoomStore, Hudgins worked at Heilig Meyers as a retail operations supervisor and assistant vice president of merchandising. Hudgins also worked for Furniture Brands International in the global sourcing division.

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Highwoods Properties, based in Raleigh, NC, recently began preleasing for a proposed new office property in the Innsbrook Corporate Center. If preleasing efforts are successful, the company plans to move forward with the development. It does not plan to develop the building on a speculative basis. The proposed North Shore Commons III will have a total 95,201 square feet across four floors at 4931 Lake Brook Dr. The new building will share a similar design and layout as two existing North Shore Commons office buildings, in which Capital One and Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. are prominent tenants. Kristie Inge of Highwoods Properties is handling the preleasing for the project.

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University of Richmond recently appointed Andrew McBride as associate vice president for facilities. A member of the facilities leadership team since 1994, McBride most recently was university architect and has served since last summer as interim associate vice president. For the past year, McBride has been closely involved with the creation of a campus master plan to outline future campus development for the next decade. An early advocate of sustainability, McBride earned the LEED accreditation in 2002 and two years later, guided the university's successful application to the U.S. Green Building Council to have Weinstein Hall approved as the first LEED-certified building in central Virginia. McBride received a bachelor of arts degree in architecture from Iowa State University and a master of science degree in business with a concentration in real estate and urban development from VCU.

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Agents with Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer recently handled the following lease negotiations: Dickey’s BBQ Pit – leased 2,500 square feet in Westpark Shopping Center at 9809 W. Broad St.; Express Employment Professionals – renewed its lease of 1,997 square feet in Parham One at 827 Parham Rd.; and Global Drug Testing – leased 1,532 square feet at 7202 Glen Forest Dr.


Community

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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