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Business in brief


Two local business leaders have been appointed as the 2012-13 Robins School of Business executives-in-residence at the University of Richmond. John Sherman Jr., retired vice chairman, CEO and president of the investment advisory firm Scott & Stringfellow, and Bob Piazza, former vice president of human resources and talent manager of science and technology company Danaher Corp., will help Robins School students with professional and career development. The executive-in-residence program began with an endowment by the Manville Foundation for Private Enterprise in 1979 to bring distinguished business leaders to the Robins School. Sherman and Piazza will serve as what Robins Dean Nancy A. Bagranoff calls “super-mentors,” available to meet with students and provide guidance in specific professional fields.

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Kristine Nolin, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Richmond, has received a $35,000 grant from Research Corporation for Science Advancement. The two-year Cottrell College Science Award will support Nolin’s project, “Rhenium(V)-Oxo Catalyzed Addition Reactions.” The research looks at bond-forming reactions that are key to efficient syntheses of organic materials and biologically active compounds. The grant will fund equipment, supplies and two undergraduate student assistants. Nolin has taught at Richmond since 2009.

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J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College has been selected as an “Overall Improvement” category winner of the 2012 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Educational Fundraising Awards program, which honors superior fundraising programs across the country. Reynolds received its Overall Improvement Award based on three years of fundraising data. An expert panel of volunteer judges selected winners based on a number of factors including the pattern of growth in total support, evaluation of what contributed to the total support figure, overall breadth in program areas, pattern of growth in each program area, pattern of donor growth among alumni/ae donors and other individual donors, impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support, total support in relation to the alumni/ae base and type of institution.

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ToysRUs, Inc. has announced the opening of eight new side-by-side locations and the transformation of 13 existing stores by the end of 2012, including one in Henrico. The location at 11895 W. Broad St. will bring ToysRUs and BabiesRUs together in one store, offering customers a streamlined shopping environment. The company embarked on its integrated store strategy in 2006 with renovations to current stores and began opening side-by-side locations constructed from the ground up in 2007. ToysRUs, Inc. currently operates more than 190 side-by-side stores in the United States.

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The National Institutes of Health – National Cancer Institute has awarded John Gupton, professor of chemistry at the University of Richmond, a three-year, $348,572 grant for continuation of cancer-related research on pyrrole-containing substances. The project continues Gupton’s previous NIH-funded research that he believes could lead to “a novel and viable clinical candidate for cancer chemotherapy.” Working with Gupton will be a postdoctoral research associate and several Richmond undergraduate students. Gupton has taught at Richmond since 1999.

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Agents with Cushman and Wakefield Thalhimer recently handled the following lease negotiations: The Healy Group, Ltd. – leased 2,666 square feet in Staples Mill Business Center at 8201-8261 Hermitage Rd.; Sleepy’s Mattress – leased an additional 2,200 square feet in their current space and now lease 6,200 square feet in Virginia Center Station at 1070 Virginia Center Pkwy.; Sweet Frog – leased 2,143 square feet in Parham One at 8191 Brook Rd.; Support One, Inc. – leased 2,024 square feet in Interstate Center at 2100 W. Laburnum Ave.; Verizon – renewed its lease of 1,542 square feet in Parham One at 8191 Brook Rd.; and Sistar Seafood – leased 1,287 square feet in Laburnum Square Shopping Center at 4816 S. Laburnum Ave.

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University of Richmond’s Office of Alumni and Career Services has hired Frank Allen as associate director of career services and also filled two assistant director positions. Anna Todaro and Jesse Wingate will join the office to provide career advising. Allen will counsel students interested in financial careers. He has more than 15 years of business experience, most recently as vice president, real estate investment banking, at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. Todaro received a master’s degree in in higher education and student affairs in 2012 from the University of South Carolina. She will counsel students about careers in social impact, arts management and education. Wingate will focus his advising on careers in the sciences and healthcare. He previously served as assistant director for career services at Dartmouth College.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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NAMI of Central Virginia will sponsor a free Peer-to-Peer Education Program specifically for adults with mental illness. The 10-week series of classes will start Friday, Oct. 3 from 1 p.m.… Full text

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