Business in brief

St. Joseph’s Villa recently received a $50,000 grant in support of its Career and Transition Services (CATS) program from the Altria Companies Employee Community Fund. Funds will be used to provide training and experience in job skills, work habits, teamwork and leadership to students with emotional, behavioral, developmental or intellectual disabilities. St. Joseph’s Villa’s CATS program consists of a series of steps to prepare students for workplace employment: assessments, goal development, in-class training, on-campus internships and off-campus work. More than 40 students took part in the program during the 2010-2011 school year and more students are expected to take part in the program this year. To learn more about CATS, visit


The Princeton Review recently chose the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond for its newest guidebook, “The Best 294 Business Schools (2012 Edition).” Princeton Review selected the 294 business schools based on 19,000 student surveys that rated their school’s job placement, potential for real-world business experience, professors and other factors. Editors cited area and regional business ties, faculty-student relationships and an MBA program support staff in selecting UR. The Robins School of Business was founded in 1949 and is consistently ranked among the top 20 in the country by Bloomberg Businessweek.


Firehouse Subs recently announced its partnership with Coca-Cola as the first national chain to roll out the Coca-Cola Freestyle fountains. Coca-Cola Freestyle fountains are in place in all six Richmond-area restaurants and guests can try them out for free during Happy Hour on Friday, Nov. 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The single, freestanding unit is touch-screen operated and offers regular and low-calorie beverage brands, flavored waters, sports drinks, lemonades and other options, many exclusive to Coca-Cola Freestyle. Guests can choose from endless possibilities, many never before marketed in the U.S., including brands such as caffeine-free Diet Coke® with Lime, Fanta® Peach, Minute Maid® Light Orange Lemonade and more. Firehouse Subs’ top-selling Cherry Lime-Aid®, an exclusive original recipe served with fresh squeezed lime, is one of the offerings on the fountains, making the chain the first to have its own signature drink brand with Coca-Cola Freestyle. For more information, visit


This Halloween Atkins, Maestrello, Miller & Associates Pediatric Dentistry will be giving away dollars in exchange for cavity-provoking candy. Trick-or-treaters can turn in their candy and receive $1 per pound, up to $5 per child and $10 per family. Every donor will also be entered into a raffle to win a family movie prize pack and will receive coupons for free food and prizes from local businesses, including Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, SkateNation and Kangaroo Jac’s. Candy will be collected Nov. 1-11. All candy must be unopened. The collected candy will then be shipped to troops overseas in partnership with Operation Gratitude. Atkins, Maestrello, Miller & Associates is located at 2560 Gaskins Rd. For more information, call 741-2226. For more information on Operation Gratitude, visit


Debbie Johnston, president of Care Advantage, Nurse Advantage and All About Care, recently won the MS Society’s 2011 Women on the Move Award. The Central Virginia Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society announced Johnston as the winner at an awards luncheon in September. The luncheon helped to raise funds for “A World Free of MS” and included a silent auction, lunch and touching speeches from doctors and those struggling with MS. Johnston was chosen from 11 women who were recognized for their outstanding professional accomplishments and their contributions to the greater Richmond community.


Virginia Credit Union recently received federal approval to originate, underwrite and close Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgages, a move which could reduce cost and save time for borrowers seeking FHA loans to purchase a home. Achieving the status places the credit union’s FHA offerings on par with major national banks and large originators, according to Jeff Coward, the credit union’s vice president of real estate lending. For credit union members, the designation will mean speedier loan origination and closing. By eliminating the need to send files to HUD or to an investor prior to closing, VACU will cut 5-10 business days off the FHA loan origination process. FHA loans allow sellers to contribute toward closing costs and borrowers may use gifts of funds in the down-payment.

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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Highland Springs United Methodist Church will host a new contemporary worship service on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month starting Oct. 27 at 6:15 p.m. “The Vine” is going to be a comfortable and casual place to worship God and connect with others through contemporary songs, practical messages, and intentional discipleship. The speakers will rotate on a volunteer basis, as will the special music guests. For details, visit Full text

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