New River Advanced Technology Center will Host Regional Summit on Entrepreneurship Education Feb. 20

[Ghent, W. Va.] New River Community and Technical College is one of five community colleges across the nation chosen to host one-day training sessions this year to promote the growth of entrepreneurship education in their regions.

The events, called the NACCE Summits, are being sponsored by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation's leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges. The NACCE Summit will be held at the New River Community and Technical College Advanced Technology Center in Ghent, W. Va., from 8:50 a.m. to 5: 15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20.

According to Jill Holliday, instructional specialist in hospitality, tourism and entrepreneurship at New River, keynote speakers will include David Hughes, business development analyst with the Appalachian Regional Commission; Darrell Akins, founder and CEO of Akins Public Strategies; and Todd Christensen, executive director of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation

There also will be a multi-media presentation featuring the music of Option 22, a band based in Princeton, as well as visual projections and a compelling exchange about how the arts and creativity can transform a community into a dynamic place to live and how this can positively impact the local economy.

A panel of artisan entrepreneurs will discuss what they need to succeed. Merideth Young and Lori Midkiff, both artisans from Tamarack will be part of the panel, along with husband and wife artisan team, Brad and Jordie Veneri.

A panel discussion on Best Practices in Supporting Artisanal Small Business will feature Steve Weir of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, Timm Mittan of the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network and Nikki Bowman, publisher and editor of WV Living Magazine.

Northeast State Community College will present a session on community mapping. A panel discussion of the economic outlook for tourism in our state will include Todd Christensen; Leslie Baker, director of operations for the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine; Ron Magruder, previous chairman of the National Restaurant Association and former president and COO of Cracker Barrel; and Jackie Whitley, a Shared Vision project awardee with Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

The day will conclude with a multi-media presentation from Kid in the Background, a recent Raleigh County entrepreneurship café winner. The company, formed in late 2012 by founding partners Jamie Smith and Jason Lockart, assists businesses in the Beckley area with marketing and promotion via graphic and web design.

Part of the summit is being opened to area high school students. From 10:30 to 11 a.m., students can hear Chris Vaught, founder of Vaught Inc., speak about the ugly and awesome truths of entrepreneurship. From 11-11:30, Ron Magruder will address the students, and they also will attend some of the general sessions.

Participating students will receive an application to submit their business idea for a chance to win a scholarship for up to $3,500 to enroll in the Entrepreneurship program at New River. The two schools that have committed to send students are Greenbrier East and Greenbrier West. A scholarship will be awarded to one student from each school. High school wresters from throughout the region have also been invited to participate in the competition.

The lunch will be catered by local entrepreneur Tammy Jordan, owner of Fruits of Labor based in Dawson. Fruits of Labor is a corporation designed to marry Jordan's passion for agriculture and her love of the culinary industry. She grows much of the food herself for a true farm-to-table experience.

The summit also will feature displays showcasing resources for entrepreneurs and existing entrepreneurs showcasing their products.

Through opportunities like the business summit, West Virginia's visionaries have opportunities to participate in the business community on every level, whether they are conceptualizing, beginning or expanding their business ideas. The full summit agenda can be found at www.nacce.com.

For more information on the agenda, email Jill Holliday at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or for registration questions, email Guin Griswold at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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College Closed Monday

New River CTC will be closed Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.  Classes will resume and offices will re-open on Tuesday.