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Business Matters strives to explore that subject from a variety of viewpoints and scenarios - the big players, the up-and-coming, the look ahead; featuring interviews with the people helping to grow jobs, the economy, and the Blue Ridge region.  Series host Gene Marrano is an award-winning radio and print journalist, and the editor of Valley Business FRONT magazine.

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Episode 301

A behind-the-scenes look at the business side of FloydFest and how the organizers and management approach the very popular annual festival. Guests are the management team behind FloydFest. Sam Calhoun is the Chief Operating Officer, John McBroom is the CEO and Kris Hodges is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer.

Episode 302

Dr. Lee Learman, Dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, shares how the school is faring following a pandemic and how the demand for healthcare workers has dramatically increased.

Episode 303

A discussion regarding “The Great Resignation”. Guest is Dr. Alice Louise Kassens, Professor of Economics at Roanoke College who also doubles as Senior Analyst for the college’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research.

Episode 304

A two-part show - Carrie T. McConnell is the President of Roanoke-based Ridge View Bank, which opens its first branch later this year in her hometown of Salem. In the second segment a talk about the “un-banked” and others seeking more help to understand financial institutions, with Brandon Meginley, the Financial Stability Specialist in the City of Roanoke’s Department of Economic Development.

Episode 305

Guests are from the Roanoke Regional Partnership, which recently debuted its “Thrive 2027” five-year strategic plan. John Hull is executive director of the partnership and Paul Nester is President of RGC Resources and co-chair of the Thrive 2027 fundraising.

Episode 306

A chat with the co-editor of the book “Vibrant Virginia” – described as a “multi-faceted glimpse into the many ways that regions across the Commonwealth are working to cultivate strong, robust and inclusive economies.” Sarah Lyon-Hill is the associate director of research development at the Center for Economic and Community Engagement at Virginia Tech.

Episode 307

A lively discussion about the business side of arts and culture in our region. Guests are Shaleen Powell, Executive Director for the Roanoke Cultural Endowment and Douglas Jackson, Arts and Culture Coordinator for the City of Roanoke.

Episode 308

An important discussion on a subject that has received recent attention at the federal level, eldercare and support for caregivers. Guest is Kimberly A. Whiter, CEO of Eldercare Solutions here in Roanoke.

Episode 309

A look at the demand for outdoor entertainment and how one local venue is meeting that demand. A one-on-one chat with Waynette Anderson, President of Dr. Pepper Park at the Bridges.

Episode 310

The business side of dental care and how one local company is helping make dental insurance accessible to everyone. Guests are Chris Pyle, Vice-President of Marketing, Customer Experience and Government Relations for Delta Dental; and Polly Raible, Executive Director of the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation.

Episode 311

A look at the economic growth taking place at Smith Mountain Lake thanks to more work-from-home opportunities. Guests are Andy Bruns, Executive Director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, and Vicki Gardner, former Executive Director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Thank you to our program sponsor:

Lionberger Construction