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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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Season 2 

Episode 201

A one-one-one conversation with Dr. Robert Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College regarding the role that community colleges play in workforce development. 

Virginia Western Community College

Episode 202

A unique organization, Building Beloved Communities, is helping small businesses grow and thrive. Guests are Bonnie Chavez, Founder of “Building Beloved Communities”, and Director of Operations, Shannon Dominguez. 

Episode 203

How long-time local journalists have covered business trends in the region. Guests are Tom Field, Publisher and Co-Founder of Valley Business Front Magazine, and Dan Smith, Journalist, and Co-Founder of Valley Business Front. 


Episode 204

A conversation with Erin Burcham, Executive Director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, and Jeff Graffeo, Managing Partner of Clarkston Technology Solutions.

Episode 205

How Goodwill Industries of the Valleys helps people from underserved communities find jobs. Guest is President and CEO, Richmond Vincent, Jr.

Episode 206

How the Advancement Foundation helps launch small businesses.

Episode 207

Dr. Michael Friedlander, Vice-President for Health Sciences and Technology at Virginia Tech, the Executive Director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, and the Senior Dean for Research for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. We’ll explore how all the entities work together to promote medical research.

Episode 208

A conversation with Blue Ridge PBS President & CEO, William Anderson, about the number of multimedia initiatives the station is undertaking.

Episode 209

Our guest is Lance Jones, Market President of the Lewis-Gale Regional Health System, a part of the HCA Healthcare group. We’ll discuss expansion and new technology initiatives, and how the system has dealt with the Covid crisis. 

Episode 210

Certified Management Consultant, Jennifer Leake, discusses her “Best Job Ever” program and how employers may have to do more to retain employees during the Covid crisis. 

Episode 211

A topic we've discussed several times and in various ways - let’s just call it "jobs, jobs, jobs." Guests are Taylor Johnson, Director of Talent Attraction for the Roanoke Regional Partnership and Morgan Romeo, Executive Director at Virginia Career Works - Blue Ridge.

Episode 212

How local organizations are lifting families out of poverty and connecting people to the services they need in Southwest Virginia. Guests are Abby Hamilton of United Way of Roanoke Valley, and Annette Lewis with Total Action for Progress.

Episode 213

Roanoke City Manager, Bob Cowell, talks about federal funding that has helped small local businesses survive the pandemic, and how “shared equity” is a positive for everyone involved.

Thank you to our program sponsor:

Lionberger Construction