"There's no glitz and glam when it comes to this course - it’s the actual and factual. The best part about CO.STARTERS is that you learn in a personal, realistic setting and you are surrounded by people who have succeeded and failed in business. It’s eye-opening."
~ Jaylin Randolph, CO.STARTERS graduate
Jaylin is the owner and artists for a jingle-writing/ entertainment business called H.i.L.i.F. LLC (an acronym for Here. I. Live. In. Fun.). H.i.L.i.F. works with organizations and schools and help reach their target audiences through fun & creativity, specializing in children's music and educational rap songs.
Only Pittsburgh has more people working in this sector. This area is blooming literally and figuratively. The work we do is very labor intensive, and there is a lot of craft labor in this market. There is a vibe of creativity at our company now, and it's due to the people who live and work in Lynchburg.
~ Rex D. Geveden, President & CEO, BWX Technologies, Inc.
Rex D. Geveden is president and chief executive officer of BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT), a $1.7 billion nuclear industrial conglomerate headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. As CEO, Mr. Geveden directs all business operations and leads strategic planning, capital allocation, and leadership succession planning and implementation.
"The people I want to work with are here. I call it blue-collar brilliance. They have a tremendous work ethic. Those who do move away want to come back home. There is something about this area that calls people home."
- Carroll Moon
Carroll Moon is the CFO of Cloudfit Software, Inc., founded in Lynchburg, Virginia in 2018. Cloudfit's mission is to enable companies and individuals to innovate at whatever speed they desire by providing critical operational outcomes as managed scenarios.
The Random Act of Culture was a wonderful way to surprise our faculty and staff and bring cheer on a summer day. Our faculty and staff are still talking about the outstanding performances days later! It was a wonderful reminder of just how fortunate we are to live and work in Lynchburg.
-Wes Fugate, Vice President and Chief of Staff, Randolph College
The Lynchburg Office of Economic Development supports Random Acts to both show our appreciation for the businesses and employees in the community and to encourage the support of the arts in Lynchburg as a vibrant, and viable, economic sector.
“Starting a new business in Lynchburg as a non-resident has been as smooth a process as I could have hoped. Working with Marjette Upshur and the Office of Economic Development has been a pleasure. I’ve often felt like I have my own ambassador.”
- Ryan Ford, Seven Hills Food
New business Seven Hills Food purchased and renovated the 100-year-old former Dinner Bell Meat processing facility. Seven Hills food was awarded the largest Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund grant to date and will process 100% Virginia-grown product, investing $3 million into the facility and creating 43 new jobs.
Working with Lynchburg’s Economic Development Authority has been one of the most important partnerships our organization has engaged in. We moved Endstation to the city of Lynchburg largely because of our positive and meaningful partnerships with the EDA. This has been one of the most important relationships our organization has engaged in. The EDA has helped establish Lynchburg as a place where a growing arts organization like ourselves can make a home and we are proud of our new downtown office location.
Our early partnerships were EDA grant funded productions in the James River Arts and Culture District. These productions of Taming of the Shrew (at the Renaissance Theatre), Our Town (at Old City Cemetery), and Always, Patsy Cline (at the Academy of Fine Arts) brought thousands to downtown Lynchburg, which in turn brought visitors to area restaurants and businesses. These James River Arts and Culture District productions also brought our company cache and recognition, which helped boost our ticket revenue and our fundraising abilities.
We have also partnered with the EDA on Random Acts of Culture. This program brings surprise performances by professional actors and singers to area businesses. For us, this has been a joy to bring a break and diversion to these employers and employees who bring so much to our city. It has also continued to expand our name recognition and helped boost our reputation in the community. Together, we will continue to make arts and culture a major part of the revitalization of downtown Lynchburg.
~ Geoffrey Kershner, Artistic Director, Endstation Theatre Company
Endstation Theatre Company is committed to strengthening the community through theatrical exploration of its people, its landscape and its history. Endstation produces new works, reinterpretations of classical plays, and original theatrical productions for the Central Virginia community based on the historical, current, and cultural events specific to the area.
We love living and working in Lynchburg and the underwriting of the move by the HIPE program made the transition much more attractive. This is a wonderful program and it really helps us to commit to the move knowing that the bulk of the moving costs are being covered by this incentive.
- Thomas Herndon, Chemistry and Physics, E.C. Glass High School
Mr. Herndon received a Housing Incentive for Professional Educators to relocate to Lynchburg to teach math or science in grades 6-12 in Lynchburg City Schools.