Last month, Lynchburg, Virginia’s Office of Economic Development held the annual Business Appreciation Event. The reception, which recognizes and celebrates business leaders in the community, took place on June 25th in the Riverviews Artspace’s open Craddock-Terry Gallery.
Showcasing unique acrylic and print art pieces, the gallery was the perfect setting for this year’s event, because the theme was innovation and creativity. Attendees networked and mingled while enjoying delicious hors d’oevres, before listening to a panel discussion related to corporate creativity and innovation.
Anna Bentson, Assistant Director of Economic Development, and Alex Johnston, Civic Innovator, moderated a compelling discussion between three local entrepreneurs and business owners who weighed in on a wide range of topics.
The discussion touched on what kinds of barriers these business owners had to overcome, why they chose to start a business in Lynchburg, and how creative cities influence opportunities for business growth and sustainability.
Each panelist represented a different industrial sector – technology, entrepreneurship, and arts and culture. The panelists included:
- Ryan Ford, Owner of Seven Hills Food (Entrepreneurship)
- Mort Sajadian, Executive Director of Amazement Square (Arts and culture)
- Dustin Slightham, President of SharpTop Company (Technology)
At the end of the panel discussion, Matt and Marianne Willis presented an innovative invention: the Willis Extendable. The extendable trailer easily converts into a more manageable, compact size, and is the first of its kind.
As the evening wrapped up, one thing became clear: Lynchburg is an innovative place that’s full of makers and doers. We have the creative minds, talent pool and opportunities needed to foster continuous growth right here in the Hill City.
Click here to learn more about local opportunities for funding and other initiatives driven by the Office of Economic Development.