Local Business and Economic Development

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Catherine Fox – submitted photo

The local marketing and growth consultant group Eddy Alexander has just hired Catherine Fox as their new Senior Tourism and Destination Development Advisor. Fox is the former Vice President of Destination Development at Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. She says her new company has a varied client base. At VVBR Fox worked to increase tourism and media coverage of the valley, and helped organize the recent Ironman competition.


Amtrak will begin offering a second daily departure from Roanoke to Washington, D.C., and to cities in the Northeast on July 11th. Tickets are now available to purchase. Amtrak will offer morning and afternoon options in both directions between Roanoke, Washington, and the Northeast Corridor beginning July 11th.

WASHINGTON – Amtrak Northeast Regional service will soon offer a second daily departure from Roanoke, Va., giving customers more flexibility and convenience for travel to Washington, D.C., and to cities in the Northeast and Southwest Virginia. Service on the additional frequency of service to and from the city in the Blue Ridge Mountains begins on July 11. Tickets are now available to purchase.

Amtrak will now offer morning and afternoon options in both directions between Roanoke, Washington, and the Northeast Corridor.

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority supports Amtrak Northeast Regional service that serve Norfolk, Richmond, Newport News, Lynchburg and Roanoke and provide a same-seat trip to other cities along the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak service returned to Roanoke in 2017.

Customers experience a comfortable and enjoyable way to travel on a national network serving more than 500 destinations, and benefits such as a free and generous baggage policy, free Wi-Fi, no middle seat and an easy, streamlined boarding process.

Amtrak Northeast Regional offers Coach and Business Class seating with power outlets for charging laptops and mobile devices. The Café Car offers sandwiches, salads, snacks and hot and cold beverages, including a variety of wine, beer and soda.

Ticketing and reservations can be done on Amtrak.comAmtrak mobile apps, or by calling 800-USA-Rail. Boarding documents can be self-printed, or customers using a smartphone or mobile device can present the eTicket to the conductor by opening a document in their email.


After nearly 22 years with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO Joyce Waugh  will retire at the end of the year. Waugh joined the Chamber in July 2000 became President & CEO in October 2008, succeeding Beth Doughty. Waugh says she remains bullish about the local business community. She also notes Chamber lobbying efforts that helped lead to funding for I-81 improvements now taking shape. The Regional Chamber has also announced that Eric Sichau currently the Vice President of Membership Services, will assume Waugh’s position upon her retirement

ROANOKE, VA (June 15, 2022) – After nearly 22 years with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO Joyce Waugh has notified the Board of Directors of her plans to retire, effective December 31, 2022. Waugh joined the Chamber in July 2000 as Vice President of Public Policy & Strategic Issues and became President & CEO in October 2008.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors has been developing a succession plan for two years and is pleased to announce Eric Sichau, the current Vice President of Membership Services, will assume Joyce’s position upon her retirement at the end of the year.
“It’s truly been an honor and privilege to serve the Roanoke Regional Chamber and be part of what makes Virginia’s Blue Ridge THE place we choose to live, work and play. VBR is on an upswing as a medical, higher education and technology hub, and has tremendous outdoor opportunities. The Chamber is at the heart of it all, promoting, stimulating and improving business, helping all boats rise,” said Waugh.
Steady leadership has defined Waugh’s tenure, even during challenging circumstances. The Chamber emerged from the Great Recession, as well as a once-in-a-century pandemic, stronger than before. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank Joyce for not only her dedication to western Virginia’s largest and oldest business advocacy organization; but to her vision and leadership that has provided a strong foundation for continued success. As much as we’ll miss her, we’re excited for her as she begins her next, well-earned adventure,” said Greg Brock, 2022 Chair of the Roanoke Regional Chamber Board of Directors.
Throughout her career, Waugh has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the success of the business and civic community, serving on several boards – including the Roanoke Regional Partnership, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Downtown Roanoke, Inc., and many others. Half of her 44-year career in the region has been with the Chamber. Previously, Waugh was Public Relations Director for Roanoke Valley Psychiatric Center (now part of LewisGale Health System) and Assistant Director at Roanoke County’s Department of Economic Development.
Waugh was named the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (VACCE) Chamber Executive of the Year in 2012. She was also the first woman in our region to earn the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). “My background led me to the Chamber and I am so grateful. This position afforded me the opportunity to work with incredibly talented teams and boards over the past 22 years. The Chamber has been and will continue to be the most influential business organization in western Virginia, helping to make our region better,” said Waugh.

Graphic taken from Crystal Spring Block Party with Terry Brown Ascension Project.

There’s a block party along Crystal Spring Avenue this weekend to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a fine-dining staple, and the opening of a new savory venture. WFIR’S Camden Lazenby has more.

The Better Business Bureau logo.

The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia wants summer job seekers, young adults in particular, to be cautious of jobs found through social media because con artists may be trying to make money off them. WFIR’s Camden Lazenby has more.


( From Downtown Roanoke Inc.)

From Downtown Roanoke Inc : Downtown Putt Around is downtown Roanoke’s 9-hole mini-golf course. The course will pop up at different locations downtown and is a great opportunity for people of all ages to get out and have fun! Your next chance to play will be at Century Plaza starting June 23rd.

June 23rd – Jul 17th. 4-9 pm Thursday – Saturday, 1-5 pm Sunday. Admission is $5 per person. Children 6 and under get in free!
Putt-putt details:

Open June 23rd, 2022, to July 17th
Location: Century Plaza – 14 Church Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24011
Hours: 4-9 pm Thursday – Saturday, 1-5 pm Sunday
Admission: $5 per person, children 6 and under are free
No cash, cards only
Purchase your tickets in advance at PuttAroundRoanoke.brownpapertickets.com
Limited walk-up spaces available

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