VTKW Executive Director Jim Flowers Wins Small Business Advocate Award

Roanoke Regional Chamber 29th Annual Small Business Awards

Congratulations to Roanoke County garden retailer Greenbrier Nurseries for receiving the 2015 Small Business of the Year award on Thursday night, given by the Roanoke Regional Chamber!

The chamber and Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center honored the Starkey Road business at the 29th Annual Small Business Awards dinner at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. The event is one of the chamber’s largest. This year about 80 businesses were nominated for various awards. The Small Business of the Year is typically the most coveted.

“The Small Business Awards selection committee was impressed Greenbrier Nurseries’ story of adapting from being a leading independent garden retailer to setting up an on-site farmers market allowing local agricultural businesses a place to offer their produce and goods directly to the public,” said chamber President Joyce Waugh.
The Roanoke Times.

VT KnowledgeWorks Executive Director Jim Flowers was given the Small Business Advocate award for all of his hard work promoting and guiding entrepreneurship in the region.

Jim is a veteran of over four decades of service as a senior executive and consultant to technology-based companies, most recently as architect and Executive Director of the VT KnowledgeWorks entrepreneurship support program at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Under Jim’s leadership, VT KnowledgeWorks has established itself as the Commonwealth’s institutional leader in programs to support creative entrepreneurship as a driver of economic development, and is well known for innovative outreach programs.  The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week attracts students and faculty from all over the world each August.  And the emerging VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Alliance will unite business growth programs all over Virginia in a mutually supportive, best practices cooperative.

Jim currently serves on the boards of the Virginia Community Economic Network and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, and previously served on the Board of the Virginia Business Incubation Association, including three years as its President.  He received his BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and his MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.

Congratulations to all of the Small Business Award Winners!

  • Small business advocate: Jim Flowers, VT KnowledgeWorks
  • Small business veteran of the year: Bill Hume, Interactive Design Group
  • Construction/real estate: Valley Boiler & Mechanical
  • Micro-business (five or fewer employees): Viva la Cupcake
  • Technology: TORC Robotics
  • Business-to-business services: Farmer Auctions
  • Business-to-consumer services: HomeTown Bank
  • Manufacturing: Tecton Products
  • Wholesale/retail: Greenbrier Nurseries
  • Legacy Award (in business for more than 50 years): Mechanical Development Co.
  • Best new small business (in business for one to three years, not eligible for overall award): Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers
  • Not-for-profit arts and culture: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia
  • Not-for-profit health and human services: HopeTree Family Services

For more information, read more of the article about the event in The Roanoke Times, and check in with the Roaonoke Regional Chamber Facebook page.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, CIT GAP Funds, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Plastics One Inc., Rackspace, Shentel, SimulTV, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union Bank & Trust, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint.

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