On May 15, 2018 the New River Valley Regional Commission board of directors, comprised of elected officials and citizen appointees across the region, hosted a dinner event at Sinkland Farms in Riner to honor their annual award recipients. Over 100 local government elected officials, state and federal representatives, and planning commission chairs were in attendance. Music by The Java Brothers from Radford played while guests networked over hors d’oeuvres by Feast & Company catering from Blacksburg.
David Hagan, Business Owner and Investor, was one of two recipients of the Citizen of the Valley award. This award is given to a citizen within the New River Valley who has made significant contributions to the betterment of the region. Mr. Hagan and his business partner, Larry Shelor, own Shelor Motor Mile, a multi-franchise automotive dealership with locations in Christiansburg and Pulaski. Their company is committed to supporting schools in the region through their Growing the Future Community Partnership. Aside from the community impact associated with Shelor Motor Mile, some of Mr. Hagan’s community investments are most evident in the Town of Pulaski. In 2015 he purchased Historic Calfee Park from the Town and soon thereafter, he undertook a $6.5 million-dollar renovation of the park. His investments are truly charting a path forward for the greater Pulaski economy and showing others they too should invest in the revitalization taking place.
Ms. P. Buckley Moss, renowned artist and philanthropist, also received a Citizen of the Valley award. Ms. Moss has done many things to positively impact the New River Valley. Virginia Tech’s $100 million arts center building was named “The Moss Arts Center” in tribute to Ms. Moss. The Moss gift of $10 million was critical to funding the project which serves to enhance Virginia Tech students and citizens of the New River Valley. Ms. Moss not only developed a multi-million-dollar art business, but she has turned that business into a platform to promote improved education for all children and youth. The New River Valley has benefitted from her successes because she has chosen to make her home here, and she energetically supports local organizations that promote her desire to continuously modernize education by integrating art into educational programs.
Ms. Susan Kidd, Strategic Development Director for the Town of Narrows, received the Champion of the Valley award. This award is given to an appointed or elected official within, or representing, the New River Valley who has greatly assisted communities and residents during their service to the public. Ms. Kidd was recognized for the community revitalization impact currently underway in the Town of Narrows. Since Ms. Kidd began working for the town in 2013 she has worked closely with Town Council and numerous partners to help secure funds to support the town making an economic transition to become an outdoor recreation destination. To date, Ms. Kidd helped the community secure over $40,000 in planning funds which recently led to an announcement of implementation funds of over $350,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission and approximately
$700,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds.