Over the course of the next month or so folks from across Virginia will gather in Roanoke for at least three important events. In each instance we have the opportunity to highlight what makes Roanoke and Virginia’s Blue Ridge such a special place.
The first event occurs this Thursday, when elected officials from throughout the Roanoke Valley, Allegheny Highlands, and New River Valley gather at the Carilion School of Medicine to hear about what is happening in Roanoke’s Innovation Corridor and why it is vital to the future for this part of Virginia. Attendees will hear from Dr. Sands with Virginia Tech, Michael Friedlander with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, Lee Learman with the VT- Carilion School of Medicine, and Nancy Agee with Carilion Clinic. Each of the speakers will highlight the world-class education and research that is taking place in the Corridor, and the transformative benefits for our region’s economy and quality of life.
Later this month Roanoke will host the 20th annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference. This conference, organized by local neighborhood advocates, will bring neighborhood representatives from Virginia localities to learn from one another and see the great things going on in our neighborhoods. Topics will include communication, fair housing, meeting conduct, neighborhood gardens, and a special track focused on engaging youth. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour several of our neighborhoods, bike on the greenway, and visit Center in the Square and its museums, taking lessons learned and experiences gained back to their hometowns.
A Showcase City
Early next month, representatives of cities from across the Commonwealth will join the Governor and gather for the annual conference of the Virginia Municipal League. Hundreds of representatives from cities, towns, and counties in Virginia will travel to Roanoke to conduct their annual business, learn from one another and experts, and see all that Roanoke has to offer. Workshops, tours, and roundtable discussions will highlight economic development, municipal budgeting, community policing, communication, and combatting opioid abuse. In addition to seeing what is happening along Roanoke’s Innovation Corridor, experiencing the revitalization of downtown, and visiting the Star, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the role arts and culture play in our vibrancy and partake in the offerings of our many wonderful restaurants.
I have no doubt that as each of these visitors return to their homes, they will be reflecting upon the great things going on here in Roanoke. I am confident our hospitality, vibrant neighborhoods, innovative economy, vibrant downtown, and active arts and culture scene will impress them, as well as equip them with ideas they can use to help make their communities even stronger. I am just as convinced that each of these visitors will bring insights and experiences from their communities that we can learn from and adapt for our use, helping us continue to progress and remain strong.
To all our visitors—welcome and enjoy yourself here in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!