Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Job Posting:
Charleston Department Store

Position Title
E-Commerce Director

Ever feel like starting off your career with a locally owned business and use creativity to explore your career path? Well Charleston Dept. Store has all the opportunities one could ask for. Charleston Dept. Store, a third generation family business, offers clothing apparel, work wear, and footwear for every type of demographic across the Charleston, WV area. This retail company has an opportunity for a highly motivated Director of E-Commerce to develop and manage execution of the Charleston Dept. Store E-Commerce Merchandising and Marketing Strategy to develop increased traffic to our websites. We are looking at ways to differentiate competition; maximize sales; and increase profits.

· Knowledge of, OS-Commerce, and E-Bay.
· B.S. or B.A. degree in a related field of study.
· 1+ Years managing E-Commerce marketing & merchandising for a retailer is preferred.
· Energetic, sales driven personality preferred to help develop and drive Charleston Dept. Store’s on-line presence to the next level in support of our goal to triple sales in 3-5 years.​
· Knowledge of website construction.

Please e-mail resumes to, and if you wish to set up an interview, please call Dale Haynes at (304) 346-6793.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The story below aired Dec. 19 on WOWK-TV. Reporter Sara Gavin interviewed Charleston Area Alliance President Matt Ballard about the automotive industry rescue package after the Alliance issued a statement of support for the industry. Click here to view the story.

Reacting to Automotive Rescue Plan

Story by Sara Gavin

As President of the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association, Ruth Lemmon is celebrating now that President Bush has granted a holiday wish for General Motors and Chrysler.

"This is one of the best Christmas presents I could've had - it really is," said Lemmon.

The two automakers will receive a more than 13-billion-dollar loan to help save the struggling industry. "On a more local level, it's going to reassure consumers that there is going to be a factory, there is going to be a manufacturer, there will be parts, support for warranties," said Lemmon.

Auto dealers weren't the only ones breathing a sigh of relief once word of the rescue plan trickled down from Washington to West Virginia. Matt Ballard, President of the Charleston Area Alliance says a collapse of any of the big three domestic car companies would have hit West Virginia hard - especially in the Kanawha Valley. "I think we have about 2,000 families, 2,000 people employed in just the auto supplier market in just Kanawha and Putnam Counties so this was a very big deal for us," said Ballard.

GM and Chrysler have until the end of March to prove their companies have a stable financial future or they will be forced to repay taxpayers' money. For now at least, many mountain state auto dealers and business leaders are hopeful the bailout will bring a brighter outlook in the new year.

Governor, Mayor Announce TV Airing Dates for
World's Strongest Man Competition

Gov. Joe Manchin and Charleston Mayor Danny Jones today announced the worldwide television airing dates for the 2008 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition held in Charleston in September.

During a news conference this morning, the governor also unveiled a brief highlight video of the broadcast, which is set to air on ESPN networks starting this week.

"This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to showcase our state, our people and our capital city to the world,” Manchin said. “I know the crowd really enjoyed watching these contests, and the television exposure the host city receives is enormous.”

The first broadcast of the event will occur on ESPN2 on Christmas Day from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. The shows will debut on ESPN from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28. Each broadcast will include 10 half-hour segments, featuring events from the qualifying and final rounds, plus a one-hour conclusion showcasing the final day of competition that determined the champion.

“During the course of the next year, the World’s Strongest Man competition – and the city of Charleston – will be featured hundreds of times on ESPN networks,” Jones said. “Many people worked very hard to bring about this event, and this broadcast promises to be a great Christmas present for our community and all the people who made it possible.”

The World’s Strongest Man event was hosted by the City of Charleston and the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. CVB President Patty Pitrolo thanked other presenting sponsors that supported the effort locally, including the Governor’s Office, West Virginia Coal Association through its “Friends of Coal” initiative, Chesapeake Energy and West Virginia Division of Tourism.

The supporting sponsorship level included: BrickStreet Insurance, West Virginia Lottery and Pepsi. Local companies providing in-kind support included: Airgas, Kanawha Regional Transit Authority, Charleston Area Medical Center, Sun Belt, Kanawha County Parks and Recreation, University of Charleston, West Virginia Air National Guard, West Virginia Power, Yeager Airport and Executive Air.

The “World’s Strongest Man,” the long-running strength athletics competition series, is produced by IMG Sports Media for ESPN in the United States, Channel 5 in the United Kingdom and other broadcasters around the world.

Created in 1977, the World’s Strongest Man has become the premier event in strength athletics. For more than 30 years, the strongest men on the planet have come together in a series of unique and amazing tests of strength to determine the World’s Strongest Man. The competition has traveled to stunning and varied locations, including Zambia, Iceland, Mauritius, Malaysia, Morocco and China.

Legendary figures in the sport have cemented their legacies at the World’s Strongest Man. In 2007, Poland’s Mariusz Pudzianowski joined Icelandic legends, Jon Paul Sigmarsson and Magnus Ver Magnusson, as the only four-time champions in history.

More information on MET-Rx World’s Strongest Man is available at

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Diversity Leadership Academy of West Virginia wrapped up Dec. 5. But the American Institute for Managing Diversity is planning another set of sessions.

The Diversity Leadership Academy is a community-based leadership development program committed to equipping business, civic and community leaders with effective diversity management skills. It promotes a "mission-focused/requirements-driven approach."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday's ArtWalk Will Feature 'Christmas Carol' Vignettes &
Free Trolley Rides

“This is a great opportunity to purchase lasting gifts of art,” said Susie Salibury, senior vice president with the Alliance. “The December ArtWalk also is a fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit. We want people to bring their families and out-of-town guests downtown and show them the best of Charleston.”

Free trolley rides from venue to venue will be available.

This ArtWalk includes two additional businesses: Visions Day Spa and Peanut Shoppe, which will be serving free popcorn.

In addition, the Kanawha Players will be offering vignettes of the popular "A Christmas Carol" inside Art Emporium. James Raywalt plays Marley and Robert Weiford plays Scrooge.

The other ArtWalk locations are Callen McJunkin Gallery, Chet Lowther Studio, the Clay Center, Gallery Eleven, Good News Mountaineer Garage Gallery, the Purple Moon, Stray Dog Antiques and the Taylor Books Annex Gallery.

Call (304) 340-4253 for more information.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The article below appeared in yesterday's Charleston Daily Mail.

Charleston Chamber Monitors Auto Industry

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce said it is actively engaged in developments regarding the future of the auto industry.

The chamber's staff participated in a conference call on Friday with the presidents of the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and General Motors.
Congress failed to approve a $14 billion bailout of the auto industry last week. The administration of President George Bush is currently working on a rescue plan.

Matt Ballard, president of the Charleston Area Alliance, said in a prepared statement, "It may not be widely understood that what could happen in Michigan is going to impact our state immediately. Just because we don't have a Ford or GM plant doesn't mean this won't affect West Virginia families."

According to the Charleston Regional Chamber, Kanawha County has eight automotive suppliers that employ about 443 people and Putnam County has eight suppliers that employ a total of 1,400 people. The chamber's membership includes auto and truck dealerships and tire stores.

The Charleston Area Alliance issued a statement Nov. 19 supporting the U.S. auto industry. On Friday Ballard said, "We applaud Senators Rockefeller and Byrd for voting to bring the House emergency auto loan proposal to the Senate floor. We urge President Bush and lawmakers to continue to consider all reasonable measures to prevent the collapse of the U.S. auto industry. This dilemma is too far-reaching to ignore."

The Alliance was formed in 2004 with the merger of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, the Charleston Renaissance Commission and the Business and Industrial Development Corp., also known as BIDCO.

Monday, December 15, 2008

West Virginia State Community & Technical College To
Offer ACT Review Classes

The West Virginia State Community and Technical College will offer ACT Review classes for students planning to take the ACT exam.

Actual sample test questions will be used and test-taking techniques will be covered. These classes are valuable for students (1) needing an intensive review program to meet entrance level requirements for colleges, (2) to meet entrance level requirements for special programs of study, (3) to meet scholarship eligibility levels, and (4) to meet eligibility for the Promise scholarship. There will be three subject matter sections.

An eight-hour ACT English Review program will be held from 5 to p.m. on the following Mondays: Jan. 12, Jan. 20, Jan. 26 and Feb.2. The registration fee for the English Review program is $45.00. This program provides a basic review of high school English skills including parts of speech, punctuation, grammar, usage, and sentence structure.

An eight-hour ACT Math Review program will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Jan. 28 and Feb. 4. The registration fee for the Math Review program is $45.00. This workshop includes computations with whole numbers, fractions, percentages, proportions, and decimals. Subjects covered include algebra, geometry, and elementary trigonometry.

A six-hour ACT Reading Comprehension and Science Reasoning Review program will be held from 5 to 7:40 p.m. on the following Fridays: Jan. 16, Jan. 17 and Jan. 30. The registration fee for the Reading and Science program is $ 45.00. The program includes strategies for pacing yourself and for answering questions from reading passages and sets of scientific information. Assorted techniques will be presented to answer questions that require explicit information and reasoning skills to draw conclusions from the passages, graphs, and tables.

All three programs will be held in Room 112 of the Cole Complex on the West Virginia State Community & Technical College campus in Institute, West Virginia.

Register online at You also can call (304) 766-5113 or e-mail to register. Note that campus will be closed for the holidays and messages will not be answered until January 5, 2009. For information on other programs offered by the West Virginia State Community and Technical College, visit the Web site at

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Charleston Chamber Confers with Michigan Chambers
About Auto Industry Crisis

Staff of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce today participated in a conference call with the presidents of the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and representatives of General Motors to discuss the automotive industry’s economic struggles.

“The auto industry is a major component of the regional economy,” said Matthew Ballard, President of the Charleston Area Alliance. “We’re staying very engaged with developments at both the national and local level. It may not be widely understood that what could happen in Michigan is going to impact our state immediately. Just because we don’t have a Ford or GM plant doesn’t mean this won’t affect West Virginia families.”

Kanawha County has eight automotive suppliers that employ approximately 443 people, while Putnam County has eight suppliers employing 1,400. Together, those suppliers account for 1,843 jobs. “If one of the major automotive manufacturers goes out of business, then suppliers lose business. It will create a devastating domino effect,” said Ballard.

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s membership also includes auto dealerships, truck dealerships and tire stores. Thousands of area families are impacted by the challenges facing the automotive industry.

“We’re not known for crying wolf, so if we weigh in on a national issue like this, it is serious,” Ballard said.

Representatives from Ford, GM and Chrysler have requested a bridge loan from Congress that would help them survive until an upswing in the U.S. economy and eventual profitability. According to representatives from the Michigan and Detroit chambers and General Motors participating in today’s conference call, the Big Three and organized labor have taken steps to “right the ship,” including participating in good-faith labor negotiations, building more hybrid vehicles and improving fuel efficiency.

Bankruptcy, they said, is not a viable option for the automobile manufacturing industry. It doesn’t resolve the biggest reason for the crisis, which is lack of credit. Even if the companies are reorganized through bankruptcy, the credit crunch still may bar many consumers from obtaining financing for the purchase of a new car. And with major competitors producing vehicles, vehicles produced from auto makers that have declared bankruptcy will not be attractive to consumers.

“We applaud Senators Rockefeller and Byrd for voting to bring the House emergency auto loan proposal to the Senate floor” Ballard said. “We urge President Bush and lawmakers to continue to consider all reasonable measures to prevent the collapse of the U.S. auto industry. This dilemma is too far-reaching to ignore.”

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Charleston Area Alliance Encourages
Support of Auto Industry

The Charleston Area Alliance is urging lawmakers to support the auto industry.

“During this economic downturn, it is vital that decision-makers carefully consider measures to keep our most critical industries, including the auto sector, afloat,” said Jack Rossi, Chairman of the Charleston Area Alliance Board. “If a major manufacturer fails, the ripple effect on businesses, communities and workers across the country could be devastating.”

The auto industry is a major component of our local economy, Rossi noted. Kanawha County has eight suppliers that employ approximately 443 people, while Putnam County has eight suppliers employing 1,400. Together, those suppliers account for 1,843 jobs.

The Alliance’s membership also includes auto dealerships, truck dealerships and tire stores. The automotive sector is one of the four target industries on which the Alliance concentrates its efforts to recruit and expand new jobs in the region. The other three are chemical, printing and energy.

“Eighty percent of the US automotive industry is within overnight shipping distance from West Virginia,” said Matthew Ballard, President and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance. “This geographic advantage has helped create an automotive corridor running from Wood to Wayne County,” he noted, adding that “suppliers know that they can serve the traditional Michigan markets and the new Southern automotive corridor from West Virginia, ‘just in time.’”

“We stand ready to speak out for the auto industry and our local businesses and workers who are involved in this major sector of our economy,” he said.


Identify a New Market. Export for the First Time.

West Virginia University, in conjunction with the West Virginia Export Council, the United States Department of Commerce, and the WVU Center for Chinese Business has recently introduced a new course in Export Management, in which students and company representatives are teamed to develop an Export Marketing Plan targeted to the specific needs of the participating company.

This program is designed to promote exporting in West Virginia, by helping participants to assess their export readiness skills, as well as by guiding them through every aspect of exporting. A panel of several guest speakers from different areas (such as US Department of Commerce, US Small Business Administration, West Virginia Development Office, freight forwarders, financial institutions, law firms, travel agencies etc.) will lecture on the different steps of exporting. In addition, there will be several opportunities to hear practical, real life advice from West Virginia companies actively exporting. An Export Manager Certificate will be conferred to each participant at the end of the program.

The classes are offered on a five-weekend schedule over a fourteen week period. Meeting times for the five weekends are: Friday evenings from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The following is an outline of the program and tentative dates.

Weekend 1CIntroduction to Exporting
January 16, 2009 B 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
January 17, 2009 B 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

a. Organizational Self-Assessment: Is your company export ready?
b. Export Resources
c. Developing an Export Marketing Plan

Weekend 2CTaking the First Step
January 30, 2009B 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
January 31, 2009 B 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

a. Cultural Issues
b. Making the Key Contacts
c. Doing Business in Other Countries/Selling Overseas
d. Traveling Abroad

Weekend 3CLegal and Financial Issues
February 27, 2009 B 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
February 28, 2009 B 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

a. Legal Issues
b. Financial Issues
c. Methods of Payment
d. Financing Export Transactions

Weekend 4CLogistical Issues
April 3, 2009 B 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
April 4, 2009 B 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

a. Methods/Channels
b. Preparing the Product for Export
c. Shipping the Product

Weekend 5CThe Export Marketing Plan:

April 24, 2009 B 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
April 25, 2009 B 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $200 per company representative for class material. No cost to students.

Classes offered in Charleston & Morgantown, WV

If you desire additional information, students contact Dr. Cyril M. Logar, Professor of Marketing, College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University, PO BOX 6025, Morgantown, WV 26506-6027, Phone (304) 293-7956, Fax (304) 293-5652, E-mail:

First Tallman Track Club Winter Series Event
Scheduled for Dec. 14

The benefits of physical activity are well documented. Regular exercise can help you manage your weight, strengthen your heart and lungs, and decrease clinical symptoms of anxiety, tension and depression. Workplaces in which employees undertake regular physical activity often see improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, and lower health care costs. According to one recent study, for every exercising day of the week, health care costs decrease from the median by 4.7%.

If you are in search of an opportunity to either start your exercise program, or need motivation to keep moving in the dark winter months - look no further. Last year, the Kanawha Valley’s own Tallman Track Club revived the Winter Series of runs and walks. This year, the three race series will be held on December 14, January 11, and February 8.

According to WK Munsey, the Co-Race Director for the Tallman Track Club, “These events are meant to be low key, fun affairs for both walkers and runners. You don’t have to be a seasoned racer to have a good time and we provide walkers their own event away from the runners for their own spotlight.”

The distance covered depends on whether you sign up as a walker or a runner, and increases with each race in the series. The flat, easy course starts in front of the Kanawha City Community Center, and follows a clearly marked route. Maps will be available at the beginning of each race or walk and traffic control is provided by the City of Charleston Police Department.

Just starting on your exercise program and unsure if you are ready to go public? According to Munsey, “We encourage people of all levels of fitness to participate in our events. Our goal is to keep everyone motivated and exercising through the winter months when it is hard to get out the door into the weather and darkness. These events are a way to test your fitness at whatever level you feel comfortable with.

The cost is $10 per event or $25 for all three if you sign up by December 14.

Organizers will give awards in both the run and walk categories for fastest cumulative times for all three events. Participants who complete all three parts of the Winter Series will receive a fashionable Winter Series crew neck sweatshirt for walkers and long sleeve technical t-shirts for runners that will be the envy of their sedentary friends.

For more information, contact Lynn Watts at 304.348.6860 or visit the Tallman Track Club’s website

While there, take some time to browse the Tallman’s other web resources. The club maintains a list of mapped training courses ranging from two to 20 miles and has a regional race calendar to help you plan your year.

Police Department to Host Citizen Academy

The Charleston Police Department is offering an exciting and different educational experience - Citizen Police Academy (CPA).

The students may include business people, medical professionals, paralegals, media representatives, homemakers, school teachers, clergy, retirees, community activists - citizens from all walks of life. They share an interest in learning more about police work.

The CPA was adopted in 1998 from a similar program in Orlando, Fla, and it has spread nationally with great success. Charleston's program is directed by the Community Services Division of the Charleston Police Department as part of the Public Education/School Services Division’s efforts to foster community involvement.

The CPA’s intent is to increase understanding of a broad range of citizens and the members of the Police Department through classroom exposure and “hands-on” education. Class No. 14 will meet mostly on Tuesday evenings for about three hours during an 11-week term and a re-cap at the graduation.

There is no cost for enrollment in the class. The police department's new Police Training Facility at 118 Dickinson St. will host the classroom sessions in a state-of-the-art facility, with free parking in the City Garage.

The course covers various aspects of police work, including police administration, patrol operations, criminal investigations, drug enforcement, traffic enforcement, crash investigation, crime scene investigation, SWAT, K-9 Patrol, bicycle unit, domestic violence response, youth safety programs and more. The classes utilize an interactive video simulator, staging real-life police action scenarios. The most memorable part of class is usually the optional ride-along in a police cruiser.

Although graduates of the Citizen Police Academy are not prepared for actual duty, they will learn about the workings of a police department and gain insight on the daily life of an officer. Along with the specialties mentioned above, the class will see firsthand the Metro 911 Center, Municipal Court, Police Records Division and Property/Evidence and Booking Sections and will get to know an officer through their ride-along experiences. Graduates gain greater appreciation of the challenges and decisions police officers confront every day, as well as investigative techniques. College students may be able to incorporate aspects of the CPA into
a class project for potential credit.

Through the CPA, citizens can get involved in making Charleston a better place to live or work. Graduates are invited to join the CPA Alumni Association (CPAAA). This independent group acts positively for the benefit of both police and community. Some alumni choose to get more involved in their community and become volunteers in the Neighborhood Assistance Officer (NAO) program.

Those who would like to attend the Citizen Police Academy can contact the Community Services Division at (304) 348-6411, ext. 20. Or fax (304) 348-6815 for an application. Class No. 14 begins Tuesday, Feb. 3 and will graduate May 5. Participants must be over 18 years old and have no convictions for felonies or “serious misdemeanors.” Applications must be received by Jan. 18.

Learn more and download an application at

Business After Hours Tonight

Join us for one of the most popular Business After Hours of the year and get into the holiday spirit at City National Bank in Kanawha City, 3601 MacCorkle Ave. SE.

The event is 5 to 8 p.m. tonight.

And as always, enjoy a fantastic networking opportunity and live entertainment with food and drinks.

Tickets are $10 for Alliance members and $20 for non-members.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Charleston Marriott to Host Cast Iron Cook-Off Jan. 24

The Collaborative for 21st Century Appalachia, a non-profit organization formed to help West Virginia farmers and West Virginia chefs work more closely together, is conducting its annual Cast Iron Cookoff at Charleston Town Center Marriott Jan. 24.

Fourteen, 10-person culinary teams, with eight of the team members being amateur cooks are led by one of the region’s finest culinary talents and their sous chef. The teams will prepare a four-course meal prepared with West Virginia grown and raised products. The meal menus and recipes were developed by each team’s chef, judged by hospitality industry and agri-business leaders.

Beyond the actual competition on Saturday, the cookoff weekend features other unique events. Friday night, the Tastes from the Mountains is a dine-around culinary tour. West Virginia’s Departments of Agriculture and Tourism will join to highlight local farm products being featured in delectable gourmet hors d’oeuvres from around the state. In addition to Saturday’s competition, will be the Mountain Fair with artisans, traditional and folk musicians, wool spinners and weavers, storytelling and a cast iron museum.

The Cast Iron Cook-Off, the signature event of the collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia, emphasizes all aspects of the organization’s mission: preserving Appalachian folkways, creating a broad recognition for regional cuisine and sustaining the family farm and rural community. The public is invited to participate in the cookoff. For more information on this exceptional culinary event go to or

Friday, December 05, 2008

First Friday Tonight at The Vault

This weekend, members of Generation Charleston will have two great opportunities to help the Secret Santa Foundation make this a truly special holiday season for families in our area.

Join us tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Vault, 229 Hale Street for First Friday.

Generation Charleston will be collecting donations to support the Secret Santa Foundation. Donate $20 or more and receive drink specials courtesy of The Vault! Help us reach our goal of raising $1,000 while enjoying live music, hors d'oeuvres and holiday cheer!

We're accepting checks and cash, but not credit cards.

Then from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Secret Santa Foundation Headquarters at the South Charleston Rec Center, Generation Charleston members can volunteer their time during two shifts: 8 a.m. to noon and noon to 4 p.m.

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Brooke Pauley at

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Business After Hours at City National Bank

Join us for one of the most popular Business After Hours of the year and get into the holiday spirit at City National Bank in Kanawha City, 3601 MacCorkle Ave. SE.

The event is 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11.

And as always, enjoy a fantastic networking opportunity and live entertainment with food and drinks.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

'Tis First Friday at the Vault

Twas the night of December First Friday (Dec. 5), when all through the town
Young professionals were stirring, for fun downtown

The stockings were hung at The Vault (5 - 7 p.m.) with care
In hopes that GC members would soon be there.

The co-chairs were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of a great fundraiser danced in their heads

And Danielle in her ‘kerchief’ and Matt in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out from the Alliance there arose such clatter,
Matt Ballard sprang from his desk to see what was the matter.

Away from his office, he flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and threw out his trash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen leadership,
Gave the luster to new members that we’re a group that’s quite hip!

When, what to our wandering eyes should appear,
But a great fundraiser and opportunities to volunteer with good cheer

With two sassy leaders, so lively and so quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Brooke & St. Kate!

More rapid than eagles, their courses they came.
And they whistled and shouted and called them by name.

“Now, Kami. Now, Adam. Now, Donnie and Chris.
On, Jenn. On Laurel. On Gabby and Libby.

To the top of the graph. To the top of the chart.
We want to you give from the bottom of your heart.

We’re supporting The Secret Santa Foundation (
You can make a tax-deductible gift in the form of a cash donation.

Receipts for your donation are available on the spot.
Drink specials and delish hors d’oeuvres in a location that is hot.

$1000 is what we hope to raise.
For an organization that is worthy of our praise.

Tough economic climate got you low on cash?
Don’t fret my friend. You can donate your time the day after the bash.

Sorting presents is what we’ll do on the 6th of December,
For deserving girls and boys who will have a Christmas to remember.

We need 8-10 early birds, who can work 8 am to noon,
Noon to 4 pm is the shift for 8-10 people, who are stay up later than the moon.

So join us for good cheer and help send out 2008 as a good year!

For more information or to volunteer on Dec 6th contact Brooke Pauley at

Written by Rachelle Beckner

Join Us for Ribbon Cutting Celebrations

AT&T Mobility and Eyemart Express are celebrating new locations.

AT&T Mobility invites you to its grand opening celebration at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. The new location is at the Kanawha Mall - 5701 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Suite 21.

Eyemart Express, meanwhile, invites you to its ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9. The one-hour eyeglass store is located at Southridge near Wal-Mart and Maggie Moo's.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Yeager Airport Offers Big Screen Discount for
Charleston Area Alliance Members

Yeager Airport now is offering advertising opportunities on its new 156-square-foot electronic display.

The first 10 Charleston Area Alliance members to sign a one-year contract will pay $200 a month. The package includes 100 digital displays per day.

The large-format, 20mm Galaxy Pro Permanent Outdoor Video LED monitor is mounted on the terminal area side of Yeager's parking facility. The 17-foot by 10-foot screen is computer programmed on a pre-timed schedule. It displays local information and advertisements, providing media that is more efficient and cost-effective.

"We are very excited to add this new advertising format," said Yeager Director Richard A. Atkinson. "Our advertisers will have an inexpensive way to share their messages with target audiences that is very easy-to-update to reflect current promotional messages. It's like Times Square moves to Yeager Airport."

All advertisements can be scheduled for display based on a business' needs and current availability.

It would be visible to the more than 1 million combined passengers and meeter-greeters who pass through the airport annually.

The sign LED matrix is 128 rows by 256 columns. Advertising images need to be 256 pixels wide by 128 pixels high. Acceptable formats are GIF, Animated GIF, PNG, JPG, JPEG, BMP and TIFF. For AVI files, the display can support up to 1,200 message frames and a file size of 64 MB.

For more information on the display system, contact Terry Hill at (304) 344-8033.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The article below appeared last month in the Charleston Daily Mail.

Business Week Recognizes Charleston as
Best Place to Raise Kids

by George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

Business Week has singled out Charleston as one of the "Best Places to Raise Your Kids."

The Nov. 7 issue of the magazine said, "The working-class capital of West Virginia has a minor-league baseball team, golf courses, public swimming pools, public parks, historic sites, and a downtown with restaurants, stores, and cafes."

Matt Ballard, president and chief executive officer of the Charleston Area Alliance, noted that this kind of recognition is worth its weight in gold when companies consider whether to transfer executives into a community.

The cities in surrounding states picked by Business Week and the magazine's comments:
Virginia Beach, Va., "has 35 miles of beaches, 121 navigable miles of waterways, and more than 18,600 acres of state parks and wildlife refuges."

Pittsburgh, Pa."was once known as a steel town, but it has expanded into other industries including health care, technology, and financial services. It has 28 colleges and universities, 200 museums and art galleries, and a low crime rate."

Columbus, Ohio, in addition to being the state capital, is also home to Ohio State University, the country's largest college campus. "Columbus is a vibrant city with a strong arts scene and an excellent zoo."

Gaithersburg, Md., "a former farming town at the terminus of the D.C. Metro's Red Line, is a diverse, affordable place with a shopping district called "Old Towne" that dates back to the 19th century."

Lexington, Ky., "home to the University of Kentucky, is known as the 'horse capital of the world.' But there's more to Lexington than its horse parks and racecourses. Lexington has ballets, orchestras, and museums, and a highly educated populace."

Mount Prospect, Ill., a quiet Chicago suburb, tops Business Week's second annual list as the best, most affordable place to raise kids.

"Founded by German immigrants and incorporated in 1917, Mount Prospect hasn't strayed far from its values of fiscal conservatism and community involvement, even as it has expanded to include new immigrants from Poland, Mexico, Korea and India," Business Week said. "It is a middle-class community with low crime, affordable homes, award-winning schools, ethnic restaurants, a major regional mall, and a small-town charm that makes the big city less than an hour away seem much farther away."