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Summary of Team Journey:

On April 17th 2024, our transportation team of leaders brought together over 50 individuals to unpack how transportation, from the railways to the runways, is an economic driver in the Roanoke Valley. Our transportation journey began towards the end of our LRV retreat at the Peaks Retreat and Adventure Center when we met our fellow team members and advisors. We were provided with program guide and given the expectations for our LRV journey together. One of those main expectations were to successfully put on a program day centered around the topic of Transportation. At first glance, that seemed like a fairly simple task given the topic; however, we discovered that transportation was bigger than we expected.

Our program day wasn’t until April, so we viewed that we had plenty of time to really brainstorm and dig into what transportation was for the Roanoke Valley. Our first meeting together outside of the retreat, we filled up a board on what transportation meant to us, and all of the various methods of transportation. We identified various leaders in transportation in the Roanoke Valley, and began to reach out to them to discuss their roles in this system. After several months of meetings with Transportation leaders for VDOT, the Airport, Greenways, Valley Metro, local government officials, and many more, we felt that Transportation was more complex than we initially thought, and was woven by the many threads of governmental policy.

After sifting through countless hours of data and information gathered, we finally came to the goal of what we wanted to accomplish with our program. Transportation was and is an economic driver for the Roanoke Valley. By having a healthy and vibrant transportation system in place, the Roanoke Valley can experience tremendous growth and development. We structured as day as follows below in order to weave the web of transportations past, present, and future.

Agenda:

8:30 | Explore Transportation Museum, Network, Eat Breakfast
9:00 | A History Lesson with Bev Fitzpatrick
9:30 | Break
9:45 | Valley Metro Discussion – William Long
10:05 | Transition to Wells Fargo Tower
10:20 | Break
10:30 | Local Representatives Panel Discussion – Megan Cronise, Nicholas Baker, Stephanie Mathena, Frank Maguire, William Simpson, Dwayne D’Ardenne, Jeremy Holmes (Moderator)
11:25 | Transportation Themed Trivia Game
11:40 | Eat Lunch & Network
12:20 | VDOT Presentation – Anthony Ford
1:15 | Break
1:25 | Transition to Star Flight Academy
2:00 | Tour Session 1 – Mike Stewart Airport Presentation
2:15 | Tour Session 2 – Star Flight Hangar Tour
2:30 | Break
2:40 | Future of Transportation Panel Discussion – Ken King, Ray Smoot, Mike Stewart, Zach Trogdon, Mimi Coles (Moderator)
3:25 | Debrief
3:50 | Return to Transportation Museum
4:30 | Social at Big Lick Brewery

After our day was over, we walked away with a sense of accomplishment. Participants were able to see the importance that Transportation plays into the future of the Roanoke Valley, and were presented with advocacy opportunities to stand up and play an integral role in it. We are all thankful for our LRV journey, and look forward to continuing to make a change in the Roanoke Valley.

Program Objectives:

Objective 1: Illuminate the historical influence of transportation on shaping the Roanoke Valley into what it is today.

Objective 2: Empower participants with an understanding of the complex policies that are driving current transportation projects in the Roanoke Valley and how they can use their influence to affect change.

Objective 3: Inspire participants to envision the future of the Roanoke Valley and recognize the integral role transportation plays in it.

Calls to Action:

Advocate for change!
Attend a TTC, TPO, or locality meeting on upcoming transportation projects.

Show Gratitude!
Send a thank you note to your locality or VDOT and thank them for their work on a transportation project that has impacted you.

Fly ROA!
Support the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport by flying local.

Support The Transportation Museum!
Visit the Transportation Museum and advocate for them in future legislation.

Team Members:

Ana Barios – Co-Chair
Matthew Thomas – Co-Chair
Molly Roberts – Chief of Staff
Greg Lionberger – Secretary
Karli Foster – Historian
Chris Hollish – Treasurer

Team Advisors:

Annie Harvey
Chelsea West
Rolando Homes
Leah Shank

URL to Team Photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1blzzHbPyyfHtYZfAJcxor7gEzO9JTHFj?usp=drive_link