Kimble Reynolds News Kimble Reynolds News Fri, 25 May 2018 04:19:57 EST HD CMS en daily 1 Hooker contributes $50,000 to New College building fund Mon, 15 Jul 2013 12:00:00 EST Monday, 15 July 2013 12:00:00 EST Hooker Furniture Corp. will give $50,000 toward the $2 million Building on Baldwin capital campaign to expand the New College Institute.   Construction of the first stand-alone building for NCI began in May and is expected to be completed by spring 2014.  Paul Toms, chairman and chief executive officer of Hooker Furniture, said the company is committed to serving the community by being a good corporate citizen. "Education is one of the key components of Hooker's charitable giving, and the New College Institute's unique model to connect education with economic development is visionary," Toms said. "We view this new NCI initiative as being transformative for the citizens of Martinsville and Henry County and our region, and this is a natural tie-in to the philanthropic efforts of Hooker Furniture."  A prominent space in the new building on Baldwin Block will be named to honor the thousands of local Hooker Furniture employees who built and sustained the company since 1924, according to a news release.   The gift will be made to the New College Foundation, which raises funds for NCI. "On behalf of the New College Foundation, I extend my sincere gratitude for this most generous contribution," said NCF Board Chairman Kimble Reynolds. "Hooker Furniture is well known in this community for their philanthropy, and this gift is an example of their commitment to making a difference in the lives the citizens of this region." Among the features of the new 50,000-square-foot, three-story building are classrooms and collaborative learning spaces, state-of-the-art manufacturing high bays with 40-foot ceilings, and a 10,000 square-foot Grand Hall. The new building also will have office space for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.   This project is expected to cost approximately $18 million. To date, financial commitments include $8 million from The Harvest Foundation, $5 million from The Tobacco Indemnification Revitalization Community Commission and approximately $3 million from other state and federal grants.   The New College Foundation launched the Building on Baldwin capital campaign in November to meet a challenge from The Harvest Foundation to raise $2 million from individuals and corporations to complete the building project. League commits $25,000 to NCI Fri, 28 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST Friday, 28 June 2013 12:00:00 EST The Charity League of Martinsville & Henry County has committed $25,000 to the New College Foundation to support the "Building on Baldwin" capital campaign to expand the New College Institute.   Since its inception in 1931, the Charity League has supported an array of programs that promote growth and development of children in the area.   Instructional space for The Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science & Technology will be located in the new building on the Baldwin Block at the corner of Fayette, Market and Moss streets.  "Our gift will lend support for the opportunity to provide this challenging, technology-based curriculum for high school students in our region," said league outgoing president Meredith Vaughn. "Throughout the years, the league has evolved to keep pace with the changing community while dedicating our service to the children of Martinsville and Henry County."  "We are extremely grateful to the Charity League for this generous contribution which will ultimately help to make a difference in the lives of our students," said Leanna Blevins, New College Institute chief academic officer.  Construction on the new building is expected to be completed in spring 2014. Chairman of NCI, Kimble Reynolds Jr. honors faculty member Wed, 01 May 2013 12:00:00 EST Wednesday, 01 May 2013 12:00:00 EST Dr. Patricia Grant receives the Lula White Johnson Distinguished Teaching Award from Kimble Reynolds Jr., chairman of the New College Foundation, during graduate recognition ceremonies Tuesday night at the former Henry County Courthouse. Earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration through the New College Institute (NCI) deepened Joyce Barton’s sense of self-worth. Barton, whose degree was conferred by Averett University of Danville, was one of 34 students honored by NCI during the graduate recognition ceremony Tuesday. She noted that attending NCI helped her gain useful skills such as being able to speak in front of a group. “I realize I have much more to offer” the business world than she originally thought, she said. Barton said NCI provides students with “a can-do environment” where they feel supported in their efforts to earn degrees and are “ready to move forward.” Retiring council member, Kimble Reynolds Jr. cites city's strong points Sun, 30 Dec 2012 12:00:00 EST Sunday, 30 December 2012 12:00:00 EST On December 30, 2012, Kimble Reynolds Jr. reflected on the city’s situation as he prepares to leave Martinsville City Council on Monday, having not sought re-election after serving two four-year terms. The city has issues to overcome, he acknowledged, but so do most places. Martinsville has had Virginia’s highest unemployment rate for many years as many of its manufacturers have closed. That has factored into budget constraints in city government. For example, the city is receiving less tax revenue as a result of having fewer businesses and a declining population. Reynolds, a lawyer, thinks the key to attracting companies that will create new jobs is to improve the skill and education levels of local workers. He was an early proponent of the New College Institute (NCI), a state- and Harvest Foundation-funded school uptown providing local access to various bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered by universities statewide. “I think the message is finally starting to hit home” that to get high-paying jobs in the modern workforce, people must have some type of educational credential beyond a high school diploma, Reynolds said. Amid efforts to streamline the process for students to enter NCI programs after attending Patrick Henry Community College for two years, Reynolds is optimistic that more area residents will pursue degrees in the future. Reynolds said he envisions that during the next decade, “we’ll continue to refine the positioning of Martinsville” as an economically competitive locality, such as by striving to attract modern technology-based firms and ensuring people have the skills needed to work for them. Twenty years from now, “the community is going to be very different” in terms of the diversity of its industry and other businesses, he predicted. Concerns have been voiced, Reynolds said, that not enough residents from different racial and socioeconomic groups have been involved in local affairs. He said he thinks several leadership development programs launched in the community in recent years will reverse that trend as long as people continue to try and recruit different types of people into them. As a council member, Reynolds has been involved in organizations such as the Virginia First Cities coalition, Virginia Municipal League and the National League of Cities. That has helped him generate ideas to improve the city, based on ideas that have worked elsewhere, and find out about funding opportunities for city projects, he said. Government is like a machine, Reynolds said, in that it has a lot of moving parts, all of which must turn in the same direction to accomplish things. He admitted that as a councilman, he has been surprised at how complex some issues can be and how long it often takes to resolve them. Reynolds honored by council members Wed, 12 Dec 2012 12:00:00 EST Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:00:00 EST Martinsville City Council on Tuesday bid farewell to Vice Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr., presenting him a symbolic key to the city.Reynolds first was elected to the council in 2004. He is finishing his second four-year term as a councilman. Tuesday night's council meeting was his last unless the council has to call a special meeting later this month.As a councilman, Reynolds served one term as mayor from July 2006 to June 2008, plus three terms as vice mayor. Both positions are two-year offices elected by fellow council members.Reynolds, an attorney whose law firm and residence is on Starling Avenue, decided earlier this year not to seek a third term.Along with the key, Mayor Kim Adkins presented him - as a token of the council's appreciation - a box that was hand-carved by a local artisan.Adkins mentioned that during the past eight years, Reynolds held leadership roles with the Virginia Municipal League and the Virginia First Cities coalition. He also has been involved with the National League of Cities."He made sure the voice of Martinsville was always heard" in statewide affairs, she said."His legacy, in my view, will be his commitment to civic engagement" and building a sense of community in Martinsville, Adkins added.Councilman Danny Turner acknowledged that he has not always agreed with Reynolds' opinions on issues, but he said the outgoing councilman always has done "what's right in his heart," and he admires him for that. Martinsville Bulletin The 2011 Gala Fri, 25 Feb 2011 12:00:00 EST Friday, 25 February 2011 12:00:00 EST The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership will host its annual Spring Gala on Tuesday, April 5 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Speakers will include Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment, Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, and Speaker of the House Bill Howell. You can have your organization sponsor a table. Contact Colleen Smith at 434-982-4910. Visit for directions, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities. Governor Kaine appoints museum trustees Tue, 01 Jun 2010 12:00:00 EST Tuesday, 01 June 2010 12:00:00 EST Governor Timothy M. Kaine recently announced appointments to the board of trustees of the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville. The VMNH Board of Trustees, as the governing body of the museum, is responsible for the formation and maintenance of the general policies, standards, and operational continuity of the museum.Missy Neff of Richmond was appointed to the VMNH Board of Trustees with a term expiring in June 2014. Neff serves as assistant vice president at McGuire Woods Consulting in Richmond.James W. Severt, II of Washington, D.C. was appointed to the board with a term expiring in June 2014. Severt is a self-employed attorney in Washington, D.C.The Honorable Kimble Reynolds, Jr. of Martinsville was reappointed to the VMNH Board of Trustees. Reynolds has served on the VMNH Board of Trustees since 2004, and his current term expires in June 2014. Reynolds serves as vice mayor of the City of Martinsville, Virginia.Dr. Philip M. Sprinkle of Henry County, who has served on the VMNH Board of Trustees since 2003, was reappointed to the board with a term expiring in June 2014. Sprinkle is the owner of Sprinkle Medical.Other members of the VMNH Board of Trustees include Pamela A. Armstrong, chairman, of Martinsville; Lee A. Lester, vice-chairman, of Martinsville; C. Novel Martin, III, treasurer, of Roanoke; Dr. LeAnn S. Binger, secretary, of Petersburg; Briggs W. Andrews of Roanoke; Dr. David A. Compton of Charlotte, N.C., Carolyn A. Davis of Blackstone; Christina S. Draper of Richmond; Nancy R. Fitzgerald of Huddleston; Paul Fleisher of Richmond; Dr. Oliver S. Flint, Jr. of Alexandria; Thomas C. Honer of Roanoke; Conover Hunt of Hampton; Dr. Mervyn R. King of Martinsville; George Lyle of Martinsville; Arlene Milner of Keysville; Dr. J. James Murray, Jr. of Charlottesville; Daniel G. Oakey of Richmond; Sammy Redd of Martinsville; and Lisa Lyle Wu of Arlington. Reynolds joins Perriello's staff Mon, 01 Jun 2009 12:00:00 EST Monday, 01 June 2009 12:00:00 EST Martinsville Vice Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr. has put practicing law on hold to work full time as regional director for 5th District U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello. Reynolds started working for Perriello, D-Albemarle County, on Monday. In a release, the congressman said that Reynolds will represent him in community outreach efforts and government affairs throughout Southside.Also, Reynolds will oversee a new congressional office that Perriello plans to open soon in Martinsville, as well as a Danville office that already is open, said Jessica Barba, the congressman's press secretary.The local office will be the first office that a congressman has maintained in the Henry County-Martinsville area - at least during modern times, Reynolds and Perriello said to their understanding."We want to make sure constituents ... know they can reach us and that we are accessible," Barba said, referring to Perriello's staff.Reynolds, who unsuccessfully ran for the 16th District House of Delegates seat in 2003, said he has no plans to run for either a federal or state office and his interest in working for Perriello should not be construed as such.He said he accepted his position with Perriello, which pays $45,000 a year, because he enjoys community service and will get to extend that service to communities throughout Southside with his new position.Reynolds said he will be responsible to Perriello for Henry, Franklin, Halifax and Pittsylvania counties and the cities of Martinsville, Danville and Bedford.In addition to overseeing the two congressional offices, he said he will spend much of his time in those localities, assessing their community and economic development needs, talking with local leaders about the needs and trying to find ways in which Perriello and Congress can help.Reynolds' "deep knowledge and understanding of Southside ... as well as his understanding of the tough decisions that local leaders must make every day, will be invaluable as we work together" to solve problems, Perriello said.While he will continue serving on Martinsville City Council, Reynolds said he may have to abstain from voting on issues involving the federal government.SETTING UP A NEW OFFICEOfficials said they will announce when Perriello's new congressional office in Martinsville will open. A location had not been found as of Tuesday.People will be able to visit the office to express opinions on federal issues and seek help with health care and veterans' benefits, among other things, officials said.Operating hours have not yet been determined, but Barba said plans are for the office to be open five days a week, at least for a few hours each day.The office will "provide greater accessibility" to Perriello and his staff, said Reynolds. Area residents needing the congressman's help will be able to talk "with a live staff member" in person instead of by phone or e-mail, he said.An employee will be hired to help Reynolds run the office, especially in handling veterans' cases, officials said.Reynolds said how much he is in the office will depend on where and when he has to be in other Southside locations to represent Perriello.But he expects to devote "at least 40 hours" a week to his job, he said.Reynolds is not giving up his law practice on Starling Avenue in Martinsville. His partner, Jameson Whitney, will take over most cases for the foreseeable future, he said, and Reynolds said he "will be there in an advisory capacity" when needed."I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve Southside Virginia alongside Congressman Perriello," said Reynolds. Perriello, he said, is "very dedicated to economic recovery in our communities, and I look forward to working with him to achieve great things in the 5th District."Regarding the new Martinsville office, he added that the area "deserves this kind of focus because the needs and opportunities are so great.""Our new office presents a unique opportunity to work with local residents and leaders to help this community rebound," Reynolds said. Kimble Reynolds Jr. to receive Pamplin College Distinguished Alumnus Award Wed, 29 Apr 2009 12:00:00 EST Wednesday, 29 April 2009 12:00:00 EST Kimble Reynolds Jr., of Martinsville, Va., will receive the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business at the college's commencement ceremony that begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, at Cassell Coliseum. The college created the award in 1990 to honor alumni for outstanding career accomplishments and contributions to the college.Reynolds received a bachelor's degree in marketing management in 1988 and a master's degree in health and physical education from Virginia Tech in 1995. An attorney with a private practice in Martinsville, Reynolds earned his law degree at the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1993.Reynolds, who was president of his class, has remained an active member of the Virginia Tech community. A former Alumni Association president and past member of the Alumni Center National Leadership Campaign Committee, Reynolds serves on the Pamplin Advisory Council, the university's Multicultural Alumni Advisory Board, and the German Club Alumni Foundation Board. He has been a strong advocate for Virginia Tech and higher education through the Hokies for Higher Education network. He received a 2008 Alumni Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to Virginia Tech.A Martinsville city council member and former mayor, Reynolds serves on several boards and is the current chairman of Virginia First Cities. He was appointed as a trustee for the Virginia Museum of Natural History by Governor Warner and as director of the New College Institute by Governor Kaine.Reynolds has a strong commitment to diversity and founded the Diversity and Conflict Resolution Leadership Program in 1998 to help Martinsville-area high-school students develop self-awareness, an appreciation of social and cultural differences, and conflict resolution skills.Previous recipients of Pamplin's Distinguished Alumnus Award are: Henry Dekker (ACCT '44) in 1990; Cliff Cutchins (ACCT '44), 1991; John Peterson (ACCT '36), 1992; George Dickerson (BAD '41), 1993; Lloyd Sorenson (BAD '53), 1994; John Rocovich (GBUS '66), 1995; Charles Eaton (ACCT '53), 1996; Ann Spencer (ACCT '76, MBA '84), 1997; Charles O. Strickler (BAD '61), 1998; Gene Justice (BAD '54), 1999; Robert Digges (BAD '59), 2000; W. Denman Zirkle (BAD '60), 2001; Mary F. McVay (ACCT '78, MBA '81), 2002; Ben J. Davenport Jr. (BAD '64), 2003; Randy Thurman (ECON '71), 2004; Bridget Ryan Berman (GBUS '82), 2005; and Douglas C. Curling (ACCT '76, MACCT '77), 2006; Lynne Martin Doughtie (ACCT '85), 2007; and James E. Sullivan Jr. (ECON '73), 2008.Virginia Tech's nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. The college emphasizes the development of ethical values and leadership, technology, and international business skills. Its centers focus on business leadership, business diversity, electronic commerce, forest industries, organizational performance, and services innovation. The college is committed to serving business and society through the expertise of its faculty, alumni, and students. It is named in honor of alumnus Robert B. Pamplin, the former CEO of Georgia-Pacific, and businessman, philanthropist, and alumnus Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Mayor, speedway president to visit Canadian city Fri, 20 Jun 2008 12:00:00 EST Friday, 20 June 2008 12:00:00 EST Martinsville's mayor and the president of the Martinsville Speedway hope to build relations with the Canadian city of Martensville with a visit to central Saskatchewan this weekend.Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr. and Clay Campbell are making the trip for the first time at the invitation of Martensville's leaders after much communication between the two communities."They have also been through a redevelopment period" in that area of Canada, Reynolds said. "We're drawing a sort of kinship to our efforts to revitalize areas uptown."The two cities are one letter and thousands of miles apart, but they share a love of auto racing. Near Martensville, Canada, is the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway, a 3/8 mile race track. On Saturday, Reynolds and Campbell will attend the A&W Martensville 100 race, the largest steel-body stock car race in Canada."In addition to being able to connect the two communities by way of motorsports, we're going to look at some of the other aspects of Martensville, Canada, and the neighboring city of Saskatoon to see what relationships and connections can be made," Reynolds said.Martensville is a 5,000-person bedroom community of Saskatoon, the largest city in the province, with a population of 220,000.For the past two years, the winner of the summer Tiger Automotive Martensville 150 Street Stock Invitational has received tickets to the Subway 500 NASCAR race at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.Last October, an eight-person delegation from the Canadian city traveled south for the race, including Herman Hordal, business development manager for the northern speedway."They've always been very nice when they've come down to our race," Campbell said. "Hopefully there are some things we can learn from each other."NASCAR has purchased its Canadian counterpart, CASCAR, Campbell said."There's a lot of interest in NASCAR in Canada. I think that's good, and there are a lot of people we can tap into," he said. Alumni Association announces Alumni Distinguished Service Awards Mon, 05 May 2008 12:00:00 EST Monday, 05 May 2008 12:00:00 EST BLACKSBURG, Va., May 5, 2008 - Nancy Bowman Sauer and Kimble Reynolds Jr. will receive this year's Alumni Distinguished Service Awards in recognition of their outstanding service to Virginia Tech.Both are former Alumni Association presidents. Sauer was the first woman elected president of the association. Reynolds was the first African-American elected to the post.Sauer, of Englewood, Colo., is co-owner and president of D2Xchange LLC, a full-service data and document management company based in Greenwood Village, Colo. She has more than 20 years of business experience leading the sales, product management, and operations efforts of firms ranging in size from large, multinational entities to entrepreneurial start-ups. Sauer has vast experience assisting organizations to run more efficiently and work across departments. She has also excelled at helping teams come together to leverage information as a corporate asset.Maintaining a strong commitment to Virginia Tech, Sauer has assisted in the growth of an alumni chapter in Denver, including serving as that chapter's president for five years. She is a former chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board, on which she continues to serve. Sauer also serves on the Engineering Education Advisory Board and the Residential Leadership Advisory Board. She was instrumental in the planning and development of the Residential Leadership Community, and has served on the Engineering Advisory Committee, the Engineering Committee of 100, the Alumni Center National Leadership Campaign Committee, the Regional Campaign Committee, and both the board and executive committee of the Virginia Tech Foundation.She also serves on the board of directors for KidsTek, a nonprofit dedicated to closing the technology gap for underserved K-12 students in Colorado. Recently, she served as chair of the Colorado Association for Corporate Growth Annual Women's Breakfast.Sauer graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and operations research in 1984 and holds a master's in business administration from The College of William and Mary.Reynolds, of Martinsville, was elected to serve as mayor of that city in July 2006, after serving as a city council member and vice mayor. He is also an attorney with a private practice in Martinsville.Reynolds has remained an active member of the Virginia Tech community. He currently serves on the Pamplin Advisory Council and the Multicultural Alumni Advisory Board. He was a member of the Alumni Center National Leadership Campaign Committee. Reynolds also serves on the German Club Alumni Foundation Board, is a past president of the Martinsville Alumni Chapter, and has been a strong advocate for Virginia Tech and higher education through the Hokies for Higher Education network.His community activities include serving on the boards of SunTrust Bank, United Way, and the West Piedmont Planning District Commission. In addition, Reynolds was appointed as a trustee for the Virginia Museum of National History by Gov. Mark Warner, and was appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine to the New College Institute Board of Directors.Reynolds has a strong commitment to diversity and founded the Diversity and Conflict Resolution Program in 1998 to promote understanding of people with diverse backgrounds. As director, he has worked to expose high school students to college and to promote self-awareness, the appreciation of social and cultural differences, and the development of conflict resolution skills.Reynolds graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in marketing management in 1988 and received his master's in health and physical education in 1995. He also holds a juris doctorate from the Washington and Lee University School of Law. Martensville, Martinsville seek Common Ground Wed, 03 Oct 2007 12:00:00 EST Wednesday, 03 October 2007 12:00:00 EST Canadian track's winner among group to visit here for Subway 500.A sister city-type relationship may be in the works between Martinsville and a Canadian city with a similar name that also has a stock car race track.Seven people from Martensville, Saskatchewan, will come to Martinsville on Oct. 18 for a five-day visit coinciding with the Subway 500 NASCAR race at the Martinsville Speedway.Those coming include Herman Hordal, business development manager for Auto Clearing Motor Speedway near Martensville, and Wayne Osborne, who recently won the Martensville 100 race at Auto Clearing.They will be accompanied by Hordal's son, Craig, who is a police officer in Edmonton, Alberta, and four members of Osborne's family.Hordal already is somewhat familiar with Martinsville. Years ago, he was on the Florida-based Suncoast Suns hockey team which played against teams in Roanoke and Winston-Salem, N.C., and he traveled through the area.Southwest Virginia is "one of the most beautiful areas I remember" visiting, he said.The winner of the Martensville 100 each year now is getting tickets to the Subway 500 at the Martinsville Speedway, Hordal said."Martinsville down in Virginia has become famous" due to its speedway, he said. "We up here hear so much about Martinsville, Va., because of the races you have down there."Hordal and Martinsville Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr., who is coordinating the Canadians' visit, hope a relationship between the two localities will develop. Reynolds first became aware of Martensville two years ago, when it was finishing the Auto Clearing Speedway and hoping to learn about Martinsville's speedway.Hordal said he envisions different people from Martensville coming to the Subway 500 each year, which he hopes will help Canadians and Americans better understand each other's cultures.Some Canadians think Americans are arrogant, he said, but "that is the opposite of what I've seen" when visiting the U.S. He said that people in southeastern states are particularly hospitable."There's an opportunity here to show some real fellowship" between the two nations and their people, he said.The town of Martensville, population about 5,000, is a bedroom community of Saskatoon, the largest city in Saskatchewan with a population of 220,000. Martensville is smaller than Martinsville, which has about 15,000 residents.However, "just because you are lesser in size doesn't mean you are lesser in quality," Reynolds said.Martinsville and Martensville both have a lot to offer recreational enthusiasts, based on information gathered via the Internet.For instance, Martensville has five large lakes, so boating and fishing are popular activities there, just like at Philpott Lake near Martinsville.In addition to their speedways, the localities have local sports teams - the Martensville Marauders hockey team and Martinsville Mustangs baseball team.Reynolds said he hopes the Canadians' visit will foster "ways to strategically align ourselves" so both Martinsville and Martensville can benefit. Hordal, who was interviewed by phone Thursday, made similar remarks.Hordal noted that Auto Clearing was built entirely through volunteer labor and corporate sponsorships. No public funds were used."There's got to be some energy in that community" for such a project to happen, Reynolds said. Perhaps Martensville residents have ideas for things Martinsville can do to move the city forward, and vice versa, he indicated."We will not know until we sit down and explore" possible ways the two localities might work together in the future, said Reynolds.Reynolds said it is possible the Canadians will visit the Virginia Museum of Natural History and Piedmont Arts Association, and maybe take a canoe or kayak ride along the Smith River while they are in Martinsville.Dinner with Jim Barnett, a local commercial real-estate broker who is from Canada, and perhaps other Canadians in the area is planned, said Reynolds.The Canadians will exchange small gifts with the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.'s tourism office and the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Hordal and Reynolds said. State of the Community' given Thu, 27 Sep 2007 12:00:00 EST Thursday, 27 September 2007 12:00:00 EST The county and city cooperate whenever possible and should strive to work together more often, according to Henry County Board of Supervisors Chairman H.G. Vaughn and Martinsville Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr.Showing cooperation between the localities, the two officials gave a joint "State of the Community" address Wednesday during a luncheon at Forest Park Country Club in Martinsville.The Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event, which had been billed as a "State of the City and County" luncheon, as it was in previous years when it was held. Vaughn and Reynolds informally changed the name after they recently decided to give a joint speech.Vaughn, who represents the county's Ridgeway District, said people often have asked him why the two localities "don't work better together." That bothers him, he said, because they try to work together whenever possible - and often do.Many people regard Henry County-Martinsville as one community. Vaughn pointed out, though, that the city has a denser population than the county, which sometimes causes the localities to have different interests and methods of serving residents.Vaughn mentioned several ongoing cooperative efforts of the county and city, including the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., Henry-Martinsville Social Services, Gateway Streetscape Foundation and revenue-shared lots at the Patriot Centre at Beaver Creek industrial park.He also noted two new cooperative efforts. A committee of county and city officials is exploring ways to combat the area's litter problem, and another committee will look at ways the Martinsville Mustangs baseball team can reduce expenses and garner more attendance at home games."We have many ways we work together," Reynolds said of the localities. "We want to continue that work in the spirit of friendship and cooperation, moving ahead with our work so we can move all our residents ahead."Partnerships between the county and city must be worthy of each locality spending money toward them, Vaughn said."We pledge that we will continue to explore our common interests, reach ahead together and pull our load toward a common goal, the growth of our shared communities in the best interests of all concerned," Reynolds said.One advantage to having separate governments, Vaughn said, is they can seek grants for projects to deal with challenges jointly affecting them.Challenges that both localities face, said Reynolds, include unemployment higher than the statewide average and heavy "underemployment" - people with jobs requiring a lesser degree of skills than other jobs they have done. They may be earning less pay and receiving fewer benefits than they did in previous jobs, officials have said."Economic development occurs in those communities that are constantly working to improve themselves," Reynolds said.However, overcoming the challenges "will require some effort," he said.Vaughn said the community must figure out ways to create more job opportunities for residents, as well as to diversify its industrial base.Comparing the process of overcoming challenges to driving a race car, Vaughn indicated that residents and officials alike must take part in the process and have positive attitudes."This community doesn't need passengers. We need drivers," he said.He added that people who can give good directions are needed, not "back seat drivers" who do nothing but complain about problems."Hop in, buckle up, let's put the pedal to the metal," said Vaughn.RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTSThe purpose of the "State of the Community" address was to let business leaders hear directly from government officials about successes the county and city have seen in the past year, as well as challenges they face, said chamber board of directors Chairman John Parkinson.Vaughn and Reynolds mentioned numerous successes.County accomplishments mentioned by Vaughn include:• Beginning the process of acquiring about 600 acres on the North Carolina line for a new industrial park.The property should help the county take advantage of "very big things" going on in the economic development of North Carolina's Piedmont Triad metropolitan region, Vaughn said.• Increasing funds to the Henry County Schools by about $470,000 this fiscal year.• Creating new recreational amenities, including the Fieldale Walking Trail, Gravely Nature Reserve and boat access points along the Smith River.• Staffing two of the county's "convenience centers" for garbage deposits. One is in the Blackberry District; the other is in the Ridgeway District.Vaughn said that staffing the sites has helped keep unsuitable materials out of the centers, as well as people from outside the county from using them.Public response has been excellent, he said.City accomplishments that Reynolds mentioned include:• Completion of the new Virginia Museum of Natural History building on Starling Avenue. He called it the city's "jewel in the crown" in attracting people to Martinsville."We look forward to seeing researchers, visitors, students and tourists streaming into the facility to take advantage of its world-class exhibit, educational, research and lecture facilities," Reynolds said.• Establishing a Wilson Park Steering Committee to plan improvements to the 35-acre park off Church Street Extension.Reynolds said the park is suitable for many types of outdoor recreation but "the city has never taken the opportunity to bring it to its full potential."• Creating a walking trail along the former Danville & Western Railway bed near uptown. The paved trail is six-tenths of a mile in length.The city is trying to find ways to light the trail, as well as install exercise equipment and "furniture" such as benches and trash cans, Reynolds said.• Completing the revitalization of the West Church Street commercial district and beginning plans for the Cherry Street neighborhood project.The Cherry Street project will instill neighborhood residents "with a sense of pride in their surroundings by providing a hand-up in restoring and rebuilding their properties," the mayor said.Reynolds said the Martinsville Leisure Services Department has been told to develop more recreational programs, especially for adults."We are woefully lacking in adult recreational programs, and youth also need more to do," he said.During an opening prayer at the event, Deputy Henry County Administrator Tim Hall remembered former Martinsville mayor Allan McClain, city councilman Bruce Dallas, lawyer Ben Gardner and businessman Bill Adkins.All of the men recently died."They were giants" well known to area residents due to their extensive community service, and they will be missed, Hall said. NCI Board Members Sworn In Tue, 01 Aug 2006 12:00:00 EST Tuesday, 01 August 2006 12:00:00 EST The New College Institute (NCI) finished the final leg of its journey from local vision to state sponsorship on Monday, when the institution's 11-member board of directors was sworn in at its first official meeting."This is an historic day," said Martinsville Mayor and board secretary Kimble Reynolds Jr. "I can't help but look back to a couple of years ago, when all this (NCI) was essentially just a dream."Despite the milestone, though, Monday's meeting was short on celebration and long on labor. Following a brief round of comments commemorating the event, the board delved into an involved agenda designed to formally establish NCI's oversight body.Lacking elected leaders of their own - the number, terms and selection of which would be guided by the board's yet-to-be approved bylaws - the group at first was led by state Secretary of Education Dr. Thomas Morris.But once Morris led them through the discussion and adoption of those rules, which also encompass NCI's mission statement, the board's powers and the makeup of board committees, members set about choosing leadership of their own.After they barred General Assembly appointees from offices and set term limits at two years at the suggestion of Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville, the board turned to its predecessor organization, the New College Institute Planning Commission, electing Rob Spilman, Elizabeth Haskell and Reynolds to reprise their roles as chairman, vice chairman and secretary, respectively."It certainly hits home that this is a reality," Spilman said of the meeting, "but it also underscores the amount of work we have to do, which is momentous."Despite the long road ahead, there was a palpable optimism among board members on Monday that NCI's goal of providing increased access to and demand for higher education in Henry County and Martinsville would be met.That confidence came through during the discussion of the board's bylaws, when Haskell suggested striking the word "attempt" from a phrase in the institution's mission statement."I don't think we're going to attempt to increase the college-going rate - I think we're going to do it," she said.Dr. Barry Dorsey, whom the board formally appointed executive director of NCI, gave Haskell good reason for that sentiment when he presented to the board a summary of the work that has been done since he arrived in Martinsville in January."It will be for history to judge whether or not we are successful, but in six and half months," much has been accomplished, Dorsey said.Among the college's achievements, he said, was the passage of NCI's enabling legislation; the securing of $1.25 million in state funding for the 2006-07 fiscal year; the development of a seven-program pilot project to begin this fall; the appointment of the first faculty-in-residence, Longwood University teacher education instructor Dr. Gary T. Nelson; and the near-completion of renovations to the Shumate-Jessie Building, which will house NCI's first classes."Barry is doing a really aggressive job at getting this thing off to a good start," said Spilman. "This is going to take us a while - people need to be patient with us - but Barry is moving full steam ahead."That was evident after the board's meeting, when members donned hard hats and toured NCI's classroom facility - heretofore known as the "NCI classroom building on courthouse square."Since June, the 6,000-square-foot building's reception area, student lounge, faculty offices and three classrooms have taken shape, with its once-skeletal walls covered with Sheetrock.Renovations to the building, which owners Dr. Mervyn and Virginia King leased to NCI at 1 percent of the construction costs per month (about $2,500), are scheduled to be completed by the end of August.That will make the building ready for NCI's first classes, a master's of education program offered through Averett University, expected to begin in September.Though the first courses - other pilot programs will begin later in the fall and early in 2007 - might be small, Dorsey said NCI's beginning will be a sign of bigger things to come."I hope no one will look at the first program, which will be very small, and say NCI is not successful," he said. "I hope you would look at enrollment for the entire first year ... Measure us on the future." The new mayor's vision Sun, 09 Jul 2006 12:00:00 EST Sunday, 09 July 2006 12:00:00 EST Martinsville is on the verge of an economic transformation, newly elected Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr. believes.New companies have moved to the area in recent years, so he thinks Martinsville and Henry County will be successful in their efforts to lure more new companies in the future while diversifying a local economy long based on textile and furniture manufacturing. Yet to ultimately sustain itself, Reynolds said, the community must become more attractive to young people. That will encourage local students who go off to college to return after they graduate to pursue careers, as well as lure young people from other areas to work here. Reynolds, a 39-year-old lawyer, said he thinks the New College Institute in Martinsville will be a major force in drawing young people to the area. Many young people in Virginia want to attend college in the state, yet many state-supported institutions are near their enrollment capacities, he said. Still, local leaders must figure out what — other than a four-year college or university — lures young people to a community and work to provide those amenities, he said. Programs to develop leadership among young residents also must be developed, he added. “We’ve got to put more effort into looking for creative solutions” to issues affecting the community, Reynolds said. That might include looking at other localities’ approaches to handling common problems and then duplicating them, he said. “To maintain the status quo is not an option,” he emphasized. “It’s not acceptable,” and he thinks most area residents agree. Even as it tries to attract new residents, the city also must be responsive and sensitive to current residents’ needs, especially to retirees “who have been faithful to Martinsville,” Reynolds said. Reynolds, who has been on the Martinsville City Council for two years, said he has found no major weaknesses in city services or how those services are provided. But there always is room for improvement, he admitted. For instance, he indicated that the city should try to respond more quickly to residents’ complaints about property maintenance issues such as junked vehicles and overgrown grass. Yet he recognizes that city public works staff is limited in time and resources, he said. Martinsville City Council plans to start holding periodic meetings in neighborhoods again. The practice, which was designed to help residents communicate with city officials, was stopped several years ago after council sessions started being televised. Previous neighborhood meetings often did not attract many residents. But “at least you should afford them the opportunity” to talk with council members, even if they do not respond, Reynolds said. Two new members, Mark Anderson and Kathy Lawson, joined the council on July 1. They replaced Terry Roop, who did not run for a third term, and former mayor Joe Cobbe, who was defeated in the May 2 election. “We have a good council, a balanced council now,” Reynolds said, pointing out that his remark was not meant to slight any previous members. Each of the five council members will bring a unique understanding of different aspects of the community to the table, he said. He said that Anderson, who is chief financial officer for Memorial Hospital, has a strong financial background and Lawson is knowledgeable about local civic activities due to her involvement in them. Councilman James Clark is a retired city firefighter. He and Councilman Ron Ferrill, who is the longest-serving council member, have become extremely knowledgeable about city operations, Reynolds said. While he is not the city’s attorney, Reynolds said his legal experience could benefit the council. His participation in the Lead Virginia program a few years also helps, he said, because he has seen how local issues — especially ones facing many communities — affect the region as well as the entire state. As mayor, “I look forward to bringing these folks together as a team so we’re moving in the same direction,” he said. Unlike in some cities where voters directly elect mayors, Martinsville mayors are elected from among council members. Reynolds was elected in a 3-2 vote at the council’s July 1 organizational meeting. Reynolds is only the second African-American mayor in the city’s history. He said that he does not see his race as relevant to his post. But he hopes people will realize Martinsville is “an inclusive community” in terms of allowing people from all backgrounds to help in decision-making, he said. Reynolds said he did not run for a council seat in hopes of eventually being mayor. Yet as a councilman, “you wonder if it would be possible” to someday be mayor, he said. “I can’t say that the thought didn’t cross my mind.” At his first council meeting, he was elected vice mayor, which he said was “very humbling, the fact that (council members) had confidence in me.” “I consider it an honor and a privilege” to now be mayor, Reynolds said, adding that his main concern is “doing a good job.” New College in Martinsville Wed, 21 Jun 2006 12:00:00 EST Wednesday, 21 June 2006 12:00:00 EST Governor Tim Kaine recently announced that he signed legislation creating the New College Institute in Martinsville. The Sorensen Institute is proud to report that Governor Kaine also appointed two of our folks to the New College Board of Directors: Elizabeth Haskell, a member of our Southside Regional Board, and Kimble Reynolds, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 1997.