Welcome to Brunswick County

Rise and Shine - June 2022

On June 1st, the Brunswick County Department of Economic Development and the Brunswick County IDA partnered with the RISE Collaborative and the Longwood Small Business Development Center to host a Rise and Shine event.  Bar 9 on South Hicks Street hosted the event and provided a delicious breakfast.  Rise & Shine is a twice-a-month meetup for entrepreneurs, makers, and innovators in Southern Virginia.  


The monthly Rise and Shine meet-ups are really gaining momentum here in Brunswick County.  A large crowd of business owners, students, and community stakeholders were in attendance to network and learn from each other. The meeting began with everyone taking turns introducing themselves while also sharing their “why?” in regards to the work they do in their homes, businesses, and community.  Each person was also asked to discuss their vision for the future of our community.  Out of this lengthy discussion came the idea of having a job fair and a program to help students with the process of applying to and getting financed for college.  It was inspiring to hear how passionate local business owners and stakeholders are about Brunswick County and Lawrenceville and how dedicated they are to making sure that the future for our locality is bright. 


Even though Brunswick County Public Schools are currently on summer break, Mrs. Regina Williams, Dr. JoAnne Singleton, and several members of the Brunswick High School Future Business Leaders of America were in attendance. It was so refreshing to hear these students share their insights and ideas.  A guest stressed that young people are not the future, they are the present.  Writer Marco Blanco is quoted as saying, “We can no longer promote the cliché that youth represent the leaders or workers of the future.  This generation is not apathetic; youth today are one of the most politically active groups. Our present and future realities depend on them.”  Our community will be richer, more diverse, and more unified if we listen to these leaders and learn from them.  They will be raising the true future of Brunswick County. 


Mrs. Alfreda Jarrett Reynolds shared, “These monthly events have brought so much energy to our business community.  Our attendance increases each month and it is truly remarkable to see the enthusiasm, comradery and partnerships that are arising through events like these.  I believe that this is truly the beginning of a wonderful evolution and transformation of our business community.  It is a pleasure to facilitate this movement and witness the growth and teamwork that is occurring.  John F. Kennedy stated, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” and the people who attend Rise and Shine come ready to share, lead and learn.” 


 Mike Dotti, Executive Director of the Brunswick County IDA stated, “I am very excited about the growth of our Rise and Shine program.  It was especially impressive that on the first day of summer vacation, nine students from Brunswick High School participated in this event.  These students are focused and determined and bring amazing insight and skills to our locality.  Their attendance and participation have breathed new life into our Rise and Shine initiative.  I am excited about what is to come.” 


A wide variety of local businesses were represented at Rise and Shine along with community stakeholders Lawrenceville Mayor Scott Martin, Lawrenceville Town Manager Everette Gibson, and Special Projects Coordinator Kimberly Martin.  Staff from the county and the Brunswick County IDA were also present.   


For more information about Rise and Shine or the RISE Collaborative, visit https://sovarise.com.  If you have any questions, please contact LaVern Dillard at the Brunswick County IDA at 434-848-0248 or Beth Raney at the Brunswick County Department of Economic Development at 434-848-3107 or [email protected]

To see photos from the June Rise and Shine, click HERE