Erika Howsare



Store managre Don Cochrane and lontime employee (and resident skateboard expert) Duane Brown say customized service from real athletes has kept Freestyle competitive. / Photo: Amy and Jackson Smith

Riding it out: Freestyle survives 36 years of change

Remember all those specialty shops that went belly-up when the internet came along? Freestyle wasn’t one of them. Founded in 1983, the local sporting goods store is way older than online shopping—and it’s managed to stay relevant through lots of industry changes. “We want customers for life,” says store manager Don Cochrane. That’s meant operating […]

Local entrepreneurs gain access to mentorships, networking, financing, and general business knowledge resources with the help of the Community Investment Collaboratives, says CIC president Stephen Davis. / Photo: Sanjay Suchak

A leg up: The CIC helps entrepreneurs get the right start

Since 2012, locals wanting to start their own businesses have been turning to the Community Investment Collaborative for support. The CIC runs a training program to help folks develop their business ideas—its 16-week Entrepreneur Workshop has graduated more than 300 people so far. It also offers financing, mentorship, and co-working space. We chatted with Stephen […]

Deer crossing

Deer crossing

There are more than 50,000 deer-vehicle collisions in Virginia each year. One local scientist has a low-cost solution.    May 3, 2013. It’s 7:50 in the morning. A 51-year-old man driving an SUV west on I-64 collides with a deer. The man is unhurt; police notify VDOT that they’ll need to remove the carcass. October […]

JAUNT CEO Brad Sheffield is leading the paratransit organization into the 21st century, exploring new fixed-route services and 
other innovations. Photo: Amy and Jackson Smith

Steering the bus: JAUNT’s Brad Sheffield looks to the future

From its origins in 1975 as a public service corporation transporting elderly and disabled customers, JAUNT (that’s Jefferson Area United Transportation) has grown to cover a six-county, 2,600-square-mile service area while welcoming the general public onto its 85 vehicles. Recently, the organization has been expanding into commuter routes for areas underserved by public transit. JAUNT’s […]