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The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce announced today that it will move from its location in Blairs to the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) as of September 1, 2020. Owned by the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority, IALR’s campus is an ideal place for the Chamber to continue to enhance and energize the region with an innovative, profitable business community.
The Chamber has been located at its facility in Blairs since 2005, just after the Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce and the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce merged to form the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. At the time, Chamber’s leadership determined that it was critical for the Chamber to be located between Chatham and Danville.
Dr. Martha Walker, who chaired the merger feasibility team and was the second chair of the newly merged chamber, remembered, “When we merged the two Chambers and constructed the building in Blairs, our localities were still working very independently from one another. We made a statement about the importance of serving both localities by centrally locating on Highway 29 in Blairs. Almost twenty years later, we have moved past our siloed approach to regional work. From economic development to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pittsylvania County and Danville are in lockstep, working together for the betterment of the entire region. In today’s environment, the location of this facility should not matter, and moving to IALR demonstrates a continued focus on substantive service to members in a space designed for authentic collaboration.”
The move to IALR will increase the Chamber’s engagement with a variety of regional stakeholders and allow the Chamber to be even more responsive to member needs. Serving members has, and will always be, the primary goal of the Chamber.
“No facility in our region is more representative of how far we have progressed in terms of collaboration than IALR,” said Alan Larson, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “If the pandemic has shown us anything about the future of work, it’s that engagement, not location, is what matters. The business of the Chamber will not change—we are here to promote and advocate for all businesses in our region. And we are proud to engage our members virtually and at their places of business. To learn more about our members, we go to them, not the other way around.”
“We understand this relocation may concern some members in the County about the scope of services that the Chamber provides,” continued Larson. “The Board of the Chamber did not make this decision lightly, and just like every other business during this time, the Chamber has had to reevaluate how it can do business more efficiently and more collaboratively with our partners. If you need us, we’re still one phone call or email away, as we have always been.”
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research was founded in 2000 as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. Established to diversify, transform and grow the economy of Southern Virginia, IALR welcomed more than 25,000 conference center guests and an additional 18,000 Megabytes café guests in 2019. It serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation through applied research, advanced learning, economic development, advanced manufacturing and conference services.
“The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research is delighted to welcome the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, a fellow champion of economic transformation, to our campus,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director. “Our shared values and similar mission continue to position us as effective partners with other change agents throughout our Southern Virginia footprint.”
ABOUT THE CHAMBER
The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce accelerates business growth by connecting its members to dynamic resources and networks. Its 600 members understand that a strong Chamber is a critical component of an innovative, profitable business community. The Chamber’s number one goal is to help area businesses of all sizes to grow and prosper.