Julie Beth Vipperman has been appointed chief human resources and marketing officer of The Branch Group.


Amber Horst has joined HoneyTree Early Learning Centers as the center director at the Vinton HoneyTree.

Jennifer Wayne has been appointed head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics in the College of Engineering.

Joshua Anderson has been named business development director of the Center for International Research, Education and Development at Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved the following promotions, tenure and continued appointments:

Promotion to associate professor with tenure: Nicole Abaid, biomedical engineering and mechanics; Irving Coy Allen, biomedical sciences and pathobiology; Lara Anderson, physics; Thomas Archibald, agricultural, leadership and community education; Brian Badgley, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences; Edwin Barnes, physics; Scott Barrett, forest resources and environmental conservation; Andrea Bertke, population health sciences; Jennifer Bondy, sociology; Cayelan Carey, biological sciences; Leandro Castello, fish and wildlife conservation; Clayton Caswell, biomedical sciences and pathobiology; Julianne Chung, mathematics; Kelly Cobourn, forest resources and environmental conservation; Harpreet Singh Dhillon, electrical and computer engineering; Samer El-Kadi, animal and poultry sciences; Gonzalo Ferreira, dairy science; James Gray, physics; Adrienne Ivory, communication; Ran Jin, industrial and system engineering; Changhee Jung, computer science; Luke Juran, geography; Andrew Kemper, biomedical engineering and mechanics; Kiho Lee, animal and poultry sciences; Yang Liu, mechanical engineering; Nneka Logan, communication; Paul Marek, entomology; Frank May, marketing; Marc Michel, geosciences; Yuliya Minkova, modern and classical languages and literatures; Shalini Misra, urban affairs and planning, School of Public and International Affairs; Kimberly Morgan, agricultural and applied economics; Marcus Myers, communication; Amanda Nelson, School of Performing Arts; Charles Nichols, School of Performing Arts; Kenneth Oestreich, biomedical sciences and pathobiology; Megan O’Rourke, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences; Bodicherla Aditya Prakash, computer science; Jennifer Sano-Franchini, English; Andrew Scerri, political science; Kendra Sewall, biological sciences; Nina Stark, civil and environmental engineering; Robert Thomas, forest resources and environmental conservation; Kelly Trogdon, philosophy; Xiaowei Wu, statistics; Ariana Wyatt, School of Performing Arts; and Yang (Cindy) Yi.

Tenure at the currently held rank of associate professor: Brook Kennedy, industrial design, School of Architecture and Design, and Robin Queen, biomedical engineering and mechanics.

Promotion to professor: Amos Abbott, electrical and computer engineering; Shawn Askew, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences; Rolando Burgos, electrical and computer engineering; Linda Dahlgren, large animal clinical sciences; Raffaella De Vita, biomedical engineering and mechanics; Alexander Elgart, mathematics; Michael Fox, biological sciences; Emmanuel Frimpong, fish and wildlife conservation; Feng Guo, statistics; Dana Hawley, biological sciences; Christine Kaestle, human development and family science; Sarah Karpanty, fish and wildlife conservation; Eric Kaufman, agricultural, leadership and community education; Lara Khansa, business information technology; Giti Khodaparast, physics; Zhenyu Kong, industrial and systems engineering; Iuliana Lazar, biological sciences; Louis Madsen, chemistry; Harold McKenzie, large animal clinical sciences; Kyungwha Park, physics; Robert Rhoads, animal and poultry sciences; Edmundo Rubio, internal medicine; Walid Saad, electrical and computer engineering; Birgit Scharf, biological sciences; Gary Skaggs, School of Education; John (Jake) Socha, biomedical engineering and mechanics; Cornel Sultan, aerospace and ocean engineering; Brian Unwin, family medicine; Vinodh Venkatesh, modern and classical languages and literatures; Robert Weiss, geosciences; Christopher Williams, mechanical engineering; Robert Williams, food science and technology; Yaling Yang, electrical and computer engineering; Danfeng Yao, computer science; Wen You, agricultural and applied economics; Lijuan Yuan, biomedical sciences and pathobiology; and Laura Zanotti, political science.

Promotion to associate professor: Mandy Atkinson, pediatrics; Sameh Aziz, internal medicine; Ralph (Allen) Blackwood, internal medicine; Katie Love Bower, surgery; Richard Cordle, pediatrics; Emily Doherty, pediatrics; Mahtab Foroozesh, internal medicine; Monica Garin-LaFlam, pediatrics; Douglas Grider, basic science education; Susanti Ie, internal medicine; Stephanie Lareau, emergency medicine; Bruce Long, surgery; Juan Olazagasti, pediatrics; Biraj Patel, radiology; Karen Perkins, family and community medicine; Stephen Phillips, internal medicine; Virginia Powel, pediatrics; Erica Reynolds, pediatrics; Marrieth Rubio, internal medicine; Judy Smith, interprofessionalism; Gary Swank, internal medicine; Terri-ann Wattsman, surgery; and Eric Williams, internal medicine.

Promotion to advanced instructor: Edna Jasso-Hernandez, mathematics, and Matthew Komelski, human development and family science.

Promotion to senior instructor: Jennifer Barton, English; Heather Cox, human nutrition, foods and exercise; Neil Johnson, geosciences; Edward Lautenschlager, English; Brandi Quesenberry, communication; Vanessa Ruccolo, English; Ila Schepisi, human development and family science; Jessica Schmale, mathematics; Richard Seyler, biological sciences.

Promotion to professor of practice: Derek Klock, finance.

Promotion to collegiate assistant professor: Brandy Faulkner, political science, and Courtney Thomas, political science.

Promotion to collegiate associate professor: Kristie Cooper, electrical and computer engineering; Anne Driscoll, statistics; and Suchitra Samanta, sociology.

Promotion to clinical associate professor: Sabrina Barry, small animal clinical sciences; James Brown, large animal clinical sciences; Thomas Cecere, biomedical sciences and pathobiology; Rebecca Funk, large animal clinical sciences; and John Gratto, School of Education.

Promotion to clinical professor: Carol Cash, School of Education.

Continued appointment with promotion to associate professor: Andrea Ogier, Virginia (Ginny) Pannabecker and Anita Walz, University Libraries.

Promotion to extension agent: Tyler Painter, Floyd County Cooperative Extension, and Sandy Stoneman, Wythe County Cooperative Extension.


American National Bankshares Inc. has named the following inaugural members to its Virginia State Banking Board: Thomas Slump, Timothy Clark, Rickey Barker, William Vaughn, Brian Burton, Deanna Stone, John Lugar, William Farrell, Monica Monday, Barton Wilner, Bill Rakes, Nathaniel Bishop and Daniel Hamrick.


Will Fralin has joined Dominion Risk Advisors LLC as insurance and risk advisor.


Frith Anderson and Peake PC welcomed attorneys Bradley Fitzgerald and Ray Escobar to the firm.


Linda Hentschel has been named president and CEO of Family Service of Roanoke Valley.

Grant Holmes has been hired as executive director of the Botetourt Chamber of Commerce.


Earl Smith has joined CHA Consulting Inc. in Blacksburg as a senior engineer in its water and wastewater practice.

Mike Sowers, maintenance caretaker at Crestview Apartments in Christiansburg, has been awarded the 2019 Virginia Multi-Family Housing Maintenance Person of the Year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service and Virginia Rural Development.

Joseph Mott has been named the Justice Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mott is an assistant U.S. attorney on a one-year detail from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Roanoke.

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Karen compiles Names and Changes and the Sunday business calendar. She also compiles the Sunday calendar and planners for the community publications. In addition, she takes care of the administrative side of things in the newsroom.

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