Virginia Business Features NRV Leaders in ‘Top 100 People to Meet in 2024’

New River Valley, VA – Several leaders from across the New River Valley were listed in the 5th annual list from Virginia Business of “Top 100 People to Meet in 2024”. According to the article, this list includes a wide range of professions from novelists and podcasters to up-and-coming entrepreneurs, influential attorneys, nonprofit leaders, educators, go-getters and innovators.

The top leaders from the NRV to meet in 2024 are:

  • Enric Ruiz-Geli | Montgomery County | Professor of practice, Virginia Tech Honors College; principal and founding architect, Cloud 9
  • Bevlee A. Watford | Montgomery County | Associate dean of equity and engagement; executive director, Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, Virginia Tech

  • Peter Mann | City of Radford | Founder and CEO, Oransi

  • Nanci Hardwick | Montgomery County | Aeroprobe and MELD Manufacturing
  • Yuhao Zhang | Montgomery County | Assistant professor, Virgnia Tech

The New River Valley is at once organic and innovative. Technical and agricultural. Artistic and scientific. Step into a place filled with creativity, culture, and community, a place where you are surrounded with profound beauty, an eclectic mix of small-town life, and world-class universities. Discover how the New River Valley is “A Natural Fit” here.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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