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Southern Virginia

Regional View

Distillery shows owner’s whiskey making legacy by Joan Tupponce

T e couple wanted

to develop a business that would be a good fi t for the local economy and also be “a tourist opportu- nity that would highlight everything we like about Halifax,” Gordon says. Springfi eld Distillery is expected to create fi ve jobs and get all of its corn and barley from Virginia farmers. “Our neighbor across the road is growing our corn,” Gordon says. “I can throw a coin from the distillery and hit the corn we are using.”

In opening the dis-

James Gordon and his wife, Kelly, bought Springfi eld Farm in Halifax County in 2012.


Complete list of For the Record and People at FOR THE RECORD

Alcoa will invest $8.59 million in Henry County to expand its aerospace forging capabilities, adding 15 new jobs in the process. “Alcoa will now produce 3D-printed titanium, specialty metals, plastic parts for aerospace, medical and energy applications, all of the needs that are growing dramati- cally around the globe,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said. Incentives included $80,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Danville-based Averett Univer- sity recently received accredita- tion from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for its undergraduate nursing program. The program received a five-year accreditation, which is the maximum term for a new program. The program currently enrolls almost 100 students and

ames Gordon, the owner of Springfi eld Distillery, comes by

his interest in whiskey naturally. “I grew up with

memories of my father moonshining,” says Gor- don, who is opening his Halifax County distillery in August. “My father is one of the fi rst two pri- vate individuals in South Africa to get his license for distilling liquor. I get to tap into 25 years of distillery experience.”

graduated its first 16 students in December. (Danville Register & Bee)

A company planning a $250 million investment in the region has signed a purchase agree- ment with the Danville-Pitt- sylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority for a 300- acre site at the industrial mega park site on Berry Hill Road in Pittsylvania County. There are no details about what company will ultimately build on the site or what the company produces — or even how many jobs can be expected. The project itself is code-named Project 950. (Danville Register & Bee)

Michelin North America and Alton-based VIRginia Inter- national Raceway announced that Michelin will become the title sponsor for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, the track’s largest race of the year. The

12 AUGUST 2016 In 2012, Gordon

and his wife, Kelly, bought Springfi eld Farm in Halifax, which includes a home built around 1842. T ey moved to Southern Virginia from Fairfax County. “T ere are rumors

that there is an old still on this property,” Gordon says. “T is area became known for mak- ing corn whiskey prior to Prohibition, and it continues to be a good place to distill whiskey.”

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race takes place Aug. 26 to 28. VIR is the only track in the greater mid-Atlantic area and one of only 12 tracks nationwide selected to host the WeatherTech Championship in 2016. (News release)

Performance Livestock and Feed Co. will invest more than $4 million to establish a feed production operation in Henry County, creating 32 jobs. The North Carolina-based company will commit to purchasing $11 million in Virginia-sourced grains and other feed ingre- dients. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which is being matched by Henry County. The company also received a Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commis- sion grant. (VirginiaBusiness. com)

tillery, Gordon’s company invested $160,000 in site improvements and equipment while also creating a tasting room and remote-licensed ABC store. Springfi eld Distillery will purchase almost 150,000 pounds of Virginia corn and barley during the next three years. “It takes a con- siderable amount of investment to get into the distilling business,” Gordon says. “T ere is a lot of regulation and compliance before you


Don Bright and Joel L. Cathey, renamed to the Virginia Board of Forestry. Bright is president, Meherrin River Forest Products Inc., Alberta. Cathey is resource manager, Ontario Hardwood Co. Inc., Keysville. (News release)

John Gilstrap began his term as mayor of Danville on July 1. He succeeds Sherman Saunders, who served in the role for 8½ years. Alonzo Jones is now the city’s vice mayor, replacing Gary Miller. (Danville Register & Bee)

Steven Gould and Nettie L. Simon-Owens named to the Longwood University board of visitors. Gould is an attorney at Clement Wheatley in Danville and member of the City of Dan- ville School Board. Simon-Owens is the chief economic advance- ment officer of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston. (News release)

can move ahead to pro- ducing product.” Visitors to Spring-

fi eld Distillery will be able to view the whiskey- making process and then sample the resulting product in a tasting room fashioned from a cabin. T e cabin, built in the 1800s, previously was lo- cated on a tobacco farm. T e DIY Network televi- sion show “Barnwood Builders” took the cabin apart and reassembled it at its new location. Gordon plans to

rent out two other cabins at the farm to vacation- ers. “We will ultimately have four cabins on the property,” he says. “We are near the popular wed- ding venue Berry Hill Resort. We are looking to collaborate with them to host functions at the distillery.” Gordon hopes to

distribute his whiskey not only in the U.S. but also overseas. “We have some international distributors as far away as New Zea- land that are interested in looking at the product,” he says.

Danville-based American

National Bank- shares Inc., the parent company of American

National Bank and

Trust Co., named Ramsey K. Hamadi executive vice presi- dent of the holding company and the bank. He was CFO of NewBridge Bank, a community bank based in Greensboro, N.C. (

Martinsville-based Carter Bank & Trust has pro- moted Phyllis Q. Karavatakis, an employee for 38 years, to presi-

dent. She was executive vice president and chief lending officer. (

Photo by Steven Mantilla

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