REGIONAL VIEW Roanoke/new river valley

Software helps companies stay in compliance by Stephenie Overman

ualtrax, a new com- pany in an old build- ing in downtown

Blacksburg, develops software that helps customers wade through documents. “It simplifies compliance

for indus tries that are under a heavy burden due to the nature of the work they do,” says CEO Amy Ankrum. Qualtrax customers include forensic labs, power com- panies and medical-device manufacturers. “The software handles

records they need to man- age. It gives them the ability to automate processes that might be paper-based or email-based,” she says. Qualtrax became a

standalone business last year after being part of Chris- tiansburg-based CCS Inc., now FoxGuard Solutions, for more than 20 years. “We were a subsidiary all that time of the larger company. Last year we decided to officially split the organization out, primarily


Altec Industries plans to invest $30 million in a 65,000-square- foot expansion at its plant in Botetourt County. This is the fifth time the company has expanded since it began manu- facturing aerial trucks for the electric utility and telecommuni- cations industries at its facility at Botetourt Center at Greenfield in 2001. The latest expansion is expected to create 180 jobs. (

Humm Kombucha plans to build an East Coast manufactur- ing facility in Roanoke that would employ 50 people. The Bend, Ore., company, which makes fermented tea, will invest about $10 million in a 100,000-square- foot facility on a 12-acre site in

“We’re helping them.

CEO Amy Ankrum says Qualtrax software helps customers handle records they need to manage.

And we’re taking time to make sure we educate our- selves,” she says, adding, “We are ISO 9001-cer- tified ourselves.” Qualtrax is located in a former Masonic Lodge building in

Blacksburg that dates to 1927. “We’ve preserved a lot of

the building” while adding a few flourishes, Ankrum says. “We have a disco ball [that is used] to celebrate every time we have a customer win.” The company also has a

because we are growing, look- ing for new ways to fund the organization,” says Ankrum, a Virginia Tech graduate who had been with Qualtrax and CCS since 1998. Since the split, the company has grown quickly. Qualtrax now has 33 employ- ees, 12 of whom have been added this year. Ankrum says the new positions are in

the Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology. Humm is the sec- ond Bend, Ore.-based company to come to Roanoke, following the 2016 announcement that Deschutes Brewery would build a brewery in the same industrial park. The Roanoke Regional Partnership estimates that the Humm project would have a $58 million annual economic impact on the regional economy. (News release)

Virginia Furniture Market is coming to the New River Val- ley. The Rocky Mount-based company said it would invest $5 million to build a 60,000-square- foot store on what is now a vacant, 11-acre lot adjacent to the Christiansburg Home Depot on Farmview Road. The $5 mil- lion project represents the eighth

14 DECEMBER 2017

sales and marketing, software engineering, training and customer support.

Compliance issues are

always changing, she says. This year many customers that follow ISO 9001, a standard setting requirements for high-quality manage- ment systems, are updating from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015.

location for Virginia Furniture and its first west of the Roanoke Valley. The store is expected to employ more than 20 people. (The Roanoke Times)

Construction is underway on a 139,000-square-foot expansion of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke. The $90 million project will be home to 25 additional research teams, hundreds of students and faculty and an oncology center for dogs and cats. Tech and Carilion also have established a $15 million venture capital fund to encourage startups to locate around the campus. The project is expected to be complete in 2020. The first phase began nearly a decade ago in 2008 with Carilion and Virginia Tech joining forces to build a medical school.


Scott Graeff has been promoted to president and CEO of Luna Innovations Inc. An employee of the Roanoke- based company

since 2003, Graeff has served as chief strategy officer, trea- surer and secretary. He replaces My Chung, who has retired. Graeff also will serve on Luna’s board of directors. Luna specializes in optical technol- ogy for the telecommunications, aerospace and automotive industries. (Virginiabusiness. com)

video game room in the base- ment and provides employees with fluffy slippers when they arrive each workday. “It’s important for people

to enjoy where they are, for it to be welcoming. They spend a lot of time there,” Ankrum says.

In April Qualtrax

received the 2017 Rising Star award from the Roanoke- Blacksburg Technology Council.

(The Roanoke Times and Virginia Tech News)

HomeTown Bank has hired William “Wes” Budd Jr. as executive vice president and chief credit officer. Budd has more than 30 years of com- mercial banking experience in retail banking, private banking, commercial lending and credit administration. He was execu- tive vice president and chief credit officer at NewBridge Bank in North Carolina. Home- Town Bank also announced the hiring of Mike Kidd as chief risk officer. A native of Roanoke and graduate of Virginia Tech, Kidd gained experience in internal audit and risk management in various North Carolina banks, having recently served as director of internal audit with NewBridge Bank before it was acquired by Yadkin Bank in 2016. (News release)

Photo courtesy Hodges Partnership

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