INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Where High Tech Meets Agriculture

The spirit of innovation runs deep in Rockingham County. Close to a century ago, our community was a thriving poultry production center but a few inspired individuals revolutionized the industry through a series of inventions and set Rockingham County on a path of innovation and entrepreneurship.
 
At the forefront of this group of visionaries was Charles Wampler, who in 1922 built the first incubator for turkey eggs and successfully hatched 52—the first achievement of its kind in history. This achievement birthed the modern turkey industry in the United States and earned Mr. Wampler the title of ‘Father of the Modern Turkey Industry’.
 
The innovative spirit that inspired Charles Wampler continues in Rockingham County and the surrounding region today. Meet our community of entrepreneurs as they bring innovative thinking not only in biotech labs, but also in unconventional places like in fields and poultry farms. From innovative ways to reuse poultry feathers to state-of-the-art aviation equipment, businesses in Rockingham County are delivering new technologies and solutions to the marketplace on a daily basis. 

 

SHENANDOAH GROWERS

A continuation of our rich agricultural roots, Shenandoah Growers is a leading provider to the U.S. retail market of 100% natural, regionally grown and sustainably farmed fresh herbs including basil, mint, parsley, dill, chives, sage, cilantro and tarragon.  A small business success story suffused in perseverance, Shenandoah Growers, founded in 1989, has emerged as one of the leading growers and providers of fresh culinary herbs in the U.S.  Products range from living organic and fresh cut herbs, to a diverse specialty line including living greens for pets, mint julep kits, hydroponic basil and seasonal holiday herb blends.  


DYNAMIC AVIATION

An 80-year family legacy of delivering innovative aircraft solutions to meet the needs of aviation professionals worldwide, the Stoltzfus family began operations with a variety of aircraft primarily used in crop spraying and agricultural roles. Over the years, additional fleet was added and used for aerial applications across the U.S.  Headquartered in southern Rockingham County in Bridgewater, VA, Dynamic Aviation provides comprehensive services to national defense, military intelligence and other government and commercial customers around the world. With aircraft operating from 18 locations in 5 countries across 3 continents, services include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, airborne data acquisition, charter and medevac, sterile insect technique and more.


SRI INTERNATIONAL

SRI Shenandoah Valley, a division of SRI International, focuses on health and biomedical research and drug discovery and development with the ultimate goal of bringing new therapies and diagnostics to market.  As part of SRI Biosciences, the research complements research and development (R&D) capabilities at other SRI locations, including SRI’s Menlo Park, California headquarters. 
 
SRI’s state-of-the-art research facility provides a convenient base for collaboration with academia, entrepreneurs, government, industry, and investors in Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. 
 
Scientific research at SRI Shenandoah Valley focuses on prevention, detection and treatment of diseases.  Activities span basic research in emerging infectious disease, metabolic disease and proteomics; applied research in therapeutics including drugs, biologics, and vaccines; and personalized medicine through the development of companion diagnostics and biomarkers.



Meet Our Staff

George K. Anas, II
Assistant County Administrator /
Director of Economic Development
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Michele Bridges
Economic Development and Tourism Manager
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Casey Armstrong
Community Development Director
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Pete Kesecker
Development Plan Manager
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Diana Stultz
Zoning Administrator / Subdivision Agent
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Rhonda Cooper
Director of Planning
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James May
Senior Planner
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Barry Hertzler
Director of Public Works
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Phillip Rhodes
Deputy Director of Public Works
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Kathy McQuain
Parks and Recreation Director
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