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Lynchburg: a city of opportunity

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains,­ the city of Lynchburg, Virginia, is distinctive not only for its natural beauty, but also for its world-class schools, highly skilled workforce and dynamic economy.

City of Lynchburg from the air

Gradually, Lynchburg became a highly desirable place to live because of its low cost of living, cultural amenities, access to the outdoors and tourism. Forbes regularly includes Lynchburg on its list of “Best Small Places For Business And Careers,” citing the city’s thriving business environment and targeted incentives designed to cultivate growth and encourage job creation and capital investment.

“Our economy is over hundreds of years old and has been relatively diverse. Our key strengths are in higher education, advanced manufacturing and the nuclear sector, with two major nuclear tech firms — BWX Technologies Inc. and Framatome — headquartered in Lynchburg,” said Assistant Director of Economic Development and Tourism Anna Bentson.

Lynchburg also has a year-round outdoor ski slope and other world-class facilities, allowing the city to host a variety of sports tournaments and events, including the Virginia Commonwealth Games and the State Games of America next year.

“We have a competitive spirit and strong cultural identity. We are flexible and innovative, and seize opportunities to reach out and connect with the international community to attract more investment, visitors and residents from around the globe,” Opportunity Lynchburg Director Marjette Upshur said.

Frederick County preserves heritage amid modernization

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

Known for its historical architecture, Maryland’s Frederick County is transforming itself into an attractive location for investments in traditional sectors and advanced industries.

“It is the easiest county to sell in the state of Maryland because of its location between Baltimore and Washington D.C.,” said Frederick County Office of Economic Development Director Helen Propheter.

Director Helen Propheter (sixth from left) with the team of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development

Despite this development, Propheter, who has worked for the county for 26 years, stressed that agriculture will remain a major contributor to the local economy.

“Frederick County has great respect for our legacy industries, which are agriculture and manufacturing. While areas in Maryland and in neighboring states — Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia — have had much residential growth on its agricultural land, we have stayed true to the industry that brought us here, which is agriculture,” Propheter said.

“We are still the leading dairy producer in the state. Interestingly enough, agriculture and manufacturing have given us leading wineries, breweries and distilleries. Those are emerging markets for both Maryland and Virginia, and most certainly for Frederick County,” she added.

Amid this loyalty to traditional industries, a new, younger generation of entrepreneurs have begun to emerge.

“We have a group of young people in downtown areas, in our more populated areas, who are opening distilleries. In fact, we have a gentleman who opened the first soju (Korean rice

liquor) distillery in the United States right here in Frederick County,” Propheter said.

Only one surgery with Lumicell system

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

Cancer continues to plague the entire world. This silent disease is usually undetectable until the symptoms of advanced cancer begin to surface. From diagnosis to treatment, a patient’s life hangs in the balance. Even when the cancer goes into remission, malignant cells can reappear and cause greater damage.

Founded in Boston in 2008, Lumicell Inc., through the expertise of MIT engineers, developed a system that detects and enables elimination of malignant breast cancer cells in real time. The company is currently conducting clinical studies in breast cancer and expects Food and Drug Administration approval in the near future.

Lumicell software displays in real-time residual cancer during surgery.

The Lumicell System consists of three components — a fluorescent optical contrast agent that is cancer- and immuno-activated, a handheld imaging device that instantly scans the cavity walls to view the fluorescent cells with single cell detection and proprietary decision software that displays the image instantly on a monitor to guide surgical removal of cancerous tissue.

Apart from breast cancer, the company is exploring the use of the Lumicell System in other types of cancer, such as brain cancer, pancreatic cancer and sarcoma.

“There is no other technology like Lumicell. We create technology and pass it to institutions such as community hospitals and academic institutions, because there is no standard for treating breast cancer. The first surgery with Lumicell should be the (patient’s) last surgery,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Felix Geissler.

This ongoing endeavor, however, will not achieve its original mission without meaningful partnerships.

“Part of Lumicell’s priorities is to partner with Japan because of its expertise in fluorescent guided surgery. Japan wants to be at the forefront of innovation and be able to provide the best for its communities. Japanese surgeons are dedicated and Lumicell wants to give them an extra tool for better outcomes,” Geissler said.

Lumicell is working on other partnerships, but it needs some breakthrough results to establish these relationships so that cancer patients receive the treatment they deserve.

“My key priority is to launch the product as safe and effective, and give it to breast surgeons. We want them to get good results with the system,” Geissler said.

WAU: a platform to serve the world

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

Established 114 years ago, Washington Adventist University (WAU) focused its efforts on global growth after Dr. Weymouth Spence assumed his role as president in 2008. Spence raised the faith-based university’s international profile while maintaining academic excellence and commitment to the service of humanity.

Washington Adventist University President Dr. Weymouth Spence

Located in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., WAU, formerly known as Columbia Union College, is able to support its students in whatever career paths they pursue, whether in government, business, humanitarian service, or culture and the arts. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the school takes particular pride in its MBA program, as well as its strong athletics and music departments.

WAU sends its choral group on tour and its orchestra to the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York every year.

Since the university adopted a globalized outlook, East Asia has become an important area for collaboration.

“We want to tap into the Asian market. It fits our culture,” said Spence, who plans to develop a summer language program that will allow students to spend their holidays in China and Japan to expose them to different cultures.

“The entire flavor of the campus is internationally based. We bring the world together. At WAU, we engage minds and transform lives,” Spence said.

Great things are brewing for Virginia craft beer maker

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

As craft and fruit beers grew very popular in the last few years, many breweries have opened their doors and sold their products directly to the public. Amid this fast-growing trend, only a handful of these small businesses have shown a clear commitment to maintaining the quality of their beer.

Hardywood co-founders Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh

Opened in 2011, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery traces its origins to a sheep farm in Australia and a time soon after opening when local farmers gave the brewers some Hawaiian ginger and local honey, which were added to their milk stout base recipe. The end product is the much talked-about Gingerbread Stout, which put Hardywood on the craft brewery map, garnered a perfect score from BeerAdvocate magazine and was named the world’s No. 1 Christmas and holiday beer by The Beer Connoisseur magazine.

Hardywood has three physical locations, all of which are in Virginia: Richmond — its main headquarters, West Creek — a 60-barrel brewery and large taproom that accommodates up to 650 people, and Charlottesville — a pilot brewery venue with a small taproom that serves experimental beers.

“Last year, we brewed 15,000 barrels and are aiming for 25,000 in the next 12 months, with the new West Creek location now among the biggest brewing facilities in Virginia,” Vice President for Sales and Marketing Richard Miller said.

Hardywood has reached out to Japanese distributors with the help from the U.S. Brewers Association, an organization that helps to promote independent American breweries. It also sent beers to exhibitions and competitions around the world through the Export Development Program.

Through that program, Hardywood has sent some of their beers to the American Craft Beer Experience in Japan over the past two years. Given the excellent reviews Hardywood received during the events, it won’t be long before discriminating Japanese beer aficionados get a regular supply of its magical brews.

Eastern USA 2018 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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