Virginia Private Colleges Advancing with Solar

(L to R: Dr. Charlie Gay, Dr. Robert Lambeth and Governor Terry McAuliffe)

(L to R: Dr. Charlie Gay, Dr. Robert Lambeth and Governor Terry McAuliffe)

In late August, Alliance Group partnered with the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) to announce the signing of multiple large-scale solar energy contracts for their member schools.  CICV received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative for a Solar Market Pathways Grant, which will help support bringing solar energy to CICV member schools.

The announcement took place at Virginia Union University, one of the four schools statewide which have signed contracts with Tesla, to install solar projects on their campus.  The other three schools who participated include Lynchburg College, Randolph-Macon College and Washington & Lee University.  Through their partnerships with the U.S. Department of Energy and Tesla, CICV will be able to provide its member schools with state-of-the art solar technology and educational opportunities for students to learn more about renewable energy.  

Key speakers included Governor Terry McAuliffe, Dr. Charlie Gay (Solar Technologies Office Director for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy) and Dr. Robert Lambeth (President of the Council for Independent Colleges of Virginia).  They joined in celebrating and highlighting the innovative efforts of Virginia’s private colleges to help put the Commonwealth on the path to a clean energy future.

To make the announcement extra special, Virginia Union University’s Marching Band, the “VUU Ambassadors of Sound,” performed as guests arrived.  It was so exciting to see all 90 members of the band out to support this great event!

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We were even lucky enough to be joined by a few of our favorite mascots!  Randolph-Macon College’s Buzz the Yellow Jacket, Virginia Union University’s Panther and Lynchburg College’s Dell the Hornet had a great time mingling with students and school representatives in attendance.  Even Sarah had some fun hanging out with the mascots in the holding room before the event officially kicked off!

(L to R: Virginia Union University Panther, Randolph-Macon College’s Buzz the Yellow Jacket, Sarah Huang and Lynchburg College’s Dell the Hornet)

(L to R: Virginia Union University Panther, Randolph-Macon College’s Buzz the Yellow Jacket, Sarah Huang and Lynchburg College’s Dell the Hornet)

The Alliance Group team had such a fun time promoting this event and working with CICV and their member schools.  We are excited to see what new projects are in store for the private colleges and universities in Virginia as they continue to advance with solar!


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Alliance Group Gives Back: Ronald McDonald House Charities


At the Alliance Group, giving back to the community is an integral part of our firm's culture. In our blog series "Alliance Group Gives Back," we'll be highlighting local organizations and different ways that we give back to the community, so hopefully you can too! 

The Alliance Group recently participated in the Ronald McDonald House Charities Meal Program, where we cooked a summer barbecue for all the families staying in the RMHC Richmond House. Alliance Group was excited to be able to take on this task so the families could focus more on the children who are there to receive medical care.

It is the mission of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond to keep families close. RMHC Richmond may not be able to make the medicine taste better or erase the pain of a much-needed treatment, but they can help lessen the burden for thousands of families each and every year. Since they opened their doors in 1980, they have never closed them. They offer parents the opportunity to stay close to their children while they are treated at local hospitals. By providing families with a “home-away-from-home” and a place where they can rest and refresh, they serve as an invaluable support system during a difficult time. 

Alliance Group was able to play a small part in this mission by cooking dinner for the families. We would encourage you, your friends, or a group of your coworkers to find a way to get involved! For more information please visit:


Palliative Care Legislation Signed Into Law


Alliance Group worked with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) to support legislation that requires the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to make information and resources on Palliative Care available to the public, healthcare providers, and health facilities on their website.

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors and other professionals. This team approach focuses on providing patients with relief from the pain, stress, and depression that can arise from a serious illness. The goal is to improve Quality of Life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness.

Cancer patients often face pain, shortness of breath, and other unwanted symptoms that are caused by both the disease itself and the treatment. Palliative care can help to significantly alleviate these symptoms and pain for cancer patients while they continue to receive curative treatments. When a cancer patient’s pain and other symptoms are controlled, it’s been shown that the length of hospital stays are often shorter and re-admissions are reduced. 

Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, recently signed this vital legislation into law. Alliance Group commends ACS CAN and the Commonwealth of Virginia for bringing this important issue to the forefront of the discussion on healthcare. To find out more information about how to access Palliative Care in Virginia click here

Keeping Virginia's Grain Producers Informed at the 2017 Virginia Small Grains Field Day

Working on behalf of the Virginia Grain Producers Association, Alliance Group team members Ben Rowe and Chris Atkins organized the 2017 Virginia Small Grains Field Day earlier this month, drawing a large crowd and top speakers to Featherstone Farm in Amelia County.  VGPA, the Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Small Grains Checkoff Board, and the Whittington family were proud to host the annual field day for wheat and barley.

Farmers and industry representatives from across the Commonwealth gathered for the annual event and enjoyed field plot tours by some of Virginia's top agriculture researchers, including:

  • Small Grain Varieties with Dr. Carl Griffey
  • Barley Management and Small Grains for Forage with Dr. Wade Thomason
  • Small Grain Disease Management with Dr. Hillary Mehl
  • Small Grain Pest Management with Dr. Sally Taylor
  • Weed Management in Small Grains with Dr. Michael Flessner

Dr. Wade Thomason leads attendees through the first of five field tour stops

Dr. Wade Thomason leads attendees through the first of five field tour stops

Producers took time to network with the more than twenty exhibitors at the field day, and learn about the latest in equipment, products, and services being offered to Virginia farmers.

During the afternoon program, VGPA President Wayne Kirby kicked off the program with an update on VGPA's recent activities, and the importance of membership. Dr. Saied Mostaghimi, Director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, was the first speaker on the program and shared remarks on the research currently in progress at the university, and the opportunities available for Virginia's students.

Dr. Saied Mostaghimi provided an update from Virginia Tech  

Dr. Saied Mostaghimi provided an update from Virginia Tech 

The group enjoyed a presentation from Matt Musial, Regional Manager of Proximity Malt, based in Laurel, Delaware. Matt gave an overview of Proximity's three locations and their operation in Delaware. Matt discussed the characteristics of their malt and the grain qualities they look for from producers. Malt barley is emerging as a high-value crop in Virginia and Matt's presentation helped provide guidance to the many growers in the audience.

David Moore, General Manager of VIPG, spoke on the topic of hard red winter wheat for the milling and baking industries. David discussed not only the growing opportunities for the crop, but the ready demand for more than 15,000 acres of the crop in Virginia.

Continuing the theme of high-value small grains, Dan Brann with VIPG presented to the group on Amaze10 hulless barley and the potential demand for the crop from the livestock industry, and more. Dan discussed the value of the hulless grain to livestock operators, and shared success stories of producers from across the country.

The indoor program covered many of the emerging opportunities for Virginia grain producers and end-users  

The indoor program covered many of the emerging opportunities for Virginia grain producers and end-users 

The day wrapped up with the traditional barbecue luncheon and an opportunity for producers to network with their colleagues and exhibitors, and discuss the field tours and topics with the day's presenters, one-on-one. 


Alliance Group Hosts Sorensen RVA Weekend

Being a part of leadership development in the Commonwealth is very important to the team here at Alliance Group. We love any opportunity to share our workspace, time, and expertise with non-profits and community groups who put on events all across the Commonwealth. The past weekend, we hosted the Sorensen Institute for Political Leaders Program; a non-partisan non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen and enhance the quality of government at all levels throughout Virginia

The Richmond weekend programming focused on allowing the participants to gather a better understanding of:

We're a proud supporter of the Sorensen Institute, not only because of the huge impact they have on our future leaders, but also because several of our Alliance Group team members have graduated from their Emerging Leader Program, Candidate Training Program, and Political Leaders Program, including Alliance Group’s President/CEO Rob Jones.

If you’re a fan of politics and looking for a way to learn more or give back to a non-profit that supports future leaders in Virginia, check out the Sorensen Institute:, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

Icons 2017: Alliance Group wins Small Business YP Workplace Award

Alliance Group was recently awarded the ChamberRVA HYPE Small Business Workplace Award!  HYPE or Helping Young Professionals Engage is a program by ChamberRVA to help YP (Young Professionals)’s become more involved in the Richmond community.  Every year they host their HYPE Icons Awards ceremony which recognizes key individuals and companies in the community who are helping to promote YP’s and pushing them to succeed.

The YP Workplace Award recognizes an organization in the Greater Richmond Region that excels at attracting, retaining and developing young employees.  Winning organizations provide YP’s with opportunities for growth and development, attract and retain YP’s, encourage YP engagement in the Greater Richmond community and value their contributions. 

Ahead of the awards ceremony, we had the opportunity to meet with the voting committee to show them what we do to grow YPs, promote YPs and help them become leaders in our community.  During the meeting, ChamberRVA invited the awesome camera crew from Love Affair Creative to show them what a ‘typical’ day is like in the office.  At the ceremony, it was great to show the audience of business and community leaders a brief glimpse of what life is like at Alliance Group.

We are proud to be recognized with SingleStone (Large Business) as proud winners of the HYPE YP Workplace Awards.  The trophy (because trophies are the best way to motivate YPs) is a personalized gumball machine! It is now proudly displayed on our mantel filled with candy. 

Along with the Workplace Award, ChamberRVA recognized Jay Carpenter of The Fahrenheit Group with the “Front Runner Award” and Elizabeth Howley of The Next Move Program with the “Change Agent Award.”  Both Jay and Elizabeth are doing amazing work in the community and helping YP’s have a larger presence in the Richmond community.  We strongly encourage you to check out our fellow winners and nominees to learn about the awesome work they are doing in Richmond.

We had so much fun celebration the YP Community, the Richmond community and of course, our win! We are so fortunate to be part of this great city and cannot wait to help our YPs do more and leave a lasting impact on Richmond.

Virginia Quality Healthcare Network Session Roundup

The Virginia Quality Healthcare Network (VQHN) is a coalition of voluntary health associations and patient advocacy groups who have come together as a network to promote and encourage the sustaining quality of healthcare for all Virginians. The events that VQHN organizes help to create networking opportunities, gauge and create interest around an issue and strengthen relationships between advocates, patients and policy makers. Creating dialogue between individuals and groups, who may never have had the opportunity to interact in the past, creates a wonderful opportunity to share information and encourage partnerships .

The Alliance Group hosted VQHN's 17th Annual Session Wrap Up Event where attendees heard the latest in healthcare access trends from Megan Olsen of Avalere health, a national healthcare consulting firm. The Virginia Department of Integrated and Behavioral Health also presented an overview of the ARTS Program, the Medicaid Addiction and Recovery Treatment Benefit, which offers services to Virginians affected by the Opioid Crisis.