UMW Honors Local Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

The University of Mary Washington’s Center for Economic Development recognized area small business owners and entrepreneurs through the 2013 Virginia Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Awards and the Meta R. Braymer Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Brian Baker, executive director for entrepreneurship, presented the awards during an open house celebration on May 29. Award recipients were selected from applicants of business owners served by the University of Mary Washington Small Business Development Center on the basis of commitment to their enterprise, industry leadership, proven business success and dedication to the community.

Meta R. Braymer (center) poses with Joy Crump and Beth Black (left to right), the inaugural recipients of the Meta R. Braymer Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Joy Crump and Beth Black, co-owners of the Fredericksburg restaurant FOODE, received the inaugural Meta R. Braymer Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for their involvement in the small business community. The award is named after Meta R. Braymer, vice president for economic development and regional engagement, who will retire next month after 23 years at UMW.

Thomas Keogh, owner of Corp Solutions LLC, and Christopher Sharon, owner of Adaptive Training and Consulting Services LLC, received the Virginia Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Awards. The awards are a tribute to their commitment to business development and to the community where they reside and serve. Keogh also won the state-level award of the same name given by the Virginia Small Business Development Center.

Christopher Sharon and Thomas Keogh (second and third from left) received the Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Awards. Mary Parnell (left) and Susan Ball work with the UMW Small Business Development Center.

During the awards ceremony, the Center for Economic Development also recognized 11 professional service providers with Volunteer Champion Awards for their service to the UMW Small Business Development Center. The award recipients included Richard Roanelli and Tom Miglas of the Mason Enterprise Center for a procurement technical assistance program; Will Vehrs of the Virginia Department of Business Assistance for state procurement; Heather Rosen of FranNet for franchise compatibility and selection; Lisa Pecunia of Avarra Solutions for digital media marketing; Don Bowler of Zebrareach for traditional media marketing; Teri Tosti of Sonbank for the Small Business Administration Guarantee Programs; Jamie Scully of Cushman and Wakefield-Thalhimer for  commercial  real estate; Debby Girvan of Flair Communications for digital media marketing; Geary Rodgers of Compton and Duling for business legal matters; and Micah Dalton from North Highland Consulting for providing experiential learning opportunities to UMW Master of Business Administration students. Each of the award recipients demonstrated passion and commitment, leadership, proven business success through sustainability and growth and dedication to the community.


  1. […] Dr. Braymer came to UMW in 1990 as the director of graduate and continuing studies. She oversaw the development of the Stafford campus and served as the dean of the faculty and vice president for graduate and professional studies. Most recently, Dr. Braymer led the University’s regional engagement efforts and the formation of the Center for Economic Development, which encompasses UMW’s Small Business Development Center, professional development programs, and the Dahlgren campus. She is a founding member of the UMW Leadership Colloquium for Professional Women.  She the recipient of the prestigious Washington Medallion and the Board of Visitors recently honored her with emeritus status upon her retirement. An award is also named in her honor, the Meta R. Braymer Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. […]