Community Impact Awards: Arcphor, LLC
By Susan Haas
4345 New Town Ave., Suite 200, Williamsburg
Number of Employees: 4
Arcphor is the go-to for businesses that want to reach the next milestone. Whether it’s a start-up mom and pop shop, a small business ready to expand or established entrepreneurs seeking advice on how to take their business to the next level, Arcphor has earned the reputation as a leader of entrepreneurism in Greater Williamsburg, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Since Arcphor’s inception, giving back to the community has been an integral part of the company’s foundation. Arcphor gives back in two primary ways, through community service and by leading numerous entrepreneurial events and activities throughout Coastal Virginia.
Arcphor President Tim Ryan strongly believes in community involvement. “Service before Self” is the company’s mission, and he walks his talk, along with the 77 other members he leads as Newport News Rotary Club president. Together, the club impacts dozens of nonprofit organizations, either with monetary donations or community service projects and mentoring to help individuals find higher-paying jobs.
In addition to working at local foodbanks and bell ringing for the Salvation Army during the holiday season, Ryan organizes the annual Shrimpfest where all proceeds go directly back into the community to support local nonprofits. Shrimpfest also provides the resources required for the program Access to Career Education (ACE), designed to help fund underemployed adults make a career step in earnings and lifestyle. Working in conjunction with Thomas Nelson Community College and New Horizons, the program has provided scholarships to more than 12 individuals, giving them the opportunity to earn certifications in areas like welding, pharmaceuticals or the nursing field.
Ryan also serves as director and face of Launchpad, the Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator. The program is designed to help startup businesses and nonprofits begin their entrepreneurial journey by offering special pricing and product donation including logo design, social media graphics and website development.
For the past six years, Arcphor employees have served as volunteers and mentors and helped dozens of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses across the region. Most notably, Arcphor is a founding member and leader of Start Peninsula, a weekend-long business startup competition. During the event, 30 individuals pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges, which narrow the participants down to 10 finalists who work on their business ideas to present to the judges for the opportunity to win startup seed funding, incubator space mentorship and marketing. Mentoring and workshops are also part of the program to build a sense of community camaraderie. Now is in sixth year, 140 people have pitched their business ideas, and several businesses have been created as a result.
When asked what his “takeaway” is from giving back, Ryan thinks back to a moment when he volunteered with the Salvation Army during the holidays. “We were filling boxes with toys for families that couldn’t afford gifts for their children,” he recalls. “I looked around and saw literally hundreds of boxes. It hits you hard, knowing each box represents a family that faces a struggle every day, not just a certain time of year.”
To our company, community impact looks like a contagious circle of giving and improvement. Always leaving things better than it was found and leading by example.