The Watercooler Oct./Nov. 2016

by CoVaBizMag

Business Education

Endurance IT Launches Social Engineering & Employee Security Training System

Endurance IT has launched a new training system to provide a low-cost, highly effective tool for businesses to engage their employees in understanding the threats to their company networks. The Social Engineering & Employee Security Training System is an online program which provides training, testing and ongoing evaluation. “Based on our clients’ interest, we heard a need to take the negatives out of the security discussion with employees by developing a structured training, testing and ongoing assessment they could use,” says Endurance IT CEO Blake White. “We piloted the service ourselves to continually test our entire staff. This system is low cost ($20/per user per year) and time-conscious service which provides education for employees (especially non-IT team members) about the business’s computer network along with the dos and don’ts they need to know.”

Growing, Growing, Grown

Local Business Named to the Inc. 5000

Inc. Magazine recently unveiled its annual list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies, the Inc. 5000. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Here are Coastal Virginia’s businesses that made the list, in order of ranking: Mosquito Joe, Axis Global Enterprises, SSi, RynohLive, Coastal Management Solutions, DIVURGENT, Mid Atlantic Maritime Academy, RMGS, Endurance IT Services, ArcaMax Publishing, Hampton Roads Cash Home Buyer, Chantel Ray Real Estate,, Reed Integration, Innovative Enterprises, CDYNE, T. Parker Host, 360IT Partners, Web Teks, Andromeda Systems, Image Business Interiors, JES Construction, OVM Financial, Marathon Consulting and Beliefnet.

See the entire list online.


Westminster Canterbury’s First-Ever Research Project Captures National Honors

Westminster Canterbury’s Birdsong Initiative, a study that tests the impact of personalized computers upon the daily life of older adults with dementia, has received the 2016 Excellence in Research and Education Award from LeadingAge, a Washington, D.C.-based association representing 6,000 nonprofit aging services organizations throughout the U.S. The Birdsong Initiative is the first in what the Virginia Beach nonprofit life plan community envisions as ongoing work with academia to look at new ways to make aging better for older adults and their families.

Higher Education

ODU Innovation Center Launches

Gov. Terry McAuliffe was the keynote speaker at a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and dedication in late July for the Old Dominion University Innovation Center on Boush Street in downtown Norfolk. The Innovation Center, created through a partnership between ODU’s Center for Enterprise Innovation and the City of Norfolk, provides area entrepreneurs with collaboration space and a comprehensive program of services designed to grow a community of scalable entrepreneurial businesses within Norfolk’s Innovation Corridor.

Virginia Wesleyan Earns National Recognition as College of Distinction

Innovative application of high impact educational practices at Virginia Wesleyan College earned the school recognition among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction. Virginia Wesleyan students earned college credit and valuable life experience while participating in study away programs around the world, as well as through service learning, internships and undergraduate research. Schools must demonstrate results across the Four Distinctions—Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community and Successful Outcomes.

New Locations and Relocations

TASTE To Relocate Corporate Headquarters To Virginia Beach

TASTE, Virginia’s leading family-owned specialty food retailer, will relocate its corporate headquarters to Virginia Beach. The company, originally founded as a single wine and cheese shop in 1973, has grown to seven locations throughout Coastal Virginia. The company purchased 1391 Air Rail Ave., Virginia Beach for its new corporate headquarters, which is scheduled to open by November. The new location will support the seven current TASTE locations; New TASTE locations are planned for 21st Street in Norfolk in spring 2017 and at Libbie & Grove in Richmond in spring 2018.

TechArk’s Growth Plans Include A Big Move

Pratik Kothari founded TechArk Solutions in 2012, following his passion for creating and providing technology-based solutions for businesses. Four years later, the company has experienced significant growth, resulting in a need for a larger space. A building has already been purchased, and the new headquarters are located at 415 W. York St., Norfolk. “We want to expand, but we want our clients to feel like they are still working with a small agency,” Kothari says. “All of us—from the designers to website marketing specialists to me—we’re all accessible and collaborative. We don’t want our clients to feel like they need to cut through red tape to reach us or bounce ideas off us. At the core of everything we do, we want to be all about our clients.”

WBR Insurance Continues Rapid Growth With Latest Acquisition

WBR Insurance has acquired its fourth location, and the company now has a presence in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Newport News and a new Virginia Beach office at 5441 Virginia Beach Blvd. The acquisition is part of WBR Insurance’s strategic plan that allows the company to grow its customer base while obtaining highly skilled staff.

Raising the Bar

25 Vendeventer Black LLP Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America 2017

Twenty-five attorneys from the law firm of Vandeventer Black LLP have been named Best Lawyers in America 2017, many listed in multiple specialties, for a total of 52 designations for the law firm. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” “To have so many of our attorneys selected is quite an honor,” says Mike Sterling, managing partner. “Vandeventer Black’s inclusion in Best Lawyers demonstrates our commitment to excellence, and to our clients, we are honored to be recognized as the best among our esteemed colleagues throughout the region.”

Small Businesses

Independent We Stand Nominations Open

For a sixth year, Independent We Stand invites the public to help draw national attention to the importance and strong economic benefits of “buying local” by nominating locally-owned businesses that exceed customer service expectations for the independent small business award—The Indie. The winner of the 2016 Indie Award will receive a prize package valued at $10,000.

Nominations and quarterfinalist voting runs through Nov. 13. Semifinalist voting begins Nov. 21 and ends Dec. 11. The announcement of The Indie winner comes on Dec. 14. Visit to nominate and vote for your favorite small business.

Independent We Stand is a movement that supports all local and national causes committed to boosting local economic development projects. The movement is co-sponsored by STIHL Inc. and FCS US LLC. Learn more at

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