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Top 10 BUZZ of 2023 900 432 Michael Hemphill

Top 10 BUZZ of 2023

Thank you for buzzing with us this year!

We hope you enjoy this highlight reel of our Top 10 buzz-worthy moments of 2023 … and look forward to highlighting and helping even more nonprofits in 2024!

No. 10: The Y is more than a workout as we showed in our episode starring YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. See the stories of some at-risk teens served by “Rise 540.” Watch full episode

No. 9: Nonprofits literally do everything – from homeless shelters and children’s art programs to organizations like the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program that helps entrepreneurs design cutting-edge drugs and patent portable optical laser cutters. Watch full episode.

No. 8: The Roanoke City Public Schools arts program teaches kids how to dance, sing, paint, sculpt, play a stringed instrument, march in the band, produce digital music … and recycling and turtle-stacking? Watch full episode

 No. 7: How excited was the Community Foundation of the New River Valley when it soared past its goal for the 10th annual GiveLocalNRV? Watch full episode.

 No. 6: With its scenic waterfalls, hiking trails, gurgling streams and star-gazing skies, Alta Mons pulses with divinity for the thousands of people who retreat each year at the 800-acre eastern Montgomery County camp. But its human heart beats within one man: Jim Pearman. Watch full episode.

 No. 5: We buzzed at the chance to talk to Virginia Tech’s Liz Kitley, Kenny Brooks and Brent Pry for our episode starring The Hokie Way, which helps VT athletes use their Name, Image and Likeness to promote local nonprofits. One of those nonprofits is the Lifering Foundation, founded by Kelly Woolwine amidst incredible suffering. Watch full episode.

 No. 4: We’re fortunate to have Dan Mirolli in our hive as our cinematographer. His work really buzzes in our episode featuring The Least of These homeless ministry at night. Watch full episode

 No. 3: How proud is Norma Mondragon’s mother for the life she has built thanks to Literacy Volunteers of the New River ValleyWatch full episode.

 No. 2: BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill returns to his hometown of Birmingham where he connects with old friends and his alma mater to produce episodes on four impactful nonprofits that began airing in December on Alabama Public Television.

 No. 1: In our most viewed video of 2023, musicians Bryan “Harvest Blaque” Hancock and J.P. Powell – joined by Roanoke Symphony maestro David Stewart Wiley, Opera Roanoke’s Brooke Tolley, Roanoke Cultural Endowment’s Shaleen Powell, and the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir – provide the artistic beat for what makes Roanoke, Virginia, a great place for business. Watch full episode.

BUZZ premiers on Alabama Public Television 900 502 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ premiers on Alabama Public Television

“You mean my Dad won’t be here on my marry day?”

These were 4-year-old Caroline Bennett’s first words when she learned her father, a Birmingham Police officer, had been shot and killed.

Though Robert Bennett died in 2004, his legacy lives on thanks to the nonprofit we’re featuring in our first “BUZZ in Birmingham” episode that aired December 15, 2023, on Alabama Public Television (and simultaneously on our YouTube channel).

Children of Slain Police Officers, aka COSPO, provides college scholarships to children whose parents were killed in the line of duty while serving in the Birmingham Police Department. In 2023, COSPO funded $100,000 in college expenses for students whose fathers died.

New to BUZZ is marketing pro Swell Fundraising, which helps COSPO reimagine its name and brand to better serve officers’ families for years to come.

Coming up on BUZZ on Alabama Public Television:

Dec. 22 at 8:00 pm
Studio by the Tracks

At this nonprofit in Irondale, the autistic meets the artistic. This studio and gallery provides a social network and career path that enriches the lives of artists who have autism and betters the community. Swell Fundraising donates its time and talent to help Studio by the Tracks achieve more … buzz.

Dec. 29, 7:30 pm & Dec. 31, 1:00 pm
Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
America was founded on hope and opportunity. And for folks from Hispanic countries, that dream is as alive today as ever. But navigating a foreign land and language is hard and not for the faint of heart. Thankfully the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, or ¡HICA! is full of heart. A community development and advocacy organization, HICA champions economic equality, civic engagement, and social justice for Latino families.

Jan 5 at 8:30 pm 
Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank

Food, shelter … diapers? Too many low-income mom and grandmothers in Alabama have to make the hard choice between diapers and utilities, clothing, even medicine. Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank each month distributes more than 150,000 free diapers and other essential products to 3,300 low-income families in Central Alabama. Martin Advertising / Martin Retail Group steps up to provide Bundles with a lot of marketing help — and hope.

Many thanks to the Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation for helping underwrite our production.

BUZZ Creator Named to Virginia Business “100 People to Meet in 2024” 810 540 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ Creator Named to Virginia Business “100 People to Meet in 2024”

BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill has been named to the Virginia Business list of “100 People to Meet in 2024.”

Appearing in the December 2023 issue, Hemphill was part of the “Impact Makers” category:

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Michael Hemphill moved to Virginia in 1997 when his wife was doing her residency in family medicine. Since then, Roanoke’s been his home and he’s helped tell the region’s stories throughout his career, including as a former reporter for The Roanoke Times, as a marketer, and now as host of the Blue Ridge PBS TV show “Buzz.” The show’s focus is on nonprofit groups in the Roanoke and New River Valley regions and the good they’re accomplishing. Hemphill also started Buzz4Good, a pro bono marketing company that helps attract volunteers and donors to nonprofit organizations. Outside of work, Hemphill enjoys traveling, and in 2015 he followed the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, catching soccer matches across 8,000 miles and five time zones.

Read all about it here.

BUZZ TV show featuring nonprofits comes to Birmingham 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ TV show featuring nonprofits comes to Birmingham


November 14, 2023 (Birmingham, Ala.) – Birmingham native Michael Hemphill is bringing his show BUZZ – featuring nonprofit organizations receiving pro bono marketing makeovers – to Alabama Public Television in December.

Hemphill will host a free sneak peek “Brunch with BUZZ” watch party on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. at Sidewalk Cinema for the four episodes starring the nonprofits:


  • Children of Slain Police Officers, which provides college scholarships to children whose parents were killed in the line of duty while serving in the Birmingham Police Department.
  • Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank, which each month distributes more than 150,000 free diapers and other essential products to 3,300 low-income families in Central Alabama.
  • Studio by the Tracks, a studio and gallery for artists with autism, providing a social network and career path that enriches artists’ lives and betters the community.
  • Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, a community development and advocacy organization that champions economic equality, civic engagement, and social justice for Latino families.

Martin Advertising and Swell Fundraising provide the pro bono marketing “buzz” in the shows.

Launched in 2020, BUZZ airs on public television in Virginia – and on YouTube – and features the great work that nonprofits do in our communities, and the marketing pros who donate their time and talent to help these life-giving organizations attract more donors, volunteers and clients to their cause. Episodes are available on demand at

“From arts and culture, homelessness, literacy, outdoors recreation, suicide prevention, intellectual disabilities, even college athletics, nonprofits make our communities stronger and richer,” says Hemphill, BUZZ creator and host. “I’m thrilled to be back home and feature the mission of these four incredible nonprofits and provide them with more buzz.”

Hemphill worked with a team from his alma mater, Birmingham-Southern College, to produce the shows. Funding for the production comes in part from the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation.

“Brunch with BUZZ” will include light hors d’oeuvres, Bloody Mary’s, mimosas and coffee, and an opportunity for the greater Birmingham community to meet and greet the stars in these shows and learn more about their missions. Free registration at The episodes will begin airing December 15 on Alabama Public Television.


Michael Hemphill
Creator & Producer, BUZZ
540.556.2879 |

BUZZing about Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary watch party 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZing about Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary watch party

All are invited to our free Watch Party on Nov. 20 at 6:00 p.m. at Grandin Theatre premiering our newest BUZZ starring Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary!

BUZZ Watch Party - Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary


We think we know a thing or two about buzz, but we’ve got nothing on Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd County, Virginia. Founded in 2008, this 41-acre refuge buzzes year-round as a refuge that promotes sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping to help restore the health and vitality of the honeybee worldwide.

Poised to pollinate the U.S. and world with its mission, Spikenard turns to a man who knows his B’s — Bruce C. Bryan of 5Points Creative — for some bee-autiful marketing strategies that will give Spikenard even more … well, you know it. 

This episode is sponsored by the Community Foundation of the New River Valley.