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roanoke virginia

BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill featured in Valley Business FRONT 532 900 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill featured in Valley Business FRONT

Two weeks ago, Tom Field, publisher of Valley Business FRONT, called to say he wanted to put me on the cover of the December issue. I was of course honored, but also prepared when the issue finally arrived.

What truly surprised and touched me were Tom’s words inside.

Hemphill started his marketing and development support business for nonprofits right when COVID-19 hit … he’s our FRONTList leader because of the creative and noble strategies he culled to produce one of the best entrepreneurial pursuits we’ve covered.

At the very time many would think there is no way to capitalize on community service organizations (who are always challenged and were often already struggling), Hemphill completely re-crafted an idea from Roanoke’s AAF advertising club (Createathon) where collaboration is used to develop publicity and awareness and fundraising to bolster and completely upgrade select nonprofits.

Specifically, his Buzz television show (on Blue Ridge PBS; third season), documentary, podcast, and other communications (from his journalism experience) serve as the main production to accomplish the upgrades and move organizations a big step up. The majority of funding comes from sponsors and intense, hard-earned connections.

It’s public service, indeed; but it’s also a business, no question. Well-deserved of our spotlight.

Valley Business FRONT – December 2022

None of this would have been possible without you and the many partners we’re fortunate to have in our Hive:

  • AAF Roanoke’s incredible marketing pros;
  • Our production partner: Dan Mirolli Photography;
  • Our broadcast partners Blue Ridge PBS and WFIR;
  • Countless sponsors and donors who believe in our cause;
  • And of course the nonprofits we’re privileged to feature in each episode of our TV and radio show.

So in this season of thankfulness, I thank you all – and Valley Business FRONT – for supporting our mission!

Michael Hemphill
Creator & Host

BUZZ features FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge in Episode 26 900 600 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ features FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge in Episode 26

As originally broadcast November 30, 2022, on Blue Ridge PBS …

For much of its history, FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge focused its efforts on helping the National Park Service maintain vistas and hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. But in 2020 the National Park Service ended the partnership, inspiring FRIENDS to pivot and expand its mission beyond the parkway to the communities of the Blue Ridge from Waynesboro, Va., to Asheville, N.C.

That pivot includes celebrating the region’s musical heritage by hosting the first-ever Blue Ridge Jamboree, an annual event with multiple shows in the communities where FRIENDS chapters are located. The 2022-23 Jamboree features “Doc Watson at 100” with performances by Wayne Henderson, Jack Lawrence, T. Michael Coleman and Jack Hinshelwood.

New to BUZZ, Big Lick Entertainment donates its time and expertise to help plan and promote the Jamboree.

Funding for this episode comes from Mast General Store, Partners in Financial Planning, and Appalachian Power.

BUZZ + FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Watch Party 900 506 Michael Hemphill

BUZZ + FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Watch Party

Join us at Parkway Brewery’s “Pints for a Purpose” on November 30 and watch the premier of our newest BUZZ starring the nonprofit FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge! $1 of every beer bought will support FRIENDS.

BUZZ + FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Watch Party on Nov. 30

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For much of its history, FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge focused its efforts on helping the National Park Service maintain vistas and hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. But in 2020 the National Park Service ended the partnership, inspiring FRIENDS to pivot and expand its mission beyond the parkway to the communities of the Blue Ridge from Waynesboro, Va., to Asheville, N.C.


That pivot includes celebrating the region’s musical heritage by hosting the first-ever Blue Ridge Jamboree, an annual event with multiple shows in the communities where FRIENDS chapters are located. The 2022-23 Jamboree features “Doc Watson at 100” with performances by Wayne Henderson, Jack Lawrence, T. Michael Coleman and Jack Hinshelwood.

New to BUZZ, Big Lick Entertainment donates its time and expertise to help plan and promote the Jamboree.

 

25th BUZZ stars West End Center + 5Points Creative 900 503 Michael Hemphill

25th BUZZ stars West End Center + 5Points Creative

As originally broadcast Oct. 19, 2022, on Blue Ridge PBS …

In the 1970s during summers and after school, children often wandered the streets without supervision of Roanoke’s West End, a neighborhood defined by poverty and crime, vacant lots and vandalized buildings. But then a group of churches and civic groups came together to establish West End Center as a safe haven — and more importantly, hope — for the neighborhood children.​

Today, West End Center serves about 150 children each year, providing them and their families with low-cost academic enrichment, wellness programs and leadership training to become productive, responsible adults.

BUZZ partner 5Points Creative returns to provide a comprehensive marketing package to promote West End Center to a wider audience.

Funding for this episode comes from the Louise R. Lester Foundation and Freedom First Credit Union.

25th Episode of BUZZ | Watch Party – West End Center & 5Points Creative 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

25th Episode of BUZZ | Watch Party – West End Center & 5Points Creative

Celebrate with us our “Silver Episode” at the Watch Party for our 25th BUZZ!

  • 6:00 pm – Grandin Theatre doors open. Beverages and snacks available for purchase. Free BUZZ swag.
  • 6:30 pm – “Name that BUZZ” trivia contest.
  • 7:00 pm – Watch the premier of our newest episode featuring the West End Center + 5Points Creative.

BUZZ + FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Watch Party on Nov. 30

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About the episode:
In the 1970s during summers and after school, children often wandered the streets without supervision of Roanoke’s West End, a neighborhood defined by poverty and crime, vacant lots and vandalized buildings. But then a group of churches and civic groups came together to establish West End Center as a safe haven — and more importantly, hope — for the neighborhood children.​

Today, West End Center serves about 150 children each year, providing them and their families with low-cost academic enrichment, wellness programs and leadership training to become productive, responsible adults.

BUZZ partner 5Points Creative returns to provide a comprehensive marketing package to promote West End Center to a wider audience.

Funding for this episode comes from
the Louise R. Lester Foundation and Freedom First Credit Union.