Casa named 'Small Business of the Year', director urges community to volunteer

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May 06, 2016
View story in The News & Advance.     

CASA of Central Virginia was named Lynchburg’s Small Business of the Year Thursday at the annual Small Business Awards banquet held by the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance.

The awards were held at the Kirkley Hotel and Conference Center to celebrate “the best of the best.”

CASA, short for Court Appointed Special Advocates, recruits and trains volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. 

“We are so grateful to be honored…this is just amazing,” CASA Executive Director Allison Stronza said after receiving the award. “We have worked so hard this year overcoming some obstacles with funding...we have an amazing group of people who all are super heroes.”

CASA has more than 100 volunteers working on cases.

“There is an opportunity for each of you to do something about this epidemic in this country and especially right here in your backyard,” she said. “Imagine being a child and being removed from your home…you have a new social worker…you have a new school and a whole new group of friends. Our volunteers help these kids put that puzzle back together to just being a kid again and not having to worry if someone is going to hurt you or where your next meal is going to come from.”

Out of the 24 nominees for Small Business Awards, one is chosen in each of five categories: nonprofit, retail, manufacturing and industrial, restaurants and venue, and business and professional services. One of those is chosen as the overall “Small Business of the Year.” CASA also won in the nonprofit category.

Winners were chosen by customer service, sales increase, innovative products or services, leadership, employee satisfaction, response to adversity and evidence of community spirit.

The businesses are nominated by other peer businesses.

Altus Chocolate won in the industrial or manufacturing category, Life Focus Pictures in business or professional services, The Corner at Rivermont in restaurant and venue, and The Window Men, Inc in retail.

More than 85 percent of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance’s members are small businesses, defined as 100 or fewer employees.