WillowTree Director of Diversity Keynote Speaker for Quad County Business Summit | Company

BY ANDREW HOLLINS ORANGE COUNTY REVIEW

Dr. Kelli Palmer, Director of the Diversity Office at WillowTree, will be the keynote speaker at the Quad County Business Summit on October 12 at Shenandoah Crossings in Gordonsville.

Charlottesville-based WillowTree is a full-service digital product consulting firm that started in 2008 with three employees building mobile apps, and today has over 1,000 employees building digital products for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500, according to a statement from Orange County. Director of Economic Development Rose Deal.

The networking event will also feature a panel of local business owners, including Wesley Chiles, owner of Chiles Enterprises in Louisa, André Xavier, owner of several tourism businesses in Orange and Charlottesville, and Katherine Morris, co-owner of Performance Signs & Wraps in Greene County. The event is a collaboration of Orange, Louisa, Fluvanna, Greene and Madison counties.

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Wondering why a “quad-county” event spans five counties? Deal said he kept the name after Madison County became the event’s fifth member due to a popular college slang term.

“A ‘quad’ is a central area on a college campus where students meet and congregate, so we thought it was an appropriate name regardless of how many counties there are,” Deal said.

“It also comes off the tongue better than ‘penta-county’.”

This year’s summit will once again include the “QuadTank” pitch competition, the popular reality show “Shark Tank”.

Local businesspeople and entrepreneurs can pitch to a panel of judges for a chance to win prizes including $5,000 cash and an appraisal for a “micro-loan” to bring their business idea to fruition.

Residents interested in pitching should schedule a meeting with the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center. The deadline to apply is September 16 via contact@cvsbdc.org or 434/295-8198.

Participants who are not participating in the pitch competition can register at qcbsummit.com.

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