Monday Q&A: From the farm back to finance

Todd Newton spent the past 18 months growing soybeans in Alabama. Now the North Carolina native is back in a suit and tie in the corner office of Anderson Strudwick. His job is to help turn around one of the last remaining independent financial services firm in Richmond. This week BizSense chats with Newton about his new role and his goal of growing the firm.

A new page in the book biz

Bookholders, at 720 W. Grace St. in the heart of VCU, buys textbooks from students at one of five locations and then uses the Web to find buyers for their customers’ books. The store might also start paying students for their notes and then selling them to other students – as long as the notes are legible.

Guest Opinion: Mistakes are the best teacher

There has been a warehouse full of books written about what makes businesses successful, and you can find a lunch meeting every week with a speaker from the latest fast-growing company. But listen to them carefully. Usually, their story will be filled with examples of how they avoided pitfalls or built something better based on a mistake or failure, writes Stan Maupin in this week’s Guest Opinion.

Party-goers get onboard free bus

Jim Porter is the designated driver of 2,000 Richmonders each weekend. His retired school buses shuttle party-goers from downtown to Carytown and back. And with the backing of some local restaurants, he wants to add a few more buses.

Today’s lesson: How to heat water on the roof

A new community center in the Northside section of Richmond will feature three kinds of solar roof panels that will heat 85 percent of the building’s hot water and generate 15 percent of its electricity. It will also have heat radiant flooring.

The Pipeline: Commercial Real Estate Round Up for 1.28.10

Thalhimer reports the following deal: Stratford University leased 52,020 square feet in the former S&K headquarters property at 11100 West Broad Street in Henrico. Grubb & Ellis | Harrison & Bates reports the following deals: Triple Play Services leased 85,420 square feet at 4810 Eubank Road in Henrico. French Development LLC leased 15,000 square feet… Read more »

Um, did I just see you on a billboard?

Debra Ruh has been on the cover of Virginia Business magazine, and she’s been written up in Fortune. But now Ruh’s face is on the side of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, and she appears on the Dell homepage.

Va. film industry might get new script

It might be a Hollywood ending after all. The Virginia film industry, along with the state’s film office, has been lobbying the General Assembly for years to increase the incentives available to production companies. This year, their wish might finally come true.