Connecting People in the RNR

In the offline world of "It's who you know," and in the online world of "It's still who you know," Stuart Mease is one to know.

Mease offers a genuine handshake.


Handshake 2.0 considers Stuart Mease a thought leader in the economy of the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley – the RNR – of Virginia.

Stuart Mease writes the blog, Connecting People.  On Stuart Mease's about page, you can find myriad ways to connect with him online and in person.  Handshake 2.0 has written about Mease and he has contributed generously to the site via comments.

We are honored and excited to offer you this very first edition.

Connecting People in the RNR
a video show by Stuart Mease
for Handshake 2.0

Valley Business FRONT - A Classy Debut
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  1. You’re right on, Stuart – I meant to email you when I first heard about the IPO but (shocker) got distracted and didn’t put it on the To Do list. That kind of recognition of the achievements of local business – and home-grown business – will encourage current and future business owners to consider the RNR as a great locale to support their work.

    I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting Pat and some of the Mailtrust folks, and they are top of the heap.

  2. Stuart mentioned “creative-class” jobs being created here by Rackspace. That’s a BIG DEAL, for several reasons. Creative-class jobs typically deliver higher wages than manufacturing or service industry positions. People who make more money buy more stuff and support more charities, which translates into a more vibrant region, both economically and socially.

    Talk it up!!

  3. Nicely done, Stuart. Being a former journalist, I’m going to both criticize and defend the local media. Though, not being on the news desk, I’m really just speculating.

    Since Rackspace is not based in Virginia, this could easily explain why it flew under the radar of the local media. Also, did Rackspace send press releases to the Roanoke media outlets regarding the IPO?

    Though each media outlet has at least one designate business reporter, they are bombarded each day with press release, faxes, e-mails and phone calls, so seeing a press release about a company halfway across the country going public probably didn’t even get a second look. However, this does not excuse the reporters for not keeping tabs on a local business, regardless of whether they were bought out.

    To me, the bottom line goes to the relationship between local businesses and local media. There clearly wasn’t the necessary communication channels and/or relationships in place to promote this good news about a local company’s success.

    As a former journalist (in TV, radio and print) now working in corporate communications, one of my goals is to improve the communication between media and local businesses. If anyone wants to talk shop, e-mail me.

  4. I agree with Gary that local media has not paid much attention to the local “tech sector” in the past. I believe that is changing and I am hopeful that we can leverage our collective talent (the tech sector) and our collective resources (local media) to build a new perception/reputation for this region. Because, if we’re not talking about us, who is?!

  5. Stuart, thanks for this information. I had wondered about Mailtrust’s sign at the University Plaza and even checked out the IPO, both pretty secret.

    What’s RNR?

    I’ve been perplexed for years about the many organizations, commissions, etc. promoting the region with so little results (or notable results). You can help with the desired notability that has to go beyond news announcements. Thanks.

  6. Thoughtful and thought-provoking blog post by Jeremy Hart here on the relationships between local economic development, real estate, and “local talent.”

  7. Stuart,

    Thanks for the insight. What an applicable blog for those graduating students who are closely watching the presidential election to see how current economic problems will be addressed in the future. The opportunities mentioned in your video need to be publicized, for they serve as a breath of fresh air for recent graduates and current students in the region.

  8. Stuart you are right on with this news. We do let our region down when we don’t acknowledge the successes of our local businesses. I have met Pat and I have seen his dedication to the area and his support of other businesses in the area. Congratulations to Pat and Rackspace and also to Stuart for uncovering this nugget of gold and all of the other nuggets he shares with us. Looking forward to your next insight!

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