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March 30, 2018

Biz Buzz: $3.2-million contract for Smith-Midland

Smith-Midland will supply “SoftSound” panels for the Interstate 395 Express Lane project.
Fauquier-based Smith-Midland Corp. has received a $3.2-million contract to supply “sound absorptive and reflective noise walls” for the Interstate 395 Express Lane project in Northern Virginia.

The deal to supply proprietary “SoftSound” panels represents a continuation of Smith-Midland’s contract for 23 miles of its J-J Hooks precast concrete safety barrier for the project.

Civil Wall Solutions, a division of Lane Construction, won the $336-million design/build contract for the eight-mile project in Arlington and Fairfax counties.

“This will represent the latest in a long line of successful noise wall projects across our market area,” said Smith-Midland President Ashley Smith. “The continued success of our SoftSound product speaks to our customers’ ongoing satisfaction with its superior quality.”

SoftSound, which the company’s Easi-Set Worldwide subsidiary produces, is a proprietary material, molded and compressed to meet the desired technical and aesthetic requirements, Mr. Smith said. It combines a highly specialized mineralized aggregate with cement as a binder in a specific manufacturing process.

Headquartered in Midland, the company develops, manufactures and sells an array of precast concrete products for use primarily in the construction, transportation and utilities industries. Smith-Midland has three manufacturing plans located in Southern Fauquier, Reidsville, N.C., and Columbia, S.C.

Large pet-sitting business sold

The ownership of My Pet’s Friend LLC, a large pet-setting business in Warrenton, will change hands April 1.

Company founder Beth Whistler has sold the business to Melissa Macias of Warrenton.

Today’s announcement follows a comprehensive financial review of the company and its operations leading to the agreement.

Ms. Whistler in 2009 started with just two clients and herself as the sole pet sitter. The business has grown to more than 450 clients and a team independent contractor sitters.

My Pet’s Friend, LLC stands as the premier pet sitting and dog walking company in the region. The company is fully licensed, insured, and bonded to operate within Fauquier County.

Ms. Macias, the new owner of My Pet’s Friend, retired in 2017 after a long career with the U.S. Air Force and the federal government as a business and intelligence analyst. She earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic intelligence and a master’s in business administration. Ms. Macias and her husband, Richard, have lived in Warrenton for more than 12 years.

Coincidently, she was My Pet’s Friend’s first client on Ms. Whistler’s first day of business.

“I’ve been so impressed with the way My Pet’s Friend has been managed during my nine years as a client, that I decided to buy the company,” Ms. Macias said.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Fauquier Economic Summit next Thursday

The first Fauquier Economic Summit will take place Thursday morning, April 5, at the county airport near Midland.

The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce will host the event, “Exploring the Art of the Possible for professionals in the development, real estate, investments, finance, aviation, tourism, industry, commerce, engineering, technology sectors.

The summit will run from 8 to 10 a.m. The admission fee of $20 per person includes a catered breakfast. Click here to register or for more information.

Topics will include:
• Commercial and industrial development opportunities in Fauquier’s eight service districts.
• Resources for successful outcomes.
• Incentives for technology, defense production, tourism and “green” development.
• An overview of the planned new airport terminal.
• Rainwater harvesting for commercial and residential potable water.

The speakers will be:
• Miles Friedman, county economic development director.
• Tom Wisemiller, Warrenton’s economic development manager.
• David Darrah, the Warrenton-Fauquier airport director.
• Ralph Crafts, a local entrepreneur, philanthropist and sustainability proponent.

“The inaugural economic summit will highlight the many new opportunities for commerce and industry in the county,” chamber President Joe Martin said. “We have shovel- and occupancy-ready sites; our regional workforce is solid, and the quality of life here is uniquely pleasant.

“The county board of supervisors has recently funded several business-friendly initiatives including broadband, utilities infrastructure, public school education increases and the new airport terminal.”

Mr. Crafts has donated a day trip for four to Martha’s Vineyard on his private jet as the door prize.

Free job fair April 4 at LFCC

A free job fair, featuring representatives from more than 25 businesses, will take place 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, at the Lord Fairfax Community College just south of Warrenton.

The Virginia Employment Commission will offer free resume and interview etiquette class from 3 to 4 p.m. LFCC Workforce Solutions and The Fauquier Chamber will sponsor the job fair.
Participating employers include Appleton Campbell, CDS Tractor Trailer Training, Culpeper Medical Center, Demolition Services Inc., Fauquier County government, Fauquier County Public Schools, Fauquier Health, Genesis Home Improvement, Long and Foster Real Estate, McCrea Equipment Co., Micron Technology Inc., Moo Thru, My Plumber Heating and Cooling, Payne’s Parking Designs Inc., Powers Farm & Brewery, Puffenbarger Insurance and Financial Services Inc., Ruston Paving Co. Inc., Savory Fare Catering, Shirley Contracting Co. LLC, Superior Paving Corp., TechFlow Inc., Visiting Angels and William A. Hazel.
Attendees are encouraged to dress to impress and bring copies of their resumes. They may register online at
Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education at LFCC offer business, professional development and continuing education courses and credentials relevant to in-demand jobs.

For more information about the fair, visit

For more information about Workforce Solutions, call 540-868-7021, or visit

Solar workshop April 13

A free “Solar Planning Workshop” will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, April 13, near Remington.

The Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission and Piedmont Environmental Council will present the workshop to provide perspectives from local governments, state and regional agencies, and non-profit organizations on various topics related to planning for solar energy in Virginia’s Piedmont region.

It will take place in the American Legion Post 247 building at 11420 James Madison Highway, north of Remington.

The agenda includes speakers from the Solar Research Institute, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Association of Counties, local governments and the PEC.

Click here for more information or to register.

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