For the Record - Southwest Virginia, May 2013

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Roanoke-based Advance Auto Parts is shaking up its leadership, bringing in the man who ran Best Buy’s Geek Squad and dropping its chief operating officer and the executive in charge of sales and marketing for its commercial business. George Sherman, a former Best Buy senior vice president, will be Advance’s new president. Jim Durkin, now president of the company’s Autopart International business, will become senior vice president for commercial business, taking responsibility for commercial sales and marketing as well as Autopart. (The Roanoke Times)

Aspen Motion Technologies has been purchased by Moog Inc. for $34 million. The Radford-based company, a designer and manufacturer of permanent magnet motors, controls and motorized impellers for motors, was founded in 1996. Its revenues for 2012 were about $36 million. Moog is a designer, manufacturer and integrator of precision control components and systems. (

Charlotte, N.C.-based Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy Inc. announced a $16 million expansion that could bring 30 high-paying technology jobs and 100 seasonal employees to Bedford County. Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy Inc. will expand into a 16,000-square-foot building on Vista Centre Drive in Forest. The company will spend more than $500,000 in real estate improvements and more than $16 million in high-tech machinery to be used for testing, training and mock inspections and repairs in the commercial nuclear energy sector. (The Roanoke Times)

Red Sun Farms, a Mexico-based producer of hydroponic vegetables, plans to invest $30 million in its first U.S. high-technology greenhouse operation in Pulaski County, a move expected to create 205 jobs within five years. Red Sun Farms will build climate-controlled greenhouses on 45 acres in the New River Valley Commerce Park in Dublin, where the company will be the first tenant. Based in Michoacán, Mexico, Red Sun Farms (Agricola El Rosal) was founded in 2001 as part of a family owned agro-industrial group. (

Timber Truss Housing Systems Inc., a 52-year-old business based in Salem, closed in March after years of waiting for the housing market to rebound. The company’s 50 employees at the Salem headquarters and two employees at a Lynchburg office lost their jobs as a result of the closure. The business manufactured building components. It suffered through poor economic conditions in the housing sector, the company’s president, Gary Saunders, said. (The Roanoke Times)

Virginia Tech was among six Virginia universities selected to receive grants from the Virginia Innovation Partnership. Created last fall by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge, the partnership announced $861,086 in awards in its first round of funding. The program is designed to advance early-stage research and connect academic researchers with mentors, corporations and investors to accelerate commercialization of new projects. (



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