Entrepreneur fulfills his long-held dream

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Shawn Boyer was trained to be a lawyer, but he had planned since his teens to run his own business one day. It was only a matter of waiting for the right opportunity.

That opportunity came along 10 years ago when Boyer came up with the idea for SnagAJob.com, now the leading online source for hourly jobs. The rapid growth of the Glen Allen-based company made Boyer the national Small Business Person of the Year in 2008. Now his continued success has made him the Virginia Business Person of the Year. Nicole Anderson Ellis profiles Boyer in our cover story.

The SnagAJob CEO is not the only one looking for opportunities. Doug Childers reports that Virginia wealth advisers are on the hunt for good investments as the nation’s weak economy slowly recovers. But some advisers caution investors not to become overly optimistic despite the upward trend of the stock market.

Virginia resorts, meanwhile, are waiting for the recovery to boost their sagging occupancy rates. Beth Cooper finds that next year’s outlook for the industry is better, but rate discounting is expected to continue.

Lower rates also are anticipated for commercial insurance in 2010. Joan Tupponce says that the “soft” insurance market should be a boon to commercial insurance customers that still are digging out from the recession.

Our commercial real estate section this month looks at the Roanoke-Blacksburg market. Tim Thornton reports that the region, which came through the recession relatively unscathed, is getting good reviews from national market watchers.

But a far more populous region, Fairfax County, still is the economic king of local economic development in Virginia. Bob Burke points out that the county continues to attract high-profile business prospects, such as Fortune 500 company SAIC.

Finally, the Legal Elite is always a prominent feature of our December issue. The list recognizes 774 lawyers picked by their peers as the best in 15 legal categories. Lawyers representing each of the disciplines are also profiled.
Shawn Boyer, by the way,  is not on the Legal Elite list. He has made his mark in other endeavors.

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