Tamyra Vest, executive director of Destination Downtown South Boston and graduate of Virginia Tech, will be representing South Boston and Virginia as a speaker at the Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Washington, from March 25-27.

Her topic will be “Pitching Entrepreneurship: Building Partnerships to Jumpstart Your Downtown Economy.”

She will be joined by representatives from Gloucester and Wytheville on a panel to discuss their community business launch (CBL) successes.

From a three-community pilot in 2015 to now more than 24 communities, 400 plus entrepreneurs, and 100 plus businesses, Virginia’s Community Business Launch program has helped communities cultivate partnerships and build strategic business plan competitions that diversify and energize downtown development.

This session will provide guidelines on how to build partnerships to collect entrepreneur resources, implement a business plan and pitch competition, and lessons learned over the course of the program.

A panel will discuss the program’s application in small, large, urban and rural communities.

“I’ll talk about our SoBo Start-Up! Program,” said Vest, who has served the town of South Boston since 1994.

As executive director, she has spearheaded the development of The Prizery, the New Brick Historic Lofts, Halifax County/South Boston’s Tourism Program, a boutique hotel, property for a boat launch on the Dan River, and in 2017 a community business launch.

SoBo hosted 25 entrepreneurs, 15 pitches and six winners.

Vest lives in Staunton River State Park with her husband, a Virginia State Park Ranger, and has two sons.