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SML Center, Inc. Forms Committee For Educational Program Development

In keeping with its pledge to keep educational programming at the forefront of community enrichment offerings for the proposed Smith Mountain Lake Center, Board Member and Education Committee Chair Dr. Greg Beecher has recruited several distinguished area educators to assist in the development and administration of the facility’s educational offerings.

Beecher, who serves as Director of Talent Development at Virginia Tech, recently announced the following Education Committee appointees:

  • Jesse Griffin, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Roanoke College;
  • Kathy Hodges, Executive Director for The Franklin Center for Advanced Learning and Enterprise;
  • Matt Karris, noted New York theater actor, director and educator who joined the SML Center board to guide its theatrical arts programming;
  • Scott Weimer, Virginia Tech’s Executive Director of Roanoke Regional Initiatives.

“Each of these exceptional professionals will bring important experience and perspectives to the SML Center’s educational program planning and administration,” Beecher said. “Our intent is to have educational offerings among the first for members of the SML community to access once the Grand Home Furnishings building has been purchased and readied for use.”

Vicki Gardner, SML Center Board President and visionary for the long-awaited center for events, education and entertainment, recently announced that more than 70 percent of the funds needed to purchase the vacant 40,000-square-foot structure have been secured.

“We are approaching the home stretch,” she said, “so right now is when all those who wish to see the SML Center project become a reality need to step forward with their donations, large and small.”

Tax-deductible contributions, which will be completely refunded should the SML Center not come to fruition, may be made online by visiting and clicking the “support” tab. Checks made payable to Smith Mountain Lake Center may also be mailed to P.O. Box 786, Moneta, VA 24121.

For more details, including a preliminary layout of the proposed facility, visit

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