The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 43

40 UNDER 40

RACHEL
THOMPSON
3 3 YE AR S OLD
Partner/Attorney, Poarch Thompson Law

"I HOPE MY PASSION IMPACTS ALL OF US TO
LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR, REGARDLESS OF WHO
T H E Y A R E , W H AT T H E Y D O O R W H E R E T H E Y
COME FROM."
Rachel Thompson first joined Poarch Law as an intern in 2012; seven years
later, she has distinguished herself as an immigration attorney and new partner.
The daughter of a South African mother and Jamaican father, Thompson is
a first-generation immigrant who watched her mother become a U.S. citizen,
which undoubtedly played a part in her accomplished career. She is an adjunct
professor at Liberty University School of Law, serves on multiple committees
and boards, is secretary of the Salem/Roanoke County Bar Association and
is extremely active in her church. Most importantly, she is a champion for a
diverse population. "I love the immigrants, employers and adoption families
we represent in Roanoke and surrounding areas," she says. "This area has a
wealth of talent and I love that we're able to play a role in assisting immigrants
and employers in making our community great."
 R E C IP IE NT OF T H E F BA - ILS YOU NG ER L AWYER OF THE YEAR AWARD, 2 0 1 8
 C OMPLE T E D T H E BAT T E N LEAD ERSHIP P ROG RAM FOR P ROFESSION ALS AT
H OLLIN S UN IVE R S IT Y

PETER
WEISEL
2 9 YE AR S OLD
Director of Golf Instruction,
Peter Weisel Golf

K I M B E R LY
WEGEL
3 1 Y E A R S OLD
Director of Services/Canine Behavioral Trainer,
Nature's Emporium

"I BELIEVE EVERY DOG IS A GOOD DOG."
Kimberly Wegel is a rewards-based Canine Behavior Trainer with almost a
decade of experience. Now the Director of Services and trainer at Nature's
Emporium's Doggie Day School and Training Academy, she is proud to be
part of a company offering obedience training and behavior modification using
exclusively positive, force-free methods. She specifically trained her own dogs,
Linus and Jemma, to be demo-dogs for this work, wanting every canine to be
the best versions of themselves. Her training improves the overall safety of not
only the dogs, but the dog "parents" and Roanoke citizens; she helps owners
understand there is no shame in needing help to facilitate healing and comfort
for every dog, no matter their background. "Dogs, like all of us, deserve to learn
without fear of aversive 'correction' or punishment, and they deserve to have
their anxieties recognized and validated," she says. "When we help dog-human
teams succeed together, we help keep dogs in their homes - off the streets, out
of the shelters."
 G RA D UAT E OF H AVERF ORD COLLEG E, D OU B LE M A J OR IN HISTORY O F A RT A N D
G ERM A N LIT ERAT U RE, 2 0 1 2
 OF F ERS WEEK NIG HT A ND WEEK END COU RSES SU CH A S " REACT IV E R OV E R "

JENNA
ZIBTON
3 4 Y E A R S OLD
Anchor/Reporter, WSLS10 News

RACHEL THOMPSON: COURTESY OF POARCH THOMPSON LAW / JENNA ZIBTON: COURTESY OF WSLS

"CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE OF GOLF AND THE
CITY OF ROANOKE."

"IF I'M ABLE TO HELP SOMEONE IN A SMALL
W AY E V E R Y D AY , I C A L L T H AT S U C C E S S ! "

Originally from New Jersey, Peter came to Roanoke to play golf at Roanoke
College. After graduation in 2013, he dedicated his career to golf instruction
throughout the state, teaching with unmatched passion and enthusiasm.
Currently contracted through Hunting Hills Country Club, Weisel is particularly
dedicated to his junior students, introducing them to the sport by harboring
a love for the outdoors. In addition to his numerous certifications, he has
authored multiple articles in Virginia Golfer Magazine, spoken on golf-specific
podcasts, coached with the First Tee of Roanoke and managed a local PGA
Junior League team. He also teaches a Golf for Business course at Hollins
University, and a weekly class for young kids at North Cross School. "I believe
it is important that we spend time educating Roanoke's youth and teach them to
enjoy the outdoors," Weisel says. "I am a firm believer that having a relationship
with the outdoors is an important aspect of youth development."

Emmy award-winning morning news anchor Jenna Zibton has more than a
decade of experience in the media. Her in-depth reporting on human trafficking
exposed loopholes that led to changes in Virginia law and new outreach efforts
to combat the problem, while her reporting into the Salem Medical Center
launched an investigation that led to policy change and won an Emmy and
Associated Press Award for Best Investigative Report in 2016. She is PresidentElect of the Junior League of Roanoke Valley and often emcees or presents at
local community events and fundraisers, actively participating in fundraising
and raising awareness for various causes. Zibton is a foster/adoptive family
advocate, having won an Associated Press award for her "30 days of Hope"
series, highlighting the hundreds of children who can be adopted across
Virginia. "As a journalist, I am fortunate to be able to draw attention to worthy
causes or needs," she says, "and then many times the community rallies and
steps up to make a difference."




J U N IOR GO LF R E GION A L COORD IN ATOR, V IRGINI A STATE GOLF ASSOC I AT ION
OP E R AT E D TOUR N A ME NTS FOR ROANOKE VALLEY JU NIOR G OLF ASSOC I AT ION

TheRoanoker.com

 P RESID ENT- ELECT OF T HE J U NIOR LEAG U E OF ROA NOK E VA LLEY
 YOU NG P ROF ESSION A L OF T HE YEA R, D EPAU L W OM EN'S ACHI EV E M E NT
AWA RD S, 2 0 1 7
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

43


http://www.TheRoanoker.com

The Roanoker - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - January/February 2020

The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 3
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