The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 8

from the editor

The Next Generation
If you want to know why I love Roanoke so much, just flip through this issue.
I AM TECHNICALLY A MILLENNIAL. An old soul,
sure, but also one of those dreaded youths. (I use this
term lightly, seeing as my teen nephew recently threw
shade on my '90s vernacular ... is that how you say it?
"Throw shade?" Yikes.) Before you roll your eyes at the
term, or automatically put me in the "ignore" pile, let me
gently recap the age group: 22-37 years old.
That's right - millennials are not as young as you
might've thought. It's no secret we're fighting ageism,
whether in the workplace or elsewhere, and while we
want to be heard, I believe it's more important for us to
simply take action. We're the next wave of future leaders,
decision makers, influencers and any other synonym you
prefer. Like it or not, we're here to change the world -
or at least our beloved city.
After writing about our 40 Under 40 nominees, it's
easy to see that building on Roanoke's solid foundation
is a common goal. I am in total awe of them, not just for
all they do, but for how much they truly care about our
city and community. Nominated by our readers, these
young men and women are taking action by making
incredible strides both in their industries and across the
region as a whole (page 33).
From education and nonprofits to health care and
government, great things are already happening thanks
to the next generation of local leaders. I believe a great
leader not only invests in their own future, but their

community's future as well, and our nominees are most
certainly doing just that. I am so impressed by our
millennial citizens, for their dedication, perseverance,
creativity and genuine enthusiasm for life in the Valley.
I can't wait for you to meet them, and to feel that
pride at knowing Roanoke is in such good hands. (And
while you're at it, don't forget to head over to our
website, where you'll find a lot more content about
and from these hardworking individuals!)
When getting to know our Class of 2020, I learned
what they love about Roanoke. Unsurprisingly,
"community" came up often, as it almost always
does when I ask others that question. While it's an
important factor, Christina Nifong took a deeper look
into other ideas that make Roanoke so special (page
26). Whether you're new to the area, or have lived
here for years, it's easy to call Roanoke home. I can't
imagine living anywhere else - and why would I want
to, when everything I could want in a city is right here?
I'm so looking forward to seeing what 2020 holds
for us. Cheers to another great year together!

is a food, drink and
travel writer whose
work has appeared on
Saveur, Food Network
and Refinery29 and in
The Chicago Tribune,
among others. Follow
her on Instagram @
theglassofrose. Read
Layla's dining piece
about cozy soups on
page 58.

8

Christina Nifong

is a writer with a
decades-long career
profiling interesting
people, places and
ideas. She's also a
committed locavore
and mother to three
kids, four chickens and
one very sweet kitty.
Find more of her work
at christinanifong.com.
Read Christina's piece
on Remarkable Roanoke
on page 26 and Hemp
Growth on page 30.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

your thoughts on what
makes Roanoke so special?
From the community and
events to food and local
businesses, we want to hear
about what you love most!
Share your thoughts on our
social media pages!

WE WANT TO
HEAR FROM YOU
Questions, comments
or feedback about The
Roanoker? E-mail llong@
leisuremedia360.com

FOLLOW
THE ROANOKER
roanokermag
roanoker

llong@leisuremedia360.com

meet the contributors

Layla KhouryHanold

TELL US ABOUT...

find us online

Jessica Sorensen

of Bone & Sol
Photography is a
portrait photographer
based out of Roanoke,
VA. She specializes
in documentary-style
photography. Inspired
by her time living and
traveling abroad, she
has a deep passion for
emotional storytelling
through images. See her
images of Tyler Godsey
and family on the cover!

Dan Smith

is an award-winning
writer, author and
photographer and a
member of the Virginia
Communications Hall
of Fame. He is a former
Virginia Small Business
Journalist of the Year.
Read Dan's Gist pieces
starting on page 15.

Online Extras

Don't miss out on timely news,
recipes, new businesses,
events and more on our
website. Learn more at
TheRoanoker.com.

Vote For The Best!

Visit TheRoanoker.com/
BestOfBallot to vote in our annual
Best of Roanoke awards and help
us recognize the valley's finest.
Don't wait, voting ends soon!

TheRoanoker.com


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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