Shelly Betz, Natalie Lacaze elected to MBPA Board

— The election results are in, and Shelly Betz and Natalie Lacaze have been elected to serve on the Middleburg Business and Professional Association’s Board of Directors for a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Shelly Betz has more than 25 years of marketing and communications expertise and currently serves as the director of strategic initiatives and marketing at Foxcroft School. Natalie Lacaze currently serves as the branch manager of Sonabank.

The election results were announced as part of MBPA’s Biz Buzz networking event, held Nov. 13 at Middleburg Bank. The evening served as a chance for Access National Bank President and CEO Michael Clarke to assure residents that the bank would continue to stay involved with the community once its merger with Union Bank & Trust is completed next year.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to have a continuing commitment to the Virginia economy,” Clarke said. “It’s a great environment that we’re in. It has a great future.”

Other business news of note announced at the meeting included the opening of WW Monograms on South Madison Street and architect John Heltzel’s new location in town. Additionally, Middleburg Business and Economic Development Director Jamie Gaucher announced upcoming educational forums, including a Jan. 8 symposium on starting your own business put on in partnership with the Virginia Small Business Development Center and a Jan. 23 workshop with Visit Loudoun on digital literacy, including marketing and e-commerce.

Also of note: Residents from Willowsford will be making a group trip to Middleburg on the evening of Dec. 5 and several businesses have already agreed to extend their business hours that night in preparation for the visit. Businesses interested in participating should contact MBPA President Punkin Lee at 540-687-5888.

In town news, Chris Bernard was elected to the Middleburg Town Council last week, replacing Bundles Murdock, whom the Town Council had appointed to serve in an interim capacity after the election of Bridge Littleton as mayor, which left his council seat vacant. Danny Davis has also started working in the Town Office as the new Town Administrator; Davis was hired to replace Martha Semmes, who is expected to retire by the end of the year.

Upcoming events of note include:

  • Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24): Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
  • Town of Middleburg Christmas Tree Lighting (Nov. 30): On Friday evening, join us at the foot of our town Christmas tree in the Pink Box Garden for a heartfelt evening program that includes the invocation, caroling, and, of course, the illumination of the tree!
  • Christmas in Middleburg (Dec. 1): Join us for a Christmas experience like no other! The day includes Breakfast with Santa, a craft fair at the Middleburg Community Center (9 a.m.-3 p.m.), the Middleburg Hunt and Hounds Review at 11 a.m., and the Christmas parade at 2 p.m. For more information and to purchase your parking tickets, please visit

We’ll see you at the next Biz Buzz, which will be held Dec. 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church’s Parish House and will include our annual award ceremony.