The Smith Mountain Lake Center, Inc. (SMLC), announced it has entered into an educational development project with the Management Department at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.

The student project was proposed by Dr. Greg Beecher, Tech’s Director of Talent Development and a member of the SMLC Board of Directors.

“I reached out to my colleague Dirk Buengel, suggesting his students might help develop a business plan for optimal use of the SML Center, and he was extremely enthusiastic, agreeing to add it as a project for the current fall semester,” said Beecher, who chairs the Education Committee for the SMLC, a 501©3 corporation working to purchase the vacant Grand Home Furnishings showroom at Westlake Corner and transform it into a multi-use facility for education, entertainment, community and tourism events.

Buengel, an Associate Professor of Practice with more than 25 years of consulting experience, will act as project advisor to the team of 4-5 management students charged with a series of specific consulting objectives. “They will work as a consulting team to define optimal use of the new venue to serve a diverse stakeholder community ranging from grade school students to retirees, including underserved residents in and around the SML region,” Buengel said. “The focus will be on adding value to the community while establishing a comprehensive, financially viable business plan for the SML Center.”

Beecher added, “The entire SMLC Board is excited about this project in that it puts into motion a key goal of the proposed SML Center: Providing an educational experience for students. By involving the College of Business’ Department of Management we’re creating a real-life consulting challenge for them. It also establishes a relationship with Virginia Tech that will grow into a key education outreach for the Smith Mountain Lake Center.”

For more information, visit smlcenter.org or contact Beecher at gregabeecher@gmail.com.