Martinsville native featured at ILAR entrepreneur event

(DANVILLE, Va.) – The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) will host the next “Evening with an Entrepreneur” speaker event featuring local business leader Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of the VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).

The free event, to be held Sept. 16, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at IALR, is open to the public. However, seating is limited and advance registration is required at

“As IALR continues to seek ways to foster economic transformation across Southern Virginia, entrepreneurism remains a significant source of opportunity for our citizens and communities,” said Mark Gignac, executive director of IALR. “We look forward to learning from proven business leader Connie Nyholm and helping inspire others to pursue their own business goals.”

Nyholm will share remarks about the challenges, solutions and advice integral to her experience and will invite discussion in an interactive format. The evening will end with a networking reception. Nyholm’s talk will be the second in a series designed to highlight the journeys of successful entrepreneurs and encourage growth of entrepreneurism in Southern Virginia. Rick Barker, Founder and President of Supply Resources Inc. and its affiliates, served as the debut speaker for the series this past spring.

A Martinsville native, Nyholm invested in VIR, known as America’s Motorsport Resort, in 1998 with a partner and since then has been dedicated to growing the track using the values of hard work and communication learned from her dad. Now the majority owner, she has taken VIR from near abandonment 20 years ago to one of the top six road courses in North America as recognized by Car and Driver magazine. Nyholm has transformed VIR into not only one of the most challenging tracks anywhere, but a one-of-a-kind racing facility and resort that attracts business to the region and includes on-site lodging, dining, shooting, karting, spa services, industrial park amenities and more.

Nyholm currently serves as a member of the board of IALR and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and is President of the Roadracing Industry Council. She is a past member of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Richmond Federal Reserve’s Community Investment Council, the Launch Place board, Virginia FIRST Foundation and the Southern Virginia Vehicle Motion Labs Advisory Board. Nyholm graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1981 with a B.A. in Economics. To learn more about Nyholm and VIR, visit

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with advanced learning, applied research, advanced manufacturing, conference center services and economic development efforts. IALR’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville.

Connie Nyholm, Owner and CEO of VIRginia International Raceway, will serve as the speaker for IALR’s ‘Evening with an Entrepreneur’ speaker series on Sept. 16.

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