Catherine McGinnis is the owner of Soaping101, one of the most popular social media outlets for soapmaking tutorials and advice. With fifteen years of experience in the industry, she is passionate about helping soapmakers sharpen their skills via seminar talks, comprehensive classes and online videos. The style and know how she offers in her videos and to the soapmaking community are an extension of her genuineness. She considers soapmaking an industry where information can be freely shared and enjoyed. When not in front of the camera, Catherine is the owner of a trendy soap store as well as created and personally directs the annual soapmaking social gathering, SoapCon, which attracts speakers and soapers from around the globe. Catherine graduated Summa Cum Laude from MSU with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with her fields of expertise being Marketing and Economics.
Alexandra Veatch | Letterpress Communications
Alexandra Veatch is a storyteller For over a decade, she has been in the business of storytelling, most importantly telling the story of Southwest Virginia—this place, its history, and its people. Her work has led people to vacation here, to be educated here, and to make this place their home. In the process, Southwest Virginia has become her home and she can’t imagine living anywhere else. Alex currently serves as an account executive and graphic designer for Letterpress Communications based in Farmville, Virginia. Letterpress is a full-service marketing agency that focuses on community-powered marketing and serving those doing good in rural Southside and Southwest Virginia. With a focus on economic development, workforce training, higher education, and tourism, Letterpress has clients across the Commonwealth and into North Carolina served by offices in Farmville, Staunton, and Marion, VA.
Allison Horseman and Mary May
Founded in 2013 in Woodstock, Ky., Woodstock Lavender Co. is owned by the mom/daughter pair of Mary May and Allison Horseman. As third- and fourth-generation farmers, May and Horseman grow 14 varieties of lavender on land that has been in the family since 1928. Rooted in heritage and crafted with care, Woodstock Lavender’s products are certified as Appalachian Proud, Kentucky Proud and Kentucky Crafted.
Olivia Bailey is the Director of Marketing at Friends of Southwest Virginia, a non-profit organization that provides branding and marketing of Southwest Virginia as a distinct culture and world-class tourism destination, expands outdoor recreation development initiatives and marketing throughout the region, sustains the creative economy through 'Round the Mountain Artisan Network, and maintains the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace.
Olivia is a native of Chilhowie and resident of Bristol. She previously spent 10 years in the broadcasting industry, serving a majority of her time as an anchor/reporter for Bristol-based NBC-affiliate WCYB. Olivia also previously worked for CNN in Atlanta and CBS Evening News in New York.