What is Metro Business Live?

Metro Business Live is a quarterly event series of engaging panel discussions focused on trending topics of importance to the Richmond business community. Leaders from Richmond’s finest businesses, organizations and institutions present and actively engage with event attendees on critical topics that affect Richmond business. Each of the events will explore topics aimed at preparing businesses both big and small for sustainability and long-term success. Guests will gain valuable insight from a panel of experts comprised of executive leaders, entrepreneurs, and/or business owners well-versed in the chosen topic. The panel discussion will be led by the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Executive Editor and Vice President, Paige Mudd. Catered breakfast is included at each event.

September 2019 Event

Lessons learned: The powerful business journey for women.

Tuesday, Sept. 17

Many women executives and entrepreneurs have overcome obstacles over the years. Some have learned perseverance and persistence while others have seen dramatic changes to the business landscape.

Five Richmond-area women leaders will talk about the lessons they have learned and the challenges they have overcome in starting and running their businesses at the next Metro Business Live event.

Be sure to stop by the P.O.W.E.R. table for a free complementary business headshot from Lindsay Mears Photography.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 17 | 7:15 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Where: Richmond Times-Dispatch | 300 E. Franklin St.

7:15 a.m. Networking and breakfast
8:00 a.m. Program begins
9:00 a.m. Program ends
*all times are approximate*


Moderated by Paige Mudd, Executive Editor and Vice President at the Richmond Times-Dispatch


Ashton Harrison, who founded lighting products retailer Shades of Light in 1986, grew it into three locations, including the main store on West Broad Street across from Willow Lawn; created catalogs and a online store; and sold it in 2011. Since September 2017, she has been the CEO of the entity that operates Brass Beds of Virginia. She had been a vice president at the now-defunct furniture retailer This End Up from 1977 until she left in 1986.

Charis Jones, who started the Sassy Jones accessory brands in 2016 and has grown it into a budding e-commerce site and a brick-and-mortar boutique shop. Her products are moderately priced bracelets, earrings, necklaces, handbags and other accessories. The business operates a distribution center in the Manchester area of South Richmond and she opened her boutique at 316 E. Grace in downtown Richmond earlier this year.

Sarah Paxton, who joined contemporary home furnishings retailer LaDiff in 1991 as an assistant housewares manager and buyer and is now president and co-owner of the business at 14th and Dock streets in downtown Richmond. Her husband, Andy Thornton, founded what was then called LaDifference in Charlottesville in 1980, but moved the store to the Richmond area in 1992. The store has been in its current location since 1998.  She and Thornton were married in December 1995.

Kishau Rogers, who in 2004 founded Websmith Inc., a Richmond-based web application development company, and served at its CEO for 15 years. She recently founded and is CEO of Time Study Inc., a startup offering solutions for using machine learning, advanced natural language processing, and data science to automatically tell a story of how employees spend their time. She has a background in computer science and has more than 25 years of leading the development of enterprise technology businesses in…

Dawn Beninghove, who started Companion Extraordinaire Home Care Services in April 2003 after more than 20 years of registered nursing experience. Beninghove, who is the company’s owner and chief operating officer, founded Companion Extraordinaire after it was difficult to find good care for her father during his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. The business has its corporate office on Lakeside Avenue, another office in Ashland and plans for a third office this fall.

Parking & Directions

Parking Recommendations

Complimentary parking will be available in the Richmond Times-Dispatch deck. The entrance is on 3rd Street between Grace and Franklin streets.

Sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact Erin Brooks, Director of Advertising, at eebrooks@timesdispatch.com or directly at 804-649-6374.

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