ETW #28 Finding LOVE in Virginia

Richmond Virginia

Join us for a fun trip to Virginia where we learn more about what there is see and do in Virginia Beach and Richmond. We also chat with Rita McClenny, the President & CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation about 50 years of LOVE and what’s new in the state.

You can listen to the podcast here on this page or on any of these services: iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher.

Virginia Beach

Although I’m from Virginia originally and I live close by, I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring the state and I’m not entirely sure why. There’s a lot to love throughout the Commonwealth, as I was recently reminded of on a trip in partnership with Virginia Tourism. During my time in the state I visited both Virginia Beach and Richmond and had an incredible time re-learning why these cities are so much fun to visit.

This week’s podcast includes a variety of interviews with people in both cities who share what to see and do when visiting these exciting and dynamic destinations.

Featured Guests


Rita D. McClenny serves as president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, a state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination and film location. The mission of VTC is to expand domestic and international in-bound travel and motion picture production to generate revenue and employment in Virginia.


Erin Goldmeier currently serves as the Director of Public Relations for Visit Virginia Beach, the city’s official destination marketing organization. In that capacity she works closely with travel editors, writers, bloggers and social media influencers to promote Virginia Beach as a travel destination. Previously, Goldmeier spent over a decade at VisitNorfolk, the city’s DMO, as the media relations manager. She is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in VegNews magazine, Culture Trip, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Convention South and Smart Meetings magazines. Goldmeier has nearly 15 years of experience in domestic & international media relations, pitching, writing, editing and producing editorial content for digital, print, and social media.


Bringing over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to The Cavalier Resort team, Michael Platt was most recently the General Manager of El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort. Platt was also general manager of the four-star, four-diamond Royal Park Hotel, in Rochester, Michigan. Born in Zimbabwe and fluent in four languages, Platt’s passion for travel and education has led him to a variety of luxury brands with general manager positions at Arista Hotel (Chicago, Ill.), Viceroy Hotel Santa Monica and Hilton Long Beach (Calif.), and El San Juan Hotel & Casino in Puerto Rico, the first Waldorf Astoria Collection property and the first casino resort in the world to carry the Waldorf Astoria flag. When he is not working, he can be found watching F-1 racing or walking his four French bulldogs.


Stephanie Arduini is the Director of Education at The American Civil War Museum. With a graduate degree in Museum Education from The George Washington University and over fifteen years experience in a variety of institutions, she is particularly interested in creating relevant, community spaces in museums through hands-on, experiential programs and diverse community partnerships.


Gibson Buchanan has been assisting guests of The Jefferson with his knowledge of Richmond for 18 years at the Concierge Desk. He is originally from Hinton, West Virginia but has lived most of his life in Richmond. When he’s not at The Jefferson, Gibson enjoys making pottery, gardening and Richmond history and architecture.


Beth Monroe has led public relations and marketing efforts since 1998 as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has grown and reached out to engage and attract audiences. She is committed to the Garden’s mission of education and passion for connecting people and plants to improve communities. The community recently showed its appreciation by voting Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden one of the top botanical gardens in the country in USA Today’s 10Best Public Gardens contest. Beth’s educational background includes a bachelor of arts in communication from James Madison University and a master of science in corporate and professional communication from Radford University.


Tony Ammendolia is the owner of Original Gravity Homebrewing and Final Gravity Brewing Co. In 2015 the dream was finally realized when Tony opened Final Gravity Brewing Co. a 2 BBL nanobrewery in the same space as Original Gravity. After brewing his first few batches back in 1993, Tony like most new homebrewers was ready to open his own brewery. Well, it took a little longer than expected, but it’s finally a reality.



Featured Resources

Virginia LOVEworks
Visit Virginia Beach
First Landing State Park
The Cavalier Hotel & Tarnished Truth Distilling Company
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E.
Virginia Aquarium
Military Aviation Museum
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
Visit Richmond
The American Civil War Museum
The Jefferson Hotel
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Final Gravity Brewing Co .

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

I help you experience the best the world has to offer!

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