Rural Retreat 2019, #RR19, is going to be a fun, informative, and energizing weekend in Roanoke May 3-5.


Roanoke, VA


  • To Be Announced

DETAILS BELOW: tickets, workshop schedule, hotel, and more. This is a comprehensive, multi- state training event designed for Democrats in rural, urban or in any other setting. Join grassroots volunteers, local and district Chairs, representatives and leaders from DPVA (Democratic Party of Virginia) and DNC (Democratic National Committee), and more. This will be one of the best party development and campaign organization workshops in the country for this election cycle, featuring some of the best trainers in the business of electing Democrats.

  • you can select from 12 workshops covering a broad range of topics important to electing Democrats in rural Virginia (see below)
  • meals included – Saturday: breakfast – lunch – evening reception; Sunday: awards breakfast
  • opportunities to talk and share ideas with fellow Democrats supporting the Rural Caucus from all across the Commonwealth
  • all in Roanoke, VA – Star City of the South and the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge

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RR19 sponsored in part by …



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  1. REGISTER get your ticket for RR18
  2. SELECT your workshop choices
  3. RESERVE your hotel room



Tickets are $99/person, FUTURE LINK, includes workshop materials, meals *.

* see below in FAQs for meal information, ticket price same with or without meals

Holiday Inn Roanoke – Valley View (3315 Ordway Drive, Roanoke, VA 24017) is located just a couple of miles off Interstate 81. For directions, click here.


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teamwork9:00 am, 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm. The link to select workshop choices immediately follows RR19 ticket purchase.


9:00 am

10:30 am

2:00 pm

3:30 pm


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  • 5:00-7:00 PM Pre-Registration
  • 6:00-7:15 PM Moms Demand Action VA Roundtable Discussion “Be Smart: A Conversation About Kids, Guns, and Safety”
  • 7:30 PM Hospitality Gathering
    Special Guest: VA AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays



  • 7:30-8:30 AM Breakfast
  • 7:30-8:30 AM Registration
  • 8:40-8:55 AM Special Guest: Del. Sam Rasoul,  Welcome and Opening Remarks: Rural Caucus Chairwoman Vee Frye, 
  • 9:00-10:20 AM Workshops 1A,B,C
  • 10:30 AM -11:50 Workshops 2A,B,C
  • 12:00-1:30 PM Luncheon with Remarks: Mayor Sherman Lea, and Special Guest Speaker: Sen. Tim Kaine
  • 2:00-3:20 PM Workshops 3A,B,C
  • 3:30-4:50 PM Workshops 4A,B,C
  • 6:00-7:15 PM Labor Roundtable Discussion led by Doris Crouse-Mays, and including Chuck Simpson (President CWA 2204),  Mike Mays (President Western Area Federation), UAW, and more … “Labor: Who We Are and How We Work
  • 7:30-9:00 PM RR18 Reception
    Special Guest: Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax


  • 9:00-10:30 AM RR18 Awards Breakfast with Special Guest Speakers: Hon. Richard “Dickie” Cranwell, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax


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The Rural Caucus is pleased to announce the presentation of our awards for the third year at the Sunday morning Rural Retreat Awards Breakfast, recipients are nominated by the public and voted on by the leadership board of the Rural Caucus. Each award acknowledges people for their achievements and involvement advancing the election and causes of rural Democrats in the Commonwealth and named in appreciation for three prominent individuals whose deeds embody those efforts. 

Awards Breakfast Only Option

For those who cannot attend the entire Rural Retreat, but would like to attend the Awards Breakfast that is definitely an option. The breakfast begins promptly at 9:00 am Sunday, April 29. Tickets, $25/person, may be purchased online, FUTURE LINK.


  • Presented to a person recognized for notably advancing the causes of rural Virginia Democrats. [prior recipients: 1) Gene Magruder, 2) Lisa Hystad, 3) Bud Ward]
    • Jim’s held various political offices over the past 25 years, including Chair of Arlington County Democratic Committee, Vice Chair for Finance Democratic Party of Virginia in which capacity he lobbied for the establishment of a rural caucus that has finally come to fruition. Jim is co-founder and General Manager of Democracy Vineyards in Lovingston, VA. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Virginia Wine Council  (past Chair). He has served as the Vice President of the Virginia Wineries Association, on the Board of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and on the Nelson County Chamber of Commerce.


  • Presented to a person recognized for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of rural Virginia Democrats. [prior recipients: 1)  Maggie Sacra, 2) Mary Lily Nuckols, 3) Roberta Thacker-Oliver]
    • A former Vice Chairman of the 9th Congressional District Democratic Committee, and founder of Democracy Prevails PAC, Henry lived in Riner until he passed away at home January 12th this year. Henry worked to obtain his citizenship and immediately ran for public office. He remained very active in Democratic politics ever since that time. He had two grown children, 4 grandchildren, and was married to Fran for more than 50 years. He worked at Virginia Tech for 28 years and was a Professor Emeritus in Engineering (fluid mechanics, boundary layer meteorology, wind engineering, bluff body aerodynamics – known and highly respected throughout the United States in estimated peak wind loads and wind shearing). Most of all: Henry worked tirelessly to further rural interest, and elect Democrats.


  • Presented to a person recognized for their appreciation of diversity and the value to democracy involving all people in the process of government. [prior recipients: 1) Dr. William Ferguson ‘Fergie’ Reid, 2) Khizr Khan, 3) Shelly Simonds]
    • A native of Roanoke, and former Virginia Secretary of Education, Ann is also the wife of United States Senator and former Governor Tim Kaine and served as First Lady of Virginia from 2006 to 2010. Her father, Linwood Holton (from Big Stone Gap in southwest Virginia) was governor of Virginia from 1970–1974, and the first Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction (1865–1877), narrowly winning that race for governor in 1969 with a coalition that included a substantial number of African American and white working-class voters. As governor, he declared an end to Massive Resistance. In response to a federal court decision desegregating Richmond Public Schools, she and her siblings attended predominantly black schools near the Virginia Executive Mansion, contributing to her father’s efforts to make Virginia a model for race relations.


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