Chamber Beefs Up Offering for Seminar

Hoping to increase attendance at its monthly Food for Thought seminar, the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce has invited three of its high-profile members to discuss investing.

"Food for Thought is usually lightly attended," said Kathleen Grasmeder, a financial consultant for Salomon Smith Barney Inc. and a chamber member. Grasmeder suggested this month's topic and invited senior executives from Electronic Data Systems Corp., Xerox Corp. and MCI WorldCom Inc. to discuss their companies with potential stock investors.

"Everybody's talking about stocks, but stock is an ownership position in a company," said Grasmeder, who said she wants people to start looking beyond the certificate and into the companies in which they are investing.

Grasmeder hopes the topic, and the representation of three giant companies, will draw a crowd to the meeting, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Holiday Inn in Leesburg.

In addition to the marquee names, for the first time the chamber will have actual food available at its Food for Thought seminar. Boxed lunches will cost $10 (the seminar is free to members and is $5 for nonmembers).

Grasmeder thinks the lack of food may have contributed to the spotty attendance at previous meetings. "It could be the stomach issue," she said.

To register, call the chamber at 703-777-2176.

Firm's New Name Reflects New Partner

James P. Campbell & Associates, a Leesburg law firm, has been renamed Campbell Miller, the firm announced this week. Peter H. Miller joined the firm in 1994 and became a partner in February.

Miller, 35, previously worked at Peterson & Basha in Tysons Corner but said he had been searching for an opportunity in Leesburg for several years because he liked the small-town feel.

In Leesburg, "I can walk to the courthouse," he explained, adding jokingly, "In Tysons Corner, it's hard to cross the street without getting killed."

Miller lives in Hamilton. He primarily focuses on domestic law but also handles real estate, estate planning, commercial litigation and other legal issues.

Small-Business Workshops Offered

The Loudoun County Small Business Development Center will hold a free pre-startup workshop from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Eastern Loudoun Regional Library in Cascades.

Executive Director Ted London will lead participants through the steps of starting a company and will provide information on programs in the area that offer advice and aid to entrepreneurs.

On June 15, the center will hold a workshop on financing a new or existing business. The free seminar, "Sources of Capital: How to Finance Your Business Startup or Expansion," will be at Eastern Loudoun Regional Library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Jane Diven, a business consultant, and Darryl Hairston, Small Business Association district director, will outline various types of financing and will provide tips on issues such as when to use the SBA and how to get a loan.

To register for either workshop, call the center at 703-430-7222.

Please fax items for Thursday's business page to Sarah Schafer at 703-777-8437, or send them by mail to 305 Harrison St., SE, Leesburg, Va. 20175, or by e-mail to schafers@washpost.com.