Insurance Firm Names Finance Chief

Independent Insurance Center of Leesburg named Tracey Grant Ertel director of financial operations, the company announced last week.

Independent is a family business, founded by Larry and Mary Grant in 1973. Ertel, their daughter, is joining the company after having worked for a large insurance agency in the Tidewater area of Virginia. She lives in Leesburg with her husband and their three children.

Ertel's brother, David, serves as president of the company, which has an office in Winchester as well as in Leesburg.

Seminar to Count Ahead to Y2K

The Loudoun County Small Business Development Center will hold a seminar on the year 2000 computer issue from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Eastern Loudoun Regional Library in the Cascades Market Place.

The main speaker for the seminar is scheduled to be Bob Schwabik, project manager for Virginia's A.L. Philpott Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an organization that provides information to small manufacturers on issues such as quality control, strategic planning and marketing.

Schwabik will offer advice on what small companies can expect and how they can plan for the possibility of computer failure when the clock strikes midnight Jan. 1. He will also talk about myths surrounding the Y2K issue.

To register for the free seminar, call the center at 703-430-7222. For information on the extension project, visit the partnership's World Wide Web site at www.vpmep.org.

Chiropractic Center Opens in Purcellville

The Purcellville Chiropractic Center opened last week on South Maple Avenue.

The center, run by Leesburg resident John R. McWilliams, provides physical therapy and massage treatment in addition to chiropractic care. It is open Monday through Saturday.

Design Firm Finds Loudoun to Its Liking

Beese Quast Design Inc., an architecture and interior design firm, has moved its office from Reston to Purcellville. Architect Dennis D. Beese has experience in commercial and residential architecture, and Barbara Quast specializes in high-end residential interior design.

The couple was living in Reston and walking to work, but the company next door to their office owned the building and decided to expand. So they set out on drives to scout new locations and ended up in Purcellville, where they found a house big enough to live and work in.

"We're excited about Loudoun County because it is just more laid back and comfortable," Dennis Beese said.

Tourism Council Promoting a Cultural Deal

The Loudoun Tourism Council is asking businesses to participate in a promotional package it is working on with the Loudoun Symphony, the Bluemont Concert Series, the Loudoun Ballet and other area arts organizations.

The package will include a card, similar in appearance to a credit card, that offers visitors to Loudoun discounts on local cultural performances, bed and breakfasts, area attractions, retail store products and other goods and services.

Businesses interested in participating in the program should contact Janet Wentzel at 703-771-7526 by Nov. 1.

Gold's Gym Pumping Up Its Presence

Gold's Gym is scheduled to open in November on Ridgetop Circle in Loudoun Tech Center.

The gym will include cardiovascular equipment, personal training services, child care, a separate exercise room for children, and various fitness classes.

Two more Gold's Gyms may be on the way to Loudoun. The company announced that it is considering opening facilities in Ashburn and Leesburg, but no definite plans have been made.

Please fax items for Thursday's business page to Sarah Schafer at 703-444-8437, or send them by mail to 305 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, Va. 20175, or by e-mail to schafers@washpost.com.