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CentralPerspective: Dan River, Inc.

SouthsideCentral loves to promote area businesses and to have guest writers. Here, we’re doing both. Meet Bobby Roach and learn more about him, his work, and his business.

For 10 years, the people of Danville have slowly said “goodbye” to Dan River Inc. As most, if not all, of you reading this likely know, we lost the once-thriving textile industry in Southern Virginia–an industry on which we were built and raised, and on which we depended for our livelihood. Due to an unfortunate series of decisions, our leadership left us unprepared for the subsequent years, the economic downturn, and our consequential financial crises. We were left looking at one another not knowing what to do nor what would come next. A city virtually reliant on a single company was suddenly without its largest and longest-standing employer and its only asset became a workforce untrained to cope with the abrupt change.

I am Bobby Allen Roach. I am 25. My family worked in the mill and was fortunate enough to navigate the economic troubles of that time. Reflecting on the difficult days we have faced as a community helps me realize how far we have come in the subsequent years. New businesses have arrived and emerged, grown, and helped us to be prosperous again. We all know the road ahead continues to stretch beyond the horizon, but I know that we will continue to move in the direction that is right for the transformation of the Danville area. I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with several community leaders and, as a young professional, I strive every day in the hope that I will be worthy of Danville’s future and what is waiting for us at the finish line. I own Bobby Roach Photography and I am thankful for the perspective my work has given me. I am excited to share my photographs with you so we may all learn from our community’s history and remind ourselves what we are working for and why. I shot the above photo in 2010 at the Schoolfield campus of Dan River Inc.

I invite you to visit my website at

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