Tony Huffman Co-Founder, Approved Colleges

Tony Huffman could’ve chosen to live anywhere. As the cofounder of Approved Colleges, a company that helps adults looking to advance their education find the right online courses and degrees, he runs a business that allows him to telecommute. Seeking big mountains and solitude, he initially considered moving to Montana, but as a Virginia native he wanted to be closer to family. Fortunately, he found just what he was looking for—cool temperatures, a small community, and plenty of open space in Highland County.

“Highland is far enough away from the major cities that I’m able to have my space, but if I do need to travel it’s not a bad drive to Washington, D.C., Baltimore or Richmond to catch a flight,” he says.

Out of the Office

Tony has 10 employees, all working remotely from seven different states. He has everything he needs to run his company from his home in Highland, including a high-speed Internet connection that isn’t available in other rural areas. He says he’s more productive than he would be if he was dealing with office gossip and other potential distractions, and when he needs a break he can step outside to breathe some fresh mountain air and look at the endless vistas surrounding his home.

Life in Highland

Tony appreciates many aspects of small-town life in Highland. “If you are raising a family, the school has a great student-to-teacher ratio,” he says. That means his daughter, who also enjoys playing t-ball and spending time at the community pool, gets plenty of individual attention, rare at a public school. With his wife, Tony founded the Highland County Humane Society, so he’s happy to be making a positive impact in a tight-knit community.