Chamber Announces New President & CEO

Chamber Announces New President & CEO

Bryan Stephens, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber of CommerceThe Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Bryan K. Stephens has been selected as the Chamber’s new President & CEO.  On October 30, the Chamber’s Regional Board of Directors voted to approve Stephens for the position after a search committee that reported to the Executive Committee conducted an extensive nationwide search.  Stephens will begin work in his new position on November 4.

“I am honored to join the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce,” said Stephens.  “The Chamber’s work is vital to the region’s business community and I look forward to working with the Chamber’s board, volunteers, and staff to grow the organization and to promote the interest and ensure the livelihood of local businesses.”

Stephens returns to Hampton Roads with extensive business experience having most recently served as President & CEO of Kalmar RT Center, LLC in San Antonio, Texas.   Kalmar RT Center is a specialized manufacturer of rough terrain material handling equipment used by companies operating in oil and gas, construction, remote logistics, intermodal logistics, mining, forestry and governments.  Stephens led the entire spectrum of manufacturing, sales, distribution, servicing and maintenance of Kalmar’s RT material handling products worldwide. 

Prior to his position of President & CEO at Kalmar RT Center, Stephens was Vice President & Executive Director of Military Programs for Allison Transmission, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was responsible for a full range of operations including sales, marketing, finance, engineering, purchasing and quality control.  He led global operations encompassing U.S. military sales and all foreign allies with focus on the Middle East, Southwest Asia and Europe. 

Earlier Stephens worked for SAIC in Suffolk, Va., as Senior Account Manager, Joint & Army Programs, providing program management and consulting services to joint military operations, interagency and non-governmental organizations. 

Stephens, a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army, served in a variety of progressive roles over a distinguished 28-year career.  His last assignments included Brigade Commander, Division Chief of Staff, and Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations at the Joint Warfighting Center, USJFCOM in Suffolk, Va.  In those capacities, he led up to 9,000 military and civilian personnel, managed budgets over $250 million, and conducted high level political/military negotiations. 

Chair of the Chamber’s Board Deborah Stearns, said, "We had many strong candidates from throughout the country.  Bryan Stephens was the ideal choice.  He brings more than 35 years of diverse business, manufacturing and operational, domestic and international experience to the Chamber.  With his exceptional background and experience he is uniquely positioned to represent every stakeholder in Hampton Roads; he is an experienced business executive, a distinguished veteran, and a proven leader with political acumen.”  Stearns added, “We are pleased to welcome Bryan back to Hampton Roads and feel that his leadership and proven track record will compliment the Chamber’s staff and keep the organization on a path of success and ever increasing achievements.”

The Chamber’s President & CEO Stephens will oversee a staff of 32 and will also serve as chairman, president, or board member of four subsidiary organizations including the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, ChamberSolutions, the Hampton Roads Sports Commission, and the Hampton Roads Chamber Foundation. 

Coming from a military family, Stephens is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Political Science.  He also received a Master of International Studies at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California.

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