The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce paid tribute to 135 service members of the region on April 11 as a part of its biannual Military Recognition Reception. Held at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, the event honors the military personnel from area commands for their service.
Kicking off the event, an exuberant President and CEO Bryan K. Stephens lauded the honorees saying he was honored to be in the “presence of greatness.”
Putting that statement into context, Stephens challenged the audience made up of the honorees’ families, military leadership as well as businessmen and women to name a superior military force in the world.
“These honorees are the best at what they do in their perspective units which is impressive in and of itself,” said Stephens who asked, “In the history of the world has there ever been a better military?”
Stephens thanked them for their time in service demanding, “Less than one percent of its citizens serve in the military and can say they wore the uniform. You are the best of those and don’t you ever forget it!”
It was a sentiment shared by Del. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach, 85th District) who served as the afternoon’s keynote speaker. Taylor, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and regional entrepreneur, cited the military as key to who he has become.
“I stand on the shoulders of the people I served with which fills me with emotion I can express,” said Taylor. “Never underestimate the impact you have on those around you as leaders.”
Sharing several of his own sea stories, Taylor told the honorees that service is key to success.
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is committed to hosting the Military Recognition Reception given the vital importance of the military to the region and the country as a whole. The Chamber has been recognizing the accomplishments of the military at this reception for nearly two decades.
Thank you to event sponsors: Marriott Norfolk Waterside (Hospitality Sponsor); City of Norfolk (Gold Sponsor); USA Discounters (Silver Sponsor); Centura College and Tidewater Community College (Bronze Sponsors); Aviation Institute of Maintenance; Cavalier, Inc.; Global Wind, LLC; Omni Financial of Virginia and Tidewater Tech (Program Sponsors).
The Chamber's Military Program Sponsors are: USAA (Platinum Sponsor); Geico (Gold Sponsor); Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance (Special Partner); ECPI University and Lockheed Martin Corporation (Silver Sponsors); Bank of America; First Command Financial Planning; Regent University; Saint Leo University – South Hampton Roads Center and Troy University (Bronze Sponsors).