Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Announces 2015 Leadership

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Announces 2015 Leadership
The 2015 volunteer leadership of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce took office during the Chambers Annual Meeting of the Membership held on December 10. The Chamber thanks these volunteers for their commitment to serve.

The 2015 volunteer leadership of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce took office during the Chamber’s Annual Meeting of the Membership held on December 10 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.  The Chamber thanks these volunteers for their commitment to serve.  

The following individuals have been elected as the Chamber’s 2015 officers

Chair

Joseph R. Witt, CPAJoseph R. Witt, CPA is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Old Point National Bank. Mr. Witt previously held the position of treasurer at Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Witt has previouslyserved as the Chair of the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Virginia Living Museum, and Chair of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Director of the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank, the Newport News Education Foundationand the Peninsula Habitat for Humanity.  He currently serves as Chair of the CNU Luter School of Business Board of Advisors and as a Director of the Virginia Living Museum and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

Witt earned a B.S. in Commerce from the McIntire School at the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from the University of Richmond. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Witt and his wife of 31 years, Kathy, have three children; Karsten, 26, a graduate of James Madison University; Kelsey, 23 a graduate of the University of Mary Washington; and Jordan, 20, a third year student at the University of Virginia.  In 2013, Witt was a member of the Chamber’s Executive Committee and served as Vice Chair of Investments.  Most recently, Witt served as the Chamber’s 2014 Treasurer.

Chair-Elect

Susan R. BlackmanSusan R. Blackman is a partner at Willcox & Savage, P.C., practicing employment law and business immigration law. She helps employers solve a wide array of workplace issues ranging from disciplinary action to matters involving employees’ rights, such to include medical accommodation and compliance with non-discrimination requirements. Blackman represents employers in federal and state court cases and before the EEOC, Dept. of Labor, and various U.S. immigration agencies. She is Chair of the firm’s Immigration Law Team, which obtains visas and green cards for foreign employees, and advises clients about U.S. employment and immigration laws.

Blackman is in “The Best Lawyers in America” for both immigration law and employment law.  Richmond Magazine named her as one of the “Top 25 Women Attorneys in Virginia,” and she was the only Hampton Roads lawyer recognized by Benchmark Litigation as among the top 250 women litigators in the country. In May, Virginia Lawyers Weekly named Blackman as among the “Influential Women of Virginia” due to her achievements in her profession and her service to the community. Blackman is a past Chair of the Chamber’s Virginia Beach Division, has served in various officer positions for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, and received the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2013.

Treasurer

Shepelle Watkins-WhiteShepelle Watkins-White is the owner of ShepelleWatkinsWhite Consulting & Law, PLLC in Chesapeake, Virginia and a member of the Virginia State Bar. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and University of Richmond Law School. In her law practice she routinely represents owners and developers in real estate transactions and zoning and permitting matters. Ms. Watkins-White has represented clients developing property for retail centers, office buildings, multi-family and single-family residential developments, mixed use and conservation uses.  Previous work experience includes working as an assistant city attorney, representing the municipality on land use matters and serving as a law clerk to the First Judicial Circuit of Virginia. Ms. Watkins-White also advises small business clients in entity formation, employment law and contractual matters. Additionally, she has served as a lecturer for municipal government associations and other educational seminars. Ms. Watkins-White serves as Vice-Chair of the Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Chair of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization’s Citizens Committee.  She is a Director for the TowneBank Chesapeake Board and serves on various other boards and organizations within the Hampton Roads area. Watkins-White has served in a variety of volunteer positions with the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, most recently as Vice-Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee and a member of the Regional Board.

Also serving as members of the 2015 Executive Committee:

Immediate Past Chair

Michael M. Dudley

President, Optima Health Plans          

Vice Chair, Communications & Membership

Sharon E. Fanto

Vice President, Cox Communications    

Vice Chair, Governmental Affairs

Stephen R. Romine

Partner, LeClairRyan     

Vice Chair, Leadership Programs

Thomas T. Winborne

CEO, Clark Nexsen, Architecture & Engineering

Vice Chair, Small Business

Martin A. Joseph

President and CEO, 360IT Partners

Vice Chair, Sports

John W.  Wilson, Jr.

Co-Owner, WBR Insurance Agency LLC

Co-Chair, Development

Michael J. Fowler, CFP

First Vice President, Merrill Lynch          

Co-Chair, Development

Jeff W.  Ainslie

President, Ainsle Group

Chair, Hampton Roads Business PAC

Bill Holloran

Senior Vice President & General Manager, Day & Zimmermann   

Vice Chair, At Large

Deborah Butler

Executive Vice President, Planning & Chief Information Officer, Norfolk Southern Corp.

Vice Chair, At Large

Clyde T. Clark, Jr.

Senior Vice President, BB&T     

Vice Chair, At Large

David Durham  

President, Hampton Roads Division, Fulton Bank Hampton Roads         

Vice Chair, At Large

Shep Miller

Chairman, KITCO Fiber Optics

Vice Chair, At Large

Cathie J. France

Chief Public Affairs Officer, The Port of Virginia

President and CEO

Bryan Stephens

President and CEO, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

General Counsel

Hugh Patterson, Esq.

Partner, Willcox & Savage, PC

Chair, Chesapeake

David Ropp

Chesapeake Market President, Monarch Bank

Chair, Norfolk

Susan Long-Molnar

President, Managing Communications Consulting          

Chair, Portsmouth

Earnhart Spencer

Counsel, Cooper, Spong & Davis, PC   

Chair, Suffolk

Susan P. Davis

Senior Manager, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP  

Chair, Virginia Beach

Glen M. Robertson

Attorney, Wolcott Rivers Gates 

Individuals serving on the Chamber’s Regional Board of Directors:

Bill Bell

Vice President Human Resources & Administration, Newport News Shipbuilding 

Michael Benedetto

Sr. Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, TFC Recycling

Bjoern Fischer

Vice President of Finance, STIHL Inc.

Dawn Glynn

President, TowneBank Chesapeake

Shira Itzhak

Owner, Remedy Intelligent Staffing

Michael K. Kerner

CEO Bon Secours Hampton Roads       

Gary McCollum

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cox Communications         

Tim Peters

General Manager, Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel

John Reinhart 

CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Port Authority

James Sherwood, FACHE

President, HealthLogix, LLC

Judith Swystun

President, Hampton Roads Transportation, Inc.

Charity A. Volman

President, SunTrust Bank South Hampton Roads Commerical Division Team Leader       

James Wofford

General Manager, MacArthur Center       

 

About the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is the Region’s premier business organization; helping our members succeed, driving regional economic growth and enhancing the quality of life of our community’s residents. The Chamber is a vigorous advocate for the economic success of its member businesses, which employ nearly 250,000 men and women in southeastern Virginia. Visit HamptonRoadsChamber.com. Like us on Facebook at Chamber757 and follow us on Twitter @Chamber757.

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