“Your chamber is very healthy, growing and having a big impact in Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth. I’m proud to inform you all key performance indicators are trending in the right direction.” Hampton Roads Chamber President & CEO Bryan Stephens presented the State of the Chamber at the 2017 Annual Meeting. Stephens stated the Hampton Roads Chamber will continue to be an impactful advocate, powerful economic partner, and inspiring ignitor for the business community in 2018. “This is a big, bold, aggressive, innovative mission. But we’re a big, bold, aggressive, innovative chamber. A chamber that believes the best way to predict the future is to create it. We are one region bound together by a common business interest. We must come together and begin speaking with one voice. The time is now!”
The Hampton Roads Chamber was honored to welcome Governor-Elect Ralph Northam as the keynote speaker for the Annual Meeting. “We’re excited to have a longtime Hampton Roads resident as our new Governor-Elect who clearly understands the issues, challenges, and concerns of our business community,” said Stephens.
During his address, Governor-Elect Northam outlined his priorities for his administration. “My top priority is the economy. It wasn’t that long ago that Virginia was the number one state in the country to do business. It has slipped. We are going to hit the ground running. We want to make sure we put Virginia back in that position and make Virginia the number one state to do business.”
Northam announced eight members of his transportation team. Shannon Valentine will lead the team as Transportation Secretary. Other members of the Transportation team include Quintin Elliott, Nick Donohue, Stephen Brich, Renee Hamilton, Jennifer Mitchell, Marianne Radcliff, and David Hallock. Northam praised outgoing Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne who will become Northam’s Secretary of Finance. “He’ll be the CFO of Virginia. Aubrey will make sure financial deals are good for Virginia and good for our taxpayers.”
The Member Spotlight Sponsor was The Cavalier Hotel. Bruce Thompson, CEO of Gold Key | PHR introduced a video showcasing the remodel of the grand hotel on the hill in Virginia Beach, “this is not only a restoration, this is a renaissance.” Thompson says the $259 million dollar investment includes 62 guest rooms and 23 suites. Thompson announced the public open house at The Cavalier will be February 15 – 18; the Grand Opening Celebration will be on February 25, and The Cavalier Hotel opens to the public on February 28, 2018.
The Chamber bid farewell to outgoing board members including 2017 Chair Tom Winborne of Clark Nexsen. Winborne announced the 2017 Volunteer of the Year was Sharon Fanto of Cox Communications. Ambassador of the year was Tony Welch. Glen Robertson of Wolcott Rivers Gates took over the gavel as Chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber Regional Board for 2018. He welcomed new board members and new members of the executive committee including:
Tony Goodwin, Statewide Commercial Real Estate; Reese Jackson, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare; J.D. Miles, J.D.Miles and Sons; Karen Spencer, Virginia Eye Consultants; Chris Stone, Clark Nexsen; Barrett Stork, Cox Communications; Bruce Thompson, Goldkey|Phr; and Bennett Zier, Entercom Norfolk.
The New Members Of the Executive Committee include: Julie Anderson, TowneBank; Mike Benedetto, TFC Recycling; Angie Bezik, Principle Advantage Government Relations Group; Jim Bibbs, The Port Of Virginia; Sandra Brandt, Step-Up; Alisa Crider, HRT; Kurt Krause, Goldkey|PHR; Stephen Lentz, Goodman Allen; Maureen McDonnell, The McDonnell Group; Thom Prevette, Bon Secours Virginia Health System; Jeff Richardson, Beach Commercial Finance; and James White, Safelight Auto.
After the event Stephens expressed a great deal of appreciation and pride in the Chamber staff and continued optimism for 2018. “This was our culminating event for 2017 and I’m so proud of what our staff has accomplished this year and the high standard of excellence they have achieved in doing it. We are excited for the opportunities 2018 will bring and are poised to pursue them on behalf of the business community in Hampton Roads.”
The Hampton Roads Chamber would like to thank our Annual Meeting Sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor, Old Point National Bank; Speaker Sponsor, Bon Secours Virginia Health System; Host Sponsor, Virginia Beach Convention Center; Member Spotlight Sponsor, The Cavalier Hotel; Silver Sponsors: BB&T, Clark Nexsen, Kroger, and Opportunity, Inc.; Media Sponsors: COX, Entercom, Sinclair Communications; Décor Sponsor, Premier Events; AV Sponsor, Productive AV.