The Hampton Roads Chamber was honored to welcome the area’s newest leaders at the annual CEO Welcome Breakfast on November 15.  As the region’s premier pro-business organization, this event offers the opportunity to meet with and celebrate the men and women who have risen to the top of their field this year.

The ceremony honored leaders from three categories:  Municipal, Nonprofit, and Business.

Among those honored was Chesapeake Mayor Rick West, who had just been sworn into office 12 hours before the event. “This is one of the greatest things the Chamber does.  It is a confirmation and encouragement knowing I have people behind me.  Knowing I have the business community behind me is amazing.”

Event Presenting Sponsor Cherry Bekaert partner Barbara Smith said, “The CEO Welcome hits home with Cherry Bekaert because it recognizes leaders.  Being a leader is hard but also very rewarding.  You have an impact on your company and your community.”

Hampton Roads Chamber CEO & President Bryan K. Stephens gave each leader a glass paperweight with the Chamber’s logo.  “We want these leaders to look to the Chamber to help them and their business.  We set the conditions for businesses to succeed and success begins at the top.  Each of these new leaders is in a powerful position and we need all the decision makers in the region to work together to make Hampton Roads the economic powerhouse we know it can be.”

Special thanks to WTKR News3 Managing Editor and Anchor Barbara Ciara who was the event’s Mistress of Ceremonies.

The following list includes the men and women who were recognized at the 2017 CEO Welcome Breakfast:

Business Leaders:

Jeffrey Farrar, Old Point National Bank

Joel Flax, Cohen Investment Group

Dianne Greene, ADP

Terri Hall, Clark Nexsen

Michael Harris, IntellecTechs

Carrie Smaha, vh.Agency

Chris Stone, Clark Nexsen

Bennett Zier, Entercom Communications


Nonprofit Leaders:

Carolyn Carpenter, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

Christine Everly, Young Audiences Arts for Learning Virginia

Wes Hall, Hampton Roads Sports Commission

Amanda Insetta, The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation

Reese Jackson, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare

Dennis Matheis, Optima Health

Marissa Nihill, American Red Cross of Coastal Virginia

Thomas Quaintance, Virginia Stage Company


Municipal Leaders:

Larry Boone, Norfolk Police Chief

John Rowe, Portsmouth Mayor

Robert Moore, Portsmouth Economic Development

Rick West, Chesapeake Mayor


Thank you to our CEO Welcome  Sponsors:  Presenting Sponsor, Cherry Bekaert, Host Sponsor, Regent University; Gold Sponsors, Opportunity Inc., Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Kroger; Media Sponsors, Inside Business, WTKR News3; Video Production Sponsor, Neptune Video Creations; Bronze Sponsor, BB&T

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October 21, 2019 - Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance & Williams Mullen
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