The Chamber’s Regional Board of Directors and Trustees meeting held on September 28 featured guest speaker Terrie Suit, Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. Secretary Suit presented an overall update from her department.
Suit discussed the disestablishment of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and how the new JFCOM Transition Center in Suffolk is progressing thanks to the $500,000 grant from the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). Secretary Suit and her department are responsible for the response of the closing. She was pleased to report that 54% of the 1,200 JFCOM layoffs have found new employment. The Transition Center provides displaced JFCOM workers access to a broad range of resources and assistance from many organizations. Suit thanked the Chamber’s Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads for the work it has done in providing seminars and services at the center to those in need. “It’s a big celebration when someone gets placed,” she said.
Some other points of interest Secretary Suit discussed were the redevelopment of Fort Monroe and the assistance her department provided during Hurricane Irene and the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.
Secretary Suit concluded by thanking the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Trustees for its support, saying, “I love working with the Hampton Roads community.”
Secretary Suit was appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell to the position of Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security in 2011. Formerly, Secretary Suit spent nearly a decade representing the citizens of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. She has served on the executive committee of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and was the 2006 and 2007 chair of the Chamber's LEAD Hampton Roads program.