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Message From the President & CEO
Message From the President & CEO
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce sets the conditions that allows business to succeed. I'm convinced, more than ever, that no business has to go it alone. Together, we have an opportunity to achieve even greater success.

It’s great to be back in Hampton Roads!  As most of you know the Chamber recently led a successful, fact-finding mission to New Orleans.  After learning from subject matter experts from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, we now better understand the opportunities and challenges associated with the development of offshore energy in the Commonwealth.  Members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Trustees, academic and workforce development experts and other regional business leaders were a part of the Chamber’s unique Inter-Regional Visit. Congressman Scott Rigell, an advocate for offshore energy, also attended as a guest.

Now that we’re back we will consolidate and analyze the information we received and host a series of public forums and town hall meetings to discuss our findings so the public can carefully consider the opportunities and the risks associated with offshore energy development.  Stay tuned for dates and locations.    

Another exciting recent event was the kickoff of our new Leadership Series Luncheons.  Governor Terry McAuliffe launched the Chamber’s Leadership Series on March 24th.  More than 300 business and community leaders were in attendance to hear McAuliffe discuss the impact the 2015 General Assembly had on Hampton Roads, as well as the Commonwealth. He also shared his accomplishments since he became Governor in January 2014 as well as his outlook for the next two-and-a-half years. His biggest announcement however, which has received a lot of media coverage, was that Virginia will be the first state in the nation to receive a wind energy research lease in federal waters from the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Read the full story here.

The Chamber has lined up several more impressive speakers for the remaining Chamber Leadership Series events in 2015. The next is April 21st with LT Jason Redman.  Don’t miss this exciting event!  Jason has a compelling story to share which will motivate you to press on through challenges.  These events give attendees the opportunity to interact with important leaders who provide practical knowledge, sharing what helped them rise to the top of their field.  Speakers in the series include leaders in business, industry and government. Be sure to not miss out.

Join the Chamber for its second annual Spring Business to Business Expo on April 9th. This event showcases community businesses, allows large-scale networking and introduces new products and services to Hampton Roads.  WE create the opportunity, YOU create the business.  Be sure to print off your free admission ticket.

The hardworking men and women of the military are an important part of our region.  To honor them, the Hampton Roads Chamber holds two receptions each year to honor top military personnel from local commands.  These receptions provide an excellent opportunity to network with members of the armed forces community.  Join us at our Military Recognition Reception on April 10th to honor them for their outstanding service.

Additionally, the Hampton Roads Chamber and USA Living are proud to present the annual Valor Awards event on April 24th to honor local law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel.  This is your opportunity to thank and recognize public safety heroes who put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe.  Medals of Valor will be presented for extraordinary acts of courage and resourcefulness in the line of duty.  Attendees will hear moving and inspiring accounts of bravery and amazing stories of the lives that were saved by these selfless rescuers.

Also, do not miss the remaining State of the City series.  Chesapeake is up next on April 15th and Suffolk will wrap things up on May 14th.  These last two addresses are going to be equally invigorating.  The mayors do such a fantastic job spelling out the successes and mapping out strategies for the year ahead.  Attending these great events will get you informed and give you more of an edge.  These sold out events are also a great opportunity to establish invaluable relationships with other leaders in the community.

Finally, we are proud to announce we have initiated a Regional Young Professional Organization to provide a venue for young professionals to network, share experiences and discuss regional issues in a fun non-stressful environment.  If you are interested in becoming a member of this exciting new program please contact Anne Baumler at 757.664.2518 or

Remember, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (YOUR Chamber) is hard at work every day working on economic development, workforce development, infrastructure development and quality of life issues in Hampton Roads in order to set the conditions for businesses (YOUR Business) to succeed.  We are relentless in our pursuit of excellence in this regard and proud of it! 

Bryan K. Stephens
President & CEO
Bryan K. Stephens is President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber.
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