Now in its 25th year, the Military Recognition Reception took place in Norfolk on Friday, August 17, 2018. The reception recognized more than 60 outstanding military members from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps from Norfolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake commands.
The Keynote Address was presented by Norfolk Mayor, Kenneth Cooper Alexander. Alexander said, “Rarely do we find the chance to express our appreciation for what our service members do. We are honored by your dedication. We are proud of the more than 100,000 family members in our region who also contribute. Thank you to all of you being honored who go above and beyond.”
Awards were presented by Joel Vargas, Military Affairs Representative, USAA and Ben Willis, Military Representative, GEICO. Willis said, “We are so blessed to have you in our community. Hampton Roads is better because of you.”
Bryan K. Stephens, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber thanked the military spouses who were in attendance with the honorees. “Military spouses serve our nation, too and we all know the sacrifices they make.” Stephens announced that Hampton Roads will be launched as a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone this fall as part of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes initiative. As he adjourned the ceremony Stephens encouraged those in attendance to spend some time along Waterside, explore the downtown area and even hop the ferry to Portsmouth. “Take advantage of this community. We live in a place most people come to vacation. Enjoy the place you get to serve in right now,” said Stephens.
The Hampton Roads Chamber means business and we work to be an inspiring ignitor, powerful economic partner, and impactful advocate for our members. The local military presence in Hampton Roads is a powerful economic partner for our region and we believe acknowledging them is of the utmost importance. It was an honor to thank and recognize this impressive group.
Thank you to our sponsors: The City of Norfolk, (Series Gold Sponsor) GEICO, (Legacy Military Ally Partner) USAA and ADS, (Military Platinum Sponsor), Bon Secours Virginia Health System and Dollar Bank, (Military Bronze Partners), Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, (Special Military Program Partner), Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, (Host Sponsor) and Saint Leo University, (Program Sponsor)