“The 5-Star accreditation designation is the most prestigious designation awarded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce” said Pamela Gregory, a representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as she presented the accreditation plaque to Bryan K. Stephens, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber during the Chamber’s Annual Meeting on December 8th. “You should be immensely proud of your Hampton Roads Chamber,” said Gregory, “only one percent of chambers in the country currently hold a 5-star accreditation.”
The accreditation presentation was just one of many highlights of the 32nd Annual Meeting held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. President and CEO of The Hampton Roads Chamber, Bryan K. Stephens, kicked off the event with a state of the chamber report, as he outlined the achievements of 2016 and discussed the way ahead for 2017. Notably, Stephens unveiled the new brand identity of the Chamber. As of now the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is simply, the Hampton Roads Chamber. A bold new logo design and a new tag line “Means Business” form the cornerstone of the new brand. Stephens explained the three overarching goals of the Hampton Roads Chamber: becoming a impactful advocate by consistently and effectively leading the efforts to shape public policy and influence legislation that set the conditions for businesses to succeed, becoming a powerful economic partner by developing, diversifying and improving both the economy and quality of life in the region, and becoming an inspiring ignitor by promoting the important of regionalism and the power of collective impact.
Following Stephen’s exciting announcement, Joseph Witt of Presenting Sponsor, Old Point National Bank, introduced keynote speaker Christine Pantoya, Senior Vice President of Mobile Strategy for the National Basketball Association. Pantoya, an ODU alumna and leader in the mobile strategy field, focused her remarks on the areas of women in business and mobile strategy. “As women we need to use our platforms wisely, listen well, and speak impactfully,” said Pantoya.
New members of the Hampton Roads Chamber were welcomed and the new member spotlight sponsor Waterside District shared a video on their growing Cordish Companies project in downtown Norfolk.
Shepelle Watkins White, 2016 Chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber honored the retiring board members and presented Glen Robertson with the 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award. Robertson, an attorney with Wolcott Rivers Gates, worked tirelessly as the Vice Chair for governmental affairs traveling to Richmond to testify and advocate for pro-business legislation. Watkins-White then passed on the ceremonial gavel to the 2017 Chair Tom Winborne, formally installing the new officers and regional board, as well as division boards.
The meeting was called to adjournment on the very high note as the Hampton Roads Chamber was awarded the honor of a 5-Star Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“We build our stories by listening to the stories of others,” said Pantoya, and the story of the Hampton Roads Chamber continues to be a bestseller.
Thank you to our sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, Old Point National Bank; Host Sponsor, Virginia Beach Convention Center; Speaker Sponsor: Bon Secours; Special Presentation Sponsor, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare; Media Sponsors, Cox Communications and Sinclair Communications; Silver Sponsors, BB&, Kroger, and Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads; Brand Sponsor, Free Agents Marketing; Member Spotlight Sponsor, Waterside District; Design Sponsor, And One; Decor Sponsor: Premier Events; AV Sponsor, Elite Presentations; Mobile Advertising Sponsor, Mobile Advertising TV.
(Pictured: President and CEO Bryan K. Stephens is presented the Hampton Roads Chamber's 5-Star Accreditation by Pamela Gregory of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.)