The Hampton Roads Chamber is "Simply the Best" and has a five-star accreditation to prove it!
At the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Membership, Clark Jackson of the U.S. Chamber presented Hampton Roads Chamber President and CEO Bryan Stephens with the five-star accreditation. “This puts the Hampton Roads Chamber in the top 1 to 2 percent of all 7000 chambers in the United States.”
The event's keynote speaker, Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin, agreed with the assessment. "You have been recognized as one of the best in the nation. You deserve it. I was humbled to receive your biz PAC endorsement. You jumped in with me.” Youngkin outlined his Day One plan for Virginia. “We will transform government and make it work for us. Customer service will be words used in the Youngkin Administration." Youngkin endorses pro-business policies to help remove the red tape that makes it hard for businesses to start and survive. He spoke of eliminating the grocery tax, suspending the gas tax for a year, lowering taxes for veterans, and giving tax rebates for the overpayment. Youngkin spoke highly of the business community's support for his candidacy. "Now we are all on one team, Team Virginia. And Team Virginia is going to win." Job creation, innovation incentives, and lowering the cost of living are Youngkin’s priorities to make Virginia more competitive. Youngkin wants to offer support for the Universities and colleges, preparing the next generation of workers, and increase trade school programs for students who are not college-bound. Youngkin is looking forward to taking the oath of office and helping Virginia return to glory. "The spirit of Virginia is alive and rests in our current generation of dreamers.”
Speaker Sponsor Gold Key |PHR CEO Bruce Thompson introduced Glenn Youngkin to the crowd. He spoke of their initial meeting. “I left that meeting with a smile on my face and pep in my step. We finally have someone who understands the business community.” Thompson was Youngkin’s campaign finance director and is now handling the multi-day inauguration celebration. “Big, bold, inclusive, fun, and something for everyone.”
COX Communications Vice President Nneka Chiazor had the challenging task of following Glenn Youngkin. She rose to the occasion discussing her company's commitment to helping build a better future. She told Youngkin, "hashtag, we got your back." Chiazor highlighted the myriad of companies that make up the COX brand. "We hope you will look to COX to be your provider of choice for transportation, electric vehicles, fresh salad, and of course, broadband."
Presenting Sponsor Old Point National Bank President of Financial Services, Joe Witt, was proud to point out, "We have been around for 100 years." And Old Point has been the presenting sponsor for the Hampton Roads Chamber Annual Meeting for 10.
Member Spotlight Sponsor Reese Jackson highlighted the innovation underway at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare. Neuroscience advancements, mother/baby centers, and cancer treatment are all part of their growth.
Hampton Roads Chamber President and CEO, Bryan Stephens delivered his annual State of the Chamber report. “Your Chamber is healthy, growing, and more impactful than ever. All Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are strong and trending in the right direction. We have exceeded all financial objectives.”
The annual meeting of the membership marks the handoff of the Chairman of the Regional Board of Directors. The Chamber bid a fond farewell to Steve Romine of Williams Mullen, who led the board through 2021, and welcomed Chris Stone of Clark Nexsen for 2022. Jim Bibbs of Lifenet Health is 2022 Chair-Elect, and Dawn Glynn of TowneBank is 2022 Treasurer.
Thank you to all our exiting board members and volunteers. Before his departure as chair, Steve Romine named Angie Bezik as volunteer of the year for her efforts as Vice-Chair Governmental Affairs. Amy Yendall is Ambassador of the Year.
The last bit of big news out of the Annual Meeting is that as of January 1, 2022, Volunteer Hampton Roads will become an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber. CEO Stephanie Gorham and her staff have already moved into the Chamber offices. Volunteer Hampton Roads Board Chair Christopher Pierson will also serve as Vice-Chair Volunteerism for the Hampton Roads Chamber.
Thank you to Vice Chair for Interfaith Relations, Dr. Antipas Harris, for a lovely invocation. Local singer Marie Whitley began the event with a heartfelt National Anthem and ended the day belting out "Simply the Best!"
The Hampton Roads Chamber thanks all our sponsors for the 2021 Annual Meeting: