On December 10th, the Hampton Roads Chamber hosted the Virtual Annual Meeting. In a year that has brought unimagined challenges, Hampton Roads has demonstrated once again the strength, resiliency and vibrant energy that sets our region apart. The Annual Meeting provides the opportunity to discuss challenges, opportunities, achievements, future goals, and to honor those who work tirelessly to bring their leadership to the Chamber and to the Hampton Roads Business Community.
“Virginia has fared better than the rest of the nation. We are proud and blessed to be Virginians,” said Barry DuVal, the President and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. DuVal was the meeting’s Keynote Speaker and offered remarks on the state of the Virginia Business Community, and how Hampton Roads is doing its part to help the economic resiliency. He stated that Hampton Roads has a bright future, and offered focus areas the region can use to progress, such as:
“I want to commend you for your resiliency and the programs you’ve been able to produce this year. I hope you appreciate the leadership of the Hampton Roads Chamber. This is a rising star chamber in the Commonwealth. They have a clear focus on economic resiliency, and they have national recognition as an accredited five-star chamber. Thank you for your leadership and partnership with the Virginia Chamber,” said DuVal.
Stephens recognized regional leaders who have retired this past year, or will retire in the next few months. Ira Agricola of the Hampton Roads Chamber retired after serving the Chamber for 39 years. Jan Burton also retired from the Hampton Roads Chamber after serving for 32 years. We will also say goodbye to John Reinhart this year. He has served as the CEO of the Port of Virginia, growing the port and our regional economy in just six and a half years. Bob Matthias will leave his post as Assistant to the City Manager of Virginia Beach after nearly 45 years. Max Bartholomew will depart Dominion Energy after 50 years of service. Max serves as the Regional Policy Director. John Broderick announced his retirement as the longest-serving President of Old Dominion University Summer of 2021.
“In business and in life our limits have been tested, but we have continuously pivoted to the positive,” said 2020 Hampton Roads Chamber Board Chair, Rhonda Bridgeman. Bridgeman has served the Chamber as Chair for the past year, leading the Chamber through an unprecedented time.
Bridgeman announced the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient. Congratulations to Michele Partridge-Lane. Michele has served back-to-back terms as the Chesapeake Division Board Chair and has stepped in as the Curriculum Chair for LEAD757, and will continue her leadership in 2021 as the Vice-Chair for Leadership. Thank you Michele Partridge-Lane for your dedicated service to the Hampton Roads Chamber.
Bridgeman recognized the outgoing Board Members, thanking them for time and service to the Board of Directors. She then invited Steve Romine to the stage, welcoming him into his new position as the 2021 Chairman of the Board. Romine welcomed the new board members joining this year, stating he is looking forward to working together.
“I look forward to working with you, and all the members of the Hampton Roads Chamber Board this year. It is indeed a privilege to assume the Chair of the best Chamber for 2021. I know the challenges brought by the pandemic will continue for some time. This environment presents both hurdles and opportunities. I will continue to work hard to pivot to the positive, regain our business momentum, and establish the next normal,” said Romine.
Joe Witt, President of Financial Services and Chief Strategy Officer of Old Point National Bank offered Presenting Sponsor Remarks. He spoke on how Old Point National Bank has been able to assist their customers during these unprecedented times through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Reese Jackson, President and CEO of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare offered Speaker Sponsor Remarks. Jackson recognized the healthcare workers on the frontlines and how proud he is to serve as the President and CEO of an organization doing so much to serve others during this pandemic.
Dr. Tom Chamberlain, President and CEO of EdLogics offered Health Literacy Sponsor Remarks and spoke to the benefit of game-based learning for health literacy. He introduced Healthier757, a new non-profit in Hampton Roads dedicated to making Hampton Roads the best region for health literacy.
Amy Carrier, President of Bon Secours Hampton Roads presented Member Spotlight Remarks. She spoke about the Mask Up 757 initiative, and how imperative these measures are to our safety from COVID-19.
Thank you so much to our sponsors for making the 2020 Annual Meeting possible.