Hampton Roads Chamber President & CEO Bryan K. Stephens was one of four expert panelists invited to speak at the Reinventing Hampton Roads installment of the Business Executive Discussion. Stephens addressed the role of the Chamber, the importance of uniting as a region, creating a culture of collaboration and focusing on the wealth of assets we have in Hampton Roads that celebrate our strengths.
“We don’t have economic prosperity and growth along municipality lines,” Stephens said. “We are made up of hundreds of zip codes all under one area code, the 757 and we know that we are better when we all support each other.”
The other panelists included Jim Spore, President & CEO Reinvent Hampton Roads; J.D. Myers, II, Sr. Vice President & Region Manager Cox Communications Virginia and Deborah DiCroce, President & CEO Hampton Roads Community Foundation. The panelists discussed the strategic focus in creating more and higher paying jobs, building a culture of entrepreneurship and diversifying the economy.
Panelists addressed questions ranging from combating sea level rise, diversity and inclusion practices, opportunities for youth and talent development and how to encourage regionalism. Stephens said, “At the end of the day a region’s economic future is only as bright as its workforce.” He also emphasized the importance of creating business supported programs that allow employees to give back to Hampton Roads and get involved. “It’s imperative for businesses to operate with a social conscious,” said Stephens.