Nearly 800 business leaders and elected officials filled the ballroom at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott on December 15 for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s 25th Annual Meeting of the Membership. This year’s keynote speaker was Governor-elect Bob McDonnell. This event was one of his first major local appearances since his election victory in November.
During his speech, McDonnell admitted that Virginia has economic challenges, but he intends to be a “jobs” governor, creating a task force to focus on job creation and economic development. He received applause from the crowd when he commented that the key to prosperity is “the strength of the free enterprise system.” McDonnell said, “Transportation is something near and dear to this region.” He added that this will be the toughest challenge he will face during these difficult economic times.
While attendees dined on lunch, they heard from the Chamber’s President & CEO Jack Hornbeck, CCE, who recognized nearly 40 elected officials, special guests and thanked sponsors Freedom Automotive (Presenting), Norfolk Southern (Presenting), Elizabeth River Crossings (Gold), Rocket Direct Communications (Gold), Cox Communications (Media), BB&T (Silver), Bon Secours Health System (Silver), Dominion Resources (Silver), and Dobil Laboratories, Inc. (Bronze).
The Chamber’s 2009 Chair Bob Boyd (BB&T) thanked the retiring 2009 Regional Board Members as well as the 2009 Regional Executive Committee. Boyd presented Shep Miller (KITCO Fiber Optics) with the 2009 Volunteer of the Year award for his outstanding service. In 2006, Miller was elected Chair of the Hampton Roads Business Political Action Committee, and under his leadership, the HRBizPAC has strengthened the clout of the Chamber in the political arena. As his final duties as Chair, Boyd turned over the gavel to the Chamber’s 2010 Chair Nelson Adcock (GeoEnvironmental Resources). Adcock, who served as the 2009 Chair-Elect, will lead the Chamber in 2010 and be joined by elected officers Chair-Elect Nancy Bagranoff, D.B.A. (Old Dominion University) and Treasurer David Durham (SunTrust Bank).