The Hampton Roads Chamber is working as an impactful advocate for you in Richmond. CEO & President Bryan Stephens, Board Chair Glen Robertson, and Chamber staff met with more than 325 leaders from Chambers of Commerce and businesses from around the Commonwealth in Richmond for Chamber Day at the Capitol. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce hosted the event. Attendees heard from the Governor, Lt. Governor, and representatives from the General Assembly.
Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax told the crowd “the Chambers are the engine that drives the economic growth and opportunity for Virginia.” Fairfax went on to elaborate on his family’s success in Virginia as “a story of opportunity in Virginia. There is strength in our own diversity.”
Governor Ralph Northam was the luncheon speaker. He praised the chambers. “It is apparent that what you do is heling business grow, helping startups and attracting new business. What I want to do as Governor and as a business owner is to make sure we have a strong economy in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure to take Virginia back to being number 1 for doing business in the Nation.”
Dr. Bob Holsworth moderated panel discussions with House and Senate leaders on their priorities for the 2018 General Assembly session. Participants from the House included Delegate Matthew James from the 80th district, which includes parts of the cities Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake. Delegate James stated he believed there would be agreement in the House of Delegates between Democrats and Republicans on “economic development, workforce development, and job creation.” James expects disagreement on “Medicaid expansion and budgetary priorities.”
Participants from the Senate included Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment from the 3rd District. Senator Norment spoke highly of Go Virginia and the efforts to bring regional collaboration to Virginia. The speakers on both panels discussed the importance of workforce development, as well as energy, health care, and transportation priorities.
At the Chamber Day luncheon, Suzy Kelly, CEO of Jo-Kell, Inc. in Chesapeake was elected Virginia Chamber of Commerce Chair for 2018. Kelly is a long time Hampton Roads Chamber volunteer, past chair of the Chesapeake Division and a graduate of Lead Hampton Roads Class of 1996. Kelly thanked the Hampton Roads Chamber and said she would “not be where I am today without LEAD Hampton Roads.”