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First "Hampton Roads' Elected Officials Regional Orientation" Meeting
First "Hampton Roads' Elected Officials Regional Orientation" Meeting
First "Hampton Roads' Elected Officials Regional Orientation" Meeting

Caption: (from left) Newly elected local city council members Donnie Tuck, Tommy Smigiel, Suzy Kelly, Will Moffett, and Scott Matheson.  “Regionalism” was the word at Hampton Roads Elected Official’s Regional Orientation meeting held on June 24 at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission in Chesapeake.

Newly elected city council members met with local business leaders to discuss ways of taking a more regional approach to business related affairs within each city.  This concept is the first region-wide, comprehensive economic development strategy of its kind.

The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and various other regional organizations hosted the event.  A roundtable discussion took place with newly elected city council members from three of the seven cities.  Lonnie Craig, Suzy Kelly and Scott Matheson from Chesapeake, Will Moffett and Donnie Tuck from Hampton and Tommy Smigiel from Norfolk, were introduced to the goals and visions of various regional organizations, with the shared mission of fostering regional growth and prosperity. 

Emphasis was placed on building relationships across jurisdictional boundaries and stronger engagement in regional issues.  The issues discussed included workforce development, transportation, military facilities and increasing the competitiveness of Hampton Roads in the global market.

Jack Hornbeck, CCE, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, introduced the Chamber’s role by saying, “We’re a little different than some of the other organizations here, but at the end of the day, we all share the same goal:  economic prosperity for Hampton Roads.” 

Hornbeck described the various programs within the Chamber such as LEAD Hampton Roads (LHR) and the Hampton Roads Business Political Action Committee (HRBizPAC).  He also discussed the mission of the Chamber’s affiliates, the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC) and the Hampton Roads Sports Commission (HRSC). 

He noted the upcoming AAU Junior Olympic Games, set to take place from July 29 - August 7.  Produced by the HRSC, the amateur sporting event is estimated to have a regional economic impact close to $50 million, with an average attendance of 45,000.  While the events will take place in various cities, Hornbeck pointed out that, “The entire region will benefit from the positive economic impact.”

Hornbeck reiterated that the Chamber is, “A regional organization with a local focus able to mobilize the business community.”

Future meetings for this economic development strategy are planned.

Participating Organizations:

 Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (HRCC)

Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA)

Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance (HRMFFA)

Hampton Roads Partnership (HRP)

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC)

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO)

Opportunity, Inc. (Opp-Inc)

Peninsula Council for Workforce Development (PCFWD)

Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (VPCC)


Following the May 4 elections, the following are local City Council and School Board members taking office July 1.


Chesapeake City Council                                         Chesapeake School Board

Lonnie E. Craig                                                             Christie New Craig

John M. de Triquet                                                        Bonita Billingsley Harris

Suzy H. Kelly                                                                  James A. “Jay” Leftwich, Jr.

Scott W. Matheson                                                       Harry A. Murphy

Ella P. Ward                                                                  Michael J. Woods


Hampton City Council                                              Hampton School Board

Will Moffett                                                                    Joseph C. Kilgore

Donnie Tuck                                                                 Jennifer P. Phillips 

Chris Stuart                                                                  Linwood D. “Butch” Harper


Norfolk City Council

Anthony Burfoot

Paul D. Fraim (Mayor)

Andy A. Protogyrou

Paul R. Riddick

Tommy Smigiel, Jr.

Theresa W. Whibley


Portsmouth City Council                                          Portsmouth School Board

Paige Cherry                                                                 James Hewitt IV

Bill Moody Jr.                                                                 Claude C. Parent, Jr.

Marlene Randall                                                            Ernest L. Reid, Jr.                  

                                                                                        Mark M. Whitaker


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