“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.
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
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