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Chamber Announces its 2013 Leadership

Chamber Announces its 2013 Leadership
Chamber Announces its 2013 Leadership
Chamber Announces its 2013 Leadership

At the September 26 Board of Directors meeting, the following individuals were elected as the Chamber’s 2013 officers.  These leaders will take office at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting of the Membership on December 5.  The Chamber thanks its 2013 officers for their commitment to serve.  



Deborah K. Stearns, CPM, SIOR, is Senior Vice President at Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate.  Deborah’s experience includes office property sales and leasing, commercial development, mergers and acquisitions, and operational management. Stearns is focused on brokerage and business development.  Stearns is active in the community and serves on the Board of several regional organizations, including the Hampton Roads Partnership and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance.  In 2011, Deborah served as the Chamber’s Treasurer.  In April 2012, Deborah was elected Chair of the Chamber, replacing Maurice Jones, who relinquished his duties in order to become Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.



Michael M. Dudley is President and CEO of Optima Health Plan and a Senior Vice President of Sentara Healthcare. Optima Health Plan is the health plan division of Sentara Healthcare. Serving 450,000 members in Virginia, Optima Health Plan provider network consists of nearly 20,000 physicians and 92 hospitals. Prior to joining Sentara in 1996, Michael served as President of Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company, President of the Northeast Region of Kaiser Permanente in Hartford Connecticut, and President of Kaiser’s Vallejo Medical Center in California.  He completed Stanford University’s executive management program and is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives. Michael serves as a Director on the Boards of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) – the nation’s principal association of health plans and insurance companies, and the Virginia Association of Health Plans.  He has served the Hampton Roads Chamber as Vice Chair of the Marketing & Communications Committee and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Resources Campaign.  In 2012, Michael served as the Chamber’s Treasurer.



Susan Blackman is a partner at Willcox & Savage, P.C., practicing employment law and business immigration law.  She helps employers solve workplace issues including medical accommodation, discrimination and matters involving employees’ rights.  She represents employers in court proceedings and before the EEOC, Dept. of Labor, and U.S. immigration agencies.  She obtains visas and green cards for foreign employees and advises clients about U.S. employment and immigration laws. Susan is in The Best Lawyers in America for both immigration law and employment law.  Richmond Magazine named her as one of the “Top 25 Women Attorneys in Virginia,” and she was the only Hampton Roads lawyer recognized by Benchmark Litigation as among the top 250 women litigators in the country.  Susan is a past Chair of the Chamber’s Virginia Beach Division and has served on the Chamber’s Regional Board of Directors since 2007.


Also serving as members of the 2013 Executive Committee:


President and CEO

Jack Hornbeck, CCE

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce


Vice Chair, Governmental Affairs

Michael Fowler

Merrill Lynch


Chair, Hampton Roads Political Action Committee

W.S. “Shep” Miller, III

KITCO Fiber Optics


Vice Chair, Investments

Joseph Witt, CPA

Old Point National Bank


Vice Chair, Leadership Programs

Jeffrey Ainslie

Ainslie Group


Vice Chair, Membership & Communications

Shepelle Watkins-White

ShepelleWatkinsWhite Consulting and Law, PLLC


Vice Chair, Small Business

Jeff Richardson

Beach Commercial Finance


Vice Chair, Sports

John W. Wilson

WBR Insurance Agency LLC


Co-Chair, Sustainable Resources Campaign

Susan Archer

Old Dominion Steel & Container Co. Inc.


Co-Chair, Sustainable Resources Campaign

Joe Thomas



Vice Chair, At Large

Dr. Tony Atwater

Norfolk State University


Vice Chair, At Large

Deborah Butler

Norfolk Southern Corp.


Vice Chair, At Large

David Durham

StellarOne Bank


Vice Chair, At Large

Jodi Gidley

Virginia Natural Gas, Inc.


Vice Chair, At Large

David Mele

The Virginian-Pilot


Vice Chair, At Large

Steve Romine

LeClair Ryan


Vice Chair, At Large

Thomas Winborne

Clark Nexsen, Architecture & Engineering


Chair, Chesapeake Division

Patrick Reynolds

Ashby Development, LLC


Chair, Norfolk Division

Grey Persons

Military Newspapers of Virginia


Chair, Portsmouth Division

Missy Thomas

NASSCO-Earl Industries


Chair, Suffolk Division

Bettie Cuddyer

Sentara Obici Occupational Medicine


Chair, Virginia Beach Division

Cathie France

Commonwealth of Virginia


General Counsel

Hugh L. Patterson, Esq.

Willcox and Savage, PC


Individuals elected to serve as members of the Chamber’s Regional Board of Directors beginning in December 2012:


Clyde Clark

Wells Fargo


Dawn Glynn



Shira Itzak

Remedy Intelligent Staffing Services


Tim Peters

Norfolk Sheraton Waterside Hotel

Wade Powell

Wade Pale and Assocs./Dale Carnegie


James Sherwood

Bon Secours Virginia Health System


Judy Swystun

Hampton Roads Transportation



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