The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Military Citizen of the Year Luncheon on October 11 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. The Samuel T. Northern Military Citizen of the Year Award was presented to AD2 Misty Herring of Strike Fighter Squadron Eight One. Herring was among the 17 nominees for this award, which honors an individual whose personal and public volunteer contributions have had the most positive effect on the Hampton Roads community. The luncheon also gives the Hampton Roads business community the opportunity to show its appreciation for the local military presence.
When presented with the award, Herring said,“This is a surprise and a tremendous honor. I’m happy to give back. Volunteering is a big part of who I am.” Herring has donated more than 350 hours of her personal time to the local community.
AD2 Herring, 29, is the first female to receive the Military Citizen of the Year Award presented by the Chamber. She serves in the Quality Assurance division of the Maintenance department of her command. Within the Navy, Herring volunteers as a Sexual Assault, Prevention and Response Advocate throughout the year. She has trained 200 personnel and through her efforts with the program has ensured the command and base has highly qualified personnel to assist those who are sexually assaulted. In addition, Herring volunteers as a CPR Instructor, and has qualified more than 90 people in CPR. From September 2012-September 2013, she organized and assisted bike rides, walks and other functions for the Cystic Fibrosis Virginia Chapter. In the summer of 2013, Herring volunteered with Green Team Sneakers, by soliciting and collecting worn sneakers for the organization to provide to individuals in need.
The keynote speaker at the luncheon was Carl Francis, who has served as the Director of Communications for the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) since January of 1994. Formed in 1956, the NFLPA is a non-profit professional sports organization that protects the interests and welfare of all NFL players. As Director of Communications, Francis manages the public image and perception of the NFLPA.
During his speech he shared inspirational insights such as, “leaders are not necessarily made, they are born. If you believe in your mission, you are a leader.” At the conclusion of his speech, he applauded the audience on their dedication to the service, and urged the crowd to continue volunteering.
Samuel T. Northern was a local businessman who devoted most of his life to strengthening the relationship between the local community and the military. Since 1951, this award has been given annually to recognize the military citizen who has made the most significant contribution in the area of community service. Each year, commands based throughout Hampton Roads are asked to nominate individuals for this honor. Members of the Chamber’s Armed Forces Committee then select the winner based upon their full, active and sustained participation in activities that benefit the community. Nominees are involved in everything from coaching Little League® teams, youth mentoring, fundraising, emergency medical services, and many, many more community programs.