“We need to look at the region in a different way.”
That was the message Jim Spore, President and CEO and ReInvent Hampton Roads drove home during his presentation at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Suffolk and Portsmouth Divisions member meeting on September 14.
Spore addressed attendees at the Sentara Belle Harbor facility in Suffolk during the first joint meeting of the two Divisions of the Chamber, and noted the inaugural joint meeting was an “encouraging sign of the collaboration needed to alter the region’s economic profile and performance.”
Following a greeting by Felicia Blow and Lee Brazzell, Suffolk and Portsmouth Division Chairs respectively, and a welcome by Dr. Steve Julian, President of Sentara Obici Hospital, Spore lead the audience through the four focus areas of ReInvent Hampton Roads: Leadership, Industry Clusters, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Development.
ReInvent Hampton Roads collaborates with regional partners such as GoVirginia, Old Dominion University, and local and state legislatures to create actionable solutions for the economic growth and development of the Hampton Roads region.
Following Spore’s presentation, a group discussion identified specific areas of focus for the Portsmouth and Suffolk Divisions, including strengthening the relationship between the Portsmouth Marine Terminal and Suffolk distribution channels in order to widen the scope of business for both areas.
Additionally, participants mentioned the need to encourage other Hampton Roads regions to push for changes that would benefit greater Hampton Roads, such as the extension of light rail and offshore energy, two areas of advocacy endorsed by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber is playing a great role in business climate in the region,” said Spore, “together we can create the conditions of success.”