Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads is situated in the middle of the Eastern seaboard where the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth rivers pour into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and meet the Atlantic Ocean to the region's east.  It is recognized as the 33rd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States, eighth largest metro area in the Southeast United States and the second largest between Atlanta and Washington, DC.  Six of the 10 largest population centers in the United States are located within 750 miles of Hampton Roads.

Administrative Divisions

Hampton Roads Map illustrating the borders of the 17 Cities and Counties of the 757 (c/o Envisioning 2020)

Home to more than 1.8 million people, the Hampton Roads region includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Southampton, Surry*, and York.

*As a result of the 2010 Census, Surry County was removed from the Hampton Roads metropolitan statistical area (officially the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC MSA) which also includes Currituck County and Gates County, North Carolina (not shown).

Etymology

The name "Hampton Roads" is a centuries-old reference that originated when the region was struggling as a British outpost 400 years ago. The word "Hampton" honors one of the founders of the Virginia Company, Henry Wriothesley - 3rd Earl of Southampton KG.  Signifying the safety of a port, "Roads", short for roadstead, in nautical terminology means "a place less sheltered than a harbor where ships may ride at anchor."

Hampton Roads is the birthplace of Colonial America.  It is home to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement and to Colonial Williamsburg.  Its rich history, thriving maritime industry and beautiful waterfront landscapes merge with livable communities, modern technology, economic prosperity and a strong military presence to create a unique and welcoming place in which to live and conduct business. 

In 1983, "Hampton Roads" became the official name for the region as recognized by the United States, unifying the Southside with the Peninsula, although the first recorded mention of "Hampton Roads" in the Virginia General Assembly was in 1755 (21 years before the founding of the United States) as the channel linking the James, Elizabeth, and Nansemond Rivers with the Chesapeake Bay.

Envision 2020 Regional Rebranding Initiative

On December 10, 2019, the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Hampton Roads Chamber concluded with a brief presentation and video which unveiled the region’s new brand, "The 757." Backed by a nine-month research effort which included surveying more than 3,000 people the Envision 2020 Regional Branding Initiative found that "The 757" resonates most strongly across all of Hampton Roads' communities.

Envision 2020 Regional Branding Initiative was guided by a task force of 30 community leaders and a stakeholder group of more than 100 community advocates who have shepherded the project from its inception. The initiative began as a mission to understand the current perceptions about the region's brand identity.  Through the Envision 2020 task force research has shown that even residents and business leaders have had trouble in defining who and what Hampton Roads is.

The task force raised project funding and hired SIR, a strategic management consulting firm, to manage the project.  John Martin, CEO of SIR, led the rebranding initiative and research process. 

"While a name is part of our story, what’s bigger is who we are and where we need to go in terms of our market," said Martin.  He asked the audience how the region can market itself to people both within the region and outside of it.  Martin discussed the vitality of branding and drawing young professionals to live and work in the region.  "We don’t have a branding problem, we have a marketing problem," he said.

"The 757" is more than just an area code -- it’s a point of pride and empowerment, especially for the region’s younger generation, and it could become a robust regional signifier for everyone to use and embrace.  The Envision 2020 Regional Branding Committee released a separate report detailing the rebrand.  To learn more, visit www.Envisioning2020.com.

Flag of Hampton Roads

Flag of Hampton RoadsThe Hampton Roads regional flag was created in 1998 in a highly public process sponsored by the Hampton Roads Chamber and the Hampton Roads Partnership.  From more than 1,000 designs submitted by high school students in a regional contest, three finalists were chosen and were voted on by the general public through the media.

The gateway to Southeastern Virginia, Hampton Roads includes among its sixteen municipalities, symbolized by the flag’s stars, cities such as Norfolk, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Southampton's Roadstead, the original name of Hampton Roads was given in the early 1600's by the Royal Governor in honor of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton KG. The nautical term roadstead, meaning a safe anchorage, calls to mind the area’s great history as a naval base, port, and center of shipbuilding.

Hampton Roads famous museums and performing groups make Hampton Roads the arts capital of Virginia, along with its research facilities in aerospace, particle physics, and oceanography, together with tourism, higher education, health care, and high tech manufacturing, characterize the area’s modern economy.

The Hampton Roads flag is the first flag ever created for a metropolitan region of the United States.

Symbolism of the flag:

  • The blue panel predominantly suggests maritime and naval character of the Hampton Roads region, which is the nation’s primary naval base on the Eastern Seaboard, the East Coast’s second largest seaport, and the country’s primary center of shipbuilding and ship repair. 

  • The green panel stands for the region’s land-based agriculture, industry, and arts. 

  • The white wavy line represents the sand and surf that help make the region one of the nation’s most visited tourist destinations--from Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown to Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum and the famous resort area at Virginia Beach.

  • The sixteen white stars symbolize the region’s cities and counties. The circle shape the stars are displayed in signifies the classic symbol of unity, and they all point to the center to represent the aspiration for regional cooperation.

The flag as a whole was created to symbolize the sense of community shared by the region’s 1.7 million residents and its motto, "Hampton Roads — Where Virginia Meets the Sea."

Order the Flag of Hampton Roads

The flag of Hampton Roads is a registered trademark of the Hampton Roads Chamber. Display the flag and show your regional pride.  To purchase flag merchandise from the Chamber's exclusive vendor, US Flag & Signal, visit www.aflagshop.com, or call 757.497.8947 ext. 104.  An exclusive Hampton Roads lapel pin can also be purchased from the link above.

Map Project

Participating Chamber members are featured in this Interactive Map. You can find them listed in the Business Locator section of Maplocator.  This online companion to the flatmap includes: a category listing, pinpoint on the map and information about each member.  If you would like a flap map please contact the Chamber at 757.622.2312 and one can be provided to you at no charge. Our Chamber office is located at 500 East Main Street, Suite 700 (7th floor of the BB&T building), Norfolk, VA 23510. For other requests go to the Chamber Shop to order your maps online.

Interactive "This is Hampton Roads" Annual Publication

Whether you are visiting the area or reside we encourage you to take advantage of all Hampton Roads has to offer. For starters, take a look at our This is Hampton Roads publication--featured in a new interactive "flip" format.

Hampton Roads Chamber Officers

Rhonda Bridgeman - Chair
President
Comfort Systems of Virginia, Inc.
Chris  Stone - Treasurer
President and CEO
Clark Nexsen

Executive Committee

James White - Vice Chair, Development
Regional Director
Safelite AutoGlass
Jim  Bibbs
Chief Human Resources Officer - Vice Chair Diversity
Virginia Port Authority
Jeff Tanner
Dean Strome College of Business - Vice Chair Education & Workforce
Old Dominion University
Angie Bezik
President and CEO - Vice Chair At Large
Principle Advantage
Michelle Woodhouse
Vice Chair - Leadership Programs
Tidewater Community College
John Martin
Vice Chair - Marketing & Communications
SIR
Maureen  McDonnell
Principal - Vice Chair Development
The McDonnell Group
Ronald  Lewis
CEO and Founder - Vice Chair Military Affairs
LTC2 Consulting
Johnny Garcia
Founder and CEO - Vice Chair Small Business
SimIS Inc.
John DeGruttola
Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing - Vice Chair Sports
Optima Health
Kurt Krause
President and CEO - Vice Chair Tourism
VisitNorfolk
Daniel Sileo
Vice Chair - Young Professionals
Norfolk Southern
Felicia Blow
Associate Vice President - Vice Chair At Large
Hampton University
Robert Culpepper
VP. Operations, Real Estate - Vice Chair at Large
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
Susan Long-Molnar
President/Owner - Vice Chair at Large
Managing Communications Consulting
W.S. Miller III
Managing Partner - Vice Chair At Large
Trident Utility Contracting LLC
Thom Prevette
Director, Advocacy & Community Relations - Vice Chair at Large
Bon Secours Virginia Health System
John  Wilson Jr.
Co-Owner - Vice Chair Membership
Brown & Brown Insurance Agency of Virginia
William J. Holloran Jr.
Senior Vice President/General Manager - Chair HR BIZPAC
Day & Zimmermann
Michele  Partridge-Lane
Chair - Chesapeake
Russell's Heating & Air Conditioning
Georgie Marquez
Vice President - Chair, Norfolk
Andre Marquez Architects
Deborah Gittens
President - Chair, Portsmouth
Women in Defense Greater Hampton Roads
Bill  Pollard - Chair, Suffolk
Senior Vice President
Virginia Commonwealth Bank
Bob Pizzini
CEO - Chair, Virginia Beach
iFLY Virginia Beach
Glen M. Robertson
Attorney and Counsellor at Law - General Counsel
Wolcott Rivers Gates
Martin A. Joseph
President & CEO - Immediate Past Chair
360IT Partners

Hampton Roads Chamber Board of Directors

Michele Anderson
United Way Hampton Roads
George Ball
Regional Vice President
Wells Fargo
Justin Ballard
Director of Business Development
S.B. Ballard Construction Company
Bob Barton
Vice President
Beach Ford
John Borderick
Old Dominion University
Paul Fraim
Attorney
Fraim & Fiorella
Thomas Frantz
CEO & Chairman
Williams Mullen
Dianne Greene
Division Vice President and General Manager
ADP
Kasia Grzelkowski
President & CEO
VersAbility Resources
Andrew Hodge
Regional President
Union Bank & Trust
Reese Jackson
President
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
Susan  Jacobs
Vice President, Human Resources
Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries
Ruth Jones-Nichols
President and CEO
Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia
Mark Klett
President & CEO
Klett Consulting Group
Ron Lauster
President
W.M. Jordan Company
Bob  McDonnell
Principal
The McDonnell Group
Dr. Scott Miller
President
Virginia Wesleyan University
J.D. Myers, II
Senior Vice President & Region Manager
Cox Communications
James Noel
General Counsel
The Franklin Johnston Group
John Reinhart
Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
The Port of Virginia
Julia Rust
Attorney
Pierce McCoy
Bert Schmidt
President & CEO
WHRO
Bruce Thompson
CEO
Gold Key / PHR
Don Winchester
Senior Vice President, Director
PNC Bank
Charity  Volman
President - South Hampton Roads
TowneBank
Bennett Zier
Vice President
Entercom
Dave Paradise
Senior Vice President
Dollar Bank
Darius Davenport
Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, PLC
Kay Miller - Vice Chair, Suffolk
Physician Recruiter
Sentara Medical Center
Dee Oliver
Va Beach Planning Commissioner
Kelly's Tavern
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