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, the 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 that 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 1600s 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.

The symbolism of the flag:

  • The blue panel predominantly suggests the 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 flat map 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 101 West Main Street, Suite 800 (8th floor of the World Trade Center), Norfolk, VA 23510. For other requests go to the Chamber Shop to order your maps online.

Interactive "Experience The 757" 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 Experience The 757 publication--featured in a new interactive "flip" format.

Hampton Roads Chamber Officers

Chris  Stone - Chair
President and CEO
Clark Nexsen
Jim  Bibbs - Chair Elect
Chief Human Resources Officer
LifeNet Health
Dawn Glynn - Treasurer
President - Hampton Roads & Northeastern North Carolina
TowneBank

Executive Committee

Jeff Tanner
Dean Strome College of Business - Vice Chair Development
Old Dominion University
Georgie Marquez
President - Vice Chair, Diversity
Andre Marquez Architects
Shawn Avery
Vice Chair - Education and Workforce
Hampton Roads Workforce Council
Angie Bezik
Vice Chair Government Affairs
Principle Advantage
Michele  Partridge-Lane
Chair - Vice Chair, Leadership Programs
Russell's Heating & Air Conditioning
Dave  Paradise
Vice Chair - Membership
Dollar Bank
Ronald  Lewis
CEO and Founder - Vice Chair Military Affairs
LTC2 Consulting
John  Wilson Jr.
Co-Owner - Vice Chair Small Business
Brown & Brown Insurance Agency of Virginia
James White
Regional Director - Vice Chair, Sports
Safelite AutoGlass
Tom  Marsden
Vice Chair - Young Professionals
Marathon Consulting
Felicia Blow
Associate Vice President - Vice Chair At Large
Hampton University
Johnny Garcia
Founder and CEO - Vice Chair at Large
SimIS Inc.
Bob Pizzini
CEO - Vice Chair at Large
iFLY Virginia Beach
John DeGruttola
Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing - Vice Chair at Large
Optima Health
Mike Fowler
Vice Chair - At Large
Even Keel Wealth Advisors
Glen M. Robertson
Attorney and Counsellor at Law - General Counsel
Wolcott Rivers Gates
Stephen R. Romine
Immediate Past Chair & Chair HRBIZPAC
Williams Mullen
Tonya Gill
Division Board Chair - Chesapeake
Primrose School at Cahoon Commons
Arketa Howard
Division Board Chair - Norfolk
Crowley
Paul Hunter
Division Board Chair - Portsmouth
Mid-Atlantic Business Communications
Brent R. Haden
Division Board Chair - Suffolk
Pender & Coward, PC
Pamela West
Division Board Chair - Virginia Beach
PNC Bank

Hampton Roads Chamber Board of Directors

Anthony Piglowski, Jr.
Suffolk Division Board - Chair-Elect
Freedom Street Partners
Lacy Shirey
Chesapeake Division Board - Chair-Elect
Chesapeake Humane Society
Maureen  McDonnell
Vice President of Sales
MSP Design Group
Ha Koehler
Managing Partner
On Point Communications
Darius Davenport
Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, PLC
Michael Donohue
Vice President/General Manager, OneADP Norfolk
ADP Norfolk
Michele Anderson
United Way Hampton Roads
Justin Ballard
Director of Business Development
S.B. Ballard Construction Company
Mindy  Carlin
Co-Founder and Partner
Access Point Public Affairs
Robert Crum
Executive Director
HRPDC / HRTPO
Darius Davenport
Managing Partner
Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, PLC
Robert Duvall
President
Virginia Natural Gas
William Harrell
President & CEO
Hampton Roads Transit
Andrew Hodge
Regional President
Union Bank & Trust
Reese Jackson
President
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
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
James Noel
General Counsel
The Franklin Johnston Group
Kevin Page
Executive Director
Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission
Dave Paradise
Senior Vice President
Dollar Bank
Dan Peterson
Market President
BB&T SunTrust Now Truist
Rick Dwyer
Executive Director
Hampton Roads Military & Federal Facilities Alliance
Charles  Rock
Rear Admiral
U.S Navy - Mid Atlantic Region
Bert Schmidt
President & CEO
WHRO
Joash Schulman
Co-Founder
Town Center Office Suites
Douglas Smith
CEO
Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance
Nancy Grden
President
ReInvent Hampton Roads
Bruce Thompson
CEO
Gold Key / PHR
Cathie  Vick
Chief Development and Government Affairs Officer
The Port of Virginia
Rhonda Bridgeman
President
Comfort Systems of Virginia, Inc.
Don Winchester
Senior Vice President, Director
PNC Bank
Bennett Zier
Vice President
Entercom
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