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Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce



Congratulations to Wojo, who has been named the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year. The Ambassador Committee is a diverse group of 25 volunteers who are dedicated to making a difference in the Chamber and the community. Ambassadors are liaisons between the Chamber and new and existing members. Wojo attends the Chamber’s networking events and helps recruit and welcome new members on behalf of the Chamber. “The biggest benefit to being a Chamber Ambassador is meeting new people and being able to help them grow their businesses,” said Wojo. He added, “The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce has helped me in numerous ways and given me the opportunity to meet and form relationships with literally hundreds of people.”

757-664-2573 Lauren Carpenter is the new Event Coordinator for the Hampton Roads Sports Commission. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sports Management from Old Dominion University. Previously, she worked for Lincoln Military Housing, the Shamrock Marathon, Old Dominion University Athletic Department and the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Lauren served as an intern for the Hampton Roads Sports Commission during the 2006 AAU Junior Olympic Games.

ALISA CRIDER 757-664-2533 Alisa has joined the Chamber as the Marketing and Communications Intern. She is a senior at Virginia Wesleyan College with a major in Communications and minors in Business and Sociology. At school, she is a resident assistant and serves as the Assistant Editor of the newspaper, The Marlin Chronicle. In addition to attending Virginia Wesleyan, she also works part time at Gilbert, Albiston, and Keller Law Firm in Norfolk.

Welcome New Members OCTOBER Accounting & Bookkeeping Solutions, Inc. Accurate Business Communications Allstate Insurance - Rawlins & Rawlins Inc. Avenue 23 Design BBG Incorporated Captain George’s Community Capacity Builders, LLC Crowley, Liberatore & Ryan, P.C. David Nygaard Fine Jewelers DeSigns, Inc. Edible Arrangements of Downtown Norfolk Exit Realty Consultants First Command Financial Planning- Ed Miller


CAITLIN DONLAN 757-664-2539 Caitlin has joined the Chamber as an Intern for LEAD Hampton Roads. Caitlin was born and raised in Plymouth, Ma., and is in her senior year at Virginia Wesleyan College majoring in History.


WALTER “WOJO” WOJNICZ Licensed Representative and Independent Associate, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. 757-478-9690

Winter 2010

SANDY GRECCO 757-640-2540 Sandy is the new Marketing Director for ChamberSolutions. She brings 20+ years of multi-media marketing and advertising experience that includes co-owning her own marketing consulting firm, developing marketing programs for several local non-profits, and working as Creative Services Manager for WVEC-TV. A graduate of James Madison University, Sandy is very familiar with the Chamber and is a graduate of both the Small Business Development Center Next Level program and LEAD Hampton Roads Class of 2002.

RYAN C. HALL Fixed Operations Director

LEAH HAMMOND 757-664-2537 Leah has joined the Chamber as a Marketing Intern for the annual Sustainable Resources Campaign. Leah, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, is a fifth year, triple major, senior at Virginia Wesleyan College. She will graduate in May 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science, Business and Communications.

Victory Nissan of Chesapeake is a division of the Victory Automotive Group comprised of a total of 19 dealerships across the United States and Eastern Seaboard. Victory Automotive Group is a company built on visions and dreams. After the owner, Jeff Cappo, acquired his first dealership in 1997, he worked to build a team of talented employees who would embody his philosophy of faith, family and future. Victory Nissan of Chesapeake has an all-around marketing approach, to include social media and virtual buying power all guided by Ryan Hall and the entire team at Victory Nissan that leads to increased sales, service, parts and accessory purchases.

Winter 2010

Chamber Reports From 2010 General Assembly Session Regarding Unemployment Insurance, the Chamber opposes bills SB 239 (Watkins R10th) and SB 562 (Puckett D-38th) that would permanently expand Unemployment Insurance. The expectation is that the Senate bills will emerge from the Senate so our focus will be on the House.

Though the Auto industry has taken some hard hits in the past year or so, Victory Nissan continues to receive high ratings in customer service and marketing initiatives.

Join us in welcoming these new Chamber members. For the most current member directory, visit

First Command Financial Planning-Steven Vause H2O To Go, Inc. JAV Group Jones Printing Service, Inc. Orchids for Hire Primeplus Norfolk Senior Center- Active Adult & Adult Day Services Progresso Consulting, LLC Signal 88 Security Stokleys Services, Inc. The HoneyBaked Ham Company Virginia Arts Festival WAFX/WNOR/WJOI

Virginia State Capitol



A Better Way Realty Brown Bag Cafe Fingertips Consulting, Inc. HR Innovations Inc. In the Pink PC, Inc. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant Miles of Seamless Gutter, Inc. Rooted Consulting, LLC Tidewater Physical Therapy, Inc.

The Noblemen, The Noblewomen, The Nobleteens ADP Small Business Services Alps Bar and Grill CITSLINC International, Inc. Command Post Technologies, Inc. Culinary Institute of Virginia E.R. Midgett Insurance Agency Eitan Mor - New York Life Insurance Company Guerrilla Social Media Intersect Technology Systems, Inc. John T. Stone Labor Finders

Lauren V. Wolcott, CPA, P.C. Loyola Enterprises, Inc. Noland Bath and Idea Center NTRUST Wealth Management Olde Towne Art Pacific Bridge Partners Power Play Bandva Premier Events Suffolk News Herald and Suffolk Living Magazine Summit Hill Realty Virginia Beach Basket Case


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The Commonwealth’s $4.2 billion budget deficit is the most critical issue facing the General Assembly. Significant cuts to K-12 education, higher education, public safety, Medicaid, and state employee benefits are expected. Governor McDonnell and the leadership of the House of Delegates have pledged not to raise taxes to balance the budget.


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he 2010 Legislative Session of the Virginia General Assembly convened on January 13 in Richmond. During the Session, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce will once again support bills that are good for Hampton Roads’ business and oppose those that are not. The focus of the Chamber’s legislative efforts are to influence and shape public policy to support sound, progressive business initiatives and regional growth.


• More than doubling the Governor’s Opportunity Fund (soon to be the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund) in Fiscal Year 2011 by increasing the state commitment by $12.1 million • Committing $5 million in Fiscal Year 2011 to a state industrial mega-site fund to attract new employers

• Using $2 million over the next two years to establish state economic development offices in major growth markets in China, India, and the United Kingdom • Supporting the fast growing bio-technology and life sciences industry by raising the $3 million cap on the Qualified Equity and Subordinated Debt Investment Tax Credit to $5 million in Fiscal Year 2011; investing $3 million in bioscience “Wet Lab” Facilities over the biennium; utilizing $2 million to reestablish funding for the Business Incubator Program in Fiscal Year 2011; and providing income tax exemption for qualified investments by technology and science startup companies in Fiscal Year 2012 (cost $500,000) • Increasing state funding for the Virginia Tourist Corporation by $3.6 million in each year for the next two years, and state funding for the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund by $2 million in Fiscal Year 2011 • Depositing the Wine Liter Tax attributable to Virginia wine into the Wine Promotion Fund ($1.5 million over two years) • Improving Virginia’s business assistance services by increasing funding for the Loan Guarantee Program by $1 million in Fiscal Year 2011; Continuing funding for the Business One Stop Program at $1 million over the biennium; Increase the appropriation for the Virginia Job Investment Program by $6.5 million in Fiscal Year 2011

On the issue of opening schools prior to Labor Day, 13 bills were introduced which have the potential to effectively “shut down” this region’s hospitality and travel industry during August. Five of these bills still active are: SB498 (Hurt R-19th), SB253 (Reynolds D-20th), SB77 (Reynolds D-20th), HB565 (Tata R-85th) and HB731 (Albo R-42nd). Legislation that affects even one week of the summer season may dramatically affect the industry’s success. There is $1.28 billion in state and local tax revenue generated by the tourism and travel industry – a large percentage going to support public education throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, summer employment for students would be negatively impacted. A favorable legislative outcome is expected. During the course of the Session, Chamber members receive weekly “Legislative News and Notes” along with “Legislative Call to Action Alerts” through the voterVOICE software vehicle. Through voterVOICE, members have the option of sending messages via email and/or letter to their representatives. It is important that you take the time to let your voice be heard when alerted through voterVOICE. If you are not currently receiving these communications and would like to, please contact Candace Reid at or 757-664-2572. For more information on the Chamber’s positions, visit and go to the “Advocacy” page.

To view our 2010 Legislative Priorities, visit

Seee our catalog: www .LGC CP

New Member to Member (M2M) discount cards, presented by Beach Eye Care, have arrived. Did you As a Chamber member, you have the opportunity to take advantage of exclusive discounts offered by other chamber members and your business can also offer your own discounts. For a complete list of M2M discounts, visit and go to the Member Discounts page. Simply present your card to a participating Chamber member and receive the listed discount. All members of your organization are eligible to receive these discounts. Chamber members will receive one new M2M discount card upon renewal. For additional cards or to offer a discount, contact Shannon Ford at or call 757-664-2504.


Year-In-Review Highlights of Chamber’s 2009 Accomplishments

Thanks To Our

Strategic Partners

• In October, completed relocation of headquarters and centralized operations and reduced operating expenses by 8.7%.

For more information about being a Strategic Partner, contact the membership department at 757-664-2504.

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce • 500 East Main Street • Suite 700 • Norfolk, VA 23510

H. Nelson Adcock, Jr., CHAIR Nancy Bagranoff, D.B.A., CHAIR-ELECT David Durham, TREASURER Robert M. Boyd, IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR John A. Hornbeck, Jr., CCE, PRESIDENT & CEO

he Chamber urges members to join in support for a high-speed rail corridor to Hampton Roads and enhanced intercity passenger rail service to the region. The Chamber endorses the extension of high-speed rail service from Washington, D.C. to Richmond/ Petersburg and the Hampton Roads region, designating a high-speed rail corridor along the Norfolk Southern/ Route 460 corridor, designated ultimately at speeds of more than 110 mph, and enhancement of the intercity passenger rail service along the CSX/I-64 corridor on the peninsula.


(from left) Thelma Drake, Director, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and Kevin Page, Chief of Rail Transportation, at the January 28 public hearing

On January 28, a crowd of more than 500 attended a public hearing from 5:30-8pm at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk. It was the final of three public hearings on the high-speed rail topic held by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. Like the hearings in Richmond and Newport News, the speakers supported a proposed route from Petersburg to Norfolk adjacent to U.S. 460. Nearly 30 regional leaders voiced their support at the hearing, including Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Chair Nelson Adcock (GeoEnvironmental Resources, Inc.). Adcock said, “When we surveyed members of the Chamber, the overwhelming response was that they want an alternate, quick, reliable, and economical transportation alternative from our region through Richmond and onto Washington, D.C.” He added, “This is a pivotal time in the economic health of not only the nation, but the Commonwealth of Virginia. Strategic decisions that bring progressive and innovative transportation solutions will influence where businesses locate and prosper for decades to come.”

• Counseled more than 500 small business owners through the SBDC, a program hosted by the Chamber.

• In May, LEAD Hampton Roads (LHR) graduated 51 business leaders from its nine-month program which focuses on progressive leadership practices and group dynamics.






High-Speed Rail

• Expanded networking events by launching the Morning Schmooze series and ConnectForLunch program. Additionally, the Chamber held its Speed Networking program monthly.





Sandy Sekeet 757-664-2530

Sarah M. Lampert 757-664-2503

Lisa Jones 757-664-2531

Visit us at: Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce CONTACT (USPS 380770) is published quarterly by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, 500 East Main Street, Suite 700, Norfolk, VA 23510. Periodical postage paid at Norfolk, VA VA POSTMASTER. Postmaster send address changes to Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, 500 Main Street, Suite 700, Norfolk, VA 23510.

The Chamber continues to stand against the elimination of the “dealer discount.” Chamber members face significant costs in collecting the Commonwealth’s sales tax including: training personnel, credit card interchange fees, documenting tax exempt sales, updating software, programming cash registers and managing tax audits and appeals.

The Chamber Supports


• Chamber’s elected officers were Chair Robert M. Boyd (BB&T), Chair Elect H. Nelson Adcock, Jr. (GeoEnvironmental Resources, Inc.), and Treasurer Nancy Bagranoff, D.B.A. (ODU). • Presented 149 events throughout our five-city service area, attracting 12,837 attendees. • 412 members received training through the Business Education Series, and 1,250 people attended Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC) training events.

• The Chamber and its HRBizPAC held a Congressional Issues Luncheon in May with Congressmen Randy Forbes, Glenn Nye, Bobby Scott, and Robert Wittman. Additionally, a Roundtable Luncheon with Senator Mark Warner was held in June and an open forum in August with Senator Jim Webb. More than 400 attended these events. • In October, Young Family Dentistry, based in Virginia Beach, was honored with the 2009 Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year Award. Continued on page 2

At the January 28 public hearing (from left) Dana Dickens (Hampton Roads Partnership), At-Large Member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board; former Virginia Senator Wiley Mitchell (Willcox & Savage, PC); Aubrey Layne (Great Atlantic Management, LLC), Hampton Roads Representative of the Commonwealth Transportation Board; Nelson Adcock (GeoEnvironmental Resources, Inc.), Chair, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce; and Jack Hornbeck, CEO & President, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

Winter 2010

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

Winter 2010


Second Annual Hampton Roads Business Brief:

State of the Economy he Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce held its second Business Brief the morning of January 13 at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. A regionally focused event, the 2010 Hampton Roads Business Brief focused on the state of the economy. The presentation by Gary Bigg, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Economist, provided the 184 attendees with insight into major topics of discussion, which ranged from national, state and local economy and indicators of the pending recovery and growth areas for the region.


Bigg told the crowd that he anticipates solid, albeit unspectacular economic growth over the next several years. He explained that one of the prime drivers of growth over the next two years will be a revival in trade. Bigg expects a revival in exports and

imports, which should provide a major boost to Norfolk port activity. In addition, since imports require space for warehousing, Bigg anticipates a firmer demand for industrial space. In 2010, real gross domestic product is forecast to grow by 3.2%. That growth in GDP (from left) Nelson Adcock (GeoEnvironmental Resources, Inc.), Chair, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce; Gary Bigg, Assistant Vice President, U.S. Economics, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch; Charles Henderson, President, Hampton Roads Market, Bank of America; is expected to accelerate to 3.4% and Terry Lavey, General Manager, Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in 2011. Because of the decreased value of the U.S. dollar, Bigg expects strong growth in heavy The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce thanks Presenting equipment and software manufacturing segments over this Sponsor Bank of America, Host Sponsor Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel and Program Sponsor Customer Magnetism. period.

View the presentation at

Experience China

• The Chamber joined a coalition of business interests opposing the reintroduction of the “Homestead Exemption.” Both the Senate and the House versions of the resolutions authorizing “homestead exemptions” failed to advance from committee. • Opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), also called “card check.” If approved by Congress, the EFCA would dramatically affect the circumstances under which unions are able to organize workers and jeopardize Virginia’s status as a “Right to Work” state. • The Chamber’s position against receiving federal stimulus money for Virginia’s unemployment insurance program was supported during the Virginia General Assembly’s Veto Session. • Supported the construction of a new fixed-span, two-lane toll bridge to replace the former Jordan Bridge. The U.S. Coast Guard approved the plan and a private firm will begin work in 2010. • The Chamber signed on to a U.S. Chamber letter to the U.S. Congress regarding health care reform to support lower health care cost, improving the quality of care, and making sure every American has access to affordable coverage.

Small Business of the Year Awards D o you know of a small business that is second to none? Help give them their due and nominate them for the 2010 Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year Awards. The Chamber is now accepting nominations. Businesses do not have to be Chamber members to be eligible. Nominations are due no later than Friday, February 26, 2010 at 5 p.m., and there is no limit to how many businesses you can nominate.

and World Expo 2010 Shanghai

In addition, the Leadership Award will be presented to an individual demonstrating leadership, impact on workplace culture, community service and involvement, professional achievement, and perseverance.


ack your bags and get ready to experience China! Join other Chamber members and business leaders from Hampton Roads on this exciting excursion from September 14-22, 2010. This 9-day, all-inclusive trip includes memorable sites and unforgettable cultural experiences for only $2,099 (incl. taxes) per person. This is a special Chamber member price! You will learn about the Chinese business system, have the opportunity to meet with Chinese business leaders, tour breathtaking attractions, and attend the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. This trip is open to the public. Space is limited. Make your reservation today!

Nominations are also being accepted for the “Top 10 to Watch.” Businesses that will be considered must be a South Hampton Roads for-profit emerging business with fewer than 99 employees, in business for six years or less as of January 1, 2010, but more than one year, or should have introduced a new product or entered a new market in the last five years.

Go to to learn more about this experience.

Go to for nomination and application forms for the above awards. For more information or to sponsor this Signature Event, contact Lindsey Sigafoos at 757-664-2535 or

Year-In-Review Highlights of Chamber’s 2009 Accomplishments [Continued from page 1]

• With the active engagement of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, the General Assembly took action in the 2009 session to save $80.4 million in “dealer discounts.” These discounts are fees that go directly to business for collecting the sales taxes for the Commonwealth.

Nominations Wanted for Chamber’s

• In September, a bipartisan slate of candidates was endorsed by the HRBizPAC after careful consideration of incumbent voting records and a review of responses to a comprehensive questionnaire detailing key public policy issues. With one exception in the race for Lt. Governor where a co-endorsement was made, all of the HRBizPAC endorsed candidates were elected on November 3. HRBizPAC endorsed candidates included: Governor – Robert McDonnell; Lt. Governor – Bill Bolling and Jody Wagner; Virginia House of Delegates (Incumbents): Kenneth Alexander (89th District), John Cosgrove (78th District), Sal Iaquinto (84th District), Chris Jones (76th District), Barry Knight (81st District), Paula Miller (87th District), Glen Oder (94th District), Harry Purkey (82nd District), Robert Tata (85th District); Virginia House of Delegates (Challengers): Chris Stolle (83rd District), Ron Villanueva (21st District), and Matthew James (80th District). • The 10th annual Sustainable Resources Campaign raised more than $678,000 in cash and budget-reduction trade through volunteer efforts in membership, sponsorship, and advertising sales. • In December, launched a new website with improved tools and resources for businesses. • Nearly 800 business leaders and elected officials attended the 25th Annual Meeting of the Membership in December featuring keynote speaker Governor-elect Bob McDonnell (pictured right). The Chamber’s 2009 Chair Bob Boyd (BB&T) presented Shep Miller (KITCO Fiber Optics) with the 2009 Volunteer of the Year award for his outstanding service.



Wednesday March 31, 12pm

Thursday April 8, 12pm

Tuesday April 27, 12pm

Chesapeake Conference Center

Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center

Hilton Garden Inn and Suffolk Conference Center


Virginia Beach


Friday February 19, 12pm

Thursday March 18, 12pm

Norfolk Waterside Marriott

Virginia Beach Convention Center

Series Presenting Sponsor:

Series Gold Sponsor:

Series Media Sponsor:

Series Bronze Sponsor:

Series Partner:

To register call 757-664-2558 or visit

2010 AAU Jr. Olympics are coming to town

July 28-August 7, 2010

Mark your calendars now for the 2010 Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year Awards luncheon on May 25, 2010 at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center.

Event Cities: Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Hampton Sponsorship Opportunities Available For More Information contact 757.664.2571 or


2tickets2Paradise n 2010, Marino Santarelli (Wachovia, A Wells Fargo Company) will serve as the Chair for the Sustainable Resources Campaign (SRC) with the goal of exceeding $700,000. This annual campaign assists the Chamber in funding its programs and services to the business community. When the community prospers, your business prospers.


The SRC is a great way for you and your team to meet local business leaders, work with many of the community’s finest volunteers, earn incentives, and have fun. Corporate teams

consisting of 1-8 team members reach out into the community and engage local businesses in the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce by selling memberships, sponsorships, and advertising. If you are interested in committing to the 2010 SRC, contact Sarah Martin Lampert, Vice President, Development & Marketing, 757-664-2503, Information about the Kickoff Event in April coming soon!

Hampton roads chamber  
Hampton roads chamber  

Thinking outside of the box if the difference between success and failure