2016 brings new opportunities

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2016

By Felicia Blow

As the new division chair for the Suffolk Division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, I’m very excited about what’s to come both for the city, the region and the chamber.

This is a year we are describing as one of growth and impact. Through effective advocacy and business development strategies, we will positively impact our members and the Suffolk community where we work and live. Through effective deployment of targeted programs and services, we will have significant impact on the businesses we serve and the region.

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But this is not possible without you. We need your support, feedback and engagement. Here’s how you can help:

  • Meet with me and other leaders in the Suffolk Chamber Division. We want to get a first-hand sense of the issues and programs you feel are imperative to move Suffolk and the region forward. We’ll seek your feedback through an email survey and through programs or events that are business- and community-focused.
  • Come to the meetings. Our goal this year is to set a short, but effective set of meetings and activities to seek your involvement and engagement. For example, our first division-wide event this year is the May 2016 State of the City address. Volunteer and staff leadership of the Suffolk Division of the Chamber will be onsite following the address. Additionally, we will host the HRCC Annual Golf Outing at Cedar Point Country Club on June 16.
  • Legislative advocacy. Public policy is messy sometimes. But that does not preclude our responsibility to do the best we can to build effective solutions that support business.

This year is a mayoral and City Council election year. We’ll work to hold a town hall meeting to meet the candidates and hear their perspectives. 2016 is also a big state and federal election year. Knowing the issues that are of most importance to you is critically important to us. So be on the lookout for information regarding these legislative activities and programs.

My goal is to grow the Suffolk membership and programs and revitalize our efforts to be the “voice of business” in Suffolk. The mission of the chamber is to help business succeed, drive regional economic growth and enhance the quality of life of our region’s communities.

Work with me and other leaders in the Suffolk Division of the chamber to meet this objective. I’d like to hear from you. Let’s make 2016 great.

Felicia Blow is the 2016 chair of the Suffolk Division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Email her at fblow@tcc.edu.