Suffolk Chamber rocks to a fun beat

Published 9:50 pm Thursday, March 23, 2017

By Bill Pollard

Continuing the momentum we built last year, we are off to a great start with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 program.

Within our overarching mission to be an advocate for business and to help organizations succeed, we have built a slate of activities that we think will help empower business leaders to optimum success.

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Utilizing our values of excellence, diversity, integrity and selfless service to guide our efforts, we intend to bring Suffolk business leaders together more regularly and this year to collaborate more routinely with our sister Chamber divisions.

In fact, just this past month, we held a joint meeting with the Portsmouth Chamber Division and had a wonderful presentation by the new president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Rick Weddle.

The rest of the year’s schedule is full of informative and unique activities we feel will help energize and provide educational and advocacy opportunities to help Suffolk businesses grow and prosper.

May is a big month for the Suffolk Division of Chamber in that we will have two major engagement opportunities for area businesses. On May 23, the annual State of the City event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, where Mayor Linda Johnson will outline proposed legislative and economic development proposals and policy directions for the upcoming fiscal year.

It is said that this year, more than any other time in our history, there are many opportunities to enhance our infrastructure and economic well being to keep Suffolk moving forward for decades to come.

On May 31, we will hold our second annual Suffolk Spring “B2B” Expo from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. With the theme of “Grow Your Business,” this event promotes local businesses and encourages citizen involvement. It offers opportunities for networking, idea sharing, product introduction and service solutions. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to recognize the invaluable board of directors for the Suffolk Division of the Chamber.

Our directors come from banking, healthcare, production, events, education, hotel, transportation and a whole host of other sectors. And, without our board officers, we would not have the successful organization that we have.

Working with me are Division Vice Chair and Events Committee Chair Susan Stone; Secretary/Treasurer Kevin Hughes; Immediate Past Chair and Communications Committee Chair Felicia Blow; and Membership Committee Chair Robin Samuels.

I invite and encourage you to visit our Facebook page at and to remain engaged with the Chamber. Please email me at to get involved.

We’d absolutely love your ideas and your engagement.

Bill Pollard is a banker with Virginia Commonwealth Bank and chairman of the Suffolk Division of the Hampton Roads Chamber.