contentsVirginia Peninsula Chamberads

Chamber Information

Although there is archeological evidence that some sort of business trade associations existed in Mesopotamia, the first recognized chamber of commerce was established in France in 1599. It is still in existence today and is known as the Chambre’de Commerce. The second chamber was established nearly 100 years later on the English Channel Island of St. Helier off the Jersey coast.

The first American Chamber of Commerce was established in 1770 in New York City. It later moved to Albany and is known today as the Empire State Chamber of Commerce. The first local Chamber was established in 1773 in Charleston.

The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce traces its history back to its earliest records dating to 1898 where we find the Hampton Board of Trade and The Newport News Business Men’s Association. In July of 1903, the Chamber of Commerce of Newport News was formed. In 1904, the Hampton Chamber of Commerce was established.

In April of 1935, under the leadership of Lloyd Noland, Sr., the following business organizations: Newport News, Hampton, Phoebus, Warwick, Williamsburg, James City County, York County and Elizabeth City County, consolidated to form the Virginia Peninsula Association of Commerce. In December of 1958, the name changed to the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and in September of 1984, the named changed to the current, Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. The records indicated the following list of volunteer leaders through those years.

Newport News Business

Men’s Association
1898-1900 — William B. Vest
1901 — J. Addison Willett, Jr.
1902 — William E. Barret

Hampton Board of Trade
1898-1899 — William E. Lawson
1900-1904 — William J.A. Cumming

Chamber of Commerce of Hampton
1904-1935 — Records Unavailable

Chamber of Commerce of Newport News
1903-1904 — James L. Patton
1905 — Albert L. Powell
1906 — Henry B. Holmes
1907 — Walter B. Livezey
1908 — Clarence P. Jones, M.D.
1909 — Walter S. Copeland
1910 — W. Lee Powell
1911 — T. Otis Bland
1912 — William B. Colonna
1913-1914 — Matthew C. Armstrong
1915 — Bernard W. Crump
1916 — John I. Viney
1917-1919 — John N. Shannahan
1920 — Joseph A. Massie
1921 — Philip W. Hiden
1922 — Robert P. Holt
1923-1924 — Godfrey L. Smith
1925-1926 — Chester D. Porter
1927 — Abe Horowitz
1928 — Thomas J. Hundley
1929 — William B. Ferguson
1930 — Norman E. Drexler
1931 — Lewis T. Jester
1932-1934 — Eugene F. Dugger

Virginia Peninsula Association of Commerce
1935 — Lloyd U. Noland
1936 — Robert P. Wallace
1937 — Raymond B. Bottom
1938 — Harry A. Keitz
1939 — G. Franklin Lenz
1940 — Edward J. Robenson, Jr.
1941 — Charles A. Ferguson
1942 — Joe W. Wheeler
1943 — Alex M. Conner
1944-1946 — Charles K. Hutchens
1947 — David Dick
1948 — Ward R. Scull
1949 — S. Sydney Bortner
1950-1951 — Leslie R. O’Hara
1952 — Max Shapiro
1953-1954 — Frank A. Mitchell
1955 — George T. Abernathy
1956-1957 — W. Ward Anderson

Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
1958-1959 — Willits H. Bowditch, Sr.
1960-1961 — William R. Van Buren, Jr.
1962-1963 — Lewis A. McMurran, Jr.
1964-1965 — Robert S. Hornsby
1966 — William W. Wyatt
1967 — George H. Hill
1968 — Rodgers A. Smith
1969 — Robert J. Curtin
1970 — Charles E. Hastings
1971 — Troy L. Davis
1972 — Gordon B. Cutler
1973 — Richard Newman
1974-1975 — Prentis Smiley, Jr.
1976-1977 — Karl F. Lanier
1978-1979 — Alden A. West
1980-1981 — Sylvia Berry
1982 — Edward Harris
1982 — Erwin B. Drucker
1983 — Gordon L. Gentry, Jr.

Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
1984 — Frank R. Bloxom, Jr.
1985 — Kenneth F. Palmer
1986 — Robert B. Terrell
1987 — Gerald R. Brink
1988 — W. Lee Barnes
1989 — William M. Grace
1990 — Alan Witt
1991 — L.E. Queen
1992 — Robert Kenerley
1993 — Conway H. Sheild, III
1994 — S. Michael Evans
1995 — C. Wayne Williamson
1996 — Howard B. Waters
1997 — Arthur J. Kamp
1998 — Alfred J. Shrieves
1999 — Anna V.B. McNider
2000 — Svein J. Lassen
2001 — Charles G. Armfield
2002 — Paul W. Garman
2003-2004 — Frederick N. Elofson
2005-2006 — Joseph R. Witt
2007 — D. Guy Manchester
2008 — Chuck Mitchell
2009-2010 — Joycelyn Spight-Thrower
2011-2012 — Mark Hanna
2013-2014 — Kasia Grzelkowski
2015 — Robert F. Shuford, Jr.
2015-2016 Robert F. Shuford, Jr.
2017 Debra Flores

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