Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce -

(Charlottesville, Virginia – September 15)  The Chamber of Commerce Business Diversity Luncheon will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15, 11am-1:30pm, at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.  This event is being hosted by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Council. Pamela Sutton-Wallace, CEO for the University of Virginia Medical Center, will deliver the keynote address. More than 150 are expected to attend.

The Chamber CMBC Business Diversity Luncheon is underwritten by the University of Virginia with BB&T serving as the Luncheon’s Gold Sponsor.  Other Chamber member firms also are providing luncheon support.

The Business Diversity Luncheon will be capped off with the awarding of the inaugural John F. Bell Sr. Vanguard Award. CMBC established the John F. Bell Sr. Vanguard Award this year to recognize an individual who, or business or organization that actively promotes diversity within the Greater Charlottesville business community.  The CMBC Vanguard award is named in honor of John F. Bell Sr., a respected business leader who established successful businesses during a time when society wasn’t so welcoming to people of his cultural background.  Ms. Kaye Monroe, owner of Dream Builders Academy and a Job Placement Counselor for the Department of Aging & Rehabilitative Services, has been selected as the recipient of the John F. Bell Sr. Vanguard Award.

Ms. Sutton-Wallace, named CEO of the UVA Medical Center in July 2014, has more than 20 years of healthcare experience, including 17 years at Duke University Health System.  Ms. Sutton-Wallace made history by becoming the first African-African, and woman, to lead one of Charlottesville’s prestigious hospitals.  She is highly regarded by her peers and UVA leadership is pleased to have her leading their medical center.

The Chamber CMBC Business Diversity Luncheon will provide attendees an opportunity to connect with a diversity of business professionals from all walks, backgrounds and experiences.  The Luncheon will help create opportunities for individuals to make business connections they might not otherwise be able to make.  It is about growing the diverse pool of individuals in hiring, to do business with and to refer other businesses to help ensure all citizens get equal business opportunities to build a strong, vibrant, growing, diverse business community.

The Chamber Minority Business Council was launched in January 2012 growing out of the City of Charlottesville’s Dialogue on Race, the Chamber’s “Orange Dot Project” recommendations, Chamber leadership and support from several leading Chamber member enterprises.

The objective of the Chamber Minority Business Council is to grow and support minority businesses by facilitating the startup of new businesses and the sustained success of existing businesses.  CMBC’s strategy is to provide access to the Greater Charlottesville business and non-profit community; to provide an advocating group to businesses and the foundations, governmental and non-profit customers/clients; and to provide a clearinghouse for creating new, sustaining existing, and nurturing longstanding relationships that lead to greater economic vitality.

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the greater Charlottesville communities.  Founded in 1913, today the more than 1,100 Chamber member and affiliate member enterprises employ more than 45,000 people in Greater Charlottesville, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.75 billion a year.