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PLP Alumni News
Kristie Helmick (PLP 2008) has accepted a new position as Member Support Manager for the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Congratulations Kristie!
Susan Spears (PLP 2008) has been unanimously elected as the President of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations Susan!
The press release follows:
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The Board of Directors of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce announced today that it has chosen Susan Spears to serve as the Chamber’s President. Chairman Woody Van Valkenburgh said board members unanimously elected Ms. Spears take the reins of the organization.
“Susan has been with the Chamber for six years as a vice president responsible for several of the Chamber’s key initiatives. The Military Affairs Council and Leadership Fredericksburg have both seen tremendous success due directly to Susan’s leadership of the process. Over the recent four months as Acting President, Susan has demonstrated her commitment to the Chamber and her grasp of the leadership necessary to serve as President. She has risen to the task. She has led our small staff to rise to the task as well.”
The appointment of Ms. Spears as President comes at a strategic time for the Chamber. The Chamber’s board, working with the Chamber staff, and, most importantly, the membership, is devising new ways to serve current members via networking opportunities and educational forums that benefit existing business owners. Ms. Spears also worked closely with the Next Generation of Business Leaders group to ensure they have a vibrant environment for young professionals to network in, thus strengthening the odds that they will put down roots in the Fredericksburg Region.
“This is an exciting time to be working on behalf of our business community,” she said. “Our members are dedicated to building up both our economy and our quality of life. It is an honor help lead this fine organization that represents so many hard-working individuals who make this region the crown jewel of Central Virginia.”
Susan Garnett Spears grew up in Fredericksburg, graduated from James Monroe High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition from Virginia Commonwealth University. After many years in retail management, she joined the Chamber staff in 2004.
Ms. Spears is founder and president of MORE - Multicultural OutReach Effort – which strives to promote racial and cultural harmony in the Fredericksburg Region. She is an active member of the Fredericksburg Rotary Club. She currently serves on the City of Fredericksburg Planning Commission and its Historic Preservation Task Force. In 2008, she was honored with the Girl Scout Commonwealth Council of Virginia’s “Women of Distinction” Award in the category of Community Service. She is a graduate of the Thomas C. Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Institute.
She lives in downtown Fredericksburg with her husband, Richard, and their dog, Eddie.
In a statement released late this afternoon, Governor Bob McDonnell has appointed Matt Conrad (PLP 2009) Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.
The Virginian-Pilot has endorsed two Sorensen graduates for office in the Chesapeake elections scheduled for Tuesday, May 4.
Bryan Collins (PLP 06, CTP 06) was endorsed in his run for re-election to the Chesapeake City Council.
Christie New Craig (PLP 06) was endorsed in her bid for an at-large seat on the Chesapeake School Board.
Kenny Golden (PLP 2005) this week announced that he will withdraw from the Republican primary and run as an Independent in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. Click here or photo for video statement.
Golden's 2005 PLP classmate Scott Rigell remains in the running for the GOP primary.