State of the Chamber Address

To view Pastor Lonnie's segment go to

“State of the Chamber 2010” was held on Friday at the Country Club of Culpeper. Every seat was full to hear the new program format this year. The Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Gary Lee (also a partner at Yount Hyde & Barbour, PC) decided to do something different this year. We wanted to deliver value to the business community by asking industry leaders from different sectors on the local economy to give a 5 minute update about the business sector that they serve.

There were highlights in every sector. Jerry Raines from Stellar One Bank gave an overview about the Banking Industry suggesting that this economic climate is an opportunity to adapt and come out stronger.

Sharon Clark of Pepperberries spoke about the Retail Industry in Culpeper. She commented on a recent figure from the Retail Federation suggesting that retail sales should be up 2.5% nationally. She described a program called 350 that promotes buying locally because 68% of dollars spent locally in locally owned businesses stay in the community.

Rose Cornelious - Hospice of the Rapidan reported on the Non-Profit sector of the community. She highlighted the fact that Non-Profit agencies in Culpeper employ over 1000 employees and deliver significant dollars in the local economy.

Lonnie Wilkerson – Pastor of the Hope Community Church shared about the Faith Based Community. He offered that the Pastors of Culpeper are on their knees praying for the community and that the churches are helping to meet the needs of many through creative and practical programs.

John Maxwell – Culpeper Regional Health System – This marks the 50th year of operations for the Culpeper Regional Health System. Mr. Maxwell shared story after story of milestones and achievements at the Culpeper Regional Health System. We have world class services at our Regional Health System.

David Harris – The Rochester Corporation – spoke about how the major industries and manufacturers in Culpeper are working together to support one another. It is very important to keep manufacturing in the USA, Virginia, and Culpeper. We have world class manufacturing in Culpeper contributing significantly to the community.

Beth Burns – Culpeper Tourism – cited statistics that state $1 invested in Tourism provides a return of $5 to the local economy. In addition, despite the snow, the Visitor Center visits are up 40% this year. We are seeing results from the advertising in national publications, the e news letter, website, and social media. Go to to discover Culpeper.

Jeff Muzzy – Culpeper Town Manager – spoke about progress in the Water and Sewer issue. He cited many town projects that will improve the quality of life in our community.

Frank Bossio – Culpeper County Administrator – spoke about the challenges faced by the County. He too was encouraged by the progress in the joint Water and Sewer negotiations between the Town and the County.

Dr. Johnson – Superintendant – Culpeper County Public Schools commented on the many programs that are underway in the school system to advance the quality of education for the students.

The “State of the Chamber” - a Strong Team

Best Regards

Jim Charapich, President / CEO

Culpeper Chamber of Commerce