Business Diversity Council

Effective January 1, 2016, the Chamber Minority Business Council CMBC logo_finalbecame the Chamber Business Diversity Council (CBDC). The name change reflects the growth and direction of the Council. In addition to continuing our efforts of increasing  the presence of minority business enterprises (MBE) with the Chamber of Commerce which, in turn, increases diversity within our Chamber, the Council will also become more involved with growing MBE’s in our community and well as with initiatives that will increase business opportunities between minority business enterprises and other businesses.


Council Meeting Time: 12:30PM – 2:00PM, every 4th Thursday of each month
Location: Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

General Meetings Dates*:

January 26
February 23
March 23
May 25
July 27
August 24
October 26
November 30

*Subject to change based on major chamber events scheduled as they may overlap with general meeting date/time.

CBDC-Hosted Events for Chamber Members & Community*. Hosted in partnership with other businesses and organizations:

April                            Event to Be Announced
June                           Diversity Networking Mixer
September 19           Chamber Business Diversity Council Event
December                  Holiday Mixer

*Dates to be announced.


The Chamber Business Diversity Council (CBDC) was launched January 2012 and is an outgrowth of the City of Charlottesville’s Dialogue on Race, the “Orange Dot Project”, and the leadership of several Chamber member enterprises.

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

The Chamber Business Diversity Council goals are to substantially increase the creation of new businesses and improve their success rate in Charlottesville and surrounding areas; to serve existing businesses by enhancing their viability through increased exposure and visibility; and, to create an incubational environment where ideas, strategies, and talents are exchanged among members.


2016 Chamber Business Diversity Luncheon

The 2016 Chamber Business Diversity Luncheon was a tremendous CBDC Luncheon 2016-1success! More than 160 people filled the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center to support the Council’s second luncheon celebrating business diversity. This year’s luncheon was the Chamber’s most diverse event hosted by the Chamber, and the area’s largest diverse business event.

Bill Cooper, Director, Diversity Strategies with Atlantic Constructors, gave the keynote address with a focus on diversity and inclusion. He encouraged attendees to “lean into discomfort” by joining others who are different from us rather than judging them. This helps all people to be successful. CBDC Luncheon 2016-2

Forward Adelante Business Alliance was selected the recipient of the 2016 John F. Bell Sr. Vanguard Award. Alex Urpi, FABA VP, accepted the award of behalf of Olga Morse, FABA’s founder, and the FABA leadership team.

Many thanks to David Dillehunt and CPA-TV for recording the event to air on Comcast Channel 13. You can see the luncheon video here.


CBDC  mixer 1mixer6mixer7mixer8
CBDC mixer 3mixer4mixer5

Photos from the 2016 Chamber Business Diversity Mixer at Graduate Hotel-Charlottesville

2017 CBDC Officers:

Chamber Liaison: Andrea Copeland-Whitsett, Director of Member Education Services

Interested minority business enterprises** and nonprofit organizations may contact Andrea Copeland-Whitsett for more information

*Minority Business Enterprise

A Minority Business Enterprise is a business that is at least 51% owned by one or more minority individuals** who are United States citizens or legal resident aliens, or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51% of the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership or limited liability company or other entity is owned by one or more minority individuals.

-Department of Minority Business Enterprise
Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia — 2007
** African American, Asian American,
Hispanic American, Native American

The Chamber Business Diversity Council thanks its members, supporters and friends for helping to make our events a success. To see photos from our events, please visit the Chamber Photo Gallery.

Our Mission

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business, and enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.