UVA President James E. Ryan Will Give Keynote Address at Chamber Annual Dinner

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce today announced that the 105th Annual Chamber Dinner will be held on Wednesday evening, November 14th, at the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville.

The 105th Annual Chamber Dinner – underwritten by Ting, CFA Institute, Hantzmon Wiebel LLP, and Boar’s Head Resort – is the region’s premier business event, the showcase of business & civic leadership and achievement in our communities.  The Annual Chamber Dinner attracts approximately 400 business and civic leaders from throughout Greater Charlottesville.

James E. Ryan, the newly inaugurated president of the University of Virginia, will deliver the keynote address. Ryan, former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is an insightful scholar and engaging speaker whose commencement speech entitled “Wait, What?” became a viral sensation and later a New York Times bestselling book.

“We are thrilled to have Jim as our keynote speaker and to welcome him as the University’s ninth president,” said Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chairman Martin V. Burks III. “His reputation as both an educator and a public servant is stellar, and he’s spent his career working to improve equity in educational opportunity. On top of all that, he’s a funny guy. We’re looking forward to a great speech and a great working relationship with him.”

“One of my goals as president of UVA is to be a  strong partner and a good neighbor with our surrounding communities,” Ryan said. “I’m grateful to the Chamber for the work they’re doing to help businesses grow and strengthen the community, and I look forward to finding more ways to work together.”

“UVA is a critical economic engine for our community – and not just as one of our biggest employers,” said Chamber President Elizabeth Cromwell. “The University’s graduates play a key role in supplying talent for growing local businesses and startups.”

According to an independent economic impact study conducted in 2016, UVA’s Academic Division, its Health System and the College at Wise combine to generate $5.9 billion annually in economic activity for the Commonwealth of Virginia, along with 51,653 jobs.

The 105th Annual Chamber Dinner, held in the Pavilion Ballroom at the Boar’s Head Resort, begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30PM.  The dinner service “bell” will ring at approximately 6:30PM and our Keynote Presentation by Jim Ryan will begin at 7:45PM.

During the dinner, the Chamber will again award its prestigious annual Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award – the 44th Chamber McIntire Award presentation.  The Chamber of Commerce established this award in 1975 to recognize outstanding citizen contributions to the Greater Charlottesville area.  The Chamber’s award is named in honor of Paul Goodloe McIntire, “… whose good will set a standard of service that others through the years have reached for while helping to weave a fabric of selflessness that continues to provide for our community and its citizens.”

Past recipients of the McIntire Award include Kurt Krueger (2017), William Kehoe (2016), Dr. Marcus Martin (2015), and Cathy Smith Train (2014).

Tickets to the 2018 Annual Chamber Dinner are available on-line at  The cost to attend is $115 for Chamber members and their guests, $150 for non-Chamber members; a limited number of “Chairman’s Circle” dinner sponsor tables of eight (8) are available to Chamber member enterprises at $1,300.

Jim Ryan is no stranger to Charlottesville. He served on the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Law for 15 years. He was the Matheson & Morgenthau Distinguished Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. He also served as academic associate dean from 2005 to 2009 and founded and directed the school’s Program in Law and Public Service.

Ryan has written extensively on the intersection of law and education policy, with a particular focus on issues of diversity and equity, including school desegregation. He is the coauthor of the textbook “Educational Policy and the Law” and the author of “Five Miles Away, A World Apart.”

Ryan graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and earned his JD from the University of Virginia, graduating at the top of his class. Ryan and his wife, Katie, have four children.

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.  Founded in 1913, today more than 1,200 Chamber member and affiliate member enterprises employ more than 45,000 people in our community, generating a total payroll of more than $1.75 billion each year.


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.