Chairman’s Message

A Message from Martin V. Burks, III,
2018 Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors
Manager/VP, J. F. Bell Funeral Home


I am honored to serve as your 2018 Chairman of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  It is a privilege.  I pledge to each of you that I will bring the best of my abilities to this position at this critical time.

I am in full agreement with my immediate predecessor, Joe Raichel, that the Chamber Chair has three key duties:



  •  First, lead the 26-member Chamber Board in engagement in our Chamber mission and governance.
  •  Second, provide guidance, support and encouragement to our professional staff to better serve you – our members.
  •  Third, continue to actively seek dialogue with you on the ideals, accomplishments and strategic direction of our Chamber.

Our Chamber brings the most fundamental value to our Charlottesville business community.  Now in its 105th year, our Chamber is the premier, leading valued channel: to help build your business and to help build our community.

How does being our Chamber member help you build your business?

  •  Access to a 1,200+ network of enterprises.  Over 3,000 members attend Chamber events annually.
  • Chamber business referrals.  Our Chamber fields and make business referrals daily – to Chamber members.
  • Chamber website: tens of thousands of “visitors” & “views” with visitors clicking to Chamber member hot-links.
  • In 2017, over 300 individuals gained specific business and workforce skills through Chamber business workshops and forums. Leadership Charlottesville, our signature educational and networking program, is the premier local professional business development program – with nearly 1,000 graduates serving in various business and civic roles in our community

How does your Chamber help build your community?

  •  Through our mission: “dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities;”  Successful enterprise requires a thriving community and good nourishing, rising quality of life for all – and vice versa.  They come hand-in-hand.
  • We advocate for economic vitality & growth and job creation.  The best economic development & social program is a job with career opportunities.  Our Charlottesville Works Initiative, in partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College, is working to take citizens from dependency to self-sufficiency;
  • By collaborating with our vibrant allied nonprofit organizations to achieve common community objectives; and,
  • By advocating for community initiatives that enhance quality of life for all.

Our Greater Charlottesville communities is a welcoming, loving community, alive with commerce.  But it is not perfect.  Our Chamber brings a legacy of building a better, more embracing, uplifting community with a thriving economy with opportunity for all our neighbors today and for future generations.  It is our work. We are absolutely committed to our work.

Now more than ever, we need to strengthen our foundations, such as our Chamber, to help create a more positive business environment for us.  Together, with your continued commitment to our Chamber, we can build a better today and tomorrow here in our Greater Charlottesville communities.  Thank you.



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.