Tidbits – December 2021

December events scheduled by the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce include December 7, 2021 Annual Meeting and First Citizen Recognition recognizing outgoing board of director members, welcoming 2022 board of directors, recognizing 2021 annual partners and recognizing Charlie and Mari Ann Banks, chamber ambassadors; and December 9, Pink Bag Lunch, featuring Tamara G. Payne, deputy garrison commander for ASA Fort Eustis, Department of the Army. For registration and additional information, go to www.virginiapeninsulachamber.com/events/calendar.

Newport News City Council accepted the donation of a restored 1980 Chessie caboose from the Lee Hall Train Station Foundation. The foundation acquired the caboose from the CSX Transportation Company, saving it from being scrapped, and it invested $18,262 along with more than 200 hours of volunteer labor to fully restore it. The City will fund the relocation of the caboose from its current storage location at Fort Eustis to the Lee Hall Depot, which opened this past summer as a museum for public visitation. The caboose will also be used for educational purposes.

Orrin Banner has been named top September Sales agent for Coldwell Banker Tradition’s Peninsula office.

Robert (Bob) Halloran has joined Liz Moore & Associates as marketing director. Halloran has more than 15 years of experience as marketing director at VHDA (now Virginia Housing), where he led a team of marketing professionals, working to increase awareness of resources to make housing affordable for Virginians. He also provided marketing consulting to a for-sale condominium community, housing related non-profits, local government officials and independent living communities. His experience includes strategy development, digital/social media, customer service delivery, marketing research, inbound marketing campaigns, public relations and web development. Halloran also operated his own marketing agency.

Bob Biedron (left), a volunteer for Virginia Peninsula Foodbank since April 2020, is recognized for his 600 hours of volunteer services to the community with News Channel 3’s People Taking Action Award. Reporter Kurt Williams presented Biedron with a $300 gift card from Southern Bank. Since retirement, Biedron has participated in many different hunger relief events with the Foodbank on a weekly basis. When he was asked what he would do with his prize, he immediately said “I think I’ll donate it to the Foodbank!” Biedron says about volunteering, “I just like helping people — it’s a good feeling.”

The Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center has opened on the campus of Christopher Newport University with Night Light, a display of artwork that explores nature through the lens of technology and the innovative use of light. The exhibition will continue through May 15, 2022. In addition to the Night Light exhibition, the William M. Grace Community Gallery will present Nocturne, featuring work exploring the intersection of darkness and light, created by artists in the Hampton Roads region. The Academic Gallery, dedicated to the work of students, faculty and alumni, will present the ArtCNU Alumni Invitational, celebrating the talent and creativity of Christopher Newport’s alumni as well as the legacy of the university’s fine art program. The Microgallery will present What It Means to Be a Fox, an immersive installation by Christopher Newport alumnus and adjunct professor Ryan Lytle ’15, known for his large-scale felted sculptures and bold, highly patterned environments. There is no admission charge and no tickets are necessary to experience Night Light and other exhibits at the Torggler. For more information, visit thetorggler.org.

Mariners’ Museum has scheduled the following December programs with the disclaimer that events are subject to change: December 2, Evening Lecture (virtual) featuring Icebound: Arctic Adventures of William Barents by presenter Andrea Pitzer, author; December 3, Beyond the Frame with Kyra Duffley, Mariners’ Museum digital content assistant; December 3, Civil War Discussions, (in-person program) with John Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, discussing the Battle of Fredericksburg; December 6, Maritime Mondays (virtual); December 9, Evening Lecture (virtual) featuring Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by presenter Andrea Pitzer, author; December 10, Civil War Lecture, (virtual) with John Quarstein, discussing Rear Admiral Stephen Decatur Trenchard; December 11, Three Men, Three Gifts and a Journey (in-person program); December 12, Friendly Hours (in-person program); December 13, Maritime Mondays (virtual); December 17, Civil War Lecture, (virtual) with John Quarstein, discussing 19th century Christmas Traditions; December 20, Maritime Mondays (virtual); and December 27, Maritime Mondays (virtual). For times, registration and fees, visit www.MarinersMuseum.org or the Live Programming webpage.

Chaz Fiscella
Jamie Coldsnow

Top October agents for CENTURY 21 Nachman Realty’s Peninsula office were Chaz Fiscella, top listing, closing and producing agent and Jamie Coldsnow, top selling agent.

A. Eric Kauders, Jr. has been appointed president and CEO for Old Point Trust & Financial Services, N.A. (Old Point Trust). Kauders has more than 20 years of wealth management leadership experience, where he led the fiduciary business in a three-state region with $16 billion in assets under management at Bank of America Private Bank. Prior to that role, he practiced law with McGuire Woods, LLP, where he represented banks, trust companies and individuals in fiduciary, contract and bankruptcy matters. Kauders currently serves on the board of directors for the Virginia Council on Economic Education and the Virginia Bankers Association’s Trust and Wealth Management Committee.

Military members, local business owners, high school students and folks eager to make a positive difference in their community converged on the East End of Newport News in October to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg’s first Repair Blitz since the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 150 volunteers toted trash; painted siding, railings and fences; caulked doorways and windows; and essentially gave 11 homes a much needed facelift. All labor and materials are provided for a nominal fee to eligible homeowners thanks to community sponsors and volunteers. Dominion Energy and the United Way of Virginia Peninsula sponsored the Repair Blitz. Businesses and organizations that led teams included W.M. Jordan Company, Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, New Horizons Regional Education Center, Serve the City Peninsula, Lifehouse Church, Criner Remodeling and the U.S. Army. Atlantic Communications, Jason’s Deli and Fox Screen Printing contributed to make the day a success. Janet V. Green is CEO of Habitat for Humanity.

Brown Edwards, a full-service regional accounting firm, has been awarded Associate Member of the Year for the Associated Builders and Contractors of West Virginia (ABCWV). This is the first year this award has been given by the ABCWV. The Associated Builders and Contractors is a national association with 72 chapters representing 22,000 merit shop construction-related firms that primarily perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors. The Brown Edwards construction practice has been dedicated to serving the construction industry since 1967. Hugh Barlow is the firm’s partner in the Oyster Point offices.

Langley for Families Foundation has announced $95,000 in grants for its annual impact cause funding. FreeKind, Safe House Project and Survivor Ventures will each receive $25,000. The Foundation a-
dopted the fight against human trafficking as its focus for 2021, creating awareness campaigns and providing virtual training for Langley employees. FreeKind, formerly known as Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, will be adding a transitions coordinator to support its Offramps for Survivors program. FreeKind focuses on intervention efforts within the judicial system or intercepting victims who have been misidentified as criminals, and planning transition from incarceration to include shelter and other support services. Safe House Project will implement healthcare human trafficking identification and prevention training, with a proposal to design, build and deploy a survivor-informed, trauma-informed and patient-centered online training that equips U.S. healthcare workers to identify potential human trafficking victims, give support and offer resources. Survivor Ventures has successfully piloted Survivors to Entrepreneurs (S2E), a program that addresses economic empowerment for trafficking survivors by offering typical trauma-informed victim services while also increasing employment. Additionally, Samaritan House and Transitions Family Violence Services will each receive $10,000 grants. Laurel Ramey is foundation director.

Monique Hampton has been hired jointly by Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) and Newport News Education Foundation (NNEF) to serve as director of the Foundation and as corporate partnership liaison for NNPS. Hampton will support both the school division and NNEF by building corporate partnerships and raising funds to support the mission of ensuring all students graduate college-, career- and citizen-ready. As associate director of donor relations at DePaul University in Chicago, Hampton developed a university-wide donor stewardship program to acknowledge, support and engage donors.

VersAbility Resources has been selected as a 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders awardee. This grant provides leadership development and $200,000 in funding for VersAbility to launch its new Future of Work program, an initiative designed to train people with disabilities to fill critical jobs our economy needs to thrive. The award was announced by Frank Castellanos, president of Bank of America Hampton Roads. The grant will be received over two years, with comprehensive leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader. Kasia Grzelkowski is president and CEO of VersAbility Resources.


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