The Chamber of Commerce Serving Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County elected their 2017 officers and board of directors during their final meeting of the year on December 13, 2016. The board of directors serve three-year terms.
Left to right: President Joe Sokoloski; Vice President Col. Jay Williams; Treasurer Timothy Braddick
The Chamber’s officers for 2017 include newly elected President Joe Sokolowski. Sokolowski holds a Degree in Economics and Business from Virginia Military Institute and serves on the VMI Keydet Club Board of Governors, as well as, the Rockbridge Public Service Authority Board of Directors. He has been a member of the Chamber board since 2015 and previously served on the board in 2009 & 2010. Sokolowski is currently the Assistant Vice President, Sr. Credit Analyst at CornerStone Bank. Joe and his wife, Stephanie will celebrate their 25th anniversary this year and have one child, Taylor who is a freshman at Elon University.
When asked about his new role, Sokolowski replied: “I look forward to serving in this capacity and carrying on the wonderful work of my predecessors. We have a very dedicated staff and energetic Board of Directors. The Chamber plans to grow membership in 2017 and continue to serve its current membership by establishing a strong local presence in all of the Rockbridge County localities that make our community a special place to work and live.”
Col. Jay Williams of Virginia Military Institute was elected Vice-President of the Chamber. Col. Williams has served in his current role as VMI’s Post Engineer for over twelve years. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute in 1983, a Master of Public Administration from Troy State University in 1990, and became a registered Professional
Engineer in the State of Virginia in 1998. Col. Williams currently serves on the Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital Board of Directors, is Chairman of the Chessie Trail Advisory Committee, Association Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) International Board of Directors, and serves Trinity United Methodist Church in a leadership role. He has been a member of the Chamber board since 2014. Jay and his wife, Paige have been married for 21 years and have three children – Merryn (freshman, Virginia Tech), Trey (junior, RCHS), and Olivia (7th grade, LDMS).
The board elected Timothy J. Braddick as the organization’s Treasurer. Tim currently serves as the Director of Fraternal Operations for Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. In that role Tim oversees various director-level staff in fulfillment of the organization’s strategic goals. His areas of focus include: risk management, claims administration, education, human resources and convention planning. Tim earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. He is a 12-year resident of Rockbridge County. Tim has previously served on the Board of Directors for Rockbridge YMCA and also served as a youth-group leader for the Lexington Presbyterian Church. He has been married to his wife Kara for 5 years and they have a two-year-old daughter, Hadley.
Joining the board of directors are: Jan Hawthorn, Washington and Lee University; John Nicholson, Virginia Horse Center; Suzanne Sheridan, Rockbridge Area Health Center; and John Stallard, C.H.E.F.S. Catering.
The board of directors’ returning members are: Patrick Blevins, State Farm Insurance; Tyson Cooper, Southern Virginia University; Sarah Dyer, Urban Farm Girl; Steve Funkhouser, Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office; Tom Lovell, Blue Lab Brewing Co./Washington and Lee University; Will Moore, James Wm. Moore Real Estate; Casey Nye, Devils Backbone Brewing Co.; Holly Ostby, Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital; John Rainone, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College; and Chris Williams, Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe.