The Chamber of Commerce Serving Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County elected their 2020 officers and board of directors during their final meeting of the year on December 11, 2019. The board of directors serve three-year terms.
John Stallard of C.H.E.F.S. Catering Company was elected President of the Chamber. John relocated to Rockbridge with his family in 2002. Having more than thirty years in the culinary and restaurant industry, Stallard started C.H.E.F.S. (Creative Hospitality Events from Stoneridge) in 2005. The catering kitchen is set on the 32-acre property known as Stoneridge Inn just south of Lexington.
Stallard and C.H.E.F.S. have contributed to many community organizations over the years, including Rockbridge Area Hospice, Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity, and the Lexington-Rockbridge Jaycees. C.H.E.F.S. has been a corporate sponsor of the Chamber for the past 4 years.
When asked his thoughts about stepping into the role of President, Stallard replied: “The Chamber’s message has been loud and clear in recent years: foster civic engagement, sustain economic progress and revitalization in our community and promote workforce education. I wanted and needed to be part of something bigger than myself, so being more involved in the community and the county through the Chamber for the past 5 years has really shown me how truly blessed we are to be in such a beautiful, vibrant and growing community.”
Jim Jones from Natural Bridge State Park Manager, was elected to serve as Vice President. Jim became the park manager in July of 2016. He started his career as a ranger at Claytor Lakes and served in several other state parks throughout the Commonwealth as well as park headquarters for about 15 years. Additionally, Jim operated his own business in sales and installation of commercial playgrounds in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. After a decade and a half, he decided to leave the world of retail and returned to his original calling at state parks.
His family roots are from Lee County; he grew up in Staunton and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, has a bachelor degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech and lived in Botetourt County for most of his life, so he understands Southwest Virginia. He and his wife Jen are now residents of Rockbridge County, calling this home. Between them they have four children: Ethan, Rachel, Evan and Hallee. He looks forward to serving the communities of Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista.
Mary Buzzard grew up in Buena Vista and has spent her entire career in community banking, helping her neighbors, friends and family with their banking and mortgage needs. A founding member of the CornerStone Bank management team, Mary established the Retail Banking division and now serves as Vice President, Senior Retail Credit Officer & Mortgage Manager of CornerStone Mortgage Services. A mother of four, Mary enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, coaching softball, kayaking, fishing and other outdoor activities.
Also joining the board of directors are: Katherine Brinkley, Washington & Lee University; Shane Gonsalves, Sweet Treats Bakery; Christy Harris, Edward Jones Investments; and Lauren Welsh, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
The board of directors’ returning members are: Patrick Blevins, State Farm Insurance; Tim Braddick, Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.; Steve Funkhouser, Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Department; Dave Hawkins, Raetz & Hawkins PC CPAs; John McCoy, Commonwealth Environmental Associates; Holly Ostby, Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital; Stacy Stevens, Bank of Botetourt and Virginia Mountain Mortgage; Jonathan Tarris, Tarris Law, Bobbie Wagner, Rockbridge YMCA; Jay Williams, Virginia Military Institute; and Ben Worth, Dabney S. Lancaster Community.
For more information about the Chamber of Commerce serving Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County, online business directory or community events, visit lexrockchamber.com or call (540) 463-5375.