Skip to content

Local Military Personnel to Receive Service Awards at Chamber Luncheon

The Defense Affairs Committee (DAC) of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold its first annual Service Awards Luncheon on October 21 to show support for local military personnel.

The Service Awards Luncheon, presented by UVA Foundation, will take place on Thursday, October 21, 11:30am-1pm at North Fork Meeting Center in Town Center Four. Registration to attend is required and includes a boxed lunch.

The Defense Affairs Committee will recognize an outstanding service member from each of the local commands, plus a notable cadet from each of the ROTC departments at the University of Virginia.

“Each of these service members was chosen by their unit as Service Person of the Year in recognition of their extraordinary commitment, skill and dedication,” said DAC Program Manager COL (Ret) Lettie Bien. “We’re honored to bring together the local business community and defense & intelligence community to celebrate their service.”

The following individuals will be recognized: MSG James MacLaren, JAG Legal Center & School; TSgt Clarissa Cruz, Defense Intelligence Agency; SFC Kenji E. Nishikawa, National Ground Intelligence Center; Cadet Captain Matthew Deaton, UVA Army ROTC; Wing Commander Alexis Haskiell, UVA Air Force ROTC; Midshipman First Class Jennifer Vance, UVA Naval ROTC; and Midshipman Second Class Tiffani Burdick, UVA Naval ROTC (Marine Option).

MSG James MacLaren
TSgt Clarissa Cruz
SFC Kenji Nishikawa

Featured speaker John M. Simmons will speak on “The Defense Budget: Growing the Central Virginia Defense & Intelligence Community.”

As a founder and managing partner of The Roosevelt Group, Simmons specializes in Congressional Appropriations, Cybersecurity, Defense Policy, Federal Budget Process and more. His clients include small R&D companies, large companies targeting government procurement, economic development entities, as well as states and local military support organizations.

The luncheon will be followed by a Ribbon Cutting & Open House introducing the community to "Chamber North," the Defense Affairs Committee (DAC) Office and Military Welcome Center at North Fork.

The ribbon cutting ceremony and open house will take place in Town Center Two at North Fork, 1:30-3pm. Refreshments will be provided. Registration is encouraged.

The mission of the Chamber Defense Affairs Committee (DAC) is to foster economic vitality by further strengthening the alliance of relationships among the Chamber, the Chamber network, the Central Virginia community, the regional defense & intelligence community, and our veterans.