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Join Us in Celebration!

Elizabeth Cromwell 2021

A letter from Elizabeth Cromwell, President and CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, published in albemarle magazine, October-November 2022.

Our business community is still reeling from volatility in a post-pandemic, maybe-recessionary environment. Some sectors are booming, while others would be booming if only they could resolve the supply chain issues. Others are less bullish and struggle to hire staff and make ends meet. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to pause and reflect that we’re still here, and we’re still moving forward at an admirable clip.

As we perch on the precipice of 2023 after several roller-coaster years, what’s next? How about a Celebration? There’s no time like now to dust off the heaviness of the past couple of years and let our collective hair down for an evening of drinks, hors d’oeuvres, music, and so many friends, old and new.

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Team is thrilled to announce a cocktail holiday event to celebrate our Chamber and acknowledge the individuals and organizations that mean so much to this community. You don’t need to be a business person, a Chamber member (or even a local!) to attend. If you are grateful for a local business or organization, then we’d love to have you be our guest!

We have selected the Wool Factory within the Historic Woolen Mills for our December 1 celebration, and it’s a fabulous location for many reasons—but there’s one overarching reason why we selected this spot. The building pays significant tribute to our region’s industrial past. And at the same time, it leans hard into the new economy with tenants redefining the future of business. It’s a marriage of old and new that encompasses our past, present, and future.

Located one mile from Downtown Charlottesville, the site was first developed as a gristmill in 1795. During the Civil War, the Union Army burned what had become a wool factory, and it was reborn in 1868 as the Charlottesville Woolen Mills, which was in business until 1962.

Developer Brian Roy, WM Development, purchased the property in 2017 with a big vision (that is shared and supported by the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County). The historic building has transformed into the home for WillowTree, the rightly famous digital products developer with clients across the globe. It’s also home to the fabulous Wool Factory, which includes a brewery, fine dining establishment, and a boutique coffee and wine shop.

In recognition of our Chamber’s history, we will continue the tradition of presenting an award for the Chamber Business Person of the Year and the Christopher Lee Small Business Person of the Year.

We will introduce a new award to recognize an organization leading the pack in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts and corporate social responsibility. The newly created award will reflect the spirit of our business community both now and in the future, and we look forward to receiving many nominations from readers like you.

As we acknowledge the past, appreciate the present, and plan for the future, we invite you to visit for ticket and sponsorship information for this brand-new tradition. We can’t wait to see you on December 1 (with bells on!).


We thank albemarle magazine for supporting the Chamber through our Partners in Trust program.

Click here to see more from the current issue of albemarle.