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Professional Staff

Elizabeth Cromwell

Elizabeth Cromwell, President & CEO

With more than 30 years of experience in marketing, corporate sponsorship, public relations, investor relations and public/private partnerships, Elizabeth Cromwell has held positions in the private and public sectors. She also worked in e-commerce at a small start-up through its IPO. Prior to leading the Chamber in Charlottesville, she led the Frederick (MD) County Chamber of Commerce.

Andrea Copeland-Whitsett, LC13

Andrea Copeland, Committee Engagement Director

A native of Charlottesville, Andrea Copeland is an active member of her community. She hosts local television programs, emcees and moderates community events and discussions, mentors young women and girls and volunteers with various local nonprofits, including Community Investment Collaborative, United Way of Greater Charlottesville, Virginia Film Festival and the Emily Couric Leadership Forum, to name a new. Andrea is a graduate of Piedmont Virginia Community College and Old Dominion University. She has one furry baby, AnnaBella or “Bella”.

Lettie Bien 2

COL (Ret) Lettie J. Bien, Defense Affairs Committee Program Coordinator

A retired Army Reserve officer, an attorney and community activist, Colonel Bien has extensive experience working economic development issues in the domestic and international private and public sectors.  Her military background is in intelligence and special operations and she is a combat veteran with tours in Iraq and throughout Latin America. She has served as president of a chamber of commerce, worked for two Fortune 500 companies and has practiced law with a large firm as well as her own law firm. She is a fierce advocate for Veterans and their benefits and has recently been working with the University of Virginia to strengthen its programs for undergraduate student veterans.

Ann Marie Hohenberger

Ann Marie Hohenberger, Marketing & Communications

Ann Marie Hohenberger is a writer, entrepreneur, and perpetual volunteer. When she’s not organizing neighborhood meetings or attempting to grow vegetables, she’s probably wrangling twin daughters or escaping to the library for a quiet moment. She graduated from the University of Virginia, and her subsequent professional exploits have been called “interesting and substantial, but not the ideal fit.”


Sharon Engle

Sharon Engle, Accounting/Financial Services

Sharon Engle is a self-employed bookkeeper who works with several Charlottesville businesses. She’s been in business for herself for 17 years. She enjoys gardening, cruising, and volunteering with various local organizations. She has been with the Chamber for two years.


Ryan Everhart (2)

Ryan Everhart, Defense Affairs Committee Intern

Ryan Everhart was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and attended Saint Christopher's High School. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2020 having majored in Russian and Eastern European Studies and Foreign Affairs. Ryan has spent time abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and has edited a Russian-language textbook on nuclear security. He is excited to be a Master of Public Policy candidate at UVA's Frank Batten School of Public Policy and Leadership, and to bring his experience to bear for the DAC this summer.

Luke Pontzer (2)

Luke Pontzer, Defense Affairs Committee Intern

An active duty Air Force officer, Luke Pontzer is in the process of earning his Master of Public Policy from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Following graduation in December of 2021, he will return to the operational Air Force as an aircraft maintenance officer. He is a 2020 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and hopes to someday transition to private sector consulting or run his own business.