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Loudoun’s Howard Earns Statewide Recognition For Chamber Leadership

© Leesburg Today - 06/29/2015

Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tony Howard is the 2015 Executive of the Year, as named by the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The award was announced June 25 at the VACCE annual meeting in Roanoke.

The award not only recognized the Loudoun Chamber's role as a business advocate, but also its success in growing membership. Last year, the Chamber's roster grew by 19 percent, to more than 1,300 members, the highest membership total in over a decade. The VACCE also cited the Chamber's BizVotes Election Education Campaign to increase the influence of businesses in local public policy and the issues that impact the overall quality of life.

""He began as the chief cook and bottle washer of a small-and financially troubled at the time of his hire-Chamber of Commerce in 2006,"" noted Scott Hamberger, who served as Chamber chairman in 2014. ""Since then the Chamber has grown to the second largest in Northern Virginia with a full time staff of 10, supporting 100 plus events per year and 14 permanent programs.""

Howard was lauded for playing an instrumental role in leading post-recession small business growth in Loudoun, successfully rallying support for the Dulles Metrorail expansion, and getting more non-profit organizations involved with the Chamber through the Non-Profit Initiative and the launch of the Connect Northern Virginia website.

In 2014, Howard also led the creation of the Loudoun Chamber Foundation, dedicated to supporting economic development, public safety and quality-of-life causes in Loudoun County. Last week the Chamber's board of directors approved the Foundation's first round of funding for three nonprofits: the Loudoun Education Foundation, Loudoun Interfaith Relief and Northern Virginia Community College's SySTEMic Solutions program.

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