Chamber names Hampton business leader of year

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The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce handed out its 2007 business awards last week and named Lynn Hampton Business Leader of the Year.

We need to find a way to let more people know about these amazing businesses that are all located in Alexandria, said Councilman Rob Krupicka. The Chamber recognized a group of businesses that really show the breadth of what is available here and most people just arent aware of them.

The New Business of the Year is Diva Designer Consignment and Other Delights. Located on Pitt Street in Old Town, the shop has something for everyone, old and new.

The Retail Business of the Year is Why the Rooster Crows, a shop with everything for baby and small treasures for pampering mom.

The Professional Service Business of the Year is Maid to Order, a cleaning service to meet the pickiest individual.

The Hospitality Business of the Year is Food Matters, the gourmet, family-style eatery at Cameron Station.

The Small Business of the Year is Video Solutions, marketing and consulting services extraordinaire.

Finally, and new this year, the Work Force Champion award went to Flippo Construction Company, Inc. for their innovative attention to teaching their work force to speak English and their managers to speak Spanish, ensuring success for everyone.

Business Leader of the Year
Lynn Hampton is successful in business and spends her free time giving back to the community she now calls home, Alexandria.

Hampton grew up in Louisville, Ky, and still returns for the Kentucky Derby and to visit family. She came to Alexandria in 1988 and began working at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority on Jan. 1, 1989. She is MWAAs Chief Financial Officer.

Things have changed a lot since 1989. We have gone from spending millions a year to billions a year, mostly on new construction, Hampton said. We are spending about $2 million a day on construction projects at Dulles and Reagan and things are going very well.

Hampton is particularly excited about the Dulles Rail project. It will be terrific for our customers and everyone else in the region, she said.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, many things have changed at Washingtons two airports. Primarily, we have seen changes in security. Airports are now the safest places in the world. We work very closely with the Transportation Security Administration now, Hampton said.

As for air travel, things have really come back, as has general aviation, particularly at Dulles. It isnt doing so well at Reagan because of all of the regulations but we are optimistic about Dulles, she said.

Personally, Hampton has been chair of the Chambers Board of Directors twice, serves on the Board of Directors of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, is the vice chair of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, is a past member of Friends of the Torpedo Factory, is a member of the Board of Directors of Vantage Trust, a nonprofit organization that manages deferred compensation programs and is on the Board of Directors of The Access Group, a nonprofit organization that provides student loans for college students.

Student loan organizations have gotten a bad reputation but we are one of the good guys because we are a nonprofit, she said.

The Scholarship Fund has been one of her main focuses for some time. When she agreed to become a member of the organizations Board, they did not have 501c3 status and were using the tax-exempt status of the Community Foundation of Greater Washington. Now, SFA is a tax-exempt organization in its own right and no longer uses some of its donations to pay an administrative fee to the Community Foundation.

The Scholarship Fund is doing very well. I am very proud of the number of scholarships we award to T. C. Williams graduates every year and of the help we provide to those students in planning for college, Hampton said. The Telethon is coming up so I hope everybody contributes.

Hampton also mentors young people. Three foreign exchange students have lived with her while attending T. C. Williams High School and one young woman from The Congo has remained. She has been with us for four years and is home now, applying to medical school, Hampton said. She graduated from T. C. and then from UVA. Shes a wonderful young woman and we are very proud of her.

She has also accepted young interns in her office at MWAA. I tell young people who are interested in business careers to be persistent. So what you are expected to do and then do more. Show your supervisors that you are willing to show initiative and to work hard. Be willing to stick with something even if you dont think it is important. If you dont think algebra is important, you might find later that it really is, Hampton said.

She is proud of the Chamber award and proud of the work the Chamber has done. The Chamber provides a unified voice for business in Alexandria, she said. The Chamber made City Council take notice of National Harbor and begin talking about planning for the waterfront.

We are ready for a sea change in Alexandria and I believe the business climate in the city is going to improve. Jim Hartmann is the right city manager for Alexandria at the right time and the addition of John Cattle in Code Enforcement and Farrell Hammer in Planning bode very well. I am excited about the future, Hampton said.

 

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