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The Virginia Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce

Written By Jahmire Westbrook

New to the area? Want to network with others? The Virginia Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce sat down with our local real estate experts, Donavan McFadden and Roger Lee, of the Marching 2 More Team to discuss how the Jaycees are developing young professionals for a changing world, getting them involved in the community, and connecting them with opportunities to further their careers. The Virginia Jaycees, lead throughout the state by state president, Jaketa Thompson, and her husband, Chris Thompson, who is the president of the Virginia Beach chapter, is a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 and 40. They have helped develop more than 12 million young adults in the United States and more than 20 million worldwide to become leaders in their communities, this is definitely a group to consider if you are ready to get involved.


What made you guys become Jaycees?

Jaketa Thompson states, “I wanted to grow as an individual and make new friends. Also, I had a new business and wanted to network in a different way… It really transformed me as a person. I joined for financial gain, but [now] I’m all in because I really do believe in the organization and I appreciate what it has done for me.”

Chris shared a similar sentiment stating, “Realistically Jaketa introduced {the Junior Chamber of Commerce] to me, I didn’t know much about the Jaycees until she was around them. She dragged me to a couple of meetings because she was getting things done around there…I realized it was really good networking with a lot of different people, with a lot of different backgrounds. I appreciate the diversity of the Jaycees.”



Do you provide workshops to help business owners become better leaders?


There are monthly meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Smartmouth Brewery on 32nd street at the oceanfront. "Beyond that, we will be having 3 state meetings where we collaborate on state projects. Junior Chamber International has 2 national state conventions. There are also 3 international conventions with 4-5 training sessions a day in 10 different languages. This organization is packed with training opportunities.


What events are happening in the Hampton Roads area?

Virginia Beach hosted a great convention for the entire state on February 18 & 19th. They will also be hosting a national convention for Junior Chamber International in August as well. Our proudest legacy is being able to provide to our city the, Guinness Book of World Records', longest-running surf competition, the 60th annual Coastal Edge East Coastal Surfing Competition. One of the priceless assets available to all Jaycees is our alumni who take pride in seeing each Jaycees grow and become successful. We can’t grow unless people know about us and in an effort to increase our visibility and membership, Chris, and his executive boards have planned multiple social events throughout the year.


Who is Jaketa & Chris Thompson?

Jaketa Clark Thomson is the owner of the award-winning, Omni Unlimited LLC,

a marketing and advertising agency. They specialize in event marketing, festival marketing, and social media marketing. Jaketa has also won 6 Coastal Virginia top 40 under 40 for inside business in Hampton Roads.


Christopher Thompson is an 8 year Navy veteran who is confident you can make it outside the military regardless of your background or upbringing. He spent a few years in the health care industry after serving his country, but eventually found a passion in the automobile industry.


How can you join the Jaycees?

Come to a meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Smartmouth Brewery at 6:30 pm. You can also send us a direct message on social media: Facebook and Instagram @VbJaycees.



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