Navy secretary to speak at Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Oct. 14

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Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, seen here in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton in August, will speak in Norfolk on Friday Oct. 14. (Photo Courtesy Secretary of the Navy Facebook)

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, seen here in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton in August, will speak in Norfolk on Friday Oct. 14. (Photo Courtesy Secretary of the Navy Facebook)

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will be in Hampton Roads Friday to meet with business leaders and talk about Navy initiatives past, present and future.

Mabus, who has served as Navy secretary since 2009, will speak at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Leadership Series. The event will be on Oct. 14 from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, 777 Waterside Dr. In terms of timing, it’s keyed to the November election and the end of the administration in which Mabus serves.

“He’s on his way out, so he’s going to talk about what’s been going on in the past seven years on his watch and how the Hampton Roads business community has been so supportive and what he sees as coming up down the road,” Priscilla Monti, the chamber’s vice president of programs, said in an interview.

Mabus will touch on future Navy initiatives in Hampton Roads and elsewhere, Monti said, and thank the local business community for initiatives such as hiring exiting sailors.

His speech will come a little more than a week after the 17th annual state of the region address on Tuesday Oct. 4, which cited the region’s “unimpressive economic performance,” according to Old Dominion University’s Center for Economic Analysis and Policy.

But the timing of the two speeches is not related, according to Monti.

The secretary’s office reached out to the chamber earlier this week, right after the state of the region address, to say he was on a farewell tour and he wanted to come to Hampton Roads on Oct. 14. The chamber finalized the plan for his event the following day.

“He’s excited to touch base with everybody,” Monti said.

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