Charlottesville Chamber hires Defense Affairs Committee program lead
Lettie J. Bien to work on business development with defense community
The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Monday it has hired retired Col. Lettie J. Bien as the inaugural program coordinator for the chamber’s Defense Affairs Committee (DAC), which serves as an intermediary information-sharing organization for veterans, academics and industry workers.
A retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel and attorney, Bien will work on community engagement and business development intended to strengthen relationships between the chamber, the Central Virginia community, the regional defense and intelligence communities and veterans.
The U.S Department of Defense is the fifth-largest employer in Albemarle County and the ninth-largest in the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area (including Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson).
Albemarle County Economic Development Authority, the city of Charlottesville Economic Development Authority, Greene County and private organizations partnered with the chamber to hire Bien. The chamber will establish a satellite office at the University of Virginia Research Park, where Bien will be the primary point of contact for local active duty military, reserve affairs and National Guard members, veterans and families.
“We believe that increased coordination among our local defense and intelligence industry, the U.S. Department of Defense and other regional stakeholders will benefit the entire community,” Chamber President and CEO Elizabeth Cromwell said in a statement. “In light of the COVID-19 economic crisis, these efforts are more critical than ever.”