RICHMOND - The Virginia Chamber of Commerce has named former delegate Mike Watson coordinator of its Small Business Subcommittee.
According to a press release issued late Monday, Watson's role with the chamber's Industry Council focuses on implementing goals outlined in Blueprint Virginia, a statewide economic development strategy the chamber said 'provides business leadership and long-range planning on key priorities such as increasing educational achievement and developing the infrastructure for a competitive economy."
Watson, the release noted, will work with the chamber's Government Affairs team and Small Business Subcommittee "to promote legislative initiatives aimed at expanding entrepreneurship and small business success" in Virginia.
Watson said earlier Monday that his new role won't preclude another run to regain the seat he held the General Assembly.
"It does give me an opportunity to impact a key area that I focused on as delegate," Watson said. "In planning with (former lieutenant governor) Bill Bolling, we have a very good mission and if we make significant progress, it may be a good place to spend some time while gaining exposure to other challenges and people.
"The downside," he continued, is we’ve got a number of issues where I have ideas and would like to contribute to the solution." Watson listed health care, transportation and workforce development as some of those areas. "I’ll continue to be engaged in the community and will likely make a decision on the delegate seat late this year. To be as forthright as I can, I found my role in the General Assembly to be a very effective means of getting things done; it is likely I will seek public office again, if not immediate, in the near future.
Barry DuVal, President and CEO of the Virginia Chamber, said "Mike has a proven record for supporting and improving job growth in Virginia and we are grateful for his willingness to serve the business community in this new capacity."
Carter can be reached at 757-345-2347.