The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce has hired a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel to serve as its first coordinator for a defense affairs committee that serves the area’s veteran, defense and intelligence communities.
Lettie Bien will serve as the chamber’s primary contact for active duty and reserve military and the National Guard, as well as veterans and their families, within the community.
The U.S. Department of Defense in the area’s fifth-largest employer. In 2009, the chamber identified the defense and intelligence sector as a critical component to the economic development of Central Virginia.
Led by the National Ground Intelligence Center and Defense Intelligence Agency, both headquartered in the Joint Use Intelligence Analysis Facility at Rivanna Station in Albemarle County, the sector includes many companies serving as civilian intelligence contractors.
The chamber will establish a small satellite office at the University of Virginia Research Park, which is home to many of the contractors and close to Rivanna Station.
Albemarle County, Charlottesville, Greene County and several private organizations partnered with the chamber to fund the position.