Friday, June 2, 2023

Getting To Know…Bob McKenna

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Bob McKenna, president and CEO of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, has been with the organization since 2018. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he previously served as a contractor and a consultant for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, among other companies.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My life was all about sports when I was a kid. I wanted to be a basketball player, but, unfortunately, I stopped growing when I hit 5′ 9.”

What is a typical day like for you?

I don’t think I’ve had a typical day since I started at the Chamber five years ago, but a good day includes an early morning walk and prayers with my wife, coffee with someone new, a couple of productive (short) meetings, some (but not too much) desk time, some reading, and a good workout.

What does your perfect day off look like?  

I would have a lazy morning with my wife, followed by a mountain hike or a walk on the beach, a workout, some reading, and a nice dinner with family and friends.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I don’t know about “hidden” because I’m kind of a “what you see is what you get” person, but I think I’m a pretty decent basketball coach, and I’m also a pretty good ping pong player.

What do you like about living and working in Hampton Roads?

My wife and I moved 16 times in the first 27 years of our marriage and lived overseas twice and on both coasts (and up and down the east coast), but upon retirement, returned and made our home in Newport News. We love the proximity to the coast and to the mountains, the great military support of Hampton Roads, and our network of friends, among many other things. And, we both love our jobs. Our four kids all left the area, but we love that they are all close enough to come home often.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received when it comes to business?

Focus on building great personal relationships and great business relationships will follow.

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