They came to honor as well as harass and they did a lot of both. The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce named Kerry J. Donley, the city’s former mayor and a vice president at Virginia Commerce Bank, as the Business Leader of the Year. Jack Taylor, David Speck and Mayor William D. Euille were invited to talk about Donley’s contributions to Alexandria.
“Kerry was the best mayor the city ever had,” said Taylor.
He looked around the room and saw U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D8), also a former mayor, and state Sen. Patricia S. “Patsy” Ticer, another former mayor. “He was one of our best mayors. Well, he was the mayor,” Taylor quipped.
Ken Moore, the Chamber’s president and CEO explained why Donley was chosen for the honor. “Kerry Donley was selected by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce as its 2004 Business Leader of the Year because of his ongoing commitment to expanding the economic base of our city and his contributions to improving the quality of life in Alexandria,” Moore said. “Without his leadership, business like PTO would not be in Alexandria. As a businessman, Kerry has provided leadership to a wide variety of civic organizations such as United Way. He has, in fact, led by example. We are proud to have Kerry as our business leader of the year.”
EUILLE, TOO, EXPRESSED his gratitude for the work Donley has done. “Kerry is truly an example of a business and civic leader,” he said. “He has been instrumental in Virginia Commerce Bank’s growth in Alexandria and has supported many businesses and charities. I was very pleased to be asked to roast Kerry at the dinner a week or so ago and think that most of the remarks were a bit x-rated. Comcast plans to air the tribute with a number of deletions, I would expect. It was a lot of fun and Kerry certainly deserves the recognition.”
Donley was honored by the recognition. “I am truly grateful for the Chamber’s recognition,” he said. “Virginia Commerce Bank has made it possible for me to be very involved in the Chamber and in Alexandria, generally.
“I was particularly proud to be recognized on the same night as the Chamber recognized small businesses in the city. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy of the city. Virginia Commerce Bank has long supported the Small Business Development Center and is proud to do so,” Donley said. That support included a $25,000 match challenge, which was met this year.
Small businesses that received recognition were: Hollin Hall Pastry Company and Shop, 2004 Small Business of the Year; Authentically Amish, LLC, Retail Business of the Year; Restaurant Eve, New Business of the Year; Focus Data Solutions, Professional Service of the Year and Cameron Perks Coffeehouse, Hospitality Business of the Year.