Recap of the 7/24/19 Department Leadership Meeting

    1. The third-party investigation into the events of 5/31 began yesterday with the introduction of the team from the Chicago firm of Hillard Heintze. The team includes:
    • 4 former secret service agents

    ◦Will review security policies, practices, and procedures.

    ◦They’ll also do a physical security assessment of the Municipal Center.

    • 2 former law enforcement officers — a former police chief and deputy police chief

    ◦Will review all issues relating to police response and obstacles faced.

    • 2 attorneys, the firm’s general counsel and a Supreme Court of Virginia certified mediator who specializes in human resource issues.
    • 2 certified fraud examiners who are skilled in forensic auditing

    ◦Will perform a thorough data footprint of the shooter to include social media and any data needing to be reviewed.

    • 1 mental health expert who is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist

    ◦Will conduct a retrospective indirect threat assessment and risk evaluation of the shooter.

    The first of two planned public sensing sessions held by the firm is slated for the evening of 7/29 at a location to be determined.

    1. The History Museums department is now under the larger umbrella of the city’s Cultural Arts department. Museum Curator Anne Miller presented an overview of what will become of the 5/31 memorial items and mementos. The families of the 12 victims will each receive a flash drive of the most prominent items left for their loved one so they can choose what they’d like to have for themselves in private. There is research being conducted of what other cities have done and some city officials may be traveling to several of these cities to actually see their sites and discuss lessons learned.
    2. Valerie Myers of the Communication Office presented highlights of the survey distributed for feedback regarding a permanent memorial and the future of Building 2. Only 1800 responses have been received to date (city employees and the public); the survey closes this Friday (7/26). The current responses show an overwhelming nod to constructing both a permanent and an ongoing temporary memorial site to be in place until a permanent memorial is completed. Regarding the future of Building 2, 48% of the respondents strongly agreed that Bldg. 2 should be torn down. City Manager Hansen said he does not support tearing down a $20M building and our citizens probably won’t either. He advised to stay tuned.
    3. The Office of Emergency Management was alerted to a federal fund (through the Department of Justice) for the establishment of a permanent resource center for cities who experience a mass shooting. This will result in the creation of the “VB Strong Center” somewhere in the city (not at the municipal center) that will serve as a long-term assistance center to provide a physical and virtual presence offering services and support to aid in the physical and emotional healing for victims of the 5/31 tragedy. Sentara will serve as third-party care provider and will establish, oversee and staff this Center. Services will include Navigators (persons who will direct victims to appropriate services and referrals, including workers compensation, Virginia Victims Fund, etc.; Case Management (intake and assessment); 24/7 Crisis Hotline; Mental Health counseling; facilitated gatherings and support groups; alternative therapies; support for trauma suffered by first responders; website and online presence; and other services as determined by intake and assessment. Victims include: survivors and their immediate families of those lost; Bldg. 2 employees and employees from nearby buildings; first responders, EOC staff; family reception center and assistance center staff; hospital staff. Referral services and group therapies will be offered to everyone else.
    4. The STiR Office shared presentations by three teams who participated in the city’s first Internal Hackathon wherein random employees from 11 departments were teamed up for two days and challenged with developing an innovation process change to make working in the Emergency Operation Center more efficient.
    5. City Manager Dave Hansen then made several announcements:
        • Alice Kelly is the new director of Finance.
        • Taylor Adams is officially the new director of Economic Development.
    1. Hansen then announced the upcoming departure of CVB Director Brad Van Dommelen. He thanked Brad for his hard work for the city over the past 3.5 years and wished him well. The audience honored Brad a standing ovation.

DLM Presentations 



Hokie Stories @ VBCC

VBCC hosted the Annual Tidewater Hokie Club Football Kick-off Dinner July 17, a very hot and humid day. The committee planned the evening well including a greeting by the official mascot.

As luck would have it, a front moved through late in the afternoon with high winds and heavy rain. Spectators both inside and out, saw the Hokie take flight.  They saw him head east and suspected he was headed to the beach to cool down. Once the rain ended the search began both from VBCC’s rooftop camera and on foot, but the Hokie was nowhere to be found.

Later in the evening, Justin Roberts, HVAC Tech and Bill Day, Carpenter II, on a routine check of the mechanical systems on the roof, located the deflated Hokie.


He was later returned to his owners.

Rumors are a similar incident happened January 15, 2019 when the Virginia Cavaliers basketball team came to Cassell Coliseum…

Employee Spotlight – Brad Van Dommelen

  1. Employee Name: Brad Van Dommelen
  2. Where were you born and where is your hometown?: I was born in the “mitten state” of Michigan.  Grand Rapids (a.k.a. Beer City USA) is my home town.
  3. What division and position do you work for?: I have the privilege of serving as Director of the CVB
  4. How many years have you worked for the CVB?: I’ve been in my position for 3 years as of this past April.
  5. How many years have you worked for the City of Va. Beach?: Same as above.
  6. What is the best vacation you’ve been on?: I’d say it was a 10 day Mediterranean Cruise with 5 days added on in Rome.  I didn’t want to leave Rome – all that great Italian wine and Gelato.
  7. What is your favorite thing to do in the wonderful City of Virginia Beach?: I like to go down to the oceanfront on my beach cruiser and enjoy watching people have fun in our destination.  I often go to the upstairs area of the Ocean House where you get a bird’s eye view of the Boardwalk and beach.
  8. What is your favorite quote?: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”  Abraham Lincoln
  9. Do you have an office nickname? If so what is it?:  Not that I’m aware of.
  10. Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?: I used to compete in barefoot water ski competitions and performed in water ski shows.
  11. What do you like to do for fun?: I like outdoor activities such as riding my motorcycles, golfing, Frisbee at the beach, cycling, kayaking and discovering new restaurants.
  12. What is the one thing you cannot resist?: Chocolate Chip Cookies – especially fresh out of the oven.
  13. What is on your bucket list?: Riding to the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, SD.
  14. What is your hidden talent? Don’t know – guess it’s pretty well hidden.



Employee Spotlight – Ron Kuhlman

  1. Employee name: Ron Kuhlman
  2. Where were you born and where is your hometown? Born in Indianapolis, IN but Fairborn, Ohio is my home town
  3. What division and position do you work for? I am V.P. of the Tourism Division which incorporates international marketing, group tour marketing and sales, international sales and travel industry marketing and sales and oversight of the Visitor Information Centers..
  4. How many years have you worked for the CVB? 28 years in August.
  5. How many years have you worked for the City of Va. Beach? 28 years in August. We moved here for the job and was going to stay for 3 years and move on.
  6. What is the best vacation you’ve been on? Any week backpacking in the Grand Canyon. Hiking in the Grand Canyon is my passion. Best vacation was a rim to rim backpacking hike in the Grand Canyon.
  7. What is your favorite thing to do in the wonderful City of Virginia Beach? Early morning walks on the beach to catch a sunrise and then breakfast at Mary’s.
  8. What is your favorite quote? “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
  9. Do you have an office nickname? If so what is it? Not that anyone has told me about.
  10. Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: I was a music major in college at The Ohio State University and marched in the OSU Marching Band. I am a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College though.
  11. What do you like to do for fun? I enjoy long bike rides, working out at Waring’s, hiking with my wife Madeline in False Cape State Park, hiking in the mountains.
  12. What is one thing you cannot resist? Ice Cream
  13. What is on your bucket list? I’ve achieved many activities on my bucket list but I still need to get to Tibet and explore that country and its culture.
  14. What is your hidden talent? Singing in choirs.

From One Hand To Another Tours

The VBCC had the privilege of hosting tours for 300 kids total over three days the past two weeks.  The kids were from summer camps sponsored by From One Hand To AnOTHER, a foundation founded by Pharrell Williams because he believed that every child could be a success if only they had the right tools. They provide over 1,700 children across the U.S. with summer camps focused on S.T.E.A.M.M. Serving predominantly at-risk and low-income elementary and middle school students, FOHTA’s Summer of Innovation camps integrate project-based learning and mentorship across all of their curricula – all while being 100% free of charge for the families.

Thank you to Adrielle Bazemore, Kimberlee Dobbins, Khemraj Persaud, Sherri Waghalter, Heather Vickers, James Caralivanos, Max Long, Courtney Dyer, Sam Bernheim and Claire Eder for assisting with the tours!