The Virginia Council of CEOs, an organization of chief executives for small- and medium-size businesses, is expanding the geographic reach of its membership.
The council, founded in 2000, has about 230 CEOs as members, but its membership has been limited to executives in the Richmond and Charlottesville regions.
The group is now opening up membership to chief executives from across the state, said Scot McRoberts, its executive director.
The rising use of virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic is one factor in that decision. While the organization is best known for a quarterly economic outlook survey conducted among its members, one of its main membership benefits is its CEO “peer roundtable” groups that meet regularly so that top executives can privately discuss business issues and share ideas. The council has more than 20 roundtable groups.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, those meetings have gone virtual.
“We had to adapt overnight to meet virtually, and that has worked well,” McRoberts said. “During the last eight months, we formed three new CEO roundtables, meeting virtually, never having met in person.”
“That led us to ask the question: Why aren’t we offering these virtual roundtables to any CEO in Virginia?,” McRoberts said.
“We are putting the word out that if you are in Wythe-ville or Winchester or Suffolk — anywhere in Virginia — you can participate with a group of other CEOs.”
McRoberts said the goal is to sign up 20 new CEOs in the next three months and up to 100 by the end of 2021. The paid memberships are open to CEOs of businesses with at least $1 million in annual revenue and five full-time equivalent employees.
The average member now is a CEO of an organization with $7.5 million in revenue and 35 employees.
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