Isle of Wight chamber president to step down

Published 4:42 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Isle of Wight County Chamber of Commerce President Jessica Jones-Healey plans to step down from the role on Nov. 3.

Joey Bikkers, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, announced Healey’s impending departure in an Oct. 4 news release.

Jones-Healey, who’s led the chamber since 2018, told The Smithfield Times she’s been offered the opportunity to expand her Smithfield-area family business into a full-time venture.

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“I began my professional career as a small-business owner for over 10 years, and I am excited to get back to my roots and join our local business community full-time,” Jones-Healey said. “This decision does not come easy as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Chamber these last six years. I am very proud of the work we have accomplished during my time there, and I know the board will continue this success after my departure.”

Bikkers’ announcement came one day after Isle of Wight County Economic Development Director Chris Morello announced he too would step down on Oct. 20, though the two pending departures appear unrelated.

Morello, who’s also been in his role for six years, has accepted a new position as the assistant director of economic development for the city of Newport News, according to an Oct. 3 county news release.

According to Bikkers, the Chamber has been “the voice of business” for Isle of Wight since the late 1980s.

In 2019, Coastal Virginia’s business magazine, CoVA Biz, recognized Jones-Healey as one of 30 “Millennials on the Move.” She was later named to Inside Business’s “Top 40 under 40” in 2021 and appointed to the state’s Commission on Youth by Gov. Glenn Youngkin in 2022.