This Friday morning, January 3, at 7:30 a.m. is my annual “Business Leaders Breakfast” at The Mason Inn in Fairfax. Attendance is $65, which includes breakfast and a briefing on the state economy and state budget. You are invited.
I started the “Breakfast” in 2002, as a way to get feedback from business owners, friends and advocates on legislative issues. Our first meeting was at The Best Western in Fairfax on a chilly February morning. There were (maybe) fifteen people there, sharing a pot of coffee and a few bagels.
Timing was not good. It was the week of “crossover” during the legislative session – I had to leave my own event early in order to drive to Richmond for a floor session starting at 10:30 a.m. Not an auspicious beginning.
Since that date, we’ve become more organized: booking a hotel room on the Friday before the session and usually drawing 100+ people. We also get our share of celebrity hosts. Along the way we’ve had Jim Webb, Mark Warner and Terry McAuliffe as the headliner. This year’s guest star is Aneesh Chopra.
One of the purposes of the breakfast is to raise money. Another purpose is to force me to summarize the essential issues for the session before it begins, and review the economic trends in Virginia (e.g. the slowing job growth in NoVA). Of course, the benefit of the format is also to get real reactions from people that are owning businesses and meeting these challenges every day.
(Yes, I know you have to be at work, which is why I stick to a strict schedule — starts at 730 a.m. and done by 900 a.m. I’ll stick around to talk to anybody).
Anyway, I hope you can make it on Friday morning at 7:30 a.m.