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Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber leads community visioning effort

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce is challenging community members to envision an ideal place where they want to live, work, and play.

Over the past 13 months, a diverse group of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County residents have been working together to imagine and describe the community that we aspire to become by the year 2020. Although the Chamber of Commerce provided the leadership to begin what has been labeled Vision2020, the initiative has evolved into a community-wide process that includes representatives from agriculture, transportation, education, health care, nonprofit services and business sectors.

“The goal of Vision2020 has been to create a unified and shared vision for our community – one that will encourage collaboration in the planning and use of public and private resources,” said Frank Tamberrino, president of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. 

Throughout the visioning process, the Chamber hosted events for attendees to learn from industry leaders about the current and future challenges and opportunities facing our community. Additionally, round table discussions enabled community leaders to gain a better understanding of the values we share as neighbors. As a result of these discussions, we’ve drafted a Vision Statement that communicates the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County of the future.

The Vision Statement emphasizes a community where natural beauty, friendly interdependent relationships and diverse cultural, economic and educational opportunities create an unparalleled quality of life.

“This is a really powerful statement about what our values are, and it’s representative of the community and the aspirations we have for ourselves,” said Tom Mendez, chair of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.

The next step in the process will be an extensive outreach to the public.

“In an effort to create a vision that is comprehensive and embraced by our families, neighbors, businesses, governing leaders, students and the community as a whole, the Chamber is seeking the community’s feedback,” said Mendez.

The Chamber invites everyone with a vested interest in our community to complete a brief, four-question survey online that will allow participants to comment on the Vision2020 working document and share their vision for our community. A complete draft of the Vision Statement, including the survey, can be found online at

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at