The 2018 First Citizen of Virginia Beach is…
Drumroll, please! Laura Habr!
Laura has been named the 68th First Citizen of Virginia Beach by the Virginia Beach Jaycees. Since 1950 this local award has been honoring the men and women in our community who have been instrumental in furthering the welfare of Virginia Beach citizens. Laura joins the ranks of past Mayors, politicians and local business owners who have been champions for growth in our own backyards.
Kate Pittman, Executive Director of the ViBe Creative District and longtime friend of Habr’s, wrote in her nomination packet, “Laura has worked passionately to improve her community for more than a decade and is an innovative civic leader.” Habr is well-known in the restaurant business where she owns Croc’s on 19th Street with her husband Kal. The VB Jaycees surprised Habr at Croc’s with her selection during the company’s 25th Anniversary/Customer Appreciation party on December 20th.
“Laura’s nomination letters were infused with a level of energy that we haven’t seen in other packets. Her friends and supporters perfectly articulated her passion for projects that center on community and inclusion. From co-founding the Old Beach Farmer’s Market, to hosting a weekly ‘Drag Yourself to Brunch’ at Crocs, to establishing the ViBe Creative District – Laura has proven herself to be a friend of the people,” says First Citizen of Virginia Beach Chair Kayte Hamilton.
Habr serves on a number of boards and committees: Old Beach Farmers Market (co-founder), ViBe Creative District (co-founder), FounderGreen Drinks Virginia Beach, Green Resort Ecofriendly Neighbors, Sub-Committee of the Resort Advisory Commission (Chair), Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (Founding Member). In addition, she’s a Partner supporter of Virginia Green, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Museum, Sensible Seafood program, Buy Fresh Buy Local, Hampton Roads Pride, Lynnhaven River NOW, Virginia Arts Festival and many, many others. She has previously been the Vice President, Virginia Beach Restaurant Association.
In the following weeks, the VB Jaycees will work closely with Habr to develop an awards ceremony in her honor. Additional information about the First Citizen of Virginia Beach Award and the Virginia Beach Jaycees are available on their website. The 2017 honoree was Mr. Morgan Davis, President & CEO of TowneBank.
Photo credits: George Culver of I Heart Food
Photo: Left is Marissa Nihill, 2017-2018 VB Jaycees President, center is Laura Habr, right is Kayte Hamilton, 2017-2018 First Citizen of Virginia Beach Chairperson.