Petters Early Childhood Hero

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Oct. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce announced today that it has nominated Huntington Ingalls Industries President and CEO Mike Petters and his wife, Nancy Briggs Petters, for the 2017 Distinguished Citizen Award in recognition of their tireless advocacy for children in our community.

Mike and Nancy Petters are engaged in and supportive of multiple organizations across Hampton Roads that work to enhance the lives of children, particularly in the educational arena. They are tireless supporters of the Downtown Hampton Child Development Center (DHCDC), where Nancy serves on the board of directors. The DHCDC is a non-profit preschool that serves 200 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years. The school’s mission is to nurture young children by providing affordable, quality preschool programs that develop the “whole child” and foster school readiness. The center offers the Peninsula’s only sliding-scale tuition rate, based on family income, with a focus on children from at-risk and underserved populations, including children with special needs.

Additionally, Mike and Nancy serve as the class sponsors for An Achievable Dream’s class of 2014 that consisted of 54 young men and women. Dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed regardless of their economic status, An Achievable Dream goes beyond academics to provide students with a comprehensive social, academic and moral education to develop productive citizens upon high school graduation. As sponsors of the class, the Petters contribute a $2,000 scholarship per graduate, per college year attended.

Petters Early Childhood Hero
Mike and Nancy Petters interact with students and teacher Margaret Goggins (left) at the Downtown Hampton Child Development Center. Photo by Ashley Major/HII

Mike and Nancy are also sponsors of Camp Launch at the College of William and Mary. Borne out of a desire to help gifted students from all socioeconomic levels, Camp Launch provides eligible seventh- and eighth-grade students with enrichment and academic opportunities. The children are recruited from school districts around Virginia. They participate in a two-week residential program with courses in STEM, writing, and personal development.

Mike also speaks at events for organizations such as the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation on the importance of educating the future workforce from the very beginning of their learning lives, and he encourages other business leaders to become engaged in similar efforts in their respective communities. In 2016, by declining his salary all but for one dollar, Mike initiated the Huntington Ingalls Industries Scholarship Fund, which provides preschool and post-secondary scholarships to the children of HII employees who apply and who qualify. To date, the HII Scholarship Fund has awarded a total of 220 scholarships.

Mike Petters is president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries, America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of manufacturing, engineering and management services to the nuclear energy, oil and gas markets. Nancy Briggs Petters has taught preschool at Hilton Presbyterian Preschool in Newport News for two decades and is a long-time early childhood educator.

About the Virginia Peninsula Chamber Of Commerce

The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (VPCC) serves the cities of Newport News, Hampton and Poquoson; and James City County and York County. VPCC is a business association, with over 1,400 members and associates, which “connects business with opportunity” through facilitation, advocacy, communication and education.

The VPCC takes a leadership and advocacy position on pro-Peninsula and pro-business public policy impacting the Virginia Peninsula business community. The VPCC hosts a series of educational, and leadership programs, including the annual State of the City Series; the Peninsula Executive Leadership Forum; Military Job Fair; Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!); Pink Bag Lunches; and Business Connections, in addition to numerous business roundtables.

The VPCC is located at 21 Enterprise Parkway, Suite 100 in Hampton. For more information, call 757-262-2000 or email [email protected]. Connect to the VPCC online at and via LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

About Huntington Ingalls Industries

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Missions Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 37,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

Danny Hernandez
Director of Public Affairs
(202) 580-9086
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