About Us

Our Mission

Our Virginia Beach Forum provides members of our community the opportunity to come together to enjoy learning something new or the backstory of newsmakers and thought leaders. We encourage all ages to join the discussion in our Q & A following presentations.

The president and members of the board of directors welcome your suggestions for future speakers. Our non-profit organization is all-volunteer, supported by corporate sponsors and subscribers.

Letter From Our President

Since 1996, our Virginia Beach Forum has brought great speakers and personalities to our community, including journalists such as Helen Thomas, Nina Totenberg, Bob Woodward and Cokie Roberts; political figures such as Ben Carson, Ed Koch, Bob McDonnell and Mario Cuomo; and legal scholars such as Alan Dershowitz and Phil Hirschkop.

We are an all-volunteer non-profit organization and we invite anyone with interest in serving on our board to contact us. Without the support of our community, we cannot continue to provide access to such fabulous personalities and compelling figures.`

J. Bryan Plumlee

Board of Directors


President, J. Bryan Plumlee
First Vice President, Mary Stott
Second Vice President, Jayna Eller

Secretaries, Michelle Dallman
Treasurer, Megan Burns
Past President, Ramsay Smith


Merrilu Ablowich
Shirley Barco
Baxter Ennis
Kathy Katsias, Founder
Brad Martin
Michael Midgette

Dennis Malloy
Duff McDuffy
Ramone Permel
Bob Petersen
John Pharr
Philip C. Sherrill

Ramsay Smith, Immediate Past President
Robert Timms, Esq.
Dorothy L. Wood
Tyler Williamson

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the evening with the Forum proceed?
Event Formalities and Speaker Introduction:
Prior to the speaker taking the stage a brief period is allotted for the current President of the Forum to welcome the audience, recognize volunteers on the Forum board and local dignitaries. Either the President or a local Celebrity will then introduce the Speaker.

Speaker Event:
At the beginning, the speaker will engage the audience from the podium, initially speaking for about 45 minutes. Each speaker has their own style, but all are known for engaging the audience and tweaking their delivery to the locale and current events. After the initial talk, there are about 30 minutes allotted for the speaker to take questions from the audience. Volunteers from the Va Beach Forum Board of Directors man microphones and get in as many questions as possible in the time allowed.

Post Speaking Event Wrap Up:
At the end of the Q & A session, the President of the Forum will thank the audience for attending, advise about upcoming events, and recognize the speaker.

Book Signing:
Most speakers have published at least one book on their life or area of expertise. After the speaking event has concluded, the speaker will appear at a designated table to personally autograph books that are presented for sale.

Private Reception:
Sponsors of the Forum and their guests are invited to a reception with the speaker is held privately prior to the speaker taking the stage. The reception includes food and drink and you can socialize, meet new friends and, of course, meet and speak with the speaker. Please contact a Virginia Beach Forum Board Member to become a Sponsor.

Subscribing, what does this mean?
When you purchase season tickets to all the speaking events, it is called a subscription. The cost savings are great compared to the individual event, at door ticket prices.
Sponsoring, what does this mean?
If you want to Sponsor the Forum, your tax deductible contribution will provide you (depending on level of sponsorship) reception and event tickets, advertising in our playbill, recognition in announcements and on the big screen at the event, as well as on our website.  Email us for details or contact a member of the Virginia Beach Forum Board.

Please support our Sponsors that make our programs possible:

Season Sponsors

  • The Dragas Companies
  • The Law Firm of Poole Brooke Plumlee
  • Mahoney Nashatka Richmond, PLLC
  • Virginia Commonwealth Bank
  • Watermans Surfside Grille

Event sponsors

  • Dixon Hughes Goodman
  • Wayne Jones Flowers
  • Ramone Photography
  • Liskey Printing