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.

L to R: Bryan Plumlee, Past President, Jayna Eller & John Pharr, Co-Presidents

Welcome to The Virginia Beach Forum

Proudly celebrating our 25th year bringing speakers and events to our city of Virginia Beach, we welcome you to the Virginia Beach Forum. Over the years, we have brought terrific speakers and personalities to our community, among them Helen Thomas, Nina Totenberg, Bob Woodward, Ben Carson, Ed Koch, Mario Cuomo, and Alan Dershowitz. We pledge another year of speakers and events that hopefully will entertain and enlighten you once again. Our full slate for this season is on the website and purchasing tickets online has never been easier.

In addition to a speaker, we feel the importance, now more than ever, to provide a venue where friends, neighbors, and community members can gather, socialize, and celebrate what makes this city great – YOU!  We can plan a great event, but when you attend and enjoy the camaraderie with your neighbors, it makes it special. We hope you will plan to attend. Come join us, bring your friends, and make our events special.

As a volunteer and non-profit organization, we wish to thank all the supporters helping us provide your entertainment. We are grateful to the individuals and corporate sponsors who help us bring these events to you. Please note who they are on our website. To our supporters, please accept our continued thanks.

And a special thanks to MOCA, home for our programs this season, for providing an outstanding venue with a beautiful social hall and auditorium and plenty of parking.

Come join us for an interesting and delightful evening and bring friends to enjoy and celebrate our great community.

Jayna Eller and John Pharr



Jayna Eller
John Pharr

First Vice President
Mary Stott

Michele Dallman, Esq.

Megan Burns, Esq.

Immediate Past President
Bryan Plumlee, Esq.


Merrilu Ablowich
Kathy Katsias, Founder
Ramone Permel
Philip Russo, Esq.
Elizabeth Savage

Philip C. Sherrill
Ramsay Smith
Dorothy L. Wood
Jerry Williams
Tyler Williamson

Past Presidents

Shirley Barondess, Founder
Lynn Sachs
Kevin Armstrong
Kathy Katsias, Founder
Dorothy Wood
Glen Huff, Esq.
Vincent Oliveri, Esq.

Martin Silfen, Esq.
Russ Dunnington, MD
Jeanne Evans
Peter Lawrence
Samuel Kroll, Esq.
Tom Walker
Owen Thornton

Kathryn Byler, Esq.
Jackie Ankley
Joel Rubin
Baxter Ennis
Ramsey Smith
Bryan Plumlee, Esq.

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.

Presenting Sponsor

Dominion Energy - Wikipedia

Please support our Sponsors that make our programs possible:

Season Sponsors

  • The Dragas Companies
  • Inman & Stricker, PLC
  • The Law Firm of Poole Brooke Plumlee
  • Mahoney Richmond, PLC
  • Troutman Pepper
  • Virginia Commonwealth Bank
  • Watermans Surfside Grille

Event sponsors

  • Bella Monte Restaurant & Enoteca


  • Dixon Hughes Goodman

  • Wayne Jones Flowers

  • Ramone Photography

  • Progressive Graphics