Barbara Lewis is the founder and president of Town Center City Club, the premier private business venue for business meetings, corporate events, fundraisers, weddings, retirements and other special occasions.
Barbara is also deeply involved with promoting and raising money for the arts as well as other worthy causes. She has raised more than $2.5 million dollars to ensure the Sandler Performing Arts Center, the Virginia Musical Theater, and other art endeavors are successful. She has also helped raise thousands of dollars for the Lynnhaven River 2007 Project, Hope House, The United Way and other organizations.
"Cultural events are a big selling point to businesses that are considering moving their headquarters to Virginia Beach or the region," she says. "I enjoy doing my part to help build and cultivate these great entertainment venues for Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads."
A Leader in Action
Barbara has been a leader all of her life. She is the daughter of an Alabama farmer who had a vision of what her life should be and she pursued it. Since arriving in Virginia Beach in 1956 with her late husband, Barbara has been a fixture on the city's social and business scene.
Long before the women's movement caught fire, Barbara taught classes for 15 years at a college-level finishing school in the early 1960's, where she educated women on how to look their best and interview for jobs.
In 1976 she bought Charm Associates which became a Virginia Beach landmark, renowned for developing social skills, grace, and etiquette in young women.
Sensing the need for businesswomen role models, Barbara founded the Outstanding Professional Women's Awards in 1982 to create role models and motivation for women coming through the ranks, and to pay tribute to Hampton Road's top businesswomen who embody leadership, integrity and outstanding achievement.
In 2004 Barbara sold Charm Associates and pursued her Town Center City Club dream. For decades, Virginia Beach professionals wanted a private business club, yet no one built it.
"A vibrant, trendsetting city like Virginia Beach needed its own private club, and that was my vision," says Barbara. Her honesty and integrity helped raise the club's start-up money through membership fees. "People wrote checks before there was anything to see," she says.
The club reached its membership goals of 200 members by opening day in February 2004, and 300 members by September 2004. It is now one of the premier venues for business meetings, corporate vents, fundraisers, weddings, retirements and other special events.
The club provides an exclusive private dining experience where members can socialize and conduct business meetings in a relaxed setting. In addition to its traditional main dining room, the club features a bar and two private dining rooms for meetings.