Think Tank

The Hampton Roads Global Commerce Council is committed to helping develop the next generation of business leaders who will be engaged in international commerce. To that end, HRGCC has partnered with Old Dominion University to support the HRGCC – ODU Critical-Commerce Issues Paper Competition that focuses on addressing a number of the important current issues affecting international commerce and HRGCC’s constituency.

Through this program, teams of graduate and upper-division undergraduate students tackle timely and relevant topics under the mentorship of content area experts from the business community. This affords students the opportunity to engage with top industry professionals to explore important business issues, develop novel insights for affected parties and to potentially develop solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.

A panel comprised primarily of HRGCC’s Board of Directors will judge each team’s paper and provide meaningful feedback. Three finalist teams will be selected to present their research and findings in the Finalists’ Boardroom with time set aside for a challenging question and answer session. Members of the Finalists’ Boardroom will include the guest CEO from the Finalists’ Boardroom sponsoring organization and three other guest boardroom members from that organization, the teams’ mentors, representatives from Old Dominion University, and other select members from the business community. Members of the Finalists’ Boardroom will select the first-, second-, and third-place winners and recognize each finalist team for its achievements.


  • September: Topic and mentor selection
  • September/October: Finalists’ Boardroom sponsor announced
  • January-March: Mentors work with student teams on their selected topics
  • Early April: Student teams submit their papers for judging
  • Mid April: HRGCC Board of Directors announces competition finalists
  • Late April: Finalists’ Boardroom convenes for presentations and announcement of competition results.
  • Early May: Competition finalists’ whitepapers published on the HRGCC website

To learn more about this exciting program, serve as a program sponsor, and/or serve as the Finalists’ Boardroom sponsor and guest CEO, contact: