Feature Stories

Share this Story

Alumni Spotlight: Chris Taylor, Class of 2006

Virginia Beach City Council Member says Virginia Wesleyan’s supportive and inclusive environment was key to success

University News | June 10, 2024 

A Business Management major, the Virginia Beach native, current city council member, and candidate for mayor looks back with great fondness on his years at Virginia Wesleyan. Chris is also a partner at Smoothie Stop Café, a family-owned business focused on offering healthy alternatives with five locations in Hampton Roads. In addition, he is responsible for a strategic growth plan across multiple cities for the business and has been recognized as one of Inside Business' Top 40 under 40. 

What are your current connections with VWU?

Marlin Athletic Club, Roundball Insider Member and Member of President's Council. 

While at VWU, what activities were you engaged in?

Men's Basketball 

What was your favorite place on campus?

The Batten Center 

What inspired you to major in Business?

I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and knew business was a great path to provide a level of freedom, both financially and in terms of time. 

Previous professional roles/titles:

Regional Property Manager, Great Atlantic Management; Business Development Manager, DuPont Sustainable Solutions 

How did your time at Virginia Wesleyan most impact your success?

Virginia Wesleyan provided an atmosphere of support and encouragement. I lost my mother three weeks prior to basketball season starting my junior year. The entire team and some of the administration attended the funeral services. That support was key to me graduating on time. 

Best memory of your time at Virginia Wesleyan?

Professor Robert Cass and his ability to bring the best out of all students. He was kind, understanding, and wanted the best for his students. Also, being a member of Coach Dave Macedo's first Conference Championship in 2005. 

Professors/coaches who had greatest impact on you:

Coach Macedo was tough, but fair. He taught me to speak my mind, but to understand there may be consequences to being an independent thinker. Coach Macedo also taught me the value of preparation. 

What else do you want others to know:

Virginia Wesleyan provided a campus that was inclusive and a community of support. The challenging academic and athletic environment prepared me for my current role on Virginia Beach City Council. Coach Macedo is still one of my biggest supporters even after graduating almost 20 years ago.