Gilbert T. Bland is the former Chairman of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. His extensive board experience currently includes Sentara Healthcare, Hampton Roads Community Foundation; Executive Committee of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce; Randolph Macon College; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Chairman, Virginia African American Advisory Board and Elevate Early Education with prior tenure on the Board of Visitors for Old Dominion University and the Board of Trustees for the James Madison University Foundation.
Professionally, Mr. Bland serves as President and CEO of the Urban League of Hampton Roads and Chairman of The Giljoy Group, Mr. Bland has owned and operated more than 70 Burger King and Pizza Hut franchises in in Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Bland has received numerous awards for his community service and business initiatives including the Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame and an honorary degree from Longwood University. For the past 7 years, Virginia Business Magazine designated Mr. Bland as one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians. And, recently, recognized as one of the 2020 Virginia 500 Power List.
Mr. Bland earned a B.A. in accounting and economics from James Madison University and an MBA from Atlanta University. Mr. Bland was inducted into the Omicron Delta Epsilon economics honor society and Beta Gamma Sigma honor society for business. He resides in Virginia Beach.