2 + 2 = college success for Virginia Beach City Councilman

February 1, 2017
John Uhrin standing at the oceanfront

What John Uhrin calls the 2 + 2 program added up to college success for the Virginia Beach City Councilman.

Uhrin spent two years at Tidewater Community College, earning his Associate of Science in Business Administration in 1988. A transfer to Old Dominion University allowed him to earn his bachelor’s in business administration in 1990.

“It made sense, but I probably wouldn’t have done it had TCC not made it so easy,” he said from his office at the Schooner Inn at Rudee Inlet. “The transfer was seamless. My experience at the college was great.”

Uhrin attended the Virginia Beach Campus, enjoying what he called manageable class sizes and professors who cared. The convenience allowed him to work full-time at the Schooner Inn, back then as a desk clerk.

These days Uhrin is director of operations for Burlage Management, which manages multiple hotels along the Oceanfront. It’s appealing work that he likens to being on vacation all the time.

“You interact with people who have literally saved up all year to come and stay in a place you live in,” he said. “When you live in it, you have a tendency to forget what a wonderful place it is. But when you’re constantly interacting with people who made that sacrifice financially and with their time, you’re renewed on a regular basis.”

Elected to City Council in 2006, Uhrin is midway through his third term. Politics was never in his childhood dream, but he embraces his role on City Council, which he regards as the lowest form of government.

“There are no layers between me and the people I serve,” he said. “I’ll have three, four, five people a week who will call or email me with an issue of some sort. I’m able to help them get through the issue. Often it’s just connecting the citizen with the right party.”

Sometimes that means helping a resident with arranging a trash pickup or finding the proper permits to add a garage to a house or business. Other times, projects are larger. Uhrin finds genuine reward in his involvement the last four years in bringing the Wave Warriors Surf Camp, which allows combat-wounded veterans to experience a therapeutic getaway at the Oceanfront.

Uhrin is also an advocate of building an arena in Virginia Beach that would allow the city to host events from NCAA basketball early rounds to the U.S. Figure Skating championships to other programming city residents and tourists would embrace.

Uhrin serves as the City Council liaison to several organizations, including the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the Resort Advisory Commission, the Virginia Beach Arena Project, the Virginia Beach Aquarium Foundation and the Dome site and Rudee Loop projects. ​

He and his wife, Cathy, have two daughters, Eva, 7, and Alexandra, 5.

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