Sally Cole, the local City of Falls Church resident who has deftly led the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce as its executive director for 17 years, the longest tenure in its history (eclipsing the reign of the late Robert S. “Hap” Day), announced to the Chamber Board of Directors that she is stepping down, saying “it is time for a change.”
In a letter to Chamber Board chair Barbara Benson and the Chamber Board, she wrote, “It has been my great pleasure and honor to serve as the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director for the past 17 years. Although it has been incredibly rewarding experience, it is time for change. I am resigning as executive director, effective by the end of September, or as mutually agreed upon with the Board.
“I have enjoyed my tenure here and have appreciated working with each of you, as well as with our member organizations, and our local decision-makers. The opportunity to grow the Chamber, create new networking events and promotional vehicles, redevelop the Chamber’s brand and online presence, and establish the organization as an important resource to local businesses and the community at-large, and encourage local spending and member support has been as gratifying and inspiring as it has been challenging.
“While I personally need a change, I also believe the Chamber is primed for it as well. A fresh perspective and new energy will help the Chamber take advantage of the redevelopment taking place in Falls Church and the opportunities that such growth brings. I am happy to assist the Chamber Board in its efforts to reconsider the job description and search for the ideal candidate to fill my position.
“Thank you all for your service to the Board, especially to those of you who have served as Chair, in leadership positions, and on committees and to those who have generously attended meetings and events.
“Special thanks to Dr. Steve Rogers who hired me for this position in 2004. His support and encouragement have been the foundation of my service and I will always be indebted to him for that.
“Thank you for the opportunities provided to me over the past 17 years. I look forward to seeing the Chamber continue its service to our community and adapt to area changes and needs.”
Benson followed this with a note to the Chamber board that a committee has been formed to explore the retaining of a successor.