Tracey White, who has led the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce the past decade, is leaving her post at the end of the month to take a communications and government relations position with Hospital Corporation of America, the parent company of Reston Hospital Center.
“There’s never a good time to leave, but this is a great period for the chamber,” said White, who will be one month shy of 11 years as president of the chamber. “Everything is firing on all cylinders.”
White, 44, piloted the organization through a time of significant growth. When she took over, the chamber had about 600 members. It now has more than 900.
DURING HER TENURE, White also developed a number of new projects and programs.
White said she is most proud of the Incubator Program, which has helped nearly 40 local small businesses get off the ground or increase productivity.
In six years of operation, the program has attracted nearly $8 million in investments and created 140 jobs. “It’s been nice being at the frontlines of a lot of great successes,” she said.
White also helped launch the Visitor’s Center at the Spectrum Center.
White, an Ashburn resident, will remain working in Reston when her new post with HCA starts in August.
“That’s one of the best things,” said Marion Myers, who owns a public relations firm in Reston and takes over as the chamber’s chair this month. “Tracey will represent HCA as a chamber member, able to stay engaged and involved.”
In fact, White said that made her decision a little easier easy. “It was a very hard decision to leave the chamber because it is such a wonderful place to be,” said White. But a positive part of the decision, she said, was knowing she’d still be in Reston to “stay active in this community and Northern Virginia.”
MANY IN THE business community are sad to see White go. “But she’s going down the street, not away,” said Myers, who thinks the chamber’s never been in better shape thanks to White.
Ann Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Arts Council of Fairfax County, who was chair of the chamber when White was hired, remembered how White stood out during the hiring process.
“It was a very rigorous and thoughtful search because we knew the chamber was in need of a really good leader,” said Rodriquez, a 30-year Reston resident. “[White’s application] quickly rose to the top. We still thank our lucky stars for having found her.”
“We’ll absolutely miss her,” said Brian Bauer, the chamber’s marketing and communications manager. “She’s been the best boss you can ask for.”
Myers said the chamber formed an executive search committee to solicit and review applications to fill the vacancy. One of the first duties for the next president will be planning the chamber’s 25th anniversary, which takes place next year.