Chamber director Fowler to step down after 14 years 

Published 9:09 am Tuesday, November 21, 2017

After leading the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce as executive director for 14 years, Paula Fowler has announced that she will be resigning effective the end of the year.

According to a news release from the Boyle County Chamber of Commerce, Fowler announced to the Chamber Board of Directors on Nov. 9, that with “a heavy heart” she will be stepping down by the end of the year.

Fowler stated that while she “loves Danville and had planned to retire here,” she said her parents are aging and it’s important for her to be closer to them and other family members now. 

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“My family needed to take priority,” Fowler said.

Even though Fowler is moving to Greensboro, North Carolina to be closer to her family, she will continue working. 

“I’m job hunting right now,” she said.

Lisa Knetsche, chairman of the chamber of commerce said, “I’m saddened, but I certainly understand. We appreciate all she’s done for the chamber and Boyle County. She has been a great asset and driving force,” especially with the  Leadership Boyle County and the Youth Leadership Boyle County. 

“She will be missed,” Knetsche said.

Speaking of her time at the chamber, Fowler said she has worked with an amazing group of people and volunteers over the years, especially with the Leadership and Youth Leadership programs.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with great people.”

Over the past 10 or 11 years, the chamber has seen the stepping up of the Workforce Development program. 

“That group has done some heavy lifting” for Boyle County Fowler said.

The Teachers’ Academy now brings education professionals and industry leaders together to develop a skilled labor force, which has also been important to the area. She said industry jobs are now much more “high tech” and students don’t have to leave this community to get a good job, she explained.

As Fowler prepares to leave Boyle County, she’s hopeful that whoever takes her place will continue advocating for local businesses. 

“Advocacy has been something I’m really proud of,” she said, especially when it comes to taxes and insurance, both issues which affect local businesses.

She hopes and expects Boyle County to continue growing. The new chamber director “should always be looking for ways to improve our businesses’ bottom line,” she said. And she hopes the chamber will continue offering members opportunities to hear important speakers, attend workshop and discover ways they can save money.

“It’s a great community, with great attitudes with lots and lots of great people,” Fowler said.

Knetsche said the chamber has already formed a search committee and is working on formal wording of the job description before advertising for the position. In the meantime, they are also considering the chamber’s options for naming an interim director until a full-time director is hired.