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PW Chamber to bid farewell to its president and CEO: Debbie Jones will retire Dec. 31

Debbie Jones, president and CEO of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, has announced that she will be retiring from the Chamber after more than 32 years on Dec. 31, 2022.  She has served as President & CEO of the Chamber since July 2014, leading this business member organization through a period of significant transition, growth, and success.
She began her Chamber career in 1990 when she was hired as the Communications Coordinator; and then in January 1993 was promoted to serve as the President & CEO of the then Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber (PWC-GM Chamber), which served businesses and organizations in the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and throughout western Prince William County. 

Under her leadership over the next 17 years the PWC-GM Chamber grew to 1000+ members.  During this time Disney announced plans to pursue Disney’s America, Cellar Door Productions opened its amphitheater on Wellington Road (Jiffy Lube Live), Robert Trent Jones Golf Club opened and hosted the “President’s Cup” and as western Prince William County continued to develop, PWC-GM Chamber opened a satellite office in the Gainesville area to better serve businesses of the growing area.
In 2006 the Executive Committees of the Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber and the Prince William Regional Chamber began to explore the possibility of forming a regional leadership program; and Leadership Prince William (LPW) was created as a stand-alone organization.  LPW’s financial foundation and organizational structure were based on the support of both Chambers as well as many regional businesses.  In 2007 the first class of LPW graduated.  Today LPW is accepting applications for the Class of 2023.
After the successful launch of LPW, private conversations were held to discuss the possibility and impact that a single regional Chamber could offer thegrowing community.  After investigating and creating the possible future organizational structure, members of both Chambers had the opportunity to vote on their future.  In May 2010 the members decided that the Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber (established in 1935) and the Prince William Regional Chamber (established in 1955) would be dissolved in July 2010, and the new Prince William Chamber of Commerce was formed.
In the fall of 2010, Jones became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and successfully worked to transition the previous Chamber’s members, staff, and Board of Directors into a single organization with an expanded footprint to serve the region.  After the departure of the then President, Jones was promoted to President & CEO and has the led the Chamber since 2014.
Since then, Jones has created new strong partnerships across the community and state. She has grown one of the largest and most diverse membership bases in the region and created a strong internal team (including a legislation position) that serves the increasing needs of the Prince William region.  “As a team I feel it is extremely important that we never forget who we work for, our members” says Debbie Jones.  The Prince William Chamber engages and works closely with the jurisdictions of Prince William County, the cites of Manassas and Manassas Park; their Economic Development Departments, the three school systems’ Career and Technology Education (CTE), local governments and organizations.   
Over the past eight years, and especially during the pandemic, Jones’ leadership skills have been tested; but as she announces her retirement at the end of December, the Prince William Chamber is in a great place financially, organizationally, and with a solid plan for the future. 

Gayle Whitlock,  2021-22 Chair of the Prince William Chamber Board of Directors, said, “She has led us through the good times and the hard with energy, enthusiasm, optimism, and confidence in our region’s business community.  She has been a connector, cheerleader, and good friend to businesses and organizations both large and small.  All while having a new ‘boss’ each year!  She leaves the PW Chamber in a great place – with a strong financial base, capable and committed staff, strong leadership on the board, and a membership ready to tackle today’s opportunities and challenges.”
Debbie is a 2007 graduate of LEAD VA and 2010 graduate of Leadership Prince William.  She is a connector of people and community leader serving on numerous Boards including: the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the PWC Police Citizen Advisory, Benedictine Sisters of Virginia Advisory Board, George Mason University, Science & Technology Campus Advisory Board and the Northern Virginia Community College Advisory Council. Debbie has received recognition for her contributions & leadership including being named one of the 2021 Prince William Living Most Influential Women, George Mason University Alumni Association 2019 College of Visual and Performing Arts, Thomas W. Iszard IV, Distinguished Alumni Award, 2018 Kathy Ellington Leadership Award, the Catholic Business Network of NOVA, and the 2016 Prince William Good Scout Award.

Jones wishes to retire now to travel, as well as to pursue her other passions and interests.  Maybe even use her Art Degree again.  “Who knows what Debbie 2.0 will do,” she stated.  Jones and her husband Lynn plan to stay in the area.

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