Glenwood chamber CEO Virgili to retire
Coming sunday in the pi
An interview with Marianne Virgili reflecting on her 32 years with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
Marianne Virgili, leader of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association for the past 30 years, will retire at the end of the year.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with the most dedicated civic leaders and talented staff over the course of three decades,” Virgili said in a news release. “These visionaries encouraged me to dream big for myself and the organization. Any success that I’ve enjoyed is due to them.”
Virgili started as special events director in 1985 for what then was known as the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce. She produced Strawberry Days, which has grown significantly in attendance and stature over the past 32 years.
In 1987, she was promoted to executive director and then became the first president and CEO of the newly organized Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
Combining the city’s tourism functions with the chamber was a “game changer” for the community, Virgili said.
“Despite limited resources, my team leveraged talent, determination and partnerships to establish Glenwood Springs as a top Colorado tourism destination,” she said. “Tourism is the economic engine of Glenwood Springs, and the chamber is the driver.”
GSCRA Board Chairman Ian Exelbert noted that the organization has earned numerous accolades under Virgili’s leadership, including a Daily Points of Light Award from President Bill Clinton and being named the National Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2013.
“The chamber has also racked up more than two dozen national awards of excellence for print and electronic publications,” he said. “It’s these promotional efforts that have helped garner dozens of community awards.”
Those have included “Most Fun Town in America,” “One of 8 Best Places to Retire,” and one of America’s best small towns.
Virgili has also been in active in state and national organizations, serving as president of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives, and on the boards of the Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
She was also national chair of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management and is a member of the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100.
Virgili also formed the Glenwood Springs Film Commission and was appointed by the governor to the boards of the Colorado Film Commission and Colorado Creative Industries.
An announcement about Virgili’s successor is to be made at GSCRA’s annual meeting Saturday in the new Morgridge Commons above the Glenwood Springs Library.
There will be a retirement celebration for Virgili at the chamber’s annual gala and awards night on Jan. 27, 2018, at the Hotel Colorado.