WENTWORTH — Jordan Rossi, the creative and energetic executive director of the Museum and Archives of Rockingham County, announced this week that she will step down from her post Aug. 19.
Rossi, who headed the MARC for four years, is moving to Denver, Colorado, where she has family ties. She declined to outline her future career plans.
"Once in a while, you find a true ray of sunshine. Rockingham County was very fortunate to have Jordan Rossi as the executive director of the MARC,'' said Ann Brady, who heads the museum's governance committee in the search for Rossi's replacement.
"Her energy, enthusiasm, talent and personality have certainly had a positive and lasting effect on the museum,'' Brady said. "She has a knack for working with all of us and keeping us focused. Whether creating a great newsletter, setting up a website, organizing captivating exhibits ... creating a trail at the High Rock Ford, keeping artifacts safe for the future ... Jordan excelled.''
The MARC's board chairman Jeff Bullins said, "Jordan has done a remarkable job, and she certainly will be missed.''
Bullins noted some highlights of Rossi's tenure: securing a grant and coordinating development of High Rock Ford; opening the John Burton Agricultural Exhibit; working with the Virginia Natural History Museum to create a grant-funded natural history exhibit; cooperating with the Dan River Basin Association and the William Bethel Chapter of the DAR on multiple projects; growing the MARC's annual Pickin' at the MARC music festival; and securing grant funds to restore Wright Tavern.
"Through this job, I've had the opportunity to meet wonderful people and work on some amazing projects,'' Rossi said in a written statement. "Though I already feel the loss of the many individuals who make the Museum and Archives of Rockingham County such a special place, I am encouraged knowing they remain to lead the museum.''
Her personality was a perfect fit with the museum, said the MARC's Operations Manager Fletcher Waynick.
"Jordan came to us fresh out of grad school and was quickly able to adapt to a Rockingham County lifestyle,'' Waynick said. "She can relate to and appreciate people from all walks of life and age groups. We all feel like a team working towards the same goal, to preserve Rockingham County history.''
Rossi's work on the Wright Tavern restoration and the museum's agricultural gallery "...will live on for generations to come,'' Waynick said. "The MARC family will miss her perspectives and calming influence.''
Bullins said the MARC board will conduct a national search for a new executive director. He plans to place ads in museum publications next week and said the MARC will accept applications through at least Sept. 16. "Hopefully, a new director will be hired quickly,'' Bullins said, noting the search for Rossi took seven months.
The MARC board plans to announce recommendations and details about the interim management of the museum soon, according to a press release issued by the museum.