~ PVN staff report
LURAY, Feb. 16 — On Tuesday morning, the Luray Downtown Initiative made it official. The board of directors recently voted to name Jackie Fox Elliott as the organization’s new program director.
“Jackie brings many years of local business knowledge and relationship building in our community,” reads the press release issued by LDI. “We know she will continue to help Downtown Luray grow and thrive. Our current director, Meredith Dees will step down at the beginning of March.”
After four years in the position, Dees announced her decision to step down during a November meeting of the Luray Council. Now, she hopes to ease Elliott into the role of helping development and improve downtown.
“I am so thrilled to have Jackie on the team downtown,” Dees said. “She has all the energy we need to keep things moving forward. I love our community and look forward to finding new ways to serve it.”
According to LDI board chairman Bill Huffman, Dees may continue to help LDI on a contractual basis after her final day to follow up on grant applications and help make the transition with her successor go smoothly.
“Sometimes when you are close to something, you have to take a step back and allow someone else to come in with new ideas and new vision, if you really care about it…we need a fresh look on things sometimes,” Dees said in November when asked about her decision to leave a role she’s had since October 2016. “I will always be a cheerleader for downtown. I grew up here, and it’s my home.”
Elliot was born and raised in Luray, and has already spent decades working with downtown businesses. She started her sales and marketing career in radio in 1983 at WLCC/WRAA, the original radio stations in Luray. She worked for many years as a local, regional and national sales manager throughout the Shenandoah Valley.
After moving back to Luray in 2003, she took a position with the Page News and Courier, where she worked as a sales representative for 16 years.
Jackie is a mom of two sons and a daughter and has four grandchildren.
“I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life,” Elliott said. “I have so much love and pride for my hometown of Luray. I am looking forward to working with businesses that I worked with in the past and getting to know and work with the new faces on Main Street.”