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CHARLESTON -- Cindy White will be leaving the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce after more than two decades at the organization, many of which were spent as the president and chief executive officer.

A letter sent out by Tina Held, Chamber board of directors chair, indicated White will be retiring from her role at the Chamber June 30. She joined the Chamber as an executive assistant in 1996 and has served as president and CEO of the organization since 1998.

"It has been a good run," White said of her time at the Chamber. "It has been great -- it is just time.

"Over that time, I've had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people and meet so many people and, I think, make a difference in our community," she later said. "There have been a lot of great initiatives over time."

White said she is particularly proud of her work in the Leadership Coles County program that went on for about 10 years, as well as her efforts in starting the now-dormant local SCORE chapter. SCORE is a non-profit organization focused on getting small businesses off the ground.

She hopes the next person in line to run the Chamber will "carry on the legacy of the Chamber." The Chamber board has formed a search committee tasked with evaluating needs of the organization moving forward and identifying potential candidates, according to the letter.

A job announcement and application process are expected to be made public later this spring. Held indicated the board hopes to have a new CEO in place in early fall.

"I want to assure you that it will still be business as usual at the Chamber during this time of transition," Held said.

Staff will continue to provide benefits and services and offer a full schedule of networking events, she said.

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Reporter

Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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