Bob Wright retiring from chamber
SALISBURY - Bob Wright, president of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce since 1995, has announced his plan to retire after 30 years as a chamber executive.
Wright has been with the Rowan chamber for 17 years and will retire Dec. 31.
"Having been in the business world for more than 35 years, it's time to enter the next phase of life and enjoy the fruits of my labor," he said in a statement. "It's been a very rewarding career and I've had the privilege of working with many fine people over the years, especially in Rowan County."
During the past 17 years, the Rowan chamber has been recognized with awards at the local, state and national levels for programming, communications, membership, finance and facilities.
Wright himself was named N.C. Chamber Executive of the Year in 2005 and is slated to be president of the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2014.
Among its awards, the Rowan chamber was named one of three finalists in 2005 and 2006 for National Chamber of the Year and in July picked up the first annual award for Chamber Directory of the Year, awarded by Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. When looking back at accomplishments over the years, Wright said two rise to the top - the Gateway Building and the Interstate 85 Yadkin River Bridge.
"The Gateway Building was the result of hundreds of Rowan County businesses putting millions of dollars on the table, and it served as an impetus for a lot of other development in downtown Salisbury," he said.
Regarding the I-85 bridge, the chamber lobbied for funding for years when many people didn't even want to talk about it. "It's nice to see it under construction," Wright said.
Wright and his spouse, Mari, plan to remain in Salisbury. He didn't rule out some type of future employment. "If I do work again, it won't be 60-plus hours a week like the last 35 years," he said.