Editorial: A loss for Knightdale

April 26, 2013 

If anyone is synonymous with Knightdale, it’s Jennifer Bryan. Later this week, she leaves her post as director of the town’s chamber of commerce. It’s a clear loss for Knightdale.

In 18 years, Bryan has presided over tremendous growth within the chamber, a growth that has mirrored the town’s rise from a sleepy burg to a thriving little city.

She’s seen chamber presidents come and go, guiding them through their tenure as volunteer leaders. She’s withstood changes in the town’s leadership, working over the course of several mayors’ tenures, including her own husband’s.

Now, she sets her sights on a new position at Wake Tech Community College, where she will be the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Wake Tech Foundation. The new job suits her well. As a chamber director, much of her time was spent cultivating relationships with member businesses, asking them to support chamber efforts through their time and money.

Never has the role of the community college system in our state been more important. As people try to recover from the blows dealt them by the economy, many are looking to retool and develop new skills sets. A huge number of them turn to the community colleges in their communities.

That demand has community college leaders looking for new ways to insure their viability and their ability to grow to meet those demands.

In her new role, Bryan will be asked to establish relationships with groups and businesses that can help the college meet those needs far into the future.

But for Knightdale, the loss will be significant.

Aside from the institutional experience the chamber and the town lose, they also will have to replace a personality that was kind, but aggressive; demanding, but reasonable and one that held high expectations for Knightdale and its future.

On the flipside, Knightdale doesn’t lose Jennifer Bryan entirely. She will continue to call Knightdale home and she is very likely to find new ways to volunteer in her ongoing effort to make Knightdale a better place.

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