After serving four years as executive director for Leadership Tyler, Colleen Colby has resigned from the position to take on a new opportunity.
“After much debate, I have decided it is time for me to move on and explore other professional opportunities,” Mrs. Colby wrote in a letter to Leadership Tyler alumni. “After four years, I can look back at my time at Leadership Tyler knowing that I’m leaving the organization in better shape than I found it. This is in no small part due to the selfless service of the Leadership Tyler alumni, board, volunteers and sponsors. In the last four years we’ve doubled our number of volunteers and program offerings as well as dramatically increasing our sponsorships.”
Mrs. Colby will start her new job Monday, serving as communications director and chief of staff for the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NET RMA.) She will be the organization’s first employee.
“My opportunity to move transportation forward in East Texas is very exciting,” Mrs. Colby said on Wednesday. She said that with the success of Toll Road 49 and the Texas Department of Transportation forgiving the loan for its construction and turning it into a grant, allows NETRMA to hire local employees.
Before Leadership Tyler, she worked for a year for what is now Atkins Engineering. Before that, she had an 18-year background in business after serving four years in the U.S. Navy and in Desert Storm. She has lived in Tyler for seven years with her husband of more than 15 years. They have two sons and one daughter.
Mrs. Colby said Leadership Tyler is an amazing organization with an incredible mission. She is a Class 21 graduate and said the new class will be exciting.
“It was a hard decision, but I know they’ll continue all the hard work that was done before I got there,” she said.
Mrs. Colby’s resignation was effective July 31, and until she can be replaced, Smittee Root, president of the organization’s board, will step up as interim executive director.
“On behalf of the board of directors, we wish her well in her future endeavors and are thankful for all she accomplished during her time with Leadership Tyler,” Mrs. Root said of Mrs. Colby in an email sent to Leadership Tyler alumni. “We look forward to another great year together as we enrich our community by equipping its leaders.”
Mrs. Root said a committee will be formed to look at what the roll of executive director looks like now for Leadership Tyler because it has grown over the years. She said that after the reevaluation process, they will look for a replacement and hope to have it filled by January.
Since Mrs. Root’s work schedule at Root Construction is flexible, it will allow her to serve as interim executive director, which is required of the board’s president when the position becomes vacant.
She said Mrs. Colby’s leaving was amicable, and she hopes to see the Leadership Tyler alumnus at events.
“We’re very grateful for everything she’s accomplished while she was here,” Mrs. Root said, adding that she is part of the growth experienced by the organization.
Mrs. Root said there are more than 600 alumni in Leadership Tyler.
“As a board, our focus this year will be to ensure that the new Core Experience Class 28 experiences the same great program as our growing alumni group,” she said, adding that they will be the honored guests at the Leadership Live Event on Sept. 9.
The event will feature speaker James C. Hunter, author of “The Servant.” He will host a morning workshop and deliver the keynote address on the value of servant leadership. For more, visit www.leadershiptyler.org .