Jack Berry resigns after 18 years as Venture Richmond head

Jack Berry resigns after 18 years as Venture Richmond head

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Jack Berry will step down as executive director of Venture Richmond after 18 years, the organization announced on Thursday.

Berry will leave the post at the end of next month and hinted at a possible mayoral run in his resignation letter.

"It is with great sadness, but also great anticipation, that I am announcing my resignation as the Executive Director of Venture Richmond," Berry wrote in an email to colleagues. "The time has come for me to take the next step in my life and career... I love this city and I hope I can continue to be part of building the wonderful future that Richmond deserves."

In a tweet Thursday afternoon, the Venture Richmond account said they were "very happy to see him running to become the next mayor of #RVA," but Berry has only said he will announce his plans soon. He is attending an upcoming mayoral forum. 

Under Berry's leadership, Venture Richmond has produced some of the biggest events in the area, including the Richmond Folk Festival, Friday Cheers the 2nd Street Festival and others. It also markets and promotes economic development downtown, manages the Canal Walk and Brown's Island.

Venture Richmond also works with other community groups to put on Dominion RiverRock, the First Fridays Artwalk, and partnered with the City of Richmond on the Clean & Safe program  and other downtown landscaping initiatives.

Berry led Richmond Renaissance in 1998 prior the organization's evolution into Venture Richmond in 2006.

"No one is more passionate about Richmond than Jack Berry," said Venture Richmond chairwoman Mary Doswell. "He is Downtown Richmond's biggest booster and one of its strongest leaders."

Venture Richmond's Deputy Director for Marketing and Events, Lisa Sims, will serve as Interim Executive Director starting May 1.

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