PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va (WDBJ7) -- UPDATED STORY
Southside lost one of its biggest ambassadors this week.
Laurie Moran lost her battle to cancer on Tuesday, and the community is remembering her.
They've talked about her smile, her compassion, how energetic she was, but the most common thing people have talked about is how passionate she was about this community and region.
"Laurie could've done a lot of things. She could've left the area and done a lot of things, and grown and taken on huge roles, and she loved this region, so she stayed here and was an advocate for this region. We were so lucky to have her here," says Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chairman, Bert Eades.
Friends and colleagues say she was unlike anyone else they had ever met.
"She was a very unique person, one that when I think of her I think of integrity," says Buddy Rawley.
"Take her job out of the occasion completely and she was a fantastic human being, who cared about all the people around her and how she can make someone else's life better. That's what she was focused on and that's what I'll always hold with me," says Danville city councilman, Lee Vogler.
Those that knew her say she wouldn't want people to be sad and back down.
She would want everyone to continue the legacy she started and improving our region.
"I think we need to lean forward. That's the way Laurie was. She didn't back up on anything. She was always leaning forward with problems and how do we solve this," says Rawley.
They say she should be remembered for how she always was.
"She was just a beacon of light. She had that great smile on her face. She was always happy," says Vogler.
Her colleagues say that all the success to come is due in large part to Laurie, and they know she will be here in spirit to celebrate.
Her funeral will be held Friday in Gretna.
The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce is mourning the loss of its President and CEO Laurie Moran.
She served in her role at the Chamber for 15 years.
Before that, Moran worked as the Communications Manager for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Danville plant.
Over the years she also served as President of the Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, editor of a weekly newspaper, and as a consultant to develop the strategic plan for Pittsylvania County Schools.
Moran was an active member in the community and well-known for her work both within and outside of the Chamber of Commerce.
Visitation will be on Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Colbert Moran Funeral Home. That's at 307 North Main Street in Gretna.
The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m., on Friday, at First Baptist Church. It's on 502 South Main Street in Gretna.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the parking lot fund of First Baptist Church of Gretna have been requested.
The Chamber office will operate on irregular hours on Friday so that staff may attend the funeral service; however, unless otherwise noted, Chamber hours will continue as normal on other days.
You can read the full letter from Board of Directors Chair Bert Eades on Moran's passing below:
Dear Chamber members,
As Chair of the Board of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, it is with great sadness that I share the passing of our dear President and CEO, Laurie Moran, a friend to many and a long-time chamber champion. Laurie was well-known for her leadership and advocacy for the business community in Danville and Pittsylvania County. She served as the President of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce for 15 years and previously worked as the Communications Manager for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Danville plant. Prior to that, she served as President of the Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, as editor of a weekly newspaper, and as a consultant to develop the strategic plan for Pittsylvania County Schools.
Laurie’s commitment to the community, our area businesses and economic development was unwavering. Over the years, she served on a plethora of boards, including those for Danville Regional Foundation, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (VACCE)—for which she served as a past president, the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB)—for which she served as a past chair, a past vice chair and a past secretary, and the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board—for which she served as a past president. She also chaired the Dan River Region Collaborative’s participation in the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and was a member of ACT’s National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board. Laurie also served on boards for the following organizations: Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania—for which she was the immediate past chair, United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County—for which she was a past chair, The Launch Place, the Council for Rural Virginia, and the Workforce Advisory Board of Danville Community College. Laurie previously served on the advisory committee for the Barkhouser Free Enterprise Center at Danville Community College, on the advisory committee for National College, and on the Board of Trustees of Danville Regional Medical Center.
A member and past president of the Danville-Riverview Rotary Club, Laurie was a past Assistant Governor for Area 7 of Rotary International District 7570 and served as the District Membership Chair. She is an alumna of Lynchburg College, and was named VACCE Executive of the Year in 2005 and was designated a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) in 2006.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, June 15, at Colbert Moran Funeral Home, 307 North Main St., Gretna. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m., Friday, June 16, at First Baptist Church, 502 S. Main St., Gretna. In lieu of flowers, donations to the parking lot fund of First Baptist Church of Gretna have been requested.
In honor of Laurie’s passion for her work and dedicated support of the business community, the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce will continue to fulfill its mission of serving our members and improving the business environment by providing leadership, products, programs, and services which promote the success of our members. The Chamber office will operate on irregular hours on Friday, June 16, so that staff may attend the funeral service; however, unless otherwise noted, Chamber hours will continue as normal on other days.
Please feel free to contact any of the Chamber’s staff members for any of the following needs [all may be reached by phone number (434) 836-6990]:
Programs – Trina McLaughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourism – Amy Boles, email@example.com
Workforce – Allison Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org
General Chamber Needs – Donna Ashworth, email@example.com
I am also happy to help you with any Chamber-related needs and may be reached at (434) 773-7512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your membership and support of our Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to continuing to energize our region with a vibrant, profitable business community in order to carry on Laurie’s legacy.
Chair, Board of Directors