Reflections on Noel Purdy's Service to our Community

by Lark Plessinger, Marketing Manager, Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce
Since 2008, Noel Purdy has served in numerous roles as part of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce; most recently as the president of the Chamber and Downtown Chambersburg, Inc. (DCI). Through her dedication, leadership and diligence our community has prospered, and we’d like to thank her for that service.

Noel began her career with us as executive director of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation, our affiliate focused on workforce development, education and citizenship in Franklin County. Her contributions included coordinating the Leadership Franklin County (LFC) community program as well as spearheading a similar program for high school students. Noel also created the LFC Alumni of the Year Award, coordinated countywide career fairs for students, worked with teachers to improve their knowledge of student career opportunities and much more.

“Under Noel’s direction, the Leadership program tripled in sized,” said Robin Harmon, executive director of the Foundation. “She had a long-term vision of generating a network of community leaders of all ages that continues to positively impact our area.”

In 2011, Noel assumed the role of president of DCI and executive director of the Community Development Corp. of Franklin County. In these roles, she worked with more than 150 volunteers to improve downtown, which included leading the Downtown Master Plan visioning process to attract lasting investment, creating new downtown events, leading public art initiatives and serving as a community resource for investors and business owners.

Noel’s leadership helped create a network of dedicated volunteers and staff driven by her passion to see downtown prosper. Some of Noel’s most notable contributions included coordinating events like Oktoberfest, Small Business Saturday, Second Saturdays, etc. She also saw the potential for a vibrant arts community and drove the creation of the Downtown Mural Project, The Foundry Artist Cooperative and two large-scale mosaic murals.

“The community’s involvement and investment in the downtown has increased dramatically under Noel’s direction,” said Sam Thrush, a board member of DCI and active volunteer. “She has a distinct ability to see a need in our community and find the stakeholders and volunteers needed to make it happen. Her vision and passion has started the ball rolling for others to see the great potential downtown has, and we can see those results in The Foundry, public art and new businesses.”

Besides her focus on downtown, Noel has also served our community as president of the Chamber since August 2015. During that time, Noel worked with business and civic leaders to make Chambersburg a great place to live and work. Her ability to connect and network as well as lead a staff of 10 employees enabled the Chamber to thrive.

“Noel excelled at juggling multiple arenas and driving progress ranging from property development and commerce to chamber membership and downtown initiatives,” said Kim Crider, board member of the Chamber. “She has been an amazing role model for women in our community, and we are sorry she chose to resign; we’ll definitely miss her leadership.”

Noel’s service to our community has not gone unnoticed and has played a pivotal role in the progress of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation, Downtown Chambersburg, Inc. and the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for your leadership and all you’ve accomplished for our community.