It’s proving to be a summer of change for the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) with the departure of its Director of Communications and the upcoming retirement of its Executive Director.
After serving Rosslyn for 21 years, Rosslyn BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy has decided to retire. She started off as the Executive Director of Rosslyn Renaissance — an organization that merged with the BID last year — in 1992. Cassidy worked with businesses, the county government and others in the community to develop the BID, which began operations in 2003, and she has been with the organization for the past decade.
“We created the first BID in Northern Virginia. We worked with the County Manager and at the time had a $1 million dollar budget. Now now it’s a $4 million budget,” Cassidy said.
Prior to her time improving Rosslyn, Cassidy worked as a journalist and publications editor. She then served for 13 years in the affordable housing community, first as a tenant organizer at Arlington Village and after that on staff for AHC, Inc. in Arlington and The Enterprise Foundation in Columbia, Maryland.
County Manager Barbara Donnellan thanked Cassidy for her work on the BID for the past ten years.
“It was her work that really made the BIDs work here in the county,” said Donnellan.
When reminiscing on some of the projects she’s most proud of, she lists the BID’s assistance in establishing Artisphere and lobbying to have an observation deck on the Central Place building. She’s also proud of the BID’s partnership with A-SPAN in establishing a Rosslyn homeless outreach worker contract.
“We’re the only BID that has one and I’m very glad we addressed that,” Cassidy said. “There are more than a thousand BIDs across the U.S. and less than 10 percent provide service for the homeless. So we’re very proud of that.”
Former Director of Communications Lisa Rabasca left the BID as of June 28 for another job. She had been with the organization since last fall. Lee Anne McLarty, who has served as the Events and Marketing Manager for the past three years, will serve as the acting Director of Communications.
Cassidy said although it’s not ideal to have two departures in a relatively short period, the BID has been preparing for her retirement for a while. She noted that the organization is going through a re-branding process and when that finishes the BID will look to officially fill the open Director of Communications position.
Cassidy’s last day has not yet been decided, but she plans to be available to help transition the new Executive Director once the person is hired. She expects her last day to be sometime in the fall. After that she’ll take several months off and may decide to do some consulting in the future.
“Rosslyn is ready to take off. We’ve been working hard for many years and the Realize Rosslyn project is moving forward. We have a lot of great staff in place. I think they will continue to serve the Rosslyn community very well,” said Cassidy. “These jobs are very intense and exciting. It’s wonderful to be a part of growing the community. I’ll miss being in the center of all this exciting redevelopment.”
Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser