Artisans Center of Virginia


26 Apr 2018 - Artisans Center of Virginia Board Announces Executive Director Resignation

From James G. Dye, President, Artisans Center of Virginia Board of Directors

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces Sherri Smith’s departure as Executive Director of The Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV), effective April 27, 2018, due to a serious development in her husband’s health.

Since 2009, Sherri has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization, and while we will miss her and her inspiring leadership, we understand that the love and energy she brings to this organization must now be fully-focused on the health of her husband and family.

We want to thank her for her 9 years of dedicated service wherein ACV has emerged as the leader of a well-established, statewide Artisan Industry that is connected, branded, promoted and celebrated. Under her leadership ACV has grown from having a $10,000 budget deficit, no staff and 50 members to an organization with a $200,000 annual budget, 9 staff and 1400 members.

Through Sherri’s leadership and passion for Virginia’s Artisans, the hand-made economy and its community development, the ACV has:

  • Established the Artisans Center of Virginia as the lead organization representing hand-made practitioners and entrepreneurs in Virginia, thereby unifying a distinct and measurable Artisan Industry for the Commonwealth.
  • Developed Virginia’s renowned Artisan Trail Network, currently representing 53 counties and 14 cities across the Commonwealth, through the implementation of 17 community Artisan Trails.
  • Implemented the successful development of the statewide Virginia Oyster Trail, at the request of former Governor, Terry McAuliffe.
  • Created efficient program processes to deliver member benefits that invoke entrepreneurial growth, engage collaboration and elevate visibility.
  • Acquired official State endorsement of October as “Virginia Artisan Month” and November as “Virginia Oyster Month” to provide heightened acknowledgment of member activities and partnering communities statewide.
  • Partnered with national artisan organizations such as American Craft Week and Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT).
  • Become the officially recognized and respected professional conduit for the positive economic and quality of life impacts that Virginia’s Artisan entrepreneurs are contributing to their local communities.

We have engaged an interim director and over the next few months we will be conducting a search to hire a permanent Executive Director. Sherri has agreed to continue in an advisory capacity to assist during the transition and to facilitate a short list of select projects to maintain their continuity. It is our priority to find the best individual to lead ACV, while still maintaining a stable and effective organization. We will share the job announcement soon and ask for your help in identifying candidates who can help the Artisans Center of Virginia continue along this successful trajectory.

Again, we cannot thank Sherri enough for the dedication, passion, enthusiasm and motivation she has given the ACV over the past 9 years. She is very much loved and will be greatly missed by the staff, Board, members and partners alike. We wish her happiness, strength, laughter, joy and comfort as she moves into what may be a difficult road ahead.


James G. Dye, President of the Artisans Center of Virginia Board of Directors

From Sherri Smith, Executive Director, Artisans Center of Virginia

After nearly a decade with the Artisans Center of Virginia, I recently submitted my resignation as Executive Director due to a serious development with my husband’s health. With this decision comes a mix of emotions as I am extremely proud of what the staff, Board and members have accomplished during these past nine years and am honored to have had the privilege of working with so many dedicated team members in communities all across the state.

It has been my pleasure to serve and with deepest gratitude to all who have been so supportive of the organization and of me personally over the years, I thank you and will forever cherish our relationships. Without you, the organization would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. I am thankful for the time I was given to lead this incredible organization and will watch with excitement and anticipation as it continues its hands-on dedication, supporting and creating collaborative solutions to visibly strengthen the endeavors of Virginia’s Artisans.

All my best,

For more information contact Iris Treakle, member of the Artisans Center of Virginia Board of Directors and transition spokesperson.

Phone: 804-435-3553

Email: [email protected]

Artisans Center of Virginia | P.O. Box 166 | Greenville, VA 24440 | |

“Handcrafting Virginia’s Cultural Economy”

The Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV) fosters artisan-focused economic growth, develops vibrant communities, and facilitates connective visitor experiences.


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