Jim Sears Retires After 20 Years Leading Center in the Square – New President Named

Outgoing Center in The Square President Jim Sears.
Outgoing Center in The Square President Jim Sears.

After 20 years as President and General Manger of Center in the Square, Dr. James C. (Jim) Sears is retiring at the end of 2013.

“I consider my two decades with Center the absolute highlight of my 47-year professional career” says Jim Sears, who has never lost sight of Center’s mission to be an active participant in economic development, both locally and regionally, by helping assure the financial health of vital elements of Western and Central Virginia’s cultural quality of life.

“I believe we have met many goals through our expansive two-year renovation. We have updated our out-of-date historic building with brand new HVAC systems and LEED certified, low-flow water features; we are positioned to become an environmental education leader with the ability to inform individuals and businesses about the benefits of energy – saving features such as solar panels, wind turbines, and vegetated roofing; most importantly, we have redesigned our approach to K-12 education, providing nearly half of the Commonwealth’s K-12 school children with innovative new learning environments and exhibits that will inspire them for years to come.”

Jim Sears leaves Center in the Square in a solid position as he hands off to Barry L. Henderson who will take the helm as President and General Manager at the beginning of 2014.

New Center in The Square President Barry Henderson.
New Center in The Square President Barry Henderson.

Henderson, a Roanoke native and graduate of Virginia Tech, was in the financial services industry for 37 years, 29 of those years with SunTrust Bank. Since 2007, he has served as President and CEO for SunTrust Western Virginia and has held numerous leadership positions in the Roanoke and Harrisonburg communities.
Henderson serves on the boards of Downtown Roanoke, Inc. (Chair 2013/2014); Child Health Investment Partnership (CHIP) of Roanoke Valley; and Chair-Elect 2014 for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the Southwest VA Business Development Association. Henderson is no stranger to Center in the Square and took on the role of Co-Chair of Major Gifts for Center’s recent successful capital campaign.

To learn more visit: www.centerinthesquare.org