Blacksburg Town Clerk Retiring After 41 Years
In a letter to the Blacksburg Town Council, Town Clerk Donna Boone-Caldwell announced she would be retiring on August 1 after 41 years of service. Boone-Caldwell said the decision was not an easy one to make, but the timing is right. “I have enjoyed a wonderful career and I’m grateful for the professional opportunities the Town has provided me, in addition to the many friendships that I have been blessed with over the years.”
When Boone-Caldwell started her Clerk career in 1980, she had little experience with local government. “I limped along, valued input from all who were willing to give, and forged ahead.” With a bit of help from her colleagues and Mayor Torchy Walrath, she soon took ownership and excelled in her position. In Boone-Caldwell’s 41-year tenure, there have been four Mayors, five Town Managers and 30 different members of Town Council. Some of her most vivid memories include the launch of Blacksburg Transit; vision and revitalization projects in Downtown Blacksburg; arrival of the internet with The Blacksburg Electric Village; the Town’s Bicentennial Celebration; Tour DuPont races through Blacksburg; community shock and healing from April 16, 2007; and, most recently, how well Blacksburg navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for the changes that she has seen, Boone-Caldwell said it has been a wonderful experience. “So much has changed since my first day on the job. Without a doubt, the secret to my longevity has been the willingness to accept change and roll with the flow,” she said. “Donna is vivacious, conscientious, and unfailingly professional,” said Blacksburg Mayor Leslie Hager Smith. “For over 40 years, she’s served the council and citizens of Blacksburg reliably – and she’s made a good many friends along the way. Her institutional knowledge just can’t be replaced; in fact, she is an institution herself. Fortunately, Donna will remain in the area and has promised to make herself available to us as we move forward.”