Rescue Mission of Roanoke's CEO honored on final day

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Roanoke's mayor issued a proclamation in honor of The Rescue Mission of Roanoke's Joy Sylvester-Johnson.

"I do hereby proclaim Friday, December the 23rd, throughout this great, six-time All-American city as Joy Sylvester-Johnson Day," said Mayor Sherman Lea.

Friday marked the Rescue Mission's longtime CEO's final day on the job.

To mark that, Lea gave her the key to the city and proclaimed the day as Joy Sylvester-Johnson Day.

Her retirement follows 31 years of service at the mission her parents began back in 1948.

Before being named CEO in 1998, Sylvester-Johnson spent 12 years as the mission's director of development.

"One of the things I tell people when they come to the mission I said, 'you know this is not your permanent home. I'm the only one who gets to stay forever' and today, I'm proving that even I don't get to stay forever. And I know this is the right time to pack up," said Sylvester-Johnson.

She hopes to catch up on some sleep in the coming days and eventually travel.

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