Ms. Kelly will become vice-president of marketing at Brigil, a housing construction company, after spending four years as executive director of the chamber.
"When I joined, we were in a basement on Woodward Drive," Ms. Kelly said. "My goals were to bring the chamber back downtown, make it front and centre in the business community, and then, once that was done, to hand it over to someone else."
The job, which Ms. Kelly said requires 24/7 energy and dedication, is one that is best to take on for a few years only.
"It's a fantastic job if you can throw yourself into it with everything you have, but it's not something that you can do for 25 years," she said.
Partnering with OBJ was one of Ms. Kelly's proudest accomplishments as executive director.
"I think it's really put the chamber in a totally different space," she said. "It's elevated our brand and boosted our membership."
Ms. Kelly is a former OBJ Forty Under 40 recipient, and previously held executive positions at CBC where she helped spearhead the first streaming video website in Canada, and Bell Canada as part of the team that launched high-speed Internet in Canada.
Her new position with a construction company strays from her background in technology. It was an intentional change to give her a new challenge, Ms. Kelly said, but also to ensure that the company she works for is here to stay. Ottawa's tech culture often involves starting up, operating for a few years then being sold to someone outside the city, she said, which is a problem that Ottawa needs to address.
"I wanted to be part of a company that would stay here, grow its roots here and not sell out," she said.
Brigil is an Orleans-based mid-sized company with 160 employees and $100 million in annual revenues that was founded in 1985.
"Erin has done an outstanding job taking the chamber from where it was to where it is today: much stronger financially, much more visible and poised to do even greater things in the future," chamber chairman Dave Donaldson said in a statement. "We're grateful for her extraordinary contributions and wish her well in her new position."
Chamber memberships and revenues grew substantially with Ms. Kelly at the helm. Back in 2009 during her first year as executive director, Ms. Kelly increased membership by 25 per cent.
She has also acted as a vocal advocate for tourism in the capital, speaking out about the city's need to invest in the industry.
The chamber is in the process of looking for someone to fill Ms. Kelly's position.