Given staying as director of local Chamber

June 21, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Today was supposed to have been Dana Given's last day as executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.

She announced May 23 that she was leaving the job to become director of children's and women's ministries at her church.

Sometime between those dates, Given, 36, changed her mind. She decided to forego the church job and stay on as head of the Chamber.


One of the Chamber's board members brought her an apple pie on hearing the news that she had decided to stay on.

"I got all kinds of calls from people who said they were excited that I was staying. Now I'm eating humble pie, not apple pie," she said.

Given was hired as executive director in May, 1999. At the time the Chamber had 200 members. Today, its membership tops 300.

She said when she announced her resignation that she had belonged to the Antrim Brethren in Christ for two years and that she had been volunteering there. The Rev. Dwayne Pottieger had been after her for several months to work for the church and she finally agreed, she said.

"It was a noble and a worthy cause and I wanted to go," she said.

She said she didn't expect the reaction among the community's business and government sectors.

"They all said they were sorry to see me leave and how much they valued the work I was doing," she said. "I began to realize how much I wanted to be involved with the Chamber."

She also was leaving several pet projects that she wanted to see completed. Among them were revising the billboard on Interstate 81 that promotes the community, completion of the renovation of the Chamber office at 217 E. Baltimore St., launch a membership drive, expand the Chamber's Web site and go after more grants, she said.

Given said when she worked for the Chamber she volunteered at her church. She figured the role would be reversed when she worked for the church. "I'd be volunteering for the Chamber," she said.

"I had already been asked to chair the Heritage Christmas program and to take a seat on the development corporation," she said.

Given, In a letter to Chamber board members, tried to explain reasons for changing her mind. "Just as there are two sides to every coin, there are two sides or reasons to my decision ... one being that I genuinely love and enjoy my job ... the other is that I so much appreciate my church family."

She said the decision to leave the Chamber became harder as the time to leave drew nearer. Board members told her that she still had time to reconsider her resignation. She took the time and decided to stay, she said.

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