Chamber director gave 'personal touch' to job

July 28, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Dana Given, outgoing executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, will be honored today by members of the business organization and the residents she has served since she came to Greencastle six years ago.

Given, 39, leaves her job at the Chamber on Aug. 12. She and her two teenage sons are moving to the Nashville, Tenn., area.

She hasn't found a job there yet, but said she isn't worried.

"I haven't had time to look," she said. "I made the decision to leave three months ago, but I've been busy breaking in a new assistant and running things like the annual golf tournament, a mixer, a breakfast, the July Fourth celebration and Sidewalk Days."


Given, who is divorced, sold her home in Greencastle and has found a condominium in Goodlettsville, a Nashville suburb.

"My sons have a good relationship with their father and they need him," she said. "This relocation allows both of us to be involved in their daily lives."

Chamber officials will announce Given's replacement Monday at a 1 p.m. press conference in the Grove Community Room in the Chamber office.

Given said the Chamber has been an integral part of her life for the last six years.

"I was personally involved with everything. That's why everyone here knows me," she said.

Her accomplishments include the $200,000 renovation to the Chamber office building at 217 E. Baltimore St.; launching of the Shoppes of Greencastle promotion, which markets more than 40 local craft, antique and gift stores; expansion of the Heritage Christmas program; and taking over the annual Sidewalk Days promotion from local merchants.

Membership in the Chamber increased by one-third, to more than 300 members, while Given was at the helm.

John Rotz, chairman of the Chamber's board of directors, said when Given came on board, she faced significant challenges in the organization.

"It's a totally different Chamber than when she came in," he said. "She has been extremely dedicated and she will be missed."

L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Authority, worked with Given over the years.

"Dana contributed to Greencastle in a positive way. She helped to make Greencastle the envy of downtown development. It's a very livable community," Ross said. "She has been a real ambassador for Greencastle. She did a great job promoting the community."

Expected speakers at Given's testimonial today include, in addition to Rotz and Ross, former Chamber board chairmen Garon Gembe and David Wertime, and Carole Fries, Given's boss when she worked at Menno Haven Retirement Community in Chambersburg, Pa.

Greencastle Mayor Robert "Red" Pensinger will read a proclamation from the Borough Council.

Today's open house in Given's honor will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chamber office.

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