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BE Chamber exec resigns

By Staff | Apr 11, 2011

Shelly Greimann

The Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors has to take on a task they have not had to do for many years.

Look for a new executive director.

Shelly Greimann has been the chamber’s top chief executive for the past 14 years. On Monday, she tendered her resignation to chamber board chairman Tom Juba.

“I just felt it was time for a change in my life,” Greimann says. “Plus, I have another opportunity to pursue.”

That opportunity includes helping her husband, Rahn, with his publishing business, Greimann Industries, which publishes Horse Digest magazine, among other things.

Greimann’s resignation is effective April 29. The chamber board of directors was meeting last Friday noon to discuss exactly how it will proceed with filling the vacancy in the chamber’s top spot.

However, an advertisement for applications for the position appears in this week’s Faribault County Register.

“We feel bad Shelly is leaving,” Juba says. “She has been very dedicated to the chamber for the last 14 years.”

He adds that the board will try and fill the position as quickly as it can.

Greimann says the decision to leave has been something she has thought about for a while.

“The chamber is in great shape so I don’t feel worried about leaving at this time,” Greimann says. “Plus, I know there are capable people out there and the board will be able to find a quality person who will do well in this job.”

Greimann says her resignation does not come without some mixed emotions.

“I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to effect things and help my community,” the chamber exec says.

Greimann cites such things as the Giant Museum and Christmas Wonderland as some of the larger projects she has worked on as chamber executive director.

“Christmas Wonderland was a huge undertaking, which took many volunteers,” Greimann says.The original intent was to operate it as fundraiser, with a plus being bringing in visitors to the community.

“It turned out not to be a big fundraiser, because it was very expensive to create and operate,” she recalls. “But it did bring in a lot of people to town, plus we received a lot of media attention.”

The real bonus of Christmas Wonderland was not quite so obvious, Greimann explains.

“Working on it brought people together who normally might not know each other well,” she says. “It was a wonderful community effort.”

Greimann was working several part-time jobs at the time the chamber position opened up 14 years ago.

“I was trying to work some jobs where I was able to spend time with my kids,” she says. “Be a stay at home mom as much as I could.”

However, the chamber job gave her the chance to put her education to work. She was trained in sales, marketing and advertising.

“Plus, I had been involved in the chamber a little and trained by my father to be involved in the community,” she says. “I tagged along with him on volunteer projects. My father was instrumental in my being involved in the chamber. He truly loved Blue Earth.”

Greimann says while there never is a perfect time to make a move like this, she feels the time has come.

“There are always things going on, always new ideas to implement,” she says. “Whoever takes over this position will have ideas of their own.”

Greimann is looking forward to spending more time with her family.

“I’m a grandma now, and I want to be able to be gone some weekends to visit the grandchildren,” she says. “Sometimes chamber activities happen on weekends, and I can’t always leave.”

Her husband, Rahn, might also be happy with his wife leaving the chamber position.

“He has probably gotten tired of having to don the Santa Claus suit at the last minute when we couldn’t find someone else,” Greimann says with a smile. “But, he never complained.”