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Grunstra returns to Ligonier chamber

| Thursday, March 20, 2014, 2:57 p.m.
Deborah A. Brehun | Ligonier Echo

A familiar face has returned to the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce office.

On March 10, Susan Grunstra assumed the duties of executive assistant for the chamber, after Kayla Savage decided to pursue other career opportunities.

“Susan was the administrative assistant when I started working for the chamber a little over two years ago,” said Holly Mowrey the chamber's executive director. “I enjoyed working with Susan and was hoping she might be interested in returning. I am looking forward to planning the cycle of annual events together.”

Grunstra previously started to work for the chamber in January 2011 after Linda Greene retired. She worked at the chamber for 1½ years before she and her husband moved from the area to pursue a new job opportunity.

“She can just step back in where she left off. People know her,” said Laurie McGinnis vice president of the chamber's board of directors. It is a great opportunity for us to have someone familiar with the people and the merchants in town. She knows her way around the office. We hated to see her go in the first place. It is great to be able to welcome her back.”

Grunstra brings many years of experience in office administration, bookkeeping, accounting and working for municipalities.

During her absence, the chamber implemented some changes including the recent addition of mini Ipad tablets.

“It's a new way of being able to communicate around town during an event,” said Grunstra. “In the long run, it will be a great asset, allowing me to be a roving photograher. I will be able to upload photos onto our website right there during activities, which is why they were purchased. We can promote events on an instantaneous basis.”

Grunstra said she is very happy to be back in the Ligonier Valley.

“We really missed the people. That was the biggest reason to want to come back,” she said. We love the area and love the scenery. The atmosphere of Ligonier brought us back.”

Grunstra will lose no time getting back into the busy schedule of events at the chamber.

“Soup's On and the chamber dinner is this week so I will be jumping in with both feet. It is a busy week to come back,” she said. “I already sent out the registrations for Antiques on the Diamond and we are finalizing the band concert brochures, so yes, I jumped right back in.”

She admits returning to a familiar job has its benefits.

“It's nice. I know what to expect,” said Grunstra. “I was here just long enough before that I got a feel for everything and can do it all over again.”

During her absence, Grunstra said she acquired a few new skills that will benefit her job at the chamber.

“I am bringing back to the chamber some new direct marketing experience, given my work in the interim,” she said. “I hope my experience will provide a few unique ways to promote Ligonier and its activities.”

Board president Janet Riordan said she is looking forward to Grunstra's experience during the planning and implementation of the annual Fort Ligonier Days event.

“Susan's been with us through the Fort Ligonier Days celebration and is familiar with all the activities that lead up to and go with that three-day event,” said Riordan. “She has been a part of all the work involved to achieve a successful Fort Days event.”

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or