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Hi there, Council Grove!

Hello, Council Grove Republican readers! Last week, I began my new role as executive director at the Council Grove / Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. I came aboard the Chamber team in October of 2021 after moving to Council Grove in July from Maine. I often get asked, "What brought you from Maine to Council Grove, Kansas?"



This is one of my favorite questions to answer! The answer is . . . my family, and I could have moved anywhere in the country during the pandemic, and we chose Council Grove. We chose it because my family consists of three generations; my fiancé, Jon, and I, our two elementary school-age sons, and his wonderful parents, from Manhattan, KS, that are enjoying their retirement. We wanted a community where we could all live and thrive together. Having just completed their first year in our incredible school district, my sons have made many fun friends. They ride their bikes around town, get into just enough mischief to make them interesting, and have the love and support of a real community. Jons' parents purchased their own home here in November. They often adventure around town, eating at the Hays House and shopping at Valerie’s, Grove Gardens, and Adam's Lumber. We enjoy spending Sunday evenings eating dinners as a family with them. Jon and I have found that our quality of life has flourished here. Our careers, friendships, and ability to have an impact on our community are priorities for us. All of these are in balance in Council Grove.


Since I came on board at YOUR Chamber (as I like to think of it), we have accomplished a lot. We have reimagined how our organization provides value to its membership and begun implementing a new, short-term strategic plan. While honing our focus on our daily operations, we created a marketing plan to better shout out to the world all that we have to offer our visitors and residents. Additionally, we rolled out a brand new membership tier program and successfully funded and created a new feature event for the holidays; our Holiday Lights Contest and Trolley Tours. All the while welcoming groups, tours, visitors, government officials, and new entrepreneurs to our community.


There will be a lot of changes, opportunities, and goals to accomplish in the coming months and years, and I am excited to make it all happen for YOU.

I am thankful to the Council Grove Republican team for offering us this weekly space to communicate with you. The calendar next to this article will feature all events for the following month from our community calendar on CouncilGrove.com. If you have an event that you would like added to our community calendar, please email information@councilgrove.com, call the Chamber at 620.767.5413, or fill out our form on CouncilGrove.com/events. In future articles, we will talk about what we are accomplishing in real-time so that you are always in the loop. We will dive into our business community and what makes Council Grove such an incredible place to plunge into entrepreneurship. We will share news about events, new businesses, and all of the opportunities that YOUR Chamber is working hard to bring to our community.



Last week, my first full week as director was filled with everything I love about this job. The Territory Ballroom had its grand opening in the most splendid of ways. We welcomed the Outdoor Communicators of Kansas to Council Grove, worked with Lt. Governor Toland's office on an upcoming visit to our area, scheduled trolley and visitor tours, planned for Washunga Days, and attended the Flint Hills Regional Leadership Conference in Manhattan.


Of course, last week, it was hard to say goodbye to our previous executive director, Susan Harris. We will miss her as she pursues her next dream, but we wish her luck and success! She kept our Chamber humming along through the Covid-19 pandemic, stood beside many of you as you opened, expanded, and grew your businesses, and became a friend to many in our community, including me. Good luck, Susan! Council Grove appreciates you.


Until next week . . . I'll be grabbing a burger at the Flint Hills Saloon and Eatery, purchasing Washunga Days wristbands for my friends and family, and enjoying a stroll along our Riverwalk — when I'm not at work, of course.


I encourage you to get out and support our community and businesses. More than ever before, the K-177 closure means that our businesses need locals to enjoy everything Morris County offers.


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