news 6 days ago

Chamber director resigns

The Record Herald, Waynesboro, Pa. — Shawn Hardy / news@echo-pilot.com The Record Herald, Waynesboro, Pa.

May 22-- May 22--Georgina Cranston, the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce's executive director, is leaving after nearly five years in the position.

She will continue to work through June 29 before becoming a business consultant with the Small Business Development Center at Shippensburg University.

"I'll be working with small businesses to deliver business advising and technical assistance to existing small businesses and pre-venture entrepreneurs," said Cranston, who joined the G-A Chamber on Aug. 1, 2015.

The chamber's executive board, led by President Stan Flenner, will meet on May 26 to formulate a plan for finding a replacement.

"Our mission at the chamber is to help our members thrive by promoting economic well-being and community vitality," Cranston said. "Basically, I'm responsible for helping our members be successful.

"For different members, that means different things. Some members want me to help their cash registers ring. Other members are looking to the chamber to represent them and their interests on a local, state and federal level. Almost all members are looking to expand their network, so our job here is to offer events that offer that opportunity like networking events, ribbon-cuttings, breakfasts, seminars on timely issues and mixers. These events give our members a chance to get to know each other and expand their reach.

"In addition, we do community events that fulfill our mission of providing community vitality. We are responsible for Sidewalk Days, Heritage Christmas, the Craft Beer and Wine Festival and Third Saturdays in the Square as well as other annual events."

Cranston said she is proud of how chamber membership has increased from 260 when she started to 285 today.

Successful events have meant financial stability and the chamber was able to pay off its mortgage eight years early.

New events introduced during Cranston's time with the chamber include Taste of the Holidays, Third Saturdays in the Square and an annual seminar on topics of interest to members and the public, such as active shooter and leadership training sessions.

Most recently, the chamber along with Harry D. Zeigler VFW Post 6319 and Frank L. Carbaugh American Legion Post 373 spearheaded the Hometown Hero banners project. Eighty-nine banners recognizing past and current members of the armed forces were put up along downtown streets for the first time earlier this month.

"I'm so proud that project took place under my tenure," Cranston said.

"Being chamber director came with a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of freedom," she continued. "I was lucky to have a board of directors that trusted me and allowed me to try new things. There was a lot of variety to each day; no day was really routine which kept it interesting. I enjoyed having the chance to be creative as well. I've also had the chance to meet a lot of new people and sit on quite a few boards. It's given me a greater perspective for my community.

"I've also loved writing a weekly column for the Echo Pilot," said Cranston, whose column appears in the newspaper every Thursday. "It's given me an outlet to share the work of the chamber, but has also been personally rewarding.

"Working for the chamber has been an exhilarating opportunity. I'm proud to have represented Greencastle-Antrim for five years and I'm proud that under my leadership, we refreshed the look of the chamber with a new logo, brought financial stability to the organization and breathed new life into our membership and our events," she said.

"When I started at the chamber, my goal was to have every business in Greencastle join the chamber. I believe in our mission so much and really believe it's important for all our community businesses to be part of this organization. There is strength in numbers, now more than ever. While I fell short of my goal of 100% participation, I believe our chamber is poised for explosive growth over the next five years. I hope I can help bring new business to Greencastle in my role with the SBDC and I'm excited to see the direction the new executive director (whoever that might be) takes the chamber."

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