by Marissa Lorenz
Brittany VanderLinden, who has served as assistant director of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce for just under two years, started this week in her new position as executive director.
VanderLinden is a Colorado mountain native, raised in neighboring Eagle County. She and her family, including her husband Ryan and their two children, moved to Kremmling three years ago after “seeing how Eagle had changed and realizing that Kremmling still holds all the values that we wanted to raise our family with.”
With a strong drive to become active and involved members of the community, VanderLinden was soon volunteering at the school
and at Chamber events. When she saw the job posting for Assistant Chamber Director in late 2019, she notes, “It was everything I could have wanted in a job.”
VanderLinden began working with former Executive Director Tara Sharp and affirmed that she had been correct. “I’m so lucky to have been able to work as a partner with Tara. I learned a lot, and we were able to create a really positive and productive workplace, even through the difficult times of COVID-19.”
VanderLinden soon took over much of the responsibilities of event coordination, leading the organization of such classic occasions as the Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Contest, Kremmling Days, and Fire Up the Cliffs (both modified and traditional versions). She also took the initiative to envision and realize new celebrations, such as the Town Square Scare, a safe event that draws in both family and businesses and which will return this Saturday for its second year.
VanderLinden worked to grow and strengthen the Chamber organization itself, helping to update bylaws and job descriptions and creating a policy and procedures manual that had not existed previously.
And now, as Sharp moves on to another position in Grand County, VanderLinden is prepared to take her own Chamber involvement in an even more focused direction.
“Moving forward, I am excited to become more involved in the business side of the chamber. I will really be interacting more with our members, the business owners. I look forward to getting to know them, building relationships with them, and learning about what they each want to see from the Chamber of Commerce.
“I will be sending out my first communication soon,” she explains, “introducing who I am and inviting business owners to a mixer where I hope they’ll share their vision for Kremmling. I really want to look at how we’re serving the members and examine whether or not our benefits are still meeting what they want and need.”
Other Chamber leadership is grateful that VanderLinden accepted the position and is confident in her ability to ensure
a smooth transition and continued advancement for the organization.
“It has been great working with Brittany over the last two years as assistant director,” noted Dawna Heller, Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors.”The collaboration that she has built, working with the board to bring new events and exciting benefits to the business members, is exciting. I am so very excited for her new opportunity as executive director and know she will show KACOC continued growth.”
The Board also expressed their appreciation for all Sharp has provided the Chamber, the businesses, and the community during her tenure as Executive Director.
As for her part, Sharp has accepted “an offer I couldn’t refuse” and will be assuming the role of Branch Manager at United Business Bank in Fraser. She assures that she is not leaving Kremmling and “warns” that everyone “will still be greeted with a big smile” and that they’ll “likely receive a big hug” as well.
“I am forever grateful for my nearly four years at the Chamber as the Executive Director,” Sharp expressed. “My time and experiences there have been invaluable. I am thankful that the KACOC board gave me the opportunity to fill this position over the last 4 years, and
I will always cherish the relationships, knowledge and experience I have gained while working for the Chamber.
“Thank you Kremmling for being so wonderful and supportive of me,” she continues. “I am so excited to see what Brittany VanderLinden will do as your new Executive Director of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce!!”
And VanderLinden has her hands full. Not only is she immediately looking at this weekend’s event, the upcoming Tree Lighting Ceremony, and how to restructure the annual Chamber Banquet that traditionally was held in the latter part of the year, as of Monday, she was the only person at the Chamber.
The new director states that the organization is now looking for both an assistant director and a bookkeeper. The jobs are posted on the Chamber’s website, on Facebook, and in the Grand Gazette. But she notes that she and the Board have already agreed that it may take some time to fill the positions.
“All of our employers are struggling to find staff in these uncertain times,” explains VanderLinden. “I don’t want to rush anything. Tara and I had such a great working partnership, and I want to maintain and build on that positive environment. I want to find the right person, someone who will really be a good fit and not just on paper.”
She does encourage anyone interested to check out the job posting and to contact her with any questions. She observes that it has been a “super great job” for her as a mom, being offered flexibility around school schedules and family needs, especially during repeated quarantines.
To learn more about the job openings and/or the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce, go to KremmlingChamber.com.
For tons of fun and festivities, join the Chamber on the Town Square on Saturday, October 16, for kids’ games, bouncy houses, face painting, a chance to meet our First Responders, and a Trick-or-Treat stroll.
And when you see Brittany VanderLinden directing the fun, remember to offer a huge congratulations!