Reed reflects on time as Chamber leader following resignation
When Rhinelander Executive Director Lara Reed announced her resignation last week, she did not do it lightly.
“It was a hard decision for me,” Reed said. “All the people that I have been able to work with have been great. I like to feel I am doing something positive. And at the Chamber we have been able to do a lot of good things for the community.”
Reed is leaving the Chamber for a position at Ministry Healthcare in their marketing department.
“It was important to us to stay in Rhinelander,” Reed said.
That will allow Reed to keep in touch with many of the programs she has begun and she said she hopes to be a part of the Chamber as a volunteer and help the next Executive Director transition into the position.
“I would like to stay involved as much as I can,” Reed said. “I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes but if whoever gets this position wants my advice or my help, I would be available to do what I can.”
And that includes helping see some of the programs she has begun continue to grow and in one case, become a new annual event.
“I am really excited about the new Boom Lake Log Jam [this summer],” Reed said. “I think it is going to be a really great community event.”
Some of Reed’s favorite ongoing events include the Hodrags on Ice that was held last winter.
“That was a well attended event and people are still talking about it,” Reed said.
She added she takes particular pride in the Hodag Hops and Vine, beer and wine tasting event.
“That event struggled in the first year,” Reed said. “It was not a good event. But we turned that around and now it is a well attended event.”
Reed said aside from the people she has gotten to work with, leaving behind these programs she has started and nutured was a hard decision to make.
“I think that is one of the things that made this a tough decision,” Reed said. “But someone is going to step in and make their mark on this job and I think it will be great.”
Looking back from when she first started, Reed said she did have some doubts when she took over three years ago.
“I am a journalism major and I didn’t really know that much about finance,” she said. “And the Chamber was not in a good spot financially. But now we are in the positive numbers.”
Reed said the key to turning around the Chamber was finding the right support staff and volunteers.
“I surrounded myself with good people,” Reed said. “They did an amazing job.”
Reed said while she is sad to leave the job behind, she is excited about her new opportunity at Ministry Health and said she has received nothing but support from the community.
“The response from the community has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have gotten so many emails from people wishing me luck. It makes you feel really good.”