Eddy leaves for Elk River after seven years as FLACC president
Last week was busy for the Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The business and industry organization moved its office to downtown last Monday and bid farewell to its president on Friday.
Colleen Eddy left to become the economic development specialist with the city of Elk River.
“It was an opportunity,” she said on her penultimate day in Forest Lake. “I’ve gained a lot of experience here and am just ready for a new challenge.”
As chamber president since 2007, Eddy guided area businesses through a tumultuous period. She takes pride that membership has held steady and currently numbers about 190.
“We haven’t actually grown all that much, but we haven’t dropped all that much either. We’ve been pretty stable through the economic challenges,” Eddy said. “We’ve been able to really pull through. We’ve cut some expenses and those types of things.”
The Stillwater resident cited the partnerships the chamber has built with the city, school district and other municipalities as highlights of her tenure. The establishment and growth of Forest Lake’s summer Lake Fest and winter Flake Festival is a testament to those partnerships.
“She’s been instrumental in all of that,” as well as the Chamber’s annual golf-outing fundraiser, said Rob Collins, chamber board chairman.
“We just thank her so much for everything she’s done. We’ve come such a long way with the chamber in the last seven years,” added Collins, noting Eddy’s role with membership communication and social media.
The chamber’s board of directors was to meet this week to address the vacancy. Collins said it is likely a subcommittee will take on hiring duties, and committee members will pitch in to help cover the president’s void in the meantime.
Chamber and community members are invited to send off Eddy with a happy hour at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at Vannelli’s by the Lake.
“It’s been fun,” Eddy said. “I’ve met wonderful people; I really have. It’s a great community. Good things are happening here.”
One of Eddy’s last duties was setting up the chamber office at its new location in Suite 204 of the Town Square building at 20 N. Lake St.
The office had been in the State Farm building at 568 S. Lake St. for the last couple of years, but the insurance agency now needs the extra room.
“We needed to find another location, and we didn’t want to stop their growth,” Eddy said.
Previously, the chamber operated in The Plaza by Lakeside Memorial Park, and Eddy said it makes sense for the chamber to be back downtown.
“We planned on the move happening (later) in March, but we thought it best while I’m still here to move and set the new person up to succeed right away,” she said.
The chamber office’s phone number remains 651-464-3200.