ARLINGTON — Jennifer Shaw announced last week that she will resign as executive director of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce effective Aug. 1 this year.
She is giving the board of directors plenty of time to find a replacement and is committed to finishing some major projects before leaving. Shaw is getting close to wrapping up this year’s telephone directory, which is due to go to print soon and she plans to stick around for the golf tournament, set for June 26, and Arlington’s famous Fourth of July.
“I am not going anywhere,” Shaw said, adding she can see the future when she’ll be able to help out with the Fourth of July events as a volunteer.
Along with having two children of their own, she and her husband are also foster parents, taking care of anywhere from three to six children, and they are adopting a 2-year-old.
“We had six kids last week,” Shaw said April 20. “Now we’re down to four.”
The young couple has decided that Jennifer should stay home and take care of the family.
“I am torn, as I love my position serving my community,” Shaw wrote in her letter to the membership.
“I’ve had wonderful opportunities for growth both personally and professionally through this position and am a better person for it,” she said.
The past president of the chamber who perhaps knows Jennifer the best, Jim Lonneker said she served the chamber well by taking on the job soon after the merger. Her mother-in-law, Sharon Shaw was the first director hired amid the merger of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Smokey Point Chamber, and Shaw Sr., hired Jennifer as part-time assistant. When Sharon Shaw retired, the board selected Jennifer to take on the job.
“I am not sure why she took the job,” Lonneker said. “The chamber was in a dire financial situation — it was a mess.”
Lonneker said Jennifer helped get the new chamber on track and was very proactive in the campaign to get the UW campus located here.
“Now we have an up-to-date system to manage the membership, the Web site is functional and we have a good working board,” Lonneker said, attributing the progress to Jennifer.
“Working with a board can be stressful,” he said. “I enjoyed working with her.”
Lonneker said he is letting the current leadership, President Paul Morris and Vice-president Julie Morse, do the hard work of finding a replacement.
“It’s a nice position, kind of like running your own business,” Lonneker said.
Except for the 12 bosses.
“It’s a wonderful board of directors to work with,” Jennifer Shaw said.