Fridgen named chamber director

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Joel Fridgen is the new Executive Director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce. He begins his duties next week.

Joel Fridgen has been named Executive Director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, effective Nov. 9. The board of directors released the long-anticipated decision Tuesday morning. The post opened in late August when previous director Bill Gour resigned.

“The search committee did an outstanding job. Their commitment and effort was extraordinary,” said David Rajtik, board chairman. “We received 53 resumes for the position. A thorough and selective process was performed by the committee, including interviews and formal presentations. Joel brings many years of experience to the chamber and we look forward to his arrival.”

Fridgen has resided in Antrim Township since 1996. He has over 27 years of business experience in management and executive roles. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors in various civic, community and trade associations at local, state, and national levels. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. in 1977.

“I’m elated,” said Fridgen. “Greencastle-Antrim is a wonderful area to live.”

He is looking forward to his responsibilities. He sees his role as working closely with the chamber board to accomplish their goals.

“We want to preserve our traditions, while at the same time understand we have opportunities to progress within those traditions,” he said.

Rajtik said each person who applied for the job was given a questionnaire and from that five were invited to be interviewed and the field narrowed to two.

“The group liked what he (Fridgen) had to say,” said Rajtik. “From the beginning of the process Joel had a vision and it came across. He has ideas and a creativity that will generate new and rejuvenate the old.

“Joel has a commitment to Greencastle. He understands how the area functions. We’re very fortunate to have him.”

Fridgen plans to build a relationship with each chamber member, including a personal visit during his first year on the job. He will be on other committees within the borough and township and is anxious to acquire the knowledge and information necessary to serve well.

He begins his duties with Heritage Christmas events, first the Nov. 13 and 14 “Shoppes of Greencastle Holiday Open House,” followed by the tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 20.

Fridgen is married and has five children.