Chamber president excited about future


The new president of the Greencastle-Antrim  Chamber of Commerce board of directors anticipates changes in 2010, or is at least open to the possibility that things will not stay as they always have been.

Marissa Pinto-Burt was elected in December to the one-year term. She succeeds Dave Ratjik and will work with the other members of the executive committee to steer the chamber in a relevant direction. The core purpose of the chamber will remain. "The mission is always to increase awareness of the businesses in the Greencastle-Antrim community and promote them," she said.

Then she continued. "Next year is important. We're working closely with the borough in the implementation of their five-year plan. We'll also look at our current chamber-sponsored activities with a pair of fresh eyes. Maybe we'll also do strategic planning for the next three, five or 10 years, to have a vision of where the chamber should go."

Pinto-Burt and the other officers, vice chairmen Michele Scott and Chris Grimm, secretary Brian Hissong, and treasurer Ed Warren will guide the 16-member board, which will have the ultimate vote on programs.

Executive Director Joel Fridgen has already begun designing a new 'After 5 Business Card Exchange', she said. As a citizen, Pinto-Burt is serving on the borough's Revitalization and Beautification committees, and seeks to keep the First Friday celebrations fresh by adding music and entertainment to each evening.

She has set aside other responsibilities to make sure she has enough time to dedicate to chamber issues. Pinto-Burt relinquished some leadership duties with the networking group Women to Women, which she helped found, and stepped back from other civic involvement to focus on the chamber.

"I want to be effective. I'm excited to help. I love the chamber, I really do," she said. "We have to try to get the right businesses downtown for longterm success. We have to have a thriving downtown. We have a lot to offer."