The Kenai Chamber of Commerce's loss will be the Arctic Winter Games Host Society's gain.
The 2006 Games took two steps forward Wednesday with the announcement that the society's managerial staff positions for volunteers and marketing have been filled by Kenai's Colleen Canady and Kathy Moore.
Both Moore and Canady currently work for the Kenai Chamber of Commerce Canady as the executive director and Moore as the chamber's administrative assistant but both tendered their resignations after learning of their new jobs Monday.
On Wednesday, Moore said she's sorry to be leaving the chamber, but simply couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with the Games.
"I'm really excited," Moore said. "My son went in 2002, and I got really hooked on the Games."
She said leaving the chamber won't be easy, but the AWG position was too good to pass up.
"The chamber has been a great job, and we'll still come back over if they need any help with the new staff," she said.
Moore said that traveling to the 2004 Games in Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada, further fueled her desire to help out.
"I wanted to be a bigger part of the Games," said Moore, who previously served on the Games' volunteer committee before being named as volunteer manager.
Her responsibilities will include recruiting and training the approximately 3,000 volunteers the host society has said will be needed to pull off the event. While that will be a lot of people to keep track of, Moore said she's confident the community will make her job a lot easier.
"It's going to be a big job," she said. "But the community always pulls together to do anything for the youth."
Canady, who was on vacation Wednesday, said in a press release issued late Tuesday that she, too, is excited to be moving to the new position, which will allow her to use some of the contacts she made while working with the chamber.
"I'm looking forward to working with all my friends at the Kenai and Soldotna chambers, as well as getting acquainted with Homer chamber members, Seward, Anchor Point, Nikiski and every business person in between to work toward maximizing the tremendous marketing potential for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games," she said.
In the same release, Arctic Winter Games General Manager Loren Smith said he's excited to have the two important positions filled by people who already have lots of experience working in the community.
"These two very talented and energetic individuals are a major asset not only to the Games, but to their community," Smith said.
Moore will assume her new position beginning May 10, while Canady will start May 17. The chamber has yet to name their replacements, and chamber President Tim Navarre said Wednesday he's not sure how the positions will be filled.
"We haven't even met on it yet," Navarre said.
He said the chamber may simply advertise to refill the positions. However, he said the departure of the chamber staff could open the opportunity to the chamber working more closely or possibly merging with the Kenai Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
"It opens up some opportunities to work with them," Navarre said, though he stressed that nothing has been decided yet, and the chamber board has yet to discuss its options.
"We have meetings planned for next week to set up a plan," he said.
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