Lanesboro Chamber announces new executive director

Melissa Vander Plas

The Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) recently announced the hiring of Melissa Vander Plas as its next executive director.

Prior to her hiring as executive director, Vander Plas served as interim director of LACC following the resignation of its previous director. She has been with the organization since September and had steadily been taking on more leadership duties since being hired. Prior to joining LACC, Vander Plas served as executive director of the Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce for nearly three years, in addition to serving as editor with the Bluff Country Newspaper Group for 25 years, prior to its merger with the Fillmore County Journal in 2020 where she is also a staff writer.

“Melissa has been a great addition to the LACC team and the board appreciates the contributions she’s already made to the organization since joining last fall,” LACC board chair Joe Goetzke said. “With her combination of experience and skills, we are excited for Melissa to officially take the helm as executive director and lead our efforts to serve the local business community and promote the Lanesboro area as a premier destination to live, work and play.”

The LACC staff consists of Vander Plas as executive director, with Jonathan Levine as office administrator and Ann Thatcher as visitor center coordinator. The team is rounded out by a committed group of volunteers and community ambassadors.

“I was excited to join the LACC team last fall and am so grateful for the positive support I have received from the business owners as well as Lanesboro residents,” Vander Plas said. “I am dedicated to representing the Lanesboro and Whalan area and supporting our core businesses. I look forward to collaborating with other organizations and community leaders to showcase the unique aspects of our community.”

To learn more about what the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce can offer, contact or call 507-467-2696.

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