Chamber to help search for NLA manager

ALPENA – The Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce is playing a key role in helping the Northern Lights Arena-Community during its search for a manager and maintenance supervisor.

Executive Director Jackie Krawczak said the chamber has been monitoring what has been transpiring at Northern Lights Arena’s management situation and the Alpena County Board of Commissioners since the Park Family Foundation stepped down. She said she was approached by NLA-C to help with the hiring process.

“We offered our assistance however they might need us, and it came up at one of their meetings that they would like us involved on the personnel committee, so I offered to chair the committee,” Krawczak said.

The committee agreed the chamber be a central location for potential manager candidates to make contact with NLA-C.

“We decided we needed to have a neutral organization with regular hours, a website to use and phone number that would be answered regularly,” Krawczak said. “We are sort of the headquarters for them.”

Although the arena does not have ice on the rinks currently and may not be available for skating until sometime in September, a manager should be in place before NLA-C takes over operational control. Krawczak said in order for the arena to be successful and to avoid more management position changes, getting someone dedicated to the arena and the area is a must.

“That facility is very important, but still has a ton of potential,” Krawczak said. “That is why finding the right person is so important. We need someone who will build on the potential and to make sure we don’t end up in another situation where we have to go through the whole process again. We want something long-term. We want somebody who is a hard worker, who is passionate about the work they will be doing, has knowledge about the industry, and someone who has some connections in the industry and good at networking.”

It was hoped someone could be hired by Aug. 15, but Krawczak said that is a tight deadline considering there need to be interviews, a job offer and a two-week notice by the new hire should they be currently employed.

“That date makes it kind of tough, but we are shooting to have one in place as close to that date as possible.”

Alpena Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President Mary Beth Stutzman said there has been interest from people from Alpena and from out of the area for the job. Stutzman also is on the committee and will play a role in the hiring process.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at