Rantoul chamber director stepping down effective Sept. 1

Rantoul chamber director stepping down effective Sept. 1

RANTOUL – Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joe Bolser is stepping down on Sept. 1.

"I've really enjoyed working here, but it's time to move on," Bolser said on Tuesday. "It's time for somebody else to do their thing."

Bolser, 65, has directed the Rantoul chamber for six years.

Chamber President Jeff Bannister said Bolser will be missed.

"He has given a lot to the village and has worked very hard for the businesses of Rantoul," Bannister said.

Mayor Neal Williams said the business community has appreciated Bolser's leadership.

"Joe has done so much to make the chamber a more personable organization, and he was successful in increasing enrollment of businesses into the organization," Williams said.

"We appreciate all of Joe's work to help out the community."

Bolser pointed to several achievements during his tenure, including the Independence Day celebration, planning the annual chamber banquet and golf outing and organizing an annual Christmas parade.

During Bolser's time as chamber director Rantoul welcomed a new Wal-Mart SuperCenter, Taylor Studios announced plans to expand and the Chanute Redevelopment Commission was formed to help develop business on the former Chanute Air Force Base.

"I have loved working with the businesses and doing what we can to help them out," Bolser said. "It's just part of the package."

But Bolser added that the economy has made it difficult for area businesses, as witnessed by the closure of Collins & Aikman and Alexander Lumber.

"It's been tough economically all over the community," Bolser said. "Everybody is struggling with higher gas prices. With this economy people aren't buying as much. Things are tight all over.

"We can turn things around, but I think it is going to require patience."

Bolser said he has lived in Rantoul all his life except for four years in the Navy in the early 1960s.

Bolser worked for the Rantoul public works department as a village electric lineman and meter technician for 32 years and then did public service work for the Bank of Rantoul for five years.

He served on the Rantoul Park Board for 12 years, including 10 as president. Two years ago he stepped down from the park board when he was elected to the Rantoul Village Board.

People interested in the position should send a resume and a letter of intent to the chamber office at 100 W. Sangamon, Rantoul, IL 61866 by Aug. 1. Call 893-3323 for more information.

Bolser said he will most miss working every day with people in the Rantoul business community.

"I enjoy working with people; it's the best part of the job," Bolser said. "I like all people, and Rantoul's people are better than most."

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