With the departure of Granite Falls Chamber of Commerce Director Nicole Zempel quickly approaching November 1, Chamber board members have been looking for an ideal replacement that will continue to build on the positive energy that Zempel has endowed the post with as of late.
In local Betsy Nielsen, the board feels it has found the perfect fit.
Originally born in the Granite Falls sized town of Gibson City, Illinois (pop. 3,600), the 29-year-old Nielsen graduated from Urbana, Illinois’ Concept College of Cosmetology in 2005 and went on to open her own successful hair salon, “Hot Heads by Betsy,” which she operated from 2005-2010.
Prompted by the relocation of her husband, Peter, who is employed with Fagen Inc., Nielsen said that she closed up her shop to facilitate the move to the area. Originally, the pair and their two children, Dexter (10) and Carson (2), spent a year living in Wood Lake before finding a home amidst the city limits of Granite Falls in 2010.
Since her arrival, Nielsen has stayed busy serving as the water aerobics instructor at the Kilowatt Community Center, working at Hair Expressions on Fridays and Saturdays and caring for her home and family on a full time basis. She says she is still learning the ins and outs of the community, but is finding worthwhile outlets such as the recent Walking Theater Production, where she didn’t have to venture to far out of her bounds to play a by-gone era hair dresser.
In her role at the Chamber, Nielsen is bound to get a broad overview of the community’s character, as well as its characters, in short order. This, she says, is something she will welcome as she prepares to embark on what she is expecting to be a mutually beneficial relationship.
“Granite Falls is such a lovely little town and it has so much to offer,” said Nielsen. “I am not from here, but this has become my home. And I feel that my outgoing personality and ability to communicate this perception will be an asset to the community.”
Nielsen will begin her duties at the Chamber on October 28.