Johnson tapped for Genoa Chamber's next executive director

Krissy Johnson
Krissy Johnson

GENOA – Just days after the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce lost its executive director, familiar face Krissy Johnson is stepping up to take her place, and was announced as the chamber’s new leader.

Johnson’s not new to the Genoa chamber world. She has been the chamber’s administrative assistant and associate director for five years, according to a news release from the Genoa area chamber.

“I am excited to begin this new chapter,” Johnson, a Genoa resident since 2012, said in a news release. “Working closely with the businesses and community members through the years has made a great impact in my life. I know that with the support of our chamber board, ambassadors and volunteers we will continue to do great things in the community.”

Johnson will take over for Cortney Strohacker, who has held the position for more than six years. Strohacker was hired as the new executive director for the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau recently and is set to begin in that job later this fall.

The visitor’s bureau also had a change-up in leadership recently, with longtime executive director Debbie Armstrong announcing her retirement in the spring, followed by the appointment of Bonnie Heimbach as interim director to help fill the role while assisting in the search for new staff.

Johnson was selected by the chamber’s board of directors, the release shows, which cited her as instrumental to the organization’s growth and development.

“We are very excited to have Krissy take the ball and run with it as the new director, with the skills she’s already learned from her mentor, she will certainly do amazing,” said Phil Harris, owner of Alan Browne Chevrolet and chamber board member. “We are lucky to have such talent at the chamber.” 

Genoa’s chamber was established in 1956 to support and establish connections among those in the local business community. The chamber is supported by a volunteer board and an Ambassador Club and includes about 180 members. The city of Genoa itself has a population of about 5,200, with nearby Kingston adding about 1,200.

“We are excited to watch her grow in her new role and take the Genoa Chamber of Commerce to a new level of success,” said Tyler Studebaker, chamber board member and vice president, commercial loan officer at First Midwest Bank. “The people and businesses of Genoa can be assured Krissy will continue to see that Genoa is a premier place to live, work and do business.”

Johnson graduated from Judson College (now Judson University) in Elgin with a double-major in human resource management and business management, according to the release. She has worked as a substitute teacher in Genoa schools and has served on the Genoa Economic Development Commission.

She and her husband, Chris Johnson, have two children – Jack Johnson and Molly Johnson – who attend District 424 Genoa-Kingston schools.

“I know that with the support of our chamber board, ambassadors and volunteers we will continue to do great things in the community,” Johnson said in the release. “I have been left big shoes to fill, but the groundwork has been provided for me to succeed.” 

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