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Bidding adieu to RF Chamber CEO

River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau CEO, Rosanne Bump, leaves Jan. 16 for a new job in St. Paul.

After 8 ½ years as the head of River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, Rosanne Bump is ready to say goodbye.

When asked why she is leaving, Bump said that she views her career as a place to grow and learn and she was ready for a change.

"Change is good," Bump added. "I was ready for something new."

Starting Jan. 16, Bump will find that change on the other side of the river, when she takes over as CEO of the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation which coordinates both the St. Paul Winter Carnival and the Cinco De Mayo festival.

According to Bump, the two events are like "River Falls Days on steroids."

Similar to her duties at the River Falls Chamber, Bump will be doing event planning -- which involves coordinating multiple events, working with the over 1,000 volunteers that make the winter carnival happen and coordinating with businesses and the community in relation to these events.

The main difference according to Bump is that her focus will only be on two big events, instead of the multitude of items the chamber offers members and the community.

Starting work so close to the start of the Winter Carnival -- which runs from Jan. 24-Feb. 3 -- will enable Bump to work with the departing CEO where she will shadow the staff to see the events, meet people and get to know the legends and history around the event.

At the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, Bump will oversee a seasonal staff that works September-May. Come summer, Bump will telecommute from home and work fewer hours.

Bump is very excited to start her new position, have some new things to think about and get involved in new projects.

Then and now

Since starting in April 2004, Bump has seen chamber membership increase from 220 to 320 members. She also had a hand in adding numerous events to encourage business networking and community relations.

Bump feels that in her tenure she has made the chamber a bit more recognizable and encouraged a more active, involved membership.

"Some (in the community) didn't even know we had a chamber," she said.

As she departs Bump hopes the chamber continues to be successful with a focus on tourism, especially keeping visitors engaged in the community. She would also like to see members involved and building relationships amongst each other and with the chamber.

Bump says she is eager to see how the chamber will grow and what the new CEO will focus on. She is very confident in whomever the board of directors chooses to run the chamber.

Prior to leaving, Bump would like to have the 2013 River Falls Days -- July 11-14 -- theme selected, so that things such as button artwork can be started and the new CEO has a head start on what is a huge undertaking.

Not a goodbye

Even though Bump will no longer be working in River Falls, she will continue to reside here and be a member of the Rotary Club of River Falls. "It's (only) kind of a goodbye, since I will live here," said Bump.

All three of Bump's daughters have attended or are attending River Falls High School. Daughter Madde, 22, is currently studying at Aveda Institute in Minneapolis.

Middle daughter, Ella, 20, is attending University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, where she is a junior and plays soccer -- during the summer she is a river rafting guide.

Julia, 17, her youngest is a senior at RFHS and is starting to look at colleges.

Husband Jeff works in Red Wing, Minn. at Capital Safety.

With her new commute to St. Paul, the decision to stay in River Falls works well, since it is about half-way between her husband's and her work.

Bump said about her time at the chamber, "This is a great community, great people, fun projects."

She especially enjoyed the events, such as River Falls Days, and being a part of it.

Bump said that the annual community festival is a time for neighbors to come down, to see people and offer community support.

She is also thankful to the chamber board and members for making her time at the chamber a great experience.

According to Bump the chamber board of directors is looking for an interim CEO, but Bump did say that she will help out on a part-time basis as needed. The chamber also welcomed new staff member Judy Berg, tourism sales and marketing manager, on Dec. 3.

Bump said: "I am going to miss everyone, miss being involved. I have enjoyed my time here."

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
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