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Community Digest

Lakewood : Chamber Manager Rehired Year After Concert Failure

November 23, 1989

The former administrator of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, who quit one year ago after the failure of a major concert that left the chamber reeling with debt, has been rehired to the post.

Michael Ryan, 35, who returned to the chamber two months ago to sell advertising for its monthly newspaper, was reappointed as administrator Nov. 1 when his successor, Gerald Enis, resigned Oct. 31, Ryan said.

"I am elated to be back," Ryan said. "The best thing I can do for the chamber is come back stronger and smarter and more dedicated than I was before."

Ryan had been working as administrator for five years when he arranged a two-day rock festival featuring country and rock 'n' roll greats. The plan, Ryan said, was to use concert profits to build a new office building for the Chamber of Commerce.

"The concert was a first-class operation right down to the grass being sprayed for ants," Ryan said. But despite the planning the festival flopped. Ryan quit his job within a week, a decision he now calls "stupid."

"I didn't get over it until I started here Nov. 1," Ryan said. "What hurt me when I left was not that the concert turned sour but that I left when I was needed the most."

Chamber President Lynda Carter said Ryan was rehired because he had done the job before and despite the failure of the concert, he did well. She refused to discuss how much debt the chamber was left with after the music festival, saying only that the chamber has yet to repay it.

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