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Krisann Durnford, who has been chairwoman of Muskego's Country Christmas celebration since 2006 for the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce and has been its events and marketing coordinator since 2014, has been named executive director of the chamber.

Speaking on behalf of the board of directors, chamber president Camille Darkow said, "We believe that she possesses the vision, expertise, knowledge, excitement, drive, candidness and goal-oriented thoughts and values that as a chamber and board we are looking for..."

She succeeds Deborah Skurulsky who resigned after serving nearly three years. When the position went back to full-time, Skurulsky decided she wanted to devote more time to her law practice.

Darkow had high praise for Skurulsky: "It was a pleasure working with her and she did an amazing job of leading the chamber of commerce through the new challenges and changes that are happening in the city of Muskego and surrounding areas."

"We hope for only the best for her future, and take comfort in the fact that she has her law office right here in Muskego and has offered that she is always available for guidance and assistance if needed as well as being readily available to help with the transition for our new executive director," Darkow said.

Durnford began her new duties Monday.

Already, new initiatives are in the offing.

"The board of directors and I are working on a couple of important things," mainly aimed at attracting members, Durnford said.

That's important if the chamber is to help businesses connect with each other and with the community, ultimately building a stronger community, she said.

The timing for the initiatives is perfect, she said.

"We're poised for some exciting potential growth as a community," Durnford said. That makes this the perfect moment for the chamber to show strength and show how it can help businesses, she said.

Durnford first started volunteering with the chamber in 2005 and was immediately involved in chairing committees. This year, she wasn't chairwoman of Country Christmas, but did play a key role in celebration planning.

She lived in Muskego for 26 years, "So, I know the businesses," she said.

In fact, she was in business herself until just recently. For 30 years she gave piano lessons. She also has a long history of helping nonprofit organizations such as the chamber of commerce. She has been in nonprofit leadership and management volunteer positions for decades, she said.

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