Pine River Summerfest festivities will continue alongside chamber director search

John Wetrosky holds interim Pine River Chamber of Commerce director position.

Pine River Chamber building. Photo from

While searching for a new executive director, the Pine River Chamber of Commerce board ensured this summer continues as planned by tapping John Wetrosky as interim director during the search.

Wetrosky, who served for 20 years as the chamber director, accepted the temporary position when Executive Director Gavin Gensmer stepped down Friday, June 11. Gensmer, who started roughly one year ago, experienced a rapid-fire series of unfortunate personal events in the past year that prompted his decision.

Gavin Gensmer. Submitted Photo

"I made the decision to resign from the position of chamber director because of health and family issues," Gensmer said. "We have all felt the stress of COVID-19 and the loss of family and friends. I've personally lost three family members in the past six months, including my father and father-in-law. I feel I have not been there for my mother and mother-in-law as much as I need to be. Family must come before other considerations."


The chamber committees will continue all programming as scheduled, including Summerfest from July 21-25. The information center is open daily except for Sundays.

John Wetrosky. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal file photo.

The chamber is actively seeking a person to fill the position of director as quickly as possible. Those interested should inquire at the information center or call 218-587-4000. More information on the chamber is available at

"I feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve in this capacity and wish all the best for the chamber in the future. I ask the community to support the work of the chamber in any way they can through this transition," Gensmer said.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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