GRAND BLANC TWP. — With hugs and well-wishes and shared memories and tears, Jet Kilmer led her final breakfast meeting as president of the Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce on Friday, April 9.
Kilmer is retiring after 17 years as head of the local business organization. Leigh LaForest is stepping into the leadership role, effective last Monday.
“Thank you for all of the great things you’ve done for the township,” said Grand Blanc Township Supervisor Scott Bennett.
Bennett noted that Kilmer was “relentless” in her efforts to help get the postal designation changed for township residents in the 48507 Zip code, whose addresses were Flint, but are now Grand Blanc, 48507.
In her tenure at the chamber, Kilmer helped increase membership to about 375, nearly doubling the previous tally of around 200.
She also increased the number of chamber-sponsored events, and now, the chamber is spotlighted at eight diverse events that draw tens of thousands of people to the community every year and provide opportunities for chamber members to give back.
At Friday’s breakfast meeting, chamber members thanked Kilmer for being a mentor, for pushing them to reach their potential, and for helping them achieve their business goals.
“It has been an honor working with you,” said County Commissioner Mark Young. “I hate to see you leave.”
Kilmer said the chamber presidency has been the “best (job) ever.”
“My life has always been about: I need to make a difference,” she told the chamber members. “You’ve fulfilled me.”