By Jim Misunas
Garfield native Janet Olson has started working as secretary-receptionist for the Larned Chamber of Commerce and administrative assistant for the Pawnee County Economic Development Commission.
Olson will work with Chamber director Courtland Holman, who also serves with the Pawnee County Economic Development Commission. Olson replaces Ruth Kazmeier, who had devoted years of service to the Chamber. Most recently, Olson has resided in Wichita, where she worked as an assistant apartment manager for Fidelity Management Company, Inc.
She’s stayed busy answering the phone and getting up to speed on phone numbers and contacts. People want information on tourist attractions and housing. The Chamber keeps a list of available housing and is the hub of business activity and tourism in Pawnee County.
Olson’s immediate task is to help coordinate preparations for Larned’s 42nd annual Antique, Toys and Collectibles show scheduled Feb. 17-19 at the Larned Community Center. For information, call the Chamber, 800-747-6919.
Olson grew up in Garfield and graduated from Larned High School after attending school in Garfield.
“Our family always had a connection with Larned and shopped in town, so I ended up graduating from Larned High School,” Olson said.
Olson said she will enjoy residing in Pawnee County, where several family members live. Ruth Peters, her sister, recently retired as director of the Santa Fe Trail Center. Olson said she has regularly visited Pawnee County for community events, particularly those at the Santa Fe Trail Center.
“When I saw this job was available, I thought it was an interesting and fun opportunity,” she said. “I thought that was something I could do. I am really comfortable moving back to where I grew up. It feels really nice to come back home.”
Olson earned education degrees from Bethany College and Wichita State University. She started teaching at Lorraine Grade School and also taught in the Rosalia school district. She worked as a customer service representative at Kansas Gas & Electric and Westar Energy, before joining Fidelity Management.