By Ryan Gueningsman
Delano Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Koenecke suffered a cardiac arrest at her office Tuesday afternoon, and as of press time, remains in critical condition at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
Koenecke, who has been with the chamber for two years, was in her office working just after 1 p.m. when the incident happened. She was transported by Ridgeview Ambulance to Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia, and later to Abbott Northwestern.
For the time being, the chamber of commerce office in the Granite Works building will be temporarily unstaffed, with past executive director Lisa Blodgett volunteering to help out on a limited basis.
“She’s got the background, and as a chamber, she can keep us coordinated. Her main objectives will be to keep the office flow going, share her expertise, and help us prepare and organize for the remainder of the year,” said Delano Area Chamber of Commerce President Wendy Gilmer. “All of us are just missing Lisa (Koenecke), and are concerned for her and her family, and wishing them well.”
When someone calls the chamber office, they will receive a message that provides the city and school phone numbers, and references the web site to get the names of board members who can be contacted for further information. Voice messages will be checked weekly, and e-mails will also be checked.
“We will try to get back to anyone who leaves a message,” Gilmer said, adding that other chamber work and activities will continue as best as possible, with individual committees needing to step up and make sure things continue to operate smoothly.
“We’re all so shocked,” Gilmer said. “She’s so vibrant and funny, organized, and on top of things it just doesn’t seem to fit with her.”
Past chamber president Daryl MacLean echoed Gilmer’s sentiments, and said the first thing that pops into his head is how invaluable of an asset Koenecke has become to the chamber and the Delano community over the last few years.
“She grew into that position under Lisa Blodgett,” MacLean said. “We need her back in that position as soon as possible. I hope her husband and their three kids are able to have the continued support from the Delano community.”
Koenecke lives in Delano with her husband, Greg, and their three children Kayla, Mitch, and Joel, all who are students at Delano schools.
CaringBridge web site set up to track recovery
A CaringBridge.org web site has been set up to keep people posted on updates on Koenecke’s progress.
The web site is at www.caringbridge.org/visit/lisakoenecke
Family asks people visit the site for condition updates, instead of calling the hospital directly.