Dennison named events coordinator in New Market

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — A lifelong Shenandoah County resident has jumped from the golden arches to grant-writing and event planning for the Town of New Market.

Amber Dennison, 34, started as the town’s new events and marketing coordinator on March 13. She had been a store manager at the McDonald’s restaurant at 2387 South Main St. in Harrisonburg for 13 years.

Former director Brittany Clem left her position in January to join the Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Department as a program specialist.

Dennison, who grew up outside of New Market, said her desire to see the town grow inspired her to apply for the job.

“I wanted something different, and I want to be able to help my town,” she said. “I love New Market, and this was such an amazing opportunity to be able to give back.”

Dennison has volunteered during town events over the last few years, including National Night Out and the Cross Roads Fest summer music festival.

That experience helped introduce her to the machinations of her new job, according to Town Manager Mike Ritchie.

“She’s helped with some of our new events,” Ritchie said. “She’s getting plugged into the community.”

The town’s biggest events include the Battle of New Market reenactment in May, the Heritage Days Festival in September and the ‘Tis the Season Holiday Celebration in December.

Beyond event planning, Dennison’s duties include managing the town’s social media presence and grant-writing. She is working on completing grants for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program, she said.

One of Dennison’s goals is to use local festivals to drum up more tourist traffic for local businesses.

“In a small way, events really help,” she said. “I want to see [businesses] thrive and bring in new people. We all want to be successful and help each other do that.”

Ritchie said he is excited to have Dennison fill Clem’s vacancy.

“She has a real ability to communicate with people and relate to them,” he said. “She’s a great addition to the team.”

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