Gianinetti turns love of Craig into a career

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They say you're supposed to find what you love to do, and make a career out of it.

Annette Gianinetti loves her hometown, and her new job as Craig Chamber of Commerce director means she'll get to promote the town she loves full time.

"I just love it here," the 42-year-old mother of one said last week. "I travel a lot, and I'm always promoting Northwest Colorado."

Gianinetti will take over as Chamber director July 1.

In addition to the Chamber, Gianinetti is involved in Com--munities Overcoming Meth Abuse and The Memorial Hospital board.

One of her favorite things about Craig is the diversity of the landscape here.

"Every direction you go from Craig there's a different scene," the Moffat County native said.

As Chamber director, Gianin--etti will promote the landscape she loves and work with local businesses.

"It puts me in touch with more people," she said.

The Chamber board of directors chose Gianinetti in part because of her enthusiasm and her people skills.

"In the end, her drive and personality caught the board's attention," board President Christina Currie said.

Gianinetti isn't just enthusiastic about Craig, she also is enthusiastic about America.

She's earned the nickname "the Patriot" for her fondness for red, white and blue clothing.

"I'm proud of our country," she said with a smile. "But I've probably worn everybody out on red, white and blue."

The downside to taking over at the Chamber is leaving her current job at the Moffat County Sheriff's Office.

"It's not that I wanted to leave (the Sheriff's Office)," Gianinetti said, she just thought the Chamber director position was perfect for her.

Gianinetti has been an administrative assistant at the Sheriff's Office for nine years.

In her time at the Sheriff's Office, Gianinetti has seen a lot of changes, most notably the move from the County Courthouse to the Public Safety Center, a move Gianinetti was in charge of coordinating.

The move put the Sheriff's Office, Craig Police Department and the State Patrol all under one roof.

Gianinetti said moving three agencies into one building was a tough task, but luckily, she had "a lot of help."

Sharing a building with the other law enforcement agencies has been a good experience, Gianinetti said.

"I love it, it's great," she said.

She likes the fancy new Safety Center, but leaving the building behind won't be the hard part.

"It's the people that I'm gonna miss," Gianinetti said. "The people are what it's all about."

Her coworkers were especially helpful in 2000 when Gianinetti's husband, Vince, died from Leuk--emia.

Gianinetti's coworkers brought food to her husband and helped organize a blood drive for him.

"We had a huge, successful blood drive," Gianinetti said.

Despite the success of the blood drive, Vince died from a rare form of Leukemia in January 2001.

The form of Leukemia that Vince had is usually found in children, which Gianinetti said was appropriate.

"He was a big kid," she said.

Her husband's battle with cancer was tough on Gianinetti, but she and Vince found ways to make it through.

"You had to look at it anyway you could just to get through it," she said.

Just a few months before Vince died, he and Gianinetti took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. The couple had always planned to ride a motorcycle through the park, but Vince's illness meant they had to go by car.

"He was phenomenal, he dealt with it really well," she said.

The outpouring of support from people in Craig reinforced Gianinetti's love for the city.

She hopes to build on her love for Craig as Chamber director.

"I know it will be a challenge," she said. "But I'm looking forward to it."

Brandon Johansson can be reached at824-7031 or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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