2017-02-16 / Front Page

Declaring a day for Wendy

30-year tenure in our office

VERSNYDER VERSNYDER Wendy VerSnyder, the pleasant voice on the other end of the Leelanau Enterprise telephone for more than 30 years, is retiring.

She just might be the longest-serving employee ever at the Enterprise, which this year is celebrating its 140th year of publishing.

In honor of her service to the Enterprise — and to Leelanau County residents — we’re declaring “Wendy VerSnyder Day” for next Thursday, Feb. 23. We’ll offer beverages and snacks from 1-4:30 p.m. in our front office along with a chance for folks to bid good-bye to our venerable “Wendy.”

She’s going to miss you and us, she said.

“I loved working with all my co-workers,” said VerSnyder, who frequently would rise long before work to bake her famous peanut butter cake and other treats. “And the interaction with people on the phone.”

Offered Tara Van Thomme, who has been training for several weeks to take over front office duties, “She knows everybody.”

VerSnyder wasn’t given such a training luxury when she started for the Enterprise, having received two days of direction before helping to run the front office for former publisher Richard C. Kerr. It was early January in 1986.

Long-time office manager Eunice White worked for 26 years, including three years that overlapped with VerSnyder.

The Enterprise has a history of longevity. Publisher W.C. Nelson ran the paper from 1879 to 1925. E.J. (Dino) Ziebell was publisher for 28 years before selling to Kerr in 1975, who owned the newspaper for 22 years. Alan and Debra Campbell have been co-publishers since 1997.

“It was a stroke of luck that Wendy has been here as long as we have,” Alan Campbell said. “It goes without saying what a hard worker she is, but she’s also a truly nice person.”

Wendy and her husband, Jim, plan to take a month off in Florida. Upon returning, she plans to help her children in their businesses, possibly work part-time for the Enterprise — and relax some on Lake Leelanau aboard the VerSnyder pontoon.

The officer manager job itself has changed tremendously with the advent of computers for billing and subscriptions, as well as keeping up with the growth of the Enterprise.

But some things haven’t changed, such as Wendy’s willingness to befriend the people with whom she comes in contact.

For instance, there is the subscriber near Flint who was undergoing delays receiving her Enterprise on time.

“I know her life story now. She sent me a retirement card,” Wendy said.

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Congratulations Wendy!!! Jim

Congratulations Wendy!!! Jim & Charlene