Tiffany Bley is leaving some big economic development shoes to fill in both LaPorte and Michigan City.
The 2005 Chesterton High School graduate is now a marketing assistant in the solar division with Fronius USA LLC in Portage.
"I hope I do just as great a job for them as I did for their downtown associations," said Bley, who began the new position last week.
Bley was the LaPorte's first downtown director, hired two years ago by the Greater LaPorte Chamber of Commerce. She also was under contract as director of Michigan City's downtown, which has shown noticeable revitalization in recent years.
Her main job in both communities was scheduling and coordinating events and other activities to attract more people to the downtowns of both cities.
She quickly made her mark with energy and enthusiasm in her mission to increase traffic flows and come up with new events and other ways of promoting each of the downtowns.
"We wish her nothing but the best. She's always got a home here. She did an excellent job for us. She's really going to be missed," said Mike Seitz, president of the Greater LaPorte Chamber of Commerce.
Bley said among the things she's most proud of is her idea to host the first "Taste of La Porte" during last summer's first Maple City Grand Prix, a boat race on Stone Lake that drew thousands of spectators.
She hated to leave but felt destiny was a factor with her new opportunity.
Her main task with Fronius USA is to expand and open new markets for their products.
Bley got her start in marketing with the Duneland Chamber of Commerce and believes the skills she has acquired since will help in her new position in the private sector.
''It's definitely going to be a learning opportunity for me to market the whole USA,'' said Bley.
Officials are in Michigan City and La Porte are pitching in to carry out her former duties until new directors are in place.
"We hope to have someone in a couple of weeks," said Seitz.
Fronius USA started in 1945 and is headquartered in Austria with divisions across the globe and the United States.
The company is involved in developing self-sufficient sources of energy such as solar energy and makes things such as inverters, which take the sun's energy from solar panels making it usable for powering homes and businesses.