New job starts with a boom |

New job starts with a boom

Susan Wood

Suzanne Rosevold, 48, hopes to rebuild her life, her home on Kingsbury Grade and the Carson Valley business community – all at the same time.

The Lake Tahoe resident, who with her husband Hans narrowly survived a natural gas explosion that leveled her house last October, was tapped as the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director in January.

Rosevold, who’s working part-time until she feels physically fit to be on the job full-time, has been swept into a whirlwind of events in the last few months.

“Everything is certainly put into perspective,” she said.

On Oct. 26, she was playing the piano one minute, then a wall was tossed in her face the next.

“I didn’t even have time to have my life flash before my eyes,” she said, as she used a cane to get around.

Still, she’s come a long way from her five-day hospital stay, and a period of being confined to her bed with a compression fracture and crushed heel.

Rosevold has filed a lawsuit against Southwest Gas for negligence for its responsibility in the explosion.

“It’s very frightening for an independent person to find themselves bedridden,” she said.

But nothing keeps this woman, who grew up amid the prairies and apple fields of southeast Washington, down. With poise and grace, Rosevold meets her challenges head-on, and that’s what she plans to do with her position that requires a blend of business expertise and tourism knowledge.

“What I lack in experience, I make up for with enthusiasm,” Rosevold said.

Considering herself a “good listener and good communicator,” Rosevold has tapped into veterans in the know, like Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority Executive Director Terry LeBan.

The former executive director of the Douglas County Business Council, who has also worked in real estate and financial management, anticipates major growth issues in her new job.

She plans on balancing growth with infrastructure and advocating business diversity, while supporting small businesses with a special outreach program.

One activity planned to provide this support is a business showcase to be hosted by the chamber on April 19 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds from 3 to 8 p.m.

“It’s (staged) to encourage membership (in the chamber) as well as promote our businesses,” she said.

Another challenge for Rosevold at the chamber revolves around an inconsistent look to signs in the Carson Valley and a sign ordinance that may need adjusting.

“A lot of people are out of compliance,” she said.

Also, the state of the Carson Valley highways is another concern Rosevold hopes to address with a community coalition.

“We have to get these roads funded, up to standards and build new ones,” she said, anticipating the inevitable growth in Nevada.

Consequently, road construction brings up another issue – open space.

“People like to look at cows,” she said, referring to the aesthetic beauty of the natural landscape.

There is a balance though, the grandmother of seven children contends, advocating education in the face of ignorance.

“We do want open space, but we need a balance. We can’t have no growth,” she said, stressing the importance of keeping the Carson Valley residents working.

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