Source: Sherman Publications

Nassar brings openness, volunteer spirit

by CJ Carnacchio

March 16, 2011

After months of searching high and low, Oxford Village finally has a new clerk and her name is Susan Nassar.

“I thought this would be a wonderful place to work,” she said.

Council approved Nassar’s contract last week and her first official day is March 21.

Technically, she’s on vacation from her current position as the clerk-treasurer for the Village of Holly, where her last day will be March 18. Although she’s not on the payroll yet, she’s been spending lots of time in the Oxford Village office learning the ropes and meeting folks.

A 19-year resident of neighboring Brandon Township, Nassar is certainly no stranger to this community.

“I feel really ingrained with Oxford. I’m close to Oxford. I shop here all the time,” she said.

She’s also no stranger to municipal government having worked, prior to Holly, as the deputy clerk for Brandon Township and building department administrator for Groveland Township.

Armed with both administrative and accounting experience, Nassar’s scheduled to receive her designations as a Certified Municipal Clerk and Certified Municipal Treasurer this spring.

“I’ve been in this field for quite a while,” said Nassar, noting she enjoys helping people and communicating with residents. “It just seemed like a natural fit.”

As the village’s new clerk, Nassar wants to create “an open and friendly environment” where residents feel free to voice their concerns, complaints or even compliments.

She wants to have an office where everybody knows each other on a first-name basis and pets are more than welcome to visit.

Nassar is anxious to roll up her sleeves and continue exercising her volunteer spirit in Oxford.

“I’m planning on volunteering for many of the events that are here,” she said.

In the past, Nassar has volunteered at the Brandon Township Senior Center and for the Downtown Development Authorities in both Holly and Ortonville.

Nassar attributes her positive attitude and helpful nature to the influence of her father, Walter Strzelecki, who celebrated his 86th birthday in February.

Strzelecki is a survivor of the Nazi reign of terror. In September 1942, while working as a mailman in Poland, Strzelecki was captured and beaten by the Gestapo after someone falsely accused him of being a spy.

He was only 17 years old and an American citizen by birth, but that didn’t stop the Nazis from wrongfully imprisoning him in the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

Surrounded by cruelty and death every single day, Strzelecki was held there until it was finally liberated by American troops on May 5, 1945.

Having lived through such a horrific experience left Strzelecki a changed man, a better man and that affected his children.

“My dad is a man of great faith, a man of great patience and a man absent of malice and hate,” Nassar said. “He shaped my whole entire life.”

When she’s not working, Nassar enjoys volunteering at the Brandon senior center, being active in the Goodrich Garden Club, and getting together with the core group of what used to be the Brandon Garden Club.

Nassar and her husband, Gary, have been married for over 25 years and have two grown sons – Scott, who will graduate from Western Michigan University this summer with a degree in business, and Jeff, who lives in Goodrich with his wife and daughter.