The year 2020 marked a milestone anniversary for the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce. It also marked the beginning of a global pandemic that impacted our lives, the economy, and the way that we work. The 105th Annual Meeting State of the Chamber was held for the first time as a virtual conference on February 18.
Pre-conference, sponsored by The University of Akron Wayne College, featured a 15-minute warm-up show facilitated by Steve Spooner, WQKT radio, broadcasting from Buehler’s Orrville.
Spooner interviewed Lori Reinbolt, Chamber president, about the Chamber’s anniversary; Bob Summers, Director, Loss Prevention & Compliance, Buehler’s, shared the store’s pandemic response as an essential business; and Sean Brown, account executive, WQKT, commented on the vital role of radio advertising and PSA’s during the past year.
Participants that tuned in early also enjoyed a coffee demonstration by Barb Bower, Barista, Scenic River Coffee located inside Buehler’s Orrville.
The virtual live event, sponsored by The Commercial and Savings Bank, began with remarks from 2020 Chamber Board Chair, Dave Hershey, and 2021 Chamber Board Chair, Traci Carmony. Hershey and Carmony marked the Chamber’s 105th Anniversary by reflecting on the visionary leadership of the early Chamber.
In 1916, the challenge of the day was the emergence of a national highway system that threatened to change the way goods and services were transported throughout the country. The Chamber provided leadership for the building of a new road that would connect Orrville to the newly constructed Lincoln Highway. Today, the “new” road is OH State Route 57 and the Lincoln Highway is known as US State Route 30.
“The Chamber has been providing leadership on the challenges of the day for 105 years,” remarked Hershey. “Just as the early Chamber leaders built a road to the future, there are new roads to be built in 2021.”
Reinbolt, narrated the 2020 Year in Review, a candid overview of the Chamber's response as an essential resource to their members and the community during the pandemic. She shared a three-part strategy adopted by the Chamber. The strategy included: 1.) a commitment to being a trusted source of information for the business community, 2.) to connect members to the resources they needed to safety operate their businesses, and 3.) to be a source of encouragement and support.
“Excellent job highlighting all of the great work that was done throughout the year,” remarked Maribeth Burns, The J.M. Smucker Company. “The specific examples shared raised awareness of the scope of service the Chamber has been providing.”
Eddie Steiner, President and CEO, The Commercial and Savings Bank, enthusiastically introduced the conference portion of the program by complimenting the Orrville Area Chamber for being a member focused organization.
Participants were pre-assigned to break out rooms hosted by notable conversation starters that shared remarks and facilitated dialogue among participants.
Richard Lewin, president & CEO, The Will-Burt Company led a discussion on creating a sustainable culture for senior management.
A cutting-edge discussion around the future of factories and industry 4.0 was led by Ethan Karp, president & CEO of MAGNET.
Be, owner, Spherion Mid-Ohio, shared insights with business owners and human resource managers about the challenges of maintaining a dependable workforce.
Young professionals (aged, 20-30 something) participated in a discussion exclusively for Next Gen Leaders led by past Chamber Board Chair, Vince Tricomi, VP Business Development, PFI Displays
Reinbolt hosted a general discussion titled Pandemic Pivot that reflected on the importance of organizational mission to determine a survival plan.
“The breakout sessions were informative and interactive, giving members the chance to start coming together to discuss important topics” stated Carmony. “We hope to continue these conversations throughout 2021, as we work together through these challenging times.”
“The event moved very quickly,” remarked Glenn Mott, VP Compliance, Gerber Poultry. “The focus on Chamber connectivity and support for members was maintained throughout and on point.”
Black Circle sponsors for the event included Ventrac and MAGNET. Gerber Poultry, The Will-Burt Company and Critchfield, Critchfield and Johnston sponsored the discussion rooms.
Crossbridge Marketing and Media hosted the live event which was produced by videographer, Ryan Schultz.
In closing remarks, Reinbolt thanked attendees for their continued participation as members of the Orrville Area Chamber.
“The Chamber’s network of 321 members provides access to resources, services and local support,” stated Reinbolt. “You are never alone.”
Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce serves businesses and organizations in 24 different zip codes primarily in Wayne, Stark, Summit and Medina counties. Now is a great time for businesses of all sizes to join the Chamber. Visit www.orrvillechamber.com or contact the Chamber office, ph: 330-682-8881, to learn more.