By RACHEL WYNKOOP
Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County
Saying that the Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County has been busy during 2019 would be an understatement. Jill Simpson, CEO/President, rang in the new year with a new staff, who have been ambitious to say the least. The first half of 2019 has seen added member benefits, ribbon cuttings and a stream of new memberships. So far in 2019, the Chamber has welcomed a total of 29 new members ranging from industrial to small business.
Along with new members, the Chamber has rolled out a new benefit for our businesses that do frequent shipping. PartnerShip is a Chamber benefit that provides discounts on small package shipping through FedEx and truckload and freight shipping through a variety of options. Enrollment is free to Chamber members with just a couple of clicks of their mouse.
Our Ambassador Committee also continues to grow with the addition of nine new ambassadors. These new ambassadors come from members businesses across the board.
- Melissa Cook, UIS Insurance and Investments
- SheAnna Garner, Russell Real Estate Services
- Meghan Birkholz, Valley View Health Care Center
- Christina Jesberger, First National Bank Clyde
- Alexis Hoeflich, Sprouse Insurance
- Donna Riesen, Bethesda Care Center, Volunteers of America
- Andrea Gibson, Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation
- Janet Quaintance, Sandusky County Job and Family Services
- Jodi Albright, Croghan Colonial Bank
Our Chamber Ambassadors are a group of community and business focused individuals who represent not only the chamber but their own business or employer as well. They welcome new Chamber members with a goodie bag containing agricultural products from Sandusky County and a Chamber plaque; and guide new members through their first year of membership. Our Ambassadors also celebrate ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings for our members by wearing their red coats at these events and assist with Chamber events when needed.
We have held several ribbon cuttings in the first half of 2019. Ribbon cuttings have helped our members celebrate grand openings, remodels of current locations, new ownership of long-standing businesses, and more.
The Ambassadors will assist with opening the 2019 Sandusky County Fair at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and will also help man the Chamber Ag Tent at the fair all week long. Inside the Chamber Ag Tent, members have the opportunity to sponsor an exhibit table and gain recognition by signing up for a logo game. The Sandusky County Fair will run from Tuesday, Aug. 20, to Sunday, Aug. 25.
Our REACH program, an upper elementary career education program in Sandusky County’s fifth grade classrooms, has updated their curriculum to reflect the changes in technology and communication in today’s workplace. Chamber members involved in REACH visit the classrooms once a month throughout the school year to help students explore their talents and interests, teach skills related to “the world of work,” and share the many fulfilling career opportunities right here in Sandusky County. At the end of the school year, students make a site visit to their REACH teacher’s business to see some of those jobs firsthand. REACH will begin again when the 2019-2020 school year starts.
The 2019 Chamber Golf Outing, sponsored by Alkon Corp., will be held at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, in Fremont, on Friday, Sept. 13. The golf scramble will be a fun-filled day for members with proximity contests, food, drinks, awards and more. This year, the Baumann Auto Group has donated a car for one hole-in-one contest and Janotta and Herner has donated $10,000 for another hole-in-one. The Chamber Golf Outing will help benefit the Chamber Foundation of Sandusky County.
The Sandusky County Safety Council started their 2020 fiscal year on July 1. Chamber members and businesses throughout the county who are a part of Safety Council can receive a 2-4 percent discount on their Bureau of Workers’ Compensation premiums by attending monthly safety-focused meetings. Meetings are held at the Neeley Center and meals are provided. Safety Council meetings are open to non-members for a cost of $12. Reservations are required.
The Chamber will be having our 6th Annual Clam Bake at Camp Fire Sandusky County from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. The laid-back Business-After-Hours features a menu catered by Jimmy G’s Barbecue that includes large clams, shrimp, chicken quarters, corn on the cob and more. We will be providing live entertainment for the evening as well. Chamber members are welcome to bring their colleagues, spouses and friends to this event. Each ticket is $27, and registration is required before Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Our last Business-After-Hours of 2019 is on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. It will be held at the Live Edge Center in downtown Fremont and will be a trivia night. Light appetizers will be provided by the Live Edge Center and Chamber members’ first drink is on us. There is no registration required for this free event and Chamber members may come and go as they please.
We have two remaining Lunch and Learns, co-hosted by Terra State Community College, for 2019. The first, Networking 101, will be on Monday, Oct. 2, at the Neeley Center on the Terra State Community College campus. Jason Madasz, from BNI Northwest Ohio, will speak to attendees about the benefits of networking to build your business and give tips on the best way to network. Networking 101 will be from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a cost of $10 for chamber members and $20 for non-members. Reservations are required.
The second, Succession Planning, will be on Monday, Dec. 2, at the Neeley Center and will feature a presentation by Daniel Stover, CEO and founder of Ensight Partners. Stover will give tips and guidance to attendees on having a successful succession plan. Succession Planning will be from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a cost of $10 for chamber members and $20 for non-members. Reservations are required.
We will end 2019 with our Annual Holiday Reception, co-hosted with Leadership Sandusky County, at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Museum on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The annual event will once again feature entertainment and light refreshments and allow members to mingle and celebrate the holiday season.
While 2019 has been nothing short of busy for the Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County and staff, they are already planning another big year in 2020 and beyond. Look for additional details on special events to emerge with our 2020 calendar.
For information on any of our upcoming events, programs or member benefits, call 419-332-1591.