Chamber celebrates 75th anniversary


BOTKINS — A toast to the 75th anniversary of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce highlighted the annual banquet held Tuesday, March 3, at the Palazzoo in Botkins.

Chamber President Jeff Raible voiced his appreciation for everyone who attended CNO2020.

“What’s that you ask? CNO something or other? #CNO, Chamber Nite Out,” said Raible. “Tonight we’re celebrating the chamber’s 75th business anniversary and we couldn’t be more exicted.”

The chamber’s goal, he said is to help the organization’s members achieve a higher level of success.

“As the member profile of the Chamber is diverse, so too are the needs of our members and their expectations of us,” he said. “For member companies looking to increase their recognition in the local marketplace and our community, we offer high impact – low cost marketing and visibility enhancement solutions.

“For the small to mid-size organizations looking to save money on their everyday operating costs, we offer group buying discounts that leverage the overall size of the Chamber’s membership in a way that qualifies these smaller enterprises for savings opportunities they might not otherwise receive,” he continued..

“And certainly all organizations both large and small need a well-trained and knowledgeable staff. To assist these members we offer employee development programs that enable your team to make better decisions and connect with others in the local business community who are similarly tasked within their organizations,” he said.

Raible talked about the importance of the YPConnect group.

“Have you heard of it? Organized by the chamber in 2017, YPConnect was established as a way to network young professionals in the Shelby County area and, as importantly, to strengthen their bonds with our local community. Their mission: To connect and inspire young professionals so they can go forth and invigorate their community,” he said.

“At the chamber we have a strong desire to see this group be successful. To date we have witnessed a number of activities involving YPConnect that have achieved meaningful outcomes, particularly in circumstances where we have needed a young professionals point of view in strategic planning and visioning for the future of our community.

“So, what does a successful YPConnect look like? In our view, an organization of upwardly mobile individuals, highly engaged and well connected in and with our community. YPConnect is the conduit for area young professionals to meet other young professionals and finding value in those relationships. We believe YPConnect has the potential to be the ultimate retention tool for area employers and our community in which YPs live and work,” he said.

“Today YPConnect has more than 400 followers. Our continuing challenge is to develop content for their monthly meetings that captures and engages the interest of area young professionals,” Raible continued. “The YP steering committee under the leadership of Ashley Himes is doing a fantastic job in growing this group both in terms of membership and relevant content.”

YPConnect is so more than a social club: It’s a viable, professional development and networking organization that will pay dividends for your company, said Raible.

The chamber, he said is taking a more active role in preparing students to be qualified employment prospects.

“We believe that better prepared students in the classroom translate to better qualified employment prospects for our member companies. Thanks to your generosity, our Foundation was able to fund 24 education grants totaling nearly $16,000 plus help offset some of the operating costs of the Workforce Partnership. Thank you members for your support of the Chamber Foundation and the enrichment of education in Shelby County,” said Raible.

The 75th anniverary of the organization was reviewed by Raible.

“In 2020 the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 75th business anniversary. Although the origin of our organization is traceable back to the late 1800s, as an Ohio incorporated entity, we were chartered in 1945. In this our Diamond Year, we are working on a number of initiatives, some of which are a continuation of past successes while others are new,” he said.

Upcoming events include:

• Digital marketing workshops in partnership with Marketing Essentials. The first workshop will be held on March 26 and focus on digital marketing and sales techniques.

• The 14th edition of Discover Shelby County Ohio magazine is in production now and anticipated soon.

• Collaboration with neighboring chambers in west central Ohio to conduct a biannual compensation and benefits survey.

• In May, on conjunction with the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA, the annual Economic Outlook Luncheon will be held. This year’s featured presenter is from the Federal Reserve Bank in Cincinnati.

“Today, perhaps more than ever before, the chamber is collaborating extensively with our colleagues at the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership, the city of Sidney, the county commissioners, and Sidney Alive to undertake a series of initiatives we hope will better position our community as an ideal place to live and do business,” said Raible.

“All applicable data overwhelmingly indicates Sidney and Shelby County to be an ideal place to work. The goal now is to grow our population and enhance our desirability as a community which in turn will help our member employers achieve higher levels of success in attracting and retaining talent at all levels within their organizations,” he said.

A new brand and brand narrative for the city of Sidney and the Sidney Visitors Bureau will be unveiled soon.

“We believe this new brand will set the stage for additional success in our “placemaking” efforts for Sidney and Shelby County and help us better tell the Sidney and Shelby County story as a desirable place to live and visit,” he said. “Brand development activity is ongoing as are discussions on how best to effectively roll out and publicize our new brand in ways that will capture the attention and inspire those considering a new home to take a close look at Sidney and Shelby County.”

And now the Champaign.

“The Chamber is what it is today thanks to the many who have come before. Past and present leaders, volunteers, and members have shaped our organization. For you we give thanks tonight and celebrate the 75 year history of our organization,” he said. “If you’ll please stand and raise your glasses, I’d like to propose a toast.

“To the members of the Sidney Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, thank you for your continuing support of our mission. The past 75 years have been a good start, but there’s lots more to do as we look forward to the opportunities ahead in the decades to come. Cheers,” he said.

A toast is held for the future during the Sidney/Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Dinner on Tuesday, March 3. toast is held for the future during the Sidney/Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Dinner on Tuesday, March 3. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

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