Chairmen share thoughts at chamber dinner

BOTKINS — There was a change of chairmen during Tuesday’s Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner.

Ougoing Chairman Margo O’Leary and incoming Chairman John Ross both addressed those present.

“As I reflect over this last year, it is important to recognize the strong leadership that has helped us get through and move forward during some challenging times. A special thank you to Jeff, Dawn, Cheri, and Kim – the entire Chamber team for their hard work and dedication,” said O’Leary.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to our past chair, Mary Lee Smock and our entire Executive Committee. 2021 began with much hope. As we headed into the year, the Chamber was optimistic and excited about the plans we had to serve our membership. We had spent time organizing strategic goals and in 2021 we were ready to begin the work. We were meeting the needs of our members by making connections, providing resources, and celebrating our business community. As an organization we persevered as did all of you in the face of a continuing pandemic,” she said.

“We did not waiver. We embraced the virtual world like everyone else and we delivered. I don’t know about you, but I am Zoomed out. I think we have all realized how important human connection is. We need nights like tonight and all of the other great in person events that our Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce provides. I invite you to stay connected and we hope to see you at many more in person events this year,” said O’Leary.

Serving as board chair, said O’Leary, has been a tremendous experience.

“For those who have a long history of membership with the Chamber, thank you and please know that this level of commitment is highly valued by our organization. Our continuing theme each Board meeting is to consistently act in the best interests of our members. Adding value to your Chamber membership is our ongoing pursuit and one we take very seriously,” said O’Leary.

“The membership retention percentage at the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is as high as you will find anywhere for Chambers our size. The credit for this belongs both with you and with the organization itself. The Shelby County business community is one of strength and unity,” she said.

“I’ve heard it said many times that you can accomplish much more together than you can ever accomplish alone. This is the underlying spirit of our Chamber,” she said. “To my fellow Board members, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making our Board meetings both productive and enjoyable. To those with whom I’ve had the privilege to serve on the Executive Committee, thanks for your thoughtful and careful guidance this past year. To the Chamber staff, thank you for your role in making my time as Board Chair fulfilling and meaningful. To my Wilson Health team, thank you for your support and encouragement this past year.

“And to everyone affiliated with this wonderful organization, it has been my honor to serve. Thank you,” said O’Leary.

Ross, who is the incoming chair, shared his thoughts.

“It is my privilege to be serving as the 2022 chairman of the board and I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity,” said Ross. “This will be my sixth year on the chamber board and along with my fellow directors and chamber staff, we pledge to do our very best to lead this organization in ways that will continue to provide a high level of service and value to your business.

“If I personally or the resources of the chamber can be of assistance to you or your organization in any way, please don’t hesitate to call. In addition, if you have suggestions as to how your Chamber can be more responsive to the needs of your organization, I hope you’ll let me know,” he said “We want membership in the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber to be an important part of your organization’s success. Please tell us how we can help.”