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Executive Bios

Below you can view the executive bios and headshots for each member of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce's Executive Management team. View the entire Chamber Staff listing with contact information. If you have any questions about usage of a bio or headshot, please contact Collyn Floyd, director of marketing and public relations.

Dennis P. Saunier

President and CEO
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


For over 40 years, Denny Saunier has dedicated his career to making Canton/Stark County the best possible place to work, live and play. He joined the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1980, when he assumed the role of president of the Canton/Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. In 1994, Denny became the executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, helping direct and grow a world-class two-week festival. He was promoted to executive vice president of the Canton Regional Chamber in 2000, then president & CEO in 2001, a position he has held ever since.

In addition to leading the Chamber, he serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Board, Pro Football Hall of Fame Board, Malone University Advisory Board, Steering Committee for the City of Canton’s Comprehensive Plan, Stark County Bar Association Grievance Committee, and the Board of Directors for the Downtown Canton Land Bank and Downtown Canton Special Improvement District. He was also a founding member of the Stark Civic Group.

Denny was named one of About Magazine’s 10 Most Influential People in Stark County in 2014 and one of three Persons of the Year in 2016. In 2018, he was one of eight recipients honored at The Canton Repository’s inaugural “Moving Our Community Forward” awards. And in 2020, he received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission's Business and Industry Award. 

In past years, he has served on the Stark State College of Technology Advisory Committee, Central Catholic High School Advisory Board, Canton/Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Board of Directors and Executive Committee, as well as the Board of Directors for ArtsinStark, P-16 Compact, Akron /Canton Airport Transportation Committee, and United Way of Greater Stark County. He is past chairman of the Akron/Canton Regional Foodbank Harvest for Hunger, and past president and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of Canton.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Saunier earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications at John Carroll University in Cleveland. He resides in Plain Township and has three children.

Steven M. Meeks

Chief Operating Officer
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


Steven M. Meeks joined the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2016 as COO. His primary responsibilities include overseeing all chamber operations pertaining to employees, building maintenance, economic development and finances.

Steven has dedicated his professional career to putting the pride in his community by offering opportunities for civic engagement and innovative collaboration. Steven is a 2005 graduate of the Ohio Township Leadership Academy and a 2006 graduate of the Stark County Local Government Leadership Academy. In April 2008, the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce honored Steven with the "Howard L. Kruman Memorial Award for Outstanding Citizen". His notable career highlights include serving as one of three Jackson Township Trustees, the State of Ohio Regional Director for Governor Ted Strickland and being appointed as one of three Stark County Commissioners. Most recently, Steven served as the Interim Director of the Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce in 2010 and President from 2011-2016.

For the last 20 years, Steven has volunteered on several boards, committees and organizations in various leadership positions throughout Jackson Township and Stark County. Steven's service highlights include the Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce Food Fest and Fireworks Committee for over 20 years, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Committee for 10 years, serving as Grand Parade Chairman in 2002 and 2003, Jackson Township Rotary President and President of the CIC (Community Improvement Corporation) Board.

Steven and his wife, Patty, of 35 years, reside in Jackson Township. They have four children and six grandchildren.

Barb Bennett

Director of Education Initiatives
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


Barb Bennett is responsible for connecting businesses with education systems as part of the team addressing the Chamber’s goal to expand the region’s talent development.

Barb graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Civil Engineering. She spent the next 28 years in the private engineering and surveying consulting field with her family’s business, Hammontree & Associates, Limited where she was on the Board of Managers and manager of the civil/site land development department as she is both a registered engineer and surveyor.

In 2014, accepted a position as Director of Administrative Services with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District where she was also assigned manager of special projects.

She is a graduate of the third class of what was known as Leadership Canton and has served in leadership capacities as Chairman of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, General Chairman of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, and Chairman of the Aultman Health Foundation.

She currently serves on include the Aultman Health Foundation, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum, Stark Development Board, Stark Education Partnership, Walsh Advisory Board, the Stream + Wetlands Foundation and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition.

Barb was recognized as a one of the 30 Leaders of 30 Years of Leadership Stark County, a 2018 Woman of Impact, and inducted in class of 2012 YWCA Woman’s Hall of Fame. Barb and her husband, Stark County Engineer Keith Bennett, live in North Canton with their 2 children.

Debbie Busby

Director of Membership Development
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


Debbie Busby previously was the Sales Executive at the Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce before joining the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce as the Director of Membership Development in 2016. She and her husband Barry formerly owned The Irish Pub & Grill in Massillon. Debbie and Barry also own a laundromat in Massillon and are partners in multiple real estate properties throughout Stark County. She brings a wealth of business knowledge experience to her position. Debbie has been a member of The Canton, Jackson-Belden and Massillon chambers of commerce for many years, and has served on committees, has been an ambassador and a board member

She is a graduate of Canton Central Catholic School and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Bowling Green State University.

Debbie has been on the Board of The Tri County Restaurant Association since 2005 and has been the Treasurer of the organization for the last 7 years.

Debbie and her husband Barry, of 32 years, live in Jackson Township. They are the proud parents of three boys. Clayton, a 2013 graduate of Kent State University, is a Project Manager in the Piping Division with RG Smith Construction, Conner graduated from Marietta College with degrees in Music Education and Economics.  He is currently employed at Walt Disney World in Florida. Carter is a 2014 graduate of Jackson High School. Carter is currently studying at Stark State College and will transfer to The Ohio State University in the fall of 2017 to continue his studies in Mechanical Engineering.

Jeff Dafler

Director of Public Policy
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


With more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors, Jeff Dafler is responsible for helping the Chamber maintain strong, positive relationships with elected officials at the federal, state and local levels. Under Jeff’s leadership, the Chamber serves as an effective advocate of business interests by arriving at consensus positions on issues that clearly affect business growth and well-being. These issues may take the form of proposed legislation or regulation.

Jeff began his career working in international political and economic affairs as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State (1991-2000), including assignments at diplomatic posts in Australia, Poland and Italy. He is a recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award, Meritorious Honor Award and Franklin Award.

Beginning in 2000, Jeff began working in the private sector, holding leadership roles in communication and public policy at NCR Corporation (2000-2005) and The Timken Company (2005-2018), where he held the position of Vice President-Government Affairs. In 2018, Jeff launched The Dafler Company, a public policy and strategic communications consulting firm helping clients and communities navigate an increasingly complex public landscape.

Jeff holds bachelor’s degrees in international studies and French from Miami University and a master’s degree in communication from the University of Dayton. He serves as adjunct faculty in Communication at Walsh University and has published academic research in the areas of communication, identity and organizational behavior. He has taken on numerous non-profit leadership roles, including serving as a board member at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, The Wilderness Center, the Timken Charitable and Educational Fund and the College of Business Administration’s Global Management Center at Kent State University.

Collyn FloydCollyn Floyd

Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


Collyn Floyd joined the Chamber in 2013 as director of marketing and public relations. She oversees all communications on behalf of the Chamber, including promotion and publicity for more than 70 events. She also serves as the chief marketing resource for the Chamber's departments and initiatives, manages public relations activities and edits two publications: Action Newsletter and Canton Inc. Magazine. She is a graduate of the 29th Class of the Signature Program of Leadership Stark County.

Collyn was previously at The Karcher Group, where she served as a content marketing strategist. Her responsibilities included content marketing oversight and implementation for TKG and a number of its clients, as well as tasks such as writing, blogging, social media strategy, and more.

She obtained her bachelor’s in political science and a certificate in journalism/writing from St. Louis University. A Missouri native, Collyn and her husband, along with their three boys, have called Canton home for the last 18 years. She spends her free time exploring and blogging about all that Northeast Ohio has to offer, as well as volunteering with Holy Cross Academy-St. Paul Campus.

Michael P. GillMichael P. Gill

Vice President of Economic Development
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce

Canton Development Partnership

Michael P. Gill is the retired district president of Key Bank. His banking career spans 34 years with Harter Bank, Society Bank and Key Bank. Mike earned his Bachelor of Arts in business administration in 1967 at Ohio Northern University and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

Presently, he is the vice president of economic development for the Canton Regional Chamber, as well as director of the Canton Development Partnership, a division of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, which manages the activities of Canton Tomorrow Inc., Downtown Canton Land Bank and the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District.

Active in the community, Mike is the former chairman of the board of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stark Development Board, Cultural Center for the Arts, United Way of Central Stark County and Leadership Stark County. In addition, he was past general chairman of the 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival, 1992 campaign chairman of the United Arts Fund Drive, chairman of the 1994 United Way of Central Stark County Campaign and 1996 campaign chairman of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges for Stark/Tusc. Counties. He remains a board member of Mercy Medical Center, Stark Development Board, and the United Way of Greater Stark County.

chris gumpp
Chris Gumpp

Director of Community Events & Sponsorships

Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce
Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival

Chris Gumpp joined the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2004 as an event manager for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. She came to the Chamber after a 30 year career as a sales professional at Gasser Fine Jewelers, during which time she was also an avid Enshrinement Festival volunteer. In her role of events manager, Chris assumed responsibility for three of the largest and most detailed Enshrinement Festival events. In 2009, she added the role of sponsorship manager to her duties, which includes generating cash and in-kind sponsorships totaling one million dollars annually. In 2012, Chris was promoted to assistant director of the Enshrinement Festival, and in 2015 was promoted to director of community events and sponsorships, which includes the Chamber’s downtown and business events, in addition to Enshrinement Festival events.

Chris and her husband Chad have two daughters, one son and three grandsons.

Kathy IrwinKathy Irwin

Director of Finance & Accounting
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


Kathy Irwin joined the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1980. She is responsible for financial reporting for the Chamber and its departments. She also provides accounting services to the Canton Development Partnership partnering organizations, including Downtown Canton Special Improvement District, Downtown Canton Land Bank and Canton Tomorrow Inc. She oversees accounts payable and receivable, membership and event invoicing, payroll and preparation of the annual budget.

Joanne K. MurrayJoanne K. Murray

Vice President of Community Events & Sponsorships

Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce
Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival

Joanne K. Murray, a native of Canton, Ohio, graduated from the former Lehman High School, and attended Kent State University Stark. She served as administrative assistant to the Mayor of Canton for 15 years, followed by a six-year stint in commercial real estate. During those years, she volunteered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, chairing the Fashion Show Luncheon and Appreciation Party Committees. Her experience led to the opportunity to join the staff of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1991 as marketing coordinator for its Enshrinement Festival department. She became assistant director of the festival in 1996, director in 2000, and vice president of community events and sponsorships in 2015.

As vice president, she is responsible for oversight of a staff of ten, and numerous events yearly including downtown events, business events, and the annual Enshrinement Festival. The festival alone includes managing a team of more than 4,200 community volunteers, with an operating budget of approximately $2.4 million that is utilized to plan and stage 15 diverse events over a ten-day period, enjoyed by nearly 700,000 people.

Murray is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber Institutes of Organization Management, having completed all six sessions at the University of Oklahoma. She has been a member of the Canton Civil Service Commission since 1992, and is council secretary at Martin Luther Lutheran Church.


Director of Membership Sales and Retention
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce


Molly Romig joined the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2012 in the Membership Department. She is currently the Director of Membership Sales and Retention where her primarily roles include new member recruitment as well as member engagement and retention.

Prior to her role at the Chamber, she co-owned and managed PRC Printing and PRC Publishing for over 20 years. During this time, she actively served as a volunteer for the former Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce, serving on their board for six years in various capacities. With this small business experience she enjoys helping businesses grow through their involvement within the chamber. Her marketing background is an added plus for members looking for assistance and allows her to assist with the Chamber’s social media efforts. She enjoys getting members involved with networking events, facilitates many weekly Chamber groups, and takes an active role in table top exhibit events. She assists members with advertising needs in the membership newsletter, website, membership directory and other products. Molly likes to consider herself a personal point person for any member looking for any aspect of customer service with regard to utilizing their membership services.

Molly and her son live in Perry Township and stay very active with outdoor activities, marching band, Boy Scouts and family activities.

stephanie snow werrenStephanie Werren

Director of Leadership Stark County 

Leadership Stark County

Stephanie Werren has been with Leadership Stark County since 2005, first as development director and then as assistant director. She managed fund raising and new programs and assisted with the Signature Program days. She began as director in 2015 and will retain a role in fund raising as well as managing the whole organization.

As assistant director Stephanie was instrumental in the creation of the Government Leadership Academy and the Spotlight for Young Professionals course. She is a Gallup trained facilitator for the StrengthsFinder management model and presents for the Government and Young Professionals courses as well as any custom training modules. Stephanie brings a broad background in sales and community volunteerism to her position. Stephanie is a 2008 recipient of the ystark Twenty under 40 award for volunteerism and was named the Malone University Graduate School Alumna of the Year in 2009. Her current community involvement includes North Canton City Council, Plain Local Schools Foundation, Monticello Homeowners Association Board, and Camp Wakonda Annual Auction Chairman.

A Canton native, Stephanie holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Malone College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science/international studies from Miami University. Stephanie resides in Canton with her husband, Judge Curt Werren, a graduate of the 13th class, and their triplets Jack, Hannah, and Grace.

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