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The Boards of Directors of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce believe that a merged organization will strengthen our membership services, benefits and programming and increase our impact on businesses and the broader community.  Since last year, executives and volunteer leaders at both chambers have been studying ways that the two organizations could collaborate more extensively for the good of the region’s businesses and the community that the two chambers serve.

We are happy to report that the Boards of Directors from both organizations have unanimously approved moving the merger process forward.

The next step for the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce membership is to attend a Special Membership Meeting on AUGUST 16, 2016, during which the key contact for each member business or organization will have the opportunity to vote on the merger.

Please note: only the member’s key contact is permitted to cast a vote regarding the merger. To determine if you are listed as the key contact, please refer to the Chamber’s 2016 Business Directory, CantonChamber.org/member-directory, or call Denise Burton at 330.458.2067.

Per the Canton Regional Chamber’s by-laws, we are required to give at least 10 days official notice of the August 16 Membership Meeting, which we will do via mail. The official notice will contain complete merger details. If your organization’s key contact cannot attend the August 16 meeting, they may submit a proxy vote.

“The combined organization proposed in the merger plan will represent a level of service, business interests, and economic growth that is unprecedented for our Stark County ,” said Dennis P. Saunier, president and CEO of the Canton Regional Chamber.

The Boards’ decisions to proceed follow a deliberative process conducted by consultant David Ramey, president of Strategic Leadership Associates. The official merger process began in November 2015 and included a series of forums in April and June to gain the feedback of both sets of Board members and Chamber members. At these forums, the comprehensive merger plan was presented, and members had the opportunity to provide comments or questions.