We’re excited to share some very BIG NEWS!
Our membership overwhelmingly voted YES on a merger between the Canton Regional and Jackson-Belden Chambers. We have now signed an agreement with the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce whereby the Jackson-Belden Chamber will be merged into the Canton Regional Chamber, with the Canton Regional Chamber being the sole entity. The merger has been approved by both organization’s Boards of Directors and memberships.
The merger will enhance the combined organization’s presence in the region, including expanded economic development efforts; strengthened membership services, benefits and programming; increased small business networking, mentoring and growth opportunities; and an overall broader impact on businesses and the larger community.
The Canton Regional Chamber will now serve approximately 2,100 members in the region, making it the sixth largest metro chamber in Ohio based on total membership behind Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Youngstown.
The Canton Regional Chamber will continue to be headquartered at its current location, as well as maintain a satellite office in Jackson Township. Members should see no interruption of service, benefits or programming.
All present staff of the Canton Regional Chamber will be retained and will be augmented by select individuals from the Jackson-Belden Chamber. Dennis P. Saunier will serve as President and CEO of the merged organization, and Steven M. Meeks, formerly President of the Jackson-Belden Chamber, will serve as Chief Operating Officer.
The merger follows nearly a year of talks between the two Chambers and their boards on ways the organizations could collaborate more extensively for the good of the region’s businesses and the larger community, including hiring an external consultant to guide the process. 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.
“This is a historic day for our region,” said Saunier. “Our combined organization will represent a level of service, business interests and economic growth that is unprecedented in Stark County. I look forward to welcoming the Jackson-Belden team; a group with whom we share similar values and a commitment to business growth in Stark County and beyond.”
“Our merger with the Canton Regional Chamber allows us to offer our members a broader range of services, deeper pool of business expertise and expanded array of programming,” said Meeks. “I am excited for the opportunity to offer our business community a level of value they haven’t seen before. This is truly great news for both regional businesses and the larger community.”
We will keep our membership posted as we work over the next few weeks and months to combine the two organizations.