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Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce hosts annual meeting

Ngozi Cole
Dayton business leaders gathered to celebrate the community’s successes and future goals.

On Thursday, May 4, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and economic review at Sinclair Conference Center

The Chamber brings together more than 2,200 businesses and organizations in the Dayton-area. The chamber’s mandate is to improve the region’s business climate through advocacy, development initiatives, and providing networking and training opportunities for its members.

At the conference, over 500 business leaders from the Dayton region identified their goals and challenges for the year ahead. They pointed to workforce and talent retention as one of their biggest issues.

Chamber president Chris Kershner also outlined key activities for this year, including providing stronger connections throughout the business community and advocacy for pro-business legislation.

“The Chamber wants to ensure that we leverage these real time opportunities and react to current events impacting your operations,” Kershner said.

Board chair Jacqueline Gamblin, emphasized that the Chamber of Commerce will support businesses through access to experts, cost savings and best practices. 

"The Chamber will continue to offer a suite of professional development programming and opportunities to help with your organization's professional growth,” said Gamblin. 

The keynote speaker was Thomas Rajan, the Vice President of Global Sales for American Airlines, who highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in the region.

“The relationship should be there in terms of how we continue to build support and foster growth,” said Rajan.”The American Airlines team and certainly together with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, we are grateful for your partnership in all that you do.”

Rajan also emphasized Dayton’s significant economic importance as the home of the airline’s second largest subsidiary, PSA.

At the event, a number of individuals and business members were also recognized, including the University of Dayton for the Premier Health Diversity Award and maternity clothing start-up Lunnie for the Soin Award for Innovation.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.