Amanda Lemke hit the ground running as the new executive director of the Canal Winchester Area Chamber of Commerce.

Amanda Lemke hit the ground running as the new executive director of the Canal Winchester Area Chamber of Commerce.

Lemke stepped into this role as an interim director while the chamber board conducted a search for a full-time replacement, ultimately choosing Lemke, following the departure of Bobbi Guitner.

Guitner briefly filled the chamber's need for an administrator after the February resignation of former executive director Kim Rankin. Unfortunately for the chamber, according to board chairman Jim Long, Guitner was offered a full-time business opportunity that she couldn't pass up.

"Amanda was on the board and offered to take on these tasks while we tried to figure out what we needed," he said. "She's been very energetic in organizing our networking events and was able to hit the ground running from day one and hasn't stopped since.

"The board is very excited about the direction that she's helping us to go in," he added.

The chamber focuses on providing Canal Winchester businesses with networking opportunities and benefits such as discount programs, according to Lemke, and she's set a goal of increasing chamber membership by 30 percent during her first year.

"We care about our members and our community," Lemke said. "That's why we're involved in volunteering at events like the Blues and Ribfest and we'll have expo tables for members at the Labor Day Festival.

"We want to be an example of good community stewards and we think Canal Winchester's business people will want to be a part of an organization that cares."

A new website with additional member tools is being developed, Lemke said, and will launch in August. Chamber board members and staff will preview the website and new mobile website tools for interested business owners and members at the next chamber luncheon in August.

"Our new website should be up and running next month with new features and a mobile site for our members to be able to use to have events and information right at their fingertips," Lemke said. "We hope the chamber can help businesses grow both economically but also grow relationships within the community to develop beyond just economic bonds."

Prior to accepting this position with the chamber, Lemke was an independent beauty consultant for Mary K as well as a website administrator. She lives in Canal Winchester with her husband, Sean, and three children: Brandon, Dana and Collin.

Lemke said her personal connection to the community makes her new job even more important to her, and that she looks forward to helping Canal Winchester businesses.

"I'm eager to see Canal Winchester business owners develop their goals and I'm excited to support them in increasing connections with one another," Lemke said.

The next monthly chamber networking luncheon is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Canal Winchester Senior Center, 22 S. Trine St.