German Village Gazette

German Village Business Community

New chairwoman wants to determine direction

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Marie Trudeau is the new president of the German Village Business Community.
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The new chairwoman of the German Village Business Community said the group is in a transition period.

"I would like during my tenure to define where we want to go with the organization," said Marie Trudeau, who was recently named chairwoman of the group.

"Do we want to keep focusing on networking between businesses or increasing our visibility outside of German Village?"

Trudeau, an agent for W.E. Davis Insurance Agency in the Brewery District, replaces co-chairmen Greg Gamier and Jeff Lowe, who held the post for two years.

She lauds Gamier and Lowe, owners of Village Pet Supply, for their dedication to the business group and streamlining procedures for the GVBC's two signature events: Art Crawl in July and Village Lights in December.

Lowe said he's pleased with the new leadership.

"She's always there waiting to help out, willing to help with anything," Lowe said of Trudeau. "She's got a great personality. We're very happy she's taking over for us."

Membership isn't limited to the Village and surrounding neighborhoods.

Annual dues are $200 for a service organization, $250 for individual storefronts (such as restaurants or retail) and $500 for Cornerstone memberships, for those who want to show a stronger support for the organization.

The German Village Business Community is technically a committee of the German Village Society, which gets $75 of each membership.

In return, businesses are marketed in a number of ways.

For example, each merchant is listed on visitor maps, 60,000 of which are distributed across Ohio at eight Ohio Department of Transportation welcome centers, inside Port Columbus International Airport, throughout the Hocking Hills and central Ohio hotels and other destinations and major events in town.

Also, business members are profiled on gvbusinesscommunity.com, which averages more than 2,700 visitors per month, of which 81 percent are new.

Website traffic increased by 45 percent in the first half of 2013 alone.

Gadget devotees might appreciate GPS-enabled mapping on the mobile site -- m.germanvillage.com -- gathers 3,000 unique visitors and 12,000 page views a month.

Mark Weiss, who recently was hired as assistant for visitorism at the German Village Society, will ramp up social media efforts for both the society and business community. Each has an individual Facebook page and website but share a twitter account, @germanvillage.

The organization now has 135 members and a $35,000 annual budget.

Trudeau, who's been involved with the group for eight years and formerly served as its treasurer, said getting members to attend monthly meetings has been a challenge in the past, so the GVBC is looking into moving the meetings to drum up interest.

Shiloh Todorov, executive director of the German Village Society, said the business community is lucky to have Trudeau at the helm.

"Marie Trudeau is a long-time leader and volunteer in German Village," Todorov said.

"I'm looking so forward to work with Marie in this new capacity because she is so thoughtful, community-oriented, hard-working, connected -- and a complete doll."

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