New Albany News

Chamber's first legislative breakfast slated June 19


The New Albany Chamber of Commerce's first legislative breakfast is scheduled for 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 19, at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road.

Courtney Orr, the chamber's executive director, said she brought the concept from her former employment as vice president of government affairs at the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce in Florida.

"This chamber hasn't been that politically engaged in the past with our state and federal officials," Orr said. "The event was very valued by the chamber members in Florida, so my perception is that it would be valued here as well."

Orr invited a mix of federal, state and local officials.

The June 19 breakfast will include:

* Merle Madrid, director of the Ohio Governor's Office of Public Liaison.

* Steve Maurice White, an attorney and general counsel and Central Ohio District director for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R).

* Joe Gilligan, the Central Ohio District Director for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).

* Ohio Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville).

* State Sen. Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park);

* Marilyn Brown, president of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.

* Sloan Spalding, president pro tempore of New Albany City Council.

* John McClelland, vice president of the New Albany-Plain Local school board.

Orr said the government officials would be available to talk with the audience during a continental breakfast at the beginning of the event.

Those who attend are asked to submit questions for a panel discussion before the group moves into the theater, where the panelists will sit on stage.

Orr said the moderator, Jo Ingles, a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television's Statehouse news bureau, will introduce the panel. Each panelist will have three minutes to talk about the top issues they see facing the business community.

Ingles will use the questions from the audience and some of her own to "exchange information" with the audience, Orr said.

Orr said she hopes about 100 people will attend.

She said if the legislative breakfast is successful, it could become an annual event.

The event is $20 for chamber members and $30 for all others.

Registration is available at

Orr said because of parking lot repairs, those who attend will be asked to park by 6:45 a.m. at the New Albany Church of the Resurrection, 6300 E. Dublin-Granville Road. Shuttles will provide transportation to the McCoy center.