Starting in 1868, following the Civil War, Memorial Day was established to honor Americans who died while serving in the military.

Around 150 years later, this day reminds us of everyone who serves in the armed forces, but Memorial Day isn't just about honoring those who serve – it is about remembering all the men and women who gave their life for our great country.

In the days and weeks following Memorial Day this year, we have the opportunity to reflect and be thankful for everyone who has come together to serve the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce the past 50 years. As a united group of businesses, we strive to enhance the business climate and quality of life in our community and we could not have done it without the many great leaders who came before us.

Throughout 50 years of networking and professional development events, and commitment to the grassroots of government relations efforts, the Westerville Area Chamber works to connect every business to every opportunity.

From the days of R.T. Baum, our first chairman of the board, to our current board chairwoman, Gwen Nichols, we have had five decades of service from area business men and women who have shaped not just the chamber, but the business community we know today.

As we kick off another summer serving our members, we anticipate events such as our 45th Westerville Music & Arts Festival with our Anniversary Concert; our Women in Business Network's July luncheon, "Diversity and Inclusion: Don't just ask me to the party, but ask me to dance"; and networking and development opportunities such as the monthly Lunch & Learns, this month's focusing on elevating your elevator pitch.

It is with the utmost respect we say 'thank you' to all those who have served and sacrificed for our country and during this 50th anniversary year, we say thank you to all those who have served the Westerville Area Chamber, past and present.

Upcoming Events

The Westerville Music & Arts Festival will be July 14 and 15, with the anniversary concert featuring Shucking Bubba at 7:30 p.m. July 14.

A Women in Business Luncheon panel on diversity and inclusion in the workplace will take place July 18.

Janet Tressler-Davis is president and CEO of the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce, which provides  Chamber Corner to ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion.