Grandview and Upper Arlington have been inexorably linked since they were founded. Now, their chambers of commerce will be, too.

Grandview and Upper Arlington have been inexorably linked since they were founded. Now, their chambers of commerce will be, too.

The Grandview Area Chamber of Commerce announced last week it would merge with the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce.

The merger is expected to take effect Feb. 1. The organization will be named the TriVillage Chamber Partnership.

Grandview chamber members voted to approve the merger during their annual meeting Jan. 14.

"We had 70 members, including those who voted by email ahead of the meeting, voting in favor of the merger and only two votes against," said Michelle Wilson, the Grandview chamber's executive director.

"It really was an overwhelming vote of our membership in favor of the merger," she said.

The Grandview chamber's bylaws require the membership to approve any change in the bylaws, Wilson said.

Both chambers' boards of directors unanimously approved the merger before the members' vote, she said. The boards set up committees several months ago to explore the option of a merger.

Wilson will serve as the organization's executive director. She has been assisting the UA chamber with its day-to-day activities since October 2015 after the chamber's previous director moved out of state.

"This year will be a year of transition for the new chamber organization," Wilson said.

Over the coming weeks, the UA chamber's bylaws will be dissolved and merged into Grandview's bylaws, she said.

The new organization's board of directors will include current board members from both Grandview and Upper Arlington and non-voting representatives from the cities of Grandview and Upper Arlington, the village of Marble Cliff and the Grandview and Upper Arlington school districts.

Jamie Gentry of the Grandview chamber and Kevin Fix of the UA chamber will serve as co-chairmen of the board in 2016.

The merger will provide a number of benefits for the new chamber organization and its members, Fix said.

"A larger organization will provide our members more opportunities to network, promote their businesses and share information," he said. "We'll be able to connect with customers in more ways, with great events like our Taste of UA and Grandview's Digfest.

"And we'll have more influence in the local business community as one of the five largest chambers of commerce in central Ohio," Fix said.

"Certainly, the major benefit of the merger is the expanded networking and marketing reach," Wilson said. "Each of us were marketing our members to one community and now it will be to two communities."

Beginning next month, the TriVillage Chamber will follow Grandview's schedule of holding luncheons on the second Thursday of the month in various locations in both communities, she said.

The new chamber organization will move around Feb. 1 into a new office at the Thomas & Marker building, 2011 Riverside Drive, Wilson said.

"We're really excited about the new space," she said. "We'll be taking over occupancy of an entire floor and will have about 1,100 square feet. There will be a meeting space set up in our office, but we will also have a shared conference room to use for larger meetings and events."

Dakota Russell, administrative coordinator for the UA chamber, will serve in an unspecified administrative post with the TriVillage Chamber, Wilson said.

Current members of the two chambers will have membership in the new organization for 2016, Wilson said.