Higher visibility is an immediate goal for the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce's new leader.

Higher visibility is an immediate goal for the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce's new leader.

Jackiethia Butsch, a Westerville resident, was named the new executive director of the Whitehall chamber last month.

A graduate of Walnut Ridge High School and Wright State University, Butsch said she is excited about the opportunity to increase membership in the chamber and plan new activities.

Among those is a pilot program for minority business owners offered through the Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

"The new program is designed to provide support and address issues specific to minority business owners," Butsch said.

The program should be unveiled during the chamber's annual meeting in November.

An "Internship Fair" for high school juniors and seniors is also in the planning stages, she said, but likely will be held at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

"I want to make the chamber more active and more visible in our community," Butsch said, and that begins with planning regular activities.

"Our goal is to double the number of members by this time next year," she said. "There is a kind of void in the chamber right now that I want to fill with new activities."

The chamber has 59 members to date.

The chamber's next event is scheduled for Oct. 11.

Franklin County treasurer Ed Leonard will speak at 8 a.m. at the Ohio Nurses Association, 4000 E. Main St.

Leonard will speak about projects under way in the treasurer's office and its benefit or impact on Whitehall business owners.

"Whitehall has a growing and alive chamber, and I'm excited about the possibilities here," Butsch said.

Prior to her selection as executive director of the Whitehall chamber, Butsch, 37, had served as a legislative aide for state Rep. Tracy Maxwell-Heard (D-Columbus), as human-resources director for the Ohio Mentor Network and as director of student services at Southwestern College in Dayton.

"My extended family is the reason I am who I am today, the wife and mother that I am, my work ethic and success in life," said Butsch, an only child raised by a mother, grandmother and aunt in east Columbus.

Butsch is a life member of Trinity Baptist Church. She and her husband, Craig, and Butsch's 10-year-old daughter, Rubie, reside in Westerville.