The Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce will take the next couple of months to analyze current technologies and operations before moving forward with an application process to fill the president's role after the retirement of Leslee Blake on Jan. 1.

Brad Fisher, a member of the chamber's board of directors, said he would serve as interim president in the meantime.

"The goal of the current board of directors is to continue to add additional value to our members by creating efficiencies in how we communicate with them and by making member-to-member communication as efficient as possible," he said. "We hope to update our current technology and increase our presence on various social media platforms, as well."

Fisher has been a chamber member for several years.

He owns and manages C-Suites Executive Offices, where Gahanna's chamber has maintained its offices for over 10 years.

"While the board is disheartened to see Leslee leave her role after 20 years of service, we are also looking forward to the future with great anticipation," Fisher said.

Blake had coordinated the chamber's signature event, the Taste of Gahanna, which allows visitors to try samples from area restaurants.

Blake helped bring the event to Gahanna's Creekside district in 2018 in order to "shine a light on our downtown area, as well as Gahanna as a whole, because we want people to be as excited about the community as we are," she said at the time.

Gahanna Mayor Laurie Jadwin and Gahanna City Council honored Blake on Jan. 21 with a proclamation recognizing her 20 years of distinguished service to the chamber.

She became the third president of the Gahanna chamber in April 1999.

"She has been instrumental in establishing relevant programming, member benefits, and membership attraction and retention of chamber members and connecting the chamber with the community," the proclamation said, adding, "Leslee has consistently demonstrated her commitment to Gahanna, working diligently to build relationships, promote chamber members and create opportunities for business networking."

During her tenure, Blake had promoted business growth and development through partnership and enrichment opportunities within the Gahanna community.

The legislation also stated Blake's commitment and devotion to the chamber had been exceptional.

She and her husband, Ed, have been Gahanna residents for over 30 years.

The chamber was founded in 1981.