Westerville Chamber Corner: Focus remains on what's important to city's businesses

Janet Tressler-Davis
Westerville Area Chamber

Throughout the year, the Westerville Area Chamber provides an array of advocacy opportunities to connect the business community with national, state and local policies.

From CEO roundtables with state and federal elected officials and meet-your-legislator events to our annual December quarterly membership luncheon featuring U.S. Reps. Troy Balderson and Joyce Beatty, we work to keep our businesses in the know of  happenings that could affect them.

Janet Tressler-Davis

The chamber’s Business Advocacy Council focuses its efforts on issues and legislation in the areas of business regulation, taxation and workforce (access to talent and training). The council meets monthly with a mission of serving as business advocates, working with public officials to support and/or establish legislation, regulations and policies that represent our members’ top concerns and helping businesses to thrive and compete locally, nationally and internationally. It is important as a chamber of commerce, we remain focused on business-friendly regulations.

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Most recently, the council met with representatives from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the city of Westerville’s planning department, the city’s charter-review commission and the Westerville City Schools superintendent.  The council’s efforts have been recognized by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, earning the ‘Grassroots Advocacy’ award for five years and two years as runner-up from 2011 to 2018. No awards were given in 2019 or 2020.  

In addition to the council’s efforts, the chamber offers advocacy programs for members and others interested within the community:

• Election Academy: The chamber designed and offered this biannual event to anyone interested in running for an elected office at the state, local or county level, serving as a campaign manager or treasurer or learning about the election process. The June session will be the ninth offering of the academy. During the three-evening training, we provide information about running a successful campaign for an elected office, the do’s and don’ts of campaign fundraising and serving in public office and building coalitions. This three-part series is held from 6:45 to 9 p.m. June 3, 10 and 17.

• City of Westerville update: For the first time in more than a year, we will host a fully in-person quarterly membership luncheon featuring City Manage Monica Irelan and police Chief Charles Chandler. This event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. May 8 at Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbus, 2700 Corporate Exchange Drive in Columbus. Join us to hear all things Westerville.

• Candidate forums: Candidates running for Westerville Board of Education and City Council will be invited to participate in the forums planned to be held in September and October. The forums are offered for voters to meet and ask questions of the candidates to help voters prepare to make their educated vote on Election Day.

• Special-interest networks: Among the chamber’s five special-interest groups, the newest network created in October 2020 is the Business Inclusion & Opportunities Council. This new group’s focus is to advance and facilitate an environment for diverse business owners and professionals to grow and foster productive business relationships. The council has set goals in the areas of advocacy, diversity, competitive business opportunities and chamber membership engagement. The council  advocates for creating a diverse and welcoming business community for business leaders of diverse cultures to get involved and serve our community.

The chamber is always working for our members and striving to advance our business community of greater Westerville. Go to the events page at westervillechamber.com for more information.

Janet Tressler-Davis is the president and CEO of the Westerville Area Chamber.