Chris Kershner, CAE, IOM
President & CEO
As president & CEO, Chris Kershner leads the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, an organization recognized in the top 1% of chambers of commerce nationally and top tier accredited organization in business advocacy, corporate services & economic development. As a private business organization in a nine-county region, Chris understands the unique needs of a metropolitan business community that represents a diverse membership of over 2,200 businesses. In addition, Chris oversees the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Public Improvement Foundation, a 501c(3) foundation.
As a leader in business advocacy, Chris championed the creation of the “Dayton Regional Employers Against Marijuana” (DREAM) coalition, which aided in the defeat of the 2015 marijuana monopoly state ballot issue. In 2017, Chris managed the “Brunch Bill” campaign, a successful local ballot issue that extended alcohol hours for local restaurants serving brunch. Additionally, Chris continues to direct the chamber’s involvement in the transportation and infrastructure advocacy initiatives that have realized more than $1.1 billion in transportation investments.
Evolving with the business community, Chris directed the chamber’s creation of nationally recognized programs, Generation Dayton, the Dayton Area Logistics Association and Empower, a first of its kind leadership program for women navigating the pathways to executive corporate leadership.
Chris was appointed by Ohio Governors Mike DeWine and John Kasich to serve on the Ohio Department of Transportation’s, Transportation Review & Advisory Council (TRAC). Chris serves in Washington D.C. on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100, The Washington Center Alumni Advisory Board and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Logistics Committee. Locally, Chris volunteers as the Vice President of the Dayton Regional STEM School Board of Trustees, the Vice-Chair of the Greater Dayton Foreign Trade Zone, the Downtown Dayton Partnership Board of Trustees and the Montgomery County ED/GE Committee.
Chris earned his BA in Political Science from Wright State University and his Masters of Public Administration from Walden University. Additionally, Chris is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management (IOM), a Certified Association Executive (CAE) through the American Society of Association Executives and a graduate of Leadership Dayton. Chris previously served on staff for the Ohio Speaker of the House and the United States Senate.
Chris resides in Clearcreek Township with his wife Lori, and daughters Morgan and Tatum.