DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce announced today the promotion of two of its long time executives, each of whom has contributed to the many chamber accomplishments attained over the last decade and beyond.
Linda Ashworth, who until now has served as Vice President, Operations; will assume a new role as VP, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chris Kershner, CAE, who has been the chamber’s Vice President, Public Policy & Economic Development, will assume the new position of Executive Vice President.
Linda Ashworth – VP, COO
Linda Ashworth has a long history as a chamber leader. She joined the chamber in 1994 and in 2005, was named Executive Director of the Chamber’s EPI Foundation. Ashworth’s responsibilities include all financial operations for the chamber and its Education and Public Improvement (EPI) Foundation. She also oversees the chamber’s membership, management information systems, human resource functions and Dayton International Airport marketing efforts on behalf of the chamber.
Outside of her chamber duties, Ashworth is well known throughout the community for her volunteer work and involvement in professional and business-related organizations. She is a graduate of Leadership Dayton and the University of Dayton’s Emerging Leader Program and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Ashworth is also an active volunteer with the TWIGS Auxiliary of Dayton Children’s Hospital and has served on the boards for Clothes that Work, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley, Humane Society of Greater Dayton, and on various committees for the YWCA of Dayton and the March of Dimes.
“Linda’s contribution to the internal operations here at the chamber have proven invaluable, but she’s also taken on an important leadership role in the community,” said Phil Parker, president & CEO, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “She has provided an extraordinary example of servant leadership for our business members and the young professionals on our staff. I believe her new role will allow her to take even more ownership over the chamber’s future.”
Chris Kershner – Executive Vice President
Chris Kershner joined the chamber in 2005 after a career serving the United States Senate and the Ohio Speaker of the House as well as managing multiple political campaigns. Kershner has been able to apply his knowledge of the governmental and political processes and economic development to benefit the business community in the Dayton region. Kershner’s responsibilities include oversight of public policy and government affairs, business and economic development and the business training and development programming at the chamber. He is a member and certified lobbyist with the Ohio Lobbying Association and is a registered lobbyist with the State of Ohio. Kershner serves as the chief lobbyist for the chamber on legislative issues. In 2016, he achieved the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).
Most recently, Kershner led the statewide coalition to defeat Ohio Issue 3, which would have allowed for medical and recreational marijuana use in the state and created a monopoly for marijuana growers. In 2015, Kershner launched the Dayton Area Logistics Association, a program of the Dayton Area Chamber focused on the transportation and logistics sector and its supporters. Kershner has also helped to secure $1.2 billion in local infrastructure support and led the advocacy initiative to eliminate state income tax on retired military veterans in the state of Ohio.
“Throughout his more than 10 years at the chamber, Chris has driven its business advocacy forward, providing a strong voice for the Dayton region’s business community. He’s also helped lead the operations of the organization, setting us up for strategic growth,” Parker said. “I believe Chris is more than deserving of this new role and will continue to guide the chamber in new directions to ensure we meet the needs of the region’s ever evolving business make-up.”
Kershner has been deeply involved in several organizations outside the chamber. He was appointed in 2011 by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Ohio Department of Transportation Review & Advisory Council (TRAC). Kershner also serves on the Washington Center Alumni Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Logistics Committee and the Employment, Education and Workforce Committee. Locally, Chris serves as the vice president of the Dayton Regional STEM School Board of Trustees.
About Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce brings together more than 2,400 businesses and organizations in a 9 county area surrounding Dayton, Ohio. The chamber strives to improve the region’s business climate and overall standard of living through public policy advocacy, economic development initiatives and providing networking and training opportunities for its members. Nationally awarded with ‘5-Star Accreditation’ from the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Dayton Area Chamber is widely recognized for its innovative programs and outstanding contribution to positive change in the region. Information about the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is available at daytonchamber.org or 937-226-1444.