Dayton Area Chamber marks 115 years with Annual Meeting

DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed its membership to the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Center for its 116th Annual Meeting today (April 20, 2022), to review the chamber’s work supporting businesses in 2021, and look ahead to the remainder of 2022.

Keynote speaker Suzanne Clarke, first female president & CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Dayton native, spoke to the crowd about the role chambers of commerce play in defending free enterprise and ensuring a business-friendly environment.

2021 brought with it opportunity for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce to weigh in on impactful legislation that allowed businesses to navigate the effects of the pandemic more effectively. The chamber highlighted this work for an audience of nearly 500 people.


The chamber released its 2021 video Annual Report. Below are a few of the highlights of the chamber’s work in the previous year:

  • Business Advocacy
    • Successfully advocated for Senate Bill 105, which provides reciprocity for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses. Bill signed in January 2022.
    • Successfully advocated to pass H.B 2, creating Ohio’s first residential broadband expansion grant program.
    • Successfully advocated to expand the eligibility threshold for publicly funded childcare as part of HB 145, ensuring that more parents had the childcare necessary to return to work.
    • Opposed HB 248 and strongly advocated for policies which allowed businesses to manage their own vaccine and mask policies
    • Advocated to end the COVID-19 federal unemployment assistance benefit to get people back to work.
    • Advocated for an extension of the PPP application deadline and continued technical assistance for businesses navigating the process
  • Talent Alignment & Attraction
    • 19 Empower graduates; 52 Leadership Dayton graduates; 160 members of Generation Dayton
    • Launched cohesive branding initiative called “Livability Dayton,” taking a more modern approach to marketing the region to talent nationally
    • Via Talent360 and the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Forum, over 200 business leaders were connected with best practices and resources to attract, retain and promote the talent they need
    • Chaired the Business Leaders United (BLU) Statewide Workforce Advocacy Committee
  • Business Success
    • Members saved more than $5 million in business expenses through chamber savings programs
    • Launched the Winsupply Award from Entrepreneurial Excellence- recognizing two outstanding entrepreneurs in our community
    • Launched Project Enginuity, a national Small Business Innovation Research initiative, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, targeting Black, Hispanic and women founders – providing SBIR training to 57 businesses
    • Worked with a Del Mar Fellow, Cleveland State University & Claritas to identify barriers to success for minority businesses
    • Gathered business profile information for minority businesses in order to better access them, and quantify resource success
  • Organizational Accomplishments
    • Received a 5-Star Accreditation from U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    • Hosted 113 events with 2700+ attendees
    • Exceeded new member goal with 160 new members
    • Achieved 92% member retention rate
    • Doubled our reach on Facebook
    • 17% increase in LinkedIn followers
    • 117 earned media placements

With 2,200 members, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce continues to be among the top 25 largest chambers in the nation and one of only 200 chambers of commerce in the country with a 5-star accreditation, as awarded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s video featured local spoken word artist, Mariah J. Mariah is a Dayton Public Schools employee, and a graduate of Stivers School for the Arts and Wright State University.

View the chamber’s 2021 Annual Report video

Award Recipients

During the chamber’s Annual Meeting, the following individuals and business members were also recognized:

  • altafiber – John H. Patterson Corporate Partner Award
  • Miami Valley Child Development Centers – Jonathan Dayton Public Partner Award
  • Evelyn Ritzi, The Ohlmann Group – Phillip L. Parker Volunteer of the Year
  • Sentinel – Soin Award for Innovation (Additional Press Release Available)
  • Mile Two and Skanska USA – Premier Health Diversity & Inclusion Award

2021 Retiring Board Members 

  • David Abney, Wise Construction Co.
  • Jo Alice Blondin, Clark State University
  • Jocelin Dean, Sinclair Community College
  • Dennis Grant, United Rehabilitation Services of Greater Dayton
  • Beth Grubb
  • Jennifer Harrison, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
  • Erin Rolfes, Kroger
  • Nan Whaley
  • Bill Whistler, Shook Construction Co.

2021 Retiring Committee Chairs

  • Antoinette Hampton (Chamber Challenge Golf Outing)
  • Jocelin Dean (Generation Dayton)
  • Doug Anspach (Leadership Dayton)
  • Diane Pleiman (Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, Public Policy Oversight)
  • Dave McNerney (Marketing & Communications Oversight)
  • Doug Barry (Membership Oversight)
  • Jacqueline Gamblin (Governance Oversight)
  • Lisa Couture (Volunteerism)
  • Doug Cleaves (Workforce & Economic Development Oversight)



The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce brings together more than 2,200 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 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 or 937-226-1444.