Maximizing the Middle
West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance staff, front row, from left: Julie Abrams, Account Representative - Membership Services; Karen Louder, Account Executive - Membership Services; Pamela Gruber, Director - Marketing and Public Relations; Kenni Blaché, Director - Membership Services and Leadership 21 Facilitator; back row, from left: Kathy Rambo, Vice President - Special Events; Bob Wiwi, Small Business Advocate; Joe Hinson, President and Chief Executive Officer; Mike Powell, CPA, Chief Financial Officer; Kelly Moore, Administrative Coordinator and NEXT YP Liaison.
Photo provided by Michelle Lloyd
As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to name the Cincinnati-Dayton region a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) by as early as this year, the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance is embracing the many economic opportunities – as well as the challenges – the designation will present to the local business community.
“As West Chester’s Central Business District continues to mature, and Liberty Township’s CBD develops further north, the sphere of influence in our region will gradually shift to focus more toward the middle of our region,” says Joe Hinson, president and chief executive officer of The Chamber Alliance. “We’re experiencing that today as industry leaders consolidate their offices into one central location – West Chester and Liberty Townships, flanked by Cincinnati-Dayton.”
The vision of Cox Road extending north to State Route 63 along the east side of Interstate 75, and a new, full interchange at I-75 and Milliken Road in Liberty Township are further examples of economic “game changers” for the region..
“Of course, as West Chester and Liberty continue to grow, we will continue to have the expected challenges of a transient area along I-75 between Cincinnati and Dayton (the I-75 Growth Corridor),” Hinson says. “We are positioned for continuous development over the next decade and beyond. Both townships have embraced the challenges of a growing metropolis and will continue to manage them through their comprehensive master plans.”
Infused with a strong, collaborative spirit to help economic growth, The Chamber Alliance recently established a one-stop business assistance center at their headquarters in West Chester. Aptly dubbed “The HUB” (Helping Unleash Business), organizations offering services for assisting small business owners are now gathered under one roof.
The organizations joining The Chamber Alliance include SCORE (a non-profit dedicated to helping small businesses accelerate to the next level); and Access Business Finance (providing financial and technical resources for small to mid-market businesses).
The HUB, according to Hinson, is a step toward fulfilling The Chamber Alliance’s mission to establish West Chester and Liberty as the region’s business epicenter.
“The timing is right,” he says. “The economy is growing, so when you can have more than one helpful entity under one roof, it’s good for business attraction and retention, good for the economy and therefore, good for the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance and our valued partners SCORE and Access Business Finance.”
As the region’s third largest organization representing the interests of about 750 member businesses from Northern Kentucky to Dayton, The Chamber Alliance helps advance the business community through what it calls “Chambernomics” – educational forums, government advocacy, special events, member benefit programs, leadership development, networking opportunities and regional collaboration.
In addition to the business magnet quality of the two townships’ strategic geographical location, the Lakota School District also draws residential and economic growth to the area, Hinson says. “We are positioned ideally to accommodate corporate America in our diverse, global economy. People can move here from anywhere around the world and enjoy all our wonderful amenities, easy interstate access and a great school district while at the same time living close to their place of employment from Cincinnati to Dayton. It’s a great place to raise a family.”
Working within the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance requires a “pay it forward” servant’s mentality, he adds. “If you’re part of The Chamber Alliance team, you’re here to help others be successful, looking to make a positive impact on a daily basis. Our culture is team-oriented. We look at the short- and long-term sustainability of our member businesses. It’s all important.”
The West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance’s real passion, according to Hinson, is knowing that what they do day in and day out makes a difference in the local and regional business climate and in residents’ lives.
“Management guru Peter Drucker is quoted as saying, ‘The best way to predict your future is to create it.’ This opportunity to create our future is not found just anywhere. It is truly unique. We recognize how fortunate we are and take our responsibility as a business leader seriously. How often does a community, West Chester and Liberty, have an opportunity like this?”
The Chamber Alliance’s tag line? “Connecting people and possibilities.” When you’re in a leadership role, you have the opportunity, a responsibility, to illustrate how to conduct business, says Hinson. “We set the tone for the local business climate by providing a business-friendly environment, and that is contagious.”
Hinson cites The Chamber Alliance’s collective energy as one of many contributers to transforming the area once known merely as a place to stop and get gas into a bustling business epicenter. The I-75 Growth Corridor is now heralded for housing the bioscience/medical, logistics, supply chain management, aerospace and light manufacturing industries. And there’s no doubt in Hinson’s mind that, with The Chamber Alliance and The HUB playing key roles, business and residential growth will continue in the area for years to come.
“With West Chester and Liberty Townships leading the way, the I-75 Growth Corridor is a hot spot for businesses and residences alike,” Hinson says. “It’s an area poised and ready for sustainable success.”
The West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance is located at 8922 Beckett Road, West Chester Township, OH 45069. For more information, call 513.777.3600 or visit www.thechamberalliance.com.