The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced the approval and initial implementation of a new Executive Management Structure. The revised organizational structure comes as a result of Chamber’s recent Strategic Planning efforts.
Some positions remain virtually unchanged, while others look markedly different. No staff positions were downsized during the process; this was solely a realignment of skills and talents to best serve the organization and community at large.
- Denny Saunier will continue to serve as President & CEO, focusing heavily on economic development, major community initiatives, governmental and peer stakeholder relations, and strategic plan oversight.
- David Kaminski has been promoted to Vice President of Public Policy and Energy, helping lead the Chamber’s public policy agenda while continuing to manage oil and gas programming.
- Joanne Murray has been promoted to Vice President of Community Events & Sponsorships. In her role leading the newly created Events Department, she will continue to oversee the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, as well as the Chamber’s downtown and business events. She will also manage sponsorships for all events.
- Chris Gumpp will continue to assist Joanne Murray in all aspects of the Events Department as Director of Community Events & Sponsorships. Her role includes oversight of cash and in-kind sponsorships as well as heavy involvement in all event planning activities.
- Mike Gill has been promoted to Vice President of Economic Development and will lead the Economic Development Department. His role includes oversight of downtown and regional economic development.
- Eric Smer will assist Mike Gill in economic development efforts as Director of Community and Workforce Development.As part of this role, he will continue to oversee ystark! (the Chamber’s young professionals initiative).
- Collyn Floyd will serve as Director of Marketing & Public Relations, directing and implementing marketing strategies, public and media relations, and advertising campaigns on behalf of the Chamber.
- Denise Burton will serve as Director of Membership Programs & Services, focusing on growing Chamber membership and engaging existing members through programs, events, and membership benefits.
- Kathy Irwin will serve as Director of Finance & Accounting. Her role is to perform and oversee accounting functions for the Chamber and its related entities.
In 2013 and early 2014, the Chamber held a series of conversations with its members, board of directors, and business and community leaders to discuss how the organization could better serve the region. This collaborative planning process resulted in a forward-looking five-year plan for the Chamber, comprised of six broad goals that would lead the organization toward a strong future.
With those goals now serving as a guide, the staff has realigned to best achieve the objectives within each goal. The new structure also helps deliver more efficient and effective programs and services, while advancing the Chamber’s mission.
The Chamber currently has two vacant leadership positions: Executive Director of the Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau and Director of Leadership Programs, both of which the Chamber hopes to fill in the near future.
“A search is underway for the position of Executive Director of the CVB,” said Saunier. “Tourism plays a crucial role in regional economic development, so the selection of an experienced individual is a top priority for this growing business segment.”
“Also, Stephanie Werren, Assistant Director of Leadership Stark County, has taken on additional responsibilities following the departure of Fran Wells in mid-February. In coming weeks, I will be working with Darren Faye, chairman of Leadership’s board, to find a permanent replacement for the position of director,” added Saunier.