State of Troy Chamber is good


By Eamon Baird

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TROY — The Troy Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual State of the Chamber event at Hobart Arena on Thursday, Jan. 18, for members to learn about programs from 2023 and look forward to 2024.

Chamber Executive Director Kathi Roetter, who has been involved with the chamber for 10 years, spoke to members at this year’s event.

“What we’re going to do today is just take a look at what happened in 2023. And the truth of the matter is there was way more going on than we could put in this afternoon. So, these are just the highlights,” Roetter said.

In 2023, the Troy Chamber of Commerce welcomed 64 new members to bring total membership to 485 with an 82% retention rate. The chamber also held 125 in person last year, a 50% increase from 2022.

The largest event of 2023 was the annual Troy Strawberry Festival, which took place in downtown Troy June 3-4 last year. The year 2023 was the first year the chamber helped oversee the annual festival.

“We started wondering if we were using our resources wisely, and the Strawberry Organization. So, we worked hard with the Strawberry Festival Steering Committee, and we made some decisions together to dissolve the Strawberry Festival as a standalone organization and to bring it in as a committee of the Chamber of Commerce,” Roetter said.

“The cool thing about the Strawberry Festival last year we did was fundraising for 62 local nonprofits. And it was the second year in a row that the majority of our nonprofits said that they had record sales, which is just absolutely crazy,” Roetter added.

Roetter said that between 175,000 and 200,000 people attended last year’s Strawberry Festival, which generated over $500,000 in net profits for food vendors and non-profit organizations.

“It is a great weekend. It’s fun, and the truth is we could not do that festival without our partnership with the city of Troy. So, I want to thank them as well,” Roetter said.

Roetter also addressed the construction on West Main Street, which caused issues for residents and local businesses.

“We want to make sure that there’s not a barrier to doing business or for people to come to our businesses,” Roetter said.

One important local business program Roetter talked about is the Chamber Support Local Troy Ohio Digital Gift Card Program, in which $21,000 gift cards were purchased and $18,700 worth redeemed at Troy small businesses in 2023.

“The chamber board invested in this, and we love that because it’s keeping the money here in our local economy,” Roetter said.

A recent program that the chamber added last year was “Lunch with 12 Strangers,” a networking event for chamber members.

“If you’re not familiar with this, it truly is what it sounds like,” Roetter said. “You go to one of our member restaurants, and you meet with people that maybe you wouldn’t normally have lunch with.”

Another event the chamber hosts is “Coffee of Champions,” where members meet weekly to discuss a business or leadership topic.

“It’s a great opportunity to really dive in and learn from other people who may be thinking differently than you are. It’s a safe environment. So, we can talk about anything that we want to talk about. And just take time to understand each other, as well as network with each other,” Roetter said.

Roetter also said the Troy Chamber is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which she says has been working hard to pass bipartisan legal immigration reform to help find people to fill empty jobs.

“We want to make sure that we are a business-friendly community; we want to make sure that there are barriers to people doing business in Troy,” Roetter said.

At the end of the meeting, Roetter acknowledged and thanked chamber’s staff, including President Joseph Graves, Membership and Program Director Shelby Chaney, and Administrative Assistant Hannah McCartney.

“The state of our chamber is good. And the state of the chamber has been because we have a strong team,” Roetter said in her closing remarks.

Anyone interested in becoming a Troy Area Chamber of Commerce member or learning more about its programs or events can visit www.troyohiochamber.

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