Commerce

Bolender to Depart Fayette Chamber of Commerce

After three and a half years, Julie Bolender is leaving her place as President of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.

“Julie has carried out an unbelievable job throughout her tenure as President of the Chamber,” stated Dr. Tom Bailey, Chairman of the Board, “from rising membership and company traders of the Chamber annually, to providing members a full spectrum of assist and companies, in addition to rising our many occasions and bringing 1000’s of patrons to Fayette County annually, she has led our Chamber exceptionally.”

Bolender not too long ago accepted a place in her hometown of Hillsboro, Ohio, because the Financial Director of Highland County.

Whereas President, the Chamber grew to over 300 members, a various affiliation from the numerous locally-owned companies and regional employers, to neighborhood organizations and non secular establishments, in addition to many agricultural operations throughout the county.

In its seventy fifth yr of existence, the mission of the native Chamber of Commerce is “to advance the civic, financial and social welfare of the individuals of Fayette County.”

Because the President of the Chamber, Bolender acts as a liaison and advocate for native companies and organizations to numerous authorities businesses. Constructing partnerships with the Metropolis of Washington Courtroom Home and Fayette County, the Chamber has created many initiatives to deliver certified candidates into the native workforce.

From serving to create the primary dedication letter signing days with graduating seniors to native employers, to constructing a robust relationship with the Small Enterprise Growth Heart and the Group Enchancment Company, in addition to networking alternatives via after-hour occasions and commerce reveals, Bolender has helped discover artistic methods to construct and recruit a certified workforce in Fayette County.

Throughout Bolender’s tenure as President, the Chamber’s many area people and civic occasions additionally noticed exponential progress.

Kicking off the yr, the Groundhog’s Day Breakfast has grown to over 400 attendees, celebrating the neighborhood’s native enterprise and agricultural energy of the county. That includes visitor audio system, a full meal, and the occasional celeb groundhog look, this enjoyable occasion celebrates the hopefully quickly arrival of spring in Fayette County.

Every April, member companies and organizations have the chance to have fun Administrative Professionals Day by sending their appreciated help to a luncheon on the Chamber the place they’ll get pleasure from a soothing afternoon in addition to have many alternatives to earn prizes from varied native companies.

In one of many largest occasions of the yr, the Chamber formally kicks off summer season locally Fayette County’s Toast to Summer season and Sizzling Air Balloon Glow. Partnering with the Fayette County Pilots and Pals Affiliation and Fayette County Journey and Tourism, this landmark occasion brings over 6,000 attendees from a number of states to get pleasure from a night of wine tasting, artwork present, native meals distributors, beer backyard, stay music, bi-plane rides, fireworks, and ends with a powerful sizzling air balloon glow.

Annually throughout the Truthful, the Chamber groups up with the Fayette Agricultural Society and Journey and Tourism to current “A Night time on the Races,” with thrilling harness racing within the historic grandstands. Because the occasion has outgrown the night time, the festivities will now be generally known as “Group Day on the Races,” with dachshund races starting at midday, adopted by horses at 4:00 PM via the night.

To begin the college yr off on the correct path, the Chamber hosts their annual scholarship golf outing on the primary Friday of September, elevating 1000’s of {dollars} in proceeds to learn many graduating seniors of Washington Excessive Faculty, Miami Hint, and Fayette Christian.

The Chamber closes out the calendar yr with a busy Thanksgiving weekend in Small Enterprise Saturday and the annual Christmas Parade.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Fayette County joins small communities throughout the nation to have fun “Small Enterprise Saturday.” As an accredited accomplice with American Categorical, the Chamber makes use of the platform initiative marketing campaign all through the month of November to advertise “buying small” for the vacations.

“We wish our neighborhood to know that almost all of the items they wish to buy may be discovered at a locally-owned enterprise in Fayette County,” defined Bolender. “From retail buying, to companies and eating places, there’s a present for everybody in your record proper right here.”

Door prizes are given away all through Small Enterprise Saturday, many valued at over $1,000, to encourage individuals to buy within the number of shops throughout the neighborhood.

“It’s an incredible day the place our native companies come collectively to advertise one another and promote Fayette County as an entire.”

The Chamber’s yr of occasions ends with the annual Christmas parade, that includes floats from organizations throughout the neighborhood, native college marching bands, and Santa Claus. Households now have the chance to get their image taken with Santa on the Chamber workplace throughout the day’s winter festivities.

As Bolender lead occasions pulling 1000’s of eventgoers to patronize the companies and organizations of Fayette County, she has additionally continued to supply sturdy academic, networking, and sponsorship alternatives, present entry to member-only packages and reductions, lead security council, and supply group score reductions for medical health insurance and Staff’ Compensation.

“Offering insurance coverage to workers as a small enterprise is usually a troublesome and expensive course of,” defined Bolender, “so we provide our members the flexibility to supply insurance coverage via a Chamber group price, making their jobs extra attractive to potential workers.”

Bolender’s work with the Security Council and Bureau of Staff Compensation permits native members who attend month-to-month assembly edibility to obtain discount in staff comp insurance coverage premiums. This not solely supplies one other cost-saving measure to help locally-owned companies, but additionally strengthens the office circumstances and security of native workers.

Celebrating its Semisesquicentennial, the Chamber took on a brand new function in supporting the enterprise neighborhood this yr. Because the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on small companies the world over, the Chamber’s President aggressively sought methods and alternatives to assist the members navigate the unprecedented instances.

“Julie went above and past via her function as Chamber President to assist Fayette County throughout this previous yr’s hardships,” acknowledged Dr. Bailey, “she was integral in conserving our neighborhood secure and supported.”

“A variety of newsletters have been despatched,” laughed Bolender, “I attended as many info periods from the state and federal authorities, in addition to dove into the pages and pages of written orders to search out how they’d have an effect on our members and neighborhood, in addition to what assets and alternatives have been obtainable.”

Because the preliminary shutdowns, Bolender despatched over 100 updates to the Chamber members. This succinct e-newsletter featured info on what well being orders to observe, tips on how to function safely, and supply grant and mortgage alternatives so they may proceed to outlive throughout shutdowns.

Along with info, Bolender assisted county management in driving COVID-19 aid funding immediately again into the neighborhood.

As CARES Act funding turned obtainable, Fayette County Commissioners and Metropolis Supervisor Joe Denen applied an area grant program to facilitate the distribution of funds. Together with different members of the Group Enchancment Company, Bolender assisted the native officers in distributing grant {dollars} that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

“Each the county and metropolis knew the significance of supporting our native companies throughout these extremely arduous instances,” stated Bolender.

Along with funding, the Chamber partnered with the Metropolis to institute a provide share program. This program gave small companies that didn’t meet the operation dimension necessities the flexibility to obtain masks, hand sanitizer, and different vital PPE to function their enterprise in accordance to well being directives.

After three and a half years on the helm of the Chamber, Bolender is leaving Fayette County to reignite the financial growth workplace of Highland County as its director, a place that has gone unfilled since 2008.

“It was not a straightforward choice,” defined Bolender, “I really liked my time right here on the Chamber and with Fayette County.”

“I do not know tips on how to put into phrases how grateful I’m for the chance I’ve had for the final three and a half years,” continued Bolender, “the assist I’ve obtained from the board, our membership, and the neighborhood was the catalyst behind the whole lot we completed as a staff.”

Bolender’s final day because the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce President is Friday, Could 14th.

“Julie has been a blessing for the companies and neighborhood,” stated Bailey, “whereas we hate to see her go, we’re excited to see proceed to do nice issues in Highland County and throughout southern Ohio.”

Dr. Bailey stated the Chamber board is transferring swiftly to rent a brand new president so the Chamber can proceed to supply companies and assist to its members and the neighborhood with out interruption.

For these fascinated with making use of for the place of President, people should ship or drop off their resume, cowl letter, {and professional} references on the Chamber principal workplace downtown at 206 E Courtroom Avenue.

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