ENGLEWOOD — Cathy Hutton, CEO of the Northmont Area Chamber of Commerce, has announced that she will be retiring in approximately six months.
She became CEO in March 2000. During her tenure she has seen many changes take place in the local communities while she implemented new initiatives to strengthen the chamber.
Hutton started the ‘Leadership Program,’ which was in place for about six years.
“Businesses sent their top employees to participate and after six years all of the local top employees had gone through the program, so we ended it,” Hutton said.
The Leadership Program involved nine months of training each year. Participants examined what was going on in the local area as well as at the county and state level and toured facilities to learn about leadership roles in industries and to learn about businesses located in the Northmont community.
Hutton also launched PINGS (Professionals In Networking Grow Success) weekly luncheon meetings, which featured guest speakers discussing various business topics of interest.
She also launched the ‘Taste of Northmont’ featuring local restaurants and caterers where guests could sample food offerings and beverages from a cash bar. The event became a huge social event with people not just sampling food and drinks, but engaging in conversations and often re-connecting with long lost friends. The event has been held for the last three years in the clubhouse at Meadowbrook at Clayton.
Hutton also expanded the annual Community Business EXPO held annually at the Salem Church of God.
She also changed the annual Business Networking Golf Outing from an afternoon to a morning event, which increased attendance.
The community address, featuring leaders from the cities of Clayton, Englewood and Union as well as Northmont City Schools discussing recent developments and initiatives, is now included as part of the annual chamber dinner meeting.
“We also host occasional Professionals Day events and the Direct Seller Showcase,” Hutton noted.
The Direct Seller Showcase has been held at the Kleptz Early Learning Center. It enables area vendors to showcase the products they sell from their home-based business ventures.
“We do more legislative events in conjunction with other local chambers, bringing in elected officials to deliver speeches with information of interest for local voters,” Hutton said.
She is also part of two state associations and a member of those boards. She is a member of the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance, which is where all of the chamber benefits come from. She is a member of the board of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio.
The chamber is also heavily involved in the Miami Valley Military Affairs Association. Hutton serves as the assistant secretary attending events held at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and at other area venues.
During her tenure Hutton has witnessed growth and business development take place in the communities and upgrades to school facilities.
“I’ve seen Northmont City Schools get new buildings and I have seen improved cooperation among the three cities,” she noted.
“It has been a great experience,” Hutton added. “Twenty years of meeting new people, learning more about the community and all of the people that live here, and I have had a great group to work with at the chamber.”
“I feel like we have been blessed to have her,” said Aaron Flatter, chamber board chairman. “I hate to see her go.”
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @RonNunnari