Welcome to The Carnation City!

The Alliance Chamber of Commerce, located in Alliance, Ohio, has been a staple in the community for over 90 years, providing leadership to its members, protecting their interests while promoting their businesses.

With a membership totaling over 400, the Chamber's tradition of community leadership continues strong into the 21st century.

2015-16 One Book One Community Selection Made

"Deadly Wandering" by Matt Richtel, has been selected as the featured read of the Alliance area One Book One Community program for 2015-16, according to the organization's executive committee.

The book weaves the true story of a mysterious fatal car accident and its aftermath with the science behind attention impediments that will have readers realizing the dangers of driving while distracted. According to the book's back cover, the science of attention can help us answer some of the defining questions of our time: What is technology doing to us? Can our minds keep up with the pace of change? How can we find balance?

Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is a reporter for the "New York Times" where he has covered a wide range of issues. He authored a series of articles that drew national acclaim exposing the risks of distracted driving and its root causes, prompting widespread reform.

"Deadly Wandering" was selected among dozens of books that were nominated by members of the Alliance community, according to Pat Stone, director of Rodman Public Library, who chairs the committee.

"This is the 13th year of One Book One Community in the Alliance area, and we are always looking for a book with broad appeal and combining the selection with the availability of the author," Stone said. "With 'Deadly Wandering' we have a book that does a terrific job of combining a riveting plot with the science behind why certain things happen. Readers of the book will no doubt have second thoughts about being distracted while behind the wheel."

Stone said the programming leading to the author's appearance will begin in January and there will be at least three community discussions prior to the author's appearance. Richtel has committed to appearing in Alliance on Sunday, April 3 at 7 p.m. at Union Avenue United Methodist Church adjacent to the Mount Union campus. He will also be visiting area high schools the following day.

"We would not have the opportunity to bring the author to Alliance if not for the resources provided by our partners, including the Friends of Rodman Public Library, University of Mount Union, The Greater Alliance Foundation and 'The Review,'" Stone said. "We are also pleased to report that a number of teachers in area schools have committed to teaching from the book.

"Deadly Wandering," is available at the University Bookstore and Rodman Public Library for $10. Several copies also will be available for checkout at Rodman Public Library and the University of Mount Union Library.

Chamber News & Upcoming Events

Len Komoroski, CEO of Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena to Speak at 2016 Chamber Annual Dinner

The 2016 Annual Meeting of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce will be held on Tuesday, April 5th at Courtney's Banquet Center. This year's speaker will be Len Komoroski, Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization.

The organization includes the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL), Cleveland Gladiators (AFL), and Canton Charge (NBADL). In addition, he plays a leadership role for business operations and business-related endeavors for Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert's family of sports and entertainment interests in Ohio. He is also a principal in Rock Gaming, which operates Horseshoe Casino Cleveland. Most recently, he played a significant leadership role in securing Cleveland as the host city for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

With more than 30 years of experience in pro sports and entertainment, Komoroski's leadership has helped set a solid business foundation from which the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lake Erie Monsters, Cleveland Gladiators, Canton Charge and Quicken Loans Arena have flourished into one of the most successfully operated sports and entertainment organizations in the country.

Komoroski joined the Cavaliers organization in 2003 as president. In his first year he restructured and transformed how the Cavaliers approached the business community; assembled a team of top sports marketing pros; transformed the organization's communications efforts; and oversaw the development of one of the most dynamic game experiences in the NBA. Other accomplishments at the helm of the Cavaliers business operations include playing pivotal roles in developing one of the top cable television relationships in the NBA with Fox Sports Ohio, as well as securing the entitlement of the Cavaliers new state-of-the-art player development center - Cleveland Clinic Courts. He also played a leadership role in the acquisition of the Monsters (AHL), Charge (NBDL) and Gladiators (AFL). In addition, he was instrumental in establishing The Q's new relationship with Cleveland State University to promote CSU Vikings basketball and book events at the Wolstein Center.

The Cavaliers franchise has been repeatedly recognized within the pro sports team industry (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and MLS) as one of five finalists for Sports Business Journal's prestigious "Sports Team of the Year" award in recent years. The award recognizes excellence, creativity and innovation in franchise business operations

As one of the seven Principles of Rock Gaming, Komoroski played an instrumental role in bringing first-class, full-service casino gaming to downtown Cleveland and Cincinnati along with thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of positive economic impact for local and statewide communities.

Very active as a community and civic leader, he serves on the board of directors of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, the Cleveland State University Foundation, Destination Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland chapters of the American Red Cross and United Way. He is also a trustee for Cleveland Clinic's Hillcrest Hospital. Komoroski was named Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland's (SME) 2013 Business Executive of the Year, and in 2014 received the PRSA John Hill Award for his outstanding understanding and support of communications by an organization's president or chief executive officer.

Prior to joining the Cavaliers organization, Komoroski was the Senior Vice President and Chief of Business Operations with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles (1996-2003). There, he played a pivotal role in the Eagles' growth and business success, which included bringing the Eagles Television Network in-house and helping to develop the Eagles training facility and then broker the record-setting, multi-million dollar naming rights deal for the NovaCare Complex. He also helped lead the development of Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles state-of-the-art stadium and secured a 20-year, $140 million naming rights agreement with Lincoln Financial Group which, at the time, was one of the largest such agreements in pro sports history.

Prior to the Eagles, Komoroski was the Senior Vice President and COO of the International Hockey League's (IHL) Cleveland Lumberjacks (1994-96). The team was one of three profitable IHL teams in 1996. His first stint in the NBA was with Minnesota Timberwolves as Vice President of Sales (1988-1994); there he played a major role in the start-up of the team and its arena, the Target Center.

Komoroski is a 1982 cum laude graduate of Duquesne University. He and his wife Denise have three daughters - Kristin, Kelly, Jamie and a son, Zachary.

The Annual Meeting begins with a social hour and cash bar at 5:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:00 p.m. This year's sponsors include Ermlich/Goris-Meadows/McConnell Insurance; Eastern Stark Co. Safety Council; Consumers National Bank and Uptown Auto Service LLC. Additional sponsorships are still available. You will be receiving your invitation in the mail soon. You won't want to miss this annual event

For more information call the Chamber office at 330-823-6260.

STARK COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS' BUREAU TO BECOME INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATION

The Stark County Convention and Visitors' Bureau (CVB) has announced that it is taking the final steps necessary to become an independent organization.

The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and CVB have been working together to develop plans to separate the two organizations and create an independent CVB. A special committee comprised of representatives from both organizations, in conjunction with the Stark County Commissioners' office, laid the groundwork for this transition over several months.

The CVB, funded by lodging tax which is administered through the Stark County Commissioners, has existed as a department of the Chamber since the CVB's inception in 1980. Leadership from both organizations agree that the timing is right to elevate the CVB's position within the community to allow for future growth. The impact of travel and tourism in Stark County has grown exponentially over recent years, giving the CVB the financial viability to stand as its own entity. Achieving an independent CVB for Stark County has been a long-term objective for both organizations; self-supported CVBs are the industry standard across the country.

"Recognizing the increasing opportunities within the travel and tourism industry was a real catalyst for the creation of an independent organization," said Anne Graffice, CVB chairwoman. "The primary objective is to position the CVB as a driver for economic growth and to serve the region as experts in travel and tourism."

Mark Fleiner, Chamber Board senior vice chairman and liaison to this project agreed, "The landscape of travel and tourism in our region is changing and growing. We believe that now is the time to lift the CVB "up and out" as an independent entity positioned to develop and grow the impact of travel and tourism in the region."

The CVB and Chamber will continue to work closely in several ways. Not only will the two organizations continue to collaborate on a number of regional projects, they will continue to maintain shared office space at 222 Market Ave N in downtown Canton, as well as certain shared services, including accounting, graphic design and IT support. This allows both organizations to maximize efficiency and synergy. The CVB will be moving to street-level office space to allow for maximum exposure for visitors.

"This is an exciting time not only for the CVB, but for Stark County and the surrounding region," said Allyson Bussey, Interim Executive Director of the CVB. "With plans for projects like the Hall of Fame Village, the increase in the arts and cultural landscape and the addition of almost 800 new hotels rooms in Stark County, our organization is ready to embrace these opportunities. We are truly thankful for the Chamber's support for the CVB, which has helped us grow over the past three decades and now as we move forward independently."

Questions regarding the CVB becoming an independent entity should be directed to Chairwoman, Anne Graffice at: 330.823.2030

More Chamber News...

** REMEMBER ATHENA SCHOLARSHIP IN YOUR ANNUAL GIVING **

The Woman of the Year/Athena Scholarship Fund was established in 2013, thanks to the generosity of the Alliance community, and the collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Alliance Foundation. The scholarship is awarded to a female graduating senior who exemplifies community service, academic achievement and leadership potential. The honoree must reside within Alliance City, Marlington Local, Sebring or West Branch Local School districts, and must attend and anticipate graduation from one of those schools or from St Thomas Aquinas.

Alexandrea Garrett was the first scholarship recipient and she is a pre-med student at North- east Ohio Medical University (NEOMED.) Alexis Austin is the 2015 scholarship recipient and she is headed to Capital University to study pediatric nursing.

Alexandrea Garrett was the first scholarship recipient and she is a pre-med student at North- east Ohio Medical University (NEOMED.) Alexis Austin is the 2015 scholarship recipient and she is headed to Capital University to study pediatric nursing.

The charitable fund agreement with the Greater Alliance Foundation stipulates that the scholarship is paid directly to the college or university in which the honoree is enrolled. It is hoped that this scholarship, awarded annually, will continue in perpetuity. Please consider this worthwhile initiative in your charitable giving! Your tax deductible donation can be in honor of, or in memory of a significant woman in your life and is payable to the Greater Alliance Foundation. Simply write "Athena Scholarship" on the memo line and mail to the Foundation.

Thanking you for your support!

Woman of the Year/Athena Scholarship committee

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