Our Mission

Drive economic growth and prosperity for Greater Akron by supporting the success of the business community and acting as a convener of stakeholders on key issues facing the region.


Lead Greater!

From the Chair and the President and CEO
of the Greater Akron Chamber

Marc B.

Chair of the Board
of the Greater Akron Chamber

Managing Partner Brouse McDowell


President & CEO Greater Akron Chamber

Marc Merklin | Chair

Steve Millard | President & CEO

The year 2018 represented a pivotal time for the Chamber: new leadership, new partnerships, new strategies and new resources.  We are excited to share the work we have been doing and where our focus will be to play our part in driving the growth and success of Greater Akron.


Advance Greater Akron was our five-year economic development campaign completed in 2018 and, in conjunction with private and public partners in Medina, Portage and Summit Counties we exceeded our goals for regional investment, job creation and retention.


In just 2018, $783 million was invested in Medina, Portage and Summit Counties. The total investment occupied nearly 4 million square feet of commercial and industrial property and resulted in the creation of 2,926 jobs and retention of 6,173 jobs. Total payroll created was nearly $119 million.


Over the past five years of the Advance Greater Akron initiative, from 2014-2018, a total of more than $3 billion was invested in the Tri-County region—surpassing our goal of 2 billion! Highlights from some of the most significant projects completed are included in this report.


Early in 2018, we began a process of deep engagement with the City of Akron and Summit County focused on aligning our work and partnering more closely on economic development within Greater Akron.  Based on a deep dive into the fundamentals of our regional economy with our region’s core city and our largest county, we’ve developed a shared economic development strategy and an approach to collaboration that is unprecedented here and rare for any metropolitan area.


That plan—Elevate Greater Akron—seeks to create a transformative, highly functioning, and collaborative economic development system for the region.  It creates a unified focus so that each of those many entities can do what they do best in better coordination with the other partners in the system. Elevate Greater Akron is changing the way we work with our partners; coordinate our efforts; and, leverage the resources we have for the greatest possible impact for the companies and the people that call Greater Akron home.


With new chamber leadership in place in the second half of 2018 and a desire to think about the future of our work, we engaged with more than 300 members and leaders to get their ideas about what’s next for the chamber.  Our planning process identified the priorities that were most important for our work and the strategies that could take us forward.  We thought it was important to set a strong enough direction for our work to enable us to begin acting on the ideas and opportunities quickly.  We also acknowledged that with big changes in our community, emerging partnerships and the newness of the Elevate Greater Akron strategy our direction must evolve over time.  As a result, our chamber “Blueprint” was created to outline key competencies in which the chamber needs to excel and core strategies that will focus the work we do for our members and in the region.  We believe it’s a strong starting point for our work ahead that is flexible enough to allow us to finish the work as we learn more.  As you review those competencies and strategies later in this report, we hope you will agree that we are moving in a direction that will bring direct value to your company and to a region in which your company can thrive.


Our work cannot be successful without your active engagement and support.  We will be driving a large number of initiatives and activities for which we will need your active involvement.  This work is too significant for our small staff and Board leaders to carry alone.  This is your organization and it requires your active participation.  As you review the work ahead, we hope you will see an area of our work to which you can best contribute your time and talent and drop us a note at  We are eager to get you involved in helping us to shape the future of our organization and our region!


Finally, we would be remiss to not express our sincere gratitude to our Board of Directors, Officers, Investors and Members for your enthusiastic support for the work that we do and for the confidence you place in the Chamber. We know that confidence is “earned, not given” and we will do our part to continue to merit your support in everything that we do.


Advance Greater Akron: Growing
Jobs and Investment


$3 Billion

capital investment in Medina, Portage and Summit Counties.


jobs retained


jobs created

$500 Million

annual payroll of jobs created

Working with our economic development partners in Medina, Portage and Summit Counties, the Advance Greater Akron Strategic Plan was implemented from 2014 through 2018.  Here are some of the highlights of our work together:

Akron Children’s Hospital invested $84M in a 230K SF addition that will increase the size of the Considine Professional Building to 480K SF.


Amazon moved into a 248K SF regional distribution center in the City of Twinsburg. The online retail giant is an anchor at Cornerstone Business Park, a 165-acre redevelopment of the former Chrysler Stamping Plant.


Arhaus Furniture is an attraction project for the County of Summit. Arhaus chose Boston Heights for its new headquarters and distribution center; the $43M investment brought in more than 400 jobs.


Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) will retain its Summit County operations and corresponding 700 employees to the East End redevelopment. It will also move its world headquarters from Charlotte, NC, to Akron.


The Bowery Project broke ground on a $42M redevelopment that includes the 12-story Landmark Building and five smaller buildings adjacent to the Akron Civic Theatre along South Main Street in downtown Akron. On completion, the Bowery Project will include 40K SF of retail and mixed-use space and 90 market-rate apartments.


BWXT will be investing more than $80M in its offices and manufacturing facility to support its Nuclear Operations Group. BWXT currently employs 700 in the City of Barberton and is planning on hiring an additional 80 employees.


Carlisle Brake & Friction selected its Medina plant for the addition of 150K SQ FT of manufacturing space.  Carlisle invested $45M and created 140 new jobs.


DeHoff Development Company and Lemmon Development acquired the former Maplecrest Golf Couse in Brimfield Township, in a $83.6M project. DeHoff will develop the “front 9” as planned retail development with major anchors and the “back 9” as light industrial. The retail part of the project will create 1,000 jobs over the next three years.


DESCH, a German-based manufacturer of industrial drive solutions, invested $3M with the opening of its American offices on Embassy Parkway in the Akron-Fairlawn JEDD; the Greater Akron Chamber first met with DESCH at the Hannover Industrial Trade Show in Germany.


Empire Die Casting of Macedonia was purchased by Detroit-based SRS/Whitehall. With strong ties to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, SRS/Whitehall invested more than $15M in new M&E which resulted in retention of more than 200 jobs and creation of 25 new jobs.


FirstEnergy Corporation has had a presence in Akron for 100 years. The company signed a lease extension and will remain in Downtown Akron—along with approximately 1,000 employees—through June 2025.


Gervasi Vineyard established the Twisted Olive as a destination restaurant in the City of Green. A $3.5M investment on the 10-acre site of the former Belden Lodge created 50 new jobs.


Involta, a Tier III data-colocation center, constructed a 26K SF expansion to their campus in South Akron. Their total investment in Akron over the past several years was more than $34M.


Kenda Tires, a Taiwanese-based rubber company, opened a 45K SF North American Research and Development facility in the City of Green. Kenda has projected a long-term need for as many as 60 engineers.


Main Street Gourmet invested $5M in a 12K SF expansion of its headquarters and plant in the City of Akron’s Ascot Industrial Park. The investment is projected to create 35 new jobs that will generate an additional $1.25M in annual payroll.


National DCP, a supply chain management company serving the franchisees of Dunkin’ Donuts, opened its 8th national distribution center in the City of Twinsburg. The company invested more than $11M in the 81K SF facility that will employ approximately 50 people.

Natural Essentials worked with the City of Aurora and Jobs Ohio to acquire the former Eaton facility, and it is now in full operation.  The company has been an acknowledged leader in hiring people with disabilities.


French-based Soprema built a new 21,600 SQ FT facility at its Wadsworth location to increase manufacturing capacity for commercial roofing products, investing $5.5M in the project. Soprema retained 104 jobs and added 12 new positions.


In the City of Stow, NMG Aerospace purchased new machinery and equipment to expand their manufacturing capacity. The investment was projected to retain more than 200 jobs and create 50 manufacturing jobs.


O’Reilly Auto Parts broke ground for a 400K SF regional distribution center at the site of the former Chrysler Stamping Plant in Twinsburg. The facility is scheduled to open during the second half of 2019, and more than 400 jobs will be created.


Reserve Management Group purchased the former 600K SF MacTac facility. Their investment in excess of $15M is projected to include 450 employees and a payroll of $17M. MacTac will lease space and continue to employ 100 in the City of Stow.


Restaurant Depot invested $5M in a retail center in an underserved neighborhood in South Akron. The Greater Akron Chamber worked closely with both the City of Akron and Development Finance Authority on the project that created 50 jobs.


OEC expanded their headquarters in the Village of Richfield. The $3M, 19K SF addition will allow the company to increase employment to over 300 over the next several years.


PPG invested $15M to double the production of its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) materials. The Barberton facility currently employs 160 and looks to add 20 new positions as a direct result of this investment.


Shin-Etsu invested $22M in its Akron Campus. The new 44K SF manufacturing facility is the company’s sixth building at its headquarters. The expansion included the retention of 200 current jobs and creation of 25 new jobs.


Sikich relocated its 100 employees to a new $9M state-of-the-art 35K SF headquarters in the 76-acre White Pond Office Park owned by the City of Akron.


Stark State College constructed a satellite education and workforce training center on 11 acres in the City of Akron. The $11.5M project is projected to employ 50 by 2020.


STEMCO purchased the Veyance North American air spring business from Continental AG. STEMCO subsequently built a new headquarters in the City of Fairlawn on city-owned land. More than 25 jobs were originally retained along with anticipated hiring.


Summa Health plans to invest $350M in facility upgrades over the next decade in Akron and Barberton. The hospital broke ground on a 300K SF six-story patient tower on their main campus on East Market Street and also began improvements to their Barberton Campus.


The Testa Companies opened the first new hotel in Downtown Akron in more than 30 years. The Courtyard by Marriott was a $20M investment that brought 146 rooms—and an upscale vibe!—to the resurgent Northside Neighborhood.


Whole Foods 365 opened at the site of the former West Point Market in the Wallhaven neighborhood in West Akron. West Point Marketplace was a $25M investment that includes 50K SF and an employment level of approximately 140 employees.

2018 Scorecard

The Chamber has strength in numbers. Our membership represents:



$66.2 Billion

Total Revenue.



$2.3 Billion

Total Payroll.


2018 Year in Review

In 2018, The Greater Akron Chamber continued to add to the impact of capital investment, job creation and retention efforts through Advance Greater Akron.  2018 activity included $783 million in capital investments in Medina, Portage and Summit Counties.  The total investment was across nearly 4M SF of commercial and industrial property and resulted in the creation of more than 2,900 jobs and the retention of more than 6,100 jobs.  Total payroll created was nearly $119 million.  Recent specific successes include:

  • The retention of 120 Myers Industries headquarter jobs in the City of Akron.
  • A headquarters relocation for Babcock & Wilcox from North Carolina and the retention of 700 current Greater Akron jobs which will all be locating to Goodyear’s former East End Headquarters.
  • BWX Technologies $80 million investment in its Barberton manufacturing facility to retain 700 workers and the addition of 82 new jobs.
  • The start of construction for the Bowery and Akron Civic Theater projects driving development to Akron’s Main Street which will catalyze additional development, housing and amenities in downtown Akron.
  • The groundbreaking in late December of the City of Akron’s first new industrial park since the 1960’s in South Akron with twenty developable acres.

Our outreach program for retention and expansion to companies continued with more than 325 company visits to Greater Akron firms.  In addition, a recent successful trade show experience at the National Plastics Exposition drove a larger than typical number of leads and new relationships.


Work on a “value proposition” for Greater Akron concluded in 2018 and it will result in new resources for employers to better recruit talent.  An employer tool kit will be released in the first half of 2019 to provide these resources to our companies.


The Government Affairs Team hosted a year-long series of events leading up to the Fall elections providing significant opportunities for dialogue with candidates prior to the primary and November elections.  The Greater Akron Chamber also took successful positions on three ballot issues and several legislative priorities in 2018 representing our members as part of the advocacy process.  The Chamber’s 2019 Policy Priorities were also finalized for use with our elected officials in Columbus and Washington, D.C.


The chamber’s events and programs continue to provide a number of opportunities for members to connect with each other.  2018’s monthly Morning Buzz programs and our 30 for the Future emerging leader recognition event achieved record attendance levels. In addition, another well-attended Excellence in Business Awards event provided a platform to recognize and create visibility for key middle market and emerging companies in our region. The Chamber hosted our annual Economic Outlook event bringing national insight to local trends and produced a series of unique Investor Member events and experiences highlighting key economic development issues and initiatives for the region.


In partnership with SummaCare, the Chamber recently launched a new member health benefit – the Chamber Benefits Arrangement Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA).  This new benefit is a solution for small companies from solo-preneurs to those with up to fifty employees that will allow those businesses to achieve more competitive health benefits with better coverage and lower costs than other available small business plans.


In 2018, we also initiated a move of the Chamber’s offices to provide for higher visibility, greater accessibility and a set of amenities and resources to better support our members and the work ahead for the organization.  The new office space, at 388 South Main Street, Suite 205, in downtown Akron, will be fully built out and available for members in April 2019.


In 2018, supported by leadership from the GAR Foundation, the Chamber worked in close partnership with Summit County and the City of Akron to develop a collaborative economic development strategy for the region.  The resulting work, known as “Elevate Greater Akron” is a commitment by Summit County, the City of Akron and the Chamber to work in an unprecedented and collaborative fashion to drive growth and investment in our region.   We rolled this work out in late September and have been sharing it broadly to a very receptive and enthusiastic set of stakeholders.  Implementation began in January 2019 and more than thirty different economic development organizations are aligning with that work.


As a result of the Elevate Greater Akron initiative, we have launched new industry specific work looking at the region’s polymers cluster and have engaged a number of companies and industry stakeholders in that dialogue.  We are developing a deeper understanding of the opportunities in that industry sector for the region. and are looking at the opportunity to invest more in supporting that collection of companies in 2019.


In addition to developing the Elevate Greater Akron strategy, the Chamber also reviewed its own work and focus.  As a result, the Chamber developed its own strategy “Blueprint” for its work in 2019 and beyond.  A planning team of Board leaders and other members with a variety of perspectives have been engaged on this work since early November.  The plan was outlined at our recent 2019 Annual Meeting and its related initiatives will create early opportunities for our members to Lead Greater to drive growth and investment in our region.












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Our Investors Support the Mission of the Chamber

A number of companies elect to enhance their organization's membership by becoming an Investor. These Investors encourage positive growth in our region and are key to our continued success. Investment levels range from $1,000 to $100,000


$100,000 (+) Annual Investment

FirstEnergy Corp.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Huntington Bank/Huntington Foundation


$50,000 (+) Annual Investment

Akron Children’s Hospital

Cleveland Clinic Akron General

Dominion Energy Ohio/Dominion Energy

Charitable Foundation

GAR Foundation

Kent State University

KeyBank NA/KeyBank Foundation

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Signet Jewelers Ltd.

Summa Health/SummaCare


$25,000 (+) Annual Investment

A. Schulman, Inc.

Brennan Management Group

Brouse McDowell

FedEx Custom Critical, Inc.

GOJO Industries, Inc.

Medical Mutual

Roetzel & Andress

The University of Akron

Welty Building Company, Ltd.



$10,000 (+) Annual Investment

Akron Beacon Journal/

Akron RubberDucks

Albrecht Incorporated/ACME Fresh Markets
ASW Properties, Inc.
Bober Markey Fedorovich
Bridgestone Americas Tire

Operations, LLC/Firestone Polymers
Buckingham Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC

Cascade Capital Corp.

CBIZ Mayer Hoffman McCann

Charles Schwab Corporate Services

Charter Communications/Spectrum Reach


Cohen & Company

The Davey Tree Expert Company

Ernst & Young LLP

J.W. Didado Electric Company

Kleidon & Associates

PNC Bank

The Ruhlin Company

The Schipper Group

Shoemaker Rigging & Transport, LLC

Sikich, LLP


Westfield Bank



$5,000 (+) Annual Investment

Akron-Canton Airport

Akron Community Foundation

Apple Growth Partners

ASW Global, LLC / ASW Supply Chain

Services, LLC


CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

Christian Healthcare Ministries

Citizens Bank

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

ComDoc, Inc.

Development Finance

Authority of Summit County

DS Benefits Group

Fifth Third Bank Northeastern Ohio

Focal Point Social Media

GPD Group

Harwick Standard Distribution Corp.

Hilton Akron/Fairlawn

Main Street Gourmet

Merrill Lynch

Metro Regional Transit Authority

OMNOVA Solutions Inc.

Peoples Bank

Rubber City Arches, LLC

S&T Bank

S.A. Comunale Co., Inc.

SeibertKeck Insurance Agency Inc.

Stark State College

State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Wells Fargo Bank



City of Akron

County of Summit, Ohio



$2,500 (+) Annual Investment

AESCO Holdings, LLC

Akron Auto Auction

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority

Akron Public Schools

Akron Zoological Park

APV Engineered Coatings

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Artists Incorporated


Brennan Manna & Diamond LLC

Bridgestone Senior Players

CAM, Inc.

CareWorksComp/CareWorks Absence



CCG Automation, Inc./CCG Energy

Solutions, Inc.

City Cleaners

Consumers National Bank

Contractors Steel Company

Crain’s Cleveland Business

Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance


$2,500 (+) Annual Investment

Cutler Real Estate

Day Ketterer, Ltd.

Electric Impulse, Inc.

EnviroScience, Inc.

FastSigns of Medina

First Federal—A Division of First Federal of


GDS Express/BMC Bulk

Good Place Holdings/SD Myers/

On Now Digital

Great Lakes Honda/Great Lakes Hyundai

GreatWork! Employment Services

Guided Transitions for Supported


Hard Rock Rocksino, Northfield Park

High Voltage Indoor Karting

Holiday Inn Akron West/Montrose

Bar & Grill

Hottle & Associates Inc.

Independent Bank


Involta, LLC

IRG Realty Advisors, LLC/ The Residences

at the East End/Goodyear Theater

JACK ThistleDown Racino/ThistleDown

Banquet Sales

Jentner Wealth Management

The Lefton Group, LLC

Malco Products, Inc.

MAPSS-Mayors Association of Portage,

Stark and Summit

Margida & Associates

Meaden & Moore, Ltd.

Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems Corp.

Metis Construction Services LLC

Myers Industries Inc.

Northern Ohio Golf Charities

Northwestern Mutual-Akron/Canton

Oakmont Education

OEConnection LLC

The O’Neill Group

Oriana House Inc.

Oswald Companies

R.B. Stout, Inc.

Royal Chemical Company

Rubber City Radio Group ―


SACS Consulting & Investigative

Services Inc.

Schauer Group, Inc.

ServiceMaster by DisasterRecon

Shon Christy Social Media

Shook Construction Co.

Signet Management/NEW Center

Stark & Knoll Co., LPA

Struktol Company of America

SubRosa Cyber Solutions

Summit Mall

Supply Me/Melphimic, LP/ McKinley Early

Child Center

Tober Building Company

V2 Technology

Vadose Environmental Consultants, Inc.

ValMark Securities, Inc.

Vista IT Systems

Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company

World Synergy



$1,000 (+) Annual Investment

1 Nation Logistics

ACE Products & Consulting, LLC


Advanced Auto Glass, Inc.

Advanced Insurance Designs, Inc.

Aegis 360 Consulting

AirBorn, Inc.

The Albert M. Highley Co., LLC

Akron Bar Association

Akron Energy Systems, LLC

Akron Hardware Consultants Inc.

Associated Underwriters

Insurance Agency, Inc.

AtNetPlus, Inc.

Audio-Technica U.S., Inc.

AxessPointe Community Health

Centers, Inc.

BalancePoint Healthcare Staffing

Bella Eyecare

Ben Curtis Family Foundation

Bennett Land Title Agency, LLC

The Black Tie Experience

BMW of Akron/Volkswagon of Akron

Bricco Akron/Bricco Kent

Building Integrated Services LLC

CAIR Leadership

Cascade Village

CertaPro Painters of Akron
Canton Chem Image Imaging Technologies

Child Guidance & Family Solutions

CMIT Solutions of Cleveland-South

and Hudson

Coin Ninja

Colliers International

Coltene Whaledent, Inc.

Corporate Technologies Group, Inc.

DataKloud, LLC Inc.

DeHoff Development

Dietz Falls Florist

Diligent Electronic Security Systems


Emerson, Thomson & Bennett, LLC

Empire Die Casting Co., Inc.

Environmental Design Group, LLC

Express Furniture, Inc.

Firestone Country Club/Hacker’s Bar &

Grille/Firestone 9

First National Bank/

First National Insurance Co.

FMD Architects, Inc.

Focus CFO

BUSINESS (Continued).

$1,000 (+) Annual Investment

The Gardens at Cuyahoga Falls

Gerspacher Real Estate Group

Gervasi Vineyard/The Twisted Olive

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses/

Cuyahoga Community College

Herzing University - Akron Campus

Hilscher Clarke Electric Company

Hilton Garden Inn, Akron

Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, Inc.

Homesite Insurance Company

Incept/TEDx Akron

Incom Integrated Computer Systems, Inc.

Independence Business Supply

Infiniti of Akron

Jessica Kay Foundation/Your


Kalahari Resorts - Sandusky

The Karcher Group

Keller Williams Chervenic Realty,

Tina Budimlic


Knox Marketing, Inc.

L & J Woodworking LLC/AmCraft Cabinetry

Legacy Strategic Asset Management

of Wells Fargo Advisors

Lewis Construction/ServiceMaster

Restoration by Lewis Construction

Lexus of Akron-Canton/Metro Lexus

Logistic Concepts, Inc.

Lost Tribe Media, Inc.

Louis Perry & Associates

Lowe’s Home Improvement – Akron/Green

LRC Realty Group

LRMR Management Company/

The LeBron James Family Foundation

Luxco Inc.


Market Street Grill & Pub/The Event Center

Mosher Media/Jump Start Video/

Siebert Advertising

Muirfield Energy

Navigate Power/Berkshire

Hathaway Home Services, Simon-

Salhany Realty, Jim Coe, Agent

NovaCare Rehabilitation

Novus Clinic

Ohio Health Benefits LLC

Ohio Living Rockynol/Senior


OHM Advisors

Old Carolina Barbecue & Catering Co.

Palitto Consulting Services Inc./Eyedeal

Graphics/Business Communication


Panera Bread Northeastern Ohio/Panera

Bread Catering Northeastern Ohio/

Covelli Enterprises

Partners Environmental Consulting

PartnerShip LLC

Paytime, Inc.

Peoples Services Inc./Terminal Warehouse

Perfect Power Wash

Pleasant Valley Corporation aka White

Pond Crossing, Inc.

Polymerics Inc./Akron Rubber

Development Laboratory, Inc.


Print 2 Promote

Pritt Entertainment Group

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Pyramid Consulting International


Radius Hospitality/Holiday Inn

Canton/Residence Inn Fairlawn

Real Estate Southeast, LLC

Red Point Digital, LLC

Repros, Inc.

Residence Inn by Marriott Akron South

Green/Holiday Inn Express Suites

Hampton Inn

RETTEW Associates, Inc.

Robert J. - Events & Catering/Fun Services

Roechling Automotive

Rock the House Entertainment

Ron Marhofer Auto Family

The Ruby Group/Sandler Training

Sample Security and Investigations, Inc.

SB Equities, LLC

Securitec One, Inc.

Select Specialty Akron/SHS

Serra Auto Park

Sherlock Services, Inc.
Black River Computer LLC

Skoda Minotti


Steere Enterprises Inc.

Step2 Company

Summit Building Services

Summit County Community Partnership

Summit County Republican Party

Summit Racing Equipment

SYLC Consulting

Tamarack Consulting Group, LLC

TKM Print Solutions, Inc./TKM Acrylics
TL Worldwide Transportation

(Thomas Limousine)

T-Mobile USA

Towpath Credit Union Inc.

TTR Shipping

Universal Screen Arts Inc.

University Hospitals Portage

Medical Center

VanDevere Inc.

Vital Care Products, Inc.

Wells Trecaso Financial Group

Western Reserve Hospital

Whole Foods Market - 365

Wilson Plumbing

Window World – Akron
Window World – Cleveland

Wright Tool Company

For a complete list of our members, click here.


Greater Akron Chamber:
Our Blueprint

Four Strategies to Lead Greater!

  1. Grow company revenue, capital investment and jobs in Greater Akron by leading targeted business attraction, retention and expansion efforts for high potential opportunities. Learn More >
  2. Create advantage for the region’s small and middle market businesses by connecting them to customers, capital, content and ecosystem support resources. Learn More >
  3. Advance economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion to accelerate the growth and success of Greater Akron’s companies. Learn More >
  4. Drive employer focused solutions to critical skill gaps by increasing job access and employer engagement with the talent development system.  Learn More >

Four Competencies of the Chamber to help us Lead Greater!

  1. Catalytic Research and Advocacy
    Drive ideas and decision-making on action to further Greater Akron’s economic success from the perspective of the business and employer community. Learn More >
  2. Storytelling
    Bring visibility to the region’s assets, companies, needs and opportunities with a focus on driving value for the business community, its employers and their workforce. Learn More >
  3. Convener and Facilitator
    Bring companies, organizations and key stakeholders together to dialogue and connect around opportunities for mutual economic success in Greater Akron. Learn More >
  4. Distinctive Products, Services and Resources to Support Members
    In places where gaps exist and the mutual needs of our members can be supported, the Chamber will invent and/or invest in capacity to fill the need and support their success. Learn More >

In a collaboration between the Greater Akron Chamber, the City of Akron, County of Summit and the GAR Foundation, we are committing to five focused strategies to create an economically dynamic Greater Akron region.

  1. New BRE: Take a fresh approach to business retention and expansion, focused on increasing the competitiveness of targeted scale-up and middle market firms by delivering high-quality services related to productivity, innovation, workforce development, exports and foreign investment. In addition, ensure that the region’s 40 largest firms receive coordinated, high-level outreach from the city, region, and Chamber.
  2. Opportunity Akron: Be highly intentional in ensuring Akron’s black population is positioned to engage in, and share in the benefits of, regional growth and prosperity. Begin with targeted digital skills and internship programs and adding staff capacity, then create a comprehensive regional inclusion strategy.
  3. Spark Akron: Unleash and stoke Akron’s latent innovation and startup potential by realizing the potential of Bounce, providing intensive support for emerging high-tech firms, and reinvigorating connections between firms and research universities.
  4. Urban Center Refocus: Steer growth to downtown Akron and other job hubs by creating new downtown development capacity and making concerted efforts to prioritize job hubs for marketing and site development.
  5. Elevate Greater Akron: Establish a unified, forward-looking culture of economic development by aligning organizations around a shared narrative, coordinating service delivery, connecting firms, and investing in research capacity. Constantly search for new opportunities and make strategic investments to realize them, beginning with rigorous examination of possibilities for the polymers/materials cluster and positioning the region as a “mid-tech” center.

To read more about the Elevate Greater Akron economic development strategy, click here.

Why Engage with the Chamber?

Let us work for you.

Joining the Greater Akron Chamber connects you with new opportunities, new people, and new resources. As a member, you'll both contribute to and benefit from the economic vitality of the Greater Akron region. Get connected and watch your business--and your community--thrive. Contact us or go online to become a member today!

Already a Member?

If you’re interested in getting involved, let us know what areas you’d like to be engaged in – email us at

Marc B.

Chair of the Board
of the Greater Akron Chamber

Managing Partner Brouse McDowell

Jay A. Gershen DDS. PhD,

Vice Chair, Government Affairs,

President, Northeast Ohio Medical University

Jeffrey A. Murphy

Vice Chair, Finance

Vice President, State Regulation

Dominion Energy

Steven E.

Vice Chair, Economic Development Council

SVP & CFO FirstEnergy Corp.

Joseph S.

Vice Chair, At-Large
Chair & Venturer GOJO Industries, Inc.

Donzell S. Taylor


President & CEO Welty Building Company, Ltd.

Para M. Jones, PhD,

Vice Chair, Talent & Workforce
Stark State College

Tia M.

Vice Chair, Small Business Council

President GreatWorks! Employment Services


Vice Chair, At-Large
Ernst & Young, LLP

Joseph S. Kanfer

Vice Chair, At-Large

Chair & Venturer, GOJO Industries, Inc.

Grace Wakulchik

Vice Char, At-Large

Akron Children's Hospital

Ernest E. Pouttu

Vice Chair, Chamber Services Council

President & CEO Harwick Standard Distrubtion Corp.

John T. Petures, Jr.

Vice Chair

President & CEO Akron Community Foundation


President & CEO Greater Akron Chamber

Greater Akron Chamber Board Members

Steve Abdenour

Senior Vice President, Operations

Cleveland Clinic Akron General


Virginia C. Addicott

President & CEO

FedEx Custom Critical, Inc.


Ken Babby

Owner & CEO

Akron RubberDucks


Samuel L. Belcher

Senior Vice President & President

FirstEnergy Utilities


David A. Bouffard

Vice President

Signet Corporate Affairs, Signet Jewelers


Julie Brandle


Metis Construction Services, LLC


Melissa Brake

Marketing & Business Development,

USIlluminations, LLC

Representing Young Professionals of Akron


Nicholas V. Browning


Akron Regional, Huntington Bank


Timothy M. Burke

President Eastern Ohio Market,

KeyBank, NA


S. Theresa Carter


OMNOVA Solutions Foundation


Steven M. Charles

Vice President

Product Development

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operation


William H. Considine

CEO Emeritus

Akron Children's Hospital


Laura B. Culp

Partner/Tax Services

Sikich, LLP


Cliff T. Deveny, MD

President & CEO

Summa Health


Steven A. Dimengo


Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLC


Laura P. Duda

Senior Vice President

Global Communications


Phillip R. Duryea

Market Executive, Akron and East Ohio Region Middle Market Banking

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A./J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC


Robert Filipiak

Executive Director/Treasurer

Cascade Capital Corporation


Paul Fitzhenry

Senior Vice President,

Global Communication

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company


Nick Gattozzi

Executive Director of Government
& Community Relations

Kent State University


Jay A. Gershen, DDS, PhD


Northeast Ohio Medical University


Jerome Gootee

Americas Advisory Leader for Industrial Products,

Automotive and Transportation Sector

Ernst & Young, LLP

John C. Green, PhD


The University of Akron


Brian J. Harte, MD


Cleveland Clinic Akron General
& Southern Region


Martin Hilovsky




John H. Higgins, Jr.

Area Vice President, Operations

Charter Communications


Ella R. Hochstetler

Director, Business Development
& Strategic Partnerships

Dominion Energy


Dan Horrigan


City of Akron


David W. James


Akron Public Schools


Para M. Jones, PhD


Stark State College


Joseph S. Kanfer

Chairman & Venturer

GOJO Industries, Inc.


J. Michael Kolk

Partner-in-Charge -- Akron Office

Cohen & Company


Darrin Kotecki


GPD Group


John K. Krajewski

Managing Partner

Stark & Knoll Co., LPA


Stephen M. Kristan

Director-External Affairs



Mark Krohn


Focal Point Social Media


Doug Kuczynski

Regional Vice President, Akron
& North Central Region

Medical Mutual


Carolyn Lanier

Chief of Staff and Vice President for Diversity,
Equity and Inclusion

Northeast Ohio Medical University


Kirsten Lino

Vice President,

Akron Business Banking Team Leader

Huntington Bank


Robert Littman

Ohio Managing Partner



Steven L. Marks


Main Street Gourmet


Philip H. Maynard


ASW Properties, Inc.


Marc B. Merklin

Managing Partner

Brouse McDowell


Jeffrey A. Murphy

Vice President, State Regulation

Dominion Energy


Angela M. Neeley

Acting Executive Director

Metro Regional Transit Authority

Jon Park

CEO & Chairman

Westfield Bank


John T. Petures, Jr.

President & CEO

Akron Community Foundation


Dennis Pijor




Lucia M. Pileggi

Private Banking Executive

Eastern Ohio Market, KeyBank, NA


Ernie E. Pouttu

President & CEO

Harwick Standard Distribution Corp.


Tia M. Ramlow


GreatWorks! Employment Services


Katie Carver Reed

Programs Coordinator

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

Representing ArtCetera


James L. Ruhlin


The Ruhlin Company


David J. Schipper

President & CEO

The Schipper Group


Ilene Shapiro

County Executive

County of Summit


Hillary Stewart

Senior Analyst, Performance Improvement

FirstEnergy Corp.

Representing Torchbearers


Steven E. Strah


FirstEnergy Corp.


Donzell S. Taylor

President & CEO

Welty Building Company, Ltd.


Kevin O. Thompson

Regional President

PNC Bank


André Thornton, Sr.

President & CEO

ASW Global


Grace Wakulchik

President & CEO

Akron Children's Hospital


Jeffery A. Walters

Managing Director

CBIZ Mayer Hoffman McCann


Theodore F. Walter

Akron/Canton/Youngstown President

Fifth Third Bank


Beverly J. Warren, EdD, PhD


Kent State University


Liz Watson

Chief Marketing Officer

Crum & Forster Pet Insurance


Julie Wesel


Chemstress Consultant Company


Sadie M. Winlock, DMgt

President & CEO

Akron Urban League


Bradley A. Wright

Partner-in-Charge of Ohio

Roetzel & Andress


2018 Officers &
Board Members

Greater Akron Chamber 2018 Executive Committee

2018 Annual Report


Marc B. Merklin, Managing Partner
Brouse McDowell


Immediate Post-Chair

Donzell S. Taylor, President & CEO

Welty Building Company, Ltd.


Vice Chair, Chamber Services Council

Ernest E. Pouttu, President & CEO

Harwick Standard Distribution Corp.


Vice Chair, Government Affairs

Jay A. Gershen DDS, PhD, President

Northeast Ohio Medical University


Vice Chair, Talent & Workforce

Para M. Jones, PhD, President

Stark State College

Vice Chair

John T. Petures, Jr., President & CEO

Akron Community Foundation


Vice Chair, Finance

Jeffrey A. Murphy, Vice President
State Regulation,

Dominion Energy


Vice Chair, Small Business Council

Tia M. Ramlow, President

GreatWork! Employment Services


Vice Chair, Economic Development Council

Steven E. Strah, SVP & CFO

FirstEnergy Corp.

Vice Chair, At-Large

Jerome Gootee, American Advisory Leader for Industrial Products, Automotive and Transportation Sector

Ernst & Young


Vice Chair, At-Large

Joseph S. Kanfer, Chair and Venturer

GOJO Industries, Inc.


Vice Chair, At-Large

Grace Wakulchik, President

Akron Children's Hospital


President & CEO

Steve Millard, President & CEO

Greater Akron Chamber

$3 Billion

capital investment in Medina, Portage and Summit Counties.


jobs retained


jobs created

$500 Million

annual payroll of jobs created

Drive economic growth and prosperity for Greater Akron by supporting the success of the business community and acting as a convener of stakeholders on key issues facing the region.

$3 Billion

capital investment in Medina, Portage and Summit Counties.


jobs retained


jobs created

$500 Million

annual payroll of jobs created

Joining the Greater Akron Chamber connects you with new opportunities, new people, and new resources. As a member, you'll both contribute to and benefit from the economic vitality of the Greater Akron region. Get connected and watch your business--and your community--thrive. Contact us or go online to become a member today!

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