Fostoria Chamber

Fostoria “right on track” for 2015

2015_01_22 - Fostoria Dream Team

The Fostoria “Dream Team” – Mayor Eric Keckler, Chamber Exec. Sally McDonald, and FEDC Director Renee Smith

I just attended the 100th annual meeting of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce held at the beautiful Good Shepherd Home (which just celebrated a $2M expansion.) In attendance were scores of local and state leaders eager to celebrate the great year that Fostoria had and look forward to the year to come.

New Chamber Executive Director Sally McDonald kicked it off by sharing her theme of “I think I can; I think we can; I know we can; We can;” playing on the Little Engine That Could story. It was totally appropriate given Fostoria’s rail heritage and the fact that 1,000 trains go through the community every day. She set a course for focusing on positive messages – each attendee received the “homework” to provide a positive message for the 100 Days of Good News the Chamber will be sending out. She also pledged to commit to focusing on increasing member benefits and value.

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation chief Renee Smith provided energetic comments about how well things had gone last year, including how industry was expanding and hiring and sharing the fantastic statistic that 40% of all the available industrial properties were sold for a total of $11M+ worth of investment (want to do a future post on that.) She also talked about how her top three priorities for 2015 would be (1) Retention & Expansion; (2) Marketing; and (3) Attraction.

If you haven’t heard, Fostoria has a new tagline – “We’re right on track.” Well, with the great businesses there, a town full of great people, and the Fostoria Dream Team (see above picture), the future of Fostoria is bright indeed.

McDonald on board to lead Fostoria Chamber

Sally McDonaldLast month, Sally McDonald was hired as the new Executive Director of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, filling the shoes of Pamela Smith, who left to head up Erie County’s efforts. On Dec. 23, the Chamber put out the following release, which we wanted to share. The Review Times also reported on her first introduction to the community where she talked about herself, her vision, and some of her plans (“Community meets new Chamber chief.”) She looks to be a great addition to leadership in Seneca County.

The new face of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce had her first official day on the job Tuesday, December 16th.

Sally McDonald was hired as the new executive director of the chamber last week. She serves as the direct successor to Pamela Smith who announced Oct. 23rd that she would be stepping down to accept a job as the head of the Erie County Chamber of Commerce in Sandusky.

The Amherstburg Ontario native said Tuesday while she is still just getting her feet wet, she is eager to get started and familiarize herself with Fostoria.

“I grew up in a small town,” McDonald said, drawing comparisons to her hometown, as well as Leamington Ontario, the town where she served as executive director of the Leamington District Chamber of Commerce from 2011 to March of this past year.

Ryan Smith, Chamber Board Chairperson said McDonald’s experience in both the Chamber and in advertising will make her a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to promoting the city.

“With her background being a director, she knows the ins and outs of what it takes,” Smith said. “She’s very high energy and I think she’ll be a very positive influence on our members.”

In addition to running the day to day operations of the Chamber, McDonald will also be in charge of running the Fostoria Area Visitor’s Bureau and the Fostoria Area Safety Council.  Smith said the main goal, going into the future is to work closer with Fostoria Economic Development Corporation to expand the focus of bringing more tourists to the area and to help promote an influx of new business. Additionally, Smith said, to continue to provide good value for it’s nearly 300 members.