A Message from Chamber President/
CEO Joe Kleinknecht

Someone once said the rear-view mirror of a car is small in comparison to the windshield because our main focus needs to be on what lies ahead.

This is true, but I would like to deviate from that concept for a few minutes to look back at the fantastic year the chamber had in 2016.

To begin with, we saw our membership grow by 33 members, the second largest growth in the last 10 years.

We also were involved with 14 ribbon cuttings, which is the most we have had in the 14 years I have been here.

We continued to see membership retention rates over 90% for the 12th consecutive year.

We saw our membership programs grow, with the addition of Chamber Chat, a business networking opportunity that is held the first Wednesday of every month at 8:00 am at the Candi Bar in Galion and also with the addition of the Manufacturers' Breakfast held in October, with plans to make this an annual event.

We saw our members save nearly $700,000 collectively through our Affinity Programs with our Electric & Natural Gas Program with Alternative Energy Source, Workers Compensation Discounts through CareWorks Consultant's Inc., and our Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Chamber Healthcare Program.

We saw the addition of many new businesses in both Galion and Crestline, as well as a new 62 unit Sleep Inn & Suites at SR 598 & Brandt Road in Galion.

I want to take the time to say "thank you", to my fellow chamber employees, chamber board of directors, and the many volunteers that help to make my job easier.

A special "thank you" to all the elected officials, city and village employees and the Crawford County Partnership Team for their hard work throughout the year. 

I am looking forward to working with all of you in 2017 to see continued growth in the Galion and Crestline areas, as well as all of Crawford County.


After serving the local business community for over 25 years, Galion-Crestline Chamber Administrative Assistant, Judy Dyer has announced her retirement plans, effective March 1, 2017. 

Judy has served under all three Chamber Presidents, which have been at the chamber since the chamber was reinstated in Galion in 1985.  

In the early years, Judy worked alongside Chamber President, Dan Ritchey and his wife Ruth.  She remembers that back in those early years, the chamber received many of their office supplies from local businesses as money was tight.  

In the 90’s Judy served with Chamber President, David Dane at their location at 126 Harding Way East in Galion and saw the chamber membership rise to over 200 members.  

In the late 90’s, under Dave’s tenure, she was involved in the move of the Chamber to their location at 106 Harding Way East, which was shared with Galion Economic Development and Main Street Galion, where the office remained until October of 2014. 

In 2003, Judy began working with newly hired Chamber President, Joe Kleinknecht. In 2014, she was involved in the office move to 419 Harding Way West and in 2015, to their current location at 138 Harding Way West. She also saw the chamber membership rise to 370 members. 

Chamber President/CEO says, “Judy’s organizational skills will be greatly missed, as we never had an event that she didn’t begin planning months in advance, and they always went smoothly. It took me a long time and a lot of stares to learn to stay out of the way." 

Judy’s love for the holidays and the change of seasons was something that was always noted at the office, as you could always tell what the season or holiday was based on the many decorations she purchased and put up over the years. 

Judy will continue to fill in as needed at the office to cover for personal days off and holidays. 

Best wishes and “THANK YOU JUDY” for your hard work and dedication to the Chamber throughout the years.


  • Added 33 New Members
  • Held over 90% Member Retention
  • Saved our members nearly $700,000 through our affinity programs on our Electric & Natural Gas program with Alternative Energy Source, Workers Compensation Discounts through CareWorks Consultant’s Inc., and our Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Chamber Healthcare Program.
  • Performed 14 Ribbon Cuttings
  • “Chamber Advisory Group” met weekly with the Mayor
  • Assisted with 2 Business after Hours
  • Heavily involved with the Crawford County Partnership for Education & Economic Development and Crawford 20/20 Vision
  • Hosted Annual “Business & Industry Forecast Breakfast”
  • Hosted Chamber Annual Meeting and Betterment Commission Awards Banquet
  • Held strategic planning session in February
  • Began monthly “Chamber Chat” sessions in March
  • Advocacy Division was Active with Several Local Issues
  • Hosted 4 Member Appreciation Cookouts (3 in Galion & 1 in Crestline) (Sponsored by First Federal Bank of Ohio, United Bank, Firelands Federal Credit Union and Galion Building & Loan Bank)
  • Assisted Several New Businesses with Start-up
  • Held 14th Annual McDonald’s/Chamber Golf Outing
  • Made Several Site Visits with Developers and Property Owners
  • Hosted Annual Holiday Open-House/Auction Celebration
  • Held first “Annual Manufacturers Breakfast” to honor local manufacturers.
  • Sponsored Galion Safety Council


Joe Kleinknecht begins his 15th year as President/CEO on January 21st. 

Judy Dyer begins her 25th year here at the chamber February 10th.




  On December 15th a Ribbon Cutting was Held at
Ohio Door & Sash at 120 South St. in Galion.
2017 Community Guide to Now Offer Electronic Version

To enhance your investment in the 2017 Community Guide, an electronic version will now be available, as well as the hard copy print edition. If you have already purchased your ad for the “2017 Galion-Crestline Area Chamber Community Guide Book”, you may want to consider updating your advertisement.  If you have yet to commit to an ad , you might want to rethink your decision.

The following improvements have been made to the publication:

  • Electronic version will be available online 24/7.
  • Ability to update your ad or increase your ad space throughout the year
  • New businesses will be able to purchase ad space throughout the year
  • Direct link to your business' webpage and other social media sites
  • Hard copy, print edition still available and in circulation

Contact the Chamber Office or A-1 Printing for More Information.





As of January 1, 2017, the City of Galion has entered into a new 3-year contract to partner with Efficiency Smart to help its residents and businesses save energy and money. 

For additional information on how you can save dollars on your next electric bill, click on FIND OUT MORE


 A Great Way to Promote Your Business in 2017

If you’ve recently opened a business, remodeled or moved to a new location or changed your product line, it might be a good time to hold a “Business After Hours”. Please check out the procedures below and call the chamber office to schedule your event.


1.       Invitations:
Invitations should be on your company’s letterhead or in a format that easily identifies your company. You will create an invitation and send it to us, and we will email it to all chamber members 3-4 weeks prior to the event.
The following information should be provided on the invitation:
          -Who: (Your company name)
          -Where: (Location of event)
          -When: (Date and time of event)
          -List highlights or special events that you have planned for the event
          -An email address or phone number for attendees to RSVP to you
2.       Event Follow-Up Reminder:
An event reminder will also be emailed to all chamber members several days prior to the event.
3.       Pot O' Gold Event:
We offer two options for your Business-After Hours event. In option one, the invitation does not include a Pot O' Gold at your event. With the second option, the invitation DOES include a Pot O' Gold at your event. A Pot O' Gold event is where you provide the money (usually $100) to be given away to one lucky attendee at the event at a predetermined time during the event. We have found this has increased attendance and encouraged attendees to stay longer.
4.       Name Tags:
You should furnish name tags at the entrance to the event, along with someone to greet guests and assist guests with marking and attaching the name tags.
5.       Refreshments:
Light snacks or hors d’oeuvres along with hot and cold drinks are usually served at Business after Hours events.
6.       Chamber Board Member Attendance:
Chamber board members and chamber ambassadors will be attending your event and will be available at your request to assist with introductions of newcomers, mingle with guests or give a brief introduction or presentation of your company.
7.       Tours and Giveaways:
We strongly encourage you to give tours of your facility, video or slide presentations, and/or informative programs during the event. We also suggest that you provide door prizes, product/prize drawings or competitions during the event. IDEA: on your invitation, ask your guests to bring a business card to drop in a box for a prize drawing.
8.       Follow-Up:
Please be sure to contact the Chamber office after your event and give us a brief evaluation of the event. Your ideas, reactions, suggestions, etc. help us improve future events.
Cost for This Service: $150 for event without a Pot O' Gold and $250 per event with a “Pot O' Gold


Arby’s, Doug McGuire, 700 Carter Dr., Galion, Ohio 44833, 419-777-7206  

Ralphie’s Sports Eatery, Mark Wallace, 451 Portland Way N., Galion, Ohio 44833, 419-462-2770   

Community Counseling Services, Cindy Wallis, 2458 Stetzer Rd., Bucyrus, Ohio 44820, 419-562-2000  

Waycraft Industries, Vincent Ponziani, 118 River Street, Bucyrus, Ohio 44820, 419-563-0550