The original Chamber of Commerce was incorporated on April 14, 1949 and served the Galion business community until the mid 1960’s when it ceased to operate as a Chamber of Commerce. There were several organizations that served the local business community until talk of bringing back the chamber began in 1984.

After months of discussion and dozens of committee and interim board meetings, the Galion Area Chamber of Commerce was formed on February 21, 1985, with the articles of incorporation being submitted to the State of Ohio February 25, 1985.


The original officers were, Al Kingseed, President, Joseph Walls, Vice President, Russell Vose, Treasurer, and Robert Hickle, Secretary.

Original Board of Directors included, Don Barr, Gerald Bonnar, Donald Bowman, Lonnie Eagle, Homer Fox, Pat Gehrisch, Eric Geyer, Garland Gledhill, Dale Hess, Kenneth Hessler, Edgar Koehl III, Thomas Livingston, Gerald Nicholls, Edward Siemer, Jack Steel, Stephen Tilson, Charles Walker, Don Covert and Dr. Bernard Mansfield.

The first Executive Director to serve the chamber was Dan Ritchey who served from 1985-1997. He was assisted throughout his years at the chamber, by his wife Ruth and Judy Dyer who began in 1992.

The second Executive Director was David Dayne and he served from 1997-2003. He was assisted throughout his tenure by Judy Dyer (administrative assistant), Carol Finney, Martha Palmer & Jette Cander.

Joe Kleinknecht, the third Executive Director of the Chamber, began on January 21, 2003 and still serves in this capacity.

Until her retirement, in January of 2017 his administrative assistant was Judy Dyer, at which time the chamber hired, Miranda Jones to serve as Member Engagement Director and to fulfill the responsibilities of the administrative assistant position. Miranda was recently name Executive Director and will take Joe’s place when he retires in May of 2020.


In 2013 the Chamber joined with the Crestline Chamber of Commerce and became known as the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber currently has 311 full-time members and 25 associate members.