CHAMBER NEWS
November 2019
2019 Holiday Open House & Auction

by Miranda Jones,
Member Engagement Director

One of the first chamber events I ever attended was the holiday open house and auction. I was amazed at the number of items that chamber members donate to the event and the number of people that attend. The very next year, I was helping to plan and coordinate the same event and realized all the hard work that the chamber staff, board members and ambassadors put into guaranteeing the success of the holiday open house and auction. The concept of our event is simple: we ask our members to donate items to be auctioned off, then we invite them to attend the auction, entertain and feed them, and ask them to buy what our other members have donated! The food is great, the company is better, and the auction items get more creative every year!

This year, we plan to make a change to the live auction. We will have a “Chinese Raffle” during the dinner and silent auction portion of the evening. Raffle tickets will be for sale (bring cash) near the stage, drop your tickets in for the item you hope to win and then during the live auction, we will take breaks to randomly pick winners. You must be present to win, and we will only call the number three times, so you will need to have your tickets ready and listen closely.

As always, we have our raffle tickets available for sale as well. For $20, you could win $250, $500, $750 or $1000. Our board members, ambassadors and staff all have tickets to sell. We have sold out the last two years, so get your ticket early!

The 2019 Chamber Holiday Open House & Auction will be held on Thursday, December 5th (always the first Thursday in December) from 5pm to 9pm at the St. Joseph’s Activity Center, 115 North Liberty Street in Galion. This event is free for our members and their guest to attend.

Many thanks to our co-sponsors for making this possible: Avita Health Systems, Cander Excavating, Cleaning By Carrie, Elliott Machine Works, Firelands Federal Credit Union, First Federal Bank of Ohio, First Federal Community Bank of Crestline, Five Galion Company LLC, Galion West Shopping Center, Jag Healthcare of Galion, Lifetouch, MedFlight, Mid-Ohio Insurance Solutions, Snyder Funeral Home Richardson Davis Chapel and United Bank.

Register to attend the event by clicking HERE

Below: Auction items received to date at the chamber office. Stop by to drop off your items, check out the latest donations and purchase your raffle ticket!
2019 Manufacturing Celebration of Success
The Galion-Crestline Chamber of Commerce, in Collaboration with the Crawford Partnership, honored Women in Manufacturing at the 2019 Manufacturing Celebration of Success that was held Wednesday, October 16th at Galion High School.
Our keynote speaker was Kathryn Kelley, Executive Director of the Ohio Manufacturing Institute, whom informed us that women consistently make up 29% of the manufacturing workforce.
Pictured are the women recognized this morning at our breakfast and recipients of our 2019 Service in Manufacturing Award: Katie Hagopian – Schilling Inc., Jenn Davis – Tramec Sloan, Ashley Knecht – Tramec Sloan, Laura Hoffman – Urban Industries, and Janell Benner – Galion Safety Council. Also receiving awards but not pictured were Christina Anatra – Lifetouch, Michelle Montague – E&E Nameplates, Inc. and Jeannie Rucki – Elliott Machine Works. Thank you for you leadership, service, loyalty and dedication to the local manufacturing industry.
Also, thank you to our corporate sponsor of the event, Avita Health System and the Galion City School District for hosting the breakfast again this year. Thank you to those in attendance and all those working in manufacturing in our community.
NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS

Bucyrus Tourism & Visitors Bureau , Virginia Hammontree, 117 E. Mansfield St., Bucyrus, Ohio 44820, 419-562-0720

House of Pieces (disability services, home health aid), Laurie Barber, 223 E. Atwood St., Galion, Ohio 44833, 419-462-7952
The Chamber held a ribbon cutting October 25th at Galion Tire Shop, located at 200 South Street. The shop was recently purchased by Scott Ruhl, who will also run Ruhl's Diesel Repair out of the building. Welcome to the Galion business community!
CHAMBER WELCOMES NEW AMBASSADORS
Donna Conley is a Vice President at First Federal Community Bank where she is a commercial banker. She has been in the banking industry for 20 years with 18 of those years in commercial lending. 

Donna is involved in several organizations in the area including, Bucyrus Rotary Club, Galion-Crestline Chamber of Commerce, Crestline Railroad Community Center Board, Crestline Community Development Team, Saint Joseph Catholic Church and the Galion Gridiron Club. 

She lives in Crestline with her two boys, Landon and Finn, and their pets. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her boys, her family and friends, working out and cheering for the Galion Tigers!
Janell Benner is the Manager for the Galion Safety Council where she has been for the past 31 years.

Janell currently is involved in the Dutchtown Farmers Market and is President of the church council for St. John's Lutheran Church in New Washington as well as many other various activities within her community

She reside in New Washington with husband Richard and currently works part-time at Fox Plumbing & Heating in Galion. Janell was a recent recipient of a 2019 Service in Manufacturing Award present at our 2019 Manufacturing Celebration of Success.
Stay up to date with upcoming Chamber events!
Click on the event below to be taken to our events page on our website for specific event details and more information as it becomes available.
Tiger Blendz at 112 Harding Way West; celebrated their first anniversary in business on October 25th. Congratulations to Tish and Shannon.
The Candi Bar at 125 Harding Way East; celebrated 8 years in business on October 31st. Congratulations to Beth Cramblett.
Bistro 217 at 217 Harding Way East; celebrated their 2nd anniversary on November 1st. Congratulations to Holly and Steve.

A-1 Printing ; recently painted and remodeled the outside of their building at 139 Harding Way West
Wendy’s at 200 Harding Way West; is doing some renovations to their parking lot and drive through area as well as new coolers and freezers. 

Mid-Ohio Insurance Solutions ; recently relocated to 102 East Church Street. Congratulations to Jeff Youngs.
Do you have an anniversary, new associate or employee, sign, or business update? Contact Joe or Miranda at the Chamber Office, 419-468-7737 or email mjones@galion-crestlinechamber.org  so we can add your business to the Member Spotlight in our next Newsletter.
SENECA-CRAWFORD AREA
TRANSPORTATION RECEIVES GRANTS

Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation, (SCAT) has been awarded $724,000 in Ohio Transit Partnership Program, (OTP2). OTP2 is a funded by the State. No local match is required.  These funds will fund the following:

$310,000 Bus Storage Facility in Crawford County                                                                     
$82,000 X 2 $164,000 for Buses for Fixed Route in Tiffin                                                                          
$250,000 Fixed Bus Route in Tiffin

The $250,000 for the Fixed Route may be used as local match to draw down $250,000 Federal funds so it can turn into $500,000.  

In addition to the OTP2 Funds, SCAT has been awarded $1,278,394 in State and Federal Operating Funds for 2020.

At the request of Ohio Department of Transit, SCAT started to provide Public Transportation in Crawford County in 2017. In 2018 SCAT provided 22,891 trips for Crawford County Residents.

SCAT is a Non-Profit, (501 (c) (3) Public Transportation Agency. Public Transportation is for Everyone; meaning, there is no age or income guideline. SCAT will take you anywhere you want to go, i.e. Medical, Shopping, Hair Salon, Church, Visit Family/Friends, Restaurant, Club, etc.

The cost to ride SCAT:
Inside City Limits - $2.00
Within 3 Mile Radius - $3.00
Within 7 Mile Radius - $4.00
All Other County Trips (within Crawford County) - $5.00

(Out of County Trips Available all touching Counties, i.e. Huron, Marion, Morrow, Richland, Seneca, Wyandot are $25.00 round trip.)                                                                             

SCAT provides trips to Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo and other Urban Cities in Ohio. 

SCAT is a First Come, First Serve Service. 48-hour advance reservation requirement for in County trips and 72-hour advance reservation requirement for out of County trips. Same day and next day can be provided if available.

SCAT hours are Monday- Friday 5:00 am -6:00 pm.
Dear Chamber Friends –

While it may seem as if Capitol Hill is increasingly consumed by chaos, a lot of work is being done behind the scenes. In fact, as we go into the closing months of what has been a very tumultuous year, the U.S. Chamber is on the verge of scoring a number of significant victories. First among these is the ongoing push for congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Agreement. Work remains on a handful of issues, but an agreement between the administration and congressional negotiators is within sight. Please keep doing all that you are doing to keep members of Congress focused on getting this agreement across the finish line.

Of course, USMCA is not our only focus. Congress has taken an important first step on legislation to reauthorize highway funding for another five years. We applaud lawmakers for their work, but more needs to be done. As such, we are doing all we can to broaden the scope of their work to provide the comprehensive investment that our nation so desperately needs to bring our infrastructure into the 21 st century. 

Beyond the halls of Congress, we have seen some positive regulatory developments. In late September, the Chamber was successful in working with the U.S. Department of Labor to finalize a new overtime threshold. This marks the first increase in over 15 years, and it responsibly balances the needs of both employees and employers. 

Lastly, while it is only November, we know many of you are already planning out your budgets and schedules for next year. As you do this, don’t forget to mark the LEAD 2020 Conference on your calendars for September 21-24, 2020 in Indianapolis. We’ll have more information for you in a few months, but it is never too early to start thinking about attending the next conference.

As always, thank you for all that you do to support our work.

Sincerely,

Kevin and Ryan
312-386-7797
USMCA Negotiators Closer to Agreement
 
The business community, White House, and Congress continue to work productively toward getting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) approved this year. During the recent two-week October work period, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was out in full force across the country pushing for #USMCAnow. Across 13 states, the U.S. Chamber, alongside local businesses and chambers of commerce, held nearly 60 USMCA events. Our team met with 36 members of Congress, including 30 Democrats who are critical to final passage of the deal.
 
While there are still a handful of outstanding issues, there is a growing consensus that an agreement is within reach. Therefore, we cannot afford to let up in our efforts.
 
Members of Congress will be back home again meeting with their constituents during the first week of November. During this work period, we need your help to keep them focused on getting this agreement done when they return after Veteran’s Day. Please encourage your members to contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the USMCA.  
 
For more information on the importance of USMCA to your community, please take a look at the following resources:
 
  
U.S. Chamber Applauds Bipartisan Step Towards Infrastructure Modernization and Urges Further Congressional Action

The U.S. Chamber applauded the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for taking an important first step to modernize America’s infrastructure by passing the largest highway investment authorization in history. The bill authorizes a $287 billion investment over five years, which marks a twenty-five percent increase over current funding levels. Furthermore, it also creates a desperately needed new bridge program to address the structurally deficient bridges in America.

While this was an important first step to keep Americans safe by modernizing our infrastructure, broadly across the country our roads, bridges, airports, railways and utilities are outdated and in need or urgent repairs.  Infrastructure should not be a partisan issue, but a priority. Our nation’s leaders must work together towards a common goal: to once again make America a global leader on infrastructure.

To read more,  click here .
 
U.S. Chamber Supports New Update to Overtime Salary Threshold

In late September, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its final regulation adjusting the overtime salary threshold to $684 per week / $35,568 per year. The new threshold makes no changes to the duties test, and does not provide for automatic updates in future years. 

In response, the U.S. Chamber issued a statement praising the Department of Labor’s work. “The new overtime salary threshold is a balanced and responsible update to the standard that has been in place for 15 years,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Workplace Policy Marc Freedman. “The new threshold will preserve the flexibility enjoyed by millions of salaried employees that allows them to adjust their schedules to accommodate parental and family obligations. At the same time, this new level means those employees whose duties make them eligible for overtime will remain so.”

During the previous administration, there was an attempt to implement a far more aggressive increase in the threshold. That proposal would have forced employers to reclassify large numbers of their employees to hourly wage workers, regardless of the duties they were performing. This was the basis for a federal judge striking down that threshold in a legal challenge led by the U.S. Chamber. 
Galion City Council