Joe Kleinknecht didn’t miss an opportunity to highlight the Galion-Crestline Chamber of Commerce’s accomplishments in 2015 to a group of about 20 members at the Candi Bar in Uptown Galion early Wednesday morning.
But the Chamber’s president and chief executive officer gave members a chance to ask questions.
“This is your meeting,” he said.
And the first ever “Chamber Chat” shifted gears as members were given a chance to network and discuss about ideas to improve the Galion and Crestline communities. The meetings are planned to take place the first Wednesday of each month at the 125 Harding Way E location.
The idea for the sessions came about two months ago when it was determined that the Chamber needed more networking opportunities for its members, Kleinknecht said.
He eventually hopes the Chamber’s ambassadors take charge of the events.
Chamber Ambassador-Chair Miranda Jones guided the session by having members mingle for a few minutes; inviting a speaker to talk about an event; and randomly selecting members to pitch their businesses in five minutes and receiving a small prize.
Troy Chipka of the Cycling Sports Center was the event speaker with an update on the upcoming Galion CritFest, a 9 1/2 hour event on June 11 that will feature a 5K and 10K run and cycling races sanctioned by USA Cycling.
Chipka expects 300 to 500 riders to attend along with their family and friends. He’s searching for event sponsors and 50 vendors.
In other business, the Chamber Chat concluded with members coming up with ideas to improve the city.
“We had a really good turnout,” Jones said. “There are some other ideas we have [for future Chamber Chats].”
That includes bringing a speed networking session similar to speed dating, she said.
Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary said he like how the chats not having a designated topic, which would alienate some potential attendants.
“[There are] other opportunities to talk about other topics,” he said such as bringing an industrial park to the community.
Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.