- Referral & Networking Opportunities
- Community Resources
- Educational Seminars
- Tourism Marketing
- Healthcare Discounts
- Workers’ Comp Savings
- Membership is a Tax-Deductible Expense
From the desk of Sadie Newman, our Summer 2016 Intern:
Before I began my internship with the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce, I quite honestly did not know what the Chamber’s role was in my society, or in any society for that matter. I took what I heard from other people about what Chambers of Commerce are and what they do and built my own fabricated collage of ideas from the “knowledge” I had gained from asking my friends and family. Little did I know, my speculations of what Chambers do was nothing close to their actual necessity to a community and their ability to bring business men and women together.
I have learned a lot from working at the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce under President, Christa Kozy. I can now explain the importance of networking, the strategies for when and how to post on social media, the amount of work that goes into a simple email marketing newsletter, how to go about organizing an event for 200 people or more, and the list goes on and on. These skills I have acquired are amazing lessons that I am so grateful to have learned and I know will greatly assist me in my professional life.
However, there is one lesson that I have found to be invaluable. The lesson comes in a small, simple package of one word: Passion. From watching the inner-workings of the Chamber to meeting business owners from around Lake Township, one theme remains constant, and that is passion.
Passion within the Chamber
From the moment I first spoke with Christa Kozy (she being highly caffeinated of course) I noticed her love for the Lake Chamber and the community. She spoke so specifically and with such excitement about the Lake Chamber that I could tell she truly enjoys what she does. I admire her passion for what she does and for the place I call my hometown. Watching someone else care so deeply for my own community, taught me to further appreciate it myself. I learned from working under Christa what it is like to have passion within the workplace.
Having passion about what you do is necessary and contagious.
Passion within the Community
Working at the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce gave me the opportunity to learn more about my hometown and the people that live inside it. Through numerous networking events I met many uniquely special people who I am so thankful to had the chance to connect with. Whenever I met my fellow locals I noticed that there was something different about them. They spoke so highly of our community and so highly of each other. Each business owner did not make owning a small business seem like a competitive world, but a world full of dedication and support. As cliche as it sounds, each person I met seemed to have a spark in their eye. A spark that did not seem to be fueled by individual ambition, but a desire to make our community an even better place. They, just like the inner-workings of the Chamber, have a passion for their work and our community.
I learned from my community: Being passionate about your community is what truly makes a community flourish.
I truly did learn more at the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce than I ever thought I could. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn more about my own community. My internship with Lake Chamber was not what I was expecting it to be. After four months, I take pride in my ability to thoroughly explain the benefits that a Chamber of Commerce can provide for a community. The people around Lake Township taught me a lesson that will be an inspiration for the rest of my life, and that lesson is to have passion. I can only hope that wherever I end up, I can have that same passion that I have been blessed to witness within my hometown of Lake Township.
-Sadie Newman, Lake High School Class of 2015
Sophomore at Ohio University
If you haven’t heard the news, a young adult center (YAC) is coming to Hartville! Through a volunteer effort, in partnership with GentleBrook, the YAC is hosting an open house this weekend, and we at the Lake Chamber are here to give you the “5 W’s of the YAC.”
Who: The YAC will be targeting young adults, aged 15+, no membership will be required to join the fun Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. During the day time, GentleBrook will be using the facility for various programs.
What: The Young Adult Center will be a multi-level space with a range of activities. The lower level includes a kitchen with seating and will host an area for basketball, volleyball and a space for live music. The upper level will consist of a large living room, for friends, groups, projects and games.
When: Open House is this Sunday from 4-8pm. Initially, the center will be open on Sundays from 4pm-midnight and expand as attendance grows.
Where: The center will be located in the back of GentleBrook’s corporate headquarters at 880 Sunnyside St. SW, Hartville.
Why: To give young adults a safe environment environment on the weekend to hang out with their friends, or meet up with a group.
-Contributed by Sam Tornow
The Lake Township Chamber presents the Community Workforce Development award for the creation of Men’s Challenge, a local non-profit organization that serves a population in need in our region. Part six in our blog series honoring our Leadership Award recipients focuses on this Christ centered multi-step program which empowers men to take up their God-given roles as providers and protectors of the family.
Men’s Challenge was launched in February of 2012, when three Christian men, Ray Hall, Paul Dykshoorn and Gil Goodwin, felt led to pray for an avenue that would help bring men to the understanding that God has placed in them a purpose for their work. Ed Carter, current Chairman of the Board, was asked to pray for an organization that would engage experienced, hard-working men to pour into young men who hadn’t yet learned the blessings of working. The vision was to create a place where these seasoned men could invest in the next generation of employees. “But it was going to be more that that…it was a place where those men could pour into them the love and teachings of Christ. I have been a mentor, a teacher, board member and now I am currently the Chairman of the Board,” Ed stated. He continued, “Many men don’t understand the principle of hard work, they are not taught this; They view work as something evil, a means to an end even. But God never intended that to be the case, God intended man to work, to find pleasure…yes it would be hard, but it would be purposeful. To provide, to achieve, to accomplish…those are blessings of God found in our work.”
The concept was church-focused from the outset. The Men’s Challenge founders view the local church as the hope of the world and a natural partner to Men’s Challenge. They believe that the church body consists of quality older men with Christ at their core, who are equipped to mentor the program’s participants. The organization, currently supported by four local churches, gives credit to Consumers Bank for understanding the unique financial and legal situations of the men participating in the program and for offering services that are custom-tailored to their needs. Ed noted, “Consumers Bank is rooted in this community and committed to its success.”
“We really believe that God is doing great things through Men’s Challenge, and in both Alliance and Canton, we have been openly received,” stated Ed. The organization has seen great growth since day one and they are currently streamlining their processes and identifying ways to be more effective in helping participants. They note plenty of growth opportunities in surrounding areas such as Massillon, Akron and others, but have resisted the temptation to grow too fast. They believe they must be sustainable if they hope to continue to impact the communities where they are active.
Men who are interested in involvement, either as mentors or as participants, can call one of the offices in Canton, 330-754-6203, or Alliance, 330-821-6367. There is an intake process that needs to be completed to help identify any barriers to employment, but interested men are also welcome to attend any class on a walk-in basis. They currently have a need for mentors at both locations.
For more information on Men’s Challenge, visit their website.
We are excited to introduce our Leadership Award Winners, who will be recognized Tuesday, February 23 at our Annual Leadership Awards Dinner held at the Hartville Kitchen. Part four in our Leadership Award Winners Blog Series features the Troyer Corporation, this year’s recipient of the Economic Impact Award. The Economic Impact Award is presented to David Troyer, President and Nathan Stambaugh, Director of Operations in recognition of their vision, commitment and dedication to the community which impacts job growth, enhances tourism and sustains the economic growth and viability of Lake Township.
The Troyer Corporation was initially attracted to the Hartville area 10 years ago, after taking note of the destination presence of the HRM Corporation, through Hartville Hardware, Hartville MarketPlace and Hartville Kitchen, which together attract 2 million visitors to town, annually.
With 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, The Troyer Corporation’s hospitality expertise brought to life a vision for having a hotel in Hartville and Lake Township that would enhance the tourism experience here. The addition of Comfort Suites Hartville is one that will impact the community and local economy for years to come.
Demonstrating a strong commitment to the community and a willingness to collaborate with local businesses, parks and community organizations as well, The Troyer Corporation epitomizes all that is valued in this community. Because of their contribution to the community, through the willing participation of employees and management, and the sincerity and generosity of the entire organization, they are our 2016 recipient of the Economic Impact Award.
“This property’s guest service is exceptional due to our staff’s demonstration and understanding of the culture of the community, stated David Troyer, President. Our high expectations have been exceeded.” He continued, “they understand and identify with the guests, which provides a valuable connection.”
After opening in May 2015, guests were able to see examples of their high standards: Instead of ordering standard hotel furniture (made overseas) through a supplier, the Troyer Corporation was determined to procure locally-made furniture, and other building materials through local businesses. While this increased the overall cost, they felt strongly about the local community partnerships and that the excellent craftsmanship sets them apart from others. The quality finishes in the hotel reflect the history and culture of Hartville and Lake Township. They credit our Chamber as a part of their successful entry into our community, citing the connections and support it has provided since day one.
During the planning, David Troyer and Director of Operations, Nathan Stambaugh, were involved in every aspect, making specific changes to the architectural plans to increase operational excellence and efficiency and other key changes toward enhancing the guest experience, the guest- staff connection and overall morale. They made additional alterations to enhance the guest experience by increasing the soundproofing between adjacent rooms and in the ceilings between the four floors.
Guests enjoy access to a park adjacent to the hotel, as well as the driveway leading to the Hartville Kitchen and HRM campus. Guests who visit the hotel are provided with a Discover Hartville map and Visitors’ Guide and can access an electronic ExploreBoard to plan their itinerary and get directions to local shopping, dining and attractions.
We are excited to introduce our Leadership Award Winners, who will be recognized Tuesday, February 23 at our Annual Leadership Awards Dinner held at the Hartville Kitchen. Part three in our Leadership Award Winners Blog Series features John Birk as the 2016 Community Impact Award winner, specifically for his ongoing contribution and efforts involving the recent enhancements to the Uniontown Community Park.
John Birk was born in the early 1930’s in the Uniontown area. He graduated from Uniontown High School and soon after married his wife Kay. More than 61 years later, their family has grown to include three children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. John and Kay continue to live in the area.
In 1969, The Lion’s Club formed a committee to survey the community in search of finding suitable land for a community park, and on June 28, 1972, the Lion’s Club purchased 17 acres of land from Lloyd Grable and began work on the park known today as the Uniontown Community Park. Through the years, the Uniontown Community Park has added a community center, playgrounds, a half-mile walking path, a fishing pond for children, horseshoe and volleyball courts and several other amenities. John has been instrumental in its growth and success. Early on, John’s work involved the construction of the first playground, the community center and the creation of the park as a whole.
His contributions continue to make an impact today. Most recently, a new playground was added to the park, providing a safe area for children to play and explore. Additionally, a Veteran’s Memorial was established at the park, specifically honoring those soldiers who have lived in our community. The park is an incredible addition to the community and has had a lasting economic impact. His involvement and participation have helped create an environment where the community gathers, organizations conduct meetings, children can experience play and exploration and America’s local heroes are remembered.
For more information on the Uniontown Community Park, go to http://uniontowncommpark.org/ or visit their Facebook page.
We are excited to introduce our Leadership Award Winners, who will be recognized Tuesday, February 23 at our Annual Leadership Awards Dinner held at the Hartville Kitchen. Part two in our Leadership Award Winners Blog Series features Outstanding Business Professional of the Year Mark Hanlon with Schoner Chevrolet.
Mark Hanlon was born here in Lake Township, the grandson of Earl Schoner, who opened Schoner Chevrolet in 1936. Some 32 years later, at the age of 16, Mark began his career at Schoner as a salesman. Mark is a Lake High School graduate and attended Ashland University. After returning to the community, he set his sights on helping out the family business and giving back to the community. Not long after re-establishing himself here, Mark married his wife Beth, whom he has been with for the last 23 years. Together they have 6 children.
Since taking over the business, Mark has made it a point to continually support the community, specifically youth programs. He has been known to have supported Toys for Tots, choir events, the yearbook, a variety of sports programs and also made a sizable donation to the new Alumni Field at Lake High School. Additionally, his store launched a toy assembly program during the Christmas season 25 years ago, that remains a huge part of the company’s Christmas season today. Schoner staff will assemble toys, bikes and other gifts for no charge for area parents.
His employees have described him as “caring,” and are “grateful to work with him.” Mark’s door is always open and he demonstrates regularly the value of good employees. Mark was selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Business Professional Award because of his selfless service, partnerships with other local businesses and organizations and the longevity and success of Schoner Chevrolet under his leadership. Our congratulations to him on a job well done!
To attend the Leadership Awards Dinner in recognition of Mark and his fellow award winners, go to www.lakechamber.com/annualdinner.
We are excited to introduce our Leadership Award Winners that we will be recognizing Tuesday, February 23 at the Hartville Kitchen. Part one in our Leadership Award Winners Blog Series features Community Connection Award winner Frank Pilato.
The Community Connection Award is presented to a person who goes above and beyond to connect the community for a specific purpose that benefits both the community and the parties involved. Frank Pilato was chosen as the 2016 recipient, for his efforts in creating meaningful connections between Lake High School students and the community, specifically through marketing projects that provide the students with hands-on business experience and tangible benefits.
At Lake High School, Frank has been a prime example of what the Community Connection Award embodies. As a Career Tech Prep teacher, he has helped students learn valuable, real-world, marketing skills. Every year he hosts projects involving real money, real business and real scholarships. The two largest projects are the Lake High School Prom Fashion Show and the Classroom Apprentice. The Prom Fashion Show takes place every spring and students advertise, plan and work at the show, which raises money for the prom committee and Lake Local Schools. Additionally, Classroom Apprentice gives students the opportunity to work their way through a series of challenges. When just two students remain, they compete in a sales competition in which the winner takes home a scholarship. Additionally, some of the students’ assignments are related to public safety and are used to promote awareness, such as participating in Safe Auto’s campaign to encourage drivers to keep both hands on the steering wheel.
Other projects or events which connect students to the community include: a Shark Tank project in which actual professionals invested in student’s ideas, networking with local businesses, promoting awareness for the school levy, and a social media project which allowed students to advertise the finding of a golden ticket.
Frank was born in the Macedonia area and attended Nordonia High School. He later studied at Walsh University, where he obtained his B.A. in Education and his MBA. He has been teaching since the 2006-2007 school year and more recently has joined Lake Local schools as their Career Tech Prep teacher. Personally, he has three children, Giada, Guilianna and Giacomo, with his wife Christine, whom he has been married to for seven years.
In addition to teaching, Frank Pilato helps coach the Lake High School football team and runs an AdvoCare business with his wife and a business named SpiritHogz which specializes in making sports themed wall decals.
For more information on Lake High School’s Career Tech Prep programs, go to this link or attend their Open House on February 2. To attend the Leadership Awards Dinner in recognition of Frank and his fellow award winners, go to www.lakechamber.com/annualdinner.
I have lived in Hartville/Lake Township my entire life and I, like many of my peers, swore one day making my way to other areas of the country and out of this little midwestern town. When College came around, I chose to go as close to the edge of the state as possible in an attempt to help myself become acclimated with the distance I would put between myself and home one day. What moving away taught me was to make yourself as marketable as possible for your career and to create your own opportunities, but never being so prideful as to never ask for guidance. Through that ideology, and with the help of lucky connections, I found myself with the chance to intern at the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce this winter, and now with it coming to end, I can say with confidence that my view on this town has changed in more ways than one.
For those of you who don’t know what a Chamber of Commerce is, it is a business network and non-profit organization that has the aim of promoting and helping local businesses grow. I could go on and on about how much I learned related to my journalism major, but that is not the most important thing I took away. Yes, I did write a lot of blog posts. Yes, I helped manage multiple social media accounts. Yes, I attended meetings. Yes, I learned fantastic marketing and social techniques. Yes, I made more phone calls than my introverted self would of hoped. Yes, I learned how to make those phone calls less painful. Yes, I networked and gained references from some amazing people. But what this internship taught me most about, was a sense of community.
Lake Township is a small, but mighty township. It’s not hard to miss on the map or to drive by on a roadtrip, but to us, it is home. However, I am not deaf to the comments my friends, peers and even myself (not anymore) make about it, and the conversation which always unfolds:
- “I’m bored, there is nothing to do around here.”
- “We’ve done everything around here.”
- “Everything fun is at least a 20 minute drive.”
- “That’s way too far.”
- “Let’s just go watch a scary movie in someone’s basement.”
This constant conversation is ludicrous. There is plenty to do in Lake Township, however people have to be willing to look and open their eyes to new possibilities. Remember when the Flea Market was on the corner of Market and 619? That was when there was less to do around here. While I have nothing against poor quality horror films (trust me, I’ve seen more than I care to admit), and there is nothing with wrong with finding things to do outside of the community occasionally, there is much more to this town. In my time at the Chamber, I have had the opportunity to connect with businesses that I didn’t even know existed, or have been around for years, but I never tried out. I could write a list or make a flowchart of neat things to do in a 15 mile radius, but all that would do is send every reader into information overload and leave them with nothing but a list of businesses, which they would ultimately never glance at again. Rather, I challenge you all to explore your town and begin thinking locally.
The most common problem I see, is the willingness to write off local businesses in favor of those in other townships. Why drive to out of the township for a cup of coffee when we have plenty of great coffee shops in town? Why scour the state for thrift shops when your town has a massive list of them? Why drive nearly an hour to go to a park when we have multiple (I know you all haven’t been to them all)? I am not saying you shouldn’t take advantage of all the state has to offer, but the fact is, if you spend $1.00 at a business in Lake Township, $0.68 will be put back into the local economy, if you spend the same amount in a different township, it is doing nothing to help this area continue to grow. That is staggering. Even in the last 19 years, Lake Township has grown immensely. You can continue to make this town bigger and better, but you need to invest in it first.
Lake Township has multiple hidden gems. I know most of my peers have an itch for exploration, but why not explore the place you live and find out what it truly has to offer? The Chamber offers resources such as their blogs, Facebook pages, community calendar of events and their tourism website named Discover Hartville, which is dedicated to showcasing our area assets. The site also includes a downloadable map which helps tourists and locals navigate our area with ease.
I, like many of peers, swore to eventually get away from this community. The Chamber has not changed that, I still want to see the world. However, no city started as the behemoth it is today. It started as a small town like Hartville, Uniontown or Greentown. No matter where you travel, no matter where you wander, no matter if you stay or go, this place will always be your home, and we should treat it as such.
2015 was a fantastic year of growth for Lake Township and we look forward to a prosperous 2016!
A Niche in Time (Historic Downtown Hartville) – March – Great estate finds await you at this shop, located in Historic Downtown Hartville
Comfort Suites: Hartville – April – 81 suites available to help all your friends and family come visit the area
Yoder Medical – June- Newly remodeled and rebranded, Yoder Medical offers fashionable scrubs, shoes, and supplies
261 Boutique (Uniontown Square) – July – Fashionable and sophisticated, a great addition to any shopping spree
Arukah Market Health and Restoration – August- A plentiful selection of healthy foods awaits at this Uniontown-based market
Peace, Love & Little Donuts (Historic Downtown Hartville) – August – Offers a variety of 20+ kinds of delicious donuts
Uniontown Community Park – August – A new playground has been added to help kids get out and be active
Uniontown Police Department– August – UPD has relocated and gained new facilities
Cocoa Concepts – September – Learn the history and process of making chocolate at this location, they also specialize in small parties. Cocoa Concepts hosted the largest Business After Hours event yet at 125+ peopleHartville Children’s Boutique – November – Has a great array of baby gear and toys, the perfect shop for anyone with a child in their life
Chamber & Community Events:
SCORE Canton: Business After Hours – January – Highlighted SCORE Canton’s free and confidential business counseling, hosted at Grinders
Annual Leadership Awards Dinner – February – The Chamber’s annual dinner, hosted by Hartville Kitchen, which featured Pro Football Hall of Fame President, David Baker and Leadership Awards for five community leaders
POPS Hullabaloo & YMCA Kid’s Day – April – An event where parents of young children could tour area preschools, while local businesses, aimed at children, could network
Speed Networking – April – A lightning-fast networking event, hosted by Elite Sports Uniontown, with the North Canton and Green Chambers
STAR Training – April/September – A two part series, with VisitCanton.com, training front line employees to be tourism ambassadors
Get Your Businesses Online with Google – July – A Google sponsored workshop, which promoted getting our area on the map
MAPS Air Museum – September- Small Business Showcase with North Canton and Jackson/Belden Chambers
Tailgate Party and Pep Rally – September- Hosted by the Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market, this event helped bring the community together for the Lake High School band, cheerleaders and football team
Leadership Stark County Bus Tour – Highlighted the great features of Lake Township to area colleagues from Leadership Stark County
Homecoming Parade -October- A parade to celebrate Lake High School’s Homecoming, hosted by PNC Bank
One Bite – October – A Chamber taste event featuring local restaurants and businesses
Evening the in Village – December – Hartville’s annual, festive occasion hosts a plethora of activities, such as music, vendors, and the Ride the Fire Truck with Santa contest
Holidays at the Hollow Luncheon – December – Chamber’s Annual Holidays at the Hollow Luncheon featured One Bite Taste Event winners The Pierogi Lady, Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, and Quail’s Covey Bed & Breakfast at Quail Hollow Park
All Year – Morning Connections Networking was hosted at Consumers National Bank on the first Wednesday of each month for a networking & education series
Press and Features:
Southwest Magazine – Thanks to Southwest Magazine for featuring our area in a well represented manner
About Magazine – Thank you About Magazine for your piece on Downtown Hartville
Akron Life – Thank you Akron Life for featuring Hartville
New Day Cleveland – Thank you New Day Cleveland for your piece on Hartville shopping, for the holidays
We are inspired everyday by the work of our community emergency assistance program, named Lake Township F.I.S.H. (Faithfully I Serve Him). This Holiday season, FISH is giving back in a number of ways to people in need in our community. You can give them a helping hand throughout the season by participating in the Affordable Christmas program, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives.
What is Affordable Christmas? As a Chamber of Commerce, we look at this program as a gift not only for those in need, but a gift back to our local community as well when gifts are purchased locally. Affordable Christmas is a local shopping event on December 13 for lower-income, working-class families to provide their children fun and exciting gifts during the holiday season. Families are invited through partnering community organizations such as Lake Local Schools, Lake Township FISH and Stark County Family Council to attend the event and purchase new, unused gifts at 1/10 the cost of their original price. All gifts are intended for children and teens ages 0-16 years old. Volunteer on Sunday December 13 from 3-6pm for this program, hosted at RiverTree Christian Church Lake Campus.
Local businesses are invited to place their own stock of toys and clothes at registers and encourage customers while they are checking out to purchase an extra item to donate to Affordable Christmas or host their own toy drive. For a list of items needed, click here. Hartville Collectibles‘ new Children’s Boutique (located on the second floor) is participating in this program as well and toy drop-off locations are Best Bib and Tucker and Peace, Love and Little Donuts of Hartville.
On Tuesday, November 24, a group of local churches led by Hartville Mennonite Church gathered together to provide all of the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving meal to Lake Township residents referred by Lake Township FISH, Lake Center Christian School, Lake Local Schools and Greentown Elementary. GentleBrook Event Center hosts the event and the children can make Thanksgiving cards while their parents select their ingredients. Donors that made this event possible are Hartville Kitchen, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Hartville Church of the Brethren, Advent Lutheran Church, Bethany Mennonite Church, Church Upon the Rock, Adventure Place, Rivertree Lake, Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Uniontown United Methodist Church, East Nimishillen Church of the Brethren, FISH, Solid Rock Church, St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church, Hartville Mennonite Church, Pole Position Marketing, GentleBrook and New Life Episcopal Church.
Lake High School National Honor Society student Megan collaborated with FISH and local volunteers and employees from Pole Position Marketing and Best Bib and Tucker in our community to make 180 stockings that have been distributed throughout Lake Township shops to fill with donations. Twice is Nice and Best Bib and Tucker are collecting items until November 30. Those donations will stock the pantry shelves for the winter months when need is greater. On December 7, the giving continues as a “Breakfast Food Drive” at Lake High School fills the stockings with the makings of a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast!
Lastly, stop on out to Evening in the Village in Historic Downtown Hartville on Sunday, December 6 from 4:30-7:00pm for a Lake Township tradition! Tree lighting, visit with Santa, wagon rides, choirs, children’s activities, and downtown shops open! A collection site for Affordable Christmas and donations for Lake Township FISH will be available during the event.
Lake Township is known for its generous and giving nature. Thank you, especially during this Thanksgiving week, for making this a great community for all!