The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce is making great strides.

Moving the Chamber downtown, creating a beautiful visitor’s center and growing by at least one new member a week for most of the past year. Chamber Director Jennifer Romano is keeping the business community engaged with residents.

We love the Chamber’s new location, in the heart of downtown Columbia City. We love the Chamber’s effort to reach out to the Churubusco and South Whitley communities. The addition of the monthly artist feature is wonderful. An active Chamber is essential to a growing community like Whitley County.

Doug Brown was doing great work as the Chamber director, and when he left just over a year ago, he shared his excitement to see Romano bring fresh, new ideas to the organization—and that she has done.

While a chamber’s mission is to support the local business community, advocating and in some cases lobbying, on behalf of those businesses, we are fortunate to live in a county where the chamber members view service to the public as a core function of its duties. The chamber members and its leaders deserve a thank-you from the community at-large due to the efforts they are making to create a better place to live – a quality place that will attract and retain talent.

The Chamber’s effort is evident when looking at the success of local businesses.

For example, the Chamber’s Large Business of the Year award winner, Fort Wayne Metals, recently invested $12 million into its Whitley County facility. The company employs 1,000 people and is a great asset to the community, but it’s the company’s work with the Chamber that makes it special. Fort Wayne Metals is present at many ribbon cuttings and open houses, supporting other businesses in the community.

From the hard work of member relations coordinator Carol Flowers to the work of all the board members and the guidance of Jennifer Romano, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce — next time you see a Chamber employee or board member, be sure to give them a pat on the back!