Mike McDorman, President & CEO
    Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce



New Video Scoreboard Goes Live at Carleton Davidson Field

The new video scoreboard at Carleton Davidson Field is finally up and running in time for the remainder of the Champion City Kings season. The Kings have breathed life back into the National Trail and Parks renovated stadium (which is most recently known for holding the Stroh’s Tournament), and have brought a quality family friendly baseball experience to the Greater Springfield area. Many thanks to the community partners who helped bring the Champion City Kings to Springfield and the others who helped sponsor the new video scoreboard which will bring a professional league experience to fans.

1295The video scoreboard was one of the first items discussed as the Kings prepared to open its inaugural season. The size of the scoreboard, however, was the vision of Kings General Manager Rick White. He envisioned a board that would be big enough to show live feeds and other video content, as well as one that would feature pitch by pitch speeds for the fans. This scoreboard by Nevco does all of that and more.

The new scoreboard cost approximately $200,000 to completely install. The Kings secured four sponsors to give $50,000 each over five years to pay for it. The major sponsors included Speedway, Ohio Valley Surgical Center, Fisher Beverage, and the Chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kroger provided a lesser sponsorship to help maintain and operate the new generation board. The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce secured a loan to cover the five year commitments and plans to gift the board to Leann Castillo and the National Trail and Parks once the loan is paid off.

This incredible enhancement to Carleton Davidson Field simply would not be happening without the strong support and collaboration of many different people. We want to thank local contractor Plato Pavlatos and C&N Contractors for taking on the challenge of excavating the hole (the size of an Olympic size swimming pool) and filling it with concrete so that the steel beams could be set for the board installation. We know that this was a difficult task and appreciate the sacrifice their company made to help make this scoreboard possible. We thank Nevco, the scoreboard company, for their sacrifice in keeping the project on course. We thank AG Samuelson for setting the scoreboard in place and Steve Hawkins from NTPRD for his extra efforts on this extended job. We also thank the sponsors and the fans for their patience during this challenging project in building a quality product that will last long into the future for those who will use it.

The good news is that no one will remember what it took to construct this great new feature of Carleton Davidson Field. But hopefully many in the Springfield region will get to enjoy the new video scoreboard and The Champion City Kings for many years to come!

Have a Great Chamber Day!


      Mike McDorman, President & CEO
   Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce



Rock and Roll All Nite at The Clark County Fair

It is that time of year again! The Clark County Fair runs the week of July 18th through July 25th. If you ask Clark County Commissioner John Detrick, he will tell you it is most well known for being the 2nd largest Junior Fair in America.

This year’s fair will once again be packed with powerful entertainment and plenty of fun for the whole family. It will feature big tent acts like Mr. Speed, the world’s best KISS tribute band. This band has been together for 20 Ccflogo1years playing popular KISS music to crowds throughout the United States. They will Rock and Roll All Nite under the big tent on Saturday, July 19th at 7:30 pm. The fair will close with the Jimmy buffet tribute band Buffettman serving up Cheeseburgers in Paradise on Friday, July 25th at 7:30 pm. Tom Watt and the Fruitcakes have been thrilling Parrotheads coast to coast since 1998, and that night will be no different.

The Midway will feature fantastic fair food, as well as daily performances by The famous Nerveless Nocks – Sway Pole Acrobats. In addition to the stomach turning amusement park rides and carnival games, you will also want to make sure you do not miss Gabriel the Hypnotist, a chainsaw artist, and a strolling musician as you walk along the Midway.

Each year I enjoy walking through the various buildings and barns to see the adult and youth projects, as well as the many businesses exhibiting there. The Junior Fair livestock auctions are a valuable experience for nearly 2000 4-H and FFA members in Clark County. You can participate in one of the auctions and actively support the hard work and dedication of the many youth exhibitors. Your purchases will help these young people achieve their personal and educational goals.

The Grandstands events will include Truck Tug-O-War, Truck Pull, Demolition Derby, Tractor Pull, a Cheerleading Show, and a Kiddie Pig Chase & Scramble. You can go to clarkcountyfair.org for more information on the events happening at the 2014 Clark County Fair.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s all get into our cars and make our way out to the fairgrounds for a pork chop, corn on the cob, elephant ear (or Young’s Ice Cream) and all of the fun activities happening at this year’s Clark County Fair!

Have a Great Chamber Day!




 mcdorman2008      Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce





The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate the birth of our great nation 238 years ago, and to spend quality time with family and friends.  

This weekend was perfect for doing just that. Throughout Clark County there were parades, fireworks demonstrations, family picnics, Summer Arts Festival events, and for the first time the Champion City Kings baseball games for all of us to enjoy!

The Clark County Fireworks kicked off the weekend with more than 15,000 people in attendance at or near the Fairgrounds.  Every year the county-wide event is led by Clark County Commissioner John Detrick and Springfield City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill, who collectively raise more than $28,000 from area businesses and organizations to help sponsor the event.  There is also much coordination required between local law enforcement and fire departments to maintain a safe environment for everyone involved.  This year’s event went off without a hitch with perfect weather and was fun for all.

On Friday evening the Champion City Kings played the Richmond River Rats at Carleton Davidson Field.  The game included an incredible post-game fireworks display and a fabulous 80s rock concert by local band 9 Volt.  It was a perfect summer evening to watch local pitcher Luke Mamer throw against top level college talent and enjoy some delicious ballpark food and great entertainment with more than 1,500 fans in attendance.

The Summer Arts Festival held each year in Veteran’s Park Amphitheater provided several opportunities throughout the holiday weekend for the community to enjoy from Ohio Performing Arts Institute’s Willy Wonka to an Aerosmith tribute band called Aeromyth.  There is no community in Ohio that offers a month-long outdoor arts series like the one held by the Springfield Arts Council.

During the Fourth of July weekend people also enjoyed themselves at Buck Creek State Park, Snyder Park, Old Reid Park, the bike trails throughout the county and our nine regulation public and private golf courses.  Many times we simply take these local recreational spaces for granted.

This past weekend I was again reminded of how lucky we are to have these great local attractions in and around our community.

Have a great Chamber day!


mcdorman2008        Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce



The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is among three finalists for the most prestigious national award presented to a chamber – Chamber of the Year.  

This is the second time in three years the Greater Springfield Chamber has been recognized as one of the top chambers in the country, having been named a finalist for the award in 2012.

Chamber of the Year is the nation’s only award recognizing the dual role chambers have in both leading businesses and communities.  It recognizes top chambers that have not only demonstrated success in community leadership and organizational strength, but also have made an apparent impact on key community priorities, such as education, transportation, healthcare and cultural vitality.

“It is great for our team to be nationally recognized for the excellent and innovative work they are doing for our region,” said Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Michael McDorman. “We are on a curve toward excellence and this honor recognizes that.”

The Chamber of the Year Award will be presented at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives annual convention in August.  Other finalists are the Greater Cheyenne (WY) Chamber of 1262Commerce and the McLean County (IL) Chamber of Commerce.

Winners are judged and selected by chamber professionals from across the country and are selected from four categories, based on revenue size. Applicants were asked to submit an extensive application that detailed its operations, products and services. Applicants were also asked to include examples of electronic and printed communications, promotional brochures, the strategic plan, as well as documentation related to two chamber-led initiatives to better the community.

The chamber will also be presented two communications awards during the ACCE annual meeting:

  • Champion City Guide and Supply retail store and visitor center – Award of Excellence
  • “Front Desk Reference and Training Guide” – Award of Excellence, Special Recognition

The ACCE annual convention will be held August 12-15 in Cincinnati.

 649Mike McDorman, President & CEO
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce





In April, I wrote in this space about how the former South High School could become a Hub of Hope for our community.

That dream is now $11 million closer to reality.

On Friday the Springfield City School District, Clark-Shawnee Local School District, Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center and the Global Impact STEM Academy – who jointly applied for funding to renovate the former South High School – were notified they were the recipients of an $11.3 million Straight A grant for the project. The consortium had applied for the grant in April.

It has been the goal of many in this community to save this circa 1909-11 architectural landmark. Thanks to the grant, the building will not only be saved, but will continue to serve as an education center for our community.

The Global Impact STEM Academy, which is currently holding classes at Clark State Community College, will move into the renovated space for the 2015-16 academic year. Earlier this year Clark State Community College received a $1 million state grant to support a food science and manufacturing program that will be developed in conjunction with the South High School renovation.

“We are really proud to be part of the Straight A grant partnership,” said Clark State President, Jo Alice Blondin. “It’s inspiring to see the community coming together to advance education and preserve a landmark with such rich history.”

The center will also house the College and Career Readiness Hub, which will allow employers, colleges, workforce development agencies, educators, students and the community to work together to increase students’ successful transition from middle school to high school, career training and/or college and on to in-demand careers, said Kim Fish, special projects and communications consultant for the Springfield City School District.

The center, tentatively named The Greater Springfield Career ConnectED Center, will expand personalized college and career readiness activities; allow more student to develop 21st century technology skills and support teachers from the partner districts as they develop more real-world-based curriculum.

This “center on innovation” will link teachers and curriculum experts with our local employers in the manufacturing, computer science and ag-bioscience fields, Fish said. Partners include Navistar, McGregor, DRMA, Lexis-Nexis, the Air Force Research Laboratories, the Ohio Farm Bureau and others.

The implications for our community are many.

We will:

  • Save a treasured landmark and ensure its long-term viability
  • Revitalize a significant gateway to our urban core
  • Provide the latest in educational opportunities in one central location
  • Create synergy among our many educational institutions as they operate various aspects of their programs in the same location

It took a strong commitment from many partners to accomplish this dream. They should be applauded for putting our community and our future generation above any personal goals or aspirations each institution might have. We are all the winners because of this collaboration.

Let us follow their lead by continuing to create partnerships to move our community forward. Let us do it for ourselves, for the future of our community and our children.

Have a great Chamber day!


 649Mike McDorman, President & CEO
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce


Springfield Auto Dealer Builds for Future 




With the completion of a major expansion, one of the largest auto dealerships in the Dayton region expects to see huge growth this year.

This week we celebrated with the Jeff Wyler Auto Group another Grand Opening on the former Forever Sports 19 acre site.  The Grand Opening was for a beautiful new Toyota Scion showroom.

Jeff Wyler Auto Group has been a very strong partner to the community since coming here in 2000.  They have played a very important role in the development of the Chamber’s Buy Local campaign and have been a lead partner in the branding and promotion of the 41 Crossing shopping and restaurant corridor that includes the Bechtle area and the Upper Valley Mall.

Jeff Wyler Auto Group has also been a longstanding community partner and supporter of various local initiatives, the arts, and many non-profits throughout the Springfield area.  With this grand opening happening in our primary shopping and restaurant corridor, the draw for people to choose Springfield to spend their discretionary income will only become greater because of this multi-million dollar investment.

On behalf of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, I want to congratulate General Manager Jay Lawrence and the entire Wyler team for their hard work and dedication to the vision in making this significant local investment a reality for Springfield.  I also want to thank them for their continued support of a community that is moving forward, and one that has a very bright future.  With this latest project, the Wyler Auto Group has proved once again that they believe in that future, and are playing an important role in making it happen.

We wish them even more success as they continue to grow the Wyler Auto Mall here in Springfield!


Have a Great Chamber Day!

 649Mike McDorman, President & CEO 

When I moved back to Springfield in my early 20s I had no idea what it meant to be a young professional.

I was a recent college graduate who simply wanted to find a job and begin to build a career.  Little did I know at that time I would have an opportunity to do just that right here in Springfield.  I soon accepted a marketing position with Ohio Edison and began to go to work every day in a very different world that was for the most part full of people who were much older and more experienced than me.  Fortunately, I was very blessed to have found a company that was not only great to work for, but was also full of incredibly talented people that were willing to help me grow into the leader that I am today.


GSYP attend one of their first social.

I have learned from my experience that it is up to each of us to help grow the future leaders that will continue to help move Greater Springfield forward.  Our community’s future success depends not only on strong leadership today – but on strong leadership tomorrow.  That is the driver behind the Greater Springfield Young Professionals – a network of young professionals formed by four chamber members: Zach and Travis Holder of R. D. Holder Oil Co. and Eric Powell and Andrew Barlow of Baker Krizner Financial Planning.

The group, which was formed in early 2013, started out with about 10 members.  Today it has expanded to more than 50.

Powell, a lifelong resident of Springfield, said he saw the need to establish such a network “because there wasn’t a group to connect young professionals.”

The need became even more apparent when the four would see each other at various business networking events.  When we would attend chamber events, we noticed that there were very few people our age in the room,” Zach Holder said. “We wanted to find a way to encourage people of our generation to get involved – to really become active.”

The group meets the second Thursday of every month, alternating between lunches and socials held at various venues that introduce the group to opportunities in the community.

“There are plenty of young professionals looking to make an impact,” Holder said. “It is our responsibility to take that opportunity to lead.”

Area businesses have a lot to gain from GSYP’s success, Powell said.  “Our community as a whole, and business leaders included, should embrace this opportunity of a young professionals group because this is a way to attract and retain young professionals,” Powell said. “This is a way for future leaders of our community to build a solid foundation and make a positive impact on our community now as well as in the future.”

Sarah V. Michelson, office administrator for the Springfield Arts Council and new Springfield resident, joined the group with personal and professional goals in mind.

In addition to helping her become more acclimated to Springfield, she hopes her involvement will help introduce her generation to opportunities within Springfield’s arts community – both as attendees and as leaders.  “It’s important to broaden the audiences of those established institutions we have in our community,” she said. “I wanted to be involved to network and meet other young professionals and other businesses that might partner with the arts.”

Active engagement in local businesses and the community is an important driver for GSYP, Holder said.  “The community as a whole needs our generation to be prepped and ready to take leadership roles to make sure Springfield is the best place it can be to work and live,” he said.  The immediate goal is to grow. And while “professional” is in its title, Holder does not want that to scare away potential members.  “We want as many people as possible to attend – people who want to be active in the community and possible future leaders in our community.”

If you are a CEO of a company or organization with young professionals on your team, the Greater Springfield community needs you to encourage them to get involved.  If you are a young professional working in this region, we want to encourage you to speak to the leadership in your organization about getting involved.  This important investment of the company and the young professionals who participate will reap benefits not only for the future success of the company or organization, but also for the future success of our great community!

For more information about Greater Springfield Young Professionals, visit them on Facebook or email greaterspringfieldyp@gmail.com

Have a Great Chamber Day!


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