mcdorman2008Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce


Dig it up!  Truck it out!  That was the theme of a public forum this past week held at Northwestern High School.  The US EPA was in town to present a cost effective solution to a decades-long issue at the Tremont City Barrel fill.  The only problem is that it did not include what was in a previous fix, the removal of what is remaining of the 51,500 barrels that were buried there.

I estimate there were more than 800 concerned citizens in attendance at the forum.  I have never seen such an outpouring of community support for an issue affecting our community during my working career.  The energy in the room was electric!  We were all interested in what the EPA had to say, and we wanted to have our opportunity to speak as well.  The freedom of speech was exhibited throughout the meeting, and that is what makes our Country so great!

So what are we trying to protect?  Our sole source aquifer is one of the largest and most productive water sources in the nation.  It supplies water to the whole Dayton-Springfield region and approximately 15 million gallons of water a day to the Springfield area.  The entire southwest United States would love to have what we take for granted every day.

Our aquifer also supplies water to important Springfield food related companies like Dole Fresh Vegetables, Reiter Dairy, and Woeber Mustard.  One of the Chamber’s most valuable marketing tools is our vast, pure water supply from this incredible underground aquifer.

The discussions about what to do with the local barrel fill have been going on for decades.  As recent as 2010, the US EPA presented plan 4a which includes:

  • Excavating all hazardous wastes
  • Transporting all hazardous wastes off-site for treatment
  • Consolidating nonhazardous and contaminated soil in an on-site cell

The US EPA presentation to the community this past week was a different plan called 9a which has been agreed upon by the barrel fill owner, Waste Management, and includes:

  • Excavating all hazardous wastes
  • Transporting liquid waste that passes a paint filter test off-site for treatment
  • Reburying the sludge in a cell with an engineered liner
  • Places a cap over the waste cell with a monitoring system

I believe the reason why local support for removing the hazardous waste has been so successful is due to the grassroots efforts of People For Safe Water led by Marilyn Welker.  This group has held many town hall meetings, and effectively mobilized the support of the City, County, Townships, the business community, and many other organized groups throughout the community.

Charlie Patterson, Clark County Health Commissioner, has also helped lead the charge for a plausible resolution to the barrel fill issue.  He has been a strong advocate for the future health of our area by leading the effort with both the US EPA and Ohio EPA.  Charlie has also worked closely with our federal and state elected officials to make sure our community’s voice is heard.

Although the 8-acre site where the barrels reside is not affecting our sole source aquifer today, it could at some point in our future.  We will need to remain vigilant in our efforts to remove this potential threat to our community and our region once and for all.  This is not only a health related concern, but a quality of life issue, as well as one that could impact our ability to lure and keep much needed jobs in our community.

A modified 4a resolution would accomplish what Senator Widener asked for at this most important meeting held last week.  Dig it up!  Truck it out!  Place a liner in the affected area so we can all enjoy a prosperous future.  Not to mention protect one of the largest, purest sole source aquifers in North America!

Have a great Chamber Day!

mcdorman2008Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce


Earlier this year I had an opportunity to visit with one of the most successful people in his field. He has not only helped save countless lives during his career in Springfield, but he has also been asked to care for US presidents and met many international dignitaries in pursuit of the prevention of heart disease. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Neravetla as the long standing director of cardiac surgery at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

Here are some of his thoughts on how heart patients are being treated here in Springfield.

“Springfield Regional Medical Center’s cardiac surgery program has once again received the highest rating of three stars for the fifth consecutive time from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The three star rating is awarded to only 10 to 12 % of the best heart surgery programs across America. Primary award factors include overall complication rate, including mortality rate. At Springfield Regional in 2014, these rates were nearly half of the national average of 848 heart programs that report their data to STS.

Patients who arrive in Springfield with heart attack symptoms in-progress also receive expeditious evaluation and care by the accredited chest pain unit at SRMC. Timely diagnosis and deployment of the cardiology team to reopen a blocked artery decreases the degree of damage to the heart muscle – allowing for a more speedy patient recovery. The time it takes from moment the patient arrives at the door to actually have the blocked artery opened to restore blood flow to the heart muscle is another measure of high quality cardiac care. Our time of 58 minutes far exceeds the national standard of 90 minutes recommended by American College of Cardiology.

Patients who need surgery to open a blocked artery in the neck (known as a carotid artery), also have received excellent care and had positive outcomes over the last 24 years. High quality surgery and overall patient recovery of this particular artery is an important step to prevent the dreaded problem of stroke.

As a long term resident of Clark County and the director of cardiac surgery since the inception, I have also taken a very active role in preventing heart disease, not just treating it. We know that smoking and use of table salt play the two of the most important roles in preventable heart disease and strokes. Despite significant progress in reduction of smoking, more work remains. Table salt remains the most widely ignored cause of cardiovascular disease. I feel so deeply about this issue that I have written two books, “Salt Kills” and “Salt: Black America’s Silent Killer,” to help raise awareness.

With cardiovascular disease as the number one killer in Clark County, providing this high-quality care at Springfield Regional is vital and affects our co-workers, friends and neighbors. Top-notch skill and teamwork of all the departments working as a well-oiled machine recently came together to save the life of an 8- year-old who came to our Emergency Department with a gunshot wound to the chest.

This Springfield Regional team is able to produce excellent outcomes for our patients, regardless of what medical issue brings a person to encounter our team’s remarkable care. Living in a community the size of Springfield, I am fortunate and pleased to be a part of a medical facility with such high quality outcomes across many medical specialties that are dedicated to preventing illness, not just treating it. Why would I go anywhere else for the healthcare of myself or my own family members?”

With doctors like Dr. Neravetla living and working in our community, we all have one more reason to be proud of this great place we call home.

Chris HeadshotChris Schutte, Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

Have you noticed the buses promoting Greater Springfield and our local attractions as you move around town? These wrapped SCAT buses are part of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau’s efforts to market our community as a destination for visitors – and a tool to raise awareness among residents of everything Springfield has to offer.

A total of four wrapped buses are currently on the streets with three more planned for early 2016. Each bus carries a specific thematic message including:

  • Outdoor Recreation: Buck Creek State Park, bike trails, whitewater
  • The Arts: Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Summer Arts Festival, Springfield Museum of Art, Stageworks, Hartman Rock Garden
  • Historic Architecture: Westcott House, Wittenberg University, Bushnell Mansion, Heritage Center
  • Family Fun: Champion City Kings, Young’s Jersey Dairy, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield, SplashZone

Upcoming buses will feature our local signature events, the history and heritage of Springfield and Visit Greater Springfield brand messaging.f6a1e8c0-5ca0-4b1b-ae64-3bce10f16d42

Tourism is a $368M industry in Clark County and a crucial economic driver for our community. The bus wraps are part of the CVB’s larger marketing plan designed to position Greater Springfield as the place to “Find Your Unwind” – a destination for active leisure especially for those within a three-hour drive range. While most of the promotional vehicles including our website (www.VisitGreaterSpringfield.com), visitor guide, print ads and LED billboard would be classified as “outbound” messaging, the bus wraps serve a different purpose.

The wraps are specifically designed to raise the perception of Greater Springfield as a desirable place to visit, and a great place to live. When visitors see the buses moving about town it reinforces the fact that we are a community on the rise with great attractions and entertainment options. The vibrant montages provide a palpable sense of energy consistent with the CVB’s brand messaging.

Perhaps more importantly, the bus wraps remind local residents that Springfield is a dynamic community with a wide range of Arts, entertainment, recreation and family fun opportunities. We need residents to become advocates of our community and everything it has to offer.

With the rise of social media everyone has the ability to influence friends, followers, readers and viewers. The Greater Springfield CVB promotes our community through various channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can see all of these links at the top of our website and we would appreciate you following us on all of these sites.

But the best thing you can do is to add your voice to those helping promote our community. Be a community advocate. Leave some positive local reviews on Yelp!, or Trip Advisor. Post photos from a local outing on Facebook, or Instagram. Tweet about upcoming events and performances that you’re planning to attend.

We’re raising the bar for how our community is perceived. Be a positive part of the story!

mcdorman2008Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce


When Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible,” he meant it.  When others did not believe in his vision of Disney World, he built it anyway.  That is what is happening here in Springfield with the rebirth of the former South High School into the Springfield Center of Innovation:  The Dome!

It took incredible vision to get to this point even when many did not believe that the iconic building could be revived.  That vision began with two key individuals:  State Senator Chris Widener and former Springfield City Schools Superintendent David Estrop.  They simply made this dream happen for our community.

Recently, a Parade insert featured an article on how to revitalize your local Main Street.  It highlighted several communities around the country that have done just that, and offered some tips on how communities like Springfield can continue to work towards that goal. Two of the tips mentioned in the Parade article pointed out that you have to preserve the best of what makes your town special and you must harness civic pride.

With the many projects happening throughout this community during this time and $23 million being pumped into this former Springfield South High School, we are seeing real signs of a reawakening happening on our most important main street corridor.

It takes teamwork to accomplish anything great, and some key partnerships are making this beacon of hope for our community possible.  Many thanks goes out to Springfield City School District, Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center, Clark-Shawnee Local Schools, the Global Impact STEM Academy, and Clark State for their roles in bringing The Dome back to life.  Collectively, they will provide training for students from all school districts to better prepare them for existing and future career opportunities.

Many thanks also to Vaughn Anthony for presenting this opportunity to his brother, hometown international superstar John Legend, who has played an important role in raising money and awareness to help make this dream project a reality.

This amazing building was originally constructed just south of downtown Springfield in 1911.  It was designed by Dayton, Ohio architect Albert Pretzinger and was modeled after the Library of Congress, renowned for its large dome. This building has stood the test of time and seen the best days and the worst days of Springfield, our community and our culture.

But most importantly it served as the center piece for the education and training of our workforce in this region for many decades.  Today, it is hard to imagine that the school was first opened during a time when Springfield was becoming known around the world as the home for manufacturing innovation and jobs for thousands.

Now, the Center for Innovation at The Dome will serve in that capacity again, and will showcase our community’s commitment to our youth and their teachers by offering the best information and technology available to help them build the necessary skills for the future jobs in Ohio.

It also enables our community to offer year-round career exploration, personalized college and career advising, and hands-on preparation for careers in manufacturing, computer science, and food and biosciences.

The renewed energy around The Dome is electric!  With the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon, we now celebrate the conversion of one of Springfield’s greatest historic assets into a beacon of hope for our community that will help transform this generation, and future ones to come!

mcdorman2008Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce


Every community dreams about having a company headquarters that brings with it a balanced mix of jobs that helps add to the unique fabric of an area. These companies not only benefit the communities where they are located by adding to the local tax base that supports much needed services, but they also provide vital volunteers and donations to important community initiatives and projects.

The Chamber recently had a chance to highlight one of our very own good news stories at an event held at the company’s newest location in Clark County.

Growing up in Springfield I knew Speedway as the Bonded Oil Company. That company, run by long-time community leader and philanthropist, Dick Kuss (CEO from 1967 to 1983), was acquired by Marathon in 1979. It was then named Emro Marketing, and today has continued to grow its presence in the Springfield area as Speedway LLC with more than 1,000 employees located here that support more than 20,000 system wide.

Decades later, Speedway now becomes the largest company-owned convenience store chain in the U.S. as it nearly doubles its size after the $2.8 billion acquisition of Hess brands. These recent developments will allow Speedway to grow its retail presence into 23 states throughout the East Coast and Southeast.

Following the most recent acquisition, the company purchased a three-story building at Nextedge Tech Park and has already added 250 jobs at the new site. Speedway plans to add more jobs and many of the new positions the company is seeking to fill at both local company sites can be found on Speedway’s website.

The new investments being made by the company means their leadership team believes they can be successful here for a long time. Speedway is banking on the fact that they can find the right people for the right jobs the company needs to fill today and those they will add in the future. Speedway’s decision to grow in Springfield will also provide an opportunity for many millennials who are looking for a job, or others who are simply seeking to step up and advance their careers.

On behalf of the Chamber and the Greater Springfield area, we want to thank CEO Tony Kenney and the Speedway Team for their continued commitment to this community and for their newest investment at Nextedge Tech Park. We also want to thank them publicly for their strong community partnership and for their generous contributions to many important community projects and non-profit organizations.

Speedway is a great model for other companies to follow. That is why we want to take time to honor this local headquarters for all it has done and continues to do right here in Clark County, Ohio!

mcdorman2008Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce


Our region is fortunate to have some great medical facilities located right in our own backyard. Community Mercy Health Partner’s Springfield Regional Medical Center and Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital are both working very hard to be the best the region has to offer in quality healthcare. That hard work is paying off as each of these facilities continues to strive for excellence.

Springfield Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is one of the newest hospitals in the region having opened in November 2011.

The hospital is noted for cardiac care, surgical services, acute rehabilitation care and other services. The state-of-the-art facility is designed with the privacy and dignity of patients in mind with 254 private in-patient rooms and 41 private exam rooms in the emergency department.

Next door to SRMC is the Springfield Regional Cancer Center that offers cutting-edge cancer treatment, along with wellness classes, education and support services. Mercy Memorial Hospital is a 25-bed critical access facility in Urbana with a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services.

As a member of Mercy Health- the largest not-for-profit health system in Ohio and one of the largest in the nation – CMHP is the largest employer in the area with more than 2,600 employees.

Hospital CEO, Paul Hiltz, has developed an impressive team that is working closely with every aspect of the healthcare continuum in order to deliver exceptional care as CMHP seeks to meet the evolving healthcare needs of the region. Their efforts and those of a dedicated staff are helping to improve the patient experience.

Ohio Valley is a local physician owned surgical hospital that opened in downtown Springfield in 2009.  The doctors and staff of Ohio Valley built a vision around quality, and are dedicated to clinical excellence, patient safety and making every visit a welcoming experience. Ohio Valley recently earned a 5-Star Rating, the highest possible patient satisfaction score as part of the new CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) rating system. Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital was one of 15 hospitals out of 170 in Ohio to receive the highest rating.

The downtown specialty hospital had been a brownfield site before it was redeveloped. In 2012, Ohio Valley opened a $5 million medical office building to the west, which houses related services, imaging, physical therapy and pre-admission testing.

Ohio Valley CEO, Steve Eisentrager, has done an incredible job helping to birth the surgical hospital and continues to grow a successful organization which now includes more than 250 employees.

Both hospitals share some of the same physicians and are working together to make Springfield the best choice for you and your loved ones health related needs. Yes, our community is blessed to have many growing, excellent healthcare offerings right in our own backyard. We simply need to take advantage of these great facilities when we need them.

mcdorman2008Mike McDorman, President & CEO
     Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce


Fair Week is here again! The Clark County Fair with the theme “This One Time at Fair”, runs from July 24th through July 31st. If you ask Clark County Commissioner John Detrick, he will tell you it is most well known for being the largest Junior Fair in all of Ohio.

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 beginning on Friday with the Motown Sounds of Touch, Elton John tribute Captain Fantastic on Saturday, and ZoSo, a tribute to Led Zeppelin on Sunday. Monday is Christian music artist Tommy Renfro. Wednesday, is local country artist Scott Hisey. Thursday, K99.1 presents the Country Showdown and on Friday, the Satchmo Show with Springfield’s own Dean Simms playing Louis Armstrong’s greatest hits. You will not want to miss your favorite entertainers under the big tent this year!

The Midway will feature fantastic fair food, as well as the stomach turning amusement park rides and carnival games that come along with it. You will also want to make sure you do not miss daily performances by the live Grizzly Bear Experience, Michael Griffin – America’s Escape Hero, the Mechanical Bull, and of course the Bear Hollow Chain Saw wood carvers will be back to carve amazing art from logs.

One of the best things to do at the fair is to take a stroll 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 Grandstand events will include Truck Tug-O-War, Truck Pull, Demolition Derby, Tractor Pull, USAC Midget Races, and a Kiddie Pig Chase & Scramble. You can go to www.clarkcoag.com for more information on the events happening at the 2015 Clark County Fair.

So what are you waiting for? Get into your cars and make your way out to the Clark County 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!


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