TALLMADGE – The baton once held by the father now passes to his daughter as Meghan Thompson becomes the new president of the Tallmadge Chamber of Commerce.

Meghan will be sworn in Dec. 10 at the Chamber Awards Dinner. The term is one year but Meghan said she plans to run again next year and, hopefully, serve two years.

Her father, Denny Thompson, was president of the Tallmadge Chamber of Commerce in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1997.

The responsibilities of president include meeting with the executive committee, trustees and the staff, including the executive director, Denny said. The president supervises and coordinates all events and runs the members’ monthly luncheons. In addition, the president works with local businesses and the city to provide resources to grow and welcome new businesses to Tallmadge.

Meghan said she ran for president of the Chamber of Commerce because Tallmadge is her home, and she's proud of the city and what local businesses provide.

"I believe in the small business community, and I want to see it thrive in Tallmadge," Meghan said.

Meghan said she heard a quote about what the local businesses give back to the community in regards to the big online giants — "Does Amazon sponsor your child’s Little League Team?" The answer is "no."

"I want our citizens to shop local and our businesses to continue to help make this city the best to live in," Meghan said. "There are many important groups that the Chamber works with, including the schools and city officials. The Chamber would not be successful if we didn’t all work together and I look forward to growing that relationship even more."

Denny said while he was president, he had to face the challenge of growing the membership and is proud that he started the Community Expo.

Meghan doesn't plan any major changes but has plans for the upcoming year.

"Something that I really want to work on during my term is providing more opportunities for our businesses when it comes to education," Meghan said. "For example, social media is a huge avenue with small local businesses to advertise. I would like to host these types of events."

The Tallmadge Chamber of Commerce has started new initiatives such as the Women’s Group and Ambassadors Program, she said.

"I would like to continue these programs and possibly start more of these smaller programs that business owners and their staff could benefit from," Meghan said. "I would like to continue to work with the city officials and our economic developer to encourage businesses to move to Tallmadge and current businesses to see the value that a city like Tallmadge offers."

Denny's advice to Meghan is "the Chamber is not just a social group but they are there to represent and help the business community. Be available to assist businesses when they are going through the red tape at city hall, especially planning and zoning."

Meghan said "My dad encouraged me to keep our local businesses top of mind and to make sure what we do as an organization continues to benefit and help them be the best business they can be."

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or lfreeman@recordpub.com