Union County chamber hires new director

Staff report

Growth in local business and tourism prompted the Union County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to appoint separate directors to lead the Union County Chamber of Commerce and the Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

Tonya Woodruff, of Marysville, will serve as director of the Chamber, and Tina Knotts, who has directed both the Chamber and CVB since 2011, will serve as tourism director for the CVB.

“Local business and tourism have grown so much in recent years, that we need two directors, one dedicated to serving the needs of our expanding Chamber membership and the other focused on attracting even more visitors to Union County’s attractions and special events,” Chamber CEO Eric Phillips said in a statement.

“Tonya and Tina bring a lot of talent and successful experience in nonprofit leadership and development – just what we need to raise the value and level of service for Chamber members, the business community and our local tourism industry, which generate millions of dollars in our local economy each year.”

Tourism growth generates additional funding for the CVB. A tax (known as the “bed tax”) is levied on overnight stays at local hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. The income from this supports CVB operations and events.

Phillips said that Woodruff comes to her new position with a clear understanding of the chamber’s importance to the local business community. She has lived in Marysville 20 years and served four years on the chamber’s board of directors.

“I really like and believe in what the Chamber is about,” Woodruff said in a statement. “This opportunity is a really good fit for me. I look forward to serving Chamber members and local businesses, which play a significant role in making Union County a great place to live and work.”

Woodruff served 12 years as director of the Ohio Grocers Foundation in Columbus. Since the beginning of 2016, she also served as director of events and education for the Ohio Grocers Association.

Prior to that, she served 15 year in various roles for the American Heart Association in Columbus, ultimately as senior director of youth markets She has extensive experience in fundraising, volunteer board management, event planning and customer service.

Woodruff will serve the Chamber’s more than 500 members and will oversee the Chamber’s business associations and divisions. These organizations, included in Chamber membership, provide members additional benefits.

Staff report