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Mason Area Chamber of Commerce

Officially founded in January 1968 with 27 members, this organization began as a small group of seven business leaders with the vision and dedication to mold the future of the Chamber and the area.

 

The Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, as it was originally named, started projects like Clean-up, Paint-up, Fix-up Week each spring, and Community Unity Day later known as the Mason Bicycle Festival and present day, The Mason Heritage Festival.

 

The Chamber of Commerce has always been committed to helping area youth.  In November 1969, the Chamber started Youth in Government Week.  Students held elections to fill all elected city offices and appointments were made to several other positions as well.  Students that were elected spent time during the week shadowing our local community leaders and learning about their jobs.  This project continued until 1978.   For many years, the Chamber awarded the Lou Eves Scholarship of $1,000 to a student residing in our area.

 

The Christmas Light Fund started with just over $26 and became an annual event known as Christmas in Mason in 1979.

 

In 1981, the Chamber established an office located at 202 W. Second St. in the Peoples Building, Loan & Savings next to the former Post Office.  After experiencing rapid growth, the Chamber moved in the fall of 1991 to 110 W. Main St. The Chamber realized the need to move forward with a proactive approach to regionalize and the name Mason, Landen, Kings was adopted as a DBA. The Chamber membership stood at 141 paid members. Continued growth demanded another move in 1995 to the current location at 316 W. Main Street. In 2003, The Chamber purchased the building.  In 1996, The Chamber Board of Directors determined the organization required a full-time President and Director of Operations.

 

In 1983, the Chamber of Commerce funded MAC – Mason Against Crime.  This program offered a reward for information that could aid the police in solving crime against area businesses.  The program expanded in 1984 to provide financial support for community watch programs, McGruff and educational programs.  The Chamber was also instrumental in gaining toll-free service between Mason and Cincinnati and in 2002 to Northern Kentucky.

 

In March of 2007 the Chamber rebranded to the Northeast Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. In December of 2010, leaders of the Northeast Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce entered into a dual membership agreement that would afford solely located Warren County companies the opportunity to join both Chambers for the cost of one.

 

In June 2012, the Board of Directors and then President and CEO of the Chamber parted ways leaving the organization without a top executive. The Board of Directors determined the Chair of the Board would function as the top executive until the Chamber was in a position to hire the next full-time executive which lasted twenty-two months.

 

In April 2014, the Chamber hired its first female executive for the organization and immediately began an effort to understand the state of the membership.  This led the Board of Directors and CEO to determine that the focus for the upcoming years would be to rebrand, restructure, and redefine the Chamber and its role in the region. In May 2015, the Chamber adopted its new DBA as the Mason Deerfield Chamber to better serve its constituents and community it serves.

 

In April 2018, the Chamber began efforts to create a connected non-profit at the recommendation of Market Street Services, a national economic development consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia.  This entity would be formed in June 2018 as the Mason Deerfield Chamber Community Development Corporation, known as MADECDC.

 

In November 2018, the Chamber celebrated the successful passing of the Charter Amendment that limited density in overlay districts in the city of Mason.  This barrier being removed was the first step in creating opportunity for substantial change in the heart of the region – known as both Downtown Mason and Uptown Mason.

 

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, and the Chamber had to completely change its program of work and focus to serve the region’s most vulnerable businesses. Providing thousands of hours of tailored support and advocating for businesses at the local, state, and federal level, the Chamber took on a revamped role of support to businesses.  Partnering with the MADECDC, the organizations were able to grant 83 awards totaling over $187,000 to small businesses in the region who were forced to close or dramatically shift operations due to government mandates.

 

In 2021, the Chamber went through a rebuilding year itself – partnering with several external consultants and experts to help the organization revamp its membership model, its marketing and communications, and its internal operational structure.

 

One thing remains true about our Chamber and that is our companies lean in to ensure that their local business association is constantly evolving and adapting to best serve its constituents.

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