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15 minutes with the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce

The Ada Icon recently sat down with Becky Neville and Lindsay Walden of the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce to hear their membership pitch and find out what's new at the chamber.

Their "15 minutes" is more like 11:00 and you can read the transcript below or watch the video HERE.

BECKY: Hi, I am Becky Neville with the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce. I am the president of the Board and this is 15 Minutes with the Ada Icon.

LINDSAY: And I am Lindsay Walden, director of the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce and today we’re just going to share with you some information and facts about our chamber. So, to start we are going to talk about some of our current members.

And we have a wide variety of members. You do not have to be located here in Ada. We welcome anyone from Hardin County, from Bluffton, Allen County, to join us. We just have a very wide variety.

BECKY: So we have businesses that are manufacturing, we have our local downtown, Main Street businesses. We have individuals, who are members. Anybody that is interested in Ada business or Ada events that we are doing in the area.

And nonprofits and service organizations are also welcome to join our chamber. We have a number of those like the Ada Rotary, the Lions, Kiwanis Clubs, those types of organizations are also members.

BECKY: (Chuckling) Why should our business join the Chamber, Lindsay?

LINDSAY: There are many reasons that we like to encourage businesses to join our chamber,  first being if you are  a chamber member, you are welcome to come to our monthly meetings which are a great networking opportunity. And we are really working on expanding our speakers and types of membership meetings  that we have.

Second, you are listed on our website and marketing materials along with our Facebook page. And by joining, when we have  a lot of people on our website and on our chamber roster it just makes our community look really strong and its going to encourage more people to come to Ada or invest in Ada.

BECKY: I know as a business owner, just having the contacts with other businesses and knowing them, finding out what they're doing, how we can all connect and do things together, makes it a much stronger business community. And we are, as a group, able to do more things like some of our upcoming festivals and things that are coming up that you'll hear about in just  a few minutes.

BECKY: Can I join the chamber if I don’t own a business?

LINDSAY: Absolutely. We are all about having anyone in our community who wants to get involved and be a part of our chamber. If you are an individual, it is a discounted rate you as an individual are still listed on all of our marketing materials on our website, on all that good stuff.

So people know that you as an individual are out and involved in your community.

BECKY:  And tell us about the interactions with callers and emails. And if you're outside [the community] wanting to get information about Ada.

LINDSAY: Probably one of the biggest surprises that i've had since taking over as director in March is the number of phone calls I get from people coming into town, whether they're visiting the university or going to a wedding out at Crimson Lane or just traveling the area.

They will call and ask me about different restaurants, different accommodations that we have near here and even local people call and will ask about some of our service-based organizations if they're looking for a recommendation.

So by having your your company listed on our site, people are seeing it and they are noticing and they do call and ask for more information, which i just think is so great.

BECKY: So when you call the chamber number you will probably talk to Lindsay.

LINDSAY: Yes, the the number listed on our Facebook page and website is my personal cell phone. You are welcome to call, text or email me at any time. And I try to get back with everybody within the hour if they if they get a hold of me.

BECKY: Are there any inside networking or sponsorship opportunities?

LINDSAY: Tons! My favorite part of this so far is I have got to meet so many people in the Ada and Hardin County business community that I did not know before. I maybe had heard of their business but now i'm getting to meet the faces behind it. So that is just wonderful from a professional standpoint.

And as for our sponsorship opportunities, there are many available. Our soonest one would be for our sixth annual Made in Ada Wilson Football Festival which will be happening August 27th. And then our Harvest and Herb festival which is September 17th, and then our Merry on Main Christmas fest for the children which will happen in early December.

BECKY: Tell me a little bit about some of our exciting plans for the Made in Ada Wilson Football Festival.

LINDSAY: To start our festival off this year, we are going to be hosting a sanctioned Punt, Pass and Kick competition through PPK USA and that is a pretty big deal for our town to get. Because PPK USA is the organization that took over the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick when the NFL decided not to be the host of it anymore.

If your child comes and participates in the Ada event and they either win a section or their overall age group, they now have the opportunity to participate in the regional and the national competition, which still gets recognition super bowl weekend.

And that could all start right here in Ada, Ohio, which i just think is totally awesome. This is a free event, so we want kids from all over Hardin County, Allen County, Hancock County to come out and participate in this event.

We're going to have a local barbecue vendor there: Midwest Barbecue is going to be offering lunch at the Punt, Pass and Kick and then when all that is said and done, we hope that families will head down to our Train Depot, where we will be having two live bands, at least six food trucks and just lots of other activities for young adults and families to come participate in.

BECKY: I am very excited for this to start off the football season for the area too.

LINDSAY: Throughout this event, Wilson Sporting Good is going to be donating footballs and having some of their staff and displays out for us, which is really cool. And we will be ending the festival with our ceremonial football drop and if you don't know what that is I highly encourage that you come to our festival to check out what our football drop is all about.

BECKY: Just a few weeks after that we have another festival that is pretty awesome, too. It's called the Harvest and Herb Festival and it's in downtown Ada. The whole street is closed and we have vendors from all over and I'll let Lindsay explain about about how you can become a vendor.

LINDSAY: IF you would like to become a vendor, you can email me at [email protected] or you can go on our facebook page. We have a Harvest and Herb event created.

All you need to do is fill out the application and send it back to me with a check, and then you're good to go. We want as many vendors as possible; we are not going to turn anyone away.

If you have questions on that, please check out our Facebook event or our Facebook page and our new website, for more information.

BECKY: And that day also starts off with a parade where we have a lot of area bands and other people and groups come in for the parade to kick it off.

It has been estimated there's between six and eight thousand people that come to downtown Ada that day.

Thank you for spending a few minutes with the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce.

If you want more information, please contact Lindsay or visit our website or our facebook page.  She's done a wonderful job of getting us on social media and and it's been very exciting.

LINDSAY: I guess my last little pitch is these festivals, these events, our downtown community does not grow without our members. Please consider joining our chamber and getting involved, because that is how we continue to grow our community and our businesses.

Thank you!

To contact the chamber, email [email protected] or call 567-204-7118.

15 Minutes with the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce / June 2022 /