OTTAWA — Ottawa resident Becky Fruchey said she has plans to attract new businesses to town and help existing businesses thrive as the new executive director of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce.
Fruchey, 36, replaced Cathy Burgei, who resigned July 26 after serving in the position for two years. Fruchey’s duties began Aug. 7.
She grew up in Columbus Grove, attended college and then moved to Ottawa in 2007. She is married to Brian, the new principal at Delphos Jefferson Middle School. They have two children, Delaney, 9, and Haddie, 6, who both attend SS. Peter and Paul Schools.
Prior to serving as executive director, for the last 14 years she has worked in the appliance industry in Findlay. She is a 2001 Columbus Grove High School graduate and earned her bachelor’s degree in business degree with a specialization in marketing from the University of Toledo in 2005.
“I was looking for something closer to home that had more outreach to the community and being able to get out and help businesses succeed,” Fruchey said.
Kelly Theisen, the chamber’s administrative assistant, is continuing in her role and has been teaching Fruchey about the chamber’s programs.
Fruchey’s goals are to grow chamber membership, with there currently being 228 chamber members.
“The chamber’s goal is to promote the area and show it is a great place to live and own a business,” Fruchey said. She looks forward to working with the chamber members to receive feedback on their ideas to help them grow.
Fruchey’s duties are to handle the chamber luncheons, fundraising activities and plan chamber events.
Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30, where shoppers can receive a small business passport and get it stamped when they shop at local businesses. After customers get all of the passports stamped, they are entered in a drawing to win a $250 gift card.
“We want to get people out to support the local businesses in the area,” Fruchey said. “We need to be willing to support the businesses here, otherwise there won’t be any businesses.”
The chamber will host a lunch and learn with teh Ohio Chamber of Commerce at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 10 at Henry’s Restaurant titled “What’s Hot In HR Law” with speaker Jim Yates, an attorney with Eastman & Smith. The village’s Welcome Santa Parade is at 2 p.m. Dec. 1. The chamber’s annual membership dinner is in February, and the Elevate Job Fair for students and the community has been set for March 17.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.