Athens, Ohio – February 19, 2016 – The Board of Directors of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce today announced that Wendy Jakmas has announced her plan to retire in the first half of 2016. Ms. Jakmas has served as President of the Athens Area Chamber since 2009 and has been instrumental in its restructuring since its separation from the Economic Development Council. The Chamber Board will immediately begin a search for her successor.

Wendy Jakmas HeadshotMs. Jakmas said, “It is after much deliberation that I tender my retirement notification. In January of this year, I began my eighth year of service as President of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.  Over the course of these years I have thoroughly enjoyed my role learning and growing through interactions with my Board and Chamber members, as well as all the leaders of Ohio University and Athens City and County Government. My greatest joys and satisfaction have been when I can put people together for mutual business dealings.  I am also very proud of our successful -“Love Athens~ Keep It Local” campaign to advocate for growing businesses and the visibility of the Chamber.  Just last year we also, refreshed and rebranded the Chamber logo and website, and pledged fundraising dollars to further the mission of area not for profit organizations on behalf of our membership.”

Current Board Chair Debbie Arnold said, “Wendy has provided exceptional stewardship and leadership in her tenure as president. We are very grateful for her dedication to our membership and her foresight for growing the vision and the mission of the Chamber of Commerce. She leaves the Chamber in a strong financial position with a solid basis for her successor to build upon our ‘Love Athens~ Keep It Local’ initiative and to continue to work with local government entities, university officials and advocating for our business community. Our Board is dedicated to hiring our next leader with the skill sets to take what Wendy has achieved and run with it.”

The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that promotes, advocates and provides investment value for its membership in a positive business climate in SE OH. The Chamber works with member partners to sustain progress through the growth of business, industry, local government, and our institutions of higher learning.

For more information, please contact:
Debbie Arnold, Board Chair
Athens Area Chamber of Commerce