How can the Columbus Chamber help you? Our team of business experts is here to provide information and connect you to resources and services.

 

Don DePerro

President & CEO

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President & CEO

Don DePerro, President and CEO of the Columbus Chamber, previously served as president and publisher of Columbus Business First where he enjoyed a newspaper career that spanned over 30 years. He has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Media Advocate of the Year for the state of Florida and has received six American City Eagle Awards for Excellence – the highest honor awarded to American City associates – as both an editor and publisher. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Don remains heavily involved in countless community initiatives. Don and his wife Lia have three children, including one Buckeye, and live in Dublin, Ohio.

    Holly Gross

    Vice President of Government Relations

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    Vice President of Government Relations

    As Vice President of Government Relations, Holly Gross helps our members navigate the ever-changing opportunities and challenges businesses face when it comes to local, state and federal policy decisions. Not only can she advocate for your business, but she also helps to unify the voices of our greater Columbus business community. Holly, an attorney, finds creative ways to help businesses better understand critical policy issues, foster relationships with your elected officials and provide your business with the resources it needs to be successful.

    A graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School, Holly represented the State’s retail industry before the Ohio General Assembly as Legislative Counsel for the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, where she focused on legislative issues pertaining to labor and employment, alcohol and gambling, economic and workforce development and the automotive industry. Her previous experiences also include Executive Director for the Ohio Association of Convenience Stores and the Ohio Tire and Automotive Association, as well as a Legislative Aide for the Ohio House of Representatives.

      Jeff Zimmerman

      Vice President of Sales

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      Vice President of Sales

      Adding a plethora of experience to our versatile leadership team, Jeff serves as the Vice President of Sales for the Columbus Chamber. From identifying new membership target candidates to assisting in the business development sales process, you can count on Jeff to offer innovative ideas and bring excitement to every task. Formerly the Director of Columbus Region Logistics Council for the Chamber, Jeff is no stranger to working diligently for our members.

      Previous to joining the Chamber, Jeff held positions as an independent business development consultant and sales/sales leadership roles with Boise Cascade Office Products/OfficeMax and Moore Business Forms. Jeff is a graduate of Buffalo State College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business.

        Ashley Bernatz

        Member Resource Specialist

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        Member Resource Specialist

        Ashley Bernatz has a passion for people and enjoys creating and retaining mutually beneficial relationships. She is always looking for ways to assist her members and does it with a smile. While she may be new to the Columbus region, she appreciates the historic charm that it has to offer. When she isn’t at the Chamber supporting her members, you can find her at Fox in the Snow enjoying a latte. Ashley is a May 2016 graduate of Miami University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Strategic Communication. 

          Tracy Bloom

          Receptionist

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          Receptionist

          Tracy serves as the front line connection to our members; we like to think of her as our Director of First and Last Impressions.  Her warm smile and sweet demeanor make her the perfect person for the job.  She truly cares about each and every member just like she would her own family–and as a mother of four grown boys and grandmother to 12, you know you’re in the right hands. When she’s not spending time with her family, Tracy explores the healing benefits of essential oils.

          Before the Columbus Chamber, Tracy was the Day Treatment School Secretary at Rosemont where she served in many positions during her ten year stay assisting children and families in need.

            Nancy Brantner

            Manager, Development

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            Manager, Development

            While Nancy is responsible for facilitating visibility opportunities for your business at our events, she’s also known to put in a helping hand for Phyllis, helping with all the little details that go into running an event. Wondering how to get your logo on the screen at Annual Meeting or another event? Nancy can help. With over 30 years of non-profit management and fund development experience including assisting Big Brothers Big Sisters, Epilepsy Foundation and Down Syndrome, Nancy’s work can be seen all around our community.

            Nancy has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Illinois State University.

              Adrian Burns

              Vertical Market Specialist

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              Vertical Market Specialist

              Business is in Adrian’s blood. From writing about entrepreneurs to being one himself, his career has always had a focus on commerce. He has a passion for what makes a business tick and is eager to learn the ins and outs of member companies so that he can help them thrive. Adrian has a deep understanding and respect for the challenges and rewards of business ownership and is always happy to lend a hand. When not working with businesses at the Chamber, Adrian enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, playing a little golf and bargain hunting for antiques.

              Adrian Burns received Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and history from the State University of New York at Oswego. Prior to joining the Columbus Chamber, Adrian operated his own auction and appraisal company, and prior to that, spent nearly a decade as a business journalist. 

                Kelly Campbell, CPA

                Vice President of Finance and Administration

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                Vice President of Finance and Administration

                As you would expect with any CPA, Kelly is whiz on the 10-key and can calculate finances faster than anybody in the Midwest.  Know that you will never catch her cooking the books, but you might catch her cooking up a storm in the kitchen. With all her amazing math skills, she’s also figured out the perfect ratio of ingredients to make an award-winning banana pudding. Just ask anybody in the office who has challenged her during our annual bake-off that we hold each year for our United Way Fundraiser.

                Kelly graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance. She also holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management from Keller Graduate School of DeVry in addition to being a CPA.

                  Holly Caruso

                  Business Development Representative

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                  Business Development Representative

                  A native Ohioan with a degree from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!), Holly’s personality is radiant to say the least. When it comes to business, however, she’s zeroed in on the prize at hand – helping your business attain its goals.

                  The professional formerly known as Columbus Business First Account Executive, Holly brings her expertise to the table every day at the Columbus Chamber as a Business Development Representative. Knowledgeable in many trades, Holly is in tune with what businesses need and wants to help you achieve your goals. When she’s off-duty, expect to see her in full-blown Mom-mode, having fun with any of her four children or maybe even Bella, the family hedgehog.

                  A hard worker at heart with an eye for building new relationships, you better call Holly – she’s here to help you.

                    Taylor Exner

                    Member Resource Specialist

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                    Member Resource Specialist

                    Taylor has had a passion for building relationships for as long as she can remember. As a Member Resource Specialist for the Chamber, Taylor uses that passion to connect her members with resources to benefit their businesses. Her goal is to treat every member in a way that is unique and aligns with their goals.

                    A New York native, Taylor ventured into Columbus to earn her psychology degree from The Ohio State University. You can find her exploring the Short North neighborhood or heading to one of her favorite hiking spots in her spare time. Her love for Columbus and its culture continues to grow each day as she meets more of the businesses that make up its charming community.

                     

                      Kelly Fuller

                      Workforce Development Director

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                      Workforce Development Director

                      Kelly Fuller loves to help people discover and develop their gifts, and as the Chamber’s workforce director, she gets to do just that. Her entire career has existed in the workforce development space, beginning at Discover Card in 1986. Now with the Chamber, Kelly works to serve the workforce and economic development needs of its membership and the greater Columbus community.

                      Kelly is a graduate of Miami University and Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Outside of the office, she is an avid runner, published poet and a mother to her two children. No matter where you might run into Kelly, one thing is certain; she is dedicated in supporting your business to find candidates who will make a difference for your bottom line.

                        Solonas Karoullas

                        Appointment Setter, Business Development

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                        Appointment Setter, Business Development

                        Solonas, who was born and raised in Cyprus, has lived in Columbus for the past three years. He is here to build new relationships and help foster the growth of the region’s businesses. Personable and driven, Solonas is the contact point for prospective members of the Chamber and business owners who would like to find out more about membership resources for connections and growth. 

                        Solonas is a current undergraduate student at The Ohio State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership Studies. When he’s not spending his time at the Chamber or on campus, you can find Solonas exploring the city’s local parks and coffee shops as he works to know every part of Columbus. 

                          Laura Kenyon

                          Manager, Office Services

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                          Manager, Office Services

                          We could tell you that Laura Kenyon has been with the Columbus Chamber for 17 years and does everything from accounting to operations to database management. But what you really need to know is that she’s got a fantastic sense of humor, wins our office chili cook-off every year, is always upbeat, and usually has some pretty amazing candy in her candy dish.  Laura is to the Chamber as Norm is to Cheers. Everybody knows her name and she is a much-appreciated fixture here.

                          Before coming to the Chamber, Laura worked for 13 years at the law firm of Schwartz, Ramirez, Kelm and Warren as Office Services Manager.

                            Jess Laughlin

                            Program Manager

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                            Program Manager

                            A Columbus native and graduate of Otterbein University, Jess Laughlin is go-to for all things related to the Columbus scene – making her the ideal program manager for our Chamber team. Jess realized her passion for nonprofit work and event planning right out of college during her tenure with Americorps*National Civilian Community Corps. This fervor for helping others soon led to her time at Bike & Build – a 72-day cross-country cycling trip from Providence, Rhode Island to San Francisco, California – and a six-year stint with the Columbus Dispatch running event operations for large trade shows, banquets and corporate events.

                            Jess’s position as Chamber program manager isn’t her only full-time job – she also is a mom to two tiny humans and married to her college sweetheart. In her spare time, Jess enjoys traveling far and wide in search of good music, trying out the vibrant scene of local craft beer and laughing and dancing whenever life tries to get serious. She is also dedicated to helping her mother run a small non-profit in honor of her late father, which supports families who have lost a loved one to heart disease. 

                            With her bright demeanor and go-getter attitude, Jess is the perfect addition to the Columbus Chamber team – adding a flair to each and every event she works on.

                              Tim McKelly

                              Business Development Representative

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                              Business Development Representative

                              Tim McKelly knows Columbus and he knows it well. As a resident of the Capital City for his entire adult life and with over 25 years of experience in Central Ohio’s sales and marketing field, Tim is the ideal resource for local businesses in the business development sector.

                              When he’s not helping Chamber members identify their path to success, you can find Tim traveling the globe, from New Zealand to Chile and beyond. In fact, Tim helped to organize and lead three photographic safaris to East Africa. An expert multi-tasker and facilitator of connections, you can count on Tim to use his diverse skillset to help your business thrive.

                                Heather Manbevers

                                Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

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                                Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

                                Heather Manbevers, executive assistant to the president and CEO, is a pro at organization. A graduate of Bradford College, she is the secretary to all 36 members of the Columbus Chamber’s Board of Directors. Before joining the Chamber, Heather spent ten years as an executive assistant with the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County where she built a strong relationship with the staff of 38 mental health and AOD contracted providers. As such, she was crucially involved in the initial stages of the Opiate Action Plan while with ADAMH.

                                Outside of the Chamber, Heather enjoys spending time with her family. Passionate for country living and a true entrepreneur, Heather runs her own business providing home-grown foods and farm fresh eggs to local farm-to-table restaurants.

                                  Somers L. Martin, MS

                                  Director, Small and Diverse Businesses

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                                  Director, Small and Diverse Businesses

                                  Somers is always looking for ways to help our small business members, particularly our minority- and women-owned businesses. She’s a”Glamma” to three beautiful grandchildren, and her protective nature is seen all around not only our office, but our members’ offices as well. But don’t let her helpful nature and matching nail polish fool you; she’ll embarrass even the city’s best golfers on the course!

                                  As the Director of Business Development Services for the Columbus Chamber, Somers works on behalf of small- and medium-sized businesses to ensure they have the resources and support they need to grow. Through Columbus Chamber programs such as the Small Business Council and Diversity Bridge, she links businesses to various resources and information, and assists them with problem solving. Somers has been with the Chamber since 2007.

                                    Kelley Morris

                                    Business Development Representative

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                                    Business Development Representative

                                    Kelley is born and bred in Columbus and has been amazed to watch the growth that has occurred in the Region over her lifetime.  She is a proven business-to-business sales talent with previous business development roles at Office Max, Columbus Business First and as a Marketing Consultant.  Her outstanding reputation for high energy, professionalism and credibility amongst her clients and colleagues has served her well in providing solutions to assist in business acceleration. 

                                    Kelley is a graduate of Franklin University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.  She is married to husband Jeff for 23 years, has two sons that live in the area and two granddaughters.  In her spare time, you can find her teaching Yoga in the community and rescuing Pit Bulls.   

                                      Jordan Miller

                                      Business Development Representative

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                                      Business Development Representative

                                      An entrepreneur at heart and Columbus native, Jordan Miller is the ideal connector to help your business identify its opportunities for success as a Chamber business development representative. His past experiences working in the financial service industry with elite companies like Nationwide, Fifth Third Bank and Heartland Payment Systems has helped him to establish a deep understanding and respect for business operations.

                                      Aside from Jordan’s position at the Chamber, he loves to get lost in a good movie or try new recipes – cooking is a competing passion with business development. Jordan’s other full-time job is staying active with his family as a father of four children. Whether it be with a delectable dish or helping a local business thrive, you can count on Jordan. Your business is his business.

                                        Haley Sherman

                                        Director, Member Services

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                                        Director, Member Services

                                        The first time you meet Haley, we guarantee you’ll be greeted with a warm smile and a handshake as soon as she sets eyes on you. People are her passion, and she makes it no secret in her work approach. She never shies away from a business challenge and is always eager to roll up her sleeves and find a solution. When she’s not out in the field helping our members, you can find her engrossed in the latest best-selling novel, or playing at the park with her daughter.

                                        Haley received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining the Chamber, Haley served as the Director of Scheduling for the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and, most recently, worked in economic development at JobsOhio.

                                          Courtney West

                                          Marketing Communications Specialist

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                                          Marketing Communications Specialist

                                          Courtney West is an Indiana native who has fallen head over heels for her new Columbus, Ohio home. Hailing from Butler University with a degree in strategic communications and a concentration in journalism, Courtney is the Chamber’s Marketing Communications Specialist. As such, she assists in the execution of all Chamber communication strategies, including digital content, email marketing and social media management. You can find her curled up with a good book on any given day or adding to her long and impressive list of restaurants to try in the Columbus region.