Ohio Chamber History: The Growth & Accomplishments

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce has the honor and privilege to celebrate 125 years. This is truly a great accomplishment and shows that our organization has adapted and worked through challenges to continue successful operation over the years. Thankfully, we’ve had the support of many great leaders through their positions on the board or as staff.

Samuel Bush

During the 1920’s when the Ohio Chamber was restructuring, there were a few notable individuals serving on the board. Samuel P. Bush served on the board in the 1920’s. He was the grandfather to former President George H.W. Bush. Also, Robert A. Taft chaired the Ohio Chamber’s Ways & Means Committee during this same time.

Robert Taft

Much later, just prior to 1994, the Ohio Chamber had the pleasure of having Jo Ann Davidson on staff as the VP of Special Programs. She ran for office in 1994 and became the first and only female speaker of the Ohio House.

In 1993, the Ohio Chamber celebrated its 100th anniversary. At the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Ohio Chamber, speakers included Stanley J. Aronoff, president of the Ohio Senate and Vern Riffe, speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. The keynote speaker for the event was Ivan W. Gorr, chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and chairman and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of Findlay.  Gorr addressed the national business climate and how the Clinton Administration’s

JoAnn Davidson

decisions would affect the economy.

The 1990’s was a time of growth for the Ohio Chamber. The organization went through a restructuring and expansion of leadership in 1993 to accommodate for growth. Then, in 1996, the Ohio Chamber moved to its first permanent headquarters. Located only three blocks from the Statehouse, the Ohio Chamber’s new building provided improved meeting and office facilities, and room for growth. The then state-of-the-art facility provided a visible sign of the strength and unity of Ohio’s business community. The president at the time was Andy Doehrel, who is the current President and CEO.

Since then, the Ohio Chamber has thrived and grown to nearly 8,000 members in 2018. We continue to provide political expertise and have a strong history of credibility and influence.

Here are five ways the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is working for Ohio businesses today:

  1. The Ohio Chamber is a catalyst for dialogue betwe
    Ribbon Cutting in 1996 with President Andy Doehrel, Ohio Governor Voinovich, and Chairman R. Emmett Boyle

    en policy makers and members: Advocating for pro-business legislation.

  2. A trusted resource for information: The Ohio Chamber recently implemented a program to help businesses combat the effects of the opioid epidemic with our free online toolkit for employers and employees. Also, our HR Academy provides education for hot topics in human resources.
  3. Solutions-oriented organization: Resources are spent advocating for legislation that provides relief and clarity to businesses in Ohio.
  4. Collaboration among diverse business through our committees: education and workforce, energy and environment, health care, labor and human resources, public affairs, small business, taxes and spending, and worker’s compensation.
  5. Connected and influential in state politics: We are moving on July 23, 2018
    New Headquarters as of July 23, 2018 at 34 S. Third St, Columbus, OH 43215

    to the old Columbus Dispatch building, right across the street from the Ohio Statehouse, where we will be closer to the lawmakers to whom we advocate to on behalf of Ohio business.

We continue to fight for our top five priority issues, unemployment compensation, anti-discrimination laws, health insurance mandates, regulatory reform, and energy efficiency requirements. We’re all for business. We’re all for Ohio.