Dan Canan, IOM - Executive Vice President with OneZone; John Myrland representing Old National Bank as the 2016 ICEA awards sponsor; and
Mo Merhoff, OneZone President.
OneZone Honored As 2016 Chamber Of The Year
2016 ICEA awards sponsored by
OneZone brought home the honor of the statewide Indiana Chamber of the Year at
the 2016 Annual Conference of the Indiana Chamber Executives Association. The
award was presented by John Myrland, Senior Vice President Community Engagement
Executive Central Indiana Region Old National Bank, the official sponsorship partner
of the 2016 awards for the Indiana Chamber Executives Association.
Four finalists were reviewed by a panel out judges located outside of the State of
Indiana to determine the 2016 recipient. The four finalists were the LaGrange County
Chamber; OneZone; Terre Haute Chamber; and the Valpo Chamber.
“The amount of coordinated effort from both the Carmel and Fishers teams
strengthened by the countless hours of planned research before the merged entity was
officially launched led to the resounding success that peer chamber professionals
celebrate with this award,” said Shelli Williams, President of the Indiana Chamber Executives
Association. “Too many organizations nationwide take a quick fire approach to merging.
Dan Canan and Mo Merhoff led their teams with strategic and focused leadership to make
this joint venture such a success.”
The time to make bold moves is when you’re strong, and not when you feel forced to make
change. When OneZone officially launched in February of 2015, the Fishers and Carmel
Chambers were both coming off their best two years in their respective histories. Leaders
could certainly have taken the position that there was no need for change when things are
this good. But the two organizations believed that together, a stronger value proposition
for the members would be provided with even more opportunities for the business community.
The business community doesn’t see municipal boundaries; they see business opportunities.
As one of the corporate members told the staff about the merger, “Change can happen
because of aspiration or because of desperation”, this merger is the result of the Fishers
and Carmel boards and staffs aspiring to be the best and deliver the greatest value to the membership.
This past year has seen a smooth transition of integrating staff, board leaders and
programming. Members now have access to business connections across a broader
geographic region. Members annually have access to more than 60 business events.
The advocacy power is evident with the three different committees that address issues
affecting business. This organization takes action on issues . They are focused on workforce,
leading the way to ensure that economic growth balances with available workers in a county
with a current unemployment rate below 3.5%. They are focused on visioning for the best
public transit outcomes for the county. They are bold to speak out on issues that could
have a detrimental impact on the businesses they serve. They open the door for connection
& resources for business leaders to have knowledge about local and state level government.
And they lead by example. OneZone brought the largest number of delegates to the 2016
ICEA Chamber Day at The Statehouse.
The merge brought the organization’s membership to 1200. This past year has added nearly
100 additional new businesses to the membership roster. The Chamber’s sales force has
embraced technology by using I-Pads on member visits to share information with prospects
with the capability of real-time processing for fee payment.
OneZone carries a solid budget and a professional staff team into the future. Peers around
the state tap into their resources for mentoring. Previous recipients of this award include:
Southwest Indiana Chamber (2015); Zionsville Chamber (2014); Valpo Chamber (2013);
St. Joseph County (2012); Bloomington Chamber (2011); Daviess County Chamber (2010);
One Southern Indiana (2009); Columbus Chamber (2008); Southwest Indiana Chamber (2007);
Terre Haute Chamber (2006); Valpo Chamber (2005); Angola Chamber (2004);
Fort Wayne Chamber (2003); and the Fishers Chamber (2002).