Michelle Hartman named Kent Area Chamber of Commerce president

By Kyle McDonald | Staff Writer Published:

The Kent Area Chamber of Commerce has tapped Michelle Hartman to lead the business-friendly organization as its president for 2013.

Hartman, is a 20-year Kent resident, vice president of The Burbick Companies and Buffalo, N.Y. native. She said she plans to continue to help Kent's local business climate grow as president, a climate she's watched unfold during her involvement in downtown Kent and beyond.

"My position as vice president of The Burbick Companies has offered me the opportunity to experience firsthand the renaissance of downtown Kent and how the collaborative efforts of community leaders and business people can make a positive and lasting difference on the quality of life within the community and contribute to an overall healthier economic base," Hartman said.

In addition to seven years of membership with the chamber, Hartman has served as the chairwoman for the Thanksgiving Brunch Bunch benefit since 2006, is a current board member of Kent Social Services and assists with nonprofits including Alex's Lemonade Stand, Relay for Life and other fundraising projects in Kent City Schools.

"A sense of community has always been important to me, and my involvement with the chamber over the past seven years has only enhanced my opportunity to openly communicate and network with different people to work on community issues, listen, create a vision, problem solve and help make decisions for the betterment of the community has a whole," Hartman said. "Kent has always had tremendous potential with its rich history and natural beauty, and I consider myself fortunate to live and work in this great community I call home."

The KACC is experiencing continual growth as new shops and restaurants continue sprouting up in downtown Kent. In 2012, the organization's membership increased to 267 members from 255, held 19 ribbon cuttings and hosted more than 50 events.

"We have experienced a 51 percent increase in membership over the past four years, and we will continue to deliver programs and provide activities that will increase chamber membership and add measurable value to chamber membership investments, as well as continue to position the chamber as a leading source for up-to-date and accurate community information," Hartman said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1127 or kmcdonald@recordpub.com

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