Zimmerly chosen as new Wooster Chamber president

Zimmerly chosen as new Wooster Chamber president

Samira Zimmerly


The Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently announced the appointment of Samira Zimmerly as the organization’s 17th president.

Zimmerly, an employee with the organization for more than 10 years and current director of events and programs, will assume the president role on Sept. 1 as a transition from outgoing President Justin Starlin occurs.

“The board of directors executive committee interviewed an impressive slate of candidates for the position, but it was Samira’s commitment, dedication and institutional knowledge of the organization that put her at the top of our list,” said Kevin Day, president and CEO of the Western Reserve Group and chamber board chair. “Her impressive track record of professional growth, overall resume of successes over the years and chamber industry credentials make her a natural fit for the position.”

The Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization, composed of 700 members throughout the greater Wooster and Wayne County area. Recognized as a top-performing chamber in Ohio, the organization was most recently named an Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Chamber of the Year finalist for 2020.

Founded in 1908, the WACC is governed by a board of directors with daily operations being overseen and implemented by a president and staff. In 1929 the late John Schultz was named the organization’s first president with 15 presidents following his initial appointment.

Zimmerly will be the first female to hold the position and will be accompanied by board chair Susan Marlar in 2021.

“I am proud of the board’s leadership in evaluating the candidates for the position and am confident that Samira’s knowledge of the community and our membership will show great value as she assumes the president position,” Marlar said.

“Samira understands the challenges of the position and the desire of the board of directors to maintain a leadership role in community development and business advocacy efforts,” said Wooster Community Hospital CEO Bill Sheron, the chamber board’s outgoing chair. “She has proven herself as a valuable asset for the organization, and the timing is right for her to assume this leadership role.”

The man Zimmerly will replace said the board “got it right” in selecting Zimmerly as his successor.

“Zimmerly brings immediate value to the position, as she resides in the Wooster area and understands the intricacies of the community, a must-have for the position,” Starlin said. “She has impressed me with her desire to make a difference both within and outside of the chamber. The board got it right in selecting Samira to lead the organization, and I am eager to see her place her mark on the organization moving forward.”

Zimmerly has more than 10 years of chamber experience, where she has overseen and managed the organization’s highly recognized and successful events and programs. She is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio organization and will receive her IOM Graduate recognition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in the coming months.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next chamber president and humbled by the support of the community and our membership,” Zimmerly said. “The Wooster area is a special place, and I feel truly blessed to be a part of it. I look forward to working with our staff and board on continuing to make positive advancement in our organization and community.”

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