2022-2023 Board of Directors
ECCOC's Board of Directors serve a vital role in establishing policy and shaping the direction of the Chamber and are reflective of the diversity that defines our region’s business community.
Chair of the Board
Matt is a graduate of St. Mary’s Central Catholic, Kent State University, the Sandusky Police Academy, and Leadership Erie County. He married his high school sweetheart, Tami (Kersker), in 1997. They are proud lifelong residents of Sandusky and have raised three amazing children: Megan, Emma, and Jaxon. Megan attends Capital University where she is a member of the women’s golf team. Emma attends The University of Dayton, majoring in Education. Jaxon attends Sandusky Central Catholic School and participates in Football and Basketball. In addition to the serving on the Erie County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Matt currently serves on the Board of Directors at Sandusky Central Catholic and the Leadership Erie County Board of Trustees. He worked for the Perkins Township Police Department as a police officer for several years and is currently the General Sales Manager at Firelands Toyota in Sandusky. In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family. One of his favorite quotes is: “To the world, you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.”
Vice Chair of the Board
Dru is a 1989 Graduate of St. Mary’s Central Catholic High School. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and Allied Professions from Bowling Green State University in 1996 and a Master of Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University in 2006.
He began his professional career at Medical Mutual of Ohio from 1997 to 1999 in the role of Provider Contracting/Network Development, then at Vantage Health Plan 1999-2001. He became the Marketing Director of Concord Care Centers in 2001 until he moved to Firelands Regional Medical Center in 2003. Dru is currently the Vice President of Operations/Marketing and Strategic Planning for FRMC. His areas of responsibility include Physician Recruitment and Relations, South Campus Operations, Environmental Services, Nutritional Services/Java City, Business Development, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Marketing and Public Relations, Strategic Planning, Community Outreach, and Development/Fundraising.
Dru is involved in several boards and committees in our area. He is currently serving on the Stein Hospice Board of Directors, Sandusky Central Catholic School Education Foundation, and is a Sandusky Yacht Club Trustee, in addition to his position on the Erie County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Dru is happiled married to Tahnee Meredith. He has three children: Maddie Kreidler (BGSU), Jacob Kreidler (OSU), and Morgan Meredith (Sandusky Central Catholic). He attends St. Mary Parish.
Dave Baumgartner is the Owner/Operator of Chick-fil-A in Sandusky. Prior to Chick-fil-A, Dave spent almost 20 years leading digital media sales and marketing organizations, including Tandem Media, ReachLocal and Auto Trader. He also had a 10 year career with Sherwin Williams in various management positions. Dave is very active with the Chapel and has served there on their elder board, in the kid's ministry, on the Global Missions Team and has spearheaded a church-wide leadership initiative. In addition, he serves on the board of the Erie County Special Olympics and as a Big Brother with the Erie County Community Mentoring Program. Dave and his wife Becky have been married for 30 years and have a daughter Brittany who attends BGSU.
Bill Currence is an Army Veteran of 10 years, serving both as an active duty and reserve officer where he held two company commands. He is passionate about Operational Excellence and sustainability, both in business and communities. Bill is the founder of CCO and has more than 25 years of leadership experience in manufacturing, supply-chain, and engineering roles across several industries spanning five continents. He is recognized for his passionate and results-oriented leadership style, consistently delivering improved operations which yield significant growth in EBITDA and cash flow.
Bill’s previous roles include COO, CFO, and EVP International Sales for a Manufacturing, Industrial, and Quality Engineering consulting firm, as well as Senior Director of Operations for KRISS Arms, and Global Director of Manufacturing, Manufacturing-Engineering, Operational Excellence and Launch Management programs. He led all overseas operations for TPT, extending their global footprint and global scope with oversight of all regional Operations Directors and Country CEOs to achieve those ends, was Plant Manager of a Tier One Plastics Automotive Supplier, Plant Operations Manager responsible globally for all manufacturing and engineering OpEx and launches, as well as Quality Manager, overseeing a Tier One $250M Plant Operation with three business units.
Sandusky Tours LLC was established in 2016, by Jim Ervin and Dick Ries. They opened Sandusky Segwave in 2017 as a Segway tour company in downtown Sandusky. Moving from Columbus, OH to Sandusky has been one of the highlights in my career. The bonds that have formed in the tourism industry of the region are monumental. These include working relationships with Shores & Islands Ohio, Cedar Point, and The Erie County Chamber of Commerce. It is a pleasure to serve on the Chamber Board. I look forward to exploring the many opportunities that are available for our community.
Kara C. Groff, third generation funeral director, is the President at Groff Funeral Homes and Crematory and Meadow Green Memorial Park, and the owner of Groff Pet Loss Services. She also oversees the other divisions of her family business, The Remembrance Center and Gift Gallery and The Legacy Center. Kara is a 2003 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Sandusky. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Xavier University in 2006 and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in management from John Carroll University in 2011. She received her Funeral Director's license in 2013. Kara is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sandusky, Sandusky Rotary Club, International Referral Network, Plum Brook Country Club, Ohio Cemetery Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Pet Loss Professional Alliance, and has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Sandusky State Theatre. She is the recipient of the Volunteer Center's Women of Excellence Award. Kara resides in Sandusky with her children, Macie and Drew.
JaMarcus Hampton is a 1998 graduate of Sandusky High School. He is the President and CEO of Hampton Enterprises LLC which is a real estate investing and property management company, and a major gift officer (fundraiser) with The University of Michigan’s Alumni Association in which he is primarily responsible for raising capital for the LEAD Scholars Program (a minority-focused scholarship program) and Camp Michigania. In addition, JaMarcus is also in the second year of a 3-year appointment with the Erie County Community Foundation.
Blake was born and raised in Sandusky and has been a local entrepreneur for the last 8 years, and a proud 2006 graduate of Sandusky High School. He is also the founder and co-chair of the Minority Business Empowerment Team (MBET); a grassroots collaborative effort between local minority-owned businesses, economic development organizations ECEDC & RISE, the City of Sandusky, and Sandusky City Schools. In addition to his role at MBET. Blake also serves on various boards/committees that include: For Love With Love Charity, Boys & Girls Club of Erie County, Public Arts & Culture, Landbank Commission, Community Relations Commission, Police & Fire Liaison, CPAC, Bayfront Corridor Committee, Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Co-chair, Ehove Advisory Board member, and SHS Business Management Advisory Team.
Joe is a Sandusky High School graduate. He obtained a Bachelor of Science at BGSU and a Master’s in Education from Cambridge College, MA. He was a 6th grade teacher for 35 years. He has been a Realtor for 35 years and is currently a Realtor with Hoty Enterprises, Inc. Joe has been the Director of Leadership Erie County for 9 years.
Joe is involved with many organizations such as, Salvation Army Board member, Sandusky Lion’s Club member, Wightman-Wieber Safety Committee member, City of Sandusky’s Bay Front Corridor member, United Way of Erie County Board Member, and ECCOC Board Member.
Joe has been recognized with many awards including Sandusky City Schools Teacher of the Year, ECCOC Youth Service Award, Ambassador of the Year, ECCOC Chairman’s Award, Firelands Association of Realtors Service Award, Volunteer Center of Erie County Men of Excellence Award, Leadership Erie County Distinguished Leader Award, and Nick in Time Life Saving Award.
Camping and hospitality are in Jeff Hoffman’s blood. His family’s business, MHD Corporation, has been in property ownership and management for more than 80 years. In his time as President of MHD Corporation, he has owned and managed 14 diverse properties. He has more than 50 years in the campground business, owning and managing multiple parks. His areas of experience include hospitality, retail, golf course, management, construction, and property management.
Jeff has always been committed to serving the community and local area. He has served on the Erie County Visitors and Convention Bureau for 30 years, currently serving as President. He was an executive director of the Firelands Area Boy Scouts. He is a past President and board member of the Erie County Home Builders Association and past President and board member for Cancer Services of Erie and Huron Counties. He has been honored to serve on many other boards and panels over the years.
Recently, Jeff’s work with MHD Corporation has shifted, allowing more time for commitments outside of the local community through the ECVB. another endeavor is serving as President of the Ohio Campground Owners and the ARVC Board.
Ryan Keller is founder and CEO of SecureSight, a leading cybersecurity company with the mission to protect the American people by combating cyber-enabled attacks and threats to businesses that are targeted by malicious actors. As a thought leader and strategic cybersecurity advisor to CEOs and Board of Directors of private companies and government agencies, Ryan has helped many organizations identify and understand cybersecurity risks to allow them to make better and more informed business decisions. He is incredibly passionate about cybersecurity training and education and is an expert on risk management, cybersecurity, cyber defense and cybercrime related issues. He strongly believes the more knowledgeable and educated we all are when it comes to cybersecurity, the more risk we reduce as a whole.
Native of Sandusky. 1989 graduate of Perkins Schools. 1993 graduate from Eastern Michigan University with business degree in accounting.
Payne, Nickles and Company since 1997. Focus is on business planning and taxation, trust and transfer planning and individual tax planning.
Michelle Solly, CRP, GMS
Michelle Solly is the Relocation and Referral Director for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty. In this role, Michelle oversees the relocation and referral activity for 39 offices all over the state of Ohio as well as Kentucky, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Berkshire Hathaway, she spent 15 years in the Relocation industry servicing Global clients relocating their employees all over the world. She also sold real estate in Southern California and was a CPA for EY. After graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Michelle lived and worked for close to 30 years in Cleveland, Denver, Chicago and Southern California before returning to Sandusky where she was born and raised. BHHS Professional Realty is located at 237 W. Washington Row in downtown Sandusky.
Matt Stahl is the Chief Financial Officer of VacationLand Federal Credit Union in Sandusky, Ohio. Prior to joining VacationLand, Matt worked for KeyBank and the accounting firm of Crowe Horwath LLP, where he was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio. Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Mount Union and a Master of Science degree in Accounting from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a native of Sandusky, where he graduated from St. Mary’s Central Catholic. In addition to the Erie County Chamber of Commerce, Matt is a member of the Firelands Community Health Committee and currently serves on the Board of the North Coast Young Professionals.