CCA Business Networking Star of the Year — Lynda Nemeth, executive director, Destination Geauga
Lynda Nemeth is a born networker. Some of her Geauga County cohorts, meanwhile, are not. So, after successfully persuading members of the local Amish community to engage with area businesses, she ranks the accomplishment among her best in 2014. “The Amish do not come to the chamber meetings or take time out of their work day to ‘network,’” Nemeth, a lifelong resident of Geauga County, says. “Having grown up as one of the only non-Amish in my neighborhood and keeping close ties to the community has helped me find ways to go beyond the traditional meetings to find ways to reach out to these perspective partners.” Representing the Middlefield Chamber of Commerce, Nemeth bartered to initiate one such relationship with an Amish businessman. He showcased his work during Destination Geauga’s spring driving tour; she spoke at his Amish Business Expo. He’s now running for a seat on Nemeth’s tourism board; she now has three new Amish constituents. “I believe it’s so important for our Amish community to have a voice in our promotions,” she says.
Nemeth also represents the chambers of commerce in Chardon and Burton. With the former city, she convinced six organizations in July to unite financially and commission a $9,000-plus feasibility study for Chardon. The study was completed in September and helped pave the way for the first brand hotel to be built in the county. In Burton she organized a multi-day television shoot with New Day Cleveland in late September to highlight nine member business locations as fall destination getaways. “By knowing the businesses owners through networking, making the calls, and knowing exactly what their businesses could offer for the project helped pull everything together on the very tight schedule in which we had to work,” she says.
As the second-term president of Adventures in Northeast Ohio, Nemeth meets monthly to network and work cooperatively to bring tourism to the 17 counties represented by the organization. Through one networking partnership made at AINO, Destination Geauga became part of a shore excursion for the four Blount Small Ship cruises that docked in Cleveland in 2014. As a member of the all-female Red Key Network, she served as the meeting and event chair last year. “We take our networking time very seriously and schedule that as an integral part of our meeting,” Nemeth says. “Networking in this group is done on so many levels. As women, it’s fun to get to know a little more about each other on a personal level, and a lot of friendships have been forged in this group.”
For more info: destinationgeauga.com
Runners-up: Nick Borelli, marketing and communications director, Rock The House; Anne H. Doyle, marketing events/community coordinator, Lake Health; Vince Iannaggi, director of business development, L’Nique Specialty Linen Rental; Melissa Marik, director of business development, Executive Caterers; Paul Marnecheck, manager of small business solutions, Council of Smaller Enterprises; Lauren Rudman, manager of human resources, ERICO International.
CCA WINNER TIMELINE
2014 — Lynda Nemeth, Destination Geauga
2013 — Will Tarter Jr., CommunityOne
2012 — Nick Borelli, Rock The House