2016 City Arbor Day Celebration Honors Chamber of Commerce

Arbor Day 2016 Arbor Day Proclaimation   2016 Arbor Day Program
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2016 Arbor Day 1 Tree   2016 Arbor Day 1     2016 Arbor Day Students2016 Arbor Day Mayor LP 1

2016 Arbor Day

The City of Cuyahoga Falls celebrates National Arbor Day with a special tree planting ceremony recognizing an important individual, group or event in Cuyahoga Falls which has made a significant impact on our community.
This year, the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce was honored on Friday, April 29, 2016 at Kennedy Park, Cuyahoga Falls. 

Along with the Arbor Day program and celebration, the City selected Roberts Middle School to participate in an Arbor Day Contest. The 6th Grade classes at Roberts Middle School were chosen this year to create a 3D art project following the theme “Trees Provide a Canopy of Life – Celebrate & Protect Them” as it is recognized for the importance of trees in our community and the many, incredible ways they help people and improve the environment.

Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce Acceptance Speech by Chamber CEO Laura Petrella followed by  Chamber Board President, Kathy Romito, Western Reserve Hospital. 

THANK YOU to the City of Cuyahoga Falls for honoring the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber Commerce for the 2016 Cuyahoga Falls Arbor Day on April 29 at Kennedy Park.

We are honored to accept this wonderful recognition from the City of Cuyahoga Falls.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this acknowledgement.

We are celebrating 90 years as a Chamber of Commerce this year and stand before you prouder than we have ever been.

A very special THANK YOU to our MAYOR Don Walters for believing in our Chamber and his commitment to our Chamber.

The Chamber of Commerce organization itself runs ON FEET with MANY HANDS!

I would not be standing here without those many feet AND hands that volunteer their time to help make us shine in the Cuyahoga Falls business community.

With us today are many of our Chamber Members and our Board Members who I would like to introduce.

At this time I am going to take you through a quick 90 year tour of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce through the last 90 years.
The Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce began in the fall of 1926 by a group of businessmen and property owners.  They were a group of local residents known as the Falls Civic Association and recognized the need for an organization that could address the concerns of the Cuyahoga Falls business community and began to lay the groundwork for the city’s first “Chamber of Commerce”. 

 At the Annual Meeting of the Falls Civic Association, a committee of 15 was appointed for the purpose of organizing a Chamber of Commerce. The first Meeting was held at the City Hall on November 24, 1926, followed by a membership campaign in January 1927.


  • The Chamber of Commerce had a few different locations – Broad Blvd., Oakwood Street, Portage Trail, Front Street, Second Street and Portage Trail again!
  • Today we are located are near City Hall, The Post Office and the Schools and steps from our beautiful Falls River Square.


The Chamber was founded. Russell Frey was employed as the chamber’s first executive secretary.

1930 – 1940’s   
Little is known about the chamber’s activity during the 1930’s.  In July of 1941, however, an organization called the Cuyahoga Falls Merchants and Manufacturers Association was formed; its goals and objectives were similar to those established by the chamber.

The Chamber affiliated with the Akron Regional Development Board known today as the Greater Akron Chamber.  And the Cuyahoga Falls Merchants and Manufacturers Association filed an amendment to their articles of incorporation, changing their name/merging into the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce.

1960 – 1970’s    
During the 60’s and 70’s, the organization became actively involved in local projects – the expressway, school bond and tax levies; library expansion, traffic control, municipal finance, industrial expansion, and other issues facing the Cuyahoga Falls community.

The Chamber was still aligned with the Akron Regional Development Board which today is the Great Akron Chamber. In 1987 the Chamber  became an independent Chamber again.

We celebrated 75 Years, Unveiled a new logo, new mission statement. We saw  growth and new programs developing at the time. We were on the move!

We unveiled a new logo that includes the clock tower and Cuyahoga River. We were recognized nationally in the top 10 Chamber Logos in the country for the new Chamber logo

New Location – 20,000 cars a day pass us. The busiest intersection in town.

We are almost 400 business members strong! We have 13 volunteer Board Members.  And over 100 regular volunteers who help us. We host over 60 events per year.  With our signature weekly Goldmine Referral Group meetings that have over 80 business leaders committed to.

In the last few years we have started to partner even more with our neighboring Chambers. We just participated in the 15 Chamber Business Mixer and monthly we participate with 5 other Chambers for a networking breakfast reception.

We continue to grow and prosper here in Cuyahoga Falls with our business community.  In the last 3 years we have cut the ribbon of success and celebrated new businesses and business expansions. 44 total! That speaks volumes of the FRIENDLY business climate here in Cuyahoga Falls.

                THE 3 C’s    

Since 1926 we as an organization have been doing what we know as commerce which we all know is the exchange of goods or services for money.

From our local grocery store Acme (1891) (Albrecht Family) to our local financial institutions such as the former Valley Savings Bank (1923) (Hunter Family) now Westfield Bank. And let’s not forget Clifford Shoemaker Funeral Home. (1905) (Shoemaker Family)  These are successful businesses that started in the turn of the century – early 1900’s about the time the Chamber was started and they are still here in our community today!

We have a commitment to our city, our residents and our business community.

We partner with our city, library, hospital, schools and many businesses as well as our neighboring Chambers in Summit, Medina and Portage County.

We remind our business leaders daily that we are part of the Cuyahoga Falls history – so let’s make a difference as business leaders and residents.

We thank each and every one of you for your true support you have shown us through the years as we continue to make a difference. We know we will be remembered in history even after we are long gone.

We have been here since 1926 making an impact and difference in Cuyahoga Falls.