–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept 04, 2018
Have fun, be kind and work hard.
I recently met with Executive Director at Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce Michelle Sprott, the only woman, I think, capable of getting someone excited about a root canal, colonoscopy or a visit from their mother-in-law. The woman is full of enthusiasm and as the Sylvania community has witnessed, it is contagious. The Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce is defined on various social media venues as “being instrumental in attracting visitors, residents and businesses to the Sylvania area.” Sprott has not only expanded the role of the Chamber but has sparked an eagerness to make Sylvania known as the place to be in northwest Ohio.
The core mission
Sprott is excited about the rapid progress the city is experiencing. “Sylvania is blessed with a great team right now,” she stated. “It is a privilege to work with the individuals, Chamber members, and community leaders I get to work with. They are amazing. We recently celebrated the Chamber’s 70th birthday. The Chamber has always played a vital role within Sylvania. I didn’t realize the capacity of that role when I stepped into it. Mayor Stough describes the Chamber as the glue that holds all the pillars of the community together,” Sprott stated. “Our reach extends to our schools, the business community, nonprofits, police and fire. It touches every aspect of the community. I see the Chamber’s primary role as being a champion of everything good about Sylvania. We are the cheerleaders of those entities and are here to promote Sylvania as the best place to work, live and play. That is the core of our mission.”
The fearless leader, although excited about where Sylvania is currently, is also excited about moving forward with various plans and projects. “The energy in Sylvania right now is so exciting,” she said. “We are just getting started. We are on an upscale trajectory with the development of SOMO, and other new development projects that lay ahead.” Sprott is quick to point out that her team is a vital factor in the Chamber’s mission to move forward. “My team is incredible. I am surrounded by a phenomenal team, internally and externally. Everyone we work with is always there when called on,” she stated. “That’s what makes it easy. In my office, I am very left-brained. My team consists of creative right-brained individuals. It’s the perfect balance.” She added, “I have a few rules for the office. The first rule is to have fun, be kind and work hard. I pull it out of them every day. We are in the throes of Fall Festival planning after just wrapping up an extremely busy summer with five events. Every event we strive to take to the next level. That is essential in getting Sylvania to grow and be relevant as northwest Ohio continues to develop. Outside of my internal office, the downtown Sylvania team is thriving. Again, we are just getting started.”
No egos allowed
Sprott is excited to grow her internal team. “It is my goal to hire another staff member to keep up with the demands of event planning and to provide tangible benefits to our members,” said Sprott. “In addition to growth within our Chamber staff, I look forward to the creation of new events and continued growth in the business sector. The schools are completely re-energized with our new superintendent. The schools are our second biggest employer and they play such a critical role in the success of Sylvania. We are full of dynamic leaders in every area of our community. That is why you feel that positive energy. The most refreshing part is that we all get along. There are no egos. We are all truly here to build Sylvania. That’s what keeps us going and wanting more. We want more growth and more inspiration. Whether it be the Red Bird Art Walk, Maple on Main, or new businesses such as Inside the Five, we are all here to champion one another. If there were negative attitudes in the way, or community leaders who didn’t care, we could not accomplish our main mission.” That mission is to build a better Sylvania where residents, like Michelle Sprott, can have fun, be kind and work hard in one of the greatest cities in northwest Ohio.