A long-time business owner in Lebanon County is taking over the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the chamber announced Tuesday.
The chamber’s CEO Search Committee and Board of Directors appointed Karen Groh as president and CEO of the business leadership organization, effective immediately.
Groh has owned Cornwall-based IA Design, a graphic design and marketing company, for 21 years, and now she will transition clients from IA Design to other agencies over the next few months so that she can focus on her new role at the chamber. IA Design didn’t have any staff other than Groh, so it made sense to dissolve the company, Groh said.
As president and CEO of the Chamber, Groh will oversee the entire chamber including the Chamber’s foundation, an organization that secures funds and awards them through scholarships to students in the region.
Groh has been a chamber member since 1998, and most recently she served as interim president and CEO for the chamber while the organization searched for a full-time leader. Greg Buckler was the previous president and CEO.
Groh had no intention of assuming the leadership position full time, and was originally supposed to serve as chairwoman of the organization in 2017 after a president and CEO was found.
As Groh’s interim role developed within the organization, she realized that the chamber and what it represents to the business community, is something that has been a passion of hers throughout the years.
Now, she will remain president and CEO, and Ed Coyle, who served as chairman in 2016, will serve as chairman until the end of the year, a news release said.
“The Chamber is a great platform to work with our local businesses and to build on the great things that are happening in the Lebanon Valley,” Groh said. “I’m very excited to be a part of it all.”
Since Groh has already been leading the chamber for several months, she’s moving the organization forward by focusing on how to best meet member needs and reaching out to local, Hispanic business owners “to see what we can do to bridge the divide often caused by language barriers,” Groh said. “We are working on programs, educational seminars and events to showcase their businesses and the diversity within Lebanon County.”