The memberships of the Wabash County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Group of Wabash County have approved a proposal to merge the two entities. The combined organization, which will be known as the Wabash County Business Alliance Inc., will become official June 30.

The chamber members voted 112-1 and the EDG members voted 64-0 to approve the merger. The new organization will be led by Keith Gillenwater, currently the president and chief executive officer of the EDG.

“I am excited to take the helm of the new Wabash County Business Alliance, Inc.," said Gillenwater. "Wabash County has a bright future ahead and our new organization is set to continue to build upon the legacy of the many great accomplishments EDG and Chamber have built over the previous years while being better positioned to tackle new challenges our community faces, like the threat of population decline, workforce development concerns, and embracing livability enhancements."

The new board of directors for the Wabash County Business Alliance will include:

  • Parker Beauchamp, INGUARD
  • Emily Boardman, Crossroads Bank
  • Jason Callahan, Wabash City Schools
  • Marilyn Custer-Mitchell, Parkview Wabash Hospital
  • Keith Gillenwater, Wabash County Business Alliance Inc.
  • Lisa Gilman, Redemption Development, LLC
  • Patty Grant, Wabash County Community Foundation
  • Brian Haupert, Wabash County Commissioner
  • Bob Krouse, Midwest Poultry Services
  • Clint Kugler, Wabash County YMCA
  • Gary Larson, The Ford Meter Box Co.
  • Scott Long, Wabash City Mayor
  • Paul McCann, Dawes & Pugh, CPA’s
  • Tod Minnich, Honeywell Foundation
  • Adam Penrod, Town of North Manchester

The organizations say the board and various committees will meet over the next several weeks to finalize operational plans for the Wabash County Business Alliance.