The Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and the Johnson County Development Corp. have announced their intention to merge. The organizations say the strategic effort "will create a stronger, more unified engine to drive economic growth in Johnson County and south of Indianapolis." The deal has been approved by the boards of both groups, but still requires a final approval by members.

In a news release, the organizations say chambers and other development agencies throughout the country are coming together "to amplify the reach and impact of their complementary efforts." A combined organization such as what is being proposed in Greenwood is not unfamiliar in Indiana; One Southern Indiana in Jeffersonville serves as the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties.

"Economic development and the process of attracting new businesses has changed," said Pat Sherman, chairman of the board for JCDC. "Johnson County and the area south of Indianapolis mean business, and this union better positions our region to attract companies considering growth or expansion."

The chamber and the JCDC say members will soon receive packets in the mail detailing the merger and voting process. The members are slated to vote on the merger on August 21.

If the merger is approved, the combined organization will be known as Aspire Johnson County, doing business as Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance. Christian Maslowski, who currently serves as president and chief executive officer of the chamber, will serve as president of the new organization, with JCDC Executive Director and CEO Dana Monson serving as vice president of economic development.

The chamber will host two open houses for members to learn more about the proposed merger. They are scheduled to take place August 14 and 20 from 4-6 p.m. at the Greater Greenwood Chamber office.

If approved, the new organization will formally launch on January 1.