Chamber and HYPE Join Forces

The Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce and HYPE Richmond (Helping Young Professionals Engage) are pleased to announce the formal integration of the young professional group into Chamber organization beginning January 1, 2020. The boards of directors for both organizations formally approved this move in their most recent respective board meetings.

The Chamber of Commerce serves its members through their mission to Promote Lead Unite and Serve (PLUS).  They specifically work in four areas: advocacy & awareness, professional development & training, networking & engagement and benefits & support.

“We see this as an opportunity to join forces in a couple of these areas,” said Chamber President & CEO Melissa Vance.  “We know that our business members are eager to develop young leaders and to engage them in our community.  This is essential for long-term growth.”

For HYPE Richmond board members, this is an opportunity for stability and sustainability said Mark Broeker of Reid Health.  “Our organization has made great strides over the years, but with transitions in board leadership every few years and a fully volunteer team, it is difficult to maintain constant momentum,” added Roxie Deer who plays dual roles as the Chamber Director of Programs & Events as well as the current HYPE Richmond President.

With the formal HYPE Richmond 501(c)3 organization dissolving, the Chamber will add a committee specifically for HYPE, but changing the name to include the entire service area – HYPE Wayne County. This change will result in an additional staff member for the Chamber of Commerce and some shuffling of responsibilities among existing staff.  Roxie Deer will remain involved in the HYPE fold, taking on the staff role for this group as well as maintaining her efforts in education.  A position will then be added for membership and events.

“While we have had a few young professionals on our board of directors over the past few years, we will be adding another specifically appointed by the HYPE Wayne County Committee each year,” said Board President Sherrilyn Johnson of Hills Pet Nutrition.  “It is important to have a diverse board which certainly includes age.”

The Chamber encourages employers to urge those under 40 to become involved in HYPE Wayne County in the coming year.  Continued efforts in professional development and social activities will be the initial focus for the group.

For more information about the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, visit or call the office at (765) 962-1511.


Ed DeLaPaz, Director of Marketing

(765) 962-1511