BY LINDSAY MCCOY

Times Bulletin News Writer

lmccoy@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce has created a new business-building group for local chamber members. Van Wert Leads Exchange program will meet twice a month beginning in March and will be an opportunity for members to exchange leads and further local business. This marks the first leads group to start up in Van Wert.

"This is an opportunity for members to come together and help grow client base," said Chamber President/CEO Susan Monroe. "This is really the heart of the program, and it is expected to be a great opportunity for all involved."

Monroe has already seen a lot of interest from chamber members. Applications will be emailed to all chamber member businesses on Monday, Jan. 28. Members will be accepted to the group on a first come first serve basis and will consist of up to 25 business representatives of companies in diverse industries. Applications must be returned by Monday, Feb. 4.

The Chamber Leads Exchange committee will review each application for eligibility by verifying that there are no conflicts with current member services/industries as only one member per business category may participate. New members will be asked to pay dues of $25 per six months, and fees are due upon receipt of an invoice.

Each member will be allowed to participate for a maximum of two years to offer this opportunities to others in the community in this profession's category. If no one else applies for the category, a current member is welcome to reapply and may be accepted to resume their place in the program.

The Leads Exchange will meet the first and third Tuesday of each month beginning in March. The meetings will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at various locations each month. Each meeting is expected to last no longer than 45 minutes. Members are welcomed to host a meeting and/or provide refreshments. A meeting will consist of beginning announcements, each member giving a brief update on successful new accounts, one member will be given the opportunity to give a 5-7 minute presentation on their profession, and will conclude with referral information being exchanged between members.

Those with questions can contact the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce for additional information at (419) 238-4390 or chamber@vanwertchamber.com.