BEVERLY - The president of the Muskingum Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is stepping down after more than 10 years at the post.
Glen Miller of Beverly will leave the office on Jan. 1 and will be succeeded by Rick Walters of Beverly.
"I just thought it was time to let a younger person take over. I've been there 10 or 11 years and sometimes it is good for the chamber to get younger people involved," Miller, 77, said.
When Miller started, the chamber suffered from a budget shortfall. The organization has grown to the point that is now gives out more than $10,000 annually to area nonprofit organizations including the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority, local schools and area museums, said board member Kevin Rings, who will soon take over the role of chamber vice president.
"There would be no chamber without Glen. When he took over, the chamber was $1,500 in debt. Now the chamber is growing and thriving and financially solvent," he said.
Beyond its main purpose of fostering business, the chamber's dedication to philanthropy is part of what makes it so special to him, said Miller. "We're the only chamber that does this, that gives money out to the nonprofit organizations in our county," he said.
Not to mention, said Miller, that they do it all with no budget.
"It's all volunteer. I have never received a thing from the chamber and our directors have never received anything," he added.
Of all the philanthropy the chamber takes part in, Miller said he has particularly enjoyed giving out two $1,000 scholarships to local high school students every year.
"I'm proud that we're able to do that...They are very smart kids and so that makes me feel good every year," he said.
Though Miller will be taking off his presidential hat, he and his years of experience will not be going far. Miller plans on transitioning into a role as a member of chamber's Board of Directors.
"Glen has done a great job. I agreed to step up as president as long as Glen stayed on as director. He has a wealth of knowledge," Walters, 56, said. Walters, a partner at Dietz, Futrell & Walters Insurance, Inc., has been a chamber director for five years and has served as the vice president for the past two years.