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Urbana’s new schools are priority as new board of education takes shape

Area business group planning to expand


The Gathering of the Miami Valley, a group of Christian businessmen based in Springfield, recently hired a new associate director as it plans to expand throughout the region.

The local chapter of the national nonprofit group was founded in 2008, and it is the only chapter in Ohio, said Ronny Shumaker, chairman of the board for the group. The Gathering connects businessmen through networking, small group meetings, a quarterly lunch series and two annual breakfast events with national speakers each year.

“It’s an opportunity for men to be able to get together with other men and share difficulties in life from different perspectives,” Shumaker said.

Bruce Willman, founding pastor of the Champion City Vineyard, will serve as the group’s new associate director, Shumaker said. It is a new position created to help expand the organization into neighboring counties, including Champaign County.

“We’re trying to get into the Greene County, Miami County, Montgomery County area, and in order to do that we needed to get another staff member on board,” Shumaker said.

Willman’s experience as a pastor and his personal connections in the community will make him a good fit for the role, Shumaker said.

“Bruce brings communication skills, organizational skills, administrative skills and he’s well connected here in Springfield,” Shumaker said.

The organization will begin hosting this year’s Friday lunch series beginning at 11:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15 at Competition Accessories, 343 W. Leffel Lane in Springfield. Lt. Col. Bernie Williams, 178th Security Squadron Commander of the Ohio Air National Guard, will be the first guest speaker.

Additional events are scheduled on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29 at the same location.


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