On Monday, the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new hire, Member Relationship Manager Joshua Lake. Lake, a Temperance, Michigan, native and Bedford High School graduate, has a strong background in marketing and building relationships, and is thrilled to be working close to home.
The Navy vet received his bachelor’s and MBA from the University of Baltimore, where he met his wife. He became certified in graphic design and web design, but always had a place in his heart for marketing. However, after leaving the Navy and deciding it was time to find a place for his family, which then included one child and another on the way, his thoughts were of home.
Lake says he is ready to see Toledo from a different perspective – not from the hometown perspective he already knows, but from the perspective of someone who is helping to grow the business community, one person and one business at a time.
“The thing that excites me most is the networking aspect,” Lake says. “I enjoy meeting people, listening to their stories, sharing those stories.”
Prior to taking on the job at the TRCC, Lake had interacted with the organization before.
“At least for a good four or five years, I was pretty actively trying to go to EPIC Toledo events, especially the Leadership Summit,” Lake says. “Now, it’s more like, what businesses are out there? What do they do? What do they need and where do I fit into that? Where can I bridge the gaps or make the connections?”
Lake says he has already begun to reconnect with people from both his personal and professional past, and is excited to get more involved and more immersed within the northwest Ohio business community.
“This is a new thing for me – not building relationships, per se – but to be able to do that representing the Chamber,” Lake says. “It’s exciting to push that and explain what we do, who we connect with. When I get beyond these walls and talk to other community members, there are going to be a lot of overlaps.”
Of course, working downtown, where he visited throughout his childhood, is particularly fun.
“One of the things I’ve really enjoyed since I’ve been here is just watching what’s going on,” Lake says, “and it’s not just downtown, but downtown is the most obvious place. It’s all over – the town, the region is so different from when I was a kid.”