Here you can access executive bios for each member of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Management team.
For an entire Chamber staff listing with contact information, please click here.
For 34 years, Denny Saunier has dedicated his career to making Canton/Stark County the best possible place to work, live and play. He joined the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1980, when he assumed the role of president of the Canton/Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. In 1994, Denny became the executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, helping direct and grow a world-class two-week festival. He was promoted to executive vice president of the Canton Regional Chamber in 2000, then president & CEO in 2001, a position he has held ever since.
In addition to leading the Chamber, he serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Malone University Advisory Board, Akron /Canton Airport Transportation Committee, Executive Committee for the City of Canton’s Comprehensive Plan, and the Board of Directors for the Downtown Canton Land Bank, Canton Tomorrow, and Downtown Canton Special Improvement District. In 2014, Denny was honored to be named one of About Magazine’s 10 Most Influential People in Stark County.
In past years, he has served on the Stark State College of Technology Advisory Committee, Central Catholic High School Advisory Board, Canton/Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Board of Directors and Executive Committee, as well as the Board of Directors for ArtsinStark, P-16 Compact, and United Way of Greater Stark County. He is past chairman of the Akron/Canton Regional Foodbank Harvest for Hunger, and past president and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of Canton.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Saunier earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications at John Carroll University in Cleveland. He resides in Plain Township and has three children.
Steven J. Katz has been senior vice president of the Canton Regional Chamber for nine years. His primary responsibilities include economic development, government affairs, human resources and he works closely with the president and CEO regarding internal operations. He also oversees some aspects of events, finance and information systems for the Chamber. Katz joined the Chamber in 1982 as manager of Government Affairs and has also served as vice president of Economic Development and Government Affairs.
Katz graduated from Kent State University with a master’s degree in public administration. He is a member of the Stark Labor Management Council, and sits on the board of Employment Source, Canton Community Improvement Corporation and the Stark Development Board Finance Corporation. He and his wife, Karyn, have two children, Elizabeth and Eric.
Denise Burton has been with the Canton Regional Chamber since 1984, and became Membership and Sales director in 2002. Her responsibilities include new member recruitment, membership retention and advertisement sales for Action and Downtown Developments Newsletters and the Chamber’s website. She manages member benefit programs such as Workers’ Compensation, health insurance and other member discounts. Burton has also worked for the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and Fresh Mark/Sugardale Foods.Burton is a Chamber Institute Graduate from Notre Dame and a Dale Carnegie Sales graduate. She is a member of the National Association of Membership Development and the American Chamber of Commerce Executive Organization.
Burton is also a member of Faith Community Church, where she teaches AWANA (Approved Workman are not ashamed), Stark County Network and Rotary Club of Canton, where she has previously served on the board of directors and created the “More Business Thru Awareness” club. She and her husband of 20 years, Joe Burton, live in Massillon.
Collyn Floyd joined the Chamber in 2013 as director of marketing and events. She oversees all communications on behalf of the Chamber, including promotion and publicity for more than 70 events. She also serves as the chief marketing resource for the Chamber’s departments and initiatives, manages public relations activities and writes two publications: Action Newsletter and Downtown Developments.
Floyd comes to the Chamber from The Karcher Group, where she served as a content marketing strategist. Her responsibilities included content marketing oversight and implementation for TKG and a number of its clients, as well as tasks such as writing, blogging, social media strategy, and more. Floyd obtained her bachelor’s in political science and a certificate in writing from St. Louis University. A Missouri native, she and her husband, along with their three boys, have called Canton home for the last 14 years. She spends her free time exploring and blogging about all that Northeast Ohio has to offer, as well as volunteering with the Junior League of Stark County and Holy Cross Academy-St. Paul Campus.
Michael P. Gill is the retired district president of Key Bank. His banking career spans 34 years with Harter Bank, Society Bank and Key Bank. Mike earned his Bachelor of Arts in business administration in 1967 at Ohio Northern University and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. Presently, he is the director of the Canton Development Partnership, a division of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, which manages the activities of Canton Tomorrow Inc., Downtown Canton Land Bank and the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District.
Active in the community, Mike is the former chairman of the board of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stark Development Board, Cultural Center for the Arts, United Way of Central Stark County and Leadership Stark County. In addition, he was past general chairman of the 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival, 1992 campaign chairman of the United Arts Fund Drive, chairman of the 1994 United Way of Central Stark County Campaign and 1996 campaign chairman of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges for Stark/Tusc. Counties. Presently, he is chairman of the Stark County Port Authority. He remains a board member of Mercy Medical Center, Stark Development Board, and the United Way of Greater Stark County.
David Kaminski joined the staff of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in June 2008. At the Chamber, he is director of education and government affairs. His primary responsibilities involve managing the Chamber’s various education projects in the community. Prior to joining the Chamber, Kaminski was operating a research and consulting business that he had formed after his retirement from The Repository in May 2007. He spent 33 years at the newspaper, the last 10 as its editor. He came to Canton and The Repository immediately following his graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He is a native of South Bend, Ind.
He serves on the board of United Way of Greater Stark County and the Canton Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross. He has been a member of the Neighborhood Partnership Grants Program committee at the Stark Community Foundation, and a member of the Community Services of Stark County board and the Players Guild board. Kaminski and his wife, Anne, have raised four children in Canton. They are members of St. John Catholic Church.
Joanne K. Murray, a native of Canton, Ohio, graduated from the former Lehman High School, and attended Kent State University Stark. She served as administrative assistant to the Mayor of Canton for 15 years, followed by a six-year stint in commercial real estate. During those years, she volunteered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, chairing the Fashion Show Luncheon and Appreciation Party Committees. Her experience led to the opportunity to join the staff of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1991 as marketing coordinator for its Enshrinement Festival department. She became assistant director in 1996, and director in 2000.
As director, she is responsible for oversight of a staff of seven and team of more than 4,200 community volunteers, with an operating budget of approximately $2.4 million that is utilized to plan and stage 15 diverse events over a ten-day period, enjoyed by nearly 700,000 people.
Murray is a graduate of the U. S. Chamber Institutes of Organization Management, having completed all six sessions at the University of Oklahoma. She has been a member of the Canton Civil Service Commission since 1992, and is council secretary at Martin Luther Lutheran Church.
Eric Smer joined the Chamber in 2012. As director of ystark!, he is tasked with leading the organization in its mission of attracting, retaining and most importantly, engaging Stark County young professionals. This includes managing networking and social events, professional development efforts, service and volunteer opportunities, along with expanding ystark!’s role in entrepreneurial engagement and economic development.
A Stark County native, Smer was raised in Jackson Township and received a dual-major bachelor’s degree in business administration in marketing and business management from Kent State University, graduating with distinction and honors. Prior to joining the Chamber, Smer was executive director of Stark County Hunger Task Force, the leading countywide anti-hunger non-profit in the region. Smer’s community involvement is extensive but his proudest accomplishments are: Leadership Stark County Spotlight graduate; Twenty under 40! recipient; President of the Kent State University Alumni Association Stark Chapter; founding board member of Friends of Plain Township Parks; chairman of the North Canton Jaycee Fair. Smer’s personal mission is to work to make a great Stark County region even greater with the help of the ystark! members. Follow the young professional movement on Facebook and Twitter to be in the know of all things YP!