Chamber learns about state office

TORONTO – Members of the city Chamber of Commerce learned about the workings of the state treasurer’s office during the chamber’s Thursday luncheon meeting at Gem City Pizza.

Josh Prest, regional representative for Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, told chamber members the state office is much more involved in job development than most Ohioans realize.

“We are the liason between this area and Columbus,” said Prest, adding his job includes traveling his district and meeting with organizations, chambers of commerce and business and development advocacy organizations. “I love coming to these kinds of meetings. They are very intimate.”

Prest said his job is to hear the concerns of local residents and pass those onto the treasurer’s office. He also said Mandel is “big on trades. The trades are a big thing around here.”

Prest discussed the treasurer’s Financial Edge program, adding “It’s a portfolio of resources” for financial matters teaching young people how to manage their personal finances, from use of credit cards to what a credit score means. Another arm of the program is Rent Money – Real World, where students on the college level learn about managing day-to-day finances.

“It’s really important to have financial literacy,” said Prest, adding Mandel is a veteran, serving tours in the war on terror. “We also have a veterans resource guide, which we give free to veterans. It gives a list of resources for them, and it’s written like a field manual.”

Prest also discussed how the office trimmed $4 million from its budget through simple actions, such as eliminating certain phone lines and redundant services.

He added the office is open to everyone.

“We’re always out and about, taking care of what needs to be done,” he said. “The treasurer’s office is a business promoter.”

In other business:

– Chamber President Bill Lucas told members tickets for the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday outing remain, although the bus was full, and those wishing to go would have to arrange their own transportation.

“We had to cancel one bus for lack of support,” he said, adding discounted tickets still could be purchased by calling (740) 317-7780 or (740) 632-5866, or e-mailing billr@aciagency.com.

– It was announced the Band Fathers of Toronto would be hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from noon to 7 p.m. May 10 at at the Old Skool restaurant, Knoxville. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12. The dinner includes spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, bread and a dessert. Eat in or carry out are available, and beverages can be purchased at the venue. A Chinese auction and 50/50 drawing will be part of the activities. The fundraiser is for maintenance of the camp. For information, call (740) 381-8350, (740) 381-7058 or (740) 317-0975.