Chamber holds Groundhog Day breakfast


GREENVILLE — “Energy Leadership” was the topic of discussion as the Darke County Chamber of Commerce held its 9th annual Groundhog Day Breakfast at Romer’s Catering in Greenville Friday.

The featured speaker at the breakfast was Aileron President Joni Fedders. A non-profit organization based in Tipp City, Ohio, Aileron’s ( vision is “to raise the quality of life in America,” and its mission is to “unleash the potential of private businesses through professional management.” Aileron works with organizations and businesses of all sizes who desire growth, both personally and professionally.

Fedders discussed the concept of “Energy Leadership,” and how thoughts and emotions can translate into actions.

“You have a choice, you can think about it anyway you want. We have no control over anybody else. We have control of ourselves and our own thoughts. So the choice is, ‘What thought do I want to have?’” she said.

According to Fedders, there are seven levels of Energy Leadership, each with core thoughts and core emotions. These elements were broken down into categories, which highlighted how these core thoughts and emotions lead to actions. Core thoughts include conflict, concern and opportunity. Core emotions range from apathy to absolute passion.

Fedders led those assembled in a number of thought-provoking exercises, having them share their thoughts with others in attendance.

“We don’t have to be positive about everything, it’s not just about positive thinking,” she said. “It’s about changing how you think about it, not just how you make it positive.”

Fedders also made the distinction between things that people believe are “true” and “truth.”

“There is a difference between ‘true’ — or what our ‘true’ is — and the truth,” she said. “True is what we believe is true. Truth is what’s actually true.”

“For a while, a lot of people believed the world was flat, that was their ‘true,’ and the world really was round,” she explained.

Brethren Retirement Community President and CEO John L. Warner was pleased with the presentation.

“The Chamber brought together another excellent Groundhog day event,” he said. “The program was different this year as the focus was not so much on the current economic conditions but more on leadership development. We were fortunate to hear from Joni Fedders.”

He continued, “Joni provided great insight into how our thinking impacts our emotions and ultimately our actions as business leaders. We gained some real practical tools that can help us in our daily work. I appreciate the Chamber working with Aileron to bring this program to Darke County.”

Ty Baker Baumann, owner and CEO of Rebsco, Inc., also offered her thoughts on the program.

“From a small business owner’s perspective, the value of a presentation such as Energy Leadership is perspective,” she said. “When you wear many hats, and are engaged in the long ‘to-do’ list of day-to-day operations, it is very easy to become so absorbed that you ‘miss’ the human side of owning and operating a business.”

“Additionally and in my own experience — and I believe this is true for most small businesses — many individuals are promoted to management positions because of the skill sets they have in accomplishing the work well, but have very little experience or opportunity to have training in the ‘people side’ of management.”

Baumann continued, saying, “I found the ideas presented to be clear, concise, easy to understand and hope most folks left with a fresh understanding and perspective which will help them in their everyday work environment. To be able to not just react, but to take a moment to think — and better yet, to suspend judgment and ask questions — is a solid decision-making process for any entrepreneur, business manager, business owner, and frankly, for any employee. [It] makes the work environment much more enjoyable and stressful days more tolerable.”

Darke County Chamber President Sharon Deschambeau said, “The past several years have been stressful for business owners and anyone in a management position. This year we wanted an inspirational speaker that would give our Chamber business leaders a take away of ‘personal and professional insight’ in leadership and perhaps a new thought or two. A great way to begin 2016.”

“Every once in awhile it’s important to step back from the everyday operations of a business to see if we are on the right path,” she said. “Fine-tuning professional management within all levels of a business is important. Opening our minds to be non-judgmental is a challenge to many leaders.”

Deschambeau feels that chamber businesses who have not yet done so may avail themselves of the services Aileron offers.

“As almost every industry is undergoing rapid change, Aileron offers tools, techniques, resources, and support to take control of your business, manage growth, and foster sustainability,” she said.

The event sponsor for this year’s Chamber of Commerce Groundhog Day breakfast was the Dayton Area Board of Realtors. Gold sponsors included The Daily Advocate, Greenville Federal Bank, Greenville National Bank, Phelan Insurance, Premier Health, Second National Bank, and Wayne HealthCare.

The Darke County Chamber of Commerce website is

Aileron President Joni Fedders President Joni Fedders
Businesses learn ‘Energy Leadership’ concepts

By Erik Martin

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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