Regional Chamber Hires McNaughton as VP of Government Affairs

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber has hired Ryan McNaughton as its new vice president of government affairs.

In his position, McNaughton will develop and implement the chamber’s annual action plan for promoting economic prosperity, serve as a liaison between Regional Chamber members and local, state and federal governments, advocate in Columbus and Washington, D.C., on behalf of chambers and organize the content, agenda and sponsorships for the Chamber’s events, such as the Columbus Drive-In, D.C. Fly-In and Lattes & Legislators.

A Niles resident, he was most recently director of community relations and resource development for the Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities and executive director of its Fairhaven Foundation. He was also associate director of advancement in Kent State University’s division of student affairs and at Kent State Ashtabula. He served three terms as Niles councilman-at-large and president pro tem before resigning to join to the Chamber.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber also announced the hiring of Giuseppe “Joe” Merlo as director of member engagement and Jason Zillinger as marketing and graphics specialist.

Merlo will create and implement an outreach program for new and existing members to ensure they’re taking full advantage of their membership benefits, oversee the Regional Chamber’s ambassador committee, and track data for the chamber.

He was previously the special projects coordinator at the Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District, where he coordinated and managed logistics for special projects, served as district liaison and educator for residents on company guidelines and special projects, and developed and implemented a social media platform for the district.

Zillinger will be responsible for designing the chamber’s printed and digital pieces, creating and sending mass emails and overseeing the Regional Chamber’s social media and website.

He served as head graphic designer and social media specialist at Advantage Video & Marketing in Youngstown. In addition to creating logos, ads, brand guidelines and more, he increased social media engagement and following for 18 clients by as much as 400%. 

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