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SOCA Retrospective: SOCA Annual Meeting

On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, SOCA held our annual SOCA meeting at the Mandalay Banquet Center in Dayton, Ohio. 

The event's goal was to provide updates to SOCA Chambers throughout Ohio. Updates included benefit provider updates, new board members, membership updates, annual reports, and networking opportunities. 

Over 100 members attended this exclusive networking and educational opportunity. 

Lets look at some of the key points from each benefit provider!

  • Melissa Dearn at Strategic HR spoke about how hard it is to hire, find talent, keep talent, and manage day-to-day HR duties while your small business has many important things to focus on. Strategic HR provides hiring, recruiting, compensation, training and development, and much more to aid your business where it needs help. And as a SOCA member, enjoy SOCA prices. Get the services you need at a REDUCED cost. Reach out to for more information. 

  • Harry Centra addressed PartnerShips role in providing shipping benefits for members with FedEx and Freight Savings. They help members save 45% on expenses and 25% on B2B and home shipping. PartnerShip uses the free-to-register FedEx Advantage to pass on savings to members. Contact  

  • James Baker from TeamWorx spoke about Professional Employer Organizations, sometimes called employee leasing. With this benefit, employers can run taxes through the TeamWorx FedID. That means TeamWorx becomes responsible for 941 tax payments, and they also process workers comp, payroll, taxes, and more. They also touched on labor issues, termination, unemployment claims, employee handbooks, I9 legal statuses, write-ups and more, that they help take off of the clients plate. contact James via phone 513.315.8834 or . 

  • Tod Goodwin of LegalSheild/IDSheild talked about monitoring databases, legal protection, identity protection. and other benefits. Some key notes included, 28% of data breaches are against small businesses. 4800 websites are compromised per month, and insurance companies may not pay if URLs are not protected against cyber-attacks. In 2020, there were 4.9 million identity theft and fraud reports. LegalSheild and IDSheild act as a vulnerability tester for startups, small businesses, and individuals. Give Todd Goodwin or Nick Goodwin a call at 855-294-0888 or email  

  • Rick Davidson of Viridi spoke on chamber sustainability and chamber energy solutions. He advised on solar energy as a financial solution, LED lighting for saving costs, energy audits (75% rebate for manufacturing businesses), how to become Renewable Energy Certified (REC), and how to reduce rates and total utility costs. Your small business could be saving right now, and could also make an impact on air quality, renewable energy development, and climate change. Contact Rick Davidson at  

  • Jeff Price of Hunter Consulting addressed workers comp and group ratings. The goal for members this year is to make their businesses eligible for a group plan again. Those eligible for group plans did well in the last year and those eligible for the retro plan have room for improvement. Price informed members that they could join local safety councils for a rebate. In addition, Hunter Consulting offers one-year contracts that align with enrollment to earn your business year over year, instead of locking you into July-to-July cycle if you want to change. contact Jeff Price of Hunter Consulting at 1-800-486-6652.

  • Representatives from Anthem briefly spoke on the benefits of a pooled plan, how to achieve better health, lower costs, and better membership experience. They reinforced that SOCA members get the same health packages to choose from as everyone else, at BETTER prices. To learn more about the SOCA Benefit Plan, please fill out the contact form at  

  • Elavon representatives spoke on the numerous payment processing solutions they offer for businesses, both small and large. Elavon can give small businesses the same capabilities as a large business at a better price. To learn more call John Webb at 937-671-1606 or 

  • Dale Essenmacher at Newport Group spoke about retirement benefits and the upcoming Ohio mandate (within the next couple of months) called SECURE 2.0 which requires Ohio businesses to have employee retirement plans. It's anticipated that there will be fines for businesses that do not comply with the mandate. 74% of small businesses do not have retirement plans and will NEED to implement plans after SECURE 2.0 is passed. Newport advises businesses that do not currently have a retirement plan to start early, as companies like Newport can only take so many new clients per year. Wait too long and you'll be at risk of paying fines. Get in touch with Dale at  

  • Kathy Elseser of the Chamber Energy Program spoke on education, protection, and training of energy solutions. She cautioned that many businesses might be overpaying without realizing it. Maybe business owners have autopay for their bills and rarely look at what they are paying, or they do not notice when costs have increased. Community Energy Advisors work with small businesses to recognize areas of improvement that can help your business save thousands. Contact Kathy Elseser at or 330-208-2082. 

The next event that SOCA members can look forward to will take place on May 17, 2023.

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