To be the voice of our members to stimulate healthy and diverse business growth in our community.
In 1904, a group of forward-thinking Warsaw businessmen took steps to help the area’s future. With the formation of the 10,000 Club, these men sought to promote growth and development for Warsaw.
In 1911, the group incorporated as the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce. Founding members included: Judge L.W. Royse, attorney W.D. Fraser; Charles Ker, owner of The Globe clothing store; L.H. Lones, Pennsylvania Railroad agent; grocery store owner E. Alleman; insurance agent J.W. Coleman; Hotel Hays proprietor W.W. Reed; D.H. Lessig, Lake City Bank president; A.O. Catlin with the State Bank; and Warsaw Postmaster L.C. Wann.
On January 25, 1925, a community meeting was held at the Hays Hotel. Area businessmen, members of the Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club and other parties interested in community growth were encouraged to attend. A proposal was presented at the meeting to reorganize the Chamber of Commerce, changing its focus to become a larger, more active organization to help bring factories to Warsaw, and to improve the overall betterment of the Community. J.E. Headley, a local attorney and president of the Chamber, chaired the meeting.
There is little documented about the Chamber’s activities during the 1940s and 1950s, although several significant accomplishments occurred during those time frames that are attributed to the Chamber. On June 5, 1947, the Chamber deeded three parcels of land purchased as the result of a community fundraising effort to establish the Warsaw Memorial Airport. In June 1958, United Way of Kosciusko County, Inc. originated from a meeting the Chamber held with a representative of the United Fund to discuss the possibility of a local organization.
During the 1960s, the Chamber of Commerce started an Industrial Division, and Robert M. Ellison served as the organization’s executive secretary. Mr. Ellison implemented an annual industrial fair that was held annually at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds for a period of ten years. Many local companies exhibited at the event, displaying their products. The Chamber’s Industrial Division was responsible for R.R. Donnelley & Sons establishing their Warsaw facility.
Around 1961, the Chamber and the Industrial Division consolidated. During this time the Kosciusko County Foundation was also spun off from the Chamber in 1968, becoming the Kosciusko County Community Foundation we know today. From 1969 to the late 1970s, the Chamber office was located on the northeast corner of Lake and Market Streets. It moved to 313 S. Buffalo Street in 1979.
The Chamber re-incorporated as the Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce in 2000, providing services for 14 communities in Kosciusko County.
In 2011, the Chamber with nearly 600 members, and is respected as a leader among the state’s Chamber of Commerce organizations.
(Source: “A History of the City of Warsaw, Indiana” by Michelle J. Bormet)
In June, 2014 the Chamber moved to its new location located at 523 South Buffalo Street, Warsaw. The new location provides increased office room, larger meeting rooms, more parking space and other benefits that allows the Chamber to better serve its members.
In July, 2014, the Chamber began a soft launch of their name change from the “Warsaw Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce” to the “Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce”. This was done in order for the name to better represent the coverage area that the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce serves.