NEW PHILADELPHIA -- The Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce has selected Scott Robinson of Dover to become its new president. The chamber's Board of Directors selected Robinson following an extensive search and interview process. Robinson has spent the past 15 years as the president and CEO of the United Way of Tuscarawas County.

"Speaking for the chamber's board, I can say we are very excited to have a leader like Scott who offers our members a great combination of experience, business contacts, and enthusiasm for our community," said Kent Watson, board chairman.

Watson said Robinson's hiring was confirmed at a meeting of the chamber Board of Directors Friday, March 25 at Trax Diner in Dennison. Robinson will begin his chamber position on April 25.

In coming to the chamber post, Robinson said it was a difficult decision to leave the United Way but looks forward to the job ahead.

"The last 15 years have been great at United Way but I felt it was time for a new challenge." said Robinson. "The Chamber of Commerce has a bright future and I'm looking forward to playing a significant role, along with a large group of committed volunteers, in moving our community forward. It's an honor to be selected by the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for this position."

Robinson is a native of New Philadelphia and graduated Ashland University. Prior to taking the helm of United Way in 1996, Robinson worked as a news and sports reporter for WJER Radio in Dover, earning many Ohio Associated Press awards. At the United Way, Robinson guided the organization efforts, raising nearly $9 million for local health and human service organizations. He also serves as executive director of the Tuscarawas County Community Foundation, a post he will continue as chamber executive.

"Scott's broad experience, familiarity with the community, and extensive contacts in the region and around Ohio will be invaluable to the Chamber and its members," Watson said.

He also complimented and thanked Don Hoffman for his work as interim chamber president over the past five months.

"Don stepped in to post at the board's request and has done an incredible job," Watson noted. "Don's community spirit and generous nature, along with the excellent work of the chamber staff, has served us well and we are very grateful for his efforts."

Looking at his immediate goals, Robinson said he plans to start by communicating with chamber members, building relationships and completing projects in a timely manner.

"We have to engage our members about the value and direction of the chamber. Our goal must be to move this great community forward to attract new businesses, new jobs and new residents. I'm excited about this opportunity and can't wait to get started," he said.

With Robinson becoming Chamber of Commerce president on April 25, Watson said Hoffman of Gnadenhutten will continue as interim Chamber President until Robinson begins on April 25. Hoffman will return to his position on the Chamber Board representing the Farm Bureau, serve on the board's Executive Council, and consult with the chamber for a short time to assist with the Synchronous Survey program.

The board also voted to affirm Watson as chairman of the chamber's Board of Directors through the end of 2011 to be succeeded by Hoffman in January 2012.