COMMUNITY GEMS: Local woman brings together Northmont community

Angie Clifford serves businesses, students in area where she was raised

Among the Northmont area’s many features are its small-town feel, great amenities and easy access to the highway. But for Angie Clifford there is yet another trait, and it can’t be replaced.

“It’s home,” said Clifford, 39, who was born and raised in the area and has lived here nearly her whole life.

About 50,000 other residents currently call Northmont home as well, and Clifford’s work touches many of them, as both the executive director of the Northmont Area Chamber of Commerce and community engagement coordinator at Northmont City Schools.

“We want people to look at the Northmont area as the whole package: You can live, play and work here,” she said.

Part of the way she is making that happen is by bringing local leaders together through the Northmont Regional Planning Commission, giving the chamber, schools and the five municipalities that make up Northmont another way to cooperate to attract businesses and residents. Northmont is comprised of the cities of Clayton, Englewood and Union, the village of Phillipsburg, and part of Clay Township.

Clifford serves the community in many other ways, too. Through the chamber she organized a chocolate tour throughout Northmont, encouraging locals to visit businesses that may have been struggling because of the pandemic. In each of its two years, 16 locations participated.

“I can’t wait to see it grow more in the coming years,” she said.

Another project that is growing is an effort to honor local veterans, with an initial group of 30 banners lining Main Street in Clayton going up in May, with more to come in Englewood and Union, she said.

While Clifford may exchange one hat for another depending on the project, her efforts often end up benefitting both the local students and the community as a whole.

“No matter what I’m working on, it helps both,” she said.

One example is a high school career fair that attracted 30 different recruiters.

“I’m helping Northmont students find positions in their own backyard, and I’m helping chamber members find workers,” she said.

The business community and school system also are connected by other means, such as through donations to classrooms or t-shirts for field trips that feature local establishments.

Clifford said the school district ties together the community. It is also a common bond in her own family – she and her husband are both Northmont alumni, and their two elementary-age daughters now attend the district too. She also has seen the community from several angles: She grew up in Clayton, lived in Englewood for a time and now calls Clay Township home.

Adrienne Draper, an Englewood city council member, nominated Clifford as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem. Clifford deeply cares about the Northmont area and has brought a fresh perspective, Draper said.

“When your job is your passion, it just shines,” she said.

Local students have been presented with more opportunities and activities through Clifford’s work, and Draper said she has seen an increase in cooperation throughout the Northmont area.

“She’s truly there and invested in the community,” Draper said. “I don’t think this is just a job for her.”

About the Author