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Leadership Clayton

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The History of the Chamber

Since our founding in 1952, the Chamber has been an integral part of the Clayton community. In a little over 50 years, we’ve seen Clayton grow from a sleepy suburb into an commercial powerhouse boasting both world-renowned businesses and mom and pop shops. Yet despite all of the changes, our charge has remained the same: the Promotion of Clayton commerce.

Follow our journey from the 1950’s until today...


  • The first steering committee meeting was held on July 18, 1952.
  • Articles of Incorporation were signed on December 1, 1952, bringing the Chamber into existence.
  • Land developers began pushing St. Louis businesses to relocate to Clayton, citing Clayton as the County Seat and its "easy access."
  • Parking in Clayton was one of the hottest topics of the era.


  • Four executive divisions were formed: Management, Business, Community Service and Community Development. By the early 1960’s, these were replaced by 12 committees.


  • Chamber goals were reshaped to coordinate with changing times. There was a new focus on a variety of topics including cultural, educational and recreational projects.
  • In 1975, the Chamber offered group medical and hospitalization to its members.
  • After years of receiving little financial assistance, the Chamber expanded considerably as Clayton awoke as a leading business center.
  • The Chamber began concentrating on 8 unique areas: attitude, collaboration, corporate sponsorship and event marketing, education, recognition, services, technology and organizational development.


  • In 1980, the Chamber initiated a strong public relations campaign to promote both the Chamber and Clayton.
  • That same year, the Chamber spearheaded the founding of the Clayton Child Center to provide daycare services to families working in Clayton.
  • The first Parties in the Park event was held on June 1, 1983, quickly becoming a must-attend event for area professionals.
  • Clayton businesspeople began demonstrating their athletic skills at the first annual Corporate Challenge.


  • In 1992, the Chamber started its annual forum, “State of the City,” to inform members about Clayton government activities.
  • The Chamber introduced the Leadership Clayton program to train and motivate area leaders.

2000 and beyond

  • Today, Clayton is a booming business center, featuring hundreds of companies and over 70 restaurants. The Chamber’s concentration continues to be on fostering Clayton business and making Clayton a fun place to work and live.
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Photographs contributed by
Michael Rudolf

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