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New Chamber Member WEMANIGIT to Present at FLEX Speaker Series

FLEX is bringing back their Speaker Series and is excited to welcome Hind Karns, Managing Director of WEMANIGIT, to talk to young professionals on “Foundations for Effective Communication.”

The workshop is on May 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Venango Chamber office and will be a conversation around how to communicate effectively in any situation and reach goals. Hind will provide tools and strategies on communication and help attendees learn how to develop trust, ask thoughtful questions, engage in active listening, and choose the right medium for messages.

“By the end of this session, you’ll be able to harness the power of hearing others and be heard. You’ll be able to understand what others want and develop the critical communication skills you need to get ahead in business and in life,” Hind said.

This Speaker Series is for any young professionals (suggested age 40 & under) in the Venango area who are in a new leadership role, aspiring to elevate their career, working in sales and marketing, or would just like to brush-up on communication skills.

The event is free and registration is appreciated. Visit to learn more & register. Learn more about WEMANIGIT at

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s May 2022 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

FLEX Feature: Milliken & Company with Simon Neft

Our third interview in our “FLEX Feature” series is with Simon Neft, an Advanced Process Improvement Engineer at Milliken & Company, located in Franklin.

Tell us about the Milliken & Company.
Milliken is a privately owned global textile, chemical, flooring, and healthcare company headquartered in Spartanburg, SC. There are a lot of locations spread out globally, although the vast majority are located in South Carolina. It was founded by Seth Milliken in 1865, and is currently in its fourth generation of the Milliken family. The facility I work at, Hawthorn, does batch reactions of over 100 different products. We primarily make catalysts and driers for the paint industry, although our facility, just like Milliken as a whole, has a very diverse product line.

What all do you do in your position?
I use my chemical engineering skills to solve problems, and improve the process anywhere I see fit. I’m currently working on polishing our training program for new associates, and I have a lab project to test out a new catalyst for some of our reactions. One of my goals is to eventually get my Professional Engineering (P.E.) license in chemical engineering.

What is your favorite part about working for Milliken?
I really appreciate Milliken’s ethics and morals. You constantly see in the news how other companies are either breaking the law, lying, or putting themselves first before making the world a better place. Not with Milliken. They’re constantly striving to invest in their people and help the environment. And in the end, it shows with how there are a lot of great people in the company. We currently have a streak of being listed by Ethisphere as one of the world’s most ethical companies.

What would surprise people about the business?
The one thing that surprises everyone is that you touch up to 50 Milliken products a day without even knowing it. Whether it’s upholstery, automotive lining, fire retardant clothing, or chemicals, our products are everywhere. We make over 48,000 products, and the list goes on and on. If you get the chance to visit Milliken’s headquarters in Spartanburg, SC, the Innovation Gallery describes really well all the different products we have.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Very few of our products are direct-to-consumer, but one of them is our napery (a type of linen). I really like the napery we have, it’s made out of polyester and there are multiple patterns available. I’ve been meaning to buy a set for a while now!

Thank you, Simon, for telling us about Milliken & Company! You can learn more about his employer by visiting

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) March 2022 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

FLEX Feature: Northwest Commission with Rebecca Beach

We started our new “FLEX Feature” series in January, and we’re excited to feature a young professional again! This time Rebecca Beach is sharing about a nonprofit— the Northwest Commission, located at 395 Seneca Street in Oil City.

Tell us about the Northwest Commission.
The Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission (Northwest Commission) was established in 1967 as a domestic nonprofit corporation for economic and business development as well as community development and planning. Funding for the Commission comes from local, state, and federal levels of government. The staff is dedicated to sustaining economic vitality and growth in the region by fostering local, state and federal partnerships across public and private sectors lines.

What areas does the Commission cover?
The agency was created to serve the eight-county region of Northwest Pennsylvania to include Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties.

What is your role at the organization?
I am the Loan Program Manager and administer and market the loan programs at the Commission. I work with entrepreneurs, lenders, and economic development partners to meet the financing needs of small businesses in the eight-county region. I also supervise the loan program staff and work with our funding sources to manage the loan funds while facilitating client intake, underwriting, and packaging loan applications for review.

What is your favorite part about working for the Northwest Commission?
I really enjoy meeting with people, getting to know them and their goals and dreams, and assisting their small business in our region with growth, expansion, success

What would surprise people about the organization?
We are able to assist start-up businesses. They are not required to be in business for a certain period of time to be eligible to apply for potential assistance with financing. If they have a business plan, financial projections, and the necessary documentation we can process the request for consideration.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
In addition to Business Financing, the Northwest Commission also offers International Sales, Government Contracting, Greenways Block Grants, Local Technical Assistance Program, Transportation Project Planning, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) & U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants and we serve as the Regional Coordinator for the Northwest Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP).

Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing with us for our second FLEX Feature! You can learn more about Northwest Commission at

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) February 2022 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.