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Gibbons Hires Social Media Marketing Specialist

The latest addition to the Gibbons Business Solutions, LLC team is Social Media Marketing Specialist Tara Fleming.  She will be assisting with creating and posting social media content and graphics for businesses whom GBS manages social media content.  Tara is also a talented photographer and will be utilizing those skills at GBS as well, capturing images for social media posts, websites and print publications.

Tara is excited to be introduced to local businesses and interacting with and getting to know the community better.  She was born and raised in Virginia, married a Franklin native while he was stationed in Norfolk, and moved here when he left the Navy in 2009.  

The growth of GBS, a Franklin based marketing company, has created a need to expand their team in three directions: office staff, social media marketing/management, and web design.  President/CEO Holly L. Gibbons says she anticipates filling several more positions in 2019.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s March 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Leadership Venango Holds 6th Session – Importance of an Educated Workforce

On Wednesday, February 13, the Venango Leadership Class met at Clarion University – Venango for the monthly class which focused on preparing a ready workforce, career and education alliances, 40 developmental assets and generational differences. The information presented was a mix of new ideas in addition themes formerly introduced during prior meetings.

Tammy Dulaney, Coordinator for Continuing Education at Clarion University, started the day with a deeper insight into the state higher education system (PASSHE) and their relationship with employers, students and career training opportunities. Notable points included the availability of state funds that will reimburse employers for their investment in training costs for their employees in addition to a list of state-approved apprenticeships that students can also utilize as credits toward a degree. Tammy is available to local businesses and students to help connect them to these resources!

Next up, Eileen Mullen, Program Coordinator for Crawford County K-12 Career Education Alliance, wowed the class with evidence of the growing partnerships between Crawford area businesses and School Districts to provide educational opportunities, career readiness experiences and much more for local students throughout each year. How can all this be accomplished with limited funds and staffing? Simply put, passion and effective communication techniques to garner support. This left the class clamoring for more and a keen interest on seeing something like this develop within Venango County.

Over lunch, Matt LaVerde, Asst. Exec. Director of IU5, focused his discussion on the importance of the 40 developmental assets that play a pivotal role in determining the overall success and general wellness of youth as they age into adulthood. There are many external factors to be mindful of as we all play a vital role in shaping the success (or not) of developing our youth. Judy Etzel, staff writer at The Derrick, and Heather Motter, Cranberry High School English Teacher, followed that conversation up by sharing their experience working together under the state-initiated Teacher in the Workforce program. This discussion reminded attendees of the importance of empathy, curiosity and shared knowledge that impact all of our lives.

Finally, Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for NWIRC NW Region, made a return visit to the class with a presentation on generational differences. This conversation focused on the preferred learning habits, general societal views and unique experiences within each generation. All of factors shape a person’s personality, attitude, work mindset and much more which needs to be considered when making decisions in the workplace.        

Leadership Venango will meet again on March 13th at Komatsu in Franklin. For more information visit

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s March 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Oil City vs. Cancer Alumni Basketball Game

The Kirtland Cancer Foundation has teamed up with Oil City Area School District and New York Life to bring an alumni basketball game and fundraiser event to Oil City High School.

The event is being held in honor of Eric Lendrum, an Oil City High School class of 2010 graduate, who recently passed following a battle with Synovial Sarcoma. Half of the proceeds from the event will go to Eric’s family and the other half will go to the foundation.

The game will feature a co-ed Oil City alumni team against the current senior class from the 2019 boys and girls basketball teams. The game will begin at 7 p.m. and there will be a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle,  and concessions.

Tickets will be $6 for adults and $4 for seniors, students, and children. Visit the Facebook event for more details.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s March 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Cranberry Business Expo

The Cranberry Township Economic & Development Committee will host the fourth Cranberry Expo at the Cranberry Mall on Tuesday, March 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Cranberry businesses and local non-profits will have table displays during the event, which is open to the public at no charge.

In addition to showcasing businesses, the expo provides the opportunity to network with Cranberry Township supervisors, committee volunteers, political candidates, and local officials. Each year, the Expo features a specific message for the Cranberry residents. This year, the Township will share the Senior Living Complex Master Plan. In addition, Erik Johnson, Senior Planner and County Recycling Coordinator with the Venango County Regional Planning Commission, will answer questions about the proposed Recycling Facility. The event will also run parallel to the Cranberry Mall Family Night.

“This is a unique opportunity for a Cranberry Business to get in front of the community in a one-stop event.  Even if your business doesn’t cater to the general walk-in clientele, this is a chance to let someone know what you do and what type of jobs might exist,” said Lisa Groner, Economic and Development Committee Member and Cranberry Expo Chairperson. “It is also an opportunity to let the community know you care and want to be a part of the community. It is a fun filled, educational evening for businesses and residents.”

If a Cranberry business would like to have a table display, at no charge, please contact the Cranberry Township Building to request a registration form by calling (814) 676-8812 by March 15.

The form can also be found on the Cranberry Township website at

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s March 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Be Here Quarterly

Our Be Here initiative was launched in January 2017 with a goal to change the narrative of our region, attract and retain people here, and work together to help our area thrive.

There have been many topics that come up often, such as workforce, community development, and quality of life.

We’re hosting the first Be Here Quarterly on Wednesday, March 27, as a way to bring the community together and discuss challenges in our region and how we can work together to come up with solutions.

Learn more about Be Here Quarterly by visiting