All posts in Chamber Blog

Welcome Heather and Jessica–Our Summer Interns!


Heather Hondel returned to the Chamber’s staff in May as our summer intern, and Jessica Wilson joined our staff on June 17 as our new Be Here Summer Intern.

Heather is an entrepreneurship major at Grove City College and will assist with the Oil Heritage Festival Basket Raffle, newsletter, and other office needs.

Jessica is a communication major at Geneva College and will assist with the Be Here Initiative, including event planning and marketing.

We’re excited to have these two join our team! Stop by the Chamber to say hello and join us in welcoming them.

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

Four CASA Volunteers Sworn In


On May 17, four new CASA volunteers were sworn in by President Judge Oliver Lobaugh at the Venango County Court House in Franklin.

The new CASA volunteers have undergone 30 hours of in-house training done by Cinnamon Evans (CASA Executive Director), Heather Faunce (SWAN Paralegal), Nancy Vantassel (ESP Director), and Virginia Sharp (Guardian ad Litem for all dependent children in Venango County).

All of these “teachers” have helped to prepare the trainees to advocate in the best interests of abused and neglected children in our county, and the CASA staff is always there to support each volunteer in any way possible.

Each new volunteer was sworn in as an officer of the court and have already been assigned a dependent child’s case. There are many more dependent children (about 100) who do not have a CASA in their corner in court.

If you are interested in becoming a CASA or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the CASA staff at (814) 670-0550 Monday – Friday from 9 AM – 4 PM.

The photo shows the new volunteers, from left: Debbie Kimberlin, Bonnie Streyle, President Judge Oliver Lobaugh, Amanda Shaffer, and Bill Wright.

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

Cranberry Festival – Get Involved


September 21, 2019 – Morrison Park, Seneca

As preparations are underway for our upcoming Oil Heritage Festival, it is time to begin thinking about our next festival. Mark your calendars, Cranberry Festival will be held on September 21.

We encourage you to begin thinking about how you would like to support the festival, whether through sponsorship, advertisements, volunteerism, or attendance. Contact us to get involved!

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

Venango County Commissioners Race


The Venango Chamber’s Advocacy Committee hosted a Candidates Forum on May 3, featuring those running for Venango County Commissioner.  All seven running for the opportunity to appear on the fall general election ballot were in attendance. The public was invited to submit questions, which along with those from the Chamber, were asked by moderators Frank Hajduk and Trenton Moulin.

The Pennsylvania  primary election was held on May 21 and included on the fall ballot will be Republicans Samuel Breene and Mike Dulaney along with Democrats Albert (Chip) Abramovic and Bonnie Summers.

Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 5. Make sure to get out and vote!

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

Financial Tip of the Month: Understanding Your Credit Score


Lenders will be looking at your credit score to determine your eligibility for a loan. Your credit score also determines interest rate and terms you may get. You need to build credit so your reliability shows up just as well on paper as it does in your bank account.

It’s good to know what factors go into making up your score.  Your credit score is broken up into five parts. 35% of your score comes from payment history—whether you paid on time or were delinquent, and for how long. About 30% is determined by the amounts currently owed and debt carried over each month. Another 15% takes into account how old and active your accounts are. 10% evaluates how well you handle different types of credit such as revolving or installment debts, and the final 10% weighs recent attempts to accrue additional credit, such as opening new accounts and inquiries.

Establishing a good credit history takes time and there are no shortcuts or tricks.  Scores range from 300 to 850. Once established, you will need to make payments for at least six months.  You can establish a credit history through credit builder loans.  These are for individuals either just starting to build credit or working to improve their scores.  Make sure all payments are made on time and are applied to your credit report.

While it may take at least six months to begin seeing improvements, restoring credit can be a truly worthwhile process. If you are unable to pay balances in full, try to keep a maximum of 30% of your credit balance out at a time.  Also, since some of your score comes from how long you have had accounts open, try not to open many new ones at once. Always review your credit reports—check for any errors and follow up on any questions that arise. Don’t be afraid to dispute a score if something isn’t right.

With a little effort, establishing and maintaining good credit will have many rewards for your future.

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