All posts in Chamber Blog

Meeting Members


Life at the Chamber is ever changing and certainly never predictable. Here at the Venango Chamber we keep a tight schedule and live by the calendar, but anyone in Chamberland knows that our members (and potential members who are everyone else) come first!

Tabitha had done a fabulous job of arranging for me to meet with several members this week and despite the incredible continuing snowfall all week, I was able to meet with every one of them. A few came to my office and for others I ventured out. Everyone I met with this week is passionate about their business and you’ll have the chance to read about what they’re doing in the next few newsletters.

I continue to be amazed by the new things I learn about businesses in our community. I believe that if each of our chamber members would just plan to meet with another member once a week (even once a month) to get to know them better and find out about their business, we would see amazing things happen in our region. How would you decide who to meet? Use your Chamber Directory, printed or online. There are over 400 to chose from!

Friday Already?


Some Fridays seem to arrive faster than others and while I expect that for most people that’s a good thing, for me this is a week when I could use an extra day or two. With the end of this week we face the end of the month and all the things that entails. At the Chamber we wasted no time in scheduling meetings for various projects, committees and events each with it’s own “to-do” list. 2009 may seem to have just begun but our calendar is full.

If you need some inspiration to get you going, stop by the chamber or be sure to take the time to read your newsletter as soon as it arrives. We’ll be happy to fill you in on all of our plans and if you’d like, we can find a special place for you to join in the fun!

Networking in Any Weather


Can we all say snow? It is another blustery day in Venango County and the kids get an extra 2 hours in bed, but nothing stops a dedicated networker! I’ve just returned from a networking breakfast that I wouldn’t have considered missing. I have learned from the other similar days in recent months that there will always be a faithful bunch that will attend regardless of the elements, even on Christmas and New Year Eves.

Often the cry of small businesses is “I’m just too busy” as an excuse for not attending networking functions or taking the time to be proactive in meeting customers face to face. I’m more convinced than ever that relationships are key to longevity in business and the opportunities for networking on your own terms abound. While the meeting I attended this morning is for those who are most dedicated building a loyal network, requiring a significant commitment of time, the Chamber offers many options that require only a small investment time. And if time truly is just too short to attend scheduled events, we can help you fit your networking into the perfect hours for you.

As we continue to explore the world of social media, you’ll see that there is no hour of the day, nor location that is not an option for connecting with others. Those who are tech savy know what I mean. For those who are not, it is easier that ever to learn and almost everything available online can be translated back to pen and paper if that is your tool of choice, so…don;t let a little snow keep you down. Make a great connection today!

Every Newsletter a New Connection


It’s that time again, as we scurry to publish the monthly “Business Connector”. We breathe a sigh of relief each month as the last words are finalized and the newsletter is delivered to the printer, but then it begins again.

This month, as most, I met with newer chamber members to learn more about their businesses so that I can share their story with you. I continue to be in awe of the work done by our small business owners, working so had to serve others. This month is no different, as I write about a restaurant, a mobile welder and a retail paint store, all with a passion and pride for the work they do.

I hope you’ll take the time to relax for a few minutes and read the newsletter when it arrives, and if you’ve neglected the opportunity to read the last few, sit a little longer and explore them as well. I think you’ll be surprised at the business connections waiting for you.

Trade Show Success



I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with several of our board members at the Health, High Tech and Industry Trade Show. Patrick was there for Williams Insurance all weekend! While there were not many businesses set up nor thousands of visitors to the Show, it was an excellent opportunity to get face to face with many chamber and community members. This was also a great way to test the waters for what we’ll be inviting member businesses to do in April when the Venango Works Trade show is held.

We (Patrick and I) learned first hand that if you are up on your feet and available, people will stop and find out what you’re up to. A little conversation often lead to the chance to talk about our members and match customers to businesses that could take care of them. At one point we laughed at the number of visitors that had collected around our tables to visit. It looked like the start of a chamber mixer. So, at the end of the day my legs ached but there was great satisfaction in knowing business is alive and well in Venango County!