All posts in Chamber Blog

Better Together

I was fortunate this morning to once again be able to meet with representatives from across the region to discuss how to work together to promote our area’s assets.  This was the 6th meeting specific to how to market the rich concentration on Arts related businesses that exist across the Venango Area and Oil Region.

There continue to be a wealth of ideas flowing, punctuated by the obvious challenges faced by all. Do we have the time, the resources, the finances?  The questions remain to be answered but we inch closer to the answers and it is clear that the only way to fully accomplish this group’s goals is to work together, relentlessly!

Oil Heritage Festival Basket Raffle

Each year the Chamber holds the Oil Heritage Festival Basket Raffle.  Always a favorite fund raising event, the Basket Raffle gives Festival goers the chance to win beautiful gift packages valued at $200-over $500. Chamber members and Community business donated all of the items, which include promotional items, merchandise and gift certificates.  The baskets can be viewed at Oil Heritage Festival Headquarters beginning Saturday, July 18th and each evening during festival, in Justus Park. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for 7.  The winners will be drawn Sunday evening, during the finale concert.  Winners need not be present.

1 Baby You've Got It!2 Just for Her3 This & That4 I Wish I Were a Kid Again!5 Gettin' Hitched6 On the Go7 Let's Golf8 Teens Check it Out9 Just for Him10 Garden Party11 Klapec Auto Body12 Nancy's Rag's to Riches


The Chamber has been working to learn, use and teach social media.  The advantages are many but one of the most important is reasons for our engagement is to drive traffic to our website, which is one of our most dynamic ways to promote our members.  As we learn how to better use these valuable tools, we’re happy to share.  Tonight I’m claiming my blog in Technorati (6ijuzwkxsv) in an effort to increase our visibility.  Are you taking advantage of any of these new methods of online marketing.  Please share what you are doing with us.

Toot Your Own Horn

As we prepare to publish yet another monthly newsletter I think of all the great news there is to share about business in our region.  I am painfully aware that it’s tougher than ever and many of us are struggling with trimmed down budgets, hiring freezes and first time ever layoffs, but new businesses continue to open, people begin new jobs and businesses meet the challenge of finding creative ways to deliver thier services better than ever.

While humility is to be commended, hearing your stories of success will be of great help in motivating others.  So I offer you two great opportunities to contribute to uplifting our area and others by “tooting your own horn”.

First,  contact the chamber with your good news (and feel free to share about others).  We love to participate in GOOD gossip.  We do our best to watch and listen but so appreciate your willingness to contact us.

Second, I’d like you to share experiences of great service in our region by twittering about it and including #VenangoWorks in your “tweet”. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, call or email me and I’ll get you started!)

Word on the street is that we continue to have prospective businesses visiting our region each week.  So let’s put on our best attitudes and stand proud and get ready for our guests!

History: However You Like It

Ken Hall's Packet BoatI have no problem admitting that I’m no history buff, nor am I interested in becoming one. This can be tough at times as I live in a region surrounded by an interesting past that attracts visitors and occupies the thoughts and energy of many locals. With a healthy respect I do my best to guide those seeking information towards those who have good knowledge of our region. I am grateful that they are here to tell the tales. And contrary to my first instinct it is not always the elders among us who are interested in our history.

A couple of weeks ago a young man fresh out of college traveled through Oil City as part of a cross country journey. A geologist from France, he we well aware of the role that Drake’s well played in his field of interest. A chance meeting provided him with the perfect tour guide to take him to the Drake Well Museum in Titusville where he was actually able to be a part of transcribing history.

This weekend Clarion University – Venango Campus hosted the annual Community History Days. The two day event included demonstrating artists, a display of hit-n-miss engines and a trolley tour of historic homes. The highlight for me was a ride on a replica packet boat. Captain Ken Hall lead us on the half mile excursion up the Allegheny River, while telling us about the days when this was the best method of transporting oil for trading. Living history like this certainly catches my interest.

Oil Creek 100And my last story to show the diverse way to experience history in our region leaves you time to prepare, if your man (or woman) enough! Yesterday my 3 teenagers, husband and I headed to Oil Creek State Park for some good family time hiking. We committed to a couple of hours and what surely justifies being called a mountain. Lead by our trusty Golden Retriever we got the hardest part out of the way at the start, climbing Girard Trail to the scenic outlook. I described to my family the Oil Creek 100 trail race that will be held in October. Racers will take to the trails for a run (walk if you like) of 30, 50 or 100 miles. The path will take you through the region once dense with oil wells and small but heavily populated cities. So get out your running shoes and get ready to look at history in a very new way.

How will you explore the history of our region this summer?