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FLEX to Recognize Local Young Professionals—Friday, April 5


Have you ever heard the comment: “All young people have to leave our area to be successful”? We know this is absolutely untrue, and on Friday, April 5, we will recognize 12 professionals under the age of 40 who are making a difference in Venango County.

These nominees’ professions range from business owners and accountants, to psychologists and engineers, and all contribute to our community in significant ways.

All professionals are invited to attend the event, not just young professionals, and it will take place at the Barrow-Civic Theatre in Franklin, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Community members can register by visiting venangochamber.org/flex-presents and FLEX is also welcoming sponsorships.

The evening of FLEX Presents is full of networking, delicious food and drink, and a presentation about these young professionals and FLEX.

Find more information about FLEX Presents and past nominees here and RSVP here.

Bridge Builders Holds Week of Giving—March 18-22


Bridge Builders Community Foundations (BBCF) will host the Week of Giving this month—a campaign to spur collective charitable giving and garner excitement that will allow donors to give to numerous nonprofits throughout our region.

Last year, more than $240,000 was raised through the Week of Giving, with 128 nonprofits participating. Approximately 150 nonprofits have signed up this year, and the foundation hopes to raise even more towards organizations making a difference in our community.

“This campaign isn’t only about donations; it’s about educating people on our community’s needs and the nonprofits that are meeting those needs,” said Trenton Moulin, executive director of BBCF. “So many nonprofits of all sizes are making our area a better place and we want to celebrate that and showcase all that charities do.”

Beginning on March 18 at 9 a.m., community members can visit bbcfgives.org and make donations to both small and large organizations, ranging from children & youth and libraries, to environmental and arts & culture.

Donations by check must be in BBCF’s possession by 4 p.m. on Thursday, and online donations end at 5 p.m. on Friday.

To learn more, visit bbcfgives.org and find BBCF on Facebook at facebook.com/B.B.CommunityFoundations.

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

Does Your Business or Organization Host Job Shadow Students?


A small team from Leadership Venango, the Chamber’s new Leadership program, is looking to define connections and develop a process to make the job shadowing experience more meaningful to students and hosts.

A directory will provide students with information about what types of jobs are prevalent in the Venango area and a list of contacts for companies that are willing to host job shadows for the different career categories.

Processes will be laid out for managing expectations to both the students and the hosts. This will help students prepare for the day and know what to expect. Similarly, a process for the hosts will ensure that necessary information is communicated and the students receive a meaningful experience of the career they are interested in.

If your business or organization is interested in being included, please contact Tessa at tbyham@venangochamber.org.

Why Business After Hours Mixers Remain Relevant


“It’s our human-to-human links that make the most meaningful moments of our lives,” suggests Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Seventh Sense and The Age of the Unthinkable.

While in many ways it seems we are more connected than ever, our busy schedules and screen time are keeping us from meeting face to face with businesses in our communities.  It is in meeting that we can most effectively collaborate, celebrate, and even commiserate.  But let’s get serious—who really wants to go to another meeting? 

We are encouraged to “grow our network,” understanding there is a lot to be said for who you know when trying to get things done. 

The chamber mixer model has long provided an efficient template for bringing people together, specifically within the business community. We believe there is great value in meeting, especially when it provides the chance to meet new people and businesses, or reacquaint ourselves with someone we haven’t talked to in a while.

So, what makes for the perfect chamber business after hours mixer?  The same thing that works for any great get together, an enthusiastic host and an invitation.  Still not convinced?  Check out Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering. Parker offers a decoder ring for the secret forces at work when we gather for business, crises, or celebration.

And remember, “many of the best things in life happen when people gather,” said Chris Anderson, owner and curator of TED.

To schedule a mixer, contact the Chamber at (814) 676-8521 or chamber@venangochamber.org.

Stay tuned next month for an article with tips on how to host a successful mixer.

Annual Dinner 2019 Recap


The Annual Dinner on Wednesday, February 27th was a great success. We had a fantastic evening celebrating our 2018 Citizen, Business, and Partner in Business of the Year. If you weren’t able to make it, the video presentations for each of the award recipients are linked below:

2018 Citizen of the Year – Leah Gesing
2018 Business of the Year – Matric Group
2018 Partner in Business of the Year – Barrow-Civic Theatre

Thank you to:

Our Presenting sponsor – Clarion University Venango

Our Dinner sponsors – Franklin Oil Region Credit Union and Sam Breene

Our Reception sponsors – Representative R. Lee James, Klapec Auto Body, Matric Group, and Caldwell Printing Services

And thank you to Cross Creek Resort, our host for the evening!