Introducing the Leadership Venango Class of 2022

Leadership Venango is a nine-month program designed to identify, educate, involve and motivate individuals who desire to become more effective leaders. This is the fourth year of the program and there are 16 people in the class of 2022.

Learn more about the program at

Class of 2022

Liz Amendola is a graduate of DuBois Business College and manages her own website where she sells handmade goods – E.L.A. Handmades. She is a Be Here Ambassador and a member of the Friends of the Oil City Library group.

Ashleigh Bennett is the Lesson Coordinator and Senior Sales Associate at the Porch Music Store in Franklin. She enjoys building the lesson program and teaching music to the next generation. Ashleigh is also a performing musician and loves enhancing the arts community and developing the entertainment culture of the region.

Brandon Boocks is the Museum Assistant at the Venango Museum of Art, Science and Industry in Oil City where he assists with daily operations, exhibit development, and working with Museum guests and visitors. He has a bachelor’s degree from Point Park University.

Matt Craig is the Training and Development Instructor at Webco Industries where he facilitates a 5 week “boot camp” for new employees that teaches the fundamental skills needed to succeed at Webco. Matt is a graduate of Thiel College and has volunteered with the Venango Teleauction as a cameraperson and with graphics.

Natalie Cubbon is the Projects Coordinator for the Oil Region Library Association where she manages social media and marketing, catalogs materials, coordinates events and more. Natalie loves volunteering for local events and is currently a member of the Oil City Main Street Program Steering Committee and serves as a Be Here Ambassador.

Nick Gammello is an Account Manager at Rossbacher Insurance where his focus is in providing property and casualty insurance. He says it is his goal and responsibility to serve his clients by designing the best possible insurance program for their needs. Nick is also a member of the Franklin Rotary Club and enjoys volunteering at community events.

Ashlee Goodman is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James Financial on First Street in Oil City. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting as well as her Series 66 and 7 licenses. Ashlee serves on the finance committee for Good Hope Lutheran Church and the promotions committee for the Oil City Main Street Program.

Ben Hart is an EMS Specialist with UPMC Prehospital Care where he travels throughout the region. Ben is a member of the Seneca Volunteer Fire Department and enjoys doing educational sessions for schools, churches, and other community groups.

Jarred Heuer is the Executive Director of the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation. Recently, Jarred helped spearhead efforts to strengthen broadband infrastructure in Clarion County, which resulted in award of ARC POWER grant for Clarion County. He is also a member of FLEX and enjoys volunteering at their events.

Akshay Kumbhare is a Quality Engineer at Matric in Seneca. Akshay has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Professionally, he has streamlined production to drastically reduce set-up time for molding and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.

Chris Loll is a Logistics Coordinator at Klapec Trucking Company in Reno where his responsibilities include coordinating inbound and outbound freight to fit the needs of the shipper, receiver, driver, and trucking company. Chris says this requires excellent communication skills. He has also coached and volunteered with many youth sports.

Amariliz Sanchez is a Clerk Typist at Clarion University Venango. She provides administrative support for the Dean and is a past recipient of the Venango Campus Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award. Amariliz is also a member of FLEX and loves volunteering for local events and cooking traditional Hispanic and Puerto Rican food for the community

Kelly Smerker is the Pharmacy Manager at UPMC Northwest in Seneca. Kelly is a graduate of the LECOM School of Pharmacy and has been with UPMC for 14 years, recently being promoted to the Manager position. She enjoys helping youth in her community by volunteering with the Fryburg Baseball Association.

Megan Weber is a Service Planning Analyst at Komatsu Mining in Franklin. She graduated from Grove City college with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and is working towards her MBA at Gannon University. Megan is a member of Franklin Rotary, FLEX, Grove City MOPS, Grove City Pet Rescue, and serves as a Be Here Ambassador.

Heidi Krug-Whistle is the Administrative Coordinator at Gibbons Business Solutions in Franklin as well as an artist and the owner of WhistleFish Vintage and WhistleFish Creations. Heidi is the creator of the ArtWalk event and is a member of the Oil City Arts Council, Franklin Rotary Club, and Franklin Retail Association.

Devin Zagar is the owner of 7 Foot Productions & Marketing in Oil City. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the College of Wooster, where he was a 4-year varsity athlete. Devin has a Hubspot Digital Marketing and Content Marketing Certifications. He has also volunteered with Meals on Wheels and for Living Streams Ministries.

These bios were also published in the Venango Chamber’s October 2021 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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