All posts tagged chamber of commerce

Creating a Positive Experience For You and Your Intern

Jessica, left, and Heather, right, are the Chamber’s amazing interns!

Summer is finally here and for many of us, we are fortunate to have a college intern (or two) joining us for the next few months. It may be tempting to think of extra staff as the opportunity to boost your office with some affordable help and, let’s be honest, many interns will spend a good bit of time doing busy work, fielding phone calls, filing stacks from our desks, and running errands.

But if that’s all they’re doing, we’re wasting a wonderful chance to infuse our offices with new ideas and energy, while short changing their experience. So how can you and your intern make the most of your time together?

Start with a Plan

Before your intern’s first day, you should have a good idea of what their daily tasks will include. Discuss what goals you have for your time together and invite your intern to share what they hope to take away from this work experience.

Invite Input

We all talk about engaging young people, so once you are together, take the time to meet regularly and ask for feedback on your business.  Take advantage of what your intern is currently learning in school and find ways to incorporate this newfound knowledge in what you’re doing, even if it may be a little uncomfortable.

Be a Great Example

Make sure you are always modeling good behavior. Having the extra help in the office is not a good excuse for you to slack.  Be on time, dress as you would expect them to dress, and remember how you talk about others will reflect on the character of you and your business.

Let Them Know You Care

Ask your intern to share their career goals and be willing to share your journey.  By letting them know what has worked for you AND what hasn’t, you can help them envision the many possible paths (even bumpy) to success. Genuinely attempt to learn what’s most important to them, personally and professionally, and invest time into supporting their priorities.

Have Fun!

Most interns will have some anxiety, at least initially, as they try to fit into your office culture.  Make sure to take some time in your day, or at least week, to invite a little down time.  A quick walk for coffee or ice cream or a few minutes laughing about something funny can help lighten stress they may be experiencing, allowing them to be far more productive.  It will make your day more fun too, if you are doing it right.

Introduce Us

We’d love to meet your intern!  Please give us the chance, by stopping by our office, bringing your intern to our next Chamber event, or sending us a message so we can reach out directly. We want all those spending time in the region to have the best summer ever, with the possibility of staying in or returning to Venango County sometime after graduation.

FLEX will host an Intern Appreciation Luncheon on August 2nd at Komatsu in Franklin. Any students, interns, or young professionals are invited to attend. Find more information at or on their Facebook page at

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

Chamber President Attends Chamber Day in Harrisburg

More than 90 state and local chamber representatives from across the Commonwealth gathered in Harrisburg on June 4 for the 2019 Chamber Day at the State Capitol.

The annual event is co-hosted by the PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals during one of the busiest times of the year in the Capitol, as state elected officials work to finalize the 2019-20 budget.

The event provides a forum for constructive dialogue between local chamber officers and policymakers on key issues important to the state’s business community and the best ways to improve the Commonwealth’s business climate.

Venango Chamber President Susan Williams remarks “Chamber Day provides Pennsylvania leaders the opportunity to represent the united business voice that our membership represents.  Multiplied across the state, we are able to convey the needs of our businesses and learn about what’s happening at the state level to address them.”

The program featured several panel discussions focusing on a wide range of topics, including workforce development; transportation and infrastructure in the Commonwealth; and community revitalization. 

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

Venango Chamber First Quarter Wrap-Up

At the end of the first quarter of another year, we are excited to share how much has already been accomplished by you and your chamber.

Continuing to follow our strategic plan and the commitment to connect business to business, the Chamber’s Annual Dinner brought together over 200 business representatives to celebrate success in the region. 

To add to the excitement, the new website at was launched that very day. The new website put our member businesses front and center, sharing the stories of what they do and providing a dynamic directory that will continue to add promotional value to each listing.

This quarter, members met on several occasions, including the Lee James Business Mixer, the Oil City High School Career Fair, and the Cranberry Mall Expo. April, we’ll host our first Membership 101, where you can learn how to best utilize your membership listing.

Leadership Venango met each month, in January at UPMC, in February at Clarion University – Venango, and in March at Komatsu Mining Corp.  After two more sessions, this first class of 13 will graduate on May 22.  Save the date to join them for their celebration that evening from 5 to 7 p.m.

Planning is well underway for the Oil Heritage Festival, with a few tweaks planned to this year’s event.

A new offering for members are Tech Talks, held on the third Friday of each month, at the Chamber from 8 to 9 a.m.  This round table discussion is perfect for those who are already established on social media, looking for peers to network with, and share tips or explore challenges.  Contact us if you are interested in participating in the next meeting.

Now that Spring has arrived and we all begin to move about more, we invite you to stop by the Chamber, let us know a great time to visit you, or check out our calendar for the next chance to meet up at an event!

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

Your Chamber–A Year in Review

As we wrap up 2018, we are overwhelmed by the accomplishments of this year.  It is not by chance that your Board of Directors, with your financial and volunteer assistance, executed the Chamber’s strategic plan, ensuring that resources are spent with our mission always driving our activities.

Create stronger business to business connections within the Venango Region

CoverEach month, as we approached the monthly publication of VenangoWorks!, our staff looked for stories of our members.  We are hopeful that you see your newsletter as your source for business content in our region.  We reached out to you but continue to encourage you to contact us with your news that needs to be shared.  We’ve explored advocacy issues, introduced leaders from across the region, and invited our partner organizations to contribute to each of the 12 issues published.

Chamber members hosted 12 Business After Hours, 17 teams played in the Chamber Golf Scramble in June, and 100 members relaxed along the Allegheny River at the fall Chamber Steak Fry. Both Oil Heritage Festival and Cranberry Festival were well supported and attended, bringing community members several days of music and fun for all ages. The Annual Awards Banquet in February and FLEX Presents in April continued our proud tradition of recognizing excellence in the region.

Develop the next generation of business leaders for the Venango Region

The focus of the Education Committee this year has been learning, as we seek to strengthen our relationship with local schools. Our goal is to understand how we can assist businesses and educators in supporting one another. The Chamber is often called upon to assist in recruiting businesses for mock interviews, career fairs, and job shadowing.  Making these the best possible experiences for all involved is the mission of this committee.

FLEX, the Chamber’s young professionals group, had a year packed with activities that included leadership development, volunteering, and networking.  With a growing membership (now more than 85), activities were diverse in scope and time, to meet the needs of a variety of schedules. The monthly publication FYI provides an overview of what they’ve been up to and what’s planned.

Among the most significant accomplishments this year is the launching of Leadership Venango. Thirteen business leaders enrolled in the nine-month program to enrich their knowledge and skills as leaders in their workplace, community, and families.  As the class moves across the county, they are hearing from leadership instructors and community leaders, and learning from one another.  They are also working in teams to address community issues around education and workforce, with presentations to be given prior to graduation in June.

Be the business information connector for the Venango Region

Early in 2018, we published a newly updated printed map of Venango County and distributed them throughout the region.  Despite the popularity of online map programs and apps, visitors and residents continue to request printed maps and members appreciate the chance to support them with advertising.

As the year winds down, Chamber staff look forward to completing a newly updated website, anticipating an early 2019 launch.  The website is designed to best promote and support our members, a tool for sharing directly but also redirecting visitors to what they need when best found with a partner organization.

Chambers of commerce have always been recognized as the voice of business and in 2018 that voice was raised, as we reached out to all businesses who are served by the highway between Barkeyville and Franklin and carried their message to PennDOT.  Local officials applauded the work of the Chamber and the confirmation of our businesses that we are in a growth pattern and rely on this stretch of highway to continue the positive trajectory.

The Advocacy Committee continues to explore issues that impact our future, looking for every avenue to remove barriers and ensure opportunities are realized.

All of these things occurred amidst a significant staff change, as we said farewell to Dottie Tawney and welcomed Tessa Byham, our new executive assistant.  Both ladies, committed to serving our members, contributed to making the transition seamless.

Investment in your Chamber continued, through the significant support of Visionary Members: Webco Industries, Pepro LLC, Roser Technologies, Inc., and Klapec Trucking Co., to support improved infrastructure of an online database, all projects and programs mentioned above, and the assurance of sustainability in the future.

With the addition of new tiered benefits available, we invite you to meet with us to learn how your chamber investment supports those areas most valuable to you. You are also invited to learn more about how you and your staff can become involved in Chamber committees or leadership.

ktc       Pepro transparent     RTI transparent    Webco Industries

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s December 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Position Description: Executive Assistant

Chamber Hiring Executive Assistant 2018

Date: May 2018

Organization: Venango Area Chamber of Commerce

About Us

The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization in Venango County, with a mission to build, serve and promote regional business.

About the Environment

We work hard for the business community we represent. The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is a fast-paced, dynamic environment where ideas are heard and challenges are embraced. We’re an organization full of smart, talented, diverse people striving to do our jobs better each day. Working here requires commitment, energy, flexibility — and a healthy dose of creativity.

Reports To: President/CEO of the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce

Summary of Position: This position is designed to assist the President/CEO of the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the staff and Board of Directors. The position requires working with the Chamber in pursuing, securing, updating, tracking, coordinating, comparing, promoting and distributing information/data on our various activities.

Job Responsibilities: (including but not limited to)

Administrative Duties

  • Support the strategic plan of the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Assist in recruitment and retention of members
  • Welcome and assist members, visitors and tourists
  • Assist with preparation and distribution of monthly Chamber newsletter
  • Support updating of database of members and Chamber contacts
  • Maintain media contacts and mailing lists
  • Prepare meeting notices, make reminder calls and prepare meeting packets for the Chamber board and for committees
  • Maintain files digitally and hard copy for the Chamber
  • Manage correspondence as directedby the President/CEO
  • Maintain calendars of events  – Internal (Google) and Community (Website)
  • Coordinate special projects/events as assigned
  • Record minutes of board meetingsand distribute within three working days of meetings
  • Assist in maintaining inventory of Chamber store and making sales
  • Support the missions of FLEX and Be Here and assist as needed
  • Assist with the solicitation of sponsorships and advertising for special events and publications
  • Other duties as assigned

Event Coordination

  • Assist in planning and logistics for all on-site and off-site events and meetings
  • Assist with the assessment of events to determine if mission and financial objectives were met
  • Provide input about event schedulesand support the implementation of short and long-term strategies
  • Establish vendor relationships and identify preferred vendor pricing for events
  • Develop good relationships with members and volunteers to gain cooperation in assisting with events

Additional opportunities – based on interest, time and talents:

  • Design and lay out Chamber advertisements and publications
  • Assist in membership meetings
  • Attend meetings and engage in public speaking, representing the Chamber
  • Implement social media and website updates
  • Write for Chamber publications

Qualifications/Skills Required:

  • Superb customer service skills
  • Ability to develop and maintain good relationships
  • Excellent telephone skills
  • Professional appearance
  • Working knowledge of business as well as regional government and amenities
  • Professional and mature attitude; remains calm under pressure
  • Clear verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement events strategy
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and social media programs
  • Experience with standard office equipment – copier, Ipad register, phones and computer, with a willingness to become proficient in using new equipment and programs

Qualifications/Skills Preferred in addition: 

  • Demonstrated success in event management
  • Demonstrated success in sales
  • Experience with WordPress, Mailchimp, Google, Adobe Suite, Database management, Survey Monkey, Doodle Poll

This is a full time, hourly position.  No benefits are included.

Submit cover letter, resume, references and salary requirements to by June 1, 2018.


Position Description PDF