All posts tagged chamber

Mixers, More Than Just Networking


Business After Hours Mixers have long been a main stay of Chambers of Commerce. These short gatherings, just at the end of the workday, include refreshments, a few door prizes and a mix of other chamber members. While those who attend may vary depending on a mixers host, the location and scheduling, there are members who frequently attend and those who never do. If you are the latter, we’d like to suggest you consider a few of the reasons you might want to give a try.

Relationships – Mixers are hosted by businesses to invite others to visit their location, sometimes to celebrate an accomplishment, or perhaps just to give exposure to products and services. Either way, attendance is a show of support that is always appreciated. When you visit a member’s event, they understand that you are busy but still willing to show them support with your attendance.

Information Gathering – We often think we know our community, but in the busyness of our own lives, we often miss the changes taking place. From new staff members to significant investments in products, services or infrastructure, information can often best be gathered through a visit, and a mixer can be a unique opportunity to get inside a business.

Preparation for Your Mixer – You may not be planning it now but hosting a mixer might be something you want to do in the future. It’s best to attend other mixers to get a sense of what you’d want to do as a host. Just like any social invitation, those who you have supported are most likely to support you.

There are several mixers still planned for 2019, each an opportunity for you to test out these suggestions. One of those mixers is hosted by FLEX and will be held in the courtyard of the Venango Chamber on August 22. FLEX members promise to help you build better relationships with local young professionals, learn about how to better engage them, and will set a great example for your next get together. We hope to see you there!

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

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 venangoflex.org or on their Facebook page at facebook.com/venangoflex.

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.

Leadership Venango Holds Final Session, Graduates Class of 2019


The 2019 Class of Leadership Venango held it’s final session on May 8 at Drake Well Museum in Titusville.

The class of 13 began the day with a segment on the Be Here Initiative led by Program Manager Ashley Cowles. Ashley led the class in a training, making them official Ambassadors of the program. The class shared their favorite things about Venango County, and discussed some of the problems the area faces and how to remain positive in the face of challenges.

Betsy Kellner, director of the Venango Museum, then spoke with the class on the importance of community partnerships. In her work at the museum, Betsy is a partner to many other local organizations, some unexpected.

The class then heard from Emily Altomare, Communications and Tourism Manager at the Oil Region Alliance (ORA). Emily spoke on tourism and attracting visitors to the region. She said tourism is the second largest economic driver in the state, and should not be overlooked. Emily shared tips for being a welcoming resident and told the class about some exciting plans the ORA has for increasing and improving tourism.

After lunch, Melissa Mann, Drake Well Museum Site Administrator, gave an overview of the history of the museum and the region. They then got a quick tour of the grounds.

To finish out the day, the class heard from Charlie Cotherman, pastor of Oil City Vineyard Church, on how to be a leader people want to follow. Those who have heard Charlie speak know he is a powerful orator and the class felt no different, many saying he was a favorite of the whole program and a great way to end their nine months.

At the end of the day, the class reflected on the program, giving suggestions and mentioning favorite presenters and topics. This year’s participants have been invited to sit on an Advisory Council to assist in planning future sessions.

Graduation

The Class of 2019 celebrated their graduation on May 22 at the National Transit Building in Oil City.

The participants worked on team projects over the last nine months and were able to present their findings to a group of their peers and supervisors ahead of the graduation celebration.

The three groups focused on the issue of workforce development, specifically in school-age children, through the lens of students, educators, and businesses. Their projects were all informative and thoughtfully done.

The graduation ceremony was held following the presentations, and many of the participants’ families joined them to celebrate their accomplishment.

See more photos HERE!

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s June 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 www.venangochamber.org 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.