All posts tagged communications

Leadership Venango Holds Second Session: Maximizing Clean Communications


The 2020 Class of Leadership Venango met on November 13 at PennDOT’s District 1 Office in Oil City to discuss “Maximizing Clean Communications.”

The day began with a welcome from Jim Foringer, District Executive of PennDOT District 1. Jim provided an overview of PennDOT District 1 territory and responsibilities, helping the class better understand the scope of work that comes out of our region.

The rest of the morning was spent with Jill Harry, PennDOT District 1 Press Officer and Ashley (Cowles) Sheffer, program manager of Be Here. Jill shared her experience working in Media Relations. She reviewed how to appropriately and effectively connect with different types of media to provide them the information they are seeking, while best representing your business or organization. Ashley provided insights on how to use social media to connect with customers. She reviewed the features of the social media platforms to market your business. Jill and Ashley engaged the class in several interactive exercises.

Over lunch, Lucas Salusky with Identity Studio & Design took a class photo on the steps of the Venango Museum and took each class member’s professional headshot.

Betsy Kellner, Executive Director of the Venango Museum, gave an overview of the museum and demonstrated their Theatre Organ. Several class members were visiting the museum for the first time. Cindy Urban, President of Klapec Trucking Co (KTC), and Greg Lander, Vice President of KTC, joined the class for lunch. Greg is also a 2019 Leadership Venango graduate.

To begin the afternoon, Brian McNulty, Assistant District Executive at PennDOT District 1 and 2019 Leadership Venango Graduate, gave a presentation about Project Management. He provided an overview of PennDOT projects and explained the process they use, beginning with the goals in mind.  Brian then worked with the class to explore how this process could work for them with the Leadership Venango team projects.

The remainder of the day was spent with Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for Northwest IRC, on Effective Communication. The class learned about communication channels and barriers and discussed verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills. Susan also talked about communication across different generations and cultures.

While class feedback showed that every part of the day was appreciated by participants, many cited the value of being reminded to actively listen and suggested they would be more mindful of this, in returning to work and home.

Find bios for the 2020 class of Leadership Venango here.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s December 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Leadership Venango Holds Fourth Session: Maximizing Clean Communications


Leadership Venango LogoThe 2019 Class of Leadership Venango met on December 12 at the PennDOT District Office in Oil City.  The fourth session of the nine-month program focused on various aspects of interpersonal and professional communications.

James Foringer, the District Executive of PennDOT District 1, started the session by giving an overview of PennDOT’s vision, mission and what District 1 is responsible for in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Jillian Harry, PennDOT District 1 Community Relations Coordinator, then gave a presentation on communications with and through local media partners.  Jill provided her perspective as a former reporter on what types of media are present in this region and what kinds of information media outlets are seeking.

Ashley Cowles, program manager at the Venango Chamber and co-owner of Core Goods in Oil City, then provided tips and strategies for using social media to market your business and communicate with customers.  The class learned a great deal about branding, algorithms and how to manage multiple social media platforms.

The class enjoyed lunch at the Venango Museum where they had the opportunity to meet two sponsors of the program.  The team projects were discussed and the students unanimously agreed that the program provided a great value to them all.

Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for Northwest IRC, provided the afternoon presentation on effective communications.  The class learned about communication structures, channels and barriers.  An emphasis was placed on the importance of active listening, with several exercises to teach the class methods to become better listeners. Also discussed were the differences in the cultures and perspectives of the five generations present in the workforce today.

The next session is scheduled for January 9 at UPMC Northwest, where the class will focus on leading a healthy community. For more information, visit leadershipvenango.org.

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