All posts tagged future leaders and entrepreneurs exchange

March 2020 Young Professional Profiles: Jamie Stack & Juliet Hilburn

Jamie Stack grew up in the area and graduated from Oil City High School in 2017, then went on to earn her associate’s degree in Physical Therapy Assistance from the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville.

She’s currently waiting to take her Board Exam, and is working at two local, young professional owned businesses—Core Goods and Eckert Chiropractic.

“I enjoy how personable the jobs are,” she said. “The coworkers and employers are very invested in their employees. I love much I have learned and how much I know they care about my growth.”

At Core Goods, Jamie helps customers, cooks, keeps the store stocked, and more, and at Eckert Chiropractic, she helps with childcare and various office tasks.

Jamie recently got engaged and is excited to marry her fiancé, Devon. Other future plans include pursing a more full-time job.

She’s not certain exactly where or in what field, but told us: “I am not limiting my future to what my degree is in. I want to achieve happiness in whatever life throws at me and wherever I am in the next few years.”

In her free time, Jamie can almost always be found with Devon, usually outdoors biking, walking, hiking, kayaking, and basically anything else outside.

In Venango County, she enjoys experiencing the history and learning facts about how this area was created. She also appreciates the beautiful nature and close-knit community, and related it to Cheers—”You want to go where everybody knows your name.”

Jamie is enjoying working in Venango County and is also excited to see where her future takes her.

Juliet Hilburn recently joined the team at the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College as Student Success Specialist. She graduated from Mercyhurst University in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in history and earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA. In high school, she also graduated as Valedictorian.

Juliet was born and raised in Titusville, and continues to live here, though her position takes her all over Forest, Crawford, and Venango Counties.

She enjoys her new position and, looking to the future, hopes to continue as a higher education professional helping students succeed in their post-secondary careers. She also looks forward to continuing her own education by pursuing a master’s degree in Communications or a related field.

In the community, Juliet serves on the Board of Directors for the Titusville Council on the Arts and plays flute in the Oil City volunteer ensemble Mostly Brass. She can also often be found reading and is a part of the Benson Memorial Library book club.

In college, Juliet had a minor in film studies, so she enjoys watching movies, especially at The Movies at Cranberry. She’s a fan of local events, too, like BridgeFest in Oil City and AppleFest in Franklin.

“I very much wish to remain in the area where my family is located,” Juliet told us. “Venango County is so scenic and beautiful at all times of the year.”

Like many, Juliet loves the wooded hillsides and gorgeous historic architecture, as well as the people here. “It’s nice to be greeted with a smile everywhere you go,” she said.

Congratulations on the new position, Juliet, and welcome to FLEX!

These articles were published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) February 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

Young Professional of the Year Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for our 2020 Young Professional of the Year! All nominees will be recognized at FLEX Presents on April 17, an annual event that celebrates the achievements of local young professionals who contribute to their community through civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Nominees must:

  • Live and/or work in Venango County
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 39
  • Participate in activities outside of work that make a difference in the well-being of others
  • Have exceptional ethical qualities and strive to improve and preserve the community

Forms are due by Friday, March 6.

Friday, April 17 • 6:30 – 8:30PM
Clarion University – Venango (Suhr Library)

Professional Development Tip of the Month: Networking

By Rachel Stiller, FLEX Events & Fundraising Committee Co-Chair

As a young professional, it is inevitable that at some point you will be networking. The difference is—will you do it well or poorly? Here are a few tips to start practicing now so that at you’ll feel confident and prepared at your next networking event:

First, take a moment to evaluate your body language and facial expressions. Your body language will be more evident to those around you than any words you say. Remind yourself to smile during conversations; this will help calm your nerves and others will see you as warm and inviting. By keeping your body language open and friendly, you will be more approachable and it will help you build rapport and trust.

Second, instead of waiting to be approached, take control and simply walk up to a person or a group, and say: “May I join you?” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies and remember that the most successful networkers are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Your goal is to be a conversationalist, not a talker.

Next, share your passions and be specific about your goals. Win people over with your enthusiasm. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to do what you do. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation.

Finally, remember to follow up. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within a day or so of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) January 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

FLEX Looks Forward to a New Year

When FLEX, the young professionals group of the Venango Chamber, started in 2007, no one could have predicted the growth we would see. Thirteen years later, we have 128 members, and we continue to add and improve our programs and events.

Rather than look back at 2019, we are excited to look forward to 2020 and begin creating a vision for what the year will look like and make a plan to make those things happen.

“What excites me heading into 2020 is the blend of seasoned leadership and experienced professionals,” said Rachel Stiller, outgoing FLEX President. “Everyone on leadership has had involvement with FLEX and are passionate about the mission of the organization, which will benefit us as we move forward with those projects we started in 2019.”

Rachel also added: “We are all equipped to maintain our current level of energy as a young professional group and I anticipate we’ll continue to see FLEX make leaps and bounds this year through the hard work and dedication of our incoming leadership.”

Kat Thompson, incoming FLEX president, added: “Serving as VP this past year under Rachel’s presidency has been an amazing learning experience. Seeing up close her passion and knowledge has inspired me in my involvement with FLEX and in my own professional development.”

“As the incoming president, I look forward to continuing the trajectory of growth and development established by 2019 leadership under her guidance and with the support of the Chamber,” Kat said. “I, along with our seasoned chairs, am excited to welcome two new faces to the leadership team. With continued involvement in our communities, I hope to see FLEX become a household name across Venango County, and be an accessible and valuable resource for young professionals.”

We invite you to get involved with FLEX in a new way this year! Whether it’s coming to an event, joining one of our committees, or volunteering, we hope to see you as we continue to grow.

Meet the 2020 FLEX Officers

President – Kat Thompson
VP/Secretary – Saxon Daugherty
Membership Chair – Laura Ordaz
Marketing & Community Partnerships Chair – Tessa Byham
Events & Fundraising Co-Chair – Ashley Smith
Events & Fundraising Co-Chair – Rachel Stiller

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) January 2020 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

May 2019 Young Professional Profiles: Becca Weidle & Sarah MacBeth

Becca Weidle, an Oil City native, is a young entrepreneur and a   mom. She is a health coach through her new business “Motherhood Made Healthy,” and is expecting her second child in June.

After graduating from Oil City High School in 2010, Becca earned a biochemistry degree from Pitt at Johnstown, and recently got her health coach certification from Health Coach Institute.

Becca looks forward to continuing to grow, personally and professionally, and is excited to gain clients who are eager to learn how to shift towards a healthy lifestyle. “I’m proud of the hard work I put into finding my passion, going for it head on, and completing my coaching certification,” she said. “I’m also proud of the consistency and determination I have put towards healing myself naturally and gaining the healthy lifestyle that I live and love.”

Being a mother has taught Becca a lot and is also something she takes pride in. She tries to soak in and enjoy every minute with her family that she can, and also in her free time she loves gardening, anything outdoors (camping, hiking, riding bikes), doing puzzles, sewing and crafting, and playing with her daughter, Henley.

In Venango County, Becca appreciates the trails, parks, local businesses, libraries, and farmers markets, and is happy to live in a neighborhood that feels safe.

“I want to constantly learn and grow in all aspects of my life,” she told us. “My dream is for my business to ripple out from Venango so that I can help guide as many mamas as possible to live healthy, happy lives and instill that in their kiddos!”

You can learn more about Becca’s new health coaching business by visiting

Sarah MacBeth recently became a Venango County community member! She is the branch manager at the Seneca office of Farmers National Bank, and will be transferring to the Emlenton branch soon.

Originally from Bradford, Sarah has lived in various places, including Kane and Tionesta, and eventually settled in Clarion after graduating from Clarion University in May 2014. She majored in business management with a minor in marketing and has also gone through leadership and mindfulness trainings.

When asked about special achievements, Sarah told us: “My goal in life has always been to be happy and although happiness can be viewed as a constantly changing state of mind, I believe I have achieved my goal and I hope to continue that.”

Professionally, Sarah looks forward to continuing to help fulfill the mission and vision at the bank and hopes to be there for many more years. Personally, giving back is a huge passion of hers. “Throughout my life, so many have helped, guided, or supported me,” she said. “I hope to establish some type of organization or event that would allow me to give back.”

Traveling is something Sarah has always been interested in and she hopes to be able to do so with her husband and family in the coming years. She also loves spending time riding in their Jeeps with their dogs in the summer, running and fitness, crafting, hiking, cooking, and listening to music. Most importantly, she enjoys spending time surrounded by her loved ones.

Although Sarah hasn’t been in Venango County for very long, she has visited many enjoyable destinations, such as coffee shops, restaurants, and local shops. She looks forward to experiencing the theatre and trails in our region, too.

Since working in Venango County, Sarah has learned to love the people and their energy. “It is so great to see members of the community working towards making things happen,” she said. Sarah is interested in getting to know more people, contributing to the area, and developing personally and professionally.

These articles were published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) May 2019 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.