All posts tagged Leadership Venango

Leadership Venango Holds First Session: Business & Economic Development


Written by Saxon Daugherty

The 2020 class of Leadership Venango reconnected for their first session of the program at Komatsu’s engineering office in Franklin to learn and discuss business and economic development in the region.

Komatsu’s Alan McBride opened the day with a presentation on the organization’s approach to leadership training, breaking down those who lead a function, those who lead leaders, those who lead others and personal leadership.

McBride also introduced how to create an accountability culture and incorporating progress tools, such as the Individual Development Plan (IDP) that can help employees improve their performance and meet both long- and short-term goals.

The class then heard from Frank Hajduk, the Branch Manager of SCORE’s Venango office, regarding economic development and strategic planning.

Hajduk provided an overview of America’s mixed economy, referencing the influences from capitalist and socialist dynamics.

The local economy revolves around having critical job centers with having useful resources readily availability.

Hajduk used the analogy of the cycle of water to describe how the flow of money and products impacts the local economy. This also stressed the importance of spending money locally and the Be Here initiative.

Wrapping up the morning was a panel of 2019 Leadership Venango graduates, including Randy Arnold, Lauren Lupinacci and Ashley Smith. The trio answered questions from the Class of 2020 and provided insight on their experience in the program.

Emily Lewis, the Executive Director of the Venango County Economic Authority, opened the second half of the day with a discussion on some of the most pressing economic development projects in the county.

At the top of the list is the transformation of the Oil City National Bank building into a multi-purpose facility including a brew pub and banquet space. 

Lewis also highlighted the eAcademy at Venango, which launched earlier this year. The program is an extension of the highly-successful eAcademy program at Linden Pointe that fosters and encourages an entrepreneurial mindset.

The Venango County version specifically targets high school seniors.

The remainder of the day for the leadership class was spent touring several businesses in the area including Komatsu’s chain plant, Webco’s Reno facility, and Klapec Trucking.

Each organization provided an overview of what they do and gave the group a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate.

The next session will take place on Wednesday, November 13 at PennDOT’s District 1 office in Oil City with a focus on maximizing clean communications.

To learn more about Leadership Venango, visit leadershipvenango.org.

Leadership Venango Holds Second Annual Retreat


The Leadership Venango Class of 2020 met for the first time on September 12-13 for a day and a half overnight retreat.

The first afternoon, at Whitehall Camp and Conference Center, was spent exploring our personalities and how to work better by understanding what influences our behaviors.

After dinner, the class reconvened for a Community Conversation with Dan Flaherty, a LV  Class of 2019 alumni. Before turning in, the new class met around a campfire, getting to know each other.

Friday morning began with an exercise on visioning, led by Chamber President Susan Williams. Next, Andy, on staff with Whitehall, led the class in teambuilding.  Along with completing physical challenges, the class discussed the dynamics of working together.  With encouragement from the new class, Susan willingly participated in the trust fall, allowing the class to catch her from a fall.

The day concluded with the class approving class rules, learning about managing a meeting and introducing speakers and creating a class vision for this year.

Participants this year include:

  • Kaylee Azzopardi, UPMC Northwest
  • Damien Cherico, Webco Industries
  • Saxon Daugherty, Child Development Centers
  • Matthew Deal, Morrison Funeral Home
  • Ethan Gravatt. Klapec Trucking Company
  • Carrie Karns, Oakwood Heights
  • Tracy Lander, Klapec Trucking Company
  • Jessica Schultz, Child Development Centers
  • Kat Thompson, PA CareerLink Oil Region
  • Annie Welsh, Oil Region Library Association
  • Amy Keth, Clarion University Small Business Development Center
  • Thomas Chase, Videographer

Learn more about the Leadership Venango program at leadershipvenango.org.

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

Leadership Venango Accepting Applications


The 2019 2020 Leadership Venango Class will hold their kick off retreat on September 12 13, 2019, followed by monthly full day sessions through May of 2020. This program is a significant commitment of money and time.

So, why should you consider investing in such an activity or encouraging someone else to do so? You may already be in a position where you are managing others, through your title or simply your areas of responsibility. Perhaps you’ve already taken classes, read books, and served in leadership positions. We encourage you not to dismiss this opportunity to further enhance your leadership journey, which is sure to be newly informed by the changing times, a diverse class make up, and an array of great speakers and activities.

Tessa Byham, a graduate of the inaugural class remarks “My favorite things about Leadership Venango were the connections made within the class, getting out into the community and learning about the different businesses and locations, and growing professionally in my ability and confidence in my networking skills.”

Ryan Sweeney adds “This program is a great value to the area and the people involved. I gained so much knowledge about the area that I didn’t know and also gained some great connections both in the class and with presenters.”

Emily Lewis, another member of the class of 2019, said: “Leadership Venango taught me that there are many traits of a good leader but the most important is the ability to truly listen and lean in to challenging issues. I feel I am a better equipped member of my community because of my participation in this program.”

If you have any questions about Leadership Venango, please visit www.leadershipvenango.com for details or contact the Chamber office and we’d be happy to meet with you. Registration is open and scholarships are available.

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

Everyone is a Leader


When many hear the word “leader,” they imagine a CEO, executive director, or president. At the FLEX Speakers Series in June, panel participants assured attendees that “everyone is a leader.” The panel consisted of six of the 13 graduates of the inaugural class of Leadership Venango, the Venango Chamber’s new leadership program.

Brian McNulty, Randy Arnold, Dan Flaherty, Greg Lander, Ashley Smith, and Tessa Byham shared their experience and advice from the nine-month program. Leadership Venango is designed to identify, educate, involve and motivate individuals who desire to become more effective leaders, and participants got to know the region.

“It wasn’t just about leadership, but about getting to know your community,” said Ashley. “Most of the places we visited are hiring and expanding, and our eyes were opened to all we have here.”

Several sessions helped participants learn more about themselves, too, and involved personality tests, mindfulness, and diversity.

“Many of the activities helped us build self-awareness, which in turn makes us better leaders in our community and work,” said Tessa.

“Learning my strengths and weaknesses enlightened me and has helped me strategize how I can use those to better work with others,” Brian added.

The participants networked with local leaders, as well as the other participants, forming a “family” they described. “We found we’re not all that different and were able to grow and develop together,” said Dan. “We learned the community needs people to step up and this program gave us the empowerment and skills to do that.”

At the Speaker Series, each panelist covered a topic, including honorable leadership, community, economic development, and communications. “Leadership is what you make of it and the value you bring in your position,” said Randy.

The Chamber is currently accepting applications for the next class, which begins in September.

“Leadership is not knowing all the answers, but where to find them,” Greg said. “This program helped us build connections and knowledge to do just that.”

Learn more about Leadership Venango, at leadershipvenango.org or get  in touch with us—we can connect you with graduates who are happy to share more about the program.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) July 2019 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) 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.