All posts tagged profiles

August 2019 Young Professional Profiles: Joseph Aylesworth & Mikayla Markle

Joseph Aylesworth works at Eckert Chiropractic in Oil City. After getting a double bachelors in science from Clarion University Joseph worked for his doctorate in chiropractics prior to receiving a position at Eckert Chiropractics.

He grew up in Oil City and is happy to be working in the area after graduation. A major goal for his work is to be able to help as many people as possible through chiropractics. Working in Venango County gives him the opportunity to meet many good people and work toward helping them feel their best. Eckert Chiropractic is one way he serves the community and helps others.

When he is not working, Joseph enjoys playing inline and ice hockey. He playing the guitar and records music as well. He also likes trying new foods and exploring the area by hiking the many wooded trails Venango County has to offer.

The beautiful hiking trails are one reason he likes living in the area. The local concerts are yet another reason he likes living in the area. Joseph also frequents unique shops and restaurants, like Taco Shack and Core Goods, which are other aspects of the Venango County life he enjoys. Joseph finds Venango County to be more than just where he lives but also where he works and plays. Join us in welcoming one of our newest FLEX members!

Mikayla Markle is a Chiropractic Assistant and Yoga Instructor at Eckert Chiropractic. She grew up outside of Emlenton on a farm and in 2018 moved to Franklin with her husband. After high school, Mikayla’s goal was to find something she is passionate about and turn it into a career. She began working as a chiropractic assistant and found this to be a career she fits into well. Chiropractics and Yoga have quickly become career she is passionate about. With a background in gymnastics, cheerleading, and pilates, teaching yoga is less work and more enjoyment.

Working with Dr. Kate Eckert enabled Mikayla to work towards a certification to teach yoga, which is one of the next steps in her professional career. She loves working and living in the area because of the proximity to her work, shopping areas, and home.

The forestry and local produce in Venango County are other reason she loves living and working in here. She says, “I also really love how much agriculture is still in the area. Being able to drive home from work and pick up fresh, local produce from a farm stand is really wonderful.”

During her free time Mikayla loves spending time outside. She likes to combine her passion for yoga and pilates with nature by doing them outside. She also frequents the many bike trails in the area and enjoys shopping local and cooking with local products. Mikayla spends time watching concerts in Bandstand Park in Franklin and visiting Whitehall Camp and Conference Center in Emlenton. Thanks for sharing your passion through your work and in our community, Mikayla!

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

Meet Our Board – Hope Lineman


Hope Lineman has served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors since January of 2017. She works for Clarion University, Venango. She worked in healthcare for 13 years before transitioning to education 16 years ago.

“Working in education is a way to be involved in a positive experience in someone’s life, regardless of what role you play,” Hope said.

Much of Hope’s focus at Clarion University, Venango is in enrollment management and continuing education. She works with the University’s leadership to promote enrollment. The college uses different recruitment events to reach adult learners, including recruitment at hospitals and technology centers and working with PA CareerLinks. These are just some of the ways they connect with potential students, which has been a very rewarding process for Hope.

“I love being able to play an integral part in helping people find careers that will help them earn sustainable wages for their families,” she said.

Hope enjoys the positive energy and passion that she finds working in Venango County.

“Whether it’s through workforce development, economic growth, or improvements to the downtown area, I see people working together to make our region stronger,”

Hope said.

Hope sees her role as a board member as an opportunity to truly make a difference in the community and the region.

“By serving on the board, I feel that I, myself, as well as the whole team, will impact future generations’ lives,” said Hope. “The initiatives we take on are part of making a difference.”

As for the future of the Venango region, Hope anticipates several positive ripple effects from the petrochemical plant that is being constructed in Beaver County. This could drive economic development, growth in industry, an increase in jobs, and more.

“The Chamber is the catalyst for bringing together the various players for moving our county and region forward in our region,” said Hope.




Meet Our Board – Deb Lutz

Deb Lutz1Deb Lutz has served as a Chamber board member since January of 2013. She worked in economic development for 13 years. She recently changed positions, and she now works for the Steel Valley Authority in the Strategic Early Warning Network or SEWN program. SEWN assists manufacturing entities by offering layoff aversion or business retention services that are geared to stabilize, restructure, turn around, or attract buyers for at-risk small and medium-sized companies.

As someone who truly enjoys working in our region, Deb appreciates the people, the culture, and the perseverance of the residents in the area. “The combination really does make the Venango Region a special place to live and work,” she said.

In her spare time, Deb loves to experience all the recreational opportunities that this region has to offer. “There is truly something to do in any of the four seasons,” she said.

Deb’s goals as a member of our board include continuing to work with the other board members to promote the vision and mission of the Chamber, continuing to be responsive and proactive to the needs of our businesses, and having the Chamber continue to be the conduit on a variety of levels to the residents and communities that we serve.

“Every citizen, business, organization, and political entity plays a role in the world of Chambers of Commerce,” said Deb. “Every connection with an existing investor or visitor creates an impression about Venango County. That impression can be positive or negative, but all impressions ultimately build Venango County’s brand in the larger world.”

“The Chamber is a network of individuals, organizations, programs, and services dedicated to working with new and existing businesses that work cooperatively to drive vitality and prosperity,” said Deb. “I see a great deal to be optimistic about for the future of the Venango Region.”

Deb feels that maintaining a positive outlook and working together as a community towards a common goal is the key to ensuring a bright future for the Venango Region.

“There are exciting things that are happening in and around Venango County that will take a few years to develop, but, when they do I believe there will be opportunities that we, as a region, have not seen for a while,” she said. “But we need to stay connected and work collaboratively to take full advantage.”






Meet Our Board: Frank Hajduk


Frank Hajduk served as the Board’s secretary for his first two years as a member. He is now in his third year as a member and is serving as Vice Chairman of the Board.

Frank grew up in Oil City and attended college in Ohio to become a mechanical engineer. Before graduating, Frank had the honor of being the JOY’s first-ever co-op student, an opportunity which allowed him to gain valuable work experience. Frank then went on to have a successful career in engineering management, which led him all over the country to places including North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey.

While working in New Jersey, Frank became the chief operating officer of an engineering company. He was able to retire at 54, and he has since returned to his hometown and devoted his time to contributing to the community in what he calls his “give-back phase.”

Frank’s efforts throughout his “working retirement” in our region have been focused on economic development. He has worked as a board member of the Oil Region Alliance to promote the success of small businesses in the area. He has also worked to develop bike trails and other recreational resources in the area. Frank has also been heavily involved with SCORE for the past 5.5 years. During that time, his branch has helped 113 small businesses to grow and develop.

Frank’s main goal as a board member has been to develop and execute a long-term strategic plan that reflects the goals and values of the Chamber.

“I wanted to create an implementation strategy so that the Chamber would have an actionable plan of activities that would lead to completing goals,” said Frank.

Frank’s vision for our area is to see small businesses thrive. He envisions a thriving region in which people do not need to go elsewhere to further their careers. He hopes to see a well-developed economy that allows businesses including restaurants, technological development, and more to succeed.

“We need to use the recreational resources we have in this area, like our waterways and bike trails, which are some of the best in the country, to build a community that attracts the next generation of economic development,” Frank said.