All posts tagged venango area chamber of commerce

Meet Our Board – Ryan Bell

Ryan Bell, plant Manager at Webco Industries in Oil City, joined the Venango Chamber Board of Directors just this year.

Originally from the region, Ryan resides in Rockland Township and is married with four children and one grandchild. He has been a member of the Rockland Volunteer Fire Department for 15 years and a coach for youth football at Cranberry Elementary. He also enjoys fishing and shooting sports in his free time.

“I appreciate the opportunity to move back here with my wife to make a life for our family and raise our children in the community that I have always called home,” he said. “We are an outdoors family, so the opportunities Venango County offers make it a perfect fit for us.”

Ryan’s career has always been in the pipe and tube industry, in which he worked for Sawhill Tubular and Wheatland Tube prior to joining Webco in 2004. He became involved in the Chamber’s Advocacy Committee last year and is the committee chair for 2019.

“The Chamber Board is a very diverse group and I see my role as bringing a voice and perspective from manufacturing and industry,” he said. “I hope to see the Chamber continue to build upon its current role as a business connector in our community as well as continuing to represent the voice of our area businesses through advocacy.”

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

Leadership Venango Holds Sixth Session: Importance of an Educated Workforce

On Wednesday, February 13, the Venango Leadership Class met at Clarion University – Venango for the monthly class which focused on preparing a ready workforce, career and education alliances, 40 developmental assets and generational differences. The information presented was a mix of new ideas in addition themes formerly introduced during prior meetings.

Tammy Dulaney, Coordinator for Continuing Education at Clarion University, started the day with a deeper insight into the state higher education system (PASSHE) and their relationship with employers, students and career training opportunities. Notable points included the availability of state funds that will reimburse employers for their investment in training costs for their employees in addition to a list of state-approved apprenticeships that students can also utilize as credits toward a degree. Tammy is available to local businesses and students to help connect them to these resources!

Next up, Eileen Mullen, Program Coordinator for Crawford County K-12 Career Education Alliance, wowed the class with evidence of the growing partnerships between Crawford area businesses and School Districts to provide educational opportunities, career readiness experiences and much more for local students throughout each year. How can all this be accomplished with limited funds and staffing? Simply put, passion and effective communication techniques to garner support. This left the class clamoring for more and a keen interest on seeing something like this develop within Venango County.

Over lunch, Matt LaVerde, Asst. Exec. Director of IU5, focused his discussion on the importance of the 40 developmental assets that play a pivotal role in determining the overall success and general wellness of youth as they age into adulthood. There are many external factors to be mindful of as we all play a vital role in shaping the success (or not) of developing our youth. Judy Etzel, staff writer at The Derrick, and Heather Motter, Cranberry High School English Teacher, followed that conversation up by sharing their experience working together under the state-initiated Teacher in the Workforce program. This discussion reminded attendees of the importance of empathy, curiosity and shared knowledge that impact all of our lives.

Finally, Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for NWIRC NW Region, made a return visit to the class with a presentation on generational differences. This conversation focused on the preferred learning habits, general societal views and unique experiences within each generation. All of factors shape a person’s personality, attitude, work mindset and much more which needs to be considered when making decisions in the workplace.        

Leadership Venango will meet again on March 13th at Komatsu in Franklin. For more information visit

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

King’s Landscaping and PNA “Pay it Forward”

POthOleKing’s Landscaping surprised Venango Catholic High School in Oil City with an early Christmas gift last month by filling in some pot holes in their driveway. In a combined effort with  PNA Lodge #905, they were able to patch up Phillips Drive just in time for a home basketball game that evening.


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

Your Chamber–A Year in Review

As we wrap up 2018, we are overwhelmed by the accomplishments of this year.  It is not by chance that your Board of Directors, with your financial and volunteer assistance, executed the Chamber’s strategic plan, ensuring that resources are spent with our mission always driving our activities.

Create stronger business to business connections within the Venango Region

CoverEach month, as we approached the monthly publication of VenangoWorks!, our staff looked for stories of our members.  We are hopeful that you see your newsletter as your source for business content in our region.  We reached out to you but continue to encourage you to contact us with your news that needs to be shared.  We’ve explored advocacy issues, introduced leaders from across the region, and invited our partner organizations to contribute to each of the 12 issues published.

Chamber members hosted 12 Business After Hours, 17 teams played in the Chamber Golf Scramble in June, and 100 members relaxed along the Allegheny River at the fall Chamber Steak Fry. Both Oil Heritage Festival and Cranberry Festival were well supported and attended, bringing community members several days of music and fun for all ages. The Annual Awards Banquet in February and FLEX Presents in April continued our proud tradition of recognizing excellence in the region.

Develop the next generation of business leaders for the Venango Region

The focus of the Education Committee this year has been learning, as we seek to strengthen our relationship with local schools. Our goal is to understand how we can assist businesses and educators in supporting one another. The Chamber is often called upon to assist in recruiting businesses for mock interviews, career fairs, and job shadowing.  Making these the best possible experiences for all involved is the mission of this committee.

FLEX, the Chamber’s young professionals group, had a year packed with activities that included leadership development, volunteering, and networking.  With a growing membership (now more than 85), activities were diverse in scope and time, to meet the needs of a variety of schedules. The monthly publication FYI provides an overview of what they’ve been up to and what’s planned.

Among the most significant accomplishments this year is the launching of Leadership Venango. Thirteen business leaders enrolled in the nine-month program to enrich their knowledge and skills as leaders in their workplace, community, and families.  As the class moves across the county, they are hearing from leadership instructors and community leaders, and learning from one another.  They are also working in teams to address community issues around education and workforce, with presentations to be given prior to graduation in June.

Be the business information connector for the Venango Region

Early in 2018, we published a newly updated printed map of Venango County and distributed them throughout the region.  Despite the popularity of online map programs and apps, visitors and residents continue to request printed maps and members appreciate the chance to support them with advertising.

As the year winds down, Chamber staff look forward to completing a newly updated website, anticipating an early 2019 launch.  The website is designed to best promote and support our members, a tool for sharing directly but also redirecting visitors to what they need when best found with a partner organization.

Chambers of commerce have always been recognized as the voice of business and in 2018 that voice was raised, as we reached out to all businesses who are served by the highway between Barkeyville and Franklin and carried their message to PennDOT.  Local officials applauded the work of the Chamber and the confirmation of our businesses that we are in a growth pattern and rely on this stretch of highway to continue the positive trajectory.

The Advocacy Committee continues to explore issues that impact our future, looking for every avenue to remove barriers and ensure opportunities are realized.

All of these things occurred amidst a significant staff change, as we said farewell to Dottie Tawney and welcomed Tessa Byham, our new executive assistant.  Both ladies, committed to serving our members, contributed to making the transition seamless.

Investment in your Chamber continued, through the significant support of Visionary Members: Webco Industries, Pepro LLC, Roser Technologies, Inc., and Klapec Trucking Co., to support improved infrastructure of an online database, all projects and programs mentioned above, and the assurance of sustainability in the future.

With the addition of new tiered benefits available, we invite you to meet with us to learn how your chamber investment supports those areas most valuable to you. You are also invited to learn more about how you and your staff can become involved in Chamber committees or leadership.

ktc       Pepro transparent     RTI transparent    Webco Industries

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s December 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.