All posts tagged venango chamber

Mixers, More Than Just Networking


Business After Hours Mixers have long been a main stay of Chambers of Commerce. These short gatherings, just at the end of the workday, include refreshments, a few door prizes and a mix of other chamber members. While those who attend may vary depending on a mixers host, the location and scheduling, there are members who frequently attend and those who never do. If you are the latter, we’d like to suggest you consider a few of the reasons you might want to give a try.

Relationships – Mixers are hosted by businesses to invite others to visit their location, sometimes to celebrate an accomplishment, or perhaps just to give exposure to products and services. Either way, attendance is a show of support that is always appreciated. When you visit a member’s event, they understand that you are busy but still willing to show them support with your attendance.

Information Gathering – We often think we know our community, but in the busyness of our own lives, we often miss the changes taking place. From new staff members to significant investments in products, services or infrastructure, information can often best be gathered through a visit, and a mixer can be a unique opportunity to get inside a business.

Preparation for Your Mixer – You may not be planning it now but hosting a mixer might be something you want to do in the future. It’s best to attend other mixers to get a sense of what you’d want to do as a host. Just like any social invitation, those who you have supported are most likely to support you.

There are several mixers still planned for 2019, each an opportunity for you to test out these suggestions. One of those mixers is hosted by FLEX and will be held in the courtyard of the Venango Chamber on August 22. FLEX members promise to help you build better relationships with local young professionals, learn about how to better engage them, and will set a great example for your next get together. We hope to see you there!

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

July 2019 Young Professional Profiles: Brian Payne & Jessica Wilson


Brian Payne is one of our newest FLEX members. He is originally from Hadley, PA, and graduated from Edinboro University with bachelor’s degrees in Forensic Accounting and Financial Planning.

Brian now works as a CPA Tax Supervisor at McGill, Power, Bell & Associates in Franklin. He has acquired his CPA and CFE designations and takes great pride and enjoyment from his work and his career achievements. Future goals of his are to become a partner at McGill, Power, Bell, as well as to learn a foreign language (probably Russian).

One of the things he loves about working in Venango County is the small town environment. The way people treat each other with a welcoming kindness is one of the biggest reasons he enjoys living here. Brian enjoys the fun Chamber events where he can go to learn and network with other professionals.

Brian is also an avid Pirates fan, who will forever hope they win a World Series. His hobbies are yet another reason he enjoys Venango County. When he is not working, he can be found fishing and spending time with his girlfriend, Stephanie.

Some other parts of the Venango culture that Brian appreciates are tasting beers at Trails to Ales, seeing local live bands at Red Bandana Winery, and spending time with family.

Jessica Wilson has lived in Oil City since she was two years old. She was home schooled for most of her elementary and high school years and graduated high school in 2017. During high school, she played varsity volleyball at Oil City High School and worked at the Oil City YMCA as a lifeguard.

Jessica pursues a communication degree with a marketing minor at Geneva College. She is a long distance runner and gets to enjoy this hobby at school by participating in the cross country and track teams.

Some of her achievements include being on the dean’s list every semester at Geneva College and helping to found a communication production club. Through this club, she has also filmed campus wide promotional videos. Last year, she spent time working at The Derrick and The News-Herald as an advertising intern, where she helped to sell and design ads for the paper and various tabloids. She also works during the semester in the Geneva College PR and Marketing Services department.

When she is not running around Oil City or on the bike trail, Jessica enjoys reading, cooking, hiking at Oil Creek State Park, movies, and spending time with family and friends. This summer she can be found working at the Venango Chamber of Commerce.

One of her future goals is to “be just like my mom.” She also hopes to work in PR and Marketing helping companies further their mission statements and do what they do best. Jessica also hopes to travel more within the country and abroad, continue running, and have many adorable cats.

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

Creating a Positive Experience For You and Your Intern


Jessica, left, and Heather, right, are the Chamber’s amazing interns!

Summer is finally here and for many of us, we are fortunate to have a college intern (or two) joining us for the next few months. It may be tempting to think of extra staff as the opportunity to boost your office with some affordable help and, let’s be honest, many interns will spend a good bit of time doing busy work, fielding phone calls, filing stacks from our desks, and running errands.

But if that’s all they’re doing, we’re wasting a wonderful chance to infuse our offices with new ideas and energy, while short changing their experience. So how can you and your intern make the most of your time together?

Start with a Plan

Before your intern’s first day, you should have a good idea of what their daily tasks will include. Discuss what goals you have for your time together and invite your intern to share what they hope to take away from this work experience.

Invite Input

We all talk about engaging young people, so once you are together, take the time to meet regularly and ask for feedback on your business.  Take advantage of what your intern is currently learning in school and find ways to incorporate this newfound knowledge in what you’re doing, even if it may be a little uncomfortable.

Be a Great Example

Make sure you are always modeling good behavior. Having the extra help in the office is not a good excuse for you to slack.  Be on time, dress as you would expect them to dress, and remember how you talk about others will reflect on the character of you and your business.

Let Them Know You Care

Ask your intern to share their career goals and be willing to share your journey.  By letting them know what has worked for you AND what hasn’t, you can help them envision the many possible paths (even bumpy) to success. Genuinely attempt to learn what’s most important to them, personally and professionally, and invest time into supporting their priorities.

Have Fun!

Most interns will have some anxiety, at least initially, as they try to fit into your office culture.  Make sure to take some time in your day, or at least week, to invite a little down time.  A quick walk for coffee or ice cream or a few minutes laughing about something funny can help lighten stress they may be experiencing, allowing them to be far more productive.  It will make your day more fun too, if you are doing it right.

Introduce Us

We’d love to meet your intern!  Please give us the chance, by stopping by our office, bringing your intern to our next Chamber event, or sending us a message so we can reach out directly. We want all those spending time in the region to have the best summer ever, with the possibility of staying in or returning to Venango County sometime after graduation.

FLEX will host an Intern Appreciation Luncheon on August 2nd at Komatsu in Franklin. Any students, interns, or young professionals are invited to attend. Find more information at venangoflex.org or on their Facebook page at facebook.com/venangoflex.

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

Tessa Celebrates One Year at the Chamber


When I accepted the position of Executive Assistant at the Chamber last July, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I was definitely nervous about the change, especially as I was just going back to work following maternity leave. But this job has been an incredible experience, has taught me so much, and has given me some amazing opportunities.

In the last year, I have met many people who are dedicated to bettering our region. I got to participate in the Chamber’s first ever Leadership program, which has been invaluable as I navigate through my new position and responsibilities. Working for the business community and seeing the great things happening right here has been fun, at times challenging, and always rewarding.

I wouldn’t be able to say this without thanking Susan and Ashley, for making me feel welcomed and immediately like I was a part of their team, for trusting me and supporting me, and creating such a positive work environment.

Thank you to everyone who has introduced themselves, helped me out at an event, provided guidance or just offered a friendly smile. I look forward to many more years at the Chamber!

Written by Tessa Byham

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

Chamber Directories Shipped in June


The 2019 Membership Directory and Referral Guides have returned from the printer and have been sent to members this month. This guide is a great resource to have on hand for your business, customer, and personal needs. With listings by category and alphabetically, you are sure to find the business or organization you are looking for. Please check your listings and let us know if anything has changed so that we can provide the most up-to-date information. Do you want to be included in next years guide? Contact our office for more information about Chamber membership.

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