All posts tagged venango chamber

“Proud Member” Decals Will Mail Soon


Over the years and throughout the world, membership in chambers of commerce has offered business owners credibility to consumers looking to purchase products and services.

The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce has provided its members with the seal of approval from the early days when hand typed, mimeographed membership directories were distributed within the community to the modern day form of promotion through the chamber website and online membership directory. One way to let customers know you’re a member of the Venango Area Chamber is by displaying a window cling.

You’ve seen them all over the region—The Venango Chamber proud member window cling, adorning the entry doors on over 400 businesses and organizations in our community.

By displaying this cling, you tell customers that you played an integral role in the success of the Venango area through your membership in the Chamber. 2020 “Proud Member” decals will be distributed soon.

Chamber Thanks Greg Merkel for Board Service


The Venango Chamber would like to thank Greg Merkel for recently completing his second three-year term on the Chamber’s board of directors. Greg is a Venango County transplant and attorney at Dale Woodard Gent McFate Law Firm in Franklin,  and he served as the Chairman of the Board from 2017-2018.

During his time as chair, the Chamber went through staff changes, an office move, and launched a Leadership program, in addition to the regular calendar of events and programs. Greg was also instrumental in developing and implementing the Chamber’s current strategic plan. 

Thank you, Greg, for your service to the Chamber and your community!

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Join the Venango Chamber for an Adventure to China!


October 19 – 27, 2020

Trip departs at Washington Dulles for only $2,299 with registration by 1/31/2020

Travel with the Venango Chamber on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the mysteries of China. The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Citslinc International Inc. to provide a nine-day, all-inclusive and fully escorted tour of Beijing, Suzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.

This trip is open to anyone from the Chamber or community.

For more information, contact Susan Williams at 814-676-8521 or swilliams@venangochamber.org.

Chamber Interns Reflect on Experiences


Heather Hondel and Jessica Wilson, our interns at the Venango Chamber, were recently back for winter break! Heather has worked for us for two summers and Jessica joined our team last summer.

They are excited to reflect on how their experiences at the Chamber affected their studies and what they have learned over the last semester that now applies to their work at the Chamber. 

Heather Hondel

Working at the Chamber has greatly influenced my college experience. I have utilized marketing skills I gained at the Chamber in my classes, such as when I served as the Chief Marketing Officer in my e-Commerce class and as the Publicity Officer for Grove City College’s Swing Dance Club.

Working with Chamber Staff has given me the ability to work as a team on projects in my classes, as many of my entrepreneurial classes involve heavy amounts of teamwork and planning.

This semester, I took a class entitled Managing a Growing Enterprise. I was placed in a team that fulfilled various roles in a company that we managed for six simulated quarters. It showed me how to be quick on my feet and change strategy in an instant when outcomes were different than initially anticipated. This has helped me generate problem solving skills that I can take into the workplace.

This class also opened my eyes to how connected all the roles in a company are and how to work together to accomplish goals. I now realize the importance of understanding the big picture with the overarching vision of a company, while working to generate a thorough understanding in my own role and how that contributes to the vision.

Throughout the course, my management team presented weekly executive briefings containing strategy updates. This class will be incredibly influential on how I work as an intern at the Chamber and in life in general.

Heather is a junior at Grove City College studying Entrepreneurship.

Jessica Wilson

After a few weeks working at the Chamber this summer, I knew this experience was going to change the way I work and what I want my life to look like. During my time at the Chamber, my view of small and local businesses drastically shifted.

Previously, I did not think about local business or how and why they are important, but after my experiences, I realize what a vital part these businesses are for a community. This has greatly impacted my life at school; I now see the local community as a place I want to be.

I am also more intentional about supporting and work in the community. This appreciation for local business has informed several projects and the courses I am taking at school. 

One of the classes I took last semester focused on the task patterns and best practices in designs, and it enabled me to think more critically about how and why things are set up the way they are. It also empowered me to think objectively rather than subjectively about important business decisions.

As I come back to work at the Chamber over break, thinking about best practices and objective critique are at the forefront of my mind. I see these ideals shaping the way I work on personal and group projects. Understanding the why behind design and content choices is an integral part of good work and I am so pleased to be able to practice what I have learned in class at the Chamber.

Jessica is studying Communication with concentrations in PR and Integrated Media at Geneva College and plans to graduate in the spring.  

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

2019: A Year in Review


Written by Susan Williams, Chamber President/CEO

In 2017, the Chamber’s Board of Directors crafted five year strategic plan, with three overarching objectives:

  • Create stronger business to business connections within the Venango Region
  • Develop the next generation of business leaders for the Venango Region
  • Be the business information connector for the Venango Region

Each year, we review these objectives, along with our commitment to ensure the sustainability of the Venango Chamber, considering what has been accomplished to date and where our resources will be best focused in the future.

Your stories and news continued to be the focus of the VenangoWorks! newsletter, with recurring features on education, leadership and advocacy. With the assistance of the Chamber’s summer interns, social media posts were more engaging with members and the community.

Monthly Tech Talks held at the Chamber were in response to members’ requests to convene technology natives, to discuss best practices and share favorite tools and tactics. Chamber staff welcomed regulars and new attendees on the third Friday of each month at 8 a.m.  Take-a-ways were shared in the following newsletter.

While mixers and the Chamber’s Golf Outing were modestly attended, a perfect August day drew 100 members and guests to the Annual Steak Fry at the Oil City Boat Club. Oil Heritage and Cranberry Festivals were blessed with perfect weather and great member and volunteer support, continuing a tradition of community pride.

The Annual Awards Banquet and FLEX Presents celebrations set the stage for recognizing business, non-profit, and individual accomplishments. 

The Chamber’s Education Committee added several teachers and administrators this year, to better identify the challenges and opportunities to connect local business to our schools.  By gaining a better understanding of school mandates and goals around career exploration and planning. We can now be better partners in responding to those activities that prepare a workforce for local employment.

FLEX members (now over 120) met several times each month, for social and volunteer activities, and held four professional speaker events this year.

The Be Here Initiative, with Program Manager Ashley Sheffer, was more visible than ever in 2019.  Community members met for Community Conversations, more than 50 attendees learned about visioning and giving great customer service at a ZingTrain workshop, and billboards displayed across the County demonstrated why now is the best time to Be Here. Ashley met with students and teachers at local schools, helping them better understand the attributes of our area.  Students from Rocky Grove volunteered as ambassadors, delivering maps and brochures to local businesses and visitor stops.

The Advocacy Committee hosted candidate forums in the Spring and Fall, with those running for Venango County Commissioner.

Leadership Venango graduated its first class of 13 in May and the new class of 12 began their year with a one-and-a-half-day retreat, before beginning monthly leadership classes.  The inaugural class completed projects that not only helped them gain a better understanding of the relationship between education and workforce, but created tools to advance these relationships.

Chamber President Susan Williams, Executive Assistant Tessa Byham, and Program Manager Ashley Sheffer attended the annual Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals (PACP) conference in October, where they continue to learn how your chamber can be most impactful in our mission to build, serve and promote regional business.

As change comes faster, your staff seeks to be on the cutting edge of nurturing a thriving business environment in Venango County.

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