All posts tagged venango chamber

Gaining Advice & Strategies at Monthly Tech Talks


With so much required of a business owner, it can be easy to put marketing at the bottom of the list. Between paying bills, training employees, working with vendors, and the everyday operations of a business, who has time to update a website and post on social media?

Marketing, however, plays a huge role in attracting customers and building relationships. Without marketing, how are people going to get to know you and learn about what you have to offer?

In February, we began a series of “Tech Talks,” to bring members together to discuss strategies for marketing their businesses and organizations. The idea was brought to us by Jessica and Saxon with Child Development Centers Inc.

“As we were working on growing our organization’s marketing, we needed a way to brainstorm with other advanced users and to get new ideas,” said Saxon.

“Each month, we leave with new strategies and a better understanding of marketing, and we are also able to learn more about other businesses and organizations in our region,” said Jessica.

Natalie Cubbon with the Oil Region Library Association (ORLA) has been a regular at the monthly Tech Talks and has been applying what she’s learned to her organization.

“Tech Talks at the Chamber allow me to grow as a digital content creator & social media marketer,” Natalie said. “Being able to learn from other businesses and organizations is so valuable and has been a great opportunity to form connections within our community.

Tech Talk topics have ranged from photography and videography, to online crisis management and analytics and measurement.

Our next Tech Talk will be Friday, December 20, and the topic will be “Instagram and Facebook Stories.” The Tech Talks are held on the third Friday of each month from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Chamber Office (24 Seneca Street, Oil City).

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

Chamber Welcomes Matt Deal to Board of Directors


Matt Deal, funeral director and owner of Morrison Funeral Home in Oil City, was appointed to the Venango Chamber’s Board of Directors at the October monthly meeting.  Matt will begin his first three-year term in January 2020. Matt will be featured in an upcoming “Meet the Board” article.

We would also like to recognize Carol Williams and Alan McBride, who are finishing up their board terms this month. Thank you, Carol and Alan, for your years of service and dedication.

Find a list of all our board members here.

Leadership Venango Holds Second Session: Maximizing Clean Communications


The 2020 Class of Leadership Venango met on November 13 at PennDOT’s District 1 Office in Oil City to discuss “Maximizing Clean Communications.”

The day began with a welcome from Jim Foringer, District Executive of PennDOT District 1. Jim provided an overview of PennDOT District 1 territory and responsibilities, helping the class better understand the scope of work that comes out of our region.

The rest of the morning was spent with Jill Harry, PennDOT District 1 Press Officer and Ashley (Cowles) Sheffer, program manager of Be Here. Jill shared her experience working in Media Relations. She reviewed how to appropriately and effectively connect with different types of media to provide them the information they are seeking, while best representing your business or organization. Ashley provided insights on how to use social media to connect with customers. She reviewed the features of the social media platforms to market your business. Jill and Ashley engaged the class in several interactive exercises.

Over lunch, Lucas Salusky with Identity Studio & Design took a class photo on the steps of the Venango Museum and took each class member’s professional headshot.

Betsy Kellner, Executive Director of the Venango Museum, gave an overview of the museum and demonstrated their Theatre Organ. Several class members were visiting the museum for the first time. Cindy Urban, President of Klapec Trucking Co (KTC), and Greg Lander, Vice President of KTC, joined the class for lunch. Greg is also a 2019 Leadership Venango graduate.

To begin the afternoon, Brian McNulty, Assistant District Executive at PennDOT District 1 and 2019 Leadership Venango Graduate, gave a presentation about Project Management. He provided an overview of PennDOT projects and explained the process they use, beginning with the goals in mind.  Brian then worked with the class to explore how this process could work for them with the Leadership Venango team projects.

The remainder of the day was spent with Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for Northwest IRC, on Effective Communication. The class learned about communication channels and barriers and discussed verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills. Susan also talked about communication across different generations and cultures.

While class feedback showed that every part of the day was appreciated by participants, many cited the value of being reminded to actively listen and suggested they would be more mindful of this, in returning to work and home.

Find bios for the 2020 class of Leadership Venango here.

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

Students Benefit from Career Activities


Written by Caleb Stanish, Owner of Stanish Media and Student at RGHS

Mock interviews are a great tool to develop essential soft skills. Allowing young professionals to jump into something they are uncomfortable with is the best avenue to help them grow.

While mock interviews help young professionals grow, they have helped me in a whole new way. Mock interviews have shined light on the power of networking. Earlier this year I participated in an event called “Search and Work Day” at Rocky Grove Jr/Sr High School.

This is where I met Susan Williams from the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as a few other business professionals. Through the Chamber, I’ve gotten the chance to meet and learn from dozens of local professionals who I’ve learned a great deal from.

Connecting with these local professionals has excelled my success significantly. Because of the connections the Chamber has provided, I’ve been able to connect, pursue, and succeed in business.

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

Meet Our Board – Jake Hickman


Jake Hickman is serving in his fourth year as a Venango Chamber Board Member.  Jake is a Production Manager for Emlenton-based Hickman Lumber, founded by his great-grandfather, where he has worked for 11 years.

Jake and his wife Kendall are the parents of two sons, Eli (3) and Henry (18 months). Kendall is a Title 1 Reading Specialist with the Keystone School District.

Jake enjoys the quiet lifestyle that living in Venango County affords but appreciates the proximity to the things to do in Pittsburgh and even Baltimore—a short day’s trip. Living in Emlenton means a short commute to work and the luxury of being very close to family.

Jake has been active as a member of the Golf Committee during his tenure and especially enjoys attending events where he can bring the family along.

Reflecting on his time on the Board of the Chamber, Jake says: “It has been great to gain a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes.  I have watched the continued diversity of the board and membership, as well as the development of the current staff.  I am encouraged that we have the right people working to advance the work of the Chamber.”

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