All posts tagged venango county

Reflections from the Commissioner’s Seat

Vince Witherup had never served in an elected position when he made the decision to submit a letter of interest for an open seat for Venango County Commissioner nine years ago.  After working at Conair for 42 years and then consulting, he had accumulated an abundance of business knowledge and was willing to put that to use in the community.

Beyond that one-year appointment, he successfully won the seat for two four-year terms.  Susan Williams sat down with him this past week to talk about what he had learned in his years of service.

Susan: What surprised you the most about County government and do you wish others knew about the role of County Commissioners?

Vince:  There is a tremendous difference between how business and government work.  In business, you can identify a problem and often execute a solution quickly. Getting things done in government is a process and is much slower.  Many of the issues the community is dealing with are beyond the control of County government, fiscally and authoritatively.

Susan: What was the biggest challenge the County faced in recent years?

Vince: The economic impact of larger companies leaving our area in the last couple of decades has created real challenges for our communities.  The lack of population and tax base have resulted in financial loss. 

Susan: What accomplishments of the commissioner’s office are you most proud of?

Vince: I have worked with great teams here and together we have been successful at placing the County in a fiscally healthy position, with a fully funded pension program and no long-term debt.

Susan: As we seek to attract and develop new leaders, what qualities do you think are most important?

Vince:  Great leaders should be able to work with teams, must be approachable, and should have common sense.

Susan: What are you looking forward to the most, as you leave your position as County Commissioner?

Vince: I am always looking forward to my next adventure, whatever it may be.

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

Visioning for Ourselves & Our Community

Where do you hope to be in 10 years? What growth do you wish to see in your business in 5 years? What is your goal of a certain project you are working on for the next month?

You may have an idea in your head of what you want the future to look like, whether it’s for your personal life, career, or a smaller project or situation, and writing a vision can help make that happen.

On November 6, about 50 people came together at Wanango Country Club for a Zingtrain Workshop hosted by our Be Here initiative. Based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Zingtrain is part of a community of businesses that started as the Zingerman’s Delicatessen and has grown to add a coffee shop, bakery, candy shop, restaurant, and much more.

After spending years visioning for themselves and practicing great customer service, Zingerman’s added Zingtrain to their group of businesses with the goal to not only provide training to their own employees, but also to share what they’ve learned with outside organizations and individuals.

We brought Zingtrain to Venango County for a full day—half about “Creating a Vision of Greatness” and the other half on “The Art of Giving Great Service.”

You can learn more about our ZingTrain Workshop at, and be sure to check out the “ZingTrain Tip of the Month,” a new feature in our 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletters.

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

CASA Hits Milestone – 100 Volunteers

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), was launched in 2005 to provide support for a child going through the court system because of a parent’s or guardian’s abuse or neglect. Despite the doubts of many local officials, the program continues to respond to a child’s legal and social needs, with the support of volunteers. In November, CASA hit a milestone, celebrating more than 100 volunteer child advocates.

Attorney William Cisek, who serves as CYS solicitor and CASA instructor remarks: “Cinnamon Evans, CASA’s executive director, and Judge Lobaugh have transformed the dependency system and it is no longer so adversarial. That has been instrumental in having this be so successful. God has really blessed us with this program.”

Learn more about CASA by visiting

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

Planning Underway for Oil City Career Fair – March 2020

It’s once again time to start planning for the OCHS College and Career Fair. Please complete the form at the link below if you are able to attend this year’s event on Wednesday, March 11. Set-up begins at 7:15 a.m. and students start arriving at 7:50 a.m. The event will conclude at 11:15 a.m.

There will be students available to assist with set-up/tear-down, etc. There will also be beverages and refreshments provided for all vendors. Please, feel free to forward this form to any other parties you feel may be interested in attending the 2020 OCHS College & Career Fair.