All posts tagged venango county

Chamber Accepting Citizen of the Year Nominations


The Chamber is now accepting nominations for our Citizen of the Year award. We are looking for Venango County citizens who demonstrate a well-rounded and deep rooted commitment to family and community.

Nominees must be community volunteers with records of extensive and diverse participation in community service and civic involvement, aside from accomplishments directly related to the candidate’s employment.


How to Become More Attached to Your City

The following is an excerpt of an article by Steve MacDouell found on To read the complete article, visit

It’s easy to live in our cities and feel little connection to them. While it takes time and intentionality to pivot toward the places that we live in, we can trust that, when we do, a meaningful connection will be cultivated — the kind of connection that compels us toward our neighbors, that exposes us to the good things that are going on all around us, and that moves us to think creatively about how we might leverage our passions, skills, and resources for the common good of our cities.

Here are a few ways to experience a deeper connection to your city.

1. Experience it holistically: The more present we are in our cities — experiencing them with all of our senses — the less likely we are to dream of being somewhere else. Action Item: Wander your city and be intentional about utilizing all of your senses (touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste).

2. Walk instead of drive: If your city is anything like mine, it’s fixated on car-based transit. While opinions on car usage vary, there is one thing that is abundantly clear: driving in a car changes the way that we engage our surroundings. Action Item: Invest in a good pair of sneakers and hit the sidewalks.

3. Become a regular in a third place: In his important work, The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg defines “third places” as public places — outside of our workplaces and homes — where people can gather to enjoy conversation and the company of others. Practically speaking, third places are important because they provide a context where people can encounter their neighbors. Action Item: Pick a third place; commit to spending time in it on a weekly basis; and seek connection in and through it.

Visit the full article for two more tips on how to become more attached to your community, and let us know if you try out any of the action items.

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

Tech Tip: Content Creation

What type of content are you sharing on behalf of your business? Is it intentional?

At our Tech Talk in September, we discussed tips for creating and sharing online content, including social media posts, email newsletters, blog posts, photos, video, and more.

One of the most important things to remember is to have a variety of content and mix it up often, such as informational articles, business updates and promotions, fun and interactive posts, and staff or customer spotlights.

Don’t forget to use your content on multiple platforms to reach more people. A newsletter article can be turned into a blog post, shared on social media, and linked in an email.

Consistency is also essential. After you create your content, try to upload it at the same time each week or month. For example, if you share a #TuesdayTip on social media for a few weeks, customers will begin to watch for it, and will be disappointed if you don’t post. Or if you share your monthly newsletter the first week of each month, try your best to continue doing so.

When it comes to creating content, knowing your audience is key. Your message will get out if you know who are writing for, what type of content they enjoy, and how you can reach them. Most people enjoy stories, especially if it includes them or people like the, so once you find your audience, try to include them in your content.

Overall, content creation is an experiment. You must do your research and through trial and error, you can find what type of content works best for your business.

We will not have a Tech Talk in October, so our next one will be Friday, November 15, 8 a.m., at the Venango Chamber. Anyone is welcome to attend!

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

Leadership Venango Holds First Session: Business & Economic Development

Written by Saxon Daugherty

The 2020 class of Leadership Venango reconnected for their first session of the program at Komatsu’s engineering office in Franklin to learn and discuss business and economic development in the region.

Komatsu’s Alan McBride opened the day with a presentation on the organization’s approach to leadership training, breaking down those who lead a function, those who lead leaders, those who lead others and personal leadership.

McBride also introduced how to create an accountability culture and incorporating progress tools, such as the Individual Development Plan (IDP) that can help employees improve their performance and meet both long- and short-term goals.

The class then heard from Frank Hajduk, the Branch Manager of SCORE’s Venango office, regarding economic development and strategic planning.

Hajduk provided an overview of America’s mixed economy, referencing the influences from capitalist and socialist dynamics.

The local economy revolves around having critical job centers with having useful resources readily availability.

Hajduk used the analogy of the cycle of water to describe how the flow of money and products impacts the local economy. This also stressed the importance of spending money locally and the Be Here initiative.

Wrapping up the morning was a panel of 2019 Leadership Venango graduates, including Randy Arnold, Lauren Lupinacci and Ashley Smith. The trio answered questions from the Class of 2020 and provided insight on their experience in the program.

Emily Lewis, the Executive Director of the Venango County Economic Authority, opened the second half of the day with a discussion on some of the most pressing economic development projects in the county.

At the top of the list is the transformation of the Oil City National Bank building into a multi-purpose facility including a brew pub and banquet space. 

Lewis also highlighted the eAcademy at Venango, which launched earlier this year. The program is an extension of the highly-successful eAcademy program at Linden Pointe that fosters and encourages an entrepreneurial mindset.

The Venango County version specifically targets high school seniors.

The remainder of the day for the leadership class was spent touring several businesses in the area including Komatsu’s chain plant, Webco’s Reno facility, and Klapec Trucking.

Each organization provided an overview of what they do and gave the group a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate.

The next session will take place on Wednesday, November 13 at PennDOT’s District 1 office in Oil City with a focus on maximizing clean communications.

To learn more about Leadership Venango, visit

Local Students Participate in Youth Retreat

On Tuesday, September 24, nearly 100 youth from our region’s school districts met for a day of team building and fun at the 16th annual Venango County Youth Retreat. Groups of 8-15 students arrived by bus for a full day of activities at Camp Coffman.

The event encourages youth to work together and develop leadership skills.  Students are identified by their schools and represent a diverse cross section of groups, clubs, and students who participate in outside programs.

Adult teachers and chaperones assist with activities, which encourage trust building. Matt Haines of Children, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS), shared that one activity included students locking hands and passing a teacher down a long line, working together to provide consistent support.

At the end of the day, teams are scored and awards are distributed. This year first place went to the Valley Grove Student Government team.

Matt adds that the day proved to be rewarding for the students and confirms that our region’s youth are deserving of recognition for their cooperative nature and continued willingness to accomplish more challenging goals.

Keystone SMILES provides coordination of the Youth Retreat and facilitates grant funding provided by PNC Charitable Funds. If interested in learning more about the Youth Retreat, supporting the event with funding, or volunteering, contact Pam Johnson at or (814) 221-7023.

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