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Congratulations to Annual Meeting Award Winners   
Hotel Roundtable to hear PUC Director address cab issue 
Board approves Organizational Chart, committee chairs 
First Chamber meeting on electricity savings is Wednesday
Legislative Action Committee to review survey results
Lunch 'n' Learn on Financial Empowerment set for Thursday 
Only ticket sponsorships remain for Home & Garden Show  
More information now available on Chamber trip to Ireland  
Safety Committee offering program on workplace violence  
J.R. DiAndrea to present February Lunch 'n' Learn
Save the date: WE-LEaD Spring Workshop  

Congratulations to Annual Meeting Award Winners  
Last Friday’s Annual Meeting & Awards Presentation gave The Chamber the opportunity to look back on an eventful and challenging 2009 and also to present some well-deserved awards to individuals who did great things during the year. The awards, the sponsors of those awards and the honorees are as follows: Athena Award, First Commonwealth Bank, Jackie Bernard; George Award, Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries, Rita Sangiorgi; Servant Leader Award, Reliance Bank, Lee Ann DeReus; GRYP Impact Award, ABCD Corporation, Robert Donlon; Joseph P. Rosenhamer Chamber Spirit Award, Lytle Transfer & Storage, Randy Smithmyer; and Small Business Person of the Year, Altoona First Savings, Robert Zeigler.

Hotel Roundtable to hear PUC Director address cab issue 

Do Blair County’s travel and tourism efforts suffer for lack of adequate transportation options? Are the local taxi cab companies willing and able to work with the local lodging properties to bring guests from the airports or the local train stations? What alternatives are there to the current system? Those are the questions that will be discussed Tuesday when The Chamber’s Hotel/Motel/Lodging Property Roundtable meets at 8:15 a.m. at the Devorris Center with David Johnston of the Public Utilities Commission. “There’s a high degree of frustration on the part of the hotels and lodging properties with how people can get to their properties,” explained Chamber President Joe Hurd. “We’re anxious to hear suggestions from the PUC on possible solutions.” For more information on the Roundtable, contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151.  

First Chamber Meeting on electricity savings is Wednesday

The Chamber has scheduled two meetings to help members to gain information on a program that will save them money on their electric bills. The meetings, which will be approximately an hour in length, will be held Feb. 3 at 8:30 a.m. and March 3 at 1:30 p.m. Both meetings will be in the boardroom at the Devorris Center unless advance registration indicates the need for a larger venue. “These meetings will be similar to one that we held back in the Fall,” Chamber President Joe Hurd said. “We will have a speaker from OnDemand Energy who will talk about The Chamber program and how much our members can save both before and after the rate caps on electricity come off.” Hurd indicated that several of those businesses that attended last Fall have either signed-on to the program or are preparing to. “It’s a no-brainer,” he admitted. “This program is having remarkable success all over Pennsylvania in the areas where the caps have already come off. It will have the same impact here.”  The caps on electricity in the Penelec region come off at the end of 2010. “There’s no time to wait,” Hurd cautioned. “Businesses who do nothing will see 30 to 40 percent increases and possibly higher.  The time to act is now.” To register for either of the meetings, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. 

Legislative Action Committee to review survey results  
The survey results are in and the Blair County Chamber’s Legislative Priorities for 2010 will be reviewed by the Legislative Action Committee at its Thursday meeting. “We’re anxious to look at what the priorities are and how we can begin to affect them as a committee,” admitted Committee Chair Clark Stapelfeld of New Pig Corp. The list of priorities will be published in next Monday’s Business Bulletin and in next Tuesday’s Blair Business Mirror. For more information on the Legislative Action Committee, contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151.  

Lunch 'n' Learn on Financial Empowerment set for Thursday    
Don’t be intimidated by the topic of this WE-LEaD educational Lunch ‘n’ Learn program: “Financial Empowerment: The Female Factor.” The program on Feb. 4 aims to increase your financial IQ and help you realize that it’s not just about having money to invest, but the whole package from insurance to wills to investments. Amy Seltzer of Seltzer Financial Strategies, LLC will explain what a financial advisor is, how they can help plan for financial security, giving the basics to help you gain confidence to take a more active role in your financial picture. The program is for everyone from the prospective investor to the novice or experienced. The cost to attend Lunch 'n' Learn is $22 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. Chamber Members can pay $17 each if three or more attend from the same business. The program will be held at The Blairmont Country Club from noon to 1 p.m. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online  

Only ticket sponsorships remain for Home & Garden Show  
If you own a business and are looking for an opportunity to get your name out in the public eye, then a ticket sponsorship for the Blair County Home & Garden Show just might be an inexpensive way to accomplish that objective. The Home & Garden Show Committee is seeking two sponsors at $500 each and the promotional benefits are obvious, according to Chamber VP Stacy Hoover. “With the number of tickets that we print, sell and distribute for the show, it’s a great opportunity for a business or organization looking for some name recognition,” she noted  “And these are the only sponsorships remaining – the rest have been sold.” If you have an interest in a ticket sponsorship, contact Stacy at 943-8151.  The Home and Garden Show, which will be held March 5-7 at the Jaffa Shrine, is a production of The Chamber and the Blair-Bedford Builders Association.

More information now available on Chamber trip to Ireland    
The Chamber, in association with Classic Travel, is sponsoring a trip to Ireland in October and we’re hoping to have a large contingent of Chamber Members as part of that trip. We are looking into infusing a business component into the trip so that members may realize a tax advantage to help defray a portion of the cost. To learn more about the trip, click here

Safety Committee offering program on workplace violence
The Chamber’s Safety Committee is offering a program on Workplace Violence to be held Friday, Feb. 19 from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at the Hampton Inn Altoona. Trooper Jeffrey Petucci, Community Services Officer with the Pennsylvania State Police, will make a presentation that will define workplace violence, examine the contributing factors and explain how to handle a violent situation. The cost to attend is just $15 for Chamber Members and $20 for non-members. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., continental breakfast at 7:45 a.m. and the presentation at 8 a.m. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. 

J.R. DiAndrea to present February Lunch 'n' Learn 
The Chamber’s Feb. 18 Lunch 'n' Learn program will focus on the importance of keeping your business name and objectives in clear view of current and potential customers. The presentation is entitled “Marketing in a Tough Economy: Hide or Thrive” and the speaker will be J.R. DiAndrea, President of DiAndrea Media Inc. DiAndrea will explain how companies can re-evaluate their current marketing efforts and he’ll suggest strategies for moving ahead in the coming months. The program will begin a noon and conclude at 1:15 p.m. at Park Hills Country Club. The cost is $22-per-person and, if three or more people from the same company attend, the cost is $17. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.    

Save the Date: WE-LEaD Spring Workshop
Harry Paul, author of “FISH!” and co-author of six other books will be the speaker at WE-LEaD’s Spring Workshop, to be held April 20 at the Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center. The cost to attend the half-day event is $60 for Chamber Members and $70 for non-members. Exhibit space also is available.  To register call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. For more information, contact Judy Juda at 943-8151. WE-LEaD (Women Encouraging: Leadership, Education and Development) is a program of the Blair County Chamber.   

February 1, 2010
Upcoming Events
Register online

WE-LEaD Lunch 'n' Learn
"Financial Empowerment:
The Female Factor"
Presented by: 
Amy Seltzer of Seltzer Financial Strategies, LLC. Cost is $22 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. Chamber Member Businesses that send three or more employees get a $17 per person rate.
Register here

Breakfast Club
Thursday, Feb. 11, 7:45 to 9 a.m.
Presentation by Operation Our Town
Sponsored by:


Register online

Lunch 'n' Learn
Thursday, Feb. 18, noon to 1:15 p.m.
Marketing in a Tough Economy:
Hide or Thrive

Presented by J.R. DiAndrea of DiAndrea Media Inc.  
Register here 

GRYP Networking Event
Feb. 18, 6- 8 p.m.
Hosted by:

Register here

Follow The Chamber on Facebook


Annual Meeting Award Winners

The Annual Meeting was held Friday, Jan. 29. One of the highlights of the morning was the presentation of a variety of awards. From left: The Athena Award was awarded to Jackie Bernard, Chief Deputy District Attorney; The Joseph P. Rosenhamer Chamber Spirit Award was given to Randy Smithmyer, owner of Randall Smithmyer Lawn Care; The Servant Leadership Award was presented to Dr, Lee Ann DeReus of Penn State Altoona; The Small Business Person of the Year Award was given to Bob Ziegler of Zeilgler Chevrolet in Claysburg; The ACE Award was represented to Roger Oswald of Williamsburg; The George Award was presented to Rita Sangiorgi; and the GRYP Impact Award was given to Robert E. Donlan of The Hancock Group, Inc.

The Blair County Chamber offers solutions to help businesses meet new challenges as economic demands change. Solutions like ChamberChoice, provide quality employee benefits and services to Chamber Members. For more information, call 1-800-377-3539.


Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 2/1/10

Hotel/Motel/Lodging Property Roundtable 
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 8:15 a.m.  
Devorris Center 
Hall of Fame Committee
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 8 a.m.  
Devorris Center
ONDemand Energy 
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 8:30 a.m.  
Devorris Center 
LBC Adult Committee 
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 3 p.m.  
Devorris Center 

Legislative Action Committee
Thursday, Feb. 4, 8 a.m.  
Devorris Center


For more information, visit http://www.blairchamber.com/

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