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Operation Our Town Thursday's Breakfast Club Program
Blair Business Mirror hits the newsstands tomorrow
BASICS Steering Committee to consider 2010 Strategy
Chamber Members enthused by potential electricity savings
Some booth space remains for Home & Garden Show
LBC Adult Session to focus on issues of diversity
Perceptions on substance abuse topic of LBC Youth
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
Hold the date: WE-LEaD Spring Workshop
Congratulations. . . 

Operation Our Town Thursday's Breakfast Club Program 
For the third consecutive year, The Chamber’s monthly Breakfast Club will feature “Operation Our Town” during February. The date is this Thursday, Feb. 11 beginning at 7:45 a.m. at The Casino at Lakemont Park . The presentation, sponsored by M&T Bank, will include an update by Randy Feathers on the progress made by OOT in its three years of existence and the presentation of two prestigious awards: The 2010 Community Partnership Award, which will go to the Altoona Curve, and the 2010 Law Enforcement Awards which will be presented to Agent Anthony Sassano and Sgt. Troy Johannides. The cost to attend the Breakfast Club is $16 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.

Blair Business Mirror hits newstands tomorrow  
The February issue of the Blair Business Mirror will be a supplement to tomorrow’s Altoona Mirror. The cover feature this month will be a close-up look at The Park at Morrisons Cove. Inside stories will focus on The Chamber’s new Legislative Priorities, the upcoming Blair County Home & Garden Show and a mutually beneficial networking arrangement involving two of The Chamber’s newer members. The Blair Business Mirror is a publication of the Blair County Chamber and the Advertising Department of the Altoona Mirror. 

BASICS Steering Committee to consider 2010 strategy 
The Chamber’s BASICS Steering Committee will meet today at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center to set a strategy for 2010. "There’s a considerable amount of work that needs to be done in career development, relationship building and educational attainment," reported Alex Seltzer of Manpower who co-chairs the Steering Committee along with Rodney Green of the Spring Cove School District. "We need to develop an action plan that will address those issues quickly and comprehensively." Dr. Chuck Kormanski, a member of the Steering Committee, will facilitate the strategy session. For more information on BASICS, contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151 

Chamber Members enthused by potential electricity savings 
Attendees at last Wednesday's Chamber meeting on electricity asked many questions and seemed quite anxious to explore the type of savings that the new ChamberChoice Energy Program is planning to provide. "There's always some degree of skepticism. That's human nature," acknowledged Chamber President Joe Hurd. "This program is well researched and its conclusions are based on hard facts rather than gross speculation. We know there are savings because businesses in other parts of the state where the rate caps have already come off are saving considerable dollars. We're looking forward to saving money for our members and gaining new members who are looking for the same savings." The next meeting to discuss the Energy Program and hear a presentation by John Bodine of OnDemand Energy is March 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the Devorris Center. Pre-registration is required. There is no cost to attend. To pre-register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.   

Some booth space remains for Home & Garden Show
With less than a month to go until the Blair County Home & Garden Show, booth spaces are continuing to fill-up and the Home & Garden Show Committee is shooting for a full house. "We're hoping to fill every booth," admitted Show Co-Chair Randy Smithmyer. "This year's show is especially important, not only because it's our 40th anniversary, but because it provides our businesses with a chance to re-start our local economy by getting to meet new customers." If you'd like to exhibit in the show, contact Stacy Hoover at 943-8151.   

LBC Adult Session to focus on issues of diversity 
Diversity will be the session topic of the next Leadership Blair County Adult Class, set for Feb. 12 at The Casino at Lakemont Park. The agenda will include several diversity-related activities, directed by Yolanda Avent of Penn State Altoona. "This session is always very illuminating," explained The Chamber’s Judy Juda, who oversees the LBC program. "There are an incredible number of diversity issues in our county and the leadership class will have an opportunity to role play to better understand the mindset of those who have personal struggles." For more information on Leadership Blair County, visit The Chamber Web site.

Perceptions of substance abuse topic for LBC Youth 
The Feb. 10 session of The Chamber's Leadership Blair County Youth program will be entitled, "Perceptions: Drugs, Alcohol and Mental Health Issues." The class will hear presentations from Agent Tom Moore of the Bureau of Narcotics, Mark Frederick of Altoona Regional Health System and Serena Heller of SWOOP. There also will be a drug dog demonstration. For more information on Leadership Blair County Youth, visit The Chamber Web site.

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, visit the Web site.

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 at noon and conclude at 1:15 p.m. at Park Hills Country Club. The cost is $22 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. If three or more people from the same Member company attend, the cost is $17. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.

Hold 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. The workshop is sponsored by Blair Medical Associates. 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.

Congratulations . . .
. . . to the Comfort Inn Hotel of Duncansville which was recently named a recipient of a 2010 Gold Hospitality Award from global lodging leader Choice Hotels International, Inc.   


February 8, 2010

Upcoming Events

Register Online


Breakfast Club 
Thursday, Feb. 11, 7:45 - 8:55 a.m.
at The Casino at Lakemont Park
The Progress of Operation Our Town and presentation of Community Partnership and Law Enforcement Awards.
Sponsored by:

Register online


Lunch 'n' Learn
Thursday, Feb. 18, noon - 1:15 p.m.

Marketing in a Tough Economy: Hide or Thrive

Presented by J.R. DiAndrea of DiAndrea Media, Inc.

Register online


GRYP Networking Event 
Feb. 18, 6 to 8 p.m.
Featuring great food, cash-bar refreshments and LIVE entertainment.
Hosted by:


Register online

Energy Savings in "Demand" 

John Bodine of OnDemand Energy talks to Chamber Members last Wednesday about the new ChamberChoice Energy Program. The program aims to save Members money on energy costs. The next presentation will be held at 1:30 p.m. March 3.

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 2/8/10

BASICS Steering Committee
Monday, Feb. 8, 8 a.m.

Home & Garden Show Committee
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 8:30 a.m.
The Chamber
Blair County Business Coalition
Friday, Feb. 12, 9 a.m.

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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 on ChamberChoice, call 1-800-377-3539 or email chamberchoice@jrgadvisors.net.


For more information, visit www.blairchamber.com

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