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One last chance to catch some "Fish" 
Sponsorships, ads available for Business Excellence Dinner
No Blarney! Chamber's Ireland trip will be one to remember
Chamber Board to consider new strategic plan
Andrews to update Executive Roundtable on unionization impact
Regional Leadership session set for Sheetz Distribution Center
First "Issues" program on Healthcare addresses acute care
Chamber, PEL to collaborate on public pension forum
LBC selling chances on "Immaculate Reception" photo
Don't miss your chance to play in Chamber's Golf Classic
Chamber partnering with members on leadership broadcast
Information packets available on Chamber's energy program
Nominated anyone for the Hall of Fame yet? 
Congratulations . . . 

One last chance to catch some "Fish" 
Although fishing season officially began last Saturday, the real season for business professionals, particularly female ones, is still on the horizon. Tomorrow, Harry Paul, the funny, dynamic author of FISH! will address a large crowd at the Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center. The event begins with registration from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and concludes with lunch at 12:30 p.m. During the 7:30 to 8:30 time slot, breakfast will be available as well as the opportunity to visit display booths that feature a variety of products and services. Paul’s presentation begins promptly at 8:30 and continues until lunchtime.  The cost to attend the WE-LEaD Workshop is $60 for Chamber Members and $70 for non-members. Call The Chamber by noon today to secure a spot or register online. For the third consecutive year, Blair Medical Associates is corporate sponsor of the Workshop.

Sponsorships, ads available for Business Excellence Dinner  
The 2010 Business Excellence Dinner honoring Michael McLanahan will be held Monday, June 14 at The Casino at Lakemont Park. That event, one of The Chamber’s most prestigious, will afford members the opportunity to support the organization through sponsorships as well as offering advertising space for friends and business associates to congratulate the honoree on his award. Sponsorship levels are: Premier - $2,500, Reception - $2,500, Silver - $1,000 and Bronze - $600. "The sponsorship costs are the same as they have been in the past except we built more value into the packages so that they are an great ways for businesses looking to be supportive but also recognizing the practical side of brand promotion,” explained Mike McMullen, The Chamber’s VP of Membership Services & Development.  Ads in the program book range in price from $100 to $500.  For information on sponsorships or ads, contact McMullen at 943-8151.

No Blarney! Chamber's Ireland trip will be one to remember 
Will kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland guarantee that you will always speak nothing but the truth? You’ll never know until you sign-up for the Blair County Chamber’s first-ever trip to Ireland, set for Oct. 2-11, and spend nine wonderful days on the Emerald Isle. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see more of Ireland than practically any other tour will provide," acknowledged Chamber President Joe Hurd.  "This is really the best possible way to experience a fabulous country and not have to worry about anything except relaxing." For more information on the Ireland trip, contact Donna Wilt at Classic Travel at 696-3558.    

Chamber Board to consider new strategic plan 

At last Thursday’s meeting of The Chamber Board of Directors, a request for direction from The Chamber’s Marketing Committee yielded a suggestion that the organization consider undertaking a new strategic planning process. Dave Beeney of WTAJ Your News Leader, who chairs the Marketing Committee, reported that his committee had discussed the possibility of creating a marketing plan for The Chamber but was unsure how that would interface with the current strategic plan. The Board decided to look at the strategic plan rather than having a marketing plan developed that would address issues that were no longer part of The Chamber’s direction. The plan will be reviewed by the Board prior to its May 20 meeting and a recommendation will be given on whether to pursue a new plan.


Andrews to update Executive Roundtable on unionization impact 
Attorney David Andrews of Andrews & Beard Law Offices will speak to The Chamber’s Executive Roundtable group on Wednesday morning at The Blairmont Club. Andrews presentation will focus on the many challenges that businesses in Pennsylvania are currently facing and how much impact unionization has on the likelihood that those challenges will be adequately resolved anytime in the near future.  "It’s not a union-bashing session but rather an informational presentation explaining the influence that unions have on how businesses in Pennsylvania operate," explained Chamber President Joe Hurd. "With legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act looming, it's important that businesses are aware of the landscape."  

Regional Leadership session set for Sheetz Distribution Center 
The leadership classes from Blair, Bedford, Cambria and Somerset counties will participate in a Regional Leadership Session to be held at the Sheetz Distribution Center in Claysburg on Wednesday from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. This event is done annually among the four counties with each county hosting every fourth year. Among the speakers for the session are Dr. Evan Offstein of Frostburg State University, who will speak on “Gridiron Leadership” Michael Fiore of L.S. Fiore who will speak on Operation Our Town; and Steve Sheetz of Sheetz, Inc. who will speak on “Sheetz Philosophy: Regional Growth and Difficulties.”  Leadership Blair County is this year's host.

First "Issues" program on healthcare addresses acute care

The first of a three-part series on healthcare entitled: "Healthcare and Blair County’s Future" will be broadcast each Monday at 11 a.m. and each Tuesday at 9 p.m. during the month of April on the Altoona Public Access Channel. The program, which was taped March 30, looks at the challenges that the new healthcare bill poses to the county's five hospitals and how acute care facilities are preparing to respond to those challenges. The panel discussion format is moderated by Carolyn Donaldson of WTAJ Your News Leader. Panelists are: Jerry Murray of Altoona Regional Health System, Garrett Hoover of Nason Hospital, Stephen Gildea of Tyrone Hospital, Scott Filler of HealthSouth and Tony Bennett of James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center. The second show of the trilogy will deal with long-term care and the third show with healthcare related topics such as health insurance and healthcare practitioners. Sponsors for the first program are Altoona Regional Health System, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Nason Hospital , Preferred Healthcare System and Young, Oakes, Brown & Company.  Businesses interested in sponsoring either of the other two shows should contact Mike McMullen at 943-8151.  

Chamber, PEL to collaborate on public pension forum The growing public concern regarding public pensions in Pennsylvania will form the basis of an Issues Forum to be held noon, Friday, April 30 at The Casino at Lakemont Park. The Forum is co-sponsored by the Blair County Chamber and the Pennsylvania Economy League. Guest speaker for the event is Richard C. Dreyfuss, a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation. Dreyfuss worked for The Hershey Company for 21-years and held numerous positions including Director of Compensation and Benefits prior to his retirement in 2002. He is a frequent speaker on benefits issues and has been quoted widely in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The title of Dreyfuss’s presentation is, "PA Public Pensions: Politics and Public Policy." He is anxious to help taxpayers gain a better understanding of what the Commonwealth will be up against in the coming years and potential solutions to correct the problem. The cost to attend the Issues Forum is $22. The cost includes a buffet lunch. Among those committed to attend are state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. and state representatives Rick Geist and Jerry Stern who will be part of a panel discussion. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.

LBC selling chances on "Immaculate Reception" photo 
In order to raise funds to support its adult scholarship program, Leadership Blair County is raffling-off an autographed Franco Harris "Immaculate Reception" photo. The beautifully framed photo is 16x20 and includes a certificate of authenticity. Chances are being sold at $5 each or three for $10 and the drawing will take place at the LBC Adult Graduation in June. Contact Judy Juda at The Chamber to purchase a chance.

Don't miss your chance to play in Chamber's Golf Classic
The Annual Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Chamber Golf Classic is set for May 17 at Iron Master Country Club in Ore Hill. Registrations are well ahead of last year so make sure you don’t end-up on a waiting list. Event sponsorships and tee-and-green signs also are available by contacting Stacy Hoover at 943-8151.

Chamber partnering with members on leadership broadcast

For the second consecutive year, The Chamber will partner with four of its members to bring an important broadcast event to Blair County.  "Leadercast," a one-day live broadcast featuring such notable speakers as Jim Collins, Tony Dungy and John Maxwell, will be shown on May 7 beginning at 8 a.m. at Martinsburg Grace Brethren Church, 300 South Mulberry St. in Martinsburg. The cost to attend is $69-per-person although Chamber Members can attend for $59. Lunch is included. To register, call 793-2513. The co-sponsoring Chamber Member businesses are: Freedom Rentals, Ritchey’s Dairy, Martinsburg Grace Brethren Church and Roaring Spring Bottling. 

Information packets available on Chamber's energy program
If you’re a member of the Blair County Chamber and a current Penelec customer, you’re eligible to be part of a new Chamber program that is guaranteed to save you money beginning in January when the rate caps come off on electricity. The program is part of ChamberChoice and is brokered by OnDemand Energy. It is already functioning in several areas of the Commonwealth where the rate caps have already been removed and the savings have been considerable. The Chamber already has held three informational sessions on how the program works and what members need to do to participate. If you have been unable to attend those meetings, you can still secure an informational packet that includes a registration form by visiting The Chamber Office, located in the Devorris Center for Business Development.

Nominated anyone for the Hall of Fame yet? 
The nomination process is under way for the 2010 Blair County Business Hall of Fame. Do you know of a business in Blair County that absolutely should be in the Hall of Fame or should receive an award for such things as safety, technology or community service? How about your own business? Visit The Chamber’s Web site today to download a nomination form.  It’s our one chance each year to show what a great business community we have! 

Congratulations . . . 
. . . to New Pig Corp. of Tipton which recently had three of its products designated as 2009 Plant Engineering Products of the Year.  The PIG Vapor Control Latching Drum Lid and PIG BLUE Absorbent Mat took home gold awards and the PIG Sheet earned a silver award. The awards recognize product innovation and excellence as judged by members of the American Institute of Plant Engineers. 

April 19, 2010 

Upcoming Events

Register Online

WE-LEaD Workshop 
Tuesday, April 20, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Penn State Altoona Downtown Devorris Center
Featuring the "Fish" Guy
Harry Paul

Important note to event attendees:
Free attendee parking will be available at the Jaffa Shrine, located at Broad Avenue and 22nd Street. Please park on the 23rd Street side of the building. Shuttles will run continuously from 7:15 to 9 a.m. There will be return shuttle service at the conclusion of the workshop and after lunch. There is no cost for this service. Transporation provided by Freedom Excursions by Scully, LLC.

Business After Hours
Thursday, April 22, 5 - 7 p.m.
Hosted by:

Register online

GRYP Night at the Theatre
Thursday, April 29 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Altoona Community Theatre presents:
Mel Brooks' Musical:
"The Producers"
at the Historic Mishler Theatre
$25 per person
Event includes: A preshow reception beginning at 6 p.m. for GRYP members and guests with hor d'oeuvres and beverages; ticket for the show at 8 p.m.; a meet and greet with the cast after the show.

Register here

Click here for more information

Workers' Comp Presentation 

Aaron Black from East Coast Risk Management speaks to attendees at Friday's Safety Presentaion. The event focused on Workers' Comp claims management and the law and featured Black and Attorney Mike Wagner of the law firm of Wagner & Finn.

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 4/19/10

Executive Roundtable
Wednesday, April 21, 7:30 a.m.
The Blairmont Club
Foundation Board Meeting
Wednesday, April 21, 8 a.m.
Devorris Center
Golf Committee
Wednesday, April 21, 8:30 a.m.
The Chamber
Saftey Committee
Wednesday, April 21, 9 a.m.
Panera Bread



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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.

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