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Pittsburgh Pirates G.M. to speak at Thursday's Breakfast Club
Blair Business Mirror to highlight impact of Earth Day
Legislative breakfast targets local school districts  
Leadership class to participate in regional session
Wal-Mart hosting Friday's Business Before Hours
LBC Youth session focuses on career opportunities
Chamber to cut ribbons at Park Audio, Altoona Regional 
Interested in learning about Leadership Blair County? 
Nominations under way for Business Hall of Fame
Energy Expo seeking exhibitors, attendees 
Airport survey hoping to attract additional carriers
April Lunch'n'Learn to focus on disaster preparedness
"Issues" program on transportation continues this week
Chamber purchases ample sunshine for Golf Classic
Backbone Bash postponed until Fall
Congratulations . . .
Blue Card Discounts

Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager to speak at Thursday’s Breakfast Club

The Pittsburgh Pirates are off to a promising start in 2011 and Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington will discuss the team’s recipe for improvement at the next Chamber Breakfast Club, to be held this Thursday, April 14 beginning at 7:45 a.m. at The Casino at Lakemont Park . A native of Amherst , New Hampshire , Huntington has been Pirates G.M. since September 2007.  He had formerly held administrative positions with the Montreal Expos and the Cleveland Indians. The cost to attend Breakfast Club is $16 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. Corporate sponsor is First National Bank. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.  


Blair Business Mirror to highlight impact of Earth Day

With “Earth Day” just around the corner, the next issue of the Blair Business Mirror, to be published as a supplement to tomorrow’s Altoona Mirror, will explore how local businesses have adapted to sustainable practices to help preserve the environment. The Business Mirror also will look at how gender impacts selections to local boards. If you don’t subscribe to the Altoona Mirror, or even if you do, a copy of the Blair Business Mirror will be mailed to your business later this week.  


Legislative breakfast targets local school districts

Blair County's public school districts face a number of challenges in the coming years and the business community will be impacted by how the districts choose to meet those challenges. For that reason, The Chamber’s Legislative Action Committee is holding a breakfast meeting with representatives of those districts – in this case school directors – to discuss ways that The Chamber can assist in assuring that the educational system continues to provide quality services at a reasonable cost. The meeting will take place at the Devorris Center for Business Development tomorrow at 8 a.m. "We’re anxious to have an interactive dialogue with school board people to better understand the specifics of what they’re dealing with and how we can help," explained Thad Will of M&T Bank, chair of the Legislative Action Committee. The sponsor for the breakfast is WPS.    


Leadership Class to Participate in Regional Session

For the eighth consecutive year, The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County Adult Class will participate in a regional leadership session with the classes from the Bedford, Cambria and Somerset county chambers. The session will be held this Wednesday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Pasquerilla Heritage Discovery Center in Johnstown. The featured presenter once again this year is Dr. Evan Offstein from Frostburg University who is the author of the popular “Stand Your Ground: Building Honorable Leaders the West Point Way.” For more information on Leadership Blair County, contact Judy Juda at 943-8151 or visit the Chamber website.      


Wal-Mart hosting Friday’s Business Before Hours

The next Chamber Business Before Hours will be held this Friday, April 15 from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Altoona Wal-Mart store. The event will provide Chamber Members the chance to view the store’s newly-renovated interior and to hear about some great purchasing opportunities. The Business Before Hours also will feature a light breakfast and several door prizes. There is no cost for Chamber Members to attend. Non-members can attend for $10. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. 


LBC Youth session focuses on career opportunities

The next session of The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County Youth, to be held tomorrow morning at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center, will focus on career opportunities and the importance of choosing a career for which you have passion. Among the speakers will be John Apa of Sheetz, Karen Perkins of Penelec and Lacey Garrison of Advantage Resource Group. The Leadership class also will make a decision on the awarding of two grants to organizations in the community who have applied for the $900 in funds raised by the class through their volunteer work at the Blair County Home & Garden Show.   


Chamber to cut ribbons at Park Audio, Altoona Regional

The Chamber Ambassadors will cut ribbons this week at Park Audio and Video (Tuesday at 11 a.m.) and the new Station Medical Center (Thursday at 4:30 p.m.)     


Interested in learning about Leadership Blair County ?

The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County program will hold an Open House on April 19 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Devorris Center for Business Development. Anyone interested in learning more about the LBC Adult program is welcome to attend. Several graduates of the program will be on hand to answer any questions. Stop-in and enjoy some snacks and beverages. There is no cost to attend but registration is encouraged. Call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.    


Nominations under way for Business Hall of Fame

The Chamber’s Business Hall of Fame Committee has opened nominations for the 2011 Blair County Business Hall of Fame and General Business Awards Program. The Hall of Fame Dinner will be held on Oct. 17 at the Blair County Convention Center. The committee asks that nominations be submitted as soon as possible so that nominees can submit completed applications by the June 9 deadline. Nomination forms are available online or by calling The Chamber at 943-8151.  


Energy Expo seeking exhibitors, attendees

The Chamber is partnering with the Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation and the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Corporation to sponsor an Energy Expo on May 4 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Blair County Convention Center. Businesses interested in being exhibitors at the Expo can do so at only $150 by contacting Matt Fox at 944-6113.  There is no cost to attend the Expo. Register to attend by contacting Janice Streightiff at 949-6523.    


Airport survey hoping to attract additional carriers

The Blair County Chamber, together with 14 other chambers or economic development organizations and Penn State University, is working with the University Park Airport to identify additional air services within the service area of UPA. By completing a brief survey, you will provide useful information concerning perceptions of additional air transportation needs in relation to your business or industry. Individual responses will be kept confidential and only group data will be reported. The air service needs identified by this survey will be presented to air service providers, together with available incentives, to establish a strong business case for providing unmet demands for air service. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete. To access the survey, please click here. Thank you for your cooperation!   


April Lunch’n’Learn to focus on disaster preparedness

The Blair County Chamber’s next Lunch’N’Learn program, to be held on April 21 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Park Hills Country Club, will help businesses of all sizes to assess their ability to respond to a disaster or a major business disruption. Tom Kristofco of Business Continuity Concepts will present, “What is Your Tsunami?”  Kristofco will stress the importance of businesses having a business continuity plan in place, the responsibilities of a response effort and how to close the gaps when something unforeseen occurs. The cost to attend the Lunch’n’Learn is $22 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.     


"Issues" program on transportation continues this week

With transportation such a major issue in Pennsylvania's future, how does Blair County stack-up in terms of infrastructure, public transit, air travel and other modes of moving people around? That question is the focus of the next Chamber “Issues” program that will air for the next several weeks on the Altoona Public Access Channel. The program will run every Monday at 11 a.m. and every Tuesday at 9 p.m. Panelists for the program, entitled, “Moving People Around: Blair County’s Transportation Challenges, are: Patrick Miller of Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation, Chuck Pillar of Altoona-Blair County Airport, Tom Prestash of PennDOT District 9, Jamie Van Buren of New Enterprise Stone & Lime Company and Eric Wolf of AMTRAN.  Carolyn Donaldson of WTAJ-TV moderates the show. Sponsors for the program are: Altoona -Blair County Development Corporation, AMTRAN, Keller Engineers, P. Joseph Lehman, Inc., Skills of Central PA, The EADS Group, GAI Consultants and Ward Transport & Logistics.   


Chamber purchases ample sunshine for Golf Classic

Let’s face it: Not all networking events are created equal. As anyone who has ever participated in the Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic will tell you, not even a bad weather day can diminish the value of getting out of the office to interact with others from the business community, pretending that the experience is really all about work. Sign-ups currently are taking place for the Golf Classic and it’s expected that the event will be completely sold-out by the beginning of May. Don’t delay. Call The Chamber Office at 943-8151 and get your name or your foursome’s names on the list. A limited number of tee-and-green opportunities are also available. By the way, the 35-day forecast for Iron Masters Country Club is for sunny skies, high of 70.  Do you really want to miss-out on a beautiful day like that?


Backbone Bash postponed until Fall

The Chamber’s Backbone Bash, a networking event geared to small business, has been postponed from its May 6 date until sometime in late Fall.  “There are too many other programs and events taking place,” according to The Chamber’s Mike McMullen. “The Bash is an important event to our small businesses and we don’t want to compromise its success by competing against other things in our community.”     


Congratulations . . .

 . . . to Nason Hospital Home Health Agency which achieved AdvisorMed’s 2011 Great Pennsylvania Home Health Care Award by demonstrating results that consistently exceed its patients’ expectations.  The agency ranks within the top tier of all home health care agencies in the state.

. . . to the Noninvasive Laboratory at Altoona Regional Health System which achieved accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories.

. . . to INRange Systems, Inc. of Altoona was named the inaugural winner of the Silvertip HP Startup Central Award honoring entrepreneurship and market creation through innovation by the Angel Capital Association.   




Blue Card Discount offers

Here are a few of the discounts you can receive with your Chamber Blue Card. Click here to see the full list of Blue Card Discounts. To have an offer listed contact Mike McMullen at The Chamber at 943-8151.

Stuckey Ford & Subaru Receive one $19.95 oil & filter change. Will pick up and deliver within 10 miles of the dealership. (Gas Engines only, up to 5 quarts of oil, sales tax and disposal is additional.)
Tammy Kehr, Ageny - State Farm Insurance Receive a FREE State Farm Insurance and Financial review. The review is your opportunity to look at your overall financial picture and protection needs, clarify your goals and help ensure all your immediate and long-term protection and planning needs are being met.
The Building II Athletic Club Present your Blue Card to receive 10 percent off our regular membership fee.
The Cashman Financial Group, Inc. Receive a FREE consultation for your 401(k) or 403(b) plans. A value of $250.  
The Hite Company Save 15 percent on purchases over $100. Please present your Blue Card prior to purchase. Discount is for use on Showroom products only and not valid on previous purchases.

April 11, 2011

Upcoming Events

Register online

April Breakfast Club
Thursday, April 14, 7:45 to 9 a.m.
The Casino at Lakemont Park

Neil Huntington, General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates 

Sponsored by:


Register here

April Business After Hours
Thursday, April 28, 5 to 7p.m.
Skills of Central PA

Register here

Business Before Hours
Friday, April 15, 7 to 9 a.m.
Wal-Mart of Altoona


Register here

 Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 4/11/11

BASICS Steering Committee
Monday, April 11, 8 a.m.
Presidents' Forum Steering 
Monday, April 11, 1:30 p.m.
The Chamber
Foundation By-Law Review Committee
Wednesday, April 13, 8:30 a.m. 
The Chamber
GRYP Education Subcommitee
Wednesday, April 13, 9 a.m. 
Tom & Joe's
BASICS Career Development Subcommittee
Thursday, April 14, 3:30 p.m.
Devorris Center

April Safety Program 
Friday, April 29, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
DelGrosso Foods Inc.

Join us for a tour of DelGrosso Foods.
Tour begins at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at LaScalia's restaurant in Pinecroft.

Register here

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