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State education official to speak at Thursday's Breakfast Club
Local students to be honored for essays, attendance
Leadership Blair County Youth class to graduate Wednesday  
One week left until Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic
Blair Business Mirror hits the streets Tuesday 
Shuster, Barnhart, Shelby to provide Smith testimonials 
Informational meeting on China trip set for May 18
New residential electricity program locks-in two years of savings
Self-nominations welcome for Business Hall of Fame
Congratulations . . .
Blue Card Discounts

State education official to speak at Thursday’s Breakfast Club

When Gov. Tom Corbett released his preliminary 2011-12 state budget, one of his biggest targets for cuts was in education. How serious is the governor to stand by those cuts, what can school districts and colleges do to offset their impacts and will shortfalls in educational subsidies somehow have a major effect on the business community? To gain some insight on these issues, The Chamber welcomes Amy Morton as its guest speaker for Thursday’s monthly Breakfast Club, set for The Casino at Lakemont Park beginning at 7:45 a.m. Morton is Executive Deputy Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth. "We’re delighted to have Amy’s perspective on the challenges facing education in Pennsylvania," remarked Chamber President Joe Hurd. "There is great uncertainty in education and we’re hoping that Amy can clarify the administration’s short and long range plans to the satisfaction of those who must formulate budgets based on those realities." The cost to attend Breakfast Club is $16 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. The corporate sponsor for the Breakfast Club is YTI Career Institute.   


Local students to be honored for essays, attendance

Prior to Executive Deputy Secretary of Education Amy Morton’s speech to the attendees at Thursday’s Chamber Breakfast Club will be some important presentations to local students who have shown particular expertise or hit significant milestones. The BASICS program of The Chamber will confer awards on three students whose essays following the annual 8th Grade Career Fair have been judged as the best in their schools. The schools are Bellwood-Antis, Hollidaysburg Area and Spring Cove. Following those presentations, high school seniors with the top attendance at the county’s seven public high schools, Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School and the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center will also be honored. "Attendance is incredibly important both in school and on the job," reminded Alex Seltzer of Manpower, Inc., co-chair of the BASICS Committee. "Each year these awards emphasize the commitment that so many of our young people make to excel and how valuable they become to our future workforce by setting their priorities early." The awards are funded through contributions to the Blair County Chamber Foundation. BASICS is an acronym for Businesses And Schools Investing in Cooperative Solutions.  


Leadership Blair County Youth class to graduate Wednesday

The eighth class of Leadership Blair County Youth students will graduate on Wednesday with ceremonies to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Slep Center at Penn State Altoona. Students, their parents, guidance counselors, principals and superintendents will be on hand for the graduation festivities. The 2011 class consists of 24 high school sophomores from throughout Blair County. The Leadership Blair County Youth program is funded through contributions to the Blair County Chamber Foundation. For more information, contact Judy Juda at 943-8151 or visit the Chamber website.


One week left until Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic

There’s really nothing sadder than someone in the business community sitting in an office pretending to work while knowing that business associates are enjoying the great outdoors on a beautiful, 75-degree sunny day. Are we describing you? The annual Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic tees-off next Monday at noon at Iron Masters Country Club and there are still a few spots unsecured that might change your demeanor. Contact Stacy Hoover at 943-8151 today and relax with your friends on the golf course. You deserve it!   


Blair Business Mirror hits the streets Tuesday

The May issue of the Blair Business Mirror will be a supplement in tomorrow’s Altoona Mirror and will feature a cover story on one of the area’s most exciting “new” businesses. That business is N.E.W., located in the former Martin’s Store in Altoona’s Wehnwood section. Learn how N.E.W. already has grown its workforce to more than 400 employees and why it chose to be part of the local business community instead of settling elsewhere. The Business Mirror also will highlight the journey of a Blair County judge to a faraway place that the Blair County Chamber will soon be heading and will focus on a Leadership Blair County graduate who is now the top dog at one of Blair County’s leading businesses. Pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Altoona Mirror to get the full scoop. And remember: We mail a copy of the Blair Business Mirror to each of our member-businesses so that you won’t miss a thing.  


Shuster, Barnhart, Shelby to provide Smith testimonials

The Chamber’s 10th Annual Business Excellence Dinner will have a star-studded line-up of speakers from the political, business and auto racing arenas when it pays tribute to one of the region’s top business leaders on June 7th at the Casino at Lakemont Park. Barry Smith, founder and owner of Smith Transport in Roaring Spring, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence that evening and he will have an impressive array of friends to sing his praises. Keynote speaker will be longtime NASCAR driver Mike Wallace who has been a key figure in the Nationwide Series since his debut in 1990. Wallace and Smith have been close friends and business associates for several years. Among the three people providing testimonial comments about Smith at the dinner are NPC Chairman of the Board Mark Barnhart, retired U.S. Congressman Bud Shuster and legendary automotive designer Carroll Shelby. Shelby will be unable to attend the dinner so his comments will be videotaped and played at the event. The Master of Ceremonies for the Business Excellence Dinner will be Attorney Mark Gordon of the law firm of Pietragallo, Gordon, Alfano, Bosick & Raspanti, LLP. Invitations to the Business Excellence Dinner have been mailed to Chamber Members. Non-members also can attend but must pay in advance.  To register, contact The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.   


Informational meeting on China trip set for May 18

The Blair County and Huntingdon County chambers will hold an informational meeting on the upcoming China Trip Wednesday, May 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Classroom at the Tyrone Hospital. People interested in learning about the trip are invited to attend. Sally Haas, President of the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber, will do a power point presentation. Her chamber recently completed its third trip to China. There is no cost or obligation associated with this meeting but registration is required because space is limited. Call The Chamber at 943-8151.    


New residential electricity program locks-in two years of savings

As was reported in the Business Bulletin for the past two weeks, the ChamberChoice residential electric program, which guaranteed participants a rate of 6.99 cents/kwh for the remainder of 2011, has stopped accepting registrations. A new program has been introduced that locks-in a 7.15 rate until March of 2013. The current Penelec price-to-compare is 7.68. Employees of Chamber Member businesses who have Penelec as their provider are eligible to take part in this program. To register for this new program, click here.  


Self-nominations welcome for Business Hall of Fame

As the nomination process continues for the 2011 Business Hall of Fame and General Awards of Distinction, the Hall of Fame Committee reminds businesses that they are more than welcome to self-nominate. "Worthy businesses need not wait around to be nominated," emphasized committee chair Claudia Montero Pequignot. "We're interested in recognizing the best-of-the-best so don’t hesitate to place your own business’s credentials into nomination." 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.  


Congratulations . . .

. . . to Marty Marasco, President of Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation, who yesterday received an honorary doctorate degree at Saint Francis University’s undergraduate commencement exercises.

. . . to McLanahan Corporation’s Agricultural Division, which recently received an AE50 Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers for developing the self-cleaning Sand Lane, one of the year’s most innovative designs in engineering products or systems for the food and agriculture industries.




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.

Dr.'s Centar & Imler Receive 20 percent off of spectacle lenses and frames AND/OR receive 20 percent off of an exam and contact lens fitting. (Discount cannot be combined with any other insurance programs, coupons or courtesies.)  
Stella Solid Surfaces Receive a FREE under mounted stainless steel sink with the purchase of a solid surface, granite or quartz kitchen countertop. Visit our website for a complete list of products.
Edward Jones Investments Receive a FREE Business Retirement Plan Assessment from Edward Jones Investments, Altoona and Hollidaysburg.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Receive 15 percent off of tax preparation services. (Offer is valid at Blair County locations: Station Medical Center, Greenwood and Claysburg.)    
Fink Brothers Supply Receive 20 percent off PPG Paint in stock.

May 9, 2011

Upcoming Events

Register online

May Breakfast Club
Thursday, May 12, 7:45 to 9 a.m.
The Casino at Lakemont Park

Sponsored by: 


Register here

May Business After Hours
Thursday, May 12, 7:45 to 9 a.m.
Combined with the CBICC

450 Windmere Drive, State College

Register here

Highmark.Chamber Golf Classic
Monday, May 16, noon
Iron Masters Country Club

Still time to sign up!
Contact Stacy Hoover for details!

 Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 5/9/11

BASICS Subcommittees
Monday, May 9, 8 a.m. 
Foundation LBCY Policy & Procedure Committee 
Tuesday, May 10, 2 p.m. 
The Chamber
Attractions Roundtable 
Tuesday, May 10, 2 p.m. 
The Park at Morrisons Cove
BASICS Career Development Committee 
Thursday, May 12, 3:30 p.m. 
Devorris Center
Blair County Business Coalition
Friday, May 13, 9 a.m. 
The Meadows

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