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Business Excellence dinner rescheduled for June 14 
Blair Business Mirror hits the streets tomorrow
Leadership Blair County to hold informational open house 
Meeting is Wednesday on The Chamber's Ireland trip
Chamber Board of Directors meets Thursday
Lunch 'n' Learn in Martisnburg will focus on customer service
Next GRYP Networking event scheduled for Thursday
Friday's Safety program to address workers compensation
First "Issues" program on healthcare to run throughout April
Only one week left to register for "Fish"
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
Congratulations . . .

Business Excellence dinner re-scheduled for June 14  Due to scheduling conflicts, The Chamber’s Annual Business Excellence Dinner will now be held June 14 instead of June 7. The time, 5:30 p.m. and location, The Casino at Lakemont Park, remain the same. This year’s event honors Michael McLanahan of McLanahan Corporation with the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence.  To register for the dinner, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. For sponsorship information, contact Mike McMullen at that same number. 

Blair Business Mirror hits the streets tomorrow  

The Chamber’s monthly print-newsletter, the Blair Business Mirror, will be published tomorrow as a supplement to the Altoona Mirror. A copy of the publication will then be mailed to each member-business by the end of this week. The main feature in this issue centers on environmental sustainability and focuses on two local businesses and a local school district that are making significant efforts to be “green.” Among the inside features is one on a local audiologist who has built an outstanding reputation in the community. It’s great reading so don’t miss-out on the opportunity to learn more about The Chamber and the business community.

Leadership Blair County to hold informational open house 

Interested in being considered for a spot in the next Leadership Blair County Adult Class? Or for future classes? Then you may want to attend an informational open house set for this Tuesday, April 13 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Devorris Center for Business Development. "It's a great way to have the opportunity to talk to people who have been through the program," disclosed Judy Juda who staffs the LBC program for The Chamber. "There's no obligation to commit to anything."  To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.  

Meeting is Wednesday on The Chamber's Ireland trip 

Ever had an urge to kiss the Blarney Stone? Now you can do that just after touring the Waterford Crystal facility and before traveling along the Ring of Kerry, one of the most beautiful coastal routes in the world. Those are just a few of the many attractions that will be part of The Chamber's first-ever Trip to Ireland , set for October 2-11.  An informational meeting lasting no more than one hour will be held this Wednesday, April 14th at 6:00 p.m. in the boardroom of the Devorris Center for Business Development. To attend the informational meeting or for more information on the Ireland trip, contact Donna Wilt at 696-3558.  

Chamber Board of Directors meets Thursday 

The Chamber’s Board of Directors will meet this Thursday beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Devorris Center. Any Chamber Member wishing to bring an issue in front of the Board, should contact Joe Hurd by noon Tuesday at 943-8151.   

Lunch 'n' Learn in Martinsburg will focus on customer service 
As part of The Chamber's effort to reach out to all parts of Blair County , the organization has announced that it will hold its April 15 Lunch 'n' Learn program at The Park at Morrisons Cove in Martinsburg.  That program, entitled, "How to Create a Service Culture Within Your Organization," will be presented by Tami Smith, District 5 Manager of Hoss's Steak & Sea House. It will provide attendees with ways to take their company's customer service to a higher level. The cost to attend is $22 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. 

Next GRYP networking event scheduled for Thursday The next networking event of The Chamber's Growth and Relationships of Young Professionals (GRYP) will be held this Thursday, April 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Altoona Hotel. The last GRYP event, held March 17 at Outback Steakhouse, attracted nearly 60 young professionals. If you missed that one, make sure to put this one on your calendar!  There's no cost to attend if you're a GRYP member and only $5 if you're not. Great food, beverages and a whole lot of valuable networking. You can register by calling The Chamber at 943-8151 or online.

Friday's Safety Program to address workers compensation
Workers Compensation continues to be a hot-button item for employers and The Chamber's Safety Committee has put together another outstanding program that covers the topic from a critical angle. "Workers Comp: The Law and Claims Management" will be the title of a presentation jointly presented by Attorney Michael Wagner of Wagner & Finn and Aaron Black of East Coast Risk Management.  The event will be held at 8 a.m. Friday, April 16, at the Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown C enter . Registration begins at 7 a.m. The program is sponsored by Investigation and Security Solutions, Inc. Cost to attend is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members, which includes a Continental Breakfast. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.

First "Issues" program on healthcare to run throughout April
The first of a three-part series on healthcare entitled: "Healthcare and Blair County' s Future" will be broadcast this morning at 11 a.m. on the Altoona Public Access Channel and will run each Monday at that same time and each Tuesday at 9 p.m. throughout the month of April. 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.

Only one week left to register for "Fish"

The highly-successful WE-LEaD Spring Workshop, which has attracted a number of nationally recognized speakers during its four years in existence, has hit another homerun in 2010. On April 20, Harry Paul, the funny, dynamic author of FISH! will address what is expected to be a large crowd at the Penn State 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 a.m. and continues until lunchtime. The cost to attend the WE-LEaD Workshop is $60 for Chamber Members and $70 for non-members. Exhibit space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Judy Juda for exhibitor information at 943-8151 or to reserve your space at the workshop. For the third consecutive year, Blair Medical Associates is corporate sponsor of the Workshop.

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’ 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 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. 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 three 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 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. 

Congratulations . . .

. . . to Lawn Doctor of Altoona/Johnstown which recently received Lawn Doctor’s Outstanding Franchise Award for 2009. The award recognizes the top 15 percent of franchises within the Lawn Doctor system that operate their businesses with a high degree of professionalism in the areas of image, safety and customer relations.

April 12, 2010

Upcoming Events

Register online

LBC Open House
Tuesday, April 13, 5 to 6 p.m.
Devorris Center

Register online

April Breakfast Club

The speaker for last Thursday's Breakfast Club was Frank Coonelly, President of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Coonelly spoke about the future of the Pirates organization and the importance of the club's relationship with the Altoona Curve. The next Breakfast Club is scheduled for May 13.

Lunch 'n' Learn
Thursday, April 15, noon
The Park at Morrisons Cove
Tami Smith of Hoss's Corp will present:
How to Create a Service Culture within your Organization 

Register here

GRYP Networking Event
Thursday, April 15, 6 to 8 p.m. 
Hosted by:


Register here

Click here for more information

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 4/12/10

BASICS Steering Committee
Monday, April 12, 8 a.m. 
Marketing Committee 
Monday, April 12, 11a.m. 
The Chamber
Finance Committee
Tuesday, April 13, 2 p.m. 
The Chamber
Golf Committee 
Wednesday, April 14, 8:30 a.m. 
The Chamber
Farm-City Committee 
Friday, April 16, Noon 
Hoss's in Duncansville

Safety Presentation 
Friday, April 16, 7:45 to 9:30 a.m.
Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center

Featuring: Aaron Black from East Coast Risk Management and Attorney Michael Wagner from the Law Firm of Wagner & Finn
Workers' Comp: The Law and Claims Management
Event s
ponsored by:

Register here 

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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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