If you are having trouble reading this email, please read the online version.
Home | Programming | Member Benefits | Business Directory | Change an Email Address | Add an Email Address | Contact Us

McGrann keynote speaker for Business Excellence Dinner
Second "Issues" program on healthcare tapes tomorrow
Part I of "Issues" concludes this week
Public Pension Forum set for Friday at The Casino
Gang expert will address May Breakfast Club
No Blarney! Chamber's Ireland trip will be one to remember
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 . . .

McGrann keynote speaker for Business Excellence Dinner 
As The Chamber prepares to honor its ninth Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the June 14 Business Excellence Dinner, it's appropriate that the event's keynote speaker is able to address, with a high degree of credibility, a common theme.  Michael McGrann is the Executive Director of the S. Dale High Center for Family Business at Elizabethtown College, a resource for family businesses in Central Pennsylvania, now in its 15th year of operation. "The fact that Mike McLanahan, this year's honoree is the ninth officer of a family business to receive the award speaks to the tremendous influence of family businesses," remarked Chamber President Joe Hurd. "Mike McGrann is the ideal speaker to talk about that sphere of influence." The Business Excellence Dinner will once again be held at The Casino at Lakemont Park beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling The Chamber at 943-8151 or reserving online.  Sponsorships of the event or ads in the program book can be secured by contacting Mike McMullen at The Chamber.

Second "Issues" program on healthcare taped tomorrow  
Following a successful program on acute care, Part II of The Chamber's three-part Issues series on "Healthcare and Blair County's Future" will focus on long-term care. The program will tape Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Altoona Public Access Studio.  Panelists for the program are: Chris Dear of Valley View Home, Kathy Johnson of the Lutheran Home at Hollidaysburg, Debbie Larkin of Presbyterian Village of Hollidaysburg and Ward Prostejovsky of The Village at Morrisons Cove. Sponsors are: Affinity Health Services Inc., Altoona Center for Nursing Care, Altoona Regional Health System, Golden LivingCenter-Hillview, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Homewood Retirement Community, The Winds at Mattern Orchard and Young, Oakes, Brown & Company. 

Part I of "Issues" concludes this week 
If you still haven't had the opportunity to view Part I of “Healthcare and Blair County's Future” on the Public Access Channel, you still have two chances. The program will run this morning at 11 a.m. and tomorrow night at 9 p.m. To purchase a DVD copy, contact Cristy Halerz at 946-8227. 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. 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.  

Public Pension Forum set for Friday at The Casino  The growing public concern regarding public pensions in Pennsylvania will form the basis of an Issues Forum to be held at noon Friday 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 Dreyfus' 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 Reps. Rick Geist and Jerry Stern who will be part of a panel discussion. To register, call the Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.  

Gang expert will address May Breakfast Club 
If you're a business person who believes that gang influence is something that takes place only in big cities, you are in for an unnerving surprise. Blair County not only has a growing number of gangs, it also has documented evidence that those gangs will create severe obstacles to future business development. Want to learn more? Then make sure that you attend The Chamber’s next Breakfast Club, scheduled for Thursday, May 13 at 7:45 a.m. at The Casino at Lakemont Park. Dr. Todd Negola, Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Gang Investigators Association and one of the country’s foremost experts on gang activity, will be the speaker.  Dr. Negola’s presentation, "Your Business and Blair County’s Gangs," will run until 9:30 a.m. but I can assure you that the additional time will be well spent. 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. Corporate sponsor for the May Breakfast Club is YTI Career Institute.  

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 696-3558. 

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 has already 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 Chamber 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 website today at and download a nomination form. It’s our one chance each year to show what a great business community we have!

Congratulations . . .
. . . to Joshua Gibson, agency principal of The Gibson Agencies of Altoona and Duncansville who was recently recognized by Allstate Insurance with the Chairman's Award for 2009. That level is achieved by less than 5 percent of Allstate agents nationwide and recognizes client service, customer satisfaction and growth.

. . . to Robert Etchells, executive director of Golden LivingCenter-Hillview, who has been elected chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators, the board responsible for the licensure and registration of nursing home administrators within the state

April 26, 2010

Upcoming Events

Register online

Pennsylvania Economy League Program
Friday, April 30, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Public Pensions Crisis and Politics
Featuring a presentation by Rick Dreyfuss, senior fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation, and a panel discussion with local and state representatives.

Register here

May Breakfast Club
May 13, 7:45 - 8:55 a.m.

Sponsored by:

 Register here

Business After Hours
May 20, 5 - 7 p.m.
Hosted by:

Register here

May Safety Presentation 
May 21, 7:45 to 9 a.m. 
at The Hampton Inn
"Will OSHA knock on your door"
presented by Attorney Andrew Blattenberger
of Urban & Blattenberger, P.C.

Register here

Business After Hours photos

View photos from our events online at the Chamber website or on The Chamber's Facebook Page. Newly updated photos include images from the WE-LEaD Workshop held last Tuesday and the After Hours event held Thursday evening. 

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 4/26/10

Business Opportunities Committee
Tuesday, April 27, 8:30 a.m.
The Chamber

Coalition on Environmental Sustainability
Wednesday, April 28, 8:15 a.m.
Devorris Center

 Click here for more information

Don't be left out! If you haven't already
submitted your information for "Buy The Alleghenies" Click here!

Follow The Chamber
on Facebook

Click here

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 The Chamber website
To subscribe or unsubscribe, email.