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Chamber office closed Monday for Holiday
Annual Meeting: An event of excitement, celebration
Going to China with The Chamber? 
Strategic Planning focus group to provide valuable input
Executive Roundtable to assess 2010, predict 2011 
Foundation Board of Directors to orientate members
Ribbon Cutting Wednesday at Bee Line Wholesalers
Chamber Board to consider revamping Ambassadors
LBC Youth session to focus on media, diversity
GRYP to hit the slopes for snow tubing
LBC Class to examine county's economic development
Workers comp presentation scheduled for Friday
Chamber energy program guarantees you a lower rate
InfoLaunch program helps protect businesses from data breaches
Television program on local retail runs through January
Lodging properties featured on "Blair County: It's Our Business"
"Skills for Success" to begin Jan. 25
Congratulations . . .

Chamber Office closed Monday for holiday

The Blair County Chamber of Commerce Office will be closed today in commemoration of the holiday recognizing the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The office will re-open on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. For Chamber information while the office is closed, visit the website.  


Annual Meeting: An event of excitement, celebration

The Chamber’s Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration, set for Friday, Jan. 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The Casino at Lakemont Park , is an opportunity for the Chamber membership to celebrate the accomplishments of 2010 and recognize the individuals who played significant roles in those accomplishments. “The popularity of this event seems to center around the awards and the fact that the award recipients have no idea that they are the honorees,” explained Judy Juda of The Chamber. “People enjoy the element of suspense.”  The cost to attend the Annual Meeting & Awards presentation is just $20 per person. The cost includes a buffet breakfast. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online 


Going to China with The Chamber?

The Blair County Chamber and the Huntingdon County Chamber are partnering on a trip to China from Nov. 3-11 and it’s an opportunity that you won’t want to miss. The cost is low and the accommodations are incredible. Care to learn more? An informational meeting will be held on Feb. 1 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Devorris Center.   Leo Liu of Citslinc will facilitate the meeting and answer any questions that people have about the trip. There is no cost or obligation if you attend. To register for the meeting, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.  


Strategic planning focus group to provide valuable input

A group of Chamber Members representing a variety of industry sectors will meet tomorrow morning at the Devorris Center to share their ideas and concerns as The Chamber embarks on a new strategic planning process. “Successful organizations don’t operate in a vacuum,” acknowledged Chamber President Joe Hurd. “This focus group of Chamber members, many of whom have been longtime members, will provide us the insight that will serve as the basis for our next plan. We’re grateful for their willingness to help at this important time.” A subcommittee of the Chamber’s Board of Directors is overseeing the Strategic Planning.   


Executive Roundtable to assess 2010, predict 2011

At Wednesday’s meeting of The Chamber’s Executive Roundtable, members will provide short overviews of how their businesses and organizations weathered 2010 and how they intend to prosper in 2011. “Each year, our businesses share with one another what went right and what still needs addressed,” admitted Roundtable Vice-Chair Marty Marasco of Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation.  “It’s helpful to hear, for comparison purposes, what others have experienced. Often, it results in one business being able to assist another – never a bad thing in a community like ours.” The Executive Roundtable is comprised of business leaders whose businesses have a minimum of 100 fulltime employees.   


Foundation Board of Directors to orientate members

The Blair County Chamber Foundation Board of Directors meets Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the Devorris Center.  Members of the Board will be orientated as to their duties and responsibilities and subcommittees will be formed. The Foundation will welcome three new board members: Susan Barber, Tim Nagle and Jay Natatez. For more information of the Foundation, contact Cindy Cessna at 843-8151.


Ribbon cutting Wednesday at Bee Line Wholesalers

The Chamber will cut a ribbon on Wednesday to mark the expansion of Bee Line Wholesalers, located at 1833 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd. in Altoona. The event will take place at 9:30 a.m.   


Chamber board to consider revamping Ambassadors

For many years, the crux of Chamber efforts aimed at recruiting and retaining Chamber Members were in the capable hands of the Chamber Ambassadors. To help that practice to continue will take an upgrading of Ambassador responsibilities and a broader representation of Ambassadors from various parts of the county believes Chamber President Joe Hurd. "We’ve enjoyed the longtime impact that our Ambassadors have had on helping the organization to grow,” Hurd pointed out. "Like everything else, we need to explore some different strategies and attract some new blood." If the Chamber Board approves some suggested changes, a recruitment process for some additional Ambassadors will begin as well as a new focus that will emphasize greater member participation.  


LBC Youth session to focus on media, diversity

The first session of 2011 for the twenty-four students in The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County Youth program will be held this Thursday beginning at 8 a.m. at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center. The morning part of the session will focus on how to effectively deal with the local news media which will include a site visit to Forever Broadcasting. In the afternoon, the topic changes to diversity and examines the overall composition of those living in Blair County and some of the challenges that many face in functioning day-to-day.  For additional information on the session or to learn more about the LBC Youth program, contact Judy Juda at 943-8151.


GRYP to hit the slopes for snow tubing

The Chamber’s Growth and Relationships of Young Professionals (GRYP) program will sponsor a snow tubing event on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. at Blue Knob All-Seasons Resort. The cost to attend is just $12-per-person and includes a small networking event at the lodge afterward to thaw-out before the ride home. Pre-registration is required. Contact Mike McMullen at 943-8151.


LBC class to examine county’s economic development

Session No. 4 for The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County Adult Class will be held on Friday beginning at 7:45 a.m. at the Devorris Center for Business Development. The session will focus on Economic Development and will include an array of presenters that will address the challenges and opportunities associated with growing the Blair County economy. Class members also will participate in a strategic assessment based on research they conducted with local business and education leaders. For more information on Leadership Blair County, visit the Chamber website.


Workers comp presentation scheduled for Friday

The Chamber’s Safety Committee and the Human Resources Management Association of Blair County are co-sponsoring a presentation entitled, “Having a More Effective Workers Comp Program.” The presentation will be held this Friday at the Jaffa Shrine. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m. The program runs from 8 to 11 a.m. Guest speakers are Kim Hannegan of Procura Management, Inc.; Darlene Vila of East Coast Risk Management and Attorney Mike Wagner of Wagner & Finn Law Firm. The cost to attend is $25 for Chamber Members and $40 for non-members. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online 


Chamber energy program guarantees you a lower rate

The cost of electricity for businesses and consumers in the Penelec region has taken a considerable jump. The removal of the rate caps on electricity means you’ll pay more. How much more depends on your ability to access an energy plan that provides rates below the ones set by Penelec. The Chamber’s Energy Program, through OnDemand Energy, guarantees your business a lower rate. In the near future it will allow you to offer that rate to your employees for their residences. Interested? Call The Chamber at 943-8151 and we’ll send you more information. Why pay more for electricity than you need to? Let The Chamber provide you just one more compelling reason for why you invest in the organization that is the “Voice of Business” in Blair County.   


InfoLaunch program helps protect businesses from data breaches

The Chamber’s newest affinity program will help Chamber members to be protected in the event of data breaches associated with their businesses. The InfoLaunch Breach Ready program is accepting customers and the cost to participate -- only $700 annually --  is less than one-third of the cost for non-members. "This is true peace-of-mind," related Chamber President Joe Hurd. "So many of our businesses are vulnerable to breaches of data that they need some sort of protection. InfoLaunch is that protection." For further information, contact The Chamber at 943-8151. 


Television program on local retail runs through January

“Retail and the Blair County Economy,” a Chamber program in the “ Blair County: It’s Our Business” series will run throughout January on Altoona Public Access Channel 14. The program will run on Mondays at 9 p.m. and on Wednesday’s at 11 a.m.  Panelists for the retail program are: Don Beerbower of Beerbower Jewelers, Tom Irwin, Jr. of Fiore True Value, Matthew Miller of Best Buy, Dave Robbins of Martin’s Food Store and Bill Thompson, Jr. of Thompson Pharmacy. Carolyn Donaldson of WTAJ Your News Leader served as moderator. Sponsors for the retail program are: Ace Fix-It Hardware, Altoona Wal-Mart, East Freedom Wal-Mart and Sprint.    


Lodging properties featured on "Blair County: It’s Our Business"

Another of The Chamber’s television programs in the “Blair  County: It’s Our Business” series features the challenges and opportunities of Blair County ’s hotels, motels and lodging properties. “Staying Overnight in Blair County" will air every Wednesday at noon and 9 p.m. throughout January. Panelists for this program are: Dolly Kozlovac of Super 8 Motel, Rachael Lenhart of Ramada Altoona Conference Center, Sue St. Martin of Holiday Inn Express, Angelica Schaefer of Courtyard by Marriott and Kurt Stull of Comfort Suites Altoona.  Carolyn Donaldson of WTAJ Your News Leader served as moderator. Sponsors of the program on hotels, motels and lodging properties are: A1 Altoona Taxi, Blair County Notary, Holiday Inn Express, Sprint, Super 8 Motel and Yellow Cab & Transfer. 


 “Skills for Success” to begin Jan. 25

The Chamber and Dale Carnegie Training are once again partnering on an educational program to assist in personal development.  “Skills for Success” is an eight-week course that will be held at the Comfort Inn in Duncansville beginning on January 25th and continuing each Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.  The sessions include: Building a Foundation for Success, Putting Stress in Perspective, Inspiring Others and Demonstrating Leadership.  To register, contact Jeff Davis at 931-1963.   


Congratulations . . .

. . . to NPC Inc., which for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in the last six years, earned the top spot on the U.S. Government Printing Office Top 50 Print Suppliers List.  For the 15th consecutive year, NPC was ranked among the top suppliers of print and related services to the federal government.

. . . to Dr. Walter J. Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, who has been named a finalist for the Community College Bellwether Award given annually by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida.
. . . to Donald A. DeGol, Jr. who was recently appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of the DeGol Organization, Inc. Donald previously served as the Executive Vice President/Assistant to the Chairman. He is suceeding Joseph Adams who is retiring. 

January 17, 2011

Upcoming Events

Register online

Chamber Office Closed
Jan. 17
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

 Business After Hours
Jan. 27, 5 to 7 p.m.
Hosted by:

1413 11th Avenue, Altoona

Register here

GRYP Snowtubing Event
Jan. 20, 6 to 8 p.m.
Blue Knob All Seasons Resort

$12 per person for 2 hours
of fun for the whole family

Register here

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 1/17/2011

Chamber Strategic Planning Focus Group
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 8 a.m. 
Devorris Center
Finance Committee 
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m.
The Chamber
Board of Directors
Thursday, Jan. 20, 7:30 a.m.
Devorris Center 
WE-LEaD/Wise Women Meeting 
Thursday, Jan. 20, 3:30 p.m. 
Devorris Center

 Follow The Chamber
on Facebook

Click here


Congratulations . . .

Donald A. DeGol, Jr., was recently appointed
as the new Chief Financial Officer
of the DeGol Oranization, Inc. 




For more information, visit the website

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