New residential program for electric savings introduced
Registrations for the ChamberChoice Residential Electric program, which lock-in a rate of 6.99 cents/kwh for the remainder of 2011 for Chamber Members, has officially closed and a new program has been introduced that will give members an opportunity to lock-in a rate of 7.15 cents/kwh for the next two years, with service through March, 2013. "Still a great deal," noted Chamber President Joe Hurd. "The
current Penelec residential rate is 7.68 so it's already below what Penelec would charge. If you believe that the Penelec rate will continue to increase, then 7.15 becomes an even better deal over the two year period. If you think the Penelec rate will drop below 7.15, then it’s probably wise to look around.” Hurd emphasized that the new program will have no impact on the people
who are already locked-in at 6.99 for the rest of the year. "To get a longer rate duration, people at 6.99 might want to consider looking at the new program,” he pointed out. “I’d recommend a call to OnDemand to make that kind of change.” The OnDemand number is 1-866-699-9968. Click
here to access the registration for the new residential program.
Business Excellence Dinner format change tabled
A recommendation from a subcommittee of the Blair County Chamber’s Board of Directors that would change the format of the organization’s Business Excellence Dinner beginning in 2012 will be tabled until the next Board meeting when more specifics concerning the change are identified. At last Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting, board member Randy Green, speaking on behalf of the Recognition Subcommittee, asked the Board
to consider changes that included the creation of a second “Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence” that would be geared more to small business professionals who met similar standards to the current award. The Board directed the subcommittee to come back with a recommended agenda for the event that would meet certain parameters of timing and relevance.
Board approves committee leadership positions
The Chamber Board of Directors has approved Andrew Katz of Katz Financial as chair of the Leadership Blair County Alumni Committee; Denny Doll of Reliance Bank as that committee’s vice-chair; Kurt Stull of Comfort Suites as vice-chair of the Hotel/Motel/Lodging Property Roundtable and Bonnie Williams of Advantage Resource Group as vice-chair of the Safety Committee.
Non-profit subcommittees to meet this week
The Chamber’s Non-Profit Roundtable has created four subcommittees and those subcommittees will meet on Thursday of this week. The subcommittees and their meeting times are: Advocacy (8:15 a.m.), Internal Marketing (9:30 a.m.), External Marketing (1:30 p.m.) and Collaboration (2:45 p.m.). All meetings will be held at the Chamber Office, located in the Devorris Center for Business Development. Any
non-profit organization that would like to join the Roundtable should contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151.
Sustainability Coalition to hear presentation on dilution system
At its next meeting, scheduled for this Thursday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at the Devorris Center, The Chamber’s Coalition on Environmental Sustainability will hear a presentation by Leisha De Vries of State Chemical titled “PA Contract for Dilution Control.” The presentation will focus on ultra-concentrated “green” cleaning chemicals, reduction of freight and inventory costs and the potential to secure free equipment/installation/freight/training
and monthly servicing. Any Chamber Member interested in attending the meeting is welcome to do so. No registration is required and there is no cost to attend.
Safety tour of DelGrosso Foods is Friday
For more than 50 years DelGrosso Foods, Inc. has been manufacturing the family’s recipe of spaghetti sauce in Blair County. The company started with the homemade sauce that Fred and Murf DelGrosso prepared for their pasta dinners at DelGrosso Café in Altoona and now manufactures sauce in its 110,000-square-foot facility in Tipton. In its long history of success, the family–owned company has had an excellent
track record for employee and consumer safety. The Chamber’s Safety Committee has arranged to hold a presentation and tour at DelGrosso Foods for its April Safety Program. The program will begin at 10 a.m., April 29 at the facility with a presentation followed by the tour of the working facility. The tour will be limited to 30 attendees, and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the tour attendees will meet at LaScalia’s
Restaurant in Pinecroft for lunch, which is included in the price of the program. The cost to attend the event is $22 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members. To register for the Safety Tour of DelGrosso, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.
Leadership Adult class to have session on justice
The seventh session of The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County Adult program will be held this Friday from 7:45 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the U.S. Hotel in Hollidaysburg. The session will include a tour of the Blair County Prison and presentations by Special Agents Randy Feathers and Tony Sassano of the PA Attorney General’s Office, Blair County Deputy District Attorney Jackie Bernard, Judy Rosser of Blair County Drug and Alcohol
Program and Judge Jolene Kopriva. For more information on Leadership Blair County, contact Judy Juda at 943-8151 or visit the Chamber website.
GRYP Lunch ’N’ Learn will focus on attitudes
The Growth and Relationships of Young Professionals is offering everyone an attitude adjustment. GRYP's Lunch 'N' Learn program “Your Attitude is Showing” will be presented by John Moore of Moore Power Sales and will focus on increasing communications through understanding attitudes. Attendees will gain a better understanding of what energizes and motivates them and how to steer their way into top performance. Understanding others’ viewpoints
and learning how to influence them by finding their motivators can help create more effective communication in the workplace. The program will be held at the Park Hills Country Club. GRYP and Chamber Members can attend the program for $22 while non-members may attend for $30. Chamber Member businesses that send three or more employees will receive admission for $17 per person. Register by calling the Chamber at 943-8151 or online.
Sam’s Club to host next Business Before Hours
The next Chamber Business Before Hours will be held Wednesday, May 4 from 7 to 9 a.m. at Sam’s Club in
The event is being held in May to correspond with “National Small Business Week,” which is a particular focus of Sam’s Club. Tours of the facility and refreshments are part of this Business Before Hours. Also, Chamber Members who attend can get a $10 or $25 gift card if they renew their existing membership or start a new one. 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.
All sponsorships secured for Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic
If your business was hoping to be a corporate sponsor for the Annual Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic, set for May 16 at Iron Masters Country Club, you’ll need to wait until the 2012 event. All sponsorships for 2011 have been secured. Sponsors are: Main Sponsor – Highmark Blue Cross/ Blue Shield; Luncheon and Reception Sponsor – OnDemand Energy; Comfort Cart Sponsors – Zane
Helsel Excavating, Saleme Insurance and Altoona Center for Nursing; Golf Ball Sponsor – Central Hydraulics; and Hole-in-One Sponsor – Gingrich Insurance. Tee-and-Green Sponsors are: Altoona Mirror, Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation, Altoona Lung Specialists, C&G Savings Bank, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Crossroads Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Culligan Water, First Commonwealth Bank, First National Bank, Goldstein, Heslop,
Steele, Clapper & Oswalt, Home Health Resource, Independent Catholic Foundation, James P. Kimmel Insurance, Joe Krentzman & Son, Inc., Keller Engineers, Laurel Eye Clinic, Moses & Associates, P.C., New Look Uniform Shop, NPC, Inc., Oak Spring Winery, P. Joseph Lehman Engineering, Penn State Altoona, Preferred Benefits Specialists, LLC, Press Box Printing, Ravine Custom Apparel & Sporting Goods, Ritchey’s Dairy, Roaring Spring Water, Saleme Insurance, Secur-Tec, Seltzer Financial, Sheetz,
Inc., The Casino and Snappy Chef, Ward Transport & Logistics, Young, Oakes, Brown & Company and YTI.
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 call The Chamber at 943-8151.
Farm-City Committee accepting new members
The Chamber’s Farm-City Committee works throughout the year to organize events and activities that promote agriculture. Another important part of its mission is to educate individuals on the importance of
business and agricultural communities working together towards a common goal. There are currently a few seats available on this committee. Committee Members may represent both the agriculture and business community. Meetings are one hour in length and are held one day each month from April thru November. The organizational meeting
for the 2011 events will be held this Friday, April 29 at noon at Hoss’s in Duncansville. If you would like to serve on this committee, or see what the committee is all about please contact Stacy Hoover at 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
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.
“Issues” program on transportation continues this week
With transportation such a major issue in
future, how does
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:
-Blair County Development Corporation, AMTRAN, Keller Engineers, P. Joseph Lehman, Inc., Skills of Central PA, The EADS Group, GAI Consultants and Ward Transport & Logistics.
Congratulations . . .
. . . to New Pig Corporation which recently had three of its new products receive Engineering Product of the Year Awards by the American Institute of Plant Engineers.
. . . to the Van Zandt VA Medical Center which has been honored with a Partner Recognition Award by Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for healthcare facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations.