President Jim Struzzi said the Chamber attracted three new members and had 33 renewals in September. The total membership is currently 667 members.
In late October Struzzi attended the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals (PACP) Leadership conference in State College. The event provided an opportunity to network with Chamber leaders across the state and share benchmarks and ideas to improve. Struzzi said one of the main areas of focus was the use of video to promote the community, the Chamber and our members. The Chamber has video recording equipment and recently hired an intern from IUP with a communications major focusing on video production.
“We will begin using more videos to market our members and Indiana County,” Struzzi said.
The videos will be posted one the Chamber’s website, YouTube channel and social media outlets.
The Chamber is also including a 30-second video promo for members that host Chamber Business After Hours. Dates to host after hours events are open in 2017. Interested Chamber members should contact the Chamber to reserve a date. Business After Hours are great opportunities to showcase businesses and attract customers. Video testimonials, member features and Young Professionals Organization profiles will be added as well. The conference provided many good ideas and ways to enhance the Indiana County Chamber that Struzzi and his staff will work to implement in the coming year to provide value for our members and the community.
Struzzi said also he learned that the Indiana County Chamber is already doing many great things that other Chamber’s can learn from as well.
“Comparing notes with other Chambers reinforced to me that we have some really good things happening within the Chamber and Indiana County.”
Building on that, Struzzi was invited in October to speak at an economic development summit held by the Alle-Kiski Chamber of Commerce on the Try Indiana County First campaign. The campaign, launched last year, was designed to promote shopping and using local businesses in Indiana County before going elsewhere. The effort included Downtown Indiana, Renda Broadcasting, the Indiana Gazette, the Chamber, Indiana Mall, the Indiana County Tourist Bureau and several local businesses. Struzzi gave the presentation to about 50 people who seemed truly impressed with Indiana County and our willingness and ability to work together for the common good.
The Try Indiana County First awareness effort will continue this year. To learn more visit, www.tryindianacounty.com.
Struzzi attend the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission’s annual planning retreat at St. Vincent College to keep the Chamber and Indiana County embedded in regional planning and economic development efforts. County Commissioners Mike Baker and Rod Ruddock and Byron Stauffer, Indiana County Office of Planning & Development Executive Director, also attended.
The Chamber has also concluded the process of selecting the 2017 Business Hall of Fame class. The next class will be announced at the annual member luncheon set for Friday, Dec. 2, at the Kovalchick Complex, and inducted at a formal dinner in June 2017.
“Once again, we have a great class of business and community leaders who will be permanently recognized in the Indiana County Business Hall of Fame,” Struzzi said.
The Chamber’s board nominating committee met in October to fill three positions for board members who have fulfilled their terms. Sherry Renosky, Indiana Mall Manager, Mark Zilner with Diamond Drugs and CJ Spadafora with Colonial Motor Mart will be stepping down at the end of the year. The new slate of board members that will be presented for approval at the annual lunch includes Laurie Kuzneski, Kuzneski Financial Group, Brett Stewart, CNB Bank, and Matt Tomb with First Commonwealth Bank. All three had been serving as ex-officio board members.
The Chamber is busy preparing for the luncheon and reservations are filling fast. The deadline to register is Nov. 22. Tickets are as follows:
$75 per person
$725 per table of ten
$100 per person
$975 per table of ten
Advanced registrations can be made now at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Chamber at 724-465-2511.
The Chamber is also accepting booth reservations for the 2017 Business Expo set for January 28 at the Indiana Mall. The registration form includes an early bird special for businesses that reserve a booth by Dec. 1 and a special rate for new members that would like to join and be part of the Business Expo. Expo sponsorship opportunities are also available. Visit the Chamber website, www.indianacountychamber.com for the registration packet.
The Chamber had several successful member and community events in October including a ribbon cutting ceremony at HR Steinhouse, Business After Hours at Hillsdale Nursing and Rehabilitation, a Brains and Grains on Corporate Wellness, Happy Hours at the RBG Grill, and a Chamber Check-in at St. Andrews Village.
Related to promotion, the annual visit of the KDKA CBS Radio1020 AM Morning Show featuring Larry Richert and John Shumway occurred Oct. 25. The show, hosted by the Indiana County Center for Economic Operations at the Jimmy Stewart Indiana County Airport, went very well showcasing economic opportunities, recreation and everything Indiana County has to offer to KDKA’s vast audience across the region and globe. Struzzi also did an interview with the National Chamber Review. The Chamber and Indiana County will be featured in an upcoming edition of this national publication.