Member News – October 25, 2017

Member News

  • Jazz and world music vocalist Somi will perform tonight, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center For the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

    Jazz and world music vocalist Somi.

    The performance is free and tickets are not required. There will also be a free pre-performance talk with the artist from 6:45-7:15 p.m. in the Atrium Lobby. Blending modern jazz, African music and the singer-songwriter tradition, Somi’s latest album, Petite Afrique, is an amalgamation of the musical and cultural worlds that resonate with Somi as an African and American woman and a proud native of Harlem. 

  • Jeb Stotter has been appointed the new chief executive officer at North Shore Railroad, effective Oct. 19.

    Outgoing North Shore Railroad CEO Gary Shields (left) and incoming CEO Jeb Stotter (right).

    Previously vice president and chief operating officer, Stotter has been with North Shore since 2001 and has held numerous positions, including VP and COO since 2015. Stotter replaces Gary Shields, who retired as president and CEO but will remain chair of the North Shore and affiliates board of directors. For more information, read the official announcement


  • The Danville Borough will holds its annual Halloween parade tomorrow night, Oct. 26, beginning at 7 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. Tomorrow, Mill St. will close at 6 p.m., Rt. 54 at Front St. will close at 6:15 p.m. Market St. will close at 6:20 p.m., and access from the former Metso Mineral will be closed. Collections for next year’s parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. 


  • PPL Electric Utilities and its supply chain division is hosting a Diversity Meet and Greet event on Friday, Nov. 17, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the PPL Conference Center at Walbert, 1639 Church Rd., Allentown. This event is designed for business owners who are veterans, women, minorities, LGBT and disabled, to have an opportunity to find out more about PPL and its opportunities for suppliers. Attendees will have a chance to meet and speak to PPL leaders and the staff that works with suppliers. There is no cost to attend, but those interested in attending should register online by this Friday, Oct. 27. For more information, see this flyer


  • The Bloomsburg Area YMCA will host its annual Trunk or Treat Halloween event this Friday, Oct. 27, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at its location at 30 East 7th St., Bloomsburg. Join it, The Exchange, AGAPE Love From Above to our Community, First Keystone Community Bank and others for a night of spooky family fun. There will be fun activities, a haunted walk-through and plenty of Halloween candy. The Bloomsburg YMCA Y-Care program, a before and after-school program for children, will also be waiving its registration fee on Oct. 27. For more information on this event, visit the Bloomsburg Y’s website


  • The Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will hold a cybersecurity workshop, which will be specially tailored to small businesses this Friday, Oct. 27, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Elaine Langone Center, Center Room on the Bucknell campus in Lewisburg. Last year, almost half of all cyberattacks targeted small businesses and two out of every three small businesses hit by a cyberattack close within a few months of the disruption. Come to this workshop to learn how to arm your small business against cyberattacks and connect with resources who can help. The cost of $49. Register online or call Shelley at 570-577-1249. 


  • The Ken Pollock Auto Group will team up with Operation Kidsafe to hold Kid Safety Day this Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in which parents can bring their children to get a free digital finger prints and photos. Parents can get the finger prints and pictures to authorities to aid an investigation anywhere in the world. This event will be held at Ken Pollock Volvo Cars, 339 Highway 315, Pittston. Ken Pollock Auto Group will also hold its 4th annual Trunk or Treat at four locations, including Ken Pollock Ford Lincoln at 1120 West Front St., Berwick, on Oct. 31. All day long on Halloween, there will be treats in all the vehicles in the showroom for the children. Costumes are encouraged. 


  • UPDATE – AS OF OCT 26, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR NOV. 18. – The Bloomsburg Municipal Airport, which is operated by the Bloomsburg Municipal Authority, will hold a Fly-In/Drive-In/Walk-In Breakfast on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 8 a.m. – noon at its locations at 301 Airport Rd., Bloomsburg. The event is free and open to the public, however donations are suggested. It will feature both pumpkin and plain pancakes, eggs, sausage, ham and more. 


  • PA CareerLink of Columbia/Montour Counties, along with the Innovative Manufacturers Center (IMC), will host a collaborative robot workshop next Monday, Oct. 30, from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Pine Barn Inn, Danville. There is no cost to attend and a light breakfast will be served. Around the world, thousands of robots work collaboratively alongside humans with no safety guards and no problems. Come and learn about universal robots, robot programming, end effector solutions, stands and protective covering, and participate in hands-on activities. Visit online to register or learn more about this event. 


  • The League of Voters, Republican and Democratic parties of Montour County will sponsor a Meet the Candidates night on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at the Pine Barn Inn ballroom for candidates running for Montour County treasurer. The event is free and open to the public and food will be provided. A debate will be held starting at 7:15 p.m. 


  • The Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will hold a pair of training sessions for those interested in learning Quickbooks. The first session, titled Basic Quickbooks, will be on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the DeWitt Building third floor, 416 Market. St., Lewisburg, and is intended for beginners or those new to Quickbooks. The second session, titled Intermediate Quickbooks, will be on Friday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the same location. The cost is $75 per class. For more information or to register, visit online or call Shelley at 570-577-1249. Veterans are welcome to attend at no charge. 


  • The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) is holding a three-part training series on supply chain strategy. All sessions in the series are free. The second and third parts of the series will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 and Wednesday, Dec. 6, respectively. The Nov. 2 session will be held at the TekRidge Center, 50 Alberigi Dr., Jessup, and the Dec. 6l session will be held at the NEPIRC Training Center, 75 Young St., Wilkes-Barre. Dates, times and titles of each remaining session along with links to more information and to register, are below.
    Nov. 2, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Total Cost of Ownership
    Dec. 6, 8:30 a.m. – noon – Competition is no Longer Between Companies – it is Between Supply Chains


  • The Ziegler College of Business at Bloomsburg University will host entrepreneur Kristopher B. Jones for a talk on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. in Gross Auditorium, Carver Hall. It is free and open to the public. Jones, who resides in Shavertown near Wilkes-Barre, has founded several successful businesses based in northeastern PA, including Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay in 2009. For over 20 years, Jones has been in pursuit of developing specific answers to the question – why do only 10% of entrepreneurs succeed? In this talk, Jones will present real world tips and strategies, while making a case that a primary function of entrepreneurship is about community impact and inspiring tomorrow’s entrepreneurial leaders. 


  • Innotek Computer Consulting will host its annual Technology and Security Expo on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Sand Springs Country Club, 10 Clubhouse Dr., Drums. This annual event, billed as “Northeast Pennsylvania’s biggest technology and security expo,” brings together IT managers, executives and business owners to discuss the impact of technology and security on business. There is no cost to attend. For more information or to register, visit the event page on Innotek’s website, or the Facebook event page.


  • The Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will hold the last portion of its HR 20/20 workshop series on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at its DeWitt Building location in downtown Lewisburg. This session will focus on conflict management and will feature Tina Welch, from Welch Performance Consulting. The cost to attend is $40. Visit online to register or for more information, or call Shelley at 570-577-1249. 


  • Along with the Bloomsburg University Regional STEM Education Center, the Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber will co-sponsor the Future Careers Expo on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Kehr Union Ballroom on the BU campus. The annual event allows attendees to explore career in science, technology, engineering and math and it open to all students in grades 7-12, as well as their parents. Participants can receive a BU application fee waiver just for attends, and there will also be door prizes for those that sign up. For more information and to register, visit here. For businesses that are interested in participating as vendors, please fill out this form and return it to the email address on the form by Oct. 20. For questions from businesses, please call the Chamber Foundation at 570-784-2522 or email


  • In honor of Veterans Day, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital will hold a dinner celebration for veterans on Thursday, Nov. 9 at the GBH dining room in which it will provide a complimentary meal for all veterans and one guest each. There will be four seatings at 3, 4, 5 and 6 p.m. All veterans and a guest are invited as Geisinger celebrates your service to the United States. Reservations are required by Nov. 3, as seating is limited. Call 570-387-2145 to reserve your seat. The buffet dinner includes carved roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, green beans, beverages and cake and ice cream.


  • State Rep. Dave Millard will help dedicated State Route 93 as Stuart Tank Memorial Highway, with a ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. at the Atomic Academy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lot, located at 1901 Orange St., Berwick. 


  • State Rep. Dave Millard will host his third annual Veterans Expo on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. – noon at Central Columbia High School, located at 4777 Old Berwick Rd., Bloomsburg. Exhibitors with veteran-related information will be available. 

Welcome Penn College

More than 400 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and our region. Increased membership allows us to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. The Chamber welcomes its newest member, Penn College, to help us fulfill our mission.

Short for Pennsylvania College of Technology, Penn College is an affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University and has developed a national reputation for supporting workforce development. With its main campus in Williamsport, Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education and currently enrolls more than 5,000 students. Its largest programs are for nursing, information technology, welding, management, automotive, electrical, building construction, engineering & industrial design technology, heating, ventilation & air conditioning, and automated manufacturing & machining. It also offers an extensive workforce development program, as it enrolls nearly 7,000 professionals in traditional noncredit courses. Through its Workforce Development & Continuing Education (WDCE) department, it works with businesses and employers to deliver solutions to meet skills gaps. For more information on Penn College, visit its website

Congressman Barletta Talks About Pennsylvania’s Economic Opportunities

A member of Congressman Barletta’s staff (right) shows a flow chart of how a federal transportation project like a new highway gets approved to illustrate the complexity of it all as Rep. Barletta (left at podium) makes his remarks.

Audio of Rep. Barletta’s remarks (.mp3)

U.S. Representative Lou Barletta conveyed optimism for the future of Pennsylvania and its economy to members of the Columbia Montour Chamber and Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau. The Commonwealth’s natural gas reserves and anthracite coal have considerable untapped potential according to the Congressman, while tax reform would put more money back in the pockets of the middle class. Barletta spoke with members at a breakfast event, sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities, held Friday, Oct. 20 at The Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg.

According to the Congressman, there are 1,000 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania ready to be drilled, but the pipeline infrastructure to get the gas to market is underdeveloped. He noted that there is more natural gas “under our feet” than oil in Saudi Arabia. Following Barletta’s remarks, Chamber President Fred Gaffney noted that construction of the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project is getting underway.

Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal also holds new opportunities, with uses in manufacturing processes and the possible extraction of valuable rare earth elements. Penn State has provided a $1 million grant to study extraction. If successful, these processes could lead to reclamation of former mining areas.

Rep. Barletta poses for a photo with representatives from Chamber member Red Rock Job Corps Center at the Oct. 20 Chamber breakfast.

To support industry, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act would reauthorize and update legislation to encourage increased engagement between employers and education so that future workers are better prepared. The current legislation provides funding to the Columbia Montour Area Vocational-Technical School for career and technical education.

Barletta once again emphasized the need for a long-term transportation funding bill.

“It’s a responsibility of the Federal Government to make sure…especially our interstates, that we can move commerce efficiently and effectively,” said Barletta.

In addition to the President’s $1 trillion package, Barletta talked about the efforts of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to reduce the environmental review and permit process for projects from 14-15 years to seven.

That Transportation Committee also has oversight over FEMA. With the increasing frequency of major natural disaster declarations in the United States, the agency is spending more on recovery for each subsequent event. Rep. Barletta believes more needs to be invested in pre-disaster mitigation to protect homes and businesses before disasters strike. He has also co-sponsored the Disaster Declaration Improvement Act, which would allow FEMA to provide assistance for more isolated events, such as localized flooding or snowstorms.

Proposed tax form that would replace the 1040 under newly-proposed tax reform legislation.

As Congress begins consideration of tax reform, Barletta emphasized that the primary goal is for taxpayers, particularly the middle class, to keep more of their money to spend and grow the economy. Under the Republican plan, the number of personal income tax brackets would be reduced to three, and the standard deduction would double to $24,000. Filing a tax return could be completed on a post card (right). Corporate tax rates would also be reduced and many loopholes eliminated in an effort to encourage domestic investment.

“Let’s get the IRS out of your house…off your back…and let’s get the economy going again,” said Barletta.

Prior to Rep. Barletta’s remarks, Tracie Witter, regional affairs director at event sponsor PPL Electric Utilities made some brief remarks about PPL’s most recent work in the local communities that it serves. Chris Stamatedes, regional operations director at PPL and a Chamber board member, also spoke about his recent experience in going to Florida last month with a PPL team of more than 400 individuals to assist with the recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma. Stamatedes and his team went to Fort Myers, Fla. for about two weeks to support one of the largest storm recovery efforts in U.S. history. 

PA Department of Labor & Industry to Hold Free Safety Webinars in November

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Health & Safety Division will offer a series of free webinars on workplace safety throughout the month of November.  Titled PATHS (PA Training for Health and Safety), these webinars will cover subjects such as emergency action plans, behavior-based safety, safe driving in inclement weather, hazardous waste management, dealing with angry people, and much more. Each webinar lasts approximately one hour depending on course material and viewer participation. 

For more information, to register, and for a complete listing of each webinar, visit the PATHS training calendar

Chamber Helps Cut Ribbon on Columbia Child Development Program’s Newly-Dedicated Playground

(L-R): Fred Gaffney, president, Columbia Montour Chamber; Cassie Weaver, administrator, Columbia Child Development Program; Debbie Jones, CCDP Child Care Coordinator; Sylvia Costa, CCDP board member; Jennifer Johnson, CCDP administrative assistant; Bernie Landers, CCDP board member; Virginia Thompson & Marge Duck, daughters of Florence Thompson


The Chamber had the pleasure of being on hand to help cut the ribbon on the newly-dedicated Florence Thompson Memorial Playground at the Columbia Child Development Program on Friday afternoon, Oct. 20. Nearly 20 friends, donors and board members of CCDP were on hand to celebrate the new renovations on the playground, which included new, softer artificial turf. Thompson, a long time board member of CCDP, bequeathed funds to CCDP to help pay for the improvements to the playground. Her two daughters were on hand for the event, which was followed by a brief reception for the attendees.