Service 1st Cuts Ribbon on New Elysburg Branch

The Chamber was able to participate in a ribbon cutting for Service 1st Federal Credit Union’s new Elysburg branch on the morning of June 19. The Chamber joined local officials, several neighboring businesses, Kornerstone Custom Builders – the contractor that completed the renovations on the building, and several members of Service 1st’s leadership team and branch staff on hand to celebrate the opening of the credit union’s 12th branch location.

Now through next Saturday, June 29, there is a Grand Opening Celebration going on at the branch in which individuals are invited to stop by to enjoy refreshments and a chance to win great prizes. Service 1st’s Elysburg branch is open Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Later this year, on Wednesday, Oct. 9, the Elysburg branch will also host a Chamber Business After Hours

Member News – June 19, 2019


  • Susquehanna Steam Electric Station (SSES), which is operated by Talen Energy, was recently recognized by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) for an innovation that helped improve the reliability and efficiency of the plant, so it can keep generating clean energy 24/7. 

    Russel Karshick, Senior Technology Specialist at Susquehanna Steam Electric Station accepts the Stations’ TIP Award from NEI’s Susan Perkins

    Representatives from SSES were presented with a Top Innovative Practice (TIP) Award at NEI’s annual Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA) event held earlier this month in Washington, D.C. The NEI presents TIP Awards to recognize the most remarkable efforts aimed at making the current fleet more efficient, reliable and cost-competitive.  The awards highlight new solutions that teams at nuclear energy companies are using to drive the industry forward.”  SSES was one of 10 winners out of 85 total submissions. SSES’ use of 3D printing technology to create solutions for obsolete parts in-house earned it a TIP Award. Learn more about this achievement by viewing the NEI Website or by checking out Susquehanna’s informational video.


  • The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has named PPL Electric Utilities as the 2019 SEPA Power Players Investor-Owned Utility of the Year. Now in their eleventh year, the SEPA Power Players Awards honor utilities, their industry partners and individual thought leaders, providing the vision, models and momentum for the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean, modern energy future. Chosen by an independent panel of judges with diverse experience in the electric power industry, PPL Electric Utilities and winners in six other categories will be celebrated at an awards gala on Monday, July 29, co-located with SEPA’s Grid Evolution Summit in Washington, D.C. PPL’s award was a recognition of the company’s comprehensive plan and strategy to prepare for the future by creating the next generation of advanced distribution management system functionalities through its Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS). This system dynamically manages distributed energy resources (DER) connected to PPL’s grid to optimize power quality, while encouraging the adoption of DER like solar. The DERMS enables PPL to host more interconnected DER because it leverages these resources to counteract some of the negative impacts that DER can have in high penetrations. Those impacts can include high line voltage or over-operation of capacitor banks.


  • The Ronald McDonald House of Danville invites all to join them in celebration of 38 years of service with a “Luau Party” on its patio on Monday, June 24, from 4-7 p.m. There will be a special guest appearance from Boomer, the Williamsport Crosscutters’ mascot, from 5-6 p.m. The Pine Barn Inn will be among the organizations on site with prizes and food samples for guests. Guests are also welcome to donate any gift cards for RMHD guests. Donations can be brought to this event, or dropped off prior in a special donation container at the Chamber office. For information, visit the Facebook event page. To register for this event, contact Ginnetta Reed by email or at 570-271-7937.


  • The Children’s Museum will host Families with Special Needs Night on Friday, June 28, from 6-8 p.m. at the museum located at 2 West 7th St., Bloomsburg. This evening is specially for families with special needs individuals and features a reduced number of visitors, space and freedom to explore at your own pace, adapted exhibits, a quiet area, fun craft and sensory activities and an opportunity to network with other families. This quarterly event is free to all families with special needs members. 


  • Elmcroft Senior Living will hold an Open House on Saturday, June 29 from 1-3 p.m. at its location at 2050 West Front St., Berwick. Attendees can meet Elmcroft’s welcoming staff, tour its model apartments and learn more about this senior living community. There is no cost to attend. RSVP by calling 570-759-3155, and see the event invitation for more information. 


  • The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit will host a Business & Education Summit on Wednesday, July 10, from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Milton Area High School, 700 Mahoning St., Milton. This event will feature a presentation with Mark C. Perna on groundbreaking strategies that are changing the education and workforce development paradigm nationwide and more. There is no cost to attend. For more information, see the flyer, and register online


  • The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center will hold its annual Celebration of Small Business breakfast on Friday, July 26 at 8 a.m. This annual event celebrates entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders and also features awards. There is no cost to attend. Register online or call 570-577-1249. 


  • The Regional Impact Fund of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation recently announced its second competitive grantround of $50K for projects that address current areas of unmet needs throughout the CSCF’s service area, which includes Columbia and Montour Counties. This year’s grantround will consist of an exciting new application process and opportunity for the public to get involved. Interested nonprofits will first submit a Letter of Inquiry introducing their organization, needs, service area, and budgetary request. Those proposals selected by the CSCF Grants Committee will then be invited to submit a full application and participate in The Nonprofit Narrative on Monday, July 29, at 8:30 a.m. at the Danville Area High School auditorium. The Nonprofit Narrative is a platform for these groups to share their grant requests and stories of regional impact—the joys, challenges, dreams and requests each face as they serve our neighbors, communities, and region at large. For more information on the Regional Impact Fund, competitive grantround or The Nonprofit Narrative, visit


  • The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center invites interested business in need of website development to connect with Bucknell students in the “Markets, Innovation, and Design 300” class in the Freeman College of Management. Each semester, these students make websites free of charge for local small businesses. These projects provide a hands-on learning experience for the students while bringing new ideas to these organizations. In early September, the students will be introduced to this assignment and divided into teams. Then the teams will have the liberty to choose with which businesses and organizations they would like to work. By early October, each student team will meet with their client to learn about the specific needs and goals of the organization and the purpose that the site should serve. Over the course of the semester, the students will then design and build the website with an online website software program, incorporating text and photographs provided by the organization. If your business or organization is in need of a website, or if it would benefit from a redesigned site, then please fill out this online form by Aug. 15 to ensure your organization is considered. Additional information is available on this form. 

Welcome YES! Math and Literacy Center

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, YES! Math and Literacy Center, to help us fulfill our mission.

YES! Math and Literacy Center provides assessment and individualized instruction to high school students with a focus on helping students in grades 9-12 enhance their test-taking skills and prepare for taking SAT and ACT exams. The locally-owned center will offer its first locally-taught SAT prep course beginning on July 19. Classes will be held at the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation at 725 West Front St., Berwick. For more information, visit the YES! website, email the owner or call 508-808-9497.

Tri-County Lumber Breaks Ground on New Design Center

(L-R): John Gordner, PA State Senator; John Coates, owner, Tri-County Lumber; Fred Gaffney, president, Columbia Montour Chamber; Chris Young, Columbia County Commissioner; David Millard, PA State Representative; Rich Ridgway, Columbia County Commissioner

The Chamber was on hand on June 13 as Tri-County Lumber broke ground on its new design center, which will be called Forest & Field. It will be located in the Columbia County Business Park on Alliance Park Dr. in Lightstreet and directly next to the Fairfield Inn & Suites.

This design center will be a 10,000-square foot showroom with interactive kitchen and bathroom displays, and spots for customers to meet with builders, architects and designers. There will also be a lounge area and conference rooms. Construction is scheduled to get underway in the next month, and the project is scheduled to take about a year to complete.

Is Your Insurance Investment Maximized?

From ChamberChoice & Smart Business Pittsburgh

Benefits costs and employee expectations continue to rise. So, the expertise offered from your benefits broker is a critical consideration.

“Most employers struggle to maintain insurance coverage and a healthy financial bottom line. Historically brokers earned your business by representing the lowest price. But in today’s employee benefits landscape, you need experienced representation that delivers beyond the lowest price insurance plans. Premium and fee pricing differentiation represented by agents and brokers is largely marginal.

“Today, the balance between coverage and cost is achieved by differentiation in consultative services, supplemental benefits and complementary products and services,” says Dennis Spingola, vice president of operations at JRG Advisors.

Smart Business spoke with Spingola about getting the most from the employee benefits broker relationship.

What can a consultative broker offer?

A consultative broker can do much more than just place your coverage. A consultative broker is a partner who learns about your challenges and needs, and supports you with a variety of resources and services.

Serving in an advisory role, a consultative broker develops the customized multiyear strategic plan to achieve your objectives now and into the future. The plan may include streamlining HR operations, implementing wellness platforms, and accessing data to support plan designs and funding alternatives. Above all, a consultative broker is your partner, educational resource and champion of your initiatives and requirements.

What is an example of a results-driven strategy?

An alternative premium funding arrangement is a popular strategy that supports health risk management and wellness initiatives. A consultative broker will carefully consider the many options of funding to ensure there is a plan to meet long-term goals for the business, while minimizing disruption to the workforce.

The inclusive funding approach can lead to informed, engaged and healthier employees and family members. Not only does this curb the costs of health care, it can lead to less absenteeism due to illness, more productive employees and improved morale. The consultative broker can combine the funding arrangement that works for you with a wellness program that includes everything you need to implement, monitor and measure outcomes.

How might a consultative broker handle risk management and HR support?

Proper management of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Affordable Care Act compliance requirements is of significant importance. The consultative broker will remove the burden of complicated mandates and mitigate the risk of costly fines associated with a Department of Labor audit. Education is paramount in this area, so timely bulletins explaining new and changing rules and regulations are key. Working with a consultative broker who makes available an ERISA attorney is another differentiator for peace of mind and reduced overall costs.

HR responsibilities and benefits administration can be daunting. HR professionals are asked to do more than ever before. A consultative broker provides access to employee newsletters and benefits announcements, as well as sample documents and expert advice for crafting policies, forms, benefits summary statements, handbooks and more. Providing technology for online 24/7 access to an array of resources, coupled with an employee self-serve benefits portal, is a game changer.

Employers are faced with a variety of issues when it comes to running a successful enterprise. Choose a benefits professional who is consultative and equipped to provide the range of solutions and creative strategy that solves your challenges and supports your business objectives.

Insights Employee Benefits is brought to you by JRG Advisors