Welcome Danville Area School District

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, the Danville Area School District, to help us fulfill our mission.

DASD serves a resident population of just under 19,000 and nearly 2,300 students. It is the primary school district for Montour County, serving nine of the 11 municipalities in Montour County (Danville and Washingtonville Boroughs, Cooper, Derry, Liberty, Mahoning, Mayberry, Valley and West Hemlock Townships), as well as Riverside Borough and Rush Township in Northumberland County. In last year’s U.S. News & World Report annual high school rankings, Danville ranked #44 in Pennsylvania out of 677 high schools, and was ranked the #2 rural high school in the state. About 41% of students participate in Advanced Placement classes in the high school. DASD can be reached at 570-271-3268 or visit its website

From GEDs to Penn State degrees

Photos provided to Penn State World Campus

From Penn State World Campus
(see original article)

Note: The Columbia Montour Chamber’s partnership with the Penn State World Campus allows employees of all Chamber members, their spouses and dependents a 5% discount off tuition through the Penn State World Campus, the online delivery unit of Penn State. For more information on this partnership and discount, please visit the special webpage for this partnership.  

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Serena Carlson and Kevin Doupe both dropped out of high school at 17. But last month, they graduated with degrees from Penn State.

“I had a very traumatic childhood,” said Carlson, 39, who lives near Seattle. “I never thought a university was in my future – ever.”

Carlson and Doupe both turned their lives around, and they shared their personal journeys with their fellow adult learners at a special event last month for Penn State World Campus graduates prior to commencement. More than 100 students and their families attended the World Campus Graduation Celebration.

Carlson said her father was an alcoholic, her parents divorced when she was a teenager and she left to live on her own. She was always a good student, but college wasn’t possible.

It wasn’t until 2014 that she changed her future. She got her GED and enrolled in a class at a local community college. An A- while juggling a full-time job and raising three children spurred her on to complete an associate’s degree. And with a strong GPA, she applied to Penn State for her bachelor’s degree.

In 2016, Carlson began her studies online in health policy and administration, determined to maximize her experience. She traveled to Costa Rica and Sweden to compare the countries’ health systems with the U.S. system, and she participated on a student panel at a conference for online instructors at the University Park campus.

“Never in a million years did I expect to be part of such a world-class university,” she said.

Eventually, Carlson would like to complete her doctorate.

Doupe also had a difficult childhood. He ran away from home at 15 and dropped out of school at 17. He married and divorced by his mid-20s, and he found himself as a single dad of two teenagers. However, the key to overcoming these challenges was to not let his past define him, he said, likening it to driving a car.

“You need to have a rear-view mirror because you need to know where you’ve been,” said Doupe, 42, who lives in Towanda, Pa. “But you can’t drive while looking in that direction. Life is happening in front of you, and that is more important than what’s behind you. It’s also the only thing you have some level of control over.”

Doupe has taken control: He will graduate with a master’s degree in human resources and employment relations and a 3.9 grade-point average. At work, he is a human resources manager for a national home-improvement chain.

He also was appointed to serve two years on the World Campus’ student advisory board, a group that advocates for students. He said the rewarding experience gave him the chance to visit University Park twice and offer feedback on behalf of his fellow students.

Doupe and Carlson, too, both returned to campus with their families for graduation, for good reason.

“Nothing makes me prouder than knowing that my kids are proud of me,” Carlson said.

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about learning online.

163rd Bloomsburg Fair Again to Feature Numerous Chamber Members; Day for Ronald McDonald House of Danville

The annual Bloomsburg Fair preview luncheon was held on Wednesday, Sept. 5, during which new exhibits, vendors and new changes for this year’s event were announced. This year’s fair, which runs from Sept. 22-29, will once again feature several Chamber members as vendors, as well as, for the second straight year, a special day for the Ronald McDonald House of Danville.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, for each regular priced $8 admission ticket sold, $1 will go to benefit the RMHD and its mission of providing a “home away from home” for parents and families of children that are being treated for cancer or other serious illness. This marks the second straight year that the Fair is partnering with RMHD for this promotion. Children under 18 will also be admitted free this day. 

Fair president Paul Reichart speaks at the 2018 Bloomsburg Fair preview luncheon

WBRE-TV will once again be present at the fair and have several live broadcasts as well as the opportunity for patrons to stop by and meet the Eyewitness News Team and other on-air personalities. 

Over 900 vendors are signed up to attend and participate at the fair. They include Chamber members 3B Consultant Services, the Columbia Montour Area Agency on Aging, the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau, Geisinger Bloomsburg HospitalJ.A. Aten Beef Jerky & Best Bar-B-Q SauceLuzerne County Community CollegeMahindra of Bloomsburg, Penn CollegeRenco Ace HardwareSteph’s SubsWesley United Methodist Church and AGAPE Love From Above To our Community

Bloomsburg University Students Seek to Engage With Businesses and the Community

Even before the fall semester began at Bloomsburg University, members of the football team were helping local residents clean up from the recent flooding. With the semester now underway, there are many opportunities to engage with students for volunteer efforts and professional development. Businesses and non-profit organizations are invited to connect.

The Big Event is recognized for organizing thousands of students for community service projects on a Saturday each spring. However, student groups volunteer in the community throughout the year. The Center for Leadership & Engagement on campus can help connect non-profits and other groups with students for events or other efforts. Contact Keith Spencer at 570-389-3864 or email.

As students seek to develop employability skills, Professional U connects students with alumni, employers, and opportunities integrating the academic experience with professional experience in “real world” settings. Through the exploration of professional development topics and experiential learning, students build skills and confidence which prepare them for personal and professional success upon graduation. Opportunities include on campus engagement, internships, and workplace observations. Additional information with contacts can be found on this sheet.

Member News – September 5, 2018

Member News

  • Service 1st Federal Credit Union held its 25th Annual Charity Golf Tournament last month at Frosty Valley, during which it presented three local charities with donations totaling $56,000.

    Kyle Veen, Jr.; Steve Endress, Chairman, Service 1st Board of Directors; Dr. David Ledbetter, Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, Geisinger; Dr. Christa Martin, Director, Geisinger’s Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute; Meg Epler, Program Manager, Geisinger’s Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute; and Bill Lavage, President/CEO, Service 1st.

    Since 1994, Service 1st’s Annual Charity Golf Tournament has raised $453,500 to benefit area charities. This year’s tournament included 144 golfers, numerous volunteers and sponsors, including fellow credit unions and a number of local organizations. Funds raised were combined with those from Service 1st’s Seventh Annual Charity Duck Derby, held earlier in August and were presented at the end of the Tournament to the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, the ThinkBIG Pediatric Cancer Fund and Geisinger’s Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute.


  • Beginning today, the Montour St. bridge in the Borough of Danville (located just behind the Sunoco gas station on Rt. 54), will be closed for reconstruction. Motorists are reminded to please use an alternate route. Check the Borough’s Facebook page for updates on this project.


  • The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will hold a free concert tomorrow, Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium.

    Willie Kelly and David Power

    This performance will feature David Power, one of Ireland’s foremost uilleann pipers, and New Jersey fiddler Willie Kelly, who will combine traditional Irish music. This duo recently collaborated on a new album titled Apples in Winter, which the Irish Echo described as something “will resonate with the people who love and admire traditional Irish music played with a stately air and a gentlemanly touch.” 


  • In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Camp Victory will hold a special free family fun day for the community next Sunday, Sept. 9, from 12-3 p.m. Its swimming pool, climbing wall and zip line will be open and there will be hot dogs, ice cream, drinks, an arts and crafts project, a moon bounce, wagon rides and live music. For more information, visit the Facebook event page


  • The Penn State World Campus will hold a number of informational webinars over the next few weeks for those that may be interested in pursuing a degree or certification through Penn State’s online/virtual delivery unit. Next Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 8 p.m., there will be a virtual open house in which interested  individuals can customize their “journey” according to their interests and chat one-on-one with members of the PSU World team for up to 10 minutes. Representatives from academic advising, financial aid, undergraduate and military admissions will be participating. Next Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 12-1 p.m., there will be a webinar about the Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations, which will provide a broad overview of the HRER program. Also on Sept. 12 from 8-9 p.m., there will be an information webinar on the redesigned Penn State Online MBA. Later in the month on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 7-8 p.m., there will be an online MBA sample class in which interested individuals can discover what it’s like to be a student in the Penn State Online MBA program. For a complete listing of upcoming PSU World Campus information events and news, check out its Sept. newsletter for alliance partners, through which all employees of Columbia Montour Chamber members, their spouses and dependents are eligible for a 5% discount on tuition through the Penn State World Campus. 


  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will hold a luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 12-1:30 p.m. at Monty’s on the Bloomsburg University campus to celebrate the grants made to community organizations through the Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation. Local nonprofit organizations will be presented with the 2018 grant awards. There is no cost to attend, but an RSVP is requested. See the invitation for more information. RSVP online or by emailing or calling Karri Harter at 570-752-3930 ext. 6. 


  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will also host a special presentation on how federal tax reform, signed into law last December, is impacting charitable planning for individuals and businesses next Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Iron Fork at Frost Valley Resort in Danville. A lunch session will focus on individuals and families and will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m., with lunch served at noon. An afternoon session focusing on businesses will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m., with hors d’oeuvres served at 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend either session. See the flyer for additional information. RSVP by by emailing or calling Karri Harter at 570-752-3930 ext. 6. 


  • The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will hold another free concert on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium featuring classical Arabic music, Sufi music of northern Egypt and music popular along the Nile River.

    Mohamed Abozekry & Karkadé

    It will feature Mohamed Abozekry, an oud (lute) master still in his mid-20s, who brilliantly explores Egypt’s popular and classical music traditions, Sufi calls, and secular poetry with a new instrumental project called Karkadé. With Karkadé, his new project that he is bringing to the United States for the first time, he evokes the fragrant hibiscus tea found in Cairo and the eponymous French café at which the ensemble was born. He is joined by Farag Hamouda (ney – flute), Lotfy Aly (violin), Hany Bedeir (riqq – percussion), and Aly Mohamed (dehola/daf – percussion).


  • The Borough of Danville’s Flood Resiliency Task Force will host a flood insurance policy seminar at the Danville Borough building, 463 Mill St., Danville, on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. Stetler Insurance Associates will present information regarding what should be included on the flood insurance policy declaration page, review common mistakes seen on flood insurance policies, and answer questions. The Flood Resiliency Task Force is made up of representatives from real estate, banking and insurance industries, as well as local residents and Borough staff. See the flyer for additional information, or contact Jamie Shrawder at 570-275-3091 ext. 3 or email


  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will hold a luncheon on Friday, Oct. 5, from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Iron Fork’s banquet room to celebrate the grants made to community organizations through the Danville Area Community Foundation. Local nonprofit organizations will be presented with the 2018 grant awards. There is no cost to attend, but an RSVP is requested. RSVP online or by emailing or calling Karri Harter at 570-752-3930 ext. 6. 


  • MePush will be hosting a series of study sessions throughout the fall at its conference room at 130 Buffalo Rd., Lewisburg, for information technology professionals that are taking and interested in getting together to study for the Cisco CCNA exam. This major certification in the IT industry is a big undertaking for some, so MePush would like to offer a forum to help other IT pros in the area improve their skills and certifications. If interested, please email Art so MePush can have a headcount.