Chamber Helps Atlantic Broadband Complete Rebranding and Usher in New Era of Broadband Services

On Wednesday, May 2, the Chamber was on hand to help the team at Atlantic Broadbrand complete its rebranding from MetroCast with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and rebranding ceremony. Atlantic Broadband acquired MetroCast at the beginning of 2018 and Wednesday marked the final transition to the Atlantic Broadband era. Local elected officials and dignitaries were on hand to commemorate the occasion. 

At the ceremony, Tom Carey, general manager of Atlantic Broadband’s Berwick office, announced that effective immediately, Atlantic Broadband is now delivering automatic internet speed upgrades to all of its business and residential customers. This is just the first of several new enhanced services that Atlantic Broadband will be rolling out to its customers throughout the remainder of the year. 

The Chamber is excited to continue it long and mutually-beneficial relationship with Atlantic Broadband, as well as work with it and other broadband and utility providers as well as local, state and federal elected officials to help provide broadband internet service to many of the rural areas in our region. 

Bashar Hanna Inaugurated as 19th Bloomsburg University President

On Friday, April 27, Bashar Hanna, PhD., was inaugurated as the 19th President of Bloomsburg University. A Syrian immigrant who was unable to speak English in the 5th grade, Dr. Hanna called his selection “a tremendous honor, and a huge responsibility.” Announced to succeed David Soltz, PhD., in July of last year, Hanna was joined by family, community members, faculty, staff, and colleagues from institutions across the northeast for the ceremony.

Hanna spoke about the 180 year evolution of the institution, which began as the Bloomsburg Academy on 3rd and Jefferson Streets, to a University that now serves students from 27 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Examples of current academic excellence include a pass rate on the PA State Board of Accountants CPA exam that ranks 3rd in the state for students in the Zeigler College of Business, and a near perfect record for nursing students on the nursing licensure exam, with only one student failing to pass the exam in the past decade. Dr. Hanna noted that the $62 million fundraising campaign completed last year will “continue to transform this institution and our students and their families for decades to come.”

Despite the successes of Bloomsburg University, Hanna recognized challenges facing higher education, which include student expectations, state funding, and accountability, among other factors. He acknowledged lasting success will require change, and expressed confidence that Bloomsburg will remain a “beacon on the hill.” “With my pack of Huskies by my side…” said Hanna, “we will be prepared for every challenge to transform the lives of the students who are the future of our country, and of our world.”

Dr. Hanna’s professional background 
Full video of the Inauguration (his remarks begin at the 1:19:25 mark of the video)

Member News – May 2, 2018

Member News

  • The Bucknell Small Business Development Center will present a workshop on utilizing Facebook for marketing purposes tomorrow, May 3, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at its location on 416 Market St., Lewisburg. Titled “Mastering Facebook Marketing with Small Staffs & Budgets,” this workshop will feature tips to promote events, expand reach and increase engagement in only 18 minutes or less per day. Attendees will learn about Facebook posting frequency, post size and hashtags, the power of Facebook events and Facebook insights explained. Cost is $35 and registration can be done online or by calling 570-577-1249. This is the first of a three-part series on marketing to customers. The second will be held next Thursday, May 10, from 9-10:30 a.m. and is titled “Marketing to Your Customers: The Who, What, Where, Why and When.” The third and final part of the series is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, and is titled “Marketing Online: Getting Under the Hood With the Tools of the Trade.” For more information on all three programs, visit the the Bucknell SBDC’s events page.


  • Earlier this week, SUEZ officials requested that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) grant rate relief that would result in an increase of about 16 cents more per day for the average residential customer is approved in full. The rate adjustment would recover more than $90 million of completed, ongoing and future infrastructure investments made by the company to improve service reliability and water quality for over 165,000 people across the state. See the entire press release for more information, including a breakdown of the $90 million in capital investments, which included a new water treatment facility in Bloomsburg, for which SUEZ was nominated for the Chamber’s annual Community Progress award earlier this year. 


  • PA CareerLink Columbia/Montour Counties will hold its 2018 job fair on Wednesday, May 9, from 4-7 p.m. at Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School, located at 5050 Sweppenheiser Dr., Bloomsburg. There will also be job fairs during May just outside of the area at Shikellamy High School in Sunbury on May 2 and at the Selinsgrove VFW in May 30. Later in the year, there will be one at the Best Western in Lewisburg on Sept. 6. All of these events are open to the public to attend. See the flyer for more information. 


  • The Bloomsburg Municipal Airport will host a Fly-In/Drive-In breakfast and pig roast on Saturday, May 12 at the airport, located at 301 Airport Rd., Bloomsburg. The breakfast will be from 8-11 a.m., with the pig roast to follow from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. There will also be an FAA safety seminar from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. featuring Al Hubler, a retired air traffic controller, who will share his insight and what it’s like from the “other end” of the communication radio. There is no cost or registration required to attend the breakfast or pig roast, however donations are accepted, and registration is requested for the FAA safety seminar. For more information, email BJ Teichman, airport coordinator, or call 570-317-2481. 


  • The Wilkes Small Business Development Center will hold its next First Step workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs on Wednesday, May 16 at 6 p.m. at its location at 85 South Main St., Wilkes-Barre. This event is intended to help aspiring business owners begin the process of successful business ownership, including evaluating business ideas, developing a business plan and exploring financing options. Cost is $20. To register, visit the link above or call 570-577-1249.


  • Penn College and WVIA Public Media invite K-12 students, teachers and parents to create their own original board games or video games in the Game On! Art Challenge. Inspired by the documentary “Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters,” which aired on WVIA and can be viewed on WVIA On Demand, YouTube and the series website, this challenge invites entries of original games created by students in grades K-12, as well as teachers and parents in either classic board game style or in a video game format. The entry deadline is May 18. There are three categories: Grades K-6, 7-12 and teacher/parent. Email entries to Elaine Lambert, executive producer of the the documentary. For more information, visit here.


  • CSS Industries, Inc. (Berwick Offray) will conduct a job fair at the Columbia Montour Chamber building, located at 238 Market St., Bloomsburg, on Friday, May 18 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Learn more about the company and the positions available. Whether you’re looking for full-time, part-time or even summer work for students, CSS has a spot for you. 


  • The Weis Center for the Performing Arts, in collaboration with the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau and the Susquehanna River Arts initiative, is hosting a free art exhibit and installation featuring the work of 10 local artists from now through Friday, May 25 in the Weis Center’s upper Atrium Lobby. The exhibit is free and takes place on the upper level of the Atrium Lobby, which is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Participating artists will include: Annie Barnhart, Robert Brown, Pete Grimord, Joan Grimord, Gail Fox, Glen Klein, Abigail Kurecian, Sara Mika, Pam Thomas and William Whitmoyer. Each artist will have several samples of artwork on display. 


  • Geisinger Health Plan and the Columbia-Montour Aging Office, Inc. are teaming up to bring “A Matter of Balance,” an award-winning program, to the area for a series of presentations in April and May. This program for older adults and is designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. It is available to the public at no cost and will be held each Monday, through May 21, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community, located at 1707 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11), Danville. The program will also be held on Tuesday, May 29 due to Memorial Day, and this will be the last class. Attendees will learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risks at home and exercise to increase strength and balance. Registration is required, and to do so, call the GHP wellness team at 866-415-7138. 

Welcome XW Construction LLP

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, XW Construction LLP, to help us fulfill our mission.

Based on Watsontown, Pa., XW Construction is a locally and family-owned roofing company that specializes in commercial and industrial roofs, specifically those over 10,000 square feet. Its factory-trained applicators do metal, flat and foam roofing, as well as single-ply and fabric reinforced roofs. It specifically works with Conklin® roofing systems. Conklin formulated acrylic roofing coatings back in 1977, which provide substantial energy efficiency as well as superior protection from the elements. Since that time, Conklin Roofing System have been applied to billion of square feet of roof, including several for major brands, across the country. XW Construction can be reached at 570-436-0051, or visit its website or email

Various Chartered Air Travel Options Readily Available in Columbia-Montour Region

An aerial view of the Bloomsburg Municipal Airport.

Proximity to international airports can often be a barrier to attracting corporate investment, either in expanding current operations already in place, or in attracting new investments and businesses to our area and the jobs that come with them. This can be especially true related to international investment. A recent Learn at Lunch held at the Williamsport Regional Airport attended by local business and economic development leaders highlighted these challenges as well as some solutions available in the charter air travel market. 

Although usually more costly than commercial flights, chartered air travel can often provide more reliability, flexibility and customization to support an organization’s strategy and timeline.  Charter travel is specifically dedicated to the business’ or individual’s trip on their schedule, and depending on the size of the aircraft involved, can fly into and out of the closest airports. Passengers are also generally not subject to TSA screening processes, which can significantly reduce time spent at the airport at both the origin and destination. Because charters are essentially the purchase of just a block of time on an aircraft, it is also possible for interested parties to collaborate and pool resources in order to make required air travel more cost and time-efficient. 

There are numerous variables to what a charter flight would cost, including the type of aircraft, which flight amenities are required, number of passengers, origin and destination, and much more. However, charter air travel is readily available in the Columbia-Montour region and beyond, and there are several charter companies that are ready, willing and able to assist with any charter air travel needs of local businesses and individuals. The Bloomsburg Municipal Airport, which is owned by the Town of Bloomsburg and which recently hosted a Business After Hours, can help serve the needs and can also help put those interested in touch with numerous charter air service operators. For more information, contact BJ Teichman, the airport coordinator at Bloomsburg Municipal Airport, at 570-317-2481 or via email