A Children’s Activity Tour, Atypical School Lunch Featured at Business After Hours at Danville Child Development Center

Edible play-dough, indoor snow made from a mix of baking soda and other ingredients, and catching fish you couldn’t see in the pond were among the several children’s activities that Danville Child Development Center’s children do each day and were also experienced by attendees at a Business After Hours hosted by DCDC on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Members were given a card when they walked into the event and were given a sticker to put on it after they completed each children’s activity, and those that completed each one and got all of their stickers were able to enter a drawing for a prize – tickets to DCDC’s upcoming Dueling Pianos event. In between reliving their childhoods by participating in these children’s activities, members also had an opportunity to catch up with and meet others in the local business community, while also learning about the influence early childhood education plays in our future workforce. They also enjoyed some delicious food made specially for the event by the DCDC kitchen staff, which definitely tasted much better than the typical school lunch that many may have remembered from their school days. 

Business After Hours provide regular opportunities to build business relationships while learning about the services offered by other Chamber members. The next Business After Hours will be held at Art of Floating, located at 1924 Old Berwick Rd., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. It will also feature Just a Drop as a co-host. 

Columbia Alliance For Economic Growth Presents Board Candidates & By-Law Changes

The Columbia Alliance for Economic Growth is scheduled to hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 4:30 p.m. at The Inn at Turkey Hill. In addition to electing members to the Board of Directors, several changes to the by-laws have been proposed. Members of the Chamber are automatically members of the Alliance and invited to participate in the meeting.

Nominated to serve three-year terms on the Board are:

Tim Karr, Villager Realty
Vic Klein
Harry Mathias, Central Columbia School District

A listing of the Alliance’s current Board of Directors is available online.

Prior to voting on Directors, several changes to the organization’s by-laws are being proposed as follows. Deletions are noted as strikethroughs, additions as underlines:

ARTICLE I, Section 2 – The mailing address of this organization for legal notices shall be the office of the organization’s solicitor 17 Woodbine Lane, Suite 103, Danville, PA 17821.

ARTICLE V, Section 1 – Control and management of this organization shall be vested in the Board of Directors consisting of not less than fifteen (15) nine (9) nor more than thirty (30).  Funds of the organization shall be withdrawn from the depository bank by check upon the signature of the President, Treasurer, or other persons designated by action of the Board.  The depository bank of the organization for ensuing year shall be chosen by the Board of Directors at the annual board reorganization meeting.

ARTICLE VI, Section 3 – Election of members to the Board of Directors shall be held at the Annual Meeting.  At each election, not less than five (5) three (3) nor more than ten (10) Directors shall be elected for terms of three (3) years each or until succeeded, to replace or renew the Directorships whose terms expire.

If you are interested in attending the meeting, contact Jennifer Wakeman at the DRIVE office at 570-284-4296 or by email

Member News – January 31, 2018

Member News

  • The Bloomsburg Municipal Airport, which is operated by the Bloomsburg Municipal Authority, will hold a free six-week Ground School course beginning tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 1, from 6-9 p.m. and running each of the next five Thursdays at the same time at the airport terminal building, 301 Airport Rd., Bloomsburg. This course is intended to teach prospective pilots about aircraft performance, flight mechanics, weight and balance, navigation, radio communication, weather and FAA regulations, as well as prepare students to take the written Private Pilot Ground School Exam, which is a requirement to obtain a private pilot certificate. For more information, see this flyer or email the airport coordinator. 


  • The athletics department at Bloomsburg University will host a series of events on National Girls & Women in Sports Day this Saturday, Feb. 3 in Nelson Field House. The events are open to all girls and boys in grades K-8. The day begins with a free basketball clinic at 10 a.m., following by a speed and agility clinic, activities fair and pizza party. All participants are then invited to attend the women’s basketball game vs. Lock Haven (admission is free to participants) and a post-game autograph session. For more information, including how to RSVP, see this flyer


  • Jeb Stotter, president and CEO of North Shore Railroad, was recently named to the 2018 Top 100 People list by Pennsylvania Business Central, a business trade publication. This annual list celebrates the top 100 people in business and economic development who have learned how to develop their organizations and communities. Stotter was named the president and CEO of North Shore last year.


  • Ken Pollock Volvo in Pittston, part of the Ken Pollock Auto Group that owns Ken Pollock Ford-Lincoln, was recently awarded a 2018 DealerRater Consumer Satisfaction Award, an annual recognition given to auto dealerships that deliver outstanding customer service as rated by online consumer reviews. DealerRater is the world’s leading car dealer review website, and it created this award program to let online car shoppers instantly spot dealers that provide high-quality customer service. Only the top 10 percent of U.S. new-car dealers are given Consumer Satisfaction Awards. 


  • GAF, one of the Chamber’s newest members and North America’s largest roofing products manufacturer, will host a job fair on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at its New Columbia facility, located at 2093 Old Route 15. GAF is looking for dedicated, safety-minded individuals with manufacturing experience to join its team. An iPad mini 4 will be given out to one attendee that has completed an online job application prior to arriving at the job fair and who also completes an information card at the event. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about GAF, meet its employees, tour the facility and learn about its hiring process. Refreshments will be available. For more information, see this flyer and visit GAF’s career website.


  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will hold its Annual Meeting on Friday, Feb. 23, from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Pine Barn Inn. A lunch will be served and attendees will be able to hear four speakers. CSCF president and CEO Holly Morrison will talk about “Spreading the Message of Philanthropy” while board member John Kurelja will speak about the regional impact of the CSCF’s philanthropic activities. Two speakers from Wilmington Trust will also talk about the CSCF’s funds’ performances. For more information, see this invitation, and to RSVP, email or call Karri Harter at 570-752-3930, ex. 6, by Feb. 16. 


  • Wesley United Methodist Church has been hosting the community friendship meal since 2002. Guests in need are able to be served a warm and nutritious meal every Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., free of charge. Volunteer groups are needed to keep this meal going in the future. If you have a group that is interested in volunteering for a few hours on a Saturday morning during the year, please visit the church’s website and click on “community friendship meal.” For questions, please contact Katy Miller at 570-441-2850. Please note that beginning Jan. 6, the community friendship meal will be held at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 123 N. Market St., Bloomsburg, while the Wesley UM Church kitchen goes through a renovation that may last 8-12 weeks. 

Leadership Central Penn Goes Nuclear

When one thinks about nuclear power it doesn’t usually conjure the most positive images. Whether those images are from movies like Godzilla, or stark reality, like Three Mile Island, Fukishima and Chernobyl, it just never seems to go well.  Leadership Central Penn was lucky enough to be hosted by Talen Energy at the Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant, to learn the reality of this awesome power.  The facts were shared with the group by Todd Martin, corporate communications manager, and Alise Seibert, nuclear training supervisor.

The facts are that nuclear power in the 21st century is safe, as with all things, there are risks, but with Talen’s safety first approach, and the oversight of the National Regulator Commission, nuclear power in our community and the United States is not a public risk, but a benefit. The facility is secure and meets the highest standards with rigorous training metrics. As they generate power for the grid, it is sold, as they are not a public utility.  This competitive market has caused some touch choices to be made by the organization.

One effort to maintain flexibility in a market that has spiking load requirements, especially in winter cold snaps, is their ability to bring the Montour Coal Power Plant on line.  This plant is maintained locally at all times, and used when the grid has a demand for more competitively priced energy. The class asked what the lowest cost fuel is for generation. However that is like asking which taste better, an apple or a watermelon?  There are too many factors that influence that answer. Some include demand, pricing of raw materials, subsidies of generation fuel, etc. 

The program from Talen concluded with a tour of the simulator for nuclear training. The class was walked though a program of very excited engineers that liked to challenge themselves with scenarios. They want to simulated load needs, melt down preventions, system failures, and more to ensure safety of the plant, employees and community. Their philosophy is simple – if one safety step is good, two is better, and three is necessary. 

After a wonderful lunch from Lucy’s Kitchen & Catering, the class focused on economic development in this region. This discussion and presentation was led by Fred Gaffney, president of the Columbia Montour Chamber. The group learned about the successes and challenges of economic development efforts in the area related to government support, workforce development, and impact on public works. One example that was shared is the ongoing Columbia County Business Park. The class was very engaged in the discussion about the creation and ultimate goals that lead to the development of this industrial/commercial park. The future success of this project is growing with one site currently developed and occupied by the Fairfield Inn & Suites, and two additional sites currently being developed.

Everyone also learned more about the role of The Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce in the economic development of our counties.  These efforts are focused on workforce development and partnership between industry and school districts. Additionally, programming like LCP allows for lifelong learning and community impact programming for professionals. 

The final presenter of the day was David “Otto” Kurechian, executive director of the Columbia-Montour Visitor’s Bureau.  First, Otto allowed the group to follow-up on the Visitor’s Bureau’s role in economic development and success of the Fairfield Inn at the business park. Everyone is aware that tourism is a large business for our area, especially during the spring, summer and fall season with fairs, wine and craft beer trails, outdoor activities and more. However, the class learned about the impact of certain economic development projects like the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. This project has brought many workers to the areas that are staying in local rentals and hotels, eating at local restaurants and shopping at local businesses. 

After economic development wrapped up, Otto discussed boardmanship, what it means to serve on a local Board of Directors or Board of Trustees.  The presentation focused on how to decide if when and how to serve on these boards.  First, he said one should never, ever say yes when initially asked to join a board. Even if it is by one’s employer, and strongly encouraged, or a best friend, neighbor, etc. There are questions people should ask themselves and the organization. The first thing is why do you want to join this organization in this capacity and what you offer them with your skills and interest? You’ll be asked to express these very things when you formally apply to join and are being vetted.  You also need to ask to see the organization’s by-laws, financials, and strategic plan. What is your expected time commitment, how long are you expected to serve, what is the financial situation of the organization, and where are they headed? If you can’t be at the first Tuesday of each month meeting, then don’t join. If you don’t agree with the strategic plan, or finances worry you from the organization, don’t join. This is much like looking for a job, and should be scrutinized as such.

When you find the right fit, you will get extreme amounts of personal satisfaction from your service. The organization will benefit from your skills and passion. The community will be impacted positively. This is the goal of boardsmanship, and the LCP class in general. 

Leadership Central Penn is sponsored by Bloomsburg UniversityKawneerSEKISUI SPI and USG.

18 Member Organizations and Individuals Up For Chamber’s Four Awards to be Given at Annual Meeting

A total of 18 member organizations and individuals were nominated for the Columbia Montour Chamber’s four annual awards, which will be given out at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities, on Thursday, Feb. 8, at Rolling Pines Golf Course

Congratulations to the following individuals and organizations on their nominations, and special thanks to the following four organizations for sponsoring the annual awards: First Columbia Bank (Small Business of the Year), the Columbia Alliance For Economic Growth (Large Business of the Year), Commonwealth Health-Berwick Hospital Center (Community Progress) and the Berwick Industrial Development Association (BIDA) (Outstanding Citizen). 

The Outstanding Citizen Award goes to an individual that is an employee or volunteer for a member of the Chamber, and is involved in civic activities beneficial to the Columbia Montour region and projects a positive community image.

The Small and Large Business of the Year Awards are given to a Chamber member that demonstrates business leadership evidenced by diversification and creativity in the development of new products, services and/or markets, demostrates staying power and positive response to adversity, and demonstrates community involvement. 

The Community Progress Award is given to a Chamber member that shows improvement in the internal/external appearance of a commercial property through new construction, renovation/restoration or remodeling, and has completed that construction within the last three calendar years or be completed by Dec. 2017.