Bloomsburg Town Council candidates address business owners

Candidate Forum: The six  on the ballot for Bloomsburg Town Council in the November 3rd general election answered a series of questions related to business and other issues during a candidate forum on Wednesday, October 7th. The event, sponsored by the Joint Governmental Affairs Committee of the Chamber and Visitors Bureau, was held at the Bloomsburg High School Auditorium. Fred Gaffney, Chamber President, moderated the forum.

Questions were developed by the Committee as well as accepted from the audience. Topics included: the Town’s business climate, parking, the growth of Bloomsburg University, and flood protection.

Click here for audio.

Member Spotlight

BigHeartPetLogoThe Big Heart Pet Brands facility started with the Hunts Company in 1963.  It was purchased by Campbell’s Soup, then Heinz. In the early 2000s it was then purchased by DelMonte. In 2013, DelMonte split the fruit and vegetable business from the pet food business and they became Big Heart Pet Brands.  This year they were purchased by The J.M. Smucker Company.

Big Heart Pet Brands manufactures and distributes wet and dry dog and cat food under labels such as 9Lives, Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Skippy, Gravy Train, Natural Balance and Nature’s Recipe.

Big Heart Pet Brands is active in the community by serving on boards at Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg Enactus, United Water Customer Advisory Council, Agape, and North Shore Railroad.  They have active members in various dog and cat rescues – Fabulous Felines, PA Pets Feral Program, Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute, Therapy Dog International, and CART. Other employees are active responders for the various emergency response organizations including the Bloomsburg Fire Department, Berwick Fire Department, Espy Fire Department, Lime Ridge Fire Department, and Bloomsburg Ambulance. Big Heart Pet Brands employees are soccer coaches, scout leaders, etc. They also participate in various fundraisers such as research for Cancer and Alzheimer’s, Toys for Tots, and Veterans Programs.

Big Heart Pet Brands is proud of their facility and the employees who work there. They look forward to continuing to be a prominent employer in a great area like Bloomsburg.

For more information visit

The subject of each month’s Member Spotlight is selected from attendees of Chamber events.

Ribbon Cutting for Merle Norman

MerleNormaLogoThe Chamber is welcoming Merle Norman, a cosmetic studio, to 310 Mill Street in Danville on Thursday, September 10 at 4 p.m. Merle Norman will provide light refreshments and is running a Grand Opening Special from September 10-18. The special includes a free express makeover or facial, free gift with purchase and entrance to win a beauty shopping spree

Member Spotlight


Tina Welch has been a corporate Human Resources leader for more than 20 years. In that time, she was able to position HR policies and practices in a strategic manner that enabled her organizations to achieve their corporate goals while creating an outstanding work environment for employees. She was able to help organizations grow from 50 to over 400 employees, locally and internationally, and has lived in the shoes of a growing business. Tina left the corporate world with a mission to help many other organizations across Central PA accomplish the same thing. Welch Performance Consulting was founded on the principals that motivated and engaged employees drive motivated and engaged customers who in turn love to buy from the company, creating success and happiness for all.

Welch Performance Consulting offers a full range of HR support for organizations that not only create great workplaces but also improve HR metrics creating a return to client’s bottom line. Services fall into 3 categories:

• Corporate Strategy Development which includes development of organization’s vision, mission and values, corporate governance structure, and facilitating strategic planning.

• HR Process Assessments of HR functions from recruitment and selection, through  on-boarding and orientation, performance management and employee development programs, compensation and benefit assessments, and reward and recognition programs.

• HR Legal Compliance which includes HR audits, handbook development, policy review, employment law compliance, coaching and guidance regarding difficult employee issues.

Growing organizations frequently do not have dedicated HR professionals on staff and benefit from WPC’s guidance and coaching of the company’s leaders and staff assigned this important role. HR departments in need of outsourcing projects to keep on task also find value in WPC’s assistance.

WPC approaches HR from a strategic perspective and a customized approach. Any work done for an organization must be tailored to align with the goals of the organization. This comes from listening to the company to understand what they want to achieve and then delivering the work in a manner that helps them achieve their goals.

WPC’s work has helped our clients achieve numerous awards such as Best Places to Work in PA, the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Workplace award, awards recognizing healthy workplaces and outstanding workplaces for women to name a few.

Tina and her family are new to Bloomsburg and have a legacy of supporting their community. They have every intention of contributing significantly to the local area as well. In their previous community the Welch’s were active with the YMCA, United Way, Boy Scouts and youth sports leagues, the local school board, volunteer fire department, the Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Centre County. This year both Tina and her husband, Steve, are continuing that tradition by participating in the 2015-2016 class of Leadership Central Penn; and WPC has already become active in the Chamber’s events and local professional groups.

WPC serves businesses in the entire central PA area and in any industry. They are passionate about helping organizations and teaching them how they can be great places to work.

To learn more about Welch Performance Consulting visit

Congressman Barletta addresses Columbia Montour Chamber

Barletta Breakfast: Congressman Lou Barletta spoke to members of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce and Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau at a breakfast meeting held Thursday, August 27, 2015 at the Greenly Center in Downtown Bloomsburg. Barletta discussed the Iran Nuclear Deal, transportation funding, a proposed increase to the minimum wage, and Pennsylvania’s budget impasse.

Click here for audio.