Chamber Golf Tournament & Spring Social to be Held May 30

The Chamber’s annual golf tournament will be held on Thursday, May 30, at Rolling Pines Golf Course & Banquet Facility. Beginning this year, the Chamber is also adding a Spring Social to this event in an effort to be more inclusive to the many non-golfers among our membership, as well as provide an additional opportunity for members to make business connections — all in a casual and relaxed environment.

For more information about the Spring Social as well as the golf tournament, including registration and sponsorship information, visit the event page or see the registration or sponsorship flyers.

Minimum Wage Issues Takes Center Stage at Events, Hearings

Making headlines statewide last week were comments regarding the minimum wage by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, at the Pennsylvania Press Club.  Corman admitted that discussions over an immediate increase to $12 an hour with an eventual increase to $15 would be a non-starter in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.  However, he did acknowledge that the issue is heating up and that a conversation “needs to happen” in the coming months.  While he offered no specifics, he called on those who favor an increase to propose “a reasonable plan so we can move this forward.”  Following Corman’s remarks, House Republican spokesman Mike Straub said that House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, is open to discussing the issue but believes “the focus should be on other policy changes, including workforce development changes, that can help lift residents into better-paying jobs.”   And while Gov. Wolf’s spokesman J.J. Abbott said the governor still believes that his minimum wage proposal is fair for workers, he added that “every part of the budget is subject to negotiations with the legislature, and we would certainly welcome a discussion about the minimum wage.”

The minimum wage issue was also highlighted at several House and Senate budget hearings last week, including at hearings for the Departments of Human Services and Health.  DOH Secretary Rachel Levine voiced support for a minimum wage increase in her testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  According to a story by Capitolwire, Levine told members that a wage increase would help improve health care outcomes, claiming at one point “poverty adversely affects health … and that’s why it’s so important for the legislature to work with the governor, in terms of minimum wage, to help bring people out of poverty.”

The PA Chamber is spreading awareness about the real impact of minimum wage increases on the economy and workers.  Multiple real-world stories from our broad-based membership and a number of independent studies have demonstrated how mandated wage hikes lead to reduced hours and can lead to outright job loss, thereby hurting the very people they’re intended to help. Lawmakers should focus on policies that target support to families in poverty and improve job training programs that will allow individuals to obtain skills needed for career-oriented jobs.

Member News – March 6, 2019

  • Currently, and running through April 4, the United Way of Columbia and Montour County is again offering free basic tax help to low and moderate-income residents in the community. This program will be held Tuesdays and Wednesday from 2-6 p.m. and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 130 W. 3rd St., Bloomsburg (use the rear entrance). No appointments are necessary, only drop-offs and walk-ins will be accepted. For questions, call the United Way at 570-784-3134 or email, and see the flyer for additional information.


  • Wild For Salmon will host a “Think Spring Tasting!” this Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at its retail store located at 521 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11) in Bloomsburg. Chef Josh will be demonstrating how to prepare garlic pepper smoked sockeye salmon deviled eggs and a delicious whitefish Pic-Cod-ta. There will also be other delicious fish-inspired dishes to try. There is no cost to attend. For more information, check out the Facebook event page


  • Commonwealth Health – Berwick Hospital Center will present a free six-week educational series titled “Six Weeks to Better Health” beginning on Wednesday, March 13 and running each of the next five Wednesdays after that from 12-1 p.m. at the Hospital’s Conference Room 1 and 2, located at 701 East 16th St., Berwick. The final session in the series will be held from 5-6 p.m. on April 17. Titles of each session are: Living with High Blood Pressure; Why Do I need a Colonoscopy?; Living with Joint Disease; Solutions for Leg Pain and Swelling; Dealing with the Symptoms of Menopause; and Advanced Directives and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). For more information, see the flyer, and to RSVP, call 570-759-5337. 


  • Bloomsburg University’s Professional U program will host a Marketing, Management and Communications Career Connections Expo on Thursday, March 28, from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Kehr Union Ballroom on the BU campus. Any employer looking to recruit business or communications students would benefit from participating. Employers interested in participating should call 570-389-3791 or email


  • Employees of all Chamber members are invited and welcome to attend Bloomsburg University Professional U’s Don’t be Fooled by the Fork networking dinner on Monday, April 1, at 6 p.m. at Monty’s on the BU Upper Campus. This dinner is an opportunity for BU students to practice professional networking and dining etiquette in a social setting among alumni and professional volunteers. Chamber members are welcome to join this event as role models and table hosts, and impart your wisdom to current students as they learn how to conduct themselves in a professional dining situation. There is no charge to attend this event and the meal is complimentary, however donations are appreciated in the form of a plate sponsorship ($40) or table sponsorship ($280). Register and make any voluntary donations online by March 22.



  • The Danville Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, is excited to announce the creation of a new designated fund.

    (L-R): Ken Ackerman, DACF board chair; Gary Visneski, DACF board member; Conaley Visneski; Kara Seesholtz, CSCF chief advancement officer; M. Holly Morrison, D.Ed., CSCF president and CEO

    Established by Gary W. and Conaley J. Visneski, in memory of her dad, the Ennis-Visneski Fund will provide grants to support the Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy program in the Danville Area School District. Leo E. Ennis had a heart for encouraging children of any age. The Visneski’s felt that the perfect way to honor his memory was through the Youth in Philanthropy program. Mr. Ennis thoroughly enjoyed volunteering as a Little League coach in Towanda for many years, and was known for his warm smile and friendly nature. Dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the greater Danville area, the Danville Area Community Foundation (DACF) thrives on the generous hearts of people like Mr. Ennis and the Visneski’s.

Service 1st Federal Credit Union to Sponsor Leadercast Live on May 10

Service 1st Federal Credit Union will be the local sponsor for the Columbia Montour Chamber’s presentation of Leadercast Live on Friday, May 10, at the Central Columbia High School auditorium.

Leadercast Live is the largest one-day leadership event in the world, broadcast live each May from Atlanta to hundreds of host sites around the world. For the first time, the Chamber is making this inspiring and educational event available in the Columbia/Montour region. In 2019, the Leadercast Live stage will showcase leadership experts that will help attendees master the art and science of developing and leading healthy teams.

The cost for this event is just $75 for Chamber members and $95 for non-members, which includes lunch. Those interested in attending can register online or by calling the Chamber office at 570-784-2522.

Welcome Hand in Hand Family Resource 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, Hand in Hand Family Resource Center, to help us fulfill our mission.

Established in late 2017 and having just recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, Hand in Hand is a nonprofit organization that provides various interactive activities, inclusive events, and educational seminars to families that have a family member with a disability. Some examples of its programs include adaptive swim lessons at the Berwick YMCA, C.A.M.P.S. (Construction, Art, Music, Play, Sensory) Days at the Ber-Vaughn Pool, seminars to inform families about their rights and responsibilities in special education and inclusiveness, and training sessions for businesses and community leaders in the region to become L.E.A.D. Certified (Leaders Embracing All Abilities and Diversity). Hand in Hand can be reached by email, at 717-887-6609 or by mail at P.O. Box 584, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. For more information, visit its website.