Welcome Back Edward Jones (Danville)

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, Edward Jones (Danville) to help us fulfill our mission.

Previously a member that the Chamber is happy to welcome back, Edward Jones is a financial services and advising company that serves nearly seven million investors from more offices than any other investment firm in the United States. It has consistently been ranked among the best companies to work for by FORTUNE magazine, and it has over 12,000 offices throughout America. Locally, financial advisor Regina Kotzer, AAMS, works out of the Danville branch, which is located downtown at 358 Mill St. Regina can be reached by phone at 570-275-5672, by email, or by visiting her page on the Edward Jones website

PPL Provides Nest for Falcons

From PPL Electric Utilities

This spring we’ve had some pretty impressive and unusual house guests. For one thing, they can average a speed of 60 miles per hour, with top speeds of 200 mph – all without a car.

They’re peregrine falcons. And they came back to PPL’s Tower Building in Allentown this spring, the first time in 10 years that a nest box on the top of the 23-story tower has hosted a pair of falcons. The initial pair laid eggs there, and we were able to watch several hatchlings join the falcon family.

We were thrilled to see them, as PPL has been involved for quite a while with efforts to restore the peregrine falcon population in Pennsylvania. In 1995, we began supporting the Lehigh Valley Peregrine Project, a community effort to release young peregrine falcons from the top of our headquarters building in the hopes that the falcons would come back to the area.

(Why are these birds so fascinated with our tower, you might ask? In the wild, they nest on high cliffs. In urban settings, tall buildings are the next best thing. Falcons making their way to Allentown have also nested on some of the city’s larger bridges.)

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, an adult peregrine can reach a speed of more than 200 miles per hour in a vertical dive and averages about 60 miles per hour in level flight. Peregrine falcons feed on other birds, usually by striking them in flight. Their prey includes pigeons, blue jays, and other mid-sized song birds.

To give the public a view of our special guests – and their babies — we reactivated a live camera that had been set up a decade ago for our last round of falcon visits. The live camera feed is available on our website. We’re pleased to offer an up-close view of these magnificent birds as they go about their daily lives.

We’ve supported other raptors as well. Over the past two years, PPL has assisted in putting up about an additional half-dozen osprey nesting platforms at various locations in our service territory. We partner with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and others, on those projects.

Ospreys have a fondness for nesting on tall utility towers, so we’ve worked to provide them with other places to make their homes. And it’s worked: When we repaired a storm-toppled osprey platform near Lake Wallenpaupack this spring, the birds were back on the platform within an hour.

We know that caring for the environment as an important part of the work we do. It’s true that keeping electric service strong and reliable sometimes calls for us to trim or cut trees. But at the same time, we recognize the importance of protecting the environment and doing our work in a responsible fashion.

That’s why we give time and resources to support wild birds in our service territory.

And that’s why it’s a pleasure to welcome them to our Tower Building, any time they want to drop by.

U.S. Department of Labor Ruling Will Allow Expansion of and More Options For Small Business Health Insurance Plans

In late June, the U.S. Department of Labor released a ruling that will allow for the expansion of small business health insurance plans. This long anticipated news is very exciting and will give members additional options for health insurance. Several associations and membership-based organizations, including ChamberChoice, have been preparing for this ruling and the opportunity to create new association health plans for many months. Thus far, the response from insurance companies and other service providers is positive, and the goal is for ChamberChoice to begin offering association health plans again starting in September.

This ruling changes the USDOL’s interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA) definition of “employer” to allow small businesses to band together to create health plans for their employees with less expensive premiums than previously available for individuals or single organizations in the marketplace. The rule change essentially changes the DOL’s interpretation of ERISA’s definition of “employer” to include “employer association.” This ruling will restore ChamberChoice’s ability to create and sell differentiated ChamberChoice health insurance benefits and pricing for Chamber members – including sole proprietors.

Here is an easy to read document that further explains this change and includes FAQs. 

Northeast Environmental Partners Seeks Nominations For Environmental Partnership Awards

The Northeast Environmental Partners announce the “28th Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment” and are seeking a Call For Nominations for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards; the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award.

The Northeast Environmental Partners (Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University) are proud to announce that the 28th Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment will be held at the Woodlands Inn & Resort, Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.  Additionally, nominations are being sought for the Twenty Eighth Annual Environmental Partnership Awards, the Twenty-fourth Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award and the 2018 Emerging Environmental Leader Award. These awards will all be presented at the dinner on Oct. 25. 

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards are presented annually to recognize the achievements of individuals or organizations that, through partnerships, have achieved excellence in environmental protection or conservation. The Evening showcases the Recipient of the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award, which was established to recognize an individual who stands out for his or her long-term commitment to environmental quality through inspirational leadership, dedication and commitment to partnering.  The 2018 Emerging Environmental Leader Award will also be awarded to a youth who demonstrates young environmental leadership, creativity and dedication to inspire others to adopt similar actions to protect the environment.

“Northeastern Pennsylvanians have greatly benefited from the fruits of collaboration, which can be seen every day in our communities,” said Meg Welker, Sr. Environmental Professional at PPL and dinner planning committee chairperson. “Please help us identify those leading the charge so we can thank them for diligently working to improve our quality of life through environmental partnerships in our region.” 

The Awards are open to any group, individual, company, program, or organization whose work has had a positive impact on the environment in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s following counties; Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.   

During the past 27 years, over 180 individuals and groups involved in agriculture, forestry, business, industry, education, science, environmental awareness, community service, and government have been honored. Nominations may be made by a person or persons involved in the activity, or by a third party. 

Nominations must be postmarked no later than July 18, 2018. 

Nomination form

Montour County Nonprofits Need Your Help to Participate in Leadership Central Penn Program

Montour County Nonprofits need your help!  Leadership Central Penn is a wonderful opportunity for professionals in our area.  However, the cost to participate in this program is an issue for area nonprofits as they execute their missions on tight budgets.  They need your help.  There are a variety of nonprofits in Montour County that have requested applications for LCP, but have also requested scholarships. Historically, scholarship dollars are provided through a partner organization, the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation. However, due to the restrictions in the fund that is used to fund these scholarships, they are limited to Columbia County nonprofit participants.

Leadership Central PennWith your help, the Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber hopes to be able to offer scholarships annually to one or more individuals from nonprofits in Montour County. Nonprofit leadership participation has really helped to connect the community engagement and leadership component of the course on a personal level. It is our sincere hope that you can help the Chamber Foundation raise $1700 to begin to more easily include Montour County nonprofits in this outstanding program. 

If you or your organization is interested in helping send individuals from nonprofits in Montour County through the LCP program, please contact Jeff Emanuel, Foundation director, at 570-784-2522 or email

Read more about the LCP program, including its latest class graduation and summaries of all class dates from the 2017-18 class below. 

September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018