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Chamber Committees

Committees are the life force of the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp. and where the benefits of membership truly pay off. The more you become involved, the greater impact you will see in your business! If you have ideas about a committee you don’t see, please contact Alice Wanamaker to discuss starting one! Committee chair terms are two years. Chairs are expected to conduct meetings on a regular basis and work closely with the Executive Director, Assistant Vice President, and CCEDC staff to conduct meetings and coordinate projects. CCEDC staff provides support to Committees via meeting room scheduling, meeting scheduling, and the taking of minutes.

The strength of our Chamber comes from the hard work, time and dedication of our Committee members. Learn more about our Committees below, and if you would like to participate in one or more of these Committees, please contact its chair. (To be eligible to participate, you must be a member of our Chamber.)

Ambassadors & Event Committee

COMMITTEE

Marj Federanich, Dream Vacations Palmerton | Ashley Seir, Blue Mountain Resort | Sheila Knappenberger, Buckno Lisicky & Company | Robyn Plesniarski, Lehigh Valley Health Network | Susan Cooper, SERVPRO Carbon County/Pocono Pines | Kathy Ruff, Total Business Services | Connie Hoffman, Erie/Fisher Insurance

Staff: Marianne Rustad • Contact Marianne

WELCOME TO THE CCEDC! HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
THIS GREETING SUMS UP THE ROLE OF AN AMBASSADOR. 

The Ambassador Council serves as the goodwill arm of the Chamber, playing an essential role in member Communication, Appreciation, Retention, and level of Engagement.  ​Ambassadors are highly visible, prestigious volunteers who serve as the Chamber’s primary liaison to new Chamber members. Ambassadors C.A.R.E.

We serve members by: 

  • Helping you understand and take advantage of Chamber benefits. If you have a question, ask us. If we don’t know the answer, we can direct you to the staff person who does.
  • Encouraging you to actively participate in Chamber activities. Whether you are a new member or a veteran, we want you to feel welcome at Chamber activities. You’ll find us at mixers and grand openings, Council meetings and other special events, ready to introduce you to other members.
  • Assisting Chamber staff in retaining members. Our Chamber is only as strong as its membership. That’s why we work hard to keep members involved.  

The Ambassadors Council is happy to welcome new Ambassadors.

This committee is responsible for planning and implementing the three largest events that the Chamber undertakes; the Annual Dinner Event, the Golf Outing, and the Administrative Professionals celebration. Each event has sub-committees that focus on successful outcomes for the community outreach of the Chamber. Committee members also assist with sponsorships for events. This committee is also focused on the development of networking events. Members brainstorm ways to create unique networking events with the goal of three per month (breakfast, lunch, and after hours). Events are used to highlight and promote Chamber members’ business establishments and promote and support member-to-member commerce. Members also attend events as “Ambassadors” of the Chamber, assisting members in making connections and networking with one another. 

Business/Education Partnership

COMMITTEE

Co- Chairs: Steve Ohl, R.F. Ohl | Jennifer Aquilla, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau

Committee: Jodi Frankelli, Palmerton Area School District | Wayne Northstein, Chairman of the Carbon County Board of Commissioners | Amber Zuber, Lehigh Carbon Community College | Benjamin Turrano, Lehigh Carbon Community College  | Sam Hellen, CareerLink/Workforce Development | David McAndrew, Panther Valley School District | Diahann Ouly, MRC | Diane Motel, Wildlands Conservancy

Student Ambassador:  OPEN, please contact Alice today to get more information

The Business/Education Partnership was established in August 2009 to promote collaboration between business and education to strengthen workforce quality, develop career opportunities, and foster a culture of lifelong learning in the Carbon County region. The goals of CCB/EP are to collaborate with school districts to raise student achievement levels by aligning education with career preparation; to identify key business needs and incorporate academic curriculum, models, or programs; and to educate businesses on the benefits of such partnership

Health & Wellness Committee

Chair: Marianne Rustad

Contact Marianne

Leadership Carbon

Leadership Carbon logo

Chair: Linda Rex, CCEDC | 610-379-5000

Contact Linda

It has been said that leadership is a prime force that makes positive things happen in a community. The Leadership Carbon Program is designed to develop knowledgeable, skilled, committed, and action-oriented community leaders. Leadership Carbon brings together participants once a month September through May. Participants typically come from diverse backgrounds and varying perspectives to learn more about themselves and their communities. In the Leadership Carbon Program, people share their ideas and experiences with each other, gain new skills and knowledge about leadership, and develop plans and strategies for implementing community betterment projects. 

Webpage: www.carboncountychamber.org/leadership-carbon/

Lehighton Downtown Partnership

Staff: Bambi Elsasser | 610-509-6465 

Contact Bambi

 

Marketing - Tourism & Accommodations Committee

Staff: Marianne Rustad, CCEDC

Contact Marianne

This committee provides leadership and strategic direction to initiatives and projects that will have an impact at the County level. This group interfaces with County-level agencies, multi-county regional partners, and State level legislative resources, associations, and groups. This committee plans and implements Carbon County Restaurant Week and works closely in conjunction with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. This committee also provides a forum to discuss opportunities and design initiatives that will fill lodgings in Carbon County. It offers access to group advertising opportunities that would otherwise be unaffordable to small businesses.

Nature & Commerce Committee

Staff: Kathy Henderson, CCEDC

Contact Kathy

The Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC), in partnership with The Wildlands Conservancy, Audubon PA, and Natural Lands has created a new committee within the CCEDC entitled the Nature and Commerce Committee.

Background: In 2017 a group of non-profit conservation organizations received funding under a new program called the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, the goal of which is to conserve water quality throughout the Delaware River watershed through land protection and adoption of on the ground policies and programs. Three of the non-profits – Wildlands Conservancy, Audubon Pennsylvania, and Natural Lands collaborate on common goals of helping local government protect natural areas.

In 2018, a Return on Environment (ROE) report for Carbon County demonstrated how open space greatly contributed to the health of the local economy as well as to a lower cost of living and improved quality of life for Carbon County. Seeking ways to keep Carbon County green, the partners found a new advocate in Kathy Henderson, Director of Economic Development for Carbon County. Kathy’s passion for both growing the local economy while conserving the natural environment was contagious. The ROE received endorsement from the Carbon County Commissioners and the partnership expanded to include Kathy, along with Dave Bodnar, Director of Planning for the County as well as representatives from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Penn State Cooperative Extension.

The Vision: Promote conservation-oriented programs, plans and policies that help grow the local economy.

An Expanded Partnership: After meeting over the past year, and conducting a virtual training for municipal officials, the partners have recruited a diverse group of local leaders who are passionate about Carbon County’s future and who see the benefit of growing a local economy around the premise that conserving nature is essential to Carbon County’s economic future.

Veterans & Military Affairs Council

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Staff: Alison Pickel, GLVCC

Veterans and Military Council's Mission:

To support veterans and military members in business as they serve our nation and our communities.

Objectives:

  • To help veterans and those who serve develop and grow professionally
  • Create networking and network building opportunities for veterans and military. personnel who either own their own businesses or are key influencers in the businesses at which they work.
  • Promote the leadership attributes of veterans and military service personnel and the skill sets they bring to the Lehigh Valley business community. (learn more here)

​STATEMENT OF UNITY

Contact Alison Pickel at 610-739-1512 or alisonp@lehighvalleychamber.org.

Women in Business

COMMITTEE:

Jennifer Everett, Valley Royale | Jaclyn Gallagher, Buckno Lisicky | Diane Motel, Wildlands Conservancy | Pam Reilly, Mary Kay Cosmetics | Kathy Ruff, Total Business Services | Danielle Andreas, Andreas Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, INC. |  Sharon Alexander, Carbon County Community Foundation |  Marissa Strohlein, Big Creek Winery | Melissa Lappos, Lehigh Valley Health Network

 Staff: Marianne Rustad  Contact Marianne

This committee conducts monthly lunch meetings that provide a venue for the business women of Carbon County to come together for support and networking. All are welcome, including men!  Attendees are also encouraged to participate in the Carbon County Women in Business Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/carboncountywomeninbusiness) to obtain further learning, resources and support. If you are interested in becoming a presenter, please fill out this Speaker Interest form and return it to any committee or staff member.

 

Corporate Sponsors & Partners