The Chamber's effectiveness as a membership organization relies heavily on the
involvement and interaction of its committees. Each of the committees on the current
Organization Chart assists The Chamber and the community in addressing a number
of vital issues. Committee participation is at the discretion of each individual
member and members are permitted to serve on more than one committee. The mission
of The Chamber to "promote, inform, educate and advocate" is all accomplished at
the committee level.
For additional information or to sign-up for a committee, simply contact The
Chamber at 943-8151. To sign-up online, click here.
The Chamber Ambassadors are a group of volunteers who assist in the recruitment
of new members, spearhead member retention efforts, oversee the planning and execution
of programs and events that recognize members for loyalty to The Chamber and help
to integrate new members into the Chamber Family. The Ambassadors take part in ribbon-cuttings
which launch new businesses or acknowledge some significant change (relocation,
remodeling, etc.) to existing businesses. They arrange to meet new members at the
Breakfast Club or Business After Hours and will contact members three months into
their time with The Chamber to check on their level of satisfaction. The Ambassadors
are also at the forefront of the Membership Campaign.
A roundtable discussion group of businesses representing Blair County attractions
such as Lakemont Park, the Horseshow Curve, the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA and the
Holiday Bowl. The group meets every-other-month to discuss issues of common interest
or concern or to hear a presentation on some timely topic.
An acronym for Businesses And Schools Investing in Cooperative Solutions, the
BASICS Committee has helped to forge a solid partnership between the business and
education communities in Blair County and within The Alleghenies region. Among BASICS
programs are an annual Career Fair for eighth grade students in Blair County, a
weeklong Job Shadowing initiative for high school juniors, a task force aimed at
reducing truancy in the schools through a truancy court and an “Attendance Counts”
promotion and ongoing curriculum-related efforts aimed at improving student access
to career-related opportunities. The BASICS program is also the oversight mechanism
for The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County Youth program as well as the organization’s
involvement with Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week.
The Chamber committee that created and now oversees the Regional Purchasing initiative
has successfully spawned the “Buy the Alleghenies” program which includes a regional
business directory designed to help businesses and consumers to purchase more products
and services within The Alleghenies region. The committee also monitors the Member-2-Member
Discount Program and is the receptacle for all pro-business suggestions submitted
to The Chamber by its members.
Business Trade Show
The Chamber has partnered with twelve other chambers in the region to create
the Central Pennsylvania Business & Industry Expo. This one-day event, which debuted
in 2009, provides a showcase for businesses and an opportunity for consumers to
develop greater awareness of the products and services available in Central Pennsylvania.
Blair County Business Coalition
The Chamber's ability to meet the needs of the Blair County business community
depends on its ability to identify those needs and then to work through key people
in accomplishing expressed objectives. Those key people comprise The Chamber's Blair
County Business Coalition. Each of nine communities in the county is represented
on the Coalition by two persons who can speak authoritatively about the issues affecting
their individual community. The communities represented on the Coalition are Altoona,
Bellwood, Claysburg, Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Martinsburg, Roaring Spring, Tyrone
Business Hall of Fame
The premier event honoring the accomplishments of Blair County business is The
Chamber's Business Hall of Fame dinner. Businesses are honored in not only the Hall
of Fame category but also in categories such as Excellence in Small Business, Young
Emerging Business, Community Service, Safety and technology. There is even a special
Committee Choice Award. The Business Hall of Fame Committee oversees the entire
awards process, from planning the dinner, to encouraging companies to apply.
Coalition on Environmental Sustainability
The Chamber’s “Green” committee, this Coalition is comprised of businesses and
individuals interested in discussing or advocating on behalf of initiatives that
are environmentally prudent. It is the newest Chamber committee and meets on a monthly
A committee of The Chamber created specifically to develop programming for individuals
at the CEO level in businesses with at least 100 employees. The meetings feature
programs on issues of interest and often function as a barometer to the current
state of the business climate. Meetings are held monthly except for the summer months
When it comes to promoting the many benefits of agriculture to the people of
Blair County, no one does it better than The Chamber's Farm-City Committee. This
committee has been recognized at the state level on several occasions and has an
excellent record of accomplishment in creating awareness of trends and resources
important to the rural community.. Among the events that the committee oversees
are a Business After Hours "Down on the Farm," an Ag in the Schools program, a Visit
to Industry, a Farm-City Dinner and a host of dairy-related promotions. The Agricultural
& Community Excellence (ACE) Award was initiated in the Farm-City Committee and
is presented annually at the Farm-City Dinner.
The finance Committee is a subcommittee of The Chamber Board of Directors that
meets quarterly to review the budget, the annual audit, the progress of the Investment
Policy and any other matters affecting The Chamber's finances.
Since all work and no play makes for a dull Chamber, the organization sponsors
an annual golf tournament that attracts the best and the worst golfers from the
business community for a day of fun and competition. The food is great, the refreshments
cold and the gifts and prizes "top shelf." Held in early May, the Chamber Golf Classic
is planned and executed by an energetic committee of golf enthusiasts who manage
to find sufficient time as part of their meetings to hone their golfing skills.
Recruiting members for this committee, not surprisingly, is a relatively short process.
But remember: No Chamber committee is ever too big.
For years, our region has produced many highly qualified young professionals.
However, this segment of our population has expressed difficulty in making a connection
with the established business community and their peers. For this reason, The Chamber
has developed the GRYP program, Growth and Relationships of Young Professionals.
This committee develops social and networking activities along with educational
opportunities and workshops that will help this segment connect with their community
and their peers.
Home & Garden
One of Blair County's most highly-anticipated annual events, the Blair County
Home & Garden boasts nearly a half-century of success. The Chamber, in collaboration
with the Blair-Bedford Builders Association, plans the three-day show which features
over 130 exhibitors. The Home & Garden Committee has representation from both sponsoring
organizations and planning for the event takes several months to complete.
Web site: www.blairhomeshow.com
Hotel/Motel/ Lodging Property Roundtable
A roundtable discussion group of businesses representing Blair County hotels,
motels and other lodging properties. The group meets every-other-month to discuss
issues of common interest or concern or to hear a presentation on some timely topic.
The Legislative Action Committee looks for ways that The Chamber can assist businesses
through a proactive process of education and advocacy. The committee gives Chamber
Members a valuable pipeline to elected officials at the local, state and national
levels. Meetings are held monthly and usually include a speaker on some issue of
importance to The Chamber membership. The committee also hold a reception for elected
officials each Spring and has sponsored recent workshops on Energy and Healthcare.
Leadership Blair County Steering
The Leadership Blair County program continues to be one of The Chamber's greatest
signature pieces. The program includes both the Leadership Adult and the Leadership
Youth programs. The Steering committee, comprised primarily of LBC graduates, oversees
the functioning of the entire LBC program.
Leadership Blair County Adult
The Leadership Blair County Adult program has been in operation since 1994. The
program begins each September with an orientation, includes a two-day retreat in
October and then features daylong sessions each month, leading-up to graduation
in June. The Leadership Adult Committee assists in the planning of session topics
and monitors the progress of the program.
Leadership Blair County Youth
It is the mission of Leadership Blair County Youth Program to develop the leadership
potential that exists in tenth grade students from all of the high schools in Blair
County as well as educate these students about Blair County’s heritage, culture
and workforce opportunities. The goal is to instill a sense of civic pride and community
involvement in these students. The class is limited to twenty-four participants
and meets monthly following a retreat in July. The class graduates in May.
The responsibility of assisting The Chamber in marketing to members and non-members
is vested in the Marketing Committee. This committee looks at issues such as Chamber
image, brand recognition and marketing appeal and makes recommendations to other
Chamber committees as to how best to promote their efforts. The Marketing Committee
has also overseen the development of a Marketing Plan for The Chamber. The "Issues"
program, which The Chamber produces on the Altoona Public Access Channel, is the
responsibility of the Marketing Committee.
Restaurant/Food Service Roundtable
A roundtable discussion group of businesses representing Blair County restaurants
and food service businesses. The group meets every-other-month either face-to-face
or by webinar.
The Safety Committee creates programs geared to helping Chamber Members better
understand processes and legislation related to safety and environmental issues.
The Chamber, through the Safety Committee, is part of an alliance with the Occupational
Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) which provides periodic seminars to help member
businesses to stay in compliance.
Partners In Small Business
This program emphasizes the importance of small businesses to The Chamber and
the Blair County business community through various educational and networking programs.
The Partners in Small Business plan and execute the “Backbone Bash” twice each year.
That event brings together people from small businesses in a casual environment
and encourages the sharing of ideas on how to operate more effectively.
A roundtable discussion group of businesses representing Blair County retail
community.. The group meets every-other-month to discuss issues of common interest
or concern or to hear a presentation on some timely topic.
The Transportation Corporation regularly monitors how issues related to transportation
impact the Blair County business community. The committee also drafts policy statements
for The Chamber so that the organization speaks with one voice in lobbying efforts
regarding transportation. The Chamber, through the Transportation Committee, testifies
every-other year at the State Transportation Hearings.
An acronym for Women Encouraging Leadership, Education, and Development . This
committee organizes at least two educational workshops and two networking events
each year. These events are geared toward meeting the professional needs of businesswomen.
The committee maintains a contact list of nearly 500 women and markets relevant
programming, materials and events to them. Any Chamber member can register to be
part of that list.