The first half of my year as Chair for the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce has challenged all of us as we work through the pandemic. As is often the case in times of crisis, you see some individuals and organizations rise to the occasion and exceed anyone’s expectations. That is certainly what I have witnessed with regard to the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce Staff, who have worked tirelessly to not only advocate for the needs of the business community with legislators, but also connect with numerous industry partners to gather information regarding grants, COVID-19 protocols, and regulatory changes.
My service to the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce began over fifteen years and in that time period, I have witnessed the Chamber evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of business and industry. While networking and advocacy have remained staple member benefits, the addition of digital marketing opportunities, electrical consortium pricing, non-profit specific programming, human resources consultative service, job postings and the expansion to include Young Professionals are evidence of the evolution.
In the past six months the social media efforts and access to up to the minute regulatory and legislative information has been top notch. It has been inspiring to see the number of new businesses that have started in recent months and the welcoming support of the community at ribbon cutting events would be impressive under normal circumstances, but is just astounding under current conditions. The Chamber has always promoted member to member business efforts, but those initiatives have been enhanced and quantified in recent months and I am personally thankful for all of the members that have taken the time connect. I encourage everyone to utilize a Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce Member for all of your purchased services and supplies. We truly are strong together.
Lastly, the work that occurs within our committees and the leadership demonstrated by our committee chairs is one of the secrets behind the success of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. The Transportation and Government Affairs committees ensure the needs of members are heard by all levels of government. Each of our committees; including: Schuylkill Women in Business, Non-profit, Helping Young People Exceed, Education/Agriculture, Member Services, and Ambassadors recently updated goals to ensure that we continue to move forward in a strategic and measurable way.
I am so proud to be a part of an organization that shows such passion and dedication to community businesses. I am also honored to represent the diverse business and non-profit organizations that operate with Schuylkill County. Thank you all for the privilege of serving you and I promise to continue to do everything I can to support your needs.
Shannon Brennan, M.Ed.
Chair Person, Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce
Director, Schuylkill Technology Center
Owner, The Spa at the Plaza
Co-Owner, Peace Frog Natural
For the past century, the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, previously known as the Greater Pottsville Area Chamber of Commerce, has served as the anchor for business and community services. Today, the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is the recognized hub for business and non-profit activity, associated with nine community affiliate chambers and business associations across the greater Schuylkill County area.
The Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is honored to be recognized and embraced as the key linkage to our business community. We are proud of our hard working people, representing a cultural "melting pot" of diversity, from many ancestral backgrounds. Our workforce and their commitment to excellence are unsurpassed. We are equally blessed that from this outstanding group of citizens, rises a volunteerism unsurpassed anywhere.
We represent the third largest geographical area by county in Pennsylvania, spanning 778 square miles. We are rural by definition and yet "metropolitan" by our business base, boasting many Fortune 500 companies.
We are conveniently located and traversed by major highway connectors, including Interstate 81 and PA State 61, connecting Interstate 81 and Interstate 78. This connectivity allows us to be within three hours travel to major East coast cities including Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and 20% percent of the U.S. population.
Our rural nature, picturesque mountains and rolling valleys, coupled with our fantastic natural resources, attract many of our area. Those attracted to our area through tourism and unique shopping opportunities may find it a great place to relocate, to raise a family and/or build a business.
We have achieved over 100 years of service to our community, through advocacy, leadership development, networking, education, marketing and advertising for those we serve. Schuylkill County is successful because we work so well in collaboration and partnership. Over the 100 years of our rich heritage, we have been a the core of our nation's Industrial Revolution, based on the natural resources such as anthracite coal and the dedication to excellence in the textile and manufacturing industry of our country. We are now maintaining our prominence in the business world today through transition and the expansion of our business, service and distribution expertise. We are a county who also embraces small businesses and downtown revitalization is underway in many of our communities bringing the best of business and local communities together. Schuylkill County, our businesses and non-profits, have truly survived the test of time, by continuing the best work from the past and evolving our assets for the future.
The Mission of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is "dedicated to serving its members and affiliates with value added programs and services, and improving the quality of life and economic vitality of our county." This mission motivates us in representing the interests of business both individually and collectively in order to create and sustain a strong economy and quality of life throughout our region.
President & CEO