It is hard to believe that my year as Chair of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is coming to a close. It has been a great honor to have been the Chair for the second half of our 100th Anniversary celebration. It took many years of dedication and hard work from many different committees to ensure success at all the cornerstone events. My journey throughout the eight years on the Executive Board has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience, working with so many business leaders in our community.
One of the most educational and reflective aspects of celebrating our 100th anniversary was the decade-to-decade highlights showcased each month. We were able to look at our past challenges and successes and understand how working together, we can achieve stronger communities and businesses in our region. In November, we were able to celebrate our Charter members with a plaque presentation held in the large conference room. In addition, we unveiled a wall plaque with all the Past Presidents/Chair persons as a tribute to the Schuylkill Chamber’s long and prosperous history. Future leaders will continue to be added as they serve.
Some of the other events throughout this year included another very successful golf tournament, the Walk for Progress/Member appreciation, the Reading Phillies, the continuation of the YEA! program and the forward progress of the Schuylkill Young Professional Organization. The breakfasts and monthly mixers, a great way to network with other members, were very successful and well attended.
The 100th Anniversary Gala was celebrated in September and was truly a beautiful commemoration of the past 100 years of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. The committees who put together this event did not overlook any detail. The menu selection, decorations, slideshow, and entertainment were all top notch.
On January 1, as we entered the 101st year of the Chamber, we have adopted the tag line “Chamber 101, turning the digital page.” After celebrating our successes last year, we now need to shift our focus to the future. Our emphasis will be on Strategic Planning for the future . We are working with Board members and a well-respected consultant to map out our pathway for moving into the next decade.
I have enjoyed working alongside the Chamber staff, Executive Committee, Board members and all the volunteers. Our new staff, or “Bobby and the Millennials” as we like to refer to them, are a great mix of experience and youthful excitement which will help us learn from the past while moving into the ever changing future. I personally feel the Chamber is in a great place and will continue its partnership with the members to provide a bright future in our region and beyond. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve as your Chamber Chair for the 2018-2019 year.
Edward Keyworth, III
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