MILTON – The Central PA Chamber of Commerce welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors starting in January.
Elected to three-year terms following the membership wide election in November are: Keith Foust, President of Susquehanna Fire Equipment Company, Dewart/Lewistown; Rachael Herb, Assistant VP of the Lewisburg Market for Service 1st Federal Credit Union; Ginnetta Reed, Marketing Director of T-Ross Brothers Construction, Montandon; and Brandon Schemery, Senior Account Executive with Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania, Williamsport.
In addition, incumbent Lauren McDonald, Account Executive for The Wealth Factory, Muncy, was re-elected to serve a second three-year term.
“I am honored to have another three years on the board,” McDonald said. “The Central PA Chamber of Commerce has grown into a huge resource for businesses and non-profit organizations requiring a delicate balance of hard work and nuanced changes.
“We need to keep doing what we are known for while adapting to changes. I look forward to being part of it through my service.”
While McDonald maintains a high level of excitement, it’s showing to be infectious among the new board members.
“I’m in the big leagues now,” Foust said. “It will be a great learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being a part of a great crowd.”
Herb said being on the board will “provide me with an exciting opportunity to be an advocate for the needs of our local businesses. This alights itself perfectly with Service 1st’s core value of supporting communities. I am extremely passionate about helping our local businesses grow and thrive, which makes this opportunity a perfect fit for me.
Reed called it “an honor” to be elected to the Central PA Chamber’s Board, adding, “I am excited and looking forward to serving our members.”
And, Schemery, who is also an attorney by trade, and works with people from across a wide range of industries, said, “I’m excited to use my diverse background to serve the Central PA Chamber of Commerce and its members.”
With new board members means others are stepping down. They include: Andrew Hertzler, Owner of XW Construction, Watsontown; Chris Pinchak, Owner/Operator of Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning, Milton; and Todd Ross, President of the aforementioned T-Ross Brothers Construction.
Hertzler, who was on the board since 2018, said it was a new experience for him serving the community in this way.
“It’s important to give back,” he said. “I think it’s something, as business owners, we sometimes fail to realize. It brought new perspective.
“I enjoyed my time and found it to be delightful and informative. I got to meet and learn from a lot of people and know them on a personal level.”
“This will not be the end of the Chamber for me,” said Pinchak, who served on the board since 2020 and as an officer in 2021. “I will still be around and active. I enjoyed my time on the board and learned a lot from everyone.
“I know the work will continue and progress in the future. The Central PA Chamber is an amazing organization to be a part of…Good luck to everyone!”
This concludes Ross’s most recent service to the board. During another term, he served as chairman of the board and has been an active member for more than 20 years.
“I have enjoyed every moment of the experience,” he said. “I have seen the growth of the former Milton Chamber of Commerce to what it is today. Our management team, led by Tea Jay Aikey, has taken our organization to new levels of training, assisting, and partnering with all of the businesses they serve.
“As I am stepping off the Chamber board for now, I am and always will have the Chamber’s best interests at heart and will do everything I can to stay active and assist the Chamber team in any way I can. This Chamber has done so much for me and our business over the years, and I know that this trend will continue for many years to come.”
Aikey, the Chamber’s President & CEO, approaches this time of year with some mixed emotions.
“It’s always bittersweet,” she said. “The ‘farewell’ to those I’ve spent three years getting to know and work alongside is never easy. It isn’t a ‘goodbye’ though, but rather a ‘see you later.’
“The words of gratitude at the December board meeting were tearful as I’ve come to build a great friendship with directors Hertzler, Pinchak and Ross. My appreciation to their steadfast support during my tenure is priceless, and I’m certain those relationships will remain strong.”
She added she’s pleased to have McDonald return for a new term, citing her wealth of knowledge and dedication to the organization.
“She is one of the most selfless and humble women I know,” Aikey said.
And, naturally, the Chamber chief is excited to see how the new board members start their terms.
“I’m eager to see the connections made, each of them getting to know each other, and how they are so willing to dedicate their time and energy to the efforts of the Central PA Chamber.”
The Central PA Chamber thanks all nine of this year’s board candidates, everyone who made nominations and the board’s nominating committee. The committee included: 2022 Board Chairman Rob Jones of the Milton Historical Society; 1st Vice Chair Skyler Herb of Skyworks Equipment Rental, Harrisburg; Treasurer Lennea Brown of Heritage Springs Memory Care, Lewisburg/Montoursville; McDonald; and Director Alison Hall of The UPS Store, Lewisburg.
A total of 697 votes were tallied from among 161 ballots submitted by an organization’s “primary contact” or “voting member”. The Central PA Chamber used a new election service this year – ElectionBuddy – and saw a 118 percent increase in voter participation over last year.
One board seat was vacated at the end of summer with the hiring of Ryan Workman as the Chamber’s Business & Education Coordinator. That is why there are four new additions to the board with only three stepping off.
A reorganizational meeting to determine the four 2023 board officers, who make up the Executive Committee, will take place just prior to the first board meeting of the year on Thursday, Jan. 12.