“In this line of work, accidents are a very real possibility and with these classes, it can make the risk that much lower,” said Rob Driscoll, Production Manager for SERVPRO King of Prussia and Abington/Jenkintown.
Building relationships is important to Mike McGrory.
From active shooter situations to industrial safety awareness, McGrory, who owns FOCUS! Safety Training in Perkasie, said there’s no substitute for knowledge and he has plenty to share.
A partner owner/operator of SERVPRO of Upper Bucks, also in Perkasie, McGrory set out about two years ago to found FOCUS! Safety Training to handle increasing response and awareness needs in the community.
“I wanted to be able to offer this service and be engaged with the community,” McGrory said.
He is a Firearms Instructor, OSHA Construction and General Industry Instructor and is also an American Red Cross First Aid\CPR|AED Instructor.
Rob Driscoll, Production Manager for SERVPRO of King of Prussia and Abington/Jenkintown, said an employee’s medical problem was the impetus for bringing FOCUS! Safety Training – and McGrory – to his Montgomery County facility for OSHA 10-hour General Industry and Red Cross training.
“There is no better way to be ready for the possibility of an emergency than to be prepared. The training that I've been given by these courses has prepared me for the future,” Driscoll said.
FOCUS! is a natural follow-up to SERVPRO services, which include post fire and water damage, mold remediation, storm damage and commercial building cleaning and restoration services and post construction clean up.
“We will come to employer’s locations to provide classes and certifications,” McGrory said, which saves time and ensures deadlines may be met efficiently by employers and managers.
McGrory wants FOCUS! to meet the safety training needs in the community by providing a variety of situational awareness programs, from ALICE Active Shooter training to Red Cross pool staff training.
“[I was] pleasantly surprised that he was certified to teach CPR and First Aid since this is a requirement for all employees working in our child care centers,” said Karen Coutts. Coutts is senior childcare director for Indian Valley Family YMCA in Harleysville. Indian Valley is a branch of the North Penn YMCA.
Coutts said her entire staff was nearing the end of their current certification expirations in late 2017. That’s when she brought McGrory in for staff training and re-certifications.
“Michael was incredibly helpful in setting up a time that worked best for me and my staff. He was so easy to talk to and very accommodating,” Coutts said.
FOCUS! Safety Training also provides course training for the construction trades. “We do fall protection classes because that’s the number one cause of death in the construction industry,” McGrory said.
And with more school violence peppering media headlines, McGrory doesn’t want Upper Bucks to become another gruesome story. He plans to offer active shooter response training and certifications to area school districts and employers.
ALICE Training Institute was founded by Greg Crane in the wake of the Columbine High School Massacre, as it’s come to be known, in 1999 in Colorado.
Since that time, active shooter tragedies across the unites states from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have heightened the need for active shooter response and emergency training.
“We [strive] to create situational awareness,” McGrory said of his approach to this specialized type of response training.
McGrory said there are no minimums to arrange any of his onsite training and his goal is to build community and relationships. McGrory said all onsite training is available now.
“Corey and Nate produced a video for our fundraising event that told our story in a really compelling way, helping us to raise more money during our mission appeal. They are professional, yet their heart comes through in everything they do,” Candace Clark - Bucks County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity resource development director.
PBR Productions founders Corey Armideo and Nate Hall created their business out of a love for movie making that stretches back to high school.
Short for “Pioneers Beyond Reality” the pair’s business name is a constant reminder of why they do what they do. “It’s every young filmmaker’s dream of making movies,” Armideo explained.
Friends since their high school days at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, D.E., they met during television production classes. They were 15 years old.
“We started out doing work in a studio with black curtains, fake ficus trees and a couple of chairs,” Armideo said of those early years of directing, shooting and running audio and producing tv shows for a leased access television channel in Wilmington. “The kind where groups bought air time and came in and made a show,” Armideo said.
Then owned by Suburban cable, a Comcast buy-out produced consolidation and layoffs followed. “We were part of that, and decided we wanted to create our own company rather than work for someone who could [terminate] our jobs,” Armideo said.
Currently based in Quakertown they have worked with a variety of clients - from local non-profits like Habitat for Humanity to mega-news media outlet ABC News.
Honing skills and craft comes with time and experience, one gig at a time.
“Nate and Corey produced a network quality reality show episode for our company TNT Amusements Inc. in Southampton. I was impressed with the care they took with the scripting, music, and editing and ‘keeping me in the loop…,” said Todd N. Tuckey, TNT Amusements president.
Tuckey said the episode was popular with viewers, created more business awareness and drove sales to the company.
In addition to a planned move late summer from Quakertown to Perkasie to a bigger space, Armideo said offering studio recording time to musicians, as well as other media services, would allow the business to grow and expand organically.
The new, larger location will provide space for clients to create live streaming talk shows and podcasting in a professional TV studio setting. Think old-school access television station crossed with a YouTube studio, Hall said.
“We will teach people how to create compelling content, coach them on the creative side, while also running the gear and doing the tech side of creating a TV show for the web,” Hall said.
Armideo said a recent collaboration with the Pennridge School District helped bring their television production studio current and on par with Quakertown [Community School District] and Souderton.
Outreach and helping businesses help themselves is the next frontier for PBR, as they roll out education classes, which aim to attract and retain new clients.
“We don’t see this at all as hurting our business, to teach small and mid-sized businesses how to create a quality promo or short video to reach a target audience,” Armideo said.
Two free one-hour sessions will be held July 11 at UBCC’s second floor conference room, at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. The sessions will last about an hour.
“We want to introduce the concepts and help people understand what they can do with their own equipment to reach a broader audience,” Armideo said.
Additional classes on a fee-based model will be offered to delve deeper into a particular topic like how to choose the best camera angle for a shot, how to create good audio, or how to stage optimal lighting.
The goal is to offer a way for clients interested in DIY models to do their own work better. “For those who don’t want to invest in equipment, or have more complicated projects, that’s where our experience comes in,” Armideo said.
Education and its importance brought Armideo full circle.
He and Hall want to become better teachers to offer classes and share their expertise. Armideo said a technical school education was invaluable in pursuing a career.
“You’d be surprised at what you can do working for a good company that lets you have hands-on experience. I wouldn’t be here today without the [technical school] training I received. You have to keep learning,” Armideo said.
If you go:
What: Free introduction to video making workshop BYO technology
When: Two sessions; 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., July 11.
Where: UBCC Conference Room, 2nd floor 21 N. Main St. Quakertown.
How: Reserve a spot by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Investing in Community is one of our company’s five core values. We are socially responsible, committed to serving our communities through strong leadership, volunteerism and financial support,” said Annette, D. Szygiel, executive vice president and chief experience officer for Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania.
Build it and they will come.
From a unique, attention grabbing digital sign at the heavily traveled intersection of Routes 309 and 663 to redevelopment projects and an expanded outdoor summer concert series, Quakertown is upping the revitalization ante.
An expanded outdoor summer concert series beginning today calls attention to fresh shopping, dining and recreation as national acts bring new visitors to the downtown.
Annette, D. Szygiel, executive vice president and chief experience officer for Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania, said bringing tourism to Quakertown through the summer concert series was good for business and the local economy.
Competing with major neighboring venues in the Lehigh Valley like SteelStacks and Musikfest, Quakertown needs to differentiate itself.
Parking is easy and it’s free. Restaurants and shopping are a few blocks from the concert venue, hotels and motels are a short drive away and borough officials are hoping Quakertown’s friendly, down-home vibe will mean newcomers will want to return often.
The summer concert series is up to six shows in its second year; four more than last year’s opening, and organizers are not only optimistic, they’re confident the shows will attract locals and tourists alike.
“We want to be promoting the greater Quakertown area. People don’t realize there is a whole lot of the borough off Route 309,” said Ryan Sevenski, Quakertown park development coordinator.
Aligned with bringing heightened awareness to travelers on Route 309 a digital monument sign, located in Quakertown Borough, has created conversations on both sides – and love it or loathe it – advertisers are flocking from outside the region for time on the dials. About 25 percent of advertisers are based in the borough, according to Thaddeus Bartkowski, CEO and founding partner of Catalyst Outdoor Advertising in Newtown Square, Delaware County. Catalyst installed and manages the digital advertising. The eye-catching circles were intended to capture the audience, Bartkowski said. “This was about an 18 month process,” of planning and design time ahead of the sign’s operational go-ahead last fall. He said the elements took into account historic Quakertown’s architecture.
“We incorporated a compass design and created the circles to represent a deconstruction of it. It is unique, and its resolution is the highest [currently] on the east coast,” Bartkowski said.
Bartkowski said it was the best way to tie into the borough’s other redevelopment efforts.
Millions of redevelopment dollars over the past two years have sparked a chain reaction of growth and vitality in the borough’s two square-mile downtown.
Some notable recent projects include:
“The new Univest Performance Center will be the perfect place for all generations of music lovers to experience an intimate, high quality concert while attending any of the Sounds of Summer Concert Series events,” Annette, D. Szygiel, executive vice president and chief experience officer for Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania.
Summer music in Quakertown offers a great line-up of national acts June 14 – Aug. 23.
What: Sounds of Summer Concert Series presented by Sands Auto Group
Where: Univest Performance Center at the Park at Fourth, 4th and Mill streets.
When: June 14-Aug. 23, Thursday nights, headline shows start at 8 p.m. gates open at 6 p.m.
Show lineup: Tommy James & The Shondells, June 14: The Marshall Tucker Bank, June 28: The Charlie Daniels Band, July 12: Steve Augeri of Journey, July 26; Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, Aug. 16; Little River Band, Aug. 23.
Cost: General admission (bring your own chair) are $20; reserved seats range from $35 to high of $50.
For information visit www.quakertown.eventbrite.com or call 215.536.5001.
Seems there’s a lot going on in Bucks County and high on the list is infrastructure, recreation and mental health awareness.
Bucks County Commissioners presented the second of three legislative breakfast programs hosted by Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce June 1 at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place in Quakertown.
The annual series provides a platform for local state and national legislators to interact with Upper Bucks County businesses and constituents in a relaxed, informal setting.
In addition to drug overdose deaths the county has taken up suicide prevention according to Wendy Flanigan. She said the Bucks County Suicide Prevention Task Force had a goal “…to eliminate suicide.”
Flanigan is coordinator of service development and Quality management for Bucks County Mental Health Department.
A representative for the Bucks County Crisis Intervention Team, Flanigan provided information about suicide awareness and prevention, and how businesses can spot and assist struggling employees.
“In 2017, there were 77 suicide deaths reported by the County Coroner’s Office,” Flanigan said.
She added that number was likely higher because some suicide deaths may not have appeared suspicious, and were not reported or investigated. “I think there are folks dying from suicide we are not catching,” She said.
Flanigan introduced a new approach – QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer, aimed at quickly assessing if more services are appropriate.
QPR aims to train “gatekeepers” to recognize a mental health crisis and learn the warning signs someone may be considering suicide.
Flanigan said her team offers businesses and organizations training to recognize symptoms and provide resources and referrals so employees can get the help they need.
According to the American Psychiatric Association Foundation website, about 7 percent of full-time workers in the U.S. experienced major depression during the past year.
The financial impact is staggering: A whooping $210.5 billion per year is the estimated economic burden shouldered, due to major depressive disorder, or MDD, and a study revealed about 16 million Americans suffer from some form of major depressive disorder.
Flanigan is the contact for business owners and managers to reach to set up in house training or for more information. Contact her at 215.444.2882, or via email at email@example.com.
Those eager for the Upper Bucks Rail Trail will need to wait a bit longer. The eagerly anticipated walking and hiking trails, set to connect with the Saucon Valley Rail Trail in Lehigh County would bring Quakertown Borough and Richland Township into the popular walking, biking and hiking trail system.
“We’re waiting for the final easement connection to Veterans Park [in Richland Township],” said Evan Stone, executive director of the Bucks County Planning Commission.
He said request for proposal documents were out to engineering firms and that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) was currently clearing vegetation and removing rail bed remnants.
Business development continues to be brisk throughout Bucks County with nearly 900,000 square feet of non-residential applications currently in review by the planning commission.
Stone said non-residential building applications were up, and of those 45 percent were for industrial uses and 36 percent were for commercial uses.
“There is 2.6 million square foot of previous manufacturing and micro distribution centers in Bucks County, and we are more closing tracking these,” Stone said.
Look for the third and final legislative update, “State of the Nation” to be announced soon!
Once inside the Duncan Autobody repair shop on Route 313 in East Rockhill Township, you know you’re in a quality business. The floors and reception area are open, bright and tidy. Floors inside the shop are spotless. Tools are neatly tucked away, and everyone is suited up in Carstar Duncan Autobody Repair shirts.
Reliable transportation – our own wheels – is something we often take for granted.
But having an independent way to get to work, run errands, take our children and ourselves to doctor’s appointments or out for an afternoon movie matinee, can make the difference between living a full independent life, or struggling with each day’s demands.
Duncan Autobody, a Legacy Autobody Group company made a single mother’s life a lot easier on May 22.
Duncan partnered with Keystone Opportunity Center in Souderton and Geico Insurance Company to provide a donated car through the Recycled Rides National Council program to Kristen, who lives in Norristown with her three young children: Jordan, 6, Brooklyn, 4 and Kane, 2.
But it was Duncan staff that did the hands-on priming and replacing, fitting and contouring to transform an otherwise scrap-yard car for a new family.
Duncan Manager Chris Moser said the vehicle with 61,000 clocked miles on the odometer, has “a lot of life left.”
The 2008 silver Ford Taurus was involved in a car accident, but did not sustain major damage that would have rendered it unusable.
The repair bill tally exceeded the value of the car.
“That’s why it came to us. It wasn’t un-repairable, it’s just the cost of the repairs would have exceeded the value of the car, and the insurance company totaled it,” Moser explained.
Keys to the shiny Taurus with light gray interior were passed to a broadly smiling Kristen at a morning event, also attended by Geico representatives at the East Rockhill Township facility.
“I just started a full time job at Walmart and having the car will make things much easier to get the kids to their appointments and baby sitter. I am so grateful,” Kristen said.
Elizabeth Bertolet, Keystone housing case manager and supervisor, said independent transportation can make the difference between working or being unemployed and is often a huge factor in where a person can look for work as well as the type of work they can secure.
“We found Duncan through our network,” Bertolet said, of how the pieces stitched together.
Kristen was being served by Keystone and Duncan was within the Bucks/Montgomery geography available and sourced by Keystone.
Legacy is owned by partners Matt DeWalt and Eric and Mike Horvath.
They operate four locations: Duncan Quakertown and Allentown and Scott’s Collision Center in Easton and Stroudsburg.
This is Legacy Autobody Group’s third car rehabilitation, but the first for the Duncan Quakertown shop in East Rockhill Township.
“Our shops are community based, and we want to give back to the community. Our fathers started the business in 1971, so we are the second generation,” Mike Horvath said.
Inside the Duncan shop, after the unveiling, Moser said “the credit for this really goes to our guys. They did all the work and [used] the elbow grease.”
To help or make a donation contact Keystone Opportunity Center at 215.723.5430 or visit the website at www.keystoneopportunity.org.
Jim Lukens is a crusader with an artist’s vision, a palette knife, and a mission to showcase Quakertown.
Lukens attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and carries forward the tradition of Pennsylvania Impressionists from the turn of the 20th century. These artists found inspiration and a place to call home in Bucks County’s lush pastoral landscapes, river towns, livestock and wildlife and plein air, or outdoors painting methods.
But more than recreating well and not-so well known scenes across Upper Bucks Luken’s envisions his Main Street Gallery and workspace as a signal of change and cultural revitalization in Quakertown and beyond.
“Upper Bucks County is still Bucks County, but it is really untapped,” Lukens said of more well known artist enclave towns like Doylestown and New Hope. These laid claim to a healthy, vibrant and expensive arts community and market.
And while Lukens is represented by a Doylestown Gallery, he chooses to live and work here. “I want to respect Quakertown by having a gallery here,” Lukens said.
He noted Quakertown as a “confluence” of markets, which include Central Bucks, Philadelphia, Lehigh and Berks counties, all within an hour or less drive, making Upper Bucks an easily accessible day trip.
His refurbished gallery space with a barn red metal roof and updated colonial colors is a corner herald to motorists and pedestrians, announcing “you are in Quakertown. People from all sides (of traffic) can see it,” Lukens said.
Lukens isn’t content only to paint what he sees. Like most artists, he wants to share what he’s discovered because it’s just too much to keep to himself. “I want to make art accessible to everyone,” Lukens said.
He acknowledged fine art often carries an exclusive aura; something he said can create divisions – much like the current political climate across the U.S. - rather than encourage inclusiveness. “This is a place where there isn’t turmoil, where people from both sides [who otherwise disagree], and can come and feel good,” Lukens explained.
Lyn Treffinger from Milford Township has studied with Lukens for the past three years.
She loves taking classes from him because “I learn something every week, and he makes it a lot of fun.”
Not only has Treffinger learned about using oil paints and creating art, she said she sees the world differently, thanks to having studied with Lukens.
“My work has evolved. I have a better understanding of values and color intensity – lights and darks- and it informs how I see the world. Jim is very motivating,” Treffinger said.
Lukens credits McCoole’s owner Jan Hench for being a long-time and steadfast supporter of the arts; for helping him launch the Main Street Gallery, and providing classroom space nearby on the second floor of McCoole’s Arts and Events Place.
Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, or just about any time with advance notice, The Main Street Gallery is located at 1236 West Broad Street, Quakertown (Corner of Main and Broad streets). Free parking is available at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place (next to McCoole’s at the Red Lion Inn) and Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, 21 N. Main Street. Art is for everyone! For information about classes for all levels, visit the website at www.jimlukensart.com, or call 610.442.4112.
Who doesn’t love a great deal?
From a great deal on shoes, discount or VIP cards at a favored restaurant to deep discounts on airline tix or hotel stays, we are always looking for value.
Tangibles are easy: $100 bucks off a fine rug, the first month’s payment, free (though it never really is free- look for those strings), or value – the rug is an Oriental and the discount is 50 percent off, or the first month is free on a new car lease. Those benefits are immediate, and pretty real.
Intangibles like a professional membership to the chamber can be a little harder to nail down.
When you join the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, you’re joining an organization and tapping into an array of resources.
Today, we’re going to talk about membership and specifically how to use the “Members Only” section on the UBCC website.
The Members Only section provides a gateway to reach others with a few simple clicks.
New to Members Only?
Here’s how to use it:
Go to www.ubcc.org, and select the Membership Tab at the top of the navigation bar.
Click on the drop down and at the bottom, click Members Login.
Once at Members Only you’ll be asked for your log in credentials. If you can’t recall or don’t know them, contact Tracy Kline at tkline @ubcc.org, or call the office (during business hours, please) at 215.536.3211. It just takes a minute, and we’re happy to help.
Great!! Now you’re inside. Once there you can post, navigate your membership, pay a bill - in fact here’s the short list of actions you can take, for Members Only.
*On Members Only home, you’ll see what events you’ve signed up for, as well as the full calendar to add to yours!
*Change your user name and or password, or assign your members only maintenance to a staff member.
*Update your contact information- Important if you want other member businesses and UBCC staff to find you quickly and effectively. Add new or additional employees you’d like to be active in your membership. Here’s where you can also add your Facebook or other social media platform links, as well as keywords about your business.
*Enhanced listings – Become a premiere member for $75 with an upgraded listing in the online membership directory on www.ubcc.org. Appear in the top of any search for your primary category listing, similar to “Sponsored Listings” in Google search results, appear with an increased font size, highlighted color & border, the addition of your logo and a premier member icon, long business description including bulleted text, ability to insert YouTube video, and the ability to add photos. (This is available on a first-come, first-served basis, per category.)
*Stay informed about chamber news and happenings – like our current Just One campaign, aimed at doubling the chamber’s membership with one real new conversion per existing member.
*Pay bills from your annual membership renewal to events, sponsorships and advertising – you can Pay a Bill online here.
*Take surveys and tell us how we’re doing. This could be feedback on chamber events, programs like breakfast or lunch and learn workshops, chamber offers, or events like the Golf Outing or Foodie.
*Pull referral reports. This part helps you understand how your membership analytics are working, and ask questions if you don’t understand. Analytics work hard to promote your business. And you’ll retrieve this information right from our database. This function also shows you what kinds of referrals you’re getting.
*Add a coupon for a special or business promo. Running a sale? Offering a discount for product or services? Here’s where to push out that information and see results.
*Submit an event- to your calendar or community. Running a promotion? Hosting a 5K race to benefit a worthy cause? Participating in something you want others to know and care about? Here’s the space to do that, and much more.
Only available to UBCC membership, check out the Members Only section, and put it to work for you.
Patient Testimonial-“A lot has happened to me and they have been teaching me how to recover,” said Chappy Mattola, a Success Rehabilitation Inc. client.
As individual as finger prints, so are clients nurtured, cared for and sustained by Success Rehabilitation Inc., located in East Rockhill Township.
For nearly three decades Success Rehabilitation Inc. has been caring for those with traumatic brain injury. “We care for individuals with brain injury with an emphasis on safety and quality of life,” said Ronnie Pozzi, corporate executive for Success.
Whether by accident at work or at home, car or vehicular crash, or illness compassionate, skilled care is vital to helping patients recover a sense of themselves, improve the quality of their daily live and move on with their lives. Injuries may be caused by falls, violence, sports, combat or explosions.
Traumatic brain injury, typically caused by a blow or jolt to the head may be temporary or more long lasting. Success deals with both types of injuries.
Success began in Bensalem, Lower Bucks County, and moved to its present location in rural Upper Bucks in 1996, according to Pozzi.
“We needed room and space to accommodate growth in the number of clients seen,” said Padraig Tangney, Success COO. In fact, clients come to rural Upper Bucks County for Success treatment from across the United States including Colorado, Texas and Virginia but the vast majority of clients hail from the tri-county area.
Pozzi said Success is the “premier provider of brain injury services, in part because of the variety of service options available. We listen to their needs and have a diverse staff,” Pozzi said.
When patients come to Success, they are assessed and an individualized care plan is crafted specifically for them. “What makes us unique is we offer all services on site, from physical (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) services to speech, psychology and psychiatry,” Tangney said.
And because Success works with the entire person, all aspects of care are addressed. “We do things like yoga and meditation, as well as physically, to get me working again,” Mattola said.
Tangney said transitional rehab, which might be for a mild injury could take up to six months, while long term care is indicated for more severe injuries or problems.
Pozzi said Success has the additional advantage of employee retention- maybe have been with the practice since it came to East Rockhill Township. This staff continuity provides a cohesion and quality of care that is a benefit to both short and long-term clients.
In addition to one-on-one care, group breakout sessions are popular and help clients learn about themselves and others dealing with similar issues.
Groups typically run for 8 weeks, although Pozzi said one group in particular has run longer because of its popularity. “One of our break-out groups, Brain Injury Education, is a favorite among our clients due to the interest of our clients in how their injury has affected their lives,” Pozzi said, while Tangney added, “they are invested in their care.”
“Neuroplasticity helps to get the brain making connections again,” Mattola said.
Neuroplasticity is the function which helps the brain “retrain” itself to restore function after illness or injury damages or destroys established neural pathways.
Pozzi said Success also treats high school and college athletes, who suffer from contact injuries such as a concussion.
“Brain injury education is very important to our practice,” Tangney said.
Pozzi and Tangney said stigma remains for those struggling with brain injury and that education is critical because a lot of people still don’t understand what brain injury is, or how personally devastating it is.
Outwardly, brain injury symptoms can be very subtle and missed by the casual observer. “If you break your leg, there is a physical manifestation but an individual with a brain injury may look fine to the casual observer. That is why brain injury is often called the Silent Epidemic,” Pozzi explained.
For more information on Success Rehabilitation, call 215.538.3488 or log onto www.successrehab.com.
Did you know the UBCC refers member businesses 24/7?
Your membership automatically places you in top ranked Internet searches, because as a member you benefit from being part of WebLink Connect, a nationwide chamber specific database platform that we utilize here at UBCC.
Online you’re covered, thanks to our data collection and premium ranked website. Face-to-face you’re covered, by chamber staff and other ambassador members – just like you, who refer one another to people we talk to and meet.
In the past we’ve shown you the types of referrals your online listing receives over the course of a year with your annual membership renewal. In the coming months, we’re going to show you the value of those referrals.
Look for a new report with your annual membership investment notice to renew.
The Value On Investment report will be included with your renewal notice. It shows tangible, concrete information in $$’s, about the value of referrals tracked by WebLink.
Here’s how it works:
Maybe you’ve heard us talk about WebLink, but you don’t know what it is. WebLink is the chamber’s powerful database, a cloud-based software platform used by chambers of commerce nationwide.
That’s right!! Your chamber is using state-of-the-art systems to help you grow your business.
WebLink tracks online activity and provides us the ability to pull reports about visitor clicks and data. So when our website is visited, and a particular industry or service is requested, member listings pop up.
You’ve heard about the value of clicks, but what does that really mean. Clicks on a website, a link or other online content (like this blog post) increase your search engine rankings on the internet.
So any time a visitor on our website views your listing, sponsor banner/logo or clicks on a link to your business, it records that “referral” and each type of referral is assigned an industry standard value.
Consistently UBCC ranks at the top of the heap, because we are positioned with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords, which is what boosts a website or content’s rankings.
SEO keywords and design elements are what web designers and content creators use to make your website more attractive in search rankings.
WebLink does all this for us, and a whole lot more. These benefits are included in your annual membership.
Back to your renewal request-The report you’ll be looking at when you receive your membership renewal request was generated by WebLink. Data gathered about your business through the platform, will be noted as referrals and given an estimated dollar amount value for the exposure you receive in a one-year period. You can also get the report at your convenience by logging in to the Member Login section of the website to view the report for any time-frame you choose. Your login credentials are simple – the email address associated with your company’s profile and the last 4 digits of the phone number.
Case in point: Based on a recent report for a member providing home services, WebLink estimated the value of referrals to be $1,894 or a whopping 743 percent value on membership investment from January 2017 to January 2018. This particular membership costs the business owner $255 annually.
Membership leads to awareness, which leads to inquiries, which leads to visits, which leads to warm leads, because a potential customer is coming to you (not the other way around). Warm leads are ripe for sales to pursue.
Don’t confuse referrals with sales. Our mission is to help you grow your business by providing a network – and a framework – to help you connect with potential clients and customers.
Sometimes business owners join a chamber of commerce thinking guaranteed sales to their business will automatically follow. And when that doesn’t happen right away, they become frustrated and disillusioned. They start to think there’s no value in their membership, so they drop out.
They stop showing up at programs and events, or don’t volunteer for committees. That’s the tipping point moment. Becoming more invested; more involved, and increasing participation will further support the relationship building that’s necessary for other businesses to make that connection with you and further increase the value of your investment with UBCC.
Because ultimately people buy goods and services from people they know and like.
And then they tell others….
Pam Sawyer and Clint Eastwood have a driving philosophy in common.
They believe you get out of something what you put into it.
For Eastwood, the comment was about life.
For Sawyer, it was about UBCC membership.
“Chamber membership requires engagement. You get out of it what you put into it… It’s also a great way to promote your business,” Sawyer said.
An account executive for Comcast Spotlight in North Wales, Sawyer is active on the membership committee and recognizes the long-term value of engagement in her business dealings partnered with chamber membership.
While Eastwood (sadly!!) isn’t a UBCC member, his career is an example of going the distance, being invested and fully engaged. After all, his is a household name.
The same philosophy carries over to every facet of life: Work, education, hobbies and special interests, family and business relationships, friendships and community involvement – whether that’s on a ball field, inside a boardroom or as a member of a professional organization.
Imagine being on a ball team where both competitors sit on the sidelines, sadly staring at each other. It wouldn’t be much of a game.
Same holds true for leadership: A board that isn’t engaged and working together toward a common purpose isn’t getting much done.
Think of membership as your passport to engagement. We set the table, provide the feast, and set up the seats. You come to the table.
Looking for your way in?
Maybe you enjoy networking - we’ve got both evening and early morning card exchanges where different members host a cocktail and refreshment time at the end of the work day or coffee and light faire before starting, usually at their business location or an area eatery.
“This Chamber [provides]…opportunities to meet and network with new people,” Sawyer said. What’s more, you can promote your business in a friendly relaxed, environment.
Networking events are free with your membership. At the non-member price of $25, count the cost. Go to eight events: that’s $200 of value, for a few evenings to network, enjoy a drink and meet new people.
“The chamber is a place to get to know the Who’s Who of local business leaders on a more personal level, and that is what helps bring about a sense of community," said John M. Olson, vice president of wealth management for Janney Montgomery Scott in Allentown.
What about education? The chamber offers both virtual and face-to-face training opportunities. In fact, up to 10 sessions of web-based education is included with membership.
Anyone in your company can take advantage of that training. That’s right, anyone. From HR to safety, business management or social media, there are thousands of titles from which to choose.
What’s more, web-based learning is compatible with most devices and it’s self-paced, so you choose the time the bell rings and class begins.
Do you prefer a more tangible setting, with a live presenter and peers at the table? Attend a breakfast or lunch workshop or seminar at the chamber’s Quakertown office - Not only will you learn something new or grow existing skills, breakfast (or lunch) is on us.
Think about it: How much would professional development cost, if you hired an expert, took time out of the workday to organize the event and hosted it yourself? Probably more than the cost of your annual membership.
What about help with marketing your business?
“The first decision we made was to join the chamber and it turns out to be our best decision. Any questions or issues…are usually answered by the statement 'call Tara or Tracy, they'll know,’” said Mike McGrory, co-owner of SERVPRO Upper Bucks in Perkasie.
How much would you pay for a professional mentor or coach? Probably thousands.
Who couldn’t use some help along the way- either to grow existing skills or tackle new business frontiers.
UBCC helps make that connection. The chamber’s partnership with SCORE, a nationwide organization dedicated to the advancement of small business, is staffed with executives who want to share what they’ve learned along the way and help guide your success.
Don’t forget to pay it forward-
Volunteer!! The chamber’s various committees are the organization’s lifeblood. From the golf outing in June to our wildly popular Foodie event in October, we bring the community together in fun ways.
It’s also a great service opportunity, too. “Join a committee, go to events and get involved, that’s when you will really see the benefits of your chamber membership,” Sawyer said.
Some groups meet monthly throughout the year, while others need a burst of organizational activity for a brief period to get the job done. Many hands make light work.
Vicky McClatchy, a mortgage loan originator with Supreme Lending is a membership committee member. When McClatchy joined, her excitement was contagious and she embraced committee work with zest.
“I’d been to other chambers, but I had no idea before coming to (and joining) UBCC, what a chamber could be like,” McClatchy said.
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
|Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce||