Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber Celebrates 10 Years
Jan 27, 2020 03:11PM
By Hilary Daninhirsch
Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber annual meeting
The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2020 and will commemorate this milestone with a year-long series of events.
The organization was created as a result of a merger between the Northern Allegheny Chamber of Commerce and the Cranberry Chamber of Commerce. The main office is in Wexford, though a satellite office is still operational in Cranberry.
“It was a consolidation of the operations to make it a bigger, stronger Chamber of Commerce. In doing so, we became the second largest chamber in western Pennsylvania,” said Jim Boltz, who has been the president of the organization for more than five years. In fact, he added, “We’re the most active chamber in western Pennsylvania.”
The organization exists to support the local business community and to help make the local economy stronger, while giving proprietors the opportunity to grow their own businesses by connecting with others.
“We are able to offer a lot more to our members,” he said, “which means a lot more events, more free services, and an improved ability to connect. We’re here to do whatever we can to support business and create economic development.”
Boltz said that the chamber’s primary service area, stretching from the McKnight Road corridor to Cranberry, has seen tremendous growth over the past decade, with new construction and new businesses popping up regularly. In fact, Boltz said that the chamber has presided over more than 40 new business ribbon cuttings each year for the last two years.
“It’s almost one a week, and some days, we’ll do two in one day,” he said. The consolidation of the two chambers served to unify those business corridors.
Boltz attributed much of that growth to new development between McCandless and Cranberry, from health services to senior living to the hospitality industry.
Currently, the chamber has a membership roster of 1,000, including businesses ranging from sole proprietors to multinational corporations and everything in between. They represent a multitude of industries that include, but are not limited to, finance, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, health services, business services, and the nonprofit sector.
Members have access to a variety of resources. These include more than 250 events per year, most of which are free. For example, the chamber holds four weekly networking meetings in which professionals can connect with one another. There are monthly lunchbox sessions where participants can attend a talk given by an expert in a specific area of interest. The chamber’s website also maintains a job board for members and has recently initiated a Young Professionals group.
Various special events are also held throughout the year, including their signature event, A Taste of Cranberry, featuring approximately 25 area restaurants as well as entertainment and prizes. Another annual event is the golf outing; the venue will switch to TopGolf this year.
“We feel it will give even the nongolfer the ability to be a participant, and it will improve the networking at the event based on the set-up,” said Boltz.
Last year, they held a well-attended event on the Gateway Clipper, inviting 12 other area chambers.
The chamber will formally celebrate its 10-year anniversary at its annual meeting on February 13. Boltz said that 200 original members will be recognized. “Anyone who attends the annual meeting will get a special gift to thank them for their loyalty,” he said.
He added that during the year, nonmembers can attend functions for a special rate. If a company or individual would like to attend one of the free weekly networking meetings, they are welcome to visit up to three meetings before joining. The event calendar can be viewed on the website at www.PghNorthChamber.com.
Boltz added that the chamber, already in a strong position, is always re-evaluating programs that will add value for its members. For example, last year they arranged a health and wellness fair that was so successful that they will add a second one to this year’s calendar of events, along with four new events, including a corporate challenge and a Young Professionals’ award.
After a 10-year run, the future looks bright for the next decade and beyond.
“We’re really excited about the future and being in an area where there is so much growth and attention,” said Boltz.