2016 Businesses and Partners in Business of the Year

Congratulations to the two Business of the Year and three Partner in Business of the Year Nominees!

 

The Business and Partner in Business of the Year luncheon will be held Wednesday, November 2, at noon at Wanango Golf Club (314 Chestnut Street, Reno).

The price of the luncheon is $25 a person. Register online, email chamber@venangochamber.org, or call (814) 676-8521.

The award winners will be announced the luncheon. The nominees are as follows:

Business of the Year Nominees:

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4 Your Car Connection, Inc.

4 Your Car Connection, Inc. (4YCC) has served the community for 14 years and is a locally owned business that offers pre-owned vehicles for sale, garage services on all types of automobiles, towing assistance, and rentals with a variety of choices for different needs. 4YCC has introduced many services throughout their time in Venango County. They have service loaners for customers to leave the premises to shop, eat, or even go back to work while their vehicles are in the shop. The business has also expanded the service area to include traditional rentals ranging from economy size vehicles to third row seating vans to a box truck that is often used for moving.

Now with 200+ vehicles offered for sale compared to around 20+ vehicles when the business first started, it is easy to see how much 4YCC have grown, including enlargements to their lot, an expanded sales office, an addition of a service garage, and an inclusion of an administrative building. One of the greatest impacts of 4YCC’s growth is seen in their staff, in which they started with five employees and now manage 20 bright and friendly staff members. They refer to themselves as a “proud family” that works hard to offer quality services to all of their customers and give back to the community.

Efforts made to respond to community needs are reflected in a variety of ways: late models with low mileage available on in-house financing, easy online credit applications, help through online chat, free Carfax reports on every vehicle, and accepting all trades. They understand that individuals need a variety of options for different circumstances and offer several types of financing including low-interest bank financing, secondary financing, Guaranteed Credit Approval, and buy here, pay here financing. Financing is not the only area they provide choices, as our inventory shows. All makes, models, mileages, and price ranges are varied to fit different customer needs.

A fun promo by 4YCC was started with a mannequin that they named Gina. What began with a plastic smiling face swinging a sign in front of the sales office turned into a county-wide celebrity with over 1,600 Facebook friends that enjoy and love her. Additionally, they hosted Gina’s wedding to her now husband, Jay, during the 2016 Cranberry Festival. Everyone was invited to watch, enjoy refreshments, get pictures taken and printed on-site, and enter to win a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair. After the ceremony, the winner of Jay’s car was announced. Gina is also well known for her custom birthday wishes that she sends her Facebook friends. We feel this is a great way to be friendly and have some fun without the selling of vehicles.

4YCC supports all local businesses and feels honored to be nominated as a leader in the community. They sponsor community events including the annual Cranberry Fireworks and the Cranberry Festival in addition to hosting a variety of other gatherings. Efforts made to respond to community needs are reflected in a variety of ways: late models with low mileage available on in-house financing, easy online credit applications, several types of financing, help through online chat, free Carfax reports on every vehicle, and accepting all trades. 4YCC understands that individuals need a variety of options for different circumstances.

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Caldwell Printing Services and Signage Solutions

Caldwell Printing Services and Signage Solutions is a local business providing commercial printing, clothing, and promotional products, as well as and manufacturing and installing commercial signage. The business began as “Caldwell Printing” 20 years ago, but in 2010, they responded to the requests of customers and began making temporary and event signage, primarily for golf outings. As the years have passed, they have expanded into a manufacturer of custom architectural signs, retail signage, wayfinding signs, message centers, and handpainted signs.

Caldwell’s prides themselves in manufacturing products from the ground up in Venango County, and they currently service commercial customers across Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Southwestern New York. The business has made significant investments to streamline manufacturing processes across the board to provided more cost effective products more efficiently to their customers. Caldwell’s has played a role in the community by serving on numerous boards and committees (upwards of 20) and sponsorship/donation to local projects.

 

Partner in Business of the Year Nominees:

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Barrow-Civic Theatre

The Barrow-Civic Theatre, owned and operated by the Franklin Civic Operetta Association (FCOA) Board of Directors, has been part of the community for 23 years. Founded in 1959, the Barrow has been recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1978 and is committed to being a leader in the cultural growth, diversity and vitality of the region. The organization’s vision is to provide expanding opportunities for quality programming and entertainment for the broad-based audience while maintaining financial stability and they are committed to providing leadership and education in cultural development and performing arts to the region.

The Barrow offers community theatre opportunities to all ages (youth through adult) during all 12 months of the year. As part of their mission, they also work each year to bring a diverse genre of touring artists and theatre companies from all over the country, and the world. The organization has worked to increase their presence in the community through involvement, donations, programs, and more.

As the only fully operational, full time performing arts facility in the area, the Barrow has an award-winning Youth Theatre Program with biannual full-scale theatrical productions for ages 8-18, as well as a weeklong intensive Youth Theatre Camp offered each summer.

The organization introduced the 2016 Summer Artist-In-Residence through Erie Arts & Culture, in which youth conducted interviews and authored a book entitled “Our Stories of Franklin.” Through the next two phases of this program, the youth will continue to work with Teaching Artists to create street art based on their stories, as well as playwriting skills to develop theatrical presentations to be performed during their 25th anniversary year in 2018.

The Barrow has increased the number and variety of performances offered to our region. They realized great success by bringing Grammy and Dove Award winner Mark Lowry to perform at the theatre this spring. This was one of the most famous performers to perform on our stage, and he played to two “full house” audiences.

The Barrow has participated in the community in multiple other ways, including sponsoring the Labor Day Family Block Party and increasing the evening “nightlife” in downtown Franklin by developing their “Keeping It Real Cabaret Lounge.” The organization is also a host for an increased number of corporate and private rentals for weddings, birthday parties, work sessions and conferences.

Within the past year, the Barrow has also worked to increase their presence in the community through additional involvement in the Franklin and Venango Chamber events, the Franklin Rotary Association, and the Franklin Fine Arts Council. They have teamed up to co-sponsor and host community events and fundraisers and increased the number and variety of performances offered to our region. They have also expanded upon the offerings of their 11,300 square foot warehouse. Their several hundred-thousands of costumes and props have been organized and catalogued, and they now rent their costumes to several entities in the Western PA region.

The Barrow has been working with their six employees to increase their customer service relations and technology skills. They also serve as a sight host for the AARP SCSEP Program, formerly RSVP Experience Works. This program offers employment training opportunities to senior citizens who are seeking full-time employment. Finally, we have been fortunate enough to add a part-time janitorial position to our staff.

Some other ways the Barrow has responded to community needs include:

  • Offered over 200 ticket vouchers this year to other organizations holding fundraisers and awards ceremonies.
  • Teamed up with local children’s organizations on several occasions to offer facilities tours and theatre workshops.
  • Work with several residential facilities to provide low-cost tickets to performances.
  • Participate in all Franklin Retail Association promotions.
  • Provided concessions and facilities usage for several community festivals and events.
  • Hosted own events as an avenue to collect donations for local organizations and individuals in need. (i.e. Andrew’s Avengers)

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Community Services of Venango County

Celebrating 50 years in 2017, Community Services of Venango County, Inc. (CSVC) is a full service Social Service Agency with five offices that offers programs for the entire age span of birth/pregnancy through Older Adult.  CSVC was established in 1967 with three employees, and now currently totals 65 employees in 2016. CSVC is a nonprofit agency that receives its funding via Federal & State grants as well as private donations and local funding.  In keeping with its mission, CSVC offers a full array of resources, opportunities, and hope to families and individuals in need in our community.

The organization’s vision is to offer leadership and high quality services to promote healthy children, families and communities through their 25+ programs, all which contribute to the well-being of the community by supporting families and individuals in their journey to self-sufficiency. In 2015, CSVC assisted 3,808 families and 11,348 individuals in their Emergency Aid program. All of their programs encourage volunteerism in the community as demonstrated with a total of 1,314 hours of community members volunteering for the months January-August 2016 at their agency.

Developing partnerships is a large part of who we are. CSVC has established relationships with the Franklin Churches Minsterium, Oil City Churches, Family Services, Bridge Builders Community Foundations, Human Services, Older Adult Services, Child, Youth and Family Services, RSVP, YMCA of Franklin, Venango County Assistance Office, Cranberry Mall, Local Housing Authorities, Penn State Cooperative Extension, local artists, Rocky Grove Fire Department, local restaurants, schools and other businesses.

New for 2016 to CSVC are the following programs:

  • Child Contact Visitation-offering the ability for incarcerated parents to have successful visits with their children via coaching and observation.
  • Weekend Backpack Bundles and Care Packs-in partnership with Debbie Lineman, providing an approach to impacting at risk students by reducing food insecurity and lack of hygiene products on weekends. All food is donated and packed by volunteers and managed by Debbie.
  • Senior Centers of Venango County-started in July 1, 2016, CSVC oversees and manages the Venango County Senior Centers. This Active Living approach to aging is anchored at the Cranberry Mall and called Cranberry Place as well as 5 other sites throughout the county.
  • Home Meal Delivery-Healthy and nutritious lunches delivered to Older Adult homes throughout Venango County.
  • Great Beginnings-Hospital and In-home support for families with newborns facing addiction issues.

Our current programs include:

  • Early Head Start – A home visitation program designed to support child development, nurture healthy attachments between parent and child, emphasizing a strengths-based relationship-centered approach, and encompassing the full range of a family’s needs from pregnancy through a child’s 3rd
  • Community Doula – Home visitation program that provides childbirth education, linkages to community supports, and a supportive birth process for pregnant mothers and their family members.
  • Women’s Outreach – A supportive program that works with currently incarcerated mothers to increase parenting knowledge, to support parent to child attachment, and increase connections between parent and child.
  • New Beginnings – A home visitation program using Early Head Start model that is specifically designed to support parents in recovery.
  • Early Intervention Independent Evaluator – Provides assessment and evaluation of eligibility for Early Intervention Services for infants and toddlers under the age of three.
  • Welcome Every Child – Providing expectant parents and their families with support, education and resources.
  • Parents As Teachers – A home based visitation program serving parents of children birth to age 5 with child development knowledge and parenting support to promote healthy prenatal outcomes and to improve development of young children.
  • Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q) – Provides individuals with intellectual disabilities and their family’s opportunities to identify and improve individual’s quality of life and their satisfaction with the services they receive.
  • Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team (C/FST) – Individuals recovering from mental illness and /or Substance abuse are given the opportunity to voice their perspectives regarding their satisfaction with the services they receive.
  • Sycamore Commons – A permanent supportive housing program for homeless individuals with mental illness and other disabling conditions.
  • Emergency Aid – Two pantries providing food, clothing, shelter, and life skills to individual families in need.
  • PA WORKWEAR – Professional attire provided for job interviews and employment.
  • Low Income Housing – HUD approved apartments available for low income individuals.
  • Cooking Counts – Provided in partnership with Penn St. Cooperative empowering individuals and families with skills, knowledge and confidence to prepare healthy, affordable meals.
  • Family Cafe’ – Monthly lunch program for Early Head Start families encouraging healthy meals and positive family interaction.
  • Parker Place – Older adult program providing healthy nutritious home cooked lunch with informative speakers and activities.
  • Spirit of Giving – Christmas gift program providing assistance for families with children.
  • Friends for Food – Volunteers in the community provide Thanksgiving dinners to over 1400 families.
  • Adopt- A –Family – Comprehensive Christmas program pairing community partners (sponsors) with families in need.
  • Empty Bowls – April 24th, 2017 (4th annual) fundraiser showcasing local chefs, artists and area school art classes to raise awareness of hunger in our community.

Although the Friends for Food and Spirit of Giving Tree might be the most visible of programs for CSVC, its mission is broad and plays a pivotal role in helping families all year round and in all stages of life.  CSVC is excited about its future in developing The Senior Centers of Venango County and other exciting possibilities on the horizon.  CSVC welcomes volunteers and donors and happily accepts gently used clothing and non-perishable food throughout the year.

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Venango County Humane Society

The purpose of the Venango County Humane Society (VCHS) is to “provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals; to provide proper care for stray and injured animals; to enforce all laws designated for the protection of animals; to secure in lawful manner the arrest, conviction, and punishment of persons violating such laws; and through the dissemination of literature and other educational means, to instruct and induce people to be kind, considerate and merciful in their treatment of animals.”

VCHS was established 62 years ago and just last year they opened the doors of a new shelter located in Seneca. This facility is more than triple the size of the previous shelter and in a more central location in order to better serve the entire county. Along with the shelter size growing so did their number of adoptions, as well as full-time employees and volunteers. Volunteers work at the shelter, at the Thrift Shop located in Franklin where all the proceeds go to the shelter, and at events in the community to help adoption events as well as education and PR events.

VCHS now microchips all dogs and cats before they are adopted, which goes along with the spaying/neutering and vaccinating that was already in place. The organization works hard to educate the public about the importance of spaying/neutering in order to prevent over population, as well as promote good citizenship in fostering proper care for all animals. They also work with local law enforcement to address and reduce the number of cases of animal cruelty.

Pets are an important part of people’s lives. VCHS recognizes this bond and has been a stable business in the community for people to come to when looking for a new pet or when needing to relinquish a pet for some reason. VCHS has also worked with law enforcement to house and care for animals during cruelty and neglect cases.

The Venango County Humane Society has made many changes recently for the betterment of the homeless animals of Venango County. They continue to strive to make the shelter a warm and welcoming environment for the animals who live there temporarily as well as the people who come to visit when looking for their new forever friend.

 

*Each logo and organization name links back to that organization’s website