Meet Our Board – Cathy Kentzel


Cathy Kentzel has been serving the Venango Chamber as a board member since January of 2017. As owner of the1-DSCF5752 Barnard House, a bed & breakfast in Emlenton, with her husband Paul, Cathy sees her role as directing some of the spotlight to the southern tier of our county.Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Cathy grew up spending time along the Allegheny River at her family’s cottage in Fisherman’s Cove. During her time in Fisherman’s Cove, she eventually met Paul, and they chose to marry there.The Kentzels moved to the North Hills of Pittsburgh, where they raised their five children for 28 years. Both Cathy and Paul worked as estate managers at Wilson Hall, located in Sewickley Heights, where they worked to preserve the estate for the last surviving industrial revolutionist. Paul worked to reclaim the home, while Cathy specialized in the gardens, leading to an induction of the hall into the Smithsonian Institution and entrance into the National Historic Registry.

After some changes in their careers, the couple was faced with crossroads that led them to Emlenton and the purchase of the Barnard House in 2014. “For this business, all of our talents came together,” said Cathy. “Paul was of assistance with historic preservation of the structure, while I used my experience as an event planner and professional gardener.”

Cathy and Paul created an original business plan, but got to know the environment and needs of the region, and shifted their focus more towards recreation and tourism, with a historical flare. The Barnard House also places high importance on locally sourcing as much as possible, such as food and services.

Cathy has appreciated the opportunity to use her perspective as a business owner to aid the Chamber’s board. As mentioned previously, her goal is to refocus many efforts onto the southern tier of our county, working to redefine the marketing of recreation and tourism in Emlenton and the entire region.

“I look forward to playing a part in moving forward in a positive direction to enable future collaboration and business in our area,” she said.

“Through the Chamber’s efforts in attracting a younger generation, we are receiving fresh ideas and concepts that this county needs. I see the Chamber starting to redefine itself and becoming somewhat of an incubator for potential concepts, ideas, and visions, for the entire region.”

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s May 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.