July 2018 Young Professional Profiles: Heather Hondel & Sydney Herdle

Heather HeadshotYou may have already met Heather Hondel, as she is the summer intern at the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce. Besides her internship, where she does event planning, marketing, writing, and more, she is a server at Timber Lake Lodge in Titusville.

Heather is a Venango County native and a 2017 graduate of Cranberry High School. She is now studying entrepreneurship at Grove City College, where she has begun the process of starting a business called “dancetracks,” an app to help dancers rehearse outside of the studio (learn more about her business at dancetracksapp.com).

At college, Heather also works part-time as a “Crimson Caller,” where she contacts Grove City alumni. Some of the accomplishments she’s most proud of include graduating from Cranberry as Valedictorian, making Dean’s List with High Distinction, and placing in business competitions at college, in which she finished 4th place in an elevator pitch competition and her team  was named a finalist in the Wolverine Venture Battle.

Dance, theatre, and music are huge passions of Heather’s. She has taken dance lessons from Thomas School of Dance for 15 years and student taught there throughout her high school years. At Grove City, she joined the Orchesis Dance Troupe and the Spring Dance Company, and also plays flute in the marching band. Additionally, she has been choreographing for Cranberry High School’s musicals for four years.

Some other things Heather loves include Jesus, sparkles, the color pink, rabbits, scrapbooking, and Disney. She spends a lot of time in Venango County watching and participating in musicals at the Barrow-Civic Theatre and enjoys going to the Hunter’s Trail Shoots at the Oil City Izaak Walton League.

In the future, Heather hopes to be the owner of a performing arts startup and to further dancetracks’ progress with her team. She also hopes to continue gaining entrepreneurship knowledge and choreography experience.


Sydney HerdleSydney Herdle is a second-year intern at The Derrick and The News-Herald, where she spends her time as a photographer, reporter, and paginator.

She is a 2016 Franklin High School graduate and will be a junior at Penn State University this coming fall, where she is studying photojournalism. So far in her college career, one of her biggest achievements is being one of few Penn State students to attend the Keystone Multimedia Conference in Gettysburg.

Sydney was born in Pittsburgh and lived in Cranberry Township, until moving to Franklin in 2008, where she has since remained. She enjoys being outdoors and participating in activities such as fishing, biking, kayaking, and archery. Sydney is also a musician and will be playing in the percussion section of the Franklin Silver Cornet Band for her seventh year.

Before college graduation, Sydney would like to get an internship at a paper such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or Buffalo News. At some point, she would like to open her own photography business on the side, and she believes that doing that in Venango County with the connections she already has would be great.

Locally, Sydney enjoys Leonardo’s and Amazing Foods in Franklin. Additionally, she frequents the bike trail, Allegheny River, and Two Mile Run County Park, along with attending shows at the Barrow-Civic Theatre and concerts in Bandstand Park. The things that she enjoys the most about working in Venango County are meeting new people and visiting new places and events. She is constantly learning more about the area through her job, which she has found to be a really cool experience.

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

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