The Monthly Board of Directors Meeting

Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce


July 23, 2019


The regular meeting of the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Director’s was held on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at noon, at the Penn Wells Hotel.

Chamber Vice President, Kevin Thomas, presided over the meeting.

Kevin introduced new members, Jason Wilson and Bernadette Chiaramonte. Each spoke to the group and described their businesses. Jason invited everyone to Cunningham, Stauring, & Associates Grand Opening in Wellsboro on August 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The following directors were present: Scot Boyce Jr., Terry Bryant, Marsha Chesko, Tim Gooch, Charlie Messina, Thomas Putnam, and Leslie Wishard.


Members: Jim Tutak, Rotary; Dave Williams, Glen O. Hawbaker; Craig West, Wellsboro Borough; Leslie Blakley, October Rain Photography; Denise Drabick, Laurel Mountain K9 S&R, Catherine Shumway, Penn Oak Realty; Jim Tutak, Rotary; Bernadette Chiaramonte, Edge of the Woods Photography; Jason Bump and Jess Sandstrohm, KC101; Ferlin Patrick, GROW; Kristin Hamilton and Kimberly Splieth, Develop Tioga; Jessica Rogers, Lee Meyers, and Ben Meier, Guthrie; Jason Wilson, Cunningham, Stauring & Associates; Stevens Lambert and Matt Tavani, Gannon Associates.


Staff: Julie VanNess, Executive Director; Jane Shumway, Administrative Assistant.


Minutes: Minutes of the June 2019 meeting were reviewed. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Charlie Messina, seconded by Marsha Chesko, and the motion carried.


Treasurers Report (Tim Gooch): Tim Gooch reviewed the treasurer’s report. The Chamber’s year to date income numbers are trending on the prior year’s numbers, with the exception of Membership Dues which are trending slightly lower than last year. A Membership Meeting was held and group members are contacting businesses regarding renewing memberships or joining as new members. Tim extended his appreciation to new members present and thanked them for their contribution to the Chamber. He encouraged all members to continue to strive forward in their efforts. Motion to approve was made by Marsha Chesko and seconded by Charlie Messina.


Committee Reports:


Chamber Administrative Report (Julie VanNess): Julie announced the Chamber is joining with the Census Bureau in attempt to increase the number of responses to the survey. More information will be provided as it becomes available. The Fall/Winter Explore Wellsboro is going to print. Julie remarked the publication continues to do very well. The office mails out about 8 cases per year. The office continues to sell tickets for the Tioga Central Railroad via telephone and in person. Julie estimated there are close to 20 calls each day, which is great for Wellsboro.

Julie reminded everyone of the Golf Ball Drop to be held September 7th at the Tyoga Country Club. 400 balls will be sold at $100 each. The purchaser of the golf ball that lands closest to the target will win $5,000! Tickets can be purchased from Julie at the Chamber Office or Blake Maxson at Northwest Bank. There will be live music, food and beverages to enjoy throughout the event. Proceeds from this event will benefit The Wellsboro Foundation and the Tyoga Country Club. Volunteers are needed 7/26-9/7, one day per week, to cover the pianos on Main Street if it is raining. The pianos are a unique touch to Wellsboro’s atmosphere that is attractive to both tourists and locals. Contact Thomas Putnam of Hamilton Gibson Productions if you are willing to assist. Laurel Festival 2020 vendor applications are ready to be mailed out. There are 162 Vendors accepted for Dickens of a Christmas 2019. There are only 9 spaces available. Finally, Julie took a moment to remember Tom Kaminski, who passed away suddenly last week. Tom was an active citizen in the community and volunteered his time working with the large food vendors for Laurel Festival.


Retail/ Tourism Committee (Charlie Messina): Charlie discussed the ongoing idea to coordinate events on the calendar due to different community groups scheduling events on the same dates. He suggested groups contact the Chamber Office with information when planning events. The Producer Showcase scheduled for September 14, 2019 has six producers to date. The Wine 101 has been scheduled for 3/28/2020 at 7:30 pm. The Burns Dinner will be held 1/26/20, with all proceeds after expenses being donated to the Food Pantry. Charlie presented a flag holder he has been working on with Jim Tutak. The holder will allow the American Flags displayed in town to hang at higher angle which should diminish the number of flags and poles knocked down and or broken by vehicles. The estimated cost of the new holders is $8.00 each.

Charlie welcomed and introduced Ethan Pollaro and Karter Campbell from the Young Entrepreneurs Organization. They were accompanied by Vincent Pollaro. Karter introduced himself as the CEO of their company. Ethan stated he is the Project Manager. Their business, Undercover Deserts, sells cupcakes and cookies. The proceeds are donated to giving animals a second chance. Karter and Ethan will be part of the Children’s Business Fair on August 2nd, 4-8 pm on the Green. Members were encouraged to attend and share the event information with others.


Enhancement Committee: (Julie VanNess): The bike racks are being cut back to smaller sizes and the group is looking for places to put them around town.

Christmas on Main Street Report: No report


Wellsboro Borough (Scot Boyce, Jr.): Scot reported the paving project is nearly complete. It should be done by the end of summer. He thanked everyone for their patience during this project. Packer Park will be hosting the Summer Swim League Championship Meet on July 27. The pool will be closed to the public for swimming that day. Boys State Little League playoffs will be in town the next two weeks. The Girls Little League playoffs just ended. There will be a 5K run on the Rail Trail on August 3rd. These events will bring many visitors to town!


HARB Committee Report (Terry Bryant): Terry reported approval was given for Bethany’s Jewelry & Design at 84 Main Street as well as changes to be made to UPMC signage.


GROW Report (Ferlin Patrick): Ferlin discussed GROW taking over the ticketing and marketing for Tioga Central Railroad. During the first 9 weeks riders have increased 61% while revenue has risen 68%. Ferlin thanked the Chamber Office for helping with the phone sales, which has helped increase business. He also thanked all of the members for supporting the railroad and helping GROW succeed in this endeavor. GROW has dispersed 6000 brochures this year as opposed to 2000 last year at this time.


STPR (Julie VanNess): Julie reported STPR will be adding a mock start on Thursday, September 12th  to this year’s event. A meeting is scheduled for later today. New information will be presented at the next Chamber meeting.

Wellsboro Johnston Airport (Ken VanSant) No Report

Endless Mountains Music Festival (Cindy Long): No Report. Tim Gooch reminded everyone to check the website and brochures for information on the many concerts happening in the area!

Other exempt Organization Updates:

Green Free Library (Leslie Wishard): June 27th at 5 p.m. “A Universe of Stories” was presented at Mansfield University’s Planetarium. Attendance was great, there was standing room only! July18th the libraries of Tioga and Potter Counties hosted a program, “Under the Night Skies” with DCNR at Cherry Springs State Park. This event was highly attended as well. They are hoping to make this an annual event. There are two weeks left for the Children’s Summer Program. The libraries of Tioga County will be represented at the Tioga County Fair. Stop by and learn more about the libraries.


Wellsboro Rotary: (Jim Tutak): The annual chicken barbeque will be September 14th, coinciding with STPR weekend. The kick-off for the Rifle Raffle will be at the Labor Day Fly-In Breakfast. Jim extended an invitation to all who would like to attend a meeting and learn more about Rotary. New members are always welcome.

Deane Center for Performing Arts (Kevin Connelly: No report

Hamilton Gibson (Thomas Putnam): “MAMMA MIA!” was a huge success with remarkable attendance for all performances. Upcoming events are the HG Radio Festival and Dueling Pianos.


Wellsboro Growers’ Market (Thomas Putnam): The market is open Thursdays from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Thomas reported things are going very well.

Nessmuk Rod and Gun Club (Charlie Messina): Charlie reminded the group that open trap shoots are held on Tuesdays from 3:00 to 6:30 pm. There will be a running deer event in late October through early November. Check the club’s website for more information.

Animal Care Sanctuary (Rachel Preble): No report


Develop Tioga (Kristin Hamilton) Kristin announced there will be a Commissioners Economic Summit on October 18th. Topics addressed will be Business Promotion and Entrepreneur Support. She also told the group Develop Tioga will be conducting a Small Business Survey via email in the near future.

Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue (Denise Drabick): Trainings continue Wednesday evenings and all day on Sundays. The group will be present on 8/7 at the National Night Out with the Sheriff. There will be a fundraiser with Benedict’s Saturday, November 9th; a trip to New York City: Your Day, Your Way! Cost is $85 per person. Informational brochures were distributed.


Adjourned: A motion was made to adjourn by Charlie Messina and seconded by Tim Gooch.

Next Chamber meeting will be held on August 27, 2019 at the Penn Wells Hotel, at noon.


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