Chamber recognizes 3 businesses with awards

Honoring three area businesses as top Emerging Business, Large Business, and Small Business, the Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce held its 133rd annual meeting and awards luncheon Tuesday afternoon.

Chamber Board Chair, Michael P. Gaetano, opened the meeting, recognizing this year’s outgoing Chamber of Commerce board members Brad Scovill and Steve Sleboda.

To bestow the Emerging Business Award, Gaetano introduced Timothy Keohane, director of the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center. This year’s recipient, Wendy Weaver of Weaver Wireless Consultants, thanked many people, from family and friends to business partners.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the people that I partnered with that made this business venture possible,” she said, explaining these partnerships allow her to provide free services and workshops for people in the community, such as Artisan Hearing and Verizon retailer, TCC.

The presenter of the Large Business Award, Denise Hager, branch manager of M&T Bank, spoke highly of the award recipient, Auto Trakk, and praised their local origin, dedication to expansion and humanitarian efforts.

Merril Davis of Auto Trakk accepted the award, thanking the chamber for their consideration and noted the company’s core value of providing quality transportation to customers, keen eye for expansion and loyalty to their employees as the recipe for their continued success.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the work that our employees do every day, and the work that they provide for our customers,” said Davis.

Finally, to present the Phillips/Plankenhorn Small Business Award, Chamber President Jason Fink presented a video detailing the work of the next award-winning company, citing its long history in the county as well as its work with local schools and its role in bringing Williamsport’s annual Polar Express train ride to life. The video concluded, introducing the recipient: Lycoming Valley Railroad.

Director of Marketing Todd Hunter received the award. During his acceptance speech, he recognized numerous members of Lycoming Valley Railroad and thanked them for their contributions.

“I work with a great bunch of people and I am lucky to come to work every day. It’s the area, it’s the people, it’s the businesses, it’s the customers,” said Hunter.

Before closing, Fink thanked everyone for coming and reviewed the chamber’s prior year, specifically the retirement of Chamber of Commerce President Vince Matteo.

“This is only the ending of a chapter, with a new one to be written,” Fink said.

Fink also encouraged attendees to participate in their communities – and he did not necessarily suggest attendees devote all those energies to the chamber.

“This is a great place for business, for families and individuals to work, thrive, and live. We need to start talking about why we do live here, why we enjoy working here, and why we love to live here,” Fink said. “Our children and grandchildren need to hear why we call Lycoming County ‘home.'”