Chamber News

 

September 2022

A message from the President,

As I have mentioned in this space many members and businesses by name with the overwhelming success of such businesses promoted by efforts of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce over the last two years, I want to take this moment to recognize and express my personal heart felt gratitude for the often single handed and overlooked efforts, commitment, sacrifice of family time and enthusiasm of our Executive Director, Kris Enberg, during these last 23 years.  She has enabled more than seven presidents and nearly a hundred board members to guide and meet the demands upon the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce incident major events, particularly, turnpike interchange upgrades, expansion of infrastructure and resolution of controversy involving use and preservation of natural resources by and for our member businesses and the public they serve.  As the life of business has evolved through the digital age, pandemic conditions and rapid growth, Kris has been the constant and steady hand on the job day and night learning and producing timely responses necessary for the businesses within the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce to grow and mature.  Being sensitive to her wishes, sacrifices, and the rapidly expanding demands of our members upon the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce, the Board, as previously announced, has committed to granting her expressed desire to focus more narrowly her efforts and time to the monthly magazine publication, which during its life and existence she has grown to be a favorite publication of the public of whom almost 8,000 persons make it a monthly read.

With her goal in mind, the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce is hoping to welcome a new Executive Director shortly at the elbow of Kris to assume the day to day administrative, management and membership duties shouldered by Kris these many years but never wishing to lose talent and always in need of her counsel and skills, all can expect to see Kris as always with the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce.  Please remember the available services to enhance your business which is offered through Kris Enberg and Stefanie Cramer at the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce office on Route 31 in Jones Mills, and particularly the new and enhanced advertising opportunities available with use of the monthly magazine of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

August 2022

A message from the President,

As the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) begins planning for the 9th Annual Ladies Day Bash on Sunday, September 18th, it is nice to take time to enjoy the summer weather and activities available to all the visitors to the Laurel Highlands, including the semi-resident campers frequenting sites at camps operated by our member businesses, Donegal Campground, Laurel Highlands Campland, Mountain Pines Campground, and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. These members are working 24 hours a day and 7 days each week to deliver exceptional experiences for more than 2,000 campers and their guests using more than 400 hundred camp sites during these hot months. Deanna Richter of Caddie Shak Family Entertainment Center in Donegal, Shari Bukovac of Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping, in Melcroft, Roxanne Kern of See-Mor’s All-Star Grill in Normalville, report that the members of MLCC supporting the camper needs with services and supplies, namely, Main Street Wine Bar, Foggy Mountain Lodge & Restaurant, Rodney Corner, Leeper Meats LLC, Glengarry Golf Links, Norvelt Golf Club, Tall Cedars Restaurant & Tavern, Donegal McDonald’s, Dairy Queen Donegal, Out of the Fire Café, County Pie Shoppe, Old General Store, Caddie Shak Family Entertainment Center, Sarnelli’s Corner, The Silver Penny, Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, Pletcher’s Farm Market, Champion Lawn Ornaments & Gifts, Gerry’s Wester Shop, Indian Creek Valley ATV Club, Champion Gas & Food Mart Inc., Hidden Valley Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Buffer Creek Sporting Clays Inc., G&D Market,  Trenthouse Inn, See-Mor’s All-Star Grill, and Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resort are filled and busy from time of opening to time of closing with high visitor traffic they have observed.  I noticed that our lodging members Baneberry Meadows B&B, Day Inn Donegal, Foggy Mountain Lodge & Restaurant, Hidden Valley Resort, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Donegal, Log Cabin Lodge & Suites, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, and Trenthouse Inn are also filled with visitors.   To all the business members in the MLCC, keep up the good work and enjoy the business rush.

As we enjoy the activity and warm weather, remember the available services to enhance your business which is offered through Kris Enberg and Stef Cramer at the MLCC office on Route 31 in Jones Mills, and particularly the new and enhanced advertising opportunities available with use of the monthly magazine of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

July 2022

A message from the President,

Summer is here and the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) is fully focused on outreach events. Particularly, the MLCC Community Day and Members’ Picnic was held at Mountain Pines Campground and sponsored by LTC Energy LP and Somerset Trust Company, Champion Office.  Members in attendance enjoyed a delicious picnic dinner catered by Juliann Brown of the Trenthouse Inn.  Juli’s menu included baked mac n’ cheese & grilled watermelon salad with arugula topped with blueberries and fetta and served with grilled chicken & veggie kabobs from G&D Market & beef brisket from Leeper Meats, adult beverages from Sarnelli’s Beer Distributor & Wine Cellar, and dessert from the Country Pie Shoppe. Sincere thanks are extended for the efforts of Mountain Pines Campground in conjunction with their Bicentennial Year Anniversary to support and champion local business and event sponsors coordinated through Executive Director Kris Enberg and Administrative Assistant Stefanie Cramer.

The Annual MLCC Golf Outing was well attended even with some extreme weather events disrupting the game from time to time.  The golf outing was sponsored by King Legal Group, LLC, Amerikohl Aggregates, LHTC Broadband, Smail Auto Group, Somerset Trust Company, BHHS The Preferred Realty Josh Crowe, The Country Pie Shoppe, Donegal McDonalds, Foggy Mountain Lodge & Pub, G&D Market, Hanson Aggregates, Hughes Physical Therapy Services LLC, Mark C. Brooks Funeral Home, Ridgeline Heating & Cooling Inc., Sadler-Bruner Insurance Agency, Sarnelli’s Corner, and Trenthouse Inn. This year’s winning foursomes were Smail Auto Group in 1st place and Ritenour Lumber Company in 2nd place. The competition was held at the Highlands Golf Course at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.  Once again, this event could not have happened without coordination through Kris & Stef.

This writer and Lin Podolinsky from the Indian Creek Valley Christian Family and Children’s Center/Champion Christian School were happy to speak in support of the Rustic Ridge Mine expansion application of LCT Energy LP submitted to and the subject of an informal public conference hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on May 25, 2022. This writer having directly observed the performance of LCT Energy LP and the operations of other mining companies operating over the last four decades in Donegal and Springfield Townships, was pleased to acknowledge the excellent record of its operations since opening.  Since the beginning of mining operations, the number of local jobs has increased, demand for services of existing and new businesses has been created, new families have moved into the area supporting the continued need for locally offered education at the Donegal Elementary School, Springfield CNP Elementary School and Champion Christian School.

Remember to seek and use the services available to enhance your business with a call or email to Kris and Stef at the MLCC office on Route 31 in Jones Mills.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

June 2022

A message from the President,

Since the holidays, the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) has experienced and I have reported the exciting increase in the number of new members, successful retention of the Donegal Elementary School, new infrastructure improvement coming with public sewage, new and expanded private sewage treatment facilities at Mountain Pines Campground and completion of transportation system upgrades in Donegal and Ohio Pyle all benefiting the members of the MLCC.  To timely enhance, market, enable our members to experience business gains and capitalize on these improvements, the MLCC is investing in an increase staff to serve and provide for the needs of our members. The position of Executive Director is being expanded to include a new hire in such role, serving with Kris Enberg, the Executive Director of the MLCC, to enable Kris to focus on new targeted projects

Kris has been asked to take on, with her existing responsibilities, the additional tasks of training of new personnel and planning future needs as assigned by the Board of the MLCC, which is thankful to Kris for her willingness to take on these needed additional responsibilities, while shouldering fully her existing duties, with the promise of the Board to find relief for her shortly.  I am asking for each reader of this space to assist the Board of the MLCC with identification of potential candidates, hopefully local and with a heart for the success of the member businesses of the MLCC, and suggest to interested persons possessing the following attributes that submission of their application would be welcome.

Job Summary:

Responsible for assisting in the development of policy, implementing policy, and recommending action to the Board of Directors. Responsible for overseeing and the coordination of the existing operations of the Chamber, together with development, promoting, and planning of events and functions.  Communicating effectively with the membership on needs, ideas, and opportunities, and development and implementation of the annual budget and organizational plan that advances the general welfare and prosperity of the Laurel Highlands and the Chamber membership are also required. The applicant must be enthusiastic, creative, well organized, an excellent communicator and capable of functioning well in an independent environment to provide executive leadership to the MLCC in the fulfillment of its mission and develop strategies toward a successful and financially stable future.

A full list of qualifications, skills and additional duties and responsibilities are available on the job websites Indeed and LinkedIn, which can be opened for access to an application and answers to questions and concerns of applicants.

Thank you for helping with this enormous task as we are EXCITED TO BE WORKING BETTER TOGETHER for the future of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

May 2022

A message from the President,

As member businesses in the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC), we welcome Dr. Hank Croft and his staff at Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic in Stahlstown, the congregation of the Valley Brethren Church with Pastor Bill Howe, Dr. Chelsee Beal and her staff at Valley View Vet in Jones Mills and William Marra, and all those at Tanney Run Design-Build of Champion. We are excited to have the new energy and enthusiasm each of them will bring to us at the MLCC while doing our part to meet the needs and enhance the outreach and exposure of their respective missions and business goals through the specialized marketing, graphic and digital products arriving shortly at the MLCC.  I look forward to the participation of each of these new members at our coming events.

Speaking of events at the MLCC, the annual golf outing is again counted as a success with the participation and sponsorship of the afternoon by our gracious event sponsors, namely, Smail Auto Group of Greensburg and Hempfield Township, Amerikohl Aggregates with offices in Stahlstown and participating on our Board of Director through Jamie Stilley, LHTC Broadband of Donegal which has graciously allowed the hours of service of Deanna Richter she has contributed as Vice President and a member of our Board of Directors, over the last five years, Somerset Trust Company with an office locally in Champion, Hanson Aggregates of Connellsville, See Mor’s All-Star Grill of Normalville, and LCT Energy LP of Johnstown  have again been significant contributors to the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce with repeated sponsorship of this event.

The MLCC has also been blessed with the members businesses contributing to the event as golf hole/tee sponsors, particularly, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ther Preferred Realty, Josh Crowe, Country Pie Shoppe in Donegal , Hanson Aggregates, Foggy Mountain Lodge and Restaurant, Mark C. Brooks Funeral Home,  McDonalds in Donegal, Ridgeline Heating and Cooling and Sadler-Bruner Insurance Agency, without which the golf outing would only be something less.  All in attendance and the MLCC are EXICITED TO BE TOGETHER again and grateful to each of our sponsors for making the afternoon memorable.

I encourage continued participation of our existing as well as new member businesses in the upcoming community day held in partnership between the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce and Mountain Pines Campground presenting the MLCC Community Day from 9am to 5pm and MLCC Membership Picnic to follow from 5pm to 7pm on June 2, 2022 at Mountain Pines Campground celebrating 100 years of business at the campground on Route 711 between Champion and Melcroft.  With food being free after 5pm to MLCC members and their guests, the MLCC is expecting community participation and attendance, and projects the event as a good opportunity for our business members to reach the community not attending the golf outing.

We also welcome our current board member, Juliann Brown of the Trenthouse Inn, as the new secretary of the MLCC. Juliann is replacing Tammy Shawley who has guided the Board of Directors with the other officers serving the MLCC during the majority of the last two decades while working at Seven Spring Mountain Resorts. We all extend our sincere thanks to Tammy and ask that you do the same if you see her.

It is a true pleasure to see the new businesses and new members join with the current members of the MLCC. I look forward to seeing the advertisements of our new members in the new and improved flyer. Knowing that we are BETTER TOGETHER, I am excited to see the growth that has been expected in the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

April 2022

A message from the President,

For member businesses in the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC), I wrote in this space last month of anticipated accelerated business growth from the chamber members being BETTER TOGETHER and noted as support for the prediction the recent arrival of a national company focused on the ski operations of Seven Springs Mountain Resorts. Now there is commencement of construction on State Route 31 in Donegal at the new traffic light across from PNC Bank next to the Christian Family & Children’s Center/Champion Christian School, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and the Days Inn of a new Donegal store of SHEETZ, Inc.  This new Sheetz store expands the Sheetz footprint into the area served by the business members in the MLCC as an Altoona based company operating 600 convenience stores, with 21,000 employees and a leading finalist in the current USA TODAY National Competition for 10 Best Regional Fast-Food venues voted upon in the Readers’ Choice Competition.  This new business was attracted in great part by the adoption of a resolution by the Donegal Township Supervisors updating the community plan for sewage treatment in the township as required by statute of all municipalities in Pennsylvania.

The action of the supervisors, required by law assigned for enforcement by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Protection, allows businesses the opportunity to employ holding tanks to address sewage needs until the creation and building of a public community sewage treatment plant. A public sewage treatment plant is projected for construction in the foreseeable future with the initial purpose to address sewage needs for businesses around the turnpike interchange.  The MLCC actively backs such development as part of its purpose of encouraging, supporting, and seeking means to advance development of business.

Such business development of new and the existing member businesses within the MLCC is in significant part made possible though this coming utility infrastructure expansion demanded by the Department of Environmental Protection, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, of the Donegal Township Supervisors. This action will provide the largest impetus to business acceleration for existing and potential members businesses of the MLCC in more than four decades.

With a complete utility infrastructure, including reliable public water supply, commercial sewage treatment, high speed digital services through LHTC Broadband and electric service, around the new and improved road system now available to the businesses served by and comprising membership of the MLCC, we are BETTER TOGETHER and look forward to expansion, use and enhanced marketing of our member businesses.  Make use of the specialized marketing, graphic and digital products arriving shortly to assist member business presentation in various outreach mediums.  The staff of MLCC is only a call or email away so please reach out to the office on State Route 31 in Jones Mills, Pennsylvania, with questions and marketing needs.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

March 2022

A message from the President,

For member businesses in the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC), I wrote in this space last month of my anticipation of accelerated business growth from the chamber members being BETTER TOGETHER. Evidence in support of that prediction is reported, particularly with the recent announcement of investment by a national company focused on the ski operations now within Seven Springs Mountain Resorts. Also seen is maintenance of local population delivering and needed to deliver services of our business members and preservation of local delivery of education resulted from efforts this past fall to retain local school infrastructure needed to maintain population and enhance business prosperity.

To promote and give visibility to goals, products and services of our member businesses competing with outside companies in the digital or remote marketplace, the MLCC has embarked upon an effort offering to members broader outreach through state-of-the-art graphic advertising.  The monthly flyer will be expanded in number of pages, content and in glossy format anticipated by end of April this year.   The MLCC will continue support for expansion of local educational opportunity at the elementary school level with others in Donegal and Springfield Townships started last year.

The Board of Director, along with Executive Director, Kris Enberg and Administrative Assistant, Stefanie Cramer will be seeking for consideration and retention within the MLCC new staff with specialized marketing, graphic and digital training to assist with member business presentation in various outreach mediums. Being BETTER TOGETHER at the MLCC requires that all support expected growth in the businesses of the members of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce quickly and effectively to preserve this period of opportunity.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

February 2022

A message from the President,

As we enter this new year with the opportunity to build upon the successes reported in the businesses of the members at the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC), I am extremely optimistic for accelerated growth in the businesses of our members enhanced by planned infrastructure improvements in roads and utilities for which government funding is becoming available and more comfort of everyone with viruses and other illnesses around us all each day.  Demand for products and employment is at the highest levels in years creating the best environment for both existing and new businesses members.

This month we welcome, as new members, Baneberry Meadows Bed & Breakfast/Event in Donegal, Ford Office Technologies in Connellville, and Exelos in Greensburg.  We have received very positive feedback from a significant number of the new members about the quality enhancements announced last month in this space for the flyer published monthly at the MLCC.  The flyer was reported to be the single product most enticing to new members joining the MLCC. Our research has shown the flyer to be the most economical, widely read and geographically focused advertising product for the member businesses in the MLCC when paired with the digital products available to our member businesses.  These reports merit the additional expense of the enhanced graphics and photo quality to premier in the flyer by end of April this year.

With expanding membership and demand for services from staff at the chamber by our members, the MLCC will be expanding staff and services in coming months for which an outreach is currently being structured to locate, secure, and integrate new people with specialized skill in marketing and assisting member businesses of the MLCC.  Be on the lookout for future announcements concerning this outreach from our CEO, Kris Enberg, and Stefanie Cramer, here in the office at the MLCC.  They will be seeking involvement from all members of the Chamber, working BETTER TOGETHER, in all programs to make use of the improved and new products and services available upon request at the office of the MLCC in the Sadler-Bruner Erie Insurance Exchange Building located at 4111 State Route 31, Jones Mills, Pennsylvania. Join us here at the MLCC in enthusiastically welcoming this new year.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

 

January 2022

A Message from Rob & Kris,

 On behalf of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC), we would like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Reflecting on the past is inevitable when looking to the future and, it is with sincere appreciation that we wish to thank everyone who supported the efforts of the MLCC over the last year. 2021 was memorable from beginning to end. November and December were celebrated with many events, each of which unique. Local families, and families from afar celebrated the Spirit of Christmas by enjoying one or all the following:  BHHS The Preferred Realty Donegal Free Holiday Photo Shoot, Braddock Trail House DAR Mt. Pleasant Annual Festival of Lights, Christmas in the Barn, Christmas in the Mountains, Living Treasures Holiday Light Extravaganza, Melcroft Light-up Night, and Springfield Township Light-up Night. Thanks for a great holiday season!

 New Year, New Flyer! We are EXCITED to announce the upcoming makeover to the monthly MLCC “Gateway to the Laurel Highlands” Flyer from NEWSPRINT to FULL COLOR GLOSSY! The impressive new piece is scheduled to begin with the March 2022 edition. The flyer is a signature piece for our organization.  It continues to tie local communities from our large rural areas together.  The following is a listing of a few things the flyer has accomplished in building awareness within our communities:  announce new business, promote MLCC and community events, promote business by providing a resource to advertise locally, announce community meetings, and serve as the liaison for highway infrastructure and natural resources. In a nutshell, “it simply ties us together” 😉

The MLCC Stocking Stuffer Winning Ticket Drawing is getting close! The number will be taken from the PA daily 3-digit lottery number drawn at 7 pm on Friday, January 14, 2022. Don’t have one? Contact Stef through email at stef@mlchamber.com or in the office at (724) 593-8900 to see if there are any left.

Finally, we are proud to announce the 2022 MLCC Board of Directors and Executive Team

Directors:

  • Juliann Brown Trenthouse Inn
  • Shari Bukovac Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping
  • Tom Guiher             Living Treasures Wild Animal Park
  • Mark Hughes Hughes Physical Therapy, LLC
  • Roxanne Kern See-Mor’s All-Star Grill
  • Barb Skinner Christian Family & Children’s Center
  • Jamie Stilley             Amerikohl Aggregates

Executive Team:

  • President:             Rob King – King Legal Group, LLC
  • Vice President:     Deanna Richter – LHTC Broadband
  • Treasurer:             Josh Crowe – BHHS The Preferred Realty Donegal
  • Secretary:             Tammy Shawley – Seven Springs Mountain Resort
    •   Executive Director: Kris Enberg
    •   Administrative Assistant: Stefanie Cramer

MLCC Better Together,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

Kris Enberg
MLCC Executive Director

December 2021

A message from the President,

With the holidays quickly upon us, we at the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) are reminded of the blessings received this year both from within and outside of the organization bringing success to members and mission of the MLCC.  Our core programs and events have exceeded goals; our membership has grown; the new and returning members of the board of directors are diverse, committed and energized to take and explore new direction for the MLCC.

None of these observations would have taken shape without the presence and commitment of time and recourses to MLCC from the members of the Board of Directors working BETTER TOGETHER. Outside observers do not understand that being a member of our Board of Directors costs money from the pocket of the member to guarantee the events and programs offered by the MLCC which costs are not recovered.  Each member of the board of directors also commits their time and participation in events and planning outside of the meetings attended each year. I hold up to all our readers, as exceptional persons Tom Guiher of Living Treasures Wild Animal Park who has been with the chamber since its inception, Barb Skinner of the Christian Family & Children’s Center also with the chamber since its inception. Shari Bukovac of Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping, Jamie Stilley of Amerikohl Mining, and Roxanne Kern of See-Mor’s All Star Grill, all of whom have been with the chamber for more than 15 years.  Deanna Richter of LHTC Broadband, Mark Hughes of Hughes Physical Therapy and Tammy Shawley of Seven Springs Mountain Resort all who have been with the chamber for more than 10 years. Juliann Brown of the Trenthouse Inn and Josh Crowe of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty in Donegal both of whom have been with the chamber for more than 5 years. These individuals have all been with the chamber in different roles for many years.  All of these business leaders have enabled and assisted the staff responsible for and seen as the face, energy and deliverers of services of the MLCC to each of you as members.

Kris Enberg, as the chief operating officer of the MLCC for more than 20 years has contributed many of the creative ideas and energy for and the substance of the services and events you now experience, enjoy and employ for advancement of your business as a member of the MLCC.  At her elbow giving assistance with execution of all that our members enjoy is Stefanie Cramer, who you often have seen in the office for over 4 years.  None of what we know and identify as the MLCC would exist without these two committed and kind persons.

It is not often enough that recognition of those within and behind the scenes get the spotlight of deserved recognition.  Before saying thank you to anyone serving or being served by the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce, these board and staff members, who personify the theme of BETTER TOGETHER, deserve to be recognized in this season of thanksgiving.  Please take a moment to say thank you to these persons when you speak with them as it deserved and will be most appreciated by them.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

November 2021

A message from the President,

The hugely successful annual Ladies’ Day Bash of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) held at the end of September, attended by hundreds, marked the return to full presentation of the events and activity of the MLCC.  As we have moved through fall, all of us have focused on the joy of the approaching holiday season.  The MLCC, particularly through the efforts of Kris Enberg and Stef Cramer in our office, has planned celebration of the holidays by promoting events to make our members and the community BETTER TOGETHER.

Please mark your calendars for events promoted by and detailed on the MLCC website, including Berkshire Hathaway the Preferred Realty Donegal Office Family Photos, Braddock Trail Chapter DAR Festival of Lights, Christmas in the Barn, Christmas in the Mountains, Leeper Meats, Living Treasures Wild Animal Park Holiday Light Extravaganza, Melcroft Tree Lighting, Silver Penny, and Springfield Township Light-up Night. Check out the ads in this flyer for dates and times of these upcoming holiday events. Please make a point to set aside time to join in these events. The schedule for the Living Treasures Holiday Light Extravaganza is located in center pages so it can be easily removed and hung on your refrigerator so you don’t miss this holiday family experience. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet and become familiar with the services offered by all our members while introducing their unique services and programs made available to other members and the public.  Know that your involvement will make all involved be BETTER TOGETHER by working through and with the MLCC to successfully expand the business of the businesses in the community. Another holiday item coming soon is the Annual MLCC Stocking Stuffer Ticket. Check out the ad on page __ to see a listing of the great donations to the ticket so far. The MLCC Stocking Stuffer Ticket makes a great gift, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for them to hit the streets.

As always, I again encourage all to use and take advantage of the online and print publication services and tools available to the members of the MLCC through the office.   Our staff is available daily, working BETTER TOGETHER to help with specific concerns and needs of members by phone, email and in person through the office of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce at 4111 Route 31 in Jones Mills.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

October 2021

A message from the President

In spite of the new Covid warnings, few reports of sickness have been voiced by customers and workers in member businesses of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) as crowds returned to the member businesses in the MLCC, without masks, distancing or other safety measures while seeking services and products in short supply.  This experience has encouraged the efforts of the MLCC to return to normal internal operations, outreach to members and events offered to the public, particularly, the annual Ladies’ Day Bash at the end of September.

The Ladies’ Day Bash was a well received, attended and delivered event rivaling the most successful previous events attended by the ladies of multiple generations of local families.  The event exhausted the available supply of tickets and had very few empty seats with spirited bidding on raffle items and prizes after luncheon provided by; Truckin’ Fresh Food Truck.  The event was sponsored once again by this writer’s law firm, King Legal Group LLC and Josh Crowe of BHHS The Preferred Realty, with prizes contributed and sponsored by; Caddie Shak Family Entertainment Center, Donegal Dairy Queen, Donegal McDonalds, First National Bank – Indian Head Branch, G&D Market, Glengarry Golf Links, Hank’s Gameroom, LHTC Broadband, Love Abounds, Light on the Hill Church, Main Street Wine Bar, Sandy Weimer of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Sarnelli’s Corner, See-Mor’s All Star Grill, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Somerset Trust Company – Champion Branch, and the Trenthouse Inn. As in years past, the event was staffed with gracious volunteers from MLCC member businesses; BHHS The Preferred Realty Josh Crowe, Light on the Hill Church, Love Abounds, Sarnelli’s Corner, See-Mor’s All Star Grill, Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping, Tim Coffman’s Seal Coating & Line Painting and Trenthouse Inn.  Knowing that success comes from efforts pursued BETTER TOGETHER, the event could not have occurred without the tremendous efforts and hours given by Kris Enberg, Executive Director, and Stefanie Cramer, Administrative Assistant, at the MLCC.

I am so grateful for the support from the member businesses in the MLCC of its work which includes the community institutions such as the Donegal Elementary School, being integral to the past and future success of the businesses within the MLCC.  I remind each of you as readers of this letter and those persons you know to support with a vote in November for school director candidates who support the continued existence and expansion of grades in the Donegal Elementary School, namely, Allison Brooks, Eric Poole, and Brad Coppula.

Looking forward and knowing all will be BETTER TOGETHER working through and with the MLCC to successful resumption and expansion of the member businesses, I encourage all to use and take advantage of the digital and print publication services and tools available to and used by the members of the MLCC.  Our staff is on site daily working BETTER TOGETHER to help with specific concerns and needs of members by phone, email and in person through the office of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce at 4111 Route 31 in Jones Mills.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

September 2021

A message from the President

Even though I attempt to focus on positive events for our members in this space, I deviate from that custom to report what I consider to be a direct attack upon the interests and efforts for success of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) by the current sitting members of the Mount Pleasant School Board which voted unanimously to rescind its previous action, reported last month in the space, to preserve and expand the grades hosted in the Donegal Elementary School. In May, there was a successful effort to preserve the Donegal Elementary School from closure by the Mount Pleasant School Board this coming year. More than 70 persons, including this writer, attended that session of the Mount Pleasant School Board and asserted vigorously the need for the operation of the school to encourage families to move into and remain within Donegal Township as the resident population is critical to support and preserve those local businesses now members and to become the future members of the MLCC. The effort sparked not only success in preservation of the school but also a vote by a majority of the Board members present to return additional elementary grades previously removed by the Donegal Elementary School that had resulted in long bus rides intolerable for young children and overcrowding of other district elementary schools

The members of that Board, at the May 26th meeting, rescinded, by a unanimous vote, the earlier adopted motion to return to community based elementary schools and expansion of the Donegal Elementary School during the 2022-2023 school year.  The action will limit the students at Donegal Elementary School to only those children attending grades K through 4, without promise of the continuation of the school or regard for the announced needs of the members of the MLCC for local delivery of education to preserve our local businesses. Thereafter, members of the board were observed in the Donegal Area looking at the developed planned communities supporting the tax base of the school district previously disregarded in the decision making of the school board.

In the spirit of the MLCC being BETTER TOGETHER, I urge each member, reader and those other persons close to members of Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce to oppose this assault by the Mount Pleasant School Board upon the MLCC. Vote in November for Allison Brooks, Eric Poole, and Brad Coppula.  These candidates openly support maintenance of the existence and expansion of locally delivered education in grades hosted in the Donegal Elementary School being a significant need of the member businesses of the MLCC. On this issue, we all will be BETTER TOGETHER.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

August 2021

A message from the President

July brought crowds back to the member businesses in the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC), without masks, distancing or other government restrictions, seeking the services and products in member businesses often in excess of available services and products.  All members of the MLCC experienced a severe shortage of available workers causing periodic restricted hours of operation, longer lines for service and increased costs pushing up prices.  The limited labor pool also impacted workers who were frustrated in their efforts to return to work by limited available child care services, shortages of vehicles for transportation for work and receipt of enhanced state and federal unemployment payments.

Knowing that success comes from efforts pursued BETTER TOGETHER, the staff of the MLCC successfully increased access to the digital services and advertising space for members to seek, find and offer incentives to workers. The digital services of the MLCC were also advertised to and accessed by persons canvasing the member businesses for terms and benefits of available employment positions with members of the MLCC.  Encouraging success was reported from members and workers alike.

Looking forward, BETTER TOGETHER with the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce will continue to be the best path to successful resumption and expansion of the businesses in the MLCC.  I encourage all to use and take advantage of the digital and print publication services and tools available to and used by the members of the MLCC.  Kris and Stef are now back on site daily working BETTER TOGETHER to help with specific concerns and needs of members by phone, email and in person visit daily in the office of the MLCC at 4111 Route 31 in Jones Mills.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

July 2021

A message from the President

With the lifting of the government restriction on association and assembly, the in-person outreach of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) to, though and on behalf of our member businesses is surging. MLCC hosted and its member businesses sponsored the returning MLCC 22nd Annual Golf Outing held this year at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, as noted last month in this space, and in June, member businesses Michele Meucci – Al Meucci Real Estate, Fox’s Pizza Den – Donegal, and Sarnelli’s Corner sponsored the Kid’s Fun Day featuring activities and events for local children at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. Be sure to check of the day’s recap on page 8.

The MLCC was also proactively involved in the successful effort of community residents and our member businesses, to preserve the Donegal Elementary School from closure by the Mount Pleasant School Board this coming year. This writer, appearing and supporting more than 70 others before the School Board in May, vigorously asserted the need for the operation of the school to encourage families to locate and remain locally being critical to support, create, work within and  demand products and services from local businesses now members and to become the future members of the MLCC, with the added advantage to the school district of increase in the tax base from new lot and home sales and home starts numbering in the hundreds over the last decade. The MLCC is proud to report, not only success in preservation of the school but also the return of an additional elementary grade previously removed by the School Board.

The MLCC, knowing that we are BETTER TOGETHER, encourages the continued support of all of the member businesses in the events and activities of other business members, by giving recognition to the sponsors with inclusion of their respective names in this space each month. With this in mind, please step in and up to take advantage of this policy offered to rightly reward and honor the business members acting to be BETTER TOGETHER.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

June 2021

A message from the President

In the spirit of recovery from the impact of inconvenience experienced by all of us during the last year, the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) has again taken action and spoken up to preserve our business culture which includes preservation of locally provided public education at local elementary facilities to ensure the future prosperity of businesses in our MLCC. Again, we presented annual spring golf outing of the MLCC and support the teachers and families responsible for delivery of education at the local Donegal Elementary School to the children that will be our next generation of business.

As many of our members & friends of the chamber attended and supported the MLCC 22nd Annual Golf Outing last month at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, business ties, challenged with the shut-down of the last year, were renewed and furthered with participation of those in new businesses. All in attendance were greeted with a new format in dining on the course with presentation of food and beverages at holes and tees to encourage play without disruption with generous sponsorship, particularly from our Title Sponsor, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, our Platinum Sponsor, Smail Auto Group, our Gold Sponsors, Amerikohl Aggregates Inc., BHHS The Preferred Realty-Donegal, CME Engineering. Firestone Insurance Agency, Hansen Aggregates Inc., LHTC Broadband, Trent House Inn, and our Bronze Sponsors, Acme Pizza Company, BHHS The Preferred Realty-Josh Crowe, the Daily American, Dipaola Quality Climate Control LLC,  Donegal Dairy Queen, Donegal McDonalds, Foggy Mountain Lodge & Restaurant, G&D Market, Graystone Landscape Supply Company, Hughes Physical Therapy, Luther P. Miller Inc., Mark C. Brooks Funeral Home, NovaCare Rehabilitation, Out of the Fire Café, Ridgeline Heating & Cooling, Sadler Bruner Insurance Agency, Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping, Somerset Trust Company – Champion, the Country Pie Shoppe and Westmoreland County Commissioner Sean Kertes. Teams battling for first place recognition on the “Chamber Pot” included: Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Smail Auto Group BHHS The Preferred Realty Donegal, CME Engineering, Firestone Insurance Agency, Hanson Aggregates, LHTC Broadband, Trenthouse Inn, Al Meucci Real Estate/Marlene Kalp, Champion Lawn Ornaments, LCT Energy L.P., Laurel Mountain Homes, Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping, See Mor’s All Star Grill, Ann Shields – Individual Team, Merle Shields – Individual Team, Jeff Jones – Individual Team, Norman Stout – Individual Team, and Sandy Campbell – Individual Team. Special thanks to our members who supported the outing as volunteers: LHTC Broadband, SeeMor’s All-Star Grill, Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping, Somerset Trust Company, and the Trent House Inn.  The weather was chilly at times but all in attendance were anxious and happy to be outside with friends and celebrating the recovery of the event and efforts of the MLCC. Congratulations to Jeff Jones and his team for being this year’s first place team and receiving 2021’s name recognition on the Chamber Pot.

The MLCC was also presented with sad news of efforts of the many members of the Mount Pleasant School Board to close and relocate the elementary students at the Donegal Elementary School. After the months of psychologically devastating isolation of young children, this only adds to such injuries by putting children in grades K to Third on bus rides twice a day of an hour or more to distant schools now overcrowded and experiencing serious problems of delivery of academic programs to existing students.  To come out of this difficult period, the presence of the local elementary school preserves family unity incident to participation and proximity of extended family and parents to the youngest students at the outset of institutional education.  The elementary school provides a draw to young families to come to and remain local where our business members need the support of local families for new business starts, workers and sustain demand for services and products of the members of the MLCC.

I ask the members of the MLCC together with their employees and families, knowing that we are BETTER TOGETHER, to join me in vocal and in-person support of the efforts of more than 100 residents already mobilized to persuade the school board members to support our children and businesses with continued delivery education to students on site at the elementary school in Donegal. This cause and effort, for which more detailed information can be found online & Facebook at, SAVEDONEGAL.COM / Keep Donegal Elementary Open is supporting and in line with the fight of the MLCC to return our business community to prosperous production and expansion begun with the golf outing and coming gatherings sponsored by the MLCC.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

May 2021

A message from the President

With the “mud season” behind us, Covid distancing in the rear view mirror and the spring in the mountains in full floral bloom, the members of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) hosting family summer entertainment venues, particularly, Buffer Creek Sporting Clays Inc., Caddie Shak Family Entertainment Center, Donegal Campground, Glengarry Golf Links, Hidden Valley Resort, Laurel Highlands Campland, Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, Mountain Pines Campground, Norvelt Golf Club, Powdermill Nature Reserve, Scottyland Camping Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Stahlstown Flax Scutching Festival, and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort, are opening to public demand and reservations far above the numbers of this time last year. Thanks to each of these business members for holding strong over the last year as their attractions now can invite and hold, for many days at a time, the public that frequent the stores, shoppes, restaurants, shooting venues, golf courses and service businesses of the members of the MLCC from Ligonier to Ohio Pyle.

The staff of the MLCC, led by Kris Enberg, chief operation officer and supported by Stefanie Cramer, managing member requests for MLCC resources, through their office at 4111 Route 31 in Jones Mills are back at full capacity with the golf outing and the delivery and planning of member business marketing activities rolling out.  On site digitally enhanced business promotional events for individual members are offered as requested so please watch the flyer and website for opportunities that may enhance the presentation of your business.  With the limitations on gatherings this last year Kris and Stef, along with our supporting contractors, have new and exciting offerings to assist the business presentation and marketing of the products and services of members of the MLCC.

Let us be “BETTER TOGETHER” through the tools and resources of the MLCC that enable the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce to serve, enhance and grow both your business and accomplish the purpose of the MLCC, namely, growing the business of and within the MLCC.  Let us all work “BETTER TOGETHER” now!

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

April 2021

A message from the President

As noted in this space over the last months, business activity for members of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) has rebounded and significantly increased in some industries from the holiday and winter visitor traffic. Now members have new demands to meet with the escape from our Governor’s Covid limitations.  MLCC members focused in the real estate market, particularly, Al Meucci Real Estate, BHHS The Preferred Realty and Highlands Resort Realty, reported the sales of almost all properties in their inventory and their need to pursue efforts to recruit new listings from owners of structures and unimproved land, for their clients fleeing the cities for the country lifestyle supported and encouraged every day in every season here by the members of the MLCC.

Members of the MLCC operating in the industries focused on harvesting, transporting, supplying, and processing of local natural resources, particularly, Amerikol Mining, C&D Firewood & Logging, Champion Lumber Company, LCT Energy, LP, Luther P. Miller, Inc., and Robindale Energy & Associated Companies are experiencing overwhelming demand and rarely seen price levels.  Timber prices are at a 20 year high, as are building supplies and components, which are moving and selling faster than they can be processed and delivered.  MLCC members, AA Septic Tank Service, Appalachian Fluid Power, Cenkner Engineering, Dipaola Quality Climate Control, Expert Paving, Hemminger Homes, JM Mountain Top Heating, K2 Engineering, Laurel Mountain Homes, Milton Neiderhiser & Sons, Inc., Ridgeline Heating & Cooling Inc., Ritenour Lumber Company, Steele Construction Inc., Steve Ritenour Excavating, Surge Water Conditioners, Top Septic Service and Tri County Home Improvements, who are providing new and rehabilitation of dwellings, and sales of manufactured structures are reporting that delivery and construction starts are now being booked at the earliest for dates in 2023, marking a return to strength of the legacy businesses now in the MLCC.

The additional media advertising offered through the MLCC in partnership with LHTC Media, particularly, The Gateway to the Laurel Highlands Advertising Flyer, Fun Map, Website and Facebook page, together with the ongoing MLCC Virtual Job Fair sponsored by Josh Crowe, BHHS The Preferred Realty will augment and assist MLCC members ability to meet business demands and enable the members using the services to increase awareness of the opportunities and products each offers to meet this surge of demand from the public arriving daily. I again encourage our members to make use of the MLCC media products and print advertising products and our business enhancement tools and products that Kris and Stef, at MLCC, with our supporting contractors, can help you use to increase the success of your business.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

March 2021

A message from the President

As we emerge from winter and embrace the annual “mud” season, the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) is focusing on the success and advancement of business with programs emphasizing efforts of being better together as announced by MLCC Executive Director, Kris Enberg. Featured in her message, in the MLCC QUARTERLY CHAT, the MLCC is focusing on the theme of “BETTER TOGETHER” in 2021, believing, “together, we will continue our mission to enhance the economic growth and development of the business community by offering a variety of services and programs to meet the needs of businesses, residents, and tourists,” being the best statement to introduce the events and programs coming through the MLCC in the months ahead.

Being “BETTER TOGETHER” rang true in the recent success of our annual Stocking Stuffer ticket and Build-a-Snowman contest, as together we built a lot of excitement and had a lot of fun, thank you!

The MLCC Virtual Job Fair (VJF) sponsored by Josh Crowe of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services continues our “BETTER TOGETHER” efforts in today’s hectic society. The MLCC VJF confronts two issues that all businesses go through when hiring; finding employees enthusiastic about positions and hiring quickly enough that day-to-day procedures are not interrupted. Applicants will become part of a database of potential employees that members can quickly access through the MLCC digital services to obtain local help.

In the past months, I have focused on residents as employees to our members, to encourage them to remain in our local workplace and communities. The upcoming MLCC VJF Link is designed to build identification, access, and coordination of available persons registered, and accelerate help to our local businesses. Complimenting this program, along with the Fun Map, Golf Outing, Kids Day, Ladies Day Bash, etc., the MLCC is proud to welcome LHTC Media as the Chamber’s newest marketing partners.  LHTC Media will assist in helping us continue to serve the local business community by providing web development, marketing, and design expertise as needed.

These programs and developments have been coordinated and encouraged by our Executive Director, Kris Enberg, who has been diligent throughout the past year to keep businesses connected. I congratulate Kris on her energy and resourceful tenacity in confronting the issues and limitations facing our members. I fully encourage all within the MLCC to join us as we grow “BETTER TOGETHER” in the coming year.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

February 2021

A message from the President

With the passing last month of State Representative Mike Reese, a good friend to many in the board and membership of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) and who was an ever present supporter and champion of MLCC causes, programs and local development  including the planned visitor center, new business openings, annual participation in  MLCC events and MLCC legislative committee meetings,  I am reminded of the large role and participation of the government representatives in the promotion of the businesses and causes needed by and all members in the MLCC, without acknowledgement.  The supervisors of Saltlick, Springfield, Donegal and Cook Townships make travel in and to all members of MLCC possible and passable on the roads without which no business could prosper or deliver services. Such elected supervisors also participate in special projects identifying the geographical region served by the members of the MLCC as unique from other portions of Fayette, Westmoreland and Somerset Counties and the Commonwealth.

With completion of the roadway improvement project on State Route 31, the Donegal Township Supervisors, namely, Tom Stull, Jr., Dan Pribisco and Henry Hoffer, took aggressive steps to announce the area served by the membership of the MLCC is and should be considered as the “Gateway to the Laurel Highlands”. As you pass through the traffic light east of the turnpike interchange on State Route 31, you will see a small park created by PennDOT at the direction of   the Donegal Township Supervisors wherein is installed the landscaped three-sided stone encased monument extending a welcome to visitors and residents as they enter the “Gateway to the Laurel Highlands”.  This park with graphic salutation replaced a previous two-sided sign sponsored by the MLCC, removed during the roadway reconstruction.

These and the many other daily efforts of our elected local officials, representatives and the staff assisting them do not receive enough recognition for the promotion of business within their respective governmental units and districts beneficial to the MLCC. The board of the MLCC has taken note of the help extended to our members individually and through the MLCC by elected representatives and extend to each one thanks and appreciation for such help and participation for the benefit of our members in the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce.

Sincerely,

Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC

 

January 2021

A message from the President

With the arrival of the new year, I reflect upon the passing year with great pride in the members and board of the Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce, particularly, the resilience, optimism, work effort and dedication to encouragement and support of businesses within the MLCC, often at personal sacrifice to each member flowing from lockdown orders, difficulties in delivery of sales and services and extra costs to protect staff, customers, and themselves from illness. My reflections are also populated with grateful and sincere memories of the significant efforts of departed members and departing directors leaving now at the end of their respective terms in office with the MLCC. The departing board members, namely, Joe Sarnelli, Ken Firestone and Rich Naugle have given of their time in meetings, functions, events, and availability for the MLCC needs and in the case of Joe Sarnelli, his wealth of understanding, food, and many extra volunteer service hours at significant personal and financial cost to benefit the membership of the MLCC.

Looking forward into the new year, the newest member director joining the board of the MLCC, is Roxanne Kern, a long-time restaurant owner and operator of See Mor’s All Star Grill and a partner in Kern Brothers’ Lumber Company in Normalville. She brings to the board of the MLCC for 2021, namely, MLCC Charter Member, LDB Committee Member, Golf Outing Volunteer, Tickets Sales, Normalville Christmas Light-up and personal knowledge of and passion for the needs and matters helpful to the businesses in the Normalville, Indian Head and Mill Run areas of the MLCC. The MLCC has been honored to welcome and offer resources to foster the success of the new members joining the 2021 MLCC Board and Executive Board in November, particularly, President Rob King – King Legal Group LLC, Vice President Deanna Richter –  LHTC Broadband, Treasurer Mark Hughes – Hughes Physical Therapy, Secretary Tammy Shawley – Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Finance Consultant Shari Bukovac -Shari Bukovac Bookkeeping, Tom Guiher – Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, Barb Skinner – Christian Family & Children’s Center, Juliann Brown – Trent House Inn, Jamie Stilley – Amerikohl Mining, Josh Crowe – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices the Preferred Realty Company and Roxanne Kern – See Mor’s All Star Grill which found that the MLCC held benefit for them even when businesses struggled in the middle of last year.  They have had the opportunity to benefit from the promotional programs and programing, both digital and paper, now provided to members by the MLCC through its on boarding of the digital services of MLCC member LHTC Media the MLCC legacy spring golf outing and fall Ladies’ Day Bash events returning on schedule for 2021.

However, even with the new board, new members, advanced digital offering and returning events, I reflect, with sincere respect and thankfulness, for the self-sacrifice and ever presence, on a day-to-day basis, of Kris Enberg, Executive Director of  the MLCC, and her Administrative Assistant, Stefanie Cramer. They, along with the directors in 2020, namely, Rob King, Deanna Richter, Mark Hughes, Tammy Shawley, Shari Bukovac, Tom Guiher, Barb Skinner, Juliann Brown, Jamie Stilley, Josh Crowe, Ken Firestone, Rich Naugle and Joe Sarnelli made MLCC run predictably for the prosperity of the members of the MLCC throughout the darkest times of 2020.  Drawing upon decades of leadership with the MLCC, the direction provided by Kris gave day to day order for members and board alike when there was little continuity during rapidly changing events this last year.

Believing the past to be the best way to predict the future, the members of the MLCC can expect great progress and success in their respective businesses in a prosperous New Year featuring the return of our traditional events of golf in the spring and the Ladies’ Bash in the fall without the health restrictions on business activity. I again encourage you to make use of the MLCC digital media products, print advertising products and our business enhancement tools and products that Kris and Stef, at the MLCC, with our supporting contractors, can help you use to increase the success of your business.

Happy New Year!
Robert W. King
MLCC President
King Legal Group, LLC