Donna Barna was elected as the volunteer Chair of the Board of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce at a reorganization meeting of the organization in early April. Allen Wagner will serve as Immediate Past Chairman and Mary R. Malone will serve as President of the organization.
Ms. Barna, the President of Billig-Helmes Insurance Agency, is the 5th generation of a family-owned insurance agency operating in the Hazleton Area since 1902. She serves as a director on the CAN DO Board, Hazleton Public Library and both Hazleton Rotary Club and Foundation to name a few. Donna was elected to the Chamber Board in 2012, and has a Vice Chair, leading the activities of the Community Awareness Committee since 2014. She has been very active in the successful development and growth of Women's Networking committee as well.
Joining Barna and Ms. Malone are new board members and officers who will begin their terms May 1st.
Vice Chairs include Terry Malloy, Landmark Community Bank; Cathy Kutchi, Carmen Bakery & Deli/Carmen’s Country Inn; Dr. Gary Lawler, Penn State Hazleton; and Carla Thaller, Susquehanna Associates Management Inc. Ross Valenti, Keystone Job Corps Center will serve as Secretary and John Patton, Standard Speaker, will serve as Treasurer.
Elected to the Board of Directors were E.J. Butkiewicz, Jr., Berger Family Dealership; Bob Caccese, Bemis Company, Inc; Alexis C. Falvello Esquire, Falvello Law; De Ann Miller, Hawk Mt. Labs Inc; and Andrew Piskel, Fierro Funeral Home. Other prominent business men and women currently serving on the Chamber board are; Gary Danish, Video by UVP; Pastor Jim DeRamus, Apostolic Faith Church; John Fletcher, Lehigh Valley Health Network Hazleton; Ken Gottstein, Gottstein Contracting Corp.; George Hludzik, Esq, Slusser Law Firm; Barry Jais, WYLN TV 35; Florie McNelis, PPL Electric Utilities; Eugenio Sosa, Lewith & Freeman Real Estate; William L. Spear, Hazle Drugs Inc. and Pat Verrastro, T. Verrastro Beer Distributor.
Staff members, in addition to Ms. Malone include: Leann Fallabel, Vice President of Marketing, Daniel Guydish, Membership Director, Julie Ferry, Administrative Assistant/Funfest Public Relations Coordinator, Linda Mantush, Marketing Assistant, and Nancy Zolota, Bookkeeper. The Chamber also houses four affiliate non-profit organizations including Leadership Hazleton; Greater Hazleton Area Civic Partnership, Robert Skulsky, Executive Director; Mountain Council of Governments, Dan Guydish, Executive Director; and Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, Krista Schneider, Executive Director.
The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce is the area's oldest and largest business advocacy organization. Originally formed in 1892 as the Hazleton Board of Trade, the organization will celebrate its 124th year of service to the business community at its Annual Dinner at Sand Springs Country Club on May 19th. To attend the event, contact Linda Mantush at the Chamber office at 455-1509 or via email .