Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pottstown, the Economic Development Winner

Representatives from Chamber Member Companies with Significant Anniversaries from left to right: Jeff Graber and Lauren Graef, Graber Letterin’ Sign Co.; Adele Klein and Ashley Hoke, Klein Transportation; Susan Keddie, Visiting Nurse Association; Megan Bauer, Coventry Corners; Stephen Longacre, The Longacre Co.; Julie Keilman, Greater Reading Economic Partnership

Blogger's Note: The information below was provided by the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce. However, before we go to that, a comment from interim borough manager Mark Flanders.

Wednesday night Flanders told borough council that "for the first time in the many, many years that I have been going to the chamber's economic development luncheon, the winners of all three economic development awards went to Pottstown businesses."

He added, "it does show things are moving forward. We hear a lot of negative about Pottstown, but there is a lot of positive going on here and people need to pay attention to that as well."

Now on to the chamber's release:

 TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce Members gathered at Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown for the Chamber’s Annual Economic Development Luncheon on Nov. 1.

The keynote speakers for this event were from the office of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Susann Morrison, an executive assistant for unemployment compensation programs and Gwenn Dando, policy director for unemployment compensation, worker compensation, and workforce development gave their perspective along with the information needed to understand the system, Act 60, the recent bond sale, and how all initiatives are working to provide a stable financial future for the commonwealth.

Mark Flanders, interim Pottstown Borough
Manager, left, and John Vestri,
Director of Operations at VideoRay, LLC
At this year’s luncheon, the Chamber presented five awards to local businesses related to economic development:

The Economic Development Award went to VideoRay LLC. This award is presented to a project that provides quality land use improvement, generates economic benefits for the community, and has the potential for creating new jobs.

VideoRay is the largest volume producer of “remotely operated vehicles,” or ROVs, in the world.

VideoRay, which has between 30 and 40 employees, will move from a 5,000 square foot barn, into 32,000 square feet of flexible office and light manufacturing space, purchased for $275,000, in the Borough of Pottstown in the former Levitz building on High Street.

Steve Bamford, Executive Director, PAID, Inc.
and Peter and John Giannopoulos,
Managing Partners of Sly Fox Brewing, Co.
The Economic Impact Award went to Sly Fox Brewing Co., Inc. This award is presented to an organization that provides a significant contribution to the economic vitality of the communities that the Chamber serves.

Their Royersford location was sold in 2011 and Sly Fox opened a 50-hectoliter, 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art brewery on the Circle of Progress in Pottstown in January 2012, investing over $6 million and housing more than 20 employees.

A Tastin’ Room was also opened in Pottstown to attract patrons from near and far.

The Environmental Impact Award went to Cigas Machine Shop, Inc. This award is presented to a business who is taking a “green” proactive approach for a more sustainable business environment.

Michelle Maher,
Human Resources Manager,
Cigas Machine Shop, Inc.
Cigas Machine Shop is a leading manufacturer of high quality stainless steel plate products for industrial, commercial and architectural applications.

The Pottstown building was purchased in 2007 in the Pottstown Industrial Complex which previously housed the old Bethlehem Steel Building.

The 100,000 square foot Pottstown facility underwent extensive renovations including conventional and solar heating; daylight harvesting; rainwater harvesting; and also the facility is a zero energy building – large roof areas are ideal for solar panels generating clean, renewable power making the building an energy producer rather than consumer.

The Regional Planning Award went to Boyertown, Colebrookdale and Pike Townships. This award is presented to two or more intergovernmental agencies that develop and implement a multi-organizational plan that fosters smart growth.

Rod Martin, left Chairman,
TCACC and Jake Lea,
Chairman of the Joint
Zoning Board Committ
The Boyertown, Colebrookdale, and Pike Joint Zoning Ordinance divides Boyertown Borough, Colebrookdale Township, and Pike Township into various zoning districts with varying regulations for each district.

 The ordinance was created with consideration for the character of the borough and Townships, and the suitability for particular uses and structures in the various districts.

The Legislator of the Year Award went to State Representative Marcy Toepel. This award is presented to an elected official for their leadership in helping to create and/or support a pro-business environment.

Toepel brings her experience from county government and the private sector to the state Capitol. Toepel had 100 percent voting record and took tough stances on issues of importance for the business community, including voting for tort reform and two no tax budgets. She has a clear understanding of how government can negatively impact the economy.

Nine companies were recognized at the Luncheon for their significant anniversaries and their commitment to doing business here.
  • Malvern Federal Savings Bank -125 years
  • St. Aloysius School - 100 years
  • Visiting Nurse Association of Pottstown & Vicinity - 95 years
  • The Longacre Co. - 90 years
  • Klein Transportation - 55 years
  • Coventry Corners - 30 years
  • Community Music School - 20 years
  • Graber Letterin’ Sign Co. - 20 years
  • Greater Reading Economic Partnership - 10 years
For more information, visit www.tricountyareachamber.com or contact 610.326.2900.

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