StrongLand Chamber of Commerce names first new president in 21 years
By Liz Hayes
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 12:46 a.m.
The StrongLand Chamber of Commerce has a new public face for the first time in more than two decades.
The board has appointed Charmin Worthington, 45, of Kiski Township as the chamber's new president and chief financial officer.
She will replace Allan Walzak, who has led the chamber for 21 years.
“I want to promote our community and help our area become more of what it could be,” Worthington said on Monday. “I have a vested interest as a lifelong resident.”
Worthington grew up in Arnold and was a 1985 graduate of Valley High School. For 20 years, she's lived in Springdale.
Worthington said she has 24 years of experience in accounting, office management, finance and project development and coordination.
For the last 12 years she has worked for Trek Development Group, a Pittsburgh-based real estate development firm whose properties include the Dalton's Edge residences in Tarentum.
But after moving to Kiski Township about two years ago with her new husband, Darren Papaila, and stepson, she began looking for a change in commute and lifestyle.
Although she's never worked for a chamber of commerce before, Worthington said she's anticipating the new challenge.
“This is the right arena to promote small businesses, and the area in general,” Worthington said. “It seemed like it was a right time.”
Worthington said she will be reaching out to local businesses, community leaders and residents to see how she can help market the region.
Worthington has already begun working at StrongLand so she can overlap with Walzak, who will retire on March 1.
“I have the most gracious teacher in Allan,” Worthington said.
Worthington is jumping in at one of StrongLand's busiest times: the annual home show, the HomeXpo, kicks off Feb. 8 at the Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer.
“It's time for some fresh, young ideas,” said Walzak, 66, of East Brady.
Walzak said the chamber uses a variety of events to promote the Alle-Kiski Valley, from the home show, which began 11 years ago, to recreational activities like the Tour de StrongLand bike race.
Walzak said he's especially tried to emphasize the Valley's waterways as a great opportunity for recreation and development.
“I've enjoyed every day I worked here,” Walzak said, who worked in marketing for the Girl Scouts before coming on board with StrongLand in 1992. “Every day has been like a brand new experience. I think Charmin will appreciate that, too.”
Worthington said the chamber's two other employees and 350-some members already are making her feel welcome.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Avonmore parents enter disabled child in contest for wheelchair-accessible van
- 4-year-old’s death from brain cancer won’t stop fight in her name
- Coxcomb Hill Road reopened; Kerr Road still closed in Plum
- New Kensington police decline to identify stabbing victims amid investigation
- Lower Burrell restaurant’s noise subject of Liquor Control Board hearing
- Allegheny Township supervisors agree to rezone land for farming
- 2 serious in New Kensington stabbings
- Fire destroys Frazer home; family was out at the time
- South Butler students gain respect for farming through Agriculture Club
- Burrell school board reviews security plan
- Experts: Cold weather requires A-K Valley residents to check gardens