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Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce has busy agenda

| Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce president Maury Burgwin sees great things to come in a busy 2013.

“There are some great stories happening here in this valley, and we are here to promote them,” Burgwin told a networking event Thursday at West Mifflin's Hampton Inn.

Burgwin hopes to double the number of vendors who came to the first Mon Yough Area Prosperity Fair at West Mifflin Area High School.

That would mean 100 presenters of business and career information to students and families attending the second fair on April 11 from 5-8 p.m.

Burgwin also is preparing a poster about the fair for “a huge community evening” at West Mifflin's middle school.

“Connecting with the Community,” slated Thursday from 6-8:30 p.m., will feature breakout sessions about curriculum-related matters.

There will be health screenings, prizes, fireworks and chances to meet WQED's Rick Sebak, the Pirate Parrot and Kenny Kangaroo.

Burgwin's comment about “great stories” also was applied to local businesses.

Burgwin noted U.S. Steel's commissioning of a new coke battery after a half-billion-dollar investment in Clairton.

He also followed up on comments made by breakfast speaker Charles Starrett, particularly about businesses aided by enterprise zones.

With 100 employees, Burgwin said, Book Country Clearing House LLC in McKeesport “is the fifth largest book distributor in the country.”

The chamber's promotion also plays in to what Starrett tries to do in zones covering the Steel Valley, Braddock and Mon-Yough areas.

“We don't have a lot of money for marketing,” Starrett told one chamber member.

A 2013 events calendar details multiple events each month, including a “Lunch and Learn” series at the Holiday Inn Express in West Mifflin that will begin on March 6 at noon with a look at Marcellus shale opportunities with David Marks, a gas industry marketer from Duquesne also known for his nighttime “Laugh and Learn” seminars.

“Networking in the Morning” breakfast sessions will move to the Waterfront. Sessions will rotate on the third Thursday of each month between the Hampton Inn on the West Homestead end of the Waterfront, the Holiday Inn Express in the Munhall portion and the Courtyard-by-Marriott, also in West Homestead.

Business After Hours sessions will take place on March 15 at Brunswick Playmor Lanes in Lincoln Place, May 16 at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, July 11 at The Daily News, Sept. 12 at Allegheny County Airport, and Nov. 14 at the West Homestead Hampton Inn.

Other events include a legislative breakfast on May 15 at Westwood Golf Club and the second annual golf outing Aug. 2 at Butler's Golf Course. Burgwin said he is working with Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch's foundation on that golf outing.

More details about chamber activity is available at or by calling 412-678-2450.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or