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The membership blitz is on at Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 12:02 a.m.
Trish Brickner, site manager at PACareer Link Mon Valley, and Josie Pelzer, dealer principla of Rotolo's Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, share a hug at the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Golf Outing.

With the Super Bowl on the horizon and the two conference champions to be decided this weekend, blitzing defenses will dance in the fancies of football fans.

But the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is planning a blitz of its own – for membership – and offering its own prizes for current members who join in the effort.

New members who sign up before Jan. 23, or existing members who refer a member, will be invited to attend a 1st Quarter Membership Blitz event to be held at Salatino's River House at 5:30 p.m. on that date.

A flat-screen television will be among the prizes to be given to a member with the most referrals, and “Chamber Money” and other prizes will be awarded to those attending.

“We are engaging our existing membership and rewarding them for spreading the good word about the Chamber,” said Deb Keefer, Chamber Director.

The BLITZ guidelines and membership application are available at

The regional chamber is open to “individuals, organizations and businesses that operate or desire to network in the Mid-Mon Valley,” Keefer said.

Keefer said the Mon Valley Regional Chamber partners with other local chambers of commerce – including Greater Rostraver, Monessen, and Monongahela, - “with the intent of making a stronger business community in our area.” The regional chamber will offer a 25 percent discount to members in good standing of any of these organizations.

“If you can't join during our BLITZ, don't worry – we accept new members every day of the year,” said Keefer.

She said membership dues are pro-rated for those who join the chamber in midyear.

Membership growing

With a current membership of just over 300 members, the regional chamber is growing at about 2 to 3 percent annually.

Its predecessor, the Greater Charleroi Chamber of Commerce, had 132 members in 1997.

Greater Charleroi Chamber of Commerce was renamed the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2001 changed its mission to a regional mission.

The mission of the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is “to provide the leadership forum to ensure a positive economic climate for members and the region by fa-cilitating proactive political action, providing support and resources to businesses, and marketing the region in partnership with government, communities, and other business advocates.”

Today, businesses in the Greater Charleroi area – the communities of Charleroi, Speers, North Charleroi, Dunlevy, and Fallowfield Township as well as parts of Carroll Township – make up 38 percent of the regional chamber's membership.

There are 433 businesses in the Greater Charleroi area, Keefer noted.

“We're still working toward getting more members from the greater Charleroi Area,” Keefer said.

The Blitz is on

“We've not really had a blitz format,” Keefer said. “But our membership felt we needed to make a splash about it. We adopted football blitz theme to get our existing members in the game and get new members.

“We created incentive for existing members who create new members. We're helping to get the word out for people have been members and know our benefits are and what our mission is.”

Keefer said the goal of the blitz is to add 20 new members.

The chamber's goal is also 90 percent retention rate.

“You always want new members ,but have to make sure that your current members return to you,” Keefer said. “And we do that by the services we provide.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or