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Sewickley chamber board losing 2 key members

| Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

After 13 years as a member, and most recently as president, of the Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce, Cora DeLoia will step down this summer.

She is one of two chamber board of directors members who will leave the board when successors are named.

Laughlin Children's Center Executive Director Doug Florey, who serves as a board member at-large, will vacate his seat as well.

The pair were part of last year's resurgence of a chamber for Sewickley's business community, which overhauled the group from its past as an event-planning organization — focusing on events such as Light Up Night — to one offering professional development for small-business owners.

“Both Doug Florey and I have been doing this for a long time,” DeLoia said. “There are new people excited to be involved, and they may come up with fresh, new ideas.”

Florey, who founded the Sewickley Area Non-Profit Consortium, or SNPC — a group of directors of nonprofits who meet to share ideas and discuss nonprofit operations — said he hopes the chamber's ties to nonprofits continues.

“I'd love to continue the partnership between SNPC and the chamber, since I think it is always beneficial to have nonprofits and for-profits talking and sharing,” he said.

Per the group's bylaws, terms exist in one-year increments, with decisions made annually on the board and its top spots.

As of earlier in the week, five people had nominated themselves to fill the two board vacancies, DeLoia said. Members are elected to the board by a general representation of chamber members. Then, those members self-nominate and then vote for lead positions.

DeLoia, who owns Spoiled Chics the Boutique, said she will focus on her business, but will remain involved in chamber events.

She cited the group's work with Village Green Partners — a nonprofit that accepts public and private money and organizes events such as Light Up Night — as a way to allow the chamber to focus on developing business owners.

“That really freed up the chamber,” DeLoia said about Village Green taking on event planning — a role formerly held by the chamber and Sewickley's borough employees. “It was difficult for us to do these events and try to keep our businesses going.”

DeLoia said her goal for the chamber is helping business owners collaborate and work together.

“What can we do to make ourselves better as a whole?” she asked.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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