Steelers official provides keynote speech for Indiana County Chamber of Commerce

| Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

The Indiana County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th annual meeting Dec. 6 at the Kovalchik Convention and Athletic Complex in Indiana.

Pittsburgh Steelers President Arthur Rooney II had been slated to deliver the keynote speech but, due to the death of his sister, Rita Rooney, the team's general manager, Kevin Colbert, was enlisted to address the crowd.

The man tasked with overseeing the Steelers' roster depth on the field filled in admirably after coming off the bench to fill in for Rooney.

“When you think of a hundred-year anniversary that you guys are celebrating today, that doesn't happen by accident,” Colbert told the 515 people gathered in the KCAC's Ed Fry Arena. “When I look out in the audience and I read about who the people are who make up your group, you see businessmen, businesswomen, educators, health care officials, lawyers, doctors and everybody has to work together to achieve this hundred-year success. I'm sure that many of you folks are competitors in your individual businesses or practices, but you all share one thing and that's the common good of the people of Indiana County.”

That collaboration between competitors, Colbert said, is equally important in his line of work.

“If we don't have the game of football, we can't be a Super Bowl champion,” he said. “We have to respect the rules and regulations of the National Football League and be a cooperative partner with 31 other teams that we try to beat week in and week out. Just as you folks have to cooperatively work together to become one for 100 years, we've tried to do the same thing for 80 years.”

Colbert also offered an insight into the inner workings of the Steelers' success.

“Oftentimes I get asked, ‘How are the Steelers so successful?'” he said. “And it's really not that complicated. It really isn't. ... You don't base decisions on money. You don't base decisions on image. You base decisions on what's right for your organization and what's right for the common good of your business or your game. Nobody's bigger than the game for us.”

After wrapping up his address, Colbert fielded questions from attendees and said he was “pretty confident” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would play against the Chargers this past Sunday. A few hours later, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Roethlisberger would start his first game in three weeks after suffering a rib and shoulder injury against Kansas City.

The Steelers are the only NFL team to have a logo on only one side of its helmet, Colbert said, because “The Chief,” Art Rooney Sr. liked it that way.

As for the team's 80th anniversary black and gold-striped “jailhouse bumblebee” throwback uniforms?

“When we first looked at them, we said, ‘I don't know about those,'” Colbert said. “And actually, as we started to wear them, the players started to say, ‘Well, these are not too bad.' Well, the skinny players did. The fat ones had a little trouble with the (horizontal) stripes.”

The Chamber of Commerce also conducted its annual meeting concurrent with the luncheon, approving reports from the chamber secretary, treasurer and nominations committee before the meal.

Kris Mellinger, Brian Parks, Joe Reschini and Dave Wallace were all re-elected for three-year terms on the Chamber board of directors. Executive Committee Chairman Dominic Paccapaniccia was also re-elected for a three-year term, which includes a one-year position on the Chamber executive committee as the immediate outgoing chairman. Greg Sipos was elected second vice chairman and Robin Gorman will complete a two-year unexpired term on the board of directors.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913 or

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