News & Updates

Erie Regional Chamber Challenges Community to Excellence During Annual Awards Dinner

Posted on March 10th, 2020 at 4:55 PM
Erie Regional Chamber Challenges Community to Excellence During Annual Awards Dinner

Erie, PA – The Erie Regional Chamber President and CEO, James Grunke, made the case for a much-needed change in the community’s narrative during the organization’s annual awards dinner tonight. The Chamber pointed to Erie Amazes – a video series debuted over Erie Homecoming 2019 – as a clearer representation of the opportunity rich within our community.

That change was echoed by Bofta Yimam – an Emmy-award-winning journalist and national TV correspondent – who was the keynote speaker for the evening. Ms. Yimam inspired attendees to embrace: the power of grit; the need to be open-minded; and the vision to move Erie forward.

“Erie’s history is a clear testament to the power of grit and determination that built this community,” said Grunke. “Ms. Yimam’s message underscored what we believe at the Erie Regional Chamber – to honor Erie’s legacy as we look forward, lead Erie’s economic evolution, and shape the opportunity on our horizon.

During the evening, the Erie Regional Chamber also honored Fred Rush, Jr. with the Louis J. Tullio Community Service Award for his near five-decades-long career spanning public service and the private sector. Additionally, the Erie Regional Chamber presented two new awards – the Small Business of the Year Award and the Forward Award – to Chris Siranni of The Brewerie and Erin Green of Verified Services, respectively.

“Tonight’s awardees share their passion for Erie in the outstanding work that they do daily,” said Grunke. “They lead by example, are committed to the community, and exemplify the grit, perseverance, and innovation necessary to positively impact Erie’s next chapter. Anyone looking to make a different need to look no further than these three individuals as exceptional examples to emulate in their own organizations and community initiatives.”             

For more information about each awardee, the new awards, or other highlights from the evening, visit

About the Erie Regional Chamber
The Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) that serves as the lead economic development agency in the Erie region. The organization also serves as the voice of the business community, providing awareness, advocacy, and access to people, information, and education.