Erie Chamber Blog
Tuesday October 1, 2019 

Meet the Newest Members to the Erie Regional Chamber

Please help us welcome the new members to the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership who joined the organization in September!

Thank you for your investment. We look forward to working with you!

Our members represent nearly 800 companies in the Erie region. Do you know of a business that could benefit from becoming a member of the Erie Regional Chamber? Refer them to Steve Walters, Member Engagement Manager, for details and information and share with them the link below.

Membership Information

Wednesday October 2, 2019 

What Member Businesses Were Featured on WICU/WSEE Last Month

In partnership with Lilly Broadcasting, the Erie Regional Chamber sponsors Giving You the Business segments which air weekly on WSEE35 and WICU12 during the 5:30 PM. Monday broadcast and Tuesday mornings in the 6-7 AM. hour. Each segment takes viewers behind the scenes of a local business they may not have a chance to see.

Last months highlighted members:

Giving You the Business segments highlight members of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, and is a free membership benefit! Contact our office if you would like viewers to see behind the scenes at your business! Email marketing director Nadeen Schmitz, or phone 814-454-7191 x139 to schedule your segment.

Thursday October 3, 2019 

submitted by Monica Surrena, Marketing Manager

Wm. T. Spaeder Company, Inc.

Laying the Groundwork

We're proud to be trusted to do the mechanical contracting for a number of large hospital projects.  In this video, foreman Eric Bowman highlights some of what we are doing for a project in Erie, PA as we lay the groundwork during the initial stages of construction. 

We also touch on different technology tools such as Revizto and Bluebeam which have been instrumental in helping us do our work efficiently.

Stay tuned as the build process continues!

Friday October 4, 2019 
Monday October 7, 2019 

Register Today for the October 17th Event

Join us at UPMC Health Plan's operations center at 380 East Bayfront Parkway.

The UPMC Insurance Services Division is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. The UPMC Insurance Services Division – which includes UPMC Health Plan, WorkPartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, and Community Care Behavioral Health — offers a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance and workers' compensation products and services to 3.5 million members. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.

  • UPMC continues to invest in the Erie community- 18 months ago the health Plan opened the new Erie Operations Center on the East Bayfront, creating nearly 300 new family-sustaining jobs for the Erie Community.
  • Leading with integrity and being a reliable corporate citizen are as important to UPMC Health Plan as offering high-quality personalized health insurance products.  Its why the Health Plan works hard to collaborate with local leaders, non-profit organizations, and community institutions to make positive changes in the communities they serve.

Register today to get a behind the scenes look at the UPMC Operations Center: 

  • Tour the operations center where nearly 300 members of their award-winning customer service teamwork
  • There will be giveaways and music
  • Food and beverages supplied by Cali's West
  • Erie Distillery will be on hand to share samples of their locally made products
  • Yummy treats provided by Pop Luck as well
  • Don't forget your business cards to build your network

When you arrive, enter the building's east entrance.

Our monthly Business After Hours events are held from 5 to 7 pm.

REGISTER HERE

 

Friday October 11, 2019 

Columbus Day 2019

Monday October 14, 2019 

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Kicked Off the Celebration

We celebrated the grand opening of Thrive Therapy Space on Friday, October 11th with owner Penny Michley-Porter and her supporters. The space, located at 3910 Caughey Road in the Forrest Hill Commons, is Erie's first co-working space designed for mental health professionals.

Its innovative approach will enhance the quality of mental health services in Erie by strengthening and supporting therapists so they can better serve
their clients. The ‘Gathering Space’ is the heart of Thrive--it’s where therapists gather for support and collaboration as well as for Lunch & Learns and continuing education. Additionally, therapists can use one of Thrive’s therapy offices to see clients. Varied membership levels allow therapists to choose how many clients they’ll see per week--making it possible to launch a private practice with only a few clients and without the hassle of an office lease and utility payments. In addition, Thrive will ameliorate the therapist shortage in Erie by getting more therapists into private practice.

The Founder of Thrive Therapy Space, Penny Mechley-Porter believes that “everyone wants to feel heard, understood, and supported.” Although therapists support their clients, therapists themselves often feel isolated and unsupported. Penny sees Thrive as a place where therapists can feel a deep sense of connection and belonging. She states that “it is in the soil of deep connection that people can ‘Heal, Grow, and Thrive’ (Thrive’s tag line).

Thrive’s Grand Opening Celebration coincided with World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10th). As a community of mental health professionals, Thrive is dedicated to improving the mental health of the Erie community as a whole.

Congratulations once again Penny and team, we wish you much success!

View Event Photos

Tuesday October 15, 2019 

It was a picture-perfect fall evening!

We had a great crowd on a great autumn evening at Shades Beach in Harborcreek for our annual Fall Fest signature event on September 25th! The atmosphere, food, and fellowship made for full bellies and wonderful conversations between guests!

Thanks to The Cork 1794 for catering in the dinner with a Low Country Boil as the main attraction, as well as the rest of the delicious spread! And Rankin & Schell for playing tunes for the crowd.

And to all of the event sponsors, National Fuel Gas, Allegheny Health Center/St. Vincent Hospital, Presque Isle Downs & Casino, Primary Health Network, Hamoth Health Foundation, Young Entrepreneur SocietyOhio Desk, Mazza Vineyards, 5 & 20 Spirits and Brewing, Erie Beer, and Luminary Distilling. We wouldn't have had a successful event without your support! Thank you! We would also like to say grazie to our members who donated items for the raffle prizes: ECCA Payroll, Erie Beer, Erie Philharmonic, Great Lakes Insurance, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, Merrill Lynch, Moe's Southwest Grill, R Frank Media, Scott Enterprises, Sheraton Bayfront Hotel, and Vicary Insurance. We appreciate your generosity and the raffle winners were happy happy campers!

Thank you to R Frank Media and team for also capturing our guests with your awesome photography! View all the photos HERE.

Last but not least, thank you to all of our attendees! We hope you had as nice a time as we did!

We look forward to seeing you next year for Fall Fest with the date announcement being made very soon as we plan out our 2020 year here at the Erie Regional Chamber.

Wednesday October 16, 2019 

Support Your Local Chamber

Today is National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day. Local chambers are vital to our state's economy, thank a chamber today!

#ChamberProud #OurErie

Friday October 18, 2019 
Thursday October 17, 2019 

Our Host - Erie Federal Credit Union

Register today for our November morning networking event hosted at Erie Federal Credit Union's corporate headquarters, 3503 Peach Street. If you haven't had the opportunity to see how this building was transformed from an elementary school, you'll want to attend!

Additional info for you to know:

  • Be prepared with a 2-minute presentation about YOUR business or programs
  • Bring marketing materials to share with other attendees. A table will be available for the handouts
  • Expect quality networking with other Erie Regional Chamber members
  • Don't forget your business cards!
  • Coffee and light breakfast treats to be served

This event is FREE to ERCGP members, but space is limited to 30 guests and pre-registration is required.

Register Here

Monday October 21, 2019 

The Explosion of Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams

submitted by Pam Marlowe, Public Relations Coordinator, Better Business Bureau

If your boss sends you an email, would you ignore it? Scammers know you probably won’t, and that has helped them bilk businesses and other organizations out of $3 billion since 2016 through email scams.

Business email compromise (BEC) fraud is an email phishing scam that typically targets people who pay bills in businesses, government and nonprofit organizations. It affects both big and small organizations (including businesses here in Erie), and it has resulted in more losses than any other type of fraud in the U.S., according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). This serious and growing fraud has tripled over the last three years and jumped 50% in the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
         

BEC fraud takes many forms, but in essence, the scammer poses as a reliable source who sends an email from a spoofed or hacked account to an accountant or chief financial officer (CFO), asking them to wire money, buy gift cards or send personal information, often for a plausible reason. If money is sent, it goes into an account controlled by the con artist.

There are several ways in which scammers can initiate BEC scams, which differ based on who appears to be the email sender:

  1. A chief executive officer (CEO) asks the CFO to wire money to someone.
  2. A vendor or supplier requests a change in invoice payment.
  3. Executives request copies of employee tax information.
  4. Senior employees seek to have their pay deposited into a new bank account.
  5. An employer or clergyman asks the recipient to buy gift cards on their behalf.
  6. A realtor or title company redirects proceeds from a real estate sale into a new account.

An in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau (BBB) on BEC scams looks at the prevalence of BEC scams and the criminal systems that perpetrate them. It digs into the scope of the problem, who is behind it, the multi-pronged fight to stop it and the steps consumers can take to avoid it. To help thwart these scammers, businesses need to improve internet security, employee training and general awareness of these types of scams.

The study recommends:

  • Businesses and organizations take technical precautions, such as multi-factor authentication for email logins, review email settings, and enable systems that authenticate emails.
  • Instruct employees to verify changes in information about customers, employees or vendors.
  • Confirm requests involving money or personal information by phone before acting on instructions in an email.
  • Train employees in internet security and awareness of the BEC scam.

If an organization finds that it has been a victim of a BEC fraud, it needs to immediately call its bank to stop the payment and report it to the FBI. Scams and fraud can also be reported to BBB Scam Tracker.

Monday October 21, 2019 

Our Host - Brevillier Village

Brevillier Village cordially invites you to visit the Education Room at Barnabas Court North, located in Harborcreek on 20+acre lakefront campus for the November Business After Hours event. Come enjoy a picturesque view of Lake Erie and network with other chamber members. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about senior housing options, varying levels of care, brand new rehabilitation suite, on-site chapels, recreation, and intergenerational programs,  current fundraising projects and our historical legacy mission.

  • Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres provided by Cali’s West 
  • Refreshing beverages for the evening will be provided by Grace & Abe's 
  • Share your business card for a chance at a Brevillier Village sponsored gift basket and for maximum networking!
  • Attendance is limited for this event so register today!

The Education Room entrance is located at the northwest end of the Barnabas Court North Building. Park up front or at Lutheran Church.

REGISTER HERE

Tuesday October 22, 2019 

At Their Operations Center

This months BAH was hosted by UPMC HealthPlan at their operations center on the bayfront.

The center, which opened 18 months ago, employs nearly 300 people and there are expansion plans which will add significantly to that number!

The UPMC Insurance Services Division is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. The UPMC Insurance Services Division – which includes UPMC Health Plan, WorkPartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, and Community Care Behavioral Health — offers a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance and workers' compensation products and services to 3.5 million members. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.

Our guests were treated to a peek behind the scenes of the operations center as well as networking with their peers.

Thank you for being terrific hosts for our October event!

View Event Photos

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