Erie Chamber Blog
Tuesday February 4, 2020 


Did You Catch These Segments on WICU/WSEE in January?

In partnership with Lilly Broadcasting, the Erie Regional Chamber sponsors Giving You the Business segments which air weekly on WICU12 during the 5 PM. Monday broadcast and Tuesday mornings in the 5 AM. hour. And in 2020 we've added additional exposure for our members with the segments airing on WICU-WSEE during the 6 PM newscast on Sunday evenings. Each of the segments takes viewers behind the scenes of a local business they may not have a chance to see.

Here are the businesses highlighted last month:

Giving You the Business segments highlight members of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, and is a free member 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.

  • giving you the business
  • promotion
  • television segment
  • member benefit
  • chamber of commerce
Friday January 31, 2020 
Who Joined in January?

Please help us welcome the new members to the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership who joined the organization this month.

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

We are leading Erie's economic evolution by providing awareness, advocacy, and access to people, information, and education. Our membership represents nearly 800 companies in the Erie region. If 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.

Why Join the ERCGP?

  • new members
  • welcome
  • chamber of commerce
  • erie pa
Monday February 3, 2020 

Submitted by Penny Mechley-Porter, Owner of Thrive Therapy Space

Being a therapist has some intrinsic difficulties--helping clients with life’s hardship
and pain, trying to balance clients’ needs against our own, and often feeling isolated
and unsupported professionally. My biggest goal in launching Thrive Therapy Space
is to help these helpers by providing a rich and nurturing environment. And what are
the two biggest ingredients in a healthy environment? I am convinced the ingredients
are connection and community. Indeed, research supports that loneliness and
disconnection have severe negative impacts on an individual’s mental and physical

My journey to this belief in the power of community and connection began after
college when I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa. I saw that
the volunteers who were the happiest were the ones who had made friends with
Malians and had become an accepted part of the community where they lived and
worked. I also observed that the volunteers who felt isolated also felt depressed. But
I noticed more than just the volunteers--the Malians themselves seemed happier
than most of the Americans I knew back home, despite having far less in terms of
material goods, access to medical care, and basic nutritional needs. Looking back, I
understand that what the Malian villagers did have were deep connections to each
other and a social structure that prioritized those connections. Illustrating this is each
country’s approach to greeting others: in the US, we greet each other with a passing
‘hi,’ in Mali the basic greetings take five minutes and involve inquiries as to the well
being of each member of a person’s extended family!

Years after my Peace Corps experience, the value of community and connection
became deeply personal when my husband and I moved to Switzerland with our
three young children. As someone who doesn’t tend towards depression, I found
myself feeling isolated and depressed after several months of living there. Though
I’m normally good at making friends, the Swiss are very reserved so building
friendships was s-l-o-w. My sense of isolation was precisely a lack of both connection
and community--but once those things developed, the depressive feelings lifted.
Even as a child I connected easily with people--I was instinctively good at listening,
not judging, and sharing deeply with the people I trusted. I didn’t realize I had hit on
the formula for deep connection, but I had. At age 40 I recognized I wanted to
connect with people professionally (I had been working in the computer field) so I
started on a Master’s in Counseling.

In my subsequent years as a therapist, I’ve loved connecting with my clients
individually and it seems helpful to them to feel connected to me--but it wasn’t until I
worked in the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease that I saw the
incredible healing power of deep connection within a group. As part of my training, I
read extensive research (conducted both in the US and abroad) and was surprised to
learn that isolation “can increase the risk of death by at least 50%... That's similar to
the risk caused by smoking, and higher than [the risk] from obesity or lack of
exercise.” (WebMD, As the ‘Group Support Facilitator’ in the Ornish
program, my role was to help the participants learn to listen more intently and to
share more deeply, helping them to heal emotionally, to connect more profoundly
and to reverse their heart disease.

I’ve since worked with many other therapy groups and witnessed how people feel
better about LIFE when they feel connected and supported. And I lived that truth in
the group of therapists I shared space with for the past 10 years--we met weekly for
lunch and to support each other personally and professionally. And we invited the
broader community of therapists in weekly for peer supervision. It’s an awesome
feeling--to be known and accepted and supported both personally and professionally.
It created a sense of calm in me and a feeling of self-confidence that hadn’t been
present before.

I began to wonder: How can I help more people understand and experience the
healing nature of community and connection? And what about my fellow therapists?
They give so much but often feel unsupported and isolated. As I began exploring the
concept of creating a supportive community for psychotherapists, it became clear to
me that this could be a powerful way to support individual therapists and ultimately
improve the delivery of mental health services in the entire region. And because I
was already familiar with Radius CoWork (an established coworking space here in
Erie, PA), I realized the coworking model could be perfect: shared space, shared
community and shared learning. Though applying the coworking model to a group of
psychotherapists is very new, it has great promise and I believe that soon other
communities will want to copy Thrive’s unique model.

Thrive opened just 3 months ago, so there’s still lots to do! But we’ve gotten a solid
start on the most fundamental part of our mission--to “create a supportive and
nurturing environment in which local therapists can heal, grow and thrive.”

So, send your therapist friends our way and we will welcome them into our
community. And send clients our way because our therapists are the healthiest
therapists around!

  • coworking
  • community
  • therapy space
Monday January 27, 2020 


Connect For Coffee Registration Open

On February 11th we will be at Coldwell Banker Select Realtors, 4664 West 12th Street, from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m making connections over coffee.  Attendees can expect good conversation, a lot of information, and the opportunity to make several business connections.

Our February host is the 2019 Erie’s Choice for Real Estate! Coldwell Banker Select, Realtors is a locally owned, family operated, 3rd generation full-service Real Estate company. They also have affiliated businesses with Select Mortgage and Select Settlement, making the process home buying and selling simple.

Attendees have the opportunity for a 2-minute informal presentation about their business or organization, what services are offered, events upcoming, even what they may be in need of for their business. We encourage attendees to bring business cards, event flyers, and other marketing materials to share, and there is the opportunity to spend quality time in a business-conducive environment making connections and engaging with other business professionals. Coffee and light breakfast food will be provided by Coldwell Banker.

Register Here

  • coffee
  • connections
  • networking
  • chamber of commerce
Wednesday January 29, 2020 

Wm. T. Spaeder was awarded both the plumbing and fire protection for the EMTA's new 90,000 SF bus garage, administration building and parking ramp. Here is a short video talking about our work there. This video features project manager Elliot Spaeder and foreman Eric Bowman. 

Wm.T. Spaeder offers HVAC and piping for commercial, industrial, and residential applications throughout northern Pennsylvania, including the areas of Pittsburgh and Buffalo NY. 

Learn more about our services at or by calling us at 814-456-7014 

1602 East 18th Street, Erie, PA 16510

 141 Rochester Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15229

 350 Orchard Park Road, Suite #2, West Seneca, NY 14224

  • contractor
  • made in america
  • hvac
  • spaeder

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