The Chamber Celebrates its 154th Annual Dinner Chamber News June 2, 2023 Keynote Speaker Harold Ford Jr used the Chamber’s mission statement to make a connection with personal, professional, and community relationships The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce held its 154th Annual Dinner, presented by PNC Bank, on Thursday, May 24, at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center in downtown Scranton. With over 400 in attendance, special guests included U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak, and Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti. The Keynote Speaker was former Congressman, television personality, Executive Vice President, and Regional President of New York City for PNC Bank, Harold Ford, Jr. The Chamber’s President, Bob Durkin, stated, “The Chamber Annual Dinner was a chance to celebrate the hard work of so many volunteers, partners, and public officials who lent their support to the business community of northeastern Pennsylvania over this past year. And we were equally pleased to have had a guest of the stature of Harold Ford sharing his experiences and thoughts on the important economic and political issues of the day.” The event included a networking dinner followed by the Chamber program where newly elected board chair, Attorney Jerry Musheno offered remarks and honored former board chair, Deborah Kolsovsky. Kolsovsky has been a part of The Chamber community since 2012 and held numerous leadership roles within the board and chamber affiliates. She is the executive vice president at PNC Bank and has been a forward thinker in her leadership to The Chamber over the years. Attorney Musheno began his duties as board chair this May. Special remarks were given by Dr. Julie Byerley from Geisinger, followed by Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber. Durkin presented a year-in-review presentation, which displayed The Chamber, its partners, and volunteers’ success over the last year. A few notable points are that The Chamber has a membership of 1,500 plus businesses and organizations; 2300 attendees to all its events; $43 million in community investment; eight graduates from the first TechCelerator program in Lackawanna County; $1.2 million deployed through loans to small businesses; 100 high school students in attendance at the Workforce Summit; and $68,000 community investment through Leadership Lackawanna. Following the year in review, Durkin highlighted two Chamber employees retiring in 2023: Karen Durkin, a chamber operations assistant who has served the organization for 17 years, and Virginia Goodrich, an executive assistant who has served the organization for 58 years this June. Goodrich is reportedly the longest-serving employee of a chamber of commerce in the United States. Pete Danchak, northeast PA regional president of PNC Bank, offered remarks and introduced Harold Ford Jr, the keynote speaker. Following opening remarks, Ford. was joined by Durkin on the stage for a line of questions and answers about the current political climate, the debt ceiling, banking, and the federal reserve, and the idea of attracting, sustaining, and growing personally, professionally, and as a community. Chamber board chair Musheno concluded the evening with remarks in anticipation of another successful year in 2023-2024. “With programming planned out, the volunteers and staff of The Chamber are ready to make an even greater impact as we work to attract, sustain, and grow businesses in northeastern Pennsylvania,” says Attorney Jerry Musheno, board chair of The Chamber. View the online photo album from the 154th Annual Dinner. Photo from Left to Right: Pete Danchak, Harold Ford, Jr, Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti, and Bob Durkin About The Greater Scranton Chamber of CommerceThe Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit www.scrantonchamber.com.