TriCounty Area Chamber’s Economic Development Luncheon returns

POTTSTOWN — The TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce will mark the return of one of its signature events this month — the annual Economic Development Luncheon.

Not only is the June 23 event in-person, it marks the first time it has been held since 2019.

According to Eileen Dautrich, president of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce, an estimated 150 attendees are registered for the event, which will be held at the RiverCrest Golf Club in Upper Providence from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“This event has the overarching message of ‘what does economic development look like and how does it impact our communities,’” Dautrich said. “We’re also giving away some awards, so that always makes it a little special as well — to acknowledge people and the organizations that have done something in this arena.”

Normally held in the fall, Dautrich said the chamber “tweaked” the timing for this year’s event.

“We’re still trying to figure out timing for our members and what seems to work for them,” she said. The luncheon is one of the last events of the chamber’s program year, which ends at the end of this month.

Fans of HGTV’s “Home Town” may recognize the keynote speaker for the event. Shellie Whitfield is the executive director of the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce in Wetumpka, Ala. The town was chosen from among thousands of entries to be the focus of HGTV’s “Hometown Takeover.” Led by HGTV personalities Ben and Erin Napier, hosts of the network’s “Home Town,” the downtown, several businesses and residences underwent renovations.

In her presentation — “Who, What, WHY Wetumpka Alabama” — Whitfield will speak about the experience, and how things have been for the town since the cameras stopped rolling.

Dautrich said Whitfield is looking at economic development through a different lens.

“She is telling their story. She has a great story to tell,” Dautrich said. “We wanted to hear her perspective.”

In addition, Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach will update chamber members about the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority project. Dautrich said Leinbach updated the chamber board earlier this year, prior to Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties voting to establish the authority.

“It’s a good opportunity to let members know next steps, what the creation of the authority does and what it means. It’s not coming tomorrow, but where do we go from here,” she said.

As is the tradition of the economic development luncheon, several chamber awards will also be presented:

• A Regional Planning Award will be presented to Berks, Chester and Montgomery County Commissioners for forming the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority

• A Community Impact Award will be presented to Montgomery County and Chester County Health Departments in recognition of their efforts throughout the pandemic

• The Educator of the Year will be presented to Stephen Rodriguez, superintendent of Pottstown School District, for his leadership on Fair Funding.

Anyone with questions about the event can contact Alice Funk at 610-326-2900 or email her at [email protected]

 

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