Chamber Hails Valley Business Strength in ‘Restart’ Year

Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Renee Blomstrom (at left) greets Joel and Loretta Stever of the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry in Collegeville during Thursday’s chamber annual meeting

COLLEGEVILLE PA – If two years of coronavirus pandemic proved anything, Bob Clark suggested Thursday (March 31, 2022), it was that business owners and operators across the Perkiomen Valley are a “very resilient” crowd.

Clark, principal of Interface Financial Group and outgoing chairman of the Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce, noted that although dealing with COVID-19 “had a dramatic impact on local businesses,” they were nonetheless instrumental in “rebuilding connections” that helped them and their colleagues make it successfully through difficult times.

The chamber, its members, and staff, Clark happily reported, played what he considered important roles in helping area businesses navigate a difficult commercial environment that was “anything but normal.” His comments were offered during the chamber’s annual business meeting, held at RiverCrest Golf Club and Preserve in Phoenixville.

Chamber Hails Valley Business Strength in 'Restart' Year
Members of the newly elected 2022-2023 chamber Board of Directors include, in front from left, Renee Blomstrom (PVCC Executive Director), Bob Clark, Past Chair (Interface Financial Group), Joe Bergquist, Chairman (Harleysville Bank), Susan Graham (Phoenixville Hospital), Lori Colasanti, The Job Exchange; and in the rear from left, Steven Earhart (Wealth Management & Financial Planning), Phil White (Signarama), Lynn Fleisher, Legal Counsel (Keenan Law), David Akers (LMS Solutions), Maureen Cumpstone (Ursinus College), Tim Uehling (UBS), Brian Dubas (Pine Run Construction), David Maris (Marco Motors), Katie Kelly (Kelly Insurance), Matt Banker, Treasurer (Maillie), and Marc Umstead, Plus One Technology. Missing from the photo Dr. Barbara Russell (Perkiomen Valley School District) and Sodiah Thomas (S&B Events).

Now the chamber, like others, is putting the past 24 months behind it and viewing 2022 as a “restart year,” Clark added. It includes the return of significant in-person activities, renewed and strengthened partnerships with Ursinus College and other community representatives, and an urgency to “add value beyond events” for its membership, he said.

Reflecting that value, incoming Chairman Joe Bergquist of Harleysville Bank mentioned a lengthy list of chamber programs – educational seminars, community forums, and networking opportunities – all intended to help increase business awareness of new opportunities and changing conditions within the valley.

Chamber Hails Valley Business Strength in 'Restart' Year

Bergquist and chamber Ambassador Louise-Marie Tulio of Ambler Savings Bank also presented the chamber’s 2022 Marvin J. Lewis Community Service Award to Joel and Loretta Stever (at top and above), founders of the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry. Both observed that the couple had worked tirelessly to serve families in need over many years, and even expanded the non-profit’s services during pandemic peaks.

Photos by The Posts