Tamaqua Industrial Development Enterprise (TIDE) provided a special tribute to the efforts of State Senator David Argall (R-29) and State Representative Jerry Knowles (R-124) in the areas of industrial and economic development.
The affair was a cocktail party attended by 60 held Thursday at DiMaggio's La Dolce Casa, West Broad Street, Tamaqua. Among those in attendance were members of Tamaqua Borough Council, Rush Township's board of supervisors and staff, the Tamaqua Area School District, Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce, Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) and civic organizations, such as the Tamaqua Lions and Rotary Clubs.
Dr. Joe Urenovitch, president of TIDE, acknowledged the work of Argall and Knowles, both former members of the TIDE board of directors. Knowles is the immediate past president of the organization.
"We have two state officials representing us who live in the Tamaqua area and have done a tremendous job for us over the years, and we wanted to show our appreciation," said Urenovitch. "Not only have they done a lot of work and given support and guidance for TIDE, they also help all organizations in the Tamaqua area.
"Thank you for all you have done for us," added Urenovitch.
"In 25 years, I don't think any community has done this before," said Argall, who preceded Knowles as State Representative before winning a special election to fill the seat of the late Senator James Rhoades last March. "There is something special about the Tamaqua area. When the people in this area see a problem, they roll up their sleeves and go to work.
"We have even had Micah (Gursky, a former Argall aide and now Tamaqua Council president) go to Montana and England to explain to people what it's like here."
Argall stressed the growth in the Tidewood East Industrial Park in Hometown, which TIDE manages.
"I remember when there was one part-time janitor in that park. Now you have 500 jobs there," said Argall. "There's no better testament to the power of partnerships. There was no way that could have been done just with government dollars. There's a lot of private investment and sweat equity in it.
"When these projects become reality, be sure to pat yourselves on the back, but remember, you ain't seen nothing yet," Argall concluded.
Knowles' remarks acknowledged his wife Lorraine, and well as Argall's wife Beth, for their support of their careers as elected officials through the years.
Picking up on Argall's theme, Knowles related, "what makes things happen in Tamaqua are the good people who are here."
Knowles also saluted three veteran TIDE board members, Anthony Maff, Bill Fegley and George Wenzel for their work. "They have been with TIDE longer than most of us have been on this earth," he said.
Knowles thanked SEDCO President Frank Zukas and Vice President Gerald Heffner for their efforts on behalf of TIDE.
"Doing what has to be done to recruit and retain is a full-time job, and one of the best moves we made is when we hired them as economic development practitioners," added Knowles.