The Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce held a member appreciation breakfast mixer on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Scheller Center on the campus of Lehigh Carbon Community College, Tamaqua.

Chamber President Todd Miller told those in attendance that the chamber has been changing its focus to provide more for its members.

"In the past, we were more about social events, such as the Halloween Parade," said Miller. "We have are now focusing more on member services. Now, we want businesses who join knowing what we can do for them."

The chairpersons of various chamber committees spoke about what the chamber has to offer.

Brian Seitz chairs the marketing committee and mentioned it has been seeking ways to get the chamber's message across to its members and the public, as well as promoting chamber activities.

Serge Chrush, chairman of the golf tournament committee, noted that the annual golf tournament at Villas Crossing in South Tamaqua has become one of the chamber's biggest fundraisers. Tom Banditelli, who chairs the fishing derby committee, noted that the derby, held in April, now takes place at Rabbit Run Reservoir.

The chamber's Summer Concert Series continues to grow in popularity, according to chair Sheryl Beltz. The concerts are held on the platform of the Tamaqua train station every other Thursday during the summer months and are free and open to the public. They also present sponsorship opportunities for local businesses.

Maureen Donovan discussed some of the chamber's educational programs. Kim Noel chairs the social committee, which is in charge of organizing events such as breakfast and evening mixers, which also represent opportunities for sponsors to become involved.

Linda Yulanavage, executive director, provided an overview of exclusive member benefits, such as the Member 2 Member program, in which member businesses promote themselves with discounts and offers to other members; affordable insurance through PCI and ETA Benefits; weekly email; on-line membership directory; an enhanced website listing package; basic website development; and members-only referrals.

The chamber can also offer networking opportunities, a promotional display area at its downtown office at 114 West Broad Street, an exclusive business mailing list for the Tamaqua area, and there is even conference room space available to members at no charge.

The chamber has also expanded its staff to include Assistant Director Eileen Barron and Administrative Assistant Amanda Kalce to better assist its members.

For more information on the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce and its programs, call the office at (570) 668-1880 or email tamaquachamber@verizon.net.