As part of the tribute paid to Judy Ardella by the Lehighton Chamber of Commerce, was a House of Representative Citation.

Members of the LCC and Lehighton Area Lioness Lions Club joined together Tuesday night to honor Ardella for her service and devotion to the community and chamber.

Earl Schneider, LCC office manager, presented the citation to Ardella as part of the night's festivities.

"We're honoring Judy tonight because she has been at nearly every event," said Schneider. "She's been a chairwoman, organizer and outstanding volunteer."

Schneider said that 13 years ago, the Lehighton chamber was nearly extinct, but it has grown to 200 members with Ardella's help. He said she was also responsible for Santa in the Park, Professional Assistant Day, and placing concrete planters in Lehighton.

"I have enjoyed the past 13 years with the chamber," said Ardella. "I'll always remember the cold, snow and rain waiting for Santa and the hot chocolate from Geri Haas' Girl Scouts. The Professional Assistant's Day honored all the deserving hard working people who keep our companies running."

Ardella said the chamber bought the concrete planters for in front of the stores and Sensinger's donated the plants, with the Boys from Concern planting them every year before Memorial Day.

One year she had a great idea to plant wildflowers along the by pass.

"Of course that summer we had a drought," she mused.

She reminisced about the chamber's summer picnics, helping at Bike Night, and attending the Chamber Christmas party.

"I hope the chamber continues with these events and that more people join in to help," she said.

"Sometimes, when things are good, we tend to become complacent," she said. "In this economy, we all need to try new ways to increase business – not business as usual. And most of all, provide old fashioned customer service."

She said that while no one is perfect, businesses that make a mistake must correct it and learn from it so it doesn't happen again.

Ardella said that through her years at the chamber she often wished there was a better alliance with local government.

"I would love to see new business owners get a three month discount on their utilities when opening in town," she said. "I would also like to see the Carbon chamber get in the position where they could offer loans to businesses when they need help and then the chamber could earn interest and make some money."

Ardella said her plans include getting back to oil painting and plans to design a purse, plus plans to do floral design on a part-time basis.

Ardella is owner of Judy's Blooms and More and Twice Is Nice, a consignment shop.

She is planning to move to Florida in the near future.