Keller Engineers, Inc. Employees Earn Certifications

Keller Engineers, Inc. is pleased to announce that Adam Charles, PE; Nathan Patrick, EIT; and Tate Russell, EIT have all earned certifications in Water System Operating, Bridge Safety Inspection, and Engineer-in-Training, respectively.

Adam Charles, PE, a Project Manager in Keller Engineers’ Water/Wastewater Division,recently became a Certified Water System Operator in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is now authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to operate Class E water distribution systems. Adam is also certified in Pennsylvania as a Wastewater Operator. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology, and has been with Keller Engineers for three years.

Nathan Patrick, EIT works in Keller Engineers’ Transportation Division as a Highway Designer. He recently became a Certified Bridge Safety Inspector (CBSI) by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is now authorized to perform bridge safety
inspections in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Nathan has been working for Keller Engineers for over five years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Tate Russell, EIT recently earned his Engineering-in-Training certificate and is now well onhis way to becoming a Professional Engineer. Tate works in Keller Engineers’
Water/Wastewater Division as a Designer. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil
Engineering from West Virginia University, and an Associate’s degree in Civil Engineering from Potomac State University. He is a recent hire at Keller Engineers, starting in May of this year.

How to Turn Your Business Expertise Into Thought Leadership

Does your organization place due emphasis on brand building? If not, it’s high time you reconsidered. Elevating your brand’s visibility and perception by establishing your organization as a thought leader can create an immense impact. In this age of digitization, even the smallest businesses in our community have the potential to reach vast audiences. Utilizing the internet to solidify your thought leadership can be one of the most effective strategies for cultivating a robust audience and enhancing conversions.

What is Thought Leadership?

Thought leaders demonstrate expertise in their field by expressing ideas in unique ways that will keep visitors coming back to their website, blog, or social media feed. Business leaders often strive to achieve the status of thought leaders, but it takes hard work, patience, education and a well-developed strategy. Fortunately, many small business owners and managers already have “education” as experienced business people in your respective fields. So how do you go about becoming a thought leader?

How to Become a Thought Leader

The first step in becoming a thought leader is determining what you want to be an expert in. As a business owner, you might think this is simple—it’s your area of business, right? To a point, this is true, but you might want to narrow it down a little. For example, if you run a shoe shop, you can’t necessarily be an expert on all areas of the shoe business, but you might know what shoes suit particular people or what the upcoming trends in shoes are.

Use Your Own Voice

Once you’ve figured out your niche, you need to create content. However, using an authentic voice that comes over naturally to your readers is essential. The best way to do this is by using your own voice. Your passion for the subject will go over naturally and keep your readers interested. Trying to be too “sales” or fake is obvious to most readers, and they will quickly lose interest.

Don’t Self-Promote

Using your own voice does not mean talking about yourself or your products all the time. Over-promotion is another big turn-off—79% of editors of online publications say that over-promotion is the biggest problem with contributed content. A better way to connect with your readers is by educating them, providing thoughtful insights, and sharing new ideas.

Produce Content Consistently

As a thought leader, you need people to remember you. If you don’t publish new content regularly, they will forget you; a few strong articles won’t establish you as a thought leader. Remember, it takes perseverance and dedication.

Publish Widely

Only publishing posts and articles on your website or LinkedIn profile might gain a small, dedicated readership, but you will need to be more widely recognized. So instead, submit guest posts to other people’s blogs within your field, find out what websites are popular with people in your area, and submit articles to those too. Of course, not everyone will want your articles and guest posts, but you must persevere.

Use Your Team

Thought leaders rarely work alone. People in your business will undoubtedly have ideas and knowledge that will help. Make sure they understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and everyone in the company will benefit from their endeavors. If you’re too busy at times, there will always be someone to take up the slack—always ensuring that the business comes across at all times with the same authentic voice.

Becoming a thought leader can bring tangible benefits to you and your business. As we said earlier, it’s all about dedication, strategy, and perseverance, but it will be worth the effort in the long run.

Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County Opposes Adoption of Centre County’s Proposed Responsible Contractor Ordinance

The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County firmly opposes the adoption of the Responsible Contractor Ordinance (RCO) currently under consideration by the Centre County Board of Commissioners. The RCO, intended to ensure the hiring of responsible contractors for County-funded infrastructure and public works projects exceeding $250,000, poses significant challenges for local contractors and ancillary businesses.

During today’s commissioner meeting, Greg Scott, President and CEO of the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County, made a public statement. In his statement, he highlighted the Chamber’s concerns, which reflect the collective sentiment of the Chamber’s board and membership.

Scott stated, “While the Chamber supports the County’s aim to ensure accountability, this ordinance imposes excessive restrictions that will negatively impact our local contractors and ancillary businesses. The Chamber believes in fostering a competitive and inclusive business environment that benefits our entire community. The Chamber urges the Centre County Board of Commissioners to reconsider this ordinance and seek alternative solutions that uphold quality and safety while preserving access for our local contractors.”

The Chamber recognizes and appreciates the County’s objective of promoting accountability, quality, and safety in public projects. However, the RCO’s requirements, such as the mandate that 70 percent of the craft labor workforce have completed a formally registered apprenticeship training program, and the adherence to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act, 43 for offsite custom fabrication work, will impose unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on local contractors.

If the RCO is adopted, this ordinance will effectively exclude many of our local contractors and business, potentially in favor of out of County entities, from participating in County projects exceeding $250,000, limiting their ability to contribute to the growth and development of our region.

The Chamber also extends its gratitude to the Centre County Commissioners for their continued dedication to the well-being of our community. While we respectfully disagree on this particular issue, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the Commissioners and other stakeholders to explore solutions that support the growth and success of Centre County’s businesses.

Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County Joins 55 Chambers of Commerce in Pennsylvania to Send Joint Letter to Address the Childcare Crisis

The Chester, Delaware, and Westmoreland Chambers of Commerce have spearheaded the effort leading to over 50 business organizations across the Commonwealth sending a joint letter to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Shapiro’s Administration, imploring them to address the crisis surrounding accessible and affordable childcare.

The overwhelming support of 55 Chambers across the state, in addition to the PA Economic Development Association, reflects the severity of the childcare crisis and its impact on the business community through both the workforce and the economy. This grassroots initiative has garnered the attention of larger chambers, including the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, to help drive the necessity for new legislation.

Laura Manion, President & CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry (CCCBI), Dan DeBone, President & CEO of the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce, and Trish McFarland, President of the Delaware County Chamber have all been outspoken in previous calls for action, inspiring this coordinated effort.

“Prior to undertaking this effort, my knowledge surrounding the childcare shortage was not experiential, but rather, came from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s data, which cited the statistics of millions of employees, mostly women, who were unable to return to work post-pandemic due to the lack of childcare,” said Manion. “It wasn’t until the birth of my son in 2022, coupled with hearing from employers in the CCCBI membership struggling to recruit and retain staff, that I saw my personal experience as just one piece of a multifaceted threat to Pennsylvania’s economy.”

In January of 2023, Manion wrote an op-ed in the local newspaper on the issue, and the response was resoundingly positive with hundreds of thousands of views. In March, she testified before the House Children & Youth Committee Informational Meeting on the Challenges with Childcare in Pennsylvania.

Trish McFarland, President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce has faced similar obstacles as a mother and a leader. “As the sole Chamber of Commerce within Delaware County with over 1,200 employers as members, we have been hearing from our membership about the lack of childcare and impact to the workforce,” Trish stated. She continued, “As a working mother of 3 children, I can attest first-hand that this struggle is real. We have worked hand-in-hand with our members in the childcare industry on bringing awareness to their various hardships.”

Dan DeBone, President of the Westmoreland County Chamber, has been just as vocal on the dependence of the economy on the childcare industry. In his article published in March of 2023, Addressing Pennsylvania’s Child-Care Crisis, DeBone highlighted the struggles of the Commonwealth’s labor force without reliable childcare and its subsequent effect on employers and the economy. “In order to solve the larger workforce issue, which in part is due to a lack of access to childcare, we need to make sure the childcare industry can recruit and retain staff,” stated DeBone. “Stabilizing the industry will allow us to be successful in rolling out a variety of access solutions such as the tax credits.”

Collectively, the chambers have worked with their respective employer-members to outline the following solutions to be considered by elected officials:

  1. Employee Childcare Public Private Partnership – Legislation to create a tax credit for employers who furnish employee childcare in the amount of the employer’s cost in furnishing employee childcare. Legislation to incentivize employers to fund childcare for their employees by splitting the cost with the state, and providing tax credit incentives to employers who participate.
  2. Childcare Tax Credit for Parents – Expanding the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program. Last year’s budget included funds for up to 30% of childcare-related expenses that filers claim on their federal return. This program is meant to support working families by lessening their tax liability. A total of $24.6 million went into the program for last FY and is now a permanent fixture of the state’s tax code. However, expanding the program will allow more middle-income parents to return to the workforce.
  3. Retention and Recruitment – Proposals potentially being considered during the current state budget negotiation to offer rebates/incentives for nursing, teaching and policing jobs should be extended to the childcare community. Hiring incentives would be a great first step to address the ongoing issue of low wages ($12.43/hour statewide average) currently paid to childcare workers being a disincentive to join this critical field.
  4. Regulatory Reform – The Chamber Community is advocating that any future regulatory proposals must ensure proper stakeholder input from childcare providers with special consideration to infant care. In addition, any changes do not lead to increased costs for providers.

The lack of accessible and affordable childcare is negatively impacting the economy and costing employers, our collective Chamber members, $2.88 billion and the state of Pennsylvania $3.47 billion in losses each year.

“We hope both parties in the House and Senate see the momentous support of our proposed solutions. To have 55 chamber executives from every region in the Commonwealth sign on in support of this initiative – we believe we are sending a clear message. It is time to make a commitment to future generations that will lay the foundation for a more prosperous economy,” stated Manion.

Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry
Delaware County Chamber of Commerce
Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce
Bedford County Chamber of Commerce
Blair County Chamber of Commerce
Butler County Chamber of Commerce
Cambria Regional Chamber of Commerce
Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation
Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce
Central PA Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County
Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry
Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce
Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce
Cumberland Valley Business Alliance (CVBA)
Downingtown-Thorndale Regional Chamber of Commerce
East Liberty Quarter Chamber of Commerce
Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
Exton Region Chamber of Commerce
Greater Latrobe – Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce
Greater Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce
Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce
Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce & Chamber of Business & Industry
Great Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce
Greene County Chamber of Commerce
Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce
Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC
Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce
Indiana County Chamber of Commerce
Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce
Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce
Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce
Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce
North Side/Shore Chamber of Commerce
Norwin Chamber of Commerce
Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce
Pennsylvania Economic Development Association
Peters Township Chamber of Commerce
Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce
Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce
The Main Line Chamber of Commerce
The Schuylkill Chamber of Chamber
TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce
Tuscarora Area Chamber of Commerce
Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce
Venango Area Chamber of Commerce
West Shore Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County is seeking a skilled and experienced Public Relations and Brand Specialist to join our dynamic team

This individual will be responsible for developing and implementing effective public relations and brand-building strategies to enhance the Chamber’s reputation, promote our initiatives, and engage with our target audience. The successful candidate should possess exceptional communication skills, a strong understanding of public relations principles, and a demonstrated ability to build relationships with media outlets and stakeholders.

Relationship building, leadership, organization, attention to detail, flexibility, time management, and teamwork are critical for this position.

The Public Relations and Brand Specialist will report directly to the President & CEO. Principal responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop and execute comprehensive public relations strategies and campaigns to promote the Chamber’s activities, programs, and initiatives.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with local, regional, and national media outlets, journalists, and influencers.
  • Write and distribute press releases, media advisories, and other materials to relevant media outlets to secure coverage for Chamber events, initiatives, and news.
  • Proactively pitch stories and secure media coverage for the Chamber’s key messages and achievements.
  • Serve as the primary media contact for the Chamber, responding to media inquiries and coordinating interviews and media appearances for Chamber representatives. 
  • Monitor media coverage and industry trends to identify opportunities and proactively address any potential issues or challenges.
  • Develop and maintain a media database, including contact information and relationships, to facilitate effective communication and outreach efforts.
  • Organize and coordinate press conferences, media events, and other public relations activities to generate awareness and engage with key stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with the CBICC team to ensure consistent messaging and branding across all public relations activities and materials.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with Chamber members, community leaders, and other stakeholders to enhance the Chamber’s reputation and promote collaboration.
  • Assist in the creation of compelling content for various channels, including press releases, articles, blog posts, and social media platforms.


  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of professional experience in public relations or related roles.
  • Proven track record of successfully developing and implementing public relations strategies and securing media coverage.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills, with the ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • In-depth knowledge of media relations practices, including media pitching, press release writing, and crisis communications.
  • Familiarity with media monitoring tools and analytics to track and evaluate media coverage and impact.
  • Proficiency in using digital and social media platforms to amplify public relations efforts.
  • Ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines, and handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Self-motivated, proactive, and creative thinker with a strong commitment to excellence and innovation.
  • Knowledge of the local business community and regional media landscape is a plus.

Salary commensurate with experience.

The Chamber offers a competitive benefit package, including PTO, health, dental, vision, life insurance, disability and 401(k) plan.

Qualified applicants will be considered immediately. Only those applicants with appropriate experience will be contacted. No phone calls please. Submit a cover letter and resume by email to Donna Newburg ( or by regular mail to the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County, 131 S. Fraser Street, Suite 1, State College, Pa 16801.

The CBICC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.

The organization:

The Chamber is a private, nonprofit, membership organization comprised of 700 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions, government entities, and individuals. Our mission is to provide visionary leadership to support business and economic development and to enhance and promote a high-quality of life in Centre County, Pennsylvania.

The organization was formed when the State College Chamber of Commerce (established in 1920) and the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation (established in 1956) combined into a single operating entity in 1992. Today, the CBICC staffs and manages three corporate entities under its umbrella:

  • The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (CBICC) – 501c(6) membership organization governed by a single 22-member (maximum) Board of Directors.
  • Centre County Industrial Development Corporation (CCIDC) – 501c(4) charged with promoting economic development throughout Centre County.
  • Chamber Foundation of Centre County – 501c(3) charitable organization focused on economic development and education initiatives, while offering tax advantages to businesses or individuals that make certain charitable contributions to support CBICC/CCIDC professional/workforce development initiatives.

Work location: State College, Pennsylvania