HCBI Membership Structure to Change

By Candy E. Price

Daily News Staff Writer


A change in membership structure was approved by the board of directors of Huntingdon County Business and Industry (HCBI) Monday.
Membership committee chair Tracey Cook said after the 2015 campaign fell short by about $4,000 and 12 members, the committee decided to look to the future “at what we did that was successful, not successful.”

“As we were working on the campaign, we kept referring to having people invest in Huntingdon County,” Cook said. “Instead of referring to membership and members, really it’s people who want to invest in the county. Our whole theme this year will be ... attracting investors to our organization.”
Previously, business memberships fell into six tiers and were jewel themed.
“We wanted to lessen the amount of tiers and remove the jewel-tone theme,” Cook said.
Moving ahead, HCBI will only have four membership tiers — patron, classic, elite and premiere. Cook added the minimum business donation will go from $175 to $250.
“We felt if we could retain the people in the standard tier and get them to move to the patron tier, would make up nearly most of the $4,000 deficit we saw this year,” Cook said.
HCBI executive director Amy Wise added the membership structure of the agency hasn’t changed since 2007.
“The economy has changed since 2007. Our needs have changed since 2007. That’s a lot of the impetus (for the change),” Wise said. “We are well below the standard levels of giving for communities our size. We do need to look at the future of the organization.”
Cook added membership for individual members will go from $45 to $50.
“That should help us attain our budgeted goal,” Cook said.
The committee also added a sheet showing the membership benefits and return on investments for the agency.
Board chair David Donnelly said he thinks the committee has done “excellent work.”
“It simplifies the tiers, addresses some deficits we’ve been running and we have a sheet that clearly identifies the benefits of membership,” he said.
Also Monday, in the report for the business development committee, Wise said the committee had been working on a strategic recap.
“There are a couple of action items,” she said.
Those items, Wise said, include a profile of area retirees, an updated list of high priority occupations and work with CareerLink to strengthen the partnership between teachers and the business community.
“We’re pleased with the direction the committee has taken,” Wise said.
The board also heard an update on the project to change setbacks at the Riverview Business Center inShirley Township.
Economic infrastructure committee chair Jay Muir said HCBI staff will be meeting with the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Tuesday, Oct. 5, to work on phase two of the project. Andy Patterson from the Huntingdon County Conservation District and Ben Piper from Keller Engineers will also be part of the meeting.
“This is going to be a prepermit style meeting to help us understand what ducks we need to have in a row to make sure we submit the right application,” Wise explained.
Wise also told the board Monday she met with representatives from Verizon and CenturyLink relating to digital Internet service across the area.
Candy can be reached at cprice@huntingdondailynews.com.