A goal of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce is to have feet on every Main Street in the Lehigh Valley. Come the end of August, it can place a check mark next to Nazareth.
When the chamber announced in April , it was still putting the final touches on negotiations for a rental property at the corner of S. Main Street where Ollie’s Travel Desk was once located.
Marlyn Kissner, the executive vice president of regional chambers, confirmed to Patch that with the recent completion of negotiations and renovations, the chamber will open its doors at 18 S. Main St. at the end of August.
Once settled into the new digs, Kissner added, the chamber will hold a grand opening celebration.
"We're jazzed," said an enthusiastic Kissner. She added that furniture and computers will be moved into the space today, Friday.
Two to three staff members -- all current employees at the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber -- are expected to rotate shifts at the Nazareth office.
In addition to Kissner, Dawn Werkheiser, executive vice president of finance and human resources, and Carol Ritter, president of the LeBEAM Chamber of Commerce, will become familiar faces.
Werkheiser is a Nazareth resident, Kissner said, so "she’s really excited about the move."
Business hours have not been set.
In a previous interview with Patch, Kissner said the satellite office will:
- Bring the regional chamber closer to its Nazareth members
- Give it better access to the LeBEAM Chamber of Commerce, which serves Bath Borough and East Allen, Lehigh and Moore townships
"This is a really good project," Kissner said. "It's a nice prime location. It’s a nice hub for us."
The chamber, with the new satellite office in mind, already has at least one major networking event planned.
From 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 6, chamber members are invited to "Jazz It Up With ." For more information and/or to register for the free event, click the PDF attached to this article (below the main photo).
Although Nazareth already has its own chamber, the , Frank Facchiano, executive vice president of member relations and operations, feels “that every community in the Lehigh Valley is best served by a regional chamber.”
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce consists of 15 partnerships, or affiliate chambers. Some of the affiliates were independent chambers prior to joining the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Nazareth Area Chamber of Commerce, however, has been resistant to losing its independence.
A letter -- titled “” -- was sent to members of the Nazareth Chamber in March.
The letter was written by Daniel Thierry, the chamber’s chairman and a mortgage adviser with . Thierry went into detail about why the Nazareth Chamber has been resistant to losing its independence, saying, among other things, it would become a “footnote” to the larger communities in the Lehigh Valley.
For complete coverage and reaction from Nazareth's independent Chamber officials, read: