Bonomo connecting Chamber, community

As the new Community Outreach Coordinator (COC) for the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce, Phoebe (Bonfardine) Bonomo is looking forward to reconnecting with her hometown through promoting and facilitating economic growth and community development.Recently the Chamber hosted a Picnic on the Porch event to introduce Bonomo to the community, as well as to showcase the building's new front facade. "My main responsibility is to oversee all functions of the Chamber and work on programs laid out by the Chamber's Board of Directors," Bonomo said. "Right now my current focus is member benefits, which entails trying to improve our membership package so people will see that it is worthwhile to belong to the Chamber."She added that the Chamber is hoping to create a benefit package in an attempt to attract more businesses to join the organization."This in turn will increase the customer base for existing members, and although the businesses may be offering a discount, it's a business builder as more people will be attracted to their establishment," Bonomo said. "As part of that, we are also focusing on individual memberships and offering them a package so people will see the benefit of shopping and eating in St. Marys."In an effort to improve and enhance the Chamber's relationship with area businesses, Bonomo has been busy visiting with business owners, including both Chamber and non-Chamber members."I am trying to get a sense of what their specific needs are and letting them know the Chamber is here when they need us," she said. "I enjoy going out and meeting people and hearing what they have to say about the Chamber and the town."Bonomo is shortly hoping to schedule a meeting with local retailers to seek their input on various projects and ideas. One topic on the agenda will be this year's Light Up Night and how the entities can work together on further improving the event.Bonomo is also planning to meet with local industries. Currently, she is working with the Chamber's Wing Fling Committee in preparing for their 10th anniversary celebration on Friday, Sept. 9.She said she is looking forward to taking the Leadership Elk County class and learning more about the area."I am looking forward to coming up with new ideas and seeing them implemented and improving on what's already in place," Bonomo said.