Huntingdon County Business & Industry (HCBI) elected officials for the upcoming year and heard updates from board members at their monthly board meeting yesterday.

Cory Sisto was reelected as president, as was Courtney Lang to treasurer and Clay McMath as secretary. Virginia Cooper was elected as vice-president, filling a position which had been vacant for the past year. After the four were nominated, each were voted in with an unanimous vote.

The board unanimously approved a motion to convey emeritus status to president Cory Sisto and treasurer Courtney Lang so they could serve an additional year, as they had already served two terms, which made them non-voting members.

Susan Penning, the marketing director for the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau (HCVB), spoke about how HCVB has changed their approach moving forward in the wake of COVID-19.

“We decided to bring to the table a shift from our member structure to a partnership structure. Our board just approved that last Wednesday. We are moving towards a partnership benefits structure, with the first tier being a complimentary business subscription. If you’re Raystown Lake business and you haven’t participated in the Visitors Bureau in past for monetary reasons or this year is not good for monetary reasons you can still connect with us. We’re going to offer that free of charge,” she said.

“We’re doing this to offer the services to the Raystown Lake region that are appropriate to the business, everything from professional marketing advice to graphic design and layout to professional photography. We’re here to help and doing it in a very economical way that we think is going to really help our businesses move forward and be wildly prosperous over the next year.”

HCBI executive director Debra Clark noted that Randy White, a keynote speaker at the Huntingdon County Agritourism Conference and leading consultant in the field, was slated to provide consultations for aspiring agritourism entrepreneurs, but his services may not be available for some time.

“He is not willing to travel at this time. Basically, he wants any and all restrictions to be lifted and even possibly a vaccine before he would be prepared to travel. So we have no timeline to when he would be able to complete the grant projects for us,” she said.

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