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The program is available at no charge to the public via this site and YouTube. 

Panelists enjoy a laugh during the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce Candidate Academy, as they share about the rewards and challenges of public office. Pictured from left are: Chamber President Fred Gaffney, Montour County Commissioner Chair Ken Holdren, PA Senator-Elect Lynda Schlegel Culver, Berwick Borough Councilman Jay Jarrett, and Stephanie Andreacci, Bloomsburg Area School Board President.

As a continuation of The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce's effort to encourage greater public engagement, the Chamber and its Foundation co-hosted a Candidate Academy on Thursday, February 16 for individuals interested in seeking public office. Held at Monty’s on the upper campus of Commonwealth University – Bloomsburg, the program highlighted the importance of civility, professionalism, and transparency in public service, while outlining the basic aspects of running for local office.

“We hope to see more people with the best interests of their neighbors and the community in mind be involved with their local school boards and government,” said Fred Gaffney, Chamber president. “The Candidate Academy is intended to help those people understand the process of running for office and what they might expect if elected.”

Held in conjunction with the Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Central Penn local government program, the Candidate Academy began with a panel discussion featuring local officials, including State Senator-Elect Lynda Schlegel Culver, Montour County Commissioner Chair Ken Holdren, Bloomsburg School Board President Stephanie Andreacci, and Berwick Borough Council member Jay Jarrett. Panel topics included: rewards and challenges of public office, campaigning basics, an overview of the election process, and candidate requirements and deadlines. The panels were followed by a presentation by Alvin J. Luschas, Esq., of Luschas, Naparsteck & Crane, LLP, concerning the Sunshine Act and the Ethics Act. 

Watch the recordings on our YouTube Channel or embedded below:


The mission of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is to represent local employers in supporting vibrant, sustainable communities in Columbia and Montour counties.

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