New chamber president targets technology and education | News, Sports, Jobs


NEW LEADERSHIP – At the Follansbee Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner, Past President Debbie Puskarich presented the group’s new slate of officers, including, left to right: Eric Fithyan, President; Jeanne Wohnhas, vice-president: Jennifer McFadden, secretary; and Brandy Puskarich, who will exchange the position of vice-president for that of treasurer. –Warren Scott

FOLLANSBEE – The new president of the Follansbee Chamber of Commerce said his plans include increased use of technology to promote the group and its business members and offer valuable information to help them thrive and grow.

During a recent interview, Eric Fithyan pulled out a business card identifying his new role in the bedroom and pointed to a QR code printed on it.

He said scanning the code with a smartphone would take anyone directly to the chamber’s website, where they would find links to the websites of the various businesses owned by the chamber.

Fithyan noted that the website was created some time ago under the leadership of outgoing President Debbie Puskarich and also includes addresses, phone numbers and other contact information for many businesses and organizations in the area. .

“It really is a funnel of information,” said Fithyan, who will join a mostly fresh slate of officers starting three-year terms in January.

They include Jeanne Wohnhas, Vice President; Jennifer McFadden, secretary; and Brandy Puskarich, who will exchange the position of vice-president for that of treasurer.

Fithyan said he would also use the chamber’s Facebook page to advertise upcoming events, such as the free summer concert series at Follansbee Park.

With the financial support of local businesses, he organized last summer’s concerts and began to book artists for next summer.

Fithyan added that he hopes to host after-hours business events to encourage networking among chamber members and set up guest speakers to present helpful educational sessions to local businesses.

He said he and other chamber leaders, including his board, will build on what has been accomplished by former presidents Puskarich and Tony Paesano and their teams.

“Their leadership got us where we are,” said Fithyan, who added that after he was elected president, he sought advice from Paesano, who was named president emeritus in recognition of his 25 years as speaker of the chamber.

Fithyan emphasized that chamber activities, as before, will be a team effort.

“Although I am here to lead, each of our members truly constitutes the chamber,” he said, adding that he would like to collaborate with other local chambers in event planning.

Fithyan said the membership of the chamber has grown exponentially under Puskarich and he hopes to attract others, who he believes can benefit from their involvement as he has.

“It really gave me a tool as a business owner to connect to a lot of other resources when I started,” he said.

(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])

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