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Chamber News


CCCBI Hosts Speaker Series on the Business of Energy & Sustainability

Earlier today, CCCBI Hosted its April installment of the 2024 Speaker Series: The Business of Energy & Sustainability. 
Guest panelists Tom Bonner - Energy Policy Manager, State Government Affairs for PECO, and Jacqueline Gardner - Vice President of Operations for Tomorrow's Utilities, Inc., kicked off the morning with introductions to their companies and the sustainability efforts taking place. 
PECO, who is "committed to building a cleaner, brighter future for our customers and communities," currently invests in both people and policies driving clean energy efforts to lower carbon emissions for future generations. Bonner shared his extensive knowledge on how exactly customers, whether residential or commercial, can access, utilize and update their clean energy options. 
Gardner expanded upon Tomorrow's Utilities role in assisting energy consumers with determining the available options for both short-term and long-term goals. Gardner works very closely with PECO and Constellation, another valued CCCBI Member, to provide reliable service to the residents and businesses of Chester County and other areas throughout the region. 
Once the floor opened for Q&A from attendees, CCCBI Members and Non-Members alike were interested in topics ranging from  funding opportunities like On-bill funding, grants and rebates, and even C-Pace funding, clientele of an Energy Management & Consulting Firm, and how clean energy solutions will produce different kinds of waste that most areas may not be prepared to dispose of. 
We're grateful for today's speakers and attendees who took an interest in the widespread impact of clean energy.

Ann King Lagos Announced as Keynote Speaker for WIB Awards Dinner


Join us on Thursday, May 16th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Chester Valley Golf Club to network with women from across the region, honor our Female Business Leader of the Year and Rising Star of the Year, and hear from Ann King Lagos, Founder and Designer of REALM Fine + Fashion Jewelry!

As a young girl, Ann loved making things with her hands yet also loved joining her mother in making things look pretty. As a Girl Scout she treasured being part of a group that served a higher purpose. It seems destined that she would become the founder and designer of REALM Fine + Fashion Jewelry, a company with the mission of uplifting and honoring women in every facet of its business.

Ann began her career "at the bench," hand-forging precious metals using traditional fine jewelry techniques. A chance meeting led to love, marriage and the creation of LAGOS®. For over two decades, Ann and Steven Lagos collaborated to create one of the world's top jewelry companies. When QVC came calling, Ann responded with a new jewelry line, Ann King for QVC, which she sold on air.

Then life turned upside down. Divorced and an empty nester, she left the family business. She could have retired, but instead, with the encouragement of her loyal and loving tribe of women, she founded a new company: REALM Fine + Fashion Jewelry.

With REALM, Ann realized her dream of a brand that’s about more than jewelry. It’s about the women who wear the jewelry. Women are the heart of REALM. Women’s curves inspire the sculptural styles and women’s passions inspire each collection’s unique symbolism. Real women(REALM’s customers, aka “Empresses”) star in campaigns. Even the brand’s social media hashtags center around women—not jewelry:

"REALM is defined as a community or kingdom,” says Ann. “A fitting tribute honoring all women who come together and champion each other to be our best selves and reign thoughtfully in our realms.”

Tickets for this signature event are $125 for CCCBI Members and $150 for Non-Members.

Guest Columnist


PLAN Is Not a Four-Letter Word, by Ann Colby-Cummings


What do you want to accomplish today? This week? This month? Do you have clear goals and a structure to achieve them?


We’re talking about how you approach planning.


The word “plan” makes some people want to bolt. For others, it’s a way of life. I’ll admit…I was not always a huge planner, preferring to have a feeling of flexibility in my life. Even now, I’m more a big picture planner than a detailed spreadsheet person. But I’ve come around to the importance of planning to fuel performance. Here’s why.


We all have limited resources -- time, energy, money  -- to accomplish our personal or business goals. It makes sense to use those resources efficiently. Having a plan helps us do that. Research backs this up. Studies show that defining “when, where, and how” we’ll work to reach a goal makes us more likely to follow up and more committed to achieving it.


The most productive quarter of my career occurred when I worked with my team on three ambitious goals. We developed a plan -- laying out steps, accountabilities, and milestones for each goal. We then met weekly to check progress and address problems. The result? The equivalent of a year of “special projects” accomplished in three months. I’m still amazed we accomplished it all. Consider me a planning convert.


Where to use planning to power our performance? The opportunities are endless: acquiring another firm, adding a new product, changing jobs, coaching our child’s sports team, or even going to Belize for a week of vacation. 


One Size Doesn’t Fit All

We each have our own planning temperament and preferred approaches. The key is to identify what works for you (or your organization) and then use it. We don’t need a formal plan for every goal or situation. Sometimes having a plan in your head is enough. All plans should have:

  • A clear goal
  • The steps to achieve it
  • A timeline for those steps

Written plans work well for goals that are large in size, complexity, and/or duration. This can help keep you on track for solo efforts, and is indispensable when working with a group --  helping with team communication and accountability. How can planning approaches vary?


Perhaps you enjoy spontaneity. This can yield rich and powerful experiences, but all spontaneity with no planning may leave unfulfilled goals. Consider developing a plan that builds in time for exploration while still identifying steps you’ll take toward the goal.


Maybe you’re a big picture person who doesn’t enjoy developing the details. Your initial plan might be a broad outline of key actions and timelines. Then, you can identify the needed details as you move through each step.


If you like knowing the details of what you’ll be doing, you’ll likely enjoy creating a comprehensive project list or spreadsheet, or using project planning software.


Finally, you may find “backward planning” effective. Imagine reaching your goal. Then work backward, identifying each step you took to get there and the associated timeline.


A Plan without Action

A plan without action is…useless. Even the best plan has no value until you implement it. Here’s how.


Monitor progress. Use a reminder tool that works for you to set a regular schedule for checking progress on your plan. Then do it.  


Adapt. Life happens, goals change, circumstances evolve. Your plan can change! In fact, recent research showed that plans that are too rigid or detailed can inhibit getting the result you want.


Lessons learned. At some point, you’ll decide you did or didn’t achieve your goal. What experience did you gain? What did you learn? How will you apply this moving forward?


Celebrate. Life quickly moves on. Take a moment to recognize the learning and accomplishments you had during this planning cycle.


So, do you have goals you want to achieve? Plan today to make planning work for you!

Ann Colby-Cummings is president of Tic Tac Toe Consulting, a business coaching firm that supports leaders in moving from top-line goals to organizational planning and performance. For more leadership tips, follow Ann through her bi-weekly LinkedIn posts.


Membership Spotlight


The Timothy School


The Timothy School, located in Berwyn, is the oldest non-profit approved private school in Pennsylvania devoted exclusively to teaching students with autism. The school evolved from a modest beginning in 1966, educating nine students, to its current enrollment of 70 students from over 25 school districts in Southeastern PA.

On April 2nd, The Timothy School marked World Autism Day with a very special event, the debut of Be The Good Media’s podcast interview with the school’s Executive Director, Sarah Greim.

“The Timothy School is a special organization with an important mission, which I am proud to have been part of for more than 20 years,” remarked Sarah Greim,“Being featured on Be The Good Media podcast has provided The Timothy School with the unique opportunity to share our innovative and progressive programs with an audience who may have otherwise never heard of us.”


You may have already met Sarah Hale, Director of Development, at some of our recent events, Community is not just a word for The Timothy School, it is a guiding principle,” Sarah Hale said, “As new members of the CCCBI, we are looking forward to attending the CCCBI events and engaging with the individuals, businesses and organizations that make Chester County such a welcoming, dynamic and diverse community.”


Upcoming Events


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