Date ArticleType
1/28/2013 Update from the President


MOON TOWNSHIP, PA (January 28, 2013) — On January 17, 2013, The Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce (PAACC), hosted its 2013 Annual Celebration of Excellence at the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport. A crowd of over 200 PAACC members and local business leaders gathered to participate in the event which delivered its customary, anticipated offerings including the Annual Membership Meeting and a host of awards for the efforts of members who have gone above and beyond to advance the Chamber’s mission and the Airport Area community. This year, however, the true gem of the event was the special tribute to Sally Haas who served as President/CEO of the PAACC for the past 14 years until her passing in late December, 2012.

The event commenced with a tribute video that opened with a hearty and humorous welcome from Haas that had been delivered and recorded at the previous year’s Annual Celebration of Excellence. The video tribute recalled the many roles Haas played within the business community: visionary, community leader, educator, host, champion and friend. Following the video were extensive heartfelt remarks made by guest speakers including: 2013 PAACC Chairman of the Board and Multi Print Media President, Dean Hastings; State Representative Mark Mustio; Highmark Executive Vice President, Chief External Affairs & Communications Officer, Dan Onorato; County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Commander of the 911th Airlift Wing, Colonel Craig C. Peters; U.S. Senator Bob Casey representative Jackie Herbson; Field Director for Congressman Tim Murphy’s office, Nate Nevala; Chairman of the Military Affairs Council of Western PA, Chip Holsworth; President/CEO, Allegheny Medical Integrated Health Services, Dr. Neal Fanelli; PAACC VP Marketing & Business Development, Michelle Kreutzer; and Sally Haas’ husband Alan Haas. The tribute made it clear that Haas had left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of many. Presenting the tribute at the Annual Celebration of Excellence was poetically fitting as it brought closure to an era at the PAACC while utilizing the warm memories of that era to help launch a new year and a new era.

The PAACC offers its deepest gratitude to all who participated in the tribute and to all those who have sent testimonials, condolences and donations toward the Sally Haas Endowment Fund.

The event continued with lunch, awards, and the presentation of the Annual Report by PAACC Chairman of the Board Dean Hastings of Multi Print Media and PAACC Treasurer, Ron Pasic of Nextier Bank.

Among the many awards presented at the event was the Chamber’s signature “Jenny Award,” which is given as a token of the PAACC’s gratitude to a member who has gone above and beyond in advancing the Chamber’s mission and objectives. The award was presented by Immediate Past Chair, Bernadette Puzzuole (who will serve as the PAACC’s Interim President/CEO effective February 4, per the PAACC’s January 24 announcement). In her presentation, Puzzuole announced that the “Jenny” would be renamed the “Sally” Award and would be given to the winner as a “token of the Chamber’s gratitude to a member whose service to the Chamber exemplifies the leadership qualities of Sally Haas who served as PAACC President from 1998 – 2012.” The winner of the inaugural Sally Award was Jim Steigerwald, Senior Vice President/Branch Manager with PNC Bank – Moon Township. Steigerwald, whose history in banking reaches back to 1976, has been an active member of the PAACC for the past ten years and has served on the PAACC Board and Executive Committee for many of those years including six years as Treasurer. Steigerwald championed the PAACC Enterprise Foundation’s CHOICES program and has been instrumental in attaining grant funding for the program which positively impacts the region’s youth.

PAACC Chair, Dean Hastings, then presented the “Distinguished Service Awards,” which recognize individuals and organizations for their exceptional support that advanced the Chamber initiatives. This year’s recipients of the “Distinguished Service Award” were Crowne Plaza – Pittsburgh Airport, Nancy Mills of Roselea Farm, and Bernadette Puzzuole of Rothman Gordon, P.C.

Sean Henderson of Deloitte Consulting, LLP, who serves as Chair of the PAACC Enterprise Foundation, recognized those who have helped to underwrite the Foundation’s educational initiatives. “Appreciation Awards” were presented to the Bayer USA Foundation, Eaton Corporation, PNC Foundation & Charitable Trusts and Sam’s Club.

Melissa Hodge of Securitas Security Services USA, the PAACC Ambassador Committee Chair, presented the “Ambassador of the Year Award” to Francie Lucas of WORD FM 101.5, who truly accomplished the mission of a Chamber Ambassador— to help members fully realize the benefits of their Chamber investment, while also providing information to Chamber officers and staff to help them gain a better understanding of member needs.

The PAACC offers congratulations and sincere gratitude to all of this year’s Annual Celebration of Excellence award finalists and recipients for their dedication to the The Chamber and their service to the Pittsburgh Airport Area business community.

The event concluded with a special performance by Christine Laitta, Bria Walker, Chris Rawson and Deana Muro of “Off The Record,” whose satiric musical numbers — ripped from Pittsburgh news headlines— provided an entertaining and comedic memory for all in attendance.

The PAACC would like to thank the many sponsors who helped make the Annual Celebration of Excellence possible. The event’s Presenting Sponsor was Comcast Spotlight. Contributing Sponsors of the event were Diehl Automotive of Robinson, Pittsburgh Business Times and WORD FM. Supporting Sponsors included, Clearview Federal Credit Union, Consolidated Communications, Michael Baker Corporation, Midnight Blue Technology Services and Securitas Security Services USA. The Post Card Print Sponsor was Multi Print Media and Participating Sponsors included Allegheny County Airport Authority, Comcast Business Class, Entertainment Unlimited, Inc., First Niagara Pavilion/Live Nation, Massaro Properties, Starck Van Lines and The Callos Companies. Office Depot participated as a Patron Sponsor.

Visit the PAACC’s Facebook page to view photos of the 2013 Annual Celebration of Excellence.

For more information about this and other PAACC events and programs, please visit www.paacc.com or call 412.264.6270.

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About: The Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce was established for the purpose of advancing business in the communities surrounding the Pittsburgh International Airport and has over 1000 members. Its mission is to advance economic vitality by providing advocacy, information and services to our members and communities.

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850 Beaver Grade Road | Moon Township, PA USA 15108 | (412) 264-6270 | Fax (412) 264-1575