PA Chamber Professional Association Profiles Mark Yoder

A sleep-deprived Mark Yoder the morning after his Cubs clinched their first world Series victory in 108 seasons in October 2016. Yoder has resigned as president and CEO of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since 2012.

The Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals (PACP)the largest network of chamber professionals in Pennsylvania recently profiled GWCC’s President, Mark Yoder:

How long have you been in the Chamber profession?
8 years

How long have you been in your current position?
5 years

What do you love most about your job?
Making a difference in the community. Whether it be helping a business get started, finding a way to better connect with the community or advocating on their behalf, I love being a true resource for our members and finding a way for our organization to make a difference.

Aside from colleagues at your Chamber, which Chamber Executive has had the biggest impact on your career and how?
Nancy Keefer – Nancy was the CEO of the Chester County Chamber when I joined GWCC. We became immediate friends and she became a very trusted mentor. She said early on she knew I was going to make an impact in the Chamber world. I think I still have a long way to go before I am impactful…but her feeling that I would love this industry was spot on!

What is your Chamber’s signature event?
We have two signature events. Our first is the QVC West Chester Christmas Parade that brings over 40,000 people to downtown West Chester, is broadcast nationwide via QVC and last year had an economic impact of nearly $600,000. It has become one of the most recognized small town events in the nation and the most beloved event in Chester County.

Our second event is a pro cycling event called the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic. Over 20,000 people attend that event, and it brings national and international (and Olympic) men and women riders to West Chester. These two events have really helped put West Chester on the map.

What is your favorite destination outside of the one you represent and why?
The Poconos – I have really enjoyed the multiple seasonal activities they have there. From the skiing in the winter to the highly rated golf courses in the summer. It is an amazing destination right here in PA.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a Chicago Bear! Once I realized that wasn’t likely I decided that I wanted to be a marketer…and working for a Chamber and finding ways to not only market ourselves but help our members market themselves has been incredibly fulfilling.

Why is PACP important to you?
When I was really new to the Chamber industry I was so impressed with how PACP members were so willing to help each other. I now love the annual convention where we hear from nationally recognized experts and are able to talk with other executives about the challenges facing their organizations and finding solutions to our common problems.

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