AccuWeather Throws Big Bash to Celebrate its 50th Anniversary
AccuWeather was the place to be Thursday night, as politicians and business leaders gathered to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary.
The event was jammed packed with people coming from near and far. Among the dignitaries who came to salute State College's best-known business were Congressman Glenn Thompson, R-Centre, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California,
Accuweather CEO Barry Myers began the evening by saying he was pleased to see so many friends and family members. He noted the sacrifices family members have made while he traveled on behalf of the company for so many years.
"When I think back 50 years ago, the year my dad died, all he got to know of AccuWeather was that it had one client the year before," Barry Myers said.
AccuWeather was started by Joel Myers, also in attendance Thursday night, who began the company during his second semester as a Penn State graduate student. He started out providing a local natural gas company with weather forecasts.
AccuWeather now holds 40 patents, and forecasts the weather in 48 languages. The company serves more than 200 television stations, 650 radio stations, 600 newspapers and 72,000 websites and is one of the largest media companies in the world.
Joel Myers says that AccuWeather has the greatest reach of any media company in Pennsylvania, and that from small town State College, AccuWeather has become the world's best known weather forecasting brand.
"They said it could not be done," Joel Myers said. "They told me again and again you can not sell a service that is already free."
Joel Myers said that what makes AccuWeather different from all of the other forecasting services is its continued ability to provide the most accurate weather with the most up to date notices.
Joel Myers has been asked many times over the years the secret to creating such a successful business. "Know your business; focus, focus, focus; and do not quit," Joel Myers says.
Rep. Thompson said he flew in from Washington D.C. just to be at the event. Thompson said he had the privilege of asking the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to mark the anniversary of AccuWeather on the House floor.
Rep. McCarthy said that AccuWeather does more than just simply predict the weather for people.
"You save lives," McCarthy said. "You take the tradition of the past and apply it to the future. Whenever I think to the future, I use that brainpower, and cheer you on."
State Senator Jake Corman said that AccuWeather should be commended for locating its business in State College when it could have relocated anywhere.
"Thank you for choosing State College to do your business in," Corman said. "We are a better place for it."
Penn State President Rodney Erickson also attended the event. Erickson said Joel Myers changed the shape of the weather forecasting business, noting that it started out, primarily, as a government service.
"Pennsylvania has two of the most famous weather forecasters in the world, one being Punxsutawney Phil and AccuWeather."