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Golf Tournament Forges Relationships to Strengthen Centre County Economy

by on July 25, 2014 3:43 PM

Even though Scott Walker and Jeff Matter – both of whom work in sales and advertising in the area – are technically competition for each other, they swapped stories and helpful tips as they played through a round of golf at the Toftrees Golf Resort on Friday afternoon.

Both sales managers were at the resort to celebrate the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County’s annual “Driving Centre County’s Economy” golf tournament.

Over 100 community business leaders from all different industries came out to the greens to not only best one another at golf, but to forge relationships to strengthen the Centre County economy and business community.

Matter, an area sales manger with Comcast Spotlight, says that events like Friday’s tournament offer a chance to meet new people and share business tips and strategies. He says competition in the marketplace is important for driving innovation and keeping prices low for consumers, but says that cooperation between business leaders is equally important.

“In one aspect, yes, we are competing with each other,” Matter says, “But in another aspect, we all work and live in the same community and have the same goals.”

Todd Erdley, CEO of State College-based media company Videon, says that everyone involved with the CBICC shares the common goal of strengthening the local economy and encouraging the growth of new and existing businesses.

To further this goal, the CBICC began a program last year known as the “3B33 initiative.” It aims to increase the annual revenue of Centre County’s private sector from roughly $750 million to $3 billion by 2033.

“The important thing to do today is to create a base of awareness in our community,” Erdley says. “People need to realize that entrepreneurs and new companies have to start, grow, prosper – and sometimes fail and restart – in this community.”

In order to create an environment where new enterprise is welcomed and encouraged, events like the “Driving Centre County’s Economy” tournament are “absolutely paramount for creating camaraderie between important people in the community,” Scott Walker says.

In his role of vice-president of sales with the State College Spikes, Walker describes himself as “very competitive,” but admits that competition isn’t everything. He says he sometimes shares leads with other sales professionals in the area, who often return the favor later.

“In business, sometimes you’ll see people who just want to take the biggest piece of pie for themselves,” Walker says. “But in the long run, the biggest piece of pie right now might not be the biggest piece at the end of the day.”

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Michael Martin Garrett is a general assignment reporter for StateCollege.com, a graduate of Penn State and a published poet. He's also a musician who plays bass in an indie rock band.
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