For more than 95 years, the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce has served as an organization that brings business professionals together.

The chamber was originally formed in 1920 to support the business needs of local merchants. Today, it continues to support local businesses through advocacy, communication and networking.

In other ways, the chamber has changed over the years.

Like other area chambers of commerce, the Greater Pittston Chamber has, for the most part, gotten out of the land development business.

Only two plots remain, including one in Duryea that received a Keystone Opportunity Zone 10-year extension. Once that land is developed, the chamber will not be in the real estate business, said Michelle Mikitish, who succeeded Rosemary Dessoye as the chamber’s executive vice president.

“Years ago, we were more industrial-focused and now today, we’re much more about networking and helping people help each other,” Ms. Mikitish said. “One business can help another and we serve as a resource.”

For a long time, the chamber has owned land, has helped develop the Barnum, O’Hara and Grimes industrial parks and worked with Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services to help bring businesses to CenterPoint Commerce and Trade Park.

The chamber has received $8.75 million in grants from the state’s Business in Our Sites program for infrastructure into CenterPoint East and West in Jenkins and Pittston townships. That resulted in the construction of more than 5.5 million square feet of industrial space, housing more than creating about 3,000 jobs in the last six years.

Chamber officials work with government officials such as sate Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118, Avoca and Sen. John Yudichak, D-14, Plymouth Twp., to advocate for businesses, Ms. Mikitish said.

They also work together with Career Link officials on workforce development and making sure its members take advantage of all resources available to make their businesses successful, she said.

The chamber has more than 450 members, including large and small businesses, and helps get them connected so they can flourish, she said. During the last few years, the chamber’s Women’s Network also has grown and now has 527 members.

Brandi Bartush, administrator and events coordinator at the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, plans chamber breakfasts, dinners, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and Women’s Network events including an upcoming St. Patrick’s Day dinner and awards presentation on March 8 at Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter.

Contact the writer:

Greater Pittston

Chamber of


Its mission is to enhance the growth and development of businesses and to help keep its members informed and connected. The chamber also works with government officials to advocate for businesses, helps business professionals come together and is a marketing, communication and information resource.

For more information, call 570-655-1424.

Chamber timeline

■ June 26, 1920: Incorporation of Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce to support the business needs of local merchants.

■ 1954: Incorporation of Pittston Area Industrial Development (PAID), the chamber’s sister organization formed to help fund and promote industrial development in the area.

■ 1960s: Began processing applications for low-interest Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority(PIDA) loans which helped many local companies get a start in Pittston area.

■ 1970s: Barnum Industrial Park opens. Home to Party Time Manufacturing and Lady Carol Dress.

■ 1980s: O’Hara and Quackenbush Industrial Parks open. Home to Cook Brothers, UPS, WEPCO and Linde Corp.

■ 1990s: Grimes Industrial Park (formerly Vogelbacher Industrial Park) opens. Home to TJ Maxx and Fed-Ex.

■ 1993: Women’s Network is formed. Currently, it has more than 550 members.

■ 2012: Hometown Heros monument erected in memory of local fallen heros.