Chamber of Business & Industry expo showcases Centre County businesses

The aroma from a variety of homemade foods wafted out the door of The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on Wednesday during the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County’s annual expo.

More than 90 local exhibitors were on hand to network with visitors and educate others on services offered.

Through the entrance, more than a dozen vendors showcased their food as part of the “County Cuisine” portion of the day, where local food purveyors dished out samples.

Carolyn Steffen, of Goot Essa Amish Farms in Howard, handed out homemade cheeses and spreads, while Dickey’s Barbecue Pit served pulled pork and appetizers. Other vendors offered chips, dips and holiday goodies.

The rest of the exhibitors were stationed in a nearby banquet hall.

“We’re here for a number of reasons. This is really for businesses and consumers,” said David Shannon, chief operating officer at KCF Technologies. “It’s a way to market what we do and maybe make a sale while we’re at it, and just show our support.”

KCF Technologies is a State College-based company that aims to make technology “smarter,” Shannon said.

This year, the theme of the expo was “Celebrate Centre County,” said Andrea Harman, communications team specialist.

Grant Bardreau is graduating from Penn State in the spring and was hoping to connect with local professionals beforehand.

“I’m from the area and would like to stay around here,” he said. “I thought I’d come, make a few connections and look at job opportunities for my future. It’s good networking and connecting.”

Other events included an entrepreneur panel featuring leaders from local start-up businesses and organizations, and a networking pavilion with speed networking, where participants could make connections with multiple business leaders, Harman said.