First Wilds Cooperative Membership Meeting offers opportunity for networking, learning

First Wilds Cooperative Membership Meeting offers opportunity for networking, learning

On September 20, 2022, members of the Wilds Cooperative of PA assembled for the first ever Membership Meeting. The event offered opportunities to network, learn about business resources available to entrepreneurs in the region, and to find out more information about the Wilds Cooperative of PA program benefits.

It was held at the North Central PA LaunchBox in DuBois, and approximately 20 businesses were represented at the event. Lunch was catered by Luigi’s Ristorante, a Wilds Cooperative of PA member.  

Representatives from the LaunchBox and the PennWest Clarion Small Business Development Center spoke about how they support small businesses through technical assistance and free consultation services. 

PA Wilds Center Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Director LaKeshia Knarr, who oversees the Wilds Cooperative of PA program, and Sustainable Commerce Director Libby Bloomquist, who manages the PA Wilds Conservation Shop and PA Wilds Marketplace, both spoke about how members can leverage the power of the PA Wilds brand to grow their businesses and reach more customers.

Attendees were also provided with information about new programs and initiatives being planned for members.

Participating members were able to ask questions and share ideas for how the programs can continue to support their growth long term.

“We were so excited to host this first Membership Meeting so we could connect one on one with members and also help build meaningful connections among the group as well. This offers unique opportunities for an open dialogue where members can learn more about the programs they can take advantage of and we can learn more about their businesses and hurdles they may be facing,” said Knarr. “My goal is to host two meetings each year, and the meetings will be held in different communities in an effort to make them more accessible to members who may not be able to travel long distances in the middle of the week to attend.” 

Prior to concluding, Ellen Matis from Hello Social Co., a Wilds Cooperative of PA member based out of Bellefonte, provided a professional development workshop on social media based on her company’s Focus on Local Approach to social media engagement. Part of the program demonstrated how utilizing #pawilds and #pawildsmade could help members connect with a larger audience that is engaged by the PA Wilds brand.

Members were encouraged to submit their events to the events calendar at, take advantage of other membership tools and opportunities, and to not forget about the Branding Assets made available to members at Links to various membership benefits and resources are provided each Thursday in the newsletter shared with members via email. Members with questions are encouraged to reply to those emails for more information.

For more information about the Wilds Cooperative of PA, visit


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