editor@TriCountyRecord.com

When you talk to the officers of the Morgantown Area Business Association the word that comes up the most: more than economy, more than business and even more than Morgantown, is growth.

"The Morgantown Area Business Association is definitely is a stage of transition, of growth," said Vice President of Membership, Sue Shipe.

"MABA is alive and healthy and growing as any active community organization looks to do," said Vice President of Marketing, Andrea Berstler

.And, "The goal for MABA moving forward, and our primary focus in 2010, is to educate, advocate and grow," said President, Greg Knies.

Formed in 1984, MABA was created as way for local businesses to come together and promote their services. Since then, the association has grown to include 260 members and the communities of Elverson, Morgantown, Honey Brook, New Holland and many others.

However, the current administration sees MABA at a point in transition.

"MABA is in transition, just as the greater Morgantown area is in transition," Berstler said.

"MABA is evaluating how we function so that we can better serve our members and their needs and in turn, better serve our community."Knies added, "There has been a lot of change in the last four years. The group is evolving, but the question is, to what? I don't think we know quite yet, but I'm excited to see it."

Knies also mentioned that despite the turnover on the board, this year the only returning officer is Knies, the group is familiar with the process.

"They're all on board," Knies said. "They're all proactive and want to help. We're all excited to begin looking forward."

One of those new members to the board is Shipe, and she sees MABA becoming more visible in the community

."We want people to become informed about what it is we're trying to accomplish," Shipe said, "In order to inform we need to become visible and known."

Berstler also wants to get the word out on MABA.

"Some of my goals include building a strong partnership with local media so that the public can hear about the wonderful things that we are doing in MABA. Also, we are planning on having a presence on Facebook, evaluating what we can do to make our website more user-friendly and informative and seeking new ways we can reach out to the community," Berstler said.

Knies insists however, that primary focus for 2010 will be on helping local businesses.

"MABA provides an opportunity to grow," Knies said. "You can use members as a resource, tap that intellectual capital. We try to use are programs and services as a way to provide growth to business."

"What you have with MABA is a group of people where everyone helps for the common good," Knies said.

For more information on the Morgantown Area Business Association's programs or membership, please visit their Web site at www.maba-online.com.

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