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Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

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Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership Board Appoints New Chairman

Erie, PA, August 17, 2009 --( At its August 13 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership appointed Russell S. Warner as its new Chairman, effective immediately. Mr. Warner is the managing partner of the law firm of MacDonald Illig Jones & Britton LLP.

Mr. Warner will succeed James A. Schaffner, CPA/ABV, CFF, CVA, who has served as Chairman of the Board since 2007. In June, Mr. Schaffner announced his desire to step down as Chairman and to vacate his Board seat. Charles G. Knight, CPA, CVA a founding partner and the managing principal of Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Company, P.C., will fill Mr. Schaffner's Board seat for the remainder of his term, effective immediately.

During the meeting, members of the ERCGP Board of Directors expressed their sincere gratitude to Mr. Schaffner for the outstanding service he has rendered to the organization over the past two years. “Jim Schaffner’s passion for the Erie region and its future guided our organization’s growth as a community and economic development partner and leader over the past two years,” said Jim Dible, ERCGP president and CEO. “It has been a distinct pleasure to have had the benefit of Jim’s passion and leadership. He has made a real difference.”

"It has been an honor to serve as chair of Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership Board during a period of significant growth, and to help lead many of the organization's transformational initiatives," Mr. Schaffner said. "It is now my pleasure to turn over the responsibilities of chairman to Russ Warner, who shares my enthusiasm for the region's advancement and the continued success of our business community."

Mr. Warner has been a member of the Board since 2006, and has previously served as a member of ERCGP’s Executive Committee and chairman of its Nominating Committee.

Mr. Warner brings more than 25 years of legal, business and community involvement experience to the Chamber. His law practice includes representation of businesses, financial institutions and municipal entities regarding business and environmental matters, as well as acquisitions, capital projects, real estate development projects, and financing transactions. He graduated from Harvard University, cum laude, in 1978, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, summa cum laude, in 1981, where he ranked first in his class and served on the editorial staff of the Law Review. He served as President of the Erie County Bar Association in 2003.

Aside from his involvement with the ERCGP, Mr. Warner's community activities also include service on the Board of Trustees of the Erie Community Foundation and the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Corporation of Erie County.

"Under Jim Schaffner's outstanding stewardship over the past two years, guided by his passion for excellence, the Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership has assumed a true leadership role in the community," Mr. Warner stated. "I look forward to continuing the Chamber's focus on transformational initiatives, as well as the significant business and economic issues facing the Erie region."

Contact Information
Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership
Matthew Cummings

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