Our community has been blessed with generations of outstanding business leadership, evidenced by the many success stories in the area and the numerous nonprofit organizations that have benefited from their philanthropy.
The Blair County Chamber of Commerce features a wonderful vehicle with which to recognize our most outstanding business giants who have given back generously.
Fred Imler Sr. of Imler's Poultry was feted earlier this week before a crowd of 300-plus at the Jaffa Shrine Center - a fitting venue considering how much Imler has contributed to the Shriners' mission.
Imler, 79, brought the perfect mix of appreciation, pride, humility, humor and brevity that left anyone in attendance happy to be there.
Imler's Poultry has been in business more than 100 years and distributes roughly 4,000 different products to 3,800 customers in a 300-mile radius of Altoona and has a fleet of 75 trucks. Two years ago, it expanded into the former W.S. Lee building on Route 764.
Imler is the 11th recipient of the chamber's top award. We offer a thumbs-up to the chamber on sustaining such a great program and for its latest most deserving honoree.
Others worthy of thumbs-up, thumbs-down mention:
Speaking of Imler's Poultry, another local business, Blair Candy, has purchased and moved into the Beale Avenue building formerly occupied by Imler's. Blair Candy and two other local businesses were in the news for positive developments over the past couple of weeks.
- Blair Candy, in business as a wholesale distributorship since 1939, purchased the Imler's building for $1.55 million and has relocated there.
- Value Drug Co. broke ground on a $25 million project in Duncansville which will double its its warehouse size. The company has been in Altoona for more than 75 years and services more than 525 pharmacies and longterm care accounts in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
- Roaring Spring Water is in the process of acquiring Valenty Bottled Water Inc. of Northern Cambria, which will allow the Cove-based company to grow into Cambria, Somerset, Indiana and Clearfield counties.
Thumbs-up on these endeavors and good luck to all three businesses.
Thumbs-down to Byron Lasser, a retired businessman and substitute teacher, on the physical confrontation he initiated with Darlee Sill, vice president of the Hollidaysburg Area school board. Lasser was charged with two counts of aggravated assault. While we don't believe the act merits incarceration, as Sill has suggested, we feel Lasser was totally out of line and embarrassed himself, Sill and the Hollidaysburg school district. To his credit, Lasser has apologized. But that wouldn't have been necessary had he acted appropriately.