It’s Been a Great Dance!

Kristi Pronovost Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By: Donna J. Shoff, Immediate Past Chair of the Board; President, H.L.Wiker, Inc.

The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” definitely applies to me this year. Regardless of our perception of how fast the days go by, the truth is the quality of each day is determined by how much positive effort we put forth. My involvement with the Leadership of the ABC Keystone Chapter has been one of the most positive and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.

2017 was a successful year for ABC Keystone. Elements of our three-year strategic plan include Workforce Development and Political Advocacy. In 2017, we’ve seen a great deal of activity in both these areas.

For workforce development, we’ve seen a significant increase to apprenticeship enrollment. A total of 331 students are enrolled in the current year; the most in 10 years. A welding training and certification program and also safety services have been added to the many career development offerings already in place. In October, we hosted 188 middle school students from Lancaster, York, and Lebanon counties for a three-day Construction Wars event. Also in October, we held our annual Craft Championships where apprenticeship students competed in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and sheet metal to determine who will represent the Keystone Chapter at the National Craft Championships event in March, 2018. To say the training center and the chapter office have been buzzing with activity is an understatement.

In our political advocacy efforts, ABC PA fought and successfully stalled a first-ever PennDOT PLA project. We continue to provide input on legislation related to the Apprenticeship Ratio Bill, the Plumbing Licensing Bill, and others. Because of our persistent lobbying efforts, ABC is making significant progress with building positive relationships with our state and federal lawmakers. This year, several lawmakers visited the chapter office to participate in meetings or to support our events.

Mid-way into the year, we successfully transitioned Dave Sload as President-CEO following Kate McCaslin’s resignation. The goal of the Board was that our members would not be impacted by this unexpected event. With Dave’s extensive ABC experience and unwavering commitment to the Keystone Chapter, we accomplished this goal.

I am so very grateful to the board, staff, volunteers, and members who supported me this year and helped to make 2017 a success! I look forward to working with Ken Schwebel as he assumes the role of 2018 Chair of the ABC Keystone Board. I am certain he will do a fine job.

During my inaugural message, I quoted from the song “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” Without a doubt, I truly enjoyed dancing this year and hope you did as well. Thanks for sharing this great year with me and for allowing me the honor to serve as your 2017 Chair of the Board!

Happy New Year and keep on dancing!!


The Keystone Chapter offers sincere thanks and gratitude to Donna J. Shoff, President, H.L.Wiker, Inc. for a job well done as 2017 Chair of the Board, and we welcome Kenneth D. Schwebel, President, The Witmer Group, as the new 2018 Chair.

Join us at the Inaugural!

Inaugural Gala for Kenneth D. Schwebel & Annual Meeting

Friday, January 12, 2018

Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
25 S. Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603

6:30 pm – Cocktail Reception
7:15 pm – Dinner & Program

More info/register