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Former Chamber of Commerce president Coffield dies at home

September 13, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The first full-time director of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, William T. "Bill" Coffield, died Friday at his home in Georgia, according to friends and associates.

Coffield served as president of the Chamber for 20 years, retiring in 1981, Chamber President David Sciamanna said. He became the first fill-time director when the chamber and Chambersburg Area Development Corp. formed a partnership in 1961, Sciamanna said.

During his time as president, Coffield launched a Tourist Promotion Bureau and the CADCO Industrial Park was begun, said Sciamanna, chamber president since 1983. The chamber formed a Human Rights Committee in 1963; promoted energy awareness and conservation in the early 1970s; and paid cash rewards through its Turn in a Pusher Program.

"During that time, he started some very innovative things," Olympia Candy Kitchen owner Will Pananes said. Coffield recognized early the importance of creating jobs, and he was instrumental in the industrial development of the area, Pananes said.

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"He was great at networking people and organizations," helping bring together the business community with the county and borough governments, school district, Letterkenny Army Depot and other facets of the local economy, Pananes said.

"He was able to deal with a lot of the personalities ... the movers and shakers ... to cooperate with them and put them on course for the common good of the community," former borough manager Julio Lecuona said.

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