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MARCH 2019

NPbJ is protected under the federal copyright act. reproductions of any part by any means or facsimiles without the express written permission of the publisher are not permitted. reprints of NPbJ articles are available. Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited materials — manuscripts or photographs — with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. No information expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities. Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal (iSSN 1078-5698) is published monthly except twice in the month of may by The Scranton Times from offices located at 149 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA. Periodicals postage paid at Scranton, PA. The Journal serves business owners, managers and professionals in a 10-county region. Subscriptions are available for $28 per year, $49 two years or $64 for three years. PoStmaSter: Send address changes to Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal, 149 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503.


Modern manufacturing ................ 4 E-commerce & the local markets .... 5 Student video contest.................. 6 Renewable energy ...................... 7 PA 34 in business climate index ..... 7 Top 25 Women in Business ........ 9-32 Made in Pennsylvania ............... 34 Restore Pennsylvania plan .......... 35


Brand ..................................... 8 Economic development ................ 8


Business briefs........................ 33 Personnel file ..................... 36-39


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Modern manufacturing changes face

Submitted photos team members at JAM Works pose among a variety of robots capable of vital industrial functions such as employee training, bottle packing, palletizing and heavy material handling. From left: Brandon Carlo, Farzan Tarak, Tim McAndrew, John Mele, Kristina Galati, Mike Galati and Larry Hardic.

of robotics, even though many unskilled jobs inevitably must be replaced for a company to compete globally. “It’s also true that, in the past, many people were physically beaten up and actually died doing a job that robots can now perform,” said Mele. “Therefore, its accurate to say robotics can reduce the physical toll labor once had to endure, while also making the involved processes cost effective.” Service as a robotics technician at JAM requires extensive training, and Mele has staffed his company with graduates of schools such as Johnson College. Each robotic project the team undertakes is unique, complete with the need for custom equipment designs and the inevitable glitches. According to Mele, data indicating the cost effectiveness of robotics can’t be argued with. In addition to their superb consistency with tasks, robots can perform their jobs at about $6.50 per hour, and often achieve an 11-year meantime before service is required for failure. “We consistently inform our customers that, when installation glitches happen, it’s normal and if the project could have been done simply if would have been done long ago,” said Mele. “Each and every project is unique, fun and fascinating.”

While utilizing a just-in-time inventory philosophy, LoveThe face of modern manufacturing is much shaw also has recognized that cleaner than would be encountered several generathe cost of many components tions ago, with today’s facilities featuring white room must be minimized in order environments, automated processes and a highly for the company to compete trained workforce. with the price of assembled There is also no shortage of unique challenges, requirmachinery. This operational Douglas Henry, ing nimble, creative and educated management teams. tactic has become part of supgeneral manply chain mechanics where ager, Loveshaw. Smells good global resources are tied in with Vigon International, a specialty ingredient supplier domestic assets as product assembly takes place. of more than 2,000 varieties of flavor, fragrance, Within this system, Loveshaw is evolving from cosmetics and aromatherapy, currently employs more a centrally operated purchasing environment to one than 100 people who apply an assortment of skills that where the company can buy some items without parent include chemistry and biology. company involvement. Henry emphasized this can be The company utilizes a lineup regarded as a move away from the “China Syndrome” of automation technology, and where purchasers regard low price as the number one must constantly advance its factor in a buy equation. applied science, such as the “It’s also vital to protect your brand, and as an use of fermentation to create Robotic takeover American industrial system we must get past the mennew organic molecules. The march of the manufacturing robots is front and tality that cheapest is always the best route to follow,” Changing market forces center at JAM Works, where a team of 15 specialists said Henry. “The facts indicate some components from and their consequences are one Steve Somers, install and service robotic assemblies for a variety of overseas are not of the highest quality.” of the prime factors that must businesses. The company is a distributor of globallyOn another front, Henry commented that his comowner and president, Vigon famous FANUC robotics, which often are used within be dealt with, according to ViGlobal implications pany is facing many of the human resource challenges International. gon owner and president Steve modern material handling, picking and packing and cited by peer businesses. This is particularly challengImmersion within the global marketplace with innoSomers. The nation’s 73 million palletizing operations vation comes up repeatedly when discussing operations ing when Loveshaw looks for assembly personnel, millennials now wield tremendous economic power, but John Mele, JAM president, remarked that ongoing at rurally-based Loveshaw. The company creates a varibecause so many of today’s youth have been brought within their personal appetites they use fewer personal market forces are at the root of most robotic instalup in a “virtual” world and lack the curiosity or aptitude ety of packaging equipment, cartoning and case-sealing fragrances than their consumer predecessors. lations. These automated systems have been proven machines, plus markers, coders and inkjet label printers. to work in a mechanical environment. In fact, millennials will not buy $100-per-bottle to reduce the time needed for products go to market, “Our interviewer may ask a job applicant what they Douglas Henry, general manager, explained that the perfume. However, purchasing tastes throughout the decrease production costs, increase product quality company must strive for cost effectiveness by the judicious do in their spare time to identify genuine mechanical nation do approve of scented candles, air fresheners and create a safer work environment within a repeatable purchases of some assembly components, often fabricated aptitude,” said Henry. “This can help us spot candidates and products made from all-natural ingredients, and series of processes. within the vast Asian supply chain. However, in many cases who might be better off in a strictly academic setting.” these evolving demands, while closing doors on existthis does not include the use of some imported goods for According to Henry, Loveshaw’s business plan is Mele testified that one of his robotic company’s ing fragrances, open other doors with new opportunity. biggest challenges involves the human factor and its critical components, because data has indicated superb directing the company to seek out inroads in global “You have to understand your market,” said quality and subsequent reliability issues must be paramarkets. England is one of these, where the company mindset. It still can be extremely difficult to nudge an esSomers. “For example, a specific smell can bring back tablished company to even consider the many advantages mount with certain buys to promote sales and safety. already has a physical location in operation. by Dave Gardner

a cherished memory, such as being with mom and dad for the holidays, and we must recognize this as we work to create new products.” On the production front, Somers and his team must stay aware of new technologies that can enhance productivity and efficiency to reduce overhead. He refers to his employee philosophy as one that puts people first, which maintains a relatively stable workforce, particularly with key positions. Other challenges cited by Somers involve the specifics of expansion since the dark days of the 2008 recession were weathered. He is now in the process of adding a 250,000-square-foot warehouse, but zoning problems relating to workplace layout specifics have proven to be a challenge. “It’s actually quite common for industry to run into community infrastructure challenges,” said Somers. “Lack of city water, sewer and natural gas service can all be a problem.”



MARCH 2019


Traditional retail, e-commerce merge in local markets “Customer loyalty is also changing as e-commerce escalates. Customer choices are not so much about brand now as in the past. Yes, they will shop with brand or merchant loyalty first, but the customer will move on if they don’t like what they see.”

“To accomplish the conversion, we had years, was passed into the to do a lot of investigation and identify a hands of Melissa Roberts The marriage between traditional retail and system that would justify the investment with from her late mother. e-commerce continues to advance as both The business was mainreturn,” said Roberts. “Many IT vendors don’t formats seek comprehensive ways to capture taining a market niche as a say what they can’t do, so asking the right customer dollars. specialist in cold-weather questions was vital. In the end we selected The niche carved out by e-commerce and sporting merchandise. a cloud-based model featuring proprietary retailers continues to grow. During 2017, eIt also was being operated software with a month-to-month payment Roberts commerce sales accounted for at least 9 perin an old-school format that covers everything, including training and cent of all retail activity in the United States, that included paper-based superior customer service for us.” – Mark Mathews according to Statista, a statistics portal that marketing and operational processes with an Roberts admitted that the actual switchNational Retail Federation analyzes information collected from 22,500 antiquated computer system. over from the former system to the new prowith brand or merchant loyalty first, but the sources. Roberts, a career marketing specialcesses was a great deal of work, and is still customer will move on if they don’t like what Industry experts are now forecasting that ist, made the decision that the company’s continuing as new inventory is loaded. She e-commerce is expected to capture more than they see.” processes had to be brought into the modern also noted, with pleasure, that cyber sales Mathews emphasized, despite the elec12 percent of the nation’s retail business by age. Today, the Ski Shack uses a comprehen- have rolled in from far-flung locations such tronic wizardry of e-commerce, transactions 2020, with hybrid retailers such as Walmart sive software system that can provide invenas California, Colorado and Virginia as the must above all be convenient. Technology nipping at the heels of cyber-giant Amazon, tory and sales data to Roberts despite her software matches the Ski Shack to custominvestments made by the retailer must be which logged more than $232 billion in revphysical location, a paperless system, digital ers seeking an authorized dealer for popular aimed in this direction, as data indicates that enue during 2018. direct e-mail marketing offering a deal of the outdoor products, and then includes add-on increasing numbers of retailers are now using week, and a marriage between the storefront sale suggestions as the customer views the some sort of intelligent automation to lower Process merger and sales made over the internet. available products. operating costs and compete. The recent governThis is happening in an environment where ment shutdown delayed inflationary costs for goods have been extallies of total national tremely low, despite Washington’s blustery talk e-commerce numbers for of massive trade tariffs which would escalate 2018, according to Mark prices. Conversely, retail operational costs for Mathews, vice president technology and process development continue of research development to rise as retailers innovate and then evaluate & industry analysis with Mathews which new systems will “stick.” the National Retail FederaMathews added that, as the merger tion. However, he is sure the final e-commerce percentage for 2018 will between storefront and e-commerce escalates, new markets are appearing. Retailers be placed at 10 percent to 11 percent of the of traditionally high-profit items such as nation’s total retail business, with data also eyeglasses are now feeling the discount heat indicating it is becoming difficult to separate from e-commerce merchants using cybere-commerce from regular retail activity. marketing software that allows customers to Within this vast arena the old-fashioned “view” how a particular type of frames look goal of customer satisfaction is as important on their face. as ever, as retailers strive to make all sales “Despite these advancements in technoltransactions as seamless and enjoyable as Contact Alice Manley today for advertising information! possible. New approaches with a great deal of ogy, customers still want quick and easy experimentation and innovation are expanding transactions,” said Mathews. “The fundamen• that combine online with traditional storefront tals of retail are not changing.” selling, while including store merchandise Modern conversion pickup and returns after a cyber transaction The experience of a venerable NEPA occurs. retailer as they moved into the cyber age “Customer loyalty is also changing as illustrates the marriage of traditional and e-commerce escalates,” said Mathews. The Region’s Award-Winning Source of Business News & Information • A Times-Shamrock Publication electronic operational formats. The Ski Shack, “Customer choices are not so much about 149 Penn Avenue • Scranton, PA 18503 • 75 N. Washington Street • Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711 a family-owned and operated storefront for 35 570-207-9001 • 877-584-3561 brand now as in the past. Yes, they will shop

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Student video contest connects schools with manufacturers by Joe Sylvester

Eleven teams of middle-school students from throughout Northeast Pennsylvania will get an inside look at the area’s manufacturing companies, what they make and how they do it. The seventh- and eighth-grade students, under the guidance of faculty, will shoot videos and interview company managers and employees as part of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center’s (NEPIRC) “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” competition. “Our pioneer voyage was last year with 11 schools participating, and there are 11 schools again this year,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC president and chief executive officer. He said they are not all the same schools as last year. “Some of the schools we did last year had some transitions of faculty and couldn’t participate,” Esoda said. While this is the second year of the competition here, it has been going on around the state since 2013, when it started in the Lehigh Valley. Schools partnering with companies Esoda said the student teams formed under the guidance of a faculty member or a faculty coach. Those teams each partnered with a local manufacturer who agreed to take part. Esoda said the teams average about eight students apiece. “This initiative, we’ve got about 100 students involved and 20-some faculty members,” he said. “We arm them with a GoPro camera along with a script,” he said. With that script, they record interviews with plant managers, company officials and employees. “Sometimes they’ll put on their hard hats, goggles, foot protection, ear protection and capture the manufacturing process,” Esoda said. “They are then provided with complimentary software to produce their video.” Local media experts advise the students how to compress the video down to 2 minutes, do voiceovers, add music and put in transitions between scenes.

The students then post their video to the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing website and use social media to drive students, faculty members, parents and other residents to the site to see and vote for their video. The winning teams in most creative, most educational, viewers choice, best story, most career awareness and best overall video are presented with a trophy for their school to display, as well as with certificates. Esoda said there is no monetary prize. The real prizes are the benefit the students get from the experience and the boost in public awareness the manufacturers receive. Each trophy will be kept at the winning student’s school and the certificates go into each student’s high school file and is something they could add to their resume, Esoda said. Not to mention the great access the students have to a mentor network. They also benefit from talking with the heads of manufacturing plants, which helps their interviewing skills and gives them experience in holding an adult conversation, he said. The winning teams qualify for the statewide competition, where winners from the 16 different regions will compete.

More information on the “What’s So Cool The competition itself gets students more About Manufacturing?” video contest is available aware of careers in advance manufacturing, Voting March 27-29 at,, not only learning for themselves but promoting Voting on the Northeastern Pennsylvania and on Twitter via @WSCMNE. manufacturing. That fuels the future workforce students’ videos will take place March 27 to 29. and makes the public aware of what the compaLast year the voting was held over four days Northeast PA 2019 contest nies make. and garnered nearly 60,000 votes, Esoda said. The 2019 What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Competition spokeswoman Kim Plyler stated contest for Northeast PA is produced by the “Our target is to exceed that 60,000 votes,” educational resources, student camera kits, Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource he said. Center in Hanover Township. Participating schools professional media training from eMediaWorks, The award ceremony is April 9 at The Theatre are from Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and student training materials and other project Wayne counties. at North in North Scranton. About 300 people costs were funded by a number of local spon2019 teams and manufacturers attended last year, including representatives of ■ All Saints Academy, Quadrant EPP USA sors, including the PPL Foundation. Platinum colleges and universities. ■ Crestwood Middle, ON Semiconductor level sponsors include the PPL Foundation, the ■ Dunmore High, Hendrick Manufacturing The award ceremony for the statewide comLackawanna Workforce Investment Board and ■ J.T. Lambert Intermediate, Weiler Abrasives petition is April 30. ■ Mid Valley Junior/Senior High, SIMONA America the Pennsylvania Department of Community & “This contest is one piece of an overall ap■ North Scranton Intermediate, Pride Mobility ■ Leo E. Solomon Plains Memorial Junior/Senior proach of addressing the manufacturing pipeline Economic Development. Educational sponHigh, Golden Technologies workforce challenge,” Esoda said. “This ain’t your sors include Keystone College and Luzerne ■ Stroudsburg Junior High, United Envelope County Community College. LPL Financial is the grandfather’s manufacturing.” ■ Wallenpaupack Area Middle, New Wave Custom Woodworking Today’s manufacturing is high tech, well-pay- contest’s Silver-level sponsor this year. Strategic ■ Western Wayne Middle, Boyce Products ing and challenging, and that’s what the students partners include eMediaWorks and Sahl Com■ Wyoming Valley West Middle, Nivert Metal munications, Inc. see early on, he said.



MARCH 2019


Technology lights path Pennsylvania ranks 34th for renewable energy among the states in business climate index

“There also is an interesting situation developing in California,” said Latcham. “Solar systems are popping The case for renewable energy continues to shine as up all around and now produce so much energy the advancing technologies and market forces light the way. utilities have to scale back production as the excess According to the Renewables Global Status Report electricity from the solar panels is dumped into the grid. Then, when power is needed such as during the night, from REN21, an energy policy multi-stakeholder network, approximately one fifth of the world’s electrical the utilities are having trouble scaling back up quickly.” Tariff effects? power now is produced from renewable sources. In The hot market and technoaddition, Fortune has reported eighteen percent of all logical advances for renewable electricity in the United States is now generated by renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric. power are serving, to a degree, This production total indicates a rise from the 2016 to curb Washington’s discouragement of solar systems. level of 15 percent renewable energy. Solar and wind Robert Loven, president of projects also made up more than 62 percent of new Sustainable Energy Managepower construction in 2017 as associated costs for ment Systems, explained installation dropped. import tariffs on Chinese Within this scenario, the Trump administration is Loven cells have proven to be only a striving to inhibit funding for renewable energy and minimal force to raise installaefficiency programs. However, renewable energy continues to expand due to market forces as solar and tion costs, although tariffs on aluminum and steel for mounting hardware caused some price fluctuations. wind industries create jobs faster than the rest of the Within this market, Loven’s company is aggresnational economy. sively marketing a system called Reflective Solar Flow technology Trackers (RST). This is a ground-mounted solar Science continues to energy collection system that maximizes energy harprovide solutions for “holes” in vesting by tracking the location of the sun throughout the renewable energy system. the entire day and adjusting the angle of the solar Jake Latcham, corporate cells accordingly. development manager with According to Loven, an average solar system is Mericle Commercial Real Estate capable of no more than 4.5 hours of peak energy proServices, explained the issue of duction as the sun moves from east to west. An RST inconsistent output by both soLatcham system can increase this energy production up to 50 lar and wind systems is being percent, and lower subsequent recovery on investment addressed via advancements in by one to three years. “flow” battery technology. The RST systems are also forecasted to be rugged. Within a flow system, rechargeability is provided by two chemical components dissolved in liquids. The The cells themselves feature a linear performance units are massive, and store vast amounts of electricity warranty of 25 to 30 years, with the tracker expected to have a minimal 25-year life. after a slow, steady charging without the chemical Loven emphasized that the specifics of solar plant volatility or quick discharge rates of lithium batteries. Huge banks of flow batteries may provide one solu- installation are unique within each situation, making no tion for energy availability when solar and wind systems average or typical scenario available. Technicians must first conduct a site survey, investigate existing electricity are not producing. Challenges still exist for a system costs from the grid, and then forecast installation costs, scale-up to power grid use, but even the military is researching and subsequently evolving the technology. monies saved and investment returns over many years using proven calculations. A push also is on for installation of non-silicon “What you are actually doing with a solar system is based solar cells using other generation mediums such creating an energy production plant,” said Loven. “This as calcium telluride. These cells are cheaper than silicon, and even though they are less efficient with power then allows net metering to become a reality where you generation and the Chinese are pumping vast amounts sell excess power back into the grid. All of these facts, plus the life of the cells and support equipment, must of money into development of a high-efficiency cell, be considered to calculate the true costs and savings of the existing solar technology without silicon can be renewable power generation.” extremely cost-effective with large solar systems. by Dave Gardner

and $15 per hour by 2025. Some have argued that would further set back business from hiring emThink Pennsylvania is doing a good job ployees, especially those with a smaller workforce. in attracting and keeping businesses? Think Durkin said the key is what will balance the again. A new analysis by, part of number. He said it’s the closing of the so-called the Franklin Center for Government and Public ‘Delaware loophole,’ which allows states to Integrity, found Pennsylvania ranked 34th among register their companies in Delaware to take the 50 states in its business advantage of the state’s low taxes; it’s something climate index. lawmakers in Pennsylvania have struggled to fix. “The corporate tax Durkin also pointed to combined reporting as and the unemployment another issue, which Governor Wolf has called insurance tax are really on the legislature to fix in the upcoming budget. what’s driving Pennsylvania It would force corporations doing business in toward the middle or the Pennsylvania to share a portion of those taxes bottom. That’s disconcertwith Pennsylvania on a share of the group’s taxing,” said Bob Durkin, able income. Durkin president and CEO of the “I’m not a tax expert, but I think there has to Greater Scranton Chamber be some middle ground on this whole process,” of Commerce. he said. The analysis looked at a mix of taxation The Watchdog numbers are based on The in Pennsylvania and how it stacks up against Tax Foundation’s survey of business climates other states. In addition to the corporate tax and throughout the country. It found Pennsylvania the unemployment insurance tax, it looked at ranked 43rd in its corporate income tax, 18th income, sales and property taxes. for its individual income tax, 21st for its sales “I think there have been opportunities in Har- tax, 34th for its property tax and 46th for its risburg to bring down the corporate income tax unemployment insurance tax. rate down and we’d really like to see more action “Look at the bottom with states like Conout of Harrisburg on things like this,” he said. necticut, New York and California,” said Durkin Governor Tom Wolf’s 2019-2020 budget calls of the survey, which ranked New Jersey in the for reducing the corporate income tax rate from last position. “There’s a lot positive business 9.99 percent (currently the second highest in the development in those places. Even though they country) to 8.99 percent by January of 2020. The are at the bottom, but does it matter?” upcoming budget is 4.3 percent higher than last Wyoming, Alaska and South Dakota rank at year’s budget. It also calls for raising the state’s the top of the survey. minimum wage to $12 per hour by this summer He said perception does matter, however, when businesses are looking to relocate to the Commonwealth. “The corporate tax and the unAnd while Pennsylvania’s taxes may be high, employment insurance tax are we are surrounded by higher-taxed states. really what’s driving Pennsylvania “The most recent unemployment rate in toward the middle or the bottom. Lackawanna County is 4.8 percent and you’re getting close to almost full employment,” he That’s disconcerting.” Bob Durkin said. “The jobs are available here and I would The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce argue the economy is doing well.” by Phil Yacuboski




Cola brands: Coke vs. Pepsi by Dave Taylor

The impact of Tobyhanna Army Depot

The depot has a strong reputation as the Defense Department’s provider of logistics The Pennsylvania Military Commusupport for command, control, communinity Enhancement Commission cations, computers, intelligence, recently sponsored a study of the surveillance and reconnaissance economic impacts of Pennsylva– known in the field as C4ISR. nia’s military and defense installaWeapon systems such as Light tions. The purpose was to assist in Weight Counter Mortar Radars, understanding the economic and Satellite Tactical Terminals and the strategic value of major installaSingle Channel and Airborne Radio tions regionally and nationally as System are maintained by the well as their tie to surrounding skilled workforce of Tobyhanna. Grossman communities and industries. In fact, as needed, depot Tobyhanna Army Depot has employees are sent to battlefields a long, proud and distinguished history across the world to help provide a support within this region as the largest employer, system and adjust systems to make them promoting higher paying jobs with more viable in the national defense mode. than 97 percent of its employees being from The following are core functions of the Pennsylvania. world’s largest electronic entity. This 2018 12-page report spells out a ■ Sustainment: providing support and the Pepsi Challenge was never really retired. great deal of information that demonstrates technical assistance in the field In 2003, Pepsi came out with an ill-fated the extent to which the Monroe County ■ Overhaul and repair: Testing, repairdepot adds to the economy of the region. tagline, “Pepsi. It’s the cola.” If you can’t ing and updating key systems remember this campaign, where Pepsi is es- In 1995, the Depot was threatened with ■ Engineering: Providing services such closure by the then federal Closure and Re- as design, development, prototyping and sentially trying to claim it owns the category, it’s because the cola-buying public pretty alignment Commission, but a Blue Ribbon integration much rejected it. As comedian Gary Gulman Task Force led by the Economic Develop■ Fabrication/manufacturing: Producquipped, “If I get a message from ‘The Cola,’ ment Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania tion of electronic and mechanical assem(EDCNP) provided a strong defense of the I’m calling back Coke.” blies in support of C4ISR Depot and eventually that year, it was saved In early 2018, Pepsi introduced a new ■ Systems integration: designing new and ended up adding jobs to the facility, attempt to shape its brand with the Pepsi systems and inserting new technology into reaching its highest number ever. Generations campaign, which looks back at legacy systems. Since then, the number of employees several of its most famous pop star spokesThe depot is home to many activities and has come down but the depot is still the people, including Ray Charles, Michael tenants in addition to Army operations such largest employment organization in the Jackson and Brittany Spears. as the Defense Imagery Management OperaPocono-Northeast. The current entity of The irony of this campaign may be that tions Center and several Army and National EDCNP, now called NEPA Alliance, continues Guard units. It has received designations as while the original targets of “The Pepsi to be an important factor in protecting the Generation” are long since grown up, the an Army Center of Industrial and Technical role the depot plays as a major electronic new Generations campaign may actually Excellence for C4ISR and as an Air Force installation in the nation. be targeting some of the same people, just Technology Repair Center for command, much later in life. control, communications, computers and With yet another new shift of the brand, intelligence and tactical missiles. Tobyhanna Army Depot has a Pepsi keeps swinging away at the heavyThe facility covers 1136 acres with more long, proud and distinguished than 1.4 million square feet of building weight champ, Coke, sometimes gaining history within this region a bit of market share, often losing it back space. The depot takes on about $500 as the largest employer, again. Coke stays the course with its brand million in new contracting activities and message, knowing that servers all around it supports operations in 30 countries. At promoting higher paying jobs the world are apologizing for not having the time of this report, there were 3,388 with more than 97 percent Coke, when they ask “Is Pepsi OK?” Unfortotal employees, and while this number can of its employees being from tunately for Pepsi, too often, the answer is change year by year, it still manages to be Pennsylvania. no. the largest in the state. By Howard J. Grossman, AICP

What’s the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Both are cola-based soft drinks. They have about the same amount of sugar in a serving. While brand loyalists for either one will claim there is a big difference, they taste enough like each other that even the CEO of Pepsi once chose Coke in a blind tasting event. Coke does have wider distribution and is helped along by the Pepsi parent company’s ownership of some restaurant brands, which causes other restaurant chains to avoid offering Pepsi soft drinks. Beverage Digest estimates that regular Coke maintains about 18 percent market share, while regular Pepsi hovers at 8-9 percent. But first and foremost, the difference between Coke and Pepsi is the brand. Coke, with one notable hiccup (New Coke), has kept its brand focused on the same concept for nearly 50 years, while Pepsi has been shifting and jabbing, finding a little success, but never able to sustain its gains for long. Which is what a challenger brand often must do as it seeks to gain traction. Coke states on its website that “Our central promise at The Coca-Cola Company is to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit, and inspire moments of optimism…” Back in 1971, Coke created one of the most famous TV commercials of all time, incorporating the song “I’d like to teach the world to sing,” which ended with one of Coke’s longest running taglines, “It’s the Real Thing.” Fast-forward to today, where Coke’s slogan is “Open Happiness,” and you can get a sense of the brand’s continuity over time. Meanwhile Pepsi is continually trying new approaches and appeals for its brand. In the 1960s, Pepsi gained some ground with the “Pepsi Generation,” a clever attempt to target younger cola drinkers looking to distinguish themselves from older demographics (a.k.a. their parents). In 1975, they introduced the Pepsi Challenge, a blind taste test that some pundits have suggested favored Pepsi because it is slightly sweeter. Again Pepsi gained some ground, but had trouble sustaining it, though the concept of




MARCH 2019

Business Journal NORTHEAST


Congratulations to all of this year’s Top 25 Women in Business We provide comprehensive and affordable primary care, dental and behavioral health services for children and adults in Clarks Summit, Jermyn, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.

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The honorees The Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Top 25 Women in Business honorees are innovative leaders, decision-makers and/or owners of their own companies. They are raising families, improving their communities and mentoring and encouraging other women. In February, nominations from the regional business community were reviewed. The winners emerged from their nominators’ descriptions of personalities, innovations, work ethics, assets, successes and recognitions.

Carolyn Beers ...................... 25 Judith Bloom ....................... 15 Dr. Erica Lesniak Burns ........... 29 Dena Cambra ....................... 24 Amy Clegg........................... 18 Cassandra Coleman Corcoran ... 28 Lynn DeSanto ....................... 22 Donna Eget.......................... 27 Leigh Fennie........................ 26 Cathy Walsh Gavin................. 30 Lindsay Griffin...................... 20 Bonnie Haluska .................... 13 Valerie Kiser........................ 28 Amy Sosik-Luyster ................. 19 Gina Malsky ........................ 16 Donna Martin ....................... 18 Stephanie Milewski ............... 14 Bridget Moran Gianino............ 15 Genevieve Reese................... 31 Mary Rossi .......................... 21 Sheila Saidman..................... 23 Barbara Sciandra .................. 29 Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak ......... 10 Nina Waskevich .................... 12 Lauren Woodard.................... 11


Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak

Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak believes in discovering, learning and growing into the best version of oneself to achieve success. “Surround yourself with awesome people, because great leaders can be invisible,” she said. Thomas-Hemak is CEO at The Wright Center for Community Health and President/CEO of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. The business has afforded her a 20-year career as a primary care doctor and medical educator, caring for patients and educating the current and future inter-professional workforce two days a week at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Mid Valley Practice. Her executive role allows her to lead by leveraging her deep connection to and love for the patients, families and community. “I am grateful to our amazing governing board and employees who work tirelessly to deliver our organizational vision to be a leading model of primary healthcare delivery with integrated workforce development in America,” she said. She is a board member of The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center and Lackawanna County’s Behavioral Health Research Institute. “These board engagements sharpen my perspective of how important and often challenging healthcare is to our overall economy and welfare, and how paradigm the necessary changes are in medical education to best prepare and inspire our future healthcare workforce,” she said. As a safety-net provider of comprehensive healthcare services, The Wright Center for Community Health is in pursuit of Federally Qualified Look Alike designation and future status as a Federally Qualified Health Center. “This journey has been so validating and

will generate almost unimaginable value for our organization and the patients, families, learners and community we serve,” Thomas-Hemak said. Her grandparents were industrious immigrants who worked on the railroad and in the coal mines. Her parents were both public school teachers. She is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and The University of Scranton, Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard’s medical education system. Her greatest professional mentors have been Dr. Robert Wright, a visionary; the late Dr. Tucker Clauss, who recruited her back to Northeast Pennsylvania to be his partner; Dr. Louis Druffner, who mentored her in her formative years as a primary care physician; Dr. Ed Wagner, who force multiplied primary care innovations and Dr. Doug Lawrence, her spiritual and leadership coach. Role models of integrity she strives to emulate are Attorney Robert Kelly, the late Ann Moskovitz and her dear friend and community leader, Jody Cordaro. She notes The Wright Center’s executive committee members, Carlon Preate, Joseph Ferrario, Gerard Geoffroy, James Gavin, John Kearney, William Waters and Mary Marrara play important roles in her professional life. The doctor ultimately attributes her blessings and accomplishments to God and His grace. “I am also ever-grateful for learning the value of hard work, perseverance and unconditional love from my parents and incredible family,” she said. She is thankful for her husband, Mark Hemak, and their three children, Mason, Maya and Antoinette. They are fortunate to have her parents, sister and her three children, Mark’s father and brother actively engaged in their lives. She is proud of The Wright Center for Community Health’s key organizational recognitions as an NCQA designated Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home; a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Top 30 innovative primary care practice; a University of California, San Francisco Center for Excellence in Primary Care and American Association of Medical Colleges premier primary care residency program; a Pennsylvania Opiate Use Disorder Center of Excellence and Coordinating Center; a leading partner in Lackawanna County’s Healthy MOMS program for pregnant women struggling with substance use disorder; and the largest pioneering HRSA-funded Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Consortium in America. She has received many awards including the John J. Baldi Mental Health Advocacy Award; Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Physicians’ Laureate Award and Maternal and Family Health Services’ Outstanding Community Partner Award. She has been honored as one of the National Association of Women Business Owners Northeast Pennsylvania’s Top 25 Women in Business, the Times Leader’s Health Care Heroes, The Scranton Times-Tribune’s Readers’ Choice Best Doctor and The Scranton Times-Tribune Northeast Woman. | 570-489-7584 | 3400 North Main Avenue, Scranton, PA 18508 10 NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B10] | 02/26/19


MARCH 2019


Lauren Woodard

Success is not always a clear or set path. And that is why Lauren Woodard is so good at adapting. The co-owner of Lavish Body and Home set out in her college years to obtain a degree in family counseling and become a therapist. “By constantly adapting to the different situations and opportunities that came my way I became an esthetician, a manager and then an owner of an incredible hybrid business,” Woodard said. “I have a business that we have grown and are in love with in a community that supports us tremendously.” She co-owns the business with her husband, Micah Woodard, and they have had the opportunity to develop training/mentorship programs within the salon for students still enrolled in beauty school. This allows the students time in the salon to shadow and learn from experienced stylists before beginning their careers. “We find ourselves in a unique opportunity with owning a retail-based salon/shop to be able to donate and support numerous charities in their fundraising efforts,” Woodard said. “From gift certificates to basket donations we are able to support far more organizations then we could physically be a part of including Marley’s Mission, VAC, Boys and Girls Club of NEPA, The Everhart Museum and more.” The entrepreneur is in charge of putting in place and overseeing a management team that support the business and its staff. She trains and oversees the front desk employee service team, is a buyer for clothing and décor and performs trend casting in both interior design, fashion and salon industry. Woodard is in her third year of chairing the Coaches vs. Cancer Gala with her husband. The couple initially became involved because their son is both a basketball player and a survivor. “I find myself naturally drawn to cancerbased charities having walked through a cancer diagnosis and battle with my son early on in his life,” she explained. Staying at home with their daughter, Kylie, and son, Phoenix, during his treatment, which was experimental and required the family to be at CHOP 16 days out of every month, the mom was unable to work at that time. After her son completed treatment, she decided to become licensed as an esthetician because of the flexibility that the salon/ spa industry gives to mothers with their schedules.

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She was hired at LAVISH as an esthetician in 2008. As she worked in the spa, she was given the opportunity to use her past retail experience in the store and quickly developed into a manager. During this time, she was proud to be able to complete her bachelor’s degree in family counseling as a full-time working mom. Taking on additional responsibilities she was included in the buying and merchandising for the store as well as the daily bookkeeping. In the summer of 2014, she and her husband had the opportunity to purchase the business. “While having no past experience as business owners we were confident that our combined retail, management, marketing, sales and spa experience would prove us to be successful,” she said. “Since 2014 we have been able to fully renovate the space and proudly add in 11 new jobs.” The strongest mentorship the businesswoman has received in her career was from Matt Drace and Jonathan Chernes. “They taught me how to take my passion for retail and design and practically apply it,” she said. “They taught me to be constantly looking at the business and evaluating how the market is constantly changing and how to change with it. It was their confidence in our abilities that gave us the confidence in buying and running the business.” Her husband is also her teammate. “We handle the business and our family as a team and could not do it without each other,” she said. Woodard is a member of Scranton Tomorrow, which focuses on the downtown business and living revitalization.

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From a young age, Nina Waskevich knew she wanted to climb the corporate ladder. And she did. She is now the vice-president of brand and membership at AAA North Penn Scranton. “I have always been a hard worker and I believe if you are not giving 110 percent, then why do it at all,” she said. After graduating high school, Waskevich took a commission-based job which taught her the importance of customer service and sales. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Kings College in marketing, and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from Wilkes University. Later during college, the businesswoman interned with a local credit union allowing her to build upon her sales background and obtained a marketing degree. Waskevich was hired as the business development specialist, and 12 years later she has progressed climbing the corporate ladder and pursuing her dream to vice-president of sales. Waskevich is grateful for many past and present mentors in her life, both personal and professional. A former colleague saw the drive and passion she had for not only the industry but the interest in making it a career, and encouraged her to pursue her master’s degree and learn as much as possible in the workplace. During those years, the executive also graduated from the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lackawanna Program.

Nina Waskevich

“Some say you are born a leader and I truly believe that,” she said. “It’s not just about personal growth, but also seeing others and my employer grow at the same time. If you aren’t happy at your company then it’s time to move on. When you truly love what you do it just jives together like putting together a puzzle.” In 2013, she left the credit union industry and found her new home with AAA North Penn as the director of marketing and public relations. “It was a scary transition at first, but the staff made for a very warm welcome and I knew it was a management team that I could work very well with,” she said. In her current role she is responsible for marketing/public relations and leads the member records, emergency road service and financial services departments. “It’s a perfect circle if you think about it, since there is a need to market each of the departments and it helps build a stronger internal relationship to grow stronger as a company,” she added. She lives by the philosophy that “everything happens for a reason.” While having some ups and downs in her life, she now looks back on them as learning experiences that helped her grow. “Hard work can truly pay off if you are willing to push forward and be the best you can be,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes either. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new is what Albert Einstein bestows as advice that I believe in.”



MARCH 2019


Bonnie Haluska

Bonnie Haluska recently reached one of her life goals: she retired after 40 years of service at Allied Services as AVP of inpatient services of the rehabilitation hospital. And now, she begins on her next lifelong goal: to focus on philanthropy. “My wish is to give back to my church and my community in gratitude for the love and support afforded me,” she said. She began her career at Allied Services Rehabilitation Hospital in 1972 as a staff nurse. Over a span of four decades she served in various roles including assistant director of nursing, director of nursing, executive director and finally assistant vice president of inpatient services. In that position, Haluska was responsible for the daily oversight of operations at the main campus inpatient rehabilitation hospital and two satellite inpatient units at Regional and Moses Taylor Hospitals. In addition, she was required to ensure compliance to regulatory agencies and development of inpatient programs. “During those many years I was extremely fortunate to work with colleagues who were dedicated and compassionate professionals,” she said. “To be successful you surround yourself with the best – and they were. I will always be grateful to everyone there. They were and still are my extended family.” Haluska now has the honor of volunteering her time with wonderful people at ClothesLine, the brainchild of Sr. Ann Walsh, IHM, past CEO of Friends of the Poor. “Sr. Ann asked me if I would start this ministry back in 2013,” she said. “Since then we have moved four times and served over 2,300 area men in need providing them with appropriate clothing for interviews, work and various social and life events.” Through grants provided by Lackawanna County, a residence provided by The University of Scranton and quality clothing provided by the generosity of

the community, the ministry is able to offer second chances to many. “Our aim is to restore confidence, independence and to enhance the quality of life for these men. We are proud, also, to serve our veterans in need, true heroes, and to thank them for their service,” she added. Her husband, John, always a column of support to her, also shares in her community spirit and spearheaded the Hometown Hero banner program in Old Forge. “I was proud to assist as secretary and then, along with Carol Melucci, served as co-chair of the Old Forge Hometown celebration in August,” Haluska said. Haluska believes in the teaching of Mother Theresa who said not to wait for leaders, to do it alone, person to person, in small things , because it is in them that your strength lies. “Growing up with my sister, Arlene, and my brother, Emil, our parents Emilio and Ann Frati encouraged us to be mindful of the needs of our neighbors,” she said. “They were both shining examples of honest, compassionate people.” She is also inspired by Sr. Ann Walsh who works tirelessly and meets the needs of the most vulnerable, and by Meghan Loftus, CEO, and the board of the Friends of the Poor and FOP. She has served on the advisory boards of the nursing program at The University of Scranton and the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Advisory publication; and has served as a past board member of the Montage Chapter Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and Northeast Network. She has received the Northeast Woman, HAP Florence Nightingale and Charles Luger awards; and was a AHA nurse honoree.

Congratulations, Bonnie Haluska! With gratitude to all Women in Business for your commitment to our community. NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL MARCH 2019 13 TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B13] | 02/26/19



Stephanie Milewski believes to achieve success one must work hard and maintain a strong determination. The project manager at Barry Isett and Associates, Inc., Wilkes-Barre, is not someone who is afraid of a challenge. Barry Isett and Associates, Inc. is an employee-owned, multi-discipline engineering firm employing more than 150 associates. Milewski prepares proposals for various types of municipal, government and nonprofit clients, leads planning and design projects focused on outdoor recreation such as parks and trails, and assists municipalities in meeting their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) requirements mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She is also a certified stormwater inspector. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Penn State University. “As a landscape architect working for an engineering firm – a male dominated profession – I find both my colleagues and the leadership of the company to be very inclusive, supportive, and respectful,” said the architect. “There is no division between the landscape architects and the engineers as you often find at other firms. I am brought into projects as a valued team member. The work environment is very encouraging and uplifting. I truly appreciate and enjoying working with my colleagues and am proud to be a member of the company.” Milewski has also been able to focus her professional and personal life on opportunities that allow her to nurture and support her passion for the environment and outdoor recreation. She coordinates, with several partners, the quarterly meetings of the NEPA Trails Forum, a

Stephanie Milewski

group of trail developers, managers and supporters. “In my former position as the trail manager at Lackawanna Heritage Valley, I established the forum and put together a committee to help plan the meetings,” she said. She explained the NEPA Trails Forum provides a venue for trail groups to network and share their successes, challenges and expertise. The meetings are held at different locations across the region and typically include a hike, bike ride or kayak trip that showcase the extraordinary outdoor recreational opportunities in Northeast Pennsylvania. Among her many volunteer works, she serves on the Lackawanna / Luzerne Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Advisory Committee and represents the trails and alternate forms of transportation constituents. She serves as the vice-president of the North Pocono Trails Association (NPTA), where her expertise and professional knowledge have proven invaluable. NPTA leads group hikes on other regional trails and maintains the North Pocono trail system at the Elmhurst Tract of the Pinchot State Forest. She organized the sponsorship of seven children in the Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties Children and Youth Christmas program and formed a committee to help prepare an entire year full of service projects for 2019 that will serve numerous organizations in NEPA. Milewski shares her love of the outdoors by planning outings for her colleagues giving them an opportunity to get to know each other outside of the work environment. Milewski has received great support from her family including her husband, twin boys and her parents.

At Isett, she received the Value in Action Award. She was nominated for this award by her work peers and ultimately selected by an executive committee. This award means the she demonstrates the Isett values of being a team member, has ownership in the company, exhibits service to clients, each other and the community and maintains a work/life balance. She is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, North Pocono Trails As-

Congratulations Stephanie Milewski, RLA Named among the Top 25 Women in Business for 2019 by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal

Thank you for being a true trailblazer in our communities and for engineers throughout our company and across our industry.



MARCH 2019

sociation and Transportation Advisory Committee of Lackawanna Luzerne Metropolitan Planning Organization. She is also the owner of two small businesses: No Bull Ranch LLC, where she raises cattle and hogs and sells the meat at local farm markets, including the South Side Farmers Market in Scranton, and Concrete Thinking LLC, where she casts stone garden figurines.


Judith Bloom

There are no such things as problems in Judith Bloom’s life – only opportunities and learning experiences. And the vice-president of finance at Borton-Lawson, Wilkes-Barre enforces that belief by maintaining a positive attitude and never becoming complacent. As the financial gatekeeper of the firm, her responsibilities include cash management, internal risk management, analyzing financial results, budgeting, shareholder and team member financial education, maintaining relationships with lending institutions and developing a long-term strategic vision of the finance department that will support the firm as it expands and grows. “I take shareholder and team member finance education personally,” she said. “My personal philosophy is that education goes beyond corporate finances and includes personal finances as well, something many colleges and universities do not teach. It brings to mind one of the many Calvin Coolidge quotes that really resonates with me: ‘There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.’” The businesswoman says she could not have gotten where she is today were it not for the mentors who guided her through her career and for the great teams she worked with over the years. “I have had two very special mentors throughout my career and not only were they my mentors, but they became lifelong friends,” she said. She said she believes in humility, quoting Rick Warren, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” “I truly believe humility is not weakness,” she said. “In order to have humility you must have tremendous inner strength.” God, country and family are most important

to Bloom. She is a trustee, a Sunday school teacher and the Sunday school superintendent at Immanuel Baptist Church. She also volunteers for the Edwardsville Warrior Tree to honor and remember local heroes and for Wreaths Across America, which places wreaths on soldiers’ graves at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. She is a former youth group leader and former president of the Columbia Hose Company Ladies Auxiliary. Her husband is her biggest supporter, and whether she tackling something difficult at work, working long hours, studying for the CPA exam or volunteering in the community, he is always by her side to encourage and lend a helping hand. Bloom is a graduate of Kings College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is a certified public accountant. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is a graduate of Leadership Wilkes-Barre Class of 2011 and Borton-Lawson Leadership Development Institute Class of 2014.


Bridget Moran Gianino

Bridget Moran Gianino works hard, dreams big and is grateful every day for all she has been given. Laughing a lot also helps. As the owner and operator of Bee’s Backyard in Scranton, and practice manager for PrimeMed, P.C., Dr. Barry Minora, she says she has much to be grateful for. Her responsibilities at Bee’s include managing her team, scheduling, fiscal report completion and providing the vision of the business which includes creating special events and assuring the best customer service, among other duties. “Bee’s Backyard is where your imagination comes to play” is the motto at the business which features a large soft play yard, inflatables and other attractions offering endless opportunities for children of all ages. At PrimeMed, where she received NCQA certification, she manages patient scheduling, billing and coordination of care; maintains a patient-centered experience and offers a collaborative work environment that values professional ownership/ accountability for physicians and staff. One day each month Bee’s Backyard closes to the public and caters to the special needs children at a discounted rate. The business welcomes fundraising events for local school and groups and features school field trips at a discounted rate. In addition, weekly low-sensory nights are also offered at Bee’s. Having dreamed of owning her own business since a very young age, Moran Gianino used to play the owner of several businesses when she was a child and made her family play along. She is a graduate of Marywood University with a bachelor’s degree in retail management; holds a Fashion Institute associate’s degree in merchandising; and a master’s degree in health-

care administration from Marywood University. Moran Gianino has always been drawn to high energy, challenging jobs. From managing the wardrobe department at MTV to working for Andre’ 3000 from OutKast, she has enjoyed participating in new ventures and in turn figuring out how to make them work in her very full life. While she attributes her success to hard work, her life is interesting, balancing a full-time job, raising two small children, being a wife and having recently started a business. She is grateful for her supportive family members, who have helped her every step of the way, including her husband, Paul Gianino, who jumps in to help every step of the way; and her parents providing tremendous help with everything from laundry to childcare to overall emotional support. She is a member of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and was named a Scranton Times Northeast Woman. “Our success is due to the community in Northeast Pennsylvania being supportive of our locally owned business,” she said.



Congratulations Gina Malsky & The Top 25 Women in Business

Inspire. Lead. Succeed. Proudly Supported By: Leo Malsky Alli, Leo & Anna Malsky John Maday Davidowitz Family Cliff & Ruth Melberger Lauren Timek



MARCH 2019


Gina Malsky

Gina Prokop-Malsky surrounds herself with excellence to make her businesses the best. She is the founder and director of Downtown Arts, the Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, and the Work of Art Learning Center. Malsky is the “light bulb” of programming and operations of her businesses and accepts full responsibility for everything the companies offer. “Without all of my amazing instructors I could not do what I do. We are a team of excellence,” she said. She got to where she is today due to hard work, a willingness to take a chance, sweat and many tears, but most importantly, laughter and smiles. Miss Gina began her dance training in Wilkes-Barre before moving into the professional world of dance in the big cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Philadelphia. She attended Point Park University and holds a bachelor of arts in performing arts. She was a scholarship recipient of the Governor’s School of Arts, one of only 30 dancers in Pennsylvania to receive such. After her professional performing career, she returned to Northeast Pennsyvania to raise her family and continue doing great things in her community. Her husband of 29 years, Leo, and children, Alexandra, Leo and Anna, are the joy of her life. She expresses her gratitude for the support of her family and their willingness to “share” her with the community. Malsky was the children’s director at the Jewish Community Center for more than 20 years, taught dance electives at Misericordia University and currently operates her own preschool and dance studio. Malsky sits on many boards and volunteers for events such as Fine Arts Fiesta, Third Friday Art Walks, Leadership Wilkes-Barre and the West

“I did not get here alone. Listening to their [her family and friends’] words of wisdom ... I thank each and every one of you for affording me the opportunity to do what I love and my love is work.”

Gina Malsky Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre

Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival. She was the recipient of the Howard B. Frederick Friend of the Arts award. She was also chosen to chair the 2018 PA Governor’s Award for the Arts and a judge for NEPA’s Scholarship Pageant. Along her journey she has been fortunate enough to be influenced by many extraordinary people. In her “dream team” are Essy Davidowitz (“less is more”), Cliff Melberger (never retire) Mckenna Granahan (passion), Mary Petrov (there is a place for everyone ), her mother (don’t let the bastards get you down) and many others whose love and support has made her who she is today. “I did not get here alone,” she said. “Listening to their words of wisdom and to always lead by example. I thank each and every one of you for affording me the opportunity to do what I love and my love is work,” she said.


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Amy Clegg

Amy Clegg embraces opportunities presented to her and does not give up. “I strive to discover the truth and beauty in the very essence of life,” she said. Clegg is the owner of Express Employment Professionals in Scranton. In this role, her goal is to make every day an adventure. She leads, guides, organizes and fosters a fun and creative work environment. “I want to coach and inspire my team to reach new heights and to develop future leaders to achieve their absolute best,” she said. “I try to lead and inspire my team to do great things.” The company aids clients in finding great jobs and helping companies find great people. Along the way they also do good things, through their Express “Brand it Blue” community initiative. “Last year, we had an event with our Express Clydesdales before the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day parade with 2,000 people in the community who came to meet and greet our Express Clydesdales,” Clegg said. “We raised $10,000 for the Ruel Foundation Orphanage in the Philippines for orphaned or malnourished children.” The company also offers scholarships to McCann, Penn Foster and Johnson College students, as well as to high school students in the Clydesdale Queen Essay Contest. “Our goal is to nurture, inspire and influence young women who are motivated in entrepreneurship, a desire to lead in business and do good for the community,” Clegg said. She also conducts food drives, raises money for local children’s hospitals and presented an International Fashion Show with the International Business Club of University of Scranton when the director of the Ruel Foundation was visiting. Clegg began working in the staffing industry in Stroudsburg in 1990, while attending East Stroudsburg University. She opened her first

office in East Stroudsburg in 1997 and a second in Scranton in 2000. In 2009, she teamed up with Express Employment Professionals. “It meant giving up my independence, but it turned out to be the best business decision I ever made,” she said. “We were able to help so many more people find good jobs and we have had one amazing adventure after another, ever since.” She is currently completing a two-year Leadership Academy program and anticipates to graduate in May. The entrepreneur attributes her success to hard work, determination and a positive attitude. And her husband and children have provided her with great support. Her mentor has been her mother, Joan Dougher, who will soon celebrate her 90th birthday. She is a nine-time recipient of the Bronze Circle of Excellence award; received Franchisee of the Month, 50 Top Women in Business; Small Business Advocate Award and the Marketing and Public relations award of Excellence. She is on the board of directors of the Ruel Foundation and a member of the Abington Heights Civic League. She participated in Goddess of Project Athena and is former vicepresident of the Greater Scranton Chamber of

Donna Martin’s Hair Designs Donna Martin - Owner/Operator

“We are so proud of you and we love you” Jim - Jimmy/Rachael - Katie/Mike - Lennon Grace The Koval Family - Grandma D - Clients - Friends

“Look Good – Feel Better” ACS Program / “Locks of Love”

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald Head Field Hockey Coach Bryn Athyn College



MARCH 2019


Donna Martin

Donna Martin loves what she does for a living. In fact, she attributes the longevity of her business, Donna Martins Hair Design, to loving what she does everyday. “The fulfillment of feeling needed and making people happy every day is a blessing that I am grateful for,” Martin said. From age 8, hair styling fascinated her. “My mother’s coffee times with friends were always interrupted by me playing and teasing their sixties-inspired hair-do’s,” she said. As she entered Coughlin High School in 1972, she already knew that college was not the path she would choose. A year later, she enrolled at the Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational Technical School in the cosmetology program. “This was a three-year program that allowed me to receive my cosmetology license and high school diploma in 1976. I furthered my education at Empire Beauty School and received my managers/teachers license in 1977,” she said. Martin established her hair salon in the Forty Fort area in 1983. She acknowledges that her business has allowed her to serve the community by providing a culture to enhance the beauty and well-being of others. But, the personal service Martin is most proud of is being a volunteer instructor in the “Look Good, Feel Better” program, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. This program was designed to offer beauty culture advice to women dealing with hair loss and skin changes and to provide emotional support during their cancer treatments. “I was a part of this wonderful program for more than 10 years,” Martin said. “Having dealt with this horrible disease throughout my career with my clients, and with my own family, this vital mission is near and dear to my heart.” During her career, she has also been an advocate for the “Locks of Love” program for decades. Many of her clients have grown their hair to the required length to make wigs for children in need, some which have done such multiple times. “People helping people is contagious. I am honored to be part of it,” she added. She has developed a family-like relationship with her clients, many of whom have been with her for more than 30 years.

“We have experienced many life moments together,” she said. “Marriages, children and grandchildren have taken me into second and third generation haircuts. Unfortunately, sickness, injuries and losses, also find their place. My clients have stood by me, and I by them, offering each other much needed therapy,” she explained. She admits she would not be as successful in her career without the support of her family – husband, Jim; son, Jimmy and daughter, Katie – who have understood the need to work long hours, many weekends, and her dedication to her clients. Martin strives to achieve the balance of work and family. “Both of my children were literally raised in my beauty shop, and have developed a love and need for helping others within their own careers,” she said. “My husband also, has a passion for community service, and excels in that aspect of his life.” Her advice to any young entrepreneur is to choose a career that follows your passion, and work for the joy of making a difference in someone’s life. She lives by the philosophy of “the purpose of life is a life with purpose.” “Find that purpose,” she added, “and make it your life.”


Amy Sosik Luyster

Amy Sosik Luyster’s personal philosophy is to always keep your eye on your goals and take risks getting you where you need to go. She also prides herself on working hard, staying humble and using honesty to further pursue her goals. Luyster joined the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce in 1998 and is responsible for the coordination and implementation of marketing strategies for the Scranton Plan and provides site location and financial assistance to firms interested in moving to or expanding within Lackawanna County. As vice-president of the Scranton Plan, she oversees all workforce aspects of the chamber’s industrial/economic development operations including Skills in Scranton. She has been actively involved with new construction and expansion projects throughout Lackawanna County, and played a key role bringing CIGNA HealthCare, McLane Company, Sears Logistics, Maximus, Select Tissue of Pennsylvania, TMG Health and TJX to Lackawanna and surrounding counties. A native of Lackawanna County, she has been raised, educated, lives, works and is raising her family in Northeast Pennsylvania. Luyster is a graduate of Wilkes University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational communications, concentrating in public relations with a minor in business marketing. In addition, she is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management at Villanova University, Dale Carnegie and

completed the Economic Development course in Pennsylvania. One of many mentors, Dr. Jane ElmesCrahall, stands out. She was her first communications professor at Wilkes University and was instrumental in her professional development. Her guidance throughout her academic career was invaluable. Luyster attributes her success to being raised by two hard-working parents, Paul and Virginia Sosik, who instilled the value of a strong work ethic and working toward achieving goals. In addition, she credits the leadership of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce for the support and encouragement they gave her through the years, providing her the opportunity to develop professional skills and contributing to programming that works to grow the region. She receives great support from her parents, husband, James P. Luyster, and daughter, Caroline Luyster. She received the Top 20 Under 40 by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal and Northeast Woman by the Scranton Times-Tribune. She currently serves on the boards/committees of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative, Penn’s Northeast and the Lackawanna County Women’s Commission. She has served on Marley’s Mission Gala Committee, Susan G. Komen 25th Anniversary Gala Committee, as a Everhart Museum Trustee and a member of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association and CoreNet Global.

Congratulations Amy! The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce congratulates Amy Luyster as one of the Top 25 Women in Business! We are honored and proud to have her on our team.

Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce




Lindsay Griffin is willing to take on any task, learn from it and do what it takes to succeed. While this sometimes means trying and failing, and asking others for help, she aims to always keep a positive attitude. As the COO/vice-president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, she manages and oversees the daily operations of the chamber and its team. This undertaking includes 40-50 programs and events, membership of 700-plus in the business community, budgeting, strategic planning and all new and continuing initiatives including the integration with the economic development program, Wilkes-Barre Connect. “One of the most amazing parts of my job is that I have learned about so many great community organizations,” she said. She has become actively involved with several, and is a board member of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, Northeast Sight Services, the Osterhout Free Library, CASA of Luzerne County and the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals. She is also on committees such as the American Heart Association, Wyoming Valley Children’s Association, Leadership WilkesBarre Alumni Council and Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Griffin is a graduate of LaSalle University earning a bachelor’s degree in business. She was then employed for Comcast Spectacor and the Philadelphia 76ers, where she learned of her love for marketing and events, before moving back home to the NEPA area. She then was employed for Wachovia Arena, Mohegan

Lindsay Griffin

Sun at Pocono Downs and Genetti Hotel and Conference Center prior to her career at the chamber in 2015. “I quickly became invested in our mission and all aspects of our organization and found my passion for being a part of moving this area forward. I am extremely lucky to be able to do what I do each and every day and work with such a talented team, board and community partners,” she said. Her mentor has been Kathi Bankes who truly sparked Griffin’s community involvement and has guided her through her career. Liz Graham and Mary Erwine have also been instrumental in her growth and development. She lives by Gandhi’s words: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Always an extremely motivated person, she has positively embraced change, both personally and professionally. “I am fortunate that I can use this philosophy and attitude I carry to impact my community and be a small part of amazing progress we have been making here,” she said. Griffin’s parents have always been a driving force in her life and have supported her throughout her entire career. “Their work ethic, kindness and positivity have shaped me into who I am today,” she noted. She is also grateful to her work family at the chamber who motivates, inspires and runs alongside her every day. She is a proud member of Circle 200, and was the recipient of the 2018 Young Professional Inspiration Award.

Congratulations Lindsay Griffin on being named one of NEPA's Top 25 Women in Business!! You're an inspirational leader to our team and the Community!



MARCH 2019

Congratulations from the Chamber team, committees, and Boards!!


Mary Rossi attributes her success to possessing a good work ethic. “‘The harder I work, the luckier I get’ is the philosophy I have borrowed,” said the director of administration at the Joyce Insurance Group. Rossi oversees the operation of five locations and serves as a liaison between more than 50 employees and management. She manages the company’s hiring process, serves as the corporate secretary, handles company licensing, deals with the business’ vendors and manages all real estate owned by the corporation. At the age of 19, after being away at college for two years, the businesswoman came back to Northeast Pennsylvania and began working at King’s College in development and public relations. She continued her education at King’s while working, and was a part of major fundraising campaigns that built the chapel on campus. In 1989, Rossi left work to give birth to twins, Ashley Marie and Nico Anthony, and remained at home until they began school.

Mary Rossi

This was “the most rewarding experience of (her) life,” she said. The twins are now 29 and both are college graduates – Ashley from Penn State University and Nico from Temple University. Once the kids started school, Rossi accepted a position at the Joyce Insurance Group in its life insurance department. It was there she met friend and co-worker Michael Joyce. “Michael became ill in 2006 and is the reason myself and a few coworkers founded the Miles for Michael (MFM) Fund,” Rossi said. She and Michael worked together for a number of years until she accepted a position as assistant to the president of the group, and then was promoted to the position of director of administration. Rossi recently celebrated her 24th year at the company. Rossi is the founding member of the MFM of the Luzerne Foundation, a voluntary organization that has been raising funds for the past 13 years in order to help local families battling cancer. She is

also a committee member of the Care and Concern Free Health Clinic (C&C), hosting a golf tournament every year and donating all proceeds to the Free Health Clinic which helps people in need gain medical attention. She and her husband have also been Leadership Givers to the United Way for 30 years. Her mentor has been Fr. James Lackenmier, her first boss at King’s College. “He taught me about philanthropy and did so with the kindness and patience necessary to allow me to grow,” she said. Her second mentor, Barbara Cawley, Fr. Lackenmier’s successor, taught her about the importance of a good work ethic and gave her the encouragement to always forge ahead and keep setting higher goals in order to become a successful woman in business. Finally, John Joyce, president of the Joyce Insurance Group, taught her about leadership and the ability to motivate employees. “He lived by his father’s rule, which is my favorite

rule of business: ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get,” she said. She has received tremendous support from her husband of 37 years, Bill Rossi. “We have been through ups and downs in life and business and remain devoted to each other,” she said. “My family is my lifeline.”

Congratulations We are proud to have you as a part of our leadership team and appreciate your years of service. Thank you!



TOP 25 WOMEN IN BUSINESS Lynn DeSanto has more than 40 years of experience in the healthcare and higher education industries. Her tenure includes microbiology laboratory positions at Carbondale General Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Moses Taylor Hospital as well as several private laboratories in the greater Delaware Valley and Scranton regions. She has worked for the past ten years at Lackawanna College, first as a laboratory manager and science instructor, followed by a tenured assistant professor of science, and most recently as the dean of allied health. This current administrative role includes leadership and oversight of eight allied health programs that meet stringent standards for student success and accreditation. The businesswoman also continues to design and teach a variety of science courses, both on-line and in the classroom, including biology, forensic science, microbiology and a new course in infectious disease epidemiology. Her scholarly work includes a peer-reviewed study and article on pertussis (whooping cough). She earned her bachelor’s degree in medical technology/biology from Marywood University, and her Masters of Science degree in biochemistry from The University of Scranton. Her academic resume also includes doctoral work at Binghamton University and she is a licensed Medical Technologist and a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. DeSanto’s work defines her involvement in the community. The allied health programs

Lynn DeSanto

she oversees produce graduates who are employed regionally. She frequently collaborates with the regional hospital systems, chambers of commerce, foundations, other economic development organizations and many other healthcare providers. DeSanto’s professional life took a back seat for many years while she raised her four highly educated and successful children, which she considers to be her most important work and accomplishment. She is known for her very strong work ethic and convictions. These values were shaped by her faith and complemented by her unwavering commitment to truth, respect and excellence. DeSanto is multi-talented and versatile, a true renaissance person. She is an accomplished crafter, having owned and operated her own doll business for several years. She is extremely creative with her crocheting and needlework. She is a trained Methodist lay speaker, frequently preaching sermons at her church, the Waverly United Methodist Church. She volunteers with her church, the local food pantry and other causes. She enjoys walking, reading, baking and crafting. She is a past winner of the Scranton Times Northeast Women award, which highlighted her leadership in a local group devoted to coping with and living with childhood asthma. She is always lending advice and advocating for people who are besieged by medical problems. This underscores her commitment to giving of herself to others.

LACKAWANNA COLLEGE is proud to congratulate our

Dean of Allied Health Lynn B. DeSanto MT, ASCP, MS and all of our region’s Top Women in Business 22 NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B22] | 02/26/19


MARCH 2019


Sheila Saidman

Sheila Saidman, a Luzerne County native, has been involved in her community for many years. When she returned to Northeast Pennsylvania following her graduation from the University of Pittsburgh Law School, she served on a variety of non-profit boards of directors including the Victims Resource Board, the Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley, Temple Israel of WilkesBarre and Luzerne County Community College. She is a graduate of Leadership Wilkes-Barre, and was a founding member of the Luzerne County Commission for Women, established by the late Rose Tucker. Currently, she is a member of the board of directors of Maternal and Family Health Services and a member of Circle 200. In 2017, she was elected to serve on Luzerne County Council. As part of her normal council responsibilities, she is also a member of the Authorities Boards, Commissions Committee, and the Legislative Committee. She also acted in community theater for a time. Her career has been diverse. When she graduated from college, Saidman taught high school and college for more than 12 years. She was involved in the Pennsylvania State Education Association, where she represented teachers and other public school personnel at several school districts adjacent to Luzerne County as well as Wilkes-Barre Area School District. Prior to being employed by PSEA, she was appointed assistant District Attorney in the administration of the Honorable Correale F. Stevens. When Saidman left the office of the District Attorney, she acted as associate General Counsel to Jewelcor Inc. and Gruen Marketing. Upon her departure, she was named Chief Counsel for the Northeast Region of PNC Bank. Throughout her legal career, Saidman remained active in the Luzerne County Bar Association. In 2008, she was honored to be elected the first woman president in the bar association’s 138-year history. In 2016, after her disappointment in the results of the presidential election, and being bored after her official retirement from PSEA due to a leg injury, she decided to listen to the urgings of many politicians to become involved in local politics. Without any political experience,

Saidman decided to enter the election for Luzerne County Council. “I surprised myself when I was elected and finished first among all the candidates,” she said. She is a 1967 graduate of the first class of Wyoming Valley West. In 1970, she was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in English and two years later a Master’s of Science degree in reading and educational psychology from Temple University. She graduated and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984. She was admitted to practice law in all courts in Pennsylvania, and to the Supreme Court of the United States. Saidman had many mentors in teaching, practicing law and running for office. She attributes her success to her family: her mother, Bertha Bishop, and father, Lester Saidman, who were passionate about education and philanthropy; her sister and brother-in-law, Carol and David Greenwald; her brother and sister-inlaw, Bruce and Melissa Saidman. They have all been inspirational role models for her in their respect for the sick and elderly members of the community. Her brother, Alan Saidman, and his wife, Alana Smart, always have been role models in choosing causes and political organizations. Her partner of nearly 30 years, Steven Kafrissen, a prominent local psychiatrist, has been a moral compass for her in all areas, but particularly helping her understand the issue of mental illness in the community. And finally, her daughter, Rebekah Saidman-Krauss, dean of admissions for Penn State’s Dickinson Law, fills her with unconditional love and pride for all she is and has become.

Congratulations and Best Wishes to all of our 2019

recipientts. An inccrediblle and impresssive group of Women! We lookk forw ward to o celebraating each onne of you at our awaards evvent in April.W Watch fo or youur invitaation!

Presentting Spponsorr : Gift Spo onsor: NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL MARCH 2019 23

TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B23] | 02/26/19


TOP 25 WOMEN IN BUSINESS Dena Cambra, executive director of marketing and communications at Clarks Summit University (CSU), believes in teamwork, which is a key element to her success. “It has always been about the team,” Cambra said. “Each person brings his or her abilities and contributes to the whole of the team. Teamwork and a lot of hard work go a long way toward accomplishing goals and having success.” In her role at CSU, she is responsible for developing and managing the university’s branding, marketing and communications. Some of the expanded opportunities include working with student teams, including CSU’s media services, mail center and marketing teams. “At CSU, we believe in preparing Christ-centered, career-ready graduates, so we value providing opportunities for our students to step into roles and jobs where they can gain practical skills that will help them in their career pursuits,” she said. Cambra graduated from Northwest University with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and moved to Clarks Summit, taking a job at CSU (formerly Baptist Bible College) as a receptionist, assistant and assistant women’s basketball coach for the Lady Defenders. After a year working in the community, she returned to CSU in the public relations office, first working as a graphic designer and later as art director. She was then given the opportunity to step into the role of director of marketing and communications. She recently received a promotion to her current position and is now a member of CSU’s President’s Cabinet. She has completed her master of education degree and teaches as an adjunct faculty member for both the health and human performance and the

Dena Cambra

business departments. She is an active member of the LYFE Women’s Conference committee, and has served as assistant women’s basketball coach and AAU girls basketball head coach. She attends Parker Hill Church in Waverly Township. Her mentor has been her college basketball coach, Kristi Brodin, who pushed her to work hard and lead by example, not just by words or a title. Another friend, also employed at CSU, challenges her to keep the most important thing in its place, to focus on what is true and not get hung up on the “what ifs” and all of the things that she cannot control. As a Christian, she lives by the Bible verses, Philippians 3:13-14, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” “For me, that means no matter what happens in life – whether good or bad – I need to be sure to not focus on that, but to keep my eyes focused ahead on the main prize. Forget. Focus. Finish,” she said. “Forget the achievements and failures, focus in on where you are needing to be, and finish – get there.” Her family and friends have always been supportive of her various pursuits, encouraging and pushing her to always give her best and never settle for less. She is a member of the Northwest University Eagle Hall of Fame; received the Northwest University Alumni of the Year Award; is a three-time NCCAA Basketball All American; and a member of Therapy Dogs International, where her dog, Tré, is a therapy dog.

Coonnnggr graatttuul ulaatttiiiooonnnss

to Sheila Saidman, my partner of 25 years, seelected as one of the Top 25 Women in Business

Steven R. Kafrissen, MD



MARCH 2019

TOP 25 WOMEN IN BUSINESS Carolyn Beers grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, graduating from North Pocono High School. She attended Lackawanna Junior College and graduated with a business associate degree. She started her career as a medical secretary and soon was hired by Doctors’ Dawgert & Zukoksi to open their newly formed medical practice. Within a few years she opened a second office in Clarks Summit and grew the practice to what is now the largest Pediatric Practice in Lackawanna County, Pediatrics of Northeastern PA. Ten years ago she decided on a new venture, and opened the first Urgent Care in Lackawanna County with her life partner, Dr. Donna Eget. This year they opened Medicus Counseling Center, a facility to help with the drug and alcohol crisis in Lackawanna County. She enjoys traveling, golfing, and spending time with her family.

Carolyn Beers


Medicus Urgent Care is a walk-in clinic along the I-81 corridor in Dunmore. Since opening in 2009, Medicus has grown from a small facility with seven employees to a leader in local healthcare, employing more than twenty doctors, physician’s assistants, nurses, x-ray technicians and clerical staff. It treats minor illness and injuries for the public and occupational medicine services for local businesses. Medicus is the creation of Dr. Donna Eget, a board certified emergency physician, who saw the frustrations of her patients in the hospital setting. While most ER patients had serious conditions, those with minor illness and injuries requiring immediate care were forced to endure long waits and pay high ER co-pays for the care they needed. Along with Beers, she conceptualized the urgent care, financed, supervised the conversion to a medical office and set up the practice. Info courtesy of

Walk-In Clinic! Congratulations

to all 25 Women in Business including our very own Dr.Donna Eget and Carolyn Beers

No Appointment Necessary We are a full service center offering treatment for all minor illnesses & injuries.

On Call for your doctor 7 days a week!

X-ray • Lab • Vaccine • Physicals Stitches • IV Therapy

1208 O’Neil Highway, Dunmore • 207-2612 |

Check us out online for expanded hours



TOP 25 WOMEN IN BUSINESS Leigh Fennie attributes her success to continuous learning. “I am always learning new trends, topics and ideas that can help my clients, but also to grow my own knowledge,” she said. “I also push myself every day to do better than the last. I am always looking for ways to improve my own work efficiency and ways to work smarter.” As a business consultant at the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center, Fennie works with budding entrepreneurs who are looking to take their ideas and turn them into businesses, as well as providing business owners with the tools necessary to help expand their existing businesses. She provides one-on-one consulting services to clients across a full spectrum of business functions by performing analysis, making recommendations and educating clients about small business strategies. She then assists clients with developing business and marketing plans as well as financial analysis to assist with obtaining financing to start or grow their business. In almost four years at the SBDC, she has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and business owners to start and grow their ideas and business. In the community she is on the board of the Lackawanna County Blind Association, the planning committee for Hellen Keller Day, Entrepreneurship and Micro-loan committee of the Scranton Area Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy Program and works directly with their micro-loan borrowers as a mentor. She is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and The University of Scranton with a Bachelor’s of Science in international business, concentration in Asian studies and minor in finance. She is currently pursuing an Master of Business Administration with a specialization in marketing from The University of Scranton while raising two

Leigh Fennie

young boys – William, 2, and Andrew, 5 months. She is also a 2013 Leadership Lackawanna graduate. Prior to Fennie’s time at the SBDC, she was employed at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce for their small business lending affiliate, MetroAction, as a small business services coordinator. She assisted small businesses with obtaining microloans through MetroAction’s lending programs. “This is where I really started to see the impact small businesses have on the community,” she said. I saw that many small businesses needed assistance for various reasons. Not any one small business is the same as the next.” In her career, she acknowledges having had the pleasure of working for and with some really wonderful, strong women including Kristine Augustine, a leader and mentor who taught her how to work hard and get the job done right; Lisa Hall-Zielinski, a woman she looks to for guidance in her career and life, and Donna Simpson, whom she admires for her hard work and knowledge. Fennie is grateful to the SBDC for requiring employees to perform 40 hours of professional development every year. This keeps them current with trends and allows them to be lifelong learners. Her entire family supports all she does. Her husband, William Fennie, is her partner, teammate and biggest supporter. He is consistently pushing her to grow personally and professionally. The unconditional love and support of her mother, Susan Magnotta, has been crucial to her success. Her siblings, Laura McGarry, Maria Magnotta and Rock Magnotta, are always great sounding boards for advice and guidance. And her late father taught her it is possible to balance a family and a career, with no need to sacrifice one to become successful at the other.

The University of Scranton Congratulates NEPA’s Top Women in Business Leigh Fennie ‘11, Business Consultant; The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center And our other alumni... Lynn B. DeSanto G‘80 • Donna Eget ‘89 • Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak ‘90

Northeastern Pennsylvania’s most nationally recognized private university 26 NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B26] | 02/26/19


MARCH 2019


Donna Eget

Dr. Donna Eget believes success is like a great meal. It is achieved by having quality ingredients and the right spices and it has to be cooked the right way, explains the medical director at Medicus Urgent Care and Medicus Counseling Services. Eget grew up along the banks of the Susquehanna River in West Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre, then headed north to The University of Scranton for college, then South to Philladelphia for medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon graduating, she moved east to Newark, N.J. for her residency at Beth Israel, then circled back to Northeast Pennsylvania. After 10 years of emergency medicine, she opened Medicus Urgent Care in 2009 and has been working there ever since. She is grateful for her employees, who spread their happiness to the patients. At Medicus, Eget provides urgent care services. She also treats patients with opioid use disorder. As the medical director, she keeps the office in order, oversees scheduling, review charts and writes policies and procedures, to name a few of her responsibilities. As owner of the business, she works closely with Carolyn Beers to ensure quality patient care. “I have been fortunate to have great people working with me, people who share my vision and work hard to realize our common goals,” Eget said. She is secretary of the board of the Lackawanna Medical Society; editor of Vital Signs, the Journal of the Lackawanna County Medical Society; co-chair of the Professional Education Committee of the Lackawanna County Opioid Coalition and a member of the Boy Scout Troop 251 Leadership committee. She also lectures on the topic of opioids. While she holds an undergraduate degree in medicine, she admits before opening Medicus, she knew nothing about business. “Everything I know I’ve learned from my brilliant partner, Carolyn,” she said. “She’s a visionary and knows the business of medicine inside out. I couldn’t have fulfilled my dreams at Medicus without her. Carolyn is a true partner in all I do. We have two sons who inspire me to be the best I can be ... to

make them proud of where they come from, and to show them what is possible if they invest in themselves.” Her philosophy on life is biblical, something her mother preached to her, from the gospel of St. Luke: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” “It is the responsibility of everyone to care for each other – our families, our neighbors, our fellow man, to the best of our abilities,” she added. She feels blessed to be born to amazing people, the late Edward and Rose Eget. They came from humble beginnings and did not have the opportunity to attend college, but from the day their daughter was born, they began saving their extra money for her education. “They told me I could do whatever I wanted with my life and every dream was possible if I worked hard enough to make it happen,” she said. “And they were right – 34 years after I started college at The University of Scranton, I’m still beginning new ventures.” The businesswoman is also grateful to have three older sisters who have supported her for her whole life: Carol Macuo, Linda Atherton and Karen Spencer. ER doctors who helped her along the way have also been her mentors: Dr Kevin Corcoran and Dr. Cindy Liskov, who guided her in choosing emergency medicine as her specialty and taught her about medicine, professional integrity and compassion for her patients. Eget enjoys gardening, golf, writing fiction and spending time with her family. She lives in Clarks Summit with her partner and their twin boys.




Cassandra Coleman

Cassandra Coleman does not take no for an answer, and that, she says, is why she has already been able to accomplish so many things in her young life. “I am always looking five steps ahead,” she said. “I overanalyze everything, sometimes to a fault, but I have found that it helps me prepare for anything and always be ready for what may be around the next turn.” Coleman is the special advisor to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of the Governor. Over the last four years, she has been the Northeast/Central Regional Director for the Governor, representing the Northeast and Central 28 counties and has handled all the intergovernmental outreach as well as constituent services for those counties as well. She has represented the governor at events and made remarks on his behalf. She oversaw the Cabinet in Your Community initiative, statewide, performing 35 sessions across the commonwealth, taking several cabinet level officials into communities for a forum allowing the residents to be able to address these officials on their ideas and concerns. She recently accepted a new role within the Governor’s office, special advisor, and will also oversee projects statewide. Her main focus, however, will be the Pennsylvania Commission for the United States’ Semiquincentennial – planning America’s 250th birthday celebration in Philadelphia in 2026. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and, hopefully, one that my future grandchildren will read about in history books and my son will be able to tell them that their grandmother planned,” she added. Coleman is on the board for Leadership Wilkes-Barre and the Children’s Service Center. She is an active promoter of blood clot awareness after suffering a near deadly experience with multiple bilateral PEs in 2012, that left her in the hospital for 46 days and discharged in a wheelchair for months while she worked to regain her strength. She is a graduate of Wyoming Area and Kings College with a degree in political science. She has been employed with the House of Representatives under former Democratic House Rep Phyllis

and with US Senator Bob Casey as his Deputy Finance Director. She then formed and operated Cassandra Coleman and Associates, a company engaged in charitable, private and political creation of fundraising networks and community and political event planning. Coleman and Associates maintained a client base of state, county and local political candidates, large and small companies and nonprofit organizations. In 2015, she accepted the role within the governor’s administration, after having him as a client since 2013. Coleman’s grandfather, a former mayor, the late Joe Coyne III, who took her under his wing at a very young age and essentially sparked her interest in politics, has been her mentor. She lives by the philosophy that age is only a number. “I learned very early on in my career that being young and a woman, I had to prove myself to get that seat at the table,” she explained. And that she did, she was the youngest female mayor in the U.S. when sworn in at age 20. Coleman is a proud mother of son, Jimmy Corcoran IV, 4, who is her pride and joy. “I also learned that you never truly appreciate your parents until you become one yourself,” she said. She was featured in O Magazine in April 2011, “Women who defy age” and on the NBC special, “The Smart Woman” in 2011. She has received many awards such as the Leo award at Kings College. The young woman can often be found at her parent’s restaurant, Vino Dolce in Hanover Township, and has grown to love their regular customers who, after all this time, are more like family.



MARCH 2019


Valerie Kiser

Valerie Kiser never gives up even if she finds failure in her pursuits of success. She continues on and finds goodness where there was once failure. As the owner and principal designer of her own business, Valerie Kiser Design, she wears many hats. Depending on the day or project, this can include those of designer, product development implementer, materials buyer, manufacturer, seamstress, social media content developer, product stylist and photographer or shipping coordinator, as well as providing delivery, inventory, invoicing and networking. Her design business produces modern, comfortable design for lifestyle and interiors. Her most popular design is a drawing she completed of the Scranton Electric City sign. She hand-prints that design in clothing and home decor. “This particular design has provided me deep connections with individual customers and other small businesses that are looking to push Scranton forward in a positive way,” she said. “Working to create something new within the community that has never been done is a challenge I love and it is a personal passion to see it come to life.” Her success, she believes, is because she has a vision and never stops until that vision comes to life for her. Her love of art and fashion led her to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fibers and textiles from Savannah College of Art and Design. And she has never looked back. Coming from a family with a strong work ethic provided the groundwork for her success. “We never give up even after we encounter setbacks,” she said. Kiser is continuously challenging herself to create new things while building relationships with local partners, businesses and clients. “I offer high-quality, handmade prod-

“This particular design [a drawing of Scranton’s Electric City sign] has provided me deep connections with individual customers and other small businesses that are looking to push Scranton forward in a positive way. Working to create something new within the community that has never been done is a challenge I love and it is a personal passion to see it come to life.”

– Valerie Kiser Valerie Kiser Design

ucts using quality fabrics and materials at a time when everything seems to be disposable and less sacred,” she said. Her parents, in-laws, and husband continue to all rally around during her busy seasons to help out with shows, child care and all-around support the successful young woman. Over the past year, Kiser had the opportunity to work on a community art project that focuses on mental health, a collaboration with The Pop Up Studio and the Everhart Museum. This effort is realized in an interactive art installation titled “OurSELF: A Reflection of Us.” It was on exhibit at the museum from February through April.


Barbara Sciandra

Barbara A. Sciandra believes in hard work. She also possesses a positive attitude and the determination to never give up. And it shows. The full-time wife and mother is president and co-founder of Paint Pittston Pink, supervising pharmacist of Justice Grown and staff pharmacist at Albert’s Pharmacy. The woman of many hats organizes more than a week’s worth of activities in September and October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to raise money for immunotherapy vaccine cancer research. At Justice Grown, Sciandra was the first pharmacist hired at Luzerne County’s first medical marijuana dispensary. She serves as a liaison between Justice Grown and physician offices and is responsible for community presentations and patient care at both pharmacies. Sciandra is a member of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network; the Holy Rosary School Parent-Teacher Organization, marketing committee and secretary; Leadership Wilkes-Barre where she is a program graduate and served as a member of “Team Free Clinic” which worked to improve, promote, and serve the Wilkes-Barre Free Clinic through collaboration, commitment, enthusiasm and volunteerism; St. Maria Goretti Church - Laflin, also on the scholarship selection committee; lector and advertising chairperson, Festival Planning committee. She has also been a member of the Laflin Recreation board, Liam’s Lighthouse Foundation; Happy Hour Fundraiser chairperson; and a member of the Indoor Intramural Over 30 Soccer League. She has been a guest lecturer at Misericordia University, Erwine Home Health and Hospice, Wilkes University, Medical Oncology Associates, Luzerene County Community College, Gesinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, the Commonwealth Medical College, Wyoming Sminary, Michele’s Ladies in Pink and Relay for Life. She is a graduate of Pittston Area Senior High School and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia – Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Sciandra was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer three months after the birth of her third child. After undergoing the standard breast

cancer treatment at the age of 34, she became passionate about researching alternative forms of medicine. “I was very fortunate to qualify for an immunotherapy vaccine clinical trial at the University of Pennsylvania to prevent a breast cancer recurrence,” she said. “I believe that this treatment which, unfortunately, is not yet main-stream or approved by the FDA, saved my life.” For these reasons, she was inspired to start her own non-profit organization, Paint Pittston Pink. Her mentors have been her friend and Paint Pittston co-founder, Qiana Lehman; her mother, Elaine Fisher, who is the epitome of strength; and her late father, James Patrick Fisher, who taught her to be humble, kind and instilled a strong work ethic. Her husband of 15 years, Sal Sciandra, and her three children – Jameson, 12; Chase, 10, and Cameron, 6, are some of her most fierce supporters, in addition to parents; sister, Ann Fisher; many extended family, friends who are like family, and the Pittston Area community. She has received the Greater Pittston YMCA Spirit of Community Award, the Greater Pittston Person of the Year and the Rene Mock Award. She is a member of the American Society of Cannabis Pharmacists (ASCPh), the Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists (PSHP), the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) and the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA).


Dr. Erica Lesniak Burns

Dr. Erica Lesniak Burns believes a dream does not become reality through magic – instead it takes sweat, determination and hard work. As the primary dentist at Century Dental’s Throop location, she is anticipating the expansion to Scranton, which is currently underway. “I look forward to expanding my hours and allowing better access for my patients,” she said. Lesniak-Burns was also recently appointed to the position of school dentist at North Pocono School District. She volunteers her time and services to provide dental exams for those students that may not otherwise be seen by a dentist, as well as speaks with children at Moscow Elementary Center in the month of February for National Children’s Dental Health Month. Her career path in dentistry began in high school when her uncle, Robert Lesniak, an endodontist in Kingston, asked her to work in his office. She said at first she had her reservations, and thought, “teeth? Really?” But she decided to give it a try. “After only a few days, I fell in love with everything about dentistry – the interaction with people, the ability to help someone and just the overall atmosphere of the office,” she said, adding it was then she decided to pursue a career in dentistry. Upon graduating from Scranton Preparatory School and Penn State UniversityUniversity Park, she made the move to Philadelphia where she attended Temple’s Kornberg School of Dentistry. She graduated in 2006 and stayed in Philadelphia while her husband, Justin, finished his residency in oral surgery. The couple then decided to move home since they were both born and raised in the Scranton area. Her uncle, Robert Lesniak, has been her greatest mentor. “He knew that I had what it took to go into this field,” she said. “He believed in me and encouraged me to follow my

“It’s not always easy, but in the end it’s the hard work and determination that made us successful.”

Erica Lesniack Burns Century Dental

dreams.” Lesniak-Burns is also the first woman in her family to go on to college, let alone to go on to dental school. The never-ending love and support of her parents, Glenn and Barbara, who have always believed in her and sacrificed to get her to where she has gotten to today, has been a tremendous help to her. She attributes her success to hard work and dedication. “It took countless hours and sacrifice from both myself and my family for me to get to where I am today,” she said. She and her husband try to instill in their children – Emma, Noah and Madeline – the philosophy that you are where you are in life because of the time and hard work you put in. “It’s not always easy, but in the end it’s the hard work and determination that made us successful,” she added. Lesniak-Burns is a member of the Pennsylvania Dental Association, Scranton District Dental Society and Temple Dental Alumni Association. In her spare time, she enjoys doing Crossfit at Crossfit Vertex and spending quality time with her family.




It is often stated that life’s greatest treasures come in small packages. Though small in stature, Cathy Walsh Gavin is considered to be a giant of a business woman in her local community and throughout the Northeast Pennsylvania region. Not only viewed as a strong business-minded woman, she can best be described as a community servant, a woman of high ideals with a devilish personality and quick wit and a woman of steel with a heart bigger than herself. To all, she is a friend. The businesswoman’s career in the food business began as a waitress at Stirna’s Restaurant in 1967 under the tutelage of then-owner, John Stirna. Upon Stirna’s death in 1979, Cathy and her husband, Jim, decided to buy the business. The rest is history. Never one to stand still, she began to establish one of the area’s most prominent on-and-off-premise catering businesses in 1985, along with renovation of the restaurant in 2007. Not one to be satisfied with the status quo, her latest endeavor is the expansion to a larger on-premise catering facility in Dunmore, La Buona Vita, formerly the Parish Center at 200 Reilly Street. In making the announcement eight years ago, Gavin stated she had long been searching for a larger venue to accommodate large catering and special events programs geared to suit all tastes and needs – from weddings and anniversaries, to corporate events, special events, themed parties, graduations, funeral catering, reunions and other catering needs. “Expansion of on-premise catering services into La Buona Vita will bring together all the right elements to support larger events and ensure that everyone who visits La Buona Vita will have a memorable experience,” explained Gavin in announcing the endeavor. She knew it was the right time and the right space in Stirna’s history to take on the challenges of a

“A Scranton Tradition Since 1908” Stirna’s ... Community Proud

Cathy Walsh Gavin

larger catering venue full-time. She says she is fortunate to have her son, Michael, involved with her in the business, as well as a very capable and loyal staff. “My ultimate goal has been, and continues to be, that of providing outstanding customer service, the best cuisines, a relaxing atmosphere and environment with personal attention to every detail of an event,” she said. Gavin’s commitment and service to the community is long-standing, as noted by membership in the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce since 1948. Her personal investment in the community is noted through her ongoing commitment annually to such non-profit organizations as Little Sisters of the Poor Holy Family Residence, Friends of the Poor, Ronald McDonald House, St. Joseph’s Center, Catholic Social Services, Boys and Girls Club, St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, Gourmet Gala, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association. She has been recognized for her work and leadership as recipient of numerous awards and certificates including The Scranton Times-Tribune’s Northeast Woman, Lackawanna College’s Distinguished Seeley Service Award, Bishop Hannan High School’s Leadership Award, Goodwill Industries Employer of the Year and Quiet Man’s Society Woman of the Year. She was also recognized by the Society of Irish Women. The entrepreneur’s success is evident because of who she is. “Anything is possible, if you dream the dream and work very hard to fulfill that dream,” Gavin said. “Restaurateurs and professional caterers are handson professionals who spend 60-80 hours a week in meeting the everyday demands of the business. You really need to be willing to work hard, have a passion for your work and a commitment to excellence to succeed in your endeavors.”

Join us in Congratulating Cathy Gavin

Chosen One Of 25 Top Women in Business

120 West Market Street, Scranton, PA 18508 • 570-961-9681 Hours: Tues - Sat - Opens at 4:00



MARCH 2019


Genevieve Reese

Genevieve Logan Reese loves to get involved. Whether it is in her business, her community or just to help others, she is always there for someone. As general manager and part-owner of The French Manor Inn & Spa, there are a number of duties that she may be responsible for on any given day. But she especially likes to spend time with the guests, whether on the phone or during their stay. “Our family presence is one of the secret ingredients to our success,” she said. “I am lucky to run the business with my sister Bridget Weber – it allows us both time at the business, but also allows time for community involvement and activities.” Her childhood consisted of days at the old Buck Hill Falls Hotel, as well as the Mt. Airy Lodge when her father worked there. At the age of 10, her parents bought the Sterling Inn, and the children enjoyed growing up in the family business. While the young girl could not wait to work at the inn, she was first allowed to work in the gift shop, then the dining room and guest services, which consisted of leading cross-country ski lessons, helping at the Wednesday picnics and helping to toast marshmallows at the Friday night bonfire. “I was mesmerized by the business of making people happy,” she said. Having graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School and Mansfield University with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree with a concentration in French and minors in music and education. She returned to the family business after graduating in 1993 with her husband, William Reese. She was eventually general manager for both the Sterling Inn and the French Manor until the inn was sold in 2006. A spa facility with indoor saltwater pool and five luxury suites were added

to expand the manor to a 19-room boutique hotel and spa. She is the Chair of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau Board, board member of the Wallenpaupack Area School District, Newfoundland Library board president, past board president for the Wayne Library Alliance, Wayne County Hotel Room Tax Advisory Committee member, volunteer at the GDS fair on behalf of the Newfoundland Ambulance Association, volunteer cantor for St. Veronica’s Church and volunteer at the Evening of Fine Food and Wine Event to benefit the Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple. “My passion for reading and literacy, and my love of children makes me want to be involved in a real way,” she said. “I am honored to add my business and board background to this exceptional board of community leaders.” Her father, the late Ron Logan, was her first and closest mentor who was a master of negotiating and a visionary in hospitality. “The hospitality business is a close-knit family, and the friends you make through businesses and boards are quite often the people to whom you turn for ideas and advice,” she said. “Jeanne Genzlinger from the Settlers Hospitality group, has been a long time mentor and advocate for me through the years,” she added. Reese attributes her success to her family, friends and community. She and her husband of 25 years have two children, Regina, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science Engineering in nutrition at Mansfield University, and William Jr., who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in business and corporate finance at Penn State University.

CONGRATULATIONS, SHEILA! You will always be our favorite Luzerne County Councilwoman. Carol and David Greenwald • Missy and Bruce Saidman NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL MARCH 2019 31 TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B31] | 02/26/19


Congratulations to this year’s Top 25 Women in Business

We are proud to recognize

Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak

for embodying our mission to improve the health and welfare of our community through inclusive and responsive health services and the sustainable renewal of an inspired, competent workforce that is privileged to serve. Our team provides comprehensive and affordable primary care, dental and behavioral health services for children and adults in Clarks Summit, Jermyn, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. New patients of all ages are welcome, regardless of insured status or inability to pay.

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MARCH 2019


BUSINESS BRIEFS Giant opens beer & wine eatery in Hazleton GIANT Food Stores recently opened its 87th Beer & Wine Eatery in Pennsylvania at its Hazleton store, 70 S. Locust St. The store celebrated the grand opening with beer and wine tastings. Hazleton customers will find hundreds of domestic, imported and craft beers coupled with an immense wine selection in the Beer & Wine Eatery. Customers currently have a “mix-a-six” option where they can create their own six-packs from a variety of craft beers. Customers can also choose from eat-in and take-out selections offered, including sandwiches, wraps, subs and salads. New escape room open in the Poconos People can step into the mental dungeons of Trap Door Escape Room and challenge themselves both physically and mentally in this real-life gaming experience in Bartonsville. The first theme coming to the location is “Cure Z.” This two-hour, zombie apocalypse escape features more than 10 rooms of puzzles to solve with multiple objectives and a deep backstory. Real-life room escape games are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues and escape the room within a set time limit. Trap Door Escape Room blends the original escape room puzzle-solving concept with suspense-driven stories, large movie-quality sets and special effects and some immersive theatre. For more information, visit, or Entech opens new office in Hawley Entech Engineering, Inc. recently announced the opening of a Hawley satellite office. The new Hawley office is Entech’s seventh office in Pennsylvania. It is located at 8 Silk Mill Drive, Suite 211 in the historic, repurposed Hawley Silk Mill building. Long time senior project manager, Doug Berg, PE, who recently returned to Entech, will serve as the office manager. Entech has additional satellite offices in Lititz, Mountaintop, Pittsburgh, Pottsville and State College, in addition to its corporate headquarters in Reading. Ben Franklin to invest $220,000 in regional economy The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors approved the investment of $220,000 in support of regional economic development. BFTP/NEP recently announced the following early-stage company investments that are provided in the form of loans with warrants. ■ Ethnic Beauty Store, LLC, East Stroudsburg University Innovation Center, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County Ben Franklin Investment: $65,000 Expand retail distribution of Ethnic Beauty Store’s proprietary Game Face Grooming product line and boost corresponding marketing efforts. The line is currently comprised of four extra-large-sized wipes, targeted to men who are seeking skincare products that are simple to use. The wipes are fully biodegradable/compostable, have 98.5% natural ingredients and are made in the U.S. ■ Skillion, LLC, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County Ben Franklin Investment: $40,000 Complete development of Skillion’s mobile app for remotely monitoring and controlling an electronic bike (e-bike) to prevent theft and/or manage e-bike rentals.

fund companies appropriately, creating missed opportunities. An in-depth analysis from two nonpartisan research organizations, The Pennsylvania Economy League and KLIOS Consulting, found that Ben Franklin helped to create 11,407 high-paying jobs, generated $386 million in tax receipts for the state, and boosted the commonwealth’s overall economy by $4.1 billion between 2012 and 2016. Every dollar invested by the state into Ben Franklin generates $3.90 in additional state taxes, the analysis found. Ben Franklin Technology Partners serves all 67 counties through four regionally based centers. Each center is united by a single mission – to invest in early-stage innovation-led firms and to develop and support a more competitive and attractive Pennsylvania economy that creates highly paid, sustainable jobs. The partners also work with the state’s manufacturers to help them apply product and process innovations that enable them to be more internationally competitive. According to the analysis, “The Economic Impact of Ben Franklin Technology Partners,” which represents the fifth in a series and covers the period from 2012 to 2016: ■ Ben Franklin invested in 560 companies across the commonwealth. ■ These investments generated 4,182 jobs in client firms, plus an additional 7,225 spinoff positions for a total of 11,407 new Pennsylvania jobs. ■ That helped to boost Pennsylvania’s economy (Gross State Product) by $4.1 billion. ■ Among the reasons for the large impact on the state’s GSP is that these jobs are in industries that pay annual salaries of $79,364 per year, or 52 percent higher than the average private nonfarm salary in Pennsylvania. ■ Pennsylvania received $350 million in additional state tax receipts as a direct result of Ben Franklin investments in client firms. Another $36 million in state tax receipts flowed from related BFTP client services, for a total of $386 million in state revenue due to Ben Franklin. Since its inception, Ben Franklin has invested in more than 4,500 technology-based companies and boosted the state economy by more than $25 billion, helping to generate 148,000 jobs through investments in client firms and spinoffs companies in Pennsylvania. The findings of this analysis come at a critical time for Ben Franklin. Not only is competition fierce with other states launching and investing in their own high-tech economic development programs, but state funding for Ben Franklin Technology Partners has declined sharply over the years. Since 2007-08, state funding for Ben Franklin has dropped more than 50 percent, from roughly $28 million to $14 million per year. Because of diminished state funding, Ben Franklin, which relies on state funding, already has been unable to invest in some deserving companies and has seriously short-funded others. Efforts to bring new customers and product innovations to small manufacturers also are hurt. Still, the Ben Franklin program is among the most widely known and emulated state technology-based economic development programs in the nation, supStudy: Ben Franklin grew Pennsylvania’s economy by porting fledgling enterprises at their most vulnerable point – the early stages of commercialization and $4.1 billion, created 11,407 jobs from 2012-2016 market development. With a focus on startups and innovation, Ben Franklin Ben Franklin clients come from a variety of industries Technology Partners (BFTP) remains a powerful job – from computer software, hardware and telecomcreation and high-tech economic development engine munications firms to a variety of fabricated metal and for Pennsylvania, according to the latest independent economic analysis of the organization. But state funding industrial machinery manufacturers to life science companies, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, shortfalls are starting to curtail the partners’ ability to Both the American and European e-bike markets are expected to grow significantly over the next five years, particularly in urban centers, creating the need for technology to support the sector. Ben Franklin announced the following established manufacturer company investments. Ben Franklin provides 1:1 matching funding for work with a college or university partner on technology-based manufacturing innovation in established manufacturers. ■ C. F. Martin & Company, Inc., Nazareth, Northampton County Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center Improve the accuracy of sales forecasting by applying advanced analytics to internal sales data and integrating external econometric, manufacturing and government research. C. F. Martin designs and manufactures premium stringed musical instruments and musical instrument strings. Enhanced demand forecasting will lead to increased sales and improved operational planning. ■ East Coast Erosion Control, Bernsville, Berks County Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center Improve back-end processes to enhance customer delivery performance, reduce cost-of-goods sold, increase efficiency and maximize production capacity at this manufacturer of erosion control products, turf reinforcement mats and hydro-mulches for the construction industry. East Coast Erosion is one of the largest producers of erosion blankets and other erosion products in the U.S. This upgrade will provide a competitive advantage and facilitate continued growth. ■ Lamtec Corporation, Mt. Bethel, Northampton County Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center Complete the design of a new material handling system and take necessary steps to improve the company’s manufacturing changeover process. Lamtec is a global supplier of insulation vapor retarders and facings to leading manufacturers, laminators, and fabricators of fiberglass, rock wool, foam board and tape. ■ Material Solution Services, Northampton, Northampton County Ben Franklin Investment: $25,000 University Partner: Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center Complete the formulation of new composite materials that can be used for general fill in land development, construction material and mine reclamation. The composites will recycle various waste products in conjunction with a binding agent to reclaim abandoned sites for safe and productive reuse. ■ Mt. Everetts Frozen Creations, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County Ben Franklin Investment: $15,000 University Partner: Wilkes University Complete the design and layout of new manufacturing space for the production of proprietary new Italian ice, ice cream and other frozen desserts. The design plan will address current and future capacity requirements.

biotech firms, instrumentation, robotics and medical device companies. The clients in these industries are innovative and technology-intensive, investing in research and development, intellectual property, capital equipment and highly skilled labor. The full study is available at For more information about Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, visit Evergreen Companies, Inc. announces corporate name change to Evercor Facility Management Evergreen Companies, Inc., a facility maintenance firm headquartered in Northeast Pennsylvania for more than 20 years, has assumed the new corporate identity Evercor Facility Management. The company’s rebranding is a key component of its corporate strategic plan for growth, reflecting the organization’s expansion in market share and service sectors. The rollout of the new branding initiative includes the corporate name change from Evergreen Companies, Inc., to Evercor Facility Management, and a new brand identity marketing awareness campaign including launch of a new corporate website. The name “Evercor” pays homage to “Evergreen,” whose rich heritage will always remain the “cor” (heart in Latin) of its origin. The rebranding will not affect any current or future projects, and the company will continue to operate under its current structure without change in ownership, leadership and staff. Evercor has branch locations in Lehigh Valley, Lancaster and Mechanicsburg. For more information, visit

Shark Tank’s newest shark to speak at chamber dinner Matt Higgins, the newest shark on ABC’s hit show, “Shark Tank,” and vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins, will be the keynote speaker at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s 151st Annual Dinner, sponsored by PNC Bank. Before appearing on the tenth season of Shark Tank, Higgins made his career as the co-founder of RSE Ventures, a private investment firm headquartered in New York City that focuses on sports and entertainment, media and marketing, food and lifestyle and technology. As vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins, Higgins has focused on bringing major sports and entertainment events to South Florida, while building leading sports enterprises at RSE from the ground up. As soccer was finally hitting its stride in the U.S., RSE launched the International Champions Cup, now the largest privatelyowned soccer tournament, drawing the top international teams and more than 140 million viewers. RSE also anticipated the emergence of recreational drone racing and backed the launch of the Drone Racing League, which has become the top drone racing circuit. Higgins has supported many socially driven organizations, working most closely with Autism Speaks and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as a founding board member. He also serves on the boards of Momofuku, Milk Bar, VaynerMedia, Bluestone Lane, RESY and has been named a top 40 executive in New York and one of the most outstanding executives in sports. This year’s annual dinner will be held on Thursday, March 28, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton. Tickets are available at



Each month, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal and NEPIRC recognize one of the region’s outstanding manufacturers. These companies exemplify the ways in which innovation, modern approaches to workforce training and the latest new technologies are creating good-paying industrial careers across our community.

Foundries Forge Ahead Through Innovation and Versatility Foundry operations - which involve pouring melted metal into pre-formed molds to create usable products - fuel our country’s manufacturing economy. In fact, over 90% of all manufactured goods depend on metal castings. One Hazleton-based foundry and its affiliate in nearby Weatherly have successfully merged tradition with technology to advance their positions as innovators in castings for the energy, transportation, mining and industrial markets. Hazleton Casting Company’s (HCC’s) history dates back to the early 1900’s as a manufacturer of industrial pumps. Since that time, the company continuously modernized itself under the leadership of several different owners until Michael J. Lieb aquired both Weatherly Casting & Machine Company in 1989, and Hazleton Casting Company in 2003. Some 16+ years later, both companies are enjoying stability and growth by coupling the latest innovations with a highly-skilled workforce dedicated to exceptional quality and unmatched customer collaboration. Among its peers, both companies are renouned as foundries that can capably produce small batch, one-of-a-kind and prototype castings using virtually any standard or proprietary metal recipe, including rare alloys and a multitude of steel, iron, nickel and copper. Their ability to add corrosion and abrasion resistance elements to recipes also gives the companies an industryvalued competitive edge. “Rather than compete over high-run, commotitized products, we specialize in working with customers to produce low-quantity, specialized prototype or replacement castings,” said Tony Badamo, President & Chief Operating Officer at HCC. “Our diverse alloy capability, dedication to craftsmanship and adoption of new technologies gives us onestop-shop potential that many of our customers capitalize on,” he added. As leaders in innovation, the companies recently integrated a robotic 3D printer that creates customer molds from proprietary sand compounds into their operations, thus eliminating the need for patterns and core boxes, which have long been the industry standard. By designing, HCC’s Viridis3D RAM 123 robotic sand printer is one of few in the industry today.



MARCH 2019

manipulating and exchanging 3D renderings of custom molds, HCC can work more closely with its customers, reduce finished product lead times and ultimately save the customer money. To maximize the benefits of its unique 3D printer, HCC took advantage of NEPIRC’s Solidworks training and Penn State University’s research experts, who are currently working on a project to refine the composition of the printed sand media to give HCC an even greater market advantage. HCC’s and Weatherly Casting’s committment to technology is matched with great dedication to its workforce. “Our employee turnover is extremely low because we understand that our associates are skilled craftspeople,” said Mr. Badamo. The companies, which enjoy an average employee tenure of 15+ years and recently retired Sand-printed molds reduce product lead workers with more than 30 years of times and allow HCC to collaboratively experience, are currently hiring for develop prototypes and unique solutions. positions ranging from metalurgists to machinists. Upon joining HCC, new hires can elect to enter the company’s internal apprenticeship program as a way to ensure they will advance their careers as the companies continue to lead the way in high-tech common and special-alloy casting.

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Governor Wolf aims to ‘Restore Pennsylvania’ and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “Our position is that putting an additional tax on top of the impact tax and on top of the corporate net income tax will have an Barr adverse impact on our competitive ability.” A severance tax would be based on the amount or volume of natural gas removed from ground, while the impact fee focuses on the drilled well. The impact fees are distributed throughout the state. In 2018, $209.6 million was distributed for projects according to the Public Utilities Commission. Only Pennsylvania has an impact fee. All other states that have gas drilling, have a severance tax. “We think a severance tax would make Wolf us uncompetitive when it comes to other by Phil Yacuboski states,” said Barr. “We get what he’s trying to do, but I don’t think it’s fair to have one Governor Tom Wolf has an ambitious industry subsidize what would be a wideplan to ‘Restore Pennsylvania’ through its spread social good.” aging infrastructure. It would bring high “It’s like Groundhog Day,” said David speed internet access throughout the state, Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus build flood control projects and pay for new Shale Coalition, a trade association reproads and public transit systems. resenting the Marcellus Shale industry in “Over the past four years my adminPennsylvania. “It’s packaged a lot like the istration has worked hard to improve our impact fee was packaged when it passed infrastructure and build strong, stable and we were told it was going to go to a lot communities across the commonwealth,” of the same projects.” the governor said during the January anHe said the impact fee has generated nouncement. “We’ve made progress, but almost $1.7 billion dollars for projects we still have more work to do.” across the state. The $4.5 billion plan would be paid for “We are in a dogfight for capital,” he by a severance tax on natural gas extracsaid. “Pennsylvania has a high corporate tion, something Wolf tried in his first term income tax rate and we have to be able to and failed to achieve; while the Republicans compete and if we lose that balance, we control both houses of the legislature, the lose the upstream development which is Senate approved the tax, but it failed in now cascading downstream into Pennsylthe House. Republicans argue Wolf’s plan vania.” ‘can’t come at the expense of taxpayers and In 2017, Bradford County was awarded the economy,’ according to House Speaker nearly $4.3 million dollars. The money was Mike Turzai. used to lower taxes, restore the roof of the It’s the fifth time Wolf has made such a county courthouse and to build a new 911 proposal. center. In neighboring Susquehanna Coun“We continue to be opposed to the tax ty, they collected more than $3.25 million; on natural gas,” said Gene Barr, president the money was used for road construction

and to buy heavy equipment. In 2016, Cummings Township, Lycoming County saw more than $922,000, the highest amount of any local municipality in the state. There are currently more than 8,500 active gas wells in Pennsylvania, according to the Commonwealth. Senator John Yudichak, a Democrat from Plymouth Township, has called for the severance tax Yudichak saying it’s time for both a responsible and ‘common sense’ approach. Yudichak is the minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. “This is about the safety and security of the citizens of Pennsylvania and the economic future,” Yudichak said in a news conference with Governor Tom Wolf in

Wilkes-Barre. “We continue to have an interest in infrastructure,” said Barr. “What has hurt Pennsylvania over the years is our pension system and that’s putting us in the Spigelmyer red.” Spigelmyer said he believes Governor Wolf is coming after the natural gas industry because it’s growing and its flourishing. “He’s trying to fulfil a campaign promise,” he said. A 2018 study by the Reason Foundation found that Pennsylvania’s highway system is among the worst in the country. A 2018 study by Penn State researchers found that only a small portion of Pennsylvanians meet the FCC required speed for broadband access.

Sat, March 23 1 9 Complimentary Breakfast/Lunch General Information/Financial Aid Meet Faculty & Current Students Campus Tours

LCCC Campus Center




Allied Services Integrated Health System announced Chris Langley was promoted to vice president of information systems. A 17-year employee, Langley plays an important leadership role as the nonprofit health system continues to lead the way in implementing and maximizing information systems for the benefit of patients, medical professionals and staff. He became director of outcomes analysis in 2006, has served as the assistant vice president of systems improvement, and LANGLEY most recently as assistant vice president of information systems.

Joe Ruddy has been promoted to assistant vice president of facility services. A 12-year employee, Ruddy began his career as chief engineer in 2006 and was promoted to director of facility services in 2015. Ruddy, a Navy veteran, also served as a firefighter and EMT for the city of Scranton RUDDY until 2015. He continues to maintain designations as a certified health care facility manager and certified fire inspector II.

Melissa Kelleher, R.N., BSN, has been named assistant vice president of the home health division. Kelleher oversees a staff who provides skilled nursing, medical social services and physical, occupational and speech therapy to patients in their own homes. She is a certified OASIS specialist, COS-C and a home care coding KELLEHER specialist, HCS-D. She joined in 2013 as a patient care supervisor. From 2014 to 2016, she served as clinical director of quality, compliance and audits for the home health care service and in 2017 became director of operations. Michelle Peffer, R.N. has been appointed the new director of nursing for the team at Allied Services Transitional Rehab Unit in Scranton. She brings with her more than 18 years of experience in health care, with more than seven years dedicated to helping patients in a skilled nursing setting.

Association nationwide strategic planning groups and is a member of Pennsylvania’s Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Cultural Diversity Advisory Council.


The Wilkes-Barre office has announced the following hires: Joshua Piestrak joined the survey team as a survey assistant after working as an intern last summer. He previously worked at Arrow Surveying in Tunkhannock.


Amy Tsai, process designer, joined the oil and gas facilities team. Before attaining her master’s degree at Lehigh, she worked at CTCI, Taiwan’s largest engineering, procurement and construction company. Her seven years of project experiences include LNG facilities, oil refineries and polymer plants. She is also currently working on obtaining her EIT. Benjamin Jacobson joined the IT team as a systems network administrator. He was born and raised in Mountain Top, but left 12 years ago to work at the University of Notre Dame as an application and systems administrator.





M. Kyle Shostek achieved the designation of certified public accountant and was admitted as a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs in November. A graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and Widener University, Shostek is a corporate accountant for the company headquartered in Plymouth Meeting. A native of Clifford Twp., he resides in Philadelphia.


Marilee Barone has joined the real estate firm, bringing experience in both residential and commercial real estate markets. She has been an active member of the Greater Scranton Board of Realtors since 2006, Suburban West Realtor Association since 2012, and has been involved in a family commercial construction business her entire career. Barone earned her broker license in 2009.




Clayton Jacobs has been named executive director of the chapter in Scranton. He joined in 2008 and was previously vice president of programs and services since 2012. In this leadership role, he was responsible for all programs, services and public policy outreach for the chapter. Under his leadership, the chapter has developed a wide array of new initiatives and partnerships. He has been a participant on various Alzheimer’s

The Clarks Summit bank has announced the following promotions: Joseph McDonald has been promoted to executive vice president/chief operating officer and treasurer. He joined the bank in October 2012 as vice president/treasurer and strategic planning, was later elevated to senior vice president/ treasurer and strategic planning in April 2013, and first senior vice president/chief operating officer and treasurer in November 2015. He will begin to take on MCDONALD



a greater management role in the institution’s overall operations in order to achieve qualitative and quantitative objectives established by the CEO and board of directors. Noreen Joyce has been promoted to vice president/ corporate secretary. She started her career with the bank in April 1985 as corporate secretary. She was elevated to officer status in January 1987. She will continue to perform a variety of tasks focused on maintenance of corporate JOYCE records and providing administrative duties for executive management, the president and CEO and chairman of the board. Vincent Martone has been promoted to vice president/branch manager and security officer. He started with the bank in March 1980 as a teller and was promoted to branch manager in January 1984. In October 2007, he was elevated to assistant vice president/branch manager and security officer. He will continue to serve as branch manager of the HonMARTONE esdale office, act as the bank’s security officer and perform a variety of tasks to support the branch’s network initiatives.

MARCH 2019

The health system is expanding its services and providers at the Nanticoke Medical Center to include vascular surgery and wound care. John Guerriero, D.O., and Michael Levandowski, a certified registered nurse practitioner, will begin seeing patients at 4 E. Main St., Nanticoke, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons from noon to 4 p.m. Guerriero specializes in general and vascular surgery, hyperbaric medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He has been on the medical staff of Berwick Hospital GUERRIERO since 2007 and has served as medical director of the Comprehensive Wound Healing Center, Berwick, since 2010, and is a zone director for Healogics Wound Care Co. He completed a residency at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital and a fellowship in vascular surgery at Grand Rapids Medical Education & Research Center, Michigan State University. Todd Burda has been promoted to the position of vice president of access and business development for the health system. His primary goal will be to work with market leadership as the system advances its plan to integrate market level operations. His focus in this new role will be to identify and coordinate efforts relating to access across Commonwealth’s market with team members from all sites. Burda has worked in health care for more than 25 years and in nursing for 16 years. He most recently was assistant chief nursing officer at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. BURDA

Two employees joined with a local university professor to co-author a research study. Heidi Bockelkamp, P.T., DPT, market director of rehabilitation services at Regional Hospital of Scranton and Moses Taylor, along with Dana Maida, PT, DPT, Regional Hospital staff therapist, worked with Barbara Wagner, PT, DPT, MHA, professor emerita, University of Scranton, on the study. Maida also is a University of Scranton faculty specialist and assistant director of clinical education. The abstract of the study, “Determining AM-PAC ‘6-Clicks’ Functional Assessment Cutoff Scores to Predict Discharge Destination in Patients Following Total Joint Replacement,” was presented at the American Physical Therapy Association 2019 Combined Sections Meeting in the acute care section Jan. 23-26 in Washington, D.C. Interventional cardiologist Daniel Tsyvine, M.D., has joined the physician network and the medical staff of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Tsyvine is certified in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology and echocardiography and is a registered physician in vascular interpretation. His specialties TSYVINE include interventional cardiology, peripheral vascular arterial disease, percutaneous left ventricular assist devices, varicose vein disorders, non-invasive cardiology, transesophageal echocardiography and vascular ultrasound interpretation. He will see patients at 672 S. River St., Suite 101, Waterfront Complex, Plains Twp. Frank Chen Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., ZHANG has joined the physician network and will practice neurology at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Zhang specializes in inpatient stroke care and neurologic disorders including Parkinson’s disease, seizures, headaches, dementia, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and muscle spasticity. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He also will see patients at the Waterfront Complex, 670 S. River St., Suite 203, Plains Twp.


The organization appointed new members to its board of directors: Julie Bean, Mike Murray, Lindsay Bezick and Anthony Melf. Bean is the dean of admissions and financial aid at Wyoming Seminary. She is a second-year doctoral student at Wilkes University, where she is working toward a doctorate in educational leadership. Murray is the president and publisher of the Times Leader Media Group. He serves as a board member of the WilkesBarre Chamber of Commerce, the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of



Please see Personnel, Page 37

PERSONNEL FILE FROM PAGE 36 of Business & Industry, the Diamond City Partnership and the Pennsylvania News Media Association. Bezick is the chief operating officer and vice president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. Before joining the staff at the chamber in 2016, Bezick held positions at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the Philadelphia 76ers and Genetti Hotel and Conference Center. She dedicates her time to a number of local organizations including the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals. Melf is an instructor and career navigator with EDSI Solutions at PA CareerLink of Luzerne County in Wilkes-Barre. A native of Wilkes-Barre, Melf volunteers his time with several organizations and committees in Northeast Pennsylvania.




Juliette McKerrell of Eldred, N.Y., joined the bank as vice president, commercial lending officer. McKerrell has more than 18 years of professional experience developing customer relationships, 12 of them in the financial services arena. Her responsibilities in her new post include garnering commercial customer relationships in the area as well as maintaining existing commercial relationships.


Karla Porter was promoted MCKERRELL to director of people and communications of the self-performing facilities maintenance company in Wyoming, specializing in the interior and exterior maintenance of commercial and industrial facilities. Using the skills and experience gained during more than 20 years of working in human resources, marketing, PORTER technology and more, Porter will develop and oversee the growing Human Resources department, along with the Marketing Department, internal and external communications. Porter joined the Evergreen Family of Companies in August 2017 as human resources recruiter. Porter is a veteran of the Air Force.


Attorney Kevin P. Foley was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 25th Edition of the Best Lawyers in America. Foley has been recognized by Best Lawyers for his work in the fields of litigation, insurance; medical malpractice law, plaintiffs and personal injury

litigation, plaintiffs. He currently handles medical malpractice, insurance bad faith and trucking/automobile injury cases for the law firm. Foley served as a law clerk to Justice James T. McDermott, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, from 1988 to 1989. He has also served as a member of the board of governors of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Lackawanna County Civil Rules Committee, the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association For Justice.


Vicki T. Sapp, Ph.D., a faculty member and director of student engagement, diversity and inclusion, recently traveled with 23 GCSM students to Drexel University’s College of Medicine to participate in the 2018 Racism in Medicine Conference. Sapp also presented a breakout session at the conferSAPP ence, “Understanding and Interrupting Microaggressions in Medical School Education,” meant to provide attendees with the tools to recognize and navigate potentially awkward or harmful situations and interactions. Geisinger Commonwealth co-sponsored the conference. Nephi Walton, M.D., assistant professor of genomic medicine at Geisinger, has been named program director for the master of genomics program at the School of Graduate Studies. He will also continue his role as informatics researcher and board-certified clinical geneticist at Geisinger, where he conducts research and sees patients for the diagnosis and management of complex genetic disorders. Walton will oversee the WALTON curriculum coordination and curricular administration of all aspects of the MS-G academic program, including planning, organizing, leading and monitoring the program in coordination with the Office of Graduate Programs and the assistant dean for graduate academic affairs.


Leadership Lackawanna, a community leadership and professional development organization, recently installed new board members who will serve a three-year term. They are Sean McAndrew, Ingargiola Wealth Management Group; Kim Rollman, TMG Health, A Cognizant Company; Todd Pousley, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pa.; Kayla Guilford, Lackawanna College; Kristyn Smith, Tobyhanna Army Depot; and Mark McHugh, Commonwealth Health/Moses Taylor Hospital.



Cindy Motichka was recognized for 25 years of service at the bank’s annual Employee Recognition Dinner at Lukan’s Farm Resort. Motichka joined in 1993 as the bank’s loan review officer for more than nine years before assuming the position of accounting administrator. In 2004, she was promoted to loan operations supervisor. In 2008, she

was promoted to assistant vice president and was elevated to vice president in 2013. She has served as the bank’s loan compliance officer and works in the mortgage center in WilkesBarre as the loan servicing manager. In addition to Motichka, three employees were honored for 20 years of service. The honorees each received a golden HNB lapel pin with two diamonds, signifying their two decades of service to the bank. The honorees were Cherese Golya, loan servicing clerk, Mortgage Center; Mary Ann Risboskin, loan officer, Forest City office; and Beverly Simons, branch manager/loan officer, Lake Wallenpaupack office.




Attorney Ryan M. Molitoris, a resident of Plains Twp., has joined the law firm’s personal injury team. Molitoris will be providing legal counsel to personal injury clients throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, focusing on product liability, medical malpractice and premises liability. He will be based in the firm’s Kingston office at 600 Third Ave. Molitoris is a member of the American, Pennsylvania, Luzerne County and Lackawanna County bar associations and the Federal Middle District of Pennsylvania.


Attorney Sarah E. Argo has been promoted to shareholder in the Scranton office of the law firm. Previously, she was an associate of the firm. A member of the firm’s Casualty Department, she concentrates her practice on matters involving premises liability, trucking and motor vehicle liability, municipal liability, UM/ UIM claims, insurance bad faith and dram shop claims. Argo is admitted to practice in both the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and United States District Court of New Jersey. She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Lackawanna County bar associations.

only BSRT program in the region. She will develop the new program’s curriculum, oversee its accreditation process, and develop and maintain relationships with medical facilities. Since 2012, Hughes served as an assistant professor and director of clinical education for the respiratory therapy HUGHES program at Harrisburg Area Community College. She had previously served that institution as an adjunct professor and clinical instructor, beginning in 2005. Vijayachandra Ramachandra, Ph.D., associate professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department, was one of the highlighted speakers at the 28th Congress of the National Academy of Psychology, held in New Delhi, India. In his talk titled, “The Different Avatars of Sound and Symbolism,” he presented research from his lab and current evidence from literature to discuss the connection between sound symbolism and synesthesia, how it is processed in the brain, its role in language acquisition in children, and language recovery in individuals with aphasia. He also chaired a technical session on cognitive psychology at the conference.







The university recently appointed Joy Hughes, Dillsburg, as the founding director of its new Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy Program, which is the

Stacy Gallin, director of the Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust, and Amanda Caleb, Ph.D., director of the Medical and Health Humanities Program, recently presented at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 13th World Conference on Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law in Jerusalem. The academics hosted a GALLIN special session to introduce Misericordia’s Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust — the first academic center of its kind in the world — to conference attendees. They also presented the “Pledge to Preserve Human Dignity in Health Care,” which was signed by representatives from 30 different countries. The online pledge was created in January 2018, and enables health care professionals and concerned citizens to take action and actively commit to uphold the values of dignity, equality and justice within health care with their signature. The university recently honored 60 employees at the 39th annual Service Awards Dinner, including President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., for having achieved milestones on their years of service to the college community. Botzman celebrated five years of service July 1. The event included special recognition for history professor David Wright, Ph.D., of Dallas, who was recognized for 30 years of service, and Linda Grey of Noxen, Marnie Hiester Idec of Tunkhannock, Lalit Shah of Clarks Summit, and Loraine Zelna of Falls Twp. who were honored for 25 years of service. Employees recognized for 20 years of service: Sue Barry, Dallas; Pauline Bump, Pittston; Marilyn DeHaven, Dallas; Josephine Dougherty, Shavertown; William McMonigal, Plymouth; Maureen Pascal, Forty Fort; and Please see Personnel, Page 38




FROM PAGE 37 Jeanne VanDuzer, Tunkhannock. Employees recognized for 15 years of service: Angela Asirvatham, Shavertown; Sheryl Goss, Hunlock Creek; Michael Hilstolsky, West Wyoming; Karen Klimas, Harding; Mary Jo Nelson, Shavertown; Maria Reccahia, Dallas; Charles Saladino, Lake Ariel; Jay Stine, Shavertown; Joseph Wallace, Dallas; and Stephanie Winsock, Trucksville. Employees recognized for 10 years of service: Lailani Augustine, Shavertown; Lynn Blazaskie, Hanover Twp.; Trish Burgess, Dallas; Ted Chernyl, Larksville; Anna Fedor, Dallas; Joseph Grilli, Jenkins Twp.; Richard Hancuff, Dallas; Angelo “A.J.” Nudo, Dallas; Michael Orleski, Dallas; David Pasquini, Trucksville; Melanie Shepherd, Kingston; Janilla Stark, Plains Twp.; Steven J. Tedford, Mountain Top; Adele Wagner, Lehman Twp.; and Cheyne Wago, Scranton. Employees recognized for five years of service: Laura Angeline, Shavertown; Michael Diakun, Mountain Top; Pamela Dwyer, Hanover Twp.; Heather Fritz, Shavertown; Elizabeth Kavanaugh, Swoyersville; Barbara Krupsha, Exeter; Darlene Kuchinski-Donnelly, Wapwallopen; Susan McDonald, Kingston; Kathryn Michael, Dallas; Matthew Nickel, Dallas; Tracey O’Day, Wilkes-Barre; Welyn Pegarella, Hunlock Creek; Kelly Phillips, Dallas; Katherine Pohlidal, Glen Lyon; Laura Rock, Kingston; Randy Schimelfenig, Dallas; Maureen Sheridan, Dallas; Cathy Speace, Shavertown; Matthew Titus, Dallas; Ryan Weber, Greentown; Joshua Winneker, Chester, N.J.; and Andrew Yakobitis, West Pittston.


Donovan Klem has joined the staff as a business

finance specialist. He will be responsible for continuing the success of the agency’s loan program, working closely with the SBA 504 program. He will also be responsible for evaluating business loan applications and advising clients of the proper course towards loan approval. Klem will also be working on financial statement analysis, credit analysis, KLEM data entry/reporting and loan servicing. He recently interned in the agency’s Business Development Division. Klem is a native of Hillsgrove and currently resides in Dallas.


George R. Shadie, of Drums, has been named a member of the company’s 2018 President’s Council. Members of the council are among the top 5 percent of the elite sales force of 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Shadie has been an agent since 1989 and is associated with the Northeast Pennsylvania General Office in Scranton. He earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation SHADIE through the American College. He serves on the board of directors for Supporting Autism & Families Everywhere

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MARCH 2019

and worked with multiple charity organizations in the community, including the Coalition on Autism.


The board of directors at the resource center recently elected new officers at its annual meeting in Hanover Twp. Gregory Stanton, P.E., vice president/GM of helmet operations at Gentex Corp. in Carbondale, was elected chairman of the board. Garry Hartman, president of Cheetah Chassis Corp. in Berwick, will serve as vice chairman. K. Alan Holbrook, manager of engineering and tech serSTANTON vices at Quadrant, EPP USA Inc. of Scranton, was appointed treasurer. William Cockerill, AFL/CIO community services liaison for the United Way of Lackawanna County in Scranton, was selected as secretary. The industry-led board of directors is responsible for setting and monitoring the organization’s overall strategies HOLBROOK in pursuit of its mission of increasing the competitiveness of manufacturers throughout the northeast and northern tier of Pennsylvania.


Dr. James Wilkerson, SPHR, program coordinator for the campus business and project and supply chain management programs, will present two research papers at a national conference next month, one of which he co-authored with chancellor Marwan Wafa, Ph.D. The annual conference of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) took place Jan. 23-27 in St. WILKERSON Petersburg, Florida. Wilkerson’s first paper, “Chronic Underfit of the Small Firm’s Hrm Function: When Low Functional Elaboration Interacts with Contingencies,” explains how and why small firms’ personnel management functions are typically underdeveloped and the resulting negative effects on firm performance. The paper he coauthored with Wafa is titled, “Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition in a Declining City: Shrewd Choice or Wishful Thinking?” It addresses whether entrepreneurial opportunities are readily recognized in declining cities. The authors present four propositions as to how the budding entrepreneur’s sense of the city’s decline relates to opportunity recognition. WAFA Katherine J. Stefanelli, Ph.D., L.P.C., recently joined the campus. Stefanelli is a licensed professional counselor, a national board-certified counselor, has worked for more than 18 years in both private and educational settings,

and is also a state-certified secondary school counselor. She has worked as a college, secondary school and extension educator facilitating a workshop series on family cohesion. Stefanelli will be working directly with students for one-on-one counseling, as well STEFANELLI as part of the campus’ Health Services and Student Services teams to provide workshops, presentations and information on a variety of mental health and wellness issues and topics.


Luzerne County farmer Raleigh Masters has been elected the new state chair of the bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher Committee. As leader of the committee, Masters also assumes a position on the bureau’s State Board of Directors. Masters, a potato and grain farmer working in partnership with his wife, in-laws and other family, says one of his priorities will be to increase outreach efforts to engage with younger farmers. Masters also wants to make MASTERS sure that young adults, who have represented agriculture in their counties and across the state, have an opportunity to continue to be engaged in activities and careers associated with farming.


Malcolm Williams has joined the bank as a commercial lending officer serving Luzerne County. Williams has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. He served in the Army for more than seven years. His military career encompassed enlisted service in the National Guard, infantry and as an armor officer, with the rank of first lieutenant.


Ann A. Sheroda has joined as an associate broker. She is WILLIAMS a multimillion-dollar real estate producer who’s been in the business since 2005. Born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania, Sheroda has a great handle on the market in the greater Scranton area. The majority of her experience, time and dedication has been poured into serving clients in NEPA, connecting buyers and sellers. She is knowledgeable of other regions as well. She is also licensed in New Jersey, servicing those interested in investing in rentals SHERODA and vacation homes at the New Jersey shore (Margate).

Please see Personnel, Page 39



Joel Grabin, MBA, has joined the foundation as finance and accounting manager. He brings more than 12 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, most recently serving as a contract and grants manager at Lehigh University in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Additionally, he has experience as an underwriter in the health care industry. As the finance and accounting manager, Grabin will oversee the foundation’s GRABIN accounting and financial activities, including fund accounting, budget oversight and financial reporting.


Todd Rothermel, Macungie, has joined as chief operating officer and corporate counsel. Todd brings a wealth of experience in construction, business operations and organizational strategy. Having previously spent more than 30 years working for various companies, he is no stranger to the construction industry. His experience includes projects within the industrial, health ROTHERMEL care, educational (including primary and secondary), retail, residential, warehouse, military, religious, government, automotive, sports, restaurant and entertainment sectors. He looks to continue the company’s success in providing clients with construction solutions to meet their evolving needs.


Donna Sedor, a seasoned nonprofit executive, has been named executive director of the organization. Currently, she serves as the director of development for the Women’s Resource Center of Scranton. She has extensive experience with nonprofits, which includes serving as the director of development for the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association and vice president of the SEDOR Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. She also worked in the public relations area of C-TEC Corp. (now Frontier Communications).


Keith Goyne, a Wilkes-Barre area native, has been appointed associate dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment. The associate dean will be a strategic partner and adviser to the dean, responsible for establishing and executing short- and long-term goals and initiatives. Goyne was formerly associ-

ate director and professor of soil and environmental science at the University of Missouri School of Natural Resources. His background is in soil science, and his research in the field has centered on understanding the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment and the anthropogenic effects of humans on soil health.


Chaitali Thakker, DDS, joined as a full-time dentist at the Together For Health Dental Center. Thakker offers general dentistry for children and adults at the 600 Maple Ave. office in Honesdale. She joins Brian Brown, DMD, and Susan Granquist, DMD, at the practice. She was formerly employed as an associate dentist at East THAKKER Chocolate Dental, Hershey, and its affiliate office Jonestown Dental Associates, Jonestown. Thakker recently relocated to Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, Neil Patel, M.D., who is completing his cardiology fellowship with the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, Scranton. Two members of the health care centers’ team received Awards for Primary Care Excellence from the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers on Oct. 10. Kenneth Bannon, physician assistant at Carbondale Family Health Center and Honesdale Family Health Center, was presented the Customer Service Excellence award in recognition of his exemplary customer service to health center patients and colleagues. Bannon is consistently the highest scoring of the health center’s 35 primary care providers as measured by the Crossroads BANNON Patient Experience surveys and receives nearly perfect scores in all provider ratings. Frederick Jackson was presented the Carolyn Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award given at the direction of the PACHC board of directors in recognition of his long-term commitment to the health center’s mission of access to affordable, quality health care for all. Jackson was hired as executive director in 2007. In his 11 years at the health center, the organization has grown to JACKSON having nearly 300 employees with eight primary care offices, four women’s health offices, two dental offices, a neurology office, a surgical office, a behavioral health office, a pediatric office and a veteran’s outpatient clinic.



Longtime Wayne Memorial advocate Nancy Turano Propst is now the chairwoman of the foundation. Propst succeeds Milt Roegner, who will remain on the foundation’s board of trustees. The foundation also welcomed Peter Bochnovich as its new assistant secretary-treasurer. Both Propst and Bochnovich bring many years of community activism to their new posts.

Propst joined the foundation in 2011. She has been involved with the hospital since 1980 when she was a dietetic student. She has worked as a dietitian at Wayne Memorial Hospital, Maternal and Family Health Services and several skilled nursing facilities. Bochnovich, executive vice president and chief lending officer at the Dime Bank, is a 23-year resident of the area. Bochnovich serves on the boards of many local organizations, including the Wayne County Community Foundation and the Wayne Economic Development Corp., but the foundation board represents his first appointment to a Wayne Memorial entity.



the 2018 annual conference in October. Shah will serve a two-year term. Shah serves on the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association’s Membership Committee and is a frequent presenter for pharmacist and student continuing education programs. He also serves as SHAH the grand council deputy for the Delta Omicron Chapter at Wilkes University of the National Pharmaceutical Fraternity Kappa Psi.

Submit Personnel File items to business@ or The Times-Tribune, 149 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 1850


William H. Lindaberry has joined the office as a real estate sales associate. Lindaberry will be assisting home buyers and sellers throughout Monroe County with all of their real estate needs. He is excited to take advantage of the numerous business tools and marketing strategies LINDABERRY Weichert provides its affiliate agents to help them offer the best real estate service in the industry. Lindaberry is a member of the Pocono Mountains Association of Realtors and Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors.


Teresa Mazur joined the Clarks Summit office. She joins a dedicated team of knowledgeable agents who bring many years of combined real estate expertise to their clients.

Relocation Opportunities Wanted


Nicole Pezzino, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was named Distinguished Young Pharmacist during the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association 2018 annual conference. She has a clinical practice site at Weis Markets in Schnecksville, where she works as a community pharmacist and PEZZINO certified diabetes educator. Pezzino was also recently named a 2018-2019 Faculty Scholar by the National Association of Chain Drugstores Foundation and was previously one of Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association’s Top Ten Under Ten Award recipients. She is a member of the board of directors of the Lehigh Valley Pharmacists Association and serves as the academia practice director on PPA’s board of directors. Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice Vicky Shah was installed as the northeast region director of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association during

Bring us any and all potential locations. We will determine if we can develop or relocate to your site. Pennsylvania Counties of Interest Include: • Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, Wyoming

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MARCH 2019


Profile for CNG Newspaper Group

Northeast PA Business Journal -- March  

Northeast PA Business Journal -- March