Business Journal NORTHEAST
THE REGION’S AWARD-WINNING SOURCE OF BUSINESS NEWS AND INFORMATION
JUNE 2017 VOL. 32 NO. 6
Our annual economic roundtable tackles Trump and more PAgE 17
PROFILES IN MEDICAL EXCELLENCE
SEE PAgES 12, 13, 15
tecBridge Winners Shine
SEE PAgE 4
Participants of the economic roundtable entitled “Perpetuating Greatness: The First 100 days” included: (Front row) Jeff Box, president and CEO, NEPA Alliance; Matthew Dennebaum, EVP, Standard Iron Works; David Farrington (moderator), chair, Vistage NEPA; and Geoffrey Mesko, partner, Drucker and Scaccetti, PC. (Back row) Sam Ceccacci, executive director, Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency Inc.; Frank Zardecki, deputy commander, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Anthony Aquilina, MD, Geisinger Northeast’s regional president; Gary Linde, president, Leeward Construction; Roger Howell, president, Howell Benefit Services; Ron Kukuchka, owner, Ace-Robbins Inc.; and Robert Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.
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Benefits of going green
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SEE PAgE 5
Business Journal NortHEASt
Vol. 32, No. 6 • JUNE 2017 149 PENN AVENUE ScrANtoN, PA 18503 www.biz570.com
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Above: Moderator David Farrington, chair, vistage nEpA, led the recent economic roundtable entitled “perpetuating greatness: The First 100 days.”
COnTRIbuTIng REpORTERs Dave Gardner, Kathy ruff, Phil Yacuboski ADvERTIsIng sAlEs ExECuTIvE Judy S. Gregg — ext. 5425 email@example.com
perpetuating greatness ........ 17 - 33 tecbridge Winners...................... 4 going green.............................. 5 businesses Making Waves ............ 7 AFA goes to the senate.............. 14 Tax Credits............................. 16 supply Chain Challenges ............ 19
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tecBRIDGE winners shine division award for creation of a patent-pending hearing protection device. Blaise Delsino, 25, of Bethlehem, America’s up-and-coming millennials were reprethe four-member team’s CEO and co-founder, said the sented among the winners in this year’s tecBRIDGE group exploited a market niche that recognized how, Business Plan Competition. The event, the 15th in the at one time, virtually no one thought about gradual series, awarded the winning teams a share of more hearing loss inevitably creating permanent damage for than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes while recog- musicians and workers within airports and industry. nizing superior and creative plans for commerce. According to Delsino, during 2010 the CDC Tunefly, located in the Twin Stacks Incubator in Dal- reported that 26 million Americans ages 20 to 69 were las, was the tecBRIDGE wild card winner. Their entry, suffering from noise-induced hearing loss of some launched in September, specializes in streaming local kind. This comprised 17 percent of the public, generatmusic for hobbyists, aspiring artists and established ing a huge market for an effective preventative product performers. which Delsino’s audiologist father often called for. Samuel O’Connell, 26, of Noxen, serves as CEO “The ear plugs commonly available are inconwith a four-member team that created the application. venient and uncool,” said Delsino. “They have to be They had recognized that the glory days of record deals twisted into the ear canal, fiddled with, and they often opening doors for musicians was rapidly receding into fall out because one size does not fit all.” history, creating difficult times for recording artists. To fill this market niche, the Fader Plug team creIn addition, performing musicians are finding it ated a passive ear plug which they claim to be invisible difficult to generate a fan base, despite the fact that and discrete. The product allows the user to “dial in” hidden musical gems exist across the country, even the amount of auditory protection desired, with no among hobbyist musicians. The mechanics of the mu- power needs in an elegant and form-fitting package sic industry also now make it difficult for a performer that uses mechanical attenuation. to distribute their creations, despite the existence of A prototype covered by a provisional patent has popular streaming services. been assembled, with an eight to 12-month timeline “The hard fact is that 80 percent of music is now for retail sales. The units will be assembled in Minstreamed,” said O’Connell. “There has been some nesota, with a $5 cost of production and a retail price comeback of the vinyl LP, but overall, music is now of $24.99. communal and any artist must use the phone to record “We’ve beta tested on Kickstart, and will initially and deliver because the Internet has spread across the concentrate on direct retail sales within the industrial country.” market,” said Delsino. The Tunefly software was developed in-house, creating what O’Connell called the team’s biggest Spontaneous gatherings hurdle. As a group, they possessed graphic design Cracked Innovations, located in the Scranton experience, but they also learned to code and create Enterprise Center, won the first-place award in the software updates with a commitment for the app to be non-collegiate division with a networking application user-friendly on a phone and not just with PC use. for meeting people called WhatNow. This app, avail“The feedback from musicians so far has been very able for use on both iOS and Android, is the creation promising,” said O’Connell. “We traveled cross-coun- of a four-member team, headed by Kevin Granville, 39, try to promote the app and gain feedback, and some a Forest City native who jokes he was very late to the of the artists using Tunefly already have more than 40 Facebook use. music posts up.” WhatNow exploits the ability of social media to The revenue stream for Tunefly, according to deliver targeted information that is interest-based. O’Connell, is being generated in several ways. Topping Users can connect with people in real time and receive the list is advertising to users, coupled with payment an active data feed of activities that are time saving, for premium content without advertising as well as allowing spontaneous inclusion with activities. access to exclusive content. Users of the app can pull up a data feed that lists who’s doing what, post desires for activities and inform Hearing preservation others of an event on both Facebook and Twitter. Another millennial team, Fader Plugs from East The app, according to Granville, had a very practical Stroudsburg University, won the tecBRIDGE collegiate genesis. By Dave Gardner
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Tunefly, Wild Card Winner.
Fader Plugs from East Stroudsburg University, Collegiate Division
Cracked Innovations, NonCollegiate Division “We were in a bar on a motorcycle trip and noticed a gang of females arrive who were alone in the bar,” said Granville. “We made the observation that they needed to connect with other people, and the idea for WhatNow resulted.” The app also fills what Granville calls a need for youth to get out in real world and away from excessive cyber interaction. The team strived for simplicity during development of the software, which was outsourced to
SHO Technology solutions in the Scranton Enterprise Center. “Our revenue stream flows from advertisers promoting specific equipment to specific users, such as ski equipment to skiing enthusiasts,” said Granville. “Other examples of this include biker merchandise to motorcycle users. We also have other features such as an event coordination app that can produce revenues.”
BENEFITS OF GOING GREEN By Kathy Ruff
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” — John Muir, American naturalist and conservationist (1838-1914) John Muir’s love of nature fueled his desire to conserve it. He also understood its interconnectedness to daily our lives. Today many businesses with those same convictions recognize the benefits of ‘going green’ and incorporate conservation practices that not only help the environment but also help their bottom lines. Recipient of a 100 Energy Star rating for its undertakings, Geisinger Health System (GHS) began tracking results of its ongoing efforts nearly 20 years ago, recognizing ancillary benefits to its now $15 million annual energy cost savings. “To us, it’s about more than money,” said Al Neuner, GHS vice president of facilities operations. “We view it as being a mission. As we use less energy, that means there is less fuel burned in the power plant. As you burn less fuels in a power plant, they create less pollution. As we have decreased pollution, we have improved health for the population we serve. The other impact of that is as we improve health, we improve health care costs.” Improved health outcome include avoidance of six deaths across the system, four cases of chronic bronchitis, 129 fewer asthma attacks and 6,160 fewer respiratory symptoms, according to Neuner. GHS incorporates efficiency into all of its systems and processes and generates its own power at its Danville campus. Its efforts transformed a 31 percent efficient electricity-making process to 75 percent by capturing the heat byproduct created to power lights, boilers and steam-driven chiller turbines. “For the same amount of fuel, we are getting more than twice the output out of it,” Neuner said. “In 2010, our energy cost in Danville was $3.01 per square foot. Today it’s a buck and a quarter. That’s a tremendous saving on three million square feet.” Geisinger recently announced construction of an $18-million central utility plant for its Wyoming Valley campus, anticipating lowering its operating costs between $1 and $1.5 million annually. Neuner hopes other businesses will incorporate projects to tap into the savings for the business, no
matter how small the efforts. “If I’m changing out a light bulb or a heating system that only consumes half the energy, the risk is zero,” he said. “If I have a 100-watt light bulb and replace it with a 5-watt LED, that’s a 95-watt savings — the risk is zero.” Others have heeded that call, including Pittston’s Fidelity Bank. “Fidelity Bank considered the environment when it constructed its buildings,” said Daniel J. Santaniello, president and CEO, Fidelity Bank, Pittston. “The use of sustainable products and green practices lessen the use of natural resources and the environment. It is our way of being a good steward of the community.” Opening in June 2015, the bank’s Pittston
building highlights a swooping “cool roof,” made of silver and white metals that reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, cutting down on air temperatures of the surrounding community. Other eco-friendly features include high-energy efficient HVAC systems, radiant heat and daylight harvesting sensors that adjust artificial lighting based on the amount of natural light. The building uses occupancy sensors that automatically turn off lights and automatic and low-flow restroom fixtures that conserve both water and energy. “We have put a lot of time and effort in creating ‘paperless’ whenever possible such as moving to IPAD-based meetings, using less paper, setting our copiers to duplex automatically as well as encouraging our customers to sign up for
electronic statements,” Santaniello said. “We have been able to see a decrease in paper consumption through these efforts.” Efforts to conserve natural resources include those at Jessup’s Dempsey Uniform and Linen Supply. “Being part of the reuse of textile products, uniform and table linens is a pretty green process compared to disposable,” said Kristin Dempsey, vice president. “More specifically, we put an addition on to our location recently and installed some new equipment that has helped enhance our commitment to green.” Part of that addition houses a new continuous batch washer that costs more than $1 million. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
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FEaTURE: ECONOMIC IMpaCT
Businesses across NEPA are making “waves” within a complex ocean of regional commerce By Dave Gardner
If you’ve purchased a coffee carry-out with a Dunkin Donuts beverage carrier, you’ve also patronized LBP Manufacturing, located in the Jessup Small Business Park. This food service packaging firm from Illinois now occupies the 100,000-plus-square-foot building once used by BAE Systems, with the site opening aided by Harrisburg that provided more than $181,000 in grants for employee training and $148,000 in job creation tax credits. Dan Ensley, plant manager, explained that the company spent about $6 million to renovate the building and install new machinery. The current workforce of 20 employees is scheduled to escalate to 70 by early summer. According to Ensley, the company desired an east coast location that would bring its products closer to buyers, lower transportation costs and decrease its carbon footprint. Institution of a lean manufacturing operation utilizing the Six Sigma disciplines also was part of the Jessup plan. “Our basic philosophy delivers a production system that is defined and innovative and operates with safety while being faster, quicker and easier,” said Ensley. “Simply put, we manufacture better products with employees of choice for customers of choice who want their products made here.” Ensley also explained that LBP is very serious about
projecting a corporate brand with social responsibility. The company is pursuing LEEDS environmental certification for the Jessup facility, and delivers a social responsibility program that includes employer support such as payment for employee community service hours. “We knew this location in NEPA would benefit from the work ethic of the employee base,” said Ensley. Total guest experience Warm souls who wish to cool off on sweltering summer days, as well as warm up during winter’s deepest chill, can enjoy the 78,000-square-foot water park at Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. Bill Colavito, general manager, explained that the resort serves more than 550,000 visitors per year from 188,000 families within a target audience of 40 million people in the nation’s northeast corridor. The resort’s attractions are firmly targeted at children age 12 and under who are within two to three hours by car travel. They arrive for day and overnight trips to the spacious facility which was a ground-up construction project in 2005. The busy indoor water park has a seasonal outdoors section with all of the water maintained at a cozy 82 degrees. High thrills are delivered by 13 water slides, with others designed to be more kid-friendly. The outdoor segment of the water park has cabanas available for family comfort, after which visitors can
relax within one of 401 themed hotel suites. In addition, guests can enjoy an arcade, scavenger hunts, golf, spas, restaurants, and retail outlets. “The hotel and all of our attractions are under one roof, creating a situation where guests don’t have to leave the property for the full experience” explained Colavito. “Our biggest challenge now is that we could actually use more space.” Unlike many of his resort competitors, Colavito reported that his location does not grapple with labor challenges. Great Wolf is a full-year operation with 550 employees who are coached to provide a total experience for each guest “Each year we refresh the experience we deliver, and always strive for an outstanding success level,” said Colavito. Risen from death A Luzerne County specialty plastics operation that went bankrupt in 2009 has risen from the ashes to new life with 150 full-time employees under the name of i2M. The company now produces “calendaring” lines of PVC film and sheet used in applications such as commercial roofing, swimming pool liners and wall coverings, within 245,000 square feet of manufacturing space supported by a 143,000-square-foot warehouse. Chris Hackett, president and CEO, reported that revitalization of the company required realignment of the
internal culture to favor teamwork and adherence to a strategic vision. “We had to alter the direction of ship with the knowledge that the workforce is really the key to making good products,” said Hackett. “The new culture we installed allows them to function with accountability as a team.” According to Hackett, the failed business he purchased possessed substantial in-house talent, but the previous management was not using these skills. The new managerial system granted authority and responsibility as though the employees owned their own business, with the understanding that accomplishment would be measured and performance feedback generated. “The situation here had a comparison to the sports world, where a losing team has great athletes,” said Hackett. “We aligned goals, granted authority, and created a new environment with a partnership culture.” As the business arose from death, Hackett’s team ran alternate production lines and he traveled while pleading his case to regenerate the customer base. This was all done during some of the darkest days of the Great Recession when virtually no banks were lending, forcing Hackett to use his personal resources to purchase and revitalize the business. “Everyone thought I was crazy with this project because I already owned several other profitable businesses,” said Hackett. “We proved all of them to be wrong.”
Central location adjacent to Gateway Shopping Center. This 5200SF, open span building provides many options for your business. The 1.2 acre lot offers ample parking for 75+ cars.
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FANTASTIC BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY-Well Established, fully equipped, turn-key business-bar and restaurant. Prime Harvey’s Lake Location! Full bar w/seating for 20. Four separate dining rooms with seating for 150. License included if purchased as bar/restaurant. Owner retiring. Ample parking. Second floor apartment with 5 rooms and bath.
MLS# 16-3231 MARIBETH 696-0882
Great high traffic area! Building currently being used for residential rental and retail space. MLS# 17-2335 SHANNON 696-0720
Home & business under one roof. Professional office space in place w/paved parking lot. Apartment w/2BR upstairs, lot parking. MLS# 16-4283 KATHY 696-6403 OR SUSAN 696-0876
Kingston: 570.288.9371 Shavertown: 570.696.3801
MLS# 15-1791 PEG 498-4551
Hard to find 4+ garages with clear span, KIT, 3/4BA, BR/office. 200 amp service w/220 service system too! MLS# 16-6245 ANITA 501-7583
Fabulous property with all the amenities. Great space for your business. Move right in! Plenty of storage and back building that can be apartments or whatever you can dream. 24 hour notice.
Mountain Top: 570.474.9801 Wilkes-Barre: 570.822.1160
Buy it... Be your OWN boss. Great place, great space with many use opportunities. Terrific H’Way exposure with H’way Occ. permit in place. Multi-use property includes office, garage and warehouse space. Zoned General Commercial. Open a day care, restaurant or cab terminal. All permitted uses! 2 Buildings included for sale.
MLS# 16-5314 PAT 501-7580
Office suite in the heart of Kingston. This well appointed suite features 4-5 offices, reception, break room, rest room and off street parking.
MLS# 16-3086 JUDY 714-9230
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MLS# 17-1724 MARIBETH 696-0882
$159,900 FOR LEASE
Located on highly traveled RTE 92. This 1600SF has ample parking and is ideal for ‘’back’’ office operations. Additional 800SF & 1200SF space available for $7.50/SqFt. See agent for details.
Previous dental office for 30 years! Off-street parking for 8-10 cars. Waiting room, reception desk, 5 private offices, 2 rest rooms. Professional seeking your own space, call today!
Nice location for Gymnastics, a dance studio or service type business.
MLS# 17-2367 MATT 714-9229
Drums: Hazle Twp:
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ENERGY BENEFITS OF GOING GREEN continued from page 5
“The biggest thing for us is just realizing as long as you’re willing to make an investment up front, what is smart for your business can also be good for the environment,” Dempsey said. “This washing machine will allow us to save a million gallons of water a year. That is both cost savings as well as good for the environment, conserving those natural resources. It’s a big up-front cost but we get a couple big benefits out of it, which is that it’s better at cleaning and producing our textiles, the uniforms and linens. It also saves water which saves money and it’s good for the environment.” Dempsey also sees other long-term benefits. “It’s for us an investment in serving our customers that are down the line but also remaining cost competitive,” she said. “You’re offsetting increases costs so that you can maintain your costs for your customers.” Maintaining costs and using manufacturing byproducts efficiently represent two benefits for another local company. “As a supplier of a next-gen synthetic wood and fabricated products that are made from that mate-
rial, we are dedicated to protecting our community and the environment,” said Craig D. Smith, sales and marketing director for Highwood USA. “The products that we make and the processes that we use to make them are all designed with this in mind.” Highwood’s green initiatives include re-using post-industrial waste materials in its products, investment in a solar field that powers its offices and recycling all byproducts of its processes. “It’s difficult to give a hard number on savings, however what I can say is that we are able to better control our material costs, allowing our customers to enjoy more stable pricing and maintaining the competitiveness of our products in the marketplace,” Smith said. “There is a tremendous sense of value for the whole team in knowing that we make a difference and develop environmentally conscious products that our customers use and appreciate in their own outdoor living spaces.” Looking at its spaces, Benco Dental recently incorporated green initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. “The project aimed to evaluate potential green options for a roof plant system, renewable energy systems (wind, solar) and continue looking for
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Benco also rewards employees with desirable options to reduce our carbon footprint,” said parking spots for hybrid vehicles and participaAmy Llewellyn, continuous improvement leader tion in a carpool program. Other changes include overseeing green initiatives for Pittston’s Benco the use of biodegradable takeout containers in Dental. “The outcome: Benco Dental obtained an its cafeteria operations and installation of an air Energy Star Score of 62 using the Energy Star pump to ensure optimal fleet tire pressure, which Portfolio Manager created by the EPA. The online has helped to reduce its fuel tool estimates the building’s consumption. carbon dioxide emissions, “Sustainable develop“There has been a lot of compares the building to ment is the pathway to interest in learning more about others in the United States on the future we want for a 1-100 scale, tracks energy this,” said Marleen Troy, Ph.D., consumption over a year and all. It offers a framework P.E., professor of environmore and analyzes electricity, mental engineering at Wilkes to generate economic water, natural gas, waste and growth, achieve social University’s department of enrecyclables.” vironmental engineering and Benco enjoys a silver LEED justice, exercise environ- earth sciences. “It’s encouragmental stewardship and ing. There’s a lot going on with certification for optimizing its energy performance with strengthen governance.” energy efficiency, better waste equipment and appliances, management.” — Ban Ki-moon, South Korean reusing resources from other Wilkes offers a four-course leader locations and optimizing natuonline certificate program in ral light. The company also sustainability management, installed thermal-control monitoring (climate-con- providing more of the tools needed to implement trolled warehousing), uses low-emitting materials programs in the workplace. when possible, insured water-usage efficiency and “We’re seeing more and more interest, parinstalled CO2 sensors. ticularly because all these organizations are seeing “On an ongoing basis, Benco Dental offers what a benefit it is to them,” Troy said. “Even doing our associates educational opportunities and the a lot of little things, such as reducing paper usage ability to bring items from home to recycle,” said and increasing awareness about the benefits, can Llewellyn, including electronics recycling, secure make a difference. Besides being good for the paper shredding and broadcasting weekly green environment, it’s also good for those organizations’ tips internally. bottom line.”
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For more resources on how to ‘go green,’ visit www.usa.gov/green and www.energystar.gov/.
EDUCaTION BUSINESS AND EDUCATION LEADERS: COMMUNITY COLLEGES ARE KEY TO CLOSING WORKFORCE SKILLS GAPS Student aid reforms and reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act are keys to fighting a looming shortfall of qualified workers that could damage our state and national economies in the years to come. That was the major takeaway from a new ReadyNation report, “Community Colleges are the Sturdiest Bridge to a Successful Workforce,” released at an event at Luzerne County Community College (LCCC). Several local leaders, including Congressman Lou Barletta, lent voices of support to the report’s findings. Other speakers at the event included Wico Van Genderen, president and CEO of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce; Thomas P. Leary, president of Luzerne County Community College; George Rando, controller/HR manager at Advanced Metals Machining; Danielle Gross, director of public affairs, PA Commission for Community Colleges; and Shane Nilon, a computer numerical control machining student at LCCC. The ReadyNation report notes that the United States faces an estimated shortfall (or “skills gap”) of five million workers by 2020, due to a lack of employees with the proper credentials or education to fill open positions. The report points out that community
colleges are particularly adept at giving students the skills they need to fill many of those roles in the modern workforce. Van Genderen highlighted a 2016 survey by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry that showed more than half of Pennsylvania’s employers (52 percent) reported having difficulty hiring people with adequate skills, training or education. “While these skill gaps could be devastating on the state and national economy,” van Genderen emphasized “community colleges are key to closing these gaps as they uniquely provide many of the education, training and skills to grow the pipeline of skilled workers for existing positions and the positions of tomorrow. Our community colleges are a key gateway to maintaining a healthy feeder system to ensure our nation’s economy remains competitive.” George Rando spoke of the partnership between Advanced Metals Machining in Olyphant and LCCC. Noting the frequent challenges that employers face in finding skilled labor, Rando complimented LCCC for the caliber of its students and noted that they are well poised to succeed in manufacturing and other careers.
Leahy Hall Awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification
controls, lighting occupancy sensors and efficient lighting including many LED light fixtures and LED exterior lighting. Also, many of the materials for Leahy Hall were supplied from within a 500-mile radius. “In addition, as is the practice on the rest of our campus, green cleaning supplies and equipment are used to maintain Leahy Hall by our facilities operations staff on a daily basis,” said Mark Murphy, the University’s director of sustainability, who also noted that many of the environmentally-friendly features of the LEED certified buildings are also used in the University’s other facilities.
The University of Scranton’s 117,420-square-foot Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, silverlevel certification. LEED certification is globally recognized as the premier mark of achievement in green building practice. Facilities earning LEED certification must prove to have met or exceeded requirements based on criteria set by U.S. Green Building Council. Leahy Hall is the third University building to achieve LEED certification. The University’s 118,000-square-foot Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center achieved silver-level LEED recognition in 2009, becoming the city of Scranton’s first LEED certified building. The University’s 200,000-squarefoot Loyola Science Center earned LEED gold status in 2014. Materials used, water efficiency and energy-saving devices were among the key factors considered for the Leahy Hall’s certification. Among the many “green features” of the eight-story building are a green roof and patio, water efficient landscaping, use of recycled materials, innovative automated heating and high-efficiency air conditioning temperature control system, low consumption water fixtures, lighting
The ReadyNation report also noted that community colleges provide a path to the middle class for many students who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to move up. This is attributed to the affordable price tag of community colleges paired with the fact that graduates with an associate degree earn 33 percent more on average than a worker who has only a high-school diploma. LCCC president Thomas Leary detailed how community colleges are unique in meeting the needs of business and industry in the region by providing students options in community college degrees, transferability of credits and various workforce training programs. He also spoke of the critical importance of financial aid in boosting access to and completion of community college programs. Participants emphasized the critical need for the passage of federal Perkins Career and Technical Education reauthorization as well as student aid reforms that are part of the Higher Education Act reauthorization. Specifically, the ReadyNation report calls for: • Simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); • Making summer Pell Grant funding available to students; and
• Ensuring more accessible and continuous financial aid counseling. Danielle Gross, speaking on behalf of the Pennsylvania Commission of Community Colleges, called these reforms common-sense measures that will help ensure more students will attend a two-year college. Congressman Lou Barletta added his own support for higher education reform saying that, “For the student of today, non-traditional is the new traditional.” Congressman Barletta added, “A four-year college degree is simply not for everyone. However, our laws on career and technical education have not been updated in over a decade. The Perkins Act reauthorization will allow us to identify in-demand skills and connect students with the opportunities to develop them so that they can compete for jobs.” State Sen. John Yudichak noted the bi-partisan support for greater student access to community college. He noted a statistic in the ReadyNation report: More than 170,000 Pennsylvania jobs will not be filled by qualified in-state employees because of the skills gap. “Many of those jobs could be filled by state residents if they could get the training at community colleges,” Yudichak said.
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Our health coaches are with your employees every step of the way. When your employees are healthier, they’re happier and more productive. That’s why we have health coaches like Stephanie who team up with members like Cortne. Cortne was at risk for diabetes, so Stephanie suggested a plan that helped her lose 50 pounds — so far. And Stephanie even calls her regularly and meets her every month for a walk, to keep her on track and motivated. Members who get help from health coaches are #LivingProof.
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pROFILEs IN MEDICaL EXCELLENCE
Loren Grossman, D.D.S.
By Dr. Loren Grossman
Human papilloma virus (HPV) commonly known as the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer in women is increasingly being recognized as a cause of infections that colonize the back of the mouth (throat) including the tongue base and tonsillar areas. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually-active men and women get it at some point in their lives. You can get HPV by having vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. Anyone who is sexually-active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected making it hard to know when you first became infected. As a dentist, we do oral examinations for any suspected signs, symptoms of mouth
HPV vaccines are on the market to prelesions. HPV found in the mouth and throat vent cervical and other less common genital is called “oral HPV”. Some types of oral HPV can cause cancer of the head and neck cancer. It is possible that HPV vaccines might also prevent oral cancer, areas, warts in the mouth and since the vaccines prevent an throat. Signs and symptoms may initial infection with HPV types that include persistent sore throat, can cause oral cancers but studies earaches, hoarseness, enlarged have not yet been done to deterlymph nodes, pain when swalmine if HPV vaccines will prevent lowing, and unexplained weight oral cancers. It is imperative you loss. Some people have no signs see your dentist every six months or symptoms. Oral HPV is more Grossman (at least) for your rou-tine exams common in men than women. and hygiene, and your den-tist will Only a few studies have looked screen you for any oral lesions and other at how people get oral HPV and some of diseases of the oral cavity. these studies show conflicting results. In summary: Some studies suggest that oral HPV may be You cannot get HPV from: passed on during oral sex. More research is • toilet seats; need to understand how oral HPV is passed • hugging or holding hands; on, how it can be prevented and who is • swimming pools; most likely to develop oral health problems • hot tubs; from an oral HPV infection. It is likely that • having a family history of the virus; or condoms, when used consistently and cor• sharing food, utensils or being unclean; rectly, will lower the chances of giv-ing or getting oral HPV during oral sex.
You can have HPV: 1. Even if it has been years since you were sexually active; and 2. Even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms; The HPV tests on the market are only approved to find cervical HPV infection in women. They can be used to help test women at certain ages and after certain Pap test findings to help look for cervical cancer. There is no approved HPV test to find HPV on the penis, anus, vulva, mouth or throat. There is no test for men or women to check one’s overall “HPV status.” The American Cancer Society recommends that women ages 30 to 65 get both HPV test and Pap test every five years. (Another option for these women is just a Pap test every three years.) While this can find the cell change caused by HPV, it does not find HPV infection. Remember, prevention is always better than treatment.
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pROFILEs IN MEDICaL EXCELLENCE
Juan DeRojas, M.D.
Juan DeRojas, M.D. was born in Cuba and fled with his surgeon father and the rest of his family when Fidel Castro came to power. He said this experience gives him a unique perspective on U.S. citizenship. “Like so many immigrants, I am grateful, I am very patriotic and I look for ways to pay this country back,” he said. Once he earned his medical degree from Temple and became a practicing surgeon, Dr. DeRojas had the courage to pursue the most perilous means of payback possible. After 9/11, he signed up as a U.S. Army doctor. He was deployed to Afghanistan as a surgeon with the rank of lieutenant colonel. When he volunteered a second time, he was deployed to Iraq with the rank of colonel. “The army learned a lot after Vietnam,” Dr. DeRojas said. “We know there’s a golden hour after a trauma. In Vietnam, they were taking the wounded and moving them back to facilities behind the lines. It took too long and there were too many deaths.” The Army’s solution was to create Forward Surgical Teams (FST) — two surgeons, nurses, medics and OR techs — who travel with the soldiers right up to the front line. As a member of an FST, Dr. DeRojas has performed surgery under fire, while roadside bombs exploded, and in tents in the desert with no air conditioning. “My army experience has made me a better surgeon and a better person,” Dr. DeRojas said. “You learn to function under terrible conditions. You know you can be blown up at any second. You learn to keep your cool. The result is that now, very few things bother me. My OR at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital is very calm, very low key. The nurses say it’s why they love to work with me.”
DeRojas Dr. DeRojas, who grew up in Mountain Top and is a graduate of Bishop Hoban High School (now Holy Redeemer), said he enjoys surgery — even in a calm, secure OR — because “I’m a doer. With surgery, there’s a problem and you fix it. There’s instant gratification knowing you helped somebody.” He now passes on his love of surgery as a member of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s clinical faculty. “I love teaching,” he said. “The Geisinger Commonwealth students are very bright. They come from diverse backgrounds and are very willing to learn — and they ask a lot of questions and keep me on my toes.”
COMMUNITY-BASED PATIENT-CENTERED INNOVATIVE EDUCATION
Without the expertise and the example of our community faculty members, we would not be able to mold the physicians of the future.
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunties.
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And now it goes to the Senate “What passed today isn’t a health care bill, but a scheme to cut taxes for millionaires and big corporations, a giveaway for special interests and forces middle class families to pay more for their health care.”
— Senator Bob Casey
By Phil Yacuboski
As the Trump Administration continues to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, its future and the future of those it now covers is hanging in the balance. Even though Americans are being promised a replacement, it’s also still unclear what that means or what it will include. The repeal comes in the form of significantly reducing (or eliminating) federal tax credits to lowand moderate-income families to then pay for policies through the health care marketplace and payments to Pennsylvania for Medicaid. Simply put, Medicaid’s financing to the states is in jeopardy. It’s Medicaid that affects Pennsylvania’s older population, one of the five largest in the country. “We are cautiously optimistic because it could have been much worse coming out of the House,” said Russ McDaid, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, an advocacy group for seniors. Medicaid was expanded in the ACA when it was passed during the Obama Administration. McDaid said nursing homes right now are losing more than $9,000 per year in funding with cuts to Medicare, something that will likely get worse as funding decreases. “Under the ACA repeal, there would be a finite amount of money that would come to Pennsylvania,” he said. “It’s possible the final version could look more like a block grant and that would be devastating
of Obamacare’s crippling mandates, including the individual and employer mandates and replaces them with provisions meant to drive down the cost of health insurance and increase access to affordable, patient-centered health care,” said. Rep. Lou Barletta, (R-Luzerne). “What passed today isn’t a health care bill,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) the day the House passed its repeal, “but a scheme to cut taxes for millionaires and big corporations, a giveaway for special interests and forces middle class families to pay more for their health care.” to Pennsylvania, especially as our senior population Its future in the Senate will likely be in the hands of grows.” some Republicans and many of which remain wary. McDaid said as Pennsylvania’s population gets That’s where some parts of the House version can older, it relies more and more on Medicaid funding. remain, be strengthened or even eliminated. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Pennsylvania’s And then there are the jobs it would cost. In a senior population (those 65 and older) at 15 percent, study done by the Commonwealth Fund, a private second only to Florida. The Kaiser Family Foundation foundation that studies health care issues, it found estimates almost two million people in Pennsylvania 137,000 Pennsylvanians would lose their jobs if the are enrolled in Medicare, a number that is one of the ACA was repealed across all sectors of the economy. highest in the nation. “While about 57,000 were in health care, the “We’re definitely going to see access challenges if others were in other areas of the economy,” said Dr. the bill passes as is,” he said. Leighton Ku, a professor in the department of health A repeal vote would threaten health coverage to policy and management at George Washington Unimore than one million Pennsylvanians, according to versity, who analyzed data from all 50 states. “There the Hospital and Healthsystem of Pennsylvania. were reductions in overall state budgets, how much “We’re very concerned because a number of business activity there is in the state and reductions in people were able to secure health insurance under the state and local taxes. If there are fewer people paying ACA and now a good many of them are likely to lose taxes, then that means less money for everyone.” it,” said Paula Bussard, chief strategy officer, HAP. He estimates Pennsylvania would lose $2.4 billion She also estimates if the current changes to the in local and state taxes. The study also showed busiACA remain in place, over the next 10 years, hospitals ness output across the state would lose $128.9 billion. in Pennsylvania would lose $14 billion in Medicaid “The real problem for the state in a few years payments. would be that there would be a lot more people unin“When you have nearly one-third of Pennsylvania sured and there would be more unemployed people hospitals already operating in the red, with a negative and there would be less tax revenue.” total impact, that kind of financial impact is pretty In late May the Congressional Budget Office significant,” she said. “That will impact all of us with released findings that says 23 million more Amerihealth care because we don’t have Medicaid hospitals, cans would be uninsured and there would be lower we have hospitals that serve our communities.” premiums for less coverage under the current bill. Those in Congress already have strong feelings. “The American Health Care Act repeals many
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MyCode study could lead to new drugs to prevent coronary artery disease People with certain mutations in a gene known as ‘ANGPTL3’ are up to 41 percent less likely to get coronary artery disease, according to the results of a major new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The finding, a result of work coming out of Geisinger’s MyCode Community Health Initiative, could lead to new drugs that mimic the effect of these gene mutations and lower the risk of coronary artery disease. Previous work had shown that some mutations to this gene cause decreased levels of low-density lipoprotein — commonly known as ‘bad’ cholesterol — as well as triglycerides and high-density lipoproteins. However, whether this produced an actual effect on cardiovascular disease was unknown. This study, led by collaborators at the Regeneron Genetics Center, demonstrated that there was an effect of decreasing coronary artery disease. In the first part of the two-pronged study, researchers looked at genetic data from 58,335 adult MyCode participants and reviewed the electronic health records of those patients who had one of 13 mutations to the gene. Compared to individuals without a mutation in the ‘ANGPTL3’ gene, those with one of the mutations had a lower prevalence of coronary artery disease. In the second prong of the study, Regeneron gave an antibody-based drug that inhibited the function of the gene to mice and later to healthy volunteers as part of an early-stage clinical trial. They found that the drug had similar effects to the gene mutations – it inhibited the functioning of the ANGPTL3 protein in humans and, in the mice, the antibody reduced the extent of atherosclerosis, a precursor to coronary artery disease. The conclusion is that drugs which inhibit ‘ANGPTL3’ activity are a potentially effective way to reduce the risk of atherosclerotic disease in individuals with elevated cholesterol and could help in the fight against coronary artery disease. “This is an exciting research finding that identifies a potential target for better drugs to prevent coronary artery disease in high risk individuals. It’s a great example of the power of genomic analysis in a large clinical population. This research was possible only because of the thousands of Geisinger patients who volunteered to participate in the MyCode Community Health Initiative,” said David J. Carey, Ph.D., a co-author on the paper and chair of the Department of Molecular and Functional Genomics at Geisinger.
HEaLTHCaRE UPMC Susquehanna Employees Set Health and Wellness Example UPMC Susquehanna employees made healthier choices, exercised a little more and shed pounds during a weight loss challenge promoting employee wellness and health. This is the third year that UPMC Susquehanna has hosted the weight loss challenge. During this year’s challenge, 779 employees on teams competed for the biggest loser team title for either top percent body fat or top pounds, and collectively lost 2,955 pounds. “Our jobs as health and wellness educators are to encourage our employees to live healthy lives,” said Jerrod Ferrence, supervisor of Employee Health & Wellness at UPMC Susquehanna. “The weight loss challenge was created as a way to encourage employees to change their lifestyles, live healthier lives and walk the talk of our health care organization, setting a good example for the communities we serve. It amazes me that in three years, our employees have shed a total of 11,125 lbs.”
Employees weigh in each month with the educators to encourage them and track their progress. The educators were also available for teams or employees individually as a resource for nutritional, health and exercise coaching and education. At the conclusion of the challenge, two teams were recognized for achieving the top designation for their challenge category, “Cake Walk,” Williamsport Regional Medical Center, for top percent body fat loss and “The Fat and The Furious,” Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, for top pounds lost. Each member of the winning teams received a paid day off of work as a reward. The weight loss challenge is one of the many programs at UPMC Susquehanna aimed at improving employee, as well as community health and wellness. Other initiatives include a macronutrient challenge, running/walking teams, health fairs, free classes at local YMCAs and more.
pROFILEs IN MEDICaL EXCELLENCE
The Visiting Nurse Association Hospice and Home Health of Lackawanna County, in Olyphant PA, is in the living, dying, death and survivor recovery business. We are here to support and assist our patients and their families through the hills and valleys of their lives. For Bereavement Coordinator, Olympia Cianfichi, that means preparing families for the death of their loved one and providing counseling and/or therapy after the death, as needed. Credentialed as a Social Worker, Certified Christian Counselor and Certified Thanatologist, Olympia’s objective is to treat each person individually and provide tools to promote and enable healthy grieving based on their unique needs and strengths. This is accomplished by individual or family counseling/ therapy, our traditional Bereavement Support Groups which meets on the 2nd Wednesday at 12:30 or 3rd Thursday at 6 p.m., social grief groups such as Knit/ Crochet group every Monday at 1 p.m., Fisherman Knot Rosary/Ugly Quilt Project every Tuesday at 1 p.m., and Yoga for Healing every Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. ($10 fee). VNA Hospice believes that our changing times requires a variety of ways to assist those of all ages through their loss and feel these groups have proven to work nicely when addressing various issues of grief, loss and recovery. All groups meet at the VNA
Health Care Providers Discuss Critical State Primary Care Loan Repayment Program The Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment (LRP) program, which provides student loan debt relief to healthcare providers who agree to work in underserved areas, could be disrupted by a proposal to change the state government branch with LRP oversight. The proposed state budget would move LRP oversight from the Department of Health to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, thus jeopardizing this successful LRP program. Community health centers are urging the General Assembly and the Wolf Administration to keep the LRP under Department of Health oversight and at its current funding level. “Massive student loan debt combined with the national shortage of primary care clinicians greatly increases the difficulty of recruiting providers to Pennsylvania’s medically underserved areas,” said Cheri Rinehart, president and CEO of PACHC. “Keeping the Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment program under the management of the Pennsylvania Department of Health is essential in the current environment.” Rinehart was joined by Jeannine Peterson, CEO at Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg, and Victor
Lahnovych, M.D., from Keystone Rural Health Consortia in rural northern Pennsylvania. Hamilton Health Center and Keystone Rural Health Consortia are two of the state’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), a network of nearly 300 sites in areas designated as underserved communities across 52 counties and serving more than 800,000 patients. Peterson said, “The Loan Repayment Program benefits health centers like Hamilton and is an incentive to help recruit providers like physicians, dentists, psychologists, nurse practitioners and others to work in health centers, rural health clinics and hospitals in underserved communities.” A first-year Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program recipient, Dr. Lahnovych is the medical director at Keystone Rural Health Consortia. He credits the LRP program with giving him the ability to continue doing what he loves in serving the underserved community and working in public health. “Public health is extremely rewarding, but not a job in which you will get rich,” said Dr Lahnovych. “I would owe roughly $1700 per month in loan repayment. The Pennsylvania Loan Repayment Program took that weight off and will let me stay in public health at Keystone Rural Health Consortia.”
Hospice Building at 301 Delaware Ave in Olyphant. VNA Hospice is a non-profit organization and our programs are open to the public as a means of community support. Please know that we are available to Cianfichi walk with you through the difficult times and that you are not alone in your grief. Ms. Cianfichi is also well versed on the spiritual implications of death, dying and bereavement and honors the various principles and beliefs present in our communities today. “Companioning an individual or group on their journey of grief is a gift,” says Olympia Cianfichi. She add, “The responsibility of caring for people who are feeling lost, unsure and heartbroken, requires a vast amount of respect and wisdom. My daily prayer is that I am blessed with both to share.” Please allow us to help validate the grief you might be experiencing. Call us 24/7 at (570) 383-5180 for confidential conversation.
Bringing exceptional health care to
VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION
of Lackawanna County & Surrounding Communities
vnahospice.org Available 24/7 Hospice / Home Health
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SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT IS ON...
The Tipsy Turtle
Avoca, PA (570) 299-2161 www.tipsyturtlepub.com Member since 2014
When it comes to dining out, there’s such a wide variety of options available that eateries need to do whatever they can to set themselves apart from the crowd. Ken and Kari Carey of The Tipsy Turtle are determined to give their customers a memorable night out by providing a wide variety of unique foods. The business also believes in supporting the community through its “Make Life Count” charity, which began after Ken’s cancer diagnosis in 2004. Meet The Tipsy Turtle…
to help local cancer patients with the resources they need while fighting this disease. To date, we have raised more than $300,000 and all funds are used to help cancer patients pay their medical bills, What sets the Tipsy Turtle apart from other including helping provide medication to those who eateries and pubs in the region? would otherwise go without. We raise funds in a From day one, we have always felt that highvariety of ways, including T-shirt sales, bracelet quality food, great service and a family atmosphere sales, raffles and an annual golf tournament. would always entice customers to visit one of our three locations. We are fortunate to have a very What is the most difficult part of the restauloyal customer base that has followed us over the rant business? years. We feel that our customers really appreciThe most difficult part would be the long hours, ate our friendly, hard-working staff and creative but when you have a passion for the restaurant menus, which keeps them coming back for more. industry the long hours are worth it. It is extremely What is your favorite item from your menu? The obvious answer would be our “Turtle Bites,” with our diverse menu of 42 homemade wing sauces! We also have many other staples that our customers absolutely love – like our “Crabby Shore Fries” and our huge half-pound burgers. Our Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport location is creating a buzz with its fresh-cut Angus steaks and its exquisite catering rooms with items like chicken franchaise and hand-rolled meatballs. We have a unique menu for any occasion! Can you tell us more about your “Make Life Count” charity? The mission of the Make Life Count charity is
gratifying when you get a response from a catering client that your hard work made their event absolutely memorable and stress- free.
How has the Chamber helped expand your business? One of the reasons we expanded to our airport location was due to increased demand for our catering. Being part of the Chamber has introduced us to clients and businesses that we hope to build a relationship with for years to come. Whether it’s cocktail parties, business meetings, our Turtle Lunch Box program or appreciation dinners, we have expanded our catering clientele thanks to our Chamber membership.
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Tax Credits: Do They Work? By Phil Yacuboski
They come in several forms — tax credits to spark the economy by attracting jobs, creating livable communities and even saving historical landmarks. But do they work and how is the state assessing the millions in tax credits they hand out to nonprofits, corporations and small business owners every year? A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts says that tax incentives — by way of exemptions, deductions and credits — might be costing Pennsylvania $700 million per year. They argue the state has not developed a plan for the regular evaluation of those tax credits. The Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, collects tax policy on the federal and state level. They believe Pennsylvania needs to clean up its act to get more accountability in place. “Some of these provisions, such as the net operation loss carry forward provision, move the state toward proper tax treatment, meaning that only net income is taxed under the corporate net income tax,” said Nicole Kaeding,” an economist with the Tax Foundation. “But others are created to foster economic development.” But Kaeding questions whether or not the credits are even successful. “The economic literature has struggled to find connections between economic development, tax credits and greater levels of economic performance,” she said. “It is troubling that states like Pennsylvania are not adequately studying their tax credits for effectiveness. These credits can cost taxpayers in excess of $50 million a year without strong analysis on their ability to increase economic growth in the state.” The film tax credit is one such example, which gives companies a 25 percent rebate on expenses if they spend 60 percent of the film (or television) budget in Pennsylvania. The state argues that money is then spent on the local economy. According to the Pennsylvania Film Office, a handful of productions have received film tax credits in northeastern Pennsylvania, including “The Trouble
with Cali” in 2006. At the time Lackawanna County approved giving $500,000 to actor Paul Sorvino because the movie was being filmed in Scranton. The movie was never distributed, although it was shown publicly in Scranton for free. Several other productions have received tax credits in Pennsylvania including “Silver Linings Playbook.” The film, shot in Philadelphia, won a number of awards. Keystone Opportunity Zones are also a target of the Pew report as well as Historic Preservation Tax Credits. But is Pennsylvania already listening? Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development says yes. A spokesman says plans are in place to check and see if the money is being allocated correctly. “Governor Tom Wolf’s fiscal year 2017-2018 budget calls for a review of the programs,” said DCED spokesman John Repetz, “with the aim of both reducing the credits by $100 million as well as establishing a review process.” He also said DCED is in the “review process” which includes examining the program’s popularity, return on investment and community impact, among other criteria. “Part of this process,” he said, “also involves examining best practices of other states, some of which are highlighted in the Pew report. Final determination on which programs are reduced, the amount, and the establishment of a permanent review process will be part of the budget negotiation process.” A state audit in 2014 found that the department did not set any performance goals or even measure how successful the programs were once the money was dispersed. “DCED also did not verify whether 46 businesses that were awarded $16.9 million in loans actually created or retained jobs,” the report said. The Tax Foundation does have some advice. “The first step would be for Pennsylvania to set up a regular review of these expenditures,” said Kaeding,” “This isn’t more regulation, but instead tasking a part of Pennsylvania’s government to provide detailed analysis of these expenditures.”
PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA
The First 100 Days
By Dave Gardner
A mixed bag of business autobiographies, observations about regional commerce and discussion about workforce development marked the economic roundtable entitled “Perpetuating Greatness: The First 100 days.” The conference, organized and orchestrated by David Farrington, chair of Vistage, also disclosed that the business leaders in attendance are expecting no economic miracles to flow from Washington despite the bluster and promises of the bitter 2016 presidential campaign. On the contrary, the Trump administration’s opening days were often described in less-than-glowing terms, although hopes for tax reduction still exist. A variety of representatives from the worlds of health care, industry, non-profit community and economic development, business services and the vast Tobyhanna Army Depot filled the panel. This group painted a broad-brush of the economy north of the Lehigh Tunnel, including detailed descriptions of their business activities and the region’s moderately improving business climate. Health care Washington’s volatile health care debate predictably took center stage as the roundtable participants discussed how rising insurance premiums have inhibited their business operations. They agreed this situation is extremely frustrating to employers who must deal with staggering insurance policy costs placed upon their backs and that insurance costs have reached a crisis stage while stagnating business growth and depressing employee wages. The national situation with health care reform was also described as a bee hive, with the potential for establishment of different laws in different states. This casts the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in unknown waters, with serious questions about Washington’s promise of effective repeal and replacement. A true enemy of health care stability, according to the panel, is not being addressed in Washington. This involves the staggering costs of care itself, and while the ACA did decrease the number on uninsured Americans and eased financial pressure on hospitals for uncompensated care, the legislation did not address cost issues, particularly those connected with spiraling pharma pricing and high insurance usage. The panel also reported that employer wellness programs, which are one of the only true tactics proven to reduce costs from care, are not a priority for
Participants of the economic roundtable entitled “Perpetuating Greatness: The First 100 days” included: Ron Kukuchka, owner, Ace-Robbins Inc.; Matthew Dennebaum, EVP, Standard Iron Works; Gary Linde, president, Leeward Construction; Robert Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Frank Zardecki, deputy commander, Tobyhanna Army Depot; David Farrington (moderator), chair, Vistage NEPA; Jeff Box, president and CEO, NEPA Alliance; Sam Ceccacci, executive director, Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency Inc.; Geoffrey Mesko, partner, Drucker and Scaccetti, PC; Anthony Aquilina, MD, Geisinger Northeast’s regional president; and Roger Howell, president, Howell Benefit Services. most people within NEPA. However, expansive health systems such as Geisinger continue to expand, with staffing on the rise and healthy salaries the norm, such as a $72,000 average for nurses. Government and agencies The panel confirmed their expectation that Washington will create a pro-growth business environment, with operational stability and tax cuts as the key facets. However, concern was voiced that President Trump’s tax revision “notions” are similar to darts being tossed at a target, creating a tax code that is unbalanced with the potential to punish certain business sectors through import tariffs and resultant higher operating costs. Potential changes in the IRS also represent a lineup of unknowns, as well as revisions to the complex network of federal regulatory laws. Increases in spending on infrastructure was identified as a big positive, but concern was voiced that fuel taxes are already very high in Pennsylvania, and increases to these taxes to pay for a renewed infrastructure would place financial burdens upon both the business and the consumer. Recognition was also made of the comprehensive
efforts within NEPA by various non-profit developmental agencies and the chambers of commerce. These organizations are not necessarily grabbing headlines, but their expansive work is advancing economic opportunity and business growth, contributing to resident self-fulfillment, and promoting projects such as the widening of Interstate 81. Government dollars are also being channeled into NEPA, while programs such as Leadership Lackawanna strive to develop new waves of business executives. Practical initiatives, such as the annual Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, assist needy NEPA residents at the grassroots level. Workforce development In an animated section of the roundtable, acknowledgement was made that public complaints about a lack of jobs within NEPA are simply inaccurate. Within Lackawanna County, at any given moment, more than 3,000 job openings exist, but these positions require specific training and cannot be filled by applicants with only a high school education. Two-year degrees or technical certification are the paths that must be followed to qualify for the vast
majority of modern job openings. Yet, apathy among students, as well as parents and the community toward tech and trade jobs, must be overcome if students are to train for the available positions. It was also noted that two-year education also generates a much lower debt level for graduates compared to four-year schools. Despite this fact, American society continues to promote the four-year degree, thereby creating a mismatch between available jobs and student preparation. In a bit of a surprise, the roundtable also voiced dark concerns about the quality of the nation’s millennials as employees. Agreement was achieved that many millennials have unrealistic expectations about the world of work, the need for soft skills and demonstration of a work ethic. Therefore, as the baby boomers retire in large numbers creating positions that must be filled, businesses must address the question of how to adapt to the behaviors of the millennials. This effort must include methods of teaching these youths the vital soft skills required in the workplace.
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PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA Roundtable Participants David Farrington (moderator) — Chair, Vistage NEPA Anthony Aquilina, MD — Geisinger Northeast’s Regional President Jeff Box — President & CEO, NEPA Alliance Sam Ceccacci — Executive Director, Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Inc. Matthew Dennebaum — EVP, Standard Iron Works Robert Durkin — President, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Roger Howell — President. Howell Benefit Services Ron Kukuchka — Owner, Ace-Robbins, Inc. Gary Linde — President, Leeward Construction Geoffrey Mesko — Partner, Drucker & Scaccetti, PC Frank Zardecki — Deputy Commander, Tobyhanna Army Depot
I think this is a wonderful group of people. Everybody here is an expert in their particular industry sector. Farrington: It’s an honor for me to be able to coordi- Together I think we really represent a broad brush of the nate this event and moderate this discussion. This is the economy and the concerns that we all have as individusecond year we’re doing this. This is all under the umals in northeast Pennsylvania and as a result of some of brella which we call “Perpetuating Greatness in Northeast the changes at the federal level that are taking place in Pennsylvania,” which brings business leaders together Washington. from all different industry sectors and getting a handle on I’d like each of you to spend maybe six to eight what’s going on, what some of our challenges are, what minutes talking a little bit about yourself, your company, some of our opportunities are, and if indeed business is what you do as a company, notable achievements that a little different north of the tunnel, and some discussions you would have and your expectations, your outlook as to why and maybe what we would do about that. particularly for 2017 and going forward from a two-part
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perspective. One, with regard to what’s going on at the federal level that affects us, and what is going on in NEPA that affects us as well. Then we’ll talk a little bit more specifically about the challenges and opportunities that we see in northeast Pennsylvania, how it affects our businesses and particularly with regard to whatever things may be coming down the pike at the federal level. What our concerns are, positively or negatively, with regard to how that goes. Howell: Good morning, everybody. My name is Roger Howell. I am president of Howell Benefit Services and I’m also the CEO of a company called Howell Benefit Technologies. I entered the employee benefit business in 1978 working for a major carrier, and in 1983 I started Roger Howell — President, Howell Benefit Services. We do integrated benefit planHowell Benefit Services ning for a large number of employers, several hundred, whether it’s health and welfare planning, 401(k), executhing or maybe two things that the federal administive comp. We install HRMS systems. I get involved in tration could do to make a big, positive, meaningful collective bargaining issues, M&A issues. We do forensic contribution to your business, what would it be? On audits of benefit plans. We also do a lot of plan adminthe other end if there were one or two things, what are istration. In 1984, we started the first multiple employer you most concerned about and how will it affect your welfare arrangement in the region calling it Northeastern business going forward? Pennsylvania Business Association. That’s still actually Howell: It’s a difficult question to answer at this point currently operating and that was the model for this. The in time because the House just passed the first step. Chamber plans that you see out there now, we actually I’m not sure where we’ll end up. I am not a big fan and work with some of the chambers doing that. I know there are certain people in the room who know Currently we get involved in a lot of ACA compliI’m not a big fan of the current system I’ve been in since ance work helping our employers comply with the ACA, the late ’70s and I would like to see them come up with make sure that they’re ... I hate to say the term reporting properly, all “So in spite of what you hear on “single payer,” but more of the IRS reporting. A lot a Medicare for actives type the news, the carriers are really of background support. program, which would watching this closely. They are Basically trying to mainmake coverage uniform concerned that they are not going across states. We wouldn’t tain employee morale, help our employer track to get reimbursed from the federal have to worry about going employees, retain emgovernment, or not at the level that from states. We do a lot of ployees and troubleshoot. national account business they need. I believe the system is Pretty much everything and the insurance laws are an employer runs into, we somewhat broken at this point.” different in different states. — Roger Howell, President, are able to handle. It’s difficult. So some Howell Benefit Services I’ve surrounded uniformity . There are so myself with some very many things that we could good people, people that you would probably know talk about. The way that it’s funded — I just got a feed here in the room. I started using a free agency system. I this morning that said that the carriers are now reconsidselected people from different industries. I actually have ering, not knowing what’s happening with health reform. three former clients who work in our organization at They are holding back on their filing as far as what they pretty high levels who have special knowledge in 401(k), are filing for, the exchanges for 2018. The going rate right human resources and financial planning. Our approach now looks like about 25 percent for 2018. One carrier is is to do integrative planning, a functional approach. up in the high 30’s. We go in, we don’t look at one component of benefit So in spite of what you hear on the news, the carriplanning, we look at everything and try to balance it. ers are really watching this closely. They are concerned Try to keep people within their budget. We have got that they are not going to get reimbursed from the several hundred clients that we’ve had for more than 30 federal government, or not at the level that they need. consecutive years. Harrington: If I may ask you if there were one Please see GREATNESS, Page 20
Supply Chain Challenges The complex links in the nation’s supply chain feature a broad mix of old and new processes, and potentially an operational threat from Washington. Russell Goodman serves as editor-in-chief of SupplyChainBrain, which is billed as the world’s most comprehensive supply chain management information resource. He described how President Trump’s campaign promises of trade barriers and tariffs upon imported goods could seriously disrupt the modern system of on-time delivery for manufacturing. According to Goodman, on-shore manufacturing that produces a wide range of products, including automobiles, has evolved to depend upon a global supply chain. In addition to disrupting this flow of assembly components, trade barriers will undoubtedly increase the price of manufactured goods, if domestic suppliers can manage to produce the needed parts and ship within the time frames needed. “The public is not asking the right questions about the consequences of trade barriers and the media doesn’t understand the issues,” said Goodman. “It’s true we have experienced some job losses from outsourcing, but global markets are a reality now and the global system of trade is huge and part of the modern economy.” Human resource challenges Another challenge facing the modern supply chain is the acquisition of human talent. According to Goodwin, the vast majority of career supply chain employees are baby boomers, thereby making retirement close if not imminent. Unfortunately, the industry as a whole has not been able to attract talented and trained replacements for these veteran employees, setting the stage for a human resource crisis. He noted that many colleges, such as Penn State, do offer effective supply chain programs and these students will endure a demanding curriculum, leading to quality jobs with good salaries. The education will expose the student to sophisticated technology that is evolving, and open the door to a satisfying career with great advancement potential. “We haven’t been successful in exposing our youth to the great possibilities with supply chain careers,” said Goodman. “We have faltered with this, and thereby created a real
Spencer Chesman, Founder and CEO, igourmet, LLC problem with the baby boomer retirements on the doorstep.” Fulfillment of e-commerce led by the Amazons of the world is also rapidly evolving, and Goodman is quick to point out that retailers who fail to deal with evolving customer demands will undoubtedly be left in the backwash of quick “drone” deliveries. Retail customers are also demanding delivery with low costs, requiring vendors across the country to operate regional fulfillment centers and outsource delivery to progressive third-party logistics providers. “When goods are missing or damaged during delivery it is normal for the customer to blame the retailer,” said Goodman. “This then opens up questions about who will pay for the claim, including within a normal return situation.” Delicious supply chain A relatively new NEPA-based supply chain is helping culinary lovers enjoy specialty food items that exist beyond the shelves of the region’s grocery stores. The firm, known as igourmet.com, is based near Wilkes-Barre and was founded in 1997 by CEO Spencer Chesman with the goal of becoming America’s leading online gourmet food and gift retailer.
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FEATURE is strong with small batch production, and this would be an asset if trade tariffs are instituted,” said Chesman.
SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 The company now operates both retail and wholesale divisions, and was named a “Best of the Web” selection by Forbes Magazine and Consumer Reports. At any given time igourmet features 6,000 items listed for sale on its web site, with 90 percent of its business from e-commerce. Chesman, a trained mechanical engineer who was working within Wall Street IT, developed a simple web site for igourmet and worked the process from his garage. The effort is now global in outreach, even though international sales of food often have shipment restrictions that must be considered. Purchasing for igourmet’s inventory involves a mix of direct buying from farms and manufacturers, importer involvement if necessary, and association with global trade agencies for exports into the United States. The system utilizes demand forecasts that recognizes how many items are used for seasonal gifts, including specialty goods for the holiday season. “It’s therefore vital that every purchase order we issue has a firm delivery date,” said Chesman. “We allow customers to pre-order, which has grown to more than 20 percent of our business.” Research from food-sampling gatherings, trade shows and investigation into new supplier categories are all parts of Chesman’s supply system. In the event an inventory doesn’t adequately sell the company will include it within a variety of seasonal gift baskets. Chesman’s supply chain confronts ongoing challenges. Small and specialized buys are the norm, returns or shipments with damage can’t be shipped back, and packaging to keep food items cold during shipment is increasingly expensive. Certain shipments, such as to rural areas, may have a surcharge. The supply chain future, according to Chesman, may include punitive tariffs from Washington on items such as cheese from France. This situation would disrupt igourmet’s business and increase merchandise prices. “Fortunately, domestic craft production
Manual system Discussions of modern supply chains must include recognition of the nation’s small businesses which operate vast but manual inventory processes, such as VacWay in Moscow. The company, in business for more than 50 years, sells parts for a huge variety of small appliances as well as chain saws, vacuum cleaners and outdoor power equipment, plus the units they are used within. Dave Partyka, co-owner, explained that thousands of parts are stocked in every nook and cranny within his building without computer management. Numbers for these components keep changing, but Partyka must maintain some sense of order and dead stock can become a real problem. The life of a retail item plays a major role in the demand for replacement parts. Commercial chain saws may have functional lives of 20 to 30 years, and older parts that are stocked will inevitably sell. “I can never can bring myself to throw anything out,” said Partyka. “Inevitably someone will walk in be looking for that part.” When a manufacturer such as Husqvarna introduces a new retail unit, Partyka initially offers the applicable filters used for the unit’s maintenance. He then relies on a demand-based process where, as customer request replacement parts, he orders as needed, but also stocks an additional component to meet future demand without forecasting. New inventory for entire units is completed with seasonal buys, with manufacturers such as Husqvarna offering floor planning on whole goods for a full year without interest payments. However, Partyka has one huge challenge that, even in the modern age, controls his business cycles. “We’re always at the mercy of weather to a large degree, and surprises do appear,” said Partyka. “We went for two years without any real snows, but then this year’s huge blizzard occurred out of nowhere and demand for snow blowers and repair parts suddenly exploded with no warning.”
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PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA FROM PAGE 18
I believe the system is somewhat broken at this point. We’ll see what the Senate does. They will certainly maneuver and change it and then send it back. I think we are months away from anything. I know it’s not a good answer. I wish I had a better answer. I can tell you the impact it’s had on our employer groups. Since the ACA was passed, there’s been a major effect on our employer groups that a lot of people don’t realize. People spend more time talking about exchanges and individual folks that are going in and getting subsidized and all those things, but our employer groups have been impacted greatly by the ACA. We can talk about that later. Farrington: Is there anything in particular that differentiates Pennsylvania and the overall thinking, or how such a system will be worked out? Is Pennsylvania unique in any way or is Pennsylvania just another state that’s trying to deal with this? Howell: I’m not sure if we’re as populated as other states. We have a big pocket of population in Philadelphia, to a lesser extent Pittsburgh. Then everywhere in between there’s pretty much not much of anything. We’ve got a small population here. It’s an older, higher risk. Costs are higher in northeastern PA on a per employee basis-based on the age and the health of the work force. We are not attracting as many young employees as some of the metropolitan areas down south, out on the west coast or Texas. There are some very large growth areas in our country. That’s something that’s impacted us as a company. In order to grow our business, we’ve had to actually expand in all 50 states with technology. Farrington: I would conclude from that at least what’s proposed at the moment, which is coming out of the House and we know is going to get changed many times, but at least the structure that is proposed right now does seem to put a larger penalty on older people. If that were to go through, I assume that it would be very significant in northeast Pennsylvania. Howell: It is a concern of mine and it’s actually a concern now. Those of you who are employers (and I think there are a few employers here) the one thing that the ACA has created is when an employee wants to retire early, before they are Medicare eligible, in the past they were able to go out into the individual marketplace and buy a contract that was equal to, if not the same as, what they had when they were employed. That has all been eliminated. We have people that are in PPO plans with out-of-network options that now leave, maybe they retire at 55, and they go out and they find out the only thing they can have is a compressed network HMO plan. Which is a direct result of the ACA. Carriers are controlling that. Whether you’re an executive or you’re a blue-collar worker, it doesn’t matter. Your choices are limited. People are not happy about it.
Sam Ceccacci — Executive Director, Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Inc. Farrington: Thank you. Gardner: We are spending three trillion-plus dollars on healthcare. Simple math is you divide three trillion by three hundred million people, and it comes to a $10,000 bill for every man, woman and child in the United States. It will go nowhere but up with Alzheimer’s and the effects of obesity. Is anybody discussing the root problem here, which is how much we are spending? Howell: They are. The question is how do you measure it. The providers obviously are trying and there are some providers who are working very hard. They are trying to provide more transparency, while others are not. Obesity is a big issue. The aging population is a big issue. Obesity is probably the biggest cause of illness in all of our groups. We see the experience with our self-funded accounts. Because of privacy, we don’t see individuals, but we see the type of illnesses that create the biggest claims. A lot of them you can track back to poor lifestyle. There is an emphasis on good health. One thing that we are seeing is that we have a number of employers who talk about wellness, but they don’t promote it to the extent that they should. The carriers provide a number of free services that employers are not promoting. They don’t talk about it. They may talk about it once during open enrollment and they don’t do anything else with it. I have a couple employers who have been doing it extensively for about 15 years now. And they’re large, and they’re self-funded and they’re actually getting direct results in their claims experience by having active, ongoing programs. Farrington: Sam, tell us a little bit about your organization and all the things that you do. Ceccacci: Well, the Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency is a community action agency for Lackawanna County. We’re funded through the Office of Human Services through a community services block grant. It’s a federal to state pass, so we’re involved with not only the federal government in the operation, but
PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA the state as well. As a community action agency, we’re make sure everybody has heat. the administrative arm or umbrella for the operation of We also run into some problems with the federal 26 different programs. That changes from time to time. money in going into homes and finding that we are Some large, some small. The largest being the Head not able to help with the federal money because they Start program. Our mission is to advance economic op- have what is called a deferral. So there may be a water portunity for eligible residents in the county by providing problem in the basement or a leaky roof. You can’t use resources and educational opportunities and training, federal funding in those cases until we get rid of deferso that we can provide them with jobs and life skills for rals. So we’ve been working with foundations. In this career-seeking opportunities with the overall goal of particular case, we use the Weinberg Foundation to go in them being self sufficient in the end. and remove the deferrals, and then we’re able to access Twenty-six different programs that we have follow the federal dollars or leverage the federal dollars to go in three different main areas. One is workforce developand make the house more energy efficient. ment. The other is weatherization. The final one, which Through the county we have some fundings — Stay is our largest, where at Home Safely and Inde“...a funding cut anywhere from Head Start falls, is child pendently is help for area development. Agency on Aging individuthe foundation to the county to Under workforce als where we’ll do some the state, even national in one development, we have ramps and handrails to area sets off a domino effect. So what is called the EARN help them get in and out program, or Work Ready. we have a little bit of balance to of the home. Redevelopprovide services that we need, but ment Program. We have a That is an opportunity for the County Assistance a cut in any of those areas sets off furnace program through Office to send individuals a chain reaction, which is tough to the county, and that’s reto our program that have pair and replace windows deal with.” never worked before. They and furnaces again. United — Sam Ceccacci, Executive Director, are on public assistance Way Gift of Warmth, we Scranton-Lackawanna Human access them. and have no job skills. Development Agency, Inc. We will work with them We have a Customer and eliminate the barriers Assistance Program they might have in order to get them off to work. We are through UGI where we have individuals who can’t pay basically reimbursed on our ability to get them ready for their bill and we work with them to set up a payment jobs, interview, find jobs and stay in jobs for a period of plan. The company allows some forgiveness if they pay at least three months, six months. Then we follow them their bill, whatever the payment plan is, on a regular through hopefully for a number of years. When they find basis. out they can do better, do more, we retool and re-skill But the largest program that I talked about is our and get them out into better jobs. child development branch or everyone knows the Head Being a community action agency, we just had an Start program. Head Start and Early Head Start is federopportunity to start a veterans resource coalition. That ally funded. That is, of course, for infants and toddlers. It was bringing together all of the individuals and groups is a zero-to-five program now. It used to be a preschool that provide services to veterans in the county and program for ages three to five. Pre-K Counts is the stateprovide a network. So when we get any questions or funded portion of our child development. That is for up problems concerning any of our veterans, we get it off to to 300 percent of low income. We also have Head Start the network. We’ve been able to solve some problems Supplementary Assistance, which is state funded. It is that may have fallen through the cracks before. like a pre-K program for individuals where Head Start We also have weatherization as one of our main services can’t be accessed or the money for Head Start areas. That is some federal funding through the Depart- services fall short. ment of Energy and LIHEA, Low Income Home Energy I guess the key word that we need to talk about is Assistance program. The LIHEA has two components. “leverage.” We have federal funds, we have state funds, One is weatherization, which we talked about with the we have some local funds, but we fall short in certain Department of Energy. Also, from November to April is areas. We have to follow directives and can’t spend the the Crisis Program where someone who is out of fuel, money in certain circumstances, so we have to come in can’t pay their bills, is helped out to keep the services and utilize some of the foundations such as I mentioned running. And the other part is if they have problems with Weinberg Foundation, which has been terrific. Or access their heating units, that’s where our weatherization unit to dental services being a problem for our preschoolers. comes in and will either replace or repair their furnace to So we use All One to provide transportation.
As a community action agency we are able to do that combined federal/state/local funding as well as some foundation dollars to meet the needs of the community. Farrington: In your area, obviously you’re always concerned about funding because it comes from many sources and those many sources are often unpredictable. Do you feel less secure with regard to future financial capabilities today than you have in the past? Ceccacci: We do, because of the fact that a funding cut anywhere from the foundation, to the county to the state, even national in one area, sets off a domino-effect. So we have a little bit of balance to provide services that we need, but a cut in any of those areas sets off a chain reaction, which is tough to deal with. Frank Zardecki — Deputy Commander, Farrington: Frank, we’ll turn it over to you. I’m parTobyhanna Army Depot ticularly excited to have you here because we know that defense spending and rebuilding the military and many Korea. We’ve been in 30 different countries this year. other things related to that is a very high-level initiative We work on what’s known as a working capital fund. that’s supported by many in our nation’s capitol. We’d We operate in a profit/loss, the only difference is we love to hear how the Army Depot is doing. don’t get to keep the profit. It goes back to the treasury. Zardecki: I’m Frank Zardecki. I’m the deputy comSo our sales this year will be about $530 million in supmander of Tobyhanna. You might equate that to the porting all those various systems. Chief Operating Officer. We have a commander who’s We’re kind of unique in that we’re really the closest a colonel who is the CEO and then myself. We have thing to a joint service because half of our workload about 3,700 people. They come from all over the area. comes from the Air Force and the Navy and Marine Traditionally Lackawanna County has been the highest Corps, which is really unusual. I can’t answer the budget number of people, then Luzerne, then Monroe, then all because we don’t know, like anybody else, what the the other counties. In the last two years, we’ve had some trickle down is going to be. The Budget Control Act growth from the Bethlehem/Allentown area. is still in effect and sequestration is always a posOur world is what’s known as C4ISR. And that’s a sibility. They talk about another round of BRAC (Base mouthful. It’s Command, Control, Communications, Realignment and Closure). I think, with the reductions Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaiseverybody knows or thinks there should be a BRAC sance. Anything that’s except the congressmen electronics, we support. It and the elected officials. “It’s stable at this point in time. doesn’t matter whether it’s They don’t want to hear Not until we see what the real a handheld tactical radio it. I’m probably one of budget is going to be and where or a strategic satellite terthe few people that want minal, the full spectrum of we’re going in the future, but I a BRAC. I think we will electronics we provide for feel very confident that we will grow. We have grown logistic support. Whether maintain our position. We certain- in the past five BRACs. it’s overhaul, sustainment, The fact is, we have in ly have a good reputation within technical assistance, the last year and a half engineering, design or the Department of Defense. We about $250 million worth integration assistance. look forward to what’s happening of modernization, which We’re rather unique. is unheard of in today’s and working with everybody.” We are like a small city — Frank Zardecki, Deputy Commander, environment. It’s almost a with 3,700 people. We Tobyhanna Army Depot billion dollars in the last 10 have our own police years. We’re well postured department and our own for the future. fire department, our own legal office and environmental You remember, it wasn’t too long ago, they put on a office. We do the full gamut of what it takes to run a government-wide hiring freeze. That’s been lifted, so we small town. are going to do some small hiring. Our skill requireWe have about 400 people a day go to work outside ments are really buried. It’s hard to get electricians and the gates of the depot somewhere around the world. it’s hard for us to get electricians who want to travel Whether it’s Afghanistan or Kuwait or Germany or around the world. We need engineers. We need IT
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PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA people. We need logistics management specialists who ern part of Pennsylvania for guys here with a lot of growth know how to work with ERPs, MRPs and SAP systems and expansion. I would like to hear about your plans. Aquilina: Sure. I’m Tony Aquilina. I’m a physician and things like that. We’ve been stable. Next year’s budget in ’18 and ’19 by training. Came to Geisinger 24 years ago to practice look fairly stable, not knowing what’s going to happen primary care medicine in northeast Pennsylvania. I’m with this year’s defense budget. Our average age for currently Regional President for Geisinger Northeast, employees is about 46. which means I oversee The average salary is all the healthcare delivery “Our perspective is simple. about $57,000, which is services that Geisinger Healthcare reform starts with us. does in northeast Pennobviously very, very good for northeastern Pennsyl- It doesn’t start with Washington. sylvania, Wilkes-Barre vania. We generate about and Scranton and the We’re going to do the things we 13,000 jobs with the surrounding counties. need to do to bring healthcare money we spend. We put When I say healthcare reform.” about $3 billion into the delivery, it’s healthcare — Anthony Aquilina, MD, local economy on what delivery. It’s not the Geisinger Northeast’s Regional President we spend and what the medical school, it’s not employees spend. research, it’s not the health It’s stable at this point in time. Not until we see what plan. It’s doctors and hospitals and the people who the real budget is going to be and where we’re going in actually care for you. That’s important because Geisinger the future, but I feel very confident that we will maintain is an organization that isn’t just a hospital company. our position. We certainly have a good reputation within We’re a not-for-profit organization that really has four the Department of Defense. We look forward to what’s key components. There’s the delivery side, which is the happening and working with everybody. part I’m on, the health plan, which has been mentioned, Farrington: Tony, thank you for being here. This has I think, or at least considered in the conversation so far. been a fascinating couple of years in the very northeastWe do academics and research, and as of Jan. 1 we
have a medical school right here in Scranton, which is now the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, which, for us as an organization, means that the focus of Geisinger is going to move from our Danville home to Scranton. Our recruiting, our program development, a lot of that will be more closely connected now to our medical school. That’s something we’re very excited about. The one piece of the puzzle for Geisinger that we never had was the academic affiliation that we have now. And it’s a wonderful medical school. We’ve done a lot here in the last couple of years. Remember, Geisinger has been in Danville for 102 years. It started because there was no healthcare in central Pennsylvania and a rich widow started a hospital. It did not venture out of Danville until 1982 when it purchased and developed Geisinger Wyoming Valley in WilkesBarre. In the last five years we’ve gone from those two bases, Danville to Wilkes-Barre, to now having eight or nine hospitals all over the state as well as Atlantic City. It has been a time of rapid expansion for us. We’re kind of catching up to that expansion now in terms of staffing, which is very important to us. We continue to hire good people to work at our hospitals and work in our offices. That is always a struggle sometimes in northeast Pennsylvania, because we want to keep our young people here. We don’t want them leaving to go
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Anthony Aquilina, MD — Geisinger Northeast’s Regional President to greener pastures in Philadelphia or New York. But the reality is there’s an attraction to big-city life for young folks. We want to do everything we can to keep our young workers here by providing them well-paying jobs. Similar to Tobyhanna, the average nurse in northeast Pennsylvania makes about $72,000 a year for us. That’s pretty darn good. They make even a little more than Philadelphia. We’re very focused on our workforce. That workforce includes physicians. We’ve recruited quite a number of physicians especially to Scranton. We
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YOUR GATEWAY TO GROWTH 8. WATER IT AND WATCH IT GROW Crank the H2O. Something miraculous happens near water. When I’m in the shower or shaving, my subconscious creativity is in turbo-drive. Let your mind wander. Often, the journey to greatness doesn’t take a straight or linear path. Let water unleash your creative spirit. Nolan Bushnell entrepreneur and founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese once said, “Everyone who has 4. INCUBATE taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets Several years ago, as part of a project for a new The idea hits you, cool. You wrote it down, excellent. out of the shower, dries off and does something series of books, I was stumped. My creative inspiraNow, forget about it. For an hour or a day. Get a good about it who makes a difference.” tion for an impactful logo was frozen in futility. When night’s rest. Sleep on it. Let your subconscious kick in. my graphic designer kept asking, “What do you enviTime is a miraculous contributor to upgrades 9. DO SOMETHING sion?” I’d reply, “Not sure. Still thinking. Still looking.” and improvements. It brings clarity. Use time to your Take action. Turn ideas into implementation. And then one memorable night, I received the advantage. Inspiration into execution. There’s a big difference, lightning bolt of inspiration I was waiting for. Where between thinking and doing. As Ben Franklin once did it come from? One of my kid’s magazines. 5. SEEK OUTSIDE COUNSEL stated, “Well done is better than well said.” With the turn of a page, boom, there it was. A Ask others for their input. Capitalize on multiple publication geared to 11 and 12 year-olds stirred brain-power. Remember, “Where all think alike, no So think. Imagine. Ponder. Wonder. Incubate. my creative juices. (Okay, so maybe I think and act one thinks very much.” Or to state it another way, like their target-audience, but that’s a discussion for “When two people are always in agreement, one of Then hop into the shower. Write it down. Plant another book or therapy session.) them ain’t necessary.” the seed. Nurture it. Cultivate it. Grow it. Make it happen. 2. STARE WITH YOUR EARS, LISTEN WITH 6. GET ABSTRACT Look forward to hearing all about, YOUR new YOUR EYES Let the bizarre, absurd or goofy creep into your tales of triumph. While focus is crucial, be sure to still look in thought process. Defy the rules of conformity. I’ve alall directions. Pay attention to the world around ways believed, if enough people tell you you’re nuts, you. There’s a lot of cool stuff happening. Look at Business leaders seeking higher you’re probably headed in the right direction. billboards and signs. Walk into stores you’ve never performance, better results and a visited before. Politely eavesdrop on conversations. greater return on equity 7. TRUST YOUR GUT Take a different route from point A to B. Then wonder, For information, contact That strange, quirky sensation that stirs in “Whoa, when did they build that? Where did that David Farrington your tummy is usually right. Listen to it. Trust your come from?” See new things. email@example.com instincts. Don’t let your intuition lose to the cynics or When you’re at an airport, a mall, a restaurant, 570 878 1654 voices of logical debate and doubt. activate all your senses. Look. Listen. Smell. Be ready and receptive to discover and uncover the posJeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, Vistage Fast-Track Speaker of the Year, bestselling author, sibilities. Because sometimes, they sneak up on you. success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a business-growth specialist. If The inspiration for my “Carpe A.M. • Carpe P.M. you hire speakers, please contact Jeff at: 847.998.0688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Seize Your Destiny” book title, came from a passing Jeff’s FREE e-zine, The Results Report. Jeff’s bestselling books include; Stop Whining! Start bus billboard, promoting a discotheque in Florida. Selling! and Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn
CRANIUM! by JEFF BLACKMAN
This month’s issue of the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal, has a “making waves” or “economic impact” focus. So it got me thinking and pondering about — your possibilities — to “make waves” or disrupt your culture, company or industry — to help you drive profound and profitable results. A workshop participant once said to me, “Jeff, we’re living in the days of the Jetsons, but we’re serving our customers like the days of the Flintstones.” There’s always a better way. Your challenge, is to find it. Here are nine creative strategies to boost innovation and creativity: • To boost your brain. • To crank your cranium. • To turn creativity into cash. • To convert possibilities into profit. 1. BE ON THE PROWL Read. Then read some more. Especially outside your area of expertise or traditional areas of interest. Head to a bookstore or newsstand and buy a book or magazine, where you might exclaim, “I can’t believe I’m buying this.” Or hop online and surf the web. Ride the wave of wonder. Give yourself permission to bust beyond your perceived boundaries. Seek fresh content. Open your eyes to new stuff. Play with the possibilities.
3. KEEP IT When an idea hits you, capture it. NOW! Mumble into your smartphone. Send yourself an e-mail. Leave yourself a voicemail. Write it down. (I keep paper and pen; in my car, next to my bed, in the bathroom, near the treadmill, etc.) Start a file, (either hardcopy or electronic), for your ideas, then categorize them, i.e., new products, new services, new clients, new strategies, etc.
MAKE YOUR MARK
and Twitter: @BlackmanResults
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acquired Geisinger CMC on Feb. 1, 2012. When I walked in the door, I was the only Geisinger-employed physician. Now we have upwards of 80 Geisinger- employed physicians. Some of those are doctors who were already in the community who joined us, but a lot of them are new doctors brought into the community to fill gaps. When we came in February 2012, there was one neurosurgeon in the city of Scranton serving this county and the surrounding counties. We brought neurosurgeons. We brought higher-level subspecialties, particularly in surgical subspecialties, and we expanded primary care. I’d be glad to speak to now or as we go on about what’s happening or not happening at the federal level. Our perspective is simple. Healthcare reform starts with us. It doesn’t start with Washington. We’re going to do the things we need to do to bring healthcare reform. It’s really about value. Value is the equation of quality and cost. As was mentioned, the United States has the highest cost structure in healthcare of anywhere in the world. We place different values on healthcare, I think, than other places in the world. But the reality is that the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, did some wonderful things in getting more people insured and we hate to see that walked back. I think we have a humane responsibility to find a way to provide healthcare for every American. At the same time, the ACA did not address cost, or did not address it effectively. There are drugs that cost more than the average yearly salary of an American family. Other countries have found a way to deal with that. We are unique. So the cost issue, no matter who the payer is, has to be addressed. The biggest part of that, and Toby Cosgrove, the CEO of Cleveland Clinic, said this in a national interview on one of the TV channels just last week. The biggest component is how we treat ourselves. You mentioned obesity. That’s a big part of it. But it’s also the drug epidemic. There is not a week that goes by that we don’t have a 20-something-year-old in our ICU. When I started medicine, that never happened. It was a rarity. Now it’s every day. We need to focus on preventive health if we really want to address cost. There’s the cost-per-unit aspect of it. We’re just too darn expensive for what we do. ACA didn’t address pharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals exploded. There’s the preventive health part. We deliver too much healthcare. Some of it, a lot of it, can be prevented by just helping people take care of themselves. One small example, but I think is a meaningful example of what we’re trying to do here in Scranton is something called springboard health, which our CEO Dr. Feinberg initiated with the help of a national board of advisers. Essentially it is what we call a fresh food pharmacy. So we are giving away food to people who need it, can’t afford it and particularly have a health reason that they need it. Particularly diabetics. And we’re doing that
in Scranton. That’s where we’re going to start this and hopefully it’ll be able to expand in scope. The notion is that folks who have problems with obesity or diabetes, things that food makes an important part and diet makes an important part in their health, oftentimes eat very poorly for cost reasons, and for education reasons. They just don’t know that what they’re eating is not good. They don’t have access to good food. You know, good food can be more expensive than bad food sometimes, and that’s a problem. So we’re going to address that. We’re setting up this program where we’re actually going to provide healthy food for free to folks who qualify. And it’s going to be here in Scranton. The quid pro quo is they have to attend educational sessions, and they have to learn how to eat right, learn how to cook right and learn the value of exercise. We trialed it in a small way in Shamokin, and it was wildly successful with the small number of people we did it with. We are going to start it here in Scranton on a much larger scale and work with a lot of community partners. That will be starting at the end of this calendar year. Again, we have a nationally known group of advisers helping us with this. You know, former CEOs of tech companies and people who are very interested in humanities like this. We believe this is just a small start at getting to the root cause of our problems. Farrington: The Geisinger model with salaried medical professionals — Kaiser Permanente did the same thing. Are there other systems that work on that model? Is this something that Geisinger is more on the frontier of? Aquilina: For 100 years. Geisinger has been a salaried model. That was unheard of 100 years ago. Now in 2017, there’s actually more American physicians who are employed than are not. Farrington: Is that a result of the hospitalist model structure more than anything else? Aquilina: I think it’s the result of the burdens put on private doctors. Regulation and federal acts that are wellmeaning, but are onerous especially for small practices to manage. They feel now safer being in systems where someone else worries about that kind of stuff. At Geisinger, our attitude is work with us. Our expectation is you just act like a professional. We’ll worry about all that other stuff. Farrington: In your system I would imagine that it’s probably a lot more efficient to work with the reimbursement levels that you get from Medicare and Medicaid than it is for an independent system. Aquilina: Theoretically. Durkin: Tony, can you just speak to the whole, what Dr. Steele used to call that “sweet spot” where you have a health plan and the practices or I should say the hospital program. And really, from a market standpoint
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it provides motivation for doctors to do the right thing, and then also potentially for you to really push people in terms of healthy lifestyles, right? Aquilina: Yes. The American healthcare model is you have private insurance and you have private providers. That was the traditional model. It was an antagonistic model between the payer and the provider. What we’re trying to do is have a health plan that works with our providers to do the right thing. So the right thing sometimes is not providing the most expensive care, not providing the most expensive drug. It comes back to value. So we work with our health plan to help us figure that all out. And it’s the doctors who make the determination of what the right thing to do is, not the insurance company. But the reality is we’re able to work with data and information from our insurance companies, and we’re able to use Geisinger Health Plan to hire care managers. We have nurses go out and work with our sickest and most at-risk populations of patients. Heart failure patients, diabetics. So we work with our health plan and they hire the care managers who go out and work with those patients so that they manage their disease better. Stay out of hospitals, stay out of emergency departments. It’s a win for everybody. Especially the patient. Gardner: Uncompensated care. Kevin Cook told me the last year Mercy was in operation, he got hit for $7 million in uncompensated. The ACA was supposed to make a big dent in this. Did it? Aquilina: So it made some dent. So we have more people insured by far than before the ACA. That’s the good news. A fair amount of it is in Medicaid, so Medicaid in Pennsylvania — at least for us — pays on the average of 30 percent of our costs. Not our charges, our costs. So that’s better than zero. Right? But if everybody was on Medicaid, there’d be no healthcare delivery. No one could afford it. Gardner: What about if the ACA vanishes? Aquilina: I think our first priority is to provide healthcare for human beings. For Americans. We have a primary care network, thankfully, that can handle it. OK. If we keep people getting primary care, the more they have access to the right care in the beginning, the less they end up sick and in the emergency rooms and in hospitals. So it’s delivering care at the right place at the right time, we have a network of physicians and they’re happy to see patients because they don’t have to worry about the bottom line. They get paid because we ask them to be professionals and treat everybody the same. Whether they don’t pay or whether they have Blue Cross, it doesn’t matter. We want to treat everybody the same. Gardner: If I was uninsured and I show up with a hot appendix at the emergency room. I have no money. What happens?
Jeff Box — President & CEO, NEPA Alliance Aquilina: We take care of it. Gardner: And you eat it? Aquilina: Absolutely. Farrington: Jeff, let’s move on to you. Please tell us what NEPA Alliance is doing. Box: Again, it’s a pleasure being here. I’m Jeff Box. I’m the CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance. We are a regional community and economic development group here in northeast PA based out of Pittston. We serve seven counties: Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Schuylkill, Carbon, as well the core urban counties of Lackawanna and Luzerne. We are a nonprofit agency serving as a federal, state and local partnership. We have federal masters at the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) based out of Washington, the Economic Development Administration which is part of the US Department of Commerce. In federal lingo, we are a local development district serving those counties and we are a creature of both the federal government and the state government. So the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has also designated NEPA and six other districts in Pennsylvania as local development districts to deliver economic and community development programming here in our regions. Our mission is to help community and economic development projects throughout this region. We annually bring at least about $2 million in federal grants for projects into the region from the ARC. We have worked with Bob and his staff at the Chamber on a routine basis, as well as the other economic development groups. We’ve done a number of education projects in recent years with ARC money. Most recently we helped support the culinary program at Lackawanna College and the occupational therapy program at the University of Scranton. We have worked with Keystone College as well as the economic development groups, ARC and Economic Development Administration, and put billions of dollars into economic development in Pennsylvania in
PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA
Matthew Dennebaum — EVP, Standard Iron Works the last 50 years. We have helped to fund business parks from the Hanover Industrial Estates as part of the Wilkes-Barre Chamber to the Sterling Business Park in Wayne County. We’re regional and we’re also targeted at business development. We have eight different loan programs in our program menu for economic development. We can loan from mom-and-pop type microloans, $10,000 up to $5.5 million with our SBA 504 program. We currently have about $11 million in loans underway in the SBA 504 program. That will leverage another probably three times that in private investment for the region. We’re very pleased that we’re able to deliver that fine loan program and the government gets criticized many times for some of its inefficiencies, but I think we’ve been very fortunate to manage those programs that have been very targeted and very effective in this area. We manage a state program called Regional Export Network. We help local companies export products. Pennsylvania has 14 overseas trade offices around the globe. It’s our job to vet the local companies and help them determine what markets would be best for their products and services. About $50 million in our last fiscal year was attributable to our service in this region under that program. We help government contracting. We help companies with government contracting. We routinely work with Frank’s contracting staff to help provide them with subcontractors that they need. We work with companies to get into the federal procurement system. We help with minority business enterprise and women-owned business enterprise certifications. Tomorrow at the Radisson we will have our government contracting showcase. Congressman Barletta is our keynote speaker. Many of you know that he was a government contractor before he got into the political game. He’s there to tell you that we need ... I’m sure he’s going to say that we need infrastructure spending very dramatically in this country.
But anyway, we help companies get into that. I know members from around seven counties, and that doesn’t speaking with Gary when we got here, he is a Penn DOT include the separate boards that we operate as well. And we do nonprofit assistance. We were proud to contractor doing work for the department. We have a whole seminar tomorrow on doing business with Penn have Dr. Feinberg as our speaker last year at our annual dinner. We work with the development folks at Geisinger. DOT. So any newer companies, new to market companies that want to get involved in government contracting, We manage something called the Regional Association of Grantmakers, bringing together the folks, from Bob we can help with that. We’re very proud of our relationship with [Zardecki] Kelly from Weinberg to Bill Scranton from Willary and and the folks at the Depot. We manage something the Moses Taylor Foundation and many others to the called BLURB and Task Force. That’s the community table so that they can talk about how to best target their group that is engaged to support everything about investments from those millions of dollars in private the Depot that they cannot do for themselves. We foundation money that is available for projects in this have hundreds of people on that task force. So we’re region. engaged, we’re ready. We’re standing guard whenever That’s us in a nutshell. I guess if I could answer a Frank and the folks up there question you haven’t asked “..one of the things I’d like to need us to do whatever we me yet, Dave, but what see is stability. I think you’re can do to help support. about Washington? Well, Pennsylvania puts some going to see things grow once I think the best thing that money into grant programs could happen is that somepeople in businesses start to that help support the installabody educates the President feel like there’s some stabletions in the Commonwealth, that he shouldn’t be putting ness. Then people I think will so we’re managing a few us and guys like Sam out start to spend again.” of those right now. We are of business with his budget — Matthew Dennebaum, EVP, Standard proposals. also engaged in transportaIron Works tion planning. We manage Zardecki: I want to something called the Focus follow on to what [Box] 81 Initiative for here and said. He talked about Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. The I-81 corridor defense spending going down. The economic impact is the spine of commerce in this region as I think we all on the state of Pennsylvania is far behind the rest of the know. The community group that we manage, Focus country in support for the military. I mean, it’s not just 81, is stakeholders of engineers and Penn DOT folks and Tobyhanna. There’s Philadelphia, there’s Harrisburg, legislative folks. The ultimate goal is to widen Interstate there’s Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania has a little committee 81 to three lanes in this region. That’s a $1.2 billion task of two people, supposedly, supporting defense where in 2007 dollars. We’ve taken incremental steps to bring other places like Georgia, Texas have multimillion dollar the Penn DOT folks and the State Police folks, Public operations because they recognize the impact that the Utility Commission people together so there’s better military has on the economy of those areas. Woefully enforcement and also better coordination for things like poor within the state of Pennsylvania. congestion management and that kind of thing. Farrington: I want to thank you for asking that We’re also engaged with the Safe 80 Initiative in question and the statement because the focus in our Monroe County that is engaged in the same issues with next hour will be pretty much going in that direction with congestion and safety. We’re very proud of the fact that regard to why we are a little different and how we cope we annually do economic impact analysis for the Depot. with it. Thank you for introducing it. $2.5 billion over 11 counties in Tobyhanna service area. Matt, let’s move on to you. Tell us about Standard That’s $2.5 billion in economic impact over 11 counties Iron and how your business is looking. here in the northeast. So as Frank always says — and Dennebaum: My name is Matt Dennebaum. I am he’s absolutely right — that’s the economic driver of this vice president and chief operations for Standard Iron region and we all need to collectively support him and Works. We’re a small business in Scranton with about the good work that they do going forward. 36 employees. We’ve been in business since 1914. I’m I like to think of us a little bit like the Thomas the the fourth generation Dennebaum involved. I have a civil Tank Engine analogy. We’re the little agency that could engineering degree from Penn State. with 25 people serving seven counties, 4400 square We fabricate structural steel and miscellaneous iron. miles, and more than a million people. We are a union shop. We’re back off of Keyser Avenue. As our federal, state and local partnership, the coun- We’ve benefited from Geisinger’s build. We did the CMC ties are our local partners. Each of the counties have an addition. We did Marywood’s library. We do engineering, automatic seat on our Board of Directors. I have 50 board fabrication. We’re a small business.
To answer your question, one of the things I’d like to see is stability. I think you’re going to see things grow once people in businesses start to feel like there’s some stableness. Then I think people will start to spend again. Gardner: I hear this every interview. The enemy of commerce is the unknown and instability. People are looking at money they have in their pocket and thinking about should we expand, should we not? And they’re hesitant because of this back and forth and back and forth. So you’re in good company. Howell: That’s one of my observations. We see that with every employer we work with they’re very reluctant to move. Dennebaum: I think that starts from the top. The government has to get some stability and stop fighting amongst themselves. Once you start to see that, it will start to trickle down. Gardener: Look what the state voters did this year. They put a Republican, firmly conservative, general assembly, and a Democratic governor in two separate worlds. If you look just at taxing the gas. There’s no way they’re going to agree. They have two completely different philosophies. Farrington: I’m very excited to have Geoffrey here because I learned that the firm of Drucker & Scaccetti is also known as Tax Warriors, and I also know some folks running some pretty significant businesses for whom they have saved a significant amount of money. You are to be honored among the people at this table. So tell us a little bit about your firm and some of your concerns with what’s going on in Washington and how that affects NEPA, if in particular it does. Mesko: Absolutely. Geoffrey Mesko, good to be here, thank you. Drucker & Scaccetti is a tax and business consulting firm, primarily in Philadelphia. We have 100 people that are a mix between CPAs and tax lawyers, so our primary focus is to be your tax advisor, but also your business advisor and mesh all of your different types of team members, whether they’re internal or external, and get everybody on the same page. We also have an office here in Scranton on North Washington Avenue that I head. It’s a smaller office. Our clients are complex organizations. That could be families, that could be businesses, or it could be a pro athlete, for example. And usually they have a lot of different buckets that they’re concerned with for financial, philanthropic, personal and family reasons and we shepherd all that along with respect for tax law along the way. We do a lot of consulting and finding tax incentives that are available for different types of businesses, such as manufacturers, construction companies, multinational companies, things like that. Our clients are around the globe, both headquartered in the US going out and inbound investment from foreign countries, both private enterprises and, for example, sovereign wealth funds are
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a large part of the money that comes in for real estate deals in Philadelphia, New York or Chicago. We would advise how to structure a joint venture with a sovereign wealth fund. And the United States is still the best place to invest when you’re looking around the globe, so there’s probably too much money coming in for real estate purposes, from what we’re seeing. It’d be nice to see it come in for manufacturing or other enterprises, but there’s a lot of money pouring in for real estate. I’ve been spending the last 20 days talking to primarily all my clients about Trump administration tax proposals. Without any answers, but it’s way too early to really plan around what’s been submitted. There’s been progress this week with the House plan. There’s a House plan and there’s a Trump plan, they’re pretty far apart. There’s a special committee within the House that is working on meshing those two plans together to see if they can come up with a compromise within just the Republican party, which has a couple different factions that make it complicated to see how this would ever happen. There’s deficit hawks, there’s spending hawks, there’s people who just want tax cuts, and there’s a group that wants a really comprehensive tax simplification like we supposedly saw in 1986, which added 70,000 pages to the tax code. What I do think is that tax rates will decrease one way or another, effective this year. So as business owners, you should be thinking about deferring income into next year and accelerating deductions to this year. But there’s some really interesting proposals out there that should, if they’re implemented properly, create economic growth. Not enough economic growth to pay for the Trump tax plan, but perhaps the House plan. Kukuchka: Where do you see the estate tax coming through? Because you hear both sides on that. Mesko: Yes. Both House and Trump want to repeal the estate tax. Where I see it coming down, though, it will probably be something that’s tossed in as a small revenue raiser at the end, because you have to be revenue neutral when you propose a tax cut, I’ll say. So my guess is, the estate tax will be gone except for estates
that are $50 million or above. Right now, you’re exempt there, that this building is going to be much cheaper and $10 million and below. I think they’ll increase that to it can basically steal the tenants from across the street probably $50 million. So not a total repeal. because of the tax write-off.” So just a lot of interesting Durkin: Geoff, how about this? The notion of action things. It’s still very early, though. Another thing that’s interesting is what’s called a borand reaction. So the idea of lowering the corporate der adjustment tax. That would tax products coming into income tax down to 15 percent, but then the prospects the United States from overseas. That would raise your of S corps and others turning around their own tax costs of basically everything. The Trump plan has not status. Correct? At the end of the day it might have a mentioned the border adjustment tax, but the House plan negative impact. does mention a border adjustment tax to make up for the Mesko: Yeah, and I’ll say this. If it’s just a ten-year plan, the point of it is, you want companies to bring reduction in income taxes. So that’s something that my business owners are watching and concerned with. back manufacturing facilities, call centers and industry Farrington: One clarification relative to a timeline: that creates jobs. We’re really on the verge of automaIf indeed there are agreed changes to tax rates that are tion here. There’s less billable hours for people, like attorneys and CPAs because of artificial intelligence, so. effective, and you say will become effective for this year, A ten- year plan will not cause Apple or Google or Cisco that will have to be decided, I imagine, at a certain point before year or Microsoft “What I do think is that tax rates will decrease end, since the to come back. one way or another, effective this year. So as IRS will have to It really needs to be 20 or 30 business owners, you should be thinking about prepare a sigyears, just to go deferring income into next year and accelerat- nificant amount of changes in off your quesing deductions to this year. But there’s some paperwork. tion a little bit. really interesting proposals out there that Mesko: You Trump’s would hope. proposal is to should, if they’re implemented properly, creFarrington: tax passate economic growth. Not enough economic When might through entities, growth to pay for the Trump tax plan, but be the effective such as S perhaps the House plan.” time during the corps, LLCs at — Geoffrey Mesko, Partner, Drucker & Scaccetti, PC. latter part of the 15 percent, and year when decithe House proposal is to tax them at 25 percent. So both proposals will sions like this will need to be made by Congress? Mesko: I’ve seen it the last ten years all over the match corporate and pass-through tax rates. It’s just we don’t know which one it’s going to be. But another thing place. Usually it’s on Dec. 31, they decide to extend the that’s out there is 100 percent expensing, for example, of tax cuts or tax incentives that were inspiring. One year they went until Jan. 7 the following year to retroactive. any capital improvement. So if you want to build a new Based on what I’m hearing, this will be hashed out by real estate property, which Trump might be interested late October. Who really knows? in, you can write off 100 percent of it. Your competitor Farrington: Bob, it’s a real pleasure to have you here. across the street has to depreciate that over 39 years if You’ve got a very, very, very broad scope of what’s going it’s already existing. I haven’t heard anyone talk about, on in this part of the world in regard to the activities “Well, how are we going to deal with the imbalance
at the Chamber and certainly your membership. Very interested in hearing where you think things are going. Durkin: Sure. Well, quick background. My background is in non-profit and quasi-public administration. I’ve worked in government, I’ve worked for a grant and authority, and I run non-profits for ... I was telling some folks earlier today I was with the Scranton Chamber 29 years ago as Vice President. Spent a five-year stint, then 20 years off doing a couple other things, running community development and running an organization called The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, which is basically a healthcare consortium of hospitals and medical practices. Came back to the Chamber three-and-a-half years ago as president. Can’t believe the time is flying as quickly as it has. From an organizational standpoint, our chamber is a actually a little bit different than most chambers. Only about a third, a quarter to a third of chambers have the variety of program activities that we have. And I’ll distinguish things a little bit from Geoff and the NEPA Alliance. Whereas Geoff is a larger, seven county area doing metropolitan planning and the host of programs he’s cited, there’s a little bit of overlap, I guess I’d have to say redundancy, in some of the things that Geoff does and some of the things that we do. But for the most part, because we know each other very well, both as individuals and institutions, we do our best to make sure that that doesn’t create any kind of problems and it certainly doesn’t hinder us from working together. So here’s the Reader’s Digest version of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. We’re an umbrella organization. The Chamber itself continues to do what traditional chambers do. We do business-to-business opportunities, networking, marketing and joint marketing opportunities for a core of 1,400 to 1,500 members. We are a private non-profit, so in this case, while we do receive some public dollars for mainly grants for different projects, we are a private business association. So we are owned by, and run by, those of you around this room and 1,450 others who are dues-paying members of the Chamber of Commerce.
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PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA Included in those basic services are things like government affairs, special events and programs, all intended to provide business-to-business opportunities, and on the government side, access for our members as individuals, but also as a whole, to public arenas dealing with elected officials on behalf of a larger population. Now this is where things get a little more complicated. So off the chamber umbrella, if you will, or let’s say Christmas tree, I can hang a number of ornaments. We run eight different non-profit or not-for-profit organizations under the chamber umbrella. Foremost and well-known among them is the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Co. (SLIBCO), and of course we work hand-in-hand with Leeward on a number of different projects, and other people in this room, in fact. SLIBCO, I won’t go to the whole history of it, but SLIBCO and the Scranton Plan and an organization called LIFE, Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprises, were all created about 70 years ago. Post-World War II, where the community saw two things happening: one, the end of coal mining had already begun and was in rapid decline, but also the end of the war effort, that saw an increase of manufacturing in our region, particularly in support of the war effort. So the community came together and did something very unique that actually has been mirrored across the country, and that is, think of it as the United Way or, at the time, Community Chest concept, where both public and private leaders went up and down the Lackawanna Valley and got every business that they could touch, even individuals and private contributions, to contribute towards a fund that would be used to attract business to Lackawanna County. That was intended to fund SLIBCO. SLIBCO was the first organization in the country to put up what was now called spec buildings. there was no such concept at that time. So basically, in order to draw business, we built buildings, and said, “Shell buildings. Come here. We have a building for you already.” That was mirrored ... Now of course public and private enterprises do it all over the place. The Lackawanna Fund Enterprise basically then became a bank, so the dollars that were raised through multiple years of fundraising put into that corpus, and that’s used by SLIBCO and the Chamber to support business activities. By the way, a side note that’s kind of interesting. I’m thinking the year was 1950, which was about the third wave of fundraising, was such a major enterprise across this valley. Judge Linus Hoban from the Court of Common Pleas actually chaired this effort. It was public, private, everybody. Over a ten-day period, that exercise raised an average of $110,000 a day. Now think about that. This was 1950 in a poor, mined-out northeastern Pennsylvania, Lackawanna County. Over $100,000 a day was raised for this
effort. It showed where the community came together and said, “We need to do this, pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps.” The other part of this is the Scranton Plan. Any and all of these, for the most part, are separate non-profits. The Scranton plan is actually part of the Chamber itself. That’s our industrial marketing arm. So to put those three together, we have SLIBCO that has developed 15 business parks, built scores of buildings, and just since 1984, has generated 40,000 new jobs in Lackawanna County. At one point, and it was awhile ago since we did this, more than 33 percent of all the business property in Lackawanna County drew a line back to SLIBCO. SLIBCO either built the buildings, was in a park that SLIBCO built, or that project was supported in some way or another by the Chamber and SLIBCOo. The Scranton Plan is the marketing arm. So our mission, broad mission, is to attract, sustain and grow business, attract, sustain and grow jobs. These are the phrases we use. And under that, the Scranton Plan’s role is largely, really, twofold. One is to go outside the area, meet with and work with site selectors, realtors, developers, to draw out those individuals, those organizations to come and put their properties and their businesses here, but also to work on sustaining businesses. So when we have legacy businesses like Standard Iron and even Leeward and other companies, any opportunity we have to work with you, to find out what your needs are, we’ll do it. I call it the ombudsman’s role. And that right now is focused almost, not exclusively, but at the highest level, on workforce development. That’s the biggest thing, the most challenging thing we all face right now. And so we’ve ramped that up. So the Scranton Plan and SLIBCO at one time would’ve been strictly building buildings and marketing. Well right now, we have full-time workforce development staff on that team. So it’s economic and workforce development hand in hand. Also, among the other organizations we have, Leadership Lackawanna, people are familiar with our leadership development programs. That comes under the Chamber. We have an organization called Metroaction, which does some small business micro-lending, SPA-supported: We do that both for Lackawanna County and some surrounding counties. And we also manage the Luzerne County revolving loan fund. It was a creation from the flood several years ago. Monies were put in to help flood-ravaged businesses, that had been turned into revolving loan funds. We do a small amount of that as well. And then the other really key component here is Skills in Scranton, which is a workforce development arm of the Chamber. Skills in Scranton, Metroaction and our government affairs programs have all emerged from leadership
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development and board feedback, as the three most important areas for us change. To adopt. Adapt. Skills in Scranton, we’ve basically wiped out the entire organization. It’s a 501(c)(3), but we’ve created a whole new board, whole new structure on that. Metroaction’s in the final stages of strategic planning to make the determination of whether we should be doing the lending or not, working with Geoff and others. And then separate from that, just to show that we’ll do anything if it’s necessary, we own a couple of utilities. We own what’s called SLIBCO Utilities and we also own an organization called the Glenmaura, GCC, Water Company. And this is to show how effective the whole SLIBCO, Scranton Plan model is. Go back, look at Montage Mountain. Montage itself was created by the Chamber. A separate corporation was created and Montage was developed by the Chamber under that guise. Of course, it was intended to do what it has done, which was to develop that mountain. And so for those of us of a certain age, we knew when there was nothing up there, and now you look at it and it’s amazing. 5,000 jobs up there, housing, all the other aspects. Everything you see above the stadium up there, was all rock. And I say everything, I’m talking about the business side of it, not the residential. And so the Chamber, in trying to develop it, founded the water company. For probably righteous reasons at the time, said they didn’t want to step into that, it was going to be too expensive for the infrastructure. So we created a utility and a water company and did it. So all the water that serves that top of the mountain comes through us. And there’s 5,000 jobs up there. And that’s what we’re about. At the end of the day, the metrics that measure the success of the Chamber of Commerce and our affiliates is how many jobs we’ve created and how much public and private investment has come along with that. They are the final measures. That’s what I get judged on at the end of the year. A lot of things, you can see there’s a lot of moving parts there, and so as a result, we have our hand in a lot of local, state and federal issues. I will say the reaction to the president’s proposed budget, our immediate reaction was to contact our federal officials to point out that the president had proposed defunding Appalachian Regional Commission, Economic Development Administration, community development block grants, some manufacturing support, all of it. Wiped it all out. That’s absolutely inappropriate for an area like ours, because let’s face it, there’s an important thing to think about here. Whether you’re conservative, liberal, Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter. If you’re in northeastern Pennsylvania and the republic dollar’s being invested across this state or this country, we’re always going to take a backseat to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh by virtue of size. The size of the populations, the size of their delegations. And so
for places like ours, access to some of those federal and state financial support mechanisms are really, really important. Oftentimes, it’s the thing that puts us over the finish line, either to attract a business or to help a local business grow. So we feel, philosophically, that those are very important aspects of what we do. And most of that stuff when it comes in goes through Geoff, but that’s OK because it helps the whole region. So we think it’s important that the budget be adjusted, and we certainly believe it’s going to be. Let’s face it. The Trump budget and the Trump tax plan are just notions. They’re not plans. I often talk about that with staff. I say, “You come up with a notion, the notion becomes a concept, the concept becomes a policy, the policy becomes a plan.” Everything he’s putting out there is a notion. It’s not even real. And it’s inconsistent. So that’s where there’s a challenge. Farrington: If there were one thing out of Washington that you would like to see would be something beyond notions. Durkin: Yeah, well, it goes back to the stability issue. You can’t have stability if you’re just firing darts. You’ve got to say, “What is the thought process? What is the plan? And what are the consequences of moving, of fixing a pipe down this end, what’s going to happen to the pipe up here?” So I’d like to see more of that. On a more specific side, maybe we’ll get into the next section. The notion of an infrastructure investment, I think, would be very, very useful. It’s critically important to northeastern Pennsylvania. Farrington: Very well said. Great. Speaking of infrastructure, what a great segue. Gary, tell us, if you would, about Leeward. One of the things that I think we’re all very, very interested in is having also an understanding from you with regard to the fact that, as far as infrastructure’s concerned, the country as a whole, but particularly here in Northeast Pennsylvania, we don’t really have a lot of things that we need to build. We have a lot of things we need to fix. So I’m really interested in getting an understanding from you as to where we stand? How well off or poor off are we? Linde: I’m Gary Linde, president of Leeward Construction. Second generation running this company, although my family’s been in this line of work starting with my grandfather back in the coal mining days in Pottsville, but it’s progressed up to this point. I graduated from Penn State with an Associate’s Degree in Business. As I told some people earlier, my father dragged me through college with a rope, but here I am. We employ more than 200 people in our busy season, $40 - $50 million in annual revenue, in excess of $10 million our employees earn between salary and benefits on a yearly basis, so it’s a pretty big economic engine from that standpoint. Primarily, like I said, we’re heavy highway
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and utility contractor, bridges, roads, water lines and gas lines. Basically anything other than building a building is what our company does. In the early 2000s, we started making an investment. We bought our first quarry in 2000, and currently own and operate seven rock quarries and one asphalt plant. The primary reason for doing that was to keep us working close to home and keep us competitive in the area. That’s basically who we are and what we do. Without going into the regulatory issues that I think we’ll probably discuss later, our biggest issue is workforce development. When I was coming into this business, my father mentored my generation. Most of my top managers who work for me came into this business with me more than 20 years ago, and they’re still with me, so I’ve started reaching out to the local school districts in our area, trying to attract these younger folks to get interested in our industry. I don’t think a lot of them realize the opportunity that they could have without getting a college education, with tech schools [training] and we do a lot of in-house mentoring, and really that’s how we’ve built our business; by starting people at the bottom. We just need people with a will to work and we’ll teach them up through the ranks. Farrington: Give us a little bit of a feeling for your footprint. Linde: Pretty much the 75 mile radius of Honesdale. We have, my father had ventured into the Caribbean at one time. We did work on the island of Antigua, which is part of the Leeward Islands. Having the L in the beginning of the name goes along with Linde a little bit, so that’s where that was born. We’re working as far south right now as Stroudsburg, a road reconstruction job on 611 from Scotrun towards Sanofi. Doing a large project in Pike County, Bushkill Road, it’s a $30 million PennDOT project, but our company will do anything from $30 million down to a $5,000 driveway. Farrington: In your industry, in your line of work, do you face any particular challenges being in northeast Pennsylvania than you might be in some other part of the world? Aside from the fact that if you are dealing seasonal labor, some of the challenges of winter? Linde: Seasonal is our biggest issue. We’ve been lucky in recent years where we’ve worked, we’ve probably stayed at 80 percent capacity through most of the winter due to the mild winter. It’s part of the reason of owning our own asphalt plant. It closes for the winter when we say it closes, so it allows us to keep our guys working and keep the money flowing through the economy. Farrington: Thank you very much. Ron, we’ll close up with you. Very interesting business, B to B and B to C, and you interface a lot with things that are going on in your neck of the woods. Tell us about Ace Robbins. Kukuchka: My name’s Ron Kukuchka, I’m from Tunkhannock. For those of you who live in Lackawanna
Geoffrey Mesko — Partner, Drucker & Scaccetti, PC County, that’s considered another world once you go through Factoryville. It’s kind of like coming through the tunnel, I guess, out of Lehigh Valley, but over the years, I graduated from King’s College in 1976 with a degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. At that time, the administration, the federal government, there were no jobs out there. So I pursued another career in 1982. My wife and I purchased Ace Robbins. Ace Robbins was a petroleum distribution company selling mainly AMOCO gasoline and heating oil. At that time, we had six employees, and through the years and acquisitions, we have grown the company. We run anywhere between 48 and 52 employees, depending on the season. Through other acquisitions, we were able to get into the propane business in 1998, and we’ve grown really well. That’s taken off for us. We have an HVAC department. I have seven technicians, which, getting people to be an HVAC technician is difficult, but we’ve worked very well with the Susquehanna County Career Technology Center. Of those seven technicians, five of them attended that Career Technology Center. We’re big on training. We send our people to all sorts of training, whether it be Philadelphia, Massachusetts, for products that we haul. Three years ago, I got into the appliance business. My wife needed her dryer fixed so I went to the local appliance store, and instead of getting her dryer fixed, I purchased the appliance business. It brings us into the home, because in our business, we do the HVAC work for the heating and air conditioning, we do light plumbing, electrical, and now we have the appliance business side, so that keeps the sticking with our customer base. And that’s what we would like to do. In the energy side, back in ’08, we got involved in the natural gas business. And with that, we started out with supplying fuel to some of the rigs. Two years ago, we were supplying 13 natural gas drilling rigs with diesel fuel from Susquehanna, Bradford and Lycoming Counties. In December of that year, it went from 13 to zero, so talk about an impact to your bottom line. That hit hard.
PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA We do some water hauling, frack hauling, we move it across the United States because infrastructure’s not there. And speaking of infrastructure, Pennsylvania has heavy equipment, we have rigging, we move rigs. We took every advantage we could to work with in that the third highest, if not the second highest, tax rate on industry. We see it coming back. The company we work motor fuels in the United States. So when our roads are so deplorable as they are, where’s the tax money going? with now is back to four rigs. When the pipelines are coming through, we’ve been able to supply the pipeline You heard the present administration in Washington talk about raising the federal excise tax. So pretty much crew for their equipment, and drilling equipment to go underneath roads and rivers with fuel there. That worked for every gallon of gas you purchase in Pennsylvania, 70-some cents of that is taxable. out well for us too. The things that affect us as a small company, of Right now for us, to compete in the natural gas, course, is my health insurance. It’ll be interesting to see utilities are going to Harrisburg and they’re lobbying how that goes. We see the increases, they’re coming. to get a distribution system expansion charge put on I’ve always prided myself in our company and having so that their whole network in the UGI or whatever great health plans for our employees, and in fact, we network will help pay for these lines to go to areas that were covering half of their deductibles, and I had to don’t have natural gas. The biggest thing where we are change that to where I can’t do that. It’s interesting to in Susquehanna and Wyoming County is everybody’s hear you (Aquilina) talk about your pharmacy of farmcomplaining, “All this gas is here. But I can’t get it to to-table. I became involved with Bob Naismith, who was my home.” Well it’s really uneconomical to run a line ... one of the cofounders of Commonwealth Geisinger or I’m sure Gary can say what it costs to run that line, to Commonwealth Medical College a few years ago, and come into a town where there’s only 40 or 50 residents. we now support a program at the college for the benefits But yet, they’re looking at getting this tax to come on, of nutrition and working with health. the surcharge. In essence, what it’s doing, it’s creating More and more they’re looking at plant-based, socialization where they’re competing against private which is eliminated of sugar and everything else, out of enterprise. They’re pitting one industry against the the diet for people to become healthy, but I don’t think other, but they’re subsidizing that industry. And that’s going to that extreme is going to work. My hope with the something there that we have to compete with and we program, as I told Bob the other day, is I would like to have to work with. see us try to get the school districts involved more, beIn our field of business today, energy efficient. I cause in most instances, do a lot of work with the in the rural counties “I’m looking for stability in Wash- Energy Assistance Office as well as, I’m sure, in in the winter months in all ington. The favorite thing was the metropolitan areas, the surrounding counties, “drain the swamp” but he forgot some of the meals those because we work within kids get only come from those counties. And it one thing, it was the alligators school. When the nutrition that are in the swamp and I think is interesting that there factor considers pizza to are homes out there that that’s going to be a problem.” be a vegetable, and then really need an upgrade in — Ron Kukuchka, Owner, Ace-Robbins, Inc. weather winterization and you talk about obesity and sugar in content. And yes, need to make changes. you go to the grocery store and you go to Wegmans, The equipment that’s out today is phenomenal as far as and you go in there and they’re known for their produce efficiency, whether it be gas, heating oil, the Mitsubishi and everything else. You’re not going to see people in heat pump that’s out there now, the heat will work there with diabetes today buying their food. It’s a lot down to 13 below zero. That’s phenomenal. And we’ve cheaper to feed a family with ramen noodles than it is to installed those in homes where people have electric heat go pick up lettuce. I almost hope that the government and they’ve actually seen their electric bills come down could enact a program to where they can track the PACE with this type of equipment. card of what people consume, and if you consume So that’s a little bit about our company and what we healthier food, you might be rewarded in getting more do. I’m looking for stability in Washington. The favorite on your card versus cereals with high contents of sugar, thing was “drain the swamp” but he forgot one thing, ramen noodles and canned soups. it was the alligators that are in the swamp, and I think But that’s not what Ace Robbins is about, that’s what that’s going to be a problem. I’m about. That’s what I would like to see. In my busiFarrington: I think everybody around the table, ness, what we’re forced with today with the natural gas, even supported by some of the things we’ve heard this and I’m in favor of energy conservation. I think it’s great morning, that whether we’re north of the tunnel or even with CNG and vehicles. I don’t think you’re going to see further north of Factoryville, it’s different here in NEPA.
So I thought in order to kick off where we’re going, I’d give a little bit of a backdrop with regard to the economy of the United States, more in general. I’ll start off with a report from the Pulitzer Prizewinning, fact checking organization called PolitiFact. According to them, the executive branch has to date proposed 101 actions, among which two have been blocked, seven have been completed, 29 are underway and 63 have either not been started or have been stalled. Of the 101 actions, those which affect us in NEPA in the economy most directly are as follows. So among those that are completed, we’ve slashed federal regulations in the two old for one new and stopped TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Among proposed actions that are either underway or stalled include the following, which would affect us as well in NEPA: repeal Obamacare, hire America’s workers first, limit legal immigration and the birthright citizenship, renegotiate NAFTA and a temporary ban on job-killing regulations, scale back EPA programs, scale back Department of Education programs, defund Planned Parenthood, rebuild the military, end the defense sequester, simplify the tax code, eliminate AMT marriage penalty and all that good stuff, lower business tax rate, lower taxes on interest and dividend income, eliminate the estate tax, cut individual tax rates, create dependent care tax credits, support the coal industry, use U.S. steel for infrastructure projects, raise tariffs on imported goods and guaranteed six-week leave pay to mothers of newborns. As a backdrop to our discussion on the economy in NEPA, popular opinion on the overall U.S. economy right now is that it is doing really quite well. The increasingly wide-held position on our country’s economic outlook as, in a word, healthy. Based on the six leading economic indicators, we are moving into what is called a “Goldilocks economy,” one that’s neither too hot nor too cold, one that is just about right for prolonged, steady growth. So here’s an overall look at those basic six leading indicators: Gross domestic product: GDP is projected to come in at 2.1 percent in 2017. That will be a little better than 2016, which was 1.9 percent and about the same as it was in 2015. The fed specifically projects growth between 2.0 and 2.4 percent. The LDL target rate is between 2 and 3 percent. Right now, first quarter, the growth rate is still slow, being at about .7 percent, but the economy is showing increasing signs of strength in jobs and durable goods orders, which I will go into in a few minutes. Interestingly, the proposal of the new administration to bring GDP up to 4 percent would actually be detrimental to the economy because it would overheat and cause a significant number of problems. Jobs and unemployment: A healthy economy adds
Robert Durkin — President, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
jobs at a rate of about 150,000 per month. Job growth in the first quarter of 2017 was strong despite a decline in March. However, 2011 jobs were added in April. Most of the jobs are being added in healthcare, banking, personal care, social assistance, retail and construction. The numbers do, to some extent, overstate the positive as growth and lower-skill jobs will likely remain challenging. I think we’re all aware of that, especially as manufacturing will continue losing jobs to both technology and to outsourcing. The unemployment rate, despite inching toward better and better levels, still reflects many workers who are not employed full time. The rate nonetheless is expected to continue at what’s called a “natural rate”, in other words, it reflects people who are in and out of jobs, transferring from one to another, about 4 percent to 5 percent. The actual non-farm employment rate runs at about twice that number, so the real unemployment rate is probably around 9 percent. Durable goods orders: Orders are up for both January and February at 2.3 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. Orders, like jobs, also reflected a downturn in March, mostly influenced by weakness in autos and communications equipment, but defense, interestingly, was up 25 percent and commercial aircraft was up 7 percent. So if you own Boeing stock, you’re a happy person. The manufacturing sector as a whole, including capital goods as well as durable goods is projected to increase at a little faster pace than the overall GDP coming in at around 3 percent. Note that this forecast does not yet build into any of the administration’s proposed job creation programs. Interest rates and inflation: The fed funds rate will likely advance to 1.5 percent in 2017 and 2 percent in 2018. The target rate for the FMOC is 2 percent. Getting to that level encourages the fed to start selling T-bills, which will slowly increase the money supply. A slightly weakening dollar as a result may actually lower the cost of exports and increase the cost of imports. Inflation, the year-over-year core rate, which does not include either
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food or gasoline, is expected to hug the 2 percent level, and that’s also a healthy level. Financial markets: On March 1, 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average set an all-time record high, 21,115. To date there have been 32 new closing highs since the November election. Overall, there’s a level of confidence in the greater population that better times are ahead and we’ll be further buoyed by more business-friendly legislation, tax cuts, more and better job opportunities, and greater, more affordable access to better healthcare. That’s what we as a nation believe and are literally buying into. Despite the broader, forward-looking positive economic picture, we know that we in NEPA face both opportunities and challenges which may be more or less helped or hindered by actions taken in Washington. How might the image of northeast Pennsylvania change? Zardecki: For us, finding the right skills and training people. There are so many opportunities in the IT world. We have such a variety of career programs that we search for the right skills, but we’re doing a lot of work now in software support and finding those skills. Sometimes we have to go outside the area, and then it’s a combination, and I think somebody mentioned it, and everybody doesn’t have to have a college degree. We look for the electronics people, two-year associate degrees, and then we can train them in the specifics. But finding those people sometimes is difficult for us. Howell: I would agree. We’re seeing a lot of our groups’ lack of skilled workers. We have employers who are either trying to work the local colleges or trade schools, or where they’re actually going out with the crowdsourcing and they’re actually outsourcing work because they can’t find the talent here. Aquilina: I think the most important thing we can do is figure out what would make this region more attractive to a younger and more diverse population of people. That’s what the world is becoming, and look at the people around this room. We’re all middle-aged Caucasian males, and people are looking, these are our bosses, right? Farrington: When you say younger, Tony, I just want to make sure I understand, is it younger not for the energy of youth, but it’s younger because people who are younger now and coming out of more recent formal training have the skillsets that can be employed? Aquilina: Yes, and yes. In healthcare, we have a bi-modal employee distribution. We have a lot of older workers, close to retirement, and it’s scaring the heck out of us, to think about what’s going to happen when they get to retirement. Then, we have a lot people right out of college, because we provided a good healthy
wage, but the trick is keeping them. A lot of them will learn from us and then move on, and go to Philadelphia, New York, some place else, after they’ve gained the skills that we can give them initially in their careers. Kukuchka: We find that that’s because we don’t offer the things in socialization that they have in Philadelphia. Aquilina: Part of it is what Frank said, is that we have this stigma of being that post industrial, I don’t know what the right word is, but we need to make it a kind of place where our young workers want to stay and keep their jobs here. Howell: Where’d you rather live? Boulder, Colorado or Charlottesville, or northeastern Pennsylvania? They’re finding places where Gen-X-er’s and millennials want to live, because there’s more for them to do. With our employer groups, most of our employees are staying on longer. It’s been a problem for our larger employers. People are not retiring like they thought they would, they’re staying on. Aquilina: We have affordable housing, so there are things to attract people to the area, we’re finding that it’s in the beginning. Then it’s retaining that’s the issue with the younger, more diverse crowd. They move on. Durkin: Let me try to address some of that stuff, and the word you used at the beginning for employees, but that’s really where we are right now in Scranton, particularly. The number of buildings that are being turned into loft apartments, the number of restaurants, the number of small commercial enterprises, they’re all growing. We have three brand new restaurants in downtown Scranton in the last month, and at least one more coming shortly. That’s the kind of stuff that needs to be developed, and grease the skids if you will. We did a revitalization plan for the central business district, in partnership with the city and the county about a year ago, and the implementation process has taken a little while for the city and some other people to get this rolling. In fact I believe it was part of a meeting we had six months ago. Quite honestly, the pace hasn’t been where we want it to be, in terms of bringing together anchor institutions, and the ED’s and MED’s, education and medicine, but also all the key partners. There were 30 different organizations and individuals that signed on as partners for this revitalization plan. All of it was about this idea of number one, advancing some of what’s happening organically now, in terms of the takeover of the downtown, turning it into a vibrant kind of place where millennials, and Gen-X-ers, would want to live, with all those lifestyle amenities. At the end of the day, we’re never going to be Austin, Texas, we’re never going to be San Francisco, we’re not going to be New York or Philadelphia. But we don’t have to be. For a scale, what we need to keep moving along these lines, we need public support, or I should say support of pub-
PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA lic institutions. Doesn’t always mean money, but partnerships to move and help developers get an opportunity to take these buildings and turn them into something positive. I can tell you, that just on Penn Avenue, the 300 block of Penn Avenue is going to become Restaurant Row. It’s already becoming that with two new properties that are there, two new bars that are really nice and fresh, and things people want. That being said, to get people on a link from a linkage, from University of Scranton, or those that are living around Courthouse Square in some of the nicely adapted apartments, there’s some gaps. There’s this vacant lot, where there used to be a dry cleaner, that’s kind of environmental problem. We’re trying to work with the city to see if we can turn that into a dog park. Turn it into a green space. There are other private developers that are saying, “Hey, if you can fill in this in-fill, we’ll start to do something on our properties.” It’s happening, and it’s going to become, it’ll help make this downtown and the city much more attractive, at least from that footprint. But that’s only one part of it. The other part is the long-term social concern on workforce development. It is a problem. It’s funny, Frank. You mentioned in the image of the region and workforce, there was a team of reporters from NYU that was here the week before the presidential election. They had scattered these young students around town to ask questions and ultimately they kept coming back to us at the chamber, and they said, “That’s interesting, we went on Courthouse Square and we asked people what’s good or bad about the area.” A tremendous number of them had bad view of their own area, including, “Oh there are no jobs.” I’m going to tell you right now, I’ll tell you for the record, that’s not true. There are 3,000 job openings in Lackawanna County. Dr. Aquilina probably has about 200 of them. Right? Aquilina: That’s right. Durkin: So it’s not that there aren’t jobs, it’s the skills gap. It isn’t just the skills gap, it’s the soft skills as well. We have generations of young people coming out that are just not really prepared for job interviews, they’re not dressing properly, they can’t pass a drug test. You know there are all of these issues that are real. We can’t turn our backs to it anymore. That’s why I said earlier, our Skills In Scranton program, we’ve blown it up, we’re restarting this whole thing. It’s a big issue. Kukuchka: Some of it, the difficulty is for us, because of trying to employ the millennials, my mindset and way I do things is really different, and it’s a tough change to acquire. One of our biggest problems is, we can’t get truck drivers. Other than the air you breathe today, you tell me one thing that hasn’t been touched by a truck. But we cannot get truck drivers, and they make good money with benefits, and that’s a skillset that’s just not there. It’s very difficult for us to get it to work. The other thing,
working with the millennials, I was at a seminar at one of our trade shows, and the presentation on the millennials was in the first six hours of working in employment, that person is going to know whether they want to stay with that company or not. Their main thing is they want to have everything laid out, exactly what you want. We hired one to come do some work with us in working with spreadsheets. We’re a small company, we like them to do more in that office. When he was done with that spreadsheet, he was done. He made no effort to ask, “Is there anything else I can do?” Or even say, “I’m done with this spreadsheet.” We had to readjust our whole office to work with that person. Dennebaum: The work ethic that you find with the younger generation is not the same as your generation. Howell: Their priorities are different. Dennebaum: They are. When I was younger, when you were younger, if you had overtime, you ate up that extra work, that was money in your pocket. Getting kids to come to work, even full-time is a struggle. Most of the younger guys have attendance issues that they’re constantly getting written up for. You give them overtime, they don’t want it. They don’t have that drive. I’m sure you see it yourself. Howell: Flex time, parental leave, all that stuff is more important than overtime.
Dennebaum: Sure it’s the generation, as they say, “What do I get out of it?” It’s not, “What can I put into it?” Farrington: There’s a question in here. That is, who should change? Should we as employers change and adapt or should they change and adapt? Mesko: I’m a millennial. I employ about 40 millennials. In Philadelphia, you don’t have a choice. You have to adapt to them, because if you don’t they’re going to cross the street and work for your competitor. About seven or eight years ago, we basically had to revamp our business model. How many people did we need to do the work, that maybe two people like me could do, now you need five people. They just don’t live the career. We’ve also done a lot of performance reviews. You’re right in that they want this map drawn out for them, and they really know how to follow instructions well, but don’t know how to think on their feet. So, now we have basically year round performance reviews, because that’s what they demand. That’s helped both us and them learn how to work with each other, what works for you, what works for us. I get an automatic reminder that I have to do a check in with this millennial, and basically give them instant feedback, whether it’s good or bad. We’re finding that the once-a-year performance review is thrown out the window.
Gary Linde — President, Leeward Construction Dennebaum: How often do you do your performance reviews? Mesko: I could do it every week. If you work with me more than 40 hours, it’s initiated to me. Dennbaum: How do they take to the negative, what we call constructive criticism? They might take it as negative criticism. How do they react to it? Mesko: They’re not used to it. They’re used to going through school and getting great grades, and getting a trophy, we’ve heard all of it, right? But I find that the
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PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA more you do it, the more I get better at delivering it, and the more they get better at receiving it. It’s hard at first, but it’s like anything else, you do more of it, everyone gets better on all sides. But that was not working with the once-a-year performance review, and just a, “You need to be here on time.” We basically changed it, changed our whole model. Farrington: You have a different type of worker, Gary. Linde: What I was going to add is, how you said they’re on Courthouse Square saying, “There is no work available.” What I’m seeing in my industry is, they go from my company, to this company, to that company, and we all know each other, and they end up being that person that is standing on Courthouse Square saying, “There is no work for them.” Because they don’t want to. Dennebaum: I’m going to add to that, it’s not that there’s not work, it’s that it’s not the specific work, the dream job, that they think that it’s going to be. Farrington: Are you a little different Tony, from the point of view of the fact that you have more skilled workers, and less of a challenge in that area with people, even if they be younger? Perhaps have a higher educational background? Aquilina: Probably. We hire a lot of people who don’t have bachelor’s degrees to do relatively important jobs, in the grand scheme of things. I say to our surgeons, “You know, you’re important, but if someone doesn’t clean your operating room, you’re not operating.” Right? They’re important jobs, and they don’t require even an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, but they do require training. We can’t adapt like that, because we have certain standards of quality that have to be met. You can’t adapt to that, and we have put in place controversial things to some of the millennials, like a dress code. We’re a hospital. You can’t look like a slob. We haven’t lowered our standards, but we’ve tried to adapt to ways of thinking, and ways of communicating that may not be traditional. Zardecki: It’s interesting, based on your side, who changes? We have certain rules, like, our managers, I make them wear a shirt and tie. You start at 7 o’clock, or 8 o’clock, that’s when you start. You can’t have flex time, when we gotta move a radar to the hill, the forklift driver has to be there. Everything’s not conducive to flex time or alternate work schedules, things like that. We’ve kind of modified it, but we’re also lucky that we have a corner on the market too, as far as good paying jobs that they have to conform. It’s interesting who changes. Aquilina: So what changes is the management and the communication, but you don’t change your standards. Howell: There’s one thing that I see with a lot of our groups, maybe not necessarily the healthcare industry, or IT, or financial services, where there are pretty good
Ron Kukuchka — Owner, Ace-Robbins, Inc. paying jobs, but we work with a variety of employers, many non-for-profit providers. Since the ACA, the inception of the ACA, and the enactment of the ACA, I am seeing employers’ groups, flat wages, very minimal salary increases, exceptionally high health insurance rates, which we have to deal with, it’s groundhog day every year at renewal. We’ve already finished our July renewals, we’re already starting to work on January, that’s how far in advance now we’re looking with at some of our companies. Most of the employees that we talked to, we talked to employers, to their boards, and, at the end of the process, end up communicating what’s happening to the employees. They’re really concerned about their deductibles going up, their premiums going up, their payroll deductions for healthcare, the fact that at the point of service, they’re paying more. We have employees who are making, and when I say we, our client base, we have clients who are making $14, $15 an hour and have $3,000, $4,000 deductibles. What it’s doing, it’s a disincentive, they are staying away from the hospital because they can’t afford. We have all kinds of creative ways of inserting HRA’s and having employers trying to share some of the deductible cost. The bottom line is, the employers cannot sustain the increases and I don’t see it improving. I think we’re reaching a crisis, a critical point, particularly with industries that, I point out not-for-profits because we do a lot of work with them, they are at a breaking point. They cannot absorb anymore costs for healthcare. Where do we go from here? We need to revamp the healthcare system in a big way. Ceccacci: Basically, our budget starts, at building a budget that we start with, “What is healthcare going to cost?” Everything else fills in after that. Dennebaum: I agree, I think people are not making more money, but they are paying a lot more in deductibles, so actually their salaries are going backwards. Howell: We’ve actually reversed the strategy on it.
PERPETUATING GREATNESS IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA I told people, rather than giving a salary increase, why don’t you boost your health insurance contribution because you get more bang for your buck. You don’t have to pay matching payroll taxes, just give more money toward healthcare, because people have reached a saturation point. We’ve got employees in these middle, lower-skill jobs that they’re paying, years people would want to know, “What kind of network do I have access to?” Provider network was always primary. Then it was, “What do I have to pay out in deductibles and coinsurance?” That kind of stuff, at the point of service, and, “What do I have to pay out of my pocket?” Now it’s reversed, the provider network isn’t as primary, as it used to be. They want to know, “Can I afford this?” Gardner: Bob hit me a few months ago with his numbers, his metrics, the number of jobs that are there, but all of them required some training. Almost all of them. Now, my understanding, 65 to 70 percent of the jobs require a two-year degree, or technical training. How can we get more kids into these tech schools? This old system where you get out of high school and go work at the plant, gone. Linde: We’re reaching all the way down into middle school. Caterpillar works with us. We put a thing on at the middle school level, where they bring in the simulators, so the kids can at least sit in there and learn how to run machinery. Durkin: In a similar vein, we’re working with PPL, we have a PPL grant, working with the Career and Technology Center, all on the different line jobs you can get in the utility industry. Anything that’s PUC. So you have PPL, UGI, pipelines, fill in the blanks, even bus drivers. What we’re hoping to try to do with this program, and now it’s a limited program, it’s for the Career and Technology Center students. “Bring the vehicles up there.” Because if you haven’t seen either a Pennsylvania American Water, or UGI truck, it’s a rolling computer. By the way, all of these utilities have about 30 to 35 percent of their workforce going to age out in, they’re saying five to seven years. Because if they’re great jobs, they can retire at a relatively young age. So the idea here is, “How do stimulate these young people?” Maybe if they see how the truck is cool. By the way you can make $100,000 a year. Dennebaum: What I meant by that was to not educate them about the job, but the actual money you can make. So a four-year college, costs you $100,000 a year, $80,000 a year, whatever it’s going to cost, well now you’re starting four years later in school than somebody who has come out of a two-year degree, costs less money. They’re making more money if you look at the long running picture. I think our society has geared everybody where you need to have a college education or better to do a job. So everybody’s taught, as you said, you were dragged through kicking your feet
to go through college. We need to change that and tell make that more likely over the next couple of years that people that there are other good jobs out there that you they’ll stay within our system. We’ll do that by bringing don’t have to go to college for. some of those residency programs, to Wilkes-Barre and Kukuchka: It’s looked down upon in schools on Scranton. But that’s the goal, just having medical school trades. Everybody thinks you’ve got to be a doctor, an alone isn’t a feeder of doctors to a community. engineer, a lawyer, or something along that line. But we Farrington: We have what? A dozen or more, don’t push the trades, and without the trades coming maybe 13 institutions of higher learning. We can’t seem along, you’re not going to have the things you have to retain all of those kids that we educate. today. You’re going to have backed up toilets, washing Aquilina: Remember, there are seven medical machines and dishwashers that don’t work. All the schools in Philadelphia. things people need in their home and that’s not being Farrington: Relative to healthcare as well, is the pushed in the schools. opioid and drug challenges that we have here in the Zardecki: We have partnerships with 12 or 13 of the northeast, anymore significant than it is country-wide, to local colleges. We actually went to the two-year schools your knowledge? and told them to change the curriculum, “Here’s what Aquilina: I don’t think so. I think it’s a national we need.” They were teaching a lot of bio-medicine and problem, and there are places in Virginia and Kentucky EMT kind of stuff, and we told them what we needed. where it’s even worse than here, but it’s bad enough. It’s They changed their curriculum. We hired almost all of bad everywhere. This is job one I think, in turning this the classes coming out. Some of our engineers are on around, and if you have an answer, let me know. some of the boards, so we send them to the schools to Farrington: I don’t have the answer ... But I have one explain, there’s this mystique that you have to be in the more question. Relative to the genome program, and military or a veteran now the expansion of “We need to revamp the healthcare to work at Tobyhanna, Geisinger into a bigger system in a big way.” which isn’t true. demographic area in — Roger Howell, President, Howell Benefit Services the Wyoming Valley, is We had to educate people. We go to all the that going to put this schools, we’re looking area more on the map? for loggies, so it just takes management specialists who Aquilina: It already has, at least in the scientific know ERPs and MRPs. So we have to go out to the community. University of Scranton, tell them, “Here’s what we have.” Farrington: Will that have an impact on anything in It takes a lot of work, but if you want to keep getting the economy here? good talent, you’ve got to do that. Aquilina: It already has. This is a very interesting “Hey, here’s a new mission software development, kind of secret that one of the largest genome projects in we call it post deployment software against hackers the world is happening in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania. We and cyber stuff, and you know if you can prepare them, have already sequenced more than 100,000 northeast we could offer them jobs in those areas.” We had a real and central Pennsylvania peoples’ genomes, and we’re good turnout from the community, so we got to work on shooting for a larger number than that. We have a it, because they’re not just going to come to you. corporate partner in Regeneron, who stands to gain data Farrington: With regard to the medical school, and and they will create drugs that treat things genetically thinking about retention of workers, and so forth, with the medical school, what’s going to be happening to the doctors that we educate? Will they go onto internships here locally, will leave the community and likely not come back, if they do internships elsewhere, what’s going to happen? Aquilina: Seventy percent of doctors end up practicing where they trained, not where they went to school, or where they or their spouse went to high school. So we recruit doctors who are from the area and want to come back, but the folks from the medical school right now are going to residency programs all across the country. Good residency programs. The best anywhere. We need to get them into our residency programs, here and Geisinger has lots of residency programs. It’s our responsibility to make that happen, and we will. We will
based on your genetic makeup. It’s just absolutely outstanding what’s happening here, and it’s kind of a secret. In the meantime, when we sequence someone’s genes, we let them know that, and that was one of the differences between what we were doing and what some of the other genome projects were doing, we will let you know if you have something that’s treatable. That’s genetically based, but treatable. We won’t let you know if you have something that’s genetically based and not treatable. There are people who have cancer genes, BRCA genes, who will now know that, and have had the opportunity, and we’ve hade experience of this, where they’ve had the opportunity, where they’ve actually found an early cancer, because we’ve told them they have this gene, and they’ve gotten care. Certain heart diseases, we’re letting people know, “Look, you have a gene that you may have this type of premature heart disease.” Farrington: As well, if they have variance that they may pass on as well. Aquilina: Yes, so this is a medical ethical question that could be another three-hour discussion, as to where you cut off the information. Most genome projects aren’t giving any information. We’ve elected to give information about what can be treated. There’s the whole range of things in between that maybe can’t be treated, but maybe you wouldn’t have a baby if you knew it. That’s what we’re diving into as far as medical ethics; you have to place a line somewhere. Farrington: Is there anything anybody really wanted to add? Kukuchka: I want to thank you for inviting me and putting this together. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know what I was getting into. Being from Tunkhannock, Wyoming County, you know the other side, but it was very enlightening to hear all of your ideas and thoughts and where northeastern Pennsylvania is going. Farrington: On behalf of the Business Journal, I want to thank everybody.
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What is the Real Cause of Turnover? Part Two our employees to step outside their comfort zone and grow; not just as employees but as individuals. In other Last month we talked about why turnover occurs. words, are the jobs that we provide meaningful? And if I believe if you read the article non-biasedly, you will not, is there anything that we can do to provide meanhave gleaned from it that all roads lead to management. ing to those jobs? Yeah, I know, it is hard to believe that WE, Empowering — the more that an the essence of the organization, the glue employee feels in charge of their position that bonds the organizational chart together, the more they will want to accomplish. in one, solid, connected mass, might actuEmpowerment breeds responsibility and ally be the cause for the employee churn responsibility breeds additional empowerthat is the central issue of many organizament. The question before us then is, are tions. However, when it comes to people there activities and opportunities that can issues in an organization, it is correct to increase the level of engagement of our Sciacca look at the management of those people as employees? In other words, do we have a fair starting point for problems. the ability to empower our employees to While, I will not go so far as to say, “Managers, heal make additional decisions about their work, about the thyself.” I will say that, “If you do what you always did, company, and about their future? well, then, you’ll get what you always got!” Involvement — the more involved an employee is in So, let me continue with several more ideas of how, organizational decision-making the more they are going as managers, we can keep turnover low. to feel as if they helped create their own future. As manAppreciation — there is a little business saying that agers, we should look for and explore opportunities that people go where they are wanted and stay where they will increase employee involvement, not just with their are appreciated. I think nothing holds truer than applyparticular position, but with the company as a whole. ing that statement to the reduction of turnover. During Basically, our job is to assist employees in adding value the interview process it is so easy for us, as managers, to the direction of the organization. Since direction and to make a person feel wanted. But, in the day-to-day ac- vision tend to be synonymous terms, by involving an tivities, and the constant focus of business, sometimes employee in the decision-making process they are asappreciation may take a back seat. Part of our job is to sisting us in moving toward the company’s vision. ensure that our employees feel a level of appreciation. I hope that you would view the last two months Please keep in mind, that appreciation can be a very information on the cause of turnover as a series of dissimple process. For example, an employee is leaving cussion points that you can take to upper management for the evening and you meet them in the hallway, how meetings and use as a basis for discussion. easy is it for you to say, “Have a good evening, and by Accountability Questions: the way, thank you for everything that you do.” That Which of the five topics covered this month is the shows appreciation. most important to you? Promotability — here’s an interesting question that Do you have control over that topic? I ask at many life seminars: do your employees have If not, can you at least exert some level of control? a discernible career path? Many participants, while What will you do over the next month to move this shaking their head, tell me that the flatter organizations topic forward in your company? that they work in can really have no upward mobility or Please, feel free to send me your ideas at bill@intelthat the positions are so sparse that upward mobility ligentmotivationinc.com is more of a concept than in actual practice. One of my Biagio “Bill” Sciacca, a Pocono Mountain native has been a comments on this issue (of lack of upward mobility) is university professional for over three and half decades. He if you can create vertical inertia, perhaps you can create is the Author of “Goals Book: Embracing Personal Responsibility in an Age of Entitlement” and “Goals Book2: The horizontal girth. By that I mean, does the possibility Fieldbook: Putting Goal Setting to Work.” He has contributed of job expansion, not necessarily promotion, exist? A chapters to Success Simplified and other works anchored by person can be at the same job for a number of years, Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard. but because of the added responsibilities the new job Bill is also CEO of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. and is widely may have to be grown into. Thus, promotability can be known as a speaker and trainer in leadership, strategic planning and executive education, goal setting, management east to west as well as north to south. and communications. Challenging — it’s hard to believe, but it’s not always just about the money. As managers doing all of You can reach Bill at email@example.com or 570.430.9303. the jobs we provide are challenging and that will allow by Biagio “Bill” Sciacca
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The right strategy can make the difference between investing and speculating your personal goals, tolerance for risk, and investment time frame all factor into your own strategic investment management mix. Within an uncertain political environment — and Take the emotion out of investing often volatile global economies — it may Another key to smart, profitable, seem logical that investments should long-term investment management is minibe constantly adjusted to “stay ahead mizing the emotional aspects of investing. of the action,” that one should “time the Resist the urge to listen to a hot tip from market” to get in or out at the right time, a friend or co-worker. Don’t invest your or that global stocks and bonds should be money based on what you see on a TV avoided. In reality, each of these strategies show or YouTube video. Don’t try to time suffers from both a considerable level of the market or predict its future. By making shortsightedness and the exposure to unthe commitment to a long-term investment Evans necessary levels of risk. Regardless of what management strategy based on scienceyou may read about the effect of proposed based statistics, historical market data, legislation on the value of the dollar, what you may hear and ongoing performance patterns, you can take the from a friend about a hot new tech stock that’s sure to emotional pull of the “quick buck” out of your investdeliver a huge return, or what your “gut” tells you to ment approach. With real-time worldwide information invest in next, there’s nothing better than a strategically now available to anyone with a smartphone, and infinite designed portfolio setup to deliver long-term results. investment possibilities, there is no one person who Long-term benefits vs. quick-hit payoffs can successfully predict where the market is going, or A sound strategy is what truly differentiates when it is going there—no matter how smart or savvy investing from speculating. This is true regardless they may be. of political climate or current market performance. Two basic investment approaches History has proven that markets are priced fairly and When it comes to setting up your investment perform efficiently. Trying to speculate which stocks portfolio, most asset management companies rely will outperform the market each year or predict future on either active management or passive investing performance based on past results has proven itself (indexing). Active management attempts to beat the a losing proposition. Today’s markets are so efficient market through effective security selection and market that it is very difficult to “beat” the market, or even timing. It also tries to undermine asset class exposure “time” the market. Instead, what makes more sense, by keeping pace with the market’s most “promising” and delivers significantly better long-term results, is securities. This approach will generate higher fees for a well-designed portfolio based on a comprehensive the investor, incur more trading costs, and create more market-wide investment structure. Diversified across tax consequences due to increased turnover. Passive and within asset classes, industries, and securities, this investing, conversely, uses commercial benchmarks to portfolio should be built with a strategically designed define its investment strategy and accepts somewhat mix of equities, bonds, and other global investments, all less than asset class returns as part of its approach. In carefully weighted to match three things: your investturn, transaction costs and turnover are much lower ment goals, your risk tolerance, and your investment and performance tracking is much higher. time frame. The best of both active and passive investing Variety = risk reduction The ideal strategy for most investors, especially What are the benefits of this type of diversificaduring times of market uncertainty, is a blend of both tion? Comprehensive and diverse market coverage active and passive investing. A combination of these inherently manages risk. Quite simply, the more variety two approaches provides you the opportunity to benefit you have in your portfolio, the less chance there is from comprehensive market coverage while remaining of negative performance from one particular asset grounded in the efficiency of capital markets and causing major harm to your portfolio. The inclusion of capturing specific risk dimensions identified by perforboth stocks and bonds is another simple way to think mance pattern research and analysis. Furthermore, by about the benefits of diversification. Whether you are pulling from the benefits of both active and passive inan aggressive or conservative investor, a selected balvesting, an asset management company can minimize ance of stocks and bonds, and even a small portion of transaction costs and enhance returns through careshort-term money market securities, is a great way to fully engineered trading. This science-based method of create a portfolio designed to your specific risk-reward structuring investments and designing portfolios allows tolerance. However, there is still the need to make the pursuit of value, the lowering of expense ratios, and informed, properly analyzed decisions. There is no one the enhancement of return — the number-one priority allocation approach that suits all investors; as indicated, when it comes to investing your money. By William E. Evans, CTFA, Trust & Estate Manager, ESSA Bank & Trust
What happened to the federal government? a social restoration system. People like that should be called upon to enhance the economy in a world that What used to be sources of funding to help has become a globalization event unlike any seen in advance economic development as witnessed by the past history. To activate a new focus, here are a few Pocono-Northeast has dried up so that congressmen ideas. cannot bring home “ the bacon” to assist in the same Utilize the many higher educational institutions fashion that once was a main role they more effectively and collaboratively than played. Much of the economic comeback previously to bring their skills together for of this region occurred on the backs of the benefit of the regional economy. what some called a waste, but in this Establish a collaboration of all regional region called hope and strong economic and county development agencies as well progress. When Congressmen Flood and as marketing entities to focus on a regional McDade were in their heyday and had 35 approach to economic development. or so years of elected federal experience, Restore a federal program of funding the story was quite different. Even after economic development projects for Grossman that, Congressman Kanjorski served 26 the benefit of the region. What is waste years and brought big money into the elsewhere is economic development here region. These types of projects meant the difference in this region. between stagnation and true economic progress. It Create a regional think tank that can organize was a time for many industrial parks to be developed some new and creative approaches to the regional on old culm banks and other type of anthracite land economy and develop ways to enhance economic that was degraded and not very useful until federal development. and state monies entered the picture. What was called Develop new programs at the state level that can wasteful elsewhere was a lifesaver in the region, with perhaps replace the loss of federal assistance. At the new industry coming in and new jobs being created. very least, begin to think that way and have regional This was true even in the days of warehousing and experts instill new ideas that will mean ways to focus distribution centers which became a high point for on this subject. economic development and to some extent still is, as Create an infrastructure task force regionally to typified by CenterPoint in the Greater Pittston Area. think through ways to advance this need throughout The region needs to develop a special fund the region and come up with fresh thoughts regarding that can be called upon for economic development how to make his occur in the near term. purposes, and perhaps a bond issue could be created, Bring together an assembly of all governments based upon a way to pay back the bonds over a in the region and enable that group to evaluate ways specified period of time. Such a move might be an to meet the needs of governments and serve as an important step toward a new beginning for organizing advocacy group in coming months. such a fund. In some respects, the Land Bank orgaDevelop a similar approach to what was once nization that has been started in Greater Pittston is a done in Allegheny County many years ago for a move in that direction to help overcome deteriorated regional asset district with a one percent sales tax and properties. In any event, some new thinking needs to which has funded cultural, sports, libraries and other be established to find resources that otherwise are projects in that county and could be adapted in this missing from today’s economic environment. This region. approach needs the best thinking of leaders in the To achieve a better understanding of what was region, those who helped create the Pennsylvania once a major role by the federal government and what Industrial Development Authority, those who were can be accomplished through a role for the state and congressmen and no longer serve in that capacity, local governments with a role or the private sector as and those who have replaced these past leaders and well, these and other measures should be considered. are important players in Congress or the state legisla- In this way, the restoration of what was successful in ture today. Perhaps, bringing them together in a room the past can at least be considered along with other irrespective of party affiliation would be a step toward techniques that will help improve economic developdeveloping some fresh and innovative ideas. ment in coming years inside this region. The basis for In the Greater Hazleton region, a book was written this is past success and making this region experience about the way that area has economically grown “ the greatest regional economic comeback in the under the leadership of Ed Dessen and Joe Yenchko history of the United States.” and Keven O’Donnell, and their experiences have been a boon to the rebirth of that community area. In Howard J. Grossman is the former executive today’s society, native citizens such as Joe Madden, director of EDCNP, now NEPA Alliance. Email him at the manager of the world champion Chicago Cubs, GrossmanHJ@aol.com have stepped up to the plate and strongly assisted in By Howard J. Grossman, AICP
In the brand game, there are four levels of brand loyalty, including one to avoid By Dave Taylor
even if it’s at a premium level. Your customers value your brand. They look forward to new products and Imagine you have created a may even line up to buy them. A range of new products with a customer who thinks of your prodtotally new brand name. It’s time ucts as “my brand” is usually your to begin building that brand. As most profitable buyer and, often, with video gaming, there are Taylor an ambassador. The lifetime value several levels of brand success, of customers like these can be and there’s one level that will drag mind-blowing and, in fact, are a substantial you down. part of your brand’s market value or equity. All brands start at the same place— Many of these customers reach the ultimate completely unknown. Marketing and brand in brand affinity, which I call sub-conscious development at that point is focused on Level One: Brand Awareness. Before customers can loyalty, meaning the customer does not even consciously think about choosing your brand. make a choice that includes your product, They just get more. (Honestly, when was the they have to know it exists, and they will last time you thought about buying a different want to know a least a little about the brand. brand of toothpaste?) Where is it from? What does it stand for? There is one more level to keep in mind, Why is it better than what I buy now? What is Level X: Brand Purgatory. Woe be to the interesting about it? Every brand will initially brand that regularly puts itself on their have positive and negative perceptions in customers’ black list. Cross enough loyal the minds of their prospects, and, at Level customers, and a brand can end up in purgaOne, the negative perceptions are usually still tory (See: Chipotle). Betray or anger more of winning. Chief among them is the question, them, and the brand will struggle to survive “Can I trust this brand?” Brand Awareness is (See: Chi-Chi’s). And, keep in mind the probcritical to beginning the journey and generatlem may not be with the product or service ing trial of your product or service. But it isn’t itself. People get mad at brands for lots of enough. reasons, including perceived political support Level Two: Brand Preference. Virtually or positions on social issues. This type of every brand depends on repeat business, anti-loyalty can be difficult or impossible to particularly when the cost of customer overcome. acquisition is more than the profit generated Of course, an established brand is likely by a first sale. Establishing your brand as to have prospects and customers that inhabit a preferred choice is where you can really all four levels of brand loyalty. But the best begin to get traction for your business. A brands keep them moving toward nirvana second sale costs less to generate and a third and away from purgatory. can be even cheaper. Having created a repeat customer, word-of-mouth begins to grow and attract other customers to the brand. At this point, the positive perceptions of your brand have started to outweigh the negatives. You are well on your way to the highest level. Level Three: Brand Loyalty. This is as close to brand nirvana as a brand can get. Your customers generally see only the positives of your brand. Price is a minimal factor,
Dave Taylor is president of Taylor Brand Group, a company that focuses on developing brand strategy and ongoing brand marketing. Based in Lancaster, Taylor Brand Group works with national and regional clients. He can be reached at 717-3937343. Visit taylorbrandgroup.com.
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PERSONNEL FILE AmericAn institute of fAmily lAw Attorneys
The organization has recognized family law attorney william e. Vinsko Jr. as Two Years 10 Best Family Law Attorneys for client satisfaction. The organization is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 family law attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/ or peer nominations, thorough research and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation. AIOFLA’s annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process. One of the most significant aspects of the selection process involves attorneys’ relationships and reputation among his or her clients. Belle Reve (Senior Living The community is pleased to announce the addition of travis martin, nHA, to its team as executive director. He is responsible for strategic planning and oversight of the personal care, memory care and skilled nursing communities, as well as the administration, dining, housekeeping, and laundry and maintenance departments. Martin grew up on a dairy farm outside Chambersburg. He earned a nutrition degree at Penn State University, and upon graduation, he worked his way up through senior living communities in Pennsylvania as a food service director. He obtained a nursing home administrator license from Marywood University, which he has held since 2009. His previous position was with Golden Living in Wilkes-Barre.
BriAn J. cAli & AssociAtes
The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of family law attorney Brian cali as Two Years 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction. The institute is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass the institute’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research and independent evaluation. The annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.
David Horvick, m.D., has joined the Commonwealth Health Physicians Network and will practice radiation oncology at the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital Cancer Center, where he will serve as medical director of the radiation oncology department. Horvick specializes in radiation oncology in the treatment of prostate, lung, brain, skin, gastrointestinal, breast and head and neck malignancies. He will treat patients with the hospital’s new linear accelerator which conforms high-energy, X-rays Horvick to conform to a tumor’s shape, allowing for the delivery of precision radiation to cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. The non-invasive procedure is done on an outpatient basis and provides for a shorter treatment time than previous methods. A graduate of Thomas Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, he completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Thomas Jefferson University
Hospital, Philadelphia, and a residency in radiation oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology. His special interests are intensitymodulated radiation therapy, stereotactic radiation and high-dose rate brachytherapy.
community BAnk n.A.
Longtime board member sally A. steele has been named chair of the board of directors. Steele will take over the position from Nicholas A. DiCerbo. As chair, Steele will be responsible for managing and providing leadership to the 12-person board and serving as a direct liaison to the bank’s senior management. She will work closely with President and CEO Mark Tryniski and the executive management team to support the company’s strategic, operational and Steele shareholder objectives. Steele has served on board since 2003, upon completion of the company’s Grange National Bank acquisition. Throughout Steele’s time on the board, the bank has grown by approximately $5.3 billion in assets, adding 78 bank branches, which includes numerous branch, whole-bank and financial services acquisitions. Steele graduated from Capital University Law School in 1981 and has practiced law in Pennsylvania since 1982. She retired from the private sector in 2015 and is a self-employed attorney. Steele resides in Tunkhannock with her husband, Raymond.
The health care group announced the addition of Besher kabak, m.D., to its multi-specialty team of physicians and surgeons. Kabak joins as a pulmonary and critical care specialist. His expertise and skills are now available to patients at the group’s Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine located at 5 Morgan Highway, Suite 8, in Scranton. He received his medical degree from Damascus University Faculty of Medicine, Syria. He completed an internal medicine residency, pulmonary and Kabak critical care medicine and sleep medicine fellowships at Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences in South Orange, New Jersey. Board certified in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, Kabak provides care for patients with asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, pulmonary hypertension and critical illnesses. He also takes care of patients with different sleep issues such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia and parasomnia.
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Two employees were honored at the Pa. Bankers Association Group 3 meeting held on April 6. cynthia D. Burdick, assistant vice president, bank secrecy act officer, was recognized for 40 years of service in the banking industry. The 40-Year Club consists of regular members of bankers who have completed 40 or more years of service in the state’s banking industry.
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Burdick coordinates, manages and monitors all aspects of the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Act, Office of Foreign Asset Control compliance and identity theft compliance as well as supervises the bank’s fraud specialist and oversees fraud investigations. stacy l. Gager, deposit Burdick operations supervisor, was recognized for achieving honor student status from the 2016 Pa. Bankers School of Banking. Honor students are selected due to outstanding work during school and on a final examination. The Pa. Bankers School of Banking provides students with a broad base of knowledge of the financial services industry, which can be applied in a Gager practical manner. Topics taught at this 100-level school include leadership, sales and marketing, bank environment and finance. Gager is responsible for directly coordinating the bank’s deposit operations and supervising the deposit operations personnel in order to efficiently process deposit accounts and associated transactions.
employment opportunity & trAininG center of nortHeAstern pennsylVAniA
The agency has recently welcomed two members to its board of directors, mary Beth D’Andrea of Roaring Brook Twp. and n. thomas Johnson-medland of East Stroudsburg. D’Andrea is a senior vice president for Community Bank NA, where she assists commercial banking clients in all aspects of financial services. She is a University of Scranton alumna with a Master of Business Administration degree in finance. Her extensive community involvement includes D’Andrea board-level service for the Arc, Kiwanis Club of Scranton and University of Scranton Alumni Association. Johnson-Medland is presently the director of BAYADA Home Health and Hospice, East Stroudsburg. A graduate of Penn State University, he has worked in the hospice and spiritual care field for over 20 Johnson-Medland years. He is a published author and public speaker. His current book projects include editing “Coming Back Home,” a collection of poems written by prisoners incarcerated in the Lackawanna and Monroe County jails.
The bank recently recognized 24 employees with 10 or more years of service during a luncheon at Glenmaura Country Club, Moosic. Collectively, the honorees log 400 years and 832,000 hours. The following employees were honored at the event:
mary Ann Gardner, 40 years of service; thomas lunney, James Bone Jr. and Dawn Diehl, 30 years of service; Gerard champi and paul Dunda, 25 years of service; Holly fortese, leslie conserette and pat Barrett, 25 years of service; lucy singer and michelle mushinski, 15 years of service; and Jennifer Galli, Jenny severs, Danielle Davies, Jamine mbae, karen wolfe, lois syryla, frank kost, tiffany Bator, Anthony Grande, ted kowalick, mary theresa constantino, charles Alfano and charlene murphy, 10 years of service.
GeisinGer community meDicAl center
Diedra Amendola mccafferty, D.o., has recently joined the hospital as a wound care specialist. McCafferty will see patients in the Center for Wound Care and Hyberbaric Medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, McCafferty treats patients with chronic wounds associated with infection, poor blood circulation, vascular disease, diabetes and other medical conditions which make wounds more challenging to heal. She holds special training in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a McCafferty treatment option which delivers high doses of oxygen to damaged tissue in order to optimize healing. McCafferty earned her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She then completed a family medicine residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to joining the wound care team, she served as medical director of the Wound Care Center at Nazareth Hospital, Philadelphia.
GeisinGer commonweAltH scHool of meDicine
Vicki t. sapp, ph.D., has been named director of student engagement, diversity and inclusion for student affairs at the medical school. She will develop programming and support services, as well as offer instruction to promote cultural competency and student leadership among the school’s medical and graduate degree students. She will also work closely with the school’s student clubs and organizations to promote leadership, diversity and inclusion. sapp was most recently Sapp assistant director of housing services at capstone on campus management in college park, maryland. She has also served as director of community and organizational development at the University of Rhode Island, as assistant director of the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services at the University of Rochester, as the associate director of the Intercultural and Diversity Center at the University at Buffalo, and as coordinator for multicultural affairs at SUNY Cortland. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in student personnel administration from the State University College at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, and her Ph.D. in higher educational leadership and policy from the University of Rochester. She has taught at the University of Rochester, Canisius College, the University of Buffalo, SUNY Cortland and SUNY Fredonia.
PERSONNEL FILE GeisinGer HealtH system
timothy ebbitt, m.D., has joined as a diagnostic radiologist specializing in neuroradiology. Ebbitt will see patients at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp. Diagnostic neuroradiology focuses on imaging of the brain, spine, head and neck. Board certified in diagnostic radiology with additional subspecialty certification in neuroradiology, He also performs diagnostic spine procedures, Ebbitt including lumbar puncture and myelogram. In addition, Ebbitt also interprets advanced MR techniques, including perfusion, spectroscopy and functional imaging. He earned his medical degree from New York Medical College, Valhalla. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island. He then completed a four-year residency in diagnostic radiology at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, and a one-year fellowship in diagnostic neuroradiology at Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut. Prior to joining Geisinger, Ebbitt served as a neuroradiologist at Consulting Radiologists, Edina, Minnesota. He is a member of the American College of Radiology and American Society of Neuroradiology.
Glen David Digwood, D.o., has recently joined the practice as the medical director of palliative care. In his role, Digwood will lead a team of two physicians, two nurse practitioners and one physician assistant, overseeing palliative care programs at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp. Board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine, as well as internal medicine, Digwood earned his doctor of osteopathic Digwood medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He then completed an internal medicine residency at Scranton-Temple Residency Program, and a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York. Prior to joining Geisinger Northeast, he served as director of hospital medicine at Regional Hospital of Scranton. Currently, Digwood serves as assistant professor of medicine at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. He is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine, American College of Physicians and American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
GeisinGer WyominG Valley meDical center
sreelatha naik, m.D., has joined the practice, offering care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. Naik treats patients with breathing disorders. She has a special interest in respiratory disorders and chronic respiratory failure in patients with neuromuscular disease, including those on chronic noninvasive and invasive mechanical ventilation. She also has interest in circadian rhythm disorders and complex sleep breathing and insomnia, and also treats respiratory disorders such
as COPD, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and pleural diseases. Naik earned her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, where she completed her residency in internal medicine in 2012. She completed a pulmoNaik nary and critical care fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, in 2015. Holding a degree in biomedical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Naik continues to participate in research at the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Health Care Center, West Haven, involving emerging technologies in sleep medicine. She completed a sleep medicine fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University School of Medicine, Boston. Naik is fluent in Telugu, Hindi and English.
Greater scranton cHamber of commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, the region’s largest business organization, has announced the following staff changes: lyndsay Grady will expand her responsibilities as the newly Grady constituted director of workforce development. In this role, Grady will assume management of the newly revamped Skills in Scranton program, which will be integrated into the chamber’s economic development efforts. bill schoen will assume the role of government affairs consultant. In this role, Mr. Schoen will assist in the formuSchoen lation of policy positions for the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and the chamber’s board of directors.
The health network has announced the appointment of kathleen k. mckenzie to oversee its corporate grants management, community programs and employee volunteerism for central and northeast Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley area. McKenzie was most recently based in Pittsburgh as vice president of Community and Civic Affairs for Highmark, where she was responsible for the functional integration and alignment of Allegheny Health Network’s community affairs McKenzie division into parent organization Highmark Health. McKenzie began her career with Highmark in March of 2011 as the vice president of community and civic affairs at Allegheny Health Network and provided strategic management of civic and community relations as a key system leader representing the hospital network’s external interests. She was responsible for the hospital
system’s compliance with the Community Health Needs Assessment. Prior to joining Highmark, McKenzie served as Allegheny County deputy manager, where she was responsible for the supervision and administration of the county’s operations and the major policy initiatives of the county chief executive. She completed a BA in government and law from Lafayette College and received her juris doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
HonesDale surGical associates
sean yuan, m.D., facs, has joined the specialty practice of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers. As a general surgeon, Yuan performs a broad spectrum of procedures at Wayne Memorial Hospital with a focus on laparoscopic procedures, such as laparoscopic abdominal wall hernia repair, hiatal hernia repair for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux, and laparoscopic colon resection. Plans to offer surgical weight loss management at the Honesdale facility are also being Yuan discussed. He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Beijing Medical University. He completed his residency in general surgery at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Darby, Pennsylvania. Additionally, he completed fellowship training in minimally invasive surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. Yuan’s employment history includes general and bariatric surgery at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, Pottstown. The practice is located in the Stourbridge Medical and Professional Complex, 600 Maple Ave., Suite 1, Honesdale. Board certified surgeon lisa medvetz, m.D., facs, is seeing patients at Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers’ specialty practice. She currently performs a wide range of general surgeries at Wayne Memorial Hospital with a specialty in breast care procedures. In the near future, Medvetz also hopes to perform minimally invasive weight loss surgery at the Honesdale facility. In addition to holding positions as a staff surgeon in hospitals located in southeastern Pennsylvania, Medvetz has Medvetz also served as the director of bariatric surgery at Bingham Memorial Hospital, Blackfoot, Idaho, and a staff bariatric and breast surgeon at Lourdes Medical Associates, Willingboro, New Jersey. Medvetz earned her medical doctorate from Jefferson Medical College and completed her residency in general surgery at Temple University Hospital, both located in Philadelphia. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in trauma/surgical critical care at Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center, Camden, New Jersey, and an advanced laparoscopic surgery fellowship at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City.
HouriGan, kluGer & Quinn P.c.
Two of the firm’s lawyers have been named to the 2017 Super Lawyers list: Joseph a. Quinn Jr., medical malpractice law; and Donald c. ligorio, workers’
compensation law. Named to the 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list are lars H. anderson, employment and labor; michael a. lombardo iii, litigation; nicole m. santo, personal injury; and brian P. stahl, business/ corporate law. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.
Jones koHanski consultants & certifieD Public accountants
Jerome Palauskas and erik sharkey have joined the firm’s Moosic office. Sharkey holds the position of senior accountant. He earned his Bachelor or Science/Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Bloomsburg University. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Pa. Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He resides in Hazleton with his wife, Tiffany. Palauskas Palauskas is a staff accountant who focuses on auditing and taxation. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business with accounting and financial services from Penn State University. He also minored in information technology and security risk analysis. He is a member of the PICPA and resides in Scranton.
Dr. Joseph r. karam of the Scranton orthodontics practice was named to Incisal Edge’s “40 Under 40,” which consists of 18 women and 24 men from 24 states. Incisal Edge, the leading lifestyle magazine for dental professionals nationwide, recently celebrated America’s finest young practitioners for their achievements in dentistry at a two-day event in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
kane is able inc.
The third-party logistics provider has hired nathan kornreich as director of business development. Kornreich will be responsible for covering a territory spanning
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PERSONNEL FILE the western United States, including California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. He has nearly 10 years of consultative sales experience and a background in supply chain operations. A graduate of California State University, Fresno, Kornreich holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
Kristin Fino of Dallas has been appointed associate vice president for human resources. A 1994 graduate of King’s, Fino joins the college’s community from Cigna, where she spent the past 15 years in various human resources leadership roles. Fino will be responsible for the overall human resources function for the college including employee policies and programs, staffing, compensation and benefit administration, professional development and training and employee relations. She will also oversee employee safety, and health and wellness programs. Fino Prior to joining the college, Fino served in the human resources departments at NatWest Bank and Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises before joining Cigna’s human resource team in 2002. During her tenure, Fino served in several leadership roles, most recently as human resource lead for the Northeast sales teams in New York, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore and Florida. Fino earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from King’s College and a master’s degree in human resource management from the University of Scranton, where she also served as an adjunct faculty member in the master’s of human resource management program. Dr. Bernard Healey, professor of health care administration, has authored a new textbook, titled “Principles of Healthcare Leadership,” which is scheduled for publication in June by Health Administration Press. The textbook provides coverage of the topics vital to healthcare leadership success, including creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship, conflict, and team performance. Beginning with foundational leadership theory, including a discussion of power and influence, the book then explores distinct leadership styles and Healey skills, the importance of organizational culture building and strategies for leading people in health care delivery. After working for more than 20 years as an epidemiology manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Kingston, Healey became a full-time professor at the college in 1995 and was an adjunct faculty member since 1980. Healey Marchetti earned a bachelor’s degree from King’s, master’s degrees from the Marywood College and Wilkes University and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches courses on leadership and quality management in health care, health care economics, epidemiology, health promotion and marketing. David Marchetti, associate clinical professor in sports
medicine and athletic trainer, was awarded the Pa. Athletic Trainers Service Award. He will receive his award at the PATS Annual Symposium Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet held in June in Erie. The PATS Service Award recognizes individuals for their dedication, loyalty and service to the Pa. Athletic Trainers’ Society. Marchetti joined King’s in 2009. He serves as the primary athletic trainer for the College’s men’s soccer and lacrosse teams. He teaches courses in kinesiology, principles of health, and clinical treatment. He has presented research at national, state and regional conferences.
tracie l. Pasold, Ph.D., Scranton, associate professor in the Psychology and Counseling Department, was recently elected to the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association in the role of communications chair. Having previously been the editor of the association’s quarterly publication, the Pennsylvania Psychologist, Pasold will now direct PPA’s internal and external communications as part of overseeing the activity of three PPA committees as well as engaging in duties incumbent upon all board members. Pasold Her research interests include pediatric eating disorders and pediatric/medical psychology.
The university recently promoted two members of the faculty. Fred Croop, ed.D., M.B.a., was promoted to professor of business, and Cari M. tellis, Ph.D., C.C.C./s.l.P., was promoted to professor of speechlanguage pathology. In addition, Brenda Pavill, Ph.D., C.r.n.P., associate professor of nursing and certified family nurse practitioner, was awarded professor emerita status. Croop is a certified public accountant and a certified management accountant who joined the faculty in 1989. The Tunkhannock resident has served as Croop director of the sport management, information technology, and accounting programs, chair of the department of business, and dean of the College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences. He has taught classes in a range of business subjects, including accounting, auditing, taxes, software engineering and management information systems. Under his direction, the department of business developed the Internal Controls and Federal Tax Exemption Basics for All-Volunteer Organizations Resource Manual in 2015. The manual is for all-volunteer organizations, such as volunteer fire departments and youth recreation leagues, to prevent criminal behavior and aid them with ethics, business and internal auditing. Croop is a member of the Luzerne and Wyoming County Task Force on Elder Abuse and also has served with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, training volunteers who prepare tax returns for clients of the Area Agency for the Aging of Luzerne and Wyoming counties. Tellis is a trained vocalist who joined the faculty as assistant professor of speech-language pathology in
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2006. She is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist who completed fellowship training in voice at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Voice Center, Pittsburgh. She is a voice specialist with certification as a master teacher and course instructor in the Estill Voice Training System. Tellis A resident of Dallas, she recently co-authored the book “Counseling and Interviewing in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology,’’ which offers helpful approaches to counseling as part of the therapy process in speech-language pathology and audiology. She is also the author of “Your Voice is Your Business: the Art and Science of Communication.” Her current research focuses on the use of functional near infrared spectroscopy to determine hemoglobin changes in the brain during speech and non-speech tasks. She also serves as director of the Performing Arts Training Academy, which teaches voice, dance, drama and music to young artists. Pavill joined the faculty in 1991, and taught a variety of classes in the undergraduate and graduate degree nursing programs, specializing in the area of nursing practice. She served as director of the Master of Science of Nursing Program from 2014 until her retirement to adjunct status in 2016. She has written dozens of academic publications and reviews, and is author of the book “Nursing Shoes,” a story about becoming a nurse and being a nurse. Since retiring, she has done several article reviews and written a professional article related to Pavill incorporating digital interpreting systems into academia to provide students practice in caring for individuals when language is a barrier. Pavill has served as a volunteer at the Care and Concern Free Health Clinic, Pittston, an outreach service affiliated with St. John the Evangelist Parish in Pittston, where she provides care as a nurse practitioner to people from the community who are uninsured. The university and its 2016-17 American Council on Education fellow Dale-elizabeth Pehrsson hosted eight members of the ACE Fellows Program for a workshop on forensic analytics for potential collegiate presidents. University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., presented the workshop, “What You Should Look for Before You Commit to a Presidency.” Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program strengthens institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and administrators as senior leaders of colleges and universities. Pehrsson is a professor and dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan. One of 29 fellows selected in a rigorous national competition, she chose Misericordia for her fellowship placement and has been living and working on campus since September. the rev. James M. Calderone, o.F.M., M.s.s.w., ed.D., professor emeritus of social work, has been named the university’s executive director of the Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania. At the university, the Rev. Calderone served as professor in the Department of Social Work, chairman of the
former Division of Professional Studies and Social Sciences, director of the Professional Studies Program, chairman of faculty senate and as the first dean of the former College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences. During his career, he received two of the three highest awards presented to faculty — Calderone the Judge Max and Tillie Rosenn Excellence in Teaching award and the Pauly and Sidney Friedman Excellence in Service award.
nePa yoUtH sHelter
The organization is proud to announce the addition of the following people to its board of directors: Katie gonzalez, secretary; Danny Divivo, vice president; and emily Holmes, luke ruseskas, Daphne Pugh, emily lutz and Bob French, at large.
nortHeastern Pa. allianCe
The alliance has announced two promotions effective July 1. stephen Ursich was promoted to the position of vice president of business development services. Ursich will be responsible for division operations, which include Procurement Technical Assistance Center and International Business Development as well as NEPA Alliance’s low-interest economic development loan programs, primarily the SBA 504 Loan Program, throughout NEPA’s seven-county region. He earned his B.S. in economics from the University Ursich of Scranton and is currently working on his MBA in finance at the University of Scranton. He graduated with honors from the Pa. Bankers Association School of Commercial Lenders and the Central Atlantic Advanced School of Banking. Ursich has more than 14 years of banking experience, focusing on retail and commercial lending. He has extensive knowledge in banking procedures, cash flow analysis, business analysis and loan structuring. Steve resides in Union Dale with his wife, Margaret; he has five daughters. Kurt Bauman has been promoted to vice president of community and economic development services. He will assume responsibilities for Appalachian Regional Commission and Economic Development Administration program management. Bauman currently serves as the vice president of community services and executive director of the Nonprofit & Community Assistance Center. He is responsible for the Association of the Bauman Fundraising Professionals Chapter Administrative Services, Blue Ribbon Task Force and Pa. Military Community Enhancement Commission Local Defense Group program grant administration, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Economic Impact Modeling Services, NEPA Defense Transition Partnership Project Management, NEPA Research and Information Center, NEPA Grantmakers Forum and Website, NEPA Membership Programming,
PERSONNEL FILE Nonprofit and Community Assistance Center (NCAC) Programming Administration and the Nonprofit and Community Assistance Center Community Foundation Initiative throughout NEPA’s seven-county region. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and a master’s degree from the University of Scranton. Bauman resides in Dickson City with his wife, Shara and their two children.
Pa academy of General dentistry
Local dentist frederick lally, d.d.s., maGd of Tunkhannock was honored for his term as president of the academy during its annual meeting held this year in Pittsburgh. Lally was introduced by his daughter, Erica, who entertained the audience with stories of her father’s professional successes, overseas volunteer service, and family life, complete with a photo presentation. Also in attendance were his wife, Myrna Lemke-Lally, and his son-in-law, Mark Boyd. Lally has achieved his mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry, a designation for dentists dedicated to quality care through continuing education. As a part of his mastership, he has completed more than 1,100 hours of qualified continuing education courses. He has also achieved his Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition through the Academy of General Dentistry, awarded to dentists that demonstrate proficiency and dedicate community or volunteer service.
Pennsylvania credit Union association
Jeff deBree, CEO of Penn East Federal Credit Union in Scranton, and Joe Gimble, CEO of Citymark Federal Credit Union in Wilkes-Barre, were recently elected to association’s board of directors. Their terms will begin at the conclusion of the association’s annual meeting of members this month.
Pennsylvania defense institUte
matthew P. Keris, shareholder in the Moosic office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, has been appointed state representative to the Defense Research Institute by the Pennsylvania Defense Institute. In this capacity, he will act as the official liaison between the two defense litigation organizations. Keris joined the institute in 2007 and is a former president of the organization. He is a member of the health care department at Marshall Keris Dennehey, where he represents physicians, medical groups and health care institutions in a variety of health care liability matters. In addition to his defense practice, he lectures nationally on litigation issues pertaining to the use of electronic medical records and is the author of the book, “Electronic Medical Records and Litigation,” published by Thomson Reuters. Keris is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Health Care Risk Management and a member of the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. A graduate of Shippensburg University and Roger Williams University School of Law, he is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New York.
ronald J. refice, Ph.d. & associates
maryellen evers, lcsW, caadc, of the Dickson City office, recently earned certification as a master forensic social worker. Forensic social work is the application of social work to questions and issues relating to law and legal systems. This specialty of our profession goes far beyond clinics and psychiatric hospitals for criminal defendants being evaluated and treated on issues of competency and responsibility. A broader definition includes social work practice which in any way is related to legal issues and litigation, both criminal and civil. Child custody issues which often involve separation, divorce, neglect, termination of parental rights as well as implications of child and spouse abuse and juvenile and adult justice services, corrections and mandated treatment all fall under this definition. Evers graduated from Marywood University in 1994. She specializes in substance use disorders and addiction.
seKisUi Polymer innovations llc
The established thermoplastics manufacturer has appointed sharon haverlak as its new vice president of people and culture. In this new role, Sharon is responsible for SEKISUI SPI’s human resources strategies, serving on the executive leadership team, and advising and counseling all people on culture-related decisions. She will reinforce SPI’s company culture, cultivating professional Haverlak opportunities for employees, and helping everyone contribute positively to their greater communities. She brings over 20 years of human resources management experience in industries ranging from education to manufacturing. Most recently, she served as human resources manager for Gentex Corp. in Carbondale. She is a senior certified professional from the Society for Human Resources Management. She received her B.A. in English from the Catholic University of America and her M.S. in human resources administration from the University of Scranton.
state Board of examiners of nUrsinG home administrators
michael P. Kelly, mBa, nha, of Scranton, has been notified by Gov. Tom Wolf of his appointment to serve on the board. The board’s function is to develop, impose and enforce standards which shall be met by individuals in order to receive a license as a nursing home administrator. Kelly has a long and varied career in the development and operation of skilled nursing and assisted living Kelly facilities in Pennsylvania having constructed 25 over the past 30 years. He is the founder and president of Senior Health Care Solutions LLC, based in Scranton. He has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1985.
sUstainaBle enerGy fUnd
Jocelyn cramer has been named to the organization’s board of directors. Cramer was born and raised in Dalton and attended
the State University of New York in Binghamton, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in theater. She went on to start her first theater production company in Boston, directing or acting in every production while simultaneously leading all fundraising, marketing and publicity efforts for the Cramer fledgling company. Her previous experience includes starting the Ground Floor Theatre Lab as executive director, working as vice president of operations at a human resource company in midtown Manhattan, and administrative and project support for Bear Stearns, then JPMorgan Chase. In 2011, she moved to Wayne County. She now works as executive director for SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support) of Northeastern Pa.
Phil Kukawinski has been named program director of alternative music radio station ALT 92.1 (WFUZ-FM) in Scranton. Kukawinski will assume full programming responsibility for the station. Kukawinski began his career as a programmer for AOL Radio responsible for its Top Indie, New Indie First, Indietronica and Indie Party channels. In 2013, he joined Bell Media’s alternative rock station, 89X, in Detroit, where he progressed through a number of programming assignments, including assistant program director, music director and midday on-air talent. A Michigan native and a 2011 graduate of Oakland University, Kukawinski and his wife, Lauren, will be relocating to the Scranton area from Detroit. ALT 92.1 is owned and operated by Times-Shamrock Communications, based in Scranton. Times-Shamrock is a geographically diversified media company that operates daily and weekly newspapers, including The TimesTribune and The Sunday Times, radio stations, outdoor, commercial printing and digital marketing businesses and is owned by the Lynett and Haggerty families.
The national provider of business process outsourcing solutions to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Managed Medicaid markets, announces the promotion of Jim sloane to vice president of technology services. Sloane will lead and manage the operation of IT infrastructure, quality assurance, IT risk and compliance and IT governance. He is responsible for the Sloane creation, development, execution and supervision of all aspects of shared infrastructure services across the enterprise. Sloane joined the company as director of CIO services in 2016. His prior experience includes roles as vice president of information technology for Mannington Mills Inc., Salem, New Jersey; and vice president of business development for MacGregor Medical Association, Houston, Texas. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree in computing and information sciences from Oklahoma State University. He also holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certificate from Air Academy Associates in Colorado Springs, Colo. The company also recently announced the promotion
of Dan Di Giovanni to director of print and fulfillment. He is responsible for developing long-range strategic initiatives and managing the day-to-day operations of the company’s print and fulfillment department. Di Giovanni joined the business in 2012 as manager of operations for TRR and Reconciliation. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Scranton, and a Bachelor of Science in marketing from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.
University of scranton
Registrar Julie ferguson was one of nine new members recently selected to the editorial board of College and University, an educational policy and research journal published four times a year through the nonprofit American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. College and UniverFerguson sity focuses on the “emerging concerns, new techniques and technology of higher education.” The association consists of 11,000 higher education professionals who represent 2,600 institutions in more than 40 countries with the mission of providing professional development, guidelines and voluntary standards to be used by higher education officials. Her memberships in registrar-related national associations include the American Association of Medical Colleges Committee on Student Records and AACRAO, where she was a contributing editor on four of its publications. Ferguson joined the university in 2016 as the registrar. She formerly served as the director of the registrar’s office, assistant dean for student affairs and director of clinical electives over the course of 15 years at Rutgers University – Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and also worked as registrar and associate university director of enrollment services at Marymount College, now part of Fordham University. Ferguson earned her bachelor’s degree in public administration from the State University of New York Geneseo, and her master’s degree in public administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany.
Wayne health services
Bob non, president of Pleasant Mount Welding Inc. in Carbondale, has been appointed to the board of trustees to the subsidiary of the Wayne Memorial Health Foundation. WHS owns and operates the Stourbridge Professional Complex Non at Maple Avenue and Route 6 in Honesdale, as well as the retail store, Wayne Health Pharmacy and Medical Equipment. Non has been the president of Pleasant Mount Welding since its inception in 1983. Born in Carbondale and raised on a family farm in Pleasant Mount, Non graduated from Forest City Regional High School and Lackawanna County VocationalTechnical School, where he completed a three-year course in welding. He attended Penn State University to study courses specifically to enrich his background in business development including accounting, marketing, engineering and mathematics. He has served as the treasurer of the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center for more than 10 years.
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FOR THE RECORD DEEDs
Landmark Signature Homes LLC. Property Location: Bloomsburg. Seller: Arvi Realty LLC. Amount: $625,000. RFF Partners LP. Property Location: 2 Properties, Locust Twp. & Cleveland Twp. Seller: Nathan C. Richard. Amount: $406,789.29 and $422,763.30 respectively. Duane W Fisher. Property Location: Briarcreek Twp. Seller: George A. Masich. Amount: $375,000.00. Carl R. Slater J. Property Location: Madison Twp. Seller: Alfred H. Pfeiffer. Amount: $914.976.00. Textile Properties LLC. Property Location: Berwick. Seller: Frank D. Stenke. Amount: $301,000.00. Carl R. Slater Jr. Property Location: Madison Twp. Seller: Alfred H. Pfeiffer. Price: $914,976.00. Mike D. Pawlik. Property Location: Briarcreek Twp. Seller: John H. Fester. Amount: $309,244.70. Joseph L. Andreacci. Property Location: Hemlock Twp. Seller: Tony R. Frazier. Amount: $367,000.00. Kendall Hayman. Property Location: Locust Twp. Seller: Joseph C., Olszewski. Amount: $390,000.00. Homebridge Financial Services Inc. Property Location: Orange Twp. Seller: Daryl B. Edelman. Amount: $260,967.87.
Iran Cruz. Property Location: Kingston Twp. Seller: James T. Mulhern. Amount: $391,000. Karina Suzanne Wallace. Property Location: Dallas Twp. Seller: Iran Cruz. Amount: $277,500.00. Robert D. Lower, Jr. Property Location: Butler Twp. Seller: Aloysius D. Rossi. Amount: $255,000.00. BROG Holdings LLC. Property Location: Pittston Twp. Seller: Wells Fargo Bank. Amount: $590,000.00. Charles Thomas Allen. Property Location: Butler Twp. Seller: Sand Springs Development Corporation. Amount: $281,305.00. Brandon J. Kotsko. Property Location: Wright Twp. Seller: Jason J. Rasmus. Amount: $283,250.00. Jennifer Decker. Property Location: Fairview Twp. Seller: James B. Evans. Amount: $290,000.00. Michael E. Munzing. Property Location: Dallas Twp. Seller: James A. Hoover. Amount: $279,500.00. Todd A. Shy. Property Location: Fairview Twp. Seller: Timothy Bundy. Amount: $298,000.00. Robert Reeves. Property Location: Franklin Twp. Seller: Vito Deluca. Amount: $415,000.00. Karta Food Inc. Property Location: Dorrance Twp. Seller: Andrew Evancho. Amount: $275,000.00. Brothers JRJ LLC. Property Location: Hazleton City. Seller: Harry Buchman. Amount: $465,000.00. Sandra E. Nelson. Property Location: Butler Twp. Seller: Wi8lliam Dessoye. Amount: $290,000.00. William Dessoye. Property Location: Rice Twp. Seller: Mark J. Luchi. Amount: $435,000.00. James Joseph Batter. Property Location: Black Creek Twp. Seller: Mark J. Vible. Amount: $375,000.00. Richard M. Oley. Property Location: Pittston Twp. Seller: Lawrence J. Montante. Amount: $286,000.00. Brad Berryman. Property Location: Rice Twp. Seller: Charles Bendas. Amount: $538,000.00. Wilkes University. Property Location: Wilkes Barre City. Seller: Alex Cleaning Company. Amount: $250,000.00. Dannel R. Rowe. Property Location: Butler Twp. Seller: Sand Springs Development Corporation. Amount: $345,000.00. Weichert Workforce Mobility Inc. Property Location: Dallas Twp. Seller: Bradley Stickler. Amount: $259,500.00. Mark Mueller. Property Location: Dallas Twp. Seller: Weichert Workforce Mobility Inc. Amount: $259,500.00.
Mitchel Schonholz. Property Location: Covington Twp. Seller: Anthony Barkowski. Amount: $375,000.00. Dickson Hospitality LLC. Property Location: Dickson City. Seller: Six Sides Properties LLC. Amount: $2,860,000.00. Saypa LLC. Property Location: Dickson City. Seller: Rutta & Associates LP. Amount: $480,000.00. Jason A., Mushow. Property Location: Dickson City. Seller: Kyle A. Chapman. Heather Christine Martinez, Property Location: Glenburn Twp. Seller: Roland R. Greco. Amount: $640,000.00. Gadsden Ridge Holdings LLC. Property Location: Greenfield Twp. Seller: Leon Walczak. Amount: $619,950.00. 1270 Holdings LLC. Property Location: Jessup Boro. Seller: 2270 Mid Valley Drive LP. Amount: $4,850,000.00. Invenergy Thermal Development LLC. Property Location: Jessup Boro. Seller: Jessup Borough. Amount: $268,018.00. Thomas Craig. Property Location: Moosic Boro. Seller: Candice Chilek. Amount: $273,000.00. Cletus Baidoo. Property location: Moosic Boro. Seller: Barbara A. Sensi. Amount: $800,000.00. Mark Santaniello. Property Location: Moscow Boro. Seller: Leonard R. Bogart. Amount: $320,000.00. Patrick J. McDonald. Property Location: Newton Twp. Seller: Cynthia M. Sandone. Amount: $310,000.00. Daniel Scott Muchler. Property Location. N. Abington Twp. Seller: Steven Wiseman. Amount: $345,000.00. Grace J. Hydrusko. Property Location: Olyphant Boro. Seller: Jennifer Argental. Amount: $315,000.00. Bria Tinsley. Property Location: Roaring Brook Twp. Seller: Mark Santaniello. Amount: $$610,000.00. Crossgate Plaza LLC. Property Location: Scranton City. Seller: PDQ Crossgate LTD. Amount: $6,800,000.00. KB Dialysis Northeast DST.Propperty Location: Scranton City. Seller: COP Scranton LLC. Amount: $4,372,000.00. Inglesia Pentecostal Unida Latino Americana Inc. Property Location: Scranton City. Seller: Michael Conflitti. Amount: $320,000.00. KWS Real Estate Advisors LLC. Property Location: Scranton City. Seller: Andrew C. Goldstone. Amount: $272,250.00. Kenneth J. George. Property Location: S. Abington Twp. Seller: Boston Land Company Inc. Amount: $260,000.00. Rachel C. Buchenroth. Property Location: S. Abington Twp. Seller: TEK78 LLC. Amount: $350,000.00. 926 Lackawanna Trail Properties LLC. Property Location: S. Abington Twp. Seller: Joseph D. Burke TR. Amount: $275,000.00. Daniel J. Brown. Property Location: S. Abington Twp. Seller: Donald C. Wharton. Amount: $645,000.00. William R. Peoples. Property Location: S. Abington Twp. Seller: Brookfield Relocation Inc. Amount: $259,500.00. John Schulken. Property Location: S. Abington Twp. Seller: Henry Kreinces. Amount: $525,000.00. Robert W. Felins. Property Location: Springbrook Twp. Seller: William R. Williams. Amount: $285,000.00. Louis A. Duarte. Property Location: Throop Boro. Seller: Thomas L. Rohde. Amount: $307,000.0. Patrick J. Murphy. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Seller: Donald H. Ryan. Amount: $462,500. La Coret Family Limited Partnership. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Seller: Jeffrey Chrysler. Amount: $455,000.00. Laura Olszar. Property Location: Unknown. Seller: Ghayas Maroun Salem. Amount: $240,000.00. Michael Huylo. Property Location: Unknown. Seller: Robert J. Huylo. Amount: $240,000.00.
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Andrew L. Melillo. Property Location: Unknown. Seller: John M. Evangelista. Amount: $265,000.00. Robert John Mercatili. Property Location: Unknown. Seller: Michael J. Bibak. Amount: $252,500.00. Cartus Financial Corp. Property Location: Unknown. Seller David Symuleski. Amount: $302,500.00.
Dmitry Petrovski. Property Location: Tobyhanna Twp. Seller: Lech Sawicki. Amount: $330,000.00. Christian Peters. Property Location: Tobyhanna Twp. Seller: Mystic Hill Properties LLC. Amount: $965,000.00, Toolsie Seepersad. Property Location: Price Twp. Seller: LTS Homes LLC. Amount: $340,000.00 Anthony Favale. Property Location: Hamilton Twp. Seller: Edward Garrett. Amount: $390,000.00. Juan Cordero. Property Location: Middle Smithfield Twp. Seller: DE&S Properties Inc. T/A Classic Quality Homes. Amount: $337,000. Angalina Camacho. Property location: Barrett Twp. Seller: Castaldo Vasapolli Estate, John Ragano (Exr). Amount: $392,000.00 Hakem Siryani. Property Location: Middle Smithfield Twp. Seller: Northeast Investors Group Inc. Amount: $300,000.00. V&B Enterprise LLC. Property Location: Barrett Twp. Seller: Mary Martin. Amount: $425,000.00. Dorothy Lemon. Property Location: Tobyhanna Twp. Seller: DE&S Properties Inc. T/A Classic Quality Homes. Amount: $320,000.00. MaRK Ross. Property Location: Middle Smithfield Twp. Seller: Christopher Baj. Amount: $325,000.00. Robert Tobin. Property Location: Paradise Twp. Seller: Eleanor Nicholosi Family Trust. Amount: $310,000.00 Frederick Ruben. Property Location: Barrett Twp. Seller: Michael Walters. Amount: $312,000.00. Karine Cambry. Property Location: Chestnuthill Twp. Seller: Superior Custom Homes Inc. Amount: $355,000.00. Alan Shelley. Property Location: Tobyhanna Twp. Seller: Rodger McKinney. Amount: $325,000.00. Christopher Moss. Property Location: Tobyhanna Twp. Seller: Brian Nolan. Amount: $307,000.00. Gogia Properties LLC. Property Location: Middle Smithfield Twp. Seller: Rohit Panna. Amount: $575,000.00. Sully 5 LLC. Property Location: Chestnuthill Twp. Seller: Northland Development Corp. Amount: $373,000.00.
Dot Red LLC. Property Location: Milford Twp. Seller: Milford Commercial Property LLC. Amount: $6,800,000.00. George Haleem. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Eugene Bykhovski. Amount: $257,000.00. Vincent J. Fay. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Harry W. Tindale. Amount: $755,000.00. Richard L. K. Miller. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Seller: Joanne Maitilasso. Amount: $300,000.00. Stanley S. Sherman Jr. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Seller: Steven A. Leavitt. Amount: $265,000.00. George J. Vuoso. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Seller: Kurt Melo. Amount: $285,000.00. Charles W. Mertz. Property Location: Greene. Twp. Seller: Carl H. Specht III. Amount: $385,000.00. Joseph Peiser. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Seller: Donald E. Morris. Amount: $325,000.00. Michael A. Molinari. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Seller: Adam P. Gallini. Amount: $370,000.00. John A. Garolfalo. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Seller: Michael J. Jackson. Amount: $580,000.00. SMK Realty of Milford LLC. Property Location: Milford Twp. Seller: Stan Tashlik. Amount: $265,000.00.
Joe L. Simmons. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Robert Brehm. Amount: $276.000.00. Camala C. Hanson. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Elaine Danielle Gilmore. Amount: $250,001.00. John R. Wagner. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: James Witkowski. Amount: $1,900,000.00. Hugo A. Gutierrez. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Joseph Giovanniello. Amount: $485,000.00. Bruce A. Fenimore. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Janet M. Oâ€™Brien. Amount: $475,000.00. Erwin Bulan. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Thomas Boland. Amount: $305,000.00. William Castillo. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Seller: Edward Jordan. Amount: $250,000.00. Bradley W. Hendrixson. Property Location: Shohola Twp. Seller: Michael Papas. Amount: $675,000.00. Jonathan J. Chang. Property Location: Shohola Twp. Seller: Peter A. Murin. Amount: $450,000.00. Gregory L. Myer. Property Location: Shohola Twp. Seller: Glen S. Ames. Amount: $295,000.00. James Logan. Property Location: Westfall Twp. Seller: John Graef. Amount: $295,000.00.
Eric Stevens. Property Location: So. Manheim Twp. Seller: Clinton Liebold. Amount: $310,000.00 Danny C. Banes. Property Location: So. Manheim Twp. Seller: Tim Kileen. Amount: $315,000.00.
Michael A. Rudis. Property Location: Paupack. Seller: Marc. F. Lovecchio. Amount: $283,000.00. Gregory A. Taylor. Property Location: Paupack. Seller: Mark DeWitt. Amount: $395,000.00. D&D Property Management II LLC. Property Location: Berlin. Seller: Vessa Realty LLC. Amount: $462,000.00. Casey J. Berwanger. Property Location: Mt. Pleasant. Seller: Lynn A. Jones. Amount: $257,920.00. Thomas J. McDonald. Property Location. Leigh. Seller: Stephen Arthur Winsor. Amount: $392,430.00 Richard Levato. Property Location: Lake. Seller: Diane Minkow. Amount: $315,000.00. Gary M. Jeffas. Property Location: Paupack. Seller: Jose P. Terruta. Amount: $615,000.00. Kevin Maher. Property Location: Salem. Seller: Samuel Badillo. Amount: $445,000.00.
James B. Reichle. Property Location: Northmoreland Twp. Seller: William A. Montross. Amount: $255,000.00. James M. Gardner. Property Location: Monroe Twp. Seller: Mitchell V. Rowland. Amount: $400,000.00. William M. Montross. Property Location: Tunkhannock Boro. Seller: Carl M. Pfau. Amount: $305,000.00. Robert N. Chylak. Property Location: Overfield Twp. Seller: ATR Properties LLC. Amount: $400,000.00. Aaron Werkheiser. Property Location: Tunkhannock Twp. Seller: Glen A. Werkheiser. Amount: $475,000.00.
MORTGaGEs COLUMBIA COUNTY
Marr Development Mulberry II LLC. Property Location: Berwick. Lender: First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $448,000.00. Landmark Signature Homes LLC. Property Location: Bloomsburg. Lender: West Milton State Bank. Amount: $500,000.00.
FOR THE RECORD John Clinton. Property Location: Montour Twp. Lender: First National Bank of Pennsylvania. Amount: $735,000.00. John D. Berger II. Property Location: Scott Twp. 2 Mortgages. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Amount: $398.500.00 respectively. Tatum Marie Miller. Property Location: Hemlock Twp. Lender: Service 1st Federal Credit Union. Amount: $300,000.00. Michael D. Pawlik. Property Location: Briarcreek Twp. Lender: John H. Fester. Amount: $309,244.70. JLN Investments LLC. Property Location: Briarcreek Twp. Lender: First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $335,000.00. Rick A. Iddings. Property Location: Stillwater. Lender: First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $480,000. Joseph Andreacci. Property Location: Hemlock Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Amount: $330,750.00. Morey General Contracting Inc. Property Location: Mifflin Twp. Lender: Keith C. Morey. Amount: $336,000.00. Morey General Contracting Inc. Property Location: Mifflin Twp. Lender: Augustine Disidoro. Amount: $325,000.00. Kendall Hayman. Property Location: Locust Twp. Lender: First Citizens Community Bank. Amount: $390,000.00. Dhwani Realty Inc. Property Location: Hemlock Twp. Lender: Landmark Community Bank. Amount: $300,000.00.
JBRC of Pennsylvania LLC. Property Location: Carbondale City. Lender: Patrick J. Kelly Trust. Amount: $800,000.00. Leonard E. Watkins. Property Location: Covington Twp. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust CO. Amount: $250,000.00. Bassel Noumi. Property Location: Covington Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bank. Amount: $424,100.00. Bassel Noumi. Property Location: Covington Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep. & Disc. Bank. Amount: $336,103.00. Anthony J. Bader. Property Location: Covington Twp. Lender: Landmark Community Bank. Amount: $261,750.00. Dickson Hospitality LLC. Property Location: Dickson City. Lender: Noah Bank. Amount: $2,500,000.00. Lindsey M. Bvewrly. Property Location: Dickson City. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $267,425.00. Matthew M. Rought. Property Location: Dunmore Boro. Lender: USAA Federal Savings Bank. Amount: $745,699.00. Glenn Thomas Butler. Property Location: Fell Twp. Lender: Honesdale National Bank. Amount: $250,000.00. Gadsden Ridge Holdings LLC. Property Location: Greenfield Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $434,975.00. Gadsden Ridge Holdings LLC. Property Location: Greenfield Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bank. Amount: $347,980.00. Anthony J. Bader. Property Location: Jefferson Twp. Lender: Landmark Community Bank. Amount: $261,750.00. 1270 Holdings LLC. Property Location: Jessup Boro. Lender: Lakeland Bank. Amount: $3,637,500.00. Traco Matisko. Property Location: Jessup Boro. Lender: Citizens Savings Bank. Amount: $244,800.00. Elisha Nolan. Property Location: LaPlume Twp. Lender: Scranton Times Downtown Federal Credit Union. Amount: $500,000.00. John P. Parola. Property Location: Madison Twp. Lender: Quicken Loans Inc. Amount: $256,550.00. Daniel D. Norton. Property Location: Moosic Boro.
Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $289,000.00. Stepp4 Properties LLC. Property Location: Moosic Boro. Lender: John Payne. Amount: $265,000.00. Cletus Baidoo. Property Location: Moosic Boro. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $424,100.00. Cletus Baidoo. Property Location: Moosic Boro. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $295,900.00. Patrick J. McDonald. Property Location: Newton Twp. Lender: PNC Mortgage. Amount: $279,000.00. John E. Swank. Property Location: No. Abington Twp. Lender: Residential Mortgage Services Inc. Amount: $250,000.00. Daniel Scott Muchler. Property Location: No. Abington Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep. & Disc Bk. Amount: $275,000.00. Stephen D. Barilka. Property Location: Olyphant Boro. Lender: Wyndham Capital Mortgage Inc. Amount: $258,500.00. Rocco G. Diana. Property Location: Roaring Brook Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $372,000.00. Bria Tinsley. Property Location: Roaring Brook Twp. Lender: Community Bank. Amount: $417,000.00. Tony Walbeck. Property Location: Roaring Brook Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $324,400.00. Jon T. Flynn. Property Location: Scott Twp. Lender: NBT Bank. Amount: $340,000.00. Robert G. Edmunds. Property Location: Scott Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $269,800.00. Crossgate Plaza LLC. Property Location: Scranton City. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust CO. Amount: $5,440,000.00. KB Dialysis Northeast Dst. Property Location: Scranton City. Lender: Jefferies Loancare LLC. Amount: $9,795,500.00. Jennifer Marie Remetta. Property Location: So. Abington Twp. Lender: Loandepot Com LLC. Amount: $279,000.00. Rachel C. Buchenroth. Property Location: So. Abington Twp. Lender: US Bank National Association. Amount: $315,000.00. Michael Wynn. Property Location: So. Abington Twp. Lender: Citizens Savings Bank. Amount: $265,000.00. Daniel J. Brown. Property Location: So. Abington Twp. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $516,000.00. Robert W. Felins. Property Location: Springbrook Twp. Lender: Finance of America Mortgage LLC. Amount: $256,500.00. Louis A. Duarte. Property Location: Throop Boro. Lender: Residential Mortgage Services Inc. Amount: $245,600.00. Glenn Thomas Butler. Property Locatrion: Vandling Boro. Lender: Honesdale National Bank. Amount: $250,000.00. Edward Cimoch. Property Location: Vandling Boro. Lender: Quicken Loans Inc. Amount: $288,973.00. Lawrence Benson. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $500,000.00. Patrick J. Murphy. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc. Bk. Amount: $368,000.00. La Corte Family Partnership. Property Location. W. Abington Twp. Lender: FNCB Bank. Amount: $552,000.00. La Coret Family Partnership. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: FNCB Bank. Amount: $364,000.00. Brendan N. Dragann. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk. Amount: $424,100.00. Brendan N. Dragann. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: Fidelity Dep & Disc Bk Amount: $1,015,841.00.
Thomas A. Aniska. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: Citizens Savings Bank. Amount: $287,200.00. Edwsard M. Robinson. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: PNC Mortgage. Amount: $280,000.00. Joseph J. Dancsak. Property Location: W. Abington Twp. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank. Amount: $250,000.00.
Keith C. Wasley. Property Location: Rice Twp. Lender: FNCB Bank. Amount: $400,000.00. Iran Curz. Property Location: Kingston Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. Amount: $351,900.00. Rajesh Rama. Property Location: Hazle Twp. Lender: Eagle Rock Resort CO. Amount: $455,437.88. Colors Hospitality LLC. Property Location: Wilkes Barre Twp. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Company. Amount: $5,598,835.00. Robert D. Lower, Jr. Property Location: Butler Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Amount: $260,482.00. Cars-DB6 LP. Property Location: Plains Twp., Wilkes Barre City. Lender: Citibank. Amount: $1,500,200,000.00. Lublin Realty LLC. Property Location: Wright Twp. Lender: First Citizens Community Bank. Amount: $779,250.00. BRCG Holdings LLC. Property Location: Pittston Twp. Lender: Landmark Community Bank. Amount: $472,000.00. Karen M. Evans. Property Location: Wright Twp. Lender: Manufacturers & Traders Trust Company. Amount: $306,000.00. Susan Marie Oakes. Property Location: Plains Twp. Lender: Manufacturers &Traders Trust Company. Amount: $300,000.00. Brandon J. Kotsko. Property Location: Wright Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. Residential Mortgage Services Inc. Amount: $268,088.00. Brian J. Deluca. Property Location: Butler Twp. Lender: Landmark Community Bank. Amount: $551,500.00. George J. KIarosa III. Property Location: Kingston Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Wyndham Capital Mortgage Inc. Amount: $369,000.00. Jennifer Decker. Property Location: Fairview Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Residential Mortgage Services Inc. Amount: $275,000.00. Gattusco Family Limited Partnership. Property Location: Forty Fort Boro. Lender: Luzerne Bank. Amount: $400,000.00. Matthew Cunningham. Property Location: Dallas Twp. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank. Amount: $254,500.00. Robert M. Reeves II. Property Location: Franklin Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Stearns Lending LLC. Amount: $394,250.00. Andrew Evancho. Property Location: Dorrance Twp. Six Parcels. Lender: Newell Fuel Service Inc. Amount: $451,138.00. Brothers JRJ LLC. Property Location: Hazelton City. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Company. Amount: $372,000.00. Francis J. Collini. Property Location: Harveyâ€™s Lake Boro. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Amount: $750,000.00. Bhikhabhai Patel. Property Location: Fairview Twp. Lender: Manufacturers & Traders Trust Company. Amount: $250,000.00. Brandon J. Kotsko. Property Location: Wright Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Residential Mortgage Services Inc. Amount: $269,088.00. Patrick J. Adonizio. Property Location: Harveyâ€™s Lake
Boro. Lender: Manufacturers & Traders Trust Company. Amount: $250,000.00. Are Real Estate LP. Property Location: Fairview Twp. Lender: Luzerne Bank. Amount: $1,000,000.00. Sandra E. Nelson. Property Location: Butler Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Residential Mortgage Services Inc. Amount: $261,000.00. William Dessoye. Property Location: Rice Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Residential Mortgage Services Inc. Amount: $412,250.00. Maria Giulia Batter. Property Location: Black Creek Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Prosperity Home Mortgage LLC. Amount: $300,000.00. Brad Berryman. Property Location: Rice Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Quicken Loans Inc. Amount: $517,167.00.
Christian Peters. Property location: Tobyhanna Twp. Lender: Quicken Loans Inc. Amount: $772,000.00. Juan Cordero. Property Location: Middle Smithfield Twp. Lender: Acre Mortgage & Financial Inc. Amount: $306,363.00. Michael Teare. Property Location: Barrett Twp. Lender: Residential Home Funding Corp. & Secretary of Housing & Urban Development. Amount: $315,000.00. DLP SF Fund II LLC. Property Location: East Stroudsburg. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $3,250,000.00. Shuk Inc. Property Location: Coolbaugh Twp. Lender: Fillippo Investments LLC. Amount: $265,000.00. Gary Lewis. Property Location: Stroud Twp. Lender: Citibank NA. Amount: $297,120.00. Dein Properties LP. Property Location: East Stroudsburg. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $400,000.00 LTS Homes LLC. Property Location: Price Twp. Lender: Wayne Bank. Amount: $250,000.00. DK Stroudsburg LLC. Property Location: Stroudsburg. Lender: Pocono Mountains Industries Inc. Amount: $2,820,549.00. Kewanee Drumwright. Property Location: Middle Smithfield Twp. Lender: Peoples Bank. Amount: $310,000.00. Jomo Lake. Property Location: Tunkhannock Twp. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA. Amount: $529,000.00. David Skerpon . Property Location: Chestnuthill Twp. Lender: Orrstown Bank. Amount: $915,000.00. V&B Enterprise LLC. Property Location: Barrett Twp. Lender: First Keystone Community Bank. Amount: $297,500.00. GNJ Homes Inc. Property Location: Coolbaugh Twp. Lender: Colony American Finance Lender LLC. Amount: $500,000.00. Bad Boys for Life LLC. Property Location: Sytroud Twp. Lender: First Bank. Amount: $273,700.00. Another One Bites the Dust LLC. Feeling Good LLC. Ezos Resyek LLC. Property Location: Stroud Twp. Lender: First Bank. Amount: $358,050.00. Karine Cambry. Property Location: Chestnuthill Twp. Lender: Residential Home Finding Corp. Amount: $319,500.00. BWC Partnership. Property Location: Ross Twp. Lender: Gary Wolfe.Est. Amount: $294,806.00. Gary Kessel. Property Location: Stroudsburg. Lender: ESSA Bank & Trust. Amount: $450,000.00. Gogle Properties LLC. Property Location: Middle Smithfield Twp. Lender: Wayne Bank. Amount: $400,000.00. Hemlock. Campground & Cottages LLC. Property Location: Coolbaugh Twp. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $400,000.00.
NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL JUNE 2017 41 TS_CNG/NPBJ/PAGES [B41] | 05/31/17
16:05 | GRAHAMTOM
FOR THE RECORD PIKE COUNTY
James Carl Osczepinski. Property Location: Westfall Twp. Lender: MERS. Amount: $283,950.00. Ernest J. Stumbo. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc. Amount: $268,500.00. Carol Ryan Nolan. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc. Amount: $322,500.00. Carol Ryan Nolan. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Lender: Secretary of Housing & Urban Development. Amount: $322,500.00. Juan Santo. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Lender: Bank of America NA. Amount: $436,000.00. Hugo A. Gutierrez. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA. Amount: $388,000.00. Dorothy James-Khan. Property Location: Lehman Twp. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc. Amount: $253,500.00. Joseph Peiser. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Lender: Dime Bank. Amount: $260,000. Christopher Scott. Property Location: Milford Twp. Lender: MERS. Amount: $350,000.00. William R. Baines. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Lender: Citizens Savings Bank. Amount: $350,000.00. John J. Ewicka. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Lender: MERS. Amount: $297504.00. Bradley W. Hendrixson. Property Location: Shohola Twp. Lender: Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union. Amount: $472,500.00. Bruce A. Fenimore. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Lender: Wayne Bank. Amount: $330,000.00.
New Development & Relocation Opportunities Needed
Pennsylvania Counties of Interest Include: • Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, Wyoming Locations Wanted: • Flexible space requirements • End Cap, In-Line, Drive-Thru, Free Standing
Terry Shaner. Property Location: Wayne Twp. Lender: QNB. Amount: $282,500.00. Earl Yeager. Property Location: Orwigsburg. Lender: Riverview Bank. Amount: $284,000.00. Hy Farm LLC. Property Location: Tamaqua. Lender: Branch Bank & Trust Co. Amount: $15,000,000.00. Kevin J. George. Property Location: Kline Twp. Lender: Mid Atlantic Farm Credit ACA. Amount: $406,500.00.
Gregory A. Taylor. Property Location: Paupack. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA. Amount: $316,000.00. Tanya C. Kalix. Property Location: Damascus. Lender: The Dime Bank. Amount: $265,000.00. Vessa Realty LLC. Property Location: Berlin. Lender: Honesdale National Bank. Amount: $350,000.00. Ralph Eisenschmid. Property Location: Lake. Lender: NBT Bank NA. Amount: $332,000.00. Tyler Hill Realty Corp. Property Location: Damascus. Lender: The Dime Bank. Amount: $5,250,000.00. Frank Zambrell. Property Location: Paupack. Lender: ESSA Bank & Trust. Amount: $321,000.00. Casey J. Berwanger. Property Location: Mt. Pleasant. Lender: MERS-Stearns Lending. Amount: $253,247.00. David M. Kelley. Property Location: Preston. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA. Amount: $277,850.00. Thomas J. McDonald. Property Location: Lehigh. Lender: Peoples Security Bank. Amount: $313,944.00. Gary M. Jeffas. Property Location: Paupack. Lender: MERS-NJ Lenders Corp. Amount: $424,100.00.
Bring us any and all potential locations. We will determine if we can develop or possibly relocate to your site. PLEASE CONTACT Abbie Muto firstname.lastname@example.org Cheryl Green email@example.com (610) 366-8120 • www.sdepa.com
Clea C. Chang. Property Location: Shohola Twp. Lender: MERS. Amount: $360,000.00. Dot Red LLC. Property Location: Milford Twp. Lender: Valley National Bank. Amount: $3,250,000.00. Dot Red LLC. Property Location: Milford Twp. Lender: Valley National Bank. Amount: $2,600,000.00. Dot Red LLC. Property Location: Milford Twp. Lender: Empire State Certified Development Corp. Amount: $2,672,000.00. Dot Red LLC. Property Location: Milford Twp. Lender: Milford Commercial Property LLC. Amount: $850,000.00. Charles W. Mertz. Property Location: Greene Twp. Lender: MERS. Amount: $308,000.00. GA Homes Inc. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Lender: Dime Bank. Amount: $525,000.00. Christine A. Ciardelli. Property Location: Dingman Twp. Lender: MERS. Amount: $260,400.00. GA Homes Inc. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Lender: Dime Bank. Amount: $525,000.00. Marc Scarduffa. Property Location: Milford Boro. Lender: TD Bank NA. Amount: $250,000.00. GA Homes Inc. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Lender: Dime Bank. Amount: $525,000.00. Mary Androniki Tsairis. Property Location: Lackawaxen Twp. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA. Amount: $315,600.00. Lake Region Development 3 LLC. Property Location: Palmyra Twp. Lender: Dime Bank. Amount: $544,000.00.
Member of International Council of Shopping Centers
KMS Real Estate LLC. Property Location: Noxen Twp. Lender: Landmark Community Bank. Amount: $354,000.00. Aaron Werkheiser. Property Location: Tunkhannock Twp. Lender: Glen A. Werkheiser. Amount: $680,000.00. Silver Springs Ranch LLC. Property Location: Monroe Twp. Lender: Landmark Community Bank. Amount: $2,250,000.00.
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16:04 | GRAHAMTOM
Alta Marcellus Development LLC. Property Location: Windham Twp.; Braintrim Twp.; Tunkhannock Boro.; N. Branch Twp.; Laceville Boro; Meshoppen Boro; Meshoppen Twp.; Mehoopany Twp.; Forkston Twp. Lender: JPMorgan Chase Bank Agent. Amount: $2,500,000,000.00. Alta Marcellus Development LLC. Property Location: Windham Twp; Braintrim Twp.; Laceville Boro; Tunkhannock; No. Brach Twp; Meshoppen Boro; Meshoppen Twp; Mehoopany Twp; Forkston Twp. Lender: Wilmington Trust NA Trustee. Amount: $500,000,000.00. Ryvamat Inc. Property Location: Eaton Twp; Forkston Twp; Noxen Twp; Monroe Twp. Lender: Peoples Security Bank & Trust Company. Amount: $4,000,000.00. James M. Gardner. Property Location: Monroe Twp. Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA. Amount: $304,000.00. William A. Montross. Property Location: Tunkhannock Boro. Lender: Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. Amount: $289,750.00.
NEw INCORpORaTIONs CARBON COUNTY
Pizza D’Oro LLC. Filed: Feb. 14, 2017. Italian Restaurant. 1180 Pocono Blvd., Mount Pocono. Playgo Pool Products Inc. Filed: Feb. 7, 2017. Swimming Pool Products Wholesale/Retail. 56 Lindsay Mews, Albrightsvile Radiant Dentistry PC. Filed: Feb. 22, 2017. Dentistry Practice. 903 Center St., Jim Thorpe.
Radius Leaders LLC. Filed: Feb. 25, 2017. Leadership Development Consulting Company. 122 Fowlersville Rd., Bloomsburg. Rainier Daze. Filed: Feb. 7, 2017. Pen Name for Authoring Books. 175 Mellick Hollow Rd., Bloomsburg. Roman’s Italian Submarines. Filed: Feb. 27, 2017. Restaurant. 1306 Orange St., Berwick Sacred Bear Knives. Filed: Feb. 28, 2017. Makes Handmade Knives & Leather Products. 78 Harrison Rd., Orangeville. Sugarberry Farms LLC. Filed: Feb. 23, 2017. Farming & Agricultural. 777 Hetlerville Rd., Nescopeck.
P Training LLC. Filed: Feb. 14, 2017. Training of Soccer Coaches, Trainers & Players. 1517 Schlager St., Scranton. Pronto Scranton LLC. Filed: Feb. 28, 2017. Restaurant. 234 Penn Ave., Scranton. Rejuvenated Realty LLC. Filed: Feb. 14, 2017. Real Estate Renovation & Sales. 105 Waverly Lane, Waverly Twp. Renato’s Sammich Shop LLC. Filed: Feb. 7, 2017. Sandwich Shop. 1236 December Dr., Dunmore. Hua Aki, LLC. Filed: Feb. 6, 2017. To Engage in Food Service Business. 422 Lackawanna Ave., Olyphant. Roseannas. Filed: Feb. 15, 20-17. Restaurant. 1143 Main St., Peckville. St. Mary’s Villa Campus. Filed: Feb. 16, 2017. Nursing Home Services. 516 St. Mary’s Villa Rd., Elmhurst Twp. Secret Garden Designs LLC. Filed: Feb. 24. 2017. Landscape Maintenance Installation. 36 Sandy Beach Rd., Clifton. Silver Lining Elderly Care LLC. Filed: Feb. 22, 2017. Support the Elderly by Helping Them with Day to Day Activities to Allow Them to Live Independent Lifestyle. 142 N. Main St., Old Forge. Sky Force Drone. Filed: Feb. 17, 2017. Unknown. 536 Fallon St., Old Forge
SM Rental Properties LLC. Filed: March 2, 2017. Real Estate. 409 Martini Rd., Jefferson Twp. SRK 1 Shop. Filed: Feb. 12, 2017. Sell Merchandise, Shoe Strings, T-shirts, hats & Music, CDs & DVDs. 339 N. Hyde Pk. Ave., Scranton. Steady Roots Counseling LLC. Filed: Feb. 17, 2017. Therapy. 228 S. Main Ave., Scranton. Stone Tree Homes LLC. Filed: Feb. 6, 2017. Buy, Sell, Rent. 531 S. Main St., Old Forge. Stone Electrical Services Inc. Filed: Feb. 14, 2017. Real & Personal Property. 204 Craig St., Elmhurst.
Riverz Edge LLC. Filed: Feb. 17, 2017. Real Estate Holdings. 531 S. Mountain Blvd. Mountain Top. Precision Machining Inc. Filed: Feb. 24, 2017. Machinery Shop. 30 N. Main St.. Sybertsville. Rosena, Jenkins & Greenwald LLP. Real Estate. Filed: March 1, 2017. 15 So. Franklin St., Wilkes Barre. Ryno Properties Inc. Filed: Feb. 22, 2017. Real Estate. 58 Kennedy Dr., Drums. Silo Shirts LLC. Filed: Feb. 13, 2017. Retail Sales. 92 South Main St., Wilkes Barre. Siperko’s Maple Syrup LLC. Filed: Feb. 10, 2017. Manufacturing Maple Syrup. 5 Gravel Road, Hunlock Creek. Soricks Fine Jewelers. Filed: Feb. 6, 2017. Jeweler. 259 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming. Sce Jam LLC. Filed: March 1, 2017. Consulting. 161 Red Fox Ln., Hanover Twp. SSB Trucking LLC. Filed: Feb. 16, 2017. Trucking. 458 So. Empire St. Wilkes Barre. Studio Glo. Filed: Feb. 6, 2017. Hair Salon. 81 Pringle St., Kingston. Subaru of Wyoming Valley. Filed: Feb. 13, 2017. Retail Motor Vehicle Dealership, New & Used Cars. 1470 Highway 315, Plains.
Pennsylvania Cultivation LLC. Filed: Feb. 27, 2017. Investment Company. 188 Windhester Dr, East Stroudsburg. Pocono Organics LLC. Filed: Feb. 2, 2017. Agricultural. P.O. Box 145, Long Pond. Pretty N Pressed LLC. Filed: Feb. 22, 2017. Fashion Consultant. 139 Bellingham Dr., Bushkill. Professional Financial Services LLC. Filed: Feb. 24, 2017. Accounting Insurance. 344 Stroud Mall Rd., Stroudsburg. Radics LLC. Filed: Feb. 17, 2017. Online Business Subscription Service for Non-Profit Organizations. 1216 Burger Hollow Rd., Effort. RB Decoration. Filed: Feb. 1, 2017. House Cleaning/ Handyman Work. 638 Country Place Dr., Tobyhanna. RLR I LLC. Filed: Feb. 16, 2017. Real Estate. 2332 Walters Road, Stroudsburg. Rose & Thyme LLC. Filed: Feb. 17, 2017. Creative Work of Fine Art Highlight Films & Photography. 1318 Dreger Ave, Stroudsburg. Route 611 Auto Plaza Corporation. Filed: March 1, 2017. Car Dealership. 3347 Mountainview Dr., Tannersville. Abuschinow Productions LLC. Filed: Feb. 17, 2017. Entertainment Production Co., 1 Dansbury Square, East Stroudsburg. Schisler Enterprises LLC. Filed: Feb. 16, 2017. Personalized Crafts. 137 Williams Rd., Cresco. Social Seed Media LLC. Filed: Feb. 13, 2017. Provide Digital Marketing Training & Services for Business & NonProfits. 316 Clayton St., Saylorsburg. Square Rook Beauty LLC. Filed: Feb. 27, 2017. Health & Beauty Supplies Retail Provider, 3236 Rte. 940 #112 Mount Pocono.
FOR THE RECORD State Wide Benefits Consultants. Filed: Feb. 17, 2017. Employee Benefits. 3160 Rte. 611, Suite 202, Bartonsville. Style Setters Entertainment Management. Filed: Feb. 7, 2017. Music Artist Management of Promoting, Booking Shows or Events. 1210 Windling Way, Tobyhanna.
Real Estate. 301 Shore Dr., Tunkhannock. Saddleview Sewer LLC. Filed: Feb. 19, 2017. Sewer Company Providing Sewer Services. 301 Shore Dr., Tunkhannock. Saddleview Water LLC. Filed: Feb. 19, 2017. Water Company. 301 Shore Dr., Tunkhannock. Stonegage Lodge Inc. Filed: Feb. 10, 2017. Hospitality & Lodging. 363 Spencer Hill Rd., Nicholson.
Regina LLC. Filed: Feb. 24, 2017. Real Estate. 104 Pumice Court, Milford. Roman’s Construction & Home Reir Inc. Filed: March 1, 2017. Construction. 179 Whispering Pine Rd., Dingman’s Ferry. Schauer Consulting LLC. Filed: Feb. 6, 2017. Marketing Consultant. 137 Buck Hill. Greentown.
University of Scranton Alumni Inducted Into Business Leader Hall Of Fame
This report on insider trading activity has been prepared for informational purposes only by James Blazejewski, CFP, Senior Vice President-Investment Officer, Wells Fargo Advisors, 672 North River Street, Suite 300, Plains, PA 18705. It is based on information generally available to the public from sources believed to be reliable. No representation is made that the information is accurate or complete and it does not constitute a SCHUYKILL recommendation to buy or sell any particular security. Power House Auto-Labs. Filed: Feb. 9, 2017. Auto Current information contained in this report is not Reir & Services. 26 Center Ave., Schuylkill Haven. indicative of future activity. Wells Fargo Advisors, is a Pro Hobo LLC. Filed: Feb. 28, 2017. Comic Books. trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. 212 South Mill St., St. Clair. Ramrt Surveillance Installations LLC. Filed: Feb. 23, Member FINRA/SIPC. Source of data: Thomson Financial 2017. Security & Surveillance Equient Installations. 151 S. Broad Mountain Ave., Frackville. INSIDER TRADING ACTIVITY ON STOCKS OF LOCAL Recchione Auto Body Inc. Filed: Feb. 16, 2017. Auto INTEREST FOR JUNE Body Shop. 609 East Main St. Hegins. (BBT – 44.06) BB&T CORPORATION Clarke Starnes, IRKA Investments LLC. Filed: Feb. 27, 2017. Real vice president of BB&T Corporation, exercised options Estate. 111 Maryland St., Donaldson. Scebuc Vuew Ebteroruses LLC. Filed: Feb. 28, 2017. for 53,594 shares on April 21 (21,447 shares exercised 3.8 years prior to the expiration date and 32,147 shares Construction/Remodeling. 117 Tiley Rd., Ashland. exercised 5.9 years prior to the expiration date) at $29.14 Sherman Sportsman’s Club LLC. Filed: Feb. 13, per share for a total cost of $1,561,708 and on the same 2017. Unknown. Re19 Third Ave., Pottsville. date sold shares at $43.37 per share for total proceeds of SSTS Inc. Feb. 15, 2017. Restaurant. 934 S. Toute $2,324,592. Starnes controls 99,203 shares directly and 183., Schuylkill Haven. 20,100 shares indirectly. Brantley Standridge, vice president of BB&T Corporation, sold 5,000 shares on April 21 SUSQUEHANNA at $43.34 per share for total proceeds of $216,701. StanPortraits by Vanessa. Filed: Feb. 15, 2017. Pictures dridge controls 17,589 shares directly and 6,604 shares & Portraits of Individuals & Weddings. 751 Elk Lake Rd., indirectly. Over the last six months, insiders of BB&T Meshoppen. Corporation acquired 1,290,317 shares and disposed of Quicherbichen Hair Styles. A Hair Styling Salon. 2,634,100 shares. 26576 State Rte 267, Friendsville. (CZFS – 53.60) CITIZENS FINANCIAL SERVICES, Roaring Oak Services. Filed: Feb. 15, 2017. ContractINC. Dwight Rohrer, vice president of Citizens Financial ed labor & Construction. 17282 State Rd.11, New Milford. Services, Inc. purchased 300 shares on May 4 at $54.50 for a cost of $16,350. On May 1, Rohrer purchased 700 WAYNE COUNTY shares at $54.50 per share for a total cost of $38,150. TD Farms Management LLC. Filed: March 1, 2017. Rohrer controls 612 shares directly and 500 shares Cultivate & Harvest Medical Marijuana. 1376 Belmont indirectly. Turnpike, Waymart. (FULT – 18.60) FULTON FINANCIAL CORPORTION Poconogem Inc. Filed: Feb. 7, 2017. Real Estate. 380 Meg Mueller, vice president of Fulton Financial CorporaDaniels Rd., Hawley. tion, exercised options for 3,266 shares on April 24 PTMD Farms LP. Filed: March 1, 2017. Unknown. (exercised 5.9 years prior to the expiration date) at $11.58 1376 Belmont Turnpike, Waymart. per share for a total cost of $37,820 and on the same date Quality Express Cleaners. Filed: Feb. 24, 2017. Dry sold those shares at $18.90 per share for total proceeds Cleaning & Alteration. 1029 Pontiac Rd., Drexel Hill. of $61,727. Mueller controls 27,384 shares directly. Over Selfmade Inc. Filed: March 1, 2017. Residential Real the last six months, insiders of Fulton Financial CorporaEstate Rentals. 314 Ridge St., Honesdale. tion acquired 402,485 shares and disposed of 353,511 Selfmade Inc. Filed: March 2, 2017. Residential Real shares. Estate Rentals, 314 Ridge St., Honesdale. (FNB – 14.53) FNB CORPORATION James Chiafullo, director of FNB Corporation purchased 300 shares on WYOMING COUNTY May 2 at $14.47 per share for a total cost of $4,340. Roaring Run Services LLC. Filed: Feb. 19, 2017. Chiafullo controls 40,950 shares directly and 300 shares Trucking, Property Management Services. 2115 SR 29, indirectly. Robert Hormell, director of FNB Corporation, Monroe Twp. purchased 1,000 shares on April 28 at $14.26 per share Saddleview Country Club LLC. Filed: Feb. 19, 2017. for a total cost of $14,260. Hormell controls 56,271 Providing Food & Beverage to Country Club. 301 Shore shares directly. Over the last six months, insiders of FNB Drive, Tunkhannock. Corporation acquired 114,113 shares and disposed of Saddleview Country Club LLC. Filed: Feb. 19, 2017. 113,475 shares. To Provide Food & Beverage Service to Country Club and (NWFL – 38.26) NORWOOD FINANCIAL CORPORAGolf Course. 301 Shore Dr., Tunkhannock. TION Kevin Lamont, director of Norwood Financial CorSaddleview Properties LLC. Filed: Feb. 19, 2017. poration, purchased 288 shares on April 26 at $39.65 per
From left: former publisher of the Scranton Times-Tribune George Lynett, Esq. G’71; Susan Swain ’76, co-chief executive officer and president of C-SPAN; and Theodore “Ted” Jadick ’61, vice chairman of Heidrick and Struggles. Honoree Katherine Reilly ’53 was unable to attend the event. University of Scranton alumni George V. Lynett, Esq. G’71, former publisher of the Scranton Times-Tribune and former chief executive officer of Times-Shamrock Communications; Ted Jadick ’61, vice chairman of Heidrick and Struggles in New York; Susan Swain ’76, co-chief executive officer and president of C-SPAN; and former Scranton School District educator Katherine Reilly ’53, were inducted into the Kania School of Management’s Business Leadership Hall of Fame. “The Business Leader Hall of Fame celebrates the extraordinary success of the University’s mission in Jesuit education and the impact of our graduates on the world,” said Michael Mensah, Ph.D., dean of the Kania School of Management. “The inductees who are participating in this panel, in our opinion, exemplify the success and the best ideals of a Jesuit education.” share for a total cost of $11,419. Lamont controls 83,847 shares directly and 800 shares indirectly. Over the last six months, insiders of Norwood Financial Corporation acquired 15,109 shares and disposed of 14,171 shares. (PG – 86.45) PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY Patrice Louvet, officer of Procter & Gamble Company, sold 3,837 shares on May 4 at $87.00 per share for total proceeds of $333,819. Louvet controls 46,913 shares directly and 5,498 shares indirectly. Steven Bishop, officer of Procter & Gamble Company, sold 2,668 shares on May 1 at $87.34 per share for total proceeds of $233,025. Bishop controls 43,608 shares directly and 17,991 shares
indirectly. Over the last six months, insiders of Procter & Gamble Company acquired 625,084 shares and disposed of 662,555 shares. (VZ – 45.88) VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS Marni Walden, vice president of Verizon Communications sold 16,362 shares on May 1 in accordance with a prearranged trading plan (10b5-1) at $46.08 per share for total proceeds of $753,916. Walden controls 11,797 shares directly and 15,080 shares indirectly. Over the last six months, insiders of Verizon Communications acquired 399,668 shares and disposed of 261,756 shares.
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BACK TAXES NEVER TAKE A DAY OFF.
Your business’s back taxes are always with you. But the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue can help. With Tax Amnesty, pay back taxes for your business and we’ll waive the penalties and cut the interest in half. You can close the books on back taxes. But only for a limited time.
Apply by June 19th at backtax.pa.gov 1-844-PA-STATE-TAX 1-844-727-8283
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Paid for with Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars.
44 NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS JOURNAL TS_CNG/ADVERTISING/AD_PAGES [ADB44] | 05/31/17
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