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Voice of theValley An Advertising Supplement to The Daily Item and The Danville News


Back to School & Education in the Valley


Chamber Hosts Business on Tap with Rusty Rail Brewing Company


he Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce (GSVCC) launched their first in-person gathering in 2021, Business on Tap with Rusty Rail Brewing Company. This event was hosted at the brewery in July and brought together over 50 Chamber members to network, tour the brewery, have fun, and win prizes. The Chamber’s first in a series of podcasts was recorded live on location with Chad Evans

from Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation Media Partners. Chad, along with Rusty Rail’s Brewery Director Guy McCarty, and GSVCC President & CEO Bob Garrett, discussed the business climate for breweries and valley businesses at large. The Chamber’s podcast, and a full list of upcoming events, can be found at For immediate news and updates like & follow @ GSVChamber on social media.

Guy McCarty, Brewery Director at Rusty Rail Brewing Co., lead members on an exclusive private tour of the brewery.

New members of the Chamber, Cup-O-Code, attended their first Chamber event. Cup-O-Code, located in Northumberland, is a one stop shop for digital marketing and websites in the Susquehanna Valley.

Kristen Moyer, Community Relations Director at SEDA Cog, won the grand prize of the evening which was a $50 gift card to Rusty Rail Brewing Company.

Bob Garrett, GSVCC President & CEO, Chad Evans from SBC Media Partners and Guy McCarty, Brewery Director at Rusty Rail Brewing Co., recorded the Chamber’s first podcast live on location at the brewery during the Business on Tap event.

Luzerne County Community College Offers Success Close to Home By: Lori Laniewski, Director of Luzerne County Community College: Northumberland Regional Center

impact that Luzerne County Community College has made in our region.


s Director of Luzerne County Community College: Northumberland Regional Center, it is easy for me to talk about all the great things happening at LCCC in Shamokin. After all, I have the privilege of personally working with hundreds of students each semester, but my ability to talk about Luzerne comes from a place greater than my position at the college. It comes from the heart. Nearly twenty years ago, I was thinking of continuing my education. I was researching the educational opportunities available within the Susquehanna Valley. Like many young people, I had been imagining beautiful, sprawling campuses, and was primarily considering fouryear institutions—until one afternoon, when a friend suggested I consider applying to Luzerne County Community College. He went on to tell me that there was a satellite campus located in Shamokin. I remember being a bit skeptical. After all, what kind of college is located on the fourth floor of a building? My friend assured me that LCCC’s credits would transfer, and that attending Luzerne would save me money.


Gini Feigles-Kaar, Marketing Segment Leader at Dewberry Engineers, and her husband Michael Kaar each won prizes in a raffle which included a Rusty Rail Brewing Co. decorative tin and branded sunglasses.

August 2021 | Voice of The Valley

Dedicated in 1999 as the Gateway of Education and Workforce Development, LCCC's Northumberland Regional Center is located conveniently close to Shamokin's downtown and just 12 miles away from nearby Knoebels Amusement Resort. Housed on the fourth floor of the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center, Luzerne County Community College offers area residents a variety of courses and academic programs. In looking at the cost of tuition and the convenient location, I made the choice to register for classes. I remember my first day well. I had ENG-101. Still feeling skeptical, I was surprised to find that the adjunct instructor teaching my course had a Ph.D, taught at a nearby University, had published a best-selling novel, and had written for some major newspapers. It turns out, he ran his class the same at LCCC as he did at the University. Seriously! I was getting all of this for LCCC’s low tuition. I could hardly believe it, and it was in that moment that my eyes opened to the value of community college. What I did not know at the time was how attending Luzerne County Community College in Shamokin would change my life forever. It was because of my time at Luzerne that I went on to continue my education, become a published writer, form an award-winning company and much more. It is also because of my experience at Luzerne that I knew one day, in some capacity, I would be on the other side of the desk telling my story to help students reach their educational and career goals. The positive educational experiences students have at LCCC go beyond the four walls of the classroom. They become part of their educational journey. My story is one small example of the tremendous

The Shamokin Center is one of 7 off-campus sites located throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Together, we offer area residents an affordable, quality education close to home.

INSIDE this EDITION Just A Word by Bob Garrett Leadership Susquehanna Valley Committees & Events Calendar Women Leaders in the Valley Member news Member news Member news

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President’s Message | Welcome New Members

Just A Word...

Board of Directors

By: Bob Garrett President & CEO, The Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce

“School’s Open—Drive Carefully!”


ear-in and year-out, we can depend on the AAA to blanket the region with their highly effective safety reminder message about slowing down, staying alert and being on the look-out for children going to and coming from school. According to the America Automobile Association, which most of us know by their initial’s AAA, later this month 55 million young people will be heading back to school. They point out that vigilance among drivers is particularly important during the afterschool hours between 3-7 pm. This “School’s Back” safety campaign was launched seventyfive years ago, and the message is built on a few basic safety tips: slow down, come to a complete stop and do not let yourself become distracted. Think about it, what could be more dangerous than a distracted driver, going along a little too fast, while rolling through stop signs and at crosswalks.

Chair Art Thomas, Meck-Tech Inc. & Diversified Construction

vice chair

This kind of driving behavior, hopefully, brings shivers to most of us. However, I bet that we all have experienced each of these safety flubs, more often than we would like to admit. We would all be little better off by taking the AAA’s sound advice to go little slower, keep our eyes up, our phones down, while being a little more patient with each other.

Aimee Buehner, Bowen Agency

PAST chair

Sue Greene, Union County


Greg Zeh, Weis Markets

Back-to-School also gives me the opportunity to wish all the Greater Susquehanna Valley’s young scholars a good school year. For some of these students and their teachers it has been a long time since they have been a traditional classroom format. Here at the Chamber, we believe that inperson learning with inspiring and motivated instructors is the absolute best education method.


We are fortunate that this kind of teaching is the rule, rather than the exception, throughout our valley.

Jeff Reber, Union County Commissioner

Bob Garrett, GSVCC

Region Vice Presidents Fred Scheller, The Daily Item Brion Lieberman, Geisinger

Phil DeRose, UPMC Susquehanna Leslie Temple, Fulton Bank Gene Welsh III, GDK Development

Directors President/CEO Bob Garrett

Executive Director of Operations & Workforce Jenny Wentz

Executive Director of Membership & LSV Chris Berleth

Director of Communications Vanessa Venios


John Kurelja, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit Jessica Brazier, M&T Bank Sam Haulman, Service Electric Cablevision Malcom Derk, Susquehanna University Kendy Alvarez, Fidelis Mortgage Steve Stumbris, Bucknell SBDC Chad Evans, Stone State Entertainment Rachel Smith, Evangelical Community Hospital Beau Hoffman, Axe, Runkle, PC

New Members Cup O Code

Pinecone and Honey

Contact: Tim Keeley, Owner/Designer/Web Developer (570) 850-8020 48 A Street Northumberland, PA 17857

Contact: Laura Gelnett, Owner (570) 551-0101 4507 North Susquehanna Trail Shamokin Dam, PA 17876 Pinecone and Honey is a Home Décor Market with over 30 vendors featuring affordable vintage farmhouse, primitives, handmade crafts, and more.

2859 N. Susquehanna Trail Shamokin Dam, PA 17876 570-743-4100 / 800-410-2880 Hours: M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm

Cup O Code is your one stop shop for digital marketing and websites in the Susquehanna Valley.

The Mifflinburg Buggy Museum

Dauntless Hook & Ladder

The Mifflinburg Buggy Museum Association, Inc. is an educational and historical organization with a mission to preserve for public appreciation the original Heiss Coach Works, a small industrial site.

Dauntless Hook & Ladder is a volunteer hook and ladder company established in 1874, serving Selinsgrove, Penn Township and surrounding areas.

2021 Chair’s Circle Members

Contact: Sean Christine, Lieutenant (570) 765-9431 713 Bridge Street Suite 13 Selinsgrove, PA 17870

Contact: Eva Linke, Board Vice President (570) 966-1355 598 Green Street Mifflinburg, PA 17844

LEP Management Education

Contact: Len Prosseda, Owner (570) 837-0707 43 Fire Stone Lane Middleburg, PA 17842

Like, Follow & Share with the Chamber on social media! Scan these QR Codes or visit the links below.

LEP-ME incorporates a systematic process of management training where managers gain and apply knowledge, skills, insights, and attitudes to manage workers and organizations more effectively.

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Take The Daily Item’s newspaper archive home with you. Explore and search by topic more than 600,000 pages of historical newspaper pages at The pages are fully searchable and date back to 1971, with plans to expand the collection back to the Daily Item’s founding in 1937.


Aloysius Butler & Clark BB&T now Truist BJE Poultry Bowen Agency Realtors Coldwell Banker Penn One Real Estate Contrast Evangelical Community Hospital First National Bank Fulton Bank GDK Development Geisinger Hummel Station i3 Verticals Jersey Shore State Bank Kreamer Feed LLC M&T Bank Member Choice Financial Credit Union Mifflinburg Bank & Trust Company National Beef North Shore Railroad Company Nottingham Village Senior Living Community Penn State World Campus PPL Electric Utilities Purdy Insurance Agency Service 1st Federal Credit Union Service Electric Cablevision, Inc. Stahl Sheaffer Engineering SUN Area Technical Institute Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation Susquehanna University The Daily Item The Northumberland National Bank UPMC Weis Markets    

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Access The Daily Item archive for $4.95 a month or $19.95 for six months. You can access the site by going to dailyitem. com and clicking on the “Archives” button under the pulldown menu on the top left or visit


Voice of The Valley | august 2021


Chamber partnerships | Leadership Susquehanna Valley

Strengthening the Susquehanna Valley by Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders

A Summer of Legacies O

By Chris Berleth, LSV Executive Director

n June 10, the Greater Susquehanna Valley learned the news that Joanne Troutman, LSV Class of 2011, accepted a position with Cornell University and was to depart in July from her full-time role as President/CEO of the GSV United Way. On July 2, a handful of Leadership Susquehanna Valley (LSV) staff, alumni and board directors surprised LSV Class of 2008 alumnus and Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz with the lighter-hearted news that he is this year’s unanimously selected Guy Temple Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. On July 19, the LSV Board of Directors formally welcomed its newest members, Danielle Campbell, Olivia Zellers, Bernadette Boerckel, and Sam Ryder, all of whom are alumni. What do these seemingly separate stories have in common apart from the alumni status of their respective subjects? The word “legacy” comes to mind. Leadership coach Caz Russell often quotes John Maxwell saying, “Leadership is influence”. How true! Dare I suggest that similarly, “Legacy is influence expressed through generations of well-led people”. Look no further than Guy Temple as an example. One of the four individuals who co-founded LSV with the mission to call business leaders to “step up in their communities”, Guy served LSV as its first executive director. Twenty-seven years after LSV’s founding and six years after his passing, scores of LSV class members who like myself never met the man, will gather in his name to say in unison that real leadership is praiseworthy, and we know it when we see it. For those of us who have had the pleasure of working with Joanne or who have experienced her tireless tenacity for our beloved region, her news was a powerful blow, softened only by the legacy that she leaves in her team at the United Way, who have grown tremendously and with great vision under her leadership. They are well-led, and time will prove it so. Similarly for Joe Kantz, I imagine that the news of his recognition will be seen and heard as a sign of appreciation for a man whose life has been dedicated to leading this community – and as a rallying cry to mimic his own service. For me, it’s a summer of legacies – stirring my personal motivation to do as I’ve seen from these wonderful neighbors and friends, who prioritize people over results, connect personally, invest compassionately in people and who model the behavior that LSV recognizes as “strong leadership”. If Joanne and Joe represent the very best of LSV, then dare I say watch out for the LSV Class of 2021 and our newest board directors – marked for the legacies they represent. To join LSV as we hear of the lasting impact of Joe Kantz, the LSV Hall of Fame, and the Class of 2021, sign up to attend the 2021 Guy Temple Breakfast, which will be held August 27, 2021, at the Country Cupboard at

I stashed the bill in my shirt!


By: Caz Russell, Leadership Development Facilitator

arry Chapin recorded the iconic song “Taxi” in 1972. Before his tragic death in 1982, Mr. Chapin sang live at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, in between those years. His band got stranded on the way to the event, forcing him to sing without an accompaniment musicians. Watching him play his 12-string guitar on stage, was a monumental memory for my wife and I.

We’ll never forget the famous line “I stashed the bill in my shirt!” Guess you could say the song “Taxi” is one his many life songs. Whether I am watching Ferris Bueller sing “Twist and shout!”, Elvis singing “I can’t help falling in love with you”, or Harry Chaplin’s “Taxi”, these legends of music have recorded songs most of us will never forget. Over the past 4 months of Voice of the Valley articles which I have written on Emotional Intelligence, I felt it my duty, no, my honor to as they say, to complete the series with # 5 article. This final article I have entitled “I stashed the bill in my shirt!” If you have ever found a ten-dollar bill when folding clothes fresh from the dryer, you know the emotional feeling one gets. In the childhood game Chutes & Ladders, we were taught as children, a ladder is for climbing and a chute is for sliding. Thus, inferring ladders are used in conjunction with moving upward or ahead while the chute tends to remind us of sliding from a higher perch to a lower landing zone (usually not on purpose). You and I as leaders need to be constantly aware of the next step or rung on the ladder while trying to evade the chutes or pitfalls in life. Today, let’s focus on the ladder aspect. You may call it the “Ladder of success!” The journey of a leader can often be described as a ladder. In using this philosophy, let’s identify each of these rungs to help us keep on track and meet the target we are shooting for. Please contact me for more information on the 8 rungs (workshops) of the ladder:

his style, connection, stories and even his posture sitting comfortably in stage, drew each of us to live in the moment of a taxi ride. • The 5th rung (workshop) represents the invaluable lessons we each need to learn on how to become becoming a person of influence. In my first authored book “NUGGETS, chapter 12 is entitled “Inch by Inch!” Often in life we try to achieve reaching the top step on the staircase by skipping over the lower steps only to find ourselves tumbling to the bottom and landing in a very awkward, twisted and painful position. • The 6th rung (workshop) challenges us to help others on their leadership journey. The first duty of every leader should be to create more leaders. Am I nurturing, developing and equipping future leaders? • The 7th rung (workshop) is entitled “Teamwork is built on trust!” Nothing of significance is accomplished without a team. Simon Sinek says “a team is not a group of people who work together, a team is a group of people who trust each other!” • The 8th rung (workshop) is what I call the legacy rung. What legacy are we leaving? What legacy do you want to leave, and who are you intending to know of your legacy?



LET’S COUNT ON EACH OTHER. =bjYgh]b[]bcifWĄaib]hm"

For some of us 8 rungs may seem insurmountable to learn while for others, their ladder may have 88 rungs. No on knows the actual number of rungs our ladder needs to have to reach our potential. Learn everyday to add another rung of learning to your ladder. “Leadership is inspiring and influencing ourselves and others to grow to their full potential” – Caz Russell

• The 1st rung (workshop) I use when facilitating leadership workshops is titled “DISC!” A personality evaluation which helps identify our uniquely identifiable traits. • The 2nd rung (workshop) of the ladder is “EQemotional Intelligence!” Emotional intelligence measures how well one is ab le to regulator their emotions and help manage or influence the moods of others around you.

• The 4th rung (workshop) on this ladder I call leadership focuses on “The Art of Communication!” Leaders are communicators that understand that everyone communicates, few connect. As Harry Chapin communicated with the entire audience at SU,

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• The 3rd rung (workshop) of the ladder to reaching our potential is “Leadership is a choice!” These interactive workshops are designed for those in attendance to see that leadership is more than a position of power.

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Voice of The Valley | august 2021


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Committees & Event Calendar








Voice of The Valley | august 2021


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Women Leaders in the Valley

Women Leaders in the Valley spotlight Jen Hain, Administrative Director at SUN Area Technical Institute

Tell us a little bit about yourself: For the past seven years I have served as the Administrative Director at SUN Area Technical Institute. Prior to that I served as a hairstylist, Cosmetology Instructor and Director of Student Services for 23 years. I come from a family who had little and was a first-generation college student. I learned the value of a strong work ethic by growing up in the family business. My entire career has focused on helping others grow and develop a passion for their chosen field. On a more personal side, I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I enjoy the outdoors and thrive on helping others and being a valuable player to the team. On any given weekend you may find me camping, traveling, fishing, and even riding a motorcycle on the local mountain roads. I have earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Penn State University in Workforce Development. I am an Athena Award recipient. What is a typical day like for you? I find it important to start each morning by connecting with as many students and employees as possible; be available to greet, advise, and provide the resources necessary for the team to be successful. Like many jobs, every day comes with a list of tasks to be completed. However, at the administration level you need to be prepared for unexpected situations, constant change, no two days are alike, and live by prioritizing needs daily. While working at SUN Tech I am tasked with the daily operations of the technical center, human and financial resources, employee supervision, curriculum, Department of Education mandates, working with five local school boards and the Joint Operating Committee, sending district administrative teams, parents, students, and community stakeholders such as local employers and business professionals. How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated? Over the years I have been active with many organizations

such as: SkillsUSA, Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, SUN Tech Foundation, Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Soroptimist, Girl Scouts, ELIC, and Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators to name a few. Being an active member within these professional and community organizations I have found the motivation and strength to overcome challenges and renew my passions. Opportunities exist to network and build relationships, learn new skills, gather new ideas, and share your talents. I believe the more engaged you are within the organization the more benefits you reap. Finding others who are passionate about their work and challenging others to be their best keeps me excited and wanting to continue the journey I have been blessed with. Who inspires you and why? I am inspired by those who have molded me during my early years, my parents, Cosmetology Instructor, and high school administrators, and those who thought a vocational student could not be as successful as a college student. Through membership, committee work, and officer positions held in professional and non-profit organizations I have met a tremendous number of women across the Central Susquehanna Valley who are inspiring, including the SUN Tech team I work with daily. While there are so many for me to list, I only hope that through our working relationships I have equally inspired them in return.

AVTS and the first female Administrative Director at SUN Area Technical Institute. Secondly remaining vigilant to promote the benefits of career and technical education to others in a time when college was the only way to achieve financial success. Many of you may remember the days of tracking students onto a vocational or academic track. Needless to say, our family status pushed me toward a vocational track. Finding self-worth to break the pattern was a key factor in my success.

As a woman leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career? The most significant barrier during my career was learning how to shut down negative self-talk and embrace temporary setbacks rather than see them as a failure. Each experience brings new learning, more confidence, and another opportunity to achieve your goals. This persistence led to the honor of being the first female administrator at Columbia Montour

What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders? Build relationships and get involved in the community and professional organizations. Do not be afraid of failure and step out of your box, without failure you cannot find success. Surround yourself with positive role models, those who you can always bounce ideas around with. Finally, be passionate about what you do and maintain a continuous growth mindset.

Women's Leadership committee member spotlight Kathi Venios, Bucknell Humanities Center (BHC) Administrative Assistant Kathi Venios is the Bucknell Humanities Center (BHC) Administrative Assistant. She oversees the daily operation of the Humanities Center and is the building manager for Hildreth-Mirza Hall. Kathi provides administrative support to the BHC by coordinating the preparation and logistics for symposia, conferences, and student/faculty receptions as well as arranging travel and accommodations for students and guest speakers. She also monitors the BHC budget as well as two Andrew W. Mellon Grant budgets, ensuring their accuracy and compliance with relevant rules and policies. Kathi prides herself on being service-minded and highly flexible in the performance of her duties, and she values honesty and integrity in everything she does. Kathi has been a member of the GSVCC Women’s Leadership Committee since October 2020.

Adrienne Mael Sunbury, PA – Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way’s Board of Directors has named an interim President & CEO and concurrently has announced merger discussions and a national search for a permanent replacement following the resignation of its current leader. Adrienne Mael, current President & CEO of United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties, has been appointed Interim President & CEO of Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way in addition to her responsibilities leading United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties, a position she has held for more than six years. Prior to leading United Way, Mael was the Downtown Manager for Bloomsburg. A native of Columbia County, Mael graduated from Bloomsburg University and holds a master’s degree in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida. Mael’s appointment and the search announcement follows the resignation of GSV United Way’s current President & CEO Joanne Troutman, who will step down in the coming days from the position she has also held for the last six years. “I am thrilled to be joining the hardworking team at Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way,” Mael said. “Joanne Troutman has had an impressive career at United Way. She will be missed for many reasons, but possibly most importantly for her creativity and collaborative spirit. For many years Joanne and I have worked closely together co-creating programs, sharing staff, and building a strong bond between our nonprofits. It feels very natural to step in at this time as Interim President & CEO. I am excited to continue Joanne’s work as we build stronger communities together.” Kristen Moyer, board president of GSV United Way, said, “While the GSVUW board and I will miss Joanne and her outstanding leadership, we are confident that Adrienne can step up to the challenge of serving as Interim President & CEO. Our United Ways have collaborated on many programs, and we just see that this is a natural fit for us. We are excited to see where Adrienne will guide us as we move through this transition period. Finally, we wish Joanne the best as she starts a new journey in her career.” As the transition transpires, the two organizations will also begin an exploratory discussion of a merger. The goal of a merger would be to maximize back-office operations and create more impact across the region. Liz Masich, board chair of the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties, said, “Our organizations have been partnering together on community impact initiatives and exploring shared staffing for many years. We are excited to have Adrienne Mael take on the Interim President & CEO role at GSVUW and deepen the connection between our two United Ways. Now more than ever, social service organizations must unite for the common good. Some mergers make sense, and this is one of those mergers. We strongly believe that our five-county area and our partner agencies will benefit from this endeavor.” Masich added that a merger could help streamline workflow and create collaborations that strengthen programs and grant opportunities. Joanne Troutman said, “Adrienne and I, as well as our organizations, have worked closely together on many projects major and priorities since we each joined United Way. Our personal and organizational values are well-aligned, so it feels natural that she would step into this role immediately. She is an amazing leader, and I feel confident that I’m leaving the organization in great hands.” GSV United Way’s board of directors will release details about the search process for a permanent replacement in the coming days. For more information about the search, visit GSV United Way’s website at

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Interim United Way President and CEO Announced

Voice of The Valley | august 2021


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Member News

Get ready for an adventure of learning with the Lewisburg Children’s Museum (LCM)!

Lewisburg Library Gets Children Ready for Kindergarten By: Jackie Dziadosz, Marketing Coordinator Union County Library System

Bush holding a certificate of completion for the 1000 BBK program.

The Museum partners with community resources to bring enriching and unique learning experiences to children in our region.

Creating an environment that fosters a love of museums and lifelong museum habits, the LCM is pleased to serve as a Museum for All, which provides free admission to EBT/ SNAP benefit eligible families, and as a Blue Star Museum, which offers free admission to active military families during the summer. The Museum is also proud to partner with other area nonprofits to provide discounted admission through Community Partner Coupons.

The Museum fulfills its mission by providing children and families with engaging experiences through interactive exhibits, including: Grocery Store, Play Cafe, Space & Science, BodyWorks, and MORE. Exhibits are self guided and allow children and families to let imaginative play and exploration take over. Additional exhibits like the Loose Parts Lab provide an environment with no right or wrong ways to create.

To learn more about these programs and admission, please visit, or contact by phone at 570-768-4914. General admission is $8 per person one year and older and a generous annual membership program is available as well. The Museum has just expanded its Summer Hours of operation (Memorial Day through Labor Day): Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Saturdays, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; and Tuesdays by reservation for Field Trip groups. Winter Hours of operation (Labor Day through Memorial Day) are Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; and Tuesdays by reservation for Field Trip groups.

The LCM also offers a number of educational programming and enrichment opportunities, including classes, workshops, summer camps, and weekend programs. Weekly programs include Toddler Time for the under five set and their caregivers, as well as ex-STREAM Saturdays that feature STEAM topics on Saturday mornings.

Afterschool STEAM Program at Shikellamy School District By: Travis Stevens, Afterschool Director, Shikellamy School District

Bush holding a certificate of completion for the 1000 BBK program.


tarting Kindergarten is one of the big steps in a child’s education and the Public Library for Union County offers free programs to help children get a head start. The library’s Play K and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten are just two of the many early literacy and readiness programs available to the community. PlayK focuses on using play to help preschoolers develop the skills needed to be successful in kindergarten – and later in life. “It’s an important experience to give children a glimpse into what kindergarten is going to be like," said Davena Laverty, Children’s Programming Assistant. "It helps the parents too. Because for some of them it’s the first time their children are attending a program without them.” The Office of Commonwealth Libraries provides materials and a curriculum of activities for six different play and learn centers or playscapes. Each center is designed around an early childhood theme or topic to

provide an interactive learning experience. The Public Library for Union County is offering PlayK on Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 10, 11, 12, 17 18 & 19 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (1000 BBK) challenge encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. By reading just one book a night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide children with essential early literacy skills. A starter kit with instructions is available at all three Union County Libraries: Herr Memorial Library in Mifflinburg, Public Library for Union

County in Lewisburg, and West End Library in Laurelton. Prizes are earned along the way.

"We encourage early literacy at the library. This helps them in school to adjust and accelerate," said Mary Harrison, Children’s Librarian at the Public Library for Union County. “Sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading.”

For more information visit the library at 255 Reitz Boulevard, Lewisburg or call 570-523-1172. The Public Library for Union County, Lewisburg along with the Herr Memorial Library, Mifflinburg and the West End Library, Laurelton make up the Union County Library System.

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ounded in 2016 by a dedicated group of parents and educators, the LCM’s vision is to provide interactive educational experiences that foster learning through play. The Museum occupies over 9,000 square feet of exhibit and programming space on the second floor of the GreenSpace Center (the former Lewisburg Area High School) targeted for children 2-10 years old.

136 Market St. • Sunbury, PA 17801 800.677.2478 • 570.286.5855 •


Salvation Army Thrift Store 334 Market St. Sunbury “Students at Chief Shikellamy use stop motion to create short length animation videos. Technology, Art, and group activities are part of the daily program at Afterschool STEAM.”


he Afterschool STEAM program at Shikellamy has offered out-of-school learning time to students for the past 14 years. Grant funding through the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center provides students with academic enrichment opportunities, social growth, hands-on STEAM activities and physical education and fitness. Over 300 students participate in the program each year as they work to improve their academic performance through nontraditional learning. The Afterschool STEAM program is able to thrive due in large part to their strong community partnerships. The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, GSV YMCA, Degenstein Library, Priestley Forsyth-Memorial Library, and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank are just a few of the outstanding partners that provide services and opportu-

nities for the district students. Not only do Shikellamy students benefit from the inperson learning opportunities provided by the program, but grant funds also allow for parent education courses and family engagement events held throughout the year. Financial literacy, parents as teachers, social media awareness and strengthening families are just a few of the initiatives that have been offered to families in the past.

570-286-2552 Mon.-Wed.- Fri. 9a - 3p Tues. & Thurs. 9a -5p Sat. & Sun. Closed


The Afterschool STEAM program continues to provide engaging and innovative ways to serve students and create an environment that fosters academic growth, social engagement, and community awareness. Shikellamy Afterschool STEAM is excited to enter the new school year with a positive outlook on the future.


Voice of The Valley | august 2021


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Member News

Susquehanna University Prepares for a Full Campus this Fall By: Jonathan D. Green, President of Susquehanna University


usquehanna University is preparing to return to all in-person instruction this fall with a full campus.

At our core, we are a living-learning community, and the value of that experience has been made all the more evident over the past year and a half. We will also retain many technological benefits we adopted during the pandemic. One of the hallmarks of a Susquehanna education is that all students meaningfully engage in a culture different from their own through our GO program.

This summer, SU students began to study and work abroad again, but many will continue to take advantage of virtual internships with businesses and organizations around the world while studying in Selinsgrove. Another important campus tradition is our longstanding commitment to service learning. Each year, our students perform tens of thousands of communityservice hours. This year, we are excited to elevate our presence in the broader community as we open our Downtown Center on Market Street. This will establish a visible presence for the University in downtown Selinsgrove, providing a venue for enhanced community engagement that will include small-business

development, town-gown programming, workshops, exhibitions, and targeted retail opportunities.

The economic fortunes of Selinsgrove and the University are inextricably linked. In 1858, local leaders sponsored our founding, and since then we have become the largest private employer in the county. This new facility will provide valuable educational experiences for our students as they help us to “shorten the driveway” and facilitate efforts that benefit SU and our entire community.

Family Scholarship Benefits Future Teachers in Mother’s Name


elinsgrove, PA—The Community Giving Foundation: Selinsgrove is pleased to announce the addition of a scholarship fund to support Selinsgrove students pursuing a career in teaching. The Madelyn L. Whitmer Education Scholarship Fund was established by the Whitmer siblings to honor their dad’s wish for a scholarship dedicated to the memory of his wife. John and Madelyn Whitmer were married in 1956 and settled their family in Shamokin Dam in 1971. Madelyn worked in the Selinsgrove School District administrative offices for many years. She loved spending time with her children, and then grandchildren, and especially enjoyed family vacations to Maine. She was an active member and volunteer at St. Pius X Catholic Church for more than 40 years. “Our mom taught us to be caring, forgiving, generous, hard-working, and patient. It was important for our family to honor our dad’s wish for an education scholarship in mom’s memory. It is our hope that this fund will financially support students in mom’s name forever,” explained Carla Minori, the Whitmers’ daughter. The Whitmer family was originally funding this scholarship from their parent’s trust each year. At their tax accountant’s suggestion, they moved the money from the trust to the Community Giving Foundation to receive tax benefits and administration support for the scholarship. In this way, the

family can focus on the impact of the awards in memory of Madelyn, while the Foundation manages the details of the fund. Bill Bucher, CPA explained, “I asked the Whitmer family, ‘who is going to manage the trust when you are gone?’ The solution to partner with the Foundation made perfect sense—it relieved the family of the administrative burden while allowing them to memorialize their mother’s legacy and fulfill their father’s wishes. The situation was a win-win for everyone involved.” The Madelyn L. Whitmer Education Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to Selinsgrove Area High School graduating seniors pursuing a teaching career. Consideration is given to good students demonstrating a strong work ethic, financial need, and who has experience with community service. You can tell your community giving story by giving to a fund at the Foundation. It’s a wonderful way to honor a person or business or carry on the memory of someone important to you. Leave your own legacy of giving at or call the Foundation at 570-752-3930. Selinsgrove is an affiliate of the Community Giving Foundation, which manages nearly 300 charitable funds and makes grant investments throughout the region to improve the quality of life in the Central Susquehanna area.

John and Madelyn Whitmer


The Clear Steer puppet, designed especially for Kingdom Kidz, and a city complete with car, driver and passengers teach about distracted driving to middle school students.


ingdom Kidz Inc. teaches “Character Counts” using the creative art of puppetry!

“Presenting quality programs through excellent puppetry in order to encourage others to make a difference and help us show people they matter” is the mission of Kingdom Kidz Inc. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Kingdom Kidz typically presented over 180 programs a year (until COVID) in various venues throughout the valley, state and beyond to Virginia, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina just to mention a few places in the past 20 years. One venue commented they are “the best kept secret in the valley”. Using puppets, props, scenery and songs they engage their audiences to participate and learn, which appeals to various ages from preschools to nursing/retirement facilities. From their home base at the Puppet HOME in Watsontown (11 E Third St.) they also offer public programs

in their newly renovated JULIE M HOLMES CREATIVE ART CENTER, as well as, 6 rooms which provide instructional areas for designing puppets, presenting black light programs, doing voice improvisation and working as a team. In fact, creativity flows throughout the building. From a puppet stage to a city complete with a car and puppets, their KIDZ4EDUCATION division has presented programs such as: “Character Counts”, “Reading is Fun”, “Healthy Kidz”, “Safety Rock”, “THINK-before you start”, and “Clear Steer of Distracted Driving”. Whether in an auditorium setting, classroom or outdoor venue the programs appeal because of the various learning styles presented. Everyone learns! Visit their Kingdom Kidz Inc FB page or website at Email or call Lisa Derr (General Manager) at 570-838-3133 to schedule a presentation or visit the Puppet HOME.

Stahl Sheaffer Engineering Celebrates Progress and Recognition. Visit for more information. Any questions can be directed to the contact listed in ad above.

Voice of The Valley | august 2021


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Member News

How to Attract and Retain Good Workers


t a time when many business owners are having trouble filling job openings, more and more employers are realizing that offering better benefit packages might greatly assist their recruiting efforts.

Studies have supported this approach over the years. For example, a Ranstad US survey found that 66 percent of workers say that the biggest determining factor in choosing a job is the prospective employer’s benefit package. Finding the Best Plans

But with so many employee benefit plans available, how can companies be confident that they have checked out all the options they can afford? That’s where insurance brokerage firms come in. “Insurance brokers help business owners get the biggest bang for their buck where benefits are concerned,” said Jerry Calistri, President and CEO of the insurance brokerage firm Swift Kennedy & Associates. “Agencies like ours shop around and compare the employee benefit plans offered by all the major insurance carriers in the region, and then we present employers with their best options,” he said. Greener Pastures While good benefit packages are vital in attracting the best workers, it is also critical for employees to recognize the value of their benefits after they have been hired, so that they are not tempted to join the many workers who have left jobs when they have found better benefits or perks elsewhere. But employees need to understand their benefits in order to appreciate them. So, how can employers help reduce employee confusion over benefit packages?

One very effective way for a business owner to help employees comprehend their benefits is to upgrade the company’s benefit administration by replacing its paper-based benefit system with a digital one. Enhanced Benefit Experience

Not only do digital benefit platforms allow employees to have a clearer understanding of their choices, but they also help them to make better informed enrollment decisions by providing them with online support aids like plan comparison tools, cost calculators, provider directories, and videos, as well as online benefit summaries. In addition, these systems can speed up the benefit enrollment process, since digital platforms reduce the number of errors that are so common with manual applications. As a result, employees often receive their insurance identification cards and other information more quickly, which most workers appreciate. Furthermore, digital benefit administration enables employees to access their benefit information 24/7 year-round, a feature that is particularly valued by millennials and Gen Z employees. Other Advantages Digital benefit systems also offer employers tools that help with absence management, federal regulatory compliance, tax forms, bills, payroll integration, and other important aspects of human resources. This allows a company’s HR staff to spend more time on employee training, professional development and engagement – all of which are popular with employees. In addition, these systems allow employers to access claims data, which enables them to select the most appropriate benefit plans for their workers.

“The combination of good benefit packages and digital systems that enhance employee benefit experiences not only helps business owners attract and keep the best workers, but it also enables them

to concentrate less on recruitment and retention and more on what they do best – running their companies!” said Calistri.

Swift Kennedy & Associates, which specializes in group employee benefits and senior insurance plans, helps businesses find affordable medical, dental, vision, life, and disability plans, as well as alternative funding options. The agency works with all health insurance carriers in Pennsylvania and has offices in DuBois, State College, Williamsport, Scranton, Johnstown, and Virginia Beach. Jerry Calistri, who is President and CEO of Swift Kennedy & Associates, has worked in the employee benefits industry since 1991, including at the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund in Harrisburg. As a Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist, he has conducted educational and consulting seminars for employers, local chambers, and small business development councils about healthcare reform. is also a Senatorial Member and PAC Board Member of Health Agents for America, as well as a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. In addition, he is an active member and past president of the Mid Penn chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters. He can be reached at

Mifflinburg Bank & Trust Donation

Mifflinburg Bank & Trust (MBTC) employees donated their June 2021 Casual Bankers' contributions to PA Cystic Fibrosis, Inc. (PACFI).

PACFI is a nonprofit organization that provides services, support and financial assistance to Pennsylvania individuals and families affected by Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF is a fatal genetic disease that impacts the lungs and digestive system. For more information on CF and the PACFI organization, visit

Brian Neitz, MBTC’s Selinsgrove community office manager, and Amy Smith, MBTC manager in training, presented the donation to Linda Derr, a representative from PACFI.

Evangelical Community Hospital Holds Screenings in August


EWISBURG‑Community Health and Wellness at Evangelical Community Hospital will hold a series of screenings through the month of August. For the safety of participants, masking is required while in Hospital facilities and during all in-person screenings. Physical distancing and frequent handwashing/use of hand sanitizer is encouraged as participants move through the screening process.

Skin Cancer Screen: Tuesday, August 3, 8:30-11:30 am, at Surgical Specialists of Evangelical, 25 Lystra Rogers Drive, Lewisburg. This free screening, with Daria Keyser, DO, helps individuals recognize their own pattern of moles, freckles, and “beauty marks.” By being familiar with what is considered normal allows people to be more alert to changes in the number, size, shape, and color of pigmented areas that may be of concern. Appointments required. Call 570-768-3200. Comprehensive Blood Screen: Wednesday, August 25, 6:30-11 am, at the Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness, 120 Hardwood Drive, Lewisburg. A low-cost comprehensive blood screening can provide important details about your health, sometimes before symptoms of a condition surface, giving you and your physicians the power to plan ahead. $50 fee includes lipid panel (HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides), complete blood count, and

CMP (blood sugar, electrolytes, calcium, protein, liver enzymes etc.). Appointments required. Call 570-768-3200.

Center for Recreation and Wellness • Tuesday, August 24, 10 am-noon, Milton YMCA

Skin Cancer Screen: Tuesday, August 31, 1-4:15 pm, at Surgical Specialists of Evangelical, 25 Lystra Rogers Drive, Lewisburg. This free screening, with Daria Keyser, DO, helps individuals recognize their own pattern of moles, freckles, and “beauty marks.” By being familiar with what is considered normal allows people to be more alert to changes in the number, size, shape, and color of pigmented areas that may be of concern. Appointments required. Call 570768-3200.

To register for screenings that require appointments, please call Community Health and Wellness at 570-768-3200 or visit

Blood Pressure Screenings: • Tuesday, August 3, 10 am-noon, Sunbury YMCA • Wednesday, August 18, 9-11 am, Lewisburg YMCA, Miller Center for Recreation and Wellness • Tuesday, August 24, 10 am-noon, Milton YMCA • Wednesday, August 25, 8:45-10 am, Mifflinburg YMCA • By appointment at Community Health and Wellness. Call 570768-3200. Blood Sugar Screenings: • Tuesday, August 3, 10 am-noon, Sunbury YMCA • Wednesday, August 18, 9-11 am, Lewisburg YMCA, Miller

About Evangelical Community Hospital

Evangelical Community Hospital is the only CMS 5-star rated hospital in the Central Susquehanna Valley Region. Only 22 hospitals in Pennsylvania can claim this overall quality distinction.

Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs 1,900 individuals and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The facility is licensed to accommodate 131 overnight patients. The Hospital provides a comprehensive array of services in both inpatient and outpatient settings and serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming counties. More information can be found at www.evanhospital. com.

Voice of The Valley | august 2021


Profile for The Daily Item

Voice of the Valley August 2021  

The Daily Item's and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce community business to business publication. #b2b #shoplocal #support...

Voice of the Valley August 2021  

The Daily Item's and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce community business to business publication. #b2b #shoplocal #support...


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