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Voiceof theValley An Advertising Supplement to The Daily Item and The Danville News

Retail In The Valley



November 2020

Return to the Outdoors

f there is anything positive to come from the pandemic, it’s that people have returned to the outdoors in search of safe family fun and adventure. Recreational vehicles are one way that many people have found to get out of the house and spend time together. From its humble beginnings in 1957 Kelly RV Inc has helped thousands of families experience the wonders of the outdoors and joys of traveling. Kelly RV began as Kelly Mobile Homes in the backyard of Lake & Jean Hartman in Kelly Township. Along with a small shop the yard was filled with single and doublewide trailers and small travel trailers like the Serro Scotty. With expanding sales came the need for a larger service center and the need for additional retail space for repair parts and camping accessories, so in the mid 80’s, the Hartmans purchased a larger facility along Rt 15 north of Lewisburg to accommodate the growing business. By then, travel trailer sales and service had become the primary focus. After 51 years in the business, it was time for a new facility and in 2008, the business moved into its current sales and service facility in West Milton. Over the years the locations may have changed, but the commitment to providing quality products and service has remained unchanged. Lake was joined by his daughter Susan Dinsmore in 2008 who took over the business upon Lake’s retirement. With Susan’s retirement, Lake’s daughter Kim Ranck and her husband Steve took over the business. Today, daily operations are managed by the father and son team of Steve and Ben Ranck, assisted

GREATER SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY CHAMBER MISSION The Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce advances the prosperity of its communities, commerce, culture, fellow citizens, and their businesses in its region through the leadership of its members.

by son-in-law Jonathan Fellin. Working with their dedicated service technicians, customer satisfaction remains their #1 goal. As Kelly RV grows into its third generation of family management, it understands the importance of family values. “I’m in awe that people remember me riding my tricycle in the showroom at the old shop when I was five.” says Ben Ranck. “We’re a three-generation business that has served generations of customers.” Kelly RV Inc has grown into a full-service dealership that represents the Northwood line of campers throughout the East Coast. Made in the Pacific Northwest, Northwood’s Arctic Fox, Nash, Desert Fox and Fox Mountain lines are some of the best four season travel trailers, fifth wheels and tow haulers in the industry. Northwood is an independent manufacturer with a solid reputation for quality. Kelly RV Inc also represents Gulf Stream Coach including its Envision, Vista Cruiser and throw back Vintage Cruiser travel trailers. The classic Vintage Cruiser offers modern conveniences in a light weight trailer that highlights a “vintage” 50’s décor. Gulf Stream is also an independent manufacturer that is family owned and also strives for customer satisfaction. Kelly RV has always made a priority of maintaining its commitment to customer service and quality you would expect from a family run business. The store offers a wide variety of RV parts and accessories to keep your camping fun, ranging from basic supplies to the latest in high tech conveniences. The service department offers a comprehensive array of

INSIDE this EDITION Just A Word by Bob Garrett p. 2 Leadership Susquehanna Valley p. 3 Chamber Events & Committees p. 4 Retail in the Valley p. 5 Member News p. 6 & 7 Sholley Insurance Agency p. 8

repair and maintenance services ranging from PA Inspections to appliance repair to rebuilding damaged superstructures. To help campers take better care of their recreational vehicles, Kelly RV launched a series of new service programs. “Routine maintenance is one of the most overlooked items when it comes to RV ownership”, according to Ben Ranck of Kelly RV. “Campers get so involved in daily life during the camping season that maintenance often gets overlooked until there is a problem”. Just like a person’s car or home, recreational vehicles need routine maintenance to keep them in top working condition. Roofs and sidewalls need to be sealed to prevent rot, mold and decay. Even units with aluminum frames have wooden floors, paneling and ceilings that are still vulnerable to water damage. Appliances need to be cleaned and serviced to keep them safe and working properly. The unit’s suspension and running gear need routine maintenance to avoid problems when towing out on the open highway. “We wanted to make this opportunity as convenient as possible”, said Ranck. “Many of our programs are designed so owners can get their maintenance done over winter at a time that causes the least disruption to their travel and

family fun during the normal camping season”. These services are available for most recreational vehicles, whether currently a customer or not. “We consider ourselves a service business” says Ranck. “Our goal is to make the camping experience as simple as possible so you can make the most of your time with your family”. Since 1957, Kelly RV has helped thousands of people become satisfied “Kelly Campers” and they would love to help you too! You can learn more about the business at www.KellyRVinc.com.

Locally Distilled Hand Sanitizer A By: Bob Garrett


the valley with hand sanitizer and drive that price right down.” And since then, many other distillers have joined their ranks. At Midstate Distillery in Harrisburg, they are preparing to switch over their operations to produce hand sanitizer, too, said Dan Healy, one of the owners. Like other distilleries making the switch, they are following the formula recommended by the World Health Organization, he said, which consists of three main ingredients. He has plenty of the first ingredient – highproof ethanol alcohol. Hydrogen peroxide for further purification and a coagulating agent like glycerin. As soon as those are in, he can begin production. While distilleries normally cannot make or sell hand sanitizer without certain permits, that restriction has been temporarily waived by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to meet hand-sanitizer needs in an emergency, distillers say. Whether he can continue making spirits will all depend on staffing capacity, Healy said, but right now, the priority is going to be the production of hand sanitizer. “Our priority is going to be front-line responders,” Healy said. “If we have the capacity to make it available to the public, we will.” Once first responders are getting a steady supply, he hopes to ramp up production to make smaller, 4-ounce bottles for the public. This was never something Healy expected to

Dan Kulick, a distiller at Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works, makes hand sanitizer.

do when he got into the distillery business. “It was very unexpected, but as things progressed with this situation, it quickly became apparent that, as a distillery, we had the opportunity to contribute,” Healy said. “It was a bit of a nobrainer.” In New Cumberland, Dead Lightning Still Works is just giving away the hand sanitizer they have been making. “We’re here to help,” said co-owner Andrew Montgomery. “You don’t have to buy anything. Just walk right into the bar.” You just have to bring your own container. Dan Healy, of Harrisburg-based MidState Distilling said, “The demand, he explained, is

so great it overwhelmed their curbside pick-up system, which was implemented because of COVID-19. We switched to a drive through system, and so now, we do all of our sales through the drive through." The demand has allowed Midstate Distillery to keep their full staff working part-time bartenders are now finding expanded roles in other areas. Healy added "They have now been working here probably more hours a week than when they were working when we were just doing the tasting room, and then we’ve got helpers in the back, so we’ve had to bring on some extra hands."

www.kellyrvinc.com (570) 568-6984 60 Old Rt 15 • PO Box 117, West Milton, PA november 2020 | Voice of The Valley

BUSINESS HOURS | Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00am • Saturday 8:00am - 12:00pm • Sunday: Closed


s we all do what we can to limit the spread of the coronavirus, help is coming from an unexpected source. Pennsylvania’s distilleries. Many in the region are cutting back on their spirit-making operations and are now making hand sanitizer instead. And some are just giving it away in this time of need. “Coming from a military background, if I can do something to help, we’re going to do it,” said Pat Devlin, one of the owners of the Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works in Middletown. “We saw a need, and the need is great right now.” He estimates the distillery has produced close to 4000 gallons of hand sanitizer since they switched over their operations in the spring. Devlin said all of the hand sanitizer produced so far has been donated to those who need it most – first-responders, health-care workers and the like. The demand is great, but he hopes to soon be able to sell it, likely at cost, in smaller quantities to the general public. Many distilleries in the state and nation are taking similar steps as they swap out vodka and whiskey for the cleansing gel that is about as coveted as toilet paper these days. Eight Oaks Farm Distillery in New Tripoli, near Philadelphia, made national news for their efforts last week. “We are in a national emergency,” founder Chad Butters told The Associated Press. “What’s the right thing to do? The right thing to do is support this community by providing something that is in desperate need. We’ll flood

President’s Message | Welcome New Members

Board of Directors

Just A Word... I

Chairperson Sue Greene, Union County

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

f my hunch is correct you may be reading this column on Election Day 2020. Then again, you could be reading this column the day after Election Day or even the day after that and still be anticipating the outcome of what feels like the longest campaign season ever. Not sure if this election cycle added any ‘new light’ to the longlingering issues or our state or federal governments. However, I do know this: Many elected officials and want-to-be elected officials got to speak with their constituents, both in-person and virtually, and the more these individuals connect with the people they represent, the better. Given my former passion for politics, I’ve spent election night in the glory of victory and more than a few long election nights in painful defeat. I can tell you this, winning is a lot more fun.

vice chairperson

But truly, the words of Theodore Roosevelt from his often recited quote titled ‘Man in the Arena,’ should be remembered on every Election Day. Here’s a snippet: “It’s not the critic who counts…The credit belongs to the woman or man who is actually in the Arena…Who spends effort in a worthy cause.” Okay, true confessions, the actual quote didn’t mention ‘women.’ But, I don’t think that Teddy would mind this one edit in his, otherwise, perfect quote for Election Day 2020. Thanks, and thanks, to our friends at Kelly RV for their sponsorship of this edition of The Voice of the Valley. I’ve known the Ranck family for decades and they’re the ‘real deal’ when it comes to camping. Please swing by today or one day soon, to talk everything camping with folks who have this wonderful pastime in their blood.

Art Thomas, Meck Tech Inc.

PAST chairperson John Uehling, Contrast Communications

Region Vice Presidents Fred Scheller, The Daily Item Jennifer Hain , SUN Area Technical Institute Kendra Aucker, Evangelical Community Hospital Judi Karr, Nottingham Village Senior Living Community Jeff Reber, Susq. Valley Home Services LLC/Union County Brion Lieberman, Geisinger

Directors Greg Zeh, Weis Markets Ken Potter, RHP LLC John Kurelja, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit President/CEO Bob Garrett rgarrett@gsvcc.org

Director of Workforce Jenny Wentz jwentz@gsvcc.org

Executive Director of Membership Chris Berleth cberleth@gsvcc.org

Director of Communications Vanessa Venios vvenios@gsvcc.org

Jessica Brazier, M&T Bank Gene Welsh III, GDK Development Aimee Buehner, Bowen Agency Sam Haulman, Service Electric Cablevision Malcom Derk, Susquehanna University Phil DeRose, UPMC Susquehanna


Leslie Temple, Fulton Bank

New Members

Pam Thompson, Sales Leader- State Farm Insurance Companies

Contact: Pam Thompson 5 Westridge Lane Lewisburg, PA 17837 (570) 217-3390 http://pam.sfagentcareers.com Pam Thompson specializes in recruiting, training, developing & supporting State Farm Agents in Mid & North Central PA.

Rockey Auction Services Len Kuchinskas Contact: Shelby Engel 3357 Old Route 15 New Columbia, PA 17856 (570) 538-3245 http://www.rockeyauctions.com

Rockey Auctions provides comprehensive services to help you get the highest value for your personal property (liquidating assets). Real estate, moving, consignments.

1511 Brislin Rd. Stroudsburg, PA 18360 (570) 856-3017 An accomplished Chief Financial Officer with over 22 years’ experience plus most recently, 10 years as a Senior Asset Management Specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in DC.

National Education Week November 16-20, 2020 is American Education Week by The National Education Association.


s part of National Education week, the Business and Education Committee of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, held a voluntary essay contest for students in 11th and 12th grade. All local schools in our four-county footprint were able to participate. High school juniors and seniors had the opportunity to write an essay on the topic, “The 2020 - 2021 school year is shaping up to be one like no other. How do you feel "The New Normal," due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is affecting or will affect opportunities for your future after high school? How do you expect the new shifts in culture and society will change our Susquehanna Valley?” The students were judged based on their spelling and grammar, creativity and originality, how they incorporated the theme throughout the essay and whether or not they met the initial instructions given. The winner of this year’s essay contest is Avneet Mehr of Danville Area High School, whose powerful essay you can read below. Winning Essay:

A Treatise to Coronavirus by Avneet Mehr

It is incomparable, akin to nothing most other have seen. Similar to how the bubonic plague spread throughout 14thcentury Eurasia along the Silk Road, the novel coronavirus spread from China using our modern-day Silk Road – international travel. The 2019 coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the manner by which we perceive not only the world in which we live but our own lives and futures as well. The pandemic will leave, in its path, a Susquehanna Valley more lonely and struggling than most of us have ever known. The outbreak of coronavirus has been everything but a dream for many students here in the Susquehanna Valley. Despite numerous (albeit successful) efforts to give students the best education possible in these conditions, it is obvious that our schooling has been somewhat compromised. Numerous studies have highlighted a universal truth; students learn better in a traditional classroom setting. It is only befitting with this trend to predict that students who participate in online or “hybrid” schooling systems may perform worse than those physically in the classroom. Personally, I feel powerless to the plight of coronavirus. As students, our future in college is determined by what we do in high school. Under the current circumstances, volunteer work and club activities, venture that may have made me stand out to a college, are currently on hold or nonexistent. With little to no activities and grades that may be worse than years past, how can I expect to receive admission to my dream colleges? Even more, stories shared by elder friends have made me hesitant about what to expect while applying to college in what


november 2020 | Voice of The Valley

may still be a coronavirus-ridden world. Specifically, a friend of mine had to defer from going into college this year because of financial difficulty. She just couldn’t spend tens of thousands of dollars going to college when it would only put her family into more financial difficulty all the while missing the typical freshman college year experience and in-person education we all prefer. These uncertain times have birthed even more uncertain futures. Though a COVID free world may be possible, a post-COVID world will be much unlike those of years past. In a mere nine months, the novel coronavirus was able to completely remodel our day-to-day lives. After going from weekly Walmart trips to suddenly buying as many pre-made food items as humanly possible, it is hard to see us immediately going back to a pre-COVID world. As a result of coronavirus, online stores like Amazon have seen their sales hit astronomically high numbers. This has drastically affected owners of small businesses, who mainly rely on in-person purchases to stay afloat. Susquehanna Valley, in which small businesses used to thrive, may now find it harder to support its local bookstores and coffee shops. Instead, small businesses may have to find a way to cater to the tastes of a post-COVID society. Looking away from business changes, simple social habits have accordingly taken a major hit. What used to be comforting, now may be a source of paranoia. Coronavirus has made it second-nature to suspect simple human touch. Such paranoiac habits will refuse to die easily. Touching unsanitized objects and simply going out to eat will leave fearful, consequential thoughts in the back of our minds. Social media may become our alternative, allowing us to communicate online while giving us the solace of distance between us all. The comfort of absence may now take the place of the comfort of human interaction. Even so, nothing lasts forever. Though it may take longer than expected, the time will come again when we feel safe simply going out with friends. As we continue to find consolation in remoteness, we will eventually find ourselves crawling back to the way things once were. Do not be disheartened. Come what may, we, as a community, will withstand this. As Pennsylvanians, we have weathered innumerable blizzards, floods, and other disasters just to get to where we are today. Nevertheless, the Susquehanna Valley that will emerge from the aftermath of coronavirus will have to keep one thing in mind. We can only work together on these problems that face our populace. United we must stand, as divided we will fall.


Thank you to Meck-Tech Inc., Diversified Construction Inc., Hoopla’s Xtreme, Muirfield Energy, and Jersey Shore State Bank for sponsoring this essay contest. Because of their generous sponsorships, Avneet Mehr received $400 for her future endeavours.

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

2020 Chair’s Circle Members 1847 Financial Aloysius Butler & Clark BB&T BJE Poultry Bowen Agency Realtors Coldwell Banker Penn One Real Estate Contrast Communications Evangelical Community Hospital Fulton Bank GDK Development Geisinger Hummel Generation, LLC Jersey Shore State Bank Keystone Forging Company Kreamer Feed M&T Bank Mifflinburg Bank & Trust Company National Beef North Shore Railroad Company Nottingham Village Senior Living Community Penn State Executive Programs Penn State World Campus PPL Electric Utilities Practical Business Solutions 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 Susquehanna Weis Markets

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To Order: Contact Karen Renninger (570) 286-5671, ext. 350

Chamber partnerships | Leadership Susquehanna Valley

Strengthening the Susquehanna Valley by Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders

LSV Takeaway: Be a Superior Communicator By Chris Berleth


f you’re a follower of the Leadership Susquehanna Valley program then you know it exists to equip and prepare a new wave of community leaders. It remains our position and our top concern that there are simply too many organizations that need more highquality board members, more skilled executives, and more informed volunteers. In October, the Class of 2021 embarked on its first program day of the year - a part-Zoom, part in-person experience which covered a multitude of Communications-themed programming. As individual sessions, each of the day’s speakers offered outstanding behind-the-scenes content, but when combined into one thematic program day, identifying the tie-in between leadership and the theme is an important part to understanding the LSV class member’s yearlong journey. As you read, consider the implied applications of each session and what we view as the critical core skillset of a leader in the Valley. Kicking off our day, Dennis Lyons, Editor and Bill Bowman, Managing Editor of The Daily Item (and LSV Program Day Sponsor) shared how the news is quite literally made, covering such topics as “Right-to-Know” requests, real news versus fake news, the editor/reporter relationship, and the shift in audience of print publications to the “potential for limitless growth” of online content delivery. Following closely in tow, The Daily Item’s Digital Sales Manager, Jessica Plehn, gave a deeper dive into how content is consumed in our region today and what this means for those with a specific message in mind. She cited as fact a once-unbelievable reality, that we frequently come into contact with 12 or more digital devices in a given day. (Before you guffaw at that number, consider that it’s a conservative one – and that a household with school-aged children likely has tablets or laptops for schoolwork, work computers for parents, a family computer, smartphones galore, video game consoles or entertainment/music devices in the kitchen or living room, smartwatches, fitness trackers, e-readers…and the list goes on.) Given this consumption, Jessica spoke about the importance for businesses in retargeting existing customers, offering the ideal experience for online audiences, and managing one’s reputation

Bernadette Boerckel chats with Zach Stotter.

LSV Program Sponsor Dennis Lyons addresses the Class.

through Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp, and even Facebook. At the conclusion of Jessica’s Zoom presentation, the class traveled to the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, where Susquehanna University Professor Linda Burkley (wearing a mask and appropriately distanced across the Chamber’s second floor), advised them on “Presenting Your Best You” – offering practical tips for delivering top-notch professional presentations. Following Professor Burkley, the Class of 2021 began their Caz Russell adventure, enraptured by his retriever Huckleberry, through whom Caz teaches the importance of precision communication, working through miscommunication, and setting expectations. Wrapping the day with a final virtual session, the class tuned in to Tracie Witter, Regional Affairs Director of PPL Electric Utilities, who, as the face and voice of PPL to the media and the public when the power goes out, spoke about the importance of honesty, integrity, speaking in specifics, establishing credibility, and following through on promises in both operations and reputations communications. Did you spot the program’s agenda? In our estimation, leaders must be excellent communicators, and the nonprofits, businesses

Jessica Plehn talks about Digital Communications.

and governments that we serve should be equipped with staff and volunteers who communicate well. Leaders should know how to speak with the press, and know how the press works. They should be character leaders - precise, clear, timely and true-to-

their-word. The journey is just beginning, but Communications Day is a clear-cut reminder: being a leader means being informed, having an appropriate attitude, and making clear, wellcommunicated decisions. Stay tuned for more from the LSV Class of 2021!

With adversity comes opportunity! Leadership Susquehanna Valley along with Leadership Coach Caz Russell bring you this monthly leadership moment Train, Educate & Inspire!


Take a look at social media and ask yourself “Is this the platform I need to use to accomplish what I want to accomplish?” The next time you want to post information on social media, ask yourself “Is this information better given and better received in a face-to-face connection?” Caz Russell LLC Certified, Independent Leadership speaker, teacher and coach! Human Behavior Consultant & DISC Facilitator www.CazRussell.com caz@cazrussell.ptd

Salvation Army Thrift Store 334 Market St. Sunbury

570-286-2552 Mon. - Fri. • 9a - 3p


love to tell the story of my aunt and uncle. During the Korean War, a young lady living in Montandon, PA, read an article in the paper about the need for writing letters to our servicemen to help keep their spirits high while abroad. One of those young men was my uncle. She had no idea the letters she was writing to my uncle would someday lead to them becoming married. It didn’t take long for him to begin writing letters in return to her. Upon returning home from the war, they met and soon their love for each other grew to where they decided to get married. To this day, they have been married for 66 years. I find it amazing how people meet each other in today’s world. With so many different forms of social media, the options are many and what seems like a long distance today has become a mere few seconds to contact or be contacted. Strangers become acquaintances and often soon become allies, advocates and sometimes friends. While social media has many pros it also possesses many cons. My definition of social media is “the transfer of information to people!” Nothing more, nothing less! While radio, TV, magazines and newspapers are media services, they have been the standard ways of getting information to the people for many years. With the speed of today’s technology, most anyone with a cellphone, iPad, computer or watch can choose, click, type and send. I have noticed that computers and their cellmates are not necessarily better at sending the information, but they are most certainly faster. Even in the 1970s, it didn’t take long for news to get out that during my uncle’s first year of farming, he had a tragic accident while harvesting the fall crops. This adversity not only changed the course of his life, but also the lives of his family. Life for him was now turned upside down. He recovered from this terrible setback, but not with either of his hands intact. Adversity? You bet! But why do things like this happen and how do we recover from them? I mean truly recover to live a happy and successful

life? I suppose one never knows how they will succeed living thru adversity until it happens. Would I have the same spirit, smile, heart and desire to resist the temptation to give up or will I have the resolve to find the opportunities that still remain ahead of me? While each us face adversities in very different ways, it’s up to us to truly find that opportunity. The opportunity to remain living a successful life. The truth is no one likes adversities, but everyone has them and everyone needs to learn from them. Today, I read so many stories on social media about tragic circumstances that I would not have even known about if it wasn’t posted somewhere on someone’s social media platform. Although social media does report information the faster and farther than the Pony Express, I find myself asking “do I need to know this information?” “Is the information I am viewing, listening to or reading legitimate or accurate?” The most important questions we should ask ourselves before posting information is “Does it need to be said, does it need to be said right now and does it need to be said right now, by me?” Leaders build relationships. While my aunt and uncle were far from each other, letter writing connected them in the most unique and special way. But not until they met face to face did their relationship become one of honor, value and trust for 66 years. With every adversity we experience there lies an opportunity for us to learn and change and to help others learn and change.

Sat. • 9a - 2p



Voice of The Valley | november 2020


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Calendar of Events & Chamber Committees


Chamber Events & Committees

ne of the many benefits of joining the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce is the great volunteer opportunities that are provided. Committee work offers an opportunity to make an impact for the business and communities the Chamber serves, while forging friendships with other like-minded Chamber members.

Technology Committee Co-Chair:Dryden Yost, Contrast Communications Co-Chair: Fred Scheller, The Daily Item Staff Contact: Vanessa Venios Meets: As Needed Serving as the platform to address emerging issues, provide and host needed training, and identify opportunities for technology improvements in our region.

Agriculture Committee Chair: Brad Wentzel, AgChoice Farm Credit, ACA Staff Contact: Chris Berleth Meets: As Needed

Transportation Committee

The Agriculture Committee works to ensure that the agricultural base of the Valley is maintained and helps promote a better understanding of its importance to the Valley’s economy. This Committee also works to see that the community better understands the role of agriculture and agribusiness in the Valley.

Ambassador Committee Chair: Jessica Brazier, M&T Bank Staff Contact: Chris Berleth Meets: Last Friday of the Month, 8:00 a.m., Zoom

Welcomes new businesses to the Chamber and promotes Chamber membership to all businesses and nonprofit organizations in the community. Chamber Ambassadors work as goodwill representatives at Chamber events, assisting members in making the best connections for their business.

ATHENA® Committee Chair: Eric Rowe, past ATHENA® recipient Staff Contact: Vanessa Venios Meets: As Needed

The ATHENA® Committee seeks to develop, plan and execute the ATHENA® Award Program for the Greater Susquehanna Valley. This award recognizes individuals who actively assist women to realize their full potential, achieve professional excellence in their business, and improve the quality of life for others in the community.

Business & Education Committee Co-Chair: Jamie Mercaldo, Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc. Co-Chair: Jennifer Hain, SUN Area Technical Institute Staff Contact: Jenny Wentz Meets: First Wednesday of the Month, 8:30 a.m., Zoom

The purpose of the Business & Education Committee is to work with area public school districts, career & technology centers, private schools, trade schools, career schools and universities to ensure that the workforce training needs of the Valley's employers are being met, and to provide opportunities for students to interact with business people both in and out of the classroom.

Communications Committee Staff Contact: Vanessa Venios Meets: 4th Wednesday of each month, 8:00 a.m., Zoom Provides enhanced, concentric messaging in order to deliver the Chamber’s value proposition to our members and the communities in our region.


Chair: Joe McGranaghan, Shamokin Dam Mayor Staff Contact: Jenny Wentz Meets: Second Friday of the Month, 7:30 a.m., Zoom

Community Prosperity Alliance Committee Staff Contact: Vanessa Venios Meets: First Thursday of the Month, 9:30 a.m., Zoom

The purpose of the Community Prosperity Alliance (formerly known as the Downtown Affiliates Committee) is to encourage collaboration and cooperation among nonprofit organizations committed to advance the economic development of the communities in our region.

Events Committee Co-Chair: Sabra Karr Co-Chair: Joe Moralez Staff Contact: Vanessa Venios Meets: Third Thursday of the Month, 4:30pm, Zoom

Plans, organizes, and conducts activities and events for Chamber members to help promote education, fellowship and networking opportunities.

Governmental Affairs Committee Chair: Aimee Buehner, Bowen Agency Realtors Staff Contact: Chris Berleth Meets: First & Third Friday of the Month, Rotating Venue The Governmental Affairs Committee connects members with local, state, and federal officials and advocates for the advancement of business in the Greater Susquehanna Valley through an annually developed, member-driven legislative agenda.

This Committee encourages public sector support for improved roads, streets, highways, bridges, airports and traffic flow to enhance the Greater Susquehanna Valley as a place to operate a business.

Women's Leadership Symposium Committee Co-Chair: Sarah Maneval, Susquehanna Community Bank Co-Chair: Beth Strausser, Bucknell University Staff Contact: Vanessa Venios Meets: 4th Tuesday of the month, 8:30 a.m., Zoom

The Women’s Leadership Symposium invites women to join their peers from the Valley to spend a day with highly experienced professionals. The conference gives attendees dozens of new ideas and action plans to boost their career, their attitude and their life. It is specially designed to give powerful information and profound insights that will make a lasting, positive impact on attendees’ lives.

Young Americans Committee Chair: Ed Moyer, Service 1st Federal Credit Union Staff Contact: Jenny Wentz Meets: 3rd Tuesday of each month, 1:30 p.m., Zoom

The Chamber is a leading advocate in the Valley for recognizing and promoting its future leaders. In cooperation with local school districts, media organizations and volunteers, the Chamber recognizes the scholastic, extracurricular and civic leadership qualities of more than ninety students from eleven school districts throughout the Greater Susquehanna Valley. In May, the Chamber invites the Young American award recipients, their parents and relatives to attend the Annual Young Americans Awards Banquet, featuring a guest speaker and a recognition ceremony.

Greater Susquehanna Valley Young Professionals Committee Chair: Catherine Kramm, The Coup Agency Staff Contact: Vanessa Venios Meets: Second Thursday of the month, Zoom

The Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce serves as host and supporter to GSV Young Professionals (GSVYP). Their mission is to strive to connect like-minded individuals with networking, professional development & volunteer opportunities in social settings, making the Valley a better place to live, work and play. Find GSVYP events on our events calendar, or on Facebook and Instagram.

The Greater Susquehanna Valley Young Professionals (GSVYP) annual Jingle Mingle Social held last December at the Bull Run Inn and Tap House.

Community Prosperity Alliance at the Community Connections Luncheon held earlier this year.

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Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Retail in the Valley

Tastecraft Goes Online


uring the first lockdown this past Spring, local entrepreneur Coleby Kauffman, owner of Tastecraft in Downtown Milton, PA and Black Dog Jewelers in Downtown Lewisburg, PA, began to work on a plan to mitigate a possible second wave of Covid-19 infections in the Fall/Winter which would overlap with Holiday shopping and may decrease consumer confidence in spending like a normal Holiday season. This could be crippling to small businesses in the Susquehanna Valley. Coleby began to work on an online marketplace platform that was easy to use for both local businesses who wanted to offer another way for customers to interact with them and purchase their products, as well as easy for customers who want to help support local small businesses through the pandemic and beyond. The final product was ShopSmol. This platform allows a vendor to sign up and have a page controlled by them that is specifically dedicated to their business. There, they can add business information, products, and interact directly with customers through a vendor interface dashboard that offers a robust array of features tailored to the needs of small businesses. For example, they can offer shipping and even local pickup, where a customer can easily browse their products online and then elect to pick up their order in the store. That way, the customer still is able to come into the store but it is more managed and safe, helping to cut down on crowding store aisles. ShopSmol offers customers an easy way to support local small businesses as well as discover new ones. Store pages are categorized by town, so a customer can easily see all of the businesses in a town that they might want to directly support. Gift certificates are also a big part of ShopSmol. Businesses are encouraged to offer gift certificates as a product on their shop page which would help generate more in-store foot traffic either now or later. ShopSmol is available now for businesses to sign up, assuming they meet basic criteria (they are a small business, have an address located in the Susquehanna Valley). To sign your business up, visit https://shopsmol. com/become-a-vendor/ People looking to support local small businesses can now go to shopsmol.com and browse the participating stores! If you would like to get involved or have any questions, you can email Coleby at ck@shopsmol.com

Member Spotlight: Buffalo Valley Recreation Reopens with Modified Programming mong the multitude of organizations working hard to navigate the pandemic, we are pleased to spotlight Buffalo Valley


Recreation Authority, who after a brief closure is now open in a modified format with a variety of programming for all age groups. Committed to following CDC and State guidelines for indoor activities, BVRA has created art programs for seemingly every age group across a variety of timeslots, including “Art for E-Schoolers”, “Art for Teens & Young Adults”, “Art for Seniors”, and “Drawing for Beginners”. Stay tuned to the BVRA website as they invite local artists to offer the art club sessions in the Greenspace Center by the BVRA office. Beginning November 3, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout November will see residents and nonresidents drop-in for “Kinder Time in the Garden”, a weekly session in the BVRA Nature Garden complete with crafts, pre-school topics and free play, environmental science, and the joys of healthy soil for new gardeners. The play garden had a mini-face lift in the spring which makes it more fun than ever! Lastly, don’t miss the organization’s November 21 Turkey Trot 5k and Kids Fun Run! There’s a great deal of goings-on at Buffalo Valley Recreation, and you’ll need to check in with them about gymnastics, martial arts, and more. The BVRA office is now open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings through noon, albeit with limited office foot traffic (BVRA requests that appointments with staff be made via email or phone).

Shop Local this Holiday Season


By: Judy Machesic, Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau

s the last of the Halloween candy is being marked down and pulled from the shelves, our minds turn to preparing for the upcoming holiday season. It is once again time to make our lists and check them twice. As you create your list this year, be sure to add our area retailers to the mix. While gifting to family and friends, you can give a gift back to your hometown by Shopping Local. COVID-19 changed everyone’s lives in 2020. The local stores and shops that make up our charming downtowns were hit harder than most. These retail establishments are counting on a thriving holiday shopping season to help offset the losses they experienced earlier in the year. They care about their friends, neighbors and patrons and are working to fashion safe and comfortable shopping experiences for everyone including online options, shipping, special shopping hours, etc. By supporting them this holiday season you are giving a gift back to the communities in which you live, work and play! The Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau has created several resources to help you Shop Local this season. At VisitCentralPA.org you will find guides to area businesses and the measures that they have put into place to keep their customers safe. Here you will also be able to download a copy of the 2020 Holiday Shopping Pass. This year the shopping pass includes over 20 restaurants, shops and wineries in Snyder, Union and Northumberland Counties. Simply present the pass when you check-out at any of the pass participants and receive the discount listed. You may use the pass again and again throughout November and December. It is the gift that keeps on giving – both to you and to the area merchant! Thriving downtowns attract visitors to our area, increase employment, promote pleasant shopping and working conditions, increase opportunities for community events and foster community pride. Join us in celebrating our downtowns and businesses during the holiday season and throughout the year. #SRVStrong

Wild For Salmon


By: Leslie Temple, Fulton Bank

ustainably harvested Alaska salmon is available right here in our own backyard. Wild for Salmon has been owned and operated by Steve and Jenn Kurian of Bloomsburg since 2004. Wild for Salmon began as an adventurous trip to Alaska in 2002 to do some commercial fishing with a friend. Following their first fishing excursion, Steve and Jenn arrived home with 2 coolers of salmon for friends and family. This is when they realized the uniqueness of the product and the possibilities of what might lie ahead. Since that time their business has grown to serve individuals, buying clubs, local farm markets, restaurants, and health food stores. The season lasts approximately 5-7 weeks, which is where they fish the pristine waters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. Steve is the skipper of their 32’ boat, while, Jenn, the first mate and two other local men are deckhands. While on the boat they listen to the radio to hear the official fishing periods. As they catch the salmon they are kept in refrigerated holds, making sure they quality is preserved. On average, every 10 hours, they offload our fish onto a larger crab boat which takes the fish in for processing.  It is quickly filleted, flash frozen, and vacuum sealed to capture the “direct from the boat” flavor. After fishing, the salmon is sent back to PA where they sell the salmon at local farm markets and other venues. Because they are fisherman and they are local, they are able to provide the highest quality, flask/frozen, Alaskan sockeye available.

Flip Salon & Spa, LLC



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Community Bulletin Board and In Your Neighborhood.

Owner, Nicole Sechrist

lip Salon and Spa, LLC, formed in January 2015, a Barbacide Certified Salon and Spa that offers a variety of services to our guests. Our staff includes 4 extremely talented women that have been in the beauty industry for well over 15 years; Susan Fultz, Nikki Martin, Carissa Smith, and Jennifer Kopczick, and Licensed Massage Therapist, Nicole Sechrist (18679) that has over 20 years of experience. We offer Eufora and Wella Color processes, Cezanne Keratin Treatments, Perms, Men’s, Women’s, and Children haircuts. We have a wide range of retail products from all lines used plus our very own Kissed by Nature haircare and styling products. Full Body Waxing in which Nikki and Carissa have received their certifications. Our Nail services include manicure and pedicures with the use of natural, 10- free, vegan polish from Zoya, and 9 – free formula, vegan gel polish from Madam Glam, two of the healthier choices for your nails also available for retail. Our Massage Therapy Services offer the choice of a Signature massage or Therapeutic massage among other modalities. Signature Massages are tailored to give you the pain and discomfort relief you desire. We have implemented changes to our schedules and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic to make our guests and staff as safe as possible. We are open 7 days a week at varying hours, we are required to do appointment only visits. Masks are always required. At this time, we can only offer certain services during specific days. Visit our website www.flipsalonandspa.net or our Facebook page Flip Salon and Spa, LLC for more detailed services and pricing. During this time of distress to the economy and our patrons we are committed to making your visit as stress free and relaxing as possible. We thank you for your support and appreciate all of you!


Voice of The Valley | november 2020


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Member News

LET’S COUNT ON EACH OTHER. =bjYgh]b[]bcifWĄaib]hm" John Uehling, Owner of Contrast Communications

Contrast Communications Technicians Receive Certifications in Zultys and Eagle Eye Networks Leading Technology Experts Find Innovative Solutions to Keep Businesses Connected and Protected


ontrast Communications, a leading managed technology services provider (MTSP), announced today that team members, Robert Jenkins and Dave Zim have recently been awarded technical certifications in both Zultys and Eagle Eye Networks. In the wake of the pandemic, small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) have become much more reliant on robust unified communications systems to keep them connected with their customers, employees and suppliers at all times, regardless of their physical location. Zultys is a leading provider of such communications systems, integrating Voice, Instant Messaging, Email, Video, Web Conferencing – and office phones, smart phones, tablets and computers to work seamlessly on a powerful unified communications platform. Keeping business owners connected to their business wherever they need to be 24/7. Additionally, as business owners have been confronted with an immediate need to keep their workplaces secure from illness, Eagle Eye provides cloudbased surveillance solutions that detect elevated body temperature at a glance. Both employees have received advanced certifications in these technologies and are already solving problems for customers. As a longstanding trusted advisor to SMBs, Contrast’s approach is to be more highly educated than their competitors so they can position their customers to benefit from futuristic technologies ahead of the trend. “Obviously, nobody could’ve predicted the pandemic, but we’ve been helping businesses go remote, transition to the cloud and streamline their communications systems for years. By persistently scanning the technological horizon for new opportunities, we can plan ahead so our customers are uninterrupted by unforseen events,” states John Uehling, Owner of Contrast Communications. The company has a long track record of investing into technical training for their employees to deepen expertise and elevate their customer experience. The demand for remote worker solutions and surveillance solutions has grown dramatically in the recent months and once again, Contrast is far-ahead of the competition. “As a business owner, I know what it’s like to run around and put out ‘fires’ all day, but when customers come to us ahead of time, we can prevent those ‘fires’ from ever occurring in the first place. With the right experts and right technology, the ‘fires’ go away and you get to return to the most important thing any business owner spends their time on; growth.” adds Uehling. The need for SMBs to anticipate tech problems is becoming even more important than it was before, as most staff are now working in a fully-remote environment. “It doesn't matter how large or small your tech problem is, if you are having challenges, call us and let us take that off your plate, so you can refocus on what matters most,” concludes Uehling.


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Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce


november 2020 | Voice of The Valley


For membership information contact: 2859 N. Susquehanna Trail, Shamokin Dam, PA 17876 1-800-410-2880 / www.gsvcc.org / info@gsvcc.org

Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Member News

Small Business Saturday at TIME’s Milton MakerSpace

Swift Kennedy Helps Businesses During Pandemic


s businesses continue to endure repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more employers are turning to insurance brokerage firms like Swift Kennedy & Associates for help in solving health insurance issues that have surfaced during this challenging time. “We are trying to help our clients as much as possible during this crisis, because we know that their companies’ survival may be at stake,” said Jerry Calistri, Swift Kennedy’s President and CEO, who is a Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist. For example, since insurance carriers are now adjusting benefits frequently according to evolving circumstances, Swift Kennedy is keeping clients informed via e-mail about the latest developments regarding carrier decisions (such as coverage for COVID19 tests and treatments), group health insurance requirements, human resources, and other issues. Since many employees now being laid off are choosing to continue their health insurance, Swift Kennedy also offers companies COBRA administration, which includes providing HIPAA certificates and required letters, as well as billing continuation premiums and employer reporting. Companies using this service rather than in-house COBRA administration usually see substantial savings. Even while facing the challenges of a pandemic, employers must comply with the government regulations imposed by ERISA and the

Jerry Calistri, Swift President and CEO


Affordable Care Act to avoid audits and large penalties. As a result, Swift Kennedy gives compliance guidance and provides clients with the Benefit Notices they must send employees, as well as Wrap Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) and Wrap Plan Documents (which wrap around their certificates of insurance and benefit plan booklets) in order to satisfy ERISA and ACA mandates. Swift Kennedy also offers clients a digital benefit administration platform, Swift Virtual, which allows an employer’s Human Resources staff to conduct virtual open enrollment meetings, process enrollments digitally, and have online access to tax forms, invoices and payroll integration. This system streamlines absence management, enhances benefit communication to employees, and provides access to a comprehensive digital library of HR and benefits

information. This digital platform also allows employees to make better informed decisions when selecting benefit packages by providing digital support tools like cost calculators, plan comparison tools, and online benefit summaries, and it gives them access to a virtual benefit support team via phone, webchat or video conference. What’s more, it lets employees access their benefit information remotely around the clock, which millennials and Gen Z employees especially value. “Modernizing their benefits administration by going digital gives companies the added benefit of being able to continue their operations seamlessly during any emergency,” said Calistri. Swift Kennedy also offers clients day-to-day administration (including claims assistance, billing support, enrollments, and terminations) and provides employers with the opportunity to meet virtually with benefit specialists to review their insurance options. “Our goal is to help employers solve the thorny insurance issues that have arisen during this pandemic so that they can spend more time doing what they do best – running their businesses!” said Calistri.


IME – The Improved Milton Experience is hosting Small Business Saturday at Chef’s Place located at 139 S Front Street in Milton, PA on Saturday, November 28 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm which will also serve as an open house for the general public to view and learn more about TIME’s newest project, the Milton MakerSpace. The Milton Model Train Museum will be open as well. A Makerspace is a place where community gathers to share resources, ideas, and knowledge. The new Milton MakerSpace will offer programs for youth and adults in six main modules: Culinary Arts, Industrial Arts, Arts and Design, Music, Gaming, and Tech Lab. TIME Executive Director George Venios stated, “As we engage with businesses, school districts, and community members; we recognize the increasing need to fulfill the demand for skilled workforces in the STEAM industries. With the surge in demand for skilled STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) workers, it is important to educate and engage young people (and people of all ages for that matter) in STEAM related fields.” According to TIME President, Amanda Craig Bradley, “Research shows that Makerspace programs heighten students’ school engagement as well as allow for creativity and exploration of interests while developing skills in collaboration and problem solving. This project aims to offer thousands of individuals the opportunity to discover their inner scientists, engineers and artists. Our goals for this project are two-fold.  First, we seek to facilitate entrepreneurship, build positive attitudes toward science, and build critical thinking skills. Secondly, by providing Makerspaces for individuals to explore their interests in innovative technologies, we hope to better connect people to education and workforce development opportunities.”  The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way is hosting the effort to support multiple Makerspaces in the Susquehanna Valley.  GSVUW Senior Director of Community Impact Stacey Piecuch reports: “GSV United Way is excited about this new programming path for youth and young adults throughout our region. With the impact on non-profits and disrupted youth programming, COVID-19 has impacted our Regional Makerspace planning for 2020.  We hope in the year ahead to find opportunity to continue that planning and work towards funding and inclusion partnerships for area teen centers and community partners.” TIME—The Improved Milton Experience is a non-profit corporation founded in 2004 to administer Milton’s Main Street Program and is focused on community revitalization.  It seeks to act as a catalyst to instill pride and a positive image for Milton while building from the best of its past, present and future. TIME envisions a community that is clean, safe, historically significant, and architecturally interesting.  The corporation wants to involve as many individuals, businesses, and organizations as possible to complete this goal. TIME Programs include the Milton Historic Downtown Walking Tour, Milton Model Train Museum, Veterans Memorial, Miltonian/ Riverview Park, Milton in Motion and Outdoor Exercise Park, Chef’s Place Boiardi Museum, TIME for Teens, and the new Milton Makerspace program.

With the surge in demand for skilled STEAM workers, it is important to educate and engage young people (and people of all ages for that matter) in STEAM related fields. George Venios, Executive Director TIME

Lewisburg Sunrise Rotary Club raises $10K for non-profits

RiverWoods Meals on Wheels photo, from left: Rev. Marian Anderson, club member; Karen Nicholson, club president; Cindy Walker, coordinator, Meals on Wheels and club member; and Rev. Sue Jamison, representing Riverwoods and a club member.


Karen Nicholson, club president; Cindy Farmer, director of the food bank; and Pamela Burns, club member.

he Lewisburg Sunrise Rotary Club recently held its annual Flags for Heroes fundraiser, raising more than $10,000 to benefit three non-profit community organizations. Those clubs and organizations receiving $2,000 donations include the Eastern Union County Supplemental Food Program, Evangelical Community Hospital and RiverWoods Meals on Wheels. The food program, located at the First Baptist Church in Lewisburg, provides food and other items to those in need.

Rev. Marian Anderson, club member; Karen Nicholson, club president; Kendra Aucker, CEO, Evangelical Community Hospital and club member; and Tamara Persing, Chief Nursing Officer at Evangelical Community Hospital and club member.

Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that offers inpatient services, and access to a network of specialty services including orthopaedics, surgical care, diabetes care, wound and hyperbaric medicine, pain medicine, physical therapy, a breast health center, urgent and primary care. RiverWoods Meals on Wheels prepares hot, nutritious meals daily that are delivered by volunteers through the Lewisburg and Milton areas, Monday through Friday.

MBTC Donates to Mifflinburg Buggy Museum Shelby Hackenberg (center) presented Mifflinburg Bank & Trust’s donation to the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum to Pete Gardner (left), president of the museum, and Eva Linke (right), museum board member and gala chairperson.


Voice of The Valley | november 2020


Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber | Sholley Insurance Agency Grand Opening

From Left to Right: Bruce Baumann, Sholley Insurance Agency; Meaghan Troup, Sholley Insurance Agency; Sherry Weaver, Sholley Insurance Agency; Carol Troup, Former Owner of Sholley Insurance Agency; Chris Baily, Owner of Sholley Insurance Agency; Josh Troup, Owner of Sholley Insurance Agency; Jared Sholley, Owner of Sholley Insurance Agency; Rep. David Rowe; Rep. Lynda Culver; Lauren Martz, Borough of Selinsgrove; Art Thomas, Diversified Construction & Meck Tech Inc. and Bob Garrett, GSV Chamber of Commerce.

Sholley Agency opens new Selinsgrove Office


he Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrated the Grand Opening of the Sholley Agency’s new office located at 108 N. Market Street, Selinsgrove, PA. Since 1985 the Sholley Insurance Agency has proudly served Central Pennsylvanians as their local, independent insurance agency. The Sholley Agency is an independent agency staffed with local insurance agents—people who live and work where you do. The team at the Sholley Agency will provide you with the best products to meet your insurance needs and is committed to helping protect what you love and value most. For more information visit www.sholleyagency.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Right: Inside the new Sholley Insurance Agency office located on N. Market Street in Selinsgrove



Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00am Saturday 8:00am - 12:00pm Sunday: Closed

november 2020 | Voice of The Valley

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Voice of the Valley November 2020  

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

Voice of the Valley November 2020  

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