GOAL Magazine Winter 2022

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The Backstage Crew on the Set of Page 24 Westmoreland County


Please join us for the GOAL Magazine Golf Outing OR Paint and Sip to benefit the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation. Net proceeds will be granted to the Autistic Support, Learning Support and Life Skills Classrooms in the Greater Latrobe School District. Over the past six years, we have raised more than $127,500 for this cause.

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Arnold Palmer's Latrobe Country Club

Monday, August 15, 2022

Arnold Palmer's Latrobe Country Club The format is a 2- person scramble and the $150 entry fee per person includes a gift, snack box, lunch and beverages on the course, awards reception and dinner following golf PLUS chances to win top of the line prizes! The winning twosome will be awarded customized wrestling belts by Wildcat Championship Belts with the opportunity to present the belts to next year’s winners.

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Winter 2022



In this issue, we go behind the scenes on the set of Westmoreland County to learn about the Comprehensive Plan and highlight several initiatives that are underway to make Westmoreland the place to live, work and play. We proudly feature community leaders Jason Rigone, Brian Lawrence, Chad Amond and Jim Smith (Left to Right inside the Westmoreland County Courthouse) and how their organizations are diligently working behind the scenes to propel the growth of our communities into the future.

Cover Story:

Lights, Camera, Action!

The Backstage Crew on the Set of Westmoreland County

Cover photo and Table of Contents photo by Autumn Stankay, owner of SkySight Photography in Greensburg, Pa. Autumn is a celebrated commercial, portrait and wedding photographer with over 17 years of experience.

by Bree Edgerly


Three Common Mistakes Business Websites Make (And How to Fix Them)



Cats Cash

Protecting Your Castle

by Taylor Grabiak, Lesco Federal Credit Union

by JJ Rettura, Laurel Highlands Insurance Group LLC

by Jason Walko, Headspace Media

5 In Case You Missed It!

by the GOAL Magazine Team

6 Joyce Novotny-Prettiman, Esq.:

An Everyday Super Lawyer by the QuatriniRafferty Team

15 Koko is Fire

28 Two Steps Forward

16 Our Relentless American Battle Cry

32 10 Horrifying Home Design Trends:

by Logan Bradish, Greater Latrobe School District by 1st Lt. Bradley D. Galbraith, Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment

8 Assessing Your Financial Health to Make Your Money Last by the SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management Team

18 Westmoreland County Chamber Welcomes Executive Director by the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce Staff

10 Victims Turn to Blackburn Center in

Darkest Times by Gina Cerilli Thrasher, Westmoreland County Commissioner

20 Collaborating to Improve Human

Services in Westmoreland County by Kitty Julian, Community Foundation of Westmoreland County

12 Where is Mr. Parasympathetic When

You Need Him? by Dr. Reed Nelson, Westmoreland Chiropractic and Rehab Associates

22 Tax Benefits of Health Savings

Snow & Ice Removal Landscape Design Lawn & Garden Care

Accounts by Bryan Kisiel, CPA® Kisiel and Associates

40 Medicare Supplement vs. Medicare

by Ann Nemanic, GO Laurel Highlands The Most Regrettable Fads Designers Hope Will Fade Away by Scott Ludwick, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Advantage: What’s the Difference? by Allison Clayton, Insurance Services LLC

41 Working to Shield PA’s Employers

from Yet Another Burden: RGGI by Pennsylvania State Senator Pat Stefano (R-32)

33 Utilizing the Montessori Philosophy to 42 D evelopment Along I-70, Two Grand Provide Person-Centered Care by Alaina Fisher, Redstone Highlands

34 Food Photography and Styling 101 by Autumn Stankay, SkySight Photography

Openings and Honoring One of Our Own by Jason Rigone, Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation

44 An Evening of Empowerment

by the GOAL Magazine Team

36 GLLV Chamber Education Program

by Briana Tomack, President Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce

46 GOAL Magazine’s 6th Annual Golf Outing PLUS Paint-n-Sip raises $40,000 to Support Students with Special Needs by the GOAL Magazine Team




Production Team

William J. Urbanik Co-Founder

Anthony E. Slezak Co-Founder

Jessica M. Marazza Co-Founder

Tawnya Rockwell Chief Production Manager

Bree Edgerly Writer

Jaimee Greenawalt Chief Designer

Autumn Stankay Photographer

Kathleen Lloyd Editor

Amanda Mayger Assistant Editor

Jennell Benford Relationship Manager


is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that is best known for publishing GOAL Magazine, which utilizes the talents of local business and community leaders to provide an authentic and informative resource to our community. However, we feel GOAL Magazine is more than a publication - it’s a movement! GO2GOAL is deeply committed to giving back to our community by supporting a variety of nonprofit organizations via GOAL Magazine events such as our Annual Golf Outing PLUS Paint-n-Sip. GOAL University offers a diverse curriculum that helps empower and inform many generations and demographics including

women, the LGBTQ community, young professionals, those approaching retirement and retirees. SHE (Sophisticated | Humble | Empowered) is a female networking group started by GO2GOAL as a way to provide a forum for women to empower one another without judgement. SHE organizes purposeful semiannual social events which always have a philanthropic component and highlight local female-led businesses. Participation in GOAL Magazine can be rewarding in many ways. Not only do you gain an opportunity to promote your business through sharing your expertise and knowledge, you also become a proclaimed member of a collaborative group of local

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leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals who are committed to bringing value to their community and giving back in meaningful ways. How can I get involved? To learn how you can contribute to this publication, please email us at info@go2goalus.com. How can I get my own copy of GOAL Magazine? The majority of GOAL Magazine recipients receive the magazine because one of the contributors within the magazine is sending the magazine as a gift, or currently subscribe. Magazine subscriptions are available at go2goalus.com/subscribe.

In case you missed it! Here's a recap of our last issue ...

Honoring a Legacy of Sacrifice


he Summer/Fall 2021 issue of GOAL Magazine was released in July and featured the Flight 93 National Memorial’s Tower of Voices in honor of the 20th anniversary of September 11th. The Tower of Voices is 93 feet tall, weighs in at approximately 548,000 lbs. (274 tons) of concrete and steel. It contains 141 cubic yards of concrete (14 mixers) and 49,000 lineal feet (9.25 miles) of reinforcing steel. The structure is formed from eight columns, each containing five chimes, for a total of forty chimes to represent the 33 passengers and 7 crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on that fateful day of our American history in 2001. The cover photo and photos throughout the article were captured by Autumn Stankay, owner of SkySight Photography and the story was written by 1st Lt. Bradley D. Galbraith, Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

View the entire article and the last issue of GOAL Magazine by scanning this QR code 1. O pen your smartphone to the camera app. 2. Center the QR code in the frame. 3. View the entire magazine! The story starts on page 24.

GOAL Magazine presented (Left) Stephen Clark, Superintendent and (Right) Josh Manley, Project Manager of the five National Parks of Western Pennsylvania including the Flight 93 Memorial, a canvas of the most recent issue honoring the Flight 93 National Memorial and the Tower of Voices.

If you missed this issue and would like to read more, visit


5 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

www.go2goalus.com 5


Joyce Novotny-Prettiman, Esq. An Everyday Super Lawyer


oyce Novotny-Prettiman, of Unity Township, is a personal injury attorney in the law firm of QuatriniRafferty (QR). Ms. Novotny-Prettiman is, indeed, a super lawyer every day! Here are two examples of the exceptional results which Ms. Novotny-Prettiman produced for her clients. When you buy automobile insurance, under and uninsured motorist coverage are key provisions of the policy. Joyce handled a case that has changed the landscape of auto insurance coverage in Pennsylvania. Joyce knocked out some of the “small print” from the insurance policy! In the case of Gallagher v. Geico, (check it out) Joyce convinced the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that Geico was improperly excluding coverage from its policies. The result – Joyce was able to recover $200,000.00 of insurance coverage for our QuatriniRafferty client who was injured in a motorcycle accident! Recently, Joyce served as co-counsel in a trial against Duquesne Light. Our QuatriniRafferty client, a contractor, was electrocuted when his ladder encountered a Duquesne Light power line which was too close to the ground. The QR client suffered partial amputation of both feet as well as multiple other injuries. Joyce battled the utility company since 2012,

The cases I described above are “big” cases – but Joyce fights just as hard, cares just as much, and gives just as much attention, to all of her clients – regardless of the size of the case; and, regardless of whether the case is newsworthy. Joyce recognizes that a client’s injury claim is, perhaps, the most significant event going on in that client’s life. Here are words from one of Joyce’s clients, “ QuatriniRafferty was recommended to us by our physician and neighbors. Joyce Novotny-Prettiman and her staff were so helpful, courteous and respectful. Joyce expedited the process and we got the outcome we were hoping for.”

the whole way to the Supreme Court and back. After nine years, a twelve-person jury awarded our client, over $11 million dollars for his catastrophic injuries. These two extraordinary results are just part of the reason that the words everyday super lawyer apply to Joyce Novotny-Prettiman. In addition to being an outstanding personal injury attorney Joyce is compassionate in dealing with her clients.

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Joyce’s desire to help people extends beyond the law firm. She was involved with CASA of Westmoreland, a court appointed support system for abused and neglected children, and with Laurel Faith in Action, a non-profit which helps people over the age of 60 stay in their homes. Joyce is an active member of her parish, St. Benedict. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries as a result of an auto or motorcycle accident or due to someone’s negligence, call Joyce for a free consultation at 724-837-0080 or jn@qrlegal.com.


Common Mistakes Business Websites Make (And How to Fix Them)

How accessible is your business website?

Does it have a privacy policy?

If you can’t answer these questions, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Most business owners don’t have the time to set aside for website maintenance. Despite this, your business’s website is still an extremely important component of your organization. It is where potential customers go to learn more about the products and services you offer, and in many cases, a virtual space where leads and sales are generated. Here are three common mistakes business websites make, and the fixes to keep your virtual storefront in top shape.


If a website is not accessible, it will drive away potential customers before they get a chance to know you. Accessibility includes making sure your website looks properly formatted on both desktop and mobile devices, along with optimization details like making sure your site is accessible for users with disabilities and inclusive for all users. Artificial intelligence software such as AccessiBe can scan your website and identify navigation problems, display issues, and more.

that exploit old code. Make sure your web address has a secure “padlock” icon next to it in the address bar to prevent sensitive information from being accessed by unauthorized people. This icon denotes an SSL certificate, which is a component of a website that keeps user information safe. If your site is gathering information, especially purchases, an SSL certificate is necessary. Not having a secure SSL certificate also means that Google may penalize you in search results, which reduces your site’s visibility.



A privacy policy is an often overlooked but extremely important website component. It is a legal document that states how and why data is collected from customers and visitors. Having a privacy policy protects your business and customers by informing them of what data is obtained and what it will be used for.


by Jason Walko, Digital Marketing Specialist

Who hosts it, and is the domain secure?

Keeping your website secure is vital to prevent data breaches and stop hackers from obtaining sensitive information from your website. Be sure your website is using all the latest versions of its plugins to prevent hacks

There’s much more that goes into running a website than owning a domain. Technology is always progressing, and it is important that your website is consistently being cared for and updated to keep you and your customers safe, while also building brand awareness. Headspace Media offers a monthly membership which includes a website care plan in addition to dozens of additional marketing services to keep your website updated and attract new customers all at the same time.

To learn more about our services, visit us online at www.headspace.media.

hello@headspace.media | 724-610-9292 | www.headspace.media Schedule a free strategy call with Headspace Media: www.headspace.media/schedule 7 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022


FINANCIAL HEALTH TO MAKE YOUR MONEY LAST by The SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management Team


o live a long life, you’ll need a healthy supply of money to go the distance with you. The risk of outliving your money is called “longevity risk”. This paired with recent history has moved many of us to take another look at our finances – a smart thing to do in any economy. Maybe it’s been a while since you took your financial temperature or maybe this is the first time you’ve considered it. Either way, the time is right to make sure you are financially healthy, and following the good financial habits outlined below will help increase the likelihood your money will last as long as you will.

Step 1: Current Status

Start by evaluating where you are today by tracking your current income and expenses. Do you have a budget? Do you itemize monthly expenses to visualize where your funds are going? If not, writing it down may help you pause when deciding whether to buy those monthly extras. Within this step it’s important you set clear short and long-term goals with a financial plan to pursue each goal. The plan can be as formal as you’d like but should be a written plan of action. Even though the market can provide a rocky ride at times, try

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to stick with your plan. Living within your means will help you not overspend, pay off monthly bills and eliminate needless spending to eliminate debt. Maintaining a healthy budget and balance sheet will help hold you accountable and prioritize which high-interest rate debt needs paid first.

Step 2: Make Changes

Once you’ve got a handle on where your finances fall, set some goals that will help you achieve better financial health. Make them realistic and hold to them. For example, if you have more credit card debt than you’d like, set a goal to pay it off by a

certain date. If your savings are slim, make a goal to save enough money to cover six months or more of expenses within a given time frame. Revisit these goals every few months and make sure you’re on track. If you are, give yourself a small reward. If you’re not progressing as you’d hope, make necessary changes. The key to making these changes is becoming aware of where it is needed. Saving habits set the tone for your earning and retirement years. Start saving early and allow time and the power of compounding interest to work in your favor for long-term financial strength. Longevity risk and inflation risk (having your purchasing power erode over time) are bigger threats to your long-term well-being than short-term market movements. Paying yourself first prioritizes saving for the future and contributing to your 401(k) plan or other savings vehicle may reduce temptation to spend on unnecessary purchases. Over time, subtle changes you make will help you to save more and pay off debt, increasing your net worth. Reviewing this figure each year is a good way to track your progress. Particular focus should be on your investments, monitoring your asset allocations, needs, goals, and risk tolerance that may shift gradually as you age (1). Benefit

Step 3: Keep Going

The key to making these changes is becoming aware of where it is needed. may come from broad diversification, and annual or more frequent reviews should be performed to compare your return to similar investments, rebalancing and making changes as needed. 1. A sset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

It can be hard to change habits. With proper motivation and periodic progress reviews, you can do it. Can you drive your car a year or two longer? Can you dine out less often? As you see your savings build with your thoughtful spending choices, you’ll be encouraged to continue. As you work toward these short and longterm goals it is also important you protect your family, so the plan is not derailed if anything happens to you. Life, long-term care, health and disability insurance, as well as an up-to-date estate plan can help you achieve this protection. Thoughtful choices mean keeping yourself informed. Don’t buy on impulse; instead, shop for the best deals, whether you’re buying groceries, tires or phone service. Use coupons, buy generic and bundle services. Be willing to let go of less important (but long standing) expenses like unused gym memberships or an unneeded household telephone line. Think of these cuts as contributions to your long-term savings plan. Remember, you are ultimately in control of your financial health. Make it happen.

Jessica M. Marazza CFP®, William J. Urbanik, MBA and Anthony E. Slezak

2519 Ligonier St. P.O. Box 421 Latrobe, Pa 15650 724.537.2799 www.shcwealthmanagement.com info@shcwealthmanagement.com

SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management SecondHalfCoachWealthManagement SHCteam

This material is for education and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material. This material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL Financial affiliate, please note LPL Financial makes no representation with respect to such entity.

9 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

Victims turn to Blackburn Center in darkest times by Westmoreland County Commissioner, Gina Cerilli Thrasher


lackburn Center is an organization in Westmoreland County offering free services for survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse, incest, and other types of violence or crime. Its mission is to advocate for the rights of all individuals to live free from domestic and sexual violence and other forms of violence by eliminating root causes and providing for the safety of survivors and victims.

County residents have come together to call for the changes needed to end gender-based violence. This visually riveting event is a unique and powerful experience which supports the agency’s call to action in the community to end domestic and sexual violence.

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), every 68 seconds in our country, another American is sexually assaulted. One out of every six American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. What began as a volunteer-focused initiative has evolved to their current 40member professional staff. Volunteers continue to be a significant part of the agency’s work, with a current corps of more than 30 individuals whose commitment makes it possible for Blackburn Center to offer the wide range of client services currently available. The Blackburn Center addresses many aspects of getting help and services to those in need. All client services are provided at no charge to clients, are confidential, and can be anonymous. The following services are offered to all communities in Westmoreland County: •2 4-hour hotline that provides crisis counseling for victims, their family and friends, and/or community members, who seek information to help victims. 1-888-832-2272 • I n-person counseling and therapy for victims. •M edical advocates who will meet victims at the emergency room of any Westmoreland County hospital, 24/7, to provide support during medical examinations. •L egal advocates who accompany victims, their families and friends through a legal system to provide support in

navigating a complex legal system and discuss victims’ rights and options. •B lackburn Center staff who provide weekly support groups for victims of violence and those who are close to them. •T emporary emergency shelter (up to 30 days in a six-month period) is available to victims of intimate partner violence and their children. •B lackburn Center provides education to deepen the community’s understanding of the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence and the availability of services. Blackburn’s signature event since 2011, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, has provided a gathering space for the community to talk about transforming our neighborhoods and towns. Thousands of Westmoreland

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At least one in four women will experience gender-based violence in her lifetime. To end this type of violence, the entire community must be involved – women and men. This inclusive event provides an opportunity for men to make the commitment to work together with women to end gender-based violence. It demonstrates that men are willing and able to be courageous partners with women in making the world a safer place. Inspired by the saying, “You can’t understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” men will literally walk the talk on April 23, 2022. While the event promises to be fun, it is also an important opportunity for the community to commit to action to end genderbased violence. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at St. Clair Park, Greensburg.

For registration information and details about sponsorship opportunities, call the Blackburn Center at 724.837.9540, Ext. 144, or visit their website at blackburncenter.org. To become a Blackburn Center volunteer, submit an application to www.blackburncenter. org/volunteer.

If you know of someone who needs Blackburn Center services, call the 24/7 hotline at 724.836.1122 or 1-888-832-2272.

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Where is Mr. Parasympathetic when you need him?


by Dr. Reed Nelson

hen it comes to health, you may notice more people are taking a deep breath. Let’s talk about the importance of breath.

We all are well aware that you either breathe or you die. In this article, I will share some interesting specifics about your body and breathing and give you a modified version of a classic breathing method to help you harness the health benefits of deep breathing. Humans can go weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air. Though breathing is one of our most essential functions, most of us don't consciously focus on it because the body breaths automatically. Without you even noticing, you breathe more than 20,000 times each day: you just simply and automatically breathe. A part of your autonomic nervous system

just handles it. It is the key word automatically that I want you to notice - This kind of breathing isn’t the kind I want to talk about here; the kind of breathing that will better affect your body is purposeful breathing. I teach patients to think of breathing as either leaning your body towards “excitation” or “chillaxation.” Ok, so I make some words up, don’t judge, you can still learn something. Let’s take a peek specifically at the autonomic portion of your nervous system: you will later see that conceptually this Chillaxin concept is good brain body talk. There are two major players, one I like to call Mr. Sympathetic and the other Mr. Parasympathetic. They are both important people in your body’s community. Mr. Sympathetic nervous system revs you up

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so you can act fast, he will serve you in that time of fight and flight. This system helps humans do amazing things while under stress, while its counterpart Mr. Parasympathetic nervous system works to calm you down and chillax. This parasympathetic system wants to focus on saving your energy for later, optimizing your digestion and detoxification, and keeping your immune system running full blast. Going back to the idea of automatic, if you need to pump up your heart rate to survive some dangerous times, you can count on Mr. Sympathetic to act – your body automatically reacts with that “excitation” response. But if you are seeking rest, regeneration, and peacefulness, or if you set out to enjoy each second of a sunset, you’ll need to learn how to call on Mr. Parasympathetic since he likes to hide in the background.

We need to lean on Mr. Parasympathetic to maintain balance when managing these common everyday stresses. Now let’s bring stress into the discussion. Currently it is safe to say stress is prevalent among human beings. I see it as arguably the most prevalent of all health conditions. I know I know, not so fast Nelson Loguasto, the number one disease in the United States is still taught to be heart disease. Though heart disease is still taught to be the number one disease in the United States, resulting in more than ¼ of the deaths each year, many wellness providers agree that low grade or chronic stress is the most prevalent of all health conditions, period. Here are some sources that will help support this: 80% of people report they feel stressed at work. * 77% of people experience stress that affects them physically in some manner. ** 73% of people experience stress that impacts their mood or mental state. ** 48% of people have some degree of trouble with sleep that they attribute to stress. ** 33% of people report their stress is extreme. ** We all experience varying degrees of stress. When stress is extreme it is best to recruit Mr. Sympathetic. If you are going to win a UFC fight, you will need Mr. Sympathetic to kick in. However, when you unknowingly and automatically recruit your Sympathetic nervous system for low grade, on-going stressful matters like work, bills, relationship problems or general worries, the body becomes excitation dominate. This state of excitation dominance can cause you to become irritable and quick to anger with low energy levels, high anxiety, neck and back pain, headaches and even some depression. Nobody wants that. We need to lean on Mr.

Parasympathetic to maintain balance when managing these common everyday stresses. What if I told you, that you have the power to totally shift your body away from that stressful “excitation” state and lean toward “chillaxation” by bringing forth Mr. Parasympathetic through purposeful breathing. Some of you may be familiar with some form of Pranayama, the ancient practice of controlling your breath. Let’s learn how: Take a moment and sit in the classic Lotus position. You have probably seen this cross-legged sitting yoga pose many of times. If you can’t do that at the present moment, don’t worry, just sit upright with your sitz bones on the edge of your seat. Place your hands faceup on your thighs and just like that, you’re ready to begin.

#1 Take a nice, purposeful breath in and let it casually out. You can stay in this casual in-out cycle for as many breathes as you would like.

Dr. Reed Nelson (AKA Nelson Loguasto) practices with Westmoreland Chiropractic & Rehab Associates, a wellness group that includes Chiropractors, Nutritionists, and Massage Therapists.

#2 When you feel calm and focused

on your breath, proceed into the classic 4-7-8 breathing pattern, repeating up to 4 cycles: Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold that breathe for 7 seconds, and exhale slowly through pursed lips for 8 seconds.

#3 Take a long, balanced breath in

and let it slowly out. Do it again, nod with gratitude to Mr. Parasympathetic who has officially showed up to the party and proceed with your life.

* Global Organization for Stress www.gostress.com ** The American Institute of Stress www.stress.org

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You can incorporate this simple practice into your day as many times as you need. Where is Mr. Parasympathetic when you need him? Only a couple deep breaths away.

Greensburg Office 724.216.5004 Export Office 724.325.2112 nelsonchirorehab.com


Leaders, Lovers & Dreamers

Enjoy Nelson Loguasto Cigars. Aladino Lounge

645 Mount Pleasant Street , Greensburg, Pa 15601 Nelson Loguasto Cigar Shop 724-217-8042 Reed Nelson Loguasto 724-516-7777


Koko is Fire by Logan Bradish, Staff Writer for The High Post Student Newsletter at Greater Latrobe Senior High


strong, lefty prospect comes up to the plate. He cracked his first career home run for the Colorado Rockies organization on September 16, 2021. The crowd cheers in honor of him, even heard from his hometown of Greater Latrobe.

staff earned him awards. Kokoska was well honored to be named Gatorade Player of the Year in 2017 which goes to an elite student athlete in the state of Pennsylvania. Kokoska said, “It is something that you remember your whole life, it was an awesome experience!”

Zach Kokoska, also known as “Koko’’ to his hometown team, built his own legacy in Latrobe. He played a major role on the state championship team for the Greater Latrobe Wildcats in 2017. After the amazing career numbers in high school and travel league teams, he was recruited to play college baseball at a powerhouse D1 Virginia Tech. Through his short time playing baseball at VT, he batted .267 in only 15 at-bats and tallied 4 RBI.

From beginning his baseball journey at West Point Little League through high school, Koko reflected on the most important aspects of playing for Latrobe Baseball with Coach Basciano, who emphasized the importance of the essentials of baseball that transfer to life: 1. E njoy the game: 2. H ave fun with your friends: 3. D on’t put pressure on yourself, it’s just a game

A year later, Koko transferred to Kansas State University to continue his promising baseball career under a special team of coaches. Despite his adversities, his dream came to life as he was drafted to the Colorado Rockies minor league system in the 10th round 290th overall pick in the spring of 2021.

For the young players in high school who want to pursue a baseball career, he advises, “You can crush the weight room as much as you want, but if you´re are not doing baseballspecific lifts, it’s not going to make you better.” Kokoska continually trained at Innate Fitness which helped him focus on specific lifts to help him as a baseball player.

Throughout his baseball career, Kokoska explained how his dad helped him to actualize his dreams of becoming a major league baseball player. He said, “He has always believed in me, got me in the right place where I needed to be successful--the thousands of reps he threw in batting practice when he was able to find time.” The time that Kokoska had with his motivating father, his talented teammates and his trusted coaching

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During his teenage years, he entered national tournaments, highly competitive organizations for top prospects. Kokoska also mentions how going to those specific places like “Perfect Game Tournaments” help the recruiting process with D1 schools. From that kind of tournament, Virginia Tech found the powerhouse Kokoska. He earned a scholarship from Virginia Tech. He said, “I committed to Virginia Tech following my junior year to a coaching staff that I really enjoyed.” When he transferred to Kansas State, he began playing right away because of a waiver pass. This allowed him not to waste his talents by sitting out a season. He continued to bat his baseball career out of the park. He said, “I decided to go down that road, and it was a great decision for me. I loved the past three years there and it was a great experience. I didn’t want to be anywhere else!” Kokoska’s

senior year lead the way with a batting average of .363 and slugging percentage .675. Getting drafted out of his impressive senior year of college was a dream accomplished. As the game gets harder in higher levels of competitive play, baseball becomes a way of life. He said, “People can be pretty relaxed since it’s an everyday grind, you play every single day, 140-day season in the minors, and I think the biggest thing I learned so far is you can’t take any at bats-- or days-- off.” “You know everybody is fighting for spots, jobs, and those at bats. Mentality can be the deciding factor on whether you are going to get moved up or released,” he said. At the pro level Kokoska works at just being consistent and bringing energy to the field every day. Kokoska is currently batting a whopping .395 for average, 1 homerun, 1 triple, 1 double, 7 runners batted in, and 8 stolen bases in just 43 at bats. Kokoska is the one to look out for the future of professional baseball as he continues to give back to his hometown. In the fall off-season, he gave back to the young players through “mini” prospect camps at the local Innate Fitness and Domination Sports. He also offered private lessons at ERA sports. Appreciating that his roots are in Latrobe, Kokoska will take the essentials with him into the future.

Important Lessons from the Battlefield: Our Relentless American Battle Cry Echoing through History by 1st Lt. Bradley D. Galbraith, Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment


ver the past year, we as Americans have grown farther apart from our neighbors -whether that divide be in the literal sense with the spread of COVID-19, or in a more figurative sense with the media, public figures, and organizations adopting more polarizing points of view. At times, it may feel as though we are being forced into a divisive “this or that” mentality. As we are continually thrust into this chaotic vortex of a well opinionated society

on social media, it can be easy to forget about what an incredible country we live in. This great democratic experiment, that we call America, is extremely fragile; it always has been. We must never allow ourselves to forget the incredible exertions brave men and women have made since our inception that allow us to thrive in this republic. One of my favorite examples of bravery in our American history is Colonel Joshua

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Chamberlain of the Union Army at The Battle of Gettysburg. Chamberlain grew up in rural Maine, the son and grandson of American War veterans. Despite the military lineage in his family, he never developed a keen interest in becoming a soldier. Instead, he made education a priority in his life and graduated in 1852 from Bowdoin College, where he would later return to become a professor. However, as political threads began to unravel within the country, Chamberlain saw it his duty

The future was looking quite bleak for most Americans in the summer of 1863. to put aside his personal ambitions and join the Union Army in 1861.

United States of America as we know it.

Going into The Battle of Gettysburg, the Union was on its heels as the Confederacy was looking for a crushing blow to allow a clear path to seize Washington D.C. Political support for President Abraham Lincoln was wavering, and as the two sides met at Gettysburg, the outlook for The United States of America was appearing very grim.

As for the men of the 20th Maine, they were far from ready for a fight. They were on the verge of exhaustion, having marched for days on end with little to no food or sleep. Many of the men saw the war at that point as all but lost, with some simply refusing to continue fighting, believing that they had honorably served their time to the United States government. The future was looking quite bleak for most Americans in the summer of 1863.

After initial setbacks early in the fight, the Union Army began establishing hasty defensive positions, desperate to repel an impending attack from Southern forces. Under the command of Col Chamberlain, the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was tasked with retaining a key piece of Union terrain, Little Round Top. Little Round Top marked the extreme left of the Union line; if Southern forces were able to take the flank of the US Army there, they could potentially envelop the army, causing the loss of the battle. The loss of this particular battle, however, could have meant the beginning of the end of The

As predicted, on the morning of July 2nd, fierce fighting broke out across the battlefield. The 15th Alabama Infantry, under the command of Colonel William C. Oates, quickly began advancing through the trees and up the hill, attempting to flank the Union line. Several times throughout the day, the Confederates wailed their bonechilling battle cry as they charged up the hill into the teeth of the 20th Maine. The 20th Maine continued to hold the line, but with each wave repelled came the further loss of ammunition and men. Recognizing that his battered regiment was on the verge of exhaustion and lacked the sufficient amount of ammunition needed to thwart yet another attack, Colonel Chamberlain gave the order to initiate a bayonet charge. The men fixed their bayonets (spike-shaped weapons that attach to the end of a rifle for it to be used as a spear) and arrayed themselves into an extended line that began at the top of the position and stretched to the extreme lower flank going down the left slope of the hill. In a last-ditch effort as the Alabamians stormed up the hill, Chamberlain gave his command to the lower left flank down the hill to begin swinging inward while he coordinated a simultaneous frontal assault.

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Many historians use the image of a door on a hinge closing to describe the downhill charge that day. Ultimately the 20th Maine took 101 Confederate Soldiers captive, with Chamberlain himself holding a Confederate officer at sword point. The Union retained Little Round Top and went on to win the battle. For his actions that day, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain eventually received the Medal of Honor. He went on to practice law, teach, serve as the Governor of Maine, and serve as the President at Bowdoin College. There are several timeless lessons Americans can take from Joshua Chamberlain and his men that fateful day: hope, resiliency, and courage to name a few. Really, his story is the epitome of what it means to be an American: when our backs are against the wall, and all hope seems lost, we refuse to give up. In fact, we do the opposite. We band together, develop a way to attack the problem, and fight back with whatever means we have available. This stamina is what has allowed our blossoming society to continually flourish over the decades, and it is what makes us uniquely American. Although we live in troubling times, where stress and environmental factors can seem to get the best of us, just remember that it is nothing we have not seen before. We will always find a way to persevere and continue to fight.

Westmoreland County Chamber Welcomes



n August of 2020 we regrettably announced to the membership that Chad Amond, President and CEO of the Westmoreland County Chamber, was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). PPA is a neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become slowly and progressively impaired. Unlike other forms of aphasia that result from stroke or brain injury, PPA is caused by neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease or Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration. People with PPA may eventually lose all speech and may not be able to understand written or spoken language.

continue to align within the association's strategic plan which is to “lead and cultivate a comprehensive regional network to address the opportunities and challenges of greatest importance to the business community.” The Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce is excited and pleased to obtain a candidate, Dan DeBone, who is dedicated to advancing the Chamber’s objectives

The Executive Director will assist, while working under Chad, to ensure current events, committees, and the organization’s platform will

Dan DeBone started his career at the Port Authority of Allegheny County and worked in a variety of leadership positions within the Operations, Marketing, and Communications Divisions. However, the vast majority of his professional career included government affairs, community outreach, and stakeholder relationship building. Dan was the Senior Government and Community Relations Officer for well over a decade before being promoted to Director of External Relations in 2020. This included a new strategic role to consult with the chief executive officer and members of senior staff on legislative, community initiatives, and capital projects at a local, state, and federal level with a concentrated effort to enhance the organization’s relationships with key stakeholder groups within Allegheny County and throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Chair of the Board, Christina Jansure, confirmed, “We are excited to welcome Dan DeBone to the Westmoreland County Chamber, and we are extremely impressed with his high level of experience that aligns with the executive director role and the Chamber’s mission.” Chad added, “I’m so pleased that we have hired Dan DeBone for the Executive Director position. He is a great person, and he works very hard. My Primary Progressive Aphasia is not curable now, but I hope it will be curable soon or that I can participate in a clinical trial that will cure other people with this diagnosis in the future. My goal is to continue to work with the Westmoreland County Chamber as long as I am physically able.”

In order to fully support Chad while also advancing the mission and objectives of the organization, the Westmoreland County Chamber is pleased to announce that the role of Executive Director has been added to the Chamber team.

Meet Dan DeBone

while demonstrating a comprehensive and high level of compassion to effectively work alongside Chad and the Board now and in the future.

Dan is extremely proud of his accomplishments within and outside of the organization but is especially fulfilled by his work and collaboration of efforts with state legislators, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and the Keystone Coalition upon the passage of Act 89. Act 89 is one of the most comprehensive transportation bills ever approved by the legislature, providing a reliable source of funding for highways, roads, bridges, ports, aviation, and public transportation. Dan has been an active participant with various committees and boards that included the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association, the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Transportation Revitalization

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Investment District Board, and the National American Public Transportation Association. Dan earned a Bachelor of Science and Marketing Degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris University, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership at Duquesne University. Dan recently graduated from Leadership Pittsburgh (Class 37), earned a master certificate in project management from the University of Pittsburgh (Katz School of Business), and holds a Pennsylvania Real Estate License through Berkshire Hathaway. Dan lives in Murrysville where he and his wife (Cheri) of 27 years raised both of their children, daughter Maria (23) and son Dominic (21).



Habitat for Humanity partners with people in your community, and all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. With your support, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families. Through our 2020 Strategic Plan, Habitat for Humanity will serve more people than ever before through decent and affordable housing.




We partner with families to help build and rehabilitate homes, because it all comes down to that – a home. With a safe, decent, and affordable home families flourish, and when families flourish, communities flourish. Everyone deserves a decent place to live, and everyone can do something today to help make that possible for another family. Lend your financial support, your voice, or your time.

Here at Habitat for Humanity we love our volunteers. Generous crews of volunteers are one of the main ways we are able to keep construction costs down, which in turn is how we are able to subsidize affordable housing for low-income families. Volunteering on a build is a great group activity for an employer, church, or community group. The requirements are minimal, but we ask for at least 6-8 hardworking individuals that are over 16 years of age. We also accept semi-skilled or skilled individuals for our regular Friday morning work crew. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to accept individual unskilled volunteers. Our Warehouse Outlet is your local one stop Habitat for Humanity. We use it for our offices, to receive donations and to sell off excess inventory to fund our builds. We are always in need of volunteer support in the warehouse, from minor construction, sorting donations, to helping to provide outstanding customer service. We have many volunteer opportunities and are able to offer a high degree of flexibility. The Warehouse Outlet is open from 10am-5pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays. Volunteers will assist with basic warehouse functions – organizing, sorting, and minor repairs of inventory. Volunteers who are stocking should expect to lift up to 50lbs. Other volunteers should expect to be moderately active but are not required to do lifting. We also receive donations and conduct periodic sales so all volunteers should be comfortable communicating with the public about the use of the purpose of the Warehouse Outlet and CWHFH’s mission.

WHO WE HELP The three criteria to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home are: 1. need for affordable housing 2. a bility to repay a Habitat for Humanity mortgage 3. w illingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. The need for affordable housing is defined by a family income that is below the government-set Low Income Cut-Off (poverty line) for their particular region, and existing living conditions that are inadequate in terms of structure, cost, safety, or size. The ratio of shelter expense to total income is also factored. Ability to repay a Habitat for Humanity mortgage requires that the family has a stable income sufficient to cover the monthly mortgage payments and other expenses that come with home ownership

HOW WE WORK Through volunteer labor, efficient management and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent homes with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. These homes are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable, no-interest mortgages. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving fund, which is used to build more homes. Most Habitat for Humanity projects are single dwellings or semi-detached homes, but Habitat for Humanity is expanding its build projects and may include restoration and refurbishments, condominiums, and town home style projects in the future.

CONTACT INFO: Central WestmorelandHabitat for Humanity 212 Outlet Way, Greensburg, PA 15601 724-219-3736 | www.cwhfh.org 19 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

Collaborating to Improve Human Services in Westmoreland County by Kitty Julian

Westmoreland County District Court in Greensburg. Image by Joshua Franzos.


hough Westmoreland is the 11th most populated county in the state and home to 355,000 people, its network of 160 nonprofit and government human services providers do not have a central human service department comparable to other large counties. This means there is no formal coordination on the delivery of services such as housing, food assistance, and mental health and addiction treatment.

The number one recommendation from the report: hire a director of human services to create and lead a county Human Services Department that will bring providers together to coordinate service delivery, streamline data sharing, and make it easier for providers to innovate and collaborate. A search for such a leader is now underway with the goal of filling the position with in early 2022. For funders such as McCrae Martino, who leads The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, there is real value in having a Human Services Department to serve as a convenor, helping to provide resources, establish goals, improve data sharing and, ultimately create efficiencies so that any additional dollars brought in will better serve the county’s elderly, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.

Thanks to recommendations from the “Improving Human Services in Westmoreland County” report published in 2021, that’s about to change. The study, funded by The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and Westmoreland County Commissioners, tapped the expertise of dozens of human services providers and looked at how 12 other counties inside and outside of Pennsylvania organize their work to improve quality of life for residents.

McCrae Martino, executive director of The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, a funder of the report.

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“A coalition of providers is stronger than each provider on its own. A director of human services leading the department will be able to delve deeply into what’s happening in the community, meet with providers to assess needs, and help develop solutions,” said Martino.

Study funders hope that a Human Services Department will spearhead shared casemanagement systems that will improve client service across provider agencies. They also hope the department will lead the development of data-sharing systems that will cut red tape and make life easier for people served and providers. “If a client goes to a housing agency but also needs food assistance or other services, shared data systems can make referrals and eligibility paperwork faster and easier to complete,” said Martino. “That’s a long way off, but it’s just one of the ways that county dollars invested in human services could be spent in a more strategic way while not increasing costs to the county.” Service coordination is especially critical in large rural communities such as Westmoreland County where the lack of transportation can make it harder for clients to get to appointments. But according to project consultant Jordan Pallitto of The Hill Group, “Providers in Westmoreland County have done a tremendous job collaborating informally and have managed to innovate even without the critical infrastructure that many other counties have. Hats off to the providers, but just imagine what they could do with more structure and coordination.”

Study leaders convened dozens of meetings with a 14-member steering committee and met with more than a dozen subject matter experts throughout the course of the study. Recommendations from those meetings include: the need for a unified vision for human services that will remain intact even if leaders leave, better training to help combat burnout and help human services workers make data-driven Alyssa Cholodofsky, Westmoreland region director of the decisions, building on the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and a co-funder service coordination that of the report, speaking at a 2019 news conference. began during the COVID crisis, and making social Alyssa Cholodofsky, Westmoreland equity a priority across agencies. region director of the United Way of “COVID made providers think in innovative ways about how to leverage technology such as telehealth to overcome barriers to support clients and providers in a seamless way,” said Project Consultant Prachi Jhala of The Hill Group. “There is already a sentiment of really wanting to collaborate. Providers want to do things together to better serve their clients and improve peoples’ lives.”

Southwestern Pennsylvania, agrees that actualizing the findings of the report will make it possible for human services providers to meet the growing needs of individuals and families.

“Westmoreland County is home to a strong and diverse group of human service providers eager to collaborate to improve services and meet increasing needs. Many people who are struggling during this time are facing more than one challenge and may need help with housing, food, and job training opportunities,” she says. “By integrating human services across county government and nonprofits, we will see improved cross-system collaboration resulting in expanded resources and easier access to services for all citizens.

Read the report at


Project consultant Jordan Pallitto of The Hill Group.

Project consultant Prachi Jhala of The Hill Group.

Kitty Julian is director of Communications at The Pittsburgh Foundation and works closely with its affiliate, The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

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Health Savings Accounts by Bryan Kisiel, CPA®


hile similar to FSAs (Flexible Savings Plans) in that both allow pretax contributions, Health Savings Accounts or HSAs offer taxpayers several additional tax benefits. Let's take a look:

What is a Health Savings Account? A Health Savings Account is a type of savings account that allows you to set aside money pretax to pay for qualified medical expenses. Contributions that you make to a Health Savings Account (HSA) are used to pay current or future medical expenses (including after you've retired) of the account owner, their spouse, and any qualified dependent. There are several caveats that individuals should be aware of, however, such as: • M edical expenses that are reimbursable by insurance or other sources and do not qualify for the medical expense deduction on a federal income tax return are not eligible. • Y ou cannot be covered by other health insurance with the exception of insurance for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, or long-term care, and you cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return.

• S pouses cannot open joint HSAs. Each spouse who is an eligible individual who wants an HSA must open a separate HSA. • I nsurance premiums for taxpayers younger than age 65 are generally not considered qualified medical expenses unless the premiums are for health care continuation coverage (such as coverage under COBRA), health care coverage while receiving unemployment compensation under federal or state law.

Tax-Advantaged Savings Accounts Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer a triple tax advantage: • C ontributions are made pretax. • G rowth is tax-free. • D istributions are tax-free as long as they are used for qualified health care expenses. Contributions to an HSA, which can be opened through your bank or another financial institution, must be made in cash. Contributions of stock or property are not allowed. An employee may be able to elect to have money deposited directly into an HSA account through payroll withholdings.

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If your employer does not offer this option, you must wait until filing a tax return to claim the HSA contributions as a deduction. Unlike contributions to FSAs, you may change the amount withheld at any time during the year as well, and unused funds automatically roll over into the next calendar year (there is no "use it or lose it"). Funds in the account may be invested much like any other retirement savings account; however, less than 10 percent of account holders do so, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Whether funds can be invested depends on whether the HSA administrator offers this option. There may also be a minimum balance requirement, which could limit individuals with smaller account balances.

High Deductible Health Plans However, a Health Savings Account is not available to everyone and can only be used if you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Typically, high-deductible health plans have lower monthly premiums than plans with lower deductibles, but you pay more health care costs yourself before the insurance company starts to pay its share (your deductible).

A high-deductible plan can be combined with a health savings account, allowing you to pay for certain medical expenses with tax-free money that you have set aside. Using the pretax funds in your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses before you reach your deductible and other out-of-pocket costs such as copayments reduces your overall health care costs. Calendar year 2021. For the calendar year 2021, a qualifying HDHP must have a deductible of at least $1,400 for self-only coverage or $2,800 for family coverage. The beneficiary's annual out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, are limited to $7,000 for selfonly coverage and $14,000 for family coverage. This limit doesn't apply to deductibles and expenses for out-ofnetwork services if the plan uses a network of providers. Instead, only use deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for services within the network to figure whether the limit applies. Last-month rule. Under the last-month rule, you are considered to be an eligible individual for the entire year if you are an eligible individual on the first day of the last month of your tax year (December 1 for most taxpayers). You can make contributions to your HSA for 2021 until April 15, 2022. Your employer can make contributions to your HSA between January 1, 2022, and April 15, 2022, that are allocated to 2021. The contribution will be reported on your 2021 Form W-2.

Summary of HSA Tax Advantages • T ax deductible. You can claim a tax deduction for contributions you, or

someone other than your employer, make to your HSA even if you don't itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). • P retax dollars. Contributions to your HSA made by your employer (including contributions made through a cafeteria plan) may be excluded from your gross income.

Bryan Kisiel, CPA® CEO, Kisiel & Associates Director of Tax Planning, SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management

• T ax-free interest on earnings. Contributions remain in your account until you use them and are rolled over year after year. Any interest or other earnings on the assets in the account are tax-free. Furthermore, an HSA is "portable" and stays with you if you change employers or leave the workforce. • T ax-free distributions. Distributions may be tax-free if you pay qualified medical expenses. • A dditional contributions for older workers. Employees aged 55 years and older are able to save an additional $1,000 per year. • T ax-free after retirement. Distributions are tax-free at age 65 when used for qualified medical expenses including amounts used to pay Medicare Part B and Part D premiums, and long-term care insurance policy premiums. You cannot, however, use money in an HSA to pay for supplemental insurance (e.g., Medigap) premiums.

Help is Just a Phone Call Away Please contact the office if you have any questions about health savings accounts.

Please like us on facebook: Kisiel & Associates, PC

Success Is A Journey, Not a Destination Schedule a free consultation! 724.626.2926 The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.

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by Bree Edgerly Meeting at The White Rabbit

(Photo Courtesy of SkySight Photography) Brian Lawrence, Chad Amond, Jim Smith and Jason Rigone (photographed L to R) collaborating their community efforts over coffee at The White Rabbit Cafe in downtown Greensburg. The cafe is a vibrant example of the type of entrepreneurial business that these four men work daily to attract to Westmoreland County through the strategies of “Reimagining Our Westmoreland.”


The Backstage Crew on the Set of Westmoreland County

ehind the scenes of most good things, there are teams of dedicated individuals contributing their energy and skill sets to make them happen. An impressive performance is the culmination of not only the actors on set, but all the individuals who dedicated their time to building the sets, running the lights, marketing the show so that the seats were filled, preparing costumes and styling, writing the scenes, and the list goes on. The stage of our lives is much the same — behind the scenes of the county where you live are a multitude of individuals and organizations that invest their energy into pooling their resources to make our neighborhoods safe, our recreational spaces attractive,

our downtowns thriving and our economies sustainable now and into the future. But also much like a stage performance, most people move through their days unaware of the mountain of work that is happening behind the scenes to make their world go. In Westmoreland County, an incredible cohort of 19 community professionals banded together in 2016 with the 6 members of the county’s Department of Planning & Development Planning Division and 3 County Commissioners to research and analyze the economic status of our county and spearhead the development of a comprehensive plan that would lay the groundwork for a prosperous

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future. In addition to collecting and studying statistical, census-type data on the demographics and economic trends within the county, the committee worked hard to uncover what mattered most to residents and business owners by engaging over 5,000 individuals from the community through several phases of public dialogue including 34 community workshops and 11 focus groups. After two years, the committee laid out seven core objectives achieved through a total of 38 strategies in an official comprehensive plan branded “Reimagining our Westmoreland” that was adopted by the County of Westmoreland Board of Commissioners on December 20, 2018.

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Why did Westmoreland County need a comprehensive plan? Demographic research unveiled a dramatic population shift over the last 50 years, starting in the 1970s when many residents moved out of the county to find work after the collapse of the prominent manufacturing industries that laid the foundation for our county’s early thriving economy. Concurrently across the nation, a trending shift toward decreased family sizes and childrearing rates coupled with this wave of migration out of the county and have resulted in a population change that leads to significant challenges for Westmoreland’s economic development and workforce. “Reimagining Our Westmoreland” outlines strategies to reinforce and perpetuate our county as the place to live, work and play today and well into the future by attracting, developing and retaining a diverse and stable workforce that will sustain a healthy economy. While county residents go about their days benefiting from the abundant amenities of our community, there are many individuals diligently at work not only making sure those amenities are in place, but that our communities are positioned to continue to grow. The Comprehensive Plan Annual Reports highlight Strategy Champions, organizations that have identified themselves as strategic partners and have been active in implementing strategies of “Reimagining Our Westmoreland.” The rest of this article aims to recognize some of these strategy champions and hear from their leaders about how their organizations are working to achieve the action statements of the plan. At the forefront of the strategy champions are two members of our county government: Jason Rigone, Director of the County Planning Division and Executive Director of

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the Westmoreland Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC), and Brian Lawrence, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland (RAWC) and Land Bank (WCLB). Between the two of them, they not only were leaders in the development of the plan, but they also actively implement strategies through the WCIDC and RAWC, government agencies that work hand in hand to promote economic growth through job creation and to reenergize the county’s core communities by enticing new business, residential and recreational opportunities. While the WCIDC primarily focuses on development of industrial parks within the county, the RAWC and WCLB’s reaches extend into the residential category as they assist in community revitalization efforts and implement a multitude of programs centered around their mission of building healthy and whole communities by eliminating blight and its influences in our communities. More information on these organizations’ initiatives can be found at https://co.westmoreland.pa.us/668/ Westmoreland-Development-Council/. “Reimagining our Westmoreland” is spearheaded by the Planning Department, but its implementation would not be possible without the support and partnership of various municipalities, organizations, local businesses and nonprofits. Similar in mission to the WCIDC and RAWC, The Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland (EGC) is a “private non-profit membership based organization created to foster economic growth and development in Westmoreland County…to raise the standard of living through sustainable high quality job creation and retention.” Jim Smith, President and CEO of the EGC, served as a member of the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee. The EGC has played a crucial role in the

distribution of millions of dollars to small businesses through any number of support and relief programs. To learn more about the EGC’s efforts to support small businesses, visit https://egcw.org/. Also working hard to provide resources for local businesses, The Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce “builds strong partnerships among regional business leaders, community leaders, elected officials and key stakeholders on a variety of important issues facing our community… maintains a robust business-friendly advocacy platform and provides members with a variety of networking events, group purchasing and professional development opportunities.” Chamber President and CEO Chad Amond also served on the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee. The Chamber partners closely with the WCIDC, RACW, EGC and a multitude of other similar organizations to make Westmoreland County a more attractive place to do business. Their website (https:// westmorelandchamber.com), newsletters and events serve as key marketing spaces for local businesses to promote their services as well as post employment opportunities.

Information regarding “Reimagining Our Westmoreland” is sourced directly from the Comprehensive Plan and Annual Reports. To view the Comprehensive Plan and Annual Reports in full online, open your camera on your smartphone and scan the QR code to access the link.

Backstage Pass Interviews Before (Photo Courtesy of City Cribs LLC)

After (Photo Courtesy of Wight Elephant Boutique)

Cultivate the entrepreneur, the builder and the entertainer Bree: What do you think is the most impactful service that the chamber offers to help cultivate the entrepreneur?

The original brick-and-mortar shop of Wight Elephant Boutique was a successful redevelopment project of City Cribs LLC. A unique local retail venture, the store stands as a success story of a young local female entrepreneur choosing Westmoreland County as the place to headquarter her international business. 25 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

Chad Amond: I would have to say, it’s having the ability to be part of an organization that helps not only with networking and promoting small businesses but being part of an organization that promotes the area in general. The Chamber is uniquely involved and has relationships with local government officials.

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Bree: Why is Westmoreland County the place to start a business? Jim Smith: Westmoreland County offers a number of advantages for starting a new business. In addition to the quality school districts, with their associated career and technical centers, the county has five institutions of higher education. The county currently has 19 industrial parks – more than any other county in Pennsylvania; an excellent highway system that puts companies within 500 miles of half the population of the United States and Canada; a shortline railroad that connects with three class one carriers; and an airport! In short, Westmoreland has everything that companies need.

Build vibrant communities, plan for and expect well-designed places Bree: What is a recent project of one of your organizations that you feel has offered residents a quality opportunity for recreation? Brian Lawrence: The Westmoreland County Land Bank demolished a blighted, abandoned property next to the Sutersville Community Park and expanded the park with a new “Play Express” train play set. The demolition, park expansion and new playground equipment were paid for through donations and grants from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

or providing healthcare to our loved ones, we wouldn’t have much of an economy. Largely, people are deciding where to live based on the location’s amenities, including access to natural assets like our wild places in the Laurel Highlands and on our pristine rivers like the Yough and Kiski.

(Photo Courtesy of Jay Bell, Bella Terra Vineyards) Bella Terra Vineyards was founded in 2015 in Hunker as an event venue and has rapidly grown over the past 6 years into an awarded local industry leader in the production of canned wines. The continued expansion of their facilities features The Igloos at Bella Terra, offering guests a unique opportunity for heated outdoor dining throughout the winter months.

Create unique and inviting places to play Bree: How are we cultivating diversity in Westmoreland County? Chad Amond: Comprehensive Plan Strategy 2.3 specifically lays out policies, programs and projects to “Welcome Everyone.” The non-profit Westmoreland Community Action has acquired grant money to support initiatives and is taking the lead on building programming for making Westmoreland County a more welcoming and diverse place. The Welcoming Westmoreland Program has two committees: The Welcoming Committee is focused on business and marketing initiatives while the Diversity & Inclusivity Committee is focused on developing training resources, policies and codes of ethics for use in businesses and the community. Bree: The balance of supporting development while preserving high quality open spaces and natural assets can be challenging – how does the WCIDC maintain this balance?

(Photo Courtesy of SkySight Photography) The Westmoreland Museum of American Art has been a nationally recognized cultural destination for decades, drawing visitors from all over the world into Westmoreland County for its diverse exhibitions and educational programs since 1959. Undergoing a major renovation in 2015, The New Westmoreland “offers a place to share compelling and meaningful cultural experiences that open the door to new ideas, perspectives and possibilities.” (https://thewestmoreland.org/)

Jason Rigone: Successful and prospering communities rely on both open spaces and development; the two concepts don’t necessarily have to be competing ideas, rather, indirectly one supports the other. One of the most important elements of economic development is a skilled and growing labor force: without people developing new technology, working tools and equipment, teaching our children

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Directing development to locations and along corridors that have existing infrastructure is key to limiting impact on the county’s sensitive areas, reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. As an example, the WCIDC recently completed the Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland development in Sewickley Township. This location, formerly used in part for industrial activity, was identified as a priority development location because of its existing and direct access to highways and railroads, maximizing opportunities while minimizing impact. We as a county through open dialogue have to clearly decide on what areas are vital to preserve and what can support future development.

Plug into technology and innovation Bree: Across the industrial park system of Westmoreland County, what are some different types of businesses WCIDC have brought into the county?

(Photo Courtesy of Westmoreland County Community College) “The new WCCC Advanced Technology Center is poised to become a community, workforce and economic development asset to help grow the manufacturing industry in the region. Occupying 73,500 SF of space at RIDC Westmoreland Innovation Center in Mount Pleasant, the ATC provides affordable, hands-on learning to prepare WCCC students and incumbent workers for highdemand, technically oriented careers in manufacturing, energy and other sectors.” (https://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/2160/ Advanced-Technology-Center)

c o v e r

Jason Rigone: Although our industrial park system is designed to assist the manufacturing related industries, what we’ve experienced is that numerous use types have located and invested at any one of our park locations: office and administrative, warehouse/distribution, technology and R&D, and service based. It’s easy to point to those publicly traded, multinational corporations that have headquarters in our parks like Siemens, Philips, ABB, Dick’s Sporting Goods or Baker Hughes, but we really appreciate the homegrown companies that have seen tremendous growth like Asset Genie in our South Greensburg Commons location or Poly Concept North America in the Business and Research Park. These companies were started locally and have grown to six-figure employers having a tremendous impact on the local economy. While we continue to support our traditional industries, we have the opportunity to see real growth in the areas of robotics, AI and especially autonomous vehicles. Bree: Explain the Forum for Workforce Development and how it is forging partnerships between employers and the education system to maintain the young workforce within our county. Jim Smith: The Forum for Workforce Development is a collaborative effort between education, industry, non-profits, and economic development. The goal is to better align education and industry to provide our students with opportunities to grow their careers in the region. We accomplish this by providing pathways to regional career clusters; career exploration opportunities with virtual reality career tours which make accessibility for all students possible in the age of covid; partnering with other counties to make this a truly regional effort; and ensuring that industry and education have a line of communication to make sure that we are providing the right skills that are needed for a truly world-class workforce.

Enjoy nature and wide open spaces Bree: Does the Land Bank have any current projects to remedy blight with new Green Space within the county? Brian Lawrence: The Land Bank is assisting in the demolition of some of the older structures at Ligonier Beach property to support the revitalization of that asset

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s t o r y

into a regional attraction once again. The property was damaged in 2017 and has since been sold to the township of Ligonier that is working closely with the non-profit “Friends of Ligonier Beach”on a plan to convert the existing swimming pool into a natural filtration swimming pool at the center of a nature-based recreation destination that will potentially include a pier for fishing on Loyalhanna Creek, a connection to the Ligonier Valley Trail, a pollinator garden, a new restaurant/ special event building and a new ecosystem education center.

(Photo Courtesy of GO Laurel Highlands) GO Laurel Highlands worked with Westmoreland County officials to install creative artwork around the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe to showcase the plethora of recreational and cultural opportunities the area has to offer.

(Photo Courtesy of SkySight Photography) Westmoreland County is abundant with natural assets. One of the seven core objectives within “Reimagining our Westmoreland” is dedicated to strategies championing our connection with parks and nature.

Tell the world Westmoreland County is expecting you! Another strategy champion and important marketing resource to Westmoreland County businesses is GO Laurel Highlands (GO LH). Focused on recreation and tourism, “GO LH implements year-round seasonal marketing campaigns throughout the Northeast and MidAtlantic to enhance awareness of the Laurel Highlands as a travel destination, which increases overnight stays, generates jobs and contributes to the economic growth and quality of life for the region.” GO LH’s robust website (http://golaurelhighlands.com) serves as the go-to guide for lodging, events, activities, dining, outdoor recreation and parks, arts and culture. The Laurel Highlands won 3rd place for the Overall Emerging Destination in 2020 by internationally recognized travel

blog, TravelLemming.com. “Westmoreland County is the home of Fred Rogers and Arnold Palmer, the birthplace of the banana split, and home to the only two Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Pennsylvania open to overnight lodging,” said Executive Director Ann Nemanic. “Any opportunity to be recognized globally is an extreme honor.” In collaboration with the WCIDC and Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce, GO LH has also been a part of creating and promoting our new county brand: Discover Westmoreland. According to the Discover Westmoreland Director Jessica Petrovich, “We believe that sharing the positive, local, inspiring stories of individuals, organizations and businesses around Westmoreland County will spur current and future residents to truly discover more about this place we call home. These efforts will lay the foundation for diverse, extensive branding and marketing efforts for Westmoreland County in the years to come and beyond.”

To visit the GO Laurel Highlands website, open the camera on your smartphone, scan the QR code & plan your next adventure!

Two Steps Forward

by Ann Nemanic, Executive Director, GO Laurel Highlands 2022

Two Steps Forward, NO Steps Back. Let this be our banner cry for 2022. A new year, a fresh start, 12 months to reach our goals. Allow the Laurel Highlands to be a part of achieving your success beginning right now.




Who doesn’t have this word on their 2022 list? It all begins with the first two steps or the first two strides of your cross-country skis, if you’re trying something new. Even when snow blankets our region, there are an abundance of trails to get your heart pumping and your feet moving. Our county and state parks will provide you with extraordinary landscapes to enjoy as you put your best foot forward. Stop into our Ligonier Visitor Center (113 East Main) and we’ll help you map out a course for success.

How many times have you heard that an experience is far more valuable than a gift? Memories are made through experiences and a bounty of those are mere steps away. Indoors or outdoors, the Laurel Highlands has oodles of activities for all ages. An art class, axe throwing, an escape room, a horse drawn sleigh ride are all experiences that can be enjoyed in the company of family and friends. Be sure and capture the fun on video and in photos to recall year after year. For Instagram users, remember to tag #laurelhighlands so we can see all your fun!

Winter affords us the opportunity to travel back in time. This is the only time we’ll allow you to step backwards. Remember all the fun of sledding in your youth? You can still enjoy the experience by visiting the Elizabeth Anna Peach-Bolish Winter Sports Area at Twin Lakes Park where you’ll find 3 sledding runs for beginners to advanced. Up for a faster pace? Get your annual shot of adrenaline by booking a 2-hour snow tubing run at Hidden Valley, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, or Nemacolin.

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For those who take life to the edge and thrive on the extreme, downhill skiing and snowboarding will check those boxes. Laurel Mountain ski area, just above the quaint town of Ligonier, boasts the highest vertical drop and the steepest slope in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. At Seven Springs, 33 slopes and trails, including their signature double black diamond with moguls, “Goosebumps Slope,” are groomed and waiting for you. Time to step up your game this winter and challenge yourself.

If nothing else, allow yourself to embrace the true majestic splendor of winter and all the season brings. Warm up with your favorite beverage, try a new hobby, clear your mind, journal your thoughts, purge your closets and storage areas, and above all – take time for yourself. Step forward into 2022 and be mindful and caring of yourself. Embrace the new you and be amazed at how successful you will be by simply putting one foot in front of the other.

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Upcoming Events! Friday, February 11, 2022 Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Ferrante's Lakeview Banquet Facility Rt. 30 | Greensburg, PA $35 per person Dinner, Dessert and Drafts Included 3 numbers per ticket – 333 tickets $3,750 in cash given away

All event proceeds benefit Animal Friends of Westmoreland, a 501c3 organization focused on rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming abandoned and abused animals.

Tickets available at animalfriendswestmoreland.org

Scott Ludwick

10 Horrifying Home Design Trends: The most regrettable fads designers hope will fade away.

Associate Broker 724-433-7800 Ranked in Top 100 Agents Nationally Since 1998! Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty

Sliding Barn Doors

As the farmhouse style loses traction, barn doors are sliding down designers’ priority lists. They’re bulky and can be impractical because they don’t always glide smoothly on a track.

Open Kitchen Shelving

Swapping out upper cabinetry for open shelving has become a go-to method to make kitchens airier and brighter. Plus, open shelving can lead to savings on a kitchen remodel. But in reality, open shelving can be a tough look to pull off. Dishes and glassware must always match and be perfectly organized.

Nautical Motifs Run Amok

Coastal design is one of the most beloved styles featured on Instagram, according to a 2020 study from Angie’s List. But you don’t need in-your-face nautical motifs like anchors, seashells, and sailor’s rope. Coastal interiors in locations far away from the beach can look silly rather than stylish. Make sure any design theme for your home matches your location.

All-White Interiors

White walls, furnishings, and rugs can feel uninspiring. Homes are getting more color treatment, particularly on the walls and cabinetry. Accent walls are making a comeback, adding a pop of color to a space with bright paint or bold wallpaper.

Oversized Desks

The home office has taken center stage as more people work remotely. But big, brown, claw-footed desks are no longer on trend. Instead, smaller, more modern styles are in vogue, such as glass tabletops with shiny metal frames or light-colored wood tones that don’t overpower a space. Even adjustable desks—like those that allow you to stand—are adding more flexible designs to home offices.

Painted Arches

The painted arch trend has been all the rage on Instagram. Whether it’s a brightly colored or pastel-toned arch, these focal points help to highlight furniture or open shelving. However, some designers say painted arches can make a room feel smaller and the ceiling appear lower.

Oversized Desks

The home office has taken center stage as more people work remotely. But big, brown, claw-footed desks are no longer on trend. Instead, smaller, more modern styles are in vogue, such as glass tabletops with shiny metal frames or light-colored wood tones that don’t overpower a space.

Tuscan Kitchen Designs

The Tuscan kitchen style from the 2000s was dominated by dark reds, chocolate browns, and golds. The lighting was ornate, with wrought iron finishes. The granite was often speckled with gold tints, and the cabinetry was in a deep brown. This fad is now making homes look dated and motivating more owners to renovate.


An uncluttered, sparsely decorated home can feel sad because of the lack of personality. With people spending more time at home, they’re seeking more meaningful interiors and placing more personal home accents on display. More of a maximalist look is taking root, thanks to the influences of cluttercore and Grandmillennial style.

Acrylic Furniture

Tables and dining chairs made of industrial plastic were popular in the 2010s, essentially vanishing into the room and making it look larger. Nowadays, homeowners want their furniture to stand out, not blend in. So, splurge on a chair you can actually see and a table you can’t miss as you put down your drink.

Moss Walls

Everyone loves indoor plants, but adding them to your walls may be overkill. “Living walls”—which actually have greenery growing on them—have been touted for their health benefits, such as purifying indoor air and reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). But those benefits aside, watering or growing anything on your walls is not a trend we can condone. Keep the vertical greenery or gardens beautifying the outside of your home. Inside, opt for an old-fashioned houseplant—in a decorative pot on the floor or along the windowsill.

If you have questions about this, or anything real estate related reach out to Scott Ludwick at 724-261-5637 or Scott@ScottLudwick.com

© 2021 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Where Every Person Matters

Utilizing the Montessori Philosophy to provide Person-Centered Care by Alaina Fisher, Communications & Development Assistant


im used to be the town mechanic, known for his speedy appointments and many different services. His skills made him the go-to-guy for all repairs. Jim loved working on cars, he loved finding solutions to problems that no one could solve. When Jim began to show signs of cognitive decline, his family worried about him living on his own. They started to look at care homes that would best suit Jim’s hobbies and lifestyle, somewhere he would be happy and feel at home. Jim’s family stressed the importance of memory care, as Jim had recently been diagnosed with Dementia. At Redstone Highlands, we offer care solutions for individuals like Jim that utilize The Montessori Approach, centering around activities that mirror the resident’s life before they needed care to help foster a sense of self-fulfillment. The Montessori philosophy began as a teaching block for intellectually challenged children. Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder, rejected common beliefs that children with intellectual and physical disabilities were to be deemed as ‘unteachable’. Thus, she developed a way to adapt both materials and environment to personally stimulate the person receiving the care. Many years later, this method of caring and teaching is not only applicable in Dementia care, it is crucial to providing person-centered care.

resident and caregiver. The Montessori Approach encompasses that trust by tailoring resident activities to what is required for them to lead a purposeful and satisfactory way of life. It introduces incentives that promote social and physical participation, respects the abilities of the resident, and provides a life-affirming role that enhances their personal control of decision making. Applying the Montessori philosophy to Jim the mechanic, we can offer him materials and activities that are person-centered. Maybe we offer him puzzles that replicate the problem-solution manner of working on an engine. We could also offer him model car kits to display his skills of building and creating. These actions allow Jim to think and act on his own, giving him the freedom to be his own person in his own environment. Think of how your grandmother interacted with her own home: was she cooking on the stove or sweeping the kitchen with a broom? Activities such as gardening, painting, folding laundry, using tools, making their bed, and taking care of plants are all examples of how we use The Montessori Approach to engage residents in active and

Redstone has a foundation rooted in person-centered care. Meaning, the care received by an individual is specific to their personal needs, abilities, history, and interests. We believe that this establishes a bond of trust and collaboration between 33 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

individually orientated roles. Although this is not an exhaustive list, we can tailor caregiving activities to the individual. Adjusting activities to replicate who the individual once was gives them a sense of being home and feeling like their actions contribute to everyone. In this way, materials are geared toward facilitating engagement that makes the resident the main character of their story. We ask ourselves: who was this person before they became a member of this home? Their story is likely filled with helpful hints on how we can personalize their care to what they like to do. Making this philosophy a way of life, not an activity or program, gives guidance for residents to be their own person. The Montessori philosophy improves both awareness and resident involvement, placing intrinsic motivation at the forefront of what the Redstone does. By fostering both key components and natural tendencies, we can build upon the identities residents came with before they met us. When we, as caregivers, know when to intervene, observe, or step back, we can better assess the needs of an individual person. Acting this way allows us to provide resident roles that offer purpose and choice.

Learn more: redstonehighlands.org

by Autumn Stankay, Owner and Photographer of SkySight Photography

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Sports & Social Steel City J. Corks

J. Corks • Plan to cook/bake the dishes as the photographer is shooting.



hen photographing a plate of food, some may think it’s a quick snap of the shutter and the photo is complete. But in fact, quite a bit of thought and process goes into that photograph. It can take several hours sometimes to just capture a few different plated meals. I thought I’d tell you a few tips about putting together a food photography shoot! If you own a restaurant, bake cookies, or have a friend who is a food blogger - these might be helpful tips for you!

Timing is key to making sure it looks good on camera. If you are photographing a steak, then a burger, then a piece of pie with whipped cream on top - be sure to make them in that order. Take the steak off the grill moments before the photographer starts shooting it, and don’t add the whipped cream until seconds before the camera clicks, for example. You don’t want to make all the dishes prior to the photographer arriving!

• Plan on properly pairing drinks with entrees: a white wine with

fish, a red wine with beef, a beer with pizza, or a berry cocktail with a summer salad.

• Dress the table depending on how you want the style of the photo to look. Sometimes

The Olde Spitfire Grille

I will bring extra items like a rustic wooden board to place under the dish for extra interest in the photo. I suggest that my clients think about items which I could incorporate that may already exist in their restaurant, or else I can bring them to the shoot. If the restaurant is high end, I might bring some fancy dishes, whereas if they are rustic in their style, I will use wooden elements for coasters and backdrops under the plate.

Use helpful tricks to achieve extra effects in your photos: •P lace a cotton ball into boiling water and then set it behind a cup of coffee to create “steam” to make the coffee look hot. •B rush oil on items like a sizzling steak to make it shine a little more. •H ave items like toothpicks handy to help prop something up if needed. • I ce cream melts too quickly to be photographed; a mixture of corn syrup, powdered sugar and vegetable shortening can be used to replace the ice cream. And yes, mashed potato is often used too! •F ood styling tips are endless. Guess what - not all hot food is photographed hot, and not all cold food is shot cold!

Explore my food photography gallery here for more fun ideas.


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www.go2goalus.com 35

by Briana R. Tomack Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce President PO Box 463, Latrobe, PA 15650 724-537-2671 • www.latrobelaurelvalley.org Chamber volunteers conduct an overview program that explores various jobs and the types of training or education required. Instead of perpetuating the old hierarchy of going to college to make the most money, the program has recently been redesigned to incorporate the diverse opportunities, challenges, and career choices of the 21st century.

When we talk about programs for partnerships in education, what most people think of are annual High-School Career Days or internships for college students. However, the collective impact of creating sustainable projects that regularly bring together businesses, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations can be quite transformative in your local community.



oung people are a key future resource of human capital and ingenuity, and their educational success is a valuable asset that companies and communities can leverage to meet their goals. All aspects of society benefit when well-prepared students enter the workforce with knowledge, competencies, credentials and a strong work ethic. The future of work will call for a return of the Renaissance Figure: a person with many talents, interests, and areas of knowledge. It will require a fusion of four key work skills: • • • •

D igital tools and technology skills C omfortability with analytics and data B usiness management skills D esign skills and creativity

At the GLLV Chamber of Commerce, we offer programming that organizes sustainable opportunities to take charge of the learning curve and enhance civic engagement on multiple levels. It all begins with offering ways for local students to gather information, question opportunities, and network with neighborhood business leaders. It also provides an opportunity for our chamber businesses who volunteer to facilitate these programs to connect with students and be a part of the workforce development initiative in Westmoreland County. Some of the programs provided through the GLLV Chamber Education Program include:

• Directions Career Exploration Program Designed to help students understand that the decisions they make today can make a significant impact on future education, career and potential income.

• D ays of Economic Understanding

This program is conducted for high school students by area business and industry leaders to teach the principles of creating an idea and marketing to a target audience. Students are responsible for the design and presentation of a complete marketing presentation including print, television and radio.

• I nterview Workshops and Career Days

Students have the opportunity to meet with professional career representatives to discuss specific aspects of their profession. Interview Workshops allow students to practice their communication skills through actual mock interviews with local employers. These programs are held in the spring and fall semesters at our local school districts.

• Economic Exchange Day

This full day program is conducted in the spring for high school economics students. A main project of study is identified and subject matter experts from a variety of fields present information and data pertinent to the case study. Students have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions of the guest speakers before presenting their summaries at the end of the day. This exercise teaches the students how multiple disciplines work together to complete large scale community projects.

• Chamber University

Chamber University is a quarterly event that is provided free of charge to chamber members. This program is designed to provide our chamber businesses the tools necessary to thrive and be successful.

In every high-achieving school — just as in every successful business — you will find a talented and dedicated leader. The best thing we in the business world can do is to bring direct help to children

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in need, especially to those whose promise is greater than their means. The business community has an opportunity and a responsibility to take action. We can point the way for others to follow. We can extend learning and opportunity to many students, in the hope that one day all students, in every public school can graduate and move on to college or into the workforce prepared for a productive and fulfilling life. JW Marriott, Jr. (Business Education Network First Annual Report, Spring 2006 – Business Civic Leadership Leadership Center) Some of the benefits of a well-educated workforce can be having highly skilled and happy employees, new and creative ideas, and even increased profits and investment. Studies have shown that over half of all employees are not engaged. Continuous learning is an investment in your team that actively prevents them from feeling low engagement at work. Companies with highly engaged teams achieve a 21-24% increase in profitability (Gallup). The multitude of programming provided by the GLLV chamber of Commerce to our local student populations is a key driver in the economic success of both business and community. Learning doesn’t simply end after students leave school and enter the workplace. Employees and business owners must commit to staying abreast of key developments in their industries. To learn more about our ongoing commitment to civic engagement and education in the neighborhood, please visit our chamber website: www. gllv.org. If you are interested in ways to participate and support our programming through volunteerism and financial contributions, read more at: GLLV Chamber Educational Programs.



n Fall 2018, Lesco Federal Credit Union proudly opened Cats Cash, a student branch at Greater Latrobe Senior High School. The student branch is part of Lesco’s community financial literacy initiative. “Our goal is twofold,” says Lesco Marketing Specialist, Taylor Grabiak.

In a practical sense, students are eligible to become Lesco members and take advantage of services like deposits, withdrawals and check cashing on site at the student branch. This is convenient for students because many of them have busy schedules and are unable to get to Lesco’s main office during normal business hours. In 2019, a Lesco ATM was also installed outside of the gymnasium for easily accessible cash withdrawals. While these services are important, it is the financial education aspect that makes the student branch unique. For instance, many students do not have their first experience with financial accounts or handling money until they are out of school. Unfortunately, that leaves many young people lacking basic financial and money management skills. When a student becomes a Cats Cash member, he or she now has the responsibility to cash a paycheck and the opportunity to practice money management. For many students, working for that money, having it in hand or having the opportunity to deposit it increases the desire to save! Additionally, the student branch is run by supervised student tellers. Since its inception, Cats Cash has been staffed by students who are supervised by a Lesco employee. The student tellers are invited to apply for a position, interviewed by Lesco staff and school faculty, and trained at Lesco’s main office. They are given a drawer where they conduct transactions and are responsible for balancing it at the end of each branch open period. For the student tellers, this position gives them the opportunity to: • G ain interview and professional experience • Build their resumes

by Taylor Grabiak, Marketing Specialist

• W ork on their soft skills including communication, teamwork, leadership, and professionalism • L earn financial, business, and marketing skills These positions have led to additional opportunities. For example, Lesco has hosted multiple Financial Reality Fairs within the high school. The fairs provide students with a realworld budgeting experience where they must make lifestyle choices based on a generated salary specific to their career choice. Community professionals are invited to volunteer at the fairs to staff the different booths and guide students through the fair. At the end, all students must meet with a financial counselor to review their choices and to make sure they are within budget. Grabiak says, “The Fairs, started by the National Credit Union Association, are a great way to promote wise money management and community involvement. It is incredibly eye opening for the students when they see that money really doesn’t grow on trees. Many students have left the Fairs more appreciative of their parents!” Grabiak has also spoken to students in various business classes about the importance of saving and financial responsibility. Lastly, Cats Cash is about building meaningful professional connections. For Lesco staff, it has been a wonderful experience to work with the students. On days when the student branch was less busy, former Lesco employee, Beverly Jenkins, could be seen listening to one of the student’s presentations for English class or holding flashcards as they review for a math test. Former GLSHS student, Taylor Hochard, now a student at Saint Vincent College was a student teller her junior and senior year of high school. Beginning the summer of her junior year, Taylor officially joined Lesco staff as a part-time teller at the main office. She has continued that position throughout the last

couple of years and is now the supervisor at the Cats Cash student branch. Hochard says, “I enjoy working for Lesco FCU because it offers a well-diversified work force that allows me to engage and learn about credit unions and handling money. As part of this branch, I have been able to expand my knowledge hands-on and have creative opportunities that allow me to show leadership, networking, and marketing skills. What makes this opportunity the most rewarding is the chance to mentor the student tellers and watch them grow independently and learn from this experience.” Lesco will continue to pursue financial literacy and community outreach opportunities. 2022 marks Lesco’s 72nd year serving its membership. Lesco is a full-service community credit union. Anyone who lives, works, attends school, volunteers, or worships in Westmoreland County is eligible to become a Lesco member. Lesco offers numerous financial services such as: savings accounts, Christmas Club accounts, no-fee checking accounts, Visa debit card, low-rate Visa credit card, coin counting machine (FREE for members), online and mobile banking, bill pay, two drive-up teller windows and drive-up ATM, and a variety of low-rate loans including new and used auto, home equity and personal loans.

For a comprehensive list of Lesco’s services, please visit www.lescofcu.com

Proudly serving the community for 72 years!

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Protecting Your Castle

o you remember what it was like buying your first home? I do. It was an exciting time in my life filled with the ultimate promise of freedom and accomplishment. With that freedom and accomplishment though also came with the unfamiliar responsi­bility of caring for and protecting my new home. Thoughts of all the different things that could happen swirled constantly through my head: wind ripping off the roof, a pipe backing up into my fin­ished basement, or worse yet, a fire turning my entire home to ashes. As time went on, those fears eventually went away and my nerves were calmed

because I knew if something happened, I had the best possible coverage on my home to protect me, no matter what. But isn’t home insurance all the same? I am here to tell you that it is not. The Company Insurance companies are not all the same and come in many different shapes and sizes. When looking for an insurance company, it is important to take into consideration a few things. First, find an independent and objective opinion of that company. Guides like AM Best or Demotech provide this information and rates each company based on its financial stability and credit. Ratings of A or better are desirable.

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Complete your own research. Ask friends and family about their experiences with a specific insurer. Back up their findings with data collected from online reviews and other resources, including JD Power & Associates. The Coverage* Correct coverage is the key. Many insurance policies do not adequately protect policyholders. Be sure to review your Dwelling and Personal Property coverage and verify if you have Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value. In the case of a claim, the goal is to be restored back to new again. This is where Replacement Cost comes in. Your damaged home or property

by JJ Rettura, CIC Vice President/Operations Manager Laurel Highlands Insurance Group LLC

will be covered to be fully repaired or replaced with brand new. On the other hand, Actual Cash Value is paid based on an item’s depreciated value. Example: Replacement Cost= Your 15-year-old roof (30-year shingle) blows off in a windstorm and costs $15,000 to replace. The insurance company pays the full $15,000, minus your deductible. Actual Cash Value= That same 15-yearold roof (30-year shingle) blows off in a storm. The shingle is halfway through its useful life. The insurance company pays 50% of the replacement, or $7,500, minus your deductible. You can see how Actual Cash Value may not be in the best interest of the policyholder.

forget Criminal Defense Cost Reimbursement coverage. If you injure an invader while protecting your family or home, you may have to defend yourself in court. If found not guilty, this coverage will reimburse you for defense fees. Many companies are building unique policies and including new coverages to protect their clients from the ever-changing risks in today’s world. Finding the right extra coverage for you and your needs is paramount. If there is something specific you would like to protect such as a collection, jewelry, antiques, or other specialty items, discuss it with your agent. He or she can provide you with the right coverages.

Your Personal Liability coverage is equally important. This coverage protects you from all things related to injury, property damage, and much more. These limits should be set to no less than $300,000. Just think, what if the neighbor kid was cutting your grass, slipped, and severed his toes? The injury sustained would be covered by the liability coverage on the policy, effectively paying for the hospital bills, physical therapy, and prosthetics up to policy limits. This coverage can be raised to $1,000,000 on a base home policy. If you desire more coverage to protect you from the unthinkable, consider an Umbrella Policy which is often inexpensive and begin at providing an additional $1,000,000 of protection. Many companies are now offering unique coverages built directly into your policy. These extras may come in handy for situations you have never considered. Underground Service Line coverage is protection for buried utility lines (water, sewage, gas, cable,) even if there is wear and tear on the line. These claims most often cost more than $5,000. Has your furnace ever died on you in the middle of a financially difficult time? With Equipment Breakdown Coverage there is now coverage for your furnace, air conditioner, hot water tank, washer, dryer, and much more. Don’t

39 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

they an agency who will service you properly in the future? Just like when you are looking for the right company, also do your homework on the agent. Check with family and friends to get their input plus check the reviews. Lastly, does the agent have continuing education? Look for professional designations certifying them as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Certified Risk Manager (CRM), or Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR). These individuals have dedicated themselves to continuing educational excellence and knowledge within the insurance industry. The Final Word Your home is one of the most important investments you will ever make in your life. You owe it to yourself and your family to make sure you are properly covered in all the right places. Buying insurance doesn’t have to be challenging if you have all the proper information to make the most educated decision possible. This is your castle. Protect it. Protect yourself.

The Agent The insurance world is changing. You can now find coverage just about anywhere from online at Walmart or still in person with your local agent. What is best for you is finding an agent who understands your risks and finds you the right protection. Education is extremely important. Be sure they take their time to explain the coverages thoroughly, so you understand what you are paying for and how you are protected. How do they treat their customers? Are

If you would like to review your existing homeowner’s policy, we would love to help. Laurel Highlands Insurance Group LLC is an award winning, premier, multi-lines, independent insurance agency in the heart of Southwestern PA with decades of experience. We take great pride in providing our clients with unbiased and honest information so they can make the best decision possible for themselves and their families. It’s our goal to leave you with a better understanding of your risk and provide you with the protection to match. *Coverage options vary with insurance company, type of policy, and options purchased. Please consult your insurance professional for answers specifically related to your policy.


Medicare Supplement vs. Medicare Advantage


Medicare Supplement

Medicare Advantage


by Allison Clayton

MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT Medicare supplement insurance (or Medigap) helps pay some of the out-of-pocket health care costs that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t pay. It isn’t a government benefit, like Parts A and B. Plans are offered through private insurance companies. It’s your decision whether to add a supplement with your Original Medicare.

There are 10 standardized Medicare supplement insurance plans, labeled “A” through “N.” (These letters are not related to the Medicare Part A, B, C and D) The main purpose of a Medicare supplement plan is to cover some of the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Medicare Parts A and B. This includes deductibles, copays, and co-insurance. Each standardized plan with the same letter must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company is offering the plan. For example, the basic benefits of one company’s Plan G are the same as the basic benefits of another company’s Plan G. However, the premium cost of a plan could be different between insurance companies in a service area; and many states and zip codes are rated at different premiums for the same plan.


Medicare Advantage plans were designed as an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). By Joining one of these plans, you are allowing the plan to provide all of your Part A and B services. Medicare pays the Medicare Advantage Plan a set monthly amount for your care. So, in a roundabout way, the Part B premium you pay to Medicare each month does get to your Medicare Advantage Plan. You must always continue to be enrolled in Part A and pay your Part B premium to stay enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan. You must also live in the plan’s service area. In a lot of cases, you will need to use doctors and facilities who participate in the plan’s network and service area with a Medicare Advantage Plan, but some plans do give you the ability to use out of network doctors and facilities, usually with a higher copay or coinsurance. Common types of Medicare Advantage Plans are HMOS and PPOS. Advantage plans were built with an out-ofpocket maximum on your yearly medical spending. Think of this as a protection from unexpected and catastrophic medical bills. If you reach this certain out-of-pocket limit, the plan pays for your covered medical expenses for the remainder of the calendar year. Please note that Part D prescription costs are separate. Medicare Advantage policies are NOT Medigap plans. You may not have a Medicare Advantage Plan and Medigap plan at the same time. With a Medicare Advantage plan you will use a network of providers

40 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

and facilities. You will pay co-pays and coinsurance when you receive most healthcare services. Each plan designates their cost sharing (copays, etc.) so it is important to evaluate how the plans differ when making your decision. For example, one plan may have a flat rate for a hospital stay and another plan may charge a copay per day, for a set number of days.

Allison Clayton is licensed independent insurance agent in Pennsylvania for ten years at Insurance Services LLC. Our home office and headquarters for Insurance Services LLC is located in Greensburg, PA. Our family-owned and operated independent insurance agency has specialized in serving Medicare-eligible since 1980 and is A+ rated at the Better Business Bureau.

www.insuranceallison.com 724.879.5030 Allisoneclayton1@gmail.com Facebook: @allisonclaytonIS YouTube Channel: Allison Clayton



ennsylvania employers have struggled because of the pandemic and the resulting arbitrary business closures that were thrust upon them. They were forced to furlough and even lay off their workers. After fighting unprecedented circumstances, many succumbed and closed their doors forever. Those that were able to stay afloat then faced staffing shortages as people were wary to return to work because of the threat of the virus or because they discovered that collecting unemployment was more lucrative. Many employers are still forced to operate on a reduced schedule, further limiting their ability to recover from the blow their business faced. Despite the obvious residual challenges, Gov. Tom Wolf feels now is the time to add yet another burden: higher energy costs that will come when Pennsylvania joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a multi-state compact that places a tax on every ton of CO2 emissions from electricity producers. That tax will be paid by both employers and Pennsylvania residents in higher electric bills. The RGGI tax money is spent by government officials, with their stated goals being to reduce CO2 output and climate change. However, even the governor himself said that Pennsylvania has actually done a

41 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

by Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) great job reducing CO2, all while being a major electricity exporter to other states, including RGGI states. In fact, the state Independent Fiscal Office reported that while Pennsylvania’s electric generation has held steady during the last decade, its CO2 emissions from power plants have fallen by 37%. Not only would the carbon tax violate the state Constitution, which grants exclusive power to the legislative branch to levy taxes, but it would also result in the closure of Pennsylvania’s coal-fired power plants, the loss of family-sustaining jobs and negative impacts on the state’s economy. The second hit to employers would be the reduced discretionary income people have to spend, especially when inflation, food costs, and gas prices are all skyrocketing. People’s paychecks aren’t going nearly as far as they used to, so extra spending at businesses is reduced to compensate. Pennsylvania’s employers cannot continue to be the governor’s whipping boy.

mental Resources and Energy Committee to pass it and present it to the governor. If Gov. Wolf vetoes the resolution, it will return to the Senate, which may consider overriding the veto. Two-thirds of the Senate must support the resolution to override the veto. Should the Senate override the veto, the measure would then go to the House where the same two-thirds vote is required. Even if a veto is not overridden, the process is probably far from complete. This is expected to end up in the courts, which will likely be asked to determine if imposing a CO2 tax is beyond the scope of the executive branch’s unilateral authority. Additionally, as this was initiated by executive order and not by state law approved by the General Assembly, Pennsylvania could very well be withdrawn from the RGGI by a future governor.

Recently, the Senate voted to disapprove a regulation by the state Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to have Pennsylvania join RGGI.

We should always be looking for better ways to generate our energy, but not on the backs of Pennsylvania’s employers and residents. Unelected bureaucrats should not be picking the winners and the losers with our hard-earned money, nor should they shut down our power plants and coal mines.

In October, the concurrent resolution moved to the state House of Representatives, which has a window of 10 legislative days or 30 calendar days from the date the resolution moves from the House Environ-

Call the governor, send me an email at pstefano@pasen.gov and voice your opposition to this proposal. We must push back against further harm to the state’s businesses.

Elliott Company’s new cryogenic pump test facility was built on the Jeannette Glass site. See Page 43 for “before” photos of the property. Below, AL. Neyer has begun site-preparation work at Commerce Crossing.

Development Along I-70, Two Grand Openings and Honoring One of Our Own


efore I dive into my updates about new business and jobs, I’d like to give a quick overview of what we do here at the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation. Founded by the county commissioners in 1983, the WCIDC is a nonprofit organization that’s tasked with promoting growth in terms of job creation, economic output, and a stable tax base for Westmoreland County. With the county commissioners as our board of directors, we’ve done this by developing a countywide industrial park system, marketing Westmoreland business opportunities and supporting existing Westmoreland businesses by connecting them with resources to help them succeed. Profits we generate from selling the properties we’ve developed or leasing the facilities we own get reinvested into other economic development projects in the county. I hope these articles help readers better understand the work we do to support our local economy. Last issue, I ended my update of recent activity with a note about Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland. I might as well pick up with where I left off — with

details of a land sale that recently took place at that Sewickley Township development.

First Lot Sold

In October, commercial real estate developer Al. Neyer finalized its purchase of approximately 26 acres at Commerce Crossing. This is the first lot we’ve sold at the park, so we’re especially excited. The development company expects that construction of a 250,000 square foot, Class A distribution center on Lot 3 will be completed by mid-2022. At full capacity, it will support about 140 jobs. The fact that a distribution center is being built there is no surprise. It’s one of the industry types that county officials had in mind

42 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

when they set a goal in the “Reimagining Westmoreland” comprehensive plan to develop available land near I-70 to maximize the interstate highway’s value to the county. With PennDOT concurrently making more than $90 million of improvements to the stretch of I-70 next to Commerce Crossing, we’re confident that developers will view this park as a very attractive option for businesses that require seamless transportation connections. Speaking of transportation, we made sure that two of the park’s lots were designed to provide rail-spur access to Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, which in turn links up with an international rail network. It’s important to note that projects like this don’t happen on their own. This is the direct result of strategic investment and collaboration with our partners in Harrisburg — including state Sen. Kim Ward, the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the Commonwealth Financing Authority. But it wasn’t just state and county officials who had the foresight to make this happen. Elected officials with both Yough School District and Sewickley Township voted to approve a tax incremental financing package that made Commerce Crossing at Westmoreland possible.

Elliott ribbon cutting

Jeannette Glass – before

Two Celebrations

Three weeks after the sale of that Commerce Crossing lot, I found myself at the other end of the development spectrum — celebrating the completion of a project as Elliott Company held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new, $60 million cryogenic pump test facility in Jeannette. The facility will employ about 100 people in well-paying jobs. This was a celebration that had been years in the making. The 13 acres that Elliott built upon had been home to Jeannette Glass, one of several glass manufactures that had flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and earned Jeannette its “Glass City” nickname. By the mid 1900s, though, most of the glass plants in the city had been shuttered, and in 1983, the Jeannette Glass plant shut down for good. As this blighted property sat unused, its rusted-out industrial buildings further deteriorated. We purchased the property in 2012, but legal challenges delayed us from taking possession of it until 2016. Once we did, we worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to demolish the dilapidated buildings and remediate soil that contained decades of industrial byproduct until we had a brownfield site suitable for redevelopment. This project had funding support from local, county, state, and federal sources. We sold the property to Elliott in 2018, and they began construction in December 2019. The term “public-private partnership” is used a lot in the economic development industry, but this project truly fits the definition. So many individuals and entities from both the public and private sectors collaborated on ideas, identified solutions, and invested substantial resources. All of which resulted in the transformation of a notoriously blighted property into a site that will create economic and community vitality while presenting opportunity for generations to come. That wasn’t the only celebration I recently attended. Intervala, an electrical equipment manufacturer, held a grand opening event for its new facility at RIDC Westmoreland Innovation Center in September. The WCIDC is a marketing partner with RIDC for the former Sony manufacturing plant in Mount 43 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

Pleasant, and we’re excited to celebrate the facility’s newest tenant. Intervala moved its operation and 210 employees to RIDC Westmoreland from East Pittsburgh in late 2020 and signed a five-year lease for 217,000 square feet in January of 2021 to house both its corporate headquarters and an electronics manufacturing facility. RIDC invested $5.6 million to renovate the space, and Intervala made a multimilliondollar investment into equipment, technology tools and software for its manufacturing complex. At the time of its move to Westmoreland, Intervala expected to add 140 jobs over five years. Seeing the investment by a cutting-edge, technology-based company illustrated for me the opportunity that this site presents and validates the mission to transform this regional manufacturing asset into a multi-tenant facility.

Honoring One of Our Own

Over the past 26 years, I’ve had the distinguished honor of working beside some great people at Westmoreland County and IDC. This year we’re honored to recognize Joe Sisley for his 40-plus years of hard work on behalf of Westmoreland County. He worked initially with the Redevelopment Authority and these past 38 years with the IDC. Joe, better known as “Joey D” in the office, retired from his position of marketing director Dec. 31. Although we’re saddened to not see our friend on a daily basis, we celebrate his contributions, and we know he’ll enjoy spending more time wife his wife, Susan, and their growing family.

Joe’s work at the IDC cannot be overstated. During his tenure, he helped fill our staterecognized industrial park system and countless privately owned buildings with hundreds of companies that created thousands of jobs in Westmoreland County. His ability to work with company leaders, local officials and real estate agents and consultants was uncanny. There are some strong personalities in this industry, and Joe, whose workday started at 5:45 a.m., always did his job with a smile. He made sure every detail was covered, and he never asked for recognition. But we should recognize his impact. Westmoreland County is a better place because of Joey D. I know I am a better person and public servant for having worked beside him. Joe often has noted that when he started in this industry, his mentor would say “youth will be served” as he increasingly gave Joe more responsibility. Well, over these past several months Joe has said more than once “youth will be served” as he finalized his retirement plans. With that spirit in mind, I’m proud to announce that Alicia Henry, who has been with us since 2016, has been promoted to marketing director. Alicia has worked closely with Joe these past several years and is well known in the local commercial real estate industry. I’m confident that our team won’t miss a beat with her leading our marketing efforts.

For more on the IDC,

see westmorelandcountyidc.com or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.

by Jason Rigone, WCIDC Executive Director

Intervala grand opening

For more details, visit our social media accounts: 44 GOALMagazine: A Publication of Go2Goal | Winter 2022

(L to R) President of YWCA Board of Directors, Theresa Rusbosin; YWCA Office and Membership Coordinator, Gabby Skillings; YWCA Executive Director, Carol Palcic; Owner of Fitness Envi, Aubrey Worek; Owner of Sobel’s Obscure Brewery, Jackie Sobel.

https://pittsburgh.dressforsuccess.org/get-involved/donate/ For guidelines on what to donate visit: confident! interviews can walk out of our office looking and feeling fabulous and Clothing must be ready to wear, so that women who have same-day directly helps change women’s lives. All of your donations are tax deductible. women each year in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Each donation you make confidence. You can be part of the community that helps to serve over 2,600 allow women to enter an interview, job training program, and/or new job with work-appropriate clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. Your donations You can help by donating your new and gently worn women’s interview and

The YWCA’s full mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. They envision a community that embraces equity, acceptance, and diversity where women and girls have opportunities for enrichment and advancement. Our local YWCA offers many programs and runs a thrift shop and used bookstore as part of their efforts to bring their mission to life. Learn more at www.ywcawestmoreland.org.

What is Dress for Success?

her business and will share a wine and appetizer pairing. Hegedus, owner of Caffe Barista, will tell her short story about how she started about telling their story without judgement. At our launch party, Lisa them happy. We want to create a safe space for women to feel confident a greater purpose that connects inspirational women doing what makes thereafter, we will plan not just a networking event, but a girls' night out with abilities to join our efforts in SHE. For the launch party and every event a CEO, a secretary or a stay-at-home mom, we welcome you and your unique difference rather than noise in whatever capacity she is able. Whether you are We believe that the true success of a woman is found in her ability to make a This fall, the ladies of SHE hosted an evening of empowerment for women of all ages, encouraging all attendees to promote confidence and body positivity. Three local female business owners donated their time, products, and services to help make this event a success! All attendees were asked to pay an entry fee of which 100% was donated to YWCA Westmoreland to support their mission of empowering women.

by the GOAL Magazine Team

What is



An Evening of

highlight local female-led businesses.

always have a philanthropic component and

SHE organizes purposeful social events which

ou Thank YWhat



o all the ladies t We believe that the true success of a woman is found in her ability to make a ded noise in whatever capacity she is able. Whether you are attenthan that rather difference a CEO, a secretary portoreda stay-at-home mom, we welcome you and your unique p u s d n a abilities to join our efforts in SHE. For the launch party and every event ! not just a networking event, but a girls' night out with entplan thereafter, thisweevwill

a greater purpose that connects inspirational women doing what makes them happy. We want to create a safe space for women to feel confident about telling their story without judgement. At our launch party, Lisa Hegedus, owner of Caffe Barista, will tell her short story about how she started Aubrey Worek, Jackie Sobel, owner of Sobel’s Obscure Brewery her business and will share a wine and appetizer pairing. Exercise Specialist (S.O.B), poured samples of her outstanding craft beers

and Owner of in between workouts. She explained what flavors make Fitness Envi, each of her best sellers and taught attendees professional instructed beer tasting techniques. She opened S.O.B. in 2012 with sample classes her father, David. Always ready for fun and laughter, they geared to endeavored to create not only a encouraging all great product, but a quirky attendees to brand. Attendees even got discover their to learn about the fun confidence. gnomes that adorn the upbeatnew and brewery’s can art. You can help by donatingHeryour and gently worn women’s interview and positive attitude Get your gnome on work-appropriate clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. Your donations had everyone and check out the laughing while pop-up tap garden allow women to enterstillan interview, job training program, and/or new job with getting in a by visiting www. Aubrey confidence. You cangreat beworkout! part of the community that helps to serve sobbrews.com. over 2,600 created Fitness Envi (FE) to be ain place where her motto women each year Southwestern Pennsylvania. Each donation you make “Envision, Empower, Enhance” comes to life! When visiting helps herdirectly studio, you will find herchange and countlesswomen’s other women lives. All of your donations are tax deductible. who focus on building each other up and EMPOWERing one Clothing must be ready to wear, so that women who have same-day another through movement! You can catch Aubrey on KDKA’s morning TV show, Pittsburgh Today Live as their wellness interviews can walk out of our office looking and feeling fabulous and expert! Learn more about how Aubrey can help you with your fitness goals at www.aubreyworek.com. confident!

What is Dress for Success?

For guidelines on what to donate visit: https://pittsburgh.dressforsuccess.org/get-involved/donate/

Rachel Flowers-owner of Sun Dawg Café donated a delicious and healthy vegetable tray with hummus dip for the ladies to snack on during the event. Sun Dawg Café, located in downtown Greensburg, is a fun, upbeat eatery serving delicious fare with a twist! Eat In - Take Out - Cater Your Next Event - Visit www.sundawgcafe.com.

For more details, visit our social media accounts: Instagram: @she.of.goal Facebook: SHE You may also email us at sheofgoal@gmail.com WWW.GO2GOALUS.COM/SHE

www.go2goalus.com 45

Golf O uting PLUS PAINT -N- SIP 6th Annual

Magazine's by The GOAL Magazine Team


e are excited to announce that the 6th Annual GOAL Magazine Golf Outing PLUS Paint & Sip recently held at Arnold Palmer’s Latrobe Country Club raised $40,000 for the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation (GLPIEF). Thank you to all who supported the events! The funds raised will be used specifically for students with special needs in the Greater Latrobe School District (GLSD) and for the autistic support, learning support and life skills classrooms.

Pictured Left to Right Front Row: Tawnya Rockwell - GOAL Magazine/ SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management (SHCWM), Maria Graziano-Bickerstaff - GLPIEF President, Laurie Havrisko - GLSD Director of Pupil Services, Amanda Mayger - GOAL Magazine/SHCWM, Kayla Sutton GLPIEF Vice President. Middle Row: Jessica Golden - GLPIEF Executive Director, Jessica Marazza - GOAL Magazine/SHCWM, Bree Edgerly - GOAL Magazine/ SHCWM, Bill Urbanik- GOAL Magazine/SHCWM. Back Row: Michael Porembka - GLSD Assistant Superintendent, Eugene Joe - GLSD Student Support Services, Tony Slezak- GOAL Magazine/SHCWM.

us event ro e m u n e th k n a th to e We would lik ss! e c c su a y a d is th e k a m sponsors who helped

Gold Sponsors:

Title Sponsor:

SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management

Silver Sponsor: Elliot Group First National Bank

Beverage Cart Sponsor: Fotorecord Print Center

Golf Cart Sponsor: KLA Construction, Inc.

Dinner Sponsor:

Westmoreland Mechanical Testing & Research, Inc.

Photography Sponsor:

SecondHalf Coach Wealth Management

Grand Prize Belt Sponsor: Wildcat Championship Belts

Media Sponsor:

Blue Sky Sign Co. Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce Skene19 Films Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce

Hors D’oeuvres Sponsor: Latrobe Dairy Queen

Dessert Sponsor:

Westmoreland County Commissioner, Gina Cerilli Thrasher

C losest to the Pin:

Commercial Bank & Trust

Raises $40,000

To Support Students With Special Needs

Each guest received a GOAL Magazine Golf Towel at registration as well as a box full of goodies to snack on throughout the day. As they passed through hole number one, every foursome was able to pose for a photo next to Arnold Palmer’s iconic tractor. Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive Contest winners went home with two VIP Tickets to a major sporting event, Broadway show or concert of their choice. Additionally, there was a Putting Contest and Hit the IRS Pig contest, and the winners received a 7 Night Resort Getaway for Two!! There were several other guaranteed prize contests golfers could participate in as well as a chance to sink a hole in one on four different holes with chances to win $10,000, a 50” television, a cruise, and a Yeti Cooler. Photo Credit:

Zac Heide (L) and Kurt Thomas (R) took home the title, each winning 1st place plaques, $100 in pro shop credit, plus customized championship belts with the opportunity to present the belts to next year’s winner.

This was the fourth year for the Paint-n-Sip! The Paint-n-Sip portion was held outside on the Country Club's patio, where each participant was able to mingle while enjoying an array of heavy hors d'oeuvres and their choice of red sangria, white sangria or non-alcoholic creamsicle punch from their own GOAL Magazine travel wine tumbler. The attendees followed up-andcoming local artist and owner of Starshine Empress, Kalie Leksell, as they painted their own sunflower canvas. THANK YOU, Kalie, for donating your time and efforts to help raise funds for our event!

To view photos from the event, open the camera on your smartphone and scan the QR code.

Save the Date! 7th Annual - Monday, August 15, 2022

MAGAZINE P.O. Box 304, Latrobe, Pa 15650 724-209-8219 go2goalus.com info@go2goalus.com

Content provided in GOAL Magazine is for educational, informational, and promotional purposes only. GOAL Magazine does not render professional advice. Recommendations expressed in articles have not been independently tested. Articles contained in GOAL Magazine reflect the perspective and advice of their authors, not necessarily the magazine's publisher. GO2GOAL is a Pennsylvania not-for-profit organization with a 501(c)3 status with the Internal Revenue Service. The official registration and financial information may be obtained from the PA Dept. of State by calling toll free within PA at 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. © 2022 Go2Goal





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