March 2021 Happenings Magazine

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INBOX Dear Happenings, My sister Rosemary moved to Mechanicsburg and just loved Happenings Magazine so much! I’d like to get her a subscription for her birthday so she never has to miss it! We just love it very much! It will be a surprise in the mail for her. –Alexandra Yantorn –South Abington Twp.

Publisher Art Director Associate Art Director Editorial Assistant

Dear Happenings, I love how Happenings Magazine is produced so professionally. It is always laid out so beautifully. I am glad to be included in the March Issue to raise awareness of our business, especially with Communion and Confirmation season approaching. Thank you for creating my ad – I love it! –Janine M. Evanish, MBA –Heaven & Earth Gift Shop –Scranton, PA Dear Happenings, I have recently retired from the ‘love-of-my-life career’ at the Children’s Advocacy Center. I will be consulting throughout the transition until July 31, 2021. I am delighted to have bought my ‘at home’ subscription to my favorite magazine ever... Happenings! –Peace and Love, –Mary Ann La Porta Dear Happenings, I don't know how to thank you for treating my story with such respect, and allowing me to write “A Stitch in Pandemic Time,” March 2021. The layout exceeded my expectations. And, I can't find a single misspell or factual error. I am so pleased. –With deep gratitude, –Janet Richey –Mechanicsburg, PA

Lisa Kalaha Ragnacci Peter Salerno Rebecca Belotti

Director of Social Media

Mary Joyce


Christine Fanning Ben Freda

Account Representative Linette Manley

(570) 878-5009

On the Cover: With the upward trend in home improvement, find fresh home ideas at the Greater Pocono Home & Outdoor Living Show March 27 and 28. Published Monthly. Also read at ©2021 HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any process except with written permission.

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contents MARCH 2021


Sweet Home, Pennsylvania! The Greater Pocono Home and Outdoor Living Show is back!


Scranton Native is... “in the (White) house!” President Biden’s Irish heritage and Scranton roots


The Blue Zone Meet Valley in Motion’s Guy Fahey


Phenomenal Women Meet the first wave (in a series) of exemplary women impacting the region


I Will Remember You A look back at women who left an indelible mark on the region


A Stitch in (Pandemic) Time Native Janet Richey, seamstress of 1,000 masks

Photo: James Ruane ©

March 2021












1961 President Kennedy established the Peace Corps

1965 The movie version of “The Sound of Music” premiered in NYC

1923 The first edition of “TIME” magazine hit newsstands

1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd president






1959 The Barbie Doll debuted at the American Toy Fair

1862 Paper money was issued in the US for the first time





1933 “Monopoly” was invented

1972 “The Godfather” starring Al Pacino, premiered in New York










1912 Girl Scouts of America was founded



20 1914 The first international figureskating competition was held in New Haven

St. Patrick’s Day

1941 Jimmy Stewart became the first American star to fight in WWII



27 Greater Pocono

Everhart Museum Arts in Bloom 6 p.m.

Home and Outdoor Living Show - Kalahari Resort 10 a.m.- 6 p.m Everhart Museum Arts in Bloom 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.





Greater Pocono Home and Outdoor Living Show Kalahari Resort 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

1886 Coca-Cola was invented

1964 “Jeopardy!” debuted on TV

1889 The Eiffel Tower opened in Paris



Women’s History Month Irish-American Heritage Month Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Mad for Plaid Month National Kidney Month

Dear Readers,


ere we are, 12 months after our lives as we had known them, changed forever. Perhaps I’m clueless about the future, but I’m feeling very hopeful. After reading each of the profiles included in this issue, I can truly say– I’m motivated! This March issue features an impressive collection of individuals who are accomplishing great things for the region and beyond. We are confident you will learn something about each person that may, at the very least inspire or educate you, or perhaps even affect your life in a greater capacity. The individuals included this month were nominated by our business partners and readers. While we can only include a finite number of profiles each month, note that all past profiles are available on our website at Also look for future profiles to appear each month throughout 2021. One individual who I met when we were in our 20s is now back in our region, leading a coalition to make the area a “Blue Zone.” A “Blue Zone” is an area of exceptional health and wellness. Gus and his team are addressing the Community Well-Being Index, so that a culture

of, for example, walking and nutrientrich foods, becomes the norm. Gus has an interesting background that includes conflict analysis and resolution, having worked in the U.S. State Department as a trained mediator. I’m thinking we should see how we can mass produce that particular skill and experience across many, many areas of society. March 2021 brings with it the first signs of Spring, the Greater Pocono Home and Outdoor Living Show and hopefully many positive steps toward rebuilding a better future. Through it all, thank you for journeying along with us. With Love,


Paula Mackarey Publisher, 1994-Present Afternoon tea with Irish soda bread, one of my favorite March treats!


March 2021


t has been nearly a century since we have spent so much time inside our homes. Home has always been the center of our lives, but in 2020, our homes also quickly became our offices, schools, daycare centers, rec centers and barber shops, not to mention the haven where we slept, ate and relaxed.


March 2021

reater GPocono


Home and Outdoor Living Show

Spending so much time at home may have caused us to notice areas we didn’t pay attention to before. Maybe it is the old tile in the bathtub, the mismatched kitchen countertops and cabinets, or the backyard space that now must serve as a multipurpose event space. A basement remodel or exercise room may also be on the agenda.

March 2021


Home improvements and additions became priority in 2020. The kitchen table may have worked as a home office on an occasional snow day in the past, but it became evident that daily video conferencing wasn’t effective when the kids were in the background or the dog was barking. Procrastination on home projects became largely unavoidable. As of last fall, America saw the highest levels of home improvements in history. Office spaces, home gyms, or extra bedrooms for family members in isolation were high on the list. In the summer of 2020, data collected by revealed that home improvement searches on Google exploded and increased by 50% when compared to the previous summer. This upward trend in home improvement is not likely to stop anytime soon. With all this in mind, The Greater Pocono Home and Outdoor


Living Show returns to the region at a perfect time! The Greater Pocono Home and Outdoor Living Show will take place at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions March 27 and 28. The home show will be one of the first public events to take place in the newly expanded convention center at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. The show will take place in the Kilimanjaro exhibit area, which will offer living room style seating for taking breaks and relaxing. The lobby will also offer seating and opportunities to grab lunch. Innovative and cutting-edge building and remodeling services and products for spring 2021 will be featured. The show is made possible through support from sponsors R F Ohl, Advanced Concrete Systems A Manufacturer of Superior Walls and Erb’s Landscaping. Monroe County Red Cross serves as the welcome sponsor and Breast Friends of PA is the featured non-profit.

Home show vendors will be available to provide advice on building a custom home, completing an addition, remodeling kitchens or bathrooms, or installing a new HVAC system, among many other topics. You will have the opportunity to talk with financial professionals about funding your latest project. The Greater Pocono Home and Outdoor Living Show showcases the largest number of builders and remodeler vendors of any home show in NEPA. Home offices, gyms/exercise rooms, kids’ space, entertainment centers and basement remodels are at the top of consumers’ wish lists this year. The 2021 home show features a number of new vendors and intriguing exhibits. “We give the most options for home improvements. We will have a wide variety of contractors and services available, no matter what homeowners are looking to do. We’re going to have an amazing show this year,” says

Jennifer Narkavich, Committee Chair of the Home Show. Jennifer, who owns My Girl Managed Services in Stroudsburg, has put her decades of marketing expertise, most recently into digital marketing, into ensuring the success of this show. A large hot tub display will March 2021

get you thinking about “stay at home vacations.” Several large landscape and hardscape exhibits will get everyone thinking about outdoor improvements. Add a deck, or pool or spa. Deals and specials will be offered by many exhibitors. Ask vendors for details. There will be a scavenger hunt for the kids, too.

Children accompanied by parents can participate in the hunt, which will be a seek and find puzzle. Ask for a scavenger hunt registration form when you arrive at the show. Pocono Raceway is this year’s prize sponsor. Show visitors can complete raffle tickets and be eligible to win 300 level tickets 13

for June 27. Two winners will receive four 300 level tickets. The day includes a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race in the morning, followed by a NASCAR Cup Series race in the afternoon. Breast Friends of PA is the 2021 non-profit. Breast Friends is dedicated to improving quality of life for female cancer patients and provides services to women affected by cancer. Breast Friends hosts support groups, including a breakfast club, lunch bunch and an evening group. Breast Friends

also assembles Chemo Kits. Show visitors are encouraged to bring Chapstick, crossword puzzles, coloring books and crayons, playing cards, reading materials, journals, blankets or any items to keep women busy during chemotherapy. The Market Place is designated for cash ‘n carry products and features merchants presenting unique, interesting products. From wood sculpture and jewelry to pottery and linens, the Market Place is an opportunity to pick up interesting gift items and merchandise.

The 2021 edition of the Pocono Builders Association’s membership directory and buyers guide will be available. This is a must-have compendium of qualified builders, remodelers, tradesmen, artisans and material and building products suppliers. Show hours are March 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and March 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5, children under 18 are free. All state mandated occupancy limitations will be observed. Masks required for everyone. The Home and Outdoor Living Show is presented by the Pocono Builders Association. The association was chartered in 1970 and is dedicated to the collective creation of value for its members. The association is the unified voice of the Pocono Mountains’ building industry. The organization promotes economic development while respecting the environment and community. Visit H


2021 Greater Home & Outdoor Living Show


Business Name


Business Name

101, 200 104, 106 107 109 111 114 115, 117, 214, 216 116 120 121, 123, 125, 127 122 128 201, 300

R. F. Ohl Title Sponsor Erb's Landscaping Integra Clean & Dry, LLC ESSA Bank & Trust Affordable Comfort Contracting, Inc. All American Gutter Protection Mountain Landscaping Duane Moyer Well Drilling R.W. Buff, Inc. Bath Fitter/Kitchen Saver Picture Perfect Painting Timbercrest Builders Hydro Therapeutics Water Conditioning, Inc. Lehigh Gap, LLC Rome Bath Remodeling Bachman’s Roofing, Building & Remodel One Week Kitchens Renewal by Andersen Masters Fabrication & Rail Estemerwalt Lumber Products, LLC A+ Waterproofing Co. Robert K. Ace Jr. Construction, LLC C & K Insurance Group, LLC Robert K. Ace Jr. Construction, LLC Hannaberry HVAC Estermerwalt Log Homes Pocono Raceway Nauman Mechanical, Inc. Metro Public Adjustment, Inc. East Rock Construction, LLC American Remodeling Enterprises, Inc. Spring Hill Chimney Pure Sight & Sound First Keystone Community Bank Spread Eagle Development Corp. Best Auto Tire & Service Center Cutco Cutlery Mathiesen Landscapes, LLC Vector Security Perma Glaze/Bath Renew Martin Homes KR Communications Monroe County Habit for Humanity Masters Home Solutions ITG Basement Systems GAK Construction Zawada Enterprises LLC Sherwin Williams WB Electric, Inc.

406 407 408 410 411 415 417 418 419 420 421 424 426 427, 526 501 502 503 504 505 510 511, 610 514, 516 515, 517 523, 525, 527, 622, 624, 626 600, 602 614 706 708

Furino Mechanical Harth Enterprises Furino Fuels Burke Construction LLC Culligan Water Reynolds H20 Plus, Inc. Install America Masters Fabrications & Rail Pro Home Fire Safety Service KMB Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC Green Mountain Energy Co. Casanova Remodeling Wilkes Pools & Spas Construction LLC American Remodeling Enterprises Inc. Altronics Security Systems Integrity Chimney Services Freedom Boat Club Paul Davis Emergency Services Mazzella Enterprises ADT Security K & T Renovations, LLC Pella Windows & Doors NEPA Aerus-Electrolux Bucks County Soapstone

202 203 204 205, 207 206, 208, 210 209 215, 217 219 220 , 222 221 222 224, 226 225 227 301 302 304 305, 307 306 308 309 310 311 314 315, 317, 414, 416 316, 318 319 320 321 322 323, 325, 327 400 401 402 403 404

714 804 808 810 816

Entrance Welcome Sponsor Lobby 2021 Non-Profit

Daniel's Lawn & Garden Center Rinker, Inc. Homespire Windows & Doors A Plus Metal Roofing Specialists Advanced Concrete Systems, A Manufacturer of Superior Walls Floorcoverings International Citizens Savings Bank GAK Construction Pioneer Pole Barn Garvin Construction Monroe County Red Cross Breast Friends of PA


Market Place Vendors


I See Spain Larry’s Jewelry Brennan & Sons Sassy Albert's Soaps Damsel in Defense - Natures Calming Aroma Thera Putty BIM Candle Mask Kevin Treat The Sawptician Holistic-Holoviak CBD Scentsy 15


Joe Biden’s roots and his path to the White House


e’ve never had a president from Scranton. Naturally, the staff of Happenings took note of President Joe Biden’s oratory in his pursuit of the White House. He talked about values he holds dear and his ideas for the country. During his campaign, he often pointed to his family’s working class roots on North Washington Avenue in Scranton, where the Bidens lived until Joe was 10. He explained the difficulty his father faced finding a job in this area and their move to Delaware. He often speaks about the importance of family, his Catholic faith, the travails of the working class and his battle and therapy to overcome stuttering. In examining how Biden’s roots assisted his rise to the presidency, it’s instructive to mention that Biden’s relatives emigrated to America beginning in 1849. Irish Central notes that all eight of Joe Biden’s great March 2021

Photo: Rich Banick, for the Scranton Chamber of Commerce

By Christine Fanning Painting by Austin Burke

great grandparents on his mother’s side, Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan, were born in Ireland. Two great great grandparents on his father’s side, Joseph R. Biden Sr., were also born in Ireland. The Blewitts were the most successful of Biden’s ancestors. They came from Ballina,

Joe Biden's Life Journey On November 3, 2020, President-Elect Joe Biden signed the living room wall in his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania: “From this house to the White House with the Grace of God.” The first ten years of Joe Biden's childhood were spent in this home. Reports from childhood friends recount an adventurous lad enjoying the possibilities of a "Happy Days" era, complete with a hoagie shop, ball fields and even the uniquely Scranton challenges of a then burning culm bank. –Austin Burke


County Mayo. Today, Ballina is known as the twin sister town of Scranton. His first named ancestor was Edward

Blewitt Sr. (1795-1871), a brick-maker, educated in Dublin. Edward is said to have been one of the civil engineers who helped map Ireland for the Ordnance Survey during the 1830s and 1840s. Edward lived on Patrick Street, Ballina, and was an overseer in Ballina Workhouse – described as “the most feared and hated institution ever established in Ireland” – at the height of the Great Hunger between 1848 and 1850. Edward and his wife Mary Mulderig, born 1803, had nine children. American politicians often find benefits in claiming Irish ancestry. About 32 million Americans — 9.7 percent of the total population — identified as being Irish in the 2019 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. This compares with a population of 6.9 million people on the island of Ireland. Biden’s ancestors’ exodus from Ireland occurred around the time of the Famine beginning in 1845. Irish-American genealogist

Megan Smolenyak, who traced Barack Obama’s Irish ancestor Falmouth Kearney to Moneygall in County Offaly said Biden is roughly fiveeighths Irish. The Irish immigrants who entered the United States from the 16th to 20th centuries were changed by America and also changed this nation. They and their descendants made incalculable contributions in politics, industry, organized labor, religion, literature, music and art. Among the early immigrants to the United States, IrishAmericans can be found throughout the nation in all walks of life and many still retain pride and identity in their Irish heritage. In 2016, Biden told RTE News and Current Affairs, a popular news service in Ireland: “My grandfather and grandmother Finnegan, all my mother’s brothers and my father told us about the courage and commitment it took for our relatives to emigrate from Ireland – in the midst of tragedy to distant shores, where they

didn’t know what awaited them. It took great courage.” A phenomenon seen by many Irish-Americans, generations removed from their Irish emigrants, is the longing they have for Ireland and the pride in their Irishness. This can be seen pre-pandemic, locally, in the St. Patrick’s Day parades in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and the country’s largest in New York City and Savannah, Georgia. Carla McCabe, a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, who is also the president and chief executive officer of WVIA, said Irish emigrants embrace their heritage and want to know where their family came from. “There is a romanticism about Ireland – the imagery, movies and stories show such unspoiled beauty steeped in tradition.” McCabe started her media career at the BBC in Northern Ireland, then worked as the head of production for an independent production company overseeing bases in Scotland and Ireland, producing content for National

Austin Burke is a native of the region and expresses its rich history and cultural heritage through art. Austin was in the business world for 40 years, then turned to art full time. His preferred mediums include oil and watercolor and he specializes in cityscapes that depict the Scranton area. Burke earned an Associate of Arts degree from Keystone College and a Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College. Before turning his attention to art full time, Austin Burke served as Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and President of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. March 2021

Geographic/BBC/RTE and many more international broadcasters. She said: “I am the youngest of seven kids and I have 15 nephews and nieces, my parents and family are all still at home. I have a sister and nephew living here and I recently moved from Kansas City to Northeast Pennsylvania. I try to visit (Ireland) at least once a year and my parents would (under normal circumstances) come visit for a few months each year.” McCabe said she would “love to meet President Biden.” She believes she and the president share some values. “I am ambitious and driven, with a strong work ethic instilled in me by my parents. President Biden is hard working, persistent, humble, charismatic and a mannerly family man who listens to and surrounds

himself with smart people.” Throughout his campaign, Biden attributed values like honesty, integrity and hard work as being instilled by his parents. In his autobiography, “Promises to Keep,” Biden relates how his father quit his job as a car salesman after the company owner dumped a pail of silver dollars on the floor and watched his employees dive for them. In interviewing people who know him, they are clear that the things Biden holds dear speak to the trials, activities and experiences of those who came before him. Virginia McGregor lives a few blocks from Biden’s childhood home. She has met President Biden many times and she has hosted him at her home.

“I have served as a Deputy National Finance Chair for the Democratic National Committee and a member of the finance committee for Biden’s 2020 campaign. My family and I were also so humbled he selected our family's business, McGregor Industries, as the place where he chose to unveil his "Build Back Better” campaign platform in July 2020. Last month, President Biden appointed me to serve as Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee. The work the DNC does with the BidenHarris administration will help support our shared vision for a prosperous and unified America.”


Photo: Rich Banick, for the Scranton Chamber of Commerce

over during the potato famine and settled in Lackawanna County. The values they passed on through the generations were the foundational priorities of faith, family and hard work,” she noted. Tom Bell, a friend of Biden’s from his formative years, remembers Tom Bell and then Senator Joseph R. Biden Joe as a leader. They met at Marywood Virginia said President Biden’s Seminary in kindergarten. energy fills up a room. "He's Their mothers were friends distinguished, genuinely and the boys played together. friendly, always thrilled to “As a kid I was shy and Joe meet anyone from Scranton, wasn’t. I don’t really remember and he makes you feel welhis (much reported) stutter comed and valued. President being that bad but I remember Biden is a true leader, a uniter he was a leader. We played and a man of unshakeable baseball every day. We always faith. He knows that when wound up doing what Joe you believe in people and lift Biden wanted to do.” others up, we all succeed,” she said. She said that the values President Biden has are ones he learned growing up in Scranton: resilience, compassion, empathy and hard work. “Whether you agree with his policies or not, we can all agree he’s a genuinely good man. He cares deeply about people and wants to see others succeed,” she noted. Like Biden, McGregor’s forbearers hail from Ireland. “My great-grandparents James and Bridget Doherty came 20

“led to the development of Scranton and their deep, strong public service laid the foundation for Biden as a public servant,” they said. Though coal mining in Pennsylvania was very much an Irish business in the 19th century, Joe Biden’s ancestors did not work in the mines, but were bricklayers, mine inspectors, surveyors and engineers and more. Mining was one of the most hazardous and dirtiest jobs in the United States. Not only were Irish miners working 60 hour weeks but they were paid a fraction of what their Welsh or English counterparts received, according to an online report by Turtle Bunbury.

A report in 1872 details Biden’s mine inspector greatgreat-grandfather’s sentiments about how “hideous it was to work in the Pennsylvanian coal mines.” Patrick Blewitt’s (born 1832) “district” (Lackawanna and Luzerne counties) accounted for just over 10,500 inside workers and nearly 4,000 outside, a third of whom were boys, as well In their research to find their as over 2,000 mules and own roots, Tim Hinton and horses. Sixty-seven miners Tom Cummings, were killed in 1872 attorneys, cousins alone, primarily and friends disfrom falls of coal, covered the Irish slate and rock, relatives they while a further share with the 187 were injured. 46th president in The deaths left 38 a YouTube video, widows and 112 “From Pine Brook orphans. They had to the White mined over 6.5 House” that can million tons of be seen on the coal which meant Tom Cummings Lackawanna each death was County Historical Society’s worth 98,000 tons” (Turtle website. Biden’s Irish emigrants Bunbury).

March 2021

Minooka, where former Scranton mayor Jimmy Connors lived and still resides is known for its proud Irish residents and Joyce’s Bar, owned by Connors’ cousin and visited at least once by Biden. Connors ran and served three terms as mayor as both a Republican and a Democrat through the 1990s to 2002. As mayor, he was the point person for the building of the Steamtown Mall and the beginning of Scranton’s downtown renaissance. He, along with his “Minooka boys” (Joe Murray and Parnell Joyce) hammered out plans at Connors’ kitchen table which brought Diversified into the old Globe Store. He explained that he would build consensus, just as Biden has been known to do. Connors was a divorced single dad who raised his daughter, Liz, with his parents’ help. Connors knows the president and relates to Biden’s days raising his sons alone after his wife and baby daughter were killed.

“He’s a real guy. He’s Scranton and he has the values needed for the job.” Like Joe Biden, Bob Dubill started his life in the Scranton area. He was a paperboy for the Scranton Times, where his appetite for journalism was whetted. He earned a degree from St. Bonaventure University in New York and landed a paid internship with the Associated Press. Ultimately, he became one of the founders of USA Today and served as its executive editor. Today, Dubill is retired and lives in Alexandria, Virginia. He remembers Joe Biden as “the kid from Scranton.” “He was empathetic and he wore his heart on his sleeve,” Dubill said. Dubill put us in contact with Richard Benedetto, Springfield, Virginia, a reporter for “USA Today” who

covered Biden. Benedetto was impressed with how Biden maintained his blue collar roots and distinguished himself as a man of the people. “Even in his (failed) 1987 campaign, he was ‘Lunch Bucket Joe’ and ‘Blue Collar Joe’, who rode public transportation to be home for his sons.” If Biden was the consummate politician, ready to engage with constituents, Jill Biden, his second wife didn’t seem to be as spirited in campaigning as she was shown to be in 2020. Benedetto remembers Jill sitting by herself in the railroad station in Wilmington, Delaware in the 1980s where Biden announced his first presidential candidacy. “She wasn’t politically animated back then. She wasn’t a mixer. I sat and talked to her. She was very nice.” Benedetto followed presidential candidates, both Republican and Democrat, from 1984 through 2004. He went to Scranton/WilkesBarre with the candidates – a swing section of Pennsylvania. Biden never failed to mention his family in Scranton, he said.

Joseph Biden with Susan Blum Connors and former Scranton mayor Jimmy Connors, 2008


Benedetto retired after 25 years with USA Today. He teaches journalism and political science at American University.

As a senator, Joe Biden listened to the concerns of Greg Czarnota, a father of two who worked at the Westinghouse factory in Delaware. His daughter, Jennifer Czarnota, Queens, New York, explained that when the workers went on strike, her dad, who worked a lot of overtime at the factory attempted to obtain food stamps to feed his family. He was informed that his case was in review and would take two weeks to complete. On a suggestion from a friend, Czarnota called Biden’s office. He was cleared for food stamps the next day. Czarnota met Biden twice. The first time, they “had a great conversation/debate about a tax Biden supported. The second time, Biden addressed him by name and updated him on the tax.”

After his election, Joe and Jill sent thanks to residents of Scranton in a video. “Thank you, thank you for the honor of renaming my street Joe Biden Way. It’s a tremendous honor,” he said. “Scranton runs through Joe’s blood,” Jill said. 22

Photo: Rich Banick, for the Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton

“Part of me is always in my hometown of Scranton,” Biden said. “Scranton is where I learned the dignity of hard work. Scranton was where I grew up knowing exactly who built this country. I’ve always believed that home is where your values are set and where your view of the world begins to form, along with your place in the world. For me that’s North Washington Avenue.” –President Joseph R. Biden

–Article by Christine Fanning

March 2021

Noteworthy Realtor

L inda J. Walsh

Christian Saunders Real Estate

inda Walsh was born and raised in Scranton and has been a realtor for 14 years. Additionally, she has over 20 years of customer service experience and enjoys helping others. Linda has contributed her time and fundraised for many local organizations. She currently lives with her husband, Michael and their “spoiled cats.”


Linda’s five star rating is a testament to her dedication to her clients, apparent in one of her reviews: “Linda and I had quite the long road; as I went through several homes before I found the right one. She was patient, kind, motivated to assist me through the process. Honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I would not be in my house. She cares...she pushed me to stay strong during the process and it definitely was worth it in the end. Thank you, Linda, for everything!” Biggest Obstacles: Staying up to date on trends and embracing social media. Greatest Accomplishment: I was named Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2020 Woman of the Year. When the pandemic threatened to shut me down, I pivoted my focus and relied on my creative side to raise money, proving that people have big hearts and are happy to give to a good cause when asked. It’s an honor and privilege to help others. Over the past ten years, I’ve also been involved in helping the MDA with their largest fundraiser, the Black and Blue Ball, including being the chairperson for 2019 for the donations committee. My past accomplishments include supporting the American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in their fundraising efforts. Tips to Selling a Home: Find a trusted pro24

fessional that you get along with and listen to their advice. Advice to Aspiring Realtors: Be honest and fair to everyone. Love what you do and do it to serve others, not for your own gain. Any change in the industry over the past five to ten years? The best thing about the industry is that it is always changing. Being ready and embracing change is key to succeeding. Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy hiking, fishing, being outdoors and spending time with family. I plan to retire to the Carolinas, where there will be more time for all my interests year round. H

March 2021

LINDA WALSH Mobile 570.885.8777

771 E Drinker Street Dunmore, PA 18512 Office +1 570.335.9000

March 2021


Noteworthy Realtor

Judy Leary Wagner CENTURY 21 GLOBAL Real Estate udy Leary Wagner is committed to listening to her client's needs and utilizing her keen negotiating skills to ensure a successful transaction.



Judy is active and engaged within the Pike County community that she and her family call home. She specializes in residential home sales and thinks nothing of going above and beyond to make her client's real estate dreams a reality. Judy uses all of the cutting-edge resources and marketing power that CENTURY 21® GLOBAL Real Estate offers and incorporates her special tools of the trade, including providing her clients a free Matterport 3-D tour with every listing! Clients choose to work with Judy for her attentive service and experience. She enjoys a strong repeat client base and repeated referrals from clients and other real estate professionals. Judy attends real estate classes and seminars to better herself and help her clients stay ahead in a competitive field. During her career, she has received many industry awards, making her a multi-million dollar award winner and achieving such profes-


sional credentials as the prestigious Quality Service Pinnacle Award year after year, based entirely on customer satisfaction surveys and positive customer testimonials. Donna Geba, broker/owner of CENTURY 21 Geba Realty, commented, "I am so pleased to recognize the professionalism and confidence of Judy Leary Wagner. She not only puts her client's real estate needs first, she does it with dedication and commitment to excellent quality service. It is a pleasure having her as part of the CENTURY 21 Geba Realty team.” H

March 2021

March 2021




he month of March brings to mind shades of green with St. Patrick’s Day and the beginning of spring. Let’s keep greens in mind when planning meals for the week. A good rule of thumb is to fill half your plate with greens and to get five servings of green veggies a day. A serving size equals one cup of raw leafy veggies or one-half cup cooked or frozen. Green veggies are an important part of a healthy diet, packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in calories. Health benefits include reducing risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and helping keep memory sharp! Most of us do not get enough greens in our diet. Kids and adults alike tend to stick their noses up at veggies, especially greens. There are so many delicious ways to eat veggies and incorporate them into our nutrition. I have always loved green veggies and will try any kind. When counting calories and trying to lose weight, green veggies are a great way to eat a bigger portion and feel full. Green veggies as a snack could include fresh cucumber, broccoli or green beans with hummus. Edamame is a popular snack or appetizer and is a great source of protein, iron and vitamin C. Grape leaves are usually not a typical salad addition or veggie on their own but as a wrap, are stuffed and packed with fiber, iron and vitamins. Start the day with greens by adding spinach or broccoli to an omelet or adding leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, to a smoothie or protein shake. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and okra are a great addition to soups, boosting flavor and nutrition. As for lunch 28

and dinner, paired with protein, the possibilities are endless! I recommend steaming, grilling or roasting fresh veggies. Frozen veggies are fine, too! Keep a variety at hand with broccoli, green beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, spinach and artichokes. The most popular way to get greens is through a green salad. Salads are so creative since you can make them with whatever you like. They can be an appetizer, side dish, or a meal by adding protein. H –Jackie Kerekes/The Training Loft

Green Goodness Salad 2 cups mixed greens (either a bag or make your own combination including lettuce and arugula) 1 cup fresh spinach 1 cup cooked quinoa 1 cucumber sliced 8 oz fresh green beans, cut into pieces 2 hard-boiled eggs (sliced) Dressing: 1 cup non-fat creamer or milk ½ medium avocado ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped 1 lemon, juiced 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 3 tbsp olive oil Sea salt and black pepper to taste Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour over salad. Sprinkle shaved parmesan on top (optional).


ove is still all around us, even with current circumstances in mind. Couples still want to get married and express their love for one another. Celebrations may not be cancelled completely, but weddings may look different for the time being. Chances are events will be held outdoors and include less guests. We may witness creativity in alternate, outdoor spaces that make guests feel safer and allow for more social distancing. Lakefront or garden weddings may be popular, as well. With a little ingenuity, celebrations of all kinds can still proceed with careful planning. Enjoy a look back at some celebrations of the past on the following pages.


Love and



Wedding Snapshots Michael and Kristen Maritato


ichael and Kristen (Cucura) Maritato met while in an undergraduate biomedical ethics class at Marywood University. Michael proposed under the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in December 2011. Kristen shared that their wedding felt special because it was such a loving moment. “Not one thing can go wrong when we are surrounded by such love,” she added. The couple was married on December 1, 2012 at Holy Cross Parish in Olyphant by Monsignor Michael

Delaney. Their reception was at Fiorelli’s in Peckville. A funny memory Kristen shares from their wedding involves the photo: she is sitting on the second floor railing of the rotunda at Marywood University. Although it can’t be seen in the photo, her brotherin-law, Brandon, was holding onto her leg so she did not fall off!



George and Emilie Mackarey

eorge “Swede” Mackarey and Emilie Leon Mackarey married January 19, 1946 at St. Ann Maronite Catholic Church in West Scranton.

George left high school to join the Army when WWII started. He was stationed in the Philippines and Japan, where he saw action and was in many dangerous battles. During the war, Emilie worked at Otis Elevator in Newark, New Jersey to help support her family. George worked on Army Jeeps, becoming a self-taught mechanic. When he returned from WWII, he trained to fix diesel trucks and became a mechanic for large trucking companies. Emilie and Swede were friends early in their relationship. Their family doesn’t remember exactly how or when they met. Their dates included going to Dunn’s Lake, Bassett Lake, church dances and rides around Lake Scranton, when vehicles were still allowed to go around the entire lake. Although Emilie wrote to Swede daily when he was overseas, WWII delayed the wedding for years. In fact, Emilie’s elegant blush colored satin gown was four years old by the time the wedding took place at St. Ann’s Maronite Catholic Church. Their wedding day was snowy and windy, making Emilie’s veil fly in the wind. The reception took place at Swede’s family home in West Scranton. The couple honeymooned in New York City. Swede and Emilie spent their whole lives in Scranton. Their relationship was very close and loving and they had five children. They made sure family always came first. Every night, they made sure the entire family sat down to dinner together when Swede got home from work. He was a very hardworking man who provided for his family, sometimes working two to three jobs at one time. He instilled values of hard work and good work ethic in his children. Emilie was a stay-at-home wife until the children got older. She worked in retail for a few years until Swede had a massive stroke which paralyzed the entire right side of his body at age 58 and left him disabled. She cared for him until he was able to work again, but he never regained his speech. Emilie and Swede were always surrounded by family and friends. Their home was a meeting place for their siblings and friends. That tradition was continued when the children’s family and friends gathered. Swede passed away on February 13, 1996 and Emilie passed on August 12, 2006. 33

Bob and June Lettieri


ob Lettieri was born and raised in Scranton. Born in 1937, he spent his childhood in the Green Ridge section of the city. June Lettieri was born and raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. One of Bob’s most vivid memories from growing up in Scranton is seeing the streetcars. “We lived on the streetcar route and it wasn’t an immediate fascination because we were just used to it. We thought everybody had a streetcar.” He attended St. Paul’s School from first until eighth grade. He fondly recalls playing baseball and football in vacant lots around the neighborhood. After St. Paul’s, he attended Scranton Central High School and later The Lawrenceville School, a prep school in New Jersey. Bob’s father, Saul, was a World War I veteran and businessman. He describes his father as a “domineering person,” but hardworking and motivated in business. He had no formal education, but read often and kept up with current events. He built a retail petroleum business and was an avid lover of sports. Bob describes his mother as a religious woman who was a good homemaker and self-sufficient. June attended St. Cecelia’s, a French speaking school in Pawtucket. When June thinks of her childhood, she says she remembers her large family: she had six brothers and one sister. “Lots of activity,” she recalls, “And sometimes very hectic.” She remembers her mother always being in the kitchen, cooking something for her children. She shared 34

Rob Lettieri

that her father was a nice, sweet man who kept to himself, but worked hard to support his family at American Wire Company as a wire inspector. June met Bob at Apex, where she worked. Bob came in looking to buy a record, but they didn’t have the one he wanted, so they informed him he could order it from the manager. June came to help him and said she could get the record for him. Bob was shy, but asked her out. “Are you married?” he asked. “No,” June replied. “Are you?” June later shared, “That was very silly.” Bob asked, “Can I call you sometime?” June gave Bob her phone number, telling him to call her and she would think about it.

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“So I called her and we went out for dinner,” Bob recalled. “And that’s how it all started,” June finished. After they were married, June moved with Bob to the Scranton area. Bob’s father had a large home called Salem Hall, named using a combination of Salem, Massachusetts and Seton Hall University. He offered the couple the third floor to themselves. They’ve been living there over 50 years. June said she missed her family at first, especially at her first Thanksgiving, but later got over it. She had had complications from delivering her son and had to spend her first Thanksgiving away from home in bed. Bob and June say they’ve lived an exceptional life. They raised two children, Rob and Dave. When asked to describe the most positive moments of his life, Bob said graduation from his various academic institutions, his wedding day, the birth of his sons and enjoying their achievements, particularly in sports. His son Dave is a former Olympic cyclist. June shared that one of her most positive memories was supporting Dave at the Olympics.

When asked to describe who he tried to be in life and how he wants to be remembered, Bob said, “I always tried to be responsible, whether it was in my job or in family life, or in my relationship to the community. I always tried to help others.” Bob has served as an ESL teacher in Santa Barbara and Scranton, on the Everhart Museum board, The Scranton Area Foundation and the YMCA for 38 years. When June was asked how she would like to be remembered, she chuckled, “As myself, I guess. I’m not as quiet as I used to be. I’m more outspoken now that I’m older. I’m fun-loving, I love people, I like art, I like theater, I like going to Santa Barbara…” As someone who has lived a long life and has seen the world go through many ups and downs, Bob says the world needs, “Less greed and less prejudice, more serious thinking about what is best for the world, whether it’s climate change activities, eliminating prejudice and trying to understand the cultures of other people so we don’t get ourselves into messes because of our lack of understanding.” Rob Lettieri



Justin and Rebecca Basalyga

ebecca Barrett and Justin Basalyga met through friends while they were students at Abington Heights High School. Rebecca shares that she believes she won Justin’s heart when she made the first move and asked him to share her cheese fries while at a tractor pull with some friends. Rebecca and Justin got engaged as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning. Justin took Rebecca up to Bald Mountain with some friends, who mentioned wanting to take photos of the view. As they were taking pictures, Justin proposed. They were married at Connect Church in Taylor on December 5, 2020.

Rebecca shares that some of her favorite moments from their special day were the imperfect ones, like when a lantern broke on its way down the aisle or realizing one of her bridesmaids’ dresses was the wrong one. “They made us realize that we had a perfect wedding because we love each other, not because everything went right,” she said. Justin and Rebecca have not honeymooned due to restrictions. H


March 2021

The Endless Mountains of Northeastern PA! • 800-769-8999

2021 Summer Season at French Azilum Open Fri., Sat., and Sun., 11-4; last tour 3 p.m. sharp! $5 adults, $3 students, under 12 free admission donation. Some classes and events incur donation requests. Like us on Facebook at The French Azilum; 570-265-3376

The Endless Mountains Primitive Outdoorsmen • Teaching and using hunting, survival and life skills • of the 18th and early 19th Centuries (1740-1840) • Seasonal events equip you for life on the frontier • Annual higher ed scholarship to area • high school senior Planned 2021 Events March 20 Winter Rifle Frolic June 6 Scholarship Shoot Sept. 11 & 12 Muzzleloaders’ Rendezvous Schedule subject to change. Please see website for updates.

Events held at Black Walnut American Lodge Route 6 Visit Email: Paid for by the Wyoming County Room Tax Grant and the Endless Mts Visitors’ Bureau

May 28, 29, 30 - Opening Weekend. Concert Saturday evening June 6 - ‘Hidden Hazards in the Victorian Home & Afternoon Tea June 12,13 - Blacksmithing Weekend June 26 - Family Fun Day July 11 - Vino & Van Gogh (date subject to change) July 17,18 - Winding River Players/Church Service August 7 - Civil War Day August 21 - Renaissance Day August 27, 28, 29 - Closing Weekend Paid for by the Bradford County Room Tax Grant & The Bradford County Tourism Agency *Wine served by a PALCB licensed, certified server. or call 570-265-7736 Visit us on Facebook • • 800-769-8999

This is a quick a nd easy green cake just in time for St. Patrick’s Day ! Compliments of JoAnn Marianelli Finnerty, Bella Faccias

Cake Ingredients 1 pkg of yellow cake mix (15.25 oz) 1 pkg of instant pistachio pudding (small box-3.4 oz) 4 eggs 1 cup of sour cream ½ cup of oil ½ tsp of almond extract Filling Ingredients ¾ cup white granulated sugar 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 cup of finely chopped nuts (pistachio or walnuts) 42

Directions: 1. Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray. 2. Beat all cake ingredients at medium speed for 2 minutes. 3. Mix filling ingredients together. 4. Pour 1/3 of the batter into 10 inch bundt or tube pan. Sprinkle half of the sugar/nut mixture in center of batter making sure that mixture doesn’t touch pan (it may stick to pan during baking and not release out of pan when you invert cake). Repeat next layer and top with remaining batter. 5. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes (oven temperatures vary) or until center springs back when lightly touched and toothpick is dry when inserted in cake. 6. Cool 15-20 minutes before removing from pan. You can leave cake plain, sift top of cake with powdered sugar, or pour glaze over it. For a quick glaze, combine 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2-3 tbsp of milk, ½ tsp of almond extract and ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon. Mix until smooth and pour over cooled cake. You can add chopped pistachio nuts over icing for decoration (optional). Buon Appetito!

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Gus Fahey V a l l e y i n M o t i o n G us Fahey is the president of Valley in Motion and brings a rich background in community welfare. Gus earned a bachelor’s degree in design of environment from University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University. He worked in the Africa Bureau of the U.S. State Department and while there, addressed human rights and religious freedom con-

cerns. In addition, Gus worked at United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern PA and the Oracle Corporation. He lives in Scranton with his wife, Sydney and two daughters, Sylvia and Iris. How was Valley in Motion started? Heritage Valley Partners was started in 2008 to support projects of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority. After I was hired in September 2019, we changed our name to Valley in Motion and expanded our mission to foster community and quality of life in the Lackawanna Valley. How is Valley in Motion funded? By grants and donations. We depend crucially on the generosity of individual donors.

How has your education and professional background prepared you to work with Valley in Motion? I’ve had a varied career that’s reflected my diverse interests. My undergraduate degree is in architecture; I like the physical projects and planning we do at Valley in Motion. I’ve worked in archeology, mapping and computer programming. During 9/11, I was working at FEMA. Those attacks and our response to them spurred me to work in foreign affairs. I got a graduate degree in conflict analysis and resolution and worked for the U.S. State Department for eight years. As a trained mediator, I like facilitating community conversations. I used to run large military reform programs at the State Department, so I like thinking about how systems change and how we measure progress. In what areas does the Scranton/WilkesBarre/Hazleton area excel? According to the Community Well-Being Index, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area ranks high in the Social measure. We have more supportive people in our lives than most people around the country. In what areas does the Scranton/WilkesBarre/Hazleton area need improvement? We have a low self-regard. According to surveys, we don’t like where we live, we don’t feel safe and we don’t have pride in our communities. What is the most impactful lesson you have learned working on a community level in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area? In our communities, you can make a difference by just showing up. All we need to succeed is enough people deciding to get involved and willing to con44

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tribute their time, energy and ideas. Why are Blue Zones just coming to light now, rather than 20 years ago? There’s been an increasing appreciation for how much our environment affects our individual health. Research on Blue Zones confirmed that in communities with a culture of walking, nutrient-rich food and tight-knit friends and family, making the healthy choice is the easy choice. When it’s the path of least resistance, more people do it. How does the valley’s history as an industrial giant and coal mining hub contribute to its Community Well-Being Index score? Communities depending on natural resource extraction are always at risk for boom and bust periods. The region’s long economic contraction created a mindset that the forces that made lives difficult were out of residents’ control. It obscured the fact that people can always make a difference on a community level with leadership, vision and commitment. Which societal and economic factors contribute to Lackawanna County’s low score on the Community Well-Being Index? Valley in Motion’s website mentions higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use, but what led to a collective lower score? On the Community Well-Being Index, we score worst on the Community measure. Residents also say they don’t have a strong sense of purpose. These attitudes are vestiges from economic decline. According to our analysis, depression and food insecurity strongly correlate to low community well-being. Now that our region is growing again, we need to shed those zerosum-gain attitudes. We need new narratives. Change is good. There are

opportunities for everybody. Everybody should have a say in what we want our communities to be. I like where I live! What goals do you hope to achieve with Valley in Motion in the next five to ten years? Our goals are connected to the Community Well-Being Index, because it best mirrors our mission to foster community and quality of life. We want to see a ten percent improvement in our region’s Community measure in five years. This requires partnering with many community organizations, helping us succeed collectively. Regarding different ways communities can benefit from obtaining Blue Zone status, which possibility excites you most? I like the idea that our towns can return to their original functions as centers for community life. Neighborhoods should be walkable. Street traffic should be slower, supporting safe biking opportunities. Nutritious, locally-grown foods should be accessible to everyone. These changes require good planning and investment at a fraction of the cost we spent to make our lives so starved of time and car-dependent! What drives you to continue bettering our region? I love the people here. I’m biased because I grew up here, but I love the self-effacing sense of humor, the friendliness, the knowledge that we all have weaknesses. I get inspired when new residents get involved,

Valley in Motion is a non-profit organization fostering community and quality of life in the Lackawanna Valley. Their initiatives work to improve community pride, civic engagement and learning from one another. Valley in Motion is leading a coalition to make the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area a “Blue Zone,” an area of exceptional health and wellness. Other projects include Valley Murals, Oral Histories and streetscape improvements around the Scranton Iron Furnaces. Valley in Motion partners with individuals and organizations committed to improving quality of life in the region. contribute new ideas and make a difference. Having worked overseas, I appreciate the generosity extended to me when I was a stranger. I want people to feel welcome in my home and to help create a place where anybody can live their American dream. How can residents improve quality of life for everyone? Get involved! Join a neighborhood or community group, follow your interests and contribute your talent, energy and ideas. Every local group appreciates someone willing to turn talk into action. H


Barbara J. O'Hara, Esquire arbara O’Hara has practiced law for 40 years and has been a partner in the Hughes, Nicholls & O'Hara firm in Dunmore since 1988.


She earned a bachelor's degree from La Salle University and graduated magna cum laude. She also earned a Juris Doctor from The Temple University School of Law. Barbara is married with three children and two grandchildren. She has served on numerous community and regional boards. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Scranton Area Foundation. What do you believe is unique about practicing law in and serving the people of Northeastern PA? I practiced in Philadelphia before I moved here. Here, you get to know the Court, counsel and community more than in larger communities.

What advice do you have for young girls and women wanting to make a difference in their communities? Seek out a mentor in your area of interest and don't forgo your dreams when things become difficult. Seek advice to overcome challenges. You are not the first to face these problems. Who is someone you look up to, whether a well-known leader or someone in your personal life? My parents, who taught me that I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough. How do you prevent burnout in a field that can be quite demanding? I try not to work late nights or weekends. When the children were home, I needed to be home for them. They were my priority. What would readers be surprised to know about you? My husband and I like to travel. We have been to 66 countries and every continent except Antarctica, which is

Front row: Ray Ferrario with granddaughter, Julianna and Barbara with grandson, Luke. Back row: Jill and Michael Ferrario, Christopher Ferrario, Lauren and Tim Resch

planned when we can travel again. Anything else you would like readers to know about you, your law practice or the Scranton Area Community Foundation? I was appointed as the Lackawanna Bar representative to the Scranton Area Community Foundation Board. I had no idea of all they did for the community, particularly their assistance to other nonprofits and businesses during the pandemic. I became a founding member of Women in Philanthropy, which mentors female business owners and has a grant program for qualified women's businesses, supports STEAM education for girls, teaches financial confidence and matches savings for participants. They are working on a pilot project to improve access to restorative dental care for women and to overcome transportation challenges for women in Lackawanna County. The Scranton Area Community Foundation manages over 50 scholarship funds. The Foundation does the interface with the schools, reviews the applications and implements the donor's intent. The Scranton Area Community Foundation is accepting scholarship applications online at H

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Nadine Oliver adine Oliver is a financial advisor with Prudential Advisors. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from West Chester University. Prior to entering the financial industry in 1996, she worked as an administrator in higher education. Nadine has received many honors and accolades during her time with Prudential. She is Chairwoman of the Women’s Diversity Committee for Prudential’s Field Advisory Council. Outside of work, she is co-chair of the Robert Oliver Memorial Taylor Open, which provides scholarship money to a Riverside High School golf club member. Nadine enjoys spending time with loved ones and travelling.


What is unique about working in Northeast PA? The people here are special. I work with and have friends from all over the country and there’s a genuineness and honesty to the people of Northeast PA that you don’t always see in people from other places. How has the pandemic affected your role as a financial advisor? Many have experienced anxiety over investments and the economy. I find I am speaking to clients more often and doing a little more handholding. We have seen greater reliance on technology, both for us and our clients; despite the pandemic limiting face to face meetings, our clients have become more comfortable meeting remotely and we are still able to deliver an excellent 48

client experience. Clients still need to have an understanding of their total financial situation; one tool I have my clients using is eMoney, which can aggregate both Prudential and non-Prudential accounts, offering clients a bird’s eye view of their finances at any given time. What special qualities do women bring to financial advising? Women are natural caretakers, we are naturally good at juggling multiple tasks and we bring incredible strength to the advisory relationship, specifically with our innate ability to communicate and listen. The ability to listen, as opposed to just hearing, has helped me personally to be successful in this field. Additionally, clients can benefit from the unique perspectives and life experiences women bring to help people navigate critical financial decisions. How can women hold their own and succeed in a traditionally male dominated field? Many believe financial services is a male dominated field; having been in the industry for 25 years, I can tell you this has changed dramatically and continues to change. Today, there are a great number of women role models in finance, including women analysts, advisors, wholesalers and C-Suite executives. Today, we see women in every role and at every level in the industry. Reflecting upon my career and its start, the biggest challenges were maintaining the drive to succeed, learning the knowledge

of the discipline and working as part of a team. If one can face those challenges, one will succeed in the industry regardless of gender. Additionally, in relationship-based positions in the field, women can leverage their interpersonal skills to differentiate themselves from male peers and in doing so, not only will women hold their own, they will thrive. What advice do you have for young women and girls wanting to pursue a career in business or finance? Find an internship in the area of finance you are thinking about; this will not only give you real world experience, but it also lends to the opportunity to network with leaders in the field who have industry connections. What advice would you give young people regarding savings, financial literacy and investing? Carry as little debt as possible. I cannot stress enough the importance of saving at least enough to cover three months of expenses, however, I’m suggesting six to twelve months of emergency savings. We live in uncertain times and maintaining this amount of emergency money can offset changes such as illness or job loss. In my experience, many people are lacking a general understanding of finance. This March 2021

is problematic because it stops them from making sound financial decisions. This can be rectified through financial education, which can come from a variety of sources, including financial advisors. Another source may be through your employer as many employers offer financial wellness education; for example, I deliver financial wellness education to businesses and their employees through Prudential Pathways. While financial literacy can be gained through presentations and classes, investing is different because of how personal it is. Sound investments are based on more than just information or chatter. They are based upon a person’s risk tolerance, their time horizon and personal goals; as such what might

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be a good investment for one person may not be for another. This is where sitting down with a financial advisor is important. What would you tell your younger self? Start investing at a younger age! A great deal of investing has to do with the amount of time one has for their investments to work for the person; thus the younger one starts the greater the time horizon she has and this can be quite beneficial to the end result of the investing. A simple example of this compounding; Einstein referred to compounding as the eighth wonder of the world because of the difference it can make in individuals’ wealth. At its core, compounding allows for interest to be paid on

interest and if you’re investing at a younger age, this allows for more interest to be compounded on the principle for a longer period of time. Who inspires you, whether it be a well-known figure or someone in your personal life? My family is a great source of inspiration to me; through them I learned the value of hard work and facing life head on. I am inspired by people trying to better themselves or their situation; for example, the single mother going back to school so she can better provide for her family. I am inspired by my clients and their endeavors, such as sacrificing in the short-term to meet long-term goals. Inspiration is everywhere. H



Dr. Mary Louise Decker The Wright Center for Community Health


r. Mary Louise Decker, board-certified infectious diseases specialist and Medical Director of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Clinic, has been treating HIV and AIDS patients for more than 20 years. “During my infectious diseases specialty training, I served as a physician volunteer at the Gift of Peace home and hospice in Washington, D.C., for persons suffering from AIDS,” Dr. Decker explained. “It was founded by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity and was the largest of the more than 600 such homes throughout the world. I learned how to care and comfort those with advanced AIDS. Many had been rejected by their families and were homeless. This shaped me as a physician and helped me understand the complexities of caring for the most vulnerable patients.” Despite tremendous advances in prevention, management and treatment of HIV over the past three decades, 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, while one in seven has yet to be diagnosed. That’s why the services of The Wright Center’s Ryan White Clinic are


so important to the community, especially in light of the organization’s pledge to reduce HIV infections in the United States by 90% by 2030 through education, testing and prevention efforts, including antiretroviral and

prehensive, compassionate team of nurses, physician assistants, case managers and peer support navigators. The Wright Center’s Ryan White Clinic remains the only clinic in the area offering a full continuum of care for patients living with HIV, including primary care, dental, behavioral health and recovery services. “The team is dedicated to patients,” Dr. Decker stressed. “They’re an amazing group of providers and caregivers.”

PrEP therapies. While HIV remains a significant public health issue, an HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, but a chronic condition that can be treated and managed, Dr. Decker stresses. Those with HIV can lead long, happy, healthy lives. “Our multidisciplinary provider team at the Ryan White Clinic provides whole person care and works exceptionally well together,” Dr. Decker said. The Wright Center’s Ryan White team includes pioneering HIV physician, Dr. Stephen Pancoast, along with a

In addition to patient care, Dr. Decker provides educational instruction for physicians-in-training. She serves as faculty for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, sharing her experiences and doing her part to ensure NEPA has a role in training and retaining the next generation of infectious disease specialists. “Patients with immunodeficiencies are complex and pose unique challenges to care, making this an invaluable learning experience for resident physicians in our clinic,” she explained. “I was drawn to the field of infectious diseases because it offers the opportunity to study emerging diseases and the development of new diagnostic tests and vaccines. It requires attention to detail and a systematic approach to patient care.” Call 570-941-0630 or visit H

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eg Ruddy has been the Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center in Scranton since 1992. She earned a Master of Social Work from Marywood University. Peg co-created the Barbara J. Hart Justice Center and has received numerous honors and awards. She serves on many boards in the community. She is the daughter of the late Joseph and Joan Ruddy. What led you to the Women’s Resource Center? As a teenager, I paid attention to injustices against women and girls. When I was a BSW student at Marywood

intersect; racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc. – so I believe fighting oppression against women and girls also addresses other forms of oppression. Who is someone who inspires you? The late Pat Summitt. She brought women’s college basketball and women’s equality in many areas to the forefront beginning in the 1970s. She would not tolerate the inequalities in basketball and inspires me. How has society’s empowerment of women and girls impacted your work?

What do you wish more young women and girls knew? That they deserve to be respected in all aspects of their lives. How is Lackawanna County improving life for women ?

College, I selected WRC as my field placement site – I found a home there.

Violence against women and girls still occurs at alarming rates. WRC provides services to over 2,000 adults and children each year. The empowerment of women and girls has raised awareness about domestic and sexual violence.

You have been in your position for over 30 years. What are the advantages of longevity?

Discuss the connections between domestic violence, sexual assault, feminism, class, race, etc.

How do relationships with other professional women influence your advocacy for women in crisis?

Gaining years of experience, consistent leadership and gaining the trust of the community.

Sexism is the root cause of domestic and sexual violence – the belief that women are inferior to men. White privilege is the belief that whites are superior to persons of color. Racism and sexism are both examples of oppression towards individuals based on their race and/or gender.

It is good to have a strong professional support system of women. I can advocate knowing that other professional women in the community support my work.

Peg Ruddy

What makes working with those in crisis so important to you, as opposed to other social justice causes? I believe social injustices


Lackawanna County’s Women in Philanthropy’s efforts to provide education to girls is making a very positive difference in the lives of girls. How can women be better supported? Women need to earn the same wages as men in comparable professions.

Dangerous stereotypes surrounding domestic violence exist, such as “Only women experience domesMarch 2021

tic violence” and "It only occurs between married people.” What is the most important information needed to dispel these stereotypes? Domestic violence occurs in dating relationships and in LGBTQ+ relationships. WRC works hard to get the message out that our services are available to anyone in an abusive relationship. When women report instances of sexual abuse, they are often not taken seriously. What can be done to change this? Society must stop “blaming the victim” for the sexual assault. Often, victims are scrutinized for their clothing, or for being out late at night.

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Sexual assault is a very traumatic crime and we must support victims so they are comfortable coming forward. What are the next goals for The Women’s Resource Center? WRC is in the public phase of a major fundraising “Restoring Hope” campaign. Our goal is to raise $2.5 million dollars. To date, we have raised $1.4 million. My first priority is to reach our goal for this campaign. I would also like to expand our “Safe Dates” programs to educate teens on how to engage in healthy relationships. How do you care for yourself and prevent burnout in a career where you are frequently exposed to traumatic situations?

I enjoy walking. I also interact with other directors of domestic and sexual assault programs to problem-solve and consult about my work. What have you learned from those you work with and advocate for? They are incredibly brave and resilient individuals. What should readers know about the Women’s Resource Center? WRC is available to help adults and children experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and/or human trafficking. We are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. All services are free and confidential. Visit H


Dr. Tracy Brundage:

Moving Keystone College into the Future


hen Tracy Brundage began her tenure as president of Keystone College at the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year, her vision of what she hoped to accomplish was clear: uphold Keystone’s proud tradition as one of the top colleges in Northeastern Pennsylvania while also preparing Keystone students to meet the ever-changing challenges of the future. After nearly three years on the job, Dr. Brundage has done exactly that. Thanks to her leadership, Keystone has not only upheld but improved its already-strong academic reputation and helped Keystone become an innovator in higher education. During Dr. Brundage’s tenure, Keystone has made several important advances. The college’s tuition price reset has positioned Keystone with the lowest tuition of any private school in the region. Keystone recently added a variety of new majors including financial planning, data analytics, esport and gaming management, public administration, and supply chain management. Keystone has also developed innovative programs to help students with the internships and experiential learning opportunities they need to succeed upon graduation. The new Professional Development Institute provides a host of careeradvancement and certification programs to enable working adults acquire additional skills and credentials to advance in their current careers or obtain new ones. In the community, new programs such as the

Keystone College Juvenile Justice Institute help atrisk children cope with the trauma and stress of daily life. Meanwhile, members of the Keystone community continue to contribute more than 26,000 hours of service locally and around the nation. “There’s no doubt that throughout its history, Keystone has established a really great reputation in the community and across the country,” Dr. Brundage explained. “In the last few years, we have built and expanded that tradition to make our education even stronger and more relevant as we prepare students to pursue successful careers and lead meaningful lives long after they leave our campus. I’m so proud of everyone at Keystone who works so hard every single day to make these goals become realities.” Dr. Brundage came to Keystone in 2017 as provost and vice president for academic affairs and was named president the following year. Before coming to Keystone, she had a strong reputation as an innovator and educator, especially in the field of workforce development. She has held a variety of leadership positions in education and the private sector. Prior to her Keystone career, she served as vice president of workforce development at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa. Her entire professional background has prepared her well for the opportunities at Keystone, even during the current COVID-19 pandemic. “Certainly, like other colleges and universities, we have had to adjust to the many challenges as a result of this devastating pandemic,” Dr. Brundage said. “As a college community, we remain united and dedicated as we work together to achieve lofty goals today and in years to come. This is truly a special place and I’m so proud to be a part of it.” H

March 2021

Happenings Magazine


Mary Walsh Dempsey

Attorney Mary Walsh Dempsey is an attorney with Ufberg and Associates in Scranton. She attended the University of Scranton and The Dickinson School of Law at Penn State. Mary and her late husband have three children. She is also raising her niece, Dorothy, after Dorothy’s mother passed away. Mary is involved in many organizations in the Scranton area. She resides in Scranton. What inspired you to run for Judge in the Court of Common Pleas in Lackawanna County?

I have always been committed to law and justice. I had my first foray into public service, a temporary appointment to Scranton City Council. I loved serving citizens. Members of the Bar Association told me I “would make an amazing judge.” Little did they know, I was thinking about running, just waiting for the right time. What influenced your decision to run on both the Democratic and Republican tickets? A judge is a nonpartisan position. They must treat parties equally and remain impartial. I can run on both tickets knowing that those who come before me will receive respectful, impartial, equal treatment. How will your law experience translate to a judicial career? I have had a wide-ranging law career for the past 30 years. I have practiced both civil and criminal law and have tried both civil and criminal cases to verdict. I have also practiced in federal and state court. I worked for the District Attorney’s office, as 56

well. Most of my time in law has been “litigation,” handling a case from start to finish. I have taken volumes of depositions, filed motions and participated in courtroom oral arguments on those motions. I also have appellate court experience with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. I know I will bring intelligence and standard pragmatism. I learned to be respectful and empathetic at times and tough, tenacious, resolute and unyielding at others. My life and career are dedicated to law and justice. I put my leadership skills to good use, evidenced by my appointment to Scranton City Council at a tumultuous time in the city and my term as the president of the Lackawanna Bar Association, only the 6th female in the organization’s history. I am active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, am attorney CoChair of the annual United Way Campaign and active in my parish community and neighborhood association. What do you hope your legacy will be? I tell my kids that everyone gets a gift. Mine is my voice. I’ve given a voice to many people in this area. They’ve trusted me with legal matters, to use my voice for their advocacy. I have also handled many pro bono cases for those who cannot afford legal counsel. What is Scranton/Lackawanna County’s best quality? The warmth and the kindness of the people. When my husband died, the community supported us. The same thing happened when my sister passed. This reminds me of the quote, “always look for the helpers.” What advice would you give your younger self?

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I entered law practice in 1991, but I think this practice advice still holds true: (1) be true to yourself; (2) listen carefully, there is always something to learn; (3) act with integrity and honor; and (4) never let them see you sweat!! Provide advice for young women and girls interested in a law or politics career. Law practice is more of a calling, like any other service-oriented profession. I worry when young women say they are going to law school because they don’t know what to do or want additional marketability. To practice law well, there are late nights and long, weekend hours. It’s easier when passion is involved. I ask them, “but do you want to be an attorney?” It is an important inquiry before

March 2021

Photo: Josiah Lewis

committing to this demanding profession. For politics, be strong, smart, honest and be yourself.

demic changing local law and politics long-term?

There are opportunities everywhere. The starting point is to just “get involved.”

I’ve been calling this a COVID campaign. I can’t meet a voter and shake their hand. My team and I have to think outside the box. In a way, I think I’m better off: a COVID campaign is all I know! Creativity will be important.

How have you adapted to the pandemic?

What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

Video platforms have allowed us to continue work. Personally, it required patience and understanding. I try to remember that generations before us had it worse and that this too shall pass. When my kids got stir crazy, we did game nights, movie nights, went on hikes or made special dinners.

I love disco and have seen Kool and the Gang in concert over 20 times. I love chocolate and sports, especially college basketball and football. Oh, and how can I forget? I had the worst wedding proposal ever, in a funeral home parking lot (don’t ask) but said yes! H

What advice would you give a young woman looking to make a difference?

How do you foresee the pan-

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Marion Munley arion Munley is a partner at Munley Law. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from The University of Scranton, where she graduated cum laude. She earned a juris doctor from Temple University School of Law. Marion is part of numerous boards and organizations and has earned several awards for her extensive law career and community contributions. She lives in Moosic with her husband, Congressman Matt Cartwright. They have two sons.


We often bring a different perspective that can be helpful when analyzing the facts

Which characteristics make an excellent leader? The best leaders lead by example and hold themselves to the same standards they expect of their team members. What is unique about practicing law in and serving this region? of a case, or in building relationships with clients.

What valuable attributes do women bring to law practice?

What do you think are the most important characteristics for a new lawyer to possess?

In addition to our professional skills and knowledge of law, women are extremely hardworking and intuitive.

The willingness to work hard and learn. It’s important for new lawyers to take advantage of any opportunity to


network and to study under great lawyers to learn from them. And, stay informed about trends and changes in the industry. Our field evolves all the time; there is always something new to learn.

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I grew up in Archbald and have lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania for most of my life. To me, this region is special because it’s where my ancestors settled and built a life for their family. There is a long history of strong work ethic in this region, as well as a strong sense of pride in community. As a lawyer, servMarch 2021

ing the people of NEPA is important to me because they’re not just our clients, they’re our neighbors, the people who make up our community. How do you use the opportunities your law career grants you to make our region better? It’s a privilege for me to use my law career in service of the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania. As a personal injury lawyer, my goal is not only to win clients compensation but also to make our region a safer place to live and work. We can accomplish that by holding companies accountable when people get hurt and even by helping create new laws that protect the public. How do you hope to leave your mark on the region? By making a difference in the lives of people who have suffered an injury or loss and upholding their right to legal protections. I also hope to influence the lives of women in the area, especially those who want to become lawyers or judges, by encouraging them to become leaders. What motivates you to continue advocating for justice? Equal access to the justice system is fundamental to March 2021

any fair and free society. The most rewarding aspect of my work is knowing I have made a difference in the lives of our clients. In my office I have a collection of photos, letters and news clippings of my past clients as a reminder of why I do this work. At Munley Law, I have had the opportunity to help people during some of the most difficult times of their lives, when they are dealing with immense grief, distress and tragedy. Knowing that we have obtained some measure of justice for these people is what motivates me. Did you always want to pursue law? What would you be doing if you hadn’t? I always wanted to be a lawyer. Growing up watching my father, there was nothing else I could imagine myself doing. If I hadn’t been a lawyer, I would have liked to be a journalist. Provide advice for young women and girls hoping to pursue a law career. Find a mentor. The opportunity to learn from an experienced attorney is invaluable. I have been active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession and their Happenings Magazine

Mentoring Committee, as well as the American Association for Justice Women Trial Lawyers Caucus to help young female lawyers connect with their more experienced counterparts and develop mentorship opportunities. Who do you look up to? My father’s mother, Marion L. Munley (after whom I am named) was the first woman from Lackawanna County to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. When my grandfather died at the age of 40 in 1947, Marion was left to raise their two sons alone. She took his seat in the house, as was the custom at that time and won nine more elections. While in office, she sponsored a bill prohibiting pay discrimination based on gender in Pennsylvania. I am also inspired by my parents. My father, Robert W. Munley, founded our law firm in 1959 and my mother, Bernadine, helped him build the practice into what it is today. They always set an example of how to work hard, live with compassion and stand up for what is right. They are the reason I became a lawyer. H 61


r. Lauren Keating Hazzouri is a Scranton native, licensed psychologist and founder of Hazzouri Psychology. Dr. Hazzouri graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Penn State, Main Campus. She earned both a master’s and doctorate in psychology from Marywood University. She has spoken at conferences worldwide. Her work has been featured in British Vogue, Teen Vogue and Forbes. Dr. Hazzouri has received many awards and honors. What made you want to empower women?

My parents both empowered me in different ways. My late father thought I was capable of anything. I believed him. My mom, Dr. Gail Keating, empowered by example. She taught English and women’s studies at Penn State for 43 years and

nutritious meals, exercise 30 minutes a day and sleep 8-10 hours a night. 2.) Manage your environment: while there’s much in the environment beyond our control, there’s a lot we can control, too. *Limit social media time to 30 minutes per day, only follow friends and turn off notifications. *Limit television news to 30 minutes per day (60 max!…like in the days of Dan Rather). *Only read articles that make the print versions of newspapers and magazines. If an article hasn’t made it to the print version, it shouldn’t make it to your brain. It’s not worthy of your attention, even the editors agree! 3.) Spend time each day connecting with friends and family. If each of us practice self-care, disconnect from nonsense and connect with those we love in a meaningful way, we’ll get through this.

Dr. Lauren Hazzouri

I practice cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on the idea that thoughts lead to feelings and feelings lead to actions. Unwanted feelings and unhealthy behaviors result from negative thought patterns. I realized girls’ negative thought patterns were strikingly similar to social messaging and cultural norms. Girls and women coming to therapy had listened to what society had said about them and internalized it. I wondered,“What if they’d been taught to clearly see these faulty, warped messages before they’d internalized them? Would education save them from psychological pain?” It became my mission to get the truth to girls and women. 64

Who in your life empowered you?

is the most scholarly person I know. There’s no one cooler, except maybe my daughter, Ava, who has already mastered the art of turning a challenge into a superpower that serves others. In the wake of the turmoil in the world, what advice do you have for those struggling with mental health? Not everyone suffers from mental illness, but everyone has mental health that needs daily attention and management. This year, it’s been difficult to prioritize mental health. The three major contributors to mental illness are genetics, environment and lifestyle. My advice is threefold: 1.) Prioritize lifestyle: eat

Happenings Magazine

You focus on young women’s empowerment. When do you believe therapy is needed, in addition to empowerment? Empowerment and therapy are not on the same continuum. Both are valuable, yet they’re qualitatively different. When should a young woman go to therapy? I suggest that if one is asking themselves this question and has access to mental health treatment, go! It’s a gift to self. With that said, therapy is recommended when someone is having a hard time adjusting to certain situations March 2021

or coping with stress in a healthy way. How is society becoming more empowering for young women? Women currently have about three quarters of the legal rights of men. In 1970, the numbers looked closer to half. We still have work to do. One of the biggest roadblocks to women’s equality is white women’s attachment to proximity to power. Time and again, white women choose proximity to power rather than empowering women of color, other marginalized groups and each other. My interest is in how inequality affects girls’ self-esteem. My question is, “How are girls supposed to feel as valuable as men, when they are not equal to men?” I have a problem with the fact that when girls don’t feel valuable, we pathologize them rather than see them as intuitive and observant listeners. Where do you think society must improve most when it comes to caring for young girls? Teach girls the truth about our social system (patriarchy), sexism, misogyny and inequality, so they can learn to cope in a healthy way and adapt, rather than conform and selfdestruct. What is one thing you would tell young women across the world? You don’t come with a purpose. You are your purpose. What would you tell your younger self? I’ve taught her everything she needed to know. It took time, but I’m just an older version of her with the lessons I needed,

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sought, learned and integrated into my life. Which accomplishment is most important to you? It feels like I’m accessing new levels, rather than achieving accomplishments. I’m interested in revealing more of myself to myself and using what I learn to make peoples’ lives better. There’s no end game. What do you want your legacy to be? If I make good use of my time here, less focused on how I might be remembered and more focused on giving all I’ve got to help others, especially those in marginalized groups, my legacy will take care of itself. Who is your biggest role model? Different character strengths have been attractive to me at different life stages. Right now, humility is what I’m after, so I look to friends who give of themselves with humility and grace. Dr. Lia Palmiter is steadfastly committed to increasing diversity and inclusion and educating the public on the importance of anti-racism for all. Eileen King of the Catherine McAuley Center provides life-changing services for women needing shelter and support. Dr. Kristen Bewick of Learn More Services helps stu-

Happenings Magazine

dents reach their academic potential. How do you approach challenges? I sit with a situation for a minute (or 10!) until my feelings about it have dissipated. Then, I respond and manage the challenge efficiently. What makes you happiest? My family, Albert and Ava. Ava came knowing everything I was trying to figure out. She’s wise, kind and self-assured. I’m so grateful for our relationship. We have a connection that’s reliable, honest and good. I’m so proud to be her mom. My husband, Albert, is fully supportive of our family. I admire his character and selflessness. He makes our family feel safe in a world that often doesn’t. Visit for public education or for therapy services. H


Working for the good of others G ail joined Goodwill as a participant in the Kidstime program in the early 2000’s. The program was designed to help youth with disabilities and other barriers develop social skills, practice activities for daily living and increase independence through small group activities based in the community. During this time, Gail developed friendships, learned new skills and found her spunky, go-getter personality.

As time went on, Gail had two goals: to live on her own and have a job. She participated in Goodwill’s day services, including day program and employment program. Through these services, she developed problem solving and communication skills. After years of hard work, Gail developed skills to maintain her home, prepare nutritious meals and be out in the community independently. Meanwhile, she observed and retained what she was witnessing the staff do each day. As new participants joined Goodwill’s programs, Gail would be first to befriend them, teaching them the routine of the program. It became apparent to Gail’s support team that she had a natural ability to help others. The team quickly developed a plan to teach Gail the skills needed to be a Program Aide through employment programs.

but rather a full-time staff member employed by Goodwill. She now aids new participants in learning skills she once learned. Gail lives in her apartment in Lackawanna County with her cat and helps families and neighbors by pet-sitting when they travel. Gail also volunteers with local non-profits. For fun, she enjoys baking. For over 75 years, Goodwill Industries of Northeastern PA has helped thousands of people like Gail achieve goals to overcome barriers to independence. With programs including group homes, day programs, employment services, behavior supports, transportation and more, Goodwill Industries of NEPA is ready to help each unique individual achieve their goals. H

Today, Gail is no longer a participant in Goodwill services,


Happenings Magazine

March 2021

Sue Sileo

Director of MyCIL’s Transitional Skills Center


ue Sileo is the Director of MyCIL's Transitional Skills Center. She received her bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Penn State and her master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Scranton. Sue was a school counselor at Scranton High School for 15 years prior to her position at MyCIL. She serves the community as a volunteer and treasurer for St. Stanislaus Cathedral PNCC-, One Hot Meal program, which serves a hot meal to those in need once a month. She lives in Clarks Summit and is married with two sons. What is the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing the impact our team has on helping clients reach goals. Watching a client progress and seeing their hard work pay off is invaluable. Also, just knowing how much they enjoy our program. Watching their energy and excitement when they walk in is a very humbling experience. I am grateful every day to be part of their journey. How has this position taken you out of your comfort zone? Having to manage 14 staff and oversee a program with students from ten different districts was exciting and different from being a school counselor. Being organized and detail oriented was helpful, yet, it was still unfamiliar territory. I had years to master my prior job. I was comfortable and 68

students on developing plans that meet students’ individual needs. What are your goals for the program?

confident. Learning the business management aspects of the job was new. The organization was welcoming and supportive. This position motivated me to challenge myself, learn new things, take risks and strengthen skills. I learned to practice what I preach, trust my gut, remember that hard work pays off and trust the process. How did being a school counselor prepare you for this work? As a school counselor, you wear many hats and work with students on career, social/emotional and academic goals and development. Working on transitional skills and with students, parents, administration, teachers and outside agencies was part of my routine. I was fortunate to work with talented, experienced colleagues. I learned a tremendous amount from students and their families, as well. This knowledge and experience working in the educational system enabled me to bring a broad skill set to the TSC. I love working with schools, families and Happenings Magazine

To transition clients to live as independently and productively as possible. We want to continually build on our community integration activities, simulated life settings, vocational workshop and hands-on practical skills to further opportunities for students to gain exposure and practice skills. We hope to reach more students and diversify our clients. Long term, we hope to expand beyond the ten districts we serve. What, most importantly, do you wish to teach students? To believe in their talents and gifts and to always try. It is important to give the kindness, grace and love to ourselves that we give to others. All students are capable; they need support and encouragement. The potential and competency is within; we have to help them tap into it and let it shine. Discuss the new interactive wellness component. In addition to our wellness curriculum, team building, exercise and recreational activities, we added EJ the DJ to our program. EJ brings energy and charisma and incorporates all components of our wellness curriculum through music. Students love expressing themselves through song selections and facilitating and learning the career/skills of being a DJ. March 2021

How are students involved in the community? Prior to the pandemic, students were out in the community up to 50% of the week, working with businesses and nonprofits, volunteering and practicing skills. Last year, the students participated in weekly Community Learning Experiences at local businesses, college tours, transition/job fairs, onsite tours and guest speakers, prior to COVID. We brought our “TSC is a Latte Fun” coffee cart to businesses weekly. Students served homemade baked goods, breakfast foods and coffee. Our community is welcoming, generous and plays a vital role in our students’ ability to practice skills in real life. We also work on community service projects. What accomplishment makes you most proud? Being the mother of two sons. My

verance, empathy, compassion and true joy. I’ve learned more from them than I could teach them, which has been the greatest gift.

and realize how resources, policy and administrative priorities factor in.

Describe the different program delivery during COVID19.

Don’t lose sight of who you are or your goals! Aim high and believe in yourself. Be willing to learn, adapt and grow. Integrity will always guide you. Surround yourself with genuine, hardworking, open minded, passionate, humble people. You tend to gravitate toward like minded people. When you find them, stick with them. If you are lucky enough to work with them by chance, they will be friends for life by choice.

We added virtual learning platform sessions, in addition to the traditional in-person learning model. We adapted our in-person program to include cohorting. We adjusted our Community Learning Experiences and added virtual career and business tours. We adapted our vocational workshop to comply with COVID mandates. What are your biggest challenges? Being spirited and learning how to channel that energy so it doesn’t undermine my talent.

How do you overcome such challenges?

Provide advice for young women seeking to influence their communities. Find something you are passionate about and enjoy doing. Find an organization that serves a population or a mission that supports your interests and beliefs. It will deepen your connection and make a bigger impact. Solicit a friend or connect with someone doing something you want to explore. Take the leap! It doesn’t have to be a big commitment, small impacts make a difference. What should readers know about the Transitional Skill Center?

parents instilled the value of family first. I am proud of my career but being a parent is my greatest accomplishment. I worked hard to get where I am in my career, but nothing compares to the trials of parenting. It challenges, strengthens and teaches resiliency, perseMarch 2021

Also, learning patience. I work at a fast pace. I had lots of program ideas I wanted to implement immediately. I needed to understand and appreciate how the system worked and how to work within it. It was hard to pause Happenings Magazine

The neurodiversity of our clients is so varied. We provide a tailored program for each individual. TSC offers so much. We are versatile, growing and always adapting to students’ needs. H


Wayne Bank Announces Promotions


ewis J. Critelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Bank, is pleased to announce the following promotions within the bank’s Corporate Office and Pennsylvania markets: Barbara Ridd has been named Senior Vice President. Barbara joined Wayne Bank in 1989 and has served as the bank’s Residential Mortgage Lending Manager since 1996. She holds a banking and finance degree from the American Institute of Banking and Lackawanna College.

degree from East Stroudsburg University.

Barbara Ridd

John Baker

Gerald Arnese has been appointed Vice President. Jerry joined the bank in 2013 and serves as the Installment Lending Officer. He holds a business management degree from Marywood Kristen E. Lancia University and has over 25 years of banking experience. John Baker has been promoted to Vice President. John began his career with Wayne Bank in 2010 and earned a computer information technology degree from Johnson College. He serves as the bank’s Network Manager. Ronald DePasquale has been appointed Assistant Vice President. Ron has been with Wayne Bank since 1998 and serves as the Facilities and Security Officer. He is a U.S. Army veteran and was stationed in Korea for 18 months. Ron holds a business management 70

Gerald Arnese

Ronald DePasquale

Kristen E. Lancia has been promoted to Assistant Vice President. Kristen began her career with Wayne Bank in 2012 and serves as the Marketing Officer. She earned a B.S. in design and merchandising with a writing concentration from Drexel University and is working towards her Certified Financial Marketing Professional designation. Madeline Portugal has been named Assistant Vice President. Madeline joined Wayne Bank in 2013 and is the Milford Community Office Manager. She has over 11 years of banking experience.

Carla Williams (not pictured) has been appointed to Assistant Community Office Madeline Portugal Manager. Carla has been with Wayne Bank since 2012 and works in the Clarks Summit Community Office. She has over 40 years of banking experience. Wayne Bank is a subsidiary of Norwood Financial Corp., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, and is located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The bank has 30 Community Offices serving Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Lackawanna, and Luzerne Counties in Pennsylvania, along with Delaware, Sullivan, Otsego, Ontario, and Yates Counties in New York State, including those offices operating under the Bank of Cooperstown and Bank of the Finger Lakes brands. The stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol— NWFL.H

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Danielle M. Ross, ESQ, PhD F r. Danielle Ross is an attorney with Needle Law, P.C. and a postdoctoral resident psychologist with John G. Kuna, PsyD & Associates. Dr. Ross attended Widener University School of Law and earned a master’s degree in forensic psychology from The University of North Dakota. She obtained a doctorate in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University. Dr. Ross is married and has three children.

required to have some basic background in mental health? I believe family court would be completely focused on conflict resolution and procedural methods would be geared toward alternative dispute resolution. I also believe the criminal justice system would be rehabilitation and treatment focused from beginning to end.

After establishing a law career, what made you decide to study psychology? My undergraduate major was psychology, then I decided to go to law school. When I began practicing family law, I found myself at the intersection of law and psychology. I advanced my education to better serve clients.

How has the pandemic changed the way you practice law? What does the future of law look like? It has made practicing law more efficient and convenient for the court and lawyers with Zoom hearings. I hope this will continue, allowing the court's dockets to be less congested and lawyers to handle multiple court appearances from one location.


How does your psychology background give you an edge as a lawyer? Lawyering is not only about understanding law and court procedure, but also involves persuasion. To effectively resolve client disputes, it is helpful to understand human behavior - what maintains conflict, communication improvement, how group-think dynamics play into situations. Understanding courtroom psychology is tantamount. What would the world look like if every lawyer was

What are your greatest concerns regarding the future of mental health in relation to the pandemic? My concerns are the pandemic will be a traumatic experience for most individuals. When an individual is faced with trauma, they have a choice as to how to respond to their situation. I fear individuals will participate by choice in less personal interaction, more isolation, social media will become reality and there will be more depressed, anxious individuals.

How do you continue to meet client’s needs when it seems everything is on hold? We have a 24/7 office phone, email and Facebook page where clients can contact us. What is the most pressing problem facing the local legal system in 2021? The area's saturation/overpopulation of lawyers. It's necessary to carve out a specialized area of practice and fine tune your knowledge of and art in practicing in that area. Where is the local legal industry succeeding? Our President Judge, other members of the bench and active members of the bar have always had an open-minded working relationship, with the goal to collaborate on making the local practice of law better. What makes NEPA a unique place to practice law? Everyone Continued on page 74


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knows each other. You can be a defendant in criminal court before a magistrate judge on Monday and by Wednesday, you find yourself a plaintiff in a custody case and the defendant is represented by the magistrate judge whom you were before on Monday. Who inspires you to do your best? My parents set the tone in our home - there wasn't any other alternative but to achieve. They were hard workers and conveyed that value to us by example. No matter what was going on, the idea of not getting through it was inconceivable. We were raised with traditional Italian-American values reminded of our grandparents who came from Italy and that family comes first. I'm inspired to do my best for my children, as I serve as their example.


What is your favorite quote? “The same fire that melts butter makes steel”. Do you have advice for young women and girls hoping to pursue a law or psychology career? Do both! There are no requirements for you to only pick one. In anything you do, aim to thrive, rather than merely survive. Be unsinkable! What would you tell your younger self? Being happy comes from within. Take care of your mind, body and spirit and do not have any expectations. Practice accepting what is, rather than reacting to how you would like it to be. We suffer in expectations. How does Buddhism influence your professional life? Buddhism is a philosophy of life, not a religion. I am a devout, practicing Roman Catholic. Love

Happenings Magazine

Pope Francis! Practicing Buddhism provides me a road map for navigating life, through core beliefs: (1) human experience is filled with suffering; (2) cause of this suffering is our longing or craving; (3) this suffering may end; (4) the pathway to end this suffering is to engage in tangible activities like helping others, meditation and prayer. How do you unwind after a long day? I take an hour walk to clear my head, while listening to a podcast. My most recent podcast was an interview between Joe Rogan and Matthew McConaughey about self-actualization and enlightenment. I am a nerd. Otherwise, I simply enjoy spending time with my family at home. H

March 2021

Dr. Tracy Brundage


r. Tracy Brundage is the president of Keystone College. Dr. Brundage holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gettysburg College, a Master of Education in training and development and a doctorate in workforce education and development, both from Penn State University. Prior to her position as president, she was the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Keystone. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, playing piano and reading. She is the mother of two daughters and they have a dog named Teddy. How do you apply what you have learned in past leadership positions to your role as president of Keystone? I came to Keystone with a broad scope of transferable skills based on 23 years of progressively higher level positions within higher education and six years in the private

What is your favorite attribute of Keystone?

sector. I want to use my experience to help Keystone continue its mission as one of the top educational institutions in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We will continue to guide our college and its many stakeholders through today’s everchanging landscape. How has your position challenged you? The more you strive to accomplish goals, the stronger and wiser you’ll become. I’ve learned a tremendous amount in my time as president. One grows by embracing new opportunities and challenges. My time at Keystone has helped me grow personally and professionally by meeting these challenges and opportunities. Having 23 years as an educator and administrator has proven to be a solid foundation to serve as Keystone’s president. How will you use your position to better the community? From its beginning 150 years ago, Keystone has been an


integral part of the community. Students, faculty and staff perform about 26,000 hours of service in our community yearly. We’ve received awards from the White House for those contributions. I’m proud to be part of that tradition. Personally, I am proud to volunteer on a variety of community organizations and boards. It’s rewarding to use my own experience and expertise to give back.

Happenings Magazine

We are a small college and a tight-knit community. Our class sizes are small, so students are never treated as numbers. They have numerous opportunities to grow, learn and follow their dreams. We have one of the most beautiful campuses anywhere and strive to make our education available and affordable. There is much to love about Keystone. Regarding changes brought by the pandemic, what is Keystone’s most valuable asset moving forward? Our spirit. Everyone has done their part in following health and safety guidelines and protocols. We are small enough to be nimble and responsive to changing times. We can adjust to continue being relevant to students and our community. That will help in a post-pandemic world that may be different than in the past. Of which accomplishments are you most proud? Being a mother to two wonderful daughters Sophia, 10, and Olivia, 9, is the most fulfilling experience of my life. It’s wonderful to raise them on Keystone’s campus, where they can see the importance and value of college. Professionally, having the opportunity to touch and impact our students’ lives by helping them obtain a brighter, more March 2021

satisfying future means a great deal. It is a tremendous feeling to know I am helping in that way. Traits you seek in potential Keystone College employees? We want employees who are excellent in their field or discipline and who care about our students and each other. We want them to see a larger, more important picture, as well as excelling in their jobs. Being passionate about engaging in our students’ lives and helping them meet their goals is a critical attribute. I’m proud of everyone who helps us fulfill our mission. How do you define success? Always striving to do your best is a key component. Success is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Setting goals and working to accomplish them on a daily basis is important. In addition to long term goals, it’s important to set short term goals and celebrate when you achieve them. If you experience a setback, get back up and keep trying. We all need to keep trying to move forward while appreciating the important things and people in our lives. How do you overcome obstacles? Courage and resilience are important in overcoming obstacles. You can’t let setbacks prevent you from moving forward and realizing your dreams. Learn from mistakes and realize that problems can and will be solved with intelligence and perseverance. Every problem comes with a solution. Sometimes we need to shift our perspective to uncover lessons from challenges. I find it helpful to have a strong network to act as a sounding board when obstacles arise. Discuss the importance of community service. Everyone should contribute to their community. Whether it be volunteering, serving in a leadership role or mentoring, I advise contributing to causes beyond yourself about March 2021

which you are passionate. Provide advice to first generation college students. Students should realize that education is a gateway to important opportunities. It’s okay to not have all the answers, but it’s important to ask questions and develop a plan to help you get where you want to go. A quality education can help you move in that direction. Do you have a role model? My grandparents and parents instilled in me strong values and the desire to strive to meet goals and be my best. I’ve had many professors and mentors who have helped me obtain skills and experience to move forward in my career and life. What do you want your legacy to be? I want to make a difference for others and continue Keystone’s long-standing mission to make a positive contribution for future generations. I want everyone to realize what a special place Keystone is. It’s a place where stuHappenings Magazine

dents can build their individual success stories, no matter what those stories involve. Keystone has helped make the world a better place for more than 150 years and we will continue doing so. What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Skiing (downhill and cross-country), fly fishing, hiking, biking, fitness/weight lifting, swimming, reading, music (I play piano), volunteering and of course, activities with my children. H


Janine Evanish


anine Evanish is the owner of Heaven and Earth Gift Shop in Scranton. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in management from Rutgers University and her Master’s in business administration from West Virginia University. Janine is a co-founder of Horizon Dental Care. She lives in Moscow with her husband, Dr. John Evanish III and has three children. What inspired you to open Heaven and Earth Gift Shop? Our vision is to provide holy and wholesome gifts and books and to provide refreshment in our cafe. It’s a haven for shopping and rejuvenating your spirit. Catholic items are our specialty. Each of my grandfathers owned a small business. One had a vacuum cleaner shop, the other a jewelry store. It was exciting to see how they served others and were part of the community. With my love of

business and faith, it seemed like a natural fit. How has your varied work experience been applicable to this? It’s been a gift to have various skills and knowledge in business. Many aspects of business are transferable from one realm to another. I pretty much do what I did for Horizon Dental Care, except instead of helping to save teeth, we have a more eternal focus - helping to save souls. How has this position been challenging and pushed you beyond your comfort zone? Making decisions on a higher level is harder than sharing my opinion with my superior. Cash flow management in retail is very different from any other industry I’ve worked in, especially during a pandemic! Tell us about the role religion plays in your life. It’s the foundation of my life. Daily mass, daily rosary, confession, fasting and reading the Bible are like food and water. I crave them. Practicing my faith helps me with day-to-day challenges and brings freedom, joy and adventure to my life. How do you approach challenges? Challenges are an opportunity to grow, get creative and meet new people. Focusing on the goal and viewing the big picture is helpful when challenges arise. I tend to be optimistic and think something good will come out of every situation, even though I may not realize it at the time. It’s encouraging to look


Happenings Magazine

back and remember past challenges and how I overcame them with God’s help. He always comes through. As a business owner, wife and mother, how do you achieve balance? When I honor the order of priorities I learned years ago - God, wife, mother, business - it gives me more peace. It is easy to be pulled in multiple directions and I can feel guilty about doing one thing over another. I’ve found when I mix up the order or ignore one area, confusion and chaos follow! Provide advice for women and girls wanting to start their own business. Do something you’ll be passionate about. It’s great to wake up and look forward to the day. Learn from others! There are so many great examples. Ask for help. Do something you are afraid and excited to do - it makes life an adventure. Who inspires you? Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide. She exemplifies a life of trust in God, forgiveness and living life to the fullest. What is something readers would be surprised to know about you? I played lacrosse in high school. Anything else you would like readers to know about you or Heaven and Earth Gift Shop? We have a conference room available for rent that seats 5-20 people. Our cafe can provide coffee, sweets and lunch for your meeting. Customers can enjoy our patio while sipping a handcrafted latte. H

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Mother Barnes


he Reverend Rebecca A. Barnes, known as Mother Barnes, is the Priest-inCharge at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scranton. Mother Barnes earned a Bachelor of Arts in music and German from Hartwick College and holds three master’s degrees. She is passionate about social justice and serves on numerous boards and community organizations. Mother Barnes lives with her wife, Liz. How has being Priest-in-Charge at St. Luke’s helped you influence the community? It has given me the opportunity to serve God and others by delving more deeply into my passions for urban ministry, social justice and community engagement. In both the Roman Catholic and Anglican (Episcopal) tradition, the parish is not just the local worshiping community, but a geographic boundary. I see my calling to serve as a pastor, priest and teacher as ministering and being present not just for congregation members, but to the “parish” which is downtown Scranton. The historic motto of St. Luke’s is “in the heart of things.” Being in the heart of the city, we seek to live more fully into our faith and the biblical imperative to “love God and love our neighbor.” 80

How has your past experience prepared you for this role? I attended seminary in New York and did my field education at St. Ignatius of Antioch. I served there following ordination as their Curate and as Assistant Rector. Their liturgical style is “High-Church.” Loving music and liturgy and their power to help us connect with the Divine, my time there provided me with a depth of ritual knowledge, liturgical training and experience in parish administration. Holy Trinity Church is in the Inwood section of NYC and is the northernmost Episcopal church in Manhattan. The neighborhood is very diverse, with many members having worked in the arts. This was the first parish I served as the sole priest. My experience stretched me and enabled me to spread my wings and apply all I had learned thus far. Tell readers more about the bakery that will serve as a prison re-entry program. St. Luke’s seeks to offer compassionate responses to human suffering in our community. In 2017, we established Cypress House at St. Luke’s, a parish-related 501(c)3 status nonprofit dedicated to providing quality social services. Our goal is to be a collaborative

Jake Danna Stevens. Copyright ©2015 The Scranton Times

partner with existing organizations to provide services not offered as yet. Our inaugural program will be a re-entry bakery program modeled after Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. We hope it will help address issues tied to systemic racism and serve those who face societal biases post incarceration through creating employment experiences for the newly released. This seems fitting, as St. Luke’s is a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. In Hebrew, Beth-lehem means “house” and “bread,” or house of bread. How do you approach obstacles? Often, I’ve found that obstacles are a gift because they’ve kept me from following a path I wasn’t meant to trod. Sometimes, they have meant I needed to try harder, or work better, or smarter. I see more possibilities than obstacles. What/Who do you attribute your success to? I think less about success and more about following a vocational calling. My vocation requires prayerful discernment, persistence, faith, conviction and spiritfilled love. Tell us about your future goals or aspirations. I love to learn. In seminary, while working on my honors thesis, I was bit by an “academic bug.” I completed an additional degree, a Master of Sacred Theology. One March 2021

aspiration is to complete a doctorate. I want to learn Spanish. I’d like to gain some ability to converse in a language which would serve me in ministry. How has your education helped you with your endeavors? Education, whether we end up working in that field or not, is never wasted. I use my education in all I do. My degrees are in music, language and theology. There has long been a connection between music and divinity. My theological degrees gave me the foundational knowledge needed for preaching, teaching and pastoral ministry. The work I did earning my musical degrees gave me skills I needed when pursuing an arts career. I was a professionally trained classical singer and worked almost exclusively in sacred and liturgical music. As a priest, my background enables me to apply my musical skills in liturgical planning and in chanting the Eucharistic prayers. This year has required us to stream our services. While I never worked in television or film, I believe my stage training has provided transferable skills. Liturgy isn’t a performance, but it is a form of sacred drama. What advice do you have for

young women experiencing barriers to success? Be true to yourself, follow your heart. You will encounter bumps along the road, it's part of the journey, but it’s the journey that matters, not the destination. Someone told me that sometimes God closes a door so forcefully, it blows two others open. In my life, things did not always turn out as I wished, but the experience made me stronger and brought opportunities I would never have had and people I would never have known. How do you use your musical talents to make a difference in the community? I serve on the Board of the Choral Society of NEPA, as chaplain to the Pennsylvania Northeast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and on the Commission for Liturgy and Music in the Diocese of Bethlehem. People often say that the times they have felt closest to God are through nature and music. I hope that in supporting musical and artistic endeavors and through offering music at St. Luke’s, others’ souls are touched.

What advice would you give your younger self? Firstly, it gets better. Secondly, don’t try to be anybody else. No one else can be you, so be the one unique, beautiful you that God created you to be. What makes you happiest? I am blessed to do the hardest work I’ve ever loved. Also, my wife and partner of 34 years, Liz. Who is your biggest role model? My grandmother. Her tenderness combined with strength, compassion, humor, wisdom and love have left an indelible mark on me. What do you want your legacy to be? That my life and work mattered – that I made a difference. What would you like to share about your ministry?

Photo: Francis McMullen

March 2021

Happenings Magazine

I am the first full-time female leader of the parish. I hope there will be many after me. I pray that St. Luke’s, with rich heritage in Scranton, will continue to be a place of connection, inspiration and a house of prayer for all. H


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Impact Driven: Building Opportunity for the Future


nowing that there is always room to improve keeps Alissa Weiss, Cash Management Officer for The Honesdale National Bank, focused and driven. “I enjoy working in the banking industry because there is always room to learn and grow. There is never a boring day,” said Weiss. The opportunity to grow and improve rings true for Weiss not only looking at the financial industry as a whole, but the possibilities that exist for individuals, businesses and communities.

HNB's holistic view to drive impact and the chance for financial growth for individuals and businesses alike. By focusing on relationships as a whole, Weiss and HNB staff aim to identify options to support every aspect of their lifestyle or business structure. The approach enables resources to work collectively to create a solid platform to maximize goal potential and elevate the prospects for the future.

She commented, “The products I offer are designed to help businesses run more efficiently. Because of this, I know that local business owners have a greater chance of being successful, which in turn, will create jobs and help stimulate the local economy. Knowing that I had a hand in a business’ success brings me pride.”

When discussing the impact of our actions, Weiss reinforced that financial stability is an essential component for rising to many of the pursuits and goals that are established. She underscored that it is not a matter of having an interest in finance, but rather acknowledging that at any level of capability or capacity, money management skills put you in the best position to assess and work toward goals. When in doubt? She advises talking to a banker to understand services at your disposal to help you get to the next step.

Weiss noted that she shares

Weiss graduated with a BBA in


finance from Marywood University. She is working toward her MBA from Louisiana State University Shreveport. Her career in finance began at a large financial institution as a Universal Banker and transitioned into a role as a Financial Sales Consultant in their Workplace Banking program. Later, she joined The Honesdale National Bank as a Loan Compliance Specialist. In her current role as Cash Management Officer, Weiss supports Merchant Services and treasury solutions for business banking customers. She also serves as treasurer for her homeowners association. Stimulating our own performance and identifying opportunities to support others builds impact that can create a positive chain reaction and elevate individuals and the environment around them. “Representation matters. The more women we have in [executive] positions, the more empowered the younger generation of women will feel,” Weiss said. Weiss was born and raised in Hawley, where she resides with her husband, four-year-old son and cats, Henry and Opie. H March 2021


Influential Women of NEPA


appenings Magazine has recognized 25 women whose lives significantly influenced Northeast PA. We welcome suggestions from readers of other women who played an important role in the history of our region. Find 50 more at


Ann Liva (19121990): Ann Liva was

an internationally recognized pianist and piano instructor. Mrs. Liva founded the Young Musician’s Society in Northeast PA, was chair of the music department at Wilkes University for many years, was on the board of many local organizations and received many awards.


Karen Natalie Boyle (1964-2019): Karen

Natalie Boyle was an environmental educator with the Monroe County Conservation District for 30 years and a seasonal ranger with the National Park Service. In 2016, she was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award from East Stroudsburg University. She inspired her students to further conservation efforts in Pennsylvania and beyond.



Betsy Bell Condron (1928-2020): Betsy Bell

Condron was a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania, volunteer and leader in her community, specifically focusing on health and welfare. Mrs. Condron served on many local and national boards and was a director at Wilkes University, as well as an educator in various roles in schools around the region.

Sarah Walker (1799-1874): During

the Civil War, Sarah Walker was President of the Susquehanna County branch of the US Sanitary Commission. She helped organize 40 Soldiers’ Aid Societies in Susquehanna County. After the war, Sarah forwarded education for former slaves. She was elected Vice President of the W.P. Branch of the American Freedman Commission in 1867.


March 2021


Jean Kerr (19222003): Jean Kerr was

a well-known playwright who was born in Scranton. She attended Marywood University (then Marywood Seminary) and married Walter Kerr, a well-known drama critic. She wrote many successful plays and collections of short stories and contributed to the New York City drama scene.


Emily Blackman (1826-1907):


Emily Blackman was a female historian from Montrose who wrote The History of Susquehanna County Pennsylvania, published in 1873, at a time when women authors were not taken seriously or even considered. She also contributed to her community by teaching in Montrose for many years.


Dr. Carolyn Carlson Pencek (1946-2020):

Dr. Carolyn Carlson Pencek was active in the Scranton Junior League, serving as president and vice president. She was a leader in many other local organizations, including the Lackawanna County Children and Youth Services organization and received many awards for her work.

Althea Staples (1860-1959):

Althea Staples was a leader of the suffrage movement in Monroe County and led many important organizations. Mrs. Staples’ work proved world-changing; 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed, allowing women the right to vote.


Mari Byron (1961-2017):

Mari Byron owned the Waverly Deli for many years and brought a sense of warmth and acceptance to her customers and community. She was an active volunteer in her community and gave back in countless ways. Mari was also a wife and mother.

March 2021

Happenings Magazine



Sr. Coleman Nee (1917-2011):

Sr. Coleman Nee was president of Marywood University from 1970-1988 and held many other positions within the university, dating back to 1943. Her leadership guided Marywood through challenging times. In addition to enriching the university, she was a member of several other community organizations.


Rosamond “Roz” Peck 1934-2004:

Rosamond “Roz” Peck was a philanthropist from Scranton. She founded the Countryside Conservancy and was instrumental in the creation of the Countryside Conservancy Trolley Trail in Wyoming County. She also helped organize the beloved wreath-making tradition at the Waverly Community House. 88


Ann Moyles (1945-2016): Ann

Moyles was a teacher at West Scranton High School, Dunmore High School and Scranton Preparatory School. She taught English, speech, creative writing and served as the director of the drama program. Her shows were produced professionally. She had a passion for her work and touched the lives of so many.


Karen Hoyt (1961-2012): Karen

Hoyt was a loving mom, wife, friend and co-worker. She served as a librarian’s aide at Abington Heights. Karen worked at Lackawanna Valley Dermatology Associates, Limited. She made it a point to make a connection with every patient and set them at ease.


Ann Luger (19222004): Ann Luger

was a woman of distinction, wife of former State Representative and Lackawanna County Commissioner Charles Luger. She entertained dignitaries and had a talent for painting and sculpting. She produced a bust of her husband, on display at the Charles Luger Building on the Allied Services campus in Scranton.


Ruth Gerrity (1949-2016):

Ruth Gerrity was a speechlanguage pathologist at the Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for many years and was president of their labor union for 25 years. She was dedicated to the children there and truly cared for each one. March 2021


Lael Swank (1971-2020):

Lael Swank was a tenacious advocate for breast cancer awareness and research. She was the largest individual fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure multiple times and the 2019 Honorary Chair Survivor for the Komen NEPA Race for the Cure. She lost her battle with breast cancer in 2020.


Grace Schimelfenig (1931-2005): Grace Schimelfenig was the first woman to serve on the Scranton City Council and was Old Forge’s first borough manager. Mrs. Schimelfenig was a leader in her community and even had her own talk show, where she interviewed Governor Scranton, Governor Thornburgh, Representative Dan Flood and Senator Robert Kennedy.

March 2021


Dawn Brennan (1931-2015):

Dawn Brennan was the first woman social worker at the Lackawanna County prison. She was the executive director of the United Neighborhoods Center for 20 years and founded the Housing Coalition for Lackawanna County. She was also a social work professor at Marywood University for many years.

Happenings Magazine


Roseann Novembrino (1936-2019): Roseann Novembrino was the first female city controller for the City of Scranton. She served eight consecutive terms, in addition to being involved in local politics. Roseann was vice chairwoman of the Deutsch Institute and chairwoman for the Benjamin Franklin Memorial and Police Memorial. She received many awards for her community involvement. 89


Karen Blomain (1944 -2012):

Karen Blomain was a famous author and poet. She wrote many books and was a professor at Kutztown University and Keystone College. She also travelled the world, attending seminars and giving lectures and presentations. A memorial scholarship fund at Marywood University bears her name.


Susan C. Yelen (1948-2020)

A financial planner for 38 years at Morgan Stanley, Susan made an impact in a traditionally male-dominated field. Barron's Magazine named her one of the 100 Best Women Advisors in America. Additionally, she had a background in social work and education. Susan was also a lifetime leader in the Wilkes-Barre Jewish Community.


Florence (“Foddy”) Vipond (1918-2005): Foddy Vipond was a founder and president of the Child Psychiatric Center, the first child psychiatric services in NEPA. She served on many boards, including Marywood College, the Scranton Area Foundation and the Waverly Community House. She was a devoted mom, Cub Scouts pack mother and Girl Scout troop leader.


Grace Storrs Weston (1865-1946): Grace Storrs


Carol Fells Breig (1945-2018):

Carol Fells Breig was the vice president of development for the Northeast Philharmonic. She was also involved in assisting community cornerstones like the Scranton Cultural Center, Wilkes University and the Employment Opportunity Training Center.


Weston was president of the Century Club and a trustee of the Lackawanna Historical Society. She pioneered the City Beautiful movement and established Nay Aug Park’s rose garden. She was active with the Shade Tree Commission and developed a hybrid orchid called the “Brasso-Cattleya Grace S. Weston,” registered with England’s Sanders nursery.

Contributing to this piece: Rebecca Belotti Mary Ann Moran-Savakinus, the Lackawanna Historical Society, Karen Clifford, Rose Broderick and Susan Belin


Carmel Sirianni (1922-1991):

Carmel Sirianni served six terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, beginning in 1975. Additionally, she was an administrative assistant to Pennsylvania State Representative Kenneth B. Lee and a member of the Hop Bottom Planning Commission and the Pennsylvania Local Government Commission. March 2021

A Stitch in (Pandemic) Time Local native gives back by sewing over 1000 masks


ur family is originally from Gowen City, a small farming village outside of Shamokin. My dad moved us to Scranton in 1977 to be closer to his non-denominational Christian church that he and some other deaf folks established three years prior. My father attended The Scranton State School for the Deaf for most of the 1940s, so Scranton was his second home and he loved the vibrant deaf community there. The highlight of my time at Central High School was the marching band. Mr Hopkins was one teacher who was genuinely kind to me, but oh, how we teased him! I made a few friends and have great memories of football games, parades and band trips. I felt I was well on my

Janet Richey way to becoming a writer when Seventeen Magazine published my article in 1985, but I wasn't a great student, and I didn't know how to achieve that goal. After high school, I tried college, then retail and restaurant management with little success. After the profound loss of my paternal grandma in 1990, my sister invited me to live with her in Harrisburg. It was the right move. It didn’t take long for me to find a position at an insurance company. I met my husband there in 1994 and we married in 1995. Shortly after, we started a family. In 1997 and in 1999, we had two girls. Eight years later, we were blessed with a son. Janet Richey, Scranton Central High, 1986


Having a family put my writer dreams on hold and I traded my computer for a sewing machine. My mom was an excellent seamstress and worked in the garment industry for most of her life, including for Lady Manhattan Shirt Company on Capouse Avenue. My paternal grandma was a prolific quilter who could take the most unlovable piece of fabric and turn it into something beautiful, if only because she made it. Her utilitarian style and giving spirit inspires me to this day. I started sewing gifts for the kids, their friends, teachers and family members. My sewing room really came to life when my girls joined the marching band. Talk about life coming full circle! My oldest even played the flute, like I did! The color guard made their own flags and once I joined that, I was hooked. For six years, I sewed flags alongside some of the most passionate parents you’d ever want to meet. It was one of the best times of my life. In 2017, my youngest daughter graduated and the sewing room went dark. That’s when I started writing again and seeing a pattern of God’s faithfulness in my life. I mainly wrote short pieces for an online Christian writer’s group, sharing my experiences growing up with deaf parents and how it influenced my parenting. Sadly, my father passed away in May 2019 and my writing took on a new poignancy. A book was taking shape. March 2021

All of that came to a screeching halt when the Coronavirus hit. I saw on Facebook that a local EMS was looking for people to make masks and I sprung into action. The sewing room light was back on. There is a passage in the book of Luke that says to whom much is given, much will be required. I was a stay-at-home mom with shelves of fabric, time on my hands and writer’s block. Sewing masks was a way to give back and a form of escape. The pictures of masks I posted on Facebook caught the eyes of marching band and 1986 Central alumni. I sent around 300 masks to the Scranton area, which gave my work deeper meaning. The remaining masks went to family members, friends and local agencies. I have now completed over 1,000 masks. Turning the mask scraps into quilts is a way to keep my grandma’s legacy alive. I’m not sure where this venture is going yet, but there is a pressing on my heart to keep sewing things to give to others who may need the comfort of something handmade. The demand for masks slowed down in June, when many

restrictions were lifted. This gave me a chance to spend quality time with my kids. Armed with some old family photos and information from, we went in search of my family’s history. There is nothing like being locked in a car with your kid, with nothing but scenery and the radio to distract you. We hit up state parks, covered bridges, old farms and cemeteries, all within state lines. While I’ll never give full credit to the pandemic, I’m not sure our family would have experienced the same growth if we’d done the traditional agenda-filled vacations. While the pandemic was brutal, our faith and viewing the challenges as opportunities for growth and creativity have gotten us through. Allowing ourselves to


Richey Fam

grieve the loss of things we've taken for granted has helped. The Bible gives example after example of how we are called to give to those in need. Some can write a check, others can work at a food pantry or soup kitchen, while others serve by simply going to work every day. (Can you say healthcare workers and teachers?) One thing this pandemic has brought to the forefront is that, if we give generously with the gifts we’ve been given by our Creator, the world will be a better place. I try to demonstrate this to my kids by offering my time and fabric stash to meet community needs. Being a mom and a wife is my primary purpose in life. The family my husband and I created is a gift in the purest of ways. While I think my love of sewing is an important way to comfort those who need it, I maintain that God allowed so many things to happen in my life so I can write about it to encourage others and bring them into a closer relationship with Him. During the pandemic, I managed to squeeze in a few writing lessons and started a blog, though it’s currently under construction. Progress is progress, right? My story is still being written.” H

Marion Munley Receives

2021 ATHENA Leadership Award The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Marion Munley, Esq., Munley Law, as the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient. Marion embodies the character of the ATHENA Award, which honors an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way and assisted women in attaining professional goals and leadership skills. “Marion is a community leader paving the way for others. She fights for her clients, commits time to the community and ensures the mentorship of young women with careers in law,” says Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “She is an admirable and deserving recipient of this prestigious award.” For more than 30 years, Marion has made her mark in the male-dominated area of trucking law as a dedicated and skilled litigator, taking lead on some of Pennsylvania’s largest and groundbreaking legal victories. For a decade, Marion provided free legal services to those in need at the Hope Center for Northeastern Pennsylvania. She has supported Lackawanna Pro Bono for more than 20 years, sponsors scholarships at the University of Scranton, Marywood University and Johnson College, as well


as contributes to many local charitable organizations. Marion mentors young women aspiring to or beginning a career in law. Particularly at Munley Law, she makes herself available for advice and questions and ensures they have a role in the firm’s big cases, local networking events and national conferences. In 2020, Marion received the AAJ’s Marie Lambert Award for her commitment to the legal profession, her community, and the advancement of women in law.

Photo: ATHENA International

The ATHENA Award was first presented in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan and has grown to include presentations to more than 5,000 individuals in hundreds of cities in the United States as well as in Canada, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage and wisdom of the recipient.

The ATHENA Award® Program is nationally underwritten by General Motors and National City Bank. Local sponsorship provided by Michael A. Barbetti LLC Certified Public Accountants. H

March 2021

Jill Valentini


ill Valentini is the Assistant Vice President and Retail Branch Manager of Fidelity Bank in Dunmore. She has been part of the Fidelity Bank team for 14 years. Jill attended Penn State University and has completed numerous continuing educational courses with the American Institute of Banking and the American Bankers’ Association. She serves as a Board Member of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce. When not working, Jill takes on DIY projects around her home or spends time with family and friends. Her favorite pastime is being with her mini dachshund, Mayze and her French bulldog, Huxley. Provide advice for young women wanting to make a difference in their communities. Network! Growing up in the military, we had to move almost every three years. I’ve been fortunate to be part of a variety of communities. In my younger years, this included Europe, Southern States and for the past 20 years, Northeast PA, which has always been “home.” In every move, I met new people, started new friendships and learned about the community around me. There’s always a need. With a giving heart and some outreach, you’ll be surMarch 2021

into our lives is there to teach us. My most significant role models have been my parents. My father served his country for 20 years and taught me selflessness and how working toward the greater good far outweighs the self-serving mindset. My mother’s dedication to her faith and endless love and support have taught me compassion. On challenging days, I think of her and try to exhibit the faith and love she has shown me. rounded by opportunities to help. How do you attempt to give back? My career allows me to be a financial coach to families and businesses in my community. From starting their first savings account, getting married, purchasing their first home, or starting a business – I can be there to help them budget, save, or make financial decisions. Community bankers are empowered to donate our time, talent and treasure to local organizations. I’ve also served on Leadership Lackawanna’s Board for the past six years and have been fortunate to get to know regional nonprofits and help make lasting change. Do you have a specific role model? I believe everyone who comes Happenings Magazine

Provide advice to young women concerning overcoming barriers to success. Don’t miss the lesson. There are times when it is challenging to see your way through those barriers. If you pick yourself up, regroup or reset, you’ve already overcome the toughest part. Small steps will get you there! What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t be in such a rush! Many times, I felt a self-imposed pressure to be at a certain destination, whether that be a career, marriage, or family. Now, older and wiser, I would want to really breathe those moments in slowly. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be the old lady in the rocker without her share of wild adventures from youth – but I would tell my younger self: take your time, this isn’t a race! H


Penn State Scranton Adding Mechanical Engineering Degree or years, Penn State Scranton mechanical engineering students could pursue two years of coursework before heading to University Park or another commonwealth campus to complete their degree.


This fall, mechanical engineering students will be able to stay at Penn State Scranton for the duration of their studies and complete them in a new, ultramodern facility. The program will launch in Fall 2021 in the soon-to-be-completed Engineering Building, formerly Grainger Industrial Supply, along the O’Neill Highway in Dunmore. Penn State Scranton is completing a nearly $9 million renovation to tailor the building to the program’s needs.

“We are very excited about bringing a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering to our community. It’s a Penn State degree in mechanical engineering, a highly regarded, respected program,” Chancellor Marwan Wafa, Ph.D., said. “Our students will be able to complete their degree in a new building with state-of-the-art labs. It will be a very inviting space and a community landmark.” Some features of the building include study pods for individual and group study, “hands-on” engineering labs where faculty and students can work together on real-life projects and a fabrication or ‘maker’ space where students can work with local companies, helping them develop possible new products. Awaiting completion are long-

time engineering faculty members Dr. Majid Chatsaz, assistant professor of engineering and Mostafa Tossi, assistant teaching professor in engineering. “We are very excited about the program,” said Chatsaz, who will be program coordinator. “We’d been trying to get it approved for years. With Dr. Wafa’s relentless efforts, it became a reality.” So far, 17 current students will complete their mechanical engineering studies at the campus, Chatsaz said. Director of Academic Affairs H. Durell Johnson, Ph.D., said the campus will admit first- through third-year students and will hire two new tenure-track engineering faculty starting in Fall 2021, adding another in the next few years. “We anticipate hiring support faculty in mathematics and physics, as program enrollment will increase course enrollments in the complementary degree program courses,” Johnson said. “We will add a mechanical engineering lab technician to assist with teaching and lab maintenance and oversight.” The campus’ path to launching


March 2021

the program began in 2016, when it hosted a regional engineering focus group meeting consisting of representatives from more than 15 regional companies and government agencies – among them Gentex, Lockheed Martin, PPL, Tobyhanna Army Depot and UGI – who indicated a need for mechanical engineers locally. The Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis lists mechanical engineering among its high-priority occupations. The University has recently seen enrollment increases in engineering programs. The campus hopes to expand opportunities for current students, while attracting new locationbound students who aspire to

March 2021

mechanical engineering careers. “We want our graduates to fill area employers’ needs. I am excited that we are able to launch a program with a strong need,” Wafa said. “We have had many locationbound students express the need for such a degree locally.

Happenings Magazine

Based on U.S. Department of Labor statistics, there will be a great need for mechanical engineers in all industries,” Chatsaz added. “There’s a reason ME is called the mother of all engineering majors; it has the widest exposure to all technical fields.” H


Everhar t Museum’s

Art in Bloom


rt in Bloom will return to the Everhart Museum March 26 and 27. Art in Bloom, which was sidelined last year due to pandemic, is a celebration of the museum's collection as interpreted through fresh flower arrangements by local designers. The phrase “Art in Bloom” was created by Lorriane M. Pitts, a volunteer at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The original exhibit was previewed in 1976 and has continued through today at museums across the country. It is comprised of traditional visual art pieces and flower arrangements by local professional florists, designers and garden club members. Over a dozen works and objects from the museum's collection will be show-


Photos: Zak Zavada Photography

cased, alongside floral designs creating a visual juxtaposition that speaks to art and nature lovers alike. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on March 26 with a virtual VIP preview of floral arrangements by local designers and will feature performances organized by Scranton Fringe. Winners will be awarded in five categories.

can participate in mobile tours of the galleries, pickup crafts and activities to take home, or shop at our nature-inspired marketplace. Voting will open for the People's Choice Award and be announced on Saturday afternoon. The event is pay-as-you-wish and open to all ages. Registration will be available at the door for tours.

On March 27, the Art in Bloom exhibit will be on view from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests

Interested in participating from home? The museum will offer uniquely designed floral-inspired virtual live and pre-recorded classes on March 20, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Scheduled programs include a pressed flower

March 2021

demo, candle making, watercolor painting, cookie making and flower arranging classes. Classes will be announced in midFebruary. Registration in advance is required. Join us for the perfect spring event: an aesthetic marriage between art and nature. Sponsored by PNC and Toyota of Scranton. The Everhart Museum is closed for general maintenance and plans to reopen on March 6. Call 570-346-7186 or email About the Everhart

March 2021

Museum: Founded in 1908, the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science and Art is the largest general museum in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Everhart Museum is dedicated to collecting, caring for and displaying a diverse array of objects and specimens, including natural history, science and fine arts. The museum has become an invaluable regional resource for educa-

Happenings Magazine

tional and cultural opportunities. General support for the museum is received from the Lackawanna County Office of Education & Culture, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the City of Scranton. Visit or call 570-346-7186. H


A Legacy Behind the Mat


alt Fisk dedicated his life to wrestling as a competitor and coach.

Growing up in Sayre, PA, Walt didn’t know much about high school sports. He tried out for basketball with some friends at Sayre Area High School. His basketball coach encouraged him to join the wrestling team. "The next day, I went to wrestling practice. The rest is history,” Walt said. Walt was the state runner-up in high school. While attending Lycoming College, he was the team captain for National Wrestling Hall of Fame Coach, Bud Whitehall. After graduating, he coached the youth team at Sayre Rec Wrestling for two years. He then coached the junior varsity team of Wyalusing Valley Junior-Senior High School and in 1986, became the head coach of the varsity team – the Rams. Walt received many accolades while coaching the Rams. He led the team to win 12 league championships, nine sectionals, six District IV and six regional team titles. The Rams were State Team runner-ups twice and, in 1999, won their first state title. "I promised the boys that they could shave my head if they won," he said. "That shaved head was my greatest trophy!"


Walt coached 83 sectional, 27 district and 21 regional champs. He had 33 PIAA medals, including seven state champs. In 2000, the Rams won the dual meet team titles. That same year, Walt was the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) State Wrestling Coach of the Year and the National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year. In 2004, he was honored as the Pennsylvania Wrestling USA Man of the Year. His wife Kathy was his assistant coach. Walt's career record at Wyalusing was 297-52-1. Walt’s sons, Josh and Matt Fisk, also wrestled competitively in high school. Josh earned six PIAA medals and Matt earned two. Josh was a two-time Pennsylvania State place winner in high school and was awarded a wrestling scholarship. Matt was a Pennsylvania State place winner and a two-time state champion in high school. He wrestled at Lehigh University under an academic and wrestling scholarship, where he was a four-time NCAA qualifier and team captain. Josh was a high

school wrestling coach and now coaches his son’s elementary school team. Matt coached in a Division I College wrestling program for several years. "I truly feel that the greatest acolytes from wrestling were the opportunities to coach my sons and be the best man in three of my wrestlers’ weddings," he said. "Any rewards I received really belong to the young men who believed in me, our program and themselves.” Regarding the secret to his success, he said: “Marry well and surround yourself with good people with similar goals." Walt retired from varsity coaching in 2005 but returned in 2011 as a junior varsity coach, which he still does today. He credits his parents Walt and Rita Fisk for supporting him, taking him around the country to wrestle and following his

coaching career. "They never miss a match," he said. Walt has four grandchildren who wrestle in the living room with him and his sons. His grandsons just started organized wrestling. Walt was honored and humbled when he saw the other inductees of the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame.

"This organization works to ensure that the hard work and achievements of athletes and coaches are recognized," he said. "It is an honor to be part of this organization. I’m grateful that they recognized my accomplishments and the sport of wrestling.” H - Ben Freda

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Brenda Conlon

Provide advice for young women seeking to improve their communities. Never give up. If you have a dream, be determined and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. How do you approach obstacles? I assess the situation to see what needs to be done to clear the obstacle. Once I figure out what I can do, I remove that obstacle. Share advice on dealing with bullies and unkind people. There will always be bullies and unkind people. I “kill them with kindness” and take a deep breath. I often think, “they are not having a problem with me, it is a problem with themselves.”


renda Conlon is the Admissions and Marketing Director at Aventura at Creekside Skilled Nursing Facility in Carbondale. She is the public relations chairwoman at the NEPA Aging Networking Alliance. She was awarded the Power in Purple Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. Brenda also volunteers with the American Red Cross and Meals on Wheels. She resides in Archbald with her daughter, Kelsey. What is your goal at Creekside Skilled Nursing Facility? To let our community know about services provided, from therapy to nursing to activities. What inspired you to pursue a career caring for the elderly? Working with the elderly is like having many grandparents. I was extremely close with my Nana and Papa. They were always big supporters of me. As they aged, our roles changed; I became their caretaker. I learned what the aging process entailed. You never imagine your life without them until you have to and it is such a great loss.


Losing my grandparents left a void that will never be filled. Working with seniors makes me smile again. How has your career influenced your life? It has made me a better person. I have met residents who are veterans and have shared amazing stories with me that I’ll cherish forever. What do people miss by not spending significant time with the elderly? Our elderly have rich knowledge and a lot of experience on various subjects. You can discover different ways to accomplish tasks, to make better decisions and learn more perspective about historical events. I love listening to their stories of when they were young. They love to relive their youth. It brings a big smile to their face. When you engage and ask questions, it makes them even happier. Some of our residents don’t have family. They don’t receive phone calls, letters, gifts, or visits (pre-COVID.) You find yourself taking them in and “adopting them as grandparents” to let them know someone cares.

What is your favorite quote? “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how long you live. What matters is the memories you make. If you can look back and know you made amazing memories, then you have lived a fulfilling life. What has volunteering taught you? People appreciate the smallest things. It can be the smallest gesture yet mean so much. Who/What makes you happiest? My daughter Kelsey, a senior at Holy Cross High School. I am so proud of her for growing up to be such a kind and caring young woman. She has a huge heart and would help anyone in need. She also works with me as a part-time activities aide. What would you like readers to know about your work? Every day brings something new. I help bring new residents into the facility; depending on their status, they are discharged or may be a long-term care resident. Helping our senior population gain independence is very rewarding. H

March 2021

Aventura at Creekside Exceptional Healthcare from the Heart The residents here are like our family. Our highly trained, compassionate staff members are invested in each resident’s physical and emotional welfare and are dedicated to fostering a comfortable home like environment where residents can thrive. With top quality, round-the-clock clinical care and abundant services and amenities, your loved ones are in good hands as we celebrate life’s milestones together.

Short-Term Rehabilitation • Long-Term Care • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Respite Care • Memory Care • Wound Care • Stroke Recovery • Speech Therapy

45 North Scott Street • Carbondale, PA 18407 (570) 282-1099 • Fax: (570) 282-7415

Who is the cutest of them all?

Delilah The Powell family says Delilah is a mommy’s girl, enjoys playing ball, chasing birds and eating ice cream. She lives in Olyphant.

Reagan Reagan, says the O’Boyle family, is a snuggler but also loves to play ball outside. Reagan lives in Pittston.


Frankie Jo Frankie Jo, says the Sabatini family, loves to cuddle, sleep and play outside. Frankie Jo lives in Dalton.

Shadow and Teddy The Pallo family says that Shadow and Teddy both love to bark at the mailman and the UPS driver! Shadow and Teddy live in South Abington Township.

Scout The Conaboy family says Scout is a friendly and bubbly fur ball who always tries to do “crazy tricks.” Scout lives in Waverly Township.

Ella Louise The Purdy family says Ella Louise enjoys getting treats and playing with her stuffed animals. She is loyal and loves to follow people around. Ella lives in Lake Ariel.

March 2021

in... s arehe Month e t o v The et of t

Vote for your favorite March pet at! The winner receives a Happenings bandana!

Taz Taz, says the Jerauld family, is almost two years old and is incredibly loved by his family. Taz lives in La Plume.

Maggie Maggie, says Brian Masters, enjoys long walks, chasing squirrels and cats, receiving new toys, cuddling under blankets and giving kisses. She lives in Carbondale.

March 2021

r ary’s P Febru is Boome ns! o i t atula Congr

Fiona The Cerminaro and Iacouzze families say Fiona is calm, always bright eyed and bushy tailed and loves the UPS driver. She lives in Dunmore.

Doria The Picciocchi family says Doria is always ready to have fun and loves snow. She was named after her owner’s favorite Italian soccer team, Sampdoria. Doria lives in Clarks Green.

Happenings Magazine

Ziggy Ziggy, says the Vargo family, loves licking everyone he meets! He is very energetic and loves playing with toys. Ziggy lives in Schnecksville.

Meb The Bachak family says Meb is intelligent and active. He loves going for walks and runs in the woods. Meb lives in Jermyn.


Little Free Library Tribute

to Jane Helman ow does one celebrate and memorialize a person who gave so much in a lifetime? The chapter of the Keystone State Literacy Association Northeast PA considered how to honor Jane Helman, an active member who served as a teacher, coach, professor and friend for years. Jane served as a chapter president and then a Keystone State Literacy Association state president. She died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 67 while working with her co-teacher and dearest friend, Hollie D’Agata, on plans for the course they taught at Marywood University.


Prior to her passing, the chapter had completed one Little Free Library. The committee agreed that a Little Free Library would be a perfect memorial for Jane since it would serve the community, one of Jane’s goals. The husband of Eileen Giovagnoli, one of the chapter’s executive board members, donated time to build the library. The library pays tribute to Jane, a Title 1 teacher and coach in the Tunkhannock Area School District. She was loved by students and after she retired, continued to co-teach with Hollie in the Reading Education Department at Marywood University for 22 years. Jane loved lighthouses and visited many throughout the country. Her cottage at Lake Carey was like a lighthouse gift shop, housing every imaginable lighthouse item. When she needed a logo and theme as state president she chose “Read and Shine.” Member Cindy Reynolds designed her lighthouse logo in an original watercolor painting. What better way to decorate the Little Free Library in her name than to have that logo featured on three sides? Marywood agreed to have the library installed near the McGowan Education Center where Jane taught. The undergraduate reading club will maintain the library. H –Cindy G. Reynolds


March 2021


Came the spring with all its splendor. All its birds and all its blossoms. All its flowers and leaves and grasses. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

40August 2016

April 202075

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March 2021

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March 2021

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Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients for Potatoes:

1 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut (approx. 4 large potatoes) Salt (to flavor) 4 tbsp. melted butter 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup sour cream Freshly ground black pepper (to flavor)

For Beef Mixture: 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. fresh thyme 1 1/2 lb. ground beef 1 cup frozen peas 1 cup frozen corn 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour 2/3 cup beef broth 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Shepherd’s pie was traditionally made with lamb, since shepherds tend sheep, but through the years, ground beef was substituted. The correct name for the ground beef version is cottage pie, because it was created by Irish peasants living in cottages.

Preheat oven to 400°. Mashed potatoes: In a large pot, cover potatoes with water, add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cook until soft, 16-18 minutes. Drain, return to pot. Use a potato masher or hand mixer to mash potatoes until smooth. Add melted butter, milk, and sour cream. Blend together, season with salt and pepper. Set aside. For beef mixture, heat oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, garlic, and thyme and cook until softened, approximately 5-6 minutes. Add ground beef, cook until no longer pink. Drain fat. Stir in frozen peas and corn and cook. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle meat with flour, stir to evenly distribute. Cook for another minute, add beef broth. Bring to a simmer, let mixture thicken, approximately 5 minutes. Top beef mixture with a layer of mashed potatoes. Bake until very little liquid is visible, about 20 minutes. For a golden brown crust, place casserole under broiler for 5-6 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn. Garnish with parsley. Please note: I use frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn) to reduce prep time. I add a shake or two of Worcestershire sauce for flavor.

Compliments of JoAnn Marianelli Finnerty/ Bella Faccias Personalized Chocolates & Gifts

Cooper’s Fundraiser Benefits WRC ecently, Cooper’s Seafood held a fundraiser for the Women’s Resource Center in Scranton. Through selling their muchloved crab bisque soup and donating all proceeds, Cooper’s raised over $7,500 to help the Women’s Resource Center continue providing resources for women in crisis.


You’re in Luck! Dine-in and Takeout Service Over 500 Seats and 5 Dining Rooms Available with Social Distancing Our Gift Shop is also Open! Full Irish Menu from Sunday, March 14 to March 17, St. Patrick's Day

701 N. Washington Ave • Scranton, PA • 570-346-6883 • March 2021

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Irish Food

Northeast PA is a haven for ethnic foods. Traditional Irish meals are favorites for many people, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. Though festivities may be smaller this year, you can still order beloved Irish dishes from NEPA restaurants.

Cooper’s Seafood is featuring an Irish menu including Irishthemed beers and cocktails, shepherd’s pie and Guinness stout chocolate cake. Stop in to Cooper’s March 14 through March 17 to pick up a hearty Irish meal! Call (570) 346-6883.

Barley Creek Brewing Company is offering specials reminiscent of the Emerald Isle. Try their Whiskey Irish Cream, made with whiskey brewed right in their distillery, or their corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes, with beef smoked on their Meadow Creek smoker. Call (570) 629-9399.


March 2021

Dining around the Region Note! All hours are subject to change without notice. Call ahead, consult website and Facebook pages of each individual restaurant for updated information, specials and menu items available. Abbiocco Try our signature dishes, such as Chicken Abbiocco, manicotti or blackened salmon. BYOB. Text Abbiocco to 51660 to receive our texts every Wednesday or see weekly specials.Tues-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 639 N. Blvd., Clarks Summit. 570-319-9633. Coney Island Lunch Try our Texas Wiener with mustard, onions and chili sauce! Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 515 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton. Delivery by DoorDash! 570-961-9004. The Inn at Starlight Lake Discover one of Wayne County’s hidden gems. Find pasta, steak and seafood. Your taste buds will thank you. Baked goods made onsite. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Call or consult website for hours. 570798-2519. Lake Sheridan Bar and Grill Rate our signature burgers! Seven days, 4-8 p.m. 145 Pedrick Rd., Nicholson. 570-910-0092. Cooper's Seafood Enjoy Maine lobster tacos: sauteed Maine lobster meat, sweet corn pico de gallo, arugula, avocado, poblano pepper cream sauce, pumpkin seeds. Sun.-Thurs. Noon9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. Noon-10:30 p.m. 701 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. 570-346-6883. Posh @The Scranton Club and March 2021 ix-west-menu/ 570- 836-2151 ext. 8.

The Colonnade Try lobster mac and cheese! Cavatelli smoked gouda cream sauce with lobster morsels topped with an herb-panko crust. Thurs.-Sat. 4-8 p.m. 404 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. 570-9555890.

Savory Maza Shish barak special on Wednesdays this season! Indulge in fresh, homemade vegetarian and meat meals, plus daily specials. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. 200 N. Main St., Scranton. 570-969-2666.

Market Street Bar and Grill Customers love our scallops and house made pumpkin gnocchi! Sun. and Mon. 4-8 p.m., Tues.-Sat. Noon-8 p.m. 223 W. Market St., Scranton. 570-5079560. Mendicino’s Pizza and Family Restaurant Pizza, pasta, hoagies and more! Daily lunch and dinner specials. Full menu, dine in, take out and curbside available. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m-8 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Sundays. Located in the ShopRite Complex, Covington Twp. 570-842-2070.

March 12 is National Baked Scallops Day

Pettinato’s Restaurant Try our linguine with peas, prosciutto and pecorino Romano in a light cream sauce. Take out and delivery. Mon.-Sat. 4-8 p.m., Sun. 4-6 p.m. 78 Dundaff St., Carbondale. 570-282-5860.

Sibio’s Restaurant Our fettuccine Alfredo is a customer favorite! Lunch and dinner regular hours, full menu with specials. 1240 Quincy Ave., Dunmore. 570-346-3172. Six West at Shadowbrook Resort Join us Thursdays for $10 specialty burgers all day and select draft specials! Enjoy our burger nachos! Seasoned ground beef, local cheddar, pico de gallo, jalapenos, Sriracha cream and tortilla chips. Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Happenings Magazine

Barley Creek Brewing Company, Inc. Try our beer cheese soup, with Antler Brown Ale. Lunch and dinner: Sun.Thur. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m-10:30 p.m.. Breakfast: Fri.-Mon. 8 a.m.-11 a.m. 1774 Sullivan Trail, Tannersville 570-629-9399. Barley Creek Tasting Room and Pub at the Crossings Grab a bite to eat and taste our PA craft brews, spirits, wines and cocktails. Mon-Thur 11a.m.- 7p.m. Fri-Sat 11a.m.- 8 p.m., Sun 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Stirna's Our Stirnaburger is full 1/4 lb. top choice ground beef with tomato, bacon and American or Swiss on a semi-hard roll. Wed.-Sat. 4 p.m.-9 p.m. 120 W. Market St. Scranton On/off premise catering daily. 570-961-9681. H


John Mackarey, LUTCF, RICP Agent, New York Life Insurance Company Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFESecurities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC),A Licensed Insurance Agency.

220 Penn Avenue, Suite 100 Scranton, PA 18503 Phone: 570-340-1320 Email:

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