March 2024 Happenings Magazine

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Dear Happenings,

Love your magazine! I have been reading for years and finally decided to get my own copy. Merry Christmas to me!

Dolinsky –Moscow

Dear Happenings, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” The heavenly host/Luke 2:13

While perusing the current issue of Happenings Magazine, it was nice to see your reference to faith on page 72 (December 2023). At Easter and Christmas especially, it's good to pause, consider the reason for the season. We're blessed to live in a region with many options for holiday worship; may we all gather together (or virtually as necessary) to hear the Word, praise our Lord, relax together in Christ's coming and finished work on the cross. You produce an excellent magazine; thanks. The years pass swiftly and it's good to know that the best is ahead!


–Dale, Hope Presbyterian, –Moosic

Dear Happenings,

I love Happenings Magazine. I read the stories from top to bottom, and can't wait to see each issue. They are so beautiful! I take it when I go to lunch with my friends and show them the beautiful stories. My son’s best friend was featured in the Decker/Stafursky wedding in November’s issue, and my son had attended that wedding.

–Dickson City

Dear Happenings,

I went to school with Happenings’ Art Director, Lisa Kalaha Ragnacci. Can you give her a hug and ask her if she remembers our cheerleading days? I would like to get a subscription for my mother, who lives in Oak Hill, Virginia and misses Happenings Magazine so much! Her friends mail her Happenings once in a while and she will be so happy for the Christmas gift subscription every month.




Publisher Art Director Associate Art Director Director of Social Media Contributors Paula Rochon Mackarey
Kalaha Ragnacci
Freda Account Representative Linette Manley (570) 878-5009 On the Cover: A few nominees of the inaugural Top 30 Over 50 Spotlight Published Monthly. Also read at ©2024 HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any process except with written permission. Happenings Magazine published since 1969 Phone: (570) 587-3532 Call 570-587-3532 or E-mail Subscribe for Home Delivery Read our digital issue for free at $25/12 issues INBOX
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MARCH 2024

10 Top 30 Over 50 Spotlight

Will you still love me, will you still need me, when I’m over 50?

49 Happy Wedding Planning! Here come the brides and grooms.

44 Happy National Doctors’ Day The Doctors are in, and here to help.

58 From Sea to Shining Sea March’s birthstone delights

60 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

There is ability in every disability.

86 Sweet Home Pennsylvania Forest & Field and Piazza Tile are ready to help with your spring project.

March 2024 5
Photo: James Ruane ©
19 21 9 18 The Arc Of NEPAIntelligent Lives Film, Theatre at North NEPA Philharmonic, St. Luke's Episcopal Church 22 24 31 15 20 11 27 NEPA Philharmonic, St. Luke's Episcopal Church Scranton NEPA Philharmonic, St. Luke's Episcopal Church Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade, Scranton Seventh Annual St. Pat’s Day Brunch, Coopers Seafood House 29 28 Breakfast with The Easter Bunny, Skytop Lodge St. Patrick’s Parade, Wilkes-Barre Ramadan Begins St. Patrick’s Day Easter Sunday Easter Brunch, Skytop Lodge 3 Palm Sunday St. Patrick’s Parade, Stroudsburg National Cheesesteak Day Good Friday Irish American Heritage Month Music in Our Schools Month National Celery Month National Disabilities Month National Irish American Heritage MonthNational Nutrition Month National Women’s History Month Red Cross Month 4 5 7 10 13 17 12 25
Philharmonic, Destination Dynamic Duo, Kirby Center, Wyoming Seminary
Patrick’s Parade, Pittston 26 14 6 The Cher Show Broadway In Scranton,3/1-3 Winter Fest, Dietrich Theater 3/1-7 8 30 23 16 1 2 Doctor’s Day sunday monday tuesday wednesday thursday friday saturday 6 March 2024 International Women’s Day
1039 O’Neill Hwy Dunmore, PA, 18512 P: 570-344-3344 C reating Beautiful Smiles for over 35 Years! Board-certified Periodontists and Prosthodontist We are a Father/Daughter Multi-Specialty Practice in one facility specializing in cosmetic gum treatments, bone regeneration procedures, dental implants, and esthetic smile makeovers. If you have been advised to have a tooth removed or need a dental implant, call us for an opinion. Board Certified Periodontist | Bryan J. Frantz, D.M.D, M.S. Board Certified Periodontist and Prosthodontist | Kristen Frantz, D.M.D, M.S.

Dear Readers,

Ihave been serving in the role of Happenings Magazine’s publisher for the past 30 year of its 55 years.

Throughout the past decade, I began noticing a large emphasis placed on honoring individuals who are “up and coming” in their careers, young rising stars who exhibit early promise of having huge potential. Perhaps I noticed this through my cloudy lens of where I once saw myself many years earlier. I recall showing up at meetings where my younger age was somewhat of a surprise.

“We expected a more senior publisher,” I was told. At the time, I was tickled,

and it sure was fun.

When Happenings hosted college interns throughout the years, they were often just a few years my junior. I even became friends with many. Then, as time went on... I noticed that the interns were getting younger and younger until one day I said, “Oh my! You are half my age.” And then, I was astounded to realize that I was older than some of their parents. “How did this happen?” I gasped.

I pondered, what happens to those of us who are over 50? What happens to those who may have once been considered a rising star? Do we just fade away, only to be lost in some far away

galaxy? Do our lights, that were once considered shiny and bright, just go dark?

Having been a recipient (and also a co-chairperson) of awards programs that honor top business women, as well as those who are under 40, I knew I had to do something about my concern.

I am excited to announce Happenings Magazines’ Top 30 Over 50 spotlight. This new spotlight honors those who have been recognized by their peers for maintaining exceptional dedication for the long haul. This is for those whose careers span decades; those who are thriving in their positions, maintaining steadiness and

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Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

consistency. It is for those who have found their purpose, and are fulfilling it with passion, all the while weathering the highs and lows of economic turns and personal challenges. Let us applaud all those who have been in it to win it, for the long haul.

Honoring and learning from each other, from rising stars to stellar seniors and everyone in between is what we strive to do. I especially love to learn of stories like Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. His song “Hallelujah” was released in 1984 when he was 54 years old, achieving little success. It had taken him seven years to write the song and it did not achieve populari-

ty until many years later, in 1991, when it went on to earn one of the top 100 songs of all time. In 2001 it was featured in the film “Shrek.”

In an ancient story written more than a thousand years ago, a warrior (Absolom) was given this advice: “Don’t brag about your war victory before you put your armor on; let me witness your success and achievement after you return, bloodied from battle.”

Included in this March issue is our first list of peer nominated Top 30 Over 50 individuals. (I hesitate to use the word top because there truly is no way to rank individuals.) More accurately it is a list of noteworthy

individuals, over age 50, whose careers have been worthy of attention. In addition to the list, a portion of the nominees took part of a program to share their stories with our readers. More stories will be shared, in forthcoming issues, including those of Rising Stars, so stay tuned!

Let us all March forward keeping each of our lights brightly lit.


March 2024 9

Joanne Arduino Ballet Theatre of Scranton

Sunita Arora ERA One Source Realty

Margo L. Azzarelli Arcadia Publishing, History Press Publishing

Ted Boykin Clarks Summit University

Joyce Cornell Coldwell Banker Town and Country Properties

Tammy Lee Clause, Esq. Attorney, Tammy Lee Clause, P.C.

Joann Cummings Sanderson State Street Salon

Patricia O’Rourke


Patricia O. Cummings Therapy LLC

Amy Clegg Express Employment Professionals

Joy Wolk de Soto Birchwood Fitness

Michael Doria Paint by Doria, LLC

Maria Montoro Edwards Maternal and Family Health Services

Rita Fendrych RF Media Associates

Jo Ann Marianelli Finnerty Bella Faccias Personalized Chocolates and Gifts Bella Baketique

Cathy Gavin Stirna’s Restaurant

Kevin Gilbride Gilbride Limo

Rick Hoffenberg Marywood University

Indra Lahiri Indraloka Animal Sanctuary

Sybilla Lenz

Sybilla Ruark Lenz Financial and Insurance Services

Vincent G. O’Bell Wayne Bank

LeeAnn Perry

Perry’s Learning Centers, Marjon Golf Course

Dr. Alan Peslak Penn State Scranton

Michelle Zenie Rounds Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley

Sherry Nealon-Shrive

Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross

Virginia Pinto Sosik Award-Winning Teaching Artist

Chuck Termini Dynamic Duo Entertainment

Pastor David Twiss Green Ridge Assembly of God

Susan Unvarsky

Prudential US Businesses (Retired)

Jennifer Walsh, Esq.

The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education

Glenn Zumbach

AAA North Penn

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Top 30 over

Vincent (“Vinny”) O’Bell has enjoyed a rewarding career in the field of community banking that has spanned nearly 45 years. He began his career in 1979 as a bookkeeper at The First National Bank of Jermyn and today holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at Wayne Bank.

Vinny earned an Associate Degree in Banking and Finance from Lackawanna Jr. College and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

Vincent G. O’Bell

Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer Wayne Bank

He cares deeply about his community and has volunteered his time with many notable organizations throughout the years. He currently serves on the Finance Committee and as Eucharistic Minister for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Peckville, as well as the Investment and Finance Committee for the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

advances that technology has made, he believes there is still no substitute for a caring and thoughtful manager.

Vinny resides in Jessup with his wife, MaryLynn.

legacy, it might sound corny, but I believe in remaining focused on eulogy values vs. resume values. I remain content in my fulfilling career, but I think the best is yet to come when I get to retirement. Regarding any age discrimination, I have never felt it. I love being around older people and I love even more understanding the perspective of earlier generations. I believe if you focus on purpose and meaning in your life, you will gain all the wisdom in the world. The most rewarding aspect of my career has been relying on my knowledge and experience to solve problems for both customers and co-workers. It has all been extremely rewarding. H

“ ”

Vinny is Chairman of the Board of the Scranton Lackawanna Health and Welfare Authority and Treasurer of the Scranton Rotary Club. He credits his career success to learning all areas of the bank through the kindness and patience of each of his department managers. Though he appreciates the industry

Throughout the past 45 years, customers and co-workers may dress less formally, but the work that we do is still taken just as seriously. I think there is some room for more humor in the workplace, but being prepared for customer’s financing requests and mentoring co-workers is not something to be taken lightly.

Over the course of my career, I honestly would not change a thing! I have had ups and downs and learned greatly from both. In terms of my

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Top 30 over Susan Unvarsky

Retired Chief Claims Officer, Prudential US Businesses

Sue Unvarsky recently retired after 35 years at Prudential where she served in many roles including Chief Operating Officer of Prudential’s Total Retirement Solutions business. In each capacity, she inspired others through her dedication and the use of her talents. She is known as an engaging leader who has a long track record of success in leading large teams through challenging situations both in the United States and internationally. She participated in significant initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions and testified on behalf of Prudential in Washington, D.C. in front of a joint committee of the IRS, DOL and DOI.

Sue is a visible community advocate and serves on numerous boards of trustees throughout the region including Luzerne County Community College, King’s College and Visiting Nurses Association among many others. She earned a Master of Science in banking and financial services management from Boston

University. Her undergraduate degrees in business administration are from King’s College and Luzerne County Community College. Happenings recently asked Sue to reflect on her long and dedicated career.

Characteristics of Leadership

It’s more important than ever for senior leaders to have a high EQ or Emotional Intelligence. Being self-aware

and socially aware helps leaders to appropriately manage relationships. A High EQ enables leaders to “selfcheck,” and surround themselves with those who will have the courage to tell them when they are headed down the wrong path. Our world needs leaders who exhibit strong behaviors that can be emulated. The more senior you become, the more reluctant people are to give you ‘bad news.’ People who feel confident to offer criticism to a leader are very necessary. If you are only hearing ’the good stuff,’ then you’re either surrounding yourself with the wrong people, or you’re not creating a safe environment for those around you to speak up.

I recommend that leaders ask for constructive feedback. If you’re not asking, you’re probably not getting it.

I was born the eldest of five children. My father was a selfemployed carpenter and my mother worked in the home. When my fourth sibling was born, my mother sought a

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part-time job and I began babysitting four younger children who had very different (and often conflicting) personalities. Let’s just say I had a master’s degree in people leadership by the time I was 14! I carried those skills with me all through my career, learning how to be accountable and how to inspire and influence in the right way.

Diversity in People and an Inclusive Culture

It’s crucially important to create an environment where colleagues can bring their authentic and best selves to work every day; an environment where every single person feels genuinely included and confident to offer talent and unguarded opinions regardless of skin color, identifying gender, worship style, love choice or level of physical ability.

Regarding age diversity, I was raised to always respect my elders. I learned that if I listened to those who had more experience, I could always gain more wisdom. But experience is not directly tied to age; it is more indirectly connected with life experience. I’ve also learned that I can learn just as much from someone who is younger as well. Generational differences (especially in this age of technology that’s changing at light speed) create very different perspectives and insights. As I get older, I realize that sometimes ‘giving up the controls’ to someone who is much younger may ensure the best outcome,

and provide a better result.

About Being Inspirational

What I enjoy most of all is inspiring everyone around me to be their authentic best selves. I enjoy being behind the scenes, coaching and cheering on others. I find great joy watching and encouraging others to do things that they thought they could not. When the results contribute to a better work outcome, a happier family, a stronger community or a better world, that’s my pure joy.

The Future

I left my last role because it was time to do something different. For now, my sabbatical, as I call it, is all about spending quality time with my granddaughter, Juliana, and the rest of my family. I’m so blessed to still have my mom. What’s next? Corporate board work, more volunteering and executive coaching for sure, for causes that I’m very passionate about (mental health, climate change, racial injustice). I’m leaving the door open for whatever God decides is next!

Life Motto

thing you gave me.’

I want to be remembered as someone who did all she could to make the world a better place, by being kind, humble and by inspiring others to do what they otherwise thought they couldn’t; for bringing people together to succeed at any goal, despite the odds; and I’d like to be remembered as someone who chose courage, despite the consequences. H

‘When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everyMarch 2024 13

Top 30 over

Mike Doria began his painting business in 1978. He was trained under a master painter, and then went on to form his own painting company. He became certified in different aspects of painting and refinishing work. His company offers interior/ exterior painting, pressure washing, wallpaper, textured sculpted ceilings, deck refinishing, interior exterior wood refinishing, faux finishing, sheetrock, epoxy flooring and water damage repairs.

Michael Doria

Paint by Doria, LLC

Mike is proud of the fact that a lot of his clients are referrals of customers family and friends. He is a full-time painter with a great crew who is always leading the trends in decorating and

painting services. He believes in being a great communicator with his clients; his motto is “when people speak, I listen.” Mike is also known for being a color consultant, carefully going over the wishes of his clients’ color choices and only using the best quality paint and materials.

Mike’s family includes his wife Rita, who is a co-owner

of Dwell Real Estate. Together they have five daughters: Holly, Rachel, Amanda, Candice and Cassandra, as well as five grandsons: John, Anthony, Michael, Joseph, Jude and one great grandson, Carter. Mike would want to always be thought of as being a family man, always putting them first, and forever being ready and willing to lend a helping hand to family and friends. Mike truly enjoys living in beautiful NEPA, and relishes time spent outside, particularly on the lakes. He and his wife often partake of the wonderful cultural events offered so plentiful in the region.

Education was of the highest priority for Mike, and he taught each of their children to read before preschool. He and his wife are very proud


of the accomplishments of each of their children. As a family they have great memories of fantastic annual beach vacations, as well as trips with their entire family to Italy, Switzerland and Ireland.

“He is very happy to continue working his business; the word retirement hasn’t entered our conversation,” laughed his wife, Rita.

Mike’s desire is to impart a great family and work ethic and values to the children and grandchildren, but he also learns a lot from the younger generation as well. “I am happy and blessed to be a man who enjoys painting houses (and commercial

properties) for a living. Beautifying the homes and buildings of this region, one property at a time, is how I am contributing to making Northeastern Pennsylvania a better place to live and do business,” he said H 15

Top 30 over


astor Dave Twiss has faithfully served the community with a compassionate and giving attitude for 37 years in varied pastoral and layman roles at the Green Ridge Assembly of God. Many lives have been touched and transformed through his preaching and leadership. He is continuously looking for opportunities to involve the congregation in outreaches that will benefit and meet the needs of the community,” wrote his nominator for the Top 30 Over 50 spotlight.

Early Involvement

Pastor Dave Twiss

Green Ridge Assembly of God

Pastor Twiss has served as lead pastor of Green Ridge Assembly since March of 2005, and has served full time as a staff pastor since 1986. Green Ridge Assembly is celebrating its 110th Anniversary this year. Pastor Twiss’ GreatGrandfather, Thomas Twiss, was an original member of the church.

“I grew up in a home where my parents served as volunteers in various positions at Green Ridge Assembly. I received a call to minister from God as an early teen. However, I did not want to pursue it. When my wife Laura and I assumed leadership of the youth ministry in 1984, my calling for ministry became unavoidable. I went on staff as full-time Associate Pastor with a youth

and music portfolio in September of 1986.

My training and education began under the mentorship of our Senior Pastor through the Assemblies of God extension ministry school. I received my ministerial diploma through Global University and received my Assemblies of God ministerial license in 1988. I have continued to maintain my education by taking classes at Clarks Summit University, the University of Valley Forge, as well as Coach Training through Emerge Ministries and other organizations. Our network offers a number of trainings yearly that are beneficial to stay sharp in ministry as time transpires.’

Abundantly Clear Purpose

What has been made abundantly clear is that God has placed me in positions that I did not seek, yet I obediently answered His call. I was quite content to serve as an associate, but it became clear when Pastor Nick Piscitelli resigned in March 2005 that God was asking me to step into the Lead Pastor position. Eight years later, I obeyed once again and stepped into the position as Presbyter of the Northeast Section of the PennsylvaniaDelaware District of the Assemblies of God, an office similar to a Bishop or Overseer of the northeastern part of Pennsylvania.

Changing Demographics

Growing up in Scranton, going to church each week was something that my friends and I did regularly. Sunday morning Sunday School followed by a service was the norm, and our churches had a service on Sunday night and Wednesday night as well. Today, we have two services on Sunday mornings. We live-stream our main 10:30 a.m. service for those who cannot attend. We have a Sunday morning Children's Church service running at the same time. Our Indonesian church meets Sunday afternoons, and we also have an active Sunday night Young Adult group and Friday night youth

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group. Men’s and ladies’ groups meet once monthly on a Sunday evening. We also have a very robust Food Pantry that distributes food weekly to around 50 families and a Supper Church meal and Bible Study weekly on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. that is open to the community. There are four 12-step groups that meet throughout the week. We offer a free Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve meal for anyone interested.

The landscape of Green Ridge Assembly has changed as the demographics of the greater Scranton area have changed. We have also become multiethnic over the past four decades. We have been part of starting three ethnic churches as well; Brazilian congregation which no longer exists, an Indonesian congregation which still meets at our campus, and a Nepali church that grew large enough to move out on their own to a location in Taylor. What hasn't changed is the need for people to connect to God along with the faithfulness of God to His people.


I met my wife when she was invited to come to our Wednesday evening children's program as an adolescent. I grew up in North Scranton and she grew up three blocks from the church. I was serving as the captain on the bus that she rode to church. She attended Scranton Tech High School and I attended Scranton Central High School. We got married at Green Ridge in August 1982. Our children were raised at our home in Newton Township. Our children have remained active in our church to this day. Our eldest, Melissa, is a licensed Assemblies of God minister and serves as our Children's Pastor. She and her husband James have two children, Lorelai and Aurora who love attending our children's activities. Our second daughter, Heather, is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and serves as our Worship and Media Pastor. Her husband John also is a licensed A/G minister who serves on our Executive Staff overseeing missions. Their two children Jackson and Charlotte also

love attending functions at the church. Our son Thomas is also involved in direct ministry at Green Ridge in playing drums for worship along with other areas of involvement. He is engaged to be married to Allison in September 2024. Our grandchildren represent the sixth generation from our family to be involved in Green Ridge.

Favorite Scripture Verse and Hymn

Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Favorite hymn is ‘To God Be The Glory.’ I also love contemporary music.

Age and Wisdom

Our church is pretty welcoming to all ages. I continue to stay actively involved with our youth ministry. Our church offers ‘Adult Membership’ to those 16 and above. The young, the old and those in between all have a voice. I also served on campus ministry at Marywood University for eight years and led a Wednesday evening Bible Study there.

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I believe that wisdom increases with age in that you begin to understand that there is less and less that you can really control and that you have to learn to trust God in those ever-increasing areas that are outside your control. I think you also increase in wisdom as you begin to understand just what or Who it is that you can trust and count on. The Bible states that ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ The longer I live, the more I understand the scope of just how much God is in control of what goes on in and around our lives. Learning to trust Him is wisdom.

Outdoor Life

I love the outdoors—just being outside—whether it's in the garden, cutting grass, weeding, hiking, swimming, you name it!

I have surfed in Hawaii, jumped out of a plane in the Poconos, hiked and swam in waterfalls in Puerto Rico, snorkeled in

Mykonos, and hiked along the River Twiss in England, and yet some of the most beautiful places are right here in NEPA! Laura and I spent a lot of time in our earlier life together in Promised Land State Park, Hickory Run and Rickett's Glen. Each is world class. The Susquehanna River is a treasure as well.”

Quote From His Spouse: “Dave is a kind, compassionate

individual who loves people. He teaches God's word each Sunday with conviction, knowing that the Word of God brings life and freedom. He is a humble man who never seeks to exalt himself. It is not an uncommon occurrence for him to be stopped at a local store by someone who has sat under his ministry, even decades before, who still remembers his instruction and care.” H

15% off Tip Lewis and His Lamp Use the coupon TL15 at checkout. Expires May 31st. Learn more at or call 1(888) 246-7735. LAMPLIGHTER PUBLISHING’S Boo k of the Year Behold, if any man is in Christ he is a new creation. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 18

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Cultivate the tools to better manage stress, pain, illness and the challenges of everyday life. Increase ease and well-being.

Lisa Rigau

MS, BSN, RN, DipACLM Owner of Healthy Lifestyle Management

Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher through Brown University’s School of Professional Studies and The Mindfulness Center at the School of Public Health.

Lisa is a certified Lifestyle Medicine Professional through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine educating individual clients and groups in implementing evidence-based, whole person, lifestyle changes utilizing the six pillars of lifestyle medicine - a whole food, plant predominant eating pattern, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connections.

8 Week Course

What to expect:

• Learn proven techniques to manage stress

• Develop mindfulness and meditation skills

• Improve focus and emotional well-being.

• Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Instructor, Lisa Rigau guides you throughout the course.

Course Schedule:

• Every Wednesday, starting March 27, 2024

• Time: 6 – 8:30 p.m.

• Held at The IHM Center, on Marywood University’s Campus

Mandatory, Free Orientation: Choose one of the following dates:

• Wednesday, March 13, 2024

• Wednesday, March 20, 2024

• Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

• Location: IHM Center, on Marywood University’s Campus

Registration: Visit or contact Lisa at or 570-814-8188

Top 30 over

VVirginia P. Sosik

Award-Winning Teaching Artist

Sosik is an award-winning teaching artist, presenter and art advocate holding fine art degrees from Marywood University. Her works and acquisitions are found in public and private collections globally and have been selected for exhibition in various regional and national art exhibitions. Her distinctive career that spans over 40 years includes experience working in art education, graphic design and visual art. She has taught at Marywood University in the School of Continuing Education, the Everhart Museum, the North Pocono Community Education Program and Penn Foster, formerly ICS

Correspondence School. Locally, Virginia has been guest artist and presenter at the Wyoming Valley Art League, The Endless Mountain Art League, The Calligrapher’s Guild of Northeast Pennsylvania,

Lackawanna County’s Art in the Park program, as well as juror for the Northeast Photography Club and Scholastic Art and Writing Contests on both local and state levels and served on the Executive Board of the Calligrapher’s Guild of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Virginia’s interest in art was sparked as a child when she took first place in an art contest sponsored by the local television station WNEP TV children’s program –Hatchy Milatchy. She has been married to her husband, Paul for over 47 years She is the mother of Amy Sosik Luyster (husband James), and grandmother to Caroline Luyster.

Locally, Virginia’s volunteer efforts and artistic participation in charity work include Meals on Wheel Charity Auctions, Scranton Tomorrow Art Auctions, Scranton’s First Fridays, Voluntary Action League Center Auctions and Exhibits, Marley’s Mission Blue Ribbon Gala, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Black Ties for White Coats Gala, Afa Gallery, Providence Pregnancy Center Auction and St. Joseph’s Center Charity Auctions and Festivals.

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Virginia currently provides private and group fine art instruction, art portfolio development and consultation from her studio in Dunmore. She is the teaching artist at Maria Kaupas Academy in Scranton.


“Virginia is a fantastic art educator, role model, and friend. I could not have succeeded in art school or found a career in the arts without her encouragement and the valuable skills shared with me over the years.”

Jon Corby–HarperCollins Publishing Children’s Book Division H

Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Announces Promotion

Amy Luyster was recently promoted to Vice President of Business and Workforce Development at The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. With 25 years of service to the Chamber and its members, Amy brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the organization's mission and goals. In her new role, she will oversee the Business and Workforce Development affiliates: the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Business Company (SLIBCO), The Scranton Plan, the IGNITE program, Skills in Scranton and Leadership Lackawanna.

A graduate of Wilkes University, Luyster holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business marketing. She is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management at Villanova University; the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program at The Kania School of Management, The University of Scranton; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Business Leads Fellowship Program; and The Economic Development in Pennsylvania course, accredited by the International Economic Development Council.

March 2024 21
Regional Networking

Top 30 over

Maria Montoro Edwards, PhD

President & CEO of Maternal and Family Health Services

Maria Montoro Edwards, PhD, has made significant strides over the past three decades as a nonprofit and education leader, implementing and stewarding public and private funding. She was previously employed at Marywood University, the Everhart Museum, the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and The Wright Center.

In her current role as president and CEO of Maternal and Family Health Services, she is unafraid to meet the needs of the community’s most underserved members through innovation. She is currently working to bring new care models to the region for pregnancy and depression.

Leadership Development

“I had the benefit of insightful mentors at all levels of my career who helped me to both strategize and reflect. It’s important to find your passion and continue to challenge yourself. Take advantage of learning opportunities and professional development. Stay

abreast of developments in your field. Read a lot, for pleasure and for work. Don’t be afraid of a challenge where you may think you don’t know everything. Believe in yourself because you know you will do the work.

Much earlier in my career I have had to overcome imposter syndrome, fearing the unknown and doubting my skills. When my children were young, I often thought I was failing as a parent for not being available during work hours or when I was pursuing graduate school.

I am serious about mentoring others as I have person-

ally benefited from strong mentorship. Any time I have an opportunity, I ask others what they are working on that they are excited about or what they think might be their next big challenge.

Proudest Accomplishments

My biggest accomplishments are my children and grandchildren. Professionally, I am very proud of the new Maternity Medical Home Model of care that MFHS opened Spring 2023 to serve pregnant and parenting families.

On the Topic of Age

I exercise in an environment with younger people and it drives me to compete and keep up. I have learned to be more adaptable from younger people and to be ready to pivot. Younger individuals should strive to communicate well both orally and in writing. If you can express a concept in a way that others can understand, you can accomplish most anything. Particularly engaging with the community that I serve, I have learned that one needs to be resilient and flexible.

22 March 2024

Future Plans and Legacy

I hope my legacy will be that Maternal and Family Health Services will continue to grow and serve families. I also hope that there will be young, creative, passionate professionals moving up in the organization taking on more responsibility and developing their vision. I hope that more travel is on my bucket list. I also want to continue to read a lot, listen to podcasts, attend conferences and seminars and engage in personal conversations with our clients and staff to better understand their perspectives and ideas.”

Education and Family

Maria has a PhD in Human Development, with a Concentration in Higher Education from Marywood University and a Masters in Studio Art from Marywood University.

Maria and her husband, Kevin, have two children, Colin and Emma. She also has a stepdaughter Caitlin and her husband Adam, granddaughters Olivia and twins Violet and Lia, and a grandson named Sullivan.

Favorite Quote: “We can make ourselves miserable or make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

Currently, she serves on the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee and the board of PA Alliance of Family Planning Councils and is a member of the National Family Planning and Reproduction Health Association and the Family Planning Councils of America. She also serves on the boards of Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, Telespond Senior Services and Northeast Pennsylvania Nonprofit Community Assistance Center-Ex-officio. H

March 2024 23

Top 30 over

JJoy Wolk de Soto, MA, CPT

Birchwood Fitness

has spent the past 36 years in the fitness industry as an instructor and clinical dietitian. Approximately 20 of those years have been as a personal trainer, and for the past 12 years, she has been the owner of Birchwood Fitness.

“I’ve always enjoyed exercise; my parents set a good example of always being active. During college I became more interested in how medically important food was to health. I realized nutrition was so much bigger of a topic than just weight loss. I worked in research for a little bit and supplemented my income by getting certified as a group exercise instructor. I realized that I loved making exercise fun for people.

I have seen the emphasis on—low calorie diets and lots of cardio as the only way to lose weight—evolve into eating more to build lean muscle, combined with strength training. The latter has now become the standard that everyone should lean toward. Women now take up a large place on the strength floor. The emphasis on losing weight for an aesthetic goal has dropped to a much lower prioritization over the years.

I have always felt the connec-

tion between exercise and physical/mental strength. That was tested a few times in my career and personal life, which further pushed my focus toward daily activity and strength training as a tool for mental toughness. This has been non-negotiable for me personally as well as in my message to my clients. Taking that further, we have seen how our immune systems are frighteningly under attack more than ever these days. One of the best defenses we have is our ability to strengthen with fitness and nutrition.

As we age, on any given day, we will feel various aches and pains, but we learn to work around them. Sometimes the

ache or pain is bigger in our thoughts and once the workout begins, it diminishes. There isn’t an age group that is immune to aches, pains and injuries; however, the over 50 population tends to blame everything on age, eventually getting frustrated and losing motivation to exercise. Instead of moving less and slowing down as we get older, the emphasis should be not accepting age as a reason to stop exercising.

In general there is a little bias toward younger people in the fitness industry. However our population is very diverse at Birchwood Fitness. Our age diversity allows everyone to feel comfortable at any time of the day.

24 March 2024

Owning a business is a huge commitment and sometimes it’s not as glamorous as it may seem. Most days I’m training as much as possible, but I’m also cleaning locker rooms, fixing equipment and constantly minding the financial paperwork. The best advice I can provide is this: no matter what you study in school, take business electives! I never imagined that I would be in this role and everyday I’m learning things that I may have been able to learn in college.

I am grateful for the outstanding trainers, instructors and desk staff that have supported me through thick and thin. Learning to ask for help and delegating has been very difficult in the

past, but very important and necessary to get through every day.

My legacy wish is that people embrace fitness and nutrition as something that may be challenging but also fun, social and a priority rather than a temporary fix. By conquering fitness goals we can lay the foundation to face other adversities in our lives.

My personal legacy wish is that my kids will always know that the future of their health as they forge into

adulthood is largely in their control. I hope I have given them tools to help them cope with adversities; I have seen the great strength that they both possess. H

March 2024 25

Sunita Arora

ERA One Source Realty

Sunita Arora is the Broker/ Owner of ERA One Source Realty. She has worked in the real estate industry for over 30 years. Since she began working in real estate, her career choice immediately became a passion, more so than a job. As her client base grew, she opened her own brokerage. A favorite part of her career has been mentoring and watching her agents grow and become successful as realtors. As a young girl Sunita attended boarding school in Hong Kong. She earned a degree in hotel and business management which showed her that she enjoyed interacting with people from all parts of the world. After moving to the United States in 1979 she embraced the role of a stayat-home mom. When her children were of school age, she began

doing tax returns at H&R Block.

From her own experience of finding a new home for her family, she realized how intriguing the process of buying and selling real estate was to her. She obtained her real estate license and, after working for various real estate companies, she transitioned to the ERA brand, which is a publicly traded real estate and relocation services company.

Sunita is very active in the community that she is proud to call her home. The St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, Women’s Resource Center, Toys for Tots, American Red Cross are among just a few of the organizations that have benefited from her volunteer efforts.

Sunita has always looked up to her father as a mentor. While she lost him at a young age, she always remembers him investing in real estate on the side while working full time as an airline pilot. “Investing in real estate will lead to building financial security for the future,” he often told her. Sunita comes from a long line of entrepreneurs in her family, from whom she was able to learn. She always dreamed of owning her own business, where she would

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26 March 2024

be able to avoid the glass ceiling and reap the rewards of the investment of the time and energy that she would pour into doing a good job.

Three core values have ruled Sunita’s success over nearly four decades: honesty, integrity and hard work. Sunita is proficient in several languages including, French, English, Punjabi, Hindi and Marathi. She is a member of and sup ports many commu nity organizations including: the Lackawanna County Office of Economic Development, the Greater Scranton Board of Realtors and the Lackawanna County Coalition for Diversity.

Sunita has been the recipient of many awards and honors including being named one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Women in business and many top awards for her real estate

Of all of her accomplishments, however she considers her family to be number one H

March 2024 27

Top 30 over

“ASybilla Lenz


fter a fun and rewarding career in cosmetology, Sybilla Lenz met a woman who invited her to consider a career as an insurance agent in a local office. The highlight of my work came in 2022 and 2023 when I was nominated to the Forbes Best in State List of Insurance and Financial Advisors. I was so filled with gratitude and humbled at the same time. After all the years I spent working to build a very successful business, while overcoming obstacles, I was proud to see it come full circle.

This career has shown me the importance of hard work and the reward of helping others in a capacity I never thought possible. I have developed empathy from witnessing the fear in those who have lost loved ones and have not had a solid financial plan in place. It has been a blessing for me to be involved in my clients’ lives, offering information that helped them through both the wonderful and difficult times.

The biggest lesson I learned after all these years is to ‘do the things first that you want to do last.’ It really helps to


master procrastination in life to just do it first.

I would hope that I would be remembered as being an inspiring person who helped to make a positive difference in the lives of those with whom I knew and worked.

My plan for the future is to continue to learn all that I can learn spiritually, mentally and physically because I realize ‘I don’t know what

I don’t know... yet!’

My hobbies include rock painting, speaking and teaching Feng Shui principles and practices.

I have three children and three stepchildren and 11 grandchildren and want to stay relevant and a part of their lives.”

Sybilla lives in her hometown of Tunkhannock with her husband Jim Lenz. H

28 March 2024


Glenn Zumbach

AAA North Penn -

lenn Zumbach, a native of Taylor, joined AAA North Penn in 1983 as Director of Information Technology. In 2013, Glenn was promoted to Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all business lines, which included Emergency Road Service, Membership, Insurance and Travel. In 2019 Glenn was promoted to President/CEO and now leads 140 employees throughout 11 counties in Northeast and Northcentral Pennsylvania.

Through the years he has had many accomplishments both personally and professionally. During his time as Director of I.T., he managed and expanded the company’s computer network. More recently

he headed up a management team that purchased, remodeled and relocated the Scranton Member Service Office to its Viewmont Drive location. In 2023, he spearheaded a project to add mobile battery service to Lackawanna, Lycoming and Monroe counties. He has participated on numerous national and state AAA committees.

Glenn is currently a member of the national AAA Automotive Subcommittee and is the chair of the PA AAA Federation of Clubs. He graduated from Riverside High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Penn

State University. While at Penn State, he was a member of the football team. He and his wife Becky are the proud parents of two sons: Josh, a graduate of Drexel University, and his wife Diana; and Matt, a graduate of East Stroudsburg University, and his wife Charissa. Becky retired after a 41-year intensive care nursing career. Glenn and Becky have four grandchildren Jackson, Leighton, Zachary and Noah. Glenn enjoys playing golf and his model train hobby. His other interests include sports, photography and working around the house. H

Personal Training Semi Private Training Small Group Training Nutrition Coaching Guided Meditation Smoothie Bar Jackie Kerekes, Owner NASM CPT, NASM FNS 513 S. State St., Village Square Clarks Summit, PA 570-332-8519 Open to the Public Açaí bowls • All made-to-order • Create your own blends of smoothie • Build your own bowls • High quality protein Protein balls in multiple flavors • New items introduced weekly All fresh, premium ingredients Online ordering and curbside pickup available at: 513 S. State St.,Village Square, Clarks Summit, PA March 2024 29

Top 30 over Amy Clegg

SAmy Clegg has been the owner of the Express Employment Professionals franchise in Scranton. From 2000 to 2009 she was the owner of Early Staffing. Throughout her career she has helped over 5000+ individuals secure jobs in the region. Through her business she is part of a mission to put 1,000,000 people to work. Amy’s passions include her family and friends that extend to the countries from which her children were adopted.

Franchise Owner Express Employment Professionals

Amy has received many business awards throughout her 33 years in the industry,

including being named one of the top women in business in the state of Pennsylvania as well as many industry productivity awards for excellence. She is also part of the Project Athena Foundation, that helps survivors live their

adventurous dreams by hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim in one day as well the Keys to Recovery which is 120 miles of survivors biking and kayaking from Key Largo to Key West. She has also hiked 50 miles in two days in Sedona with survivors and is a Goddess For Life for the Foundation, meaning that she is a volunteer, fundraiser and valued member of the Project.

This year marks Amy’s 34 year anniversary in the staffing industry and 15 years since she teamed up with Express Employment Professionals.

She serves as a director on the boards of business and health organizations, particularly those that help the welfare of children in orphanages. Her family includes her husband Jim and children Jack, Diana, Ryan and Lori Ella. Three of her children were adopted from the counties of Vietnam, Kazakhstan and The Philippines H


George Gershwin In Concert

Travel the intimate cobblestone sidewalks of Paris, the bustling traffic of New York City, and the picturesque streets of Charleston. This program features iconic works of American composer George Gershwin: An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue, featuring NEPA’s very own pianist Ron Stabinsky, and selections from Porgy and Bess, performed by rising stars, baritone Michael Preacely and soprano Marquita Richardson. They will be joined by members of the Marywood University Chamber Singers and their choral conductor, Dr. Rick Hoffenberg.

FRI., APRIL 12, 2024 | 7:30PM

Scranton Cultural Center, Scranton

March 2024 31 a Musical Journey...
I 570-270-4444

Top 30 over Tammy Lee Clause

Tammy Lee Clause has been providing comprehensive legal services for families and businesses for over 34 years. She practices throughout nine counties within Pennsylvania.

Tammy was the first female lawyer in Pike County and the second in Wayne County.

Tammy practices in the areas of family law, business law, real estate law, estate and probate law and community association matters.

In addition to Tammy’s enormous passion for law, she also owns and operates Alternative Cures of NEPA and is a certified meditation instructor. She is an accomplished writer, having published five poetry books, three children's books and one novel. Her newest novel

Attorney, Tammy Lee Clause, P.C.

“Stockbroker and the Tree” has just been released.

An interest and passion for legal matters, business and the arts run in Tammy’s family. Her daughter, Olivia Clause, is the curator of Ozone Art Gallery and is both an artist and a lawyer in Boston. Tammy’s son George Clause II, is a lawyer in Florida and Pennsylvania.

Throughout the past decades of her career, Tammy honed patience as a virtue and worked tirelessly to raise her children, nurture her family and build a community that respects the work of women. Tammy has helped friends, family, neighbors and many others in the region with legal expertise. She has counseled her clients with wisdom and knowledge and has even bartered with those who needed legal advice but could not afford representation. According to her clients, she is an emblem of heart and soul in the legal profession and has inspired many women to pursue professional careers.

Tammy received her JD from the University of Bridgeport Law School. She received her bachelor’s degree in Science from Marywood University.

Tammy maintains her law practice with offices in Stuart, Florida and Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. H

32 March 2024

St. Luke’s Monroe Campus...

• delivers high quality, low cost healthcare for the residents of Monroe County.

• is the leading healthcare provider in Monroe County, doubling the size of the hospital and adding cardiac rehab to meet your expanding healthcare needs.

• the only hospital in Monroe County to earn Medicare’s five star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction AND Leapfrog’s coveted “A” rating for patient safety.

• is an accredited trauma center and part of St. Luke’s network of trauma centers, the largest in Pennsylvania.

St. Luke’s Lane Stroudsburg, PA 18360 Expansion Opening April 2024

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For years, Jennifer Walsh, Esq., carefully trained her voice to be versatile, mastering her mezzo-soprano range during her formal education to become a classically trained singer. She reassessed her dreams of being an opera singer when a gripping legal case 30 years ago inspired her to trade the stage for the courtroom.

Jennifer Walsh, Esq.

The Wright Center

Becoming a lawyer allowed the senior vice president and chief governance officer for The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education to pursue her passion of “doing the right thing for the right reason,” she said. Her relationship with The Wright Centers began in 2012, and she formally joined the management team in-house in 2016. Since her Wright Center journey began, she’s not only guided the governance of multiple boards and board committees to achieve new heights of nonprofit governance best practice and launched the internal enterprise legal function, but she built a powerhouse government affairs, public policy and advocacy department that engages management, staff,

resident and fellow physicians and governance in advocating for public health policy change and legislative action to better support patients, families and primary care physician and provider teams.

Most recently, she has been leading The Wright Centers’ foray into the deployment of a comprehensive environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework to promote responsible participatory corporate citizenship. She also oversaw the formation of The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement, a nonprofit that works tirelessly to address the socioeconomic determinants of health in our region that undermine health

equity and the wellbeing of people in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Jennifer earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance and set her sights on a postmaster’s vocal performance degree when she was struck by the challenges in the justice system stemming from the legal representation of the parties rather than the “just” result. Her passion for justice led her to take the LSATs, which landed her a spot at Villanova University School of Law in 1995, where she learned that her penchant for the stage was a welcome characteristic in trial clinics.

After earning her law degree in 1998, she worked as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge William J. Nealon in Scranton. That, plus her subsequent work as an assistant U.S. attorney, strengthened her desire to focus on public service. As she continued her work, her experience with employment litigation spread to organizational and policy development, supervisor training and litigation avoidance counseling. She and her colleagues often presented seminars to lawyers, business owners and

34 March 2024

supervisors, municipal officials and others to educate them on a variety of employment-related topics.

Her career ultimately led her to The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education, two affiliated organizations that work to improve the health and welfare of communities through inclusive and responsive health services and the sustainable renewal of an inspired, competent workforce that is privileged to serve.

The nonprofit enterprise fulfills its mission by operating 10 primary and preventive care practices in Northeast Pennsylvania, including a mobile medical and dental vehicle called Driving Better Health, and

offers eight residency and fellowship programs to train and educate the next generation of physicians.

As executive counsel, Jennifer handles high-level, complex legal matters. She also modeled The Wright Centers’ corporate restructuring after Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom’s philosophy of common pool resource management, dispelling the myth of the Tragedy of the Commons, a concept in which individuals with access to a public resource act in their own interest and, in doing so, ultimately deplete the resource.

To Walsh and The Wright Centers, access to high-quality primary and preventive care services and health workforce development should be available to everyone, regardless of

their insurance status, ZIP code or ability to pay.

“I am incredibly privileged to work with the amazing people who are passionately committed to our mission,” she said. “Our commitment to patient- and learner-centered innovation to improve the health of our nation inspires my work every day.”

One of her next goals is to centralize and enhance ESG initiatives to optimize The Wright Centers’ contributions across all three domains.

“The enterprise's progress on these types of initiatives is crucial in the national health care arena, given the increasing impact that adverse climate events have on health equity in the region and nationwide,” Jennifer said. H

March 2024 35
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Top 30 over

SSherry Nealon-Shrive

Executive Director, Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross

herry Nealon-Shrive is the executive director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross. Throughout her life, she has worked in the nonprofit and government sectors, always with a strong focus on the health and welfare of the community. Nearly one decade of her long and dedicated career has been spent with an organization near and dear to her heart, the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies through the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The Northeastern Chapter of the American Red Cross serves Bradford, Carbon, Clinton, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties. The Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort after disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members, veterans and their families. The Red Cross workforce is 90% volunteer.

Sherry has always been passionate about rallying the community to

volunteer. “It helps build a stronger community,” she explains. “Volunteers in every part directly impact our community in a positive way.” She believes the people of the region are the reason why Northeast PA is a great place to call home. “Every success Ihave had is because of the amazing people I am surrounded and inspired by,” she admits. “I have been so fortunate. I am able to do what I love. Providing the tools for people to help others is a rewarding job to have. If you enjoy connecting with your community, you can help save lives,” she said.

Sherry’s immediate family includes her husband, Eric Shrive, and children, Isabella M. Fanucci, Connor Shrive and Sophia Shrive.

Learn how you can volunteer or donate at No act of generosity is too small to make a difference. H


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Top 30 over Alan Peslak, Ph.D.

Penn State Scranton

Alan Peslak, Ph.D. has been a professor at Penn State Scranton for over 21 years. He was previously the vice president of finance at Akzo Nobel Salt Company.

Since 2011, he has been the University College Discipline Coordinator for Information Sciences and Technology, serving as advisor and coordinator of all University College IST faculty and curriculum. He also coordinates curriculum and advises with the College of Information Sciences and Technology. He is co-chairing a committee that developed a new IST major: Information Technology which is offered at most Commonwealth Campuses.

Information Sciences and Technology

“With Dr. Peslak’s vast background in Information Sciences and Technology, he has been witness to significant changes over the span of his career.

It all started when IST was only punch cards and business applications. It has been a constant evolution to higher-level (computer) languages, immediate real-time processing and now AI-enhanced programming. You just have to keep learning, attending conferences and never stop learning. While the topics that I teach may change, there is always an emphasis on hands-on development and active learning. The challenge of staying current and the satisfaction of contributing to the professional growth of our students keeps me young at heart.

Photography as hobby

“I love using both sides of my brain. As a world traveler I'll take over 1,000 pictures on most trips. I traveled a lot for business early in my career and always enjoyed meeting new people and seeing new places. My favorite trip is a toss-up between a full country tour of Morocco and a great trip to Barcelona, Andorra and southern France.

But a forthcoming trip to Antarctica may be my new favorite. It will also be the seventh continent I will have visited! I have also been working on converting photos to art. Alan has also combined his photography hobby with some university trips he has been on including to Kazakhstan and New Zealand.


”BS, Accounting, Computer Science, University of Scranton

MBA, Accounting, Finance, University of Scranton

MS, Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale

Ph.D. Information Systems, Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Peslak is the recipient of numerous awards and has had many of his award-winning papers published. H

38 March 2024



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Top 30 over

Jo Ann Marianelli Finnerty

Bella Faccias Personalized Chocolates and Gifts

Bella Baketique

Jo Ann Marianelli Finnerty had a 38 year career as a laboratory/pathology professional at Community Medical Center. She also taught at Fortis Institute for over 18 years.

As a busy wife and mother, Jo Ann truly ignited her creativity in bringing parties and celebrations to life for her family. Quite simply, she went all out. “Life is precious and every single milestone in life, from births to graduations, recitals, communion parties, showers, weddings, memorials and every milestone in between is so meaningful and should be memorable and sweet,” she said.

old, Jo Ann was in search of truly unique favors for the party. This ultimately led her to open Bella Faccia’s Gifts, where printing photos, images directly onto gourmet chocolate for all occasions and corporate events was the foundation. “If you can dream it, Bella Faccias can print it,” she laughed. “Our products are as unique

and beautiful as the face of the person being celebrated.” Bella Faccias means ‘beautiful faces’ in Italian, a nod to Jo Ann’s heritage. “As word spread of the beautiful designs and custom-made chocolates, my home became a “Willy Wonka” manufacturing site.

After creating her works out of her home, she moved to a commercial location in downtown Scranton, and then ultimately to her current location on Main Street in Old Forge over five years ago.

As the elegant, personalized chocolate designs became more popular, more opportunities arose and Jo Ann used her creativity and business savvy to add glassware, fashion and eclectic jewelry, inspirational pieces and other boutique items to her shop.

In 2022 yet another addition came with the opening of Bella Baketique, an old fashioned bakery and coffee shop offering homemade cookies, cupcakes and other baked goods lovingly made from scratch with time-tasted recipes from Jo Ann’s personal collection. One of their most popular items is still the Globe Store style fudge, made from the original recipe.

40 March 2024

The most rewarding part of Jo Ann’s busy career, she said, is that she gets to be a part of other people’s memorable celebrations. “My business allows me to help my customers take their milestone events to the next level. We take the ordinary and make it extraordinary,” she said. While a business like Jo Ann’s can be crazy, always preparing for the next big holiday or celebration, true friends and family members her ‘Bella Beauties’ as she calls them are always ready to help with the work. “We do work around the clock,” said Jo Ann, “but it is such a fun and exciting business. I want my business to leave a legacy of always celebrating and making the extraordinary moments more

memorable! I know my personalized products will leave the sweetest memories. I think we can all recall special shops from our childhood where we were truly excited to enter; an oldfashioned candy store, bakery or coffee bar where samples are flowing and conversations are jovial. “Truly Bella Faccias hits that sweet spot,” said Jo Ann, “I am thankful I have been blessed with amazing family, friends and customers who help me fulfill this purpose in life.” H

The Learn Learning Never Stops The Learn Learning Never Stops Discover new K-12 education opportunities waiting for you at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School! Call 724.643.1180 or visit March 2024 41

Top 30 over

LeeAnn Perry has been working with children for the past 28 years.

“Twelve years ago I decided to own and operate my own childcare facilities. The first facility opened in 2011 and the second in 2014. I previously worked for local school districts and I felt it was time for a change. I always knew that working in early childhood education was where I needed to be, however.

LeeAnn Perry

Perry’s Learning Centers, Marjon Golf Course

In addition to my childcare business, I became a partner in the Marjon Golf Course with my husband John in 2021. Previously my husband was in partnership for 30 years with others before the course was put up for sale. Both John and I bought out the other partners so that we could run it as a family business. The golf course sits on 75 acres of a beautiful 400 acre property. Since the purchase we have made extensive outdoor improvements including the addition of a pavilion with an outdoor bar. The clubhouse was renovated and major upgrades were made to the fairways and greens, with additional work continuing this year.

Together we have created a welcoming atmosphere for the golfers. Recent golfer feedback revealed that all the new renovations have made such an upbeat and positive addition to Marjon. We are also seeing a lot more female golfers coming

to Marjon. Some are new to the sport; our course is great for beginners.

My husband manages the outdoor grounds crew and I manage the inside crew at the clubhouse and while running the business operations. This year my focus will include adding a pro shop inside the clubhouse. Ironically, I personally have never golfed! I suppose it is because I work so much! I most definitely should take time out to learn.

I am most proud of my accomplishment with my childcare facilities. I began these from the ground up. I had a vision of what I wanted for the centers and the children. When I see the children coming in, smiling and happy all day, it lets me know that my staff of 30 incredible teachers and

I have done our best to create that environment.

In addition to the two centers, Perry’s Learning Centers recently acquired The Fricchione Center at Marywood University. My daughter, Taylor Perry, is the owner and operator of that entity. I also recently took on a new role as a childcare consultant. I am currently assisting St. Joseph’s Center with the development of an early learning center for children of their staff.

There will always be challenges in business. The last few years have proven that with the challenge of staff retention. We have overcome these challenges by listening more and being more competitive with the packages we offer to our employees. We have been doing well with retaining our dedicated staff.

My most important advice for other business owners is to strive to be a leader who maintains open-mindedness, while being full aware of which parts of the operations are working well and which are not. It is crucial to be cognizant of when change is needed.”

As a female business owner, I have never let gender affect my success. I have always felt that both men and women can be equally successful reaching his/her goals through drive and determination. A key to making

42 March 2024

goals come to fruition is having a mind frame that will allow you to work around obstacles rather than letting them paralyze you.

Every day I wake up with a positive attitude, truly being thankful and happy for my life, my family, my career and my circle of friends. I could not ask for anything more than that. The legacy that I would like to leave is my love for children and learning and I have spent my life doing something that I was born to do. I live by this motto: create a life that you want; don’t be envious of others or live a life in which you are not happy.


My husband, John; daughter Marla Decker (and her hus-

band Dr. Robert Decker, MD); daughter Dr. Taylor Perry D.C (and her husband Dr. Josh McWilliams D.C); my son Johnny Perry (wife Jamie Perry) The absolute light of my life are my grandchildren Robbie and Olivia. H

March 2024 43 Go to and click Subscribe Now. To place an order call (570) 878-5009 or print and mail to P.O. Box 61 Clarks Summit PA 18411. Rates good in the U.S. Only. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Subscriptions are not refundable. Name Address/Apt# City State Zip Phone Email Credit Card# Exp. Subscribe for only $25 a year m $25 for a year m $35 for 2 years m Payment Enclosed (check made payable to Happenings Magazine) Don’t Miss a Single Issue

National Doctors’ Day • March 30

Physician leader and educator works to provide a ‘very bright future’ for everyone

As her elementary school classmates dreamed about being firefighters, ballerinas and movie stars, Erin McFadden’s aspirations focused on the miracles of modern medicine.

“I remember in third grade, writing my first essay on what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote that I was going to be a doctor,” said Dr. McFadden, who now serves as deputy chief medical officer of The Wright Center for Community Health, medical director of The Wright Center for Community Health Scranton Practice, dean of undergraduate medical and interprofessional education, and core faculty member for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s Internal Medicine Residency.

Dr. McFadden, 43, doesn’t know why she chose medicine as her calling. She’s the first physician in her family. The Northwestern Pennsylvania native credits her father, Mike McFadden, a longtime federal government employee who loved animals and nature, for fostering her love of science and honing her attention to detail.

At the University of Scranton, she studied biology and philosophy and earned her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. All the while, she worked part-time jobs – including Fresno’s, Red Lobster and Starbucks. She said those jobs helped her become a better doctor.

“As a waitress, if the customer wasn’t happy, I wouldn’t get tipped. So, I learned to listen, anticipate what they needed and read their body language,” Dr. McFadden said, adding that the same principles apply in medicine. “It’s important to pick up how a patient feels – what they’re not saying, what they’re scared to ask. Medicine is a service, and if we’re not meeting our patients’ needs, a lot of that is our fault.”

friend. The founder of the Scranton-Temple Residency Program, which would eventually become The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, recruited her to an internal medicine residency.

‘Nerve-wracking at first’

After realizing her initial goal of becoming a surgeon wasn’t a good fit, Dr. McFadden sought the advice of Dr. Robert Wright, a family

“I was nervous because I knew surgery, but I didn’t know how to manage a patient’s chronic illness,” she said. “I studied it, but I’d never practiced it in real life. So, the residency was a little nerve-wracking at first.”

She found her footing and, after graduating from the residency program in 2012, worked at


Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton. She joined The Wright Center for Community Health as a physician and member of the internal medicine residency faculty in 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The Waverly Twp. resident quickly emerged a a leader, starting with her participation in a statewide effort to assist personal care, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in Northeast Pennsylvania with pandemic care. As COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out, Dr. McFadden volunteered her time to vaccinate fellow health care workers around the region. She later headed an outpatient infusion center at The Wright Center for Community Health Scranton Practice, providing monoclonal antibody treatment for patients with severe COVID-19.

Mentor and longtime family friend and fellow Wright Center physician Dr. Edward Dzielak is not surprised by her success.

“During her residency training, she excelled in her responsibilities to her patients and colleagues,” Dr. Dzielak said, reflecting on his mentee ahead of National Doctors’ Day on March 30. “When I had the opportunity to interact with her on rounds, she was always inquisitive, professional, knowledgeable and skilled in the care she provided. She quickly distinguished herself as a leader and educator.”

‘The next generation’

In addition to treating patients, Dr. McFadden is also the co-regional director of medical education for A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona – a unique program where students spend a year on campus in Mesa, Arizona, and then three years in clinical rotations at The Wright Center and other community health centers across the country.

In part for her role as a teacher, Dr. McFadden received the Dr. Ann Preston Women in Medicine Award from the Pennsylvania Eastern Region Chapter of the American College of Physicians. The award recognizes a chapter member whose outstanding efforts and achievements have promoted career success, leadership, and overall quality of life for women in medicine, fostering tomorrow’s women leaders in medicine.

The award is named after med ical pioneer Dr. Ann Preston, member of the first class of women who enrolled in the Female (later Women’s) Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1850. After the Board of Censors of the Philadelphia Medical Society effectively banned women physicians from the public teaching clinics of the city, she raised funds to start a new hospital where teaching could occur and opened The Women’s Hospital in 1858. She later created a nursing school and was named the first woman dean of the Women’s Medical College in 1866.

“The award resonates with me because, like Dr. Preston, I believe strongly in educating the next generation of doctors,” Dr. McFadden said.

Like The Wright Center, Dr. McFadden believes high-quality primary and preventive care should be accessible to individuals of all income levels and insurance statuses, including the underinsured and uninsured. The Wright Center is working to expand its practice in Wilkes-Barre and recently opened a new practice in North Scranton, improving access to care for individuals of all ages.

“Having lived through the COVID19 pandemic, my dream now is to help change the face of health care and expand the services we provide,” Dr. McFadden said. “We have a very bright future.”

Visit or call 570-230-0019 for more information. H

March 2024 45

Susan Lynch

Susan Lynch is the campus president of Fortis Institute in Scranton, a healthcare and skilled trades institution that prepares students for careers in HVAC-R, dental, nursing and other healthcare fields. As a longtime higher education leader, Susan is motivated by the opportunity to provide her students with the tools to break generational poverty and create lasting change in the trajectory of their families. After more than two decades in career education, she has seen firsthand how a personalized education is the key to success for diverse, nontraditional learners. Susan is dedicated to making Fortis Institute

Campus President of Fortis Institute in Scranton

the leading institution for students pursuing careers in healthcare and trades, aiming to provide them with the best possible education and preparation for their future endeavors. This Pottsville native is deeply Invested in the success and growth of the state's educational landscape, ensuring Fortis continues to excel in delivering top-notch education and training for its students.

Often called the driving force behind the institution, Susan oversees all campus operations to ensure efficient and effective functioning. In addition to traditional presidential responsibilities such as managing the campus budget, overseeing student admissions, hiring new instructors and other essential duties, she is dedi-

cated to providing students with a rewarding and engaging academic experience. Susan works diligently to ensure students and instructors have the support necessary to foster true transformational learning. In her day-to-day, she can be found implementing new methodologies or championing supplemental learning resources

46 March 2024

proven to impact outcomes and reinforce foundational skills.

When asked why she leads a career school, Susan says she takes inspiration from her students and works to foster strong connections. With a majority of nontraditional and adult learners enrolled in her programs, she is keenly aware of the external pressures from work and family responsibilities impacting her students’ focus and success. Her philosophy of personalized education has permeated through all levels of the campus and she regularly “walks the walk,” going above and beyond to ensure her stu-

dents feel supported and encouraged.

Susan is motivated by the opportunity to provide her students with the tools to break generational poverty and create lasting change in the trajectories of their family.

Before joining Fortis Institute in November 2022, Susan held various leadership positions at career and higher education institutions across Pennsylvania including Central Penn College, YTI Career Institute, Brightwood Career Institute (formerly Kaplan Career Institute), South Hills School of Business & Technology, McCann School of Business & Technology and Delta Ca-

reer Education Corporation. Lynch received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Shippensburg University and a Master of Science in Cardiac Rehabilitation & Exercise Science from East Stroudsburg University.

Susan believes in investing in professional growth and making positive contributions to her communities, as demonstrated by her active involvement in various organizations. Currently, she is a member of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce and has been a member of other Chambers of Commerce around the state. She is a graduate of the Leadership Lancaster Executive Class of 2021. H

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? BEGIN YOUR TRAINING AT FORTIS INSTITUTE. Practical Nursing • Dental Hygiene Dental Assisting • Medical Assisting HVAC • Commercial Truck Driving Financial Aid Available for those who qualify. Career Placement Assistance for All Graduates. For consumer info, visit NORTHEAST PA • SCRANTON 517 ASH STREET 855-445-3276 • WWW.FORTIS.EDU March 2024 47


Find everything you need for your ideal wedding event at Wind Creek, including three magnificent ballrooms, a new hotel tower with 552 guest rooms, a lavish lobby bar, a glass enclosed pool with connected outdoor terrace, a luxurious spa, after hours nightlife, world class gaming and group activities.

To start planning your dream wedding, contact Jennifer Bender at (484) 777-7559 or



Michael and Maura Ehnot Kaitlin Noel Photography

Maura Elizabeth Lunney Michael Ehnot


Maura Elizabeth Lunney married Michael Ehnot on September 2, 2023.

Maura, daughter of Thomas and MaryBeth Lunney, is a graduate of Scranton High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in speech, language and hearing sciences, with a minor in cognitive neuroscience, from Temple University. She received a master’s degree in speech pathology from Marywood University.

Michael, son of Thomas & Jeannie Ehnot, graduated from Dunmore High School. He attended East Stroudsburg University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. He also earned a master’s degree in school leadership from Marywood University.

Michael (Mike) and Maura met through a friend, Grace Granahan. Previous to the couple’s meeting, Grace met Mike on a bus trip to a Bruce Springsteen concert in State College and proceeded to introduce the couple afterward. The couple’s first date took place at Buddy Clarkes in Dunmore.

The couple became engaged on Easter weekend, April 2022. Mike’s parents hosted a Good Friday Easter egg hunt, with extended family, including all of their grandchildren. A large, hand painted Easter egg was placed in the front yard that read, “Will you officially be our Aunt Maurzie?” Mike’s nephew, Michael “Bubs” Macciocco, handed the egg to Maura to read. After she looked up she saw Mike, proposing on one knee. Needless to say, a lot of celebration took place that weekend.

St. Paul Church in Stone Harbor, New Jersey was the setting for the couple’s wedding. The Icona in Avalon was the site of the reception.

Photos: Kaitlin Noel Photography
50 March 2024

The couple chose a Classic Coastal theme. The decor included greenery, white roses, candles and gold accents. One of the couple’s favorite details was a set of beautiful gold embroidered, monogrammed linen dinner napkins gifted to them by their dear friend Sarah Spager. The couple included hand-painted champagne bottles, a gold monogrammed dance floor and a champagne

tower at their reception. Two signature drinks, the ‘Buddy Clarke’s Crush’ and The Jefferson Espresso Martini paid tribute to important parts of their lives.

The couple selected a beach wedding in Avalon because of its history as a mutual favorite childhood location. Prior to their wedding, their priest, Father William Kelly, asked the couple to write letters sharing what they appreciated most about each other. During the ceremony, Father Kelly read the letters to them. It was a

Each of the couple’s 12 nieces, nephews and cousins walked down the aisle, which was both sweet and also funny!

The couple enjoyed a honeymoon trip to Newport, Rhode Island.

“Make your wedding planning and preparation a fun and enjoyable experience. You will spend so much time working on the details, and it is so important to make each of the meetings, tastings and deci sion-making discussions an enjoy able time,” the couple advised.

Maura currently works as Speech Pathologist at Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit #19.

Mike is a Logistics Broker at Sullivan Services, LLC.H

Birchtown Weddings and Events

The Birchtown wedding story began with a young girl’s passion for horses and a dream to bring life back into her retired family dairy farm.

The Polednaks owned the Birchtown farmland since the 1940s, retiring from dairy cows in the 1970s. The first pony was brought into the barn in 2000 after being empty for years, and construction began to remove the cow stanchions and build stalls for horses. The work-crew included Jessica Polednak, her father Robert Polednak and her late grandfather, Michael Polednak. When Jessica graduated high school in 2005, her maternal grandparents, founders of Kartri Sales Co., Inc., provided business knowledge and financial backing for her to keep pursuing the horse boarding business. In 2007, construction was set for the large indoor riding arena. The main use would be for horse shows, having a small kitchen and observation room overlooking the riding area. Shows began in 2008, every winter host ing a series of up to ten shows a year.

From 2008 to 2020, Birchtown hosted some

of the largest schooling horse shows in the tri-state area. Birchtown was also host to many clinics, even college and nationally rated events, with some of the top trainers in the country.

Birchtown has an on-site restaurant license to provide meals for all events. Karen Polednak, Jessica’s mother, uses her talent to serve deli-

The year 2020 brought a new opportunity for the buildings. Jessica redesigned a show office into a bar, took half of the indoor riding arena and installed a temporary floor, the tack room became a groomsmen lounge, the tractor garage became a bridal suite, and the pond became a ceremony site with benches and landscapes.

The Birchtown story continued to develop as a family oriented, full-service venue holding over 40 celebrations since 2020. Today it pro-

vides a beautiful stress-free environment for weddings and events of all kinds.

Birchtown offers decorations, onsite catering, coordi nation, accommodations and more to make planning the perfect day for any couple that much simpler. Attention to detail sets Birchtown apart, and has made this venue so successful. We guess you could say that over these past few years, Birchtown went from “bridle” to “bridal.” H

Weddings & Events

Forest City, PA • • 570-241-5195
March 2024 55

Wayne Bank Announces Hiring of Risk Director for New Department

Jim Donnelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Bank, is pleased to announce the addition of Tracie Young as Wayne Bank’s new Director of Risk.

Young joins the Wayne Bank as a senior vice president and will oversee the newly formed Risk Management department. She

will work out of the corporate office in Honesdale.

Young brings over 30 years of experience in the areas of risk management, internal audit and compliance for financial institutions. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing Wayne Bank’s risk management framework, which includes audit, compliance, deposit operations, fraud and security & facilities, while proactively identifying and addressing potential risks to the operations of the business.

Donnelly stated, “We are excited to welcome Tracie to our team. Her extensive knowledge and dedication to effec-

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

tive risk management will play a key role in safeguarding the interests of Wayne Bank, while promoting a culture of informed decisionmaking.”

Young resides in Honesdale with her husband, Neal. They have two daughters. H

Wayne Bank is a subsidiary of Norwood Financial Corp, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, and is located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The Bank has 29 Community Offices serving Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Lackawanna, and Luzerne Counties in Pennsylvania, along with Delaware, Sullivan, Otsego, Ontario, and Yates Counties in New York, 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.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy is the cutting edge treatment option that has shown significant promise in helping individuals who suffer from chronic pain and mental health disorders. Traditionally, ketamine is an anesthetic drug but administered at low doses by a qualified team it can provide a rapid relief of symptoms. Many patients reported significant reduction of symptoms within hours to days after treatment.

Conditions Treated

• Depression/Anxiety

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56 March 2024 Call to schedule a complimentary appointment to determine if you are a candidate for either Ketamine infusion therapy or IV Vitamin therapy. Consults provided by our highly knowledgeable, dual certified medical doctor. Payment options available. THE GOOD DROP (570)-701-6044

From Sea to Shining Sea

March BirthstoneAquamarine

Whether you wish to gift a ring, pendant, necklace, bracelet or earrings, Nye Jewelers has the most exquisite aquamarine birthstones.

The origin of the word “aquamarine” is a direct reference to its color - it is a marriage of the two Latin words aqua, which simply means “water” and marina, which means “of the sea” . Aquamarine has been loved for millennia and its similarity to the clear color of the ocean has fostered natural associations with water and sea travel. Going back to

aquamarine is also traditionally given to commemorate a 19th wedding anniversary. The gemstone’s cool ‘seawater’ hues

Poseidon, God created the aquamarine directly from seawater. The Romans claimed that aquamarine was cherished by mermaids and Roman erudites even encouraged the practice of adding the gemstone to bathwater for its healing qualities. Ancient mariners believed the gem could calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. Just as aquamarine was thought to be able to quiet water, it was also credited with being able to soothe tempers and decrease interpersonal conflict.

Spring Engagement • Wedding • Birthstone • Specialty Jewelry Watches • Engraving • Jewelry Repair is in the air 58 March 2024
MyCIL’s Transitional Skills Center, we’re proud to have
our Director of Transition Services.
• Nutrition & Independent Living
and Social Emotional Learning Contact us today at 570-207-9101 to get your child started on the path to independent living. Congratulations Sue Sileo for Being One of the Most In昀uential Women of NEPA! Give Your Child the Best Start to Independent Living All-Inclusive, Free Sports Events & Clinics Driven by TSC Designed for kids and young adults with disabilities, participants practice their favorite sports, gain con昀dence, and make new friends!
Sue Sileo as
She and her team work hard to ensure children like yours get the individualized attention needed to develop life and job skills. Our state-of-the-art facility features: Community-Based
Recreation and Wellness
Spreads Joy While Providing Job Training TSC students organize donated 昀owers,
them anew, and deliver them to
homes, hospice units and senior centers.


Director of MyCIL’s Transitional Skill Center

ue Sileo, the dedicated director of MyCIL’s Transitional Skill Center (TSC), is the driving force behind the transformative program that empowers NEPA area students aged 14-21 with diverse disabilities to achieve their independent living goals.

Leading a dynamic team, Sue oversees a cutting-edge, halfday program that strategically guides students through a series of skill-building activities tailored to their individual abilities.

"Sue’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for her team and the clients they serve make her and our program successful," says Tim Moran, CEO of MyCIL. "Her excitement about the mission sets the TSC apart as a place for young adults with disabilities to get the skills they need for life. The growth we have experienced, with the additions of iTeam and TSC Is Spreading Petals, is a direct result of her experience, humility and can-do attitude. We are very fortunate to have her at the helm of an outstanding team and program." A passionate advocate for inclusivity, Sue fosters an environment at MyCIL's TSC that emphasizes continuous skill development, utilizing an evidence-based curriculum that focuses on daily living skills, selfadvocacy, interpersonal skills and employment readiness. Sue's unwavering commitment to the program's mission have set TSC apart as a premier facility

for young adults with disabili ties to acquire essential life skills.

"With each day at the TSC, we witness the magic unfold as our students achieve their goals," shares Sue. "Our vision, our passion, their abilities and their goals all combine for success. We have a state-ofthe-art facility, but what is even more spectacular are the students and TSC team inside that make it come to life each day."

Sue's leadership extends beyond the walls of the TSC, as she recently integrated two new programs into its umbrella of services:

for Goodness Sake iTeam.

Spreading Petals

warming non-profit that spreads joy while providing job training. TSC students organize donated flowers, rearranging them anew and deliver them to nursing homes, hospice units and senior centers. all-inclusive program, offers free sports events and clinics designed for kids and young adults with disabilities. Participants practice their favorite sports, gain confidence and make new friends.

Sue’s professional background includes 15 years as a school counselor at Scranton High School. She also served as an adjunct faculty member in the communications department at Keystone College for 17

Disabilities Awareness Month 60 March 2024

her role at MyCIL’s TSC. Her leadership has transformed the TSC into a hub that not only provides crucial independent living skills but also nurtures a sense of communi ty and support.

Beyond her role at the TSC, Sue is an active volunteer and treasurer for the Saint Stanislaus Cathedral PNCCOne Hot Meal Program. This program serves up to 100 community members with a hot meal on the first Saturday of each month.

A Scranton native, Sue earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State and her Master of Science in School Counseling from the University of Scranton. She resides in Clarks Summit with

Sue Sileo's vision, coupled with the dedication of the TSC team, transforms the state-of-the-art facility into a vibrant space where success unfolds daily.


Hammondsport’s exclusive lakefront accommodations on the shores of Keuka Lake. This Inn offers 17 comfortable rooms and spectacular views with an on-site boat launch and docking available. Find us on Facebook and at 24 Water St., Hammondsport, NY 14840. (607) 569-2600,

not only equips students with the skills they need for life but also creates a community where individuals with diverse abilities thrive. H

a film by dan habib

In honor of Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month, we invite you to join us in challenging the perception of intelligence and seeing a life of possibilities.

March 20, 2024 at 5 p.m.

The Theater at North 1539 N. Main Ave. Scranton, PA Light Refreshments, Screening, Q&A Free to the Public


March 2024 61

United Cerebral Palsy of NEPA

W“e’re one of Scranton’s best-kept secrets,” explained

A. Drob, Chief Executive Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of Northeastern Pennsylvania, when asked what makes the organization, commonly referred to as UCP of NEPA, so special.

program areas developed from identifying a need within a portion of the population of people with disabilities and responding to that need,” said Sarah. “Changes in our services have most often happened because of the changing needs of people with disabilities and their evolving and growing role in society.”

“The name of our organization correctly implies we provide support to individuals living with cerebral palsy, but we do so much more,” said Sarah.

How It Started

Founded in 1953, UCP of NEPA (originally known as UCP of Lackawanna County) formed to meet the needs of young adults with cerebral palsy (CP) and their families. Once operations began, the group quickly realized some people living with CP needed assistance in multiple ways.

“The agency itself and each of its

As UCP of NEPA responded to these changes, the organization started offering more programs and helping more people.

Adult Day Services

Sporadic recreational activities for young adults with cerebral palsy were the first services offered by UCP of NEPA. By 1958, the organization established an office; the agency had become a member of the Lackawanna United Fund (predecessor of the United Way), and was operating a developmental program for adults three days per week.

As the program grew, clients began creating crafts, which they sold to earn spending money. The program continuously evolved to meet clients’ needs and began incorporating therapy services as well as social and recreational opportunities.

Moving forward and still to this day, UCP’s adult day service consumers receive those established services along with community participation support enabling each person to actively engage in the community.

Caring for Children

Beginning in 1965, UCP of NEPA began offering early intervention services for children. In the mid-

1980s, they established children's center sites in Wayne and Lackawanna counties to meet the growth in enrollment in children’s programming and the development of new services.

“We recognized so many families needed daycare services for children with or without disabilities,” Sarah explained. “By providing inclusive care and education, UCP of NEPA was one of the very first local agencies to provide integrated children’s care.”

Since this model’s inception, UCP of NEPA has taught children and their families how to learn and play together in ways that meet the needs of each individual with instruction, games and computers. Although these services are still primarily offered at the center, they are also available in families’ homes.

Home Services

Also starting in 1965, UCP of NEPA recognized some individuals with disabilities and their families needed help but did not qualify to receive services from established agencies. To assist them, UCP of NEPA established its Home Service Program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Elks Association. This program, staffed by registered nurses with strong backgrounds in the human services field, provides information, referral and advocacy for people with disabilities.

Residential Services

Recognizing individuals with intellectual disabilities could be happy and successful living in their community, UCP of NEPA established its community living residences in 1975. By the end of the 1980s, UCP of NEPA established seven residences in the region which currently provide full-time support and services

Jackie Galvin, Director of Communications and Development at United Cerebral Palsy of NEPA contributed to this article.
62 March 2024

to 20 individuals enjoying life in their community.

To meet the needs of people who needed support but also could live independently, UCP of NEPA created its Supported Independent Living program. While these individuals enjoy all of the benefits of living independently they receive part-time support from UCP with specific tasks.

Assistive Technology Resource Center

Established as an active service provider, UCP of NEPA jumped on the 1990s tech wave and partnered with Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology ultimately becoming an Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC).

“With the increased participation and involvement in the community of persons with disabilities, UCP wanted to help people navigate and function in a variety of settings and situations and increase their ability to commu-

nicate with others,” said Sarah.

ATRC helps people with any disability as well as older individuals to access devices for mobility, communication and self-care so they can maintain their independence, get around in the community, go to school, enjoy recreational activities and hold jobs.

While the term technology is usually associated with electronic or digital products, assistive technology offers a wide spectrum of devices. From low-tech grabbers to pick up items from the floor or shelves to high-tech items like computerized voice output systems for people with speech impediments, ATRC's availabiliy of devices is immeasurable. Individuals may borrow an item from UCP's lending library to determine if it meets their needs. If it does, they are welcome to keep it free of charge.

UCP of NEPA continuously evolves to meet the needs of the people they proudly serve. With the goal

GO GREEN on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, March 25

To show your support for the 18 million individuals throughout the world living with Cerebral Palsy, GO GREEN on March 25! By donning Cerebral Palsy Awareness’ signature color of green, you will garner attention and build awareness about CP.

Build even more awareness by posting your photo to one of United Cerebral Palsy of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s social media channels coupled with the hashtags, #GOGREEN and #UCPofNEPA Email your photo to for inclusion in an online collage.

In addition to wearing green, you also can make a gift of any amount to support CP awareness. Donations will assist UCP of NEPA in its mission of providing respectful, trustworthy and compas- sionate care for individuals with disabilities living in northeastern Pennsylvania.

of always providing respectful, trustworthy and compassionate care, UCP of NEPA has served Northeastern Pennsylvania for over 70 years and looks forward to providing many more years of care in the region.

Please visit or call 570-347-3357 H

How Do You GO GREEN?

with the hashtag #GOGREEN

Want to help even more? Donate at

Take a photo of yourself/group wearing green. Post the photo to any of UCP of NEPA’s social media channels
Dress in
on March 25.
March 2024 63

Dr. Arianne Scheller

Endless Mountains Extended Care

Dr. Arianne Scheller was born and raised in Scranton and currently resides with her family in Clarks Summit. She earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Scranton. Dr. Scheller received a PhD in human development from Marywood University,

and is a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Scheller has worked with families dealing with addiction in various counseling settings for the last 25 years. She maintains a private practice where she and her husband, Peter Smith, MS, see patients on an individual outpatient basis and is the Chief Executive Officer of Endless Mountains Extended Care.

Endless Mountains is an inpatient, dual diagnosis, drug and alcohol residential facility for

adult males located in the region’s countryside on nine beautiful acres. Dr. Scheller and her father Steve, who is in long-term recovery, built Endless Mountains together, as a family business.

Steve is a commercial builder and renovated the building and Dr. Scheller licensed the brand-new facility through the state. Together they created the entire clinical program, starting in 2017.

Treatment Protocols

Dr. Scheller and her clinical team focus on an evidencebased, trauma-informed model of treatment, which first pinpoints the patient’s trauma, reason and subsequent self-medicating behavior. Dr. Scheller is trained in EMDR and regression hypnosis, two techniques used to address trauma. TF-CBT and the Seeking Safety group curriculum are two other ways Endless Mountains therapists address patient trauma. After the trauma is addressed and processed, patients receive an individualized treatment plan which can include, but is not limited to: 12 step work, SMART recovery groups, intensive

64 March 2024

family therapy, Life Skills, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and DBT, Coping Skills, educational counseling and inventories, nutritional counseling and exercise, Reiki, daily meditation, breathwork, medication management and Medically Assisted Treatment, and a continued focus on mental health in conjunction with physical well-being.

This can be a lengthy but certainly worthwhile and successful process, which is why many patients stay at Endless Mountains anywhere from 30 days to six

addiction together in order to appropriately and individually diagnose and treat each patient. H




We differ significantly from other facilities. Patients need to know how much you care, not how much you know


months. Dr. Scheller believes that the most important aspect of treatment is to view mental health, physical health and A family-owned drug and alcohol inpatient facility for adult males.
1042 Lithia Valley Rd., Factoryville, PA (570) 219-4401 By focusing on mental health, multiple pathways to recovery and re-integration into the community, we provide a truly unique program. We teach our clients to understand and address their mental health needs, while encouraging positive attributes. March 2024 65
Rather than viewing patients as deficient and incapable of self-direction, we focus on their positive qualities and allow them to work together with us in a collaborative partnership, by providing multiple treatment pathways.
Care A Comprehensive Approach to Recovery

Rural Health Salutes Providers

With seven family practice medical centers, three co-located dental practices, a pediatrics health facility and a homeless clinic, treating the patients of Rural Health Corporation of NEPA (RHC) takes experience, education, passion and a great deal of dedication.

Established in 1971, RHC

provides comprehensive primary and preventive medical and dental health care and pharmacy services to residents of all income levels —(regardless of their ability to pay)— throughout Luzerne, Schuylkill, Sullivan and Wayne counties.

Primary care services include pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric medicine; diagnostic evaluations; treatment of illness and injuries; physical examinations; health screenings and health education; immunizations and vaccinations; well-child care; family planning; laboratory services; 24-hour emergency services; transportation services; pharmaceutical access through the 340B program and family dentistry. H

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Sokach, Clinical Director, Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Happy Doctors’ Day to:

Katelyn Buyarski, PA-C; Hannah Smith, RN, CRNP; and Diane Petrovich, PA-C, Black Creek Medical Center, 75 Pineapple Street, Nuremberg, PA 18241, 570-704-4235

Mary E. Sokach, DO, and Joel Dorman, PA-C, Exeter Township Medical Center, 2795 Sullivan Trail, Falls, PA 18615, 570-704-4117

Sarah Daywood, CRNP, Freeland Medical Center, 404 Ridge Street, Freeland, PA 18224, 570-704-4232

Chaya Shuchat, CRNP, Hazleton Pediatrics, 1730 East Broad Street, Hazleton, PA 18201, 570-704-4648

Samuel Schrack, DO, and Lisa Kieser, PA-C, LaPorte Medical Center, 217 King Street, Laporte, PA 18626, 570-704-4651

In honor of National Doctors’ Day, RHC salutes its exceptional team of practitioners:

Gregg Novak, DO, and Joann Dutko, MonroeNoxen Medical Center, 2888 SR 29 South Monroe Township, PA 18636, 570-704-4234

Jurgen Straub, MD, and Cheryl Bunk, PA-C, Shickshinny Medical Center, 26 North Main Street, Shickshinny, PA 18655, 570-704-4230

Gunnar Kosek, DO, and Jessica Cleary, CRNP, Valley Medical Center, 75 South Wyoming Avenue, Suite 2&3, Edwardsville, PA 18704, 570-704-4233

Jessica Neare, CRNP, McKinney Clinic, 90 East Union Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, 570-704-4145

66 March 2024

Put Your Health in Our Hands

Everyone is welcome at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s eight medical centers, three co-located dental centers and homeless clinic, regardless of your ability to pay.

All Insurances Accepted • Medicare & Medicaid Accepted • Sliding Fee Scale for the Uninsured Call for an appointment today!

Services Include:

Diagnostic Evaluations

Treatment of Illness and Injuries

Physical Examinations

Immunizations & Vaccinations

Black Creek Medical and Dental Center

75 Pineapple Street, Nuremberg, PA 18241

570-704-4235 Medical


Exeter Township Medical Center 2795 Sullivan Trail

Falls, PA 18615 • 570-704-4117

Freeland Medical and Dental Center

404 Ridge Street • Freeland, PA 18224

570-704-4221 Medical


Hazleton Pediatrics 1730 East Broad Street

Hazleton, PA 18201 • 570-704-4648

LaPorte Medical Center 217 King Street • Laporte, PA 18626 570-704-4651

Monroe-Noxen Medical and Dental Center 2888 SR 29 South Monroe Township, PA 18636 • 570-704-4234 Medical

570-704-4647 Dental


Family Planning

Laboratory Services

Pharmaceutical Services

Family Dentistry

Transportation Services

Shickshinny Medical Center 26 North Main Street

Shickshinny, PA 18655 • 570-704-4230

Valley Medical Center

75 South Wyoming Avenue Suite 2&3 • Edwardsville, PA 18704 570-704-4233

McKinney Clinic

90 East Union Street

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702 • 570-704-4145


Sensible Senior Living

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

68 March 2024

The Older Pennsylvanians Legal Assistance Program provides access to free legal advice and services for adults 60 and older. The program can help with legal matters relating to age discrimination, housing & utilities, wills & power of attorney. While there is no charge, contributions are always welcomed and appreciated! For more information on legal assistance, contact the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, (570) 963-6740.

March 2024 69

Wesley Village Campus offers seniors a safe and secure community where they can thrive. Enjoy an active lifestyle with support based on your individual needs, so you can enjoy every moment! Experience maintenance-free, worry-free living and a wide variety of daily programs, social activities, and amenities!

Schedule a Tour Today!

Schedule a Tour Today!

For more information about our wide range of senior care, call 570-655-2891 or email

209 Roberts Road, Pittston, PA

70 March 2024 CLOSE TO ALL THE AMENITIES 230 Lackawanna Avenue • Olyphant, PA 570-489-4756 Rent based on 30% of your income. Includes all utilities except cable and telephone. NowAccepting Applications CLOSE TO ALL THE AMENITIES 145 Church Street • Montrose, PA 570-278-3849 62 or older, handicapped or disabled. Rent based on 30% of your income. Includes all utilities except cable and telephone. NowAccepting Applications

The French Azilum

The French Azilum, near Towanda in Bradford County, was originally conceived and designed as a place where Marie Antoinette and other French Nobles could settle once they fled France and the Revolution—and the Guillotine.

Founded in 1793, the settlement at its height boasted more than 200 residents, most from royal and noble families who had been loyal to the French Monarchy, and recreated ‘Versailles on

the Susquehanna’ as best they could! Although there were many plans for Marie Antoinette and her nobles to escape the Revolution, no other place exists in the world which was a planned community for the refugees. Visit the French Azilum, and discover the remarkable history behind the village on the horseshoe bend of the Susquehanna River.

68 March 2024 • 800-769-8999
Photo: James Ruane ©
LaPorte House March 2024 69 • 800-769-8999 Glacier formed, spring fed & now available to a fortunate few.
you stay at the Eagles Mere Inn you will have access to a pristine, private lake and golf
a historical town that
downstairs, quintessential Pub that will have
I French Azilum, Inc. is a not for profit entity 501 (c) (3) Paid for by the Bradford County Room Tax Grant & the Bradford County Tourism Agency or call 570-265-7736 Visit us on Facebook, TheFrenchAzilum Visit Bradford County’s Most Unique Historic Site! May 12—Themed Tea, 1-4 p.m. - Dress Up in Your Finest. June 1—Wellness Day. June 8 —Blacksmithing Day with class. June 21-23 —Susquehanna Summer Solstice Festival. July 6—Family Fun Day. July 13—Community/Descendants' Day August 3 —Civil War Day. August 23-25—Closing Weekend Revolutionary War Day. April/October—April 20 or October 5 Open Hearth Experience October 26 —Escape the Guillotine 2024 Events
time seems to have forgotten
you asking why haven’t
found this place before?
72 March 2024 68 • 800-769-8999 27 E TIOGA ST TUNKHANNOCK, PA (570) 836-5131 Bespoke Designs for Every Occasion the true relaxation of our beautiful region, fresh from winter’s hibernation. Jean Ruhf Executive Director Endless Mountains Visitor’s Bureau Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @ PA Endless Mountains Welcome to The En dless Moun ta ins of Northeastern PA!
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:


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 veg gies 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

ing, 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

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)


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


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).

Our physicians improve the health and welfare of our communities by providing affordable, high-quality primary and preventive care services. HAPPY NATIONAL DOCTORS’ DAY Addiction & Recovery Services | Behavioral Health | Dental Services | Infectious Disease/Ryan White HIV Services | Men’s Health | Pediatrics | Women’s Health | Geriatrics The Wright Center for Community Health practice locations: Clarks Summit 1145 Northern Blvd. 570.585.1300 Hawley 103 Spruce St. 570.576.8081 Jermyn 5 S. Washington Ave. 570.230.0019 North Pocono 260 Daleville Highway, Suite 103 570.591.5150 North Scranton 1721 N. Main Ave. 570.346.8417 Scranton 501 S. Washington Ave. 570.941.0630 Scranton Counseling Center 329 Cherry St. 570.591.5250 Wilkes-Barre 169 N. Pennsylvania Ave. 570.491.0126 School-Based Health (Open to the community) West Scranton Intermediate............................................................................. 1401 Fellows St. 570.591.5280 For more information, visit: MARCH 30

Swish for Support: Harlem Wizards vs. Scranton School District

cipals and staff from across the Scranton School District to a fun and lighthearted game of basketball.

The faculty team, “The Knightmares,” will be coached by SHS principal, John Coyle, and the game will be refereed by Ted Anderson and Bill Gibbons. The fac ulty roster includes Pat Laffey, Shannon Rucker, Mina Ardestani, Michel Hughes, Tony Battaglia, Marissa Harris, Tim Wolff , Al O'Donnell, Mike Coleman, Dennis Engles, Nicole Shaffer, Jason Schlingman, Katie Fox, Chris Gentilezza, PJ Hughes, Kerri

from 7-9 p.m. Funds raised will support the Scranton High boys’ basketball program. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit H

78 March 2024

W ho is the cutest of them all?


Amira is very playful but also very sleepy. She loves to pounce under blankets at the Allaoui household in Mehoopany.

Frosty lives with the Klein and Cicci Family of Peckville. Cinnamon rolls, Dunkin’ Donuts and ice are a few of Frosty’s favorite things.


Beijing lives with the Nasevich family in Moscow. He loves to be held close so he can hear your heartbeat. He has been blind for three years but that doesn’t stop him from loving life.


Buddy is a world champion lap cat napper who lives with his parents, Peg and Jim Helveston of Exeter.


Izzy is a rescue living her best life with the Earyes family of Scranton. She is a trained therapy pup who visits nursing homes.

Jackson is a spirited Shar Pei who lives in Old Forge with the Leschinsky family. He loves to travel in the car and go camping with his mom and dad.

“The Kennel Alternative”
Frosty Jackson

Vote for your favorite March pet at

winner receives a Happenings bandana!

The votes are in... February’s Pet of the Month is Brody Congratulations!

Roma Lucy

When Lucy isn’t outside playing, she is at the Camacho family’s side cuddling up. She loves to fetch and do tricks according to her family who resides in Scranton.

Romeo lives with the Gambone family of Hawley. A gentle giant who visits the True Value store, he also loves playing with his wheelbarrow and dragging branches in from the woods.

Rigby is a sweet bengal baby girl who loves to play with toys and doesn’t care for dogs. She lives with the McKaskle family in Mehoopany.

Skyeboat spends her days napping. She is shy around people she doesn’t know. She lives with the Rayburn family of Scranton.

From the Padula household Dunmore, comes Roma, who is comical and affectionate. She loves to cuddle up with her blanket.


Squiggy is a laid-back cool cat whose purr can be heard for miles. Squiggy lives with the Frey family of Hawley.

Blakely Dickson City Moosic Falls 570-382-3066 570-483-4178 570-471-7387 570-357-2228!
Rigby Romeo Skyeboat

best of times

Bheight of the pandemic in 2020. When many bands were calling it quits, BoT set about to build the most authentic STYX tribute anyJeff Morris (keyboards) and George McGrew (guitar) from Bon Journey in Pittsburgh decided that the world needed a true STYX tribute. They recruited Paul Soos from E5C4P3 – The Journey Tribute on bass guitar and Rick Arrendale on drums and hit the stage. When George decided to step down in 2023, he was replaced by Alex Schreckengost and Ryan Monty, both from Right Now: A Celebration of Hagar-Era Van Halen.

Best of Times’ versions of Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw set them apart from other STYX tributes, and they promise to bring you back to the grand shows of the 70s and 80s when STYX put out Platinum Albums like no one else! Come enjoy a trip back in time to experience one of classic rock’s finest! H

Best of Times is:

Jeff Morris –

Dennis DeYoung Vocals, Keyboards

Alex Schreckengost – Tommy Shaw Vocals, Guitar

Ryan Monty – James Young Vocals, Guitar

Paul Soos – Bass Guitar

82 March 2024
March 2024 83 classic Styx experience Friday April 12, 2024 • The Theater at North

Upcoming Shows! Broadway in Scranton

On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. This stirring and inspiring musical takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of the small town in Newfoundland that opened their homes to 7,000 stranded travelers on 9/11. During that fateful week, cultures clashed and nerves ran high—but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Celebrate the best of humankind and the best in all of us at COME FROM AWAY.

April 5-7

May 17-19

Pretty Woman the Musical, based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and scree writer J. F. Lawton.

THE REMARKABLE TRUE STORY OF THE SMALL TOWN THAT WELCOMED THE WORLD COMEFROMAWAY Book, Music and Lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein Directed by Christopher Ashley Musical Staging by Kelly Devine APRIL 5 - 7 Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple

Piazza Tile and Marble

Going Strong for Three Generations

Pstone of quality craftsmanship in the region for four decades. Founded by Vincent Anthony Piazza Sr. over 40 years ago, its roots

1950s when the original Vincent Anthony Piazza established Piazza Construction, contributing to the construction of over 100 homes in Clarks Summit and the surrounding areas. With a rich family history deeply embed ded in construction, Piazza Tile & Marble has evolved into a third-genera tion enterprise. Vincent Anthony Piazza Jr. redirected the focus in the 1980s, transitioning from construc tion to special izing in the artistry of tile & stone instal

worked alongside his grandfather, Vince now carries on the tradition as a third-generation tile setter with an impressive 30 years of experience. He can still


remember going to work with his father every summer since he was 12 years old and starting full time at age 18. The decades of experience will show as each home is treated like a showpiece.

Conveniently located in Clarks Summit, Piazza Tile & Marble serves a 60-mile radius, catering to both commercial and residential clients. Their extensive experience in tile work is complemented by their commitment to delivering quality results.

If you are considering a complete kitchen or bathroom remodel call Vince for a free in-home consultation and estimate. Piazza Tile & Marble will handle your entire remodel, from demolition to the final coat of paint, and deliver quality craftsmanship at an affordable price. A myriad of commercial and residential references are available upon request. Fully licensed and insured for commercial and residential. Call Vince at 570-507-1905 H


F orest and Field

So you’ve decided you need a new kitchen, bath or outdoor-living space? Forest & Field, a 10,000 square foot home design showroom promises to help you at every step, from initial consultation to final installation.

Forest & Field also has a large array of windows and doors to complete the package.

When you first visit Forest & Field, you may feel like you’ve stepped into fresh air. Nestled within the bucolic hills of the region, it offers what city showrooms can’t: lots of space! No need to feel pressured, they assure customers, because building or renovating a home is stressful enough. Forest & Field has designed their process to ease you through the decisions. They want you to love your new project, from start to finish– and for years to come.

Forest & Field states:

“Nearly every build or renovation headache and cost-overrun comes down to the same thing: poor design. The consequences can be the most humbling moment of your life — paying someone else to demolish flawed work that was just completed. To avoid this, we strongly suggest you use a professional designer, and we feel we have some of the best. In this business, knowledge comes with experience, and our team has spent many years figuring out what works and what doesn’t. You can see their work right here in our showroom, where every display is designed in-house and each detail is given great consideration — the same professional level we’ll apply to your project.”

Starting with your initial consultation, Forest & Field designers will walk you through each step of the process, at your

88 March 2024

own pace, mitigating the stress while getting your dream project done right. They will offer general design options that blend function, ergonom ics and aesthetics to fit the budget and project scope. The designer will present the options, make any necessary tweaks, and the customer will then decide on the best layout to pursue. Together you can work with them to choose the finishes and materials for cabinetry, countertops, appliances, backsplash, flooring, lighting, plumbing and anything else applicable. You can view all the elements in their expansive materials library or even check-out samples to take home. You will receive help weighing the benefits and costs of each option and adjust elements to create the perfect design to fit your budget.

If you already have your own designer, no problem. Forest & Field also has private conference rooms equipped with wi-fi and large-screen monitors.

If it all starts to feel overwhelming, refresh your creativity in their lounge area with a complimentary beverage, while flipping through catalogs and design magazines for inspiration. This all should be fun and exciting — and they want you to truly enjoy yourself.

Just off I-80 near Bloomsburg, Field & Forest is easily accessible. All are welcome to come browse the showroom, or consult a designer. If you would like to make an appointment please call (570) 450-0681. Forest & Field is open six days a week.

March 2024 89


T Easter Breakfast Quiche


1 lb. bacon

8 eggs

¼ cup diced onion

2 cups milk

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

1 (16 oz) package of frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Compliments of

his is a delicious quiche recipe for gathering the family together after church on Easter Sunday morning for breakfast. Shredded Italian blend cheese can be substituted for Cheddar cheese for a richer flavor.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 7 x 11 inch baking dish. Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Crumble. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and milk. Mix in cheese, bacon and red pepper. Stir in thawed hash browns. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes until eggs have set.

Buon Appetito!

Buona Pasqua!

March 2024 91 512 S Main Street Old Forge, PA • • 1.800.401.8990 • WE DELIVER Personalized Holiday Gifts and Gourmet Chocolate Platters, Gift Baskets

National Cheesesteak Day

Market. Olivieri said provolone cheese was first added by Joe “Cocky Joe” Lorenza. National Cheesesteak Day on March 24 celebrates this American classic!

Barley Creek Brewing Co & Distillery

Enjoy Barley Creek’s twist on a classic sandwich: thick cut sirloin, melted provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, chimichurri sauce, arugula and topped with drizzle of garlic aioli. 1774 Sullivan Trail, Tannersville. 570-629-9399

Brother Joe’s Hoagie Shop

Dine in or take out! Using only Boars Head meat, enjoy a variety of cold hoagies. Each hoagie has 6 oz of meat. Diners love Brother Joe’s cheesesteaks, chicken cheese steaks and a variety of other fast food. 22 1/2 East Union St., Kingston. Tuesday through Saturday 11–5. 570-288-0404

Gerrity‘s Sandwich Shop

Gerrity's cheesesteaks are made to order with fresh ingredients and our special seasonings. Served on our scratch-made rolls baked fresh everyday in Mom's bakery. 1782 N. Keyser Ave, Scranton, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. 570-347-0393

Samarios Pizza and Restaurant

We have the only cheesesteak station in the area with 30 different cheesesteaks made with fresh sirloin and ribeye steak all on homemade hoagie buns that we bake fresh three times a day. 121 W. Market St., Scranton. Tues.- Thurs. 3-8, Fri 11-10, Sat 12-10, Sun., 12-8 570-343-2246

Steve & Irene’s Hoagies

Enjoy Steve & Irene’s extensive cheese steak menu as well as many other delicious hoagies. Most popular cheese steaks include The Cheese Steak Special with sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms and marinara sauce or The Pittsburgh Cheese Steak topped with french fries and a house made buffalo ranch sauce. We also have amazing wings and pizza! Our spot is a local favorite for almost 50 years. 1110 Route 6, Mayfield. 570-282-6868

March 2024 93 16 First Place Awards! Award Winning Store Made Kielbasi Black Angus Choice Beef Variety of Store-Made Sausage Pork, Poultry, Lamb & Veal Full Variety of Deli Meats & Store Made Salads 524 Burke By-Pass, Olyphant • 570 383-5260 2023 "Best Meat Store"
Easter Ham
Pierogi Casserole with Kielbasa Manning’s Bunny Cake

You know that word-of-mouth is the best way to reach customers. If you get people talking about your business, new customers will follow. We see those same results firsthand every time one of our satisfied clients recommends Happenings Magazine to other businesses.

There is a famous business statement that says, "Each business owner would prefer to speak to each one of his potential clients face to face ... but that's simply not possible. That's why businesses also need to advertise.”

And that's where Happenings can help.

When people see your ad in Happenings, they talk about it. We've spent over 55 years showcasing only the best of our region—and our loyal and passionate readers love to spread the

word around about what they find inside! You see, Happenings is a huge jumpstart to your word-of-mouth. Your presence in Happenings acts as a launching pad for your word-of-mouth, because it gives 'em something to talk about.

If you rely on only word-of-mouth, you may be waiting a long, long time for that word to spread to the masses. But with a presence in Happenings, you'll reach thousands of 'mouths' every month.

Happenings is what gets the talking started— you simply need to give them something to talk about!

Where word-of-mouth meets the masses

94 March 2024
March 2024 95

Dining around the Region

1818 Deli & Catering Co. –Breakfast, lunch & catering. Stop in for a bite, stock up the fridge, or cater your party. Excellent coffee, soups, salads, sandwiches & more. 1818 Sullivan Trail. 570-629DELI (3354). Hours:


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.

Alter House

Restaurant & Bar

Introducing a farm-to-table restaurant with a vibrant ambiance! Enjoy our delectable cuisine made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Join us for a lively happy hour, indulge in our delightful Sunday brunch, and groove to live entertainment. Our versatile venue is perfect for hosting events. Open Thursday through Sunday for your enjoyment!

Anthony's Restaurant

Anthony’s menu offers a variety of steaks, seafood and Italian specialities. Enjoy classic Old Forge pizza along with their popular thin crust. Dine in one of three elegant dining areas, including a full-service bar featuring speciality cocktails and a skillfully curated selection of wines. Hours are WednesdaySunday, 4 - 9 p.m. 202 S Main St, Old Forge, PA 570-451-0925.

Barley Creek Brewing Co & Distillery

Try our hospitality, it pairs well with our award-winning handcrafted brews, spirits and atmosphere. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Hours: 1774 Sullivan Trail, Tannersville 570-629-9399

Barley Creek Tasting Room & Pub @ The Crossings

Grab a bite to eat and taste our PA craft brews, spirits, wines and cocktails. Check out our unique beer gear gift shop. Located at the Crossings Factory Outlets. 272-200-2922. Hours:

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.

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.


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.

Which restaurants should appear here? Call us at 570-587-3532 or email:


Happenings Magazine... “

Advertise in

Cooper’s has been a consistent advertiser with Happenings Magazine for many decades. We really love what the staff designs each month and we receive constant remarks from people who have seen our ad in Happenings. Our recent outdoor Seafood Market was a smashing success! Thanks for helping us get the word out. Longevity has advantages. Cooper’s has been in business for over 75 years and Happenings first began in 1969—over 55 years ago. Talk about being in the Top 30 Over 50! Congratulations to all Over 50 nominees. Let’s keep up the good work!

March 2024 97
Botox Dermal Fillers
IPL Laser Hair Removal Laser Liposuction Medical Weight Loss
Hydration Medical Grade Skincare and more! MAGNIFY YOUR BEAUTY AND SELF-CONFIDENCE We offer free consultations Michael Klingerman, M.D. 431 Lackawanna Ave • Scranton, PA New Location coming to Wilkes-Barre! 570-955-0427
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