Priceless. Please take one! FOLLOW YOUR HEART + BRIDAL 2016 February & March 2016
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Publisher & Creative Director Ali Schratt firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Coordinator Juliet Dunham email@example.com
Graphic Designer Cathryn Hahn firstname.lastname@example.org
Distribution Coordinator Adam Schratt
Juliet Dunham, Cathryn Hahn, and Ali Schratt
On the Cover
Photo by Jill Nobles of Smile Peace Love Photography. For more info about Jill, see page 14 or visit smile-peace-love.com
6. Letter 8. GO! 10. Give: Pocono Arts Council 12. For the Love of Art 14. Anything for The Shot 16. Hometown Hideaway 18. The Best Day 20. Perfect Taste 22. The Words that Bind Us 24. Ask the Expert: TJ Price 26-34. Itâ€™s All in the Details: Details, Moments and Venues to Inspire 38-40. Out & About: The Red Kettle Gala 44. Q&A with Dr. Zama 48. Expanding Horizons 50. Column: Bob Kelly, Realtor 51. Column: Thomas Byrne 52. Column: Tom Wilkins 54. Parting Shot: #lovethepoconos
For a subscription send check or money order for $24.95 to the address below. (6 issues/1 year) Local Flair is published bi-monthly and distributed throughout the greater Pocono area. Local Flair reserves the right to refuse to sell space for any advertisement the staff deems inappropriate for the publication. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Letters to the Editor are welcome, but may be edited due to size limitations. Press releases must be received by the 15th of the prior month of publication. All contents of this magazine including without limitation to the design, advertisements, art, photos, and editorial content, as well as the selection coordination and arrangement thereof is the Copyright of Local Flair Magazine Limited. No portion of this magazine may be copied or reprinted without the express written consent of the publisher.
The mission of Local Flair magazine is to celebrate excellence in community businesses, services, and efforts by appealing to the tastes, sensibilities, and curiosities of its readers and advertisers alike. To this end, Local Flair strives to balance informative and inspirational editorial content with relevant and enlightening advertisement. â€“Ali Schratt, publisher
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Stop in for the Raw
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February 12-15, 2016 Live Ice Carvings Over 50 Ice Sculptures Live Music Parade Friday Free Admission & Parking
PUBLISHER I love the Follow Your Heart issue of Local Flair. It’s full of two of my favorite things – love and ideas! I am usually overflowing with ideas and I used to jump into new situations with very little concern of the outcome. My heart and my gut were the big deciding factors if I plunged in feet first to my idea. It’s funny how a few major failures shake that urge to jump right out of you! So – I’ve added a guideline to my risky thought behavior...
BUT TAKE YOUR
BRAIN WITH YOU.”
I’ve learned to have faith in the process of “identify, qualify, THEN act.” It seems to be working for me these days! As I get older and wiser, I have learned how to judge if an idea is worth my time, money and effort. Some of these ideas are taking shape in the next year and I am excited to announce them! This month, we will launch “Women in Balance,” which will highlight the great women moving and shaking through the Poconos. Follow us on Facebook to learn how you can nominate the women who inspire you. In April, along with Pocono Medical Center, we will host the first “Day of Balance” health and wellness fair at Trout Lake Retreats in Stroudsburg. This event will be unlike any other – full of hands on activities and classes throughout the day, plus informational break-out sessions with the area’s leading experts. You can find more information at flairmag.com. I hope you enjoy the “Follow Your Heart” issue of Local Flair. The special wedding feature is full of area professionals, love stories and our favorite moments, details and venues. Meet married artists Susan and Stephen Washington and get great tips from our Local Flair experts whose columns offer insight into real estate and finance this issue. Mark your calendars and make sure to come Downtown to experience Winterfest February 12th-13th, too. There will be over 40 ice sculptures throughout downtown Stroudsburg and exciting things happening both days! Go to VisitDowntownStroudsburg.com for all of the information. Enjoy the winter.
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Stroll! Winterfest in Downtown Stroudsburg is sure
to be fun for the whole family this February 12-13! The event kicks off Friday 4-7pm with “An Evening of Good Taste.” Luminaries will light the way from business to business as you taste local wine and beer while enjoying art and musical performances. On Saturday 9am-6pm patrons will enjoy over 40 ice sculptures, a “Snowy Sweeps” raffle with many opportunities to win gift certificates to downtown businesses, a cookie walk between participating businesses, and discounts at shops and restaurants throughout the weekend. For info, go to visitdowntownstroudsburg.com
Watch! Join Environmental Educator Brian Hardiman every Friday, January 22nd through February 12th from 8:30am-5:30 pm on a field trip to the Upper Delaware River in search of our national symbol, the bald eagle. Once a rare sight, many wintering and resident eagles now inhabit this region and the probability for sightings is high. Meet at the EE Center at 8:30am and return 5:30pm. Participants should pack a lunch and binoculars and dress for the weather. Stops will be made for coffee and snacks. Pre-registration is required and limited. Refunds will be given only if notification is made at least one week in advance. $24/non-members, $18/EE Center members and includes bus transportation. Visit mcconservation.org for more info and to register.
Join the first Wally Ice Fest Pond Hockey Tournament on Lake Wallenpaupack January 30-31. The tournament is open to all players, regardless of ability. 4-6 players per team. Times vary. For info, email email@example.com
Enjoy Crystal Cabin Fever at Sculpted Ice Works in
Lakeville February 5-21. One of the Poconos’ coolest winter events features an interactive ice display made from over 100 tons of ice including a 50-foot dual-run ice slide, ice carving demonstrations, and ice carving competitions. Complimentary hot chocolate and wine tastings provided. Sun-Thurs 11am-4pm and Fri-Sat 11am-6pm. For info, visit sculptediceworks.com
Tromp! Stroud Region Open Space & Recreation will host a guided snowshoe hike at Glen Brook Golf Club on February 6th. Tromp through snow and explore the outdoors. Hikes are $5 per person or $15 per family. Call for info or to pre-register. 570.426.1512 or srosrc.org Carve! The 3rd Annual Carve for Cancer will be held
February 6th at Jack Frost/Big Boulder. Money raised will go to benefit leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and related malignancy research. Hours are 8am-10pm. For info, call 570-443-8425 or visit jfbb.com
Shop! This Presidents’ Day weekend (February 13-
14) visit Jim Thorpe, PA! It’s WinterFest weekend which means ice and wood carving, civil war re-enactments, the famous Jim Thorpe Mug Walk, a free magic show, paid entertainment at the Opera House, and more! For info, visit jimthorpe.org or call 570.325.5810.
Rock! Mount Airy Casino welcomes The Gin Blossoms back to Gypsies’ stage on February 13th to play your favorite tunes including “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” and “Until I Fall Away.” Ages 21+ only. Show begins at 8pm. Tickets are $65 each. For info, call 877.682.4791 or visit mtairycasino.com Bead! Intermediate beaders- here’s your chance learn
to make a wire-wrapped Celtic Knot ring at Mountain Knits & Pearls on February 20! This beautiful ring can be worn every day. You will be advancing your wire-weaving skills as you make this ring. For fee and reservations information, call 570.424.7770. Time is 9:30am-12:30pm or 1:15-3:15pm.
Skate! Alpine Mountain will attempt to break
the World Record for largest ice skating lesson on February 26th. It’s free to be a part of this event- all you need is a willingness to have fun! Time is 9am-6pm. Alpine Mountain is located 497 Timberhill Road in Henryville, PA. For info, call them at 570.595.2150 or visit alpinemountain.com.
Slide! Open through mid-March, White Lightning
Winter Tubing is the place to be for real snowtubing fun! Check out their Frugal Fridays promotion – every nonholiday Friday through mid-March from 5-9 PM, your session is only $23 which includes tubing and a $5 food credit! For more info, visit whitelightningsnowtubing.com
Give! Pocono Services for Families and Children
invites the community to attend its 50th Anniversary Gala on March 31st at Terraview at Stroudsmoor Country Inn. This event will celebrate five decades of Head Start in Monroe County. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a delicious dinner to follow and dancing around 9 p.m. Dignitaries/guest speakers will include Blair Hyatt, executive director of the Pennsylvania Head Start Association, and Pennsylvania State Senator Mario Scavello. Special awards and honors will be presented. A silent auction will be part of the event, including jewelry, baseball tickets, resort stays, and gift certificates. The celebration will also highlight achievements, artwork and memories from the beginnings of Head Start in Monroe County 50 years ago to the present day. The dinner donation is $50 per person and reservations should be made by March 18. Contact Chris Grape-Garvey to register at 570.421.2711 ext. 238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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BUILDS COMMUNITY If you’ve taken a stroll down Main Street, or attended a community event throughout the summer, chances are, you’ve enjoyed programming supported by Pocono Arts Council. For 40 years, the council has been the center of the arts community in the Pocono area, supporting local artists, musicians, and craftsmen. It provides scholarships to art students, a professional gallery for art to be displayed, classes for those wanting to learn a wide variety of artistic disciplines, and various other services that foster art in our area. There are many ways to become involved this year with this important organization. GET INVOLVED! Here’s how.
Become a Member Whether you’re an artist, someone who enjoys the arts, or simply a community member who wants art to flourish, you can become a member! In fact, anyone can. Annual membership is an affordable $15 for students, $29 for seniors, $39 for individuals, and $59 for families. Members enjoy many benefits including discounts to PoconoArts events, access to the monthly newsletter, a free website link, participation in exhibitions, and more.
Take a Class PoconoArts represents a broad variety of artistic disclipines from painting in several mediums, to music, and more. World-class artists and instructors lead the sessions in PoconoArts’ Artspace Gallery on North 7th Street in Stroudsburg. If learning or fine-tuning an artistic skill is something you’re interested in, the time is now! Visit poconoarts.org for class schedules.
Spring for the Arts! Each Spring, PoconoArts hosts its annual gala fundraiser “Spring for the Arts” at Stroudsmoor Country Inn. This year promises to provide a fun time for attendees, awards for deserving students, and recognition for some really deserving artists in the community. The event takes place Friday, April 8th, 2016 at 6 PM. Tickets are $60 for members or $70 for non-members. Reservations can be made by calling 570-476-4460 or by visiting poconoarts.org
For real estate go straight to the
Caroline Salvino, Associate Broker _____________________________________ Caroline was born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania. She knows the landscape, the communities, and she understands what people look for in a lifestyle home. With $14 million in sales in 2015, Caroline specializes in luxury properties throughout the Poconos. For experience that can achieve real results, call Caroline.
www.PoconosLuxuryRE.com | Direct: 570.977.1777 Classic Properties | Office: 570.595.3705 | 1124 Route 390 | Mountainhome, PA 18342
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(570) 476-5437 Local Flair
LOVE – of –
ART By Ali Schratt
When entering into Susan and Stephen Washington’s home, it’s apparent that creating art is the family business. The couple built a friendship online while Susan was researching for a project, and they have been creating a life and their art together ever since. 15 years ago, the couple relocated to East Stroudsburg – Susan from Brooklyn where she worked in fashion and Stephen from London where he worked as a commercial artist. Although both full-time artists found the transition from urban areas to the Pocono Mountains to be challenging, they’ve met a fabulous group of fellow artists and supporters that make them feel right at home. Their individual art styles are as unique as their love story. Susan’s bold abstract paintings start as small sketches and transform themselves onto the canvas through the use of a mixed media of fabric, charcoal, and vintage pattern pieces – while Stephen’s work follows a more systematic and cerebral design process. “I have always worked in an post-abstract expressionist way on large canvases,” Stephen explains, “In photography I like to appropriate found mark making that I discover on pavements and parking lots and on building sites and in urban industrial areas. I look for unconscious painterly gestures left by other people as they repair blacktop, repaint traffic lines cancel out graffiti or spill materials and then I compose images which create a new narrative for those marks as art.” Susan’s work is emotional and in-the-moment, “my style is abstract and though the paintings aren’t conceived through anything relative when they are done they are reminiscent of landscapes. It’s not my intention but it seems as if they are just meant to be,” she explains. The two could not be more opposite in their style and their work habits. Susan is extremely productive and her paintings sell almost as fast as she can create them.
Stephen’s more methodical approach is designed in “show” format. Stephen explains, “I internalize my process and don’t like to communicate much or show work in progress, whereas Susan loves to multi-task and have running conversations about what she’s doing or the work of other artist’s she’s following on social media.” I understand opposites attract… but how does that work when you live together, have the same job and actually share a studio? Susan admitted, “Ha! I kicked him out of the studio! Well, honestly he sort of went voluntarily, for sanity sake. Stephen works in a very orderly fashion – I thrive in chaos! But he does come in and will put up his easel once in awhile and start to work. It’s fun! However, I think I can be distracting too, I sing while I’m painting, I talk to myself and I talk to the canvas. Maybe that’s the real reason he left the studio!” Stephen continues, “I painted out on the porch this summer and plan to build a studio in the basement where I can also create a space for stretching canvases and framing. We are both totally supportive of each other’s art but not afraid to be honest where constructive criticism is appropriate and asked for – and honesty is key.” Both artists have new and exciting work in progress. Stephen plans to make some art this year that explores the acquisition and transmission of digital data with the first pieces sourcing their information from NASA’s mapping of the background cosmic radiation left over from the Big Bang. His work can be seen at Connexions Gallery in Easton and SOHO in the Burg in Stroudsburg. Susan will have a solo show in March at Connexions Gallery in Easton as well as several pieces in the new Brick & Mortar Gallery in Easton. To view and purchase their work online go to saatchiart.com/ susanwashington and saatchiart.com/stephenjwashington
“We are both totally supportive of each other’s art but not afraid to be honest where constructive criticism is appropriate and asked for – and honesty is key.”
Jill Nobles is a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a veteran, an artist, a nerd and a storyteller. The camera lens is her medium and her photos speak more than a thousand words. Capturing the unique detail and quirks of every wedding is Jill’s main mission, but the only real way for the magic to happen is if she can find a way to connect with each client. Unfortunately for Jill, capturing the special moments and connecting with the client have put her in some hilarious and precarious situations. “I once laid on the ground in a field of grass near a pond, while encouraging a two year old boy to run toward me and “get me,” Jill explained, “he was adorable, ran as fast as he could and I managed to sit up at the last second and catch him before he crashed into me. Upon standing up, I looked down and realized when I had laid down on my stomach to get the shot, I had laid in a serious amount of goose poo. I was honestly covered from my shoulders down to my feet. We continued shooting for another 15 minutes and we were all laughing the whole time. The photos from those last 15 minutes where the best ones of the day and the one’s they ended up purchasing!” Another time, when Jill was shooting an engagement session at a park with a waterfall. The bride and groom were outdoorsy and big time adventurers. “They gave me this glance and asked me if I was cool with getting closer to the waterfall,” I thought about it and then I told them I was on board but I was not liable if anyone got hurt. So we got right up next to the waterfall and
there was a flat rock at the top where the couple wanted to sit for their photos. I did not object. After trying to find the right light and right angle and moving around quite a bit, I realized the shot I wanted was from above,” Jill explained. “I was primarily looking through the camera, then moving a few feet, then looking through the camera, then moving again. After a bit, I realized I needed to climb a little more. So I would climb up these rocks a few feet, then look through the camera, then climb, then look and so on. Suddenly I had the shot, the exact angle and light I wanted. I was so intensely focused on getting the shot, that I hadn’t realized I climbed nearly all the way up the rock wall with nothing but my camera. I was horrified when I looked down and had no clue how to start my descent! The couple was awesome. The guy climbed up and took my camera for me, then guided me a bit on where to step. They waited patiently for me as I fumbled my way, shaking and terrified. After getting down and taking a few minutes to gather myself, we went on hiking and shooting. I forced myself to get over it and when we got home the shots from the last half of the hike were the best ones of the day. That moment definitely broke down those walls and brought us closer. I have since done three weddings that were referrals from this couple and I have one coming up in 2016!” Whatever the adventure, Jill is up for the challenge! Visit her new website at smile-peace-love.com.
George Strunk and Samantha Knecht were married on July 4th, 2015 in front of 170 of their closest friends and family at Hideaway Hills in Kresgeville, PA. After a two year engagement, the couple knew it was time to take their vows.
“What we knew was we wanted our day to be full of friends, family and love.”
By Ali Schratt | Photos by Eileen Noelle
“There is so much to consider when you are choosing your venue,” said Samantha, “what we knew was we wanted our day to be full of friends, family and love.” After considering many Pocono venues, Hideaway Hills Golf Club was the best choice for their needs. The couple consulted with Joe Farda, Hideaway Hills Wedding Coordinator – that's when they knew they found their venue. "The whole point, for us, was to have everyone together, and that meant an invite list of 200,” George explained. “George liked that it was a golf club, the budget worked and the scenery is so beautiful,” Samantha added, “and Hideaway Hills is six minutes from our home! I felt good that our guests would not have to be traveling all over the county on the busy holiday weekend.” Another big selling point for the couple was the flexibility of the space and how easy it was to work with the Fardas. They knew they wanted to offer their guests a buffet filled with great food and cocktails throughout the night. Samantha worked with local Event Coordinator, Talana Maria Bergard. “Talana helped me with the programs, the centerpieces and putting everything together! It was so beautiful and I could not have done it without her.” Samantha also worked with Photographer Eileen Noelle White and Makeup Artist, Fawn Monique Dellavalle. “It rained for the better portion of the morning, and the grass was too wet to walk around on, but Eileen managed to get the most amazing photos of our day,” George said, “I didn’t even know she was taking photographs half the time!” When I asked the couple what their favorite moments of the day were, Samantha replied, “when everything was done- and we could just sit and look out at everyone having a good time, it was what we imagined. If everyone you love are enjoying themselves... it’s automatic that you will too.” George’s favorite moment? Simply, “the ceremony... getting married to my wife.” To learn more about Hideaway Hills Golf Club go to hideawayweddings.com. For info about Eileen Noelle Photography, visit eileennoelle.com. And for info about George and Samantha's event coordinator, visit talanamaria.com.
e are the perfect backdrop for:
• Ceremonies & Receptions • Bridal Showers • Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties • Rehearsal Dinners • Family Breakfast & Brunch
There is no setting more romantic... than the Pocono Mountains and Lake Harmony at Split Rock Resort.
Phone: 888.802.2348 ext. 855 · SplitRockResort.com/LocalFlair Local Flair
“I will be away celebrating my marriage to the love of my life…” read James’ out of office email in the days leading up to his nuptials. Jayne Lemma and James Lisi were married in the formal gardens at Skytop Lodge on May 30, 2015. The couple met as students eight years before while attending East Stroudsburg University. On the night that James first decided to declare his love for Jayne, early in their courtship, he secured a bouquet from the Skytop Flower Shop before driving in a snowstorm to get to her. On their wedding day, the Skytop Flower Shop made an encore appearance in their love story, by creating all the floral design elements including Jayne’s bouquet.
By Alisa Tongg
sharing with gathered guests the bride and groom’s love story, journey to the altar and hopes for the future. During the ceremony, while guests passed the Sign of Peace, greeting those around them and across the aisle with a handshake, hug or a kiss, the bride and groom enjoyed a private moment to pass the peace between themselves too. When they reflect back on their wedding celebration, James and Jayne, to this day, always say, “It was the best day of our lives.”
Just moments before the start of the ceremony, Jayne and James met in private on the porch for their first look. As they turned around to face each other for the first time that day, their photographer, Rob Yaskovic heard James say to Jayne, “You’re gorgeous! Have you seen yourself?” Jayne was escorted down the aisle by her proud father Frank Lemma who kissed the bride and hugged his new son-in-law before taking his seat in the first row. Celebrant Alisa Tongg officiated,
Alisa Tongg is a certified wedding celebrant who specializes in creating wedding ceremonies from scratch. Alisa is trained to compose and perform non-denominational, intercultural, interfaith, secular and humanist wedding ceremonies and celebrations. For more information about Alisa Tongg, celebrant, visit alisatonggcelebrant.com.
winter was made for adventure.
Exit 309 I-80 • Route 209 Bushkill, PA • 800-552-5653 For rates & hours, visit PoconoMountainAdventures.com Advance group reservations recommended.
Plan your ski, play & stay with us.
ountaintop Lodge has ten rooms and suites in the main lodge and four cabin suites. Purchase a package or just a couple nights! Your stay includes: •A full cooked to order breakfast each morning •Assistance with planning any activities or meals in the area • Membership to the Lake Naomi Club to use the Platinum Club Amenities, which vary by season, include a 277 acre lake, beaches, indoor pool, outdoor pools, fitness center, tennis center, golf course & more!
2137 Route 940 • Pocono Pines, PA 570.646.6636 • MountaintopLodge.com
Special - Bring us your LIFT TICKET or WATERPARK PASS and receive 20% OFF YOUR STAY. Local Flair
“My family is full of foodies–they all said it was the best food they’ve ever had at a wedding.”
When Ashley Castaldo and Jack Rader were planning their October 31, 2015 wedding, they had two top concerns: music and food. “Those were our number one priorities,” explains Ashley. “The Lodge was a no brainer. The food is amazing!” Their spectacular 220 guest wedding reception featured butlered hors d’oeuvres to start. “Usually with passed appetizers you’re running around trying to find a tray, but there was plenty of food at our wedding. Someone was always coming up offering a tray. It was great!” explains Ashley. “People felt they were constantly being fed and they were devouring everything!” The elegantly lit tent maximized space and mingling during cocktail hour, too. In planning the reception, Ashley laughs, “Jack and Robin picked 75% of the food! I never even did a tasting. I trusted Robin completely. She and Jack would say, “What about this,” and I just agreed. I knew that Robin is so meticulous, her attention to detail flawless. Everything was delicious and perfect and I didn’t have to agonize over choices. It was very easy to trust The Lodge.” For Jack, the food truly embodied coming home. “I grew up with this food, at family events and dinners, and when I worked in the kitchen at The Lodge. There’s nothing better.” Dinner for the Castaldo/Rader reception was an elegant, plated affair. Most guests selected the Pecan Chicken. “I needed that Pecan Chicken on the menu,” explains Jack. “That was my biggest food focus.” Ashley had a favorite, too, but during cocktail hour. “I was all about the coconut shrimp! It was the best thing ever; I could have eaten just the shrimp all night!” Both repeatedly heard from family and friends that the food at The Lodge was superior to any other wedding they’d been to. “My girlfriends all told me that it’s the only meal they’ve ever finished at a wedding. My family is full of foodies- they all said it was the best food they’ve ever had at a wedding.” The couple celebrated with The Lodge’s signature wedding cake, tastefully adorned with fresh flowers in their theme colors. The reception also featured a signature drink: Pumpkin Spice Punch.
Ashley and Jack live in Hoboken, NJ, both working in metro- NYC area. The amenities at The Lodge helped make their wedding day go very smoothly. Ashley and her bridesmaids utilized The Lodge’s Bridal Spa for day-of preparations including hair and make-up. Jack and groomsmen relaxed and prepared in the gentlemen’s suite, “The Groom’s Room”. Both during wedding planning and the day of, Ashley says, “I wasn’t stressed about anything. The staff at The Lodge was so on top of everything.” The mild fall weather afforded to the Poconos in 2015 allowed for beautiful outdoor photos, capturing the bliss of the newlyweds and tranquility of the property. The newlyweds boast, “We had a perfect day!”
Please call to schedule a complimentary champagne tour!
PO Box 297 | Mountain Springs Drive | Reeders, PA 18352 Phone 570.629.1120 | www.MSLResort.com Photo by DeLorenzo Photography
THAT BIND US
Exchanging vows is a central element in wedding ceremonies. Webster defines a vow as, “a solemn promise or assertion; specifically: one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition.” In marriage, our vows express our intention to be together always. Making this promise out loud, before friends and family, and projecting these words into the world around us is the ultimate love letter, one that reaches into your future together. There are classic vows with which we are all familiar: ‘to have and to hold’, ‘from this day forward’, or ‘for better or for worse.’ These, and ones like them, are excellent choices. Couples can also write their own vows, expressing themselves through emotion, humor, and poignant details that create intimacy during the ceremony.
‘I will continually strive to make you as happy as you make me. I understand that things might not always be easy and I promise to put in the work required when it’s necessary. I will learn from and grow with you every day. I vow to celebrate life with you and enjoy all it has to offer us. Today I give you my hand, my heart and these promises. I am ready to live every moment of my life with you. I love you.’ Time seems to slow down in this emotionally charged moment. One page of single-spaced, heart-felt writing can feel like a soulbaring eternity when you actually read it, but follow your heart: ‘I vow to be a reliable partner and teammate as we journey through life. I promise to support you, encourage you, and motivate you as we work together to make our individual aspirations and our shared dreams become a reality. I vow to communicate my thoughts, emotions, ideas, fears, problems and my hopes with you so that you never have to question how I am feeling. I vow to remain adventurous. I promise to see the world with you,
keeping in mind our pact to travel and to learn.’ What exactly are you promising? To love each other forever, of course, but also to respect and care for each other. Once written, remember two things: delivery and variety. I advocate two ways to ‘take’ your vows. The ‘repeat after me’ method works, or simply read them to each other. Also, each partner does not necessarily have to say the same vow. Sometimes couples wish to keep their vows secret from one another, an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. In these cases, I request the vows be sent to me to check out, assuring that length, content, and tone is similar. This vow, bride to groom, is authentic, loving, and funny. It’s also the perfect length: ‘You are my best friend and twin soul. I love you to infinity and beyond. I love the way you love me completely and unconditionally. I cannot imagine my life without you. When you cry, I will cry with you. When you’re scared, I will hold your hand. When you laugh, I will laugh with you. When you use HBO words because you’re frustrated, or a home improvement project isn’t going as planned, I will laugh at you. When you’re hurt, I will take that pain and make it mine. I promise to respect that we are different, but your interests are no less important than my own. Your heart is my home, as mine is yours.’ Your vows, your verbal love letter, start your marriage. Be true, be honest, be you.
Lois is an experienced full-time professional celebrant honoring all philosophies, beliefs and traditions – secural, spiritual, religious, and interfaith. For more information about Lois Heckman, celebrant, visit loisheckman.com
Weddings | Banquets | Retreats | Special Events TroutLakeRetreats.com â€˘ (570) 620-0238
ask THE EXPERT
Portrait by Eileen Noelle
Wedding coordinator TJ Price is a 25 year industry veteran. She’s seen it all! Local Flair sat down with TJ to learn the hidden gems of wedding planning that make for a perfect day. Local Flair: What’s the most creative thing you’ve done for a wedding? TJ Price: I love to incorporate different cultures and customs into weddings. I worked with a couple who met as children when their parents attended a yoga retreat. They did a Hindu inspired wedding ceremony, at the end of the rituals and ceremony, all the guests approached the seated couple and showered them with micro flower petals, showering them with “love.” I loved the time and thought they put into the ceremony. LF: What’s the one detail you’d love to see incorporated to every wedding? TJ: Wedding photos of the parents, grandparents, and new couple surrounding the wedding cake. Everyone loves to see photos, especially old photos.
LF: What do wedding guests enjoy most? TJ: Guests love fun introductions into the reception room, especially choreographed dance numbers. LF: Favors- gifts or donations? TJ: Most couples today make a donation to their favorite charity. If you do a physical token, a favor that ties into the theme is noticed and well received. A fleece blanket for an Autumn wedding with a note attached, “wrap yourself in our love,” or a S’mores kit to be used later at a fire pit. LF: Toasts- skip ‘em or roast ‘em? TJ: I never tire of well thought-out wedding toasts- the bride and groom beam during this time. Many times there are tears of joy and sometimes sadness if a family member is missing. Even after 25 years, I still cry at most toasts. Toasts can also be the WORST part of the day! Too many bridesmaids and groomsmen feel the need to rehash stories of wild days of the past- NEVER a good idea. A better time for these “stories” (if really necessary) is the rehearsal dinner.
LF: What theme weddings have been your favorite? TJ: Mostly I see color themes, which are easily executed with linens, flowers, and décor. One of my favorite themes was a Masquerade/ Halloween wedding. We provided a costume rental company to set up on site, so guests could pick out costumes earlier in the day. These were not your typical Halloween costumes: we had elegant medieval LF: How many dances are too many dances? and Victorian Costumes, and for guests less apt to dress up, we TJ: More than three consecutive dances are too many. If there provided beautiful Venetian style masks. are multiple dances and toasts, I always suggest we split them up between courses rather than have the guests sit through more than LF: Where should couples spare no expense? 30 minutes of formalities. TJ: Spare no expense on food and music! LF: What’s your favorite moment of a wedding- from the start of the LF: Where can couples cut costs? day until the send off… what do you love and look forward to? TJ: Flowers and décor. There are so many wonderful DIY ideas TJ: I love to see the bride during hair and make-up preparations, on Pinterest! The key is doing everything in advance, i.e. have the relaxed and looking forward to the day. I love to chat while pinning centerpieces table-ready so the couple can relax on the wedding day. the boutonnieres on the men. I love a sparkler send off; it never gets old. Other areas to save: limos, videographers, and alcohol. Serve just beer, wine and champagne. For info about TJ Price, event planner, visit tjpriceeventplanner.com
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Photo by Katch Silva
B E AU T I F U L .
Host your next affair at The Castle Inn, a cornerstone of Delaware Water Gap. Combining Victorian-era beauty with old world charm, this beautiful space is a perfect backdrop for your event. The Castle offers spacious rooms with beautiful, natural light, a bridal suite, and reception facilities for events large and small. Contact us for a tour of this newly-restored venue.
20 DELAWARE AV E • DELAWARE WAT ER GAP, PA • 570-213-7858 • CAST LEI N N PA.COM
Great weddings are a combination of beautiful details, breathtaking moments, and perfect locations. In this feature we highlight the best the Pocono Mountains has to offer.
THE DETAILS Photos by Smile Peace Love Photography
SETTING THE SCENE
Even small details can set the scene for your guests. Whether itâ€™s a small favors such as blankets for a Fall wedding, the theme of your dĂŠcor including vintage furnishings, or fun homemade props, your character can shine through, as shown in these photos by Smile Peace Love Photography.
Photo by Mark Luethi
THE CAKE Traditional tiered wedding cakes come from a Medieval England tradition of stacking cakes very high, then making the bride and groom kiss over them without the pile tumbling. A successful kiss would determine a successful marriage!
Photo by DeLorenzo Photography
FIRST SLICE FOLKLORE Today, many couples slice the cake together and enjoy the first slice together. This practice is traditionally a symbol of the union and promise to provide for each other in years to come. Made at the bakery onsite ad The Lodge at Woodloch, this cake reminiscent of white birch trees perfectly complemented fall nuptials and the natural setting.
Photo by JFAB Photography
Stay, Play, and Pray... the Silvery Moon guest house, where
your spirit can rest, Starry Night School, where your spirit can sparkle, and Wing and a Prayer Chapel, where your spirit can soar.
This historic property is unique as a gathering place for families with a special occasion. The chapel or garden is beautiful for a ceremony or celebration and the house and cottage offer a warm welcome for overnight guests. Lizzy Tilley, owner, is a creative stylist who can customize any aspect of your event from the dress to the daisies, and more.
Valentine’s D E S T I N AT I O N
6257 ROUTE 209 • STROUDSBURG, PA 18360 SILVERYMOONGUESTHOUSE.COM • 570-801-7153
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601 Main Street | Stroudsburg, PA 18360 570.476.7909 | josephinesonmain.com Local Flair
THE SILVERY MOON & ARTIST LIZ TILLEY Personalized details do more than accessorize your wedding, they tell your story. At The Silver Moon, Lizzy enjoys developing high quality, visually stunning, and unique designs. The beautiful and historic venue paired with the creative mindsets of each team member, your love story is told through every detail. Placecards, china, silver, linens, centerpieces, props, and more assure that your wedding is completely customized. For more information about The Silvery Moon Guest House or owner and artist Liz Tilley, visit silverymoonguesthouse. com or call 570.801.7153
Photos by Kasey Ivan Photography
A COTTAGE GARDENER A Cottage Gardener of Mt. Bethel, PA creates natural, original floral designs of all sizes. True to her farmer/florist roots, owner Kimberly Bakke grows most of her own flowers, too. Each wedding is approached with a determination to design around the bride and her individual aesthetic. “I love thinking in January, what I’m going to plant in May for a bride’s wedding in September,” she says. “You can even spot me foraging along roadsides and hedgerows for amazing organic materials such as wild clematis, bittersweet vine, and wild grapevine.” For more information about A Cottage Gardener, visit acottagegardener.com. Photos by Jacqueline Predmore
LOVE & FOSTER “My love for patterns – whether it's paper, fabric, or nature play a big part in my design process often sparking color palettes and ideas,” says Jacqueline Predmore, aka Love & Foster, a local, unique design studio. “I work organically starting with one simple idea or sketch that blooms into a complete design.” Love and Foster provides floral design, invitation design, and even wedding day setup and event coordination. For creative inspiration, or to get more information, visit loveandfoster.com
CANDID CAPTURES Wedding photographers capture some of the most touching, candid moments of a big day. Top left: Leigh’s father shared his final words to his daughter before giving her away as a bride to Mark Zakutansky at Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort. Right: Michelle’s bridesmaids showered her in petals after her first grand entrance as wife to her new husband James. Photo taken at Grand Colonial, Hampton N.J. Both photos by DeLorenzo Photography.
HEARTWARMING MOMENTS Celebrant Alisa Tongg has witnessed first-hand many a heartwarming moments throughout the hundreds of weddings she’s officiated. Top, left to right: 1. Tying the knot, literally. This unity ritual for Stewart and Eduardo because you need to have equal pressure on both sides of the rope for a knot to be tied, just like in marriage. Photo by We Laugh We Love. 2. Noa and Bryce looking on as their parents had a private first look before the ceremony. Marriage is not only about the couple, but also about families coming together. Photo by Alisa Tongg. 3. Maegen’s family spent two years building farm tables and other details in preparation for her wedding to Dylan. Seeing the magical DIY pieces coming together made this flower girl want to twirl. 4. Seven blessings are read, and guests cheer on the newlyweds Rachel and Ed, as they take their first steps into married life together. Photo by DeLorenzo Photography. 5. Surprise! Guests (and Moms) react to the news that they are not attending a surprise birthday party afterall, but instead, a surprise wedding for Stacey and Laura at Rainbow Mountain. Photo by Susie Forrester Photography.
eat fresh all
W inter long !
A bed and breakfast sanctuary where mind, body and spirit flourish in a relaxing woodland setting. 570.476.0203 | SantoshaOnTheRidge.com 121 Santosha Lane | East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
At SOHO in the Burg 600 Main Street, Stroudsburg Open November thru March (Closed December 26th) Fresh, Local Produce • Pastured Meats • Raw Milk Mushrooms • Local Honey • Fresh Baked Goods Hot Soup • Jams & Jellies • Local Wines • and More!
THE VENUE THE SETTLER’S INN Boasting farm to table cuisine and a rustic setting, The Settler’s Inn has been a Pocono wedding favorite for 25 years. The charming country locale provides a quaint backdrop for up to 125 guests. Detailed cherry woodwork, grand glass-paned doors, and lush gardens accent your important day. Visit thesettlersinn.com
WOODLOCH RESORT Woodloch Pines is an all-inclusive resort with a mission to treat each guest like they’re right at home. Weddings are no exception to that rule. Their facilities boast dazzling event spaces for small-scale affairs or lavish celebrations. Visit woodloch.com
THE CASTLE INN This historic building, constructed in 1906, beautifully fuses old world charm with modern conveniences. Lots of natural light and open spaces pair for a wedding venue waiting to be personalized with your details. Shabby chic distressed hardwood floors, eclectic rustic walls, and regal architecture begs for every bride’s Pinterest boards to spring to life! Visit castleinnpa.com
Brewery, Eatery, Family Fun! OPEN DAILY AT 11:01 AM
TAKE OUT AVAI LABL E
Steaks, Seafood, Salads, Chicken, Pasta, Authentic Pub Fare and Brick Oven Pizzas Hand Crafted Beer Brewed On Site, Guest Beers, Two Full Bars, Wines, Mixed Drinks and Martinis Wiffleball Stadium, Horseshoes, Bocce and Firkin Curling (seasonal) Free Brewhouse Tours & Tastings Daily at 12:30 pm Kids Menu & Game Room 1774 Sullivan Trail Tannersville PA
The Difference is
Join us for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Daily Specials Available! 3150 Route 715 in Henryville, PA (570) 620-1880 • BYOB Open Tues.-Sun. 7am-8pm • Closed Mondays
EHRHARDT’S WATERFRONT RESORT Located directly on spectacular Lake Wallenpaupak. Weddings at Ehrhardt’s are breathtaking. From heaping buffets to elegant plated dinners, their all-inclusive packages make planning a breeze. We’re inclined to agree with their event coordinators: the only thing overlooked at an Erhardt’s wedding is the lake! Visit ehrhardts.com for info.
THE LEDGES IN HAWLEY Nestled next to a cascading waterfall in cozy Hawley, The Ledges excels at refined dining for small weddings. Accommodating up to 75 guests, the intimacy of this hotel sweeps you away, perhaps to the late 1800s when the historic O’Connor Glass occupied the same space. Visit ledgeshotel.com
THE LODGE AT MOUNTAIN SPRINGS LAKE RESORT The Lodge at MSLR is the quintessential rustic elegant wedding location. On-site ceremonies, exquisite cuisine during four and five hour long receptions, and copious on-site amenities assure your day is simply perfect. Family owned and operated, The Lodge hosts just one wedding at a time, guaranteeing you receive undivided attention. Visit mslresort.com for more information.
fo Valentine’s Day s u n i ! Jo
–Little Italy in the Poconos – Full Restaurant Menu • BYOB Catering Available • Italian Grocery Specialties Bakery & Delicatessen - All baking done on premises Serving Lunch & Dinner Tuesday through Sunday 570-424-9500 • PipoloEatery.com 1523 N. 9th Street Route 611 • Across from Home Depot Local Flair
Join us for
IN DOWNTOWN STROUDSBURG! FEBRUARY 12 & 13TH
Come out and watch as Downtown Stroudsburg is transformed into a winter wonderland! Enjoy winter-themed food and beverages at participating restaurants, cool discounts at downtown shoppes, ice sculptures, and plenty of entertaining winter themed activities including:
AN EVENING OF GOOD TASTE, AN ART & COCKTAILS PAIRING
Where: Throughout Downtown Stroudsburg When: Friday, February, 12 from 5-7pm Downtown businesses will adopt an artist paired with a local winery or brewery. The downtown streets will be lined with white luminary bags to light the way from business to business. ICE SCULPTURES AND THE ESSA SCULPTURE GARDEN
Where: At participating businesses throughout the downtown and ESSA Sculpture Garden in Courthouse Square. Come see over 40 amazing ice sculptures! When: Saturday starting at 9am through the weekend Description: Downtown businesses will have a custom ice sculpture carved and displayed outside of their business. The ESSA Bank & Trust Sculpture Garden will be on display in Courthouse Square throughout the weekend. Bring the kids to see sculptures carved in Courthouse Square from 9:00-11:00am! SNOWY SWEEPS RAFFLE
Where: Artspace Gallery, 18 N. 7th Street, Stroudsburg When: Drawing is Saturday 2.13 @ 6pm. Tickets accepted until 5:45 Description: Downtown businesses will donate a prize valued @ $25 (or more). Customers who visit a participating businesses will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win the raffle items. Drawing will take place at Artspace Gallery at 6pm and 5:45 will be the cut-off time to enter the raffle. COOKIE WALK
Where: Participating Businesses When: Saturday from 12-2pm Description: Downtown businesses will have cookies to offer customers for free from 12pm-2pm on Saturday, February, 13th.
No matter how you
is your go-to source for quality and value!
1411 Chipperfield Drive â€˘ Stroudsburg, PA 18360 For info, call: 570-420-9764
OUT & ABOUT
The Salvation Armyâ€™s Red Kettle Gala
On December 4th, 2015, Charlie & Vincent Trepasso hosted the 2nd Annual Red Kettle Gala at Desaki in Swiftwater. The sold-out event raised essential funds for the Salvation Army of Monroe County with 100% of ticket proceeds going to East Stroudsburg's Salvation Army. The evening of dinner, dancing, and holiday cheer raised money for the charity, contributing to the aid it provides to hundreds of families. Food baskets, hot meals, shelter, disaster relief and more are provided to Pocono residents in need. For more information and to donate, visit http://pa.salvationarmy.org (Continued on page 40...) 38
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Check out our locally-made yarn bowls!
You can learn... and we can help! Classes available for knitting, crocheting, beading 114 Washington Street • Suite 100 East Stroudsburg, PA 18301 570.424.7770 • fax: 570.424.8778 firstname.lastname@example.org
Call to sign up for a class today! Visit mtnknitspearls.com for info.
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2013 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.
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Women & Wine - Jan. 13th & Feb. 10th
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Local Flair sat down with Nche Zama, MD, PhD, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Pocono Medical Center, to discuss the best way to kick off 2016 with heart health in mind. As we chatted, Dr. Zama’s humble roots and passion to better our Pocono community was revealed, all in the context of sound medical advice.
WITH DR. ZAMA By Juliet Dunham Local Flair: What’s the best way to approach resolutions for improved health? Dr. Zama: First let me say that cardiovascular disease affects all of us. It is the #1 cause of death worldwide. Everyone should be cognizant of risk factors. In the new year, resolve to reduce the two biggest risk factors: smoking and obesity. It is time for complete smoking cessation. For weight loss implement nutritional choices that are permanent lifestyle strategies and meaningful, lasting physical activities that are simple (like walking), can be sustained over time, and ideally have partners who are mutually motivating. LF: How much physical exercise do we need to maintain heart health? DrZ: Meaningful physical activity should be part of our daily lifestyle. When you drive to the market, park as far away from the store as you can. Meaningful exercise is cumulative: at the end of the week, each time you go up and down the stairs or back and forth to the store can add up to several miles. At very least, exercise 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. If you’re starting from a sedentary lifestyle, consult your doctor and be sure you don’t have a preexisting condition that could lead to cardiovascular disease. LF: Why do women have a higher risk of heart disease than men? DrZ: They don’t necessarily do. For women, the risk is as great as it is for men, but diagnosis and recognition is delayed. Many times the presentation of cardiovascular disease in women does not include classic symptoms. Chest pain, for example, is much more common in men. For women, symptoms may include heartburn, indigestion, fatigue, and they many not realize that it is cardiovascular disease. A woman may think she’s getting older, or the kids are wearing her out. Emotional issues, psychological issues, depression, and stomach issues can also be signals to cardiovascular unwellness, but often times these are presented in ER or doctor’s office visits and health professionals are not keyed into these symptoms being of cardiovascular disease. Also, women have smaller blood vessels and arteries than men, increasing the probability of cardiovascular disease.
LF: What is the future of cardiac care? DrZ: The future is very bright. There is a molecular biological basis for all human disease and over time science will open a treasure trove for us that will unlock the answers to diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity. The answer for our proclivity for every disease we know lies in our genes. We will be able to reach in and splay open this theory, finding ways to manipulate genes to reduce our risk for diseases. The future is a new paradigm for medicine: interceptive medicine. Imagine you are spending a nice afternoon floating in a boat on the Niagra River, reading a book, sipping water. You don’t realize that every little while you are drifting away from shore, heading to a potential disaster- the falls. In this story, Niagra Falls is a heart attack. As you drift from shore and approach the falls, there are three possible outcomes: 1. You plummet over the edge and die. 2. You survive with tremendous injuries. 3. You survive the tumble without harm. Interceptive medicine means that we are able to recognize the possibility of a catastrophic event downstream and be ready to and capable of grabbing the boat and bringing it back to shore. These advances will allow us to use the human genome to predict the vulnerability of trajectory towards catastrophe. I’m very excited for it. LF: What is your one indulgence? TV? Food? DrZ: I don’t really watch TV, maybe the news or a meaningful documentary. I love to get outside and hike. I’m hiking Delaware Water Gap all the time. I get on the treadmill religiously- first thing every morning. I am not much of an eater, very small amounts: vegetables, fruits, grains. I was raised poor and deprived. These habits are formed early. LF: We have an extremely high population of hungry children in Monroe County. Often, they gravitate to cheap, fast food instead of nutritionally sound meals. Having experienced prolonged hunger while growing up, what do you think we should provide these children that will do the most good, inexpensively? DrZ: Bananas. They are cheap, low in calories, and filling. One a day for a kid puts them on the right path for appreciating fruit and vegetables in a diet. Oranges. They are rich in vitamin C which builds red blood cells and connective tissue. Humans do not manufacture vitamin C as other animals do, we need to get it from extrinsic sources. Plus, an orange has ½ the calories and twice the fiber of orange juice. We need to do something: 30% of kids are obese. Many poor kids don’t have access to proper nutrition, like fruits and vegetables. Parents, teachers, adults in the community need to help increase awareness of what’s better. Cardiovascular disease doesn’t just happen in our 40s, and 50s. During the late 1960s autopsies done on young GIs in Vietnam showed advanced arteriosclerosis. If that was the case then, I can’t imagine what it is now. Cardiovascular disease starts in teenage years. Addressing childhood nutrition is essential to reduce this epidemic of obesity, reduce future cardiovascular disease, and influence adult adherence to healthy lifestyles. I’m passionate about an initiative that we will launch in our region very soon: heart healthy walks in the Poconos once or twice a week. The idea came to me when I was in Panama for a lecture. Standing on the balcony of my hotel I saw the highway, previously congested with traffic, empty of cars and full of bicycles and people walking. I went to the manager, asking why. I learned that every Sunday from 7am to 3pm the highway closed. Throngs of people were out there, all walking or biking. If everyone commits to walking 4 miles a week, there is an immediate benefit of 450 burned calories. That will have a tremendous psychological stimulation and also sets up long term health benefits. We are going to get it done; this is do or die, and not just for health. This crisis has economic impact: right now 20% of our GDP goes to health care. That’s $1 out of every $5 for health care and 60 to 80% of those costs are related to cardiovascular disease. We need to achieve sustainable nutrition and physical routines in our lives and community that eliminate obesity, sedentary lifestyles, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
For more information about Pocono Medical Center, visit poconohealthsystem.org or follow them on Facebook.
Pictured (left to right): William F. Ryan, MD, Michael Marte, MD, Claudia Corona, MD, Sean R. Quinlan-Davidston, MD, Sonyo Shin, MD, Mo Lareef, MD, Charles F. Andrews, MD
The team crushes that contains cancer.
Fighting cancer isn’t just a battle. It’s a war. At the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center, we’re winning on many fronts. Our expert physicians are the most experienced in the region. Our facilities are truly comprehensive in every way. And our technology is second to none in its effectiveness. Regardless of your diagnosis, you can count on PMC for a team approach that takes the fight to cancer head on, because this is a battle we take personally. And your health is too important to settle for anything but the best , which is why US News & World Report ranked us among the top 10% of hospitals in Pennsylvania.
181 East Brown Street, East Stroudsburg, PA (570) 422-1700 PoconoMedicalCenter.org
a day of April 17th, 2016 • 11am-4pm At Trout Lake Retreats in Stroudsburg, PA
The Local Flair Day of Balance will be a day of health, wellness, beauty, and relaxation presented by area professionals and businesses. Join us for an afternoon of yoga, Tai Chi, nitting demonstrations, break-out sessions presented by doctors, attorneys, salon owners, and so much more! – presented by –
You know the woman. She balances work, family, charitable causes, school, and more, and she makes it look easy. She’s energetic, full of heart, and we want to know more about her! In the March/April issue of Local Flair, we will be profiling local ladies in our “Women in Balance” series. Nominate a woman you know by visiting flairmag.com/wib no later than February 15th. – presented by –
International entrepreneurs with an eye on American markets will soon be able to take advantage of the East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Business Accelerator’s resources under an innovative new visa program. ESU is the first and only institution in Pennsylvania to offer a newly expanded J-1 Visa that now allows not only visiting scholars and researchers but also international entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. for up to five years to develop new businesses. The project was initiated by the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia Chapter as a part of the Global Access PA soft landing program, in partnership with the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. “The East Stroudsburg University Business Accelerator is opening its doors to a global market that will provide exciting opportunities for international business development, innovative careers, internships for students, and engaging research opportunities throughout the region,” says Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., President of East Stroudsburg University. “Further, ESU is situated in a unique location which enables international companies to have access to metropolitan businesses in New York and Philadelphia without incurring the high costs associated with urban areas.”
“East Stroudsburg University has amazing office and wet lab space,” Grode notes, so the idea was born to find a way to affiliate the activities at the university with the international business activities of the FrenchAmerican Chamber. The seeds of the project were planted when the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia was seeking start-up space for a French company and was introduced to ESU by Wilfred H. Muskens, deputy secretary for international business development at the Commonwealth’s Department of Community and Economic Development. “We selected ESU as the ‘pilot location,’ based on the Accelerator’s track record of success and the strong research facilities and faculty, to approach the U.S. State Department to see if we could get permission to expand the use of ESU’s J-1 Visiting scholar program and apply it to the business accelerator program. This permission is exclusive to ESU as far as I know,” Grode says.
J-1 Visa program partner Blandine Chantepie-Kari, co-director, trade services, at the French-American Chamber of Commerce says “We loved what they were trying to do there,” citing the ingenuity of the Business Accelerator with its space, equipment and professors. She says that both ESU’s resources “Our goal is to attract global and location “are a tremendous asset. ESU is just entrepreneurs to the region who 70 minutes from New York and the cost of living is will create jobs, new businesses, lower. It’s a perfect location.”
The Business Accelerator Program, launched in 2001, was created to encourage economic development and build a diversified business base, particularly in northeastern Pennsylvania. The and innovative products program encourages creativity and innovation, and Prospective businesses are expected to come that will provide international provides a wealth of management and technical opportunities for students, faculty from many different countries. While the resources including access to ESU faculty expertise French-American Chamber is connecting and the greater community.” and student internships. The Business Accelerator with French companies, it is also working with is located in ESU’s Innovation Center, a 51,000 sq. other international Chambers and networking ft. facility dedicated to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. with other countries. “ESU and its partners have met with advanced Offices are available for start-up companies and wet-labs are available manufacturing and information technology companies from Germany, for biotechnology, advanced chemistry and other life science companies. Spain and France that are interested in participating in the program. Typically, businesses participate in the Business Accelerator Program for These companies are currently evaluating the program requirements and 3 to 5 years. timeframe,” says Mary Frances Postupack, Vice President of Economic Development and Research support at ESU. “I can’t overstate the significance of this program,” says Jonathan A. Grode, U.S. practice director with the Philadelphia-based immigration As to the number of companies the program will ultimately attract, all law firm of Green and Spiegel LLC and a board member of the Frenchpartners anticipate enthusiastic interest. “When we discuss this option, American Chamber of Commerce, who provided pro bono services for everyone is interested in learning more. I did a presentation in India, and the visa application process. “Creation of a new application for the J-1 two hours later had a meeting with an entrepreneur,” says ChantepieVisa is filling a significant shortage.” Grode notes that there were 233,000 Kari. “The entire opportunity is to create a platform. Once this takes off, petitions filed for just 85,000 H-1B Visas available for 2016. the potential is for the program to be so large and so robust.” According to Grode, options for international businesses have been in short supply for quite some time. The H-1B Visa is extremely limited in terms of numbers and the training/intern uses of the J-1 Visa can only be obtained for 18 and 12 months respectively. The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa requires a major financial commitment and is only available to certain nationalities. Because some foreign companies do not yet have fully developed ideas or venture capital, the new ESU J-1 Visa and the Business Accelerator provide “a soft business landing so foreign companies could have more of an organic way to develop their businesses without a major financial commitment,” Grode says.
In June, the program will launch a marketing campaign to attract international companies to the ESU Business Accelerator. “Initially,” says Postupack, “we expect that companies will start with one or two employees then expand as they plan their launch in the U.S.” “Our goal is to attract global entrepreneurs to the region who will create jobs, new businesses, and innovative products that will provide international opportunities for students, faculty and the greater community,” Postupack added. For more about ESU’s Business Accelerator, visit www4.esu.edu/red/ business_accelerator
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START YOUR BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY The ESU Business Accelerator offers:
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J-1 Visa opportunities for non-U.S. residents interested in starting a U.S.-based business 5-year opportunity to plan and launch a new business Significant financial savings Expert support, networking and advising
CONTACT: Michael Gildea, Director Business Accelerator and Entrepreneurship email@example.com • 570-422-7953 • esu.edu/busaccelerator
This home is available for purchase. Stunning executive home in East View Estates. Call Bob for more information.
Monroe County 2015 Year End Housing Market Update By Bob Kelly Your Professional Realtor Kelly Realty Group 404 Park Avenue, Stroudsburg, PA Cell 570-424-4400 • Office 570-213-4884 poconoshomesales.com
change is good Unlock your happily ever after.
Current trends are positive! What is your happily ever after? Whether you’re in the market to upgrade to your dream home or you’re ready to sell and move on to new adventures, whatever step is next in your life, Bob Kelly is the choice for you! As the area’s top producing Realtor, year in and year out, you can trust you’ll receive the most extensive targeted marketing to attract buyers both locally and nationally to sell your home quick.
Bob Kelly is both a Luxury Marketing Institute and Million Dollar Guild member. • The top-selling agent in Monroe County the last 5 years with over $66,000,000 sold!
Bob Kelly Your Professional Realtor Kelly Realty Group 404 Park Avenue Stroudsburg, PA 18360 Cell Direct 570-242-4400 Office Direct 570-213-4884 Office 570-421-2890 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.PoconosHomeSales.com
Statistical data source: Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors data for Monroe County, resale homes, for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 transactions and sales sides.
It was another challenging year for Real Estate in the Pocono Mountains gateway county. After showing positive year on year trends and steadily climbing back from the low of the market (down 18.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2015, then 2.7% at end of the second quarter and down just 1.5% at the end of the third quarter), it seemed the market was heading in the right direction and we would finish the year on a high note. Unfortunately, we did not. With the fourth quarter home sales economic report for Monroe County in, the trend during the last quarter turned negative again. We finished the year with home sale prices being down 5.6% for 2015. The Median Home Sale Price at the end of 2015 now stands at $110,000, down from its all-time high of $208,000 in 2007. This marks the seventh year in a row for decreasing home values in the County. The primary driver of this is the continued high amount of foreclosure and distressed Sales. Currently there are 357 foreclosure/distressed properties for sale in Monroe County, with 1,239 sold in 2015. High property taxes in our county seem to be the driving force of these high numbers. Pocono Mountain School District has actually LOWERED taxes over the past 3 years by 7% and this helps our homeowners to stay in their homes. Hopefully, other districts and similar programs will come into effect in the next year or two that will help ease the tax burden for our homeowners. Many great things are happening in Monroe County in 2016. The new St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bartonsville will open bringing with it many good jobs. The waterpark industry continues to expand and we will see more convention business coming to the county. This should only enhance the visibility of our beautiful area and hopefully begin to fuel our Real Estate Market. My 2016 Market outlook is positive. I believe we will begin to see price stabilization. Stay tuned…
The High Yield Debt Route Explained by Thomas Byrne Director of Fixed Income Wealth Strategies & Management LLC Stroudsburg, PA Office: 570-424-1555 email@example.com, wsandm.com
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For more than two years, I have been writing about frothy conditions in the high yield bond market. My concerns were featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2013. In 2014, Bloomberg News quoted me several times. In June 2014, I suggested that the junk debt market was overvalued and, where investor suitable, investors and advisors may want to take on a bit more duration risk to generate yield over credit risk. This was a decidedly unpopular view on the retail side of the business. However, for anyone on the front lines, warning signs were flashing. I also warned on an overdone energy sector. In my 2015 Outlook, published on 12/23/14 I wrote: “When we view high yield from a fundamental perspective, the space appears to be overdone. If there isn’t a bubble in the oil shale industry, there is almost certainly a blister. As such, we would be underweight small high yield oil producers and service companies. That sector of HY should be reserved for total return speculators who can tolerate the occasional default, rather than moderate investors looking for increased income.” I didn’t know how bad things would get in high yield, generally or how bad things would get in energy, specifically. Because I did not know how bad it would get is why I became cautious. Warnings have been flashing like Christmas lights in the high yield space. Yet many investors chose to ignore the warnings. Extreme monetary accommodation usually causes capital misallocations and asset bubbles somewhere in the economy. Most pundits debated whether the bubble was in equities or auto loans. I have consistently pointed to overvalued conditions in junk debt and to the illiquid conditions which could make exiting difficult. Recent developments support my outlook. My view of the high yield bond market is; this is probably not a dip, but a fundamental repricing of risk. Although there could be a modest junk debt rebound, there is probably another leg down in the first quarter of 2016, when corporate defaults are expected to increase. My concern is that some investors might not get out of the “burning room” alive. (1) (5) (6) (7)
(1) High yield/junk bonds (grade BB or below) are not investment grade securities, and are subject to higher interest rate, credit, and liquidity risks than those graded BBB and above. They generally should be part of a diversified portfolio for sophisticated investors. (5) The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful. (6) The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. (7) All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Investing in securities is subject to risk and may involve loss of principal. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group and WS&M LLC Bond Squad are separate entities from LPL Financial.
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Investing in a
HOME Dos and Donts from the Pros By Tom Wilkins Photo by Eileen Noelle
You’re purchasing your new luxury home: the kids have fallen in love with it, Mom just can’t wait to move in, and you are proud as a peacock you negotiated a good deal. Now the business side of that purchase—did you get what you bargained for? In the purchase of any home, always put in the Agreement of Sale that you have the right and privilege to conduct inspections. Luxury homes have a number of high-end components such as whirlpools, in-ground swimming pools and other amenities. A reputable building inspector who’s experienced in luxury home inspections will be able to do the job. If your Agreement of Sale states “where is/as is”, do not let that scare you. That clause in an Agreement of Sale does not prohibit you from having inspections done, it simply states that the Seller will not do any repairs or make replacements. When the home inspection is done, concern yourself with the problem at hand: assuring that what you’re buying is sound in age, is not close to the end of its useful life, or simply does not work. If the Seller agrees to work with you to fix any problems, always talk in dollars and cents, as opposed to having the Seller make the physical repair. “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” holds true when the Seller does a physical repair cheaply, as opposed to the exactness of a dollar and cents number which leaves nothing to interpretation.
Global USA Home Warranty is another asset to a buyer when purchasing a luxury home. If your realtor or title company does not offer a home warranty, go to the open market and purchase your own home warranty. A home warranty package is different than your homeowner’s insurance because it protects those items that are not part of a homeowner’s policy. Items covered may include whirlpool pumps and motors, hot water heaters, pool filtration systems, etc. A luxury home is not just a dwelling place, it is an investment that will give you years of enjoyment and will appreciate in value- as all good real estate should. One area which adds the most value to a home is the kitchen; buyers are always looking for the best appliances, layout, and materials when they purchase a luxury home. Landscaping, stonework, bathroom finishes, and high-end flooring also add value to your home. Keep in mind: the more landscaping you do, the greater cost there will be for up-keep! Poorly kept landscaping is very noticeable to the next buyer, possibly turning your asset into a liability. Last, but not least, the amenities in your home should not be scrimped on. There are excellent contractors that can add future value to your home with upgrades such as in-ground swimming pools, koi ponds, tree-houses, sheds, and other amenities that add sizzle to your home. It may seem like a lot of work to purchase your luxury home, but consider the many years you’ll enjoy your Pocono home as your children grow and you make treasured memories.
WILKINS & ASSOCIATES
EXPECT BETTER Your home is not just another house; it’s a reflection of you. It’s your style, your personality, your taste. Your home is the place where our fondest memories are made and where your dreams can come true. That’s why Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates is dedicated to helping you find that ideal home. Whether it’s an upscale townhome, mountain get-away, true Pocono “Cottage” or that luxury home from our Distinctive Collection, let us help you find that one that will inspire and comfort you for years to come. You can count on us to guide you every step of the way using our Independent Family of Home Buying Services. Buying or selling we promise to be there, before, during and long after the sale.
Stroudsburg (570) 421-8950 Bushkill (570) 588-3440 Mount Pocono (570) 839-4174 Milford (570) 296-6946 Website: www.BHGWilkins.com
©2015 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Better Homes and Gardens® is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated. If your property is currently listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers
#lovethepoconos “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” –William Blake
Top and bottom left photos by Tara Bradshaw. Top right photo by Jennifer Crosby. Bottom left photo by Pam Verrinder-Martin.
Where happily ever after begins...
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This home is available for purchase. Stunning executive home in East View Estates. Call Bob for more information.
Unlock your happily ever after.
Change is Good. Current trends are positive!
Bob Kelly is both a Luxury Marketing Institute and Million Dollar Guild member. • The top-selling agent in Monroe County the last 5 years with over $66,000,000 sold!
What is your happily ever after? Whether you’re in the market to upgrade to your dream home or you’re ready to sell and move on to new adventures, whatever step is next in your life, Bob Kelly is the choice for you! As the area’s top producing Realtor, year in and year out, you can trust you’ll receive the most extensive targeted marketing to attract buyers both locally and nationally to sell your home quick. “I have worked with many realtors in many regions, and Bob is among the very best and the most impressive that I know when he listed and sold our house recently. He provided valuable advice on renovations & upgrades that buyers would be looking for. Bob has a low key and relaxed manner, but do not let that fool you. He is probably one of the hardest working realtors out there. Finally, Bob is very detailed oriented, always very patient, and (without saying) very knowledgeable. You will be in good hands when you hire Bob.” -Former Client
Bob Kelly, Your Professional Realtor Kelly Realty Group
404 Park Avenue • Stroudsburg, PA 18360 Cell Direct 570-242-4400 • Office Direct 570-213-4884 • Office 570-421-2890 Email firstname.lastname@example.org • www.PoconosHomeSales.com Statistical data source: Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors data for Monroe County, resale homes, for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 transactions and sales sides.
The February & March issue of Local Flair Magazine.